We're Back!

We're baaaaack...!! It's election time in America again, which means it's prime time for nuts, dicks, and boobs! Please feel free to welcome us back by sending any sort of food or - of course - tube socks. Also, it would be fun if you would leave some comments. (Unless, of course, they're negative comments. I mean - who needs that?)

Monday, September 3, 2007

George Bush Crying on God's Shoulder

(Video from Balcony Films)

As George Bush's time in office winds down, he's found time to sit down and reflect on his tenure with author Robert Draper. The resulting book is called Dead Certain, the title an apparent reference to Bush's defiance and stubbornness in the face of harsh reality.

This attitude is reflected in his answer to a key question from the author, who asked the president what his main goal would be in his remaining time in office. If you were expecting him to say something reassuring, something like "I'm going to focus on finding a sensible way to wrap things up in Iraq so that our soldiers can come home to their families," you'll be disappointed. He declares that his main goal is “To get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence," and (he later added) "stay longer."

So apparently Bush will be spending his days figuring out ways to continue his disastrous war ad infinitum, even after he's safely (for the world) out of Washington, because he's "dead certain" that he's right about Iraq, and nobody is going to get him to change his mind. Furthermore, he assures us that he really believes it when he says that things are going to turn around in Iraq. "You can't fake it," he told the author.

But you needn't worry that the war and all those dead Americans are putting too much stress on the commander-in-chief. When the author noted that he had nobody's "shoulder to cry on," Bush told him, “Of course I do, I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot," and added, "I’ll bet I’ve shed more tears than you can count as president.”

For a president who likes to pride himself on being a strong leader, it seems a bit odd to me that he would admit to being a big crybaby. Somehow, I have a hard time picturing Bush laying in bed at night sobbing into his pillow so he won't wake Laura. It's much easier for me, however, to imagine the mothers and fathers, wives, husbands, and children of all those soldiers who came home in flag-draped coffins crying for the loved ones they'll never see again, and I'm willing to bet that God is a lot more willing to lend his shoulder to them than to Bush.

Bush has always made a point of saying that he doesn't make decisions according to the polls, and of course on one level, he's right. A president can't base his decisions on whatever the latest polls say. But you'd think that when the American people express such strong disapproval of their leader and his policies, he'd at least want to take a moment to ponder the reasons for their anger and search for ways to factor public opinion into his frame of reference.

In a classic case of wishful thinking, Bush has been reduced to claiming that although everybody thinks he's a screw-up now, history will vindicate him and record that he was a clear-eyed leader who did what he thought was right and as a result saved the earth from extinction. To me, he's like the father whose kids hate him, but it doesn't really bother him because he's "dead certain" that his strict authoritarian parenting style is what's best for them, and dammit, they'll thank him for it when they get older.

Bush posits the simplistic notion that he's unpopular because "I made a decision to lead." He says, "One, it makes you unpopular...and two, it makes people accuse you of unilateral arrogance, and that may be true. But the fundamental question is, is the world better off as a result of your leadership?”

Well, at least he admits that he's arrogant. I guess that's something. And the question he poses is exactly the right one. Is the world better off as a result of George Bush's leadership? The American people (and the world) have rendered their verdict on that score with a resounding no, and they're "dead certain" of their answer.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Senator's Excellent Toilet Adventure

(Video from Red State Update)

Well, whaddaya know? Another conservative Republican homophobe caught with his pants down in the men's room. But not to worry, Sen. Larry Craig assures us in a rather Nixonian moment, "I am not gay. I have never been gay." Oh, I see. Thanks for clearing that up.

Ah, I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning! This guy has spent his days voting against anything vaguely related to gay rights, while spending his nights looking for sex in bathroom stalls.

Of course, if he didn't have such a neanderthal view of sexuality, if he believed in letting people be who they are, without judgement, he wouldn't have to sneak around to get some action, and he wouldn't be watching his long career crashing down around him.

The Republican party has once again demonstrated that they are the party of "Do As I Say, Not As I Do."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Who's to Blame for Alberto Gonzales?

(Video from TPMtv)

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally been shown the door, following close on the heels of Karl Rove, and virtually no one has stepped forward to say, "Gee, that's too bad." In fact, perhaps his one redeeming feature was that he was finally able to unite Democrats and Republicans in their demands for his resignation. He joins a long list of failed Bushies who have left nothing in their wake but failure and deception.

Gonzales was the bumbling, lying clown that sat in front of congressional committees and told them that, gee whiz, he had no idea at all about pretty much anything that was happening around him. Apparently, he was just too darn busy doing crossword puzzles to pay attention to what was going on in his Justice Department.

What's that you say, someone fired a bunch of U.S. Attorneys because they weren't playing ball with the administration? Nope, I never heard anything about that. I harrassed a sick man in the hospital to get him to sign off on illegal wiretapping? Nah, I was just there to bring him a box of chocolates.

His resignation comes just days after Bush re-iterated his support for Gonzales, saying "Why should he resign? He's done nothing wrong." Of course, when Bush talks about right and wrong, you have to remember that he apparently uses different definitions for those words than the rest of us.

Although it's easy to blame Gonzales (way too easy), it's Bush who is really at fault. Once again, he placed a person in a vital position of power in the U.S. government, not based on his ability, but based on his loyalty to him. It's his standard operating procedure. When selecting an Attorney General of the United States, the most important thing in the president's mind is to make sure that person will do his bidding, be his lap dog. Let's not worry about finding someone who is competent and capable, or about the equal administration of justice. Such quaint ideas, anyway.

So Gonzales will likely go down in the history books as one of the worst Attorney Generals ever, working for a president who will be remembered as one of the worst presidents ever. Not a very enviable legacy, and probably not what he had envisioned when he came to Washington with his best friend George nearly seven years ago.

There had been speculation that Bush was supporting Gonzales because he didn't want to have to go through a difficult confirmation process, which makes his apparent choice of Michael Chertoff to replace Gonzales a bit puzzling. Chertoff, after all, was the man in charge of Homeland Security two years ago when he allowed New Orleans, a major American city, to go under without even much of a fight.

But hey, heck of a job, Alberto!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fox News Wants to Attack Iran

(Video from Brave New Films)

The morons at the state-run FOX News network are, once again, beating the drums of war. They did it before with Iraq, and they're doing it again with Iran. And it's the same old shit - Iran has WMD and they're connected to 9/11. Therefore, let's attack 'em!

The problem is, of course, that last time the rest of the media followed along like sheep and was complicit in allowing Bush to attack Iraq. No hard questions, just rah, rah, rah.

Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films have put together this great video documenting the techniques that FOX News uses in an attempt to push the administration's agenda -then and now.

Let's hope people have wised up in the last years. Like Bush says, "Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, uh, I won't get fooled again!"

Friday, August 24, 2007

Have Catholics Found Their Heaven On Earth?

(Video from The Simpsons)

Tom Monaghan used to be the King of Pizza until he sold his Domino's Pizza empire for about a billion bucks in 1998. So with all that loose change in his pocket, he decided to build his very own town, complete with a big new university opening its doors this week. But this is not just a regular town -- it's a Catholic town, called Ave Maria, near Naples, Florida, where the streets are named after Catholic saints and popes, and a giant, shiny new Catholic oratory is going up in the center of town.

But you probably won't find any hookers hanging out on the corner of John Paul and St. Peter. This is a Catholic town, so any sinning is strictly forbidden. In fact, Tom's initial idea was to ban abortions, as well as the sale of pornography and contraceptives in his new town. But alas, he learned that just because you own a town doesn't mean you can break the law, so he's had to chalk one up for Satan on that front.

Tom says that you don't really have to be Catholic to buy one of the big new houses in his town. Why, heck, he says you can even be a godless athiest, although for an athiest to plop himself down in the middle of a bunch of religious fanatics would be a bit like me going to a Republican convention. I mean, why would you?

Is this the future of America? Does this small village represent a dismantling of the wall that separates church and state, a theocracy where the government is run according to religious principles? Beyond that, are we now going to build towns where we can all live safe in the knowledge that everyone else in town is exactly like us? Are we going to see towns sprouting up for Baptists, Buddhists, or biologists? Are we all so frightened of people who are different than us that we view uniformity as a virtue? It all seems a bit too much like Stepford for me.

I always thought that the strength of America was the idea of the "melting pot," that rich tapestry of people of different races, creeds, and political beliefs living together in peace and harmony. Of course, that isn't always the case, but shouldn't that be the goal? How is America better off if we wall ourselves off from those people and ideas that offend us?

I'm thinking that there may be an opportunity for a developer looking to build some new communities near Ave Maria. I'm thinking maybe he could build a couple of towns with some great casinos, strip joints and bars, because I have a feeling that there are going to be a lot of frustrated Catholics in Ave Maria when Saturday night rolls around and the most exciting thing to do in town is go bowling.

I'd call the new towns Sodom and Gomorrah. It has a certain ring to it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Favorite Ann Coulter Moment

This video is my absolute all-time favorite moment featuring the Wicked Witch herself, Ms. Ann Coulter.

I'm still trying to figure out how this woman has made a name for herself in America, or how any self-respecting person can defend the hate-filled lies that she spouts every time she opens her mouth.

This is a short excerpt from the Adam Corolla radio show from a few months back. There is no actual video because A) it's radio, and B) it's just too painful to have to listen to her AND watch her, too. It's more than anyone should be subjected to.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Abdul the Reluctant Martyr

Video from Modern Man)

Apparently some terrorists are less committed than others. Abdul is one of them. He would "rather grow up than blow up."

This very funny video is from Modern Man, a group of three very funny old guys (in other words, my age), who wrote this song in an attempt to become famous. According to their website, they were "transparently trying to get a fatwa issued on themselves for the sake of notoriety."

Although most people believe that terrorists must have had their funny bones surgically removed, I'm guessing that there are some out there who might see this and think, "That Abdul is a funny guy. Maybe I will follow in his footsteps."

And Modern Man will have done their part in saving the world.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Do I Creep You Out?

Here's a song for all the women out there who have been followed, harrassed, stalked, and just plain annoyed by some creep. In case you don't recognize it, it's a parody of Taylor Hicks' song, "Do I Make You Proud?" by Weird Al Yankovic. And yes, I think it's okay to make fun of Taylor Hicks, because Katherine McPhee should have won.

Friday, August 17, 2007

From Quagmire to Cakewalk

An unlikely new star has emerged on YouTube. Dick Cheney's newly-uncovered video interview from 1994 has gotten over 600,000 views and has got everyone talking.

In this particular video, Cheney (who had been the Secretary of Defense during the Gulf War) is asked whether he thought that U.S. forces should have moved into Baghdad after Hussein's army had been defeated in 1991. His response was that we shouldn't have because "There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq." His concern was that once the US toppled Hussein's regime, "then what are you going to put in its place?...It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq." He demonstrated his concern for the troops by asking, "how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right."

Smart man, that Cheney fellow. So why was it that in 2002 and 2003 this very same man (and his minions) was telling the nation that an invasion of Iraq would be a "cakewalk" and that we would "be greeted as liberators." Neocons were quick to assure us that we needn't worry. The oil revenues would pay for the war, and we should be out of there in practically no time at all.

Of course, over the years, lots of people have questioned why Bush Sr. and his administration had not gone into Baghdad in 1991 to "finish the job." Bush, Cheney, Powell...they all had what I thought were pretty reasonable reasons for not doing exactly that.

So what was it that made Cheney flip-flop and decide that those reasons were no longer valid in 2003? Of course, the answer that he and his people always give is "9/11 changed everything." Well, maybe. It might have changed certain people's thinking about whether or not Iraq should be attacked. But how exactly did 9/11 change those predicted consequences that Cheney spoke of so eloquently in 1994? The answer is it didn't. Cheney was exactly right about the consequences he had predicted.

He was also a bit of a fortune-teller in 1991 when speaking at the Soref Symposium shortly after the war had ended. He told his audience, "If you are going to go to war, let's send the whole group; let's make certain that we've got a force of sufficient size, as we did when we went into Kuwait, so that we do not suffer any more casualties than are absolutely necessary."

So when the average American looks at Cheney's turnabout, what is he to conclude except that Cheney and the rest were so determined to invade Iraq that they deliberately deceived people about the consequences, and were in such a hurry that they didn't even make adequate plans for those very things they had predicted.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What's in the Book of Mormon?

Mormonism, to most Americans, is a pretty mysterious religion. Most people, I would venture to guess, have no idea what's in their sacred Book of Mormon, which is why I found this video so fascinating. This is an animated summary of what the Book of Mormon says about the origin of mankind, where the different races came from, and what will happen in the afterlife.

If you're a Mormon, I'd like to ask you straight out. Do you really believe this stuff? Really? 'Cause it does sound kind of...out there. Do you really believe, for example, that when you die (if you're a Mormon) you'll rule over a distant planet as a god? I mean, it sounds like it would make a really great sci-fi movie, but as a basis for living your life, I'm not so sure.

But, hey, on the other hand, who knows? Maybe the Mormons are right and everyone else is wrong. And, really, who wouldn't want to rule over a distant planet as a god? I think I could get down with that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Protect Yourself With Magic Underwear

Mormons are finding themselves under more scrutiny than usual, in that they've got one of their own running for President. One of the more curious aspects of their faith that's come to light is the "magic underwear" or "temple garment," as the faithful would prefer to call it, worn by many Mormons. According to Wikipedia, "Adherents consider them to be sacred and may be offended by public discussion of the garments," so if you're an adherent, you should stop reading now.

The underwear is called "magic" by some because it is believed that they protect the wearer from evil and physical harm.

You know, I bet Superman was a Mormon. It must have been his magic underwear that caused bullets and falling rocks to bounce right off him. If the Mormons were smart, they'd make them available to everyone. Imagine the price that people would be willing to pay to make themselves invincible in this age of terrorism. The Mormons would make a fortune.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Karl Rove: Gone But Not Forgotten

(Video from Campaign for America's Future)

Karl Rove, George Bush's right-hand man and a really, really bad rapper, has announced his resignation "to spend more time with his family." It's amazing to me that politicians still think that people buy that bullshit excuse when they're shown the door. It's on a level with "the dog ate my homework." Please. Have a little respect for our intelligence.

Rove says he was not forced out, but you have to wonder about the timing. Why would a man who has been at Bush's side for 14 years suddenly leave with just months left before Bush's term comes to an end?

As Ol' Turd Blossom rides into the sunset, let's review his legacy. Although he is regarded by some as a political genius, you wouldn't know it by the mess he's created and left for others to clean up. Rove used to talk about establishing a "permanent Republican majority," but his party now has him to thank for a failed presidency, a calamity in Iraq, the loss of Congress, and possibly the loss of power in Washington for a generation or more. So he may turn out to be right about a "permanent majority," just the wrong party.

This is the man who was at the center of the Valerie Plame affair - a sordid episode in which a CIA agent was outed as revenge for her husband's expose of Bush's lies about Iraq. His standard operating procedure when it came to winning elections was to employ dirty tricks at every opportunity. It was apparently easier than trying to win by campaigning on your candidate's strengths.

He once famously said in a 2005 speech, "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Typiclal Rovespeak - demonize your opponents even if it means making stuff up.

But his deceitfulness is finally catching up with him. He is the subject of multiple investigations having to do with various forms of illegal acts and other skullduggery, from the possible violation of the Hatch Act for politically-motivated presentations to government agencies to the politically-motivated firings of U.S. Attorneys.

He may think that by resigning, he'll take himself out of the line of fire, but I think he'll be dissappointed in that regard. Now that he's no longer a member of the executive branch, he may find himself stripped of certain protections and more vulnerable to investigators.

So long, Karl. Don't the the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

The Debating Game

(Video from NBC/Tonight Show)

As the 2008 Presidential campaign starts to heat up, people are beginning to look forward to next year's debates between the 2 major candidates.

But before those take place, it may be instructive to look back to the 2004 debates between Bush and Kerry. Some truly innovative techniques were demonstrated in those debates, and it would behoove any potential candidates to study them closely.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stu Bykofsky Is a Sick Bastard

(Video from FOX News)

The right-wing warmongers have finally shown their true colors, just in case there was any doubt.

Stu Bykofsky, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, has recently written an article that is so stunning to read that you think he must be engaging in some sick form of satire. But no such luck. He's apparently serious.

His thesis is that, since America is so divided, what it really needs is another massive terrorist attack to bring it back together. He believes that the way to get people to unite in the fight against terror is to suffer and die in another attack. That way we'll know who are enemy is. Here are some excerpts...

"One month from The Anniversary, I'm thinking another 9/11 would help America."

"America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater. What would sew us back together? Another 9/11 attack."

"The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda."

"If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America's righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail."

Presumably Stu is not advocating an attack on himself or his family or his friends. As long as it's thousands of other poor souls, though, what the hell, it's apparently worth the price.

I'll give him credit for one thing, though. He asks the right question in regard to his own words:

"What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?"


By the way, take note of the way FOX News handles this guy with kid gloves, trying to put the best possible spin on his words, and then try to imagine how they would react if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama had said the same thing.

My prediction for Stu: This is going to blow up in his face, and he'll be looking for another job within a week.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bush vs. the Zombies

One of the lesser-covered stories in recent days is George Bush's new campaign against zombies. Apparently zombies are everywhere and are threatening the homeland. Thank God the prez is hot on their trail.

If you've ever had your brain eaten by a zombie, you know what a nuisance they can be. So I say spare no expense to rid the world of them. Send in the marines, send in the special forces, send in Condeleeza Rice. Do whatever you have to do.

God Bless You, Sir!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Why Americans Love FOX News

(Video from The Chaser's War on Everything)

The American people's love of FOX News is one of the most perplexing mysteries of the universe. What is it exactly that causes more people to tune into this poor excuse for a news channel than any other channel?

I have a theory. I don't think it's because people want to find out the "truth," or because they want to get in-depth and impartial analysis of the day's events. I mean, obviously it's not that. It could be because they have a real appreciation of Bill O'Reilly's fine sense of fashion, but somehow I doubt that's the case, either.

I think people tune in for the same reason that they slow down when they see a car wreck, or stop and gawk at someone who's running down the street on fire. FOX News is the freak show at the circus; it's the guy who jams a needle through his cheek. It's disgusting, but you can't look away.

On another level, they're like a bunch of 12-year-old kids who think it's fun to mock people or make prank phone calls in the middle of the night. They're just not sophisticated enough to be a real news channel, but maybe someday, if they can learn how to to be "fair and balanced" in the real sense of that phrase, they might earn some respect.

But then again, that's probably the last thing they want. They wouldn't know what to do with it.

In this video from the Australian show, The Chaser's War on Everything, we get a foreigner's perspective on our friends at FOX News.

Obama Girl Smackdown!

(Video from Barely Political)

Ever since Obama Girl made a big splash with her song, I Got a Crush on Obama, there's been a run on hot babes professing their love for their favorite candidate. Now it's Mitt Romney's turn with not one, but three (hey, he is a Mormon, after all) head-turners ready to fight for their man.

In this video, we don't actually meet the Rommey Girls, but they throw down the gauntlet with a vicious attack ad on Obama Girl. This is getting ugly, folks!

Stay tuned for more fun. You can't go wrong when you start mixing sex and politics!

Dick Cheney: Lounge Lizard

(Video from Harry Shearer)

I don't know about you, but I often imagine how America would be so much better off today if only Dick Cheney had become a lounge singer instead of a politician. Now, the wonderful Harry Shearer has brought my fantasy to life.

Join Dick somewhere in an undisclosed piano bar as he croons his way into your heart with a touching love ballad about a man named Scooter (aka Cheney's Cheney). Your life may never be the same after watching Dick's poignant rendition of what is sure to become a classic.

And if, after viewing this, you find yourself having nightmares, I can give you the number of a very competent shrink.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What Was Michael Vick Thinking?

(Video from Saturday Night Live)

Michael Vick is a multi-millionaire superstar NFL quarterback who has been indicted for being a member of a dog fighting ring. What's wrong with this picture?

Now, of course, he hasn't been convicted of anything yet, but you have to wonder. If the allegations are true, what would compel him to get involved in such a barbaric enterprise? He couldn't be in it for the money. So it must be because he enjoys it. He enjoys it. This is a sport where dogs who lose or don't perform well are routinely executed. From the indictment...

In or about April 2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK executed approximately 8 dogs that did not perform well in "testing" sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various methods, including hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog's body to the ground.

Roger Goodell is under pressure from animal rights groups and others to suspend Vick from playing this season. According to a story in the LA Times, Goodell is reluctant to suspend Vick, because he fears it would taint Vick's trial, but he "would like Michael Vick to take a paid leave of absence." However, Vick is resisting that idea and has indicated that he "wants to play football this season."

If I were Vick, I think I'd take Goodell up on his offer of a paid leave of absence. I don't know how he'll be able to concentrate on playing football, what with all the demonstrations and booing (and barking, I'm guessing) that he's sure to encounter all season long.

Some people are speculating that other NFL players may be involved in attending the dog fights. If that proves to be true, this could cause a lot of damage to the NFL's reputation.

Of course, this isn't the first time that Vick has had problems with his strange behavior. Back in January of this year, he was detained at Miami International Airport with a mysterious water bottle that contained a hidden compartment. No charges were filed in that case, but it raised a lot of eyebrows.

Michael Vick's football career may well be over, but at least he has his dog fighting career to fall back on. That must provide some comfort to him.

Friday, July 20, 2007

No End in Sight

No End in Sight is a devastating expose of the blunders that have led to the disaster in Iraq. It won the Special Jury Prize in the Documentary category at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and will open in selected locations across the US starting July 27th.

We've all heard about the terrible mistakes in judgement that were made by Bush and Company, but this film has apparently succeeded in connecting the dots to give a crystal-clear picture of the chain of events that led us to where we are today.

When asked what he hoped his film would do for America, director Charles Ferguson replied...

I hope that it will help Americans understand that we must never go to war casually, and that reconstructing a nation after conquering it is just as important as defeating its army. Wars are sometimes necessary, but war is not a game, and the war is not over when the opposing army surrenders.

Ferguson remarked that he was astonished that "nobody else appeared to be making a film about American policy in Iraq." Let's hope it's not the last. This is a story that needs to be told, a story that needs to be understood and a story that needs to be used as a lesson for future generations.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Larry David Has Seen the Light

Larry David, the creator of Seinfeld, has seen the light and become an environmentalist, and it's all because of tuna. Of course, it might also have something to do with his wife (soon-to-be ex-wife), Laurie David, one of the producers of Al Gore's Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth.

By the way, if you're one of those people who have never seen Curb Your Enthusiasm, do yourself a favor and tune in.

Who Controls the Burning Leaves?

(Video from MSNBC)

A few decades ago, Bob Newhart did a classic comedy bit in which he went back in time to the 16th century and had a telephone conversation with Sir Walter Raleigh, the subject at hand being Raleigh's idea to introduce tobacco to the American colonists...

"You can chew it? Or put it in a pipe. Or you can shred it up and put it on a piece of paper, and roll it up - don't tell me, Walt, don't tell me- you stick in your ear, right Walt? Oh, between your lips! Then what do you do to it? (Giggling) You set fire to it! Then what do you do, Walt? You inhale the smoke! You set fire to it! Then what do you do Walt? You inhale the smoke! Walt, we've been a little worried about you...you're gonna have a tough time getting people to stick burning leaves in their mouth...."

Over the centuries, millions of people have stuck those burning leaves in their mouths, and millions of people have died as a result. Although educational efforts have paid off in terms of reducing the number of smokers in the US,tobacco still represents a serious health risk to people around the world.

I've always thought it odd that tobacco is freely available in the marketplace, whereas if another product (let's say cookies, for example), were to contain the same cancer-causing agents as tobacco, it would never see the light of day. Well, it turns out there's a reason for that. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the power to regulate tobacco. They tried to establish regulations, but of course the tobacco companies fought them, went to court, and won.

But now congress is trying to pass a new bill that would give the FDA the power to, among other things, regulate the levels of harmful substances in tobacco, and in the process (according to proponents of the bill) create a safer cigarette. But of course, a "safer" cigarette is a long way from a "safe" cigarette, and if, by giving the FDA this new power, you create the impression in people's minds that cigarettes are safe, you're not really solving the problem.

Of course, you can expect the tobacco companies to put up a big fight. I'm sure they've got lobbyists frantically trying to kill the bill. But with Americans increasingly turning against tobacco, their days of doing whatever they want may be numbered.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Kids of Bonanza City

(Video from CBS)

Kid Nation is an upcoming CBS reality show in which 40 kids (ages 8-15) are dropped into the middle of a New Mexico ghost town for over a month and tasked with bringing the town back to life. It's a kind of social experiment which aims to see if kids can work together for the common good without the influence of any adults.

The show has already stirred up a shitstorm of controversy, with adults screaming "child abuse" and kids screaming, "Hey, that sounds way cool!" CBS got around some of the child labor laws by declaring the show a "summer camp," and claiming that the kids weren't really working, but only living in this "summer camp" while the TV crew filmed them.

While the promo for the show does bear a certain resemblance to Lord of the Flies, I suspect that the outcome will probably be more positive. Truthfully, if I had had a chance to be on this kind of show when I was a kid, I would have begged my parents to let me do it, and then after they'd said "forget it", I would have forged their signature and done it anyway.

Nuts in the Gallery

Rajan Zed is a Hindu chaplain who was invited to open the Senate with a prayer a few days ago, the first time for such an invitation to be extended to a Hindu chaplain. It was a notable occasion and reflected the fact that America is a religiously diverse nation.

But, predictably, it brought all the nuts out of the woodwork, screaming that America is a Christian nation and this is an insult to true Christians everywhere, blah, blah, blah...

Three of these nuts made their way to the Senate gallery, where they disrupted the prayer with a competing prayer of their own,"Lord Jesus, forgive us Father for allowing the prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight." They were arrested and led away. Buh-bye...

The group doing the loudest screaming was the American Family Association, who had been warning their followers for days that a shocking event was going to happen and they had to do something to save the nation from ruin. They were quoted as saying...

"It represents an official stamp by the government on paganism, a move which may draw God's anger according to biblical example."

So if anything really bad happens in the US, for instance, a tornado or an earthquake, you can go ahead and blame it on Senator Harry Reid. He was the guy that invited Mr. Zed to say his evil prayer.

But Mr. Zed need not worry. According to Buddy Smith, an AFA spokesman, Christians everywhere should "pray for the chaplain's salvation." I've racked my brain to try to think of a more condescending statement, but haven't found it yet.

These images of people shouting down a Hindu holy man (in the United States Senate, for crying out loud), are broadcast around the world, and we wonder why America is held in such low regard in much of the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Is Rudy Giuliani Really the Hero of 9/11?

(Video from the International Association of Fire Fighters)

When 19 terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, mayor Rudy Giuliani was all over the TV, looking to all the world like a man in charge, a man coming to the rescue of his beloved city.

Now Giuliani wants to be president and actually has a decent chance to grab the Republican nomination, if for no other reason than that the rest of the field is just plain pathetic. He's basing his campaign on his supposedly heroic efforts on that day.

But the International Association of Fire Fighters has a different story to tell about Rudy. This short film documents his failures on that terrible day. Did 121 firefighters lose their lives needlessly? Why did those 121 firefighters remain in the doomed North Tower after being ordered out? Whose fault was it? Who is the real Rudy Giuliani?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Musical Interlude: Christine Lavin

(Video by Vu Trong Thu / Music by Christine Lavin)

Christine Lavin is a wonderful folk singer from New York City. This amazing video was made to accompany her song "If We Had No Moon." Besides being a beautiful song and video, it's also a great science lesson in astronomy.

Kramer Calls It Quits

(Video from National Lampoon)

Michael Richards' career went down in flames last November when he launched into a vicious racist tirade in the middle of his comedy club routine. He claimed not to be a racist, saying it was anger, not racism, that fueled his verbal attack, but it was hard to square that claim with the horrible language and imagery that spewed from his mouth.

Now Richards says he's quitting stand-up comedy, although I kind of doubt that he was getting many invitations to perform in the clubs. It's a bit like saying, "You can't fire me, I quit."

"That night, when I was insulted and disrupted, I lost my heart; I lost my sense of humor. I've retired from that. I'm taking time off to feel myself out, get to know myself and appreciate other people," he was quoted as saying.

He has recently shown up in Cambodia with his fiancee, which has people wondering if he's seeking out some sort of spiritual redemption. They were on a tour sponsored by the Nithyananda Foundation of Los Angeles.

But Richards says that he was "just a tourist....I listened in, but often my fiancée and I went on our own, to feel the temples in our own way. They're magnificent structures. It's great to just be in them and watch time go by. We'll probably be back."

I've always been a big Richards fan, going all the way back to his years on "Fridays." It's hard to watch someone that you've admired for so long self-destruct right in front of your eyes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Battle of the Butts

(With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan)

The Times Square Church hates big butts, and they cannot lie.

They are definitely not happy about the giant happy (complete with smiley faces) derrieres about to be plastered on a big billboard on their building and have sued to stop the TOTO Corporation from putting it up.

(TOTO is a Japanese company which has come to the US to sell Americans their high-tech toilets which, by the way, are already in half the homes here in Japan.)

In court filings, the church claims that...

"It is instantaneously obvious that this advertisement is too indecent for public display. It consists principally of photographs of the nude back sides of several people. It is certainly unsuited for public exposure to children, and antithetical to the values of our congregation and church. That anyone thought it suited for display on a church building is astonishing."

(To be clear, the billboard will NOT be erected "on a church building," but rather on the side of the large office building in which the church happens to reside.)

The TOTO Corporation, of course, has a different take on the matter:

"The advertisement is not obscene or pornographic. It is not sexually suggestive. And it does not promote an immoral or indecent message or product. All it does is display parts of the human anatomy that, while usually covered, can be seen on network television and in the public library and refers the public to the Web site of the product’s manufacturer. The Times Square Church is entitled to find the advertisement distasteful and objectionable. But it is not entitled — under the plain terms of its lease or the common law of nuisance it invokes — to dictate the contents of the advertisements that appear on the building it occupies."

Judge Marcy S. Friedman has granted the church a temporary restraining order and prohibited the billboard from going up until she studies the matter further. Of course, the whole thing is a bonus for TOTO, giving them invaluable free publicity for their snappy new toilets.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What? No Buzz Beer?

(Video from FOX11 TV)

In a stroke of marketing genius, a dozen 7-11 stores across the US recently teamed up with 20th-Century-Fox and rebranded their stores as Kwik-E-Marts, as part of the hype surrounding the opening of the new Simpsons movie. With a kind of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" bravado, 7-11 decided that even though the Kwik-E-Mart is a savage parody of their company, there was money to be made by joining in the fun.

But some patrons were devestated to learn that there was no Duff Beer to be found anywhere. Apparently, the movie folks were afraid that it would tarnish their "family-friendly" image. (Huh??)

They weren't the only unhappy campers. Some Indian-Americans have voiced their displeasure with the friendly Kwik-E-Mart proprietor, one Mr. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. They consider him to be a negative stereotype. (Apparently, real Indian-Americans don't pick hot dogs off the floor and sell them anyway.) Other actual Indian-American 7-11 proprieters rebutted the naysayers with 5 words: Lighten Up! It's a cartoon!

In any event, much fun was had by all, and if you didn't have a chance to buy your very own Buzz Cola or Krusty O's breakfast cereal, you can probably pick them up on Ebay.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Man Behind the Curtain

In 1988, a group in England called ARISE (Associates for Research into the Science of Enjoyment) was formed and remained active until 2004. They promoted themselves as “a worldwide association of eminent scientists who act as independent commentators”.

This group was very active in the '90s and appeared frequently in various British media. Their purpose was to show how “everyday pleasures, such as eating chocolate, smoking, drinking tea, coffee and alcohol, contribute to the quality of life.” In other words: If it feels good, do it!

The group mocked what they called the "health police," and tried to convince people that there were "scientific studies" that proved that indulging in your vice of choice was actually good for your health.

The leader of the group, Professor David Warburton of the University of Reading, published academic journal articles to dispute the finding of the U.S. Surgeon General that nicotine was addictive, and incredibly, actually concluded the opposite, that nicotine was good for you!

Well, guess what! Last year George Monbiot, of The Guardian newspaper, came across some very interesting documents from the big tobacco companies, who had been forced to make them public. It turns out that Big Tobacco had been secretly funding ARISE the whole time, with the express purpose of putting out their propaganda and disguising it as "science."

Moral of the story: The next time you see some "scientific" research that purports to prove something about smoking, global warming, or anything else that doesn't pass the smell test, you might want to check out who their corporate masters are.

The Road Home

(Video from Mad Mustard/"All Those Lies" by Glenn Frey)

The New York Times has declared, in an unequivocal editorial titled The Road Home, that...

"It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit."

The newspaper of record has joined only a handful of other papers to call for a complete pullout. In a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration, they state...

"Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles."

The editorial goes on to note that opposition to the war is no longer a Democratic/Republican or left/right issue. That is certainly becoming evident, as more and more people from all walks of life realize the folly of continuing down the path that Bush has laid out.

Bush stands, for all practical purposes, alone and isolated. Perhaps The Decider will decide to start listening to the people. But don't hold your breath.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Musical Interlude: Merle Haggard

Not only has Bush lost the support of many key Republicans in Congress, he's lost the support of the original Okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard. The country singer who railed against hippies nearly 40 years ago has trained his sights on Bush and his Iraq policy:

"Let's got out of Iraq, get back on the track, and rebuild America first."

This song is called America First.

Friday, July 6, 2007

What Really Ended the Pacific War?

(Video from NHK Japan)

The Japanese defense minister has resigned his position after causing an uproar by remarking that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had "ended the war," and adding, "I think that it couldn't be helped."

Robert Joseph, the American special envoy for nuclear nonproliferation, added fuel to the fire by saying "I think most historians would agree that the use of an atomic bomb brought to a close a war that would have cost millions more lives, not just hundreds of thousands of Allied lives but literally millions of Japanese lives."

As Japan approaches the 62nd anniversary of the bombings next month, these remarks have hit a nerve with a nation that has, since the end of the war, dedicated itself to fighting for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Although the conventional wisdom of many historians is that the twin atomic bombings were the decisive factor in ending the war, a fascinating new study titled "The Winning Weapon"" in the journal International Security (published by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University), makes the case that the Soviet decision to enter the Pacific war was the true reason that Japan surrendered.

Although Japan had stated that the bombings were the reason they surrendered, the study concludes that this was a face-saving gesture on their part. "Who could blame them, after all, if they had lost the war not because they were not brave enough or smart enough, but because they failed to anticipate an unimaginable scientific breakthrough?"

The study concludes by taking a look at the question of the military usefulness of nuclear weapons in light of these new findings. It states, "If nuclear weapons played no role in the surrender of Japan, perhaps it is time to conduct a serious, far-reaching review of the general usefulness of nuclear weapons."

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!

(Video from Maury Povich)

Franklin Roosevelt said...

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

A lot of Americans have forgotten these wise words. But you can't really blame them, what with Bush and Co. constantly using fearmongering as a tool to try to keep people in line. Their not-so-subtle message is...

"Terrorists are everywhere. They're gonna get you (and your little dog, too)." The ONLY way you can save yourself is to support the Iraq war and vote Republican come election day. If you don't, you are unpatriotic and not a true American.

Their constant mantra is "9/11, 9/11, 9/11," a shameful exploitation of that national tragedy that is an insult to the memory of the victims and their families. The national press doesn't help matters by reporting every potential threat as if it's the end of the world.

Are there terrorists out there who want to harm us? Of course there are. We see the latest evidence of that in the botched attempts to attack London and Glasgow. But is it too much to ask that we intelligently go about assessing the threat so that we can come up with sound and logical strategies to combat it rather than trying to scare the bejesus out of everyone?

After all, if we spend all our time cowering and hiding under the bed, the terrorists have accomplished what they set out to do.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Paranoid Conservative Mind

(Video from Lewis Black/The Daily Show)

I swear, conservatives have got to be the most paranoid people on earth. They see liberal bias everywhere...PBS, CBS, TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, and now Wikipedia and YouTube. How do they know liberal bias when they see it? Easy. If the facts don't fit their whacked out view of the world, it's liberal bias!

When faced with an unpleasant fact from one of these evil media sources, instead of considering the merits of the story, they dismiss it as "liberal bias" and therefore unworthy of consideration. Then they run to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Ann Coulter to get the "truth."

They live in their own world, a fantasy world where George Bush is the greatest president who ever lived and Dick Cheney is the grandfather they always wished they could have. A world where America can do no wrong, and if you don't agree, then you obviously hate America and should leave the country immediately.

Maybe one day they'll come to realize that the world is not black and white. It's made up of many colors. If they would only take off their rose-colored glasses, maybe they'd see it more clearly.

Bush: Do the Crime, But Not the Time

(Video from CNN)

Scooter Libby had already been issued an inmate number. He had one foot in the prison cell when, whaddaya know, here comes his buddy the president with a commutation of his sentence and saves him from serving 30 months in the slammer. Perjury? Obstruction of Justice? No problem. When you work for an administration that considers itself above the law, I guess you can pretty much do anything you want.

But perhaps the biggest hypocrite on this issue is Mitt Romney, who bragged that as governor of Massachusetts he NEVER issued a pardon, but when it comes to Scooter, well, that's a different matter. For Scooter, he thinks it's a swell idea.

Bush said in his commutation order that Libby's sentence was "excessive." Well, no, it wasn't. It was well within the sentencing guidelines for the crimes of which he was convicted. What IS excessive is the complete disregard for the rule of law demonstrated over and over again by the Bush administration.

Here's what Bush said about his pardon power as governor of Texas...

"I don't believe my role is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own, unless there are new facts or evidence of which a jury was unaware, or evidence that the trial was somehow unfair."

He doesn't claim that any of those factors were present in the Libby case. He's just doing a solid for a pal.

The commutation is also raising suspicion that Bush is trying to cover his own ass, fearful of what Libby might reveal about Bush's and/or Cheney's involvment in the Plame affair if sent to prison. Hopefully, Congress will do its job and try to get to the bottom of this fiasco.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Adam and Eve Half-Naked in the Garden

(Video from Ricky Gervais)

Christopher Hitchen's latest book, God is Not Great, is subtitled How Religion Poisons Everything. This story is illustrative of his point.

In Pakistan, a monthly fashion magazine called Octane published an image of Hazrat Adam and Amma Hawwa, who are apparently the Islamic version of Adam and Eve. The fact that they were pictured "half-naked" made a local cleric see red, and he promptly issued a fatwa against the magazine's owners and publishers for committing blasphemy.

Funny, I thought being half-naked was an integral part of the story, what with the whole fig leaf fashion show and all. Call me crazy, but the death penalty seems just a wee bit harsh for not putting trousers on Adam and a moo-moo on Eve.

In another demonstration of the clerics' power in Pakistan, Nilofar Bakhtiar, the country's female Tourism Minister, was forced to resign after clerics threw a hissy fit upon seeing a photograph of her giving a hug to her male coach after completing a para-jump in France. Never mind the fact that she had done the para-jump as part of an effort to raise money for the victims of the Pakistan earthquake of October 2005. No, she was a hugger and so she had to go.

Sheesh. Just....sheesh.

iWant My iPhone!

(Video from Late Night with Conan O'Brien)

The new iPhone from Apple has arrived with all the fanfare of the second coming of Christ. You have to wonder how people ever managed to live their lives at all before this miracle device appeared on the scene. Apparently this new gadget will be the only thing you need to live a full and rewarding life.

With the new iPhone you can look forward to more meaningful relationships with your loved ones as well as a sudden increase in your self-esteem. You'll notice that those nasty spots on your skin will disappear overnight, and you can expect to add 20 years to your life expectancy.

So reach deep down into your pockets and fork out the dough. Your life will never be the same again (at least until the upgrade comes along.)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Science Confirms that Bill O'Reilly is a Dick

(Video from David Ippolito)

If you were wondering if Bill O'Reilly is really a dick or not, wonder no more. A study from Indiana University has confirmed that, yep, he's a dick.

The authors of the study looked at 115 hours of Billo rantings and used propaganda anaysis techniques to measure him against the infamous "radio priest" Father Charles Coughlin, long regarded as THE master propagandist (who also thought Hitler and Mussolini were pretty cool).

One of the seven propaganda techniques used in the study that O'Reilly has mastered is "name-calling." According to the study, he called someone a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds during his editorial remarks. Man, you hardly have time to say anything else with that much name-calling going on.

And how does Billo stack up against Father Coughlin? According to the authors, "In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin." According to the study, "There were 12.91 incidents of propaganda use per minute in O'Reilly's monologue, whereas Coughlin used 8.00 per minute."

Congrats, sir! You are the biggest dick! So shut up before I cut your mic!

Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Liberals

(Video from Neal Gladstone)

Erik Jackson thinks that children's books are WAY too liberal and are brainwashing our kids with all kinds of evil liberal ideas. So a couple of years ago he wrote a book for kids called "Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!" in an attempt to even out the propaganda. His book is a shocking tale of a couple of boys who decide to open up their own lemonade stand so that they can buy a swing set. But, wouldn't you know it, a bunch of damn liberals drive them out of business.

Thank God for men like Erik Jackson! They are making sure that the younger generation won't grow up to be a bunch of tie-dye-wearing, veggie-eating, Volvo-driving, pinko lefties.

I have a story idea for Erik that he might consider for his next book...

As a reminder to kids of the importance of the second amendment, perhaps he could write a new version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, wherein the 3 bears, upon finding an intruder in their home, empty both barrels of a shotgun into the still-sleeping body of Goldilocks. The End.

Just a thought.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bush's Poodle Off the Leash

Tony Blair has finally given up his cushy job as prime minister. He was coasting along just fine and was a rather popular leader until he decided to hitch his star to George W. Bush and his Iraq debacle. The reason Blair got tagged as "Bush's Poodle" is that he walked in lock-step with Bush and never once questioned or challenged him.

He leaves office with an approval rating almost as low as Bush, and although he professes to have no regrets, I'm guessing that when he's alone, he's cursing Bush under his breath.

When Bush was asked about the "poodle" moniker, he called it a "silly ridicule" and said...

"He's bigger than that. (a cocker spaniel, perhaps?) Somehow our relationship has been seen as Bush saying to Blair, 'Jump' and Blair saying, 'How high?' But that's just not the way it works. It's a relationship where we say, 'We're both going to jump together'."

They jumped, allright. Right into the abyss.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Students to Bush: Knock Off the Torture

(Video from The Divine Comedy)

Presidential Scholars are some of the best and brightest high school students in America. When a group of 50 of them visited the White House recently, they surprised President Bush with a letter they had composed, which stated that they "believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions."

The letter continued...

"We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants."

Deputy press secretary Dana Perino responded to the letter this way...

"The president enjoyed a visit with the students, accepted the letter and upon reading it let the students know that the United States does not torture and that we value human rights."

Well, there you go. The United States does not torture. I guess it's just been a big misunderstanding. Move along. Nothing to see here.

I must say, these kids are pretty ballsy to ask the President to his face to please, pretty please, stop torturing people. It gives me renewed hope for the future of the nation.

Ann Coulter Gets a Phone Request

Ann Coulter is often booked on one TV show or another and allowed to spout her bullshit unchallenged. So it was refreshing to see Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, call in to "Hardball" and politely request that Ann stop her hate-mongering personal attacks on people, particularly her husband.

In the most compelling moment of their conversation, Elizabeth Edwards said the following:

"You wrote a column a couple years ago which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean's death, and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that said 'Ask Me About My Dead Son'. This is not legitimate political dialogue...It debases political dialogue. It drives people away from the process. We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language...I'm making this call as a mother. I'm the mother of that boy who died. My children participate -- these young people behind you are the age of my children. You're asking them to participate in a dialogue that's based on hatefulness and ugliness instead of on the issues and I don't think that's serving them or this country very well."

Of course, asking Coulter to stop her nasty personal attacks is like asking Dick Cheney to stop keeping everything secret. It's probably not going to happen. But it's good to know that some people are ready and willing to fight back.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Supremes to Students: Shut Up!

(Video from CNN)

Once again, that weenie Ken Starr is basking in the glow of victory. This time, he has saved us all from having to read evil banners that say "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that students have no right to advocate such a "pro-drug" message (although I contend that the same banner could reasonably be interpreted as a "pro-Jesus" message).

But hey, that's what you get for voting for Bush (you know who you are). As part of the package, you got more Bushies on the bench. Bushies who are more than willing to slowly but surely strip us of our most basic freedoms. Welcome to the new America, where free speech (especially for students) is quickly becoming a distant memory.

And raise your hand if you think Ken Starr needs to smoke a joint.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Preacher Who Went Through Hell

(Video from NBC Dateline-Part 1)

(Video from NBC Dateline-Part 2)

Carlton Pearson was a superstar preacher. For 30 years, he preached a charasmatic message to what would eventually become thousands of followers. He had the ear of presidents. He had it made.

But it all came crashing down around him when he proclaimed that God had spoken to him and given him a radical message: There is no such place as Hell. After seeing the misery and suffering all around the world, Pearson began to preach that hell is here on earth, and that everyone had been saved by God's love and would go to heaven, not just the small minority of people who had been "born again."

Well, that just pissed off a whole lot of Christians, who were invested in the idea that God was a sadistic torturer who stood ready to send billions of people to a fiery eternal damnation in the pits of Hell. He was condemned as a heretic and became a pariah. His flock deserted him and he pretty much lost everything he had built up over the last 30 years.

But the preacher man is making a comeback. His "Gospel of Inclusion" message has reached out to gays and lesbians and others who have been made to feel less than welcome in the evangelical Christian community. He's gaining new converts and feels that, even though he had to go through hell, he would do it all again.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Musical Interlude: The Puppini Sisters

The Puppini Sisters are the 21st-century incarnation of The Andrews Sisters, and they are hot! They are 2 Brits and an Italian who met each other in music school in London and are making a big splash in the U.S. Here they're singing "Wuthering Heights," which was written by Kate Bush and was a big hit for her in 1978.

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The Tale of the Trojan Pig

(Video from Trojan Condoms)

Trojan Condoms new ad campaign is called "Evolve," and is designed to start a discussion about sexual attitudes in America (as well as sell condoms, of course). Unfortunately, CBS and FOX have rejected their new ad, with FOX stating that "Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy," and CBS stating "while we understand and appreciate the humor of this creative [ad], we do not find it appropriate for our network even with late-night-only restrictions."

So apparently these networks have no problem broadcasting salacious programming of their own during prime-time, but draw the line at allowing the Trojan company to broadcast a funny ad promoting responsible sexual behavior. Isn't hypocrisy wonderful?

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Obama Girl Shakes Her Booty

(Video from barelypolitical.com)

Obama Girl has a serious crush on Barack Obama, and is singing her love to the world.

You know, politics can be pretty damn dry sometimes, so I, for one, am all for spicing things up with hot, sexy dancing girls whenever possible. I fully expect other hot babes to publicly proclaim their love for George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Tom Delay.

Or, uh, maybe not.

(The video below explains the making of the Obama Girl video.)

(Video from CNN)

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Get Your Filthy Hands Off Me!

(Video from Family Guy)

At Fairfax County middle school in Virginia, you can get busted for touching another human being. Not just inappropriate touching - any touching at all, anytime, anywhere. That means you can't shake hands when being introduced to someone, you can't high-five your buddy when you ace the big test, and you can't grab the ass of that cute girl in your chem lab (okay, maybe that's a bad example).

It's all because of the ridiculous "no-touching" rule at the school. It's the latest example of how idiot adults who run many of America's school systems overreact to a problem. When confronted with a gnat, they get out the old elephant gun and mow it down. If you've had a couple of problems with inappropriate touching, just outlaw ALL touching. Makes perfect sense.

Maybe it's time, though, to get really serious about the problem. Why not issue stun guns to all the students? That way, if someone gets too close to another student, and appears to be considering an illegal touch, a quick zap to the midsection will straighten out the offender and save him a trip to the principal's office.

Just a thought.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Musical Interlude: Paul Potts

Britain's Got Talent is Simon Cowell's new talent show in Britain. This is Paul Potts in his first appearance on the show. He's an amateur opera singer who spends his days working at The Carphone Warehouse. He blew away the judges and went on to win the competition. I think it's safe to say that he can quit his day job now.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Driving With The Pope

(Video from Shaun Micallef/The Micallef Program)

Apparently not satisfied with telling folks what to do (or not do) in the bedroom, the Vatican has decided to give us all some divine guidance on the moral aspects of driving. It's issued a 36-page document called "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road,” a sort of 10 Commandments of Driving, which includes prohibitions on things like drunk driving, speeding, road rage, and using your car as a "place of sin." (Man, they just wanna take ALL the fun out of driving!)

Most of these things, of course, are common sense. Do we really need the Vatican to start playing nanny with us? Would it be too much to request that they stick to the religion business?

Coming soon: The Vatican's "10 Commandments of Personal Hygiene."

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Jack Bauer Saves America Again!

(Video from CNN)

Okay, I admit it. I enjoy watching "24." It's exciting television. But I always keep in mind that it's only a TV show. Many conservatives, however, seem to have a hard time making the distinction between TV and real life. They're in love with "24" and Jack Bauer because they see it as a validation of Bush's pro-torture policy. It proves to them that we have to torture if we don't want to be destroyed by the terrorists.

The latest conservative to prove my point is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who recently, while participating in a panel discussion on torture and terrorism law, remarked...

"Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles...He saved hundreds of thousands of lives...Are you going to convict Jack Bauer? Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?’ Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don’t think so.”

Scalia apparently was defending torture, believing that the ends justify the means. Of course, the ticking time bomb scenario portrayed every 10 minutes on "24" is, in reality, a very rare occurence. If we're going to use a TV show to justify our policy on terrorism, I think we're in even deeper trouble than I thought.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Father's Day from Hard Gay

Here in Japan, there is only one man who can both make people laugh and run away screaming in fear. His name is Hard Gay, and he's a true phenomenon. Here he is taking a Father's Day survey and doing his bit to make sure that today's kids are honoring their dads.

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Musical Interlude: Squirrel Nut Zippers

The Zippers are one of my favorite groups. In this unique video, they accompany a very cool Betty Boop-style surrealistic cartoon. It's called "The Ghost of Stephen Foster." Prepare your toes for some serious tapping.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Turd Blossom Stinkin' Up The Joint

(Video from Andy Cobb with a hat tip to Eminem)

Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove, the evil genius behind the Bush crime machine, finds himself in more hot water. Although, so far, he seems to be equipped with some kind of super teflon, his luck may be about to run out.

The 1939 Hatch Act is a law which prohibits using government agencies for partisan political purposes. Yet that didn't stop Rove's office from creating and presenting political briefings to about 20 different government agencies. The briefings were designed to encourage government employees to work for the re-election of Republicans.

The government's Office of Special Counsel is now investigating Rove's office to determine if the Hatch Act was violated. With any luck, we may yet get to see Rove doing a perp walk.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Gay, Farting, Bad Breath Bomb

(Video from CBS5)

You can feel secure in the knowledge that the fine folks at the Pentagon never stop looking for ways to make the military better and in turn make us safer.

One of the unique ideas that was seriously considered in the past was something dubbed a "gay bomb." The idea was that you drop some kind of "gay" hormones on enemy troops so that they'll start making out with each other, and not want to fight anymore. You know...Make Love Not War!

You can't make this stuff up.

But wait...there's more. There were other ideas that these geniuses came up with. How about this? A "halitosis bomb" - a chemical that will give the enemy bad breath so you can find 'em more easily when they try to blend in with civilians. Or my personal favorite...a variant of the "halitosis bomb," the "fart bomb," also known as the "who, me"? bomb.

These are the people that are running the war now. And you wonder why things are so fucked up.

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Close Gitmo!

(Video from Boston Legal)

In the aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration set up a whole new system of justice for suspected terrorists who had been rounded up willy-nilly in various places (often turned in by folks for cash rewards).They opened up a brand-spanking new jail in beautiful Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They thought it would be a swell idea if these people weren't allowed to have lawyers and weren't even charged with anything. They would just keep them locked up and occassionally torture them.

Well, the chickens are finally coming home to roost. Court after court has ruled that the symstem is unconstitutional. The latest blow to their fun new system came from the Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri.

The court wrote, "The president lacks power to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain al-Marri. We have found no authority for holding that the evidence offered by the government affords a basis for treating al-Marri as an enemy combatant, or as anything other than a civilian," and ordered the Bush administration to transfer the prisoner to the criminal court system.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke out on this issue over the weekend. It makes sense to me. From Meet The Press...

POWELL: Guantanamo has become a major, major problem for America’s perception as it’s seen, the way the world perceives America. And if it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I’d close it. And I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, “Well, then they’ll have access to lawyers, then they’ll have access to writs of habeas corpus.” So what? Let them. Isn’t that what our system’s all about?

We'll see if Bush will listen to the voices of reason. He hasn't in the past, so I'm not holding my breath.

(The video once again showcases my favorite lawyer, Alan Shore. He says it much better than I could.)

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