Tell me about a good documentary

April 29, 2011

I’m a documentary fan, and even with my other-worldly Internet research skills, I often come up dry when searching for a new documentary. Thus, I am creating this post where you, the reader, can tell me, the documentary watcher, what to watch.

I’ll give a list and some comments of some docs I’ve seen:

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father: I’m still in tears from this one.

The Cove: I liked this epic save-the-dolphins tale so much I interviewed the director.

Exit Through the Gift Shop: A movie about graffiti artists that turns out much more thought-provoking than you’d imagine.

Hoop Dreams: I’ve seen this epic twice and it still gives me plenty to ponder.

That’s just a start. Mind you, I’ve seen quite a few. But, since i discover a new documentary I’d like to see nearly every day, I figured some guidance would help. Give me some suggestions.


Obama releases long-form birth certificate: Birthers won’t have any of it

April 27, 2011

If President Barack Obama understood conspiracy theories, he wouldn’t bother releasing a copy of his long-form birth certificate to placate Birthers. Because there’s one thing you have to know about these types of conspiracies - facts just make them crazier and more loyal to the conspiracy.

But Obama has sent out copies of his birth certificate already:

Will this be enough to stop the Birther madness? Of course not. After all, releasing this now is just the sort of thing a communist from Kenya would do.



This and that

April 27, 2011

I suppose the further Right you move, the inevitable destination is Left. Because maybe it’s just me, but a couple recent developments in the world conservatism show makes it appear there’s a pinko side emerging.

First, Ayn Rand sends John Galt to create a rich-person commune, and the right-wing swoons. Second, Conservatives seem to want to have some type of government takeover of the oil industry.

Luckily, if Conservatives do become full-on communist-totalitarians, the Democrats have more than enough politicians that would love to fill the void and become the new Conservatives.

Also Playing

GSP for the win: Georges St. Pierre fighting Jake Shields this weekend? I’ll be watching. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching GSP pulverize Shields.

Obama answering Birthers?: Not sure what the point is. They won;’t believe it, anyway.


Yes, Science is dominated by men, why do you ask?

April 26, 2011

Lest you ever forget the science community is a sausage-fest:

There is growing evidence that human semen has the potential to produce profound effects on women. We have replicated the effects showing female college students having sex without condoms are less depressed as measured by objective scores on the Beck Depression Inventory. We’ve also examined the data as a function of whether the students were using hormonal contraceptives, whether they were in committed relationships, and how long these relationships have lasted. The anti-depressant properties of semen exposure do not vary as function of any of these conditions. It is not a question of whether females are sexually active, since students having sex with condoms show the same level of depression as those who are not having sex at all. We have also received numerous semen testimonials from other women who attest to the anti-depressant effects of semen exposure and these accounts often include the use of control trials (i.e., comparisons generated by switching from condoms to unprotected sex, or vice a versa).

Yes, ladies, sperm is good for you and making your partner wear a condom is making you sad. You’re Spermatically Depressed! Process THAT!

Oh, why yes, this story did appear in The Huffington Post, why do you ask?


Want a U.S. Passport? Not so fast, tell us about your Mom and work history

April 26, 2011

In the United States of America - where only 75 people have ever traveled abroad (note: possibly not a factual statement) - the State Department has decided to pepper new passport applicants with questions that are both increasingly private in nature and, well, just plain annoying.

From Consumer Traveler:

The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new  Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information.  According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”

Here’s the punchline:

The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form.

The comment period for the proposed new rule ended Monday. You can see the proposed questionairre here. Interestingly enough, the new plan doesn’t appear to ask the question the entire rule seems to infer: “Why do you want to leave the glorious United States of America, Comrade?”


Class Act: Chris Paul Edition

April 25, 2011

From news services:

“Regardless of what happens in this series, it was good to see the city with a smile on their face,” said Paul, who hit 7 of 14 shots and all 11 of his free throws. “It was fun, man. I’m just so thankful to get to say this is my way of life.”

- New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, after scorching the Lakers for an explosive 27 point, 13 rebound, 15 assist triple-double. The Hornets evened their series with the Lakers, 2-2.


The War on Easter is over

April 24, 2011

war on easter

Turns out the War on Easter was WAY easier than the War on Christmas.


Charlie Sheen mentions running for President! Interview him now!!!

April 20, 2011

Just moments after not being able to win back custody of his kids from a wife in rehab, Charlie Sheen shocked the world by coyly mentioning he may consider a run at the White House.

“I know I promised this wouldn’t be political, but look where we f— are, man!” said Sheen. “I would legalize pot. Everywhere. Vending machines, all of it. And subsidize everything.”

Sheen - who said he’d pick Nicolas Cage as his running mate, making it the first-ever ticket based around abusing women - also announced the fiscal policies he’d support when he became President.

“I would disband the Fed, like, now. … And send the I.R.S. to prison,” said Sheen, who fervently believes the United States attacked itself on Sept. 11, 2001.

Sheen’s announcement couldn’t come at a better time for the nation’s media, as now every single network - including obscure cable outlets and public-access shows - have now interviewed Donald Trump, and written stories about how amazing it’s been that he has climbed in the polls.

My friends and colleagues in the media, now is the time to book Charlie Sheen on your show, or interview him for your Web site. Sheen has that one special factor that only people like Trump have - he’ll talk to anyone.

It is time to get Charlie Sheen on all political shows. That way, next week, the media can be puzzled about why he’s climbing the polls in the 2012 race for the U.S. Presidency, while others can ponder why political discourse in the U.S. has gone to hell.


Paul Ryan chokes 85-year-old woman to death - hailed for his bravery

April 18, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Using his bare hands, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan choked an 85-year-old woman to death last night, earning praise for his “serious” attempt to balance the United States Federal Budget.

The woman - Susan Johnson, the mother of five and a grandmother of 14 - had been using federal money to treat the leukemia that is currently killing her. Showing his no-nonsense, come-and-go fiscal conservative side, Ryan drove to Mrs. Johnson’s house, rang the bell, then choked the life out of her when she answered the door.

“Here is a woman that is dying, who is using federal money rather than pulling herself up by her bootstraps and taking care of herself,” said Ryan, who believes that budget surpluses are a dangerous thing. “It was time for her to make a sacrifice for this nation.”

The mainstream media and Ryan’s political allies praised the young Representative’s gumption and dedication to fixing the U.S. debt problems.

“This murder sets the standard of seriousness for anybody who wants to play in this discussion,” wrote New York Times columnist David Brooks, who is extremely rich. “Unless we are serious enough to murder grandmothers, we will fail as a nation.”

For their part, congressional Democrats produced a new bill that would “Make it a crime for politicians to murder poor elderly women.” Republicans, however, held up the bill by attaching an amendment to it that would make it illegal for citizens to receive federal or state support for anything, ever.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank mocked the Democratic efforts to stop Ryan from murdering anymore elderly grandmothers.

“It gives a sense of how things would be if liberals ran the world: no cuts in Social Security benefits, government-negotiated Medicare drug prices, and increased income taxes and Social Security taxes for the wealthy. Corporations and investors would be hit with a variety of new fees and taxes. And the military would face a shock-and-awe accounting: a 22 percent cut in Army forces, 30 percent for Marines, 20 percent for the Navy and 15 percent for the Air Force. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would end, and weapons programs would go begging,” wrote Milbank, a liberal. “And no one would be brave enough to murder a Medicare queen like Susan Johnson.”

Following the murder of the elderly grandmother, the Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation released a new report stating that the murder of Johnson should help get unemployment in the U.S. down to .3 percent by late 2012.


The first rule of Starving the Beast is you do not mention “Starving the Beast”

April 18, 2011

There was nothing the least bit brave about Paul Ryan’s GOP budget that would slash the social safety net and enrich the already rich. Ryan’s work - like all his work - is partisan cowardice based on a long-held Conservative strategy - Starve the Beast.

Of course, this is not something you can speak of in polite conversation. As an Andrew Sullivan reader pointed out to him:

Indeed, it is the culmination of about a thirty year Republican strategy called “starve the beast,” by which Republicans have worked to reduce taxes and increase the national deficit as large as possible - all to create the supposed “deficit crisis” that we now face and to use that crisis to eliminate programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and a slew of other programs (EPA, SEC, Planned Parenthood, collective bargaining, etc.) that the Republican class has never been able to eliminate through the democratic process. This “starve the beast” Republican strategy has been openly acknowledged for years and I know you are well aware of it. And the Ryan “budget plan” is transparently an attempt to cash in on this long-standing political agenda.

So, frankly, why is there no acknowledgment by you of this?

Sullivan, of course, was not having anything to do with that line of argument, and, in fact, completely avoided discussing it in his response:

There is, in as much as I have detailed my objections to a budget balancing plan that raises no new revenues. But the proposals on Medicare and Medicaid would undoubtedly cut costs over the long run, and would obviously inflict sacrifice on many Americans. That’s why I remain of the view that the debate kicked off by Ryan is a good thing, because for the first time, the GOP has essentially owned and fessed up to the human costs of fiscal reform. From Reagan to W, with the great exception of George HW Bush, Republicans have told us we can have our cake and eat it. That’s not the tone of Ryan’s austerity. And that alone is worth something.

What makes Sullivan’s give-and-take even more interesting is a check of Google News for the term “Starve the Beast.” There are only 60 mentions of the term in U.S. media sources. So what is the “Starve the Beast” strategy? Paul Krugman gave a good lesson in it more than a year ago, accurately predicting what we’d be seeing from Republicans today:

[E]ver since Reagan, the G.O.P. has been run by people who want a much smaller government. In the famous words of the activist Grover Norquist, conservatives want to get the government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

But there has always been a political problem with this agenda. Voters may say that they oppose big government, but the programs that actually dominate federal spending — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts?

The conservative answer, which evolved in the late 1970s, would be dubbed “starving the beast” during the Reagan years. The idea — propounded by many members of the conservative intelligentsia, from Alan Greenspan to Irving Kristol — was basically that sympathetic politicians should engage in a game of bait and switch. Rather than proposing unpopular spending cuts, Republicans would push through popular tax cuts, with the deliberate intention of worsening the government’s fiscal position. Spending cuts could then be sold as a necessity rather than a choice, the only way to eliminate an unsustainable budget deficit.

And the deficit came. True, more than half of this year’s budget deficit is the result of the Great Recession, which has both depressed revenues and required a temporary surge in spending to contain the damage. But even when the crisis is over, the budget will remain deeply in the red, largely as a result of Bush-era tax cuts (and Bush-era unfunded wars). And the combination of an aging population and rising medical costs will, unless something is done, lead to explosive debt growth after 2020.

So the beast is starving, as planned. It should be time, then, for conservatives to explain which parts of the beast they want to cut. And President Obama has, in effect, invited them to do just that, by calling for a bipartisan deficit commission.

The current “Starve the Beast” brigade of Ryan and his Yes-men Republicans are not doing anything brave with their slash-and-burn budget. If Ryan were truly the type that cared about budget deficits, he wouldn’t have given a thumbs up to George W. Bush’s entire “screw the deficit and economy.” And he wouldn’t have agreed that having too much of a budget surplus was a bad thing, as he did in 2001.

The Republicans are trying to put the finishing touches on their master plan of making the United States into some type of strange Libertarian-Theocratic nation. They broke the budget on purpose, and are now attempting to reap rewards for both themselves and their big-money donors. If Ryan hadn’t scrawled out a an anti-Medicare, anti-humanist budget, some other Republican would have. It’s a long-term strategy and Ryan is only playing his part, after all.

But despite how obviously this plan has worked and how obvious the next step is, the media, Republicans and Democrats seem to be unable to conjure up the name. Because the rules of “Starve the Beast” demand you never speak of “Starve the Beast.”


Blogger admits to having Masturbation problem

April 11, 2011

MY OFFICE – Blogger William K. Wolfrum came out and admitted today what many had long suspected – that he has a masturbation problem.

“Looking at it pragmatically, yes, I do have a problem,” said Wolfrum, unaware of the pun he was about to create. “When times get hard, I go to masturbation.”

What Wolfrum and his critics are pointing to and laughing at is Wolfrum’s penchant to incorporate masturbation as a central theme in his blog posts. Previous masturbatory posts include:

Many have pointed out that the South Dakota masturbation post reads quite a bit like the Oklahoma masturbation post, acknowledging it as a sign Wolfrum had begun masturbating to his own masturbations, to coin a phrase.

“I know he’s Mr. Fancy-Pants Interesting Point Guy, but enough with the masturbation, ok?” said one disgruntled reader. “It’s played out.”

For his part, Wolfrum admitted he needed to cut back on masturbatory posts.

“All this focus on masturbation is taking the focus away from the array of topical posts I write daily,” said I, kind of losing track of character perspective in this post. “From here on out, I will avoid playing with masturbation, except in blatant ego-stroking posts such as this.

“He-he. Stroking,” he (?) added.


John Cole is serious

April 7, 2011

As pundits around the globe praise Paul Ryan and the GOP for the seriousness they have shown in taking away from the poor while giving to the rich in their new budget, the lovely and talented John Cole gets serious, himself:

Free unicorns for everyone. Top Marginal Rate at 220%! Abolish the military! There, the budget is fixed!

My plan is every bit as serious, likely to happen, factually based, and useful as the Ryan plan. I fully expect Andrew to be praising my genius, my courage, and my seriousness all day tomorrow.

This plan must be looked at seriously.


Glenn Beck’s farewell, Kloppenburg’s win cover Twitter in layer of Liberal goo

April 6, 2011

TWITTER - Twitter users of all political stripes were covered in a layer of Liberal goo on the site today, as Liberals from throughout the United States simultaneously exploded and gooified the joint following the rapid-fire news that Glenn Beck was leaving his Fox News program and that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice nominee JoAnne Kloppenburg had beaten incumbent Justice David Prosser.

“SPLAT!☺” wrote Twitter User @LynCKos.

Many liberals cheered the efforts of Twitter User @StopBeck, whose has waged a relentless battle against Beck, helping to make the show unsponsorable. Some have take to calling today the “Glennpocalypse.”

But while liberals celebrated, Republicans continued to plot doom for humanity.

“Any Reduction In Size Of Government Takes Away Power Of Democrat Party To Enslave The People,” said Rush Limbaugh.

Liberal Goo can be removed from clothing with baking powder and a strong detergent, though burning of clothing is advised. Shower following prolonged exposure. Symptoms of overexposure include: Smugness, an overall sense of self-worth, rare feelings of “happiness.”


South Dakota gets longest male masturbation waiting period

April 5, 2011

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard signed a bill into law on Tuesday that requires a man to wait 72 hours after his first doctor’s appointment to be allowed to masturbate, the longest waiting list in the nation.

Male Masturbation rights groups have already said they plan to file a lawsuit challenging the measure, which also requires men to undergo counseling at Catholic Churches that discourage masturbation.

Daugaard, who gave no interviews after signing the bill, said in a written statement that he has conferred with state attorneys who will defend the law in court and a sponsor who has pledged private money to finance the state’s legal costs.

“I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing masturbation by encouraging consideration of other alternatives,” the Republican governor said the statement. “I hope that men who are considering masturbating will use this three-day period to make good choices.”

Opponents say the law forces men to go to Churches that harass them, rather than providing sound advice. They also say the waiting period and the counseling are an undue burden for men who have a constitutional right to masturbate.

The law, which takes effect July 1, says masturbation can only be scheduled by a doctor who has personally met with a man and determined he is voluntarily seeking to masturbate and is not being coerced into it. The act can’t be done until at least 72 hours after that first consultation.


Unicorns! You’ll get Unicorns!

April 5, 2011

Paul Ryan, calling out the unicorns and ponies:

A study just released by the Heritage Center for Data Analysis projects that The Path to Prosperity will help create nearly one million new private-sector jobs next year, bring the unemployment rate down to 4% by 2015, and result in 2.5 million additional private-sector jobs in the last year of the decade. It spurs economic growth, with $1.5 trillion in additional real GDP over the decade. According to Heritage’s analysis, it would result in $1.1 trillion in higher wages and an average of $1,000 in additional family income each year.

Of course, as Matt Yglesias points out, the Right-Wing Ideologues at the Heritage Foundation had equally impressive things to say about the Bush Tax plan, and that didn’t quite pan out.

But this time Voodoo Economics will work. Trust them.


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