April 04, 2007

He's Also Trying To Figure Out How To Pull You Through The Bars

While researching today's WTW entry, I found this video of a lion 'embracing' and 'kissing' the woman who rescued him.

I got news for you, lady - he ain't kissing you, he's tasting you!

Posted by Chris at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

March 27, 2007

Camel. Needle's Eye. Some Assembly Required.

One of the reasons I don't attend the church of which I am nominally still a member is that less than 12 hours after I formally re-registered (after kind of lurking around the edges for a while), I received a fundraising call asking me how much money I was going to pledge towards the construction of their new $9,000,000 church. No, my '0' key didn't get stuck - the new building was going to cost NINE MILLION DOLLARS. And they weren't looking for chump change, either. I remember the exact words the fundraiser used: "How many thousand can you pledge over the next two years?" Now, to be clear, they definitely had outgrown the existing building, and I wasn't expecting them to build a big pole barn to replace it, but I'd bet they could have built a nice looking, perfectly suitable building for half that much.

So I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised by this in-your-face example of Prosperity Theology:

A Redford Township church that believes wealth is God's reward is raising eyebrows for buying its pastor a $3.65 million mansion and taking it off the tax rolls.

This month, township officials grudgingly conceded they had no choice but to remove the 11,000-square-foot home overlooking Maybury State Park from its assessment rolls, losing $40,000 annually in taxes.

They concluded the plush pad is a parsonage, but that hasn't quelled debate among township officials and neighbors about whether Christian charity extends to the Detroit World Outreach Church's purchase in September of the home for Pastor Ben Gibert and his wife and co-pastor, Charisse Gibert.

. . .

The 4,000-member church is part of a growing movement that preaches prosperity. Also known as "health and wealth" theology, the ideology preaches that God wants followers to do well, be healthy and have rewards -- such as the $50,000 Cadillac Escalade the church bought the Giberts, who have four children.

Ben Gibert said God surrounds the faithful with beautiful things.

I guess I can kind of understand his point, because I agree with Ben Franklin, who said "God loves us and wants us to be happy." OK, OK, Franklin really said "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," so I'm kind of biased on the subject. But beer is one thing; an Escalade and a $3.65M mansion are something else.

One of the leaders of his church agrees. "God's empowerment is to make you have an abundant life," said Elder Marvin Wilder, a lawyer and general counsel for the church.

"In this country we value rock stars, movie stars and athletes. They can have a lavish lifestyle, and a pastor who restores lives that were broken shouldn't?
Rock stars, movie stars, athletes, megachurch pastors. Yep, all entertainers. I stand corrected.


Posted by Chris at 12:56 PM | Comments (4)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

February 26, 2007

Their Original Choice Was 'Doggie Divas,' But J-Lo Threw A Hissy Fit

If nothing's too good for your dog, then I've got the store for you:

If dogs desired sparkly jewelry, glittery makeup and sweet smells just like many little human girls, they'd feel like princesses in this newly opened Wallingford store.

Luckily for the founders of High Maintenance Bitch, which sells high-end pooch products, little princesses eventually grow into women dog owners -- preferably with spare cash and a strong affinity for double-entendres.

Of course, the name isn't a big hit with everybody:

"I am probably the most progressive liberal person in the world and I am personally offended by the sign," said Janet Stillman, executive director of the Wallingford Neighborhood Office.
Of course you're offended by it - it's because you're "the most progressive liberal person in the world!" Demeaning to womyn, and all that.

(Full disclosure: I admit that I'm about 0.5% bothered by the fact that the store's sign has both a dog and a woman on it. Then I just have another beer and go play some euchre until I think about something else.)

Posted by Chris at 07:35 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

February 21, 2007

Extra! Read All About It! H5N1 Spotted At Newsstand!

There's this newsstand owner in China who has an interesting assistant:

A duck that can help its owner sell newspapers recently attracted many curious pedestrians in Guangzhou's Liwan District.

The duck stands on a chair at a newspaper kiosk in the city's Baohua Road. It uses its mouth to help its master, an old man surnamed Wang, collect money or pass newspapers. [emphasis added]

I can see the excerpt from CDC's future "Report On Bird Flu What Killed Zillions" now:

Patient Zero was a newspaper vendor in Guangzhou, China...

Posted by Chris at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

February 13, 2007

You'd Think He Would Have Seen That One Coming

I think James Randi wrote this Ananova headline: Psychic museum closes unexpectedly

A psychic museum is closing its doors - due to unforeseen circumstances.

Astrologer Jonathan Cainer set up the York Psychic Museum in 2003 but business has been less than expected.

Mr Cainer told the York Press he had handed over the lease, with the intention of making a return in 2008.
I'm not a psychic, but even I can predict that you won't get a lot of people willing to pay to see some bent spoons.


Posted by Chris at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

February 09, 2007

Apparently, Ten Houses Is A Viable Target Demographic These Days

[filed under Unclear On The Concept even though I'm the one unclear on the concept here.]

United Hockey League commissioner Richard Brosal is apparently retiring after this season. Wait until you get a load of his plans:

Richard Brosal, commissioner of the UHL since 1997, will leave his position at the end of the season to become executive vice president of sales and marketing for the B2 Networks, which broadcast events to computers and televisions via the Internet.

B2 Networks provide coverage of UHL games, via a pay-per-view service.

We can't get anybody to watch NHL games! Why does Brosal think jumping to a network that broadcasts third-tier minor league hockey - in pay-per-view, no less - is a good career move?


Posted by Chris at 06:23 PM | Comments (2)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

January 30, 2007

What A Great Idea - You Can't Get A Ticket For Parking At An Expired Meter

I had occasion to be down at the county jail not too long ago, where I snapped this little bit of irony with my camera-ish phone-type thingy:

Yes, that's a metermaid truck. Yes, that's the sidewalk.

Posted by Chris at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

January 08, 2007

Forwarding Me To A Competing Site Would Have Made More Sense

I recently had a pretty crappy experience with 1-800-FLOWERS.com. The details aren't really relevant; suffice to say that I'll never be ordering from them again. You'd think it would have occurred to somebody that they probably shouldn't keep me on their mailing list, but that's probably assuming too much intelligence on their part.

I finally got around to hitting the Unsubscribe link on one of their thrice-weekly emails (I know, I know, you're not supposed to do that since it just tells spammers that your email is a live one, but since I'd actually ordered from them it wasn't spam per se). The next page was another website, probably their email list manager (cheetahmail, maybe?), confirming that they'd removed me from their list and asking me to provide the reason why I was unsubscribing.

First, any data they get from this will be useless since the only choices are "I get too much email from 1-800-etc" and "I'm not interested in getting email from 1-800-whatever," and since it's a radio button with no "decline to answer" option, most people aren't going to care enough to do anything beyond hit Submit with whatever option was selected as default.

Second, after hitting Submit, you're forwarded to 1-800-dipshits' main page. Why would I want to go there if I'd just unsubscribed from their mailing list? I just expressed a desire to make them stop trying to sell me flowers; why would I want to go to their main page, the only purpose of which is to try to sell me flowers?


Posted by Chris at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

January 05, 2007

That Kind Of Advertising We Don't Need

One of the issues of driving a vehicle with your company's name on it, particularly if you're a small business or one-man operation, is that if you hose somebody over in traffic, the negative association may make them less likely to buy from you.

"Tom Hoot Siding, Windows, and (whatever)," I'm looking at you.

Yeah, there's a website. No, I'm not going to link to it.

Posted by Chris at 05:52 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

October 31, 2006

I Have My Own Ending For This Commercial, But It Could Only Run On Pay-Per-View

Have you seen the Home Depot commercial where the woman bumps her glass against the door of her old refrigerator (which has neither water-in-the-door nor an icemaker) and says something like "Huh. Water dispenser's broken. So's the icemaker." and the husband replies, "Point taken?"

In the next shot they're at Home Depot, looking at washers and dryers.

Posted by Chris at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

October 12, 2006

Of Course, He Also Doesn't Know Why Anyone Would Ever Vote For Bush, So There You Go

I am jealous of Wired News copy chief Tony Long. And it's because he gets paid to crap out intellectually vacant drek like this:

I can think of no reason why anyone within 10 miles of an actual bookstore would buy a book at Costco or Wal-Mart. Ever.

Here's one for you, Einstein. I'll type slow so you can stay with me: Because. It's. Closer. Here's another: Because. It's. Probably. Cheaper.

Damn. Long's goat picture must be a hum-dinger.


Posted by Chris at 05:41 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

To Put It In Terms He'd Understand, It'd Like Be Calling The Copy Editor A Copy Boy

I know that at most newspapers, the headline to a story is written by an editor rather than the reporter who did the story itself. I'm guessing the editor here didn't play any kind of bat-and-ball sport as a child; either that, or every child in the Pittsburgh area is baseballically underdeveloped and still playing T-ball at an age where everybody else has moved on to having somebody pitch a ball to them. T-ball (sic) coach gets 1-6 years for ordering beaning:

UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- A youth league baseball coach convicted of getting one of his players to injure a teammate was sentenced to one to six years in prison today.

Fayette County Judge Ralph Warman said the actions by Mark Downs Jr., of Dunbar, in June 2005 were "outrageous" and "extremely reprehensible" because he was coaching a league of children 7 to 9 years old.

Testimony indicated Mr. Downs promised $25 to one of his best players if he hurled a ball at Harry Bowers Jr.

There's a bright side to this story: it looks like Mr. Downs will have the opportunity to deal with a lot of bats and balls over the next few years - in a PMITA prison:

Mr. Downs' bond was revoked and he was taken to jail to await transfer to a state prison.

Which leads me into my second attempt to write a bit for Bob & Tom (the first is here):


BOB KEVOIAN: Morning, Bob & Tom Show...

"MORGAN FREEMAN": Hello there sonny, this is Morgan Freeman.

BOB: Hey there, Morgan, how 'ya doing?

"MORGAN": I'm well, thank ya very kindly. I just wanted to tell you about the baseball tournament we had last weekend here at Shawshank Prison. Our team had a new catcher, guy by the name of Mark Downs Jr.

TOM GRISWOLD: Isn't he the t-ball coach who just got sent to prison for ordering one of his players to bean a teammate?

"MORGAN": That's him. He was catching a bull queer they call Big Woody, who plays with a 32-ounce bat.

BOB: That's gonna leave a mark!

"MORGAN": Ohhhh, Marky. That was the longest at-bat of his life.

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.


Posted by Chris at 05:11 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

September 26, 2006

As If We Needed A Reason To Throw A Party

I think my neighborhood will throw a party to celebrate this: Drug 'may reverse liver disease'

A cheap and readily available drug could reverse severe liver disease, even in patients who find it impossible to give up booze, research suggests.

Sulphasalazine is currently used to treat arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

But a University of Newcastle team has found that it can also reverse the scarring associated with cirrhosis of the liver.

Liver disease is the fifth highest cause of death in the UK.

It is estimated that up to 10% of the UK population have problems with their liver - and most are linked to lifestyle factors, such as heavy drinking and obesity.
I guess now I can chuck that light beer crap and start drinking Samuel Adams Triple Bock full-time!

Posted by Chris at 02:28 PM | Comments (2)
Category: Tales Of My Neighborhood

August 31, 2006

It Might Work Like A Stirrup; Then Again, You Might Just Pull The Mirror Off

While I was waiting in line at the grocery store today, I noticed the woman in front of me with her two children. The older one couldn't have been more than two; the younger, about nine months. The lady herself was quite obviously pregnant again; at least five months along. I didn't think anything further about it until I got out to my car, which happened to be parked right across from hers.

And that's where I noticed the garter hanging from the rear-view mirror.

So was I wrong to yell "Hey lady, I think I've figured out your problem?"

Posted by Chris at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

July 20, 2006

And For My Next Trick... Lead Into Gold!

So apparently muggings are on the rise in London, and it's all the iPod's fault:

Just a week ago, Gamespot journalist Guy Cocker, who works in the same building as Crave, was mugged ten minutes away from the CNET offices here in central London. His assailants held what felt like a semi-automatic weapon to the back of Cocker's head and told him, "we're taking all your stuff".

. . .

The papers this morning would seem to agree with Cocker. "Rise in crime blamed on iPods", yells the front page of London's Metro. "Muggers targeting iPod users," says ITV. This is the reaction to the government's revelation that robberies across the UK have risen 8 per cent in the last year, from 90,747 to 98,204. The Home Secretary, John Reid, attributes this to the irresistible lure of "young people carrying expensive goods, such as mobile phones and MP3 players". A separate British Crime Survey, however, suggests robbery has risen by 22 per cent, to 311,000.

Crave then comes up with several ways to hide your iPod when you're in what the Brits would call 'a dodgy neighborhood,' including this one:

Get a Coke can, drink the contents, rinse out the can. Carefully cut the lid section off the can. Superglue a small magnet to the inside of the upper lip of the can so that it's flush with the open top of the can. Place the iPod inside and put the lid on the can. If you've cut the can correctly, the magnet should hold the lid tightly shut. Unless your mugger is exceptionally thirsty, they're unlikely to steal your Coke.

Getting a magnet to hold down the lid on an aluminum can would be a neat trick (unless they've re-introduced steel beverage cans in the UK).

Posted by Chris at 05:21 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

June 07, 2006

The Suspect Was Seen Shortly Afterwards Trying To Pedal A Motorcycle He Stole

Just what we need - more stupidity in Fort Wayne. This guy needs to decide whether he's a con man or a purse-snatcher, because he apparently lacks the multitasking skills necessary to do both at once:

With her generosity, a Fort Wayne woman saved her wallet and money from a robber Sunday night.

Ammie Betchtold was walking to a grocery store on Bluffton Road on Sunday night when a man approached her and asked for money for gasoline, according to a police report.

Betchtold pulled her wallet out of her purse to give the man a dollar. At that point, the man swore at her, told her not to move and grabbed her purse. The man then got into his black minivan and drove away, leaving Betchtold standing in the parking lot, wallet in hand, according to the report.

She told police her money, credit card, bank cards and identification were all in her wallet, according to the report. The only things stolen were her house keys and paperwork.
So now the question is whether the robber will recognize that he now has the keys to the victim's house before she changes the locks. I'm betting on the victim.

Posted by Chris at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

May 22, 2006

Overplaying The 'Cute' Card

While trying to figure out how to ask PETA a question, I encountered this poster:

We are not nuggets!  Please don't eat us.

To which I respond: Of course you're not nuggets. You don't have nearly enough meat on your bones yet.


Posted by Chris at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

May 15, 2006

And God Only Knows What I Took During The Time Frame I Have No Memory Of

You've all heard about congressman Patrick Kennedy's late night fender-bender a couple of weeks ago, and how he's now blaming it on prescription drug interactions:

Kennedy said he had taken sleep medication and a prescription anti-nausea drug that can cause drowsiness.

The Rhode Island Democrat addressed the issue after a spate of news reports. His initial statement said, "I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident."'

Later, however, he issued a longer statement saying the attending physician for Congress had prescribed Phenergan on Tuesday to treat Kennedy's gastroenteritis.

Kennedy said he returned to his Capitol Hill home on Wednesday evening after a final series of votes in Congress and took "prescribed" amounts of Phenergan and Ambien, another prescribed drug that he occasionally takes to fall asleep.

His initial report, with only a denial of any alcohol use and no mention at all of prescription drugs, smacks of the "definition of 'is'" hair-splitting that the thoroughly weaselly are famous for. But my question is why he thought he had to mislead anybody. He's a Kennedy, for crying out loud. He's fucking bulletproof! He could have held a press conference and said

Hell, yes, I was fucked up! I had a case of beer, a fifth of tequila, a pint of absinthe, and four double-shots of Roundup. I took every pill I could reach and some that I couldn't. I even swallowed one of my shirt collar buttons because I thought it was a new ventilated form of E. I snorted a line of Drano off the crack of a 12-year-old hooker's ass because regular coke just doesn't do it anymore. In fact, this statement I'm holding is printed on blotter acid paper, and as a result I see all of you through Jimi Hendrix' own purple haze, and I'm here to tell you that you have omnidimensional tentacles growing out of your nipples. You name it, I did it, and I'll do it again.

What the fuck do you think you can do about it?
and gotten away with it.

Think I'm exaggerating? Read this and this and this.


Posted by Chris at 07:58 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

April 23, 2006

You'd Think Geocachers Would Have A Better Sense Of Direction

If you're not a fan of geocaching, there's nothing in this post to interest you.

OK, cachers, now that the Muggles are gone, I've got to vent a little bit. I'm not real big on the 'take a trinket, leave a trinket' thing, especially given some of the, well, complete crap you find in the average full-size cache (incidentally, if you see a House of Blues guitar pick or anything with an AFATDS logo, chances are I put it there).

I like moving Travel Bugs around. There's just something about the idea of this thing that passes from cacher to cacher that really appeals to me. I especially like helping Travel Bugs fulfill their mission. For instance, Travel Bug Alina is a baby's pacifier that originated in Austria. "She" (they're usually anthropomorphised, right?) is trying to get to Disney World. I knew this when I picked her up last summer because of the onboard tag that said "I'm trying to get to Disney World." I thought, no problem, I can take you as far as Oak Island. Sure, it's off the beaten path to Florida, but somebody who's vacationing there later from, say, Charlotte or Raleigh can take you back home and put you back on track - and six hundred miles closer to Orlando.

Nice theory, and it looked like it was going to work, but it kind of fell apart after that. The last person to place Alina has literally put her in the middle of freakin' nowhere. I can only assume that the tag fell off somewhere along the way, because Alina has been going the wrong way for almost a year now.

Update: Well, never mind, maybe - somebody's picked it up. But I hope this was a typo:

We picked up Alina to move it closer to Disneyland, we hope, Determined2
because that'll put Alina about 3000 miles away from Disney World!


Posted by Chris at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

April 17, 2006

Because They Didn't Have Clear Title? Sure, Why Not?

Can somebody tell me why the Jordyptians think they have historical precedence in Israel, when Jews were living there thousands of years before the birth of Christ?

Seriously, I'm looking for an answer here, because I just can't see an explanation.

[H/T Jihad Watch]
Posted by Chris at 09:35 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

April 05, 2006

Don't Move To A Town With Laws That Cramp Your Style And Then Complain That They Cramp Your Style

A couple wants to keep their livestock on their property in town. The town has laws that prohibit this, because the parcel isn't big enough. The couple does so anyway, in defiance of the law. Sounds like a classic WTW story, doesn't it?

Not really, as the couple in question are Hare Krishnas and they claim they're being discriminated against because of their religion:

Stephen and Linda Voith, followers of the Hindu-based Krishna Consciousness movement, bought a house on a two-and-a-half acre property on Main Street in 1999. Their beliefs include a concept called cow protection, in which cattle are revered. Cows are also used in the padayatra, a type of religious procession.

"She's the most important animal, because everyone is sustained by the milk," Mr. Voith said.

Officials cite a 1986 village ordinance banning livestock on lots of less than 10 acres, unless the land is part of a farm primarily outside the village or the owner gets a permit.

. . .

The Village Board denied their application for a permit, however, and after a series of court appearances at the village and county level, an acting State Supreme Court justice ruled that the ordinance did not violate the Voiths's constitutional right to religious freedom.
The Voiths are appealing to the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court. I think their only chance is to prove that the permit was denied on religious grounds, and good luck with that.

This has been going on since 1999 when they bought the house. In fact, when the Leiths were finally forced in 2003 to move the cows to another parcel of land they owned outside of town, they tried to get asylum in India:

[Voith] said he has sought asylum in India for himself and his family, including two children adopted from India. He has written to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and India's Ambassador to the U.S. Lalit Mansingh.
Too bad they didn't try a little harder.

Posted by Chris at 09:17 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

April 01, 2006

And I Heard That Jerry Jones Was Going To Buy The Fort Wayne Freedom, Too!

Last night, a local radio station announced that as of midnight, Jimmy Page would become the station's new owner. Apparently, he heard the station between stops on his tour and was impressed by how much Led Zepplin they played. Callers to the station were going nuts all night long.

C'mon, people, what's the date as of midnight? I mean, they showed a little creativity by starting early, but geez.

Posted by Chris at 10:57 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

March 27, 2006

Sure, If By "Gentlemanly" You Mean "Howling, Screeching, And 0-19 In Targeted Election Campaigns"

Bruce Sterling gave the closing speech at SXSW earlier this month, which I was listening to as a podcast. Dude has a fairly advanced case of BDS, but the following part made me think. He was bemoaning how cities are having to pay to implement broadband and wireless themselves, saying that the federal government should be doing it.

And I look at wireless spreading in London, and the spread of broadband in Korea. I've got broadband in Serbia, where the phone companies are literally run by criminals in exile. And my broadband in Serbia costs $20 a month - and it works!

Our people in Washington are drinking their own bathwater. They have forgotten how to build anything. They are busy monetizing stuff for their re-election campaigns. It is decadent, it is sclerotic, it looks like the Soviet Union. These guys in power are so eager to monetize the net that they are turning the USA into a banana republic with rockets! Not just politically backward - technically backward! That's the part that's unforgivable.
Which, if you filter out the BDS, basically says "We're at risk of losing our technological superiority if the Federal Government doesn't step in." My first thought, South Park Republican that I am, was "That ain't Washington's job." My second thought was "Well, Washington (mostly) built the Interstates, and that worked fairly well, and NASA work has led directly to a lot of useful things, and of course the Internet exists because the DoD started research leading to it," so I was at least willing to listen further. Then he grunted out this turd:
The reality-based community are fatally easy to push around, mostly because they're so gentlemanly and ladylike, but when you actually ignore reality for years on end, the PAYBACK IS A BITCH, BROTHER! And I should know, because I'm a science fiction writer! [bold emphasis added, caps in original]
and I stopped listening, because if he thinks the 'reality'-based community is "gentlemanly and ladylike," he's got a reality disconnect at least as bad as those he's ranting against.

If you're interested in reading a transcript of the whole thing, you can find it here.


Posted by Chris at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

March 07, 2006

He'll Also Need You To Do All That Troublesome Measuring, Cutting, And Nailing

So I'm driving in to work today, and I'm on the highway behind this truck. He's got a magnetic sign on the tailgate that reads

Mr. So-and-So, The "Do It All" Handyman
You Buy The Materials
I Do The Work

How can he be the "Do It All" Handyman if I'm the one schlepping down to Big Orange to pick up all the stuff?

Posted by Chris at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

January 20, 2006

Does This Mean He Isn't Really Free Of Possession By Dead Space Aliens?

Scientologist and all-around badass Isaac Hayes was hospitalized for exhaustion? How can that possibly be - he's Clear, and that means he's supposed to exude "radiant health"!

Posted by Chris at 05:48 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

You Are A Cipher. Apple Can Help.

Have you seen the Apple commercials touting the new Macs with Intel CPUs? They basically run along the lines of "For years Intel CPUs have been sentenced to a drab existence in (implied) Windoze machines; now they get to be in Macs. Joy!"

Who exactly are they targeting in those ads? I have to think it's people who already use Wintel PCs, but is (implicitly) insulting your potential customers a good business plan?

Of course, they'll probably sell a shload of them anyway (despite the ads), and then they'll think the ads actually work and we'll end up seeing more of them.



Posted by Chris at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

January 17, 2006

A Plot Hole In 24. Go Figure.

It seems to me that if the next stage of your Master Plan involves surreptitiously getting a cardkey from one person to another, that trying to do it in the middle of a 60-person hostage incident that you created might not be the most secure way to do it.

And we now have yet another mid-level boss baddie who ran afoul of Rule #1 To Surviving As A Bad Guy On 24:

If you have Jack Bauer in a disadvantaged position, KILL HIM!

In particular, kill him quickly and efficiently and without any attempt to use him for your own purposes.
Derived from Peter's Evil Overlord List; specifically, numbers 4 and 93.


Posted by Chris at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

January 05, 2006

There's A Reason They Don't Call It The 'Theoretical Electronics Show'

Tony Long is Wired's copy editor and resident Luddite (in his own words). Why a Luddite would want to work at Wired - and, more puzzlingly, why Wired would let him - is a bit of a mystery to me, but I read his columns purely as counterexample. Anyway, his latest shows a, shall we say, iffy understanding of things:

The Luddite has a spy roaming CES in Las Vegas this week. Keeping him away from the Vegas fleshpots and gaming tables is proving a chore but he did surface long enough to provide a foretaste of what's in store over the next four days.

The theme of this year's industry spectacle, apparently, is "more tech stuffed into ever-smaller packages."

"Much of the talk is about the next generation of cell phones, smartphones, you name it," he said. "But as you've experienced with everything from VCRs to the newest phone, how much of the stuff that they cram into these things do you really use?" (The answer for most people, in case you were wondering, is "not much.")
That's an awful sloppy use of parentheses and punctuation at the end, especially for a copy editor. But I digress.
Of course, the expo promises to be what it always is: the geek's annual wet dream. Especially if said geek is toting plenty of folding green (or stiff, hard plastic) in his pocket. Because while CES is nominally about technology and electronics, what it's really about is consuming technology and electronics.

I would certainly hope so. Someone needs to explain to him that the 'C' in 'CES' stands for Consumer.

I would certainly hope so. Someone needs to explain to him that the 'C' in 'CES' stands for Consumer.


Posted by Chris at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

November 28, 2005

I Made Sure I Bought Something Friday Just To Piss Him/Her Off

Former ad exec Kalle Lasn didn't want you to buy anything last Friday. S/he is protesting our consumerist culture with 'Buy Nothing Day,' asking people not to buy anything on the day after Thanksgiving. Wired caught up with him/her recently:

. . .the anti-holiday's founder, who acknowledged the internet's role in making BND a global protest movement, but decried the laziness of many bloggers and the digital generation's disengagement from the real world.

Wired News: How are you using the internet to spread the word about BND?

Kalle Lasn: BND was a relatively insignificant event in its early days. It wasn't until we put the campaign on the internet that it took off worldwide.... That synergy that we created on the internet was what really launched BND into the worldwide event that it is today....

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart's plan to destroy the Earth continues unabated. And s/he says we're disengaged from the real world?

About that. Here's another howler:

People who grew up with the internet or iPods, that whole digital revolution, are the first generation that spend more time in the electronic environment than they do in the natural environment. So we are definitely going to try and launch social-marketing campaigns that encourage people to just unplug, just to pull out of the virtual electronic environment and try to live more than half their lives in the real world.
You know, the real world - where you have to have clothes to wear, and food to eat, and a roof over your head that Lasn apparently thinks you can just miracle into existence, because s/he
Posted by Chris at 06:04 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

July 24, 2005

This Is 'Ethical Treatment of Animals?'

From Randy Cassingham (who was blogging before blogging was blogging, and getting paid for it to boot) comes this story that exposes PETA for the racket it is:

After more than 100 dead dogs were dumped in a trash dumpster over four weeks, police in Ahoskie, N.C., kept an eye on the trash receptacle behind a supermarket. Sure enough, a van drove up and officers watched the occupants throw in heavy plastic bags. They detained the two people in the van and found 18 dead dogs in plastic bags in the dumpster, including puppies; 13 more dead dogs were still in the van. Police say the van is registered to the headquarters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the two occupants, Andrew B. Cook, 24, and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, identified themselves as PETA employees. An autopsy performed on one of the dogs found it was healthy before it was killed. Police say PETA has been picking up the animals -- alive -- from North Carolina animal shelters, promising to find them good homes. [emphasis added]

Not only that, it appears Cook and Hinkle were euthanizing them right in the van, using drugs they weren't qualified to handle:

Ahoskie Police Detective Jeremy Roberts said Tuesday he had received confirmation concerning the drugs found in the van occupied by two workers for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) last month.

"We have received confirmation from the SBI Crime Lab the drugs contained in the tackle box were Ketamine and Pentobarbital," Roberts said.

The Sergeant said the bottles were labeled with the professional name of the drugs.

According to Roberts, the drugs are Schedule III drugs which are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and could only be purchased by a licensed Veterinarian.

. . .

At the request of this newspaper, Dr. Cheryl Powell of the Powellsville Pet Clinic shared information about the two drugs.

Dr. Powell, who is a licensed veterinarian, said Ketamine is primarily used as aesthetic drug that is used to sedate animals.

"You would have to get carried away with that drug to kill," Dr. Powell said.

She said the Pentobarbital was the sedative given to animals to euthanize them.

In both cases, Dr. Powell said a DEA license was required purchase the drugs.

Something doesn't add up here. This is a pattern of behavior by PETA in at least two places - North Carolina and their Virginia headquarters:
From July 1998 through the end of 2003, PETA killed over 10,000 dogs, cats, and other "companion animals" -- at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That's more than five defenseless animals every day. Not counting the dogs and cats PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 85 percent of the animals it took in during 2003 alone.
Why would they bother taking animals at all if they knew they'd have to euthanize the vast majority of them? I would expect that this kind of behavior would offend their animal-worshipping sensitivities and that they'd prefer to leave the 'mercy killings' to others.

I have a hypothesis that maybe they're making money on the deal (after all, defending eco-terrorism isn't cheap (see #3 on this page)). I'm looking into it; meanwhile, we have these tantalizing tidbits:

On its 2002 federal income-tax return, PETA claimed a $9,370 write-off for a giant walk-in freezer, the kind most people use as a meat locker or for ice-cream storage. But animal-rights activists don't eat meat or dairy foods. So far, the group hasn't confirmed the obvious -- that it's using the appliance to store the bodies of its victims.

In 2000, when the Associated Press first noted PETA's Kervorkian-esque tendencies, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk complained that actually taking care of animals costs more than killing them. "We could become a no-kill shelter immediately," she admitted.

And now, in accordance with my policy, I have to go kill an animal and eat it. I think I'd like some venison sausage this time.

Posted by Chris at 06:41 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

July 15, 2005

And A Car With A Confederate Flag On It Is 'Family Friendly?'

OK, so Ben Jones from the original Dukes of Hazzard series won't be watching the upcoming movie:

ATLANTA - A former star of the “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV show is urging fans to skip the forthcoming movie version, calling it “a sleazy insult.”

Ben Jones, a former Georgia congressman who played the wisecracking mechanic Cooter on the popular series from 1979 to 1985, said profanity and sexual content in the film make a mockery of the family friendly show.

Ben. Your character's name was 'Cooter!'

Posted by Chris at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

All They're Doing Is Taking You At Your Word...

Today's tip: if you like to rap about destroying America, don't expect to keep a sensitive job in our air-transport system:

HOUSTON -- When Bassam Khalaf raps, he's the Arabic Assassin. His unreleased CD, "Terror Alert," includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a "crazy, suicidal Arabic ... equipped with bombs."

Until last week, Khalaf also worked as a baggage screener at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

"I've been screening your bags for the past six months, and you don't even know it," said Khalaf, who also said Thursday that he is not really a terrorist and that his rhymes are exaggerations meant to gain publicity.

Of course not - he would prefer the term 'freedom fighter.' What, exactly, did the TSA use as their justification for firing him?

An Internet search of Khalaf's name brings up Web sites that feature his obscene, violent and misogynistic raps that threaten to fly a plane into a building on Sept. 11, 2005.

Khalaf, 21, was hired on Jan. 16 and fired July 7, according to a TSA termination letter that cited his "authorship of songs which applaud the efforts of the terrorists on September 11th, encourage and warn of future acts of terrorism by you, discuss at length and in grave and alarming detail various criminal acts you intend to commit, state your belief that the U.S. government should be overthrown, and finally warn that others will die on September 11, 2005."

His defense? "All my friends are doing it:"

Khalaf said his terrorist-themed rhymes are more about marketing. He called his songs art and pointed to other rappers who have rhymed about terrorism. He specifically cites Eminem's song, "My Dad's Gone Crazy," which discusses blowing everything on the map up except Afghanistan and says: "There's no tower too high, no plane that I can't learn how to fly."

And I imagine if Mr. Mathers applied for a baggage-handling job, he might have a little trouble with the background check too.

"Controversy sells," Khalaf said. "It brings a lot of attention. Everybody wants to label all Arabics terrorists just because a couple of people messed up. Well, I'm going to play along with that character. I'm going to let you think I'm one."
Mission accomplished, bud. And be careful what you wish for.

Posted by Chris at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

March 23, 2005

Because 'Flamingoes' Is Czech For 'No Such Thing As Bad Publicity'

Apparently, "Hey, y'all, watch this!" translates just fine into Czech:

A gang of thugs have been arrested in Prague after they posted footage of their crimes on the internet.

Police swooped on the gang, who called themselves the Flamingoes, after local TV station CT reported how the film had turned up on the internet.

The gang had filmed themselves beating people up and smashing park benches and road signs in the Czech capital.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

Posted by Chris at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)
Category: White Trash Wednesday

March 21, 2005

It's Like Drinking Green Beer On Columbus Day

Yeah, I'm catching up for the time I was off (that, and studying for my midterm). Public Service Announcement time, people - and this one's dedicated to the guy who wore a University of Miami track suit to the American Legion St. Patrick's Day festivities - don't wear orange to a St. Patrick's Day celebration.

And can nobody tell the difference between Scottish and Irish anymore? Check this photo from Friday's Journal-Gazette:
License to shrill - Indian Village Elementary School second-grader Gabrielle Alexander plugs her ears while classmate Kevin Gorall listens to members of the Fort Wayne Scottish Pipes and Drums on Thursday.  The musicians visited the classroom as part of St. Patrick's Day festivities.
Caption: "License to shrill - Indian Village Elementary School second-grader Gabrielle Alexander plugs her ears while classmate Kevin Gorall listens to members of the Fort Wayne Scottish Pipes and Drums on Thursday. The musicians visited the classroom as part of St. Patrick's Day festivities."

I guess that means I can schedule the next Ancient Order of Hibernians fundraiser for Highland Games weekend.

Posted by Chris at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

February 23, 2005

And The Casino Is A 6-5 Favorite In The Suit

So Daisy got the bright idea to sell ad space on her pregnant belly on eBay (look at this picture and tell me you can't hear the banjos. Also, her name's not really Daisy, but whatever). OK, fine, it's a free country and all, although I have to wonder what babydaddy's opinion on the matter is... oh, who am I kidding?

Aaaaaaanyway, there's this little detail about selling on eBay - when somebody wins an auction for something you're selling, you have to either actually sell it to them or not to anybody at all. And apparently this is an issue for young Bobby Sue:

"The highest bidder at first was SunPoker.com but I decided after the auction ended not to go with them and decided to go with The Golden Palace Casino," she said.

SunPoker.com argues that by putting the auction on eBay, she agreed to sell to the highest bidder, reports Local 6 News.

But Elise insisted: "No, even if I was selling T-shirts or anything else on eBay, as a seller, I have the right to decide who I want to sell to."

And you know that (as the above story refers to) my favorite TV station website, Orlando's Local6, would be on the case. Apparently, little Missy Jo is proceeding with her updated business plan:

Racing fans at the Daytona International Speedway this weekend will likely see the pregnant woman who sold advertising space on her stomach, according to a Local 6 News report.
and SunPoker is going ahead with theirs:
Harp, who is due to give birth next month, faces a lawsuit by SunPoker.com for violating eBay rules.

Local 6 News reported that according to the auction site's rules, once bidding ends, a product must go to the highest bidder and that the auction is a binding contract."

Update: We get picture (thanks to Joe S.):
Not an actual picture of Elisa Harp's wedding

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

Posted by Chris at 07:46 AM | Comments (4)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

October 07, 2004

Yes, But Is It Arrt?

Stuff like this makes me almost glad that I have no artistic talent, and it's more proof that artistes ain't like the rest of us:

It didn’t take a nuclear physicist to realise changes were needed after a £25,000 ceramic mural was unveiled outside [Santa Cruz]’s new library and everyone could see the misspelled names of Einstein, Shakespeare, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo and seven other historical figures.

“Our library director is very frustrated that she has this lovely new library and it has all these misspellings in front,” said city councilwoman Lorraine Dietrich, one of three council members who have authorised paying another £4,000, plus expenses, to fly the artist up from Miami to fix the errors.

I'd be pretty cheesed off about this if I were a Santa Cruz taxpayer. Normally, I don't expect a lot in the way of practical skills in an artist, but to misspell words on a mural outside a library? I'd be suing her ass to come back on her own dime to fix it. At most I'd pay some local guy maybe $1000 to at least remove the misspelled names.

“The importance of this work is that it is supposed to unite people,” [artist Maria] Alquilar said. “They are denigrating my work and the purpose of this work.”
No, dumbass, we're denigrating the fact that YOU CAN'T SPELL!
The mistakes wouldn’t even register with a true artisan, Alquilar said.

“The people that are into humanities, and are into Blake’s concept of enlightenment, they are not looking at the words,” she said. “In their mind the words register correctly.”
Funny - last I saw, 'English' counted as one of the humanities. I have an idea - I'll tell my son to use that as a defense next time he gets downchecked for misspelling something in class. I'll let you know how that goes. Meanwhile, the rest of us, who are 'into,' you know, reality, figure that we A) need to spell something right the first time, or B) if we don't, we don't charge extra to fix it!

Update: Apparently Alquilar has decided not to fix it due to all the hate mail she's allegedly received. Gerard Vanderleun has more. And oh, is it delicious.

Posted by Chris at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

September 20, 2004

But I Didn't See Any Jumper Cables Or Naked Pyramids

Took a few days off to bask in the afterglow of a second-order Instalanche. The Blogfather linked to a Ernest Miller article I linked to Monday, and since Miller's article included trackbacks in the comments section, and I was one of the first to link to it, a lot of people came here from there (about ten times my normal daily for a couple of days). It was a bad time to take a break, because the First Rule Of Getting Recurring Readers From An Instalanche (even a second-order one) is "For God's sake, keep writing!" but I had other things I had to take care of.

And that's why I'm late to this party, too, where the lawyer for a woman whose nose was broken by a chair thrown by Rangers reliever Frank Francisco goes over the top in the way that only lawyers can. Of course, he's positioning himself to sue the team (the ones with the really deep pockets), so he's got to drag them into the culpability spotlight:

"These guys should not get out of line like this. They should be disciplined, they should be trained. It's management's fault," said Gary Gwilliam. "It's like what happens at Abu Ghraib prison. It goes to the top."
So, then, a bench-clearing brawl would be equivalent to the Holocaust? Nice going, Gary.

Posted by Chris at 06:35 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

August 04, 2004

If This Guy Threatens To Beat The Crap Out Of You, Cover Your Butt And Run Like Hell!

Today's winner in the 'Inappropriate Literalism' category is Wesley Bono, of Greenbrier, AR, who said:

"This is just a bunch of crap. I didn't hurt anybody. I didn't hurt any of their property."

Oh, yeah. He also did this:

[Bono] pleaded innocent in Conway District Court on Monday after admitting outside court that he dumped 3 tons of manure in front of a gay couple's home June 27 and spread it along two [Conway, AR] city streets, part of the gay rights parade route, in protest. Bono said he was exercising his right of free speech when he spread the manure.

"I live on a farm. Everything I do has to do with production - male and female," Bono said after court Monday. "By all the laws of nature, is it right? The animals don't make these mistakes."

. . .

Bono said he was upset that the parade was even planned - and was further antagonized by plans to start it while Sunday church services were going on.

"I don't care what they do in their own homes. Just don't put it out on the streets where the little kids can see it," Bono said. "I'm not a bigot. Just keep it to yourselves. Just don't push it off on us."

The thing that surprises me the most here is that Conway (population about 37,000) has enough of a gay population to run the risk of having a Gay Pride parade in rural Arkansas!

Posted by Chris at 05:10 PM | Comments (2)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

July 16, 2004

What About Her Riiiiiiiiiights?!?

Once again, a Hollywoodista fails to understand the difference between truly being censored and merely being held accountable for what one says. Via Drudge in today's NY Daily News:

WASHINGTON - Whoopi Goldberg lashed out at Republicans again yesterday, branding them hypocrites for trying to "punish" her for joking about the President. Fired from her gig as SlimFast spokeswoman, the salty entertainer hit back at Republicans who threatened a SlimFast boycott over sexual puns she made about President Bush's name at a Democratic fund-raiser.

"America's heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of reprisal," she said in a statement.
Wrong! America's heart and soul is freedom of expression without fear of GOVERNMENT reprisal. I don't recall hearing about any warrants for her arrest.
"The fact that I am no longer the spokesman for SlimFast makes me sad, but not as sad as someone trying to punish me for exercising my right as an American to speak my mind."
If I'm doing business with you, and you say something publicly that makes me think my continued association with you will cost me money, I'd be in breach of my fiduciary responsibilty if I DIDN'T stop doing business with you!

Naturally, this to-do has brought the professional racists out of the woodwork:

Diversity promoter Asa Khalif, who has made headlines for accusing celebrities of insensitivity, cried foul in the Goldberg firing. "I smell racism from beginning to end," said Khalif, head of Racial Unity USA in Pennsylvania. "SlimFast must realize that black women have every right to voice their views."
That's funny; I smell stupidity from beginning to end in what Khalif said. It's not like SlimFast is suing to gag Whoopi or is trying to have her arrested; they're just making a business decision based on what they think is best for them. Does Khalif really think that if SlimFast had hired, say, Susan Sarandon, and she had said what Whoopi said about the President, then SlimFast would have fired her too?

Of course he doesn't, and of course SlimFast would have fired her too. But there's a funny thing that happens when your entire deck is nothing but race cards - you only know one way to play the game.

Posted by Chris at 04:10 PM | Comments (2)
Category: Media Stupidity

July 07, 2004

Production By The Same Crew That Predicted Florida 2000 For Gore

At this moment (8:30 PM Central), I am watching the team time trial stage of the Tour de France - tape delayed, since the stage was actually raced this morning. During the break that just aired, OLN gave away the results of this stage in their commercial for tomorrow's coverage!

Because of this, and because I hate hate hate having tape-delayed coverage spoiled, I will go to some lengths to avoid watching commercials on OLN for the rest of the Tour. I wonder what their advertisers think of that?

Posted by Chris at 07:42 PM | Comments (4)
Category: Media Stupidity

May 17, 2004

In This Case, I'm Unclear On The Concept

Bumper sticker seen on the way in to work today:

It's A Jeep Thing... You Wouldn't Understand
... on the back of a cement mixer.

He's right - despite the fact that two out of my last three vehicles were Jeeps, I don't understand!

Posted by Chris at 07:00 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

April 09, 2004

"Is This Where The Streaking Party Is?"

al-Reuters has this report on some of the other events going on during Iraq's Rebellion Week:

This week's sudden Shi'ite uprising, coinciding with the U.S. crackdown on Sunni towns like Falluja and Ramadi, has drawn some expressions of Sunni-Shi'ite solidarity, but it is not clear whether the rebel groups are coordinating.

Thousands of Sunni and Shi'ite protesters gathered outside Baghdad's Um al-Qura mosque, chanting slogans in support of people in Falluja, Kerbala and other conflict zones. Similar rallies took place in Mosul and Baquba, north of the capital

"We will carry our swords and strike the Americans on their heads," a Sunni cleric yelled. Trucks with food and other goods then left Baghdad for Falluja, which is ringed by U.S. forces. [emphasis added]
So he's going to bring a knife... to a gun fight. Apparently he's never seen this film.

Posted by Chris at 09:58 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

February 22, 2004

Dude Must Be Dyslexic...

...because you're supposed to hit it big, then start acting like an asshole:

The chance to win a weekend in Hollywood with a real, live actor was too much for two South Dakota women to resist.

. . .

The ladies didn't even mind that they'd have to pay their own airfare, or that their "celebrity" host — Patrick Kilpatrick — does not have his name in lights.

"I guess you'd call him a bit actor," says Shirley, who runs a child advocacy agency with Kelly.

They had met Kilpatrick in Aberdeen last fall when he joined other luminaries in a pheasant hunt. There's a national circuit in which local folks pay to hunt birds with ballplayers and entertainers, and Kilpatrick is in demand.

Bags packed and hopes high, Shirley and Kelly flew to Los Angeles on Feb. 3 to spend a few days with Schwab's brother in Huntington Beach before making the Hollywood scene. On a family boating trip, Shirley got seasick, and it was rough waters for the next three days.

Shirley called Kilpatrick twice on Friday, but got no answer. She and Kelly missed his return call Saturday morning, and were surprised by the message he left.

"He said he was going to Universal City with his son," Shirley says. He also said he'd leave a key to his apartment with his doorman and added, "Maybe I will see you later."

. . .

The ladies left Kilpatrick a message Saturday morning and let him know they were confused and disappointed. When he finally called back Sunday morning, their Hollywood dream was shattered.

As Shirley recalls the conversation, Kilpatrick bluntly insisted he had more than fulfilled his obligation to them by cleaning his apartment, stocking the refrigerator and leaving the keys with the doorman.

Serving as the ladies' West Coast agent and manager, I put in a call to Kilpatrick, who flipped out at the nerve of his accusers. He said he had "bent over backward" for Shirley and Kelly, who never had the "gumption" to make it to his apartment.

"I have so much to say about it," Kilpatrick said, and he wasn't kidding.

He rambled on for about 40 minutes about his "journey into the heartland" and the misunderstanding that followed, and I didn't hear him take a breath.

Kilpatrick said he had graciously offered his home to two South Dakota couples this year, with another duo coming in next month. But he said he made it clear to Shirley and Kelly that he would be available to play tour guide only if he wasn't busy. As it turned out, he was extremely busy.

It seems he has three "film projects" in the pipeline, and they happen to be the "most arresting films in the world, and very valuable to the world of ideas, as well as cinema."

In other words, he's like 50,000 other people in L.A. who can't get funding.

Kilpatrick said he had to pick up one of his two sons in Santa Barbara, and he likes to spend enough time there to "relate" to the boys' school. He also had scheduled a two-hour "purification" session, or he might have had more time to give his scheduled visitors a better "expression."

It's a shame this meeting of two worlds didn't work out, because I would have loved to hear how Shirley and Kelly related to purification.

"I am not paying them back for that $500," Kilpatrick bristled. "My budget doesn't allow me to do that."

I think Shirley and Kelly got closer to discovering the real Hollywood than they realized.
Read the whole thing. I focused on Kilpatrick's behavior, but the two ladies appear to have gotten the full Hollywood experience, including seeing a woman shoot up in a McDonald's bathroom, dodging some falling scaffolding, and having their car towed [hat tip: Romanesko].

I'm not quite sure what dude's deal is - he's been getting steady work for close to 20 years, so I'm a little surprised that $500 is that big a deal.

Posted by Chris at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

January 13, 2004

In Today's Lesson, We Learn That Leaking Classified Information Is OK If It Damages President Bush

So former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill may have shown classified documents during his 60 Minutes interview, and the Treasury department is investigating (strangely, no mention of this story appears on CNN.com's front page at press time, or its U.S news page, or its Politics page, or its Law page, although you can see it here). This report in the London (Ontario) Free Press sure makes it look that way:

"They showed a document that had a classification term on it, so we referred this today to the Office of Inspector General," [Treasury representative Rob]Nichols said. "I'll be even more clear -- the document as shown on 60 Minutes that said 'secret.' "

O'Neill is described as a principal source for the new book, written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind. In addition to interviews with O'Neill, Suskind drew on 19,000 documents O'Neill provided. Suskind also interviewed other Bush insiders for the book.

On 60 Minutes, CBS journalist Lesley Stahl said O'Neill had briefing material involving Iraq. Suskind said: "There are memos. One of them, marked secret, says 'Plan for post-Saddam Iraq.' [emphasis added]" A 60 Minutes representative said a cover sheet of the briefing materials was shown.

"We don't have a secret document. We didn't show a secret document. We merely showed a cover sheet that alluded to such a document," Kevin Tedesco said.
Never mind whether a document marked 'Secret' was shown on TV; by the author's own admission, classified information was used by (presumably) an uncleared person in the preparation of an unclassified book. If I did that in my job, I'd be fired and prosecuted!

CNN had a side-by-side while I was working out this morning (as usual, there was no sound and I could only read some of the captions) between a Bush defender and somebody I think they labeled as a 'Democratic spokesperson' (I really need to be able to take notes on the stairclimber). The Democrat said the Treasury department was being petty by investigating this, and that it revealed President Bush's pettiness by letting them do that. Funny, weren't these the same folks who were calling for an Inquisition over Who Outed Valerie Palme?

Posted by Chris at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Political Stupidity

December 17, 2003

Oh, Sure, Now They Want To Help...

Just so I have this straight - the same people who didn't want any part of the Iraq war now want us to hand Saddam Hussein over to an international court? Put another way, they trust the Iraqi people enough to demand that the US hand power over to them sooner than is wise, but they don't trust them enough to properly try Saddam? Nice.

His daughter has weighed in favoring the international court:

"Raghad Saddam Hussein -- who is living with her sister in Jordan, where they were given asylum in July -- suggested her father could not get a fair trial from Iraqi officials.

Raghad said the family wants 'a fair and legal trial' -- not one held by the Governing Council, which was 'appointed by the occupier.'"
I'm sure that it's got nothing to do with the fact that the international court will not impose the death penalty.

And what small victory over Arab fascism would be complete without excuse-making? Saddam's daughter, elsewhere in the same article:

"[Raghad] insists U.S. forces drugged her father before capturing him, saying, 'I'm sure that they couldn't have captured him otherwise.'"
There's also this from the San Francisco Chronicle:
"One verse in the Islamic holy book is being heard at mosques around the world. Chapter 3, Verse 26 says of Allah, the Muslim God: 'You take away the power from whosoever You will; You exalt whom you please and debase whom You will.'

[President of the Islamic Society of San Francisco Souleiman]Ghali said that verse helped Muslims deal with the shame of Hussein's demise and explain why the once-mighty leader had been caught in a rat- infested hole.

'Saddam has been humbled and disgraced,' Ghali said, 'because he put himself above God.'"
That's funny. I could have sworn that Saddam was humbled and disgraced because 300,000 heavily armed and highly motivated Americans made it their mission to do so. I'll have to ask Allah if he did it.

Posted by Chris at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

November 05, 2003

Another Liberal Who Doesn't Get It

In opining about CBS's decision to shunt the hack job on President Reagan off to Showtime, Barbra Streisand demonstrates that she has no clue what censorship is:

"This is censorship, pure and simple. Well, maybe not all that pure. Censorship never is. Due to their experience with the restrictive English government, the framers of our constitution specifically included a ban on prior restraint in the First Amendment, which is an attempt to stop information from getting out there before the public has a chance to see it at all - exactly what is going on in this case."
It actually is pure and simple, but it's bottom-line business logic, not censorship. One more time for the clinically thick dimwits in Hollywood: UNLESS THE GOVERNMENT DOES IT, IT ISN'T CENSORSHIP! Babs actually recognizes this, after a fashion, but fails to connect it properly. Then she continues describing the color of the sky in her world:
"Of course, CBS as a company has the legal right to make decisions about what they do and do not air. However, these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity rather than an attempt to appease a small group of vocal dissidents."
Where do I begin on this one? Let's start with the 'don't appease the dissidents' line. I reserve the right to call 'bullshit' on Streisand the next time some broadcast company caves to a demand by ACT-UP, PETA, or some other extremist group with virtually no consistency, unless she stands up in defense of the company. Of course, she won't. Second, "these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity?" Has she ever actually watched television? I guarantee you that no broadcast network (except PBS, whose business model consists of welfare and begging) gives a rat's ass about 'artistic integrity' as long as the ratings are there and the advertisers keep writing the checks.

And that's where the bottom-line business logic comes in. CBS boss Les Moonves, a self-described liberal democrat, personally cancelled the plan for CBS to air the movie. Now ponder these two questions:

  • If Moonves had been pressured by the Government not to air the series, don't you think he'd say so? Bush Administration as scapegoat - what an opportunity! (In that case, it would be censorship.)
  • If he really thought the movie was unfair to Reagan, why air it anywhere? Why not spike it as a goodwill gesture to President Reagan and his family?
Answers: Censorship wasn't the issue, nor was there any real sense of fairness involved. Moonves semi-cancelled the movie because he thought CBS had a very real chance of losing money on it, either in the short term or the long term (or both).

Update: Steve_in_Corona pointed out that the left has already pressured stations not to air a show, and thus no more Dr. Laura. Sooooooo... Babs, I call BULLSHIT!

Posted by Chris at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Media Stupidity

October 21, 2003

Hiding In Plain Sight Is One Thing, But This Is Just Damn Stupid

I've long thought that the sole purpose of some peoples' lives is to serve as a counterexample. Here's a nice counterexample demonstrating Rule #3 of Successful Criminalizing: Keep A Low Profile:

"Note to car thieves: If you must go talk to the police about something, don't show up in a stolen car.

Police say that's just what James Kent did in Bonita Springs this week.

He's in the Lee County Jail this morning because when he went to the Lee County Sheriff's office to report a disturbance he drove there in a stolen car."

Posted by Chris at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Dangerous Stupidity

September 03, 2003

Son Of 'Head-Scratching Ads'

Not long ago, I noted a few, um, interesting ads in my local free-ad paper. Well, the hits just keep on coming:

"Fast abs, slightly used, exc cond $25"
They must really have been fast abs if you're selling them 'slightly used!'
"3-n-1 Commode, guardian brand, adjustable height $40"
Hmm. I know what 'number 1' is, and I know what 'number 2' is, but what in the hell is 'number 3?'
"Strapless wht wedding dress (sz 8), never worn, veil & underskirt incl $400"
"Wedding gown, never worn, sz 12, long sleeves, lots of beading and long train $175 obo"
These always make me sad. I can easily picture a had-it-up-to-here woman saying "That's it! You get your {lying|cheating|drunk|whoring|gambling} ass out of here right now, and don't come back!


"Blind Minister needs gd. used Church Bus, cheap or free"
I looked for the companion ad, something like "Blind Minister needs gd. Church Bus driver", but to no avail. I sure hope he finds a driver.

Oh, yeah. The 'typing tape' ad is back, of course. I'm thinking of calling the guy up and offering him $1 to just shit-can the thing and stop running the ad.

Posted by Chris at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

September 01, 2003

What Kind Of Weekend Did They Have?

Spent most of the weekend at our neighbors' place on one of the lakes near the Michigan line (right about here). On the way there, we saw a hand-lettered sign as we got off the freeway:

"Rehab party --> "
flower_goddess and I got a kick out of that one. A couple of intersections later, we saw a second sign:
"Rehab party -->"
With an addition underneath:
"Free beer."

Posted by Chris at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

July 26, 2003

Head-Scratching Ads

From this week's local 'free ad' paper, the Peddlers' Post, we see a couple of examples of people who should not be allowed unsupervised access to a fax machine. First:

"Brand new, Elliptical Cross Trainer, must go, fully assembled, $300 firm . . .."
If the item "must go," why is the price "firm?" Seems like you really only want one or the other. Next:
"Typing tape for Atari 400, 800, & 1200 computers $20."
For starters, this tape probably didn't retail for $20 when it originally came out... in 1987 or so. What makes this ad even more mind-boggling is that it has run in every issue I have read for the past seven years! How many cluetrains blew through this guy's station in that time?

Posted by Chris at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept

July 16, 2003

Undignified Ways To Die, #38:

Undignified Ways To Die, #38: How Not To Behave In Your Final Moments

In the latest installment in our series, we examine a good way to ensure a nice warm Final Destination with lots of personal attention at the highest levels. From spankysplace (with a hat tip to His Imperial Majesty), here's Or I'll Sue You!. It's the story of a rather unpleasant lawyer working his last case, so to speak. A taste:

The patient, between howls of pain and moans of agony, had produced a paper from his briefcase and handed it to me. His shaky diaphoretic hand held a fist-full of these documents. Some of them fell from his grasp and flitted harmlessly to the floor. He strained against an agony I hope I never experience and repeated to me, "I’ll SUE You." I didn’t understand. He had come to us for help but the first words out of his mouth in triage were "You have to see me right now, or I’ll SUE you."

Now go read the rest of it. I'll wait.

Posted by Chris at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Unclear On The Concept