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Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,244

Journal Archives

Venezuela president fires military brass amid unrest

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro fired four top military commanders Tuesday including the head of a police force that is accused of attacking anti-government protesters during months of deadly unrest.

The commander of the National Guard military police, General Antonio Benavides Torres, will move on to "new responsibilities and battles," Maduro told supporters in a speech.

He said he was also replacing the heads of the army, navy and the central strategic command body.

The armed forces have maintained their public backing for Maduro in more than a year of mounting volatility in the oil-rich, crisis-struck state.


Oh yeah this is a good sign for the Bolivarian Revolution.

Gibson Brands transforms guitar-making into diverse 'music lifestyle' firm

Resting in its case on top of a desk at the corporate headquarters of the company that makes Gibson guitars is a technologically head-spinning model that Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz describes with parental pride.

The craftsmanship that went into Gibson’s Firebird X “hexaphonic” limited-edition electric instrument is obvious. Less apparent is this contraption’s ability to do just about anything short of brewing a cup of coffee.

Consider: Advanced sampling technology allows it to sound like any one of dozens of vintage electric or acoustic guitars at the touch of a button. A player can also quickly shift among any number of conventional and unconventional tuning setups at the touch of another button. And thanks to automatic tuning technology, one will never worry about it going out of tune.

And that’s barely scratching the instrument’s high-gloss surface.


Megyn Kelly and NBC News take the gloves off in Alex Jones interview and now he's mad

Megyn Kelly presented a highly critical 19-minute piece on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on her NBC newsmagazine “Sunday Night” after a week of harsh criticism over the decision to present his views on network TV.

Jones is notorious for saying the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was staged to promote tougher gun control laws. Twenty-six people, including 20 children, died, making it the second-deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history at the time.

NBC News brought on its elder statesman Tom Brokaw to join Kelly at the end of the program to say the parents of the Newtown victims “should not have to hear the cruel claim that it’s a lie.”

Brokaw’s appearance was clearly an attempt to assuage the Sandy Hook families who were outraged and even threatened legal action against NBC News.


Little Caesars Marketing New Marshmallows N Gravy Pizza Directly To President

DETROIT—Touting the menu item as perfect for “commander-in-chief-sized cravings,” Little Caesars this week launched an extensive marketing campaign for its new Marshmallows ’N’ Gravy Pizza aimed directly at President Donald Trump.

“Our sweet and savory Marshmallows ’N’ Gravy Pizza is the only meal that can satisfy the hunger of the nation’s highest office,” said a spokesperson in a new Little Caesars television spot, which aired several times during Thursday morning’s episode of Fox & Friends and featured multiple slow-motion close-up shots of thick brown gravy cascading onto a marshmallow-covered pizza while “Hail To The Chief” played in the background.

“With dozens of perfectly toasted Jet-Puffed marshmallows bathed in rich sausage gravy and finished with crispy Cool Ranch Doritos crumbles all atop a large Classic Pepperoni pizza, our newest taste sensation is the perfect choice for a diplomatic lunch, state dinner, or when you get that late-night 3 a.m. hankering while checking social media. And with Little Caesars restaurants conveniently located throughout the D.C. and Palm Beach metro areas, you can have a slice of Marshmallows ’N’ Gravy Pizza whenever you like.”

According to Little Caesars, the new item is available for $16.99 or as part of the $20.99 Executive Meal Deal along with a 48-ounce Dr Pepper and can of Duncan Hines cake frosting.


Heaven Installs Spikes To Keep Cherubs From Shitting On St. Peters Gate

THE HEAVENS—Frustrated by how frequently they’ve had to scrub the structure clean over the past several millennia, representatives from the Kingdom of Heaven confirmed Wednesday they had installed spikes atop St. Peter’s Gate to prevent cherubs from shitting all over it.

“It’s really embarrassing—not to mention disgusting—that the first thing new souls see upon arriving here for the rest of eternity is our main entrance absolutely covered in cherub shit, so hopefully the new spikes will keep those little bastards away,” said the archangel Raphael of the continuous strip of 7-inch interwoven stainless steel spikes that a team of contractors affixed along the top of the final threshold to everlasting paradise, noting that the divine beings’ droppings not only sullied the appearance of the otherwise grand and gleaming gate, but also produced a noxious odor that posed a significant health hazard.

“It was a bit expensive having them do the whole length of the archway, but much less expensive in the long run than paying someone to power-wash it every other week. Plus, it’s a much more humane method than the poison pellets we were using before.”

At press time, Raphael had turned his attention to shooing away the haggard assortment of mangy, mostly flightless cherubs that hobble around on the clouds surrounding St. Peter’s Gate, subsisting on scraps left by the crowds of the saved.


Driven to distraction: How Kim Jong-un's 'traffic ladies' are hired purely for their looks

Snapping their heads from side to side, marching into the roads in close-fitting blue uniforms and black heels, the 'traffic ladies' who marshal vehicles at the intersections of Pyongyang are an emblematic image of the North Korean capital.

Officially known as traffic security officers but universally referred to as traffic ladies, they are chosen for their looks in a society that remains traditionalist in many respects.

They must leave the role if they marry, and have a finite shelf-life, with compulsory retirement looming at just 26.

The 300-odd ladies are unique to Pyongyang, which North Korean authorities are always keen to present in the best possible light despite their nuclear-armed country's impoverished status, and ensure a steady supply of photogenic young women who are the favourite subject of visiting tourists and journalists.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4602298/Driven-distraction-Pyongyangs-traffic-ladies.html

Sounds like a very Trumpian thing to do.

Venezuela attorney general says officials threatened her family

Venezuela's attorney general on Monday said intelligence officials had threatened and harassed her family after she openly challenged President Nicolas Maduro over the country's political crisis.

A staunch figure of the ruling party, Attorney General Luisa Ortega has been branded a traitor for becoming the highest public official to break ranks with Maduro.

She has accused him and his allies of acting unconstitutionally in their standoff against the opposition in recent months of deadly anti-government protests.

Last week, she filed a challenge against his effort to rewrite the constitution, branding it undemocratic.


Stunning fossil reveals prehistoric baby bird caught in amber

Amber hunters in Burma dug up a remarkably complete bird hatchling that dates to the time of the dinosaurs. The bird's side, almost half of its body, was dipped in tree sap, which hardened around the neck bones, claws, a wing and its toothed jaws.

Scientists identified the animal as a member of the extinct group called enantiornithes, and published their discovery in the journal Gondwana Research this week.

The chick died young and fell into a pool of sap. It died halfway through its first feather molt, suggesting that the animal broke out of its egg just a few days before it perished. Its life began in the moist tropics beneath conifer trees. It ended near a puddle of conifer gunk, called resin, which fossilized into amber. Burmese diggers uncovered the amber 99 million years later.

“Enantiornithines are close relatives to modern birds, and in general, they would have looked very similar. However, this group of birds still had teeth and claws on their wings,” said Ryan McKellar, a paleontologist at Canada's Royal Saskatchewan Museum. This animal lived during the Cretaceous Period, which came to a cataclysmic close 65.5 million years ago and took the non-bird dinosaurs with it.


8th-grader who skipped Paul Ryan photo op: Were not brainwashed

One of the students who skipped a photo with House Speaker Paul Ryan last month penned an op-ed defending her peers’ decision.

Approximately 50 eighth-graders from South Orange Middle School in New Jersey opted out of a photo with Ryan last month during a class trip to Washington, D.C. The story drew national headlines, with some criticizing the students as “losers,” “brats” and “disrespectful.” Others said the teenagers were too young to have formed political opinions of their own and were clearly brainwashed by their teachers or parents against Ryan.

“Does anybody believe a 13-year-old kid understands the intricacies of what Speaker Ryan does, day in and day out?” wrote Jay Caruso on Red State, a right-wing blog. “Most 13- and 14-year-olds have neither read widely enough nor lived long enough to have fully formed, independent political views; they are more likely to parrot whatever they’ve learned from trusted adults,” wrote Melissa Langsam Braunstein on the Federalist, another conservative publication.

Jordan McCray-Robinson, an eighth-grader who chose not to take a photo with the speaker of the House, wrote at length Monday defending herself and her classmates.


Smart, aware kids. There's still hope for America.

Classic comedy album a Firesign of the times

Desperate times call for desperate responses in popular culture. But while the controversy, protests, paranoia, and confusion sown by the first few weeks of the Trump administration is of historic proportions, it’s a little early in the curve for the creative community to have answered back in full. Until that time — and it may be weeks — one tempting choice is to go forward into the past.

Thankfully, I have the ticket. What would you say to a forgotten satirical masterpiece that takes place in a parallel America, one where we lost World War II (we were fighting Fascism, remember?), where television has replaced reality as the organizing principle of people’s lives, and where resistance isn’t even possible as long as you’re hooked up to the 24-seven entertainment machine?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers,” a 1970 LP by the four-man comedy troupe The Firesign Theatre. Elected into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2006, the record is 47 years old and plays like it was recorded yesterday.

Most of you remember the Firesigns, if you remember them at all, as that hippie comedy act your best friend’s acidhead older brother was into in the late ’60s. This has not been to the benefit of the group’s reputation. Based in Los Angeles and made up of David Ossman, Philip Proctor, Peter Bergman, and Phil Austin — the last two now sadly deceased — The Firesign Theatre specialized in conceptual narrative comedy that interwove goofball surrealism with diamond-hard social criticism. They’re perhaps best known for “The Further Adventures of Nick Danger” (1969), a dandy but relatively straightforward private-eye parody off their second album, and also for “I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus” (1971), which only predicted virtual reality, computer hacking, and the surveillance state.


I feel like we're living in the Firesign Theatre universe these days.
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