Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

11/9/2008

Picture Time

Filed under: General,Pics — Tags: , , — Dangerous Dan @ 1:39 am

You're screwed

President-elect Obama smiles big, 'cause he knows something you don't:  You're screwed.

You're next, buddy!

John McCain made sure to take notes during Bob Dole's 1996 concession speech.  You know… just in case.

Whew!

Jesse Jackson reflects on how he's glad he didn't cut Obama's nuts off.

Red Star and Obama, just right

A red star and Obama… they just seem to go together.

Prop 8 protest Prop 8 Protest

People protesting the passage of Prop 8 in California, which effectively banned gay marriage.

'Cause, ya know, the best way to get folks to support you is to scare the straight people

(On a sidenote, I'd be willing to bet that many mainstream homosexuals get rather annoyed with the weirdos among them who get this sort of attention; they don't exactly help their causes.  This reminds of a story in The Onion.)

4/25/2008

CNN Shirts?

Filed under: General,Media,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 11:03 am

If you're like me and you frequently visit CNN.com, you may have noticed the appearance of a new icon next to some stories. The icon is a t-shirt and if clicked, you will be taken to a new page where you will have the grand opportunity to buy a t-shirt with that new story's headline on it.

Now, why you would want a shirt with a headline on it is beyond me. Unless you want to come up with some kind of dirty double entendre, which I guess you could do with this sinkhole shirt if you really try and gutterize your mind.

The humor value of other headlines, though, may be a little better than others.

7/27/2006

A Bust of Hillary’s Bust

Filed under: Humor & Satire,Pics,Politics — Dangerous Dan @ 11:42 pm

Yikes!

Ha! The same wacky guy who produced this has struck again.

Artist Daniel Edwards has followed his piece "Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston," with a buxom bust of the former first lady titled "The Presidential Bust of Hillary Rodham Clinton," which is slated to show at New York's Museum of Sex on August 9.

Edwards says the bust captures the senator, ""with her head held high, a youthful spirit and a face matured by wisdom. Presented in a low cut gown, her cleavage is on display prominently portraying sexual power which some people still consider too threatening."

Personally, it's her policies I find threatening as well as her persona repellant. As for her sexual power… well, I'll take Bill's actions as an indicator of that.

And is it just me or does the bust look a little like Jimmy Carter with boobs? Seriously… check it out:

Hill Jimmy

(via Moonbattery)

7/24/2006

Video Game Racism

Filed under: General,Humor & Satire,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 11:23 pm

As long as I'm talking about video games…

A University of British Columbia researcher has filed a report that claims there's systemic racism in video games in that minorities are negatively portrayed. He says such portrayals are widespread and blatant. To come to this conclusion, he studied four games. Out of the roughly 22 trillion titles that exist. His previous study found that the vast majority of trees produce acorns.

Other than race, there are number of other oppressed sprites in games. Here's a sampling:

Medusa
Gorgons

Goomba
Goombas

King Hippo
Obese boxers

dead Nazi
Nazis (ok, they earned it)

Zombies
Zombies

Nazi Zombie
Nazi Zombies

Elite
Aliens

Elite Zombie
Alien Zombies

Nazi Alien Zombies: Don't exist yet, but when they do, it will be the perfect video game.

(via Joystiq)

Monopoly Goes Plastic

Filed under: General,Pics,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 10:10 pm

It's the end of an era. Parker Brothers is going to start phasing out the funny money in the Monopoly board game and is replacing it with Visa-brand toy credit cards and a reader.

reader

Game makers Parker have phased out the standard multi-coloured cash in a new version.

Players will instead use a Visa mock debit card to keep track of how much they win or lose.

It is inserted into an electronic machine where the banker taps in cardholders' earnings and payments.

This is bad for several reasons.

First, kids have a difficult enough time figuring out how to make change. Now one of the few fun tools that can teach this vital skill is being eliminated. In place of a brain, they can now depend on a machine to do the figuring for them. Sure, this is how things will work when they're running the register at Taco Bell, but still.

Second, where's the rule bending? One of the fun things with Monopoly is doing quasi-ethical side deals with other players in order to build up your own position or perhaps to form an impromptu merger to crush another player. Or for the creative, taking bribes in the form of outside the game favors. How's that supposed to work now?

Third, and connected to the last point, is that this hurts the time-honored practice of outright cheating at Monopoly. You know… the banker takes out a "loan" when nobody is looking, somebody comes back from a bathroom break to find a couple of pink bills missing. Or maybe, you simply miscount a payout. Ah, good times.

Fourth, anybody who has crushed his competition in Monopoly knows the villainous gloating that comes over you as you sit there with your piles of cash and deeds while looking over at your competitor who only has Baltic and a get out of jail free card. Bwaha… bwahahaha! How can you get that nice evil feeling with a loaded credit card? Nope… you need the stacks of money to visibly demonstrate your superiority to the other players. You also can't get that feeling of horror as you see your monetary mounds disappear after a couple of bad rolls if you're using a card.

Fifth, you've got to be able to postpone a game. I, for example, played a game of Monopoly nearly eight years ago. Pete the Elder and I were the only members of our corporation. We didn't fare too well and, when we were down to one dollar, decided it was getting late and postponed finishing the game. I still have that dollar. It's in my wallet. The game is still on and we haven't lost yet. It may be time for a comeback. Again, a card can't do that.

So let's sum up… with the credit card system, you can't count money yourself, you can't make quasi-ethical deals, you can steal or engage in creative accounting, you can't gloat over your winnings, and you can't back out of deals. You should immediately see the problem here: that's just not real-world capitalism. Don't get me wrong, I love capitalism. The warts, though, add a little dimension to things, don't you think? The beauty of Monopoly is that it’s simplified capitalism, but still leaves the ability to do the system’s more interesting practices. Let’s not take away the warts. Leave the cash.

If you wind up with one of these sad new systems, fret not. For now, anyways, you can print out your own Monopoly from here.

(via Engadet)

7/21/2006

My Main Man, Kant

Filed under: General,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 6:28 pm

Day by Day cartoon

Despite googling and searching, I couldn't find a thing on what this debate is supposed to be about concerning Andrew Sullivan, Kant, and gay marriage. If anybody has a clue, please give it to me. All I know is that I hate to see my boy Kant so… misunderstood… by cartoonist Chris Muir.

6/22/2006

More Commericals

Filed under: General,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 10:00 pm

Bit & bytes & pixels & sprites dug up some more video game commercials, this time from Japan. This one was odd and this one was strangely homoerotic, but I gotta go with the following for my favorite, just because of the nature of the explosion.



6/20/2006

The Hard Life of the Blogger

Filed under: General,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 10:47 pm

Pearls Before Swine has it right:


yep

uh-huh

6/18/2006

Poorly Thought-Out Product

Filed under: General,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 3:37 pm

I suppose they meant it to look cute. Instead, this teddy bear USB thumb drive is somewhat disturbing.


Awww....

Looks cute so far, right?

Yikes!
Oh, the humanity!

not cute
It looks like his head got crushed in the computer.

More pics here.

(via Engadget)

5/3/2006

Drowning Puppies? Try it FREE

Filed under: Media,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 1:56 pm

CNN.com should probably rethink its format for enticing you into using their Pipeline feature.

Here's a cap of the main page with a blowup of the bottom right corner.

homepage

pipeline

3/25/2006

Albright and Evil

Filed under: Pics,Politics,World — Dangerous Dan @ 1:00 am

In an LA Times editorial, Madeleine Albright takes the Bush administration to task for shaping foreign policy around 'good and evil.' Essentially, that it's not nuanced and pragmatic enough, which has been the common complaint from the left.

Her nuanced advice for the middle-east is to enter into constructive dialogue with Iran about its nuclear program and its role in Iraq:

…the Bush administration should disavow any plan for regime change in Iran — not because the regime should not be changed but because U.S. endorsement of that goal only makes it less likely. In today's warped political environment, nothing strengthens a radical government more than Washington's overt antagonism. It also is common sense to presume that Iran will be less willing to cooperate in Iraq and to compromise on nuclear issues if it is being threatened with destruction. As for Iran's choleric and anti-Semitic new president, he will be swallowed up by internal rivals if he is not unwittingly propped up by external foes.

Albright's problem is that she has no concept of evil regimes. You'll excuse me if I don't trust the woman who did this:

Clap, Maddy, Clap!

That's Albright alongside Kim Jong Il, happily clapping away at a massive stadium rally that only a dictator can assemble, and which is a display of pure power. This is the woman whose brilliant statecraft (along with Clinton's) allowed North Korea to extort the U.S. while NK reneged on its side of the deal, didn't do anything constructive with Iran, constantly hedged on Iraq, played footsy with Arafat, and turned a blind eye to terrorist attacks on American interests. The Clinton foreign policy as supported by and implemented through Albright punted on nearly every difficult international problem, which tended to be the ones that might require serious military intervention and could be publicly unpopular. Her negligence became Bush's problem and now her advice to him is to keep punting down the road.

Totalitarian regimes don't need an actual threat from the U.S. to stay in power. A voiced threat by them is all they need. Kim Jong Il announces every other month or so that the U.S. is about to invade North Korea. Castro will occasionally say something like that too.

Furthermore, when dealing with Iran, taking the threat of regime change or military force off the table is to take away our one major bargaining chip. Iran has been in talks with the EU about its nuclear program for years and those talks have gone nowhere. Iran has merely been stringing the international community along while its nuclear development continues apace. Euros and UN types don't care about results, they care about process. As long as the process is ongoing, they can pretend they're achieving something when they're not. Iran knows this well and knows that if it can tie up the EU or anyone else in beloved talks, then it can stall for time long enough to complete its weapons. Considering the history of negotiations with Iran and the EU, Albright is only displaying willful ignorance in saying we should disavow the use of force when dealing with Iran and should only enter into negotiations.

Albright makes it seem as if the mid-east would trend toward moderate democracies if only we were to leave things alone. That might be true if you extend the trend line out a hundred years or so. It certainly isn't the case now and the bare glimmers of democracy that we've seen the mid-east have been the result of U.S. intervention (for good or bad) and the fear in those countries of American force. Albright is right that a foreign policy shouldn't be based purely on notions of good and evil,1 but it also shouldn't be ignorant of them.

Others blogging: California Conservative and Uncorrelated,


  1. Albright's portrayal of Bush foreign policy as being oversimplified is itself oversimplified. [back]

3/24/2006

Vadermus Prime

Filed under: General,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 11:47 pm

I just discovered the collission of two major toy franchises. Hasbro makes Star Wars toys and Transformers toys. Now it also makes Star Wars Transformers. Behold the Darth Vader Transformer that "converts from Advanced TIE Fighter vehicle to Jedi-crushing Sith Lord and back!" Oh yeah.

Sith Lord Vader

TIE Advanced Vader

Packaged Vader

There's actually a series of these. The Darth Vader is probably the best rendered in robot mode. The others look pretty good as vehicles, but are strange as robots. Aside from Vader, there's also:

Anakin/Jedi Fighter
Boba Fett/Slave I ship
Darth Maul/Sith Infiltrator
General Grievous/Wheel Bike (actually, this one looks great, but he was a transforming robot to begin with, so it's kinda cheating)
Luke Skywalker/X-Wing fighter
Obi-Wan/Jedi Fighter (pretty much the same as the Anakin one but in different colors)

X-Entertainment
, where I found out about these, has a nice write-up on them and some bigger pictures.

While looking at the latest Transformer lineup, I discovered that Hasbro is rereleasing some of the old classics, like the original version of Optimus Prime. I also discovered that the line is staying current and has a Transformer version of a Scion XB.

Anyway, the Star Wars transformers are nice, but I'll hold out for a U.S.S. Enterprise that transforms into Captain Kirk. A U.S.S. Defiant that transforms into Captain Sisko would also be pretty sweet.
(/geekiness)

3/23/2006

A Naughty Statue of a Pregnant Britney Spears – the Apocolypse is Nigh

Filed under: General,Pics,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 3:04 pm

Great googly-moogly, the pro-life movement must be getting desperate if it's doing this:

BROOKLYN (March 22, 2006) — A nude Britney Spears on a bearskin rug while giving birth to her firstborn marks a ‘first’ for Pro-Life. Pop-star Britney Spears is the “ideal” model for Pro-Life and the subject of a dedication at Capla Kesting Fine Art in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg gallery district, in what is proclaimed the first Pro-Life monument to birth, in April.

Dedication of the life-sized statue celebrates the recent birth of Spears’ baby boy, Sean, and applauds her decision of placing family before career. “A superstar at Britney’s young age having a child is rare in today’s celebrity culture. This dedication honors Britney for the rarity of her choice and bravery of her decision,” said gallery co-director, Lincoln Capla. The dedication includes materials provided by Manhattan Right To Life Committee.

“Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston,” believed Pro-Life’s first monument to the ‘act of giving birth,’ is purportedly an idealized depiction of Britney in delivery. Natural aspects of Spears’ pregnancy, like lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, compliment a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean’s head.

In the name of all that is good and holy, what are these people thinking? Wait, there's more.

The monument also acknowledges the pop-diva’s pin-up past by showing Spears seductively posed on all fours atop a bearskin rug with back arched, pelvis thrust upward, as she clutches the bear’s ears with ‘water-retentive’ hands.

Oh, my… as if it weren’t gross enough, now it’s also creepy pervy gross.

Ok, steel yourself… pictures are after the break.

(link via Wizbang Pop)

(more…)

2/20/2006

Bad Headline

Filed under: General,Pics — Dangerous Dan @ 10:55 pm

From the juvenile interest file comes a headline from today's USA Today that could have used some more thought:

Bitter Johnson?

2/2/2006

The West Must Take a Stand

Filed under: Media,Pics,Politics,Society,World — Dangerous Dan @ 11:38 pm

There's all sorts of uproar among many Muslims about the cartoons of Mohammed that were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September. It's supposedly against the Koran or a surah or some such to produce visual representations of the prophet. So for the paper to do was, again, supposedly a great affront and insult to Islam. In response, Muslim groups called for various sorts of retribution: apologies from the media and from governments, anti-discriminatory laws, a boycott of Danish goods, demonstrations, riots, and the ever-popular death of the infidels.

Several other European newspapers, in a show of solidarity with Jyllands-Posten and free speech, recently also published all or some of the 12 cartoons on their own pages. This has naturally been followed by an even greater outcry. So far, there have been demonstrations in the Gaza strip that closed the EU office (way to keep that funding you want, Hamas!), the editor of a French paper that published the cartoons got canned, there have been protests in Pakistan, the Turkish Prime Minister said the freedom of the press should have its limits, and a few prominent Muslim leaders residing in Europe have said, respectively, that "the war has begun," that "Friday be an international day of anger for God and his prophet" in which violence is anticipated, and that anybody to do with the cartoons should be killed.

So what's the big deal, you ask? What are these cartoons? Here are they are:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Brutal, right? You should also notice some irony. While the toon with the turban bomb has been getting most of the attention, also observe toons 8 and 11 (the chalkboard one and the one with orange falling on the guy's head). Both of those are criticizing the Danish newspaper for seeking to publish the cartoons. Then you go to toons 3 and 9 (the guy hiding his drawing and the one with Mohammed calling off his guards) and you'll see that they're a commentary on Muslims' potential reaction to the drawings, which was obviously warranted.

Thus far, no MSM outlets in America that I know of have dared publish the images or show them on TV. CNN.com's article, in fact, says that "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons in respect for Islam." The other MSM folks have said pretty much the same thing. European papers have shown up for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but not those in America. Even a newspaper in Jordan published a few of the drawings and told Muslims to chill. And as MM points out, their excuse of respect for religion seems weak when none of the MSM outlets have had hesitations about showing pictures of Kanye West dressed up as Jesus, of the virgin Mary accessorized with an elephant turd, or of the world renowned "Christ in Piss" that featured a crucifix in a jar of urine. Were people upset at those things? Sure, but nobody, not even Pat Robertson in one of his loonier moments, called for the death of those who would insult Christianity. And the protests certainly didn't stop the images from being published, nor should they have done so.

So either the MSM are afraid or this is a case of tolerance gone wild. One should wonder why, with all the things that come out of the media that could fairly be called insulting to Christianity, that Christians don't have the same reaction as the Muslim world is having over these exceedingly mundane scribblings. The answer is multipart (and this list is hardly exhaustive). First, Christianity has had a reformation, something Islam is sorely in need of having.

Second, in the West, Christianity and the government are not the same entity. Once upon a time in Europe, displaying a crucifix in urine as an objet d'art would likely earn you an appointment with flaming lumber or with an inconveniently large stone pressing down on your chest. The separation of religion from government, though, meant that the Church, no matter how put out it was by a particular act of heresy, did not itself have the power to punish; that belonged to the secular authority.

Third, and perhaps most important, in the West, we believe in certain secular values that allow for effective pluralism and debate. Among them are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. Freedom from being insulted or from being miffed, however, is not among them. Thus, my right to say a religious belief is wrong or to violate a tenet I believe is false, e.g. that displaying a depiction of Mohammed is heresy, overrides somebody's perfectly non-existent "right" not to have that tenet violated. Similarly, though I think "Christ in Piss" is insulting to Christianity, the media's right to free speech overrides my non-existent “right” not to be insulted and so they can do display it. I may say that they shouldn't do so, but this is not a normative claim and it is merely another example of free speech. I certainly wouldn't threaten coercive measures to prevent it.

So this is a case of Middle-East meets West. Islamic values are again coming into conflict with Western values, something that is becoming increasingly common in Europe. The question is how will the West respond? Will it stick to its core values, or will it allow itself to be dictated to by a select group? One core value of the West is tolerance. This, however, merely means putting up with people with whom you disagree. Tolerance does not mean that I shouldn't post representations of Mohammed against Islamic strictures. Tolerance also means that the Muslims, in the West at least, should put up with people not of their faith who do not follow the strictures of their faith and so they should not advocate death for those who violate those strictures.

Two cultures enter and two may leave, but one will have to come out a little different. Either Muslims must conform to Western values of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and of tolerance, and they must give up their militancy at perceived slights, or the West must conform to the religious tenets of Islam and through self-censorship not do anything that could possibly insult Muslims.

The latter would be truly unfortunate. I have said before that nobody can ever defeat the West, the West can only defeat itself. We must remain convicted of the importance of our core values and not shy from controversy. If a subculture in the West advocates anti-Western ideals and that the West also take on those anti-Western ideals, then we must confront it. If one side must conform to the others' core values, then the subculture must conform to the West. If it's the other way around, then the West is lost.

Others blogging: Riding Sun here and here, Belmont Club, Dread Pundit Bluto, Flopping Aces, CQ, most especially RWNH which is on the page as me.

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