Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Modern President Am I Most Like?

You Are Most Like George W. Bush

So what if you're not exactly popular? You still rule the free world.
And while you may be quite conservative now, you knew how to party back in the day!

They make a good point...I do rule.

I think my feelings on this can be best summed up by the words of Chevy Chase who, on Weekend Update once (fake) quoted Sammy Davis Jr. as having said, "What a breakthrough! Now finally I can hate myself!"

HIV/AIDS News Today

Here's a fun fact: If you identify yourself as gay, you cannot donate blood in America.

Some good news from Libya: Muammar Gaddafi's son has said that 6 foreign healthcare workers who had been convicted (railroaded) of intentionally infecting hundreds of children with HIV will not be executed.


Zimbabwean Doctors On Strike

In yet another symptom of the disastrous economic policies of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's Doctors have gone on strike to protest the devaluation of their wages due to rampant (1,200%) inflation.

They are demanding an 8,000% pay increase!

This may seem like a singular occurance which is being driven by highly skilled workers, but it is likely that strikes could occur in all sectors of the workforce. (Nurses have already joined the Doctors' strike.)

When no one is working, people tend to make trouble for their governments.

Just a thought, President Mugabe.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Evening Chuckle: 1-800-I-REALLY-ENJOY-CARPETING

Mitch Hedberg was a great stand-up.


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

"We better be damn sure we know what we are doing...before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder."

I had heard about Senator Chuck Hagel's tirade against the President's plan for escalating the Iraq War but I hadn't actually seen it all. (My sister-in-law sent it to me - Thanks Rhonda!)

It's pretty impressive straight talk to hear from any politician, let alone a Senator in the President's own party. (Of course, it would have been more helpful 4 years ago.) It's worth watching.

Good for you, Senator. Go Huskers!

Also, here is an interview with Hagel on how #^@%ed up things are right now.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Demonstrably Unelectable Candidate Drops Out of Presidential Race

Only a mere 56 days after Bill Frist had the good sense to drop out, John Kerry has decided to spend more time doing his job (hint: Senator) and will not run for President in 2008. (In other words, Bill Frist was 2 months less deluded and full of himself than Kerry - for those of you keeping score at home.)

[I'm going to just take a personal moment and say, "Thank God". Now we will be spared the next two years of Kerry trying to talk to us. He's so overly verbose that his point gets lost in all the words. He's like an inverse caveman. Or, more appropriately, Frankenstein's monster. Or Tonto. Or W.]

I guess someone reminded him that, back in 2004, he lost an unlose-able election and, two months ago, he tried to throw another unlose-able election in which he wasn't even running!

Botched joke? Regardless of what you think of the President, I think we can all agree, if you can't properly deliver a George W. Bush is stupid joke, YOU CAN'T TALK. Period.

But I digress.

Good for you Senator. Honestly. You can do more good being a Senator than a failed Presidential candidate. Although, I have feeling you'll be rearing your head again in 2012 or 2016.

Presidential ambitions don't die...and neither do Frankenstein's monsters.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Welcome Botswana!

I got my first hit from Botswana today.

Oddly enough, it was an MSN search for "market controls" and had nothing to do with my "Zimbabwe is the worst country in the world" campaign. [For those who don't know, Zimbabwe is Botswana's Mexico.]

So, in an attempt to bring in more Botswanan readers, here's a story from a Botswanan point of view about the economic conditions in Zimbabwe. (Speaking of which, the Zimbabwean dollar is continuing its slide. "The US dollar was quoted as high as $3,500 [Zimbabwean dollars], up from $3,000 at the start of the year." Go Mugabe!)

Also, more farmland re-distribution is going on. This is presented as being meant to help the poor but it actually benefits members of the ruling party. Some farmers actually have the guts to fight for their land.

The Zimbabwean (weak) anti-ruling party party is making a push for Presidential elections next year. The current President (for life) Robert Mugabe will not be going anywhere anytime soon, unfortunately.

Finally, in non-Zimbabwe related Africa news, a cheery little story about how the negligence of the South African government has led to the impending deaths of 10,000 teachers from HIV/AIDS.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Evening Chuckle: Shouting 'Nerd' at People Is Not What Punk's All About

Matthew is going through a mid-life crisis.

Nerdly McNerdsville.


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Fidel Castro: Most. Hilarious. Death. Ever.

If there was ever a situation that the word schadenfreude was tailor made for, it is this.

The story this time is that Castro has had several failed intestinal surgeries which have resulted in him, and this is a bit technical, pooping inside himself.

Well...that's just a cryin' shame.

I guess the brilliant Cuban health care system that is always held up to distract from the atrocities of the Castro regime isn't so hot after all. Huh. Who ever would have guessed?

However hilariously tragic this may be, it doesn't mean anything until the Cuban government announces that Castro has died.

But the guy is on his way out. (Just so you know, if you've pooped IN yourself, you're gone. Probably gladly so.) Can we please stop the idiotic embargo now? We've had this policy in place for almost one-fifth of the history of our country and all it has done is help guarantee crushing poverty for millions of people and give a brutal dictator an excuse for the God-awful living conditions he created.

Oh and it drove an old man to poop in himself. (I apologize, but I can't get enough of that. BTW, guess how I'm gonna die now.) Funny? Yes. But hardly efficient.

[PS: God forgive me.]

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday Media Dump

Lots of stuff today.


New House bill to roll back oil company tax breaks and use the money to research renewable energy. This alone was worth voting for the Democrats.

"White House: No Plan To Attack Iran, Syria". They didn't a have plan for Iraq, either. [BTW, Iran is a MUCH larger country than Iraq. Enjoy.]

Middle East

We have people in this country freaking out about a Muslim Congressman and, meanwhile, Israel is appointing an Arab Muslim to their cabinet. I hope we grow up someday.

Egypt's President wants Iran to keep out of Iraq.


Interesting story about US involvement in Somalia.

DDT is making a comeback and, this time, it is saving people's lives.

A crazy preacher in Nigeria was sentenced to hang for lighting some of his parishioners on fire.


China will increase the flexibility with which it allows it's currency, the yuan, to trade thanks to a 74% increase in the country's trade surplus.

More on China's strategy for African influence and in the Middle East.

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US to Turkey: Do As We Say, Not As We Did

Turkey says it will invade Iraq if it feels like it.

As long time readers of this blog will already know, Turkey has been repeatedly attacked by the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), a group that wants to carve an independent Kurdistan out of Northern Iraq (where they have their main base of operations) and parts Iran, Syria, and Turkey. The PKK has been protected by the Kurdish government and the Turks have already made some incursions into Iraqi Kurdistan to attack PKK positions. The US has been trying to halt Turkish intervention without doing much to pressure the Kurdish government to crack down on the PKK. (This conflict was alluded to during the President's speech this week.)

The PKK called a unilateral ceasefire last year that was rejected by the Turkish government and the Kurds have made at least some efforts towards curbing the PKK. I haven't seen much in the Turkish media about the PKK in quite a while. I assume this is because PKK attacks had all but stopped.

The Turks don't appear ready to let this go, however. They also said it is hypocritical of the US to tell them that they can't invade Iraq since the US did just that. This, despite the fact that Turkey is being attacked by ACTUAL terrorists based in Iraq. You will recall that the threat of terrorists in Iraq was one of the lies used to sell the Iraq war the the American public. "But its cute when we do it!"

This was yet another one of the consequences the Bush administration was warned about and chose to ignore before invading Iraq.

I would also like to point out that this is the STABLE part of Iraq.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Evening Chuckle: Merry X-Mas

This is a few weeks late but Futurama never goes out of season...it just gets canceled.

Enjoy. (PS: I may be off for a while again, I am being forced to switch to the new blogger. Keep your fingers crossed.)

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Foresight, China Style

This is what misogyny and overpopulation gets you:

China will be short 30 million women of marrying age in 15 years.

Thanks to the "one-couple, one-child" rule, families have been giving away, aborting, or killing their female children for roughly 30 years.
"China’s population is forecast to peak at 1.5 billion in 2033. That growth, coupled with consequent demographic imbalances, will threaten social stability, the economy, the environment and jobs. By 2020, the report says, the number of men of marriageable age will outnumber women by 30 million. 'The resulting confusion in the social order will become a serious hidden problem influencing social stability.'"
And to make everything more complicated, the population is getting old:
"The number of people of working age - between 15 and 64 - will increase from 860 million in 2000 to 1.01 billion in 2016, according to the report. That is more than the total in all the world’s developed nations In the next 20 years, up to 300 million people will leave their farms and descend on towns and cities to live and work. The report said: 'Our country is currently experiencing the largest human movement and migration in history.'

China is having to cope with becoming the world’s first country to grow old before it grows rich. The number of people over 60 will jump from the current 143 million to 430 million by 2040."
So, maybe China won't be such a threat to the US after all...but probably they will. They'll just be sexually frustrated to boot.

Good luck with all that...



The House of Cards is Falling

OK, Climate change skeptics: Exxon Mobil is giving up funding groups that spread doubt about global warming. Oh, and they are also looking at ways to help curb emissions.

So, the biggest oil company in the world - the main beneficiary of the lie that their is no global climate change - can't bring itself to sell that lie anymore. Hopefully, this will convert a few of you idiots out there. (But I doubt it.)

For everyone else, this is great news.

Also, NOAA has finally said that greenhouse gases are contributing to global warming.

Hopefully, we can put this asinine argument behind us and start to do something to actually help the problem.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Evening Chuckle: Stay Classy...Planet Earth

Enjoy the opening Ron Burgundy montage from "Anchorman".

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Stupid = Dangerous

I think most people would be surprised to learn that there is a group of people out there who dispute the fact that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus.

Seriously. [These are the same kind of science deniers who don't believe in climate change or evolution. Enjoy the comparison, idiots, its apt.]

In fact, one of these groups in South Africa has brought charges at the Hague against the head of another group that is trying to get lifesaving drugs to HIV infected South Africans.

Holy crap.


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Democracy Called on Account of Numbskullery

President Bush has apparently decided that the will of the American people can go #*@% itself.

61% or 70% (depending on the poll - they're both really, really high) of Americans oppose the President's surge.

Guess what? Its gonna happen anyway! [The token show of spine by the Congress today just makes me want to laugh/cry.]

A majority of Americans think the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research should be eased. The House passed a bill today that would do just that, 253-174.

Guess what? Bush's second-ever-veto will be the same as his first ever veto: to defeat this bill.

Oh, and another item that people want done, negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs for Medicare? If that gets passed tomorrow, Bush will veto it.

I would be the last person to ever say that popular opinion makes something right but, sometimes, the mob gets it right. I would hope that, sometime, the President would listen to his employers not just his base, his contributors, or the people whispering in his ear about his "legacy".


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The One Sane Man at AEI

Norm Ornstein, Congressional historian at the (otherwise bat$#!# insane) American Enterprise Institute, has an article with some suggestions on how to make Congress a true deliberative body again and not a partisan, retard frat house.

Good advice. Good luck.

The President's Speech

I want to believe the President of the United States.

I want Iraq to be a functioning democracy.

I want the Middle East to be stable.

Will 20,000 extra troops do it? Probably not.

However, I heard many things in the speech that would be good steps if they happen. Bringing Baath party members back into the government for one. I'm always a big fan of smoothing over Turk-Kurd relations but that won't stop Sunni-Shiite violence.

The main reason I have to hope and pray that this strategy will work is that, sadly, we have no other choice. The President can do what he pleases and I fear the Congress will, once again, be too weak to do anything to stop him.

So, all we have left is hope. Pray.

PS: The President said the responsibility rests with him. I'm tired of politicians saying they take responsibility for something when there are no consequences. If the President wants to take responsibility for the cluster#*&% of a mistake of a war he started, he should resign. Immediately. However, I don't blame him for not doing what any member of Congress who authorized the war, R or D, has been too cowardly to do. They should show him the way.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Evening Chuckle: Puppet-on-Puppet Violence

What more of an intro do you need? Enjoy.

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Israel Hedges It's Bets

Say what you will about Israel, they always have an eye on the future and their own strategic interest.

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert is in Beijing to sign treaties with China.

At least someone has some foresight.


Stem Cell Developments

Good news on the stem cell front:

The embryonic stem (ES) cell bill that President Bush vetoed last year will be brought up again in the House tomorrow. This bill would allow ES cell research to receive federal funding. Supporters are hopeful that this time they will have a veto-proof majority. I'm skeptical of that but I think they should make the President veto this bill as many times as they can.

In other promising stem cell developments, stem cells similar to ES cells have been found in amniotic fluid. These may prove to be as useful, or nearly as useful, as ES cells. Even the Vatican is cool with this!

Back of the line for treatments, Blame Science First Crowd!

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another Reason to Care about Africa

Because China does.

China is currently dumping money into the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) to curry favor with the government.

This will result in China getting access to the Ivory Coast's natural resources, including it's undeveloped oil resources.

That's one more source for resources that we we won't have and one more corner of the world where China will have more influence than us.

People don't seem to realize that China is a bigger threat to the US than so-called "Islamofascists" and, not only are we ignoring the threat, we are helping fund it.

Thanks Wal-Mart!


New Electric Car from GM

Sometime in the next 5 years.

The Chevy Volt can go 40 miles on a single charge and has a gasoline engine to re-charge the battery that gets 50 mpg. The car can also run on E85 ethanol.

Nice. None of that hydrogen fuel-cell crap.

Its about damn time GM. Now hurry the hell up and get it to market.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Zimbabwe: The Worst Country in the World

The Zimbabwean Flag

This is something I've been wanting to write about for some time: Zimbabwe.

I first came to the conclusion that Zimbabwe is the worst country in the world (and when I say that, I mean country with a functioning government - I don't include failed states like Somalia, Iraq [yes, Iraq], or, say, Canada) when I saw an episode of "Wide Angle" about the Zimbabwe/Botswana border. Botswana has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Zimbabwe is Botswana's Mexico. Zimbabweans jump the border to find work and the Botswanans are none too happy about it.

The President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, while originally elected democratically, has installed himself as de facto dictator. He has mishandled the economy, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and even the country's ability to grow it's own food. Zimbabwe is in a contest with Swaziland for lowest life expectancy on the planet. Of course, Zimbabwe has 13 times as many people as Swaziland.

This post was sparked by something I read today: The last two independent newspapers in the country are under attack by the Mugabe government. They stripped the publisher of these newspapers of his citizenship! Not that Zimbabwean citizenship is a prize or anything but come on!

In other news, vandalism has caused 2,000 households in the capital to lose power. That might not seem like such a headline but it is unknown if the government will be able to afford to fix the vandalized equipment due to the fact that they are cash poor and are suffering from 1,000%+ inflation. (That is not a typo.)

Africa is a messed up place. Zimbabwe is messed up for Africa.

I'll be checking in with Zimbabwe frequently, so stay tuned.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Evening Chuckle: Now That's (Bad) Entertainment!, Part 2

Part 2 of the Legion of Impact! [WARNING: This violates my usual no profanity rule.]

Sorry for the delay.


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