A German co-worker shared this video with me during a discussion focused on Kitsch 90s music. If you're looking for creepy euro-industrial dancing set to schlocky bass beats, you've come to the right place!
31 July 2009
29 July 2009
"Like rain. We believe it is a creation of God rather than an evaporation caused by the sun that condenses and becomes rain. "Like saying the world is a sphere. If it runs contrary to the teachings of Allah, we reject it. We also reject the theory of Darwinism." Mr Yusuf himself is something of an enigma. He is believed to be in his mid-thirties, and analysts say he is extremely wealthy and highly educated. "He is graduate educated and very proficient in English," says Nigerian academic Hussain Zakaria. "He lives lavishly - people say he drives a Mercedes Benz. And he is very well-educated in a Western context."Sounds like a swell guy. Where can I sign up?
28 July 2009
God bless America. It has has always had it's share of crazies. Just a natural by-product of a nation which honors freedom of speech that can actually provide some laughs after three beers. But there's a point when folks who might otherwise be considered political allies start to make you get a little uneasy. The Army guy (an junior officer no less) who demanded that President Obama show him his birth certificate was a punch in the face. But the fact that congress had to pass a resolution that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii shows this meme residing in the dark corners of the internet has gone too damn far.
I don't think that Obama was born overseas in the same way I don't think my little brother is secretly a robot, there's no rationale reasoning to come to either conclusion so I don't really think about it. National Review has an interesting editorial trying to distance themselves from birtherism like Harrison Ford distanced himself from the Star Wars Holiday Special:
Much foolishness has become attached to the question of President Obama’s place of birth, and a few misguided souls among the Right have indulged it.There's a lot too criticize Obama about...a lot. Why choose this bullshit?
27 July 2009
Imagine the irony when I was reading up on the Thailand government's strange internet campaign to promote national unity, clicked on something on Bangkok's The Nation about the stimulus failing, and this google ad popped up:
Great, so we're spending taxpayer dollars on google ads for Obama Blogarama to explain why wasting taxpayer dollars on the stimulus was a good idea. At least the Thai propaganda operates under the guise of promoting stability. Our propaganda is just about one guy: The Obama. Not even the power of google is going to save this guy's falling approval rating.
25 July 2009
Obama has backpedaled on his initial comments of the Cambridge police officer who arrested the Harvard professor. No problem, everyone has a gaffe, even messiahs. In my opinion, the case seems to be more about society's elite thinking the law doesn't apply to them and they don't have to explain themselves to lowly-paid guys with their names on their uniform. Kind of like the people who whine about having to take their shows off at the airport, but I digress. The Cambridge mayor didn't even stick up for one of her police officers, which shows that it must be swell to be a cop in that city. Police are tasked with probably the most essential task in ensuring a civil society, and I wish more people would drop this adolescent bullshit of always blaming them without giving a little benefit of the doubt. The media is attempting to re-ignite the racial profiling debate, but I don't think it's as big a deal as their making it, and it'll drop off the news cycle once some other governor gets found indiscretely boning. As long as there's no LA riots ripping society apart at the seams, I think we will carry on as a nation, however imperfect.
23 July 2009
Well if you don't like snooty American bloggers telling you why you're a terrible person for not supporting a debt-ridden, centralized health care monstrosity, you're probably not going to care much when someone from Europe does it. From the Independent in London:
Like anyone who writes in a national newspaper, I'm used to abuse, but nothing prepared me for the venom unleashed when I dared to suggest, on an American website earlier this year, that "rational self-interest" might have its limits. My suggestion, said one correspondent who tracked me down months later, was "an attack" on his "happiness, freedom, income, survival and family" and I clearly had "(a) no education and (b) no experience". Suffice it to say that he, and his fellow Christina critics, were less than delighted about the "obscure left/socialist leanings" of "an American Idol President". Socialist? It would be tempting, as a Brit, to say 'you're having a larf!', but these people are not, I think it's safe to say, overly endowed with a sense of humour.Well, that certainly doesn't have much of the British charm. And what's up with calling Obama "boy" like it's some 1950s diner in Biloxi, Mississippi. This is not the first time scary, middle-aged women have referred to Obama as "boy".
If Obama can't do this, nobody can. If Obama can't do this, America's poor are screwed. Sure, America's got talent, but it's also got some of the most unpleasant, uncompassionate, unerringly ruthless people on the face of this planet. Boy will that boy need some luck.
You kind of get a sense of the commentator;s demeanor with this line later in her stream-of-conscious blatherings:
The pub, cosy cornerstone of the community, hub of happiness and harmony etc, is in decline and this, apparently, is a national disaster.Great. Another know-it-all, self-roghteous liberal who wants to mind everyone else's personal business to compensate for god-knows-what. Please stay in England, we have too many like you in the States.
Could this be the same institution that has been castigated for fostering the country's only serious national pastime, the mass pouring down throats of the drug regarded as the biggest threat to the nation's health?
Phew! Good thing they didn't send Biden, he probably would've remarked on their "funny looking oriental clothes" or something. Hillary is wrapping up a successful diplomatic visit to Thailand. From Xinhua:
Meanwhile, Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, who also joined the press conference with Clinton, said the United States and Thailand promises to strengthen the bilateral tie.Libertarian-Feminist Kerry Howley notes that it's often embarrassing to be an ex-pat because our leaders are "hubristic". From where I'm sitting, I don't know what the fuck Howley is talking about (even though I usually agree with her). Hillary Clinton is trying to voice U.S. interests in the region of promoting free trade and stopping aggression from rogue states. Uh, isn't that what diplomats are supposed do? Let our nation's foreign-policy interests be known?
In addition to that, the two countries will work closely within the ASEAN context particularly in the ASEAN-U.S. dialogue and also in the other regional organizations, Kasit said.
The United States has reaffirmed its continued interest and full participation for the well-being of the Asia-Pacific region and Southeast Asia's peace and security development, Kasit said.
Besides, it's not embarrassing to be an American in Thailand. Besides my own personal experience, I can cite this poll which shows that 21% of women from Northeastern Thailand (Isaan) prefer American husbands (trailing slightly behind the Brits). Isn't that what's most important when living abroad, the local women?
22 July 2009
So some poindexter who writes books about the exciting world of traffic engineering uses a bunch of facts and figures to discuss why we should surrender our sovereignty and allow the roundabout to be a mainstay on our roads. Despite the fact that trying to walk across one of these monstrosities is a death sentence, he's obviously never seen a little movie called National Lampoon's European Vacation.
This and another annoyances that make you want to shoot yourself in the face will be coming soon to a backed up traffic circle near you.
21 July 2009
It's pretty tough to fuck up diplomatic relations with a country that is generally welcoming of foreigners and has had friendly ties with the US for over 100 years. About the only way to do it would be to insult the King, knock over a Buddha statue during a drunken bender, or con your way out of a bar fine. And I'm proud to say our country's top diplomat has not done any of these losing-face gaffes as of 8:30pm in Bangkok. Uh, U-S-A, U-S-A. From Wall Street Journal:
Total trade between the U.S. and Asean exceeded $178 billion in 2008, and, in an opinion piece Mrs. Clinton wrote that was published in Bangkok newspapers Tuesday, she said "there is no doubt that our economies' fortunes and our nations' futures are more intertwined than ever before."The free trade stuff with Southeast Asia is all well and good, and she's trying to get the ASEAN countries to put the squeeze on the usual suspects (Islamic terrorists, North Korea, Burma), which is good as well. I'll give her bonus points if she can calm the country down about this CIA black site business.
Some regional analysts see the Asean grouping as the kernel of a broader free trade bloc spanning the Pacific and also encompassing China, Japan, South Korea. Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to sign a non-aggression pact with Asean in Phuket, as China did in 2003, which diplomats say could enable the U.S. to later enmesh itself within the so-called East Asia Summit group, which includes the ten Asean members plus trade partners China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
Believe it or not, besides her scary offical cabinet photo, I have a lot of confidence in Hillary as the Secretary of State. IMHO of a good diplomat, you need someone smart, well-educated, and the ability to be conniving and manipulative while putting on a bullshit smile, something Hillary Clinton has in droves.
20 July 2009
Wired Danger Room is on an embed in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan and they note the poo-pooing by NGO types of the PRT in carrying out civil-military operations:
Not everyone is fan of the military’s embrace of the humanitarian mission. Since their inception in late 2002 as “Joint Regional Teams,” many in the aid and development community have worried that the PRTs were encroaching on a traditional humanitarian space, blurring the line between civilian aid work and military operations. In a recent opinion piece, Anna Husarska of the International Rescue Committee quotes an unnamed colleague who tut-tutted that the PRTs are “Humvees in a china shop.” For the purists, relief and development work are a task best done by independent aid agencies, not the military.This isn't the first time that humanitarians have bad-mouthed this entire component of counter-insurgency. As a guy who used to be in the military but is now a tie-dye wearin' NGO geek, I feel the need to comment. Yes, showing up with an assortment of weapons might not be the key to convincing folks you are there to help, but it is incredibly naive to not understand that security and the rule of law must be established before any real social/economic development takes place in troubled areas. That's why the 2007 strategy in Iraq was successful, because it primarily focused on improving security, instead having contractors half-assedly building schools that were going to get blown up anyways.
There is/will be a need for humanitarian workers in Afghanistan, but until law and order can be established, it will have to have a military component. Don't let idealism result in you getting killed by reality.
18 July 2009
Even though Massachusetts' near-universal health coverage is bankrupting the state by the second, liberal types are making the rounds saying that government-run health programs (like the VA) are actually swell. I guess veterans-related scandals were only the meme of the day when Bush was president. You can take a look at Joe's comment if you want to see what a pain in the ass it is to deal with the VA, and you can read this IBD editorial on how much this monstrous Obamacare is going to cost:
Few of the plans now coming out of Congress will save anything, says the CBO's current chief, Douglas Elmendorf. In fact, he says, they'll lead to substantially higher costs in the future — costs that will be "unsustainable."If the Obama administration is going to throw taxpayer money around, you'd think they would wait at least a year to blow another trillion dollars. After a while, these trillions really start adding up.
As it is, estimates for reforming health care range from $1 trillion to $3.6 trillion. Much will be spent on subsidies to make a so-called public option more attractive to consumers than private plans.
To pay for it, the president has suggested about $600 billion in new taxes, meaning that $500 billion to $2.1 trillion in new health care spending over the next decade will be unfunded. This could push up the nation's already soaring deficit, expected to reach $10 trillion through 2019 without health care reform. Massive new tax hikes will probably be needed to close the gap.
16 July 2009
Can you hear that slow death rattle of American civilization? Not even the "blue dogs" are going to save us from this turd. Yesterday, Ed Morrissey noted that the government can't even get the VA under control, so why the fuck are they going to try and supervise health care coverage for everybody. Having been in the military, most of us are pretty good at filling out ridiculous paperwork and dealing with bullshit, I feel sorry for everybody else.
15 July 2009
This bullshit about the Supreme something or other is #1 on Memeorandum? It must be a pretty slow day.
The guys at TAH have some choice words about Major Bonehead who refused to deploy because he hasn't seen Obama's birth certificate, but other than that, it's pretty dull out here on the internet. So here's an old Gwar video to get over the hump. And if you know who Gwar is (or have ever been showered in fake blood at one of their concerts), then you probably have a VHS copy of Army of Darkness sitting around and are wondering why kids today are such little weenies.
14 July 2009
The Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit in June totaled $94.3 billion, pushing the total since the budget year started in October to nearly $1.1 trillion.It seems Obama's team had too many rosy predictions about an excessively shitty economy. Well, at least bailed-out Goldman Sachs is having a good fiscal year.
The deficit has been propelled by the huge sum the government has spent to combat the recession and financial crisis, combined with a sharp decline in tax revenues. Paying for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also is a major factor.
The country's soaring deficits are making Chinese and other foreign buyers of U.S. debt nervous, which could make them reluctant lenders down the road. It could force the Treasury Department to pay higher interest rates to make U.S. debt attractive longer-term.
"These are mind boggling numbers," said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at the Smith School of Business at California State University. "Our foreign investors from China and elsewhere are starting to have concerns about not only the value of the dollar but how safe their investments will be in the long run."
13 July 2009
For years, the Pentagon has been cranking out cheesy anti-smoking ads targeted at servicemembers, along with other bizarre PSAs, in the hopes of curbing the associated health costs. But now it looks like they are just going to try and outright ban those delicious cancer-sticks. From the Daily Mail (h/t Wek):
The investigation by the Institute of Medicine, commissioned by the Pentagon, found that a third of the country's three million servicemen and women uses tobacco, compared with a fifth in the general population.Brandon Friedman seems to think this is a good idea, after all military members surrender their freedoms on all sorts of matters. But, I wonder, if any senior enlisted personnel were consulted on this matter? Because they're the ones who are going to have to deal with the inevitable mutiny that takes place once this policy goes into effect. We had to stop smoking on the boat once when we had a freon leak out at sea. That was the worst 24 hours ever, and that's saying a lot for the Navy!
The heaviest smokers - perhaps not surprisingly - were soldiers and Marines on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
About 37 per cent of soldiers and 36 per cent of Marines used tobacco. Combat veterans were 50 per cent more likely to smoke than troops who hadn't seen any fighting, the report said.
Another concern is that by using the logic that "it'll save taxpayer money", you can use the same line of reasoning to ban smoking, and anything else that makes life tolerable, for the entire country under Obamacare.
12 July 2009
Spotted this strange creation at Bangkok's monstrous JJ market yesterday. I'd like to say this is the first time I've seen Hitler's mug being used in jest on a Thai T-shirt, but that wouldn't be true. I guess I'm lucky to be from a country where sporting Nazi paraphernalia would make you about as popular as an H1N1 outbreak. The only people seriously interested in reviving the Third Reich are uneducated rednecks and Obama's creepy, eugenicist science adviser.
09 July 2009
Only in the twilight zone of Obamanomics is the ghastly size of the stimulus not a lot of cash, which has to-date been about as successful as T. Boone Pickens' plan to conquer the Texas Panhandle with wind turbines. Paul Krugman thinks there's a conspiracy to sabotage plans for more money being shoveled at special interest groups, and HuffPo thinks limiting federal spending is akin to incest. A simple meme of the frightening red ink the CBO predicts has been a mainstay for bloggers in the days of Obama, but I think Leskoization video from Reason needs some more air time:
08 July 2009
The Los Angeles metropolitan area, with its car pool lanes and emerging mass transit, shed two hours of wait-time in rush-hour traffic. Still, its sprawling freeway system remained the nation's worst for congestion, with drivers wasting an average of 70 hours in 2007.Of course DC traffic remains a mess of commuters which can be explained by John Dillinger's famous quote of "because that's where the money is!". Never accuse the sleazebags in our federal government of misunderstanding their priorities of lavishing themselves with taxpayer-funded goodies while everyone else is in the poor house.
Other large metro areas showing congestion declines were San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Seattle.
In contrast, the Washington, D.C., area had more bumper-to-bumper traffic, surpassing Atlanta as the second worst in congestion. With the Washington regional economy faring relatively well, drivers heading to work in the nation's capital and surrounding suburbs wasted 62 hours in rush-hour traffic in 2007, up from 59 hours.
The cornball stunt of dragging a bunch of morning shows to her fishing expedition was pretty much par for the course in modern politics (ooo, she's just like me, how do I give money?). But one thing that pisses me off the most about her resignation is that she took an oath to serve the public in Alaska, and then she flies the coop. Abruptly walking out of your contract with the American people in the military gets you thrown in jail, but doing it when you're a governor gets kudos from prominent conservative pundits? WTF. Then she has the audacity to compare herself to the troops in her horrendous resignation speech:
We can ALL learn from our selfless Troops… they’re bold, they don’t give up, they take a stand and know that life is short so they choose to not waste time. They choose to be productive and to serve something greater than self... and to build up their families, their states, our country.I still can't figure out the fascination fellow conservatives have with Ms. Palin. I'd agree the media has been particularly vicious in their attacks, but I can only hypothesize that many conservatives see a bit of themselves in Sarah: a regular schmoe who took on the "elites" in our country. If I wanted to vote for someone who was just like me, I probably would've campaigned for David Carradine, but I'm much more interested in someone who knows what the fuck they are doing. Sarah just never inspired that confidence.
Eric Dondero, with much enthusiasm, says the next best hope for the GOP in terms of leadership is...Mitt Romney! Brr, it's getting chilly out here in the wilderness.
07 July 2009
They're not billing this new greenie enforcement agency across the pond as the "Green Gestapo", but it sure does sound like it. Decked out in green jackets, the ability to barge in on private property, shaking down factories for their power readings, do they think these companies are akin to the Fratelli Brothers hideout or something? From The Times:
Decked out in green jackets, the enforcers will be able to demand access to company property, view power meters, call up electricity and gas bills and examine carbon-trading records for an estimated 6,000 British businesses. Ed Mitchell, head of business performance and regulation at the Environment Agency, said the squad would help to bring emissions under control. “Climate change and CO2 are the world’s biggest issues right now. The Carbon Reduction Commitment is one of the ways in which Britain is responding.”This is just more evidence that environmentalism seeks to appease its own eco-guilt/juvenile emotions instead of actually improving society at large. Yes indeed, there is a need to improve emissions standards and air quality through engineering innovations and established science. But, for too long the environmental movement has been dominated by green-chic busybodies and politicians who make ridiculous promises of energy independence through solar panels and windmills to win elections. Nevermind the fact that countries have developed from subsistence farming and a generally lousy quality of life by exploiting fossil fuels. Countries rapidly modernizing like China and India need serious engineering solutions, not calls for more bike lanes and Al Gore bumper stickers.
The formation of the green police overcomes a psychological hurdle in the battle against climate change. Ministers have long recognised the need to have new categories of taxes and criminal offences for CO2 emissions, but fear a repetition of the fuel tax protests in 2000 when lorry drivers blockaded refineries.
Note: Wired had an interesting article last year about how environmentalism was too important to be left to the environmentalists and their bizarre cult of Gaia-worship.
One doesn't normally think of Cape Cod as a place for drunken buffoonery and shenanigans unless you're part of the Kennedy family. But, one unfortunate chap thought it would be a good idea to punch a police horse in the tookis. From the Cape Cod Times:
Police were busy last night with fourteen arrests, including one of an Orleans man accused of punching a police horse.If Mr. McEnaney were a bit older, maybe he would've heeded the advice from Half-Baked that harming a police horse is considered "Assault on a Police Officer" and not just a hilarious prank to impress fellow members of the Yacht Club.
Christopher McEnaney, 18, was arrested and charged with assault on a police horse and resisting arrest after he punched a horse from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, one of the mounted patrol horses ridden during town’s raucous July 4 festivities, Provincetown police Sgt. Carrie Lopes said.
McEnaney is accused of punching the horse, Fred, in the animal’s flank at about 10:20 p.m. while the mounted patrol officers were in the area of Ryder Street and Commercial Street, Lopes said.
05 July 2009
Pandas are kind of like the Michael Moores of the animal kingdom. They're fat, stupid, and receive an obscene amount of media coverage. Sure, anyone who's anyone wants good diplomatic relations with China, but the Thai media's obsession with the baby panda has gone too far and I feel compelled to speak out. AP has the details on this wretched beast's debut at the Chiang Mai Zoo:
The baby panda is tiny enough to be held in the hands of a zoo staffer.First off, any male who has trouble "mating" in the "Land of Smiles" has some serious problems with their libido. Second, the traditional animal of Thailand, the elephant (chaang/ช้าง) is a far more majestic creature capable of everything from playing soccer to warding off Burmese invaders. As an added bonus, it's part of a species that isn't keen on mauling humans.
Thais have been captivated by the cub since her birth May 27. For six years, the zoo had tried to mate its two adult pandas, both on loan from China. They held a mock wedding for the pair, showed the male, Chuang Chuang, "porn" videos of pandas mating, and finally turned to artificial insemination.
Newspapers have reported the baby panda's milestones and the public's reaction, including a giant cake measuring 4 feet by 5 feet (1.2 meters by 1.6 meters) donated by a Chiang Mai bakery to celebrate her one-month birthday. Some Chiang Mai hotels are offering special "meet the panda" rates for the next few months.
I'm not alone in this sentiment, as many Thai zookeepers are fighting back against this existential threat to Thailand's national sovereignty and pride:
With announcements of a 20 million baht snow house being built for the Panda family the keepers are wondering just why Thailand has forgotten that the Elephant is their national symbol.
Aside from speaking up about the problem the Elephant keepers at the Ayutthaya-Elephant Kraal have taken it one step further by painting five of their elephants to look like Pandas. This attention grabbing effort seems to be doing the job as Thai people are not only noticing but applauding their efforts. Although rumor has it some Panda lovers are slightly irked.
Note: I'm not just defending the elephant because I've become more right-wing lately, but I do find it surprisingly convenient.
04 July 2009
The Moderate Voice has an interesting post comparing the ever-persisting culture wars of Richard Nixon and Sarah Palin, and suggests that Nixon was a lot better at it:
But no politician has better embodied the Orthogonian spirit better than Sarah Palin. Like Nixon, Palin was driven by a sense that the elites were out to get her. Those elites could be the mainstream Alaska Republican Party. They could be Ivy League graduates. They could be national media figures who mock her use of platitudes. They could be secularist elements that see the world in more complicated moral and theological terms than the Assembly of God. Sarah Palin played on the paranoid dimension of Orthogonianism - Obama palling around with terrorists, etc. - better than any Republican in years.I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that I'm not the only bitter out there who gets a tad peeved when liberal politicos try to convince the public that $787B of red ink wasn't enough, public health care will be swell (also resulting in more debt), and that I'm some kind of a terrorist. The anti-elite sentiment comes from the perception that people with political power ridicule flyover country cultural norms and call everyone traitors if they're not driving a Prius to work.
But, that doesn't mean that smart people shouldn't be running the country. Sarah Palin wasn't very smart.
Obviously I'm a bit biased being an American, but I still think the Revolutionary War and signing of the Declaration of Independence was one of the most historically significant periods in civilization. Not so much because of the practical aspects (wanting to pay less taxes, keeping the King of England out of our face), but rather the ideals that average citizens actually had individual rights and that government existed by permission of the people. It was a concept that had been gaining steam in Europe during the Renaissance, and it all sort of culminated in the American colonies in the late 18th century. The history of civilization has been incredibly violent and depressing with governments which function as tyrannies, and we are lucky to not live in such a state of despair. So Tom, Ben, George, and the rest of the guys, thanks for July 4th.
02 July 2009
After the US media's disgracefully biased PrObama coverage during the campaign season and the first 100 days, they maybe realizing that the government subverting a supposedly independent press might not be a good thing. Well at least the reporter who's been covering the White House since the Taft administration recognizes this. From CNS news:
“Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try.Careful, Helen, with that kind of attitude you'll be targeted for character assassination by the left's well-funded hit squad, or you could end up like dissenters in other countries and get mysteriously stabbed. Moonbattery has the video of this much-needed exchange with Gibbs.
“What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”
Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran.