Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cal Thomas: Terrorizer

Every once in a while I get really sick of people trying to convince me that I'm in grave peril. Generally my worries in life are limited to issues such as the condition of my laptop, the possible inaccuracy of the weather forecast and the remote prospect of my apartment being destroyed by an earthquake. These are real, understandable apprehensions with basis in fact. But, once in a while, along comes some Cassandra who thinks I should also be worried about something really outlandish. Let me introduce you to one such fellow.

Creepy-looking conservative columnist Cal Thomas is trying his damnedest to make you spend every waking minute in fear of terrorism. He wants you to live in terror. He's a...I can't think of the word for this kind of person, but it's something like "terrorizer."

So, terrorizer Cal Thomas wrote last week that the US is under imminent danger of a terror attack (are you terrorized yet?). Every paragraph of his pessimistic little sermon entered my brain like a massive injection of some drug whose main side effect is uncontrollable eye-rolling. The subsequent headache I suffered might have been caused by said eye-rolling, or just by the inane content of the column. Probably both. Among the key points of Thomas's doomsday prophesy:

  • "Enemy combatants" (redundant, I know) will, upon being released from Guantanamo Bay by "liberal judges" (exaggeration, I know), kill us all
  • 9/11 OMG CHANGED EVERYTHING (cliché, I know) and is still sufficient justification for the US government to hold your grandmother prisoner indefinitely without charge
  • The US's "War on Terror" (stupid, I know) is happening solely because of "their" hatred for "us," but not ours for them
  • Be afraid, be very afraid (movie trailer language, I know)

Maybe the most disturbing thing about this article is something Thomas didn't intend to scare us with: At the end of the column, he says

The next attack... will come in a shopping mall, or a school, or on Wall Street, or possibly all three. It will occur simultaneously in many places and probably kill more than the nearly 3,000 who died in 2001.

You can start fretting about your lunch plans at Panda Express if you want, but I'm more concerned about something else: Just how does Cal Thomas know so much about how the next terror attack on the US will happen? By failing to cite his source, isn't he obstructing justice and protecting those who would carry out this most heinous food court/lunchroom/stock exchange onslaught? When will Cal Thomas publicly admit his links to terrorizers?

It used to be that only Cal Thomas's appearance frightened me. In most photos, he looks like an embalmed cadaver, or at least an elderly man wearing make-up. But the truth is far more sinister.

This summer...Cal Thomas IS....Terrorizer.

Rated PG-13 for jingoist rhetoric, blatant fear-mongering and brief nudity.

Scary as he sounds, we can't let grumpy, old biddies like Cal Thomas have any impact on our daily lives. Try as he and his ilk may to convince you to cancel your shopping trip, home-school your kids and stay the hell off Wall Street, it's incumbent upon us all to ignore those mouthy Chicken Littles. For on the day that the fear of terrorism affects your actions and habits, the terrorizers have already won.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June Twenty-Fifth

June 25th is a special day for me. It's the anniversary of my arrival in Tokyo, now five years ago. And next year, it will be the date of my wedding to Fiancee (who will thensforth be called "Wife"). It's almost as if June 25th were the junction point for the entire space-time continuum. On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

With Supporters Like These: Part II

Is it just me, or does this guy look like Donald Rumsfeld?

With Supporters Like These: Part I

Fascinating stuff from Tran Trong Duyet, who was in charge of the prison where McCain claims to have been tortured. Duyet says no torture took place, AND that he'd vote for McCain if he were elligible to do so.

No torture? How about "enhanced interrogation?" Did any of that happen? This story demonstrates one of two things, take your pick:

1) McCain is a liar. Defend him at your own peril.


2) Liars support McCain. Defend him at your own peril.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Did You Ever Notice

...that someone speaks the line "We're here" in every episode of Lost?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New! Toilet Bowl Pepsi

We trade one disaster for another.

This week in 2007, Pepsi unleashed its Japan-only Ice Cucumber flavor on the populace. It looked like mouthwash and tasted like toothpaste. This year the gimmick is Pepsi Blue Hawaii, a carbonated drink which looks like Windex and tastes like a melted snow cone.

According to the label, the too-sweet-for-humanity flavor of this soft drink is achieved via the synergy of pineapple and lemon. But after drinking it, the only synergy happening in my body seems to be that of tooth decay and diabetes. My breath is attracting ants.

I bought this at the same convenience store where I found the Ice Cucumber Pepsi last summer. And, same as last year, I'm pretty sure the only people buying the stuff are bloggers who want to make fun of it.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Today, disgruntled 25-year-old Kato Tomohiro went to Akihabara and started stabbing people at random.

There is a stereotype that Japanese people are interminably polite, but when they lose their minds, they often do so in a decidedly inconsiderate manner. Consider the common occurrence of people jumping in front of the JR Chuo Line, thereby delaying thousands of commuters. Or the woman who threw herself off the roof of Parco in Ikebukuro last fall ("last fall," indeed), striking a pedestrian in the process and putting him in a fatal coma. Or the Saitama woman who, in 2006, decided a the last second not to throw herself in front of an oncoming train, but rather to push a nearby stranger onto the tracks in her place. I can't find an English-language news link to that last example, so you're just going to have to take my word that it happened.

I don't know what it is about life in Japan that causes these unexpected explosions of violence, but the fact that today's attack happened in Akihabara -- not to mention past incidents of otaku gone bad -- suggests a link between the otaku lifestyle and dangerous mental instability. If you know anyone who could be described as otaku, do the world a service: Grab this person by the collar, slap them across the face and tell them, "Snap out of it!" Then congratulate yourself for saving the lives of countless innocents.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Blog is Better Than Debbie Schlussel's

Chorus, Isolate, Confirm does not pretend to be an important blog. It does not presume to be ground-breaking, nor does it view itself as a "top blog" in any category. But it's better than at least one political blog I can name:

Her name sounds like a German pastry, but somewhere along the way, this woman has given up sweetness and decided to focus on just being flaky. Conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel regales her audience (?) with hateful tirades against Muslims and a vindictive, unending dislike of Sex and the City. She plays at being a movie critic, cramming her reviews with unrelated political commentary and rating films with "Marxes" or "Reagans."

She is a loser.

Appropriately for someone who has nothing nice to say about anything, Debbie Schlussel looks and sounds like a Michigan soccer mom who's been ingesting lead for the past 40 years. Observe:

I know being a blogger normally entails a lot of trash-talk, but come on, Debbie Schlussel. What did Sex and the City ever do to you?