31 October 2008

Happy Happy Halloween!

Whether you're the crazy guy at the end of your block who hands out chocolate bars w/needles stuck in them, or that annoying lady who feels the need to hand out "organic fruit snacks", have a Happy Halloween! The embedded video is from the awesomely terrible Halloween III: Season of the Witch (it's about druids...and robots...and doing it with robots...and a mass killing of children...I think). See some more recommended movies from yours truly here.

4 Political Ads to Make You Vomit in the Voting Booth

They often say that politics is the entertainment industry for ugly people, and no where is that more evident than these heinous concoctions of money-hungry people in bad suits seeking power in Washington. Check it out:

#1: The "Big John" ad for Sen. Cornyn (R-Tx). He was quoted in Politico saying "My staff convinced me that it would be a good idea… Maybe I need a new staff." I know the Republic of Texas has a history of cowboy culture, but are the people looking for their Senator to ride into DC with a Howdy-Doody vest?

#2:There is no doubt that the former Alaskan Senator, Mike Gravel, is completely insane. Trying to "bust out a rap" reminds me of an anti-drug PSA from the early 90s, and this ad came out waayyy after Obama Girl was yesterday's news.

#3:Ralph Nader ponders the existentialism of politics in a post-modern world...with a parrot. Why? Because he's a fuckin' idiot.

#4: Sure, The Obama would never lend himself to such a shoddy product. But this bizarre chearleading contest from Obama, Japan is probably going to replace recess for every kid in public school. So get used to hearing this melody as you drive around town looking for a job and scavenging for a dead cat to cook up in Obama's America.

Bing West Furious At Everybody

Grr!! Bing Smash!

Bing West, CFR member and author of "The Strongest Tribe", has a harshly written post at Small Wars Journal about journalist Nir Rosen. Rosen recently spent time with the Taliban to provide a very eye-opening account at Rolling Stone, which focused on their control of Ghazni province and their internal dynamics. IMHO, I thought it was good open-source intelligence and insight into the enemy, but Bing West was repulsed by his lack of patriotism and even sorta implies that he should be tried for treason:
Yet had Rosen been captured by Afghan soldiers, it is likely Rolling Stone magazine would have asked the US military to intercede for his release. But if the reporter has no obligation toward the soldier, does the soldier have the obligation to protect the journalist? Should Rosen, if captured, have been released or put on trial for aiding or abetting the enemy?
I empathize with the resentment, like when Washington Post stringers of dubious association were watching the Mahdi Army launch attack against the U.S., and of course there is always terrorist AP photographer Bilal Hussein. However, Nir Rosen's piece wasn't exactly giving a lot of sympathy to the Taliban thugs, and he never actively took part in an attack against ISAF forces. So bringing up "aiding and abetting the enemy" might be a bit much in his assault against a perceived enemy in the media.

Bing West goes on to rail against the Secretary of Defense and Admiral Mullen for lacking "moral courage and clarity" during tough times. Is he trying to get on C.H.U.D. Busters or something? I can't even begin to fathom the kind of responsibility that public servants Gates and Mullen have, and I would save my criticism for the politicians that appointed them, which is the crux behind "civilian control" of the military. This "good vs. evil" paradigm often neglects to understand the nature of the enemy and prevents any sort of reconciliation, which created a disastrous situation in Iraq following the invasion, something Bing himself acknowledges.

Abu Muqawama has more on Bing West follies, when he compares one generation to another as an arbiter of American greatness:
First he went after Bill Murphy's book in Forbes, sniping -- among other things -- that the contemporary American officer corps had not sacrificed on a level equivalent to those who fought in World War II and Vietnam -- wars "more intense" than the ones currently being fought.
Sure, I can say that my service was "less intense" than my late grandfathers in WWII. But casting such broadstrokes about today's military is a little unfair and can diminish a lot of respect in the public mind...I mean try saying that to this guy.

I don't want to interpret the words of others, but when David Bellavia says "don’t use your valor awards from previous wars to tell me about my war" in response to Murtha, it might apply to other older veterans, like West, as well.

Why Are The Nice Ones Always So Damn Crazy?

Your Friendly Neighbor is Probably a Psychopath

Unlike the usual blend of morans at the Huffington Post talking about the evils of Rovian America, Carol Anne Burger chose to write straight-forward journalism for the site including early voting in Florida and motivated Young Democrats. Unfortunately, a relationship gone sour with her lover may have a small impact on her career. From Palm Beach Bost (h/t Libertarian Leanings):

Carol Anne Burger killed her former lover by stabbing her 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver and then took pains to hide her crime, police said Wednesday...Examining the body, detectives absorbed what had been done to her. Stab wounds were clustered around the back of her head and stitched across her back and arms and face. Most were between an inch and an inch-and-a-half deep. A blow to Kalish's neck probably killed her, investigators determined.

Carol Anne Burger committed suicide before the police could arrest her. Geez.

Like child-murderer John Wayne Gacy putting on clown shows for kids, and murderer/rapist Ted Bundy speaking eloquently in court. It never seems to be the mutants one would expect.

30 October 2008

USS Michael Monsoor

Pretty cool. Medal of Honor reciptient, Michael Monsoor, was a Navy Seal KIA in Ramadi. The new Zumwault-class Destroyer will be named after him and Some Soldier's Mom has the full press release. There have been very few who have received our nation's highest honor this decade, and this is a much more fitting show of respect than getting some lousy park in the exurbs named after you.

Joe to Take Part in Hoe Down

Alright...it seems that some readers were not happy with my defense of Joe the Plumber getting dragged through the coals. So for all the Joe-haters and people who think he pole-vaulted over the shark, here's an interesting article for ya:

“Joe” — aka Samuel Wurzelbacher, a Holland, Ohio, pipe-and-toilet man — just signed with a Nashville public relations and management firm to handle interview requests and media appearances, as well as create new career opportunities, including a shift out of the plumbing trade into stage and studio performances.

On Tuesday, Wurzelbacher joined country music artist and producer Aaron Tippin to form a new partnership that includes booking-management firm Bobby Roberts and publicity-management concern The Press Office to field the multiple media offers he’s received over the past few weeks.

Among the requests: a possible record deal with a major label, personal appearances and corporate sponsorships.
Ye gods. There will be no further discussion of Joe.

(h/t Ms. K)

Team America (Abu Ghadiya Version)

Why over-analyze the situation when a cartoon will do.

Obama Campaign To Solve Everyone's Problems by Ending Iraq War

Just finished watching the Obama 30-minute spot with sappy music and families who have fallen on hard times. Sure, it'd be great if everyone in America had it all, but how is this guy going to pay for all this shit?

The Iraq war has certainly been wrought with controversy and has been unpopular in America ever since early 2004. It has also come with a hefty price tag and is currently costing about $10 Billion a month. Whoever wins the election will deal with the messy Status of Forces Agreement and properly withdrawing coalition troops as security responsibility is transferred to the Iraqi Security Forces. But Obama is capitalizing on Iraq's unpopularity by implying he could fund the promises he has made to America in his commercial by ending the war. According to an WSJ article by a CATO guy, that's not gonna be enough:

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. Altogether, Mr. Obama is promising at least $4.3 trillion of increased spending and reduced tax revenue from 2009 to 2018 -- roughly an extra $430 billion a year by 2012-2013...

...The number of U.S. troops in Iraq will decline, regardless of who the next president is. Yet the CFARB credits John McCain's budget with only a $5 billion savings from troop reduction in Iraq, while Mr. Obama gets an extra $55 billion.
It's politically advantageous to speak out against a war no one likes, but trying to fudge the numbers for this fairy tale government isn't doing a service to anyone.

The Oboner Media

The Media and a Pimply Faced Teenager Have a Lot in Common

Lining up to run the Obama Cult of Personality half-hour is one thing, but the media is already creaming its pants over what kind of reporting they are going to have on Nov. 5th when Obama wins the presidency. Slate describes this appalling lust for The Obama in medialand with the article "Countdown to the Obama Rapture":
The windows of this mind-set are provided by Slate's Jacob Weisberg, for whom the Obama election is a national referendum on racism; the New York Times' Nicholas D. Kristof, for whom an Obama presidency is an opportunity to "rebrand" our nation and "find a path to restore America's global influence"; E.J. Dionne, who sees an Obama presidency as representing a chance to "rekindle the sense of possibility and transformation" in American life; and a swooning Andrew Sullivan, who almost a year ago speculated that Obama might be "that bridge to the 21st century that Bill Clinton told us about." For Chris Matthews, of course, the Obama candidacy is a "thrill" going up his leg, one that will arc over his torso and detonate his head in the event of a victory.

The leading Obama cheerleader among the commentariat is Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, whose "erection of the heart" for the candidate has no match.
This must be something akin to the prom for these pubescent media pukes. Getting all dressed up to attend Obama's big dance in Chicago's Grant Park on Election day. Pinning on their laminated press badge, like a corsage, that they shelled out $1,870 for. Hoping to get lucky in the parking lot by hanging out with all the cool kids who volunteered for Obama from the get-go in 2007. Egotistical strokefests like this are usually funny when it happens in Hollyweird with a bunch coked-up celebrities, but Obama is going to be the President of the goddamn country, therefore it is downright scary. A complicit media is an essential part of any dictatorship that seeks to maintain power through a Cult of Personality. The media's love affair with Obama is repulsive for a democracy, and the tendency for the Obama campaign to deny access to few outlets they perceive as hostile is downright creepy.

But take a deep breath, nothing on The Obama website says that we're going to experience a Mao-like purge of the bourgeois class, and the media (like his fanatical supporters) are most likely excited because the economy has sucked so bad and they are erroneously looking to a politician for "change". Of course, people are most likely going to be pissed off when they discover that Obama is a incompetent imbecile like the last bunch of Presidents we've had. So, really the media's Oboner is like whacking it to a Victoria Secret catalog. You can fantasize all day and night about getting some action, but in reality, you're carnal desires are never going to actually happen in a million years.

Zombified Corpse of Kim Jong-Il Hospitalized

South Korean intelligence is reporting that North Korean despot, Kim Jong-Il, remains hospitalized after his "setback" in August. [CNN]. The media mentions that North Korea tried to air some undated video footage, but no one is buying it. North Korea needs to stitch up Dear Leader's skull with dental floss and trot him out ala Weekend at Bernie's to convince us imperialist dogs that all is well. Even though Kim Jong Il presided over one of the worst famines in modern history, largely caused by his Stalinist rule, I hear the Mass Games are really cool. So please keep Mr. Il in your thought and prayers at this time.

29 October 2008

What is Sen. Obama's Stance on Unicorns?

BostonMaggie shares the funny for the day. But, seriously, who do I have to vote for to get some unicorns around here?Puppies and a Rainbow would be a nice treat from any politician, but this is The Obama...he could do so much more for us.

Republicans to Secretly Meet in VA to Discuss Wildly Successful Campaign Strategy

Due to the trainwreck of the GOP campaign this election cycle, prominent conservatives are going to gather in a fortress of solitude to discuss better tactics to win in 2010. Johnathan Martin has the scoop:

Few believe that the Republican party will respond to another brutal election by following a path of moderation, but conservatives are deeply dispirited and anxious to reassert the core values they believe have not always been followed by Bush, congressional leaders and their party’s presidential nominee . Many on the right, both elites and the rank-and-file, see a rudderless party that is in dire need of new blood and old principles: small government, a robust national security and unapologetic social conservatism.
Martin also states that Palin will be near the top of the ticket to run for Prez, despite her obscene unpopularity among the voting public. A push for "unapologetic social conservatism" to all the supposed June Cleavers and Torquemadas residing in America might not even be a winning strategy, as evangelicals (the traditional bulwarks of social conservatism) make up a mere 24% of the public, and are only "reluctantly" supporting McCain (possibly because some think voting for Obama will send you straight to hell)! It's none of my business as to whether someone believes in speaking in tongues or spirtual warfare or Xenu or whatever, but notorious intellectual with sharp commentary who's also a bit of an asshole, Christopher Hitchens, writes a scathing critique of why Palin's stubborn beliefs about science could spell disaster for policy. From Slate:
This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.
Maybe the next Republican party will take this to heart, or maybe they'll continue down a losing path. Either way, I'll be bitterly cllinging to my porn and online gambling until they don't scare the daylights out of me with blatant religous overtones getting mixed in with politics at the federal level.

The Forgotten War

Don't forget to check out The Frontline special on Afghanistan, this terribly under-resourced war that America seems to have forgotten. Very eye-opening. Jules Crittenden has some details.

So, Which "The Heights" Character is Most Like You?

Back during the early 90s, the country was feeling a tad guilty about the drug-addled 70s and the greed is good 80s, so political correctness reigned mainstream culture. From Captain Planet and the Planeteers to Van Halen's Right Now video, if you weren't in a multi-ethnic cause to save the rainforests from AIDS, you were something akin to Hitler. Believe it or not, Fox tried to cash in on this by trotting out a show about urban/socially-conscious hipsters struggling to make it as musicians. The show was called The Heights and it lasted a lengthy 3 months on the air in 1992. A big thanks to Ms. Kiyum for passing along the video to describe her banged hairstyle 15 years ago. For me personally, I think I aspired to be the Fabio-like lead guitarist, but was probably more closer to the drummer in the vest. Which character were you?

I have no idea how this show got canceled!

First They Came for the Plumbers

That arrogant Joe the Plumber guy, who does he think he is?!? Asking The Obama an unscripted question in his boorish, midwestern attire. Luckily, local commissar Helen Jones-Kelly was able to put him in his place by investigating his child support records. From the Columbus Dispatch (h/t Gateway Pundit):

Helen Jones-Kelly, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed today that she OK'd the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher following the Oct. 15 presidential debate.

She said there were no political reasons for the check on the sudden presidential campaign fixture though the Support Enforcement Tracking System.

Amid questions from the media and others about "Joe the Plumber," Jones-Kelley said she approved a check to determine if he was current on any ordered child-support payments.
Fellow proles, there is no need to fear a demagogue-like president rising to power in a time of economic crisis with a self-righteous majority of supporters who pay no heed to the Rule of Law. No historical precedents whatsoever!

Where my homies at? (libertarians that is)

Fellow Libs Discuss Future Political Prospects

Reason has an article out discussing how people who self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal are aligning themselves in America's nutty maelstrom of politics. Based on polling data, seems libs are doing an about face from the Repubs due to perceived nastiness and culture war fiascoes:
The real McCain, whoever that is or was, may still believe that major swathes of the Religious Right represent "agents of intolerance" in our politics. But he has decided to stake both his election and the Republican Party's future upon them—from the barely coded racial refrain of "Who is Barack Obama?," to the rallies with shouts of "terrorist" and "kill him," to the corrosive choice of pipeline-prayer Sarah Palin as his running mate and heir apparent.

Tax cuts or no tax cuts, a party that can be roused in time of deep crisis only by fear and tribalism—a party that a supposed moderate is now deeding to its most extreme elements—can scarcely serve as a safe home to liberty or the voters who cherish it.
Sure, everyone loves the grass-roots activism of Joe and Tito, but a presidential candidate needs to move beyond the street-level insults slung at the opposition to prove that he/she is competent. Sure, I'd love to grab a beer with those guys, but I remain skeptical that they have background and expertise to conduct tough diplomacy with some of the world's more unsavory characters, which is why it is bizarre that the Republican campaign has pushed this anti-elite meme so hard. One thing I learned from the military is that you want your leadership to know what the fuck they are doing, and being a "swell guy" is a bit irrelevant. That's why the Palin 2012 buzz is registering about a 0.4 on my interest radar, because her communication strategy seems obsessed with relating to the hardcore, folksy, Evangelical base of the Republican party. Call me a limp-wristed "elite", but the Republicans' preoccupation with culture war issues like stem cell research, gay marriage, and Obama being some anti-American mutant seem rather silly when serious issues are at stake. I just want a Prez who's not going to get us all killed, is that too damn much to ask?

28 October 2008

My Turn: You're 18 You're Out the Door!

And Get a Real Job While You're At It, You Bums

My Turn, the first-person Newsweek feature that covers a random assortment of topics from Dude, Where's My Bridge to Nowhere and I Can't Cook Like Grandma, has always been a fave of mine. Primarily, because it allows people to shamelessly air the dirty laundry of life in a major media publication. It can also provide a fascinating look at mainstream trends in your generation that you isolated yourself from long ago by signing up for military service. After reading a Politico article about this new wave of young voters, it sounds like these youngsters are looking for "change" in the form of free government healthcare, free college tuition, and free beer money from the tooth fairy. Call me a cynical asshole if you must, but it's well known that people tend to vote their self-interest and riding the feel-good train to fame and fortune seems to be the lofty aspirations of all these would-be Paris Hiltons based on polling data.

But a looksy at these two My Turns gets to the root of the problem with many young people today, they are just too doggone self-centered and woefully dependent on their parents. An NYC denizen describes her "subsidized" friends living up every hipsters dream of having a studio in SoHo:
Higher rents and the need for deeper pockets are part of the charm associated with city living, but urban pricing aside, it is possible to live in any city regardless of your age or income; it just takes a little budgeting and prioritizing. Surrendering to lifestyle flexibility may be unattractive, but sometimes it's necessary. It's easy to "keep up with the Joneses" when financial responsibility is someone else's problem. The fact is, my peers who flood out of designer stores, arms adorned with shopping bags, wouldn't be able to afford their purchases without ringing up a massive credit-card debt. By continuing to provide for their twentysomething kids, parents hinder their children's ability to be financially responsible. If you don't learn to budget early on, what will inspire you to do so when your finances become your own prerogative?
Another ex-tutor talks about getting paid by well-to-do parents to do their kids homework while the little darlings are out screwing in the backseat of Mom's Lexus SUV:
Welcome to the world of professional paper-writing, the dirty secret of the tutoring business. It's facilitated by avaricious agencies, perpetuated by accountability-free parents and made possible by self-loathing nerds like me. For three-hour workdays, the ability to sleep in and the opportunity to get paid to learn, I tackled subjects like Dostoevsky while spoiled jerks smoked pot, took naps, surfed the Internet and had sex. Though some offered me chateaubriand and the occasional illicit drug, most treated me like the help. I put up with it because I feared working in an office for $12 an hour again.
This frightening trend will most likely lead to these spoiled turds growing up to be CEOs of large corporations looking for more and more government bailout money to fund their pricey lifestyles. This will have a crippling effect on our society as urban decadence is publicly financed, while schmucks employed out in Rubes-ville have to work longer hours to make ends meet and pay their taxes.

Due to a court-order from that smartass judge, I'm not allowed to father children, but if I had some kids I would do them a favor and give them the boot right when they finished high school (with parental affection of course). The world is an interesting place when you make your own way, and it would help prevent a burgeoning class of skinny-jeaned hipsters from continuously trying to vote themselves largesse at everyone else's expense.


I can't tell if this is the same Tito the Truck Driver from the "I am Joe" Ad (he's at ~20 seconds), but seriously how many people do you know named Tito (besides the Jackson 5 Tito Jackson, and Latin Jazz sensation Tito Puente). Here he is introducing Palin:

Not sure if the reflective vest and hard hat were for political effect, or if he just punched out from work, but Tito is a much better spokesman for the Republican Party than Ted the Corrupt Senator. It's tough times for the Republican party, but it's interesting to see what they roll out this last bitter week of the campaign.

Presidential Candidate Gets to Meet THE A.C. Slater

Mario Lopez, most famously the bad-boy/dimpled wrestler from Saved by the Bell, took time from his busy schedule to meet one of his biggest fans. From ABC Political Punch:

The candidate often bemoans the media asking silly and superficial questions. The media isn't focused on the important issues facing the nation, he complains.

On Saturday in Nevada, Obama sat for an exclusive interview with Mario Lopez, the actor who played "A.C. Slater" on "Saved by the Bell," to air on the TV show "EXTRA!"
If I knew you could meet so many awesome celebs that define our cultural history, I would've run for office years ago. I think the article is supposed to be about Obama shutting out the media or something, but I'm just jealous that Obama, that lucky guy, got to meet A.C! Whether or not they broke out the synthesizer to jam out to "Friends Forever" is unknown, but would've been kickass.

Syria in the Crosshairs

There was some conspiratorial talk earlier today about the cross-border operation in Syria being some kind of "October Surprise" for the Bush Administration. Turns out it was just an offensive against a terrorist facilitator with some very accurate targeting. From Fox News:

A U.S. strike on a network of foreign fighters in Syria killed its main target — an Al Qaeda coordinator who was wanted for sending foreign fighters, weapons and cash into Iraq, a U.S. official told FOX News.

Among the eight people killed in Sunday's attack by Special Operations Forces was Abu Ghadiyain, Al Qaeda's senior coordinator operating in Syria who was closely associated with the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Terrorism is an international problem and if you can't police your border area, we will. Abu Ghadiya and his ilk are responsible for killing thousands by facilitating movement of suicide bombers from Syria into Iraq, and the Sinjar Records have documented their tactics. Unlike Pakistan, we're not trying to be good friends with Syria, so the outrage expressed by some Americans seems a little overblown, and is most likely intended to poke Bush in the eye one last time before he gets kicked out of office. Cold beers are in order for the team that pulled off this courageous operation, but it would probably be best if SpecOps like these stayed out of the media.

"Fabulous" Palin Effigy Not Getting any Love During WeHo Parade

I used to live near West Hollywood many years ago, and the Halloween parade was always a scene for outrageous hilarity. If you can stomach the sight of the occasional tranny in assless chaps, you'll also be able to view Los Angeles babes dressing up in naughty witch outfits. It's got something for everyone of all sexual preferences, that's for sure. Despite the need to outrage anyone with the slightest bit of morality on Halloween, I think the Palin effigy goes just a bit too far. From CBS (h/t Dirty Harry's):

A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others. The mannequin is dressed in brunet wig, glasses and a red business suit. Another mannequin dressed as John McCain emerges from a flaming chimney.
I'm not gonna say which side has had more nasty antics than other or even that I think Palin is awesome (she's not), but with a complicit media heavily favorable towards The Obama, expect displays like this to continue well beyond Nov. 4th to anyone not buying into the Democrats' Higher Purpose. By this time next year, most people who aren't self-professed liberals are probably going to be charecterized as cretinous morlocks, cooking up meth in trailers and railing on about c'untry first. That might be beneficial to Dems seeking to maintain their status quo of power, but it'll probably suck for everyone else.

27 October 2008

CTC Sheds Some Light on Iran's Two-Faced Game in Iraq

Iranian-backed Militia Thugs in the Streets [ABC]

The Counter-terrorism Center at West Point has released another important study regarding the proverbial Long War. It concerns Iranian influence in Iraq and recommendations to halt the nefarious part of their meddling [pdf]. Viewing this problem in the traditional conservative/liberal lens of domestic politics is an unfitting model for this complicated issue. If you're a crunchy liberal, you may think that U.S. actions in Iraq are unjustified and the Bush administration is rotten to the core, therefore Ahmadinejad's rhetoric about the U.S. being an imperial aggressor may sound slightly appealing (see the "I have a Crush on Ahmadinejad" post). Conversely, if you're a real charlie-church conservative, you probably view Iran as an evil empire and military action against the nation is inevitable. Both ideologies fail to comprehend what is really happening, and the CTC offers up an objective analysis of this important foreign policy issue.

Their key findings indicats that Iran is trying to give its traditional nemesis, The Great Satan aka the U.S., the boot from Iraq by use of proxy militias and influence in Iraqi politics, while simultaneously hoping to ensure a stable and friendly Iraq so that trench warfare isn't revisited ala the '80-'88 Iran-Iraq war. As evidenced by the money-hungry militia thugs that ruled Basra prior to the offensive in March, Iran's dangerous game of supporting combatants has an effect that is incredibly counter-productive to its stated goal of a stable Iraq. From the CTC study pg. 13:
It is a mistake to think of all Iranian influence in Iraq as nefarious. Iran should have a close relationship with the Iraqi government and strong economic and social ties to the Iraqi people. Nonetheless, Iranian policy over the last five years has been two‐faced: offering Iraq’s government moral support while arming militias that undermine governmental authority; funneling advanced weapons to attack its enemies, but providing humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people; and encouraging free elections, but attempting to manipulate their results.
The CTC suggests an aggressive military and diplomatic effort to curb negative Iranian influence, while encouraging Iraqi nationalism to thwart Iran from subverting the Iraqi political process. The study even suggests direct negotiations between Iran and the U.S. to increase transparency of funds that Iran provides to Iraq. This is a very informative study, and goes way beyond the usual pundit blabber of "preconditions" and "Iran sucks, America is Awesome" that we can't seem to get beyond in this horrendous election season. Worth a read.

BOHICA! Rep. Frank Wants to Gut the Military

Barney Frank (D-MA), the clown a lot of people have been pointing fingers at for bringing us this crippling economic crisis, is attempting to prevent people from storming his residence with torches n' pitchforks by dishing out "free money" to Americans. By "free money" I mean the "healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits" that he wants to hand out after the 2008 election to ensure the Democrats stay in power with a parasitic class of cheetos-eating loafers who just have to show up to the polling station once every two years. Of course, that money has gotta come from somewhere, and he has mentioned a hefty 25% cut in military spending [South Coast Today]:

In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay. The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said.
Greyhawk crunches the defense spending numbers on what a 25% cut would mean and it ain't looking good for America:
Eliminate 100% of procurement - eliminate every American job making armor and bullets and "fancy new weapons" in multiple House districts across the country - and you've reduced that budget by 20% - five short of Frank's goal. Of course, there's no further need for that R&D spending (15%) any more (or that silly "personnel" and "operations" waste...)
It should also be noted that the most recent Defense Authorization Act allocates ~$10B/month for both Iraq and Afghanistan. Assuming we stopped all operations in both conflict zones and magically teleported our troops home tomorrow (at no cost) we would still only be looking at about a 20% decrease in military spending (with the total DoD budget at ~$600B/yr). So the Frankonomics aren't adding up and he needs to be honest about what a 25% cut would entail. But at least our troops will be well-prepared to wait in DMV-like lines for state-run health care programs when they get forced out early. Is this what Obama was talking about when he said America needed to restore its "Higher Purpose". Pass the fucking cheetos.

Last Bit of Lame Blogging: Kenny Loggins' Ambiguously Gay Top Gun Tribute

Dude, Loggins is totally whacking it on his bed while dreaming of Tom Cruise flying jets and getting feisty with his lover, Iceman. How did the 80s get away with itself?!? It's been described to me that Top Gun is the ultimate movie about gays in the military. Because the only unequivocally straight guy (Goose) gets killed off half-way through the flick, and the whole Tom Cruise-Charlie affair was just cover so Cruise could sing karoke. Quentin Tarantino agrees.

When in Rome

When down south, unless you are some kind of yankee infiltrator looking to start trouble, it is advisable to listen to country on the radio occasionally in order to blend in a little better. This new Toby Keith song has been getting a ton of play and it's not bad, even though it's a tad mushy compared to his "I Love This Bar" days:

On the other hand, allow me to point fingers at The South for a minute. I was driving down I-95 from Savannah, GA and almost ran into not one, but two refrigerator sized boxes laying in the middle of the right lane. What is this, a third-world country?

Chronicles in Awesome: Bike War in Neo-Tokyo

If there's any better animation than the bike gang scene from Akira, I'd sure like to hear it. Yeah, this is anime, so feel free to leave jokes about overweight pederasts in the comments.

The Rise and Fall of a Gen X Icon

What the Hell Ever Happened to Darlene?

So I was watching old Roseanne reruns on Nickelodeon, because I have nothing better to do on a Sunday, and saw the sarcastic, cynical stylings of Darlene. Remember her? She brought up a lot of memories from the awkward early 90s as grunge was taking off, young people were disgruntled and skeptical of their lame parents, and there was no worse fate than being labeled a "poser" for hanging out with the jocks. Darlene could have been the spokeswoman for a generation of teens who weren't buying into the paradigm of our dull society.

Unfortunately, I decided to see what Sara Gilbert was up to these days, and her wiki states that "In her teens, Gilbert became a vegetarian. Today, she supports numerous organizations such as PETA, Meals on Wheels, Freedom of Speech, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and AIDS Project Los Angeles." Not that there is anything wrong with charity, but it may highlight a trend that all anti-authoritarian Gen Xers who grew their hair long and dyed it purple may become the mainstream if Obama gets elected. Wonder who the next generation of rebels will be?

25 October 2008

Late Nite Tunes: Nirvana - Sliver

Grandma take me home. Nuff said.

Super Fun Time Weekend Thread: Ashley Todd and Bad Avatar Edition

Surprise! The 20-year old McCain volunteer Ashley Todd, who tried to start off a race war or some bullshit with a Munchausen-like story about a 6'4" black man carving a B in her face, made it all up [KDKA-Pittsburgh]. I guess it wasn't that big a surprise, because Michelle Malkin and Wonkette already declared shenanigans last night due to her bizarre twitter account. That pathetic ruse was about as successful as my astro-turf campaign at This Ain't Hell.

Anyways, what's everyone got going on this weekend? Any badass Halloween paraphernalia in the works?

World's Worst Avatar Generator: (h/t Waxy)
This website generates a free avatar based on whatever name you type in (FYI, to get your avatar in the haloscan comments go to this link). Although, I tried punching up some of the frequent commenters here into the generator, and some of you may be less than impressed with your pixelated self. Check it out:
ABWF the 1985 mulleted hescher

Subrookie the mustached kid-toucher

Wek the freaky cyclops that lost his nose due to cocaine abuse

Ms. Kiyum the overweight Vegas bookie

Kath the reincarnation of King Hippo

Cathcatz the leader of Angola Prison's notorious Diablo gang

LT Nixon the botched Frankenstein experiment

LT Nixon (using his real name) the misunderstood emo wuss

Nuke Power Gets the Nod From the Snooty New York Times

The New York Times writes about viability of more nuclear power plants in America and seems to be supportive of the whole no CO2 emission thing. But, a detailed discussion at Reason suggests new nuclear power plants are too damn expensive to be economically sustained without either massive government subsidies or a huge carbon tax/cap-and-trade policy in place. And that takes into account fossil fuels being priced through the roof.

Whatever our country decides to do for energy, I just hope the policy wonks come up with a strategy soon. Because, I just got my separation letter from the Navy and I need to get a job like a normal person eventually. Trying to live off Paypal donations from internet people probably isn't going to tide me over for long.

LT Nixon tries to make a living off bloggin'

24 October 2008

Great FAIL Moments in Presidential Assassination History

Manson Family Wacko, Squeaky Fromme, Really Leveled the Gender Playing Field for Presidential Assassinations

Everyone knows about angry, hillbilly southerner John Wilkes Booth waxing Lincoln (our favorite gay president) at Ford's Theater , but what about all the loser assassins who couldn't get the job done. Cracked has a pretty interesting piece on six botched attempts throughout our violent American history. They highlight the first attempt on JFK's life, which was totally lame:
This bought time for the good guys to work through the diabolical clues he mailed out. And by that we mean the postmaster glanced at the dates and postmarks and told the Secret Service where he was. By the time he was working on his second attempt on Kennedy's life, the cops were closing in.

When they pulled him over, the cops found seven sticks of dynamite wired in the vehicle. Pavlick originally had much more, but when he became nervous about getting caught he removed most of it, apparently under the impression that it's ok to have just a few explosives in your trunk at any given time.
Although, I was bit disappointed in Cracked that they didn't include the assassination attempt on America's best alternate universe president, Lyndon Larouche. He explains that he was targeted for extermination by the U.S. Justice Department working with former Soviet Premier Gorbachev because of his involvement with the SDI program. Also, because Larouche wanted to round up every gay person in California to put in camps during the 80s, he was targeted for assassination as well. I can't make this shit up.

Blogging Reduced to Stems and Seeds by Wired

The Unstoppable Twitter/Facebook Behometh To Squash Blogging (pic from Contra Tribute Page)

An article in this month's Wired (h/t Milblogging.com) proclaims the death of blogging in lieu of the new social networking sites that all the young whippersnappers are using (e.g. Facebook, Twitter):
Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths.
Call me the old-fashioned coot who still drives around in a 1984 Buick yelling at speeding high schoolers to slow it down, but Facebook is too exclusive with its "be my friend" policy to have any sort of commentary reach beyond your clique of like-minded pals. And Twitter just sucks, with even good writers like Patrick Ruffini not getting substance beyond "ZOMG! Palin's New Shoes Are Teh Awesome" due to Twitter's brevity requirements (less than 140 words).

Wired goes on to state that all the big, "professional" blogs are sucking up all the space for google searches. But just this week, this piece of shit bleg with a pagerank of 5, got on the first google search page for "Mongols MC" due to a post about the ATF raids in California and received hundreds of hits. So covering a unique topic besides Obama's electoral status and "Rethuglicans being Meanies" might get you all sorts of traffic from unexpected nether regions of the net.

Also, Wired discusses the troll factor as hurting some of the more sensitive bloggers' precious feelings:
That said, your blog will still draw the Net's lowest form of life:The insult commenter. Pour your heart out in a post, and some anonymous troll named r0rschach or foohack is sure to scribble beneath it, "Lame. Why don't you just suck McCain's ass." That's why Calacanis has retreated to a private mailing list. He can talk to his fans directly, without having to suffer idiotic retorts from anonymous Jason-haters.
Grow up, you wuss. The more psychotic trolls are generally pretty damn hilarious, and if your post is getting a lot of negative feedback, it was probably a shitty post to begin with. Accept criticism and do better next time or pack your bags for the turnip truck with all the other schmucks twittering away no-substance garbage for their BFFs.

Blogs were never as well-written and professional as the mainstream media, and the whole "citizen-journalist" moniker might be a bit overwrought in its self-importance. But bloggin' is still an interesting way to share commentary from average schmoes that is framed in a semi-professional manner with lots of links so that the reader can draw their own opinion. Kind of like "Letters to the Editor", but with embedded videos and pics of politicians making an ass of themselves for better effect. The comments are also a lot more insightful, as strange internet people like myself stake their cyber-reputation on their handle when explaining why strippers are necessary for pulling out of the econmic crisis. So, if you are a blogger or commenter or lurker, don't give up hope just yet! Let's at least hold out until the net neutrality laws round us up for "re-education" in the next administration.

Sausage Fest U.S.A.

Yglesias bring us this disturbing graph which shows the density of singles for the 20-34 age range. The blue indicates "more dudes", while red indicates "more chicks". Therefore, it is quite apparent that the singles dating scene is a worse pickle-fest than a Star Trek convention.

But wait...there is some hope as this graph encomapsses a larger age demographic:

This proves that there are a whole lot of cougars east of the Mississippi, which would probably explain the ridiculous popularity of Neil Diamond.

23 October 2008

A Blemish on America From Not Long Ago

As much as I like to bitch about all the anti-military crazies these days (cf. C.H.U.D. Busters), it was probably peanuts compared to what the Vietnam veterans had to go through. Zombietime has a detailed look at a Weather Underground manifesto (of which Ayers co-wrote): Prairie Fire. From the "Strategies for Revolution" section:

Page 40 of the manuscript is typical: It outlines the Weather Underground's strategies for overthrowing the United States. Among the many strategies are: eliminating the feeling of patriotism among the general public, destroying the government from within, and starting a mass insurrection among the lower classes.
Jawa Report also has details on the plans the Weather Underground had for re-education centers in the Southwest and genocide against those who could not be converted to "revolutionary" standards. America has always had its share of crazies on all sides of the political spectrum. For a look at far-right strangeness, there's The Turner Diaries, which lays out a blueprint for inciting a race war and bringing down the federal goverment. But it's pretty shitty when 3,000 academics are rushing to Bill Ayers defense to defend this sort of hate. The Support Bill Ayers petition is here, and I tried to sign up "Smiley Time Pol Pot" from the "Khmer Rouge University", but I think they are screening the thing, which might put a damper on any cyber-shenanigans.

Iraq News: Someone Take This SOFA To The Dump

The Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq (SOFA) has been a topic of conversation in the media ever since Ambassador Crocker had to explain to the Iraqis, American politicians, and everyone in between that it would not mean permanent bases. But now this political beast has taken on a life of its own, and implications of coalition troops staying past the U.N. mandate (which expires on Dec. 31) have become increasingly controversial. Spencer Ackerman attempts to dissect the complexities in his latest piece [Washington Independent]:

Yet a wide-ranging group of Iraqis remain dissatisfied with many aspects of the deal, if for different reasons. Some would prefer that the text include a provision allowing a continuing review of security conditions before withdrawal. Others are concerned about the Article 22 provision, that when the deal goes into force “all detainees in U.S. custody shall be released.”

Still others fear that an Article 28 provision does not obligate the U.S. to defend Iraq from external aggression while its troops operate on Iraqi soil. Rahim said these concerns were “not fundamental,” but added, “This is all happening in a climate where there are elections in the U.S. and provincial elections very soon in Iraq. And undoubtedly those two factors complicate the situation.”
Other thoughts on the SOFA includes your standard Ahmadinejad psycho-babble about the U.S. "pillaging" Iraq, and milblogger Greyhawk believes the very existence of this agreement implies that the war is over. Challenges for the next administration in our country and for Iraq's political leadership will be successful transition of security responsibility while navigating the political minefield of having coalition troops on foreign soil. Can't say I would want that job.

Fat Axl to Finally Release Chinese Democracy

Mark your calendars for Nov. 25th and hope that you live near a Best Buy, because that's when Guns N' Roses will finally release probably the most expensive and longest awaited album in history, Chinese Democracy. Unless you don't live in Real America (yeah, that's an asshole comment, but I said it), you'll fondly remember your awkward teenaged-years with the cocaine-themed tune Night Train to the more somber Don't Cry to the hard-hitting Nice Boys Don't Play Rock N' Roll. But can this much anticipated album deliver the fist-pumping, head-banging music that we need in our cultural vacuum of wussness? The Toronto Star is skeptical:

The single itself is a bit underwhelming, building from a portentous intro fraught with babbling voices to a massive, punched guitar riff that recalls a downtuned version of the Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane" but then never quite following up with a proper, hard-hitting chorus.
Oh man, the lead single sounding like The Scorpions, but they suck! Tracks have leaked over the years, and they have been a bit underwhelming. Perhaps it is because Guns n' Roses is from another era when the hair was big n' teased, the music on the Sunset Strip was loud, and America was feeling good about itself. Trying to teleport music that defined a generation from one era to another is about as cool as the Rolling Stones hobbling around on stage with their walkers. The Guns N' Roses album might be halfway decent, but rocking out to it may have to involve delusional mind in still thinking it's 1991 and the airbrushed wolf on your El Camino is a chick magnet. Also Slash got kicked to the curb, so it just won't be the same...

Top 10 Horror Flicks for Halloween To Scare the Bejeezus Out of Your Kids

(pic from Weird Asia News)

No, no not that kind of scary, I'm talking about some no-shit, freaky-ass movies that will creep out the whole family. It's Halloween, and everyone deserves a good scare or two, especially because Americans are wound up so tight with this damn election. It's time to lighten up! So here's my 10 bestest horror recommendations for Halloween (in no particular order), if you don't like 'em then provide some of your own in the comments.

#1 Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): This film is loosely based on the life and times of Ed Gein, but Tobe Hopper chose to turn his bizarre and macabre characteristics into a whole damn family. The result is one of the most disturbing things you'll ever see: chainsaw-wielding brother, deranged hitchhiker, cannibalistic BBQ joint run by the dad, and even a visit from crusty old pervert Grandpa.

#2 Sleepaway Camp (1983): One of the ultimate summer camp schlock flicks that involves kids getting schwacked in mysterious ways. While a bit cheesy, the movie's hilarious dialogue is worth the watch alone (check out the pederast cook). Be sure to stick around for the ending too, which rivals the Rosebud ending in its greatness.

#3 Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors (1986): It's Freddy Kruger in an insane asylum for teenagers. What the hell else are you going to do on Halloween, go to the opera? One of the best of the series, and the part where the Dungeons and Dragons nerd buys the farm is worth the purchase alone.

#4 Hills Have Eyes (2006): A perfect movie for the election year when blue state stereotypes about "country folk" abound. A family gets stuck in the desert when deranged mutants from a nearby nuclear waste pit of an abandoned town begin terrorizing them. Every urban person's fear as they drive out on a camping trip in their Saab.

#5 Dawn of the Dead (1978):Not much else to say about Dawn of the Dead except that it'sa damn near perfect movie. The opening sequence in the Philly slum is one of the best sequences on what would happen if society collapsed, and the mall setting is allegorical for how we are all a bunch of low-life zombies looking for brains. Great commentary, and great horror flick.

#6 Evil Dead II (1987): There probably hasn't been a protagonist more tortured than Ash in cinematic history. From being strangled by his own severed hand, to being possessed by a demonic spirit, and finally getting sent back to the dark ages, Ash keeps the humor alive in this ridiculously violent romp.

#7 Prince of Darkness (1987): Some people think The Exorcist is the gold standard for movies about Satan, but those people have simply overlooked John Carpenter's The Prince of Darkness. Not only does it play on the good vs. evil religious theme, but it also has schizoid Alice Cooper stabbing some dude with a bicycle. Awesome!

#8 House of 1000 Corpses (2003): Rob Zombie's first attempt at directing is a true freak-out, as he encompasses some of the best tried and true methods of horror into one big film. A psychotic family in the country, idiotic urban folks blundering into a death trap, well-placed references to serial killer Albert Fish, etc. As a bonus it actually revolves around Halloween.

#9 The Shining (1980): While this Stanley Kubrick flick doesn't have the rampant violence that some of the other movies on this list do, the twin girls are scary enough to make even the most battle-hardened movie buff shit his or her pants. The descent into madness at a a remote location and Kubrick's style of shooting this makes the psychological aspect of the film totally mind-blowing.

#10 Dead Alive (1992): Before Peter Jackson became a nerd sensation with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he had this ridiculously violent movie set in New Zealand. The movie involves a party that devolves quickly into a zombie fest, which is followed by the infamous lawnmower scene. A cult classic!

22 October 2008

Reason's Strategy on GOP: Throw Out The Bums

Reason Burning Bridges With Current Repubs

I disagree with the hipsters at Reason on national security issues, but I pretty much agree with them on everything else. There's an intersting article called "Why the Republicans Must Lose" from one of the senior editors:
That's the second reason the GOP needs to lose. American voters need to send a clear, convincing repudiation of these dangerous ideas. If they do lose, the GOP would be wise to regroup and rebuild from scratch, scrap the current leadership, and, most importantly, purge the party of the "national greatness," neoconservative influence.
This is a much more well-framed argument of what I wrote about on Monday, and I encourage any disgruntled ex-Republican to check out Reason's justification for "throttling" this wretched new GOP that we have seen the past 8 years.