Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
This one is for my favorite surly bartender:
The European Union trademarks authority has permitted a German firm to register the brand name "Fucking Hell" for a new beer, much to the irritation of the Austrian village of Fucking.
In English, the term "Fucking Hell" is just an expletive used to express irritation or surprise. In German, it could refer to a light ale from Fucking in Upper Austria, because "Hell" is a term for light ale in southern Germany and Austria.
The problem is that Fucking has no brewery, and the town's mayor, Franz Meindl, is not aware of any plans to build one there, Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported on its Web site.
The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union said in a statement that it had rejected a complaint that the trade mark "Fucking Hell" was upsetting, accusatory and derogatory.
"The word combination claimed contains no semantic indication that could refer to a certain person or group of persons. Nor does it incite a particular act. It cannot even be understood as an instruction that the reader should go to hell," the Office said in its statement.
EU Trademark Office Has No Problem with Name
"Fucking Hell" was an "an interjection used to express a deprecation, but it does not indicate against whom the deprecation is directed," the Office added. "Nor can it be considered as reprehensible to use existing place names in a targeted manner (as a reference to the place), merely because this may have an ambiguous meaning in other languages."
Thanks to Lockwood of Outside the Interzone for pointing me to this.
(added: I'm only trying to post something Rachel doesn't do.)
Ah, Michael Steele is a national treasure. Consider this:
Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.
In all fairness, Steele denies personally attending the club, blaming an
aide consultant instead. But spending nearly $2,000 on strippers simulating lesbian sex seems like a fine example of republican fiscal conservatism. Imagine how much they'd pay for the real thing.
Well, it appears that in the case of the Nine Christian Militia Members Charged With Seditious Conspiracy, Attempted Use Of WMD that the target was law enforcement. Yup, these good Christians planned to blow up some cops:
Nine members of the Christian militia group Hutaree have been indicted on multiple charges involving an alleged plot to attack police, including seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Attorney in Michigan announced this morning.
"Six Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of Indiana, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence," according to the government's press release.
The indictment describes an alleged plot that seems inspired by weapons more associated with urban warfare in Iraq than with rural Michigan.
The Hutaree members allegedly "planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral."
The indictment continues: "According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles, which, according to the indictment, constitute weapons of mass destruction."
That attack, in turn, would spark a more widespread Harper's Ferry-style uprising against the government, according to the "general concept of operations" described in the indictment.
Hutaree's Web site features videos of heavily armed members training in the woods.
Normally I refrain from posting news items right away, because I want to wait until all the facts are clear, but this deserves an immediate response. This is just plain scary. Well armed nutcases ready to attack whatever mythical threat that crosses their delusional minds are the predictable result of the whole right wing noise machine extremism about Armageddon and apocalypse anytime democrats are in power. These militias feed on the paranoia generated by the right.
The "Hutaree" claim they were preparing to battle the "anti-christ" at a time when 14% of the public (and 24% of republicans) thinks that Obama is said "anti-christ". So they see themselves as being at war with the government; thus they feel justified in attacking officers of the law. And I suppose that in their minds, their arrest is proof that they are being oppressed.
To those of us who can remember the 90's, with Waco and Oklahoma City, this threat is serious. We have seen that people like this are quite willing to carry out violent acts and murder countless innocents because of their beliefs. And it doesn't take all that many of them; Al-Qaida is a very small extremist minority of Muslims, but they've been able to achieve a major impact through acts of terrorism. Christian terrorists are equally dangerous.
Thankfully, this plot was foiled. That doesn't mean that there won't be others.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
No spring break for the president. Yesterday, Obama made fifteen recess appointments, and today, as Newsweek noted, he's in Afghanistan. The surprise visit caps a week that's almost hard to believe. Over the last seven days, health care reform passed, a major overhaul of federal student loan programs passed, the terms of a breakthrough nuclear arms treaty with Russia were reached, and now this trip.
Not bad for a guy that many had written off as "ineffective".