Saturday, July 29, 2006

Administrative Note

Because of her fine work in assisting me to bring you a better blogging experience at "Simply Left Behind," I have asked katrina to help administer this blog, so from time to time, I'm sure you will see her name signed to posts...

...usually when she wants to talk about some "wacko" theory that I won't.

Just kidding, katrina. She does keep me on my toes and usually finds very interesting articles that pass under my radar.

More to the point, I've asked her to assist as I will be on vacation during the month of August and I need someone to herd cats.

Some of you have seen her on other blogs, and posting comments here.

More Music

A band that needs NO introduction, but gets one anyway...

Soak The Poor

House approves minimum wage increase

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Sat Jul 29, 2:02 AM ET
WASHINGTON - Republicans muscled the first minimum wage increase in a decade through the House early Saturday after pairing it with a cut in inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates.

Combining the two issues provoked protests from Democrats and was sure to cause problems in the Senate, where the minimum wage initiative was likely to die at the hands of Democrats opposed to the costly estate tax cuts. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation next week.
Republicans....always praying a problem will go away.

The House Democrats are all up for re-election this year, as are all Republicans. In a near-purely partisan vote, 230-180, the House elected to combine these two issues into a muddled package for passage. This way, they can go home to their know, the ones struggling to pay for gas as they work their two jobs or even three, at $5.15 an hour?...and say "We', I've gotten you a raise! And a big one!"

The minimum wage will rise to $7.25 an hour, from $5.15 an hour, in three increments of 70 cents an hour annually. In addition to this, tax credits for research and development as well as college tuition credits and tax deductions for state sales tax were also authorized.

But rather than give the greeter at Wal-Mart some unconditional lovin', the Bastards of the Elephant took away, probably more than they gave, by giving the family that OWNS Wal-Mart a bigger tax break than all their employees will receive, combined: a permanent cut in the estate tax.

Right now, there is no estate tax. In 2011, the estate tax will be re-introduced on estates over $1 million (55%).

Granted, some of the money on those estates will have already be subject to taxes, but a lot, most of it in fact, will not.

That radical Communist, Abe Lincoln, during an early effort to impose an income tax on Americans, once said, "Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." Meaning, of course, that he would rather tax business owners who have socked away some money, than the laborers who are struggling to earn some.

Makes a lot of sense to me. And estate taxes are about the only place this actually occurs. An estate is accumulated wealth, some of it on the sweat of the person involved, particularly farmers, but much of it is the increaase in value over the normal course of time in assets owned: capital gains.

And until an asset is sold and that increased value is recognized and realized, there is no tax on it. However, through a rather curious loophole, if I own an asset that has appreciated in value and sell it the day before I die, I have to pay tax on the difference between what it cost, generally, and what I received for it.

Take that same asset and leave it to my daughter, and she sells it the day after I die, she pays no tax.

So Paris Hilton's dad can't sell a dime of his holdings without Uncle Sam's cut, but the day they put him in the ground, she's free to sell it to go buy that fur lined Rolls she's been eyeing.

Does that make sense to ANYONE?

The problem with the estate tax is, it's one of those taxes we all want to have to worry about, so none of us want it around. Who among us wouldn't want to have at least a million dollars in assets (like me)? To bear this out, 19% of Americans believe they are in the top 1% of the wealthy in this country.

By contrast, the lower-earning part of that group probably only earns about $50,000, total, and owns a home that might be worth a few hundred thousand dollars, at the tail end of this housing bubble.

YIKES! There are an awful lot of deluded people out there!

So, you see where I'm going with this? The tax burden that's been lost on the estate taxes, to the tune of $1 trillion dollars each decade.

That's "trillion", with a "t," according to, Warren Buffett's think tank.

We're currently running a budget deficit of $400 billion dollars, which would be slashed by 25% if the estate tax hadn't been "temporarily" repealed.

That's $100 billion dollars that you and I (since I'm a wage earner also), and moreover, our children, grandchildren, and their children, will be paying so that Paris Hilton can snap up a few Nubian servants for her new tropical island.

We need to reform the tax system so that it's fair, equitable, and easy for the average Joe to understand. Mostly, we need to wake people up.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to defeat this bill, full stop, after the summer recess. Since Senators only stand for election every six years, only a third of the Senate is running this year. This bill stands a chance of being defeated, but what about the minimum wage increase?

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Obligatory Friday Music Post

It seems that there's this theme for the weekend now to post dance music videos.

Sorry, homey don't play that too good. This was the best I could come up with off the top of my head:

Well, at least it's not Pam Atlass singing "Betchoo wish yuh guhlfrinn’ was hot-like-me…" in front of her fish tank.

He Was In "Mad Max", Not MadDog!

Mel Gibson Arrested for DUI By Joal Ryan

If pain, as Mel Gibson has said, is "the precursor to change," then the Oscar-winning star may be bound for a new direction.

Gibson, 50, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving at 2:36 a.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The actor-director was detained while driving along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the sheriff's department. Gibson was booked and later released from custody.

"Right now, it's an ongoing investigation," Whitmore told E! News.

Gibson's bail was set at $5,000, online records show.

This is at least the second DUI arrest for Gibson, though the first since he was widely reported to have begun attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the early 1990s. The earlier DUI bust occurred in 1984 in Toronto, where Gibson was filming Mrs. Soffel with Diane Keaton.
Maybe he had leftover sacramental wine from "The Passion of the Christ."

I'm sure it wasn't kosher.

The War On Terror

The invasion of Iraq. The war in Afghanistan. The Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza.

All these point out one glaring problem: The Global War on Terrorism is failing.

It's clear that wiping out civilians wholesale in order to deter terrorist activities, much less capture terrorists, is simply the wrong tack to take. Fighting them there does not prevent us from fighting them here. In fact, terrorist plots have been uncovered in three separate instances in 2006 alone.

There's a clue there that I'll get to in a minute, but I want to establish this theme that unfettered and brute military action is not going to stop Al Qaeda or Hizbollah or Hamas or Basque seperatists from planning and implementing attacks. Period.

We need a new strategy, and fast.

I have, as they say, a plan:

1) John Kerry was roundly mocked by President Bush and his minions for treating the Global War On Terrorism as a "police matter." Sadly, Kerry was right: fighting them there has not stopped them from trying to attack us here, and if so much of our attention is distracted with beating them in Iraq and Afghanistan, it makes it that much easier for them to succeed in an attack here.

A tortured sports analogy: imagine the war on terrorists as one giant game of "capture the flag." Only, we're the only team with a flag. That frees up the terrorists to attack only. With nothing to defend (more on this later), they have nothing to lose, and they can send wave upon wave of bombers, assassins and all manner of attacker.

By sending out our troops to "capture their flag," we're committing to a goal that simply doesn't exist. (Presumably, capturing their flag means instilling democracy by force, in this instance.)

We ought to be beefing up our defenses, and remaining alert to threats closer to us. Yes, to some degree, this means more border patrols, but it also means much better detective work on the ground, not only in America, but in cooperation with countries worldwide.

Our most recent terror attack arrests came from the hands of the Lebanese government, the same thin shell that's barely holding up under the cracking weight of the bombings and invasions by Israel. French, Spanish, German, and English authorities have fed us information in the past that has prevented terror attacks within the United States. Good solid police work did the rest.

It's not a good thing that the FBI has been bleeding agents, particularly mid-level agents who have trained in anti-terror tactics. These are also the agents who have the backchannel communications with similar agencies like Interpol and Scotland Yard, to pick up unofficial tips and targets.

We need to beef up our domestic criminal investigation units. By this, I don't mean that we should creat jobs or worse, create new laws allowing for broader powers within our borders. We had eight years of no terror attacks within the United States under Bill Clinton, without a Patriot Act, precisely because Clinton focused on the problem. He had to. The first Trade Center attack occured a month after he took the Oath.

2) Admittedly the weakest leg of this entire plan, and yet a critical one, is education.

Right now, terrorists are being indoctrinated with "America is the great Zionist Satan." A tactic of all warriors is to dehumanize your victims, your enemy, to justify to your God that you are right and your enemy is evil. Further, there is a vast swatch of Muslim society that simply doesn't appreciate how the world works, particularly in terms of scientific achievement (sounds like the Religious Right in this country). Ironic, considering that our greatest scientific achievements have been on the shoulders of ancient Arabic scientists: astronomy, algebra, physics, architecture.

Which brings me to this part of the solution: we in America ought to be spending some time reminding ourselves (and the Muslim community of the world) of their contributions to knowledge. This will benefit us here with greater comprehension and understanding of our antagonists, but will also serve to remind the Arabic world that they, too, were capable of being world powers and can be again, through a commitment to education and technological advances.

We don't have to focus on the terrorists: they live for the ignorance that is inherent in the madrassahs. We have to focus on the ordinary Jafar in the street. Ethnic pride can help us overcome resistance to defeating the forces of ignorance, and the person who cowers and cringes with each terrorist bomb will be more likely to do something, anything, to stop them if they are reminded that there is a history and an heritage of peace and knowledge behind them.

And more, if they see that WE see this, they'll be more likely to turn to us. The assassination of Zarqawi came about because a neighbor saw him and told someone who told us and we were able to pinpoint him and attack. How much quicker would that have happened if we had shown the respect and understanding of the citizens of Iraq-- part of Persia, if you will-- than it did? Imagine that kind of quick cooperation worldwide in rooting out Al Qaeda.

3) There is an old saying: "Give a man a fish, and you've fed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you've fed him for life."

The third and most important part of this solution deals with the one tool we have yet to fully employ in the global war on terror, and yet it is our most powerful weapon.

Economic development. Specifically, jobs. Handouts won't work. Charity is resented even as it is accepted. We need to develop a jobs program, not just for Iraq or Afganistan, but for Iran and Syria and Lebanon and the Sudan and Somalia.

I don't have a full answer here, because I can't take enough time to examine the economies of these nations, but here's a clue: in Iraq, there's a reason the terrorists have taken great pains to blow up oil pipelines. They know that poverty breeds anger and anger breeds terrorists. Similarly, infrastructure destruction and terror has been high on the terrorists list in Iraq: IED don't just blow up American military vehicles. Car bombs are strategically placed where people gather for work or shopping. In other words, it's an assault on any economic development.

We in America and in Europe can't begin to wrap our minds around the concept of abject poverty and starvation. Even the worst off among us have it lightyears better than the average person in Baghdad or Riyadh (despite the sheiks lavish palaces and public works).

Mohammad Atta, one of the nineteen 9-11 attackers, had degrees in architectural & urban design and by all accounts was an intelligent man who could have had a job in any firm (so long as it wasn't American or Jewish, I suppose). He was middle class Egyptian and clearly understood the concepts of wealth and money. Hell, he gave a friend $25,000 to start a business in Germany. He had money.

What would cause a man like this to join Al Qaeda? He clearly stood no personal advantage, so there must be some external justification. He must have looked around him, and saw the suffering of people, suffering he placed firmly in the hands of the Americans and Israelis.

Imagine if those friends and family members had jobs, and incomes, and food on the table. Does anyone think a well-educated urbane man who wanted to design and build things would have flown a plane into a building to destroy it and hopefully the country it represented?

I sure don't. He held two notions in his head, and rather than be able to balance them, he went mad. How many more bombings and attacks can we prevent without digging out the root cause and fixing it: dignity, respect, and a job well-done.

My solution is to turn this over to the private sector, and I don't mean Halliburton (altho that would be better than nothing). Give incentives to American and European and Asian companies to camp out in endangered nations, and build jobs there.

We did it here in America, during the Great Depression. We ought to be able to do it there. If we get people jobs, they'll have a stake in their homes. And with a stake in their homes, they'll want a say in their community. And with a say in their community, terrorists will have fewer and fewer hiding places.

4) Finally, military action. Yes, I know, I said it was a failure, and for the most part it is.

But the killing of Zarqawi points out the value of precision, small-scale military involvement. Fast moving, moment's notice task forces sent out with the specific information on how to stop a terrorist in his tracks will be what is needed to finally bring the bombings to an end.

I would argue that the elephantine way we fight wars (and Israel is proving this right alongside us) is an abject failure. We need to retrain our forces to act more independently of central command while keeping in mind their overall objectives. Businesses in America have worked for decades pushing authority down the chain of command to conform to the responsibility for the job. The army ought to be taking notes, because it's worked.

You might also notice that this is precisely the tactic that allows terror groups to function so effectively.

You can see there's a flow to this overall solution that requires us to regain respect (but not fear) of people who will then turn in, for reasons that the economic aspect make apparent (now they actually HAVE something to lose) terrorists to forces that will move swiftly to secure the evil without excising the good along with it.

The war on terror will not be won on grains of sand, but on grains of wheat.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Katherine Harris Wants An Apology?

Rep. Harris demands Howard Dean apologize

TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris (news, bio, voting record) demanded an apology Thursday from Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, who during a speech this week likened the senatorial candidate to former Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin.

Dean, in a speech to Democratic business leaders in West Palm Beach, made the remark in reference to Harris' handling of the 2000 presidential election recount when she was Florida secretary of state and an honorary chairwoman of George W. Bush's Florida campaign.

Harris certified Bush's 537-vote win in Florida over Democrat Al Gore, putting him in the White House.

Dean said in Wednesday's speech that Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson is "going to beat the pants off Katherine Harris, who didn't understand that it is ethically improper to be the chairman of a campaign and count the votes at the same time. This is not Russia and she is not Stalin."
Apologize this, bitch!
Katherine Harris' 'W' Files

(CBS) Government computers in the office of Florida's top elections official contained documents endorsing George W. Bush's candidacy for president, an initial review of computer files showed.

Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who also served as co-chair of Bush's Florida campaign, had said repeatedly that she had erected "a firewall" during the election between her state office and the Republican Party.

The documents found on her state computers endorsing Mr. Bush were among tens of thousands of computer files released by Harris last week after reporters questioned whether she had erased records about the 2000 election that a newspaper had asked to examine.

One of the documents was titled "George W. Bush Talking Points." It was dated March 14, 2000, and endorsed Mr. Bush's nomination for president, saying he had "proven in Texas that he can manage like an executive, govern across party lines and lead with inclusiveness."

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Happy Boit'day, Bugs!

(A crunch of my carrot to Paul the Spud)

"Don't Mind Me, Miss, There's A Terrorist In The Bush"


By Jeff Edwards
A DETECTIVE was arrested for allegedly filming up women's skirts with a hidden camera.

The married anti-terrorist officer told police he was working undercover to video al-Qaeda suspects. But back at the station they found his camera had close-ups of bottoms and knickers.

He was nabbed by a plain-clothes team watching out for perverts and paedophiles in Trafalgar Square, Central London, on Tuesday. A police source claimed the man, a Scotland Yard surveillance expert with more than 20 years' experience, had the camera hidden in a sports bag. He added: "The officer used surveillance techniques for his own perverted hobby - taking pictures up women's skirts.

"It was one of the year's hottest days and Trafalgar Square was packed with young women in skimpy clothes. When officers moved in, he told them he was a cop on an anti-terror operation.

"But the pictures were not of terrorist suspects planning a bombing, they were of knickers."

The officer was arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance. He has been suspended.
I can't even BEGIN to comment on this!

(straw boater tip to Alex at Martini Republic)

Once Again, To England

Stories you are NOT reading or hearing in the American media:
Israel says world backs offensive

Israel says the decision by a summit of world powers not to call for a halt to its Lebanon offensive has given it the green light to continue.

"We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world... to continue the operation," Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.
I smell Karl Rove's odor all over this "justification" of their abhorrent continuing actions. This is an asinine position for Israel to take. Just because no one stops you, does not make you right. If that were true, then there should be no crime ever prosecuted anywhere. Period.

And besides, I'm sure all those world leaders approve of this, as well...
Agencies struggle to provide aid

[....]Aid convoys have been hit by Israeli air strikes in the south. Six Lebanese Red Cross paramedics were wounded in an Israeli strike on Sunday.

A UN humanitarian convoy of 10 trucks set off from Beirut on Wednesday to the city of Tyre in south Lebanon where aid is urgently required.

The UN received extensive co-operation from Israel to provide safe passage, but says that more aid needs to go south - and quickly.
That the UN, whose well-marked and well-known observation post in Lebanon was destroyed Tuesday, despite numberous warnings and then pleas to Israel to stop shelling it, needed Israeli permission to send a convoy into southern Lebanon speaks volumes about the Israeli aggression here.

Worse, on the BBC news this morning was a doctor pleading with Israel to stop targeting her hospital. She was a Coptic Christian, according to the reporter, and so had no dog in the hunt.

Not "hitting," which might be explained away as an accident: targeting. Turning now to Gaza:
High death toll in Gaza clashes

Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip have killed 23 Palestinians, including several children, witnesses and medical sources say.
At least 11 militants were among the dead, but many civilians were also killed, and about 70 people were hurt.
So the Israeli attacks there have a success rate of 47.82% Significantly better than in Lebanon, but still pretty piss poor for a country with a vaunted intelligence agency and supposed military superiority.

But finally, for those of your keeping score for future reference:
Al-Qaeda 'to avenge Israel deeds'

Al-Qaeda's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has said in a video the militant network will respond to attacks on Muslims in Lebanon and Gaza.
The video was broadcast by Arabic television station al-Jazeera.

Al-Qaeda could not remain silent in the face of a "Crusader war" and now saw "all the world as a battlefield open in front of us", he said [...] The shells and rockets which are tearing the bodies of Muslims in Gaza and Lebanon are not purely Israeli. They are produced and financed by all the countries of the Crusader alliance."
Keep that phrase in mind: "Crusader war".

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Caesar Salad For Lunch?

Stone Cold Balls

I found this article in today's paper, and it sort of triggered a cascade effect of data from the back of my brain, possibly because a slight fever that I've been suffering from for a few days finally broke last night:
Body Heat Linked to Armstrong's Recovery

AP Medical Writer

July 25, 2006, 8:10 PM EDT

CHICAGO -- A new but unproven theory says body heat might explain Lance Armstrong's astounding victory over testicular cancer. The theory -- disputed by Armstrong's doctor -- refers to the unusually high cure rate for testicular cancer, even when it has spread to other parts of the body. [....]

According to three Johns Hopkins University researchers, the reason for the good prognosis might have to do with the fact that the temperature of the testicles is a few degrees cooler than the rest of the body. That's to enhance development of sperm, but it might also make cancer that develops there sensitive to heat, the researchers said.

And so, their not-yet-mainstream theory goes, when testicular cancer spreads to other, warmer body parts, the higher temperature might damage it and render it more vulnerable to cancer treatment.

Understanding the basis for what they call "the Lance Armstrong effect" might lead to ways to help make other kinds of cancer more treatable, the researchers said in an article in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. [....]

"There is no direct or even indirect evidence even remotely supporting this hypothesis," said Nichols, a specialist at Oregon Health & Science University's Cancer Institute.
True enough, but...

There is strong evidence that cooling the body can provide all sorts of benefits.

I'm not talking about air conditioning, although that certainly helps, but cooling the body, providing it a way to shed the heat it manufactures in its daily processes, has a salutary effect on its internal functioning.

For example, a little-known but highly-studied treatment for high blood pressure is regular cool showers, no more than 65-70 degrees F. Ocean temperatures, in other words (if you live in the North). This helps stabilize your circulatory system by triggering your autonomic response, the same response that protects you when you drown in icy water.

Moreover, studies have shown that cold showers will also increase your immune response, making you less susceptible to communicable diseases. And cold water stimulates endorphins, which provide you with more energy and pain relief. Cold water also stimulates neurons that improve your mood, making you feel exhilirated and motivated.

(A good article on the benefits of cold showers and it's practical application in your daily life is here)

Some of those old wives tales had some merit, and clearly the one about taking a cold shower to depress your sex drive was one, but not for the cold water itself: it's the body's response to the shower that makes the sex drive seem less important an urge, as you satisfy some of the ancillary anxieties associated with sex with the stimulation of endorphins.

So the next time someone tells me I've got stone cold balls, I'm going to be sure to thank them. Then go take a shower!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Evil Douchebag Of Idiocy

Beck: "We went into Iraq three years ago to prevent World War III"
Summary: CNN host Glenn Beck declared that the reason the Bush administration stated for invading Iraq in 2003 -- that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- was "just gravy" and that the "real objective" was "to prevent World War III ... to prevent the evil Iranian ideology from spreading across the region."
What a smarmy self-righteous asshole...where to begin in taking this jackass down a few notches.

OK, let's see...we invade IraQ in order to stop IraN from starting World War III. Iran, which hated Saddam Hussein because, you know, he actually used (US-supplied) WMDs against Iran in their long drawn out war (thus deplting them for any pondered war against us...). So we punished the victim, in effect, by invading the wrong country (or as Jon Stewart likes to put it...."Hey, we were only off by one letter!")

Plus, there's this little trope running around the right wing blogosphere....
Gingrich says it's World War III
Posted by David Postman at 12:54 PM

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says America is in World War III and President Bush should say so. In an interview in Bellevue this morning Gingrich said Bush should call a joint session of Congress the first week of September and talk about global military conflicts in much starker terms than have been heard from the president.
So basically, Glenn, you're admitting we fucked up, aintcha?

Anytime you need a reality check, son, I'd be willing...nay, I'd be licking my fucking lips! come on your show and give you a history lesson!

In fact, I may not wait for the invitation. I may just force my way into the studio. It could only help your ratings, which I understand linger somewhere south of reruns of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," but north of "Scarborough Country".

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File This Under Useful Glove Box Tool...

Are you a woman going solo? Try a blow-up man

LONDON (Reuters) - He fits in a car's glove box, appears at a flick of a switch and when a woman has finished using him, she can just pull the plug and he deflates.

He's the "Buddy on Demand," a blow-up man launched on Tuesday with the aim of making solo female motorists feel less nervous about driving at night.

According to research by the inflatable friend's creator, insurer Sheilas' Wheels, 82 percent of women feel safer with someone sitting in the car beside them and nearly a half don't like driving alone in the dark.

"We're not saying that an inflatable man is the only answer but we do hope it will give women extra confidence and make journeys in the dark less fearful," said Jacky Brown, the spokeswoman for Sheilas' Wheels.
Not only that, but he'll even do in a pinch on a late night drive to Lover's Lane...and of course, there's the "special" inflation hose (*winkwink*)...

She Got Fired For This????

(Sorry, iFilm's embedding scheme is pretty crappy and its not up on Google or YouTube)

(In case the embedding is hosed:

PBS Kids' Show Host Fired for Video

By Associated Press

July 25, 2006, 12:58 AM EDT

NEW YORK -- The PBS Kids Sprout network has fired the host of "The Good Night Show" after learning she had appeared in videos called "Technical Virgin."

The host, Melanie Martinez, had alerted network officials about one of the videos late last week and she was immediately taken off the air.

"PBS Kids Sprout has determined that the dialogue in this video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her character's credibility with our audience," said Sandy Wax, network president.

Airing for three hours each evening, "The Good Night Show" airs soothing stories and cartoons designed to get an audience of 2-to-5-year-olds ready for bed. Each night, Martinez guides a puppet character into dreamland. Martinez is a stage actress and mother of a toddler.
Now, I don't know about you, but I don't know of a single toddler aged 2 through 5 who is even going to understand the concept of virginity, much less some of the dialogue in this pretty funny spoof.

Further, show me any parent who would let their toddler watch this (it comes with an adult-content caution), and I'll show you a kid who has much bigger problems than confusing the host of a TV show with an actress in a satirical video.

How many times has Dr. Ruth been on Sesame Street? Or Robin Williams, yet he never seems to cut back on the raunchiness in his act? Or any number of actresses who go on to do nude scenes in movies, or movies that spoof some morality issue? Hell, George Carlin replaced Ringo Starr on "Thomas, The Tank Engine"!

My god, what is PBS coming to?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Jazzing For Blogposts

So many of you viewed this, my rip-off tone poem on how conservatives argue, that apparently it has spawned at least one riff, which I will excerpt here.
How denialists argue[...]

Denialist: You’re really something, you know that? You scientists are always going on about how all of us who don't believe in global warming are racists, how we don’t care about anybody but people who look like us. But you don’t even want to measure the CO2 that the Africans or the Asians are exposed to.

Scientist: First of all, I never said all denialists are racists.

Denialist: Yes, you did.

Scientist: No, I didn’t.

Denialist: Al Gore says it.

Scientist: I’ve never heard him say that.

Denialist: Yes, he does! He most definitely does!

Scientist: Look, I don’t know what he says. That’s beside the point. And the people in Africa “count,” whatever that means. I don’t even know who lives in Africa; I don’t know the first thing about Africa. I’m just saying the CO2 concentration in Africa is about the same as it is everywhere else. CO2 is well mixed.
Go read the rest, but be prepared to do a little thinking. It's ultra-wonky, which gets megacool points from yours truly, a fauz-wonk of enormous proportion. Hat tip to Dr. Eli Rabbett for a very well-crafted rip-off of my rip-off :-)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Why Men Get Stupid When They Get Married

A partner in bed makes men dull

New Delhi: Sharing a bed with another person makes men dull, latest research published in the New Scientist journal says.

When men spend the night in the same bed with someone else their sleep patterns are disturbed, even if they do not have sex. This leads to poorer performance in intelligence tests the next day, UK's Daily Mail newspaper said quoting an Austrian scientist's research.

Women, too, get disturbed sleep if they share a bed, but their mental ability is not affected. Professor Gerhard Kloesch of the University of Vienna and his team used eight young unmarried, childless couples for the study.

The couples were asked to spend 10 nights sleeping apart and 10 together while Kloesch monitored their rest patterns at night through wrist monitors and sleep diaries.

The next day the couples were given mental ability tests. Even without having sex, everyone had more disturbed sleep when sharing a bed than alone but the effects of this on the brain only affected the men.
Video available upon request and $39.99 sent in a plain brown wrapper, cash only
According to the journal: "Lack of sleep led to increased stress hormone levels in men and reduced their ability to perform simple cognitive tests the next day."

However women seemed to show no such ill-effects even if their sleep was just as disturbed. The researchers found women were more refreshed than men even when they slept the same number of hours and so concluded they must sleep more deeply.
So there you have it, folks. In one swell foop, a rationale for banning gay male marriage (at least ONE person in the couple ought to be able to make a decision the next morning!), and for separate bedrooms!

Now, I know, when I was married, I always was more relaxed and alert when I was sleeping at one of my girlfriends' apartments, but I didn't think there was a deeply rooted physiological reason for it! I just thought it was 'cause I got laid.

But now I know, it's all her fault, so I should get my lawyer on the horn pronto!