Thursday, November 24, 2005

Dimbulb Thursday

What do we have to be thankful for? Well, for being not quite as goofy as some of our fellow humans:

An early Thanksgiving celebration in Eugene, Oregon, caused a big fire at a house that had just been built.

A cement worker marking the holiday set up a propane fryer inside the new house's garage. Workers took turns watching the kettle.

But the fryer's thermometer was broken. Workers said oil inside the kettle overheated, spilled onto the burner and caught fire. The flames spread from the garage up the front of the house to the second floor.

Fire officials estimated damage at about $75,000 dollars. The house hadn't been sold and was insured.

Undaunted, the workers bought a second turkey and cooked it in the backyard of a house across the street.

I can't quite imagine deep fryed turkey. It's kind of a symbol of disgusting overconsumption. Speaking of which:

A day before millions of Americans sit down to eat traditional Thanksgiving dinners, a Virginia woman grabbed the world turkey-eating title on Wednesday by gobbling down a whole roast bird in 12 minutes.

Sonya Thomas, 37, who weighs just 105 pounds (47.5 kg), beat seven men in the annual Thanksgiving Invitational: a race to eat a 10-pound (4.5-kg) turkey.

The smallest in the field, Thomas put her victory down to "swallowing fast."

"It was very dry and the skin was very dry," said Thomas, holding her trophy, a roasting pan, over her head. "I just tried to eat fast."

Venerated in competitive eating circles as "The Black Widow", the Alexandria, Virginia woman said she trained for the event, held at a delicatessen in New York, by chewing gum to get her jaw in top form.

Only in America can someone be "venerated" for being a pig. Speaking of pigs:

In the family/romantic comedy "Yours, Mine and Ours," Dennis Quaid looked forward to playing opposite screen wife Rene Russo, but found that an intimate moment with a pig was also part of the deal.
The remake of the 1968 film stars Quaid as Frank Beardsley, a widower with eight kids who marries widow Helen North (Russo), who has 10 kids. Blending the two families also means combining a menagerie of household pets including dogs, cats, a hamster and one amorous pig named Fiona.

"They smeared stuff on my lips just so the pig would find it appetizing. It was like out of a garbage can," says Quaid. "Not only that, but she had gas. After about three takes, you'd have this big pig fart. It was a low, a nadir point in my career."

Oink!

Happy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Salute!

No surprise to see last night that House's apartment number is 221B...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bush Should Try This

After frantically trying to escape reporters in China a few days ago, Dubya might want to consider this reporter-avoidance tactic:

Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he won't answer questions from reporters until next year because the alignment of the planets is not in his favor.

"Right now Mercury ... is in a corner perfectly aligned with my star. Mercury is no good, so if it's not good, I am going to request not to speak," Thaksin told reporters Sunday.

Mercury moves slowly and will not steer clear of his star until next year, he said.

Go for it, Dubya!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Illinois Nazis

Like the Blues Brothers, I hate Illinois Nazis. And it turns out that the real ones are just as dumb and repulsive as the cinematic ones:

The second of two self-avowed Nazis was sentenced Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court to prison for a hate crime committed against two lesbians at Illinois Beach State Park.

Judge Fred Foreman sentenced Patrick L. Langballe, 29, of Lake Villa, to two-and-a-half years in prison.

The recommended sentence had been negotiated by prosecutor Erik Kalata and defense attorney Jennifer Snyder.

Hate crime is a Class Three felony and a conviction carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, but is also probationable.

Aaron C. Rush, 20, of Green Bay, Wis., had previously been sentenced to three years in prison. Rush also owes the State of Wisconsin 18 months in prison for a separate hate crime conviction.

The two men and women had met at a Milwaukee bus station June 16 and decided to go camping at the park with some other people.

When Rush made a sexual advance toward one of the women, she told him that they were in a lesbian relationship and did not like men in a romantic way, according to sheriff's reports.

Langballe and Rush told the women they were skinheads of the Nazi Nation and did not like homosexuals, authorities said. The men then took the women's clothing from a car and burned it while the women fled.

When the women came back later to return some items of Langballe and Rush, an altercation ensued. One woman sustained minor injuries to her face, arms and legs, according to reports, and Rush pulled out a knife and threatened to kill them.

As the women fled again, the men ripped a backpack away from one of the women.

The two men were arrested in the Gurnee area and "white supremacy" paraphernalia was found in their belongings.

Duh!

Nice Try, Kurt

Yes, Kurt Busch is a dumb punk.

The reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion was pulled over for driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, swerving to avoid a car and running a stop sign last Friday night on his way back to Phoenix International Raceway. He said he was returning from dinner with his fiancee.

The police report said the deputy smelled alcohol on Busch, and the driver became belligerent.

"You're only doing this because you're a Jeff Gordon fan," Busch was quoted as saying to the officer in the police report, released earlier Thursday in Phoenix.

Considering he was in Maricopa county, he's lucky he didn't end up sitting in a tent with a bunch of crackheads eating a peanut butter sandwich.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being George Bush

Deficits are exploding, disasters happening, war continuing. Dubya's priority? Of course! TAX CUTS!

The Senate passed a $60 billion bill early Friday that would extend expiring tax cuts and prevent roughly 14 million families from paying higher taxes through the alternative minimum tax.

It drew a presidential veto threat for raising taxes on oil companies.

How is it we continue to be governed by these cretins?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dimbulb Thursday

It's Dimbulb Thursday! Read and congratulate yourself for being more intelligent than some of your fellow humans. Seems as if a lot of wacky things are afoot in the Commonwealth nations this week.

Deadly Dog:

SHE may not look it, but a tiny fox terrier called Mitzi is one of southeast Queensland's most dangerous dogs.

That is according to Logan City Council, which yesterday brushed aside pleas for leniency from Mitzi's keepers to maintain her dangerous status.

Mitzi's dark reputation stems from an incident in March when she and an accomplice known as Bundy the scottish terrier dug their way out of a Waterford West back yard.

A council report said they barked at and tried to bite a 55-year-old woman. The startled woman fell over backwards and broke her wrist, but was not bitten.

A week later Mitzi and Bundy were alleged to have unlawfully gained entry to a neighbour's back yard and murdered two chickens, injuring another. The owner of the chickens said it was not the first time feathers had flown courtesy of Mitzi and Bundy, but other incidents were not reported.

Also, council officers claimed a witness stated that "both dogs responsible were regularly out of their enclosure, wandering unleashed on the roadway".

As the council net closed in on the alleged offenders, tiny Bundy, which like Mitzy is less than 30cm tall, was spirited off to a safe house and remains on the lam.

Check out the picture of tiny Mitzi. Sheesh.

Briton finds tasty treat:

STUNNED Jeanette Reinders bought a jar of gherkins from Asda — and found a nine-inch RAT inside.

She was about to use the 49p veg for a salad when she spotted the rodent and screamed in horror.
...
The supermarket in Wolverhampton centre apologised to Jeanette and partner John Small, 26.

They have been offered £100 plus a Christmas trolley dash.

Not sure what a "Christmas trolley dash" is; perhaps a British reader can enlighten the rest of us.

Fan goes nuts - or nutless in this case - for his team:

A RUGBY fan who cut out his testicles with wire cutters to mark a Wales victory is at a loss to explain why he did it.

Geoffrey Huish, 31, performed the impromptu self-surgery in February when his beloved Wales beat world champion England.

After performing the deed, Mr Huish put his severed anatomy in a bag and took them to his local social club to show fellow fans.

He collapsed with blood loss and was rushed to hospital but surgeons could not reattach his missing parts.

He was put in a psychiatric ward but has no history of mental illness and was at a loss to explain why he did it.

"I'd told my pal Gethin Probert before the game that Wales didn't stand a chance," Mr Huish said.

"It wasn't a bet but I said I'd cut my balls off if we won."

Thank God his genes will not be passed on.

The Danger Continues

More evidence, as if any were needed, that the modern Republican party is a danger to democracy continues to emerge. Newt Gingrich:

The former Republican speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, always notable for his visions, has compared George Bush in his travails to Abraham Lincoln before Gettysburg. Gingrich, who has recently written a series of counterfactual novels depicting a southern triumph in the civil war, communicated his latest flight of fancy to a longtime former diplomat. "We are at war," insisted Gingrich. "With whom?" he was asked. "The Democrats," he apparently replied without hesitation.

Dick Cheney, looking like a lunatic more than ever:

Mr Cheney resorted to language far stronger than any used before by the Bush administration, the BBC's Justin Webb reports.

The vice-president called the Democrats "opportunists" who were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to gain political advantage while US soldiers died in Iraq.

"The president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory or their backbone - but we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history," he said.

A claim that the administration had misled Americans before the war - was one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in Washington, the vice-president continued.

The dumbass Shrub:

In one of the most intellectually incoherent major speeches ever delivered by a minor President, George W. Bush last week blamed "some Democrats and anti-war critics" for changing their minds about the war in Iraq and now saying they were deceived. "It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the President said. Yes, sir, but it is even more deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how history was rewritten in the first place.

There is danger here, and it is that Republicans, knowing in their hearts that the war is lost, are setting Democrats up for a "stab in the back" legend. The original "stab in the back" was the lie promulgated by German conservatives that their forces really won World War One, only to be betrayed by liberal politicians. It was a lie; German forces were defeated in the field, the German Navy was smashed into cowardly impotence, and German civilians were starving due to the Allied blockade. With American forces arriving in increasing numbers to aid the long-suffering French and British, the war was visibly over. But the legend could be made to serve long-term goals. The Weimar government created after the war was one of the most liberal in the history of Europe up to that time, but events largely out of its control led to unrest. And from unrest and the "stab in the back" legend came Hitler and the NSDAP.

Democrats have to be bloody careful, and learn from history - something Americans have always had a problem doing. We can't risk calling for an immediate withdrawal, although many have. As much as we'd like to put this war behind us, it needs to be done very carefully and in cooperation with as many intelligent Republicans as possible. Otherwise, the danger to the republic is great.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Going Around the Bend

Kevin Drum usefully collects a number of "Dubya's losing it" stories here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dangerous Weather

Nasty weather forecast today for much of the Missisippi valley up into Ohio. Keep an eye on the sky and the radar. Best site to check for updates is here.

Being Left Doesn't Have to Mean Being Stupid

There's been a considerable amount of discussion online in the last week over reports that US forces are using white phosphorus ordnance in Iraq, with some lefties claiming that this constitutes use of "chemical weapons." White phosphorus is not a chemical weapon; it is a common incendiary and also used to produce smokescreens. But some lefties, hostile to all things military, continue to say the stupidest possible things about these reports. Example, George Monbiot in the Guardian:

Did US troops use chemical weapons in Falluja? The answer is yes. The proof is not to be found in the documentary broadcast on Italian TV last week, which has generated gigabytes of hype on the internet. It's a turkey, whose evidence that white phosphorus was fired at Iraqi troops is flimsy and circumstantial. But the bloggers debating it found the smoking gun.

The first account they unearthed in a magazine published by the US army. In the March 2005 edition of Field Artillery, officers from the 2nd Infantry's fire support element boast about their role in the attack on Falluja in November last year: "White Phosphorous. WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE [high explosive]. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

Apparently American soldiers were supposed to throw rose petals at the cowardly bastards who murder them with IEDs and hide amongst their own civilians. Monbiot continues:

White phosphorus is not listed in the schedules of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It can be legally used as a flare to illuminate the battlefield, or to produce smoke to hide troop movements from the enemy. Like other unlisted substances, it may be deployed for "Military purposes... not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare". But it becomes a chemical weapon as soon as it is used directly against people. A chemical weapon can be "any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm".

Well, George, I hate to interrupt your little party, but using your definition, TNT is a "chemical weapon." It's a compound that, guess what, can be made to explode rather violently thanks to its "chemical action" and yes, it "can cause death, temporary incapacitation, or permanent harm."

It's a war, shithead. People die in a war. And I refuse to let our soldiers be castrated by what Orwell, no mean leftist himself, referred to as the "boiled rabbits of the left."