Government Shutdown

Shutdown Apocalypticism Watch: OMG WE MIGHT BE HIT BY AN ASTEROID!

Alarmist story of the day

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The so-called shutdown has prompted a lot of apocalyptic rhetoric, but I'm not sure that any claim outdoes the idea that Lucia Graves debunks here:

It's not the end of the world.

Has the shutdown ruined our ability to detect asteroids? Not really. But that hasn't stopped publications around the Web from running alarmist headlines suggesting as much.

"NASA Shuts Down 'Asteroid Watch' In Wake Of US Government Crisis" reads a story published by HuffPost UK. "NASA asteroid watch closes due to government shutdown," reads another. "If an asteroid starts hurtling toward Earth," wrote one [CNN] reporter in a recent story, "…well…good luck."

The alarmist stories are based on a single tweet from NASA's Near Earth Object Office's @AsteroidWatch twitter account.

While some of those posts make clear lower down in the story that their headlines are actually about nothing more than the temporary closing of a twitter account, others never get there or maybe don't even realize it. The fact of the matter is that the office remains operational with the exception of social media.

Just for a moment, that "Weimar America" talk doesn't sound so extreme after all.

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259 responses to “Shutdown Apocalypticism Watch: OMG WE MIGHT BE HIT BY AN ASTEROID!

  1. SAVE US BRUCE WILLIS

    1. Bruce Willis saves those who save themselves.

    2. Better to die than be saved with shaky-cam!

    3. I am now reliving in my mind the Key and Peele skit about
      Bruce Willy

    4. Fuck Bruce Willis. We need Robert Duvall to save us while President Morgan Freeman assures us all will be fine…all while Tea Leone essentially commits suicide for no apparent reason.*

      * I just can’t get past that bit of plot idiocy. 10 miles inland. 10 fucking miles and the first chunk of the comet won’t flood you. I mean, if the whole comet hits, the planet’s completely fucked. But if they somehow destroy it, the first chunk is only gonna create a tidal wave that comes 10 miles inland. But you have to go see your dad at his beach house and are basically killing yourself because you couldn’t or wouldn’t wake up early in the morning and drive, ride, walk or crawl far enough inland to easily survive. Selfish asshole. Her dad should have punched her in the face when she ran out onto that beach.

      1. Look, if everything within ten miles of the sea is ruined, that’s all of NYC.

        What’s the point of a world without NYC?

        1. a world without NYC?

          I just got an erection.

          1. Warrren|10.11.13 @ 5:40PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

            Why hello!

      2. I watched the movie with my oldest daughter, and when it got to that part I told her if she came back to me like that she wouldn’t have to worry about the tsunami.

        Furthermore, I’d have impeached Morgan Freeman. All he had to do to save millions of lives is give people enough warning to get away from the coast. In an asteroid strike, that’s where the danger is highest.

  2. I eagerly await the fed-goons placing barriers, cones, and crime-scene tape across our view of space.

  3. “If an asteroid starts hurtling toward Earth,” wrote one [CNN] reporter in a recent story, “…well…good luck.”

    Well, yeah.

  4. This is the funniest thing I’ve seen today. Although I do think that an asteroid destroying the planet during the exact two weeks we have a government shutdown would be the funniest extinction event in the history of the universe.

    I mean if you have to go out you might as well do it hilariously.

    1. WHY DIDN’T WE ELIMINATE THE DEBT CEILING?!? WHY DIDN’T WE LISTEN!?!

      1. YOU MANIACS, YOU SHUT IT DOWN! YOU SHUT IT ALL DOWN!

      2. WHY DID YOU RUN UP ALL THOSE DEFICITS EVERY YEAR?!?

        WITHOUT THOSE DEFICITS, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE RUN UP AGAINST A DEBT CEILING!!!!!

      3. YOU KILLED KERRY!

        1. YOU BASTARDS!

    2. The hilarious part is that everyone is worried about shutting down detection of an approaching asteroid, instead of realizing that we really have no way to stop or deflect one if we do detect it.

      1. I am Kirok!

      2. we really have no way to stop or deflect one if we do detect it.

        I suspect we’ve got all the nukes we need to take care of most asteroids.

        1. The most obvious use of nukes is actually not a great way to deal with the problem.

          First, you have to get the nukes out of earth orbit when the largest rockets they are on are designed with barely half that capacity.

          Second, if you blow the asteroid up, you now are faced with lots of pieces rather than one piece in almost the same intersecting orbit. You could, for example, turn a catastrophe for the entire Pacific seaboard into a catastrophe for the entire Pacific seaboard, the entire Atlantic seaboard, and the entire Indian seaboard. Atmospheric peril also increases as the pieces all have the same kinetic energy as the single asteroid, but now it’s spread over far more surface area of asteroid and far more of the earth’s surface. That’s a recipe for far larger firestorms.

          The best use of nukes is to serially explode them near the asteroid to vaporize the surface and gradually push its orbit out of earth intersection.

      3. The other amusing part is that there are no astronomers anywhere on this planet other than those employed by NASA.

  5. From 24/7 (’cause I’m the only one who looks there):
    “White House rejects key part of House Republican proposal on debt ceiling”
    Yes, the deal isn’t “clean” enough for His Sleaziness.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    1. Would really love to know what was said in last night’s meeting. It can’t be all because of a poll, can it?

    2. If Orange Cryer had any brains, he’d open with “so how many insurance plans have you sold? Need some help out from under that while you can still claim to not know how many?”

    3. “A proposal that puts a debt-ceiling increase at only six weeks, tied to budget negotiations, would put us right back where we are today in just six weeks, on the verge of Thanksgiving and the obviously important shopping season leading up to the holidays. And that would create enormous uncertainty for our economy.”

      It’s hilarious, hearing concerns about economic uncertainties from the lips of politicians, bureaucrats, and their camp followers. It’s like pornstars bemoaning the moral decline of society.

      1. It’s like pornstars bemoaning the moral decline of society.

        It is offensive that you would compare the noble men and women of pornography to politicians. For shame Dweebston, for shame.

        1. Damn you. That’s what I was going to say!

          Pornstars are orders of magnitude above politicians.

  6. Doesn’t all depend on how many par-secs the asteroid is?

      1. Fucking tags… +[less than symbol]12

    1. Is it as many par-secs as the Kessel Run?

      1. You know, I’ve been thinking about the stupid explanation for that line.

        How crowded would everything have to be and how long are the other routes through when you are bragging with *parsecs*?

          1. Thanks, Cliffy

          2. Fine and good, but riddle me this, Batman: every other spacecraft, droid, speeder, etc that is manufactured in the Star Wars galaxy is duplicated a lot. You see a lot of R-2 units, spaceships, C3PO units, etc. The only one that is not mass-produced just happens to be the Millennium Falcon? And Han is still somehow able to keep a low profile while in Mos Eisely? Either that, or there are a bunch of other ships out there that could likewise shave that distance off the Kessel Run, making the boast idiotic.

            Fucking George Lucas.

              1. That’s the most ridiculous provenance and chain of custody I’ve ever seen for anything, real or fictional.

                Fucking George Lucas.

                1. Fucking George Lucas.

                  Well, indirectly. It’s so complicated because he’s let so many dozens (hundreds?) of people have their hands on the canon, and of course everybody wants to work with the most memorable stuff.

                  I mean, yeah, there’s expanded universe stuff about Dengar, too, but no one cares.

              1. That took a whole 8 minutes.

                Impressive.

                  1. Can I has the par-secs?

            1. The Millenium Falcon was a modified Corellian freighter. Presumably the modifications were what made it so badass.

              1. Nah, Han Solo made it badass. The mods were actually to make it less badass, cause it’d have been a really short trilogy otherwise.

              2. Yup. Twin turbochargers AND a big-ass nitrous tank.

  7. Part of the reasoning there is probably that asteroid defence (an admittedly a tiny risk, but one with huge cost, if it does happen) is a “public good”, in that, everyone on Earth benefits from it without their individual contribution (the “free-rider problem”).

    Of course, an important counter to that is that (I suspect) there are many out there that would be more than willing to voluntarily front capital for asteroid defence, in purely their own interest, free-rider notwithstanding. If it weren’t for government monopolisation of that field (and the attendant huge degree of taxation/monetary damage), folks might be able to include mitigating risks of that degree within their budget priorities.

    1. Except that no government has a monopoly on asteroid watching. You know who discovers most of the space junk floating around our solar system – amateur astronomers.

      I am pretty sure that if one of them finds an asteroid coming this way, hundreds more will verify its orbit and the government won’t shrug its shoulders and go ‘sequester . . . shutdown, nothing we can do’. That’s *in addition* to the private entities who would jump at the chance to show what they can do. Assuming of course that the world governments don’t band together to effectively force them to sit idle since it will be ‘too important’ to leave to the civilians.

      1. I should’ve read upthread before responding to you below.

        My bad.

  8. that “Weimar America” talk

    WTF. Did I just read/skim (I stopped reading every word when I realized it was nuttier than a fruitcake)?

  9. “Meet the asteroid that might hit Earth in 2880”, (via instapundit)

    http://www.foxnews.com/science…..h-in-2880/

    1. Just proof that God exists.
      -Fundamentalist Christians

      Just poof that there is no God.
      -Fundamentalist Anti-religionists

    2. Take an asteroid that’s heading towards Earth, nudge it into orbit, BAM instant access to tons of raw materials for building solar collector that beam energy via microwave. Only realistic way solar energy would be useful.

      1. No thank you! Flashback to the ’90s:

        NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because one engineering team used metric units while another used English units for a key spacecraft operation, according to a review finding released Thursday.

        1. Which is really weird. When I was in engineering school everything was metric, who were the idiots using imperial?

          1. Government-sector workers?

          2. Fucking NASA.

          3. Aerospace biz. Lots of pounds and ft used there. They’re OK using metric units of energy though.

  10. The reality here is that the soonest we could possibly get something in to space that would give us even a remote shot at deflecting an asteroid is around six months, at best.

    And even then, if it’s bigger than say, 1500 feet, six months is not enough time to deflect it enough to prevent impact. Things that big would need to be found years in advance, and we would need time to catch up with it in order to affect its trajectory. You don’t just shoot a missile at it. And a nuke won’t work either. The physics of preventing impacts that will occur in several years is not terribly complicated. A gravity tractor will work fine, and you don’t even need to move it that much. The physics of preventing an impact that will occur in less than a year are significantly more complicated.

    And here’s the best part for libertarians:

    It’s going to take a privately funded mission to find all of the potentially hazardous asteroids out there. NASA hasn’t done it, and congress hasn’t held NASA up to the commitments made in Sec. 321(d)(1) of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 in terms of cataloging all potential threats.

    Fortunately, there is such a privately funded mission under way:

    The B612 Foundation- Sentinel Mission

    1. Ground based laser. Illuminate one edge of the asteroid and use the pressure of the vaporized material to nudge its orbit. Use orbital mirrors to bounce the beam off for the times when the asteroid is out of LOS of the ground emitter.

      Ground based means it can be built (relatively) quickly, be built large (for power), and can easily be serviced if there are problems, *and* the atmosphere provides a great heat sink so it can be operated continuously at high power). In addition, it can be expanded as fast as resources allow.

      Downsides – Because of the distance, diffraction limits how tight you can focus the beam and the best frequencies for long-distance destruction are absorbed by the atmosphere.

      Plus, when the asteroid is safely deflected, (assuming you haven’t bankrupted the world building and operating it) you have a ready made propulsion system for pushing cargo around the solar system and beyond by light sail.

      1. “Ground based laser.”

        Problem #1. The ground underneath your ground based laser is spinning and rotating in a manner not conducive to targeting of other objects that are also rotating and spinning for a very long time.

        Maybe in Orbit, but you’d need way more than six months to get that even remotely operational.

        We have the ability to deal with them as long as we can find them soon enough, that’s the whole point of the Sentinel Mission. It will be able to track just about anything in the solar system that might end up in our orbit, thus giving us the most amount of time to do something about it.

        And we will find one, another big one, that’s floating around in the Kuiper belt somewhere that will hit us again. It’s not an “if” question. It’s a “when” question.

        1. The Earth’s rotation is fairly well known and can be compensated for.

        2. The big ones are, of course, easier to find.

        3. Everyone knows you stick the lasers in orbit around Mercury.

          They’ll come in handy when the ratcats attack.

          1. But they’re useless against the UN…

      2. If such a ground based laser were feasible with today’s technology we wouldn’t be using kinetic interceptors for missile defense. You can’t get anywhere near the energy you need in a laser to be of strategic value which is effectively what’s needed to push asteroids at millions of miles of distance. Hell, we’re barely on the cusp of having tactically useful lasers in the 10-100kW range. :/

        1. Its not the *laser* that’s stopping missile defense – its the ‘tracking’, a problem that is orders of magnitude less difficult when dealing with an asteroid at a distance vice a close in missile.

          And keep in mind – no single laser has to be all that powerful. You’re building an *array*. An array that can be extended as necessary (and as resources permit).

          I’m not saying it would be easy, it would take another Apollo Project sized operation to implement quickly – but it is tons more feasible using current tech than trying to boost an intercept mission (even an unmanned one) out far enough.

          In addition – an intercept means that nothing happens the whole time the interceptor is moving towards the target. At least this way you can start affecting things as soon as the hardware is built.

          1. It’s not enough Ag, you need something more powerful.

            You don’t if you find it ten years away or more, which in that case your ground based laser might work. You don’t need to move it that far in order to change its trajectory by thousands of miles.

            But that’s the point. Without an earlier enough warning, laser/nuke/tractor or not we are fucked.

            Which I find fascinating, because one could argue that without the impact at Chicxulub (which triggered the mass extinctions at the K?Pg boundary), mammals would not have become the dominant life form, and we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.

            Space has lots of reset buttons.

  11. Eh, we kin stave off an asteroid for a few but we’ll all be dead gone eventually… and really soon considering we are all but space dust.

    Frankly, my view of the dead-gone should govern politics. We all live but a few years. It comes and goes. Families with sweet kids get created. The parents die. The kids inherent and create more sweet kids… circulo…

    BUT in spite of the short life spans of these humans the law-and-order-government-MUST-fuck-my-sweet-ass types still feel as if humanity must be saved. From what? We all live a short life you moronic dildos.

    1. What a cheery thought to start the weekend. Thanks.

      🙂

    2. In the long run, we’re all dead.

      No?

    3. So . . . let’s not do anything but fuck and drugs?

      1. This is the libertarian creedo, yes?

      2. This is the libertarian creedo, yes?

        1. “rock ‘n roll, dope, sex in the streets and the abolishing of capitalism.”

          Had to scratch that last one.

            1. Streets?! How quickly we forget that only governments have the knowledge to build roads!

  12. So no other countries can monitor this?

    1. Being the world’s policeman includes being there to save her from space as well as the Mooslims. I guess that’s too much to expect a Canadian to understand.

    2. They do (The Japan Spaceguard Association , The Spaceguard Centre UK).

      But when we find one, no one is better currently than NASA at getting things done in space. And they’ve already whacked a few asteroids and landed on some others.

      Leftists like to trash the idea of American exceptionalism, but no one else has been to the moon on foot, or landed SUV sized probes on other planets. When it comes to space, we are exceptional.

      1. Eeeeexcept – if the Japanese or the UK (or anyone else) they’re not likely to keep the knowledge to themselves.

        So the US not having an ‘official’ spacewatch has no real bearing on whether or not we could put together a mission to deflect a detected asteroid.

        1. the Japanese or the UK (or anyone else) they’re not likely to keep the knowledge to themselves.

          The people currently manning the telescopes that are searching for NEO’s, both in the US and around the world, are mostly private astronomers. I have met some of them, and if I hope to track an asteroid with my gear one day that can get added to the list.

          There is no conspiracy to “keep this news” from anyone. I’ll give you an example.

          Explosion on Jupiter Spotted by Amateur Astronomers

          All of these groups world wide are constantly in communication. There is no real political agenda to astronomy.

          1. I know – that’s what I said. It also means that there’s no ‘danger’ if the US doesn’t keep watch for a couple of weeks – if something shows up we’ll get told and I don’t think even Obama is sulky enough to prevent a response.

      2. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing if the Japanese rang up the president and said, there’s a killer asteroid coming our way, I’m going to guess that the U.S. government would swing into action.

        Let’s not get wrapped up in our own underwear about the government shutdown.

    3. “So no other countries can monitor this?”
      Hey! You tryin’ to harsh Obo’s mellow?

    4. So no other countries can monitor this?

      The US government can’t abide a monitoring gap. We must lead the world in monitoring.

  13. ASSTEROID! HYPERINFLATION! OBAMACARE!!

    LAWD HEP US!

    It is a good time to be a prepper!

    1. That’s funny, doubly so considering its you lefties that are crying about the danger of asteroid strikes while the government is shut down BUUUUUSHHH!!

    2. Yeah, those big-government crazies sure are hilarious. “Beware the militias! Prepare to take them the way we took the Branch Davidians!” Paranoid nutjobs.

    3. You know who else screams “zombie apocalypse” every time the rate of spending increase is reduced?

  14. LAWD HEP US!

    Nice subtle racism there, shit-plug.

      1. The proper term is “honkey”, racist shithead.

  15. SACRAMENTO, Calif. ? SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) ? Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Friday that would have imposed the nation’s toughest gun ownership restrictions on Californians, saying it was too far-reaching.

    The legislation would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states.

    It was lawmakers’ latest attempt to close loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to work around previous assault weapon bans. Gun rights groups had threatened to sue if the semi-automatic weapons ban became law.

    AP

    1. “I don’t believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights,” the Democratic governor wrote in his veto message.

      You fuckers don’t appreciate a good veto when you see one.

      1. That’s not true. We just don’t want to engage you because you’re such a disingenuous cunt.

        1. Oh, bullshit. I am pro-gun, pro-choice, pro-drug, pro-market, pro-freedom as anyone here.

          You fuckers don’t like me because I escaped the GOP Plantation.

          1. You’re almost as in favor of those things as the Pluggertarian favorite, Obama! Get back under the Resolute Desk, BO misses your attention.

          2. Tell us more about why merchants shouldn’t be able to refuse to sell to customers and why I shouldn’t be able to buy a high deductible, catastrophic insurance plan. Real Classical Liberals(TM) don’t believe in freedom of association.

            TEH INSURANCE CARTELS!11!

          3. Palin’s Buttplug|10.11.13 @ 9:18PM|#
            “Oh, bullshit. I am pro-gun, pro-choice, pro-drug, pro-market, pro-freedom as anyone here.”

            You’re a lying pile of shit.

            1. Sevo has Shriek! and Tony pegged.

      2. Not only is the asshole defending Obo, now he’s gonna pimp moonbeam.
        “Jerry Brown signing “strictest set of gun control laws” in US…”
        http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05el…..s-predict/

        1. Bullshit. That is pure boilerplate anti-liberal NRA doublespeak.

          1. doublespeak

            Huh, you don’t even know what the word means. Big surprise coming from Captain Ignorant.

            1. The NRA is a conservative lobbying group. That in itself is no big deal in my opinion. Everyone who donates knows they go GOP only.

              They speak with nut-licking tongue though.

              1. Everyone who donates knows they go GOP only.

                More lies:

                So far this year, the NRA has endorsed 58 incumbent House Democrats, including more than a dozen in seats that both parties view as critical to winning a majority.

              2. Palin’s Buttplug|10.11.13 @ 9:33PM|#
                “The NRA is a conservative lobbying group”

                Yeah, you stinking pile of shit, defending A-2 is “conservative”.
                Go fuck your daddy.

                1. No, Sevo. The ACLU defends the 2A too.

                  Go fuck your grandparents.

                  1. Some state-level ACLUs do. The national one absolutely does not.

                  2. Palin’s Buttplug|10.11.13 @ 9:40PM|#
                    “No, Sevo. The ACLU defends the 2A too.”

                    WIH does that have to do with your pile of lies?

          2. From the notorious NRA supporters at the Sac Bee

            In other gun legislation, Brown announced Friday that he had signed:

            ? Assembly Bill 48, by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, banning magazine repair kits.

            ? Assembly Bill 170, by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, prohibiting businesses from getting assault weapon permits.

            ? Assembly Bill 231, by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, adding criminal liability for firearm storage that endangers a child.

            ? Assembly Bill 500, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, allowing the Department of Justice additional time to run background checks.

            ? Assembly Bill 1131, by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, increasing prohibition periods after a credible threat of violence

            ? Senate Bill 683, by Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, requiring all gun purchasers to take a firearm safety class and earn a safety certificate.

            1. A couple of those sound like they would benefit ignorant first time gun owners.

              1. Oh really? Which ones? The ones that make the process for purchasing or maintaining a firearm more arduous? Or the ones that make it more expensive?

                1. Protecting AND serving!

              2. Palin’s Buttplug|10.11.13 @ 9:35PM|#
                “A couple of those sound like they would benefit ignorant first time gun owners.”

                Your comment sounds like the confused mumblings of a left-wing ignoramus.
                Because it is.

              3. A couple of those sound like they would benefit ignorant first time gun owners.

                Real Classical Liberals(TM) endorse paternalist gun control laws.

                I am pro-gun, pro-choice, pro-drug, pro-market, pro-freedom as anyone here.

                It took you 17 minutes to prove you’re full of shit.

                1. Aw, but your see, to left-wing idjits with daddy issues, supporting laws making gun ownership more difficult is “PRO-GUN”!
                  It’s just your literal thought processes that keep you from seeing that!
                  Try practicing on believing UP equals DOWN. Soon shreek’s ‘logic’ will be clear!

            2. ? Assembly Bill 170, by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, prohibiting businesses from getting assault weapon permits.

              The fuck does this even mean?

              1. They’ve been on and on about that in the local news. It means that businesses cannot get an assault weapon permit. They say it will prevent felons from obtaining “assault” weapons through a loophole in the law.

                But what it looks like that bill was going to do was make it illegal to operate a shooting range with “assault” weapons available for rental. I’m sure they’ll carv out a little exemption for ranges and re-introduce it…even though they couldn’t state one example of a business providing felons employed there with “assault” weapons.

                1. They’ll be happy to lard the bill with one more ‘oops’ as soon as they figger out what an assault-weapon is.
                  Maybe DiFi can give ’em a PP presentation.

                  1. The rat fucker also signed into law a prohibition on lead ammo in the state of “safety grounds”. He is trying to price out hunters since Pb-free ammo is expensive. It is funny, I have been eating lots of game my entire life (including elk steaks tonight) and I have never known anybody getting lead poisoning from game.

                    1. …”It is funny, I have been eating lots of game my entire life (including elk steaks tonight) and I have never known anybody getting lead poisoning from game.”

                      I think at least part of the argument involves the Condors.
                      By any reasonable standard, the Condors should be extinct ( http://www.vulture-territory.com/california.html ), but they are among the warm-and-fuzzies that greenies think require ‘sacrifice’ from humans.
                      At least those who hunt for subsistence will likely be able to find Pb rounds inexpensively; Nevada isn’t far from any place in CA.

                    2. Condors are scum.They’re all government-owned domesticated animals now.

                    3. DON’T TALK SHIT ABOUT CONDORMAN

                    4. It is funny, I have been eating lots of game my entire life (including elk steaks tonight) and I have never known anybody getting lead poisoning from game.

                      Pretty sure the “Lead poisoning from game” is complete 100% fabricated bullshit; and, if you’re dumb enough to not clean the shit you just shot properly, you probably have bigger issues to worry about than lead poisoning.

                    5. I probably ingest 5 or 6 pellets of birdshot a year and I’m barely half-retarded.

                      Yeah. it’s bullshit.

  16. Guess who got to spend time with his Obamaness today?

    1. That’s pretty cool, but I wonder why someone worthy of winning a Nobel Prize would want to spend time with such a lover of war, death and destruction.

      1. Chu?

    1. Wow, the one sport the UK is good at and they might not make the Cup?

      Weak.

      1. All they have to do is beat Poland at home on Tuesday and they’ll make it to the World Cup. Even if they don’t win, they’ll still be in a playoff with a weaker European country for one of the last four spots.

        The team that’s in big trouble is Mexico. The still have some work to do just to get fourth place in CONCACAF, which only earns them a playoff against mighty New Zealand.

        1. The Poles drew England last year, albeit at home.

        2. And Mexico are playing like ass tonight. I’ll be shocked if they don’t manage to lose this game. And let’s not forget: Panama win twice and they’re most likely in.

          1. Honduras needs only a draw at Jamaica to take third. If Panama win tonight, they’ll be three points ahead of Mexico playing the US at home on Tuesday, with the Mexicans in Costa Rica. Panama would need only a point for fourth place.

            1. Yeah, I may have been wrong there because of goal difference. I was putting them in because I think Mexico will beat CR.

              But all that just changed in a big way 5 minutes ago.

    2. Go Poland! (At least that way England would end up in the playoffs.)

      And Go Panama!

    3. That’s what they get for drawing the Ukraine twice. You know what The Ukraine is? A sitting duck. A road apple. Th Ukraine is weak.

      1. Ukraine is STRONG!

        1. Strong like bull!

  17. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris hasn’t had any luck trying to unload his 8-bedroom mansion in Essex, England at its original asking price of about $10.75 million so he’s been forced to take a haircut. It can now be yours for just $9.34 million.

  18. Haha. OT: the Libyans in Back To The Future look a lot more like they came from T-J and Tokyo than Tripoli.

    1. Those were Libyans?

      1. That’s what Doc Brown said.

        1. Doc’s a notorious racist.

      2. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  19. This sounds like something from one of Phil Plait frequent, alarmist, pro-government posts: “OMG, What will we ever do without government spending in the space-sciences?!!!”

  20. By the way, J. J. Abrams co-wrote Armageddon. As far as Michael Bay movies go, I can actually stomach…maybe…dare I say…”enjoy” watching Armageddon.

    The only bit of absurdity that drives me crazy is the simultaneous launching of the shuttles for adjacent launch towers. Gee, one would wonder what the contingency plan would be should the shuttles accidentally collide during left off?

    1. They drilled a hole in a small moon (not an asteroid, that was a moon), put in a nuke big enough to tickle it, and expect that to cause it to slide apart 12,000mi in the span of what, a few hours? And the bad science you get hung up on is launching two shuttles in proximity. Um, OK.

      1. Even worse is the science that says Ben Affleck got through training and was qualified to go. Like I’m gonna fucking believe that.

      2. That’s no moon…it’s a

        Oh nevermind.

  21. The Donald, asking the tough questions

    Donald J. Trump
    ?@realDonaldTrump
    Somebody got rich building the ObamaCare website which doesn’t even come close to working – where has the money gone?

    1. I hope he doesn’t sabotage the surging skepticism over Obamacare by asking for the program’s birth certificate.

    2. Trump or Orangutan?

      (compare pics)

      A good bit – I forget who did it.

      1. Shut up, Shriek.

    3. He should know – he got rich *both* times through cronyism.

  22. TV coverage showed a fan at the Japan GP wearing a Ferrari hat and McLaren shirt #JAPAN

  23. I’ve been saying for years that we have much bigger threats to worry about than AGW, like an asteroid or meteor, or super caldera eruption. But the even bigger threat is big stupid government and their minions of free shit voters.

    1. Wasn’t Yellowstone supposed to kill us recently? Is that still on?

      1. Now you’re gonna bring John Cusack into the conversation?

      2. No. The long-term inflation has subsided and turned to deflation. Eventually, it’ll blow and kill us all.

        There are other calderas like Long Valley. There’s also a hotspot in British Columbia that had a strange swarm of very deep earthquakes several years ago that was probably magma moving up.

        1. Only whack-job goldbug preppers worry about long-term inflation.

          1. Oh SNAP I should bank this comment as a hedge because it’s pure fucking 24-carat gold!

        2. That’s good. I still haven’t been to Yellowstone. It’d be a shame if it exploded killing us all before I got the chance to go.

          1. Look on the bright side: if it happens, you’l still get to see Yellowstone. It’ll just be a brief look.

            1. Not if the shutdown is still on. The NPS Nazis will brook no recreating.

      3. Apparently, the hot spot moved west under some big rocks, and it’s not longer a threat, for now.

      4. It goes about every 600k years and it’s been about 650k years.

        Anytime.

    2. Just keep checking this. When you see a huge swarm of 3.2 and higher, panic.

      1. Just what I needed: something else to worry about killing us all. I swear, between earthquakes, asteroids, cops and now Yellowstone erupting, I’m never gonna get a good night’s sleep.

        1. MERS and Avian influenza.

          Bring back A Thousand Ways to Die!

        2. You’ve just been drafted by the Buccaneers.

            1. There’s also Australia.

    3. Carrington event coinciding with reversal-shutdown of Earth’s magnetic field.

    4. I’ve been saying for years that we have much bigger threats to worry about than AGW, like an asteroid or meteor, or super caldera eruption, or Warty.

      Fixed it for you.

      1. Nobody mentioned if the Warty Protection Program was affected by the shutdown.

        1. Warty doesn’t need protection.

          1. I meant for the rest of us.

            1. Were I Warty, I’d set up a Warty Protection Program just for the sake of funneling my victims back to me.

              1. ‘To Serve Man’ is a cookbook!

  24. Wasn’t the one that come down in Russia a couple months ago undetected? I’m not worried about the planet destroying ones. It’s the much smaller ones I’d be worried about.

    1. That’s correct, it had not been previously detected.

  25. These birds can stay airborne for up to six months at a time.

  26. Alright so I recently reread Defending the Undefendable and I was quite fascinated by his assertion that blackmail should not be a crime.

    I mean it’s quite straightforward though, but still….funny how people just instinctively know that blackmail is a bad thing, when all it is putting a price on silence.

    1. I think it just strikes people as very underhanded and low.

      Plus I think subconsciously we all understand that we’ve done bad things that, if revealed, could ruin our reputation or lives. So the idea of blackmail plays on our insecurities.

      1. And there are lots of things that shouldn’t be illegal which can still be the subject of blackmail. See the Dirk Bogarde movie Victim, for example.

      2. But ironically, we don’t think too much of it if we sell that information to a third party. Like information regarding an affair.

        Somehow it’s considered underhanded asking a trade for silence to the husband or wife involved, but not underhanded if we trade that information for money to the press, which is a common occurrence for tabloids and entertainment press.

        Besides, our reputation isn’t actually our property anyhow since it’s comprised of the thoughts of others.

        1. Besides, our reputation isn’t actually our property anyhow since it’s comprised of the thoughts of others.

          That’s pretty much my opinion on the matter, especially if the information you are being threatened with is true.

        2. but not underhanded if we trade that information for money to the press, which is a common occurrence for tabloids and entertainment press.

          I think in general tabloids have a bad reputation. Aren’t they generally regarded as being beneath the dignity of the mainstream press?

          That they are commercially popular just speaks to people’s hypocrisies.

          1. I agree that they do, in general, have a bad reputation. Otherwise, the John Edwards scandal would have fucked his whole party over in 2004 and 2008.

            Ooh, I wonder how delicious it would have been if he had been VP when the scandal was finally confirmed by “mainstream” media. There would have been heads exploding from all quarters of the left.

          2. Dignity of the mainstream press. This is on the same list as bigfoot, lockness monster and alien abductors.

    2. I appreciate his differentiation between blackmail and extortion, which I think is crucial.

      One thing Block didn’t get into though was when the information itself is the proximate cause of force (an implied or unavoidable consequence). Like a group trying hiding in Mordor, tyring to sneak past the Eye of Sauron, and someone threatens you for money, else he reveals your position and sic the Orcs on you. I consider this scenario extortion. The person who gets other people to point guns at your, necessarily by his information, is an extortionist rather than a blackmailer. (Replace Eye of Sauron with the State; and Orcs with agents)

      Anyways, he’s supposed to come up with the sequel, which he’s discussed before, but it seems perpetually delayed.

      1. Yeah I think threatening to tell the cops about a victimless crime is more properly extortion as well.

        But I mean, the classic blackmail example is the cheating spouse scenario. To which I say if you don’t want to be blackmailed don’t cheat on your spouse.

      2. Wait, he’s writing a sequel to LOTR? Please tell me they just take the birds from the Shire to Mordor and just drop the ring in this time. I just can’t do another nine hours of walking.

        1. I’m gonna kick your ass back to the Shire, Padme.

          … is what I would say if I didn’t also agree that the books and the movies could’ve been edited down to at least 1/3 of their length

          1. Hush, you. The Scouring of the Shire and Tom Bombadil were absolutely essential to the story that Tolkien was telling. Nope, not a bit of fat to cut in those books.

            1. But did Gandalf’s speech to Mr. Palpatine have to go for 160 pages?

        2. but that dude who did all the sound effects was the shiznit!

  27. SPRITE is best for hangover.

    1. Better not to get drunk enough to have a hangover, then.

  28. Orange County man arrested for allegedly helping Al-Qaeda

    A California man was arrested at a bus stop on his way to Mexico on Friday and charged with attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda and making a false statement on a passport application, the FBI said.

    Authorities arrested Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, in Garden Grove, 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles. A U.S. citizen, Nguyen is accused of providing a false name on a passport application and offering to help the militant network, according to a federal indictment.

    He was seeking “to work under the direction and control” of al Qaeda, said the indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

    No doubt he was going to adopt a more fearsome nome de guerre.

    1. But we were all led to believe the passport office was closed and none would be issued until the shutdown ended.

      And I’m sorry, but I’m gonna put on my Conspiracy Theory hat for a second and call shenanigans. They arrest him at a bus stop and indict him right away…and there just so happens to be a Reuters sketch artist at the courthouse in Santa Ana right fucking then?!?!

      What. The. Fuck.

    2. I dunno – this one rhymes.

    3. What’s a Vietnamese guy doing mixing up with Al Queda?

      I suppose he could have converted, or maybe there’s a lot more Vietnamese Muslims than I realized, but it just seems weird to me.

    4. Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen

      is accused of providing a false name on a passport application

      He probably wrote it on the application with the Vietnamese alphabet.

      “What are all these arabic looking things in the Name field….ZOMG TERRORISM!!!!”

  29. National League baseball is just more fun to watch than AL ball. And this is a really good game that’s on right now.

    1. It seems like Grienke is guaranteed to give up exactly two runs in his starts and the Dodgers are never able to score more than that.

      1. If they can manufacture a run here then they’ll win this game. Hell, if Kershaw doesn’t misjudge that ball, they’re still up 2-0.

        And why was that not an error? It wasn’t an easy catch, but he should make it 8 out of 10 times, IMO.

        1. Well at least they get the top of the order coming up in the 7th.

          Greinke needs to go seven innings because right now I don’t trust anyone in bullpen not named Wilson or Jansen.

  30. If one of these bad-ass space rocks is heading our way, there is no fucking way our meager technology could do about it anyway. Sure, we can see it coming. No, we can’t stop it.

    1. Actually if we spot the incoming rock early enough we could conceivably do something to alter its course. All it would take is a slight push to change its direction.

      1. What if we get Yellowstone to super-erupt and spit a big enough piece of rock at it to cause deflection?

        Or is that just synopsis of the newest bad-ass movie from the makers of Sharktopolis?

      2. And if that doesn’t work, just play some Wagner

        1. How did they get the footage of the aftermath of Rosie O’Donnell’s Taco Bell binge?

  31. Woman Kills Her Three Children, Sues to Get a Piece of Their Estate

    A mentally disturbed woman who drowned her three young children in a bathtub is going to court to ask a judge for a cut of their $350,000 estate.

    Leatrice Brewer, 33, was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect in the deaths of her children, ages 1, 5 and 6, so her attorneys say she shouldn’t be subject to laws that bar convicts from profiting from their crimes.

    Brewer admitted she drowned the children in the bathtub of her apartment in New Cassel, on Long Island about 20 miles east of New York City, in February 2008. She later placed the children’s bodies on a bed and tried to kill herself by swallowing a concoction of household cleaning chemicals. When that suicide bid failed, she jumped out her second-story window but again survived.

    Instead of facing trial on three murder counts in the children’s deaths, Brewer pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. Psychiatrists had determined she suffered a major depressive disorder and believed she killed the children to save them from the potentially fatal effects of voodoo.

    This is, without a doubt, the most uplifting story I’ve read all day. Really. I can’t imagine a judge finding in her favor, but I’d be looking sideways at her lawyer for filing this claim.

    1. How about leaving her in a 10 story building unsupervised with open windows and pictures of her kids hanging on the walls?

      If she survives the night, she gets some money. It could pay-per-view even.

    2. ‘But Judge, I’m an ORPHAN!’

    3. So this leads to the question:

      If I track down and slaughter the judge and jury from her murder trial, can I also sue for pieces of THEIR estates?

      How in holy fuck did this insanity defense fly?

      She killed her kids because she suffered from a “major depressive disorder”?

      That means she killed her kids because she felt sad.

      How in the fuck is that an insanity defense?

      “I had a psychotic delusion that made me think my kids were broccoli, and I was watching that Chopping Broccoli SNL skit, and the next thing I knew…” That’s legal insanity. Being in the grip of a delusion.

      Being FUCKING SAD is not legal insanity.

      If being sad is legal insanity, why can’t every guy who ever beat his wife to death claim legal insanity because he was angry?

      I mean, if mere emotions you should get the fuck over now constitute legal insanity, why is sadness privileged above anger?

      1. I mean, if mere emotions you should get the fuck over now constitute legal insanity, why is sadness privileged above anger?

        Oh wait, silly me, I forgot: the defendant was a woman.

        1. I think you identified the important fact. She was a woman – a delicate emotional flower.

  32. PANAMAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!

    1. Fuck yes. I’m wearing my Panama jersey right now.

  33. Oh shit, this is exactly like that movie from the 90s starring Bruce Willis!

    You know, the one where he’s a ghost at the end. ‘Cuz that’s what we’ll all be if that asteroid hits.

    1. We could blackmail it!

      1. The Hubble took some incriminating photos the asteroid and Uranus.

        1. Here’s one to tell a girl on your first date:

          Q: What does the Enterprise and Toilet paper have in common?

          A: They both circle Uranus wiping out Klingons.

          Thank you, I’ll be here all night.

          1. You are a bad T.I.T. In fact you are the worst T.I.T.

            1. I have been feeling saggy and misshapen, lately.

  34. But if we can’t detect asteroids how will we be able to maneuver the earth out of the way in time to avoid collision?

  35. Looks like the Dodgers are going to waste another masterful pitching performance from Greinke.

    1. John Tavares undergoes some bench-side dentistry

  36. Asteroids ain’t got shit on Barack Obama.

  37. Haha, they so desperately want this so called shutdown to be of any importance.

    1. There’s a shutdown?

      1. More of a shit-on.

  38. Taking Adrian Gonzalez out of the game in the 8th sure was a smart move, Donnie.

  39. FRIED CHICKEN.

    1. RACIST!

    2. Also, FRIED CHICKEN.

      ftfy.

  40. Sounds like a very solid plan to me dude. Wow.

    http://www.GoGetPrivacy.tk

  41. So a couple weeks ago I had scheduled my plant to work overtime this Saturday, today. But earlier this week we canceled it because we got ahead production-wise. Seriously, one worker on second shift asked his supervisor if the overtime was canceled because of the govt. shutdown.

    1. Seriously, one worker on second shift asked his supervisor if the overtime was canceled because of the govt. shutdown.

      I’ll give you one guess as to who was responsible for y’all being behind in the 1st place….

  42. It is funny, I have been eating lots of game my entire life (including elk steaks tonight) and I have never known anybody getting lead poisoning from game

    The lead-free ammo shit isn’t really about humans. Fowl scoop them up to use in their gizzard, and loose shot can affect ground water. Serious enough threats to justify the ban? *shrug*

    1. loose shot can affect ground water

      Ima need some linky on that one.

  43. Tea Partiers liberate Lincoln Memorial from the Barrackades

    Link: http://insomniaclibertarian.bl…..orial.html

    I tried to get reason to cover it. No media were there

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