Tuesday, December 29, 2009
And our responses don't always make sense.
After 9-11, we had The Shoe Bomber, who tried to blow up his shoes with matches.So what did we do? To make sure nothing like this happens again, we started checking everybody's shoes (makes sense), and banning cigarette lighters. But, we were allowed to bring matches aboard the plane.
No sense to me.
The latest, we have The Panty Bomber. And our response: nobody can leave their seats, go to the head, or read a book... for one hour. Huh?
And to make sure nobody is wearing loaded panties, all baggage will be super-extreme double checked. Twice.
Wouldn't it just make more sense to have all passengers fly commando? Maybe they can wear a Department of Homeland Security approved pull-up, (to be issued after security frisking, of course).
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Marine's misfit younger brother, recently paroled, gets his act together and becomes an anchor for his brother's family, and grows emotionally close to the wife.
The Marine is rescued, and fraught with guilt over some atrocity he committed, creates a hell for everybody he comes into contact with.
Supposedly, this is a remake/adaptation of a Dutch film from a few years ago. I can't speak for the original, but this here version is lacking. Though the actors do a decent job with their characters, the characters themselves are rather two dimensional. Instead of showing any depth, they are presented as caricatures.
The exception being the role played by the always beautiful Natalie Portman; the wife, aptly named Grace.
Add a plot with enough holes to hide a Taliban army, and you've got yourself a loser of a film.
My advice: don't even Netflix this turkey.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
So,let's see... if I was like everybody else, anything that I run out and purchase today will be just stuff that I don't need, or want... purchased solely for the reason of 'saving money' because it was on sale.
And I'd end up on December 27th, with less money, more shit, and fewer places to put it so I'll eventually end up trashing it anyway.
Trashing something that I wasted time and gas money on, just because it was a few bucks cheaper than it was last week. Something that I didn't even want in the first place, or I'd have it already.
Maybe I'm just too simple in my mindset.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A good start, I thought.
But why do dog obedience classes in the kitty area?
Such is not the proper way of the world of Petsmart. Kitty stuff is always on one side of the store, with the hinterlands reserved for those lesser beasts of disdain.
Grabbing my bag of kitty food, I am suddenly approached by some dufus:
"Sir, will you pet my dog?"
"It's part of his training to not jump when he's excited"
awright, I muffled.
Summoning my inner St. Francis, I reached out and briefly patted the head of his beast.
"Will you give him a treat"
I just did.
"Here, give him this", as he hands me a dog biscuit.
Then the damn thing licked my hand as I gave it's reward.
Feeling violated, I make a break for the register, only to be accosted yet again by another dufus holding a rope with a dog at the end of it.
And it wasn't over...
One by one, they lined up to greet me: dufus' and dogs... one after another...
I must have petted eight happy, tail wagging dogs before I was able to make my escape.
I feel so dirty.
Monday, December 21, 2009
And neither can anybody out there who thinks they can.
Who has read the thing?
So, how can you comment on something nobody else anywhere has even read, and act as if you know what the hell you're talking about?
You can't, if you want to be honest about it.
All I know is that those who have been selling it to us have been speaking out both sides of their asses for nine-plus months, and they aren't going to stop any time soon.
Once it passes into law, then the real sausage will me be made as implementation begins. We won't have a clue about that either, except for what the opposition wants to tell us. And that will likely be just as suspect as the lofty rhetoric we will get from the those in charge.
I am, for the most part, resigned to the idea that socialised medicine will become reality in this country. It is the way of modern civilized societies.
Nothing can stop it.
It will happen, along with a host of other bigger socialistic schemes that the smart people can dream up for us.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the protected species, destined to be sold to restaurants and medicine shops....
The animal's meat is considered a delicacy in China...
According to Wiki, this is some sort of anteater type creature. Never heard of them before, and they don't look very tastey to me?
According to the article, 130 Pangolins are valued at about $11,500. Or about $88 a peice.
Another citation (per Wiki) reports five tons of seized Pangolin meat representing 1,481 Pangolins.
So, doing a little math, I can assume about 6.75 lbs of meat can be produced from an average Pangolin at a market price of $13/lb.
I think I'd rather have a nice rib eye.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Think back: mid-70's. Who was 'It'? If you guessed Hank Aaron, you're right. Lou Brock, too. Naturally, being the kid, the only kid whose folks sprung the big money, who had a "Hank Aaron" authorized mitt, I was reasonably, if briefly, cool on Day One. (As my suckage become ever increasingly evident, the coolness wore off, but it was good while it lasted.)
Even more popular, because more kids had them, were Puma baseball cleats. Lou Brock wore Puma. As did a some of our Dodgers. Puma advertised these things in some sports/baseball mag we used to read. "Lou Brock wears Puma Paws. You should,too", or something along those lines.
These things mattered to 10 year olds. Eventually, we mostly outgrew such blatant huckstering, but still, maybe not most consumers, but enough of them anyway, still fall for the bullshit.
Sometimes it's blatant: Tiger Woods tells us about his razor choice.
Other times, more subtle: Tiger Woods always wears Nike brand golf apparel,and lets the camera do the talking.
Over the course of his career, something like 12yrs or more, Tiger Woods has earned hundreds of millions just through his endorsement deals. Razors. Cars. Sport drinks. Clothing... Breakfast cereal. On and on...
Not to mention what his popularity has done for the world of golf, both financially (frickin' huge), and culturally.
Tiger Woods personae has created product lines where there weren't any (Gatorade), and made viable others(Nike Golf).
His name was a gold mine that kept paying off.
It's all because Tiger was a nice guy, well mannered, with decent morals, and a good family man.
And it is because of this perception, now shown to be at least partly false, that billions and billions of consumer dollars have flowed one way instead of another.
This is why Tiger matters.
Why his infidelties matter.
Why it is, at the very least, newsworthy.
And now it is, for the foreseeable future anyway, over in the crash of an SUV.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Privacy? Forget it, dude. You blew that.
But what really annoys me in all of this most annoying of tabloid news stories are the constant references to the world's most recognisable adulterer as The World's Most Marketable Athlete.
Athlete? You kidding me?
Athletes run around and jump a lot, and compete by running and jumping against other people who run around and jump a lot.
Brian Urlacher is an athlete. So are Devin Hester, Kyle Orton, and even Jay Cutler, who's been doing a lot of running lately.
Tiger Woods is a golfer. He walks around with a stick, knocking balls into pre-cut holes on a green surface.
Kinda like billiards, but with fresh air.
Nobody would say Minnesota Fats was an athlete.
And I won't say Tiger Woods is either.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Condemned killer Kenneth Biros could become the first person in the country put to death with a single dose of an intravenous anesthetic instead of the usual - and faster-acting - three-drug process if his execution proceeds Tuesday.
Why don't they just do the job quicker and easier with a single injection of lead to the back of the head?
I wanted to say something, but I already said it before, so I'll just re-post from a previous incarnation. It's only slightly dated, but since we seem to be on a hamster wheel within the courts in regards to this issue, it's almost timeless, and will likely still be relevant when my great-grandson posts on his own blog someday.
(with a few grammatical alterations)
It keeps happening:
Gov. Jeb Bush suspended all executions in Florida after a medical examiner said Friday that prison officials botched the insertion of the needles when a convicted killer was put to death earlier this week.
Good for Jeb. I'm glad he did it. But I would hardly use the word "botched" while describing a planned execution that resulted in death. But maybe that's just me.
And from the once Golden State:
Separately, a federal judge in California imposed a moratorium on executions in the nation's most populous state, declaring that the state's method of lethal injection runs the risk of violating the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.Honest people can disagree over the method of putting somebody peacefully to sleep through lethal injection as being 'cruel' or not, but in California,with well over 600 prisoners(i think its nearly 1000 now,but not sure, and I'm too lazy to look it up), about 2-3 executions in a productive year(usually, it's less than one), and the average length of time on Death Row something like 25+yrs and growing, it certainly is unusual.
It seems to me, the more we try to out think the collective wisdom of the ages through complication of the simple, something goes wrong. In an attempt to render death as nicely as possible, we end up rendering very little death through the most torturously complicated of procedures.
Tell me. What is so goddamned difficult about placing a single bullet through the back of somebody's head? That's the way it was done for hundreds of years, is still being done by other 'less wiser'(?) nations, and works effectively each and every time. It's quick. Relatively clean. Cost effective. And measurably painless.
Yeah, I know... the bleeding hearts and lefties will bemoan the brutality and bloodiness of it all, but if they can find it in themselves to defend the procedure of piercing a baby's skull and sucking out it's brains, given time, I'm sure they'll eventually come around to acceptance.
To be honest about the issue, I oppose capital punishment, but not for the reasons usually cited by others.
I do not think it is cruel.
I do not think it is unconstitutional.
And for some crimes, I can think of no other more fitting level of sanction.
But in a fallible system, operated by fallible humans, where the wealthy, the connected, the sympathetic, and the famous tend to receive a more favorable level of justice than the rest of us; where 'equal protection under the law' is a promise without a guarantee, some things are just too final to be policy.
Friday, December 4, 2009
At the very moment President Obama is looking to thrust the United States ever more into global affairs, the American public is turning more isolationist and unilateralist than it has at any time in decades, a survey released yesterday said.
The Pew Research Center poll found that a plurality of Americans - 49 percent - think the United States should "mind its own business internationally" and leave it to other countries to fend for themselves.
It was the first time in more than 40 years of polling, Pew said, that the ranks of Americans with isolationist sentiment outnumbered those with a more international outlook.
First off, I want to correct a thing or two with article. This writer is using biased language. And any report based upon biased language can't be an even handed one.
The correct term is "Non-intervention", not "Isolation". For those of us who really do support a non-interventionist approach, isolation is the last thing on our mind.
The term "Isolationist" is really an epithet, coined by Alfred Mahan, an American imperialist who was also an advisor to one our most imperialistic presidents: Theodore Roosevelt.
The American imperialist just couldn't keep his mind off of other nation's business, and kinda liked the idea of kicking weaker nations around just because they could. The Spanish-American war was a prime example, and not one of America's finest achievements.
In contrast, the writer refers to the "Interventionist" mindset as "Internationalist". Sounds grandiose, don't it? (Hey, I'm an internationalist.) To me, that's almost like equating slavers to labor organisers. It's only a positive until you look into the details.
It doesn't matter who you voted for, you are still supporting an interventionist mindset. Both sides in this country do it while they cater to their interest groups or are just engaging in hubris.
I primarily consider myself a non-interventionist. Other nations troubles should remain their own troubles, and not our own. But it eventually happens every time we involve ourselves where we don't belong: it comes back to bite us in the ass in both money and blood.
Interventionism became the path of no return that led to the Spanish-American War, and every war since then. It has cost us gazillions of dollars that could have been better spent on more domestic pursuits. It
And it has cost us the little day to day freedoms we should be taking for granted, like the ability to board an airplane without submitting to a cavity search.
Personally, I don't think it's been worth it. And maybe, though I hold out little hope, enough of my people will see it this way as well, and some sanity just might prevail for a while.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A superpower can beat cave dwellers if we put aside the failed, and historically recent, notions of humanitarianism and just do it old school.