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You know what the adorable kitten means, don’t you? That’s right — Stoaty let you down today. Between the deadline chasing and the fixer-upping of Casa del Weasel, I’m plumb weaseled out. It’s going to be a tight week.

Oh, adorable? Let me tell you something: Damien was born crazier’n a whole boxcar full of homicidal drifters. I guarantee you what he’s saying here is, “I’m going to CUT you, bitch. I’m going to cut you GOOD. You see these here pig-stickers? When I’m done, your own MOTHER won’t know you. Maybe tomorrow you’ll remember to clean my litterbox BEFORE my morning dump. Now git in that kitchen and pour me some FRISKIES.”

Isn’t he the sweetest?

March 31, 2008 — 6:25 pm
Comments: 12

Funny stuff…


I tried to make an early night of it, but people kept CALLING me. On the PHONE. Last one was the cut-rate electrician, who’s showing up in a couple of hours to re-wire my whole electrical box. With his two children in tow. Which means no electricity all day. Plus…children. Every time I hopped up for the phone, I took a generous hit off the industrial sized tub of Jack Daniels, sure an’ it’s a rocky, rocky morning chez Weasel.

So if I’m finding anything funny this morning, you can be sure it’s funny. Well, it is. No, shut up. It is. Tracey Ullman‘s back. She’s a naturalized American now, and she’s celebrating it with a sketch-comedy series on Showtime. I’m cracking up watching the clips. Yeah, okay, I suppose anybody can be funny in 20-second increments, but go watch for yourself and see if you don’t think it’s funny, Mister (or Missus) Smarty Pants.

Okay, I’m off. See you later, with my shiny new electrical box.

March 29, 2008 — 9:42 am
Comments: 66

Kids! Be the first one on your block…!

bomb patents
Sometimes, listening to NPR pays off.

In 1933, Leo Szilard patented the idea of a nuclear chain reaction. Szilard was a physicist and his patent was highly theoretical, but he tried to use it to gain clout in the Manhatten Project later. The government faced him down, but the issue was worrying. What if other scientists tried to control the project through the patent office? What about scientists in other countries?

So the government decided to file patents on the components of the bomb in the name of the individual inventors as the project progressed.

That presented a different set of problems. The whole project was extra-super-double-dog secret. Plutonium was called “copper,” the bomb was called “the gadget.” But patent applications are as clear and as explicit as the applicant can make them.

So the government invoked an obscure rule already in place: an application marked “secret” would be looked at by no-one in the patent office and filed away in a vault un-approved, forever pending.

Harvard grad student Alex Wellerstein has been looking up these old patents. Turns out, as individual components are de-classified, the individual patents have been granted and published. A lot of it is still secret, but thousands of techniques and methods and bits of hardware are now public.

One patent was issued 60 years after the application; that’s the longest he’s found so far. The applications are still reviewed annually. A lawyer for the Department of Energy told Wellerstein:

“Our feeling has been that a significant taxpayer investment was made to create the inventions and to prosecute the patents so that payment of the issue fee finalizes the effort to provide a property right arising from the government funding. Of equal merit is the recognition provided to the inventors. When the patent issues we make a small good faith effort to find the inventor or a surviving spouse and notify them of the issuance of the patent. When notify someone, they are usually deeply moved by the recognition provided for their long ago secret efforts.”

That’s kind of…touching. Of course, a lot of the old coots are dead now, but a tribute is a tribute.

You know what else is kind of touching? Right in the middle of the Big One, dubya-dubya-deuce, the government didn’t write any special laws or invoke any extra-legal war powers. The department that makes war knuckles under to the rules of the department that files papers. They’re building this huge fucking doomsday weapon in the middle of the bloodiest war in the history of man, and they’re worried about violating international patent law.

I don’t care what the lefties say, the American government makes a lousy supervillain.

March 28, 2008 — 9:23 am
Comments: 11

Saying g’bye to the Boobs

boob chair

This here is my favorite object in the whole wide world. We call it the Boob Chair. Or simply The Boobs. My prissy grampa never admitted his favorite armchair had tits, so we’re compensating.

He found it rotting away in a barn somewhere in East Tennessee, bought it and had it re-upholstered in a deep green velvet. It’s a huge great throne of a thing and I love it dearly. I have always loved it.

But it was not to be mine. I was a younger cousin and all the best stuff had been divvied up before I was even born. The Boobs, I have known all my life, were supposed pass directly from my grandmother to my cousin in Alabama.

So great was my lust for this object, when the truck from home arrived with my furniture and The Boobs was on it, I asked no questions. Even though my cousin in Alabama is pretty much my favorite relative and she loves it at least as much as I do. Even though I was quite sure it came to me by way of some ugly Machiavellian blood feud of the aunties.

Still, I guess I should’ve known I wasn’t wicked enough to ship The Boobs three thousand miles across the ocean, further away from the aforementioned Cousin in Alabama. No matter how assiduously I pursue pure evildoing, I do occasionally let me down. Anyway, how can I invite her over to rub her nose in my 16th Century farmhouse with The Boob Matter unresolved between us?

So UPS is coming to take The Boobs away. My preciousssssss. My precious Booobiessssss. gollum

March 27, 2008 — 5:09 pm
Comments: 41

Be nice. It’s the law.


Okay, here’s the scenario: You’ve been on the job six months. Day after day, people roll their eyes when you make suggestions. They don’t invite you to social functions, or even team meetings. They’re rude to you, refuse you help when you ask for it. They don’t return your calls or answer your emails. In fact, you’ve seen them scuttle out of their offices to avoid you. They certainly never praise you or defend your ideas.

Naturally, you conclude:

A. Oh my god! Everybody here hates me and thinks I’m stupid. I’m an incompetent jerk! Mayhap I also smell!

B. Oh my god! This is an office full of incompetent jerks who just don’t get me and my peculiar talents. I’d better find a new job.

C. Oh my god! I can’t possibly leave this job and yet I’m being horribly persecuted. I got PTSD! I’ll stick it out for a few more years and then lawyer up, big time. Mine is a lonely struggle against evil oppressors, just like that civil rights thingie I hear so much about.

Yep. It’s C — at least, if you’re the New York Times.

I’m not making that up about the civil rights movement. If you watch the video at the first link, the lawyer who specializes in ‘bullying’ makes the comparison. It’s part of his standard boilerplate there outta be a law and I’m just the guy to make it speech.

The comment section is rich, too. I cut a little slack to the people who had long and successful careers and then land with a special asshole of a boss. It’s a shock at first, though they really need to butch up. If you haven’t had a genuinely obnoxious boss or co-worker, you haven’t worked much. My favorites, though, are comments like this:

I have been bullied to varying degrees at every job I’ve had. While I support and admire efforts to remedy workplace bullying and would benefit from these efforts if implemented successfully and thoroughly, I don’t hold out much hope. Bullying, especially in the workplace, where people are by definition vying for money, status, and power, is simply inherent in human nature. I wish I could say it’s just the dark side of human nature, but my view has become that a phrase such as “the dark side of human nature” is redundant. Human nature is dark, period. Sorry for being so negative, but my comment reflects my lifetime of bad experiences.

— Posted by Anonymous

Bullied at every single job he or she has had, so there’s something terribly wrong with — human nature! The entire species!

So, go back and read the list of behaviors that constitute bullying — behaviors these guys want to make illegal. Actionable in a court of law. Sue your ass off behaviors. If you had a real jerk of a boss or a co-worker, how many of those bullet points would constitute your only defensive weapons against the obnoxious attentions of an asshole?

March 26, 2008 — 12:27 pm
Comments: 60

Finally, a brand that has meaning


So Ace finally notices my pathetic link-whoring attempt fifteen months after I first touched lip to his backside, and where am I? Offline, that’s where. Stupid dead cablemodem.

Actually, I stopped using the moronblogger icon myself when I moved off of WordPress. I decided it was over the line. My understanding of ‘the line’ has always been hazy, but wherever it is I’m pretty sure it has my footprints all over it.

Billy had escaped into the wild by then, adopted by morons everywhere. God speed, little ‘tard!

Today, morons are busting out all over. Conservative Belle is putting together the official moronosphere blogroll (dang! I’ve got a lot of sidebar updating to do) and Sinistar of Double Plus Undead is doing regular moronosphere link roundups.

You know the neat thing about the moronosphere? It actually means something. If you like AoSHQ, you will probably like many of the spinoff blogs. They mainly share the same sense of bedrock conservative values wedded to crude arm-flailing pinwheeling utter drooling retardedness.

Y’all know ‘moron’ was a technical term with a specific meaning, right? Sez Wikipedia:

Moron was originally an English scientific term, coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard from the Greek word moros, which meant “dull” (as opposed to “sharp”), and used to describe a person with a mental age located between 8 and 12 on the Binet scale. It was once applied to people with an IQ of 51-70, being superior in one degree to “imbecile” (IQ of 26-50) and superior in two degrees to “idiot” (IQ of 0-25). The word moron, along with others including “retarded”, “idiotic”, “imbecilic”, “stupid”, and “feeble-minded”, was formerly considered a valid descriptor in the psychological community, though these words have all now passed into common slang use, exclusively in a detrimental context.

Mental age: eight to twelve. ‘Bout right.

March 25, 2008 — 11:35 am
Comments: 37

Spitzer: cold feet not an option


So, it turns out somebody working for Republican operative Roger Stone dropped a dime on Elliot Spitzer. Or, more accurately, dropped an email to the FBI. Stone got his information from ”a social contact in an adult-themed club.”

Per the Wikipedia entry, Stone is the one who organized the so-called “Brooks Brothers riot” — remember all those dudes in natty suits hammering on the doors where the Florida recount was happening? That thing. He recently founded an anti–Hillary Clinton 527 called Citizens United Not Timid, acronym intentional.

The thumbnail biography makes him sound a bit of nutter, actually.

Anyhow, there’s old bad blood between him and Spitzer, apparently. Chris Matthews accused Stone on-air of leaving a threatening message on Spitzer’s dad’s answering machine, referring to the former as your “phony, psycho, piece-of-shit son.”

I don’t find the story all that interesting, but I could not possibly walk past this datum:

“It is also my client’s understanding from the same source that Gov. Spitzer did not remove his mid-calf length black socks during the sex act. Perhaps you can use this detail to corroborate Mr. Stone’s information.”

It’s those little details that breathe life into a drama, you know?

March 24, 2008 — 2:50 pm
Comments: 22

Don’t break the internet while I’m gone


My machine with the weaselgraphics is disassembled in a heap somewhere in the kitchen. So is my phone and my cablemodem and my wireless router and all that other shit I need to get connected. So, it’s a weekend of…ummm…yeah. Working on it.

March 21, 2008 — 2:56 pm
Comments: 59

Still proud

graffiti fail

Athens, Tennessee. A young man attempts to pledge his undying love by spraying it on an overpass of I-75.

“Myers said when she arrived, Clark was standing at the railing holding the rope with his friend dangling below. She told Clark to put his hands up, but he said he couldn’t let go of the rope.

She said Musnicki tossed the can of red spray paint and tried to escape, but got tangled in the rope. She put Clark in her car and drove around to the road below, arresting Musnicki after he was helped down by a passer-by with a ladder.”

Yeah, you laugh. But I bet both these fine lads got a little something for their trouble. Arrested spray painting “I love you” on a bridge abutment? That there’s romance for you.

— 1:32 pm
Comments: 13

African plus American does not equal African-American

obama grayscale

For somebody who doesn’t like to talk about race, I’ve certainly done a lot of it this week. Eh. Here goes. This article in the American Spectator touched on something that I’ve thought a lot about in the days since Obama’s Pastor Wright problem surfaced: the profound hostility that often exists between African Americans of different shades of brown.

Check out this widely circulated picture of Wright and Obama together. The two men don’t have a hell of a lot of melanin between them. Wright is the paler of the two; he could easily pass for some variety of Southern European. Obama isn’t much darker, and he has an added problem: he’s no more descended from slaves than I am.

I’m guessing both men have been deeply pained by identity problems in their lives. Wright tried to solve his and cement his group identity by wearing dashikis and peddling the most vitriolic hate-whitey creed he could get away with. Obama tried to solve his and cement his group identity by cleaving to Wright — and, clearly, Obama would rather throw his typical white grandmother under a bus than renounce the relationship.

Is he going to skate on this? I don’t know. I watched the Race Speech live and thought it sounded polished and thoughtful. But he’s gotten this far by promising white folks he’s something new. This week, he felt compelled to reassure black folks he’s something old and familiar.

— 12:44 pm
Comments: 4