Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Picture of the day

From some bullshit protest, a picture that sums up for me every single trust fund anarchist, smashing up a storefront in the name of whatever: some early twenties asshole in designer, pre-ripped skinny jeans and sandals, raging so hard against the police that their trendy white sunglasses fall off and they sweat up their $120 faux-vintage t-shirt. I bet she was screaming something about corporations when this all went down.

Fuck all these G-20/Greek protest people, the police cannot beat them hard enough.


So you're concerned about America's energy future. You don't want to continue burning fossil fuels or homeless people's bodies or what ever you're using and you want to go green. But windmills? The sun? This all seems so utterly gay. Isn't there a way you could harness the power of the sun in a way that didn't involve technology you have on your crappy calculator?

Wouldn't it be better if you could create your own sun and subjugate it to your own will so you could.... watch Tivo'd episodes of Law and Order? Isn't that what a God does? Wasn't creating a fusion mini sun what Doc Ock was trying to do in Spider-Man 2? I think we all remember how well that worked out for him. Shouldn't we be able to do this?

Now, thanks to one man's efforts, we may. Home fusion.
Suppes never slows down, moving from one problem to the next with an irrepressible smile. The workshop is a few hundred square feet sub-let from a roboticist friend in a warehouse one floor above a hassidic clothing factory near Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn. "I'm starting from nothing, I mean nothing," says Suppes, "There's no reason I should be doing this. It's ridiculous on all levels." What he's doing is building a Bussard Polywell fusion reactor.
That's from the beginning of a fascinating Gizmodo article on one Mark Suppes and his fusion efforts. Worth your time. The BBC also did a piece on him.

I tell you this because he may solve the world's energy needs, he may fail, and he might succeed but create a new sun somewhere in the vicinity of New York City. Which might be bad. Irregardless, we as a country need more of this behavior. Less people arguing whether or not evolution exists, questioning the scientific consensus on global warming, or even just questioning basic science itself, and more people saying "Fuck it, I'm building a sun in the den. Honey, hold my calls."

Let's get going on the future, people.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 06.30

Ron English on the Kellog's cereal drama. I know Apple Jacks usually gives you diarrhea, but it wasn't supposed to this time.

Matt Taibbi takes out his well worn indignation bat to beat Lara Logan, the establishment media, and the notion of today's media that it is their job to protect our political betters lest the peasants learn what they really think. It's over the Rolling Stone McChrystal piece. Taibbi nicely sums up everything that is wrong with most of our media, from their subservience to power to their galling contempt for people who aren't as cravenly sycophantic as they are. Glenn Greenwald also jumps in and throws a few elbows.

#374B in Things I Am Disappointed With the Obama Administration Over: An Ongoing Series. In this episode, the White House goes out of it's way to help banking sycophant Scott Brown insert loopholes into financial reform so that they could lighten the minuscule financial burden on large banks, remove it from hedge funds, and shift it onto small banks and the taxpayer. As one does. Funny, when it comes to something like a public option or, soon, cap-and-trade, the White House can never seem to muster the energy to make even the tiniest effort to push for it. But shift reform burdens from hedge funds to taxpayers? They'll work up a sweat for that. Bang up job.

The 4th of July is almost upon us and thus it is our duty as Americans to use cheaply made Chinese explosives to light up our skies, blow up frogs that couldn't get away fast enough, and remove fingers and/or hands. Except that due to the budget crisis that many communities are going through, firework celebrations are being cut. I hope you'll join us here at TB in celebrating the first annual Imagination Independence Day! It'll help us all work out the kinks so that Imagination Christmas will go off without a hitch.

With a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf oil spill, one asks God "Jesus fucking Christ, what else can you do to make this worse you bearded son of a bitch?" Would you be interested in a tsunami... caused by BP? That's right, the relief well that they're drilling that will totally fix everything for honests, may set of a "supersonic tsunami" by igniting all the trapped underground methane. Nice. After that, the BP Board will go door to door for face macing and groin kicks. It's the only way they know.

We've been a little hard on Barry recently, but we will commend him on one thing: before arresting a bunch of deep cover Russian spies, our President went out munching burgers with Russian President Medvedev as those commie spies were being rounded up. It takes a stone cold motherfucker to have burgers with the man whose spies you are about to have exposed and incarcerated in a massive international incident. More please.

Ominous words

From a NY Times article trying to explain just what the fuck it is the world's political bodies are doing in response to the financial crisis.
The world’s rich countries are now conducting a dangerous experiment. They are repeating an economic policy out of the 1930s — starting to cut spending and raise taxes before a recovery is assured — and hoping today’s situation is different enough to assure a different outcome.
Oh God. They're openly doing the thing they know is wrong and failed spectacularly in the past... but this time they're hoping that whole 1930's decade was a fluke and they'll luck out and be successful this time. Well, if there's one thing that history has taught us it is that if you repeat history exactly, especially bad things, the results will usually turn out different in the end and in no way repeat.

Here's hoping you can remember all those stories your grandparents tried to forcibly tell you about the Depression, I think they'll come in handy. You probably shouldn't have tuned them out.

The eternal debate rolls on

One day, God willing, this pressing existential question will be answered.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Picture of the day

Via the NASA Earth Observatory comes this looks at the waters around the Mississippi barrier islands. Well, I say "water", but legally speaking I'm not sure there's anything there that could be called water in a court of law.

Hey Haley, this is the oil them hippies is talking about. Don't try to eat it.

Click to embiggen.

Quote of the day

From an article depicting how Democrats and President Obama are willing to scale back and compromise on a scaled back, compromised, and largely ineffective (it's a like a running theme of the past year+) climate and energy bill.
But they said the president acknowledged that he could agree to a more limited climate and energy bill than any the senators had previously drafted.

“We believe we have compromised significantly, and we’re prepared to compromise further,” Kerry said.
Christ is there any more fitting epitaph that could be written on the Democrats' gravestone this November? I bet that phrase is on t-shirts they all wear underneath their suits.


Weepin' John Boehner decided it had been a while since he had stepped on his dick in public, so he decided to open his mouth and remind everyone why he shouldn't be allowed to to run a roadside frogurt stand.

In between calling for rebellion, noting that the groundswell for rebellion was greater now than at any point since 1776, calling for the retirement age to be raised to 70 so the GOP can pay for all the wars they want to wage, whining on behalf of BP, crying over health reform, and talkin' big about how he's gonna kill it, he decided to muster up that extra bit of gumption to really shill for the financial industry and the mean nasty government that's trying to regulate them because they destroyed the world economy.
Boehner criticized the financial regulatory overhaul compromise reached last week between House and Senate negotiators as an overreaction to the financial crisis that triggered the recession.

“This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon,” Boehner said.
Oh, the poor defenseless financial giants. When will government stop looking out for them 99% of the time and start looking out for them 100% of the time. They're just a tiny little ant being menaced by government.

Yeah, ants.

Nuclear irradiated ants that will kill and eat us all unless we mobilize the government to smash them into irradiated ant paste. Boehner made a pretty apt metaphor... as long as you make it correspond to 50's monster movies. Although if this example were real, our government would decide to partner with the giant nuclear ants to regulate the giant nuclear ants. Then the large irradiated ant-loving Boehner would bitch that we weren't turning enough of our society over to our radioactive Vespoidean overlords.

The largest financial crisis since the Depression. Ants. Someone hit him.

Broken in Brief: Scientist ominously says ‘oops’

MIDLAND—It was at 10:15 this morning when Dr. Gerald Jenkins, head of Research and Development at the Dow Chemical Corporation, turned abruptly and knocked a corked beaker full of an unnamed chemical substance off of his workstation and onto the floor, shatter the vial into thousands of pieces and exposing its contents to the world.

After surveying the damage, a shocked and bewildered Jenkins could only be heard to mutter a terse and ominous “…Oops.”

As word of the event and the substance itself spread through the facility, colleagues could only be heard to offer up deep worried gulps, long vacant stares into the distance, and glassy-eyed looks at family portraits.

“Jenkins, huh,” asked co-worker and fellow research chemist Dr. Ellen Dennet. “At 10:15 you say? And it’s 11 now? My, my, my. It wasn’t the blue liquid, was it?”

After being informed that it was, if fact, the blue liquid, Dennet could only use a nearby table to keep herself standing upright before gravely intoning “We never really had a chance then, did we?”

As reports spread that Jenkins had spilled the blue liquid, most seemed resigned to what would happen over the next few agonizing hours. Though some inside still held out hope that internal projections and tests on the liquid would prove to be too pessimistic, offering hope for those living, for now, on the continents closest to the heavily fortified research facility.

For his part, all Jenkins could do was nervously tug around his collar and say “Well…. that’s that. I bet I get blamed for this.”

As of press time, Dr. Jenkins isn’t even going to clean up the broken glass, reportedly stating “There’s no sense in doing things like that….. Not now, anyway.”

Video of the day

Art of the day

The Pentagon officially unveiled the portrait of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a ceremony on the 25th. The painting, which "shows Rumsfeld at his stand-up desk with a picture of first-responders and soldiers unfurling the flag over the still-burning Pentagon on Sept. 12, 2001", joins his other portrait from his tenure as Secretary in the seventies. That's right, this asshole has two portraits.

On the bright side, it was also relatively expensive by government portrait standards.
At the upper end of the scale, the Defense Department awaits the expected February completion of a $46,790 portrait of controversial former secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Well, let's be clear, the portrait was supposed to cost $46,790 and be completed in only a few months, but due to poor planning, an insufficient amount of paint, Code Pink protests, and a host of unknown unknowns besieging the project, the painting spiraled out of control, ended up costing several billion dollars and taking several years to paint, and is still relatively unfinished. All in all, a fitting metaphor for his tenure. Also: they served snowflake shaped sugar cookies at the reception!

To turn this in an art critique blog for a second; the picture is fine and the 9/11 imagery befits the monomaniacal obsession with and co-opting of the attacks that the Bush Administration engaged in. But can I ask, what ever happened to the standard "man on a horse, pointing off into the distance... as if pointing at the future" style of portraiture? I would actually start to respect Rumsfeld if he comission a multi-million dollar, 20 foot wide painting of him, dressed as Napoleon, sitting on a chestnut mare in front of a battlefield. Maybe that can be Gates' portrait.


Your time spent resting on your stellar reputation is over, Thurgood!

The hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan are underway. You know the drill: in order to be allowed onto the highest court in the land, the nominee vows to remain as silent as possible, dodge any question that may in fact reveal a personal thought or long held position, and attempt to set a Guinness world record for saying the phrase "I don't answer hypotheticals, Senator." You know, it's the way a serious country full of adults and intelligent elected officials selects a slot on its most august judicial body.

Then there's the dance our elected betters put on. Kagan's supporters on the Democratic side spend their time telling us how she's the most qualified nominee in the history of judges and law, that merely asking her a negatively toned question is likely to make God weep, and that any opposition to putting her immediately on the Supreme Court is rooted in the blackest evil, the foulest magic, and darkest blood rituals.

On the other hand, the GOP concocts scenarios in which her activist judicial fiats will split the earth in two in a literal orgy of flag burning illegal Mexican immigrants performing mandatory abortions on the Children of God, and how it is entirely conceivable that the President has nominated a dangerous mental defective and terrorist sleeper agent who, the second she gets on the bench, will strap C4 to herself and make for the Constitution.

You know how it is. It pretty much went by that book yesterday. But there was an unexpected addendum to yesterday's proceeding. Apparently going after Kagan was not enough, so the GOP decided to set their sights on another ACTIVIST JUDGE: Thurgood Marshall, who is apparently a massive shitbag.
Looks like Senate Judiciary Republicans have at least one unified talking point today: Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to ever serve on the Supreme Court, was an "activist judge." As Elena Kagan kept on her listening face, multiple senators slammed both Marshall's judicial philosophy and her service as his clerk in the late 1980s.
In an example of how much the GOP focused on Marshall, his name came up 35 times. President Obama's name was mentioned just 14 times today.

Ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said Kagan's reverence for Marshall "tells us much about the nominee," and he meant that more as an indictment than a compliment.
The Washington Post says the Republicans even went so far as to pass out opposition research on Justice Marshall. Thurgood Marshall! You know, the guy who argued Brown v. The Board of Education, worked tirelessly on civil rights, and worked to fix institutional barriers of racial discrimination. That Thurgood Marshall. He was apparently a massively activist asshole. So, of course, the GOP spent an entire day trying to tear him down, discredit him, and attack him in order to knock Kagan's time spent as a law clerk for Marshall. One of the most accomplished, important justice and lawyer in US legal history. I'm not sure they even asked Kagan a question.

But there is one question we do need the answer to: would current GOP Senators vote to confirm Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court?
Sen. Orrin Hatch, like many Republicans these days, is arguing that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s hero, Thurgood Marshall, was an activist judge and that raises questions about Kagan’s judicial philosophy.
I caught up with Hatch after today’s confirmation hearing to ask an obvious question: Would Hatch have voted for Marshall?

“Well, its hard to say,” Hatch said.
Jesus Christ.

/throws up hands, walks away

Your future crisis

With the United States about to pass some week kneed financial reform full of loopholes, the rest of the world has come together at the G-20 Summit to tell the world they are prepared to do little else, that everyone agrees that it's time to focus on imaginary problems, and that they are fully committed to not making the financial system less dangerous in any way. Bully for them. 10% unemployment in the US and larger unemployment figures in Europe is just something people should learn to get used to.

But as we see what the world's elites has learned from this crisis (nothing) and their plans going forward (do nothing), one wonders what our financial betters have learned. Other than they can do whatever they want with no consequences, that after they set everyone's money on fire they still have immense credibility and influence with lawmakers, and that no matter what they do and how reckless it is governments will line up to bail out their failures. But we knew that already. They knew that already. I'm talking about what they've learned from this recent crisis to help them make more money creating the next crisis. And just what will that next crisis be?

Simon Johnson thinks he's figured it out: Debt-to-GDP ratios in the developed world. He cites a quote from a high up Goldman Sachs muckity muck. How will they leverage Debt-to-GDP in the emerging world? Through lending to emerging markets and leveraging the fact that debt-to-GDP in the developing world is about half what it is in the developed world. Johnson goes to the trouble of listing why this new plan is dangerous, the problems in their thinking, and the way it will inevitably fail, this time taking down emerging countries with it, but he ties it around the question: What is Goldman Sachs thinking?

I think I have it figured out:

I think that's pretty much the extent of their thinking, even down to the pirate costumes. Maybe there's a variation on this where Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein imagines himself as a cartoon cow with wobbly legs, playing a ukulele in a grass skirt, but I think I pegged it pretty close.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I want you to know something...

These Bastards isn't here to make friends.

This leads me to a great idea I had for a reality show: Making Friends. A show in which these socially maladjusted, orange tanned, raging narcissist egomaniacs, and breast implanted fame obsessives are all put into a house where the objective is to get people to like you and become your friends based entirely on the content of your character and personality.

I think it would probably result in the first reality show murder/suicide/murder-suicide/murder-murder-suicide-murder. Which would be awesome.

You can add Double Dare type obstacle course games with slime and slides and spinning objects if the concept isn't enough. Award points for making an emotional connection without booze, flexing, toplessness, or boozed up flexing. Bonus points for making it through the Slime Zone without getting creamed corn on your Von Dutch hat. Make it happen, FOX.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 06.28

In shocking news, an incredibly old man died of incredibly old age. The shocking part isn't that Robert Byrd died or that, at 92, he wasn't even all that old by US Senate standards, it's that we still see fit to send 70+ year old men to serve and then get surprised when they don't understand the issues of the day and enact legislation at the same pace at which they fuck. This is sad for West Virginia because with Byrd's passing this is the last time anyone of note will remember that it is a state and worthy of attention.

Unsurprisingly, the easily foreseeable death of a man that we all should be surprised lived this long has thrown financial reform into disarray. Byrd was the 60th vote. So now an already weak bill that had to add in tons of loopholes, crooked deals, giveaways, and purposefully fails to address the problems that caused our economic crisis to get to 60 votes in the first place, will have to be weakened and compromised further in order to pick up one more vote. I'm just saying don't be surprised if it becomes legal for a Goldman Sachs employee to gun you down in the street in cold blood.

By the by, what's in that financial reform bill anyway? Wonk Room has an overview. FDL has an overview of all the cut rate, cheap shit, last minute carve-outs that were put in despite the fact they benefit no discernible human. Did you know auto dealers are exempt from any consumer protection agency? Because if there's a group of people with a sterling reputation for looking out for consumers, it's car dealers. On the bright side, Sen. Scott Brown scored a bunch of special deals for his corporate masters in order to buy his support... and he then pledged to vote against the bill. So of course this means they'll take out his shady deals and improve the bill, right? Of course not.

Not that any of this matters anyway. As Paul Krugman explains, we're entering a Third Depression: the Long Depression. And why is this? Because our elected betters and the elected betters around the world have decided to focus on imaginary problems instead of real ones. Namely focusing on inflation that isn't occurring and focusing on cutting back spending that isn't at adequate levels in the first place. On the bright side, suffering builds character. And a decade from now the world will have a shitload of character.

Every time Sean or I wants to write another one of the 'Our Betters' Joe Biden pieces, the Veep has to go out of his way to set the satire bar a little higher than we thought it could go. This time Joe was slinging ice cream in Wisconsin, calling people smartasses. We've said it time and time again: we have to make the VP a lifetime position and soon.

We end on a sad note today as we learn that Texas, bane of education and facts, actually can't afford to buy all those textbooks they want to have changed. The main culprit on kids not getting textbooks: their stubborn, grandstanding idiot of a governor, Rick Perry, and his insistence on not taking federal education aid because of the socialism and some dear that it'll somehow weaken their #49 ranking in percentage of adults who have completed high school. Plus, books is witchcraft. There's that.

Picture of the day

Via NASA and Discovery News comes this look at the Aurora Borealis from the International Space Station. Space electric. Or possibly evil spirits that live in the ionosphere. Scientifically I'm not sure which of those theories that the astrophysics and astronomy communities are leaning towards at this point.

Click to embiggen

He's back!

You may remember insane Tea Party candidate and Founding Father fetishist Rick Barber, who is running for Congress in Alabama. He was the guy complaining about IRS and Census oppression in front of a gun stroking Washington and calling for an armed uprising against the government. Gather your armies!

Well, he's back and this time he has a pedantic argument about the Whisky Act, an overlong rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a girly slappy fight with Glenn Beck to enact and this time he brought Honest Abe with him.

So...... no... taxes? Because.... taxes are exactly like..... slavery? And..... the holocaust? THOSE GODDAMN BLACKS ARE GETTING FREE BAILOUT MEALS!

One minor historical quibble. You know that part where you reference slavery and the Civil War and how "We shed a lot of blood to stop that in the past, didn't we?". Yeah.... you're from Alabama. You didn't shed any blood to stop slavery. You people, your state, and your side shed blood to keep slavery. It was an important dividing point between the two sides. Us Northern homosexual liberals who are oppressing everyone with the tyranny of health care? We're the ones who fought against slavery. Also: Lincoln loved the shit out of taxes.

Anyway, keep it up, Rick. I await the next one with Teddy Roosevelt carrying a big stick and complaining about those damned Mexicans he fought and financial reform. I'm sure it's like... child murder or something.

Kim Jong-Il is a reactionary sort

The United States' World Cup dreams over and the team having completed its mission of losing in a disappointing manner a full step or two before interest in the sport could fully take hold in this country. And so America checks out of the World Cup and our players return to a life of anonymity, playing for teams with weird names in Dutch leagues, and continually getting called Landycakes. As it was meant to be.

But we aren't alone and are in fact more forgiving to our losers. The Italians have spent the last week screaming "Mamma Mia" and clutching-a their pizza pie-a sauce-a over the Azzuri's disappointing exit in the group stages. France has fired up a government inquiry and declared the team a national disgrace after their complete petulant meltdown. England has taken a break from their normal behavior of heaping unrelenting pressure and criticism on the team in an attempt to drive the players to suicide to fully concentrating on heaping unrelenting pressure and criticism on the team in an attempt to drive the players to suicide.

And then there's the North Korean side.
Moon Ki-Nam, a former North Korean coach who fled the country in 2004, told AP: "The players and coach are rewarded with huge houses when they win.
Oh, that's nice. Wait... they didn't win. They got killed. Portugal is still scoring goals on them.
"But they have to atone for losing by being sent to work in the coal mines."

"The families of the players have reportedly been under close observation in North Korea during the tournament. Well informed Japanese secret service circles believe that the danger of severe punishment for the players is very real."
Ah, the coal mines. I guess the salt mines and the acid mines are for dissidents and Olympic failures. Sure, that might be what they did the last time North Korea made the Cup in 1966, but this is 2010. Surely they'll be mining fissile material to build an atomic bomb to deal with what Kim Jong-Il declared to be the persistent and hostile threat from the US and South Korea. Maybe they won't have to go to the mines if we end up forking over the $65 trillion in war damages that Kim has demanded we pay.

So, just be glad US team. You weren't in danger of hard labor, but our collective disinterest in soccer has meant you'll avoid the ritual shaming of our European brethren. Maybe you knew what you were doing when you short circuited your run. Fuck it, put Ricardo Clark on a Louisiana beach cleaning up oil. Where the fuck was he on that first goal? Ghana? Unforgivable.

I like these odds

The war in Afghanistan is going great again after that brief period last week when a case of Bud Light Lime was tactically misappropriated and we had to switch generals. But we are back on mission to protect the freedoms and the liberties from the evil clutches of the Al Qaeda, the terrorists, and the terrorism inside the Afghanistan.

Now perhaps you've read this blog before and have pieced together that Sean and I aren't exactly bullish on the prospects for success on the mission nor do we think the war is a worthwhile use of money. It was probably all the times that we said we aren't bullish on the prospects for success on the mission nor do we think the war is a worthwhile use of money. That probably tipped you off. That was before we knew we had such tactical superiority.
The U.S. has committed nearly 100,000 troops to the mission in Afghanistan. ABC This Week host Jake Tapper asked CIA Director Leon Panetta how big is the al Qaeda threat that the soldiers are combating:

TAPPER: How many Al Qaeda, do you think, are in Afghanistan?

PANETTA: I think the estimate on the number of Al Qaeda is actually relatively small. I think at most, we’re looking at 50 to 100, maybe less. It’s in that vicinity. There’s no question that the main location of Al Qaeda is in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Hey hey, anywhere from a 2000:1 to a 1000:1 advantage. I like those odds. Makes you wonder why this war makes the Hundred Years War look like a couple of short jaunts in France.

Of course you may be thinking "Why must we have a 1000:1 troop advantage and spend nearly a billion per Al Qaeda per year?" Because we don't want to make the same mistake that every other country that went to war in the Graveyard of Empires made. I haven't researched this one bit, but I'm betting all those countries didn't have a staggeringly overwhelming troop, technology, and money advantage.

So I'm sure we'll be able to get this all under control within another several years... or decades. 50 is a big number.... and it might even be 100! What's your fucking obsession with finding out the length, tactics, and value of endless costly wars? The President doesn't have a crystal ball. Look, it's simple: as soon as we kill everyone that wants us to leave, then we can leave. Not one second before.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Video of the day

Not to alarm you about our future war against the robots but.... ROBOTS CAN NOW SEEK US OUT AND HUNT US DOWN ON ANY TERRAIN!!!! GAH!

So this is what the shock troops will look like, eh Skynet? Well then, we'll see you on the battlefield. We'll be the ones with souls.

One (1) Tiny Icelandic horse

We've heard of some outrageous excesses from celebrities and the demands they make on tour riders. From certain colors of M&M's being removed from bowls to demands on eye contact. But none are as outrageous as the demands made by current banjoneer and sometimes comedian Steve Martin, as his tour rider demands were leaked.... on ..... by Steve Martin.

Hey, if the promoters aren't following these demands, they probably skimped on security, safety, or some other important area. Sometimes a man needs to drink mead through a commercial grade bendy straw.

Electric earth

Gophers. I hate them, you hate them, we all hate them. Tunneling in here, taking our jobs. By gophers I mean Mexicans. They tunnel in here too, right? I'm not sure. I think I may have mixed up a racist metaphor here. Maybe I need Rand Paul to explain other similarities between underground dwelling tunneling mammals and Mexicans looking to cross the border, otherwise his new suggestion for the border doesn't make much sense.
Republican Senatorial candidate Rand Paul wants to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a rather ho-hum proposition in the larger context of conservative ideas -- except that Paul wants that fence to be electric and he wants it built underground.

Among the variety of proposals to stem illegal immigration along the southern border, the construction of an underground electrical fence appears to stand alone on the extreme. ... Indeed, when approached in the halls of Senate several weeks ago and asked about the idea (though not told who proposed it), National Republican Senate Committee Chair John Cornyn (R-Tex.) assumed it was a joke.

"I have not heard that," the Texas Republican said. "Underground? What would happen? How would that work?"

That's actually a good question and one that Paul's campaign won't answer. His website says only the following: "My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border." The details of how it would be built, what it would take to make it work and how much it would cost are left unanswered.
Surely this is all just a massive misunderstanding over a typo. Surely he means an electronic fence. Something that monitors the border... electronically. Not some sort of fence that shocks people if they touch it... only buried underground. No? He repeatedly mentions it on his website and in public? Whoo boy.

Alright, I'm no electrical expert. I'm only tangentially related to a couple of electricians (father and brother). But the way I understand electricity, other than the fact that it involves high tech lighting bolt capture and that elves force it out the magic holes in our walls, is that it involves this concept called "Grounding". Wherein there are means and methods employed to prevent contact with dangerous voltages if electrical insulation. There are many ways to "ground" an electrical system, but they all stem from the fact that the physical ground, aka dirt, is a zero voltage conductor that can absorb an near limitless amount of current. In other words: you can't fucking electrify the ground no matter how many fences you bury underneath it.

You would think a doctor, no matter if it is one who certified himself, would understand this. Nope. He wants to spend at least a billion dollars building the underground electrical fence in the hopes that the pure force of his libertarian ideals will electrify the ground.... or in effort to stop what he must assume are a large number of Mexicans that tunnel in to this country.

Eh, I'm for it. It'll be a less egregious waste of money than most of the stuff we do. Plus it'll give us the moment where a bunch of technicians explain to Rand why his plan to bury fences and pump volts into the earth hasn't seemed to work on anything except the Southwestern Border Gopher and the moment where he rushes over to Google, types in "electric" then "electronic", slaps his forehead, and then says something like "Maybe.... we should.... increase the.... watts?" That's worth a billion or two, right?

Headline of the day

What it lacks in brevity it makes up for in insanity. This took place in Ireland, so I guess that partly explains it.
During the evening Talbot, who was wearing an inflatable sumo suit, bumped into her. When she turned around, the accused said to her: "Keep smiling, c**t."

Later, a man dressed as a Snickers bar began waving at her and when she went to wave back, Talbot pushed her arm from behind. When she asked what the problem was, Talbot said: "Your arm's in my way."

When she again asked what her problem was, Talbot "flipped" and started screaming abuse at her.
Well, obviously your could see why this escalated. Is there a humorous coda to this whole affair?
The accused was escorted out and had to be asked to partially deflate her costume so she could get out the door.
There we are.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Awkward silences

From the transcript of of yesterday's "Oh, you better believe your ass is fired, McChrystal"/"look at how manly and Presidential our manly Presidential President is" speech, as pointed out by Rachael Maddow:
"Mr. President, can this war be won?"

(No audible reply)
But man, did he fire his ass in the most Presidential way possible. Is the mission going to be worth it, can we win it, was it smart to remove him at this point for a media gaffe? No audible reply. But the media did get a hell of a moment.

Plus, this country and our elected betters were given even more of an opportunity to jizz ourselves over David Petraeus... which I didn't think was possible. So at least we have that.

A collection of people losing their shit over Landycakes' stoppage time winner

I think we might be starting to like this futbol thing. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *breath* OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *hufff... puff* OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Broken in Brief: Homeland Security fears mass terrorist attack as citizenry exhibits strange behavior

WASHINGTON—Minutes ago the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they feared a terrorist attack had resulted in mind altering gases or a virus being released at multiple sites around the United States, that they were taking the precaution of raising the alert level to orange, and were declaring a preliminary state of national emergency.

“It has come to our attention that terrorist groups may have dosed large sections of this country with some noxious, brain scrambling substance at some point around noon,” announced FBI Director Robert Mueller.

“As of now we’re uncertain of the exact means of attack but currently victims are exhibiting signs of low level euphoria and a nationalist interest in foreign frivolities. Be forewarned that if one of these poor souls walks up to you and asks if you ‘saw the soccer’ or can name more than three of the fancy types who play this game, you may be in a contaminated zone and should take shelter immediately.”

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden added “While these reports are preliminary, we do have to admit that these widespread reports could refer to citizens of other countries showing excitement over soccer, which is normal. Those exhibiting symptoms may in fact be Dutch, we repeat, may be Dutch. We advise American to take extreme precautions -face masks and the like- in the event that this is a viral outbreak and the soccer virus has started to spread from immigrants to the white, indigenous US population.”

For now the government advises that people stay inside and inoculate themselves with televised baseball games and NFL off-season training camp reports.

“We’re on the precipice of something large taking hold here,” Mueller advised. “After years of fighting this foreign footballing menace off, we are in extreme danger of taking an interest in a sport America isn't ready to dominate in. Not on my watch.”

Afghanistan: A short play

President Obama: You know Stan, I'm glad to have you running things in Afghanistan. As I've said many times publicly: your strategies, leadership, and vision are absolutely integral to any future success our mission in Afghanistan will have. Especially now that we're entering one of the most critical "make or break" times in our offensive campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Again, you are absolutely integral to our mission.

General McChrystal: Thank you Mr. President and let me say how honored I am to be leading this vital charge against the Afghan insurgency.
By-the-by, and this is just a little thing.... I may have given a tiny little interview to Rolling Stone where I maybe had a few too many Bud Light Limes and was maybe a little critical of your administration. Nothing serious, but maybe a few of my aides go a little too far in criticizing specific people in your administration. Not me, mind you, my aides. A little embarrassing? Sure. A little short sighted? Sure. Ripe for parody? Definitely. But nothing that would cause anyone to drastically reassess our geopolitical strategy vis-a-vis the war on terror and our counterinsurgency strategies and Afghanistan policies... right?

President Obama: ..............YOU'RE FUCKING FIRED!!!!!!


Nice to see that we won't let something like a war or a war strategy get dicked around over what amounts to an indelicate decorum gaffe combined with incessant, brainless 24-hour news outrage, right? Eh, at least we'll have those trillions from those Afghan minerals to spend soon.

Outrage: averted

Now that we beat our hated enemy Algeria with a OHNOOHNOOHNOMOOOVERUNCROSSFUCK...... YESDONOVANQWMNRTZFKJGOAL!!!!!!! USA USA USA stoppage time goal, we're allowed to all look at this picture without angrying up the blood:

That's Dempsey's disallowed goal... which was valid. Again.

I know the world didn't much care for us during... the entirety of the Bush years, but you think they would choose to punish us for Dubya through something other than disallowing valid soccer goals we score from inside the box. Maybe they don't understand we like other sports waaay more. Anyway, we win the group, bugger all to England, eat it Algeria (seriously, you had to win by 2+ to advance and you played for a tie? This is why you got fucked over by the French of all countries), fuck you Slovenia... Slovakia... which one was it again? Onward to the winner of Group D.

Picture of the day

NASA's Earth Observatory with your latest horrifying reminder of the ludicrous size of this spill.

As always, click to really embiggen.

They even came up with time lapse video this time around.

Ad of the day

When we're looking for a vacation spot, what are we looking for? Sun. Fun. And a good hearty mocking of the most current environmental crisis. Spirit Airlines and Ft. Lauderdale understands this.

Hilarious. Not so much that they're using oil washing up on other beaches to advertise their beaches, it's that they're going to have oil of their beaches sometime within the next month or so. I guess they didn't check any ocean current/oil flow research before they slapped it together. Just kidding, the oil was off your coast two weeks ago. Good luck with your future ads.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Broken News: Respected author to churn out some bullshit about vampires

NEWARK—After a literary career that began with 1959’s Goodbye, Columbus and has spanned the decades. Noted author and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Roth today announced that he was abandoning his more high brow literary pursuits to churn out some old hoary cack about vampires.

“I don’t know, I doesn’t seem like provocative explorations of what it means to be Jewish or of the American identity and blurring the lines between biography and fiction makes a guy a buck anymore,” the author explained in an interview with the New Yorker.

“So I’m just going to churn out some shit I thought up over lunch about vampires, teen romance, and epic battles over love and sit back and watch the money pile up. It’s pretty much what everyone else is doing. Why fight it? I don’t think I’m even going to make it all that different from Twilight.”

He sighed before adding “Ooh! Maybe a vampire school or a boarding school where vampires and humans meet! Has anyone done vampire style Harry Potter knockoff yet?”

Reaction from the literary world was swift with most surprisingly supporting the move.

“Frankly 90% of what I read is some awful re-purposed shit about forbidden love and euro-trash vampires that I’d appreciate reading what someone competent could do with a completely fucked out genre,” said Michael Kimmelman of the New York Review of Books. “Even if he is just nakedly slumming it for cash.”

Others, from the New York Times to McSweeney’s, offered support ranging from “Just don’t make them sparkle” to a fervent hope that Roth would attempt to tie his famed Nathan Zuckerman character into the new series of novels. Either by making Zuckerman a vampire, a vampire hunter, or recounting a romance had with a shiksa vampire in his youth.

“Zuckerman as a teacher at a school for vampires is the idea that has me most excited,” said Times literary critic Janet Maslin when contacted for this story.

When presented with some of these suggestions Roth reportedly yelled that they were all legally his and that he’d sue anyone who infringed on them.

But Roth’s recent foray into naked money grubbing is part of a larger trend in the literary world. Cormac McCarthy recently announced he was about to start work on a trilogy of books about werewolves, while Michael Chabon has reportedly cast his lot in with merpeople, hoping that will be the next genre to take off and set him up with a lucrative series of films.

Alice Sebold has quit writing books to becoming a staff writer on Two and a Half Men, while the estate of Roberto Bolano has unearthed a 1700 page novel entitled Star Wars Jedi War: The Mandalorians Revenge which will be released by Lucas Books and Ballentine by the end of the year.

“There’s just no money in integrity nowadays,” observed Harvard English Professor and Twilight fan-fiction writer Dr. Karen Whitman. “Sure you can try to putter around here and there writing the odd masterpiece of American fiction and getting a Pulitzer every couple of years, but where’s the money in that? Who wants to make a movie out of a heady tome about the immigrant experience in 1930’s San Francisco? Why not just crassly jump on board whatever is popular at the moment and ride that wave to the bank?”

“Like I wrote in my Twilight short story Love’s Bite, after Edward leaves Bella to marry the new, shy, mousy, literary girl Karen: ‘Sometimes you just gotta keep it real.’”

As of now Roth plans to have the first novel out sometime next month with four to follow by the end of the year. He says he hopes that his endeavors will lead to a movie company taking a chance on glomming onto the Twilight bandwagon and churning out a low budget competitor, but that he is, at the very least, hoping that these novels can be turned into a low rated drama for the ABC network.

“Fingers crossed,” Roth said. “Film or TV. I will tailor this bullshit to whatever medium will provide me the riches that being considered one of the greatest living writers has failed to.”

I am so surprised

Another day, another couple of stories that make you wish you could punch a physical representation of BP right in the sack. First was the story that the rig was damaged and leaking for weeks before the final, catastrophic explosion/mega-leak occurred.
An oil worker who survived the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion has claimed that the oil rig's safety equipment was leaking several weeks before it exploded, triggering the huge spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tyrone Benton says that he spotted a leak on the rig's Blowout Preventer (BOP), the device that is meant to shut the well down if there is an accident. He told the BBC's Panorama programme that both BP and Transocean, who owned the rig, were informed of the leak, and the faulty part – a control pod – was switched off rather than being repaired.
Wonderful. It's not like the blowout preventer failure and leaks were a major part of the problem, were they? Oh, they were. Super.

But that wasn't all.
BP has been accused by a senior US politician of lying to Congress to reduce its liabilities, after an internal company document showed that the oil giant's own worst-case assessment of the size of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico was 20 times its public estimate.

In the document, BP attempts to put a figure on the rate of oil spewing into the ocean. It notes that if the condition of the well bore deteriorates to the extent that crucial parts fall off, the rate could reach 100,000 barrels a day.

When the company handed the document to Congress, it was claiming the leak was only 5,000 barrels a day, and that at very worst the figure could rise to 60,000.

The document was circulated by Ed Markey, the Democratic head of the House sub-committee on energy and the environment.
Nice. Well, it's not like accurate numbers on the size of the oil leak is something that would have been useful.

Look, I'm just going to advise you all on a tactic that I've undertook in order to preserve some level of sanity during this whole mess. It'll help you and it'll also help BP. I'm generous like that.

In all circumstances and under all conditions: assume the worst. Right now your working thesis on the entire disaster is that BP, in conjunction with Hitler's robot brain and the Anti-Christ, purposefully exploded their own well and caused this leak in an effort to drive up the price of gas, ruin seafood restaurants, kill cute animals, destroy the world's oceans, and end all life as we know it. In an effort to conceal this fact, they have engaged in the systematic murder of anyone who has figured this out and are in the process of bribing every elected official and law enforcement agency everywhere in order to do their bidding and cover this up. Also, at some point, they drowned a burlap sack full of kittens in the Gulf for fun.

Now how does this benefit you or BP? Well, whenever you hear some new horrifying fact, some awful scientific study on the environmental impact, some new revelation about BP's lax safety records or their naked pursuit of money, or another story about dishonesty, lying, and cover-ups following the spill, you can look at your loved ones and say ''Whew!, Well at least that isn't as bad as the whole global conspiracy, Hitler robot, destroy the earth , murder cover-up plan I heard about. I am relieved.'' You'll feel better in no time.

You're welcome.

Picture of the day

A protester urinates in front of a row of policemen during riots following the death of a 15-year-old boy in San Carlos de Bariloche on June 18, 2010. According to local media, provincial government officials have confirmed that four police officers, involved in the incident which left the boy dead during an alleged robbery, have been removed from their posts. Three people have died and at least 12 have been injured during the clashes.
Pissing on police to protest an event where police killed some suspects. Yeah, 'm not thinking this worked out to well for our urinating protester. Still, one does appreciate the spirit.

(h/t Internet Jesus)

Balls: a history

With that kicky footy game in full swing over in the place with all the black people, Americans, nigh unfamiliar with the game beyond it being the thing they have to watch their sons and daughters play until the children realize there is no financial future in it, need an education in the history of the sport. With that in mind, the New York Times has provided a history of the soccer ball.

uruguay ball
This is the ball that was used in the second half of the 1930 Uruguay v. Argentina final. This was the ball Uruguay brought, having played the first half with the ball Argentina brought. That's how things worked back then. The Uruguay ball was bigger and firmer and made with the skin of political dissidents. Their resistance to government commands translates to a resistance of wind... resistance.

mexico ball
The classic soccer ball as we know it. It debuted in 1970 at Mexico. The design was meant to be more visible on TV and the hexagonal shapes were meant to ward off evil Mayan spirits who were set to disrupt the game.

sa ball
The current ball. Comprised of the fewest panels ever, 8, the ball is almost a perfect circle... as confirmed by circle experts and roundnessologists. The decal design on the ball was created after an extensive research session with the family and ex-girlfriends of England goalkeeper Robert Green, with the specific goal of confusing him when it was in flight. The inscription on the ball, "Jabulani", means "devil orb", a reference to South African end times prophecy where a giant horned Satan will appear and kick the Earth into an oversize outer-space net/black hole.

Fire water

A scene from Josh Fox's Gasland, a documentary on the natural gas industry, hydraulic fracturing/"Fracking", contamination of the water table, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, dead animals, illness, the environment, the EPA, and dangerous chemicals.

It debuted on HBO last night and was a horrifying look into how the natural gas industry's complete exemption from any and all environmental laws and the expansion of drilling all over the country has lead to increased water contamination and illness amongst the people living nearby. Of course the natural gas companies deny this is happening, that the hundreds of dangerous chemicals they pump into the ground in a process called hydraulic fracturing can't possibly be harming anyone, and how no one is essentially keeping an eye on this. It kind of makes you sick as you watch it over the nearly two hour running time of the film.

So, watch it or DVR it if you have a chance. Here's an interview with the director on PBS. Here's the trailer.


Right now unemployment is hovering around 10% and businesses aren't hiring. What's the problem? In his efforts to seem like the most self absorbed, uncaring prick not currently working for BP, Rand Paul decided to tell us what the problem was. Lazy peasants.
In an interview with WVLK-AM in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, Paul told host Sue Wylie he supported the Republican filibuster last week of more than $100 billion in emergency spending that includes extended jobless benefits. Paul said the bill must be paid before the extension is voted into law -- and if that can't happen, it's time for America's unemployed to face facts and stop holding out for jobs similar to the ones they've lost.

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."

Paul also suggested that regardless of whether the benefits could be paid for with cuts somewhere else, it might be time for some people to just stop asking for government aid.

"I think the issue is bigger than unemployment benefits." Paul said, referring to government spending. "It's all about priorities, what is the priority. And sometimes tough decisions will have to be made."
Ah yes, because the main problem in this jobless recovery is that people are sitting at home, looking at dozens upon dozens of valid job offers and are saying to themselves "Weeeeeeeell, this doesn't pay me quite as much as I'm used to. I think I'll just choose to be unemployed longer. You know, because unemployment benefits are so generous." It's a matter of people sucking up their pride, not a matter of no jobs. And if anyone is qualified to tell them that, it's a rich Republican whose entire income is predicated on taking government money.

And really people, grow up and stop taking government handouts. Sure it way seem like a king's ransom living on welfare or unemployment, getting at most a couple thousand a year and barely being able to afford to live. But what's more important: eating and shelter or living by the libertarian code of principles that Rand Paul himself refuses to live by?

I think we've been taught an important lesson here: if you would just give up those government benefits and actually have a desire to work... which 10% of this country obviously doesn't, you'll get a job regardless of the hiring situation in the country or the state of the larger economy. Because of magic. Thanks for the tip, Rand. Good luck on your quest to use your father's name to move from government Medicare payouts to just a direct government salary. Boy, you're sure teaching all those lazy assholes out there a lesson.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cheap Blogging Crutch 06.21

Moritz Resl's 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Alan Greenspan and Paul Krugman got into a economic slap fight over the weekend with competing op-eds. Greenspan arguing we need to focus on debt instead of jobs, Krugman arguing jobs instead of debt. Let's see, do we believe the tired old man who sat at the apex of this crisis unable to see what was going on or do anything about it, or do I believe the guy who just won a Nobel and has been horrifyingly right every step of the way. What's that? Unemployment is hovering at 10% and focusing on the debt by cutting spending will kill more jobs? Gee, hard to see who to listen to on this point.

On that point, the Washington Post looks at how our elected betters' myopic concerns over making minuscule "drop in the bucket" dents in the deficit is taking precedent over, you know, fixing the economy and getting people back to work. No worry about the massive state budget crises, the Senate has to make it look like they're listening to the ill-thought out concerns of voters by being fake concerned about the deficit. So a year from now when we're all eating catfood underneath an abandoned freeway, remember to thank them all for they way they knocked down the deficit by $5 bucks.

After 28 years the Bloody Sunday killings were officially ruled unlawful at the conclusion of a 12 year inquiry by Lord Saville. Apparently shooting the Irish under flimsy pretenses and then claiming they all had guns and you were under attack isn't, in the strictest sense, legal. But hey, they finally got to the bottom of it after three decades. See what you have to look forward to in 2038, Israel?

Simon Johnson looks at all the ways in which the soon to pass and soon to be heralded as a "serious fix to the an unforeseeable and unprecedented crisis" Financial Reform bill fails to do any of the shit it needs to do. Who could have foreseen that catering to banks and Wall Street and treating them as if they had credibility left would result in laws that failed to adress the things that caused the last financial collapse or deal with the fallout? But at least it's called "Financial Reform". They can technically say they passed "Financial Reform". There is that.

On the Bright, Shiny, Happy front, one of the men who helped eradicate smallpox has a message to the world: we'll all be dead in a 100 years, thanks for fucking everything up you soon to be extinct shits. There's a myriad of reasons, but mostly overpopulation and the fact that we're ruining the environment and only engaging in half measures -at best- to address those problems. He's 95, so he'll be dead soon. He just wants us to know that we caused it, we refused to fix it, and we should enjoy a hellish decades of existence that will result in our violent painful extinction. Way to depress everyone on your way out.

The Intertubes has found the only way to listen to the inane tweets and proclamations of the Tea Party set: by making them poot out the butt of a colonial soldier. They call it: Tea Farty.

In closing we give you Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age covering "What, What (In the Butt)."

What a wonderful country we have

Yeah, Amnesty International, we could do that. But then what would our state AG's tweet about? The unconstitutionality of health care?

A sign of the times, although many may find it distasteful, or much worse: Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff used a mobile Twitter client to send out a tweet announcing the impending execution by firing squad of convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner.

As the BBC notes, quite a modern way to announce a very old-fashioned death.

In total, the AG sent out 3 tweets about the event from his iPhone only a couple of hours ago, the most recent one an all-too-familiar (on Twitter) self-promoting one.

1) A solemn day. Barring a stay by Sup Ct, & with my final nod, Utah will use most extreme power & execute a killer. Mourn his victims. Justice

2) I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.

3) We will be streaming live my press conference as soon as I’m told Gardner is dead. Watch it at

What, he couldn't also put up a few Twitpics of the body or a Twitvid of the execution? No blog post? I thought we were living in the 21st century.

And firing squad? Nice to see we live in a modern world. Did you think four horses tied to the man's limbs running in four different directions was too inhumane? Didn't want to build a wall to fall on him?

Nicely done. I guess next time Utah executes a guy (eaten by sharks?) they can spring for a clown with balloons to deliver an ice cream cake to the media that says "The execution was performed successfully at 7:00 PM." You can write it across Fudgy the Whale. You know, so you can fully embrace the moment and commemorate it with a dignity befitting the gravity of the situation. Maybe fireworks that spell out "R.I.P."? I don't know, I'm not the Utah Attorney General here.

Your horrifying oil related story of the day

Turtle fire.

Quote of the day

Mike Huckabee (R-Unemployed) expounding on all the deep thought he's done on gay marriage beyond "I think it's what the Invisible Man In The Sky wants".
"Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn't work the same." Huckabee said in a recent New Yorker profile.
Ah yes, the "ick factor". This is clearly an important reason to deny people legal protections and recognition that their relationships are second class: because you get the willies when you think about two men kissing... which is something you think about more than a gay guy would.

I believe it was God who said to Moses while he was appearing as a burning bush:
"Mo, I know I didn't make this a Commandment or anything, but make it clear to my people that I want it understood that things that make you get the willies in your gut when you think about them are also no-no's. Use that word: no-no's. I mean some things are just *shudders* weird, you know? Two dudes smooching and getting married is right out! Two ladies kissing? That's a party. So sayeth the Lord!"
I also believe it's in the Constitution. Something about "If in the course of events you find that the freedoms enumerated in this document are too much and are allowing for things that make you feel weird because you don't understand them, feel free to outlaw them. We are of course talking about James Madison and his 'manservant'. Ick."

I mean isn't that the standard by which things should be measured? If something makes an old Southern religious guy go "Ewwwwwww", we shouldn't allow it. I mean... dangling naughty bits... of the same sex..... touching? Ewwwwwww. Sorry gays, try to ask for legal rights in an area that doesn't make Mike Huckabee's testicles shoot up into his chest. And don't try to counter with some legal mumbo jumbo or a human rights type response. Huck is really wierded out by two men kissing, so you can't be allowed to marry. Obviously. Who can argue with such an intelligent defense of "traditional" marriage?

Picture of the day

Today in our ongoing Aren't Foreign Cultures Juuuuuust Precious and Adorable series, we take a look at a guinea pig festival in Peru.

They dress the adorable little creatures in local garb and parade them around in a fashion show.

Hello, your royal highness. And is this your lovely wife?

Even adorable children love the festival, adorably kissing the adorable guinea pigs in an adorable manner.

Guinea pigs love corn. Hmmmm... I wonder why they're standing on a grill.


Plus, who grills or frys a guinea pig? You pan sear it in some butter, then finish it off in the oven. It's in Thomas Keller's French Laundry Cookbook, under the section on eating animals that are considered household pets in America. When will Peru learn about proper food preparation?

Freedom is too free

In Completely Horrifying Freedom News You All May Have Missed News, you know how we're all always saying that US access to the internet needs to be more like China's and other fascist/communist regimes across the world? You know, regulating access, government ability to shut down citizens access to the web, you know, that sort of thing. Well Joe Lieberman heard your cries.
The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act would allow the President to disconnect Internet networks and force private websites to comply with broad cybersecurity measures.

Future US presidents would have their Internet "kill switch" powers renewed indefinitely.
“For all of its ‘user-friendly’ allure, the Internet can also be a dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets," Lieberman said in a release announcing his bill. "Our economic security, national security and public safety are now all at risk from new kinds of enemies -- cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists and cyber-criminals. The need for this legislation is obvious and urgent,” the Connecticut senator added.
Yes, to protect us from the warriors who are cyber... and also cyber-marauders, bit-pirates, RAM-rapists, tube goblins, and message board trolls, the President needs to be able to shut off the entire Internet. Can't you see that's the only way to protect ourselves... from the goblins? If we can't strip ourselves of freedom of speech and other things in the Bill of Rights, the terrorists will!

Now you might be saying to yourself "This sounds stupid, unnecessary, like it puts entirely too much power over information and speech into the hands of our elected betters, and is vaguely fascist in a bed-wettingly fearful manner?" T0 that Joe Liebermans says "Shut the fuck up." You don't understand how brilliant he is, how needed this is, and OH, WON'T YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!
"Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too," Lieberman told CNN's Candy Crowley on State of the Union Sunday.

"There's a lot of people out there who think that what you are granting the president is absolute power to shut down freedom of speech, that this is just over the top," Crowley said.

"No way and total misinformation," Lieberman replied. "We need this capacity in a time of war. ... Lieberman continued: "So I say to my friends on the Internet, relax. Take a look at the bill. And this is something that we need to protect our country."
I know whenever I am skeptical about government overreach by sagging cowards, the phrase "China does it too" always fills me with optimism for what is being proposed. Did you see those opening ceremonies at the Olympics? Spellbinding! Whatever China is doing, they must be doing right.

So America, the next barrel-bending-over you are going to be expected to take in the name of "freedom", "the turrists is gonna kill us", and "We are a nation at war" is your unfettered access to comical cat pictures, porn, information, pornformation, poorly written blogs, and videos of samba dancing babies. Just shut up, ignore the thing in the back of your head screaming "DANGER!!!!" and trust Joe Lieberman. Because there's one thing we've learned over the past few years is that Joe Lieberman is interested in things that make this country better.

By the way, if you have a sarcasm detector, then I'm sorry that last sentence exploded it.

Stay classy, Stevesy

Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project hasn't gone away. You know, that thing where we're all supposed to return to the mindset we had the day after 9/11: panicked, fearful, and willing to sacrifice virgins into volcanoes and gut our Constitution in order to feel a tiny bit safer. But apparently they've moved on from being a vague movement about feelings to teaming up with tea partiers to show their support for Arizona's "Walknig while Latino" law.

People inspired by the words of Glenn Beck and tea baggers joining forces to bag of Mexicans? I wonder who they would get to speak at that event? Turns out the answer is terminally retarded blowhard Rep Steve King (R-IA). What did he have to say? First he made the Jong-il like boast that he alone possessed fence technology to stop Santa Anna's new invasion.
King told the gathering of over 100 people that he could build a border wall that would ensure “not [even] a cockroach” could get across.
I think we know what "cockroaches" he's talkin' about. La cucarachas! HAW HAW HAW!

Any other bright ideas?
King said that under only one circumstance does he support amnesty for illegal immigrants: “Every time we give amnesty for an illegal alien, we deport a liberal.”
HAW HAW HAW! Then them liberals can go to their beloved Mexico which they love so much they are letting it assault our freedoms and pick the blossoming fruit of liberty for sub-minimum wages.

Of course after dropping those two Oscar Wilde-esque bon mots from in front of a Truck Nuts billboard, it was of course time for questions from the audience. Which means he was asked about some conspiracy theory. I wonder how he handled this?
QUESTION: I keep reading that Obama keeps bringing small quantities of Muslims into this country. Why can’t Congress stop that?

KING: You know, I don’t know what the basis is of that. I wouldn’t be surprised that that is the real factual basis. ... I appreciate you making the point. I will try to watch it.
Yup, President Hussein Obama X, the Last Imam hisself, is personally smuggling Muslims into this country. Probably on Air Force One, Sea Force One, or Hot Air Balloon Force One. Small quantities.. cells if you will... setting them up across the country... preparing them for the day after the UN black helicopters steal everyone's guns... then: The United Islamic Caliphate of America. OH I KNEW IT WAS COMING!

Most people would respond to an accusation that the PResident was smuggling Muslims into the country with a nicely placed "Shut the fuck up you crazy and don't get your deluded insanity secretions on me... I hear that's how you spread it" before casually flipping off the audience. Not Steve "Iowa's Pride" King. No, he does his best to confirm that's what he's heard as well and then thanks the person for bringing it to his attention and assures them he'll keep an eye on it. That's how turn crazy into votes.... a probably some future Ruby Ridge style FBI standoff.

Way to keep it classy, Steve. I eagerly await your House Special Committee on The President Who Done What Smuggled All Them Moozlams Into Our Fine Country.