Monday, August 27, 2007

Balls to Afghanistan

Hey, kids! Like soccer? Come get your free...ah, crap!

God-damned football, 2007 edition Gee, we're really sorry we've managed to offend you again, what with including the flag of Saudi Arabia on a football, a flag that includes a verse from the Koran, complete with the name of Allah!

Maybe we still have some of the ones we gave out last year. They might be...crap!

God-damned football, 2006 edition
Maybe we can put a sticker over the verse on the Saudi flag. Let's see, where is that flag? Oh, yes, it's next to the flags of Denmark and Israel. Crap!

Byeee

Way-more-loyal-to-Bush-than-to-the-Constitution Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (or AGAG) announced his resignation today.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisWait for me, Karl!

As a loyal subject and toady of President Bush, he was aces; otherwise, he was criminally incompetent (or just criminal, incompetent).

I wouldn't be surprised if there was a pardon in his future. Here's the scenario:

In the hours before the inauguration of the next President of the United States in January 2009, Bush pardons everyone who has ever worked for him. Then he resigns. Then Cheney assumes the Presidency. Then Cheney pardons Bush. Game over.

Heavy with seed

NPR reported on Afghanistan's poppy production figures for 2007, and the Bush administration's efforts to eradicate the crop as part of that failed experiment known as the War on Drugs. Part of the strategy involves trying to convince the poor Afghan farmers to plan alternative crops.

Now, I may be wrong, but opium is a necessary component in all sorts of useful medicines. Why don't we just buy out their entire crop and use it to make the needed pharmaceuticals?

I'm not the first to think of the idea...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This is advancement?

According to this CNN article, the Atlanta NAACP president doesn't think Michael Vick should be booted from the NFL. Vick is the Atlanta Falcons quarterback who was involved in an illegal dogfighting ring. He's expected to plead guilty; three of his compatriots have already done so, two of whom have stated that Vick participated in the inhumane killing of dogs that were performing below par.

The ironically named R.L. White went on to say (twice) that Vick was being persecuted for animal cruelty more vigorously than if he had actually murdered someone. White added that he didn't see what the big deal was with dogfighting, since it's legal to hunt game.

White described the public attention to the Vick case using the words "piling on" and "lynching". He hoped that Vick would be rehabilitated and accepted back into the fold without it harming his lucrative career. After all, White said, Vick was responsible for bringing "hours of enjoyment to fans all over this country."


Vick being black had nothing to do with the NAACP's support, since they're all about social justice. White said this while seated in front of a placard that read, "Who is your leader, God or Satan?", which was attributed to that fair-minded paragon of social justice, Louis Farrakhan. I have a pretty good idea of how the FOI bois should answer that...

"Let's maintain our humanness when we are trying to remedy the whole situation."

By all means, let's be humane about this, Mr. White.

So, thank you Atlanta NAACP for choosing this particular Colored Person to Advance.

(
Wait, is this the R.L. White--the Reverend R.L. White--who recorded gospel music a decade ago? The Reverend R.L. White who recorded an album called "Robots Are Coming"?? *snicker*)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I beg the question

I hear far too often the phrase, "...that begs the question..."

Begging the question is a logical fallacy wherein one assumes one's conclusion, as in this example: "If these people are guilty and have shown no remorse for their crime, this can only mean that they are bad people, and this strengthens our conviction that they are guilty."

But saying something like, "What America needs is universal health coverage, but that begs the question, 'How will we pay for it?'"

It doesn't beg the question; it raises it.

Being diacritical

The diaeresis is a diacritical mark used to indicate that the second vowel in a pair should be pronounced as a separate syllable.

Words like naïve and
coöperate, and names like Chloë and Zoë are examples.

So why is No
ël Coward's name spelled Noël, when it's pronounced "Nole"?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bounty

Steven Levitt blogs about the recent doubling of the bounty on the head of Osama bin Laden from $25 million to $50 million. He wonders about the credibility of the offer, or whether the amounts would mean anything to the expected snitches.

Here's my solution:

Offer $100 (that's one hundred dollars) to each person who is instrumental in the capture or killing of Osama Bin Laden.

$100 is a much more comprehensible and credible number, and the tipster could be assured of getting paid, even for only tangentially relevant testimony.

Or offer an entire village a new school, hospital, water treatment plant, etc.

Or, in the spirit of "Ransom!", offer $50 million today, $49 million tomorrow, and so on until the reward goes to zero.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Another Republican outing

The BBC are reporting on how Donald Rumsfeld blew the cover of the soldier who revealed the infamous photos of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

Bob Novak wasn't involved this time.

Dateline NBC: To Catch a...Catcher

It's gotta be embarrassing when an undercover reporter's cover is blown, especially when said reporter was hacked by the hackers she was trying to hack.

But that's what happened to Michelle Madigan when she tried to dig up some dirt on the attendees of DEFCON 2007, a conference devoted to the more "underground" elements of geekiness.

The DEFCON folks were tipped off by their own mole in the Dateline NBC camp. Madigan was reportedly under surveillance by the group from the time she left to attend the conference.

Unfortunately, her ejection from the event reduced the headcount of attractive women by 100%.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007