Thursday, December 31, 2009

No Tiger in ATT's Tank

ATT has become the latest big company to end its sponsorship of Tiger Woods.

On the bright side, Woods' agents are in negotiations with Trojans Condoms.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Disillusionment

Monday, December 21, 2009

The End of the World Explained

Monday, December 14, 2009

Evil Incarnate

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why I Don't Love Jesus

I was recently asked if I love Jesus, and I had to say "Absolutely not."

After all, Jesus is a man. If I loved him, wouldn't that make me gay? And aren't conservative Christians always preaching that gays will go to hell? No way I'm falling into that trap. I wasn't reborn yesterday, you know.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Tiger Woods Anthem

Tiger Woods' reputation has been taking a real beating lately, so it's nice to see that someone took the time to prepare a musical tribute to the man.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

And a Merry Effing Christmas to You, too

By the way, this song is NOT suitable for underage ears or bosses within earshot of your cubicle.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The First Thanksgiving

Some of you from distant lands such as Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the country of South America may not be familiar with this uniquely American holiday (granted, Canadians celebrate it as well, but we in the United States tend to ignore our northern neighbors except when it comes to the Stanley Cup standings) so here is a brief history of its origins:

Back in 1620, a group of Puritans (also known as pilgrims) had grown weary of the constant persecution and ridicule they were forced to endure in Europe. This was understandable, since they tended to dress funny.

Hoping to find a place where they would be free to practice their faith more openly and persecute someone else for a change, like witches, a group of them set sail on the Mayflower. The Mayflower was the largest moving van of its day, and considered a technological marvel for its ability to keep the poor Pilgrims from coming in contact with the rich ones. Their destination was the distant land of North America, which had recently been discovered by Christopher Columbus (Well, actually, it had been discovered by a guy named Leif Ericson, but he was Norwegian, and therefore didn't really count). Columbus had actually been looking for a new trade route to China, misread his GPS readings, and became hopelessly lost. Being a man, he refused to stop for directions. In recognition of his blithering incompetence, Columbus was given a Federal holiday.

But I digress.

Before the travelers could make it to the safety of Ellis Island, their moving van struck an iceberg and sank. This unexpected turn of events rudely interrupted the torrid but mostly chaste (at least until they ended up in the backseat of a Model T) shipboard romance of Jack Dawson and Pochohantas. Faced with a scarcity of lifeboats, many of the men nobly dressed up as women and children to procure a seat to safety.

The survivors eventually came ashore at Plymouth Rock, called such because a car dealership in Boston had purchased the naming rights. There they were befriended by native Americans, also known as Indians since they spoke with funny accents and were willing to work as computer programmers for incredibly low wages. Without their help, the pilgrims would never have gotten a sensible inventory control program up and running, and would have surely starved to death during the coming winter.

The following year yielded healthy crops and a bountiful harvest. That fall, the pilgrims invited their new Indian friends (who weren't actually from India) to share a feast of giving thanks to the good lord. And to further show their gratitude, the settlers gave the natives blankets, muskets, smallpox, and syphilis.

In return, the Indians introduced the newcomers to corn, tobacco, lung cancer, and scalping, especially when it comes to Springsteen tickets. They also built gambling casinos to take their money. Meanwhile, the Indians also fiercely debated whether the recent immigrants were destroying American culture.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of the first American Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Goodbye to an Old Friend

Orange Crate
1991-November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You Should See MY Palms!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm fitting my kidneys with a LoJack.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Nothing is worse than when hypocrisy rears its ugly head and bites you in the ass. Case in point: Republicans in Congress fought tooth and nail to prevent abortion coverage from being included in the insurance reform package that recently passed in the House.

Now it turns out that Republican National Committee employees have had abortion coverage in their OWN insurance coverage since 1991. Now that it became public knowledge, they are dropping it from their own group policy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If Ignorance is Bliss,
Teabaggers Must Be in Heaven

Sunday, November 08, 2009

There was some excitement at the National Zoo earlier today when a deer inadvertently jumped into the lions' enclosure. Although the deer was eventually rescued by zoo employees, its injuries were deemed too severe and had to put down.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

With Apologies to 'Fred Friggin' Flinstone'

I'm not ashamed to admit that I identify with the Führer.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Time for a Reality Check

Seriously: WTF is wrong with these people? What kind of mentality equates health care reform with the Holocaust? Every other industrialized nation in the world has managed to come up with some system for universal health care, and the last time I looked, none of them are marching Jews off to the gas chambers.

When I see things like this, it makes me ashamed that I ever considered myself a conservative, or that I ever voted for a Republican.

And does the moron on the left realize that his sign is upside down, or is he just illiterate?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Friday, October 30, 2009

Remembering October 30, 2008

Who among us will ever forget the terrible events that befell mankind exactly a year ago today? Here is an eyewitness account of that terrible assault upon our world.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is That a Communion Wafer in Your Pocket
Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Faced with an impending trial involving multiple cases of child abuse, and the possibility of shelling millions of dollars in settlements, the Archdiocese of Delaware has filed for bankruptcy.

And these are the same people who have the audacity to lecture the rest of us on morality? Give me a freakin' break.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Keeping the Right Happy

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I'll Take One Trashcan to Go, Please

Monday, October 05, 2009

Some Compelling Reasons for Opposing Health Care Reform

1. Although efforts have been made to reform the healthcare industry since 1912, we should not be too hasty in enacting change.

2. The federal government has no business interfering in people's health care decisions.... Well, unless a woman is trying to terminate a pregnancy, or the patient’s last name is Schiavo.

3. The government is incapable of running anything efficiently, and if allowed to offer a health care option, will run it so efficiently that it will put private insurers out of business.

4. We are a Christian nation, and we don’t believe in helping the least among us. Some people just don’t deserve health care. Getting sick is God's punishment for doing something wrong.

5. The current system, with 47,000,000 uninsured, a million medical bankruptcies annually, and 18,000 deaths annually due to lack of insurance, is working just fine. In fact, we have the best health care system in the world.... Provided you never get sick.

6. Even though many older couples are forced to divorce in order to avoid catastrophic financial losses due to medical expenses, it’s the homosexuals who are destroying families.

7. A conversation with your doctor about end-of-life issues is an opportunity for your doctor to convince you to kill yourself.

8. We can afford to spend more on our military than all other nations combined, but we can’t afford universal health care.

9. Single-payer, government-run health care is good enough for our men and women in uniform, but to offer the same to the general public would be socialism.

10. Pooling our resources to provide roads, schools, clean water, military, police, and fire protection for each other is not socialism. Pooling our resources to provide each other health care is socialism.

11. Socialism is bad. Very bad. Bad!

12. Health care is an issue best handled by individual states, like slavery.

13. We can afford to subsidize Israel , Iraq , and Afghanistan , all of whom have universal health care, but we can’t afford it ourselves.

14. Money and corporate profits are more important than peoples’ health. Sure, reforming the insurance companies would save thousands of lives, but shareholders’ portfolios might be damaged.

15. Freeing people from holding on to their dead-end jobs for the insurance and allowing them to become entrepreneurs would bankrupt our country.

16. Someone like physicist Stephen Hawking would have been allowed to die under the British health care system. Oh, he’s British? And alive? Never mind.

17. We already have universal health care: it’s called the Emergency Room. Uninsured people can go there for all their health needs (checkups, cancer pre-screening, chemotherapy, etc.), and it only costs the taxpayers a few thousand dollars per visit.

18. The Obama health care initiative is part of the liberal-communist-Nazi-socialist-Islamo-fascist-gay-atheist-zombie-transsexual-cannibal sociopath-evolutionist agenda to take away your freedom! If this plan is passed, abortions will be mandatory, schoolchildren will be raped by their teachers, and Negroes will murder your Grandma with her pillow!

Yes, please do share this with everyone you know. It's important that we keep spreading the truth about health care reform.

This was apparently taken from an anonymous email making the rounds on the interweb thingie, so I'm not sure who the actual author is.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Time to Bring the Troops Home

When John Kerry suggested a few years ago that the key to fighting terrorism was law enforcement, the Bush crowd ridiculed him. Yet this past week, three terror plots were uncovered using not torture, or waterboarding, or military operations in some desert half way around the world, but with good old fashioned police work right here on American soil.

And the same with that plot to blow up those airliners a few years ago: It was solid police work by Scotland Yard that foiled the terrorists.

Fighting them THERE so we don't have to fight them HERE? That ship has sailed. It's time for us to catch up to it by ending the nonsense in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where's That Border Wall When You Really Need It?

I, for one, am tired of those damn illegal aliens coming over here and stealing jobs from REAL Americans.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An Appeal to America

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Makes Me Proud to Be an American!

Last November many of us naively thought that America had turned a corner with the election of Barack Obama. Boy, were we wrong! This photo also goes a long way towards proving that much of the opposition to Obama--be it health care, or speaking to students, or questions about his birth--is racially motivated.

On the other hand, this woman is into teabagging, so she can't be all bad.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bill Moyers on the Health Care Debate

Bill Moyers' was on Real Time a few days ago. His take on the current health care debate was absolutely brilliant. And his argument FOR universal coverage can be summed up in one short sentence: It's the moral thing to do.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Joining the Fight Against the Evils of SOCIALISM!!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Keeping Up with Technology Is Never Easy

Hitler really wanted one of the new 3G iPhones.

More Proof That God Has Lousy Aim

A Department of Justice lawyer from Virginia was killed by lightning while jogging on a beach in North Carolina. Friends and colleagues described him as a "deeply religious" man who was very active in a group that runs Christian youth retreats.

Meanwhile, there are tens of thousands of godless lesbians and homosexuals, as well as activist judges and satanic politicians who permit such evil unions, spreading their sinful ways across our great land. Curiously, not a single one of them has been struck by lightning in the last week.

Some people may seize on this as proof that there is no God. They would be wrong, and the lord almighty would swiftly smite them by not hitting them with lightning, either.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not Everyone Is Happy about the Palin Resignation

My favorite Führer is taking Sarah Palin's resignation rather hard.

Born Again

There are supposedly intelligent people out living among us who continue to insist that Obama wasn't born in the United States. Not surprisingly, Rush Limbaugh is one of them. This is understandable, since Rush goes through his days in a prescription drug filled haze and is therefore unable to recognize reality when it walks up and bites him in his big fat stinking ass.

In response, Hawaii has once again released his birth certificate. Two Hawaii newspapers have also confirmed that they ran his birth announcement back in 1961.

And if you think all this evidence will shut the lunatics on the far right up once and for all, you're dreaming.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Did the Dogs Get a Second Chance?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has inexplicably decided to "conditionally" reinstate Michael Vick. What this means to Vick is that after serving a six game suspension, he will be eligible to play for any team that signs him. As of now, no one has done so, but that's only a matter of time.

It also means that I won't be watching football for a while. At least not as long as Vick remains a player.

For the last several years the NFL has been focusing on presenting itself as a family fun type of sport. They've even taken steps to throw out overly rowdy fans who scream curses at games. That was done in response to complaints from parents who didn't want to expose their kids to such language.

The NFL has also taken steps to try to clean up its players off field behaviors. Arrests for any offense often result in player suspensions.

So then what the hell is the NFL thinking? Well, Vick still has a lot of fans and supporters out there. They argue that Vick served his sentence for running a dogfighting ring and deserves a second chance.

Um, why?

Playing in the National Football League is not a right. As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the United States Constitution about it. No, if anything, it's a privilege that has to be earned through hard work. And since so many kids look up to their favorite players, it also carries a certain responsibility. Many players may disagree with that, but they need to remember they're being paid millions of dollars a year to play a freakin' game. If they can't handle that basic truth, maybe they should go work for a living like the rest of us poor schlubs.

What Vick did was not a victimless crime. Hundreds of dogs were killed by him and his associates, all in the name of a brutal and barbaric "sport." If the NFL is truly serious about cleaning up its image, it should have told Vick to take a hike.... Off the field.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hitler Grows Weary of these Parodies

The Führer is getting understandably tired of being repeatedly mocked on YouTube.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

According to One Republican, It's Time to Overthrow the Government

Are Republicans stupid, or they completely, utterly, certifiably insane?

Catherine Crabill, a GOP candidate running for the Virginia House of Delegates, recently called on Americans to resist the course Obama has set for the country. Said Crabill,
"We have a chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box.... But that's the beauty of our Second Amendment right. I am glad for all of us who enjoy the use of firearms for hunting. But make no mistake. That was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. Our Second Amendment right was to guard against tyranny."

Crabill initially stood by her words, but then began to back off from her call to arms after it became apparent she had triggered a major controversy. Regardless of what the woman meant to say, it's becoming increasingly apparent that the Republican party has lost touch with reality. Her quote just provides further proof of that.

Obama won last year's election. Depending on how you look at it, his totals set records. And so far, his presidency has followed the path he laid out during his campaign for office.

Let's not mince words: If Republicans and other members of the far right have a problem accepting Obama's agenda, then they apparently also have a problem with the very institution of democracy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sign of the Times

I can still remember when they used to be free.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hitler Finds Out He's on YouTube

That poor Führer just can't catch a break.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Thing We Live in the 21st Century

Good grief.

There's going to be a total solar eclipse visible later this week, and people in India are working themselves into an absolute lather over it. Rumors abound that eclipses cause birth defects, world wars, assassinations of political leaders, and possibly the very end of the Earth itself. Even better, Hindu legend says that eclipses are caused by the demons Rahu and Ketu as they "swallow the sun during eclipses, snuffing out its life-giving light and causing food to become inedible and water undrinkable."

Silly me. And I thought eclipses had something to do with the moon getting between the Earth and the sun.

This raises an important question: Since any given solar eclipse is only visible from a very limited area of the Earth, is the death and mayhem and Armageddon stuff confined only to the areas that can actually witness the eclipse? Or does the whole world end? And if so, is that fair to the people who didn't get a chance to witness the eclipse? And if the world's going to end anyway, why not go ahead and stare directly at it? Hell, enjoy the last few minutes of your existence.

More importantly, scientists are fairly certain that this isn't the first solar eclipse to occur in the history of the world. If true, why are we still here? How come the world doesn't end every few years when there's an eclipse somewhere?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Maybe He Did It on Purpose

Well, this is certainly a strange news item. It seems that Pope Benedict broke his wrist in an accidental fall.

How is this possible? I thought the Pope was supposed to be infallible!

Another Setback for Hitler

If his defeat at Bastogne wasn't bad enough, now the Führer has been banned from Wikipedia.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Or Just Hold It Till We Get to North Carolina

Virginia introduced its "Virginia is for lovers" slogan years ago. While it still may be true, it wouldn't hurt if the two of you stopped to pee before coming here.

The state has announced that it is closing 18 of its 37 highway rest stops due to budgetary considerations. That's fine and dandy, but what about urinary considerations? A spokeswoman for the state wasn't too concerned, explaining that many of these rest areas were set up decades ago when Virginia was a much more rural state. Since then, fast food restaurants and gas stations have sprung up around most of the state's highway exits, rendering some rest stops unnecessary.

No word on Ronald McDonald feels about being reduced to an official Virginia bathroom attendant.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hitler Gets Banned from XBox Live

In today's exciting installment of the Hitler Chronicles, everyone's favorite Führer runs into problems with his XBox account.

The Awful Truth about Socialism

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Should the Pope Resign?

Well, I must admit to being puzzled.

Two months ago, when President Obama delivered the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame, many Catholics were outraged. How dare the president of the the largest Catholic university in the U.S. meet with Obama, a known abortion rights supporter? Even worse, the university bestowed an honorary degree on Obama. When graduation day finally rolled around, protesters descended on the campus. Many students and their families went as far as to demand the resignation of Notre Dame's president.

All of which raises an important question: Where was the outrage when Pope Bendict met with Obama over the weekend? How come U.S. Catholics didn't take to the streets with picket signs? Why didn't priests take time out of their sermons on Sunday to demand the Pope's resignation? Wasn't Benedict, by meeting with Obama, legitimizing the American leader's views in support of abortion?

As a God fearing Catholic who respects the tenets of his faith, I feel it is my duty to speak the words what the leaders of my church have failed to say: It's time for the Pope to step down.

Hitler Learns That Twitter Is Down

This past Saturday I posted the video of Adolf Hitler getting the news that Michael Jackson had died. His highly emotional reaction was enough to bring tears to anyone's eyes.

It turns out there are actually several such Hitler videos. The footage, which is the same in all the videos, is from a 2004 German-Austrian film called called "Downfall." Only the subtitles vary. After watching several of the videos, I've certainly come to see that there was a softer, more tender side to the man.

Incidentally, if you're not as up on the latest technical jargon as the Führer is, I added a glossary with links below the video.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cheney Staying in Shape?

Police in Mexico say that they have found 12 bodies near the town of La Huacana. It is believed the victims were first subjected to extensive torture.

No word on where Dick Cheney was at the time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Existence Defined

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bad News

People with no sense of humor will find this video deeply offensive. As for me, I thought it was one of the funniest damn things I've ever seen.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Twist on the Illegal Immigration Debate

Is Mexico Torturing Prisoners?

Several human rights groups have accused Mexico of torture in its pursuit of drug traffickers. Additionally, the Mexican military is accused of forced disappearances and illegal searches.

If these charges are true, then Mexico's actions are disturbing, despicable, and not worthy of a democratic nation that supposedly lives by the rules of a civilized nation.

In other words, welcome to the club, Mexico!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Putting Jackson's Death in Perspective

Back on June 26 I made pretty clear that I wasn't a Michael Jackson fan, and that I thought the coverage was overblown.

Needless to say, the 11 days since then have only driven me further over the edge.

Then I came across this letter to the editor that ran in the Washington Post on Sunday. If this doesn't put Jackson's death in perspective, I don't know what will.

Here it is, in its entirety.

A Life of Worth, Overlooked
My nephew, Brian Bradshaw, was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan on June 25, the same day that Michael Jackson died. Mr. Jackson received days of wall-to-wall coverage in the media. Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week? There were several of them, and our family crossed paths with the family of another fallen soldier at Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies come "home." Only the media in Brian's hometown and where he was stationed before his deployment covered his death.

I remember Brian as a toddler wandering around in cowboy boots and hat, not seeing the need for any other clothing. He grew into a thoroughly decent person with a wry sense of humor. He loved wolves and history. Most Christmases, I gave him a biography or some analysis of the Civil War. He read such things for pleasure.

He had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk. He wasn't much for talking, although he could communicate volumes with a raised eyebrow.

He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor. He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial "shrines," while this soldier's death goes unheralded?

It makes me want to scream.



Tuesday, July 07, 2009

By Any Other Name

In what may be the stupidest damn thing since the introduction of New Coke back in the '80s, the Sci Fi Channel has changed its name to: The Syfy Channel. Yes, it's still pronounced the same. It's just spelled differently, so that somehow makes it better.

The good news is that they will still continue to offer original science fiction programming, including movies that look like they were made on a budget of five bucks.

Seeing Stars

Astronomers have released a map showing where tomorrow's stars will be born.

What a waste of time. Who gives a crap? Don't these people have something better to do? Shouldn't they be mapping the surface of Mars or something? Figuring out whether Titan can support life? How Saturn got its rings?

Hell, I'm having a hard enough time accepting today's stars. I mean, seriously, how did someone like Seth Rogen ever get famous?

Hot Air Alert

A couple of months ago a number of conservative pundits were screaming that Obama relies on a teleprompter. Well, let's see what happens when one of their own has a problem with his teleprompter.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Nothing to Lose Your Head Over

A top bishop of the Church of England says that gays should repent.

No word on whether Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali also feels that Henry VIII, who founded the Church of England, should repent for chopping off Ann Boleyn's head just so he could marry his third wife.

Why We Need to Be Careful with Iran

So what the heck is going on in Iran? Just as it seems like the protests over their recent elections have died down, a group of Islamic clerics has announced that it considers the results "invalid." This is a significant development because it signifies a major rift among the wacky Muslim clerics that run the country. In particular, it is a direct challenge to the ruling Ayatollah.

Meanwhile, supporters of existing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are suggesting that some of the leaders of the recent protests should be executed for their act of defiance. This is particularly ironic, since the existing rulers of Iran came to power 30 years ago after overthrowing the Shah, whose brutal regime was well known for torturing and executing its political opponents (more on the Shah in a moment).

Predictably, Republicans have been critical of President Obama's mostly silent response to the events in Iran. Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz recently wrote a piece for the Washington Post that pretty much tore Obama a new one.

Excuse me? Has Wolfowitz been in Michael Jackson's medicine cabinet or something? He is the absolute last to be lecturing anyone about foreign policy towards the Middle East. Wolfowitz was one of the principle architects of the invasion of Iraq, quite possibly the biggest foreign policy blunder of the United States in the last 50 years. And this moron has the audacity to weigh in with his opinion about Iran? Talk about chutzpah.

Obama has been right to show restraint towards developments in Iran. The last thing the U.S. needs to do is provide the existing Iranian government with ammunition to say that the protesters are being directed by us.

But more importantly, for the United States to talk about the importance of democracy in Iran is the absolute height of hypocrisy. After all, it was the United States and Britain that in 1953 helped overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran and instead replace it with a dictatorship under the Shah. And the reason for the coup? Well, the Iranian government had the nerve to suggest that it was time for them to start profiting from all the oil that was being exported. The Shah, on the other hand, promised to be more friendly towards the west. Oh, and all this took place under President Eisenhower's administration--a Republican president.

Thanks to the support of the CIA, the Shah and his brutal dictatorship remained in power for 26 years.

The Iranian people never forgot this, and it was their long simmering resentment over our involvement in their nation's affairs that eventually led to the 1979 revolution. It also explains why the Iranians continue to hate us so damn much.

So if the Republicans wants to criticize Obama about not being supportive enough of democracy in Iran, perhaps they should first take a look in the mirror.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sticky Situation

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Why It Hurts When I Pee

There's nothing I enjoy more than celebrating the Fourth with my own personalized fireworks display.

The Truth Behind the Palin Resignation

There is a lot of speculation over why Sarah Palin is stepping down as governor of Alaska. Some say she's trying to better position herself for a run at the presidency in 2012. Others say she's tired of all the Republican barbs blaming her for McCain's loss. Her administration is also the target of several ethics related probes in Alaska. Finally, there's even a rumor saying that there are some emails about to become public that confirm her husband is a member of an Alaska separatist group. And what could be more patriotic than pushing for secession from the United States?

And they're all wrong. The real reason she's quitting is that David Letterman was right: Alex Rodriguez did knock up her daughter at Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

If You Break It, Can It Be Put Back Together?

As it turns out, breaking the sound barrier isn't always just about sound. Sometimes it also leaves a visual mark. A photographer on the deck of an aircraft carrier captured the image to the right as a plane overhead went supersonic.

Scientists aren't entirely sure what causes the phenomenon, and it hasn't been well studied. It also doesn't happen every time the sound barrier is broken.

Wait.... Scientists don't fully understand it?!?!? That's it then!!! The only possible rational explanation is that it's a miracle!!!!! Now excuse me while I fall to my knees and ask for divine forgiveness for my wicked ways.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

And We Have a Winner!

A couple of days ago it was more or less decided that Gale Storm and Billy Hays were the start of a fresh celebrity death "threecycle." That raised the question of who would be next. One person suggested Steve Jobs, and someone else said Patrick Swayze.

Well, the winner turned out to be a dark horse candidate that no one saw coming: Karl Malden.


Our long national nightmare is finally over. Minnesota once again has two United States senators.

When the polls closed last November, the initial vote total showed incumbent senator William Coleman as the winner by a razor thin margin. That total shrank to a less than a thousand once the absentee ballots were counted. Recounts and court challenges ensued, and as each was resolved, Coleman's edge kept shrinking. The most recent count, completed a few months ago, finally had Democrat challenger Al Franken (yes, the comedian) taking the lead by just over 200 votes.

The matter finally ended up before the Minnesota supreme court, and yesterday the judges handed down their ruling: No more recounts or arguing over disputed ballots. That made Franken the winner. He is expected to be sworn in next week once the senate returns from recess.... Though quite frankly I'm having a hard time picturing all those old guys playing on the monkey bars outside the Capital.

Anyway, the ruling technically gives the Democrats 60 seats out of 100 in the senate chamber. That margin is considered magical in that it is supposed to be "filibuster proof," which means Republicans can't block legislation through parliamentary procedures. That also assumes that all Democrats would vote together as a solid unified block.

The reality, however, is not so clear cut. The senate's oldest member, 91 year old Robert Byrd of West Virginia has been absent for several weeks. Edward Kennedy, who has been battling a brain tumor, has also been out for an extended period of time. Both men are Democrats, and it remains unclear if they'll be coming back inside once recess is over.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Informed Public

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dead Pool

Last week's high profile celebrity deaths--Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson--reminded me of the myth that famous people always die in groups of three.

Well, yesterday saw the passing of both '50s actress Gale Storm and infomercial pitchman Billy Hays. That's two more down in one day.

So the question becomes: Who's going to the lucky celebrity to round out this latest trilogy?


The above photo is a scene from yesterday's coup in Honduras. When I saw it, I was left speechless by the shocking image that is now seared into my brain.

I mean, who knew Honduras had a McDonalds?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Going with the Flow

Keeping track of the key players in the Republican party's noble efforts to preserve the sanctity of marriage and preserve family values can certainly be challenging. Fortunately, someone has prepared a helpful flow chart to help us along.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pass the Jesus Juice

Quite frankly, I'm surprised by the outpouring of emotion over the death of Michael Jackson. I just don't get it.

I completely agree that 30 or 40 years ago, Jackson was a highly talented performer. For several years in the '80s, he certainly deserved the title "The King of Pop." And if he had died in, say, 1987, then I would have agreed that the world had suffered a huge cultural loss. But that was then and this is now. He was a man who had been given huge gifts, and then squandered them.

Over the last 20 some years, Jackson had become a joke. And whatever else his accomplishments may have been, I will forever remember Michael Jackson as a punchline.

Seriously, think back to how this man once dangled his kid over a hotel balcony. One little slip, and his son would have been dead. What the hell kind of a parent does that? And where was the outrage? Instead of condemning his actions, Jackson's fans laughed it off.

Then there were the sleepovers. A grown man sleeping with 13 year old boys? Especially when the grown man isn't even a Catholic priest? Sorry, but that goes well beyond the realm of just being creepy.

And don't even get me started on the Elephant Man remains, the oxygen tent (as Danny's comment on yesterday's post put it: "Guess the oxygen tent didn't help much"), and the whole Neverland Ranch amusement park/zoo thing. Sure, it was intended to appeal to kids, but parents, you'll have to wait outside while Jacko gets your little ones drunk on Jesus Juice.

Give me a frakking break.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson: 1958-2009

Holier Than Thou

Elie Mystal has a great column on the True/Slant website that raises some legitimate questions about the sanctity of marriage, the Bible, and sanctimonious politicians. here it is in its entirety:
Mark Sanford held a magnificent press conference today. You might have heard that he’s been crying in Argentina with his mistress about having to go home to his wife who kicked him to the curb weeks ago.

Some people are saying that Sanford did a great job today because he was honest. Others are talking about how it’s a great tragedy — Rush Limbaugh even said that Sanford “could have been our J.F.K.” Democrats are talking about not making political hay out of the situation, while furiously trying to find any kind of misappropriation of taxpayer dollars to turn his adultery into some kind of a crime. The only thing I’ve heard out of Obama today is that he is going to see the Pope (nice timing, sensei).

Well, I say screw it, let’s make some hay. An instance of immense hypocrisy only comes along once every couple of days in American political life, why waste this moment?

Can we not use the struggles of seemingly every man who wants the Republican nomination in 2012 as a powerful lesson about the sanctity of marriage? Because I am really, really sick of people thumping the Bible when gays want to get married, and then thumping a little bit on the side.

I’ll admit that I’m a Christmas and Easter Catholic, so my new testament knowledge is not what it should be. But I’m almost positive Jesus really doesn’t like hypocrites. I think he said that they were “bad.”

But the larger point is that maybe the Bible doesn’t have all the magic spells one needs in order to have a successful marriage? If the Bible doesn’t always work for those that believe in its teachings, isn’t it conceivable that the Bible might not be the absolute authority on who is “allowed” to get married? What horror can a gay person visit upon the institution of marriage that God fearing heterosexuals haven’t already explored?

Adultery is not a republican/democratic thing, it’s not a liberal/conservative thing, and it’s certainly not a christian/atheist thing. Clearly, there are lots of people who are capable of taking the sacrament of marriage and flushing it down the toilet. If God wanted everybody to respect marriage, He would have provided us with stronger pants by now.

So why can’t gays and lesbians get in on the act? Surely some of them will respect marriage better than your average American politician.

And why couldn’t Mark Sanford lead the charge for gay marriage in South Carolina. I heard him apologize, I heard him say that he “needed to get his heart right.” But you know what I didn’t hear? I didn’t hear him say “I’ve been living as a hypocrite for months. Through this experience, I’ve learned that I am the last person to be lecturing people about how they prosecute their sex lives. I apologize to all the gays and lesbians that I have indirectly demonized just because they loved someone I thought they shouldn’t. Henceforth, I’ll never try to legislate morality again.”

That would have been praise worthy.

Good Thing They Replaced That Oppressive Shah

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Metro Crash

In the immediate aftermath of Monday's crash along the DC Metro's Red Line, many people assumed that it was the train's operator that had screwed up. This jumping to conclusions was probably understandable to a point. After all, last year a commuter rail engineer in California caused a major accident when he ran a signal while texting on his cellphone.

It is now beginning to look like Jeanice McMillan, the train operator in the DC crash, was as much a victim as the eight passengers who died. According to a Metro spokesperson, the train that caused the accident was operating in fully automatic mode. That means that it was Metro's own computers--not the train operator--that was in charge. The computer controls the train's speed, it's braking, and the distance between trains. There is also evidence that the operator hit the emergency brake in the moments before the crash. This would indicate that she was fully aware of what was about to happen.

Thus the question becomes: What went wrong with Metro's computers? According to the various safeguards built into the system, an accident such as the one two days ago was simply impossible. The computers wouldn't allow two trains to get that close to one another.

It was also revealed that a similar incident happened a few years ago along the Orange Line. In that 2005 episode under the Potomac, a train operator noticed that he was getting too close to the train in front of him even though the signal system was telling him the tracks were clear. He hit the emergency brakes and managed to prevent disaster. A third train behind his also managed to stop in time. Metro officials launched an investigation but at this point it remains unclear whether they ever figured out what went wrong.

In another revelation, it turns out that the two lead cars of the train that caused Monday's accident were overdue for an inspection of their braking systems. What the hell is that about? And how many more trains does Metro have running that are also past due on safety checks?

And if that's not enough, it turns out that the transit agency disregarded safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following previous accidents. One was to install data recorders on the trains to aid in future investigations. The second was to strengthen older rail cars to prevent the very "telescoping" effect that caused Monday's loss of life. In both cases, Metro cited a lack of funds as the reason it couldn't follow through.

For what it's worth, there was a somewhat fortuitous angle to the crash. The trains involved were both heading southbound, from suburban Maryland into DC. Since it was the evening rush hour, that means they were substantially less crowded than trains heading northbound out of the city. Had it been the other way around, with the rail cars packed with standing room only crowds, the loss of life would have been far higher.