tube stuff

A selection of videos and sundry items, all having to do with some kind of insanity, primarily in the US (Why do I care?). Some of this stuff is not funny. (And, alas, some of the older links are defunct.)


August 2, 2015

This is the translation of a post I wrote in German about a year ago.

Winning

Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing. (American adage)

In a TV-documentary about the railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the oil magnate John D. Rockefeller it became apparent that both of them were really only interested in winning. Whatever they produced and provided for the common good was secondary to that purpose.

Children play with one another. Soon, however, they are led to play against each other, so that one of them loses, and the other one wins. Sports are like that. War is like that. Neoliberal economy is like that. (And, of course, superheroes, Hollywood movies, and first-person shooters are like that.)

In order to win, you need an adversary. That is someone who must lose to make your winning possible, and with whom you will only cooperate deceptively and for the purpose of gaining an advantage over him. A person whose objective is to win will not know what to do without an adversary. The first step, then, must be to find or to create one.

Winning by far exceeds simple competition. Someone who is determined to win will accept a loss if his adversary, as a result, suffers a greater loss; and he will not accept a gain if his adversary, in the process, obtains a larger gain.

Some calvinistic denominations take winning, as indicated by prosperity, as a sign for one's being Chosen — and losing as being Damned — by God's eternal will. Therefore, winning is, sub specie aeternitatis, of the utmost importance. The numerous 'losers' might perhaps console themselves considering that their nation (the U.S.: "us") is winning against other nations through their sacrifice. Obviously, they must be prevented from realizing for whom they really sacrifice themselves. This prevention seems to be working rather well.

Liberty, in this context, is the right of unimpeded participation in the game of winning ("pursuit of happiness", "from rags to riches" — the American dream): The possibility of winning — which entails the possibility of losing — shall be granted to anyone. No government has the right to interfere with it. The government's task consists solely in establishing a few rules which make the game possible, and preventing foreign groups or nations from winning.

In the game of winning, there are allies, but no friends; cooperation, but no trust; retribution, but no forgiveness.
And never peace.



June 22, 2015

"We still won't do jackshit!": Jon Stewart comments on the killing of nine black people inside a church in Charleston, SC.

The US is trying to solve its racial problems by simply shooting or imprisoning African Americans. It has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, including China, North Korea, and the like.



April 17, 2015

I just learned that Tom Selleck has been on the board of the NRA for many years. I'll never be able to watch Magnum P.I. or Jesse Stone — which I adored — the same way now. Another bubble burst.



April 10, 2015

What basic instructions does an American boy grow up with?
1. Compete! Be a winner. Be the best.
2. Be a man. Man up! Don't be a wimp.
Sounds OK? Kind of natural?
Let me rephrase it:
1. Do not cooperate unless you gain a competitive edge doing it.
2. Stuff your feelings until they explode in violence.

In the movie Knowing, Nicholas Cage watches a performance of his little boy's school choir and tells him on the way out: "You were the best."
This happens everywhere. It is bedrock American culture. Most Americans wouldn't even notice the abject stupidity of it.
Some do, though.
Even a coach did.

(And if winning through reckless competition is ruining our ecological and economic soundness, we might either call for a little genuine and selfless cooperation — even if we'd have to reconsider our ideas about what it means to be a man, or we might follow Will Rogers who said: "If stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?")



January 17, 2015

The U.S. administration — and its puppeteers — are getting more and more desperate in their attempts to hold together what is falling apart rapidly. For quite some time now, they have begun to systematically break each and every law in the book of international decency. Things like unfettered espionage and internet surveillance, systematic torture in a network of secret prisons, stopping and searching an aircraft carrying a head of state (Evo Morales), just because they wanted to hunt down Ed Snowden. And on and on.

An American expatriate living in Oslo summed things up: "Is the U.S. crazy?" She writes about the difficulties she encounters trying to explain the bizarre developments in her native country to Europeans.

Perhaps I can help. Three simple rules, I believe, are sufficient as far as the American population is concerned:

Keep ‘em stupid: Don’t let them know what’s going on in more advanced parts of the world.
Keep ‘em proud: Tell them that they still are — and forever will be— living in the best of all possible countries.
Keep ‘em poor: Feed them the American Dream instead.



July 4, 2014

Blackwater.
BlackRock.

Black times.

(They renamed Blackwater. It is now called Academi.
What's in a name? that which we call a pile of shit
By any other name would smell as bad.)



February 16, 2014

The word 'circumcision' is a euphemism. It must be called genital mutilation. We do call it that in the case of female genital mutilation, and we need to do it for boys as well.

The United States is the only industrialized country in the world where even today the majority of male babies are genitally mutilated (for secular reasons). Many Americans seem to believe that it is normal worldwide because they know next to nothing about the rest of the world.

If a god requires male genital mutilation as a renewal of the covenant, or for any other reason, that god is a cruel monstrosity. By modern legal and psychological standards, genital mutilation is an act of severe child abuse and should be treated as such. A 2012 court ruling to that effect in Germany resulted in very strong reactions from the Jewish and Muslim communities (freedom of religion, antisemitism) and was not upheld. If, for religious reasons, it were necessary to murder your first-born son, or to stop your car at exactly five o'clock in the middle of rush hour, would that be tolerated as freedom of religion? Modern democracies have a separation of church and state, and the laws are made by the state, not the church.
Freedom of religion does not mean that you can do anything your religion requires. It means that you can do anything your religion requires unless you break a state law doing it.

On Wednesday, March 1, 2006, at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at AU, was requested to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: 'Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?'

Raskin replied: 'Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.'

[From: snopes.com. I have quoted this before, but it seems appropriate to do it again.]

Finally, the argument that genital mutilation has been done for thousands of years and therefore constitutes a sacred tradition amounts to saying that living in caves still is the right thing to do.

Tradition, said Thomas Morus, is the carrying of the flame, not the keeping of the ashes!



February 3, 2014

An American legend died: Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014).
I will always remember him.

Another one, Bob Dylan, has outlived himself. He's been doing commercials for a while now. Most recently at the Super Bowl 2014 for the All-New Chrysler 200:

What Detroit created was a first and became an inspiration to the rest of the world. Detroit made cars, and cars made America. Making the best, making the finest, takes conviction. [...]

We believe in the zoom, and the roar, and the thrust. [...]

And when it's made here, it's made with the one thing you can't import from anywhere else: American Pride.

So let Germany brew your beer. Let Switzerland build your watch. Let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car.


A first? The best? The zoom, the roar, and the thrust? American Pride?
Chrysler is owned by FIAT.
Detroit is a fucking basket case. And so are you, Mr. Zimmerman.



July 4, 2013

Guantanamo.
Bradley Manning.
NSA, and Edward Snowden.

I still believe that Barack Obama is a good man. The conclusion being that the president of the United States is one of the most tragically powerless people on earth. The best — and the worst — to be said about his presidency is: Just another president.



May 5, 2013

You can't buy Kinder chocolate eggs in the U.S. because the little toys inside consitute a health hazard. Instead, you might consider buying your child a real firearm because the little bullets inside are safe.



April 21, 2013

Dear Lord Jesus,

on your Second Coming, please understand that we must be absolutely sure it's really you. We therefore recommend that you make your appearance with trumpets and a great host of angels out of the sky. Do not use anything that looks like a spaceship lest we take you out with our Air Force. It would be best for you to let everything stop dead in its tracks. And please see to it that a few spectacular miracles are being done. If you should appear in any other way, we would not know it's you and ignore you or lock you up in a loony bin or kill you. Thank you for your cooperation.

Faithfully awaiting your return,
The Born Again Citizens of the United States.



December 17, 2012

It happened yet again. 20 children and 6 adults were killed in an Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., by a 20-year-old armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle.

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, comments:

Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones.

If ever there was a candidate for the Hall of Shame...

[1-10-2013] I thought it couldn't get much worse than that. I was wrong:

Watch this! (And bear in mind: this guy owns 50+ guns!)


[1-11-2013] I can't get over this Morgan-Jones-"Interview". It scares me. At this writing, I am 61 years old and I have never seen anything like it, except for a historic newsreel about Nazi judge Roland Freisler (and, believe me, I don't make gratuitous comparisons with the Nazis). Jones sacrifices the First Amendment for the Second without so much as a blink. He wants his adversary 'deported'. It is not even the issue of gun control but the way in which he conducts himself that is the very essence of fascism.

(The video received over 5 million clicks on youtube within less than 72 hours...)

[1-12-2013] ...still can't get over it. And I found this 28-yr-old right-wing Harvard lawyer, Benjamin Shapiro, explaining that "the [political] right believes that the basis for the second amendment […] is not really about self-defence and it's not about hunting; it is about the resistance to government tyranny […]."
It looks as if these people insist on being able to elect a government democratically and then want that government to stay out of domestic issues lest it turn into a tyranny — "in 50 to a hundred years", specifies Shapiro (but more likely as soon as anybody tries to take their semi-automatics from them).

Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present. We can't even begin to address 30.000 gun deaths that are actually —in reality— happening in this country every year, because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler. (Jon Stewart, The Daily Show)



November 13, 2011

Should math be taught in schools?

This video has nothing to do with the Miss America pageant. As far as that goes, it is a hoax. But it's absolutely hilarious.
And it does deliver some basic insights into the nature of the American Dream:

"All seven-year-olds should have the right to decide for themselves if math is scientific fact."

"Math is a theory, and it's not at all what the bible tells us."

"We live in America, not Russia."

"I think people should try to be as knowledged as they can. I think they need to get learned so that, you know, they can make a choice about all of the world thing."

"I guess if other people want to learn math, they should be able to."



June 29, 2011

The Chicago Tribune reports:

The Transportation Security Administration stood by its security officers Sunday after a Florida woman complained that her cancer-stricken, 95-year-old mother was patted down and forced to remove her adult diaper while going through security.

Reports of the incident took hold in social media, with scores of comments on the topic and reposts appearing hourly on Twitter Sunday afternoon.

The TSA released a statement Sunday defending its agents' actions at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

"While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner," the federal agency said. "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure."

A day later, they denied it – in an otherwise unchanged statement.

Just how much fear has been instilled in the American people to make things like that possible?



April 18, 2011

Letter to the Ruling Class

You control our world. You’ve poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You’ve liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence. You’ve stolen our elections, asssassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You’ve profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living. You’ve monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit… we are bleeding… but we ain’t got time to bleed. [...]

—Ex-Wrestling Champion and
Former Minnesota governor
Jesse Ventura, April 12, 2011—


September 2, 2010

So, not only is President Obama black, but he is a muslim to boot, and he was not born in the United States.

Well, folks, here's the sad truth: Barack Obama is not black. He is a bluish sort of purple. The brown stuff is Shinola. He was indeed not born in the Unites States. As a matter of fact, he was not born anywhere hereabouts. He is from a planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuze. He used to go by the name of Ford Prefect until he felt that Obama is nicer because read backwards it spells 'amabo' which is Latin and means 'I shall love'. We have no records of whether he is a muslim. It could be that he adheres to the religion of the Great Green Arkleseizure.

Deal with it, suckers!



July 3, 2010

Football

C. Edmund Wright, an American Thinker, dislikes soccer. 'Soccer' is what most of the civilized world calls 'football'. And soccer, he says, is socialist. Is that because both words start with the same letters? Nah, that would be really stupid, wouldn't it?
So, here's why:

The world's most popular sport? Puh-leeze. This is like saying that dirt is more popular than gold simply because there is more of it. Last time I checked, soccer was very popular where starvation, archery, and badminton were the alternative activities.
[...]
Soccer is biggest where the "national teams" are the main sports focus of a nation. Hey, you can't get much more socialist than that. And everyone on every street and in every town pulls for the same team. Wow. Isn't that exciting? Whom do you pull for? Oh yeah, the national team.
[...]
And let's not forget the off-sides rule. Without getting buried in minutiae, suffice it to say that off-sides in soccer is like making the bomb illegal in football or the fast break illegal in basketball. This is a socialist sport. We can't be having any risk-reward equations here. You see, in soccer, it's not fair that you might take a chance to weaken your defense in order to spring a man deep downfield behind the defense. That would be unfair in a free-market, venture-capital-type way. No, no, no! You must let the defense be behind you. You cannot beat them downfield until you have the ball. That would be unfair and, no doubt, mean-spirited.
So ingrained is this into the soccer psyche that many of the world's best defenses employ what they call "the off-sides trap." In other words, they use the socialist rules to the hilt. Here, a defenseman gets beaten downfield on purpose to get a call against his opponent. 
[...]
This leads to the another [sic!] socialist issue, which is the low scoring and the self-esteem protection involved in that. In international soccer, 2-0 is a rout and 3-0 an absolute blowout. And yet, it seems so close. Hey, we only lost by three.
[...]
But it's the "yeah, but it's the worlds most popular sport" attitude that really gets to me.
No it isn't! See the perfect dirt and gold analogy in paragraph one, please. Where people have a choice, soccer is not the most popular sport. 
And it really gets bad every four months -- or is it four years -- when the World Cup rolls around. That's where the arrogance of soccer folks meets up with the one-world feeling and the can't-we-all-just-get-along crowd and all sorts of international bodies that want to treat the U.S. like just another country like Cuba or Iran. It's nauseating.

One awesome thinker.

Well, I've gotta go now and return to not having a choice, some more starvation (lightly sprinkled with a little bit of archery perhaps), and watching the World Cup (where the U.S. was treated like just another country and got kicked out by Ghana).



March 27, 2010

Fox News comes out with the headline:

Republicans Target of Threats and Violence from Health Care Debate

and continues in the small print:

Most of the threats were directed at House Democrats who voted in favor of the health care reform bill over the weekend.

What is going on over there? I really do not understand. What the hell is wrong with enabling people to buy fair and affordable health insurance?
It seems clear that it has nothing at all to do with government spending. Government is spending a lot more on a lot less. With what it costs to kill a single Taliban you could probably run a large hospital for a year.
So, is it about Liberty? Democracy? About keeping the administration out of as many issues as possible? Would the anti-health-care people agree to a federal law that would make abortion a felony? Or would they tell the administration it is none of their business?

Public health care is an "invasion of privacy", says Senator deMint from South Carolina. In 20 states it is legal for your employer to investigate whether you are smoking tobacco in your own home and fire you if you do. Would that constitute a non-invasive approach to public health care?

The same senator says: "We have the best health care system in the world". He would probably support a proposal to establish electricity in Germany and France by 2020.

Meanwhile, George W. Bush shakes hands in Haiti and wipes the cooties on Bill Clinton's shirt. Back home, 'Tea Party Patriots' are displaying the problem, not so much by what they write on their signs but by how they're doing it ("Teabonics").

I don't get it. None of it. Maybe there are huge enormous nationwide psychiatric outpatient units. Maybe the nation is an outpatient unit. Maybe I am in one, too. — In this case I should congratulate the brothers and sisters across the pond: You guys are way cool. Totally off the hinges. Opening up a new dimension of looniness. Yeeehaw!



March 12, 2010

The US State Department published their 34th Annual Report on Human Rights. 194 countries in what is sometimes amiably referred to as ROW (Rest Of the World) are being scrutinized.

We are now waiting for a Vatican report on child abuse in 194 non-catholic institutions.



December 9, 2009

blog.foreignpolicy.com reports:

Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global
warming: 36
Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34



November 4, 2009

George Dubya Bush (remember?) is now a Motivational Speaker !

The Washington Post reports and quotes one nitwit professor of politics :

[...] approval ratings of presidents often rise the longer they are out of office

I agree. My approval of his being out of office is limited only by the fact that he got into it in the first place. Another nitwit, televangelist Robert Schuller, said at one of these motivational events:

Never look at what you have lost. Look at what you have left.

Like so?:

1tooth.jpg



October 7, 2009

The Bible needs to be rewritten, or at least re-translated. Little did we suspect that it has gotten befouled by liberal and socialist thoughts and expressions. But, Praise The Lord, restitution is afoot.
Conservapedia.com, a truly cringeworthy repository of intellectual and humane inadequacies, launched a 'Conservative Bible Project':

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following [...] guidelines:

Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias

Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, 'gender inclusive' language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity [...]

Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop; defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle". [...]

Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.

Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning

Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story [...]

"The Logic of Hell"? "Free Market Parables"? Here they go:

First Example - Liberal Falsehood
The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:
Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'
Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible. [...]

Third Example - Socialism
Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the 'social justice' movement among Christians.
For example, the conservative word 'volunteer' is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word 'comrade' is used three times, 'laborer(s)' is used 13 times, 'labored' 15 times, and 'fellow' (as in 'fellow worker') is used 55 times.

Sooner or later they will show us what 'getting stoned' really means.



September 9, 2009

A good reason to live in the US is that it is much nicer to be inside than to look at it from the outside. Like a French writer once said about the Eiffel Tower: "I go up there every day because it is the only place in Paris where I don't have to look at the dreadful thing".

Karen, a friend of my wife from NY, sent an article, "10 of the Most Obscenely Stupid Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories and Attacks Against the President" from which I pull but two items (having already dealt with the health care stuff below):

• Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech encouraging the children of America to stay in school and not to give up on themselves. Some school districts refused to let their students listen to it.

• Hell, this president, apart from being a 'socialist Nazi' (they wouldn't know the difference if it hit them in the face), may not even be an American. There are people, called 'Birthers', who simply don't believe that the first black president of the United States is a native born American. To top this off, here's another one of those wackos, who, evidently, was not born in the US herself. Turns out, she's from Moldavia.

You can't make things like that up. There is absolutely nothing like natural born stupidity.



August 25, 2009

The United States is the only one of the traditional industrialized nations that does not have public national health care. What they have instead is the most expensive and the most inefficient private health care system in the world. 15% of Americans can't afford health insurance, and pictures of medical facilities in certain rural areas might as well have been taken in a third world country.

But when President Obama made an effort towards national health care, things blew up in his face, and he found himself vilified as Hitler because FucksNews and a few other rotten characters had spread the idea that public health care meant 'pulling the plug on Grandma'.

In a series of townhall meetings across the nation, a lot of people behaved in a way indicating that they would sooner mortgage or sell their homes —if they still have them— to pay for medical bills than to accept an option for a cheap, reliable, no-questions-asked public health care system. These are people who, presumably, pay taxes, use public roads, public transportation, and send their kids to public schools. And yet, they get the idea that affordable public health care is a socialist or even a Nazi proposition. Here are two examples: Pamela and David.

Who, for crying out loud, fucked with the minds of these people? Answer: The abovementioned rotten characters plus The American Dream, the directors of which have just screwed a lot of them out of their homes and jobs.
But the poor suckers are dreaming on, still believing in total personal responsibility for one's fate, and defending their 'freedom' to suffer and die without affordable public health care. Very, very bizarre.

Well, I don't want to be too harsh. I understand that a lot of Americans believe in helping their neighbors and friends. They think and live within the confines of their neighborhoods. Hence, government interventions are considered an interference with neighborhood rule. I am sure that most of the opponents of public health care make excellent friends and neighbors. What they forget is that very many of their fellow citizens live in urban environments where this concept of neighborhood breaks down because people don't even know the tenants next door. And what if none of the friends and neighbors in the rural parts is a doctor or owns a hospital?



February 20, 2009

Investment wankers

"As long as you can add and use a calculator, that's all you need". It helps, however, if you are young(ish), easygoing, and completely indifferent to ethics and responsibility.

*

Volker Pispers: Berufsgruppen, die diese Welt nicht braucht.



January 20, 2009

bush4.jpg, 39kB

The good news: Sometimes insanity can be halted by an election.

The bad news: It started that way.

(Ah - and a heartfelt farewell to the maverick, the hockey mom, and Joe the plumber.)



January 7, 2009

I don't think I've ever mentioned Pat Condell's Godless Comedy on this page. Well, I have now.



January 6, 2009

Holy smokes!

The New York Times reports:

Parents who smoke often open a window or turn on a fan to clear the air for their children, but experts now have identified a related threat to children’s health that isn’t as easy to get rid of: third-hand smoke.

That’s the term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room.

[...] "Everyone knows that second-hand smoke is bad, but they don’t know about this," said Dr. Jonathan P. Winickoff, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

"When their kids are out of the house, they might smoke. Or they smoke in the car. Or they strap the kid in the car seat in the back and crack the window and smoke, and they think it’s okay because the second-hand smoke isn’t getting to their kids," Dr. Winickoff continued. "We needed a term to describe these tobacco toxins that aren’t visible."

Of course, there is fourth-hand smoke also —which I just invented because I felt we needed a term to describe knowing someone who smokes.

How about lepers' bells and gated (!) communities for smokers? Something like Guantanamo Light perhaps?



November 28, 2008

Australian comedians John Clarke and Bryan Dawe:
A politician's view on ...

... a damaged oil tanker

... a whale killed by seismic testing



October 31, 2008

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator   ...and counting. (Click image for details.)



October 9, 2008

How the Markets Really Work

The meltdown of financial markets is happening. A year ago, these two British comedians saw it coming, which raises the question whether becoming an investment banker means to turn into a complete economic idiot or to join international organized crime.



July 13, 2008

Dave Allen On Religious Education

— the kind of religion that leads to either atheism or a miserable life, unless, of course, you watch this clip which will bring healing laughter and set things right.



January 24, 2008

Tom Cruise, Scientologist

How to commit intellectual suicide in one single sentence:

"When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help."

There's a good boy. Want a cookie?



December 22, 2007

Reintroducing The Pillory

If you get a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Arizona, you also get your mugshot, name, etc. published on a website.

Teachers in Florida who have been sanctioned for misconduct are publicly displayed on a website of the Florida Department of Education. The Sarasota Herald Tribune published a list containing the names of 24,500 such teachers from all 50 states.

And the LA-Times reported a few days ago, that a man in California stabbed his neighbor to death because he thought he had seen his face on a similar website for sexual offenders.

Welcome to the year 1429.



December 9, 2007

A Private Equity Tycoon

How much difference is there between this guy and, say, Saddam Hussein, in terms of general human decency? I'd say: none. I could have picked a European specimen of course; it just so happened that I ran across this one. And the decency issue arises not from how much he makes, but from how he makes that much.



December 6, 2007

Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist

One of the best comedy acts I ever saw.



December 2, 2007

"Who should the USA invade next?"

Stupidity, of course, is ubiquitous. What makes this clip so dreadful is stupidity combined with military power. (And it's looking pretty bad for the Aussies!)

Oh, and while we're at it: The Sunday Times reports today:

America has told Britain that it can "kidnap" British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it. (...)

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

In other words: We will do whatever we fucking well please, and we will not answer to anyone. (That kind of stupidity on top of not knowing your ass from second base...)



November 20, 2007

Bad Day at the Office

This is one of the scariest —and saddest— videos I've seen in a long time. The scary part is not that people get fed up with things and eventually become destructive. The scary part is that they do so in complete silence. The tension is building up, no sound, no yelling, no cussing (in our cubicular society you have to be decent and not draw attention to yourself), until it all explodes suddenly, unstoppably, and even then speechlessly.

The inhabitants of the adjacent cubicles, speechless in their own way, try to ignore the 'malfunction' and to remain inconspicuous themselves. There are no attempts to help or to intervene. The malfunctioning unit will be expelled by agents of the corporate immune system. Associating with a defective unit would perhaps cause one's own malfunction by some sort of infection.

Sometimes it does seem to be unclear whether we are indeed a conscious species.



November 18, 2007

Grounds for Impeachment?

100,000+ Dead Iraqis
4,000+ Dead US-Troops
1 Blowjob



November 11, 2007

George Carlin is an old man. And he is one of America's finest comedians.
He is not joking in this video, though.

Wake Up America

(Things are no different over here in Europe, and if we aren't quite there yet, we will be shortly.)



October 18, 2007

Here is a six-year-old preaching in front of an abortion clinic.
Where is CPS when you need them?

The young preacher

I do hope the young fellow doesn't end up being like Dr. Gene Scott whose disposition and personality are absolutely beyond anything I have ever seen, professionally or otherwise. Scott died in 2005. May he rot in peace.

The old preacher



10. Oktober 2007

Ausnahmsweise was Deutsches:

Es ist schlimm, wenn Eva Herman ihre Worte nicht wägt, ihre Ideen —wie gut oder schlecht sie auch immer sein mögen— damit selbst in die Tonne tritt, und das nicht bemerken will oder kann.

Es ist noch schlimmer, wenn in einer deutschen Talkshow die angejahrte Zickeria in Gestalt von Senta Berger und Margarethe Schreinemakers ihre Hirnläppchen hochzurrt um auf Hexenjagd zu gehen und sich politisch korrekt zu entrüsten.

Und am schlimmsten ist es, wenn ein Moderator, nämlich Johannes B. Kerner, die Eva Herman erst einlädt und sie dann, als die Berger theatralisch wird, rausschmeißt.

Das Deutsche Fernsehen ist weißgott nicht arm an Tiefpunkten. Hier aber untertrifft es sich selbst.
Die Intendanz fand's in Ordnung.
Is klar.

Eva Herman bei Johannes B. Kerner, ZDF



September 22, 2007

Get a life!

What Second Life is really like



July 4, 2007

GWB pardoned Scooter Libby. And it is the 4th of July. Keith Olbermann has a word or two to say about that.

Keith Olbermann, July 3, 2007: Resign



June 2, 2007

A few days ago, on May 28, the 25-million-Dollar Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, Kentucky. "Prepare to Believe" is the motto. I took the virtual tour. Absolutely exciting. The dinosaur article is a gem. So is the answer to the question: How did all the animals fit on Noah's Ark? And here's a New Cosmology which is sorely needed since we do need to explain why we can observe stars that are more than 6000 light years away —and should therefore be invisible because light didn't have enough time to get here.

One pervasive argument in this elaborate system of delusions is that since science does not have an answer to all scientifically answerable questions, it is wrong as a whole.
However, it is the very essence of science not to have answers. Science is not about having answers, it is about finding answers. Which is why the term 'creation science' is an oxymoron: they have the answers already. Now they're fiddling with science in order to find the answers they already have.

Are they believers? Or are they just smart alecks, incapable of believing something if they do not simultaneously know it? Do they make a difference between believing and knowing? (One of the diagnostic criteria of a delusion in psychiatry is precisely that the patient is incapable of discerning that what he feels and believes may not be real (as an event or fact), although the feeling and the belief are real (as an experience).) Ah, perhaps, we need to find some answers here... Then again... perhaps a prescription would suffice.



May 24, 2007

The Islamic calendar gives today's date as 5-7-1428.
Some Christians are trying their very best to live up to that:

Discussing a U.S. Army battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia in 1993, [Lt. Gen. William G.] Boykin [deputy undersecretary of defense] told one audience, "I knew my god was bigger than his. I knew that my god was a real god and his was an idol." (CNN)

OK, OK, this happened a few years back, in 1424, but it does make one wonder what kind of people are 'defending' freedom and democracy, and if they know what the words mean, or if, in fact, they know their ass from a hole in the ground.

Then there's this whole business about Rapture my friend Colin made me aware of a few days ago. Rapture is the assumption of Assumption, i.e. going to heaven without dying - upon the Second Coming of Christ. Now, if he did return, how would they know? Ah yes, quite simply by the cloud, and the trumpets, and the Everything-Stopping-Dead-In-Its-Tracks-bit. Anyway, here's an image of Rapture. And it is NOT a joke!! The guy who put this on his website meant it.

image 25 kB

Finally, and for the sheer unadulterated hell of it, here's a Jewish guy trying to be admitted to the Ku Klux Klan (this, of course, is as much a bitter satire as it is scary):

John Safran tries out for the KKK (from glumbert.com)


I am kinda curious if we'll make it to 1492.



March 31, 2007

Today Newsweek published their latest poll on 'God's Numbers':

Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact.
...
Nearly half (47 percent) of the respondents felt the country is more accepting of atheists today than it used to be and slightly more (49 percent) reported personally knowing an atheist.

I could sit down right now and write an article for the Smallville Gazette:
"Oh yes", says 43-year-old sales representative Mary-Beth Kapilski, "he moved to our neighborhood a couple weeks ago and I must say he seems very friendly, I mean, for an atheist."

Well, here's the good news for nearly half of the public (the other half will enjoy this too, I'm sure):

Peanut butter disproves evolution (2:05, from glumbert.com)



February 13, 2007

TBN is the world's largest Christian broadcasting network. So, take a look at the broad (Jan Crouch) and the cast (Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn). The rest — including the furniture and the hairdo— is self-explanatory.

TBN: "It's so Judas, hello?" (~3:35)



February 1, 2007

This should be made the sole item in the future G.W.Bush Memorial Library.

Frank Caliendo (on Letterman) (~3:05)



December 9, 2006

It has often been observed that enemies have to have essential similarities. A case in point is this youth pastor, Becky Fisher, from North Jeezistan aka North Dakota, who explains why evangelical Americans need to train their children to be terrorists: they (the Islamists) are doing it, so we're doing it.
And she means it!

Clip from the documentary 'Jesus Camp' (~1:20)



December 8, 2006

Here's a trailer form the documentary movie Jesus Camp:

Jesus Camp featurette (~3min.)

I might remind the ladies and gentlemen who are so eagerly engaging in this heinous abuse of children that most of the tools and amenities they employ so liberally (ha!!) in their everyday lives are directly based on the same body of evidence which also establishes that the earth was not created 4000-odd years ago.

And I therefore suggest that —lest they be called shameless liars, sinners and hypocrites whose fate will be eternal damnation— they be as true to their belief as are the Amish and henceforth refrain from using television, computers, cameras, cars, telephones, radios, or whatever other godless equipment there may be, and instead walk back to the ol' homestead, where —perhaps after a little prayer for the Creation of electric light— they chase the hogs out from under the table, blow out the candle, and go to bed.



November 4, 2006

I first saw this almost two years ago (and mentioned it in 'Journal 3': March 2005). Now it somehow found its way to larger audiences. Halleluya!

Farting Evangelist (~4 min.)

Unlike much of the rest of this stuff, this is funny. Let's all fart and pray that it won't get removed!



October 21, 2006

You think fundamentalist muslims are the only crazy ones out there? Well, here's a few clips with impressions from what seems to be an asylum for the criminally insane, but is in fact American televangelism.

The Daily Show: God Stuff #01 (~3min; Quicktime); (Windows Media)
The Daily Show: God Stuff #02 (~3min; Quicktime); (Windows Media)
The Daily Show: God Stuff #05 (~3min; Quicktime); (Windows Media)
The Daily Show: God Stuff #26 (~3min; Quicktime); (Windows Media)

05-26-07: For #01 and #02, please use the Windows Media option (The Quicktime links are broken for some reason).

More here: http://www.wittenburgdoor.com/doortv.html. (It's 'Wittenberg', guys. But still: Thank you for keeping this available.)



October 19, 2006

America is governed by fear. A democracy? No, a deimocracy (from the Greek 'deimos': 'dread'). Fear of God, fear of communism, fear of terrorism...

A powerful speech by Keith Olbermann against fear and against the fearmongers of the Bush administration. Still, why do I always get the impression that even those outspoken critics of the present administration are only helping to keep up the illusion of free speech, the illusion of democracy, the illusion of liberty... ?

Keith Olbermann: The Beginning of the End of America
(8min., 10-17-2006)



October 19, 2006

I do not agree with Richard Dawkins' stance that science is all we need in order to understand life and experience it in a meaningful way, or that faith is inherently dangerous. However, I do enthusiastically agree with him that what he shows in this documentary about the fanaticized religious indoctrination of children (in the US, and in Europe) is public insanity, or, as he puts it himself: "barking mad".

Richard Dawkins: The Root Of All Evil - The Virus of Faith (43 min.)

(There is a first part to it which I found somewhat less impressive:
Richard Dawkins: The Root Of All Evil - The Virus of Faith, Part I (47 min.)


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© Hans Metsch