Totally Awesome Bear Saves Old Guy’s Life: “No Thanks Necessary,” Says the Bear

Robert Biggs, some old guy from Paradise, California (who will probably win the lottery, considering his luck and age) was out for a hike on Monday when he spied a familiar group of black bears. Stopping to take a look, he admired the bears and went on his way.

Historic Mega Millions Jackpot of $640 Million Will Likely Be Won By Some Old Jackass

Isn’t that what usually happens? Some old bastard retiree who owns his own house and has no student loans wins it all and still keeps his job mowing greens at the golf course? Well, even though it’s possible for this record jackpot to be won by someone who deserves it (read: me), it’s not very likely. And that possibility is clearly fueling the record ticket sales, as CNN reports:

The multistate jackpot, which lottery officials are calling “the largest lottery jackpot in world history,” has captivated the nation, has caused long lines at convenience stores and has many dreaming of creative ways to quit their jobs if they get the lucky numbers.

“Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing will truly be a spectacular event in lottery history and provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and lead director for the Mega Millions group.

And perhaps crazier still, if no one wins tonight, the jackpot for next Tuesday will reach $975 million bones. Richard Lustig, a seven-time lottery winner (and asshole!) advises purchasing tickets in groups and avoiding the quick-picks, but cautions against profligate spending:

“Don’t go crazy with this,” he said. “Don’t get what’s called lottery fever. Do not spend grocery money. Do not spend rent money.”

Even a University of Evil (Chicago) economist is getting in on the lottery advice action, cautioning winners to avoid the annuity and take the lump sum:

The choice comes down to interest rates, and with interest rates at zero, the lump sum just makes better financial sense, Goolsbee said.

“If you are fortunate enough to win the lottery, you most certainly want to take the lump sum,” Goolsbee said.

Yesterday, Gawker’s own Hamilton Nolan wrote a piece in which he reminded us of the odds against winning the lottery. While his math is solid, his reasoning will doubtlessly fall on deaf ears as millions of people buy tickets in the hopes of quitting their jobs, paying off their student loans, or perhaps more humbly, sexing up a bunch of Hungarian strippers in the greatest coke party that the world has ever known. Oops–I guess I gave away my plans for the winnings!

Did you buy your tickets yet? What are your plans for the winnings? Do they involve Hungarian strippers? Or robots? Discuss in the comments!

Rick “The Trick” Promises a Newer, Cleaner Santorum for America

Well, it looks like the Lenny Bruce of the GOP presidential pack is going to tone down his act. That’s right, Rick “The Trick” Santorum is going to offer a kinder, gentler discursive environment for his followers. Or, at the very least, an environment where he won’t comment on the relative qualities of a Romneybot presidency:

After several highly publicized remarks that left many in his party questioning whether he had crossed the line in attacking a fellow Republican, Mr. Santorum has struggled to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran.

Nevertheless, he still has some harsh criticisms for his opponent; Above the News was able to obtain this unedited draft transcript of a Santorum speech attacking Mitt Romney (I’ve censored it for your protection):

“Mitt Romney can suck a d**k, folks. Yes, that’s right: Romney’s nothing but a f**king c**ks**king a**clown. First he’s over here, then he’s over there; he’s like a f**king retard. He just can’t make up his mind. ‘Duh, I like health care–it nice. I wear magic panties!’ And speaking of magic panties, what about his wife? Have you ever seen such a b****y looking c**t in all your life? I bet her p***y’s as cold as a glacier. And probably as big, too. The magic of her panties is that she can fit her oversize c**t in there.”

It only gets worse, folks, I can promise you that. But as the Times article noted, Santorum is aiming to clean up his act; thus, speeches like the above will become a thing of the past.

Though he may be Wal-Marting his speeches, Santorum still has some vague criticisms of Romneybot, as well as some reiterations of his credentials on battling health care:

“I’ve got a long, strong, consistent record on the issue of health care,” Mr. Santorum told a group of more than 100 supporters at a campaign rally in Janesville on Tuesday night. “No wobbles, no bobbles.”

It is unclear whether Santorum weebles; nevertheless, he does not fall down.

But some Santorum fans are upset that he no longer spits hot fire:

Paul Kurtz, a high school social studies teacher from Janesville who was at the rally, said he thought Mr. Santorum seemed to be repressing his trademark tenacity.

“I think Rick tempered what he could have said,” said Mr. Kurtz, 36, who was sipping the dregs of a beer as the crowd filed out of the Armory in Janesville. “I think he was really close to going there. I was waiting for the personal attack on Romney.” But Mr. Kurtz left disappointed.

Yes, Mr. Kurtz is responsible for educating the youth of America. I’ll give you a moment to cry.

What remains to be seen is whether Santorum can maintain this pretense of civility. Oh, wait–

Breaking News: Europeans Hate Shitty Coffee

Alas, poor Starbucks–I knew it, Horatio.

While many of us are desperately wishing for a melancholy Dane to ponder over the bleached skull of the most irritating corporate force in America, those mad geniuses behind your burned coffee are seeking to conquer that Dane’s homeland–think of them as Fortinbras with a Frappucino.

Starbucks is embarking on a multimillion-dollar campaign to win over more of Europe’s coffee aficionados — with a upscale makeover of hundreds of stores to cater to an ingrained cafe culture, and adjusting beverages and blends to suit fickle regional palates.

Yet despite the full-court press Elsinore is, for the moment, safe:

After eight years spent setting up 63 French Starbucks stores, the company has never turned a profit in France. And even in the parts of Europe where the company does make money, sales and profit growth lag far behind results in the Americas and Asia.

Europe’s debt crisis and sluggish economy are a factor. So are high European rents and labor costs, which impinge on profits more than in any other region in which Starbucks operates. But the biggest challenge may lie in tailoring the Starbucks experience to appeal to a variety of European tastes.

Ah, I see–young Europeans aren’t yet used to the idea of a soul-killing career for a company that does not pay a living wage. But there is hope for the ‘Bucks, and that hope lies within the simulacrum:

“In markets where there is an entrenched coffeehouse culture, like Paris or Vienna, I was expecting to hear more requests to be like them,” Ms. Gass said. “But I heard the opposite — people want the true Starbucks experience.”

Presumably this desire for “the true Starbucks experience” necessitates a surly barista, a urine-soaked homeless person, and some asshole with a clipboard whose resume lacked the civic activities required for admission to Harvard Law.

Ultimately, Starbucks will conquer Europe. McDonald’s, that other beacon of American food corporatism, eventually found traction and so will the ‘Bucks. Whether it’s Eurotrash hipsters desirous of lemon pound cake and a watery latte, or bloated American tourists too afraid to try a local cafe, people will make their way into the black and green empire of aestheticide that is Starbucks.

On the other hand, the British need Starbucks: shitty or not, it’s likely the only passable cup of coffee you’re likely to find on that entire miserable island.

Mississippi Loves Jesus; Jesus to Mississippi: “I Thought We Were Going to Keep it Casual!”

Yes, it would appear that 60% of America, and especially Mississippi, has really fallen head-over-heels for that rebellious black hippie who probably didn’t exist:

The latest Gallup Poll finds Mississippi is the most religious state, with Vermont and New Hampshire ranking as the least.

Overall, Gallup says, “America remains a generally religious nation, with more than two-thirds of the nation’s residents classified as very or moderately religious.”

Poor Jesus; just off a bad break-up with some whore and now a majority of Americans want to jump on his dick. Can’t a guy just talk about plucking out offensive eyeballs and not masturbating without a bunch of crazy bitches wanting a commitment? Apparently not in Mississippi:

Gallup found that 59% of Mississippians described themselves as “very religious,” followed by 57% of Utahns and 56% of Alabamans. Louisiana, Arkansas and South Carolina came in at 54%.

Ha! Suck it, Utah–those bible-thumping hillbillies in Mississippi have got you beat!

Not surprisingly, the Godless northern states in New England were among the least religious. Whether this is because of education, wealth, or possibly immigration patterns is certainly up for debate; nevertheless, we now know where Jesus will hide when Mississippi starts texting him at 2 a.m. looking for some late night “prayer.”

Ditka Versus an Aerial Sniper?

The government of Alaska seems to pride itself on comically stupid ideas, and this next one is no different:

The Alaska Board of Game has approved a plan for state wildlife biologists to shoot black and grizzly bears from helicopters in the middle Kuskokwim River region starting next spring. The goal is to increase the moose population for local hunters.

Yes, in an effort to increase the moose population, the Board of Game has voted to “remove” all the bears from Game Management Unit 19A, an area southeast of Fairbanks that includes several small villages. Ostensibly, the reason for this removal is to increase the moose population for subsistence hunters; right now, the moose population is estimated to be between 2,800 and 5,800 moose. The bear population is somewhat lower, at 135 to 150 black bears, and 10 to 15 brown bears. That’s roughly 35 moose per bear at maximal estimates; personally, I doubt the bears are that hungry.

Of course the bears do not prey upon the full-grown moose all the time; often they take calves and thus harm the breeding potential of the moose population. That, in turn, does threaten the future of subsistence in Unit 19A. Moreover, the moose must contend with wolf populations; however, those wolf populations have been successfully curbed by aerial wolf patrols. But interestingly, the moose population has not risen.

In case you were wondering, the primary logic behind killing all the bears was based on the non-success of past predator management:

An aerial wolf control program has been in place in Unit 19A since 2004. Private pilots and gunners with state permits have reduced the wolf population by at least 60 percent each year since 2005 but moose numbers have not recovered, according to the department’s proposal to the board.

“Adding bear removal to the predation control program should help address this issue,” the department wrote.

Perhaps killing the residents near Game Management Unit 19A would also work, Board of Game! After all, the logical next step in predator management would be to take out the next predator in line. Sorry, Aniak residents!

The option to move the bears (a plan that has been utilized in the past) was nixed; apparently no one else wants the bears around:

Moving bears was not approved in unit 19A because the program is costly and residents from other parts of the state said they didn’t want bears moved to their areas, the department said.

The Board also adopted a measure that would allow pussies to fly in, hop out of their plane, jog about 300 meters–oh, wait, feet–and shoot at black bears who’ve been tempted by bait stations. Yes, nothing says “primal scream of nature” like shooting an unsuspecting bear while it chows down on some bait. You didn’t even have to muss your Carhartt’s, you total badass!

I would like to point out that I’m absolutely in favor of game management. I see no reason not to control populations in humane ways so that a balance can be attained between the needs of the residents and the natural order of the Alaskan Interior. Yet something about this plan twists my balls.

Why not expand the hunting season and sell more bear permits? People would snap those up like a new toy from Apple; moreover, the state would generate revenue for that particular game management area.

Also, if aerial wolf control failed, why the hell would you expect aerial bear control to succeed? Is it really necessary to kill every single bear? That doesn’t seem like balance; rather, it seems like short-sighted bullshit shenanigans perpetrated by political appointees.

Plus, if you’re such a Goddamn nutless turd that you can’t hike into a hunting area, set up camp, and stalk and kill your prey like nature intended, then you have no business hunting. Bait stations are for bitches, and so is aerial hunting. Go back to your Call of Duty, pussy.

Welcome to Thunderdome!

Yes, today is Super Tuesday, and it will quite likely determine the candidate who will go on to challenge Obama in the presidential election. Let’s hope it’s not Santorum. Or Romneybot. Or Ron Paul Kenobi. Or Newton “Fruit n’ Cake.” Actually, let’s hope that all four of them meet up for a grip-and-grin photo op and a meteor strikes them. Yes, that would be the best possible scenario: the meteor that killed the Republican presidential candidate field versus Obama.

Naturally, I’d vote for the meteor; after all, it did more for American politics than Obama ever could.

But since that’s not going to happen, we’ll discuss some actualities. In what appears to be a race to the bottom for Santorum and Romneybot, both are counting on victories in Ohio to propel them to the depths; Ohio is the necessary morale booster for either candidate. Hence all the campaigning and vague talk about “manufacturing”:

At a metal works in Canton and a welding factory in Youngstown, in mailboxes and on the radio, Mr. Romney’s intense focus on these Republican-leaning voters was in evidence on Monday as he made his closing appeal in Ohio – if not as an everyman, then at least as a chief executive who knows how to generate blue-collar jobs and get factories running again.

“Other people in this race have debated about the economy, they’ve read about the economy, they’ve talked about it in subcommittee meetings, but I’ve actually been in it,” Mr. Romney told workers at a guardrail factory in Canton, where he walked among huge coils of steel. “I understand what it takes to get business successful, and to thrive.”

Yes, a predatory venture capital firm is exactly like a factory; really, the douchebags I see outside of Bain’s headquarters at lunch are virtually indistinguishable from the chumps who make sprockets in Bumfuck, Ohio!

Also, there’s no such thing as “the” economy; there are a multiplicity of interrelated economies. When I sell my bike to some hippie, that’s an economy. We’re all in the Goddamn economy, Mittensus. So shut the fuck up.

Santorum, however, was not to be outdone on the pandering front:

Mr. Santorum, who has mixed his faith-based appeal with a workingman’s sensibility born of his Pennsylvania coal and steel country roots, was not about to cede that ground.

At Dayton Christian School in Miamisburg on Monday, he urged a capacity crowd to vote for “a guy who grew up in a steel town in western Pennsylvania who no one gave any chance to be standing here in Ohio in March, because he went out and believed in free people” and in “building a stronger economy based on manufacturing.”

Yes, Rickspittle–your White Christianness and upbringing near some people who worked really hard definitely qualifies you to be president. I grew up in a small farming town; I didn’t farm, but there were some nearby. Thus, I’m not only qualified to talk about farming, but I could also be president! Isn’t democracy grand?

Whether this nonstop blue-collar asslicking will prove fruitful remains to be seen; if the past is any indicator, it probably will. Desperate people are often swindled with vague promises, and in this Republican field, vague promises are seemingly the only mode of discourse available.

But before you vote, blue-collar Super Tuesdayans, just consider this: are you willing to work for $17 a day, where a day lasts 14 hours? No? Then kiss that manufacturing bullshit goodbye.

Also, vote for Ron Paul Kenobi–I’d love to see Emperor Muslimtine crush him beneath his Imperial loafers.

Utah Will No Longer Tolerate Your Sexy Shenanigans

In a bid to crack down on prostitution (and annoy the shit out of people trying to get a lapdance), the state of Utah recently amended a solicitation law to include boobs and sexy gestures:

Utah law had defined solicitation as a person agreeing to have sex for money. But an amendment last year broadened it to include any person who performs acts such as exposing or touching themselves.

An attorney for the escort services says the law now makes it a crime for a stripper to merely expose private parts during a dance.

Apparently, police officers were having a difficult time busting escorts for prostitution; the officers would do all that they could within the bounds of the law to get the escort to offer sex. Not to be fooled, the wily dancers would ask their clients to expose themselves, which is illegal for a police officer to do.

Now, however, the officers may arrest the dancers for erotic gestures or the exposure of dirty pillows (one arrest has been made, though the case is pending a federal court decision regarding the amendment).

There’s no word yet on whether scratching your ass under the hot Utah sun will be prohibited by the amendment; presumably, it would only be an arrestable offense if you have a nice booty.

The Book of Jewish Sports Heroes Just Got a Bit Thicker

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: What’s the thinnest book in the world? The Book of Jewish Sports Heroes! Hilarious! Well, that book just got a little bit thicker.

The Robert Beren Academy boys basketball team, which recently earned a spot in the state semifinals, will be forced to forfeit their upcoming semifinal game because the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools refuses to reschedule the playing time, which happens to coincide with the Jewish Sabbath. The Head of School, Rabbi Harry Sinoff, has asked TAPPS to reschedule to earlier in the day, but TAPPS refused.

“There should be a really big reason that prevents a team that has worked hard and earned its position before you exclude them,” Sinoff said. “All sports have been improved by inclusion.”

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, otherwise known as the Texas Association of Dickbags, claims the schedule cannot be shifted. Not surprisingly, the majority of schools in the dickbag association are Christian.

“We have certain things that we do, not necessarily based on religion, but when TAPPS was founded, there were no schools in it that celebrated their Sabbath on anything but on Sunday,” said TAPPS Executive Director Edd Burleson.

Burleson also noted that Robert Beren Academy knew the rules going in, and joined anyway so that their team would have opponents to play against.

Perhaps most irritating (and unsurprising), is that accommodations have been made in the past: according to Rabbi Sinoff, a Seventh-Day Adventist team was allowed to reschedule a tournament game that would have taken place on Saturday.

Sadly, this means that Robert Beren Academy’s team will forfeit, and Kerville Our Lady of the Hills Catholic School, the opponent that they crushed to reach the semifinals, will play instead. Yeah, it certainly is tough to be a Christian in America.

I hope that Kerville gets scored on more times than Mary in a manger. Mazel tov, bitches!

Obama Will Not Be Happy Until Gasoline Prices Reach $10,000,000 Per Gallon

He is, however, more than willing to start with $5 a gallon. That’s right, Emperor Muslimtine wants your family to pay $5 a gallon so that he can finance his dreams of turning America into a theocracy. Oh, wait–that’s this guy. Sorry, I got confused.

In any event, gas prices seem poised to rise even further, which will prompt morons to demand that Obama personally alleviate the hardship caused by their poor decision to buy a used Range Rover. Moreover, because the price of oil is linked to the volatility in the Middle East, the price surge could force some rather blustery rhetoric from neocon chickenhawks:

“If we get some kind of explosion — like an Israeli attack or some local Iranian revolutionary guard decides to take matters in his own hands and attacks a tanker — than we’d see oil prices push up 20 to 25 percent higher and another 50 cents a gallon at the pump,” said Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research.

For the typical driver who pumps 60 gallons a month of regular unleaded gasoline, a 50-cent increase in price means an extra expense of $30 a month.

I can hear the rich guys now:

“I say, Yarmouth, let’s rile the plebes with this business. An extra $30 per month ought to do it; those poor bastards love to put people in harm’s way for the price of a dinner at Chili’s.”

Oil prices have steadily increased in part because of the tensions with Iran, though demand from China also plays its part. Yet interestingly, demand seems to be but one part of the problem: the other part, speculation:

“The bankers are speculating, protecting themselves from higher prices by committing obligations to buy now, and that starts the ball rolling toward higher prices,” said Sadad Ibrahim al-Husseini, former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco, the state oil company.

He added that the escalating civil turmoil in Syria, a crucial ally of Iran, “is bound to increase price volatility and that will drive future speculation.”

So, what we have here is the classic set-up for American politics: the Republitards will blame Obama for rising gas prices, citing his energy policy, and use those prices to rile the idiot base. They will also appeal to the violent, nationalistic instinct present in the American populace and demand military action in the name of patriotism; failure to act, they will claim, proves that Obama sympathizes with Muslims and hates America. Meanwhile, banks with billions of dollars in holdings will speculate on the price of oil, driving the prices ever-higher, which will create record profits for the oil companies that do business with the banks.

And worst of all, because of rising gas prices, you won’t even be able to afford a consolatory dinner at Chili’s. Well, maybe a dinner. But you’ll only be able to get one appetizer. And it’s just so hard to choose.

Damn Obama!

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