Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Forgive my pessimism about the Iraqi army...

This video depicts actual signees in the new Iraqi army, presumably paid and trained with our tax dollars. Holy hell. None of these guys show particularly good form, but the "spasm guy" in the middle and "slow motion guy" on the right are particularly hilarious (or sad, depending on how you're looking at it). Good god.

Weird couple of the year alert

Ok, I thought nothing could top the recent news that Shia LaBeouf was dating Rihanna, but today comes word that Lance Armstrong is dating Ashley Olsen. As in, of the Olsen Twins. What? Seriously, Lance? Really? An Olsen Twin? For real? Weird.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In other news, readers are total idiots

There's really no plausible explanation for the following poll results other than the fact that 2/3 of the people who read CNN's website are absolute morons who find "Bill Clinton, man, does that guy love sex!" jokes to be the very height of sophistication.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Here's the thing about Rudy Giuliani

I'm always somewhat amazed when I heard people speaking about Rudy Giuliani in reverential tones. He was a fairly ineffective mayor of New York City, and the voters really hated the guy before some cave dwelling wackjobs decided to fly a couple planes in to the World Trade Center. Then, because he had the presence of mind to not run around the country like a scared four year old, he was somehow credited with demonstrating incredible leadership. (Not so incredible: his decision to locate the city's emergency command post in the World Trade Center, which had been attacked 8 years prior, and which was a no-brainer as the most likely terror target in the city.) He appointed a mobbed-up crony to be Police Commissioner, then tried to get the same guy appointed as head of DHS. He also had numerous affairs, told a press conference he was leaving his wife before he told her, and generally made such an ass of himself that he had to drop out of the campaign for the Senate so that his ego wouldn't have to withstand a 30 point loss to Hillary Clinton.

All that being said, however, here's the thing that amazes me about Rudy, and which, for some reason, nobody wants to talk about: HE WAS MARRIED TO HIS COUSIN. YEAH, HIS COUSIN. FOR 14 YEARS!!!! Isn't that insane? Yes, it is completely insane. The guy was married to his damn cousin. Why is this not an immediate disqualifier? Why isn't this the ONLY issue his opponents run on? Can't you see the ads? "Yeah, my opponent may be a tough mayor and a worthy adversary, but did you know HE WAS MARRIED TO HIS COUSIN FOR 14 YEARS?" Seriously, if I was Mitt Romney, that's the only issue I'd talk about for the next 6 months.

This is Rudy Giuliani in drag. It is NOT a picture of his cousin,
to whom, incidentally, he was married. For 14 years.

Like I need ANOTHER reason to hate the Patriots?

My hatred for the New England Patriots is well known. Not only does their quarterback impregnate random actresses and then take up immediately thereafter with famous supermodels, not only does their head coach make a habit of stealing other people's wives (see below) and stealing signals from opposing teams, and not only did one of their linebackers once fail to acknowledge me when I said "hey" to him at a shopping mall in San Diego, but they now see fit to run up the score on the Washington Redskins, 52-7. What a bunch of classless punks. Unfortunately, they seem to actually be one of the toughest teams in recent memory, so we might be cursed with a season's worth of "Tom Brady is the best quarterback who has ever lived, and Belichick is smarter than Jesus" columns from Peter King over at CNNSI. Sigh.

Class, Patriot style

Thursday, October 25, 2007

OMG Dumbledore caught teh ghey!!1!!11!!

First of all, sorry for the extreme lack of blog-posting lately. Your humble blogger was at a scintillating conference in which he learned how to get lots of money from the federal government (ha!), and subsequently got engrossed in fascinating details at his place of employment. Consequently, blogging has been kept to a minimum, even though there have been a number of important stories in the national news. What? No, not the San Diego fires. I'm talking about Kid Rock getting arrested in a brawl at a Waffle House, or Britney Spears' new addiction to something she calls "purple drank," which is "a mixture of Diet Sprite, prescription-strength cough syrup with coedine, and painkillers"--yum! Really, it's like Kid Rock and Britney are trying to have a contest to see who can out-trash the other.

However, the most annoying story of the past week has to be the big revelation that Albus Dumbledore, beloved headmaster in the Harry Potter series, is/was gay. Gasp! As an acknowledged Harry Potter fan, I've gotten lots of emails about this, and, really, my reaction is "meh." Here's the thing: beginning with the fourth book of the series, JK Rowling went CRAZY with the length of the books. I mean crazy, like 800 pages per book. My feeling is that if she didn't think Dumbledore's gayness was important enough to include in the nearly 3,200 pages that constituted the final four books, why should readers feel like it was an issue of any importance?

Really, the whole business of talking about character backstories after the books have concluded makes me feel like I"m talking to one of those Star Wars fans who has read all several hundred of the Star Wars books, and can therefore tell you EVERYTHING that ever happened to the characters. "Oh, yeah, well, Han and Leia had four kids until Leia was killed by an enraged cyborg that was created by the son of Darth Crapious--he was a Sith from the Tarbek system--and then Han had to team up with Luke's cousin Amelior and they ended up..." Really, it's all very tiring, and, at the risk of offending these folks, I feel that if it's not in the books (Harry Potter) or the movies (Star Wars), it didn't happen. Case closed. Sorry. Finally, here's a Dumbledore-is-gay t-shirt that is pretty sweet.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seriously, why do all Trader Joe's parking lots SUCK?

Today my lovely wife and I drove to the brand spanking new Trader Joe's in Northeast Portland. Built on the site of an old 24 Hour Fitness, it's a great deal larger than other Trader Joe's spots in town, and we enjoy the wide aisles and larger selection of merchandise. As it was being built, we fervently hoped that its parking situation would compare favorably to other Trader Joe's stores in town. To put it bluntly, whoever designs their parking lots needs to have his license revoked, and needs to be forcibly exiled to some sort of car-less island that will never feel the need for a parking lot. The reason is this: every Trader Joe's parking lot in Portland SUCKS. They are horrible. The entrances and exits seem haphazardly placed, cars careen through them like bumper cars driven by drunken 12 year olds, carts float aimlessly about, and the whole enterprise seems like the antithesis of a Rube Goldberg contraption: everything is designed to be completely incompatible with everything else, nothing works, and it is ugly to boot.

So fast-forward to our first trip to the new NE Portland Trader Joe's. With so much space, you think they'd have a much better parking lot, no? NO! It sucks! It's no better than the others, and, in fact, it's worse, because there's so much more traffic with which to contend. I saw some jagoff driving a SUV with an "Obama 2008" bumper sticker lose his stuff and nearly get into a brawl with a women who took his spot. Now, in her defense, she had no way of knowing she was taking his spot because the lot is so poorly designed: every parking spot can be accessed from about eight directions, and drivers in 7 of those directions can't see any other cars waiting for the spot. Argh. To say the least, it's a massive exercise in frustration. There's got to be nepotism or something going on, like the guy who designs the parking lots is the brother-in-law of the CEO. SOMETHING. Because nobody sensible would possibly design even one of those lots, much less all of them. Are Trader Joe's everywhere this bad? Can somebody explain? Don't the Germans own Trader Joe's? Is this some sort of revenge for WWII?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Idiot redneck governor suggests that safe sex is like drunk driving, domestic abuse

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, perhaps the biggest redneck* to ever run for President, proved today, in response to a question posed by a supporter, that the words "hillbilly" and "logic" should never, ever, appear in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence. The question put to the Governor was rather simple: will his "Christian" background prevent him from supporting safe sex measures? In his typically convoluted, logic-free way, Huckabee delivered a bit of speechifyin' that would be welcomed in a forum like the Pat Robertson Hour of Stupidity (aka the 700 Club), but which bears no resemblance to anything resembling coherent, rational thought.

"If we really are serious about stopping a problem, whether it's drunk driving...we don't say "Don't drive 'as drunk'?" ...This is an illogical thing that we apply to that one area that we don't
apply to any other area. And I'm open-minded to all the arguments, if someone can convince me a little reckless behavior is OK. Maybe that's the message. But it would seem to me that if we're consistent in saying reckless behavior is undesirable we should ask people to move their behavior to the standard and not move the standard to the behavior...We don't say that a little domestic violence is OK, just cut it down a little, just don't hit quite as hard. We say it's wrong."
Here's where the good gov goes off the rails: safe sex is the CURE for the problem, it's not the problem itself. Drunk driving, like domestic violence, is a problem. So we create SAFE measures to keep people from doing it. Likewise, UNSAFE SEX is the problem, so we create SAFE ways for people to get it on without (a) endangering themselves or their partners, or (b) getting someone knocked up, like their third cousin before she graduates high school. (Sorry, threw that one in there in case the Huckabee staff is here visiting and needed a way to relate.) Is that so hard to understand? I guess it shows the man's mindset that he views safe sex as a problem, equivalent to things like drunk driving and domestic violence.

*Why do I call Huckabee a redneck, when the last Arkansas governor to run for public office distinguished himself as a two-term President? Well, it's not because he's from Arkansas, or because he's got a southern accent, or anything like that. It's his NAME. It screams "Redneck!" You expect someone named "Huckabee" to be a guest host on Hee-Haw, not running for the freaking Oval Office. Give me a break. I'd root for someone named "Huckabee" to win the Daytona 500, but would never vote for the guy.

In which CNN calmly informs us of a potential health scare for kids

As the parent of a young (1 year old) child, I can confirm that the world is filled with a seemingly endless catalog of horrors and bogeymen, all ready to leap into your child's gullet and cause all manner of instant death and catastrophe. Children, you soon discover, like to eat, well, EVERYTHING, and there is literally nothing that a child will not pick up and attempt to introduce into its mouth. Similarly, a young child's physiology is such that many mundane things can cause all kinds of grief (like honey, for instance, who knew?). So into this fray jumps CNN, providing a calm, reassuring glimpse of a particular health issue facing kids, and providing some clear-thinking analysis of how to resolve the problem.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Breaking news from Portland: well-known nasty swing joint "Ace of Hearts" is no more!!

So this is a brief news blurb that will really only interest my dedicated readers from Portland, Oregon. (Notice how I assume they actually exist.) Anyway, my drive to/from work takes me past a mysterious building that for years has had a large sign out front with no words, just a picture of a playing card showing the Ace of hearts. While the building makes no effort to disclose its contents, those in the know are aware that this is a fairly seedy swingers club. (On a slightly skeezy note, I once saw a number of trophies in their front window. Trophies? At a swingers club? Why? The mind reels.) At any rate, here's the big news: the "Ace of Hearts" is now known as "Angel's Sensual Social Club." Yeeks. That name is MUCH scuzzier, no? "Sensual social club?" Ugh. It's like a normal social club, only there's a lot more robes and lotions involved. Most of the guys probably drive van conversions. The horror.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Florida Cop wins coveted "Pregnant Cornbread Sleazy Lawsuit of the Year" Award!

My wife and I live in a neighborhood in inner Southeast Portland that has a combination of much pedestrian traffic and many narrow streets. The consequence of this is that idiot pedestrians and bicyclists are forever darting in front of my car as I (cautiously, I might add) make my way through the streets. Whenever this happens, I turn to my wife and joke, "You know, if I hit that guy and killed him, I could sue his estate for the emotional distress it would cause me." We have a good chuckle (because, really, I'm not that much of a jerk), and go on. Yet, today, how shocked was I to discover that a good-for-nothing cop in Florida did something nearly as bad. Witness the absurdity:

A police officer who slipped and injured a knee responding to a toddler's near-drowning has sued the family of the 1-year-old boy, who suffered brain damage and can no longer walk, talk or swallow.

Casselberry Sgt. Andrea Eichhorn alleges Joey Cosmillo's family left a puddle of water on the floor, causing her fall during the rescue efforts. She broke her knee and missed two months of work.

The boy fell into the pool outside the family's home in suburban Orlando in January and now lives in a nursing home and eats and breathes through tubes.
What? For real? Holy hell, what a jackass. First of all, YOU ARE A COP. Don't you expect that bad stuff is going to occasionally go down? Second, beyond the legal issues at play, the kid is confined to a nursing home and breathes through a tube. A TUBE! Where is the sense of decency? Third, you missed two months of work. That's it! Two months! Suck it up and deal! I know, I know, I have a reputation for providing astute, well-thought-out, insightful analysis, but this is one of those occasions when I just want to yell "WHAT? YOU SUCK!" at the cop for about a week. Unbelievable.

And if that weren't enough, the cop's lawyer (appropriately named "Heil") nominates himself for a "Jerk Lawyer of the Year" Award with this gem:
"It's a situation where the Cosmillos have caused these problems, brought them on themselves, then tried to play the victim," Heil said.
What? They are victims! Their son is in a nursing home, BREATHING THROUGH A TUBE! Gah! You suck, lawyer!

What the hell is this whole Turkey genocide bill about?

I really try to follow the news and keep up to date with what's going on in the world, so I am familiar with Britney's custody travails, the trouble with the FISA bill in Congress, the baseball playoffs, and Tony Romo's FIVE interceptions this past Monday night. But I admit to knowing next to nothing about this "genocide bill" that Congress is trying to pass right now, wherein apparently we take Turkey to task for committing genocide in the early 1900s. Turkey is all kinds of pissed off at us about it, and is threatening all kinds of mischief, including invading northern Iraq. (I would imagine that they'll also probably pass a bill taking us to task for that whole genocide thing we did with the Native Americans in the 1800s.)

So I ask: why are we doing this right now? What is the point, exactly, in passing a bill saying that some country committed genocide 100 years ago? What does it accomplish? Not saying we should be flippant about sins of the past, but how exactly is Congress going to do anything other than piss off a supposed ally by doing this right now? I'm not playing devil's advocate, I genuinely have no understanding of this particular issue.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nifty new website lets you stop the flow of unwanted catalogs

Ah, 'tis the season for all manner of holiday related festivities. There's a chill in the air, the leaves are turning colors, evening strolls through the neighborhood are blessed with the scent of chimney smoke, and the postman brings about 12 pounds of catalogs to your house every single day. For years this has seemed like an inevitable consequence of the season, something to be stolidly endured until January. However, there is a nifty new website, "Catalog Choice," that lets you create an account and stop the delivery of whatever catalogs you are sick of receiving. You choose what gets cut off, and you choose what gets in. So, in my case, Pottery Barn, with its range of slighty affordable (yet ultra generic) furniture will still get delivered, but Restoration Hardware, with its $800 footstools, will get cut off.

The website is quick, simple, and easy-to-use, and definitely worth a few moments of your time. Here's the link: Catalog Choice

Cowardly Mitt Romney runs from wheelchair-bound guy, refuses to answer question

Surprise, surprise! A tough he-man Republican like Willard "Mitt" Romney won't answer a legitimate question from a guy who is confined to his wheelchair thanks to muscular dystrophy. The guy asks a very good question of old Willard: if you are against medical marijuana, will you put me and my doctors in jail? Republicans are famous for being against things like abortion and medical marijuana, but always refuse to confront the natural consequences of their policies, which is that a lot of people would go to jail. Conservatives will tell you until they're blue in the face that they are against abortion, but when you ask them if this means that women who have abortions should be put in prison, they tend to run out of the room with a quickness.

And, this is exactly what the cowardly Willard Romney does here. He refuses to answer the guy's question (but claims to bystanders that he did), and turns tail and flees.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Thompson Fever....catch it! Or not, whatever.

As this photo from a recent NY Times profile indicates, Hollywood Fred Dalton Thompson isn't exactly wowing voters out on the campaign trail. It's kind of hilarious, as all the pro-GOP pundits, somewhat frantic with worry over their thoroughly laughable stable of candidates (from Rudy "Cousin' Lovin" Giuliani to Willard "Mitt" Romney) had forecast tremendous things from this young Thompson fellow. No doubt, they reasoned, he'd be a combination of the vim and vigor of a youthful Ronald Reagan, combined with the judgement of Socrates and the fatherly good looks of Ward Cleaver. In actuality, they have wound up with a candidate who has the mental acuity of Ronald Reagan, c. 1998, the judgement of "defendent #2" on the latest Judge Judy show, and the looks of an elderly gnome whose body has been stretched by some horrible torture device. I mean, really, the man is tanking. Here's the photo I promised--Fred lulling a roomful of seniors into a restful night's sleep.

Friday, October 5, 2007

David Letterman interviews Paris Hilton: makes her cry, makes the world laugh

This is truly one of the best interviews I've ever seen, as Letterman clearly despises Paris Hilton, clearly hates having to interview her on his show, and thus goes out of his way to make her as uncomfortable and annoyed as possible. The rumor is that she was in tears backstage after her segment, and vowed never to go on his show again. Wow. Mission accomplished, Dave. The transition from "Which do you like better, New York or Los Angeles?" to "So how did you like being in jail?" is one for the ages.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Let's all laugh at the stupid 2008 GOP convention logo

First off, here it is:

Ok, a few questions:

1) What's with those stripes in the elephant's back? I guess it's supposed to be the American flag, but, really, that's kinda lame.
2) What's with the star for an eye? It makes the elephant look like it's tripping/tweaking/drunk/high.
3) Why does the mean elephant want to crush "2008," Mommy?
4) Uh, why is it blue? Isn't the whole "blue state vs. red state" thing a deal where the GOP is red??

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


""I told somebody behind stage, this has been a joyous experience being the president. My buddies in Texas just simply don't think I'm telling them the truth. But it is."--George W. Bush, October 3. 2007

This may be the stupidest thing Bush has ever said

Quite honestly, if you were to spend a day Googling stupid things Bush has said... well, you'd need more than a day. Plus, there are distinctions in his stupidity, I mean, are you talking about statements in which he merely brutalizes the English language ("is our children learning?") or statements in which he says something that is utterly and incomprehensibly wrong? Well, today's statement falls into the second category, and demonstrates the man's utter lack of sense, knowledge, compassion, decency, and intelligence. Explaining his absurd veto of the SCHIP expansion of health care programs for poor children, the president says

“The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.”
It always makes me laugh when people who have absolutely gold-plated health care plans wax eloquent about the ability of the proleteriat to just go on down to the emergency room when they've got some malady. I don't need to get into the countless reasons this is bad policy, but first on the list would have to be that the emergency room should be reserved for actual emergencies: they aren't qualified or set up to provide routine medical care, and they certainly do not focus on preventative care. They give you ibuprofin, slap a bandage on you, give you antibiotics for your infection, or whatever. But if you need to see a health professional about how to manage your blood sugar or something else that requires long-term management and repeat visits, I doubt they'd even see you at the emergency room. What utter nonsense from our president. Embarrassing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dice-stacking: crazy party trick, insane waste of time, kind of awesome

How many of you have heard of dice stacking? It's an (apparently) new game in which you lay dice out on a table, pick them up with a cup, and with a few flicks of the wrist stack them on the table. Sounds pretty blase and lame until you see the following video, in which a young dicestacker (?) accomplishes some seemingly impossible tricks using nothing more than a plastic cup and four (or eight) large casino dice. Crazy.

Laptop-using-while-driving douchesack totally gets pwn3d, and I love it

If there is one trend I have come to loathe with a burning passion that summons the bile from deep within my system, it is the tools who insist on viewing screens of portable devices (laptops, DVD players, phones, GPS, etc.) while driving. It is obnoxious, it is unsafe, and it is the very height of behavior that deserves a good solid cockpunching. Most frustratingly, there is rarely anything you can do about these hosebags. They speed by, their radio blasting out the window (and 9 times out of 10 it is that execrable "Hey there Delilah" song), and you just sit there with nothing to do but shake your fast and make snarky comments about their totally pimped out VW Golf.

Today, however, Portland's KATU news brings us the heartwarming story of a local tool who was so distracted by the contents of his laptop computer (guesses as to said content? Porn? The latest James Blunt video? "The Hills" recap on Television Without Pity?) that he failed to make note of the multi-ton large yellow schoolbus suddenly stopped directly in front of him. Faster than you can say "Whoomp! There it is!" said tool impacted said schoolbus, driving the bumper of his Mercedes into the backseat, and sending him to the hospital. This photo exists as lovely schadenfreude for all of us who have suffered in the presence of these jackasses.

BREAKING NEWS!1!!!1!!! The guys who write "Politico" are idiots!

Here's a crazy news flash for you: a bunch of Democrats who received contributions from later condemned that group over its "General Betray-us" ad. Shocking! What does this prove? I guess if you write for "Politico," it proves that, uh, the Democrats hate the troops! Or hate America! Or are really political! Or something! Take it away, idiots-who-write-for-Politico:

Take Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.). MoveOn boasted it helped him knock off incumbent Republican Rick Santorum in 2006 by steering more than $200,000 in earmarked contributions from its members and independent expenditures to Casey, not to mention more than 800,000 phone calls urging support for him.

Yet Casey voted to condemn the group’s ad, a move his spokesman Larry Smar said “is not remotely hypocritical.” He explained Casey “doesn’t agree 100 percent of the time with anyone who has supported him,” calling the ad “a distraction from the debate on the Bush policy in Iraq.”
In other words, Senator Robert Casey is not at all beholden to his contributors, and is willing to call them on the carpet when they do something with which he disagrees! OMG! This is one of those classic nuggets of DC political insiderism, wherein a news organization (in this case a website populated by hacks who used to write for ABCNews "The Note," another bastion of hack journalism) just puts some information out there and intends for the implication to be obvious, when in fact the facts of the story indicate precisely the opposite. Clearly "Politico" would like you to think that the Democrats are a bunch of hypocrites for taking money from an organization and then condemning it.

In fact, this story indicates the exact opposite: the Democrats are NOT in the pocket of their contributors, and have no problem calling out the group when they do something the Dems don't like. Sheesh. You'd expect a bunch of seasoned, political analysts to get this.