if only this title could be a picture of a co-worker’s “Four Loko dance”…

considering that there’s a holiday coming up, i’m going to latch onto that as an excuse for why my update is late and not very long or good or anything. this is what i do! now, allow me to make up for my lateness with a late, but free, update that contains upwards of one (1) joke.

Four Loko
clearly now that we’ve conquered that REEFER MADNESS, it’s time to focus on… oh, let’s say caffeinated alcoholic beverages? sure

Gansler asks health department to pull caffeine-infused alcoholic drinks from shelves

now, you might have heard that we recently had an election here in the state of Maryland, where voters tossed out all the old… wait, no, i must be thinking of some other state. here in Maryland, we just re-elect the same old Democratic politicians from the same old Democratic machine so that we don’t get distracted and forget our representatives’ names, i guess. anyway, the short time line of things basically goes like this:

pre-election: O’Malley tells us that we should vote for him because he’s done so much for Maryland
election: O’Malley wins because he’s good at… uh, because he brings to the table… uh, because he has boyish charm? sure, that one
post-election: officials announce a $1.6 billion budget deficit faces Maryland in January. fine work, O’Malley! i mean, while running for office, officials were “hopeful that better-than-expected receipts from taxes and fees would boost the state’s budget outlook,” and yet somehow…

anyway, this isn’t really about me being bitter. i think we can all agree, whatever the cause, whoever the blame lies with, this is a serious situation that needs to be dealt with. luckily, our administration’s attorney general is hard at work on confronting the biggest challenge that confronts Maryland, even though it’s nothing anyone asked for… by asking the state health department to remove all caffeine-infused alcoholic drinks from the state’s liquor stores and taverns.

wait… this is fucking pointless. no, okay, negativity is spreading, so maybe i should hear this out.

“”I ask you to exercise your authority … to take all steps available to you to prevent any further distribution or sale of these unsafe, unadulterated, and mislabeled products wherever found in Maryland,” Gansler wrote-“

now, here’s one issue i have already: unadulterated? i mean, isn’t that usually a GOOD concept when talking about a product? anyway, i generally happen to think that it’s a slippery slope when you go after an ALCOHOL product for being unsafe when you, you know, are otherwise all ALCOHOL products to be sold responsibly to adults.

“The move comes two days after Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot extracted an agreement from the state’s alcohol wholesalers and retailers associations to stop selling the drinks, which are marketed as Four Loko and other brands.”

so not only is this a questionable stance… and not only is it probably not the highest priority thing on the table in Maryland right now (i’d think maybe the attorney general could focus on something like the legal cases arising over videotaping police officers while they’re on the job)… but it’s also completely unnecessary, since the comptroller already worked out an agreement to stop their sale. does Gansler just not want to be see as less powerful than Franchot?

“Gansler says those actions still leave cases of the drinks on Maryland shelves, and he is concerned after reading news reports of young people hoarding the product with plans to binge drink.”

oh… okay. well, it turns out my four-packs of Sparks might just be worth their weight in gold!

“The drink makers have a week and a half left to respond to the FDA, after which the federal agency can seize the products.”

you know, aside from Gansler’s political calculation, i think i see what’s REALLY going on here: a scheme by a bunch of dudes at the FDA to get themselves totally hammered once the search and seizure goes down. maybe i underestimated that agency…

but let’s not be so ridiculously negative. there’s more to life than that!

Bristol Palin ... dancing, i guess
i’m not saying he should have shot his television… but i understand

Bristol Palin’s dancing on TV set off man in standoff

lately we’re specializing in the kind of articles that allow us to just post the title and say “our work here is done. make your own jokes.” but, as always, this is fundamentally lazy (something we really DO specialize in around here), and so let’s make with the comedy stylings.

“Allegedly set off by Bristol Palin’s appearance on “Dancing with the Stars,” a rural Black Earth man kept police at bay outside his home for 15 hours Monday and Tuesday before he surrendered to police. Steven N. Cowan, 66, railed at the television as the daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared on the ABC program-“

see, i’m really torn about my reaction to the basics of this case. on the one hand, there’s really no reason to get SO MAD about anything that it results in keeping the police at bay outside your home. at best, a standoff situation always ends in suicide or arrest, even if you’re completely innocent, and these guys never are COMPLETELY innocent. on the other hand, i really DO want to be the kind of old man that can be said to have “railed at the television.” hell, there’s a solid chance i do that right now.

“Cowan had also been under stress because of a financial situation and was receiving care for a mental health problem, the complaint states. Cowan’s wife … told police that her husband had been drinking, but she did not think he was intoxicated.”

and while i understand the help you can theoretically get from a drink when stressed, i have to ask why his wife was allowing him to drink when he was receiving care for a mental health problem. that seems tailor-made to lead events down the road towards “…and then he kept police at bay outside his home for 15 hours.”

According to the complaint, Cowan and his wife were watching “Dancing with the Stars” when Cowan jumped up and swore as Bristol Palin appeared, saying something about “the (expletive) politics.”

you know, i hate when they blank out a generic expletive like in this situation, because now i am going to go nuts trying to deduce exactly what expletive it was. the damn politics? the FUCKING politics? the motherfucking cocksucking politics? seriously, it’s such a tease. anyhow, this is probably crazy old man behavior so far: start by muttering angrily about the situation… and then slowly, delicately escalate things:

“Cowan was upset that a political figure’s daughter was on the show when he didn’t think she was a good dancer, the complaint states.”

i LOVE that this complaint charging Cowan gets so into the motivation for these actions. i can picture this Vermont police officer sitting there, gently grilling Cowan’s wife.
“so what did he say before he caused the standoff?”
“well, we were watching Dancing With The Stars, and he started yelling some nonsense.”
“…what EXACTLY was Mr. Cowan’s problem with the Dancing With The Stars cast, ma’am? please be specific; this is very important.”

“Cowan went upstairs for about 20 minutes and returned, demanding his pistols, which had been taken by his daughter about a month ago for safety reasons. He was carrying a single-shot shotgun, which he loaded and fired into the television.”

okay… so they took his pistols for safety reasons… but they didn’t take his single-shot shotgun?

“Cowan continued to yell, demanding his pistols. He re-loaded the shotgun and pointed it toward his wife. She left the house and drove to Black Earth, where she called 911. She told police she was afraid for her safety.”

you know, while i DO respect the right to bear arms, i’m not sure you have the best case for getting your pistols back when you’re actively using a shotgun to shoot up your own television set. this is, at the least, going to hurt your case.

“On Tuesday night’s results show of “Dancing with the Stars,” Bristol Palin advanced to next week’s finals of the competition.”

and then, awesomely, they throw this in there to either rub salt in this guy’s wounds, or because they simply think the status of Dancing With The Stars is really important news. either way, that’s really well-played Wisconsin State Journal.

and speaking of shooting televisions…

and certainly not of fiscal restraint, because i kind of sort of picked up not one, but two firearms at roughly the same time. although in neither case are they going to be used to shoot any televisions. well, unless i find some used old television i can drag out into the middle of the woods somewhere… anyway, two more recent entries onto the team:

Vz.61 'Skorpion'

it’s not Thanksgiving unless you have a mass quantity of pies and, for good measure, a semi-automatic clone of a Skorpion sub-machine gun. the moral we learned with this gun, though, is a combination of “anything this ridiculous must be purchased by janklow as close to immediately as possible” and “there’s nothing quite so infuriating as when a Maryland-mandated chamber lock gets stuck in your gun, and ultimately results in someone other than myself cracking the safety while trying to get it out.” but it’s all fixed up now, so hooray! also:

MAS Modele 36

this is why i need a chaperon when out buying firearms: in case i fuck around and buy another firearm –in this case, the bolt-actioned, zany-spike-bayoneted wonder of a Frenchman’s MAS Modele 36– at the same time. oh well, these things happen around here.

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