Category Archives: Society

iNews Friday – 5/9/2008

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi headline translator–

Headline: Supreme Court upholds photo ID law for voters in Indiana
Translation: Indiana Doesn’t Want Me

Headline: Yanks turn to Wang versus Mariners
Translation: Seattle fans work on new versions of ‘Yankees Suck’ chant

Headline: Clinton calls for gas tax vote, Obama calls it ‘shell’ game
Translation: Shell says reaping billions in profits is fun, but hardly a game

Headline: Scott Ritter – Attack on Iran ‘virtually guaranteed’
Translation: Cheney denies guarantee – “Absolutely no refunds”

Headline: North Korea turns over cache of long-sought nuclear weapons documents
Translation: “Misfiled under ‘nucular’,” Pyongyang says

Headline: Facebook Partners With AGs for Kids’ Safety
Translation: Kids invited to be Michael Mukasey’s friend, chat online about enhanced interrogation techniques

Headline: Dread-ed night comes for ‘Idol’ Castro
Translation: Paula Abdul criticizes Cuba for policy it hasn’t implemented yet

Headline: Did Rush Limbaugh Tilt Indiana?
Translation: Rush Limbaugh goes for walk along Lake Michigan – Low-lying areas of Gary report major flooding

Headline: McCain’s wife won’t release her tax returns
Translation: McCain denies withholding tax returns – “Cindy hasn’t filed in years”

Headline: Clinton Aide Says Race May Not Go to Convention
Translation: One race not invited – Clinton aide coins new term, ‘a-party-heid’

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.

“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.

A national spiritual holiday

This Friday, the 25th of April, is undoubtedly the most profoundly spiritual day for most Australians. ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) continues to be more than just another day off, a reason to party, even to those of us opposed to warfare.

Even during my teen years opposing Vietnam I recall attending ANZAC Day dawn services, the most moving event I can conjure. The dawn service commemorates the time of the original landing of our troops at Gallipoli during the WWI. The ritual includes ‘standing to’ before two minutes of silence was observed, broken by the sound of a lone piper playing the ‘Last Post’.

I will be going to the local dawn service on Friday, supporting a group of young army cadets. But across the country the importance of the event continues, with the majority of those attending now being under 30 yo.

I can only reflect, from my own feelings, this is has nothing to do with glorifying war, rather recognising that through the generations the courage and camaraderie implicit in just standing up for what we believe is right. We continue to fight for the things we believe in, even if the only weapons are words.

Mind you, the breakfast ain’t half bad. I forgo the rum personally, but I never say no to the early morning glass of beer…

Don’t Mess With Texas

Just a word about the standoff at polygamist Warren Jeffs’ ranch in Eldorado Texas

Leaving Jeffs' Ranch - Tony Gutierrez (AP)Texans fancy themselves to be the guardians of the morals of little girls. I remember my days at University of Texas where, if you were a young lady attending the University as a new freshman, your parents got to designate what kind of living arrangements you had, despite your supposedly being an adult. All girls floor? Sure. All girls dorm? No problem. All girls dorm with monitors who had veto power on your comings and goings? Indeed!

The upshot being, you don’t move your incestuous little band of baby-makers from the Arizona/Utah border to the Lone Star State without a few consequences. I mean hell…this is a state that maintains its own paramilitary police force just so they can f*ck with people they don’t like.

So Mr. Jeffs…are you a moron, or are you trying to get your FLDS followers killed?

Congestion Pricing – Your Ticket To Savings

Congestion pricing—the notion that inner city drivers must pay fees according to the miles they drive, gas they consume, or carbon they emit—may soon make the lives of London’s inner city drivers more miserable than they already are. Smog breathing pedestrians, on the other hand, will probably cheer stiff new carbon emissions fees. After all, nothing says, “Take public transport moron!” like a $50.00/day fee to drive your Range Rover from Chelsea to Westminster.

But is it really going to deter the well-heeled from schlepping their kids to school in the civilian equivalent of a tank? Probably not. Take, for example, the attitude of one Kensington mom:

We’d have a massive loss if we tried to sell our cars. And I can’t have a tiny little car because I have three children who go to three different schools. At the moment, we just have to pay. We really have no choice.

What utter nonsense! First, one wonders what about multiple schools is relevant to the size of one’s car. Second, get rid of the SUV, put the kids on public transit, and you make up any possible losses in the first year. I mean…gas in London is going for the equivalent of $8/gallon. So let’s say that you save a gallon per day at that price, tack on the new congestion fee, and right there you’ve got $290/week or a whopping $15,080/year. And that doesn’t even count the cost of bloody Rover, maintenance, and insurance (which I imagine for London must be a crippling cost).

So…is it cruel to put the kids on public transit? Maybe, but tell ’em it’s going into a college trust fund, and maybe they’ll think differently in a few years. The point being: Congestion pricing is coming to larger cities whether one likes it or not. You can hold on to your foolish attitudes about needing a car…SUV…whatever, or you can give in to the inevitable and accept it. Because you know what it really is? Manna from f*cking heaven, that’s what!

Role models ran a great Sex and the City post this morning under the title, “Stop trying to be these four women“. It’s all about how for a mere $24,000 you can attend the movie premiere and spend 5 days living like one of the characters from the show.

What is it about Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte that has so captured women’s attention? None of them are wildly successful. Miranda has had to cut back her hours and drift out of the partner sphere since having her son. Samantha runs her own agency, but never seems to work. Carrie will work for shoes, and Charlotte is a trophy wife with no job at all. Yet 51% of the American public is dying for this movie to hit theaters. There is some sort of escapism that’s been captured here. I’m just wondering what is the appeal? Isn’t it better to be boring, well adjusted and own your own home?

Not in Manhattan I guess where you should be neurotic, bizarrely dressed, drink and spend too much, eat and save too little or not at all, and live as if life has no consequences.

iNews Friday – 3/28/2008

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator–

Headline: President Bush hugs a person dressed as the Easter bunny at the start of the annual Easter Egg Roll, overlooking the South Lawn of the White House. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Translation: Invisible no more – Bush stands by Harvey, won’t dismiss transgender bunny from Cabinet
Headline: City told to close high-tech toilets – Andy Rogers / P-I
Translation: *The toilet encountered a problem and needed to close. Please tell Microsoft about this problem…*

Headline: US Mistakenly Ships Arms Parts to Taiwan
Translation: “Why didn’t I think of that excuse?” exclaims Ollie North

Headline: Mumia deserves new hearing
Translation: All together: “Free Mumia while supplies last”

Headline: Hillary takes her message to Fox News
Translation: “Look into my eyes, Fox Nation, and surrender to my will! Be my willing thralls!”

Headline: Woman claims airport security forced her to remove nipple ring with pliers
Translation: Gloria Allred mentally calculates her billable hours as woman demonstrates most popular feature of the TSA employee benefits package

Blogs Against Kleptocracy – Nonsense Taxes

The RIAA isn’t having much luck these days suing music owners in order to pad the music industry’s bottom line. In fact, they’re gonna get dragged into court in a counter-suit where their questionable tactics are going to be submitted to the discovery process. (Oh how delicious it would be to be in that conference room!)

But the ever inventive industry has now got another proposal for getting their hand in your pocket…even if you’re not part of the 1 in 10 who pirates music from online sources. Yes, the culture vultures are flogging the idea that a tax should be levied on all broadband connections—$5.00 per user, per month—to compensate…[ahem]…the artists for lost revenue due to pirating.

Got that? $60/year (perhaps multiplied by every member in your household) multiplied by all 45 million broadband connections in the US—a whopping $2.7 Billion! Now isn’t that a tidy sum to compensate an industry that 1) can’t figure out how to make money and 2) can’t even claim to loose more than $150M per year due to pirating?

But the real danger isn’t just in the RIAA’s ludicrous proposal. Imagine what will happen if other industries realize that they can just invent taxes that compensate them for lost business?

Big Auto will push for bikers, walkers—literally anybody who refuses to drive and especially those who refuse to own cars—to pay a ‘transport tax’ to compensate them for cars they can’t sell.

Big Coal will lobby for a ‘green tax’ that compensates them for revenue lost due to consumers switching to green power generation, buying energy efficient appliances, and turning off lights. Reduce your electricity consumption by 20%, and BANG! the tax kicks in.

The Incarceration Industrial Complex will get to ‘penalize’ states that back away from draconian sentencing laws in favor of rehabilitation and parole.

After all, nobody should have to adapt their business model to changing times, attitudes, or technologies. Should they?

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