No Words

Somehow, anything I have to add seems inadequate. Official white house press release here.

Some Award Show Crap

Apparently, my goal of becoming a hostile old curmudgeon completely out of touch with the mainstream of society is proceeding according to plan. Last night was the Oscars, which we figured out at roughly 11 while preparing for sleep. A quick perusal of the winners’ list reveals that I saw exactly one of the movies on the list. I don’t even know what was nominated. So congratulations all you people who I don’t know and probably wouldn’t like if I did! You have participated in one of the grandest sessions of mutual masturbation ever presented on television! Well done you!

I will, however, highlight the awards given out to the people like me. I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the engineers and technicians that make the movie industry, and all the other industries, work. I have no idea what the hell these awards were for, but it sounds like interesting and challenging technical work. So, well done you, but not meant sarcastically this time!


Stupid Is As Sheila Does

At times, I contemplate moving into town and living in a nice location inside the 610 Loop. Then I read stories like this one and recall Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-eranged) would be my congressional representative. I pretty much discard the idea at that point.

Seriously, how can one human being contain so much stupidity? Let’s be friends with the Venezuelans and sell them weapons! We are, after all, talking about a country where the leader says things like:

Let's save the human race, let's finish off the U.S. empire

He doesn’t really mean it, though! He wouldn’t do anything untoward with F-16 parts! That seems like a good idea! Good lord, but the woman is a clown. How she keeps getting elected is beyond me.


Prophecy Fulfilled

So, in the rare but exceedingly gratifying realm of successful prognostication, I give you Cisco v. Apple. I mentioned my completely cynical view of the proceedings here. Today, Gizmodo brings me news of a settlement.

Cisco gets unspecified interoperability with Apple products and both sets of attorneys clam up about any exchange of valuable gum wrappers or other prizes. Apple gets to use the name iPhone, as does Cisco. Everybody comes away happy, although I think Cisco is probably happier than Apple.

My original prediction was Cisco emerges victorious. Given the sticking point of the negotiations was Cisco’s desire for interoperability, I’d say I called that one accurately. Score one for cynicism!

Helluva Town

My sources inform me the New York City Independent Budget Office has released a comparison of tax burdens across the 9 U.S. cities with population in excess of a million. If I had more spare time, I might dig into the report for the one glaring bit of bizarreness in the graph. Apparently, San Antonio has a higher state tax burden than Houston, which in turn has a higher burden than Dallas. Given that all three cities are in the same state, I wonder how that actually happens. It makes me question the validity of their methodology.

Anyhow, hopefully surprising no one, New York City has the highest tax burden. Maybe the t-shirts should read I $ NY?


Not Your Problem

Today, I have a quick note about driving for my fellow citizens. If you live in a major metropolitan area, like Houston, with many, many divided interstates and highways, here’s a handy rule of thumb. Whatever is happening on the other side of the jersey barriers is not your problem unless it comes over the barriers onto your side of the freeway. If that’s the case, you’re pretty much screwed anyway. So relax and enjoy your commute untroubled by the thoughts of what is unfolding on the stretch of concrete opposite yours, mmkay?

More bluntly, quit slowing down whenever something happens on the other side of the freeway, you morons.


Nice Try, Weasels

Originally, I was going to simply point out the turn of events. The story is the way things work in the new modern era: dumbass posts inflammatory things on the web, gets surprised at the depth and breadth of the opposition, crawfishes as hard as he can, finds out he’s screwed anyway. That, in a nutshell, is how things work.

I was highly amused by Tamara bitch-slapping the original dough-boy. The subsequent firestorm was well-deserved, and Tam’s follow-ups were also entertaining to me. At the end of the day, Dough-boy lost some sponsors after an ill-considered rant that offended a significant portion of said sponsors’ customers. Too bad, not particularly sad, not all that sorry. Engage brain before posting to the series of tubes next time, moron boy.

Now I find out some people think we should all play nice.* Let me see if can phrase my sentiments in a positive, diplomatic fashion:

Eat a bowl of dick and shut the fuck up.

Well, that looks like a resounding “no” on positive and diplomatic. Since I’ve blown being nice all to hell, let’s keep going. I see no reason in hell why I should even pretend to give a rat’s ass about hunters, hunting, and any of the bullshit associated with it. Every gun-banning son of a bitch pays lip service to the hunting community. Do you know why? Because hunters are all too willing to throw the rest of us off the sleigh. As long as they only go after assault weapons, or hi-cap magazines, or .50 cals, way too many hunters don’t care because all they care about is deer season and “nobody needs that for huntin’”. Strangely, those of us who have evil, black “terrorist” rifles are bright enough to realize we all hang together or we all hang separately. Hunters like Jim Zumbo? Not so much, apparently. There is an inordinate amount of tax money we all pay through ammunition purchases that goes almost exclusively to fund hunting related activity, even while the number of hunters keeps dropping and 'non-traditional' shooters keep increasing in number. Everybody wants to pay lip service to hunting, but nobody wants to admit it ain’t the game anymore. Frankly, I’m tired of it. I want the hunting community to extract the cranium from the fourth point and realize what the rest of the RKBA people have know for years: people want to ban all of your guns. All of them, regardless of sporting intent or anything else. Maybe once they realize, they’ll quit making stupid statements about what I need to own.

It’s not like I’m going to turn around and start trying to enforce the bizarre logic in the Miller decision and screw hunters in the process. I’m going to keep doing what little I do to ward off any incursions on the 2nd Amendment. I do think I’m gonna have a hard time caring about any problems that befall the hunting community that aren’t 2A related. They can tend to their knitting, and I’ll tend to mine if they just STFU about things they obviously know nothing about, which apparently includes anything remotely related to service weapons.

Michael Bane has more on the issue and is much nicer about it than I’m willing to be today.

*Seriously, Bitter, did you even read Zumbo’s article? "Terrorist weapons"? WTF? Shepard wants to provide cover for Zumbo: “may not have been intended to create good-gun, bad-gun categories”? Did we all read the same article? Shepard’s assertion “this latest schism is already being used as further evidence of the “need” to regulate firearms -all firearms - more stringently”? Hogwash. Hunters calling AR-15s terrorist weapons provides fuel to gun-banning regulators. Go look at the Brady website for proof.


Electrician's Tape

Reading this story, I'm reminded of an old joke about hamsters and tape*. I'll have to score this one as Hedgehog - several (one point per laceration), Asshat - none.

Seriously, having owned a hedgehog, I can't imagine just how desperate you must be to get your genitals anywhere near one. I mean, really, people. They're like little porcupines and despite what anyone may tell you, those spines are sharp. Hedgehogs also have a tendency to be grumpy little creatures, in addition to having sharp teeth. So the theory here is inserting the unit into something covered with spikes that has a bad attitude and bites will cure premature ejaculation? Why not just stick the dick in a jar full of broken glass? Same effect, only the pestering of small mammals gets left out.

Besides, you don't end being known worldwide as Needledick the Hedgehog Fucker that way. You're just that crazy SOB who stuck his business in a jar of broken glass. Of course, I guess he should really be known as Needledick the Hedgehog Molester, since the attempt was unsuccessful.

*Yeah, the link mentions duct tape, but I originally heard the joke as electrician's tape, so that's what I'm going with for the post title.

Thanks For The Honesty

From Victory Caucus comes this charming bit of candor from some deluded collection of lefties:

Chairman Murtha will describe his strategy for not only limiting the deployment of troops to Iraq but undermining other aspects of the president’s foreign and national security policy.

Now, from context it seems clear that it is not Murtha himself who is claiming his strategy is to undermine the President. However, the idea of even advertising the speech in this fashion should be worrisome. Remind me again why I’m supposed to trust liberals and donks about anything of importance? People who think they are so damned smart they are free to undermine the person elected by Americans to set policies are not worthy of being trusted with substantive matters.

On the plus side, at least they’re honest enough to admit they’re scurrilous bastards who can’t be trusted with anything more important than matching socks from the dryer. It makes my choices in upcoming election cycles even easier than usual.


Boat Motor

As a Christmas gift, we got a Breville cordless rechargeable stick blender. I’m not sure why somebody thought we needed one, but we’ve got it. I had contemplated buying a stick blender before, but I was always a little fuzzy on details. Now I’ve got it, and I don’t quite know what to do with it. The person who gave it to me has asked several times if I’ve used it yet. I’m trying to come up with something to do with it so I can answer the question honestly and affirmatively.

Am I wrong in thinking it’s good for sauces, soups, and drinks and not much else? Really, I can’t even see using it for drinks. I have one of the big Kitchen-Aid blenders for those. I guess soups and sauces, and I don’t do many of them on a daily basis. It’s a nice piece of equipment, though. Maybe I’ll figure out what to do with it…


One Down

Well, the presidential candidate field is narrowing as we speak. People are behaving in a manner calculated to appeal to the 5 minute attention span of the American public. Too bad that doesn’t work around here. We have loooong memories and Google comes to our aid about half-remembered tidbits.

Rudy Giuliani has once again demonstrated his lack of understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

"I used gun control as mayor," he said at a news conference Saturday during a swing through California. But "I understand the Second Amendment. I understand the right to bear arms."

He said what he did as mayor would have no effect on hunting.

I like how one can contradict oneself in the same breath and not get called on it. If Rudy understood the 2nd Amendment, he would know it’s not about hunting.

Let’s review Rudy's appeal to the party base, shall we? Religious people won’t vote for him because he’s pro-choice. Social conservatives won’t vote for him because of gay marriage and his stellar personal life. The RKBA crowd won’t touch him because of his previous actions on gun control. All of this would be fine if he were running as a donk, but he’s flying the efenant flag. Who exactly does he expect to vote for him in primaries? The tooth fairy and the Easter bunny? Aren't they donks? He certainly doesn’t expect the kind of party supporters who show up for primaries to vote for him, does he? He can’t be that stupid…

Oh, well. He needs to flame out quickly, anyway, so I can get on with the important business of making sure John McCain (R-etard) gets sent home like the crazy old coot he really is.


Static Thinking

I’ve read, to date, exactly one article by James Howard Kunstler. I have come to the conclusion that he’s a moron.

JKH thinks the oil industry is going to shut down and we’re all gonna die. Well, we’re all going to have to make massive changes in the way society is structured and nobody will have a car and we’ll have to return to cottage industry and Wal-Mart sucks and you kids need to stay off my lawn and turn that music down.

I think I’m making that last one up, although I doubt it given the number of comments about kids and iPods. He makes the same mistake every other one-note doommonger makes. He extrapolates one variable in a linear fashion and builds his model of the end of the world from the change in that one variable. Life simply doesn’t work like that. Other variables are also involved which will cause changes in the scenario. The primary variable neglected in the current model is people’s responses. Mr. Kunstler doesn’t think people are bright enough to adapt to a changing environment. Only he can see the one true path! The idea of technical progress and adaptation to incentives doesn’t seem to occur to him. Of course, the entirety of human history seems to belie his way of thinking, but I guess he’s got an answer for that, too. You’ll pardon me if I don’t think a guy who writes novels and engages in elitist architecture criticism is necessarily my go-to guy for energy analysis and policy.

Just because Mr. Kunstler can’t see a solution to his imagined oil crisis doesn’t mean a solution doesn’t exist. People like him are too technically and economically ignorant to see beyond his single variable model of the future. Even if the peak oil theory is true, which it really isn’t, a plethora of solutions exist and may yet be invented that don’t require the radical reconstruction of society along lines that are more esthetically pleasing to James Kunstler. Really, he’s another one in a long line of elitist asshats who decry the choices made by the hoi-polloi. He’s just found a facially plausible theory to buttress his distaste for everything about mass culture. Unfortunately, some of the commenters at AlterNet take his narcissistic drivel seriously.

Also, just as an FYI, it’s bad form to insult the people you’re exhorting to go do things. It makes them inclined to flip you the finger and find other things to do instead.


More Not News

I want a job at Reuters. Apparently, you can surf the web and collect up shitty comments people write after a story breaks and this is considered news.

Remember, folks, the professional journalists out there are better than amateurs because of layers of editing and fact-checking. After all, you need an editor and fact checker to write a story about how websites got tacky after the death of celebrity. Quality journalism there, folks. Not at all like what people do on blogs for free. The difference is obvious to the informed consumer.

Still, nice work if you can get it. Anybody wants to pay me to summarize web reaction after celebrity deaths, I'm all over it. Send checks, preferably cashiers, to YPS Manor and we'll get right on it.


Not News

I’ll have to file this under “not news, but should be widely reported anyway”. The NYT has an op-ed about how the budget rules the federal government follows are misleading.

I’ll admit I’ve been having a crappy week on top of a crappy year, so I’m a little less than patient with politely phrased euphemisms at the moment. The accounting practices the federal government follows are primarily designed to obscure from the average voter the actual financial condition of the government. In short, they are a lie in their conception and execution. Yet everyone smiles and nods when the numbers are presented instead of throwing the documents back at the official presenting them and asking where, exactly, the crack was purchased. The only reason anyone is bringing this up right now is because if they can discredit the budget numbers, they can make the current administration look bad. Guess what? If it’s been going on for 40 years, the current administration isn’t to blame.

Part of what makes a democracy work is the citizen oversight of government. It can’t possibly work well when everyone involved, including the government, has their own peculiar reason for lying to the citizenry.


Stuporbowl Sunday

I am reliably informed that some event occurred over the weekend that people pay a great deal of money to air commercials during. Seeing as how I don’t much care about advertising or professional football, that was a wash. Instead, I started work on my taxes. You’ve been here before, I assume, so I don’t have to rehash the entire issue. Insert standard tax rant here: taxes are the sux, blah, blah, gummint is de debbil, blah, blah, too much, blah, blah, tea party, blah, blah, blah-de-blah-dee-blah. Got all that? Good. Expect the longer and more detailed version once I actually get done but before I climb a tower and express my displeasure in a slightly more direct fashion.

By spray-painting graffiti up there, of course. What did you think I meant?

Anyhow, I would have important and useful things to say that would so directly influence your thinking that you would live your life differently as a result. That is, I would do that except for the minor detail that I have yet to say anything important and/or useful on this blog. Instead, I present to you some automotive insanity. I wonder whether or not I could fit that engine in my Blazer… probably not without a lot of welding. I need to learn how to weld anyway, so there’s more motivation.


Kyoto Contributes to Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Well, at least according to this article. Kyoto is bound to be a contributor to excess methane production in Canada. There’s just no way around it, in my experience. Kyoto is a resource-consuming, methane-producing boondoggle with no environmental awareness. Kyoto contributes nothing to Canadian society except making some small percentage of liberal flip-tops feel better about a life wasted in politics. If this is the kind of leadership you find from canuck liberals, no wonder they’re not doing well.

Yes, it’s juvenile, but I also think the unintended symbolism is a far cry from what either one of them imagined.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t remind you that Canada is evil and must be destroyed, no matter what they name their dogs up there.


Despicable Piece of Worthless Trash

I hope this guy gets all of the hate mail, and perhaps loses his job. It is a damn good thing we have these military guys and gals out there doing their fine work on behalf of the rest of us so that this moron can exercise his constitutional right to bloviate shittily.

I keep reminding myself that idiots lack the mental capacity to recognize their own idiocy.

Update: Lileks articulates it best for us all.