Saturday, January 20, 2007

Turn Your Dead Loved Ones Into Jewelry

The LifeGem ® is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life.

I always knew I was kind of a diamond in the I can be one even after I'm dead.

As one of our clients said about her husband, “He was perfect, yet certainly not flawless. I wouldn’t expect his LifeGem to be without flaws either.”


Thursday, January 18, 2007

There Oughta Be a Law

As of this moment, it is not against the law to jump off the Empire State Building, according to this story in the New York Times.

Seems that last April, a guy named Jeb Corliss was arrested for trying to leap off the observation deck of the New York City landmark. To his credit, he did bring a parachute. He also, according to a New York court, studied the traffic patterns so he wouldn't hit anyone on landing. Corliss was described as a skilled BASE (Bridge, Antenna, Span, Earth) jumper who has previously jumped from the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. In short, while Corliss is a freaking nutcase, he is a very skilled and experienced nutcase. He's good at the whole nutcase thing. Therefore, the judge reasoned, he could not be guilty of "reckless endangerment with depraved indifference to life," which is what he was charged with.

The D.A.'s office is considering an appeal, and the defense attorney predicts there will probably be a move in the Legislature to specifically ban leaping off buildings. In the meantime, however, it's fair game, so long as you plan your insanity carefully.

So if you were wondering how to amuse yourself at Thrillerfest....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bush Fought the Law, and the Law Won

White House Says Judiciary Will Monitor Spy Program:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 -- The Bush administration, in what appears to be a concession to its critics, said today it will allow an independent court to monitor its warrantless electronic-eavesdropping program.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to supervise anti-terrorism wiretapping within the United States, will supervise the eavesdropping operations from now on.

Now wait a minute...six months ago these people were insisting that if the NSA had to go through all the time and trouble of getting a warrant to eavesdrop, even a retroactive one 72 hours after the wiretap actually began, then Scary Dark People were going to come and behead us all in our sleep. In fact, the argument went, anyone who dared suggest that the Dear Leader actually had to obey the law was actually on the side of the Scary Dark People and should probably be in Gitmo themselves. Now Bush says, "hey, I've decided to get a warrant after all." This can only mean that Bush wants us to be beheaded by Scary Dark People.
Can't wait to see how the wingnuts spin this one.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

He Vas Only Followink Oahduhs...

Obedient motorist crashes on satnav command:

A 46-year-old German motorist driving along a busy road suddenly veered to the left and ended up stuck on a railway track -- because his satellite navigation system told him to, police said Sunday.

The motorist was heading into the north German city of Bremen "when the friendly voice from his satnav told him to turn left," a spokesman said.

"He did what he was ordered to do and turned his Audi left up over the curb and onto the track of a local streetcar line. He tried to back up off the track but got completely stuck."

The police spokesman said about a dozen trams were held up until a tow truck arrived to clear the car off the track.

Several German motorists have crashed their cars in recent months, later telling police they were only obeying orders from their satnavs.

I knew this was going to happen...the GPS system is trying to kill us.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Latest newspaper column:

Well, here it is, 2007, and quite a few people have thrown their hats into the ring for the 2008 presidential race. Several more are seriously considering it.

Problem is, all of them are unelectable.

At least that's what the scribblers and chatterers of the national media have to say. Mention any candidate, Democratic or Republican, and someone -- either Democratic or Republican -- has smirked "Him? (or "Her?") They'll never win. They're UNELECTABLE!" Some examples of these declarations, which your Humble Columnist reports but does not necessarily endorse:

  • John McCain: Unelectable! He still backs a troop escalation in Iraq. He's reported to still have mental issues from Vietnam (note that the people spouting this line don't claim he's actually nuts; they just say "some people think" he's nuts). He's too liberal. He's too conservative.
  • John Edwards: Unelectable! He doesn't have enough experience. He's all smile and no substance. He's too liberal. He's not liberal enough for the Democratic base. He's a trial lawyer. He's too rich. (This last one really baffles me. But I've heard several sneering references to "millionaire" John Edwards, as if George Dubbya Bush went to the White House straight from living in a cardboard box in the street."
  • Rudolph Giuliani: Unelectable! He went through an ugly divorce, and his ex will crucify him in the media. He's too liberal. He's pro-choice (meaning the Religious Right will destroy him in the primaries). He has gay friends (ditto).
  • Sam Brownback: Unelectable! He's too tied to the Religious Right. (Contrast with Rudy Giuliani above.)
  • Barack Obama: Unelectable! He's got a funny name that sounds too much like Osama. His middle name is even worse: Hussein. Everyone will think he's a Muslim (even though he's a member of the United Church of Christ). He's too liberal. He's not liberal enough. No one knows where he stands on the issues. Plus, he's, you know, b-l-a-c-k. Note, of course, that the people who bring this last one up are quick to assert that they're not racist. Oh, no. It's everybody else who'll vote against Obama because he's, you know, b-l-a-c-k.
  • Hillary Clinton: Unelectable! She's too polarizing. No one likes her. (No one seems to be able to articulate how both of these can be true. If she's "polarizing," at least someone likes her, no?) She's too liberal. She's too middle of the road. She's a Republican in Democrat's clothing. She's too ambitious (which is kind of a bizarre criticism of a candidate for Leader of the Free World. Ambition would seem to be a defining characteristic of a presidential candidate). Oh, and she's a woman. Of course, none of the people bringing this up would refuse to vote for her just because she's a woman. See "Barack Obama" above.
  • Tom Vilsack: Unelectable! He has a funny name that can too easily be turned into a childish insult. He's too liberal. He's too moderate. No one knows him outside the Midwest.
  • Al Gore: Unelectable (despite winning the popular vote in 2000)! He's too stiff. He's too wild-eyed and crazy. He's a "serial exaggerator" (even though most of his purported exaggerations, such as "I invented the Internet" have proven to be deliberate misquotations by the press). He keeps talking about global warming, which nobody believes in, outside of every scientist in the world who's not on an oil company payroll.
  • Wesley Clark: Unelectable! Not enough charisma. Michael Moore likes him, so he's obviously too liberal. He used to be a Republican, so liberals don't trust him because he's obviously too conservative. He's a war criminal (I still don't know where this comes from, but I've seen it from both the Far Right and the Far Left).
  • Joe Biden: Unelectable! He's a blowhard. He keeps putting his foot in his mouth. He's too liberal. He's too much in bed with big corporations.
  • Mitt Romney: Unelectable! He's a Mormon. People are scared of Mormons. He's too conservative. He's flip-flopped on abortion and gay marriage. He's from Massachusetts.
  • John Kerry: OK, I'll give you this one.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind, though. At first, all the wise and far-seeing pundits thought Jimmy Carter was unelectable (remember "Jimmy Who?")

The same group of self-appointed prophets declared Bill Clinton unelectable (remember "Bimbo eruptions"?) The late and now lionized Gerald R. Ford once declared Ronald Reagan "unelectable" because Reagan was too far to the right.

Heck, do a Google search on the word "unelectable" and see whose name pops up first.

But they all got elected. And sometime in 2008, one of the "unelectable" people listed above will also be elected. Think about that the next time you hear a candidate described as "unelectable."