Friday, August 31, 2007

My thoughts on Diana

I think I’m required to post something on the anniversary of Diana’s death. If I don’t they’ll pull my bloggers’ union membership.

So here’s my thought: does it appall anybody else that Elton John did everything but hump her corpse in an attempt to revive his fading career when she died, and that he’s continued to pimp out his crushing grief at her passing ever since?

There used to be a word that the grown-ups used for such behavior. Let me see if I can remember it; oh yeah, it was tacky. Yes, Elton, we get that you’re a half-witted asshole mooning over the loss of his blue-blooded soul mate. Shut the hell up about it already.

[Note: there used to be some nasty stuff past this, but after looking at it I've decided to censor myself. I guess a little compassion wouldn't hurt. The Elton John thing still bugs me, though, so I left it in. Candle up your ass, dickwad.]

Peter King's Top 100

[Note: this is long and maybe uninteresting to you. Skip it if you want; it's my blog and I'll post this kind of stuff if I want to.]

Peter King has a list of the best 500 players in the NFL on Take a look; it’s interesting, although I don’t pretend to have the knowledge necessary to compile such a list.

One thing he said that did intrigue me, though, was the assertion that
This is not a quarterback-rich league right now. Two thirds of the 32 teams aren't sure who their QB of the future is. Eighteen teams will start a passer who is in his first or second year in the lineup. The quality at the position -- consistent passers who've shown enough all-star ability to be considered franchise quarterbacks -- is frightfully low. Five years ago I'd have put 20 quarterbacks in the top 100. This year I have 12, and it was a stretch for Jay Cutler at 91 and Matt Leinart at 99, neither of whom has proved anything beyond being bright prospects.
This struck me as a little odd, since one of the laments since the mid-90’s has been the consistent dearth of all-star QBs. So I decided to see how his list might have changed if it had been done 5 years ago, to test whether or not this assertion seems true.

Come on, everybody, let’s hop in the Wayback machine and go all the way back to 2001!

First off, let’s look at the 12 top-100 QBs he picked for 2007: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, Phillip Rivers, Vince Young, Donovan McNabb, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, and Matt Leinart.

Right away he loses seven because they weren’t yet playing in the 2001 season (Palmer, Rivers, Young, Roethlisberger, Cutler, Leinart, and Bulger). That leaves him with 5 of his 12 that might be included in the 100-best.

Of those 5, two weren’t starters yet: Drew Brees and Michael Vick. Brees played in 1 game for San Diego, with Doug Flutie playing in the rest of them. And Vick was stuck behind Chris Chandler for Atlanta’s starting job (although he played in 8 games in 2001). Let’s give King the benefit of the doubt and say he’d put one of them in the top 100, though it’s a stretch to think he’d put both in the top 100 with as little actual data as he had on them.

So we have 3 left: Brady, Manning, and Hasselbeck. Brady was still fighting with Drew Bledsoe, although he did have a SB ring by then. So he’d probably make the list. Manning was good but not yet Manningesque as we know him today, but we’ll say he makes the list as well. It’s Hasselbeck I doubt; in 2001 he posted spotty numbers (a 70.9 rating with 7 TD and 8 INT). I don’t think he makes it in based on his numbers in 2001. Remember, it’s taken a lot of time and patience for Hasselbeck to reach “elite” status, and people still doubt him.

So I’ll believe there are 3 quarterbacks from the 2007 list who make the 2001 list: Brady, Manning, and Vick (for argument’s sake).

Guess who else was a starting quarterback in 2001? Let’s list the ones not yet named and their chances for inclusion:

Jake Plummer: Maybe he makes the top 100, since everybody loves the Snake
Chris Chandler: In the process of being mauled by Vick; he’d get shipped to Chicago for the next season
Elvis Grbac: Elvis had left the building, and after 2001 the NFL as well
Alex van Pelt: In 2001 he was caught in a close battle with Rob Johnson for least-worst Buffalo QB, and his sister Lucy was often mentioned as having a better arm than him
Chris Weinke: Maybe he makes the top 100, but I kind of doubt it (not with a 62 QB rating)
Jim Miller: Who? The next season he gets put out of a job by Christ Chandler, for heaven’s sakes!
John Kitna: Since he always looked better for following Akili Smith, maybe he makes the top 100
Tim Couch: Maybe, but it would be stretch since next year Kelly Holcomb put a beatdown on him
Quincy Carter: I doubt he makes it; they did audition Ryan Leaf to replace him the next season
Brian Griese: Given King’s man-crush on Griese, he probably makes it at #2
Charlie Batch: I doubt it, as this is the end of the Charlie Batch NFL experiment
Brett Favre: He’s at #1 in King’s 2001 list, with the note “PK+BF 4EVR!” next to it
Mark Brunnell: The former Johnny Unitas backup probably makes the list.
Trent Green: Maybe he makes the list, although he had a poor 2001 (71 QB rating with 17 TD and 24 INT)
Jay Fiedler: I kind of doubt it, although the Dolphins did spend 4 seasons trying to replace him
Daunte Culpepper: When he was healthy and had Randy Moss and Cris Carter to throw to, this guy was a premier quarterback. Since then, not so much.
Aaron Brooks: Another toss-up guy, he was always hot-and-cold. Remember that he hung on for a long time, though.
Kerry Collins: Another King heartthrob, he certainly makes the list
Vinny Testaverde: Too old even in 2001 to make the list
Rich Gannon: Back in his Raiders heyday, before his coming flameout, Gannon was a top-notch QB as well
Donovan McNabb: No question he makes the list in 2001
Kordell Stewart: Even with the hype, he was always a questionable QB; he’s the 2001 version of Michael Vick (without the dogfighting, of course)
Doug Flutie: Another maybe, since King always loved him, but much like Testaverde he’s awfully old in 2001 to put in the top 100
Jeff Garcia: Never a big-name guy, he was always good enough not to replace but not good enough to win; we’ll say maybe
Kurt Warner: 2001 was his last good year, so he likely makes the list
Brad Johnson: Stop joking. No, really, stop it. He was never very good.
Steve McNair: He definitely makes the list
Tony Banks: Again I say: who? Oh, yeah, the guy that barely beat off Jeff George to start for Washington. I doubt he makes it.

So to review: I see nine QBs I am pretty sure would make the top-100 list: Griese, Favre, Brunnell, Culpepper, Collins, Gannon, McNabb, Warner, and McNair. Add in the 3 we held over from this year’s list, and that’s 12 QBs that I’m pretty confident would be in the top 100 best NFL players, circa 2001 season.

That’s a far cry from 20. So let’s look at the maybe’s again: Plummer, Weinke, Kitna, Couch, Green, Brooks, Flutie, and Garcia. You’d need to say that all 8 of these are in the top-100 NFL players in 2001. That’s a tough argument.

Let’s look at the dross, and see if I mislaid anybody: Chandler, Grbac, Van Pelt, Miller, Carter, Batch, Fiedler, Testaverde, Brad Johnson, Banks.

I could imagine that maybe one or two guys are better than I remember (for example Testaverde or Brad Johnson), but then again you can easily counter-argue that in 2001 nobody thought Chris Weinke (who’d just posted a 62 rating for Carolina and would be replaced in 2002 by Rodney Peete) would ever be top-100. So overall those two lists are a push to me, at best, and at worst there are way too many maybes.

I think it’s likely that, at best, half of the maybes make it in: 4 more, for a total of 16 QBs in the top 100. And that’s a best-case scenario. Realistically in 2001 we’d have had no more than 14 top-100 QBs.

We could even look into the backups in 2001, but the only names I saw pop out at me were Chad Pennington or Drew Bledsoe. Maybe Pennington gets a rookie bonus to make it into the top-100, but doubts about Bledsoe originate from how the Pats offense got much better when he wasn’t in it. I don’t see either of them going from backup to top-100 list.

I think it’s more likely that the reality is that in 2001 we had about 12 QB’s you could easily rank in the top-100 best football players, with the other 20 or so starters a mixture of the good, the bad, and the Jim Millers. Perhaps a couple sneak into the top-100, but most likely he has a similar distribution to this year and bemoans the lack of all-star QBs in the league.

Which, it seems to me, is pretty much status quo in the NFL for the last 20 years.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Internet's Underclass

Take a trip with me to the seamy underbelly of the Internet, where the bottom-dwelling subhumans dwell. Yes, that's right, we're going to go explore the comments section of Yahoo's OMG! article on Courtney Love's accusation that Steve Coogan supplied Owen Wilson with the drugs that led to his suicide attempt.

I'll leave for the scholars to decide whether or not this being news says that our society is decadent and deserves to persih, or whether or how it is that what is essentially gossip should be repeated in a semi-slanderous account.

What caught my attention was the comments. What a shocking array of knuckle-dragging morons! Here's a sample:

One says: You me and Dupree then night at the's too bad he didn't I wouldn't be subjected to these horrible films :)
Can you feel the love tonight? Wow! And the emoticon smiley lets us know that the poster is...disturbed? Disgruntled? Discombobulated?

Sandra C says "hes gay" twice; I'm not sure if that's really germane to the discussion at hand, though.

A third tells us that courtney love probably tried to kill owen wilson just like she killed kurt one should believe a word that comes out of her mouth!!
Ahh, sweet conspiracy, the last refuge of the moronic troglodyte.

A fourth says I know owen and hes a good guy with an untreated disease
Now really, how likely is that? Just because you got genital herpes from a hooker who said she got it from Owen Wilson doesn't mean that you "know" Owen Wilson.

Another says OWEN HAS A CHOSE
If it's in all caps, it must be true. Everybody knows that "chose" is French for "thing", so I think this is some comment about Owen's legendary manhood.

And my favorite: dont feel sorry for him he banged kate hudson
This may be a retort to Sandra C, I'm not sure. But I think that the fourth guy would probably warn her to get to a VD clinic right now if that's the case...

Democratic Leaders Call Sadr “Quitter”

Congressional Democratic leaders today lashed out at radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, calling him a “quitter” and saying that he had betrayed everything the two groups had worked for over the past four years.

“I’m feeling totally betrayed this morning,” said top Senate democrat Harry Reid. “We’ve been providing political cover and claiming he was unstoppable for the past four years, and he has to go and quit without telling us.”

Democratic presidential candidates were quick to denounce the move and distance themselves from the newly-subdued cleric. Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton told a group of Union members that “I promised a week ago that I’d gin up a terrorist attack to help unify this country behind me, and I will go to work doing just that. There’s a Chechnyan separatist group that claims it can get off a dirty bomb attack inside the US that I’ve begun talks with, and I’m keeping a close eye on the continuing slide into chaos in Zimbabwe for signs that it can spawn a group to attack us as well. If elected, I guarantee terrorist attack after terrorist attack until I am made dictatress for life.”

The Edwards campaign issued a statement saying “Moqtada al-Sadr is just one of many implacable enemies that we cannot hope to stand against, and in my America we’ll bend over and surrender to every turbaned thug we can find.”

Democrats said they hoped that the country would not wait until the upcoming report from General Petraus to decide that the entire Iraq war lost. “This country is ready for an immediate retreat, regardless of the circumstances on the ground or progress on the war,” said John Murtha. “We can’t let the enormous progress of the past two weeks fool us into thinking we can win this thing. Hope must be abandoned at all cost!”

Bush Nominates Miers for AG

In a surprise move, President Bush has nominated Harriet Miers for Attorney General of the United States to replace the departed and disgraced Alberto Gonzales.

Calling Miers “the finest lawyer I’ve ever met and a pillar of the legal community” Bush nominated her at a ceremony in the Rose Garden early this morning. He said he looked forward to “quick, unanimous confirmation of this uniquely-qualified candidate.”

“I’d nominate her for Supreme Court if there were an opening,” Bush said in a brief Q&A with the press afterwards. “The fact of the matter is that in her time as White House Counsel she’s shown the sharp legal mind that led to reorganizing the US Attorneys as well as two quick, efficient Supreme Court Justice confirmations. I’m glad she’s on our side, to be honest with you!”

Miers said she was ecstatic with the nomination and looked forward to answering any of Congress’ questions. “I’m sure we’ll have a great working relationship, and I look forward to bringing some real integrity and professionalism to the office of Attorney General.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Katrina and Galveston

How is it that in Galveston, Texas in 1900 our ancestors recovered from a much more savage storm, that wreaked a much higher human toll, in much less time? Were they just better people? Did they have a better government? Were they better-organized? What?

I'm serious, what's the difference? 8,000 out of 42,000 killed, the city flooded and destroyed, with funeral pyres dotting the beaches for weeks. Yet within 3 weeks the city was shipping cotton again.

It's 2 years later and New Orleans is apparently tottering on the brink of being mid-80's Beirut, to read the reports. What the hell's going on down there??

Ian McKellen is not a theologian

This is what irks me about stupid celebrities bad-mouthing religion and venting their ignorance:
Sir Ian McKellen is so offended by the Bible’s anti-gay stance he makes a point of ripping out the relevant page every time he stays in a hotel room. The openly homosexual actor, a longtime campaigner for gay rights, accepts he shouldn’t vandalise the Bible, but finds it difficult to contain his outrage at the contents of Leviticus 20:13 when he spots the holy book in hotels. McKellen says, “It’s the one thing I find difficult to defend but do go on doing.” The Leviticus 20:13 passage reads: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

Technically, he should go vandalize a Torah, the Jews' holy book, since Leviticus is a core scripture for them. In the Bible, being a Christian holy book, the core scriptures are found in Chapter 2, the new testament (or sometimes Chapter 3 if you're reading a version with the Apocryphal texts included).

Now, I know that people use the passage from Leviticus 20:13 as justification to be anti-homosexual. But it seems to me that if you really wanted to push back, either use Matthew 22:37-40 (love your neighbor) and, if you want to hit a modern Christian with his theological pants down, slap them with Mark 10:1-10 (Jesus' quite clear prohibition against divorce).

Or, if McKellen wanted to be even more in-your-face, he could study one of those pages he defaced: Leviticus 19:27 prohibits cutting the hair at the sides of your face or trimming your beard; Leviticus 20:10 proscribes death for adultery. You could ask Christians how seriously they take those texts, if they insist on pushing Leviticus 20:13 in your face.

But for heaven's sake, don't tear up the bible. That's just immature.

(H/T The incomparable Ed Driscoll)

Ironically Delicious, Burning Man Edition

At a gathering of latter-day hippies, a narcissistic fop burns the gigantic icon of navel-gazing teen angst four days early. Police are immediately called.

Oh, it is to laugh.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How Hard Can it Be...

To find 535 non-pervert, non-lawbreaking, non-corrupt people to be senators and congressmen? I mean, really, the behavior of our elected representatives is becoming ridiculous.

And it’s hardly a Republican problem, although Foley and Craig make this generation think that gay congressional sex scandals are sole the province of the GOP. I’m old enough to remember the Barney Frank fiasco.

But it’s not just sex scandals, either: we’ve got two assaults, lots and lots and lots of corruption, and a general sleaziness seldom found outside your local adult bookstore.

We need to wash out Congress, from top to bottom. Stop voting for them based on party, and start voting for them based on integrity, for heaven’s sakes. Trust that a collection of 500-odd decent human beings would make the right decision together, instead of blindly pulling the lever because the candidate has an R or a D next to their name.

It’s the only way we’ll get a government not full of creeps, weirdoes, and sleazebags.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Huffington Post Baseball’s Dictators of the Diamond

A HuffPo Special Sports Analogy by Jim Swifty:

Since the worst US president ever (at least until General Pace gets his act together) used to be associated with major league baseball, we thought it’d be fun to put together a “Dictators of the Diamond” baseball team of the most bloodthirsty, country-wrecking, droolingly incompetent dictators of all time.

Don't look down here for your run of the mill dictators like Pol Pot, or wannabes like Saddam. These are the worst of the worst, a veritable all-star lineup of the damned, ready to start tonight in Hell's Stadium:

Starting Lineup
Abraham Lincoln
(CF): From suspending habeus corpus to ignoring his generals, Lincoln wrote the textbook on how to destroy everything that makes America great. It has been well-read by team owner George Bush.

Richard Nixon (2B): The first of two criminals to have served as US president, Nixon was solely responsible for the debacle in Vietnam and was the first president whose cabinet was made up entirely of inept burglars. Only a great statesman like Jimmy Carter could hope to rebuild the shattered remains of the republic that this lizard-man left behind.

Ronald Reagan (DH): He may be old, and he may have lost a step, but he still swings a mean bat, just like he did when he set back civil rights and antagonized most of the free world with his ridiculous "Star Wars" plan. Conservatives have been hiding behind him for over 25 years now, even though he’s been dead or incapacitated for quite a few of them.

Mikhail Gorbachev (1B): Some people see Gorbachev as a great liberator of ordinary Russians who helped dissolve their empire into component parts. But without the wiser and more sober USSR to counterbalance American arrogance, we’ve been treated to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur. So he definitely gets a starting spot in the lineup for being a dictator enabler.

Chiang Kai-shek (LF): For several years Chiang Kai-shek stood between the Chinese and modernity under the beneficent Mao Zedong. Finally driven off the mainland, he settled his tyrannical rule on Taiwan. As great as the Chinese economy and culture is today, just imagine how spectacular it would be if the country were whole. Well, it was this short-sighted jerk who kept that from happening.

Margaret Thatcher (SS): The “Iron Lady” helped push back progress in South America by 30 years when she bombed it back to the Stone Age during the Falklands war. Fortunately, Hugo Chavez has spent the last 10 years reminding us of the wonders that Socialism can work in solving the problems of the third world. She also set back labor rights in the United Kingdom, and everybody knows that the workers must control the means of production.

Shimon Peres (3B): Responsible for several massacres in Lebanon as well as being a willing participant in the new apartheid of the Palestinians, some people think that Peres finally got what was coming to him in 2006 when he suffered his massive stroke. Those people need to remember two words: life support.

Winston Churchill (C): He firebomed Dresden. He helped create apartheid South Africa. He brutally suppressed wartime England. He was responsible for the WWI disaster in Gallipoli. It was his inflammatory rhetoric that drove an otherwise peaceful painter known as Adolf Hitler into a killing frenzy that led to an atomic bomb being dropped on Nagasaki. Can anyone other than Churchill take credit for the disaster that was the 20th century?

Pope John Paul 2 (RF): Somehow this out-of-touch, self-hating, closet homosexual made Thatcher and Reagan look centrist by comparison. We would say he ruined the Catholic church, but it didn’t really amount to much anyway.

William F. Buckley (SP): Laying down rhetorical cover fire for this parade of miscreants and psychopaths, Buckley is a propagandist without peer.

Michelle Malkin (RP): If Buckley is a conservative Goebbels, then Malkin is his charming movie whore Liefenstahl, prancing around in her yellow bikini shouting “whore!” while she gobbles up [disgusting racially-based sexual slur deleted by admin]

Joseph Leiberman (RP): It’s only a matter of time before this Trojan senator shows his true colors and puts that “R” next to his name, just like he’s wanted to for the last 30 years. Dirty Jew.

Golda Meier (RP): Here’s another dirty Jew that people seem to like for some reason, so she makes the list too. Plus she’s got that stupid quote about the noble Palestinian resistance fighters that is always used out of context. Everybody knows what she really said: "Peace will come when the Palestinians love their children with memorials because we killed all of them and dumped them into mass graves."

Karl Rove (Manager): Only an evil genius could get this quarrelsome group to perform so flawlessly to advance to Christian zealotry across the globe and destroy the lives of millions, despite the fact that he's a moronic homosexual agnostic wiccan necrophiliac crack addict illegal alien fascist.

George Bush (Owner): If season tickets sales drop, he can always crash a jet into the stadium, just like he did when he needed to boost his presidential approval rating.

Why not child brothels, too?

I had a crazy friend once who explained to me that every pro sport was rigged by mobsters in Vegas and they controlled games to make money on their gambling operations. That’s why he was a hockey fan, because the money there was too low for it to be interesting for Vegas and it was the only “pure” sport.

He also used to predict that soon the US would legalize child porn. In short, he was nuts, and I used to tell him that. Nice guy so long as you didn’t discuss sports, politics, or pornography.

But then I read CBS corporate jackass Nina Tassler’s comments about Kid Nation:
"To really get out there and change the landscape of television, you have to sort of stir public debate," Tassler told the assembled press. "We know we're going to create some controversy. We know people are going to be talking, (and) it's good that we're talking."
Talking about what, exactly? Child-labor laws? Exploitation? What is it that she’s pushing for, exactly? It’s this kind of thinking that eventually leads us to child prostitutes. No, really, I’m serious.

Child labor and welfare laws were born out of the desire to end child prostitution. The end of child miners and garment workers was just a happy side effect of this practice. Ultimately, our entire system of child welfare revolves around the idea that children may not be exploited regardless of what the parents and the children want!!

And now idiots like CBS and head piece-of-shit Nina Tassler want to “stir public debate” so they can “change the landscape of television” because it’s “good that we’re talking.”

I’ll tell you what, Nina Asshole: you go live in a country where child sex slavery is a hot topic of discussion. Me, I think I’ll pass.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Weak-Willed Parents = Strong-Willed Child

I saw a recommendation on Instapundit for these books on raising strong-willed children. And it occurs to me that one of the problems with a lot of parents today is not that their kids are particularly strong-willed, it’s that the parents are exceedingly weak-willed. To a parent afraid to discipline their child, they all seem strong-willed.

Let me explain: it’s not uncommon for me to be out somewhere with my children (be it birthday party, school function, extracurricular activity, whatever) and one kid to absolutely go wild. I’m not talking about a specific one, just saying that usually one of my children’s social group will be wild at a function. That’s normal when you get 20 or so kids together; sometimes it’s my kid going off the rails. What’s sadly typical is also that the parent is completely unable to stop the behavior. Oh, sure, they issue warnings and sigh and whine, and then eventually they’ll say to the other parents “he’s so strong-willed. I just don’t know what to do!”

I want to scream at them: “Your kid isn’t strong, you’re weak! What are you still doing here? Drag the little bastard home and let him chill his heels for about twenty minutes and miss the rest of the party. Maybe he’ll behave a little better next time!”

Both of my children have had this experience with me, and they both cried and cried and cried. And you know what? When I tell them to knock it off or we go home, they knock it off. Because it’s not a threat when they know you’ll do it; it’s simply information that they can use to make decisions.

True story: at a T-Ball game when my daughter was 5 one of the boys was acting up. Nothing serious, but it was continually escalating: first horsing around with his friends, then mouthing off at everybody, then throwing balls at other kids, and finally throwing rocks at adults.

Well, after his mom gave him his tenth warning (something along the lines of “do I have to take you home?”), when she turns around he spits on her. Right on her back, the cowardly little bastard.

I told her “your boy just spit on you.” I figured she’d want to know.

So what does she do? She turns back and says, “that was really rude! Why did you do that?” When he stares sullenly at her, she says “I’m really disappointed in you. Do I have to take you home?” Then she turns and walks away.

After that I wanted to spit at her. Idiot! Take him home and spank him until your hand hurts! Put him in time out for four hours! Make him clean the gutters! Whatever discipline fits your style, but for heaven’s sakes do something! You kid just spit on you! It’s the ultimate sign of disrespect!

Fortunately, I used the opportunity as a teachable moment with my daughter. She’d seen the whole thing; when I asked her what would happen to her if she ever did something like that, she said this:

“You would punish me.”

“How would I punish you?” I asked.

“Severely.” She replied.

Voila the secret of dealing with children.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Earth resisting human “infection,” Scientist Says

When people get an infection, they run a fever and take antibiotics in an attempt to kill off the hostile organisms. Similarly, the Earth has begun to run a fever and is in the beginning stages of applying anti-humanics in an attempt to drive out what has become a hostile infection.

That’s the conclusion of a recent report by Dr. Jim Robertson, Head of Environmental Studies at Dubuque University in Cheyenne. He and other researchers around the world have been studying recent reports of animal and environmental behavior, and have concluded that the world is “in the first stages of an organized resistance against humans, whose slow but steady destruction of Earth has finally marshaled its defenses against us.”

Dr. Robertson’s group studied over 4000 cases of documented events around the world where natural forces have attacked human settlements. “When your body gets sick, you have lots of different responses: some white blood cells attack directly while others coordinate the defense mechanisms, you get soreness and inflammation as physical barriers to further entry, and overall your temperature rises to be less hospitable to the offensive agent.”

Like Frank and Ernest

Like one of those famously unfunny Frank and Ernest cartoons, the Earth is in the first stages of what will likely be several-millennia malady.

“Earth’s temperature is rising as it gets a fever, and now we’re seeing the first response of ‘white blood cells.’ It’s not an accident that beaver attacks are up 800% in the last two years, monkeys are running amok in Mississippi, and moose are farting out enough methane to power the entire state of New York for a year. Some scientists think it’s coincidence, but it’s pretty clear that Mother Earth is trying to tell us something.”

More ominous, says team member and Chief Volcanologist Sally Spitzmeyer, is the rise in volcanic activity. “We can sweat to help lower our body temperatures, but the Earth doesn’t have that option. So instead she blows her top and spews lava and ash all over everything. If anything, the recent Guardian report was optimistic.”

As far as preparedness goes, the report was bleak, quoting a famous TV newcaster as saying that “it’s time for people to crack each other over the heads and feast on the goo inside.”

When asked what people can do to help ease the Earth’s response to its infection, Robertson was similarly blunt: “Die.”

John "Tyler" Edwards

I've finally figured out John Edwards' secret plan to be president. It's not that he's a whiny, self-absorbed phony who thinks he can bitch and moan his way to president. No, it's that he's a shrewd student of history and the laws of probability. John Edwards hopes to be the next John Tyler.

Fact: Tyler was elected VP to a wildly popular war hero, William Harrison (Tippecanoe)
Edwards hopes to be vice president to the nearest thing Democrats have to a war hero, Hillary Clinton, who voted for the Iraq war and speaks moderately about it.

Fact: Tippecanoe caught pneumonia after a four-hour inauguration speech in the rain without a hat
Edwards knows that Clinton will ramble on and on at her inauguration, for hours. And if that doesn't get her ill, Edwards is banking on those VP death squads that have served Dick Cheney so well.

Fact: John Tyler split with his party after being president
Edwards has split from his party by submerging himself into the netroots

Fact: John Tyler was the first VP to seize the presidency, nearly splitting the country in two
Edwards would also like to split the country in two, then take all the money from one and put it in his own pocket (the famous "two Americas" theme)

Fact: John Tyler was put on the ticket because he cried when Henry Clay didn't get the nomination
Edwards is right now touring the country crying because Ann Coulter was mean to him

Can there be any doubt that Edwards is hoping to be the next Tyler?

Professor Coldwater’s Thermal Diet


Recent surveys show that at least 60% of the US population is dangerously overweight, with computer users at a shocking 98% obesity rate. Since it’s like that you’re therefore one of the fat tubs of lard that will soon die of clogged artery or rectal cancer caused by eating sugared fat, Professor Coldwater would like to present to you his revolutionary new diet, ABSOLUTELY FREE OF CHARGE!

The secret of the Professor’s diet is this: when you eat something, you must expel it at your body temperature. If you eat something cold, then your body must burn energy (i.e. fat) in order to warm it up. It’s that simple!

Hot coffee? Warm meals? Biscuits straight out of the oven? Those are the obstacles that stand between your flabby posterior and that tight, firm, Playboy-style body that you’ve always dreamed of.

Professor Coldwater’s diet is simple: by drinking water at just 1° C, you can force your body to expend the necessary calories to heat it all the way back up to 98.6° F! And those calories, spent day after day and week after week, will eventually add up. If you only burn 500 calories a day, you’ll lose a pound a week.

But don’t just take the Professor’s word for it; check out this impressive calculation which proves the Professor’s point beyond the shadow of a doubt:

Energy is U=m*Cp*ΔT

In this case, since the heat capacity of water is a measly 1 calorie/° C per gram, and we’re going all the way from 36° C down to 1° C, we can see that:

U = 13.9 grams * 1 calorie/°C/g * (36-1) °C = 500 calories!

14 grams of water a day? Why, that’s practically nothing! Drink up, and be sure to show off your new body in a thong bikini in the most public and inappropriate place you can think of, like your local Internet cafe or church!

And remember: when people stare at your hot new body and wonder where it came from, tell ‘em that Professor Coldwater told you his secret: U=m*Cp*ΔT

[Notice: This is not an advice or a recommendation. Consult your physician before starting Professor Coldwater’s Diet. Possible side effects of Professor Coldwater’s Diet include drowning, vomiting, death, and increased urination. Professor Coldwater is not a professor, nor a doctor, nor a dietician. Some calculations above may be incorrect. Your results may vary. For a free trial of Professor Coldwater’s product, move to Saskatchewan.]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I hate to quibble...

Zimbabwe's inflation was 7,634.8% in July, according to official statistics.

If inflation is over 7,500, can you really measure the 0.8%? I'm just saying. Couldn't you just say "much higher than catastrophically disastrous"?

Geez, we think 4% is out of control...

Can’t-Miss TV: Survivor: China

It’s sure to be nothing but action and excitement this season as an all-new Survivor debuts, ten times more dangerous that any before! It’s all the action and intrigue that you’ve come to love from Survivor, with an added twist of long-term personal danger!

In addition to the typical dangers from exposure, exhaustion, and all manner of stinging bugs and strange plants, this season’s Survivor will have some twists that highlight the mysteries and wonders of China:

  • In the Toy Factory Job challenge two teams will be forced to work in a modern, high-tech Chinese toy factory. They’ll have to pick up the intricacies of using a tiny paintbrush and lead-based paint to detail Polly Pocket jackets quickly, though, because the team that turns out the fewest toys will have to sleep in the asbestos-laden factory, which will still be humming with 10-to-12-year-olds cranking out other Fisher-Price favorites all night long.

  • A special “luxury item” will be a plastic-sealed fork manufactured in Portland, Oregon. Other contestants will be eating with recycled chopsticks like Chinese diners.

  • In a deal with the Chinese Dental Association, contestants this season will make and use their own toothbrushes with Chinese toothpaste’s revolutionary secret ingredient (methylethyldeath) to demonstrate its incredible efficiency at literally melting away tooth decay.

  • Unlike previous editions of Survivor, the castaways will not have to hunt for every meal. Instead, traditional Chinese delicacies such as mercury-laden Tuna and slightly poisonous meat paste will be on offer. Out-of-date vegetables will be a staple of stronger-stomached contestants.

  • For the losers of some challenges, only pesticide-laced pet food will be available for them to eat. Authorities ensure them that death is unlikely but kidney damage is probable if they consume it. Do they dare?

  • Sleeping beds and tents will be made from the revolutionary Chinese “Spontaneously Combusting Children’s Pajama Costumes.” Contestants will have to sew them together themselves with tetanus-laced needles.

Survivor producers are already hard at work on their next location, which they hope to place near an English germ-study center with a pension for releasing plagues into the local environment. They’re calling it “Survivor: British Fever.”

A Primary Solution

Just as moving Christmas earlier and earlier in the year has led to a higher incidence of workplace fatalities in the North Pole, so too the acceleration of the presidential primaries can bring no good to the political process.

This year, the early primary season has seen the Fred Thompson kabuki fan dance, Barack Obama self-destructing before summer is out, and a slew of second-rate pretenders taking themselves seriously as potential presidents a full 18 months before the election.

I don’t know about you, but spreading megalomania is not what the founders intended. Several of these cockerels aren’t qualified to be president of the Urinal Cake Changers’ Association, much less the United States. And a lot of these people should really be working at their day jobs in the government, not toodling around asking me for money so they can try to impress Iowa hayseeds and grumpy Michigan auto workers.

Now we have this accelerating arms race, and Iowa and New Hampshire are prepared to vote next week (if necessary) to be first. All this political coverage is interfering with important, real news like the Iraq report coming out in September, Michael Vick’s animal cruelty charges, and details of Britney Spears’ latest pantieless tirade at a photo shoot.

In order to solve this problem here’s what I propose:

1) The states will be put into three groups, each comprising about a third of the total primary votes. You can group them however you want, so long as you have roughly 1/3 of the votes collected in each group.

2) Choose a week to have the primary vote in Group 1. One week later, Group 2 votes. One week later, Group 3 votes.

3) Next primary season (in four years), you switch the order: Group 3 goes first, Group 1 goes second, and Group 2 goes third. Then the primary after that, you switch again.

There, problem solved. The vote’s not certain until the third group, unless one candidate just sweeps through Group 1 and 2. Candidates can hone their strategy: they could concentrate on the later groups, or the first and third, or whatever.

Best of all, the states’ complaints about being last should stop. You’re last one time, then first, then second, then last again. So you are guaranteed to be “important” at least once every three elections. That’s not so bad, is it? It’s fair and equitable. If you turn out to be a tiny little state with no real impact…well, get more people or shut your pie-hole.

Am I missing something here? Or must we endure this lengthening primary season until it reaches the absurd, with Michigan voting in 2010 for 2012, and Iowa voting in 2009 just to spite Michigan?

A Second Look at Hashmarks

I took a second look at Hashmarks,’s football blog. I reviewed it a long time ago and said some not-exactly-charitable things about it. I figured that now that it’s been running for a while, I’d check back and see how Mr. Mosley was getting along in the blogosphere.

Not well, it turns out. I didn’t think it was possible to become more obtusely vapid, but somehow he’s managed to do it. His bio says he’s an award-winning writer, but I have to wonder if it’s like one of those Nursery School awards that you get just for showing up. Did maybe his mom give him a trophy once?

Then an insight hit me: maybe it makes sense if you’re an idiot! So I put on my Terrell Owens Cowboys jersey, hung a Baylor poster on the wall, fired up some John Mellencamp, put a Chinese lead-painted toy in my mouth, and then reread Hashmarks to see if it would be more blogtastically fabulous.

Fortunately when I collapsed from inanity overload my wife was there to call 911 and paramedics were able to revive my by reading excerpts from “A Farewell to Arms.” But it was pretty close there for a while, and I think I heard a deep voice telling me to step into the light.

So all you kids out there, don’t try that at home. In fact, for safety’s sake just stay away from Hashmarks altogether.

[Disclosure: Yes, I continue to be bitter that he gets a million jillion hits for every hit I get, yet his blog stinks like an unburied raccoon. My blog stinks too, but at least I don’t do it on such a colossal platform.]

Right Idea, Wrong Execution

I won’t criticize Bradd Pitt for trying to help with the Katrina recovery. It’s noble work and kudos to him for continuing it. But it seems to me that he’s making a critical error in the way he’s choosing to help rebuild the communities. From the article:
The house that Pitt toured, loosely modeled on the distinctive New Orleans shotgun" style of long, narrow homes, will generate almost all its electricity from 28 roof-mounted solar panels, said Global Green USA president Matt Petersen.
Global Green hopes to use the house, which should be completed this fall, as a prototype for the neighborhood. Built not far from the banks of the Mississippi River and raised by three feet on concrete pilings, it is above sea level.
Why do I think he’s making a mistake? Because the article also says this:
Some in the area, which was not as badly flooded as others in the city, are rebuilding. But a lack of funds have kept most from starting fresh.
What Pitt’s doing is encouraging the construction of more-expensive, higher-maintenance-cost structures targeted at low-income families. This doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

Solar panels are not cheap, neither to install nor to maintain. There are 28 of them on top of each of these houses (according to the article). So the people who buy these houses must pay the not-negligible added cost of the panels and of their upkeep. Or, the people who sell the homes must lose money.

And finding people willing to invest in real estate that’s guaranteed to lose money is difficult. Well, now that the subprime market has collapsed it is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Michigan Primary Moved to January 2007

His hand forced by a recent report in LiveScience, Michigan’s Senior US Senator Carl Levin (D) announced that the upcoming presidential primary for his state had already taken place…in January 2007!

“Only a handful of people know about this,” Levin said in an interview. “But next February we’ll be putting Michigan voters in a time machine to go back and have our primary vote at the beginning of this year. I stayed behind to hold the results, which I have here in a sealed envelope.”

Levin said the time machine was funded by the billions in earmarks he has socked away over the years like his good friend Ted Stevens (R-AK). Michigan was forced to take such drastic action by “those irresponsible Iowa hicks and New Hampshire yahoos that insisted on being first.”

I want to be first,” Levin said. “It’s not fair if somebody else is first. It’s practically an insult. So we went back in time and had our vote, but only after rope-a-doping those other states into looking like irrational morons by moving their primaries to Thanksgiving 2007.”

Levin said that the personal impacts of staying behind had been difficult. “That’s why I’ve seemed so out-of-it since January; I’m actually suffering from spatial distortion, also called Chronometer-Induced Idiocy.”

Asked about the results of the vote, Levin declined to announce them until the agreed-upon date in February 2008. “But let’s just say that Hillary’s optimism is well-placed, and people severely underestimate Ron Paul.”

(H/T Captain's Quarters)

Originality, please

Blogs and sportswriters alike are indulging in repetitiveness today upon the announcement that Michael Vick will plead guilty. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a variation on the theme of “Michael Vick sacked by prosecutors” or “even the most elusive QB in the league couldn’t run away from these charges.”

How about something original? For one thing, nobody’s working the dogfighting angle: “Vick savaged by prosecutors” or “Federal officials latched onto him and wouldn’t let go until he had to euthanize his innocent plea.” Or even something like “Codefendants maul Vick by working with federal DA.”

Or, to be a little more risqué, we could work some of the less-savory aspects of Vick’s future: “Vick hopes that rape stands will not figure prominently during his incarceration.” (this is not meant to be an endorsement of the poor conditions of this nation’s penal system)

And we can even imagine being rude: “Marcus hopes his brother can turn his life around and informs Atlanta that he’s available to fill in, and by wearing #7 Atlanta can keep uniform costs low.”

Monday, August 20, 2007

Top Notch Parenting, Vol. 3

In order to pick up the “Bad Father” hat trick, I forced my children to finish the series and watch Return of the Jedi. As you my recall, my success with Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back has been phenomenal: two movies, two breakdowns. So this weekend I expected the standard complement of crying, howling, and recriminations that I’d come to expect.

My daughter loved it. She told me that it was the best movie she’d ever seen, her new favorite, and that it validated the entire experience. I was once again a decent father. But she did tell me that she wasn’t so keen on seeing episodes 4 and 5 again (maybe, she said, when she was 20 it’d be okay), but that she’d watch 6 with me any day.

For my son it was also a big hit, although he did ask “where’s Luke’s light saber?” every three minutes (approximately 50 times in a 130 minute film). He was practically yelling at Luke to just start swinging in the climactic scene with the emperor. He doesn’t buy all that blah-blah about letting go of your anger and not being controlled by hate; the boy votes for instant decapitation, no questions asked.

So I’ve regained my status as SuperDad, particularly since I told them to steer clear of Episodes 1 to 3, unless one of them gets afflicted with insomnia or something. But parents who care don’t expose their children to Jar-Jar Binks.

However, just to play it safe, I’m going to stick to Backyardigans and Scooby Doo for a while now. I think that was enough crying and family schisms for one week.

Michael Vick succumbs to conspiracy

Isn’t it just a little too convenient for Falcons owner Arthur Blank that the “Michael Vick Problem” suddenly handled itself without him having to dirty his hands? Does anybody else smell a rat?

Let me explain: Vick was one of the most popular NFL QBs, an advertising and jersey-sales superstar with appeal to people throughout the country. But the reality is that he’s a career sub-55% passer with a 1.4 TD:INT ratio. Being the most exciting runner in the game doesn’t compensate for being an average QB.

But what could Blank do? He couldn’t get rid of Vick; he’d never unload Vick’s contract, and just letting him go would outrage Atlanta fans and cost him ticket sales. So the owner was saddled with a QB he felt couldn’t take the team all the way. This also makes fans mad. So Blank is in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.

Enter the dogfighters. This group of lowlife scum comes in and sets up camp around Vick and his clean-as-a-whistle Bad Newz Kennels. They build black-painted sheds behind a house that Vick owns and plant evidence there. Fake witnesses, false stories, and even some ill-conceived commentary by other players all convene to make Vick look worse than the love child of Rosie O’Donnell and George W. Bush.

The trap is sprung. Vick is no match for the fury of PETA and the Humane Society combined. Flatulent sports reporters dig their teeth into the story, each of them mindful of how much everybody loves dogs. Who among us didn’t shed a tear when Peter King’s dog died, or read Old Yeller in school?

It’s the perfect storm of righteous outrage mixed with ignorant bloviation. Soon the damage is done and Vick’s career is put to sleep. Blank and the Falcons are now free to draft wonderboy Brian Brohm, one of new coach Bobby Petrino’s old college QB’s from that famed cradle of quarterbacks, University of Louisville. As Hannibal used to say on A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together.

You’d better believe Green Bay chairman Bob Harlan is watching this carefully, and will soon be in contact with Blank to figure out how he, too, can move a tired old obstacle out of the path to success for his beleaguered Packers.

Until next time, keep watching the skis!

Can we blame this on China, too?

Who knew that we bought Condor collar tags from China?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Response to Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll asks today:
So who's going to demolish the current Hollywood formulas as they start to look increasingly gray and tired themselves, no matter how young the cast is?
I predict it'll be historical action movies. Witness the success of Rome and 300, really well-done historical movies with plenty of sex, action, and gore. And coming up we have The Last Legion, which looks terrible but fits in the genre (you could also count Troy in there, but I don't like to talk about that movie, much less link to it).

You can find any story you want, with good or anti-heroes or whatever you're looking for. You have love interests and killing and epic CGI battles. We'll be seeing more and more of these, and some of them ought to be pretty good.

Best of all: the events aren't copyrighted, they're easily researched, and the script practically writes itself (ie it's cheap).

Kid Nation: I told you so

Way back in May, I said this about the CBS show Kid Nation:

Reality Shows Demonstrating Poor Judgment:

Kid Nation: I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that they found at least 40 families willing to let their 8 to 15-year-olds be exploited on-camera for 40 days to help boost CBS’ ratings. Is this unsettling to anybody else? Are there no child labor laws in New Mexico? Does anybody really believe these kids are left "alone" in a New Mexico ghost town? If this show isn’t phony, then it’s probably illegal, and beyond both of those it shows unbelievably bad judgment. I’ve got no problem with adults humiliating themselves for their 15 minutes, but could we leave the 8-year-olds out of it, please?

Today, we find out that some of the parents are suing CBS and the show did, apparently, violate child labor laws. Once again your Daily Dollop proves its mettle as the premiere source of uninformed news and opinion.

Bottom line to the stupid parents: it's your freaking job to protect your children from child exploiters, not to complain about the terms the exploiters offer you. If a creepy guy in a raincoat shows up and asks to spend a few hours alone with your son or daughter in exchange for a hundred bucks, you don't haggle. You throw the bastard out on his ear, preferably after removing some dangling appendages.

Why must this be explained to some people? Someone thought letting their 8-year-old go off into the desert with no adult supervision was a good idea?

Obama hides behind wife, children

So according to Reuters, Michelle Obama is getting "fired up" campaigning for her husband's presidency. Can our international relations really take this? I would imagine that a "fired up" version of Obama rhetoric must look something like this:

1) Invade Canada! Those damned Canucks have had it too good for too long. 54'40" is just the first objective. The second? Five new states and one giant French-speaking penal colony.

2) Stop the wholesale slaughter of Afghanis: Everybody knows that our army is murdering and pillaging its way across Afghanistan, home of the gentlest people in the world, the famed Afghan rug sewers. They don't deserve genocide!

3) Free health care for illegal immigrants and the poor, confiscatory taxes for the rich. The rich being anybody making more than 40,000 per year. Or, in two-income houses, 50,000 per year.

4) NO MORE DEBATES! So long to the opportunities for seeing the real Barack Obama argue his points. From now on, you vote for him because he's not one of the other people.

5) Ask me about my children

Friday, August 17, 2007

Where rationing leads...

I see in the news that a Chinese couple wanted to name their child @. Let's just imagine the life of this little bundle of joy, shall we?

Age 0: Proud parents display baby Chung @, whose phonetic name means "love him." Everybody tells them that's wonderful, but then decides that they need more normal friends.

Age 4: Little @ begins self-defense training because other kids are beating up on him and loving it.

Age 7: @ becomes moody and withdrawn after discovering that there's never a gaudy personalized souvenir with his name on it since his parents picked a stupid flavor-of-the-month name.

Age 10: @ discovers that you can't get an e-mail address that goes He ends up going for

Age 11: @ becomes further withdrawn when he discovers that you can't get a MySpace page under @ either.

Age 15: @ indulges himself in his longtime fantasy, patricide. At his trial his only evidence is "they named me @!" He is given a small fine and time served.

Age 16: @ legally changes his name to something respectable, Chung Asswipeo.

Study Shows Most Studies Unnecessary

A recent study published in the Journal of Studies showed that 88% of all government-funded studies are obvious to persons of even average intelligence. The authors said that “it’s clear that federal funds are being frittered away on studies that, even to the average moron, seem stupefyingly clear.”

They cited as a perfect example the recent study showing that kids justified illegal downloads via the psychological compensation system professionals call “everybody’s doing it.”

“They didn’t already know this?” asked one researcher. “And they found somebody with money who didn’t know it either? How about a study on the impact of giving me money? Will a 500-page proposal secure a couple million for that?”

Further, the report cited upcoming studies such as the highly-touted Harvard University study “The Pope: Still Catholic?” and the Lancet study “Fatality Rate of Fatal Wounds” as being a “further pollution of the public discourse and contributing to the overall sense that universities and think-tanks are breeding grounds for morons.”

“I don’t need a study to tell me that a bear goes in the woods,” said one author. “It’s something I already know. They could at least study bear toilet-paper usage patterns. It’s truly maddening.”

TMQ Hearts Mike Vick

Tuesday Morning Quarterback, who I regularly read and really like, has an interesting column today on why he has sympathy for Michael Vick. It’s very good, and I am actually inclined to agree with about 2/3 of it. But there’s three things he says that I have trouble swallowing.

First, he plays the race card:
Next, I feel sympathy for Vick because there is racial animus in the current turn of events. If Vick really is guilty of cruelty to animals and associating with lowlife gamblers, these things leave him open to a kind of condemnation that has nothing to do with race. But don't you just sense there are loads of people who are happy to have the chance to condemn the first African-American quarterback who was drafted first overall -- via an accusation that has nothing to do with race? That there might be racial animus against Vick is not an excuse; he is responsible for his actions regardless of what others do or think. But suppose everything about the Michael Vick controversy was exactly the same except Vick was a white quarterback from an upper-middle-class family in Winnetka, Ill., Newport Beach, Calif., or Coral Gables, Fla. Can you say with a straight face that the public reaction and government action would the same?
No, actually, I don’t “sense that there are loads of people who are happy to have the chance to condemn the first African-American quarterback who was drafted first overall.” In fact, until TMQ wrote that, I didn’t even know that was the case. Does TMQ really want us to believe that people care that Vick was a black QB drafted first? Is there some subset of knuckle-draggers out there thinking “I can’t wait to knock that cocky black quarterback down a peg or two, just to show him that white quarterbacks should always be taken first!” Don’t black players routinely get taken first overall?

Now, if he wants to say that there’s a racial line between Vick’s attackers and defenders, that might be true. Is it because dogfighting is popular among blacks and viewed askance by whites? I dunno. I’m white, and I don’t know anything about dog fighting. Clinton Portis claimed he knew quite a bit about it, and he’s black. Wouldn’t be the first time whites and blacks looked at an issue differently.

But honestly, this is the first time a professional player has been accused of widespread animal cruelty. It’s uncharted waters. If we were talking about attempted murder, or wife beating, or rape, we’ve been there before. But this is new. How can TMQ just *know* that the response to a white player would be different? Would TMQ’s reaction be different if it were a white player?

If that’s the case, then TMQ’s the racist.

Second, the “where good keep silent evil reigns” card:
Deion Sanders wrote of Vick's dogs, "Maybe he identified with them in some way." NFL Network quickly invoked Sanders' contract terms to require he not comment on Vick and the dogs again. Why does Roger Goodell, a good man, fear Deion speaking his mind about Vick and dogs? When the good fear honest speech, all should tremble. And if Vick is railroaded, who will say so?
TMQ chooses to quote just one small part of Deion’s long, rambling, quasi-literate defense of Michael Vick. I urge you to read the whole diatribe here, a masterpiece of unintentional comedy (to borrow a phrase). I think that Roger Goodell probably forced Deion to keep his mouth shut for Deion’s own good, as well as the good of the network, and not out of fear of Deion revealing some terrible truth.

I don’t think it’s honest speech Goodell fears, I think it’s stupid speech. There’s a difference.

Third, the “It’s Nice Out Here in Left Field” defense:
You don't need to be Dr. Freud to see the parallels between killing a dog that lost a fight and cutting an NFL player who had a bad game -- or shrugging as a soldier dies in the Iraq desert because the Pentagon didn't care that a corrupt defense contractor stole the money that was supposed to be used for armor.
What the hell? Where did that come from? Is TMQ assuming that we’re all cocaine junkies like Freud, so we get his out-of-left-field simile between the Iraq war and dog fighting?

The first analogy, I get. Killing a loser dog is like ending the career of a loser NFL player. Except that rarely does an NFL player get cut for one games’ performance, and they’re free to take up other professions, and they choose to be NFL players instead of, say, warehouse guards or super models. Other than that, it’s a pretty robust analogy.

Worse, though, is TMQ’s implication that if a defense contractor stole money and then a soldier died a third party who doesn’t immediately storm the Bastille in protest is as guilty as if they’d killed the soldier themselves on purpose for not having armor. In what origami world does this spaghetti logic work?

I wrote before about how I was worried that TMQ was slipping into anti-conservative dementia; I’m afraid that this has to go into the “evidence” pile.

Now, let’s try out the last part of that crazy analogy and see if we can find something that fits:

You don’t need to be Dr. Freud to see the parallels between shrugging as a soldier dies in the Iraq desert because the Pentagon didn’t care that a corrupt defense contractor stole the money that was supposed to be used for armor, and trying to defend a lowlife who set up rape stands and wantonly murdered dogs in a barbaric practice that all civilized peoples abandoned over a hundred years ago.”

I think that fits a little better, but it probably doesn’t salve his conscience as much as self-righteousness does.

It’s Not Nice to Gloat

I’m sure it will come as a surprise to you that Greenstone Media is going off the air. It will come as a surprise because you probably didn’t know that they existed, nor what they did.

Turns out that they were a feminist talk-radio outfit run by Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda. And everybody knows that you can trust Jane Fonda, right?
Okay, that was just a cheap excuse to run a Barbarella picture. Anyway, they ran out of money because nobody advertised because nobody listened. It turns out that targeting the demographic that already fails to listen to Air America is a good way to make sure that they don’t listen to you, either.

But let’s not gloat over the poor employees who are going to get shafted, according to this (overly gleeful) report. I do feel sorry for them. They were probably working for something they believed in, and thought that they’d not get shafted by fellow feminists.

It just goes to show that in business, the politics of identity are just as useless as they are everywhere else.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Top-Notch Parenting, Part 2

Did you know that in the eyes of a 7-year-old, Han Solo frozen in carbonite is disgustingly worse than the charred skeletons of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru?

That’s the conclusion I’ve been left to draw after another meltdown by my daughter following a screening of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Mountains of dead rebels on Hoth? No problem. Exploding space ships sending scores of Imperial pilots to their doom? Who cares? C-3PO blasted to pieces? Good riddance.

Han Solo safely frozen in carbonite, all his vitals normal, with a dribble of spit coming out of the corner of his mouth? A veritable crime against humanity. Greatest tragedy since “Old Yeller.” Worst parental decision ever.

Then, just to top it all off, in the post-movie discussion about what happened to Darth Vader’s wife I LET IT SLIP THAT LUKE AND LEIA ARE BROTHER AND SISTER!! I mean, really, it’s bad enough that I’m forcing my children to watch Star Wars and scarring them for life, do I have to ruin the last big plot twist as well? I feel like such a turd.

I know it would be borderline child abuse to show children Episodes 1-3, but I had no idea that 4-6 would be so traumatic. And my wife’s response of “Strike two, daddy” isn’t really helping matters, either.

So I’ve decided that this weekend we’ll be screening two Hitchcock classics, “The Birds” and “Psycho” and then driving deep into the country to buy some parakeets before retiring to an out-of-the-way sinisterly brooding hotel.

I'll give her something to cry about...

Fred Thompson Formally Declares

Fred Thompson announced today that he was formally announcing his candidacy to replace Andy Rooney, the 88-year old rumored humorist that closes the hour-long Viacom promotional show “60 Minutes” on CBS.

“People have misunderstood my comments over the past few months to think that I was going to run for president,” Thompson said through a statement. “But in reality I’ve been solidifying my credentials as an ‘elderly crank’ so I can replace Mr. Rooney on national television as the voice of an angry, uninformed uncle that you don’t pay any attention to and institutionalize at the earliest opportunity.”

Thompson said that it should have been clear he didn’t intend to run for president, since he had shown little interest in debating other candidates and had lost all campaign momentum over the summer by his ritual fan dance around the question of his candidacy.

“I didn’t mean to mislead anybody,” said Thompson. “But out of respect for Mr. Rooney, I have been keeping silent until the time was right. I only hope that I can live up to the cantankerous spirit of America’s favorite old codger.”

One Ran Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Every presidential primary needs its Ross Perot, a crazy windbag with more sound bites than common sense. In the past we’ve had Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan take their turns filling the lunatic fringe role.

Who knew that this year’s wild-eyed crazy would be Barack Obama?

What other candidate has the audacity to declare that he wants to stop carpet-bombing Afghan villages so he can invade Pakistan jointly with his good friends Iran and Cuba? Is this guy for real? It’s a hoax, right?

Ron Paul probably thought being a wild-eyed defeatist Republican spammer would cinch the title of “Craziest Candidate 2008”, but it turns out he needs to reach deep into the insanity well if he wants to topple Barack “Pandering Barbarian” Obama for the prize.

My Violent Femmes Story

I saw this article in the news about one member of the Violent Femmes suing another, and it gives me a chance to blog my own personal Violent Femmes story.

When I was in college in the early 90’s, my wife (then girlfriend) and some friends (all of them dreadful losers of ambiguous sexual identity, not that there’s anything wrong with that) went to a Violent Femmes concert. I was far and away the squarest person there, and I am surprised to this day that nobody yelled “NARC!” at me while I was there.

During the song “Blister in the Sun” the drummer embarked on a fifteen-minute solo that featured him dropping bells onto the snare drum and whacking the side of the damned thing with what looked like a bamboo penis. I got so bored that I entered a trance-like state from secondhand marijuana smoke where I voyaged across space and time to contact the soul of Beethoven, who told me that he was glad he was deaf so he didn’t have to listen to that crap.

After the concert, we met back up with the losers (including one straight out of Single White Female who perfectly emulated her roommates, down to hair color and boyfriend’s name…really). I mentioned that “the dropping bells on the drum thing was fifteen minutes of my life flushed down the cosmic toilet of wasted time.” My wife agreed with me.

“No way, man, it was deep,” said androgynous girl, a suspected hallucinogen-user.

“Yeah, it really made me think,” said the transvestite. “It’s like music for your soul.”

“You’re way wrong,” said the roommate stalker. “It was deep.”

My buddy, who was typically the sanest one of the bunch (but he later left college to go find himself and ended up working at Pizza Hut, so you make the call about that), looked at me like I had three heads. “That’s real music, man. Didn’t you feel the music?”

That was the exact moment I realized I needed new friends.

I Hate the Geico Caveman

I mean, I really hate him. It’s a deeply-rooted, visceral hatred that causes pinpoints of rage to blossom in the back of my cerebrum whenever I see him. I want to hurl a brick through my television every time one of those stupid ads comes on. Not only will I never get Geico insurance, but I urge my friends and family not to get Geico either just in hopes that the company will run out of money to produce another one of these monuments to moronity.

But you can’t escape him. He’s made the crossover into pop culture, and I have no idea why. I know he’ll be passé soon, but that only means that he’s biding his time until he’s kitsch and comes roaring back with a vengeance, like The Brady Bunch or Yoko Ono.

I hate the Geico caveman. No, I despise the Geico caveman. No, I loathe the Geico caveman. No, every molecule of every cell of my entire being cries out for the end of the Geico caveman throughout all time and space and in all future and possible alternate worlds and universes.

I apologize for the rant, and now return you to your regular programming.

Ps: I hate the Geico caveman.

Added Link

I added a link today to a blog I stumbled across via Instapundit, The Shield of Achilles. I added it because it's a pretty good blog, with a unique point of view (military guy living in Germany), and the geekiness factor here is pretty high since I immediately got the "Shield of Achilles" reference. If you don't, he explains it over there better than I can here.

Plus, it gives me a reason to backlink to my own post on Achilles and Greek Heroes in general, which is always good.

Yes, I'm a loser. Let's not fixate on it, okay?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Top Notch Parenting

I decided to scar my daughter over the weekend.

On Sunday morning, my daughter woke up crying. She'd had a terrible nightmare where I had been cursed in a museum and turned into a skeleton. My daughter was quite upset, upset enough that when I joked about it she didn’t laugh and her mother warned me that I was being inappropriate.

That evening, I decided that I wanted to watch Star Wars. My children have seen it before and liked it, so I figured it wouldn’t be any problem. So I talked them both into it: I told my son that it had lots of fighting and shooting, which he likes, and I told my daughter that since she’d seen it it wouldn’t be too scary for her. My wife asked me (several times) "are you sure this is okay?" I told her yeah, stop worrying me, dad's got it under control.

My son quickly got bored. It was great watching the storm troopers take over the rebel ship, but after that there’s not so much fighting. Every time Darth Vader appeared, my son would ask “why doesn't he get out his light saber?” I don’t think that the boy cared who Darth Vader killed: rebels, starship commanders, governor Tarkin; he just wanted some ACTION! Also, I worry that the boy was rooting for Darth Vader to destroy Luke’s ship in the last scene. He may be in league with the dark side of the force.

My daughter quickly got hysterical. If you remember, there’s a scene where Luke comes back to the farm and finds his uncle and aunt dead. They’ve been burned, complete with close up of two charred skeletons. Oops.

That night, as I was tucking her in, she started sobbing uncontrollably and telling me how horrifying the movie was. She made me promise that, if we watched the other movies, there’d be no skeletons. She said she was ready to watch episodes 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, but that episode 4 was way too scary for her and she’d never watch it again. Sigh. So much for great ideas.

Worst of all was my wife's snide comment, "don't worry, daddy knows what he's doing!"

Next weekend I figure I’ll just go the whole 9 yards and show them “The Shining” and then offer to take them off to a secluded cabin where I can work on my upcoming novel, “If I Did It.”

Lord of the Isles

I’m going to give you a recommendation for a good fantasy fiction series, if you care: David Drake’s Lord of the Isles books. I’ve just read the first 6 books of the series, and I’ve been quite pleased with them. If you or someone you love is suffering from Jordan-itis, this is a very good cure for it.

Probably the best thing is that Drake’s world actually has a religion, one that is well-conceived, plausible, and convincingly executed in the books. Not all the religious people are good, or bad, or neutral, and different people have different levels of devotion. There are even (gasp!) slightly different religions, or versions of the religion, reflecting the takes of different people in the series. Just like religions in the real world. The religion itself is based (he says) on Sumerian mythos, which means that it’s different than what I’m used to.

Using the setting of islands is also unique, and he takes advantage of that to fit in plot devices that are very original (lots of sailing, sea monsters, etcetera). His handling of magic is superb and well-thought-out.

Characterization is strong. Lots of likeable characters, very interesting, and also very different. You can find at least one to root for, and there’s (thankfully so far) no new characters popping up who kidnap the scope of the book. It remains centered on the same core characters that you know and love.

The only quibble (and this is minor) would be the repetitiveness of the books, and the repeated elements of the story line for some characters. I suspect this is intentional, and that it’s building to something, but it does make the books seem somewhat repetitive. One character (Cashel) does almost the exact same thing in every book. Oh, sure, the setting changes, as do the supporting characters, but it’s almost always the same basic storyline.

Honestly, though, that’s a minor complaint. Overall, I highly recommend it as a good story, well-told, with plenty of action and some new and different stuff that will surprise and delight you.

Plus, he turns out a cleanly-edited book about once a year, unlike Robert Jordan, who takes 5 years between dictionary-sized nonfiction treatises of Aes Sedai fashion and intricacies of Seanchen lacquerware.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lunar Radiation Harmful, Study Says

A new study released today revealed that “far from being a benign lover’s illumination, lunar radiation poses a very real and previously-unsuspected health risk.” The study, funded by NASA through the ICSS, had been intended to clarify the impact that reflected solar radiation has on global climate change. But instead the authors found that moonlight is the previously-unknown catalyst for hundreds of burgeoning health crises.

“The scientific consensus is clear,” said Dr. Stephanie Kimball, head of the 1,998-member team that studied lunar rays. “It’s long been known that solar radiation could cause everything from sunburns to skin cancer, but everyone had suspected that at night we were relatively safe from their influence. It turns out we were wrong.”

Using measuring stations located around the world, Kimball and her team found that far from a break at night, when the moon reflected sunlight back onto the earth it actually heightened its lethality by removing the rays’ protective encapsulation of UV radiation, the cause of sunburn. Without the UV rays hardening the skin against their absorption the Variably-Oscillating Lunar Emissions, which the report calls “nocturnal disease beams,” are absorbed directly into the body and can cause everything from lupus to halitosis.

“Cancer was almost unknown sixty years ago in India, and now we have a rate of almost 100 cancer patients per 100 thousand people,” said team member Dr. Sanjay Gaupta. “At the same time lunar radiation has increased from sunspot activity and reduced cloud cover due to global climate change. Here is the inconvenient summary to this terrible truth: the moon is slowly killing us.”

Global, Not Just Personal, Problems

What about the moon’s impact on global climate change? “It’s also a factor,” said Kimball. “1934 and 1998 were both years with 14 full moons, and they’re among the hottest years on record. It’s not a coincidence. And we also suspect that the moon’s influence on tides and gravity waxes and wanes, which would explain the rise in destructive hurricanes like Katrina. Every indicator we understand points to one common denominator: it’s the moon.”

Politicians urged immediate action. Minnesota representative Melissa Hortence said that she wanted to look into whether or not the moon was responsible for the I-35 bridge collapse. “Did gravity fluctuations from the moon cause the bridge collapse? Will they happen again and collapse other Minnesota bridges? The Federal government needs to quickly release disaster aid money to allow us to find out.”

A group of surgeon generals, acting as advisors to the panel, seconded the call for immediate action. “The recent rise in weight of American children clearly shows that gravity is increasing. Therefore drastic steps must be implemented in public policy to ensure that this gravity distortion is reduced in order to safeguard the health and well-being of America’s underinsured children.”

“I’m forming an exploratory committee right now to deal with this crisis,” Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul said through a campaign e-mail sent out late Monday. “Headed by Karl Rove and retired general Thaddeus Ross, we’ll be ready after Inauguration Day in 2009 to launch a full-scale nuclear assault to blow this lunar assassin out of the sky.”

“I’m sure some people will be resistant to this idea,” Kimball admitted. “So-called ‘Lunar-tics’ will insist that it’s just environmental alarmism, and claim we can just adapt to the moon’s destructive influence. But we can’t hope that this just blows over; we have to act drastically right now to save future generations.”

As protection the report suggests that people wear tin-foil pajamas to protect them from moon rays and purchase lead-lined blankets that will be available later this year from noted environmental firm Generation Investment Management.

Kimball said that she is very worried about the future. “When I see a full moon now it’s not romantic anymore, and I certainly don’t worry about werewolves. I want to go hide in a bank vault.”

One Month = Eternity?

Where’d everybody go? I only took a month off! In the blogosphere, though, that’s a relative eternity. So my traffic has dropped off to 6 hits a day, which is pretty much all the people who are related to me. And one of them has started complaining about the volume of my posting, so I guess I can expect my hits to drop off to 5 any day now.

In an effort to boost traffic, I’m going to type in some powerful search phrases to try to lure unsuspecting people to Daily Dollop:

Lindsay Lohan nude sex tape DUI bitch slaps cop thong bikini mackerel

Gary Coleman shooting rampage circus cannon midget bowling wedding

Kevin Federline bogus loser Britney’s naked picture hockey stick raccoon testicles

Otter baby global warming bites researcher adoption Knute

Twelve-headed jellyfish savages space station

Michael Vick suspended season pit bull bites buttocks looks for work tag-team Pacman Jones Marcus more normal pleads guilty innocent cooking tips

If you’ve stumbled here looking for that information about Kevin Federline’s new line of raccoon-testicle hockey stick covers, I apologize. But take a look around at the site and see if you can’t bump my traffic up, okay?

And be sure to spam all your friends with my web address. Hey, it works for Ron Paul!

Pissing Up with Pearlman

Regular readers (both of them) may have noticed in the past my not-so-subtle attempts to spark up a public flamewar with someone vastly more popular than me (columnists, celebrities, Martha Stewart, etc). Come to think of it, that pretty much describes everybody currently on-line, from moon landing doubters to blogs that focus on the proper way to cook turnips.

Anyway, one particular target I fired at early on was Jeff Pearlman, who I vented my spleen on here. Sadly, I couldn’t stoke it into a big public fight to garner some linkage. Turns out, I didn’t try hard enough: in his column this week Pearlman links to a blog that ripped him over another column he wrote.

Oh, the pain of knowing that if only I’d pushed harder, that could be my blog in there instead of FireJayMariotti! The sleepless nights! I’m terribly depressed.

Having missed the boat with Pearlman, I’m going to rev it up and take a shot at another ESPN columnist, Jonah “Smirkmeister” Keri. Here’s my opening salvo:

“In his latest waste of electrons, Jonah Keri would have us believe that he’s a 6’4” tall Nordic god with wavy hair and muscles like Thor. I doubt it. He’s probably five foot nothing, his muscles pale and flabby from disuse, and also balding with an appalling under bite. I bet that his picture is photoshopped so much Reuters wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. But I would believe he has Thor bedsheets and Spiderman underwear on his flabby, uncool ass.”

There. Now I just have to sit back and wait until Keri deigns to notice me and responds. In fact, to make it easy, I’m going to suggest a response for the estimable Mr. Keri:

“So some stupid blogger douchebag said I was short, pale, flabby and liver-spotted. I may be pale and flabby, but I’m a full 6’4” pale and flabby! He’s probably some chickenhawk red-state goober that hates soccer and has lots of girlfriends from Canada. I’m not going to link to him so that none of you catch a bad case of dumbass from him.”

There, that’s all done, then. If there’s a hole in this plan, I sure as heck don’t see it.

Discredit, disgrace, defund

That’s the only reasonable reaction to the latest news on the Global Warming data and the shameful behavior of NASA and GISS scientists. What else can you say when scientists massage data to fit their theory?

If the issues put forth by McIntyre are true*, then everyone involved in this nonsense needs to have their credentials irreparably tarnished and their careers ended. Not tomorrow, today. These jackasses should never research, teach, write, lecture, nor be involved in the sciences ever again. I’m not even sure they should be allowed to continue to use running water.

I’ve ridiculed global warming alarmism, and I’ve always been skeptical about the data that we had: the amount of it, its reliability, and its overall statistical robustness. But I didn’t think they’d be actively altering unpleasant data to make it fit their ends. That’s criminal; it’s certainly not science.

Think I’m being harsh? If a stock analyst falsified data on a fund and defrauded investors, he’d be prosecuted. If a surgeon lied about the results of a procedure and it was performed on thousands of people, he’d be in jail and lose his license.

These happy fraudsters pushed fake data and junk science on us and tried to change the political, economical, and moral fabric of the entire world to fit their druidic ideas of purity and enlightenment. How much time, effort, and energy has been wasted on global climate change that could have gone to something useful?

Worse, they swept up gullible millions along with them. They’ve damaged relations between the US and Europe, inflated the price of oil (thus funneling money to terrorists), encouraged the creation of a European CO2-trading scheme only slightly less complicated than a manned mission to Mars, and distracted millions of dollars in capital and research from more important projects like cures for cancer or direct-to-iPhone porn.

But their true triumvirate of malfeasance was spawned from their unholy alliance with Hollywood:

1) An Inconvenient Truth, responsible for lowering the IQs of schoolchildren all across the United States
2) The Day After Tomorrow, which stole 124 minutes from the lives of millions of moviegoers across the world which they can never have back. It’s the greatest theft of time since Born on the 4th of July.
3) Live Earth, starring the Allman Brothers and jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, which would have interrupted the schedules of millions had it not been broadcast on NBC (total audience 412 crotchety old cranks)

For all those scientists out there who just patently accepted their junk, without adequate peer review or running the numbers themselves, shame on you. As a community, we’re supposed to be better than that. Thanks for damaging scientific credibility and dragging us closer to where politicians and journalists are.

You would hope that we’d advanced past rushing into mistakes like phrenology and eugenics, but something like this shows that we haven’t moved as far as we might like.

* In the interest of disclosure, there’s a link to Daily Dollop from Watts Up With That, an associate of the guy (McIntyre) who has done this research. It actually brought me lots of traffic. But I’ve never communicated with the site proprietor that I know of.

Monday, August 13, 2007

NFL Team Mottos 2007

Now that the NFL season is readying to start, we can announce the new NFL team slogans for the 2007 season:

AFC East
New England: That’s all I have to say.
Miami: How’s the arm feel, Dan?
Buffalo: Help wanted: inquire within
NY Jets: So much more than just a dick in a green hard hat

AFC North
Cincinnati: There’s no “I” in team. But there is one in “guilty.”
Pittsburgh: Twice as mobile as the clock in London and almost as smart.
Baltimore: You think Justice Roberts is impressive? Ray Lewis has seizures and plays football at the same time!!
Cleveland: @*#& rookies

AFC South
Indianapolis: What was that about Defense winning championships again?
Jacksonville: Straining against the shackles of mediocrity
Tennessee: Now that Pacman’s gone, things can only get better
Houston: Instructions to maximize enjoyment of Texans football: Cover eyes, drink heavily. Repeat as necessary.

AFC West
Denver: We don’t want to cripple anybody; we just want to knock them out for the rest of the season.
Kansas City: No fair! We haven’t played defense for years, and we didn’t win a super bowl!
San Diego: If at first you don’t succeed, try again. After that fire the coach.
Oakland: If Kiffin doesn't work out, we're making a run at luring Hayden Fox out of Minnesota.

NFC East
NY Giants: All these years we’ve been employing the less-aggressive Strahan
Washington: Setting the standard for megalomaniacal owners
Dallas: Come for the game, stay for the angry bickering that is sure to follow
Philadelphia: There’s a fine line between freak injury and breaking down. Anybody know which side of that line McNabb is on? Anybody?

NFC North
Chicago: Our motto was intercepted by another team, just like 42% of our pass attempts.
Green Bay: Did you know that in Scandinavian “Brett Favre” means “Obstacle to Progress”?
Minnesota: Without naked hooker boat parties, we’re hardly worth mentioning
Detroit: Finally ready for the 10-wideout offense we’ve been dreaming of

NFC South
Tampa Bay: Will gladly trade coach for draft picks
Carolina: Ready to choke away another season
Atlanta: Willing to donate anything to PETA to make it all just go away
New Orleans: How many years do we have to wait to move to San Antonio not to look like heartless bastards?

NFC West
Seattle: Now entering our second season of bitterness about Super Bowl XL
St. Louis: We were good once, and young. Now, not so much.
Arizona: We might suck, but at least our coach has freak-outs from time to time.
San Francisco: Working hard to ensure another year of Seattle dominance.