Sunday, August 31, 2008

Luke 4:12

Here's an interesting irony.

Stuart Shepard, who does videos for James Dobson’s Focus on Family put out a “pray-for-rain” video asking for rain in Denver to sour the Democratic convention. He now claims this was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

I'm hardly an expert, so I don't generally quote scripture, but with Gustav now threatening to overshadow the REPUBLICAN convention, maybe Shepard should reread Luke 4:12.

And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Of course, not to be outdone in the asshole department, Former DNC Chairman Don Fowler laughingly invokes God and Gustav while talking to Congressman John Spratt of SC.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Separated at Birth?

I noticed an uncanny similarity between Gov. Sarah Palin, the presumptive GOP Vice Presidential candidate, and Laura Roslin, President of the fleet, on Battlestar Galactica.

Could one of them be the "twelfth" Cylon? (sometimes, I'm such a geek)
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There She Is...

This morning, McCain announced that Alaska Governor, and former beauty queen, Sarah Palin, will be his running mate.

My gut reaction was what the hell is he thinking? Is she ready for prime time? Is this a "Harriett Quayle" pick who'll be one heartbeat away from the presidency?

I wanted Romney. He's got strong economic bona fides and could help McCain steal important states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

On the other hand, the Palin pick has seemed to truly energize what was a generally listless Conservative base who seemed to have consigned themselves to a November massacre.

A hard core Republican friend of mine (he was a GOP Electoral College voter in 1980 made the conservative case for Palin:

  • The OBAMA team cannot really, with a straight face, accuse anyone of being too young and inexperienced.

  • Palin locks up the "family value" Republicans who were nervous about McCain all along.

  • If she only picks up ten to fifteen percent of Hillary Clinton's 18 million, Obama is in big trouble.

  • Her gun toting (lifetime NRA member) will play well with those that "cling to their guns" in Montana, Colorado, West Virginia, Kentucky, Penn, Florida. The NRA will be sure that all those voters know it, too.

I'm not sure I buy all of it, but let the games begin.

BTW, did Obama make a speech last night?

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain's VP Choice!!

I really don't know who John McCain has picked for his VP. I've just always wanted to do a Drudge flashing light thingy.

Trying to get ahead of the curve in anticipation for the announcement of McCain's running mate, I did some searches on domains containing "McCain" and the last name of the leading contenders (Kay Baily Hutchinson, Tim Pawlenty, Tom Ridge, Joe Lieberman, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin) .

Here are my unofficial findings:

Kay Bailey Hutchinson seems out of it as has expired (unless that's a clever misdirection).

Likewise, I'd say Joe Lieberman is not it. looks like it's being held by an ad squatter.

Interestingly, the same guy owns the domains of two VERY strong contenders, and He lives in New Jersey and uses an MIT alumni email address. I'm not sure what, if anything, that means.

The McCain/Romney site seems to have been created using a canned template. Since a huge organization wouldn't be so cheap, it doesn't look like a Mitt's the one.

On the other hand, whoever runs, for Alaska Governor Sarah Heath Palin seems to think (or hope) it's Romney:

Final answer: what a waste of time this was! I feel like Andy Rooney.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good Night and You Suck

Keith Olbermann, a mediocrity who constantly slams Fox for being biased, demonstrates why he's no better by making snide remarks on a hot mic directed at Joe Scarborough.

I think Joe bitch-smacks him nicely.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Glen or Glenda?

Back from vacation...(ANYONE miss me?)

I didn't submit an entry for The New Yorker "Cartoon Caption Contest #156."

I just couldn't connect with the cartoon because it's not clear IF the person wearing high heels was supposed to be a feminine man or a woman pretending to be a man.

Here are the winners:

  • "Actually, I'm not crazy about long walks on the beach." - I get it, but it doesn't quite work

  • "I'm looking forward to casual Friday, when I can put on some flats." - about as good as you can get given the image

  • "I'm working my way up to a sex-change operation." - turgid

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Hershey High Way

$4.00 a gallon gas, fine. I'll deal with it. But THIS is an OUTRAGE.

Hershey raises prices after posting terrible earnings

The relationship between Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) and Wall Street has been sour for a while. Shares of the chocolate maker have plunged more than 30% over the past year amid concerns about rising commodity prices and the growth of healthier eating habits. Now, the confectioner is raising wholesale prices by an average of 13% on one-third of its domestic product line effective immediately .

Chocoholics are paying the price for higher costs for raw materials, fuel, utilities, and transportation.

...Yet another reason for people to eat healthy.
And we don't need the smart-ass remark about eating healthy at the end either.
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wind Power Blows

Of course, you had to know this sort of story would come out eventually.

Wind turbines across Oregon stir up health scare

Study suggests living close to an energy farm can cause a variety of physical ailments research suggesting that living close to wind turbines, as Eaton and her 60-year-old husband, Mike, soon will be doing, can cause sleep disorders, difficulty with equilibrium, headaches, childhood "night terrors" and other health problems.

...Dr. Nina Pierpont of Malone, N.Y., coined the phrase "wind turbine syndrome" for what she says happens to some people living near wind energy farms.

...In contrast to those who consider wind turbines clean, green and an ideal source of renewable energy, Pierpont says living or working too close to them has a downside. Her research says wind turbines should never be built closer than two miles from homes.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Boy and His DAD

The Road, Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel about survivors in a world devastated by an unexplained nuclear disaster, sets the same tone as another of his "glass is half-empty" efforts, No Country For Old Men, except without all the laughs.

The bleak story follows the travels of an unnamed father and son as they constantly scavenge for food and shelter while making their way South to warm climate armed only with a shopping cart and a gun that has two bullets.

This is not a Mad Max adventure that takes a fun, action oriented view of the apocalypse. The minimalistic writing style McCarthy employs (he doesn't use any punctuation such as quotation marks or capital letters) sets the appropriate mood.

Early on, we learn that the father, who appears to have a medical background, realizes that he is suffering from a fatal respiratory ailment (presumably brought on by the harsh environment).

The mother has committed suicide rather than face the gangs of thieves, rapists, and cannibals that now roam about in search of prey. Their prospects grim, the father presses forward only because of his concern for the well-being of his son.

The HBO Western, Deadwood, explored the idea that it's the nature of human societies to engage in a sort of reverse entropy and create a social order where none exist.

The Road paints a different view of mankind.

Like a clock that's been broken into a million pieces, civilization, once destroyed, can never quite be put back together. However, as demonstrated by the father and son, we cling to the remnants of those broken parts in the vain hope that someday the clock may work again.

The Road is powerful stuff. It's gripping and suspenseful one minute, then touching and tender the next.

McCarthy claims to have been inspired by the relationship with his own son. Indeed, the parallel to the dying father and McCarthy, who became a parent rather late in life, seems pretty clear.

A movie version starring Viggo Mortensen as the father and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the son is due out this Fall.

While it's my understanding that they're remaining true to the novel, the fact that Charlize Theron is cast as the mother gives me pause. It's hard to imagine a big name star like her playing a part that only takes up about five pages in the book. So, I'm guessing the role is getting beefed up for the film.

The thought of this sort of tinkering fills me with a bit of angst and dread that I think Cormac McCarthy himself would appreciate. The work of writers like McCarthy and Elmore Leonard can be f'd up pretty easy when other people tweak it.

But, we shall see.
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Fountain of Youth

Hollywood legend Ernest Borgnine divulges his secret to being a robust 91 year old while promoting his new book, "Ernie", on Fox and Friends.

For my money, he's one of the most versatile character actors ever, but doesn't quite understand the concept of "amplified sound."

(listen carefully as he whispers into Steve Doocy's ear)

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Bomber with a Heart

Oh, Ted's such a humanitarian. Of course, if he was really worried about his victims, he could have chosen to NOT blow them up.

From the Associated Press:

Unabomber objects to cabin display at Newseum

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski wrote a letter to a federal appeals court complaining about a museum exhibit of the tiny cabin where he plotted an 18-year bombing spree.

Kaczynski, who is serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole, says the display at the Newseum in Washington runs counter to his victims' wish to limit further publicity about the case.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Super Size Me!

From today's Detroit Free Press:

Many overweight adults are surprisingly healthy

A new study suggests that a surprising number of overweight people — about half — have normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while an equally startling number of trim people suffer from some of the ills associated with obesity.

The first national estimate of its kind bolsters the argument that you can be hefty but still healthy, or at least healthier than has been believed.

The results also show that stereotypes about body size can be misleading, and that even “less voluptuous” people can have risk factors commonly associated with obesity, said study author MaryFran Sowers, a University of Michigan obesity researcher...

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Camp Fire of the Vanities

Since I generally gripe so much about it, I have to congratulate the winners The New Yorker Magazine "Cartoon Caption Contest # 154."

My entry linking the idea of camp fires to corporate board rooms was just "okay."
"What's the status of our chocolate and graham cracker merger"
Of the winners, I thought the first two deserving. The third one, not so much.
  • "The first rule of s'mores club is you do not talk about s'mores club." - very good take on what was probably a common theme of those who submitted entrees.

  • "Next, Jenkins, I expect a ghost story. On my desk at 3 P.M. sharp." - not bad, not bad at all.

  • "I think we got some really good ideas from bring-your-child-to-work day." - just fair.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mad City

It just get's worser and worser for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Now he may be in yet another violation of his bond arrangement by visiting his sister, who's also a witness to his deputy shoving incident (and, as such, on a list of people he CAN'T talk to).

See today's Detroit News article.

Another funny one from Tabloid T-Shirts

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Hiroshima

On the anniversary of his city getting hit by an atom bomb, the mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, has announced a two year study to determine the psychological impact of the experience on those who survivored.

I'll save them all a lot of time and money and say that they could conclude that it's pretty bad.

Of course, they could also investigate the psychological impact of supporting someone like Hideki Tojo, the man who ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I'm just...
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Sometimes a Column Is JUST a Column

I caught Bob Herbert on "Morning Joe" this morning doing a live follow up to his New York Times Op-Ed piece on the John McCain ad that compares Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

Herbert claims it's a racist ad.

He took his claims one step further by alledging that the images of the Victory Column in Berlin and the Washington Monument were phallic symbols deliberately juxtaposed against images of famous Caucasian women to play on the latent (and not so latent) fears of miscegenation held by whites.

BTW, during the interview, Herbert at first identified the Victory Column as the Leaning Tower of Piza until someone corrected him.

While I think the McCain ad presented a valid argument, the use of Spears and Hilton images diminished the substance of the point it was trying to make. However, to call it racist is just ridiculous.

I'm surprised that Herbert didn't make more out of the fact that, at one point, the ad displays the words "Obama: NO OFFSHORE DRILLING" in big letters.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Global Mooing

Jacob Leibenluft (AKA "The Green Lantern"), tries to answer the question: "Which is better for the environment, soy milk or cow's milk" in Slate.

I think he's saying soy milk wins, but it's a lot closer than conventional wisdom and more complicated than farting cows:
... it's not easy to compare the two products: Soy milk may be packaged and marketed as a substitute for dairy, but environmentally speaking, it's a very different product. Start with the basics: The calcium in soy milk has to be artificially added, and you won't get anything remotely looking like milk from soy until you've ground up the beans; removed a fiber the Japanese call okara; and added water, vitamins, minerals, and sugar. Most cow's milk needs to be pasteurized and packaged, of course, but what you buy in the store is much closer to what comes off the farm.

...According to research by Cornell University scientist David Pimentel, it takes about 14 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce one calorie of milk protein on a conventional farm. Organically produced milk might require a little less than 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy, under the most optimistic assumptions, and better farming techniques could cut down greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 25 percent.

By comparison, Pimentel's data suggest that it takes about 0.26 calories of fossil fuel to make a calorie of organic soybeans—which are used by most soy milk manufacturers. Soy protein accounts for about 35 percent of those calories, so let's say you'll need to put 0.75 calories of energy into farming soy to produce a calorie of protein. That makes soy protein approximately 13 times more energy-efficient than even organic dairy protein under a best-case scenario.

...Of course, as we've already discussed, you don't drink raw soy beans. Not only do the other ingredients in soy milk need to be shipped from elsewhere; the process of adding them requires energy and produces a significant amount of waste. As one British government report put it, manufacturing soy milk is closer to making fruit juice than cow's milk. (And as the Lantern has noted before, producing fruit juice takes quite a bit of electricity)

...niche products have their environmental downsides, too. A specialty product like soy milk—despite its growing popularity, its market is about one-twentieth the size of regular milk's—is probably going to have to travel farther to the average consumer simply because fewer people produce it. With more centralized production, that means the soy travels farther to the plant, too. Production probably has a much bigger environmental impact than transportation, but it's worth keeping in mind: Environmentally, it hurts to be in the minority.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

There's An Elephant In My Ojamas

Forget about public opinion polls like Gallop, Barack Obama is beating John McCain in the critical T-Shirt sales factor.


Obama trounces McCain ... in sales of T-shirts, badges, caps

Barack Obama is trouncing John McCain in the race for the White House -- at least in sales of T-shirts, badges, baseball caps and other campaign merchandise.

"Everyone is going for Obama," a sidewalk vendor whose stand was smothered in Obama and McCain T-shirts, along with garb for visitors to Washington, told AFP.

"We sell about 70 percent Obama stuff -- way more than McCain," said the vendor, who asked not to be named.

...Meanwhile, Obama supporters can wear the latest in political fashion chic: pajamas that feature the Obama 'O' logo.

They're called ... Ojamas. There is no McCain equivalent.

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