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June 16, 2013
June 14, 2013
June 11, 2013
Andrew Coyne got the secret decoder ring from one of his readers:
A reader writes: “Is it not possible McGuinty went to Ford & asked him to pose for that videoto divert attention from the gas-plants?…1/3
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) June 11, 2013
… Then Ford realised the heat was on him so he gave Nigel $90,000 with which to repay Duffy…. 2/3
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) June 11, 2013
… Don’t try to tell me that having three inane scandals like this, all at the same time, is a coincidence.” I, uh, THINK he was kidding. 3/3
— Andrew Coyne (@acoyne) June 11, 2013
June 8, 2013
NewsBiscuit provides the details on the latest Ordnance Survey discovery:
May 16, 2013
Here we sit on the precipice of a grand realignment of history, society and culture in the image of the new order of common sense government that seeks to cast aside the trappings of backwards for-profit mindsets and yet again we are forced to endure the incoherent ramblings of the simple-minded who seek to derail this overdue progression.
Instead of thoughtful policy discussions, we will now be treated to an endless parade of government boogeymen and convoluted conspiracies brought on only in an effort to discredit an honorable and trustworthy administration, run by a renowned Constitutional law professor and respected Nobel Prize winner.
Let us dispense with trivial formalities. The slack-jawed logic of the perpetually offended will never seek to understand the internal flaws inherent to the human soul. The alleged failure of the I.R.S. to consistently apply their fair standards was nothing more than the failure of a system designed by men. The government is made up of men, and therefore is subject to the same defects. This is not an indictment of government itself; this is an indictment of those who fail to recognize the collective good of advancing a streamlined and progressive government.
So, who is ultimately to blame? Perhaps if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll look deeper into the depths of your heart and you will recognize the brutal truth.
This is your fault. For shame.
John Ekdahl, Jr. “The New Yorker‘s @JeffreyToobin: Did the I.R.S. Do Anything Wrong?”, Ace of Spades H.Q., 2013-05-16
April 26, 2013
You may not hear about this in the mainstream press, but The Duffel Blog digs for the real story:
Officials from the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles have confirmed approval of a new policy making it mandatory for all active-duty and military veterans to register their status with the agency. The move will require all veterans to have a special “Vet” designation on their drivers’ licenses and state identification cards.
The Minn. DMV, which hopes to have the policy implemented by 2015, cites an inherent mental health threat by veterans as their main reason for devising the plan.
“We’ve seen what these savages are capable of all over CNN and MSNBC,” says DMV director, Greg Olson. “Out of all the millions of men and women who have deployed to combat zones this past decade, there are literally a dozen, perhaps even two, who have come home and committed atrocious acts. That’s way too big a chance. We can’t risk having these people hidden in our community and will be making sure they’re easily identifiable to law enforcement personnel and citizens in general.”
The new strategy will most likely result in changed police escalation-of-force procedure when dealing with veterans during routine traffic stops.
According to Olson, law enforcement officers will be given more opportunity to defend themselves against a perceived threat.
“Phase One will consist of the officer identifying an individual’s vet status on his or her driver’s license,” he says. “Once the officer realizes what he or she is dealing with, Phase Two will kick in and they will immediately unsheathe their pistol and drawdown on the potential psychopath. Then, at Phase Three, the officer will be given free reign to search the individual’s vehicle for weapons and dead bodies. If, and only if, the officer doesn’t find anything, then he will subsequently release the veteran and thank them for their service.”
April 18, 2013
You’ve got to admire their willingness to continue their fight against reality:
The Phony Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation’s leading military fakers’ organization — representing fake members from all service branches — has gone on the offensive in the fight against military bloggers.
PVFW fired back with a public relations offensive, speaking with reporters and establishing a password-protected blog on their website devoted to peer-reviewed development of members’ stories of their superhuman valor and heroism.
“Because of these milbloggers’ relentless assault on our First Amendment-protected right to lie about brief, unglamorous or nonexistent military service,” PVFW chairman Michael Spurwick told reporters, “several of our members have suffered irreparable damage to their reputations, and a few have even had their businesses and careers ruined, after being exposed as frauds. Something had to be done.”
Spurwick, a former Army sergeant, who was promoted to General before retiring as a Captain, has a long and impressive career of made-up military service.
“We lost a lot of good men out there,” Spurwick said. “I don’t really like to talk about it.”
Born in 1965, he’s a veteran of every U.S. military action since his birth, from the Vietnam War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Boasting unearned Special Forces and Ranger tabs, Spurwick served with both Delta Force and the Rangers during Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu, Somalia. He’s participated in every combat parachute jump since 1967, when, at just fifteen months of age, he parachuted into North Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne during Operation Junction City — as well as a top-secret high altitude, high opening jump from the International Space Station during OEF VI and a LANO (low-altitude, no-opening) jump from a B-1 bomber during OIF V.
[Editor's note: According to Spurwick's DD214, obtained by The Duffel Blog through a FOIA request, he was discharged from the Army in 1986 during basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., as an E-2.]
I’m sure there is — or soon will be — an anti-bullying law of some stripe that will allow these brave imaginary heroes to launch legal counter-attacks against those who would deny them the ability to wear uniforms, medals, badges, and awards to which they have no actual right.
April 15, 2013
In the Globe and Mail Tabatha Southey hears the laments of readers “We need a new John Steinbeck for the Great Bitcoin Depression”, and she delivers:
Pa was a simple man, a techno-anarchist by trade, and long after the Bitcoin bust, he stayed on with the mining. “Don’t know nothin’ else,” Ma said, although she once suggested migrant IT work, at least until her own contract was renewed at the hospital where she worked most of her grown days for a pediatric endocrinologist’s wage.
Pa sat on the sofa, the whir of the computer fans all but drowning out the Cato Institute podcast he’d downloaded the night before. He’s there, frozen in my childhood, Pa, mining, mining, mining, with nothing but his iPhone, his laptop and, for a while, my sister’s old Tamagotchi, which he found in the couch cushions while looking for the remote, to amuse him.
Dodging viruses like crop-dusters, Pa is experiencing hard times. He never did come to trust that ol’ anti-virus software. Said it was reporting on him to the Federal Reserve. And always the dust, the dust, the dust, which may have been because Pa never did get round to changing the furnace filters. His time, he said, best spent elsewhere.
Pa, oh, Pa. He never did stop spreading the word of Ron Paul on completely unrelated news items.
March 29, 2013
A scoop from the keen bunch at The Duffel Blog:
Sources confirmed that the F-35 Lightning II was inducted yesterday into the Intrepid, Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City. The closed door ceremony was the high point for the F-35, capping off the fighter’s illustrious warfighting career as the most colossal fuck-up in military acquisition history.
Speaking to Duffel Blog reporters, museum curator Saul Rosenblatt said, “We weren’t sure if the F-35 was up to snuff as an exhibit in this museum. We take great pride in displaying planes with a robust combat history, like the A-4 Skyhawk and the A-6 Intruder. We passed on the F-22 Raptor because that was an even bigger piece of shit fighter jet. We had no choice but to display the F-35 between the crapper and the concession stand.”
[. . .]
“At a cost of over $137 million per plane, it makes the surface area underneath the exhibit’s landing gear the most expensive real estate in New York City. Per square foot, this will drive up apartment values across the entire West Side,” said an overjoyed real estate agent.
“For the project’s total cost of almost $400 billion you could have bought the Louvre and had some money left to shop at Saks,” a downtown designer told TDB. When asked his opinion about the F-35, construction worker Dominick Antonelli said “that’s all we need here, another overpaid, sucky, New York Jet.”
March 7, 2013
A recognition of the importance of maintaining service members’ self-esteem in the face of harsh and unyielding forces beyond their control:
In the wake of the newly unveiled Distinguished Warfare Medal, the Department of Defense intends to relax standards on the nation’s oldest military decoration — the Purple Heart. Under the expanded interpretation, the award will now be available to any disgruntled service member suffering from disillusionment and shattered expectations.
“Acute Rectal Inflammation, colloquially known as ‘butthurt,’ is a serious and grossly underrated epidemic plaguing our military,” Lieutenant Jimmy Chang, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, told The Duffel Blog. “Essentially, psychological or emotional trauma, stemming from either internal or external stimuli, manifests itself and eventually begets anal trauma. In severe cases, butt cells can become so hurt that they become malignant. In fact, butthurt is the leading cause of colon cancer among service members.”
March 5, 2013
Hello everyone. Me & Dan have written a song about The Daily Mail (a British newspaper).
We’re aware this video won’t mean an awful lot if you’ve never heard of The Daily Mail, but on the plus side, you’ve never heard of The Daily Mail.
H/T to John Lennard for the link.
February 21, 2013
It’s a tough world out there. It looks like it’ll be getting tougher for soon-to-be retired US military leaders:
Sources revealed today that a top U.S. Marine General is “extremely hesitant” about plans for his possible retirement, indicating a greater problem with military transition assistance programs.
General John Murphy, the former commander of Fleet Marine Forces-Pacific, is looking toward a future in the private sector, but he says he may have to lower himself to take any position in order to support his family.
“It’s scary out there with the economy the way it is,” said Murphy in a telephone interview with The Duffel Blog. “I’m certainly hoping that I can secure a job as a D.C. lobbyist or a consultant to a defense contractor. But shit, I’m just not sure anymore. I might have to degrade myself and be a military analyst at Fox News just to feed my goddamn kids.”
Murphy’s worries underscore a major problem of assisting military members on their way out of the service. Junior enlisted personnel usually go through a weeklong Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, but the classes for general officers have serious drawbacks.
“The enlisted classes set the guys up for everything. They basically pave the way for them to go college, give them job placement, the whole nine yards,” said Michael Phillips, a counselor with the TAP program. “But for Generals, they need to do a lot of the work on their own. Most of them have to search for at least a few minutes in their rolodex to find a contact at BAE Systems or Lockheed before they have an executive position.”
February 20, 2013
Frank Fleming has a minor, niggling concern that we should pay some attention to:
I believe I have noticed a problem with President Obama’s declaring that he can blow up Americans with drone strikes without due process.
Stick with me here; this is a bit of an esoteric argument. Now, like most people, I celebrate every time Obama obtains more power. Now he can do whatever he feels needs to be done for the country and not be burdened with getting the approval of his lessers first. So the more powerful the presidency, the better for us all. But I had a terrible thought: What if one day we get a bad president?
For instance, take this power to kill Americans with drones. No one worries that Obama will abuse such a power — I mean, we’re talking about a man who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just for existing. It’s not like he’s ever going to use that power to blow us up (though, according to his lawyers, he legally could… and if he did, we’d just have to assume he had really, really good reasons). But just imagine if that power wound up in the hands of a president like George W. Bush. He’d probably blow up people with the drone all day, thinking he was playing a video game (“I’m gettin’ me a high score!”). Or worse yet, think of handing Dick Cheney that power. He’d most likely declare a unilateral war on kittens and puppies, blowing them up from the sky and then collecting the tears of children for some evil Halliburton project.
And the power to incinerate people isn’t the only power I fear could fall into the wrong hands. Like, what about the new authority the government has under President Obama to force people to buy things? That’s great for Obama to have, because he can force people to buy things they really do need to buy, like health care (and maybe in the future other things we all should really have, like hybrids or his memoirs). But think of what could happen if a president not as enlightened as Obama wielded such a power, backed by a Congress full of Republican troglodytes? They could make us all buy AR-15s or Big Gulps or Bibles or other dangerous, awful things.
February 2, 2013
Romania’s Gandul has a bit of fun at Britain’s expense:
Public fears in the UK over mass immigration by Eastern Europeans has prompted a peculiar response from Romania: One newspaper published a series of ads playing on British cultural stereotypes, and saying why people should move to Romania instead.
“Our draft beer is less expensive than your bottled water,” one of the ads proudly states, hinting at the high costs of living in the UK. Another ad made fun of British cuisine: “We serve more food groups than pies, sausage, fish and chips.”
Other ads touched upon politics, weather and even women: “Half of our women look like Kate. The other half, like her sister.”
The ‘Why don`t you come over?’ ad campaign was designed by the online Romanian newspaper Gandul and GMP Advertising firm in response to numerous reports in the British media about a possible government initiative to launch a negative ad campaign discouraging Romanians and Bulgarians from coming to work in Britain.