Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Pox on Both Your Houses

This Cracked piece by David Wong, "10 Things Christians and Atheists Can (And Must) Agree On", is a couple years old but still a worthwhile read.

1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either One

We're putting aside the question of which belief system has killed more people by percentage of population, or whether a hypothetical world without religion would have seen fewer or more genocides than ours. We're not going to open a spreadsheet and try to count which belief system manufactures more murderous sociopaths per capita.

All I need from you is agreement that it's entirely possible for either an atheist or theist world to devolve into a screaming murder festival. The religious leader sends his people into battle because he thinks God commanded it, the Stalins and Maos of the world do the same because they see their people as nothing more than meaty fuel to be ground up to feed the machinery of The State. In both cases, the people are equally dead.

Read more!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

From the "Who Cares?" Department

I don't really have a dog in this race. But, Betty is too high maintenance.


Poor Betty! Archie will propose to Veronica

After 68 years, comics teen makes his choice — but many think it’s wrong

After 68 years of waffling, Archie Andrews has made his choice. It’s the raven-haired heiress over the girl next door, Veronica Lodge over Betty Cooper.

Just eight days after Archie Comics announced that Archie would finally choose between his two high-school hotties, the word is out: Archie gets down on bended knee to present Veronica with his proposal and a ring while poor Betty looks on and wipes away a tear. Veronica replies to the proposal with a resounding “Yes!”

The red-haired all-American boy’s choice is likely to upset many Archie fans. Ever since news that Archie would get married broke, they have been filling the message boards at with their opinions on which girl should get the ring.

Read more!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taking a Bite Out of Crime

It's almost like Major Colvin's arrest-free zone initiative from Season 3 of The Wire -- except for the part where it actually works.

(with apologies to Pete Seeger)
Where have all the inmates gone?

Long time passing

Where have all the inmates gone?

Long time ago

Where have all the inmates gone?

Detroit has freed them every one

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

From The Detroit Free Press:
Why are the jail cells empty?

Empty jail cells are normally something to celebrate, but Wayne County's top law enforcement officials say the hundreds of vacant jail beds are not because of a drop in crime or more reasonable sentencing. Floors of the downtown Detroit jail are empty because police are arresting fewer people accused of those crimes.

Altogether, three county jails that held about 2,500 prisoners a year ago now house 400 fewer inmates.

Sheriff Warren Evans said police are so slow to respond to some calls that the crimes never get reported. Prosecutor Kym Worthy was more blunt:

"We don't tell the truth about crime," she said.

Detroit has lost hundreds of sworn officers in recent years. The Police Department didn't respond to repeated requests for interviews with its top leaders, but it released preliminary statistics showing an overall decline in criminal activity this year, despite a 24% increase in homicides.

Read more!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bitter Little Pill

It could be called "Alanis Morissette Syndrome" (AMS).

From The Los Angeles Times:

Bitterness as mental illness?

Bitter behavior is so common and deeply destructive that some psychiatrists are urging it be identified as a mental illness under the name post-traumatic embitterment disorder.

You know them. I know them. And, increasingly, psychiatrists know them. People who feel they have been wronged by someone and are so bitter they can barely function other than to ruminate about their circumstances.

This behavior is so common -- and so deeply destructive -- that some psychiatrists are urging it be identified as a mental illness under the name post-traumatic embitterment disorder. The behavior was discussed before an enthusiastic audience last week at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Assn. in San Francisco.

The disorder is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. People with PTSD are left fearful and anxious. Embittered people are left seething for revenge.

Read more!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Orange Juice: It's not just for acoustical instruments anymore.

do bem™ - Suco de Laranja 100% fruta (MPC de torradas) from do bem on Vimeo.

Read more!

Urban Renewal

In her defense, even $68 sounds a bit high for property taxes on a vacant lot in Detroit.

From The Detroit Free Press:

Councilwoman Watson defends low tax payments

City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson defended her low property taxes in recent years, repeating in a Sunday news conference that she paid everything the city told her she owed.

The Free Press reported Sunday that Watson paid only $68 in property taxes on her home this year because city records indicate the property is a vacant lot. Owners of comparable nearby homes paid $2,000 to $6,500 in property taxes.

Watson told the Free Press she thought damage from a tornado caused her property value to drop several years ago and said she had nothing to do with the reduced taxes. She also said she never questioned the change in assessment, nor did she wonder why it did not increase after she repaired the home.

Read more!

Monday, May 25, 2009

We Interrupt This Tea Party...

A Memorial Day cartoon by Yogi Love out on The American Spectator. BOTH Rush Limbaugh AND Janeane Garofalo should take a deep breath and check it out.

Read more!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lest We Forget

“It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” - Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf
Read more!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The 10 Percent Solution

I thought that tank felt lighter! Now this poor lady is the face of America's gas scandal.

From Yahoo News:
Propane suppliers quietly reduce size of refills

Backyard grillers may get a little steamed this holiday weekend when buying refilled propane tanks: They will be getting less fuel for their money than last Memorial Day.

When oil prices soared in 2008, propane suppliers quietly reduced by two pounds the amount of gas pumped into each 20-pound tank, saying they wanted to avoid raising prices. Since then, propane prices have been cut in half as the price of oil has dropped. But smaller refills are still being sold nationwide by many dealers, and most buyers are unaware because the tank is the same size.

"It's a price increase," retired lawyer Stuart Barr said Friday as he swapped a tank at a Home Depot store in Denver. "I'm a great believer in full disclosure. Give me the information." The problem, consumers say, is that no one tells them they're getting less propane. Companies have adopted similar practices in the packaging of coffee, sugar and laundry detergent.

Read more!

Friday, May 22, 2009

U.S. T-Bills: The New Junk Bonds

To borrow the Presidents Swine Flu analogy, this sounds a little like closing the barn door after the horse have already left.


Geithner Vows to Cut U.S. Deficit on Rating Concern

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner committed to cutting the budget deficit as concern about deteriorating U.S. creditworthiness deepened, and ascribed a sell-off in Treasuries to prospects for an economic recovery.

“It’s very important that this Congress and this president put in place policies that will bring those deficits down to a sustainable level over the medium term,” Geithner
said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday.

Read more!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Plant a Tree?

I guess we don't want to screw up the Chinese economy too. Who else is going to buy our T-Bills?

From Nolan Finley at The Detroit News:
China benefits from Obama's fuel mandate

The Chinese must think we're chumps.

On the same day President Barack Obama marched the Big Three auto executives smiling to the guillotine, China announced it will not set mandatory emissions standards and instead will attack greenhouse gases with a strategy that doesn't threaten its ferocious economic growth.

America has chosen a sharply different tack, as was apparent this week at the White House, where Obama announced he would make the harsh California emissions mandates the national standard.

The automakers, now wards of the federal government, had no choice but to cheer the mandates, even though a senior Ford executive told the L.A. Times the mandates would likely put the automaker out of business.

China isn't so willing to throttle its growth for the good of Mother Earth.

China says it will combat global warming by planting carbon-absorbing forests and developing clean coal technology, but not with anything resembling Obama's mileage mandates or the carbon cap-and-trade plan moving through Congress.

Read more!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Couch Trip

As usual, the winners of the 192nd New Yorker "Cartoon Contest" did nothing for me.

My entry was sad and pathetic:
When my agent told me that I was booked on a "local talkshow," I didn't know he meant in Detroit.
Sigh (so sad).

BUT, the finalists weren't that great either:
  • Both the movie and I will be released this summer. - in the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

  • This is fancy role-playing for a conjugal visit. - sucks!

  • It's my first time on 'Celebrity Parole Hearing.' - you've got to be kidding
And to be fair, I have to apologize for my reaction to the last cartoon contest. In that case, I was the one who clearly missed the point of the drawing (it's supposed to be Wall Street!).

Read more!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dowd, Master of Cut and Paste

Politics aside, I've always thought that Maureen Dowd is overrated. I don't find her writing (or televison appearences) the least bit insightful, humorous or interesting.

So, I'm chuckling over the piece on the slightly more than teapot worthy tempest over what Dowd categorizes as "inadvertently" borrowing a paragraph from Josh Marshall's blog in her New York Times column "Cheney, Master of Pain"  

Logan posted this in on
More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.
A paragraph in Dowd's column was virtually identical:
More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq. 
After being confronted on it, Dowd issued this unconvincing reply:
josh is right. I didn't read his blog last week, and didn't have any idea he had made that point until you informed me just now. 

i was talking to a friend of mine Friday about what I was writing who suggested I make this point, expressing it in a cogent -- and I assumed spontaneous -- way and I wanted to weave the idea into my column.

but, clearly, my friend must have read josh marshall without mentioning that to me. we're fixing it on the web, to give josh credit, and will include a note, as well as a formal correction tomorrow.
Today, The New York Times revised the offending paragraph in her column and added a "Correction" notice at the bottom:
Josh Marshall said in his blog: “More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq.”
...Correction: May 18, 2009
Maureen Dowd’s column on Sunday, about torture, failed to attribute a paragraph about the timeline for prisoner abuse to Josh Marshall’s blog at Talking Points Memo. 
In the long run, I'd guess that publicity over the flap will help more than hurt Marshall.  So, I hope Dowd plagiarizes, er, I mean spontaneously expresses any of my cogent points (yes, there are some!). 
Read more!

When Nerds Attack

While surfing around YouTube, I came across this great clip of the final lightsabre battle fight in Star Wars 1 between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul (great name, BTW).

Almost as entertaining as the clip itself where the comments:

...Nobody is stronger than Darth Vader.

...Vader was NOT the most powerful force user.

There is at least 10 others more powerful than he was. C'Baoth moved a fucking planet with the force for fucks sake.

Nihilus destroyed planets by draining every person on the planet of their life force to feed his "hunger" he killed over 100 planets. The only reason he was defeated was because his force bond partner was struck so he was wounded and distracted.

...aside from portman, in skimpy tight costumes, this is the only scene to come out of the "trilogy", that was'nt cunty

...You are a fucking retard. Please go die in a fire.

...Please remember to remove your sandy tampon out of your vagina before getting all butthurt on internet, faggot.

...Before making yourself look like a fucking idiot. Please go look at the canon fucknut.

Any my personal favorite:

...Why do you guys keep talking about Vader and everyone else besides the people in this snipit. This isn't a discussion board, comment on the clip.

Read more!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Livin' La Vita Loca

I found this in the police blotter of a community paper. The bike was unavailable for comment.

Man denies dancing

Officers responded to a report of a man dancing in the rain in the area of Lake Shore and Fontana at 3:32 a.m. April 28.

The man, a 31-year-old Harper Woods resident, denied that he was dancing. He told police he had just been riding his bike. Officers sent the man on his way.

Read more!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Star Trek Wars

Even though Spock "Prime" is a better analog for Obi Wan Kenobi, this CollegeHumor video comparing the plots from Star Wars to the new Star Trek is pretty funny:

Read more!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Smile for the Taser

When they outlaw disposable stun-gun cameras, only tourists will have them.

From (Detroit):
Shocking! Students Use Homemade Stun-Gun

A homemade stun-gun could land two Macomb County teens in big trouble.

Investigators say a 13-year-old 7th grader made the device using a disposable camera. When it comes in contact with metal it delivers quite a jolt.

The device ended up in the hands of an 18-year-old student at Dakota High School in Macomb Township. Investigators say the student zapped some of his friends, but none of the kids were hurt.

Read more!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dollars and Sense

YouTuber "10000Pennies" has a messy room, BUT posted a couple of neat demonstrations on the federal budget.

Read more!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Republican or Dead

Here's a fun list of "card carrying" Conservatives. As expected, there's lots of country music and NASCAR stars. It needs some updating as a few in the roster have since died.


Celebs Who Lean To The Right
Hollywood stars and celebrities are generally considered to be a liberal and Democratic-leaning community, but these celebrities are all declared Republicans according to the FEC, or known conservatives.
For the record, I'm still alive. Sign me up for ANY any list that Angie Harmon is on!

Read more!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Al Jaffee Is STILL Overrated!

Basically, this study concluded that satire is lost on closed-minded idiots. At first I thought it was one of those Onion thingees.

In a study of satire as persuasion, two experiments were conducted--one to determine whether dogmatism affected the understanding and appreciation of editorial satire, the second to determine the same about intelligence as measured by the Scholastic Aptitude Test. In the first experiment, 116 college students read three satirical editorials. After reading each satire, each subject checked one statement from a list of five that he or she thought was the author's thesis. Each also rated the satire on a seven-step semantic-differential scale ranging from "extremely funny" to "extremely unfunny." Finally, each subject responded to a ten-item dogmatism scale. The same procedures were used in the second experiment, which involved 59 students. In this experiment, the subjects also read three editorial satires. Their verbal and quantitative scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test obtained from school records. Data from the two experiments suggest that both dogmatism and intelligence affect understanding and appreciation of satire, but in ways more complicated than are currently known.

Read more!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One Beep for Yes: Star Trek

I’ll cut to the chase and say that as a fan of Star Trek for thirty-five years, I enjoyed the new J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Sure, my first edition Star Fleet Technical Manual is now useless. But, if you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.

...for the full review, go to The House Next Door.

Read more!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

She's All Wet

Unfortunately for her, the part of their charter that the CIA actually does well is writing things down.

From the Washington Post:

CIA Says Pelosi Was Briefed on Use of 'Enhanced Interrogations'

Intelligence officials released documents this evening saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda prisoners, seemingly contradicting her repeated statements over the past 18 months that she was never told that these techniques were actually being used.

Read more!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mr. Potato Head's Birthday

Don Rickles is 83 today. You go Don!

Read more!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign

It could be worse. At least the billboard didn't have the words "Mission Accomplished" sprawled across it.

From the

Gordon Brown's YouTube fightback (shame about that swastika though)

Gordon Brown was ready once more to try to focus his Government and the country on key issues such as the economy and swine flu rather than his party’s internal problems. Gordon Brown was ready once more to try to focus his Government and the country on key issues such as the economy and swine flu rather than his party’s internal problems.

...Mr Brown somehow was allowed to be photographed in front of a wall with children’s images of the Second World War, including several swastikas, at Prendergast-Hilly Fields College in Lewisham, southeast London. The images were part of a school project entitled Life in Nazi Germany and there were other displays in the room, such as Life in Rome, but Downing Street defended its handling of the visit, arguing that it would have been a bigger story if it had asked the pupils to take their work down.

Read more!


If they outlaw dams, only beavers will have them.


A BOY of six has been ordered by a council to stop building pebble dams in a stream – in case they trigger a flash flood.

It has warned ­Daniel Johnson’s ­father Rob that the little piles of pebbles could block the brook and cause a “major ­disaster”.

Read more!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Speed Reading

According to LiquidGeneration:
"I bet you didn't think it was possible to fit the 100 greatest movie lines into 200 hundred seconds. We've got the video to prove you wrong."
A decent effort. But, right off the bat I would have dropped "May the Schwartz be with you" from Space Balls and the Weird Science quote (which I could hardly hear) and replaced them with "It's the Chicago way" from The Untouchables and "Prove it" from Shane.

Read more!


Why do you think they call it dope? (BTW, I'm ridiculing the drug dealers not the Prez).


Drug Dealers Mocking President Obama

A police chase in Peñitas ends in a load of drugs, but what police say they've never seen is what the smugglers wrote on the bundles of marijuana.

Peñitas Police Chief Oscar Ontiveros says written on top of some of the packages were the words "Obama-USA" and "Obama-USA, Calderon-Mexico."

Investigators say the message may have something to do with President Obama's recent trip to Mexico.

Read more!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Don't Taz Me Blue

From's "Hot Mustard" section:
"the full version of the courtroom video in which the guy in the wheelchair freaks out. It's notable for two things. One, one of the cops uses a Taser on another cop by accident. Two, the way the guy in the wheelchair was muzzled after his outburst."

Read more!


Yet again the New Yorker "Cartoon Caption" contest #190 was an edifice of futility.

I'll grant that my entry was just okay:
So that's what "overseas contingency operation" means.
But, I don't think that ANY of the "winners" really address what's shown in the cartoon. That being a osterich with it's head in the sand REPLACING a charging bull.

  • "If we just ignore it, maybe it'll go away." - too obvious

  • "The statue of the lemmings was just too depressing." - ZZZZZ

  • "I think the head's in the wrong place." -  to be fair, I got got a chuckle out of that one

Read more!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Pike's Peak

Timed for Friday's release of the new Star Trek movie/reboot, CBS has released the remastered version of the original Trek television pilot "The Cage" which starred Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike. I've often wondered how a Pike helmed Star Trek would have played out.


Star Trek wouldn’t exist without “The Cage.” In fact, that applies right down to JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek, which takes one of its key characters not from the familiar Enterprise crew headed by Kirk and Spock, but by their predecessor, Captain Christopher Pike.

Pike was the captain of the Enterprise in the original Star Trek pilot—in effect, he was the lead character in a show that did not sell to the network and never got made. It was Gene Roddenberry’s second attempt at a Trek pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” written by Samuel Peeples, that sold the series.

FX Reel:

Read more!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Smoking Pig

I think "The Smoking Pig" would be a great name for a blog, bar or rock band.

Swine Flu Ancestor Born on U.S. Factory Farms

Scientists have traced the genetic lineage of the new H1N1 swine flu to a strain that emerged in 1998 in U.S. factory farms, where it spread and mutated at an alarming rate. Experts warned then that a pocket of the virus would someday evolve to infect humans, perhaps setting off a global pandemic.

...We haven’t found evidence of infected pigs,” said Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiologist and member of the World Health Organization’s surveillance network. “But even if we never find that smoking pig, we can surmise that this is probably where it came from.”

Read more!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Take My Governor, Please!

Sure, Comerica, Pfizer, Brunswick, Manufacturer's National Bank, National Bank of Detroit, Upjohn, Gerber, Kmart have all left.  But dammit, she's staying.  Well, why quit when you're behind?

Granholm responds to Supreme Court speculation

Jennifer Granholm says she plans to finish her term as Michigan’s governor, brushing aside speculation that she could be a potential nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more!