Archive for October, 2010

26
Oct
10

NORTH KOREA IS UPSET THAT YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO IT

Every one of us knew that kid in grade school who was a complete attention whore. In my case it was a kid named Marcellus. Marcellus was always in trouble. So much so that people just started to ignore him when he would drink Elmer’s School Glue or pick his nose with a pencil. I remember one time the entire class decided to ignore him. He stood up, pulled down his pants and pissed on the floor.

News has been brewing for two days now that North Korea is about to pull its pants down for a third nuclear test. This follows two previous tests, in 2006 and 2009, which brought global condemnation from just about everyone on the planet. But, at least it got everybody’s attention.

Judging from the picture above, North Korea’s main military tactic will be to march across the 38th parallel and kick everyone they meet in the testicles. If that’s the case then I don’t know what they need nuclear weapons for.

“The North has long justified having the weapons saying they are to counter a similar threat from the United States. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a global nuclear safeguard accord, was not doing its job properly, the official commentary late on Saturday said.

“This compelled (North Korea) to pull out of the NPT and have access to nuclear deterrent legitimately in order to protect the sovereignty and security of the country,” it said. The isolated and impoverished North withdrew from the NPT in 2003.

Chosun Ilbo, South Korea‘s biggest-selling newspaper, reported Thursday that the North appeared to be preparing for another nuclear test, citing an unidentified government source.” – AFP

It is estimated that over 2,000 nuclear tests have been conducted on the planet since the first one in 1945. The United States alone is believed to have conducted over half of those. In my opinion, and I’m no expert, they work.

There is speculation that power has already been transferred from ailing Kim Jong Il to his son Kim Jong Un. And, that this nuclear test is his way of carrying on a family tradition of belligerence in North Korea. Thankfully, here in America, our nuclear arsenal is in much safer hands.

“Bill Clinton lost the card containing launch codes for a nuclear strike for “months” during his presidency, according to a top military leader’s memoir. Gen. Hugh Shelton, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Clinton, makes the claim in his new book “Without Hesitation,” ABC News first reported Thursday.

“At one point during the Clinton administration, the codes were actually missing. That’s a big deal, a gargantuan deal,” Shelton writes in the book. Shelton is the second military leader to make the startling claim. Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Patterson released a memoir in 2003 in which he said that the launch codes went missing in 1998. Shelton’s book says the code card – known as “the biscuit” – disappeared for a period in 2000.” – CBS

The largest nuclear test ever conducted was in the former Soviet Union. The weapon, called Tsar Bomba, produced an explosion upwards of 50 megatons and could be felt over 600 miles away. Because, you know, that one goes to eleven.

I think whenever the government changes hands the new leaders just can’t wait to let off a nuclear bomb. Personally that’s the whole reason I would ever get into politics. They would be trying to brief me about economic policy or something and I would just keep repeating “Where are the bombs? How do I fire off a bomb?”

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20
Oct
10

CLARENCE THOMAS’ WIFE WANTS AN APOLOGY

I was just saying the other day to a friend of mine that we don’t go back and revisit national embarrassments enough in this country. And wouldn’t you know it I wasn’t alone. It seems that the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called Anita Hill and asked her to apologize for telling the world what a sick pervert her husband is 20 years ago.

In case you don’t remember any of this, Clarence was nominated to the Supreme Court by George Bush (not that one, the other one) in 1991. As a Senate vote neared a woman named Anita Hill was called to testify before the Senate about allegations of sexual harassment made by Clarence while she worked for him during the 1980’s. According to MSNBC Virginia Thomas had this to say:

“I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband,” the voicemail said in part, according to NBC News. “So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did.”

Thomas said in a statement that her call was an attempt at “extending an olive branch” to Hill.”

I’ve never understood why the governing class has to be so classless. The really sad thing about the whole Anita Hill affair 20 years ago was not that a man was harassing a woman in the workplace. It was how utterly lame and retarded his idea of sexually harassing someone was. According to Wikipedia:

“Hill’s testimony included a wide variety of language that she allegedly was subjected to by Thomas and that she found inappropriate:

He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes….On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess….Thomas was drinking a Coke in his office, he got up from the table at which we were working, went over to his desk to get the Coke, looked at the can and asked, “Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?”

Seriously, Clarence, just grab her ass and ask her out. That’s what any self-respecting sexual aggressor does. They don’t prance around the room giggling about porno tapes and pubic hair like a jackass. They don’t keep blow up sex dolls on the sofa of their office. They don’t hang autographed pictures of Long Dong Silver on the wall. And I’m willing to bet he can’t say “boobies” without snickering and hiding his face in his hands. Did I mention that he’s a Supreme Court Justice?

What I really don’t understand is why Virginia Thomas is bringing all of this back up now. Her husband got away with it. Nobody remembers it anymore. Then again I guess some people can’t help themselves when it comes to getting attention. Or talking to coworkers about their genitalia. Or the pubic hair content of soft drinks.

If I were Virginia Thomas I would want an apology as well. Firstly, from my parents for giving me some of the most hideous DNA found on Earth. Secondly, I think a “sorry” is in order from the millions of plastic surgeons in the world who did nothing to stop her from looking… well, the way she looks.

This, of course, makes Clarence’s depravity in the workplace much easier to understand. They say that a man ultimately marries his mother. Clarence at least tried thinking out of the box on that one (Virginia is white, Clarence is black). It seems to me that he tried going a little too far off the reservation when he married a self-righteous Orc.

18
Oct
10

BANKERS ARE JUST LIKE YOU AND ME

Banking is a unique industry. With just about all other forms of business the goal is to provide a product or service which will entice people to spend their money. With banking, people just give you their money. All of it. As for what product or service is actually rendered, well, I have no idea.

It always seemed to me that when I put my money in a bank I ended up with less of it. And less control over it. And less access to it. Why? Because “banking” is one of the longest running scams in human history. If you actually think your money is safer in the hands of a bank then I have some magic beans I want to sell you. And you’ll buy them.

“Banks are accused of using “robo-signers” — to sign hundreds of foreclosure documents a day without reviewing the documents properly, reigniting public anger with an industry blamed for helping cause the 2007-2009 financial crisis and resented for getting billions of dollars in taxpayer aid.” – Reuters

Yeah. All that anger. And yet people are going right back to the bank. Aw, come on baby. Don’t be like that. I won’t hurt you again. I promise. You know I love you. Reuters goes on to say:

“Bank of America is due to release its quarterly financial results on Tuesday, and faces a likely barrage of questions from Wall Street analysts about foreclosures. “This is a sign they’re feeling relatively confident,” said Jefferson Harralson, a Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc bank analyst.”

The reason they’re feeling confident is because every angry citizen in this country didn’t do anything except sit around being angry. And they’ll probably just take their ire out at the polls and elect a bunch of free market sissies who will end up driving us further into the ditch.

Battered women often are the most vocal and ardent defenders of the spouses who beat them. Likewise, I’m often astounded at the lengths to which the victimized masses of this country will go to defend the economic system that has raped them and left them destitute.

He really is a good man. Other people just don’t see that. Yeah, he’s hit me a few times but it’s not his fault. I guess I just made him angry. I should just pray and try harder to love him and things will get better. Besides, what would I do without him?

Then, once the cops leave, it’s time for a pair of Irish sunglasses.

“Bank of America was the only lender to halt foreclosures in all 50 states. Other companies, including Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit, PNC Financial Services Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., have halted tens of thousands of foreclosures after similar practices became public.

Shares of Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America had been flat earlier in the day but jumped on the news. They rose 36 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $12.34.” – MSNBC

In other words, the banking industry fucked you up because you got lippy. You got mad and called the police but lost your courage to press charges once they got there. And when they left it fucked you up again. And somewhere, somehow, someone made $12.34. Or they did… something with 36 cents. And a percentage sign. Jesus, these people are confusing. They even have their own language.

If people want to send the likes of Wall Street and Bank of America a message then they shouldn’t hedge their bets on who they vote for. Yeah, electing the right people is important. But then after you’re done voting on November 2nd go to your bank and withdraw all of your money. But, you probably won’t. Not yet. Hell, it took Tina Turner like 20 years to finally leave Ike. And Mel Gibson’s wife put up with that shit for longer than that and she’s still defending him.

I know. You got those bruises when you fell down some stairs. And you got charged that $30 because it was totally your fault for bouncing that check. Yeah, you lost those teeth slipping in the shower. Boy, you are clumsy. Likewise, it wasn’t the bank’s fault you lost your house it was your spending habits. You just didn’t try hard enough to balance your checkbook. You really are lucky to have a bank at all. Gosh, they really are good people over there at B of A or Wells Fargo. I guess I just don’t know them like you do.

Hopefully, one day you might just come to understand that the only thing scarier than life without the abuser is life with him.

15
Oct
10

YOUR WAITRESS WANTS TO FUCK YOU

Well, no, she doesn’t. In fact she probably has more contempt and hatred for you than anyone else on earth. But would you buy more food or leave a bigger tip if she acted like she was genuinely attracted to you? Yeah, you would. Don’t even bother thinking about that one.

I’ve worked in plenty of restaurants. I’ll admit I’ve never waited tables, but I’ve done just about everything else. Working in a restaurant is misery and hell. In Britain, however, there’s a new trend amongst eateries which is being studied by restaurant owners in America. According to the Guardian:

 

“Actors, musicians and other performers have been drafted in to help staff improve their interactions with customers. Amongst them is “classical actor” Karl James, founder of The Dialogue Project, a school that helps people master the art of conversation, who will teach staff “how to flirt (subtly) with customers so they feel more comfortable and relaxed”

Do we really need a school to teach us the “art” of conversation? It’s not an “art”, first of all. I say something. You say something. It’s that simple. We don’t need to throw in subtle eyebrow gestures or secret winks or that kind of bullshit.

They say most communication is non-verbal. Well, more of it should be verbal. In fact I think the law should state quite clearly that all communication must be verbal. Non-verbal communication is all well and good for bats and monkeys. But, we’re humans. We can speak. That’s why we run this planet. If you’re going wiggle your ears or pat your tummy instead of speaking to me then go live in the goddamn forest with the rest of the animals.

Anyway, this is the part of the story that got me. The Guardian quotes this dick-sniffing actor Karl James (the man who can teach you how to talk to people because you’re too dumb to know how) and I think he really sums up the mentality here:

 

“There’s a difference between flirting with someone and coming on to them. We’re not asking them to do that – that would be mad. But if you’re a guy and a really gorgeous Italian girl comes to your table it’s great to meet somebody like that. It’s even better to hear her talk with passion and authenticity about the ingredients on the menu – that’s the flirtation we’re talking about.”

 

This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. I don’t know what daytime soap opera this tool has been watching but people who come into restaurants usually don’t know jack shit about the ingredients. And no, there is not a difference between flirting and coming on to someone. You wouldn’t flirt with someone you didn’t want to have sex with. Someone flirts with me and they better be ready for the last ten minutes of THE BROWN BUNNY.

Personally, I tip more when my waiter or waitress doesn’t try and socialize with me. I’m there to eat, not to communicate; with my mouth or with anything else. And, to be honest, I usually leave my server alone because you should never get on the wrong side of someone who brings you your food. I see it as a simple, quiet understanding.

But, hey, if my waitress genuinely wants to nail me then so much the better. I’ll just skip dessert.

14
Oct
10

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD… AND TO RAPE

I was sincerely under the impression that, when I got married, I had simply acquired a new piece of property. And I had thousands of years of legal and religious precedent to back me up. Well, when I say “legal and religious precedent” what I really mean is “crap people have been claiming that god said and using it as a pretext for all kinds of horrible and sadistic things”. I know, I’m a real stickler for semantics.

Obviously my wife is not my property or I would put bumper stickers all over her. But, a cleric in the U.K. has some interesting things to say about marriage. And what is acceptable within a marriage. According to CNN:

“Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, who is president of the Islamic Sharia Council, told a website that “sex is part of marriage” and suggested that husbands who commit such acts should not be prosecuted.

“Clearly there cannot be any rape within the marriage,” he told The Samosa website. “Maybe aggression, maybe indecent activity… Because when they got married, the understanding was that sexual intercourse was part of the marriage, so there cannot be anything against sex in marriage. Of course, if it happened without her desire, that is no good, that is not desirable.”

Sayeed runs Britain’s largest network of Islamic sharia courts, The Independent reported. Rape within marriage has been illegal in Britain since 1991.”

Firstly I’m relieved. I can finally defend myself against my wife and all those prosecutors. Fucking heretics. I hope they enjoy burning in everlasting rapeless hellfire.

Secondly, I have to say I was stunned by this guy’s remarks on marital rape and bliss. But, I’m even more stunned that Britain only just outlawed this kind of thing in 1991. Then again the last American state to outlaw it was North Carolina in 1993. Jesus, even the goddamn Soviets outlawed this kind of thing as far back as 1960. That must have been when rape started. Scientists believe it evolved from a single-cell organism in the ocean. At some point it learned how to breathe air instead of water, crawled out of the ocean and turned into Fatty Arbuckle.

What a lot of Americans don’t realize about Britain, and a lot of other European countries for that matter, is that the immigrant Muslim populations there have basically set up their own religious courts and judicial systems. Now, that kind of thing hasn’t really taken off here in America. And that’s despite the paranoid mental mucus blown from the nose of Fox News.

What we do have in America are tax-evading militia groups and psychotic anti-abortionists. They like to put doctors and judges on trial (usually in someone’s basement or garage) using the bible or something Benjamin Franklin scribbled on a napkin once as a legal pretext. Sometimes they go out and kill the judges or the doctors they find guilty. Or they bomb federal buildings. Or they run for U.S. Senate in Nevada and say shit like this:

“…if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.” – Sharron Angle

So yeah, rape does exist within marriage. Pretty conclusively too. It’s not just a silly myth like The Flying Dutchman or the female orgasm. And I don’t give a shit about Mohammed or Abraham or Jesus or whatever ancient bearded guy from the Middle East you take your cues from. Don’t rape your wife. There’s no telling what second amendment remedies she might seek. I would say not to do it because it’s morally wrong but it’s not like I’m the fucking Pope over here.

11
Oct
10

ECONOMICS IS HERE TO RESCUE YOU

I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about money or how it works. Well, maybe not the first. But, I’d chime in once a few other people did. Anyway, I think that all of us secretly know nothing about money. Even people who are paid to understand money. Or paid to give awards to people who are paid to understand money.

It’s like “Meteorology”. Money has become a natural force in the world just like the weather and people are making money by talking about money and understanding money and doing long mathematical equations related to money. And economists are like “meteorologists” in that they get a ton of money for pretending to understand money.

“A British-Cypriot and two Americans, including one nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Federal Reserve board, won the 2010 economics Nobel on Monday for work helping explain unemployment and job markets.

The work honored is highly topical since many countries with developed economies, including the United States, are worried about future job growth after the worst global crisis since the Depression.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 10 million crown ($1.5 million) prize to U.S. professors Dale Mortensen and Peter Diamond, the 70-year-old nominee to the Fed, as well as British-Cypriot Christopher Pissarides, 62.” – Reuters

First of all, I don’t know what the hell a “British-Cypriot” is or how many hit points it has but it sounds dangerous. Secondly, I always hate it when old people win the lottery. There’s something that seems unnatural about it. 62, maybe. 70, no way. But, what gets me is that the economics community would dish out cash to three guys who actually had to do years of research in order to explain unemployment. Perhaps it’s understandable given that mainstream economic theory holds that unemployment is a choice you make.

“The problem with unemployment is that, theoretically, it shouldn’t exist. Efficient market theory says unemployed workers should always be able to find a job if they just lower their standards enough, just as all employers should be able to find workers if they just lower theirs.

By this theory, all unemployment is voluntary.

Diamond, Mortensen and Pissarides reject that theory, arguing that it’s costly to find just the right job — that is, one that matches your skills and abilities and pays you what you are worth. From the employer’s point of view, it’s just as costly: All the applicants look pretty much the same at first; it’s not easy to tell beforehand if they can do the job, or whether you can find someone who’ll do the job for less. Searching, in sum, is costly.

The upshot of this research is that this searching — they called it “friction” — can make markets inefficient. Taking the first job offered, or hiring the first applicant would mean the economy wouldn’t work as well as it could. We’d get Ph.D.’s driving cabs, and high-school dropouts running nuclear plants.” – WSJ

I could get laid constantly if I just lowered my standards. And committed adultery. I could also be filthy rich if I lowered my standards with regard to not robbing people at knifepoint. That’s actually a really cool mantra for life in general. Ya’ know, just lower your standards.

I’m glad that these guys finally unraveled this puzzle. And I’m even happier that they made serious bank. The world needs more wealthy people who understand money. What’s ironic is that I bet none of them have ever been unemployed in their lives. So that would be like me winning a prestigious award and getting some fat cash for writing a paper on what it’s like to have wings or a uterus.

08
Oct
10

RAAAAAAAR!

This is Steve Ballmer. He’s the Chief Executive of Microsoft. I have no idea what the hell he’s doing in this picture. I think it has something to do with trying to frighten away natural predators. But if you think he’s weird, have a look at what employees at Microsoft do in their spare time:

“Last month, a few hundred Microsoft Corp employees acted out their fantasy with a mock funeral for Apple Inc’s iPhone at its Redmond, Washington campus.

The bizarre gathering, which morphed into a spirited Michael Jackson “Thriller” dance routine, marked the completion of its Windows Phone 7 software, and showed how badly Microsoft wants to resurrect itself in the viciously competitive phone market.

The new software, which will be publicly unveiled on October 11 and expected on handsets in stores by November, is Microsoft’s last chance, some analysts say, to catch up with Apple and Google Inc’s Android smartphones, after squandering its strong market position in only a few years.” – Reuters

Microsoft has always kind of struck me as some kind of Borg hive for ex-hippies. It’s one of those companies that, know it or not, has managed to infiltrate just about every part of your daily life.

Of course the other end of the spectrum is Apple. And I’ve just never been comfortable with the whole Mac culture. It’s like Scientology or something. I don’t know. I’m sorry but my choice in computer does not define me. I may look all XP, baby, but on the inside I am hot bloodedly Windows 7.

One of the signs that you’re getting old and paranoid is when you start fearing technology instead of embracing it. On the other hand, one of the signs that you’re out of your fucking mind is when you make your employees act out the Thriller video at a mock funeral for a goddamn telephone.