Welcome to The New Chainik Hocker. I am your host, the eponymous Chainik Hocker, here to share news, reviews, pretty pictures, and silly opinions with you. Contact me at chainik DOT hocker AT gmail DOT com

Sunday, April 30, 2006

How quirky are you?

Your Quirk Factor: 75%

You're so quirky, it's hard for you to tell the difference between quirky and normal.
No doubt about it, there's little about you that's "normal" or "average."
Hrmph. Seems a bit off. I'm waaaay quirkier than that.
H/T Ahistoricality, who is a measly 59%. Haw-haw!


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Google Discovers YeshivaWorld!

Check it out!

For extra special bonus "teh funny" points, watch Conor Knighton break his teeth on "Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson".

Kol hakovod, YeshivaWorld.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming, Part 97.

This is why they don’t let British police have guns. They’d just hurt themselves.

In America, however, one never, ever, ever gets between a cop and his or her Krispy Kreme donuts. Ever!

Of course, if you experience police brutality, you know who’s at fault: President Bush. The source of all badness and evilosity.

Of course, maybe President Bush really is out of his cotton-pickin’ mind nowadays. I just got this as an email from a whackjob crackpot; I haven’t seen it anywhere so I can’t verify its accuracy.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- An editorial writer for the Alexandria Intelligencer, Carl Bury, was reportedly arrested by federal agents last night. Neighbors say they were awakened by shouting around midnight as Bury was taken away in an unmarked van. The men apprehending Bury identified themselves as being "with the government" and left before neighbors could question them further. The staff at the Alexandria Intelligencer say they have been unable to learn what has happened to Bury, other than being told by police that it is a federal matter. Bury had often written controversial editorials denouncing the Bush administration as illegal and alleging that there is proof that President Bush knew about the September 11th terrorist attacks beforehand. Bury has no criminal record, and the local police are not aware of the reason for his arrest. The White House has yet to respond to this matter.


Probably a drug dealer or something. Good riddance. Nother Bush-basher bites the… dust.

(I was going for alliteration there, but I don’t think the use of three words in a row counts as alliteration- it was just cutesy.)

Quick question- does this look like “free speech” to you?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mark Echo, the uber-rich skell behind the Air Force One tagging incident, among other things, is suing Vallone and Hizzoner the Lord Mayor over the law that says people under the age of 21 can’t possess broad-tipped markers or spray paint.

The problem is, he’s challenging it under free-speech laws, arguing that graffito is free speech, instead of arguing interruption of commerce or something that actually makes sense. To simplify, Mister Echo thinks that some idiot drawing his nickname on the roll down gates of your store is the same thing as the Federalist Papers.

Read it here.



Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Diabetics of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your Rocky Road!

Q: What flavors of ice cream does an anarchist ice cream truck offer?

A: As anarchists, we reject the stifling, repressive Rethuglican concept of “flavors”. We encourage you to choose your own flavor experience. We are not bound by the chocolate-vanilla-strawberry paradigm that has oppressed ice cream enthusiasts for generations.

Q: What can I get for 37 cents?

A: As anarchists, we reject the exploitative capitalistic practice of demanding money in exchange for ice cream. As Karl Marx explains in his letter to Engels of 24 August 1867, which put forth the theory of surplus value, in each class of society, part of society (the ruling class) appropriates the social surplus product. Nature grows grass, which is eaten by cows, which produce milk, which is stolen by agrobusiness, a part of the military-industrial complex, forcing the proletarian farmer to compete against each other. The milk of oppression is exploited by Ben and Jerry’s, which leads to the capitalistic rip-off.

You can have this pamphlet for $3.50.

Q: What kind of music does an anarchist ice cream truck play?

A: The Entertainer. It’s a classic, man.

Q: So, what’s with the paint job?

A: What do you mean?

Q: You painted your truck black and red. Aren’t ice cream trucks traditionally painted white?

A: Why are you trying to censor me? Freedom of artistic expression is the cornerstone of… of… artistic expression! Fascist!

Q: But its traditional.

A: You know what else is traditional? Slavery? Do you support slavery?

Q: Wha?

A: Fascist! I bet you’re a Republican! This interview is over! No blood for oil!

door slams. engine starts. Mister Softee jingle plays.

Context here. Thank you, Fark.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ghetto to Big Brother: OMG, LOLZ, n00b

The NYPD is installing security cameras all over the city, similar to cameras in other cities.

Speaking as a security systems engineer specializing in CCTV, and speaking as someone who has lived in New York City his whole life, let me be the first person to say: ha!

Ha ha ha ha.

Spending 9 million dollars on these things are fine- even though I won’t get a penny out of it (my company doesn’t have a shot at even sub-subcontract work, as my name does not end in a vowel, I’m not a member of the union, and I can’t afford to shmear any local politicians). What gets me is, someone is missing the point of cameras.

These cameras are useless unless someone is available to 1) watch the cameras and 2) dispatch people to take care of problems, and they will still be useless unless there are cops available to respond to those jobs.

Save your cash and get more beat cops is my advice.

Plus, I sure hope these cameras are bulletproof… and if they are, that’ll allow the cameras to survive for 4 to 6 weeks, not much more.

Story here.


Friday, April 14, 2006

The Military Has it Wrong

Ever since the historic elections in Iraq last December, the former Baathist state has steadily descended into an inferno of sectarian violence and increasing power of thuggish militias. Despite frequent claims to the contrary, the regression in progress does not display the futility of nation building in Iraq. In fact, the large majority of Iraqis have acted patiently and heroically during the recent renewal of violence. The sober truth is the blame for Iraq’s regression lies not with the Iraqis but with ourselves.

While there were many honest disagreements about the number of troops needed to properly secure Iraq both before and after the 2003 invasion, it has become increasingly clear that we do not have enough troops on the ground. The key number of American troops needed to properly secure Iraq has consistently been 150,000. Whenever we hit that mark, such as during last December’s elections, the situation stabilizes and the insurgency cools down. However, just as the situation calms down, the military invariably announces troop reductions, bringing troop levels down to about 120,000-130,000. Following the reduction of ground forces, things inevitably heat up and the political situation in Iraq gets progressively worse until we once more raise troop levels.

One would think that the military would eventually catch on and stay at the 150,000 mark. The problem is that the military has fundamentally misconstrued the nature of American power in Iraq, and the military’s underlying thesis is setting America up for disaster. The military thinks that American troops are the underlying cause of the insurgency. According to their line of thinking, whenever American troops raid a village looking for insurgents or deploy in a Baghdad neighborhood, they create resentment among the population, which consequently drives people to resist the American presence through support for the insurgency. Thus, according to the Pentagon Brass, America should pursue a “light footprint” strategy and let Iraqi troops do the majority of the maneuvering, as Iraqi troops will not attract the level of hostility that American troops will.

This logic is absurd on three levels. First and foremost, Iraqi troops aren’t as capable as American forces. While they are certainly progressing, we cannot expect to fight and win a war relying on second-rate troops. We have the best and most expensive army in the world—we need to take advantage of it. Every time that Iraqi troops don’t quite complete a mission as well as American troops could have, one more terrorist escapes or one more car bomb goes off. Attacks that could have been prevented hurt our image in Iraq and further give strength to the insurgency.

Second of all, letting the Iraqis do the heavy lifting makes sectarian strife worse. The Iraqi army is largely Shiite and the areas where the insurgents live are Sunni. When Shiite troops raid Sunni settlements, they are setting the stage for reprisal killings and ethnic hatred. If American troops went in instead, the Sunnis would get mad at America. That is perfectly fine, because Americans don’t have to live with the Sunnis—the Shiites do. It is far better to have America hated, rather than the Shiites, because when the Sunnis get mad and retaliate, they will attack American forces instead of Shiite civilians. While our army is fully prepared to handle such attacks, innocent civilians stand no chance of defending themselves. This loss of life leads to bitter resentment and hatred amongst the Shiite population, which in turn retaliates by killing yet more Sunnis, and the cycle continues.

The third harmful effect is that the Iraqi forces are largely unwilling to curb the growing power of Shiite militias. These militias are trained and financed by Iran, and are rapidly becoming a far greater threat to a democratic Iraq than the largely Sunni insurgency. The militias act with near impunity in the Shiite south and demand protection money from local villages, using violence and coercion to subtly take over political and social institutions. Iran used this strategy with resounding success in 1980’s Lebanon and they are getting away with it again. The military has until now refrained from taking decisive action to destroy these militias, and this inaction is a terrible mistake. We cannot afford to lose the Shiite street to the Iranian-backed militias; even if we pay a political price with the Shiites by combating the men who provide social services and welfare to poor urban areas, the long-term cost of inaction is incalculable.

Unfortunately, the military is continuing to follow its “light footprint” philosophy. In fact, it is growing ever more determined to do so. The new commander of ground forces in Iraq, Lt. General Peter Chiarelli, aims to cut back even more on the activity of American troops. This strategy not only means less frequent confrontation of the militias, but also that we will more likely refrain from engaging mosques filled with insurgents or take other similarly aggressive measures. While aggressive American action would probably result in short term unpopularity, in the long run, it would win the war and provide a better quality of life for Iraqis. Short sided, poll-oriented strategy is a recipe for disaster and will not only cripple our troops on the ground, but pave the way for civil discord and unending sectarian strife. The military needs to engage in total war against all insurgent factions and Shiite militias in an effort to secure the nation. Three years of public relations-minded quasi war have accomplished little—we need to finally get serious.


Monday, April 03, 2006

A Plea for Writing More Betterer.

Ahistoricality linked to a good example of one of the most common mistakes bloggers make: the run-on sentence.

Oh the endless unrevised sentences of highly motivated and easily panicked students who during finals week…neglect such simple things as common sense and reasonable sentence length in a desperate (but ultimately futile) attempt to stuff every last thought they have about this, that or the other topic into a single sentence for fear that, if they do not, the person responsible for grading their final essay—be he a lowly T.A. like myself or a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist like Barry Siegel—will decide that since the entirety of their thinking about this… because they decided that thoughts must be contained in sentences much like they are contained in minds—that is, completely and wholly—with nothing pertaining to the thought they have corralled into the sentence being allowed to exist outside it lest their instructors (myself and Barry) mistake their decision to end a sentence with a desire to end all thought per se and embrace the life they have worked so hard for so long to escape…

Heh. Indeed. To quote the Man.

But bad grammar and poor writing skills doesn’t madden me quite so much as poor logic skills.

Therefore, I ask that the entire Blogosphere be required to at least skim the following links:

Propaganda Critic

Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate

And, the most inclusive

A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical question (erotesis) differs from hypophora in that it is not answered by the writer, because its answer is obvious or obviously desired, and usually just a yes or no. It is used for effect, emphasis, or provocation, or for drawing a conclusionary statement from the facts at hand.

But how can we expect to enjoy the scenery when the scenery consists entirely of garish billboards?

. . . For if we lose the ability to perceive our faults, what is the good of living on? --Marcus Aurelius

Is justice then to be considered merely a word? Or is it whatever results from the bartering between attorneys?

So much heartache and fisking could be avoided if only bloggers could learn to recognize a rhetorical question.

So let it be blogged. So let it be done.


A question for the audience.

Okay, here’s the situation.

I’m in my car.

I drive past a delicatessen called The Polish Deli, with a huge sign incorporating the Polish coat of arms.
One of the lightbulbs illuminating the sign is out.

There is a man on a ladder, holding a lightbulb.

He is blond, blue eyed, and has high cheekbones.

One can only assume he works for or owns The Polish Deli.

There are an additional two men with similar facial features on the ground, standing on either side of the ladder.

To review, then:

I saw a Pollack changing a lightbulb, and using two assistants to help.

I giggled for about ten minutes.

Am I a bigot?