Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mommie (And Daddy) Dearest

If you're expecting a baby, or are caring for a new addition to your family, Paradise Driver has some helpful tips for infant care.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Gravity: After All, It's Just An Unproven Theory

A large crane collapsed in New York city earlier this morning. This comes on the heels of a similar construction accident several months ago. And it was just about two years ago that scaffolding around a building collapsed, also in New York.

This is part of an alarming trend, and the early signs of a major crisis about to befall our planet. And no, it has nothing to do with lax enforcement of workplace safety rules. Rather, it's indicative of a dangerous increase in Earth's gravity.

Don't laugh; Gravity is not something any of us can actually see. Are we just supposed to blindly take the word of scientists that they understand how it works?

If you think about it, this would also account for the so-called obesity epidemic. Maybe the fact that we weigh more has nothing to do with all the super-sized double Whopper with Cheese value meals we scarf down. Rather, it's because of the still unexplained spike in gravity.

Bubble Boy

More Bang For Your Buck

A Kansas City car dealer has begun offering buyers a choice of incentives: $250 of free gas, or a gun. So far all but two customers have opted to take the gun deal.

Well, duh!!!! Once you've got the gun, you can get ALL the free gas you want!

But It's Not A Recession: It's A 'Slowdown'

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pass The Air Freshener

Have you had dinner yet? If not, here's a helping of pork & beans.

Alexander Courage: December 10, 1919 – May 15, 2008

Here's a story I had completely missed: Alexander Courage has died. And if the name means nothing to you, obviously you're not a Star Trek fan.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Karma Rocks

World renown seismologist Sharon Stone, who once flashed her snatch at moviegoers in Basic Instinct, which gives her all the credentials she needs to explain natural disaster, is blaming the recent earthquake in China on "bad karma."

In other words, because the Chinese government in Beijing is composed of oppressive assholes who ordered the recent crackdown in Tibet, Karma decided to cause an earthquake hundreds of miles away from Beijing, thereby killing almost a hundred thousand innocent peasants, farmers, peasants, and schoolchildren who had absolutely nothing wrong to do with it.

Apparently Karma just has some lousy ass aim.

Stone's explanation of the cause of the earthquake will no doubt shake up the staid scientific community, whose members' qualifications consist of mere PhD's, and most of whom have never exposed their most intimate private parts to billions of people. It's also a relief to learn that fault lines, plate tectonics, and subduction zones had nothing to do with the earthquake.

What's next? A Britney Spears website devoted to semiconductor physics?

NOW He tells Us?

A number of Bush administration officials have already written books highly critical of Dubya's presidency. One that is yet to come out, but has been highly anticipated, is the one from former press secretary Scott McClellan.

The wait is just about over. McClellan's What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception is coming out next week, and excerpts are beginning to become public. And the former White House spokesman is pulling no punches. Among his observations:
  • Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war.
  • The White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.
  • An admission that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be "badly misguided."
  • After Hurricane Katrina, the White House "spent most of the first week in a state of denial."
Expanding further on Katrina, McClellan writes,
"One of the worst disasters in our nation's history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush's presidency. Katrina and the botched federal response to it would largely come to define Bush's second term. And the perception of this catastrophe was made worse by previous decisions President Bush had made, including, first and foremost, the failure to be open and forthright on Iraq and rushing to war with inadequate planning and preparation for its aftermath."
McClellan spent almost three years as press secretary and left the White House two years ago. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, it's taken him this long to figure this crap out? Isn't it kind of late? There are only 238 days left in Bush's presidency, and these revelations do no good at this point. The damage has been done.

It remains to be seen if Colin Powell will write a book. Assuming he does, he--even more than McClellan--will have to address the issue of why he didn't speak up sooner. More than any other individual, Powell had the stature and credibility to put a stop to the Iraq war before it ever started. All he would have had to do is voice his doubts. But he didn't, and Bush was able to go forward with the Iraq fiasco.

And now, more than five years later, over 4,000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead.... All because people like Powell and McClellan remained silent.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spock's Ears Would Probably Block My View

Looking For Life On Mars

Congratulations are in order for NASA, which on Sunday successfully landed the Phoenix spacecraft near Mars' north pole. It's good to see that all those night classes NASA engineers had to take on Metric to English conversions has finally paid off.

One of the more unique features of the Phoenix lander is that it is equipped with a "backhoe" that will enable it to dig below the surface in a search for evidence of life in Mars' past. That is why the planet's polar region was selected: There is ample evidence of ice in the region, and the thinking goes that where there's water, there are much improved chances for life. And if anything ever truly lived on the Red Planet, this is where Martian life would have made its last stand.

Scientists don't seriously expect to find any current life, however. The atmosphere of today's Mars simply isn't conducive to life, at least as we understand it.

The lander has already been returning some spectacular images. Still no signs of life, but skeptical scientists have discovered what they are calling a "particularly fascinating rock formation."

Some Nunsense

The late Dave Allen, an Irish comedian, delivers what is a pretty good summation of Catholic theology.... Especially when you're a four year old kid trying to make sense of it.

Missing The Good Old Days

Sometimes I marvel at how things have changed over the last 35 years. For example, when I was in high school in the mid '70s, digital watches were just starting to appear. I had a really cool one that was normally blank, but if you pushed a button, then numbers composed of red glowing dots would light up. But then someone came out with one that would light up whenever you flicked your wrist, and I thought that was the coolest thing since, well, since that color TV I had once seen in a store.

Pocket calculators started appearing about the same time. If you wanted one of the really sophisticated ones that could add, subtract, multiply, and (GASP!) even divide, it would have set you back almost $100.

Even more amazing, back then we actually believed that America would never ever end up with a worse President than Richard Nixon. Boy, were we naive.

But alas, there was no internet. Even worse, no internet porn. And if we had to do a paper, we would have to actually go to a place called a library, which was full of books made of paper. So how did we know which books to look up? Well, there was no Google. Instead we had something called the Dewey Decimal System. The numbers were kind of like URL's for the books.

Yes, it was a raw and savage existence. Sometimes I even had to fight off sabre tooth tigers during my five mile walks to and from school.... Through snowdrifts.... Uphill.... Both ways.

And sex lives? Forget it. That was something that was reserved for the captain of the football team. So when I see something like this, I have to wonder if today's kids realize just how damn lucky they are.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Real Reason Today Is A Holiday

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008


I had an interesting dream last night. And no, it had nothing to do with Britney or her underwear.... or lack thereof.

Rather, the dream was about George W. Bush. It was 1939, and for some reason he was President of the United States. Europe was steadily drifting towards war.

President Bush, eager to make his mark on history, responded to the growing Nazi threat boldly and forcefully.... By invading Bolivia.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Whip It, Whip it Good

He's no Iron Man, but Indiana Jones still knows how to throw one hell of a party. And that's saying a lot, since I really didn't have any high expectations for the new movie. That said, it was a blast.... Especially the part where Indy survives a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator and having it hurled miles across a desert. Just don't try to calculate the G-forces involved, and you'll enjoy.

There is some sort of plot involving a skull with supernatural powers. It was found by another archaeologist, so it falls to Jones to return it to some lost city in Central America. Along the way he has to evade overly zealous FBI agents, evil Russkies, a rival archeologist, quicksand, man-eating ants, waterfalls, spooky cemeteries, hostile natives in loincloths, poison darts, cliffs, woods, and an ex-girlfriend. Oh, and then E.T. shows up at the end.

Quite frankly, the plot is a little confusing. But that's fine, because we're talking about Indiana Jones. What passes as a plot merely serves as a necessary narrative tool to tie the various chase sequences together. And what sequences they are! There's one inside a large warehouse (look for the Ark of the Covenant to make a brief cameo), another across a college campus, and a particularly wild one through a jungle. Then there's an especially fun ride on a river.

Finally, there's the soundtrack. John Williams wrote the music, and it works beautifully with whatever is happening on the screen. Come to think of it, would any of George Lucas' or Steven Spielberg's movies been half as much fun without Williams controlling the baton? Think of any of the Star Wars or previous Indiana Jones films, and try to imagine them without the music. The same goes for Jaws and Close Encounters. Brilliant as they may be as filmmakers, both Lucas and Spielberg owe a great deal of their success to Williams. Hell, even Schindler's List would have been uplifting if only he had written the score.

My only complaint: When the hell did matinées start costing $7.75?!?! What the hell is that about? Do the projectors run on gasoline or something? And don't even get me started on the small popcorn and small soda that came to an even ten bucks! Again, what's the justification for that? Do theaters use gasoline powered popcorn poppers or something? Can't they get a hybrid popper? Or better yet, a solar powered one?

Congress needs to stop interrogating oil company executives and instead investigate the damn movie theater owners.

Speaking Of Appeasement

Well, it would seem that President Bush is owed an apology.

In a speech to the Israeli Knesset last week he insinuated that the Democrats were appeasers and compared them to those who knuckled under to Adolf Hitler. Critics have argued that the comparison is ridiculous. Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, was accused of appeasement not because he tried talking to Hitler, but rather because he failed to act when the German leader invaded Poland and Czechoslovakia. These critics--including myself--have suggested that Bush is an idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about.

As it turns out, nothing could be further from the truth. Bush is apparently very familiar with the NAZIs. After all, his grandfather, Prescott Bush, helped construct the German war machine in the 1930's.

Yes, it's true: Part of the Bush family fortune was derived from doing business with Adolf Hitler's government. Since our fearless leader saw fit to bring up the the Nazis in front of the Israeli parliament, one has to wonder why he innocently omitted that tiny little detail.

Know When To Fold 'em

I've been trying to fold my monitor for the last half hour to figure out what the hidden message is, but with no luck. I give up. If any of you have one of those new-fangled foldable flat screens, please let me know what the cartoon says.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Earlier today President Bush vetoed a massive farm bill. The House of Representatives wasted no time overriding the veto with a 316-108 vote, thereby hitting the President with a major political defeat.

The Democrats' victory was short-lived, however, when it was discovered that they had accidentally left out a 34 page section from the copy of the bill they had sent to the White House. That means the President actually vetoed a bill that hadn't passed through Congress, and that Congress in return overrode a non-existent veto. The end result is the kind of procedural mess that can only happen in DC.

A humiliating mistake by Democrat congressional leaders? I suppose. But it's still gotta be less embarrassing than invading the wrong f*cking country, causing tens of thousands of senseless deaths, and destroying your nation's standing in the international community.

Appeasement Vs. Talking

President Bush's accusation that the Democrats favor appeasement continues to have repercussions.... Unfortunately, not of the kind the White House wanted. It seems that some unpatriotic Americans are resorting to (GASP!!!) historical facts and making the President--and his defenders--look stupid.

What's The Big Deal? Just Pull Over & Turn On The Flashers

Another byproduct of the soaring cost of oil has been that airlines are now flying their planes with less extra fuel. This saves money because less fuel at takeoff means less overall weight for the aircraft, and thus less overall fuel consumption.

Unfortunately it can also mean more inconveniences for passengers. With less fuel to spare, planes can't circle their destination airports for as long should some sort of unexpected delay develop. That means that more planes end up being diverted to entirely different cities.

The airlines insist that flying with less fuel is NOT dangerous. They say they are meeting FAA standards for the amounts initially loaded onto planes: enough fuel to reach the destination; a diversion airport if necessary; and an extra 45 minutes of flying time. Still, the practice is making some people nervous.

Count me among those. I freely admit that I'm not an airline pilot nor do I play one on TV. However, to this untrained civilian it would seem that running out of gas in an airplane at 30,000 feet would result in more complications than, say, having a car run out of gas while driving on the interstate.

Button It, Part Deux

Hmmmm.... Apparently Brian at Glossy News read yesterday's post thanking him for my new animated link button, and publicly shaming him for not including a shot of Britney without her underwear.

Well, apparently this clever psychological ploy on my part worked. He has prepared an alternate button. That last frame goes by pretty quick, and here's a close-up of the image. It certainly looks like the infamous Britney photo, and that's definitely a pussy. Whether it's her pussy, however, may be open to debate.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why Science Sucks

Monday, May 19, 2008

Button It, Pal

Special thanks to Brian at Glossy News/Perplexing Times (there are also feeds at the bottom of this page) who took the time to design a flashing Mirth, Musings, & More button. His effort is greatly appreciated, even if he did decline to incorporate the picture of Britney without her undies into the image.

If anyone is so inclined, feel free to steal it.

Change Is In The Air

In what may be an ominous sign of things to come for Congressional Republicans, they lost another special election in Mississippi last week. This was in a traditionally strong Republican district, but yet it was won by a Democrat despite a strong effort by the GOP. National party leaders went as far as to run ads saying that a vote for the Democrat was essentially a vote for Obama.

Keep in mind this was in Mississippi, so it's fairly safe the Republicans were trying a backhanded approach to remind people that Osama is--GASP!!!--black. To their credit, most voters didn't take the bait.

That strategy, however, did not have unanimous backing among Republicans. One GOP congressman, Tom Davis of Virginia, questioned the attempt to bring Obama's name into the Mississippi campaign.
"When Bush tries to articulate a vision," Davis said, pausing to choose his words carefully, "he will butcher the Gettysburg Address. Obama, he will make an A&P grocery list sing."
In an effort to re-brand the party, desperate Republican leaders yesterday came up with a new slogan: "The Change You Deserve." This was met with ridicule as other Republicans that it sounds an awful lot like Obama's own "Change We Can Believe In" catchphrase. It also seems to ignore the fact that prior to 2006, Reblicans had controlled the House of Representatives for 12 years, and have held the White House since 2001. So if Republicans are admitting that Americans want change, then it seems they're telling people to vote for more Democrats.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Olympics Update

Burma continues to lead the 2008 disaster Olympics with an estimated 100,000 dead from the cyclone that hit two weeks ago. That total may continue to grow as disease and starvation spread among the survivors.

China remains a distant second, with only 50,000 feared dead from last week's massive earthquake. That total may grow if disease begins to spread among survivors, but experts don't see anyway it can overtake Burma's early lead.

The United States remains a dark horse in the competition. No serious entries yet, but with the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season starting on June 1 and President Bush still in office, the nation may yet manage to field an formidable late entry.

One Toke Over The White House

President Bush has been in the Middle East the past week, and he's urging the region's leaders to advance the cause of democracy.

What the hell? Hasn't he learned his lesson yet?

The last time our fearless leader went on a "spread democracy" kick in the Mideast, Hamas won the Parliamentary elections in the Gaza strip and Hezbollah had big wins in Lebanon. Both those groups are well known terrorist organizations. In fact, John McCain recently accused Obama of being soft on terrorism simply because a Hamas leader spoke favorably of him.

But here's the best part: Right after Bush finished reprimanding them, he asked the Saudi government to increase the nation's oil production. After he finished laughing, King Abdullah essentially told Bush to go piss up a rope.

I don't know what kind of weed Bush is smoking, but I'd love to get my hands on some of it.

Is Google Losing Its Mind?

One of the fun things about Google is that they change logo for certain holidays. On Christmas day they give it a "Christmasy" look, on Halloween they add pumpkins to their logo, etc. I don't mind that sort of thing.... Within reason. And if you move your cursor over the logo, you get a brief a message explanation of what's going on.

Well, earlier this week I went to Google, and the logo was all weirded out again. Turns out it was the 60th anniversary of the invention of the laser. I thought about it, then decided it was okay to observe that. After all, Google is a technology company, we're obviously using computers, so fine, there's an obscure connection of sorts there.

But then today I went to do a search and this is what I found:

Thoroughly mystified, I moved my cursor over the image and came up with the name "Walter Gropius." Now if you're anything like me, your first thought was "Who the f*ck" was Walter and why is he deserving of his own special Google logo?"

I clicked on the link, and it turns out that he was an architect. He designed some reasonably well known buildings, but nothing particularly spectacular. It's not like he built the freakin' Sistine Chapel. And as far as I can tell, he didn't design Google's headquarters building either. But yet he gets his very own Google logo? WTF?

Like I said, I don't mind an occasional exhibition of frivolity by Google, but this is getting ridiculous.

And yes, I'm just a little bitter I don't get a special logo on my birthday.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

When Old Is New Again

Thanks to the rising cost of gasoline, small cars from the '90s are making a comeback. Used vehicles such as the Ford Festiva and Geo Metro, which had been selling for $1100 just a few months ago, are now going for as much as $6,000.

Thanks to their small engines, many of these cars used to get mileage comparable to today's hybrids. The Metro, for example, had a three cylinder engine. They were also lighter than today's cars. That's what gives them the advantage in mileage over newer cars.

And therein lies the rub: The reason those old cars were lighter was that they lacked such safety amenities like air bags, ABS brakes, and other collision avoidance systems. This prompts an interesting question from Jon Linkov of Consumer Reports:
"What is your life worth for that extra 10 miles per gallon?"
That may seem like a valid question, but it's misleading. Saving ten miles a gallon translates to maybe a dollar per 30 miles. Most of us, assuming we're not Britney Spears, don't get into accidents every 30 miles. So to compare the value of our lives to a savings of ten miles on a single gallon is simply wrong. It's like Bush and McCain trying to compare the Iraq war to the fight against Nazi Germany.

More importantly, the Geo Metro never cooked the intelligence in an effort to justify the invasion of a sovereign nation, thereby destabilizing the entire Middle East.

Rather, you need to look at the safety issue in terms of likelihood of a major collision. If you're a good driver, and the odds are that you may only experience a potentially fatal crash every 300,000 miles, then the question becomes "Is your life worth a savings of $10,000? Kind of changes a little bit, doesn't it?

Of course, this also assumes your Festiva doesn't get run over by an Abrams tank in Baghdad.

Friday, May 16, 2008

John McCain: Flip-Flopper

John McCain has been caught with his pants down, and it wasn't a pretty sight.

A couple of weeks ago some official of Hamas suggested that the group would like to see Obama as President. McCain seized on this, suggested that this was proof that the Democrat was soft on terrorists. Bush also took the liberty to comment on the matter, saying that Democrats want to "negotiate with terrorists" while Republicans want to fight terrorists.

So Obviously that means that McCain would never negotiate with a group like Hamas, right?

Wrong. A couple of years ago, right after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, McCain was asked what that meant for American diplomacy in the Middle East. His response:
"They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy."
Someone please tell McCain he can pull his pants up now.


President Bush, in an effort to fire up the Republican fear mongering machine, has predicted that the election of a Democratic President would "eventually lead to another attack on the United States."

Um.... Has anyone told Bush that the 9-11 attacks happened on his watch, and that he's a Republican?

Maybe someone should also remind our fearless leader that he was warned during an intelligence briefing a month before the attacks that >the FBI had detected "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings," and that he did absolutely nothing about it.

Has anyone bothered to explain to the President that it was he who appointed Condoleezza Rice as National Security Advisor, and that prior to 9-11 she repeatedly ignored Richard Clarke's warnings about Al Qaeda?

And people ask me why I drink....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why I Have A New Found Admiration For Bush

There are some people out there who have criticized President Bush for being indifferent to the suffering of the American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. These unpatriotic Americans could not be further form the truth! It turns out that Bush has made some incredible personal sacrifices to show his solidarity with those doing the actual fighting and dying in his wars: He has given up golf.

Running Out Of Time.... Thank God

At Least He Wasn't Home Alone

A family at a Canadian airport, in a rush to catch their flight, accidentally left their 22 month old toddler behind. The father became separated from his wife and her grandparents enroute to the gate, and each group assumed the child was with the other. Once on the plane the family was seated separately, and the plane took off without any of them realizing the child wasn't on board.

Eventually an airport security guard found the lost child wandering near the departure gate. Air Canada ticket agents eventually determined his identity and contacted the pilots of the flight. It was the flight crew that eventually notified the parents that their child had been left behind.

After the plane landed in Winnipeg, the father had to fly 1400 back to Vancouver to pick up the child.

Hmmm.... Sounds like a great plot for a movie. Then again, maybe not. no one would believe it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just Admit We F*cked Up

In a recent speech, Vice President Dick Cheney said that “Failure in Iraq would embolden al Qaeda and other like-minded groups." He went on to say that Iraq would become a training ground for terrorists much like Afghanistan did in the '90s.

Well, that may well be true. But the problem with his logic is that whole reason this quandry exists in the first place is because we invaded Iraq, deposed the existing government, created a power vacuum, occupied a sovereign nation, and destabilized the entire Middle East. In other words, it's our fault.

In fact, every argument for staying in Iraq gets back to the same cause and effect: The reason the situation exists is because we invaded.

Undue influence in Iraq from Iran? Yes, but that's only because we provided the opening for Iran.

Civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites? Only because we got rid of the dictator that kept a tight lid on that situation.

Al Qaeda might turn Iraq into a training ground? Yes, but only because we invaded and provided them with the opportunity. The simple fact is that there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq while Saddam was in power.

Just once I would like to hear Bush or Cheney take responsibility for creating this mess.

What Do We have If Not Our Dreams?

In what may be a major setback for the Britney Spears presidential campaign, the singer turned tabloid star rear ended an SUV in Beverly Hills.

Coincidentally, it's always been my dream to do the same with her

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

But Where Will We Park Our SUV's?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Several regions of the country went through droughts last year, and citizens in those areas were asked to conserve water. Most people complied voluntarily, and now they're being rewarded.... With higher rates.

Yes, it's true. People in drought stricken communities did such a good job with conservation that the utilities responsible for supplying the water suffered severe drops in revenue. This in turn created problems when it came to servicing local bond issues, and so they are now being forced to raise their rates to make up for the losses. Users of Atlanta's water are seeing a 15% rate increase, and customers in Florida are being hit with surcharges to cover the utilities' losses.

For more details, scroll down to the post for Saturday, May 10.

Is Anyone Out There? Besides This Sequel, I Mean

In case anyone out there still cares about the X-Files, here's the trailer for the new movie coming out this summer. I'm already predicting that this film and the Indiana Jones flik will be tied for "The Most Over-Hyped And Ultimately Disappointing Movie of 2008."

Still, I'll be there on opening day, munching on my $12 tub of popcorn.

Flush The Friendly Skies

A man is suing jetBlue Airlines because he was allegedly forced to spend the flight sitting on a toilet.

Gokhan Mutlu arrived at the San Diego airport only to discover that his flight was overbooked. An off duty airline employee agreed to give up her regular seat and instead sit in one of the jump seats, which are reserved for employees. Midway through the flight, however, Mutlu was told that the employee wanted her original seat back, and that he just go "hang out" in the men's room. Mutlu claims this humiliated him, and now he wants $2 million in damages.

It's not clear exactly why Mutlu found this to be so humiliating. In fact, wouldn't Mutlu have been better off just keeping his yap shut? That way no one else would ever have know about it. But by filing the lawsuit, he has now alerted the entire freakin' world to what happened.

Even worse, Senator Larry Craig has now called Mutlu and offered to share a men's room the next time he needs to fly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Crying Shame

Every now and then, we learn of new outrage perpetrated by our military leaders against those serving under them. And by "those serving under them," I mean the soldiers that are doing the actual fighting and dying in our current wars.

Last year it was the shameful treatment of the wounded at Walter Reed Army Hospital, supposedly our nation's finest facility to treat those wounded in service to their country. Not only were many soldiers being given substandard care, they were staying in squalid conditions.

Then a couple of weeks we learned of horrible conditions in the barracks at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Again, it was the grunts who were being forced to put up with leaking ceilings and perpetually stopped-up plumbing.

Now, in what may be the greatest sign of indifference by our nation's leadership, comes word that at least 200 soldiers have been cremated at a facility in Delaware that normally handles PET cremations.

Whenever these various stories have come to light, Pentagon officials react with shock and outrage that such things exist.

What bullshit.

The fact that these situations exist in the first place means that someone in authority thinks they are acceptable. And the reason they think such conditions are acceptable is simply a reflection of profound indifference at the top of the chain of command.

Sure, people like President George Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates speak eloquently about the sacrifices made by the fallen, but what about their actions? How often has Bush or Gates actually traveled to Dover Air Force in Delaware, to the morgue that handles all the bodies of all military personnel killed overseas? How often have they bothered to honor those rows of coffins coming out of the military transport planes by showing up in person?

The only reason the cremation story became public is because some anonymous Pentagon officer finally did just that. He went to Dover to honor a fallen comrade who was returning to American soil.

Sure, some people will say that there's no way Bush could have known about this, that it's not his fault. On the contrary, it's entirely his responsibility. He got us into the Iraq mess, and now we're stuck. The conflict has now gone on so long that the deaths of our soldiers have become routine. There's no longer anything special about them. A coffin is just another package, and treated with no more dignity than a U.P.S. shipment.

And that's a crying shame.

Someone Give This Man A Dictionary

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mountain Go Boom

Here's a rather cool video of that volcanic eruption in Chile. Still, it pales in comparison to eruptions of John McCain's temper.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Maybe He Should Just Keep His Family Values In His Pants

I know I seem to single out Republicans for their sex scandals. Sorry, but it can't helped. All too often Republican politicians take a holier-than-thou attitude and don't hesitate to tell the rest of us on how to live our lives. And more often than not, that means lecturing us sinners on the importance of family values.

So when one of those Bible thumping weasels gets embroiled in a sex scandal, I can't help but sit back and chortle with glee. Out of fairness to the Republicans, not all of their naughty actions involve the same sex. On occasion some of them have been known to get involved in heterosexual scandals. And when they do, it's a real humdinger.

Case in point: Vito Fossella, a GOP congressman from New York City, was arrested last week for drunk driving. While that's certainly embarrassing, it's certainly not as bad as, say, getting caught assuming a wide stance in an airport mens room.

What makes it interesting, however, is that Fossella told arresting officers he was on his way to pick up his sick daughter. This apparently made the New York Daily News just a wee bit suspicious, since his family lives in New York.

So the newspaper did a bit of poking around. Turns out that not only had the Congressman been carrying on a longtime affair with a female Air Force officer, but he had fathered a child by her.

I guess some Republicans just believe so strongly in family values that it's hard to confine those values to just one family!

No Need To Hurry

Friday, May 09, 2008

Another Reason To Fear Your Inbox

Just what the world needs: Spiritual spam.

Yes, if the constant barrage of emails from strangers suggesting that maybe your pecker isn't big enough, now we're going to have to contend with spam spreading Biblical messages. And the kicker: They tell you that to prove your love for God, you need to forward the message to even more people.

Good grief.

What makes this new scourge even more insidious is that the spam will be coming from people you know and are presumably already in your address book. That means your spam filter won't catch the stuff.

There are several people in my family who are devout Catholics. As a devout atheist, I can only pray that they don't start sending me this stuff.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hanging Tough

Despite mounting pressure from Democratic party leaders, Hillary Clinton is vowing to stay in the race. On the one hand, her persistence is admirable. But viewed another way, her desire to fight in the face of all reason, and her inability to see that she has been reduced to a state of complete irrelevance, makes her look downright pathetic.

On the other hand, at least she has something in common with George Bush.

It is hard to see what she has to gain at this point. Her continued presence in the contest only serves to prolong the deepening rift in the Democratic party. While some competition and choice is good, there does come a point of diminishing returns. By forcing the contest to go on between herself and Obama, it further delays turning the party's attention to the true evil force in this presidential race: John McCain.

At some point the Democrats will have to try and unite behind Obama. Will they be able to do it? Will Clinton's supporters be willing to put the bitterness behind themselves? It may be hard to believe right now, but once they realize that alternative is essentially a third term of George Bush, they'll be tripping over one another to pledge their very souls to Obama.

People have on occasion asked me what I don't support Hillary Clinton. Do I have something against her?

No, not really. But I do believe that she's not as "electable" as Obama. Forty eight percent of Americans have a negative view of Hillary Clinton, and would not vote for her under any circumstance. Additionally, she would be a divisive leader. And after eight years of Bush, the last thing this nation needs is more divisiveness.

And do we really need Bill Clinton in the White House for another four years? Hell, when he was busy being President he STILL managed to get himself into all sorts of trouble. Now try to imagine him still surrounded with the same temptations but with all sorts of free time on his hands!

Unlike some people, I would have no problem voting for a woman for President. I'm open minded. But Hillary's just not the right woman for the job. Quite frankly, she's not good looking enough. Seriously, have you seen the size of her thighs? There's a reason she's always wearing pantsuits: It's to keep from frightening the American public.

If America is to elect a female President, it's important that she be a hot babe. That's why if Britney Spears ever announces her candidacy, I'll be the first one to replace his Obama bumper sticker.

Comcast Tests Its Limits

Comcast has been criticized in the past for arbitrarily imposing bandwidth caps on its internet customers. Problem was, they never explained what that limit was, nor did they provide any way of checking your usage.

That may finally be about to change. The company is considering imposing a 250 gigabyte limit per month. That's they equivalent of 50 hi-def movies, 250 standard movies, 6,000 songs, or 30,000 pictures of Britney without her underwear. If someone exceeds those limits, they will be charged an additional $15 for every ten gigs.

Whatever other complaints I may have had about Comcast in the past, this certainly seems more than fair. Time-Warner, for example, has previously said that five percent of their customers use 50% of their bandwidth. More importantly, bandwidth hogs tend to slow down the network for everyone else, so it certainly seems fair to make them pay extra.

It also starts to bring internet usage more in line with how we pay for electricity, gas, and water. After all, if the power company charged a flat rate for unlimited electricity use, I'd run my air conditioning non-stop and wear a coat indoors during July.

I Got Your Impeachment Right Here, Pal

Ohio's Attorney General, Marc Dann, is now facing possible impeachment after resisting calls to voluntarily resign. Among other problems, he has admitted to having a consensual sexual relationship with a female staff member. He has also been accused of condoning sexual harassment in his office and hosting wild, drunken parties.

While it remains unclear if any laws have actually been broken, this story does illustrate an important difference between the two dominant parties in American politics: When Democrats engage in sexual shenanigans, it's with members of the opposite sex.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

And The Winner Is.... Um, Does Anyone Know?

Well, for the Democrats, it's all over but the shouting.... And count on plenty more of that over the next few weeks.

Yesterday's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina have concluded the major delegate selecting processes. North Carolina was a clear victory for Obama; Indiana went for Clinton in a squeaker. Even so, the day is a clear loss for the former First Lady. She had hoped to win both states, thereby solidifying her argument that she should be the nominee. Not only did that not happen, but Obama ended up with more delegates won for the day.

The outcome of the race now falls to the so-called "Super-Delegates." Uncommitted for the most part, they are generally party leaders or elected officials who run around in tights fighting crime and get to go the convention no matter what. A few months ago no one expected them to be a factor in deciding who the nominee would be. Now the final choice will be entirely up to them.... Unless Hillary Clinton gracefully bows out. At this point, however, don't look for that to happen.

Ironically, it was Clinton who, after winning Pennsylvania, famously asked why Obama hadn't been able to put her away and lock up the nomination. Well, the same question can be asked of her: Why hasn't she locked up the nomination? As recently as last November, everyone expected her to be the nominee in a cakewalk. Not only did that not happen, but the bakery is in shambles and Obama has stolen the recipe from the Clinton campaign.

This basically means that Obama will be the nominee. He has won more states, more delegates (though not a majority), and more popular votes. Clinton's's only argument is that she has won more of the large states.

In other words, we finally have a woman publicly admitting that size does matter.