Sunday, September 30, 2007

Confusing Headlines Dept.


I Am Not Part of Your Us

What does that mean? This: 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 — mine included — has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again.

"We" should be fired.

Friday, September 28, 2007

9/11 Nuts

This thread is really a bring-down.

I have ideas about what it is that makes people want to believe nonsense, but I guess what bugs me most is the laziness of the whole thing. Have questions? There are answers all over the place from people who actually know what they're talking about. Don't like the answers? Make a fucking phone call. Can you verify your kooky theory? If you can, by all means present it. But to spend X years going "something doesn't add up" or "there are unanswered questions" means you don't know what you're talking about and you're uninterested in answers that don't suit you.

At this point "I dunno what hit the Pentagon" or "the towers were wired to explode" are flat-earth equivalents. I remain open to the possibility of being proven wrong, just as I am about space aliens pooping in your cornflakes or Aleister Crowley having bona-fide magickal powers that years later chopped off the ends of Jimmy Page's fingers broke Jimmy Page's finger in an accident completely unlike Tony Iommi's.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In the Fever Swamp of the Radical Wingnuts

Here's an article from Gavin at Sadly, No! which argues that the top of the conservative punditry is smooth enough to deliver the message without sounding nuts, but that the message in unvarnished form is more easily gleaned from the idiots on the bottom.

I don't think I buy this, as a lot of the bottom-feeders have interests that the top guys plainly couldn't give a shit about as long as the votes are delivered, but Gavin writes nice sentences and deserves to win a lottery or something.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Thing

Space Plague!

The future may yet turn out to be cool.

Gregg Easterbrook: Moron

Go to The Poor Man and read.

Sports are pretty much for idiots - duh, hi mirror - but perhaps there could be some filter that strains out certain sillinesses.
And if you’re tempted to say, “Gregg, at worst this is just cheating in some dumb football games,” here’s why the affair matters: If a big American institution such as the NFL is not being honest with the public about a subject as minor, in the scheme of things, as the Super Bowl, how can we expect American government and business to be honest with the public about what really matters?

It's not often that I laugh out loud at something that doesn't involve anvils or shovels to the face, so I salute you Mr. Easterbrook.

Now With 100% More Eleanor

Odd outage at Nitpicker:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Write Your Senator

I think it'd be reasonable to follow up the Move-On debacle with a resolution condemning bribery, toilet sex, and the wearing of diapers for prurient reasons.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Medical Education Under the Taliban

This is a pretty old article, but it's worth having a look at:

Sunday, May 14, 2006
Afghanistan: Women Return To Medicine After Taliban Ban
By Mustafa Sarwar

PRAGUE, May 14, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- During the days of the Taliban, women were not allowed to study medicine at Kabul Medical University, not even under the cover of the all-encompassing burqas.

More than four years after the fall of the Taliban, however, the radiant faces of 90 women could be seen in the university's auditorium, speaking happily about their graduation. Some of them are now mothers, having had to interrupt their medical studies during the five years the Taliban held power in the capital.


Tabesh says the Taliban would measure the length of the beards of the medical students, "and if they found out that they had been trimmed, they would punish us harshly."


"We lacked the very essential things in that time," Tabesh said. "The first semester, we had anatomy classes. It is a very difficult subject, and you need to have materials like bones and skeletons to study with. But the Taliban did not allow us to work on the human body, so we needed to buy bones from other boys who were in the higher grades at the university. We could not even afford to buy an anatomy atlas textbook. And since we had to use human bones [dug from graves], sometimes [the chemicals used to clean the bones] produced allergies. It was unbelievable."

Tabesh recalls the dean of the university during the Taliban days chasing students with a long stick.

"I remember him boasting that no man could ever be as cruel as he was," Tabesh says. "It was pretty dreadful."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Trolling and Utility

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Is Poo Poo Funny?

I say yes and thank you Ron Paul for the bumper-sticker. And J---- for the pic of poor Dave.

Yes, I'm a dick.

Do They Come in Brown?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007


Here we have an article about corruption in India, mostly regarding fake degrees. There is at least one episode in it that is actually horrifying. What impressed me however was this single sentence:
The unethical practices and the decline in moral values have corrupted a greed-based society.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Art of Subtitles

My lovely daughter is on the Aspergery side of life, which has its ups and downs. One of the positive ups is that she has a freakish ability to read, demonstrated since before she could walk (which she was late to, but she totters sweetly nonetheless).

A very small part of what this means is that when she and I watch TV she'll pay closer attention when the captions are on. I have learned, to my chagrin, that Spanish or French audio does not match the Spanish or French subtitles in many cases, making most DVDs kind of crappy aids to my charming Braniac 5's attempts to learn all languages on Earth.

I have also learned that television captioning is sometimes outsourced to some place where English is not spoken, or used as makework for drunken hobos, or most likely generated automatically using the Very Latest Technology.

Enjoy what I have gleaned from my venerable televisual reception device.

Are Men as Dumb as the Media Say We Are?

In my opinion men need to stop sneering and do something about that haircut.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Figure This One Out

I sometimes wonder if letterers cackle while they do this. From X-Factor 135.

An Act Often Played Out in Japan

Kancho (カンチョー, kanchō) is an act often played out in Japan; it is performed by clasping the hands together so the index fingers are pointing out and attempting to insert them sharply into someone's anal region when the victim is not looking. It is similar to the wedgie or a goosing, although the latter acts do not involve direct physical contact.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Your Tax Dullards at Work

Justice Department Filing Slams Net Neutrality
The Justice Department this week issued its support for a tiered approach to Internet service, and said that the imposition of net neutrality laws would hinder the continued growth of the Web.

You Just Ready That Stance, Heroes

As a Report Draws Near, Democrats Ready a Stance
Published: September 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — With Gen. David H. Petraeus set to testify before Congress on Monday about the status of the Iraq war, leading Democrats in the House and the Senate maneuvered Friday to portray his report as being controlled by the White House, while insisting that they did not doubt the general’s integrity.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm Floored

Someone called Will Allen in the comments at the Matthew Ygglelelslelseleleeisisis soapbox:
I dunno, Thomas, I actually was writing in 2000 that I expected Bush to be a terrible President, a yet I still voted for him twice, and might do so again if the alternative was still Gore or Kerrey,
I thought he would be terrible, yet I voted for him.

There comes a point when you might want to withhold a vote or do a write-in or something. I mean in the Dahmer vs. Manson contest does anybody seriously calculate the worth of Manson's ability to delegate as opposed to Dahmer's hands-on leadership?

Jonah Goldberg: Vacation Over?

There have been a spate of posts around the neighbourhood involving Jonah Goldberg. Each of course demolishes Jonah in a funny yet inevitable way - Psst: he's stupid! - but it seems like such a pile-on. Was he saving up the stupid for a while and unleashed it upon return? Is he somehow more stupid now?


What are we fighting for?

Monday, September 3, 2007

This Man Confounds Me

Porcupine Pie Lyrics
Artist:Neil Diamond

Porcupine Pie, Porcupine Pie, Porcupine Pie
Vanilla Soup, a double scoop please
No, maybe I won't, maybe I won't, maybe I will
The tutti fruit with fruity blue cheese

Ah, but Porcupine Pie, Porcupine Pie, Porcupine Pie
Don't let it get on your jeans
And though it sounds a little strange
Well, you gotta eat it with gloves
Or your hands will turn green

Ah, but porcupine pie, porcupine pie, porcupine pie,
It weaves its way through my dreams,
And I do believe I'm gonna have one and
Leave enough room for dessert, chicken ripple ice cream.

The Obvious

White Zombie were kind of stinky so I'm not surprised.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Please Supply Us With Poison!

I'm begging for unsafe products because they're cheaper!