The blog incarnation of the Desperado mailing list, the voice of the apocryphalypse since 1978.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Excelsior was more fun to burn, but bubblewrap is king 

Don't miss it! Today is National Bubblewrap Appreciation Day. But isn't every day?

Opening pops from the link:
The beauty of the bubble

January 31, 2005
By Don Fernandez

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The foam peanut must be seething with envy. • After all, what other piece of packaging inspires such affection? And barely a thumb and forefinger can resist its sweet, stress-relieving, crackling allure. • That's the beauty of the bubble. • "I remember when getting presents wrapped in bubble, I would save that precious gift to savor the feel," said Charles Shackelford Jr. "Now my kids are doing the exact same thing. Bubble Wrap [which is trademarked] transcends all generations." • Since its introduction in the 1960s, Bubble Wrap -- that most ubiquitous of protective packaging -- has become as priceless as the parcel.


"The act of popping Bubble Wrap is almost like a catharsis, a little indulgence in some small act of destruction that is neither dangerous nor offensive," said Arthur Gallego, vice president of LaForce and Stevens, a marketing and trend firm in New York City. "It's one of those freakishly universal things that we all enjoy doing. It's mindless."
More, including further links, here.

posted by Tom  # 1/31/2005 01:30:00 PM

Artful Dodger was already taken 

The name of the spokesgal for the Superbowl Host Committee?
Heather Surface

posted by Tom  # 1/31/2005 01:11:00 PM

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Bush doesn't understand himself so he doesn't think you should either 

In a hastily called "press conference" President George W. "W" Bush explains that he didn't really mean all that stuff about "freedom" and "liberty" in his inaugural address. I guess it's a good thing I didn't pay any attention.

Bypass compulsory registration via www.bugmenot.com.

posted by Tom  # 1/30/2005 06:04:00 PM

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The idiot's last words: Hey, look at this! 

The Exile, a "Moscow-based underground newspaper" has a Fresno-based columnist Gary Brecher, who calls himself the War Nerd. Here's the first few paragraphs of his latest:
Super War Preview: The Iranian Suicide Bombers vs. The American Crusaders
Everybody's asking me what'll happen if we attack Iran. To get a quick preview, just do what this guy in my eighth-grade class did: put a firecracker in your mouth, hold it between your front teeth, and light the fuse.

Your friends won't believe you'll go through with it. So when it blows up in your face, you'll expect them to be impressed. And you'll be surprised, just like this guy in junior high was surprised, when all you get is a perforated eardrum and a reputation as the biggest dumbass in the school.

Right now, Bush is standing there with a lit match and a big firecracker labeled "Iran" in his mouth. Except it's more like an M-80 or a whole stick of dynamite than a firecracker. Nobody believes he'll be dumb enough to light it, to actually attack Iran. Even the Iranians don't believe it; Khameini, their head Mullah, said last week "America is in no position to invade Iran."

He's right about that. Even the US Army brass admits we're "overstretched." We don't even have enough troops to control Iraq; a war with Iran would mean calling up every National Guard unit we have. Even then, it would take years to get them combat-ready.

And this time the Brits won't come with us. They've been making that clear, on the quiet. If we go in, it'll be as a coalition of one.

So Khameini's right; we can't attack Iran. But that doesn't mean we won't. Khameini was making the same mistake everybody's been making: assuming Bush and his cronies have a lick of sense.

The best way of guessing what Bush will do is asking, what's the worst thing he could do to America? Whatever it is, that's what he'll do. I think he's been possessed by bin Laden, because everything he's done has been exactly what Al Quaeda hoped for. Right now, bin Laden is praying to Allah that we'll be stupid enough to attack Iran. That would be the cherry on his halal sundae, the one thing that could actually finish us off as a Superpower.

In my "Quagmire Bowl" article I said the Iraq war probably wouldn't be fatal. It's definitely hurt us, but it won't mean the downfall of America. Well, if we invade Iran, that bet is off. All bets are off. People don't realize how fast a Superpower can fall. It only takes one invasion too many.

Napoleon was unstoppable before he invaded Russia. So was Hitler. Now France and Germany are "Old Europe."
The remainder – more bilious bad taste – can be found here.
posted by Tom  # 1/29/2005 07:07:00 PM

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

wereldberoemde geniale voorloper van het surrealisme 

Amazing find by Number Two Son:
Hiëronymus Bosch Action Figures
In Dutch, but who cares?

posted by Tom  # 1/25/2005 02:11:00 PM

Bush claims on Social Security "patently false" 

This one comes to me via Dummranger, who knows an actual expert, who says
Here's the best short analysis I've seen of Bush's "reform" for Social Security. Berry is far from a left-wing critic; he's a widely respected analyst for Bloomberg, the biggest financial news service in the U.S, used by all the major newspapers, brokerage houses and banks.

The first three paragraphs of the Bloomberg breakdown by John M. Berry:
President George W. Bush's assertions that Social Security faces a crisis and is ``flat bust, bankrupt'' are patently false.

Bush and other administration officials are greatly exaggerating potential problems facing the program to push through changes that would undermine the most successful social insurance program in the nation's history.

The system is so far from crisis or bankruptcy that the truly prudent course at this point most certainly would be to make no changes in Social Security at all. Wait and see if even under conservative assumptions the date at which the system's trust fund would be exhausted keeps receding.

posted by Tom  # 1/25/2005 01:43:00 PM

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The ignorguration, says Brother Dave 

The rules for the inauguration included the requirement that no one look at President George W. "W" Bush. I followed this rule, naturally, and, just to show what a patriot I am, I didn't listen either.

posted by Tom  # 1/20/2005 06:53:00 PM

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Cowboy poetry 

We were discussing the way the red states live off the bounty of the blue states, in particular the way social-security recipients head south and west, when Brother Dave let fly with a telling improvised couplet:
Montana wild, brave and free
Living on government subsidee

posted by Tom  # 1/19/2005 01:36:00 PM

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

We face an enemy so evil, so crafty, that the finest minds cannot think how to catch him 

The Washington Post put President George W. "W" Bush on the hotseat, but the man fears no reporter:
The Post: Why do you think bin Laden has not been caught?
W : Because he's hiding.
Quotation via Maruth the Crankpot.

posted by Tom  # 1/18/2005 12:02:00 PM

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Naomi Campbell's nick-nacks 

This web log gets more Googles and Yahoos for girls' breasts than on any other topic. You'd better go read those archives, hadn't you?

Therefore I can hardly pass up the utterly sensational story that while down in Rio for a fashion show featuring many, many young ladies whose tops simply wouldn't behave, Naomi Campbell's bouncers busted out as well.

The dress designer?
Titi Bessas
In veritas nomen est omen.

Lest we doubt Naomi's tale of uncontrollably slipping silk: Wardrobes do malfunction.

I once sat fascinated at a meeting – usually not my favorite environment – as button after button after button gave way to a pair of bare and bountiful bosoms. I had observed plunging necklines before – indeed – but this was the only one I had ever seen in the actual act of plunging.

It seems no one else noticed, but only now does my line finally come to me, "Pardon me, but your tip is showing."

posted by Tom  # 1/16/2005 01:38:00 PM

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Stealing your future (and my present) 

If the Social Security crisis is 45 to 75 years away, I'm willing to bet that in that time we'll have a president a bit brighter and more honest and less of a bust-out artist than George W. "W" Bush. So let that president solve the problem, which will probably have moved out another 45 to 75 years by then.
And, while we're on the subject, Dummranger asks: "If private retirement accounts are so hot, how about removing the limits on 401Ks and IRAs?
And, how about raising the limit on income taxed to support Social Security to somewhere above the current limit, which pretty much sets the cap at a decent high-end middle-class salary?

posted by Tom  # 1/13/2005 02:46:00 PM

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Bush and the Republicans plan to abolish Social Security 

The following appeared in a web log called The Carpetbagger Report:
The Plan
Posted January 8, 2005 10:24 AM

Posted by Morbo

I have a plan that I'm hoping people will embrace. All I want to hear for the next two years out of the mouth of every Democrat is the following:

"Bush and the Republicans plan to abolish Social Security.

Bush and the Republicans plan to abolish Social Security.

Bush and the Republicans plan to abolish Social Security."

I want it brought up every day, at least once, if not 17 times.

I want it brought up at press conferences even when it is not relevant. Example:

Reporter: Senator, do you believe Congress has a role to play in ending steroid abuse in professional sports?

Senator: That's a good question, and I'll get to it in a minute. But first I'd like to say a few words about Bush and the Republicans' plan to abolish Social Security...

TV commercials:

Henry: What ya readin', Louette?

Louette (with furrowed brow): It's an article about Bush and the Republicans' plan to abolish Social Security! I'm really worried.

Rap Music:

Rap Guy with lots of chains: Yo! Now coz they got them a major-ity, Bush and the Republicans want to abolish Social Secur-ity! We gotta stop them now, And I'll tell ya how (sounds of records scratching)

TV Shows:

"CSI: Social Security"

Tough Cop 1: What happened here?

Tough Cop 2: Looks like someone rubbed out Social Security. God, what kind of sick bastards....

Tough Cop 1: (rubs chin, pushes back tough cop hat) Looks like the work of Bush and the Republicans.


Just paint the words "Bush and the Republicans Plan to Abolish Social Security" on a car and push it on the track. The driver can put it on his coats and pants too (and helmet).

And so on.

posted by Tom  # 1/11/2005 11:59:00 AM

Absolutely ghastly? Awfully grimy? Alberto Gonzalez. 

The estimable Charles Pierce notes in Altercation an ominous confluence of the initials "AG":
Lord, they're doing it right out in the open now. There were a dozen candidates for AG, but they deliberately threw up AG for AG in order to stick a finger in the eye of everyone who's said "Abu Ghraib" in public over the past year.
And, if a finger in the eye won't do it, they have other ways to make us squirm.

posted by Tom  # 1/11/2005 11:52:00 AM

Friday, January 07, 2005

Feel-good story of the year 

Alberto Gonzalez has promised that if we'll make him attorney general he won't be for torture any more. He's against tidal waves too, if you ask him.

posted by Tom  # 1/07/2005 01:36:00 PM

Divide-by-zero error?  

Just what is fat-free half-and-half anyway?

posted by Tom  # 1/07/2005 01:34:00 PM

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bumbling along here 

The most terrifying headline so far this year:
Are you ready to start on your 2005 projects?
My immediate thought. "Oh my God, so many!"


Stupidest spam of the year purported to come from "Nightmare A. Upchuck" and consisted only of some non-operating internet gibberish and the two words "rechargeable" and "brainwashed".


Kevin Spacey impersonating Bobby Darin: Didn't Darin already do that?


Bobby, with only one actual rock and roll song on his hit list, the inexpressibly stupid, but peppy, "Splish Splash", is the least worthy member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course, without Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, it isn't really the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anyway, so who cares?

posted by Tom  # 1/04/2005 11:52:00 AM


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