Thursday, February 19, 2009

British, French nuclear submarines collide

A British Royal Navy nuclear submarine and its French equivalent collided while on operations in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, defense ministries in Paris and London confirmed Monday. What? Current military technology enables you to drop a bomb into a coffee can from ten miles away, yet somehow your nuclear submarines were unable to avoid colliding into one another in an ocean the size of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia combined. This incident clearly falls under the category of how in the hell did this happen? It’s no wonder we seceded from your sorry asses over two centuries ago England, and it’s no surprise you haven’t been able to defend yourself ever since we bailed your sorry asses out of World War II France. To say this incident is an embarrassment to your respective militaries would be like saying Tom Cruise is slightly eccentric or Paris Hilton is slightly promiscuous.

Seriously guys, I wanna know, how in the hell do two sophisticated vessels from allegedly civilized nations run into one another in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Aren’t all submarines equipped with sonar technology that allows operators to spot approaching vessels from like a hundred miles away? Naval analyst Richard Cobbold confirmed to CNN that both submarines were indeed equipped with state-of-the-art sonar technology, but Cobbold said it was possible that neither was aware of the close proximity of the other vessel. Huh? "Modern submarines are very, very quiet. In many types of water conditions they might not hear the approach of another submarine," he said. Dude, I’m no “naval analyst” like you but I do know how sonar works. There are two types of sonar: active and passive. Passive sonar is a listening device only; sound waves produced by another source are received and changed into electrical signals for display on a monitor. Active sonar, on the other hand, sends out sound waves in pulses; then measures the time it takes these pulses to travel through the water, reflect off of an object, and return to the ship. Because devices on ships are programmed to know how fast sound travels through water, they can easily calculate the distance between their ship and the object they are interested in, such as another ship. So Dick, unless you’re telling me that these supposedly state-of-the-art nuclear submarines rely on passive sonar only and are not equipped with active sonar technology (which I highly doubt is the case), then your statement makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Cobbold went on to say that with both nations (England and France) keeping at least one nuclear-armed submarine constantly at sea for 40 years it’s no surprise that they had eventually ended up in the same area of ocean. "Even in an ocean the size of the North Atlantic the submarines are eventually going to be in the same patch of water at the same time," he said. Yo Dick, are you aware that the Atlantic Ocean covers over 22% of the earth’s surface? Suggesting that if two submarines travel around the Atlantic Ocean long enough they have a good chance at colliding is analogous to suggesting that if two human beings travel around the five most populous continents long enough they have a good chance at meeting each other. Are you starting to realize just how stupid and ridiculous your statements truly were? Where the hell does CNN find these “analysts” anyway?

I digress… in a statement issued Monday, the UK-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament described the incident as "a nuclear nightmare of the highest order”. “The collision of two submarines, both with nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons onboard could have released vast amounts of radiation and scattered scores of nuclear warheads across the seabed," said CND chair Kate Hudson. "The dents reportedly visible on the British sub show the boats were no more than a couple of seconds away from total catastrophe." Hudson said the incident was the most serious involving a nuclear submarine since the sinking of the Russian Kursk in 2000 with the loss of the vessel's entire 118-man crew. Finally - someone who makes sensible statements, albeit slightly over dramatic statements, but sensible all the same. While both the British and French navies are downplaying this incident for obvious reasons, there is no doubt everyone involved feels lucky that this collision didn’t end in catastrophe, as it easily could have.

The British submarine involved in the incident is the HMS Vanguard, which was launched in 1992, and is one of four submarines which make up the UK's nuclear deterrent. Its firepower includes 16 Trident II D5 missiles capable of delivering multiple warheads to targets up to a range of 4,000 nautical miles. The 150-meter vessel carries a crew of 141 and is powered by a uranium-fueled pressurized water reactor. Vanguard Class submarines routinely spend weeks at a time underwater on patrol in the North Atlantic. But contact with naval commanders and government officials, including the defense secretary and the prime minister, is maintained at all times by a "comprehensive network of communications installations," the Royal Navy Web site says. That all sounds great, HMS Vanguard, but how did you not spot that French sub right smack in front of you? I’m gonna go out on a limb hear and guess that all 141 of your crew members were too busy drinking warm beer, playing indoor cricket, or watching a scoreless soccer match on the tely to check your sonar monitor. Am I warm?

The French submarine involved in the incident is the Le Triomphant, which was launched in 1994 and entered service in 1997, and is one of four submarines which make up French’s “Force de Frappe” nuclear sub program. It carries a crew of 111, according to the web site. Its weapons include 16 M45 missiles capable of launching multiple nuclear warheads. Good for you Le Triomphant, but what’s your excuse for not spotting that giant British sub right in front of you? Let me guess, all 111 of your crew members were too preoccupied eating soft cheese, smoking excessive amounts of cigarettes, or watching dudes in tight shorts peddle 10-speeds through the mountains to check your sonar monitor. Sound about right?

I can’t help but find this whole incident very amusing (which is obviously only the case because it didn’t result in any real tragedy)… just one more bullet point on the long and growing list of reasons why I wake up every day and thank God that I’m not a Euro. God bless America and God bless being an American.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dancing with the Star's resident tool: Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Dear Maksim,

Seriously dude, have you any idea how big of a tool bag you really are? You’re a professional ball room dancer. It’s hard to even say that without laughing. On the list of obscure, uncool professions I’d say professional ballroom dancer falls somewhere in between competitive roller skater and the guy who picks up horse shit during parades. Even professional video game testers and the dudes who joust at Medieval Times think what you do for a living is pretty lame. Yet there you are every Monday night with that huge shit eating grin on your face twirling around your celebrity partner and yukking it up for the cameras. The fact that you somehow parlayed professional ballroom dancing into a recurring role on a hit reality TV series in no way validates your ridiculous career choice, so don’t kid yourself. It simply illustrates that in this new era of reality television where quality programming has been replaced by mindless fodder and trained actors have given way to no-talent hacks, even a miserable schmuck like you has a shot at finding success. Yet there you stand being interviewed by People Magazine with that smug look on your face talking about your recent engagement to fellow “Dancing with the Stars” cast mate Karina Smirnoff. When asked about the prospect of starting a family together you had this to say: “Our kids will be rock stars. They’re going to be like royalty.” Really douche bag? Rock stars and royalty? Are you fucking kidding me? Do you have any idea how ridiculous that statement sounds coming from you? It was bad enough when you swaggered around the stage after your over-done tangos and excessive fox trots acting like God’s gift to dancing. But now you’ve simply gone too far. Implying that your offspring will somehow become rock stars and royalty because you and your chiseled fiancĂ©e are good at ballroom dancing? Dude - even Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, two of the greatest tennis players of all time, stay humble whenever they’re asked about the prospect of their children’s future athletic careers. And they were professional tennis players, which is an actual sport. You and Karina are fucking ballroom dancers. Seriously dude, unless “Dancing with the Stars” runs for another 20 years (God help us all) your pathetic offspring will be lucky to find any job, let alone become rock stars and royalty. Do yourself a favor, Maksim. Give it a rest with the fake Russian accent, take a day off from the tanning salon every now and then, try buttoning more than just the bottom two buttons of your fancy shirts (Guido), and when asked about anything other than ballroom dancing keep your fucking mouth shut. For one day soon “Dancing with the Stars” will be cancelled, your five minutes of fame will be up, and you and Karina will have to go back to doing whatever it is that professional ballroom dancers do. Until then you’d be well served to tone it down and stop looking and sounding like a complete fucking jackass. By the way, how is it having Mario Lopez’s sloppy seconds?

I know I know the fact that I even know what night (Mondays) “Dancing with the Stars” comes on, the fact that I know the names of two ballroom dances (the tango and the fox trot), and the fact that I know Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff used to be a couple is completely pathetic. What can I say? The things we’ll watch for our wives.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A not so anonymous letter to Nadya Suleman (the Octomom)

Dear Nadya,

You might very well be the single most delusional person on the face of the earth. You’re 33-years old, you live with your parents, you have no husband, no job, and no money, yet you don’t believe it was selfish or irresponsible to bring 8 illegitimate children into the world to go along with the 6 you already have. Can I please get some of whatever you’re smokin? What you did is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin, but I’ll try anyway.

Let’s start with the in vitro fertilization. I did some research and the estimated cost of an IVF birth is @ $100,000. Yet you have no verifiable income outside of the $165,000 you received in disability payments from 2002 – 2008, your family filed for bankruptcy 2 years ago and abandoned their home, and it has been reported that they are now receiving government welfare. Which begs the question, where the hell did you scratch up a hundred large to kick off this fertility freak show anyway? Beyond the financial dissonance of your pregnancy lies a question of logic. Why the hell did you have 6 embryos implanted in your uterus (resulting in 8 babies – in rare instances embryos divide in the womb) when every fertility expert in the world strongly recommends implanting no more than 2 embryos in a woman under 35 years of age? Direct quote from you: "…I wanted them all transferred. Those are my children. And that's what was available and I used them.” Oh, it’s because you had 6 embryos left in the freezer. So the question really wasn’t why implant all 6, but why not implant all 6? Okay, now I understand, my bad. Not surprisingly the fertility hack who helped with this pregnancy and your previous 5 pregnancies (4 singles and 1 set of twins) is currently under investigation by the California Medical Board.

Next let’s discuss your decision to go through with the extreme multiples pregnancy. When it was discovered you were carrying what doctors thought to be 7 babies at the time, they strongly recommended that you have the number of embryos reduced, citing the tremendous health risks that go along with giving birth to extreme multiples including bleeding in the brain, intestinal problems, developmental delays and lifelong learning disabilities, not to mention the risks to the mother. Yet armed with this information you declined. Direct quote from you: "Sometimes we have that dream and that passion and we take risks. And I did and it turned out perfectly." Oh, so it was your dream and your passion to raise 14 illegitimate children, even if some would likely be forced to enter the world with serious medical problems. Now I get it. There will no doubt be some people who actually support your decision citing the ethical issues of embryo reduction. But the fact is the purpose of embryo reduction in extreme multiples pregnancies is healthy birth, not abortion of the pregnancy, so I don’t want to hear it.

So you decided to go through with the pregnancy. Ethics, crazy dreams, and misguided passion aside let’s now discuss the financial ramifications of your decision. You were hospitalized 7 weeks ago and put on bed rest. During the seven weeks, a team of 46 physicians, nurses and other staff members cared for you and prepared for the births. Immediately following the births two full-time nurses were assigned to each child, and they take care of the babies around the clock giving them fluids, proteins, and vitamins intravenously. Doctors say the babies will remain in the hospital for at least 7 more weeks. In total we’re talking about 4 months in the hospital, a medical staff large enough to fill out an NFL roster, and all the food, vitamins, and supplies necessary to sustain 8 lives. That's gotta cost what, eight or nine hundred grand, maybe even a mill? You must have some pretty damn good insurance to cover that bill, huh? And a large enough chunk of dough stashed away to cover the co-pay? What’s that, you don’t have medical insurance or a single dime to your name? So the taxpayers will be fitting the entire bill? Oh, how responsible and not at all selfish of you.

Okay so the babies are here and they’re relatively healthy considering they were born 9 weeks premature, and that’s a good thing. But going forward how exactly do you plan on adequately caring for all 14 of your illegitimate children considering you’re single, broke and unemployed? Direct quote from you: "I'm providing myself to my children. I'm loving them unconditionally, accepting them unconditionally, everything I do. I'll stop my life for them and be present with them and hold them and be with them. And how many parents do that? I'm sure there are many that do, but many don't. And that's unfortunate. And that is selfish." Oh, so you’re not selfish, it’s the mom’s who go to work every day to earn a living who are the selfish ones. Nice try Nadya but I’m on to you. Intentionally trying to avoid answering my question by vilifying someone else? Unfortunately that trick only works when the person or people you attempt to vilify are actually deserving of your criticism. Seriously – working mothers are the ones we should be looking down on here and not you? Must be nice living in that fantasy world of rainbows and unicorns where you don’t have to provide for yourself and there’re absolutely no consequences for your actions, regardless of how blatantly irresponsible they are. Is there a chocolate waterfall that churns the chocolate too? But wait, you do plan on providing for yourself. Direct quote from you: "I know I'll be able to afford them when I'm done with my schooling. If I were just sitting down, watching TV and not being as determined as I am to succeed and provide a better future for my children, I believe that would be considered to a certainly degree selfish.” (nice grammar Nadya) Oh so that’s what would be considered selfish. Thanks for clarifying. And just what type of degree do you plan on earning that’s going to provide such a great future for your illegitimate clan, Nadya? A degree in counseling? Um, I don’t mean to burst your bubble but counselors make like twenty grand a year, and that’s not even going to cover your diaper bill, genius.

Which brings us to the real reason you decided to go through with this pregnancy. Your spokeswoman (you’re on welfare and you have a spokeswoman – nice), Joann Killeen, originally told CNN that you are being deluged with media offers but denied any suggestions that you may have had a monetary incentive for having so many children. She then backtracked and told CNN's Larry King that “(You) have no plans on being a welfare mom and really want to look at every opportunity that (you) can to make sure (you) can provide financially for the 14 children (you’re) responsible for now." It was later confirmed that you hired a publicist and are seeking up to $2 million for your story. Aye, there’s the rub, and the ruse is up. Just admit it Nadya - this entire situation is and always has been about one thing and one thing only, the money. The disability payments ran out, you got tossed from your crib, and welfare just wasn’t cutting it. You could have gotten a regular job like everybody else, but that wasn't good enough for you because you’re special (see delusional quotes above). So you hatched a plan to have 6 babies. You figured you could cash in like the rest of the fertility freak shows who came before you. Am I getting warm? Granted it was only going to be 6 babies and septuplets is a slightly tired act seeing as how it's been done several times before, but you already had 6 babies at home so that would be your ace in the hole, right Nadya? But then to your delight things took an unexpected turn for the better when one of your embryos divided and all of a sudden you had 7 babies in your womb instead of 6 – cha ching. You could literally feel the dollar signs dancing around in your head. Then during the birth, just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any better, baby H popped out after baby G surprising everyone including the doctors, and you had officially hit pay dirt. Octuplets - for only the second time in the history of the United States. Let the bidding wars begin.

You say your birth was a “miraculous experience” and that “all (you’ve) ever wanted is to be a mom.” But in my opinion Nadya your birth was a sham and you are a sorry excuse for a mother. Only in America could a manipulative wretch like you concoct a scheme using a litter of premature babies to pull you and your dysfunctional family out of the poor house, and only in America could that scheme actually work. Let the gifts poor in, let the pictures be taken, let the stupid reality TV shows be made, and let anyone with a shred of intelligence or a grain of integrity be completely disgusted by the whole sordid thing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Legalize it

Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise, two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.

Lunch: A pound of enriched pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayo on white bread, and 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

Dinner: A pound of pasta and an entire large pizza, and 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

The daily dietary intake of an Olympic swimming champion or the worst case of the munchies you’ve ever heard of?

Olympic champion Michael Phelps was recently photographed smoking marijuana from a bong on the campus of the University of South Carolina, where Phelps was visiting a female student he was secretly seeing (translation: banging – come on let’s be honest who wouldn’t bang Michael Phelps). British newspaper News of the World broke the story and also claimed that people representing Phelps tried to snuff out the story and offered the paper extraordinary incentives not to publish the photo.

Phelps has acknowledged that the photo showing him smoking marijuana from a bong is real, and he released the following statement: “I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again” (translation: the next time I get high, which will be very soon – perhaps even the minute I’m done giving this bullshit statement written by my pathetic public relations manager - I will not be careless enough to be photographed by some opportunistic ass hat with a camera in his cell phone).

People are generally pissed off at Michael Phelps for smoking marijuana.

The U.S. Olympic Committee released a statement saying it was "…disappointed in the behavior recently exhibited by Michael Phelps. Michael has acknowledged that he made a mistake and apologized for his actions. We are confident that, going forward, Michael will consistently set the type of example we all expect from a great Olympic champion."

Richland County, SC, Sheriff Leon Lott says he will charge Michael Phelps with a crime if he determines the Olympics hero smoked marijuana in Richland County. "This case is no different than any other case," Lott said. "This one might be a lot easier since we have photographs of someone using drugs and a partial confession. It's a relatively easy case once we can determine where the crime occurred."... Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a $570 fine, plus court costs.

Phelps’ corporate sponsors aren’t pulling the plug just yet but those in the know say Phelps’ image has taken a big hit as a result of this bust. "It's certainly not good and it’s a disaster in terms of the near future," said Robert Tuchman, president of Premiere Corporate Events, a sports entertainment firm. "He's very unlikely to have new sponsors come on board and endorse him. And there's the potential for other sponsors to pull the plug on him, using this as an opportunity. He's going to take a big hit on this."

You can also find thousands of derogatory statements about Phelps’ behavior in blogs and on message boards across the web. The general theme of the statements is that people are disappointed in Michael Phelps because he’s a role model and smoking marijuana sends the wrong message to kids across the world who look up to him.

I for one couldn’t disagree more. I think Michael Phelps smoking weed represents a huge step in the right direction for a very just and long overdue cause - the legalization of marijuana in America. Hell, if a world-record setting Olympian who just captured an unprecedented 8 gold medals at the Beijing games to go along with his 6 gold medals and 2 bronze medals from the Athens games can smoke weed and continue to dominate, can it really be so bad?

But marijuana makes you lazy and unproductive, and impairs your judgment. Oh yeah? Let’s see – Michael Phelps is meticulous and maniacal in his training regimens, he’s focused and unflappable during competitions, and he’s never satisfied with his accomplishments always stating that he wants to get better (like being the most decorated athlete in Olympic history is not enough). So he happens to relax by smoking a little weed during his offseason, big fucking deal. Doesn’t seem to have held him back too much, does it?

But marijuana is on the banned substance list for Olympic competitors. Yes, but only during in-competition testing. That’s right – cannabis is not considered a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency during out-of-competition testing, which just so happens to be when the “visual bust” of Michael Phelps occurred. So to those cracking on young Mr. Phelps – give the guy a fucking break. In my opinion the only thing he did wrong was letting some douche bag capture the incident on film.

If you don’t agree that marijuana should be legalized consider the following logical arguments from the Marijuana Legalization Organization:

People have a basic right to make choices for themselves as long as their actions do not harm others. Responsible individuals in a free society should be allowed to choose whether or not they use marijuana. Individual liberty is a fundamental value.

The government is wasting our time and money by prohibiting marijuana. Taxpayers are forced to pay billions of dollars to persecute, prosecute, and incarcerate people for having marijuana. If marijuana were legal and regulated (like alcohol and tobacco) this money, plus tax revenues from marijuana sales, could be used for other purposes such as education and health care.

Prohibition is not an effective solution to the problems associated with marijuana use. Marijuana, like tobacco and alcohol, can be abused. But prohibition is expensive and ineffective; education and regulation are better solutions. Regulating sales of marijuana and teaching people the truth about its health effects will allow us to minimize the harms and costs to society.

We have learned a lesson from history. Alcohol prohibition did not work, and there is no logical reason to believe that marijuana prohibition is a better idea.

If you still disagree let me ask you this: Why is marijuana illegal, but alcohol and tobacco are available and regulated? People who support marijuana prohibition claim that marijuana is unhealthy and dangerous. They say we need to keep drugs illegal to protect our society from the addiction and disease that they cause. These arguments are not consistent with the fact that the two most deadly drugs in America are legal. Alcohol and tobacco are far more addictive and harmful than marijuana, but they are legally available. If we want to have drug policies that are logical and effective, we need to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to the regulation of alcohol and tobacco.

I’ll get off my soap box now and get back to the basic premise of this post. If someone like Michael Phelps can smoke marijuana and still be the best in the world at his chosen craft, shouldn't we at least entertain the thought of legalizing it?

Thank you Michael Phelps for being human, and thank you for inadvertently shedding some light on the truth about marijuana. Now “Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side”.