JABbering Stooge

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Possible JeffyLube sighting at DeLay hearing?

MSRNC has a partial transcript of Rita Cosby giving air time to give voice to his paranoid delusions of persecution.

Accompanying the partial transcript is the following picture:

Tell me that isn't JeffyLube in the right foreground.

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Fight for the glory of Carnegie...

Saturday made me proud to be a Carnegie Mellon alumnus. In case you're wondering, the second running of the DARPA Grand Challenge was run this past Saturday. The goal of the challenge is do design an autonomous vehicle to traverse an under-300 mile, off-road course in the Mojave Desert in under 10 hours.

Last year none of the entries was able to complete the 150-mile course. The vehicle that travelled the farthest was known as "Sandstorm," created by a team from Carnegie Mellon.

This year, the race was shortened to 132 miles and the prize money doubled to $2 million. Four contestants were able to finish in the time allotted: Stanford University's "Stanley" (First Place - 6 hours 53 minutes, effective speed 19.1 mph), Carnegie Mellon's "Sandstorm" (The same one that went the farthest of all entries last year, Second Place - 7 hours 5 minutes, effective speed 18.6 mph) and "H1ghlander" (Yes, that's an attempt at l33t, Third Place - 7 hours 14 minutes, effective speed 18.2 mph) and The Gray Team's "Kat-5" (Fourth Place - 7 hours 30 minutes, effective speed 17.5 mph).

Interestingly enough, CMU's coverage of the event notes that the Standford Racing Team was lead by two Carnegie Mellon luminaries - Professor Sebastian Thrun and Dr. Mike Montemerlo, who earned his doctorate at CMU. So technically, CMU or someone related to CMU took the top three positions at the event.

But more importantly than institutional accolades is the fact that the success of this challenge brings an automated highway system that much closer to reality.

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Freedom has struck an iceberg and is taking on water

A couple of examples of recent stories about how the right wing is flushing freedom down the toilet for your perusal.

Albertsons to customers: You're too stupid to decide for yourself what magazine content is appropriate.

Acting on orders from the Religious Reich, or perhaps worried about losing the fundamentalist dollar for not having Bible displays every five feet, the Albertsons chain of grocery stores has pulled the October issue of Seventeen from its shelves because...wait for it...an article tried to teach young girls the basics of keeping their nether regions healthy!

The article in question, "Vagina 101" contained an illustration of female genitalia, labeling the various parts that make up a woman's reproductive organs, accompanied by two pictures of live vaginas with the caption "These are normal," in an effort to help girls learn to identify signs that they might need to see a gynecologist pronto.

But the facts don't matter to the Puritans among us who don't want anyone to be able to make rational decisions about the health of their reproductive organs. I just wish that Albertsons wasn't so quick to bend over and drop their collective pants for the "Theocracy NOW!" crowd.

Worse, Albertsons doesn't seem to care about the vast majority of the rest of their customer base, arrogantly declaring that they and they alone have the right to determine what you may buy. Fine, but we the people will send you packing by refusing to do business with fascist companies like yourself.

They won't be losing any business from me because I don't shop there to begin with - the company I work for is so much better in every way. But any readers of this blog who shop at Albertsons would be wise to reconsider. (I have readers? HA! That's rich!)

Albertsons' actions are also sorely lacking in consistency. If they were actually serious about getting "explicit" images and text out of their stores, they would also drop Cosmopolitan, FHM, Redbook, etc.

Finally, I have to agree with the following sentiment from a fellow blogger:

Let's see - teen pregnancy continues to be an issue, teen access to birth control is increasingly difficult, and teen STD rates are on the rise. Cutting off access to a fluffy teen magazine offering a vaginal owners manual solves these problems...how?

Imagine, all this over some "graphic content."

Hey Albertsons, I've got your "graphic content" right here!

Southwest Airlines decides it can do without liberal money

This comes from the McPaper. Read it and weep for our democracy. Let me point out a couple of salient paragraphs.

"I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war," she said. "Here we are trying to free another country and I have to get off an airplane in midflight over a T-shirt. That's not freedom."

But wait, it gets worse.

Heasley said no one from Southwest said anything about the shirt when she waited two hours near the gate at Los Angeles International Airport. And neither the pilot, nor other crewmembers, said anything when she boarded the aircraft, Heasley added.

After the plane stopped in Reno at noon Tuesday, she and her husband, Ron, moved to the front of the plane. Passengers began complaining about the T-shirt as they boarded.

So they kick her off the plane in Reno thanks to the bullying of a bunch of thugs. But here's the money shot:

Before leaving the plane, she said she was told the airline would reimburse her for the tickets for the last leg of the flight. After they got off the plane, they were told they'd be reimbursed only for the taxes on the tickets. McInnis said customer services officials are looking into the matter.

That's right, not only do they bend over for fascist thugs, but then they rub salt on the wound by flat-out lying to Mrs. Heasley about restitution for their rudeness and utter disrespect. You'd think that in at a time when the airline industry is really struggling - two major arilines filed for bankruptcy in the last month - they'd be trying to get all the revenue they can scrounge up. They simply can't afford to effectively declare that only "Patriotically Correct" money is legal tender.

Freedom is on the march...RIGHT OVER A CLIFF!

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another thing about DeLay

Beneath all the well-established talking points about the DeLay indictment - all of which are debunked at Think Progress - perhaps the most bizarre is the one that doesn't get so much press coverage.

The claim is that Earle is so partisan that he even goes after conservative Democrats - the only opposition to liberal Democrats in the "dark" days before DeLay "saved" Texas from "librul oppression." (See the comments at UrbanGrounds on the subject for a repetition of the "shout down a liberal point")

DeLay's defenders are trying to have it both ways with this claim, because during the whole redistricting fiasco, the oft-repeated claim made by those supporting the gerrymandering was that Democrats had legislated Republicans out of politics for over 130 years - something that simply wasn't true. But then, since when was consistency something right-wingers valued?

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Punch-drunk on DeLay's Kool-Aid

In case you were wondering what the local Freeperati were up to in the aftermath of the DeLay indictment, they were busy writing letter-length screeds standing up for their boy who, in their eyes, walks on water and can do no wrong. The complete sludge is available here.

In the eyes of these people, a Republican could be caught on video tape molesting both a dog and a toddler, and it'd be O.K. - they'd either be claiming that the video was forged by evil "libruls" or that the dog and toddler were terrorists bent on doing evil and needed to be taught a lesson (besides, they'd claim, the Geneva Conventions don't apply because they say so). But if a Democrat so much as jaywalks, they'll call for his head. No wonder why the congressional Republicans tried to change their own ethics rules so that DeLay could keep his leadership position - under the cover of post-election wrap-up, no less (thankfully, the public outrage forced them to 86 the idea).

Has it become any clearer yet why the thugs in charge need to be voted out in '06?

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