After the massive earthquake near Japan earlier this month, everyone on the West Coast was naturally worried about what could happen if it was us and not the Japanese who had to experience a truly tragic natural disaster.

Former scientist. Now just science-ish.

So what better to do with that fear than exploit it?

Fox News had this guy, Jim Berkland, on television to discuss his prediction for the massive earthquake about to destroy California at some point between March 19th-26th.  After all, Jim Berkland had “correctly” “predicted” the famed “World Series quake” of 1989.  That’s right.  He predicted the last major earthquake that happened in the United States in northern California during a World Series.

And has been predicting at a 0% accuracy rate ever since.  This is worse than a broken clock being right twice a day.  This is the equivalent of when your girlfriend picks the Super Bowl winner by thinking Tom Brady is cute or by liking the team with the red uniforms. Continue reading

Do Not Care

Coming up next on "Are You a Sucker? Radio"...

Do not care.

I’m not saying I don’t care.

I’m saying you shouldn’t.

There’s no reason to.

Yeah, yeah.  I’ve heard the whine.  It’s, like, soooo inspirational that this homeless guy has a chance to turn his life around.  And fine, I’m happy for him that he has that chance.  But I don’t care and you shouldn’t care.

Last week, Ted Williams – not the one with actual accomplishments – became an internet sensation.  That’s the modern day version of blowing a film producer.

Oh, I’m not doing anything?  Well, I’m going to snap my fingers and be famous!

When this whole thing hit the news it was all under the title of “Golden Voiced Homeless Man Offered Job”.  I swear I thought it was a less unattractive version of Susan Boyle and that the guy was going to sing some Motown classics and then make a guest appearance on American Idol.

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Eeek! Sharia!!

Miss Tulsa, Miss Oklahoma City, Miss Norman (from left to right)

A federal judge has, at least temporarily, blocked a voter-approved initiative in Oklahoma to ban any consideration of Sharia law in Oklahoma courtrooms.

“State Question 755”, which garnered 70% approval from Oklahoma voters amends Oklahoma’s constitution to bar courts from considering “the legal precepts of other nations or cultures”.  Specifically, it “forbids courts from considering or using Sharia law.”

Good for Oklahoma.  I mean, Sharia law is very scary.  And the impact it’s having on the day-to-day lives of Americans is really astounding.  I mean, just today I had to stone a woman I saw at the Beverly Center.  And I wasn’t the only one!  Good thing that America accepts Sharia law or I’d be in jail right now!

Oh, no…wait.  That would never happen.

So far, zero cases in Oklahoma have been decided with consideration given to Sharia law.  If the block to the amendment is removed, we’ll have to overturn all zero of them.   Imagine the red tape and bureaucracy!  And you know who pays for that!

Pssh…the taxpayers of course!  Let’s have a tea party!

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I did it all wrong.

Yesterday, a man that news outlets are referring to as an “environmental militant” took hostages at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel.  James J. Lee said he was armed and wearing explosive devices, and it resulted in an hours-long standoff that eventually led to the shooting and killing of Lee.

Before he was killed, his manifesto and website (savetheplanetprotest.com) were released, detailing his demands…which are, well, hysterical.

Lee’s overarching position is that the human race needs to stop reproducing, or at least slow down the rate of reproduction dramatically.  Slowing population growth is actually a fairly important issue since the resources available can’t sustain the population expansion indefinitely.  But there are actually good ways to work toward that goal, and none of them involve taking hostages at the Discovery Channel.

Lee writes, “Saving the environment and the remaning [sic] species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels. . . The humans? The planet does not need humans.”

This is truly an excellent list of the animals, and it’s especially joyful that he has given them the proper respect by capitalizing their names.  He has literally nailed every species known by kindergartners.  And, of course, the squirrels.  Oh, the squirrels.  Where would we be without those little nut eating rodents, scurrying about both the city and the countryside?  Oh, the squirrels.  Your grey brown coat looks so beautiful, yet slightly dirty.  Oh, squirrels.  There’s a chance that at least one of you is a homeless man’s best friend.

And the froggies (that’s the technical term).  The Discovery Channel probably just calls them “frogs”.  Assholes.  That doesn’t do them justice.  Calling them “Froggies” helps to relay how sweet and cute and cuddly they are.

I do find it odd though that he doesn’t care about saving the rabbits…er, bunnies.  I mean, they are only encouraging overpopulation.  Everyone knows that no one loves to fuck more than rabbits, and they never use protection.  Fucking fucking rabbits.  Get it?

Some of his demands included finding solutions for pollution, international trade, unemployment, the housing crisis, arms proliferation, war-mongering, and immigration (because while he hates all human reproduction, he especially hates it in 3rd world countries).

Seems reasonable.  We’d all love solutions to those problems.  But this is when you know a dude is fucking nuts.  “Solve the Israel-Palestine issue or I’m going to blow up a grocery store!”  Yeah?  See ya.  It’s a little more complicated than that.

But wait, there’s more.  The other demands had to do with Discovery Channel’s programming.  He demanded that the Discovery Channel and TLC cease all broadcasts of shows promoting human birth or war.  In their place, he demanded that all prime time slots on the Discovery Channel would be filled with programs about solving the world’s environmental crisis, based on Daniel Quinn’s “My Ishmael”…pages 207-212.  I, personally, have been waiting for a movie to come along that is a combination of page 154 and “Me, Myself, and Irene”.  That would be box office gold!

The other show he wants to see before everyone can go back to their normal lives is a show “on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution.”

What comes next is amazing…

…wait for it…

“A game show format contest would be in order.”

I can see the network execs bubbling over with excitement and anticipation.  Maybe we can call it, “The Amazing End to the Human Race”.  Lee should have just set up a meeting and pitched his show.  I mean, it’s such a good idea.

Come to think of it, isn’t this basically the plot of that dumb Adam Sandler movie, “Airheads”?  Mr. Lee, stop copying mid-90’s comedies.

Oh, and just to drive home his point, Lee demanded “MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!”

As if all of this wasn’t flat out bat-shit insane enough, this guy just doesn’t know how to do the whole hostage thing.

You’re supposed to demand a million dollars in non-sequential bills and a helicopter that will take you safely to Rio where you disappear completely and live out your days under the radar, hopefully shacked up with Salma Hayek’s cousin on a beach somewhere.  You don’t demand things that take months, years, or an eternity to accomplish.

How long does Mr. Lee think it takes to produce a television program that will encourage the end of human population growth that is both educational and interesting?  You can’t just hold the hostages until the show airs, dumbass.  You need to make your demands more immediate.

Either that, or you need to be a lot more powerful, be holed up in a secret lair, and give a deadline for your demands, which if not met will result in great catastrophe…like get a “laser” and pretend you’re Dr. Evil and let the Discovery Channel know that if they don’t put your program on the air, you’ll engulf their headquarters in liquid hot magma.

But my advice is falling on deaf ears, I mean, dead ears.  Way to go, Mr. Lee.  You are officially the worst hostage taker ever.

And to top it off, if you really want to help society, why didn’t you go after MTV first and get them to take off Jersey Shore?  Or Fox – they could get rid of American Idol and Glenn Beck.

Jesus, Mr. Lee.  I was with you on the froggies and the pollution and over-population stuff…but you lost me because you’re…you know…fucking insane.

Follow the Leader

Over the weekend, MSNBC president, Phil Griffin, said in an interview that he hoped his network would emulate the Fox News Channel, not only in its ratings successes but in its approach to the “news”.

This is terrible, not only because it means MSNBC will follow the path of least relevance, but because it continues a long and disheartening trend of the news becoming info-tainment, and not really news at all.

I think (hope?) that Griffin is mistaken and that he’s severely miscalculating his audience’s reaction to this trend.

I may only be speaking for myself here, and not the left-leaning population in general, but my problem with Fox News isn’t that I’d be hearing conservative viewpoints when I watch it.  The problem I have with Fox News is that it isn’t fact-based.  It’s screaming, ranting piles of psychotic bullshit from Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck with guest appearances like Sarah Palin.  They have one purpose and that’s to advance an agenda.  It is not to inform, because information is quite literally in opposition to their agenda.

They’re no different than McDonald’s food.  They’ll pump it full of whatever their audience wants.  Oh, it’s not real meat?  Well, they’re eating it so it must be!  Obama’s an American citizen?  Our audience doesn’t want him to be.  Let’s figure out how we can make them think he’s from Kenya.  We won’t say, “Obama is from Kenya”.  We’ll say, “Is Obama from Kenya?  People are asking this question and we’ll have two idiots come scream about it!”

That said, I don’t appreciate being lied to or manipulated from either viewpoint.  Just because Keith Olbermann is on my side of the health care debate doesn’t mean I need the truth stretched to it’s outer limits.  His ratings have dropped dramatically, and I would theorize that it’s for this exact reason.  While he’s not insane like Glenn Beck, he has gotten to the point where most of his act is completely over the top.  And I guess we now know the reason.  It’s what the network wants!  I used to be an avid viewer, now I can barely stand watching anything on that network other than Chris Matthews.

If I turn on the news, I want to get a whole bunch of information quickly.  I don’t want to come out dumber in an hour than I am now.  Listening to people spew slanted rants from either side of the spectrum isn’t helping anyone.  The whole Tea Party movement was basically started by Fox News.  Now it’s a political party that actually influences the way the media has to cover politics.  That’s a sham and a shame.

And they don’t care who they’re appealing to.  They’ve gotten to the point where they’ve abdicated all of their responsibility as the nation’s 4th Branch of Government and are more or less just used car salesman who will tell you whatever you want to hear as long as you keep buying their products.  They’re just as happy to sell their product to an anti-government, racist militia member or an Evangelical “God hates fags” Christian as they are to inform a Wall Street Conservative who just really doesn’t want his investments taxed.

In both parties there are people to the extremes.  It’s not the media’s job to cater to those people.  It’s the media’s job to inform society.  If they were doing their job, there would be less of those extremists to cater to.  MSNBC, by deciding to go the way of Fox News, is choosing to further alienate the huge segment of their audience that cares more about facts than having the crust cut off their bread, so to speak.  Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz aren’t that much better than Beck, O’Reilly, and Hannity.  They’ve been able to stop short of flat out lying about things – that helps.  Their audience also isn’t likely to go bomb a federal building.  But aside from that, they’re not doing much more to advance the cause than Fox is.

So where to turn?  There’s nowhere anymore, really.  CNN is too busy reading people’s tweets and figuring out how to make the news 3-D.