Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.

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Friday, September 30, 2005

About those dolphins with the fricking laser beams on their heads...

Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC is second only to Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart as the best news source on television. Herewith is an example of Olbermann's journalistic savvy and sharp wit:

Everyone knows the cliche about life imitating art. Well, here we go again. Because of Hurricane Katrina, we have learned of a reported factual parallel to one of the most over-the-top ideas ever in one of the most over-the-top movie spoofs ever.

In "Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery," one of Mike Myers' many characters, Dr. Evil, asks his people to provide him with "Sharks with fricking laser beams attached to their heads."

Now, do we have a case of fiction becoming reality?

On Monday, the British newspaper "The Observer" quoted an accident investigator who claimed that three dozen U.S. military dolphins, supposedly trained in secret near Lake Pontchartrain, had been washed away by Hurricane Katrina.

These animals were supposedly capable of identify underwater spies and were carrying a special harness which permitted them to fire toxic darts at anybody trying to sabotage a ship.

Presumably, the actual firing would be done by remote control, rather than by the dolphins, who may be really smart, but who do not have hands with which to press the firing button for the "fricking darts," nor, for that matter, any "fricking laser beams attached to their heads."

Well, it sounds ludicrous, except that the Navy has long admitted experimenting to see if dolphins could be used militarily. The idea of them as last lines of defense against underwater terrorists was broached very seriously in the months and years immediately after 9/11.

On Monday evening, however, the Pentagon actually issued a statement saying all of its dolphins have been accounted for. Moreover, the DOD says its dolphins aren't trained to attack, just to look for "objects" with their diver companions. Plus, they have no dolphin units in Louisiana, only in San Diego.

So, could there be 36 trained dolphins out there somewhere carrying toxic darts on their backs, ready to shoot surfers or divers or Lloyd Bridges or Patrick Duffy from "Manimal"?

Moby Solangi, the president of Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Miss., which rescued several of its dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Katrina, appeared on "Countdown" Monday to discuss the possibility.

KEITH OLBERMANN: Well, I'm confused. Are there such dolphins? Were they in the New Orleans area? Could they be missing? And, if so, should we assume they are armed and dangerous?

MOBY SOLANGI, PRESIDENT, MARINE LIFE OCEANARIUM: Well, boy, I will tell you, that sounds like something from "X-Files." If I'd known, we probably would be running away from our own dolphins!

OLBERMANN: Make sure I'm right on this one point here, that dolphins could not actually fire poison dart guns, even if they are wearing them, even if they are loose, because they don't have hands. Am I right about this so far?

SOLANGI: No, I think that's science fiction. And these animals are trained. It's common knowledge, to look for underwater mines and divers. But I think darts and all that is a little bit too far.

OLBERMANN: The story in the British paper suggested the one thing, the one kernel of supposed truth off of which they hung this entire story was that, when your dolphins were located out in the Gulf and met up with their handlers and were eventually rescued, that the Navy wanted to inspect the dolphins first. Is there any truth to that?

SOLANGI: No, not at all. As a matter of fact, we didn't have any Navy folks. Now, they have helped us, provided us these temporary tanks in which we're holding these animals until they recover, so they can be transported. But, no, the Navy has absolutely no involvement in the rescue of these animals, other than providing us with temporary pools.

OLBERMANN: And nobody saw any other dolphins in the neighborhood wearing big darts. How are your dolphins, by the way? We need to follow up on that.

SOLANGI: Oh, they're doing wonderfully well. They're getting healthy. We moved all eight of them to the SeaBee base in Gulfport, Mississippi. And, after they recover, we should move them into other aquariums around the country.

OLBERMANN: All right, last question. If I see one of these dolphins wearing a harness with a poison dart gun on its back in my neighborhood, should I call Homeland Security or George C. Scott or Dr. Evil? Or who should I call?

SOLANGI: I think you should swim fast!

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Quote of the day

Stop whining about gas prices. Gas costs a lot because we have to find it, bribe or kill the people who live on top of it, extract it, refine it, ship it, and pump it. You'll pay $2 a gallon and you'll like it because you know what the alternative is: riding on the bus with poor people.
-Bill Maher

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Quote of the day

Stop giving me that pop-up ad for There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years- because you don't particularly like them. Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.
-Bill Maher

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Technical difficulties

For some reason, I can't connect to, the host for, via the Verizon Avenue DSL service at my apartment in Chicago. I can get to it by using Verizon to connect to GoToMyPC, then to my workstation in the Chicago office and then to, but this is not the time of day I care to jump through hoops. Verizon Avenue's always been a bit flaky, but I have laundry to do. Talk among yourselves... I should be back on the air from Pittsburgh tomorrow.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Quote of the day

Marriage should be like it is in the Bible- a loveless exchange of property and livestock arranged between total strangers.
-Scott Bateman

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Two visions, same outcome.

Least competent people- Citing the high quality of the workforce in Ontario [Canada], Toyota decided recently to build a second plant in the province even though Ontario was offering only about half the subsidy offered by Mississippi and Alabama to build the plant in one of those states. A trade association executive said the industry had learned from Nissan and Honda, which had found the workforce in the U.S. South to be often untrained and illiterate, and that, in Alabama, trainers had to use pictorials to teach some workers how to use the equipment. (Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird.)

"When I was in college, the smart people were going into engineering, which had solid long-term prospects, and only we dweezils majored in English, and look what happened: Engineers are being laid off, America is losing its capacity to manufacture things.. but every day we turn out trillions of words about ourselves, bloggers blogging, floods of memoir, day-dreaming, carpet-chewing, and when the Chinese repo men come to collect on our debt, they will find a nation of highly articulate self-aware people who can't change an oil filter but maintain wonderful websites. A nation of English majors."-Garrison Keillor

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Monday, September 26, 2005

US-armed dolphins missing. Uh.. ARMED DOLPHINS??

Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Quote of the day

"Bill Frist has this all upside down," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., chairman of the House Democrats' campaign committee. "He thought Terri Schiavo could see and his trust was blind."-
San Francisco Chronicle

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You mean we don't have one?

Bush Vows to Act on National Rescue Plan

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)- President Bush on Sunday wrapped up a three-day trip designed to convey hands-on leadership during the Gulf Coast hurricanes, promising to act on military leaders' request for a national search-and-rescue strategy.

"It's precisely the kind of information that I'll take back to Washington to help all of us understand how we can do a better job in coordinating federal, state and local response," Bush told commanders.

Which begs the question: what the hell has been going on since 9/11?

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

But aside from that...

In middle age we are apt to reach the horrifying conclusion that all sorrow, all pain, all passionate regret and loss and bitter disillusionment are self-made.
-Kathleen Norris

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Quote of the day

I would have gone home to my mother, but I'm not that crazy about my mother.

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Copyright © 1987-2024 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The e-mail address is now something other than saga. used to be until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up and adopting created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the domain name in 1993, and had since that time used as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that was no longer but rather which is longer than and more letters to type than and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than but actually just as functional as I sent e-mails from the address to just about everybody I knew who had used in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that no longer is the they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...


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Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

I am a professional. Do not try this at home.

I canna change the laws of physics

As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)

Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Left wing liberal nut job

Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.

Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.

If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.

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