Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I love big brother

I really have to say, I saw this story and just felt like I lived in the greatest city in the world. The Bloomberg administration has gotten a lot of press out of its proposed trans fats ban, but I'm even more taken with their idea to list calories on menus. Not to mention the continuing cell phone ban in schools.

Just a little laudatory note.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Laura in the magazines

So, I was in the Food Emporium buying kielbasa, and I saw the headline "Laura wakes up!" I immediately thought of Laura Bush coming to the realization that she was part of something very big and very bad, and that she could leave it.

It was Soap Opera Digest, and there was some subtitle suggesting it was talking about a television character. This is a pretty normal mistake, and I wouldn't mention it (I do have some standards) but for the cover of the Globe, which was actually at my register. "The Bush Divorce Papers: An Angry Laura is ready to leave."

So, I got the gist of a totally different headline! It's all part of the cosmic unconciousness.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Shivved by the spam email

Oh, so I met this girl on the internet. One of your challenges with the internet dating is to pick a first date place, and my great idea was to go to Build a Bear. We never actually went to Build-a-Bear, but the idea gained some currency in our relationship. It was always the kind of place we might go, and sort of a touchstone.

So, we dated for several months, I fell in love with her, and the relationship eventually collapsed under the stresses we put on it. This was unfortunate, and made me quite sad. I still have a suitcase she asked me to bring on a trip, which I have filled with things to return to her. I called her yesterday, to try to arrange a drop, and it turned out it was still too early. My Hallward sobbed madly.

I get home (I was out buying wood expanding solution -- I know that sounds like an ED treatment, but I was just fixing some furniture) and who has spammed me? Join the Build-a-Bear Workshop® Friends Club.

Spam! My old nemesis. This round is yours.

That was a pretty good answer

So funny. I'll transcribe it for when the link goes stale:
Fox trot cartoon -- Jason is wearing a computer user interface on his head, and talking with his brother.
Jason: Like my costume?
Peter: What is it?
Jason: I'm a touch screen electronic voting machine. Computer experts have been warning for years that these things can be easily hacked, and without a paper trail there's no way to verify the vote counts weren't tampered with.
Here we are nine days before the election, and reportedly one third of all precincts will use them. Seriously, can you think of anything scarier?
Peter: Jason, most people don't care about this stuff.
Jason (musing afterward): Hmm. That was a pretty good answer.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bill O'Reilly's a freaking genius

The truth of it is, a reasonable person can't believe what you're saying
So, that's David Letterman's take on Bill O'Reilly. And this is largely true. But! During this interview, O'Reilly notes that if we leave a non-stable Iraq, Iran will take it over. So, the choice is:
  1. Keep enough troops in the middle of that bloody chaos to deter an Iranian invasion
  2. Pull out and let Iran stabilize the country.
Now, the Bush Administration keeps defending its use of the tools of a dictator by noting that Iraq's a difficult to manage place. But, Iran would be way better at it. I think that O'Reilly's right: the best solution for Iraq is for us to leave and try to reach rapproachment with Iran. Turkey would have to change its thinking about the Kurds before it could annex Kurdistan, which would make this a better solution, but I hold out hope. Iranian Shias have a long history of coexisting with (well, oppressing, but it is a dictatorship) Sunnis, so I think the problem there is overblown.

Wouldn't you rather help fund an Iranian restoration of Iraq than keep throwing lives and money into a worsening situation? This is a great idea.

Pass it on.

GOP outstrips my ability to mock it

I was working on a new piece for the Spoof about how the nation's leadership simply fired everyone investigating its malfeasance. And then it happened.
I'll try to be quicker next time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

On Praise

Dean G. Popps, the director of Iraq Reconstruction and Program Management Office for the Army, wrote in a congratulatory e-mail to the Army's reconstruction teams: "Never has so much been done, so well and so quickly, by so few."
So, the Army's apportioned all its money for reconstruction, so it figures Iraq's all reconstructed. And that they've done a great job. Do you ever get a pat on the back that rings false? So, OK, you feel like a miserable failure, which is normal enough, and some authority figure praises you. If you have trouble accepting the praise, recall that you didn't spend 15 billion dollars to
[raise] production capacity levels in the critical areas of oil and electricity to exceed pre-war (2002) levels
This is a country that was under sanctions for a decade by 2002. Despite whatever oil-for-food scandals you may have heard about, Iraq's oil market was curtailed, and their infrastructure was failing. And that's the level we've done such a great job climbing back up to that we can pack up and go home.