Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yet Another Frickin' Banditos Theorem Proof

Read this, then tell me who's dumber: Michelle "EVERYBODY PANIC" Malkin, or the Dunkin' Donuts people who actually took her foam-mouthed ravings seriously?

A Couple of Random Thoughts

- Scott McClellan, the former Bush press secretary, turns on the war in Iraq. Apparently Bush wanted to go to war and launched an aggressive campaign to "sell" it to the public using somewhat dubious means. Who'da thunk it?

I guess I'm not sure what the importance of this book is. We all know, pretty much, that Bush wasn't entirely truthful when he led us to war, regardless of whether you think the war was justified or not. What this doesn't change? The fact that someone has to clean up this mess.

- I'm really not sure what to say about this. Bombs are supposed to kill people and destroy shit, right? So why were the toxic gases that they released a concern? Because that's the true tragedy when a bomb goes off - not that people get killed but that toxic gases might harm the environment.

- Speaking of people with farked-up priorities, someone apparently torched the home next to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's summer home in Michigan because the city killed a cougar that was wandering the streets in April. Never mind that cougars can kill people and that even animal-rights organizations were cool with the city's response.

Scariest line of the article, though? This (emphasis mine):
In California, where human contacts with cougars are more frequent, the public has mixed feelings about how to respond. In 1994, a cougar was slain after it killed a woman jogging in the Sierra Nevada. The cougar's cub was later found and brought to a zoo. For a while, donations for the cub's upkeep significantly outpaced contributions to a fund for the woman's two children.
Really? You would rather feed some furball than two motherless children? Who are you people?

- On a slightly happier note, the coveted award of which state's residents put away the most beer per capita goes to... North Dakota? I guess you'd have to be drunk to live there. Rounding out the top ten are New Hampshire, Nevada, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, South Carolina, and Delaware. Surprisingly, the craft-brew hubs of Oregon (22nd), California (a shockingly awful 45th), and Colorado (20th) ranked nowhere near the top.

It should come as no surprise to anyone with a pulse that Utah is 51st (the list includes D.C.). But the next-lowest three? Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, in that order. I guess they don't drink beer in New York City...

North Carolina is 34th. Andy, we have some serious drinking to do.

- Update: Next time anyone tries to feed you the B.S. (not Ben Stark) line that the ACLU is a bunch of Godless commies trying to steal your religion and force you to worship Charles Darwin, show them this story. Then tell them to shut the hell up.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crossing the Barr

Congratulations to former Cobb County, GA congressman Bob Barr, who just won the Libertarian nomination for President. It's kind of bizarre that the LP would nominate a Christian-rightist who voted for the Patriot Act, but whatever. He's at least a somewhat well-known name.

Now it's up to the Green Party to ensure that both the national small-party nominations go to wackjob former Georgia congresspeople.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Digital Disaster

As many of you know, all television must, by law, be broadcast in digital by 2009. I think this is a dumb law - why outlaw analog TV? - but I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Was it a giveaway to cable companies and DTV manufacturers? Is there a scientific/economic reason for the ban? What's going on? I throw the question to you, dear readers - any ideas on why this is happening?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This Amuses Me For Some Reason

Apparently Molson Coors is a sponsor of the Democratic Convention in Denver and will provide their ethanol (in more ways than one). If my memory serves me right, though, Pete Coors ran for Senate in 2004 as a Republican, losing to Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar.


And was New Belgium not available? How many of those convention delegates would choose Coors Light over Fat Tire?

A Thought on Cultural Pandering

You know what makes me sick? When candidates try to do crap that they wouldn't normally do in a misguided attempt to "impress" a certain category of voters. What bugs me is that it seems de rigeur for candidates who currently live a middle- or upper-class urban/suburban lifestyle to pretend like they're good-ole-boys (or girls) from the country. I don't remember Bill Clinton (who actually was a good-ole-boy) eating sushi and shopping at Whole Foods in an effort to impress me. Where's my cultural pandering, dammit?

When candidates try to impress "soccer moms," they don't show up at a campaign rally in a minivan with their kids in the back seat. When candidates try to impress urban professionals, they don't hold the rally at a coffeeshop with a cappuccino in hand. I don't know that I've ever seen a candidate for national office show up at a black barber shop for a haircut, and I personally really don't care whether a candidate knows a latke from a matzah. So why do candidates feel the need to shoot whiskey and sing the praises of car racing and bowling to the Appalachian and Southern white rural working class? And why does the media feel the need to rip them for "not connecting with voters" if they don't? Do we really think the white working class is that stupid?

I really can't wait for the candidate who quits with the cultural pandering and stands up there and says, "You know what? I like sushi. I eat arugula in my salads. I drink lattes. Birkenstocks are damn comfortable. I'm bored off my ass by NASCAR, I think Jack Daniels tastes like shit, and I drive a fuel-efficient Toyota. But you know what? My ideas are far better than what this other schmuck has come up with. I'm supporting policies that will make your lives better, whatever floats your cultural boat. Yeah, if you want a President that acts like you, better vote for someone else. But if you want a President who will work to make this country better, I'm your candidate."

Update via Jacob: At least McCain is pandering to the coffeeshop crowd. Or maybe he just likes espresso. Sad that in our current political climate we can't really tell.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Welcome to Missouri: No Meanies Allowed

Ever been insulted by someone? Especially by someone older? Well, it's time to move to Missouri, because there your tormentor is now a criminal! And if the person insulting you is over 21 and you're under 18, your tormentor is a felon! How cool is that! I think every teenage nerd in the country just started trying to convince their parents to move to St. Louis.

All kidding aside, the legislation is the predictably over-the-top and stupid reaction to the Megan Meier tragedy, where the mother of young Ms. Meier's enemy "drove" her to commit suicide. What the mother did was despicable, but illegal? Come on. Suicide may be triggered by emotional distress, but 99.999999999% of the time it's the result of latent mental illness. You want to fix the problem of kids killing themselves and others (see Columbine, etc.) because they've been picked on? Remove our society's stupid-ass stigma against seeking mental health assistance. Criminalizing meanies isn't the answer, and I'm pretty sure it's unconstitutional anyway.

(Also, isn't "emotional distress" already an oft-abused tort?)

Monday, May 19, 2008

When News Personalities Attack

Howard Kurtz tells the hilarious story of the feud between Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann, and how it snowballed until, before long, Olbermann was sniping at Fox News boss Roger Ailes, O'Reilly was attacking General Electric (which owns NBC, which owns Olbermann's MSNBC), and the executives of each network were demanding that the other exercise a little prior restraint on their rock star commentator. It's like Hearst and Pulitzer all over again - complete with third-grade-style namecalling! Journalists - they're almost just like people!

With Teeth

I'm not going to ruin anything about the movie Teeth's premise on this blog - click on the link and read it for yourself (of course, spoiler alert). It is, however, undoubtedly the most amazingly awesome horror movie idea ever.

I'm not sure how they managed to pull this off with only an "R" rating, but still awesome.

(H/T: The Agitator)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Whose Memorial Is It Anyway?

So let me get this straight - the long-awaited D.C. memorial to a man who led the struggle for civil rights by engaging in nonviolent confrontation is being held up because some suit somewhere thinks the statue for the memorial is too confrontational? Dude, Dr. King was confrontational. That's what made him great - the courage to confront without being violent. If he's confrontational and not holding a knife, I think that's just about the best statue of Dr. King you could come up with.

What do you want to memorialize, some sanitized version of Dr. King that makes him look like all he did was hold hands and sing Kumbaya and segregation ended? Or should we memorialize the man who stood up to the evils of segregation, looked the Southern white establishment in the eye, and refused to blink? Sheesh...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ron Paul, Pinko

As if to prove that if you go far enough right you end up on the left, Ron Paul supporters are now proposing a commune based on libertarian ideals. Libertarian communists? How does that work?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

They Grow Up So Fast...

Selah voted for Hillary Clinton today. It was a difficult decision, and she said that both she and Obama would make a good president. However, she asked herself which candidate would be less likely to expand the power of the presidency, and realized that Obama, for all his virtues, would still lead people to put far more faith in the presidency than the office deserves. Clinton would be more likely to be a competent placeholder rather than a transformative force, she said, and after eight years of a presidency-expanding transformative force she thought the last thing we need is more of that.

She's very mature for a two-month-old...

(UPDATE: Selah's mom would like to clarify that we don't know who Selah voted for. It's a secret ballot, and she can't technically talk. She can gurgle and make random cute noises though.)

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Quick Link to Cinco de Mayo's History

Here's an informative little blurb on what Cinco de Mayo actually is: a regional holiday commemorating a temporary defeat of the French (insert cheese-eating surrender monkey joke here) that somehow caught on in the U.S., and is now celebrated more by the Mexican diaspora (and those non-Mexicans who like Coronas and margaritas) than it is by actual Mexicans in Mexico outside of the state of Puebla. I find this hilarious.

Can anyone think of another case where a minor or regional holiday became a symbol of pride among a diaspora? Off the top of my head, there's Hanukkah for the American Jew... any others?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

OK, This Is Scary

From a municipality near my hometown of Herndon, VA comes the following story: Arlington County CPS apparently took a child away from her parents because... wait for it... she lost 10 ounces after birth.

Now, as anyone who has had a child knows, babies are supposed to lose 10% of their birth weight in the first two weeks. As such, our 9lb 10oz baby lost - you guessed it - 10 ounces before she started gaining weight again. You can expect Cesarean babies (like ours, and the one in the story) to lose a little bit more. We were hardly starving our baby - she's been in the 95th percentile for weight all her life, and she's 13 pounds now - and I doubt this couple was either. There are all kinds of reasons why a child would be losing too much weight - sickness, severe reflux, allergies, etc.

Obviously I don't know all the facts here, so there may have been real reasons why the parents were judged to be unfit. But on the basis of a 10 oz. weight loss? Hell, by that standard they could have taken our baby away. That's what's scary.

H/T: The Agitator