even the rats are abandoning ship

by lestro

the Times spent some time exploring the strange bedfellows relationship between Hillary Clinton and Rupert Murdoch:

rat_skull.jpgTwo years ago, there were signs of a thaw, with Mr. Murdoch, who owns The New York Post, not only endorsing Mrs. Clinton’s bid for a second Senate term in his paper, but also organizing a fund-raiser for her.

Recently, though, the relationship appears to have taken a turn for the worse. Mrs. Clinton has been skewered in The Post throughout her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and recently taken to task over her claim that she had encountered sniper fire in a visit to Bosnia as first lady (though she later said she had “misspoken”). The newspaper even ran an article, datelined Sarajevo, to debunk what one of its headlines labeled a “ ‘low blow’ lie.”

Now another sign has emerged offering possible clues to Mrs. Clinton’s Murdoch status: Mr. Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth is holding a fund-raiser at her London home this month for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

it makes sense that Rupert would cozy up to Hillary, since her husband’s 1996 telecommunications act made him even richer.

so why would he jump ship?

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Children left far, far behind

by twit

Thou shalt not drink bleach, perhaps?

A recent survey that found some Florida teens believe drinking a cap of bleach will prevent HIV and a shot of Mountain Dew will stop pregnancy has prompted lawmakers to push for an overhaul of sex education in the state.

I agree with Slog on this one… “A friendly cartoon penis” that “tells you how to use a condom properly” is certainly called for:

More information is available from Planned Parenthood, including links to affordable health services and contraception options in every state.

I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me

by lestro

So this week the New York Times has a cool article about patches made for secret military organizations as a team-building, frat boy, secret-handshake-and-head-nod sort of things, with the obvious nerdly tinges that comes with being scientists:

Wizards appear on several patches. The one hurling lightning bolts comes from a secret Air Force base at Groom Lake, northwest of Las Vegas in a secluded valley. Mr. Paglen identifies its five clustered stars and one separate star as a veiled reference to Area 51, where the government tests advanced aircraft and, U.F.O. buffs say, captured alien spaceships….

A patch from a Groom Lake unit shows the letter sigma with the “buster” slash running through it, as in the movie “Ghost Busters.” “Huge Deposit — No Return” reads its caption. Huge Deposit, Mr. Paglen writes, “indicates the bomb load deposited by the bomber on its target, while ‘No Return’ refers to the absence of a radar return, meaning the aircraft was undetectable to radar.”

In an interview, Mr. Paglen said his favorite patch was the dragon holding the Earth in its claws, its wings made of American flags and its mouth wide open, baring its fangs. He said it came from the National Reconnaissance Office, which oversees developing spy satellites. “There’s something both belligerent and weirdly self-critical about it,” he remarked. “It’s representing the U.S. as a dragon with the whole world in its clutches.”

but one of the best really is this beauty, “worn by DC-130 flight crews testing the Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missiles, known as Killer Whale cruise missiles. The control planes were Nos. 716 and 526.”

The story is ostensibly about a book (“I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me”) that looks at these patches and the behind-the-scenes world of organizations that officially don’t exist:

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Memo to Hillary: Rocky LOST

by lestro

As a former Philadelphian and major fan of the Rocky movies (except Rocky V, which we just don’t talk about), Hillary’s “I’m like Rocky” assertion yesterday irks me:

Recalling a famous scene on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the 1976 Oscar-winning film “Rocky,” Clinton said that ending her presidential campaign now would be as if “Rocky Balboa had gotten halfway up those art museum steps and said, ‘Well, I guess that’s about far enough.’”

“Let me tell you something, when it comes to finishing a fight, Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never quit. I never give up. And neither do the American people,” Clinton said in excerpts of prepared remarks to be given Tuesday to a meeting of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Um, memo to Hillary (and spoiler alert): Rocky lost. He went the distance, took his shot and made everyone proud and all – which is what makes it a great movie – but ultimately, he LOST, so I am not sure this is really the metaphor for which you are searching.

And in the process, he beat the snot out of the champ, which would have totally screwed Apollo if he had to battle another world heavyweight champion – like say from an opposing boxing federation (let’s call them the Republican Boxing Association, just for shits and giggles) – within a few short months, he might not be ready for the fight.

I mean, you saw them at the beginning of Rocky II. Did either one of them look like they were in any shape to take on John McCain?

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The Squid Returns…

by the squid

Many have not heard of the Humboldt squid, or “red devil” as known by divers and fishermen. However those who know, have lived in fear of this red flashing animal, with tentacles, an anti-social attitude, and attacks without provocation. It travels in packs, much like the politicos in Albany NY, once led by Govenor Eliot Spitzer.

A mysterious sea creature up to 7 feet long, with 10 arms, a sharp beak and a ravenous appetite, has invaded ocean waters off Northern California. Packs of fierce Humboldt Squid attack nearly everything they see, from fish to scuba divers. Marine biologists are working to discover why they’ve headed north from their traditional homes off South America.

Video: http://www.kqed.org/quest/television/view/774

The Humboldt squid is small, ugly, and ruthless. It attacks for no other reason than to attack. It is fun. It is in its blood. It is what it does. And it does so, because it knows it can. Much like those in power, the elite among us, who abuse their status because they can.

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