Half Empty: News From the Desk of Captain Obvious

by blue midget

In ye olden days, people used the telegraph or a lone, brave postman to deliver tidings. News was sparse and difficult to come by.

Kevin Costner - The Postman

Today, thanks to Dan Quayle and the invention of the internet, news is abundant, not to mention redundant.

Google News is one of my main sources of news. It’s handy because it picks the day’s top headlines in a few different categories and sort of “collects” all of the articles pertaining to that particular headline for you to choose from – and for many headlines, there are anywhere between hundreds to thousands to read all about the same topic.

I have no idea how the hot topics of the day are chosen – for example, today under the Entertainment section, one of the hot news flashes happens to be that the dog from Frasier died. Sad as that may be, is that really pressing news that Americans absolutely need to know? Then again, it’s the Entertainment category and I can’t think of anything more pressing on the celebrity circuit unless my wish came true and Lindsay Lohan was hit by a bus of people wearing “Fire Crotch” t-shirts. But enough about celebrities and their ridiculous lives; I’m not some pathetic moron who spends their time talking about them. I have important news to relay to you, like how horrible Paris Hilton’s new video is.

I have a lot of news articles saved up from over the last week, but my absolute favorite one arrived the other day: Authorities at the Palm Beach International Airport detained Rush Limbaugh for more than 3 hours, after finding Viagra in his possession. The Viagra did not have Limbaugh’s name on it – the doctor wrote a prescription with the doctor’s name on it, so no one would know it really was for Rush Limbaugh.

Trip to the doctor to ask him to keep your Viagra order a secret: $10 copay

Bottle of Viagra: $350

Reading all about your Viagra on the internet: Priceless

Speaking of the press and their big mouths, there’s a big bruhaha going on between the NY Times and Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. What happened was, the NY Times did a Geraldo, running a report on how the U.S. Government has been catching a lot of terrorists through a “secret financial monitoring program”. Now that the NY Times has spilled the beans, it will be impossible to catch terrorists this way again because, and apparently the publication didn’t think of this before, terrorists can read. The outrage stirs up the old debate of whether the press is more concerned about getting a scoop than they are with national security.

However the war in Iraq isn’t totally lost. One of Saddam Hussein’s attorneys was recently killed by masked gunmen, and in protest, Saddam proclaimed a hunger strike, refusing to eat his meals. Apparently he wasn’t all that fond of his lawyer because he only missed one meal. Once dinner was served, he ate his meal. Maybe we tricked him into eating by telling him we were serving the blood of his enemies. Yeah, we’re sneaky little infidel bastards. Oh, while we’re on the subject, there’s been some talk about a report that was released regarding WMD’s found in Iraq since we invaded. Apparently we’ve found a lot of really old weapons caches, some people say they are degraded and beyond use, some say they’re still dangerous. In either case, there is no proof that Iraq has created any new WMD’s over the past few years, but the Democrats have lashed out at Republicans saying, “You suck.” Republicans responded, “Bite me.”

There’s actually a lot to cover about Iraq, so I’m just going to make it short and sweet so we can get to the good stuff – like how much Paris Hilton sucks. Ok, so everyone knows that the Democrats all want to start putting together a plan for pulling our troops out of Iraq. The House voted on setting a timetable and it was shot down. Undaunted or insane, and knowing full well it would continue to get shot down, Democrats prepared to bring it up again and call another vote. Meanwhile, Iraq has asked Japanese troops to start departing from southern Iraq, where things have been pretty peaceful. This may or may not be interesting news, because the Japanese claim to be pacifists, so who knows how helpful they may have been. I mean, as pacifists, what in the world could they possibly fight terror with – grenades that explode used panties purchased from vending machines? At any rate, when I read that, I was actually pleased that the Japanese had worked with the Iraqi government on their pull-out date, rather than just up and leaving them high and dry. (Yeah, that was a mean stab at Dems, sorry.) Anyway, shortly after all that happened, the Iraqi government is trying to offer amnesty to insurgents.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday proposed a limited amnesty to help end the Sunni Arab insurgency as part of a national reconciliation plan that Maliki said would be released within days. The plan is likely to include pardons for those who had attacked only U.S. troops, a top adviser said. (Washington Post)

The Denver Post also has a nice, short article on it that is a pretty good read: Caution on Iraq Amnesty Plan. Now Democrats are furious because of all that America has done for Iraq, and all of the soldiers who have died or been wounded in the line of duty will go unpunished.

Ok, so keeping in mind that the House voted against the timetable for bringing troops home:

Senate Democrats reacted angrily yesterday to a report that the U.S. commander in Iraq had privately presented a plan for significant troop reductions in the same week they came under attack by Republicans for trying to set a timetable for withdrawal. (Washington Post)

Bush responded to the plan saying he was working with the top U.S. Commander in Iraq, General George Casey, saying that whatever recommendation came from Gen. Casey, it would be geared toward achieving victory. And cake.

Moving along. Over the years, the workforce has placed importance on different things, whether it be a work from home policy or casual dress. Now, a new trend is emerging in the office space: Pet-friendly work environments.

She can do ‘sit,’ ‘lie down’ and ‘shake hands’.

The next step will be teaching these same manners to co-workers.

One of the Backstreet Boys has quit the band. Americans left wondering, “The Backstreet Boys were still together? WTF?” It’s a world gone mad.

In the f*cking awesome department, stem cell research has cured a rat of paralysis.

In scientific news, a huge asteriod will fly past earth on July 3. The asteroid will be so “uncomfortably close” that onlookers with a good telescope can watch it fly by. For the paranoid, the article includes a link to LiveScience’s “Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth“.

Here’s something amusing for you – CBS apparently doesn’t know the difference between China and Japan.

Andrea Yates, a mother who drowned three of her five children, is appealing her conviction. Why they had to go through a trial to find that she was completely nutso for killing her babies is beyond me. But now she is appealing, attributing this to severe postpardum psychosis.

Those verdicts as well as community outreach and education efforts about mental illness are encouraging to Yates’ attorneys and advocates, who say her severe postpartum psychosis prevented her from knowing her action was wrong. (ABC News)

Tom Cruise unavailable for comment.

Tom Cruise & Matt Lauer

Concerns over Somalia increase. If you have not been following what is happening there, take a gander at the article from Human Events Online, called “Stability Comes to Somalia, but at What Cost for Women?” It’s one page of reading, very informative, and it won’t hurt you. Islamic militias are now ruling in Mogadishu, and the strict laws that are being enforced are causing great concern that they are not on the path to becoming a Taliban-like government.

Some of the new chiefs in Mogadishu are taking quick steps to enforce what they consider Islamic law. In some places, they prevented Somalis from watching the World Cup on the grounds that Islamic law bans Western films and television (and men wearing shorts!) Militia men even entered houses and brutally beat anyone watching the games. In addition to arresting men and shaving their heads, the militias have instituted a ban on coed beaches even when women wear full-length dresses on these beaches.

Globeandmail.com reports that the Islamic Courts Union has convicted five rapists to death by stoning. Many fear that this is another sign of a strict, Taliban-like government. Personally, I think it’s great policy. But that’s just me.

Last but not least, Paris Hilton’s new video is out. The video is basically about Paris dancing around, looking like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, singing a really horrible song that sucked so much, Britney Spears probably turned it down and that’s why Paris recorded it. Not being able to get through a great deal of the song, I found the lyrics.

Those other guys all wanna take me for a ride

Okay, am I the only person who just got this image in their head?

Village Bicycle

That’s all for this week. Stay tuned for more news.