Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's Next? Locusts?

God in his eternal wisdom continues to punish the people of Massachusetts by unleashing floods and blizzards upon the people of North Dakota. Cynics may point out that North Dakota is almost 2,000 miles away, but hey, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

The people of Fargo, well known for their love of wood chippers, have been battling the Red River for the past week. It had become swollen by recent rains and melting snow, but then the temperature plummeted again. Consequently the people were reduced to hauling frozen sandbags to hold the waters at bay. The river crested at record levels over the weekend, and it finally looked like the worst had passed. The people of the city even spent yesterday thanking God for sparing their community.

To prove that He has a sense of humor, God has now unleashed a blizzard upon the area. With the River still well above flood stages, the winds are whipping up waves that are threatening the city's levees and sandbags.

No word on whether the people of Fargo are still thanking God.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Time for Spring Break!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Are Republicans the Vanguard of a Cylon Invasion?

What planet are Republicans from? Or are they simply from some sort of Bizarro Earth where everything is the opposite of our own universe? Or did they get into the medicinal marijuana cabinet again? Are they deliberately trying to destroy us or are they just imbeciles?

What is crystal clear, however, is that the GOP is completely out of touch with reality. The Obama administration is trying to pass a new package of strict regulations on the financial markets. This would include things like expanded oversight of hedge funds, increased regulation of financial derivatives, and tighter controls on large institutions whose failure would otherwise threaten the entire financial system.

And the Republican response to these proposals? They're opposed, of course.

Huh? Just how do the Republicans think we got into this mess in the first place? It was through years of lax federal regulation because such controls were deemed unnecessary. And yet they want to continue with more of the same? Have they not been paying attention?

Some elements of the far right are screaming that Obama is destroying capitalism. Well, here's a newsflash for them: American capitalism managed to thoroughly destroy itself during the Bush years without any outside help.

Official Papal Condoms

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Proof that God Works in Mysterious Ways

Several New England state legislatures are expected to join Massachusetts in legalizing same sex marriages and civil unions in the coming months. This is no coincidence, since a high percentage of New Englanders classify themselves as "nones"--in other words, not affiliated with any religion.

These Godless atheists will soon regret turning their backs on the word of the lord. He shall unleash His mighty wrath and punish the heathens of the Northeast by sending tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes to pummel the God-faring, Bible-thumping people of the southern United States located a thousand miles away.

Nope. Doesn't make sense to me either.

Where's the Russian Roulette Table?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat

This cute little guy is one of two cloud leopards born yesterday at a National Zoo facility in Virginia. Cloud leopards are extremely endangered and are normally found in southeast Asia. Moments after this picture was taken, the adorable little tyke unexpectedly opened its eyes and mauled three zookeepers to death.

What makes their birth even more significant is that their genes came from outside the captive population. Until now, the limited number of cloud leopards in zoos meant that they were in danger of inbreeding, which could have resulted in a feline population equivalent of West Virginia.

Another past problem with breeding programs has been that the mothers have had a tendency to kill their newborns, either deliberately or accidentally. That's why the young pair were quickly separated from their mom and are being hand fed by humans.

Oh, and I was just kidding about the mauled zookeepers.... Though if true, it would have made for a hilarious YouTube video.

Stupid Criminal Tricks

Are you pissed off at the police? Do you feel you've been unjustly targeted with speeding tickets? Was that DUI you got totally uncalled for? Trying to figure out how to best exact your defense against those pesky cops who have it in for you?

Here's a novel solution: Lay down an oil slick in front of the police station.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Modern Day Pirates

One Final (Probably) Thought on the BSG Finale

TooManyTribbles has an excellent post on Battlestar Galactica. It addresses both the appeal of the series as a whole as well as the disappointment of the finale.

Couldn't have summed it up better myself.

Truer Words Have Never Been Typed

Monday, March 23, 2009

American Ingenuity at Its Best

Rubber? What's a Rubber?

During the eight years of the Bush presidency, the federal government spent over a billion dollars promoting abstinence programs to teens. The result? Teen pregnancies have increased for the second year in a row. The new statistics raise serious questions about the effectiveness of such programs. Even Sarah Palin's 18 year old daughter Bristol, who recently gave birth out of wedlock, has questioned the effectiveness of abstinence-only programs.

Maybe lessons about the facts of life should include actual information on the facts of life.

Well, History Can Be Slow Sometimes

Deadly Faith

The Pope has been visiting Angola this past week. Shortly before the Pontiff was to celebrate mass in a stadium, two people were killed and several others injured when a stampede among the faithful broke out. On the bright side, at least no fetuses were aborted during the melee.

So why did this happen? How come no one is calling this the "Miracle in Angola," or pointing to this tragedy as proof of God's existence?

Then again, maybe God just gets off on watching His followers kill one another in a frenzied effort to worship Him.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nothing Worse Than Singing Zombies

Modern Banking in America

Out with a Fizzle

Yesterday I wrote that I was bracing myself for what I feared would be a disappointing finale to Battlestar Galactica.

So how did it turn out? Well, let's just say that the show fulfilled my expectations.

Friday, March 20, 2009

BSG: The Final Frak

For anyone who has followed the updated version of Battlestar Galactica for the last several years, tonight is the night. The show wraps up its five year run on the Sci-Fi channel. If you avoided watching the show simply because you hated the cheesy series that aired some 30 years ago, shame on you.

The updated version has been nothing if not dark and depressing with allegories to our post 9/11 society. Episodes have explored prisoner torture, terrorism, civil liberties, kangaroo courts, and the conflicts that can arise between a civilian government and its military leaders. One early episode dealt with a life and death decision over whether to destroy a civilian liner that may have been hijacked by Cylons and sent on a suicide run against the human fleet. Ultimately, the ship was attacked and blown up, with a lot of second guessing afterwards.

Another story arc had the humans settling on a planet only to be occupied by the Cylons. The human resistance grew even as other humans cooperated with their Cylon occupiers. Once freed, the resistance leaders took it upon themselves to exact justice against those they viewed as collaborators. In many ways, that storyline was ripped from the real world headlines about Iraq.

There was also a big shocker in last week's episode: One character is seen using a cordless phone (if you've been watching, you'd appreciate the joke).

And if you're thinking that tonight is the night they find Earth, boy, are you out of the loop. That ship sailed at the end of last year. Not only did they find Earth, they discovered it to be a lifeless cinder destroyed by nuclear war some 2000 years earlier.

This final batch of episodes (technically the second half of season four) has only become more intricate and confusing. Turns out that not only had the Earth been nuked, it happened during an earlier Cylon war. That raised the strong possibility that the existing human race were actually Cylons themselves. That issue remains unresolved at this point.

And in another major plot twist, fighter pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace finds her own remains on that scorched Earth. That little discovery completely freaked out even the normally unflappable Cylon that was with her at the time. Again, no real explanation has been offered so far.

So tonight's two hour finale has a lot of loose ends to tie up. The writers have clearly set themselves a high bar. Whether they can live up to expectations and wrap everything up in a satisfying manner remains to be seen.

Personally I'm bracing myself for a major disappointment. That way, if tonight's episode does turn out to be a dud, at least I won't feel let down. On the other hand, if it turns out to be the best two hours ever written for television, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Either way, I win.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

But Is the Drywall Safe to Eat?

Two years ago the Chinese were sending us pet food ingredients contaminated with a substance called melamine, which ended up killing hundreds--maybe thousands--of cats and dogs. Not having learned their lesson, they then began spiking their own baby formulas with the substance. Meanwhile, just keep us on our toes, Chinese manufacturers would periodically send us toys made with lead paint.

The good news is that those wacky Chinese have finally learned their lesson: No more melamine or lead for Americans.

The bad news, however, is that now they're sending us drywall containing sulfur. And in case you're wondering, no, sulfur is not a standard ingredient in housing materials.

Not only does sulfur smell bad, it also has a bad habit of eating through copper. Consequently, many homeowners (well, at least the ones who are still able to live in their homes) are finding that the copper coils in their air conditioners are disintegrating. Many of the people living in those houses are also complaining of respiratory ailments.

However, at least one home builder who used the materials is saying that tests show that sulfur gas is safe for humans.

Makes sense. Just because something causes metal to disintegrate doesn't necessarily mean it will turn your lungs to mush.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Going Batty

NASA officials now say there was a stowaway on last week's space shuttle launch: A small bat was seen clinging to the side of the external fuel tank. One wildlife expert who examined the photo said the bat appeared to be injured and probably unable to fly to safety. It could still be seen clinging to the tank as the spacecraft cleared the tower.

Quite frankly, it is inhumane to have allowed the launch to proceed at the expense of this tiny little creature. That bat has never hurt anyone and is actually quite beneficial to mankind. Bats eat tremendous amounts of mosquitoes, including some that carry diseases harmful to us. Allowing such innocent creatures to needlessly perish is a terrible waste. As humans who presumably know the difference between right and wrong, do we not bear some responsibility for the well being of Earth's more vulnerable inhabitants?

On the other hand, I would have absolutely no objection whatsoever to strapping AIG executives to the outside of the next shuttle flight.

From Someone Who Should Know

Mistakes Were Made

Catholics have long been taught that the Pope is infallible. It thus comes as something of a surprise that Benedict XVIQVC has now admitted to having made "mistakes" in readmitting a previously excommunicated Bishop who has questioned whether the Holocaust ever happened.

This becomes even more confusing when you consider that by readmitting the guy to the fold, Benedict was essentially saying that John Paul II had made a mistake in 1988 when he excommunicated Bishop Richard Williamson in the first place. So either way you look at it, one of the two Popes failed.

Benedict now says that he was unaware of Williamson's background. Critics, on the other hand, point out that all kinds of information about the Bishop and his views on The Holocaust have been long available on the internet. Of course, checking that out would have required going online.

Perhaps the Vatican should finally get a phone line so it sign up for a really cheap dial-up service. An additional benefit would be that priests would find it easier to locate kiddy porn.

But enough with the cheap shots. What makes this story even more hilarious is that Richardson has been living in Argentina, a nation long rumored to be a haven for for ex-NAZI war criminals. But when word of the Bishop's anti-Semitic views got out, the Argentinian government kicked him out of the country.

Out of fairness, it's unclear if Williamson is really a Jew hating NAZI sympathizer. Technically, all he did was question the "historical accuracy" of the Holocaust. Apparently eyewitness accounts, photographs, concentration camps, tattooed arms, mass graves, and industrial size gas chambers aren't sufficient evidence in his mind.

Still, for someone who's so big on historical evidence, it's somewhat surprising that Williamson has no problem believing that that some guy once walked on water, turned water into wine, and rose from the dead.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lynne Cheney Falls Ill

Lynne Cheney fainted yesterday afternoon and was taken to a Philadelphia area hospital. It remains unclear why she collapsed.

Her husband, former vice president Dick Cheney, has generously offered to torture his wife until she begins cooperating with doctors.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Managing Expectations

Sunday, March 15, 2009

WTF Are They Thinking?

Insurance giant AIG--which has received $170 billion in bailout money from American taxpayers--is about to pay out $165 million in bonuses to its executives.

Suddenly my previous suggestion about cutting off the balls of those responsible for getting us into this mess doesn't seem that outrageous, does it?

I understand the argument that we can't afford to let AIG fail and that its collapse would drag down not only our own banking system, but those of other nations as well. But paying out over a hundred million dollars in bonuses is just plain inexcusable. That's like giving the crew of the Titanic a bonus for at least getting partway across the Atlantic.

The Obama administration says that there is nothing it can legally do to block this particular payout. AIG is contractually obligated to issue these payments and would otherwise face lawsuits.

That may well be the case, but it goes to the very heart of what got us into this mess in the first place: The attitude among business leaders that its okay to get rich yourself while telling everyone else to go fuck themselves.

Regardless of what the letter of the law may say, this is wrong on so many different levels that it defies any possible rational justification.

The truly laughable part is that the chairman of AIG is trying to justify the payouts. His argument? It's the only way the company can retain talented staff. Is this guy on drugs, or what? What "talented staff?" These incompetent idiots have led the world to the brink of economic ruin. In what possible sense are they talented? Calling them talented is like calling Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man talented because he could count the number of matchsticks on the floor.

Actually, that comparison may be an insult to Raymond. He probably would have done a better job than the people running AIG now.

So fine. Issue the payouts. But let's post the name of every single recipient of these bonuses, as well as their home addresses and phone numbers, on a website for everyone to see. We can even call it OffWithTheirBalls.com. If they're being funded by the rest of us, then it's only fair that we should be able to see where our tax dollars are going.

I just purchased that web address. Anyone in a position to follow through with my suggestion should contact me. You can have the address for $15.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mysterious Boom in NY

People in New York are reporting hearing a loud explosion in the middle of the night. Some experts think it was a meteor that may have set off a sonic boom.

More likely, it was just the stock market crashing again.

If the Shoe Flies....

When Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at President Bush last fall, he instantly became a hero to many of his fellow countrymen. This wasn't surprising, since many Iraqis consider the Americans to be occupiers, not liberators.

Today al-Zeide was sentenced to three years in prison for his actions. Many Iraqis are upset by what they consider to be a surprisingly harsh verdict.

Meanwhile, the man who invaded their country under false pretenses and then lied about the reasons for remaining there, whose reckless actions directly or indirectly caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and who managed to destabilize a strategically vital region of the world, remains scot-free and enjoying a comfortable retirement in Texas.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New AmEx Ad

American Express has come out with a new commercial better suited to our current economic climate.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Big Bang Theory

On the other hand, it would probably have reduced the number of foreclosures on the market.

What's Next? Someone Proving the Earth Is NOT Flat?

President Obama yesterday lifted restrictions on stem cell research. He then took additional steps to insure that science will remain insulated from politics, saying that "promoting science isn't just about providing resources — it is also about protecting free and open inquiry,"

This is outrageous. Obama is going to throw all those former oil company scientists who set national policy on global warming during the Bush administration out of work. Isn't the nation's unemployment rate bad enough already?

Science is Satan's tool. We must continue to abide by the teachings of the Bible. Otherwise some blasphemer named Galileo might come along, invent the telescope, and prove that it is the Earth that orbits the sun rather than the other way around.

Monday, March 09, 2009

If Rodan Had Lived Today

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Helpful DTV Advice

Granted, the digital TV conversion deadline has been extended to June. The following video is still applicable to anyone who is yet to make the transition to digital television.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Speaking of Change We Can Believe in....

When someone told me that the clocks were changing tonight, I called mental health services and had the guy committed to the loony bin. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered the guy was right!

Which raises an important question: Why the second Sunday of March? How the hell are we supposed to remember that? I mean, why not do on either the last Sunday of a month or the last? But scheduling it for the second Sunday requires us to learn to count. And given the poor mathematical skills of American students nowadays, that's just asking too damn much.

Besides, why even bother with the time changes any more? We're only on standard time for 18 weeks of the year, and on daylight savings time for the other 34. More importantly, since we use it the vast majority of the year, shouldn't daylight savings time become the new standard time? And if our clocks are already potty trained, do we still need to change them?

The next thing you know, the people who came up with the idea of changing the clocks back and forth will be telling us that February is too short to be a month.

Anyway, I'm sorry. I guess I'm just irritable because I have to find all the user manuals for the various electronic devices I have. Otherwise, I'll never figure out how to reset the times.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Rush Limbaugh Knows What He's Talking About

Something We'd All Like to See

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Another Bush Legacy

Just in case you haven't already climbed out on a ledge and jumped, here's some more depressing news about the mortgage crisis.

As of the fourth quarter of 2008, a mind-blowing 48% of people who have one of those sub-prime adjustable rate mortgage were either behind or in foreclosure. Overall, 12% of Americans with a mortgage of any kind were at least one month behind or in foreclosure.

So who's to blame for the mortgage crisis? There are those who blame the homeowners who bit off more than they could chew. But that's hardly fair. If that were really the case, then what's the role of the bankers and lenders who issued the questionable loans in the first place? Wasn't it their job to evaluate the borrowers and determine whether they were financially capable of handling a loan of several hundred thousand dollars?

And things aren't about to get better any time soon. While the crisis started in fast growing states like Florida, California, and Nevada, it has now spread to other states. That's probably not surprising, with more and more people losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, there is increasing talk of nationalizing the nation's banks. With so many of them in danger of becoming insolvent, it may be the only way to save them. Republican critics, of course, are accusing Obama and the Democrats of leading the nation down the road to socialism.

I personally don't know what the answers are to our critical predicament. But I can look around and see that the world around us is turning into a giant putrid pile of steaming shit surrounded by a virtually impenetrable cloud of flies.

And how did we get to this pathetic state? Well, it was pure unbridled capitalism fed by corporate greed and unhindered by government regulation. So for Republicans to to sit there and defend the very system they helped foster is mind-boggling in its absurdity.

A Dramatic Game of 'Chicken' on the High Seas

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

This Economy's Tough on Everyone

Lying Sack of Crap Alert

Remember Judd Gregg? He was the Republican senator from New Hampshire who was briefly President Obama's nominee for Commerce Secretary. Then Gregg abruptly withdrew his name from consideration, citing philosophical differences with Obama's economic stimulus plan. Gregg made quite a show of his withdrawal, causing more than a little embarrassment for the White House. His fellow Republicans praised him for his decision. Heck, even those who disagreed with Gregg had to grudgingly the man for sticking to his conservative principles.

Now it turns out those conservative principles may be nothing more than a load of horse hockey.

It seems that Gregg helped steer a lot of Federal money towards the redevelopment of a shuttered military. Sounds reasonable, until it turned out that both the senator and his brother had invested heavily in that same base.

So now it's starting to look like maybe Gregg withdrew his nomination not because of some noble belief in the free market system, but because he was worried his finances--and possible conflict of interest--would come under close scrutiny during his confirmation hearings.

Curious how Republicans are all for limited government until they directly benefit from it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Make No Bones About It

The fossilized skull of a giant seabird has been found in Peru. Scientists say the creature, which lived millions of years ago, had giant bony teeth and sported a wingspan of 20 feet.

On the other hand, what do scientists know? Just because they have PhD's and rely on silly things like scientific evidence doesn't mean they're right.

That's why I'm waiting for the creationists to announce that this bird actually lived 5,000 years ago and was rendered extinct by God because they had legalized same sex marriages.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Time for New Yorkers to 'Toughen Up'

So here we are, just into the second day of meteorological spring, and what happens? We get the biggest snowstorm of the last three years. The storm actually pummeled most of the east coast, from Alabama up through New England. Conditions got so bad in New York city that they closed their schools for the first time in 11 years.

No word on whether President Obama plans to tell New Yorkers to "toughen up."

Yeah, I'm still bitter about that incident. And if he felt compelled to criticize how Washingtonians handle snow, it would seem only fair to do the same with New Yorkers. Failure to do so would be tantamount to discrimination.

One letter writer to the Post pointed out that 500 Chicago residents died in a 1995 heatwave. The temperatures during that weather event peaked at 107 degrees. By comparison, average July highs in Phoenix are 105 and sometimes go as high as 121. Yet you don't hear about hundreds of people in Phoenix dying. Can you imagine the uproar if someone had told Chicagoans they needed to "toughen up" and deal with the heat? The difference is that people in Phoenix are accustomed to heat, just as people in Chicago are accustomed to snow and people in Baghdad are accustomed to car bombs. Folks get used to what they have to deal with on a daily basis. For those of us here in DC, that does NOT include snow.

George Bush may have been an idiot, but at least he didn't run around criticizing us whenever it snowed.