Archives for: December 2008
8 Year Old Shredder
(I'm still sober. ;-> )
This kid takes a guitar that is bigger than him and just rips it to shreds! This kid is amazing!
NFL Playoff Challenge
For anyone who just hasn't quite had enough fantasy football, as well as to give folks a chance for revenge after I kicked Speedy's ass in the championship game, I set up a playoff game. Moose, the winner of the pick'em, is already in, so there's another chance at revenge.
I've never done this before, so I don't know that I'm doing it all correctly, but it appears that I have to email you an invitation. If you're interested, send me an email ("email@example.com or via this site) and I'll send an invite to whatever email you want it sent to. I've already emailed everyone who's email address is listed in the two fantasy leagues, and as of earlier this morning we had 4 coaches.
Playoffs start Saturday, so if you want in you'd better do it soon. You'll have to set up a (free) nfl.com user id and password before you can join.
It looks like it could be fun. Each player is assigned a "value", and you can only spend so many "value points" each weekend, so no one can just pick the obviously best players. It'll take some thinking.
Give it a shot. The more the merrier.
Update: I wouldn't count on it, but it looks like the high score (on the site, not in the league) wins a trip to the Stupid Bowl.
21 Days Left
(The Bush) administration did more than commit crimes. It waged war against the law itself.
Dear Attorney General-Designate Eric Holder,
We the undersigned citizens of the United States hereby formally petition you to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes.
Don't Forget To Reset Your Clock
New Year revellers will have to hold their drinks a second longer to usher in year 2009. This is because an extra second will be added to our standard time measurements, which are based on atomic clocks, on the cusp of 2009 to bring it in sync with the rotation of te Earth.
The Mystical Blago-Burris Groove Thing Explained
By now you probably know that Rod Blagojevich, the indicted governor of Illinois, has nominated Roland Burris, a popular former Illinois Attorney General and 3-time candidate for governor, to fill Obama's vacated Senate seat.
In their usual pattern of forming a circular firing squad over an issue that doesn't matter, the Democrats are now infighting over what to do about this "heinous" situation. Oh, if only they'd dig in their heels and keep something that matters in the news for days...
Sarah Palin’s Crazy Ex-Satanists
Are ex-satanists the new ex-gays? I sure hope so. Ex-gays are pathetic and sad ("I'm totally denying my sexuality, and you all should too!"), but ex-satanists are hilarious - especially when they're members of an Assemblies of God front group! (Y'all remember Sarah Palin's church, right?) I just wish Amy Klobuchar hadn't requested a $500,000 earmark for them. WTF, Amy?
Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states:
"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Godwin's Law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the reductio ad Hitlerum form.
The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact. Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and wiki talk pages.
Does the US support genocidal actions?
Our "religious pecking order" is undeniable: "christians", Christians, Jews, Muslims. (I'll let you fit gays and "gypsies" [= the unemployed] in where you see fit.)
Have we reached the point where we want the extermination of a people?
Are they just too far away for us to care?
Or have we become so jaded, so drunk with power, that we think that one-sided "war to the bitter end" waged by our proxies, using our weapons, can be justified?
Speaking of Rape...
Remember the "her skirt was too short, she DESERVED to be raped" line of defense?
Remember "what's good for the goose is good for the gander"?
NORAD tracks Santa
He's not here, yet. ;->
Presidents: Best to Worst
There aren't a lot of rules. You can rank them "Least worst to worst", or "Best to least best", or whatever your heart desires. You definitely don't need to rank them all. Rank only those you know something about, or only those in your lifetime, or whatever parameter you choose. I listed all of them back to Eisenhower, because he was Pres the year I was born and because I wanted to include one "good" Republican. You can go back further, or not as far, or include only "famous" Presidents, whatever.
Give as little or as much justification for your choices as you want, or none at all.
My own ranking is in the extended post so you can make your own list before you see it, compare it after the fact, or use it as a model. Like I said, not a lot of rules...
As I caught up this morning I noticed an interesting contrast. Lloyd's post about the "corrupt" cop (open to interpretation, I suppose) contrasts well with billy's comment about Cheney's indifference to being a law-breaker.
But both men come across like Cosa Nostra crime bosses, to me. It's not that they don't necessarily know they're "not following the rules". It's that they don't care because they know they'll get away with it.
The cop will keep his job. Cheney will keep his retirement. And both will keep all the graft they've set aside for a rainy day.
BTW, churchie's right. Never argue with a cop (on the spot), save it for court, although sometimes it will save you some time to be meek and submissive to the cop, even though you're seething inside, because they'll occasionally not write the ticket if you feed their ego enough. Which is really just another way of saying "life is easier if you (let them) get away with it."
Of course, the courts almost always consider the cop to be an "expert witness", even when they're lying through their teeth, so don't count on winning in court, either.
This is why I support extremely heavy penalties when "officials" who refuse to follow the law get caught. And why I no longer insist, when pressed, that "Bush and Cheney are criminals" but only insist that they deserve their day in court.
The Lao cop, on the other hand, was probably just working within the unspoken system. But the cops in Mexico are the same way, and I know of at least one man who ended up paralyzed for not playing the game, there...
We write down the rules for a reason, but judges and cops should have the ability to suspend the rules when they don't make sense in a given situation.
(Edit in italics.)
Light Plane Crash
Have you seen this?
Federal officials probing plane crash that killed GOP consultant Michael Connell Cleveland Plain Dealer
The suspicious, disturbing death of election rigger Michael Connell Columbus Free Press
Toyota forecasts loss as sales slide
Damned unions are even destroying companies without unions, now.
Of course, it can't be the fault of a failed economic and political philosophy.
It makes perfect sense for a politician from a foreign automaker state to call for American workers to be paid the same as their foreign counterparts, but not for the CEOs of any company in America to be paid the same as their foreign counterpart.
According to the Business Week, the average CEO of a major corporation made 42 times the average hourly worker's pay in 1980. By 1990 that had almost doubled to 85 times. In 2000, the average CEO salary reached an unbelievable 531 times that of the average hourly worker.
For Those Days When
...you just can't come up with something to complain about on your own.
Rick Warren To Deliver Obama Invocation
This pisses me off.
Honda slashes forecast again
"US automakers need to give us a plan for success" is a bullshit argument.
US automakers can't control Bush/GOP economic policy. It's those policies that have put the entire world in the hurt bag.
It's an obvious choice for someone who has either just lost their job, or is in fear of losing their job and not finding another one, to not take on a car payment, right now.
No one who is using the economic crisis to attack the unions is willing to put forth an argument about why, if it's unions that are ruining America, so many non-union businesses are running in the red.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Honda Motor Co issued its third profit warning this year, slashing its operating forecast by two-thirds as the global recession batters car sales and sends the yen soaring.
The deeper-than-expected revision at Japan's No.2 automaker could touch off similar moves at domestic rivals Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co, also reeling from the dollar's fall to 13-year lows against the yen.
Automakers everywhere are under enormous pressure to cut costs and save cash to weather the storm as tight credit and weak consumer sentiment hammer demand.
Senate report links Bush to detainee homicides
The bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report issued on Thursday -- which documents that "former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other senior U.S. officials share much of the blame for detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba" and "that Rumsfeld's actions were 'a direct cause of detainee abuse' at Guantanamo and 'influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques ... in Afghanistan and Iraq'" -- raises an obvious and glaring question: how can it possibly be justified that the low-level Army personnel carrying out these policies at Abu Ghraib have been charged, convicted and imprisoned, while the high-level political officials and lawyers who directed and authorized these same policies remain free of any risk of prosecution? The culpability which the Report assigns for these war crimes is vast in scope and unambiguous:
The executive summary also traces the erosion of detainee treatment standards to a Feb,. 7, 2002, memorandum signed by President George W. Bush stating that the Geneva Convention did not apply to the U.S. war with al Qaeda and that Taliban detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or legal protections.
What this country needs is a good war crimes trial...
What many of us were thinking.
"This is a goodbye kiss ... dog."
Now, there are offers of up to $10 million for the shoes.
Don't try to tell me that Bush hasn't destroyed America's reputation around the world, and don't try to tell me that electing Obama instead of McSame wasn't an absolutely necessary first step in restoring good relations between our country and the rest of the world.
Seriously, anyone (the fundies and the tax protesters) who still defends Bush or the remaining GOPers "hates America" (and most likely, themselves).
And still, there will be idiots who will try to confuse criticism of a politician with criticism of my country.
I hope they let him go free as a symbol of the new "democracy" not that "the tyrant" is gone.
Why Toyota wants GM to be saved
A GM failure would cause production problems, crush already weak demand and potentially open the door to low-cost competitors.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Detroit's Big Three aren't the only automotive companies that want to see the government step in with some much needed financial help.
"Backwardation"? "Contango Pricing"?
I learned a few new words, this morning.
Is our crushing economy the Fed's way of paying off Bush's debt?
"Dana Perino has a black eye"
This is great. Be sure to catch the last bit of commentary.
Profiles in Outrage: Linda Chavez
Linda Chavez was a high-ranking member of the American Federation of Teachers before becoming a union buster working as Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for the Reagan Administration.
In 1986, she ran for Senate as a Republican in Maryland, but her campaign was derailed after she accused her opponent Barbara Mikulski of being gay.
Impressed by her strong "pull up the ladder" opposition to affirmative action, George W. Bush nominated her to be Secretary of Labor, but she was forced to withdraw when it became known that she had employed an illegal alien to clean for her. She had publicly criticized Zoe Baird during the "nannygate" appointment for the same thing in 1993.
Her old senate opponent Barbara Mikulski won re-election three times, went on to become the dean of woman senators, and one of the only 11 senators to vote against both 1991 and 2002 authorizations of the use of force in Iraq.
Chavez is now a conservative commentator for Fox "News".
39 days left
Auto bailout talks collapse over union wages
Rather than cede a battle in their war against
unions American workers, the GOP has chosen to put one of the oldest manufacturing industries in America at risk and allow the economy to fail even further.
Merry Christmas from the ideologues in the GOP.
Obama Team Set on Environment
President-elect Barack Obama has selected his top energy and environmental advisers, including a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, presidential transition officials said Wednesday.
The officials said Mr. Obama would name Steven Chu, the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as his energy secretary...
Read what Think Progress had to say about Chu, on Dec 6th, in the extended post:
If You Don't Love This You "Hate America"(TM)
Short version: Corrupt cops are set up and filmed to prove their criminality.
It's called an informant plant. The Odessa narcotics unit illegally compelled an informant to plant drugs on Yolanda Madden. The informant testified in federal court he planted the drugs on her and he passed a polygraph confirming the same. Yolanda also passed a polygraph along with a hair follicle and urine test. Our broken criminal justice system ignored the evidence and railroaded her through court sentencing her to 8 years in prison.
Ben Stein is a moron
Well, OK, he's a libertarian free-market laissez-faire fool who's been overpaid for years to give people bad investment advice. Whatever. I disagree with him most of the time. He's so consistently wrong that I even disagree with some of what he wrote, here.
But I agree with this:
Amazingly, we can have whole fleets of C-130's fly to remote areas of Iraq and Afghanistan with pallets of hundred dollar bills piled from floor to ceiling. Then we can pass them out to warlords who make tea for our soldiers one hour and blow their guts out the next. We can send CIA operatives into Somalia and give millions, maybe hundreds of millions, to warlords to fight other killers.
But we cannot find it in our hearts to save our fellow Americans in Ohio and Michigan and Indiana who make the cars and trucks that about half of us buy? We can send billions to Germany and Japan to bail them out after they bombed us and killed our POWs and killed six million Jews. But we cannot help the children and grandchildren of the men and women who fought our war and made us the arsenal of democracy?
Something is very wrong here.
And please don't tell me how GM and Ford and Chrysler have made bad cars that people don't want. I drive only American cars, only GM cars actually, and they are the best, coolest cars I have ever driven: my 1962 Red Corvette, my mighty Cadillacs whose potent engines and super brakes have saved my life many times on the freeway. Yes, the cool people in DC and New York don't drive American cars. But a lot of other good people do and we love them. And my Cadillac dealer down here in the desert, Jessup Motors, gives me a lot better service than my Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Jaguar, or Acura dealers ever did. I would trust my life to Detroit iron any time.
And why are we so angry at the car companies' executives? They get miserable pay by Wall Street standards and have much harder jobs. Why are we so angry at the unions? They negotiated their deals in good faith. It's not their fault that roller coaster gasoline prices messed up their world. They are our brothers and sisters. They fight our wars. They maintain our middle class lives. Maybe they get paid a lot, but they have been giving back for years. When will it ever be enough? And what about the retirees? They get the benefits they were promised. If those can be taken away, then whose benefits are safe?
Lynndie England Redux
A Whitewash for Blackwater?
By Eugene Robinson
The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards in the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it's probably the exact opposite -- a whitewash that absolves the government and corporate officials who should bear ultimate responsibility.
Illinois vs BOA
This is an interesting development.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Bank of America will lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and commissions from the state of Illinois if it fails to help laid-off workers occupying a Chicago factory, the governor warned on Monday.
Bush Secretly Hates Clearing Brush
...doesn't need prop "ranch", any more.
WASHINGTON — President Bush and first lady Laura Bush are returning to their old neighborhood in Dallas after leaving the White House, buying a home in the wealthy Preston Hollow neighborhood where they lived before embarking on a meteoric 14-year political career, the White House announced Thursday.
He probably wants to be near a liquor store.
Joe Satriani Sues Coldplay
Check out the video at the link.
This is going to be an interesting case to watch.
Bush is *SUCH* an Asshole
No that this is news to anyone, by now, but the magnitude of Bush's assholishness is astounding.
Several officials in both parties said a breakthrough on a long-stalled bailout came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bowed to Bush's demand that the aid come from a fund set aside for the production of environmentally friendlier cars.
Republicans said there had been no lessening in Bush’s refusal to tap the $700 billion financial industry bailout fund to help the automakers.
Yeah, we couldn't have pulled that piddling amount from the Wall Street / Insurance Industry bail out, because $685 billion is SO MUCH LESS than $700 billion and the GOP's donors NEED that money...
No, instead, we have to make sure we have even less chance of preserving the environment.
Look, I'm all for "holding the auto-makers accountable". It's the double-standard, that hedge fund managers and insurance company executives are some of the "world's greatest humanitarians and altruists" that bothers me.
Losing our auto industry is no small thing.
Losing the insurance industry might do us all some good, in comparison.
If I'm ever given the chance to spit on Bush I'm gonna make sure I eat something gross, first.
WTF of the day
$200,000 worth of inflatable boobs are lost at sea. Last seen on a cargo ship bound for the land down under, the 130,000 breasts, intended to be a free giveaway in the January issue of men's magazine Ralph, have mysteriously disappeared, according to a story (called "Storm in a C Cup") in WAToday. Ralph editor Santi Pintado has issued a cry for help, urging anyone who has information regarding the displaced breasts to contact him. So far, the only explanation he has come up with is pirates. A likely explanation. In the world of booty, they're moving on up.
Who? President-elect Obama? Come on!
This is all over the web so you've probably seen it, but...
MIAMI (AP) - A Florida congresswoman was so determined not to be "punked" that she hung up on the president-elect.
The Miami Herald reports that Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (ih-lay-AH'-nah rahs LAY'-tih-nehn) got a call yesterday from a man sounding remarkably like Barack Obama. He wanted to congratulate her on her re-election, and say he was looking forward to working with her.
But Ros-Lehtinen suspected it was a radio station prank. She says she told the caller he sounded better than the guy on Saturday Night Live, but she wasn't going to be "punked." When Obama's chief of staff called, she hung up on him, too.
It took a call from a fellow congressman to convince Ros-Lehtinen the Obama call was legit.
She says Obama laughed about it all, and didn't blame her for being skeptical.
If Obama called me I'd think it was a radio station prank, too. ;->
I don't know if anything will ever top the keyboard juggler, but this is pretty cool. I almost wish I wouldn't have given up acid...
Does God Run Homeland Security?
(AP) A group of atheists filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to remove part of a state anti-terrorism law that requires Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge it can't keep the state safe without God's help.
My immediate reaction:
The "60 Democrat super-majority" was always a bullshit invention of the media, so it makes no difference, there. With 25 "blue dogs", Liebermann, and some Republicans (Snowe, for example) willing to cross party lines at times, the belief that *all* Democrats would ever vote in lockstep on every single issue is so absurd as to make one's hair stand on end when people (who we're supposed to believe are intelligent) say it out loud.
Saxby Chambliss is one of the foulest pieces of shit in the Senate, and the fact that the people of Georgia would re-elect him says plenty about them. (Don't get me started on Oklahoma, Utah, or Idaho.)
Chablis Chambliss, BTW, could be headed for an ethics investigation, which would make him a "typical republican".
It's official: Recession since Dec. '07
The National Bureau of Economic Research declares what most Americans already knew: the downturn has been going on for some time.
(The Bushtards wouldn't admit it, though.)
Venus, Jupiter will 'shine' tonight
Look to the southwest after sunset on Dec. 1 for a close conjunction between three bright solar system objects: the moon, Venus and Jupiter. If you have binoculars, you might even be able to fit all three of them in the field of view.