Progressaurus Rex

Staving Off Extinction with Mixed Metaphors, Mild Rants and Belgian Ale

Friday, January 12, 2007

you can't spell WORST without W!

interesting. and not in a good way.

last night in wimpy chimpy's acceptance speech for winning the 2007 Incompetence Award™ (that's 7 years running- way to go, george!), he unceremoniously mentioned that patriot missile defense units were being sent to iraq.

these units are used as defense against long-range missile threats. there has yet to be a single attack by iraqi insurgents that employs the use of long-range missiles, nor is there any intelligence that would suggest that any insurgents -- not al qaeda, the sadrists, the sunnis in anbar province, etc. -- possess long-range missiles.

so let's consider this "surge" soft drink strategy (like the pepsi challenge -- 7 out of 10 people prefer surge to escalation!): it would appear to involve sending units that, one would assume, serve no purpose, given what we know about the threats on the ground.

so why send patriot missile defense units to iraq?

I just had a revelation! maybe we'll all have one this year!
who has long-range missiles?


Friday, December 01, 2006

it's official: bush supporters are psychos.

no, really. according to a new study, it turns out that there's a direct link between mental illness and support for bush. part of the conclusion:
“Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader,” [social work graduate student at Southern Connecticut State University Christopher] Lohse says. “If your world is very mixed up, there’s something very comforting about someone telling you, ‘This is how it’s going to be.’”
a previous study found similar results for a republican candidate, with psychiatric patients preferring nixon over mcgovern in the 1972 election. but this is hardly news, as studies have shown that many conservatives seek authoritarian leadership -- ie. as long as they're told everything's going to be fine, they're happy to take orders (and happy to call those who question the authority "traitors", happy to support journalists being thrown in jail for embarrassing der führer with such trifles as revelations of his lawbreaking, happy to support massive foreign policy blunders, and so forth). just so long as there's order.

perhaps the ideal conservative candidate for 2008 would be the stepfather.
ORDER, damn it! what we need around here is some ORDER!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

shorter conservatives: IT'S ALL ABOUT US!

you, charles krauthammer, are a silly man and a hopeless partisan.

montana will have made no difference; conrad burns is set to be indicted. had he won, once he was forced to step down the democratic governor of his state would have appointed tester, anyway.

this election wasn't about dem/rep or lib/con, it was the year of the INDEPENDENT, and the great repudiation of karl rove's belief that there is no longer a center.

this was a major earthquake for the center, who firmly declared their belief that the ship of state was listing to starboard.

ideologues like krauthammer really want to believe americans love the right's radical ideas. well, radical ideas are fine -- when they move the country forward, and not sideways.

americans want "full speed ahead"...republicans lost because they had revealed their true intent: FULL SPEED TO THE RIGHT!

here's a hint for you and the republicans, charlie -- get rid of that social conservative, culture war baggage you're carrying. you're losing sensible conservatives to the libertarian party; one more "minor earthquake" like this, and all you'll have left are the snake-charmers and rapture-seekers.

believe me, charlie, if the last six years have taught me anything, it's that you don't want the rapture-seekers in charge.

ily, sds

Saturday, August 05, 2006

save the balls! drown the cards!

for those of you that either followed baseball or collected baseball cards at any time in your life, there's an interesting article over in slate about the death of baseball card collecting.

i'm glad this article confirms the suspicion that i had all along -- that the glut of cards thrown on the market in the 90's made collecting them confusing and, frankly, no longer any fun.

but it stops waaaay short of addressing the further issue of the decline of baseball itself. i have to wonder if any others that read this article quit collecting -- or following baseball at all, as i did -- in 1994, the year of the last baseball strike. it was that year that i decided that in no way could i support those overpaid crybabies anymore (and to that end, i give you exhibit a: barry bonds). and i can honestly say i don't miss it one bit. thank you, nfl!

i'm glad i got out when i did. now, true to the "little investor" premise, i held on to what cards i had by putting them in storage, expecting they'd continue to appreciate in value and that i'd eventually sell them for much more than i had paid.

four years later, 1998, i found myself in a bit of a financial crisis, so i decided to liquidate the cards. now, i thought i was making a great compromise in my original plan, which was to ferret the cards away for decades and then, at last, reap the rewards. to my surprise, i found that already the market was falling. the truth was that aside from some notables (mcgwire, for instance, who was in the process of hitting 70+ home runs that year), many of the other previously valuable cards were now next to worthless. it seemed that the whole market, which before had been roughly broken into major star/minor star/common value categories, had devolved to merely major or common (yes, the disappearing middle class). ALL of those $1-$5 blue chips now garnered no interest whatsoever.

"what gives?" i thought. then i went to a baseball card shop for the first time in years. it only took a moment to figure it out: there were so many special edition, collector's series, new brands, special sets, subsets, 3-d, jumbo, all-star, and other cards that i can't imagine how anyone could've even started to collect them all; you wouldn't have known where to begin. closer inspection revealed that many of these cards were just too expensive right out of the box. sure enough, the card companies had gone upscale -- five cards in one pack for $1? just because they've got shiny gold-colored foil on them? whatever. even a kid knows that's a ripoff.

ultimately this was the death of baseball cards as we knew them. the card companies had succumbed to greed, just as the players that adorned those cards had. they had diluted the market by juicing the cards, just as baseball had diluted the game by juicing the balls.

it reminded me, however, of an interesting card collecting anecdote from the 50s, though: the topps company, faced with too much leftover stock in 1952, dumped thousands of cards into the atlantic ocean. this actually increased the value of the remaining cards; indeed, the topps cards from the 50s are some of the rarest and most valuable of the mass-produced, post-ww2 baseball cards, and will always have a higher value-to-age ratio than any of the cards made since (by this i mean that when the cards made in the 80s are fifty years old, they won't be as valuable as the cards made in the 50s are now).

therefore, i propose that we dump half of all the cards produced since the 1980's, and also half of all baseball players currently playing into the atlantic ocean. this will add value to both the remaining cards, and the game of baseball.

ily, sds!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

critical thinking: which war do we fight?

does anyone else find it ironic that the many of the same people that dismiss global warming are the same ones that bought the rationale for the iraq war?

let’s compare global warming (present tense) and the iraq war (past tense):

both are (were) based on the same premise that something bad might happen that we could stop by taking preventative measures now.

both have (had) “experts” that support the reasoning behind the need to act, and “experts” that deny there is (was) a need to act.

pursuing the iraq war was clearly going to lead to death and destruction, the threat of disrupting the entire volatile middle east region, and alienating many of our allies. being wrong, or lying, about the rationale for war is at least gross incompetence and at most a crime against humanity.

yet that was an easy decision for many to embrace. $300 billion later, iraq is a mess, thousands are dead, terrorists have a new playground, oil prices are through the roof, leaders are dissembling or claiming they didn’t actually say what they actually said, and there’s no end in sight.

pursuing global warming will not lead to death and destruction. it will hopefully lead to lower pollution, cleaner air and water, a vast new renewable energy industry, energy independence (which, as we all should know, makes for better national security) and will have the added effect of weakening the oil companies that have a death grip on our country that adversely affects our foreign policy, economy, and political process.

yet this is heresy to some. instead, they’d prefer to protect the oil industry, which continually chooses profit over american wellbeing and security. they’d prefer to demonize the scientists that contend there is a problem, which is exactly what the oil industry would have them do. they prefer to demonize the media while failing to address the clear interest the oil and coal industries have in the status quo.

so the reality is there are those that willingly accept the path of death and destruction with unverifiable proof and shaky reasoning, but when it comes to making a positive change that is better for our communities, our country, our political process and our future, no matter what proof exists…well that’s too hard to accept, more proof is necessary.

that, my friends, is almost literally the definition of hypocrisy.

(ily, sds)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

a message to our dear american friends from exxonmobil

don't trust al gore!

yes, america, here’s someone who is concerned that we may be endangering our future by damaging our eco-system irreparably. sure, maybe he has some “alleged scientists” with so-called “facts” to back up his claims.

but you know what? al gore is obviously a nutjob. he must still be pissed off from that whole 2000 thing. we’ve got a better idea — let’s ignore all the experts in meteorology, oceanography, climatology and so on who spent years getting an education and studying these things. let’s ignore the historical record that proves a climate change is occurring.

there’s no reason to change your habits, america! let’s not let these ‘dead-enders’ and ’sore losers’ convince us that we have to make difficult choices for the benefit of future generations. that’s just defeatist liberal talk. the world is here for us, right now, and we should exploit every last resource we’ve been given by the lord god almighty. to not do so would be denying our devine right as masters of this dominion.

just have faith, and trust us, the oil companies. we’ve been drilling oil for a long time and we’re here to tell you that it will last FOREVER, and our earth is COMPLETELY IMPERVIOUS to EVERYTHING. in fact, the more oil we use, the stronger we make the earth, so just get used to the idea of being dependent on oil until the end of time — which of course, will never come, because our use of oil has actually turned the earth into an INDESTRUCTABLE SUPER-PLANET.
you don’t have to thank us. we thank you, the loyal oil consumer. keep up the good work! and remember, al gore is that crazy guy who claimed he invented the internet, so he can’t be trusted.



Sunday, April 23, 2006

first post of the year -- and it's only almost may!

what can i tell you?
i've been busy.

most recently i've been to new zealand and the united states. wellington, nz really impressed me, with a compact and negotiable central business district and a perfect range of activities for 20- and 30-somethings: good food and bars, natural terrain featuring a harbor surrounded by hills and low mountains (for you sailing/hiking/camping types), many non-traditional and locally-owned shops, the national museums, library and galleries, good public transport (like the cable car, offering spectacular views of the city), and most important of all- an impressive selection of BELGIAN BEERS available in the grocery stores.

so of course i had a fantastic time in wellington. i think if i ever had the chance to live in new zealand, which i would love to do, wellington would be my first choice. not the destination for those of you that like beaches and sunny weather, however.

in the states, i spent the entire time with seréne, my lovely companion in this world. she lives in nashville,tennessee, but while i was there we visited my parents in florida and friends in indiana. florida is almost the exact opposite of wellington -- sunny days, beaches everywhere, very touristy. still, even that's fun to do every so often.

and so much has happened in this crazy world i can't even begin to get into it. maybe next time.