Jun 27

The dangers of having cable TV

I was watching wassname, the old pudgy anchor on espn, interview Lance Armstrong last night. Not Chris Berman, the other guy. It was infuriating. The “reporter” was trying to practice his faux news “gotcha” journalism, when there was no cause and Lance’s counterarguments gave no opening for such a thing. It was pathetic.

Example: after Lance left, in reference to the woman who just testified under oath and whom Lance had already discussed in this segment, the “reporter” turned to his second guest and asked, “HOW MUCH does this woman HARM Armstong’s credibility?”

Grr.

I left ESPN on too long last night in the background. For noise, you see. Also, it’s the only consistent HD channel and all my Netflix movies are out. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I lost at least 20 IQ points.

Update: aha. It’s Bob Ley.
Bob Ley

You, sir, ought to be ashamed of yourself. That was a horrible, unfair, embarassingly bad performance.

Jun 26

Bloated drug whore con still a bloated drug whore con

… only now, he’s an IMPOTENT bloated drug whore con.

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh was detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening.

Limbaugh was returning on a flight from the Dominican Republic when customs officials found a Viagra prescription that did not bear his name. Instead, the bottle of pills had the names of two doctors on it according to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents examined the 55-year-old’s luggage after his private plane landed at the airport from the Dominican Republic. The matter was then turned over to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators seized the drugs – used to treat erectile dysfunction – from Limbaugh.

You just know this has to violate his probation agreement. Anyone know if there’s a 2-strike law in Florida with no judicial discretion? FSM doesn’t love me that much, I know (love me, bitch! I’ll even make some butter sauce for you!), but I thought it was worth asking.

He was probably just looking for a new mannish news anchor on a crappy network for a little beachtime lovin’ in the DR (you know, one who won’t dump his ass). Can’t you just imagine him whispering sweet genocidal bigoted nothings in her ear? Can’t you just hear him scream “what’s my anal cyst’s name, baby! Say my ANAL CYST’s name!” as he comes?

Limbaugh and his DR honey[fn1]

If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here in the corner pouring Drano in my skull to cleanse this image from my mind.

[fn1] Yes, I know I’m going to hell for this picture. In my defense someone else made this first for a now-defunct politics site and then someone besides those guys posted it on flickr, and then I modified it to take out the face of the (no longer BDWC’s gf) woman. Because I’m thoughtful like that.

Update: Wolcott joins the fray

Now there is no shame in requiring wood enhancement. Men have needs, and if Viagra enables the little fella to jut proudly from the folds of the dragon kimono bequeathed to Rush by the late Allan Bloom, it is not for us to cast judgement.

Dragon kimono. Nice one.

Update: Also, Firedoglake is totally copying me (see here and here, the second referring to a different-than-this post o’ mine, and I’ve had this photo available on my VoldemortSite for over 3 years!). Man, some people… Sure, they may say independent creation. They may say obviousness. They may even saaaay great minds think alike. But whatev… flattery!

That’s OK Firedoglaketistas, I’ll let you ride on Grumpy’s coattails. This once. And turn down that music! Damn kids.

Update 2: no charges against bloatie… yet. Note that the trip was an all-male excursion to the Dominican Republic, along with the producers of that wonderful pro-torture series 24 (and an actress on that show is currently, *shudder*, Shamu’s lover. Think she’s happy about the trip?). I wonder what they were doing there? Probably scouting for baseball talent.

Jun 26

TomKat’s fake kid

I was just thinking about “Suri” the supposed kid of TomKat. Why was I thinking about this? Because there still haven’t been pictures. And Holmes’ obviously fake pregnancy prostethics thing. And Cruise is totally not into shooting his seed into women.

Anyway, they’re saying that no one would pay enough for the pictures now, but what I really think happened is that the adoption papers for the kid from Russia got held up and they haven’t been able to bring the baby out into the light yet. Either that or thetans ate it and they need to synthesize a new fake baby and are not yet finished.

Jun 26

NeoProhibition meets the American Taliban

This prohibition is just as idiotic and hyperbolic as the last one. In Michigan, you can now get a DUI if you have any traces of marijuana in your system… even weeks-old already metabolized marijuana.

Pot smokers beware! That joint you smoked four weeks ago could come back to haunt you under a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court.

In a 4-3 vote, the court ruled that motorists can be prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs if they test positive for any trace of marijuana, including a metabolized remnant that experts say can stay in a person’s system for weeks after the smoke.

This is ridiculous. The court’s ruling here has no basis in science or law and as such should be reversed on appeal. This is what happens when you let prohibitionists and the American Taliban try and rule American society from the bench. Here’s your activist judges, righties.

Jun 26

One of the seminal moments in sports entertainment

When Rowdy Roddy Piper coldcocked Superfly Snuka with a coconut. What a glorious day for fake entertainment the WWF.

Update it appears that YouTube is killing my feeds in their entirety (not just the offending posts). This sucks, but the solution doesn’t appear trivial, so I’ll be linking to YouTube instead of displaying here for a while. Well, the solution appears trivial, but validator’s still flagging object tags as invalid, so… FU, validator. You little bitch.

Jun 26

Warren Buffet impresses again

As he gives away the majority of his fortune to a variety of charities

Warren E. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and one of the world’s wealthiest men, plans to donate the bulk of his $44 billion fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four other philanthropies starting in July.

The donations, outlined in a series of letters that Mr. Buffett released yesterday and will execute today, represent a singular and historic act of charitable giving that vaults him into the top tier of industrialists and entrepreneurs like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller Sr., Henry Ford, J. Paul Getty, W. K. Kellogg and Mr. Gates himself, all men whose fortunes have endowed some of the world’s richest private foundations.

Mr. Buffett plans to give away 85 percent of his fortune, or about $37.4 billion, all in Berkshire stock. Of that amount, he will channel the greatest share, about $31 billion, into the Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation, dedicated to improving health and education, especially in poor nations, is already the United States’ largest grant-making foundation, with current assets of almost $30 billion. Mr. Buffett’s huge contribution may permanently solidify that philanthropy’s standing as the biggest and most influential organization of its kind. Mr. Buffett will join Mr. and Mrs. Gates as a trustee of their foundation.

His lack of egotism is remarkable. You don’t see the Carnegies or the Rockefellers doing this, do you? That not having to set up his own foundation also saves millions in administrative costs is just icing on the cake. And further proof that Buffet is a smart, goodish man.

Right on, Warren.

Jun 25

Tarantino

Listening to the 13 millionth commercial to use the 5,6,7,8’s song “Woo Hoo“, I started thinking about Quentin Tarantino. More specifically about how he may be the single most influential motherfucker of the last 20 years.

Seriously, how many trends has he started? How many careers has he revived? How many things has he made cool? How many styles of his have people copied? How has he made things cool when he’s such a hypergeek (actually, that one’s easy: he loves movies. he loves things. and that love is infectious and carries over into the films)?

Let’s count some of ’em off:

  • Black suit, white shirt, black tie, sunglasses (Res Dogs, Pulp, Jackie Brown)
  • Michael Madsen (Res Dogs)
  • John Travolta (Pulp)
  • Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp. Yes, he had a career before, but Jules made him)
  • Jungle Boogie/Kool and the Gang (Pulp)
  • Surf Music (Pulp)
  • Uma Thurman (Kill Bill)
  • Rosie Greer (Jackie)
  • The 5,6,7,8s (Kill Bill)
  • Time bending crime capers (Pulp)
  • Robert Forster (Jackie)
  • Fast talking pop culture references as “cool” (Pulp)

It’s probably too early, but I’d throw Sonny Chiba and the Shaw Brothers movies. Not to mention tertiary interests like being responsible for John Woo and Chow Yun Fat’s Hollywood careers.

That’s an amazing body of influence in roughly 15 years and 4 films directed, 8 written/doctored… and that’s not even going into all the catchy phrases like “Gonna get medieval on your ass,” “Royale with cheese,” etc.

I know he’s not some people’s favorite (*cough* ghostfinger *cough*), but I can’t think of another person outside I would rather have write and direct a custom movie for me. OK, maybe a tie with Joss Whedon. Still, he’s way up there on my admiration list, which I’m sure

High point: too many to list and still ongoing. Gun to my head, I’m going with Pulp, but a unitary Kill Bill is probably a superior movie. The Jules-Vincent Vega conversation at the opening of Pulp Fiction is probably the most iconographic.

Low: the script doctoring moments that were just painful. I’m talking about the Silver Surfer discussion horribleness in Crimson Tide and the animal cracker bullshit in Armageddon. *shudder*

Jun 25

Feingold for preznit!

I watched Press the Meat Meet the Press today and was greatly impressed, once again, by Russ Feingold. You can watch the video at C&L.

The worst thing we could possible do is what Vice President Cheney and President Bush did which was take us into an unnecessary war — that had nothing to do with 9/11 — on false pretenses. They have done the worst thing that has ever been done in this regard.

Feingold was articulate, thoughtful, reasonable, intelligent, and in all other ways exactly what I would like to see in a preznit.

Which, of course, means that he doesn’t have a chance in hell.

Feingold’s way too easy of a target for the right wing slime machine. First, there’s the… how do you say? … Jewy jew jew jew surname. Apparently, Lieberman can get away with it because he’s tongue kissed Our Dear Leader, but Feingold? Not so much. Not to be overly elitist libruhl or anything, but I can’t imagine a successful candidacy so long as identity politics dominate in the south (read: the southern whites are taught to hate Jews, Blacks, and Queers. Yeeeeehaw! At the very least, the identity politics, which have their strongest hold among whites in America in the former confederate states).

Feingold also is the only senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act and the Iraq war resolution. While this is a good thing in my book, we’re talking about attacks from the guys who were able to turn Max Cleland, a Vietnam veteran who left three limbs in a foreign land fighting for his country, into bin Laden’s best friend. Jesus, thinking about that campaign makes me hope for the dino killer to land on the fucking idiots in Georgia. Then again, I don’t want to starve, I want to go out in the first blast, so land on me, meteor! Land on me! Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, Feingold’s awesomeness.

This probably is nothing, but Feingold’s tan’s kind of weird too, in that country club/yahct/orange-y way. I mean, he’s no Boehner of course (no one is), but he’s still kind of… orangey. He’ll have to turn that down for election season. No more yachting for you!

Still, he’s the best major party progressive currently out there, he’s got a hell of a track record, and he doesn’t back down. I respect him. He and Wesley Clark are my top-tier choices (since Gore is not going to run, and Obama has proven to be a paper tiger so far), and I would welcome with open arms a Feingold presidency.

So, uh, kudos to Feingold. You rock, dude. Why don’t you move on over to my state and kick Grumpy Blood Enemy Cantwell from office? I’ll back ya, buddy.

Update: hellooooo Canossa readers. Welcome and… hey! Take off your shoes before you grind mud all into my carpets! Jeez!

Jun 25

Anyone using bloglines?

For some reason, I can’t get any of my feeds on any of my sites to show up as new in their interface. So whenever I post (or anyone posts, or anyone comments), I have no idea unless I go to the site. Not a big deal, since they’re my sites but it will hamper other people’s usage. Occasionally ThatOtherSiteThatShallNotBeNamed updates, but Grumpasaurus… never.

So, is anyone using bloglines, and if so are you getting notifications of new posts?

Jun 25

50,000

50,000. The number of Iraqi dead in our war of aggression

At least 50,000 Iraqis have died violently since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to statistics from the Baghdad morgue, the Iraqi Health Ministry and other agencies — a toll 20,000 higher than previously acknowledged by the Bush administration.

I’m sure Tony Snow will say “it’s just a number.”

Jun 25

Grumpy Company Boycott: AT&T

Why? Because they just redesigned their privacy policy so that AT&T owns your confidential data. I always love it when companies violate our privacy and I love it even more when companies rewrite their privacy policy in order to better aid a government conducting illegal warrantless wiretaps.

AT&T has issued an updated privacy policy that takes effect Friday. The changes are significant because they appear to give the telecom giant more latitude when it comes to sharing customers’ personal data with government officials.

The new policy says that AT&T — not customers — owns customers’ confidential info and can use it “to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process.”

The policy also indicates that AT&T will track the viewing habits of customers of its new video service — something that cable and satellite providers are prohibited from doing.

Moreover, AT&T (formerly known as SBC) is requiring customers to agree to its updated privacy policy as a condition for service — a new move that legal experts say will reduce customers’ recourse for any future data sharing with government authorities or others.

I hear “my way or the highway” is a great customer satisfaction model.

If you have no other telecom recourse in your area, it’s a contract of adhesion and void. If you do have another option in your area and you currently use AT&T, I urge you to switch. Qwest was the only domestic carrier to fight the government’s illegal requests. If you only long-distance, may I suggest Working Assets?

Update: I wanted to point out that if you are an AT&T customer and they change these terms on you and will not provide you service unless you agree to these new terms, this renders your contract void. This means that you can get out of your contract, regardless of the length, with no penalty whatsoever. In legal terms, they have voided the existing contract and given you a new contract offer (whose terms include taking on the terms of the previous contract). As they voided the previous agreement, there is no early termination fee to worry about.

Not that they won’t try, of course, but you can tell them to sit & spin… and know that the law is on your side. [fn1]

[fn1] This is not legal advice. Before taking action, be sure to consult your attorney. Who is not me. At all.

Jun 24

Hypocrisy, much?

Turns out, the undead can speak

Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking at a political luncheon in Chicago, denounced the decision to reveal the existence of the financial monitoring program and the earlier-disclosed National Security Agency surveillance program.

“What I find most disturbing about these stories is that some of the news media take it upon themselves to disclose vital national security programs, thereby making it more difficult for us to prevent future attacks against the American people,” Cheney said. “That offends me.”

Disclose vital national security programs, like, oh, blowing the cover of undercover operatives trying to keep nukes out of the hands of dangerous despots for domestic political goals?

Jun 24

Proof that men can be feminists

Joss Whedon at the Equality Now conference:

Equality is not a concept. It is not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity, we need it to stand on this Earth as men and women.

Serenity is being shown around the country right now as a fundraiser for Equality Now. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s good, and now you can for a good cause.

Whedon’s a good representative for what I consider the ideal of the creative class. Smart, funny, and using entertainment to show that which should be normal. No, not vampires and space cowboys, but gender equality. Right on, Joss.

Jun 23

Seven rubes in a tin can

I know the right wing bigotsphere is collectively typing one-handed today about the big raid in Miami, where seven terrorists were arrested, but it’s really not a big story. Here’s why:

The wannabes? Are idiots.

I’m glad that a criminal conspiracy was caught and stopped before anyone could get hurt, but these guys? Are not going to be the ones who are successful. Check this out:

Seven men concocted a plot to “kill all the devils we can,” starting by blowing up Chicago’s Sears Tower, according to charges in a federal indictment revealed Friday.

But the federal grand jury indictment also painted a picture of a group that had no weapons or other supplies for an alleged “jihad” that was intended to be “as good or greater than 9/11.”

Narseal Batiste, considered the recruiter of the group, according to the document, tried to reach out to al Qaeda by contacting someone who was an FBI operative posing as a member of the terrorist network.

Batiste allegedly told the informant that he was organizing an Islamic army to wage a jihad in the United States.

The indictment says Batiste gave the informant a list of equipment he needed, including “boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios and vehicles” as well as bullet-proof vests and $50,000 in cash.

To reiterate: they had no plan, they had no connections, and there was no chance they were going to get anywhere. C’mon… terrorist uniforms?

This would have been a standard police stop a few years ago. Crazies with plans to blow up the world are arrested all the time. These guys aren’t even as sophisticated as the shoe bomber, who walked onto a plane and all but asked the stewardess for a lighter and pointed her to the fuse sticking out of his shoe.

These guys are so dumb, they tried to join al Qaeda via an internet chatroom.

These guys were so bereft of resources, they couldn’t even buy their own shoes.

The only people that our massive government expenditures have been able to catch are the ones too crazy to hide and too stupid to breathe. Massaoui, these guys, the shoe bomber. They had nothing but aspirations. Anyone serious or well funded or intelligent or is going to be much, much harder to catch.

Speaking of which, when was the last time a white person was detained on terrorism charges? When was the last time a McVeigh was detained in Oklahoma or Idaho?

Like I said, though, a criminal conspiracy caught before it could do harm is a good thing. This isn’t a massive victory in “the war on terror.”

Funny how the righties don’t seem to acknowledge that it was police work that stopped the plot rather than military action, isn’t it?