Hobbits aren’t real – really…

Hobbit headI’m not talking about those Tolkien critters, I know they are real. On a flight to LA we went to close to New Zealand and were infected. The rest of the decade long flight the plane’s million or so TV monitors had the little buggers running around non-stop.

The ones I mean are also called Homo floresiensis, supposedly a new species of human that died out just 12,000 years ago. Nine skeletons found on the Indonesian island of Flores, but some scientists say they aren’t a new species at all but a dwarf form of Homo sapiens with a disease such as microcephaly.

One researcher says they could be just 40 old, worn teeth, particularly on one of the molars, indicate the use of modern technology:
“I have a hypothetical explanation … a filling. I know it is shocking, but none of us looked at [the specimen] to see tooth fillings as this seemed incongruous with the purported antiquity of the specimen.”

I know scientist get a charge out of arguing these things, and probably lots of research grants. But I just have one problem; we were told at one stage these little guys lived on a diet which included rats. What kind of dentist is going to poke around the mouth of a rat eating dwarf?

Me 2.0

Hippy chick

I’ve had an epiphany recently that I feel compelled to share. I’m a mid-lifer. I’ve spent 20 years building my career, life and a great marriage to the Frog. However, about 2 years ago I was suffering. My passion for my job had simply evaporated, and I was lost for where to go from there. When you’ve been in the same profession for half your life, change seems daunting.

The good news is, it’s really not. It’s enlivening, energizing and in the end will add 10 years to your life. I decided after years of contemplation that it was time to stop playing it safe and take a risk. A big risk. I quit my job, started my own company and completely changed myself. I went from being a suit wearing, high heeled, high maintenance woman to a jeans and t-shirt, long haired hippy girl. I no longer wear make-up, nylons or heels. I found to my astonishment that I hate them all. And I hear all the time, “You look great. What’s your secret?!”

It’s really simple, I love my life. I love that the Frog, who is cautious by nature, said “Go for it!” when I wanted to start working on my own. I love that I don’t live in a cubicle farm anymore. No more overhead TMI phone conversations, infectious diseases and office politics. I love that when I finish a project there’s no one to share credit with. What I think I’m getting at here is that if you have a dream, follow it. Don’t sell the t.v. and just run after it. Be prepared ~ pay off your debts, save some money, and learn how to live in last year’s clothes. But don’t be afraid. It’s wonderful out here on the edge!

President admits economy “in shrinkage” – “Normally much bigger than this,” Bush says

President Bush, in a televised press conference today, again stopped short of saying the U.S. is in a recession. However, he did go so far as to say he thinks the economy is “in shrinkage.”

Bush laid the blame for the shrinkage on Congressional Democrats, whom he said had immersed the economy in ice-cold water due to their failure to act on high prices for gasoline, food and wedding presents.

Bush described his personal sense of embarrassment at the recent North America trade meeting in New Orleans. The president recounted how Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper commented to him that the U.S. economy’s growth seemed unusually small, in comparison with its size during the Clinton administration.

“I felt like they caught me with my pants down,” Bush said.

“I had to keep saying, ‘it’s normally much bigger than this,’ but they couldn’t take their eyes off my small quarterly growth.”

The president went on to say swag projections for the wedding of his daughter, Jenna, need to be revised downward due to limp consumer confidence.

Bush said that the economy would spring back to its full size if Democrats were to authorize oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “Drilling in ANWR would perk up the economy. Lots of deep drilling,” he said.

Plans unveiled for Bush Monument – Architect envisions 300 ft. tall set of shiny keys

A fundraising committee has announced plans for a monument to George W. Bush to be constructed after he leaves office in January 2009.

The group, Our President’s Edifice Committee (OPEC), earlier this year retained the reknowned architect Maya Lin to work on the $120 million monument, and gave her complete artistic control.

Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, has created a concept she says sums up the Bush presidency: a giant set of shiny keys.

Bush Monument
(Artist conception)

To be 300 ft. tall, the Bush Monument will be constructed out of concrete, marble and stainless steel. “On a clear day, the sun will reflect off the keys,” Lin said. “When the wind blows they will make a jingling sound, attracting the eyes upward. Away from worldly distractions at ground-level.”

“Keys are a metaphor that perfectly captures the last eight years,” said Lin. “In the same way that shiny, jingling keys are used to distract children and animals, so too has President Bush spent much time trying to save us from worry about the many serious problems facing our nation.”

Although sources say opinion within OPEC is divided over Lin’s concept, her design must go forward as planned. Lin’s original contract was routed through the Defense Department, is no-bid, and guaranteed.

In related news, the Internal Revenue Service’s Sarcasm Unit has launched an investigation into designers of national monuments.

Australia suffers president envy

Great news downunder, there is a growing wave of support for ditching the ‘German’ housefrau, Queen Elizabeth II. Having a foreign, or even multi foreign, head of state makes a bit of a joke out of any sort of national identity.

But Aussies are waking up to this like Rip Van Winkle arising from his slumber. We have been watching the presidential primaries and comparing it to our last major federal outing. Rudd is no doubt the boring leader we need, but oh how we miss the robust debate of the past.

Every Aussie knows we could outdo the lame, insult ridden show from Hills and Barrack. We can remember like yesterday the sort of language that made our politics a spectacle to be proud of…

Try this lot from former PM Keating:

On John Howard, “He is the greatest job and investment destroyer since the bubonic plague.” or “What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him.”

On the media, “…Fucking animals.” Or “…will be lucky to get a job cleaning shithouses if I ever become Prime Minister.”

I think the great Australian unwashed is hanging out for a presidential campaign between any number of Liberals and Paul Keating. Yes we have president envy, especially when we know we can do it so much better. We could have the best of both worlds, nice Mr Rudd and an absolute bastard for president.

Florida legislature debates ban on car foreskins

(WINS is reporting today from the Green My Ride event in Seattle)

Florida state senator Guy Phinney has introduced a bill in the state senate to ban the display of replica foreskins on cars.

“I always thought they were called ‘bras,’ said Phinney, a Republican from Talahassee.

“When Sen. Carey Baker introduced his bill to ban replica bull testicles hanging from cars, it hit me like an epiphany — they’re foreskins, not bras.”

Phinney went on to say that he used to get into accidents because he was always staring at the bras. “The realization I had been staring at foreskins all those years was freaky, uncomfortable, and caused me to question my own masculinity,” he said.

If it becomes law, Phinney’s bill would declare the novelty foreskins to be offensive to the sensibilities of people who tend to be easily offended.

A provision of the bill, Sec. 36 DD, would mandate really large, non-saggy headlights on all Florida cars by 2025.

When words and censors fail

Australia is undergoing a miraculous transformation, from narrow and restrictive to open and inclusive government. It is refreshing, but not without an even more restrictive aftertaste.

Blame our particular brand of democracy, the new government must work with the old conservative Senate until July, then the new Senate is sworn in. As the numbers go, the new Senate will be controlled by a one man party, ‘Family First’.

While the rest of the country is tying to rebuild from the conservative left overs, an ultra conservative has told the government his support depends on their introducing censorship to our robust TV culture. He doesn’t like shows like Big Brother or ones that use that Anglo Saxon language we are generally becoming so used to.

Holy rocking horse shit Batman, I find the lazy overuse of a few words offensive, but only because I’d like to know which particular ‘effing c’ being referred to, or any of the others specifics these two useful words are substituted for.

Well not only that, I happen to have an appreciation of female pudenda and sexual congress, and don’t see how or why the words should be used as lazy insults; and I like to think I reserve the Anglo Saxon for use in context.

Which is why, unlike this highly offended Senator, I simply refuse to watch the shows that upset him so much. Think about this, his main supporter asserts: “I don’t object to nudity, you can’t hear that.” Or “What if the kids need to go to the bathroom at night and hear that language?”

For Christ sake, why is he watching it anyway, if he objects to his kids hearing the language. But more to the point, we have more to achieve than censoring potty mouths. I will really become an activist if this unrepresentative swine attempts to divert the real tasks ahead of my country.

iNews Friday – 4/25/2008

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wif-Fi headline translator–

Headline: Pope Leads Mass at Yankee Stadium
Translation: Benedict fired – Steinbrenner names Don Mattingly to Holy See

Headline: Mariners To Play In First Carbon-Neutral Game
Translation: Baseball places limits on Hot-Foot emissions

Headline: McCain opposes equal pay for women bill
Translation: Proposes low interest loans to women starting beer distributorships

Headline: Florida terrorism case to be retried
Translation: “Best 2 Out Of 3” clause discovered in 5th Amendment

Headline: Snipes faces jail for tax evasion
Translation: Snipes to star in “Passenger 5-7 Years”

Headline: President Bush marks remembrance of WWI-era Armenian killings
Translation: Bush begins planning 2nd Annual Piss-Off The Entire Nation of Turkey Festival

Headline: Anxiety Over Rice Supplies
Translation: Condi says U.S. will use “any means necessary” to maintain free flow of Ferragamo, Vuitton

Headline: Unspoken demographic problem for Obama? – might have a unique problem because he’s African-American
Translation: CNN shocked – African-American judged by different standard

Headline: US says North Korea gave Syria nuclear assistance
Translation: Colin Powell returns to UN – reveals sketches of mobile kimchi labs

Headline: Rush Incites Riots In Denver
Translation: Limbaugh tries to explain ‘nappy-headed delegates’ comment

“Gross McCain Product” – a better way to gauge state of the economy

John McCain today explained his recent statement that the U.S. economy has “had a pretty good, prosperous time” during the eight years of the Bush Administration.

“The mortgage crisis, the ballooning debt, the recession, the falling dollar — these just don’t matter,” the presumptive Republican nominee for president told a group of California supporters, the National Association of Fine T and A (NAFTA), a group of professional women based in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

McCain said his view of the economy is the result of a new statistical measure he has personally created. McCain said his measurement, the Gross McCain Product, is more accurate and simpler to understand and compute.

Writing on a whiteboard, McCain explained the Gross McCain Product as a ratio of his personal annual income to the net worth of his wife, beer distributor heiress Cindy McCain.

“The McCain made $339,000 last year, while my wife’s share of the family business, plus all her stuff, is currently worth $100 million. That’s a GMP of 3.4 to 1000. Why, just last year The McCain’s household servants made $400,000, out my own pocket. Cindy’s pocket. Our pocket,” explained McCain.

“This is a huge improvement, my friends. Back when The McCain had the starter wife, she dragged down the economy with a GMP of 2 to 0-point-3. All she had to her name was that 1974 Maverick.”

“My friends, you shouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how well we’re doing,” said McCain. “That is the GMP. Straightforward, straight-talk on the most important aspect of the economy, the only part that matters to The McCain. And that is the McCain sector,” he said.

“This is how The McCain rolls on economic statistics,” he told the enthusiastic NAFTA audience.

Anatomy of a Swiftboating–Has Obama Crossed the Bubba Threshold?

If John Kerry couldn’t get through the swiftboat blockade, what chance does Barack Obama have?

I think he’s going to smash right through that pathetic barricade, but perhaps there’s room for debate.

Smearing is an art form. There are guidelines to constructing a good smear. Simplicity is crucial. These people cast doubt on Kerry’s war record. The question handed to the voters by Bush’s campaign and the 527s was how can this windsurfing, liberal fairy be a war hero?

It’s stupid, but it worked because it was simple. At the Republican National Convention people put little purple heart band-aides on their faces and laughed it up.

Let’s look at another swiftboating. Bill Clinton faced a sustained nine years straight of swiftboating back when it was called smearing. The entire right wing threw several kitchen sinks and porch awnings at him. At different points he was a murderer and a “pussy” or a “fag”. He was a pacifist who wouldn’t stand up for America and then later he was a butcher of women and children all over Bosnia and the Sudan. There were too many strands and many of them contradicted each other leaving nothing but a lump of politically motivated hatred and the voters, more or less, saw it for what it was.

Andrew Sullivan shows how complicated and contradictory the various smears of Obama have become:

Is Obama a Muslim? Does it matter any more? We are in world of McTruthyism. In that world, Obama is an atheist, a Muslim, a black liberation theologian and a Marxist. Since the truth is irrelevant, they can all be true!

How deep we are into the realm of McTruthysim is a variable that I can not discern. I think we’re on the way out of the desert of the un-freaking-real, but cultural vertigo is difficult to shake and that desert is vast.

Still, I remain pretty well convinced that the Obama smears have already crossed what I call the Bubba Threshold of cognitive dissonance. The tipping point may have been the ABC debate. We’ll see.

Satire: The Borowitz Report: Democratic Race too Mean Says Swiftboat Veterans.