Jan 31, 2010
And after spending every last dollar, and putting our nation in dangerous territory with slush funds disguised as stimulus - the one program that gets the shaft (after trains... trains!!?) is the manned space program.
And then there was our friends over at Toyota.
Toyota's braking problem explains all those tailgaters. Now I don't take it personally. It was just their brake pedal.
iDon'tgetit either, and I am a Mac fanboi.
This one was tossed in, just in case this is your first visit to Blasphemes. Thanks for sharing the week with us. See you next week.
Jan 30, 2010
First off, it's Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult
Godzilla was a 30-minute animated series co-produced between Hanna-Barbera Productions and Toho in 1978 and aired on NBC in the US and TV Tokyo in Japan.
In Japan the series was called "Godzilla: Voyage Chronicles" (ゴジラ：航海クロニクル). The series is an animated adaptation of the Japanese Godzilla films produced by Toho. The series continued to air until 1981. In this episode, Godzilla takes out a ruthless terrorist organization called Cobra on Cobra Island. It's the best of the entire 26 episode series. Godzilla is allowed to act like Godzilla.
Jan 29, 2010
"Did Apple really check whether women would like the idea of a maxi-pad?" writes blogger Ann Althouse, who suggests that Steve Jobs' marketing gurus should've consulted women a bit more. "Anyway, for our light days, we have iPhones. For our heavy days, we have the iPad? The iMaxiPad? Come on, guys!
Seattle Post-Intelligencer writer Mónica Guzmán also wonders what Apple was thinking: "Whether we make this part of the conversation surrounding Apple's highly anticipated tablet device or ignore it for the sake of decency, the word 'pad' has a meaning that is about as far removed from computing as a Band-Aid is from a television set.
"But how many times do you say 'Hand me that pad' and not, you know, blush a little?" Guzmán asks rhetorically.
Interestingly, the "iPad" jokes began before today's product launch. "Am I the only one who thinks the iPad sounds like a new feminine hygiene tech product?" asked one reader last week on Neowin.net, a tech news site.
iTampon on Twitter
A mere two hours after Jobs wrapped up his iPad demo, the term "iTampon" was trending higher than "Apple's iPad," on Twitter. The jokes were flowing. Pun intended.
User "britpixie" tweeted: "gotta love that iTampon is trending higher than iPad on twitter right now. Something tells me, they picked the wrong name?"
"MaestroMasadeJr" added: "iPad will forever be known as the iTampon ...oh dear I wonder which unfortunate ad agency advised Apple on the 'iPad' name..."Will the name "iPad" ruin the tablet's success? It's too soon to tell. Once the jokes die down, consumers will focus on the tablet's capabilities [and limitations] and that price tag.
What's interesting to me is that Apple, usually a master of marketing, seems to have stumbled so incredibly terribly down the stairs with the product name.
Jan 28, 2010
Just to be clear, I'm not trying to be an obstructionist Republi-can't who mearly stands in the way as their only political option [no matter how well that actually works]. Nor am I influenced by 'Astro-Turffed' special interests who are trying to push particular agendas around the obstructionist party faithful.
No, I'm speaking to the bi-polar country, and the bi-polar State of the Union speech I heard last night. President Obama, on one hand, recognized how America is tired of the same old crap out of Washington. And while Mr. Obama was making little digs at the Republicans...
Let me be clear - the government doesn't make jobs! If you don't understand this - please write me a comment or just keep reading.
But why am I not excited about the President's plan? Because all his other plans were no good, that's why. Take the $787 billion stimulus package. Fifty-six percent of Americans now oppose the stimulus, with only 42 percent supporting it. A year ago, those numbers were reversed. The American people have learned what economists such as Robert Barro and Valerie Ramey could have told you a long time ago: that a dollar increase in government spending results in no more (and almost certainly less) than a dollar increase in economic activity. The Administration's estimates about how many jobs would be "created" by the stimulus package—a term of art later modified to "saved or created," then downgraded further to "funded"—have been slippery, unconvincing, and wildly off-base. The same goes for their estimates on the unemployment rate, still in double digits and not improving despite confident predictions that the stimulus would cap the bleeding at 9 percent. And then there's a report that construction jobs don't stimulate anything.
And then there were the bailouts. Bush and now Mr. Obama have taken from the people of 'Main Street' and given it to their buddies in 'Wall Street'. For some reason, I'm a little bitter about that. There's been no accounting of what happened to the money - but everytime I see a golden parachute deploy or if I hear of a bonus that's more than I brought in last decade -- yeah, I get a little bitter about that. And I'm also aware that every dollar spent is leveraged on our future. You're taking money from the current and future economy. You're merely postponing a larger crash...
The President's spending priorities are less than compelling. He campaigned on a promise to enact a "net spending cut" in federal outlays. Yes, that's a good reaction to the free-spending days of George Bush, to be sure. But then why has overall federal spending in fiscal year 2009 increased 32 percent over the previous year? And that's not counting our ongoing wars.
Tack onto all this the slow-motion car wreck that was health care "reform" (His word, not mine). He discussed the need to contain costs and introduce choice and competition into the system. Forget tort reform, or single payers -- if the Health Care Reform just simply broke the link between employment and insurance, so that individuals can shop for and own their own policies regardless of their work situation, or State they live in - you'd see some fantastic Change!
I won't even bring up the broken promises and dashed hopes on closing Guantanamo, reversing discrimination against gays, and paring back our overseas military commitments, but the headline story of your presidency is about one crucial thing: economic policy and results.
If the President has any chance of winning back the shinny glow that got him elected, he would start by taking those promises seriously, rather than treating them as short-term fixes for long-term drops in popularity. Stop campaigning, start governing. Take the American people seriously. Acknowledge that differences of opinion spring from genuine place. [With the exception of the lady wearing the homemade airbrushed Sarah Palin T-Shirt.] And try something that no president since Bill Clinton has even attempted: Scale back ambitions. Pay as you go. Limit the growth of government. You know, just like the rest of us!
Prosperity isn't something the government creates, it's something the government can enable, by establishing a set of simple rules and getting the hell out of the way.
Jan 27, 2010
Exodus 24:15 And Steve Jobs went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount press conference stage.
Exodus 24:16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount San Jose, California, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Steve Jobs out of the midst of the cloud.
Exodus 24:17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of the United States.
Exodus 24:18 And Steve Jobs went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Jobs was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Steve Jobs, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount San Jose, two tables of testimony, tables of modern shininess, written with the finger of God.
Jan 26, 2010
In what's surely an attempt to spite high fructose corn syrup haters everywhere, Coke has redesigned their plastic bottle to contain what was once sugar cane. They call it a "PlantBottle." (It's not this thing.)
70% petroleum, 30% sugar cane leftovers (converted to a plastic after several chemical processes), the plantbottle is debuting in regions of high profile first, like Denmark for the convenient United Nations Climate Change Summit.
Through a commissioned study, Coke found their PlantBottles to have a 12%-to-19% smaller carbon footprint than their plastic classic. To put that metric into perspective: Coke used to be polluting the Earth with millions of bottles yearly that would expend our limited resources while filling our our oceans with endless filth. But wait! With their new bottle, Coke is doing pretty much the same thing while being super pretentious pricks about it at the same time!
It is possible that the Scientologists are there because they genuinely believe that they can help the Haitians to get rid of their clusters of confused Body Thetans.
More cynically, poor Scientologists can do volunteer work in exchange for auditing sessions.
And it would be pretty low to belittle someone who is in the middle of all that pain and suffering - and actually helping people, regardless of their religious stance... However, this is Blasphemes. They aren't helping. They are performing their brand of pseudo-science on these poor people, touching their damaged body parts to get "the nerves in harmony". Although the real doctors there say they don't really care about what these Scientologists are doing.
The Voodoo ought to be able to wipe out anything Scientology can dish out.
And the Methodists.
Jan 25, 2010
I was sent this article - and what can I say?
First, I post everything that is sent to me.
Second, this pretty much sums up the disappointment I hear in, well, everyone who was swept up in the Kool-Aid days of 2008. Hope and Change isn't working out the way everyone hoped.
And that's on both sides of the isles.
I might also add, this was written by one of his supporters!
The tl;dr is this one quote,
"It was clear after just 90 days what a mistake I'd made. My taxes have gone up and my quality of life has gone down. Hope has given way to disgust and I see now that change is simply a euphemism for "big government."
Looks kind of sad. Aw, poor me.
Cut to Mrs. Favre. Apparently she'd never seen her husband play before?
No brainer. Looks like New England is still a tad bitter about the last two seasons, no?
Jan 24, 2010
Second off, the new SCOTUS decision has a lot of folks upset that corporate interests are 'suddenly' getting into politics. I disagree. It's just a couple fewer loopholes and holding companies funding their favorite candidates. See, the difference is, I've been paying attention. If you don't think Bill Clinton was elected by Wal-Mart... well, I guess you're pretty upset right now. This Goldman Sachs business is just mildly more 'transparent,' mostly because the folks running things are not good at disguising it as well as the last couple guys.
I'm still not sure if it's just because Brown sold conservationism better, bad campaigning on Martha Coakley's part, a step back for women and a woman can't win in MA... never mind that she won the election to be Attorney General? I think that if after 50+ years of Teddy, it'd be a natural reaction to get someone else in there. ANYONE else.
Yeah, that's what it's about.
Jan 23, 2010
Jan 22, 2010
A US military contractor has said it will stop engraving Biblical references on rifles used by the US army.
The markings, in the form of coded references to obscure writings of the New Testament, have been appearing on products made by the US firm Trijicon, based in Michigan, for decades.
But on Thursday, US military chief Gen David Petraeus, said the practice of scripture references was "disturbing" and "a serious concern".
The inscriptions - which include "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12", relating to verses in the books of II Corinthians and John - appear in raised lettering at the end of the stock number.
The company pledged to remove the inscription reference on all products destined for the US military yet to be shipped and ensure all future procurements from the department of defense are produced without scripture references. It also said it would provide 100 modification kits to forces in the field to remove the references. This observer guesses this will be tiny strips of duct tape. Maybe a Sharpie.
"Trijicon has proudly served the US military for more than two decades, and our decision to offer to voluntarily remove these references is both prudent and appropriate," the firm, founded by a devout Christian, said in a statement released. By the way, being a devout Christian as a business owner is fine. It's when you make the business a Christian concern is when the hair goes up on people's arms. Putting crosses and fish on your business cards, while attracting one type of customer - alienates the rest of the population - and usually your cash register. Interstate Batteries is one that comes to mind. But a weapon's manufacturer? That's a whole new level of hypocrisy. You better believe Trijicon is BLASPHEMES HYPOCRITE OF THE WEEK.
The references - first reported on by ABC News - had raised concerns that they broke a US rules barring troops proselytizing in the predominantly Muslim countries of Afghanistan and Iraq, where they are widely used by both the US and British military.
Gen Petraeus, head of the US Central Command, said: "Cultural and religious sensitivities are important considerations in the conduct of military operations."
In a letter sent to the US president on Thursday, the head of the Interfaith Alliance said the gun sights "clearly violated" the rule.
"Images of American soldiers as Christian crusaders come to mind when they are carrying weaponry bearing such verses," Welton Gaddy said. No way! That's insane- oh, yeah. It probably does, now that they mention it.
Earlier in the week, the Church of England told the UK's Guardian newspaper: "People of all faiths and none are being killed and injured in these conflicts, on all sides, and any suggestion that this is being done in the name of the Bible would be deeply worrying to many Christians." Mildly hypocritical as well. Well, good enough to be the hypocrite of the week anyway.
PS - What would Jesus do? Jesus doesn't need a scope, fool.
Jan 21, 2010
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.
The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.
The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.
Read More@ NYT
In the 1980s Michigan made a law saying that corporations could not use money from their treasury in order to make campaign contributions. This was upheld by the court as legal, and over the next 20 years there have been a series of challenges to the law. Free speech... blablah.
The court has said over those 20 years that if a corporation is intended to be political (like a group incorporated for the sole purpose of advocating pro-life positions), then they get an exception to the ban. Other cases have carved our loopholes for advertisements too far in advance of an election. Another one is that if a corporation only takes money from individuals and not other corporations, then they can also say what they want (so for example Exxon can't merely create a subsidiary corporation intended to be political and then put money in it).
Citizens United was a case where a corporation made a anti-Hillary movie, and 1% of the money in its funds was corporate donations. The court had a choice here: either strike down the entire rule against corporate donations set in Austin, or carve out a loophole for de minimus donations (or some other loophole). They chose the former.
Network spokeswoman Allison Gollust confirmed the deal early Thursday but did not offer any other details. Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that O'Brien will get $32 million and that the network agreed to pay his staff $12 million in severance.
The announcement comes seven whole months after O'Brien took the desk from Leno.
It's awesome that he stuck up for his crew. But the big payday is a paltry amount when you consider he was probably going to be worth a couple billion. Letterman earns $ 31 million - per year. Don't know if that includes his crew. Seems unlikely. They apparently need to sleep with Dave to see some of that cash.
So they're only paying Conan a tiny sum to walk away. If you consider that Conan could have probably averaged about 10 years on the Tonight Show (assuming a lot of factors, but we're just talking here) Conan would have been worth 310 million in a decade, and that's assuming he would have earned as much as Letterman in 2007 dollars.
Conan got hosed. Twice now.
But Cap! Where are you with the Senatorial race in Massachusetts? Conan has officially left the Tonight Show! There's a sale at Penney's!
Yes, yes, I know all that. And thanks for being concerned about my opinion on such things.
The reality of it is, my at&t DSL has been and continues to be out.
This is a major deal to me.
I'm at the point now that I'm sending communicays from the local library. Yes, it's just that bad. Until yesterday I didn't have phone service either.
You really oughta' pay those bills, Cap. Yeah, and you really oughta' click more ads on Blasphemes so that I can get some cash. In fact, I think I'm up to 30 cents from Google since management put those ad panels up in the first place. The best part is, I have to split that .30 with OneF and Killre. So now I'm down 20 cents from where I was a year ago.
But it isn't the bill. It's something else. There's buck passing on it. I can't get a clear answer of what's up. But here I am. Upset, and sharing. Well, at least that's normal.
So if you're looking for my take on MA or Conan... you'll have to be patient.
Meantime, think it's time for me to look into another service provider. I hear cable modems are nice, but Comcast sucks more than at&t. Anyone care to comment on that one?
Jan 20, 2010
Jan 18, 2010
Uh, are you sure you've got the wording right on that? We fight God... (terrible) with more God... (you just made it worse)
It's akin to saying we fight earthquakes with hurricanes. That doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense to me.
Another thought is that the Salvation Army only wants to give credit to the Big Guy for the good stuff. Pretty good gig he's got there.
I looked into it, and the Red Cross is not a secular organization. Neither is Doctors without Borders. I happen to like those two organizations.
Jan 16, 2010
Jan 15, 2010
Jan 14, 2010
"Every night before bed, Jay Leno kicks comedy right in the dick."
Damn I love this meme.
Really, there's nothing more that needs to be said on the matter.
Jan 13, 2010
Now before we all start throwing money at people who claim to be sending donations to Haiti... Here's my research results of reputable charities from the Better Business Bureau.
The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice to help Americans decide where to direct donations:
Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity.
Be cautious when relying on third-party recommendations such as bloggers or other Web sites, as they might not have fully researched the listed relief organizations. The public can go to www.bbb.org to research charities and relief organizations to verify that they are accredited by the BBB and meet the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist relief victims.
Despite what an organization might claim, charities have fund raising and administrative costs. Even a credit card donation will involve, at a minimum, a processing fee. If a charity claims 100 percent of collected funds will be assisting earthquake victims, the truth is that the organization is still probably incurring fund raising and administrative expenses. They may use some of their other funds to pay this, but the expenses will still be incurred.
Be cautious when giving online.
Be cautious about online giving, especially in response to spam messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization. In response to the tsunami disaster in 2004, there were concerns raised about many Web sites and new organizations that were created overnight allegedly to help victims.
Find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas.
Unless the charity already has staff in the effected areas, it may be difficult to get new aid workers to quickly provide assistance. See if the charity’s Web site clearly describes what they can do to address immediate needs.
Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.
Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to charities that have a presence in the region. Or, at a minimum, check out the ultimate recipients of these donations to ensure the organizations are equipped to effectively provide aid.
Gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations.
In-kind drives for food and clothing—while well intentioned— may not necessarily be the quickest way to help those in need - unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to be able to properly distribute such aid. Ask the charity about their transportation and distribution plans. Be wary of those who are not experienced in disaster relief assistance.
For more information on donating to charities go to www.bbb.org
The list below identifies national charities that are seeking to provide assistance in response to the earthquake in Haiti. This list only includes those charities that meet the BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability. Click on each of the names to access a BBB charity report on the organization. Further information about other charities is available at http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/
Action Against Hunger
American Friends Service Committee
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
American Jewish World Service
American Red Cross
Brother's Brother Foundation
Catholic Relief Services
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
Direct Relief International
Episcopal Relief and Development
Food for the Hungry
Friends of the World Food Program
International Medical Corps
Living Water International
Lutheran World Relief
Medical Teams International
Physicians for Peace Foundation
Project Concern International
Save the Children Federation
United States Fund for UNICEF
World Emergency Relief
I was considering non-secular charities. The first that came to mind was Doctors without Borders. I am also considering the Red Cross - mostly because the Red Cross puts an average of 92 cents of every dollar is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. I can't give blood because I once ate a hamburger in the UK. (Mad Cow). Guess that explains a lot?
You can donate ten bucks by texting the word "HAITI" to 90999.
Paar, a young game show and talk show host and comedian, had joined The Tonight Show as host in 1957 after Steve Allen retired as host for life. The witty [but often emotional] Paar was a master of the interview, as well as comic sketches. Paar was controversial too. He railed against the Cuban dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista and praised Fidel Castro's revolution, trying to arrange a trade of tractors for prisoners from the Bay of Pigs invasion.
Paar left The Tonight Show for good in 1962, and the show was hosted by a series of substitutes until Johnny Carson took over later that year. Carson's 30-year reign became the longest in The Tonight Show's history. Although, Carson threatened to walk, quite often, and quite publicly almost every other year. Carson also had so many guest hosts, one would be surprised when Carson actually showed up to work. Carson's "permanent guest hosts" included Joan Rivers (1983-1986), Garry Shandling (1986-1987), and Jay Leno (1987-1992). Rivers split to do her own show. It tanked. And Carson never spoke to her again - and Leno never let her on the show while he hosted it.
Carson finally decided to advocate the throne in 1992, which created a spontaneous Late-Night King Lear. Jay Leno and David Letterman vied to take Carson's seat. Leno ended up behind the desk, and Letterman launched, out of spite, The Late Show with David Letterman opposite The Tonight Show the following year. Letterman had been kicking Leno's ass up until an Englishman got a BJ from a Hollywood hooker. Hugh Grant's interview on the Tonight Show put Leno over the top of Letterman, where Jay continued to beat Dave in the ratings - even during the WGA strike.
Also, in the early days of the Leno reign, Leno's producer, Helen Kushnick, played hardball better than Karl Rove. But eventually her behind the curtain backstabbing and her unethical booking practices eventually caused her demise. Jay either knew and pretended not to acknowledge her practices, or was clueless.
The current situation with Leno and O'Brien is just typical of the behind the scenes at the show.
I don't think this is Jay's doing. I think it's shortsighted executives "running" NBC messing around with gambles and long-shots. Their plan didn't work out even close to what they assumed would be acceptable losses.
Why is this important? The Tonight Show is an institution. This talk show has aired on NBC since 1954. Tonight is the third longest-running entertainment program in U.S. television history, after Guiding Light and Hallmark Hall of Fame.
The real reason it's so important is that in the Network scheme playbook, the late-show programming is critical to retaining and creating viewership. Even though it is based upon outdated television technology, the logic remains. It's simple: If you fall asleep watching NBC, when you turn the television back on, it will be on NBC. So - by that logic - NBC spends all the dollars it can to ensure that the viewing public will fall asleep on your channel, and when you turn on the TV again, you are tuned into NBC's Today Show. The assumption is that you're too lazy to change the channel.
The other, secondary strategy, is that if the comedian after the local news is better than the other offerings, then folks will tune in watch the NBC local news... and then watch NBC's late-night show... which will in turn have them watching the Today Show the next morning. However, in practice this isn't true, because it's really the lead in at 10/9C that counts. It's the lead in that is important. A lead in is that show before the news that feed into the local news. It's the "You're to lazy to change the channel" strategy again. This is why the Jay Leno show five nights a week has been declared a dismal failure. No one is watching Leno's 10/9C show - so no one 'leads in' to watch the 11/10C NBC Local news. And the local channels make all their money from advertising during the local newscasts. No eye balls, they can't sell advertising, local NBC affiliates get their pitchforks and torches out.
The correct solution would be to fire Leno for being sh*tty, and keep Conan happy. The boat was rocked. No point in sinking the boat, right? Too late, NBC has sunk the boat.