30 June 2009

The Light At the End of a Longass Tunnel

IPs in Basra (photo NYT)

After their entire means of enforcing law and order was dismantled in a poor decision by Bremer, the Iraqis are finally in charge of their own security. It's a bit odd that the New York Times chooses to cast the "celebratory" tone of this Iraqi accomplishment in a bad light:
In the past few weeks, nationalist sentiments have spread within the Iraqi government and military, with officials all but boasting that Iraq is ready to handle the security situation on its own.

Speaking as a military parade marking the event was held deep inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said, “The national united government succeeded in putting down the sectarian war that was threatening the unity and the sovereignty of Iraq.”
A strong sense of nationalism seems to be one of the best methods of ethno-sectarian rivalry, both in Iraq and elsewhere, and doesn't necessarily mean that the Fourth Reich is coming back to power. Danger Room is also skeptical of this spirit, but it's good news for the Iraqis...and our military! They've still got bullshit to deal with in other godforesaken countries and dwindling resources to get the job done. Mission almost accomplished.

29 June 2009

Power To the People

From the always on-point Attack Cartoons

Lest we forget about the plight of Iranians during a barrage of croaked celebrities, it's very difficult to exercise any rights when the government has the ability to overpower its citizens with force. The Second Amendment enables the government to be perpetually afraid and mindful of its people and not the other way around. Certainly, non-violent demonstrations (MLK, Gandhi) are ideal, but in some cases, the people may have no other options. Shit, our country chucked the king out on his ass with violence for taxes that would seem benign nowadays. Look at what the Iranians have to deal with on a daily basis.

25 June 2009

Big Banks To Start Some Weird Astroturf Campaign

Due to your 401K going poof and a potential worldwide economic collapse, large banking conglomerates are rightfully concerned about that you don't feel enough sympathy for them. That's why they've hired a bunch of skeezy politico types to boost their public image. Bloomberg has the scoop:

The internal papers call for using regional securities firms, many of which have escaped notoriety in the financial crisis, to push the industry’s message with their local members of Congress. The plan notes that brokers across the country can also be used.

“The foot power of the private client group has proven to be effective in blunting populist messages in the past,” said board member Paul Purcell, chief executive officer of Milwaukee investment firm Robert W. Baird & Co., according to the minutes of one meeting.
Not sure why they feel like they have to lobby congress to be on their side, because both a Democrat and a Republican administration have printed enough money to make Mugabe blush in order to save these bumbling boneheads... and we just sat back and took it! Maybe they're trying for a more aggressive approach whereby anyone who speaks ill of the cronyism between DC and Wall Street gets put on some DHS watchlist.

24 June 2009

Karate Kid Turns 25

Joe Esposito's inspirational, cheesy, yet surprisingly upbeat 80s tune superimposed with The Karate Kid is the cure for what currently ails our society of apathy. After all, aren't our lives just one big battle against the Cobra Kai dojo? Big Hollywood has more on this culturally significant movie. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Polling Shocker: Americans Dislike Fuckhead Bankers

Gallup reports that approval rating of "banks" is in the proverbial crapper of public opinion along with Congress, HMOs, and those goddamn annoying Free Credit Report Dot Com guys. Perhaps it had something to do with taxpayers having to bail out their greasy, politically-connected hides so they could give themselves more bonuses.

23 June 2009

Smokin' Prez Signs Anti-Smokin' Bill

Do as I say, not as I do! Obama has signed the Family Smoking Prevention Act into law which allows the FDA to regulate smoking thereby putting America further on the path to utter uncoolness. This is great news for large tobacco companies, because no competing companies will be able to invent new refreshingly, smooth products for the 21st-century. Reason explains:

Today President Obama plans to sign the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which authorizes the Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products. In Friday's New York Times, business columnist Joe Nocera blows kisses at former FDA chief David Kessler, anti-smoking activist Matthew Myers, and former Philip Morris executive Steven Parrish for their roles in producing the law. Calling it "a demonstrably good thing," Nocera tells this trio of "unlikely partners" to "take a bow, fellas."

Although Nocera acknowledges "critics" who say FDA regulation will serve mainly to protect Philip Morris' market share, he assures readers they are a "small minority." Yet he does not bother to address their arguments, and his case for the law supported by Kessler, Myers, and Parrish is based almost entirely on the unexamined assumption that more regulation is always better.

Also, Gallup polling shows that a record-high number of Americans (17%) can't mind their own goddamn business and want smoking to be made "illegal", even though the percentage of smokers is at an all-time low since Jamestown was founded in 1607. They must be getting their anti-smoking paranoia from the Thugocracy in Iran which has been getting a lot of press lately.

21 June 2009

Happy Father's Day From ปอยฝ้าย

Happy Father's day to dad's everywhere from Bpooi Fhai with Thailand's #1 drinking song (uh, I think that's what this tune is about). The Kaan solo at 2:39 really puts it over the top!

Let Your Heart Beat For The...Revolution

More Phenomenal Photography at Revolutionary Road (thx GP)

Even though Basij thugs are massacring civilians, Roger Cohen reports with a Tehran byline that the regular police forces are starting to back down. From NYT:
Garbage burned. Crowds bayed. Smoke from tear gas swirled. Hurled bricks sent phalanxes of police, some with automatic rifles, into retreat to the accompaniment of cheers. Early afternoon rumors that the rally for Moussavi had been canceled yielded to the reality of violent confrontation.

I don’t know where this uprising is leading. I do know some police units are wavering. That commander talking about his family was not alone. There were other policemen complaining about the unruly Basijis. Some security forces just stood and watched. “All together, all together, don’t be scared,” the crowd shouted.
A regime that depends upon the oppression of it's citizens as a means of maintaining power will have a hard time staying afloat if the police walk off the job. Who knows what will happen today...

One thing is for sure, Ahmadinejad is channeling his inner Baghdad Bob. From the Iranian propaganda apparatus Press TV:
I sincerely extend my gratitude to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei over his historic and epoch-making presence as well as helpful remarks at Tehran's Friday prayers.
Is anyone in the world taking this guy seriously anymore?

20 June 2009

Happens to the Best of Us: Lawyer Wakes Up in Trash Can

No worries, this shit happens. Even Robert Downey Jr. once passed out in some random kid's bed in Malibu. From Fox News:

A southern Indiana lawyer says he's embarrassed and has apologized for being found asleep headfirst in neighbor's trash can after a night of drinking.

No charges have been filed against Larry Wilder, who is the Jeffersonville City Council's attorney. The council president says she'll call a special meeting next week to discuss Wilder's status with the city.

19 June 2009

Obama Shuts Down the White House To Tackle Controversial Subject of Fatherhood

With regards to Iran in a state of revolution, North Korea threatening to nuke Waikiki, and US Forces pulling out of Iraq's cities, Obama has been more quiet than Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. But it's good to see our President not afraid to take a ding in his approval numbers and focus on the risque, political issue that's confronting this nation: being a dad. From AP:

In an unusual devotion of time for the president, Barack Obama is blocking out nearly an entire afternoon to promote the importance of being a good dad as a national priority...

...The day's events were intended to kick off a White House effort on fatherhood and mentoring. The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will host forums around the country this summer and fall to gather ideas on good programs and to help promote them.
I never knew that having a good dad was important until the President told me! Yes, we can. In the future, the White House will devote an entire day to letting Americans know "Why you have to clean up your dog's poop" followed by "Why it's important to turn off your cell phone in the movie theater" and other issues of vital importance to national security.

18 June 2009

Cry Me a River: Brooklyn Hipsters Moving Back in with Parents

Thanks to PJs for pointing out this article which I missed last week. Apparently, hard times in America have forced parents to stop subsidizing their precious little art school dropouts loafing about in NYC. From NY Times:
Famed for its concentration of heavily subsidized 20-something residents — also nicknamed trust-funders or trustafarians — Williamsburg is showing signs of trouble. Parents whose money helped fuel one of the city’s most radical gentrifications in recent years have stopped buying their children new luxury condos, subsidizing rents and providing cash to spend at Bedford Avenue’s boutiques and coffee houses.

For 18 months after graduating from Colby College, Jack Drury, 24, lived the way many Williamsburg residents do: He followed his passions, working in satellite radio and playing guitar. He earned money as a bicycle messenger and, on occasion, turned to his parents for money.
It's about as difficult to have sympathy for these skinny-jeaned layabouts as the "Funemployed" and the bankers' girlfriends who can't get anymore bottle service...especially since people younger than them are dying for our country.

Maybe they should consider not living in the nation's most expensive city or take my father's advice of "Get a Job, You Bum". But knowing these people (and don't deny they all voted for Obama) they're just waiting for their share of the stimulus pie.

17 June 2009


Iranian Soccer Team Wearing Green Wrist Bands

If you're not following the political upheaval (revolution?) in Iran, you should be. Totten, Sullivan, and Gateway Pundit have great coverage with tons of links/pics of human courage. Sorry to offer up nothing but links to better bloggers, but my Thai lessons are kicking my ass at the moment.

US Dollar Continues to Blow

One Pack of Marlboros, Please

More great economic news: The Chinese are refusing to buy US bonds like they were old VHS tapes of Night Court. From Breitbart:
A decision by China to reduce its US Treasury holdings suggests concern about the US attitude towards its economic woes, Chinese economists were quoted as saying in state media Wednesday.

The remarks, coming after US data showed a modest decline in Chinese investments in US government bonds, were in contrast to an earlier statement in Beijing which had said the recent sell-off was a routine transaction.

"China is implying to the US, more or less, that it should adopt a more pragmatic and responsible attitude to maintain the stability of the dollar," He Maochun, a political scientist at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times.

According to US Treasury data issued Monday, Beijing owned 763.5 billion dollars in US securities in April, down from 767.9 billion dollars in March.

It was the first month since June 2008 that Beijing failed to purchase more US T-bills.
You really can't appreciate how much it sucks to have a crappy dollar until you're in a foreign country, where a coup could spring up at any time, and you see your dollars dropping more and more every goddamn day. But, hey, at least the President is "losing sleep" over this whole reckless spending thing.

15 June 2009

Grouchy Old Professor Badmouths College Kids

For those of you college-educamated, what comes to your mind when you think of your alma mater? Sure there were some fun times, but I recall tests that were impossible to finish unless you were the robot from Short Circuit, staying up until 2am doing homework with fellow under-sexed workaholics, and shedding that teenage hubris of "Maybe, I'm not as smart as I thought". But, Abraham H. Miller, an Emeritus Professor from somewhere, argues that the whole college experience is phonier than an Iranian election, and, unlike me, he comes armed with more than just personal anecdotes. From PJs:

At the end of four years, many students simply learned how to manipulate the system. Almost anytime I taught a course that required a prerequisite, most of the students did not possess the prior knowledge. The Internet provided a vast array of opportunities for cheating that further compromised learning. And while there is software that checks for plagiarism, students know how to defeat this. Besides, professors want to catch plagiarists as much as sanctuary cities want to arrest illegal aliens. A student can avail himself of a due process system that will consume a professor’s time and end with a slap on the wrist.

After all, plagiarism is as common on campus as promiscuity, drugs, and binge drinking. The ukase from the higher administration during finals week usually reminded us what it really was all about: as the campus community embarks on finals week, we encourage the entire faculty to remember our strong and vital commitment to retention.

You didn’t need a Ph.D. to interpret that memo.
There's a certain get off my lawn tone here, but maybe he is onto something by suggesting that more folks go to technical school or community college part-time while they learn a real job. Really, how many more fucking lawyers and MBAs do we need?

14 June 2009

Hope and Change

Tiananmen Square, June 1989

Tehran, June 2009

Totalitarian regimes simply cannot survive an information age. Totten has much more. The White House is playing it cool for the time-being, but I sure hope they have an ace up their sleeve...

13 June 2009

Moral Authority Paul Krugman Sez We Should Be Ashamed of Ourselves

I understand that many folks onboard the Team Obama train would like nothing more than to see the "bitters" locked up with the Unabomber and Bernie Madoff, or at the very least silenced. And, predictably, many bottom-feeders chose to use the latest act of domestic terrorism for their own political purposes of slandering conservatives, like they have in the past. Now, they're out to justify the horrendously written and poorly researched DHS report, which sought to profile right-wing veterans as a bunch of Ramboes running around the woods with white supremacy literature. From Krugman at NYT:

Conservatives were outraged. The chairman of the Republican National Committee denounced the report as an attempt to “segment out conservatives in this country who have a different philosophy or view from this administration” and label them as terrorists.

But with the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient.

There is, however, one important thing that the D.H.S. report didn’t say: Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.
Yes, domestic terrorism is a problem, as America has always had its share of crazies. But, the DHS report barely provided any specifics and was about as useless to law enforcement as an ACLU lawyer looking to make name for themselves. The Greyhawks point out that the criticism a few months back was because of the veteran issue, not that extremism didn't exist. So, I wish these weenies at the NY Times would quit beating around the bush and just come out and fucking say that, yes, they would like veterans with conservative-oriented political views on firearms ownership and abortion or whatever to be investigated by the police. If not, kindly piss off and go back to writing about neo-Keynesian economic theory.

At least dictators are honest about who they want rounded up for "re-education", not hiding behind their halo of progressive self-righteousness.

12 June 2009

The Uighur Foreign Exchange Program Cost $200M

The tiny island-nation of Palau, which I am unable to locate on a map at this time, is citing its stance on Human Rights as reason for allowing the transfer of 17 Uighur Gitmo detainees from one tropical climate to another. But Wall Street Journal cites another reason (h/t TCJ):

Months of moral grandstanding and intense diplomacy are finally yielding dividends: President Obama has convinced Palau, a Pacific archipelago and long-standing U.S. ally, to resettle a small group of the least dangerous Guantanamo detainees. All it took was $200 million in foreign aid to a country with 20,000 residents and a GDP of about $164 million.

Headed to Palau are the Uighurs, ethnic Chinese Muslims who were picked up in 2002 near Tora Bora.
Damn! For $200 Million from Uncle Sucker, I would've let these 17 yahoos come hang out in my apartment. I would've even provided complimentary laptops.

11 June 2009

Obama-Care to Put America on the Carbon-Neutral Train to Squaresville

Your Mandatory Saturday Afternoon Fun in 2010

If you're a politically-correct American who lives in a carbon-neutral home, rides a bike with matching spandex to work, gets plenty of time in at the gym, and only eats organic shit from Whole Foods, then these new policies aren't going to affect you much. But for the rest of us who aren't total fucking dorks and enjoy having a beer or six once in awhile, the creeping nanny-statism in Obama's health care plan should make libertarians out of all of you.

Many of the same autocratic creeps who brought you anti-smoking campaigns in the 90s to tax the bejeezus out of the nation's working class are back with similar plans for soda, alcohol, and anything else they deem morally unfit. I guess they still haven't learn how to mind their own damn business. From Politico:
Any health care reform plan that Obama signs is almost certain to call for nutrition counseling, obesity screenings and wellness programs at workplaces and community centers. He wants more time in the school day for physical fitness, more nutritious school lunches and more bike paths, walking paths and grocery stores in underserved areas.

The president is filling top posts at Health and Human Services with officials who, in their previous jobs, outlawed trans fats, banned public smoking or required restaurants to provide a calorie count with that slice of banana cream pie.

Even Congress is getting into the act, giving serious consideration to taxing sugary drinks and alcohol to help pay for the overhaul.
The problem has never been that it's wrong to exercise, eat healthy foods, etc. The problem is that it's not supposed to be the job of federal government to regulate the conduct of every citizen's life. Do the people proposing these regulations really think they are so morally superior as to micromanage everyone's affairs? Them and the Religious Right should get a goddamn room.

10 June 2009

Pvt. Who Was Shot in Arkansas Says He's Still Glad to Serve His Country

Photo from CNN

After narrowly avoiding death at the hands of an Islamic terrorist in Arkansas last week (Pvt. Long was not as fortunate), Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, says he is still thankful that he's doing his time for Uncle Sam. From CNN:
Ezeagwula said he joined the Army because "I just want to help my family out. I thought it was a good way, and then when I got in it, I actually learned to love the Army."

He said he is a construction machinery operator but hopes to eventually become a sergeant and then a drill sergeant.
Usually a touching story such as this about sacrifice, commitment, and honor rarely makes any headway in the media. This story was #10 on CNN's Most Popular List and will probably drop off the chart once details emerge about that gay dude on American Idol. Politico had analysis of how Dr. Tiller's case got way more coverage than a domestic terrorist attack on our own soldiers. If only Pvt. Ezeagwula had been shot by someone wearing a Sarah Palin button or he publicly reputed American Imperialism, he would've had a book deal and an ACLU lawyer by now.

Ahmadinejad's Advisor Calls Opposition Supporters a Bunch of Nerds

Supporters of Iran's reform-minded challenger, Mousavi, have taken to the internet to hype up his campaign, while Ahmadinejad has used more traditional Persian outlets for his campaign stops (mosques, the state-run media, Quds Force bowling alleys, etc.) Sensing the threat from these un-Islamic, rabble-rousing youth, Ahmadinejad has used the age-old tactic of labeling anyone who knows how to turn on a computer a poindexter. From Washington Post:

Badamchi's site, called Sepidedam.com, broadcasts speeches by Mousavi, who has repeatedly complained that state television favors Ahmadinejad. "So we still get our message out through the Web. And the best part is, it's for free," Badamchi said, adding that "these are the most digital and virtual elections ever" in Iran.

Shamaqdari[Ahmadinejad adviser] portrayed Mousavi's supporters as geeks who spend too much time at their computers.

"Even though it is bad for their mental health, Mousavi's supporters spend hours on the Internet," he said. "Our youths are more social. They like to hang out at baseej centers, on the streets or play sports. They like to meet in groups. Mousavi's supporters are more solitary."
Hasn't Mr. Shamaqdari ever seen Revenge of the Nerds? He's forgetting that the geeks always win in the end, whether it's Hollywood or real life.

UPI has good photo coverage of the Iranian election campaign here.

09 June 2009

Creepy Photography: Why is Mommy's Face Missing?

Thanks to Dillinger for pointing out Joshua Hoffine's "Childhood Fears" photos. Much more of this totally fucked up shit available by clicking on the links, and being a connoisseur of all things creepy, I'm loving it!

Obama to Save Economy by Employing Teens to Keep Them Off Your Lawn

Because Children are the Future

You're doing a heckuva job, Obama. Recent unemployment figures show that we are turning into a nation of hobos, and the reasons behind the economic collapse are, I admit, not all the fault of President O. But we could at least demand that he stop blowing smoke up our asses with hokey numbers from his spendulus plan.

Innocent Bystanders has some analysis on how the figures originally predicted by the administration were way too optimistic. See graph below to further your anxiety:
Now, to silence any criticism that maybe this monstrous $787B program was a lousy idea, Obama says that 600,000 jobs are going to be created this summer. Unfortunately, that number factors in teenage gigs working at the DQ and goofing off behind the cash register at the local Goodwill. CNS explains:
The biggest of the youth jobs program is in Cleveland, where 7,000 teens will be employed to work summer jobs through a $6.4 million program funded by stimulus money. About $3 million went to support 2,500 summer teen jobs in Riverside County, Calif., according to the report. Another 200 California teens will get summer jobs as a result of a $465,000 stimulus grant to Yuba County.
The Desert Sun out of Palm Springs has some more specifics on what kind of jobs the stimulus money created: minimum-wage jobs at state-run buildings so teenagers aren't making trouble during their summer break. Not that teenage employment is a bad thing, but using it to factor into the narrative about economic recovery for the American middle class is a bit sheisty.

08 June 2009

Colbert in the Sandbox

Even though the Iraq war fell off in media coverage once relative peace and democracy broke out, our troops are still over there busting their ass wondering when they're going to get their orders to Afghanistan. So Colbert was kind enough to do a USO tour to Mesopotamia and revamp his website. While most Americans are spending their days strangely thinking that Obama is doing a "swell" job with our rapidly collapsing economy, maybe this Comedy Central extravaganza will remind people that, yes, we are in a time of war. From Military Times:

Colbert, who traveled to Iraq from Kuwait on Friday on board a military transport plane, has said he was spurred to make the trip when he noticed economic news coverage eclipsing reports from Baghdad.

The four shows, which were being taped in the domed marble hall at Saddam Hussein’s former Al Faw Palace, will air later.

Claiming the war must be over because nobody’s talking about it anymore, Colbert invoked the power of cable television to “officially declare we won the Iraq war.”
Unlike every other liberals on the internet and elsewhere, Colbert is actually funny when he parodies conservatism. Shows this week.

07 June 2009

North Dakota Still Alive and Ticking

Even though Obama has said we've "stepped back from the brink", unemployment statistics suggest that 1) there ain't gonna be a Christmas this year, and 2) we might be eating Soylent Green by next year. But there's one state in the union where people aren't living like a bunch of hobos (which unfortunately is home to less than 1% of the population). Despite a flood in Fargo earlier this year, North Dakota continues to do well. WSJ reports their secret:

High prices help North Dakota in myriad ways. State revenues rise thanks to taxes on oil production and extraction. Energy-industry workers and farmers pay more in income taxes and spend more, boosting sales-tax receipts.

Chiefly because of the commodities boom, North Dakota had the fastest-growing economy in the nation last year, as the state's gross domestic product increased 7.3%, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The state also missed much of the bubble in housing prices and dubious lending practices that bedeviled much of the nation, so it isn't struggling as much with foreclosures.

Republican Gov. John Hoeven likes to credit his administration's efforts to diversify the economy, including fostering "value-added" agriculture, such as food-processing plants, and alternative-energy production, from wind to ethanol and other biofuels. "Jobs and opportunities change, and we have to be developing these new industry areas," he said.

Wow! A state that actually supplies something people want to buy instead of cranking out legions of overpaid, grad-school, think-tank weenies writing about "Synergy Approaches to Social Capital". What a concept.

Sausage Fest in China Has Huge Unintended Consequences

Sausage Parties May Be Hazardous to your Wallet

It's no secret that China's infamous "one-child policy", which favored the male child-births through the humanitarian procedure of infanticide, resulted in a male-female ratio worse than a RPG gamer convention. Unsurprising to any dude who has ever been immersed in a mostly male profession, lovelorn guys are getting easily ripped off by con-artist ladies. Dowries paid by rural gents in China to the brides family are turning out be a worse investment than GM stock. WSJ reports:
He proposed marriage. She agreed, with one proviso: cai li of 38,000 yuan, or roughly five years' worth of farm income. The Zhous agreed, but took the precaution of running a quick background check. Tang Yunshou, Xin'an's Communist Party secretary, said Ms. Cai's identity and residential papers checked.

Three days later the couple registered their union at the local registrar's office. They posed for studio shots, with the bride in a creamy satin gown, the groom in a tuxedo. In one shot, they wear traditional garb, the bride pretending to light a string of firecrackers. Mr. Zhou mugs a grimace, hands to his ears.

They held the wedding banquet a week later, on Jan. 4, where Mr Zhou's mother formally handed over the dowry -- half of it loans from family members -- to a woman she believed to be Ms. Cai's cousin.

The new bride took up residence with her in-laws, and quickly found favor with her diligent and respectful ways, said Mrs. Zhou. "I treated her better than my own daughter," she said. A red electric scooter, with ribbons on the handles, sits in the living room, a wedding present for Ms. Cai.

Matrimony was catching. Two neighbors sought Ms. Cai out, and asked her to act as matchmaker for their sons. Ms. Cai recommended two girls within a few days. The neighbors each paid 40,000 yuan in cai li.

On Jan. 28, all these brides vanished, leaving the villagers reeling.
If you can't trust the Xin'an Communist Secretary to run a simple background check on your fiancee, who can you trust?!?

I'd suggest to Mr. Zhou to come to Bangkok's seedier areas, where you see hundreds of bored women sitting around waiting for foreign men to spend money on them (yes, the recession seems to have really hit everybody). But that would imply that people actually had the money to travel in our new world-wide, economic malaise.

05 June 2009

Leskonomics in the Age of Obama

You knew someone was going to make this video sooner or later. It's so accurate.

03 June 2009

Real Estate Agent Throws Raging Party At Home Being Sold

(photo credit: From the TSO estate in DC)

This is one way to promote publicity for your real estate agency that doesn't involve chintzy bench ads. From the Daily Mail:
After a heavy drinking session, Joseph Young, 23, collected the keys to the £650,000 house from his office so he and two friends could continue to party.

Once inside, the trainee estate agent and friend Bradley Conway, 23, ripped out door frames and smashed chairs, statues and picture frames. They poured Tipp-Ex fluid over duvets and damaged a vintage car in the garage.
Quick! Someone make this chap a British MP to bring some integrity back to their government.

02 June 2009

More Humiliation For Michigan; Some Skinny-Jeaned Hipster In Charge of GM

Seeing how the state of Michigan is heavily invested both financially and emotionally with the auto industry, and the Governor had to go begging for cash from Obama like a schmuck to keep people employed, you'd think it couldn't get any lower for the Great Lakes state than having the former #1 company in the world go bust. Well, not unless the new person in charge of GM is some law-school dropout/pizzafaced-politico dweeb who has probably never worked a day in his life. From New York Times:

But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry. Nor, for that matter, had he given much thought to what ailed an industry that had been in decline ever since he was born. A bit laconic and looking every bit the just-out-of-graduate-school student adjusting to life in the West Wing — “he’s got this beard that appears and disappears,” says Steven Rattner, one of the leaders of President Obama’s automotive task force — Mr. Deese was thrown into the auto industry’s maelstrom as soon the election-night parties ended.
Yeah! I'm sure the thousands of newly unemployed are breathing a sigh of relief that some no-experience hipster is taking charge. God bless our political system.

GM said that they have sold Hummer to an "undisclosed buyer". Maybe it's to this Deese guy so he can have his buddies chauffeured to some party in Brooklyn where none of us are invited.

Lowlife Storms Recruiting Station in Arkansas

You have to wonder where the hell these people come from. From USA Today:
According to sources, the suspect advised them that he was going to kill as many Army personnel as possible. At the time of the shooting, the subject had approximately 200 rounds of ammunition available, police said.

According to a police report, Muhammad told police he saw two uniformed U.S. soldiers in front of the recruiting office before he shot and killed Pvt. William Long, 23, and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, while they were taking a break outside the U.S. Army recruiting station where they both worked.

When Muhammad was arrested he was near a Walgreens drug store and another large store with hundreds of people inside and out in the parking lot areas.

But authorities said he never attempted to hurt anyone at either location, and only directed his hostility to the recruiting site.
Why does every crazy always get a raging boner over recruiting stations, thinking that fucking with recruiters means you're really "sticking it to the man". Have these people ever been to one of these drab government-funded offices in the strip mall? You know these scumbags aren't going for the ads on Army Strong.

Most service members get recruiting duty for 2 years after they serve in a combat zone/sea duty, or like the Private who was ruthlessly gunned down in Arkansas, they get stashed there for a few weeks until they start their training for whatever community they're in. But these days it seems like they'll have to make Recruiting Duty the hardship assignment. Jesus fucking Christ.

01 June 2009

Chinese Laugh at Geithner When He Says Investment in US Debt "Safe"

Well you can't really blame our Chinese slumlords for being a bit sketchy about giving us more money to live beyond our means. From BBC:

Ahead of meetings with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, he said the US and China must work together to fix the global economic system.

Mr Geithner said the US would move swiftly to get its debt under control.

In a speech at Beijing University at the start of his two-day visit, Mr Geithner reassured his Chinese hosts that they need not worry about the estimated $770bn (£475bn) they have invested in US treasuries, a class of US government debt.

"Chinese financial assets are very safe," he said, drawing laughter from the audience.
Yup, with this and the GM bankruptcy, the economic good news just keeps on coming. On a totally related note, Paul Krugman has an article today about how Reagan caused massive consumer and government debt. Although, he seems totally cool with it when a Democrat runs up massive government debt. Go figure.

Bad Religion Predicted the Murder of Tiller in 1990

Hilzoy has some stuff on Operation Rescue, the pro-life group that may be wrapped up in the terrorist murder of Dr. George Tiller. And yes this could be classified as "terrorism" (heinous violence to create a desired political effect). Bad Religion actually had a song called Operation Rescue from their legendary 1990 album "Against the Grain" that has some bizarre symbolism today:

life ever-after is what they're in business for,
see them brandish the key to their kingdoms door,
it's persuasive, it's a part of you and me
but it's not overwhelming as they wish it to be,
if no one believed in fairy tales
there would be nothing they could do but
yet everywhere we look someone is trying to reassure our
moral benevolence
as a people,
operation rescue . . .
you may wonder where they come from,
but I just wonder what compels them all.

More:Dondero and TAH point out that opportunistic bloggers are saying this act is typical of the right-wing. Pretty low class.