Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Goodbye, America. It was fun.

Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia bloviates on Guam. The island may capsize.

He wasn't taken out of context. That's our US Congress. The fate of our country rests in the hands of people like Hank Johnson.

It's all over. Thanks, world. It was fun.

Compare and Contrast


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

iPad: Today's Edsel

Apple's iPad is available in a few days (maybe). It will be a colossal flop. Students of marketing and computer design will study the iPad catastrophe for decades, particularly Steve Jobs's "Gosh! Gee whiz! Aren't we just the cleverest, most revolutionary people ever?" keynote back in January.

Their pricing model is wrong... few will pay 4-5 times more for the same (but larger!) app you can get for 99 cents on the iPhone. Few will pay $19/mo for an online publication. (Hint: iPad won't save your local newspaper.) Most importantly, people will be reluctant to purchase and carry around an iPad (or any other tablet) once they start hearing stories about people dropping it and shattering the screen. (A smartphone is a computer that you can easily carry around in your pocket. A tablet is a fragile device that will need a separate case.) And no camera?

Apple's gushes about the "incredible, amazing, and magical" iPad sound really desperate. They remind me of Michael Jackson's La La Land interviews with reporters when he thought he was King of the World but didn't realize that everyone was tuning in to see a freakshow.

Apple's Newton was a pimple on an elephant's rear end compared to the disaster about to be unleashed.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chag Pesach Sameach


Quick! There's not much time. The Jewish Conspiracy is offline for Passover, so work fast and regain control!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

California Über Alles

(SACRAMENTO) – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California announced today that it has endorsed Jerry Brown for Governor after an unprecedented open and democratic endorsement process. This process allowed for all 700,000 members to participate in selecting the team of candidates that will lead California’s recovery after a long and painful recession that has cost Californians their jobs, their homes, their healthcare and their retirement security.

"Brown is uniquely qualified and unquestionably committed to be the Governor who will lead California’s recovery, and that’s why 700,000 SEIU California members will make electing him our first priority as we lead the fight to rebuild California," said Bill A. Lloyd, President of the SEIU California.


Be sure to watch this. It's deja vu all over again.

Beef Stew

I had some green onions left over and threw those in there, along with some red wine as well. It smells good but I'll know the final result in a few hours.

Also, please note that weather has nothing to do with climate.

Friday, March 26, 2010

James Randi is gay!!!

James, I think most of us figured this out a long time ago. In this day and age, what's the big deal? It's like Clay Aiken and Rosie O'Donnell attempting to make a big splash with major announcements about something everyone already knew.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Associated Press reporters are genuinely stupid

This opening paragraph is unbelievable.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The owner of Venezuela's only remaining TV channel that takes a critical line against President Hugo Chavez was arrested Thursday, raising concerns the government is carrying out a widening crackdown aimed at silencing opponents.
Gee, ya think? Melonhead has been cracking down on political opponents for years, and you AP geniuses are just now figuring this out? Quit smoking what Jeff Spicoli gets high on and smarten up.

No Halal

Some French people are protesting halal only foods at a large European fast food chain. ("Quick! Get me a bucket." - Bill Bryson)

I want the US to always be welcoming to immigrants. I just don't want immigrants insisting upon bringing their baggage to our shores. What's the point of immigrating if you want to recreate the lousy conditions back home?

BUMP: Now in the UK.
A diner was left fuming after a KFC restaurant took his favourite meal off the menu because it breached their new halal regulations.

Alan Phillips was told he would have to travel five miles to another branch if he wanted the Big Daddy, a chicken burger, topped with bacon, cheese and salad.
Me personally, I think both halal and kosher slaughter should be banned. These are pointless, cruel practices.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Euro Slide

It looks like the IMF (i.e., US taxpayers) will be bailing out Greece and the other PIIGS. I wonder what those rappers, supermodels and boisterous petro-thugs are thinking?

Monday, March 22, 2010

High-Fructose Corn Fat

A study claims that high-fructose corn syrup makes people fat.
In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I say this is bullshit. I am not a fan of high-fructose corn syrup and I am fully aware that corn syrup is forced upon us by the corn lobby. Like you I'd rather have plain old sugar. That doesn't change the fact that western society as a whole is becoming fat, including countries that don't have the corn lobby.

Society is getting fat because we're consuming too many calories and we're not exercising enough. Blaming corn syrup is akin to a fat person blaming their ailment on "genes" or "glands" or other nonsense.

Consume fewer calories and get off your lazy asses. And while I'm at it, mow your own damn lawn. So many people complain about illegals, yet these very same people hire a lawn crew of "undocumented workers" to mow their lawns for 20 bucks a pop. Do the yard work yourselves, like we used to up until 20 years ago. Lose the weight and remove the incentive for people who shouldn't be here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

STS-134 mission poster

Thanks for finding this, Wally. (Not-so-huge PDF.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Da damn thang is leanin'

South Padre Island's leaning tower, since demolished. (h/t Noodles)

Jim the Realtor never made a video like this.

There are a couple of towers like this one built on Galveston's beaches. I hope they were engineered better.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Typhoid Carrey

Jim Carrey is a laff riot.
Jim Carrey, famous world over for his hilarious performances in movies such as The Mask and Ace Ventura, is now an active campaigner against vaccinations.
I think that the leaders of the anti-vaccination cult should be held responsible for the fear they cause and the resulting spread of disease. In Schenck v. United States,
The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the United States Congress has a right to prevent.
Surely the needless spreading of lethal diseases that were once wiped out represents a clear and present danger.
In May, The New England Journal of Medicine laid the blame for clusters of disease outbreaks throughout the US squarely at the feet of declining vaccination rates, while nonprofit health care provider Kaiser Permanente reported that unvaccinated children were 23 times more likely to get pertussis, a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes violent coughing and is potentially lethal to infants. In the June issue of the journal Pediatrics, Jason Glanz, an epidemiologist at Kaiser’s Institute for Health Research, revealed that the number of reported pertussis cases jumped from 1,000 in 1976 to 26,000 in 2004. A disease that vaccines made rare, in other words, is making a comeback. “This study helps dispel one of the commonly held beliefs among vaccine-refusing parents: that their children are not at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases,” Glanz says.
Update via Telescope Mercenary: Jenny McCarthy Body Count.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kiss your sweetie in Dubai and get tossed into the pokey

Honeymoon in Dubai. The offended busybody:
...told police that she had seen the couple kissing each other on the lips and touching each other – a violation of laws against public indecency.

But in her statement to the prosecution, she only said that her children had seen the offence.
Maybe some bankrupt European real estate investors can clue me in: What is it about Dubai that makes you want to live there, own property and spend your holidays?

Got allergies?

After living in Katy for 15 years I forgot how bad the pine tree pollen in northwest Houston is. It feels like I have millions of tiny razor blades glued to my eyeballs and one sneeze prompts another.

I used the blower to clean the driveway off this afternoon. Actually, I tried that for less than 5 seconds as I was enveloped in a thick cloud of yellow pollen. So I went the low-tech route and used a broom.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Goodluck, Jonathan

I didn't know until today that the President of the largest country in Africa is Goodluck Jonathan.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Felix Ortiz is quite a busybody

New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) is trying to ram through a ban on chefs adding salt to food. Assemblyman Ortiz is quite a busybody. Other bills that he is sponsoring, as listed on his website:
You get the idea. A complete list is here. Interestingly, none of his proposals address New York State's crippling $60 billion deficit.

Become a Federal Employee and Get Rich

Our economy is badly out of whack when 6 of the 10 richest counties in United States are populated by federal employees. The financial-media-military-government complex needs to be reset. It may already be too late.

Man sues airline for not looking at his scrotum

That's the headline.
MONTREAL - A Westmount resident's lawsuit against Air Transat, for failure to provide him with appropriated medical attention during a flight, was dismissed in small claims court this past Tuesday.

His illness? Sudden and mysterious bleeding in the area between his legs.

The curious incident occurred February 15, 2008 during a flight from Montreal to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Marcel Cote was comfortably seated in business class an hour after takeoff when, for some unknown reason, he felt enough discomfort to make an emergency visit to the washroom, where he discovered spots of blood on his body.

In a panic, Cote asked for the help of a flight attendant, who quickly came to his side. When the passenger noticed that the agent was female, he asked to be assisted by a male attendant because the bleeding seemed to be coming from his genital area.

When the male attendant came to him, Cote then asked to be closely examined so that the exact nature of the problem can be determined. The employee declined, giving him absorbent paper instead.

Solve the Mystery

Walmart, a mammoth chain of low-wage discount stores that sells cheap crap made in China, is a symbol of pure evil that oppresses workers, destroys local businesses, and the people who shop there are good for a laugh. Target and Ikea, mammoth chains of low-wage discount stores that sell cheap crap made in China and destroy local businesses, are the opposite.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Taiwan

I am consistently impressed by my Taiwanese business associates. Many of them were educated in the US and speak near-flawless English. No "Harrow, who is carring?" stereotype. Every Taiwanese that I have dealt with over the past decade has been 100% honest and professional. They even have a charming practice of adopting "Americanized" first names (example: converting "Pei-Wen" into "Peggy"), and they don't seem to resent doing so. It's just expected if they want to succeed in international business.

Yeah, I am sure there are crooked Taiwanese who also resent Anglicized first names, so I am probably painting with too broad a brush. But still, the Taiwanese I deal with sure do leave a good impression on a business level.

Many worry about China ruling the world someday. I think it is far more likely that the PRC will implode on itself before that happening. But what if the PRC/Taiwan dispute could be resolved peacefully and China was ruled from the 23rd Chinese province of Taiwan instead of Beijing? I think that China would be top dog.

Stimulating

After smoking too much credit, the US economy doesn't look so good. We need Stimulus 1. $600 for everyone!
It's not working. We need TARP. Stat!
It's still not working. We need $70 billion for AIG. Quick!
Detroit automakers are going down the tubes. Send in more billions.
Still not working! $787 billion for Stimulus 2 should do it.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need $400 billion and then she'll be right as rain.
We've spent trillions, but the patient looks even worse. Pump more money into her!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Scene from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Is that mannequin doing what I think it's doing?
It's difficult to say.
You think?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Looters

A primary reason why governments are broke. Repeat this in cities and states across the country.

The more I read these stories the more I realize there shouldn't be a deficit crisis. Just recalibrate public sector workers' pay and benefits so they are equal to the private sector. Any reasonable person would agree that that is fair. It would balance the books real quick, and maybe even reduce the crushing tax burden that is destroying our country.

I'm capable of reading a lot of information and regurgitation

Detroit. As a fellow American, sometimes I don't know if I should laugh or cry or just shake my head in amazement. Is this really the best Detroit can offer its young people?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Houston/Galveston 1964

It must have been blistering in Colt Stadium that day. The San Jacinto Battleground looks the same. There is a brief flash of the now unrecognizable Houston skyline from Memorial Drive at 2:15.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Houston, we have incoming clichés.

Get ready for the incoming rounds, Houston

It's Bill White vs Rick Perry, no surprise. Bill White was a popular* mayor, and since a quarter of Texas voters are in the Houston area the Perry campaign will pretty much write us off anyway. As in the 2000 presidential election, Houston will become a primary target, only this time Houston will be used to beat up on a Democrat. Look for an abundance of stale "we have a problem" references:
  • Houston, we have a sanctuary city problem
  • Houston, we have a pension problem
  • Houston, we have a smog problem
Perry staffers and allied groups will be referring to "Hellhole" and Montrose before the summer is over. Mark my words.

* Not wholly deserved. White is very articulate compared with his predecessor, Lee P. Brown, so he has that going for him. White was also mayor during a time of high oil prices, resulting in a relatively good local economy. But White bent us taxpayers over and made us spread for the municipal workers, leaving us with a pension system that is about to go nuclear on Annise Parker's watch. Like Bill Clinton in 2000, White benefited from forces beyond his control and got out of town just in time before things collapsed.

Steve Jobs steps on his John Thomas

Apple sues Google to stop the Android platform (which is what they are really doing, HTC is simply the weakest target). Apple has built up an enormous reservoir of goodwill over the past decade because they were perceived as being cool and different and high-quality. With just one lawsuit they've drained that reservoir, alienating the people that willingly pay the Apple premium and destroying one of their most important business relationships.

I won't make the shark reference since it's overused at this point.

Rollover

I've been sleeping on the trundle bed for two months now. I don't "get up," really. I sort of roll over onto the floor and hoist myself up. Bonus: We found a very old pillowcase last used when I was my son's age. 70's graphics were the best.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Americans need stimulation

First time I've seen television at the gas pump. I guess that staring mindlessly at the screen as they show highlights from the SI Swimsuit Edition keeps your mind off the numbers.

I am not so sure that it's a great advertising value. Sure, there's a captive audience. But I doubt that anyone retains information during these 3-4 minutes. It's just something to stare at.

The China That Can Say No

China is feeling cocky. A new book there is popular.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China should build the world's strongest military and move swiftly to displace the United States as the global "champion," a Chinese PLA officer says in a new book reflecting swelling nationalist ambitions.

The call for China to abandon modesty about its global goals and "sprint to become world number one" comes from a People's Liberation Army (PLA) Senior Colonel, Liu Mingfu, who warns that his nation's ascent will alarm Washington, risking war despite Beijing's hopes for a "peaceful rise."

"China's big goal in the 21st century is to become world number one, the top power," Liu writes in his newly published Chinese-language book, "The China Dream."
There was a best-selling book that came out 21 years ago.