June 22, 2007

Right-wingers use piracy to defend private industry

Ericka Andersen writes on Human Events Online, the website that claims to be "leading the conservative movement since 1944:"

Waiting four months for an MRI, sitting for seemingly interminable hours in emergency rooms and having cancer surgery considered "elective" are a few of the risks those countries with universal healthcare take. If America listens to Democrats and Michael Moore, waiting lists, under-funding and less medical options are the future of American healthcare. I watched "Sicko" on the internet, where a bootleg copy was posted before the film's release.

I'm no political historian, but I seem to recall that at least since 1944, the conservative movement didn't really champion pirating copyrighted material to avoid paying for someone's work- an act even magnified in stupidity by the concept that as a news reporter, one phone call probably would have gotten Andersen into a free screening. I guess that slipped Andersen's mind during the time she was gloating about commiting piracy so she could get a head start on writing an scathing attack on economic socialism.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:07 AM

I has explosives

This is simultaneously the funniest and most horrible thing ever:

The most creative way to use a cat as a weapon happened in World War II. The United States' OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of the CIA) needed a way to guide bombs to sink German ships. Somebody hit upon the inspiration that since cats have such a strong disdain of getting wet and always land on their feet that if you attached a cat to a bomb and drop it in the vicinity of a ship, the cat's instinct to avoid the water would force it to guide the bomb to the enemy's deck. It is unclear how the cat was supposed to actually guide a bomb attached to it as it fell from the sky but the plan never got past the testing stages since the cats had a bad habit of becoming unconscious mid-drop.

If you do anything but visualize this, break into hysterical laughter, and then suddenly feel really terrible as a person, then I don't know what's wrong with you.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:03 AM

June 21, 2007

Election 2008 Update: I continue to be "seriously considering" dating Scarlett Johansson

Dear news: this isn't news anymore.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:04 AM

June 20, 2007

Things I do not get

Okay, so Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett- more famously known as Mike Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow- are now doing a DVD series called The Film Crew, where they play three guys who- get this- riff on cheesy movies. Just because I'm bored with sarcasm, I'll be explicit- they're doing Mystery Science Theater 3000 without the puppets.

So it really, really begs the question: why don't they just bring back Mystery Science Theater 3000? We're not talking about a massive corporate-owned property here. It's not like they're trying to skirt usage rights for Mickey Mouse or Batman or something. I can't imagine Best Brains (MST3K's production studio) being greedy and unwilling to cut a deal with someone to make new episodes, even direct-to-DVD ones. I mean, my rent is probably more than the usage rights for MST3K would be at this point.

But don't get me wrong- as someone with a degree in Film & Television I understand how irritating it is to hear "it's so cheap to make a show." It cost Best Brains a lot to make MST3K look that inexpensive, just as it initially cost South Park thousands in 3D software to render everything like construction paper. But if that extra investment was made to revive MST3K, I'm pretty sure I'm one of thousands who would guarantee the project would make money. I love the MST3K guys and I'm happy to see them continue the craft they excel at, but without those robots in the corner this just feels like aged actors from sci-fi and action shows from the 70's doing paid appearances at boat shows wearing slightly-altered costumes so the production company who made the show that made them famous doesn't sue them.

If there are any fans out there more hardcore than me, I'd love to hear if there's an actual reason for this. The only guess I could speculate is they just don't want to bother with rights & residuals to Joel Hodgson. Other than that, I just feel like this is potential that's really being wasted.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:10 PM

Wow. Just... wow

If someone wants to take a stab at what alternative context that could possibly have meant, by all means let me know.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:50 PM

Bloomie

So it appears Mike Bloomberg is bored again.

Look, Bloomberg has a very good record on social policy but as a former New Yorker there's no way I could ever trust him. The man switched parties and bought his nomination, then became mayor because he was the Republican after 9/11. He spent the latter part of 2004 kissing Bush's ass at Madison Square Garden and having a few hundred of his actual constituents arrested and thrown in holding pens.

Deciding to not join a party doesn't really raise his loyalty cred. It's just another example of the "I'm Mike Bloomberg, I'm rich and can do whatever I want" platform. As far as campaigning skills, there are none. He has no foreign policy experience whatsoever- I don't even know his stance on the war, which will again be the major issue of the election. And he'll make Hillary Clinton look good on the stump by comparison. Bloomberg spoke at my college graduation, mispronouncing the name of the coach of the Yankees. And his voice sounds like he's chewing on a dog toy.

He's absolutely useless to anyone outside of the New England area, which is probably the only place he'd get on a ballot anyway. As a person, I'm sure I'd like the guy, but as far a a presidential candidate he's somewhere between Ralph Nader with a bankroll and Mitt Romney without the personality.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:57 AM

June 19, 2007

The Hillary Rule

This is very simple: as a conservative, you are only allowed to defend things like this if you can say- in the same breath- that you have no problem with President Hillary Clinton having the exact same level of power:

Federal agencies ignored 30 percent of the laws Bush objected to in signing statements last year, according to a report released today by the Government Accountability Office. In 2006, President Bush issued signing statements for 11 out of the 12 appropriations bills passed by Congress, claiming a right to bypass a total of 160 provisions in them ...

... Since taking office in 2001, President Bush has issued signing statements challenging over 1,100 laws, claiming that he has the right to bypass them if they interfere with his alleged presidential powers. Though signing statements have been utilized by most presidents, Bush has used them to object to more laws than all previous presidents combined.

It seems almost insane how right-wingers are in some advanced state of denial that there might be a president in the near future who isn't George W. Bush, let alone isn't a Republican. It continues to fuel my partial interest in seeing Clinton become president just for the entertainment value.

It might be useful to get a lot of Senators on record right now about their feelings on signing statements, because if Hillary Clinton becomes president next year I'm pretty sure a lot of them are going to have a massive epiphany about Executive powers.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:51 AM

June 18, 2007

"Speak ill of the dead"

Latest comic - click here!

I think this is like some weird reverse-Emperor's-New-Clothes kind of thing. So basically, right-wingers are furious that Harry Reid called the head of the Joint Chiefs "incompetent" in a conference call with some bloggers. They're not furious that the head of the Joint Chiefs is, you know, incompetent. It's like when they were outraged that duplicitous America-haters (also knows as "other soldiers" broke precious army protocol by pointing out we were torturing people.

For the random pointless observation of the week, I'm very proud of my fake channel graphic in panel three. I think it's one of the best I've done, and more than makes up for the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" abomination I subjected you all to a few months back.

Buy some crap and join the list.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:17 AM