Category : stupidity

If I were running for president, I would stake my campaign on a single issue. An issue of the utmost importance in our time of existential peril. I’m talking of course, about my plan to give the Statue of Liberty a boob job.

The Statue of Liberty -- See? She's totally flat.Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why is he running on this issue when the economy, the environment and our political system are on all on the brink of collapse? It’s because of that last, actually. Our political system is so fucked up that the candidate that’s making the most sense right now is Stephen Colbert. That’s why giving the Statue of Liberty a boob job is so important. In a system where nothing makes sense, only the absurd can be enlightening.

I’m sure there are legitimate concerns with my plan, such as, What will France think? That’s fair, since they gave us the landmark back in 1886 in return for the cessation of France jokes (oops?). But you know, if any country is going to be okay with sexing up a work of art, I think France is that country. Heck, they banned the burqa over there; so now French women have to show skin. It’s the law! I can’t wait for whatever form of titillation they enshrine into law next. I’m betting on National Bikini Month during June. What a great country!

Here in America, our culture reflects our simultaneous fear of and obsession with sex. Our Puritan past manifests in both our paleo-conservative candidates and our raunchy television, even though nudity is practically verboten. Our brave entertainers have managed to squeeze every last drop of titillation out of our FCC censorship regime. In order to honor Hollywood’s quest to defend liberty and show boobies, it’s clear that we need to give Lady Liberty a Wonderbra and some serious cleavage.

Besides, the Statue of Liberty should reflect our shared culture. We’re pretty crass by this point so we might as well embrace it. So we should make sure to give Lady Liberty a handgun and a cheeseburger while we’re at it.

The whole “liberty” thing is pretty played out, too. I mean, come on — liberty is no longer a priority for our country. If it were, why would we have a not-so-secret torture camp on Cuban soil called Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp? It’s beyond the normal laws of our fair land and exists only to torture and imprison those foreigners we’ve captured — but not tried in a court of law. No, that would respect our (outmoded?) tradition of due process and equality for all. Now that Republican crowds will regularly boo the Golden Rule, peace, gay soldiers, uninsured Americans and the mere mention of Mexico, I think we can put the whole “Liberty” thing to bed. What Americans really want these days is Vengeance. So I suggest we drop the Flame of Liberty (put it in a museum, where it belongs) and give Lady Liberty a battle-axe instead. All the better to behead the terr’rists with, right?

The State of Liberty used to be a mirror of what we’ve achieved as nation. Now it’s an embarrassing reminder of how bad things have gotten, like how an old photo of you (from when you were young and fit) mocks the present reality. We need to bring the Lady into alignment with our present-day existence so we can forget about how out of whack things have gotten. To that end, Lady Liberty is going to need some tatoos (a tramp-stamp, obviously), an Oompa-Loompa-colored fake tan (Jersey is right next door, they should have enough spray-on tan for the whole statue), and a WWJD bracelet that she never looks at.

It’s not easy to be the guy who points out that shit’s fucked up, but I will be that guy (until I get tired) and I will fight for you in Washington (unless you elect a bunch of assholes to Congress — which you do every time) and I won’t shy away from the truth (but the truth will make you shy away from me).

So when it comes time to cast your vote just write in “Vemrion” and then we’ll get going on this boob-job thing. You deserve it, America.

They walk among us. Normal people, like you or me. But inside the corners of their ratty little minds they carry a dark, hideous secret: They own a leaf blower.

I know, I know. It’s easy to hate them, like SUV drivers, sweet sixteen psycho-princesses and those happy-slapping chavs who run around hitting unsuspecting people and filming it. But owning a leaf blower does not make you a shitty person. A crappy one, yes. But not shitty.

It’s not the individuals who own leaf blowers who concern me; it’s the whole problem of Leaf Blower Culture that keeps me up at night (that, and the noise). This is not to say the leaf blower wielders are innocent however. It is their weakness that ruins things for the rest of us. But what flaw in our collective psyche allowed it get to this point?

The Human Flaw
The skull-rattling noise of leaf blowers is the real reason that people use them, I suspect. Far from being the biggest flaw, it’s actually what attracts these weak, pitiful souls to it, desperately wanting to make some impact in the world, wrongly or rightly.

Backpack leaf blowerAlthough commercial grade leaf blowers are spendy at around $500, a small consumer version can cost as little as 40 bucks (plus gas). Like SUVs, the relatively cheap price combined with the vibrant feeling of pure mechanical power gives consumers a drunken sense of maniacal glee.

A few hours after the purchase you can find many people softly, sickly laughing as they swirl the leaf blower around like a bloated magical wand, causing a small wind storm along with an incredible cacophonous noise heard blocks away. Screaming over the monstrous din, they dance through the lawn with their mechanical version of Voldemort’s wand spewing forth a steady stream of devilish noise and blustery fury. Somewhere deep in their gollum-like mind the voice of a mad-man rings loudly in their hollow hearts:

“HAHA!! Yes!! I am making those leaves flee before me! I am invincible with my precious blower! Cower before me, you stupid leaves! I’ll blow you clear across the lawn! MUAAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!”

He is no longer a balding and pot-bellied middle-aged suburban dad. He is Leafmancer the Majestic, master of all who cross his path. Dare ye to speak to him over the bilious noise of his quivering instrument of power? Nay, he will not hear your pleas. He does not concern himself with such trifles as your feelings. “Back off, before I blow you off!” he hisses in an inaudible whisper.

A Cost/Benefit Ratio Forrest Gump Could Deduce
This simple device encapsulates everything that is wrong with American culture from a social, environmental and technological standpoint. Let’s look at what a leaf blower does and it’s advantages versus disadvantages.

A leaf blower is basically a reverse vacuum cleaner. It blows instead of sucks. But what goal does it accomplish, what societal need does it address?

It replaces a rake.

That’s it. As far as I know, there is no other common use for a leaf blower than the function that is easily accomplished by the common rake, which can be purchased at hardware store for 20 bucks and requires no fuel or maintenance and operates nearly silently.

The leaf blower does its job extremely poorly — and it does so very loudly — yet people still flock to this useless, feeble technology.

5 guys with leaf blowers

To really drive this home, and be fair to leaf blowers, I will now list the advantages and disadvantages of this machine:

Leaf blower pros:

  • Slightly faster? Maybe, but I’ve seen workmen accomplish virtually nothing in an hour’s time, like a retarded monkey pushing around a box of sand
  • Some can suck up and mulch the leaves, but most people don’t have or use this functionality; the device is technically referred to as a “blower vac” in this capacity
  • Although they ostensibly reduce human energy output, using high-powered machines is somewhat difficult and still makes you sweaty. I don’t see many grannies using them

Leaf blower cons:

  • Loud as a fucking airplane
  • Expensive compared with a rake
  • Requires continual purchase of costly fossil fuels
  • Causes air pollution and leaves the stench of gasoline
  • Creates huge plumes of dust & debris, some of which can lodge themselves in your eye
  • Not as good at creating leaf piles as a rake
  • Heavier than a rake
  • Bulkier than a rake
  • Has moving parts and requires regular maintenance such as:
    • Cleaning or replacing the filters
    • Replacing the spark plugs
    • Cleaning the fan blades
    • Cleaning the air intake
    • etc. etc.
  • Doesn’t work without a fuel source yet still requires human control/power
  • If you’re using a leaf blower, you’re pissing off everybody around you

Meanwhile, a rake just fucking works. (Plus, it can be used to sneak up and attack people using leaf blowers.)

Leaf blower mouth

A Cultural Sickness that Reveals Our World’s Rotten Soul
Our world teeters on the edge of economic, environmental collapse and I’m worried about leaf blowers? Well yes, because if we think leaf blowers are a good idea then I weep for our noisy, pointless future. Why does our culture accept and use these technologically gimmicky bullshit tools when perfectly acceptable old-school tools exist? Is it sheer laziness or a delirious lust for auditory power? I’m afraid our leaf blower addiction reveals far more about our society than we would ever want to grok.

Corporate priorities tend to distort things. In recent years the idea that there’s a technological solution to every problem has been driven into the corporate drone’s head. He knows all his competitors are using leaf blowers. He thinks that a rake looks low-tech and that customers are more impressed with technology than simplicity. He expects a lawn care service company to show up with a trailer full of gas-powered goodies, all of which make an unholy racket. It’s part of our cultural expectations at this point: If you’re not making a shitload of noise, are you really doing anything?

Blame it on our Genes
Our monkey brains are helpless before the lure of shiny, noisy tools. If this is the best we can do, perhaps the world would be better off without us. Dolphins don’t have leaf blowers. When they enslave us, they will say it’s for our own good and they might actually be right. That’s what scares me. Still, rakes sit lonely and dust-covered in millions of garages, wondering, like some jilted lover, what it did to push us into the arms of that supercharged demon-mistress next to it. Will America remember the simple, subtle beauty of the common garden rake before it’s too late?

We could certainly use the exercise.

This is one cultural deficiency I can’t blame solely on the Oligarchy (although our elite-encouraged oil addiction is a contributing factor). It’s our own stupid lust for power that led us to this point. If we keep this up I’m gonna start cheering for the goddamn lizard people. Bring on the brainless zombies (armed with leaf blowers, of course).

C’mon, folks: Evolve already!

A Future Fraught with Free Leaves
I’m not the first person to complain about this plague; leaf blowers are illegal in several cities and people have bitched about them for decades. Yet, here we are in 2011 and they’re still fucking here.

The most ironic part is that leaves will win this battle in the end. Leaves will be blowing freely long after humanity has slit its own throat and withered, gurgling and gasping, into the heedless sands of history.

Are leaves such a horrible infestation that they must be removed from our urban green spaces? What about the incredible amount of noise and air pollution that is being added to the atmosphere in their place? We are truly a sick culture if we think this is an acceptable trade-off. I will risk the fucking leaves, thank you very much. Maybe our feral, wretched descendants will use them as currency.

The guy who invented the rake must be rolling in his fucking grave. He’s just lucky he can’t hear it when they blow the leaves off his gravestone.

Every now and then I come across a bad science article. And I come across badly done science with disturbing regularity — but today I found both in an article at NewScience.com.

It’s a “study” about why people believe “crazy” things like creationism and intelligent design. The authors of both the article and the study have barely bothered to mask their contempt and disdain for those who believe in anything other than cold, hard science.

But the science and written logic they bring to the table can be described as mushy branflakes at best. Check out the article and see if you can taste the bias. Here’s a sampler:

People continued to agree with false teleological statements, particularly those that endorsed an Earth intended for life.

I was not aware the debate over the beginning of our world was settled. Good to know you can administer a simple true/false test and call people who believe the earth was made for life “wrong”.

This is supposed to be science? It seems to be based on more assumptions than religion! [new readers: I don't believe in religion, but I don't believe evolution's reality settles the debate over our origins -v]

Either they’re trying to use trick questions or they don’t understand the nuance of language. This, for instance, is one of their “false” statements:

Mites live on skin to consume dead skin cells

Well… don’t they? The mites are better off living there than anywhere else. Where else would mites rather be?

The supposed scientists may have been grasping for “Mites exist only to remove our dead skin cells” but they utterly failed. And these people are claiming to be able to accurately and fairly judge me, my logical abilities and the validity of my beliefs??!!

Reminds me of this, more accurate, study.

This is also shoddy, biased journalism. I expect more from a mainstream publication like NewScience. Pro-atheism cheerleading is fine and good, but there’s a time and a place, just like we expect reporters to keep their Christian, Hindu or whatever views out of newscasts, we should expect the journalists over at NewScience and other consumer science outlets to do the same.

This is not an article so much as an attack on teleological thought, a legitimate philosophy of thought. Here’s what Wikipedia currently says about teleology:

A teleological school of thought is one that holds all things to be designed for or directed toward a final result, that there is an inherent purpose or final cause for all that exists.

As a school of thought it can be contrasted with metaphysical naturalism, which views nature as having no design or purpose. Teleology would say that a person has eyes because he has the need of eyesight (form following function), while naturalism would say that a person has sight because he has eyes (function following form).

A classic debate. Y vs. X and yet these supposed scientists are ready to throw telelogical thought under the bus without even investigating whether it might be right. Instead they’ve decided to do a sort of test to see if you think like a commie–..uh, er… “teleologist” in the hopes of one day “curing” it.

A first round of experiments suggested that adults make more teleological mistakes when pressed for time than when not. Yet Kelemen and Rosset also noticed that no matter how much time they had, test subjects tended to endorse false statements implying that the Earth is designed and maintained for life. [emphasis mine]

This is some of the most biased reporting I’ve ever seen, but it could be Ewen Callaway is just regurgitating what he was told. Then it would piss-poor reporting. But even more offensive to me as a rational person is the implicit goal laid bare in this study, which is clearly to find a way to eradicate teleological thought.

That’s the same kind of thinking that led to the Spanish Inquisition. We don’t need any more of that crap. These “scientists” need to learn how to take on their ideological opponents in an intellectual field of battle and quit trying to find ways to cow the populace into submission. If they have proof that the teleological school of thought is wrong, then they should firstly present it, then defend it.

Instead they use mouthpieces like NewScience, which I thought was a reputable publication, but now seems to be nothing more than a bloodbath battlefield between believers and nonbelievers. Here are some recent articles (among the most popular):

I guess it’s all about the page-views and contentious article bring in visitors galore. But then why not try and keep an editorially even hand and write balanced articles? There’s a good reason spiritually-minded folks often sound defensive in those forums. They know they’re being taunted — or else they wouldn’t be there, trying to explain deeply held beliefs to this generation’s most vicious nihilists.

What’s even more disturbing is that the atheists rarely stand up and say, “Hey, I agree, but let’s keep things respectful and balanced here.” Opinion Editor Amanda Gefter is particularly over-the-top. Here’s a typical passage:

Misguided interpretations of quantum physics are a classic hallmark of pseudoscience, usually of the New Age variety, but some religious groups are now appealing to aspects of quantum weirdness to account for free will. Beware: this is nonsense.

Free will has been debated for many millennia, but dear old Amanda won’t let us even consider the possibility that… what, quantum physics might be involved somehow? How the hell does she know? She clearly doesn’t because she chose ridicule over reason and neglected to back up her claims. If I print out the Wikipedia article on Free Will, it’s over 20 pages, but Ms. Gefter dismisses it with a warning: Beware!! Don’t read any further or you might turn into a commi- er, I mean “creationist!”

This is all about attacking the philosophical underpinnings of the opponents of strong-atheism, whom include religious folks, anti-religion/pro-metaphysics people like me, and many agnostics and weak-atheists.

It’s sad that people can’t find any common ground on this issue. It’s one of the most pressing of our times, especially with the growt
h of atheism in the young and urban. But it’s still a religious discussion and I remain somewhat aghast that a publication like NewScience would stoop to taking sides in the culture wars. Are they about to fold and need every page-view they can get?

I’d be more likely to read them in the future if they displayed a little more objectivity.

As for the “scientists” who are out to “cure” creationists or anybody who entertains metaphysical thoughts, well, I guess we’d better keep our eyes on them before they try to beat Religion’s high score in the killing game. Studying ways to eradicate thought that doesn’t conform with the scientific establishment’s is really beyond the pale.

I don’t think most atheists think this way. Certainly there is some bitterness about Christianity, the dominant religion in my culture, but few would actually seek to destroy it. They just don’t want fundamentalist Christians (like those that infested the Bush administration) enforcing prayer in schools, Intelligent Design in schools (ID should be in schools — the Philosophy Department) and various faith-based activities.

Totally understandable. But let’s make sure that we don’t end up with the mirror image as humanity gives up its superstitious beliefs. We don’t need fundamentalist atheists running amok any more than we need fundamentalist Muslims or Christians in charge. The extremists are the problem, and they hurt whichever side they are arguing for. Please, people, look for common ground in the culture wars!

Go in peace / Science be praised

Was the banking industry screwed over by its own bankruptcy law? It sure appears to have hurt the economy

“Before the reform, overindebted households might file bankruptcy and get rid of their credit card debt, and that would free up income to pay the mortgage,” Morgan said. “The new law blocks that escape route and forces better-off households to continue paying credit card debt, which makes it harder than before to continue paying the mortgage.”

The conclusions of Morgan and his colleagues echo earlier findings that the new law’s tougher requirements appear to have increased the number of people defaulting on their mortgages or walking away from their homes rather than seeking bankruptcy protection.

“One of the great lessons and ironies” of the new law, Treasury Department economist David P. Bernstein wrote in a recent paper, was that, by increasing the dollar value of assets susceptible to default, it has weakened many of the financial institutions that sought the new law in the first place.

Man, those guy are fucking idiots, right?
Hmm… I suspect that we need to reference incompetence theory here. These assholes didn’t get to the top of the finance industry by being clueless morons eager to throw their body into the arms of Defeat. No, these hard-asses know a lot more about the economy than most people do and they’re using that insider knowledge to time the crash of the economy and profit from it.The bankruptcy law was an important part of the crash: it was the trigger. It was the pin that popped the bubble.

The robberbarons in charge of this economy aren’t stupid. They know that their inflationary, fiat monetary system creates boom and bust cycles so they simply manipulate those cycles to their favor and crater the system at a time of their choosing.

Cheney’s invested in Europe. The Bushes are in South America and the Middle East. I’m sure Hank and Ben are well taken care of, too. The rest of us will be the ones to deal with the fallout from this avoidable disaster. Don’t assume the bankruptcy law was unimportant; it emanated from the very heart of the banking industry and its passage was assumed/assured in Congress. That law is now adding to the misery of those suffering in this corpse of a system.

It’s time to change. We need to switch to a gold-backed system wherein people can feel safe and plan for the future without the economic rollercoasters juiced by Big Media’s propaganda system, creating fear at the opportune moments. We ride on, strapped into a rickety system that is doomed to fail, and soon. The government hasn’t been keeping up the rollercoaster. In fact, the top of the hierarchy have sold all the screws and bolts to China for a tidy profit. We are held aloft by hope, inertia and the wings of big-tittied angels.

Well, don’t look down. Like Wile E. Coyote, we’d fall if we did. But we have to fall, don’t we?
 

It’s time to fall up
refuse to die
and start to fly
away from the lie

I had to laugh when I saw this quote:

Community banking executives around the country responded with anger yesterday to the Bush administration’s strategy of investing $250 billion in financial firms, saying they don’t need the money, resent the intrusion and feel it’s unfair to rescue companies from their own mistakes.

[snip]

“These measures are not intended to take over the free market but to preserve it,” Bush said.

This sounds so much like Vietnam-psychosis it’s sick. Destroying the village in order to save it didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. Once you’ve started down that path you never find a reason to stop interfering — something, somewhere always needs to be saved. Somehow I suspect that Bush will “save” the economy in the same way he saved Iraq!

Peter Fitzgerald, chairman of Chain Bridge Bank in McLean, said he was “much chagrined that we will be punished for behaving prudently by now having to face reckless competitors who all of a sudden are subsidized by the federal government.”

At Evergreen Federal Bank in Grants Pass, Ore., chief executive Brady Adams said he has more than 2,000 loans outstanding and only three borrowers behind on payments. “We don’t need a bailout, and if other banks had run their banks like we ran our bank, they wouldn’t have needed a bailout, either,” Adams said.

Hahahaa! The biggest socialist in Washington these days sits in the White House. Comrade Bush has decided that we need a planned economy, managed by the Executive Branch for the good of the rich.

Comrade Bush has managed to combine the worst parts of both socialism and fascism in his flailing “efforts” to save the economy, which, upon closer inspection, actually seem to be more about re-making the economy in his own image. Let the little guys die, save the big guys with massive amounts of free (taxpayer) cash and then claim you were trying to save the economy as a whole.

Others banks judged too sick to save will be allowed to fail.

Guess who gets to judge? Bush, Bernanke and Paulson, of course.

We’re in deep shit.

Things look grim. I’m sure we’re not out of the woods yet — there’s a long way to go before we hit rock bottom.

You can probably guess my reaction to the bailout: SCAM!!

So, our plan is to give the people who fucked the economy billions of dollars with no real plan to get it back? Brilliant! How could that not work?

The assholes basically just got us to pay them for ripping us off. Quite the smooth move on their part. 

But you know, it’s basically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic at this point. I don’t think $700 billion (actually, with all the pork it’s closer to $850 billion) will make a lick of difference. The problem is much deeper than that; it has to do with the way we create and regulate money, at the fundamental level. Basically, we need to return to the gold standard, eliminate fractional reserve lending and dissolve the Federal Reserve.

This will make for some bumpy transitions, as a nation used to 5% growth every year realizes that maybe 0.2% is more appropriate. Of course, the 5% growth stat is illusionary. You have to grow by 5% every year just to stay ahead of inflation. If you want to actually make money you need an even higher rate — which leads to risky investments. Wall Street wants ever-better numbers and the strain of achieving them has led many an executive to make risky, negligent or downright stupid investments. We need fiscal sanity! It may be boring, and less people will be able to make a living moving electronic numbers around, but it will bring stable beneficence to the majority of the world.

Problem: How to get there from here. 

Step one: Reach rock bottom.

We’re well on our way there. I’m afraid nothing will change without suffering because there’s no motivation otherwise. It’s a sad truth. The problem is that we’re speeding too fast towards rock bottom. We may hit it with the impact of a dinosaur falling off a thousand-foot cliff. That would basically end our civilization as we know it.


We need a soft landing. But how to get it? The fat-ass rich people stole the golden parachutes, but in a world where money is worthless paper what help will those parachutes be?

There’s no way out of this one, folks. We’re all gonna die unless somebody has been planning ahead with an altruistic and audacious plan to save us from our high-velocity trajectory straight into the ground.

We can’t look to the people in charge to save us — they’re the ones who got us into this mess. So I guess we don’t have many options. Who has a plan? Who has the resources to make it work? Who among us is bold enough to listen?

We are fast approaching the Rubicon.

The Onion has a pretty good track record of not only reporting the news before it happens, but making it funny, too. They’ve been eerily prescient before, but sometimes I forget just how good these guys are!

Just last month I posted a hilarious Onion TV video that featured a supposed al-Qaeda operative arguing with a 9/11 Truther. The video works on many levels, but for me it was funny because the al-Qaeda guy is so obviously spewing Bush administration talking points and desperately trying to claim credit for something clearly beyond their capabilities. He even brings a receipt for flight lessons and brags about his connections to the White House: “Me and Bush, we go out, we hang.”

The idea of al-Qaeda stepping up to defend the Bush administration’s version of events on 9/11 is pretty hilarious, but come on! That’s just over the top, right? It was a good chuckle and then we all moved on.

Apparently somebody thought this wasn’t funny enough in fiction so al-Qaeda has made it real!

Osama bin Laden‘s chief deputy in an audiotape Tuesday accused Shiite Iran of trying to discredit the Sunni al-Qaida terror network by spreading the conspiracy theory that Israel was behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

Just sit back and soak that in. I didn’t make up that quote, amazingly.

One enemy of the U.S./Israel accusing the other of understating the first’s evil is funny enough, but this treads onto satire when al-Zawahri says blaming Israel makes Muslims look stupid!

“The purpose of this lie is clear — (to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it,” he said.

Haha!! This is straight out of the Bush regime’s racist playbook. Look at the implication: Muslims can be heroes only if they’re terrorists! Only a moron or a stooge would admit such a thing about his own people. Sunni or Shi’ite, you’d think Zawahri would try to unify the sects against the Zionists, but instead he plays right into the Bush regime’s hands by simultaneously defaming Muslims everywhere (as if every Muslim is just itching for a chance to blow himself up!) and sowing divisiveness amongst his people at the same time. Zawahiri is either a tactical moron or a CIA stooge.

Could he actually expect to sway Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with this argument? Ahmadinejad may be an idiot, a tool and a loudmouth, but he is not a terrorist or a dictator. He is like Putin, a strongman that the people have turned to in order to provide a hedge against U.S. imperialism.

Ahmadinejad knows, like Putin, that the 9/11 attacks were self-inflicted in order to provide a pretext for Bush’s endless wars of conquest (and embarrassment). Heck, even our allies in Japan are starting to question the events of that day. In retrospect it looks like an incredible boon to an administration that has done nothing but evil with the goodwill generated worldwide in response to the tragedy.

Many people say the Bush administration is too incompetent to pull off the attacks and subsequent coverup, but I say al-Qaeda is too incompetent to do … much of anything! Call the Bush team what you will, but they are masters at manipulation and misdirection. They managed to steal two elections and they orchestrated an incredible propaganda campaign to trick the nation into war with Iraq. I remember watching the news back in early 2003 thinking I was living in an endless Twilight Zone episode. And what happened to the treasonous military men, the lying pundits and the architects of this atrocity? Well they’re mostly still around and many of them have been promoted!

People need to realize that the Bush administration isn’t incompetent when it comes to stuff like Katrina: They just don’t give a fuck! … There’s a difference. They look after their own, not a bunch of poor folks who don’t vote Republican anyway.

Al-Qaeda is a CIA-sponsored group whose only role is to draw attention away from the real terrorists. This is common knowledge among the elite, although some still cling to a twisted sort of incompetence theory:

Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians. Inexplicably, and with disastrous consequences, it never appears to have occurred to Washington that once Russia was out of the way, Bin Laden’s organisation would turn its attention to the west.

Oh, I think it occurred to them alright. It was the plan all along. You think the CIA can’t “take care of” a few jihadis waving around U.S.-made stinger missile launchers? The CIA doesn’t just let anybody play with their toys. They can find you. After all, details about members of al-Qaeda are, by definition, in “The Database.”

That raises another question: Who the fuck would name their terrorist organization after a “structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system“?!

I have an idea. I’m going to start an organization dedicated to the Liberation of the Great State of Minnesota from the Oppressive Federal Government of the United States of America. I’m going to name this organization….. Pants!

What do you think? “Pants” … or “Pants!”? … I’m not sure, does the exclamation point sell it?

Anyway, my point is that it’s completely fucking ridiculous. I just made my hypothetical liberation front look clueless, stupid…. and somewhat artistic, I guess. Maybe “al-Qaeda” would make a good, Dadaist band name in Arabic, but it doesn’t do shit for a supposedly committed bunch of terrorists.

Let’s look at other “terrorist” organizations and what kind of names they have (I’ll assign grades based soley on the clarity and effectiveness of the name, not their tactics or ideology):

  • The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan – localized, religious and grassroots. These guys know how to name a group. Doesn’t lock them into terrorism either. B+
  • The Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group – very straightforward
    ; we know right away they’re into Islam, fighting and Morocco. However, isn’t this a little open-ended? Most groups start with a specific cause… you know, like freeing their homeland or something. These guys just feel “combative”, apparently. It should be no surprise they’re affiliated with al-Qaeda. B-
  • The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ( الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين ) – very savvy name. They’re playing the populism card, plus you know exactly what their goals are. A
  • The Irish National Liberation Army – once again, very straightforward. You know what they want and who they represent right away. Would this front be as popular if they were named “fishsticks”? I doubt it. B
  • The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord – even though these guys aren’t clear about what they want, it’s obvious they’re into Jesus and swordplay. Kinda makes you wanna learn more about’em too, but not really. I’m giving it a better grade because it rhymes. C+
  • The United Liberation Front of Asom – pretty clear what they’re after here. I like the unity reference; makes you think they’re a big tent liberation front. But like most Americans I didn’t know where the hell Asom is (northeast India). A-

I have to give al-Qaeda a D- for their crappy name. I would give them an F, but the randomness of it is pretty funny… except for the whole killing and murder thing. But that’s the rub; I just don’t buy these guys as terrorist masterminds. They can’t even fucking name themselves right, so why would I think they could pull off 9/11? Even if you say, “okay, maybe ‘The Base’ refers to a military base” it makes no sense because the modus operandi of these guys is supposedly their decentralization. There is no main headquarters. They’re ostensibly a loose-knit group of cells that operate independently, yet aren’t really controlled by Osama either, who is mostly a figurehead who provides funding (or did… he’s probably dead). Let’s face it: “al-Qaeda” probably only makes sense if you don’t speak Arabic.

If you’re still not convinced al-Qaeda is a joke, watch an incredible BBC documentary called The Power of Nightmares. You’ll be glad you did.

As for me, I will continue to worry about the real terrorist organization plaguing this wretched earth: The Central Intelligence Agency. A look at their record exposes the deep hypocrisy of the United States government when it comes to terrorism:

  • You blow up a bus in Whogivesafuckistan? You’re a terrorist.
  • You overthrow a legitimate government and replace it with a puppet government that proceeds to butcher 500,000 of its own people? You’re a hero. Here’s your medal.

Even The Onion can’t make that level of hypocrisy funny.

Floating Oceanic Garbage Island

Here’s the most disturbing thing you’ll see today:

Good job, humans. We’ve created a whole new continent! Unfortunately, it’s composed entirely of trash.

The vast expanse of debris – in effect the world’s largest rubbish dump – is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting “soup” stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.

Charles Moore, an American oceanographer who discovered the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” or “trash vortex”, believes that about 100 million tons of flotsam are circulating in the region. Marcus Eriksen, a research director of the US-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which Mr Moore founded, said yesterday: “The original idea that people had was that it was an island of plastic garbage that you could almost walk on. It is not quite like that. It is almost like a plastic soup. It is endless for an area that is maybe twice the size as continental United States.”

Is there somewhere I can turn in my humanity? Maybe I could trade it for something less destructive and become an elephant or something.

Oh wait, then I’ll be hunted down for my ivory and left for dead. Nevermind. Guess I’m human for the duration.

I’m not worried, though. This problem will eventually solve itself.

Human beings are parasites. We leech nurishment from the Earth and give nothing back (except more destruction). But like most parasites eventually do, we have gone too far and now we’re killing the host… and ultimately ourselves.

On the plus side, this floating island of garbage might make a great tourist attraction for any space aliens who want to tour an Earth museum after we’re gone.

I wonder if they’ll sell plastic souvenir coke bottles.

The pyramid scheme that is our economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. The subprime loan disaster is looking more and more like the detanator that will nuke the dollar, the banking industry and our economy as a whole.

When US homeowners default on their mortgages en-mass, they destroy money faster than the Fed can replace it through normal channels. The result is a liquidity crisis which deflates asset prices and reduces monetized wealth, says economist Henry Liu.

The debt-securitization process is in a state of collapse. The market for structured investments, MBSs, CDOs, and Commercial Paper—has evaporated leaving the banks with astronomical losses. They are incapable of rolling over their their short-term debt or finding new revenue streams to buoy them through the hard times ahead. As the foreclosure-avalanche intensifies; bank collateral continues to be down-graded which is likely to trigger a wave of bank failures.

Henry Liu sums it up like this: Proposed government plans to bail out distressed home owners can slow down the destruction of money, but it would shift the destruction of money as expressed by falling home prices to the destruction of wealth through inflation masking falling home value. (The Road to Hyperinflation, Henry Liu, Asia Times) It’s a vicious cycle. The Fed is caught between the dual millstones of hyperinflation and mass defaults. There’s no way out.

We are so fucked.

Unless somebody has a new economic system waiting in the wings I’ll have to start learning how to survive on rats, rabbits, squirrels … and probably human flesh at this rate. And that is not my idea of a good time.

The worst part is the feeling of helplessness. I can only watch these “financial experts” make one stupid decision after another. They’re only really experts at making themselves massive short-term profits. They don’t care about the damage they’ve done to the economy, which affects all of us.

The whole affair is depressing and maddening, but if you want to learn more, visit the Market Oracle.

As for me, I’ll be learning to hunt small suburban mammals.

Nefarious people within our government suppress any evidence of malicious intent and instead encourage the perception of incompetence, which often results in the blame being diffused throughout the bureaucracy rather than focused on the individual bad actors in power, who are ultimately responsible, but able to escape justice through a hidden network of friendships and alliances known as the establishment.

Ladies and gentleman, I have just read the stupidest article ever written. It was awful. So awful I can hardly think; in fact, I think I just lost 5 IQ points… which still puts me 130 ahead of the author of the shittiest, most servile, most idiotic article ever written.

His name is John Cloud and he masquerades as a journalist for Time magazine. He has apparently managed to learn how to read and write, but I have no idea how given his feeble mental faculties.

Many of you may have already read this article, but I just found it today as I was catching up on some reading. Here I am, flipping through Time and I see a story called “The Psychology of Hypocrisy” which is about the recent Republican sex scandals, including Larry “Wide Stance” Craig, the homo-hating Senator from Idaho.

Cloud takes them to task, right? He presents an in-depth analysis of how the perverted mind of sanctimonious fucks like Larry Craig works, right?

No. The “article” is a six paragraph defense of hypocrites like Craig. Cloud claims — with a straight face — that poor Craig is a victim! A victim of his own “moral weakness” and not a hypocrite at all!

The real bad guys — of course — are the evil bloggers and their readers who have tormented poor Larry and his “friends”.

For a legion of bloggers, what’s so delectable about these stories is the apparent hypocrisy, the dissonance between the outwardly conservative politics of these men and their private same-sex behavior. But while these guys may be liars–Craig’s “wide stance” inanity has already entered the world-historical lexicon of political b.s.–it’s not clear that they are conniving hypocrites.

It’s “not clear”? It’s not fucking clear that they’re hypocrites?! If you’re deaf, dumb, blind and live on Mars it might not be clear, but if you have half a fucking brain you know they’re hypocrites! Shit, even the Republicans know that, but Mr. John Cloud is far stupider than a Republican. He’s a Vichy Democrat; you know the kind: The Hillary-voting kind who would let Bush attack Iran with no justification whatsoever. Republicans may be evil, but at least I can respect them; the Vichy Democrats are contemptible, spineless weasels who aren’t worth a pint of warm piss.

Hypocrisy is among the most universal and well-studied of psychological phenomena, and the research suggests that Craig, Haggard and the others may be guilty not so much of moral hypocrisy as moral weakness. The distinction may sound trivial at first, but as a society, we tend to forgive the weak and shun the hypocritical.

Trivial? No, the distinction is utterly fallacious and disingenuous. It makes me think he knows he’s full of shit.

John Cloud is the perfect example of a sell-out journalist hack. He afflicts the afflicted and comforts the comfortable because he’s a boot-licking shill for his corporate masters and has no soul left. Real journalists do the reverse, of course, but I’m not expecting that much from Mr. Cloud. Just a lucid thought or two would impress me at this point.

Assume for a moment that Craig and Haggard actually believed what they said–that homosexuality is sin. They spent most of their lives fighting for the conservative cause. But in Craig’s case, the Idaho Statesman has published allegations that there were at least three other slipups involving men, beginning in 1967. What if, like the radio host who gets fat but commits to losing weight, the moralizers were trying through their “pro-family” endeavors to expiate their lustful sins?

Let me explain this to Mr. Cloud as succinctly as possible since we might be looking at a buffer-overflow if I use to many big words: If you go around saying homosexuality is immoral and a sin while you’re secretly engaging in homosexual activity then you are a hypocrite! End of story. How hard is this to understand?

I certainly agree that people should be forgiven for most moral failures, but this is not just a “slipup.” Maybe Cloud “accidentally” fucks other men in the ass so he and Craig are kindred, klutzy spirits, but most of us do not have that problem (throughout the article Cloud implies homosexuality is indeed a moral failure). But it’s clear that this is a pattern in Larry Craig’s life, going back, at least to 1967.

Here’s a thought: If you have a “moral failing” that leads you to accidentally get blowjobs from other men, maybe you shouldn’t get on a stage and tell people that homosexuality is sinful behavior that only degenerates and Democrats engage in! Maybe if Larry Craig didn’t want to be a hypocrite he could have, I dunno, NOT RUN FOR SENATOR????!!! Maybe he could have (just a thought here) NOT DEMONIZED HOMOSEXUALS AT EVERY FUCKING OPPORTUNITY FOR 40 YEARS!!!!!??

…Just a thought. Clearly, it’s one that John Cloud didn’t think of while he was standing in line at men’s room outside of Larry Craig’s office. Maybe this is all a closeted homosexual thing and cognitive dissonance has set in, but I kind of doubt it. I think it’s more likely that John Cloud is an intellectual whore and his opinions are up for auction to the highest bidder. But even that is charitable. Worst case: the guy really is as stupid as I’ve been saying.

You may think they are wrong about homosexuality (I do), but that doesn’t make them hypocrites.

No, John, they are hypocrites, and no amount of waffling on your part will disguise that. In fact, they are textbook hypocrites.

Hey, I know! Why don’t I consult a “dictionary” (it’s a book where words are defined, Mr. Cloud). Here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition of hypocrite:

1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

Hmmm…. “false appearance of virtue” … does that sound like Mr. Larry “wide stance” Craig?

Craig never said anything like, “Homosexuality is wrong and immoral, but I am not a perfect man. Indeed, sometimes I like to head down to public bathrooms near my house and solicit gay men for sex.” Nope, Larry Craig always implied that he was a paragon of (hetero) virtue. How else do you get elected Senator in a red state?

Clearly, the man has acted in contradiction to his stated beliefs. It’s right there in black & white, but John Cloud is intent on casting a cloud of confusion over the matter when this is probably one of the most clear-cut, bald-faced acts of hypocrisy (that we know about) in modern politics. Only Mark Foley can hold a candle to Larry Craigs hypocrisy.

Is there anybody out there who isn’t convinced that what I’ve described is hypocrisy? Is there anybody out there who actually agrees with John Cloud that poor Larry and Mark are victims of a cruel and fickle public?

How is it that I, a lowly, potty-mouthed, mudslinging blogger was able to tear into this article with such ease? No doubt others have already done the same; how did Cloud’s piece of shit article get past his editor? Do they not have dictionaries at Time headquarters? Budget cutbacks, perhaps?

It makes me wonder if stupidity is actually valued in the mainstream press because stupid people will never investigate how the Corporate Oligarchy r
eally works. Everybody knows what goes on in Washington… Or do we? Without better reporters than John Cloud the Clown we’ll never know for sure.

So what of Mr. Cloud, then? How did this idiot manage to write the stupidest article ever written? Was it training? Nature? Nurture? Luck?

Who cares; the man is a fucking moron. What amazes me is that this guy is a journalist at a mainstream publication and they haven’t canned his ass yet. How fucking stupid can you be and still keep your job? Near as I can tell John Cloud has only one person in serious contention with him for that award and his name is George.

Then again, maybe both of them were chosen for their stupidity, rather than in spite of it. I guess, in both cases, the joke is on us: The morons are in control and livin’ the good life while the rest of us suffer like fools under their mindless tyrrany.

Life’s not just unfair … it’s fucking stupid. Maliciously so.

Flying Squirrel Suits!

Real flying squirrels are gonna be pissed when they see this.

I wonder who was the first guy who said, “Hey, let’s make suits that mimic flying squirrels and then jump off a fuckin’ mountain!!” ‘Cause these guys actually did it:

That’s probably just about the most insanely stupid thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not objecting, though. We need space monkeys to do dangerous and stupid shit so the rest of us don’t have to. And these guys are breaking new ground in the field of… uh… um…

Okay, they’re just crazy.