Recently in Official Stupidity Category

Life Imitates South Park

Chinese People's Liberation Army chief Gen. Chen Bingde is trying to convince us that China isn't a military threat. From Fox News via Defense Tech:

"Through my visit over the past couple of days in the United States, I am surprised by the sophistication of the U.S. military, including its weapons and equipment and doctrines and so on," People's Liberation Army leader General Chen Bingde said. "I can tell you that China does not have the capability to challenge the United States. As a matter of fact, the reconnaissance activities along China's coast by U.S. military aircraft and vessels are seen in China as deterrents."

For emphasis, the general added, "What I'm trying to say is that we do not have the capability to challenge the United States."

. . .

"As it is known to all, the United States is a super-power in the world today; how can China easily have the ability to challenge it? That is simply not part of Chinese culture and we do not have that capability. We would strive for world peace, civility and development and well being of the whole humankind...The United States has far more advanced weapons and equipment."

I... don't believe him. In fact, the first thing I thought of when I read this was the South Park season 3 episode called Chinpoko-mon, about a Japanese company that uses a Pokemon-like game to brainwash American youth to join a new Japanese-supremacist military. Specifically, this part (starting at 0:33), where company officials try to distract a concerned American toy shop owner from the threat of Chinpoko-mon:


"I am President Hirohito. And this is Mr. Osa."
"Pleased to meet you."
"We understand you have big concern about our fine product."
"Well, yes. Do you mind telling me what the hell this is about?" [activates Chinpoko-mon doll]
"The American Government lies to you. Join the fight for Japanese supremacy of the world. More to come!"
"Well?"
"That is so strange. I do not know how this could happen. But rest assured, I will make sure it does not happen again!"
"Well, now come on, I don't think that that quite satisfies my - "
"You are... American?"
"Yes."
"Oh! You must have very big penis!"
"Excuse me? I was just asking you what you're up to with these toys."
"Nothing. We are very simple people with very small penis. Mr. Osa penis is especially small."
"So small!"
"We cannot achieve much with so small penis. But you Americans... wow! Penis so big... so big penis!"
"Well, I guess it is a pretty good size."
...
"Well, it certainly was nice meeting you folks; I just wanted to bring that little malfunction to your attention. Bye-bye now."
"Thank you for stopping by with your gargantuan penis!"

Damn straight it is. And we intend to be the ONLY swinging dick in the Pacific.

Secret Manual Gives Glimpse of North Korean Military Tactics

A military manual, said to have been smuggled out of North Korea, reveals Pyongyang's concern about electronic warfare technology used by the United States and South Korea. The document also indicates North Korea's military uses radar-absorbing paint and other stealth tactics to conceal its weapons.

The five-year-old handbook gives instructions on how to make radar-absorbing paint to help conceal jets, warships and tanks. It also explains how to fabricate decoys, pave bogus runways and deceive the enemy by having stationary units mimic the characteristics of those on the move. Such tactics have long been used by Western militaries.

That's all well and good, but when they've finished painting everything in sight they're still going to have a bunch of freshly-painted MiG-21s and T-72s, and unless they figure out how to make them silent, cold, and not obsolete, I'm not going to lose any sleep over our ability to target them if the balloon goes up.

The Vatican has announced that there are now more Muslims than Catholics:

Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, the Vatican said on Sunday.

Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiled the Vatican's newly-released 2008 yearbook of statistics, said Muslims made up 19.2 percent of the world's population and Catholics 17.4 percent.

That's all well and good, but it's like saying there are more Muslims than there are United Church of Christists. If you want to compare denomination to denomination, you have to understand that there is no monolithic 'Islam.' A more accurate comparison in terms of numbers would be the number of Catholics to, say, the number of Shi'a. An even better comparison, given the schism between Rome and the Eastern Rite churches, would be the number of Roman Catholics to the number of Twelver Shi'a.

What I'm not sure of here is the whole point of the article, and why the Vatican said what they said even though it's not statistically correct (at least not yet, given birth rates and whatnot). Is it kowtowing to their 'New Muslim Overlords,' an early warning that Christendom is about to be overwhelmed by demographics, or something else?

Another Angle On The Goose Creek "Bombers"

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Maybe the two guys caught on their way to Naval Weapons Center Charleston had fireworks, maybe they had pipe bombs. They'll sort that out presently. What worries me at least as much about this story is that the Navy has its consolidated brig at the same base where they store nukes!

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It isn't exactly 'cut and run,' but it's definitely 'run and hide':

Also being drafted are several Republican-backed proposals that would force a new course in Iraq, including one by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., that would require U.S. troops to abandon combat missions. Collins and Nelson say their binding amendment would order the U.S. mission to focus on training the Iraqi security forces, targeting al-Qaida members and protecting Iraq's borders. [emphasis added]

And since they'd be banned from combat missions, if the ever actually found some terrorists, (paraphrasing Aliens), "What are they supposed to use, harsh language?"

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Florida's Frederica Wilson has a problem with state officials and agencies using the term 'alien.' This would be merely chuckleworthy rather than smack-the-voters-worthy if she weren't a state senator. Apparently she thinks everything else is just fine in the Sunshine State, because now she's going after the language:

"I personally find the word 'alien' offensive when applied to individuals, especially to children," said Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami. "An alien to me is someone from out of space."
Out of space? You mean 'people who don't have anywhere to store their Christmas decorations?'
She has introduced a bill providing that: "A state agency or official may not use the term 'illegal alien' in an official document of the state." There would be no penalty for using the words.
First, once you're done scratching your head over the idea of introducing a law that has no penalties for being broken, you'll realize that this makes it easier to introduce a penalty later, rather than trying to do it all at once.

Second, what the Honorable Ms. Wilson either doesn't know or doesn't care about is that 'alien' is a legal term defined by the Federal Government:

(3) The term “alien” means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.
So if she wants to send 'alien' down the memory hole, she'll have to start in Washington.
In Miami-Dade County, Wilson said, "we don't say 'alien,' we say 'immigrant.'"
And here at Dangerous Logic Galactic HQ, we don't say 'Senator Frederica Wilson,' we say 'chowderheaded PC-addled waste of a state Senate seat.'

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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.

The committee in charge of the Bejing Olympics is really, really thin-skinned:

Beijing Games organizers have threatened legal action against online pranksters who poke fun at official Olympic symbols after a rash of digital spoofs appeared on the Internet.

An image of the 2008 Olympic emblem "Dancing Beijing" circulated on Chinese Web sites and chat-rooms this week -- the original symbol of a human figure in motion morphed into "male" and "female" symbols commonly seen on public toilet doors.

. . .

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) said the practice was "tarnishing the Olympic spirit."

"It's a rights violation that contravenes our country's laws and regulations," an unnamed BOCOG legal affairs spokesman said in a statement on BOCOG's Web site.

"We hold the right to carry out legal action against such offenders," the statement said.

This from the country that refuses to do anything significant about the avalanche of pirated DVDs it inflicts on the rest of the world.

Comrade Kettle, it's Comrade Pot on line 2. He says you're black.

This is the only bridge off Oak Island.  So why do they need this 'Hurricane Evacuation Route' sign?

The picture quality isn't the greatest. The sign says 'Hurricane Evacuation Route.'

(title callback here) ... because we seem to have some pretty dumb outlying towns.

Later dusk catches some organizers off guard:

Fireworks organizers and spectators across northeast Indiana are realizing that the daylight-saving time switch is presenting a problem for traditional Fourth of July celebrations.

When asked when their local fireworks shows would occur, most local fireworks coordinators just said “dusk” and confessed to not knowing exactly when it would become dark with the clock change.

OK, guys, I've got your answer. It's pretty complicated, so stay with me here...

IT'S ONE HOUR LATER THAN IT WAS ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR! AND YOU'VE HAD THREE MONTHS TO FIGURE THAT OUT!

Maybe we shouldn't have adopted DST; we don't seem to be coping all that well.

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