Category Archives: Brass balls

Nepotism

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)— Offering a stunningly blunt appraisal of the North Korean leader, Jared Kushner said on Tuesday that Kim Jong-un was a “totally unqualified person” who attained his position of power only through nepotism.

“Here you have a guy who has no government experience, and he’s in charge of the whole thing,” Kushner said, in an interview with Fox News. “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.”

Kushner noted that, instead of working his way up and acquiring the skills necessary to do his job, the North Korean leader had been given huge responsibilities and power “only because of family connections.”

“There’s only one word for that,” he said. “Nepotism.”

Nepotism

Greed: Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs

If you want to understand how complex multinational companies are, consider this.
In Hong Kong, there’s a company called Goldman Sachs Structured Products (Asia) Limited. It’s controlled by another company called Goldman Sachs (Asia) Finance, registered in Mauritius.

That’s controlled by a company in Hong Kong, which is controlled by a company in New York, which is controlled by a company in Delaware, and that company is controlled by another company in Delaware called GS Holdings (Delaware) L.L.C. II.

…Which itself is a subsidiary of the only Goldman you’re likely to have heard of, The Goldman Sachs Group in New York City.

That’s only one of hundreds of such chains. All told, Goldman Sachs consists of more than 4000 separate corporate entities all over the world, some of which are around ten layers of control below the New York HQ.

Of those companies approximately a third are registered in nations that might be described as tax havens.Indeed, in the world of Goldman Sachs, the Cayman Islands are bigger than South America, and Mauritius is bigger than Africa.

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George Zimmerman: Juror B37

Already with the book?

We mentioned earlier today that one of the jurors on the Zimmerman jury has already signed on with a literary agent to sell her book about being a juror on the trial – in other words less than 36 hours after the end of case. (Presumably – hopefully – she wasn’t in contact with the agent prior to the verdict.) But that turnaround leaves little question that she was planning on writing a book at least during the time she was deliberating.

Of course it gets better…

Juror B37 hates the media and thinks all reporting is biased. She doesn’t listen to the radio or read the Internet but rather gets all her news from the Today show. She also repeatedly referred to the riots that broke out in Sanford after Martin was killed. Of course, there were no riots after Martin was killed.

In other words, juror B37 is not only ignorant but militantly ignorant…

From my limited experience with trials, juror B37 seems about par for the course. 1  Without personally denigrating any one individual it behooves us to remember the average IQ in this country is 100, which is plenty smart enough to duck jury duty. That pretty much leaves you with bored housewives, shut-ins, the aged and those for whom $35 a day (plus meals!) is a windfall.

To be frank? I certainly wouldn’t want them as my judges, much less would voluntarily buy a book “written” by one of them. What – I need to read a couple hundred pages of how emotionally excruciating it was to only be able to weigh the actual facts of the case rather than what everyone knew to be true? Quelle horreur!

Perhaps juror B37 took that into account (after all hasn’t that trope –beleaguered citizen juror attempting against all odds to do what’s right — long since jumped the sharknado?) since she has changed her mind:

“The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband’s perspectives solely and it was to be an observation that our ‘system’ of justice can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our ‘spirit’ of justice,” juror B37 said in a written statement, as quoted by Reuters.

“Now that I am returned to my family and to society in general, I have realized that the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book and return instead to my life as it was before I was called to sit on this jury,” the statement continued.

Huh: “…the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book…”

Close, B37. The best direction is for you to go away.

Period.

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  1. Perhaps a little more calculating than most – it seems obvious she had to be thinking about writing a book of her “experiences” fairly early on.

Must Be Ambidextrous

Over the last couple of days we’ve posted items concerning the best/worst jobs available, as well as a note on China’s Great Firewall.

Today we’d like to combine both things:

Job Title: Chief Pornographic Identification Officer
Work Location: Beijing
Compensation: 200,000 RMB (US$32,300) yearly
Job Description: Rapid Determination of Adult Sites

Requirements:
1) Must be familiar with the standard of adult content from around the world
2) Must be familiar with China’s law standards regarding adult content, familiar with documented regulations
3) Must be familiar with the standards for adult content on China’s internet and it’s service providers
4) Regardless of gender, must be college graduate from 25-35 years old
5) Must have a strong sense of responsibility and work well in a team

Just to be clear, the whole title of the position is…

Chief Pornographic Identification Officer for the League of Safety

…which sounds rather like the data guy for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. You know - the nerd who busts the byzantine Venetian door codes locks (from the safety of Nemo’s submersible) while Quatermain and crew are risking their lives? Sweet!

The job also comes with bennies: I mean, in addition to getting decently paid (by Chinese standards) for browsing porn all day, you get birthday presents and daily fruit with yogurt… 1

(via)

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  1. Had there been a legitimate link to a library in this item, I would have been overjoyed. Alas…

Thomas Should Have Called Bishop Finn

The pastor of St. Aloysius church on Springfield’s north end has been granted a leave of absence after he called 911 from the rectory and told a dispatcher that he needed help getting out of handcuffs.
“I’m going to need help getting out before this becomes a medical emergency,” Father Tom Donovan told a dispatcher who sounds a bit incredulous during the Nov. 28 call.

“You’re stuck in a pair of handcuffs?” the dispatcher asks.

“(I was) playing with them and I need help getting out,” Donovan responds.

Donovan told the dispatcher that he was alone in the rectory. It’s not clear exactly how he ended up in handcuffs or why he feared a medical emergency. His voice sounds garbled or muffled on the tape, and sources say that police discovered some sort of gag on the priest when they arrived.

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Bishops Finn and Paprocki
Sitting in a tree
K I S S I N G;

First comes bondage
The comes whipping
Then comes the steaming Pear of Anguish (Open wide!)
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  1. Finn and Paprocki sound like two peas in a pod; wonder what they talked about in Baltimore last year?

Ouch, eh?

Hug !!!!!!!Canadians in general get a bad rap. Which is strange; I’ve as yet to meet a Canadian I did not like.

To be fair, I’ve only traveled extensively through British Columbia and Vancouver Island. It is conceivable then that I’ve yet to encounter the Canadian equivalent of our New Yorker, that the average citizen of Blackhead, Newfoundland, makes your New Yorker look like one of those irrationally exuberant Munchkins that greeted Dorothy and Toto.

There may well be northernmost Brahmins in Toronto that sneer down their ski ramp noses at their Boston inferiors. I don’t know. I just know I’ve never met a rude or inconsiderate Canadian. And certainly not one I wanted to kill.

Oh, on occasion I’ve wanted to stuff a sock in Keanu Reeves’ mouth 1 and I’m still undecided as to the worth, not to mention sanity, of the meta- meta-automaton that is Bill Shatner these days. As for Celine Dion, well…

But these are minor quibbles, easily forgotten once you remember that Canada has also given us The Cowboy Junkies, Neil Young, Alex Tebek, Leslie Nielsen, William Gibson and a host of others. Hell, Shannon Tweed alone made late 80s cable palatable; were it up to me the whole of Canada would get a Get Out of Rendition Camp FREE card just for that.

Then take into consideration that Canada has not turned out a George Bush or Dick Cheney analogue.

Make that two Get Out of Rendition Camp FREE cards.

So, yeah, when Canada foists a prepubescent teen on us as the next singing “sensation”, I say cut them some slack, okay? Soon enough the kid will grow, his balls will drop, his voice will alter and he’ll fade away into whatever wormy woodwork exists for past-their-prime prima donnas.

No need, certainly, to put out a contract on the guy, much less go after his junk with a pair of garden shears. That’s just cold.

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  1. Most of his movies, actually.

Chess Players & Pussy Riot

I stood in a doorway and took questions from journalists. Suddenly, I was dragged away by a group of police–in fact carried away with one policeman on each arm and leg. The men refused to tell me why I was being arrested and shoved me into a police van. When I got up to again ask why I had been detained, things turned violent. I was restrained, choked and struck several times by a group of officers before being driven to the police station with dozens of other protesters. After several hours I was released, but not before they told me I was being criminally investigated for assaulting a police officer who claimed I had bitten him.

It would be easy to laugh at such a bizarre charge when there are already so many videos and photos of the police assaulting me. But in a country where you can be imprisoned for two years for singing a song, laughter does not come easily. My bruises will heal long before the members of Pussy Riot are free to see their young children again. In the past, Mr. Putin’s critics and enemies have been jailed on a wide variety of spurious criminal charges, from fraud to terrorism.

But now the masks are off. Unlikely as it may be, the three members of Pussy Riot have become our first true political prisoners.

Such a brazen step should raise alarms, but the leaders of the Free World are clearly capable of sleeping through any wake-up call. If this was all business as usual for the Putin justice system, the same was true for the international reaction. A spokesman for the Obama administration called the sentence “disproportionate,” as if the length of the prison term were the only problem with open repression of political speech. The Russian Constitution is freely available online, but this was a medieval show trial with no connection to the criminal code.

Mr. Putin is not worried about what the Western press says, or about celebrities tweeting their support for Pussy Riot. These are not the constituencies that concern him. Friday, the Russian paper Vedomosti reported that former Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann could be put in charge of managing the hundreds of billions of dollars in the Russian sovereign wealth fund. As long as bankers and other Western elites eagerly line up to do Mr. Putin’s bidding, the situation in Russia will only get worse.

If officials at the U.S. State Department are as “seriously concerned” about free speech in Russia as they say, I suggest they drop their opposition to the Magnitsky Act pending in the Senate. That legislation would bring financial and travel sanctions against the functionaries who enact the Kremlin’s agenda of repression. Mouthing concern only reinforces the fact that no action will be taken.

Mr. Putin could not care less about winning public-relations battles in the Western press, or about fighting them at all. He and his cronies care only about money and power. Today’s events make it clear that they will fight for those things until Russia’s jails are full.

(via)

Back in February we mused over whether Pussy Riot might signal Putin’s downfall.

We were wrong, of course.

But hopefully only in the short term.

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Freak Out!

I Have an Idea!Back home where it belongs, the music of Frank Zappa is now back in the hands of the Zappa Family Trust.

To celebrate this, the estate has signed a global license and distribution deal with Universal Music Enterprises to release 60 of the iconic composer’s recordings. The roll-out kicks off July 31 with 12 recordings, with another dozen recordings to be released monthly through the end of 2012.

We’re anxious to see what the estate has done with Cruising with Ruben & The Jets (1968), Zappa’s legendary fake doo-wop album.

Ooo, oo-ooo, ooo, oo-ooo, ooo, oo-ooo
Stuff up the cracks, turn on the gas
I’m gonna take my life. (Stuff ’em up)

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