Friday, June 29, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of Spam

The spambots are in a poetic mood today.
Hoarfrost is in his bones and on his head,
trainer flips young alligators over on their backs,
Choces, Mère and Père, undreaming even of fields
And off the white smoke swims
Between the vertex that the far-lit gray
and the Splendid Splinter. For a few dreamy dollars,
The pain of being born into matter.
Down the long course of the gray slush of things
The ordinary, wide scene which begins
X. The British Attack on the Arctic
How bittersweet it is, on winter's night,
My keyhole blows a gale
Sculpting each tree to fit your ghostly form
—Now that you notice it—have just moved past
Upon from the right by far trees, that white place
Père and Mère Chose could be in conversation
marked with a dark stroke from the left, encroached
And piled up at the base of the columns
Green lilac buds appear that won't survive

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eight Things You Hate About Me

I've been tagged by WP and El Tri to tell you all eight things you don't know about me, and I'm going to combine this with Declaration Thursday because I like breaking the rules. So here's me, thumbing my nose at posting the meme rules, and just for Becks, I'll let everybody off the hook on the whole tagging people thing, since she accidentally got caught in the crossfire the last time I did one of these.

1. There's Time Enough For Sleep When You're Dead.
I rarely sleep more than 5 hours a night. I'm just not that tired.

2. I'd Find It Easier To Hate Fascists If They Didn't Build Such Lovely Buildings.
Say what you will about their politics, but that sort of 1930s Totalitarian Modern was a great look for architecture.

3. Wine Is Overrated.
I think that a good beer, a really good one, is more flavorful and complex than a comparably good wine, and bad wine is much worse than bad beer. Oenophiles are just alcosnobs.

4. I'd Make A Really Entertaining Dictator.
I'm charming, I'm capricious, I can really hold a grudge, and I have a great appreciation for poetic justice. When I stage a purge, you can bet it won't be boring.

5. I Believe That Everything Should Come In A Matte Black Option.
There is a reason that all of the other colors want to be the new black: The old black rocks!

6. Funerals Should Be More Entertaining.
I do funerals badly. I can't help it. I believe that I've already mentioned my genetic propensity for jackassery. Even making me a pall bearer cannot force the requisite somberness upon me. It's been tried.

7. I've Had Female Of The Species Stuck In My Head For About Three Days.
Nothing helps. Tried it. Tried it. Tried it.

8. Eight, I Forget What Eight Is For.
um... I'm not actually, strictly speaking, a dog. No, no, it's true.

I am Spartacus, and I support this message.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Kick In The Family Jewels

The CIA has released documents detailing their past misdeeds to distract us from their current misdeeds.

It's 702 pages of redactiony goodness, in some pain in the ass Javascript format that you can't directly link to or copy and paste from. Thanks guys. Oh, and they've apparently hosted the documents on a server made of bearskins and stone knives, connected only loosely to the interweb by a small cardboard tube partially blocked by a sleepy kitten. Which is to say that this site is really slow, no matter what your bandwidth is.

In any case, I present the first illegal activity in the report, in its post-redaction entirety:
Uh, guys, that was put together in nineteen SEVENTY THREE. Seriously, is that shit still a matter of national security, or do your fingers just get itchy if you go too long without redacting something?

The second is a little more interesting:
2. Johnny Roselli -- The use of a member of the Mafia in an attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro.
Ah, what sweet patriotic guys these mobsters were back in the 60's. They turned down 150 large to poison Fidel, and took on the job out of the goodness of their hearts. The Cuban Exile Junta wanted $11,000 for their part, the chiseling bastards. The mobsters were acting pro bono and it wasn't even their country.

It gets better. Even though the mob tried six times and never actually managed to make the hit, they did get the CIA to bug a hotel room for them so they could find out if one of their girlfriends was boinking some other dude. Or they would have, except the CIA operative bungled the job and got arrested. The CIA had to go to Bobby Kennedy to call off the DoJ, who were planning to prosecute the guy. Way to go assholes. No wonder you're handing off the tough jobs to the mafia. You can't even pull off Operation Is Phyllis Getting Laid? ...which is probably just as well for Phyllis, all things considered, seeing as her boyfriend was a jealous mobster and all.

Of course, all of this became known in 1970 when Roselli ratted them out to the Washington Post for not coming to his aid when he faced deportation over a variety of charges including rigging a gin rummy game, but there's plenty of other juicy stuff in here. Here's the link again:, look for the Family Jewels link.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Australia Adopts "Big Engine, Little Dick" Policy

Or, as my friend Rick the minister says about Corvette conventions, "I'm so sorry about your penises."

Monday, June 25, 2007


It wasn't the usual 2-0 scoreline we've come to expect of a match up between Mexico and the United States, but the result was the same. The United States and Mexico met in the finals of the Gold Cup on Sunday, and the United States handed Mexico another defeat, improving our record against them to 9-2-1 since 2000, and showing once again that FIFA doesn't know shit about ranking teams.

It was the final match we had been hoping for, the 2 best teams and biggest rivals meeting up in the finals, despite Mexico's stumbles along the way.

Mexican keeper Oswaldo Sanchez was coming up huge, stopping everything that came his way. Coming into the match, Mexico had gone 8 games without scoring on the United States, but they would score first, and Lex despaired when Mexico went up 1-0 late in the first half, declaring that we had lost and wondering how many viewers FSC had lost when Mexico scored. Sue had just said "that curly haired guy is open again" when Guardado came in totally unmarked to easily score off the cross. Our right back Jonathan Spector was nowhere to be seen, and Kasey Keller was left with no chance.

But former Fire coach Bob Bradley made the right moves at half time, and it paid off quickly. Ricardo Clark came in for Mastroeni, opening the game up as we came out looking for the equalizer. Just about 15 minutes into the second half, the Flyin' Hawaiian Brian Ching was taken down in the box. Sanchez had obviously been watching game tapes and knew what to expect, but Landon Donovan changed things up and coolly put the shot past Sanchez to convert the penalty and tie the game. With his 34th goal in international play, he tied Eric Wynalda's record as the all-time scoring leader for the United States.

About ten minutes later, newcomer Benny Feilhaber scored in the scramble after a US corner kick. As the ball deflected out of the Mexican box, Feilhaber stepped up and one-touched it, sending a rocket past Sanchez to put the US ahead 2-1.

Both sides continued to attack until the end, and it could easily have ended 4-1. Ching beat the last defender and the keeper, only to see his shot deflect off the goal post. Former Fire winger DaMarcus Beasley was bitten by the curse of the open goal, sending a beautiful pass from Donovan off the crossbar and harmlessly into the stands.

After a late game scramble to preserve the lead, the final whistle blew, and the US retained the Gold Cup, going a perfect 6-0 in the tournament. In a sign that we are finally earning some grudging respect from Mexico, for the first time after one of these matches, a few of the players exchanged jerseys after the game. Either that or some of their players didn't get the memo... you know, one or the other.

Friday, June 22, 2007

They Should Always Listen To Me

It’s nice to see that the Top Chef judges are reading my blog. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Meanwhile, Dopey Opie is back home going, "Dubbleyuh tay ayuff?" ...but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The show opens: Micah’s not a morning person! She talks about herself in the third person! She’s quirky! Sandee actually works at looking that bad! Now she’s doing Tard Chi in some really unfortunate red pajama bottoms! Hung is a tiny little tough guy! Look at him do push ups! And now, off to the Quickfire challenge!

Pimp My Citrus
The guest judge is... some guy I’ve never heard of who helped found a cuisine that I didn’t realize existed. I’m confused, is Miami a Sound Machine or a cuisine? The Quickfire challenge is to make dishes that highlight Florida citrus fruit. The Florida Citrus Board wet themselves in excitement and hand the producers a briefcase full of cash in the back room.

Micah makes some nasty-looking avocado glop with fruit on top, Sara is so freaked out by the judge that she can barely talk, and Sandee put some kind of flowering stick in the drink she served. Alcohol and sticks: the Florida Ophthalmologists Council rub their hands in gleeful anticipation, but the judge takes it out before drinking. They all end up at the bottom.

Joey makes a watermelon/Grand Marnier shooter to serve with his dish. The judge thinks it's so good that he should be a bartender too, but it’s not enough to get him into the top 3. Psst, Joey, watermelon isn’t a citrus fruit.

Hung, Tre, and Lurch are in the top 3 with... dishes that I don’t really remember. Hung wins the challenge and can’t be eliminated. Joey’s pissed because Lurch left a seed in his dish and still beat him.

I Want To Eat Like Common People Do
The Elimination Challenge... I’m sorry, the Kingsford Charcoal Elimination Challenge, is Upscale Barbecue. Oxymorons, they’re not just for breakfast any more. Next season, they should do this like ASSCAR, and make the chefs wear sponsor logos on their chef’s jackets.

Yikes, Sara can’t do simple math. At the meat case, someone has to point out that 20 times $10 is $200 and she’s about to spend her entire budget on one item. Yes, Sara, budgets do suck.

Micah, on the other hand, buys the lamb because it's on sale. Curious strategy for a competition, but one we are all familiar with.

Back in the kitchen, Tre talks a lot of shit about Texas Barbecue. Texans stop getting their little doggies along to hoot and holler. Viewers in the other 49 states roll their eyes. Hung runs around the kitchen like a maniac, knocking things over and breaking shit.

Brian’s making seafood sausage, which doesn’t look nearly as disgusting as it sounds. Take that, Otto von Bismarck!

Sara is on fire! Or at least her hands are... What kind of chef cuts hot peppers using their bare hands? Wait. She used a knife. She’s not some kind of Edward Scissorchef. I mean she didn’t wear gloves. And she doesn’t know that Scotch Bonnet peppers are hot. She’s cute, but not real smart, our Sara. That dish is going in the garbage tomorrow.

Prep is done, and the next morning we’re off to the party to grill some food.

...unless you’re Sandee, who is braising lobster in vanilla butter. Two great tastes that, well, never mind.

Sara has "barbecued a lot" but has never actually "started a fire". Isn’t that cute? The girls are all bad at barbecue. In a series of stereotype-reinforcing quick cuts, they put about 30 gallons of lighter fluid on the charcoal, have no idea how much charcoal to use, and can’t operate a lighter. Hey, Kingsford, throw ‘em a bone. Spring for the Matchlight next time.

Ho, snap! Hung is a dick. Now he’s serving some sort of watermelon cocktail and Joey is pissed again. Hung is unrepentant.

Brian lays on the charm and the judges have to muscle their way through the overdressed, adoring crowd to get a taste of his mad fish dogs.

Last Mohawk Standing
The judges call in the top three chefs: Micah’s discount lamb was great, and they like that Micah’s family always had it at their barbecues; Sara doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing, but her Vietnamese BBQ is good, and she had excellent portion control; Brian’s surprise seabrats and sweet chili slaw were a big hit. Brian wins! Not bad for a talking dog.

There was so much suck that the judges pick a bottom four: Tre proves that Texans don’t know shit about barbecue while we all point and laugh, the judges hate that Joey’s family always had chicken wings at their barbecues, Howie’s jerked pork was dry and not "upscale" enough, and Sandee didn’t even make barbecue... and it just tasted like vanilla butter.

For some reason they ask Joey who should go home. He shows that he is an enormous tool by picking Howie, the one person whose food he didn’t actually taste. Golf clap. Way to go, Joey. The judges mock him briefly and then send them out.

What do you know? A tiny bald guy who overcompensates by being an aggressive, obnoxious jerk, who could have predicted that? Howie does a lot of posturing and makes a lot of noise while we wait for the judges to decide.

Tre has the producer’s Highlander: There Can Be Only Two Immunity this round, but it is irrelevant. The judges have read my blog and they send Sandee packing for not actually doing the challenge.

I predict another roller coaster ride next week. Sara is plenty telegenic, but she just doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Declaration Thursday

The Department of Human Relations has raised the dress code to business casual for the rest of the week. "Business casual" is an oxymoron. A person who thinks that it is important to wear business casual to impress people is a regular, garden-variety, moron.

If you need to dress up for people to pay attention to you, the odds of you saying something important are vanishingly slim. Likewise, if you need me to dress up in order for you to pay attention to me, the odds of your opinion mattering to me in any possible way are really quite small.

I am Deadspot, and I support this message.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Season Three

So Top Chef started last week and I didn't say anything about it. It's already Wednesday again, so we're sort of at that "Speak now, or forever hold your peace" bit. You know, if it applied to blogging about television instead of weddings. Or something. I thought I had an analogy there. Or a metaphor. I need coffee.

They led into the new season with a Season One vs. Season Two cookoff, and S1 handily spanked Team Hairdo. The only surprise was that Lee Ann Wong (from S1) is the cooking consultant for the show now, which is cool. I liked her. Ilan, the S2 wiener, showed that he can't cook eggs in the quickfire challenge. Marcel did some stupid shit with gel and foam. Did anyone really expect them to win? Oh well, at least Elia had really great hair. She's ditched that mop she shaved off when they all got drunk last season and showed up with white spikes that totally rocked. Go Elia! Ilan, Marcel, take notes.

Oh yeah, and they showed us all the Season Three contestants. Hey, what do you know, Marcel's pal can be a dick! Hey, there's a dopey Southern guy! The chef from Chicago has a mohawk! There's a big fat guy with an Italian soccer jersey! Won't this be exciting?!? Meh...

And then Season Three also started with few surprises, despite a challenge to cook surf and turf with the wackiest dead animals they could think of, and... Hey! Anthony Bourdain acting like a big jerk on cable television! We haven't seen that since, well, S2. He's still less of a tool than Bobby Flay, and he not only drew obscene doodles in the autographed books he gave the winner, but he promised to take them out and get them crazy drunk, which earns him style points in my book.

So who got eliminated? Dopey Opie Southerner. Ha! He didn't even know what an amuse bouche was. He gave them an apple filled with fruit. What a chump! (I looked it up last season. It's a one-bite appetizer. Why the hell can't they just call it an appetizer? Frankly, anything that rhymes with douche just doesn't sound all that appetizing to me.)

So let's get to the giant flaw in this series. It's a three parter: a) We can't taste the food, b) The results are obviously gamed by the producers, and 3) We can't taste the fucking food.

I can't do anything about problems a) and 3), but I can offer some advice about the middle thing.

Stop saying stupid shit like "It's all about the cooking." In the S2 episode when Michael got eliminated, he was eliminated for not buying saucers. Those saucers weren't on the list prepared by Sam, the team leader, and Ilan, who was responsible for the front of the house, not only left olive pits on the tables, but he then seated the judges at a dirty table. Way to go! In fact, Ilan fucked his team over from start to finish and stayed in. Not only did he screw up the front of the house, he burnt the bacon and put them way behind schedule. Hell, I can cook bacon and eggs. Where's my TV show? Sam managed to screw up cheese and fruit in a bowl. How hard is that? But Michael, the only person on his team that episode without some kind of cooking-related disaster, was eliminated for not buying plates. So shut the hell up about it only being about the food. I know that "It's often about the food" doesn't have quite the same punch, but we'll respect you in the morning.

Next, come right out and say when the producers are affecting the results. Even though we can't a) taste the food or 3) taste the fucking food, we can still tell when you're playing games. Just come out and say it. The quickfire challenge already grants immunity. Add a second immunity for the producers. "Marcel, everybody watching just heard the guests say that your food looks like cat vomit. You'll want to stop that. However, the producer's kids loves them some Jimmy Neutron, so you get immunity this round." Easy fix. For bonus points, you can make up a new and amusing name for the Producer's Immunity each round. It'll be fun. Let's play along at home in S3. We'll show you how it's done.

With that fixed, tell the judges to stop pissing and moaning about good food. If it's all about the food (see above) then shut the hell up if the contestant didn't prepare it exactly the way you would have. If the fried rattlesnake tasted good, don't get pissy about the fact that "anything tastes good fried". Well, duh. That's why we like fried food. If the snake tastes good fried, the chef should be serving Fried Snake, not Poached Serpent in Sauce de Pretence with a Mango Pine Nut Cranberry Chutney.

And finally, here's the biggest change and I'll even let you take credit when you pass it along to your buddies over at Project Runway. If a contestant doesn't actually do the challenge, everybody else is safe. It's a simple rule. It's on obvious rule. Why didn't you think of it? The challenge was to prepare a Surf and Turf, not a Surf or Turf. Two contestants ran out of time and didn't serve both parts. Neither went home. That's just wrong. Go ahead and do the judges table. Tell Dopey Opie that his food sucked. Then tell him to thank the losers who couldn't even manage to turn out two bad items, and send one of them home. Seriously, make him thank them. It'll be funny, especially if someone cries. Do it once, and you probably won't have to do it again, but it will give you a little more credibility. I'd do something here rhyming "credibility" with "edibility", but I don't do that kind of blog, and I really do need some damned coffee.

If I get really enthusastic, I may stick in some links and pictures later, but you all have google. Knock yourselves out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vatican Issues Ten More Commandments

For those of you keeping score at home, the Vatican's position is:

Membership in Hitler Youth, OK.

Swearing at other drivers, not so much.

Look, that horse was dead before I started beating it.

Say It Aint So, Joe

Joe fucking Lieberman...

It was bad enough that he endorsed attacking Iran because he thinks they might be helping the insurgency in Iraq. Yes. Because it would be totally unacceptable for a member of the U.N. to arm the citizens of another country that has been invaded by someone with whom they have a political disagreement. *cough* Mujahideen! *cough*

Now he's whoring himself out for Republican fund raisers. To thank the Republicans who helped elect him, he's going to help vulnerable Republicans raise money to fight off a Democratic challenge. If he succeeds, he'll have kept 2 Democrats out of the Senate.

Fuck you, Joe. You're dead to me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Geek News Network

Betamax Is Still Dead
Blockbuster has officially adopted Blu-Ray over HD-DVD as their next-generation, high-definition DVD format of choice, citing widespread adoption of Blu-Ray by consumers and a lack of titles in HD-DVD. Toshiba promotional group stamps feet, pouts.

Now where's my cheap PS3?

Church of England Are Filthy, Alien-Loving Collaborators
In other Sony news, the CoE complained about the use of pretend guns in a pretend Manchester Cathedral, but have failed to oppose the pretend "alien invasion of Earth" or explain why pretend English Jesus has not stopped the pretend invasion. They have demanded the actual removal of actual best selling Sony title Resistance: Fall of Man from the actual market. Sony apologized for the brouhaha, but was far too polite to explain that PlayStation is Bigger than JesusTM.

You would think that the Church of England would understand the concept of "just pretend," considering that it was founded for the express purpose of letting Henry the Eighth pretend that he never married Catherine of Aragon.

Da Bomb
The Gay Bomb showed up in Three Panel Soul this morning.

Should Have Bought A Mac
Cheap ass Russian-made computers aboard the ISS have crashed and cannot be restarted, endangering life support and the ability to maintain orbit. In other news, my Mac has never crashed. Ever.

You're welcome.

And finally, in our last story,

Redneck Sports Kill
...if you're lucky. If you're not lucky, you have to watch drag racing.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Game On!

That other stuff? When we were getting our asses kicked and they were bombing inside the Green Zone and shit, and Baghdad was spiraling further into chaos? You know, when we were, like, totally fucked and stuff? Like, say, yesterday? That doesn't count. Hooray!

Now we can start keeping score.

"Now everyone is here, this is when General Petraeus intends the surge to start as it was envisaged, with everyone working together to bring the levels of violence down in Baghdad," according to the army mouthpiece.

Now, if they'd just been here on Wednesday... but hey, we weren't quite ready then. Now things are gonna be different!

Oh, except they said that it's going to take a couple of months for the last guys to tie their shoes and get on the field. Expect the next round of cries for "do over" to begin within 30 to 60 days: "Now everyone is operational, this is when General Petraeus intends the surge to start as it was envisaged, with everyone working together to bring the levels of violence down in Baghdad. Not that other time. We were here, but we weren't ready to start yet."

Are You Smarter Than The Commander Of US Forces In Iraq?

Pollyana Petraeus said that he hoped the bombing of the al-Askari shrine in Samarra would unite Iraqi leaders.

Yes. Of course. That's what generally happens when you bomb a holy site. Everybody suddenly becomes reasonable.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that it will not unify the Iraqi leaders. I know... I'm always so "mosque half blown up" and he's always all "mosque half not bombed yet". We should do a sitcom where we're wackily mismatched room mates engaging in zany antics. There might even be madcap shenanigans. There's a dearth of madcap shenanigans on television these days.

But that's a whole 'nother show.

Right now, we're going to see who has a better understanding of how things work in Iraq, a not-so-random selection of bloggers or the guy in charge there. Vote in the comments section:

Can unity be achieved through a campaign of mosque bombings?

Tune in next week for the results!

God Hates Political Prisoners

For those of you keeping score at home, the Vatican's position is:

Membership in Hitler Youth, OK.

Membership in Amnesty International, not so much.

Glad we could clear that up.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Rock Star Moment

I may have mentioned that I worked for a national disarmament group. I was the downstate organizer for the state organization, so I worked with several local chapters to help them organize and coordinate actions. I went to their meetings, I went to their events, I ran the downstate office (staff: me), and I lobbied congressmen from the area. Of course, the Chicago office had the money, so the lobbying was all phone calls and letter writing campaigns for me, except for the occasional trip to Springfield for a face to face meeting. (I met Democratic Big Shot Dick Durbin back when he was a lowly state senator, but I'm sure he doesn't remember me.) The Chicago office got the travel budget and all the fun stuff, while I did the grassroots thing. So far, I know, this doesn't sound like rock star stuff, but stick around, the rock star moment is coming up in just about two sentences.

Late in my stay at Eastern, I switched my minor to a double major and had to take an extra semester to get both degrees because one was a B.A. and one was a B.S., so I ended up starting the job before I finished college. One day, I had to blow off one of my Poli Sci classes because, right as I was leaving for class, the U.S. Representative from my district called me to ask what I thought about an upcoming bill.

Best. Excuse. Ever.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Big Dumb Meme

You've all heard people say that there's no such thing as a dumb question. I humbly disagree, because I've answered plenty of them.

Usually when people say "There's no such thing as a dumb question," what they really mean is "Don't feel badly about asking such a dumb question," or "I'm mentally preparing myself to answer your dumb question... OK, go." If they are of a genial and forgiving nature, they may even mean "It's not dumb to ask questions, even if some of the questions are kind of dumb." But they never, ever actually mean "There's no such thing as a dumb question," because there are, and they're probably about to hear one.

In fact, I'm not just going to post about it, I'm going to take a stab at starting a meme about it. For this meme, I'm going to ask you to answer three (hopefully not dumb) questions: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? Why was it it dumb? And, even though it won't help, because answering a dumb question never does, what's the answer? (Or, as I like to think of them: The Big Dumb Question, The Big Dumb Reason, and The Big Dumb Answer.)

I'll start us off, and I'll begin by saying that it isn't always dumb people that ask dumb questions. This one was asked by someone who is pretty smart... but it's still a really dumb question.

The Big Dumb Question:
(read this in a bewildered tone)
"But... if you're an atheist, why are you in the peace movement?"

The Big Dumb Reason:
Being an atheist doesn't mean that you don't believe in ethics, it means you don't believe in God. You shouldn't need an invisible dude in the sky to tell you to do the right thing (or anyone else for that matter). You should do it because it's the right thing to do. We make the same decisions that everyone else does, we just do it without the metaphysical carrot and stick.

And what does religion have to do with peace anyway? I think if you look at the empirical evidence, you'll find that religion is far more likely to lead us into war than away from it. C'mon... when was the last time religion stopped a war?

Now technically, this borders on being an ignorant question rather than a dumb question; it certainly displays a lot of ignorant qualities. But this was a person who knew me, and knew the kind of person I am, and that makes it pretty dumb.

The Big Dumb Answer:
We have one shot at this, and when we're dead, we're dead. That's it. No karmic do over. No everlasting reward. It's just the end.

Frankly, if I'm right, we have more to lose than we do if you're right.


Now because I'm greedy (and because only about 8 people read this) I'm tagging all of you. You, on the other hand, should each tag three people. These are usually funny stories, and since I didn't bring the funny, it's up to you. Go forth and memeify.

(And in a bit of administrivia, I'll get caught up on comments soon, but I'm a little under the weather and I'm absolutely buried at work. Until then, talk amongst yourselves.)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ohio Air Force Base Sought "Gay Bomb"

Wright-Patterson AFB sought $7.5 million to study ways to make enemy troops engage in hot soldier-on-soldier action.

Other projects they wanted to pursue: a bomb that would make swarms of angry wasps and rats attack enemy troops, a bomb that would give enemy troops really bad breath, and a bomb that would make enemy troops think someone had farted.

The 7th grade students of Fairview Middle School, Dayton, OH, could not be reached for comment.

(As a public service, I did not use the word "foxhole" in this post.)

Friday, June 8, 2007

Death Squads Are Bananas! Be Ay En Ay En Ay Ess!

Protection money for Columbian terrorists: 1.7 million dollars.

Paying off the U.S. Justice Department: 25 million dollars.

Being sued by the relatives of 144 victims of the terrorists you paid: Priceless.

I'm Sorry, The Brain You Have Dialed Cannot Be Reached Right Now...

I'm suffering from a severe case of Total Spontaneous Brain Failure. I'll be more entertaining as soon as I get this issue sent off to the printer. Until then, here are some pictures of monkeys.


Thursday, June 7, 2007


Here's the thing: I don't like gardening. I do like having bunnies in my yard.

My neighbors may hate them, but the hippity-hoppity little buggers can claim sanctuary in my yard whenever they want.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bureaucracy FTW!

The kangaroo courts are in trouble. The last incarnation of the unconstitutional tribunals declared the detainees were "enemy combatants," but the legislation authorizing the new incarnation of the sham courts only allows for trial of "unlawful enemy combatants". A military judge has now ruled that an "enemy combatant" is not the same thing as an "unlawful enemy combatant," and tossed out the government's charges in two separate cases.

That missing "unlawful" in the description does not appear for any of the 380 detainees, meaning that cases against all of them can be thrown out on the same grounds. Of course, as bureaucracy giveth, so it taketh away. If the government holds an administrative hearing to change the status to add the missing "unlawful", it can refile the charges.

The government has 72 hours to appeal the decision. However, it turns out that they have not yet bothered to even set up the appeals court (the military commissions review) for this process. If they choose to file an appeal, they'll find that court to which they must appeal doesn't actually exist. I would imagine that this whole "failure to exist" thing may cause some problems for them.

Still, given their ability to find nonexistent voters in the last election, filing briefs with a nonexistent court should be a walk in the park... a nonexistent park.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How's That Surge Working Out For Us?

How do the Republicans think we can control all of Iraq when we can't even control Baghdad? We now control less than a third of the city. As I see it, that makes the insurgency and the militias more than twice as effective as we are.

You think it's bad now? Don't forget, once the Brits pull out of the south, our supply lines from Kuwait will be completely exposed. Running supply convoys through there is going to look like something out of the Road Warrior. It's only a matter of time until we'll have to airlift supplies into Baghdad. If you hurry, you may still be able to find some veterans of Stalingrad to ask how that will turn out.

Control Iraq... hell, we can't even control the Green Zone. Remember when they walked in and bombed the Iraqi Parliament while they were having lunch? What will it take for them to admit that this was a failure? It's hard to come up with a set of victory criteria that include transitioning from control of the whole country to being penned into a third of the capital.

If only someone could have predicted that this was a bad idea before we invaded... Oh wait, I did.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Veddy Interesting

Sony has announced that it will be lowering the price of its Blu-Ray players again, driven by high demand and lower production costs. The recent cut took $100 off the cost of the players, bringing them down to about half the cost at launch, 6 months ago.

Fabulous. Go, Sony, go.

Now, to frame it in terms that I give a rat's ass about, what does this mean for the cost of the PS3? The PS3 is so ridiculously expensive compared to other nextgen gaming systems because Sony used it to leverage their position in the battle over the next DVD format. By building a Blu-Ray player into every PS3, they were able to increase the number of households that have adopted Blu-Ray over HD-DVD. However, the increased expense slowed adoption of the PS3.

The justification for the higher price on the PS3 was the expense of including a Blu-Ray player. If those now cost half what they did 6 months ago, when will we see a corresponding drop in PS3 prices? This would be a huge benefit to Sony, so I can't imagine that they will delay it any longer than necessary. The higher price has been the single biggest complaint about the new system, and if Sony wants to maintain their dominance of the gaming market, they have to do something about it sooner rather than later.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Big In Japan

New from the folks that brought you Godzilla and instant ramen in a cup: a pillow that won't betray you. You know, in case worrying about pillow betrayal is something that keeps you awake at night.