Monday, August 31, 2009

What's killing the honey bees?

For the past few years, honey bees have been disappearing at an alarming rate.

No one seemed to know what was killing them or what unseen force could kill so many bees on such a large scale. A bee flu? Climate change? It's been well-documented that life on Earth cannot survive without pollination from bees.

Then today, this story from India:
Mobile towers are posing a threat to honey bees in Kerala withe electromagnetic radiation from mobile towers and cell phones having the potential to kill worker bees that go out to collect nectar from flowers, says a study.

A plunge in beehive population has been reported from different parts of Kerala and if measures are not taken to check mushrooming of mobile powers, bees could be wiped out from Kerala within a decade, environmentalist and Reader in Zoology, Dr Sainudeen Pattazhy says in his study.

In one of his experiments he found that when a mobile phone was kept near a beehive it resulted in collapse of the colony in five to 10 days, with the worker bees failing to return home, leaving the hives with just queens, eggs and hive-bound immature bees.

It makes sense. Bees are disappearing in areas as the ubiquitousness of cell coverage has increased dramatically. And many bees are transported across country to pollenate crops. They are loaded in hives on large trucks and literally driven to the next pollination field. In rural America, there didn't used to be cell service everywhere - it was confined to larger towns and the cities. But now, you can travel just about anywhere and get a cell signal. The trucks are literally death trains for the bees.

So what do we do about it? The knee-jerk reaction is to ban cell phones, but that would collapse our economy. I think a more inventive solution will arise: bee farms with cell jamming stations around its perimeter. And cell-jamming technology on the trucks that carry the bees. Or perhaps genetically engineer bees that are not susceptible to cell radiation. But will that make them more aggressive? Playing around with nature is usually not a good thing.

This issue, to me, dwarfs global warming a potential threat to life on our planet. This one is very real.

Disney to acquire Marvel for $4 billion in cash and stock

From MarketWatch:

"Walt Disney Co. said on Monday it has reached a deal to acquire comic book titan Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion in stock and cash, in a move that underscores the company's desire to have strong box-office franchises with appeal to families."

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm not really a Marvel guy, but I've always liked the raw grittyness of Marvel characters. I wonder if Disney will still let Wolverine be Wolverine and for the characters to have such dark aspects.

But my first thought when I read this was that Universal has a theme park built around Marvel characters just miles from Walt Disney World in Orlando. I wonder how that's going to shake out.

This doesn't feel like a natural fit.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Plastic Man glasses

All I need now is a red jumpsuit, a red plane and a tubby sidekick.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ted Kennedy, Healthcare Champion?

In the media's eulogizing of Ted Kennedy, they're holding him up as some kind of Health Care reform messiah.

But I overheard an interesting point on the radio on the way to work this morning:

If Ted Kennedy was such an ardent believer in providing health care for the impoverished and downtrodden, then why aren't there Ted Kennedy Health Care facilities in every city in America, funded by his own personal family wealth? He supposedly spent 46 years in the senate working to provide health care assistance for those who can't pay for it, yet this man who came from one of the wealthiest families in the United States didn't start a charitable foundation (like the Ronald McDonald House) to do it. He wanted you and me to pay for it.

He was the archetypical liberal. And I don't mean that as a compliment.

That's Our MommyGirl!!!

Kristi is published!

She is the guest blogger today over at Today's Housewife - a blog about, as best I can tell, today's housewives.

Her post is about saving time, and she has some really great Kristi ideas to share. Be sure to check it out! And be sure to check out Kristi's blog, The Adventures of MommyGirl. It's not as interesting or geeky or ranty as Destructoville, but what is?

BTW - I'm thinking about having guest bloggers in Destructoville. The topic: Get the hell off my lawn!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


From the UK Sun:

"This amazing image on Google Earth could be the elusive proof that the Loch Ness Monster exists.

The shape seen on the surface of the 22-mile Scottish loch is 65ft long and appears to have an oval body, a tail and four legs or flippers.

Some experts believe Nessie may be a Plesiosaur, an extinct marine reptile with a shape like the Google image."

Looks like a boat with a wake behind it to me. But it would have to be a damn big boat at 65 feet long.

But I shouldn't be skeptical. I found chicken shaped like Texas.

The U.N. Can Go F**k Themselves, Instead.

From Fox News:
U.N. Report Advocates Teaching Masturbation to 5-Year-Olds

NEW YORK — The United Nations is recommending that children as young as five receive mandatory sexual education that would teach even pre-kindergarteners about masturbation and topics like gender violence.

Under the U.N.'s voluntary sex-ed regime, kids just 5-8 years old will be told that "touching and rubbing one's genitals is called masturbation" and that private parts "can feel pleasurable when touched by oneself."

By the time they're 9 years old, they'll learn about "positive and negative effects of 'aphrodisiacs," and wrestle with the ideas of "homophobia, transphobia and abuse of power."

At 12, they'll learn the "reasons for" abortions — but they'll already have known about their safety for three years. When they're 15, they'll be exposed to direct "advocacy to promote the right to and access to safe abortion."

Memo to the U.N.: Stay the hell away from my kids. My wife and I work damn hard at keeping them innocent and not exposing them to sexual content and concepts. There's simply no reason for kids that young to need any concept of sex. At that age, body parts have exactly one function: it's where pee pee comes from. Their private parts aren't for entertainment - theirs or any else's. Sex is something for adults, and it has no place in a child's sphere of thought. That will come in time, when they're older. And I insist that Kristi and I be the ones to explain it to them. Mandatory sex-ed in Kindergarten? I don't think so.

People who continually want to sex-up our kids are perverts. I'd love to be put in a locked room with one for just ten minutes. One of us would need to be carried out on a stretcher.

Just another example of the U.N. completely overstepping its charter and yet another reason we shouldn't take any part in the organization.

Snow Leopard Compatibility Chart

Excellent list of apps that work and fail under Snow Leopard.

Looks like my Photoshop CS2 and Dreamweaver MX are going to be problems.

There's a Reason Snow Leopard is Sleek Under the Hood

From Walt Mossberg, regarding Snow Leopard:
One delightful change: Snow Leopard takes up less than half the room on a hard disk that Leopard did, and Apple says the average user who upgrades will free up about 7 gigabytes of space. On my 2008-vintage MacBook Pro, I gained back a whopping 14 gigabytes.

Anyone else think that perhaps one of the major reasons for decreasing the OS overhead is to fit better on a flash memory-based tablet?

Just sayin'.

FAA called after father flies teen to school

From Florida AP:

"According a Lake County Sheriff's Office report, Bart Sutherin flew his 14-year-old son, Joseph, to his first day of classes at East Ridge High School in a blue-and-white helicopter this week.

Sutherin landed the helicopter safely, but he didn't clear the flight with the Lake County school district officials and sheriff's office first."

Awesome. I'm surprised he did't get in trouble for not alerting the dog catcher, too. 

Does anyone think that all those beaurocrats would have said that it would have been okay?  Better to beg forgiveness...

One Good Movie ... One Not So Good Movie

Earlier this spring, Kristi and I were excited about going to see Adventureland, a film set in a theme park in the mid to late '80s. The trailer made it look pretty funny with lots of potential. But we missed it in the theater with all the stuff going on with Kristi's dad.

So when it came out on DVD, we rented it and watched it last night. We tried to watch it, I should say. The trailer completely misrepresented the film. What was presented as a comedy actually turned out to be a dramatic coming-of-age story with a few moments that tried to be funny. It was truly one of those films where every funny moment is in the trailer. And they had the nerve to use Rush in the trailer.

The anachronisms should have been my first tip-off. Everyone was wearing late-'70s, early '80s-style ringer tees. It was wildly uncool in 1987 to wear a ringer tee. Also, the Rush song used was "Limelight," which came out on the Moving Pictures album. In 1981.

Don't waste your time in Adventureland. Rent Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, instead. It's a much better story.

But a movie that I saw earlier this week that completely didn't suck was The Hurt Locker.

It's a guy's movie through and through. It's suspenseful and intense and incredibly interesting. But the best thing about the film, to me, was that they didn't try to interject a love story into it like they do in most otherwise great action movies.

If you get a chance, be sure to see The Hurt Locker. It's got the Destructo seal of approval.

More Boneheadedness from Adobe

From AppleInsider:
Adobe announced this week that it has not tested and will not support its Creative Suite 3 line of products, including Photoshop CS3, on Apple's new Snow Leopard operating system.

Dumb move, Adobe. You just alienated a huge part of your install base on a product that only a year ago was still current. All in what seems like a ploy to force users to upgrade to the latest release. In a recession, no less.

I still use CS3 at work because I didn't see any compelling reason to upgrade to CS4. In fact, I didn't upgrade, in part, because I didn't like some of the things Adobe did in CS4's user interface. I made the recommendation, also, that the other people in my workgroup remain on CS3 as well.

And at home I still use CS2 because it works for my needs there. So what of that?

I think both products will still work fine on Snow Leopard (which I ordered yesterday). Adobe just won't help you if something doesn't work the way it should.

Is it me, or is Adobe feeling more and more like Microsoft every day?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Undo Print? Thanks for the Boneheadedness, Adobe!

I took this screenshot after I printed a Photoshop document to the laser printer in my office.

Just imagine the paper being sucked back up into the machine and the little elves inside frantically scrubbing toner off the page with tiny little scrub brushes...

iTunes, Baby!!!!

Last week I told you that Lori K's new album (which I did the art direction on) was on Amazon and some other lesser, crappier online music services. Don't get me wrong - it's really cool that she's on there. But it's no iTunes.

But you know what is? iTunes, baby!!!! That's right - Lori K's album, Southern Roots, is now available for download on iTunes!!!!


WTF, Apple?

This is the new box for Snow Leopard, the new OS update from Apple.

Seriously, Apple? Seriously?

You chose to put a freaking snow leopard - which no one ever even knew existed until you code named OS 10.6 that - on the front of the freaking box???!!? But yet you didn't put, you know, a leopard (or leopard print) on anything having to do with 10.5. People know what leopard spots look like. They know what leopards look like. Snow leopards? Not so much.

This decision had to have been made while Steve Jobs was on his sick leave earlier this year. Why does the box look like something that would have come out in 1992? Your cool promo graphics with the cool app icons arranged in a grid, reflected on a giant shiny X with the cool pink haze behind it. Cool. Iterative. Derivative of the previous packaging. Perfect for snow leopard, which itself is iterative and highly derivative of 10.5 Leopard. It's an update.

All I'm saying is that I'd better get some damn cool snow leopard desktop wallpaper included for free. You conveniently left it out of Leopard. It was good enough for Tiger and Jaguar (don't think I didn't notice that you skipped it in Panther, either...) but not good enough for Leopard. By the pattern you've got going, it seems that you use cat fur images in every other release. If it's not in there, well, I'm not going to call or anything. But I'm going to be really mean to my USB jump drive or something.

But back to the box... Whiskey tango foxtrot, Apple? You have better taste than this.

I'll bet the box alone is why it only costs $29. It's a hundred dollar discount for having to look at a damn snow leopard on the front of the box.

I went out on a limb for you, too. My PC-lovin' buddy Matt sent me the story about the box front when it was leaked last week. I ridiculed him, called him names (and his wife and kids) and told him he was stupid and mildly retarded for thinking something so lame could come from Apple in friggin' 2009. Then you went and did THIS!!!!???!

Damn, Apple, damn. I had my mouth open and everything...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Avery!

Today my cousin Shannon gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Welcome to the world, Avery.

Happy birthday Grandaddy

Today would have been my Granddaddy's 85th birthday. He died of a
heart attack in 2000, but there aren't many days that go by that I
don't think about him. He was a huge influence in who I am today.

Thank you, Granddaddy. I miss you. Happy birthday!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vandalism in a small town

This is what passes for vandalism in Brenham.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer is Over. Long Live Summer!!!!

Today is the last day of summer, at least as far as the school calendar goes. So as a celebration of summer, please enjoy the following tribute to one of the all-time great summer traditions: the Slip 'n Slide.

Backlash Against High Fructose Corn Syrup Continues

High fructose corn syrup is the devil. That's why I was so geeked earlier in the summer about Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback and Mexican Coke, all of which use real sugar instead of HFCS.

Then this today at AdAge:
"Kraft Foods has reformulated a handful of its most popular products in recent years, removing high-fructose corn syrup from Bulls-Eye barbecue sauce, Capri Sun Juice drinks with 25% less sugar, and the majority of its Kraft Salad Dressings line. The company is launching a campaign for Wheat Thins next week, from agency Draft FCB, Chicago. Kraft has reformulated the crackers, more than doubling their whole-grain content, and getting rid of HFCS."


"Some beverage companies are also promoting their lack of HFCS. PepsiCo launched "throwback" versions of Pepsi and Mountain Dew, which are essentially HFCS-free formulations in retro cans. The products proved successful, leading the company to bring them back for another eight-week run, beginning Dec. 28. A third product, Pepsi Natural, launched this spring and is being positioned as a premium cola. Snapple, meanwhile, went a step further, revamping its entire line of premium juices and teas to eliminate HFCS."

Did you read that? Throwback will be BACK, just in time for, well, January. But it will be BACK!!!

Note to Pepsi: There's obviously a demand for pepsi Throwback, and you're selling it at the same price as regular Pepsi. Why not just make it a permanent product?

GM Returns to Form: Too Many Models at Too Many Pricepoints

Great article at AdAge:

Between now and 2011, GM will launch an astounding 25 models, according to CEO Fritz Henderson: 10 for Chevrolet, five for Cadillac and 10 for Buick-GMC.

"The problem isn't that 34 is too many models; it's the number of distinctive models," said Maryann Keller, an auto consultant who has authored two books on the company. "It just feels like the same old GM." She noted that several models under each of GM's brands are butting heads with similar models at sibling brands. For example, the new Chevrolet Traverse is up against its sibling at Buick, the Enclave, and GMC's Acadia. "The problem is they overlap and compete for the same buyer."

Exactly. It's not coincidence that it was most profitable when it was focused - when a Cadillac was a Cadillac and a Chevy was a Chevy. They were created for a very distinct buyer. All the auto makers have fallen into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone.

Mike Lupica: Obama's Crotchmonkey

From Mike Lupica's column in the Daily News:

Those idiots come to these town hall meetings more to be seen than heard, and think creating chaos makes them great Americans.

Those people have been convinced by the current culture that we are dying to hear from them, and the louder the better. People who think that all they need to star in their own reality series is a couple of TV crews. But then this is Twitter America now, where no thought is supposed to go unspoken.

We hear that all of this is democracy in action. It's not. It's boom-box democracy, people thinking that if they somehow make enough noise on this subject, they can make Obama into a one-term President.

I wonder if Mr. Lupica had such a problem with all the anti-war activists who spouted their shrillness in every direction for eight years. Or the gay rights activists. Or the environmentalists. Or pick a left-wing nutjob cause of the week. Thirty people march around outside somebody's building with picket signs chanting some variation of "hey-ho..." and it makes every news channel as if its some incredible legitimate movement that we should care about. That's not even what this is. This is actual citizens - not the professional or for-hire protesters that champion left-wing causes - standing up for their liberty and speaking out, loudly, against something that their government wants to push upon them that they don't agree with.

So much of this comes from people who get all their information from right-wing media, or their cheerleading from political has-beens like Betsy McCaughey, people who don't see this as a fight for better and more inclusive health care, but who now see it as something grander and more noble, a fight to reclaim America from Obama.

They couldn't win the fight last November, when he laid out John McCain and Palin and a whole party with one election, so they try to do it now, with lies and rather amazing distortions. They want everybody to believe that if Obama gets his way, he'll eventually be in charge of insurance and doctors and whether you use CVS or Duane Reade. He's a Socialist selling socialized medicine. He'll kill Grandma. Come on. The notion that this is all honest dissent is just one more lie.

I don't even have the energy to start with this piece of nonsense. Better, more inclusive health care? How, exactly, is forcing everyone out of their private plans and into a government plan more inclusive? It's not a fight to reclaim it from Obama. He's only a symptom. It's a fight to reclaim it and stop it from headed down this socialist (if not worse) path that our country is so willingly being sold down under the guise of "fairness" and "inclusiveness" and "compassion" and "security."

And the notion that Obama "laid out" McCain and the Republicans in one election is ridiculous. A seven percent victory for Obama isn't a landslide. 18% is a landslide. And let's remember for a moment that John McCain was despised by true conservatives. He was the weakest Republican candidate since Bob Dole's joke of a candidacy. And the Republicans in Congress did it to themselves by forgetting why they were there and for selling out their base on almost every issue to the wishes of the Democrats in the interest of "bipartisanship" and "cooperation."

Hacks like Lupica are exactly why people are turning to the web and other non-traditional media sources for their news. People don't have to sit here and have a condescension sandwich shoved down their throats anymore. We don't have to sit here and be told we're stupid for voicing our opinion, either. The only difference between us and you is that you've gotten someone to pay you for it.

Hypocrisy is a Dish Best Served Gay

From the AP:

"The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming a federal marriage law discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continue to defend the law."

A pattern has emerged in this administration: tell people you believe one thing and do the opposite. I swear I remember Obama saying he believes a marriage is between a man and a woman in one of the debates.

"The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, because it prevents equal rights and benefits.

I had a conversation with a good friend recently about gay marriage. She seemed shocked that I don't agree with it. I simply believe that homosexuality is wrong, just like I feel that stealing or lying or murder or adultery are wrong. I believe that you can love the sinner and hate the sin, Biblically speaking. But just because I love the sinner doesn't mean I have to be accepting of their sin.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lori K on Amazon

A CD I did the art direction on is now available for digital download on!

My friend Lori self-produced a Gospel CD and gave me the opportunity to do the cover art, CD design and photography. The photos were shot in her front pasture one chilly day in March. They had a bumper crop of bluebonnets this year, and it made for a nice shot.

She said it's also on Napster and eMusic.

The CD was released in disc form in limited release a couple of months ago. It's pretty cool that it's available for download now, as well. It was already going into my portfolio, but this clinches it.

Way to go, Lori!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Man, We Can't Have Any Fun Anymore...

Seen recently outside Reliant Stadium in Houston:

This sign singlehandedly explains why there's no major league soccer in Houston.

Ronald Reagan Against Socialized Medicine

Even though this is 50 years old, it's as relevant today as it was then. Ronald Reagan was so prescient because he stood on principle and wasn't afraid to say the tough things. God, I wish there was a Reagan today...

Quote of the Day...

"Governments do not tax to get the money they need. They always find a need for the the money they get."

-Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good Old Shiela Jackson Lee...

Sheila Jackson Lee was my representative (I use the term loosely) when I lived in the Heights in Houston. I couldn't stand her then and I can't stand her now. Her self-important attitude is particularly grating, and it's a prime example of the kind of attitude that lead people to believe that Congress is out of touch and could really care less about them. How she keeps getting elected is beyond me.

Actually, I know exactly how she gets elected. I just can't believe that people actually think she's a good representative.

Flaming Strawman at Daring Fireball

I love John Gruber's blog, Daring Fireball. It's full of great stuff- Mac geekery, design, typography - everything that makes me tick. Heck, I even wore my Daring Fireball shirt to Disney World. But Gruber and I differ politically.

This week, in response to an erroneous article (since corrected) claiming that Stephen Hawking wouldn't get treatment under the proposed Obama health care plan, he makes the case that conservatives' arguments against nationalized health care are "weird" because some are looking at the U.K.'s healthcare system and drawing contrast to the U.S. system.

This is an argument I'm seeing more in more in this debate - pointing out some tiny bit of hysteria by a few conservatives (such as some of the town hall protesters) or some "fact" that's not quite correct and and dismissing conservative objections as silly as a result. I'm, frankly, disappointed in Gruber for falling victim to this.

John, you're an intelligent man whom I have high regard for. But surely you can understand that:

a.) this debate should not be an "Obama's proposed plan or nothing at all" approach, which is how the debate has been framed thus far. Sure, there are things in the U.S. healthcare system that aren't perfect, but we don't live in a perfect world. The fact remains that people travel from all over the world to the United States to access our medical system. I live less than 75 miles from the largest medical center in the world. I've had relatives from overseas travel here for treatment at great expense to themselves and their families. They chose to come here - not Canada and not the U.K. - because the best doctors are here. I've also got a lot of doctors in my family, most of whom are from overseas. They have all come here for medical school and for their residencies. Why? Because they wanted to learn from the best in the best medical system in the world. They come, learn and go back to their countries to practice medicine. And their American education is highly regarded there.

b.) conservatives' objections to Obama's plans have nothing to do with actual health care reform. Rather, we can't stand the scope of the "change" and the resulting government takeover of a private economy. It's too far-reaching. It's too much all at once. And it's too drastic. What we want is something that is less restrictive for all and doesn't penalize those of us who don't have our hand out looking for something free and actually don't mind paying for something that we use. Health care is a commodity, just like cars or computers or food. Anyone who thinks that things should be given to them at no cost are living in a childish utopian fairyland, not the real world. Besides, when are "free" things ever actually any good? The phrase "government cheese" exists for a reason. And look at the ridiculous One Laptop Per Child project. You've railed against that piece of deluded crap program plenty of times.

c.) conservatives want to reform the health care system, too. But we don't believe that the government running the healthcare system is the solution. We still love in a capitalistic country (for the time being) and are incensed at the constant intrusion into our personal lives by the government. We resent the slide toward socialism that we're witnessing in our country and can't believe that people are stupid enough to let our system of government go simply so they can have "free" medical care or cash for their old cars or "free" TVs or whatever the government program du jour happens to be. We don't want to be like Canada or the U.K. or France or anyone else. We want them to be like us.

d.) we resent the way that this entire thing has been rammed down our throats. Just because a political party wins an election doesn't give them the right to force a completely different way of life or form of government upon the country. It does not give them the right to bully and intimidate the citizenry into submission. It only gives them the right to frame the debate. The Democrats, rather than exploring options and taking the time to consult with doctors and insurance companies to truly try to come up with some new ideas about what would really work in bettering the system instead resorted to demonizing them and resorted to what amounts to a smear campaign in order to force through their agenda. We also don't see any reason why there was this huge rush. We were told that this had to get done before the August recess - that it needed to be done NOW. Had we not just been sold that same line of crap on two "stimulus" bailout bills that turned out to be the worst, most expensive legislation ever put upon the nation, that might have worked. That, and the fact that the Democrats wanted to push through the bill quickly before even bothering to read the damn thing, made us feel as though we were being duped. Haste makes waste, the old saying goes. It turn out it was correct once again, as the details that are now emerging from the bill now show.

No- our arguments against Obamacare are purely philosophical in nature. There's no other agenda, and it's not that we want to see people suffer. We just don't want to see our country go further down the Socialist rabbit hole in order to supposedly provide health care for the small percentage of people who don't have it. Health care for people who are broke is one thing (poor is a state of mind), but forcing people who can - and are - paying for their own health care to use a government system is simply wrong (under the proposed plan, all healthcare would eventually roll into the government plan). I hate when I'm told that I can't go see a doctor because they don't take my company's health insurance, but I don't force the people of my community to pay for me to go to a particular doctor (which is what the government making us all pay for the health care of other people really is.) I either find the money or I go to a doctor that's in my network.

So, John, please quit misrepresenting the issue. There are answers out there. Obama just doesn't have them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Love You, Man.

Out today on DVD, the excellent Paul Rudd and Jason Segel movie "I Love You, Man." I don't think that it did all that well at the box office, but that may be because it came out at a really weird time of year. Much like "The Hangover," it's an excellent dude movie.

Best of all, it's loaded with Rush music, as well as a cameo by the band.

Miley... You're This Close (I'm Holding Up My Fingers in a Small Fashion) to Being Banned from My House.

So I took Kayci and her cousin, Emma, to CiCi's last night for dinner. While we were sitting there eating, a Breaking News Alert came across the television screen that both kids had their eyes glued to, despite my constantly telling them to turn around and eat. "Miley Cyrus does pole dance onstage at Teen Choice Awards" the headline said.

Holy effing crap.

Miley, I know you read my blog. Please, for the love of God, read my Open Letter to Miley Cyrus. Or this one. Or maybe this one. Or maybe give this one a whirl.

I'm already tired of watching this train wreck in slow motion. Please, please quit self-destructing.

Congress drops plan to spend $550 million on new jets

From Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House leaders have dropped plans to spend $550 million in the Air Force budget on passenger jets used by lawmakers and senior government officials, officials said on Monday.

The fact that they felt entitled to have the planes at all - and to spend that much money on them - especially in the middle of a recession, is what's particularly damning. That, and the fact that one plane suddenly ballooned in to four with apparently no oversight except public outrage is indicative of why the people of the United States are coming to believe more and more that our government considers themselves an oligarchy that is somehow above their "constituents." It's that kind of drunken spending that are making people have tea parties in protest.

The bottom line is - that's our tax dollars their so casually spending. If Washington would simply learn to say "no," then we could all get a huge tax cut. It's so easy for politicians to spend someone else's money.

Friday, August 7, 2009

PLEASE Cancel Your AARP Membership!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you that AARP was ignoring its members' wishes? Well get a load of this:

That's not just ignoring them. That's downright contempt for them.

Senate Loses Their Collective Minds

From the New York Times:

Senate Confirms Judge Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court Justice

"Voting largely along party lines, the Senate on Thursday
confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the 111th justice of the
Supreme Court by a vote of 68-31. She will be the first
Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the court."

I had hoped that after Obama was elected that we had gotten the "appointing someone based solely on the color of their skin, their gender or ethnicity, even if they are wholly incompetent for the job" thing out of our collective systems. I guess not.

Don't Waste Your Time Seeing Bruno

For only the third time in my life, I got up and walked out of a movie last night. I went to see Bruno with my buddy Steve. We saw Borat together a few years ago and (the first time we saw it, anyway) laughed so hard that we thought we were going to throw up.

But as stupid (and raunchy at times) as Borat was, it was at least funny. Bruno wasn't funny in the slightest - at least not the 23 minutes of this stinking bag of crap that we sat through. I'm not going to go into detail - partly because I already wasted 23 minutes of my life on that movie, which is enough - but if you're going to go see a movie, go se ANYTHING but Bruno.

I'm also never putting any stock into a Rotten Tomatoes rating ever again. Bruno got a 68% favorable review, while other decent movies I've seen this summer got lower reviews, such as The Proposal's 44% and Terminator's 32%. Transformers got a 20% for Pete's sake, and I'd definitely go see that again.

We ended up going in to see The Taking of Pelham 123, an action adventure starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta. It was actually pretty good.

So again, I reiterate: don't go see Bruno. And memo to Sacha Baron Cohen: you're a one-trick pony who's on minute 18. Please stop making movies.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

North Korea and British Journalists Love Obama

From the UK Telegraph:

"The image of two American women weeping with relief, after being spared 12 years of hard labour in North Korea, led to a tempting conclusion: that even in the darkest recesses of the world's most reviled regimes, the Obama effect is starting to take hold. From the moment he came to office just over six months ago, the new US president has sought to undertake a fundamental rebranding of America's international image. Gone is the Bush administration's Manichean view that divided the world between good countries (those that supported Washington's War on Terror) and evil ones (those that didn't).

Obama sees the world in a different light. He is not much concerned whether governments like or dislike America, or agree or disagree with his policies. So long as they are prepared to conduct relations with Washington on the basis of mutual respect, and without intimidation, he is happy to extend the hand of friendship, whether the recipients are unreconstructed Marxists, military dictators or Islamist fundamentalists."

Oh, barf.

Just because Obama is naive enough to think that he can deal with thugs and tinhorn dictators doesn't make him Jesus Christ. It makes him
stupid and ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bend Over, Please...

From the Washington Post:

"Democrats Say Angry Protesters Won't Derail Health-Care Town Halls"

Translation: "We're not going to let the will of the people stand in the way of ramming this through."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Everyone Dies After Visiting Disney World

The following headline is from an Associated Press news story:

"Brazilian Teen Dies on Flight After Disney World Trip"

It turns out that the kids died of a heart attach - on the plane - almost home - DAYS after she went to Disney. Disney World had absolutely nothing to do with the teen's illness or death.

Headline bating at it worst and shoddy journalism on top of that.

Shame on the AP.