November 30, 2004

I Don't Remember Books Like These In School

I know it's wrong, but God help me, I can't stop laughing!

Two of my favorites:

The rest are here.

Someone may have sent these to me already. And by someone, I mean Wheaton. If so, sorry Ken, but hey--they're still funny!

November 29, 2004

I May Be Walking The Plank Soon

Cap'n William Teach over at Pirate's Cove and I have been having a slight disagreement over this article. Now, forgetting this particular issue, I suspect that Cap'n Teach and I think alike, and I'm always looking to add another link to my blogroll. So head on over and weigh in on the issue, tell me I'm completely wrong, whatever. Just make sure you hang around and read some of his other posts.

November 28, 2004

Just When You Think There Are No Good Gifts Left...

Target comes through.

Anyone for a candy-cane and peanut butter sandwich?

(I'm sure this will get taken down soon, though.)

Just So There Are No More Disputes...

Here are the rules for calling "Shotgun!" My favorite:

Amendment XV: Ozzie Pissbolt
If the driver gets confused or annoyed with chaotic rules arguments, he may shout "Ozzie Pissbolt," suggesting that the first person to touch the car is awarded shotgun.

Home Video (Sort Of)

Over at, you can watch some raw footage of the U.S. soldiers campaign in Fallujah. This is not the stuff you see on the news.

November 27, 2004

Put Up Or Shut Up

I know I haven't been that political recently, and I apologize. It's a fairly hectic time for me, and I haven't been able to write as much as I'd like. However, I can't stress enough how good of a job people like antimedia have done in keeping me informed on the current goings-on.

One of his posts in particular has caught my attention. He links to My Soldier, an organization that allows individuals and groups to adopt a soldier. It's easy, and free, and I urge you to sign up. And when someone you know on the right gives thanks or offers a toast to our men and women in uniform, say "I'm glad you feel that way," and ask them to sign up for My Soldier. When someone you know on the left insists that although they are against the war, they support the troops, say "I know a non-political way you can do that," and ask them to sign up for My Soldier.

When a person enrolls in the My Soldier program, they agree to adopt a soldier. They receive a “starter kit” containing guidelines for letter writing and care package preparation, a red My Soldier bracelet, and a specially designed My Soldier baseball hat to include with the first letter they send to their deployed United States Armed Serviceperson. The first letter/care package they send is addressed to their soldier's platoon contact who then distributes it to their soldier. The soldier then replies and direct correspondence begins (about 80% of soldiers respond, but 100% appreciate getting the letters).

There's no good reason not to do it.

November 26, 2004

One Thing To Be Thankful For

I'm thankful that I'm not playing against Peyton Manning in any of my Fantasy Football leagues. My God, that boy's a freak of nature. He threw 6 touchdown passes today. Six. And I should point out, he only completed 23 passes, so essentially one out of every four passes was a TD.

Now, the single-season TD pass record is 48, held by Dan Marino. (I'm working from pure memory here. Normally, I'd look it up, but I'm tired. So, please correct me if I'm mistaken.) Manning is a virtual shoe-in for this year's MVP, and unless something really odd or unfortunate happens, Manning will shatter Marino's record. He already has 41, and if he can keep up that pace, he'll end up in the high 50s.

I'm sorry, I just have to say this one more time before I sign off:

One out of every four passes was a TD.

I can't even do that on Xbox. On the easy level.

November 24, 2004

Shut The Hell Up!

Okay, I've heard representatives from the NBA invoke the war in Iraq as some kind of excuse for the players' behavior, and I've heard it more than once. What a fucking crock. Take your head out of your ass and acknowledge the problem.

Speaking as a sports fan, I fully acknowledge that with the possible exception of Pat Tillman, most sports figures are greedy bastards. And I'm fine with that. Hey, as long as we are willing to pay ridiculous prices for tickets, memorabilia, cable packages, etc., get all you can. But the NBA players in particular have been busy cementing their carefully cultivated image as overpaid crybabies with this idea that somehow the punishment for the other evening's brawl is too much. Why is this story even news?? I'm almost ashamed to be writing about it.

Here's the thing: you make a lot of money for doing something that most people think of as 'fun.' People look up to you. Children model themselves after you. For right or wrong, sports figures like yourselves provide an (unrealistic) expectation for many of our nation's youth--"I don't need an education or training; I'm gonna play pro ball." If after all that...after all that money and glory and fame, you can't control yourself and set an example? Then I say "fuck you." I hope the next guy in the stands picks up a chair and ends your career.

And you're lucky I'm not in charge of disciplinary action because here's my view. I don't care who started it, I don't care who said what to whom, if you swing on a spectator, if you go into the crowd, your career in professional sports is over. Done. Hope you managed to keep from spending at least some of that bonus on drugs and whores.

Who knows? Maybe I'm just bitter. I mean, I love sports, I do. They're our "bread and circuses," no? I mean, let's face it--it's hard to remember how sucky your own life is when your team is facing a third and goal with 10 seconds left and a four point deficit. But I do think that what I do, and what my colleagues do, is more important. We also face pressure and thanklessness from bosses, parents, and students. And yet, I don't know that any of us have ever felt it necessary to throw down with a grade-obsessed father. But hell, we don't get paid as much either. Come to think of it, no one has ever asked me to nationally televise one of my three-hour classes. Nor has Budweiser agreed to provide computers or other learning equipment for a thirty-second advertisement spot midway through the class.

Playing professional sports in the U.S. is a pretty nice way to earn a living, and comes with a lot of privilege, but also a lot of responsibility. Guys like Ron Artest, and those who would mimic his behavior need to be reminded of that.

November 20, 2004

Vroom! Vroom!

Hey...finally got me a real car to get through the winters instead of that wind-up I had been driving. She got a clean bill of health from the mechanic and the loan went through, so come Monday, I'll be driving a nice little Jeep Grand Cherokee. I think I may have to name her Jane Seymour because even though she's a little older than what I was looking for and has a few miles on her, she's still absolutely beautiful. (Ms. Seymour, should you stumble across this, feel free to be flattered or repulsed as you will. Oh, and you're welcome or I'm sorry.)

It's Here! It's Finally Here!

Well, it's officially Ken's birthday. If you found my blog through his, you already know this, I'm sure. He has a few posts up about the event in a bit of self-promotion the likes of which I would never participate in (December 8th). After reading Ken's post criticizing gift-giving, I was tempted to "out" him in the comments by pointing out that we exchange gifts yearly. And then I realized that in a way, he was right. While we do exchange gifts, we do it in a very manly, unassuming way. First of all, we're almost never on time. This way...Could be a birthday gift, could be a Christmas gift, could be payoff on a gambling debt...Who knows? Secondly, the gifts are always the same. I send Ken an package of all the books I would have read if I hadn't given up reading for my porn habit. He sends me a package of dry ice. Did I mention the dry ice was surrounded by lots of Cajun goodies, which I then eat nonstop until I get sick? Really, it's a very nice setup.

I think he gets it right when he talks about the gender difference, though. If you'll forgive the upcoming language and chauvinism, I'd like to compare gift-giving with post-date discussion. Specifically, the differences in the way each gender deals with them. As Ken pointed out, gift-giving takes on some kind of mythic Jungian significance for women. It's either a token of emotion, or an act of competition. If Lord of the Flies was written with a cast of young women, the rescue team would very likely have arrived to find a tight-lipped girl weaving sheet sets from palm fronds, muttering "give me a kiln-fired dish set with gold edging mined from the Forbidden Mountain, will she?" Men aren't like that. We don't want to make a big deal of things, lest other guys see any emotion in us. (Unless we're watching Brian's Song, or our team loses the Super Bowl...We're not monsters, for God's sake***.) We also don't extend the gift-giving niceties. There's no follow up. Well, practically none. I only have to confirm that Ken didn't already have any of the books I sent. He only has to confirm that I didn't choke on a piece of snout. Again, it's very much like the sharing of date information:

Two Girls After a Date
Girl 1: How was it?
Girl 2: Oh my God...It was perfect! He was wearing this nice...[what follows is a word by word replay of each and every moment of the entire evening, including who was wearing what, where you went, who ate what, and what songs were playing in the car AND what each of those things meant]...and it only lasted for three and a half-minutes, but he fell asleep in my arms!

Two Guys After a Date
Guy 1: Did you screw her?
Guy 2: Yeah.
Guy 1: Nice.

(Of course, I myself would never participate in such a misogynistic exchange. These Cro-Magnons are merely representative of the less-sensitive men I have encountered in my life as far as you know.)

Anyway, if you haven't done so already, go on over and wish Ken a happy birthday. He deserves it. And Ken, if you're reading this--and you better be--Have a great birthday, and maybe I'll try something different this year. You're just lucky you didn't publish your birthday night plans a little earlier, or you'd be getting a very public strip-o-gram. A very public male strip-o-gram.

Before I forget...Go on over to The Subway Chronicles and read some good writing. The host is looking to break 20,000 hits for the month, so let's help her out. Oh, and Ken has a piece up there...But don't let that stop you.

*** Ladies, you might be wondering about groin injuries. There's really little emotion there. As any man will tell you, these are the inevitable steps one will take immediately after a buddy takes a punch, foot, elbow, ball, dog bite, parking meter, etc., in the goods.
1) A sharp intake of breath.
2) A sympathetic "Owwwwww."
3) Three hours of giggling and trying to re-enact just what his face looked like at the moment of impact. ("Then your eyes went in different directions, and you made this noise like, 'Yurk!'")

November 17, 2004

Oh, The Shame!

My party's candidate, Michael Badnarik and Green party member David Cobb have raised enough money to get a full recount in the sate of Ohio.
Badnarik and Cobb said they aren't trying to overturn President Bush's 136,000-vote victory in Ohio, but just want to ensure that all votes were counted properly in the face of concerns about Election Day irregularities.

"Our bottom line is to stand up for the integrity of the voting process because the voting process is the heart of the democratic process," said Blair Bobier, spokesman for Cobb.

Bobier said it will be worth the price to ensure the final outcome can be trusted.

Okay, first of all...Bullshit. This recount benefits neither man, unless somehow 150,000 votes thought to be cast for one of the two major candidates were actually cast for Badnarik or Cobb. I suspect that their reason for doing this is the very one they deny: They want to overturn Bush's victory in Ohio.

Secondly, I'm all for the "integrity of the voting process." Show me a perfect, fraud-free method of voting and I'll sign right up. Heck, everybody wants that. But what I don't want, and what the country doesn't need is weeks or months of recounts, and legal maneuvering. Even the recounts aren't free from influence. Take Florida in 2000. Much of the "recount" consisted of people looking at a ballot and trying to figure out who the voter was trying to vote for. That's impartial? I'll bet you that recounters who supported Bush found more Bush votes than those recounters who supported Gore. They weren't cheating; that's just human nature: "Everybody thinks like I do." Anyway, to get back to my point, suppose this re-count goes against Bush. Do we then allow him pay the fee and get a recount of the recount? At some point it has to end. Do we allow recounts on other closely contested states? Please...Bush won the popular vote, the electoral vote, the Republicans won seats in the legislature...The people have spoken. It's over; let it go.

There are many people out there who will tell you they believe in Democracy. But they don't. They only believe in it when the outcome goes their way. If you see someone protesting the re-election of President Bush, that person does not believe in Democracy. Free speech, maybe, but not Democracy. You see, believing in Democracy means understanding that things aren't always going to go your way, and accepting them when they don't. As much as I dislike John Kerry, I will give him credit for this: he conceded. I honestly thought he would be worse than Gore, dragging the election out for months. But he did the right thing. Good for him.

Anyway, I'm ashamed that my party's leader is the one leading this course of action, and I'm ashamed that he can't be honest about his motives.

November 16, 2004

Finally! A Religion I Can Get Behind...Or Between.

Religions come and go, but this one's the breast effort I've seen in a while. I especially like their chant. Tits chest so...I mean it's just so inspiring, you know?

I wonder what they do instead of making the sign of the cross?

The 21 Billion Dollar Question

Does anybody really need to be told this? I only mention it since the new amount is more than twice what was reported earlier.
Saddam Hussein's regime reaped over $21 billion from kickbacks and smuggling before and during the now-defunct U.N. oil-for-food program, twice as much as previous estimates, according to a U.S. Senate probe on Monday.

"How was the world so blind to this massive amount of influence-peddling?" asked Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, head of the investigations subcommittee.

How, indeed? Well, first of all, the world wasn't blind. At least not all of it. While debating the issues in the pre-invasion arena, more than a few writers brought up the idea that "gee...Isn't it strange that the same countries who refuse to participate in the coalition, and are doing their best to stop the U.S. are the very same countries that hold the most in Iraqi oil contracts?" (Did you really think that the French, Russians, and Germans actually had moral reasons for not invading Iraq? Really? Even the Germans? Because I'm pretty sure that invading is their national pastime.) And it isn't too much of a jump from that bit of influence-peddling to the filthy swamp of it that we now know went on in the U.N. There have to be some of you out there who remember that there were reasons for removing Saddam Hussein beyond the WMD issue, despite what the mainstream media wants you to think.

No, the question is not "How was the world so blind to this massive amount of influence-peddling," but rather "Now that we know, what is going to be done?" I just don't see how the U.N. is going to survive this. I mean, realistically, I know that the world will just turn the other way, a few will have to be sacrificed, and business will go on. But I just can't understand it. The U.N. has not only participated in fraud on a global scale, it has--in my humble opinion--been acting in concert with a dictator's attempt to deny his people the basics of food and medicine. that last sentence again, just so it sinks in. I'll wait. Now, you might say "well, they probably didn't know it was happening," but that's only because nobody wanted to look. They were too busy pointing out how the evil, greedy Americans wanted Iraq all for themselves. Which, of course, is now why our gas is cheaper...Oh, it's not? Well, that's why we pillaged all their ancient treasures and kept them for ourselves...Oh, we didn't? Huh..Go figure.

This sickens me. The U.N. needs to go. Now.

The Power Of Three

My first thought, upon reading this was "You've got to be kidding."
With not much original reporting, I discovered that the latest big fine by the FCC against a TV network -- a record $1.2 million against Fox for its "sexually suggestive" Married by America -- was brought about by a mere three people who actually composed letters of complaint. Yes, just three people.

Now, I'm just disgusted...and more than a little scared.

November 15, 2004

Mystery Solved?

Has the lost city of Atlantis finally been found? The truth is never quite as exciting as the mystery, I guess. I don't know...I figured that if this was the real Atlantis, I'd hear Ted Knight in voice-over: "Using his telepathic powers, Aquaman summons a school of moray eels."

(Unless you watched Saturday morning cartoons in the '70s, you have no idea what that last bit was about. No matter.)

November 13, 2004

Maybe Dr. Feelgood Ought To Mind His Own Damn Business

Here's yet another reason that I think we need to tone down our scientific advances.
While Meloy, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist in Winston-Salem, was putting an electrode into the spine of a female patient with chronic back pain, the woman reported a decrease in her pain and a delightful, but very unexpected, side effect.

And before you make the same wrong guess that I did, wasn't an increased desire for scantily-clad tickle fights with her attractive, adventurous ex-cheerleader girlfriend with you as referee.
"When we turned on the power in this case, she let out a moan and began hyperventilating," Meloy said on ABC News' Good Morning America. "Of course we cut the power and I looked around the drapes and asked her what was going on. Once she caught her breath, she said 'you're gonna have to teach my husband how to do that!'"

I guess the downside is that there is now one less reason for a woman to want to sleep with me. But for those of you who are already involved, this could have an upside. Just get your special lady one of these implants, say, for a birthday or anniversary. And hook it up to a remote control. (You must keep this remote on your person at all times. Remember those lab animals that kept hitting the stimulus button until they died? Well, when you come home to find your loved one dead with the remote in her hand and a shit-eating grin on her face, you'll wish you did.) Anyway, once you have the remote control, you can end almost any disagreement with a simple push of a button.

"What do you mean you had lunch with your ex?! Oh, and I suppose it was just two old friends, right?! If you think I'm just going to stand idly by why you and that who...ooh...ooh...Sweet monkey JEEZUS!"

"You were saying, dear?"


This doctor ought to either be beaten severely, or given a Nobel prize. I can't decide which.

November 12, 2004

R.I.P.** Yasser

Well, looks like somebody in the press got it right.
YASSER ARAFAT died at age 75, lying in bed surrounded by familiar faces. He left this world peacefully, unlike the thousands of victims he sent to early graves. In a better world, the PLO chief would have met his end on a gallows, hanged for mass murder much as the Nazi chiefs were hanged at Nuremberg. In a better world, the French president would not have paid a visit to the bedside of such a monster. In a better world, George Bush would not have said, on hearing the first reports that Arafat had died, "God bless his soul."

** Rot In Pieces, you evil bastard.

November 10, 2004

Not Quite The Best Headline Ever

But it's funny nonetheless.

Trojans Come From Behind Against Beavers

The writer didn't even need to use the untapped potential of players Reggie Bush and Marcel Love.

November 09, 2004

Can't Think Of A Good Headline

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't read this article by Dennis Prager. I can't say I agree with everything he says, but I recommend it just the same.

November 08, 2004

Oh, What Now?

I just have to ask...Is there anything the election results aren't to blame for?

From the New York Times:
Paramount's "Alfie," a remake of a romantic comedy about a roguish womanizer starring Jude Law, opened to a dismal $6.5 million in more than 2,000 theaters, far below expectations. The tepid response was the latest blow to Sherry Lansing, the chairwoman of Paramount who last week announced her plans to leave the job when her contract expires in 2005, and whose movies have performed poorly this summer and fall.

Wayne Llewellyn, the president of distribution at Paramount, said that the conservative ethos reflected in last week's election results might have hurt the film.

"It could be the mood of the country right now," he said. "It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didn't want to see a guy that slept around."

Just a thought, but maybe people would go see your movies if you'd quit making mediocre remakes of mediocre films, you dumb shits! Write something original, for God's sake! Quit trying to mine the archives and start talking to the thousands of writers that are out there. I'm sure there's at least one out there that has an original, marketable idea. And if you can't find one, come see me--I've got a couple I've been saving.

At The Risk Of Jinxing Them...

Can I just congratulate my favorite NFL team? I was prepared for a season of disappointment and sorrow. Nearly every preseason magazine I read placed the Steelers at the bottom of their division, saying things like "rebuilding year," and "lucky to have a winning season." Hell, they don't even have any Monday Night Football appearances this year--that's how bad they were supposed to be. But after the last two weeks, I'm gonna go ahead and say it--they look to me to be the best team in the league right now.

I'm cringing even as I write this because of the Jinx factor, but I feel pretty comfortable with the argument. Two weeks ago, I watched the Steelers end the Patriot's winning streak which extended back to last season. And they didn't just beat them, they crushed them. The Steelers' defense, missing a few key players, shut down one of the most potent and versatile offenses in the NFL, keeping them to 5 rushing yards. (To be fair, Corey Dillon was not playing, but a) Faulk isn't terrible, and b) Five yards???) They did the same thing this week to the Eagles, keeping them to 23 rushing yards, and keeping Terrell Owens to only 53 receiving yards. Big deal, right? The Steelers have always had a decent defense. But wait! Now they also have an offense! As I watched them move almost effortlessly down the field against two of the top defenses in the NFL, I kept thinking of that scene in Happy Gilmore, when bad guy Shooter McGavin suddenly realizes that Adam Sandler has added a decent putting game to his slapshot-style power-drive. "Uh oh...looks like Happy learned how to putt."

There's no denying they've got a killer offense, though. Let me just frame this for you: They beat the only two unbeaten teams in the NFL back to back. Outrushed them 466 yards to 28. Outscored them by 61 to 23. Did I mention they did this with a rookie QB? Yep, Ben "Ruthless"berger (I swear I'm gonna get that to catch on.) took over for an injured Tommy Maddox. The thing is, if you watch Roethlisberger, he doesn't look like a rookie. He doesn't rattle. He doesn't seem to make "rookie" mistakes. He seems aware of the pocket and while he's no Vick, he runs fairly well. And like most rookies, I would expect that he will get even better as he learns more.

So I expect to see them in the playoffs, and I hope to see them in the Super Bowl. But just in case the Jinx spirits are listening...I never said that.

Portman Update!

It appears that my earlier information about Closer was slightly off...maybe. Now the Internet Movie Database is reporting that Natalie's topless scenes will remain in the film. Only the full-frontal scenes will be removed.

November 06, 2004

Yeah, But They're Not France, Germany, Or Russia!

Looks like at least one part of the world is happy with the results of our most recent election.
Millions of Iranians expressed their satisfaction on the outcome of the US Presidential elections and George W. Bush's victory by calling and congratulating each other. Many were seen walking in the streets and shaking each others hands or showing a discret [sic] V sign.

I apologize, though, because I was zipping around late at night, and I bookmarked this link to blog about, but I forgot to mark down where I first saw it. Sorry.

Huh? What Them Say Bout Me?

I noticed that in lieu of whining about "stolen" elections (although there has been some of that), the new sport for this election's Democrats seems to be making themselves feel better by categorizing everyone who voted for George Bush as stupid, or uneducated, or ignorant. Take your choice.

Here's one reprinted from the New York Times, from a website that purports to bring you 'the truth.'
Dr. Joseph, a bearded, broad-shouldered man with silken gray hair, was sharing coffee and cigarettes with his fellow dog walker, Roberta Kimmel Cohn, at an outdoor table outside the hole-in-the-wall Breadsoul Cafe near Lincoln Center. The site was almost a cliché corner of cosmopolitan Manhattan, with a newsstand next door selling French and Italian newspapers and, a bit farther down, the Lincoln Plaza theater showing foreign movies.

"I'm saddened by what I feel is the obtuseness and shortsightedness of a good part of the country - the heartland," Dr. Joseph said. "This kind of redneck, shoot-from-the-hip mentality and a very concrete interpretation of religion is prevalent in Bush country - in the heartland."

"New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realize we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what's going to injure masses of people is not good for us," he said.

His friend, Ms. Cohn, a native of Wisconsin who deals in art, contended that New Yorkers were not as fooled by Mr. Bush's statements as other Americans might be. "New Yorkers are savvy," she said. "We have street smarts. Whereas people in the Midwest are more influenced by what their friends say."

"They're very 1950's," she said of Midwesterners. "When I go back there, I feel I'm in a time warp."

Wow. Read that one any way you want--it still smacks of elitism. This next one, were it about any other group, say one divided along racial lines, would likely have produced charges of hate speech and ended Jane Smiley's career, such as it is. (I read A Thousand Acres, dear. It's King Lear on a farm. Congratulations.) It's such a fanatical piece of writing, that I wonder if it's not meant to be taken seriously, like Swift's A Modest Proposal. But it is published in Slate, which I guess would be analogous to Swift's piece being published in a cookbook. Here's an excerpt:
The reason the Democrats have lost five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey—workers and consumers. The architects of this strategy knew perfectly well that they were exploiting, among other unsavory qualities, a long American habit of virulent racism, but they did it anyway, and we see the outcome now—Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know no boundaries or rules. They are predatory and resentful, amoral, avaricious, and arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don't share those same qualities, don't know which end is up. Can the Democrats appeal to such voters? Do they want to? The Republicans have sold their souls for power. Must everyone?

Now, I don't condone violence, especially against women. But, right now, I would very much like to punch Jane Smiley in the face. It's true that I'd likely be confirming at least a part of her prejudices, but at this moment, with her vitriolic article still on my mind, my way seems much more satisfying than trying to change her mind.

Do the Democrats really think Republicans are that stupid? How do they explain the increase in support for Bush? Were there some Democratic farmers out there in the Heartland that got kicked in the head by mules, and now wander about like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, saying things like "tell me agin 'bout the Ter-rists, George," and "George? When we find them weapons of mass 'struction, you can have them all, George. I just want some ketchup for my beans"?

At the risk of sounding arrogant (which it will), let me tell you a little about myself. I used to be a member of MENSA (I stopped paying dues). My IQ, when last measured, was 165. I was playing chess at 2 and a half years of age, and reading novels at five. I have a graduate degree. Although my degree is in the humanities, I enjoy reading in the sciences, particularly theoretical astrophysics. I understand Einstein's (general and specific) Theory of Relativity, the Pauli Exclusion Principle, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and so on. I have an uncanny knack for being able to build and diagnose computers, despite never having had any instruction. Why, I'm even cultured enough to enjoy theater and foreign film. And guess what? I voted Republican. Now, why did I blow my own horn? Well, partly because I want you to understand just how insulting it might be to have somebody call me ignorant or stupid. And partly because there are others out there, as intelligent as I am or more so, who also voted Republican. The Democrats in this country do not have a stranglehold on intelligence, or culture, or diversity of thought. For them to even think that they do, much less speak or write it, is the worst kind of prejudice.

So, for those of you out there who voted for George Bush, and are tired of the aspersions being cast on your intellect, here's what you do: The next time someone states, or even hints, that Bush won because the people who voted for him are ignorant, hit them with some facts from the people at Gallup.

* If the uneducated people of the country had NOT voted, not only wouldn't Bush have lost, he would have actually won by a larger margin. According to Gallup, nearly a third of all voters had an education described as "high school or less." Of that third, 54% voted for Kerry, while only 46% voted for Bush. Yes, that's right--more uneducated people voted Democrat than Republican.

* Bush kicked ass among those voters (48%) who had "some college" or "college graduate (no postgrad)," winning the first group by 12 percentage points, and the second by 16 points. That's nearly half the voting pool.

* To be fair, Kerry did win the "postgraduate education" bunch, but they were only 20% of the voting population, and he won them by only 6 percentage points. So, it appears that the Democrats would have you think that 47% of Americans who have made it to the highest echelons of our educational system, still managed to keep from picking up any smarts.

Well, there's the stats--take them for what they're worth. One final thought about that last bunch, the postgraduates. I belong to that group, and I work in academia, which is composed almost exclusively of members of that group who are Democratic (about 80-90 percent). I interact with them daily, and I've come to suspect something. Now, I am very fond of many of these people--they are my friends--so it hurts me to say this, but they are the most intellectually snobbish bunch of people I have ever met in my life. I sometimes wonder if one of the reasons that they stay in the world of academics is so that they are almost guaranteed to be intellectually superior to those they work with (students). Perhaps that provides some security for them. I really think they'd have a problem having to confront the fact that in the "real" world, there are people just as smart and as informed as they are, and that the opinion of these new people matters just as much as theirs does. In fact, I know they'd have a problem--just look at the way they reacted to the election.

November 05, 2004

And Speaking Of Star Wars Nerds...

Despite the poster, which I still think is sissified, Episode III looks pretty cool. Go here, and you can download the trailer.


This just in:
November 5, 2004 -- TO the dismay of "Star Wars" nerds everywhere, Natalie Portman will not be nude in the upcoming Mike Nichols movie, "Closer." Portman, who plays Queen Amidala in the space epics, was supposed to bare all for her role as a stripper in "Closer," until she got cold feet and asked Nichols to cut the footage of her romping fully nude in a topless club.

Bad move, Mike. This film could have made money.

Well, That Didn't Take Long

Already the "Kerry actually won" arguments have begun:
I know you don't want to hear it. You can't face one more hung chad. But I don't have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called American democracy, it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.

Most voters in Ohio thought they were voting for Kerry. CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53 percent to 47 percent. Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51 percent to 49 percent. Unless a third gender voted in Ohio, Kerry took the state.
Perhaps if the Democrats spent more time actually addressing the issues instead of complaining how they were cheated out of every election they lost, they wouldn't lose as many.

I Wish I Could Tell You Who Said This...

...but I missed all but the quote on a radio show. And I'm paraphrasing.

Yasser Arafat is in a coma. Every night I say a little prayer that he will wake up. Yes, I sincerely hope that he will wake up, because while he's in a coma, he cannot feel agonizing pain. He cannot feel sad or helpless. He cannot suffer. And I dearly want him to suffer.

November 04, 2004

So I Was Wrong...Maybe

Well, it seems that Osama Bin Laden is alive, and that I've been wrong all this time. Maybe I should be tucking in the napkin, getting ready to eat some crow, but I'll tell you--I'm not quite ready to admit that I was wrong yet.

First of all, I'm not sure the guy on the tape IS bin Laden. Sure, he looks like bin Laden, but about as much as the guy playing Santa at the company party this year looks like the guy who played Santa last year--both have a big beard and a hat. I'm no expert, and the pictures I've seen from the tape look far away, but the new guy looks a little old to me. I also seem to remember that in the pictures I've seen of OBL, he had these jug-handle ears that stuck out from his head. The new guy's ears don't show, but I guess he could have them tucked under the head dressing. Also, this guy's skin looks a little lighter than OBL's, although this could simply be a result of having to stay indoors more frequently. Not conclusive, I guess, but I also seem to remember that Bin Laden was left-handed, but he appears to be right-handed on the video in question.

Even if the face is his, the words don't seem to be. He's reading from a script, something I've never seen him do before. It's Ramadan--a religious month--Where's all the religious talk? Where's the weapon he always has nearby? MEMRI has some interesting thoughts on the comment:
Another conspicuous aspect of the tape is the absence of common Islamist themes that are relevant to the month of Ramadan, which for fundamentalists like bin Laden is the month of Jihad and martyrdom. Noticeably absent from the Al-Jazeera tape was his usual appearance with a weapon, and more importantly the absence of references to Jihad, martyrdom, the Koran, the Hadith (Islamic tradition), Crusaders, Jews, and the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad on the duty to wage Jihad against the infidels.

There's just too much weirdness about the whole thing. And when did Bin Laden become a Democrat? He seems to be covering the Democratic talking points, and telling the people of the U.S. to vote for Kerry if they know what's good for them. But we know that unlike, say, Saddam, Osama doesn't hate Bush and only Bush because OBL was doing plenty of bad things during the Clinton administration.

Now I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but I have to wonder...If it IS Bin Laden (and until I see a closer, sharper image, I'm gonna say it's not) I wonder if perhaps he might be a "guest" of some other country. A country that might want to influence the election, say. That would explain the reading from the script, and the lack of the ever-present weapon, and the absence of religious reference.

I'm just thinking out loud, really, but I can't immediately think of anything that would preclude that scenario. Plus, no matter who won the presidency, OBL's "hosts" would have one hell of a bargaining chip post-election, wouldn't they?

Just something to think about.

Update: I'm not the only one who thinks it's fake. Also, here's a link to (from the same site) a funeral announcement from an Egyptian newspaper:
Islamabad -
A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa'da organization, stating that binLaden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora 10 days ago. He mentioned that 30 of al-Qa'da fighters attended the burial as well as members of his family and some friends from the Taleban. In the farewell ceremony to his final rest guns were fired in the air. The official stated that it is difficult to pinpoint the burial location of bin Laden because according to the Wahhabi tradition no mark is left by the grave. He stressed that it is unlikely that the American forces would ever uncover any traces of bin Laden.

But hey, for all I know, that could be the Egyptian equivalent of the Weekly World News.

Caption This! Part 12

Left foot, right foot...Hey, this ain't so hard. Evolution, schmevolution--I'm going to get me a beer!

Best. Headline. Ever.

Go it. You know you want to.

November 01, 2004

Just In Case... missed this, buried in the post below, it's a NY Sun article that interviews a JAG officer who speculates that Kerry may have had a dishonorable discharge from the military.
With the only discharge document cited by Mr. Kerry issued in 1978, three years after the last date it should have been issued, the absence of a certificate from 1975 leaves only two possibilities. Either Mr. Kerry received an "other than honorable" certificate that has been removed in a review purging it from his records, or even worse, he received no certificate at all. In both cases there would have been a loss of all of Mr. Kerry's medals and the suspension of all benefits of service.

Certainly something was wrong as early as 1973 when Mr. Kerry was applying to law school.

Mr. Kerry has said, "I applied to Harvard, Boston University, and Boston College. I was extremely late. Only BC would entertain a late application."

It is hard to see why Mr. Kerry had to file an "extremely late" application since he lost the congressional race in Lowell, Mass., the first week of November 1972 and was basically doing nothing until he entered law school the following September of 1973. A member of the Harvard Law School admissions committee recalled that the real reason Mr. Kerry was not admitted was because the committee was concerned that because Mr. Kerry had received a less than honorable discharge they were not sure he could be admitted to any state bar.

I have to say, with all the information that's come out on this guy, I just really can't believe there are people out there who are willing to hand him the highest office in the land.

Last Call

I haven't done much talking about the election. Frankly, I'm kind of sick of it all. But Cox & Forkum have a few worthwhile things to say.

Here's my thoughts:

I'm not a big fan of George Bush. He seems a nice enough fellow, but he's a little too conservative for my taste. However, I agree with the stand he has taken against terrorism, which is my biggest fear about the future. If you are a have to go. If you are head of a nation that sanctions, supports, or rewards have to go. If you a "civilized" nation that engages in secret deals that funnel money to terrorists or leaders that support are no longer our ally. No more drawing lines in the sand, no more consulting with corrupt international bodies. It's time to slap leather and draw. And I'd say that elections in Afghanistan, future elections in Iraq, and Libya's disarming are excellent evidence that this plan works.

And John Kerry? I can say a number of things, some based in fact, some strictly from my gut. I don't like this man. In many ways, he represents the things I hate most about politics. But even if I were to look at him strictly on his record, I still dislike him. We all know he served in Vietnam. For only four months, of course, because he turned some scratches into purple hearts and took advantage of a rule meant for seriously injured soldiers. After being discharged (and it seems that there might be an indication it was a dishonorable discharge), he turned against the men he fought with, accused them of horrible acts, and--as a civilian activist--met with enemy leaders. He was also a member of a group that discussed the assassination of American politicians, was present for the discussion, then lied about it. Then, he was a senator for 20 years, where he did...What? He doesn't mention much about his senatorial record. Some of you might know about the "Big Dig" and how well that has worked. (For those of you who don't, read that previous sentence with a lot of sarcasm--the Big Dig is one of the biggest money pits in American history.) With examples like that, I can't trust the guy on the economy, either.

Finally, I have to look at his idea for the future. He apparently has a lot of plans, but from the few concrete ideas he's managed to come out with, I can see that he is NOT the guy I want in charge of national security. It seems to me that his ideas about terrorism are much the same as those under the Clinton administration--the administration that for eight years followed policies that allowed terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda to flourish and led to the most brutal terrorist attack on American soil. I don't want four more years of that.

When you come right down to it, I'm as bad as the people the Cox & Forkum poke fun at, as bad as the "anybody but Bush" crowd. I'm an "anybody but Kerry" guy. I don't think he's Hitler, or anything like that. I just think it boils down to this: I'd rather go with the guy I've seen work for four years, as many ups and downs as he has had, than hand over the reigns to a complete unknown.