The Shorties in Connecticut

Live from Riyadh: It’s King Abdullah! Great piece from Newsweek on the reigning monarch of Saudi Arabia.

Delicious Couch Potatoes: Looking for a cheap, no-equipment workout? Well, you could do a lot worse than 5BX. Thanks to MeFi for reminding me of it.

Amazing what one motivated guy with a good camera can do: He can take pictures of the International Space Station. From the ground. With no telescope. A friend remarked “And we still say we can’t find Saddam’s WMDs.” Well one thing is for sure, they aren’t at the ISS.

Vegetarians may skip this: stupidity is alive and well. I can’t believe that there are people that dumb who don’t self-Darwin. And I can’t believe an actual newspaper printed this. No wonder print media is doomed if this appeared outside the humor column.

When you want government money, you take attached government strings: unless of course you are super wealthy. Where was I? Oh yes, “Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing.” If the tests were actually accurate (which they’re not) and cheap (where are cash-strapped states getting the money?) and the consequences were some sort of counseling program, I might think it was almost acceptable. As it is, I fear that such initiatives will result in people not applying for benefits to which they are entitled, children in these households doing without things like basic nutrition and a safe home, and desperate people turning to crime. While nobody is saying that illegal drugs are good, none of the probable outcomes of this proposal are good either.

A few random items on current economic conditions: the credit crisis was a heist? A delightful if simplified history of the world since World War 2 and how it resulted in the current mess from a new favorite site, Gin and Tacos. We’re up to 21 bank closures this year (it’s only 4 PM as I write, I may have to add to this later). Are the newest bailouts trying to bypass Congress? “Well, if we have to play by your rules you can take back your sucky old TARP money (that we swore we desperately needed).”

My opinion on buying troubled assets: the measure of a good plan is that it makes the recipients breathe in sharply in pain. My suggestion? Offer 10 cents on the dollar. Some of the banks should say “Wow, that’s harsh, but it’s better than nothing.” Others should say “You know, I think we can do without that,” as Ford said in response to the automaker bailout. That’s the sign that it’s on the right track. If all the banks are lining up for a piece of the action, the taxpayer is getting screwed. I guaranty it.

Delightfully Random: Cranky Thursday Musings made me laugh; as did the Evil Knievel stock chart action. I never know what to make of Ken Tanaka. And here’s a random thought for the biggest **** you know.

I’m not sure what’s stranger: a county DA has decided to charge 3 minor girls with kiddy porn for allowing themselves to be photographed. If convicted, these girls may have to be in a sex offender database for the rest of their lives:

One is a picture taken two years ago at a slumber party showing Marissa Miller (now 15) and her friend Grace Kelly from the waist up, both wearing white bras. The other depicts Nancy Doe (a pseudonym used to protect the girl’s real identity) standing outside a shower with a bath towel wrapped around her body beneath her breasts.

Skumanick actually offered the girls a deal. If they didn’t want to face charges, they could be placed on probation, subject to random drug testing, and attend a six- to nine-month re-education program dealing with pornography and sexual violence. The D.A. explained the objectives of that program in a letter he sent home to the parents. They include gaining “an understanding of what it means to be a girl in today’s society, both advantages and disadvantages,” and identifying “non-traditional societal and job roles.”

Now as strange as the whole thing sounds, they want to teach about “what it means to be a girl”? Does that phrase not raise anyone else’s neck hair? Please! The icing on this bitter cake is that the parents aren’t allowed to see the evidence. That would be disseminating kiddy porn.

Breaking News: UPS has decided they aren’t going to advertise on the O’Reilly show any more. They decided that supporting a show that had somebody stalked and threatened to kill people from an opposing network might be a bad thing.

And last item of the day: Cherry Blossoms.