Friday, September 30, 2011

What Were You Bitching About?

Ah, my old friend the GOP. Fail much?

No, You're Not Smarter Than the President

God bless small town newspapers.

But wait! Really?

It's worth it to go read this article by Politifact. I'll give you the payoff up front:

Uh huh. Are they getting the Internet in the old town these days? How's the reception?

Venice by Way of Google Earth

This is the image currently in circulation for Google Earth, the satellite view, for Venice, Italy.

This is probably not what people are quite used to. Most of the satellite views that I see or use are more of an overhead shot; this is clearly at an angle more suitable for a shot taken from a plane. This is the zoomed in view, so it doesn't come from a plane (at least I don't think so).

Anyway, this would make a fantastic backdrop for a document or a cover.

Here are the three that I came up with. Clearly, I'm no Photoshop expert, but this is just a quick way of creating layers and effects with a tool that makes it easy.

With a grainy effect:

A layered, almost shattered effect:

That last one is a little too severe for technical writing, unless that's consistent with the document design. Then, have at it, I guess. I like it, but I can see where it might be pushing the limits of visual tolerance.

Here's a better version with the render effect. This is my favorite:

I deliberately backed off and left the shadows and the texture. I was very pleased to see this come flying out of the box.

That's enough for now. Taking an image (remember, Google copyrights everything, so it would have to be a credited use or with some sort of permission and/or with fair use intended) is fraught with peril and emotional baggage on the Internet. It would almost ALWAYS be preferable to use a photo that you have taken yourself, but, even then, there's always going to be a person who starts jumping up and down, claiming to have been "ripped off." The best way to ensure that you won't be ripped off is to never, ever put anything on the Internet that you don't want to give away. Get it published, get it copyright protected, and watermark the hell out of it.

Fun with Photoshop Elements? I'm there.

The Daily Show Takes on Tony Bologna of the NYPD

I thought this was a very good segment.

Anwar al-Awlaki Might Really be Dead

Note that there is very little in the way of skepticism in this initial piece; some journalistic professionalism might slip into future articles.

Is he really dead? Is the defense ministry of Yemen a reliable source? When they say "implicated" does that mean that he's under indictment, under suspicion, or under some other sort of general umbrella of concern?

If al-Awlaki is truly a dangerous terrorist, I have no problem with him being dead. Hopefully, when the government and the media get around to establishing these facts, they'll remember the rule of law and apply the same sort of standards to al-Awlaki that they have applied to other terrorists, both proven and unproven. There's nothing wrong with questioning whether everyone got it right in this case.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Cynic in Me Fades Away

Alright, I admit it.

I wish I had the balls that this guy has. This guy has stones. And I don't mean that in a sexist way. He has the bravery of the ages. He is standing there shirtless with cardboard, and the laconic cops are bored with it all. But he's there, and he's not afraid of anything.

Out there with him are other men and women who are equally as brave, trying to make something come together and work. A few years ago, a more cynical version of myself would have probably laughed. You can't stand up to the establishment in this country. You can't protest money, power, privilege and influence. The kids out there, running through the streets in ones and twos and threes and fours are no match for the fist of the Man.

Hey, the Man's gotta fall sometime. Why not now?

I don't know whether Occupy Wall Street is a fleeting thing, a fading glimpse of organized protest, a misguided attempt to put a country on notice, a media-ignored event of significant ramifications. I have no idea where it will go and I have a lousy track record for predictions.

It starts with balls. Courage. Conviction. And standing up with cardboard, sans hair shirt and in a good pair of shoes that'll let you run when it's time to beat feet.

Anyway, this guy has that rare element of fearlessness that you find in the best of America.

These are Americans, standing up for American values and the American way of life. Wall Street told America to fuck off years ago. Trading derivatives and flushing thousands of mortgages and destroying neighborhoods was Wall Street's way of demonstrating how it feels about America.

This guy is the real American. Those cops should join him out there and show the Man what's what. Peacefully, of course. And with all the love of a Beatles album or something like that.

Sarah Palin is a Fraud and a Charlatan

Lewis Black has it exactly right. Miss Sarah is a fraud.

The People That's Christians?

Harvey Updyke Jr. is accused of poisoning the live oak trees of Toomer's Corner at Auburn University. He emphasizes the good that he has done with his life and insists that he has never hurt anybody up until the point where he, as a supposedly mature adult, decided it would be the ultimate college football prank to poison some trees out of a sense of unsportsmanlike spite and team rivalry (apparently, he's a big Alabama Crimson Tide fan who likes to give the finger when he's not pleading for forgiveness). Only, his bleatings and pleadings sound a little hollow and flat to me. After all, this was about college football. And it wasn't a "somebody." These were trees.

It is a truly ridiculous thing when someone appeals solely to those who self-identify themselves as Christians (every other denomination or belief structure can go pound sand) for forgiveness, that they do so well after the fact and only when they face legal jeopardy.

Harvey Updyke is a pathetic man child. He did something brazenly stupid and hateful and he did it because he doesn't care about anything that really matters. What would possess a grown man--not a kid, not a child, not some dumb college boy drunk on hubris--to do something as stupid as poison some trees is beyond me. But yet, there is that whole thing about college football, and how it gets completely out of hand and how some people just can't handle the rivalry thing.

For him to now plead for forgiveness smacks of being told what to do by a lawyer. When he came out of court, the only thing on his mind was the pain and embarrassment of being revealed to be the loser and the nothing that he truly is. He lashed out with a finger. He should have had the maturity and decency to realize his mistake. Instead, what we see, is a perfect example of how one person can ruin it for the rest of us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chuck Lorre is a Desperate Whore For Ratings

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the show center around one character raising an underage son? How does this find a place in America's pop culture landscape? If this was My Two Dads, and one of the dads were going around naked, wouldn't that mean an instant Brent Bozell boycott?

It sort of does speak to the idea that Charlie Sheen was trying to get across about his former boss, Chuck Lorre. We are denied access to what that specific idea was, thanks to the fact that Sheen went nuts in public and all but shat himself repeatedly in order to recycle the drugs he was on. I suspect he was trying to explain to the discerning members of the public that Lorre is an unabashed and artistically bankrupt fraud who will stop at nothing to garner ratings.

If putting naked people on television were a guarantor of ratings success, there would be nothing on but naked people. And yet, the most successful shows feature overweight frumps who look as if their hairline abandoned all hope decades ago.

Why didn't they just hire Kelsey Grammer and make this "Fraser and One and a Half Men?" Grammer is a proven commodity, he needs the work, and people would watch for nostalgic reasons.

It's too soon to predict failure, but I don't see how this works. Yes, the women of America are horny. But they're not that horny.
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So Long, Elisabetta Canalis

In what must be a symbol of major distress to beautiful, rich, and famous people everywhere, Elisabetta Canalis has been dumped from "Dancing With the Stars."

Normally, I'd say, "I didn't see that coming," but the truth is, I don't pay attention to the actual shows themselves. I am inundated with the stories that run on the press wires. The fodder these shows generate is well in excess of their actual importance. They do get high ratings, however, so I can see why these stories run so frequently. They seem to be ginned up with phony outrage and fake feuds that aren't there.

Canalis is famous for being dumped by a rapidly aging American film actor named George Clooney. She is, or was, a model in Europe and has now been fired from an American television program that features a kind of reality television format. That's right--fired. Let go. Cut loose.

If Elisabetta Canalis can't find work in this country, what does that say about our economy? And how sad is it that this is what passes for entertainment and a relief from the day to day grind? Watching people dance, badly in many cases, is now the opiate of the masses. Nothing is more disposable than a show like this. How are you going to run this again when the eventual winner is crowned? The show itself isn't worth archiving let alone worth purchasing as a complete season. I've never seen the point in running so many cheap reality shows. But, then again, maybe there's no money to be made in syndication or reruns, either.

I also wonder what this does to confidence level of women in general. Do they see her defeat, so early in the season, as proof that the pretty girl doesn't win in the end?
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Monday, September 26, 2011

A Short, Simple Message

Google's 404 Message (screenshot)

Although it seems like this blog is broken, it isn't.

I have not seen this 404 message from Google since I don't know when. But I love the simplicity of it and the cartoon graphic on the right. This is a very effective message. It takes the sting out of an error, doesn't it?

Jonah Hill Does Not Want to Be Friends Right Now

There is something dark and sinister lurking around Jonah Hill right now--a bad vibe that spells doom for anyone trying to buddy up to him.

How do you "poke fun" at a guy at two parties and then not expect him to slim down, toughen up, and go on Jimmy Fallon? That's a no-brainer.

Then there's always the possibility that these two guys got together and cooked this up. What would be a better way to promote some horrible piece of crap project than to create a fake feud and use a talk show to get the ball rolling?
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Governor Chris Christie Isn't Willing to Walk With the Crazies Just Yet

Governor Chris Christie is a smart man. Anyone who fails to see how intelligent he is hasn't been paying attention to how skillfully he has managed to establish himself as a legitimate contender for the presidency while essentially being the Man Who Says No.

He is smart enough to know that President Obama is going to have no problem getting reelected. The GOP can’t win every red state, and they know they’ll never win California or New York. Thanks to the new and insane governor of Florida, that state is going to turn blue fast.

Florida might be blue for the next thirty years. Another performance like this and it might be blue until the last blue hair passes. Who knows?

Christie also knows that if you want to be the Republican nominee for President, you have to schlep crazy around for a year. You have to embrace and lock lips with a particular brand of crazy that is going to make things easy for the Democrats in November of 2012. I don't think he wants to go down that road.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mathira Mohammed and the Future of Pakistan

Mathira Mohammed might not be in a position to start a revolution in Pakistan, but she is capable of causing a sensation that begins the "maturation" of Pakistani society. There is a tremendous amount of pent-up sexual and social frustration in countries such as Pakistan, not all of which are caused by religion. Economics and family situations also have to be factored in.

For her to have tapped into the frustration and to have spoken so eloquently as to say this:

But her big break came when a male caller made lewd suggestions. 
"That's sad," she fired back live, without a moment's hesitation. "Pakistan, you are so frustrated. Go to your wife.... If you don't have a wife, find a wife, or do something to get rid of this frustration. Live TV is not a place to release your frustration."
I can see why it sent shockwaves through Pakistan. Good luck to her.

Stolen Valor and Some Jackass From Rhode Island

It isn't easy to prove that someone has attempted to steal valor and claim medals and military experience that they did not earn. You actually have to check into their military records and then wait to see the results.

In the case of Daniel Gordon, yes, he did serve in the Marine Corps. He is a Marine. But he has made a claim that his military records simply do not support. He claims he was injured in the leg by shrapnel outside of Baghdad in 1991:

Eight miles south of Baghdad?


The Iraqi city of Nasiriyah was the furthest known point of penetration into Iraq during the Gulf War, and it is well south of Baghdad. I'm sure that reconnaissance units went further; I'm sure that there were other moves further north. But all the way to Baghdad? We sent a Marine aviation mechanic all the way to the suburbs of Baghdad? Did he have machine gun belts crossed over his chest and a broken Ka-bar in his mouth?

This is where the bullshit detector goes off. Here's a politician claiming to be a war hero. And he got hit? But there's no mention of him actually serving in the Gulf War, no mention of the Purple Heart that he should have been awarded? No record of the unit citation medal that his unit would have received had he served there?


Well, alright then. If he says these things (but can't prove it because his mementos and keepsakes were destroyed in a house fire), I guess we should take his word for it. There is the tricky matter of him now being accused of defrauding the Veteran's Administration over benefits (because every good Republican drinks from that teat when they can pause in their continuing condemnation of any and all who do exactly the same thing). I suppose we cannot just let that go.

Should we accept the fact that he asserts one thing while his military records say something else? Or maybe we should just find one living soul who served in the Gulf War with him to back him up. Just one. Then maybe I would believe him.

Here's what I think happened, and, of course, my opinion isn't worth much.

Gordon is small-time. This fact has hit him in the face every day of his adult life. One day, while either drunk or bragging, he invented this story about being wounded south of Baghdad. Eight miles, son! (note that he probably meant kilometers because that would mean he got close enough to strangle Saddam himself except for the son of a bitch battalion commander who ordered them to let the bastard go, but oh well) Eight miles! Except no sizable force of aviation mechanics penetrated that far in February, 1991. Gordon probably conflated the Marine fight into central Iraq from the Iraq War of 2003 with the one he wasn't in and made up some story about stabbing a Republican Guard in the throat so that his Republican Guard buddy could tell him where they buried the secret plans for the counterattack that got him this other medal that's classified and he can't talk about it.

Remember when beer goggles merely got you laid? Well, beer goggles helps with war stories, too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The use of 'Sarjeant' rather than 'Sargeant' appears to have been a bit of mystery here. The Wiki page, and even the .org website of the same name use Sargeant.

These images were very influential. To this day, soldiers are issued gas masks. Anyone who understands chemical warfare knows that they are almost useless over a prolonged period of time.

When Boycotts FAIL

If you wanted to buy this kind of publicity, you couldn't do it with a hundred million dollars.

I can't want to buy some. I hope it doesn't offend any of the bluehairs out there.

What Important Detail is Missing From This Story?

I'll bet you can spot the missing detail.

We have a case where a man worked for the union, worked for the city of Chicago, and ended up with a large pension. Dennis Gannon was a public servant, and he has retired with a great deal of wealth. He didn't break any laws or do anything wrong. But his success in life is a reason to destroy his life? Because that's exactly what this article intends to do. The Chicago Tribune cannot point to a single thing that he did wrong, except know the laws, know the system, and do what he needed to do for himself.

Anyway, that one important detail?

Governor Jim Thompson was a Republican.

Doesn't that make you view this in a different light? And why is it that this article mentions nothing about Thompson's political affiliation? Don't you think it is relevant to tell people that the man who signed the law that allowed Gannon to acquire his pension was a Republican, given the case being made against organized labor practices in this country by the Republican Party?

You see, the current argument is framed as if the Republican Party has been the absolute pure and contented virgin, dipping her toes in the waters of corruption and sin exactly no times in the entire history of the Tea Party republic. And yet, when you consider that a Republican handed the people a law with his signature on it that would allow Gannon to do what he did, you can't help but wonder what all the fuss is about. He now works for a hedge fund, by the way. So raise taxes on hedge fund workers already, my goodness. Wouldn't that make all of this feel a little better?

It is perfectly okay to hand millions to the rich, the well-connected, the corporations, the oil companies, the energy conglomerates and even to the lowly people who work for the hedge funds. But if one man who works for a union ever gets himself a decent pension, forget it.

Minka Kelly Experiences Sexual Harrassment in the Workplace

Men treat women like this on a regular basis, if you can believe it. I have another story about workplace sexual harassment here, and it's pretty shocking.

Good for Minka Kelly, being able to retaliate and have the man removed. Many women are powerless to retaliate and get someone fired. Hopefully, this man won't get work anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This is an Instrument of Treason

Look now on the face of treason.

Four elected officials of the United States Government are calling for the deliberate inaction of the United States Federal Reserve and for the continuation of economic misery and calamity.

You see, I can do that Tea Party nonsense, too. I can send you to the Law of Treason and you can read it for yourself.
"To make treason the defendant not only must intend the act, but he must intend to betray his country by means of the act."
Read the above again and tell me that's not treason. It's the kind of treason that comes from having a craven soul full of hate and terror. These men want power, covet power, and will hurt anyone and anything in order to get more of it. In their zeal to crush the American economy they have pulled back the mask and shown that they have the bulletheaded face of a lickspittle given too much credit for being decent.

The language used is absurd and ridiculous. The Federal Reserve has the responsibility of staving off panic and regulating the nation's monetary policy. Let me repeat the most important part--staving off panic. The Federal Reserve MUST act in times of economic distress and peril. It MUST take steps to stabilize the American economic system as it relates to banking and monetary policy in order to prevent another Great Depression.

These four men, McConnell, Boehner, Kyl and Cantor DO NOT BELIEVE in the American system of government. They have NO PLAN WHATSOEVER to relieve the economic misery that afflicts tens of millions of Americans. All they want is for the Fed to roll over and DO NOTHING so that the panic, peril, and distress of the American people can continue for another year and a few months.

This is about election day, 2012, and the American people can go suck eggs. Don't have a job? Bankrupt? Broke? Living in your car by the river? Suffering? Miserable? Well, you should have prayed harder in church, suckers. We have a Federal Reserve that is supposed to do something--anything--to make things better. These four men think that the Fed should go sit on its hands and let the American people suffer.

To inflict intentional suffering and pain on the American people is a treasonous act. Harming America's economic stability and security weakens this country in the face of our enemies, both foreign and domestic.

What a shameful moment in American history. Shameful.
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Google+ is Finally Available to the Unwashed Masses

I can just hear the complaints--how long is that blue arrow going to mess up my darned page?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just Like Social Security, Right?

A Ponzi scheme? Just like Social Security? Wow.

So, if I'm reading this right, and I know I am just being an idiot with a blog, then people who made their living playing online poker were doing nothing wrong by trying to gamble and earn money for their retirement. I mean, come on. Playing online poker, paying into the Social Security system--they're practically the same thing, right?

Who are these people? Who is that slick, cool, and savvy? Who gets women and earns a living and has a peaceful night's sleep playing online poker and depositing that kind of money into an organization or organizations as slimy as the ones depicted in this article? Who has those kinds of stones? Amazing.

How long before someone running for President figures this out, and makes this comparison? I say, let them. The more they compare Social Security to a Ponzi scheme, the more we'll get to hear about legitimate Ponzi schemes like online gambling, investing with shady loan sharks, and believing in the tooth fairy.

I'd start my own Ponzi scheme, but who has the time? You have to defraud and bilk people, and that just takes too much work. I'd rather just have people running for President tell me what's what.

Rick Santorum Cries Foul, Google Ignores Him

Rick Santorum can't understand the basics of activism and the Internet. Getting upset, complaining, and trying to get Google to change how they do business is not going to solve the problem. What might help, and I don't even know if it would, is for Santorum to act like a decent, charitable human being and sit down at his computer each day and try to write and say positive things about all Americans, then Google the hell out of his name and promote the results that agree with his new image.

If he were to find five or six people who could help in this endeavor, all the better.

Each and every time he tries to get results and get his good name off of the Google search for some rather frightening and shocking things, well, shoot. It all gets kind of frothy.

See what I mean? When those old ladies click on that stuff, they're not directed to the campaign website where they can drop ten bucks in the pot for the candidate. They're sent into the howling whirlwind of gayedness and gaydom. That's just not going to get you elected President.

You Can't Hide Your Money In Switzerland Anymore

Somewhere after the 4:00 mark, brother O'Reilly says that people who have money will just move it to Switzerland if the tax rates go up.

Mr. O'Reilly clearly hasn't been keeping up with the news. You can't really expect to get away with that sort of thing anymore.

These people are terrified that their taxes are going to go up. Even if their rates went up to 42 to 45%, they would still make a terrific living in the greatest country on Earth and live like kings. This is not class warfare--it's common sense. If you want to continue to make a fabulous living and live a life that people 50 years ago could only dream about, then you have to pay your fair share towards the continuation of the American system of government. Without that, we revert to robber barons, chaos, tribes, and headhunters. We revert to more resource wars, gated communities topped with armed guards, and butchering gangs of urban thugs.

Pay your taxes and grow up.

Yes, There Are Crazies

This is the unintended consequence of trying to do something that should be normal and natural. There's no reason why Bono shouldn't be able to go out and do things like this. I think that the producers of DWTS knew what the logistics were going to be like going in, and accepted this as part of the costs related to the publicity that would go towards promoting the show.

America does seem to have a growing number of crazies motivated by cultural issues. That's what sad about all of this.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This is Why No One Should Ever Listen to Mark Penn

What a misguided fool. Mark Penn ran Hillary Clinton's campaign into the ground. By the time they figured out that Penn did not know what he was doing, it was too late. Naturally, he cannot for the life of him analyze or figure out anything related to President Obama. Candidate Obama left him baffled and with his pockets turned out. Has Penn found his car keys? I think he lost them somewhere in early 2008.

So, here is Mark Penn trying to string together a coherent thought. He even does the work of the Republican Party for it by invoking class warfare. It's not class warfare when one class has all of the money, dude. We're past that now. We're on to "breaking the moneyed trusts and snapping the necks of the robber barons." Please pay attention, okay?

Penn leads off with the stupidest point imaginable. Americans were angry that President Bush "increased spending?" That's remarkable. No one said boo. No one bothered to raise an eyebrow when the Congress ran things up and hid the costs of the Iraq War and appropriated money like there was no tomorrow. Those were boom times. Government spends like crazy during boom times because it is flush with tax revenue. There were no deficit hawks, save crazy Ron Paul, and there was no way--no way--the Republican Party was going to touch entitlements once everyone realized that privatizing Social Security was dead in the water.

That "war that should never have been fought" was never understood by the American people. If the war, in fact, should never have been fought, John Kerry would still be the President of the United States. The American people spoke loudly. They love war, especially if it kills people who talk funny and don't embrace our troops.

President Obama ran as a "Reaganesque" candidate? Who was that old fellow clamoring for attention next to him? How could the young, charismatic Obama have pulled off the Reagan thing when the actual Reagan heir was running for the Republicans? John McCain tried to run as Reagan and they kicked him to the curb and took his wallet, too. And his wife's car keys.

See, this is why Penn is ridiculous. He doesn't get it. He's lazy, incompetent, and stuck in the past. President Obama won because he was able to raise a ton of cash over the Internet. That threw the election cycle into a frenzy. He won because he had the most money; having the most money meant that he was able to get his message out there. I don't remember what that message was, but it must have been effective. It got him elected. He would not have gotten elected if he had been stumbling through his stump speeches, exhausted from having to beg old people for cash all day and all night. The money he raised bought ads that made John McCain and his other brother Darryl from the back woods of Alaska look crazy, mean, and old.

President Obama won because he wasn't old and mean looking. Now we have to figure out where our economy is headed now that the Republican Party has been hijacked by the disciples of Ayn Rand. Do you know what's going to happen in 2012? If the economy is in the tank, the President is going to lose. It's that simple.

If the economy turns around, the President will probably win.

Whatever Penn is saying beyond that is nonsense.

Fear of a Black Planet

Mike Tyson is clearly having fun at the expense of Sarah Palin and with the elements in American society who cannot handle the topic of interracial sex.

Is Tyson being sexist and degrading? Yes. He should be condemned for what he is saying because there's no defense for talking about women in that way. Tyson's own history is so troubling on the subject as to not be believed.

There is a defense for what he's saying, and I don't necessarily think it is a fully formed one. He's commenting on America's current cultural divides. But he's doing it in a way that is culturally significant because he's commenting on the very real phenomenon of interracial sex. Much of the reason why the Tea Party exists is because of a fear of an African-American president. Sarah Palin has spent the last couple of years appealing to that base and has courted it by talking at length about guns and family values and her meaning is, when stripped down, that only guns and family values will save us from that black guy in the White House.

Palin can put up a cross-hairs over the Congressional District of a Democrat but Mike Tyson can't joke about "the Wombshifter?" Come on. Shooting people is simply not the same as screwing their brains out. 

The same people who are outraged are the ones who'd be laughing hysterically if the same thing were being said about Michelle Obama. Imagine Mike Tyson going on a similar rant about how Michelle Obama needs to be with a 'real' black man. Oh, the clowns at the Daily Caller would run that, too. And Breitbart would have that video up there, faux outrage affixed as well. See, it's all about the target and the context. When a Democrat is the target, they can use rhetoric about snipers and guns and the Second Amendment and real Americans. When they become the target, you'd think they were timid bunnies leaving a trail of pellets from here to the back entrance of the Fainting Couch factory.

All Tyson has done--as a convicted felon and as a powerless African-American male--is say the things that drive those sympathetic with the Tea Party out of their minds. They have a fear of sexualized and potent African-American males that eats at their very souls. They are terrified of an erect black male penis and they cannot stomach the idea of losing their half-pretty girlfriend or wife to a charismatic guy with dark skin and a better-paying job. Want to clear a room full of these dead-enders? Show them a picture of a functioning and erect black male penis. Nothing says denial like acquainting someone with what frightens them and intrigues them at the same time. Explain this to them and their heads would explode. No wonder the Tea Party has taken up the mantra of denying Viagra to any and all who want it. They want this country to become a paradise for shriveled manhood. The erect penis has become a symbol of liberalism. Hey, alright!

Each and every single thing that Mike Tyson says is outrageous and ugly, but he's saying it so that a specific group of people will understand that America is not about rolling over for the limp-dicked, pseudo-tough guy rhetoric of the racists in the Tea Party.

I mean, honestly. If the Tea Party rank and file were half as tough as they pretend to be, this sort of thing wouldn't even bother them, would it? Of course not. They remember how fun it was to lynch people. They remember how easy it was to get a couple hundred of their friends and neighbors together so that they could go teach the Mike Tysons of the world a lesson. The world has changed and they simply can't get away with it anymore. Darn the luck.

No wonder they dream of taking us back to the 1800s. It was so much easier to get rope, a crowd, a photographer, and an uppity black man to satisfy their urges.
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About That Avatar of Yours

No, it is not an evil symbol from the occult. It's a Koch Snowflake:

I could have picked, literally, anything. I picked this. At random. And it stuck.

The Budding Bromance of Sheen and Kutcher

If you're going to fake your way into a phony bromance, always use social media.

Is there anyone who really thinks either one of these two guys cares anymore? It's all about paydays and marketing.

The Budding Bromance of Sheen and Kutcher

If you're going to fake your way into a phony bromance, always use social media.

Is there anyone who really thinks either one of these two guys cares anymore? It's all about paydays and marketing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Travel Scams For the Butt Pack Impaired

I know that Rick Steves is popular and all, but I live in Europe and these things sound kind of far-fetched. If someone came up to me in Munich, for example, and tried to be my friend, I would think that they are clearly not normal. There's a scam that happens to people with German license plates when they drive through the Czech Republic. Czechs will pull them over, steal from them, and run away. At least I think that's what the scam is. A street thief will just steal from you and run away. All of this talk about being clever and all is just talk, I think.

Look, if people are going to scam you, there's a good chance that even the savviest person will fall for something that is clever and well-executed. Nobody can hope to be completely immune to the things that will be pulled on them. That's just wishful thinking.

What Am I Going to Do With Posterous Spaces?

When Posterous hit the Internet way back when (what? two years ago? three?), I was an early believer in having a place where I could blast stuff out there. As a platform, it worked well. As a place to go to put stuff, it worked well. As a place to get things going, eh. Not much happened because Posterous has been infected with a lot of SPAM and reposting and reblogging. A lot of marketing stuff goes out over Posterous now; in the early days, it was like Tumblr. Creative people used it.

Now? I can't tell who uses it. No one follows you back. No one seems to care. It's a blasting platform. You go there, you rifle content out there, and you leave. If there are meaningful conversations and all that, I'm clearly too stupid to find them. I made a concerted effort to find meaningful content on Posterous a few months ago. I found a lot of info graphics borrowed from other sites. I found a lot of stuff from places like Etsy was being reblogged there. And I found a lot of foreign language stuff, which was cool.

The thing is, Tumblr and Posterous are blogging platforms that have limited blogging features. They really should be places where original content is created and shared. If you have followers, great. If you don't, forget about it. I think that they are both now so saturated that there's almost no point in trying to start a new thing over there, unless you're someone who can bring in a large following all at once.

I'm not down on Posterous. I simply don't have the chops to figure it out anymore. And now they call themselves Posterous Spaces. Great.

What's that? How will it help me? Should I continue to try to blast content out on Posterous? Or should I just chuck it all and say, 'thanks for being another waste of my time' and delete my accounts? Should I just abandon them and leave them there, a silent testimonial to my incompetence?

I'll make the effort to figure out what's what. Til then, I don't know what to do with my content over there, which was slight and rather bland, to be honest.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Republican Plan: Visas for the Highly Skilled

Thanks to the good folks at Fox Business, this popped up on Scribd tonight. And do you know what? It makes for some compelling reading:

That's their "solution?" Go out and find "highly skilled" workers from abroad to come here and take jobs that Americans are too incompetent or unskilled to fill? You know, for years, the Republican Party has fought to cut education in this country. They have fought the Democrats tooth and nail over spending on education, investing in our future, and this is why the Middle Class has suffered so greatly over the last decade.

The Republican Party wants to snare people who come here to study--at schools that are being forced to raise tuition because of the cuts they, themselves, have imposed on America's education system--and give them visas that are above and beyond what everyone else gets so that they can take jobs and opportunities away from American citizens who are struggling to find jobs and create businesses? Does that sound like the classic example of a circular firing squad? Does that sound like a series of impossible backflips or what?  Wow.

And what’s even funnier is that these are the people who used the fear of terrorism to scare the crap out of the American people, create immigration as a phony wedge issue, and make the process of actually getting a student visa a humiliating process, thus driving away countless numbers of people who wanted to come here and study. I guess that wasn’t such a great plan, was it? But, don’t worry. The Republicans are gonna get this right, no matter how many times they have to reverse themselves and try to find something palatable to get behind.

America is the land of opportunity. People should be allowed to come to this country and get an education and stay if they wish. America should have open borders for people who want to come here and establish legal citizenship--something the Republican Party has also vehemently opposed. But outsourcing has sent millions of jobs overseas. Outsourcing has killed the American labor force. Is the solution to this an expedited process to bring in people who will use their skills to edge out American workers?

And now we're supposed to believe them when they want to cut education, cut off immigrants, marginalize opportunities for American citizens--we're supposed to accept their "solutions?"

Hell no.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Pat Robertson Says Something Stupid Again

Pat Robertson knows what Christian charity and decency are all about, doesn't he? What a frightening glimpse into the soul of a monster.

You have to ask, what happened to 'til death do us part?' That is the simplest of the vows of marriage, and that is the standard established by the Christian religion. Someone who professes to be knowledgeable about the religion of Jesus should probably have better command of the basic tenets of his own faith. A man and a woman are joined and then death is what separates them and that's that. In the modern sense, a man and a man should be allowed to marry til death do them part. Same for women. By extension then, does Robertson believe that a legally married gay couple should separate if one of them develops Alzheimer's and then go marry someone else? Or is he just too dark and sinister to handle anything other than craven self interest?

That's what this statement is about. A pleasure and comfort seeking self-centeredness that can only come from a lifetime of fleecing the believers and stuffing thick, creamy wads of cash into his pants at every turn. This is a man who has made a pretty good living using the medium of television to scare the fat pants off of shut-ins so that they could hot-foot it to the rotary phone and donate cash money to his organization by way of a God-fearing credit card transaction. Jesus had some opinions on things, but it's too bad he didn't have a specific one on stealing money from the feeble in order to create a television empire based on terrorizing the gullible.

Robertson worships at the altar of personal wealth. His belief that someone should "start all over again" isn't about love or companionship--it's about finding someone who is convenient and suitable for a partnership that will lead to more wealth and stability. Robertson knows full well that handing off custodial care is a legal means by which someone can protect the value of their personal estate. For a man late in life to find himself facing huge bills for the medical care of his wife is probably pretty frightening for a money-obsessed shill.

Think about it--you're cruising along in your seventies, and you've got a lot of money in the bank, maybe two homes, a boat, and a God-fearing belief in all things Christian and decent. All of a sudden, your old lady starts banging into walls and relieving herself in public after she gets lost looking for Sunglass Hut in the good mall in the good part of town. How embarrassing! And you're supposed to watch your filthy lucre and your pile of ill-gotten gains go to some nursing home full of snot-nosed kids?

In the world of Pat Robertson, you say, 'hells no, bitches.' And you dump that old bag of forgetful bones and you get yourself a trophy wife. You get yourself one that doesn't have cancer or self-respect or job opportunities that are better than yours, too. I mean, why stop at the bummer that is Alzheimer's? If she's going to kick the bucket, trade her in for a speedier model that doesn't have traded paint on the fenders and a kickstand made out of aluminum.

Maybe one with crazy eyes. Presidential campaign donors love a woman with crazy eyes who can't stop gibber-jabbering about her love of fine jewelry and God Almighty, Inc.

Yes. You just go and get yourself one of those. The old lady salon at the mall is full of them. Send an underling to find the one that has access to a trust fund. Woo her, marry her, and watch your personal success increase exponentially. And you live your life the way God intended, serving only you and your wealth. That's what Pat would want. That's what Newt Gingrich wants, too, but, brother, he probably wasn't prepared for that bill from Tiffany's.

I know it sounds harsh, but what Pat Robertson is saying is very clear and concise. As soon as your spouse goes off on a bathrobe walkabout through the nature preserve looking for the bus to Nordstrom's, it's time to make sure that your nest egg is secure and it's time to find some forty-year old high maintenance hump pillow to take her place.

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Michaele Salahi Sluts it Up on the Road

And so ends another disturbing chapter in the ongoing saga of the Salahis. From gatecrashers to groupies, from national embarrassment to self-serving joke.

The Salahis are notable only for the stunt they pulled at the White House. It is a fitting end for them as a couple (who knows--they could reconcile after Michaele is done playing groupie on the road) to have them go out like this, bothering the FBI and acting like children.