Sure, three-and-a-half million dollars in venture capital will get you an event at the National Press Club... but a mere $200 will get you a Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash, complete with free beer courtesy of Oskar Blues, at the Denver Press Club (which happens to be the longest continuously operating press club in the United States - it also happens to be next door to a "gentlemen's club").
Do you realize that if Pajamas Media, rather than spending that money on creating a news aggregator, the whole of which is less than the sum of its parts, had given the money to me and David, we could have had 17,500 Rocky Mountain Blogger Bashes?
That is enough RMBBs to last for nigh on 700 generations. Just think of it - millennia hence - one of my descendants could be blogging about their latest podchild, the wee F10x9981, and how later they were going to be gettin' all kinds of intoxicated...on the moon!
You know, living here in the 21st century, we miss out on all the cool stuff - interplanetary space travel, teleportation, scurvy...
What still, I am convinced, could have been a daring, dark show examining the human condition has become even more entrenched in the land of maudlin excess, limp tension, and special effects circa the mid-1980s.
To wit, the mayor's office appears empty. "Aha, " think I, "she's going to see a hand sticking out from behind the desk." Dum dum dum dum dum - she does! The mayor is in trouble!
To wit, high school reject shows sincere interest in the welfare of snotty, pretty girl. "Aha," think I, "she'll see the error of her ways and immediately defy every hormonal and societal combination of influences in her pubescent body!" Dum dum dum dum dum - she does! Could this be love?
To wit, pretty woman has gun trained on bad guy holding friend hostage. "Aha," think I, "where is the second bad guy? Why, I bet he's going to sneak up and try to shoot her but then Skeet Ulrich will arrive just in time and shoot him right as he pulls the trigger and everyone will be about to wet themselves until they breathe a big sigh of relief amen and hallelujah!" Indeed, he did and Skeet did and some older couples whose brains are a little slower these days breathed a sigh of relief (although the one dude in Depends wet himself, just a piddle).
The only slightly touching part of the entire show was the red pushpins in the map at the end - and even that wasn't unexpected. The good stickpeople of Jericho may not yet be on life support, but don't be surprised if this series soon is.
Well, while NBC's "Heroes" wasn't as unexpectedly bad as CBS' "Jericho," it wasn't all that great either. Powers we've seen before, tied to characters that snap right into stereotyped molds (the black sheep of the family... the nerdy Asian...), do not for interesting television necessarily make.
And the big drama, so we're told? A nuke in New York City.
Here's my idea: Asian dude teleports to the bomb, looks out a window, teleports back, tells fearless Cheerleader where it is, she goes in and then the Flying Politician carries her way up into the sky where she can let it go boom with nary a scratch and then she falls back to Earth, puts her arms back in their sockets, and everyone goes out for beer (or saki). Of course, this was all foretold by Future-Sight Painter in his masterwork "Nuclear Hangover." The end.
I'll stick around for a second episode, if only for Ali Larter and Hayden Panettiere (yes, I know, she's only 17, which is why I simply think about yon yesteryears when I attended high school football games and, oh, the cheerleaders, oh the cheerleaders... well, they looked nothing like her). Because, I'm deep like that.
A few months ago, I linked to a couple of videos of a UK television special done by Richard Dawkins, called "The Root of All Evil." Contrary to what one might think, it had nothing to do with Alabama player Leigh Tiffin's kicking ability, but had much to do with religion and religious belief. Sadly, Google has since pulled the videos, but that's why the good Lord made YouTube.
So, here's Part 1 of the first episode (which has been split into 3 pieces, the other two of which can be found in the "Related" videos section at YouTube).
Jesus, can someone give Van Tiffin a paternity test?
Unbelievable Alabama loss to Arkansas. Unbelievable and inexcusable.
Note: The day is not a complete loss, for two reasons: I made a mean batch of beer cheese soup for the game, and Fiona is still going around the house saying "Roll Tide, Dada." Ah, children ever the optimists...
Tonight's menu was Boudin Blanc with Leeks and Mustard Sauce. Man, that was good.
Long story: substituting for French boudin blanc was bockwurst sausage (veal and pork, with spices, an odd shade of white, pale enough to make Mrs. WWR state that they looked like...err... male... parts, minus certain essentials) served with leeks and mashed potatoes with a creamy, grainy mustard sauce.
Short story: mmmm, tasty tasty.
Served with a K-J Chardonnay that could have used a little more buttery, oaky creaminess to properly complement the sauce, but close enough for our layman needs (or hell, a mile off, and who really cares).
I should probably start taking photos again, huh? With smell-and-taste-o-vision. You could lick your screen.
Not that some of you don't already, on other sites, but still...
They say the camera adds 10 pounds. Apparently, it also subtracts about 150 miles.
What else could explain how the residents of fictional town Jericho, Kansas can see the Rocky Mountains as if they lived in Denver?
Seriously, Kansas is the only state empty enough to actually have a mileage sign in the middle of nowhere that says something like "Denver 500 miles." You're not going to see anything but flatland from the great, boring state of Kansas.
Update: What could have been, and should have been, a dramatic study in how people react to a disaster is reduced to a cheesy, here-come-the-mayor feel good speech that pacifies an otherwise unruly town of individuals acting in their self-interest.
Final result: Premise gets an "8" but execution gets a "3."
Out of something.
On questions of national security, I am now as wary of my fellow liberals as I am of the religious demagogues on the Christian right.Read the whole thing.
This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are.
A cult of death is forming in the Muslim world — for reasons that are perfectly explicable in terms of the Islamic doctrines of martyrdom and jihad. The truth is that we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise.
This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims. But we are absolutely at war with those who believe that death in defense of the faith is the highest possible good, that cartoonists should be killed for caricaturing the prophet and that any Muslim who loses his faith should be butchered for apostasy.
In a misguided quest to loathe Bush at every turn, a number of liberals are missing the broader point: there's a war on, and it's not about oil or Halliburton (although self-indulgent crooks will always appear when easy money is present) - it's about civilization itself.
As Harris says, we're not at war with all Muslims, but with a significant and dangerous subset of that community. If you believe this is about our troops in Saudi Arabia or the invasion of Iraq or the Russians in Chechnya or that if we just all came home and decided that good fences made good neighbors, well, you're wrong. We'd still find our pissy Islamofascist neighbors throwing eggs over that fence and showing up on our doorstep with Allah-praising pamphlets and swords in hand.
The conservatives might be going about the war in the wrong way, but plenty of liberals need to realize, at the very least, that there is a war at all. Putting your head in the sand just gets you kicked in the ass.
I just came across links to a few videos of interest via Beware of the Dogma.
Around this time last year the BBC ran a three-part documentary called “A Brief History of Disbelief”, described as follows on the documentary site:The first episode, "A Brief History of Disbelief: Part 1," is below via Google video. Links for the other two are below that.In this first ever television history of disbelief, Jonathan Miller goes on a journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism.
A couple of items for your reading/viewing pleasure.
From Penn and Teller's Showtime series "Bullshit!" an episode on the veracity of the Bible (hint: not so much).
In a previous post, I counted the number of people that were killed by God in the Bible. I came up with 2,270,365, which, of course, greatly underestimates God's total death toll, since it only includes those killings for which specific numbers are given....Final tally:
But how does this compare with Satan? How many did he kill in the Bible?
Well I can only find ten, and even these he shares with God, since God allowed him to do it as a part of a bet. I'm talking about the seven sons and three daughters of Job.
God 2,270,365+So much for the Pope's ridiculous comment about God and violence being incompatible. Seems more like, pardon the pun, a match made in Heaven.
Similac baby formula is being recalled:
The Abbott health care company is recalling hundreds of thousands of bottles of infant formula distributed nationwide because they might not have enough vitamin C.This doesn't really concern us, because we only feed Ewan pre-packaged spinach.
The bottles, distributed by Abbott's Ross Products division, are missing a special layer that keeps air out of the bottle, Noe said. When the oxygen enters the bottle, it causes the level of vitamin C to decrease over time, she said.
Note: I jest. I jest. There's actually a good organization, fighting for safe food, called - oddly enough - Safe Tables Our Priority. I only know of them because a college friend of mine, struck with E. coli when we were younger, is their Board Secretary. Visiting her in hospital, I saw some of what was happening to her, but reading her story several years later, I had no idea just how awful it was. No one should go through what she and others have endured because of poor food quality.
For reasons which make no more sense to me than why anyone thought Urkel was funny, there's a lot of blogospheric attention being paid to Ann Althouse's apparent disinterest in the breasts of Feministing's Jessica Valenti. Personally, I think our time would be better spent exploring why they gave their site a name that sounds remarkably like a means of stretching one's lower orifices in ungodly ways, but the debate is what it is.
So, here's the official World Wide Rant stance on the matter: Jessica has nice boobs.
This conclusion was reached by repeated examination of the following evidence: Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, and Exhibit D. On the off chance that by the time you click on these, they have been replaced by pictures of Larry the Cable Guy's buttcrack, I extend my apologies in advance.
Seriously, this is much ado about nothing (which, Jessica, is not to say that your breasts are nothing - the words "perky" and "delightful" and "AndyWWR has requested to view your webcam" come to mind - but rather that the facts that you're attractive and wanted to look your best for a photo with a former President really aren't worth making a stink over). If the most important thing top bloggers have on their mind is boobies, then I guess the war is won, the deficit is erased, and there's a chicken in every pot.
Leave the boob talk to bloggers like me. I need the Google hits.
Of the many mind-numbing aspects of religious belief, the inability to see ridiculous irony in one's own behavior is probably the most amusing - unless, you know, you're on the receiving end of a fatwa. Like the Pope might soon be:
The worst crisis since Benedict was elected in April 2005 was sparked by a speech in Germany Tuesday that appeared to endorse a Christian view, contested by most Muslims, that early Muslims spread their religion by violence.As you can imagine, this accusation of violence didn't sit well with a lot of Muslims, so they responded...errrr... peacefully?
In his speech, the pope quoted 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus who said: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
Authorities were investigating the motives of Molotov cocktail attacks on three churches in the West Bank city of Nablus, following a day of Palestinian protests against the pope's remarks. No one was hurt and the churches were not badly damaged.One small attack, so let's not generalize.
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Saturday urged the pope to apologize and withdraw his controversial comments, according to The Associated Press.Because, if he does take it lightly, what will happen? Stern frowns? Pointed accusations? Or, rather, some sort of jihadic fatwagasm?
"The pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created," the Bernama news agency quoted Abdullah as saying, AP said.
Maybe they'll kill him with kindness.
But I have my doubts.
Also of interest:
During his address at the University of Regensburg on Tuesday, Benedict quoted 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus.Do people actually read their holy books? Sure, maybe drowning every living thing and slaughtering the first born Egyptian wee ones weren't technically bloody, but all our fabricated deities seem to get their jollies from some murder and mayhem.
"God," the emperor, as the pope quoted, said, "is not pleased by blood -- and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature."
The Pope is just as silly as those getting their Korans tweaked by his word.
Ok, fine, so maybe we can't stop tens of thousands of illegal aliens from entering our country each year. But, you know what we can do?
Duane "Dog" Chapman, the self-proclaimed world's most-famous bounty hunter who achieved notoriety nabbing thousands of bail jumpers was arrested Thursday for allegedly jumping bail in Mexico.I swear that tomorrow I'm going to drop a ball and have it fall upward.
U.S. marshals arrested the star of the A&E reality show "Dog the Bounty Hunter" at his home in Hawaii at the request of the Mexican government.
No, I don't think Bush and company stole any elections, but - if you do - I have some 75 cent coupons for tinfoil that I'd be happy to send you. However, there is a real threat to the American electoral system, and that threat is called Diebold, apparently the Microsoft of voting security:
Well... I'm sure all the wee munchkins in the Land of I-Can't-Sing are rejoicing.
And what's this song they're playing? I think I liked it better when The Queens of the Stone Age did one just like it... except, uh, their frontman can sing.
Mysterious lyrics were cool when Michael Stipe did them in the early days of REM (long before the great suck-out known as "Shiny Happy People")... but Lukas Mumbledy-Gums is just... ergh... can I stick something sharp in my ear canals?
But, hey, best of luck to Supernova and the one dwarf.
(Note: Yes, I realize there's a lot of stuff going on in the world, upon which I should expound with snark and reason and light and goodness and whatever, but I'm otherwise occupied with work and fatherhood and husbandhood... soon, though, so very soon).
(Update: I'm thinking Brennan needs to try out for the next show... the guy can write good songs, sing said songs, and - most importantly - keep up with me in the beer-drinking race, which is, let's be frank, admirable. OK, so I'm really just plugging his songs).
As you're aware (unless you're a microencephalic twit like EricPWJohnson), ABC is under fire for their docudrama "The Path to 9/11," slated to air tomorrow evening. Some of the criticism is unfounded (e.g. Clinton did make mistakes and did miss opportunities when it came to Osama), but some of it is well-founded (e.g. making it look like Sandy Berger hung up on special forces rather than give them the go-ahead to take out Mr. Al Qaeda).
Even conservatives pundits and pinheads like John Podhoretz and Bill Bennett, respectively, agree.
Conservative columnist John Podhoretz wrote that "[e]x-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's anger is unquestionably justified." Former Reagan administration cabinet secretary and right-wing pundit Bill Bennett said, "The Path to 9/11 is strewn with a lot of problems, and I think there were problems in the Clinton administration. But that's no reason to falsify the record, falsify conversations by either the president or his leading people. And, you know, it just shouldn't happen."Yet, for some inexplicable reason (well, theories abound, insert your own), some on the right just don't see a problem with it.
For example, this comment that RightwingSparkle left on her own blog regarding the dishonest portryal of Sandy "Secret Undies" Berger.
Can you imagine the rightwing reaction if someone made a Hurricane Katrina mini-series with this scene?
So, in other words, Osama did slip though. Just not with a direct order NOT to get him, just letting the opportunity pass.
The result is the same, isn't it?
RAY NAGIN: President Bush, I've got to get my chocolate city on those buses right now. I want them looking just like dollops of chocolate syrup on the banana in a banana split. We've got to get those buses, Mr. President.Hey, dramatic license. "Documdrama." No problem. Keep your short shorts on.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Ray, buddy, that evildoer Katrina is on the way, God's wrath is about to descend on the Crescent City for all of its sins and I don't want to be moving sinners elsewhere 'case that storm just follows'em right on over to Houston where that godly RWS lives. So, Ray, you leave those 400 school buses right where they are.
RAY NAGIN: But... Mr. President...
PRESIDENT BUSH: No buts, Ray - baby ain't got back. You leave those buses there to flood! (slams down phone)
The end result is the same: hundreds of flooded buses and thousands of people stranded.
What's the big deal?
I'm not defending the Democrats: they lie and pander and politicize just as much as the Republicans. I am, however, calling out those godly rightwingers who think they lay claim to the moral high ground while turning a blind eye to such lies.
Michael Moore gave a sneak-peek of his latest bit of creative documentary filmmaking at the Toronto Film Festival:
It took some perseverance, but those who sat through more than two hours of often meandering on-stage conversations and technical difficulties got the first glimpse of Michael Moore’s next doc, “Sicko,” about the broken U.S. health care system.And those who instead dropped from exhaustion were told to please wait 6-10 weeks until a doctor from the Canadian health care system could see them.
Also of note:
Earlier in the evening, two clips from another doc-in-progress, “The Great ’04 Slacker Uprising” which was shot during Moore’s election-year tour to rally college kids to vote for John Kerry, were stopped midway through because of poor sound quality.And because, well, Kerry lost. Something about "slacker uprising" being an oxymoron, unless it means getting off the couch for a beer.
From the world of behavioral science:
Men may have developed a psychology that makes them particularly able to engage in wars, a scientist said on Friday.The same scientist said he was pretty sure his wife had a "hoohah" too.
Sometimes I feel like a blogospheric Steve Irwin, boldly wading into swamps of irrationality and general idiocy, all in the pursuit of grabbing a wingnut or moonbat by their flailing little legs and holding them up for all of you to see, and point at, and laugh at... lots.
Thankfully, idiots online don't have barbed tails with which to strike, their means of attack reduced to pretty colors dancing on my screen. This doesn't make them ultimately less dangerous though, because the world is full of stupid people, willing to turn off independent thought in favor of party-line voting and mental goosestepping behind the Ann Coulters and Michael Moores of the world.
But, I do it for you, good people. I risk my own sanity, trekking through brambles of bullshit and forests of fearful fulmination, all so we can giggle and say,"There but for the grace of evolution and genes whose phenotypical expression was a fully-working brain, go I."
Today's example is one EricPWJohnson, frequent commenter at RightwingSparkle*. Marvel as, in the comments to this post, he responds to me by making up strawman arguments and demonstrates a remarkable ability to not understand basic English.
Perhaps the "PW" is for Punjab Washabi, English being his second language - thus, misunderstandings not unexpected - and "Eric Johnson" being the name of the vacationing college student that once visited India and sired him to a New Delhi sweatshop girl. Or, perhaps he's just kind of dumb. I'm voting for "dumb," and willfully so.
Fresh off of that, EricPWJohnson sees a shiny object elsewhere, makes assorted "ook ook ook" sounds with glee, and promptly shows up in the comments to this post to repeat his made-up arguments and also insist that there's an East/West Coast conspiracy of liberals to go online and demoralize conservative bloggers.
I'm sorry, but I thought it was the moonbats that wore the tinfoil hats. Apparently that fashion tip has crossed the political aisle. Besides, how the heck would a bunch of liberals demoralize conservatives? Tell them that the God doesn't exist and that, right now, somewhere in America, an unmarried couple is doing it doggy-style?
EricPWJohnsonSt.John-Smythe IV, you're a special brand of stupid crazy. To you, I raise my glass (or will, as it's only 7:14am, a couple hours too early for a beer).
Update: EricPunjabi is now engaging in what I will call "argumentum-ad-blog-populum." That is, since RWS has more commenters, my opinion means nothing. By this (par for the course) idiotic reasoning, Eric has just said that DailyKos is a beacon of reasoned argumentation and discourse. Yet another sign that Eric just isn't a very smart man, although he apparently dry humps logical fallacies at every opportunity. Squeech squeech squeech squeech.
* Why do I go there? I don't know. Why do people slow down to look at traffic accidents? Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near? Why do stars fall down from the sky, every time you walk by?
The leader of al Qaeda in Iraq is urging Muslims to kill Americans.
This is, of course, in sharp contrast to September 11, 2001 when al Qaeda brought us candy and flowers, and serenaded us with Arabic songs of passion.
Reflective moment: Oh, where have our good times gone, Abu? Do you remember them? I do...
For several years now, as the tragedy of 9/11 has taken a seat further and further back in the American mind, I've been of the opinion that every September 11, the major networks should air their archival footage from that day, in real time, letting us recall the events in the same way they unfolded: with all of the the attendant fear and anger and confusion that occupied the mind of anyone with access to a television, a radio, or the internet.
Yes, we have other ways of remembering: stock footage of the planes impacting and of people choosing to leap to their deaths, made-for-TV movies and those of the big screen variety too. All well and good, but nothing can be more like 9/11 than 9/11 itself.
I disagree with the Bush administration on how they've handled various aspects of this war. I question their commitment to some of the universal ideals we're supposedly fighting to defend. That, however, doesn't change the fact that we are in a global war against flesh-and-blood enemies and memetic insanity in the form of fundamentalist Islam. This is something, it seems, of which we need a periodic reminder.
All of which is my roundabout way of mentioning that CNN's online Pipeline service will be airing the original footage online on September 11, from 8:30am until midnight, free of charge.
Watch it. Put aside whichever Bush syndrome you have - be it of the derangement or masturbatory kind - and remember what it felt like on that day to be scared, to be sad, to be angry, and to be - above all else - simply American.
Comments by academic Germaine Greer on the death of wildlife TV star Steve Irwin have triggered a storm of anger with the Australian author criticized for being "insensitive" and "elitist."Upon hearing of these comments, the man on the street said "Germaine who? Was she one of the Jacksons? That Michael sure got weird, didn't he?"
Greer, best known for her feminist book "The Female Eunuch", said Wednesday Irwin was an "embarrassment" and a "self-deluded animal torturer."
Speaking on Australian TV Channel Nine's "A Current Affair" news program Wednesday, Greer described those who mourned Irwin's passing as "idiots" and said possibly millions of Australians were embarrassed by him.
President Bush today announced that the United States government has been using secret CIA prisons:
The U.S. government released details on Wednesday about its secretive CIA detention program for top al Qaeda suspects, as President George W. Bush said the last 14 detainees had been transferred to military custody.On the bright side, before you feel any conflicted emotions, just remember that these prisons don't really exist - just ask wingnuts like RightwingSparkle.
The program provoked European anger and accusations that the United States violated international law on the treatment of prisoners, after The Washington Post reported last year that detainees were secretly held in Eastern Europe.
Of course, it's not like she remembers calling the stories a lie, a myth, of the left wing. Convenient Swiss-cheesed memory is a hallmark of the ideological demagogue-wanna-bes of both left- and right-wing insanity.
Update: To wit, regarding the in-comments discussion about the wingnut tendency to immediately disregard anything anti-Bush, no matter how reasonable, is the upside-down version of the same: the willingness to embrace any pro-Bush news no matter how unlikely.
Please see Exhibit A: Powerline trumpeting the news that violent deaths in Iraq were down by 2/3 from July to August of this year. Down by 2/3. In one month. Despite all the evil liberal media news reports of a bombing here and bodies there.
The unlikelihood of this was first pointed out by The Commissar.
But my point is, does anyone find it credible that the re-deployment of several thousand troops has had such a marvelous impact, in less than thirty days? I find that hard to believe, but it could be so.Alas, he was right - it couldn't.
As of yet, I do not see a correction from the boys at Powerline. If I missed it, my mistake, but given that they are a cadre of lawyers, I suspect ignoring inconvenient facts is a skill they all possess.
I'm sorry, Lukas "The Skanky Hobbit of Awful Rockdom" Rossi is still on the show?
I'm once again reminded that a supernova is a dying star...
Magni: I dig the wonder from
down under Iceland, but he needs to be a three- or four-trick pony. His original song was good, but not stand-out good.
Storm Large: Best singer of the bunch. Pretty, and boobies. Sounds like a trifecta if ever there was one. Did I mention pretty and boobies?
Lukas Rossi: So, uh, which Jr. High School talent competition did he barely win to make it on this show? And what drugs did Dave Navarro do to make him think that was good? Abandon all hope ye who watch Rockstar.
Toby: Entertaining, but - um - dude's name is "Toby." That's not a rockstar name in any universe. Now, "Tobiath," that's a name - awww yeah, rock on with your Jethro Tull self.
So, my vote would be for Storm, even if the folks on her message board make me think that people playing massively-multiplayer games in their basements are the epitome of cool.
Note: See, boobies.
And another, this one entitled "Storm and Three Invisible Dudes."
Hullo, good people. Just a friendly note from a hotel somewhere in Rapid City, South Dakota. The family piled into the car early this morning for a road trip - and, well, here we are.
Tomorrow is Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and perhaps the Badlands, if I think we have enough time. We've got to be back in Denver sometime tomorrow night.
Yes, that's right. It's an overnight road trip. With children. 400 miles each way. With children. In a car.
Once in town, we attempted a visit to Storybook Island, but it was closed due to the weather. The day had started off cold and dreary, so I guess they figured it would stick. It didn't.
We enjoyed dinner at The Firehouse Brewing Company, and are now winding down the night in our hotel room.
Quite the exciting bunch, us.
Blogging resumes soon...
I should probably add that the drink count attached to me was ... well... optimistic.