"The blog has made Glab into a hip town crier, commenting on everything from local politics and cultural happenings to national and international events, all rendered in a colorful, intelligent, working-class vernacular that owes some of its style to Glab’s Chicago-hometown heroes Studs Terkel and Mike Royko." — David Brent Johnson in Bloom Magazine
Last full week before the doctors slice me open and install an electric generator in my chest. They’ll run leads right into my heart so that if said organ decides to go on a drunken bender, the generator’ll shock me with 800 volts and get the ticker back in line, 4/4 beat and all.
Here’s the device:
I hope it works. Or, better yet, I hope it never has to. We’ll see.
Taking The Blame
So, the S. Korean prime minister handed in his resignation over the capsized ferry that sent some 300 kids and adults to their watery graves.
Imagine that. There exist in this world some nations and societies wherein big shots take the heat for the bad things that happen on their watch.
I realize this is hard for Americans to believe, but in some faraway lands, heads of companies whose fuel depots blow up or whose toxic sludge seeps into the nation’s Capri Sun juice reserves often get sacked or even prosecuted for their misdeeds.
In other words, certain races of humans on this Earth entertain the quaint notion that somebody’s responsible when shit happens.
How odd, no? Here in this holy land, of course, we understand that when a coal company dumps poison into the water supply, well, by golly, that’s merely one of the costs of a free society. Imagine if we blessed Murricans played so fast and loose with the concept of accountability.
Remember back in December, 1984, when Union Carbide’s plant in Bhopal, India, accidentally released methyl isocyanate gas into the air? Oops! The death toll estimates ranged from 3787 (the official number) to upwards of 16,000. And a half million people were injured, including partial, severe, and permanently disabling physical trauma. I mean, why get hung up on numbers; none of those affected were job creators — and very, very few of them white.
Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson immediately flew into Bhopal to show how deeply he cared for the suffering of all those brown people. But those wacky Indians — the moment he stepped off the plane, they slapped the bracelets on him and charged him with manslaughter. Oh, the look on his face! His mug read: Don’t you know I’m the CEO of a very important Fortune 500 company?
So what did Anderson do? He promptly posted bail and then fled the country. India still has a warrant out for his arrest, nearly 30 years later. Our federal gov’t, for its part, refuses to extradite him because, well, what’s the big deal?
Quaint Indian Women
Like I said, quaint. Americans are decidedly not quaint. Many of us know precisely whom to blame whenever anything bad happens, be it an industrial disaster, a snowstorm, or an asteroid hitting Yankee Stadium.
Let’s start with some fun. Here’s yesterday’s headline in the Daily Beast on Anthony Weiner’s decision not to withdraw from the New York City mayoral race:
I mean, honestly, what do you expect a headline writer to do?
Here’s a timely quote from Oscar Wilde:
The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.
Dick’s Boys Will Be Boys
Did it slip past you that Halliburton, former Veep Dick Cheney’s personal ATM, admitted to destroying evidence relating to the Gulf Oil Spill?
Deepwater Horizon Burning
That’s because the corporate media was too busy making dick jokes at Anthony Weiner’s expense while simultaneously going gaga over that little brat who was born in England this week.
Halliburton was the cement contractor for the Macondo Prospect well, operated by Brit oil giant BP. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig positioned over the well exploded and sank in April, 2010, killing 11 workers and flooding the Gulf of Mexico with some 210 million gallons of crude oil.
Halliburton and BP have been blaming each other for the spill for the past three years. One of the charges Halliburton has made against BP is that the oil company did not follow the contractor’s safety recommendations.
This gets a little sticky, so follow me here. Halliburton had recommended that BP use 21 metal stabilizer rings to secure the hole in the ground the company had drilled. BP decided to use only six. In the weeks after the explosion. Halliburton ran a couple of 3-D computer simulations using models for both the 21- and the six-ring set-ups. The simulations found that the extra stabilizer rings likely wouldn’t have prevented the disaster.
Uh-oh for Halliburton. IF BP’s decision to go with six rather than 21 rings didn’t make any difference in the outcome, that means Halliburton might be open to some other liability in the mishap.
Now, if you or I destroy evidence in a civil or criminal trial, say your husband stole a loaf of bread and you flush the wrapper down the toilet before the SWAT team arrives, you’re gonna be spending some serious slammer time for your efforts.
The US Department of Justice, which is handling the Gulf Spill case, issued a press release Thursday crowing about how it got Halliburton to admit to doing the nasty and adding, solemnly, that Cheney’s cash cow is about to get its ass whupped.
“Oh, Uh, I ‘Quit’ Halliburton Long Ago.”
So, how’s Halliburton going to suffer for being such a brazen evidence destroyer? The DoJ is fining the company a grand total of $200,000.
Two hundred Gs. Jeez.
According to the US Census Bureau, the average home in this holy land in the year of Our Lord, 2010, was worth $272,900. That means all Halliburton has to do is fork over the deed to some modest ranch house in a so-so neighborhood and by doing so, its debt to society will be paid in full.
Either that or Dick Cheney and a couple of other Halliburton capos can look for loose change under the sofa cushions in their offices and come up with the fine.
You think Halliburton is weeping and gnashing its teeth over this? Hah! Halliburton flacks Kelly Youngblood and Beverly Blohm can hardly stop themselves from nominating their overlords for the Nobel Peace Prize. They write in the company’s official press release on the agreement: “The Department of Justice acknowledged the company’s significant and valuable cooperation during the course of the investigation….”
Man, I hope Halliburton is paying those PR-meisters some good coin, the better to make up for the eternity in hell to which they’ve condemned themselves.
This is a banner day in the history of warfare. If blood and guts is your thing, you’re likely waving your flag and inviting all the neighbors over for a cookout.
On this day in the 20th Century alone, a number of big cheeses ordered their little curds to go out and blow the brains out of the enemy before the good old vice versa. Dig:
◗ July 28, 1914: Austria-Hungary, bummed because its archduke was whacked a month before in the streets of Sarajevo, declared war on Serbia. See, Serbia wasn’t sufficiently apologetic for one of its wild-eyed Black-Handers gunning down the Aus-Hun big shot so all the nations of Europe decided to fight each other. Makes sense, no? Total killed: 16 million; wounded: 20 million.
“Apologize, You Bastards!”
◗ July 28, 1942: Soviet strongman Joseph Stalin issued orders that commanders who retreat or soldiers who leave their positions are to be shot. He played this tough guy card because Hitler’s war machine was rolling through Mother Russia. Total killed in the German/Russian theater: approximately 34 million soldiers and civilians.
◗ July 28, 1943: The biggest night of bombing in the British and American air forces’ Operation Gomorrah, designed to destroy shipyards, U-boat pens, oil refineries, and a major dynamite factory in and around Hamburg, Germany. The planners did not anticipate that concentrated bombing combined with hot, dry conditions in the city that summer would create a something called a firestorm. A virtual tornado of fire, estimated to be 1500 feet high, destroyed the city. Total killed: 42,600; total injured: 37,000. All casualties were civilian.
◗ July 28, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson nearly doubles the number of ground soldiers in Vietnam as the American involvement in Southeast Asia becomes serious. Total killed in Vietnam during the American involvement there: approximately 600,000 soldiers and civilians; total wounded 1.2 million.
I’ve said this before and it bears repeating: We are a fascinating species.
The City of Bloomington has instituted a watering ban, beginning Monday and lasting through October 13th.
Pat Murphy’s Utilities Department water plant pumps are running at about a million gallons a day over capacity, upping the odds that one or more of them will burn out. Not only that, some strains of algae have been observed collecting in the pumps, adding to the risk of failure.
Mayor Mark Kruzan says the ban has some teeth after violators get a first warning: second violations earn $100 fines, three-time losers will be smacked with $250 fines and subsequent violations will lighten scofflaws’ wallets to the tune of $500 each.
By the way, don’t even think about washing your car.
THE THRILL OF VICTORY
Ya gotta love Cynthia Plaster-Caster of Chicago. She’s made her mark upon this world in large part (often, very large part) by reproducing rock stars’ cetrioli in plaster castings.
So, it’s no surprise she’s got a fine eye for bulges. The London Olympics is providing her a treasure trove of manly salutes.
Here, she points out the pride and joy of American rower Henrik Rummel as he receives his bronze medal in the heretofore ignored sport:
Henrik Rummel, Front And Center
Rummel’s isn’t the only full mast in Jolly Old this week. Plaster-Caster also spied Portugal’s Nelson Évora, gold medalist in the triple jump, packing heat.
Nelson Évora, Ready To Go
If these pix indicate how fab the whole Olympics experience is, it’s no wonder kids work night and day for years trying to get there.
Jones, the American track and field celebrity, is a flamboyant product endorser. Apparently, one of those products is her heretofore-unseen-by-other-human-eyes genitalia.
She feels the world needs to know how untouched her stuff is so she has tweeted about it.
Oddly, she sometimes adopts seductive poses in her ads. She’s the spokesbody for crap products like Red Bull and planet-rapists like BP
Jere Longman wrote Saturday in the New York Times: “… Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — virgin, vixen, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.”
Gonzalez, though, doesn’t think much of it. He writes: “[B]eing a virgin at 30 is weird and pathological. Sexual development is an important part of becoming a grown-ass human being…. We don’t fawn over toddlers who refuse to be potty trained, yet we have respect and some have admiration for someone who is similarly infantile.”
If you’ve heard her on any talk shows, you know there’s more than one organ she refrains from using. Jones appeared on the Tonight Show about a month ago and clearly has a child’s brain as well as a child’s vagina.
Fortunately, Louis CK sat on the couch next to her as she bleated to Jay Leno. Jones has hinted she’d like to date fellow god-maniac Tim Tebow. Louis CK suggested the two should make a video. “That would sell,” he said. He didn’t need to explicate precisely what kind of video it would be.
LIKE A VIRGIN
As if she needs me pimping for her, here’s Madonna.
Better yet, here’s Weird Al Yankovic.
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.