Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Death by a thousand cuts

I wasn't planning on saying much about the Josef Fritzl matter just yet, but my blood's up and I only have a few thoughts to share about this diaper stain.
Prosecutors have said Mr Fritzl faces up to 15 years in prison if he is eventually convicted on charges of raping and beating his daughter, and sequestration.
Fifteen years. That's nine fewer than his daughter spent in that subterranean prison. There could be a certain poetic justice to tossing him down there alone and cementing the door. A coworker today was discussing the special place in hell being arranged for him.

My only hope for the man is that, after seeing the treatment he's likely (hopefully) to get in prison, he will be begging to be trapped in that little cellar.

I'm sure I'll backpedal on the vehemence of my bloodlust in a day or two, but for now, he has confessed to locking up his daughter for twnety-four years in a cellar and fathering multiple children with her, three of whom were also locked up (and one incinerated). Fuck him.

Tom Tancredo messes with Texas

Colorado Republican Congressman Tom "I See Brown People" Tancredo got booed at a hearing in Brownsville when he suggested that the proposed border fence go to the north of Brownsville (I wish I were making this up) (h/t Crooks and Liars, who has the video):
Boos and hisses emanated from the audience for a congressional field hearing when Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado dismissed residents' concerns that the effort to build 670 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border by year's end would damage the environment and destroy a centuries-old bond between residents on both sides of the Rio Grande.

Late in the five-hour hearing, Tancredo returned to a comment made earlier by panelist Betty Perez, a rancher and local activist. Perez said, ``It really isn't a border to most of us who live down here.''

Tancredo dismissed Perez's remarks as a ``multiculturalist attitude toward borders.''

As jeers rose, Tancredo added, ``I suggest that you build this fence around the northern part of your city.''

Brownsville sits at the southernmost tip of Texas, where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico. The border fence as planned would cut through the campus of the University of Texas at Brownsville and Southmost Texas College, leaving its golf course on the Mexican side.
Gosh, so many possible remarks...I'll start off with "multiculturalist attitude toward borders" being a sufficient reason to dismiss an enture argument--that makes absolutely no fricking sense...unless you are aware of some overriding "American" culture that is threatened by our proximity to a country like Mexico...so full of...Mexicans...it must have been horrible for Tom. Actually, it just lends some credence to my hypothesis that he is an insufferable fuckwad.

Another point--Congressman Tancredo is from Colorado. That cuts both ways, actually. On the one hand, he has very little to worry about: Colorado is about 800 miles north and 5,000 to 10,000 feet above Mexico. To get there, Mexicans not only have to trek across a big-ass desert, but then they have to climb. I know they're up to it, but Colorado is a less likely place when California and Texas are sitting right there. On the other hand, the state is called Colorado...could this be a form of linguistic invasion? As a proud American and Texan (and therefore the inheritor of two helpings of whoop-ass served to Mexico), I suggest, nay, demand that "Colorado" be given its proper English name, the State of Red-Colored. Say it a few times--it gets easier. The first option is quite a bit more plausible, don't you think?

At this point, my apologies to Mexico. My taunts were purely illustrative as part of my Tancredo-as-fuckwad exegesis. As a lifelong Texan and Salma Hayek fan, I assure you I meant no offense.

As a quick aside to those who are not too familiar with Texas, Brownsville is the southernmost city in the state, and possibly the southernmost city in the continental U.S. except for the Florida Keys (which technically aren't on the continent anyway). It's not a very good place to try to stir up Mexicophobia or to use the term "multicultural" in a pejorative sense. It is, however, a good place to crash if all the hotels at South Padre are booked up. Also, Kris Kristofferson was born there.

To sum up: Congressman Tom Tancredo has a serious problem with non-Americans, and very poor argumentative skills. He's also a U.S. fucking Congressman, which makes his inability to form a coherent thought all the more good cause for sleep deprivation. Hopefully he will continue to publicly embarrass himself like he did in Brownsville, and his ideas will fade into obscurity along with his career.

In closing, then, two thoughts: 1. Piss off, Congressman. 2. ¡Viva México!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Arlington Cemetery will keep funerals private, even when the family doesn't want them to

Think of it as the Iraq ostrich syndrome (h/t HuffPo): out of sight, out of mind:
Lt. Col. Billy Hall, one of the most senior officers to be killed in the Iraq war, was laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. It's hard to escape the conclusion that the Pentagon doesn't want you to know that.

The family of 38-year-old Hall, who leaves behind two young daughters and two stepsons, gave their permission for the media to cover his Arlington burial -- a decision many grieving families make so that the nation will learn about their loved ones' sacrifice. But the military had other ideas, and they arranged the Marine's burial yesterday so that no sound, and few images, would make it into the public domain.

That's a shame, because Hall's story is a moving reminder that the war in Iraq, forgotten by much of the nation, remains real and present for some. Among those unlikely to forget the war: 6-year-old Gladys and 3-year-old Tatianna. The rest of the nation, if it remembers Hall at all, will remember him as the 4,011th American service member to die in Iraq, give or take, and the 419th to be buried at Arlington. Gladys and Tatianna will remember him as Dad.

The two girls were there in Section 60 yesterday beside grave 8,672 -- or at least it appeared that they were from a distance. Journalists were held 50 yards from the service, separated from the mourning party by six or seven rows of graves, and staring into the sun and penned in by a yellow rope. Photographers and reporters pleaded with Arlington officials.

"There will be a yellow rope in the face of the next of kin," protested one photographer with a large telephoto lens.

"This is the best shot you're going to get," a man from the cemetery replied.

"We're not going to be able to hear a thing," a reporter argued.

"Mm-hmm," an Arlington official answered.

The distance made it impossible to hear the words of Chaplain Ron Nordan, who, an official news release said, was leading the service. Even a reporter who stood surreptitiously just behind the mourners could make out only the familiar strains of the Lord's Prayer. Whatever Chaplain Nordan had to say about Hall's valor and sacrifice were lost to the drone of airplanes leaving National Airport.
This makes me mad.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Great Porn Dragon - UPDATED!!!

It's just fun to say, isn't it? (h/t Atrios)

Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon
Great Porn Dragon

I wonder if it's like the Great Pumpkin?

UPDATE (04/28/2008): PMI has a nice graphic addition to the mockery pile-on:

Pick your favorite tattooed she-devil

A poll at the Huffington Post asks you to choose who is hotter: Megan Fox or Carly Smithson. I had no idea who Carly Smithson was until about 5 minutes ago (my TiVo has been broken for months, and I really don't miss it, even though I'm still paying for it and for cable. I wouldn't watch American Idol anyway.) Since I have previously opined on the hotness of Megan Fox, it seemed appropriate to pass this information on to my reader(s).

Of course, there is still much more important stuff going on in the world, but I'd rather be watching this:

I'd also rather have a car that actively helps me pick up chicks (as opposed to passively doing so.) Can't have everything, I guess.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Non-sequitur Hottie of the Day, 4/23/2008

H/t to litbrit for reminding us that Danica Patrick exists.

She's not a redhead, but she drives really fast. Works for me.

Life imitates art: The Onion scoops the AP, sort of

New in world news: Al Qaeda has criticized Iran for spreading various 9/11 conspiracy theories involving Israel (h/t VC):
Osama bin Laden's chief deputy in an audiotape Tuesday accused Shiite Iran of trying to discredit the Sunni al-Qaida terror network by spreading the conspiracy theory that Israel was behind the Sept. 11 attacks.
In this instance, the al Qaeda guy is at least partly right--as anyone with half a brain knows, 9/11 was an inside job; however, to paraphrase Gary Larson, people with whole brains tend to disagree, and are generally more articulate in expressing their views.

An astute commenter to the Volokh post that set me off on this little tirade made the all-important connection: that it was in fact "America's Finest News Source" that first broke this story:

9/11 Conspiracy Theories 'Ridiculous,' Al Qaeda Says

To be fair, al Qaeda worked really hard to come up with something that diabolically horrendous. They even managed to outdo Hollywood in most ways; to my knowledge, only Stephen King ever came up with a scheme similar to 9/11 (cf The Running Man, spoiler alert!) and that didn't even make it into the movie. Let's not take this away from them, really. Besides, there's still whoop-ass to dish out to them.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Creepy, creepy robots

Another questionable contribution to the world's technology from Japan:

I'm taking one of those fellas with me if I ever go clubbing again.

This one seems cool...

...but it sort of begs the question of why the bicycle is even necessary. How about a robot on wheels? And what will this do to the bicycle courier business?

The pièce de creepy-ass résistance, though, definitely goes to Actroid:

So many wrongs here, it almost makes a right.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wrong, but ever so right somehow...

Something about this seems insidiously taboo...

I do so appreciate the judicious use of subtlety now and then.

The truly important news

It's good to know that someone out there is connecting the dots:

By the way, if you so much as snicker when Tucker Carlson says "Hardball" at the end of this clip, somewhere in the world, a kitten will die.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Acting shout-out: Todd Anderson in "North Country"

I watched the movie North Country this morning (h/t Netflix), a 2005 Oscar-baiting Charlize Theron film, and I have several salutes I have to make here.

First off, and obviously most importantly, it really is a pretty good film about the issue of sexual harassment, as well as how crappy it must be to work in an iron mine.

On a less-socially-conscious note, the film proves Carlize Theron is beautiful even with ridiculously-authentic '80s hair, and it offers a glimpse of hometown hottie Amber Heard in the undoubtedly-daunting role of a young (teenaged) Charlize Theron.

Really though, the point of this post is this: I must tip my hat generally to the grotesque depiction the film offers of the types of harassment the women had to endure, and specifically to Todd Anderson, who portrays a mine worker whose preferred method of harassment is to ejaculate into Michelle Monaghan's locker. I single out Mr. Anderson for his courage and fortitude, based on the fact that he may forever be known, thanks to the film's credits, as "Semen Man."

That has got to be hell on a resume.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Currency exchanges for the computer generation (and for foes of Ganon)

Maxim has finally provided me a means to understand the dire state of the American dollar: by comparing it to video game currencies (h/t CFLF)!!!!!

For example, $3 will get you one Hyrulian rupee, while $37,000 will get you a single coin from Super Marios Brothers. Check out the site for the methodology. It's amusing enough that you don't realize for a minute or two how depressing it is.

Early morning, April 4

By way of tribute:

See also RFK's speech the night of April 4, 1968.

Salvation in a mug!

The BBC reports that daily intake of caffeine can help protect the brain (h/t Volokh):
Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.


"Caffeine appears to block several of the disruptive effects of cholesterol that make the blood-brain barrier leaky," said Dr Jonathan Geiger, who led the study.

"High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood brain barrier.

"Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders."

A spokesman for the Alzheimer's Disease Society said that the study shed "important light" on why previous research had showed benefits for drinking coffee.

"This is the best evidence yet that caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee a day can help protect the brain against cholesterol.

"In addition to its effect on the vascular system, elevated cholesterol levels also cause problems with the blood brain barrier.

"This barrier, which protects the brain from toxins and infections, is less efficient prior to brain damage caused by Alzheimer's disease or strokes."
Now, this has me pretty excited, because two of my most favoritest substances in the world are caffeine and cholesterol, and it's nice to know that they might be fighting to the death, Kumite-style, inside me right now. Keep in mind, though, that this entire experiment was done on rabbits, and a comparable effect hasn't actually been shown in humans yet.