Friday, February 27, 2009

Just as a precaution, I’ve had all the estrogen drained from my body

This is truly horrifying.
In anticipation of his Female Summit, Limbaugh has begun running promotional spots on his own nationally syndicated radio program: "Are you woman enough to kindly listen to his rants and score prescription drugs for him? Are you woman enough to lie to his face and tell him that he isn't getting fat again? If you ever watched Baron Harkonen in Dune and fantasized about laying in bed stroking his third chin and telling him how wonderful he is, then maybe you're woman enough for Rush Limbaugh."

Although Limbaugh's Female Summit is little more than speed dating for one, there is an intellectual component as well, including a series of symposiums with topics like "What's The Deal with Woman? Is It Entirely Due to Menstruation and Biology or Are They Simply Choosing to Be That Way?" With any luck, the messages of the summit will endure far beyond the weekend and start an open-ended dialogue about why women are so wrong on nearly every subject, especially when it comes to liking or not liking Rush Limbaugh.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fun with charts

For absolutely goofy charts and lunatic data, no one does it better than the self-proclaimed Evil Conservative, Patrick Gibson. In this freakout post about inflation, “Inflation Starting -- Biggest Inflation Jump in Six Months,” Gibson blames the recently passed Stimulus Package. The Evil Conservative accurately quotes recent inflation statistics from a Yahoo Finance article but then rather suspiciously omits this key sentence: “Despite the big jump in wholesale prices in January, economists do not believe inflation is on the verge of becoming a problem, given the country's deep recession.”


For good measure, Gibson includes a horrifying chart of multinational inflation trends filled with colorful upswinging arcs. One big problem though: the most recent data featured in the chart is for 2005.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Compared to the Japs, we’re wusses

Shorter Thomas Sowell

Despair Sets in With America on a Fatal Arc
IBD Editorials
February 23, 2009

Stop whining that CEOs are overpaid (they’re not, they‘re not, they‘re not) and you’ve lost both your job and your medical insurance and your IRA has lost 227% of its value and you’ve fallen behind on the mortgage to your “under water” house. George Washington got frost-nipped toes at Valley Forge and besides does anyone imagine that we will care what anyone's paycheck is when we see an American city in radioactive ruins?

"Shorter" concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. I am aware of all most Internet traditions.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Animal pancreases, a meat grinder, alcohol, and ice

Glenn Beck has been really cranking up the apocalypt-o-meter lately. Allapundit considers that certain something about Beck in “The end of America is nigh, maybe.”
[I]f you’d asked me which media star’s most likely to turn survivalist, move to the mountains, and start doing his show from a lead-lined bunker, there’s no doubt what the answer would have been. There’s something “off” about Beck in a way that’s not true of other chat-show hosts, although that’s not necessarily a criticism….

Nothing [Beck and his guests are ] saying is terribly implausible, frankly — except maybe the idea that in five years NYC will look like Mexico City or Baghdad — but because the tone of Beck’s show is always somewhat febrile, it’s hard to know how seriously to take any of it.
I know at least two people who are taking it very seriously. One is the guy who bought 81 Cans of Spam in preparation for a terrorist attack. The other is a terrified mother by the name of Marie who posted a query about making homemade insulin at Free Republic.
I'm sure most of us are thinking along the lines of survival lately and doing our best to prepare for the worst (while praying that the worst doesn't happen).

Along those lines, I have a serious problem to face if our western civilization ceases to be civilized.

My son is a Type 1 diabetic. He needs insulin to survive. Period. It cannot be controlled with herbs, exercise or diet. It's an autoimmune disease which has killed off his insulin-producing cells. Even if he ate nothing, his blood sugar would scream out of the normal range.

There's a story called "Cheating Destiny" about a diabetic woman who survived a Japanese internment camp by her husband making home-made insulin. For two years he made insulin and ended up saving many more lives than just that of his wife.

Does ANYONE here know how he did it? Don't get me wrong: I don't want to know the complicated, requiring-specialized-equipment way to make insulin. I want to know the details of how Banting and Best did it with nothing but animal pancreases, a meat grinder, alcohol and ice.… I'm never going to feel secure until I know how to do this.
That’s just so cruel. Glenn Beck makes millions by airing his febrile delusions and scaring people like poor Marie, who is now so frightened about the post-apocalypse availability of insulin that she's determined to learn how to distill insulin from animal pancreases, just in case.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Das Gesetz der Verschlechtigung aller Dinge (The Law of the Deterioration of Everything)

I’ve been reading and rereading Charles Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises to better understand why we do what we do to our economies. The short answer is: we do what we do to our economies because that’s what we always do to our economies. I’m not being cryptic either. Over the past several centuries, we have gone manic, bubbled, panicked, and crashed our economies repeatedly. We never learn. So here is my incomplete, half-assed, non-chronologic list of things we never learned from.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Manly guns for the unmanned

From Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness -- be sure to stop by the Viking Clothing Shop for all your non-chafing Viking Manliness needs -- comes a detailed, thoughtful, and well-illustrated list of 10 More Manly Guns. Just in case you were wondering.
Previously I compiled a list of the Ten Manliest Firearms.* I noted that variations on the list were certainly acceptable, but still ran into a bunch of grief from non-men who were unable to read, nor to grasp that real men don't care if other real men disagree with them. Still, there are a LOT of guns out there, so I figured it was time to compile another list. You should own all of these guns before Zero takes office, and then buy more until he wets his pants and blubbers like the wuss he is….
*[That] was a hard piece to write, because guns by definition are manly, except for Berettas, gold-plated TEC9s, .25 caliber pistols or anything made by the French.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Don’t scoff (well, you can if you want to)

The standard of living in America began decreasing with the rise of self-service gas stations. This startling report reveals why.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Compare and contrast

Blogger d-day offers a thoughtful analysis of stress testing US banks and the potential nationalization of those at risk.

Meanwhile, Red State has come up with a very simple cure for all our economic woes.
The most radical, and effective, thing we could do for the economy right now is this: Stop collecting all forms of Federal business, income and payroll tax. EVERY PENNY OF IT. RIGHT NOW.
John Cole and commenters have fun with that one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Guess which number Mr. Nearing is...

That’s right, the 94,001st. It has been about a year in coming, but the decision became final yesterday. All I am going to say is that there are a large number of prattling pundits and damned-to-hell Republicans I’d like to smash in the mouth.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday funnies

Tired of contemplating what taking up residence in a giant cardboard box positioned over a steam grate will be like? Then head on over to Joey DeVilla‘s The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century and smile again. This week’s treats include:

A Teddy Bear for Your Hipster Lifestyle

The Sad Man’s Kama Sutra

1960’s Style Covers for Movie Novelizations, featuring artwork created by Spacesick

This is how Spacesick envisions Willy Wonka as a Japanese novelization, Wonka-san! Just Punisher of Coddled Children.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

BADer blogs

Julia Grey’s Pharisees and Philistines, which, as Julia points out, is everything you don’t want to be.

The International Journal of Inactivism, a scholarly journal dedicated to inactivism, inactivists, inaction, and inactionology, especially with regard to global warming and mitigating it. It’s also very witty.

Watergate Summer, written by Enigma4Ever, the self-described heartbroken wandering refugee intuitive halfblind truthseeking scorched whistleblower mom nurse, newsjunkie, research fiend.

Buzz Twang, who’s been jammin’ the mediascape since 2001 and somehow has not lost his mind.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Further adventures in agnotology

Agnotology -- the study of culturally induced ignorance.

If this story, excerpted here, were just some amateur’s blog post, I’d probably shrug it off. But it’s not an amateur’s blog post. It’s a professionally written story posted on the website of NBC4, the Los Angeles affiliate of NBC.


Dumber by the day

From The New York Times, where evidently neither the op/ed writer, the copy editor, nor the proofreader has a fundamental understanding of human anatomy and physiology.
Correction: February 5, 2009

An Op-Ed article on Wednesday, about the Heimlich maneuver, incorrectly described the technique. The person administering the maneuver pushes under the choking victim’s diaphragm, not above it. The article also misidentified the part of the body food travels through to the stomach. It is the esophagus, not the trachea.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Abstinence pledges for GOP govs (socialism, sillies, not sex)

As former Sen. Bill (She does respond) Frist (R-Tenn) learned at the cost of his mind, soul, and national political aspirations, never cater to ideologues. Inevitably, you’ll be deemed ideologically impure by the ideologues and too ideologically pure by the non-ideologues. Either way, in the words of Edie McClurg: You’re fucked.

Now the fun’s afoot over at NRO, Free Republic, and other bastions of conservativism uber alles as the ideologues assess the comparative purity of Republican governors regarding stimulus money. Will they or won’t they be seduced by Obama’s socialism?

In a bravura performance of actual journalism, NRO Cornerite Mark Hemingway telephoned all 21 Republican governors' offices in the country to determine who are most likely to remain chaste. Here’s my working tally so far:

Total sluts: Crist (Florida), Schwarzenegger (California), Douglas (Vermont), Rell (Connecticut), Gibbons (Nevada)

Having impure thoughts: Perdue (Georgia), Jindal (Louisiana), Pawlenty (Minnesota), Daniels (Indiana)

Cockteaser but virgo intacto: Palin (Alaska)

Asexual (so far): Otter (Idaho), Heinemann (Nebraska), Rounds (South Dakota)

Unsullied virgins: Perry (Texas), Sanford (South Carolina)

Don’t scoff. The conservative base is definitely taking this purity ball seriously. But I wonder: If a Republican governor blocks or inhibits his or her state's receipt of stimulus money, might not the governor be subject to recall or impeachment for incompetence or malfeasance?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Blogroll Amnesty Day!

Okay, here’s my first list of good B.A.D. blogs to visit. Also: If you have any long overdue blogrolls to return to the NYC library, now’s the time or else Mr. Bookman will stalk you to the ends of the earth, or at least to the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Worn out by all the yada yada yada? Go visit Oh Noes!! Politikz in ’Merica Iz Rly Redonk. Give the text-processing center of your brain a rest and your optic nerves a treat.

Over at Pere Ubu’s Debraining Machine, Pere Ubu himself surgically debrains Harvard economist Jeffrey Mirron, who recommends moremoremore tax cuts and lesslessless regulation as a cure for what ails us.

When Michael Markowitz says Should’ve Asked Me, he means it. Among the things we should have asked him about recently are auto insurance commercials, The Wrestler, Hillary Swank and Jessica Alba, American Idol, Joe Scarborough, The Coolest Guy in the World, and the saddest ad ever.

The point at which I stopped reading

Jed Babbin, “Fastest Failure Ever?”
Human Events #

Slouching towards… destination unknown

Ever wonder what happens when it’s the investment bankers and real estate moguls who go postal and not the low-wage worker in the mail distribution center?

This NYT article describes some of the psychic dislocations being experienced by some members of the upper and upper-middle classes in the NY metro area as the economy in general and Wall Street and real estate in particular crap out. It successfully manages to trigger both contempt and compassion. Contempt because the people profiled are very unlikely to go without food, shelter, or healthcare; compassion because anxiety, depression, psychosis, and suicidal ideation are terrifying things to experience.
[Dr.] Paula Eagle, an associate professor at Columbia University, said that investment bankers in her private therapy practice, suffering from paranoia, have described mordant-humor fantasies circulating among their colleagues that the collapse of the financial markets would lead to New York City going broke and martial law being declared.

“They were going to buy guns and rafts and float down the Hudson River,” Dr. Eagle said. “It stirred up a lot of 9/11 kinds of feelings — this is disaster time and we have to be prepared to run for cover.”
I wonder what bin Laden's take on this would be.

One Manhattan real estate investor, diagnosed with major depression, generalized anxiety, and psychotic features, had convinced himself that Pakistan would annihilate the world with a nuclear bomb (interesting choice since nuclear annihilation automatically resets everyone’s account balance to zero). Maybe it was the psychotherapy, maybe it was the drugs, or maybe it was that one last big sale, which got his finances back in order, but he no longer thinks nuclear armageddon is at hand.

Said the newly non-psychotic investor: “I’ve been through recessions before… [b]ut this was nuts.”