January 12, 2007

Shorter every conservative columnist and/or weblogger

It's totally unfair to address someone's personal life when it pertains to a political debate unless they work undercover at the CIA.

Oh by the way, just for context: "It's War" was also the headline the Post used a week ago when describing Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump being mad at each other. I hope you take that into consideration when analyzing how hard their finger is on the pulse of American politics.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 3:23 PM

American Womb History X

Pam, Shakes, and others have called attention to an outrageous statement by conservative lil' pundit Ben Shapiro. Shapiro, apparently aggravated by the existence of a female Speaker of the House, said the I-kid-you-not totally real quote the other day:

No woman in the history of politics has used her womb like Nancy Pelosi.

I will leave the others who saw this to cover Shapiro's problems with women, of which there are clearly many. However, I'd like to address another issue I have with this statement: it's totally wrong.

Not only is Shapiro an obnoxious, juvenile ass, he clearly has no outlook on political history. "No woman in the history of politics has ever used her womb like Nancy Pelosi?"

Though it clearly goes without saying, Ben Shapiro clearly doesn't know anything about wombs, let alone the historical political feats of famous wombs throughout history. I could write endlessly about the wombs that paved the founding of our nation and its geopolitical accomplishments, but as both I and the premise are running out of steam I'll list just an important few.

Prominent uses of wombs in the history of politics

Mary - Nazareth, 1 A.D. Mary quite likely altered political actions for the remainder of human history when she gave birth to her son Jesus, considered by a vast percentage of the world's population to be the son of God and/or God itself. As if the ramifications of Mary's womb's action were not enough with that act, it is believe by those adhering to the religious authority of Jesus that Mary was a virgin at the time of his birth. Should this be true- and many believe so- then Mary's womb truly is one of immense physical and political power.

Mei Xiang - Washington, D.C., 2005 A.D. International politics are a tricky business, no less difficult when the United States is run by a President whose first major diplomatic gesture toward China was accidentally blowing up one of its embassies. However, relations with China, and the American support of China's greatest ecological treasures, were magnified to unprecedented levels thanks to the mighty womb of the even mightier Mei Xiang. In 2005 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., Mei Xiang produced Tai Shan, also known as "Butterstick." The baby giant panda attracted record numbers to the National Zoo, much to the benefit of the Smithsonian Institution. Mei Xiang's pregnancy was a result of artificial insemination, thus proving that her womb was truly the determining factor in this diplomatic coup and not the rather useless failed attempts by male panda Tian Tian to mate correctly.

Sarah Connor - California, 1984 A.D. As you know, the very future of global geopolitics rested on the protection of Sarah Connor's uterus. Destined to carry John Connor, the leader of the human resistance that would ultimately quell the robot war originally meant to have begun in 1997 or 2004 if you believe the third movie to be canon (which most do not), it is inarguably that Connor's womb not only affected history, but in fact was history. She also carried a child that from the seed of a man that wouldn't be born until several years after her son, which you must admit is one hell of a womb.

Anne Boleyn - England, 1533 A.D. You think Mary's womb had political implications? Henry VIII really, really wanted a piece of Ann Boleyn's womb- So much that he abdicated the entire nation of England from the Catholic Church for the purpose of marrying her. Not to rest her womb on its well-deserved laurels, Anne's womb continued to affect political history by failing to produce a son for Henry, instead bringing forth the future Queen Elizabeth I. Unable to control Anne's use of her womb, Henry accused her of treason and had her beheaded.

Xargol, High Leader of the Womb People - Centurion-6, Stardate 9701.14. As their name implies, the Womb People are, in fact, a race of sentient wombs- their actual language is unknown, them having no discernable vocal organs, but instead transmit psychic messages humans interpret as whatever language they are native to. Scientists believe this is a trait acquired by the sheer power of their body construction, which as just noted, is a gigantic womb. Xargol, whose gender remains unknown to this day, was noted in the history of the Centurion system for its brave leadership in repelling the Neptunian invasion armada. After the bloody war that raged for several Earth decades, Xargol's wisdom brought forth a re-establishment of republican government systems, replacing the former hierarchal political system of Nok'Shbbarath, a test of strength most comparable to the Earth sport of Sumo Wrestling, only the competitors were gigantic sentient wombs and whoever one became leader of an entire planet.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:36 PM

At least it wasn't a harmless fraternity stunt this time

I don't get why many stupid actions are repeated with an expectation of different results. As you all know, that's the definition of insanity. Now, I don't call posing nude in Playboy insane, but regardless of whether or not you support doing it, doing it when you're an active member of the armed services and expecting to not get in trouble this time as opposed to every other time that's happened is, well, pretty damned stupid.

Yes, generic expected liberal rant about right to have porn and pose nude and boobies are teh awesome and all that but seriously, let's pre-emptively drop the disigenuous suggestion that the Army was just going to chuckle about it and that they're outrageous prudes for saying it's a breach of protocol.

That said, there's certainly some hypocrisy and silliness here which I will of course detail in the most sarcastic way possible. So, for the benefit of future members of our armed forces who are considering other possible photographic activities, please remember to check the updated rules, which I have provided below:

Manners in which being photographed are considered improper by the United States Military:

1. Naked
2. In a sexual position without a naked Iraqi wearing a dog leash
3. In a coffin

On a side note, the most oft-used line in any story about someone posing nude, "The California native said she hopes the Playboy photo shoot will pave a way into an acting or modeling career" raises a bizarre wonderment how she apparently decided the second best route to a modeling career would be joining the army.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:40 AM

January 11, 2007

Maw, break out the TiVo

It's official: Bill O'Reilly on The Colbert Report Jan. 18.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:17 PM


Well, it appears that the default rhetoric for the right wing on President Bush's speech has been established, in the form of claiming that Democrats are hypocrites for saying three years ago that we should have gone to war with more troops but are now saying we shouldn't send more troops to Iraq.

For those of you who enjoy those trips down nostalgia lane, I did a strip three years ago called "Gripping Tales from the Fair and Balanced Hospital," which sums up this illogic quite nicely.

It's startling that the same stupid people are saying the same stupid things three years later, and all, in fact, still have jobs.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:23 PM

January 10, 2007

Shiny things

Okay, so: the iPhone. Obviously I don't think it's the prized bauble many are shaping it out to be, but I'm not going to drop some faux elitism and pretend it's not cool either.

Now, I own an iPod. I finally broke down and got one last year- the video functions are what sealed the deal, and I am without any regret whatsoever for the ability to watch episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force on the bus ride home. I love the fact that all my songs can fit on it, as it replaced choosing which two CDs went in the oversized hip carrying case for the discman every morning. A minor trifle in the face of, whatever- let's say the crisis in Darfur, but in context you understand.

So here's my big problem with the iPhone, and it's mirroring the problems Tom noted earlier with anything brand new from Apple- As both a phone and an iPod, it's stunningly impractical. To start, it's obviously bigger than my current cell phone, but it's also bigger than my current iPod, which just barely fits in my shirt pocket. It's exclusive to a cell service carrier I currently don't use, and would have to pay to get out of a contract for the priviledge of owning it.

And despite being bigger and bulker, it carries less of what's important: I currenly have 16GB of songs and video in my iPod- the iPhone will hold at most 8, meaning for $600 I would have the luxury of having to remove half the music from my active library. When you want to store video, less than 10 gigs and you might as well call it a Shuffle instead of a full-fledged iPod.

While the iPhone surely has loads of great functions and features, I'd be most interested in its two most major ones- making phone calls and playing MP3s. In those two areas, it seems to be worse: it's bigger and more costly than my current cell phone, and it holds at most a quarter of my current iPod's capacity.

So, yes, what Tom said. Perhaps in 2 years when it can hold 30-40 gigs of data and costs $400 or less, I'll consider it. But for now I'm going to hold off on drooling.

And yes, also in the vein of what Tom said, this all of course changes should for some ludicrous reason Apple wants to send me one to test for free.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:09 PM

Okay, that's funny

Dick Morris deserves credit for that one:

Dick Morris looks at the four leading GOP presidential contenders in 2008 -- John McCain, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani -- and notes "the only one of these guys who hasn't had multiple wives is the Mormon."


Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:53 AM

Now kiss my ring

I think a great experiment in democracy would be if Congress passed a bill declaring that any statement Tony Snow makes about presidential powers automatically becomes law. That way, when he says things like:

The President has the ability to exercise his own authority if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way.

It instantly becomes legal for future Democratic presidents to do the same thing. I have a feeling the messianic declarations the spill from Snow's pie hole on an oh-too-frequent basis will sharply decline.

It's a project I don't have the time or the resolve for, but I would love it if someone archived a comprehensive list of the different ways Snow has said "the president can do whatever he wants" without actually saying that.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:03 AM

January 9, 2007

A work in progress

As you can guess, there's still a lot of work to be done on the site; a few bugs have been popping up here and there, but I'm pretty sure the general framework is all in place.

Generally, I'm happy with the new layout- The new layout template has exactly one table in it, as opposed to the previous design, which actually used three tables for each individual blog post, let alone the framework itself.

It's not worth getting into the technical stuff, but there's a bit more to do. I want to put post icons back in, since a few of you lamented their disappearance, but I need to set up a structure to automatically do that. Yes, for three years I was inserting the IMG tags for each post by hand. I'm not going back to that.

Between the redesign and the winter break I've obviously missed a lot of news, but I'm glad to see the media is back to its normal self with the highlight of yesterday's CNN coverage being the stunning news that New Jersey farted. I'm less excited to come back to the discovery that apparently both Chris and Tom are taking a break from blogging. They're basically the two people responsible for me having a website right now, so it's a shame to see them go and I hope to see them back soon.

Posts will still be infrequent as I keep working on this. Thanks for all the patience.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:23 PM

January 8, 2007

"Dumb what May"

Latest comic - click here!

As you can (hopefully) see, there's the first stage of a new site design up. A lot more to be done, but it's been far too long since you had a comic so here it is. More talky stuff later.

Update: For example, I could actually link to the comic. That would be swell.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:42 AM

January 7, 2007

Deep sustained booming sounds

Expect some downtime tonight; working on site updates. Strip should hopefully be up in the AM.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:43 PM

Oh look- this again

Is it Sunday already?

Because standards are lower on weekends... here's a new rumor straight from an insidious "Washington cocktail party": John Negroponte is becoming deputy secretary of state as preparation to replace Condi Rice when she leaves her job. Why would she do that? To take over for an "ailing" Dick Cheney as vice president. Sure, Cheney resignation rumors are about as old as the Bush presidency. But one well-informed person said that, while he doesn't think this will happen, he also doesn't dismiss it out of hand.

It's been so long since a good "Cheney's resigning and being replaced by Condi" rumor. I guess Crowley had a post quota to fill or something.

On a related note, a new rumor from Hollywood is that Jessica Alba has an uncontrollable desire to sleep with left-leaning webloggers. One well-informed person said that he doesn't think this will happen but doesn't dismiss it out of hand.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:04 AM