Advice for JetBlue

JetBlue is in the crossfire of two groups of flying monkeys over “sponsoring” a convention hosted by a politically left blog. The specifics of this meaningless and mostly manufactured furor don’t really make much difference. What is interesting is JetBlue’s response, which looks to be a lose-lose situation: it irritates the left for caving, and won’t placate the right much, because it isn’t really JetBlue they are railing against.

Since this blog is about half-baked solutions, I offer the following, alternative advice for JetBlue. Issue a statement with substance more like this:

JetBlue is politically agnostic. We don’t care why you are traveling, only that we provide the best travel experience we can. Whether you go to this convention to participate or to protest, we hope you’ll fly JetBlue.

In essence, incite right wingers to protest the convention, taking their money to bring them there. Everyone wins.

Improving the NFL experience

I love professional American football, but a number of new trends this year have been disturbing my calm since the season started. Now that the regular season is winding down, here are some suggestions on how to improve for next season:

  • The four-man comments before the game, at halftime and after the game is a formula that mostly works, but there is no need whatsoever to fly them all to the game and setup the desk on the field. The only purpose this seems to serve is to make it harder to hear anything anyone is saying, and force the hosts to wail like Olympic swimming commentators.
  • To Bryant Gumbel: learn what the phrase “take over on downs” means before uttering it again. Ask your brother.
  • To Dick Vermeil: please refrain from lending your image to any company for promotional purposes ever again. Also, have some of the beefier members of your team hunt down and kill everyone responsible for your beer commercials.
  • Chris Collinsworth wins for suggesting he get work with Court TV as it is the “only way to cover the Browns”.
  • To the NFL: since you have set up your broadcast rules to force me to watch nothing but the New York Jets, the least you could do is force the CBS network to broadcast the game in hi-def. Buy the cameras if you have to.
  • To CBS Sports: high definition is no longer optional. Catch up.
  • An occasional Thursday game is fun. Every week is overkill.
  • Stop giving a shit about Terrell Owens.
  • To advertisers: When you repeat the same commercial over and over, it makes me actively hate both you and your products. Stop it.
  • To Chevrolet: When you insist on running the same honky-intensive commercial over and over and over containing the phrase “this is our philosophy”, you might not want to put a picture under it depicting someone from a homophobic organization that illegally uses federal funds.
  • To the NFL network: Give up on the idea of the NFL network. Unless you are intentionally trying to destroy the NFL, in which case: soldier on.
  • Light beer in sweaty green bottles is not my girlfriend and, even if it was, I’m pretty sure I would want it to be neither “hot” nor “a freak like you”. I don’t know what either of those mean.

…and the triple

Superstition holds that celebrity deaths come in threes, but the latest triple seems much stranger than most. Watching the coverage of the funerals of James Brown, Gerald Ford and Saddam Hussein showcases how completely different these three men were. Watching these pageants, I couldn’t help but think there was some Jungian connection between it all, but can’t quite flush it out. Instead, stray observations, in no particular order:

  • While I understand the desire to represent the different branches of the armed forces at a state funeral, the mismatched uniforms of the pallbearers made the whole thing look sloppy. Maybe if there was a unified pallbearer uniform, with different insignia or something, it wouldn’t look like a bunch of guys were just picked up in a van by someone hanging out the window saying “yo! wanna carry the president?”
  • Michael Jackson may have been the only white guy invited to the James Brown funeral.
  • I’m pleased that it took very little time for the video of Saddam’s execution to hit the net. This suggests that the internet is infiltrating the Middle East more than I’d guessed. This will do more to advance freedom in the region than anything else.
  • Henry Kissinger may have finally crossed over into being a full lich.
  • It’s only a matter of time before someone suggests that Ford and Hussein coverage stealing the thunder from James Brown was a conspiracy of The Man.
  • Given that Betty Ford is rightfully praised for her public acknowledgment of her past addiction, the degree to which most of the talking heads in the press avoided mentioning “her problems” seemed somewhat insulting.
  • Americans are falling behind in the number of bullets shot into the air in celebration. (Where do these bullets go, anyway?)
  • My German father-in-law looked at the military aspect of the Ford funeral and suggested that if Germans saw a similar ceremony for a German politician, there would be an outcry that the Nazis had returned. Not sure if that’s true, but I was surprised by the comment.
  • Coloradoans give better-looking tributes than those inside the beltway.
  • The lack of former presidents at the Ford funeral surprised me. Bush, in particular, didn’t seem to care much about any of these deaths, other than as an opportunity to hint at his delusion that history will judge him well.
  • A tip to the choir: when someone in the audience passes out, just keep smiling and singing.

MAD, but effective

For nearly fifty years, the concept of mutual assured destruction, whether official doctrine or not, has probably prevented the use of nuclear weapons in anger. Even during very close calls, knowledge that the result of a release would mean everyone’s death kept fingers off the triggers.

Some claim the MAD doesn’t work against “rogue states” or terrorist groups. After all, if New York evaporates in a mushroom cloud caused by a smuggled nuke, against whom are you retaliating? However, since MAD is more of a political weapon, I believe it can indeed be useful against both terrorists and “rogue states”. Since the point of Asteroid is to suggest solutions, however half-baked they may be, here is how this half-baked strategy would go down:

NETWORK ANNOUNCER: We interrupt this program for a special announcement.

Cut to image of presidential seal

WHITE-HOUSE ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States..

Fade to shot of President sitting behind desk in the Oval Office. His countenance should be a subtle mix of “in control”, “forceful”, “grim” and “saddened”; however, if this speech was really made, it would probably be made by Bush, so we’d likely have to settle for his usual mix of “smirking” and “simian”

PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans…long ago, the Persian Empire spanned from India into Europe and Africa, host to one of the most advanced cultures of its time, bringing the world unmatched advances in medicine, chemistry and mathematics. Unfortunately, those times are long past and Persia has devolved into the fundamentalist theocracy of Iran, a false democracy, where opposition parties are banned from running for election.

Last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced “the start of the progress of this country” not with medicine or mathematics, but by enriching uranium, the first step towards production of nuclear weapons. Iran, claims that this technology will only be used for energy production. It is possible that they are telling the truth. It is more likely that they are not.

In the past, Iranian leaders have called for the death of America and its allies. They have taken our citizens hostage and taken the sovereign territory of our embassy by force. They continue to fund terrorism. There is much Iranian leaders could have done in the past decade to rejoin the international community, but nearly every action they have taken has instead been calculated to drive them further and further from the company of rational men and women. There are no doubt many Iranian citizens who oppose this stance, but so far they seem unable or unwilling to wrest control of their freedom from those who illegitimately claim to speak for them.

Therefore, while the United States and the international community determines how best to handle Iran’s nuclear program, I am today announcing a policy change in the way our great nation will respond should the unthinkable happen and a nuclear device is discharged on our own soil or abroad.

From this day forth, should an attack with nuclear or radiological weapons, or missiles capable of delivering them, be launched from Iran against any nation, particularly the United States or its allies, the response of the United States will be to immediately and without warning launch an attack that will blanket every square meter of the nation of Iran in nuclear fire.

Furthermore, the detonation of any nuclear or radiological device, anywhere on the globe, whose source cannot be determined will be assumed without proof to be an attack by a hidden alliance of North Korea, Iran and the greater Muslim world against the economy, security and people of the United States. This will invite a nuclear counterattack by the United States in which, along with the totality of Iran, the cities of P’y?ngyang, Jerusalem, Damascus, Cairo, Riyadh, Amman, Beirut, Baghdad, Kabul and Islamabad will be incinerated with nuclear weapons.

It is possible that countries like Russia or China will respond to this policy by creating a policy of their own threatening nuclear retaliation against the United States should it be invoked. This will, if it happens, require the United States to strike against those countries in kind.

Therefore, the result should Korea, Iran and the greater Muslim world fail to control those who would use nuclear weapons will be the destruction of all life on Earth, including themselves. A loose nuclear weapon will not be a righteous weapon of holy vengeance, but a death sentence for every living thing.

There are those who suggest that Iran is just waiting out this administration to be replaced by a new Presidency more like those they dealt with in the past. Mistakes of those administrations have led many in the Middle East to believe that our great nation is toothless, and easily backs down. They’ll assume that this policy will not be carried out by my successors. Such assumptions would be a mistake. Whatever their other perceived weaknesses, no administration since the development of nuclear weapons has ever hesitated to take an aggressive stance regarding nuclear weapons. Even the most peaceful of men will fight if the stakes are high enough, and the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of a nation who both funds terrorism and has repeatedly called for our nation’s destruction is high indeed.

Our great nation is the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons in anger. We have not had to use them since, blessed with rational adversaries. Iran has not done much to show itself as rational. It is my hope that they soon will, abandoning this pursuit of a technology that, in the end, won’t help them at all. But, while I hope, our nation’s nuclear arsenal will remain ready.

God bless you. And America prevails! And God bless the United States of America.

There is a chance of this strategy backfiring and uniting more of the Islamic world against us; however, at this point I’m not sure our reputation with the rest of the world could get much worse, after six years of steady bridge-burning. What do you think? Would this strategy work?

Suggestion for Vancouver

After watching the bobsled (with its huge bullet-shaped craft), the luge (and its sled) and the skeleton (and it’s stripped down toboggan), I have a suggestion for a new event for the Vancouver games in 2010. Rather than use these wussy sleds, competitors would wear suits with ice skate blades sewn vertically into the upper chest, stomach and thighs. They would run at full speed down the starting track of a skeleton course, then launch themselves onto their belly and fly head first down the ice, running on the blades sewn into the suits.

Oh, also, in the opening and closing ceremonies, I suggest that Vancouver not inexplicably feature American pop tunes more than three decades old.