Friday, June 29, 2007

Forecast: blogging light

First of all, I'm heading off on vacation tomorrow, so I'm otherwise occupied today.

Second of all, I'm sick as of yesterday evening with a head cold, so I don't feel so much like writing anything anyways.

So blogging will be light over the weekend. Should be back to normal next week. In the meantime, here's some classic Dollop you may have missed:

Al Gore blames Republicans for Politicizing Climate Change
Nude Protest Turns Violent
New Corporate Benefit
How to Read a Movie Review

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Expedition: Bigfoot

So I read from the AP that Matthew Moneymaker and his group, Bigfoot Field Research Organizers, are on their 31st expedition to find traces of the elusive Gigantopithecus (according to a quoted cryptozoologist, a job which I aspire to have someday), also known as Bigfoot.

I'm going to assume that this isn't some excuse to convince their college-age graduate assistants to go skinny dipping in the woods. Moneymaker says that they're hoping to "meet local people who might have seen Sasquatch" and will be seeking evidence.

Well, it just so happens that last week, while on vacation in the UP of Michigan where they'll be hunting, I picked up several authentic items of Bigfoot's presence, which in the spirit of Moneymaker's fortuitous name I am willing to sell:

  • Actual bigfoot doodie; this can be supplied in as large a quantity as desired but requires 24 hours "preparation time" ($25 /half-pound)

  • Bigfoot hair, either brown (18") or black (1.5 inch) with some graying ($5 /bag)

  • A "John Edwards 2008" campaign button (free; even the Bigfoot didn't want this)

  • Plaster cast of a bigfoot foot print, with a jar of authentic Michigan soil as proof of authenticity ($250, because plaster is expensive)

  • Actual photo of a tree with a Sasquatch hiding behind it (Bigfoot not visible) ($30)

  • Eyewitness testimony from a woman about her affair with her beloved 'Brilliant Beast'($100; sample here)

  • A 'Bigfeet do it bigger' bumper sticker ($50)

  • Bone gnawed on by a Bigfoot (chicken; free with purchase of other item)

  • Sasquatch to Esperanto dictionary, with rare William Shatner spoken word album in Sasquatch ($2500)

  • Proposal by the Third International Sasquatch Congress to lead a carbon-neutral lifestyle by purchasing offsets from the Loch Ness Environmental Recovery Foundation ($2, as valuable as what Al Gore is peddling)

Order now, because supplies are limited! Well, except the Bigfoot doodie; the bumper sticker is pretty accurate in that respect.

With blog competition like this…

It’s no wonder I can’t break 10 hits a day. On the blog for LiveScience, you can read a blog by Robert Roy Britt, identified as Managing Editor for LiveScience and a senior editor for

Apparently the standards for these organizations are really low. I mean extremely low, like “must write better than a drunken hobo” low. How else could one explain “Americans as Altruistic as Chimpanzees” blog entry that Mr. Britt foisted upon the world yesterday?

Britt gives us the Webster’s definition of altruism as unselfish concern for the welfare of others. From this, he derives that anything short of laying down your life for a stranger must be selfishly motivated:

“[individuals of under $100,000 annual income giving $100] derive emotional benefit simply because the act makes them feel good…so by definition most charitable giving is not altruistic.”
He’s assuming that the psychological feeling is the motivation for the giving. But isn’t it just as likely that you give because you’re altruistic, then you derive a feeling of satisfaction because you’re altruistic and that means that you’re better than, say, a chimpanzee?

Not for Britt: he launches into a paean to chimpanzee altruism, which has been noted in laboratory environments but only rarely in the wild, and only when the chimp is not hungry. If the chimp is hungry, it basically says “screw off” and feeds itself and ignores helping others.

So to recap: chimps in the lab, if well-fed, sometimes help others. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy to your hairy brethren? It doesn’t? Well, surely Britt’s faulty logic will convince you:

“for humans, as with chimps, altruism is based on whether their own needs are first met, which is anything but unselfish.”
Welcome to the crazy world of Robert "Kiss My" Britt, where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The only truly altruistic person, he therefore implies, would be the poor person that lays down his life for a stranger (perhaps a rich chimpanzee) and is unhappy to do so.

Otherwise, all your charitable giving pretty much amounts to stealing. So bah humbug, you selfish bastards.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vote Yes on 24!

I want to add my outrage at the recent shamnesty bill working its way through congress. How dare these so-called “servants of the people” push this piece of garbage legislation through, all in the name of shameless vote-grubbing?

That’s why I’m urging everyone to forward this post to their congressman or senator. Just as Willie Horton’s menacing visage paralyzed Michael Dukakis in the 1988 elections, so too will these images of “peace-loving aliens” destroy what few scraps of credibility President Shrubbery and his minions hold.
He lived in the US for years and never paid a dime in taxes, despite the fact that he made millions as a celebrity pitchman and sometime actor. And in the 80’s he took valuable jobs from American actors, robbing The Facts of Life girls of work just when they needed it most. Oh, sure, Tootie went on to Living Single and Jo has her sweet gig on Lifetime, but what about Natalie and Blair? Whatever happened to them?
You think violent immigrant gangs are bad now? This guy single-handedly pioneered a new generation of drug-fueled excess in Hollywood. Plus, he’s partially responsible for Whoopi Goldberg’s popularity via his collaboration in Comic Relief.
Kang and Kodos
How long will these two sit in cold storage in Roswell after they’re legal citizens of the US? Just like the terrorists pouring out of Gitmo thanks to the so-called “Supreme Court,” these two will sue for release and the right to begin their vicious conquest of all we hold dear.

You could argue that existing firearms laws should protect us from illegal aliens getting weapons and killing us, but this guy can kill you WITH HIS BARE HANDS! And I don’t even want to talk about his lax stance on child-rearing that has led to a generation of spoiled, self-indulgent wimps.

You want to talk about a gang of people that refuses to speak English that is corrupting our youth? The discussion begins with these ne’er do wells.
What guy hasn’t lost a girl to the exotic foreign exchange student, who used his thick accent and oily chest hair to cover up the fact that he’s a raving asshole? Worse is that he continued to prop up the myth that Karen Allen is a leading lady, despite the fact that she's extremely annoying.

I blame him for setting this whole amnesty thing in the first place. He gets away with mocking religion, subverting the second amendment, and selling crack to Drew Barrymore just because he’s cute. Long-necked little bastard.
Yes, I know she was a hot naked chick. She also ripped men’s heads off and ate them. Kind of like a naked version of NOW.
You know, the life cycle of Alien is a good metaphor for this whole argument: first they’re little eggs, then they gestate inside the country for a while, then they explode out and spew guts everywhere. You know what I’m saying.

I wonder if Andre Waters would have laughed?

This is in very poor taste (from ESPN yesterday):

Head trauma is not all that funny, and the NFL and NFLPA's complicity in this is shameful. Were we discussing any other big business, this would be major news and cause a huge public outcry. But because it's sports, we keep lining our children up for head trauma and pretending that the depression, suicide, and loss of faculty that afflicts football players is okay.

But so long as the bread and circuses flow, I guess ESPN is happy.

Why don’t you check on the baby?

I get a lot of spam now that I have a blog. Sometimes I can even squeeze a post or two out of it. But this spam I got today was different. Apparently there’s a new font in use, Crazed Lunatic, and with it you get spam that looks like this:

Honestly, even if I were inclined to invest on penny stocks via unsolicited e-mail (I’m not), the insane appearance of this e-mail makes me fear for my life, not reach for my wallet.

And before you ask, no, I don’t believe there’s a lottery in Zaire that randomly selects your ZIP code to pay you 750,000 dollars, nor do I believe my e-mail has won the Irish lottery, nor do I need any penis drugs or discount weight-loss prescriptions, thank you very much.

Okay, maybe the penis drugs, but the rest of that stuff absolutely out of the question!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tips to a Great Interview

I see that Yahoo has decided to offer some hints and tips to getting a new job, inspired by the fate of their latest CEO getting canned for incompetence. As someone who has been hired and fired from lots and lots of jobs, I thought that maybe I’d add in my two cents to help you, the prospective job seeker, work your way through the interview process.

Picture the Recruiter in her underwear
Let’s be honest: the primary function of the Recruitment person is to be good-looking. That’s why they’re all soulless emotional vampires: they made a deal with the devil to be hot and they have to suck the life force from others for their dark master or become withered, toothless crones who end up working in Benefits, where they torture those who already work for the company. Since the Recruiter plays absolutely no other role in the hiring process than to shuttle you from one office to another, you may as well indulge in some fantasizing about her.

Do not, under any circumstances, picture anybody else in their underwear
This can be hazardous to your health. It’s likely that, as a group, corporate employees will be “Average” in their attractiveness. So if you take the perky-breasted Recruiter and the 20-year-old part-time stripper working as “Reception” out of the equation, the rest of them are significantly below-average.

Never threaten a lawsuit in an interview
Nothing turns an employer off more than if you threaten to sue during the interview. You should only threaten to sue during salary negotiations. If the employer has said something terribly out-of-bounds, like “we don’t hire queers here, sissy-boy,” then instead of threatening legal action try to throw them off-guard with the response “But I was so hoping you and I could get some hard work done on those long, cold nights.” Maybe he’ll hire you out of curiosity. Please note that this approach can backfire when you find yourself alone with your boss at 7 PM and he drops his pants.

Innocent flashing = Good, Brazen harlot = Bad
This simple equation is to help you women out there dress. Listen, you’re not Sharon Stone showing off the golden arches in “Basic Instinct.” If you were, you’d not be looking for a crummy job here. Once you’ve gotten past the incomprehensibly hostile Recruiter, you don’t need to go pole-dancing with the guys who do the actual hiring. Just wear a regular blouse and a normal skirt (ass cheeks are for toilets, not for interviews), then innocently show your goodies at every opportunity: leaning over the desk to point out something on your resume, bending over to retrieve a fallen object, etcetera. These guys spend all day working with ugly men in an office environment; let them fantasize that you’re the breath of fresh air that will lift them from their daily hell. You can always dress like a nun or a whore (as your preference indicates) after you get the job.

Don’t eat or drink anything from the interviewer’s desk
I had this friend once who knew this guy who accepted a toffee from the interviewer’s desk, then woke up in a bathtub full of ice without a kidney.

Answer the obvious questions with the obvious answers
If the interviewer asks “do you like to steal?” the correct answer is “No.” Not “define stealing” or “only if it’s something to help the company.” Unless you’re interviewing for a job in upper management, you’re against stealing. Another common obvious question is “Do you do drugs?” The correct answer is not “Doesn’t everybody?” or “Are you offering?” The correct answer is “I do not do drugs, and I never have.” It doesn’t matter if you just smoked a crack rock in the bathroom to get ready; during the interview, you’re Nancy Reagan’s poster child.

Assume the interviewer is an unenlightened moron
I’m sure that your views on politics, religion, and society are consistent, literate, and well-thought-out. No enlightened, intelligent person would disagree with you. Unfortunately, your interviewer may be a knuckle-dragging troll. So leave out such statements as “murderous abortionist Democrats” or “jackbooted Republican thugs” unless you’re interviewing for a job with the other party.

Blame your lunch request on hypoglycemia
It’s a fact: nobody, including most doctors, knows what the hell hypoglycemia is. So when you go first and order a blood-red steak, followed by everybody else getting the garden salad, just shrug and say “My doctor says to eat a lot of red meat because of my family history of hypoglycemia.” You ordered a salad when everybody else got the T-bone? “My doctor says to watch out for red meat because I’m predisposed to hypoglycemia.” Vomited on the table after the oysters? “I forgot that shellfish can set off my hypoglycemia.” See how great that works?

Send in a Trojan Horse
Get a friend to interview before you and do everything wrong. He can go staggering in wearing his Che Guevara T-shirt with a needle hanging out of his arm, hit on the Recruiter, vomit in the waiting area, and hurl racist slurs at everybody. Then, when you come in, you’re the ideal candidate no matter how unqualified or moronic you may be in real life. Sounds hard? All you need is a friend who is also looking for a job and is foolish enough to be the Trojan Horse first. After that it’s all downhill from there!

Happy job hunting!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Plebian's Law

Plebian’s Law:
Somewhere on the Internet, somebody hates you.

Corollary to Plebian’s Law:
No matter how execrable you are, somebody on the Internet loves you.

Don’t believe the Law? Check this out:

Willy Wonka:slave master or Satan?.
Big Bird? Hated, with an extra bonus insult to the children who sing backup for him. Sweet.
Hello Kitty? Hell's Taskmaster.

Here is some supporting proof for the corollary:
Ron Paul will save the Republican Party, even with his spamming problem.
Hugo Chavez is awesome!
Gray Davis, failed governor? Not to these guys!

Friday, June 22, 2007

SCR Increase Baffles Scientists

In a discovery eerily similar to a recent AIDS study, researchers today announced that incidents of Spontaneous Crotch Rot, or SCR, may be linked to the concentration of diseased prostitutes in a given region. The reason for this is not immediately clear, however, because in every case the victim of SCR denied contact with hookers.

“It’s baffling,” said one researcher. “When we sat down with these guys and their wives, we asked ‘Did you go engage in intercourse with hookers who had pus discharging from their nether regions?’ and they all said no. So we don’t really know why SCR has spread so rapidly in some places, while in others, like Amish country, it’s virtually unknown.”

In men, SCR is characterized by weeping sores and blisters on the penis, a burning sensation during urination like a thousand flaming knives stabbing you in the frenum, and a loss of singing voice. Left untreated it can lead to Spontaneous Bobbination, where the penis comes off “in the hand” during normal use. There is no cure, although with medication symptoms can be ameliorated enough to get a blow job from a nearsighted crack whore. The infection can also lead to divorce.

In women, SCR is way too nasty to describe in a family publication, but suffice it to say that if she has it, she knows it, and anybody within 10 feet of her knows it too.

“I blame global warming,” said Hans Unger, Head of the Painful Pee Research Institute. “It’s clear that with the hotter air temperature the disease is able to migrate through the air and affect these otherwise randomly-sampled men who happen to live nearby whores and frequent the waterfront and warehouse districts for no apparent reason.”

Stupid Guy Says Stupid Stuff

In life, when we choose to take advice from people, we need to be sure that we can have confidence that they know what they’re talking about and that we can trust their judgment.

In that vein, I ask you the following question: can you trust the opinions of Tom Cruise and John Travolta?

Well, Tom Cruise decided to go Nicole "I'm still smoking hot at 40" Kidman:
To Penelope "I look like a boy until my hair grows out" Cruz:
To Katie "Professional Beard" Holmes:

While moving from Cruz to Holmes is a step up, they’re both a big step down from Nicole Kidman.

On the other side, John Travolta claims he’s an actor. Once upon a time, he was a mega-star in this:

Then he decided to star in this piece of garbage:
And in this utterly unnecessary and ill-advised sequel:

Travolta says that “because you are famous doesn’t mean you have less of a right.” I think he can rest assured that, if he continues to use his keen script judgment, he won’t have to worry about being famous any more.

So with that in mind, I think we can safely tell them to go to hell over their opinions on school shooting, psychiatry, and Anna Nicole Smith.

And while I’m at it, can someone tell me why the news outlets continue to put these moronic scientologists front-and-center and treat their cultish mewlings as some sort of valid opinion?

They’re idiots, okay? You don’t go dig up Flat-Earthers when you’re looking for a story on sea travel, do you?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Knowing is half the battle

I see that Patrick Hruby is spouting some typical liberal claptrap today, writing:
long after the War on Terror is as relevant as the war on Cobra Command

How can he dare to say such a thing? The war on Cobra Command was a battle for the hearts and minds of a generation, whose impact will be felt and studied for years. Only the lowest of left-wing sock puppets would dare to diminish this historic struggle.

For those of you who spent the 80’s hiding in a cave, the war on Cobra Command was led by a brave man named General Clayton M. Abernathy, better known as Hawk, who served as the commander of the elite US fighting force GI Joe. Hawk, using little more than the mystery of Snake Eyes, the sex appeal of Scarlett, and the baldness of Gung Ho, managed to bring down one of the vilest regimes ever to scar the face of the Earth, Cobra.

Cobra Commander was an evil genius, with more brainpower than Lex Luthor and more schemes than Mumm-Ra. Hidden behind his UV-blocking faceplate was the true face of evil, with a rasping voice that could strike fear into the hearts of all but the bravest of Joes. You know he was a badass because he kept both Destro AND Zartan in line, as well as having the uber-hottie Baroness as his personal bitch.

But what galls me the most about Hruby’s asinine assertion is that GI Joe did beat Cobra, making the world safe for democracy, WITHOUT A SINGLE FATALITY ON EITHER SIDE! Yes, that’s right: it was in the war on Cobra Command that created the current American expectation of every enemy captured, no soldiers lost, and no civilian casualties. It is against this standard that every other war has been deemed a failure, regardless of the outcome. Only GI Joe could have done this against as implacable a foe as Cobra.

In all the long war, the only embarrassment to Hawk’s command was the infamous “Window Wiper” incident, but he even turned that setback into a victory by stopping several Cobra plots during the confusion.

So this Veteran’s day, don’t be a bitter liberal troll like Patrick Hruby, and be sure to set aside a moment to honor a real American hero: GI Joe.

Go, Joe!

Political Spectrum Personality Test

Are you confused about where you lay on the political spectrum? Not sure which group you most identify with? Then take this simple quiz and sum your scores up, then look below to find out which party you ought to register with.

Abu Ghraib is:
1 – Club Med for islamofascists
2 – Aladdin’s monkey sidekick
3 – Modern-day Auschwitz

Rosie O’Donnell is:
1 – A loud-mouthed lesbian truther moron
2 – Good friends with Elmo
3 – Speaking truth to power

Congress’ 14% approval rating:
1 – Seems too high
2 – Shows that they miss the leadership of Senator Jefferson Smith
3 – Is a creation of the conservative hit machine

The worst president in history is:
1 – Jimmy Carter
2 – The one from Dave that cheated on Sigourney Weaver
3 – George Bush

President Bush’s 20% approval rating:
1 – Is a creation of the drive-by, liberal media
2 – Is what happens when you have an aborted fetus in your cabinet
3 – Seems too high

Today in Iraq:
1 – Brave men and women will continue securing our freedom
2 – How should I know?
3 – Brave men and women will continue to resist American imperialism

Today in Iran:
1 – Vicious barbarians will plot to destroy the world
2 – You should say, "Today I will run"
3 – Lawful advancement on peaceful nuclear power will continue

Today in Palestine:
1 – There is no Palestine, only Zool
2 – Is that like PayPal?
3 – Aspirin factories and kindergartens will be targeted by vicious Zionists

CNN is:
1 – House organ of the Surrender-crats
2 – Good for sports scores
3 – The only place to get real news

FOX is:
1 – The only place to get real news
2 – Home of the Simpsons
3 – House organ of the Rethuglicans

C-SPAN is:
1 – The most boring channel ever
2 – The most boring channel ever
3 – The most boring channel ever

Israel is:
1 – Always picked on by the nihilistic Palestinians
2 – Featured in a lot of Christmas movies
3 – Filled with savage warmongers who pick on the poor, helpless Palestinians

A law against indoor smoking:
1 – Fills me with rage at nanny-state governance
2 – Sounds great!
3 – Is good for tobacco, bad for weed

Our intelligence community:
1 – Is engaged in a bureaucratic war against George Bush
2 – Should listen to Jack Bauer more
3 – Was incompetent until 9/11/2001; after that they’ve been totally correct

What is a Neocon?
1 – A made-up term used by idiotic liberals
2 – That guy from ‘The Matrix’
3 – A warmongering christofascist


If you scored 15-20, vote Republican.
If you scored 40-45, vote Democrat.
If you scored 20-40, don’t vote. Trust me, we’re all better off that way.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bush Criticizes Park Plan

President Bush lashed out at National Park officials today from a Rose Garden press conference, calling them bigots and “fundamentally wrong” for relocating non-native species from Rattlesnake Springs in Carlsbad Caverns.

“The strength of the Carlsbad Caverns springs system depends on these so-called interlopers,” Bush said. “They’re eating the algae that the other fish won’t eat and consuming the bugs that the others won’t touch. I’ve called for a special Czar to be appointed to help oversee the naturalization of the non-native fish in place of this un-American relocation that’s being proposed by the Parks Department.”

He also said that attempts to boost lake security to prevent intrusive fish were indicative of the “xenophobia” that was rampant in the department and said officials there would be better off focusing on acclimatizing the non-native fish.

“Focusing on securing the springs is focusing on the wrong problem,” Bush said. “If there’s a food problem, then they should just change the spring ecosystem to accommodate the newcomers. If some of these natural fish don’t like it, they need to be more open and try to get along with the new guys. Spring security can come later, after we’ve made sure the new fish are happy and well-adjusted.”

Bush scoffed at the notion that more alien fish would stress the lake ecosystem. “Those concerns are just anti-fish bigotry, like was documented in that film The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The reality is that these are hard-working, law-abiding fish that just want to get along with everybody else. Are there a few bad apples? Maybe, but it’s racist to judge the rest of the fish that way.”

Asked if the debate about fish had any greater relevance, Bush thought it was a localized issue. “I can’t see that there’s any parallels we can draw anywhere else.”

Bloomberg Passes TP Ordinance

New York Mayor and Giuliani coat-hanger Michael Bloomberg, having recently declared himself independent, successfully pushed through his long-desired “Toilet Paper Ordinance” this morning.

The ordinance declares that “all paper which is or might be used as rectal cleaning material must comply with the City of New York’s standards, which includes softness, durability, hygiene, and price.”

Among the standards which are now applicable for all toilet paper sold inside of New York are:

-Paper must be at least 3-play, which will not separate unless a force greater than 0.5 Newtons/square centimeter are applied at an angle of 40° or less

-Colorant must be provided from plant or organic sources and may not be inks or dyes which can leave harmful residues

-The roll holder must be scented to smell like lilacs

-Two sheets of paper must be sufficiently soft to prevent a crack from forming in an egg dropped from six centimeters above onto a hard surface (hard being a surface which scores over 100 on the Brinell Hardness Scale)

-Bulk cost must be less than 0.01 cents per sheet

-Rolls must be sold in packages of 6, with each roll individually wrapped, with all packaging biodegradable

-Each supplier must prove that their material passes the “wipe test” [for wipe test see document NYC165852.256 – “Uniform Standards of Preschool Cleanliness”]

-Packaging must not include cartoon animals, stuffed bears, babies, attractive women, or men of rugged outdoor looks with porn star mustaches

“When I’m elected president next year, I hope to nationalize this and lots of other intrusive ideas that I have about the way you should be living your life,” said Bloomberg in a press conference. “I know better than you what you should be doing, and I plan on making laws to reflect that.”

When asked if any toilet paper existed which met the specifications, Bloomberg hand no comment.

I Prefer ‘Link Trollop’

My brother pointed me to this blog, Ace of Spades HQ. Now, I hesitate to link to this blog for two reasons:

1) It’s funny, so I’m afraid that you’ll go away and not come back. Given that he’s enormously more popular than I am, though, that seems like scant risk.
2) There’s lots and lots of bad language (doesn’t bother me, but might bother you)

I was going to just stick Ace’s blog onto my blogroll and be done with it, but instead I’ve decided to try a little experiment. Ace identifies himself as a “link whore”, so I’m going to link to give him a couple links:

Hot homosexual donkey love in South America.
About which D&D characters various democrats would play (from 2004)

Should Ace arrive and read this far, here are a couple of posts of mine he might enjoy:

Life Cycle of Junk Science

Unified Conspiracy Theory


I’m obviously hoping to score a link from Ace’s blog, or (dare I dream?) a place in his links section. Should that happen, I’ll of course stick Ace of Spades HQ in my blogroll and be happy. That would be a victory for both Ace and Plebian.

If Ace reads this, thinks I’m lame, and then insults me publicly I’ll still get more traffic and come out a winner. This would confirm the old adage “always piss upwards.” So we’ll call that scenario an outright victory for Plebian.

If Ace chooses to ignore me, I’ll begin a campaign of unbelievable bitterness and fury until he stoops to attack me or someone else notices and comments on it, thus driving my traffic up and achieving my primary goal. So we’ll call this scenario an outright victory for Plebian as well, although somewhat Pyrrhic by nature.

I really don’t see any scenario under which I can lose here, so I’m going to take a shot.

And kudos to anyone who managed to read all the way down here to the last sentence and make it through my tortured logic. Like so much of what I do, this post was probably not interesting to anybody but me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Eco-Friendy CDs

Two years ago Cloud Wamino started with just a steam roller, 20 cows, and a dream. Now, he’s head of the thriving all-natural CD manufacturing business “No-Beef Patties.”

“It’s simple, really,” Cloud said from his Seattle, Washington, headquarters. “I was walking through my uncle’s field one day when I noticed this cow patty about the size and shape of a CD. And I got to thinking: why can’t we make all-natural CDs out of this stuff? It’s free and abundant, and it’ll keep the cows working after they stop giving milk to keep them from getting butchered. So I bought a steam roller and got started.”

The process, which Cloud asked not to be divulged for patent reasons, involves taking “fresh patties” and compressing them under heat to become plastic-like discs capable of traditional CD and DVD uses. The cost per disc? Just a few cents, slightly more than those produced out of environmentally damaging plastic.

“I’m not gonna lie to you, there can be a smell issue,” Cloud says. “But sometimes saving the planet is dirty work.”

It’s dangerous work, too. His first factory, an old barn on the back of his uncle’s property, exploded after methane was released from his first batch of CDs. But Cloud was philosophical about the setback.

“You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. Although I’m vegan, so I never eat eggs anyway, except at Burning Man. But we’ve got the methane problem solved so it stays in the CDs, unless they’re heated above eighty degrees.”

So far sales have been brisk, mostly from an internet rumor that smoking the discs led to hallucinogenic trances. But those rumors were inflated, Cloud says. “One time a couple of cows got into my personal field, and those discs were special. But for general release it’s not true, unless a cow gets into a mushroom patch or something. I don’t discourage the rumor, though, because sales are sales, you know?”

Cloud hopes that the fashion catches on and people take to using his No-Beef Patties permanently, although he does admit there may be limitations. “I’d hate to think what things might get like in an enclosed space, like a house or an airplane. It’s best just to use them outside.”

Clinton Fumes, Obama Grovels

Short version of what Obama meant to say: Hillary Clinton is beholden to Indian-Americans and doesn’t back up the union worker, a core constituent of the Democratic party.

Short version of what Obama says now: I’m sorry, so very sorry, for a stupid, caustic remark. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. I know it’s a complicated issue. My campaign got out of control. Can I still be president?

And Democrats wonder why they’re perceived as wimps. Stick to your guns, man! Obama’s original hit piece was full of damning references, but Clinton gets him off subject just by getting huffy about a comment that she made about herself first?

Obama’s best response would have been “I’m sorry, Mrs. Clinton, I don’t speak Hindi. Could you please respond to the specific charges that you value Indian economic development more than our own?”

So, based on this ridiculous performance, we can only imagine the joys of having President Obama lead us, giving us stirring oratories like this:

On the Berlin Wall in the 1980s: “Mister Gorbachev, please enter into a mutli-party dialogue to discuss the possibility of studying a way that the two sides can gradually begin to reduce the necessity for this well-guarded border between a people who have the same language, culture, and hope for the future. Please. On second thought, I apologize for having brought it up. Forgive me.”

On personal responsibility in the 1960s: “Ask not what your country can do for you, because the government’s resources are limitless and its responsibilities to you are infinite. The government stands ready to provide cradle-to-grave health insurance, education, and job opportunities. So don’t ask, because we’ll be mailing the new book of Government Services quite soon.”

On the specter of war stalking the 1940s: “The only thing we have to fear, and I don’t want to discriminate against those who have mental problems or different phobias, nor do I wish to diminish the very real, visceral fear that sometimes courses through the veins of honest, hard-working men and women in every day situations, but the only thing we have to fear is a long list of items which may or may not be present in the every-day lives of average Americans. But together, I’m sure we can find a way to accommodate the changes and have an audacious hope for the future. So in short, I apologize for having brought this up. You can go now.”

Two Hundred Posts

This is my two hundredth post. Okay, technically it's my 199th post, but I'm pretty anal about the way that I track posts, and I've deleted one, so this is 200. Anyway, it's my blog, and I'll lie about what number post it is if I want to.

So hooray to me on my 200th post! Imagine, all these posts and not a thing worth reading. It's a crying shame, isn't it?

Special thanks to the three of you who have sent fan letters. They really kept me going. Even the ones from my sister-in-law.

To those of you who sent me hate mail, screw you. Yes, even you, traitorous brother of mine.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mike Nifong has a new job!

Click here to see Mike Nifong (disgraced district attorney from the Duke lacrosse case) hard at work at his new job. It's funny, I guarantee it!

And I'm not just saying that because they linked to me and one of the proprieters sent me a nice note. It really is funny.

Air Force Goes Gay

Based on discoveries by the Sunshine Project, further digging has revealed that, far from a simple $7.5 million grant to study the feasibility of the “Gay Bomb”, the Air Force was in fact planning to go “all gay” in an attempt to get the armed forces past the infamous “don’t ask/don’t tell” rule which has crippled recruitment of Arabic translators for the past several years.

Sources reveal that the Air Force has in fact completed construction of an advanced “Gaydar” capable of detecting sexual orientation in both men and women. Using this tool, recruits entering the armed forces would be funneled into the appropriate branch of service, with homosexuals being preferentially sent to the Air Force.

“Lesbians would of course go into flight training,” said an unnamed Air Force source. “In addition to women’s greater ability to take higher amounts of G-forces, their increased aggression is just what fighter pilots need. The gay men would be ground crews and flight instructors because of their greater experience with joysticks.”

Proponents of the plain claimed that this way the military could take full advantage of homosexuals interested in serving in the armed forces instead of foolishly turning them away. However, the plan was rejected by religious fascists in the Bush administration, who derided it as “Gayviation.”

“They just weren’t ready,” said the source. “Hopefully whoever wins in 2008 will be more open to adjusting our military to conform with 21st century society.”

Tyranny of the Pronouns

This article from the opinion journal about recent student and alumni uprisings brought to mind a story my wife once told me from her college experience, many years ago.

One day in class the professor (a male) decided to lecture them on the repressive use of pronouns in the English language. He was abjectly apologizing to the female students and wishing out loud that someone would invent a special generic pronoun to destroy this patriarchal tyranny.

Several students joined in as well, whining about the bias of the general use of “he” in general writing, instead of the more acceptable “s/he” or the more general “they,” and the terrible oppression of the word “man” for the human race.

Eventually, the whining drone grew so loud that my wife could stand it no longer and decided to make a comment, something terribly out of character for her.

“I don’t agree at all,” she said, to gasps of horror. The teacher wanted to know why she would eschew victimhood. “When you use the male pronouns, you never know if it’s somebody specific or somebody general. But when you say ‘she’, then you know for sure it’s a woman. The female pronoun is special. It’s different. The male pronoun is general. It’s boring. If anybody’s being discriminated against, it’s men, because they’re being cheapened. I’ll never use general pronouns, even if one got invented, because I like to be special.”
Nobody knew what to say. Finally, the professor mumbled “Well, I suppose you could see it that way.” Then he quickly changed the subject and went on to something else.

Palestinians Advancing Frontiers of “Cide”

What has never ceased to amaze me about the coverage of the Fatah-Hamas conflict over the past few weeks is the absolute astonishment of reporters that Fatah and Hamas would come to deadly fighting in Gaza.

Why is it surprising that a group which glorifies suicide and openly seeks homicide would consider fratricide a legitimate tactic in resolving differences? Of course they started killing each other; it’s their solution to every problem: kill somebody.

They also love regicide (which they tried in Jordan) and genocide (which they push for Jews). They’re still pioneering matricide, but the rise of female suicide bombers shows that they’re open to the idea.

At this point the only “Cide” they’ve left unturned is Funny Cide, who they can’t afford because of the crippling sanctions imposed by the West.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fruitless Late Night

My wife pointed out to me the other day that the counter was at 1,994, so I only needed six more hits. It was up at about 1,999 at 11:15 PM, so I figured I’d stay up until it hit 2,000 and then go to bed. I eventually did go to bed, well after midnight, with the counter still at 1,999.

I don’t know what that says about me, other than that I’m sad.

Nancy Pelosi Rallies Capitol Democrats

Nancy Pelosi, responding to recent criticisms of Harry Reid’s “incompetent” remark and the failure of David Obey’s “double dark secret political retaliation slush fund” proposal, today gave a stirring speech to the Democratic caucus intended to rally them to the causes for which they strove so hard in the 2006 elections.

An excerpt is below:

“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, the Democrats will once again prove ourselves as the party that is afraid of power, incapable of prosecuting either war or criminals, unable to face tyranny or criticism, and, if necessary, ready to pander to the smallest and most corrupt special interest groups and thereby do direct harm to the American people.

I promise you, here and now, that we will continue, until we are thrown from power like the dogs we are, to give up every time the path gets difficult, to capitulate and surrender when our strength is at its zenith, to undercut and undermine every effort by every person in every corner of this great nation who strives to protect us from xenophobes and barbarians pushing a return to a medieval mentality that is anathema to the very core of our party.

In short, regardless of the wishes of the American people or our constituents, we will not defend this country, regardless of how light the cost may be, and we will not push the legislative agenda which we promised last November: we shall surrender on defunding Iraq, we shall surrender on securing the borders, we shall surrender on forcing ethics reforms on congress, we shall surrender on reducing earmarks, we shall surrender on curtailing lobbyist power, we shall surrender on isolating sworn enemies of America, we shall surrender on supporting Israel’s right to exist, we shall surrender on stopping genocide in Darfur or other regions of Africa, we shall surrender on supporting those whom we appoint as heads of the armed forces or any other service, we shall surrender on the ceaseless investigation of every member of the Bush administration, we shall surrender on surrendering, and we shall surrender on being consistent on anything.

Even if, which I do not for a moment believe, we were to find a topic which we were not willing to surrender on, I know, in my heart, that we would find it in ourselves to surrender on that issue as well, for that is our Democratic hallmark since flaking out in the mid-60’s and turning our party over to embittered, drug-addled morons who seek to impress fatuous children instead of concentrating on the good of the country.

This I vow, before a God in whom I do not believe but pay lip service to in order to satisfy the arcane rituals of a country which I loathe, which is populated by people whom I despise.”

Imagine if Boehner = Boner

I know that’s not really how it’s pronounced, but for teenage titillation we can get lots of mileage out of imagining that is how the name is pronounced:

11) Capitol Stunned as Boehner Explodes over Obey on House Floor

10) Pelosi Fails to Solve Obey’s Problem with Boehner

9) Obey gets “Boehnered” over Spending

8) Pelosi Bends Over Backwards for Boehner, Still Not Enough

7) Obey’s Error Leads to Boehner Spanking Pelosi

6) Boehner Stiffness Climaxes in Pelosi Surrender

5) Democrats’ Reid Shown Smaller than GOP’s Boehner

4) Reid Upset with Boehner, won’t help Obey, Pelosi

3) Boehner Inches Closer to Success

2) Pelosi Shafted by GOP’s Boehner

And my favorite
1) Inflexible Bush Hurts Pelosi’s Chances with Boehner

Lack of Math Skills Sinks Legitimate Discussion

In an otherwise well-written piece on the lack of black coaches in college football, Olin Buchanan drops this quote by Floyd Keith, a Black Coaches Association Executive Director:
"The NFL has 32 teams and six black head coaches. That's about 20 percent, and it should be better. But that's almost three times what we have in the college ranks. We should have more in college than in the NFL. The bottom line is there is a systemic problem in the process."
Better for what reason? Because Keith wants it to be higher? On what basis does he derive his 25% number that he later claims is “adequate?”

13% of the population is African-American (according to the US census), or a little more than 1 out of 10 people. Let’s assume that coaching skills are unrelated to skin color. If the NFL has 32 teams, we should expect to see 32*0.13 = 4.16 black coaches. The NFL has 6, which is 50% higher than what we’d expect.

Presumably, Keith’s erroneous argument is predicated on the fact that because half the players are black, the percentage of black coaches should be higher. He apparently feels it should be twice as high, although I would expect (mathematically) if his thesis were true the number of black coaches should be about 50%.

But NFL coaching is the pinnacle of success, and is not predicated on being an NFL player. Since they come from the population at large, we should expect NFL coaches to reflect society as a whole, not the NFL player population.

If you go to the High School level, I would imagine that the population of High School football players reflects society at large. It is only at higher levels of play that the player population stops reflecting society at large; I leave it to someone else to determine why that is.

But it is from this initial level that prospective coaches are first introduced to the game and begin to become coaches, and it is from here that the eventual Tony Dungys and Steve Nolans come, not from the NFL or college sidelines.

So please, even though there’s little NFL news to write up, can we give the whole “not enough black NFL coaches” line a rest, already? I don’t doubt that there may be some GMs or owners who look down on black coaches because of their skin color; quite frankly, that just means that these highly qualified gentlemen are all the more available to the smarter teams.

Like usual, the end result of modern racism will end up hurting the racist more than it will the aggrieved.

[Note: I’m not addressing the actual point of the article, the disgraceful state of minority coaches in college, where the statistical gap of 5% actual to 13% expected is somewhat damning for the universities. I’m just discussing NFL coaching here, which after a long fight seems to reflect society, which was the goal in the first place.]

Thirty Readers a Day Can’t Be Wrong!

I know that you’re all terribly interested in how my blog is doing, so I thought I’d give an update.

I’ve managed to average 30 people a day pretty consistently since the great “Junk Science” storm, so welcome to those of you who are new readers. Happy to have you here. Be sure to tell all your friends, neighbors, relatives, acquaintances, and passers-by about Daily Dollop. But encourage them to check the site form a different computer with a different IP address, because I would really prefer to have unique hits.

Also, note that if you check from both home and work, that counts as 2 hits. So I prefer that you do that, even though I have the habit of posting everything all at once and checking twice is futile. If you have both a laptop and a PC, you can also check twice that way to keep my hits up.

I’m not a proud man, so I’ll take pity hits as well as actual hits. Just something to keep in mind.

And to the reader who asked me if I’m professionally stupid or just an ass: it’s kind of a combination of the two.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Drawing with Dad Day

In honor of Father's Day, my son's preschool had "Drawing with Dad Day" this week. Like any good father, I was sure to attend. I wouldn't want my son to be the only one without daddy present, crying his little eyes out and planning to murder me when he gets old enough to reach the knife block.

The goal of this assignment was for each of us to paint the other. First we drew the figure, then painted it in however we wanted. This was kind of difficult for me, since I'm art-tarded. But, for my son, I did my best.

He drew something vaguely humanoid that looked like a refugee from the Cthulhu mythos, with a flaming red belly button and wide, orange eyes. We had a ten-minute debate on whether or not he needed to include my penis, with me begging him not to or at least to use a bigger brush, and him insisting that for it to be realistic he needed to include "all the details." Have you ever noticed that when a four-year-old argues, he does it in a yell so loud that the teachers from one class over stick their heads in the door to see what all the penis shouting is about?

Finally we compromised and he agreed to draw me in my underwear. He gave me pink panties. Quite frankly, I'd rather have been au naturale.

When he was done, this five-limbed monstrosity in pink panties and flaming belly button glowered at me with fierce orange eyes and fingers as long as its forearms. He proudly declared that it was me, showed it to everybody in class and pointed out my panties as way of apologizing for not including the penis, and practically ordered me to hang it in my office. I hope the canvas is flammable.

I pondered getting revenge on him, but how do you do a self-portrait of a four-year-old that is insulting? Especially since the one he did is a fair sight better than your artistic talents? Finally I settled on trying to please him, so I decided to do him as a super-hero, with cape and mask and everything. I labored, long and hard, with a vision of my son dressed as superman.

Have you ever noticed that watercolors run together? The skin ended up green, the costume was horrid brown, and the only distinct color was the puff of yellow hair up top.

That's right, I painted my son as Vomit Man, afro'd pukester of justic. Take that, evil-doers! When I finished, my son asked "Is that me?" I told him yes, and he responded "If you say so."

But at least I got to be a good father, which was the point of the whole affair. And I think he enjoyed it, even though my office will be victim of a tragic (and highly localized) fire soon. So in the end, all was well.

And for the record, I do not wear pink panties.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

MLB Greek Hero Draft

MLB announced today the results of the Greek Hero draft, something that Bud Selig said was “one of my proudest innovations since the introduction of $8 beer in Milwaukee.” Aimed at making the game more international, the results are listed below by division.

AL East
Boston Red Sox: Oedipus. The self-loathing patricide who beds his mother will find immediate synergy with Boston fans.
New York Yankees: King Midas, who has been named the successor to George Steinbrenner. Only he has the unique golden touch/asses’ ears to be the next Boss.
Baltimore Orioles: Tantalus, who cut his son apart and attempted to feed him to the gods. For some reason Peter Angelos felt a strong affinity for the would-cannibal.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Actaeon, torn apart by his own dogs after he saw Artemis naked. This experience will help him to start immediately for the Rays, whose sole purpose in MLB is also to be torn apart as an example to others.
Toronto Blue Jays: Traded their pick to Oakland for an advance copy of Billy Beane’s new book, “General Managing for Dummies.”

AL Central
Detroit Tigers: Cassandra, prophetess of doom. Much like Gary Sheffield, nobody listens to her.
Chicago White Sox: Agave, who tore apart her own son Pentheus with her bare hands in a fit of Bacchic passion. Hands up those of you who could see Ozzie Guillen flipping out and doing that sometime this season if the Sox keep losing.
Kansas City Royals: Achilles, but they couldn’t afford his contract so they traded him to the Yankees for a Spartan to be named later.
Minnesota Twins: Eurytion, who was killed by a friend during the Caledonian boar hunt. Kind of like how everybody loves the Twins, but they die in the playoffs every year anyways.
Cleveland Indians: The Minotaur, born of the copulation between Queen Pasiphaƫ and a divine white bull. A savage monstrosity that is a freak of nature, he will be a more normal and sensitive mascot than Chief Wahoo.

AL West
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Chiron the centaur, teacher of heroes. The tutor of Hercules, Achilles, and other great heroes can’t help but bring along the young nucleus of the Angels.
Oakland Athletics: Penthesilea and Hippolyta, Amazon warriors. Never afraid to try something new, the A’s are hoping half-naked women at first and third will give their pitchers a fighting chance.
Seattle Mariners: Daedalus, inventor. From flying machines to constructing false cows for use as a “marital aid”, Daedalus has shown the spirit and determination that will make him an invaluable part of the Mariners. Until his salary gets too expensive and they let him go as a free agent.
Texas Rangers: Pelops of the ivory shoulder. This is at least one pitcher that should prove injury-proof.

NL East
NY Mets: Theseus, the poor man’s Hercules. His monster-slaying experience should come in handy during the next Subway Series.
Atlanta Braves: Odysseus. It took Odysseus ten years to sail across the Aegean Sea. In 14 postseasons the Braves won the World Series only once. Which one is more successful?
Florida Marlins: Prometheus, who taught man the secret of fire. Management is hoping he can teach the secret of defense to the hapless Marlins.
Philadelphia Phillies: Orpheus, who was beheaded by angry Maenads, although his head continued to sing. Every year the Phillies get torn apart by the NL East, but every off-season people sing their praises. Should be a good fit.
Washington Nationals: Philoctetes, who missed the Trojan war because he had a snake bite that stank so bad no one could stand to be around him. The Nationals figure he’s the only one who could stand their stench of failure.

NL Central
St. Louis Cardinals: Jason, leader of the Argonauts. Somebody should lead this team, after all.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Laomedon, who had Poseidon and Apollo toil for years building the walls of Troy only to refuse to pay for them. Similarly, the Pirates are in their 15th year of rebuilding, and nobody will pay to see them, either.
Cincinnati Reds: Pete Rose, tragic hero. Selection rejected by Bud Selig.
Houston Astros: Ixion, bound to a wheel of fire for eternity in Hades for his attempted rape of Hera. Even though Houston gets slightly more rain than Hades, Astros fans can sympathize with his plight.
Chicago Cubs: Sisyphus, punished in Hades by eternally rolling a rock uphill that rolls back down on top of him just as he gets to the top. That sounds like the last 99 years of Chicago Cubs baseball, doesn’t it?
Milwaukee Brewers: Hermes. The Messenger of the Gods should add some much-needed zest to the sausage races, particularly since he runs naked.

NL West
San Diego Padres: Medusa. Visitors’ club house attendant.
Los Angeles Dodgers: David Hasselhoff. Has he ever failed to succeed in Hollywood, no matter the odds? Isn’t that just like a Greek hero?
Colorado Rockies: Aeolus, king of the winds. If Aeolus can make it blow in when Colorado’s pitching and out when the Rockies bat, then he’ll be worth every penny of his signing bonus.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Perseus, slayer of Medusa. Currently at their AAA affiliate, Perseus will be called up for the next trip to San Diego.
San Francisco Giants: Hercules. Noted for phenomenal strength even in old age, it’s a little-known fact that Hercules killed his first wife and children while in the throes of ‘roid rage.

RIP Mr. Wizard

Mr. Wizard passed away at 89.

The obituary talks about how he taught science to boomers. It’s a pity his lessons didn’t take with so many of them that are now in congress.

Definition of a Bad Idea

So I received this spam at work today. I quote it directly:

You seem to be losing your penis when you are inside of her. With Penis Enlarge Patch it will be too big to be lost.

With Penis Enlarge Patch your penis will be bigger than Statue of Liberty.
There’s a lot contained in just those three short sentences. Lose your penis inside of her? What, has she got a bear trap down there or something?

Secondly, a patch? Really? Where do you stick it? On the affected organ? If so, how do they know what size to send you? Is it like the Nicorette patch, where you work your way up on the dosage?

Thirdly, a penis larger than the statue itself, or larger than the statue’s penis? Because the statue doesn’t have a penis. But I guess now I understand what they meant about losing your penis inside of her, because I’ve been on the tour, and it is pretty big inside her.

But what woman’s going to be willing to take you on if your penis is bigger than the Statue of Liberty? Where would you buy pants? How would you play football?

Fourthly, let’s assume that you buy the whole argument as presented. Are you really going to let someone with such a poor grasp of the English language pump you full of drugs designed to make your dick grow? Does that seem wise? What if they miswrote the directions and you ended up peeing out of your eyeballs?

Et Tu, Peter King? football guru Peter King treats us to this thoughtful piece of advice in this week’s MMQB:
c. Toughen up, Paris Hilton
Peter King thinks Paris Hilton should “toughen up”? This from the guy that went weepy for a month when his dog died? A guy that constantly bitches about having to pay to use the health facilities at hotels? Who goes apoplectic when somebody talks on a cell phone on the train? A man who can’t function without his Starbucks grande triple mocha latte?

Be realistic: it’s not like she sprained her ankle here. She’s going to jail for 40-some days. If I were headed to jail, I’d cry for my mommy, too.

I can handle him saying “welcome to the real world” or “guess you have to take your medicine” or something along those lines, but “Toughen up”? Who does he think he is, Vince Lombardi?

Dan Rather Decries Tarted-Up News

Dan Rather complained to Joe Scarborough that Katie Couric had “tarted up” the news too much. I guess he’s pining away for the day when news was generated by false documents ginned up by political trolls like Mary Mapes and reported by distinguished elder statesmen such as himself.

Yeah, that was a real improvement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

George Bush to Change Parties

George Bush sent shockwaves through the political establishment today by announcing that he will be changing parties on July 4th, officially naming himself a member of the Democratic Party.

“It’s necessary to safeguard the two-party system,” explained a White House spokesperson. “The Democrats are in desperate need of a strong figure with high approval ratings, and the Republicans are poisoned by the presence of George Bush. The President was hoping Harry Reid could fill the Democratic gap, but now that his approval rating is lower than Paris Hilton’s that doesn’t appear to be the case.”

Bush said he’d been toying with the idea for some time. “Aside from the whole Iraq thing, I’m pretty much a Democrat, just like my dad was. Isn’t that what Compassionate Conservatism is all about, being a Democrat who starts wars?”

Political observers noted that such a thing was unheard of, but they did note that the Bush defection could help GOP candidates in the 2008 elections. “Without his shadow over them, candidates like John McCain or Rudy Giuliani should be able to get more positive news about them. Plus, now the Democrats have to answer for all of Bush’s errors, which are legion.”

“The only one who doesn’t get help is Mitt Romney,” said political observer and religious bigot Sally Denton. “With Bush’s more mainstream religious profile now on the Democratic side of the aisle, the weird Mormon cult that controls Mitt Romney’s mind will make him look worse, not better.”

At least one potential GOP candidate was not amused. Fred Thomspon complained to acquaintances that Bush was “stealing my thunder.” He had planned to announce his candidacy on the 4th, but now indicates that he will wait until a later date. “Maybe Thanksgiving,” said a source close to the undeclared candidate. “so that people can be thankful for finally having a good candidate.”

Apropos of Nothing

I just wanted to throw out this one little nugget that occurred to me while writing the last post: I don’t think it’s appropriate to use the phrase “drink the Kool-Aid” as a reference to brainwashing. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a reference to the 909 unfortunates who lost their lives in 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid, including hundreds of children.

A few of the survivors of Jonestown are still alive, including at least one of madman Jim Jones’ sons. It’s disrespectful to them to throw around that phrase casually, since they all lost family members. One man watched his wife poison their toddler, then herself. Yes, it’s madness, but should it be something we make light of so casually?

I saw a 2006 documentary on Jonestown a few weeks ago, and I was staggered at the senselessness and depravity of it all. I suppose it heightened my sensitivity to the phrase. So, even though it would have fit well in the last post, I don’t use that phrase any more. And I think it’d probably be for the best if you didn’t use it, either.

Okay, enough serious stuff for now.

Jonah Keri Needs Re-Education?

Full disclosure : I’m a Braves fan, so perhaps I’m hyper-sensitive to New York bias, particularly when it comes to the Mets. However, I was really pleased to see this in the ESPN feature, Keri the 10:
8. The Mets are coming back to the pack.
They're still a great team with enough talent to make a World Series run. But this isn't the NL Central, where 85 wins probably gets you to the playoffs. The Braves and Phillies are good teams, with enough resources and farm system talent to trade for upgrades where needed; and the Marlins have a history of staging big, surprising runs.
Finally! An ESPN employee who’s not so infatuated with New York that he can speak reasonably and refrain from spouting excuses for why the Mets have lost ground. There are 2 other good teams in the NL East and one “sleeper” team (never discount Florida until they’re mathematically eliminated, and then only at your peril), and it’ll take more than New York mojo to win the NL East. The Mets will have to actually win some games, probably within the division.

Every team has injuries at this time of year, and the relentless excuse-making for the Mets (and to some extent the Yankees) gets tiresome to those of us not beholden to the New York teams.

So Amen, and preach on, Brother Jonah!

The Guilted Age

So I read this piece on Captain’s Quarters blog about a debate over buying diamond rings, and it brought back memories of when I was a younger man and buying the diamond ring for my blushing bride.

Specifically it brought back memories of the guilt trip that diamond sellers try to impress upon you when you purchase a ring. Basically, they say this: “We know you’re poor, but if you really love your wife, you’ll upgrade her ring to get her a bigger diamond and flashier band when you have more money. If you don’t the other women will ridicule her and you’ll look like a mean little man who doesn’t care about his so-called love. Would you like to buy the service plan?”

I’ve heard a variation on that theme every time my wife and I were in a jewelry store for the past 14 years. They don’t give it to you if you’re alone, but if you’re there with your wife, you hear this message: if you really loved her, you’d buy something bigger/better/more expensive, and by the way, have you upgraded that pitiful ring you bought her when you first got married yet?

I’m happy to say I could afford a bigger ring now, seeing as how I’m not a college student any more. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy one from those bloodsucking parasites. I’ll never forget how smarmy they were, how they looked down on me as I tried to plunk down more money than I could afford to buy one of their custom-dictated rings as they told me it wasn’t sufficient.

Jewelry is one of the few businesses where they suck every possible iota of joy out of the purchase and try to make you feel guilty for not buying more, kind of like they’re used-car salesmen who trained with your mother-in-law.

And I never, ever patronize such establishments, unless I’m in trouble. Then I go looking for a diamond the size of a cat’s head, but always on my own. I don’t need the guilt of bringing my wife with me…

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Athletic Dogfighter

Does the evil of Michael Vick know no bounds? Bjorn Borg bitten during dogfight, withdraws from grass-court exhibition!!

It's not any better just because one combatant is a person, Mr. Vick. For shame!

Chavez Descends on Beam of Light

(TIC News managed to get a copy of the first draft of Ian James’ AP Interview of Hugo Chavez, and has reprinted below to capture the authors' true spirit before it was butchered by his editors)

Adoring crowds of the faithful gathered in the dusty street, their knees stained with the holy earth outside of the housing compound of the President/Messiah that they’ve come to worship, Hugo Chavez. Finally His Holiness descends to them, borne on a shaft of light sent down from Heaven to convey him forth in just such a fashion. “President! You are our father!” yell the exultant crowds, surging forwards, held back only by the gentle urges of his small bodyguard.

Chavez passes next to the barrier, embracing hands and kissing cheeks as he goes, with a few intrepid souls reaching out to touch the hem of his pants as he goes by. Those that he showers attention on seem to glow with an inner fire, benefactors of the energy of this gentle soul that is slowly transforming Latin America into a modern Utopia. But his benevolence has come at a price, putting him at odds against the soulless tyranny of the United States.

“What hurts me the most is poverty, and that’s what has turned me into a rebel against the capitalist system.” Chavez said during six hours of conversations with The Associated Press on Saturday during a road trip across the southern plains, a helicopter trip, a visit to a cattle ranch, and a session laying hands on lepers while driving out demons in southern Venezuela.

Throughout the trip, as he sang folk songs and crafted a new covenant between God and man, he stopped to talk with poor people of all ages who sought only to be touched by his beneficence. Many asked him for help, and all received tenfold what they sought because of their great faith.

At one stop, a boy peered into the car and asked Chavez to raise his parents back to life. “Go back home, and your faith will be rewarded,” the president replied.

During the eight short years Chavez has been in office, government statistics show that poverty has declined, literacy has raised, and that people are living longer, more satisfied lives. He rattled off a list of other impressive improvements, from hospitals to new roads to a longer-lasting chewing gum. Although he is satisfied, Chavez said he is not resting.

“I’m not signing victory yet. It’s a long road, mined by saboteurs sent by George Bush, the devil.”

When asked about vote-rigging and eliminating presidential term limits to remain president-for-life, Chavez said “I will continue to serve as long as I am re-elected in fair, open, elections where my supporters control all the polling and vote counting.”

US officials have erroneously called Chavez a threat to democracy, which is a well-known failed governmental system. The Venezuelan leader often rails against American “imperialism” and the misery it brings to other countries, a well-documented fact in the world.

Chavez said the problems were all George Bush’s fault, which is true. “At least I would hope for a government with which it’s possible to talk, not headed by a stupid moron, as your democrats might say,” he said.

The tour with Chavez offered an unusual glimpse into the life of a man who has transformed Venezuela for the better and spread a socialist, anti-American message throughout South America, much to the approval of the AP.

Chavez said he has few escapes from politics other than watching movies, playing pick-up baseball at night, reading voraciously, and making hours-long speeches. He blames it on well-documented US attempts to kill him.

“I’m condemned to death, just like Fidel, although not by Father Time like he is. I am a prisoner on a personal level, so I make sure the jail is richly-appointed. Doesn’t Bush the Devil have a giant mansion? Why can’t I, also?”

One of Chavez’s five children is assigned as official cookie-taster, taking a small bite from each one before handing it to her father. When she does not die, he eats it. Even as Venezuela is transformed into a socialist state, Chavez promised that it will be the unique case where private property will be respected.

“Unless it is private property belonging to businesses, the wealthy, my political opponents, or something that I want, and then I will take it for the good of the people,” explained Chavez. “This is only right.”

Chavez defended his decision not to renew the broadcast license of opposition-allied TV station Radio Caracas Television, by saying that “I don’t mind dissent, as long as it’s not broadcast or spoken, and as long as it’s supportive. Anything else I feel is an assassination attempt and should be shut down.”

Chavez said there were no plans to nationalize more businesses – for now – after a series of state takeovers in the oil, telecom, electricity, and jazz-dance industries. But he did not rule out more expropriations in the future.

“The government always knows how to do everything,” he explained. “Just like me. So we should take over everything.”

His government has also taken over underused agricultural lands, which includes every farm in Venezuela. He described plans for cooperative farms, not like on the Soviet or Chinese failed models, but on a totally new cooperative farming model that this time would work, despite never working in history before. It was clear he would be successful.

“The agrarian revolution has arrived,” he said, and his words were like the breath of an angel upon my ears.

Hillary Clinton: Y Not?

HILLARY CLINTON’s sex threatens her presidential candidacy in the same way that Geraldine Ferraro’s gender issues torpedoed her aspirations to be vice-president in 1984. Hillary Clinton’s lack of a penis – the subject of subtle whispering and cause of persistent rumors of strife with her sometimes-faithful husband – continue to plague her campaign. None of her responses have so far stifled her skeptics, who continue to point out she dresses in a clearly feminine fashion.

Recent polls indicate that between 45 and 65% of registered voters would not consider voting for a woman for president if Hillary Clinton was that woman, and conventional wisdom among pundits suggests that her gender is a major reason. Everyone is eager to make her femininity a hurdle, from blue state closet misogynists to the typical red-state evangelicals who take a more primitive attitude towards women, viewing them as property or de facto chattel slaves.

All of which raises the question: are we sexists if we refuse to vote for a woman? Or is it perfectly sensible and responsible to be suspicious of a candidate from the weaker sex, who once per month will be rendered incapable of rational decision-making by her raging hormones?

Interestingly, Clinton herself refuses to discuss the obstacle that her gender imposes, preferring instead to speak about “performance” when discussing her chances to be president. The other candidates have not clearly stated that it would be acceptable to have a woman president and, indeed, have campaigned strongly against her, indicating that they agree with majority opinion that women are too frail to be able to manage the world’s last remaining superpower.

To understand the limitations of her gender, it is important to remember that men are physically stronger than women and generally purveyors of discipline in the home. There’s a reason that the mother always says “wait until your father gets home!” There is little anecdotal evidence to suggest that anyone is afraid of women, unless you count environmentalists being afraid of Mother Nature. But it is well established fact that environmentalists are afraid of everything, including their shadow, so this result can be discounted.

Other women continue to stay with men who abuse them and treat them badly, impugning the judgment of woman as a group. Can we trust a president Clinton not to rush back to Iran’s embrace after it nukes Israel? More importantly, can we afford to?

By all accounts, Clinton is hoping this discussion goes away. History suggests, however, that it will overshadow her campaign and lead to ignominious defeat. Such was the fate of Victoria Woodhull when she attempted to run for president in 1872. While most Americans only vaguely know the history of this event, most are surely aware that her candidacy went so poorly that she was left off the ballot in every state and received no votes.

In an ironic twist, Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill, who was president from 1992 to 2000, was wracked by scandal the last few years of his term for taking what some deemed inappropriate liberties with female employees. Mrs. Clinton chose to stay with her husband rather than leave him, making the image of a nuclear halo over our allies in the Middle East a much greater possibility.

When asked about what role his wife’s gender would play in the 2008 elections, Bill Clinton was quick to respond “I think the voters, like me, are ready for a woman.”

(Author: This satire inspired by the Sally Denton hit piece Romney’s Cross to Bear)

Best Blogging Week Ever !

My lovely and charming wife was manning the helm for me last week, posting stuff I forwarded to her and generally keeping the blog in order for me. When I spoke to her on Tuesday, still groggy from a 10-hour plane ride, she said to me “I think lightning hit the server that tracks your blog, because it showed something like 350 hits yesterday, and that just can’t be right.”

I appreciated her brutal honesty, because quite frankly I figured that 300 hits meant I’d been spammed or sued or something. Turns out the counter was correct, and last week I had my best blogging week ever with over 600 visits and several links. Thanks to everybody for making it a very special week for me, particularly the good folks at Ed Driscoll, Maggie’s Farm, Sonic Frog, Watts Up with That, ERS Notes, and Muskegon Pundit. It made me very happy to know that you appreciated my work.

What I’m not happy about is that it all came when I was traveling for work, so I was completely incapable of capitalizing on it at all, managing just a couple of posts. If you enjoyed those, then they were an indicator of the high-quality content you can count on here at the Dollop.

If you didn’t like them, then I ask for a second chance because I was so busy working I wasn’t able to give them the full attention that they deserved, and that blames any gap in their quality and the typical standard here at the Dollop.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Fight Breaks Out at Guitar Celebration

Kansas City was still recovering this weekend from last week's riots, where what should have been a celebration by thousands of guitarists playing “Smoke on the Water” turned into a brawl after a rival group showed up to play “Stairway to heaven.”

“They’ve got no right coming here with their Led Zeppelin,” said Deep Purple devotee W.L. “Chick” Dibbler. “Everybody knows the greatest guitar riff in the pantheon is ‘Smoke on the Water.’ And I’ll punch anybody who says different.”

And punch they did. The riots went on for four hours, with thirty-three would-be guitar heroes injured along with six riot police. Tear gas, water cannons, and dogs were used to disperse the warring camps, and over a hundred people were arrested.

The guitarists had gathered together in an attempt on the Guinness Record for “Lamest Collection of Wannabes in the Same Place” but just missed the record set at the 2004 MTV “Real World/Road Rules Tryout Reunion,” attended by almost 2,000 people.

“It was just a terrible insult,” said resident Teresa Gumption, who had been injured in the fracas. “I tried to calm the two sides down by proposing a compromise song, ‘Freebird,’ but that just made things worse.”

CNN Names New Bureau Chief

CNN Headline News today named popular television host Nancy Grace their new Paris Bureau Chief, responding to fast-paced developments in world events. A CNN spokesperson said that “Paris is still the heart of Europe, and we think that it’s time we used Nancy’s talents on something other than complaining about celebrities. She’s too valuable a resource to be wasted on the Hollywood beat.”

Grace was pleased with the assignment. “We’re going to innovate,” Grace added. “In-cell webcams, interviews with the judge, background checks on the sheriff, and all sorts of other things. We’ll cover angles of Paris’ dog groomer’s cousin’s life that you would never even think of. And I know I'll bring the right mix of journalistic skill and personal dignity to this important story.”

After being told that the new assignment was located in Europe, Grace expressed concerns about her readiness for the job. “First of all, I don’t speak European. Secondly, since I don't know anything about this place, nothing important must happen there.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Environmental Terms Explained

As a continuing public service, I would like to now explain some common terms thrown around by the environmental movement. These should help you to understand some of the technical jargon that has come to dominate the global climate change movement.

Advocates: Also called Messengers; people who have received 4 hours of Powerpoint training

Anthropomorphic: Caused by the United States

Carbon Footprint: Calculation to determine the degree to which you are a bad person

Climate Change: Any trend in warming, cooling, drought, flooding, dandruff, etc. which can be attributed to the United States

Climate: See Weather

CO2: Dangerous gas that has increased since industrialization and tracks poorly with GMST

Coal: Evil rock that, when combined with man’s ancient nemesis fire, creates CO2; also called Brimstone in some sources

Data: Numbers which can be used to prove preconceived theories about the state of the planet

Economic Activity: Dangerous actions which increase Emissions by distracting Emitters from the guilt associated by their Carbon Footprint; these are often the main target of protests by Advocates

Emissions: Deadly gasses including, but not limited to, CO2, H2S, SOx, NOx, H2O, and FOX

Emitter: Any person or entity who does anything for any reason; Emitters are bad

Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST): Average temperature of the surface of the Earth as calculated by a variety of measures; has risen consistently in response to rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, except for those years when it hasn’t

Hurricanes: Destructive storms whose frequency and intensity are greater when GMST is either higher or lower than normal

Hydrogen Economy: Unproven and technologically infeasible solutions to all world energy problems

Industry: Organizations dedicated to increasing Emissions

Kyoto Treaty: International pact that would make the world a modern-day utopia; cancelled by President George W. Bush over the objections from the US congress, the electorate, the international community, and the AP

Modeling: Scaremongering via computers

Offsets: Way for Emitters to alleviate guilt over their Carbon Footprint by transferring money to Reducers

Outliers: Numbers which do not fit preconceived theories about the state of the planet

Reason: Emotionally-based decision making process

Reducers: People who take money from Emitters and spend it to increase their own Emissions by engaging in Economic Activity

Scientific Consensus: The opinion of scientists who want to continue to receive grants for their work

Sun: Large orange object in the sky that has no impact on Climate or Weather

Weather: See Climate

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Posting light, in transit

I'll be light on posting owing to a business trip that has me globe-trotting this week. Thanks to my lovely and talented wife for posting for me yesterday, and hopefully I'll be able to get something else up today.

If you want to see some of my best during my light posting, try these posts:

The Mother Goose Code
Our Trip to the Discount Zoo

Thanks to Maggie's Farm and Watt's Up With That for their kind links and words for my post, and as always to the inimitable Ed Driscoll

Monday, June 4, 2007

Selig: MLB to Honor Superman’s Creator

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig today announced that the league would have a special honor this year to remember Superman co-creater Jerry Siegel, whose 93rd birthday would have been on October 17.

“What kid doesn’t want to grow up to be Superman?” Selig explained. “Well, in MLB we’ve proven that you can become Superman, even at a somewhat late age, just by good exercise and linseed oil. That’s why we’re going to print ‘Superman’ on the jerseys of some notable players to remind the public of their heroic status.”

Jason Giambi led the push to honor Siegel, one of his heroes. “I respect him so much that I underwent a personal transformation from Superman to Clark Kent just to show my support. I’m going to get glasses soon, just to complete the change.”

Selig said that the AL East would also have a special honor for Siegel. “He was a longtime baseball fan, and an honorary New Yorker, so we’re going to name the AL East the ‘Bizarro Division.’ Instead of the division winner going to the playoffs, the division loser will go in their place. But as consolation we’ll declare the AL East winner the automatic wild card entrant, which should satisfy everybody.”

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Life Cycle of Junk Science

Below is the life cycle of junk science, as best I can figure it by analyzing the history of classic junk science, from diet pills to The Population Bomb. Can you think of any examples today that might fit this life cycle?

1) Maverick Scientist has an Idea.
2) Other scientists deride the Idea.
3) SF Writers use Idea as image of bleak future.
4) Academics debate Idea.
5) Politicians begins to discuss the Idea, but don’t understand it.
6) General Public ignores the Idea.

7) Champion arrives to actively promote and publicize Idea.
8) Scientists form a consensus that agrees with Idea.
9) Academics teach Idea as fact.
10) Fast Adapters change lifestyle, ridicule General Public.
11) Hollywood makes disaster movie, sometimes based on SF novel from 3.
12) General Public makes token lifestyle changes.
13) Politicians use Idea to attack political enemies.

14) Scientific consensus begins ruthlessly crushing dissent.
15) Champion is hailed as Messianic Leader.
16) Academics announce society is doomed.
17) General public accepts Idea.
18) Opponents of Idea are cast as wicked and immoral.
19) Music Industry holds benefit, sometimes using film name from 11.

Critical Mass
20) Dissenting Scientist proposes alternative theory to Idea.
21) Scientific consensus denounces Dissenting Scientist.
22) Messianic Leader begins making ludicrous claims unrelated to Idea.
23) Politicians propose massive social, fiscal, and moral changes to accommodate Idea.
24) Time Magazine puts Maverick Scientist, Messiah, Idea, or all 3 on cover.

Death and Rebirth
25) Dissenting Scientist is proven to be right, nothing happens.
26) Scientists form new consensus, claim they knew all along.
27) Fast Adapters are ridiculed by General Public.
28) Academics continue to teach Idea as “compelling theory”.
29) Politicians raise taxes, just in case.
30) Messiah and Entertainment Industry find new Maverick Scientist.
31) Return to Step 1.