I like to think of this particular blog as proudly pro-New Jersey. But once in a while, I come across something that reminds me that while we may represent what is best about our fair state, New Jersey is still packed to the jagerbombs with douchebags.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I like to think of this particular blog as proudly pro-New Jersey. But once in a while, I come across something that reminds me that while we may represent what is best about our fair state, New Jersey is still packed to the jagerbombs with douchebags.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Yesterday was magnificent. Oh sooooooo magnificent! Thank you, thank you, NFL gods.
"Tony Romo's three turnovers were momentarily meaningless [Ed. note: Not true.] Sunday night when players started yelling in the shower after the quarterback collapsed...When asked later what happened, Romo said, 'Um, you know, I was just a little banged up, I guess.'"
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I’m a Protestant. The main difference, I think, between my version of Christianity and, say, Side Bar’s and LJT’s (Catholics) is that, to me, what some old dude in a funny hat who got elected behind closed doors in some arcane, secret ritual involving multicolored smoke says doesn’t mean shit.
Today’s winner? Me:
Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
"(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration.
"The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less."
The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality "a deviation, an irregularity, a wound."
(I wonder if I could make a plowing-down-the-rain-forest/plowing-altar-boys joke here.)
The pope said humanity needed to "listen to the language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman. He compared behavior beyond traditional heterosexual relations as "a destruction of God's work."
He also defended the Church's right to "speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected."
I suppose it is a lot to ask of a former Nazi that he try to view human beings different from himself as human beings not, you know, plants.
Whatever, he’s really old. He’ll be dead soon enough, and we can all watch the funny smoke ceremony on CNN again! Yay!
Friday, December 19, 2008
If I am going to look at the same post for a week, it might as well be this one.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Lucy Kellaway, a columnist for The Financial Times, relayed a story heard from a friend that had worked (and had been fired from) the school that Paul McCartney and Heather Mills' five year old daughter, Beatrice, attends.
Ms. Kellaway writes that, according to her friend, "at a recent parents’ evening, Heather Mills was told that her daughter was rather good at the recorder." Ms. Mills apparently replied: 'She gets that from me.'"
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Next week he is doing an expose on this thing called "a computer" and how all the kids are starting to use it to communicate with each other, and how no one has pen pals or writes letters anymore.
Also, this guy's last name is "Blow" and I think that is kind of funny in a sort of are-we-ever-going-to-just-grow-up kind of way.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Mitigating that to a certain extent is the fact that in addition to Francisco Rodriguez aka K-Rod, the Mets also traded for JJ Putz, who was Seattle's closer for the last couple of years and an all star.
Also my heart sank a little bit when I'd heard that as part of the deal for JJ Putz the Mets traded Endy Chavez to the Mariners. That guy was easily my favorite Met.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Descartes went on to discuss the nature of the relationship between mind and body, deciding that the mind was the essence of a person, and that the body was a wholly separate thing that is ultimately ruled by the mind. Kindof like a remote control car. He argued (incorrectly as it turns out) that the pineal gland, which is right in the middle of the brain, was the seat of the soul in the body. The physical manifestation of mental existence.
All of this brings us to the idea of Cartesian Impasse, as it's known in some circles. Since the pineal gland turns out not to be "the soul", we are therefore at a loss to explain how the mind actually communicates with the body. Descartes started it, but all the people who have come after him haven't really spoken very well on the matter either.
I find this to be very interesting. It has been hundreds of year since Descartes set about becoming "the father of modern philosophy", but this, his core issue in a sense, is still a big question mark. I mean, really this is *THE* question in philosophy: what is the nature of being? It's fascinating that no one on either side of the spectrum has provided even a remotely feasible solution.
Fast forward 400 years and we know how the brain works. We can ask people to perform tasks and see the neurons firing in the brain. We know which areas correspond to which functions in the body. We can ask people to think about something entirely abstract, not perform any physical activity, and watch the brain working. The question still remains, however: how does this cluster of electrical impulses in the brain give rise to what we would call thought, or to extend on Descartes' idea, existence?
There doesn't really seem to be an answer. I can't really even imagine what a feasible answer to that question would be. If anyone ever actually answers this question, then I want that guy to be president. Or better yet, supreme dictator of Earth.
Another interesting and tangentially related point is that I find it similarly fascinating that whatever the edge of people's understanding of the world happens to be is right where they insert God into the equation. Descartes, easily one of the smartest dudes ever (he's not only the father of philosophy, but one of his throwaway examples in a math treatise led to Newton and Liebnitz separately inventing calculus.), reached the end of his train of thought about the nature of being to insert God into the equation. Ancient Greek dudes didn't know why the sun came up in the morning and set at night, so they decided it was a god riding a chariot across the sky. I would bet that if you had this mind/body discussion with 100 people, then a lot of them would say that the point at which we can't explain how electrical impulses give rise to actual thought and therefore existence is right where God comes in to connect the dots between the two. I would bet you could find some neuroscientists who would give you that answer.
I'm not opposed to the idea of God, in fact I find the whole notion rather intriguing, but I just also find it very interesting that it seems to be the lazy way out for some people. I feel like I'm the opposite. The more I learn about the complexities of the universe, the nature of being and matter, and the absolutely nonsensical way that things seem to work, the more I feel like there must be some sort of power who put those things into place.
So the point is that I'm fascinated that this mind/body thing is the ultimate question and that the closer we get to finding the answer, the farther away we seem to be from it.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Anyhow, since you gies don't have any ideas, I'm gonna have to chime in with some new music for the holiday season. You all know how much I love new wave music, so it will come as no surprise when I recommend these hits for the holidays.
I want everyone to go out and get The Killers new album, Day and Age. The Killers are awesome. And if you don't have their first two albums, Hot Fuss and Sam's Town, then get those too. And if you're feeling saucy, then get Sawdust, an album of B-sides they put out last year.
Secondly, if you love The Killers, and I think I've just proven that everyone does love The Killers, then you should check out The Bravery. Another 80s influenced band that feels a lot like The Cure to me, with a little bit of REM and maybe some of The Smiths.
I recently bought two albums by The Police, Ghost in the Macine and Synchronicity. Ghost in the Machine is a little bit dated for me, with the obvious exception of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic". There's a possibility that that's my favorite song of all time. Synchronicity, on the other hand, is a great album. Like great. You should get it.
And anyone who took enough of an interest in the New Wave post up until this point should go out and get an album by The Smiths. I would recommend "Singles" as a good start. Now The Smiths are not for everyone. Here's my theory on The Smiths. There are plenty of cool people who don't like The Smiths, but there isn't anyone who likes The Smiths that isn't cool. Therefore, fans of The Smiths are just a subset of all cool people. Again, it's really not everyone's cup of tea, but if you're a cynical malcontent who secretly revels at how great the world really is, then I know you'll like The Smiths. Check them out.
PS-the title of this post is a blunt allusion to a song by The Smiths, "Bigmouth Strikes Again", one of their best.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
That being said, Side Bar made a proposition:
"we are going to do a beer tasting (and I am comfortable volunteering Open Bar to participate without checking with him first) and I am going to try an show you the error of your ways.I accepted said proposition, but he has yet to deliver because either he's a bad friend and he hates me or because it's in his nature to offer things and not deliver because he's Irish. I say this thing has to happen some time before Mother's Day, so I declare (and I am comfortable volunteering Open Bar to participate without checking with him first) that you must make this happen, Side Bar. I'll eat a ton of pasta beforehand, and I'll be ready to go.
Leave the car keys and the baby . . . it's going to be a long afternoon."
PS - I'm not even sure what that Irish joke meant. I don't think it really fits any Irish stereotype, and in fact I would think he'd want it to happen in order for him to drink since Irish people are drunken bastards. Well, this doesn't really take me very far in terms of apologizing to Irish people.
In the Notorious family you could break down the three kids into Notoriouses LJT (the boy), KAT (the chef. Shout out to Notorious KAT), and EMT (the tall one), respectively. EMT has always been tall. I assume she's proud of it today, but she was presumably self-conscious of it when she was younger. Perhaps she felt like it made her stand out in a weird way and maybe in a way she wasn't pretty when everyone else was (not true, by the way). One day in her youth, EMT asks her mom, Carmella Soprano, "Mom, why am I so tall?" Carmella gave the obvious answer, "I don't know. Why is [LJT] so good looking?"
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Whew, it's good to be alive!
As I was preparing to head on over to Chuck's for an early Thanksgiving dinner (schwing!), I happened to catch a commercial for "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." And guess what? I can feel the ol' holiday spirit coming on! Yay! I am so frigging gay for the holiday season, it's kind of ridiculous. If I could take it, transmogrify it into solid form, then somehow build a vagina into it, I...well that got weird. And I think I mixed my metaphors with the whole gay/vagina sequencing, so moving right along...
I don't know if you noticed, but some people died this week in some really abnormal ways. (The rest of this post is a bit morbid, so if death-blogging isn't your cup of tea, then allow me to suggest this wonderful site dedicated to the beauty of horses. Don't forget to read the comments!)
First off: God's Cruel, Cruel Sense of Irony.
The headline of this story is "Widow Killed by Husband's Coffin." Wait, what? How the...?
"A widow has been killed by her late husband's coffin in a freak accident on the way to his funeral.Are you fucking serious, God? The story doesn't mention anything about children, but the widow and her (ex?)husband were old and it's a foreign country, so they probably haven't discovered contraception, which leads me to believe they probably had like 28 kids and 433 grandkids. Somewhere around there anyway, I'm not a mathematician.
Brazilian Marciana Silva Barcelos, 67, was on her way to the cemetery when the hearse she was travelling in was hit by another car.
The coffin was thrown forward by the impact and slammed into her head, killing her instantly.
Her husband Josi Silveira Coimbra, 76, had died the night before from a heart attack at a dance."
Next up, Utterly Ridiculous Suicide #1.
Getting evicted must suck. I mean really, REALLY suck, because apparently, this guy got evicted and he chose to off himself in his apartment rather than face the real-estate market.
What up till now has been a somewhat sad but ultimately mundane tale of misfortune suddenly morphs into some kind of torture-porn-movie-style splatterfest.
"The last resident in a block of flats due to be demolished cut his own head off with a chainsaw to highlight the 'injustice' of being asked to move out, an inquest heard today."HE DID WHAT? HOW?
"Desperate David Phyall, 50, plugged the electric chainsaw into the mains and attached a timer to the socket.
He then wrapped sellotape around the machine's trigger to secure it in the 'on' position and tied the handle of the saw to a table leg to hold it steady.
Mr Phyall rested the saw on his neck and waited for the timer to go off.
The Black and Decker chainsaw sliced through his neck in an instant but kept going for a further 15 minutes."
So, to sum up: A guy lost his apartment, and in order to "highlight the injustice," he elected to CUT HIS OWN FUCKING HEAD OFF WITH A FUCKING CHAINSAW.
(Sorry for all the CAPS, but if you want to express your horror/shock/disbelief at something on the Internet, I'm told that's how you do it.)
And finally, Utterly Ridiculous Suicide #2.
So if that whole chainsaw thing didn't do it for you, then go grab a beer, come back and let me brighten up your day a bit. This right here is a lovely story of a man playing with cats. Really, really big cats. White tigers. And he's not just any man, either. He's, sigh, suicidal. And works at the zoo. Near the big cats.
See where this is going?
"According to eyewitnesses, Mr Nordin, who was seen shouting and flinging items about shortly before the incident, vaulted a low wall and landed in a moat in the enclosure, four meters below.
Carrying a yellow pail and a broom, he then crossed the 1.75m-deep moat, walked up to a rocky ledge near where the animals were and began agitating them by swinging the broom.
As two of the tigers approached him, he covered his head with the pail, lay down on the ground, and curled himself into a fetal position...
In a flash, two of the extremely rare white tigers were on him. One took a swipe at him with its paw - which is about the size of a softball glove - and he began screaming in pain...
Many in the crowd of 30 or so onlookers at the enclosure initially thought the intrusion was part of a show.
But when Mr Nordin began screaming, they reacted with horror."
You really should read the whole thing. It's...well, okay, it doesn't really get better than the whole man-tries-to-get-eaten-by-tigers thing, but it's a nice denouement.
I don't really have much else to say about that.
I would, however, like to point out that all three of these bizarre events occurred in other countries, which once again makes it easy to answer this question: You know what's fuckin' awesome? That's right. America.
What? You want what? Video of the whole tiger incident? You sick bastard.
Weeeellllll...since you asked nicely...
(Yeah, I thought it would be gorier, too.)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
That being said, Project Runway is not going to be on Bravo anymore. Instead of just letting it go, NBC (which owns Bravo) is suing the Weinstein Company claiming that it had a right to refuse the show before Weinstein shopped it elsewhere. That elsewhere, incidentally, is the Lifetime Network, which I'm not really sure how to feel about. I mean, I can't be watching "The Projects" and then cut to commercials for movies with Meredith Baxter Birney and Valerie Bertinelli. I could at least front like Bravo is a hip channel when I'm watching it, but there's not such redemption in watching Lifetime.
Anyway, the new season of "The Projects" has already been filmed, with the exception of the finale which has to be shot during fashion week in February, but it will most likely not air for months and months while this lawsuit gets itself played out. This sucks. Project Runway is easily, and I don't say this lightly, easily one of the best shows on television. And I want to be best friends with Tim Gunn.
On a related note, the new season of Top Chef started last week. Top Chef is also a very good show. It's not quite as good as The Projects, if you ask me, but I know that Mrs. Side Bar disagrees with me. Shout out to Mrs. Side Bar.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
(pause for effect)
The guys at Fire Joe Morgan are shutting it down.
This site was consistently funny, interesting and fun to read. And best of all, it made a cottage industry of cutting down self-important sports journalists . . . especially those who were under-informed or over-hyped.
Some kind of monthly tribute may be in order, but candidly, I just don't think we are funny enough to match what they put up on an almost daily basis. (Believe me, I've tried).
Monday, November 17, 2008
Then, he said something to the effect of, "Well, I'd hate to see something like that happen in the playoffs or the Super Bowl," thus not realizing that there are no tie games in the playoffs. This second thing is clearly much stupider even than the first.
On SportsCenter they played calls from Philadelphia sports talk radio and they were killing McNabb. It was amazing. This one guy calls and says something like, "Here's McNabb who figures that the Super Bowl is tied after five quarters and they just shut it down and hand out two Lombardi Trophies." I guess it's like the Special Olympics.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Is it weird to say I hope this kid's gettin' laid? Anyway...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge”Knight is fighting a bid to sell the record label’s assets as long as his personal belongings, including a motorcycle, an electric massage chair and more than 40 pairs of shoes, are up for grabs.
Knight says he doesn’t mind that the official running Death Row’s bankruptcy estate is seeking to sell the label’s assets more than two years after both he and the label sought Chapter 11 protection. He does mind, however, that among the inventory headed to the block are nearly 350 items he claims are his personal property.
“It is obvious that many of the assets are not business assets of Death Row and that they instead belong to me,” Knight said in a sworn statement Tuesday filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. “The Death Row trustee has no authority to sell those assets.” Knight said “for many years” he maintained a personal office, a fitness room and a personal suite at Death Row’s former headquarters. When the label’s assets were moved to a storage facility in 2005, Knight said he believes the items in his personal rooms were also moved and have been in storage ever since.
Among the items Knight claim to be his are several humidors, a motorcycle, more than 135 pieces of clothing, a Winnie-the-Pooh teddy bear, nearly 60 pieces of fitness equipment and several pairs of alligator shoes. There are also about 40 pieces of electronic equipment Knight says he owns, including cameras, an iPod and a radio-controlled flying saucer. If the bankruptcy court doesn’t stop Death Row from selling those assets, Knight says he’s entitled to the sale proceeds those items generate.
Apparently it's hard out there -- in Bankruptcy Court -- for a pimp.
Jake is about to chip onto the green at his local golf course when a long funeral procession passes by. He stops in mid swing, doffs his cap, closes his eyes and bows in prayer. His playing companion is deeply impressed. "That's the most thoughtful and touching thing I've ever seen," he says. Jake replies, "Yeah, well, we were married 35 years."
Good luck, David.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I have tried to steer clear of gloating -- I have many friends who genuinely wanted John McCain to win the election for what (in my opinion, at least) are valid reasons. But I cannot resist a brief smile as this right-wing ideologue is sent back to the wilderness with her tail behind her legs. Tolerance of different viewpoints is one thing, but I don't have to be tolerant of intolerance.
That's so fucking gay.
And now a new call to arms has sounded as Americans face another assault on freedom. For if the stand in the schoolhouse door was a defining moment for George Wallace, then surely the aftermath of Katrina and the invasion of Iraq will be the same for George W. Bush. The trampling of individual freedoms and his blatant contempt for the rights of the average American may not have been as obvious as an ax-handle-wielding governor, but Bush's insidiousness and piety have made him much more dangerous.And concludes that:
Today, Barack Obama is hope for a better tomorrow for all Americans. He stands on the shoulders of all those people who have incessantly prayed for a day when "justice will run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream" (Amos 5:24). [. . .] And today, the day after the election, I am going to ride to the cemetery so that if asked, I can vouch for the fact that the world is still spinning but my father lies at peace.
I am exceedingly happy about this outcome. Seriously, though, I'm wondering if he has enough experience to actually be a good president. Let's hope so. I will be purchasing a t-shirt that says "Save the drama for Obama" forthwith.
Fox News doesn't even try to be non-partisan anymore. Their coverage was given from a Republican point of view to an astounding level. I didn't watch any MSNBC coverage, so I can't comment on that. CNN was predictably centrist.
Most interesting side note: In Minnesota nearly 3 million votes were cast for the Senate race and Al Franken appears to have lost to the incumbent by 572 votes. And 437,000 votes were cast for an independent and 23,000 votes were cast for other gies who had no chance of winning.
UPDATE: The New York Times web site has the most amazing interactive coverage of the election. You can watch the Obama's and McCain's speeches with the transcripts, you can zoom in and out of each state on the map and see the results by county. You can, and I have, spend hours looking through the results and reading the stories and looking at all the clickable maps and such. It's really astounding.
Much more to come as the day progresses. But one thought before I close for the evening: nearly 60 million Americans -- if not more -- just hired a black guy to be their President. Of all the incredible things about this campaign, this election, and this victory, that might stand as the most incredible of them all.
Now get to work, Mr. President.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Anyway, after a goddamn eon or something, this fucking election is finally gonna be over tonight (well, hopefully). Side Bar laid down the first bet: 338-200 (for Obama, presumably).
Not bad, my Facebook-hating friend. I’ll take your 338 and raise you a North Carolina, which brings it to 353-185. I'll tack on a popular vote call to: 51.8%-46.3%.
And incidentally, if you run into anyone who gives you that “If Obama loses, I’m moving to Canada” thing, punch that person in the throat. That’s retarded. You can also kick their dog, if they have one and it’s in your immediate vicinity.
Anyway, here’s a lil’ clip from the lovely Faith who, by the by, is a Rhodes Scholar and a part-time Navy S.E.A.L. So I hear, anyway.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Remember back in December when the four of us endorsed Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States? And remember when he pulled off a huge upset to unseat Hillary Clinton as the heir apparent to the Democratic Party, and then ran an extraordinary presidential campaign, putting himself in position to win the presidency (which - barring a seismic shift in the current landscape - he will do about 24 hours from now)?
You do? Good. Now forget it. We're on to the next big thing.
As Open Bar has observed before, the Internet (ok, fine, the blogosphere (just puked in my mouth)) can be a cutthroat environment. Everyone wants to be first to report, predict, or develop something. Credibility comes from scooping others, or getting to the right result faster than anyone else. And so, confident in his victory tomorrow (JINX!) I am prepared to announce Barack Obama's next government job:
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
That's right. You heard it here first. Barack Obama will be the first black Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Here's why:
1). When he leaves office, Obama will be the second youngest former president in modern history. He will not reach the age of retirement until about a decade after he leaves office, even if he serves two full terms.
2). At some point during his post-presidency years, it is reasonable to assume that a Democratic president will have the opportunity to appoint someone to the Supreme Court. That's a stretch of 20-30 years, and I doubt the Republicans are going on that kind of streak.
3). Obama would be an ideal candidate. Barring a Bush-style presidency (I doubt it), or a Clinton-style scandal (I really doubt it), I think Obama can expect to leave office as a well-respected, if not adored, president. This would make him an easy confirmation, especially if there is a five- to ten-year lag between his departure from office and his nomination to the Court (ex-president's tend to become more and more popular with the passage of time. Even Nixon got a decent tribute when he died).
4). Obama would be qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. As a constitutional law scholar, he would be at least as prepared to sit on the Court as some of his co-Justices (I'm looking at you, Justice Thomas).
5). The Chief Justice thing is a little bit more of a stretch, but I think it makes sense, given the respect accorded to former Presidents, that Obama would ascend to the Chief Justice's chair in the event of a vacancy. It also assumes that there will not be another black justice named to the Chief Justice position between now and . . . say, 2020, which is also a tad presumptive on my part.
There is some precedent for this. Obama would not be the first American to lead both the executive and judicial branches of the federal government. William Taft was the twenty-seventh President of the United States, and the tenth Chief Justice of the United States.
Anything can happen in the next eight years (shit, anything can happen in the next eight hours) that would preclude this from happening, but I think it is a real possibility. Obama is going to prove himself to be an intellectual president on the order of Clinton (who would almost certainly be talked about for a seat on the Court if he hadn't been disbarred), and his post-presidential years are not going to be spent lecturing to law students in Chicago. It's just not prestigious enough for a former president. Absent a return to the Senate (which I wouldn't rule out), or a Carter/Clinton-type bid for a Nobel Prize, bank on the Supreme Court for Justice Obama.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Without further ado, this one's for you, Lumpy.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Do you like dogs? I like dogs. But even if you don't like dogs, do you dislike puppies? Come on, who hates puppies? (Aside from that douchepimple DirecTV.)
Anyway, the most mesmerizing thing I've seen on the Web lately is this.
If you're feeling down, watch it. If you're feeling great, watch it. In a beautiful example of the brilliance of simplicity, all this is, is a live stream of a bunch of puppies on a blanket in what looks like some Rubbermaid storage container. Ahhhhhh...
Friday, October 24, 2008
Me: Yeah, I really like Ms. [Whomever] in the English Dept. She's very cool.
Her: Oh, well too bad because she just got married.
Me: That's OK, my wife doesn't really like me to date.
Her: You're married? How old are you?
Me: I'm 30.
Her: Oh...That's not too old.
At which point I cracked up and my buddy cracked up, too. Except this girl didn't seem to understand why what she had just said was really funny. I think she thought she was genuinely comforting me and I should feel OK since I wasn't really that old.
Normally that statement would be something that I would bring up again and again to mock the person, except she didn't even get it. It wasn't even worth it. But it was really funny.
Here's the article that accompanies the photo. The seats are gone and the outfield wall is gone and the bullpen (if only). All that's really left is the shell. And can you believe they sold 10,000 of the 16,000 pairs of seats they're selling?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Earlier today, a close friend forwarded me an email she received from a (sort of) friend. You may have heard about the numerous smear emails circulating about Barack Obama. Until today, no one I know had received one (or, at least, they knew well enough not to forward it to me).
(This particular email is posted in its original form here, if you'd like to take a look.)
This friend asked me what I thought about it. Well, I got a bit upset. I have prepared a written response, and I'd like to hear your thoughts. I haven't sent it yet, so any constructive criticism or new ideas on how to respond are welcome. Here it is:
I would like to address the email I happened to read earlier under the subject "Confused who to vote for? Read this."
Below, I have pasted the entire piece with what you might call a running commentary. My thoughts are (in red) to separate them from the original piece. If your email client doesn't translate the red, then you can use the parentheses as a guide.
I think it's important when one receives an email like this to call it out for what it is: utter nonsense. I have no idea who originally created it, though I highly doubt that 'Marlene' (whose name appears at the end) or 'Gary and Jan' are real people anyone who has recently received this actually knows personally. If I'm wrong, please put me in contact with them.
The reason Marlene, Gary and Jan's names are included is to create the false sense that they are concerned friends simply passing along information. "Just read it and make your own decisions," they say. Sounds innocent, right? It is most definitely not.
I know that nonsense like this email is out there, and I could really care less as long as it's confined to ignorant people passing ignorant emails around to each other. But when it reaches people I know and care about, I feel a strong urge to react harshly.
Plainly, this email is full of lies masquerading as "just asking questions". It is intended to reach less-informed voters who might only believe such trash because it is mailed by a friend, someone you might believe. (As opposed to one of those emails from a so-called Nigerian prince asking for your bank account information so he can transfer millions of dollars to you.) That someone you know sent it is the only thing that might give it a small measure of believability. Any rational, objective reader can identify it as nonsense immediately.
This particular email is blatantly designed to tap into people's fears of Muslims and fears of Obama, however irrational they might be.
This is a deceitful, malicious thing to do, and if someone cares about you and respects you as a reasonably intelligent person, they would not send this your way.
If someone doesn't like Obama, that's fine. That's up to the individual. But when someone decides to inflict his/her ignorance on other people -- their friends -- it deserves, even demands, a strong response. It is irresponsible, dishonest, and insulting.
Without further adieu, here's the email you read (with my commentary):
This letter is from a friend of ours who we believe wrote this with great concern. Both Jan and I think it is important to send this on so anyone that is open to ideas and wants what is best for our country can have good information to use when making up their mind regarding who to vote for. This is not a political slant, but a REAL person doing research on an individual who would be in charge of our country. Just read it and make your own decisions.
Gary & Jan
(Well, I've never met Gary and Jan, but with an endorsement like that, how could they possibly be lying, right?)
To All My Friends, this is very important, please take the time to read it.
This election has me very worried. (Me too.) So many things to consider. (The financial crisis. Terrorism. Health care.) About a year ago I would have voted for Obama. I have changed my mind three times since than. I watch all the news channels, jumping from one to another. I must say this drives my husband crazy. (That helps me connect with you. Oh those men and their remote controls!) But, I feel if you view MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, you might get some middle ground to work with. About six months ago, I started thinking 'where did the money come from for Obama'. I have four daughters who went to College, and we were middle class, and money was tight. We, including my girls, worked hard and there were lots of student loans. (Right, student loans. That's how a lot of people can afford to pay for college, right? I wonder if this will come into play later. Hmm...)
I started looking into Obama's life.
Around 1979 Obama started college at Occidental in California. (Interestingly, he went to Occidental on a full scholarship, according to this Los Angeles Times story. Another good way to pay for college, right? More from this LA Times story in a bit.) He is very open about his two years at Occidental, he tried all kinds of drugs and was wasting his time but, even though he had a brilliant mind, did not apply himself to his studies. (Yes, Obama has been very candid about his drug use, particularly in his memoir, Dreams From My Father. But here are some other things said about him during his time at Occidental, from the LA Times article:
Eric Newhall, a professor of American studies and American literature at Occidental, said Obama played with flair as a fiercely competitive guard in faculty-student pickup basketball games.
"I remember him clearly as better as an offensive player than a defense player," he said. Now Newhall likes to lightheartedly brag that he "scored a good number of baskets against the senator of Illinois. I would love to say I scored against the president."
On a more serious note, Newhall said Obama already showed glimpses of social conscience and what his supporters describe as his charisma. "Clearly the guy had a presence," he said.
"He came off as a serious, articulate, intelligent young guy," Newhall recalled. "I didn't say, 'Here is presidential timber,' but I said to myself, 'I like our student body because they are going out to do interesting things.' "
Basketball, social conscience, intelligence. So maybe there was more than just the drugs and wasting time? But hey, college kids, what a bunch of rascals.)
'Barry' -- that was the name he used all his life -- (And a good, American-sounding name, too!) during this time had two roommates, Muhammad Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, both from Pakistan. (Pakistan? Seems weird to randomly throw that in there, but okay. And they were roommates? According to this article, they were friends, sure. I can't find anything [besides repeated mentions of this particular e-mail] to suggest they were roommates. But they were Pakistanis, no disputing that clearly vital fact. Pakistan is a mostly Muslim country, too, did you know?) During the summer of 1981, after his second year in college, he made a 'round the world' trip. Stopping to see his mother in Indonesia (Indonesia, by the way, is "the world's largest Muslim country." I wonder if that matters here? Probably not, since he was visiting his mother. That's nice, isn't it? What a nice young man.), next Hyderabad in India, three weeks in Karachi, Pakistan (Pakistan again!) where he stayed with his (non-)roommate's family, then off to Africa to visit his father's family. (Visits his mother, then visits his father's family? Sounds suspicious.) My question - Where did he get the money for this trip? Nether I, nor any one of my children would have had money for a trip like this when they where in college. (That's a good point. He would have had to, I dunno, get a part time job maybe, like the author said her daughters did. Maybe Obama's family had some money saved up, I dunno. Maybe his mom bought his ticket. I guess I could randomly speculate on this all day without providing one of those, What do you call them?, facts. Yeah, facts. Wait, what about those Muslim Pakistani friends he had? That's got to be it. Have I mentioned that they were Muslims? I'm beginning to wonder if there's a Muslim theme going on here.) When he came back he started school at Columbia University in New York. It is at this time he wants everyone to call him Barack - not Barry. (What a jerk. "Barry" is a way cooler name than Barack. What kind of name is that? Muslim? Who knows.) Do you know what the tuition is at Columbia? (Nope. Perhaps you could do some research and provide the answer. No? Okay. Moving on...) It's not cheap to say the least! (I'll bet!) Where did he get money for tuition? Student Loans? Maybe.(As we established earlier, student loans are a perfectly reasonable way to pay for college. Didn't the writer of this article do the exact same thing?) After Columbia, he went to Chicago to work as a Community Organizer for $12,000 a year. Why Chicago? Why not New York? He was already living in New York.(What a weirdo. Have have you ever heard of someone who moved somewhere different after graduating? I mean, if you went to, say, Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, you'd naturally want to stay there upon graduating, right? Oberlin, like all other college towns, has and always will be a booming epicenter for career-building.)
By 'chance' he met Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, born in Aleppo Syria, (Syria? You know who lives there? Muslims. Lots of them, and it's totally necessary and appropriate to include this tidbit here.) and a real estate developer in Chicago. Rezko has been convicted of fraud and bribery this year. Rezko, was named 'Entrepreneur of the Decade' by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association'. ("Arab?" Aren't most Arabs, like, Muslims? This is getting interesting.) About two years later, Obama entered Harvard Law School. Do you have any idea what tuition is for Harvard Law School? (Again, nope. I bet it's a lot, since it's HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, only the most prominent and most respected law school in the country. I wish it were free, too. But that's just me.) Where did he get the money for Law School? More student loans? (I'm confused. I thought student loans were a legitimate way to pay for college. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe anyone who's taken out a student loan to pay for college is some kind of jerk. OR A MUSLIM?! I hadn't thought so before, but this article is really making me think.) After Law school, he went back to Chicago. Rezko (that Syrian!) offered him a job, which he turned down. But, he did take a job with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. Guess what? They represented 'Rezar' which is Rezko's firm. (Maybe an important thing to note here would be this, according the the Chicago Sun-Times: "When Barack Obama took a job at a small Chicago law firm in 1993, the first name on the door of the firm was Allison S. Davis. Five years later, having left his Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland firm, Davis invested in Antoin "Tony'' Rezko's final government-subsidized, low-income housing project, state records show, in a deal handled by Davis' former law firm." That seems like an important detail, that the "Davis" in that firm worked with Rezko five years later, when Obama was no longer with the firm.) Rezko was one of Obama's first major financial contributors when he ran for office in Chicago. In 2003, Rezko threw an early fundraiser for Obama which Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendelland claims was instrumental in providing Obama with 'seed money' for his U.S. Senate race.
In 2005, Obama purchased a new home in Kenwoood District of Chicago for $1.65 million -- less than asking price. With ALL those Student Loans - Where did he get the money for the property? (You may remember that book I mentioned before, Dreams From My Father. Well, believe it or not, a lot of people watched Obama give the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. It was a pretty good speech. You might even say it launched his national career. Anyway, after that speech, a lot of people bought his book. As has been widely reported, that income allowed the Obamas to pay off their student loans, with a bunch left over. Here, look.) On the same day Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the adjoining empty lot for full price. The London Times reported that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-("Iraqi?" Muslim again!) born Billionaire loaned Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Obama's new home was purchased. Obama met Nadhmi Auchi many times with Rezko. (Obama meeting with a Syrian and an Iraqi? Again, I'm detecting something. Something about Muslims. They keep coming up, have you noticed too? Why won't the author clearly point this out? Anyone reading this article has to be wondering, right? I wish the author would just make it clear. This "subtlety" is lost on me. It's like when Hamlet asks, "To be or not to be?" Why couldn't he just say "Should I kill myself or not?" That would be way easier to understand.)
Now, we have Obama running for President. Valerie Jarrett, was Michele Obama's boss. She is now Obama's chief advisor and he does not make any major decisions without talking to her first. Where was Jarrett born? (Idaho?) Ready for this? Shiraz, Iran! ("Iran?!?!") Do we see a pattern here? (I think so! What is it? Just tell me already, I hate surprise endings!) Or am I going crazy? (Argh! Am I? It seems so obvious...what on earth could it be?)
On May 10, 2008 The Times reported (What "Times?" New York? LA? London? The Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times?) Robert Malley, advisor to Obama, was 'sacked' after the press found out he was having regular contacts with 'Hamas', which controls Gaza and is connected with Iran.(Oh man. Hamas + Gaza + Iran = MuslimMuslimMuslim.) This past week (What week?), buried in the back part of the papers (What papers?), Iraqi newspapers (Oh, "Iraqi" papers. It all fits!) reported that during Obama's visit to Iraq, he asked their leaders to do nothing about the war until after he is elected, and he will 'Take care of things'. (I just looked that up. Couldn't find proof of this anywhere. Clearly, someone's covering things up. Must be those Muslims or something.)
Oh, and by the way, remember the college roommates that where born in Pakistan? (Not roommates, actually, remember?) They are in charge of all those 'small' Internet campaign contributions for Obama. (No, they aren't. There is literally zero evidence of this. If you'd like to examine Obama's fund-raising, there are plenty of credible places, none of which assert that his former non-roommates are in charge of anything. Here's a good place to start. Again, these are "facts," so by all means be wary of trusting them.) Where is that money coming from? (Nice boldface. That leads me to believe you will answer this question.) The poor and middle class in this country?(A lot of it, yeah. Check that link above.) Or could it be from the Middle East? (A-HA! You know who lives in the Middle East? MUSLIMS! MUSLIMS live there! I think I finally get it now. There's no possible way Barack Obama could have achieved what he has so far by being smart and driven and talented. It's the Muslim thing. Yeah. Wow. It's almost like someone is suggesting that Obama is a Muslim.)
And the final bit of news. On September 7, 2008, The Washington Times posted a verbal slip that was made on 'This Week' with George Stephanapoulos. Obama on talking about his religion said, 'My Muslim faith'. When questioned, 'he made a mistake'. Some mistake! (That seals it. He's a Muslim. And not just any Muslim: a secret Muslim-Arab-terrorist-out-to-
All of the above information I got on line. If you would like to check it - Wikipedia, encyclopedia, Barack Obama; Tony Rezko; Valerie Jarrett: Daily Times - Obama visited Pakistan in 1981; The Washington Times - September 7, 2008; The Times May 10, 2008. (I like this little pseudo-bibliography. First off, "Wikipedia, encyclopedia" is nice. Almost makes it seem like Wikipedia is a real encyclopedia, but farbeit from this author to fudge things. Also, as any fifth-grader knows, there's something in research called a "primary source." This includes newspaper articles, books, or interviews, among others – the idea being that a primary source is a reliable and trustworthy source of information which can be checked for confirmation. Wikipedia, on the other hand, cannot be used as a primary source by anyone anywhere in any grade, though that appears to be this article's leading source. Imagine that: even a fifth-grader wouldn't be able to pass nonsense like this off. The other "sources"? Something called "Daily Times", the Washington Times (legitimate, though not exactly an Obama-friendly paper), and "The Times," whose ambiguity I remarked on earlier.)
Now the BIG question - If I found out all this information on my own, Why haven't all of our 'intelligent' members of the press been reporting this? (Actually, Barack Obama's life and achievements and relationships have been pored over by the media as intensively as possible over the last 20 months or so. There's this new thing called "Google" which can be a big help if you need information.)
A phrase that keeps ringing in my ear - 'Beware of the enemy from within'!!! (If it keeps ringing, it's probably some secret Muslim torture technique.)
Marlene (Such a nice, American-sounding, non-Muslim name! She must be trustworthy.)
In conclusion, I'd like to thank Marlene for writing this, and especially Gary and Jan for passing it along. It's not every day that I get an email that finally shows me what those dastardly Muslims are really up to. If I had to put actual thought into who I wanted to be President, I'll bet I could watch the news or read the papers or maybe even venture out onto that information superhighway known as the Internet. But thanks to the hard work of Marlene, Gary and Jan, I don't have to. I can just take their word for it! Barack Obama? I knew there was something funny about him.
For further information, please look at the websites below. Emails like the one above have been circulating for the last year. Fortunately, some websites address the lies. And if you get any more emails like this one, please be responsible and look things up. Do not believe anything that is not firmly backed up by facts and evidence. Those who write these things and those who spread them are counting on your ignorance or your unwillingness to follow up on their claims.
Oh, the wave of '80s nostalgia that shot through me when I saw this. I cherish the (significant) time I spent as a 10-year-old watching Michael Knight and Arnold. (*wipes tear from eye*)
Now, if anyone can find a picture of Hannibal Smith chillin' with Mrs. Garrett in front of the A-Team van, that'd really be something.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Then after the game the SEC said that the ref was in the proper position. This is just the weirdest thing I've ever seen.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
If you can, watch the entire thing (it's about seven minutes long). This is the most measured, comprehensive, intelligent, and balanced assessment of the last six weeks of the presidential campaign that I have seen. This should be required viewing for everyone in America.
I guess it helps that he picks our guy at the end.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Not according to the "Orange-staters" at YesWeCarve.com
I guess they are just really pump-ed up for the election.
Sorry, sorry. That was terrible. Maybe I should start having someone ghost-write on the blog for me.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
These are the mongoloids that stain this country. Watching this makes me want to puke. On them. On their inbred children. On their pets. On their dying grandmothers. On their precious Bibles (which they obviously don’t read too closely or follow too accurately). On anything they care about. I don’t want to waste my time trying to “help” or “work with” or “persuade” them. I would rather see them suffering pain. Physical, emotional, psychological, whatever, all of the above.
I often try to tell myself that people like this are in the minority. Most people aren’t so openly, proudly, in-your-face ignorant. Most of us, ultimately, care about the same things, so let’s focus on that. Blah blah blah fuck that shit. Watching shaved apes like these makes me pray for a news report about some terrible series of tornadoes ripping through Ohio, because I’m hoping that in the destruction, one of these assholes’ houses gets leveled and their dog dies under a fallen tree branch and their littlest kid doesn’t quite make it to the storm shelter. (I also recall this, which I know isn't Ohio, but is nonetheless reminiscent.)
And then I calm down. The adrenaline recedes. I remember that, Yes, I am definitely better than they are.
Again, it’s amazing what Barack has done. In a country littered with failed abortions like these, having him as president would be the biggest, loudest, strongest fist up the ass these sisterfuckers could ever receive.
Okay. I’m done venting.
So, how are you?
Friday, October 3, 2008
Now in the debate itself, the expectations for Palin's performance had been set so outrageously low, that popular media is grudgingly handing out tepid applause to her performance. And conservative writers are downright relieved: she wasn't asked to name any Supreme Court cases she disagrees with or newspapers that she likes to read, and escaped the evening without any Palinesque gaffes that were becoming the norm for her in the past few weeks.
But what did she really accomplish last night other than repeat a few well-worn cliches about mavericks and tax cuts, and contradict herself about regulating Wall Street while getting government out of the way of business? She styles herself as a Jane Sixpack and a hockey mom, but when did that become a desirable quality in a potential leader of the free world. Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote this morning that:
The presidency and the vice presidency once was the preserve of white men in
suits. As the historian Ellen Fitzpatrick pointed out on PBS Thursday night, if,
in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro had spoken in the relentlessly folksy tones that
Palin used, she would have been hounded out of politics as fundamentally
unserious. But that was before casual Fridays, boxers or briefs and
T-shirt-clad Silicon Valley executives. Today, Palin can hit those
colloquial notes again and again, and it is not automatically disqualifying.
Why not? Why isn't it automatically disqualifying when someone applying for a desperately serious job in a desperately serious time carries herself so un-seriously. Winking at the camera, saying "you betcha," and "darn right" is cute, and according to Mr. Brooks it plays well in the sticks, but when the shit hits the fan, does the advent of casual Fridays really mean that America can afford to elect a vice president who has such a weak grasp of national and international issues? Just because she "comes from Main Street" and "understands working people"?
God forgive me, but give me Dick Cheney any day of the week.
All that said, it's not really Sarah Palin's fault. In fact, to her credit, she has never been anything other than a small town mayor who was in the right place at the right time and ended up governor of a small state (well, small in terms of the number of people she has to govern). Sarah Palin has not changed who she is - folksy, "regular," and very much an arch-conservative ideologue. I can disagree with her, and I can insist she is unqualified (I do, and I do), but whatever.
The real outcry here should not be about Sarah Palin, but about the man who offered her a shot at being President of the United States. John McCain used to be a level-headed, pragmatic politician (even if a bit more conservative than the reputation he earned in 2000). He eschewed wild political ideology, and often was able to build consensus close to the center of the political spectrum. When you are an occasional centrist, it's no surprise you have good relationships on both sides of the aisle. John McCain would have never, ever have selected Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2000 (even if 2008 Palin was available in 2000). But in 2008, he traded in his pragmatic, common-sense credentials for a shot at the big chair. And that is when he lost so many people in the middle. John McCain's one claim to legitimacy - that he rejects the radical left and the radical right - was belied by his selection of Sarah Palin.
That, my friends, is what I think of first and foremost every time I listen to Governor Palin. It's not: "what the hell is wrong with her?", it's: "what the hell is wrong with him?"