Nazis in Spaaace!

I really need to get out more. This trailer has apparently been around since 2008:

Because of course it makes sense that the Nazis went into exile on the far side of the moon! How silly for us to have chased them down in South America!

Makes about as much sense as the Transformers 3 premise did, I guess. Wonder if they’ll be able to get a cameo from Buzz Aldrin too?

More about this extremely weird production at their website. Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Luna

But Would it Make a Good Omelet?

Scientists attempting to hack chicken DNA to “reverse-evolve” a dinosaur from an embryo.

From the story at Wired:

Hints of long-extinct creatures, echoes of evolution past, occasionally emerge in real life—they’re called atavisms, rare cases of individuals born with characteristic features of their evolutionary antecedents. Whales are sometimes born with appendages reminiscent of hind limbs. Human babies sometimes enter the world with fur, extra nipples, or, very rarely, a true tail. Horner’s plan, in essence, is to start off by creating experimental atavisms in the lab. Activate enough ancestral characteristics in a single chicken, he reasons, and you’ll end up with something close enough to the ancestor to be a ‘saurus’…Already, researchers have found tantalizing clues that at least some ancient dinosaur characteristics can be reactivated.

Fascinating. Or something.

They Fought the Law

…and the law won. For now at least. Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s report on this week’s Federal raid of the Gibson Guitar factories.

You read that correctly. Our Justice Department has seen fit to sic the law dogs on a guitar factory.

Gibson responds thusly. And there’s this interview with their CEO from Dana Loesch, in which he asserts the government’s position is “prove your innocence or we’ll shut you down.”

Think about that statement. NO ONE in this country has to prove their innocence of a single damned thing, no matter what they’re charged with. Burden of proof falls on the accuser, not the accused.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt — and I am, based on that quaint little “innocent until proven guilty” notion — this raises a number of bothersome questions.

Why do the Feds have it in for Gibson? Because this isn’t the first time this has happened. Do they not have the same concerns with Fender or Paul Reed Smith (now there’s some fine woodwork) for that matter? If not, why? Did someone in Nashville not grease the right palms in DC?

Even more to the point: assuming Gibson’s legal interpretation is correct, what in hell is the US Justice Department smoking to make it think it has a duty to enforce Indian law? What kind of precedent are they trying to establish? Because you’d better believe a bunch of crafty government lawyers are thinking just that any time they venture off into what is essentially uncharted territory. If they’re not, then Justice is scraping the bottom of the law-school barrel. Which maybe they are.

After first reading of this yesterday, I realized something: it seems that almost every single day, I stumble into yet another story of unbelievable government overreach. For all of last decade’s caterwauling about the Patriot Act, our present situation seems to be much worse on any number of fronts. Some of it appears to be clear harassment by the government of industries it just doesn’t like. In others, so much has been quietly criminalized that just about anyone could be brought up on Federal charges if they decided to look hard enough.

To recount a few examples:

The parents of a little girl in Virginia are fined over $500 because she nursed an injured bird back to health. Too bad it turned out be an endangered species.

NRLB vs. Boeing. ‘Nuff said there.

EPA regulating dust. Seriously: dust. A naturally occuring pollutant.

I’ll add more to the list when there’s time.

What is going on here? I’m pretty sure I know, but want to hear what everyone else thinks. Are we finally becoming the banana republic so many of us feared when The One was elected?

UPDATE: Apparently the answer to the last question is yes. Should other non-union businesses whose executives donate to Republicans (and compete with Democratic donors) be looking over their shoulders?

(In the interest of disclosure, I’m a big Gibson fan. I own an early 70’s Les Paul.)

Semper Flatulent

Marines in Afghanistan have been ordered to stop farting so much.

If the Commandant’s serious about this, he’d best do something about the crap that goes into the MREs we feed those guys. ‘Cause let me tell you…

Never mind. Not going there. Let’s just say your average dinner of MRE beef stew and combat fruitcake can leave one a little rancid a few hours later.

And I’m quite fed up with our national hand-wringing over offending people. It’s a war. Wars tend to offend all sorts of sensibilities.

A Sure Sign of the Apocalypse

…is when South Park episodes become reality. Also when smarty-pants eggheads with more education than sense think it’d be a great idea to create   human/animal hybrids.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Now, it’s important to take every single news story you read with a grain of salt. In this case, it may be worth using the whole shaker. There surely must be some finely-reasoned nuance they glossed over that would justify this epic weirdness. Or not. The news media ignore important contextual details all the time. But in this case, it’s really hard to get my head around any possible explanation besides “we could pull this off if only we could talk the government out of enough grant money”.

Let’s all repeat a useful cliche: don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.