Égalité is for commies

Last Week in Weird

Vive la France!

The ongoing comedramedary that is electoral politics has entered its next season, as the French presidential elections have completed their first round of combat. As expected, right-wing hate fear fascist nazi Hitler Trump white privilege patriarch poopyhead Marine Le Pen has made it to the second round, as has "centrist" Emmanuel Macron, an international banker and former member of the Socialist Party. No points for guessing which one George Soros is paying college students to riot for. Further research: what does "antifascistes" mean in French? It is a mystery!

Macron is expected to mop the floor with Le Pen in the runoff, and this is not predicted to be anything like the way Hillary Clinton mopped the floor with Donald Trump, nor the way "remain" mopped the floor with "leave" in the British EU vote I still refuse to call "Brexit" because honestly that’s hideous. We all know that the two things that are always and everywhere honest and correct are elections and electoral polls, so I’m sure that will remain the case.

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I tried to line the thing up so it was picking the other guy's nose, but I couldn't get it to look right. So you get this.

Last Week in Weird

You have the obligation to remain silent

Ah, America. Land of the free! Home of the Barves! Where the only thing more cherished than apple pie, baseball, and motherhood is the absolute, rock-solid, George Washington-approved, First Amendment-guaranteed right to free speech. I’m sure you know it by heart:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Of course, as any fule kno, the Constitution is a "living document." What necromantic rites were involved in this black sorcery your humble narrator shudders to think, but apparently the Constitution, quite unlike every other piece of paper in the history of the world, has the power to update itself whenever the disembodied flying devil head of Uncle Sam wills it to be. And, in an astonishing turn of events, He communicates His grand design to us through the federal judiciary. Last week, the holy judiciary handed down the magical new text of the First Amendment, which has apparently been updated with a rider adding "… unless minor bureaucrats don’t like it."

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Clueless to the Max!

Last Week in Weird

Representative stupidity

Ah, congress. That branch of the government most beloved by rubes who’ve convinced themselves that they’re being represented, have ever been represented, and should be represented. Speaking for myself, I’ve never been represented in my life; still and all, I’m compelled to admit that there is probably a significant constituency that is quite thoroughly represented by good ol’ Maxine Waters, arguably the stupidest congressman in history.

Poor Maxine. She can’t even get anti-Trump hysteria right. Here’s a charming presser she gave last week in which the press corps deliberately baits her into saying completely false things, and she fails to notice.

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Chickie du chef

Last Week in Weird

First they came for my beloved puppet mascots, and I did not speak out

I gotta be honest with you guys: those terrorists are no good. I mean, sure, we were all kind of miffed back when they crashed airplanes into notable American landmarks, but fifteen years is a long time, and terrorism has become almost passé. It’s definitely gotten to the point that, whenever a terrorist does pop up to do evil deeds, we libertarians can be so blinded by the fact that the plot was actually dreamed up, funded, and executed by the FBI that we forget to be viscerally offended by the very idea of terrorism and pledge our lives and treasure to the FBI. Last week, that all changed.

A Swedish chef was reportedly assaulted by three Muslim men who punched and kicked him in the face and head, sending him to the emergency room. Writing about the assault on Facebook, he said he was attacked because he looked like Donald Trump.

What? No! Not the Swedish Chef! Terrorists, listen to me: there are some lines that are not to be crossed. When you beheaded Miss Piggy, we could look the other way. When you crashed airplanes into Rowlf, well, the American spirit is one of forgiveness. When you burned Scooter alive, I think we were all secretly pleased, to tell the truth. But the Swedish Chef? Americans will not tolerate this! All I can say is that, if you mess with Sam the Eagle, things are gonna get real.

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Hope and change and also death

Last Week in Weird

Government in microcosm

On Wednesday, CNN did one of its hilariously phony "Town Hall" bits, in which a carefully-screened group of people asks prearranged questions, and president Obama uses them as an excuse to talk about how great he art. This week, the widow of a soldier who committed suicide asked the president what could be done to reduce to rate of veteran suicides from its current level of twenty-two per day, and the president, in between two different anecdotes about how many lives he personally has saved through the awesome power of bureaucracy, dispensed this pearl of wisdom:

We are hiring more mental health professionals. But the fact that there’s still 20 a day who are feeling hopeless means that we’ve got to do more. And, you know, anybody who’s watching right now, if you call the, you know, veterans help line, there’s going to be somebody there to answer.

So, really, all those suicidal soldiers need to do is call up the government’s suicide help line, where the highly-trained professionals from the government will be there to help. I guess this story would have a happy ending, then, if it weren’t for one niggling little detail: quite often, when people call the suicide help line, there actually isn’t anybody there to answer.

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I know what you're thinking, but stop it. That's a conspiracy theory.

Last Week in Weird

I return smack ack

Now that the Republican primary season is safely far, far behind us, the real senator Rand Paul has apparently been released by the Borg slavers who captured him in the spring of 2015 and replaced him with a neocon replicant. He’s made waves recently by opposing the Obama administration’s plans to sell the Islamic fundamentalists who run Saudi Arabia yet more weapons of mass destruction — this time totaling more than a billion dollars — to be used to slaughter additional tens of thousands of helpless Yemeni civilians. Paul’s opposition to this senseless waste of human life is based, apparently, on trivial things like law and morality, which came as a tremendous shock to ancient robotic newscaster Wolf Blitzer, who once won a Peabody award for announcing that being annihilated by a hurricane is bad for you, but can’t seem to extend the metaphor to cover annihilation by bombs:

"So for you this is a moral issue," he told Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s appearance on CNN. "Because you know, there’s a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there’s going to be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States. That’s secondary from your standpoint?"

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Math is hard! Let's go take a diversity class!

Last Week in Weird

Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone!

Wayne State University in Detroit has a long and proud history — it’s been in existence since 1868, hosts almost thirty thousand students every year, and may or may not be bankrolled by Batman through his Wayne Foundation. In a move nearly as creepy, disconcerting, overflowing with the social and moral philosophy of the 1970s and generally stupid as a Pink Floyd song, Wayne State University has announced that it will no longer require all students to study mathematics, but will now require them to take "diversity" classes instead. If you’re interested in the sort of word soup that can pour forth from the word extruders of the university’s General Education Reform Committee, which proposed this wonderful "reform," here’s a choice sample:

Year 1 focuses around a paired set of "Year 1 Core" courses designed to generate excitement, build key academic and practical skills, and build a sense of community… These core courses are intended to help excite students about the promise of a university education, build key skills essential for student success, and to increase a student’s feelings of "belongingness" to the university community…

[W]e feel that the Student Communities and the Capstone courses will increase a student’s meaningful interaction with their peers and the community, thus leveraging the incredible diversity of our university. Finally, we are proposing the creation of specific "Diversity" courses, with students required to take one course in this designation. These courses will provide opportunities for students to explore diversity at the domestic level and consider the ways in which it intersects with real world challenges at the local, national and/or global level.

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Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do

Last Week(s) in Weird

(We’ve been dark for a few weeks, so, to celebrate the return of Last Week in Weird, we bring you a collection of weird and wonderful tidbits from the last several weeks!)

Vaporizeware

A few months ago, I bought a USB floppy drive. I know what you’re thinking: what’s a floppy drive? See, back in the dark age of technology, data was stored on removable media that could hold up to — up to, mind you — 1.44 megabytes. I distinctly recall carrying all the data I owned in the world around in my breast pocket on three such diskettes. Nowadays this technology has fallen by the wayside, and only crusty old codgers like your humble narrator still remember it.

Crustier even than I is the United States Department of Defense, which recently revealed that the coordination of the nation’s entire nuclear arsenal — which amounts to more than five thousand warheads — is performed by software loaded on original 8-inch floppy disks running on a 1976 IBM Series/1 minicomputer.

Defense has plans to upgrade its nuclear-related technology system soon. Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, department spokeswoman, said: "This system remains in use because, in short, it still works. However, to address obsolescence concerns, the floppy drives are scheduled to be replaced with Secure Digital devices by the end of 2017. Modernization across the entire Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) enterprise remains ongoing."

I’ll be honest with you: it’s fun to pick on the government, but the argument "this system remains in use because… it still works" carries a lot of weight with me, especially considering that you and I will be paying the tab for any upgrades. Honestly, I want these things (assuming they must exist at all, of course) upgraded as infrequently as possible. Since CNBC is shocked at the downright gaucheness of the government using "creaky" technology, I would like to suggest that CNBC foot the bill for upgrading it and leave the rest of us alone.

On second thought, I’d like to suggest that it not be upgraded at all; do we really want the Treasury Department’s ability to assess tax liability to be more efficient or (God forbid) user friendly? Do we really want the tax system or the nuclear launch codes to be an option when the next Guccifer decides to take the United States government for a ride?

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