Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Check out shirt.woot today:

Awesome, and a steal at $10.00.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Short History of Airport Security

From the NY Times:

A short history of airport security: We screen for guns and bombs, so the terrorists use box cutters. We confiscate box cutters and corkscrews, so they put explosives in their sneakers. We screen footwear, so they try to use liquids. We confiscate liquids, so they put PETN bombs in their underwear. We roll out full-body scanners, even though they wouldn’t have caught the Underwear Bomber, so they put a bomb in a printer cartridge. We ban printer cartridges over 16 ounces — the level of magical thinking here is amazing — and they’re going to do something else.

It’s not even a fair game. It’s not that the terrorist picks an attack and we pick a defense, and we see who wins. It’s that we pick a defense, and then the terrorists look at our defense and pick an attack designed to get around it. Our security measures only work if we happen to guess the plot correctly. If we get it wrong, we’ve wasted our money. This isn’t security; it’s security theater.

There are better ways.

Quote of the Day...

From MTV News (on similarities between himself and Spider-Man):

As The Edge explained it, whether you're an arena-packing rock star or a science nerd bitten by a radioactive spider, you still have to deal with everyday life. "[H]e's a superhero; he can do loads of stuff, but when he comes home, he's put back in his place," the guitarist said. "There's nothing that he does out in the world that means anything when he's with his loved ones."

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen

From the Washington Post:

Mr. Nielsen, the white-haired actor who had a serious dramatic career before he revealed himself in "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun" as a talented comedian with a genius for deadpan delivery, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84.

On a related note, while a very funny guy, I blame Leslie Nielsen for being in and inspiring some of the worst "comedy" movies of all time, as well. He will be sorely missed.

...and don't call me sorely.

Obama to Freeze Pay for Most Federal Workers for 2 Years

From the NY Times:

President Obama plans to announce a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers later Monday morning, according to an administration official, the latest White House move intended to demonstrate concern over sky-high deficit spending.

Here's an idea: if you're really worried about deficit spending - QUIT SPENDING!!!!

And what a weirdly (or very carefully) worded sentence: "the latest White House move intended to demonstrate concern over sky-high deficit spending..." Further evidence that it's all about the show, not about substance with this administration. If you're really concerned, you don't demonstrate your concern - you do something about it. Freezing spending does nothing. Keeping it at the level that's breaking the bank now isn't a solution. Reducing your overhead and expenses (if income will remain constant) or increasing income (if expenses cannot be cut any further) or a combination of the two is the way to reduce debt, whether it be a household debt or the debt of a nation.

Geez- how is it that millions of Americans can understand this, but the asshats running the country can't figure this out?

And on another note, this is a move that is sure to please absolutely no one. Those 2.1 million federal employees are going to be pissed. And considering that a full 66 percent of Americans favor cutting the federal payroll by 10%, not actually making any real cuts at all isn't going to fly, either.

And then, there's this:
The president’s proposal will effectively wipe out plans for a 1.4 percent across-the-board raise for 2.1 million civilian federal government employees in 2011 and 2012.

Is it me, or does Obama just seem to be floundering around like a fish on the bottom of a boat?

Common Sense vs. TSA

Huge thanks to Aaron M. for sending this.

Classless Classists

Here's a thought:

If you discriminate against someone based on the color of their skin, you're a racist.

If you discriminate against someone based on their gender, you're a sexist.

Why, then, is it okay to discriminate against someone based on their income? The Democrats are proposing a renewal of the Bush tax cuts - but only for the middle class. The "rich" will be singled out and will not get the same benefit as someone making less money. That's discrimination - from the party that prides themselves on touting "fairness," "equality" and "inclusiveness."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Battleship Texas

From the Houston Chronicle:

Retirement hasn't been kind to the Battleship Texas, the only remaining U.S. battleship to survive World Wars I and II.

Once touted as the most powerful weapon on the planet, the nearly century-old battlewagon has endured some 60 years as an historic relic moored in the brackish Houston Ship Channel, corrosion from water outside and inside munching at its steel and patchwork repairs.

"Our boat's been sitting in the water and rusting away, so we get it out of the water," says Andy Smith, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's manager of the battleship site east of Houston.

That's the goal as work finally is beginning to permanently remove the Texas from water by constructing a unique dry berth for the 573-foot-long, 34,000-ton vessel. It's the most complex project ever for the parks agency and isn't likely to be complete until late this decade.

"You're dealing with a metal artifact sitting in a brackish environment in high humidity," Smith said. "How do you treat an artifact? Traditionally we put it in a climate controlled space where you control for temperature, humidity and light. You can't do that with an almost 600-foot-long ship."

Wrong. I think we just figured out what to do with the Astrodome, folks. Put the Texas inside, turn on the air, and turn it into one huge climate-controlled museum.

And in Other Drug-Related News...

From ABC News:

DEA: U.S.-Mexico Cross Border Drug Tunnel Bust Yields 30 Tons of Marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Administration says it has busted a significant cross-border, drug-smuggling tunnel and netted about 30 tons of marijuana seized at two warehouses in the United States and Mexico.

The 1,800-foot underground tunnel linked a warehouse in Otey Mesa, Calif., with a similar sized building in Tijuana, Mexico. Agents and officers with the Tunnel Task Force, including the DEA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, had been conducting surveillance in the area when the officers noticed suspiciousactivity around a tractor-trailer truck being loaded and parked at the warehouse in Otey Mesa.

After the truck departed the warehouse, a police check-point was established so the truck could be searched. Border Patrol agents and officers discovered 10 tons of marijuana stuffed into large cargo boxes, according to law enforcement officials.

Singer Willie Nelson was reportedly pissed.

Okay. I added that last line.

Willie Nelson Arrested After Pot Found on Tour Bus

From ABC News:

Living country music legend Willie Nelson was charged with possession of marijuana after six ounces were discovered aboard his tour bus in Texas, according to a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman.

Nelson's tour bus pulled into a routine checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas -- approximately 85 miles east of El Paso -- around 9 a.m. on Friday. When an officer noticed a suspicious odor coming from the bus, a search turned up the marijuana, police said.

Wait. Hold the phone. Willie Nelson smokes pot????

Frankly, I'm shocked and amazed that they only found six ounces. Maybe that's why he was headed back to his ranch.

I bet when he found out he was down to only six ounces he started freaking the hell out.

Mickey Raphael, Nelson's longtime harmonica player,said "It's a damn good thing they didn't check behind the wood paneling of the bus. I mean, that thing will hold four or five kilos right there, and another six in the cargo area. Then there's all the weed we stash in our instrument cases. It's a little-known fact that we don't carry instruments with us - only the cases. Wink wink, nudge nudge."

Okay. I made that last quote up.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

To all residents of Destructoville...

You may now commence with the Christmas decorations.

That is all.


The Mayor of Destructoville.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prevents STDs, Too!

I love that fishing line boxes read very much like condom boxes.

Super strong.
Ultra sensation.
Strong. Thin. Sensitive.

10 pound test, indeed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TSA Has Airports By the Balls, Too

Regarding my previous post, I just ran across this little nugget from wdbo.com:

The TSA points out that even if an airport decides to use a private firm for security, the screeners still must follow TSA guidelines. That would include using enhanced pat-downs and the full-body scanners if they are installed at the airport.

This, folks, is why I'm against government intrusion into every aspect of our daily lives.

Airports Have the Option to Opt Out of the Big Kabuki

From the Washington Examiner:

Did you know that the nation's airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.

Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes. "As TSA has grown larger, more impersonal, and administratively top-heavy, I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law."

In addition to being large, impersonal, and top-heavy, what really worries critics is that the TSA has become dangerously ineffective. Its specialty is what those critics call "security theater" -- that is, a show of what appear to be stringent security measures designed to make passengers feel more secure without providing real security. "That's exactly what it is," says Mica. "It's a big Kabuki dance."

Here's hoping that every airport in America will kick the TSA out.

iPhone vs. Android vs. BlackBerry

From C-Section Comics:

TSA Scans as Viewed from Across the Globe

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Bias?

Come on, Washington Times. There HAS to be a better photo of this woman than that. Like this one? Or this one?


Cars 2

My favorite thing about the original Cars - one of my favorite movies of all time - was its heart. This looks like it will be a really fun movie, but I'll certainly miss the heart that Radiator Springs provided.

Interesting also that Pixar is releasing two sequels back to back (Toy Story 3 and Cars 2) rather than something new. I hope this isn't a trend that continues.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ditch the Scanners and Look in Their Eyes

From The Star.com: (a long excerpt from the story, but completely worth the read)

While North America's airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.

That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience.

Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel's largest hub, Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?

"The first thing you do is to look at who is coming into your airport," said Sela.

The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?

"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.

Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of "distress" — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

"The word 'profiling' is a political invention by people who don't want to do security," he said. "To us, it doesn't matter if he's black, white, young or old. It's just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I'm doing this?"

Once you've parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.

Armed guards outside the terminal are trained to observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion's half-dozen entrances, another layer of security are watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.

"This is to see that you don't have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious," said Sela.

You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?

"The whole time, they are looking into your eyes — which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds," said Sela.

Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.

At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil's advocate — what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

"I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with play-doh in it and two pens stuck in the play-doh. That is 'Bombs 101' to a screener. I asked Ducheneau, 'What would you do?' And he said, 'Evacuate the terminal.' And I said, 'Oh. My. God.'

"Take Pearson. Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let's say I'm (doing an evacuation) without panic — which will never happen. But let's say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, 'Two days.'"

A screener at Ben-Gurion has a pair of better options.

First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

Second, all the screening areas contain 'bomb boxes'. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.

"This is a very small simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports," Sela said.

Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.

"But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.

"First, it's fast — there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."

Sometimes we're so busy trying to look clever that we miss how stupid we are by unnecessarily inconveniencing everyone.

I Have No Words...

Monday, November 15, 2010

You've Got a Friend in Meat - or - Why My Son Will Need Therapy

I think I've found what I'm getting my boy for Christmas:

"My First Bacon" plush toy. He even says "I'm bacon!!!"

Star Wars Weather

Do yourself a favor: click over to this page of dashboard widget screenshots from various Star Wars planets and locations.

My favorite, by far, is Alderaan:


What Could It Be Now?

Apple posted this image on the front of their website this morning:

This is exactly why I love Apple. Who knows what they've got up their sleeve? Not I. I haven't even a clue. The announcement relates to iTunes, so new hardware is out.

My immediate guess is the Beatles catalog. But that's just the go-to response. I don't really think that will happen any time soon.

My second guess is Facebook integration with Ping. But an announcement I'll never forget? Hardly. Unless Apple has bought Facebook. But that's pretty unlikely.

My third guess is streaming video on demand a la Netflix. This would coincide with the opening of Apple's new data center in South Carolina (olr one of the Carolinas - I don't actually remember).

And my fourth guess is unicorns for everyone!

I guess we'll just have to wait 24 hours to see...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Freaking Hate the Freaking Houston Freaking Texans

I've been a Houston sports fan for a long time. I've suffered through the Oilers. I've suffered under Dom Capers. I've agonized over David Carr. I've watched teams - more than once - overcome 30+ point deficits to come back and win against us. I was there when Vince Young came into our house and made us look downright silly by marching untouched up the middle of the field into the endzone.

But this may well be the dumbest play in Houston sports history.

Memo to Glover Quin: You catch the ball, moron. You always want US to have the ball. Don't bat it down. Don't block it. Always, always catch the ball if you can.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Out of Touch with Reality II: The Denial Strikes Back

From the Wall Street Journal:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has the “overwhelming support” of fellow Democrats in her bid to become minority leader in the next Congress, and says she’s not to blame for the Democrats’ mid-term debacle.

“We didn’t lose the election because of me,” Ms. Pelosi told National Public Radio in an interview that aired Friday morning. “Our members do not accept that.”

Instead, the California Democrat attributes the loss of at least 60 seats to high unemployment and “$100 million of outside, unidentified funding.”

“Any party that cannot turn (9.5% unemployment) into political gains should hang up the gloves,” she said.

Memo to Nancy Pelosi: It's. Because. Of. You. That. Unemployment. Rates. Are. Still. At. 9.5%.

And how, exactly, do you turn 9.5% unemployment rates to your favor when you're the party in power?

Everyone (else) knows by now that the reason the Democrats lost big is because of all the crazy-ass things you so brazenly shoved up our asses in the last two years, such as Obamacare and break-the-bank deficit spending.

Man up and take the blame, you crazy, delusional bitch. Or at least get some therapy. I bet we'll have to pay for that, too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Garfield Is So Not Funny That's Just Not Funny

From Reuters:

The creator of the widely syndicated comic "Garfield" has apologized for a strip that ran on Veterans Day that some critics saw as making fun of the holiday honoring those who served in the U.S. military.

Although some others said they doubted creator had such intentions or that they didn't read the strip the way the critics did, Davis issued a statement apologizing.

"Please accept my apologies for any offense today's Garfield may have created. It was unintentional and regrettable," the statement said.

I'll tell you what's regrettable... that Garfield and other such "classic" comics are still published. Garfield hasn't been funny in almost 20 years. Crap comics like this take up valuable space that could go to comic strips that are actually funny. Garfield was one of my major influences when I was developing my artistic style, but as a comic strip, it should've been retired a looooong time ago.

And by the way (and just to stir the pot), I feel the same way about Peanuts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Galaxy Tab

From the Wall Street Journal:

After seven months of unchallenged prominence, Apple's hot-selling iPad now has its first credible competitor in the nascent market for multitouch consumer tablet computers: the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The Tab is being introduced over the next week by three major U.S. wireless phone carriers at $400 with a cellular data contract, or at $600 with cellular capability but no contract. The iPad starts at $499 for a Wi-Fi model with no cellular-data capability or contract, and is $629 for the least expensive model with cellular data capability but no contract.

The Tab has a 7-inch screen versus the 9.7-inch display on the iPad. That may seem like a small difference, but the numbers are deceptive, because screen sizes are always described using diagonal measurements. In fact, the actual screen real estate on the Tab is less than half of the iPad's.

I love my ... er - Kristi's iPad. It can get a little heavy when holding it for long periods of time in one hand, but the screen size is perfect by my estimation.

But what makes the iPad simply amazing to me is how quick and smooth it is, and of course how intuitive it is to use. I'm not exaggerating when I say that my two-year-old knows how to use it fluently.

Any competitor to the iPad using a smaller seven-inch screen is going to have an uphill battle in a side-by-side comparison to begin with. But to make up for it, they'd better have a really quick, easy to use operating system. Is Android it? I don't know, but I can't wait to get my hands on one of these to try it out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mystery Missle

From CBS News:

Hooooly crap.

But wait? Is it just a contrail from a jet?

From the New York Post:
The mysterious vapor trail spotted off the southern coast of California was “more likely caused by an airplane than anything else,” a senior military official told Fox News Channel Tuesday, though another official said authorities continue to investigate to rule out a possible missile launch.

The contrail caught on video by a news helicopter “was more likely caused by an airplane than anything else, because the other possibilities of rockets or missile are turning up negative,” the senior military official said.

I call bullcrap. Look at the video. If a plane made that, then it was on fire. You can clearly see flames shooting out of the back. But what's curious is that there's no word about where the missile went. Did it go into space? Did it fall into the ocean? How far did it go?

I see two major possibilities:

1. What we're seeing is a homemade missile that somebody launched. A homemade missile probably couldn't have gone very far and would've fallen into the ocean. But then who? And why?

2. What we're seeing is a missile fired - possibly accidentally - by the United States. If it was an accidental launch, it would have been detonated remotely over the ocean. And that would also explain why NORAD and the Navy are saying, "well, golly gee ... uh... we didn't have nuthin' to do with no missile..." If it was, as the analyst in the video speculates, a test firing to show our capability off to foreign powers by the president, well, that just seems a bit ... brazen ... doesn't it? "Hey! Looky what we can do! Check out our cool toy!" That doesn't make much sense because, after all, we've had these capabilities since the Cold War. Why show it off to Indonesia, of all people?

And there's another possibility:

3. What we're seeing is a foreign power demonstrating their capabilities to us. Maybe somebody parked a sub off of Los Angeles and fired off a missile just to show that they could. If that's the case, we'll probably never know about it, but it's the most scary scenario.

And there's this from CBSNews:
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, issued a statement jointly with the U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, saying that the contrail was not the result of a foreign military launching a missile. It provided no further details.

"We can confirm that there is no threat to our nation, and from all indications this was not a launch by a foreign military," the statement said. "We will provide more information as it becomes available."

"Nothing to see here. Move along."

Yeah. okay.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas already at HEB

Completely Out of Touch With Reality

I laughed really, really hard when I ran across this video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi one week ago today:

And now reports re that she is not only planning on running for House Minority Leader, but that she actually believes that the ginormous beat-down the Democrats got last week had nothing to do with her. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, she said she had no regrets and that hers was a job well done.

Of course she has no regrets. She and Harry Reid and Barack Obama managed to brazenly push through more far-left wing agenda items in two years than the Democrats had had the stones to try in the previous forty combined. She knows damn well that in Washington it's really, really tough to turn back the clock and to get rid of legislation and bureaucracy.

But what I can't get over is just how deluded she is. Watch the video above. Holy crap.

I really hope that she does get elected House Minority leader. The Republicans need a whipping boy (sorry- whipping old lady just sounded weird) in order to keep public sentiment on their side as they try to dismantle what the Democrats have done. Her approval rating before the election (nationwide, mind you - they loooooove her in San Fran) stood at 8%. If Congress were a wrestling match, deep foreboding music would play every time she entered a room and she'd be looking for a chair to smack her opponent with when the ref wasn't looking. She's a villain, pure and simple. And right now, that's exactly what the Republicans need.

Monday, November 8, 2010

First Black President, My Arse...

He's obviously still got a lot of white in him. It's kinda embarrassing when George Bush has more soul than you do...

This Too Shall Pass

I can't help watching this video and wondering how many times it took to make all this happen in one pass, and how long it took to think all this up.


Thanks to Matt for passing it along.

The Anti-Green Revolution

From Advertising Age:

Green marketing, a movement so hot that not even a deep recession could kill it, is starting to show signs of consumer revolt. At the very least, it's a signal that green alone isn't enough of a marketing proposition; at most, it could signal consumers simply aren't buying the benefits of environmentally positioned products and brands.

Consumers are revolting because so-called "green" products often aren't what they claim to be. And more importantly because - just like "organic" - "green" products are most often priced 15-20% higher for no apparent reason. If companies were really serious about wanting to care for the environment and not just capitalize on a fad, their prices would be competitive (or better) than the non-green products that sit on the shelf right next to them.

When it comes down to it, people vote with their wallets above all. Make a cheaper "green" product that actually does what it says it does and people will adopt it in droves.

Poking the Bear

From the NY Times:

President Obama announced on Monday in New Delhi that the United States will back India's bid for a permanent seat on an expanded United Nations Security Council, a major policy shift that could aggravate China, which opposes such a move.

Nice. Piss off the one country that could literally shut us down if they wanted to by killing our economy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

AARP Members Are Getting What They Deserve

From Yahoo News:

AARP's endorsement helped secure passage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Now the seniors' lobby is telling its employees their insurance costs will rise partly as a result of the law.

In an e-mail to employees, AARP says health care premiums will increase by 8 percent to 13 percent next year because of rapidly rising medical costs.

And AARP adds that it's changing copayments and deductibles to avoid a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans that takes effect in 2018 under the law.

Hmmm. I seem to specifically recall a certain president saying that no one's medical insurance would be going up and that everyone's insurance would be going down.

And frankly, anyone who's still a member of AARP is getting what they deserve. There were clear signs over a year ago that AARP wasn't interested in what it's members wanted and that they weren't interested in listening to what their members had to say. They wanted to push this health care bill through. I begged back then for people to cancel their AARP memberships because they weren't being reperesented.

Those that didn't are getting this. Come on, seniors. Use your heads already and wake up. Quit. AARP. Today.

Stupid Lying Indian Journalists

From Google News:

President Barack Obama will not be protected by a vast armada of 34 US warships when he visits Mumbai this weekend, officials said, calling reports from India on security preparations "comical."

The claim that many of the 288-ship US naval fleet would be deployed to waters off Mumbai was "absolutely absurd," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters on Thursday.

US officials usually decline to discuss details about security precautions for the president, but the media accounts circulating out of India were so off the mark that press officers at the Pentagon and the White House said they felt compelled to speak up.

"I will take the liberty this time of dismissing as absolutely absurd this notion that somehow we were deploying 10 percent of the
Navy -- some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier -- in support of the president's trip to Asia," Morrell said.

"That's just comical. Nothing close to that is being done," he said.

No denial, though, that the entourage is 3,000 people. Curious.

Friday, November 5, 2010

WTF of the Day

From NDTV:

Communications set-up and nuclear button and majority of the White House staff will be in India accompanying the President on this three-day visit that will cover Mumbai and Delhi.

He will also be protected by a fleet of 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier, which will patrol the sea lanes off the Mumbai coast during his two-day stay there beginning Saturday. The measure has been taken as Mumbai attack in 2008 took place from the sea.

THIRTY-FOUR WARSHIPS????????? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Are we declaring war on India or something?

Following the news that THREE THOUSAND people will be traveling to India for this trip at a cost of $200 million per day, it's starting to sound as if Obama and his staff and friends might be seeking exile. Somebody want to tell this guy that our country is broke, please?


My kind of weather

Oh, yeah.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Right vs. Left

Thanks to Sherri for sending this, even though she has no clue where she got it from.

And Here it Is in All Its 9-Minute Glory

November Rain

A couple of days ago, I started our morning music playlist at the house with "November Rain" by Guns 'n Roses, and I got to thinking about it.

I would say that November Rain is quite possibly the last great rock song. I say that because it was released in 1991, and shortly afterward, the music world seemed to split into segmented shards of genres. Straight-up "Rock" broke into Grunge, Alternative and Light Rock. All of a sudden, it seemed like the Rock genre underwent some kind of weird mitosis and just split into all these different things that weren't quite pure rock, but were interrelated. There's been some amazingly good music since then, but none that I would really classify as "rock" in the '70s and '80s sense of the word. Some have close. Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Velvet Revolver, Creed and Bob Segar come to mind. But even then, there was something - maybe a bombasticness - missing.

So I think that November Rain may have been the last true Rock song and that "Use Your Illusion" (I &II) were the last true rock album.


Awesome Video by David Crowder

This One Goes Out to Kristi

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amazing Journey of the Mind

I have no idea what a Batelco is, but they sure make amazing videos.

Ben Kenobi: Private Jedeye

US to spend $200 Million a Day on Obama's Mumbai Visit

From NDTV:

The US would be spending a whopping $200 million per day on President Barack Obama's visit to the city.

"The huge amount of around $200 million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit," a top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit said.

About 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists would accompany the President.

Holy crap. Wait. Did they say 3,000 people would be going on the trip?

What the hell is this trip for, anyway? And how soon can we have another election?

Demi Lovato Now, Too?

From MTV:

Demi Lovato is currently seeking treatment for "emotional and physical issues," and the promoter behind her tour with the Jonas Brothers is sending her the best.

The article is kinda vague, but you know what is a classic emotional and physical issue?


I'm just sayin'...

I Love the Sound of Droid in the Morning

I'm an iPhone kinda guy, but I absolutely love the sound design in the Droid spots.

Miley's Mom is a Tramp Now, Too

It's not bad enough that Miley Cyrus is slowly turning into a Ke$ha and Christina Aguilera wannabe, but now she's dragging her mom down, too. I wonder who's setting the example for whom...

From UsWeekly:

The reason Miley Cyrus' parents are splitting after 17 years of marriage: Mom Tish had an affair with rocker Bret Michaels, reports the new Us Weekly (on newsstands Wednesday).

When Billy Ray learned of it — as well as at least one other fling — he filed for divorce Oct. 27, sources tell Us Weekly.

Michaels, 47, "became close to the entire family" this past February when he and Miley released the racy duet "Nothing to Lose," an insider tells Us Weekly.

You stay classy, Miley's mom. And Brett Michaels? Seriously? You traded in a '90s reject for an '80s reject?

Poor, Poor Nancy.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Nowhere will Nancy Pelosi's loss of the House speakership be felt more acutely than here in the Bay Area, where her power - and the power of fellow local Democrats in Washington - has been used to help steer hundreds of millions of dollars into infrastructure projects.

"Just look around," said Jim Lazarus of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. "The $400 million for the Transbay Terminal project, the Doyle Drive rebuild, the Hunters Point Shipyard cleanup. If she wasn't there, I'm not sure we would have gotten the funding, and we certainly wouldn't have gotten it as fast as we did."

And there are projects still on the table, such as the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed rail project that is just getting off the ground and looking for big federal money.

This is exactly the kind of spending that the rest of the country is in revolt about. Why the hell should all of us pay for local projects in your city. If it's such a necessity, then find a way to pay for it locally. But stop digging into my pocket because you feel like you need a new ferry terminal or need to clean up a damn shipyard.


Democrats Get Un-friended

Last night, the Republicans - check that - the conservatives won big. We took back the House and narrowed the gap in the Senate. By and large, it was a bad day to have a (D) next to your name if you were on the ballot. Of course, there are always a few head scratchers, such as this, and this and this and this. Seriously, people, what are you thinking???

Anyway, what struck me more than the Republican wins were the margin of victory for most Republicans:
89% to 11%
82.1% to 17.9%
64.4% to 32.2%
67.9% to 29.5%

As I posted on Facebook, that's not a landslide, it's a drubbing.

And in the down-ballot races, it was just as one-sided. In one state senate race, it was 90.5% to 9.5%.

Holy crap. Not only did the country send a message yesterday, they were out for blood. They actually wanted to punish the Democrats. And they did. Obama's agenda was on the ballot, and I'd have to say that it was met with a resounding "hell no!" And it's clear that the country is saying that the track we've been on for the past two years has got to stop. Now.

So now we have an interesting situation: Republicans now have a mandate and a majority in the House, but not the Senate. That means that it's still going to take a lot of fighting to get anything done, much less repealed. It's going to be another long two years, my friends. And it's going to get ugly.

My only hope is that the Republicans hold true to their principles this time, unlike in 1994 when,once they were elected, they abandoned their conservative message and turned into mushy, compromising, spineless moderates. But understand this: there's a new wind blowing - one of accountability and unrest. It's what gave birth to the tea party movement. And it's what will throw the Republicans back out if they go weak and abandon their principles.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today is One of the Most Important Days of Your Life

One simple message today: VOTE!

It's raining here in Destructoville today, but even if it were flooding, that wouldn't stop me from getting out to vote. We live in civilized society. We don't take down our leaders with military force. This is the closest thing we have to a coup. Today we're going to shift our government back in the right direction. It may be a small step, and one that we will need to keep making in the coming years. This election is not the end of the work. But it's a step, at least. It's a step that will say to our government that it works for us and that constant encroachment into our freedoms, into our lives and into our wallets is NOT okay. And this message goes for both Democrats and Republicans, alike. We. Will. Throw. Your. Ass. Out.

So just remember today while you're voting what the Democrats have done to our country - done to us - and have tried to do to us in the last six years, and especially in the last two. Remember Porkulus. Remember Cap & Trade. Remember Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. Remember Czars. Remember the Health Care bill. Remember all the new fees and regulations. Remember that they refused to renew the Bush tax cuts. Remember how defiant they were toward their constituents during the town hall meetings of '09 - and then refusing to have them again in '10. Remember all the handouts of OUR money. Remember the divisiveness. Remember the constant class warfare. Remember them raising the debt ceiling - twice. Remember the recession. Remember the gutting of NASA. Remember the government takeover of Ford and GM. Remember the new 1099 regualtions. Remember that Democrats exempted themselves from most of the laws they subjected us to. And remember that Obama wanted this election to be a referendum on his policies, as well. Let it.

See you on the other side of the election, friends.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dipshits of the Day: Gizmodo

It's the day before the big election and all the nutjobs are coming out of the woodwork screaming "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" and that if you vote Republican (or worse *gasp* conservative) that the whole world is going to explode in a fiery ball of pollution and dead baby seal carcasses. And it seems that tech site Gizmodo is no exception. Here are some excerpts from this craptastic hit piece on anything that isn't straight up the Democrats' asses, including this on NASA:

Surprise! NASA's having money problems. Republican gains in the midterm elections will likely make matters worse for the agency. After a review called it underfunded and overambitious, Obama opted to end to the Constellation program last February. In its place, the administration said it wanted to reallocate that money for new technologies and private spaceflight. The problem? Congress balked. In late September, it passed another act actually requesting funds for projects initiated under Constellation, but also granting less than half of the administration's request for private spaceflight. Now, with Congress in recess and still unable to get a revised budget, NASA is locked into its current funding level. In essence, that means the agency has to keep spending on programs that it's going to have to kill anyway, and can't start new ones. It's thought that if Democrats retain control of the Senate and House, they'll probably pass an appropriations bill to allocate additional money for NASA. And if the Republicans prevail? Well, negotiations will likely be deferred until January, when the party would take over the appropriations subcommittee.

I love that the commenters are refuting, logically, the crap that the article spews forth. Silly commenters - you can't fight hysterical bullshit with reason!

Net Neutrality is hardly neutral. This kind of title is just what George Owell was talking about in 1984. When you come upon a bill or project with such a specific name, and find it is the opposite of that name, how can you be for it? Net Neutrality is about forming a club of companies that get what they want and the government sanctions that. Vote Republican so that the free market will remain the internets rule of law.

Obama killed all of NASA’s manned space flight. The congress has an overwhelming amount of Democrats in the majority. Constitutionally the President DOES NOT spend the money nor allocate its spending. It is congress and congress alone that spends the money. Any change of Obamas proposals has been done by DEMOCRATS in congress.

Global warming due to human activity is a hoax. Everyone is starting to understand this. It was not helpful that the core temperature data that has been used in all such research has been uncovered to have been intently corrupted by the folks who have the most to gain from this hoax. The folks who did this have in fact left their posts at the University of East Anglia when their emails about this were reveled.

Lowering the tax to a proposed 5% would bring massive amounts of jobs and money to the USA. As it stands now that money and all the jobs it would bring are held overseas because the tax rate for it is the highest in the industrialized world. Putting off this transfer just makes good sense, why not wait to see if our government will change its ways and prefer jobs and some tax money rather then significantly more money then any other country.

Just as in Holland, if prop 19 should pass, and it does not look likely, the folks of California will repeal it within ten years. It might pass, but it will have the effect of strengthening our war on illegal drugs. Will it be worth a few years of pot smoking to get much harsher laws in a few years? If it should happen, enjoy it while it lasts and don’t complain that it was directly responsible for a crack down you cant even imagine.

Who is not for the miracles of our bio science industry from coming up with solutions to any disease or human malady? But what are the facts? You don’t need stem cells from dead babies to pursue this line of research, umbilical cord cells and other cells are an equivalent solution to cells from dead babies. Why are there no great breakthroughs in this research overseas where there are no restrictions? Its simple, this line of medical research is filled with mystery, it is unknown whether anything will come of it. There has been lots of talk, and I am hopeful, but, there is no there there yet. If it were proved that the cells from dead babies could actually be the key to solving just one major medical problem I think we would all choose some nebulous middle ground to help this on its way. We are not there yet and no country outside the USA has any such restrictions, so, where is the miracle?

Regarding that picture, I guess Republicans are bad in your view. Is this picture a way of starting a level headed discussions? Is there nothing wrong with this photo in your view, when connected to a discussion on political issues?

Three of the elected officials in the photo have been out of office for years and one is dead. So you had to reach back that far to find a photo you thought was a reasonable representation of Republicans in power? Senator Frist was one of the most middle of the stream Republicans in office in his time, Stevens was in love with Demarcates because they would fund anything he wanted as long has he just voted with them enough.

...and this short, yet awesome response:

1. NASA Budget: Democrats were the ones who defunded NASA, not Republicans. Because of them we don't have any plans within the next 2 decades of landing on the moon. Privatized? A corporation can't reach the moon without being accused of harming the environment and poluting the air. There's very little for a corporation to gain from attempting moon colonization. It just isn't easy, this isn't a Bond movie where an individual with enough wealth could accomplish military-like precision of reaching the moon.

2. *sigh* Really? How many times do I have to explain that not ALL stem cell research is embryonic and there's a good reason people oppose government funding of it. I've proven here: [gawker.com] that embryonic stem cell research is very far behind adult stem cell research, so why fund it when it shows very little promise to the medical community?

But I have to paraphrase another commenter: "when did I get lost and end up on MSNBC?"

Talk about the need for net neutrality. I come to Gizmodo to read tech news, not get Democrat propaganda.

Attack Ads, Old School...

Amazingly, the statements in this video are taken from statements made by, for, and against the nation's founders.

All Things Non-Christian Are Demonic

Demonic? Demonic? Really? People who aren't Christians - and entire other religions - are demonic???? I could see if he just says they're wrong, but DEMONIC????

Holy crap. What a soft-spoken, likable nut job.

RIP Pontiac

From ABC News:

The 84-year-old brand has been moribund since GM decided to kill it last year as it collapsed into bankruptcy and was in decline for years before that.

It was undone by a combination of poor corporate strategy and changing driver tastes.

...but really heavy on the poor corporate decisions side...