July 28, 2005

Brand Coldcuts
— Ace

Content warning. more...

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Old, Dated, But, On The Other Hand, Very Geeky
— Ace

I could have sworn at some point I saw a Cthulhu parody of the Brand Dem thing. Maybe I just imagined it; Google can't seem to find it.

I did stumble across this site, for Cthulhu For President (in '04). He ran, I'm informed, as the nominee of the "Elder Party."

So geeky that the webspace was provided by Chaosium, the guys who do the Cthulhu RPG.

Not really laugh-out-loud funny but kind of amusing in that "oh yeah, I remember the tcho-tcho" sort of way.

Posted by: Ace at 09:25 AM | Comments (7)
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Steven Bochco's Over There: He Supports Our Dead-Ender, Defeatist, Sub-Moronic Psychopathic Troops
— Ace

Cake or Death reviews his new show. There's no singing this time, but there's a lot of brutishness... on the part of our troops.

Steven Bochco can suck my cock.

This is the sort of glib liberal fool that Hollywood entrusts for this sort of project. No Donald Belasarius, no Steven J. Cannell.

And yes, I know Steven J. Cannell would have our troops assisted by cute robots and zooming around Baghdad in "Assault Ferraris," but shit, I'd still watch it.

Well, no I wouldn't. But I'd promote it.

A Contrary Take: Jessica, guest-posting at Alarming News, says it's actually a good show.

Hmmmm... not sure I care either way, unfortunately. I don't like "shows."

Posted by: Ace at 09:03 AM | Comments (11)
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Battered By Plame Investigation, Bush Forced To Push Through Laws He Favors, Celebrate Successes
— Ace

Good catch of a sarcastic bit from ABC's The Note, where annoyed liberal reporters pine for a Democratic Party with an agenda greater than "Karl Rove should be in jail.

Not that I expect liberals to listen, but I will repeat: This is exactly how Republicans fell out of favor in the late nineties. Our "politics" became obsessive about bringing a few odious personalities before the bar of justice and we neglected real policy questions.

It's odd. The public, I'd guess, doesn't really know if CAFTA is a good or bad agreement, while they do have gut-level opinions about the Plame matter. Just the same they had gut-level opinions about Clinton but probably weren't certain that bombing Serbia was in America's best interest.

So you might expect them to be more animated about the stuff they understand (because, heck, it's simple) and care less about the stuff they don't know enough about to form a strong opinion. But I don't think they do. While they might know more about Rove and Clinton than CAFTA and Serbia, they also know that CAFTA and Serbia are more important, and they don't trust politicians who seem dedicated to pursuing trivial personal paybacks.

The fact that CAFTA and Serbia are complex matters doesn't mean they don't appreciate politicians "doing something about" those issues, right or wrong; indeed, the whole point of democracy is to vote people into office to work on issues that are too difficult for the average guy, holding a full time job, to fully research and form a coherent opinion on.

Another one of Clinton's lessons the raging reactionaries on the left have forgotten.

Posted by: Ace at 08:35 AM | Comments (13)
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— Ace

Oliver Willis, of course. His forte is mixing the juvenile with the cretinous.

This is part of his "Brand Dem" campaign, which I never really understood. What does it mean? Is he trying to make the Democratic "brand" hip, something the kids would wear rather than Tommy Hilfiger?

I don't know. I know it's not funny, that's for sure. And it seems ripe for photoshopping. If you've got alternative slogans, let me know, and I'll see if I can't get someone to take a couple of the best and "brand" it on the donkey through some easy photoshopping.

Thanks to Allah.

Update: Daily Lunch reminds me that there's a Re-Brand Dem site where you can do quickie "photoshops" to your heart's content.

First One Up... more...

Posted by: Ace at 08:00 AM | Comments (38)
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Air America Update: Theft From Children Going Swimmingly; Ratings, Not So Much
— Ace

They're claiming that the it was only the precursor corporation to Air America that stole the money. Or something. I tried to read the brief explanation but my eyes gazed over.

The ratings are still in the tank, of course:

Air America's programming is now carried in part or in whole on 67 stations. Most are in smaller markets, such as Albuquerque, N.M.; Albany, N.Y.; and Reno, Nev.

Here [in Philadelphia], it doesn't even register a pulse. The flagship show, hosted by author and former Saturday Night Live comic Al Franken, airs from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays on WHAT (1340 AM).

Both WHAT and the show have fallen off the charts, according to radio-rating service Arbitron, meaning there were too few listeners to measure during the second quarter of this year - the so-called spring book. Franken's show didn't start on the station until Aug. 30.

Shockingly enough, everyone's not at the water cooler saying "Did you hear what Al Franken said this morning?"

Posted by: Ace at 07:52 AM | Comments (8)
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July 27, 2005

Quote of the Day
— Ace

From The New Criterion's blog. A British simp criticizes Blair for not seeking to "understand" the reasons for terror, but rather "merely" condemning it. David Clark continues:

No one doubts that the bombers are in the grip of an evil ideology. The question, unanswered in the acres of newsprint devoted to rubbishing the suggestion that terrorism is a political phenomenon, is why this ideology has grown in its appeal to young Muslims. To put it in the simplistic Manichean terms favoured by some, why is there more evil around than there used to be? On this there is nothing but silence.

The New Criterion answers:

Why is there more evil around, Mr. Clark? Maybe because evil has finally figured out that it doesn't need to hide in the shadows--it can walk around in broad daylight and still we'll find a way not to see it.

Remember when "defining deviancy down" only meant calling out-of-wedlock births fine and dandy?

Ah, the good old days.

Posted by: Ace at 05:01 PM | Comments (13)
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"Moderate" British Imam: Let's Keep An Open Mind; How Do We Know Four Dead Muslim Suspects Were Bombers Rather Than Victims?
— Ace

Apparently the word "moderate" is as elastic with respect to imams as it is with respect to Democratic politicians:

A press conference organised by the city council took an unexpected twist when the chairman of Birmingham central mosque, Mohammad Naseem, who is known as a moderate voice, attacked the way the bombings investigation had been carried out.

Dr Naseem said the government had given the impression Muslims were to be targeted. "Why do we not have an open mind about this?" he asked. "Terrorists can be anybody."

He had seen no evidence Muslims were responsible for the bombings and attempted attacks. He claimed the four men killed among others on July 7 could have been innocent passengers.

"Terrorists can be anybody." Uh huh.

This just in: six Iowan schoolgirls from the 4H Club -- "the Female Youth Group of Peace" (TM) -- abducted and beheaded a Jewish reporter today, proclaiming that further "infidels" would be "executed" until the Des Moines minor-league baseball team changes its name to the Rainbow Unicorns.

More like the "Religion of Cognitive Dissonance" if you ask me.

Thanks to Checkers McBamp.

Posted by: Ace at 04:48 PM | Comments (9)
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Japanese (Who Else?) Develop First Realistic MechaWhore Female Android
— Ace

Speaking of Westworld.

Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised - a "female" android called Repliee Q1.

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguru of Osaka University says one day robots could fool us into believing they are human.

It's even easier when you want to believe.

Repliee Q1 is not like any robot you will have seen before, at least outside of science-fiction movies.

She is designed to look human and although she can only sit at present, she has 31 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor, programmed to allow her to move like a human.

Ummm, I don't think the fact that she can only recline is going to hurt her sales.

"I have developed many robots before," Repliee Q1's designer, Professor Ishiguru, told the BBC News website, "but I soon realised the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance gives a robot a strong feeling of presence."


Their Caption: Professor Ishiguru (r) stresses the importance of appearance

Dirty pervert. I like how they point out he's on the (r).

Okay, here's the checklist:

Flyin' cars: NO

Bubble cities: NO

Clean Fusion Power: NO

Oxy-Gum: NO

Super Fembot Positronic Erotic RoboSluts: YES

Glad to see we've got our collective priorities in order.

Man-Hands Alert: GuinPens is bothered by the rather massive meathooks on that electrotrollop.

Okay... not a true fembot yet. More of a male robot who's undergone a sex change.

Let's just call it a TranDroid for now.

When they look like Pris or Rachel Rosen, let me know. Until then, I'll stick with the real thing.

By which I mean internet pornography.

Posted by: Ace at 03:54 PM | Comments (34)
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The Spy Who Came In From The Will-Call Window
— Ace

Objective SuperSpyMom Valerie Plame Bought Two Tickets To Anti-Bush Springsteen Fundraising Concert

Not against the rules, but geepers, sure does call into question the couple's impartiality. And she seems to have lied regarding the required FEC reporting:

The $372 donation to the anti-Bush group America Coming Together, first reported by Time magazine's Web site, was made in Plame's married name of Valerie E. Wilson and covered two tickets.

The Federal Election Commission record lists her occupation as "retired" even though she's still a CIA staffer. Under employer it says: "N.A."


Wilson — who played an active role in Democrat John Kerry's losing 2004 campaign — said the anti-Bush concert was "great" and told Time that his wife "doesn't recall listing herself as retired."

CIA rules allow campaign contributions, but the fact that Plame gave money to the anti-Bush effort is likely to raise eyebrows.

Federal rules require a political-action committee to ask all donors to list their employers.

"You don't have to provide it, but if you do, you shouldn't provide false information on those forms — like saying you're retired if you're not," said Larry Noble of the Center for Responsive Politics.

America Coming Together is one of the anti-Bush activist groups bankrolled by Bush-hating billionaire George Soros. He gave the group around $10 million.

What a pair.

Posted by: Ace at 03:15 PM | Comments (6)
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All-Time Champion of Reality TV Douches?
— Ace

No contest. Look, Johnny Fairplay claimed his grandmother had died to garner sympathy on Survivor, but 1, that was hilarious, and 2, he never made any bones that he was a manipulative, deceitful little shit. He proudly wore the black hat.

If you're watching Rock Star: INXS (and it's not very good, so you're probably not), you know that a wannabe frontman for the band, going by the improbable name "J.D. Fortune," is in fact The Biggest Douche In the Reality TV Universe. Not only is he cocky, grandstanding, condescending, manipulative, and an all-around jackass, but he brought in his sister to the audience as a prop, because he knew he couldn't sing the song he had connived to get ("We Are the Champions").

After singing a very bad version of it, he explained that he hadn't seen his sister in two years and was just overcome by the emotion of the planned, staged moment, thus his shaky off-pitch butchery ought to be excused.

"I'm doing all right, bro," he told Dave Navarro. "But I saw my sister, who I haven't seen in two years, and I just lost it." And then lots of fake tears.


I was PRAYING that someone after him would explain their own poor performance by saying, "Sorry, bro, but I saw J.D.'s sister, who I haven't seen in my entire life, and I just lost it." Tear, tear, sniffle, sniffle.

And not only is he Canadian, but I get this very powerful Nazi vibe off of him. He just reminds me of the fascist caricature Bob Geldof becomes near the end of the movie The Wall. I just always see him in a black trenchcoat with an emblem of crossed hammers.

Okay, He's the Biggest Male Douche: Omorosa from The Apprentice still reigns supreme.

Posted by: Ace at 02:02 PM | Comments (18)
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— Ace


In other related news...




It's not just me, guys. Even Drudge has really f'n' lame days.

Posted by: Ace at 01:02 PM | Comments (8)
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16 Unexploded Bombs Found In London Bomber's Trunk
— Ace

Police speculate that maybe they got to the car too quickly for other bombers to take the devices.

Which doesn't really make sense, because one would expect that all twenty would be detonated at the same time, if they were all in the same car. Obviously the system is going to be shut down for the rest of the day after the first bombing; so why bring them out of the safe-house at all, if not to be used simultaneously with the others?

So, I think it's more likely that 20 psychopathic murder-cultists (hmmm... 20? ring any bells?) agreed to do this but only four showed up on Virgins' Suicide day.

If so... at least it's somewhat comforting to know that, religious lunacy and death-cultism aside, only 20% of hard-core jihadis are willing to actually die for... who knows. Establishing the Universal Caliphate or whatever.

20% Not 25%: Happy now, math-heads?


Posted by: Ace at 12:52 PM | Comments (10)
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Ann Coulter Forces Me To Link To Oliver Willis
— Ace

Because, in arguing that Bush shouldn't be so willing to compromise over a mushy O'Connor-esque judge, she said "we have the media now."

Of course, what she meant is we have an alternative media -- FoxNews, Limbaugh, blogs, etc. -- capable of at least giving the MSM a fight on its silliest claims, but of course Filet-O-Fish takes this to mean that Brian Williams is now a Grand Dragon Wizard in the Republican Party of the Confederacy Resurrected.

Posted by: Ace at 12:23 PM | Comments (16)
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World War II: The Real-Time Strategy Game
— Ace

The chatlog of the actual war, from Jimmy Page: more...

Posted by: Ace at 10:33 AM | Comments (19)
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Mash-Ups: FDR, Clinton, and Tom Jones, With Special Guest Star Captain Kirk
— Ace

A bunch of them here.

These are the pick of the litter:

FDR explains there's nothing to fear but KHAAAAAAN!!!

Clinton's going to say this one time: he did not have sexual relations with KHAAAAAN!!!

Tom Jones wants to know what's new, KHAAAAAN!!??

European technofag disco KHAAAAN!!!

Thanks to LK, who notes, sadly, there's not a one with Paul Anka threatening to bring in KHAAAAAAN!!! to ride your asses.

Gettin' Dave Off My Tits Update: More of these sorts of sound-loops, with lots of Darth Vader, and some vagina.

Posted by: Ace at 08:44 AM | Comments (11)
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NY Announces Plans For Random Surgeries, Random Spending
— Ace

As long as we're doing random searches, why not? Apparently submoronic randomness is a good thing, so let's extend this party to everything.

Funny stuff. Funny because it's true.

Thanks to Karol, who has a dozen guest bloggers at Alarming News.

Posted by: Ace at 08:39 AM | Comments (7)
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Nuking Mecca?
— Ace

Originally a plug for yesterday's show, but it seems to have become a debate thread about nuking Mecca or Medina. (The debate begins about halfway through the comments.)

I'm not endorsing this, I'm just advertising the fact that this thread has become a debate on the subject.

My two cents: I really wouldn't want to see the US become a terrorist power, attacking civilian targets to terrorize a billion people. I would say, though, that our nation wasn't thrilled about the idea of nuking Russian cities, either, and yet that was a possible response to an attack on our cities.

If the worse should happen, and a terrorist power or state obtain a nuclear weapon and threaten to use it on (or actually detonate it in) a US city, we're going to have to threaten something extreme.

But nuking Mecca or Media seems awfully counterproductive (obviously it's immoral). Not only does doing that play into the terrorists' hands -- now they've got 1 billion recruits ready for total war -- but you can't threaten to destroy what you've already destroyed.

It's a vile question without any good answers... if elements of the Islamic war engage in a genocidal nuclear war against US, what the hell do we do? Engage in a genocidal nuclear war against their innocents, too? Or just learn to live with a few less cities than we had grown accustomed to?

Now with 50% more Star Trek content!

Also, Jonah will be forced to answer whether Cosmo the Wonder Dog is now, or has ever been, a member of the Federalist Society.

As usual, the call-in line is 866-884-TALK.

Update: Questions for Jonah. I'm sure a lot of you guys are big fans, so if you want to suggest a question, please do, and write them in the comments. I can't guarantee how many questions I'll get to (I've got my own list), but I will try to ask a couple.

And Allah, stop asking silly questions. This is a classy intellectual sort of show, the successor to Firing Line, except even smarter.

Posted by: Ace at 08:33 AM | Comments (324)
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California Bans Smoking In Prison
— Ace

Not as a form of punishment; just to make all those prisoners healthier.

Guards are banned from smoking too:

The California Department of Corrections (search) has banned cigarette smoking indoors and outdoors for both inmates and employees. The Department of Corrections hopes this move will cut health care costs by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

"It just helps reduce the risk of secondhand smoking, helps reduce the risk of tobacco illness not just for employees, but for inmates as well," said Lt. Ken Lewis (search), spokesman for the California State Prison, Los Angeles County.

Gee, if they can't control drugs and weapons in prison, won't it be hard to stop smoking?

But the ban may not get rid of all tobacco products in California prisons. A black market for chewing tobacco has already emerged. Tins that normally cost $11 can run as much as $200 on the cellblock.


No doubt, smoking is bad for your and a nasty, stinky habit.

But this Fascism of Health and Niceness is getting out of hand.

Thanks to NickS.

Posted by: Ace at 08:00 AM | Comments (27)
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"Nerdcore:" Finally, Rap Music That Speaks To Me
— Ace

I'd really wanted to talk about this on the show a little, but I ran out of time.

Is it a parody/hoax? It sure reads like one, but the links all seem to work. So it's either real or someone went to a little bit of trouble to provide internet evidence of the "nerdcore" rap phenemenon.

Anyway, it's pretty funny:

Tupac and Biggie, move over. A new hip-hop feud is brewing that glamorizes not guns and 'hos but Java and secure encryption algorithms.

While gangsta rap is seen as celebrating the violence and aggression that claimed two of its brightest stars, "geeksta" rap is a hip-hop genre celebrating coding skills and school grades.

See photosAlso dubbed "nerdcore," this branch of hip-hop is for geeks, by geeks. Geeksta rappers adopt the same combative verbal-assault stylings of their forerunners, but bust rhymes about elite script compiling and dope machine code.

The term was first coined in 2000 by nerdy New York rapper MC Frontalot in a track of the same name. Nerdcore now refers to artists waxing lyrical about topics as disparate as engineering and Lord of the Rings.

In recent months, the field has seen a growing number of releases from computer science labs, where egocentric grad students show off their Ph.D. credentials in tracks like "Have to Code" and "End of File."

"The stigma that was once attached to computer geeks and role-playing nerds is diminishing incredibly fast," said "digital gangster" Bryce Case Jr., aka ytcracker. "It has almost become trendy to have skills on a computer. Rather than guns and 'hos, I speak about DDOS attacks and camgirls."

The self-proclaimed "#1 greatest computer science gangsta rapper ever" is MC Plus+, a geeksta leading light whose moniker comes from the C++ programming language.

The Purdue University, Indiana, Ph.D. candidate and "CS pimp," whose album Algorhythms was recorded with pirated software, calls himself "the Tupac of the computer science world."

MC Plus+ rattles off lines like: "I'm encrypting shit like every single day; sending it across a network in a safe way; protecting messages to make my pay; if you hack me you're guilty under DMCA."

But Plus+'s flow is dissed on the opposite coast by geeksta peers like Dan Maynes-Aminzade, aka Monzy, a 25-year-old Minnesota-born Stanford grad student who recorded a dis track specifically to insult his rap rival.

"Our raps are filled with braggadocio, but instead of boasting about our bitches, blunts, Benzes or Benjamins, maybe we talk about our math skills or the efficiency of our code," Monzy said.

"Drama in the PhD," a nerdcore taunting rap.

Thanks to Jacob.

Posted by: Ace at 07:44 AM | Comments (20)
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