Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

Wow...I really wish I had saved The Kinks - Father Christmas video to use today. Would have fit more snugly than a fresh pair of Isotoners.

From The Atlanic Wire: Americans Shoplifted $1.8 Billion Worth of Stuff This Christmas

According to data released by the Global Retail Theft Barometer (who names these organizations??), American's stole almost 2 billion dollars worth of merchandise from stores and malls around the country this holiday season. That number is up about 6% from this time last year.

Now, the article doesn't seem to make much of an effort to extrapolate more information from the data supplied. Essentially they just slap you with "Exhibit A: We're stealing a ton of shit", "Exhibit B: We're stealing a ton more shit than last year", and "Exhibit C: It's probably because everyone is broke and the economy has gone to shit."

Ahh, with compelling journalism like this, there's no wonder I can't find a job in the field without a degree. Honestly, this has to be one of the most interesting stories of the year, touting a 10-figure theft level across the country to help facilitate the illusion of every American having a Merry Christmas, and we get 8 pithy lines strung together in a single lack-luster paragraph? Seriously, where's the beef? Where's the meat of this story? What stores received the highest rates of theft from their aisles? What toys were taken the most? Where's the information??

Oh well, the story is written and there's really no use crying about how insufficient it is. Unless, of course, some employee of the Atlantic Wire happens to see this post. In which case, I desperately need work - please fire this touch hole and contact me.

Three Monkeys Say: I know what I'm talking about, because I went to Junior College for a semester, and I studied Psychology, so I'm right in there!! I KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!!

Here's hoping you all got that shiny new Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas this year. You deserve it.

Three Monkeys Say: Presents like this are how furries are born!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Don't Mess Around

It's Christmas Eve. You know, that holiday that isn't really a holiday.

So a Very Merry Un-Birthday to you, Jesus!

I know a good amount of us are pretty broke this holiday season. But I'd be willing to bet there's still someone out there a little worse off than you. I'm not saying go out and buy 'em something. That goes against the idea of the season, if you ask me. But take a moment out of your busy schedule and just stop and think a little bit. Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men, and all that razzamatazz.

Three Monkeys Say: Give all the toys to the little rich boys!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Is It The Shoes!?!

Monster Jam!!


...ahem. Sorry about that. Any time I hear a quote from an NBA Jam announcer, I feel compelled to go for the set.

Anyway! From RawStory.com: Police pepper spray, shut down malls over Air Jordan shoes

Ahh. I love the smell of commerce in the morning.

Apparently still razzed on the high that can only come from bludgeoning the proletariat mercilessly with truncheons, bored riot police have massed together as the Occupy Wall Street movement kicks in its death throes and have moved against the malls. After all, once you've run out of the skulls of poor people to cave-in, you're going to have to start using your clubs and chemical agents on people who actually have money.

The cause for all the madness is the undeniable "hotness" of those super-fly new Air Jordan's, a bargain buy at only $180 a pair. Shoppers have become so unruly in their fervent pursuit of obtaining the pinnacle in foot-fashion that police have been called into malls near Austin and Seattle, responding with pepper spray and extreme prejudice. According to the article, there is even an unconfirmed report out of Washington D.C. of a man who was stabbed to death over the shoes. At a mall in Georgia, 20 squad cars were dispatched when shoppers broke down the doors to a store in their angst to obtain the kicks, and arrested a woman for leaving two toddlers locked in her car while she stepped into the six-sided ring of fire to do battle in the name of Saint Nick.

Of course, while I will more or less always be of the opinion that any time the police start firing pepper-spray into a crowd it is likely an example of authority abusing power, I have little sympathy for this mob. It's a shopping mall. Keep your elbows to yourself and just calm the fuck down, for Christ's sake.

I am just thankful that there is something deeply seeded in my constitution that will prevent me from ever understanding a story like this. The very thought of paying $180 for a pair of shoes, or better yet the $400+ price tag some are reporting having paid over the internet, chills my cockles more than the harshest Nor'easter. But honestly, come on people. This is supposed to be the season about spreading cheer, good will, and peace on earth, isn't it?

Three Monkeys Say: Guaranteed to make a kid run faster and jump higher.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jesus Ranch

Salvation in Siberia? Fascinating.

From VICE.com: The Mysteries of the Teacher

In the newest edition of the VICE Guide to Travel, Rocco Castoro receives the gift of being invited to the wilderness of Siberia for a rare interview with a man who has been calling himself the Voice of God since the fall of the Soviet Union. Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop, who renamed himself Vissarion at the age of 29 when he realized his divine connection, has been working on his multi-volume Last Testament, a sort of sequel to the New Testament, recording the missive of his hodge-podge of nearly every world religion.

Of course, the natural reaction to hear a story about someone claiming to hear or be the voice of God is to sit back and wait for the tell-tale sound of the ATF knocking down some doors. But I will have to admit, I found some of the footage from VICE's short 3-part documentary to be strangely appealing. Vissarion has placed his commune in a rather idyllic fold of the unspoiled expanse of the Russian landscape, and the narrator even remarks on how the village evokes connotations of an elven dwelling. The place looks right out of Middle-Earth, until you see the solar panels delivering clean energy. Or the satellite TVs and power tools, apparent anachronisms that are openly accepted. Vissarion and his church of nearly five thousand followers live off the earth and what it provides, and seem to simply exude pure joy.

I'll let you watch and pull your own conclusions from the piece. I just want to note that while some of the things the followers of Vissarion say during the interviews, combined with that fervent fire of zealotry so apparent in their eyes, is definitely off-putting. But at the same time, you can not deny how happy these people look. You don't have to bite the whole bit, hook line and sinker, but I would guess there's something to what this guy has to say.

Three Monkeys Say: I fell in love with a baked potato!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All the News that Fits, We'll Print

Afternoon, friends! A holiday infused "Bah, Humbug!" to you all! God Bless Us, Everyone!

OK, so I'm getting a little frayed on the whole holiday season. But I'll tell you one thing that never gets old for me - taking shots at Fox News and their cross-eyed support base! Yay!

From NYDailyNews.com: Fox News viewers less informed than those who don’t watch news at all: study

Well, hot damn! Wipe the egg off your face and try to explain THAT one, fascists!

According to the study from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Fox News viewers are apt to know less about current events in the US and abroad than people who do not watch the news at all. Fox Fans were found to be largely ignorant of the year's events in Syria and Egypt, the basic ideas surrounding Occupy Wall Street, and were even unable to identify Mitt Romney as the front runner for the Republican nomination, which is pretty alarming considering the amount of time the channel spends on Republican topics.

An analyst for the poll, Prof. Dan Cassino, has said that these results do not necessarily categorize Fox News' primarily Republican base as being less educated, but rather takes the point that there is something about Fox's programming that leads to their viewers retaining less information.

The article goes on to discuss that admittedly, Fox viewers were not the only ones to score poorly on the poll. From the figures given, it would seem their nemesis MSNBC isn't doing too much better. Apparently, the members of the study who scored the best on the poll were those who got their news from Sunday morning programs or print sources like the New York Times and USA Today.

But in true dramatic fashion, the people over at NYDailyTimes.com have saved the juiciest piece of this study for last. I honestly can not WAIT to see Bill O'Reilly try to spin his way out of this one. Apparently, one of the top news sources with regards to their audience being informed and retaining information is none other than The Daily Show with Jon Stewart! HA! Fuck you, Bill-O!

Ahh, Fox News. "The Most Powerful Name In News". The clip is from 2004, but it's still more fun than a barrel full of fundamentalist blow-hards.

Three Monkeys Say: Sorry, you'll have to excuse us while we go laugh this off

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Civil Disobediance

It's as American as Apple Pie! Aww Yeah!!

From The New York Times: Nearly a Third of Americans are Arrested by Age 23, Study Says

The study, the first of its kind conducted since the 1960s, surveyed a national sample of young people over time, and found that approximately 30% of them had reported being arrested for something other than a traffic violation by the time they hit the age of 23. As a quick aside, I'm right there with ya kids. America. Fuck Yeah.

As the NYT article reports, this figure is much larger than the result found in the 1965 study, which reported an arrest rate of 22% among the same age group. The more recent study was conducted by performing annual interviews on a sample group of 7,335 youths, all between the age of 12-16 when they joined the study in 1996. Researchers found that there was a sharp spike in arrests as kids neared adulthood, 18-20, and then quickly leveled off in the early 20s. The study goes on to provide commentary on different factors that could effect the adolescent's likelihood of being able to move past this mark of criminality, or conversely become entrenched in the mire of the criminal justice system.

Seems to me a little silly that a private study needed to be conducted to obtain this information. While I understand that the identity of minors is protected in regards to arrest records, that doesn't mean that a report couldn't be issued directly from law enforcement with the pertinent information represented while at the same time ensuring that personal information is redacted. And why the hell is this the first study of its kind to be performed in nearly 50 years? Considering what an on-going joke it has been in my youth to sit back and listen to one's elders bitch and moan about how the youth of today have been becoming progressively more delinquent, I would imagine there would be some fundamentalist with some extra pocket money who would be interested in obtaining these figures on a more regular basis.

Unfortunately, the NYT article does not go into any sort of detail regarding what sort of infractions these youths had committed that resulted in their arrest, beyond noting that each crime was above the level of a traffic violation (which, short of a DUI, I'm pretty sure they don't arrest you for anyway). No mention of what percentage of these youths were apprehended on charges of violent behavior, theft, or common drug possession. I'd be willing to place a sizable bet however that the overwhelming majority of these reported arrests were for non-violent drug offenders. I sure know that was the case in my town - and whether you'd like to admit it or not, I bet it's the same for your small home town, too.

Three Monkeys Say: Let's get those numbers up, kids! We believe in you!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ding Dong the Asian's Dead!!

The rivers and streams of North Korea are turning salted with the saline of the tears of her citizens, as the nation comes together in grief over the loss of their Dear Leader.

That's right, kids! Kim-Jong Il is dead! I'd post a link for you in my normal fashion, but there's really no need to as it is the top headline on virtually every news server today.

The path of succession has been cleared for Dear Leader's third son, Kim-Jong Um, who by all reports is even nastier a person than his father's famed legacy could account for. After all, that's just how they do it in North Korea. Slamming down holes-in-one on the golf course with a fine cigar and a glass of cognac, while they feed their starved populace to the exotic menagerie on the palatial estate of the regime.

And just in case you didn't believe me about the bit concerning North Korea's rivers now running with salt water, do yourself a favor and check this video. It's absolutely incredible how effective a totalitarian regime can be in controlling their people. Albeit a touch over-exaggerated, these people look pretty damn crushed. Though admittedly, that might just be due to the machine-gun squads hanging out just outside the camera shot.

Three Monkeys Say: Alas, Dear Leader - we hardly knew thee.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Define: "Tragic"

Fidel Castro was the head of the Cuban government as Prime Minister from 1959 until 1976, and again as President from 1976 until around 2008. This rings in for a total of 50 years ruling with an iron fist.

William Melville Hicks was born in 1961, passed away in 1994, and if he was still with us, would be turning 50 years old today.

Ever notice how those good guys always leave us way too soon, while the demons are allowed to run amok??

Jesus - Dead
Kennedy - Dead
Martin Luther King - Dead
Gandhi - Dead

Reagan - Wounded

We miss you, Bill. Happy Birthday

Three Monkeys Say: Bye, Bill! Enjoy it!
Bill Hicks Says: I will, y'all have fun while I'm gone!!
Three Monkeys Say: We will, Bill, Goodbye!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shoulda sent her to Azkaban

The Black Arts are alive and well, boys and girls. Get out your torches and pitchforks, because witch-hunting is back in style.

From The Seattle Times: Saudi Arabia executes woman convicted of 'sorcery'

Yee haw, and all that. Let the circus begin.

While the Saudi Interior Ministry is with holding any more information than the fact that they have indeed executed a woman today, the London-based al-Hayat is reporting a few more details. Apparently, a female in her 60s was arrested in April of 2009, and held until her execution. She was charged and convicted on committing acts of sorcery and witch craft. As the story goes, this elderly woman had convinced locals that she possessed healing powers, and was charging $800 a pop for miracle cures.

What's funny here to me is that they went for the witch-craft charge. Surely the Saudi's have some law on the books outlawing fraud that they could have picked this woman up on just as easily. Unless of course, she actually was performing miracle cures and possessed powers of sorcery. In which case, what a damn shame they felt the need to execute her. This world is in serious need of a little pick-me-up, and I think that the open revelation that magic existed in real life would be just the thing.

Either way, I'm going to keep practicing my wand-handling skills. A boy can dream.

Three Monkeys Say: HAH! Fags!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Did you hear that? Herbie wants to be a Dentist!!

I don't know about you guys, but nothing says Christmas to me like clay-mation punk rock.

Three Monkeys Say: They can't fire me, I QUIT!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"I've got a badge - it's made of metal!!"

In this world of madness and violence, we as a society must make great strides to keep the violent crazies off the streets. That being said - I'm talking about the people with the badges, not the ones wearing the handcuffs.

From WBTV.com: Charlotte cop charged with assaulting drunk driver after accident

38 year-old Rick McVicker was driving drunk down NC Highway 51 on Wednesday when he failed to stop for a red light and crashed into the rear end of the car in front of him. Luckily for all those involved, no injuries were reported from the crash. In fact, if you view the related news video clip for the story, you can find a snapshot of the Pontiac that Bonita Jones, the woman who was struck, was driving with her 8 year-old grandson in the vehicle. The report doesn't provide the best possible angle to determine the violence of the impact, but it seems like the rear bumper of the Pontiac was barely touched. Looks to me like McVicker slammed on his brakes just a half second too late and slid up with a little love tap to the vehicle in front of him.

McVicker, who openly admits to being drunk during the accident, got out of his car and walked up to the driver-side window of the vehicle he had struck. And this is where the story gets crazy. McVicker claims he was tapping on the window of the vehicle to try to make sure that everyone inside was OK. Bonita Jones refused to roll down her window, instead choosing to call her son, David Jones, a member of the nearby Charlotte, NC police force. David Jones, who was off-duty at the time, arrived on the scene before the local Matthews PD. Jones came up behind McVicker, and without saying a word, grabbed the man and threw him violently to the ground, and proceeded to beat the living hell out of him.

McVicker spent a few nights locked up in the pokey for his DWI. When he was released yesterday, his face was still a mottled mess of black and blue. Ofc. Jones, on the other hand, is on administrative leave still receiving pay pending the results of an investigation. Due to department regulations, Jones is currently unable to comment on the incident, but McVicker was able to be reached after he was released from his cage. Showing what I believe to be genuine remorse for his actions, McVicker readily admitted that he was drunk at the time, and that he considers himself to be an alcoholic who will be seeking help for his problem "immediately".

It's often difficult to comment on a story like this, with so many varied interests possibly tweaking the strings of the presentation. But as the cliche says, a picture is worth a thousand words. And from where I'm sitting, it looks like there is a deeper dent in McVicker's cheek than the rear-bumper of mama-Jones' Pontiac. I'm not defending drunk drivers here. I agree with McVicker's assessment that what he did was deplorable, and that he should be appropriately punished and seek therapy. But the operative term there is "appropriately". There is nothing "appropriate" about getting your face slammed into the pavement by an off-duty cop. If mama-Jones' son had not been a cop, we would be reading a very, very different story right now, regardless of if there were any injuries sustained in the accident. For years now judges across this great nation have been making examples out of DUI cases to scare people away from the behavior. I say it's past time we made an example out of this law-enforcement officer and hang the pig out to dry. The cops need to learn that their job is to "Protect and Serve" the entire community, not just the people they're related to or the people who sign their checks.

Of course, by the time the results of the investigation of the event are finalized and released, just about everyone but McVicker and the police department will have forgotten about the whole fiasco, and life will simply move on. Goose-stepping to the rhythm of the police-state war drums. Get in line, or we'll cave your fucking face in.

Three Monkeys Say: The flames are all long gone, the pain lingers on

Friday, December 9, 2011


You know, people call me shallow and mean-spirited from time to time. And I'm probably going to get that again from this piece. To those people, a quick pre-emptive "Fuck You" before we get moving. This has nothing to do with being insensitive, the people in this story need to be stopped. Post-haste.

From CNN.com: Michelle Duggar miscarries

According to this news flash from the desks of CNN, Michelle Duggar and her husband Jim Bob (I'm sorry, there are actually people named Jim Bob out there??) recently suffered the tragedy of a miscarriage. The title of the article was enough to pull me in. Who is Michelle Duggar? And why should I care that she miscarried?

Well, Michelle and her husband, along with their gigantic family, are the stars of the new TLC program "19 Kids and Counting", which I am guessing is simulcast across the nation in church basements and abortion clinics, though likely pulling for different results. The Duggar family was on their way to the doctor to determine the gender of their newest bundle of joy, which would have been the couple's 20th child.

20. Assuming a full-term 9-month pregnancy, that would mean that Michell Duggar, 45, has spent 176 months of her life pregnant (19 kids * 9 months + 5 months for the miscarriage). That's a full 14 years and 8 months. Nearly a third of her entire life, or a full 50% of her child bearing years. Sweet Jesus.

While the family is understandably heartbroken by the ordeal, they have rallied to their faith to pull them through. Michelle was quoted as saying "The Lord is the giver of life and he can choose when that life is ready to go on and be with Him."

And here's where I start pissing people off. What right-minded, responsible person would ever even entertain the thought of having 20 kids? To explain their reasoning, the Duggars have said that they left the decision on the number of children they would have in the hands of the Lord. Well guess what, kids - this might just be Jesus' way of saying cut the shit.

See, this is a great example of The Bible being outdated and irrelevant. I understand that in the opening verses of Genesis the Lord decrees that man should "Be fruitful and multiply". There was a reason for that though. Back in olden times, the odds of actually surviving to have a child of your own to perpetuate the species was much lower than it is today. A family would have to have 8-10 kids in the hopes that at least a handful of them would make it to breed themselves. It was necessary for the survivability of our race. It made sense.

But now, thanks to giant leaps in medical technology, and the fact that we have fully-automatic weapons to defend ourselves from wild beasts rather than pointy sticks and poorly-tempered metals, our survival rate has gone through the roof. The average life-span has gone from like 30 to 80 (I'm pulling these numbers out of my ass, too lazy to research them, but they sound about right). We have reached a point in our evolution where this style of frantic rutting, basically throwing loads against the wall hoping something sticks, has become more of a handicap than a safety net. Over-crowding of the population is only going to become a bigger burden for society, and people like the Duggars who are blissfully popping out soldiers of the Lord with the vacant stare of the blessed are going to push us to a point of unsustainablity, if we haven't reached it already.

So, long story short, fuck these people. Or better yet, for the love of God, STOP FUCKING. I feel to sympathy for your miscarriage, Michelle Duggar. You officially have enough children to ensure you will never have to mow your own lawn again. It's time to put a stop to the madness.

Three Monkeys Say: They say Pot might lower sperm count. Good!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"I Really Love to Watch Them Roll"

And People call ME crazy.

Going to hold back on the comments today, and just share a few choice articles that can be found on the front page of CNN.com.

Hundreds arrested in child-trafficking ring bust

2 dead at Virginia Tech; school says 'active threat' is over

U.S. officials, analysts differ on whether drone in Iran TV video is real

Sandusky free again after posting bail

And in the interest of keeping this all light-hearted and fun, let's end with...

Should Nuns Be On The Pill?

Three Monkeys Say: Surely you're not happy now, you no longer play the game?

Rest in Peace, John.
10/09/1940 - 12/08/1980

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'Mythbusters' Making Their Own Urban Legends

Frankly, I have to say I'm kind of surprised it's taken so long for these boys to fuck up so fantastically.

From CNET.com: 'Mythbusters' cannonball busts through house

Boys will be boys. And boys with a background in pyrotechnics will fuck some serious shit up.

As the story goes, the production team for the popular television show "Mythbusters" suffered an unfortunate mishap when an experiment that involved launched various items out of a cannon backfired. Well, I guess backfired isn't the proper term here - overshot maybe?

The team was firing an actual cannonball out of the cannon, presumably in the name of taking notes on a control for their experiment. The control flew wildly out of control however when the cannonball tore through a cinder-block wall, bounced its merry way down a hillside, barreled 700 yards through a suburban California neighborhood, smashed through the front door of a house, bounced up the stairs of the house and, without knocking, penetrated a bedroom door where a man, woman, and child were sleeping.

The shot also flew through the wall of the bedroom it had so rudely invaded, and finally came to rest in the van parked in the driveway of a local suburban home.

While the 'Mythbusters' team has not commented on the event, something tells me there was a little brown jug involved. Triple X Death Moonshine. White Lightning. 'Cause we all know how difficult it is to aim artillery when you can't walk a straight line.

Three Monkeys Say: Just Follow the Bouncing Ball!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Australians. They Make You Uncomfortable.

Welcome back, my friends. To the show that never ends.

We just take long, unexplained leaves of absence. AWOL. Punk Rock.

So, in the vein of breaking back into this beast slowly, today I'm just going to share a quick quirky video with a little sub-text. A stretching exercise for the keyboard, if you will.

So, friends, if you would kindly turn your attention to the film below, showcasing the rare and elusive Melbourne Tent Monster, we can begin.

What you are seeing here is footage of the Occupy Melbourne protest, finding a creative way to make the local PD chase their own tails in a fury of consternation. You see, it is against city regulations for the protestors to set up tents and camp sites in public squares, making an occupation in the traditional sense quite difficult. Their response? To set up tents in the park with appropriate holes for arms, legs, and head appendages, and wait. As the unnecessarily large coterie of police begin to goose-step up to the tents ready to crack skulls and tent poles in the name of freedom, the monsters suddenly spring to life and begin to caper around the grounds.

In my opinion, the best part of the video is during 0:26-0:30, as you watch the original reaction of the yellow-vested peace officers. The footage captures a tradition almost as uncommon as the Tent Monster itself - the police version of the popular stadium antic of The Wave. Watch close as a wave of gnarled claws begin to stroke mustaches and beards that aren't there as the police try to figure out what the hell they're looking at before they all cross their arms and scowl with the precision of an Olympic synchronized swimming squad.

Three Monkeys Say: I'll tell ya one thing, Bob. I may not know what the SOP is for engaging a Tent Monster, but I know it's against the law!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Times like this it occurs to me, we were lied to by The Jetsons

You know, that's the damn problem with this country. People used to throw their hats over walls. People used to have sack.

From CNN.com: Will pay-per-mile be a buzzkill for American road trips?

Ahh, what speaks of freedom more than the time honored tradition of the American Road Trip? Pointing that streamlined hunk of metal towards the unknown horizon and gunning the pedal to the floor. But with gas prices and other various costs associated with maintaining a vehicle on the road, the past time is dying out. And now, in the American 21st Century, for the first time it appears that horizon no longer carries the mystery of the unknown, but rather the final nail in the coffin of the American rite of passage.

You see, the government is worried. The combination of fuel efficient vehicles and increased gas prices keeping people away from the pumps is resulting in a stagnation of flow of tax dollars to maintain the highway system. There is a federal tax on every gallon of gas you purchase, which is then used to maintain the massive spider-web of concrete that keeps our country moving. But with this revenue stream drying up, politicians are looking for new cash cows.

And the answer they've come up with is a pay-per-mile tax system in which motor vehicles will be electronically monitored, and then charged a yearly tax for the number of miles they have driven. OK, that sounds kind of reasonable. Combat rising fuel efficiency by directly taxing drivers based on mileage driven. Simple enough. Until you consider the fact that there are over 250 million vehicles that would have to be monitored around the clock. The enormous task of collecting, processing, and billing citizens based on this data would just put another drain on the system. Many experts are saying that the cost of implementing this new tax system would in itself require a new tax to pay for. Or keeping the current fuel tax to pay for the cost of switching to the new pay-per-mile tax.

Beyond the monetary considerations of such a switch comes the privacy concerns. Honestly, who is comfortable with the thought of taxmen monitoring GPS data of every mile your vehicle drives? What happened to the right to privacy? While many motorists in recent surveys are expressing that they would be more willing to acquiesce to these regulatory changes provided the system did not record specific locations along with its mileage, I simply don't care for the idea of having a little black box in my car ticking data to the G-Men.

All in all, this seems to simply be an effort to place an adhesive strip (that's a Band-Aid for you brand-name shoppers) over a gun-shot wound. The CNN article mentions that by 2020, the cost of maintaining the roads, highways and bridges in this country could be up to 1.7 trillion dollars per year. I would therefore imagine that the proper response to this quandary would not be to generate more funds for a growing beast of a problem, but rather to look outside the box for a new solution.

And for that solution, I submit that we look to the answers provided by children's cartoons. The lovable Jetsons had us all believing that by this time we would all be able to rise above this situation, literally, with the advent of the flying car. After all, who needs highways and bridges when you can have a flying car!

So get to it, inventors of America! Throw your hats over the wall! Your country needs you!!

Three Monkeys Say: Yo yo, get this! We're goin' to the moon!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

American Censorship Day

Remember when "American Censorship" used to be an Oxymoron??

Please take a moment (or 4.3 moments, if you want to be specific) and watch this video that was put together to explain the possible effects of the Protect IP Act should it be passed by the Senate and House.

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Now, if you're anything like a good section of the American public, then a lot of that probably sounded like magical interwebz mumbo-jumbo. But let's take a look at some of the quotes provided on the AmericanCensorship.org website, which has been devoted to spreading the good word.

From Fred Wilson Union Square Ventures
These bills were written by the content industry without any input from the technology industry. And they are trying to fast track them through congress and into law without any negotiation with the technology industry.

From James Allworth Harvard Business School
It contains provisions that will chill innovation. It contains provisions that will tinker with the fundamental fabric of the internet. It gives private corporations the power to censor. And best of all, it bypasses due legal process to do much of it.

I'll let you peruse the rest of the quotes at your own leisure, rather than taking more of your time here. Essentially what this argument boils down to in my opinion is the point mentioned in the Protect IP Act Breaks The Internet video: How much do you trust your government to not abuse these newly established powers? Or, in the event you do actually trust your government, then how much do you trust the government of other nations to follow suit in a satisfactory manner?

If nothing else, even if you largely agree with the restrictions put forward by this new Act, anything that stymies the free flow of information through social media should put your back up. The last 12 months have shown beyond any doubt the vital role this tools of hyper-space will provide in the future as a means of the common man to speak out against tyranny in all of its forms. And quite frankly, I'm willing to sacrifice the next big summer blockbuster for that tool to stay right where it is, unadulterated by the meddling fingers of big business interests.

Besides, I really enjoy bringing you little YouTube gems, like this one here. And it would make me very sad if I was no longer able to provide this service for the wild and unwashed masses. So please friends, take the time to go to AmericanCensorship.org and let your Congressman/woman let you know how much this pisses you off.

Three Monkeys Say:
Internet Freedom and Psychedelic Showtunes
These are a few of My Favorite Things

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coming to an Olympic Games near you!

Following in the longstanding tradition of marksmanship challenges in the Olympic Games, the time-honored traditions of Archery and SharpShooting will be joined by - you guessed it! - ballistic ground-to-air missiles!

From CNN.com: Missiles to protect London 2012 Olympics

OK, so it's not the kind of event that you can take home gold in, but I would at least hope that the boys manning these defense measures are training as hard as the athletes they are charged with protecting.

As the world starts to gear up for the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012, the head of the UK Defense Department is having to field a lot of questions from various interested parties. And some of the answers may be a bit shocking. British Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond has promised that "all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including -- if the advice of the military is that it is required -- appropriate ground-to-air defenses".

Excuse me, but could someone please explain to me how "ground-to-air defenses" and "appropriate" belong in the same sentence? See, I thought the primary objective of defense regarding the Olympic Games would be a focus on suppression of terrorist attempts at causing harm to the proceedings. Installing a surface-to-air missile defense system to protect the grounds tells me, admittedly as a amateur of military defense tactics, that one would thus be expecting an aerial based attack. And again, excuse me if I'm reaching here, but the possession of aerial based weapons systems speaks to me of an organization possessing the military prowess of a government, not a terrorist group. Unless you're planning on defending against hi-jacked passenger airliners - in which case I would think it to be a much more cost-effective solution to have the international equivalent of US Marshalls defending the planes in the sky on that day on an individual basis, rather than be prepared to launch missiles that cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars a piece.

But, to be honest, if the disclosure of the presence of military-grade weapons systems defending the London Olympic Games were the only news piece here, I doubt I would have found it worthy of sharing with you fine people. But no, the fun doesn't stop there. The CNN article also mentions a heavy involvement from US security interests regarding all aspects of the preparation, from personnel to planning. The US Government has said it will supply 1,000 individuals, including FBI Agents, to help maintain the peace during the event. Again, my knowledge of government defense tactics is essentially limited to what I'm spoon-fed from Hollywood, but as far as I understood our set-up here, we use the FBI for domestic concerns, and the CIA for international concerns. That's kind of why we have two separate intelligence groups in the first place. So what does the fact that our domestic secret police plan on providing surveillance for the games tell us? I have no idea, friends. But I can tell you this - whenever the government takes an action that doesn't seem to make any sense on the surface, well you can bet somewhere a man in a black suit has a good reason for it. And that reason has your best interests firmly placed at the forefront of its objectives. Trust me.

And the machine, She Grows.

Three Monkeys Say: They Ask No Quarter

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CCTV: Candid Cop Television

Smile for the birdie, kids!

From NPR: As More Police Wear Cameras, Policy Questions Arise

This article from NPR takes a look at the spreading trend of police departments across the nation adopting small video cameras that are attached to their uniforms, and the mixed reactions they are stirring, amongst police unions and private citizens alike.

Produced by private companies with names like Taser and Vievu, these cameras are designed to be worn on the front of an officer's uniform and are capable of recording up to 4 hours of audio and video. The hope of this initiative is to remove the "He said - She said" aspect of police encounters with the public. And with the increased number of accusations of misconduct in departments nationwide, it's a small wonder that many departments were quick to pick up the technology.

Many police officers seem to have little problem with the new addition to their fatigue. For many, the only added responsibility is they now have to begin each interaction with the public by informing the citizen they are being recorded. In fact, the only complaint that crops up according to the NPR piece is that officers are unable to turn off the cameras, even at the request of the citizen being filmed. While the inability to refuse being filmed is certainly unsettling, it is more reassuring to know that the officer can not turn off the camera at will. Of course, until you read the fine text under the picture of the charming blonde from Vievu displaying one of their cameras that informs you that the officer must remove the cameras protective covering to begin filming.

And here is where the dissenters start chiming in. Sure, it may be against department policy to turn off the camera under any circumstance, but it's also certainly against policy for an officer to attempt to hide his name and badge number while on duty. And as recent OWS footage from Oakland has shown, officers have still been known to do this. Also, it is not department policy to use mace or pepper spray against non-violent protesters. But again, thanks to the actions of one of New York' finest - Tony Baloney - we have seen that this is not a policy that is always steadfastly held, either. And since the release informing the public that Tony Baloney's punishment would be the loss of ten paid vacation days when many were screaming for him to lose his position, the public has seen how serious the police take to penalizing those who disregard department regulations.

OK, sure, the cops might flip their cameras closed during some encounters with citizens. Certainly such a problem could be remedied by a small alteration on the production side. But the public misgivings regarding these cameras is not rooted in mistrust of police choosing opportune times to turn on their cameras.

As most anyone who has ever requested footage from the dashboard camera of a police cruiser can tell you, there are two distinct responses for such queries. Either the footage is incriminating against the citizen, and will show up before you even think to ask for it. Or the footage is incriminating against the officer, in which case you would have an easier time pulling teeth from an angry alligator with a pair of tweezers. Odds are, you'd keep more fingers going toe-to-toe with the 'gator, too. Take the example provided of Eric Rachner of Seattle, who spent months before he could even get the department to acknowledge that video footage of his 2008 unlawful arrest existed.

And with the new regulations regarding the Freedom of Information Act empowering the government to knowingly deceive the public by denying the existence of requested information that is deemed to be a "threat to national security", excuse me if I have little faith that these Piggy-cam tapes will be handed over without a fight. The City of Oakland already refuses to supply video footage from traffic stops in which the camera captures an image of the driver's license of registration information unless the sensitive private information is edited out. And since the Oakland PD lacks such refined video editing equipment, any such tape is essentially classified until further notice. And as an aside, who is really comfortable with any discussion of the police having the capability of editing these tapes at their own discretion?

Three Monkeys Say: Never Trust a Pig that Walks on Two Legs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Who Pays for these Studies??

File this one under "Weird Shit I Probably Didn't Need to Know"

From MSNBC: Sex With Animals Linked To Penis Cancer

First, let me open by once again thanking the good people over at Disinfo.com for so tirelessly laboring to ensure these sort of news gems do not go unnoticed. You people truly are fighting the good fight.

The results of a study taken in a rural area of Brazil, claims to have shown that a history of bestiality can be linked to occurrences of penile cancer. The study, which surveyed 492 men who were either healthy or afflicted by penile cancer, found that 45% of men who suffered from the ailment reported also having sex with animals. Other possible causes mentioned in the study were "smoking, the presence of premalignant lesions on the penis and phimosis, a condition where the foreskin cannot be retracted over the penis."

The article goes on to briefly discuss what it sees as a long standing history of inter-species relations, and how it believes that micro-trauma from prolonged animal intercourse could open the organ up for attack from cancerous agents, providing a possible explanation for the correlated rise of cases of penile cancer in men who engage in bestiality. Fascinating read, provided you can keep your lunch down.

Of course, the article also does a bang-up job of glossing over an alarming statistic. They found that 32% of men who had no outbreak of penile cancer also reported having sex with animals. That's one-in-three for fucks-sake!

Alright, let's play with these numbers a little bit. The MSNBC report states that of 492 men surveyed, 118 of them were victims of penile cancer. Of that 118, 45% - or ~53 patients - reported having sex with animals. Which leaves 374 of the original 492 which did NOT have penile cancer. Of this 374, 32% - or ~120 patients - reported having sex with animals. Meaning there are more men, both healthy and cancer afflicted, who admit to having intercourse with animals then there are total men that have been found to have penile cancer.

I'm not exactly sure what all those numbers might mean in a medical sense. But I'll tell you one thing for damn sure - there are far too many people candidly admitting to having sexually violated the local livestock. And if a total of 35% of these rural Brasillians are admitting to having sex with animals, then I'd say it is safe to hazard a guess that the real figures are somewhere around 65%.

Three Monkeys Say: Love - the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Your Government Knows Best!!

Isn't Democracy neat?

In case you haven't heard, the Obama administration is trying a very nifty experiment in open democracy called "We The People" - a government website where you can draw up your own petition of talking points you would like to see discussed by the administration and have people sign it from all over the country. The Obama administration promised to use this tool to determine which issues were really at the heart of most American concerns, and to use this information to bring about positive change for Americans.

Sounds almost Utopian - a service in which you can raise any topic of concern to your representative political body with the promise that it will receive a detailed look if there is enough national interest. The basic rules of the service were that any petition that received over 25,000 signatures within 30 days of originally being posted would receive an official tailored response by a member of the White House staff.

Indeed, when this website was first announced, it seemed like Obama and his team were making an honest attempt at testing the waters regarding American's feelings on a lot of contemporary issues. That is until some of the responses started being released.

Unsurprisingly, supporters for change regarding marijuana legislation teamed together and gathered a staggering number of signatures for their petition - topping the threshold that would demand an official response in its first day. For half a heart-beat, stoners and sobers sympathetic to the cause shared a brief unifying moment of hope, holding on tenaciously to the dream that maybe someone in power would finally lend an interested ear. That is until the site posted their official response from Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In his response Gil basically says "Fuck You, hippies. These are the rules." Which of course is the perfect response for anyone hoping to set the stage for constructive democratic discussion. You can read Gil's response here.

Of course, the legalization efforts for marijuana are not the only petitions receiving lip service from the White House. The website also recently published a response to a petition requesting government transparency regarding decades of insinuation that the government is involved in a coverup regarding the presence of extra-terrestrial life. This time the response was tailored by Phil Larson, who works on space policy and communications at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. Phil's response was much the same as Gil Kerlikowske's - Fuck Off. Of course, the White House liasons were much more diplomatic in their announcements of a refusal to investigate topics which had received enough public support to elicit an official response.

These are not the only two topics to be glossed over by the Obama administration. Petitions seeking a removal of the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, repealing the Defense of Marriage Act - which federally defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, have both tactfully been swept under the rug as a problem for the next group of patsies to seclude themselves in their ivory tower of inaction. Hell, the response to one petition calling for an "Investigation into Allegations of Prosecutorial & Judicial Misconduct in the Case of Sholom Rubashkin" refers the petitioners to a piece of fine print in the terms of participation for the White House's responses, simply saying "We won't comment on this one."

So basically, the timeline goes a little something like this.
*White House launches petition site promising to offer constructive response to any topic that proves to have enough public support
*Americans collectively marvel at the combined wonder of technology and democracy as they begin to believe that politicians may actually start listening
*We the People is flooded with petitions and signatures by the thousands
*White House officials with fancy titles and job descriptions collect a paycheck for sitting down and throwing together what amounts to the same level of effort required by a third grader for an essay assignment (though more likely, these responses were typed up by an unpaid intern and merely signed by those claiming authorship)
*American public once again realizes that their voice and opinion have no strength in the halls of power.
*Life, sadly, goes on.

Three Monkeys Say: Oh Shit! Is Gladiators on??

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Think I'm an Alright Guy

Happy Sunday Morning, freaks.

Hope you all enjoyed that extra hour of sleep today. Doesn't Daylight-Savings kick ass? Thanks, Ben Franklin!

Make sure you take a little bit of time for yourself out of the day. Hell - it's Sunday - take the whole damn day for yourself. You've earned it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

There Be Dragons

Looking for something to amuse yourself with on this Saturday afternoon?

Try this video discussion with author Daniel Pinchbeck and Hollywood actor Russel Brand - There Be Dragons: Daniel Pinchbeck Talks with Russell Brand

Enjoy it, kids.

Friday, November 4, 2011

There has to be a Greek term for something this fucked up

It's not Oedipal...

And it's not Electra-esque...

From DailyMail.com: Engaged couple discover they are brother and sister when their parents meet just before wedding

Life seemed to be going perfectly for a young South African couple. With the engaged couple's wedding date right around the corner, and her expecting a little bundle of joy, it seemed like they couldn't have been happier. Until the pair introduced their parents to one another and discovered - they're brother and sister!! Holy Fuck!!

Apparently the almost-newly-weds were separated at a young age when their father discovered their mother was cheating on him. The father took the then 2-year old son, and the mother had custody of the 8-month old daughter. The two children were raised completely unaware that they ever had a sibling. Years later when a chance meeting at college had sparks flying, the two blissfully ignorant that something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Or whatever they call states in South Africa.

While the couple has understandably decided to call off the wedding, there is no mention in the article of terminating the pregnancy. The unnamed mother-to-be is quoted as already being quite concerned on how to explain the child's complicated lineage when it comes to age.

Christ though, can you imagine the revulsion at being hit with that kind of bombshell? My stomach is doing backflips just thinking about it. In fact, I would imagine my personal reaction would look something like this:

*insert exaggerated shudder here*

Three Monkeys Say - HOLY FUCK!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Someone Call Dr. Feelgood!!

God Damn God Damn God Damn

God Damn that Pharma-Pushin' Man

From Yahoo! News: Painkiller overdose 'epidemic' strikes US

While the Feds are dispatching gangs of Men in Black armed with Patriot Act garnered warrants and supported by crooked tax-men to try and shut down the nefarious medical marijuana trade around this country, it's business as usual over at Big Pharma. Meaning just another day of sweeping deaths under the rug and shifting blame to ensure that we keep popping these pills like Pac-Man. Chomp Chomp Chomp.

The number of deaths from overdose to prescription painkillers has been on a steady rise for years. And as this new study from the CDC shows, the number of deaths now tops overdoses from both heroin and cocaine combined. With nearly 15,000 prescription pain killer based overdoses in 2008 alone, something obviously must be done.

Of course, the real problem here is the gross over-prescribing of such medications. According to a statistic from the CDC, "Enough OPR (opioid pain relievers) were prescribed last year to medicate every American adult with a standard pain treatment dose of five milligrams of hydrocodone (Vicodin and others) taken every four hours for a month."

Alright, conspiracy theorists - get ready. I'm going deep with this one.

Say you subscribe to the theory that our country is largely controlled by a small group of religious conservatives, who use their money and political influence to control the social climate of our nation. Combine this assumption with the fact that the great majority of these overdoses are found in rural and impoverished areas of the country. Then look at the article's description of the cause of death associated with an overdose of prescription painkillers - "Death typically occurs when the patient stops breathing because the drugs can cause respiratory depression." So essentially, death occurs after a long drawn out period of gradually losing the strength required to control respiratory function, until you are physically incapable of drawing another breath. Markedly similar to the cause of death from crucifixion, which kills the victim by drawing out the body until the person no longer has the strength to move their diaphragm and draw oxygen into their system. Golly, it almost sounds like there is a shadowy interest group handing out crucifixion in a can! Creepy! OK, yeah, maybe this is an unlikely scenario. But it's interesting to speculate on. I did warn you I was going deep there.

In conclusion:
Deaths from overdose on prescription painkillers in 2008: 14,800
Deaths from overdose on marijuana in history: 0

Remind me again which side of the War on Drugs we are on?

Three Monkeys Say: This shit is Funked Up!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Be Honest, You Expected This One

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I am in no way surprised by this announcement out of Germany.

From GlobalPost.com: German authorities plant spyware on citizens’ computers

According to a release from a German based hacker collective, known as the Computer Chaos Club, the German government is involved in the spread of spyware that effectively turns your private computer into a tool of Big Brother.

Computer viruses, spy ware, trojans, and any other number of malicious software infections have been a problem plaguing the internet essentially since its inception. And as the capabilities of our machines escalates, so to do the functions of these hyperspace attacks.

The Computer Chaos Group says it has discovered a trojan horse designed by a private tech firm for the German government to be used in monitoring internet phone calls. Now, while such monitoring is allowed in Germany under certain extreme circumstances, eavesdropping was not the only function of the malware. The hackers found the trojan was also capable of taking screenshots of the infected machine, adding and removing files from the hard drive, and even control the microphone and webcam that now comes standard in virtually every computer on the market.

Of course, the fact that we are now hearing this story out of Germany tells us that most likely these invasions of privacy through our computers has probably been going on for a good long while, and that it is doubtful that the Germans are the only government guilty of the act. Of course, I have no tangible proof for this claim, but what does your gut tell you?

Just another fancy piece to file away in your back pocket.

Make sure you remember, friends - Just because you're paranoid...

Don't mean they're not after you

Monday, October 31, 2011

I Want Your Skulls!!

Hack the heads off little girls and
Put 'em on my wall!

Happy Halloween, Psychonauts!!

Go get fuckin' weird with it.

Hack the heads off little girls and
Put 'em on my wall!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wanted: RatDog

Welcome to another special Sunday edition of The Ride, where we like to kick back and take it easy. Easy like Sunday Morning.

Bobby Weir throwin' down a little Bobby Dylan with the boys for your listening pleasure.

Bobby, in the highly unlikely chance you read this - Furthur is fun and all, but I miss RatDog. Please bring the boys back around.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Intellect is Not Inherited

One of the biggest things the protestors of Occupy Wall Street have going for them, in my opinion, is that while wealth is transferable from generation to generation, intellect is not.

And while there were certainly some whip-smart people who instituted many of the regulations that allowed for these financial groups to take advantage of the american people, there are some serious rogue geniuses out there.

Like this man. After watching this video, I'm not sure if I want to shake this man's hand, give him a hug, or just smash my head into a wall repeatedly for not thinking of this first.

Keep Wall Street Occupied. Fucking Brilliant.

The Ride salutes you, nameless internet figure! Hurrah!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Choose Your Words Carefully

I am not a doctor.

I do not have a degree in medicine.

Fuck, I've never even played a doctor on TV.

Yet nonetheless, I feel the need to give my amateur opinion on this story coming out of Pittsburgh.

From The Digital Journal: Teen dies after smoking fake marijuana

First off, how great of a pro-marijuana marketing piece is that headline? Thousands of years of human use and not a single death for the real deal. K2 is on the market for a period of a few years, and it's already being blamed in the death of a teenager.

A 13 year old boy is dead in Pennsylvania after all attempts to save the boy from two collapsed lungs, and the subsequent infection, sadly failed. As the article says, young Brandon Rice was taken to the hospital after smoking the legal marijuana substitute and complaining of "numbness in his hands and feet, [being] unable to breathe, and...vomiting blood". Medical imaging revealed extensive chemical burns on the inside of the boys lungs.

Brandon's parents searched their son's room, finding a stash of "Spice", or "K2", an increasingly popular synthetic blend designed to mimic the effects of marijuana without any of those pesky side effects, like failing a drug test. Along with his potpourri head stash, the Rice's also found a plastic candy PEZ-dispenser, which their son had modified into a smoking device. Ahh, brings me back to my formative years, when I made a pipe out of a metal kazoo. Unfortunately, you had to remove the piece of paper that made the kazoo "zoo", so you couldn't play and smoke at the same time...but that is a tale for another day.

Brandon Rice died in his sleep this morning, after being hooked to a respirator since June. But as Brandon was idly wasting away in a sterile hospital bed, the political machine has been busy. Very busy indeed, my loves.

Brandon's case was co-opted and used as an example to speed up the process of banning and criminalizing the growing number of products that are being labeled as "fake drugs". Pennsylvania became the 21st state to outlaw the possession and distribution of a litany of these products, including K2, bath salts, and salvia. Under the new law, first time offenders found guilty of possession will face punishments up to $5,000 in fines, and up to a year in prison.

OK. So there's the story as the media gives it. And I have two major problems with it.

First off is the part of the article regarding the criminalization of these "fake drugs". See if you can find the trouble areas.

The tragedy that claimed Brandon's life came months before Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill into law that outlawed the sale of 'fake drugs' like K2, Spice, Vanilla Sky, Salvia and bath salts that produce a marijuana-like high after being ingested. Pennsylvania became the 21st state to ban the sale of synthetic drugs, which are known to cause agitation, paranoia and hallucinations, according to the National Institutes of Health.

I have a serious fucking problem with marijuana being in the same sentence as bath salts. The same is true to a lesser degree for Salvia, and I've never heard of "Vanilla Sky", but from all the horror stories I've read about bath salts, whoever crafted this sentence needs to be shackled in the stocks. Comparing a drug that has been as beneficial and utterly harmless as marijuana to a synthetic speed that has resulted in the sexual abuse of livestock is dishonest, and down right criminal. And to anyone who has actually smoked Salvia, honestly comparing it to the effects of marijuana is simply laughable. Part of me thought we were past this Reefer Madness style propaganda.

My second gripe is the choice to use a quote from the boy's father regarding his cause for death, rather than reaching out to the medical professionals who were responsible for his recovery. The article does a wonderful job of glossing over the fact that this kid was smoking out of a fucking PEZ-dispenser. Never mind the fact that we know for sure that heated plastics release the kind of vaporous chemicals known to cause the kind of damage that Brandon Rice's lungs suffered. Never mind the fact that there are no other reported cases of Spice causing this level of physical damage. Or the fact that Brandon's death was caused by his body succumbing to an infection that took root after the surgical attempt to fix his collapsed lungs, which his body was unable to fight off in its weakened state. The obvious problem here is the boy was smoking fake-weed!

Now, I am not saying these substances should be available to children. But I believe a very big piece of this puzzle is that the boy was able to legally acquire his K2, while subsequently being denied the proper tools to ingest the drug due to it being illegal to sell a proper smoking device to a minor. It seems to me the real tragedy here is that this boy somehow reached the age of 13 without anyone informing him that if he put flame to plastic and took a deep breath, he was gonna have a bad time.

Again, I am not supporting the sale of these substances to minors. And I am not a medical professional, in any way qualified to make my statement that I think the PEZ-dispenser is more to blame here than the K2 the kid was smoking. But this propaganda piece subliminally aimed to take a cheap shot against marijuana is simply piss-poor journalism. Comparing marijuana to any of the newly banned drugs in Pennsylvania is fundamentally flawed on one single point. These new bans are entirely focused on synthetics. Chemically derived substances aimed at mimicking the effect of a natural drug (except in the case of bath salts - which simply needs to be burned and removed from the human record). Is the answer here really to saddle our already inefficient system with more laws designed to entrap citizens with hefty fines and jail sentences? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to simply remove the sanctions against the much safer drug that these chemicals are trying to imitate? Seems to me that such a move would completely undo the demand for these allegedly dangerous products. And why do I not hear more of a clamor that the people at PEZ start placing warnings on their packaging that their product is not designed to be a smoking implement?

Didn't you ever wonder why getting high is a crime in the first place??

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whales are People Too, Maaaan!!

PETA is at it again. And no, I'm not talking about People Eating Tasty Animals.

In a bid for advancing their tireless cause of ending animal abuse, PETA is attempting to sue Sea World for "enslaving" killer whales, asserting that the 13th Amendment does not explicitly mention that it only protects human beings.

While I agree with the ideas behind PETA, I usually find their actions to be a little over stated for the most part. And this case is no exception. I mean, honestly, suing on the grounds that killer whales have the same unalienable rights as human beings? If that's the case, then I hope you're also seeking jail time for all the killer whales that have killed or assaulted their trainers over the years.

So, as I encountered this story, I rolled my eyes and went about my day. Certainly a noble pursuit, speaking for those that can not speak for themselves, but I didn't see this one going anywhere.

That is, until I watched the Colbert Report's coverage of the story. And let me tell you, Steven Colbert brought up something that may have changed my mind on the effectiveness of this tactic. Here's the clip.

As the Supreme Court has ruled, corporations ARE people. So why not levy the same respect to animals? At least they have a pulse. And big watery eyes to stare at you with while they suffer their various degrees of injustice. If faceless corporations demand a level of respect in our legal system, why are we so willing to laugh off the prospect of providing the same to a living creature?

Sure gives you something to think about on a rainy day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Patriotism!!

A toast! To the tenth anniversary of Patriotism!

After all, how could patriotism have been possible before the advent of The Patriot Act??

Excuse me. Sorry, the official name is "The USA PATRIOT Act". See, without adding the "USA" at the beginning, you don't get the full effect of the acronym. See, unbeknownst to me until this morning, the Patriot Act actually stands for: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act". I would really love to know how many hours whatever intern spent on forcing an acronym out of "USA PATRIOT". Fucking brilliant. Just imagine what that sort of energy and ingenuity could accomplish if properly focused!

Ten Long Years of government surveillance on American civilians, a grotesque sacrifice of civil liberty in the name of perceived security.

You know what? I'm going to step back from this one. I open the comments up here for your voice. Let me know what you feel about the Patriot Act. Is it a necessary evil? Or just another tool of the encroaching fascism that is taking over our once noble home of the free?

Speak your mind. Just don't speak it too freely, you never know who might be listening.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baton Courtesies - Service with a Smile

Good Afternoon, kids.

Alright, I'm sorry. No matter how I try to talk about something else, everything keeps coming back to OWS. You just can't escape it.

From CBSNews.com: Riot police arrest "Occupy Oakland" protesters

In a surprise move from Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who had been quoted in support of the protests as saying "sometimes democracy can be messy", a force of around 500 law enforcement officers moved in on the group of roughly 200 protestors this morning. Which sounds about right to me. Nothing says even odds like an over 2-to-1 ratio of police to protestor, especially when the police are armed with riot gear, rubber bullets, and tear gas. I even found a few scattered reports of the police using sound cannons on the protesters, but as of right now it would appear those are unconfirmed, confused reports of helicopters in the area.

I'm curious to know what caused Mayor Quan's 180 on the topic. To go from supporting the spirit of the protests to signing off on a police action that included 12 departments marshaled against a group that could file into a single Olive Garden without the fire marshall quirking an eyebrow, well that simply is not a decision that comes without some force of external pressure.

Not only was the protest broken up in their original park, but any attempt to organize away from the scene in the wake of the raid was also disbursed, resulting in further arrests.

It's just a shame that the Oakland cops didn't hear about this story out of Albany, in which the New York Staties, in conjunction with Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, refused to comply with an order from the governor to clear out a similar protest in New York's capital.

You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning ....

And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave

Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, October 24, 2011

Put on the Glasses!!

It's incredible how hard some people fight when you try to open their eyes.

Happy Monday to you, dear friends. While I am sure many of you are sick of me talking about it at this point, today we will be clicking the gears back to Occupy Wall Street. After spending some quality time with some of my extended family this weekend, I started to realize how skewed the public's view of these protests is. Not to say that their confusion is incomprehensible - the media is doing a hell of a job on this to keep everyone's head spinning. From conservative monoliths like FOX News explaining how the protesters are not only confused, but the "fact" that all the injustices they are protesting are actually their own fault, to liberal political forces attempting to co-opt the movement in a power-bid for aspirations of office, as per usual, everyone has an agenda when talking about this loaded issue.

But like all great tragedies, it is the fool who has the least to lose in telling you the unadulterated truth.

It seems to me that the biggest problem the protestors are facing, beyond the police brutality and corporate efforts to silence their voice, is the public's view that the protestors demand of an end to corporate greed is too ethereal. They have no hard, itemized demands that can be checked off in the name of marking progress.

So in the interest of compassionate comprehension, today in lieu of discussing current events we are going to play a little game. And that game is called They Rule. If you would kindly point your browser to the page, the game will begin.

They Rule is a website that I remember being discussed on an edition of ABC's World News Tonight back in the early 2000s. Once the page is loaded, you are met with a blank screen with a tool bar in the upper left corner. What They Rule does is allow you to view the board members of any of the top Fortune 500 corporations. Simply select a company and mouse over the table icon that appears, and you will be able to generate a list of every board member for that company. Now, where it gets really interesting is when you mouse over the name of the individuals representing that board you will be able to extrapolate the map to include a list of every other company these people also serve as board members for. By the time you're finished, you have a disgustingly widespread and tight knit web of greed.

Let's start with one example together, class. Considering it is largely the banking interests that has people so up-in-arms these past weeks, we will begin with the Bank of America Corporation. Once you have expanded the list of their board, you will find a list of 18 names. Of these 18 names, 9 of them, half of their board, also have interests on other corporate boards. The list of these companies includes CBS, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, and even The Walt Disney Company. Now, make sure to drag the CBS table out of the way a little so we can expand that list without our graphic becoming too muddled. Expanding upon CBS's board will show that not only are two of their members protecting interests in Bank of America, but we also see Northrup Grumman - a defense tech corporation, VIACOM - another American media conglomerate, Urban Institute - a DC based think tank involved in data collection and processing on the social and economic trends facing Americans, AECOM - an engineering group which provides services in the areas of transportation, energy, and government, amongst others, and lastly, The Center for Strategic and International Studies - another bi-partisan think tank with its focus placed primarily on foreign policy, rather than domestic.

Phew! Talk about a head rush. Now of course, you can take any one of these companies connected to CBS and expand their list of board members, creating more degrees of connection between the clandestine members of the top 1%.

Let's try another quick example before I leave you to play with this tool on your own. This time, we'll start with the lovable, kid-friendly people over at The Walt Disney Corporation. Clear your maps, and start there. Once you expand their list of board members, and then the list of secondary boards these individuals belong to, you will find that Disney has a total of 13 board members, and actually more secondary boards than they have members! Of the 14 secondary boards listed, we find financial interests like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and VISA. We also find corporate commercial interests from Nike, McDonald's, Apple, Starbucks, and Clorox. And of course, the shining gem of any list of Fortune 500 companies, the military defense contractors over at Boeing Co. And don't even get me started on how convoluted Boeing's map gets.

So, maybe now with this little graphical demonstration, you might start to see where the rage of the 99% is coming from. The elites running these corporations have woven a fine web whose sole purpose is to ensure that nothing can tamper with their steady market trend of profit gains. How can we trust anything CBS reports regarding the financial markets, when one of their board directors also seats a chair for Bank of America? How comfortable are you in the fact that The Walt Disney Companies childish facade is hiding a board director who signs off on Nike's usage of third world child labor? And when one man, W James McNerney Jr., holds a chair on the board for IBM, Boeing, and Proctor and Gambel, well, I can't help but think that that much power simply has to lead to corruption.

Of course, I expect none of my words to change any minds that are already made up on the topic. As I said in my introduction to this post, no man will fight you as hard as one who is being led from ignorance. The wonderful people over at The 53% are proof of that, if nothing else. All I can do, is ask that you open your eyes. And put on the glasses.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"It's the Ultimate Fuck You"

I would like to thank my interwebz pal, RayB, for splicing this together and sharing it.

And of course, thanks to Joe Rogan for voicing his opinion.

And thanks to you, for checking it out.

Ahh, nothing says It's Just a Ride like Spongebob Squarepants with blood-shot eyes. I love it.

Almost as much as I love all of you. Carpe Diem.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Every Body Dance!!

This song has many messages.

And I love them all.

Keep it Silly, Stupid.
The Ride

Friday, October 21, 2011

Heyy...It's Like a Hippity-Hop!!

All jokes aside, this is one of the most hilariously horrible and awful things I have ever seen. This dude deserves his own parade.

From Las Vegas Review-Journal: Las Vegas man with 100-pound scrotum seeks money for surgery

As hard as it may be to believe, this man seems to have a bigger heart than his swollen scrotum.

Turn the right corner in Las Vegas, and you may cross paths with 47 year old Wesley Warren Jr., pillow and milkcrate in hand. Warren carries these items when he goes out, because he needs them during his frequent stops to use as a pedestal for his scrotum, which hangs nearly to the ground. And don't feel too bad for staring, because Warren says he has come to expect it.

Warren has recently gone public with his condition through an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in a bid to seek aid for the mountainous medical bills associated with surgery for his affliction. Warren has been told by doctors that the entire procedure will cost roughly one million dollars, and he's hoping for a little help.

Warren described his condition on the Stern Show to horrifying detail, a version of which can be found in the link provided, but I'll leave out the grisly details here. I would just like to say, a toast, to a man who is doing his best to turn around a bad situation.

I hope, for his sake, that women really do love huge balls.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back in the Cage You Animal!


Three Cheers for the Industrial Prison Complex!!

Hooray! Hooray!! HOORAY!!!

From The LA Times: Borrowed cellphone slams prison cell shut

In 1988, Dwayne Kennedy was charged and sentenced to prison for throwing a man from a moving vehicle. Six years later, while incarcerated in 1994, he was charged with stabbing another inmate. And now, after long years in a stone and steel cage, Dwayne Kennedy was ready to taste the sweet air of freedom.

Dwayne had finally passed the parole board and was ready to go home. He was so excited, Kennedy borrowed a contraband cell phone from another inmate to call his family and tell them he was coming home. And then, as they say, the bottom dropped out.

Kennedy was caught using the contraband mobile device. And because of his wanton refusal to abide by the rules of prison society, the parole board decided to revoke his parole. Stating that Kennedy's actions in willfully disobeying prison regulations proved that he was still a measurable risk to society, the parole board revoked his freedom and slammed the door to his cell shut - for another five years.

OK. Now, admittedly, some twisted part of myself can understand where the prison interests are coming from on this one. The man has a history of violent criminal activity, and an obvious disdain for the rules of civilized society. But isn't five years a little over board? With the estimated costs of housing an inmate for that period ringing in at around a quarter of a million dollars, that's one expensive fucking phone call.

But here's a thought. Why the hell didn't the parole board, upon reaching their decision to allow Kennedy to be released, offer to allow the man to make a call to inform his loved ones? Why was this man forced to go outside the regulations of prison life to do something as simple as call his sister to say he was coming home? I mean hell, the last time this man was free, Ronald Reagan was in office. We're talking about an increase of his prison term of over 20% for making a phone call. If that doesn't shout "Land of the Free", I don't know what does.

Alright, time to put a cap on this one. In closing, a little number from System of a Down.

Because here at The Ride, we like to thrash like we're still in the 7th Grade.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yak to the Future

Welcome, friends, to a very special Today In History edition of The Ride.

From History.com: John Z. DeLorean is arrested in $24 million cocaine deal

Who knew?

As the story goes, John Z. DeLorean, creator of the famous vehicle used as a time machine in the Back to the Future series, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to obtain and distribute 24 million dollars worth of cocaine on this day in 1982. Funny thing is, the charges weren't enough to dissuade Spielberg from using the car in his movies, which weren't released until three years after these charges surfaced.

DeLorean, who is also credited for designing the GTO and Firebird models for Chrysler in the 70s before he left the company to pursue his own interests, apparently was involved in a gauntlet of legal woes. While he was eventually acquitted of the charge to acquire 55 pounds of cocaine, soon after the charges were dropped he faced more legal action involving charges of fraud. DeLorean spent the next two decades paying off millions to creditors. I hope he got a fat paycheck for his car appearing in the film.

All I can say is Goddamn, the 80s were a wild fucking time.

Unfortunately the History.com article doesn't provide much as far as details of the alleged coke deal beyond monetary values and weight of product. I'm guessing that has something to do with the fact that DeLorean was eventually aquitted on all drug charges. But how the hell do you raise those kind of charges against a person when you don't have enough evidence for the conviction? I mean, it's not like they just pull names out of hats to try and lay that kind of weight on.

Luckily, I have found a dramatic recreation of the events as they allegedly transpired.

Chi-chi! Get the fucking yayo!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The 999 Plan is from What??

You know, I don't have too much respect for politicians. Same goes for CEOs with political aspirations. So when I tell you that in the past 24 hours I have lost more respect for Herman Cain than any other political persona, it's saying something.

To be honest, I didn't know much about Cain. In fact, I still don't know too much about him. But thanks to the magic of the interwebs, I have stumbled upon three shining little gems that completely undo any modicum of reverence I might have once had for the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza.

Exhibit A: Herman Cain is a corporate douche-bag.
Proof: Who the fuck could so perversely rewrite John Lennon's Imagine to have the song be about pizza?

Exhibit B: Herman Cain likes to appear cultured by quoting poets that are actually songwriters for the Pokemon film series.
Proof: Watch Cain quoting Donna Summers in this clip from a GOP debate. Notice how he even fails to mention the name of the "poet" he is quoting, as if somehow not realizing that his potential supporters all have the power of Google at their fingertips.

Exhibit C: Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, much like his choice in literary quotes, is stolen from a child's video game.
Proof: From HuffingtonPost.com: SimCity Games Will Cost $9.99 In Honor Of Herman Cain's 999 Plan

That's right kids. Cain's vaunted 9-9-9 plan is taken straight from the realm of Sim City. Now, while Cain is adamantly denying that he has taken his tax plan from the microcosmic world of pixelated society, but that isn't stopping game producer Electronic Arts from offering a special discount on their popular title - now available for $9.99.

Again, Cain has publicly denounced any claims that he is taking political cues from a video game, but honestly - if you had been caught stealing ideas from a game, would you want to admit it? First, you disgrace one of the most touching songs about the freedom of the human spirit by making it a tool to sell pizza. Then you follow it up by bringing Pokemon - arguably one of the most nonsensical children's franchises in history - into the political arena under the guise of legitimate literature. And you follow it up by stealing the one piece of your campaign that has really been giving you momentum from a god damn video game, and don't even have the good grace to admit to your plagiarism.

Fuck You, Herman Cain.

Fuck You, and Goodnight.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Band was Playin' "Nearer My God To Thee"

Fare Thee Well, Strange Travelers, Fare Thee Well

This past weekend I opened a post with a weeping emoticon, to express my level of frustration, anger and sadness at the topic at hand. In that vein, to show a proper level of escalation regarding my outraged reaction to today's story, please see the first 20 seconds of the clip below.

From Care2.com: 14 Shamans Murdered in Peru

OK, before I let the headline sensationalize you too much, as the article explains, these 14 Shamans were murdered over the course of the last 20 months. I'll admit, when I first saw the headline it conjured visions of a grotesque mass murder like something out of a Rob Zombie movie. Yet after reading the article, I find myself no less incensed.

The Peruvian government has sent an official team to investigate the murders of 14 local medicine men, only 7 of whom have been recovered thus far. Those recovered were shown to have been victims of bullet wounds, or hacked and stabbed to death by machete.

As reported in The Peruvian Times, these men were planning on forming an association to share their knowledge with the world when they began to go missing. Allegedly, these crimes were committed by a local Protestant known as "the witch hunter", at the behest of his brother - the mayor of the local town of Balsa Puerto. According to local government experts on Amazonian culture, both men belong to a fringe sect of Protestantism that see men such as these shaman as being possessed by demons, and thus their religious responsibility to eliminate them. Apparently in as violent a fashion as possible.

As tragic as this senseless loss of life is, it is the loss of knowledge that is really staggering. The death of these men mark not only an unrecoverable loss of an intimate knowledge of the complex ecosystem of the rainforest, but "the crucial role shamans play in traditional medicine and spiritual guidance in indigenous communities", as the program director of Amazon Watch's Peru division was quoted in The Guardian.

And the world marches on. Over 500 years after the Spanish Conquistadors first arrived on the shores of the New World, leading the flame-wreathed cavalry of the Good Lord deep into the Heart of Darkness, and still, with all of our perceived infinite progression and evolution of moral integrity we find this endless repetition of the sins of our fathers. What knowledge were these men preparing to share that so rattled the cage of a man who carries the title of "witch-hunter" into the 21st Century?

And can someone please explain to me why this article makes no mention of anyone being apprehended for these atrocious crimes? It certainly appears they have enough information on those allegedly responsible to warrant taking them into custody, even despite the political shield being a mayor might provide.

In closing, a song. A song to carry those beautiful strange travelers home.

River take me. Sing me sweet and sleepy.
Sing me sweet and sleepy
All the way back home.

It's a fargone lullaby
Some many years ago
Mama, mama many worlds I've come
Since I've first left home.