Thursday, August 28, 2008

Setbacks, Dog Attacks And Dental Plaque

In recent weeks, President Bush has suffered a few significant setbacks to his agenda of unchecked power. A judge appointed by Bush has ruled that some of the president’s former aides must testify before Congress about politically motivated firings of US attorneys. George, if I ever said in the past that you don’t know how to pick judges, I was at least partially wrong!

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has once again said that the US must set a specific date for military withdrawal from his country. Kind of destroys the whole Bush talking point (and, doubtless, Republicant election victory strategy) of painting anyone who wants to bring US troops home as quitters who embolden terrorists. Is Iraq worried? "Thanks, we’ll take it from here." Chew on that, consternos. Then get our people home ASA fucking P!

Man bites dog is news. "'The man' shoots dog" is sadly becoming news, of late. A SWAT team shot a Maryland mayor’s two black Labradors to death during a mistaken drug raid at his home. (I guess blacks really do suffer more violence at the hands of police.) Known for their intelligence and gentleness (i.e. great family dogs), the two dogs were shot in the back by well-armed and body-armored SWAT team members who claimed they felt threatened. A senseless act. You’ve got a gun, it’s only a dog, so what the hell. Sure, it’s easy for me to sit here and point fingers after the fact, but this is just fucked up. An investigation has been launched, but I’m not holding my breath that anyone involved will be punished for excessive use of force.

Down in San Marcos, Texas, police Officer Paul Stephens pulled over a man for speeding, but it was no routine traffic stop. It turns out the driver had a sick seriously ill dog in the car and was rushing to a veterinarian. The driver pleaded with the cop, but was told to calm down because it was just a dog and he could “get another one.” The dog died during the 15-20 minutes it took Stephens to write a ticket. What an insensitive asshole! Seriously, man. Officer Paul Stephens, asshole, dog killer, public servant. It’s all on video, too. Did I mention Office Paul Stephens is an asshole and a dog killer?

By the way, I include stories like this here because, as I've hopefully made clear since the beginning of this blog, I cannot abide what I see as abuse of power, whether it's "W" using government agencies or military resources to suit his own agenda or cops clearly going way over the line. Powerful people rarely suffer legal consequences for their actions, so I try them here, in the court of public opinion. It's the only court time they'll ever see.

Now I know what it feels likes to be a woman. At the repeated request of my dental hygienist, I finally bought an electric toothbrush last week. I figured there’d be a slight buzzing sound from it, and a somewhat amusing new sensation in my mouth, but what I got sounds and feels like a jackhammer inside my head, and that new sensation is actually numbness. When I am done using this vibrating, handheld implement I feel somewhat… violated. Oh, and the rotating head! Funny thing when you get toothpaste and saliva and other viscous matter on it – they go every which way, dotting all nearby surfaces. Sure, the toothbrush belongs in your mouth, but you’ve got to take a breath and spit once in a while, no? I think this implement would actually make a better “gag gift” (wink wink) for a bachelorette party.

Hey, has there ever been an electric toothbrush artist? Put a dab of paint on the tip, put it near a canvas and turn it on? Forget the airbrush – I think I just invented a new style of art: Rotationist.

Note: The section below has potentially offensive words that have been hidden to shelter fragile sensibilities. Working as I do as a web writer, and paying attention to SiteMeter, I know what brings in visitors to a website. A little gratuitious, but it serves its purpose.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Do These Olympics Seem A Bit Gamey To You?

"Cocker spaniels: They've been on my training table since I was a kid." - Li Ling Jaun, 2008 Olympian

China opened its first-ever Olympic Games today, August 8, 2008, in the grand style one has come to expect of these events. But the location wasn’t the only first, as the longstanding medal-awarding structure has been altered to meet the requirements of the host country.

Prior to 2008, the standard award hierarchy was as follows:

First Place = Gold
Second Place = Silver
Third Place = Bronze

A few award levels have been added or changed for these games at the behest of the Chinese government:

First Place = Gold
Second Place = Lead
Third Place = 20 years hard labor
Fourth Place = SARS
Fifth Place+ = Immediate execution

PS: An obscure 16th century soothsayer is said to have had foreknowledge of the 2008 games. His words are somewhat vague, so judge for yourself:

"And on the day when the three eights are in alignment, the nations of the world shall meet in the Eastern kingdom, and there shall their warrior minions wage a bloodless battle for prize and pride. Bloodless, that is, provided the pollution or food doesn't kill anyone. Don't hold your breath. On second thought, do." - Nostradumbass