Right out of the oven:

Broke cat owner (a relative term in this economy, I suppose) extracts Mr. Gray from local shelter with baseball bat, bad attitude…FOX News’ Chris Wallace causes ruckus at Nixon/Frost screening…Local teen helps protect family jewels with appropriately timed trip to bowling alley…Judge previously convicted of giving inappropriate attention to Mr. Johnson during proceedings still can’t get shit together…Exuberant karaoke singer learns how not to hot-dog the hard way…Christmas tree condom-giveaway leads to usual holiday conflict between Jesus and reality – in one witness’ words, “They had been placed on the floor with a sign inviting people to ‘help yourself’. A similar message was placed elsewhere in the church by other exhibitors offering sweets.”…And finally, in case you’re at a loss for the perfect Christmas tree ornament, why not try reindeer pooh?

The unintentionally funny Wikipedia entry of the week:

Andre “Bad Moon” Rison: This is pretty standard stuff until about the 2nd paragraph of the “Early Career” section…then it’s as if Larry David takes over.

Pirates! (and the obvious consequences…)

I keep reading these reports of heightened pirate activity off the east coast of Africa. While The Cupcake would never make light of terrorist activity, I have to say…with everything else going on, we’re now on the defensive with, ahem, pirates?! From what I understand, the pirates we’re talking about are just a bit more advanced than, say, Johnny Depp. And they’re much more cunning – just the other day one band successfully seized an entire oil tanker.

Now, forgive me, perhaps I’m not completely up on East African maritime protocol, but my gut reaction to pirate activity to the tune of $110 million in one haul is, well, confused. For example, where are you going to take a super tanker to off-load her merchandise? What could you possibly gain by killing the crew (because, of course, you’d still be left with the same difficult-to-unload merchandise, not to mention the mammoth ship itself)? I always thought that pirates were in it for the quick score. You know, treasure in buried trunks and stuff like that – that they’re in it now for voluminous, hard to move commodities seems counter-productive to me from a business point-of -view. I mean, they tried to hijack an entire cruise ship…I guess, at the end of the day, the brazenness being displayed and the success with which the crimes are being committed speaks to the general insecurity of the world at large.

Mumbai. London. Madrid. 9/11. It would be too presumptuous to suggest that the United States served as a catalyst for all of this ill-will, however; insurgents’ ability to expose security gaps seems to be the biggest threat to both U.S. national security and world security in general. Its not about weapons of mass destruction. Its about being a big enough fly in the ointment to disrupt major military response and protocol. Achieving this (as they largely have) renders the notion of the U.S. as a “lone superpower” misguided and purely inward-looking nationalistic rhetoric. In our violent path to the ultimate end of being the last one standing via multiple tactical missteps such as Chile, El Salvador, Panama, Cambodia, Iran, Cuba et al., we have put into motion exactly the sort of resistance we sought to avoid: an impossible-to-define-or-detect world-wide insurgency. And a very concentrated, well-funded one at that.

Our focus on technology in the absence of any real investment in ground troops, combined with limitless debate on how to defensively spend a weakening dollar (owned largely by foreign interests at this point) has paved the way for only one thing; a long protracted fall. Without a clear target, the fall of our empire is a foregone conclusion. And, with the greed evident throughout the foundations of the American economy, and other American interests world-wide that continue to suffer, everyone would do well to start reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. If the pirates were ever lucky enough to get on Jeopardy, they’d kick a lot of ass.

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(2) Comments

  1. dystemper909 On December 7, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Take a ball of Play-doh and place it in the center of your hand. Wrap your fingers around it and squeeze it as hard as you can. Eventually, the Play-doh looks for the weekest points to escape from, which is the space between your fingers. This is the mental image I have of terrorists. Especially one like these pirates. Squeeze until the chinks are found.

    Looking for chinks in armor is basic military strategy. These pirates have found it. But the ultimate chink is not a strategy per se'. The ultimate strategy is the lack of caring for ones own life when compared to achieving ones goals. This is where "they" have the tactical advantage. We won't let a hostage die, so we will generally give the hostage taker what they want. This shows us to be, ultimatey and in the words of that dead guy Osama Bin Laden, "paper tigers". That's the real goal.

    The United States government, particularly the military-industrial complex wing of it, has managed to create more terrorists in the name of stopping terrorists than there ever were prior to 9/11. Prior to 9/11, terrorists were spawned in the wake of "spreading Democracy". What we need is to stop trying to spread Democracy by force and start doing so by diplomacy and example.

    gabriel On December 7, 2008 at 1:27 PM

    On the upside, for thrifty travelers looking to stretch a weak US dollar and burn some vacation time, Carnival is now offering spectacular deals in the lovely Gulf of Aden.

    * Weekend Packages may or may not last indefinitely. ** Negotiations not included.