South Park creators receive signed Saddam photo

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone say they were sent a signed photo of Saddam Hussein, after the the deposed Iraqi dictator was shown their film South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, in jail. The movie depicts him as the boyfriend of Satan:

Stone, 37, said both he and Parker, 39, were most proud of the signed Saddam photo, given to them by the US Army's 4th Infantry Division.

He said: "We're very proud of our signed Saddam picture and what it means. Its one of our biggest highlights.

"I have it on pretty good information from the marines on detail in Iraq that they showed Saddam the movie.

"Over and over again – which is a pretty funny thought.

"That's really adding insult to injury."

No word yet on whether Kim Jong Il has seen Team America.


Pentagon, bankers, prepare for financial warfare

The Politico reports that the Pentagon invited a host of banking and investment experts to participate in a war game anticipating how foreign countries or rogue entities might try to cripple the U.S. financial system.

Participating professors, hedge fund managers, and bank executives were separated into five teams -- the United States, Russia, China, "East Asia," and "Others." They sat at tables facing large screens with streaming financial data. Then, the Department of Defense staffers would simluate a "global calamity," such as the "collapse of North Korea, Russian manipulation of natural gas prices, and increasing tension between China and Taiwan." The result?

At the end of the two days, the Chinese team emerged as the victors of the overall game – largely because the Russian and American teams had made so many moves against each other that they damaged their own standing to the benefit of the Chinese....

[One participant says] the event left him questioning one prevailing assumption about economic warfare, that the Chinese would never dump dollars on the global market to attack the US economy because it would harm their own holdings at the same time. Bracken said the Chinese have a middle option between dumping and holding US dollars – they could sell dollars in increments, ratcheting up economic uncertainty in the United States without wiping out their own savings. “There’s a graduated spectrum of options here,” Bracken said.

One final detail: the name of the game was, erm, "WALRUS," an acronym for the "Warfare Analysis Laboratory Registration and User Website." If the Pentagon's going to envision further collapse, something like "BARTER ECONOMY" might be more fitting.