News! Cat Wags Dog’s Tail

October 1, 2009

A lot of shit bubbling in modern life’s drainage ditch — on the toilet with a bit of news.

General Alarm
In pushing President Obama even further back into the corner of Afghan war escalation, Gen. Stan McNasty — oops, sorry — Gen. Stan McChrystal rejected calls for scaling down military objectives and the only way to win over there is with way-more troops, knocking VP Joe Biden in the process.
In a speech today in the UK, the hardcase general balked at an audience question on Biden’s idea of paring down the GIs while hunting insurgents with drones and such: “The short answer is: no,” he said. “You have to navigate from where you are, not where you wish to be. A strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a short-sighted strategy.”

(Illustration found here).

Dude, what’s the long answer…hahaha, hahaha…’Get outta my chair!

Higher Anxiety
Marijuana being illegal is bad on the health, so says Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist at the New York University School of Medicine and author of  Weekends at Bellevue.
Holland reports the feelings of shame and suspicion in taking a toke makes everything just so much more worse: “The fact that [marijuana is] illegal is a very big deal,” Holland said. “People have to hide and they feel like criminals and there’s a lot of shame and guilt, and it ends up making … it decreases self-esteem a little bit and it makes [the habit] more adrenalized. The fact that you add adrenaline into it, and you have to hide and you have shame, can make it more addictive and more dangerous.”
And with something that’s not dangerous to begin with, what, would it still be less dangerous?

Lower Anxiety
Hot-shot female stoners, that’s what.
From Marie Claire:

According to a recent study by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 8 million American women smoked up in the past year — a lowball figure that reflects only those willing to cop to it.
Among them is the upper-middle-class Pottery Barn set: One in five women who admitted to indulging in the previous month lives in a household earning more than $75,000 a year.
They cut a wide swath across the professional spectrum, including lawyers, editors, insurance agents, TV producers, and financial biggies, looking nothing like the blotto hippie teens of Dazed and Confused or the unemployed, out-of-shape schlubsters who are a staple of the Judd Apatow canon.
By all outward appearances, they are card-carrying, type A workaholics who just happen to prefer kicking back with a blunt instead of a bottle.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief Joanna Coles disagrees with the psychiatrist on pot’s social stigma:

“I have to say, that’s not what we are hearing from readers,” she said on the Today Show. “First of all, it’s decriminalized in 13 states, and I don’t think this is a generation of people who get excited about the fact that it’s illegal.”

On pot, “people are unwinding and they’re relaxing, but they’re also able to think and maybe analyze or think clearly … I think cannabis is … more functional than alcohol, certainly in terms of anxiety. It can be a treatment or a medicine.”

Dude, where’s my money?

Cash and Civilization Change
Via The Oil Drum:

Presumably an economist would notice something odd if he sat down at a lunch counter, ordered the daily special, and was handed instead a box of socket wrenches, even if the price of the wrenches was exactly the same as the daily special.
If the economist was starving on a desert island and a crate that washed ashore proved to contain socket wrenches rather than food, the difference would be a matter of life or death.
This latter is uncomfortably close to our position just now, as the world’s energy companies race each other and the clock to extract fossil fuels in nearly unimaginable volumes from the Earth’s dwindling supplies.
If we allow ourselves to wait until those supplies start to run short, it will be much too late to start retooling our civilization for some other energy resource, even if one happens to turn up.

Read the entire fascinating article here.

Live and Stay Dead in Detroit
In a town where there’s 28 percent unemployment and the local annual budget of $21,000 for burying folks is way-used up, the dead stay frozen in time.
From CNN: Inside the Wayne County morgue in midtown Detroit, 67 bodies are piled up, unclaimed, in the freezing temperatures. Neither the families nor the county can afford to bury the corpses. So they stack up inside the freezer.
Albert Samuels, chief investigator for the morgue, said he has never seen anything like it during his 13 years on the job. “Some people don’t come forward even though they know the people are here,” said the former Detroit cop. “They don’t have the money.”

Newt Gingrich has to be one the great assholes of our time, almost, but not quite in the Dick Cheney league, but damn-sure close.
Gingrich’s conservative group, Business Defense and Advisory Council, has done it again — they sent out another award-message naming a 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year, and this time to the owner of a strip club in Dallas, Texas.
However, once Gingrich’s boys discovered the error — they reversed course and told the owner of the strip club (or ‘Gentlemen’s Club’ as it were) to eat shit.
According to the Dallas News, Dawn Rizos, owner of  The Lodge, had been at first “thrilled” with the whole affair, but now it seems these guys are just idiots.
Says Dawn:

“I’m not going to argue with them, if that’s their story,” said Rizo, who is owner and CEO of the club.
“I think they should be a lot more careful and maybe Google the person they’re going to give an award to before they make all of their plans.”

Last month, Allison Vivas of Pink Visual — a porn DVD superstore headquartered in California — was given the same treatment: She won an Entrepreneur of the Year award too, from the same bunch of knuckleheads, and also had it rescinded.
The message was “inadvertently” sent, says Gingrich’s boys.
Via Think Progress:

“Allison was disappointed to receive a call this morning from an ASWF representative stating that the fax had been sent to her ‘inadvertently,’” Boyer told
“We’re not entirely clear on how one ‘inadvertently’ sends a fax to the right person at the correct fax number, so our sense is that this is damage control on the part of a group that is having second thoughts about either recognizing the excellent work of a porn company entrepreneur in light of their own conservative political and social orientation, or having second thoughts about their promotional methodology and communication protocols.”

(h/t: Raw Story).

Privatizing the Bacon Smell
A mysterious mercenary unit, the American Police Force, has taken over a small, unused but expensive jail in Hardin, Montana, with plans to build a law enforcement training facility on the property.
According to Talking Points Memo: APF has said it plans to invest $30 million in the site, including $17M in the training facility, where law enforcement will get sniper training and learn “DNA analysis” skills.
And where is American Police Force getting the money for this venture? Company spokeswoman Becky Shay — until about a week ago the Billings Gazette reporter covering APF — says they are no plans to answer that question. She did not respond to a request for comment.

More from TPM here and here.

MJ was Healthy: Still Dead
Via Raw Story:

Michael Jackson’s arms were covered with punctures, his face and neck were scarred and he had tattooed eyebrows and lips, but he wasn’t the sickly skeleton of a man portrayed by tabloids, according to his autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press.
In fact, the Los Angeles County coroner’s report shows Jackson was a fairly healthy 50-year-old before he died of an overdose. His 136 pounds were in the acceptable range for a 5-foot-9 man. His heart was strong with no sign of plaque buildup. And his kidneys and most other major organs were normal.

The coroner also found Jackson was actively producing sperm.

What a thriller…

Literary Moose Maiden
Sarah Palin is a writer! We’re doomed!
Palin’s upcoming book — 400 pages written in four months — entitled, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” has already jumped to the top of the charts, and it’s not even coming out until next month.
According to NBC News:

Pre-orders of the ex-Alaska guv and GOP veep candidate’s new memoir topped the charts Wednesday on and on Barnes & Noble’s website, The Associated Press reported.
Palin’s 400-page tome outsold Sen. Ted Kennedy’s “True Compass,” Mitch Albom’s “Have a Little Faith” and even “Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown’s newest pot-boiler, “The Lost Symbol.”
In Alaska, a handful of bookstores the AP surveyed reported customers were already clamoring for copies of “Going Rogue” ahead its Nov. 17 release.
But Julie Drake, co-owner of Anchorage’s largest indie bookstore, Title Wave, said her customers hadn’t shown any interest.
“Maybe we’re all going rogue, going all mavericky,” she said.

You betcha…

And finally this…
Considerate Sex
From CNN:

A new policy at Tufts University prohibits students in dorms from having sex while their roommate is in the room, according to the university’s 2009-2010 student handbook.
The Massachusetts university’s formal rule also bars so-called “sexiling” — exiling a roommate from the room so the other roommate can engage in sexual activity.
The new policy “is really about consideration and respect for others and the need for students to be mindful of their roommates’ need for privacy, study and sleep,” university spokeswoman Kim Thurler told CNN.

Hey kid! How long ya gonna be in there?

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