Tuesday, November 29, 2005

KAR Sisyphus Open Thread

The second ever Sisyphus Open Thread is going on over at the Kool-Aid Report.

Top 11 Reasons The Canadian Government Fell

11. Captain Ed’s patience finally ran out.

10. Prime Minister Paul Martin was unable to stem the tide of Canadian entertainers fleeing to the United States.

9. Martin didn’t do enough to increase global warming.

8. Canadians tired of their money being laughed at by Americans.

7. Paul Martin’s constituents never forgave him for endorsing Bush.

6. The Liberals were held responsible for the fact that Canadian football still hasn’t caught up with American football.

5. Martin’s “You’re All A Bunch of Hosers” speech was too Carteresque.

4. Difficulty adapting to the NHL rule changes.

3. French Canadians concerned that they‘re falling behind France when it comes to rioting Muslims.

2. “No Blood for Beer” was poorly received as a rallying cry.

1. I think there was some kind of scandal or something.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Time to Cut and Run – A Novel by Senator Joe Biden

NOTE: Not surprisingly, Barbara Boxer’s recent novel, A Time to Run, has spurred other Senators to attempt to imitate her success. We have obtained an advance copy of Senator Joe Biden’s upcoming novel, “A Time to Cut and Run” and excerpt it here:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven,
we were all going direct the other way,
our military presence in Iraq was the only guarantor against a total breakdown,
our military presence in Iraq was increasingly counterproductive.

Whatever the season, Senator Jack Guiden was the man for it. As a man of war, he had earned two Purple Hearts and the Silver Star of Honor commanding a battalion of M-1 tanks at the Tet Delta during the Vietnam War. As a man of peace he had been the only Senator to question the phony intelligence used by President Adolf C. Himp and Vice President Hal Burton to justify the Iraq War. As a decorated veteran serving in the United States Senate in time of war, he alone had the moral authority to call for cutting, to call for running.

Jack was deeply touched by his meeting earlier that morning with a group of mothers who had lost sons in Iraq and now wanted to see all troops brought home. Jack admired their courage, for he knew first hand the pain of having ones patriotism questioned by a President and Vice President who had avoided service by hiding in Canada until they were granted amnesty by President Carter. Jack had little influence with the administration and could offer the peace mothers little but his pledge to fight on. They left inspired by his passion and more than a little smitten by his senatorial good looks.

Such is the busy life of a Senator that Jack had little time to dry his eyes before tackling the next crisis. The President had recently nominated his out of the mainstream crony, Roman Vito Benedictito, to the Supreme Court. Many of Jack’s constituents were worried that Benedictito would turn back the clock on a women’s right to choose you know what (you know what I mean – don’t make me type it).

Jack whirled the Benedictito nomination around in the tilt-a-whirl of his mind. He could not allow President Himp and Vice President Burton to pack the court with extremists. But what could he do as a member of the minority party? Then it struck like the apple on Einstein’s head. Jack reached for his copy of the Senate rules and paged his way to the Fs. Himp-Burton would never know what hit them. He allowed himself a smile as he rolled up his sleeves for the coming battle.

NOTE: The next section consists entirely of the complete script to “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. Let’s just skip to the end:

The very single Senator Jack Guiden lost himself in the admiring eyes of the single, consenting adult super-model lying satisfied next to him. “Oh, Senator Jack,” she moaned, “I could have anyone, but I only want you! Not only have you convinced the rest of Congress that it is time to cut and run from Iraq, but your filibuster of Roman Benedictito has saved the clock from being turned back, and now I find that you’re the best lover I’ve ever had!”

Senator Jack smiled and said, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

Sunday, November 27, 2005

George Best, R.I.P.

One of the greatest footballers of his generation, George Best, has drunk himself to death. He joined hated Manchester United at age 17 in 1963 and retired 10 years later when most are just entering their prime (actually the first of several retirements). Still, he played long enough to establish himself as one of the greats. Even the hooligans of arch-rival Arsenal pay tribute to his on field prowess.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Top 11 Other Items In New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s Bio That Should Probably Be Checked Out

11. Was married to Elton John

10. Before moving to New Mexico, he served four terms as Governor of Old Mexico.

9. Appointed by the UN to be special ambassador to the Roswell aliens.

8. Runs the Minnesota Democrats Exposed website.

7. Ghost-wrote Barbara Boxer’s new novel.

6. Was Mr. T’s stunt double for four seasons on the A-Team.

5. Inspired Bruce Springsteen to write the song “Glory Days”.

4. Spent the Christmas of 1968 running CIA agents into Cambodia.

3. In 1999 he snuck into Iraq with Commander Bond and destroyed Saddam Hussein’s WMD programs.

2. Gave up his seat at the front of the bus to Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955.

1. Did the actual singing on the grammy winning Milli Vanilli CD.

NOTE: Sisyphus was, in fact, raised better than this.

Top 11 Changes In Store Now That The Parents Of Sisyphus Have Discovered This Blog

11. Less hooker blogging, more church blogging.

10. Steps will be taken to see that they don’t discover the comments section of The Kool-Aid Report.

9. A Stalinesque cleansing of our archives.

8. A disclaimer at the end of each post: “Sisyphus was, in fact, raised better than this.”

7. Instead of cruelly mocking the Jessica Simpson/Nick Lachey breakup, we will sympathetically recommend counseling.

6. No more mention of the BBJ, at least until jet fuel prices come down a bit.

5. Instead of blogging on “The O.C.” and “The Real World”, I’ll be blogging on HGTV and fishing shows.

4. My more controversial stuff will be under the name Nihilist in Golf Pants since they skip over those posts.

3. No more links to offensive sites, like StarTribune.com.

2. More Turner, less Courbet in my art blogging.

1. No more coddling Jimmy Carter.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Nihilist News Update!

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey give the world a Thanksgiving gift and announce that they will be breaking up. Developing . . .

Are You Ready For Some Turkey?

Maybe Thanksgiving's football schedule can get me back on track. Currently, I am 29-37, with a dismal 1-21 on parlays. As usual, lines from USA Today's opening line.

LSU -17 v. Arkansas
Hawaii +6 1/2 v. Wisconsin
Georgia +3 1/2 @ Georgia Tech (played in Atlanta)

Falcolns -3 @ Lions
Broncos +1 @ Cowboys
Jaguars +3 1/2 @ Cardinals

Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What Would A Real Man Do?

Usually we leave the "MTV's The Real World" beat to the Nihilist, but since I caught the last episode of this season tonight I feel I have to offer up a question. Has anyone in reality television ever has deserved a prime time ass whuppin' more than Wes? The guy thinks he's a playa, but he's nothing but a pathetic pretender and an even more pathetic drunk. And, like the true punk ass that he is, he ends his run on the show by bravely threatening to beat up a girl. You the man Wes. You the man.

I would pay top dollar to watch someone kick the shiite out of this a-hole on pay per view. Does anyone know what Puck is up to these days?

What Would Wellstone Do?

According to a guy in a blue Prism sporting that bumper sticker, he'd drive 45 mph in the left lane of a 55 mph highway.

Top 11 Indications That Rep. John Murtha May, In Fact, Be A Coward

Republicans have been quick to point out that while they disagree with Rep. John Murtha on Iraq, they don’t question his courage or patriotism. Maybe we were a bit hasty in declining to question his courage. Here are the top 11 indications that John Murtha may, in fact, be a coward:

11. He hides under Nancy Pelosi’s skirt every time Tom DeLay walks by.

10. He won’t attend any fundraisers also attended by Billy Crystal because Crystal reminds him of that scary movie “Monsters, Inc.”.

9. He refuses to come on the NARN show to debate John Hinderaker (also an indication that Murtha may work for the Star Tribune).

8. Never says anything when Speaker Hastert steals his lunch.

7. Most listened to song on his iPod: “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers.

6. Every time I see Murtha he tells me that he’s a big fan of Arsenal and the Herd, but then he turns around and tells Deacon that he’s an Everton man.

5. He pays Tom Lantos a carton of cigarettes a week to watch his back in the cloakroom.

4. Has refused to eat at KFC ever since this avian flu thing came up.

3. Every Halloween he cowers in his closet until the “little satans” stop haunting him.

2. He won’t drink Captain Morgan Rum because of the scary pirate on the bottle.

1. Every time he sees the French Ambassador, he offers to surrender.

Monday, November 21, 2005

JB Doubtless' Dream Shopping Spree

Before the mechanics strike and bankruptcy, Northwest Airlines was debatably one of the best airlines in the nation. However, since then their service has left something to be desired. This weekend I experienced their reduced level of survive en route to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in pursuit of a Nihilist scoop of a story on public education that will make Craig Westport look like a hobby columnist.

When I landed at 7:03 p.m. Friday, my bag was nowhere to be found. I was wearing wing-tip shoes and a business suit. Since I had a regimented itinerary that began at 8:00 a.m. the next morning and included at least four hours of beer drinking and pork eating in a muddy field, I was concerned. Not to worry, the helpful NW employee said, your bag will be on the flight arriving at 11:25 p.m. this evening.

After determining that Kalamazoo's own Bell's Brewing produces a fine brand of beer (particularly their Oberon Ale), I returned to the airport to find that my bag had not arrived. As I inquired about my options, I learned that the bag would not arrive until nearly 11:00 a.m. the next day. This presented a problem, as I was to be tailgating in a muddy field 70 miles away at that time. After a protracted negotiation session in which I explained my predicament, the supervisor agreed to provide me $50 to purchase a new wardrobe.

I am a believer in asking WWJD when I find myself in a difficult situation. Of course, I mean What Would JB Doubtless Do? Since getting into a pissing contest with Mitch Berg was out of the question, I headed to Wall*Mart.

Mind you, I had $50 and needed an entire wardrobe (except for the down jacket I wore in lieu of a sport coat). I started with the shoes. I first looked for boots, but found that they were too inflexible to wear for eight hours of walking around. Finally I found a pair of tennis shoes for under $17. Given that I had cheap shoes, I wanted the best socks I could find. There was a pair of "hiking socks" for a mere $6. However, at this point, with tax included I had spent about half of my allowance. Next came blue jeans. The Wall*Mart brand was under $12. I bought a pair. I still needed underwear and a shirt. My buddy Miller insisted that I buy a pair of boxers that sported the words, "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor," however I always thought of myself as a "High Roller," and bought a pair proclaiming that fact for $6. I needed only a shirt and had nearly $7 left before tax.

At this point, I really wanted a Dale, Jr. shirt for the kitsch factor. Unfortunately, those were prohibitively expensive at $11. I settled on a shirt for just under $6 that proclaimed "Sarcasm is one of the many services that I provide."

After checking out, I remember feeling a pang of guilt for raising my voice to the NW supervisor who suggested that $50 was enough to outfit myself for the following day. Wall*Mart is truly a wonderland.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Top 11 Highlights Of The Vikings New Code Of Conduct

The Vikings have come out with a 77 page Code of Conduct for the organization. No professional athlete has the time for that much reading, so I will boil it down to the top 11 highlights:

11. Under no circumstances is any player, coach, or staff member to imply that Daunte Culpepper fumbles a lot because he has small hands.

10. When in Minnesota, use Minnesota hookers.

9. When traveling in Asia, avoid open-air poultry markets.

8. Under no circumstances is Rep. John Murtha’s patriotism to be questioned, no matter what he does.

7. If Paris Hilton is spotted on Viking’s property, notify security immediately.

6. Even when outside of Minneapolis, no biking while wearing headphones.

5. In the event an offensive player should find himself in the end zone – oh, never mind.

4. The front office is required to come up with an exit strategy from Coach Tice’s contract.

3. No more than two players may urinate on any given lawn at one time.

2. Each player is expected to give no less than 108% on or off the field.

1. If arrested, say you play for the Packers.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Top 11 College Football Rivalries

11. Army vs. Navy

10. Georgia vs. Georgia Tech

9. Minnesota vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

8. USC vs. UCLA

7. Nebraska vs. Oklahoma

6. Texas vs. Texas A&M

5. Texas vs. Oklahoma

4. Notre Dame vs. Michigan

3. Alabama vs. Auburn

2. Florida vs. Florida St.

1. Michigan vs. Ohio St.

How Not To Do A Top 11 List

The Wall Street Journal is the finest newspaper in America, if not the world, but I would no more go to them for sports than I’d go to Paris Hilton for … anything.

The November 18 WSJ ran a story ranking the top 15 College Football rivalries (that have not yet been played this year). The results are pitiful. Here is the Journal’s list:

1. Florida vs. Florida St.

2. Georgia vs. Georgia Tech

3. Alabama vs. Auburn

4. Michigan vs. Ohio St.

4. BYU vs. Utah

6. Nebraska vs. Colorado

7. Arizona vs. Arizona St.

8. Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

8. Washington vs. Washington St.

10. Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma St.

10. Oregon St. vs. Oregon

12. USC vs. UCLA

13. Pittsburgh vs. West Virginia

14. Arkansas vs. LSU

15. California vs. Stanford

Three problems immediately jump out:

* Number 1 is listed at the top of the list, destroying all suspense.

* The list is too long – studies show that the optimal length for a list is eleven.

* When ranking something as subjective as football rivalries, there is no need for ties. Take a stand. Is the Oklahoma/Oklahoma State rivalry bigger, or is it Oregon State/Oregon?

I do give the Journal credit for at least attempting to quantify their rankings; they use the criteria of ticket scalper price, game quality, and the record of the teams involved. But when you come up with the BYU/Utah rivalry tied with the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry, your formula needs some tweaks. Here is why the Journal ranks Michigan/Ohio State so low: “The problems: lots of punts and only 4 lead changes after halftime.” Yeah, I think I’ll watch the BYU/Utah game; those Wolverine/Buckeye games have way too many punts.

Where are the long standing traditional rivalries? The games where the fans wouldn’t care if their team went 1-12, so long as the one win denied the hated rival a shot at a National Championship? Don’t they know that there are two kinds of Texans: Longhorn fans and Aggies fans and they don’t care much for one another? Have they ever heard of a little rivalry called the Army/Navy game? True, those games have been mismatches of late, but tradition should count for something. And if you’re going to bring recently created rivalries into the mix, you can’t ignore all of the new University of Minnesota rivalries created by the scheduling genius of Glen Mason (my personal favorite of these is Minnesota/Louisiana-Lafayette).

The Wall Street Journal should stick to reporting on stock splits and leave the lists to the experts.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Are You Ready For A Comeback?

For the first time ever I am six games below .500, thanks to back-to-back 2-4 weeks. The college football season is running out of time, so I need to win now. My record stands at 27-33, 1-19 on parlays. Any more of this and I'll soon be living with my friend Leon. Here's my effort to avoid living behind a KFC dumpster. As always, the line is from USA Today's opening line:

Minnesota +4 @ Iowa
Virginia Tech -7 v. Virginia
Alabama +7 @ Auburn

Bengals + 4 1/2 v. Colts
Chiefs -6 1/2 @ Texans
Falcons -6 v. Buccaneers

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Top 11 Things Allowed In Communist China But Not Minneapolis, Minnesota

11. Hooters

10. Fertilizer containing phosphorus

9. Public urination

8. Spitting in the park

7. Cuban cigars

6. Ogling women on the street

5. Wearing headphones while riding a bike

4. DECENT North Korean karaoke

3. Owning an unlicensed ferret

2. Capitalism

1. Smoking in restaurants and bars

Top 11 Ways to Pick Up the Spirits of Republicans

I haven’t seen Republicans this down in quite awhile. Even Hugh Hewitt seems depressed. Here are the top 11 ways we can pick ourselves up:

11. Name the state of Vermont after Ronald Reagan.
10. Hold dramatic readings of Barbara Boxer’s new novel.
9. CelebrateKiller Rabbit Dayearly.
8. Be thankful that Paris Hilton broke off her engagement with that guy named Paris alleviating much confusion.
7. Repeat over and over to yourself: “Howard Dean is Chairman of the Democratic National Committee”
6. Read this article about Hollywood liberals trying to convince Al Gore to run again in 2008.
5. Don’t forget about the riots in France.
4. The new season of the O.C. has been pretty solid even without Caleb.
3. They haven’t taken away the 21st amendment yet.
2. Console yourself that if the Democrats do regain power they will be very vigilant to the threat of Christian extremist terrorism.
1. Keep your eye on the prize: Halliburton stock went back up over 60 today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Top 11 Reasons Concertgoing Girls Rioted At Brookdale Mall

Last Saturday a riot broke out at Brookdale Mall, at a performance of the boy band B5 (no, I've never heard of them either). The rioters consisted of their audience, mostly pre-teen girls. Here are the major reasons:

11. Factions of the crowd took JB & Mitch's "City v. Suburbs" debate to violent extremes
10. Crowd became agitated as there was much underage drinking going on and someone thought they spotted Trish Van Pilsum
9. The pre-teens became enraged when they saw that they had lost money yet again following the Nihilist's college football parlay recommendations
8. Anger erupted when it became evident that Sisyphus wouldn't win the election for MOB Mayor
7. Someone got served, then it was on, next everything spun out of control
6. Wanted to make a statement that the suburbs have violent crime too
5. Just learned that the Gopher men's hockey team won the 2002 NCAA Hockey title
4. MoveOn.org organized the concert
3. Just a bunch of girls playing French and Muslims
2. After quiet reflection, determined rioting is what Wellstone would do
1. Suddenly realized that B5 sucks

Monday, November 14, 2005

Top 11 Most Conservative MOB Bloggers

Where To Live: End Of Discussion

Mitch and others have been debating which place is best to live: Chris Coleman’s St. Paul, suburbia, or in a dumpster behind a KFC. I think they’re all wrong. The best place to live is on your own Tahitian island. Here is my case:

10. The Market - Everything is expensive here because it has to be shipped from the mainland, but so what? I can afford it.

9. Centralization - Being in the middle of the Pacific thousands of miles from the mainland has its disadvantages, but the commute isn’t bad if you have your own BBJ.

8. Döner - I like seafood.

7. Suburban Schools Suck, Too - Tahitian schools probably suck too, but I don’t have any kids.

6. Covenants - No one tells me what color sand to put on my beach.

5. Suburbs Fill Me With a Soul-Crushing Ennui – If anything, there isn’t enough soul-crushing ennui here on the island.

4. Massive Passive Aggression – Owning your own island == no neighbors.

3. Criminals Are Breakable - The only real crime problem around here is piracy, and that’s mostly moved on to Somalia.

2. It's The Only Home My Kids Know, and It's Not A Bad One – I don’t have any kids, but the trophy wives don’t seem to think it’s a bad home.

1. It's My City - You want history? Marlon Brando used to live on the next island over.

I do know what you St. Paulites are about to go through – Tahiti is administered by the French.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Million Years Passes Quickly

Sisyphus is a physics guy, so maybe he was located near a black hole when he made this prediction regarding TV shows we would never see in a million years:

10. Fox NFL Post-Game ShowHighlights of all four NFC North teams winning non-conference games.

Allow me to illustrate the powerful nature of the NFC North:

Minnesota 24 NY Giants 21
Detroit 29 Arizona 21
Chicago 17 San Francisco 9
Green Bay 33 Atlanta 25

For the rest of us on earth, only six weeks have passed since October 3, when he made the post. Of course, at the time I write this I am 1-4 against the spread this weekend.

To an observer in an inertial reference frame traveling at .99999999999999963 of the speed of light relative to us, a million years has passed since I made that prediction.

However, there exists no reference frame where you did better than 2-4 in your picks this week.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Top 11 Snippets of Conversation Overheard During Bank Robberies by the Cell Phone Bandit

Several bank robberies have recently been committed by a woman talking on a cell phone. Here are the top 11 snippets of conversation overheard during the robberies:

11. “Hi hon, I’m at the bank. Do you want me to pick you up anything?”

10. “Morning glory and evening grace, Hugh.”

9. “All right, already, I’ll be out to the polls to vote for Chris Coleman as soon as I’m done here.”

8. “Hello police? There’s no one robbing the Wachovia bank over on Parkhurst Plaza, or anything, so just relax and take a donut break or something.”

7. “Okay Dick, I’ve got the money. Should I drop it by your office or take it directly to Halliburton?”

6. “John Hinderaker? I’m just calling to confirm that my retainer is up to date.”

5. “I’m wearing a leather teddy with knee-high boots. What are you wearing?”

4. “Hello channel 9, I’d like to compliment you on your Gopher hockey team underage drinking story. Don’t let anyone talk you into covering some boring old bank robberies instead. ”

3. “As a matter of fact, my house could use some new siding. Can I pay you in cash?”

2. “Like, robbing banks is boring. I’ll meet you at the mall.”

1. “Oh, hello Ambassador Wilson ………. No, there’s no bank robbery going on here, it must be another Bush administration lie …………….. Sure, no problem.”

Friday, November 11, 2005

Are You Ready For Some Big Lines?

I'm a bit surly sitting here off a 2-4 week which brings my total to 25-29, 1-17 on parlays. There are some big lines out there and it's time to wrestle with them. Odds from USA Today's Opening Line:

Notre Dame -23 1/2 v. Navy
Wisconsin -2 1/2 v. Iowa
Illinois +23 @ Purdue

Giants -10 v. Vikes
Steelers -8 v. Browns
Texans +17 1/2 @ Colts

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Where To Live?

I enjoy living in a nice suburban home. Mitch disagrees strongly, preferring a house in the city. That's the nice thing about a free society. We're both able to live the way we choose. However, there are others who disagree with both of us. A reader that I will call Leon has this to say:

I'm writing you from my local library regarding the latest argument between Mitch and JB. Mitch hates the idea of living in a home in the suburbs while JB hates the idea of living in a home in the city. In a way I agree and disagree with both of them. I hate the idea of living in a home, period. That's why I live behind a dumpster of a local KFC restaurant. Here are my reasons formatted in rebuttal to Mitch:

11. The Market- Mitch got a bargain on his urban home. Big f***'n deal, I never pay a cent on a mortgage.

10. Centralization- Mitch is happy that he lives in a central location so he can work anywhere in the Twin Cities. The best part of living in a dumpster is I don't work anywhere at all.

9. Dinner- Mitch brags that he lives near a bunch of Korean restaurants. Again I win, 'cause I live behind a KFC. At the end of their day, I get all the left-over chicken and biscuits free of charge.

8. Suburban Schools Suck Too- I didn't give a damn about school for myself. For my kids, I leave that to their baby mamas.

7. Covenants- I agree with Mitch. No one can tell me what color I should paint my place. Or where to take a leak, for that matter.

6. Suburbs Fill Me With a Soul-Crushing Ennui- I also don't like them because they enforce laws against aggressive panhandling and vagrancy.

5. Massive Passive Aggression- Fight the power! Don't be telling me to get a job or take a shower.

4. Criminals Are Breakable- Any playa haters f*** with me and I will cut 'em!

3. It's The Only Home My Kids Know, and It's Not A Bad One - As stated earlier, home is a problem for the baby mama.

2. It's My City - Damn straight, homeslice. I am king here. I may get picked up for vagrancy, vandalism, public intoxication or larceny every now and then. But I know the police and court system aren't serious. The gubmint even gives me an ATM card to collect public assistance. And now with Chris Coleman elected, the pandering is just beginning!

1. The Public Library has to let me surf for porn and read NIGP!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Top 11 Changes In Store for St. Paul Under Mayor Chris Coleman

11. All White Castle restaurants will be converted into homeless shelters with special interview rooms for use by local columnists.

10. All streets will be renamed after Paul and/or Sheila Wellstone.

9. A special tax on bloggers fisking Laura Billings or Nick Coleman.

8. More puff pieces on the mayor from the local newspapers.

7. Swiftee, Mitch, and Brian “Woodbury” Ward will all be deported.

6. St. Paul will no longer be trading blood for oil.

5. Smoking will be banned in bars and restaurants.

4. A job retraining program will be instituted for bar and restaurant workers.

3. All contracts with Halliburton will be cancelled.

2. Fire stations will be moved adjacent to schools in case our schools start burning again.

1. Finally, St. Paul will have a mayor who despises the President and Governor.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Elder Vindicated

Chad the Elder has received a lot of inexplicable criticism for his comment that the acquisition of Bartolo Colon would help the Angels. Today, more vindication: Bartolo Colon is awarded the 2005 AL Cy Young award.

UPDATE: Atomizer disagrees – and has the stats to back it up.

Remembering the French Chef Riots of ‘99

The recent riots in France have made me nostalgic for the French chef riots of 1999. Over 1000 French Chefs marched on the National Assembly to protest a 20.6% restaurant tax. Along the way they pelted riot police with eggs, flour, and other food until the police tear gassed them. That was back when the French had the balls to stand up to their chefs.

The Washington Post (October 11, 1999) ran the following photos:

A tax revolt, in France?

The police boldly move in. The chefs remain defiant.

And inflict some casualties.

I can’t help but wonder whether this riot so scarred the French psyche that it has hindered the response to the current riots – their riot Vietnam.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Fisking the Latest “Miracle Fuel”

WARNING: The following is a long, boring physics post and I recommend skipping it.

Sandy points out an article in the London Guardian that examines yet another miracle fuel claim. A Harvard trained medical doctor, Rendell Mills, claims to have invented a new cheap energy source. The story is very reminiscent of the Pons and Fleischmann cold fusion controversy (although he doesn’t claim to have discovered a nuclear reaction). Here is my fisking:

“It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste.”

If it seems too good to be true it probably is. This kind of claim has been made many, many times, but has never panned out. But then again, you never know.

“Independent scientists claim to have verified the experiments and Dr Mills says that his company, Blacklight Power, has tens of millions of dollars in investment lined up to bring the idea to market. And he claims to be just months away from unveiling his creation.”

Independent scientists, you say? Maybe I should sell a share or two of Halliburton and invest it in Blacklight Power to diversify my energy holdings. Time to do more research. Here’s an article from the Village Voice that quotes real theoretical physicist Michio Kaku on the subject:

“the only law that this business with Mills is proving is that a fool and his money are easily parted.”

Hmmm, I guess I’ll pass.

“The problem is that according to the rules of quantum mechanics, the physics that governs the behaviour of atoms, the idea is theoretically impossible.”

Oops, this is a problem given that the laws of quantum mechanics have survived innumerable experimental tests and theoretical challenges from the likes of Einstein on down. Certainly it is possible that there are flaws, but a new theory must explain that which quantum mechanics now successfully explains: nuclear physics, high energy particle physics, superconductivity, and semiconductor physics to name a few.

What exactly is Mills claiming?

“What has much of the physics world up in arms is Dr Mills's claim that he has produced a new form of hydrogen, the simplest of all the atoms, with just a single proton circled by one electron. In his "hydrino", the electron sits a little closer to the proton than normal, and the formation of the new atoms from traditional hydrogen releases huge amounts of energy.

Technically, this “hydrino” would not be a new atom, but a new state of the hydrogen atom. Energy would indeed be given off when an electron transitioned to the new, lower energy state just as it gives off energy when it transitions from higher to lower energy states under the existing theory.

This is scientific heresy. According to quantum mechanics, electrons can only exist in an atom in strictly defined orbits, and the shortest distance allowed between the proton and electron in hydrogen is fixed. The two particles are simply not allowed to get any closer.”

This is a common explanation, but it is not quite right. Electrons do not exist in “orbits” but in “energy levels”. Electrons do not orbit the nucleus like planets around the sun, but reside in certain energy slots (they do not necessarily correspond to the physical distance between the electron and the proton). Quantum mechanics determines the energy levels, and the number of electrons that can be at that energy level. Even if we stipulate that quantum mechanics is wrong, we must acknowledge that no one else has ever observed an electron at this energy level (and the hydrogen atom is well studied). So if the new level does in fact exist, it is very rare and hard to achieve. This is unlikely because electrons naturally prefer the lowest energy levels, and will give off quantas of energy until they reach the lowest available energy level. Why, unlike the other energy levels, do electrons transition to this new energy level only under unusual circumstances?

According to Dr Mills, there can be only one explanation: quantum mechanics must be wrong. "We've done a lot of testing. We've got 50 independent validation reports, we've got 65 peer-reviewed journal articles," he said. "We ran into this theoretical resistance and there are some vested interests here. People are very strong and fervent protectors of this [quantum] theory that they use."

Once again, this is reminiscent of Pons and Fleischmann’s cold fusion. Either Dr. Mills is wrong or the known laws of physics are drastically wrong. I’d put my money on Dr. Mills being wrong. And I have a news flash for Dr. Mills: There have been a hell of a lot more than 50 “validation reports” and 65 peer-reviewed articles in FAVOR of quantum theory.

And another thing, these “fervent protectors of this [quantum] theory” would love nothing more than to assign quantum mechanics to the dust bin of science. If Dr. Mills is correct, all of modern physics will have to be re-examined, providing physicist boundless opportunities for fame and fortune, not unlike the quantum mechanics revolution. Just think of the money to be made writing new textbooks alone.

Dr Mills will not go into details of who is investing in his research but rumours suggest a range of US power companies. It is well known also that Nasa's institute of advanced concepts has funded research into finding a way of using Blacklight's technology to power rockets.

Secret investors? Another warning sign. NASAs involvement may or may not be significant. How much are they funding and why?

"If it's wrong, it will be proven wrong," said Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace USA. "But if it's right, it is so important that all else falls away. It has the potential to solve our dependence on oil. Our stance is of cautious optimism."

Granted. We will know soon enough whether this pans out. Until then, my own stance will be reckless extreme pessimism.

Let’s go back to the Village Voice article for a quote from another real physicist (and potty-mouth) Phillip Anderson:

“If you could fuck around with the hydrogen atom, you could fuck around with the energy process in the sun. You could fuck around with life itself. Everything we know about everything would be a bunch of nonsense. That's why I'm so sure that it's a fraud.”


I hope you’re sitting down when you read this. KMSP TV is reporting that there may be underage drinking going on over at the University of Minnesota. By scholarship athletes on the hockey team, no less.

You probably find that as hard to believe as I do. When I was a student at that very University, I never heard of any underage drinking going on (except of course, for the mechanical engineering majors—now there would be an expose).

This story does give an indication of the quality of our local TV reporting. Here are some excerpts (in italics):

“Saturday night, September 24, we’re back at the bar and so are the players, including the nation’s top high school recruit freshman Phil Kessel. In this video, we don’t know what he’s drinking.”

Oh, you don’t know whether or not he’s drinking alcohol? Why do you even mention him then? Could it be because he’s the team’s best known player?”

“And 19 year old Kris Chucko, he’s there too. On this night, we didn’t see him drinking.”

He’s in a bar, but not drinking? He may have his Canadian citizenship revoked.

“We also see Frazee’s 19 year old teammate Justin Bostrom sitting in a booth with drinks on the table, including an empty beer. We have no clue if he drank that beer.”

At least you admit that you have no clue.

“Included in the group, 20 year old Evan Kaufmann, a day shy of his twenty-first birthday according to the Gophers own media guide.”

Quick, someone appoint a Special Prosecutor! And I hope they lock that media guide away in a safe place. The University will no doubt try to gather them all up and burn them to destroy the evidence.

“Back to our undercover video Halloween weekend. We spot 18 year old Jeff Frazee, but it is the only time that we see him in the bar that we didn’t see him with a drink.”

Frazee is one player they really seem to have the goods on. They have him on camera admitting that he’s drinking “Long Islands”. This might explain the soft goals he let in against Duluth last Saturday.

This was such a big story that they couldn’t fit it all in at the start of the newscast, so they had to save the University’s reaction for later in the show:

TRISH VAN PILSUM: “They say that in the last several months they got two anonymous tips concerning improper student athlete conduct at a Dinkytown bar and that they can’t say anything more about that because it is still under investigation. Now of course that raises two very troubling questions. How hard did University officials try to investigate those claims and why, if the U has known about this for several months, were underage hockey players still drinking at Blarney as recently as last weekend?”

ROBYNE ROBINSON: “And it only took us a couple of weeks to figure it out.”

Come on Robyne, give the University officials a break. For one thing, they probably do not have journalism degrees. For another, they probably have a higher evidentiary standard than “We have no clue whether he drank that beer.”

ROBYNE ROBINSON: “All right, I know we’re going to hear more throughout the week. It’s a big one.”

That sigh of relief you hear is from Scooter Libby. Finally, a big one to distract the media!

ROBYNE ROBINSON: “Let me ask you, what’s coming up tomorrow night?”

TRISH VAN PILSUM: “Tomorrow night, we’re going to ummm talk to the owner of the bar, and we’re going to try to figure out how it is that ummm these athletes were able to get into the bar. And some people say that the owner actually allowed them to be there because it helped to draw business to the bar.”

Sadly, I will miss tomorrow night’s big story. I will be investigating an anonymous tip that the Gopher hockey team’s bus went 56 in a 55 mph zone several times on the way back from Duluth last weekend. Stay tuned to NIGP for more news on that big story as it develops.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Gopher Hockey Scandal?

KMSP Channel 9 is now running promos for a sweeps scandal mongering story on the Gopher Hockey team promising to show players breaking team rules and breaking the law. My guess is that they caught underage players drinking, THE HORROR!

Maybe there will be more to it than that, but if not, I have plenty of damaging info for KMSP. Caught on my TIVO: Gopher players caught giving up soft goals, turning the puck over in their own end, fanning on point blank shots, and general crappy play against crappy teams.

We Do Self-Edit On Occasion

I would like to note, that despite the overwhelming temptation to do so, we have not done a “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” parody featuring Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Birth of the Kool-Aid Report Blog

To celebrate KAR's first birthday, here is our fourth parody of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

The legend lives on from the MOB on down
Of the blog they call ‘The Kool-Aid Report
The blog it is said never lets moonbats live
When they write moron letters to duh Strib.

With an election done and Dubya with a fresh four,
Learned Foot surfed to a recap at Slate.
Among the wails and the trashin’ of the Johns
He found a piece by writer Jane Smiley.
Smiley was the pride of the moonbat lefty side
Writing novels and essays – but not read.
As moonbat essays go, it was dumber than most
Dissin’ the George Bush voters as stupid.
Learned Foot couldn’t believe the crap he had read
And said so to his good friend, V-Toed Bill.
And later that night a theory took hold
Could it be the Kool-Aid she’s been drinkin’?

The name of the blog made a resoundin’ sound
Kool-Aid guy came from photoshopping.
And none of the moonbats knew, but KAR did too,
T’was the Star Trib they’d soon be a fiskin’.
Moron letters come in an unending stream
The Strib and Jenitel were made for dissin’.
Then one sad day came a Nonmonkey show
On local Air America radio.

Learned Foot blogged on the Milwaukee election fraud
Weeks before Power Line told ya.
When football season came Foot gave you the winners
With almost godlike precision .
Their finest day, so the Elder did say, was
A bit called the Sisyphus Open Thread.
And one year ago today, on that Guy Fawkes Day
Came the birth of the Kool-Aid Report blog.

Does anyone know why they so seldom go
To Keegan’s for trivia on Thursday’s?
The bloggers all say they must be too afraid
Of their wives or losing to Fraters.
They did have one win with a trivia team
That had far too many members.
And all that remains is the sad faces and pain
Of the fans and the groupies and stalkers.

Learned Foot fisks, Dementee eats
Moonbats for breakfast, lunch, and for dinner.
Bill changed his name to Nihilist Wannabe
To keep KAR’s number one ranking.
And the Head of Alfredo Garcia
Is Mitch Berg’s outlet for “B” material.
And the bloggers go as the moonbat liberals all know
With that quote of Jane Smiley remembered.

In musty old PJs in a basement they blogged,
Exploding at Nonmonkey’s column.
The moonbats whined till they cried four times
For each man on the Kool-Aid Report blog.
The legend lives on from the MOB on down
Of the blog they call ‘The Kool-Aid Report
The blog it is said never lets moonbats live
When they write moron letters to duh Strib.

Are You Ready To Remember Frank Gorshen

Riddle: When is a 3-3 week not a .500 week? Answer: When all three wins come from your college football parlay (which pays 6-1 in Vegas). Pathetically, this is my first parlay win of the year, leaving me at 23-25 overall and 1-15 in parlays. Odds as always from USA Today's opening line.

Notre Dame -8 1/2 v. Tennessee
Rutgers -3 v. Southern Florida
Wisconsin +10 1/2 @ Penn State

Chiefs -4 1/2 v. Raiders
Titans +2 1/2 v. Browns
Falcons -2 v. Dolphins

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Top 11 Reasons For The Riots in Paris

11. It has been a long humorless ten years since Jerry Lewis has come out with a new movie.

10. No blood for soap

9. Being And Nothingness on backorder at local bookstores.

8. The new Hybrid LeCar has been slow to market.

7. Just learned of Tawanna Brawley's "rape."

6. They want a piece of Chirac's oil for food kickbacks.

5. Lance Armstrong keeps winning the championship of their national sport, despite the fact that no one in America cares about bike racing.

4. Euro Disney stopped selling fried brie curds.

3. Arby's new French Dip Sandwich sucks.

2. George W. Bush

1. Who cares? Muslims and French killing each other? It hasn't been this good since Iran Vs Iraq.

The Fall 2005 Rock Solid in the Blogosphere Award Goes To …

Before announcing the Rock Solid in the Blogosphere winner, I would like to commend all of this quarter’s nominees. Because of the high quality of the nominees, it was an especially difficult decision this time around. To those who didn’t win, remember that it is an honor just to be nominated. To those who weren’t nominated, remember that you can nominate yourself.

Without further ado, the Fall 2005 Rock Solid in the Blogosphere Award goes to … Cathy in the Wright (aka St. Kate)! Congratulations Cathy on becoming the first female Rock Solid winner! You can now take your place among such pioneering women as Sandra Day O’Connor, Sally Ride, and Geena Davis.

But Cathy didn’t win only because we didn’t want to have the awards show picketed by Martha Burk. Nor did she win becuase she's so darned nice (although both weighed in her favor). No, she deserves the honor on merit. Like our last winner, Atomizer, Cathy understands that sometimes in blogging, less is more. She may go a week or more without a post, but rest assured that every post is worth the wait as Cathy struggles to keep the Senator, Governor, and VP in line, not only at Cathy in the Wright, but posting as St. Kate at the M.A.W.B. Squad as well.

The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal might argue that Cathy’s honor deserves an asterisk, because as a Republican she doesn’t represent the mainstream views of most women. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will illustrate with two of Cathy’s posts (one from Cathy in the Wright, and one from the M.A.W.B. Squad) that when taken together, show just how wise, insightful and representative of mainstream women her views are:

From the M.A.W.B. Squad last spring:
“...anyone else in the Squad get wonderful Karl Rove-like vibes from Sisyphus?”

And later that summer at Cathy in the Wright:
“Remember, Casey, it’s just Huey Lewis. It’s not as if we’re going to meet (and here I put my hand over my heart and sighed)…Karl Rove.”

When you check our sidebar for the Rock Solid winners, there will be no asterisk by Cathy’s name.

Also, we salute the other distinguished nominees: Kevin “The Susan Lucci of the Rock Solids” Ecker, Learned Foot, and our own Nihilist in Golf Pants.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Top 11 Michael Brown E-mails

It strikes me as dirty pool that the press is publishing a handful former FEMA director Michael Brown's personal e-mails in an attempt to make it look like he didn't care about hurricane Kartina or the crisis in New Orleans that followed. I am serious. Imagine if your career were evaluated by a handful of personal e-mails to friends and co-workers about non-work-related subjects. Believe it or not, I know of some people who engage in this. However, if trashing Michael Brown is good for a cheap laugh, I will join in with my top 11 Michael Brown e-mails:

11. I need a good dog-sitter.
10. In my old job, I literally did see a man about a horse.
9. I bought my spiffy new suit at Nordstrom's.
8. Can I go home? I worked almost seven hours today.
7. I found this neat web site that does conservative haikus.
6. I like that site that does the top 11 lists better.
5. I blew off my whole day reading the blogs.
4. Being a presidential crony just isn't as fun as it used to be.
3. If you don't pass this e-mail on to 10 people, bad luck will come your way.
2. Looks like I won't be picking Saints in my upcoming fantasy football draft.
1. I'm too sexy to handle this crisis.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Top 11 Ways Chad the Elder is Commemorating the Visit of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to the United States

11. Finding Wales and Cornwall on a map.

10. Trading in his hockey stick for a polo mallet.

9. Eating the exact same lunch.

8. Sculpting a bust of Camilla out of Halloween Peeps

7. Renaming his son “Prince of Minnesota”

6. Officially taking down his portrait of Lady Diana and replacing it with one of Duchess Camilla.

5. Converting to the Church of England.

4. Scraping the “W” bumper sticker off of his MINI Cooper and replacing it with a “Tony Blair” sticker.

3. Canceling his dentist appointment

2. Speaking in a British accent for the duration of the trip.

1. Dumping his wife for an older less attractive woman.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Top 11 Items Discussed In The Secret Senate Session

11. Is Judge Alito’s daughter super-mega hot or merely very hot?

10. What is the proper amount of vermouth in a perfect martini?

9. How can we arrange one of those sex cruises like the Vikings had?

8. Since when have there been lesbians in the WNBA?

7. What, if anything, can be done to stop Paris Hilton?

6. Why can’t Geena Davis be the real President?

5. Who’s been making a mess in the Senate break room and not cleaning it up?

4. Hey, what’s the point in doing this if we’re not on television?

3. We’re in top secret session, so you can level with us. NASA faked the moon landings, didn’t they?

2. Why didn’t we get any of that oil for food money, like Galloway?

1. Which movie best represents Judge Alito, Godfather 1 or 2?

Best Costume: 2005

Living in suburbia means dozens of kids stop by for trick-or-treating on Halloween night. At the end of the evening, I like to decide who had the best costume. This year it was an older kid, about 15 years of age. He wore a Michael Meyers mask (from the movie Halloween, not Wayne's World), a long black wig, and an upside-down KFC bucket on his head. Just to be sure, I asked him who he was. He replied, "I'm Buckethead, from Guns & Roses." I slipped him a few extra Hershey bars as he went on his way.

If you want to learn more about Buckethead, I suggest these excellent pieces by Saint Paul at Fraters.

UPDATE: Life is a lattice of coincidence. At Buckethead's official website, he has a tribute posted to our late friend Ol' Dirty Bastard.