The Idiom

Can You Grok It? Free Grokistan!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This Is Your War Policy On Drugs

Via Instapundit here is a blurb quoting (the admittedly execrable) Guardian which highlights the absolute irrationality of favoring the Drug War over the actual war.

British officials are worried about the consequences of US proposals to eradicate Afghanistan's opium poppy harvest, which include spraying the crops from the air, a policy it adopted in Colombia. The fear is that tough anti-narcotic measures now would alienate poor farmers who have no alternative livelihood and drive more Afghans into the hands of the Taliban.

Which reminds Kid Various of an email he got from friend and swashbuckler Mr. Democracy last year who wrote:
I got an offer from a friend of mine to come out to Afghanistan and do a media strategy for his program which tries to get Afghan farmers to substitute other crops for poppies. I told him his bosses wouldn't like my my PSA's.

"Want to get Afghan farmers to grown cotton? LEGALIZE HEROIN!"

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Larry Miller (the doorman from that Seinfeld episode "The Doorman") has an excellent piece in the Weekly Standard that comments on the fortitude of our current Congress in the face of an implacable enemy.

"Here I am" is a powerful and layered statement, but there's another meaning to hineni, even deeper and more resonant: Here I stand.

Here I stand. It's not a meek thought; it's a bottom line. "Here I stand. Here I will make my stand. I know what will most likely happen, but it does not matter, since I will not be moving. This is where I am going to make my stand. Hineni."

Synthetic Brains!

Oh it's coming. We're taking the first baby steps at replicating the human brain. And all you romantic "ghost in the machine" types will have to bow before the crushing weight of materialism! Can't wait to download our brains.

Ten thousand artificial nerve cells have been interwoven in Lausanne, and the researchers aim to increase the number to one million within the next year. Which doesn't mean they're satisfied: The work is scheduled right now to last beyond 2015. By then, unless the project proves too ambitious, Markram and his team hope to be ready for their primary goal: a computer model of an entire human brain -- right now almost a sheer flight of fancy, given the 100 billion cells they would have to engineer.



Kid Various is recovering from a nasty bout of uvulitis. It's a shame, because he's been extraordinarily healthy of late, not sucumbing to virii since fall of 2005. A record in his case. But earlier this week he exhibited flu like symptoms and was down for a few days.

Then, a day or so after, he woke up at 4 in the AM feeling like he had expel some phlegm from his throat.

So he wandered into the bathroom and tried to spit and spit and spit ( to the point of gagging) until he realized that whatever it was in his throat was attached to him.

Using the make up mirror and a flashlight he saw an unexpected and amazing sight. The Kid's uvula had swollen to about 5 times its normal size!

"Uvula" is Latin for " little grape" and the proper medical name for that thing that dangles at the back of your throat, which is known in English as "that thing that dangles in the back of your throat."

For the next day, Kid Various had to endure a horribly enlarged uvula, which forever hung down deep into the back of his throat, prompting his gag reflex on a constant basis. Talk about gross. And unexpected. Walking around constantly feeling like you're going to choke.

That's never happened to him before. Luckily, his uvula has returned to nearly normal size and his throat passages are once again, unrestricted.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Birthday George Washington

Powerline has a good bit on remembering the American Cincinnatus. (Hat tip Instapundit)

In his wonderful book on Washington, Richard Brookhiser notes: "The esteem in which Washinton was held affected his fellow delegates first of all...Washington did not wield the power he possessed by speaking. Apart from his lecture on secrecy, Washington did not address the Convention between the first day and the last."

We often unnecessarily elevate the Founding Fathers to mythic demi-god status, but if ever there was one man truly deserving of such hagiography, it was Washington. He could have been King, but chose to be a citizen. No one so very much has embodied American values since, and we could all do a little more to emulate his greatness in our own era.

Youngsters Letting It All Hang Out On Internet

A reader writes:
Why do you guys go to such lengths to remain anonymous? Geez, what do you work for the CIA or something?

Darth Caitlin
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Well Darth, believe you us - Kid Various would like nothing more than to blog unexpurgated about his life. It's theraputic and occaisionally interesting.

Here's an interesting cover story for the New Yorker concerning younger people's lesser views towards privacy and letting out more personal information about themselves on the Internet. (hat tip Arts & Letters Daily)
More young people are putting more personal information out in public than any older person ever would—and yet they seem mysteriously healthy and normal, save for an entirely different definition of privacy. From their perspective, it’s the extreme caution of the earlier generation that’s the narcissistic thing. Or, as Kitty put it to me, “Why not? What’s the worst that’s going to happen? Twenty years down the road, someone’s gonna find your picture? Just make sure it’s a great picture.”

And after all, there is another way to look at this shift. Younger people, one could point out, are the only ones for whom it seems to have sunk in that the idea of a truly private life is already an illusion. Every street in New York has a surveillance camera. Each time you swipe your debit card at Duane Reade or use your MetroCard, that transaction is tracked. Your employer owns your e-mails. The NSA owns your phone calls. Your life is being lived in public whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

So it may be time to consider the possibility that young people who behave as if privacy doesn’t exist are actually the sane people, not the insane ones.
Kid Various understands the allure. This is the way it should be, with everyone having access to everyone else's information, and not being embarassed by it. After a while, it loses its power. You have a humiliating picture of yourself or stories about how wildly stoned you were at last week's loft party? Yeah, well guess what? So does everyone else!

So it's not any big deal to put it on the internet, warts and all. Above all, don't be a hypocrite. You are who you are.

And people who can't handle that? Well suck my balls, Kyle!

Unfortunately, the people who can't handle that seem to be running the world. Perhaps this will change as those who grew up with the internet take positions of power. When everyone has naked pictures of themselves on the internet, then no one will care. Hell, if Kid Various was hiring someone, googled them and found naked pictures of them he'd probably have more respect for them than for someone who's carefully shielded every aspect of their lives.

But The Kid has learned from harsh experience that in his profession, there are plenty o' people out there who can't take a fucking joke! So until they can lighten the fuck up, take the stick out of their ass and get off The Kid's dick - Kid Various, and his partners, shall remain blissfully anonymous.

No Shit?

U.N. report claims that Iran is continuing uranium enrichment. That's so surprising!
Iran has expanded its uranium enrichment program instead of complying with a
U.N. Security Council ultimatum to freeze it, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Thursday in a finding that clears the way for harsher sanctions against Tehran.

Best Picture EVER

From SWAC Girl


Friday, February 16, 2007



Feds to Jet Blue Passengers... DROP DEAD!

What is the problem with letting people off the freakin' airplane?

WASHINGTON - After being stuck for 11 hours on a parked airplane during a snow and ice storm, JetBlue passengers found out there's nothing they can do about it. There are no government regulations limiting the time an airline can keep passengers on grounded aircraft.

The airlines' voluntary code of conduct simply says that during such extraordinary delays, they will make "reasonable efforts" to meet passenger needs for food, water, restroom facilities and medical assistance.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Fucking Valentines Day

I know nobody loves me. Why do we have to have a holiday to emphasize it?

- Charlie Brown

What We Look Like

A reader writes:

Hey, I know you guys want to be anonymous and all, but we're dying here! Can't we get at least one picture of you guys?

Darth Chad
Winslow, Arizona

Well Darth, today is you're lucky day! Below is the first ever public picture of Kid Various. Behold!

Wait for it...

Kid Various seeking danger and derring-do!

Kid Various in all his glory in Second Life. This is the way The Kid sees himself, and finally, he's got a forum to make all the rest of you bastards seem him like that too!

Second Life (or 2L as the hipsters call it) is an interesting phenomenon. It's less popular than World of Warcraft, but still sports over 2 million users. The Kid is thrilled by it, because it's the first baby steps into the matrix. In 30 years we'll just be able to plug ourselves into 2L and fully experience it.

There is no "game" specifically, but simply a shared social environment. What's interesting is that are "quests" which revolve pretty much around searching for sex or consumer items. So actually, it's kinda like real life.

But better, because it's on a computer.

Which got The Kid to thinking that we view real life as a game too. That sort of pleasure center that gets hit when you go out and buy stuff. You're fulfilling a quest. The Kid mainly gets this around books and DVD's - but it could be anything. Do you know how many malls he had to hit to find the right pair of boots?

And real money is involved. You can exchange real dollars for Linden dollars at a currency exchange which actually reflects a market price for the Linde dollar as more are bought or sold. Or you can earn Linden dollars by having a job within the game. So you're forced to get a crappy job in 2L to support your shopping quests. Again, kinda like real life.

But better, because it's on a computer...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith's Boobs - Dead at 19

Anna Nicole Smith, hero to a generation, is dead at the age of 39.

Her boobs, however, were only 19.

The only thing Kid Various can say is that it's a good thing she wasn't an astronaut. Otherwise the frenzy would be so great the media would collapse inward on itself like a black hole.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Did You Read This In The NY Times?

Kid Various didn't think so...

Feb 8, 2007
Release A070208b

BAGHDAD– Coalition Forces killed an estimated 13 terrorists during an air strike Thursday morning targeting a senior foreign fighter facilitator northeast of Amiriya.

Intelligence reports indicated an individual associated with foreign fighter facilitation was in the targeted area.

During the operation, Coalition Forces detained five suspected terrorists and found a cache including armor piercing ammunition.

Information gained from the target area led Coalition Forces to two suspected foreign fighter safe houses where suspected terrorists were assembled.

Coalition Forces observed the structures to confirm intelligence reports and engaged with precision guided munitions and rotary wing close air support, killing an estimated 13 terrorists.

Coalition Forces continue to dismantle the foreign fighter networks.

This operation significantly reduces foreign fighter facilitators’ ability to operate inside Iraq.

Yeah Right

Kid Various can testify, there is no way that this is true...

Some men are just too good to be true, according to a study published today by psychologists.

Men who are good-looking, single, and earn a fortune are not as attractive as good-looking men who have an average kind of job, according to the research.

Every Little Thing They Do Is Magic

Freakin' SWEET!

The Police are gettin' the band back together!


Poll Shows Arabs Dislike Bush Hat tip LGF

If there were any justice this AP story would be headlined "Arabs Have Collective Psychotic Break With Reality"
Seventy-nine percent of the respondents cited Israel as their biggest threat, while the United States was named by 74 percent. Iran, which Washington considers a major threat because of its nuclear ambitions, was named by only 6 percent of the Arabs surveyed.
And then there's this tidbit:
The most admired leader was Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Islamic militant group in Lebanon, with 14 percent.

French President Jacques Chirac followed with 8 percent, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with 4 percent and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez with 3 percent.

Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad and Chavez are all adversaries of the United States, while Chirac was at odds with Washington in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Well, it's all the company you keep.

Oh, and AP, it's all right to call Jacques an "adversary."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Let's Go Crazy!

You know, after Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction of several years ago, didn't anyone think it a strange choice to hire "His Royal Badness" for the Superbowl half-time show?

It was good though...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Seismosaurus Dethroned

Hmmmm. Looks like the record-breaking sauropod Seismosaurus Hallorum is being downgraded as merely a very large specimen of the genus Diplodocus.

By the closing years of the 20th century, enough of the fossils had been prepared to begin the creation of an accurate skeletal reconstruction of Seismosaurus. As new teams of researchers began to compare Seismosaurus to Diplodocus, they began to suspect that some of the bones that Gillette had placed towards the middle of the tail had, in fact, been located much closer to the hips. This realization significantly shortened the animal’s overall length, from a near-record 170-foot maximum down to a “mere” 110 feet long.

More importantly, this revised interpretation eliminated several of the anatomical characters that Dr. Gillette had used to distinguish Seismosaurus from Diplodocus. Most of the characters that remained had to do with relative proportions of the vertebrae, and several researchers suggested that these were well within the range of variation one might expect in a dinosaur genus like Diplodocus.

Thank You Mask Man!

Just because it's one of the funniest things ever...

"Now that the Messiah has come, all is pure... You're in the shit-house."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Boston Police - So Not Hip

OK, in this age of terror, this sort of random advertising can be problematic. Still, Kid Various could have told them in 2 seconds, "hey that's a Mooninite!"

Because Kid Various comes from a culture completely superior to your own. You could not comprehend that advanced hipness of Kid Various even f you were using 100% of your puny brain!

Speaking of Newt

Required reading is his address to the AEI on September 11, 2006:

Lessons from the First Five Years of War: Where Do We Go From Here?

Very important.

Le Bomb? Non Probleme!

And so the truth slips out. Once again pointing out that there is great disparity in the way that the United States and the Europeans see the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran. To wit, we see it as an existential threat - to them, it's no big deal. As French President Jacques Chirac pointed out:

PARIS, Jan. 31 — President Jacques Chirac said this week that if Iran had one or two nuclear weapons, it would not pose a big danger, and that if Iran were to launch a nuclear weapon against a country like Israel, it would lead to the immediate destruction of Tehran.

What Kid Various loves is the next paragraph:

Mr. Chirac said repeatedly during the second interview that he had spoken casually and quickly the day before because he believed he had been talking about Iran off the record.

i.e. "I was unaware that you were going to print what I really think..."

It just highlights the essential difference, outlined so well in Kagan's "Of Paradise and Power," in the way the Europeans and we percieve the threat form the Enemy. We see Iran becoming a nuclear power as a grave threat to the continued existence of the United States and the Free World. They see it as a scenario to be managed. And besides, who else are they going to sell nuclear material to?

Who are you to resist it, eh?

My kids need wine!

No, Really

This is where we are at in terms of the capitulation of the West.

Pajamas Media has the best comment regarding this story about a village in Quebec that passed a law against burning, stoning or disfiguring women.

Quebec Town Denies It is Racist:

PJM in Sydney

After it passed an ordinance prohibiting the stoning of women, burning them alive or their disfigurement by acid by immigrant groups. No, really. (Reuters)


Did he just say what we thought we heard him say?!

Oh no he di'int!!!

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, who announced his candidacy on Wednesday with the hope that he could ride his foreign policy expertise into contention for the Democratic nomination, instead spent the day struggling to explain his description of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat running for president, as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”


Holy crap! Joe just may hold the world record for briefest Presidential run ever!

It's not often you end your Presidential bid in your announcement!

Man, even George W. Bush isn't stupid enough to say something like that...

What President Bush was saying yesterday however was defnitely playing against type:

During a speech delivered in the heart of the financial district, where compensation packages routinely reach into the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, Mr. Bush announced that he would ask corporations to curb excessive executive pay.

"America's corporate boardrooms must step up to their responsibilities," he told an elite corporate crowd gathered for the event. "You need to pay attention to the executive compensation packages that you approve. You need to show the world that American businesses are a model of transparency and good corporate governance."

Which got a reception from Wall Street somewhat similar to the reaction to Biden's words from, well, the rest of the country.

"Did that fucker just say what we think he said???"
The comments received a muted reaction from an audience that included the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, John Thain, and the CEO of the Bank of New York, Thomas Renyi, who earned a combined $14.4 million in 2005, according to Forbes magazine.