“but the wonderful pig surprised us again”

let’s start this off with a pointless, unrelated-to-this update tale: apparently, our hero (that would be me) has another spider living in his computer/keyboard/that whole general area. the old one (named Anderson) used to rush out of my keyboard and attempt unsuccessfully to web my arm to my chair. this one has been chilling out on my monitor’s screen for hours. i shall also call him Anderson because, to be honest, it’s fine to name random spiders, but you can’t spend THAT much time on it.

also, here comes an update unrelated to that story!

Michelle Bachmann
…and then you put on the sunglasses, and then Bachmann is revealed to be an alien and the money says “this is your god” on it. and then we get with Keith David and we throw off their alien shackles! i mean… i think that’s what happens here

Bachmann claims HPV vaccine might cause ‘mental retardation’

so let me be honest: i have considered the idea of renaming this website/blog/whatever the fuck is going on here “Rippin’ On Bachmann” (mainly because i can’t think of a more clever title) and then just mocking this woman week after week after week until i just wish Flanders was dead. granted, i didn’t rip on her last week so much as i found the BEST photo of her and used it for a unrelated story, but still, that has to count halfway. this week, however, i am going to flip out about Bachmann for real.

“After piling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry in last night’s presidential debate, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is continuing to attack the 2012 frontrunner for mandating that young girls get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.”

let me just say that i cannot manage to get excited about this controversy. i have no doubt that Bachmann would exceed any executive powers SHE was given; i find it laughable for politicians to accuse other politicians of crony capitalism; i can see both sides of the vaccine question. whatever. we’re not really concerned with all that serious business here; this is ostensibly a COMEDY website or something along those lines.

“Social conservatives argue that the vaccine, which protects against a sexually-transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer, encourages promiscuity.”

…although i will note that this is clearly true as women who are alive are CLEARLY more likely to have sex than dead woman. THOSE WHORES

“Post-debate, the Minnesota congresswoman sent out a fundraising appeal on the issue with the title “I’m Offended.” In interviews after the debate, she suggested that the vaccine could do permanent damage.”

well, you know what i am offended by? that you’d immediately send out a fundraising appeal named after a two-word phrase you threw out there in the middle of this debate. actually, i’m offended by having to listen to all this presidential debate noise more than a year BEFORE the election, not that this ensures that we’re basically spending two years of a four-year term running for the next term. and i’m offended that this immediate fundraising is predicated on this “vaccine could do permanent damage” nonsense, as this is based on… what exactly? wait, we’ll be coming back to this.

okay… taking a deep breath here…

“There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine,” Bachmann said on Fox News. “She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result. There are very dangerous consequences.”

so first off, this is what, one random person? who’s giving you a completely unsupported, unverifiable anecdote? that doesn’t even jibe with the fictional claims about these vaccines as presented to date? and you’re going to be so “offended” that you’re going to repeat this singular, completely vague anecdote and/or its conclusion in a presidential debate? and all over the fucking news? are you kidding me?

“Bachmann repeated the allegation on the “Today Show” this morning, adding, “It’s very clear that crony capitalism could have likely been the cause, because the governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company.”

so, for one thing, i am IMMEDIATELY burned out on (or maybe “offended” by) this goddamn “crony capitalism” catchphrase that i have heard Bachmann and Palin running with. it sounds stupid and it applies to every last one of you. EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU. look, Bachmann has touted her amazing fundraising prowess (and it is legitimately impressive), but i don’t recall her demonstrating that it’s free of what she accuses others of.

in fact, i am pretty sure that Bachmann and Palin and all the rest of the people talking “crony capitalism” have accepted big dollars from big business (or even small-to-moderate business) that they’ve then promoted or defended in some way. call me crazy. or maybe this is just all my vaccines talking?

“And she’s getting support from a sometime-rival, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.”

OF COURSE SHE IS. after all, someone’s pointing a news camera at Bachmann, right?

“”You have to go up against the big guns,” Palin said on FOX News last night.”

there’s something about this sentence, and i’m not sure what it is, that makes me doubt her sentiment there…

“But some conservatives are pushing back on Bachmann’s ‘mental retardation’ claim, saying the candidate went too far. The most charitable analysis that can be offered in this case for Bachmann is that she got duped into repeating a vaccine-scare urban legend on national television.” wrote Ed Morrissey on Hot Air today. “Bachmann might have blown it, she might have jumped the shark,” Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show. “There’s no evidence that the vaccine causes mental retardation.””

anyway, i think it’s pretty fair to say that when Rush Limbaugh is accusing you of going too far, you might just have gone too far, Bachmann. because as that hero of women’s cervices (cervices? that’s the spelling?) everywhere himself, Rick Perry, has noted: “You heard the same arguments about giving our children protections from some of the childhood diseases, and they were, autism was part of that … Now we’ve subsequently found out that was generated and not true.” i couldn’t put it better myself if i shot a coyote in self-defense immediately after saying it.

“A 1998 study linking autism to vaccines was exposed earlier this year as a complete fraud. However, anti-vaccine activists continue to believe there is a connection.”

this sentence just makes me laugh until i feel sad. it’s proven as a “complete fraud” … and yet these activists continue to think otherwise.

but honestly, beyond all that, the REAL joke is how this argument was presented: as if one possibly-fictional woman’s possibly-fictional anecdote that cannot be verified in ANY WAY was proper support for such a bold claim. and then we go further, with Bachmann defending her remarks in the following manner:

“”I didn’t make any statements that would indicate that I’m a doctor, I’m a scientist or that I’m making any conclusions about the drug one way or another.””

alright, one, no one is mistaking you for a doctor or scientist; we’d just mistaking you for someone who understands that when you make a claim, the presumption is that you either a) directly know what the fuck you’re talking about or b) you can support what the fuck you’re talking about in SOME manner. look, i wasn’t in the Vietnam War, but i can talk about it because i can rely on something for support. i will cite the ever-loving fuck out of Bernard Fall until everyone’s just demanding that i please, please stop quoting long-dead Frenchmen and get back to the topic. so lacking the status of a medical doctor or scientist, the presumption is that you wouldn’t open your mouth regarding a topic unless you were SUPPORTED by one of those kinds of dudes.

and two… you absolutely made a statement that would indicate that you’re making a conclusion about the drug one way or another: you questioned the vaccine with a story wherein it was claimed that the vaccine would make children retarded. the conclusion is “the state should not be making this vaccine mandatory because of perceived health risks.” is it so far beyond your intellectual capacity to understand this is making a conclusion?

well… i’m talking about someone who thinks a blank check can be for a specific amount of money. so who knows.

Russian air crash
house of hate: now bringing you comedy you feel really bad about laughing at

navigator in Russia crash was ‘lightly drunk’

it’s not that i WANT to play into some tragic stereotype about Russians, it’s just… well, they’re making it impossible for me to do so in this case. can we find some comedy in this tragic story?

“The navigator of a Russian plane that crashed in June, killing 47 people, was legally drunk, an official report has said. Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee said the navigator “was in a light state of alcoholic intoxication” as the crew attempted to land the plane, in a report posted on its website on Monday.”

i think most of us would probably agree that when it comes to flying a plane, there is no such thing as a “light state of alcoholic intoxication”: either you’re intoxicated and you shouldn’t be flying the plane, or you’re totally fine. although i DO think the way “alcoholic intoxication” makes it seem like a Russian official is ready to admit that “yes, sometimes our pilots and crew are intoxicated due to heroin use, but those individuals have never had a problem flying their planes.”

“The report said the experienced navigator, 50, was “excessively active”, with data recorders showing he had told the chief pilot several times to speed up the landing.”

so, okay, “excessively active” is the best way to phrase “drunkenly demanding random shit as the plane crashes.” however, i have to ask this of the SOBER pilot: were you listening to the half-drunk navigator as he told you to SPEED UP the landing through a substantial amount of fog? because if so… i kind of think we can’t totally blame this on the drunk Russian in the cockpit.

“At one point, he told the pilot: “Sasha, turn quicker, come on!” the report said.”

so you can see how i expect this man to be ignored. well, i don’t know anything about landing planes, so it’s actually possible that was all sound advice. who knows!

“The navigator’s body was found to have 0.81 grams of alcohol per litre of blood, which would have caused a “light” level of drunkenness, likely to make a person less self-critical, the report said. His blood alcohol content was just over the legal limit for driving in Britain and many US states, although Russia has a zero tolerance policy for drivers.”

back to this “light” level of drunkenness thing. so if i understand it correctly, 0.81 grams of alcohol per litre of blood is “light” drunkenness when you’re flying a plane in Russia, but over the legal limit (aka “totally drunk”) if you’re operating a motor vehicle in Russia? i am detecting a SLIGHT contradiction here… also, i assume that a “zero tolerance policy” for drunk drivers in Russia means if they catch you driving drunk, you get shot.

“The navigator had 25 years’ experience and had logged more than 13,000 hours on Tu-134 flights, said the committee. It added the navigator’s behaviour was a contributing factor in the crash, but found that the main cause was the incorrect decision not to abort the landing as the plane descended into thick fog with no sight of the runway.”

which means that the sad fact is that having a drunken crew member on the loose, shouting ill-advised plans and calling grown men “Sasha” is at best a CONTRIBUTING factor here. which in turn means that a sober man made poorer decisions than a lightly-intoxicating one.

“It blamed a “lack of discipline and excessive self-assurance of the crew members”.”

INDEED

“The question remained why the navigator had been permitted to fly. A pre-flight medical examination of the crew appeared to have been done “as a formality”, the report, with all of the crew recorded as having exactly the same pulse rate.”

at this point, i must ask some Russian doctor to explain to me what the hell taking everyone’s pulse rate is supposed to accomplish. i mean, okay, perhaps the medical exam was more complicated and involves the phrase “entire crew appeared to be sober,” but i’m picturing some bloodied, crying doctor tied to a chair in front of Putin, sobbing “but they all had the same pulse rate! they all had the same pulse rate! how was i to know?” …and then Putin tears out his heart and eats it.

“Forty-four people died on the scene of the crash and three died later in hospital. Among the dead were a citizen of the Netherlands, a Swede and two Ukrainians. Five people, including a stewardess, survived the crash with serious injuries.”

…and THEN i remember why it’s probably not cool to be making fun of this story. damn.

STRONG-WILLED PIG
…and that is the story of how a random pig replaced former Chinese national hero Yao Ming in the hearts and minds of Chinese citizens everywhere

finally, something completely ridiculous to lighten the mood!

“A heroic pig who survived more than a month buried under rubble after the 2008 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province has been successfully cloned, according to a report Sunday.”

now, with all due respect to China, here in America we demand that our animals save someone (or at least get a murderer arrested from beyond the grave) before we start calling them “heroic.” survived more than a month buried under rubble? it’s pretty impressive… but if you want to be a hero, you’ve got to save a baby while you’re at it. or maybe TWO babies.

“Scientists in the southern city of Shenzhen performed the experiment on Zhu Jianqiang, or “Strong-Willed Pig”, and produced six offspring with DNA identical to their dad, who was hailed as a national hero following his harrowing ordeal, the Sunday Morning Post reported.”

so i grant you that this pig has a completely awesome name, and i wish i knew Chinese so that i could warp it into a term of reference for myself that meant “Strong-Willed Janklow,” since my concern is i would mess up and legions of Chinese internet users would know me as “Pig Janklow.” but all that aside, a NATIONAL hero? not just regional news? but NATIONAL? China, you are officially ridiculous to me this week.

“The births over the past few weeks of six piglets happened even though Zhu had been castrated before the quake, suffered severe trauma from being buried for 36 days, and is five years old – or about 60 in human terms.”

i like how they just throw “castrated in there.” “yeah, this pig was traumatized and injured and is already very old… and also, uh, was once castrated.” note to Chinese scientists: castration is the part of that pig description that makes his ability to produce offspring the most impressive. any random pig can get dug out from under some debris and immediately go back to trying to knock up female pigs!

“”But the wonderful pig surprised us again,” Du Yutao, the leader of the cloning project, told the Post.”

…and that’s how i learned my new favorite saying for the week.

“The 330-pound (150 kilogram) hog reportedly survived in the ruins of its sty by chewing charcoal and drinking rainwater.”

see, if you ask me “consuming a large amount of charcoal to live” is a MUCH more heroic feat than “being trapped under heavy stuff.” as a guy who weighs 13 pounds, i know how easy it is to get trapped under heavy stuff. it’s not really THAT impressive. eating charcoal, on the other hand…

“His offspring reportedly bear a striking resemblance to their dad, including a birthmark between their eyes, the Post reported.”

well… they were cloned, right? isn’t this how clones work? anyone?

also, i love how this article has a link to another article entitled “Earthquake spares pig,” as if the earthquake was some kind of Greek deity or Old Testament god that killed the hell out of a lot of Chinese people and then said to itself, “however, this pig is a noble hero whom all mankind must respect” and then spared the pig.

okay, that does it for this week. i’m going to go play with my spider now.

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