My DD214

Veterans should be a thing of the past.

Oh dear

William, I know that you're a big Hugo Chavez fan, but this is the one of the least subtle moves I've seen since my junior prom: Venezuela's Chavez proposes referendum on holding office until 2031. (via)

8 May, 2006 5:19 PM Posted by | News | 1 Comment

Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain etc etc

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a media superstar. As well he should be; he is a man whose every action seems to be focus-groupped ahead of time to maximize newspaper sales. Last year he called for the destruction of Israel and decried the Holocaust as a myth. As Iran inches its way towards advanced nuclear capabilities, he continues to hoard the attention of the Western media: he's on the cover of this week's Economist, and his letter to George Bush has been making headlines all day. But those who would capitalize on Ahmadinejad's Jerry Falwell-like propensity to be blindingly stupid are doing the public a disservice. This guy doesn't run anything.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Presidents of Iran have about as much power as Queens of England and Kings of Pop. The real power in Iran is, of course, the Ayatollah and the clerics around him. The only time in memory that Ahmadinejad has done anything notable (besides saying something vulgar) was when he declared that women would be allowed into soccer matches last week. Anyone who was paying any attention at all to Iran scratched their heads a bit at that, as it was a reach for power that (although trivial) was beyond anything President Ahmadinejad had attempted before.

But the head-scratching was in vain. The conservative clerics, who had been outraged at Ahmadinejad's "decision", reversed it today.

Ahmadinejad will continue to grab the spotlight here in the West. But he is not the problem.

8 May, 2006 3:37 PM Posted by | Just a thought.., News | 1 Comment

Whilst my brain dissolves from Red Bull toxicity

I just turned in my semester's writing portfolio! Yay!

I haven't slept in a day-and-a-half! Yay!

I'm having delusions that Lee Iacocca lives in the empty box of Ritz crackers under my desk! Okay fuck this, I'm going to sleep.

In the meantime, read this awesome new McSweeney's list: Thirteen Writing Prompts by Dan Wiencek. Here's a couple of them to give you the flava:

1. Write a scene showing a man and a woman arguing over the man's friendship with a former girlfriend. Do not mention the girlfriend, the man, the woman, or the argument.

6. A wasp called the tarantula hawk reproduces by paralyzing tarantulas and laying its eggs into their bodies. When the larvae hatch, they devour the still living spider from the inside out. Isn't that fucked up? Write a short story about how fucked up that is.

See you people tomorrow.

5 May, 2006 11:37 AM Posted by | Just a thought.., Linkage | 2 Comments

The War on Dorky Terror continues apace

Well it wasn't just CNN that bit when the DoD dangled the Zarqawi blooper reel today: the New York Times and LA Times jumped on it, as well as ABC and Fox. So far as I could find, Reuters, Bloomberg and other wire services stayed silent and Al Jazeera has yet to chime in, not even providing their usual meta-commentary on how US media was handling the story.

So clearly we have a charm offensive being conducted by the Bush administration. In the words of Major General Rick Lynch (who was apparently running the dog-and-pony show for the media), Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is "a warrior leader.. who doesn't understand how to operate his weapons system and has to rely on his subordinates to clear a weapons stoppage."

But how wise is this? Is it really such a good idea to paint Zarqawi as a bumbling idiot when haven't been able to catch the son of a bitch for two-and-a-half years? What does that make us?

4 May, 2006 10:09 PM Posted by | News | Leave a comment

I never read CNN.com anymore

And here's one of the reasons why:

U.S.: Outtakes show al-Zarqawi as poor gunman 

Are you kidding me? Not only has the Department of Defense adopted the new strategy of making fun of al-Qaeda, but CNN puts this crap on their front page. I'm looking forward to more CNN headlines in support of our new initiative in the War on Terror:

U.S.: Our dad can totally beat up your dad

U.S.: Sources indicate that Bin Laden 'eats his own boogers'

U.S.: New leadership in Iraq insurgency 'a bunch of fags' 

4 May, 2006 2:45 PM Posted by | Just a thought.., News, Release the Bears | Leave a comment

Moussaoui Escapes Death Penalty

Somewhat breaking news: Jury Decides Against Execution for Moussaoui.

The lead from the Times piece:

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 3 — A federal court jury spared the life of Zacarias Moussaoui today, voting to send him to prison for the rest of his days rather than condemn him to death for the carnage of Sept. 11, 2001. The jury of nine men and three women deliberated seven days before telling District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema this afternoon that it had decided not to impose the death sentence on the only person to stand trial in the United States for the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

I, for one, am relieved. I know that of all three of us liberal wussies here on this blog, I'm the liberal wussiest, but this actually fills me with some hope.

I remember being a child, and telling my mother about a fight that I had been in on the playground. With all of her motherly authority she told me that if someone hurts you, stooping to their level and retaliating in kind only sullies you both. This jury (at least in part, as the death penalty would have required unanimity) has chosen to turn the other cheek, and I thank them for that.

Moussaoui yelled, "America, you lost!" as he was escorted out of the courtroom when the verdict was announced. But he's wrong. Zacarias Moussaoui will lose, and America will win, when we forgive him. I hope that that idea occurs to him someday; he'll have plenty of time in prison to figure it out.

3 May, 2006 7:36 PM Posted by | News | 1 Comment

My DD214: The straw that stirs the drink

As if you needed any more proof that all of the great minds of the world are reading our fair blog, mere hours after our mention of Stephen Colbert's performance at the WH Correspondents' Dinner, the New York Times reacts with this front page headline:

After Press Dinner, the Blogosphere Is Alive With the Sound of Colbert Chatter.

Just wait until one of us weighs in on Iran and see how fast the wheels of public opinion start turning.

3 May, 2006 12:06 AM Posted by | News | Leave a comment

A Fair and Balanced Roasting

Stephen Colbert gets invited to speak at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and some hilarity ensues.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

(all YouTube links)

I'm not gonna lie to you, I didn't make it to Part Three. It's pretty funny, and I chuckled at some points, but at no point was I busting a gut laughing. I will say this: Stephen Colbert has enormous balls. Enormous. Making fun of the President of the United States from the comfort of your own home, office, or bar is the national pastime. Making fun of the President of the United States from a podium fifteen feet away from him is another matter entirely. My hat is off to you, Stephen Colbert. Hell, my bra is unsnapped and being thrown onto the stage.

 UPDATE : CSPAN made YouTube yank the videos, but now its right here on Google Video. Details here, if you're interested.

2 May, 2006 3:13 PM Posted by | Politics and other hazardous materials, pwnd | Leave a comment

el Sol

A really, really high-resolution image of the sun. If your monitor was big enough, I suppose this .jpeg could act as a reasonable substitute for the actual sun in a pinch. Pictures like this never fail to impress me with how tremendously unhappy the sun looks. Although if your complexion looked like that, you'd be grumpy, too.

2 May, 2006 2:33 PM Posted by | Robots are awesome | Leave a comment

Fran├žois!

Wes Anderson, the man who wrought Rushmore (one of my top 2 or 3 favorite films of all time, locked in an eternal struggle with Yojimbo and Pee Wee's Big Adventure), has made a two-minute ad for American Express. (via)

27 April, 2006 7:32 AM Posted by | Linkage, Movies | Leave a comment