Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, well played, sirs.

Now this truly breathtaking act of incompetence: You know that $700 billion that is oh-so-desperately needed to save Wall Street from its own overweening ambition?

That figure was pulled out of someone’s ass.

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Excellent work, America. Yeah, this is only the future of your entire financial system. Let’s not be bothered to, you know, actually GET IT RIGHT.

The arrogance is a bucket of cold water over the soul. This is monstrous hubris. It goes well beyond human error, to indictable, hang-the-bastards-from-a-tree territory. And when we're done ripping their heads off and shitting down their necks, hunting down their children, wives, cousins and aunts and sterilising them for the greater good of the gene pool, there will, finally, be a special circle of hell reserved for these unforgivably stupid, arrogant, asshats.

And, as a serious candidate for the second most powerful elected position in the country, we present Sarah “I can see Russia from here!” Palin. If McCain falls over, as could well happen given he’s the oldest bastard ever to run for President, then she’s in charge. And listen to what she has to say about the bailout plan: it’s about… what?

COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it’s got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and getting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade — we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation.

If anyone can tell me what the fuck she is even talking about, then I will give them my left nut.

Christ on a crutch.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Okay, we're really screwed now.

Via Boing Boing comes the first report of methane being released in colossal quantities from beneath the Artic ice (what's left of it): An Artic Sea "Foaming" With Methane, What Now?

If correct, this is seriously bad news. Methane is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. I've been half-waiting for this news since reading John Barnes' "Mother of Storms", which takes this exact scenario of methane clathrates being released from ocean beds, and shows in narrative form some of the probable consequences for the world's climate.

Methane increases the greenhouse effect, trapping far more energy into the climate system than has ever been experienced before. One way in which this energy is expressed is by hurricanes. Increase the energy in the system enough, and it is possible to have hurricanes which never die out.

They spawn more hurricanes, every one of which is equal to a Katrina or a Hanna. And the hurricane season doesn't stop. The storms just keep coming and coming.

This scenario seemed to be on the verge of realisation this year, with Hanne, Ike, Josephine. And this is expected.

So we have the U.S. economy on the verge of collapse, and if it goes down, the world economy goes down with it. This is a country less equipped than ever to even rescue its own citizens, with the mayor of New Orleans stating openly that "we don't have the resources to come and get you".

Throw in a few more Katrina-level events, and we won't have to wait for global climate change to produce a Mad Max-like post-apocalyptic world. We'll all be living hand to mouth.

I am only half joking about this. It seems undeniable that the combination of a depressed (if not outright collapsed) global economy with an unusually severe hurricane season this year (which could well be continued next year) will by itself have profound effects upon all of us. Throw in a global climate that's having more energy pumped into it by orders of magnitude, and we have global disaster.

I am frightened.

UPDATE: George Dubleya, the man whose job could be descrbed as "appear calm while things go got shit", has warned that "our entire economy is in danger". When a politician uses that sort of language, he (a) is deeply frightened and (b) wants youto vote for his reforms now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why aren't there better arguments?

In response to my latest post, a comment was "Get over yourself." That's it, end of comment. Thanks so much for that, it added a whole lot to the debate, and I stand in awe of your superior arguments and reasoning ability. The commenter's argument is known as a simple "ad hominem" attack, an attack on the person, not the argument, so no points. You go home with... well, nothing.

Why didn't God equip his followers with better arguments? Overlooking the facts that the Bible says very little of relevance to modern society. Overlooking that if the Bible truly was the incontrovertible Word of God, the authority of the author should be apparent to all - the amazing insights, the stunning grasp of the laws of the universe. Leaving aside any of that.

Why aren't the theists' arguments BETTER than they are?

I haven't yet encountered an argument for the existence of any God - be you Christin, Muslim, Hindu, or anything else - that goes beyond "This book tells me so, and I am suspending all rational thought because I want to believe that book." Yeah, well, colour me unimpressed. There are countless books that have been written, and although I happen to find the Lord of the Rings personally appealing on some levels, I don't mistake it for Holy Writ.

Any book that you need a person who has devoted their entire life to interpretation of it - let alone bad interpretation - is clearly a badly written piece of work. If it was truly the Word, the Truth of it should be as clear as the light of day. Instead, we got the crap that my previous post touched upon. The Christian's response to that: "Get over yourself."

Thanks for your time. Go away until you find a better argument than the ad hominem attack.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Perfect and Eternal

It is frequently stated that the Bible, is perfect, eternal, and as true today as when it was written.

I have one rebuttal to that. It needs only one.

Deuteronomy 21:1-9:

1 "If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, and it is not known who has struck him,

2 then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance to the cities which are around the slain one.

3 It shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city, shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been worked and which has not pulled in a yoke;

4 and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which has not been plowed or sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.

5 Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them.

6 All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall (B)wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;

7 and they shall answer and say, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it.

8 Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.' And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.

9 So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD.

Really, I don't know why we bother with police, courts, jails, and the entire criminal justice system, when we have this eternal, perfect piece of sleuthing to guide us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Of COURSE it was

Bitch model faints from "virus".

Yeah, I'm sure it wasn't from anorexia, or party drugs, or anything like that. Absolutely. Models don't do that sort of thing.

Best. Line. Ever.

"Boy, that's a really bad day for the animal, sir."