Thursday, May 31, 2007

The end of any claim to moral authority

I'm collecting links to posts that demonstrate just how bass-ackwards this nation's Iraq escapade is. The latest addresses an issue that certainly wouldn't come up in polite conversation in Republican circles. How do George and Dick sleep at night, really?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Honestly, does the world need this?

I'm never one to stifle the creative or expressive urges of another, but does the world really need a blog entirely devoted to explaining Marmaduke comic strips?

I suppose the answer is yes. As of today, there are 244 posts.

Perhaps I'll start a blog dedicated to that 1980's paragon of fucked-uppedness, Arnold:


It is rare for something to leave me completely speechless. This performance did it:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Never thought I'd say this...

...but Ron Paul kicks ass. I don't know if my political views have changed, his have changed, or it's just that the world has changed so much that he no longer seems like such a nutbar. He sure does introduce and sponsor interesting legislation--some I agree with, some I don't, some that is certainly interesting, and some that just seems loopy. I've definitely become more libertarian over time (and not in a Republican-embarrassed-by-Bush sort of way).

Read about Paul's reading list for Rudy Giuliani to back up his foreign policy statements--how sad is it that it is novel for a political figure to actually offer support for his assertions?

Up yours, George Lucas

Thanks to Atrios for reminding us that this exists: The Star Wars Holiday Special.

I was four years old when it aired for the first and only time ever, and for the longest time I couldn't quite remember if I imagined the whole thing after drinking some bad juice as a child.

Then I found it on ebay (VHS, of course). It took about six non-consecutive days to watch the whole thing, because I could only handle 20 minutes at a time. I urge you strongly to watch the five-minute clip linked above--it pretty much shows you everything you need to see, and you HAVE to stick it out to the end, when Carrie Fisher sings.

George Lucas supposedly hoped that this never see the light of day after its one airing. While it has its fans, I must say that is one decision by George Lucas I wholeheartedly support, at least in principle.

On the plus side, the special gave us Boba Fett for the first time.

The United Nations, a/k/a the Ministry of Truth

This actually happened, according to Reuters (or did it?):
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad had to reconvene the U.N. Security Council and rerun a meeting on Friday after reading the wrong statement on Sudan, effectively wiping an entire council session out of history.

At the first session, Khalilzad, current president of the council, read out a hard-hitting statement denouncing aerial bombardment in the troubled Darfur region in a clear critique of the Sudanese government.

When the session ended, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was the first to point out that the statement was not the one that the council's 15 members had agreed, participants said.

After about 10 minutes, officials managed to corral diplomats wandering off for the weekend back into the council chamber. Khalilzad opened a new meeting under the same serial number at which he read out a more anodyne statement that just urged all parties in Darfur, rebels included, to end violence.

"He read an old version" of the statement at the first meeting, U.S. mission spokesman Benjamin Chang said of Khalilzad. "That first one (session) never happened." U.N. officials agreed that in effect the earlier session had been superseded.

Khalilzad's only admission of error at the second meeting was when he concluded by saying with a grin: "The meeting IS adjourned," stressing the word "is."

Afterward, he told reporters: "There were two words that were there in the first statement that shouldn't have been there. It was late in the day, Friday, administration under a degree of stress, but you know, we're all human beings, it happens."
Well, that's certainly inspiring. The statement itself hardly inspires shock or awe.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Where the f*** was this guy in 2000?

Dammit Al, you have charisma, even ganas, so where was all this stuff when you ran for president?

You're not the first presidential candidate to mysteriously develop a personality after a presidential election (although at least you won yours, technically), but if you start showing up in Viagra ads*, I will be very, very upset.

*Yes, I know it's not the Viagra ad, but close enough.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I'm not usually one to read any sort of signs or portents into current events, but you gotta wonder:
Bush In Line of Fire
May 24, 2007 1:50 PM

ABC's Ann Compton reports: An outdoor news conference in perfect spring weather, with birds chirping loudly in the magnolia trees, is not without its hazards.

As President Bush took a question Thursday in the White House Rose Garden about scandals involving his Attorney General, he remarked, "I've got confidence in Al Gonzales doin' the job."

Simultaneously, a sparrow flew overhead and left a splash on the President's sleeve, which Bush tried several times to wipe off.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Dana Perino promptly put the incident through the proper spin cycle, telling ABC News, "It was his lucky day...everyone knows that's a sign of good luck."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gratuitous almost-nudity

You've earned it.

The true cause of global warming

Supermodel Amber Valetta. I missed the point of this video as I basked in her hotness.

I'm kidding, of course.

About her causing global warming. She's still hot.

On a lighter note

Here's a good way to totally screw with your children's minds (be thankful I haven't polluted the gene pool):

The Lonely Sea Monster

Another reason to make fun of Kentucky.

The Creation Museum in Petersburg.

The enemy of my enemy...

The U.S. is on good terms with the Kurds of Iraq.

The U.S. is on good terms with Turkey, generally speaking.

The Turks and the Kurds aren't on such good terms.

The Turkish military is reasonably badass.

The Kurds in Iraq seem to do okay militarily.

So, anyway, this could get messy. I suggest the U.S. stay out of this one if it comes to blows.

I've never menstruated... I suppose I don't fully understand the apparent controversy over this menstruation-blocking drug.

Volokh Conspiracy has an interesting thread about it, and on Fox News the opponent of the drug comes across as completely batshit here:

"More babies! More babies!" Wha???

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gay flamingos????

There's just something...surreal about this:
LONDON (AFP) - A pair of gay flamingos have adopted an abandoned chick, becoming parents after being together for six years, a British conservation organisation said Monday.

Carlos and Fernando had been desperate to start a family, even chasing other flamingos from their nests to take over their eggs at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Slimbridge near Bristol.
Does this even require comment from me? Nah.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Evasive??? Bring on the impeachment, already!!!

If you will indulge me, please read the following statement from Rep. Steve Chabot during the Clinton impeachment trial:
In this instance, and in many others that have been presented to you over the last two days, the facts and the law speak plainly. The President's actions and demeanor make the case that President Clinton knowingly and willfully lied under oath in a grand jury proceeding and in a civil deposition. The compelling evidence in this case satisfies the intent element required under both sections 1621 and 1623 of the Federal Criminal Code. You will probably hear opposing counsel argue that the President did not technically commit perjury, and appeal to the case of Bronston v. United States. This is a legal smoke screen. In the Bronston case, the Supreme Court held statements that are literally truthful and non-responsive cannot by themselves form the basis for a perjury conviction. This is the cornerstone of the President's defense. However, the Court also held that the unresponsive statements must be technically true in order to prevent a perjury conviction; such statements must not be capable of being conclusively proven false. As we have seen, none of the President's perjurious statements before the grand jury, covered in the first impeachment article, are technically true. So, when the President's counsel cites the Bronston case, remember the facts. And ask yourselves, are the President's answers literally true? And, remember, to be literally true they must actually be true. It is also important to note that, consistent with the Bronston case, the response, "I don't recall," is not technically true if the President actually could recall. The factual record in the case, consisting of multiple sworn statements contradicting the President's testimony and highly specific corroborating evidence, demonstrates that the President's statements were not literally true or legally accurate. On the contrary, the record establishes that the President repeatedly lied, he repeatedly deceived, he repeatedly feigned forgetfulness. (Emphasis mine)
Now go watch this selectively-edited video.

I see only two conclusions to draw from the Gonzalez fiasco:
1. The Attorney General is lying through his teeth to Congress and the American people and should be fired or impeached; or
2. The Attorney General is too incompetent to know what his subordinates are doing, to remember important conversations, or to remeber much of anything about the duties of his job as the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the land, and should be fired or impeached.

Bush ain't gonna fire him. That leaves one option. The Dems have shown they have balls, but can they use them?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The s***storm that is our government

Enough of humor. Read this.

The telenovela that is our government

Es su deber solemne para mirar esto:

Thanks again, Babelfish!

Remember to retrieve your fluids!

I'm a reasonably law-n-order-type guy, but there is something creepily Orwellian (and Gattacan) about this, via Volokh Conspiracy:
Facts: Rape suspect walking on a street spits on the sidewalk. An investigator is following the suspect, and he collects the spit; a DNA test proves a match. Holding: No Fourth Amendment violation. Analysis:
[A]lthough the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his saliva (and other bodily fluids)...when he expectorated on to a public street and did not retrieve the fluid, he voluntarily abandoned that protection; he assumed the risk of the public witnessing his action and thereafter taking possession of his bodily fluids.
(Emphasis added)
As one commenter to the post notes:
I wonder about the scenario where the cops take a suspect down to the station, load him up with coffee and donuts, and wait for him to take a crap in the special DNA-collecting toilet.
I suppose the basic argument, once again, is that if you haven't done anything wrong and/or have nothing to hide, what is the harm in the police being able to scoop up your saliva, et al? I worry (not entirely facetiously) about the coffee and donuts scenario presented above, but also about, uh, let's call them "false positives." Yes, you may call me paranoid, but what if someone somehow gets someone else's genetic materials (and the possibilities here are endless, ranging from a good spy story to a porn movie plot, ask me about my screenplays) and plants them at the scene of a crime? Will we someday have to submit a spit/blood/mucus/urine/stool/hair follicle/s***n sample to get a driver's license or passport?

Given that we now inhabit a country where the Republican candidates for president don't quite seem to get that Jack Bauer is a fictional character, and the CSI's are all huge hits, is my scenario that far-fetched?

If it turns out that the government will require me to submit a s***n sample, may I at least make a request as to who collects it?

Perhaps there is a simpler moral here: it is rude to spit, urinate, vomit, or otherwise expel genetic material in public, and now you really don't want to do it (or at least use a trash can, you know, for plausible deniability).

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I couldn't not post this one too:

It's just like, it's just like a mini mall...

Must be seen to be believed. Crank the volume and groove to this:

Some pics for Snippy

I think I created a new Miranda Lambert fan a while back, so these are for her:

Had enough? Me neither.

Hungover on a Saturday morning

It's times like these when a list of the 101 hottest tattooed women in the world seems fascinating. Somehow, though, putting Angelina Jolie as #1 doesn't seem very creative anymore. Not that I disagree with the choice.

That did not take long

Call it the ingenuity of American capitalism fueled by the Internet.

Call it a crass, insensitive insult to the departed.

Call it karmic retribution.

Call it a kinda funny, kinda stupid t-shirt.

DICK IN A BOX (Jerry Falwell)

I'm most likely done with Falwell commentary now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Be a good neighbor

Imagine making your first visit to the house you just bought in a foreclosure sale, only to find the mummified remains of the former owner, which had been sitting on the couch for around five years...

I think the moral here is to get to know your neighbors well enough that they'll look for you at least every five years or so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell is dead. Long live Falwell.

It is tempting to give Jerry Falwell the same amount of respect in death that he gave to others--i.e., none. It is probably impossible to keep snide comments from slipping in throughout anything I say or write about him. But I say this with no particular malice or disdain, but rather as an observation I have made based on reality as I see it:

Jerry Falwell was a truly terrible, dangerous man, and the world is no better off now that he is gone.

Jerry Falwell did not create bigotry or intolerance, nor was he the first to turn Christianity from a religion of peace to one of war. He was just a spokesman, enabled by all of those who gave him a forum from which to spit venom. There is any number of similar hacks lined up to take his place, if those who would provide them that same forum will let them. If anything, Jerry Falwell was the scorpion:
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too." The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?" Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

How does it feel?

Proving once again that my city can kick your city's ass, the lineup for the Austin City Limits 2007 Festival has been announced, headlined by the coolest human being to have ever lived, Bob Dylan.

I haven't gone to the festival for the past couple of years. My experience in 2004 led me to conclude that I could have about as much fun if I spent the day inside an oven with an iPod and a large bag of cat dander (I'm allergic). Sweat and sneezing do not go well together.

However, with Bob at the helm, this year is going to kick ass. Suck on it, rest of America!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

One final thought on the HPV vaccine


First came Katrina...

Then came Rita...

Now we have Kansas...

It has been revealed what a complete joke Texas' disaster preparedness is.

The people who claim that only they can protect America from terror have co-opted the front-line defense for natural disasters.

Last November, Newt Gingrich tried to scare everyone by invoking the specter of losing an American city:
We need to get ahead of the curve rather than wait until we actually literally lose a city, which I think could literally happen in the next decade if we're unfortunate.
New Orleans, Louisiana...

Greensburg, Kansas...

That's two cities we've already lost. Is anyone paying attention?

Monday, May 7, 2007


Arianna pointed out something that had eluded me in my earlier post mocking Paris "Jailbird" Hilton--namely, that hopefully this will not be the only time that an absurdly wealthy, mind-bogglingly vapid aristocrat has finally been taken to task for repeatedly pissing on the rule of law. At least this is someone we've all seen naked. Honestly, I had merely thought of it as yet another distraction to keep us proles in line, but in a broader context, perhaps this is a harbinger of greater things to come. No, I do not mean a Condi Rice sex tape, I mean more accountability for people who think they can get all Judge Dredd or Joe Francis whenever they want. One can dream.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Good thing I didn't see this in 2004...

...or I might be a Kiwi by now:
Every week, successful Americans are making the decision to sell up, pack up and move out to a small nation in the South Pacific. Why?

Try freedom, a more relaxed pace and a new life in a land abounding with fresh and exciting opportunities and possibilities. And you’d be on the right track. Those who’ve experienced New Zealand tend to agree that it is one of the friendliest nations under the sun. It has a population of just over four million and one-third of the country is protected by national parks; but that doesn’t leave this small yet diverse nation without sophistication.
I reached this site through a banner ad.

For the dreamer in all of us

A bit more serious this time. This one is cute, touching, and a little troubling, but I liked it.

What's up with this?

As long as I'm on the topic of famous hotties, why do so many country singers seem to have problems with being cheated on?

Here's one I can't seem to embed.

Finally, this is a nice counter-argument:

What's up with all the truck vandalism, by the way?

Now for some really important news

Paris Hilton has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for, you know, pretty much giving the finger to our entire system of justice. Insert your own "Caged Heat"-style fantasy here.

This was my favorite part:
Kathy Hilton, red in the face, then walked up to one of the prosecutors and screamed, "You're pathetic." She then asked sarcastically, "Can I have your autograph?"

The prosecutor to whom Hilton had delivered her outburst completely ignored her, said Edwards.

About half a dozen sheriffs' deputies then approached Kathy Hilton, who screamed at them, "Don't you touch me, don't you touch me."

As the family was about to exit the courtroom, said Edwards, Kathy Hilton declared for all to hear, "[The judge] made up his mind before he even came in today. If it were anyone else, this would've never had happened."

She then exclaimed, "And after all the money we spent!"
In other unintentionally funny news, Jessica Biel doesn't like being called the Sexiest Woman Alive:
Biel, who was named Esquire's "Sexiest Woman Alive" in 2005, says in the June issue of Elle that the honor hurt her career.

"[One director told me,] 'I'm not looking for the sexiest woman; I'm looking for the girl next door,' " says Biel.
The funny part? The magazine where this quote appears has this cover:
Jessica Biel Says She's Considered Too Sexy for Roles| Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson
Far be it for me to discourage Ms. Biel from such displays--after all, I only watched Stealth because of this:
Otherwise, the movie was pond scum.

Here's some gratuitous Biel (NSFW):
From The Rules of Attraction:
I have no idea why this one is in German:
Okay, last one, I promise:

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Please take my blog reader survey!

I signed up for some blog reader survey, just for the heck of it. Show me some love by taking a few minutes to check it out.

What America needs

If you need a reason to support Dennis Kucinich for president, look no further than hot redhead Brit Elizabeth Kucinich as future First Lady.

Am I being any shallower than the rest of the political discourse these days? Seriously, she could really smooth things over with that accent.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Pardon me while I mock someone's grammar

I'm not sure if this is a grammatical problem or a semantic one, but who really cares anyway? A post from yesterday about the President's totally unsurprising veto had this passage:
Today's Washington Post contains the headline, "April Toll is Highest of '07 for U.S. Troops". More than 100 Americans have been killed in the past month. This brings the death toll, the ultimate cost for this "War of Failed Leadership" closer to the 3500 mark then ever before.
Now here's the question: the death toll is closer to the 3500 mark "than ever before" (I'll skip over the spelling error and go for the jugular)--how could we have been closer to 3500 at some point before now? How does a death toll go back down after it goes up? I've studied quite a bit of history and followed the news most of my life, and I am quite confident that death tolls only go in one direction. I guess you could question the methodology by which the death toll is calculated (i.e. initial estimates overshot the mark), but I don't think that's it. Most likely, it was a poorly chosen cliche in a hastily written post, but it still messed with my head when I read it.

Also, how sad is it that I am turning to semantic (or grammatical) mockery to avoid thinking abouit what a complete clusterfuck this whole thing is?