Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It's official: It's the oil, stoopid!

I've mentioned many times that the U.S. Army would not be in Iraq if Iraq's biggest export were turnips rather than oil. Turns out that the Preznit agrees. Says Dear Leader: It's about the oil, stupid!

Man, this is a relief. I was being driven almost nuts by the Bush administration's many "reasons" for the war that had nothing to do with the best interests of America and Americans, and by actions undertaken in Iraq which seemingly had nothing to do with securing those vital oil supplies (e.g., the actions in Fallujah -- there's no oil in Fallujah!). Now that the truth is out -- it's about the oil -- we can actually do things that are rational, rather than calculated to make bogus "reasons" look plausible.

As for the "no war for oil" crowd, they're eating food that was transported using oil, probably drive a car fueled by oil, use a computer whose primary component (plastic) is solidified oil, and otherwise would be in deep doo-doo about oil. If we are to be an empire, then, by golly, let us do it right and let people know that we're going to simply take what we need to fuel our empire. None of these half-measures where we pretend to be a democracy and thus don't do the job right. While I miss the days of the American republic, I reluctantly conclude that those days are past, and all I can do is comment upon imperial comptence. In that regard, the Chimperor coming clean is one of the most optimistic signs that I've seen in eons.

-- Badtux the Cynical Penguin


Read. Times Picayune is going to get a Pulitzer or two out of their coverage. Total breakdown of all emergency systems intended to cope with this disaster. The sandbags didn't get deployed to fix the canal the way they were supposed to be, the emergency transportation for those who had no cars did not happen, and looters are threatening the Children's Hospital. And there's no National Guard to respond to the situation at the Children's Hospital because they're all in Iraq protecting us from non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction, the same deal with the U.S. Army. Like the Roman Empire in its later years, the inner Empire has been stripped of all capability to deal with disasters in order to engage in non-productive exercises intended to enrich its rulers rather than enhance the Empire, and thus the moment the walls are breached (even if by water rather than by German invaders), the whole house of cards collapses....

Times-Picayune warned that a Category 3 hurricane could swamp New Orleans

In fact, they even identified one of the current breaches as a likely spot where it it could happen. The question is what happened to the giant sandbags that were supposed to be ready to deploy to this particular breach, and the people who were supposed to deploy them? Hmm, I bet the people who were supposed to deploy them got laid off due to the Bush budget cuts...

The New Orleans Times-Picayune is the best guide to the unfolding disaster in New Orleans. They are continuing to publish from Baton Rouge, albeit only electronically at the moment since their printing presses are underwater.

- Badtux the Cajun Penguin

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More on the New Orleans situation

New Orleans has been continuously inhabited since 1718. In that time it has endured storms, fires, wars, and floods. However, the current flood is unprecedented, and, it appears, is directly related to cuts in funding to maintain the levees.

This is not a new issue. The New Orleans newspaper has been warning that New Orleans may have to be abandoned if the current situation persists. The basic problem is that New Orleans sits on the Mississippi Plate. Think of a large dinner plate floating on top of a tub of molten lava. Now take a bunch of mud, carry it down the Mississippi River, and dump it on one end of the plate. What happens? That end sinks, and the other end rises. Thus Louisiana is sinking, and Arkansas and Missouri are rising. This, BTW, is a probable cause for the New Madrid earthquake, which may have been the largest earthquake to ever hit the United States. (Luckily the area of the earthquake was largely uninhabited at the time). Add in the fact that New Orleans is sitting on mud -- mud that is increasingly drying up due to the levees built around it. What does mud do when it dries? It shrinks, of course. The end result is that in some areas New Orleans is sinking at a rate of 5 inches per decade. And as New Orleans sinks, the levees do too. In fact, because the levees are heavy and are sitting on mud, they probably are sinking faster than the rest of the city.

Now, back during the Big Easy's prime, in the decade 1945-1955, that was not a big deal. New Orleans reached a population of around 630,000 during that decade. It was a can-do era for America... the levees are sinking? Just build them back up! But then desegregation happened, and the white population fled to the suburbs, with entire neighborhoods turning into crumbling ruins that looked like a war zone. New Orleans prior to the Great Flood of 2005 only had 450,000 residents left, of whom a large percentage were brown and poor. So New Orleans was left to maintain a levee system intended to protect over 630,000 people with a tax base less than half of what was needed, and became dependent upon federal funding to help maintain the levees. And furthermore, the times changed. We went from being "can-do America" to being "can't-do America". We went from a can-do era where we could do anything -- send a man to the moon in a decade? No problemo! -- to a can't-do era where we can't even get men into space reliably, much less to the moon. Both of these trends, the declining tax base, the cutoff of Federal money to the levee district in 2003 in order to fund the Mess in Mesopotamia, and the can't-do attitude of modern day America where an America sunk into cynicism and despair believes that positive change is now impossible -- collided in New Orleans today as the levees crumbled.

It now appears that I was optimistic about whether New Orleans will ever be inhabitable again. Even if this particular break is fixed and the city pumped dry again, the levees are continuing to sink -- and there is no money to fix them. All that will happen is that the levees will break again at the next storm. And that will be the last time. As with the last days of Rome, there will be no more money to dry the city out. It will be abandoned, like Rome was, other than a few thousand huddled survivors in the ruins. 20 years from now a small village on stilts in the Mississippi Delta will peek above the waters as you travel by cruise ship to Baton Rouge (the first high ground you'll hit), and that will be New Orleans.

Meanwhile, Nero fiddled -- Bush strummed a guitar. What a miserable failure...

-- Badtux the "In 20 years, will we recall a legend named New Orleans?" Penguin

Oops, the big guy loses patience after all

Seems like folks prayed that the Big Easy would not be wiped off the map, but forgot to ask the Big Guy not to flood it.

Under normal circumstances, here is how New Orleans is drained: It isn't possible to pump stormwater all the way from the center of the city to the levees. Instead, gravity is used to do most of the job. There are canals raised above the level of the city that run along the old routes of the bayous that used to surround New Orleans. Many of them have natural levees that are a few feet above sea level that gradually slope away from them, and that have been reinforced with man-made levees on top of them. In the rest of the city, water is pumped into these canals by large diesel-operated storm pumps. Cross-canals have been built to carry the pumped stormwater from these canals to Lake Ponchartrain, because it typically has a lower and more stable water level than the Mississippi River. These cross-canals have minimal natural levees and are protected by large dikes or seawalls.

These cross canals have always been the weakpoint in New Orleans's levee systme. The seawall along Lake Ponchartrain is quite stout and rests on a natural levee that is a few feet above sea level in the first place, and the same with the Mississippi levees and the central canals' natural levees. But the cross canals' levees are nowhere near as stout. Apparently hundred-foot sections of some of these cross canals have just... disappeared. Melted away in the storm surge. Causing the bowls between them to fill with water, until finally the water comes up above the (much lower) levees protecting the storm pumps and submerges them.

Basically these levees aren't going to be fixable until the bowls between them finish filling up, until then dropping sand on their former locations out of helicopters is pretty much pissing in the wind. They will basically have to be fixed by floating barges in from Lake Ponchartrain. The first barges will be full of dirt and gravel and the equipment to dump it off the barges into the water in order to create temporary levees. Then comes the chore of creating permenant levees. Large steel bulkheads will be rammed deep into the subsoil into the locations where the levees should be, the water will be sucked out, and large footings created so that the resulting levee will basically float on the mud and muck that New Orleans is built upon. Then a shell will be created with an inner bulkhead on top of this footing. Concrete will be poured to create a concrete shell. The inner bulkhead will be removed, the shell filled with dirt, and then the outer bulkheads removed and the next section, which interlocks with the previous section, will then be constructed. This is not unusual by any means, New Orleans is expert in building stuff off of barges, I remember when they expanded I-10 to the west of the city watching the barges float along below with construction equipment and construction materials. But it doesn't happen overnight. While dumping sand off of helicopters looks exciting, that's not what's going to fix the levees, it's going to take heavy equipment on barges, and while there is a lot of such equipment in Louisiana, the current state of emergency is going to make it hard to round it all up and get started.

Then once temporary levees are in place, they're going to have to pump out the city... which is not going to be an easy task. The pumps are all underwater. So they'll have to build temporary levees around the pumps and pump out the pumps first. The diesel engines which run the pumps are likely ruined by the salt water. So they're going to have to replace those diesel engines and then overhaul the pumps themselves, which are not designed to be immersed in salt water and are going to need careful drying out and lubricating before they're usable.

Once the pumps are back operational, it won't take as long to pump out New Orleans as some people fear. The pumps are designed to evict about 12 inches of water per day. New Orleans averages about 6 feet below sea level. So it'll take about a week to pump it all out. But before that can han happen, the parts of the city where the levees have failed will have to be completely flooded so that the levees can be repaired, because the breaks are simply too large to repair while the flood is in progress.

The question is whether New Orleans will still be a viable city at the end. Having 2/3rds of the city underwater for what will likely be at least a month is not conducive to commerce. The older parts of the city, built above sea level on natural levees, will remain pretty much unscathed of course, and those are the primary tourist draws. But it will take literally years to rebuild I-10 east of New Orleans, meaning that shipping traffic will likely continue upriver to the industrial area south of Baton Rouge, where it can be unloaded to trains and trucks to go to the east over I-12.

In short: If you have any CSX stock, sell. (CSX is the main freight line from New Orleans to points east). Norfolk Southern, on the other hand, looks like a good bet (via KCS they are one of the main lines out of Baton Rouge to points east). And if you want a good time in the Big Easy, it may be a few decades... or never, depending upon whether America still has the ability to fix things in a timely manner. I'm not sure nowdays. The days of America as a can-do nation that could do anything seem to be fading fast, with "can't-do" being the prominent feature of modern America. Want good health care for all Americans? Back in the days of "can-do America", America would have said "Sure!" But in today's "can't do America", America says "Can't be done." Want to go to the moon before the end of the decade? "Can't do it." Sadly, restoring New Orleans to her former prominence as a major port city may be another "Can't be done" in the new "can't do" America....

- Badtux the Soggy Penguin

Thursday, August 25, 2005

*CARTOON* Penguin Porn!

One of the more peculiar things to come out of Japan over the past 30 years is something called "hentai". These are "adult" cartoons with your typical spikey-haired big-eyed animated Japanese characters. I've never been able to fathom the appeal of this genre... I mean, in a society where you can get the *real un-animated* porn so easily, why bother with *animated* porn?!

A mysterious reader sent me a link in EMAIL that is similarly unfathomable. It is a link to a page on one of those left-wing environmentalist sites. Look, everybody knows that those liberals are always always talking about sexual perversions, and engage in perverted sex regularly and they're all a bunch of perverted exhibitionists who shake their boobies on national TV. But look... animated penguin porn?!

-- Badtux the Astounded Penguin

War on Terra makes cops less safe

The best fabric for making bullet-proof vests is a fabric called 'Spectra'. Because it is 40% stronger than Kevlar, bullet-proof vests made with this fabric can be less bulky while providing more protection. There's only one problem with Spectra: You can't get it.

Why? Well, only one company makes it -- Honeywell, via their subsidiary, Spectra Technologies. This company has a fixed capacity. It doesn't make sense for them to expand that capacity because their normal customers, companies making bullet-proof vests for police agencies, don't buy enough of the fabric to fully utilize that capacity. There's only one problem: for the past three years, the U.S. Department of Defense has basically declared a state of emergency and bought up every single stitch of Spectra fabric available in order to use it to make body armor for soldiers bound for Afghanistan and Iraq.

As a result, police agencies have been forced to buy protective vests for their officers made of other fabrics, one of which is Zylon. Which, it now turns out, doesn't work.

Yet another way that the Cheerleader-in-chief has harmed the actual day-to-day security of America...

- Badtux the Connecting-the-dots Penguin

You're not fat unless someone says you are

One of the interesting things about the Bush Administration is its insistence that reality is whatever people decide it is, and thus if liberals and small-state libertarians refuse to believe that Iraq is a peaceful paradise, their lack of belief in and of itself causes the problems in Iraq. This is very much a faith-based regime, which believes implicitly in Orwell's Ministry of Truth and its dictum that "truth is what we say it is", i.e., that there is no objective reality, only belief. And their hordes of faith-based zealot followers are eager to agree. In Bushevik America, 2+2=5. Except when it's 3, or 4, or all of them at the same time.

Given this, it was only a matter of time before fat people in Bushevik America would start blaming those who call them fat for their obesity. After all, if nobody ever said they were fat, they wouldn't be. Remember, in Bushevik America, reality is what people say it is, rather than some fixed thing that simply is. Thus the rather interesting case of the doctor in trouble for telling a patient that she was obese and needed to lose weight. Thus requiring that she enter into nutritional counselling and exercise programs to lose weight, whereas if the doctor had not told her this, she would have been slim without the need for all that extra hassle and expense.

War is peace. Tyranny is freedom. The burkha is women's rights. Fat is slim. Welcome to 1984+21.

- Badtux the "I'm not fat, I'm just pleasantly plump!" Penguin

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

God re-writes 6th Commandment

The 6th Commandment now reads Thou Shalt Kill, according to His prophet on Earth, Pat Robertson.

That is all.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Bush's Mistake

"Bush's biggest mistake was to not leave after declaring victory. That is the accepted way for the U.S. to lose a war."

-- # posted by NewsBlog 5000 : 23/8/05 11:12 AM

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Israel still living in 1967

Jordan is run by a guy with a degree in Political Science from Georgetown University. Syria is run by a doctor who was called back from Britain, where he was practicing, to take the reins of power. Egypt is run by a rigid dictator who is too busy fighting Islamists who want to overthrow his government to threaten anybody. Lebanon has no army, and only a few armed guerrillas who fire occasional rockets is Israel's direction pose any threat at all. The only country in the area (Iran) that has both the means and the will to attack Israel is over 500 miles away and might as well be in the next galaxy insofar as their armed forces have no way to reach Israel.

Israel is safer today than it has ever been in its entire existence. Yet, talking to my Israeli coworkers, reading the news from Israel, it seems that the Israeli people themselves haven't got the message, and indeed if you point this out and point out that maybe it's time that the United States quit propping up a failed welfare state in the Middle East by shipping them billions of dollars in aid, and instead force them to reform both economically and politically to live in the modern world rather than as a walled-off garrison state, you're immediately accused of being an anti-Semite who wants to exterminate Jews because everybody in the area hates Jews and wants to destroy Israel.

Excuse me? Who is this "everybody"? The people of Lebanon, who are so sick to death of guns that they won't even create their own Army after the withdrawal of the Israeli and Syrian armies? Jordan, which has a whole 90,000 soldiers in its army, the vast majority of whom are used as police forces? An opthamologist in Syria who has no air force worthy of the name, no anti-aircraft defenses, and a big army but most of its tanks are sitting broken down by the side of the road for lack of spare parts and who, anyhow, is too busy consolidating his own power to worry about invading some country that, as far as he is concerned, is no big deal? A guy in Egypt who is being propped up by the United States to keep the Islamists from taking power and has neither incentive nor ability to take on Israel? The only Arab country that is not so dependent on U.S. aid that they could even *think* of attacking Israel is Syria, and they lack the capability to do more than send a few draftees out to be slaughtered by Israeli armor and air power -- and know it. Israeli military spending is four times that of all Arab nations combined. The only threat to Israel, apparently, is the imaginary one engrained in the Israeli psyche.

But pointing these facts out, and pointing out that our support of Israel is great for the Israelis but does nothing for America and Americans, is "anti-Israel". So be it. I guess that, even though I don't care either way about Israelis, that makes me the moral equivalent of Adolph Hitler. Or something like that.

-- Badtux the "Hmm, does that make me a Nazi?" Penguin

Monday, August 22, 2005

Only dead people have a right to speak

If a live person criticizes Dear Leader and his holy war in Iraq, it's treason. This is even if that live person lost a son or daughter in Iraq. Such people are merely moral degenerates who are exploiting their child's death.

No no, it is clear: the only people who have the right to criticize Dear Leader's little foray into Iraq are the actual dead soldiers. Who 100% support the war. We know that because Dear Leader says so, and Dear Leader has, like, this direct pipeline to God, y'know, and would God lie?

Alrighty then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Why we can't leave Iraq

If we left, there would be civil war.

Oops, there already is!. Alrighty then, Mission Accomplished, I guess...

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bye bye, Gonzo

Going out with a bang. Goodbye, Gonzo. We won't see your like again. The world has moved on, become a meaner, harder place, a world where gonzo merely gets you killed rather than famous and would never be published anyhow by the tame press poodles of our land who would fear offending someone with prose not politically approved by the Ministry of Truth (or Pat Robertson, same difference). A world where the wide open spaces of the mind have been compressed and tamed as the huddled masses of America cringe in fear, fear of strangers, fear of their darling Tammy or cute Curtis falling down and getting hurt, fear of everything as they bundle themselves into six-ton tanks to be "safe", safe I say! There is no place for the unsafe, the outrageous, the daring in this new America of poodles and cowards and law and order. The most anybody can muster is the occasional breath of outrage, swiftly co-opted for political purposes by the craven and the cynical.

Your time was over, and you knew it, and you checked out. Perhaps that was all you could do, the one, last, gonzo thing left in the decaying body that was a 67 year old man in the decaying body that is America, where the roads are crumbling and the bridges are falling down and the vaunted military disintegrating in the sands of Iraq and the jobs moving to China as the country swiftly becomes Mexico North with a super-rich elite and hordes of poorly-educated peasants working on the elite's plantations being the only two classes allowed. It must have broke your heart, seeing what America had become over the course of your lifespan, going from a nation of adventurers and can-do optimism to the current state of cynicism and can't-do pessimism. It is perhaps fitting that your last act will be giving the finger (literally) to the nation...

-- Badtux the Reminiscing Penguin

Friday, August 19, 2005

Felines of Mass Destruction!

The Poor Man has discovered that felines are objectively pro-terrorist. Hmm... I guess the above is a Feline of Mass Cuteness (with the emphasis upon "mass")?

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The return of Thursday Gay Penguin Porn Blogging!

Okay. We have two male penguins. Doing child care. KISSING. Obviously did not get the memo. (Not to be confused with the OTHER memo or, worse yet, the Red Lobster memo).

In other issues: WTF is up with my schedule, you say? Well, look over in the right margin. See, it says "Libertarian penguin hacking operating systems in the South Pacific". Hacking operating systems is sort of like the computer equivalent of brain surgery... from time to time, there are periods of intense activity where thinking about anything other than surgically altering the brains of a computer is utterly out of the question. Usually this is around the time that management declares a "code freeze". So at the beginning of this month, I had a couple of brilliant weeks. This week, I mostly didn't have time to do anything at all. I'm curious: should I simply declare that at the beginning of the week? "Hi, I'm not going to say much this week, why don't you just come back next week"... hmm, would you? B.F. Skinner says no, says that an erratic reinforcement schedule is best, but people aren't pigeons. Or are they?

-- Badtux the Porn-peddlin' Penguin

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Not exactly our Founding Fathers

Seems like the gang that can't think straight in Iraq is pretty much par for the course. They can't get the water working, they can't get the power working, they can't get the sewers working, they can't get a Constitution written, about the only thing they seem good at is embezzeling money, hmm, where have I heard this before? Combined with an Iraqi army that is terrified of their enemy, hmm, where have I heard that before? Can anybody say, deja vu?

But Iraq is not Vietnam. Vietnam was a jungle. Iraq is the original metropolis. As such, it's a lot easier to win in Iraq than it was in Vietnam. All we have to do is reduce every building in Iraq to rubble then bulldoze the rubble into large pits, and then the guerillas in Iraq will no longer have any cover to use for shooting at our soldiers. Of course, there won't be any Iraq left, just a bunch of people standing in a desert starving to death, but what the hey, that's what they deserve for sitting on our oil, right? Right?!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Happy Birthday, Social Security!

Sunday Penguin Porn Blogging

Rather than reproduce this myself, I'm going to clue you in on a secret: There's, like, HUNDREDS of webcams all around the world showing *LIVE* penguin porn! And they're *FREE*! No credit card needed! Why, the implications are staggering. For example, any horny 11 year old boy could just click on the web site for the Monterrey Aquarium and see live penguin porn... oh the horror!

Gotta go now, so much live porn to view, so little time...

-- Badtux the Aroused Penguin

Why should I believe a proven liar?

A Rethuglican tool has whined at me, "why do you automatically disbelieve anything that our President says?" when I pooh-pooh the propaganda that all the problems in Iraq are the fault of foreign jihadis.

Well, I have a policy: I don't believe the word of proven liars and incompetents until I see proof otherwise that they're *still* not liars and incompetents.

I'll admit it, the Busheviks fooled me about that whole weapons of mass destruction deal. I really did think that Iraq had chemical weapons. (Didn't see any big deal about it, given the many problems with effectively using chemical weapons, but I believed them when they said Saddam had them).

Of course, we all know how many weapons of mass destruction Saddam *REALLY* had, now... none. NADA. Not a single WMD has been found in Iraq. And that ain't me talking. That's the U.S. government. No WMD. None. Nada. Now, whether you say it's because the Busheviks lied, or were just incompetent, I gotta say this: Why do you think they're any more competent today than they were in 2002 when they were claiming that Iraq was brimming, just brimming I say, with weapons of mass destruction in every basement!

Where's the fuckin' WMD's, you moron Bush worshippers? Where's those fuckin' WMD's?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I'd have to be a stupid motherfucker to believe a damned thing you tell me. I'll believe in these foreign jihadis the moment that Donald Rumsfeld parades one of their dead bodies across my television screen and CNN is interviewing the dead man's Mom in Jordan or Saudi Arabia or etc... until then, I call bullshit.

- Badtux the Once-Fooled Penguin

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Was Jesus Christ gay?

Apparently the Right Rev. James Dodson thinks so. At least, if you take seriously Rev. Dodson's test for homosexuality in children.

I find it somewhat hilarious that someone who hates gays has a gay Messiah...

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Friday, August 12, 2005

Woohoo! New geek toy!

HP Pavilion DV4000 laptop. Custom-ordered from their website with 1gb of memory, 80gb 5400 RPM hard drive, Bluetooth, and a massive 12-cell battery. My old laptop would barely go for an hour on a battery and got hot enough to scorch your lap. This baby will go 5 hours (or more) on a charge, and barely even gets warm. Along with the 15.4" wide screen, and being 2 pounds lighter than my old laptop, and having all the bells and whistles...

They shipped it to me from Shanghai, China. Apparently it costs too much to build anything in the United States. Sigh... anybody remember when the United States was capable of building rocketships that could go to the Moon? Now they can't even build a crappy $1500 laptop computer!

- Badtux the Techno-geek Penguin

U.S. government soft on untermenschen

So the United States yanked a Canadian dude off an airplane and deported him to Syria to be tortured. They say that he's a terrorist, but the evidence that he's a terrorist is double-plus top secret and can't even be told to a judge. Sorta like the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which, the CIA said, Iraq was just brimming with. The Canadian RCMP (their equivalent of our FBI) says that they've investigated this Canadian dude, a guy by the name of Maher, and he's no terrorist. The United States Government, however, says that's not true, and the judge even put his fingers in his ears and started saying "lalalala I can't hear you!" when the subject of the RCMP report came up, saying that if he read that report, he might actually have to ask questions, and it was his job to rubber-stamp whatever the administration of Mad King George says for him to rubber stamp, not ask silly little questions.

The question of what rights a Canadian passing through an American airport has came up in the hearing. The U.S. government says that foreign citizens have a right to be detained without charge, deprived of sleep, food, and clothing, kept in isolation without access to pencil, paper, and legal resources, and deprived of access to a lawyer. They also have the right to file an immigration complaint in an immigration court. Which, of course, is easy to do when you're being held in solitary confinement without access to your lawyer.

They also have the right to be beat with rubber hoses and truncheons, as long as the beatings don't cause organ failure or death. (Well, occasionally they do, but that's just a "few bad apples"). Why the fine folks in Mad King George's administration just LOVE them darkies! I mean, some people, like Mr. Virtues, pay good money to be beaten by a muscular dominatrix! Why should these untermenschen get free dominatrix service when we good God-fearin' Americans don't?!

I mean, really, we ought to be talking about how soft our Dear Leader is on those pesky terrorists. Why, you know that those terrorists are just overjoyed by all those new rights that the United States has granted to, err, people with no connection to terrorists or terrorist organizations...

Dear Leader, meanwhile, is working on his new energy plan to eliminate dependence on oil by 4920, inbetween ignoring parents of dead soldiers and all the hard work that he's doing on his Crawford hog farm while riding his trusty steed, Sparky. I mean, it's time for the fall pig drive! It's hard work, y'know?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Changed my mind

My car doesn't work very well. It burns a lot of gas. It has a bouncy ride. I keep having to take it to the dealership to get them to fix problems.

It is clear that the solution to my car problems is to ban cars.

Similarly, the public high school down the street doesn't work very well. Most of the Hispanic students don't graduate. Of those who do, only half have the skills needed for the modern workforce.

The solution to my local public school's problems are clear. Better teachers, more resources, etc. won't work. There's only one thing that will work: banning public schools.

Nevermind that most college graduates graduated from public schools. Nevermind that every country without public schools is a fetid third-world hellhole because the majority of the population lacks the education to contribute to a modern economy. Nevermind that every country that outperforms us educationally does so using public schools. Public schools may work for Germans, or Japanese, or (gasp) Canadians, but it is clear that they cannot work for Americans because Americans are not Germans, or Japanese, or Canadians. Americans are actually human, while Germans, and Japanese, and Canadians are untermenschen and thus to be disdained, ignored, and dismissed.

Thus we must ban public schools, because they don't work. Only in that way can we achieve our national destiny of being Mexico with better roads.

Badtux the Snarky Penguin


Been traveling. Tired. Going to bed.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Who needs soldiers when you have a Constitution?

A wave of violence swept Iraq today. Shiite-hating Sunni insurgents are just blowing the place the shreds. But never fear, our glorious Secretary of Defense has the answer to insurgents armed with RPG's and AK-47's and bombs: a Constitution.

The moment this Constitution is finished, why, all the insurgents will just curl up and whimper "Mommmy!" and, like, just *DIE*. And the Sunni will start loving Shiites instead of treating them like Southern Baptists treat Catholics! So we aren't gonna need a draft after all, even though we're running out of soldiers to the point where one officer even recommends recruiting VisigothsMexicans who don't speak the native language as the solution. Sorta like the Romans ended up relying on folks like Odovocar, the German general who eventually slew the last Roman emperor and declared himself king, thereby ending the western Roman Empire.

But never fear, the same won't happen to us, 'cause we have a Constitution too, and those meanies who don't like us will just curl up and whimper "Mommy!" and die! Who needs bullets when you have a Constitution?!

Oh, and a Constitution also gives fresh breath, whiter teeth, and reverses balding, woohoo!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Monday, August 08, 2005

Debating "Intelligent Design"

Talk about your lame exercises in stupidity. Excuse me, are any of us scientists? Have any of us here spent 8 years studying biology at the university level, spent years in a post-doctoral role, and then obtained tenure in a Biology faculty based upon our research and publications?

No? (Well, except for you, PZ Meyers, but we already knew that :-)

Then it's our job to shut up and let the *scientists* tell us what science is. Because frankly, boys and girls, we don't have the foggiest idea. We don't have the education, knowledge, or skills to practice science, no more than we have the education, knowledge, and skills to practice brain surgery, and have about as much business commenting about it as we'd have doing brain surgery.

99.99999% of scientists say that evolution is science and "Intelligent Design" is not. That's good 'nuff for me. I'm not about to tell a brain surgeon how to do brain surgery on my head, and I'm not about to tell a scientist what is science and what is not. When 51% of scientists say differently, come and get me. Until then, I gotta say, man, what kinda bull are ya tryin' to feed me anyhow?

I find it irritating that people with no conception of biology are so adamant about exposing their ignorance to the world. I'll be the first to admit that I barely know an oocyst from a blastocyst. On the other hand, I get the feeling that these "legends in their own mind" who seem to think that getting a sea of morons to vote for them means that they know what is science better than the actual scientists don't even know that much.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

A threat to America

According to the Bush administration... what constitutes a threat to national security?

Letting Osama escape? No...

Outing a CIA operative? No....

Destabilizing the Middle East? No...

Potentially interfering with a GOP fundraiser? Yes!

Here is the terrorist. Look at this terrorist! Obviously dangerous, almost as dangerous as the terrorist I mentioned last week who was armed with the rock of mass destruction because this terrorist is armed with the (gasp) WATER BOTTLE OF MASS DESTRUCTION:

Obviously this mother of a soldier slain in Iraq must be arrested and jailed immediately (or at least when she starts offending the haves and have mores who are attending the fundraiser), or she might (gasp) hurt Mad King George's FEELINGS!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Hat tip to Alternate Brain and pb.

Let my transplanted kidney go!

Tbogg has the latest snark on wingnut abuse of the courts. In this case, they're saying that a 40-cell blastocyst is a human being and thus using it for stem cell research is slavery, and they've sued the State of California to stop stem cell research on the basis that slavery is illegal.

Now, Tbogg asks, can those 40,000,000 sperm who did NOT manage to fertilize the egg sue for alienation of affection, since apparently the fertilized egg is a person? I have another one: If using a bunch of undifferentiated cells without their permission is slavery, shouldn't we ask a kidney for permission before we implant it into a human being? And if we do transplant that kidney without its permission, isn't that slavery? Oh, I mean, sure, a kidney has no brain. But neither does a 40-cell blastocyst!

Free the donor organs! Equal rights for transplanted livers! Just because you don't have a brain doesn't mean you should be enslaved without your permission. I mean, look, if that was true, then someone could enslave Congress!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sunday, August 07, 2005

What have we done?

Camilo Mejia, an army staff sergeant who was sentenced to a year in military prison in May, 2004 for refusing to return to Iraq after being home on leave, talks openly about what he did there:

“What it all comes down to is redemption for what was done there. I was turning ambulances away from going to hospitals, I killed civilians, I tortured guys…and I’m ashamed of that. Once you are there, it has nothing to do with politics…it has to do with you as an individual being there and killing people for no reason. There is no purpose, and now I’m sick at myself for doing these things. I kept telling myself I was there for my buddies. It was a weak reasoning…because I still shut my mouth and did my job.”

Mejia then spoke candidly about why he refused to return:

“It wasn’t until I came home that I felt it-how wrong it all was and that I was a coward for pushing my principles aside. I’m trying to buy my way back into heaven…and it’s not so much what I did, but what I didn’t do to stop it when I was there. So now it’s a way of trying to undo the evil that we did over there. This is why I’m speaking out, and not going back. This is a painful process and we’re going through it.”

-- Dahr Jamail, What have we done?

But even those who hear will do little other than whine. We are a nation of cowards, afraid to put our own bodies, our own livelihoods on the line for what is right and just. My heart goes out to those few like Camilo Mejia who refuse to participate in the atrocities anymore... but as long as the majority of the American people refuse to budge from in front of the television screens and monitors, the Camilo Mejias of this world will pay the price but will succeed in saving nothing but their own soul, their own conscience.

Which of course is no small thing. It's just a shame that the majority of the American people prefer to believe whatever justifies their fat, lazy apathetic lives of masticating and defectating and accumulating shiny baubles of no import, and refuse to believe anything that might actually require them to, like, actually do something... and thus put the Camilo Mejias of the world into the situation of paying the price for our amoral pursuit of the stupid life.

- Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

Plato's Law: The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bonus Porn

As promised last weekend, due to the fact that I could not post penguin porn last week, I'm giving you a double-dose of porn this week. However, due to a shortage of primo penguin porn, I have decided to give you something a little different today. Behold....


Look at them. Two male cats, sleeping together. What next, gay DOGS?!

- Badtux the Pornographer Penguin

Thursday, August 04, 2005

If we aren't all groped, the terrorists have won!

A bunch of NYC grannies have sued the City of New York over publicity stunt searches. They whine, "What is the point of searching a bunch of grandmas going down the subway steps with their Macy's bags?", pointing out that a true terrorist would simply refuse to be searched, turn around and leave, and re-enter the subway at another entrance where people weren't being searched.

Oh poor, sick depraved grannies. Don't you get the point? If we don't allow ourselves to be randomly groped by goons, the terrorists have won! Why, every time an innocent American is groped by a goon, a terrorist huddles into a ball, whimpers "Mommy!", and dies. That's why, even though not a single terrorist has been caught by the "random" airline searches, those searches are worthwhile anyhow. Why, thousands and THOUSANDS of terrorists have just curled up into balls, whined "Mommy!" and died because of all those innocent Americans getting groped!

Given this, it is clear that we must propose a new federal-level program. Let's call it the GROPE Act. As part of our patriotic duty of being Americans, each and every American will be required to report to an office of the Department of Homeland Security on weeekly basis to be groped by off-duty airport security personnel. All women on the streets will be required to submit to a random groping by any red-blooded white Christian American in order to insure that those are actually breasts under there, not explosives. All Americans who fail to show up for their weekly groping or refuse their random groping will be put upon a Watch List of suspected terrorists and will suddenly find that their mail has all been opened before they get it, phone calls have strange clicking noises, their driver's license gets cancelled, and they can't get on a bus, train, or airplane.

It is confidently predicted that, as a result of the passage of this act, all terorrism everywhere will be forever ended because the terrorists will all whimper and die. Hey, it's as good a plan as anything *else* that's come out of the Bush Administration, isn't it? I mean, you *do* know how many terrorists have been arrested and convicted as a result of the PATRIOT Act, right? It's lots, lots, LOTS I say... like... uhm.... ZERO. I confidently predict that the GROPE Act will be just as successful at defeating terrorism!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

PS: I get Pamela Anderson first, okay?! Hey, it's the same criteria that airport screeners use, so ...

Thursday Penguin Porn Blogging #1

Hey pa! Look at me jump off this ice cliff! I can fly! I can flyyyy aaaarrgh [SPLASH]

George and Donald, showing off for their father, discover that no matter how hard they flap their flippers and how much wishful thinking they indulge in, penguins can NOT fly, any more than armed soldiers can win a war against an insurgency such as the one in Iraq...

= Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It's monkeys all the way down

In The Guardian (UK), a former London schoolboy describes his treatment in America's new gulag:

They cut off my clothes with some kind of doctor's scalpel. I was naked. I tried to put on a brave face. But maybe I was going to be raped. Maybe they'd electrocute me. Maybe castrate me.

They took the scalpel to my right chest. It was only a small cut. Maybe an inch. At first I just screamed ... I was just shocked, I wasn't expecting ... Then they cut my left chest. This time I didn't want to scream because I knew it was coming.

One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over. "I told you I was going to teach you who's the man," [one] eventually said.

They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists.

The Green Lantern then asks, "Tell me, if someone were dicing YOUR penis like a tomato, how long before you "confessed" to being an Al Qaida terrorist?"

Dear, dear fool, don't you undersand? Of *course* he is guilty. He's *BROWN*. Oh sure, maybe he isn't guilty of the specific crime of which he is accused, but what does it matter? Americans won't care. The Orwell Administration has drilled deep down into the monkey brain of the American people, the part that wants to hoot and howl and throw feces at any monkey that doesn't follow the same alpha male (GWB) that they do. They've carefully addressed the inner monkey of the American people to the point where most Americans, like the monkeys that we are (after all, we were monkeys for a million years before our big-domed heads invented civilization, morality, etc.), are conditioned to believe that nobody but Americans are human. Everybody else is just "other", untermenschen, filth, not to be trusted, not to be believed. And only certain classes of Americans are human -- good god-fearin' heterosexual by-god Republican Christians. Everybody else is just untermenschen, to hoot and howl and throw feces at.

Monkeys. It's monkeys all the way down to the moral bottom. Ten thousand years of civilization, forgotten as if they never existed, leaving only a pack of jumped-up monkeys with too-big brains and delusions of grandeur. F*ck.

- Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

The senator from Mongolia strikes again

Senator Rick Santorum (R. Mongolia) says that the pursuit of enjoyable activities harms America, and is contrary to what the Founding Fathers believed in. Apparently that whole deal about "pursuit of happiness" and about how one of government's job was "effecting happiness" in the Declaration of Independence doesn't mean what we think it means. Hmm... so what COULD it mean?

Ghenghis Khan said that happiness consists of consists of vanquishing your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters. And John Lennon once sang about how happiness is a warm gun. Apparently, according to Senator Santorum, the founding fathers weren't talking about doing enjoyable stuff when they talked about "pursuit of happiness". They were actually talking about the right to keep and bear arms in pursuit of vanquishing your enemies, robbing them of their wealth, slaughtering them, and raping their wives and daughters. I mean, c'mon. Iraq. Duh.

My congratulations to the Senator from Mongolia for clearing that little misunderstanding up for us!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bringing dignity to the office of the Presidency

The face of evil

Look at this face. Keep your eyes open for this face. Because this is the face of evil, requiring three police cars and a helicopter to take her down. She's lean, she's mean, she's 11 years old, and she's going on trial for defending herself against a pack of rock-throwing boys.

Her mistake: She threw one of the rocks back at them. And hit one of the boys.

Obviously this makes her a hardened criminal, who must be locked in with a bunch of gang-bangers for 5 days before being allowed bail, then put on trial for her crime of being a girl who got fed up with being pelted with rocks and water balloons. Why, the only thing worse she could have done would have been to carry a burrito. That would have required calling out a whole SWAT team!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

External site: Free Maribel.

The Administration and The Fury

I'm always a sucker for faux Faulkner. But this year's winner is a doozie. A sample:

“He needs his makeup,” Dick said.

“I'll do it,” Condi said. She put a little brush on my check and it tickled and I laughed.

Rummy walked into the room. “Jesus, what's he laughing about,” Rummy said.

“Don't you pay attention to him, Georgie,” Dick said. “They re going to be asking you all about Social Security. You just remember what we talked about.”

“He cant remember anything,” Rummy said.

I started to holler. Dick s face was red and he looked at Rummy. “I told you to hush up already,” Dick said. “Now look what you ve gone and done.”

“Go and get him Saddam's gun,” Condi said. “You know how he likes to hold it.”

Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam's gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

“Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?” Rummy said. “Can't you think any better than he can?”

I was hollering and Dick was turning red and then white and the room was tilted.

“You give him that gun back, right this minute,” Condi said. Rummy gave me Saddam's gun back and I held it my hands. It was hot like a horseshoe.

“You got the gun, now you stop that hollering,” Rummy said.

And I thought that *I* was snarky....

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

1800 dead and all is well

"Pissed off Patricia" at Blondesense notes that we've passed the 1800 dead mark, and asks: "What will happen when we hit 2000?"

Well, I have the answer to that: Absolutely nothing.

Look, we whine and rant and rave. But really, what does that matter? Mao said that power flows from the barrel of a gun, and the Party takes that to heart. In the end, slavery is our fate, and slaves is what we are, and the guns of the Party in the form of local police forces, IRS agents, etc. ensure that this remains so.

Now I hear you say, "but I am not a slave, I am a free man!" And why do you say this? Are you free to march to Washington D.C. today and protest the illegal actions of the Bush Administration for as long as it takes to drive the Party from power? Are you free to board a commercial airliner without a State-issued ID card, without getting groped? Are you free to run for an elected national political position in any meaningful (i.e., likely to get elected) manner? Are you free to compete for Iraq rebuilding contracts on equal terms with Halliburton? In this porkocracy in which we live, all animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others. We are free merely to rant and rave uselessly, and only during those hours in which we are not slaves to our employers, enslaved to our mortgages and car payments and all else that keeps us from being homeless bums on the street, ignored, spat upon, eventually to die of exposure or hunger or simple lack of will to live, un-noted, buried in an unmarked grave in the pauper's section of the local graveyard with hundreds of other nobodies.

That is our choice: Slavery, or death. A choice enforced by the guns of the porkocracy, which gives the porkocrats special priviliges and advantages that ensure that they always remain the masters and we always remain the ruled, that ensures that if we fail to properly kow-tow to the porkocrats they will come and take our homes and cars and every earthly good away at gunpoint and throw us out onto the streets to die, unnamed, unknown, useless. And of course we choose slavery rather than to die at the hands of the bought-and-paid for police forces of the porkocrats or die a homeless bum, and then delude ourselves that we are "free" because we chose to be slaves rather than to die.

But I have a secret: We monkeys are happier as slaves. The apologists for Southern slavery insisted that blacks were happier under slavery, and perhaps they were right. As monkeys, we have instinctively built into us a desire to follow an alpha male. We are slaves, and happy to be slaves, and we get exactly what we want, and all this pissing and whining and moaning and groaning is just some meaningless "freedom" allowed us by the slavemasters, irrelevant, of no import, ineffective, but it allows us to claim we are "free" rather than being slaves so it does serve the slavemasters' agenda...

The "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave"? Honey, that ain't been true for over a hundred years, and sure as hell ain't true today. And as long as we continue to insist that the ability to rant on a meaningless blog means we're "free", it ain't changin' anytime soon.

- Badtux the Cynical Penguin

Monday, August 01, 2005

Lies and the lying liars who tell them

This category now apparently includes the Metropolitan (London) Police Force.

Met Lie: Jean Charles de Menezes, recently executed by police on a London subway train, was wearing a heavy winter coat in cool but not cold weather (52F).
Truth: He was wearing a denim blue jean jacket, which is appropriate attire for such weather.

Met Lie: Menezes leaped a turnstile to flee police.
Truth: He used his passcard. It turns out that it was a police officer (plainclothes) who leaped the turnstile.

Met Lie: Menezes was challenged by police.
Truth: No witness can recall hearing anybody use the word 'Police'. Met policy itself advises not to challenge potential suicide bombers because they could then set off their bomb, so the police officers would have been violating Met policy if, in fact, they identified themselves.

Met Lie: Menezes was scared of police officers and thus may have run once they identified themselves.
Truth: Menezes was apparently confident enough of the visa stamp in his password that he freely allowed police officers to search him and examine his papers only two days previously (and nobody recalls the police officers ever identifying themselves as such)

Met Lie: Police had no choice but to execute Menezes point blank with 8 shots in the head.
Truth: Police on Friday arrested one of the subway bombers using a Taser and captured him alive.

I think you get the point. What you read in the newspaper in the days following an incident is rarely the truth. Everything we "knew" about this incident the day after it happened was a lie. There was no bulky jacket, there was no jumping of the turnstile, there were no uniformed police officers shouting "Police! Stop!". In fact, it is unknown whether Menezes was even running from the police, plain clothes or not. He may have heard on the loudspeaker that the train was about to leave the station, and ran for the open doors simply because he didn't want to miss his train.

In this case, the lies came out because the parents of Menezes were not satisfied with the hogwash they were being fed, and in turn went to their government and human rights organizations all of whom raised an uproar. But really, should we be surprised? You *do* know that a large portion of what you read in your local newspaper is lies, right? Especially when it concerns government officials, who will always lie when they feel it is to their advantage to do so, and sometimes just on general principle (see: Bob Roberts and his "memory loss" regarding membership in the Federalist Society).

In short, anybody who thinks government officials tell the truth when the truth would be embarrassing to them... hey look, I got this new medicine that will strip the fat off of you and tone you up and make you look really buff! And only $15.95 per bottle of 30 pills! Just send me lotsa money and you, too, could look as buff as this penguin (tee hee hee!).

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Afterward: The Northern Irish just nod, saying that this is typical behavior for the "civilized" Brits...

Taxpayers subsidizing Wal-Mart

One of the irritating things about the Republicans is that they're all for small government and personal responsibility -- except when it concerns the large corporations that funded their takeover of America. Then they're all about bailing out their campaign contributors, whether it's juicy no-bid contracts to Halliburton (gotta make sure Vice President Halliburton's retirement pay comes along in time!) to massive subsidies for agri-business giants. Then they're all for taking your money and giving it to people who don't need it.

The latest instance of this happening is in Arizona, where we now find that taxpayers are subsidizing health care for Wal-Mart. This is on top of tax breaks worth millions of dollars for virtually every Wal-Mart store in Arizona. Rather than provide health care for their employees, Wal-Mart prefers to shift the costs to government, as proven by their actions in Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New York, Arkansas...

Question: Why do so many Americans continue to believe the Republican tripe about them being "against welfare", when in fact the Republicans are the biggest welfare whores in American history, sucking at the government teat (*our* pocketbook) for personal gain worse than any "welfare queen" that ever existed in Ronald Reagan's delusional daydreams? It's clear that, rather than being against welfare, they're all for it -- as long as its's welfare for their campaign contributors, rather than assistance for ordinary working people trying to survive.

- Badtux the "Republicans are the party of Big Government" Penguin