Not just for angry girlfriends

Check out this vid of “semi” auto destruct, in which an Xbox 360 suffers the wrath of a girlfriend ignored by her vidzombified boyfriend.

We don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, but as the subtitling ever-so-subtly added to the video suggests (see angry girlfriend caught in awkward facial freeze frame below), the Xbox does’t fare well in this adventure.   It would be fair to say she could use a few tips from Michelle Wie.

But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself. And, kids, let this be a warning to you next you ignore mom and dad’s pleas of  “For God’s sake get off that @#$da#@ box!” One of these days we will follow through with our idle threats.

Xbox beatdown: It’s not just for psychotic girlfriends anymore.


Terrorist or nut job?

Word is out that Nidal Malik Hasan, the “alleged” Fort Hood shooter, is paralyzed. For most of us, it’s hard to feel sorry for him.

Boots_Fort_Hood_Memorial2_091110_sshWhen this event broke last week, the reporting of it reminded me a little of 9/11 – information pouring in rapidly, some of it wildly inaccurate (as many as three shooters, possibly coordinated attack), heroic and selfless acts counteracting the horror of the attacks.

And of course the ensuing investigation, the reaction, the recriminations (How could he have not been noticed? How did he get promoted? Blame the Muslims! Blame the Army!) also sound vaguely familiar and predictable.

But, also like 9/11, the Fort Hood shootings were a bit of a Black Swan: Nobody (or hardly anybody) really expected it, it changed how we view the world, and now we try to explain how it happened. For a full treatise on the whole Black Swan thing, check out Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, titled appropriately enough, The Black Swan. (Self-serving link alert – I wrote about the book two years ago for

As the Fort Hood story unfolds, we’ll again find ourselves trying to strike a balance between protecting ourselves and our loved ones from maniacs and terrorists with guns and bombs, and preserving the free society that most of us treasure above all else. Quoting Ben Franklin from wikiquote: “Those who would give Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temorary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” 

Part of me wants to pump a few rounds into Hasan, part of me just shakes my head in sadness and bewilderment that an Army major – a psychiatrist, a bit of an oddball, alternately described as gentle, a loner and loser, spewing anti-American vitriol to medical colleagues – could have operated under the radar the way he did.

But by God, you’d better take my shoes off at the airport! And lose the toothpaste! National security is at stake.

Is anyone really surprised?

The New York Times, the old paper that right-wingers love to hate, says the company formerly known as Blackwater planned to bribe Iraqi officials to quell their criticism of Blackwater’s killing of Iraqi civilians.


Blackwater's handiwork in Iraq

I for one am shocked – shocked! – to learn that an upstanding company like Blackwater would do such a thing. Shocked, I tell you.

Now rebranded as Xe Services, Blackwater is finally facing the consequences of its reckless actions of the past, which it conducted with impunity for years.

The Blackwaters and Halliburtons (Dick Cheney’s company) of the world were the darlings of the Bush administration, providing “support” to the troops and occasionally serving as mercenaries who didn’t feel the need to observe annoying regulations or laws that soldiers and Marines were compelled to follow. Badges?!? We don’t need no steenkeengk badges!

Somebody is going to end up in prison over this, I’m pretty sure. I just hope it’s right guys who get there. You guys know who you are. And now, so do readers of the New York Times.

No doubt Blackwater served a valid need when it was founded in 1998 by former Navy Seals. Seals are a unique bunch. For an idea of how so, check out Richard Marcinko’s Rogue Warrior. (Great read, by the way.)