So How Come 9/11 Happened, Rudy?

So if Rudy Giuliani has been “studying Middle Eastern terrorism since the Seventies,” and is such an expert on it, how did he not predict 9/11 or take steps to harden New York City against the attack he must have known was coming?

After all, since it’s silly to consider Iraq as the justification terrorists use for attacking New York City, he must have known that the licentious freedom New York is famous for would bring them in…you know, since they did it to that same target once before…

Maybe this is why he took so many steps to curb the freedom of New Yorkers. You see, they hate us for our freedom, so the Not-a-Coward answer must be to become more like the terrorists and give into their demands so they’ll hate us less, right?

Rudy Giuliani: prevent terrorism by surrendering to sharia. That’s the Republican Party way of doing things! Real men surrender!

How to Piss Me Off, Part 45

Word things so you’re not actually asking a question, but counting on me to just jump in as if I can always intuit what the hell it is you want to know.

For example, I say “I don’t know anything about that, so when you find out let me know.”

So you say, “Oh, we had assumed you knew something more about it.”

What you really mean to say is, “We had thought you knew something. Can you please give me X?”

I know you’re going to feel stupid, because I can then say, “I just said I didn’t know anything about X.” But really, if you’re going to ask a question, make it a question and not a period. If you think a question’s answer might be embarrassing, don’t ask me. But for fuck’s sake, don’t just let it hang out there.

That’s trying to appeal to my sense of decency and trying to manipulate me into doing something, or doing some work to find out something you don’t want to do, or whatever. If you have such a request, make it, don’t attempt to manipulate me.

How To Be a “Technical” Whiz

I’m going to give you the secret to going from a techno-dud to a techno-stud, suddenly understanding computers and being able to be regarded as intelligent by the computer trogs at work. It’s a big secret we keep from the rest of you, but heedless of my own safety, I’m going to break ranks and share it with you.

Are you ready?

Can you handle The Big Secret??

Do you want to know!?!?!!?

Read English.

WTF? Yeah, I know. You think you can do this already, but here’s the secret: even though you can, you probably don’t. Many instructions and warnings and labels go by on the computer all the time, and if you don’t read them, it gets very mysterious. Some are extra mysterious–like the idiots who simply give an internal code number as if that’s supposed to tell you anything.

But I can’t count the number of times somebody has told me that they got “an error” and provided no explanation, like I had psychic powers to extract the truth directly from their brains. Hint: if there’s an error, it probably has text associated with it. And most of the time, it’s going to be in English. Even if you don’t know all the big words, you can probably figure a lot of it out if you actually just look at it, read it, and think about it.

At first, sure, you’re going to see lots of unfamiliar terms. But frequently inserting the error message into Google will get you a big discussion of it. And over time you’ll figure out “duh, I need to plug in my drive,” or “hey, this is just a notice, not an error,” or even, “Oh, it tells me if I don’t want Bad Thing X to happen, I shouldn’t do what I just did, and it’s giving me an option to not do it.”

That’s it–that’s the sole difference between me and you: I take the time to read what’s on my screen and figure it out. That’s really all there is to it.

Now, go forth and use your newfound power to fear the machines no more.

And wink at the trogs. They still haven’t figured out human faces yet.

Vegitarian Nomenclature Nazis

So apparently vegetarians don’t eat vegetables. And when you ask “animal, vegetable, or mineral” in Twenty Questions, you’re leaving out most of the stuff vegetarians eat. Or something. Anyway, by referring to vegetables being able to possess saturated fats, I was informed I wasn’t talking about vegetables, I was talking about “legumes.”

Um, OK. So when I asked if legumes were animals, I was criticized for being all “technical.” Right, because I’m just talking about plants being vegetables, but somehow I’m getting all “technical” about it. But no, let’s subclass them and arbitrarily call the “other” category “vegetable.”

“Reality is a Crutch for People Who Can’t Handle Drugs”

Veterans of the late, lamented Suck–whom I’ve had the privilege of watching riff in person–Nick Gillespie and Tim Cavanaugh, reunite for a review of various blogs at Jewcy.

Read it–it will make you a better person.


Crammed in with all the reporting on fighter drones and hand phasers and plasma UFOs there's this tidbit about a cop so wimpy he panicked and called 911 after feeding his wife some pot brownies. This is exactly the sort of "bad trip" or "bummer" we were warned about by luminaries ranging from Sonny Bono to Bro and Dude; and it's proof, as if we needed any more, that reality is just a crutch for people who can't handle drugs.

But I do owe you for a remarkable piece of advice—"Never pass up an opportunity to have sex on TV with Gore Vidal"—that I look forward to using at some point in the future, preferably after the Rapture has begun. (Are we even allowed to make Rapture jokes at Jewcy? Writing for this site, I haven't felt this Catholic since Mark Foley stopped IM'ing me).

HT: Julian Sanchez

Update: If you can’t suss out the unobtrusive links amongst the cloud of thrice-damned “tags” at the top of the story, today’s installment is in.

900ft Jesus Says Don’t Raise Money, Just Die Already

Jerry Falwell has kicked it. A shadow has been lightened across Lynchburg, VA, an otherwise lovely town in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains. But before everybody starts looking for the good in him, it’s worth remembering someone else who previously god threatened to call home, and what became of it.

Roberts said God had told him,

I want you to use the ORU medical school to put My medical presence in the earth. I want you to get this going in one year or I will call you home. It will cost $8 million and I want you to believe you can raise it.

The City of Faith medical clinic was closed later that year. In early 1988, all scholarships to the medical school were cancelled and students were required to repay large sums if they transferred to other schools. In 1989, the medical school was closed altogether.

Edit:…for clarity, I’m referring to Oral Roberts. Here’s the bad stuff Falwell has done to make him deserving of the nonexistent fires of hell: averred that the US deserved 9/11 because we’re sinners, inherited the PTL and looted it, declaimed Tinky Winky as an agent for the homosexual agenda, claimed AIDS was “god’s wrath” on homosexuals, and attempted to repress critics through the courts.

Fallwell had better hope I’m right about hell or the lack thereof.

Yeah, No Donation This Year

Read about the spectacular fashion in which a local SPCA lost a supporter. There’s informed consent, and then there’s just plain stupidity.

Putting aside for now the disingenuousness of being told to fill out an application that is sure to be rejected, I tell him that two things bother me. Of course the SPCA doesn’t know the provenance of most of the animals it shelters. That’s a given. To tell families with kids that they can’t adopt a dog whose history is the least bit murky — even a dog that the SPCA itself describes as friendly — is, in my book, a disservice to both the families and the animals. And also, I just don’t take kindly to people making unbidden decisions on my behalf, presuming to tell me what’s best for me, my wife, and my kids. Would he?

Apparently, he would, and threw them out.

Update: The kicker is they’d qualified a couple of years ago to adopt a couple of kids. So they’re good enough to adopt humans, but not animals.

What to Do with a Baby Bird

I’ve occasionally gotten questions as to what to do with a baby bird found outside. It turns out that the University of Minnesota has an excellent guide on what to do with a baby bird. The answer people don’t like to hear is, “Nothing.”

Most birds will be fine, even if they’re temporarily away from their parents. Some will be eaten by predators. It’s sad and no fun to watch (especially if you’re a pet bird owner like me), but it is how the predators stay alive and bird populations are kept to healthy levels. Most of the time the bird will be fine on its own.

The biggest myth is that if you handle it, the parents will smell you on them and reject it. Most birds have terrible senses of smell and will happily accept any baby you return to them–once you go away and leave them alone.

These are wild animals and do best when they keep their distance from large predators–and you count as the largest predator they’ll see. So imagine you fall down and a giant lion came by and started sniffing around you. You’d be scared to death, right? Same for a bird, only it would be like Godzilla instead of a lion, given the size difference.

So if you see a baby bird and there’s an obvious nest, pick it up and put it back. If there isn’t one and it has feathers, let it alone. Above all, don’t mess with it unless you’ve been trained, because as the link above points out, lots of things well-intentioned people do actually kill or seriously injure the bird they’re trying to help.

Wild animals are wild–if you want to help, give to an organization that works to rescue or preserve habitats for endangered wildlife. That will do more than anything else you could do.