Monday, December 31, 2007

Why Caucuses Rock!

There are those in the media who don't like caucuses. They refer to them as "quaint" when they feel generous and "arcane" when they don't. But having grown up in Iowa, and can tell you first hand that the caucus system is awesome. For those of you who don't know how the caucuses work, here is the Readers Digest version from Wikipedia. Please note, this is only the Democratic Party version, the Republicans do it differently:

The caucus is generally defined as a "gathering of neighbors." Rather than going to polls and casting ballots, Iowans gather at a set location in each of Iowa's 1784 precincts. Typically, these meetings occur in schools, churches, or public libraries. The caucuses are held every two years, but the ones that receive national attention are the presidential preference caucuses held every four years. In addition to the voting, caucus attendees propose planks for their party's platform, select members of the county committees, and discuss issues important to their local organizations.

Participants indicate their support for a particular candidate by standing in a designated area of the caucus site (forming a "preference group"). An area may also be designated for undecided participants. Then, for roughly 30 minutes, participants try to convince their neighbors to support their candidates. Each preference group might informally deputize a few members to recruit supporters from the other groups and, in particular, from among those undecided. Undecided participants might visit each preference group to ask its members about their candidate.

After 30 minutes, the electioneering is temporarily halted and the supporters for each candidate are counted. At this point, the caucus officials determine which candidates are "viable". Depending on the number of county delegates to be elected, the "viability threshold" can be anywhere from 15% to 25% of attendees. For a candidate to receive any delegates from a particular precinct, he or she must have the support of at least the percentage of participants required by the viability threshold. Once viability is determined, participants have roughly another 30 minutes to "realign": the supporters of inviable candidates may find a viable candidate to support, join together with supporters of another inviable candidate to secure a delegate for one of the two, or choose to abstain. This "realignment" is a crucial distinction of caucuses in that (unlike a primary) being a voter's "second candidate of choice" can help a candidate.

When the voting is closed, a final head count is conducted, and each precinct apportions delegates to the county convention. These numbers are reported to the state party, which counts the total number of delegates for each candidate and reports the results to the media. Most of the participants go home, leaving a few to finish the business of the caucus: each preference group elects its delegates, and then the groups reconvene to elect local party officers and discuss the platform.

I know, it's a lot harder than showing up at the polls and casting a vote. But what makes it hard is also what makes it great. I have no problem with Iowa going first in the country because they don't just vote, they debate, they listen, they struggle to make a decision, and they don't do it in anonymity, they do it in front of their friends and neighbors. That's right, no secret ballots, you have to stand up and say "I support this candidate and here is why." This is the essence of Democracy, this is the will of the people being decided together, at the local level.

And you know what else I like about the caucuses? Morons don't usually take the time to participate. There, I said it. I hate the fact that idiots can decide who my nominees for President are going to be and in Iowa, it takes a truly motivated idiot to make that happen.

In fact, after seeing what happened during the last Presidential election, I think the whole damn country should be forced to caucus.

When George W. Bush gets re-elected, I just know that there were people voting for him who never would have had the guts to look their neighbor in the eye and defend their decision.

So, the next time you hear someone complain about the caucus system in Iowa, take it with a grain of salt. In fact, tell'em to really look into the facts. It might be harder to participate, but the quality of the participation more than makes up for it.

And nothing makes a person do their homework like having to defend their position in public. That is why Iowa should go first in the country and that is why they should continue to caucus, because by the time these guys leave Iowa, the world has a pretty good idea who they are.

If you want more information on the Iowa caucuses, here are a few decent links.

IowaCaucus.com

Wikipedia

IowaFirstCaucus.org

Monday, December 24, 2007

For Christmas, a few little presents from the world of news

I want to wish each and everyone one of you a happy holidays, merry Christmas, super-duper Kwanzaa or whatever it is you're celebrating as the year comes to a close. As a little gift to you, here are a few news stories worth checking out.

You bet he is...

JACKSON, Miss. — He's a 19-year-old pipe layer; a deer-hunting, dirt-bike-riding former high school class president who still lives in his tiny Mississippi hometown. So why are the paparazzi hot on his trail?

Because Casey Aldridge is an expectant father — and the mother is 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears.

You know what else he might be? A criminal. Let's do the math, she is 16 and he's 19. Under Louisiana law, where Spears lives, it is a misdemeanor for someone age 17 to 19 to have consensual sex with someone age 15 to 17 if the difference between their ages is more than two years.

But that isn't what drew me to the story, it was the lead. Read it again. That reporter was certainly grinning when he wrote that one.

Oh well, I guess you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl. This poor family. They had hit the Disney jackpot, and now they are a laughing stock. I just hope Brit and her sister can find a way to normal, no one deserves this.

AP: Jamie Lynn Spears' Baby's Father Is in Hiding

Top Ten List Horn O' Plenty

I love a top ten list. Pretty much any top ten list. Top Ten Most Disgusting Things my Dogs have Eaten. (Regurgitated cat poop comes in at number four.) Top Ten Uses for WD-40. (Dissolves dried manure from work boots is an appropriate number two on the list.)

Any top ten list is probably going to grab my attention. David Letterman had people like me in mind when he turned the top ten list into comedy genius. I used to plan my entire evening around the Letterman Top Ten. I was obsessed. But after successfully completing a ten-step program, I'm better now.

So, if you love a top ten list, Time Magazine has the Top 50 Top Ten Lists of 2007. Movies, songs, news stories, inventions, games, scandals, quotes, TV ads, and much more, everything you could want from a list of lists. It is a cornucopia of list fun.

BTW... I can't believe Britney Spears' disastrous half naked train wreck at the MTV music awards only made number 6 on the Top Ten Most Awkward Moments list. I don't even like the girl and that was really hard to watch.

Time.com Top 50, Top Ten Lists

Exit: Stage Left

The wife and I love the awards shows. Ok, she has loved them for longer than I have. I am late to the awards party as it were, but when you get married, your spouse leads you to discover new things, and for me, it is the celebrity lovefest that is the red carpet and awards shows. But my most favorite part of the big awards shows is the "Bring Out Your Dead" section. All those great clips and "I didn't know he/she had died" moments. If you can't wait for the Golden Globes, here is a slideshow from MSNBC.com

Hey...I didn't know that Ingmar Bergman had passed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Missed it by that much...

The ice storm that has killed more than 20 and has left hundreds of thousands without power, missed us. Not that we weren't prepared. All of the stores were out of sidewalk salt, the airport cancelled flights, Chi-town was prepared. Of course, that means we got missed.

I just hope that the three or so inches of snow we have on the ground lasts until Christmas. If it is going to snow the first week in December, the least it can do is stay around and make Christmas look the way it is supposed to look.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Thought Police

One of the things I love about this country is the protection of speech. In other countries men and women are currently sitting in jails facing sentences as dire as death for merely speaking out, for having opinions, for saying things that spark debate. But in America, within reason, we can stand up and speak and are heard by our fellow citizens. The marketplace of ideas that stands a cornerstone of our democracy is well-stocked and allowed to flourish.

Or so I thought.

You see, some of the things a marketplace of ideas contains are disgusting. They offend the heart and spirit. But in doing so, they reaffirm our own beliefs. When the Ku Klux Klan has a rally, I am reminded of why I stand for tolerance and diversity. When I hear war hawks talk of bombing, I know why it is I support diplomacy and peace. And when I hear well off men and women talk disparagingly about the poor, I know why it is that I am a Democrat.

But perhaps the marketplace is not as well stocked or protected as I believed. In Wisconsin last week, a teacher was arrested for a posting on a blog. In that posting, the teacher and former teachers union president praised the Columbine shooters. He, according to the news report, "wrote that teacher salaries made him sick because they are lazy and work only five hours a day. He praised the teen gunmen who killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide in the April 1999 attack at Columbine High School."

He then continued to write, "They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!"

Even if this was an attempt at satire or sarcasm, even if it was a parody of his perception of those who oppose increasing teacher pay, the words are vile. They are at the least ill-chosen and at the worst insensitive and offensive. But what they are not is criminal.

However disturbing or disgusting I may find these statements, you can count me among those who support his right to say them. Why? Because when the prevailing winds of opinion or politics change and my words are found offensive, I don't want to be sitting in some jail hoping that cooler heads prevail. And you should feel the same way.

Whether you are a right-wing nut job or a left-wing pinko commie, you have the right to speak. And you should not be jailed for your words, you should not be arrested for having an opinion. It is not the role of the state to regulate this type of speech, that right falls to a free society. As consumers in the marketplace of ideas, you have a right buy or not to buy. You even have the right to boycott, but the government should not and cannot arrest a man for writing such words, even if they are offensive to the heart.

The American armed forces have bombed and killed innocents on the orders of our government. I find it offensive. I don't believe the war was justified and the constant drum beat of war propoganda coming from the mouth pieces at the White House is painful for me to hear. But it is not criminal, it is essencial to the public debate about the future of this country.

So I beg you, read the words of this teacher and be offended, but recognize the law that should protect him from prosecution is the same law that protects you and me. It is the same law that allows me to publicly disagree with the President on the war. It is the same law that allows the morons in my town to blame every problem "on those damn illegal Mexicans." And it the same law that keeps us free and our democracy alive.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quick Hits and Lovely Links

The news in the world is weird and wonderful. Sometimes I just can't believe what I'm reading and other times...well I just don't know what the hell to think.

"I thought you had it!"

It seems like a simple thing, but I guess if you get in the business of dealing drugs, nothing is really simple. Don't sample too much of the product, particularly when you are smuggling it around the US road ways. Being stoned is really the only good explanation for losing 60 lbs. of product along the side of the road. And here I thought Cheech and Chong had retired. Apparently, they just went into private practice.
Yahoo: Road Workers Find 60 lbs. of Weed


Fool me once...

I'm pretty sure you're supposed to know your left from your right when you're a freakin' brain surgeon, unless you practice at Rhode Island Hospital. These morons operated on the wrong side of a patient's brain not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions in a year. The first time, hey, everyone makes mistakes. But after the second screw up, wouldn't you start asking "are you sure it's this side?" before you start carving? Oh, the punishment? $50,000 and a reprimand. I bet the surgery cost more than that. Personally, I think they ought to fire the head of surgery, jerk the hospital's accreditation, and stick them for at least 7 figures. Hey, the kid in the picture seems to be doing a good job, they could always hire him.Hospital makes 3rd brain surgery mistake

Canadian Beer Bad for the Environment

It seems that one-in-three Canadian households has a refridgerator dedicated to beer. One-in-three! And these aren't the top of the line jobs, these are the 20 year-old clunkers that make the dial on the electric meter spin faster than a politician. You know, I can't decide what I found more interesting about this story. Was it the fact that one-in-three Canucks has a beer fridge or that the study that found them to be draining the world of fossil fuels was sponsored by the Canadian government? Man, how would you like to be the guy who conned them into that grant! A government sponsored country-wide road-trip survey of beer fridges!

Of course, now that I think about it, if Canada has so little to worry about that they think this is a good use of government funds, maybe they've got something good going on after all. Canadian Beer Fridges

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect 5,000 euros

Thieves walked into a German church, during services, and walked out with a 300 year-old bible worth 5,000 euros. Oh, and they emptied the collection plate as well. I don't know much, but I do know this: Stealing a rare Bible from a church has got to get you the Fast Pass to hell, particularly if you pocket the charity money collected to feed the poor while you're at it. Dudes, liquor stores not interesting enough for you? Banks too tough? Unless it's a special order from a collector, you'll never be able to sell the Bible, so why not send it back and stick to more traditional crimes, like rolling American tourists and mugging little old ladies.

NEW LINKS!

Regular readers may have noticed two new links in the favorites list: ER RN and CRZEGRL. Both of these blogs are by nurses, one from the ER and one from a Medivac chopper. If you want to know what it is like to do the amazing work they do, from the war stories to the emotional roller coaster, give these two a read. It is well worth the trip, I promise.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cheney has bad heart rhythm

I actually think the bigger story here is that Cheney still has a heart. I guess I just assumed it pulled a Grinch and shrunk to next to nothing.

Cheney has Irregular Heart Beat

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. On this day I think about all the people who have so little, who are suffering illness or loss of a loved one and hope that I can find the strength to look past my petty worries just long enough to truly feel thankful for what I have. For my family, my friends, and my readers I am thankful. I know that I don't write enough, and yet, a solid number of readers keep checking in. I appreciate your taking the time and hope that you too have things for which you can be thankful.

To all, even my international readers who probably aren't sitting down to a turkey dinner with all "the fixin's", a very happy Thanksgiving and thank you for stopping by The T-Dude. Your readership means a lot to me and it is truly one of the things I am thankful for on this day.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I think I'll fly naked next time...

What was the big news yesterday? The war perhaps? No? Hmmmmm, let me think...was it the Presidential race? No? Oh, I know. It was the Hooters waitress who got kicked off Southwest airlines for showing too much cleavage and thigh who is now appearing naked in Playboy. Silly me, of course all the major news sites covered that, it's huge news, right?

I know, I sound like a curmudgeon, but this isn't about whether or not Kyla Ebbert should sell naked pictures of herself for money. Go for it honey. Honestly, if that's how you want to make a living, what business is it of mine?

But how is this news? It was barely news when she got told she couldn't fly wearing the provocative but nowhere near obscene outfit you see in the picture. But okay, human interest, customer rights, that's a back page news blurb. But that same girl turning her 15 minutes into a nudie spread, why is that news? Is anyone shocked that a waitress from Hooters took tens of thousands of dollars to appear naked so that men could drool and masturbate?

Sorry...that's painting with a broad brush. I'm sure there are waitresses at Hooters who wouldn't pose for Playboy for less than 6 figures.

Fox, CNN, the rest of you guys. Let's try not to act as the marketing arm for Hugh Hefner and the rest of the folks hangin' in the grotto, okay? They can handle that on their own. Just give me the freakin' news.

Thanks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

If I can't be the quarterback, then I'm going home...

The end has finally come for the head of the great Foley coverup. Dennis Hastert has announced that he will resign before the end of the year.

Good.

Anyone who would protect a pederast like Foley in an effort to save his own position as Speaker of the House should go home.

I just wish he would have gotten the same treatment that Foley gave those interns before he left.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dogs and Cats Living Together...


Pat Robertson just endorsed Rudy Giuliani. Pat fucking Robertson. If that doesn't show just how politically driven the religious right is, nothing will. Giuliani supports a woman's right to choose. Pat Robertson calls abortionists murderers. I honestly don't even know what else to say...but I feel a tome coming on real soon. Between the moment of silence (prayer) my kids suddenly have to endure and this, I think I smell something in wind and it seems to be coming from the religious right. And it ain't incense I can tell you that.

CNN: Giuliani, McCain pick up key Christian conservative backing

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Quick Hits III

It's time for another quick hits, those little moments of clarity or "Huh?" that were noted over the past few days. So dig right in.

Fall back an hour and die!

A new study shows that several hundred people die a year thanks to the change back from Daylight Savings Time. I knew there was a reason I hated day light savings. Of course, if you believe the story about how they delayed the day for the change back to regular time this year under pressure from the candy lobby (more favorable for trick or treating), then you could argue that candy is killing these people.

Pedestrians 3 times more likely to be killed when clocks change, study says

Say What, Fred?

I was watching Fred Thompson on Press the Meet yesterday and learned that not only does Fred like to go third-person when talking about himself, he thinks that all the tough questions are a matter of State's Rights. For example:
MR. THOMPSON: I have always—and that’s been my position the entire time I’ve been in politics. I thought Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. I think this platform originally came out as a response to particularly Roe v. Wade because of that. Before Roe v. Wade, states made those decisions. I think people ought to be free at state and local levels to make decisions that even Fred Thompson disagrees with. That’s what freedom is all about. And I think the diversity we have among the states, the system of federalism we have where power is divided between the state and the federal government is, is, is—serves us very, very well. I think that’s true of abortion. I think Roe v. Wade hopefully one day will be overturned, and we can go back to the pre-Roe v. Wade days. But...

MR. RUSSERT: Each state would make their own abortion laws.

MR. THOMPSON: Yeah. But, but, but to, to, to have an amendment compelling—going back even further than pre-Roe v. Wade, to have a constitutional amendment to do that, I do not think would be the way to go.
That's pretty slick Fred! You get to be against a woman's right to choose without being a complete threat to women.

Here, read it for yourself. But be aware, there are moments when I'm not sure even Fred knows what Fred is trying to say and reading that kind of useless tripe can be detrimental to your health.

Meet the Press’ transcript for Nov. 4, 2007

Trick or Treat

My wife and I went trick or treating with the kids. I'm not sure who had more fun. There was even theme music! Read her account of it here: You're Boring Me

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Liquor? I could barely see her!"

For those of you who read my earlier post on the strangeness that is Utah and thought it couldn't be any stranger, you couldn't be more wrong.

According to this article in the Salt Lake Tribune, even the sight of a bottle of booze is offensive and liquor control commissioner Bobbie Coray wants her colleagues to do something about it.
A glass partition between bartenders and customers required under current regulations may not be enough, Coray told her fellow liquor control commissioners at their monthly meeting.

Coray, a lone holdout opposing liquor licenses for strip bars, now wants the commission to place more restrictions on glass partitions in restaurants. She called the partitions "a Zion curtain," imposed to satisfy Mormons whose faith eschews alcohol.

Glass walls don't obscure the alcohol, said Coray, a nondrinker, turning the "atmosphere in a restaurant to more of a bar." She singled out the Cheesecake Factory, which opens its first Utah outlet at Fashion Place in Murray on Nov. 1, because alcohol bottles are in plain view.
The Cheesecake Factory? Really. Wow, I bet they were serving up flaming shots and dancin' naked on the bar in the Cheesecake Factory.

I swear, this is the most uptight place in the U.S. They make the southern bible thumpers look like drunken fornicators.

Actually, that isn't true. You still have those southern dry counties where they attempt to practice what they preach. In Utah, it's all about the almighty dollar. They don't want the Mormons offended, but they still want the revenue from the heathens who demand a drink. They just don't want to see you do it.

So, for those of you scoring at home, in Utah: Liquor = Bad; Money = Good. Resulting in some of the dumbest laws currently on the books.

Here is a primer for Utah's silly liquor laws. Utah's Peculiar & Curious Liquor Laws

Monday, October 22, 2007

J.K. Rowling Punches Religious Wackos Straight In the Kisser

At a recent event, J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore, one of her most beloved characters from the Harry Potter series, was gay.

Wow. She created a gay character that wasn't made gay for the purpose of using the false stereotype gay character. It's was perfect. Dumbledore was an authority figure, a mentor, a protector, a defender of truth and good, he was a hero who sacrificed himself to save others and because of that he is loved by millions. And oh, by the way, he happens to be gay.
Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.
My wife is a good Christian and she adored the Harry Potter series. She knows what the far right fanatics don't remember, that Christians love, not hate. That they care, they don't attack. And all of those self-proclaimed Christians who attacked the books as a bad influence on children are flat-out wrong in her eyes.

So bring it on right-wing religious wackos. Tell everyone that Dumbledore is a threat to the Christian way of life. I dare you. Please. Pretty please! Literally millions of children out there need to learn exactly how out of touch, demented and dangerous you really are. Thank you J.K. for using the power of a fairy tale to illustrate why people need to denounce the far-right's hate filled view of the world and embrace tolerance, love and compassion. It is a powerful lesson that millions of children will learn thanks to you. And thank you J.K. for giving these false purveyors of piety the rope with which to hang themselves.

Brilliant...absolutely brilliant.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"The first of the gang to die..."

This was my view last night. While not an actual photo of the show I went to, he was wearing the same outfit. You see, the wife and I had front row seats to see Morrissey. Front row dead center. My wife will have the definitive blogging on the event. You'll soon be able to read her post on her blog, You're Boring Me.

I'll just say that I had a great time, best seats I've ever had for a show. If it wasn't for the raving asshole that came running down from the left and physically threw me over the row of chairs to take away the shirt that Morrissey had thrown directly at me, the night would have been perfect.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobel Peace Prize And Why Republicans Need To Look Inside For Answers

Do you want peace. Are you tired of the killing? Does it make you sick every time you hear about an American soldier coming home missing limbs or worse, in a flag draped coffin? Do you believe that the world would be a better place if we spend more time talking and less time shooting and bombing? If so, then maybe you should be voting for the Democrats.

In the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, only one Republican President or Vice President has ever won. (See Update Below) It was Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. And coming from a traditionally Democratic family, he was barely a Republican. He lead the progressive side of the party at the time. He advocated for a "square deal" between business, workers and consumers. He was a huge protector of nature and the environment setting aside massive amounts of land for public use and enjoyment. And he won the peace prize for negotiating the peace between Japan and Russia.

Since then, Democrats Woodrow Wilson (for founding the League of Nations), Jimmy Carter (decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts) and now Al Gore (for his work on climate change) have won the prize.

Even Ronald Reagan, "The Great Communicator", didn't get a prize when the Berlin Wall fell. They gave that honor to Mikhail Gorbachev without honoring Reagan, the champion of Star Wars and unbridled military spending.

If you believe in peace, if you believe in a world where the value of human life is respected, if you believe that the military option should be the last option, then you should be a Democrat.

With very few exceptions, the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners is a who's who of great people who devoted their lives to bringing a better life to the inhabitants of this world. Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, The Dalai Lama, Albert Schweitzer, Linus Pauling, Martin Luther King Jr., Elie Weisel, Bishop Desmond Tutu, each are iconic champions of peace and the fair treatment of our fellow man.

How could anyone support a Republican party that breeds war and divisiveness and not peace and cooperation?

If you are a Republican, do me a favor. When you are sitting in your house of worship or just contemplating what your role in the world is or should be, ask yourself these questions: Does my God or do my own moral beliefs support torture? Do they support killing innocent men, women and children for political purposes? Was I placed on this planet to act as an agent of violence and division?

If the answer is no to these questions, consider becoming a Democrat. You can argue about taxes, abortion, education, health care and the other domestic issues facing us today, but I doubt anyone who answers no to those questions can feel very good about supporting the Republican party as it exists today.

Sometimes when we look inside ourselves, we find answers we didn't expect. We find that our hearts contain things that our minds and upbringing have denied. If you are a Republican, I can't ask you to change because I think its the right thing to do. But I can ask you to look into your heart and allow yourself to see and act upon the truths that reside there. I am convinced that for many of you, the truth is that you are no longer a Republican. You just haven't yet taken the time to discover it. I Don't hope that you'll change because I think its right, but instead that you'll listen to your heart and act accordingly, regardless of what truth you may find there.

I say this because I believe your faith, your inherent kindness, your own moral code makes you disgusted and appalled by the current state of the Republican party. I also believe that once you allow yourself to look past the "us vs. them" mentality that has become our political debate, you will choose wisely, and that for many of you, that choice will be to abandon the Republican party for a more compassionate, more ethical alternative. If Nobel Prize history is any indication, then the Democratic party is one of those options.

UPDATE: It seems I missed a Republican VP -- Charles Dawes was VP to Coolidge from March 4, 1925 – March 4, 1929 and a co-recipient of the prize. He won for the Dawes Plan for a WWI reparations.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Quick Hits, Version II

Very much like the junk drawer in the kitchen, my mind gets cluttered with things that I don't want to throw away but don't really fit with anything else. Random observations, quick opinions without any true basis in fact, pet peeves and general Scooby Doo "Huh?" moments. And just like a junk drawer, now and then, I need to clean out my addled brain. Here's a few of the things that I found:

Marion Jones used Steroids: I am mostly just sad. I bought it all. The smile, the accomplishments, the easy-to-like personality. Barry Bonds has always been a prick and I can dislike him without remorse. You expect pricks to cheat. But Marion? No, this one hurts. She made me proud to be an American. She made me sit in awe of her accomplishment. And now she's giving back her medals. Say it ain't so Marion, say it ain't so.

Party Pooper Tries to Kill Skinny Dip Promotion: For the past three years at the Black Frog Restaurant in Greenville, Maine, if you were willing to jump naked into the lake, you could get a free "Skinny Dip" sandwich. Now some moron "patron" is trying to get the promotion banned.They have been doing it for three years, why suddenly now? Too many fat people? Someone saw someone's girlfriend's backside? Didn't like your fries? C'mon people, it's funny! If you don't like it, go eat somewhere else.

Gee Whiz Veruca, Try Asking: Telling someone that you want something and asking them to do/get it for you are two different things. Asking nicely is polite, telling people what you want and then just sitting there waiting for them to do/get it, that's rude.

Sins of the Father...: I love baseball and I am a Chicago Cubs fan. My 12 and 6-year-old daughters are turning into a Cubs fans. I should stop them. We haven't won a World Series in 100 years. Why would a parent put their child in the position of being let down, disappointed each and every year? Bad Daddy, bad Daddy!

20-Year-Old Deputy Kills 6 In Rampage: Okay, let me get this straight. According to our laws, a 20-year-old isn't mature enough to walk into a bar and have a cocktail but they are mature enough to have a badge and a gun. This story just pisses me off. Those poor kids. If someone had just thought twice about the ramifications of giving a 20-year-old this much responsibility, this might not have happened. People are wondering how a person this unstable got through a background check. What background was there to check? Did he wet the bed? Did he steal other kids lunch money? Did he cheat at Monopoly? I hope whomever gave this child the job of deputy gets the crap sued out of them.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sen. Craig Tells Media And Republicans To Suck It, He's Staying

It would seem that Sen. Craig (R-ID), our favorite homo-crite, has decided not to leave the Senate after all. For those of you scoring at home:

Craig plead guilty to misconduct for soliciting sex from an undercover cop in the Minneapolis Airport, then said he was going to resign. He later said that he wouldn't resign, then said he didn't say that and then said he wouldn't resign if he could get his guilty plea reversed which he didn't and now he isn't going to resign even though he said he would if he didn't get the ruling he wanted to over turn his plea.

I think I need a drink.

Now, I wrote a few weeks ago that if I were him I'd tell the media, the Democrats and the rest of the Republicans to go to hell and stay in the seat he won. (Hee Hee, I said seat!) What does he have to lose? His ride in the Senate will soon be over and he might as well enjoy the privileges for as long as he can. Besides, everyday that he is in the media denying his involvement in anonymous sex in a public men's room is yet another day that the Republican political machine is in damage control on their pet issue of family values.

I honestly don't know and don't care if Senator Craig is gay. I don't care if he likes his sex public and anonymous. As long as he isn't diddling kids or kittens, he can put his congressional member wherever it works for him. But I do care that his hypocrisy and the hypocrisy of his party are illustrated as often and as publicly as possible.

You can't vote against gay rights, decry homosexuality as a sin to please the religious right and then do the tap dance of love in the men's room stall. Well, I suppose you can, but that makes you either a self-hating closeted gay or a cynical, Machiavellian power monger who will say or do anything to get elected including hiding and denouncing his own sexual activities as an abomination.

Frankly, I don't think Sen. Craig wants to be known as either. And I know that the right wing of his party would like him to crawl under a rock and never be seen again. Just look at some of these quotes:
"Senator Craig gave us his word" that he would resign by Sept. 30 if he could not overturn the guilty plea, said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who chairs the GOP campaign committee overseeing next year's Senate elections. "I wish he would stick to his word."

"I would hope that he would live up to what he said he would do — not put the Senate through the wringer on this, respect the institution," Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn said. "Clearly, his ability to serve his people was severely compromised."
Not that it matters, it doesn't look like either one of them is going to be getting their way anytime soon. Craig says he's staying and I say bully for him. It's not Craig's fault that the Republican party is sucking wind. Of course, if we were only talking about sucking wind, then Craig wouldn't be in this position to begin with now would he.

CNN: Sen. Craig not resigning despite judge's ruling

AP: Facing Other Troubles, GOP Chafes at Sen. Larry Craig's Decision to Stay

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Introducing Fred Thompson's "I'm Not A Trophy" Wife

According to Jeri Thompson, the wife of former Republican Senator and current Presidential candidate Fred Thompson, she is not a trophy wife. She said so in an interview with People Magazine.

According to Dictionary.com, "trophy wife" is defined as "the young, often second, wife of a rich middle-aged man." Now as much as I'd like to believe her, I think I'll go with the dictionary on this one. She's three for three according to this definition.

That being said, who the hell cares.

Lord knows if I was a single 59-year-old with loads of cash and power, I certainly wouldn't be participating in any reverse age discrimination when it came to dating.

Hell, pat her on the back too. My wife wishes I had more money and I know there are many days that she regrets not holding out for a guy with more cash. Well, that's just what Jeri did. She waited until she was 35 years old to get married and got herself the DC version of the Broadway triple threat, an Actor/Senator/Millioniare.

What bothers me is that CNN felt the need to report that she denies being a trophy wife. This is political coverage? Honestly, who gives a shit whether SHE thinks she's a trophy wife.

C'mon CNN! Where does Fred stand on the war? On education? Now that he has had a cancer scare or two, what does he propose to do about health care? Will he protect Social Security? Will he support free-trade or be more of a protectionist? These are the things the American voters need to know, not whether or not his wife thinks she qualifies for trophy wife status.

A special message for Sen. Fred Thompson

Loved you on Law and Order, but I liked your small role in Hunt for Red October best. And I quote: "What's his plan? Russians don't take a dump without a plan, son."

Classic.

That being said, there is no way I could ever vote for you. Your hard line stance against a woman's right to choose, your votes against renewable energy, your love of strict constructionist judges for the Supreme Court and your unabashed and complete opposition to gun control makes you, in my mind, wholly unsuitable for the office of President.

But I do think you should make more movies and television shows. Let's face it, you'd do a much better job playing the President on a mini-series than you would actually being President.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Card-Carrying Member Of "The Sinners Club"

I have returned from the great state of Utah and I can honestly say that I don't ever need to go there again. Actually, that isn't fair. I only saw Salt Lake City. I'm sure the rest of the state is lovely, but Salt Lake City? Not so much.

If someone were to ask me to describe Salt Lake in one word, that word would be "dry." My lips are so chapped I can barely smile for fear of them cracking open like roasted peanut. When I got off the plane in Chicago, I felt like a sponge that had been thrown in a bucket of cool water. My skin suddenly breathed this sigh of relief and began drinking in the moisture like a hound dog on a hot August day.

I can say a couple of nice things about Salt Lake. The people, when you saw them, were really nice. Everyone was pleasant and helpful. And the town was very user/family friendly. Every bathroom had a changing station for diapers, the cross walks all had these chirping sounds that went off when it was safe to cross, and a different sound when it wasn't. They even had these friendly little reminders at the busy intersections so that you wouldn't forget to look both ways before crossing.
But the longer you stay in Salt Lake, the more childlike you feel. It's as if the state of Utah doesn't believe you capable of doing the simplest things without assistance. Want to cross a street? Okay, only go when the walk light is on, the pole is chirping and be sure to look both ways before you do. They even have the little countdown lights that come on to let you know when the light is going to change, just in case you decide to lolly-gag in the middle of the intersection.

This parental oversight is particularly apparent for those of us who wish to have the occasional cocktail.

If you go to restaurant in Utah, you can only get a cocktail with exactly one ounce of booze in it. Every bottle behind the bar uses a metered pourer so as not to break the law. You ever had a one ounce martini? It isn't even enough to cover the olives.

It is also against the law to have more than one cocktail in front of you at one time. I was out to dinner with some folks at one of those Brazilian grill places and one of the women I was with didn't particularly like the fruity cocktail she had ordered. One of the men at the table said he'd give it a try and took the drink and put it next to the one he already had. The waiter actually came over and told him he had to move it because he was in violation of state law. Being from New Orleans, he picked up his Makers Mark on the rocks, downed it in one gulp and asked the waiter if that was better.

Some how, I don't think that was what Utah's lawmakers had in mind when they passed that little ditty, but what the hell. It'll teach them to get between a guy from Louisiana and his cocktail.

Now, all of this changes if you are a member of a social club. Basically, if you want to drink in a bar, you have to be a member. Case in point, I went to a bar called Port o' Call a couple of blocks from my hotel to meet with a couple of colleagues. As I walked to the door, the bouncer asked me if I was a member. I said no and then asked how one becomes a member. He said, "Four bucks and your I.D. please."

I handed over the cash and my drivers license and he took them inside and gave them to a young woman sitting inside the door behind a cash register. He said to me, "Wait here, you have to sign something."

The woman took my ID and started entering the information into a database. She took my four bucks, put them in the register and then handed me a receipt that required my signature so that I could become a member. She said, "Sign this and you can go in and get a drink."

"So membership has its privileges," I say back.

And she replies, "Yeah, welcome to the Sinners Club honey."

Advise for those travelling to Salt Lake City

If a waitress asks if you want a side car with your cocktail, say "yes." Because you can only have a one ounce drink, you can have the other ounce or so in a separate glass called a side car. (This was only in the membership clubs so I don't think you can do this in the resturants.) It's the only way to get a real drink.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Clever Graffiti and Upcoming Travel

Just outside of the beltway, the multi-lane nightmare of highway that encircles Washington D.C., there is a large Mormon Temple. It is quite a sight as you can see from the picture. Tall ivory towers reaching majestically into the sky with tallest one being topped by a golden trumpeter facing Salt Lake City.

At night, the entire building is bathed in this emerald green light that makes it shimmer like a massive gemstone against the night sky. When you are driving on the beltway, just as you pass this awe inspiring emerald symbol of Mormon faith, you pass under an overpass. When I lived in D.C., written on the side of that overpass in giant black letters was the following message:

Surrender Dorothy

I always thought that was brilliant.

I mention this because I am following the direction of that Golden Trumpeter and am off to Salt Lake City in a few days for business. I won't have much time, but if anyone has some advise on things to see or do, I would certainly like to hear it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Quick Hits and a Joke about Midget Nuns

I've been really busy at work so I haven't had time to really write, but there were a few things that I felt the need to mention.

Britney at the VMA's: Two things. Number one, all of these people on her about being fat should go to hell. She's had two kids and will never look like that naughty school girl again. Frankly, I thought she looked fine...it was the outfit that sucked. I suppose that's appropriate because so did her performance which brings me to point number two: MTV should be ashamed for using her that way.

That was a train wreck and they HAD to know it but they let it happen because they knew it would draw viewers. It was like picking on a handicapped child for the public spectacle and enjoyment of others. How bad must ratings be if that is what you have to do to draw viewers.

Fred Thompson Announces Candidacy: Sure, why not. He has better face and name recognition than most of those shlumps in the race. Hell, it is probably the only time he will ever have a shot at the nomination and like baseball teams, once the play-offs have started, anything can happen. If you can somehow win the nomination, once the general election starts, you never know when pictures of your opponent having hot sex with a bisexual goat are going to show up. Let's face it, if George W. could win the election last time, it can happen for anyone.

Anita Roddick, Dame Commander of the British Empire, Founder of The Body Shop retail chain dies at age 64: A friend of mine worked for her and I had the chance to meet her once. She was energetic, irreverant and committed to her social and political beliefs. She proved to the world that you could run a business, be successful and be a progressive intent on helping those less fortunate than yourself all at the same time. She was on the Board of Directors for Mother Jones Magazine, you don't get much farther left than that.

Anita liked a dirty joke and in her honor, here is one she reportedly told in the waiting room at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola while campaigning on behalf of Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox of the Angola Three.

In your memory Anita:

The seven dwarfs were in a Catholic church. They were sitting near the rear and as the priest was speaking, they whispered and giggled amongst themselves, causing quite a disturbance.

All of a sudden, Dopey stands up and says, "Father, are there any midget nuns in the church?" "No," said the priest, "There are no midget nuns in the church."

A little time passed and the dwarfs were again whispering and giggling amongst themselves causing quite a disturbance and noticeably angering the priest.

Soon, Dopey stands up again and asks, "Father, are there any midget nuns in the city?"

"No, my son, there are no midget nuns in the city or in the church." says the priest. Again the dwarfs resume their annoying giggling to the dismay of the priest.

Once again, Dopey stands up and asks "Father, are there any midget nuns in the state?"

"No, my son, there are no midget nuns in the state, in the city, and no midget nuns in the church." exclaimed the priest, obviously upset.

The dwarfs continue their interference.

Dopey stands up and asks, "Father, are there any midget nuns in the country?"

The priest, totally angered, exclaims "No, my son, there are no midget nuns in the church, in the city, in the state, no midget nuns in the country, there are no midget nuns in the whole world!!! Now sit down!!!!!"

Soon afterwards, a chant could be heard from the rear of the church:

"Dopey fucked a penguin. Dopey fucked a penguin."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Should I stay or should I go.

Senator Craig now says he's going to retire after all.

Just make up your damn mind already! Guilty or not guilty. Staying or going. Top or bottom. This guy can't make a freaking decision. And he was a Senator for how long? He does more flips than a gymnast.

WOI-TV: Craig Spokesman says Craig is getting ready to leave

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

You know, I might change my mind...I'm still not gay!

"Whoa, now wait a minute people. I might have been a little hasty back there. You see, it wasn't what that cop back in Minnesota said it was. I didn't do anything wrong. When he said that he saw my hand come under the stall, it wasn't really my hand, it was this one. One of those new cyberhands. You see, it just fell out of my pocket when I sat down on the toilet and started playing footie... I mean tapping my foot to my internal soundtrack -- The theme from Deliverance. I wasn't cruisin' for a homosexual encounter, I'M NOT GAY!

I know I plead guilty, but that was just because I panicked and didn't realize that I could have a lawyer and stuff. You know, in Idaho, we don't arrest faggo...I mean homosexuals, we kick the crap out of them so I was actually afraid for my well being. Yeah, that's it. And I was afraid I was going to miss my plane to Idaho...to see Morgan Fairchild, 'cause I'M NOT GAY!"

Craig reconsiders decision to resign

On a personal note, I'm pretty sure that I had nothing to do with this.

I know, I sorta asked for it with my last post. I didn't really mean it unless, of course, the media really is going to hound him for the next few months making the whole Republican party look like complete hypocrites when they try to sell voters their bastardized and divisive version of wholesome, Christian family values. If that's going to happen, then I'm just going to get the extra large popcorn and some Goobers and watch the show.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Craig resigns...still not gay...I'd have told them all to fuck off, I'm staying.

Hey, we all saw this one coming. He's still not gay, but he has resigned. I tell you, not matter what happened, this guy wasn't coming back so why leave. If it were me...

(At this point I feel compelled to mention that I am not gay. Don't care if you are, don't really care if he is, but I'm not. And sex in an airport bathroom? Ewwww. I don't even like to piss in airport bathrooms, let alone get lucky. Lord knows what kinds of international Uber-germs are breeding in there.)

... I would have told the rest of the world to fuck off.

My statement would have been something like this:

"I'm not leaving. I got elected and I'm going to show up for votes, participate in debates and all the other stuff Senators do. I won't be talking to the press and I'll have the Capitol Hill Police pull the credentials of any member of the media who comes to my office. It is off limits and I haven't a damn thing else to say to any of you. If you're lucky, I might issue a press release or two before the end of my term but other than that, the hell with you guys."

"And to the rest of the Republican party, I suggest you guys just shut the hell up too. You think I didn't learn a a thing or two about most of you over the past few decades? Do yourselves a favor, find something else to talk about, like ending the war or funding education or fixing the mortgage crisis, I'm sure the American people would rather you all talked about those things. Now go away."

As a PR guy, I know this wouldn't work. The media would track him like a wounded animal and skewer him. The pundits and the columnists would write for weeks about how guilty or demented or dangerous he was, he wouldn't be allowed to sleep or eat. Eventually, they'd get him. They usually do.

But a part of me would like someone to try. You haven't got a chance of getting away with it unless you honestly didn't give a fuck what people say or do. The firestorm would rage for a while, but if you know you're gone and you have nothing left to lose, why not go out on your own terms. The hell with the media and your party. Show up and vote the way the people back home want and spend the rest of the time enjoying those last months of Senatorial privilege.

Man, would that be great theater or what? I know it would never happen, but a guy can dream.

CNN: Craig resigns

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Anti gay doesn't mean a little airport men's room sex is wrong, does it?

According to CNN:

Republican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was apprehended June 11 by a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd behavior in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota. In recent years, Craig's voting record has earned him top ratings from social conservative groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council.
On August 8, he plead guilty and paid a $500 fine. He now regrets that guilty plea.

I bet he does, he is up for re-election next year and I'm willing to bet this won't help in conservative Idaho.

Again, according to CNN:

In recent years, Craig's voting record has earned him top ratings from social conservative groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council.

He has supported a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, telling his colleagues that it was "important for us to stand up now and protect traditional marriage, which is under attack by a few unelected judges and litigious activists."

In 1996, Craig also voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages and prevents states from being forced to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples legally performed in other states.

Craig also has opposed expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias and, in 1996, voted against a bill that would have outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, which failed by a single vote in the Senate.
If this is the kind of voting record that gets you elected in Idaho, getting arrested and pleading guilty to trolling for gay sex in an airport men's room is probably a deal breaker with the voters.

Don't you just love the hypocrisy that the Republicans consider "family values."

UPDATE: Wanna see the arrest report? (PDF)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Update: Clear Skies

It hasn't rained for 24 hours and the pond behind my house is pulling back like a chastised child. The rivers around here continue to rise though as the water from all the rains works it's way south. I'm glad I don't live near one of them.

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Rain, rain, go away..."

Holy Crap!

I never understood people who choose to live in areas known for being ravaged by hurricanes. Today, I REALLY don't understand people who choose to live in areas known for being ravaged by hurricanes.

Yesterday, the tornado sirens went off at about 3:15 in the afternoon. Everyone at work was sent to the basement to huddle around the lone television to try and figure out if they were going home to a house or an empty lot.

Okay, that isn't unheard of in the Midwest. It's our cross to bear for not living in a hurricane or earthquake zone. But on the way home after the warning ended, I got a little taste of hurricane.

At first, the sky was nearly clear, lots of trees damaged and power outages, but it wasn't too bad for a big storm. Then, just as I was about three miles from picking up my daughter at a friend's house, the skies opened up again.

The rain, powered by 80 mile an hour winds, was coming down so hard that I couldn't see to drive. I creeped along at five miles an hour through a residential neighborhood looking for the house when I realized the road ahead was covered in water.

I'm not an idiot, I know a road covered in water is a recipe for a flooded out car and thousands of dollars in damage. But I had to get my daughter and this is a residential area -- how deep could it be?

Up to the freakin' running boards, that's how deep. The car was literally alternating between driving and floating. The tires kept popping off the pavement. Luckily, I got through it at just the right speed, not so fast as to flood the engine, but not so slowly that I got washed into someone's muddy and undrivable front yard.

I got my daughter, drove through a couple more areas like that one and got home. I was relieved to see that the sump pump I had fixed a few days before was working (a lot!) but distressed to discover that the picturesque pond usually 20 to 30 yards behind my house was suddenly lapping at my back fence.

This is only the second time since we have lived in this house that the water has gotten that high. Luckily, an hour or so later, the rains slowed to a sprinkle and as of this morning, the water has pulled back a good three yards.

There is more rain forecast for today and tonight. I'm sure glad my kids have had swimming lessons, they might need those skills if this keeps up.

(These are pictures of the commuter train station parking lot one stop up the line from my town. Photo Credit - Chicago Tribune)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sumptin's Wrong

I woke up on Sunday with the rain falling hard. It was after the second cup of coffee as I stared at the rising pond behind my house when I realized that I hadn't heard the sump pump go off. Normally, after that much rain, I hear it go off now and then.

With trepidation I open the crawlspace below my split level home. There I found two inches of standing water. Luckily, most of our stored stuff in there is in plastic bins, but man, what a drag.

The tethered float on the pump was floating on the surface of the water so the switch wouldn't work. Needless to say, I spent most of the day in and out of the crawl space getting it fixed.

Ain't home ownership fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hastert to Retire

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know I had little time for the hypocrisy of the Republican leadership during the Foley scandal. For those you who are new or from overseas and don't follow American politics, here is a quick recap.

1) Congressman Mark Foley (R - Florida) had a habit of chasing teenage boys in the Congressional Page program with the intent of having sex with them.

2) The Republican leadership, including members of then Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's (R - Illinois) office knew and didn't do anything.

Okay, I'm missing a few details but if you want more you can check out my prior stories.

Well, poor Denny Hastert lost his job as Speaker when the Democrats took control of the House and now the Chicago Tribune is reporting that he's ready to go home. Yep, retire.

Good riddance.

Denny, you and your party supported a war we should never had started, you've driven our healthcare system to the brink of collapse, you supported the erosion of our civil liberties and you protected the predatory practices of a pederast for political purposes.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

But why now? Likely because they want to let a Republican run as an incumbent. If Denny leaves, they appoint a replacement and the replacement gets the power of the office to run for reelection.

A political hack to the end, eh Denny? Afraid the Dem's might actually make a run at your seat in a fair fight? I guess you are what you are -- and Denny, you're a hack. A stooge for the Republican machine and I'm glad you're leaving. I'm sure plenty in your district are too.

Goodbye to the friend of pederasts?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Goodbye Herr Rove

Karl Rove is leaving the White House at the end of the month. I can just see him dusting off his hands and muttering to himself, "Well, my work is done here. Now it's time to cash in!"

When the biographies/histories are written by the White House players, I wonder who will have the choicest words for Karl? I hope everyone dishes hard on this guy, I hope they hang everything from the attorney firings and the Plame outing to the voter fraud in Ohio and Florida on this guy, he has certainly earned it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

They all cheated, so it's okay, right? Wrong.

(Editor's Note, I know this is a sports story and a significant number of my readers don't really care. But the sports commentary following his breaking the record pissed me off so I felt the need to post.)

The baseball world can finally take a breath. Barry Bonds hit a 3-2 pitch over the center field wall last night to pass Hank Aaron as the All Time Career Leader in homeruns.

And he cheated to do it.

For a significant portion of his career he was on the junk, juiced, hopped up on 'roids. He took performance enhancing drugs to make himself into something that he wasn't. He turned himself into a home run hitting machine.

Let's look at the numbers. From 1986 to 1999, Barry Bonds hit 40 or more homeruns only three times (1993 - 46 HRs, 1996 - 42 HRs, 1997 - 40HRs).

Then suddenly, for a five year stretch from 2000 to 2004 Bonds hit between 45 and 49 homers every year with only one exception - 2001. In 2001, Bonds hit 73 homeruns.

Since 2004 and the Balco scandal and the increased drug testing, Bonds is yet to hit more than 26 homeruns in a season. True, he has battled injuries, but all you have to do is look at the picture below to know why everyone believes that Bonds is a cheater. Body types don't change that much and heads don't grow that much without the help of steroids and Human Growth Hormones.



As I listened to the news coverage this morning on sports radio, I heard commentator after commentator say that because we don't know how many pitchers he faced were also on the juice, Bonds probably was playing on a more even playing field than we think and therefore the record is probably more legitimate than we are giving him credit for. (Damn prepositions!)

Bullshit.

By saying that, you are assuming other players had the same access to drugs, the same access to chemists and sports voodoo doctors that Bonds did and that is a false assumption. By making that argument, you are saying the competition wasn't about performance on the field but instead was about performance in the lab. Who had the best juice and who took bigger risks with their future health to achieve success today? Those are the only questions answered by claiming everyone was on the junk. And under that argument, the career homerun record was achieved in a competition of human chemisty manipulation, not baseball.

Barry Bonds cheated, if not by the strict letter of the rules of baseball then by the measure of fair competition. As a baseball fan, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth knowing that the most hallowed record in sports is owned by a cheater. And it is a shame that a talented player like Bonds felt the need to piss on the game he loved to play for his own selfish ambitions.

Shame on you Barry Bonds, shame on you.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Does anyone else remember these?

When I was a kid, I remember hearing a whole series of rhyming jokes about a character named Little Willy. The only one I remember today is this:




Little Willy had a ball,
lined one down the schoolhouse hall.
Out his door came Mr. Hill,
several teeth are missing still.

Does anyone else remember these and have any of them stuck in the dark places in your memory where only bad jokes and regretful encounters reside? If so, please share.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Failing to Fund the Future



The link in this post goes to a must read editorial on the current state of this country's infrastructure. It states very clearly that the infrastructure our generation inherited is falling apart due to neglect.

Just like our failing schools and the faltering health care system, the physical infrastructure of America is suffering from a lack of attention, a lack of adequate funding. At a time when the Bush administration can somehow find the funds to finance a war that no one wants, that is unjustified in the eyes of the world, our roads and bridges are literally crumbing down around us.

We need a new priority in this country, we need to build our strength from within, not flex it in an ill-conceived, unneeded war abroad. We need to educate our children and care for the sick and injured. We must recognize the lessons taught by the generations before us, that economic might and intellectual progress is paid for through infrastructural improvement, by investing in the future, not by throwing good money after bad in a failed venture like the invasion of Iraq.

I have relatives in the Twin Cities, it could have been them on that bridge. And it makes me mad to think of the families in mourning today for loved ones lost in an accident that likely could have been avoided had the money just been spent to care for the legacy we inherited. To all those families, my heart goes out to you in this most difficult time.

Popular Mechanics: Minn. Bridge Collapse Reveals Brittle America: Expert Op-Ed

Monday, July 30, 2007

"Your boo...ah ti...I mean, your breast..."

Some news stories, events or products just seem mind numbingly stupid to me. For example, this story from CNN.com about a device that warns drivers if they have left their child in the back seat of a hot car.

I'm not kidding. The device is designed to set off an alarm if a driver walks more than ten feet away from a car with a kid still in the back seat.

Now I've left a lot of things in the car. My wallet, my keys, my backpack but I can honestly say that I have never walked away from my car having forgotten that I had a child in the back seat. If you actually require this type of alarm, there is a real chance you should never have procreated in the first place.

According to an Associated Press article, about 340 kids have died in hot cars over the past ten years. For the math challenged, that's an average of 34 per year. To put that in perspective, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, bicycle injuries account for nearly 550,000 emergency room visits and about 1000 deaths each year, mostly in children and adolescents.

It is sad that people leave their kids in the car in August. In fact, it's criminal. But requiring alarms like the ones in this news story would translate into tens of millions a year in added costs to car makers and who do you think would be picking up that tab in the end? You got it. The rest of us.

How' bout this instead. Why don't parents slow down and concentrate just a little bit harder on taking care of their kids. It isn't the automakers job to remind you that you have a child, that's one responsibility that you should remember on your own. And the rest of society shouldn't have to pay millions to make up for the crappy parenting skills of 34 sets of parents per year.

CNN: Devices exist to keep kids from dying in cars, but few are sold

So, are you wondering about the headline? Maybe this will help:

A man was walking up a busy street when he spied a woman walking toward him with her left breast hanging out of her blouse. He thought to himself, "Man I really ought to tell her, but I don't want to embarrass her. But if I don't tell her then twenty other people are going to see and she's going to be even more embarrassed."

As she drew near he said, "Excuse me ma'am, but your Boo...ah ti....ah breast is hanging out there."

"What?" she said.

"Your ti...ah your boo...ah your breast in hanging out right there."

Then she looked down at her open blouse and said, "Damn, I left the kid on the bus."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Brother, can you spare a dime?

It looks like John McCain will soon be running his campaign from a van down by the river. His media-hacks have jumped ship. This comes on the heels of McCain losing his campaign manager as well as his top political advisor. Well, hired political hacks like to get paid. They aren't really in it for truth, justice and the American Way. No, these guys are part of the campaign money machine and like the hungry little piggy's that they are, they are off to find a fresh tit to suckle before the campaign cycle ends and it's too late.

And yet, John McCain hasn't given up yet. Lord knows why. A republican has an uphill battle to win in the general anyway, particularly one who has been playing war hawk for as long as McCain. Does he honestly think he has a chance to even get the VP nod?

No money, no chance.

So, if you see John begging on the streets with an empty coffee cup in one hand and sign that says, "Will run for President for food" don't be surprised. And don't give him any money. I know he says he'll buy food with that money, but guys like him will just turn around and blow that cash on political consultants and media buys.

McCain's media team quits his campaign

Monday, July 23, 2007

I've Been Busy Potting

I know I promised a new post, but I got distracted this weekend. The new Harry Potter book came out and I had to read the whole damn thing because I didn't want someone to accidentally spoil the end for me.

All I have to say is "Wow!"

I know, some of you out there are thinking, this is a grown man, right? Well, I started reading the first book when I heard it was all the rage for kids. My daughter was reading it and I wanted to know what all the hub-bub was about. So there I was on the daily commuter train reading a children's book. At first, I'll admit, I was a little embarrassed. But the more I read, the more sucked into Harry's world I became.

Needless to say, I've read them all and the last one doesn't disappoint. I won't say another word because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't already read it. Even the smallest slip could lead someone to a conclusion and if they are right, I'd feel terrible.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'll be right back...

Work has been crazy so I have missed a post or two, but I have a couple in draft that will be appearing in a day or so. Really. I promise.

The T-Dude

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Good Ship John McCain Is Taking On Water


For some reason, the title function on my blog isn't working, but I wanted to post this link reporting the rats jumping from the ocean liner McCain. Who would have guessed that he'd be the first of the R's to suffer this kind of set back.

McCain’s Top 2 Campaign Aides Quit

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Those Silly E-mail Surveys

Like the rest of you, I get those usually annoying e-mail chain-letter surveys. "What's your favorite color? How many pets have you owned? How many times a day do you check your e-mail? When was the last time you got laid?"

You know the kind.

My wife loves them. And she got this one with a little twist. You send the questions out to people who know you and they have to answer them ABOUT YOU. It's a bit like that game that couples occationally play. You know the one, it usually ends up with the wife pissed because he can't remember what color her socks were the first time they shared an ice cream. Well this is like that, only fun.

To prove my point, I offer up my wife's answers about me.

Where did we meet? In Quad in Iowa City

Take a stab at my middle name: I would, but I left my stiletto in my thigh high black patent leather boots.

How long have you known me? Since 1984.

Do I smoke? Too fucking much.

What was your first impression of me upon meeting? Skinny.

Color of my eyes: Blue

Do I have any siblings? This is stupid. You know I know the answer to that one.

What's one of my favorite things to do? Bitch about the fact that you don't get laid often enough. Read. Play team sports. Coach Bronte's various teams. Go to see live theater. Try to change the world.

Do you remember one of the first things I said to you? No. Do you remember one of the first things you said to me? (Ed. note. Yes, yes I do remember.)

What's my favorite type of music? Jazz and Frank Zappa.

What is the best feature about me? Your loyalty. Your eyes.

Am I shy or outgoing? Outgoing

Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules? Rules. Sorry, it's true. If you were a rebel you wouldn't have such a hard time returning things or ordering pizza. You are pretentious, but you do not have a sense of entitlement, which makes you endearing.

What's your favorite memory of me? Going to watch the Cubs play in the front bar of the College Street Club. Recently....going to see that stupid Bug movie in Washington DC. It was pretty funny.

Any special talents: You're really good at sports. You are really great in bed. Yum.

Would you consider me a friend? First and foremost.

How many children do I have? 1 bio 1 of the heart

If there was one good nickname for me, what would it be? I hate fucking nicknames. they're stupid. But, if I have to pick, how about "Lucky"?

If you and I were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing that I would bring? Lube

Talk radio or music station? Sports talk.

Which would I take, the chicken or the fish? Neither. You would rather have Iowa pork chops.
Her answers are 99% right. I happen to believe that people come with their own supply of lube so that one, while very funny, is wrong. You'll have to guess for yourselves as to the correct answer.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Is It Just Me....

There are lots of little stories running around out there that I find humorous, ironic, stupid, interesting or just plain odd. Here's a partial list.

"Irony is the hygiene of the mind."

Girls Gone Wild Sued By Employee For Sexual Harassment

Let me get this straight. You are a woman who chooses to work as a sales rep for one of the largest soft-core porn companies in the world and you sue them because your supervisor talked about sex in front of you and tapped your ass with a clipboard.

To quote Marlon Brando in The Godfather, "It makes no difference to me what a man does for a living, understand." But if you are going to work for a porn company, people are going to talk about sex.

Joe Francis got what he had coming to him for convincing drunk college girls to strip and more for his profit. He's in jail as we speak trying not to drop the soap. But you decided to help him profit so I don't think you are now entitled to sue for sexual harassment because someone tapped your fanny once with a clipboard.

Lady, you're just trying to pad your bank account with some more of those dollars derived from the sexual exploitation of women, and to do it with a claim of sexual harassment is just disgusting.


You Put Your Right Foot In, You Take Your Right Foot Out...

Cheney Can't Decide Which Branch Of Government He Is In

By doing the political/bureaucratic version of the Hokey-Pokey, Vice President Cheney has quietly slipped under the radar screen on most of what he is doing. When he met with Big Oil in the beginning of the Bush presidency, he claimed executive privilege and refused to disclose the details of those meetings. Okay, that's not the first time that's happened, no big deal.

Now it turns out that since 2003, Cheney's office has refused to comply with a presidential order regulating federal agencies' handling of classified national security information. That order details how classified information is to be handled and categorized.

Cheney's office, for the first time, wasn't listed in the "plum" book, a detailed listing of White House jobs and salaries produced every four years. It said instead that “the Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither part of the executive branch, nor a part of the legislative branch.” It has also been reported that Cheney and his staff exempt themselves from travel disclosure rules followed by the rest of the administration.

As a former political appointee, I can tell you that these are brash moves. This shows a level of determination and hubris perhaps unprecedented in Washington. Cheney has single-handedly redefined the Office of the Vice President within the vagaries of the Constitution. He claims to be a member of no single branch of government and therefore, at many times, without accountability.

It is a Machiavellian stroke of genius that should have all of us wondering exactly what is this guy up to and why can't we know. I'm mostly afraid that the reason Vice President Cheney never wants to be President is because he would see it as a demotion. Executive power without accountability is what he has now, why would he want a better title with less power? Hell, the housing is even worse.

Just Don't Drive With A Suspended License

Bush Won't Rule Out Pardon For Libby

If you are a multi-millionaire heiress to a hotel empire and you get caught driving your Bentley when your drivers license is suspended, you have to spend 24 days in jail. If you are a member of Dick Cheney's staff and you lie to federal prosecutors after you or someone in the Office of the Vice President expose a covert CIA operative, you get fined and don't have to serve a single day in the stir.

You all know I giggled like a school girl on her first real date when I heard Paris Hilton had to do time. She earned it in so many ways. But if she has to do her time, then so should Scooter Libby. The President letting this guy off the hook after he endangered the lives of CIA operatives and then actively worked to hamper the investigation is atrocious.

Didn't Bush run on a platform of ethics and accountability? Didn't he say that he was going to bring morality back to the White House after the Clinton Administration? Apparently that only applied to blow jobs because so far all we've gotten are lies and the protection and forgiveness of convicted liars.

I guess when your approval rating is just a few points ahead of the West Nile Virus, you have the freedom to do just about anything.