Jan 30, 2012

30 Writers on God

The latest entry in Dr. Jonathan Pararajasingham‘s thought-provoking series “Speaking About God” (1, 2) features 30 renowned writers discussing their disbelief in the Divine.

1. Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction Writer
2. Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Laureate in Literature
3. Professor Isaac Asimov, Author and Biochemist
4. Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright
5. Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate in Literature
6. Gore Vidal, Award-Winning Novelist and Political Activist
7. Douglas Adams, Best-Selling Science Fiction Writer
8. Professor Germaine Greer, Writer and Feminist
9. Iain Banks, Best-Selling Fiction Writer
10. José Saramago, Nobel Laureate in Literature
11. Sir Terry Pratchett, NYT Best-Selling Novelist
12. Ken Follett, NYT Best-Selling Author
13. Ian McEwan, Man Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
14. Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate (1999-2009)
15. Professor Martin Amis, Award-Winning Novelist
16. Michel Houellebecq, Goncourt Prize-Winning French Novelist
17. Philip Roth, Man Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
18. Margaret Atwood, Booker Prize-Winning Author and Poet
19. Sir Salman Rushdie, Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
20. Norman MacCaig, Renowned Scottish Poet
21. Phillip Pullman, Best-Selling British Author
22. Dr Matt Ridley, Award-Winning Science Writer
23. Harold Pinter, Nobel Laureate in Literature
24. Howard Brenton, Award-Winning English Playwright
25. Tariq Ali, Award-Winning Writer and Filmmaker
26. Theodore Dalrymple, English Writer and Psychiatrist
27. Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize-Winning Novelist
28. Redmond O’Hanlon FRSL, British Writer and Scholar
29. Diana Athill, Award-Winning Author and Literary Editor
30. Christopher Hitchens, Best-Selling Author, Award-Winning Columnist

Looking Over the Aisle

I don't care what side of the carpet you think you're standing on - this is pretty funny, and I had to share. (from GraphJam - but fewer ads and popups here)

Jan 29, 2012

Sunday Comics

The week in review...

Congrats to SEAL Team 6 on their extraction of aid workers.

Newt and Mitt on the beach in sunny Florida.

And in case no one else noticed - there's something (finally) rising from the ashes of lower Manhattan.

Hope to see you back here next week in the meantime - Keep cool, never freeze.
I read that on a condiment bottle.

Jan 26, 2012

Neut's Moon Unit

Newt Gingrich is promising the moon.

Speaking in Florida, hit hard by the loss of a large number of space-affiliated jobs, Mr. Gingrich said Wednesday that if elected, “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.”

He said he believed such a project was possible with commercial and private efforts. According to USA Today, Mr. Gingrich said he had “a romantic belief it is really part of our destiny,” adding that the current state of the space program was a “tragedy.”

Color me conflicted. Now, on one hand, that's awesome and it's humankind's destiny to exploit - er - explore the galaxy and put up new McDonald's Restaurants and Starbucks there. But on the other hand... reality kind of settles in like thin scratchy moon dust.

The United States doesn't even have a viable replacement for the 30 year old Shuttles that were just mothballed. The US is renting time with a 40 year old, faulty, Russian rockets. But Mr. Gingrich thinks that in 9 years there can be an operational permanent manned base on the moon?...and if it were not self-sustaining it would need regular supply from the Earth. Do you know what it costs to send a bottle of water to the moon? Something on the order of $50,000 per pound. Just one gallon of water weighs about eight pounds, so it costs $400,000 to get it to the moon!

And, excuse me, my Tea Party friends are bashing down the door screaming about, "less government spending" or something? I can't make it out, they're foaming at the mouth right now. How about my friends on the left? Oh, sure, the tired old public schools and infrastructure crumbling, and 40 million still without health care. Sounds like they're reading the text from the State of the Union speech.

Sure, sure. But the Republican presidential candidates aren't against federal spending. Why do you think all the rhetoric is about reforming the tax code? No one said anything about cutting anything! Even Mitt had a chance to say I'm going to gut the Federal government after his "I like to fire people" gaff. The only person against the Federal government spending is Ron Paul. He's considered a "loony" because he doesn't see the jobs program and military industrial complex spending potential a moon unit has.

I think it's just a big old Boomer trying to reconnect with the lost hopes of the 60's and the Space-Age dreams of Doctor Qwest and Walt Disney. It's nice to dream big, but when those dreams go unfulfilled it's a failure on the epic scale of, well, of Newt Gingrich being your party's front runner.

Jan 25, 2012

Wha? You Can't Take a Joke?

The real estate in question
Jay Leno & NBC getting sued for libel over Mitt Romney joke

No, not by Romney - that'd be outright suicide. No it's wildly more stupid than that...
Leno had some goofy slide show and came to a location cited as Mitt Romney’s summer home — in reality an image of the Sikh holy shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar, India — it sparked a diplomatic incident. And now the religious, and apparently totally serious, lawsuit charging Leno and NBC with libel for claiming that a non-Sikh owned the holiest of holy temples.

Wonder if they were extra pissed that Mitt's a Mormon?

If I've understood the claim correctly, I see a lot more ridicule coming their way... Frankly, this whole situation makes me Sihk.

Responding to the State of the Union

State of the Union: Obama could either do a Truman or a Clinton, but he can't run on hope again

Jan 23, 2012

CUM? Really, Rick?



Rick "don't google me" Santorum?

When that thermometer fills up, watch out!

Unfinished Business

The question still remains whether Iraq will become an Iranian satellite state.

Pulling out of Iraq may have been the lesser evil for the US, but questions now loom regarding the ability of the Iraqi state to function, and the withdrawal does not resonate well among some of America’s allies in the region. In their eyes, the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq at this time is tantamount to unfinished business, eroding their confidence in the US.

Read more 

According to Iran's Qud's commander, Iraq is already under Iranian control.

In the meantime, the EU agrees Iran oil embargowhich means, it's just a matter of time before some one passes gas and the missiles start flying.

Jan 22, 2012

The Week in Review; Sunday Comics

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop

Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina Republican primary, further scrambling an already volatile primary race that has produced three different winners in three states. Mitt takes two, while Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are still battling for third place - as I last checked. It's going to be a fun convention this year. Especially if they pull a last second rabbit out of their hat -- a cloned Ronald Reagan.

And all this after the media has been at hard work digging for dirt on the Republicans. They’ve already made several earth-shattering discoveries. Like Mitt Romney is paying exactly the amount of taxes the law requires And that the second ex-wife of Newt Gingrich still holds a grudge.

Jan 21, 2012

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Edgar the "Exploiter"

This video does a good job of explaining the basics of the minimum wage law and why countries 'outsource'.

At the very least, it discusses the unintended consequences of good feeling legislation.

Jan 20, 2012

PIPA Paused; While Megaupload MegaGone

After reports surfaced yesterday that Sen. Harry Reid won’t force Democrats to vote in favor of PIPA, the Senate Majority Leader announced today that he will postpone the vote on the Senate’s anti-piracy bill “in light of recent events.”

“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved,” Reid said in a statement, adding that it remained necessary to take action against piracy, which costs “the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year.”

The test vote on PIPA was originally scheduled for Tuesday.

Meanwhile, lead stooge - er - Attorney General Eric Holder showed that he can still go after 'the pirates' at Megaupload using retro-pre-9-11 warrants and proof before making arrests [here's the indictment pdf doc]. Which makes me scratch my head -- explain why SOPA or PITA are needed again, at all? Thanks, Eric. You just blew another one.

Anonymous still wants access to obscure illegal pornography and tv shows - and explained it to the RIAA, MPAA, the Justice Department and Universal Music by taking them down. That'll show 'em. Protest website takedowns by taking down websites? But it shows that the power of the antiquated entertainment lobby and their stooges are showing their weakness. Even if they are openly threatening Mr. Obama to get back on board... through their expensive mouthpiece, Chris Dodd.

Perhaps messing with the internet will soon be the tipping point for the Millennials to finally wake up and start paying attention?

Jan 19, 2012

Some News for Yous

Sen. Rand Paul pledges to Filibuster PIPA Legislation.

Meanwhile Ron Paul Introduced a bill today to remove the section regarding detention of American Citizens from the NDAA bill.

ABC to air dirty laundry tonight, Gingrich's ex wife: Newt asked for divorce (or open marriage) on night before giving a family values speech. The only reason this is airing tonight and not after the South Carolina primary is because Drudge leaked that ABC was sitting on it. I'm not sure how this counts as news - everyone knows this is the carry-on to the luggage that Newt's been lugging around on the campaign trail. I mean, what, so he wanted permission to have a little on the side? At least he asked first. He didn't, you know, actually father an illegitimate child while on the campaign trail -- or have an inappropriate flute solo from an intern the same age as his daughter. Oh, double standard. That's wha

Oh, and Rick Perry Dropped out of the race. Guess Jesus is less interested in the success of Rick and Tim Tebow's success than they both bargained for? 

Jan 18, 2012

End Piracy, Not Liberty

Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.
Chart: “Congress, Can You Hear Us?” [PDF, 1.9 MB]              

Jan 17, 2012

Ron Paul's New Ad

Sent from Chris in flyover country -

A triple barrel shotgun blast at the others in the race.

So, even HuffPro is getting in on the Ron Paul Blimp:
"Dr. Paul’s opponents are desperate to stop Americans from listening to, and subsequently electing Ron Paul. Opponents of liberty falsely present Ron Paul as “unelectable” to the American people, attempting to plant subconscious seeds doubt of “don’t listen to him, don’t vote for him in the primaries or caucuses because he’ll never win”. This strategy is failing as more Americans hear Dr. Paul speak, leading them to contribute to his campaign and vote for him. The American public understands Dr. Paul’s common sense approach and trusts him. The other candidates are clearly in the race to serve their egos and personal agendas. The “Dr. Paul is not electable” rumors are deliberately created and spread solely as a calculated attempt to confuse honest, hard-working American with falsehoods such as “Ron Paul is crazy, anti-women, anti-Israel and anti-blacks. He’s isolationist, he’ll wreck the country, he’s anti-government”. These are simple “control the masses” fear tactics to try and stop Americans from actually listening to Dr. Paul, hearing his logical and intelligent plan and deciding for themselves."

Ethics? What? In My Congress?

The Washington Post had a long report on the two sides of the Keystone XL debate this weekend. With the deadline for decision Republicans forced into the temporary payroll tax cut bill approaching, this will be a popular storyline in the next few weeks.

But It was the Daily Kos that found the following nugget 'buried' on page two...
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) launched a “countdown clock” that ticks off the time until the permitting deadline expires and posted a video on YouTube that touts the pipeline as a chance to create jobs with private investment. Playing off Obama’s mantra of “We Can’t Wait,” the video flashes phrases across the screen including, “We Can’t Wait for Leadership. We Can’t Wait for Jobs.”

Environmentalists note that in December 2010, according to Boehner’s financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands, the region that produces the oil the pipeline would transport. The firms include six oil companies—BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon—along with Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada.

Bill McKibben, a climate activist and co-founder of the group 350.org, wrote in an e-mail that Boehner has received more than $1 million from fossil-fuel companies, “and now we find out that he’s got extensive personal investments in companies dependent on tarsands oil.”

“He was willing to shut down the government in part to prevent enough time for serious environmental review,” McKibben added. “In any other facet of our public life . . . this whole list taken together would be seen for the gross conflict of interest that it is.”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an interview that an investment adviser chooses Boehner’s financial investments. “He doesn’t have any control over day-to-day trades, so there’s no conflict of interest on this or any other investment,” Steel said of the speaker, adding that when it comes to the upcoming decision on Keystone XL, “We hope the president will do the right thing and approve the permit, and create American jobs.”
The TL;DR: Boehner is about to make a significant windfall from the project, should it go forward. Not exactly Teapot Dome -- but it's certainly a conflict of interest. Luckily, the public is aware of his involvement. At least Mr. Boehner knows that he'll benefit from the project.

Jan 15, 2012

The Week In Review: Sunday Comics

Great metaphor for our times?
First off, after Tebow's performance last night, I expect him to show up to his receivers and explain himself, then disappear for 2000 some-odd years. I can hope, anyway.

Then there were those folks on a cruise who are going to be asking for a refund. They only got half of their Poseidon Adventure. Especially when they found out Gene Hackman wasn't going to make it.

And speaking of pissed off - have you seen the video of the snipers pissing on the corpses of the dead Taliban fighters? Do you find it mildly entertaining that there's far more outrage about the act of urination over the act of murder in wartime?  Maybe the Marines need to show what foul and inhumane atrocities these corpses committed before they went to the afterlife? Rape, mayhem, rape, murder and rape, perhaps? Maybe, I'll say just maybe, the sniper team was expressing their displeasure with these enemy soldiers and were explaining it to them? Maybe these Taliban fighters bodies needed phosphorus to help them decompose in the desert? I think the better lesson to be learned here is to NOT VIDEO TAPE EVERYTHING? If they're court marshaled (and history says they probably won't be) it'll because of their mistake of video taping it.

Not news, but in a re-cap it is, Romney took New Hampshire. It was like New England at home folks. In fact, one of Mitt's vacation homes are in New Hampshire. This is about as news worthy as "Snowstorm in January," in Chicago. What'll be bigger news is just how much the evangelical vote is broken up between Rick "Don't google me" Santorum, Newt "No, really, I'm a Christian Conservative" Gingrich and Rick "why the hell am I still in this" Perry in South Carolina. Expect Ron Paul and Mitt to take the two top spots again. Actually, isn't it who's SuperPAC is winning?

Mrs. Obama got angry about being called an "angry black woman" in a new book coming out about the supposed failures of the Obama Administration. Total coincidence - but Bill Daley resigned adding to a large list of White House departures. But that's totally coincidental, and has nothing to do with Michelle. Nothing.

And the Administration is totally against the SOPA/PIPA bills - I figure just like they were against the Bill of Rights ending NDPA, right?

Microsoft continued it's slow ramp down to irrelevance this week when they announced during their big announcement that this would be their last announcement at CES. Well, that's news, apparently. Microsoft still seems to think that teaming up with Nokia will make them a contender against Apple Fundamentalists? On their best day, they should concentrate on finally knocking RIM off the playing field, and worry about Apple and Android the way the Cubs worry about beating the Yankees or the Red Sox in next year's World Series.

Singer Beyonce and Singer Jay-Z gave birth to an untalented fully developed zygote: Babyonce. The announcement was newsworthy because the father wrote a song about it, and also their demands on the hospital staff apparently prevented premature babies the critical care that they needed. What're you going to do about it, baby? You going to cry? What's that? You can't breathe oxygen so good? Waaah.

Speaking of whining - France's Credit Rating was cut down a bit. So much for all that cheer leading about the turn around?

Since we're talking about Europe - here's one that missed the radar... US is withdrawing 2 Brigades. I don't know, I mean, are we sure that Europe is secure? I mean, it's only been 20 years since the Cold War ended, and about 60 since the end of WWII. I guess it's only a matter of time now until Germany takes France back -- but this time it'll be a foreclosure, not a military campaign. Well, it's okay, they'll find work despite somewhere, despite the cutbacks (there's humor in the link)

And Hostess, maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread filed for Chapter 11. Mostly because of overweight pensions (like American Airlines or say, Europe), not because of a lack of overweight customers - Wonder if they'll use the Twinkie Defense?

Jan 14, 2012

Saturday Morning Political Ads

Newt Gingrich goes after Mitt Romney, among other things, for speaking French.

Of course, Gingrich completely ignores the fact that Romney became fluent in French while spending time in France as a Mormon missionary

And, you guessed it, Gingrich himself has a "working knowledge of French."
And his third wife, Callistaplays the French horn.

Note that only in America is it a bad thing to speak another language. Notez que seulement en Amérique est-elle une mauvaise chose de parler une autre langue.

Good thing he doesn't speak Arabic.

Jan 13, 2012

I Need More Power!

Obama seeks more power, in order to shrink the government - or to word it another way, "Government seeks power to reduce Government Power."

Now before we get started here, this isn't the first time. And it's not about shrinking the government - which makes for great headlines and kicks the Republicans in the teeth - but it's more about consolidation, not shrinkage. There's a difference.

From the article, there's a 'funny part' that is supposed to put the common sense element to give this some teeth and to sell it.

“The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.”
But, I ask, why is the Federal Government in charge of salmon at all? Can't that be managed by the States? Sure, one State might change the catch limit or something -- but really?

And on top of all this - it's to save 3 billion in 10 years. Seriously? It's 300 million in a decade. A mayor or a school board in a major city should be on stage saving that much (and they should) - but this is the Federal Government - and that Government is now 15 TRILLION in the hole.  He had a chance to streamline when he put his signature on that $700 Billion DoD spending bill, right? There was a chance to streamline when he signed off on $1.1, $1.5, and $1.3 trillion deficits? It's not like he wrote a budget for them to go on. And to top that crap ice cream puff with a cherry - Mr. Obama just asked to raise the debt ceiling again.  What? Does he think that'll be good for his re-election effort? Not just a couple bucks either, another $1.2 Trillion.

So after the dust settles, let's see what he wants to gut - Oh, it's the Commerce Department’s core business and trade functions! The Small Business Administration; the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the Trade and Development Agency. The goal would be one agency designed to help businesses thrive. How does that work, exactly?

And, strictly politically speaking here, how's that going to play into Republican talking points? Looks like that Evil Socialist President of ours is gutting the departments that help the Capitalists! - just a bit - no? Don't think so? Flip on Rush Limbaugh today and see if that isn't his major talking point about this.

These are 'significant' cuts.

Heinz 57? What's That About?

What is the secret behind the 57 in Heinz 57?

Henry J. Heinz was selling surplus food out of his mother's garden in 1844. He was trained as a bricklayer, but making horseradish was where he got really into selling. He'd take the labor out of making the stuff - and showed off the quality using clear glass. Horseradish was prized for it's medicinal and food improvement properties, but it was a pain in the ass to make it. (sources)

Henry quickly diversified his business to include pickles and vinegar - but one day a marketing explosion fell into Henry J. Heinz's brainpan. He saw an ad for shoes claiming “21 styles.” So - he came up with "57 varieties” of products, and now had a magic number. So, you've only ever seen the ketchup -- maybe once you saw Heinz baked beans in Ringo's suitcase? Perhaps Roger Daltry in a Who album? Well, what the hell are all those varieties, anyway? Glad you asked, because I was curious too. Ready:
  1. Heinz Oven-Baked Beans with Pork and Tomato Sauce
  2. Heinz Oven-Baked Beans without Tomato Sauce, with Pork--Boston Style
  3. Heinz Oven-Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce without Meat--Vegetarian
  4. Heinz Oven-Baked Red Kidney Beans
  5. Heinz Cream of Asparagus
  6. Heinz Cream of Celery Soup
  7. Heinz Cream of Green Pea Soup
  8. Heinz Cream of Mushroom
  9. Heinz Cream of Oyster
  10. Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup
  11. Heinz Bean Soup
  12. Heinz Beef Broth
  13. Heinz Clam Chowder
  14. Heinz Gumbo Creole
  15. Heinz Mock Turtle Soup
  16. Heinz Scotch Broth
  17. Heinz Noodle Soup
  18. Heinz Pepper Pot Soup
  19. Heinz Vegetable Soup
  20. Heinz Consomme
  21. Heinz Onion Soup
  22. Heinz Mince Meat
  23. Heinz Puddings--Date, Fig, and Plum
  24. Heinz Peanut Butter
  25. Heinz Cooked Spaghetti
  26. Heinz Cooked Macaroni
  27. Heinz Pure Jellies
  28. Heinz Apple Butter
  29. Heinz Gherkins--Sweet or Sour
  30. Heinz Gherkins--Sweet or Sour
  31. Heinz Mixed Pickles--Sweet or Sour
  32. Heinz Chow Chow Pickle
  33. Heinz Sweet Mustard Pickle
  34. Heinz Dill Pickles
  35. Heinz Fresh Cucumber Pickle
  36. Heinz Strained Foods
  37. Heinz India Relish
  38. Heinz Sandwich Spread
  39. Heinz Pickled Onions--Sweet and Sour
  40. Heinz Spanish Queen Olives
  41. Heinz Stuffed Spanish Olives
  42. Heinz Ripe Olives
  43. Heinz Pure Spanish Olive Oil
  44. Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  45. Heinz Chili Sauce
  46. Heinz Beefsteak Sauce*
  47. Heinz Pepper Sauce--Red or Green
  48. Heinz Worcestershire Sauce
  49. Heinz Prepared Mustard--Brown or Yellow
  50. Heinz Evaporated Horseradish
  51. Heinz Mayonnaise
  52. Heinz Pure Malt Vinegar
  53. Heinz Pure Cider Vinegar
  54. Heinz Distilled White Vinegar
  55. Heinz Tarragon Vinegar
  56. Heinz Rice Flakes
  57. Heinz Breakfast Wheat
  58. Heinz Tomato Juice
So you're wondering, Dude - Did Heinz drive a dumptruck of cash up to the bunker for you to write about them today? Nope. Just wondering. Since I looked it up, thought I'd share. So - there you go.


Jan 12, 2012

Homeland Security Watches Over You

Homeland Security Internet Watch List leaked; Blasphemes strangely omitted from list?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.
A "privacy compliance review" issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a "Social Networking/Media Capability" which involves regular monitoring of "publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards."
Well, color me am surprised that we didn't make the Department of Homeland Security's watchlist. Cryptome published a copy of the 2011 edition of the government document (PDF link to document copy). Apparently, there's a new 2012 version some have seen, on which a current round of news coverage is based.

There's a Reuters article summarizing its significance here:
A "privacy compliance review" issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a "Social Networking/Media Capability" which involves regular monitoring of "publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards." The purpose of the monitoring, says the government document, is to "collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture."
The document adds, using more plain language, that such monitoring is designed to help DHS and its numerous agencies, which include the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to manage government responses to such events as the 2010 earthquake and aftermath in Haiti and security and border control related to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
"This is a representative list of sites that the NOC will start to monitor in order to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture under this Initiative," the document reads.

MySpace and Hulu are on the list!  And they're watching Flickr and YouTube and Huffpo. Waiiittt... this is just a list of approved sights for folks at Homeland to slack off and pretend that they're actually working - isn't it?

Also: The DHS internet watchlist "mistakes" msthirteen.com, a taboo German site about 13yo girls for MS-13 gang news - oops.

Jan 11, 2012

Mitt Wins, But that's not news

Oh the media, how you love to come up with crazy things like, "It's the first time anyone has won N.H. and Iowa who isn't an incumbent!" That's about as awesome and significant as Tim Tebow throwing 316 yards. (It isn't).

There are about ten more important items on the ground in New Hampshire that are significantly more important than Mitt's win.

Now, if you know New Hampshire, land of a billion Dunkin' Donuts, there are some pretty wacky rules to the primary. You don't have to be an actual Republican. You can be an Independent and still vote in the Republican Primary. Which kind of allows the competition to pick their competition. It's a wacky way to run the Pepsi Challenge. And... if you get on the right bus in the wrong state, but tell the pollster that you intend to buy vacation property there in the next year, you can vote in the primary. That's somewhat important when discussing Hillary's numbers in 2008, and also Mitt's in 2012. But that's just conjecture. I don't have proof of this, merely whispers in the smoke filled back corners of reality.

Here's what's more important that Mitt's second win:

First up, Ron Paul takes number two. Not Rick or Newt or John Huntsman who completely avoided Iowa to make a showing in New Hampshire. Huntsman placed third, and now he thinks he's a viable contender. He said, "“a third place finish is a ticket to ride” Fine. Just remember, John - Third rhymes with something that is rather unpleasant to step in. PS- John, the less Mandarin you speak at debates the better. Folks don't want to think that you'd be a servant to the Chinese. You don't want to be 'a Manchurian Candidate.' Google it sometime, John.

Back to Ron Paul: What's more important about Paul is that he's still in it - he's knocking on the third plank in the party platform and forcing the discussion of the Fed, debt, and rattling the status quo that the rest of the candidates seem to still be talking about, for some reason? Ron's ascendancy from 5 (NH 2008) to 2 (NH last night) means that people are listening, and they like what they hear. And they're voting for him. Unfortunately, many of the pundits seem to see this as good for Romney, and not anyone else. The media still continues to brand him as un-electable - even though he beat Obama in a recent Harris poll. Funny thing with that poll - none of the other Republican offerings beat Obama.

Second:  Gingrich and Santorum have taken off their gloves with Romney and hit him pretty hard in the gut in between the two confetti and balloon drops. Newt and Rick have opened up an "anti-capitalist" rant against Mitt. Which, is so hypocritical and anti-Republican, it can only be compared to Michael Moore in Zuccotti Park to sell his new book. And to pile it on Mitt opened his mouth for his first real gaff of this campaign and said he, "likes firing people" ...when talking about folks having the right to chose their insurance companies when they give crap service. Of course that's the sound bite everyone was looking for -- and that's when Romney's Venture Capital company came into play. Five months early, notes the Obama re-election team.

The third big take away is that the unemployment rate has gone down. It's stopped convulsing and the shock has subsided. Is it a trend, or just a December holiday blip - TBD. Some might mention it's a long steady road for the levels the US enjoyed in 2008. Others would say that the trouble in the EuroZone and Iran have yet to cool off. However, if Romney or Paul are going to be successful against Obama - they better watch that ticker pretty closely, and sad to say, need it to stay kind of on the high end. Mitt's already re-imagineered his message from "There's no recovery until there's change in the White House," to "Sure there's a little movement, but Obama had nothing to do with it... it's like a rooster taking credit for the sun rising." Cute, but if unemployment falls, and Obama's approval ratings go up - the whole candidacy of Mitt Romney hits a brick in the roller rink.

And that's far more important than Rick Perry coming in dead last with 0.7% losing to "other." But not nearly as funny.

The Room Temperature War With Iran

A nuclear scientist who supervised a department at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility has been killed by a magnetic bomb placed on his car by two assailants in northern Tehran, the 'unofficial - official' Iranian media reported.

The attack strongly resembles earlier killings of scientists working on the country's controversial nuclear program. The bomb explosion killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz facility in central Iran.

Roshan, 32, was inside the Iranian-assembled Peugeot 405 car together with two others when the bomb exploded near Gol Nabi Street, Fars reported.

 Israel and the US both shrugged and said, "Well, it was a Peugeot. Are you sure that sucker didn't just explode on it's own?"

Quick question - if the US and Israel are behind these killings, and are stooping to the terrorist's level of targeted assassinations and car bombings -- how are we any better than the bad guys we're so adamantly against? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Jan 9, 2012

Schrödinger's Dog

Schrödinger's Dog
Well, are those dishes clean, or aren't they?

New Bumpersticker

I'm thinking... about selling these at the Blasphemes's store. Maybe it'll generate some actual visitors?

Tebow Nails It

Nails it like a carpenter... from Nazareth? Get it? Jesus? Is this on? Well, here's a better one...
ScrapBrain says, "I really hope Tim Tebow is the second coming of Christ. After three straight losses he has been resurrected, and if we're lucky he'll ascend into heaven and we won't see or hear from him for another 2,000 f#cking years..."

Nisas "Sorry starving african children.
God is busy helping americans win football games and country music awards."

Jan 8, 2012

The Week In Review - Sunday Comics

 Welcome back, here's the week that was.

 An interesting week. Most offices were still closed for hangovers. Not a lot of actual work got done in most places.

Well, then there was Iowa...

Iowa - Romney eeked out a win by a whole 8 people. Rick "Don't google me" Santorum, unemployed ex-Senator from PA came out of no where to candidate de-jour. He's got the foreign policy of Bush (all Islams would be better off dead), a status-quo is good for my pocketbook domestic plan, and an enemies list that would make Nixon blush. Wonder how long he'll have the title anti-Romney? Hell, the dude keeps talking long enough, Romney will look darn near awesome in comparison.

Ron Paul? Yeah, he keeps getting kicked by the media and the Iowa voters. Even came across a story they might decide that Ron doesn't really need any delegates from Iowa at the National Convention. Is it me, or are they getting upset that Ron keeps rocking the row-boat?

Mr. Obama put the military on a diet. A half a trillion dollars less at the mess hall, but over the next 10 years (so, it's really 100 billion a year - which is meaningless). He'll have fewer soldiers in the Army and Marines - and they'll instead rely even more on drones, and more cyber-weapon hacker jockeys. Does this put the US in a post WWI standing, even while fighting Afghanistan and kicking the hornets nest of Iran? I guess we're going to have to sit back and stay tuned.

Meantime, the US Navy pulled off one of the coolest story I've read about in months - they saved a bunch of Iranian fishermen from pirates.

But 200,000 jobs were created in December. I guess there are a lot more Wal-Mart greeters during the holidays than I remembered? So that puts the unemployment quarterback rating down to 8.5 (which will be adjusted later, and lower, since these numbers are notoriously scrutinized and adjusted months after anyone cares) but more importantly the crest seems to have been 10 percent, and is slowly receding to the 7.8 that Mr. Bush left Mr. Obama when he ran out the door laughing.

The Syrian Civil War continues -- ever wonder where their no-fly zone is? The Arab League sat in their deck chairs watching the violence continue despite their stern finger shaking.

Mr. Obama appointed some folks when Congress wasn't in session. Meh. Not nearly as big a deal as Fast and Furious -- not like anyone actually reads the Constitution anymore anyway. Well, Ron Paul does. Oh, wait, isn't Mr. Obama a Constitutional Professor?

There's a new book coming out that says Mrs. Obama hated Rahm Emanuel and that Rahm's backhanded, backdoor deals to jam ObamaCare is what ruined the Obama Presidency. They're already writing the narrative to try to explain their failures? Just remember, Clinton and Reagan were in the EXACT same spot in the last days of their third year.

Kodak filed chapter 11, while the CES show is about to dump a pile of new shinny gadgets into your amazon wishlist for the next holiday season.

Oh, and I know who I will be voting for now...
See you next week.

Jan 7, 2012

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Hollow, by Cal Arts Experimental Animation grad Oliver Franklin Anderson, uses photographs, artwork and live actors to create a haunting mood piece. The film has been accepted as an Official Selection at Slamdance 2012.

Jan 6, 2012

My Apologies to Mel Brooks

"Now if that don't beat all. Here we take the good time and trouble to slaughter every last Taliban in Afghanistan, and for what? So the GOP can run a candidate that's more radical than any Taliban! I am depressed."

"Excuse Me, Mr. Taggart, sir, but I sure hate to see you like this. What if me and the boys was to post all the stupid things that guy has said? Would that pep you up some?"

"That might help."

It seems 'comedian' Dean Obeidallah wrote a one-off for CNN. I was taking it pretty seriously at first. See Dean seems to think that Rick (Oh Please don't google me) Santorum wants to create some kind of Christian-Sharia-Law to the U.S.

The main crux of Dean's fear about Rick? On Thanksgiving Day at an Iowa candidates' forum, Rick reiterated: "We have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law." So much for that separation of church and state, there, eh Rick?

But there's far, far more about Rick that's more upsetting than imposing Sharia Law in the US... 

Here's Rick's Enemies list - or rather, the people Rick Hates. ('Cause hating your enemies sure is something Christ would do, right?)

In no particular order, with the links to back me up, Rick hates: 

You want to unite the Tea Party, the Occupy Movement, and the males age 13-85 against you? You just stepped over that line, buster. 

How about rather than telling you that the guy hates just about everything - let's tell you about what he likes. 

The National Journal reports: that “Santorum sponsored at least two bills and ‘pushed to amend a mammoth Medicare overhaul to including extra spending,’ all of which would have benefited Universal Health Services, a Pennsylvania-based hospital management company.

A short time after leaving the Senate, Santorum joined the company’s board of directors where he was compensated with $395,000 in fees and stock options.

He also began consulting for a Pennsylvania gas and coal producer, which benefited from policies for which Santorum advocated during his time in the Senate.” Really, that’s the best they’ve got? He tried to protect his home state and then he went to work for a prominent company in his home state.

Oh, he's just a typical Washington wanker who wants back at the trough in D.C. Land?

But you know what, at the end of the day, here's a guy who speaks his mind - and luckily we know exactly where he stands.

Jan 5, 2012

Mitt's Problems

Yesterday, John McCain stood on stage and endorsed his rival from 4 years ago. There was very little love on that stage, but Mitt got his endorsement. In public. Read More

2% of Americans Thought Mitt Romney’s
First Name is “Mittens”
Photo: Ethan Miller

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama's campaign advisers plan to paint Mitt Romney as a protector of Wall Street who is out of touch with the middle class and as a flip-flopper. Read More Which, once I read the article I thought, well isn't that going to be Mitt's campaign plan against Mr. Obama?

Which got me thinking - why did Mitt only get 8 votes more than the Candidate De Jour Rick "Please don't google image search me" Santorum? There's a definite backlash and anti-Mitt feeling out there with the GOP faithful. It's easy enough to just chalk the "anyone but Mitt" sentiment to the wrong brand of Jesus - he's a Mormon. But that's lazy.

So, in a move that's pointedly not lazy, I played the Day-After-Post-Caucus film in my head a couple times - and decided to try to figure it out.

First, and foremost, Mitt is the GOP's Al Gore. He's kind of flip-floppy. He has a record, that he doesn't really want to talk about. And he can't convince folks that he's not genetically engineered for the job -- and, like Al Gore, and George W. Bush -- he won't be able to. He was.

But other than the legacy and tired rants about the oligarchy, let's look past the haircut. Actually, that's kind of hard. Why? Because it was selected by a committee of his political handlers that surround the candidate. Hell, they probably had a market research group come in to compare hair cuts. "Which one of these says, 'vote for me, I'm trustworthy?'" "C - the Reed Richards with the white on the sides." But it's not just the haircut, it's only part of the overlying problem. Then I figured it out:

Voting for Mitt Romney is like voting for your boss.

Imagine your boss, maybe not your current employer, but a boss you may have had. He comes to you and your co-worker crew late one shift. Probably on a Friday, just before quitting time. Before the paychecks are handed out. Suddenly you hear the Owner is here, with his wife and family - whom you've never seen. Suddenly he hands out a pamphlet and asks for your support for something. Maybe it's a United Way campaign, maybe he wants you to buy his daughter's cookies? Either way, you certainly don't have the cash - you hate the politics of the United Way - and you're indignent that your millionaire boss is waiting for his wage slaves to pass the hat. You reluctantly decide that you'll probably get fired if you don't put something in, but you're choking back bile every step of the way. Especially since the Assistant Manager Mrs. Brownose whips her checkbook out first and stares down everyone else while writing the check.

That's what it feels like to vote for Mitt Romney.

That's why EVERYONE else running has been surging to the top for a good examination under the microscope. Even the Newt Gingrich surge makes sense in this context. Because, believe me, that didn't make sense - not even for a minute.

Romney's real first name, for the official record, is Willard — Mitt is his middle name.

Jan 4, 2012

LA Bishop Out Due To Massive Cover Up

The Father was a Father
(Photo Credit: Reed Saxon/AP)

A Los Angeles bishop stepped down from his duties with the Catholic church on after acknowledging a two decades long cover up... that he fathered two children.

Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60, told the archdiocese in December that he was the father of two teenagers who live out of the state with their mother, the Associated Press reported.

Zavala submitted his resignation with the Vatican shortly thereafter. Under Catholic doctrine, priests must take a vow of celibacy. Why? Because she'd get church property if they got married. Especially after the priest died - she'd get the estate. Single dudes leave any property back to the church.

The Vatican accepted the early resignation of the bishop Wednesday.

In addition, the archdiocese has offered spiritual guidance and financial support to help pay for the children's college costs. I guess that's cheaper than their legal fees? I doubt the parishioners who contribute to the golden plate would see it that way?

Iowa Thins the Pack

Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney  (Credit: AP)
In the odd chance you're reading it here first, last night Iowa hosted one of the closest candidate-selection races in US history. Rick (do a google image search) Santorum and Mitt Romney ran down-to-the-wire photo finish. Ex-Governor of Massachusetts stuck his tongue out and won by a virtual-tie margin of 8 votes.
That's 8 out of the 122,000 folks that turned out to vote. Don't tell me your vote doesn't count.

Ron Paul’s all-in campaign did not result in a win - as predicted here - but in fact, third. On the bright side, that's ahead of Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann, respectively. John Huntsman, who looked to the brilliance of Rudy Guliani's campaign -- not only spent all his time in New Hampshire, but openly mocked Iowa. Huntsman came in last.

Now that the dust has settled, Rick Perry said he would be returning to Texas to reassess his campaign, and Michele Bachmann’s campaign cancelled a trip to South Carolina, and her campaign manager hinted that she may quit.