Terrible names have terrible repercussions

"Rather than jeopardize your future, little one, I shall give you a non-religious name. You'll thank me when you can speak, Adolf."
“Rather than jeopardize your future, little one, I shall give you a non-religious name. You’ll thank me when you can speak, Adolf.”

Now that we’ve survived Thanksgiving, it’s time for The Guys to focus on our next important holiday: Valentine’s Day. (Sorry, rest of the world, but this is a country founded on religion, not Socialist, secular snowflake-themed coffee cups.) And the last thing we want is for Valentine’s Day to turn out the way it almost did in Ghostbusters II: ruined by the white mother of two tiny, non-Christian gods.

The mother of Odhinn and Isis (the Norse god of two-dimensional eyesight and Egyptian goddess of unfortunately topical names, respectively) was originally denied customized Nutella jars for her demi-offspring. Nutella will print custom labels for jars in Australia — because of course they do — but only if the requested names don’t appear on their no-toast-list.

After much appeasement and gnashing of teeth, Nutella has agreed to honor young Odhinn, but Isis will have to wait until things improve in the Middle East (much like the Palestinians). Her mother will have to make offerings in a nondescript Nutella jar made holy with sacramental Sharpie.

The mother of gods, Heather Taylor, is “really quite upset by this,” which is a traditional Australian warning that her venom sacs are now fully inflated and ready to pump neuro-toxin into Ferrero CEO/kangaroo Craig Barker. “You are actually making my daughter’s name dirty. You are choosing to refuse my daughter’s name in case the public refers to it negatively.”

And this is why you should always name the children sired by gods with simple names, like Tom or Jennifer. Nobody ever killed anyone in the name of Margaret.

Take it from Snee: … and the Home of the Brave

Specifically not this home. It's too full of the brave.
Specifically not this home. It’s too full of the brave.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we passed the USA PATRIOT Act. (Like with most important bills, the crafters made good use of time to craft a strong, patriotic acronym for the title.) In the 14 years since 9/11, we’ve bravely stuck with it, replacing it with bills that minimally roll back the surveillance measures we originally agreed to. (They also had proud, powerful acronymic names, like the USA FREEDOM Act.) Courageously, we established that the only way to defend freedom is to sign it away.

In those years, we’ve taken strong stands against people who treated Ebola patients, no matter what egghead doctors said. Now, we’re bravely trying to deny refuge to people seeking to escape madmen so scary that, rather than face them decisively, we blow them up from New Mexico with flying murder-bots. (This is totally not like how our villains send robots after heroes in our movies. When we do it in real life, it’s courageous.)

We’ve also bravely sabotaged the building of those people’s places of worship, which is absolutely not like when terrorists tore down historic sites of religious significance or forced those same refugees to convert, die, or leave.

And now, we’ve finally reached the point where we’re brave enough to not only deny sanctuary to people who have lived through the wars we ignore, we’re also courageous enough to call “internment camps” (a phrase we dashingly invented to separate us from cowardly Nazis and their dirty concentration camps) what they really were: a good idea.

But, it’s not just diseases and people that we’re standing up to. We’re also valorously roping off ideas we disagree with or that offend us, enacting safe zones and issuing trigger warnings to defend the sensibilities of those who might hear them. It takes a big person to tell Ann Coulter that, not only is she wrong about everything, but that we’d rather not tell her, please don’t come to our school.

And, when it comes to real issues, like passing budgets that might tax people or cut spending, we’ve punted a record number of years because punting is a term from football — the bravest sport in the world played by the bravest men who ever punched a woman or electrocuted a dog.

Here we are at the ass-end of 2015: still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Now please rise for the national anthem, and don’t you dare forget to put your hand over your heart. Or don’t you love your country?

Crisis in Tunisia finally matters to U.S.

Members of ISIS really hate it when you call them "sand people."
Members of ISIS really hate it when you call them “sand people.”

As elements of the Islamic State menace the region in which nearly all elements of civilization were invented (writing, math, language, beer, money and etc.), we’ve kind of sat back as they destroy the world’s heritage for a quick buck. Well, now they’ve finally affected American culture.

ISIS now occupies Tataouine, Tunisia — the namesake and setting of Tatooine from Star Wars, home to Luke Skywalker, Biggs Darklighter and scores of unfortunately-named extras/action figures like Ephant Mon and the butt-faced Ponda Baba.

Several governments, including the United States Embassy, are warning tourists to stay away from the area, effectively denying pilgrimages to the only culture most Americans actually care about. Fortunately, they can still visit the statue of Samantha from Bewitched at Salem, Massachusetts and a life-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty from Ghostbusters II (it doesn’t walk, though) in New York.

All fun and games until counter-terrorism forces arrive

If there’s one night in everyone’s life that can quickly inflate to accusations of terrorism, it’s their 21st birthday party. (Unless you’re one of those free-wheeling, anything-goes, God-Save-the-Queen countries that allows drinking at 18.)

So, it probably wasn’t too surprising when Swedish police raided an apartment hosting a 21st birthday party that may or may not (spoiler: it did not) contain members of the Islamic State. They based their intelligence on balloons in the window that, from inside, look like this …

One, 21 balloons, lay down your arms, give up jihad!
One, 21 balloons, lay down your arms, give up jihad!

… but, from the street, looked like a call to join the “IS.”

There’s only one problem with this logic: any terrorism cell that uses balloons to combat western decadence and promote a new, violent caliphate is probably not much of a threat. Or the most adorable one, yet.

A few good tweets

"You need me on that wall. And on those feeds."
“You need me on that wall. And on those feeds.”

ISIS-aligned hackers breached sensitive U.S. Central Command online systems. Once in command of those vital systems, the hackers were able to issue tweets and upload videos for all to see.

OK, so they only hacked CENTCOM’s Twitter and YouTube accounts. But, we cannot stress how serious this is. CENTCOM is responsible for all active military actions in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, most notably Afghanistan and Iraq. And we know that because of CENTCOM’s Wikipedia page … unless that’s been hacked, too!

The hackers started issuing their own tweets at 12:30 on Monday, but U.S. defense officials quickly noticed and took the accounts back over. A big clue was that, not being American, the hackers failed to use “bae” to really reach CENTCOM’s 25-and-under followers.

Take it from Snee: America the Conditional

Don't want to be lookin' like a fool with your boots on the ground.
Don’t want to be lookin’ like a fool with your boots on the ground.

There’s no question about it: the United States of America is a global leader. Scratch that. THE global leader.

When a thing needs doing, we’re the ones that lead the way. Sometimes, we lead from in front. Sometimes from behind. And sometimes, sometimes, we lead alone.

So, when Americans decided that it was time to do something about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, we went all in. We said, “No more beheadings.” We said, “No more rapes and honor killing and everything else that god always commands crazy guys with beards and guns to do.”

And, most importantly, we said, “No more boots on the ground to stop any of that.”

Let’s explore how America has become the conditional leader of the free world.  Continue reading Take it from Snee: America the Conditional

Because white people are dumb and easily confused

A Las Vegas woman has jumped into the spotlight because tourists are dumb. The owner of Isis Artistry, a makeup store, shares a name in common with the Islamic group. Because the memory of dumb people has only a four month capacity, people assume that the Isis in Isis Artistry is the same as ISIS.

As opposed to Isis.

Or Isis.

Or Isis.

You Missed It: Summer tan edition

"Mr. President, where did you get those clothes, at the toilet store?"
“Mr. President, where did you get those clothes, at the toilet store?”

It’s Friday afternoon, it’s nearly Labor Day weekend. We’re on the home stretch, here. Maybe kill a little time by reading about the week’s events, what do you say? Honestly, I’m as surprised as any of you that anything happened this week. I’ve been too busy watching the Simpsons marathon to pay much attention to anything. And yet, things happened anyway. If you were busy announcing that you secretly got married in France this week, odds are you missed it.

Judged by the color of his suit
ISIS is still on the move, protests continue in Ferguson, Missouri, the U.K. raised its terrorism threat level, but President Barack Obama wore a tan suit during a press briefing this week, and it’s all anyone would talk about. Female politicians said the president got a taste of what they deal with every day, while critics said he is clearly out of touch. In response, Obama vowed to wear a tuxedo T-shirt at the next briefing.

Hello Person
The internet was rocked this week when it was announced that Hello Kitty is not, in fact, a cat. A spokesman from Sanrio, the company that owns Hello Kitty, said that the beloved character is actually a little girl, rather than a cat. She even has a pet cat. Nothing makes sense anymore. Up is down, left is right, dogs and girls are living together.

The fight for four inches of room
What’s worse than flying on a plane? Flying on a plane and the person in front of you reclines their seat. And what’s worse than that? Having your flight diverted because passengers argued over reclining seats. That happened twice this week. In one case, a passenger used a product call the Knee Defender, which prevents seats from reclining, and the passenger in front of him got mad. This is the best possible publicity for the Knee Defender, which plans on releasing a product that keeps toilet seats from being put down, called Pee Defender.

You Missed It: Going viral edition

There's evidence the virus was created by the Walt Disney Company.
There’s evidence the virus was created by the Walt Disney Company.

When did Shark Week become a national holiday? Discovery’s long-running TV “event” is at the point where it’s getting spoofed by other networks, and memes are being created to celebrate its arrival. For example, Comedy Central has been celebrating “Shart Week,” airing episodes of classic shows that revolve around poop gags, and there are quite a few. And of course we just had Sharknado 2. This year, it doesn’t seem like anyone cares about Discovery itself. Maybe that’s because they kicked things off with a huge lie last year. If you were busy preparing for two different hurricanes this week, odds are you missed it.

Ebola wars
The biggest outbreak of the Ebola virus on record is upon us, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases, mostly in western Africa. Two American aid workers were among those to contract the virus. Both were flown back to the U.S., and are undergoing experimental treatments in Atlanta, because there’s no cure. The fact that the two stricken Americans were flown back to the U.S. for treatment drew ire from noted dumbasses like Donald Trump, and the hospital where the patients are being treated has even received threatening phone calls. Is there any chance we can aim this disease at just certain parts of humanity?

What would Jesus tweet?
This week, Pope Francis told a crowd of altar servers in Germany not to focus too much on their gadgets. Sure, technology is meant to improve our lives, but what it really ends up doing it causing a distraction from the world around us, he said. The altar servers nodded at the pope’s point, then went back to SnapChat.

The world waits because of a toddler
President Barack Obama was set to announce to the U.S. and the world, why he had ordered airstrikes on ISIS positions in Iraq, and how it totally wasn’t going to be another war, but his speech was put on hold Thursday night. Outside the White House, a toddler squeezed himself through the bars of the fence on the North Lawn and started running around. Secret Service officers secured the kid, but the White House was put on lockdown during the incident. It’s safe to assume that the boy and his family are now in Guantanamo Bay.