march madness

March madness, for anyone not familiar with it, refers to the immensely profitable lunacy which surrounds the final stages of the college basketball championship. No thinking person gives a shit about any of this, naturally enough, but nothing wrong with understanding what it’s all about. By contrast with what we’re supposed to think it’s all about, that is.

As is often the case, it takes a comedian to explain things like this with any realism at all, and nobody does this kind of thing better than John Oliver. (His deconstruction of the Net Neutrality issue is simply classic)

Oliver is a comedian by trade, that’s perfectly clear, but  if there is anyone doing more penetrating reportage than this guy right now, I don’t know who it is.

OK, so the basketball “bracket” is all just a bullshit scam, which thoughtful people everywhere already knew of course, but that doesn’t mean all competitive “brackets” are in the same boat. Here’s one with a distinguished internet history which is the real deal; The Competition for the Name of the Year.

Yep, they’re all real names, and yep, the competition is damn tough.

click image to embiggen

click image to embiggen if necessary


It’s a tough call. For the Final Four, I’m gonna go with Swindly Lint vs Jazznique St Junious, and  Dr Wallop Promthong vs Tunis van Peenen.

(hat tip; kottke)

it’s official


Yep, US politics has now officially gone down the rabbit hole completely.

Oh sure, it’s been weird as hell for years now, and politics is always weird anyway, here or anywhere else.  And OK, we’re talking the annual CPAC hate festival and red meat carnival.  But christ on a crutch, look at this, which I present as a verbatim news article;

Duck Dynasty television star Phil Robertson told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday that 110 million Americans were infected with sexually transmitted diseases and that it was “the revenge of the hippies.”

After accepting the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award, Robertson stepped up to the CPAC podium and pulled out a Bible that appeared to be held together with duct tape.

“In case one of you gets to be president of the United States, make sure you carry your Bible and your woman,” the reality star advised. “I’m just saying, safety. Safety.”

I swear, there’s guys in the editorial offices of The Onion tearing their hair out now.  How the fuck can a satirical operation possibly top that?

“A Bible that appeared to be held together with duct tape.”

Heh. That’s fucking brilliant.

“The Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award…”

Oh right. Breitbart. The internet home of  racist knuckle-draggers from coast to coast.

Oh hell yeah, it goes on;

“I don’t want you to die early!” he exclaimed. “It you’re disease free and she’s disease free, you’re married, you keep your sex right there, you won’t get sick from a sexually transmitted disease! Come on!”

“There is a penalty to be paid from what the beatniks and it morphed into the hippies!” the Duck Commander continued. “What do you call the 110 million people who have sexually transmitted illnesses? It’s the revenge of the hippies! Sex, drugs and rock & roll have come back to haunt us! In a bad way!”

Robertson said that he had done additional research on the CDC website and found out that only one encounter was necessary to contract a sexually transmitted illness.

“How many seconds does it take to get genital herpes?” he asked the CPAC audience. “It said 30 seconds. I’m like, whoa, that’s pretty quick.”

“You want a godly, biblical, medically safe option? One man, one woman, married for life.”

“The Duck Commander continued…”

Holy shit.

Keep in mind this festival of fuckwittery is the annual gathering of those whose approval, or at least absence of hostile opposition,  is the first step for anyone wishing to snag the GOP nomination.

OK, here it is. Come on, you know you want to watch it!



Money and Time

A while ago I mentioned something about the Time Value of Money, and someone thought I meant by that Time Equals Money, and it seemed interesting, maybe to explain the difference.

Because I also despise the tyranny of people insisting “time = money”. It’s why I gave up being a lawyer decades ago. Couldn’t stand filling out time sheets parceling out my working days (and often evenings) into five minute billable segments.

The time value of money is something very different. It’s basically interest. Which, for most of human history, was considered highly immoral. We all know that Christians were never allowed to charge interest, so the Jews had to do it for them, otherwise how would anyone ever have managed to finance the Renaissance? But of course even the Jews were not allowed to charge other Jews interest, for most of Jewish history; and even now good Muslims are not allowed to charge anyone interest, nor to pay interest to anyone.

Try to imagine a world where interest is not only against the rules, but actually unthinkable. As an idea. Auden tried, and he went mad (or maybe he was already mad and that was the idea upon which his madness chose to lite).

If humans could only lend and borrow money on trust, or for love, or merely to do each other some good, think what a different kind of world it would be. A hell of a lot slower world. A hell of a lot less developed world. We’d probably all still be either mired in feudalism or moving from pasture to pasture as nomads. But maybe there would be categorically fewer of us, and we wouldn’t have stoked the furnace of the biosphere to the point where we are doomed to be incinerated.

In a cheerful new development here in the U.K., political protest itself has been privatized, at least in London, as of last week. Want to march in protest of government action (or in this case inaction, on climate change)? Fine. You still can, but only so long as you pay for all the (expensive) policing, up front. If you don’t pay, and you do march, you are committing a crime. If there was any shred of democracy left here, it has been blown away just now by a very chill wind.

satanist infiltration alert

It was inevitable given all the givens nowadays I suppose, but even as weird as this is I predict 2015 will produce even weirder shit than this multiple times. And we didn’t do the Predictions for the Year thing this time did we?  Add your predictions in the comments here then.

Anyway for those of you from elsewhere, this here is a photo of a school bus here in the US.  They just about all look like this, some are bigger some are smaller, some are older some are newer, but this is what they look like pretty much coast to coast.Cordova-TN-school-bus-lights-via-screencap-800x430 They’re all yellow and they all have a bunch of lights on them that flash when the kids (all rise) are getting on or off, at which time all vehicles must stop and not pass the bus in either direction until the kids (all rise) have moved to where they are more difficult to run over.

Notice anything sinister?  Me neither but then I’m not trained to see these kinds of things.

The taillights.   The set at the bottom. They’re the newfangled LED kind I think, and they’ve obviously been assembled by pagans of satanists or perhaps Barack Obama, ‘cos they’re arranged in a Pentagram.

Memphis’ Action News 5 reported Wednesday that Robyn Wilkins snapped a photo of the tail lights while she sat behind a bus in traffic. To her, the pattern of tiny light bulbs under each brake light’s red plastic lens looked like inverted five-pointed stars, which form the ancient symbol of the pentagram when enclosed by a circle.

“Anyone who fears a God, if not God and Jesus Christ, should be outraged,” the worried mother told Channel 5.

Damn right. I’m starting to worry already, just reading about it.

Wilkins and other concerned parents have taken to social media to protest the brake lights, which they say constitute a sacred symbol emblazoned on a government vehicle.

“If you can’t put a cross on there, you cannot put a pentagram on it,” said Wilkins.


For ye shall know not where the Lord shall appear.

That’ll teach those fucking atheists to protest the Nativity scene in the Courthouse lobby, eh?  Sauce for the goose, eh?

Damn right.

Happily, here at 9thousandfeet we can offer Ms Wilkins some solace and divine protection. I’m sure that Tengrain over at MockPaperScissors, from whom I stole this celestial guard dog fair and square, won’t mind my offering it to Ms Wilkins to ward off the evil while she fights the good fight.

I haven’t checked with Tengrain, but he seems the congenial sort, so I’m sure we can work something out within Ms Wilkin’s budget. Bonzo there is mighty powerful medicine, that much is clear.

meanwhile, in the sand kingdom….

….. where more dipshit Muslims live per square foot than, well, I dunno where, and where they just gave a blogger the first weekly installment of 50 of his 1000 lashes for writing something which upset some asshole Islamic court, the lunacy continues with a fatwa on snowmen.

A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has whipped up controversy by issuing a religious ruling forbidding the building of snowmen, described them as anti-Islamic.

A collection of people who have something wrong with their brains.

A collection of people who have something wrong with their brains.

Asked on a religious website if it was permissible for fathers to build snowmen for their children after a snowstorm in the country’s north, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid replied: “It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun.”

Quoting from Muslim scholars, Sheikh Munajjid argued that to build a snowman was to create an image of a human being, an action considered sinful under the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.

“God has given people space to make whatever they want which does not have a soul, including trees, ships, fruits, buildings and so on,” he wrote in his ruling.

There is some dissent on that powerful instrument of social justice Twitter, apparently;

That provoked swift responses from Twitter users writing in Arabic and identifying themselves with Arab names.

“They are afraid for their faith of everything … sick minds,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another posted a photo of a man in formal Arab garb holding the arm of a “snow bride” wearing a bra and lipstick. “The reason for the ban is fear of sedition,” he wrote.

A third said the country was plagued by two types of people:

“A people looking for a fatwa (religious ruling) for everything in their lives, and a cleric who wants to interfere in everything in the lives of others through a fatwa,” the user wrote.

But of course it’s Twitter, so any kind of reaction you can imagine actually exists;

Sheikh Munajjid had some supporters, however. “It (building snowmen) is imitating the infidels, it promotes lustiness and eroticism,” one wrote.

“May God preserve the scholars, for they enjoy sharp vision and recognize matters that even Satan does not think about.”

Is it just me or is it OK to ask why, after all the lunatic pronouncements assholes like this have made over the years, but particularly after the recent bullshit in Paris, the media—Reuters in this case—still refers to these knuckledragging fuckwits as “clerics”?

Yes, I know that’s what they are as a matter of dictionary reference, but wouldn’t “cult leaders” be a step forward?

And let’s ponder for a delicious moment or two just what kind of a mind would associate a snowman with “lustiness and eroticism”.  I know the dumb bastard lives in a desert, but still, that’s just fucked up. I don’t think even Augustine was that weird, was he?