I work for a company that I will refer to as ‘Levy Pants Company’ (a very clever reference on my part to Peter O’Toole’s ‘Confederacy of Dunces’). We have a relationship with a vendor of communications services that I will call ‘Acme Communications.’ Acme’s billing is so notoriously full of errors and overcharges that ‘Levy Pants’ employs a ‘billing negotiation company’ I shall call ‘Clawback Enterprises’ to negotiate our bills for us. As far as I understand the process, in Acme’s billing agreements, Acme specifies that it is dependent upon the customer (Levy Pants) to determine whether or not the bill is accurate… which is where ‘Clawback’ comes in. ‘Clawback’ uses billing specialists (most are former employees of companies like Acme) to look through the bills and dispute errors unfavorable to Levy Pants. Every over-charge that is successfully dismissed nets Clawback about a third of what Levy Pants would have otherwise overpaid. Acme’s usual strategy to fight Clawback is to simply ignore requests for disputes and to continually send incorrect invoices in hopes that Levy Pants pays them… where they land on my desk and I immediately forward them to my associate at Clawback whom I will call ‘Laura.’
Put another way, Acme Communication’s bills are so notoriously filled with overcharges that companies like Clawback exist just to dispute them. This is insanity worthy of Twain or Swift… but overbilling may well be a growth source of revenue for Acme ‘cause they just keep doing it.
Periodically, I find myself in a three way conference call with representatives from Acme and Clawback. During these conference calls, I’m usually just trying to puzzle my way through the massive spreadsheets that Laura from Clawback has emailed to me about how fucked up the bills from Acme are that week and while they talk I try to figure out what the shizzle the Acme and Clawback people are arguing about.
Above was clipped from one of Dunham’s Weekly circulars, the “Sports Hunting Circular” with prices valid through 10/13/2012. For those not in the know, Dunham’s is the place to go for long underwear in a camo print, soccer jerseys for the kids, hockey sticks and skates, socks, athletic supporters, duck calls, etc. It’s like a discount Cabelas that also serves as a one-stop-shop for people with kids playing school sports.
The item in question is a civilian model of the HK 416, supposedly one of the best automatic rifles in the world. I’m normally not that excited about civilian semi-auto carbines, but $549.99 seemed too good a deal to pass up. Come zombie apocalypse or the rise of the machines, I’d want something with the combined accuracy and ROF of a semi-auto carbine, and the HK416 is not only better than the various AR15 clones in terms of fewer ‘failure to feed’ problems, but is also the weapon of choice for special forces around the world — and, at $549.99, cheaper as well. If my future involved manning the barricades, I wanted an HK416 in my hands. It’s the rifle that killed Bin Laden.
Well, I visited two Dunham’s and called several more, and not only did they not have it, everyone I spoke to said they never carry any rifles from Heckler Koch but they would gladly sell me a Bushmaster carbine for $999.99 if I used the coupon, $1099.99 regular price. Bunch of bait and switch motherfuckers.
Tip of the hat for marketing genius goes to whomever came up with Hornady “Zombie-Max” ammo. Yes, it is for real. Hornady is one of the many companies selling ammunition in the US and came up with “Zombie-Max” to sell more ammo to more people. The ammo is apparently a capped hollowpoint, but the plastic cap is green instead of the usual white or clear, which of course means it is better for killing zombies, because zombies are (apparently) sensitive to green plastic the way that werewolves are sensitive to silver. Who knew? If green plastic does kill zombies, I’m going to buy a bunch of green plastic army men, grind ’em up and pack ’em into shotgun shells. Just in case.
|“My dick was HUGE till she wanted out of the kitchen!”|
I am not making this shit up. According to the internet, Rush was on his radio show, talking about penis size (?), and he brought up a study that was done in Italy that claimed to show that human penises had decreased in average size by about 10% over the last 50 years. The Italian penis measuring people said this was a result of exposure to pollution (Which remind me: I gotta stop dipping my dong into that Rouge River water!).
“I don’t buy this,” Limbaugh said. “I think it’s feminism. I think if it’s tied to the last fifty years, the average size of a member is ten percent smaller…it has to be the feminazis.”
Makes perfect sense to me. Those dick hating Feminazis have probably been sneaking penis shrinking pills into our food… or doping the water supply with anti-viagra… or sprinkling or underpants with magic genital shrinking powder or something. There really is no other logical explanation.
I hope this is fake but I worry it is not.
My favorite nugget:
The position causing the most controversy, however, is the statement that they oppose the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” — a curriculum which strives to encourage critical thinking — arguing that it might challenge “student’s fixed beliefs” and undermine “parental authority.”
Yee-fucking-haw. We are doomed.
Addendum: I went to the source. Visit the homepage of the Texas GOP Convention and you can download a copy of their platform statement. I didn’t read the whole document, but found this:
“Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
Based on this, one of the ways in which the Texas GOP has been misrepresented is that they state opposition to a certain kind of teaching philosophy, and not “thinking” itself, but the meat of the criticism seems to stand. Since the platform statement is intended to be the ‘doorbuster’ that gets people fired up about what these politicians are going to do for them, this is some scary shit. Granted, based on past and current performance, the opposition isn’t any better, but sheee-it. So seldom have politicians been so honest.
When I was a young pup, there was a TV series about benevolent seeming aliens who had come to earth to control mankind called ‘V.’ The ‘big secret’ about these visitors was that they were actually reptiles who wore masks and wigs to appear human. They remade the series a few years ago, but I haven’t seen the new version. I tried to watch the old series a while back when I heard they were remaking it, but only made it halfway through the first episode. I was pretty amused by seeing the aliens swallowing hamsters and guinea pigs, but the acting and dialogue was so freaking wooden I couldn’t make it past the first 1/2 hour. Sometimes you just can’t go back.
|looks rather reptilian to me|
A few years ago, I heard about ‘David Icke‘ for the first time. If you don’t know who he is, follow the links. Icke claims to believe that ‘alien shapeshifters’ control the world and people in positions of power (like the Rothschilds, most or all of the presidents of the US and other nations, etc.), are members of a race of reptiles that have interbred with humans and control us. It sounds like a pretty entertaining set of ideas; I kind of wish it WAS true because that could be so cool and I could then join the freedom fighters trying to take down the evil reptiles and wear bandoliers of bullets and grenades on my armor vest like I am in some Schwartzenegger movie. And who wouldn’t want to do that? It certainly would be more fun than marching in protest against the greed of bankers and financiers and the collusion of politicians to bend democracy to the will of corporate interests. And I’d rather carry an AK 47 and kill lizards than carry a bindle and curse the man — but right now the latter scenario seems more likely.
Apparently some people think Icke is an anti-Semite. I don’t know anything about that, but, unfortunately, it would not surprise me. Ray Arnold Palmer, one of the fathers of modern UFOlogy, apparently would go on tears about ‘The Jews’ in the years before his death; I don’t know if that was approaching senility or if age had just removed the filtering software from Palmer’s brain. Anti-semitism has a long history in the conspiracy theory movement… perhaps hating ‘the other’ is a part of the dark underbelly of human imagination.
If it is not clear already, I love thinking about ‘outsiders’ and freaks and eccentrics of all kinds.
Apparently, some time around 1944 or 1945, Raymond Arnold Palmer, an editor at Ziff Davis Publications magazine “Amazing Stories” (a man who went on to do much to create the popular UFO culture in the US) fished a letter out of the trash written by someone named Richard Shaver. Shaver claimed that all of human language was based on a series of sounds, each of which could be represented by a letter, and that by using this alphabet (which he called ‘Mantong’), one could decode the secret meanings of words as handed down to current civilizations by the Atlanteans.
An introduction to Mantong by Richard Sharpe Shaver
This was the letter originally sent by R.S. Shaver to “Amazing Stories.” It was published by Ray Palmer in the ‘Discussions’ section of Amazing Stories in January of 1944. Apparently, the letter was read by Howard Browne, Palmer’s Managing editor at thee time, who tossed it into the trash saying, “The world is full of crackpots.” Palmer fished it out, saw a possibility and decided to run the letter and the alphabet in the magazine. The response from readers was enthusiastic. People wrote in to say that they had applied the ‘Mantong’ alphabet to all sorts of words in many different languages and claimed to have gleaned hidden meanings from the translation.
“Sirs, Am sending this in hope you will insert it in an issue to keep from dying with me. It would arouse a lot of discussion. Am sending you the language so that some time you can have it looked at by some one in the college or a friend who is a student of antique times. The language seems to me to be definite proof of the Atlantean legend. A great number of our English words have come down intact as romantic –ro man tic-“science of man patterning by control,” Trocadero – t ro see a dero- “good one see a bad one”- applied now together. It is an immensely important find, suggesting the god legends have a base in some wiser race than modern man; but to understand it takes a good head as it contains multi-thoughts like many puns on the same subject. It is too deep for ordinary man – who thinks it is a mistake. A little study reveals ancient words in English occurring many times. It should be saved and placed in wise hands. I can’t, will you? It really has an immense significance, and will perhaps put me right in your thoughts again if you will really understand this.
I need a little encouragement.”
The Mantong Alphabet –
A – is for Animal
B – is to Be
C – means See
D – is the harmful energy generated by the Sun
E – is Energy
F – means Fecund
G – means to Generate
H – means Human
I – means I
J – is the same as G – generate
K – means Kinetic, as in motion or energy
L – is Life
M – means Man
N – means child, as in ‘ninny’
O – means Orifice, a source
P – is Power
Q – means Quest
R – horror; signifies a large amount of D present
S – means the Sun, which emits D
T – is the beneficial force, the opposite of D
U – means You
V – Vital; in Shaver’s words, ‘the stuff Mesmer calls animal magnetism.’
W – Will
X – Conflict, sometimes meaning D and T in opposition
Y – means Why
Z – means Zero, or when T and D cancel one another out.
“We present this interesting letter concerning an ancient language with no comment, except to say that we applied the letter-meaning to the individual letter of many old root words and proper names and got an amazing “sense” out of them. Perhaps if readers interested were to apply his formula to more of these root words, we will be able to discover if the formula applies … is this formula the basis of one of the most ancient languages on Earth? The mystery intrigues us very much. – ED.”
Shaver later claimed to have discovered that these ancient civilizations had hidden images, films and records inside of rocks, and stuff really started to get weird. Like many conspiracy theorists, Shaver claimed to know a great secret that threatened all of mankind. According to Shaver, there was a subterranean race of evil humnoids, whom he termed the ‘dero,’ who enjoyed capturing surface dwellers and enslaving, torturing and sexually abusing them. The editors at Amazing Fantasy said they had to “tone down” a lot of the sex and violence (and sexual violence or violent sex) in Shaver’s stories before publication. Shaver stated he had lived underground with the ‘Tero’ (good Dero) for a number of years and that all of his “Shaver Mystery” stories were true. Others said he was in a mental asylum during that time.
Eventually, the “Shaver Mystery” was dropped from Amazing Stories and Ray Palmer went on to other things. The sci-fi fans who cried ‘hoax’ and used to heckle Palmer and Shaver publically (including a young Harlan Ellison) declared victory. Bizzarely, one of the major complaints of the anti-Shaver Mystery crowd was that “if the Shaver Mystery was suppossed to be the truth, it did not belong in a magazine devoted to fiction.” Shaver felt that the decision by the publisher to no longer carry his stories was a part of the plot to silence him and conceal the Dero plot against mankind. He and his wife retired to a small town in Arkansas where he ran a shop selling geological specimens as well as publishing his newsletters, making his remarkable paintings and continuing his research until his death.
Most people consider him a crank and a crazy. They call his conspiracy theories a ‘hoax.’ As far as I can tell, however, Shaver was dead serious about his beliefs. Was he really lying if he believed what he was saying?