Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Musings - End of 2008 Edition

It's Monday time! It's Monday time! Everybody buy stocks and support the economy!


Shame on Israel for spontaneously deciding to go to war with Hamas for no reason. As a faithful New York Times subscriber, I am outraged that we would allow these people to kill innocent (and, for the most part, adorable) Palestinian Christians out of malice.

On an unrelated note, I do not know what propoganda is, and I am unsure of how to discern whether I have swallowed it whole. I went to Bennington College.

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At last, the worst franchise in the history of sports has no produced the worst team in the history of football. God bless you Detroit Lions, we knew you could do it... No, seriously, we all knew this was coming in our lifetimes. Believe me, there was no question whatsoever as to whether a Lions team would go winless in my lifetime.

I only wish Matt Millen had been around to see it.

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At least the owners of the Lions can rely on the preservation of their legacy through their namesake car company. Wait, the Lions are owned by Hazuki Toyota Jr., right? What? Ohhhhhh.....

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Seriously? Caroline Kennedy? This is the change we've been waiting for? A rich chick who can't even be bothered to vote? Granted, Kennedy is an Ivy League educated trust-fund baby from Manhattan who went to law school and has never had a real job, so she'll be a hit with the base of the Democratic party. In all respects, she is the anti-Palin.

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Screw this year... I'm ready for next year. Bring it on, Dick Clark...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Toast

This Christmas, I'd like to call attention to the real reason for the season. I'm not talking about presents, or Christmas trees, or the birth of some sort of religious figurehead. I'm not even talking about decorations, family, or food.

No, the reason for the season is the nebulous feeling of good tidings, laden with remorse. That feeling, that each Christmas will be more trifling and meaningless than the last consumes us, augered by constant overfeeding and the sadness of family, is common to all midwesterners.

So everyone raise a glass and remember... Like a fitful bout of chlamydia that has run it's course through our urine stream, the worst is nearly over.

Clink 'em and drink 'em folks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Condepenscion

Last night, the wife and I attended the wedding of a pair of notable socialites. Flowers, dresses and merriment. Agreeable dinner offerings. No big whoop.

Just as our post-prandial reverie was reaching it's zenith, our good cheer absconded by way of a lady whose taste in writing utensils vastly exceeded our own. We'll call her Parpenu...

After swinging by our table for a little ostensible chit-chat, Papenu got to the business at hand. She needed a pen, and did not have one.

To Parpenu's good fortune, my wife happened to have just the thing. She pulled from her purse a white ballpoint pen. Parpenu took the unadorned quill with a look of puzzlement. To admire her contortions, you would have thought my wife had handed her a bag of half-eaten pickle.

"Does it write?" She asked, quizzically.

No, you tap it against the wall three times to summon a !@#$ing scribe... I thought to myself, but had not the courage to speak.

The undercurrent of class distinction was rendered stark. Women of Parpenu's caliber are unaccustomed to the frippery of so-called "disposable" pens. But for her good graces, Parpenu would've rejected the thing on sight.

With a ladylike nod of her head, Parpenu vanished behind the storied marble columns of the Landmark center, away from our table of uninvited hand-srabbles. But the stain of our affront was clear. She came begging a sword, and we furnished a lowly pocket knife, compromising our collective dignity in the process.

Of course, Parpenu never returned our pen. In retrospect, it's probably a good thing we didn't give her a nice one...

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Very Important Apology...

Hello, fans. This is Don Knotts. Listen, the other day I came on this blog, makin' like I was Ghandi. Well, I'm no Ghandi, and I just wanted to apologize for any hurt feelings I might've caused.

Listen, I respect Ghandi, for everything he's done. So, whaddaya, say? Still friends? Got some room in your heart to forgibe ol' Donny?



Boom! Just kiddin' people. It's Ghandi. The real one.



Oh, you should've seen the look on your faces.

(chugs a 22 ounce mug of Strohs)

Now, I'm SUPERGHANDI!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Somewhere

Jim Wallis is throwing a bottle of scotch across the room.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Very Special Message

I'm Ghandi, dammit.



Get respectful. Peaceful resistance. Believe it. This is real, people. It's Ghandi time.



Awww... I'm just joshin'... It's me, Don Knotts. You all go back to doin' what you were doin'...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rich Cizik and the State of Christian Governmental Affairs

Rich Cizik, the former Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, has been asked to resign. Cizik, who made a name for himself by promoting increased evangelical concern for environmental causes (and rightly so) came under fire for his support of Barack Obama, and statements made in an NPR interview in favor of gay civil unions.

The liberal Christian blogosphere is spinning this as a sort of witch hunt, with James Dobson burning poor Rich at the stake. The Christian right, in turn, is calling this a victory for family values. It's neither. Rather, it's a loss for level-headed evangelical thinking on environmental issues.

First off, let me state that I agree with the NAE's decision regarding Cizik for two reasons:

1) On a purely professional level, the man was flaunting his job responsibilities. If the Vice President of a corporation went on the air to wax philosophical about the role of his company within the new economy, he'd be handed his walking papers, pronto. A live interview on National Public Radio is a highly inappropriate venue for pulling policy opinions out of your ass.

2) He has put his organization in a bind. By saying who he voted for, Cizik jeopardizes NAE's tax-exempt status, its donor base, and unification within the membership. Evangelicals are, to put it mildly, divided over the merits of Barack Obama as president.

It is also worth mentioning that the NAE has crafted a policy paper on civic engagement. Mr. Cizik was given enormous latitude in crafting the document, with the NAE defending him from conservative criticism. Advocating (albeit ambiguously, which again, see #1) civil unions in a national forum constitutes a breach of trust. Cizik's actions have proven the harshest criticisms to be prophetic.

As for Cizik himself, he has lost any respect I had for him. I took him at his word when he said he wanted to broaden the evangelical political discussion, even though the lexicon has simply become code for "I'm a Democrat, and you should be too."

Cizik's public comments are following a familiar trajectory. Begin by making reasonable arguments about stewardship of God's creation, and call on Christians to advocate for the poor, all the while maintaining "traditional" positions on gay marriage and abortion. Then, when nobody is watching (Christians don't listen to NPR, right?), casually do an about face on those issues as well. Then, declare that the Democrats have gotten all these issues right.

This bit of disingenuous semantic chicanery has been rightly exposed for what it is. Folks like Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, and Tony Campolo have pulled the wool over the eyes of evangelicals long enough.

The problem is, many thought Cizik was cut of a different cloth. Whereas the above-mentioned are, and pretty much always have been, political Democrats, Cizik claimed to be a conservative. Thus, in trying to bend the NAE toward liberal policies, he has taken his pro-environment, anti-poverty agenda with him.

Consider this response from Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council:

This is the risk of walking through the green door of environmentalism and global warming — you risk being blinded by the green light and losing your sense of direction.

Unhinged as that all is, it most certainly reflects a certain gut reaction shared by the NAEs millions-strong membership. By copping the rhetoric of the spiritual left, Cizik has facilitated the lazy intellectual connection between "going green" and becoming a pro-choice, pacifist, Obama-loving liberal.

Cizik has done an enormous disservice to moderate and right-leaning evangelicals who embrace a holistic approach to civic engagement. He should be ashamed of himself.

For the NAE, this should be a time of evaluation. Politics is a game of shorthand and semantics, and (as Cizik has shown) authenticity can be hard to come by. An organization that claims some 30+ million Christians cannot claim to be of one mind on any political issue.

Given all that this organization has endured, perhaps it is time to step away from the political sphere, leaving advocacy to the will and conscience of its individual members.

Rapid Fire Christmas Assault

This series of questions is making its way about the interwebs. Q & A below.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Gift bags. I hate wrapping presents.

2. Real tree or artificial?

Artificial. Real trees make me itchy.

3. When do you put up the tree?

My wife decorates. I come home one day, and it looks like our house has been raped by Macys.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Then, one day, it's like nothing ever happened.

5. Do you like eggnog?

The store-bought crap? No, it tastes like tongue depressors, with which it likely shares a generous portion of its chemical composition.

My own recipe (eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, milk, apricot brandy, light rum, cinnamon and nutmeg) is fabulous.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

Scrabble, Deluxe edition with the rotating board. Still use it to this day. Every time I see a "Triple Word Score", I think of Santa...

7. Hardest person to buy for?

My brother. He returns everything as soon as he reasons that he would not have bought it for himself with his own money.

8. Easiest person to buy for?

My mother-in-law. We ask what she wants, and then she buys it and wraps it. We just reimburse her. More people should be like this.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

Probably. To be honest, I haven't paid that close of attention. Incidentally, have you ever seen the nativity scenes with snowmen randomly interspersed? What the hell is that about? Really? Snowmen came to greet baby Jesus? That's what it's come to?

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

You can e-mail them? If I knew you could get away with THAT... As it stands, neither, but we don't have a baby or a dog.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

When I was eight, my mom decided to get educational on me. I got a chemistry set, a microscope, something called Capsella... I felt like kid Bill Murray in "Scrooged" when his dad buys him a steak.

Also, any time anyone ever made me a gift. Seriously, unless you are a software engineer, making something for your child says to them "I hate you". What is this, the Ukraine? Leave that business to the indirect relatives.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

A Christmas Story.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

About one hour and ten minutes after I begin shopping for Christmas. If it's the thought that counts, then I don't count. I refuse to overly concern myself with this holiday.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

If it's beer or wine, then yes (referring to the bottles, of course, not the contents).

16. Lights on the tree?

This isn't a question, unless you are asking my if I recycle the lights on the tree.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night. That is one unsingable Christmas song.

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Travel to South Dakota. That said, staying home for Thanksgiving was literally the best thing I have ever done.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Maybe. Blitzer, Donner, Vixen, Dancer, Prancer, Dasher, Blitzen... Is there a Blitzer and a Blitzen? Does Rudolph count as a core reindeer, or is he considered some sort of free agent signing. He's kind of like the Devin Hester of the reindeer.

If there is another one, I'll guess, I dunno... Conner?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

I would have to go upstairs. Star, hopefully...

Okay, now I'm curious...

Actually, it's a ribbon tied into a bow. Also, no nativity scene, but plenty of snowmen. Caroling, no less. I guess that's what they do.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Both.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year.

Contemporary Christian artists !@#$ing with Christmas carols. Gee, I thought Bing Crosby did a nice version of Silent Night. But now that I've heard it done with a syncopated guitar rhythm and a country twang, I understand the real meaning. Thanks and Merry Christmas, MercyMe.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?

I think you've figured out by now that I'm not an "ornament theme" kinda guy.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
The in-laws make strudels, which (in this case) are a doughy, croissant-meets-lefsa scenario, but deep fried. FTW.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

For Americans to finally examine their own consumerist sins, and realize that Christmas is about the simple things. That we say hi to a loved one, say an extra prayer to Jesus, and remember the reason for the season.

(swallowing the tablespoon of puke that has built up into my mouth)

Additionally, I wanna laptop.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Top Ten Fridays - Bailout Industries

Now that it appears the auto industry will just have to wait for their bailout, Congress can move onto other bailing out other industries. Below are a few of my humble suggestions.

10. The pen industry. ($20 billion)

Let's face it, everyone has, like, 60 pens. When the going gets tough, we cut back on our pen purchases. Fuzzy pens, pens that light up, pens with our name spelled incorrectly. All stuff that we desperately need, but cannot possibly afford in times of recession.

If the pen industry goes under, we will be forced to use the pens we already own. Once they dry up, we won't have anything to write with. Handwriting skills will plummet, which will cost Americans 1.5 millions jobs according to a study (conducted by Bic).

9. Japanese Auto manufacturers. ($34 billion)

No reason, other than to mess with the Unions. I would chip in for this just to see the look on their faces. Oh, and it will save 5 million jobs probably.

8. Cereal companies. ($300 billion)

When recessions hit, people buy generic cereals that taste just like the name brands they have come to enjoy. If Post and General Mills go under, what will the generics taste like? Nothing. They will be completely out of context. This will cost 14 million jobs.

7. College Football ($28 billion)

The criteria to receive a bailout include producing an outmoded, inferior product, a vague appeal to tradition, and a belligerent refusal to change. College football is the original Detroit automaker.

6. Walmart ($15.3 trillion)

Walmart is actually doing very well, but giving them trillions of dollars would make them better. If we give Walmart trillions of dollars, the only thing that can happen is that 50-60 million jobs will be created. That's what happens when governments give out money. Everybody wins!

5. Marketing firms ($50 billion)

And if you deign to disagree, I will make the reasonable assumption that you callously disrespect me. What's good for me is good for that nation. In short, I want money. Giving me money will create 1.4 million jobs.

4. Public Works Projects ($250 billion)

FDR did it. Therefore, it works. Beyond that, my history is fuzzy. Free jobs!

3. California ($8 trillion)

Wouldn't it be funny if a state with some of the richest people in the world came crawling to Washington, asking for a bailout? Wait, what? That's already happening? Is there such a thing as parody anymore?

2. Print media ($800 billion)

I am very comfortable with the idea of the state paying to sponsor media. From what I understand, this has worked well in other nations. Plus, it will save 30 or 40 million jobs, according to an article in the New York Times.

1. The government ($12.5 trillion)

Since when have we expected Congress to do plausible things?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Whither the cars?

There's lunacy afoot. At present, our congress is set to hand over $15 billion to the American automobile industry. This is the same auto industry that brought you the Cobalt and all things Pontiac.

Congress is making the decision to spend $50 of your money to prop up an industry that can't even figure out how to profit from the production of one of the most universally owned items in North America.

Of course, nobody wants to give GM money. Nobody does. At all. In fact, we've become so accustomed to Michigan being a den mother to the unemployed, that our eyes glaze over at the sight of blue collar workers trudging to the unemployment lines.

So here is the play. Play off the illusion that bankruptcy equals a production freeze (it doesn't, just ask Donald Trump). Pretend that a production freeze will literally cost everyone in America their jobs. Voila, you've made the case for a bailout.

Make screws? The failure of Hoffa Inc. will cost you your job. Make screwdrivers? Not if nobody is producing screws. Make movies? Not if all the screw and screwdriver manufacturers are out of work. You're a Manhattan socialite who has no employment, per se, but thrives on your family name? Well, you're probably fine, Senator.

This argument is utter nonsense.

Money isn't free, yah? Republicans are always remind you of this, and I'm no different. When you take $15 billion to keep the auto manufacturers afloat, thing happen that look suspiciously like ramifications.

In theory, everyone is chipping in $50 to help our age-old (emphasis on old) auto industry keep churning through a tough economy. In reality, your employer is paying more than ten times that much, while you chip in virtually nothing, thanks to our progressive tax code.

As such, when your employer is asked to pay several hundred dollars, they are forced to a decision. They can find the money by cutting CEO pay (not likely), or by cutting the general workforce (much more likely). When companies have money, they will invest it. When they don't, they won't.

The above paragraph is not polemic. It is not "voodoo economics". It is NOT debatable. It is empirically true. Thems the consequences. Anyone who pretends otherwise is either ignorant or lying to you.

As such, it is more than reasonable for you to ask where your money is going. If you ask the auto execs, and the UAW, they will tell you that you are investing in a game-changing automotive force that has learned from past mistakes, and is looking toward a new business model. If you look that their past mistakes, you realize that they don't learn from past mistakes.

Do you remember those President's Day sale ads from earlier in the year? The one's where an ostensibly-techno version of "Hail to the Chief" played as the Big Three advertised their entire product line? Wasn't that annoying? Did you watch those ads and think you'd like to buy into their vision? I sure as hell didn't.

And seriously, have you ever driven a Grand Prix? Only a North Korean peasant would call that thing a car.

American cars suck. They don't suck as much as they once did (I'd hold a Ford Focus up to any Japanese model, and it's half the price). But they still suck. They suck, not because American engineers are dumb, but because they are hamstrung.

At present, the big three are doling out paychecks to people who are no longer under their employ through something called a pension fund. The term "pension fund" is Union-speak, which, loosely translated, means "something nobody under the age of 45 will ever see".

Back in the Union heyday, when Toyota wasn't around to provide consumers with a sensible alternative to ugly American crap, the Union elite (aka The Mafia) had a stranglehold on the industry. They negotiated, on behalf of workers (and, of course, themselves) structured deals that were tantamount to a million golden parachutes.

As such, folks with no education to speak of could earn the equivalent of $30 an hour (adjusting for inflation) on an assembly line, plus overtime (which could be accrued without actually earning overtime, but don't get me started), and with a benefits package that you or I could only dream about, including the aforementioned pensions. As such, the average factory drone could expect to parlay a GED into a compensation package worth the equivalent of about $150k per year.

This situation was tenable until the precise moment at which competition reared its ugly head. Fast forward a few decades. Anyone with a modicum of sense buys Japanese, nobody wants to spend $26k on a Chevy Malibu, and now the UAW wants your money.

Should they get it? Of course not. A bailout simply takes money from organizations that have operated from a standpoint of integrity, and uses it to fulfill the promises made to organized crime/labor. The big three have proposed a restructuring plan that does not bear the lightest scrutiny.

You've read this in the papers, but the only solution is bankruptcy. At best. this will allow companies to extricate themselves from the sweetheart deals forged by the Hoffa clan, and to resume the business of making cars. At worst, it scuttles the ship, leaving the Japanese to take over the plant and offices that currently form the big three.

Either way, we ought not be enticed by the prospect of averting gloom and doom. Any industry that can only succeed via bailout should not exist. To think otherwise is to commit to socialism.

Don't be fooled, and stand up to the lunacy.

A scroll through the Outback Steakhouse menu

There is nothing I don't hate about Outback Steakhouse. From the contrivance of labelling distinctly American fare with cutesy Aussie-speak, to the fact that the food just plain sucks... I hate it. Things I hate make funny blog posts, yes? So I thought I'd take a scroll through the menu.

In order to access the menu, you have to insert your zip code. Has the restaurant somehow mastered the culinary dialects of each and every suburb in America? Why do I have to clear this hurdle?

The appetizer section offers something called "Kookaburra wings". A kookaburra is a bird that is native to Australia, and which looks not unlike a puffin. While the idea of consuming such a bird as an appetizer is intriguing, the wings in question are actually made from chickens. This is curious, since Australians have an actual nickname for chicken wings, which would have been entirely appropriate in this context, but I digress.

They refer to their crab cakes as "lump" crab cakes. I find this perplexing. The term "jumbo lump" refers to the exquisite muscles that connect to the swimming fins of the crab. There is no such thing as "lump" crab. If it's jumbo lump, why not say so, and impress the food snobs? If it's not (and, trust me, it's not) who are they fooling?

Under soups and salads, we find "walkabout soup". Does this mean it comes with a naked 14 year old girl floating in it? Also, the french onion soup features "world famous" onions. I am well aware of the connotations of this well-work piece of hyperbole, but how are Outback's onions any more famous than other onions? Onions are onions, by definition. Are they organic or something?

Their "favorites" section includes prime rib. Outback Steakhouse aside, does anyone know why prime rib is ignored by food critics? Many restaurants feature it prominently, and it tastes just fine, but gets no pub. What's the deal?

But I've veered off the path.

Also in the Favorites section, Outback's "No Rules Parmesan Pasta". The item features a handy link to the, um, rules. Reckless customers are given the option to adorn their parmesan pasta with chicken, scallops or shrimp, all for the low-low (and by low-low, I mean egregious) price of $17.

Aside from meat choices, customers may check a box labelled "no seasoning". Well, that's rebellion for you. "I'll take my pasta with chicken, and I'm playing without rules. So hold the seasonings, bitch!"

Most curious item on the menu? The "Chicken-Fried Chicken". That's so redundant, I felt compelled to read the description. Turns out it's just fried chicken. What if all people described things this way? "See you in an hour, honey, I'm going to car drive the car." Whacky Australians. We've sure got them pegged.

Apparently, you can spend $25 on a steak at this place. Also, you can drown infants. I mean, as long as were making bad decisions...

The "No Rules Outback Grillers" features a link referring me to the parmesan pasta. Apparently, the webmaster is as disrespectful of the rules as I am.

The tilapia is served with "pure lump" crab meat. This comes from the same fantasy land as the "lump" crab meat, but is nicer, cause it's under "entrees". Also, you are given that option to add on king crab for the low-low (see above) price of $12. Has anyone ever taken Outback up on this offer?

At least the sandwiches are cheap. Honestly, I think the bacon/burger/cheese ensemble is more in Outback's wheelehouse. There is a no-rules burger, but that again leads back to the rules governing the "no rules" pasta. Is this what they mean by pushing the "upsell"?

And besides, did you really think that a waitress would deny you your choice of toppings on your burger? Unless the waitress from Five Easy Pieces walks in, I'm pretty sure she'll give you whichever burger suits your imagination... I mean, so long as you don't ask for a good one.

The Coon Rapids menu offers "fresh seasonal veggies". What constitutes a fresh seasonal veggie in Minnesota, in winter? Rutabega? I'm just guessing here. They also have a "wedge salad". If this were the Onion AV club, I would call that the inevitable dash of pretension.

Onto the desserts section, which features the "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under". Are the good people at Outback aware of the fact that there is a popular male strip act with a similar name? Cause I am envisioning some despondent 52 year old ladies noshing on a stale brownie topped with whipped cream. Thunder indeed.

Seriously, though, we should try this place some time.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday Musings

I've seen filth that you wouldn't believe. I don't even want to talk about it. Let's muse.


I am a Christian, but I can fully understand why nobody takes Christians seriously. It's like there's a never-ending rainbow of Christian stupid the churns out frivolity like M&M's. The latest, from the religion that gave you Michael W. Smith and Christian coffee shops, is an environmentally friendly "Green Bible".

You know how some bibles have Christ's teaching in red letters? This one has all God's words about taking care of creation in green! And what is green about reproducing a 1,000+ page text that virtually everyone owns, modifying only the font color of 0.1% of it? Wouldn't its be greener to achieve the same effect with, I dunno, a website and a highlighter?

Don't ask us. We're Christians, and unaccountable to reason. For !@#$'s sake...

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Let's see, the state of Indiana has banned smiling in drivers license photos, and our congress is set to dispense $15 billion to Hoffa Inc...

Here's a hint. If you are expecting government to navigate a solution to this present predicament, you are waiting for Godot, my friend.

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On the license thing, apparently the goal is to help facial recognition software compare new photos to old ones on file. But what if you were smiling in the last photo? I do get amusement from the idea that everyone will someday be required to maintain the same facial expression in all photography under the guise of preventing identity theft. Also, no whining about your chocolate rations.

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This, from the comment thread on the aforementioned story...

Phillip: Would you really have anything to smile about if you lived in Indiana?

John: Yes, you could be living in Michigan.

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Conservatives seem relieved that Obama is nominating relatively moderate Clinton retreads to his cabinet. Some thoughts on that. First, those folks never had to deal with a recession. Second, their ineptitude w/r/t terrorism gave us two attacks on the World Trade Center (spare me the revelation that the latter attack happened during the Bush administration).

I suppose I can take solace in the fact that Obama at least recognizes that he can't govern as an unabashed radical and still get re-elected. Nonetheless, it is easier to shepherd left-wing policies to fruition with a centrist poker face. Given the willingness of Republicans to devour feces, I am not optimistic that the party is ready to present a united front anytime soon.

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That said, Obama should be careful what he wishes for with Shinseki. The left no doubt considers this vindication for a true hero who stood up to the Bush administration on the war. The reality is that Shinseki grandstanded and allowed falsehoods to become hagiography. Such offenses have a way of repeating themselves. Just sayin'...

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Blue Ridge Mountains is my favorite song right now. Neither here nor there, but do take a gander at the Fleet Foxes self-titled album.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Movie igniter

We've all been there. We've rented a high-quality, oscar-worthy film, only to have our viewing companion lose interest midway through. Why? Because it's boooooooring.

Let's face it, themes of sexual repression and pastiche don't appeal to everyone. For that someone in your live who demands more gusto from their cinematic experience, I have a solution. The Movie Igniter (TMI) takes your conventional Weinstein Oscar preener, and infuses it with a direct injection of hot action.

Movei igniter films are just like regular movies, with a twist. During the "talkie" parts, TMI edits in a scene of a noun-object (e.g. building, plane, barrel full of bras) followed by a quick one-liner from Samuel L. Jackson, who narrowly escapes the wreckage.

Examples:

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

Sara Goldfarb: What have I got Harry, hm? Why should I even make the bed, or wash the dishes? I do them, but why should I? I'm alone. Your father's gone, you're gone. I got no one to care for. What have I got, Harry?

CUT TO: An oil refinery explosion. Samuel L. Jackson narrowly escapes the wreckage.

Samuel L. Jackson: Boom shakalaka!

REMAINS OF THE DAY

Lewis: You are, all of you, amateurs. And international affairs should never be run by gentlemen amateurs. Do you have any idea of what sort of place the world is becoming all around you?

CUT TO: A tank explosion. Samuel L. Jackson narrowly escapes the wreckage.

Samuel L. Jackson: Happy birthday from hell!

SCHINDLER'S LIST

Itzhak Stern: It's Hebrew, it's from the Talmud. It says, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."

CUT TO: An house explosion. Samuel L. Jackson narrowly escapes the wreckage.

Samuel L. Jackson: I'm gettin' to old for this s---!

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See what I mean! Now, everyone can enjoy films that are worth making. I hear this feature comes standard on blu-ray.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's about time

Caught this headline on CNN:

"Guns N' Roses lashes out at Dr. Pepper"

Finally, a band that speaks for all of us.

Now, maybe Pearl Jam can finally take down the bastards at Nabisco.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Friday Blackness

On Friday, I engaged in that grand old tradition. After sucking down a 7 lb. ham in it's entirety (accompanied by a full gallon of camembert-infused mashed potatoes), I set out to conquer that grand sweaty leviathan of consumerism.

I owned Black Friday, people.

At midnight, armed with a machete and a cansiter of neuro-toxin, I made my way to Walmart. I lunged through the crowd of miscreants, many of whom had been waiting since mid-October for a reasonably priced kitchen stand mixer. Bellering like Sean Penn trying to earn an oscar nomination, I forced my way to the front of the line, pounding my machete against the glass in rhythm with my pulsing heartbeat.

At 3am, it was go time. The doors opened, and we made short work of the lackey door attendants. I immediately ran to the cookware section to claim my prize, a heavily discounted quesadilla maker.



Apparently, there were also inexpensive electronics. I dunno, I didn't read the circular.

From there, it was a quick jaunt to Herberger's, where I encountered a single mother of four who had her eye on a set of Isotoner slippers. Thinking quickly, I grabbed a set of Rachel Ray brand cooking shears and plunged them into the woman's neck.

On closer inspection, I realized that the slippers were not for me.



I then hit up Arby's, which was featuring a 5 roast beef sandwiches for $5 deal. I pepper-sprayed my way through the surprisingly short line, only to find that Arby's was still serving breakfast. Also, apparently, this special pretty much goes on year-round. If you are a six year old girl, and got pepper sprayed at the Arby's in Bloomington the day after Thanksgiving, I apologize. Santa will hook you up.

From there, I biked to the Kohls Eden Prairie Center where, to my surprise, the Fox 9 Morning News team had set up camp. I ran into Kohls, and purchased four half-price Roomba's and a shiatsu massage pad in a well-intentioned, though misguided, attempt to make M.A. Rosko my queen. Alas, she remains under the power Keith Marler's satanic love spells. But hey, cheap Roombas.



My antics did get me on TV, though. My wife is probably proud of me. Also, I went to Radio Shack and got some random alarm clock that goes, like, peyoooooo.