Two U.S. Senators have proposed legislation that would “crack down on copyright theft around the world.” The bill would, among other things, enable the U.S. to take steps against so-called copyright pirates in countries on the “Priority Watch List.”
Seriously. We’re not making this shit up.
Countries believed to be harboring copyright infringers could find themselves on the wrong end of some U.S. presidential wrath. Under the terms of the bill, the Prez would be empowered to open up a big can of whoop-ass on copyright infringement threats overseas, including planting officials at embassies in those countries. Not sure who they will get to serve in those embassy positions, maybe RIAA Guy would be up to the task.
Here’s a better idea. They should task the CIA to pull this one off. Perhaps even a joint venture with British MI6, since the Brits seem to have as much angst over illicit copying as the Americans.
Looks to us like a job for a secret agent man. Send him on missions to rogue nations believed to be harboring Copies of Mass Destruction (CMDs). The secret agent could slip into the country, kill the pirates, destroy the CMDs, and maybe even have time to hook up with a few of the local girls before flying home. Real superhero stuff. We could then roll in the troops to maintain order and occupy the bad-boy nations for a while–maybe 100 years if John McCain has a say in it.
As icing on the cake, give some Hollywood studio the movie rights to the stories. Would make a compelling action/adventure flick of the crusading copyright hero. Call it On Her Studio’s Secret Service. Or Licence to Kill, Not Copy. You get the point. The studios might even make a few mil from it to help restock their litigation coffers. Real win-win kinda deal.
Scientists have announced that the earth’s magnetic field will reverse, making the north pole go south and vice-versa. No idea when this will occur, though some believe the flip-flop could occur as “soon” as 1500 years from now. But who knows, maybe it will happen even sooner.
This polar switcheroo would wreak havoc on all sorts of things. Cartographers will have to redesign their maps. North America will switch monikers with South America, and world maps and globes will be turned upside down. Australia will be in the northern hemisphere. Santa Claus and his elves will be pounding on toys at the South Pole. The Union and Confederacy might have to fight the Civil War all over again with the sides switched. Neil Young will have to re-write his song as “Northern Man.” Imagine troops of Boy Scouts getting lost in the woods and eaten by bears because their compasses led them in the wrong direction. Total chaos.
Better buy up some GPS navigational equipment if you don’t have it already. And if you get lost, don’t call us.
Norm, our editor, spent most of the afternoon locked in his office today talking to Nigel, the AITS attorney. Not sure what that was all about, though we could hear bits and pieces of the conversation coming through the paper-thin walls. Something about “defamation,” “offensive content,” and “lawsuit.” We haven’t a clue.
Meanwhile, the rest of us at AITS headquarters spent this rare patch of free time surfing Google Images. The Internet is a dangerous place when you’re bored.
Gordy, one of our AITS staff writers, just returned from a trip to Europe. (With Gordy flaunting that kind of leisure activity, Norm is going to realize he pays us way too much.)
Anyway, Gordy brought back a rather twisted cartoon from…who knows where in Germany. Probably from some public restroom wall in Dusseldorf. We don’t want to know. But we couldn’t resist scanning it before tacking it up on the newsroom wall.
Norm just made a copy of it and taped it up on the wall in the shitter. That’s where Norm posts all of his company memos. If we didn’t take a dump once in a while we’d never know what’s going on in this place. But we digress…
After thirteen months following the tragic freeway bridge collapse, the brand new I-35W bridge spanning the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis was officially opened to traffic at 5AM this past Thursday.
Local and state dignitaries and curious onlookers showed up en masse to witness the first columns of traffic to cross the new span. Among the lanes filled with semi trucks and commuters in cars, the first Metro Transit vehicle (left) also made its way across that morning, carrying its usual load of passengers.
At around midnight, just hours prior to the grand opening, throngs of local residents and various boozy U of M students emerging from area bars lined up along the nearby 10th Street bridge to watch the Minnesota Department of Transportation conduct its final stress test of the bridge. MNDOT employees drove several large construction vehicles across in a public display of confidence of the bridge’s integrity, in hopes of assuaging any lingering doubts by citizens.
As icing on the cake, the onlookers were also treated to a brief show by local favorites, the MNDOT All-Star Dumptruck Drill Team, as a large gravel truck packed well beyond capacity with MNDOT engineers and staff members played “crack the whip” as it snaked its way across the bridge, trying its best to dodge the few remaining orange pylons on the roadway. As luck would have it, the truck, driven by M.C. and Guest of Honor–former MNDOT chief and Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau–made too sharp of a turn near the north end of the span, spilling the truck’s contents (right). Fortunately, no one was hurt beyond minor scratches and bruises, and a red-faced Molnau emerged from the overturned truck’s cab, dropping a few F-bombs, then grinning and giving a victory salute to the cheering, intoxicated crowds.
Later, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Molnau gave brief speeches to the early morning gathering, with Molnau gushing, “I am soooo happy to see this new bridge up and running! As many of you well know, I own a small parcel of land just downriver that I want to start developing. Progress is pushing ahead today.”
Tens of thousands of vehicles crossed the bridge that day without any further incident.
With the economy in the tank, ad revenues at Alligators In The Sewer are down. (Our sole source of income is through subliminal advertising placed on the site.) Tempers flare and Norm, our editor, goes on a rampage. Not a pretty sight.
A Colorado delegate to the Republican National Convention last week had a rather unfortunate encounter with a young woman he had picked up in a Minneapolis bar. The story goes something like this:
High-falutin’ outtatown guy flashes bling, meets hot, young girl–the kind of girl guys like him don’t get without having lots of the aforementioned bling. Guy invites girl up to his hotel room. Girl makes drinks, slips drug in guy’s drink. Guy wakes up much later, and about 50k poorer; girl long gone.
The guy’s “date” absconded with his expensive jewelry (including a $30,000 watch!), clothing, and a wad of cash. The poor schmuck didn’t even get any action in return for his trouble. A hooker would’ve been much cheaper.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. Yet some guys never learn.
And what better gift to give that special someone than the Hose King Portable Home Flamethrower by Bonco. Their informative 60 second radio spot tells it all. We just placed an order for ours, and all of us here at AITS are just chompin’ at the bit to try it out on some of the combustibles around our neighborhood.
Time’s a-wastin’. Better get a move on before they’re all gone.
With only one day remaining before they fire up that huge super-collider in Switzerland and risk sucking our solar system into a huge black hole, we find ourselves wondering if any of the scientists at CERN have ever watched Ghostbusters? Seems there’s an important safety message in that film:
Dr. Egon Spengler: There’s something very important I forgot to tell you. Dr. Peter Venkman: What? Dr. Egon Spengler: Don’t cross the streams. Dr. Peter Venkman: Why? Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad. Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”? Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr. Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal. Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.
OK, guys, careful where you point that thing. Someone could get hurt here. Might even put out an eye if somebody gets too careless.
News that a scientific experiment will be performed in a huge particle collider in Switzerland this coming Wednesday (September 10) has a few people quite worried. The possibility that this experiment might, as a side-effect, create a series of tiny black holes and implode Earth in the process, has brought fears to some members of the scientific community, not to mention the legions of football fans who plunked down serious coin for season tickets.
It is believed by some physicists that spurious chunks of “dark matter” from the collider could penetrate the earth, and later start pulling the surface inward, causing the planet to simply implode into a big black hole. Like a big honkin’ basketball getting its air sucked out.
Armageddon wasn’t supposed to happen for another 5 billion years or so, when the sun is expected to swell into a red giant and boil off the earth’s oceans and atmosphere, making things here generally miserable. But if the doom-and-gloomers are correct on this collider thing, our demise could be coming much sooner than expected.
This scenario would make pretty much everything in the world rather irrelevant. Guess we won’t be making any travel plans or long-term commitments until this mess is sorted out. Make sure you back up your data and that you have clean underwear on. You just never know.
While the Republican National Convention was winding down, and the candidates, delegates and political hangers-on were heading out to catch their flights home, St. Paul’s finest were keeping themselves busy arresting what few people were still getting in the way of things. The local sheriff’s department made the last arrest of the event, taking into custody a strangely-dressed person seen loitering outside a nearby fast food restaurant.
Wearing face paint, red wig, yellow and red striped attire, and oversized red shoes, the uncooperative “John Doe #683″ was carried by two officers to an awaiting van and taken to Central Booking downtown.
At the scene of the arrest the two sheriff deputies had ordered the perp to “get face down on the ground, Bozo…right goddamn now!” When he failed to comply the deputies lobbed two flash-bang grenades, shot pepper spray and tasered the brightly-attired suspect. Still resisting his captors, the John Doe was tackled to the ground, handcuffed, and arrested for unlawful assembly and resisting arrest. He then had to be physically carried away by the officers. Luckily, the use of lethal force was not necessary.
“We weren’t sure what we were dealing with there,” said Ramsey County Deputy Sven “Ole” Olegard, one of the arresting officers. “That disguise could have been masking the identity of an anarchist, terrorist, DNC operative, or possibly even a foreign agent. We weren’t taking any chances with this clown.”
At booking, John Doe #683 was fingerprinted and read his rights. But when his prints didn’t turn up a match, his mugshot was sent to Homeland Security, who ran an image search. Meanwhile, investigators tried in vain to talk to the Doe, hoping to gain some insight as to his identity. No useful information was revealed, as the painted perp merely sat in the interview room in a semi-catatonic state, rocking back and forth, repeatedly muttering “I’m lovin’ it.”
“It was frustrating,” complained one of the investigators. “He just sat there in the room, looking at us with that stupid painted grin on his face and asking us if ‘we serve fries.’ Real looney-toon. Back in the day we would’ve knocked this skell’s teeth right out.”
Six hours later, DHS agents revealed that there were over 6500 persons in the U.S. bearing the exact same likeness as the Doe. This prompted the local District Attorney to drop charges and free John Doe #683, knowing well that a conclusive witness I.D. would be impossible. “I guess…you deserve a break today,” barked the D.A. to the Doe, “so get the hell outta my courthouse! And get a job, ya’ slacker!”
Eleven hours after his arrest, John Doe #683 walked out the door a free man, and was last seen aimlessly wandering the streets of St. Paul.
Now that the campaign for the presidency is in full swing, we thought it appropriate to offer a few snapshots of the man who could be our next president.
Arizona Senator John McCain has made more than his share of goofs, gaffes and blunders over the years, not the least of which being the two or three planes he managed to crash, most notably the one he was flying over Hanoi while strafing peasants from 30,000 feet.
But here we shall limit our discussion to the verbal blunders he has so generously provided us. The Senator’s mercurial temper has given us plenty of yuks here at AITS, and we had to narrow down the field to a few sparkling examples. We have scoured the Intertubes collecting these little chestnuts so you don’t have to. Enjoy.
—Caution: Might be some heady language ahead. You’ve been warned.—
“That’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties.” –discussing when troops would be returning from Iraq, “Today,” NBC, June 11, 2008.
“Well, basically, it’s a Google.” –on how he is conducting his VP search, Richmond, Virginia, June 9, 2008.
“We should be able to deliver bottled hot water to dehydrated babies.” –Kenner, Louisiana, June 3, 2008.
“We have a lot of work to do. It’s a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.” –ABC News interview, July 21,2008. [Note: For the geographically-challenged who don't get this one, check out a current map of the region. -Ed.]
“I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.” –referring to a nation that no longer exists, Phoenix, Arizona, July 14, 2008. [OK, here's a map for this one too. You people are friggin' remedial. -Ed.]
“…President Putin of Germany gave one of the old cold war style speeches…” [Hmm...the former Russian Prez has a new gig? -Ed.]
“I think…I’ll have my staff get to you. It’s condominiums where…I’ll have them get to you.” –after being asked how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own, interview with Politico, Las Cruces, N.M., Aug. 20, 2008.
“Could I just mention to you, Jay, that in a moment of seriousness I spent five and a half years in a prison cell. I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a kitchen table, I didn’t have a table, I didn’t have a chair.” –using his POW experience as an excuse for not remembering how many homes he owns, “Tonight Show” interview with Jay Leno, August 25, 2008. [The guy had five days to ponder since the last time that question was asked. FIVE DAYS to come up with a good comeback, and yet, nothing intelligent. Just another dubious excuse tied to his Vietnam experiences. The guy must have POW Tourette's. -Ed.]
“She’s a partner and a soul-mate.” –on his vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, whom he had met just once before offering her the job, “FOX News Sunday” interview, Aug. 31, 2008.
“The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should. I’ve got Greenspan’s book.” –as quoted in the Boston Globe, Dec. 17, 2007. [That might explain the next quote. -Ed.]
“Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that’s a disgrace. It’s an absolute disgrace and it’s got to be fixed.” –discussing Social Security, Denver, Colorado, July 7, 2008.
“I will conduct a respectful debate. Now, it will be dispirited — it will be spirited — because there are stark differences. I am a proud conservative, liberal Republica– conservative Republican…Hello? Easy there.”
“No one has supported President Bush on Iraq more than I have.”
“The fact is that I have agreed with President Bush far more than I have disagreed. And on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I’ve been totally in agreement and support of President Bush.” –”Meet the Press” interview, June 19, 2005.
“Make it a hundred…That would be fine with me.” –to a questioner who asked if he supported President Bush’s vision for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq for 50 years, Derry, New Hampshire, Jan. 3, 2008.
“Fuck you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room.” –to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), during a testy debate over immigration legislation.
“No, I’m calling you a fucking jerk.” –to fellow Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, when Grassley asked “Are you calling me stupid?”
“Only an asshole would put together a budget like this … I wouldn’t call you an asshole unless you really were an asshole.” –to Budget Committee Chairman and fellow Repulican Senator Pete Domenici, during a Senate budget hearing.
“At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” -to his wife, Cindy, after she playfully twirled his hair and said “You’re getting a little thin up there.” –As reported by Cliff Schecter, in his book, The Real McCain.
“I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.” - in a response to a reporter’s question about McCain’s previous use of the racist ephitet. McCain has refused to stop using the G-word, though he backpeddled a bit, stating that the term applies only to his Vietnamese captors, and not to Asians in general.
“Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father.” –at a 1998 Republican fundraiser. [Now that one's really funny! -Ed.]
1. People will zealously embrace the “free market” system–as long as they are doing well in it. As soon as one is not doing well, that person (or business) will suddenly claim to be victim of “anticompetitive” forces and demand protectionist policies.
Corollary: People think the system works just fine, until it’s their ox being gored.
2. Many individuals will be appalled by news stories of privacy breaches caused by intrusive governments, corporations, and others. Yet many of those same people will not think twice about handing over their personal information to enter into a sweepstakes or to receive a ten percent discount in a store.
Corollary: Self-interest goes out the door when there is a chance of saving/gaining a few bucks.
3. Businesses that have “tip jars” on their counters seem to be the ones with the rudest employees.
Corollary: People will unwittingly defeat the very mechanisms that benefit them.
4. If you don’t get out of his way, that hothead in the rusty, ‘86 Pontiac will run your ass over on the way to his job at the mini-mart.
Corollary: People who are the most hurried tend to be the ones whose time is the least valuable.
5. The day you forget to bring your iPod on the plane is the day you’ll have some fussy, ADD kid sitting directly behind you. There might even be two of them.
Corollary: Failure to pack the proper gear is guaranteed to give rise to a problem easily solved by said gear.
6. If you can’t laugh at yourself, someone else will do it for you.
Corollary: Be of good cheer–don’t take yourself too seriously. After all, we probably won’t take you seriously, either.
7. Undisciplined children are the products of undisciplined parents.
Corollary: There is no ‘brat” gene, only brat enablers.
[We'll add more of these as they come to mind. Stay tuned.]
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