Sunday, December 31

Why 3K?

Well, we've finally reached 3,000 dead US soldiers in Iraq. And the right-wing pundits will be stressing all this week that 3,000 is "just a number" like they did when the toll hit 2,000. But it's not a number, it's 3,000 young lives that could have been spent a hell of a lot more productively, not to mention the 20,000+ disabled US soldiers and at least 6-figures of Iraqi dead. And great, they hanged a thoroughly despicable dictator -- but do you feel any safer than you did on September 12, 2001?

Troops home now.

Here's to a better 2007.

Friday, December 29

Saddam Hussein is no longer with us

They don't waste time in Iraq: Saddam Hussein is apparently dead in a quickie hanging. Over at Fox, BillO says: "We all should sleep well tonight knowing Saddam got what he deserved."

Well, sure. I actually slept fine throughout the 1990s when the no-fly zones were in place and the U.N. inspectors were keeping the pressure on. Saddam was cornered and canned.

Now he's a dead man. I am not sure what this execution actually achieves, and it has the unpleasant side effect of putting "Renegade" by Styx into my head. Here are the lyrics in case you have forgotten them.

Thursday, December 28

Behind the Fark

The Washington Post offers this profile of the snarky news site.

Wednesday, December 27

Hating on Saddam and Nixon

The letter issued today by Saddam Hussein is oddly similar to Richard Nixon's farewell speech. Here are the key passages from the doomed men:

Nixon, 1974: "Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

Saddam, 2006: "I call on you not to hate because hate does not leave space for a person to be fair, and it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking."

Monday, December 25

Sunday, December 24

Happy Xmas, Dullards!

War is over (if you want it).

Friday, December 22

Now there's a shocker.

The Sam Kinnison movie about the girl who felates her dog made John Waters' top 10 list of 2006 movies.

A big giant puddle of cute

TV Guide interviews Tina Fey and Jenna Fischer.

This kraken loves calamari

Japanese researchers film a giant squid at the surface, using squid as bait. Yum!

Thursday, December 21

Whatever happened to Joe Bob Briggs?

Some clues here. Or go straight to the source.

LISTS: Worst album covers of 2006

According to Pitchfork, which has this and other year-end lists for your perusal.

Wednesday, December 20

Let me see your ID

A friend of ours has been in Iraq for much of the year, working in public health. After a recent two-week visit Stateside, he was well on his way to Baghdad when he realized that he had left his Department of Defense identification badge at home. Here's what his wife says happened next, in an e-mail with an expletive deleted and a name changed to protect the forgetful:
jimmy ran into a lot of trouble over the badge thing. they were going to deport him, then adf bribed someone with $600 and he was taken off the plane to leave the country at the very last minute. he was not allowed into the green zone, however, and was forced to take a heavy traffic route to his compound. the convoy was shot at but not hit by any bullets. the only thing i can say is to quote jimmy — "i really f---d up this time."

Bush supports our troops

Matter of fact, he wants to employ 30,000 - 40,000 more of them.

Tuesday, December 19

Why do our troops...

...hate our troops? If you criticize the war, you are only emboldening our enemies, and harming our soldiers.

Monday, December 18

Cruise casting Posh Spice in "The Thetan"

Forget the Tom Cruise boycott. There's no way I'm not gonna see this train wreck.

But then, I'm also looking forward to Rocky Balboa.

Roads to nowhere

The world's most dangerous roads are listed here. Many of them are likely to be termed "so wrong" by Franko.

Friday, December 15

Apple fights war on Christmas!

Look at the "Gift Exchange" ad on the Apple site, and you will see that the Mac guy greets the Windows guy with "Happy Holidays." Why is Steve Jobs trying to destroy Christmas?

LISTS: Ranking the amendments

On the occasion of Bill of Rights Day, here are the Top 5 constitutional amendments:

1. The 1st. This one benefits from being jam-packed with freedoms: Speech, press, religion, assembly, etc. Without it, you wouldn't be reading this.

2. The 14th. The importance of equal protection under the law cannot be understated. This one finished off slavery and became the foundation for other rights, including the right to choose.

3. The 4th through 8th: This could have been grouped into one mega-amendment like the 1st. Taken together, they are essential checks against government power.

4. The 19th. Women need to vote as they generally have more sense than men, and this made it happen. Too bad the follow-up Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified.

5. The 21st. Let's make a toast to the demise of Prohibition.

Now, the three worst:

3. The 3rd. Sure, forcing people to provide housing for soldiers (especially in peacetime) isn't good, but this amendment is not really relevant in the modern world.

2. The 10th. "States' rights" has become a right-wing code, most notably in the 1996 campaign, when Bob Dole rambled about the need to recognize this amendment. He lost.

1. The 2nd. This one needed another round of editing before being approved: "Well-regulated militia" and "not be infringed" seem contradictory. This amendment is also an example of unintended consequences, as Columbine and other bloody incidents show time and again.

Read about all the amendments here.

Wednesday, December 13

Tuesday, December 12

Who doesn't love turtles?

My darling wife is fairly horrified that the two stuffed animals I had as a child were a cotton Frankenstein doll (purchased for me, if I recall correctly, after my nefarious older brother plowed into me on the bumper cars at Six Flags Over Georgia, knocking out a tooth); and a denim-shelled fuzzy lime-colored Tommy the Turtle. Not the two cuddliest toys for a 5-year old, I suppose, but it could have been worse; I'm pretty sure I remember Roy lugging around and sleeping with his shirtless Stretch Armstrong well into his teenage years. And I don't even want to know what went on with that afroed and bespectacled Lester ventriliquist's dummy.

Anyhoo, turtles are cool.

Soy is for girly-men!

This article on the scourge of soy almost reads like something out of The Onion, but it's apparently sincere.

Short version: Soy milk will make your kid gay. It will make you fat and infertile. Soy sauce is still OK, though. Whew!

Mallard Drunkmore

Edward Bruce Tinsley, the guy who created the unfunny "Mallard Fillmore" comic strip, has been arrested on charges of drunken driving. This is Tinsley's second alcohol-related brush with the law this year.

Pauly Shore gets punched out

Don't mess with Odessa, Texas, like Pauly did. (Quicktime, NSFW)

Monday, December 11

The launch of Tom DeLay's blog didn't go too well, as it was almost immediately flooded with anti-DeLay comments. Those have been wiped clean from the DeLay blog, but they live on in a "companion" site, complete with the original comments, many of which are hilariously NSFW.

Cleveland surfs!

The NYT reports on the surf scene along Lake Erie, which crests this time of year.

Saturday, December 9

Merry Xmas

From the cast of Scrubs (NSFW-ish):

Vote early and often...

... in the Weblog Awards. No, we did not get nominated.

Friday, December 8

Truthiness named Word of the Year

That feels about right to me.

Dullard Study Group releases report

The long-awaited findings of the Dullard Study Group (a blue-ribbon panel made up of Ange and Franko) are being officially released. Here's the Dullard take on what to do in Iraq:

INTRODUCTION: We're in a real jam here. What else do you need to know?

RECOMMENDATIONS: We don't have a lot of options, but go like this:

1. Tell the Iraqi government that our military and our money — indeed, our patience as well as the lives of our troops — are exhausted. The Maliki government has a limited amount of time (say a year) to get its act together. That means no more bickering and no more corruption. We need to make it clear that the U.S. will no longer "babysit" (and therefore enable) a civil war. Otherwise, we are out of there. This is not cutting and running; it is requiring accountability from what has become a welfare state. Deadlines will motivate that government to act to end the deadly blood feuds and death squads.

2. Convene an international conference to consider the partition of Iraq into Kurd, Shiite and Sunni semi-autonomous states, similar in shape and size to the "no fly" zones of the 1990s. (This will require assurances to Turkey that a Kurdish state will not be carved into Turkish territory.) Perhaps the U.N. is willing to help implement this if a salesman such as Bill Clinton succeeds outgoing ambassador John Bolton.

3. When that is done and all U.S. troops are home, create a Truth and Reconcilation Commission in Washington (similar to the 9/11 panel, but with prosecutorial powers) to look at the war's planning, execution and aftermath. Possible outcomes include corruption charges and rebates to U.S. taxpayers to make up for fraud and waste.

CONCLUSION: So who is with us?

Thursday, December 7

From the "What could possibly go wrong?" files

Erik Estrada, Jack Osbourne, and LaToya Jackson to be given guns and go on beat with Muncie police for "reality" show.

World's. Worst. Fisherman.

These clips will give you a taste for what my disastrous family vacations were like as a child.

Tuesday, December 5

Ed Asner is ... "Lou Grant!"

Here is the opening to "Lou Grant," from the era of when TV shows had opening titles with music heavy on horn sections — and when journalists were the good guys and people got their news on paper. Those were some crazy times!

Monday, December 4

I like Chinese

Remember that time on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" when Cousin Andy tells Larry that there's no good Chinese food in L.A.? The NYT says Andy was wrong. Here's the list of the best Chinese restaurants in SoCal.

Can you hear me now?

The government can use your cell phone mic to spy on you.

Just so's ya know.

Saturday, December 2

Rush Limbaugh gets catty

Pill-popping motormouth Rush Limbaugh sure knows how to woo the ladies. He has, after all, been married and divorced three times.

Apparently, nowadays he finds companionship with his pet cat — that is, when he's not off to the Dominican Republic with a supply of Viagra. Here's what Rush has to say about women and cats, as noted at Media Matters:
She's smart enough to know she can't feed herself. She's actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn't have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat's taught me more about women than anything my whole life.
Again, we ask: What woman would have sex with Rush Limbaugh?