More money than sense

Workmen scoured “HAMAD”into the sand on the orders of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

The name is two miles across — with letters a kilometre high. It is so huge that the “H”, the first “A” and part of the “M” have been made into waterways. The mega-rich sheikh, 63 — a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi — in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates — boasts a £14billion fortune that is second only to the Saudi king’s. His fleet of more than 200 cars — including seven Mercedes 500 SELs painted in different colours of the rainbow — is housed in a custom-built pyramid. His name is etched on to an island he owns called Al Futaisi.

At least when Scrooge McDuck went swimming in his giant piles of money he had the grace to do that shit behind closed doors. 

Long Read

Colson Whitehead is posting updates over at Grantland (more about this site later) about his experience at the World Series of Poker. This is just the first, but it is already full of good stuff like this: 
Next to two Big Mitches was a Methy Mike, a harrowed man who had been tested in untold skirmishes, of which the poker table was only one. If Methy Mike had been hitched, the lady had packed her bags long ago, and if they had spawned, their parenting goals probably ended with making sure their kid did not get a tattoo on her face, and they did not always succeed. 

Buy Nothing Day

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NuPenny exists as a traveling art installation under the guise of an inaccessible toy store. On the surface, and viewed as a retail establishment or typical sales model, NuPenny seems fundamentally flawed in connecting with those who desire to take its products home. True enough. But on another level the storeʼs reason for being is as a realm of carefully manufactured objects of desire that have not (or perhaps cannot) find either their place or time in the world. The first appearance of this toy store installation was in Waterville, Maine in January of 2010. Four months later and without notice NuPenny closed in Waterville and moved to another town.     

Our Lady of Reluctant Integration

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(True story, I found this picture while GIS ‘Michele Bachman Crazy Eyes’. Also, this post is kinda crazy and all over the place. But it’s a THEME!)

So you know that pledge that Michele Bachmann (hereafter and forever known as Mishey B) signed the other day? Along with being against pornography, against gay marriage, and also stating that the point of hetero marriage was a means to create the “innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy”, it also contained this whopper as its first bullet point

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

Now, you can go all over the web to see this ridiculed and lambasted, and they’ve already apologized for it. But I have a much more fundamental problem with this document and the fact that Mishey B signed it. And that is this. Why is this news? 

Someone who signs a pledge containing that kind of language should be considered so far off the beaten path, that the media would need a sherpa to find them. But if they did go out on trek looking for them, they would probably call it quits early and just go with the Yeti story again. 

But where to even begin with this pledge?

No porn? (Or should I say pr0n?*) Pr0n is like the space program. You think it’s a peripheral obsession on the outskirts of polite and useful everyday life until you realize how many things would not exist without them. At this point it’s axiomatic to say that those two things have underwritten our technological advances for the last 40 years. And I’m talking about more than just Tang, GPS, and the ability to safely purchase a shake weight via a credit card online. As Americans, pr0n and the space program are our crown jewels. We should be fiercely proud of them. 

But let’s get back to brass tacks. 

In the minds of the people who wrote this pledge, and Mishey B who signed it, slavery was a kind of full employment program in Real America for black people, where a husband and wife could raise their child to be anything they wanted, as long as what that child wanted, was to be the property of white people. In their world, the innocent fruit of black conjugal intimacy was a lovely child, and future president in some distant future, and not the variable in the equation: PRODUCTION-OVERHEAD=REVENUE. (But hey, as Louis CK points out, slavery was hard on everyone.)

**New tv show idea***

Honest Midwesterner runs for president, loses, gets embarrassed due to some racial gaffes. She wants to run again, so she hires a Toni Morrison-like to be a special advisor.  Think West Wing meets Archie Bunker meets My So Called Life. Sure there’s a lot of walking and talking, but HONEST MIDWESTERNER knows what your VALUES are, and every episode ends with a speech about dealing with/ overcoming some hardship from the MORRISON character (aka MAGIC NEGRESS) and a sincere, soulful, sisterly (non-lesbian) hug. But it’s for Real Americans so Andrew Breitbart  is involved and it airs on CBS (the Tiffany Network). Juan Williams is a frequent guest star.
**End tv show idea**

(SIDE NOTE: You know how the HBIC** is always going on about exercise and obesity? Well, I’m willing to bet my stack of lad mags, that picking cotton was more than enough exercise. Put two and two together Mrs. O!  Why do I have to do everything?)

Finally, there’s also this.  

The pledge promotes (hetero) marriage but does acknowledges the high divorce rate in America, and says we should bring that down.

Well!

Did you know, Mishey B, that before women could vote, own property, or expose more than an ankle, the divorce rate was really, really, low? I mean, I know it was a suboptimal time to be a woman, but a woman born then, wouldn’t have filled her head with grandiose thoughts like trying to be president and therefore could never have made embarrassing racial gaffes. (It probably happened because she’d skipped a meal- diets are a bitch- and really wanted some chocolate, amirite fellas?) 

*That’s what the kids call it right?

**FLOTUS

How long is a cross country train ride?

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(pic via)

Air security is expected to tighten, particularly for international flights into the United States, in light of recent intelligence that terrorists might be considering boarding flights with surgically implanted explosive devices, an American security official said Wednesday.

The old joke is that once a terrorist sticks a bomb in his anal cavity then I won’t fly anymore, for fear of the ensuing security theater panic. Well, add this to this list. Because. F That. I don’t even want to know how they are going to check for surgical bombs.         

And this isn’t even new. From the same article: 

 The authorities have long been concerned about the possibility of a suicide attack involving implanted explosives.

In 2009, a militant wounded a Saudi prince by detonating a bomb that was thought to have been in his large intestine. The bomber died, and officials later determined that it was more likely placed in his underwear.

Of course the bomber died. And besides, the human body makes for terrible shrapnel.