Monday, December 23, 2013
Well, that is not how they do things in the US Air Force! The Air Force was unwilling to half-assedly sexually harass the occasional female like lazy civilians, and instead they went the wholesale sex assault route at Lackland. With the same can-do attitude, AFB Gen. Michael Carey decided that a five-day trip to Russia to liaise with his counterparts in control of Russia's nuclear arsenal was a good chance to get really ripped, make a drunken fool of himself and repeatedly hit on hot women that were, in retrospect, likely spies. I'd go through the whole list of hijinks, but suffice it to say that he tried to give a fist-bump to a tour guide at a monastery, mocked a translator and then tried to make up for it by calling her beautiful, and spent the morning rides to events sleeping off the previous night's debauchery. For the rest, check out the writeup:
Of course, what did Chuggin' Carey get for all of this? A change to an "advisory" role that doesn't involve any responsibility. But not, you know, real punishment. Ugh.
You Stay Classy, USAF!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
- “The worst that can be said about her is that she did not comply with the amounts that was supposed to be paid under your law. I don’t think that justifies treating her like a common criminal” according to India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid. Guess what, asshat? Acting like a common criminal justifies being treated like one.
- The rights of the maid's family are not equal to those of the officer: “I don’t think they are so valuable to our relationship as a diplomatic officer of the government of India.” So, your government thinks that its officers can break employment laws, even when it harms YOUR citizens?
- The Indian government was warned in SEPTEMBER about this -- more than two months before the arrest. They did nothing because they “didn’t expect this could happen.” This is the 3rd time since 2010 that Indian government employees have been busted for the same type of law -- and they didn't change their behavior. Will you "expect it to happen" next time?
And anyone in India that is offended by the treatment of the woman arrested, are you also offended by her breaking the law to underpay one of your citizens? I didn't think so. You stay classy, India
Monday, December 16, 2013
- You can have female slaves, and sleep with them if your wife fails to produce a kid (Go Abraham!)
- You can lie about your marital status to people that want to sleep about your wife that would disapprove of you being married -- but they still get to sleep with her and you're off the hook (Abraham again!)
- If your brother dies without a kid, you MUST marry his widow and knock her up -- or there will be smiting (Onan -- it was not doing his brotherly duty that got him condemned)
- Have another wife -- it's all good. All the big names did it!
- Finally, if you're hearing voices, it's totally ok to climb a hill and slaughter you first-born son. After all, one must have faith.
Of course, these are no longer "traditional" or "biblical", at least if you're the Family Research Council:
"Throughout history, marriage has been future-oriented, focused on the next generation and the best interests of children"
So, if you have problems with the legalization of gay marriage, feel free to ignore the parts of your religious texts that might be awkward for your argument. It's traditional!
Oh, and FYI, the Utah decision didn't legalize polygamy -- it struck down a restriction against "cohabitation". Moral of the story: it's also ok to be a completely uninformed jackass when complaining about something that you think you disagree with.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Creationists are always insisting on teaching "theories" that they claim are alternatives to evolution. But most scientists think this is just a backdoor to teaching religion in schools. I have a simple test to separate those who have legitimate qualms about "holes"* in the theory of evolution from those concerned about religion more than science:
Which concerns you more, the lack of space given to alternatives to evolution in science education, or the lack of space given to alternatives to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics?
If they answer "evolution", they're either woefully uneducated about quantum mechanics (and so they need to study up before they talk about science education), or they are more concerned about religion than valid scientific controversy. Feel free to deride their lack of knowledge of basic science or the nature of scientific controversy.
If they answer "quantum mechanics", take the time to discuss with them their views on science education and problems with the theory of evolution***, if they have any. And feel free to discuss the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics!
* Just fyi, there will always be holes in the fossil record, since so few living beings are fossilized**.
** As a homage to this process I try to treat explanatory comments in my coding as fossils, this explaining why they are so rare and often confusing.
*** Personally, I think the platypus is the best argument for creationism/intelligent design. Though in this case it's more drunken design.
Monday, September 09, 2013
I thought for a second and replied, honestly, "Probably about a 3... billion". Happy birthday to the best Wild Man in the world!
* This didn't happen, but it was a good setup for the bit.
Sunday, September 01, 2013
It's the usual shtick -- you create a character, choosing his/her race (elf/human/dwarf/etc., not black/white/asian/etc.), class (wizard, fighter, thief) and alignment (the nine combinations of Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic and Good/Neutral/Evil). These choices affect how other characters in the game (not online) relate to you.
My character, Sir Hardass, is ostensibly a Chaotic Good Barbarian (barbarian is a life choice in D&D, not a judgement). So, he's generally a "good" guy, but he doesn't let The Man* determine what he should do. After all, a man's gotta have a code.
I picked up a real badass guy for my "party"**, but he was "Evil". So evil, in fact, that if my party did too many good deeds, he'd leave me. I was in a bind -- I wanted to see how his storyline played out, but I also wanted to stay "Good". Naturally, my curiosity (and desire to keep this badass around to help me kick ass), led me to keeping him. But to finish the story, I kept being required to do good deeds. So, I can be "Good" and lose the tough guy, or I can do some selective "Evil" acts and keep my bodyguard. Naturally, I chose the latter. So I killed some random civilian and this balanced out all my "Good" deeds.
Now, the question is, should I feel bad about this? I did something in the game that I would NEVER do in real life***. It didn't hurt anyone real, just affected a "character" that's really just some lines of code. So, should I try to maintain a moral code that's vaguely similar to mine in real life, or is it ok to embrace my dark side in video games?
* or The Woman
** or entourage, as I like to think of it.
*** From a morality standpoint. I also would NEVER in real life fight a bunch of angry ogres or cast a fireball spell.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
- Divorce is wrong! Those gay couples should stay married, dammit! And then have their marriages annulled by courts that understand marriage is only between one man and one woman** now that we're in an industrial society and can ignore uncomfortable precedents in the religious texts that we use to support marriage as a one-to-one, male-female contract.
- Ha! Those marriages will ALWAYS end in divorce because marriage should only be between a man and a woman**, so let 'em split! But don't, you know, give them any economic or social rights in the divorce.
* By "traditional", I mean people that oppose gay marriage on a conservative view of Judeo-Christian values imposed on a state. I've yet to come across someone opposed to gay marriage rights based on solely atheistic or logical principles.
** Just FYI, if you're using the Bible to support your stance on "traditional" marriage, you might want to do a quick count of the number of wives various patriarchs*** had in the Bible. And remember, "cultural differences" is exactly the kind of liberal mumbo-jumbo that commies and atheists use to support gay rights.
*** One-to-n, where "n" is the number of women a man can handle!
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Here's The Daily Show's take on the issue (spoiler alert: they also think this is insane)
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Good News! You're Not Paranoid - NSA Oversight|
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
These people, most commonly middle managers, aren't morons**. They're victims of a epidemic: Meetingnesia***. It's the silent corporate productivity killer -- follow-up meetings are spent rehashing and rearguing previously agreed-upon topics rather than accepting this and moving on. How can you tell if your coworker is a sufferer? Here are some common statements that can clue you in:
- "Is this the same chart as last time? I remember it differently."
- "I don't remember agreeing to that"
- "Was that in the email?"
- "Did you email this?"
- I think we need to start over on this. Run a few more scenarios and get back to us."
* Or maybe forgetful. Or liars. Or a combination. But none of these are as funny as "morons". I love that word.
** Or, more accurately, aren't NECESSARILY morons.
*** The "g" is silent.
Friday, June 07, 2013
And how about this tabby?
Friday, May 03, 2013
and the title belt switched hands. It was just one book, but an internaional-only sequel added to the appeal of a smart kid growing up surrounded by racist morons. Courtenay wore the belt for a few years, threatened by Douglas Hofstadter's "Gödel, Escher, Bach", and then I found Jared Diamond
Sadly (for Jared), I almost immediately read...
Holy crap -- intelligent, multiple voices**, and a shady part of history -- what could be better? But, then I read did a bit of binge-ing myself -- I went through "Pigs in Heaven", "The Bean Trees", and "Animal Dreams". They were good, but none had the magic of Poisonwood. However, Neal Stephenson had an entirely different kind of magic.
Before the Matrix, his big idea-filled mix of near-future sci-fi, political/consumer commentary, sword fighting and Babylonian mythology distracted me from the Wheel of Time. "Cryptonomicon" and "The Diamond Age" kept the title in Neal's hands, despite the magnificence of "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal", various work by Alan Moore , Grant Morrison, and Brian Michael Bendis tempted, but with "Stiff ", Mary Roach announced her contention. However, after that, an unprecedented flurry of activity came -- 3 books, 3 changes in the title:
Unfortunately, these authors only write books once per, respectively, 18 months, 3 years and too damn long. So the title tends to change often. Why do I bring this up? Because I just downloaded the latest from Mary Roach:
Will she take the title back from George Martin? I'm hoping yes, because I don't want to wait years for another book from my favorite author. And, in case you're wondering, Jasper Fforde, JK Rowling, and Robert Jordan were short-changed because this is already far too long
* Easier with some more than others, clearly
** Like in my head!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
This post was brought to you by my incredulousness that anyone still listens to a pope**. Also by the word "incredulousness".
* His first choice, Pope Gangnam Style, was rejected for being "so five minutes ago".
** Why? Read a book. Seriously, if you need to ask why this is a bad idea, I direct you to most of the last 2000 years.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
It started at a friend's in Nacogdoches, watching the Big Game (but not the Super Bowl). Which big game? Excellent question, I have no idea. But it was a Game, and it was Big. So there. We ran out of beer, and I volunteered to go on a beer run. 2 of the guys (men, but unidentified) joined me in my '88 Honda Accord (which I sold in 2003 and probably is now dead). When we got to the first stop sign, the Accord was no longer a car but a tricycle. But everyone fit -- I think it had dual seats behind the normal seat. We saw a female friend (known, but won't be identified for her sake) walking to the party, so we picked her up. She also fit on the tricycle, which surprised no one. At her recommendation, we opted for the Kroger farther away, for reasons that were unclear.
By the time we got to the main street, I was no longer pedaling, but just "walking" the trike -- the third passenger somehow prevented the pedals from working, yet we didn't get off and walk. The other three rode while I waddled along, slowly moving the tricycle. When we got to a major uphill intersection (which doesn't actually exist in Nac), I made everyone get off because going uphill was too much, and we left the trike and just walked. At this point we looked at each other and said, "We should have gone to the closer grocery store. And taken a car."
Dream-me needs to plan ahead better.
* Clearly, she would.
** Different from dreamy-me, who I am told doesn't actually exist
Monday, February 25, 2013
I kid, I kid! This bear was following humans, which either meant it was:
- About to do some mauling
* To be fair, the article didn't mention where the bear was born. It was probably an illegal immigrant, coming for free health care, I bet.
** Jebus, I'm a blogger. I don't google stuff, much less probe bears for gender identification.
*** Then sold off its gold and jewelry. Last Nazi collaboration joke, I swear****.
**** In this post
Thursday, February 14, 2013
And so, we're left wondering, why did he (allegedly) shoot his girlfriend? This is, of course, nothing to joke about, but is anyone else wondering if this was 'roid rage?
Monday, January 28, 2013
|I'm late to the party on this one, but it was surprisingly good. I also think the criticisms of it being a stereotypical "white liberal saves the blacks" is misplaced. The protagonist is less-than-pristine|
|Those Guys Have All The Fun -- The juicy bits of the ESPN oral history weren't nearly as interesting as how it has become the business juggernaut that it has. Still, a fun read|
|Sure, it's Oscar-bait now, but the book outshines the movie. I still hate Salmon Chase and McClellan, though. Jerks.|
|A great bit of fast-paced "hard" sci-fi. And INCREDIBLY realistic -- IT does everything it can to prevent progress|
|I'm a Kingsolver fan, sue me. Like "Prodigal Summer", it took me a bit to get into, but I really enjoyed it. It's got Trotsky and Frida Kahlo, what's not to like?|
|A novelized history of the last 40 years or so of the Mexican drug trade. All the ludicrously unbelievable parts are pretty accurate.|
|NPR's 40 year old sports reporter tries to become a kicker for the Shanahan Broncos. Good look at rookie life in the NFL|
|What if Van Helsing didn't manage to kill Dracula? How about the undead take over Victorian London?|
|I actually liked her first book, "Gregor and the Underworld", too, but this was surprisingly good.|
|The last 30 years or so of Saudi history are fascinating, and will be relevant for a while.|
|A modern take on "Rendezvous with Rama", but with some changes. A good novel of first contact, though it abruptly ends in anticipation of a sequel|