Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

War of the Worlds, Redux

H.G. Welles' "War of the Worlds" has been done as a book, a radio broadcast, a movie (twice), and a music album. So why not a blog? And since yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the Orson Welles radio production of the story, it seemed like an opportune time to do it. As it turned out, I wasn't the only one who had the same idea.

My apologies if any of you ran screaming into the streets in your underwear.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We got the radio going and quickly found a broadcast from France. Fortunately it turned out we had a French major from nearby Radford University in our midst, and he was able to translate.

The bottom line is that the initial Martian attack was absolutely devastating. Major cities all over the world had been wiped out, and as many as two billion people were feared dead. However, the threat now appeared to be over. Over the course of the last several hours, all the Martian machines seem to have shut down. In the cases where humans succeeded in opening them up, the occupants were found to be dead.

Then that French astrobiologist I had seen quoted earlier joined the broadcast. His theory was that the Martians, having come from an otherwise dead world, had forgotten about the threat posed by microbes. When exposed to the alien viruses and bacteria of Earth, their bodies quickly succumbed to the onslaught of germs.

Does that mean we were now safe? The astrobiologist was cautionary on that. He said it depended on what kind of capabilities the remaining occupants of Mars had left, and whether they would realize their mistake. But for now at least, yes, we were safe.

So where does mankind go from here? It's hard to say, except that we have a massive job ahead: Rebuilding civilization. That will clearly require a great deal of international cooperation. But what happens after that? Will the petty jealousies between nations once again conspire to pull us apart from one another? Or have we as a species learned once and for all that we must live together as one, or eventually die? Only time will tell.

On the bright side, there are unconfirmed reports out of Alaska that Sarah Palin was vaporized when she tried to field dress a Martian.

There is, however, one thing that is absolutely certain: The next time I get a cold, I'll be thankful as hell.
Our group had decided to set up camp for the night near the wreckage of the Martian walker. Just as we beginning to settle down for the night, someone noticed lights in the distance. They were moving fast, and straight for us. There was some panic that it might be another Martian machine, but we soon realized it was a bus.

The new group turned out to be from Roanoke. Several machines had been leveling the city when they began shutting down one by one. That's when this particular group decided to make a run for it on a bus they had found.

Someone had a shortwave radio but its rechargeable batteries had died earlier in the day. Our group has plenty of flashlights, so we're going to try to jury rig some sort of connection from some of our batteries to the radio.
So.... Just as we're standing there arguing about who's going to be stupid enough to open this thing, the issue was settled for us. There was a sudden hissing sound, and before any of us could react, the hatch opened on its own and an alien body just kind of plopped out onto the ground.

As near as any of us could tell, the creature looked like it had bled to death. There appeared to be blood--assuming that's what it was--oozing from its eyes and nose. As to the body's overall appearance, well, its skin was blotchy and cracked. Without having a healthy live version to compare it to we couldn't say for sure, but this particular Martian looked sick as hell.

Someone shined a flashlight in through the open hatch. There appeared to be two more dead creatures inside.
As I was walking towards the voices, I began to sense that there was a large object in the road up ahead. At first I thought it was a tree, though it was hard to tell in the dark. I was just thinking it was good I ran out of gas when I did, or I would have plowed right into it.

My heart just about ended up in my throat when I realized it wasn't a tree, but one of those damned Martian walkers. It was lying on its side and appeared to be disabled. There were no noises coming from it at all. My first thought was that somehow the people surrounding it had brought the thing down.

Turns out that wasn't the case at all. In fact, they had been fleeing from it, and its death ray had picked off about 40 people from the original group when the machine suddenly froze up. After a few minutes it just toppled over. After a while the survivors cautiously approached it, and that was about the time I heard them.

We've found what appears to be a hatch of sorts. Now we're debating whether to try to open damn thing. The rest of these idiots can do what they want, but I'm going to hide in the treeline.
Well, this is f*cking great.I just ran out of gas. I have no clue as to where I am, except that I'm somewhere south of Lynchburg and north of Roanoke. Still can't get any real news, but there are plenty of other sites on the internet with information.

From what I've been able to piece together, these craft began crashing into Earth early this morning. For the most part, they seemed to end up in remote areas where they could assemble their "walkers" unencumbered by human interference.

One notable exception was one that ended smack in the middle of the Seine River in Paris. The occupants of the ship drowned when they opened their craft. Divers quickly entered the vessel and discovered components for six of the 40 foot tall walkers, and as many as 20 alien beings. They are described as being about five feet tall, with six limbs. It is believed they are from Mars, where they apparently live underground.

One French astrobiologist theorized that these "Martians" were forced to move underground when the surface of their planet became uninhabitable. This may well have happened several thousand years ago, and they've spent the intervening years planning the invasion of Earth so they could rebuild their civilization.

The walkers were devised as weapons, as well as provide the occupants with needed transportation. Earth's higher gravity is probably a serious problem for them.

Gotta go. I'm hearing voices from somewhere up ahead.
When I first, er, "commandeered" that car a few hours ago, I really had no idea where I was going to go. I just knew I had to get the hell out of Warrenton before more of those things came back. Now I think I made a mistake.

Since most of those machines head east, I decided to go west. Seemed logical at the time.

However, I'm in Charlottesville now, and I'm seeing plenty evidence that machines have been through here as well. Much of the city is destroyed and in flames. I spoke with one survivor who said that the things came out of the mountains with no warning. Unlike the "ship" that landed in Warrenton, this one had ended up in a much more remote area. I'm starting to realize that attack is much more widespread than I had thought, perhaps even effecting the whole world. If so, that would mean that no where is safe.

There still seems to be a news blackout in effect. Can't say if it's the aliens blocking the signals or our own government censoring things, but the effect is the same: No one knows what's going on. Even the official internet news sites are down.

I'm going to hit the road again. Just keep heading west, I guess.
I was having what seemed like an intelligent conversation with another survivor when he suddenly said that today's horrible events are proof of God's existence. According to him, all the death and destruction was a the lord's way of punishing us for allowing abortions, legalizing same-sex marriages, and giving Obama a double digit lead in the polls.

I tried to point out that wherever these creatures came from, they had arrived in space ships. And if they were from heaven and sent by God, then why did they need space ships?

Instead of answering my question, the man said that if I wanted to be saved, then all I needed to do was accept God. Then He would protect me from all harm. As proof, he cited himself. "I have accepted God, and in return he is protecting me from all harm." Then he closed his eyes to offer up a prayer of thanks.

That's when I hit him in the head with a baseball bat and stole his car.
Most of Warrenton is either still in flames or reduced to rubble. The machine that did this appears to be gone, and a few survivors are roaming the streets. Most appear to be in shock, incapable of taking in the devastation around them. A few others are just sitting in the wreckage of their lives, weeping uncontrollably. I passed by one guy who was talking to a small pile of ash that I'm guessing used to be his wife.

That police road block? The squad cars were just piles of wreckage. No sign of my friend the cop.

I finally made it to my apartment building, or at least what was left of it. My half of the structure was gone. I spotted one of my cats off in some bushes. When I called to him, he just took off running.

The lower two floors of the other half of the building were mostly intact. I forced my way into one unit and found that the electricity, though flickering, was still on. I turned on the TV but the cable was out. That's no surprise; Comcast goes out if you as much as sneeze.

Found another apartment on the second floor that had a small satellite dish mounted on the balcony railing. Everything seemed to still be hooked up, but all the channels came up either blank or with test patterns.
I'm now hiding in a a small creek bed.

Earlier a military helicopter took off and launched several missiles into the crater. They never made it, instead exploding well outside of the rim. Moments later some sort of beam of intense light shot out of the crater and hit the chopper. It immediately exploded, and some of the falling debris hit several soldiers on the ground. The others began to scatter. Some ran towards the woods, others went for the SUV's. Looked like one group was going for one of the remaining helicopters.

Suddenly something emerged from the crater. Hard to say exactly what it was, except that it appeared to be some sort of mechanical giant that stood maybe 30 or 40 feet tall. It began firing the same bursts of energy (or light or whatever) that had brought down the first helicopter. Whenever the beam hit a person, he or she ended up bursting into flame. It pretty much had the same effect on the helicopters and the SUV's, reducing them to smoldering piles of twisted metal. Then it started going for the remaining firetrucks, destroying them as well. At this point there must have been hundreds of people running and screaming. Unfortunately for them, they were way out in an open field, with no cover nearby.

The group of spectators I was with were further away, so we had a little more time. I decided to head for the cover of some trees and a stream. My neighbors, unfortunately, made a break for their truck. Last I saw them was when that beam caught up with them.

The robot eventually trudged off towards the east, which also happens to be the direction towards DC. I started to come out of my hiding place when suddenly another of those machines whirred to life in the crater. Over the course of the next hour or so, six more of them emerged from the crater.

As near as I can tell, all of the giant robots are finally gone. After they made mincemeat out of everyone and everything within their range--which appears to be line of site regardless of the distance-- they went off in various directions. One actually passed within fifty yards of me. I thought for sure I was about to die, but it just kept going.

Since then I've been checking various news sites. For the most part they're all showing the same headlines about the Fed's latest rate cut, or presidential poll numbers, or the World Series. And that's what's curious: They're ALMOST always the exact same headlines. It's been that way since this morning.

I have found, however, a number of other sites claiming that the government has stepped in and taken over all official news outlets. Apparently it's part of an effort to prevent panic from sweeping the country. I've never been one for conspiracy theories, but based on what I saw earlier, it makes sense.

I'm going to try and make my way back home.
Things are definitely getting scary now.

About half an hour ago six soldiers went up the outside of the crater. Evidently they still couldn't anything see because of the smoke, and so they actually climbed down inside. Suddenly there were screams followed by some shooting. There was also some sort of other sound, kind of like an electronic buzzing.

Only two of the guys back out of the crater, and they were obviously in a hurry. After a quick conference, several ran to a new helicopter that had showed up here just a little while ago. This one appears to be armed with missiles of some sort.

Meanwhile, I just checked Yahoo. I thought I saw a headline about some sort of military attack in France and clicked on the link, but it come back as "Page not found." So I went back to Yahoo and hit refresh, and the headline was now gone. Then I tried going to, but that site was down entirely. What the hell is going on?

I'll let you know what happens after the helicopter takes off.
Well, this is certainly interesting. I overheard a couple of the military guys talking, and apparently this isn't the only such impact site in the country. According to them, there have even been reports from overseas.

But that's not the alarming part. What's REALLY scary is the noises coming from inside the crater: It's almost like metal banging against metal, accompanied by some sort of mechanical sounds. If I didn't know better, it almost sounds like something being assembled. There's still some sort of heavy smoke or mist in the crater, so none of the helicopters has been able to get a look at what's going on.

A number of big black SUV's rolled up a while ago. Quite a few army type people got out and have clearly taken charge of the area. They've pushed everyone except the actual military personnel further back.

Looks like they're getting a small team together to climb the side of the crater and get a better look at what's making that noise. And they're not dicking around: Several of them are armed with some pretty big guns. Why do you need weapons to go look at a meteorite?

All of a sudden I'm thinking I should have stayed home.
We've been able to get surprisingly close to the impact site. Despite having hundreds of people on the scene, there's no real crowd control. That road block back in town is apparently only for show.

The fires are mostly out. In fact, there are a number of what appear to be military personnel that are trying to get all the rescue equipment moved out of the area as fast as possible. Oh, and what I had thought was one helicopter periodically circling over Warrenton? Now it looks like it was actually several helicopters merely on their way up here. I count about 14 or 15 of them sitting on the ground in an open field near.... Near whatever. The choppers are all camouflage green, so I'm guessing either army or air force.

So why would the military be on the scene of a plane crash? Well, probably because that's clearly not what happened here. There's a large crater with an actual raised rim visible amid a bunch of charred trees. If I had to guess, I'd say this was a meteorite. Or maybe some sort of large satellite, which would account for the military presence. The inside of the crater is still obscured by either smoke or some sort of mist, so there's no telling what's in there.
I recognized one of the deputies manning the road block near my house as someone I went to school with. What he had to say was nothing short of incredible.

It turns out that what happened last was NOT a pipeline explosion. Rather, something had crashed in the woods about five miles outside of town and set off a large fire. Most people seemed to think it was an airplane, but there were also rumors that it may have been some sort of satellite. Witnesses near the crash described a "large ball of fire" that had come straight down out of the sky and plowed into the ground. Whatever it was, the flames were still preventing the authorities from getting close to the impact site.

I went back and told the neighbors. One of them has a 4WD pick up, so a group of us are going to try and get close to the action by taking some back roads. If need be, we can cut through some fields. Some of you may think that's a little sick, but it's really no different from looking at a car crash along the highway. And don't even try to tell me you've never done that.

This may sound dorky, but I'm going to grab my laptop and let you know what I see.

Finally, Some Peace and Quiet

Well, things have finally quieted down. There's still an occasional helicopter, but at least the sirens have stopped for the most part. That orange glow in the distance seems to be gone as well, so I guess that means they succeeded in knocking down the fire. Not surprising, since earlier it sounded like every fire truck in the state was heading in that direction.

Still, I've decided to take the day off. I don't want to leave, then find out this evening that I can't come home for three weeks. Do you have any idea how much two cats can poop in that amount of time?

No way I want to come home to a litter box that full.

Really, REALLY Irritated

Just when you think things have quieted down, a new set of sirens goes screaming by. And just in case that's not enough to wake the dead, several helicopters have been circling overhead. I've pretty much given up on trying to go back to sleep.

I went outside to see what was up and ran into several neighbors. According to them, there was a pipeline explosion a few miles away. Sure enough, you can even see an orange glow in the sky off to the north.

That would certainly seem to account for what's going on. I know that several of the big pipelines from the Gulf pass through Fauquier county, but I had thought they were down in the southern part of the county--the exact opposite direction from whatever the hell is happening.

Anyway, now it looks like the cops are blocking off the road going north. If they tell us to start evacuating, I'm not going. I'll be like those people in New Orleans who refused to leave ahead of Katrina.

If you're lucky, maybe you'll see me tomorrow on the roof my building waving at the news choppers.

I'm Starting to Get Irritated

Well, so much for going right back to sleep. Now all sorts of sirens keep going by. Normally that's not that unusual. I live near a major intersection, and you can occasionally hear emergency vehicles as they go up one road or another. What's different this time is that I've counted well over 20 sets of sirens go by. That's surprising, since I didn't think Warrenton had that many fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances.

I still don't know what that noise was, but it apparently wasn't that nearby. Assuming those sirens are responding to whatever happened, it must have been several miles away. The sirens keep fading off in the distance rather than stopping right away.

Anyway, it's still not too late for John McCain to win my vote. All he has to do is promise to let me get a decent night's sleep.

WTF Was That?

A few minutes ago there was a loud crash that shook my windows and just about knocked me out of bed. I'm guessing that a truck crashed into something nearby.

If there's one thing I really hate more than the Bush administration, it's getting woken up in the middle of the night.... Especially when I'm having one of my dreams about Britney blowing in my ear.

Disturbance on Mars? Someone Call the Cops

Well, here's some strange news: Astronomers are reporting what appear to be a series of explosions on the surface of Mars. Even the two Mars rovers sent back data on several "seismic events" before mysteriously going silent. NASA attributes the lack of communication to a software glitch, and engineers are working to resolve the issue.

Of greater concern is the loss of contact with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which had been mapping the surface of the red planet. Some experts are speculating that perhaps Mars was hit by several meteors, one of which may have also struck the Orbiter. If true, that would represent the loss of a valuable exploration tool.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Can John McCain Do This?

If you haven't already made up your mind about who to vote for next Tuesday, maybe this will help you decide.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Very Interesting

The Federal Reserve Board is meeting again today to consider another interest rate cut. Hell, if we consumers can hold out just a little longer, banks will begin paying us to borrow money.

Pass the Ruby Red Slippers

It's good to see so many people becoming involved in the political process in a sensible and responsible manner. Case in point: The Christian Right.

Evangelical wackos are sending out letters and creating websites predicting all sorts of horrible things if Obama gets elected. Some examples: rampant terrorist attacks throughout the United States, nuclear bombs blowing up Israel, abortion squads kidnapping pregnant women, gay marriages in the streets, and dogs and cats openly pleasuring one another in defiance of the Bible. In other words, an Obama presidency may set back the Christian Taliban's agenda for turning the United States into a theocratic dictatorship.

Yes, personal freedom is a horrible thing.

But this also points out the beauty of being overly religious. You see, when you have faith, silly things like facts no longer matter. All you have to do is believe, and things will magically happen.

Though clicking your heels together can't hurt, either.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Now That's a Scary House!

When Facts Get in the Way of a Great Story

Last week a 20 year old white McCain campaign worker claimed she was robbed by a big black man at an ATM in Pittsburgh. According to Ashley Todd, the guy took $60, then noticed a "McCain" bumper sticker on her car. He then knocked her down and carve a letter "B" into her cheek, saying that he would "teach her a lesson" and turn her into an Obama supporter.

Conservative talk radio hosts immediately jumped all over the racial aspect of her tale, and McCain himself called Todd's family to offer his sympathy for what had happened.

This looked like a great story for the McCain campaign, at least until some irresponsible cops actually looked at the surveillance from the ATM machine.... And noticed that there was no big black dude to be seen. So the police called Todd back in for additional questioning. That was when she admitted to making up the whole story. Then, just in case this poor girl hadn't already been through enough, they had the nerve to charge her with filing a false police report.

Boy, narrow-minded bigoted conservative Republicans just can't catch a break these days.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Day of Endorsements for Both Sides

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Friday, October 24, 2008

Redefining the Word 'Average'

True story: The Republican National Committee has spent $150,000 since August on clothes for Sarah Palin--much of it from places like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue--so she can travel around the country bragging about how she's just an average working class mom.

Oooo! You Can See Minnie's Undies!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Red State Rampage

Sticky Situation

Scientists have discovered that if you peel Scotch tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits x-rays. One researcher was actually able to produce an x-ray image of his finger using this method.

Apparently the x-rays are produced as electrons jump from one surface to another at the very point where the tape is separating from the roll. The scientists are quick to add that this only works in a vacuum; the presence of air prevents the x-rays from ever occurring.

In response to the news, the Bush administration has launched an international effort to prevent Iran from developing Scotch tape.

The Spirit of Cooperation

October 23, 1983

It was 25 years ago today that the United States got a rude invitation to the age of terrorism. A truck bomb crashed through the gate of the Marine barracks in Lebanon and made its way into the lobby of the building. Then its cargo of 12,000 pounds of TNT exploded. 241 American soldiers died.

Shortly afterward President Ronald Reagan made the decision to withdraw from Lebanon. Osama bin Laden would later say that Reagan's move convinced him that if the U.S. gets its nose bloodied, it will retreat. That image was further reinforced by the U.S. experience in Somalia.

Here's an account of the attack by some survivors, and the ramifications of that terrible day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ungrateful Republicans

Ho, Ho, Ho, Oh, You're Fired

You know the economy is getting bad when even Santa gets laid off.

Michael Graham has played jolly old St. Nick at Tysons Corner Center in Virginia for 18 years. It had gotten to the point where kids who sat on his knee when he first started where coming back with their own kids.... And he's not even a Catholic priest.

Now the mall's management has informed him that they don't want him back this Christmas season. No real reason was given, except that there's a new photographer who wants to use his own Santa.

If the Candidates Were Phones....

(Sent in by Arby)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When in Doubt, Divert Everyone's Attention

Why I'm Voting for the American Candidate in this Race

People sometimes ask me, "Hey Lugosi, or whatever your real name is, who are you voting for?"

And without hesitation I tell them, "I'm voting for the American guy..... Obama."

For some reason people assume I'm kidding or being sarcastic, but I'm perfectly serious. I'm voting for Obama because he is the only true American between the two principle candidates. The next time Sarah Palin questions Obama's patriotism, someone should point this out to her just to watch her head spin.

If you still doubt me, let's look at the facts:
Fact 1: Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. Hawaii is one of the fifty states that compromise this great nation of ours, and has been since 1959.

Fact 2: John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. Not only is that not a state, it's not even an American territory any more. We gave it back to the Panamanians in 1999. For all we know, McCain may well be some sort of sleeper agent for Panama.
So unlike John McCain, Barack Obama is the ONLY true American in this race.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Hero

Powell Speaks His Mind;
Republicans Poop Their Pants

Few public figures in American politics have the stature of Colin Powell. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War, and Secretary of State during George W. Bush's first term, Powell has foreign policy credentials out the wazoo.

Powell is also known for something called the "Powell Doctrine," which basically says if you're going to attack or invade someone, you do so with an overwhelming military force. This is not to be confused with the Rumsfeld Doctrine, which says that if you're going to invade someone, you do so with as small a force as possible, get bogged down, hopelessly muck things up beyond all recognition, then walk away and leave your mess for someone else to clean up.

Yes, there is the matter of his 2003 testimony before the U.N. about the supposed WMD's in Iraq, but most people now realize he was as duped by the trumped up evidence as the rest of America. More importantly, behind the scenes he tried to warn the Bush administration that it was making a mistake in Iraq. And how was he rewarded for his wisdom? He and the State Department became increasingly marginalized as the Pentagon took over the rebuilding effort in Iraq. Shortly after Bush's reelection, Powell was shown the door.

Since leaving government service in 2005, Powell has maintained his silence on Bush's conduct of the war. While other former administration officials have cashed with unflattering behind-the-scenes books, Powell has maintained his silence. He has done so even though a book deal could easily have netted him $10 million or more. If nothing else, Powell continues to be a loyal soldier, reluctant to publicly rebuke those above him. This silence, while frustrating to many administration critics, has probably only further enhanced Americans' admiration for him.

That's what makes Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama all the more devastating to the McCain Campaign. While the Republican ticket may not have been entirely dead, it was rapidly taking on water. And if that wasn't already bad enough, Powell's move yesterday on Meet the Press amounted to nothing less than a torpedo amidships.

On the other hand, it's not the first time McCain has gone down in flames.

In one fell swoop, Powell has dismissed the Republican party's argument against Obama: His lack of foreign policy experience. But he didn't stop there. Powell also blasted the McCain camp for its "polarizing" campaign, and said that all they're doing is trying to deflect attention from the most important issue facing the nation today: The economy.

In particular, Powell said he was "troubled" by Republican efforts to paint Obama as a Muslim:
"Well, he's not," Powell said. "But what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim? The answer is no. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim kid dreaming he could be president of the United States?

"I've heard senior Republicans" say such things, Powell said. "This is not America. We've got to stop polarizing ourselves."
To further drive home his point, Powell told the story of Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, a Muslim soldier. Last year Khan gave his life in Iraq, and he is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Setting an Example for the World

Yes, in America, this is all part of how we choose our leaders.

2001: A Google Odyssey

To mark its tenth anniversary, Google has made available its search engine just as it appeared in January of 2001 (for technical reasons they couldn't go all the way back to 1998). Actually, what you get is not only Google's own page as it looked seven years ago, but the entire frakkin' web just as it existed at the time.

For example: A search for "Sarah Palin" comes back with zero hits, thus proving that she didn't even exist in 2001. This adds credence to my theory that she is the Antichrist, and was only recently sent up from the very bowels of hell by Satan himself.

Youtube? Forget it. Nothing by that name in 2001.

A search for iPod gets you information on some sort of document processing system.

But most alarming of all: A search for "Mirth, Musings, & More" comes up with no hits!

Hmmmm.... Maybe I'm the Antichrist.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Debate Highlights

The last presidential debate of the 2008 campaign was held Wednesday night. In case you missed it, or want to re-examine some of the candidates' positions, here are some of the highlights.

Sometimes Conservatives Will Even
Eat Their Young

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lewis Black Weighs in on Nuclear Holocausts

The Upside of Economic Collapse

According to new statistics, the number of illegal aliens coming across the border to the United States has dropped dramatically. The reason? Our economy. Illegals are finding it harder and harder to find jobs in America.

WOW!!! You know things are getting bad when even destitute Mexicans, their meaningless lives doomed to a permanent cycle of abject poverty and starvation, no longer think they'd be any better off in the U.S.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Signs of the Times

John McCain Is Unamerican

Joe McCain, the Republican presidential candidate's brother, made a recent campaign appearance in Loudon county, Virginia. It was there that he referred to Arlington county and the city of Alexandria--also Virginia communities--as "communist country."

Loudon, despite recent suburban growth, remains a somewhat rural area. And like much of the rest of the state, the county is also relatively conservative. In contrast, Arlington and Alexandria are both very urban and across the Potomac from DC. And as their populations have grown, both have become reliably Democratic in recent years. In Joe McCain's mind, that apparently makes them unamerican.

McCain is to be be commended for his insightful observations. Arlington, for example, is home to the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. All three are well known communist sites.

This also raises an interesting question: Since Washington, DC has never elected a Republican mayor, and consistently votes Democratic in presidential elections, that must mean it, too, is a communist stronghold. That obviously makes the White House, U.S. Capitol, and the Supreme Court communist also.

And then there's Massachusetts. The state is also reliably Democratic. In fact, it (and DC) delivered George McGovern's only electoral votes in 1972. Obviously the state is also communist.

But Massachusetts gave us such unamerican events such as the Boston Tea Party and the battle of Lexington, which marked the opening shots of the American Revolution. Many of our nation's founding fathers were also from Massachusetts.

So is John McCain's brother suggesting that our war against England was wrong? Is he opposed to our nation's independence? Is he saying the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are communist documents? And if the U.S. should never have broken from England, then obviously the American-led defeat of Hitler's Germany was a mistake. Does this mean that Joe McCain is a Nazi?

While a campaign spokesman attempted to dismiss the remarks as "humor," John McCain has failed to distance himself from Joe's remarks. Does that means that the candidate agrees with his brother?

I for one will not stand idly by while a presidential candidate and self-admitted Nazi sympathizer denounces our great nation.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Celebrating Columbus Day

We come in peace. Have some Smallpox.Today is Columbus Day, which commemorates Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of America in 1492. During the past few years the intrepid explorer's reputation has fallen victim to the rise of political correctness. No less an authority than Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused the explorer of "genocide." On the other hand, this ignores the minor detail that if there had been no Columbus, then Chavez would never have had a country to be President of, and he wouldn't be in a position to make such outlandish statements.

Such accusations about Columbus are unfortunate, and it's high time someone set the record straight.

First of all, Columbus--to the best of my knowledge--never killed any Indians, and he can hardly be held responsible for the actions of others who followed him. And does anyone honestly believe that if Columbus had NOT made his discovery, the rest of the world would not have somehow stumbled across the Americas at some later date? Otherwise, wouldn't people of this alternate 21st century reality have wondered why there was a big hole in their GPS devices' maps of the western hemisphere?

Additionally, Columbus was Italian but sailed on behalf of Portugal. The Conquistadors, who shoulder much of the responsibility of what eventually happened to the native population, were from Spain. After that came the French and the English. The few Italians that did finally follow Columbus across the ocean blue were limited by law to working as cops in New York city.

Besides, it's not Columbus' fault that Indians were already living here and kept getting in the way. They should have just gone back to where they came from! And while Columbus may not have been the first to find the Americas, his discovery was the first to "take." It set the stage for future European colonization, something earlier discoveries by the Vikings failed to do.... Though they did eventually make three Super Bowl appearances under the able leadership of Fran Tarkenton.

Most importantly, Columbus' arrival in the New World demonstrated the need for strong, effective immigration policies.... As well as the importance of maintaining an up to date smallpox vaccination schedule.

At any rate, the bottom line is that if it weren't for the European colonization of the Americas, there would still be buffalo roaming across our interstates. And if you think an overturned tanker truck causes traffic tie ups, think what a herd of several hundred thousand bison would do.

President Sitting Bull would have admitted SMOKING that corn husk but denied ever inhaling it. And he would certainly have denied having sexual relations with that squaw, Pochohantas.

Furthermore, man would never have landed on the moon, John Wayne wouldn't have had a movie career, there would never have been a Star Trek or Star Wars, the light bulb would never have been invented, we'd all be writing emails in the dark, and Iraq would be a stable nation.

Oh, and the entire world (including the French) would be speaking German or Japanese.

So happy Columbus Day!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thank Goodness

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Open to Debate

Sorry I didn't post earlier today. I got into an argument with a McCain supporter and had to dispose of the body. By the way, those Black & Decker circular saws are GREAT! I'm going to start keeping one in my trunk all the time.

Anyway, as a public service, and as part of my campaign to educate the American public, here are some excerpts from Tuesday night's debate between the presidential candidates:

Friday, October 10, 2008

When Competition Is A Bad Thing

The retail chain Linens 'N Things has been in bankruptcy for the last several months. They have now gone a step further and asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to completely liquidate and close their stores as early as next week.

So what's the rush? The chain's owners say they expect a "wave" of retailers going out of business, and want to beat them to the punch.

WOW!! You know things are bad when businesses are worried about competing with one another in their going out of business sales.

Expanding America's Sphere of Influence

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Gonna need a Bigger Net

Anybody See the Bottom Yet?

Even though Congress finally passed the $700 billion bailout plan last week, the world's slide into financial chaos is continuing unabated.

Remember last Monday's record 778 point drop of the stock market? Well, at one point two days ago it had dropped by another 800 points, though a late rally cut the lose to 369. Stocks in Paris fell by 9%. London's market, on the other hand, only fell 8%. Russia had to halt trading entirely after its markets fell 19%.

Then yesterday Japan's markets fell over 9%, bringing its losses for the last two weeks to 24%. Japanese investors haven't been terrified since the last time a giant prehistoric creature emerged from the ocean to wreak havoc on Tokyo.

And now Iceland is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. It's one thing when a single company goes under. But when entire countries start going broke, we're all f*cked.

So why should the average Joe Schmoe like you and me care? Well, if you were planning to retire soon, you can probably forget it now. Analysts say that retirement plans have lost two trillion dollars (20% of their value) over the last few weeks.

Planning on buying a car? Good luck with that. The credit market has all but dried up. That means massive layoffs in the auto industry and related manufacturing are coming soon. And it's a safe bet those people are going to stop spending money, which will only further exacerbate the current situation.

Yesterday the former chairman of AIG--one of the principle firms involved in the financial meltdown--testified on Capitol Hill. And what did Robert Willumstad have to say for himself? "I was not aware of it, and if I had been, I would not have let it happen." Both he and his predecessor declined to take responsibility for the company's collapse.

WTF?!?!?! If they're that stupid, then why are they paid millions of dollars a year?

The people that got us into this must be held responsible for their actions. Even if there was no actual criminal wrongdoing, it is still their fault. They can not be allowed to simply walk away from the wreckage of our financial system.

That's why I'm repeating my call to start cutting off the balls of those responsible. Yes, balls. I hate to admit it, but most of the people who got us to where we are today are men--apparently women just aren't that stupid.

It's a safe bet that if Willumstad had emerged from the Capitol yesterday with a bag of ice where his nutsack used to be, all the bigwig executives on Wall Street would have taken immediate notice.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My Feelings Exactly

Public Service Announcement

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain are scheduled to hold another debate tonight. In the meantime, this might be a good time to review the vice presidential debate from last week.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Sky IS Falling

Astronomers say that a small asteroid is going to enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up over Africa early tomorrow morning. This is notable mainly because this is the first time scientists have been able to predict such an event.

They emphasize that the asteroid is relatively small, measuring only 15 feet or so across. The object is NOT expected to reach the ground, and we have absolutely nothing to worry about.

On the other hand, if we wake up tomorrow to find the entire world engulfed in flames before it plunges into a millennium of permanent darkness, we'll know they were wrong.

Typical Wall Street CEO as a Child

Ike's Rising Toll

One of the more remarkable things about the aftermath of Hurricane Ike had been the apparently low death toll. The number of dead--at least in Texas--had appeared to be fewer than a dozen. As it turns out, that figure may have been deceptively low since it only counted those bodies that had actually been found.

Authorities say that as many as 300 more remain missing. So what happened to them? Some bodies may be in remote marshes, or buried under all the debris from what used to be Galveston. Others may simply have been swept out to sea as the water receded. Those people will likely never be found.

So why do some people ignore evacuation orders? The reasons range from "hurricane fatigue" caused by previous false alarms. Others may simply lack transportation, or else they don't have any place to stay. In many cases, people just don't have the funds to stay in a hotel for what may turn out to be a week or more. And so they stay behind.

Sure, to the rest of us people like that may seem foolish. But if you think about it, how would you feel if authorities wouldn't let you near your house for two weeks? Many of us would probably find a way to rationalize staying behind.

Wishful Thinking

Saturday, October 04, 2008

'It's a Great Time to Invest!'

Friday, October 03, 2008

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Last night's vice presidential debate was full of distortions and outright lies by both candidates, though Sarah Palin--of course--had more of them (not that I'm biased). This is surprising, since Palin considers herself a God-fearing Christian of the highest order.... Well, except when it comes to lying. In her version of the Bible, Moses apparently came down from that mountain with only nine commandments.

There's one other thing we learned about from her performance last night: She does a pretty good Tina Fey impression.

Anyway, here's a good fact checking article about last night's showdown between Biden and Palin.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


A new poll suggests that support for Sarah Palin is dropping off. This is to be expected as more people begin to realize that the woman is a raving religious lunatic.

Well, okay, that MAY not be entirely true. Most people are probably just questioning her general qualifications, and they're arriving at their conclusions after watching Katie Couric's interview with Palin. Even some conservative commentators who originally praised her selection are backing away from Palin. This is disturbing, for there are few things in nature more frightening than when conservatives turn on their own. The resulting scenes of blood, disembowelment, and tearing of limbs will send all but the bravest souls screaming down the street. That makes tonight's vice presidential debate all the more important for the Republican ticket.

Me? I'm just worried that if Palin ever becomes President, the first thing she'll do is round up all the atheists and ship us off to forced prayer camps.

Vice Presidential Showdown

Joe Biden and Sarah Palin prepare for tonight's vice presidential debate.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Am I Self-Centered? Not Intentionally

For some bizarre reason, my blog is showing up centered on some computers. Not sure why that is, and it's certainly not anything intentional on my part.

It displays fine on my home PC (XP) and two laptops (both are Vista). It's also okay whether using I.E., Firefox, Opera, or Chrome on those machines.

Yet the other day when I stopped at the library to check something, it displayed with all the various page elements centered. And yes, it was VERY annoying. But that evening when I got home, everything was fine.

Not knowing what to make of it, I decided to just not worry about it--Kind of like Bush's approach to our economic problems. Then today someone left a comment complaining that the site was showing up centered on her computer.

Well, I'm flummoxed. There doesn't seem to be anything obviously wrong in the template. And even if there was a stray line of code, the effect should show up on all computers. So tomorrow I'll head back to the library and see if it's still doing it. I'll check on several computers. Then I'll take another look at the code and hopefully I'll be able to figure what's what.

What scares me is that I'm going to waste all this time trying to fix something that is actually one of those weird-ass Blogger problems that they periodically come up with--like the time they suspended me for being a spam site.

So if you're running into this problem, my apologies. Hopefully it will get straightened out shortly.

UPDATE, 10/2/08
Basically I just replaced the old template with the same one, but minus my modifications. That seems to have taken care of whatever was causing the problem. I've since tweaked it somewhat, but it still seems to be behaving as it should.

Fairfax County Library computers were the only ones where I could reproduce the problem. They're XP and use IE as the browser. My similar desktop at home displayed the site fine, however, so that wasn't the issue. The only other thing I can think of is that the library computers use IE version 6.0 instead of 7.0, whereas I have 7.0 at home.

Imperial Fleet Week in San Francisco

How come you never see the mainstream corporate media types covering news events like this?

Lifeboats? What Lifeboats?