Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's So Hard To Get Into The Military

Mitt Romney is basically an affable fellow. I know this is the case because he is willing to agree with whatever crowd surrounds him at the moment, no matter what they believe in. If he's in Massachussetts, gay marriage isn't so bad. If he's in South Carolina, he hopes gays aren't even allowed to touch each other. Mitt is not one to rock the boat!

At the California Republican debate last night, Mitt, going along with war veteran John McCain remarked, "One of the two great regrets I have in life is I didn't serve in the military."

But alas, it was not to be for poor Mitt. If you, like him, were born in 1947, turned 18 in 1965 and finished college in 1969, it was just so, so hard to get into the military. The armed forces were incredibly selective during the Vietnam War, accepting only those that they drafted, those that signed up and those who committed petty crimes and were given a choice between jail and the service.

Young, strapping Mitt was ready to go! But then the Mormon Church secured him a deferment as a Mormon missionary. He had to go France! Totally unfair! Sure, France colonized Vietnam and maybe created a lot of situations that led to the Vietnam War, but that's hardly being in the shit, man.

France totally sucked for Romney, too. Not only did he not win over a single convert among those wine-chugging atheists, he pined for the jungle. "I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam." It's just so ironic, you know? Here's Mitt in France wishing he could be in Vietnam, and yet every single American troop in Vietnam was wishing they could be in the French countryside. Crazy! So crazy!

Mitt came home in 1969 and his bad luck just didn't stop. Even though Vietnam lasted until 1975, he had such a high draft lottery number that he never got called. And Google Maps hadn't been invented yet, so he couldn't even find a U.S. Army recruitment office so he could go sign up for a hitch!

It's one of his life's great regrets, never serving in the military. Too bad the guy just couldn't catch a break for ten years.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ah, That's Too Bad

Well, Rudy gave it his best shot but he came up short. Way, way, way short. I guess his platform of Bomb The Fuck Out Of The Middle East just never caught on with checkbook voters. Or soccer moms. Or NASCAR dads. Or Latinos. Or the sane.

So what's next for the most arrogant lisper in the world? I guess he'll have to go back to his old job. Giving speeches to various groups and charging $50,000 a pop. Tough break, kid.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Am-Scray, Sharky Boy!

I have a television at work as part of my job. Since it's hooked up to the FOX satellite, I get Fox Movie Channel and I've taken to watching it during the day.

In the movie I'm watching, I just saw a scuba diving Frank Sinatra pull a knife on a shark. I swear that is true. He did not end up singing to the shark. It is not that kind of movie. Although the soundtrack could be called swinging. Perhaps even groovy.

While underwater, I thought Frank came across one of those wooden naked lady carvings that used to be on pirate ships, but subsequent research showed that it was an actual naked lady. But dead.

Sinatra plays a private dick in this movie. His name is Tony Rome. Possibly because Giacomo Spaghetti was too ethnic. I am guessing that Tony Rome is having a tough time coming to grips with the swinging '60s. He is talking to a man in a turtleneck, even though Tony Rome's own tie is impeccably knotted and pushed all the way up. The man in the turtleneck is clearly gay and just called Tony Rome "sweetie". This is most certainly creating conflict.

In an earlier scene, a large man knocked Tony Rome to the ground. I am willing to bet that after shooting wrapped that day, Sinatra had his goon work that guy over just to remind him who is actually in charge in this world. It did not matter to Frank Sinatra that the man was only acting earlier. He still knocked him to the ground.

Tony Rome's convertible has primer and rust on it. Times must be tough for Tony Rome. Although he just helped a bosomy woman out of a nice pool and took her inside for some questioning. Maybe things are starting to turn around for Tony Rome. The woman is played by Raquel Welch.

The woman Tony Rome was questioning just went upstairs to call somebody. A man who is possibly a crime boss. He is at least tough for sure. The man promised her that he would come right over to deal with this Tony Rome character. Tony Rome maybe thought he was in for a different kind of pounding.

The man is here and he brought the putter he was puttering around with when Raquel Welch called. Tony Rome is about to look worse than his convertible. The man with the putter, Al, has doctor's orders these day to not get mad. However, he still wants to go for a private walk with Tony Rome.

It was more aethestically pleasing when large goons wore slim suits instead of shiny track suits. That is an observation. Al has taken Tony Rome to the practice putting green where Al just was. So it seems that Raquel Welch called Al from the house when he was in the backyard. She used a phone for this, not the window. That is first class, all the way.

Al has instructed Tony Rome to stay away from Raquel Welch, and also the comely, anonymous girl that was in the backyard. Back in the hotel room where Tony Rome was knocked down earlier, a girl is now dead. Her eyes are still open. The killer's reflection can not be seen in her pupils, dispelling a popular myth. The cops have questions. Tony Rome does not have answers.

Tony Rome is now staying on a houseboat. He keeps his ties in the icebox. Tony Rome does not eat food. Tony Rome has gone to a burlesque house. He wants to talk to one of the girls, who is actually an undercover male cop. Tony Rome asks the cop about Waldo Gronsky. He wants to know where Gronsky hangs his hat. The cop warns Tony Rome that Gronsky is a tough character and also Russian. Russians are crazy, this is a known fact.

Wait. It turns out that the dead girl and site of Tony Rome's knocking down was not a hotel. It was a different houseboat. I will start paying closer attention. Tony Rome was threatening a guy with a gun. Then another guy with a gun came in and ordered Tony Rome to "put the heater on the table". Now another man with a gun has come in. Now Tony Rome does not have his gun. Things are looking bad for Tony Rome.

The man Tony Rome was threatening originally is actually on his side. He starts a fight and the other two men with guns run off. Tony Rome is safe. Except now the cops are here. The big, threatened man started a fight with the cops, but it didn't go as well. I just realized this is the same big man that knocked down Tony Rome earlier. He is really big.

Tony Rome has returned to the club owned by the gay man in a turtleneck. He is now wearing a different turtleneck. He is playing pool with another man. That is not a metaphor. The turtleneck man is still refusing to talk to Tony Rome and still calling him effeminate nicknames. Tony Rome thinks this guy killed that dame. The turtleneck man's goon, Seymour, is threatening Tony Rome. While holding a cue ball, Tony Rome punched Seymour. He fell to the ground and that was that.

Tony Rome is now at the horsetrack. He is not afraid of seedy places or people. He is meeting Raquel Welch in a box. A box in the stands. Tony Rome's horse won.

There is a late night craps game at a mortuary. Not with the interns. With men in suits and women in gowns. Tony Rome is there, laying on top of a casket, relaxing. This is either foreshadowing or symbolism. It's something. The craps game is now over.

Back on the houseboat, Tony Rome and Raquel Welch are going to drink some bourbon. They do. Raquel Welch hires Tony Rome to investigate who is threatening her. I believe this is Tony Rome's third client of the film. Hopefully when he collects on these bills, he can get his car repainted. Maybe not, because when Tony Rome challenged Raquel Welch on her connections to Waldo Gronsky, she called him a bastard and most likely elected not to hire him.

Tony Rome is now questioning a man who is painting nudes using a live model. The model needs to go the bathroom, but the artist won't allow her to. She really needs to go. Tony Rome finally gives her permission to go. He is a man of the people.

Tony Rome is now visiting his sister and nephew. He would never have his own kids, but he likes kids. He knows they like presents, like new baseball gloves. Tony Rome remembered that you throw righty. Tony Rome is playing some catch with his nephew, but with an invisible baseball. Tony Rome only gives you one present at a time, you rascal. Tony Rome's own brother is about to take him into the cops about these murders. At least until he's punched in the face. Now there is a car chase.

I can say with absolutely certainty that they don't make them like this any more.

Voting Against Yourself

The Democrats have faced a conundrum since 1960. Polls and studies show that a solid majority - around 60-65% - of Americans support Democratic stances on numerous economic and social issues. And yet they struggle to win elections because the GOP have successfully parlayed social wedge issues like abortion into votes time and time again.

In Monday's Los Angeles Times, there was a typical feet on the ground voter profile article from Florida. But this one article perfectly summarized the entire Democratic/Republican schism and the self-perpetuating myths the Republicans have successfully cultivated.

The article profiled Charles and Rhoda Harding, pawn shop owners from Pensacola, Florida. Basically, times are remarkably bad for them after eight years of Republican rule, and yet the only decision they're struggling with in this election is which Republican to vote for in the primary. So far they're leaning toward Huckabee because "I like the way he sounds," and he seems to be "one of us".

This would be an apt time to point out that these are the exact same comments people made about Bush in 2000. That didn't exactly work out.

In fairness, Rhoda says she doesn't want another eight years of the Clintons, but after voting for Bush twice, doesn't want another eight years of him, either. So we can probably rule Giuliani out of their mix, since he's to the right of Bush these days.

Except...their daughter Linda supports Guiliani because of his performance on September 11th.

This would be an apt time to point that the NYFD and NYPD hate Guiliani because of his performance on September 11th and afterward.

Charles and Rhoda say they're disgusted by the open-ended Iraq war, so let's cross McCain off of their list. After all, he's flippantly remarked that we could be in Iraq another 10 to 100 years. That seems pretty open-ended.

Except...Charles' sister Margaret supports McCain because of his history and experience. Such as, his history of consistently supporting the Iraq war.

Charles and Rhoda are also disappointed by the government's failure to help rebuild Florida after it was crushed by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. They also claim to believe in limited government, and this is where we officially fall into a logic-free vortex.

When the roof was blown off of their pawn shop, the Hardings' insurance company only paid half of the cost of repairing the roof and the government rejected them entirely when they applied for federal assistance. That is some limited government.

This would be an apt time to point out that although Rhoda doesn't want eight more years of the Clintons, it is widely accepted that FEMA was the most efficient, most productive and most helpful in the agency's history between 1992 and 2000. Those were, um, the Clinton years. But Bush, who also believes in limited government, basically stripped FEMA of its funding and usefulness and part of the GOP goal of smaller federal agencies.

If you aren't suitably depressed and baffled yet, let's discuss the Hardings' son, Ronnie. Last year, he began suffering from fatigue, but refused to see a doctor because the family couldn't afford the bills. He died of leukemia in July, but not before the Hardings rang up $100,000 in hospital charges. The government gave them $250 to help pay for the cremation. Rhoda cynically observed, "That's what you're worth here in America."

Well, yes, that is what you're worth to Republicans. Here is a family that needs Democratic leadership in almost every sense of their lives. To help repair their business, to help them out of debt, to help cover their medical expenses, and yet their only question is which Republican to vote for. They also lean toward Huckabee because Rhoda says his modest upbringing will make him sympathetic to people like the Hardings.

This would be an apt time to point out that fiscal Republicans hate Huckabee because he is a firm believer in government spending on social programs and concerns. He doesn't believe in limited government at all. He believes government has a responsibility to help the less fortunate when they're down and out. Just like Jesus does. And also a Democrat.

The Hardings don't need to choose between Huckabee or McCain or Guiliani or Romney. they need to choose between Obama and Clinton. Hell, they really should be taking a long, hard look at Edwards.

The Democrats can make FEMA helpful again so when the next hurricane blows through, the Hardings can get their roof back. The Democrats can work toward universal health coverage or insurance assistance so the Hardings don't have to choose between solvency and death. The Democrats can get us out of Iraq if the Republicans stop obstructing them.

This is not meant to pick on one family in a key voting state. I am positive that the Hardings are lovely people, as nice as could be and would help a neighbor who needed it. The thing is, this family is a single snapshot that's indicative of at least half of Republican voters. People who, over the last 40 years, have voted directly against their own interests. And eventually you reap what you sow. You end up with a government that's more interested in tax cuts than in helping you out.

Unless you're on the board of directors of an oil company, or your name has the suffix The Third, you should not be voting Republican. Because when the economy takes its eventual downturn, like it always does under Republican leadership, you're going to be down and out. And believers in limited government aren't going to be there to help you.

The Republicans are basically a terrible restaurant with fantastic advertising. You've been there before, you know the food is terrible, you know it's going to hurt your stomach...but you can just resist that snappy jingle.

Here is one American family that by every conceivable metric should be voting Democratic, and is not even considering it. They prefer the Republican candidate that has the most liberal social programs, despite the fact that they believe in limited government.

This would be an apt time to point out that the federal government under Bush grew to a size never before seen.

This would be an apt time to point out that federal spending - deficit spending - is higher today than any time since the, ahem, Reagan years.

This would be an apt time to point out it's time to stop criticizing Democrats for losing seemingly winnable elections. Because if anybody on Earth can explain why the Hardings continue to believe in Republican myths while completely ignoring the facts at hand and will again vote against their own interest, I am simply dying to hear it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Watched Babel This Weekend

Babel is a powerful film with a powerful message. Dramatic, tense, gripping and it really makes you think. The message of Babel, a lesson that we could all stand to learn, is that it doesn't matter who you are...it doesn't matter where you live...it doesn't matter how much money you have...it doesn't matter what you look like...it doesn't matter what language you speak...

...life fucking sucks.

And something mind-blowingly terrible is going to happen to you. Has something mind-blowingly terrible happened to you? No? I think you mean no, not yet. Because your card is going to pulled one day, sucka.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Who Did What Now?

After claiming him off of waivers the other day, the Capitals tried to assign Kris Beech to Hershey and the Penguins pounced! We made a waiver claim and Kris Beech is now (once again) a Penguin. We even kept #16 free for him in case he ever returned. No wait, we gave it to Eric Christensen. Well, he can either have 61 or add 1 and 6 to get to 7.

So after all of this time, the Penguins have Kris Beech, the Capitals traded Jagr to New York for Anson Carter and Washington still had to pay $20 million of his contract.

We won! We won the Jagr trade! Huzzah!

Although, had I known the travails of Kris Beech were going to involve so many posts and updates, I never would've gotten involved in the first place.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fag Hag Is Being Retired

What I'm told from my friends in the community is that they have grown tired of the term fag hag to describe the usually chubby straight woman friend of a gay man. Thus, the gays are now accepting submissions for a new nomenclature. If you have one you think is particularly good, email them at nomorefaghags@gay.com.

The leader in my own personal clubhouse is dicklicker sidekick.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flyers Coach John Stevens Is Out Of His Goddamn Mind

Look, I hate the Flyers. I just hate them so much. That is the proper feeling to have unless you live inside the Philadelphia city limits or you are dim of wit. (NOTE: These are not mutually exclusive characteristics.)

And everybody knows the rule of thumb is if you can see a guy's numbers, you don't hit him into the boards. Not only could Georges Laraque see Steve Downie's numbers last night, he could count the stitches holding them on. Fine. Laraque boarded Downie and Downie's neck accordioned like Wile E. Coyote's. Laraque got ejected and Downie recovered in time to fight Ryan Stone later in the game.

But it's a little hard to argue that Downie is a guy who deserves much respect on the ice. The guy is basically a scourge, even by the remarkably low standards the Flyers have set for themselves.

So Laraque got Downie with 2.3 seconds left in the period. The Flyers' coach, a level-headed man of thought and reason, then had a conversation with Flyer goon (redundant, I know) Riley Cote and sent him out on the ice. Cote isn't exactly known for winning draws to the backhand. If you don't follow hockey, you probably don't know what that means. Of course, if you don't follow hockey you don't know what any of this means, but I don't have time to go chasing you down that rabbit hole right now. Let's just say that Riley Cote isn't very useful with his stick unless he's hitting people with it.

We can't exactly be certain what Stevens told his young charge, but it must've been something along the lines of, "There are only 2.3 seconds left in the period, so if you want to fight somebody, you'd better hurry." The puck was dropped, Cote slashed Ryan Malone, tried to goad him into fisticuffs, failed and then skated off to the locker room with his dignity and a 10-minute penalty for misconduct.

The Flyers haven't exactly been keeping it clean this year. Nobody is safe out there with them. They've had five guys suspended so far this year and we're just now heading into the All Star break. With all of this in mind, you'd think after the game a contrite John Stevens would've said something like, "Wow, I understand why everybody is getting so upset with us. We're going to be a lot more careful out there from now on!"

Instead, he remarked, "He knew what he was doing. That's an extremely dangerous play and the league has obviously dealt with this enough this year that they know what they are doing."

Yeah, the league has dealt with this a lot this year! At least five times, you dick! I mean, I thought I'd find a couple of video clips to augment my argument. With all of the links in here, YouTube's net worth is going to increase 6% tomorrow. Stevens' outrage at somebody being hit from behind reaches the irony levels of Dick Cheney being waterboarded live on FOX News. "Oh, NOW I see what the fuss is all about!"

Stevens is asking the league to suspend Laraque. Suspend him? They should give him a $15,000 bonus! The thing I hate most of all is this feeling of helplessness. The fear that the Flyers won't get their due. At least not until the first round of the playoffs when they make their usual exit. I guess I can wait. And I don't know what will happen the next time the Penguins and Flyers play, but I do know that we won't be trading Laraque out of the conference in between.

I Now Know What It's Like To Be A Woman

First off, let me say that I've looked down a lot of shirts in my day. I've looked down my share, your share and that's guy's share. My gaze is like water. You leave even the tiniest little crack open and my eyes are busting right through. You wear something low-cut and forget it. My eyes will barely budge. I go into a fugue state and will basically agree to anything. Man, I love those things.

So yesterday, I'm sitting at my desk and Nick was chatting me up about something or other. Being achy and tired, I went into a monster stretch. My shirt went up a bit, my jeans went down a bit and Nick's eyeline went straight south. About ten minutes later, I finally realized what he was looking at. My love trail! My money line! My lower abdominal flesh! My pubis! My bare, taut flesh!

I was ogled! And you know what? It felt great! Uplifting. Invigorating. A real confidence boost. So ladies, I will continue to compliment you by looking down your shirts every chance I get.

Hey Jesus, Just A Friendly Reminder

Hey Jesus, what's cracking? Just wanted to fire you a quick note reminding you that you only have one more chance to make the Patriots lose. I know you're familiar with American football because you have so many fans in the league, but I still want to make it clear that if the AFC loses the Pro Bowl, that doesn't count. Especially because Tom Brady might skip the thing. Speaking of which, if he does skip it, he'll probably lie about an injury to get out of his responsibilities, and I know you don't dig lying too much.

Knowing you're a wise man, I'm digging your strategy of having the Patriots lose in the Super Bowl, one of the biggest stages in the world. That way, more people will receive your message that if you cheat with human growth hormone like Rodney Harrison, or covet your neighbor's wife like Bill Belichick or swell up with too much pride like the whole franchise, you cannot prosper. You always have been one step ahead, Jesus.

A lot of people think you're laying the groundwork with Tom Brady's ankle sprain. That way, you can tweak it next Sunday and people won't even notice your handiwork. I think this is unlikely, though, because I know for a stone cold fact that Matt Cassel is praying every second of every day that Brady doesn't get hurt.

Oh, did you know that New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is a devout Christian? Of course you did. Maybe you'd like to reward him for his years of selfless dedication.

All right, dude, I'll let you go. I know your plate is full. Can't wait to see what you do next week!

Best,

MK

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Life Comes Full Circle

The Capitals claimed Kris Beech off of waivers today.

Icarus Thompson

One day in the distant future, High School Abby will come home with a social studies project. She'll say, "Dad, do you remember what the 2008 Fred Thompson Presidential campaign was like? I have to write a paper on it."

And I'll say, "Do I remember? I'll never forget it! How long is your paper supposed to be? I hope at least ten pages, because we have a lot to cover!"

If an eagle was riding a rocket ship and it blasted through a rainbow at high noon, that still wouldn't be as majestic and bright a sight as the Fred Thompson Presidential campaign. But sometimes when a candle burns too brightly, it doesn't stick around very long.

It's nothing short of tragedy to have such an energetic and monumentous campaign chopped down in the prime of its life. But I guess sometimes it's better to burn out than fade away. The king is gone, but he's not forgotten.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Update

The Canucks just waived Kris Beech.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Because Mark Madden Is Fat And An Idiot...

If you don't live in Pittsburgh, you probably don't know who Mark Madden is. You should be congratulated for that, but now I have to explain who he is. Madden is the local sports radio blowhard. He is fat and remarkably unattractive, even by the low standards of sports radio. He once had a heart attack at a rec league deckhockey game. Mind you, he wasn't actually playing. He was coaching. Coaching! You may think that these are cruel and unnecessary descriptors, but a college-level English lit professor would compliment me for painting such a rich and layered character description.

If most people think one thing, Madden automatically thinks the other. He revels in taking on Pittsburgh's sacred cows, having bashed Jerome Bettis, Myron Cope and the Rooney family, among others. Why? Because he's so edgy and out there. Nobody is quite sure what Madden actually likes because his show is only three hours long and he never has time to get around to that stuff. It is assumed that he likes hockey and football in principal, but not the Penguins or Steelers or NHL or NFL. He just like the general concept of these sports.

So...with Sidney Crosby out 6-8 weeks and Evgeni Malkin skating like the best player in the league, I want to cut Madden off at the pass and shoot down his budding argument before it even gets off the ground. We should not trade Crosby so that we can re-sign Malkin.

If he doesn't do it tomorrow, he'll do it Friday after Malkin puts up another three points on the Flyers. He'll imagine that the Ducks are willing to trade Francois Beauchemin, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and two picks for Crosby. Then we'll sign Malkin for $9 million a year. This will make sense because Malkin is more skilled and Crosby is maybe a bit overrated. Then the phone lines will explode and Madden will hold firm in his belief and say something like "Crosby doesn't score enough goals!" as if that's some sort of evidence and he'll feel that because 99% of the world disagrees with him at all times, he sees the world on a higher plane than we do. We just don't get it. We don't see things like he sees them. Then he will go home and eat some nachos and figure out a new contrarian opinion for tomorrow.

I'm on to you, boy! I know your game. It is a simple game for feeble-minded people. The type of people who listen to sports radio and actually call in.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Canadian Craziness

As one of 15 Americans who subscribes to DirecTV's Center Ice package, I get a few perks: A personal phone call from Gary Bettman, an IRS deduction for a charitable contribution and access to Canadian broadcasts.

That last one comes with a subset of additional benefits: Announcers who know what they're talking about and Canadian commercials. All Canadian commercials can be broken down into five categories.

- Beer ads
- Ads featuring kids playing in the snow
- Ads for Tim Horton's
- Ultra low grade ads for local businesses like Dunphy's, the official storage shed store of Prince Edward's Island
- Fast food ads

And because Canadian law apparently features a truth in advertising clause, you can't just say "cheese", you have to say "processed cheese". And because it's in Canada, you can't just say, "processed", you have to say "PROE-cessed."

"We take a 150-gram all-beef patty, top it with proe-cessed cheese and our special chipotle mayonnaise!"

Sounds awesome! I'd better log on to mcdonalds.ca to find a location near me!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

If You Make This Happen, Jesus, I Will Believe In You

Lord knows, Jesus, that I haven't asked you for anything before. So you know this isn't going to turn into a regular thing where I'm bugging you every week asking for a lucky scratch and win ticket or begging you to make sure my car doesn't run out of gas before I get home.

I also know that you work in mysterious ways. Sometimes you let innocent believers die in a hurricane. Sometimes you let crooked preachers become millionaires. Your works are hard to understand and that's been well-documented, so let's not tread old boards.

Furthermore, I know you're not really keen on these quid pro quo agreements. When you were alive in a humanly fashion, people would always ask you to perform various magic tricks and you always refused. People either had to accept you or not. I grok that. It makes sense to me.

But I'm desperate here, Jesus. Yes, I know you're probably sick of that line by now, but I'm so desperate that I can't really think of an original entreaty. So here goes. I need you to tune out all of the other pleas for just a second and make sure you roger this one loud and clear.

Jesus, I need you to make sure the New England Patriots don't win the Super Bowl. You can have them lose this week, you can have them lose in the Super Bowl. I don't want to get bogged down in the details. At this point, I only care about the results.

From what I hear, you're big into American sports and you have a hand in deciding most games. How you pick one team over the other, I really don't know. At this point, I honestly don't care. I don't even care how you make the Patriots lose. If you want to be sneaky about it, have Tom Brady get into a car accident tomorrow and break his leg. If you want to be obvious about it, continually knock Brady's passes out of the sky and into the arms of defenders. It's up to you, Jesus. You're the power broker here and I won't tell you how to do your job.

The Chargers, Packers and Giants are all laden with Christians. They hate playing on Sundays. Tom Brady had a bastard child out of wedlock. I even think the Patriots have some Jews on their team. Koppen, that's Jewish, right? Hochstein is for sure. That sounds like a pawn shop in Jerusalem. And Bill Belichick believes only in his own abilities. He is also an adulterer and because the woman that he stole is named Sharon Shenocca from New Jersey, she is probably Catholic. She most likely married her ex-husband Vincent in a Catholic church. In your house, under a wooden recreation of your crucified body. Bill Belichick proceeded to pee on the holy union you yourself approved.

I need you, Jesus! I'm down on my knees here! (You know I'm not, but whatever) I'm sure right now you're thinking, "Why in Christ should I help this joker?" Well, Jesus, I have as silver tongue as persuasive as Lucifer himself. Most people say you shouldn't talk politics or religion because you can't change a person's mind. But Jesus, trust me, I am so glib that I am constantly talking people out of religion. I personally have driven 15 people away from the church in my day, solely with the power of my words. If you make the Patriots lose, I promise to stop doing this.

But if you don't want to reward me, that's fine. I understand. So how about just punishing Patriots fans instead? These are maybe the most unbearable people in the entire country. When their teams lose, it's the greatest tragedy in American sports history. When their teams win, they're underrated and suffer from a lack of respect. Even though Tom Brady became the first active player to do the coin flip at Super Bowl XL, nobody respects him. Hardly any sportswriters or talking heads ever talk about how good Brady and the Patriots are.

These are terrible people, Jesus, and they need to be smote. They
write articles about their team that even Chinese state media censors would reject as too over the top.

Please, Jesus, please. Stick it up their collective asses. Just this one time! I'm begging you, Jesus!

Yours in Christ,

Michael Krogmann

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Uh...

As part of his very well-thought out and highly-received Presidential campaign, Rudy Giuliani hired Norman Podhoretz as his foreign policy advisor. Podhoretz is is on record as saying, "I pray that we bomb Iran." Considering that Podhoretz prays to the vengeful, Old Testament God and not that hippie, New Testament peacenik, Jesus, that is one prayer that has a chance of being answered.

You know, people always complain that politicians are either too vague on the campaign trail or make promises that they end up not keeping once in office. Personally, I think it's a refreshing change of pace to know that if Guiliani is elected President, we most definitely will bomb Iran.

Recently, Podhoretz opined in an interview that, "By any reasonable historical standard," Iraq and Afghanistan have been an enormous success for the U.S. "If you look at what has happened in three or four years in Afghanistan or Iraq, " he says, "it's not perfect, it's not over, but enormous strides have been made, again, certainly by comparison with the time it took to win victories in prior wars."

At first, I was confused. The Civil War took four years, as did World War II. We're about to start our fifth year in Iraq and we'll certainly be there for a sixth. And then it hit me. According to recent estimates, 151,000 Iraqis have died since the US invasion, and that's more than in the last 10 years of Saddam's rule.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban is back in power and opium production is at an all-time high. Plus, we've spent more money on these two invasions than we have in any other war.

Podhoretz is right! These are two runaway successes!

A guy who thinks 9/11 happened yesterday being advised by a man who prays people die. Just the team America needs to lead us into the 13th century!

The Word Of The Day

A few years ago, we were on a multi-city tour for work. In the second to last town, I remarked that this was our penultimate stop. Later on that evening, Mark wanted to join in the fun and told somebody else that this was our pentangelum stop.

I was lost, mainly because that is not a real word. It's a flaw to use an incorrect word, but it's a skill to invent new words whole cloth. Not wanting to lose pentangelum to the ether, we decided to craft a definition for it.

pen-tan-ge-lum [pen-tan-GEH-lum] - noun
Something that is almost impossible, but not quite.

Related forms
pen-tan-ge-leous - adj.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It Is Time To Stop Booing Jaromir Jagr

You know what? You know what? I think people have forgotten that Jaromir is an anagram of Mario, Jr.

There's been a curious development in the NHL in the past 10 years. Whenever a superstar leaves his original team because that team doesn't want to pay him the mega scratch, he gets booed whenever he returns to his old rink. Sometimes, with guys like Paul Kariya, the booing eventually peters out because, really, who could hate li'l Paul Kariya? Sometimes, with guys like Rob Blake, he returns to his original team in his twilight years. So you have a super fun situation where Kings fans mercilessly booed Blake every time he touched as an Av, only to cheer him when he became a King again. Like a couple who had a nasty divorce, said every miserable thing you could possibly say about another human being, and then they get remarried. It is awkward.

Now, nobody will ever accuse Pittsburgh fans of being evenhanded. Hell, they hated Terry Bradshaw for over a decade and all he did is win four Super Bowls. Though, in fairness to the fans, Bradshaw did play for 14 seasons, so clearly 10 of his Steeler years were abject failures.

Ever since Jagr was traded to the Capitals in 2001, he has been severely booed in every return trip to the Igloo. And considering that he's only played for the Caps and Rangers since, that's been a lot of return trips.

But in 2001, the Penguins were on the verge of bankruptcy. Again. Jagr was clearly the best player in the league and deserved to be paid as such. Problem was, the Pens could only afford to pay him not very much. He was going to be an unrestricted free agent shortly and the Pens had a choice. Trade him now or get nothing for him in the future. The die was cast and the booing commenced.

Sure, Jagr was pouty at times. He still is. Not everybody can be sunshine and berries all the time. But here's a guy who was on both Penguin Cup teams, a guy who won the Art Ross four straight years and five times overall. When the Four Straight Art Ross Trophies Club meets for their annual barbecue in Toronto, do you know who's there? Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr and Clarence Washington. (Clarence is the pit master they hire every year. His brisket is more tender than pudding.) And that's it. Guy LaFleur keeps trying to make it the Three Straight Club so he can snag an invite, but 9, 7, 99 and 68 like the exclusivity.

Here's a guy who was suffering from groin problems all season in 1998-99 and basically singlehandedly beat the Devils in 7 games. A guy who was the league MVP that year. A guy whose Top 10 Goals Montage on Youtube is patently insane, even through the pixelated graininess. And here he is getting booed not just in warmups or introductions, but every single time he has touched the puck in Pittsburgh for seven years.

If you want to boo somebody, boo Kris Beech, Michel Sivek or Ross Lupaschuk, the, ahem, prospects we got back from Washington. You can get Beech next season when Vancouver comes to town. If you want Sivek, he's playing in the Czech League. While you're over there, swing by Russia and see if you can't track down Lupaschuk. He'll be the short guy at the end of somebody's bench.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sex Dreams About Elisabeth Hasselbeck Are Not That Great

Being a healthy, virile man, my REM sleep will sometimes contain sexual imagery. Thanks to the amount of celebrity gossip websites I look at, Elisabeth Hasselbeck had been pinging around in my subconscious and I guess it was her turn to take a whirl.

The thing is, in a wild sexual fantasy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is just as uptight and prudish and difficult as you might imagine her to be in real life. She's not into anything and seems to treat sex as a chore that must be tended to so it can be crossed off of the list. This does not make for wild times. Every move I tried was met with hand blocking, frowns and "No, no." And I don't mean wild stuff, either. The basics!

This was the first sex dream ever that involved missionary under the covers with the lights off.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Meet The Spartans Makes Me Suicidal

Look, people like things that I don't like. I get it. I'm relatively fine with it. There's a litany of things that are successful in this country, much to my bafflement. I'd run down the list, but then I'd sound like some twee 130-pound guy who hangs out in independent bookstores and thinks he's the first person to ever read The Jungle. I don't want to be that guy.

BUT! There's always a but. Not only does the success of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer baffle me, it frightens me. It literally makes me fear for the future of this country. It also makes me depressed and suicidal.

There are many reasons for this. First, their movies somehow keep getting worse. Just when it seems like they've finally bottomed out, they come back with a new movie that "skewers" sacred cows like Sanjaya and Deal Or No Deal. It really only is a matter of time before they write a spoof of Epic Movie and cash another large paycheck. The only hope is that when that happens, they fall into a meta vortex of their own creation and are never heard from again.

But the main reason these two make me so blue is because living in Los Angeles and knowing a bunch of Jewish types, it's entirely possible that I could cross paths with these two at some point. Maybe at a barbecue. A Jewbecue. Beef ribs only, please. In an ideal world, I would rail about how awful their movies are and they feel like first drafts and I could write that shit in two days only I have integrity so I don't and they should truly be ashamed of themselves for lowering the culture bar. Totally owned, they would retire from Hollywood, give all of their money to charity and start teaching science to inner city youths.

In reality, of course, they would just say, "Of course they're terrible. We know that. We also know that we've made $9 million each since 1999, so why don't you do us both a favor and suck a dick?"

At this point, I would be ready to fight. However, because I'm firmly in the 50th percentile when it comes to toughness, probability and statistics indicate that one of these guys could seriously hand me my bacon. Maybe I get in one lucky punch on the weaker one, but the alpha of the pair would leave me laying in a heap.

And then where am I? $10 million poorer and much, much sorer than either one of them. Plus, inspired by the fight, they would call Paramount and sell a boxing spoof script for another $1.5 million. It would be called Ring-A-Ding and the trailer would feature Mike Tyson biting somebody's entire head off (crazy!) and Oscar de la Hoya (except his trunks say gay la Hoya) punching Lindsay Lohan so hard she flies 50 feet into the air and bounces off of the arena scoreboard.

This is what I think when I see the trailer for Meet The Spartans, and this is why I get depressed and suicidal.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The 2008-2009 NHL Re-Entry Draft

Having coldly disbanded Atlanta, Columbus, Florida, Nashville, Phoenix and Tampa Bay, I'm moving on. Various pundits are comparing me to Kenesaw Mountain Landis, George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Chainsaw Al Dunlap. Hockey has been talked about on PTI for five straight days, a new record. My press conferences are more eagerly awaited than new Beatles albums in the '60s. Things are going well for the NHL.

But those six teams had players. Some of them were good players. And because I prefer order to frenzy, the remaining 24 teams are having a re-entry draft for players from contracted teams. Existing contracts will not count against a drafting team's salary cap for the life of that contract.

Using the league standings from 1/10/08, let's get this three-round draft underway, live from Radio City Music Hall! (NOTE: A four-round draft for contracted teams' prospects will not be televised, nor imagined by me.)

ROUND 1
1) Los Angeles Kings - Vincent Lecavalier
2) Toronto Maple Leafs - Ilya Kovalchuk
3) Washington Capitals - Marian Hossa
4) Edmonton Oilers - Rick Nash
5) Chicago Blackhawks - Olli Jokinen
6) Buffalo Sabres - Peter Mueller
7) New York Rangers - Martin St. Louis
8) New York Islanders - Tobias Enstrom
9) Boston Bruins - Brad Richards
10) Philadelphia Flyers - Jason Arnott
11) Colorado Avalanche - Alexander Radulov
12) St. Louis Blues - Jay Bouwmeester
13) Carolina Hurricanes - Ed Jovanovski
14) Minnesota Wild - Ryan Suter
15) Montreal Canadiens - Vaclav Prospal
16) Pittsburgh Penguins - Shane O'Brien
17) Calgary Flames - Ron Hainsey
18) New Jersey Devils - Martin Hanzal
19) Anaheim Ducks - Colin Stuart
20) Vancouver Canucks - Fredrik Sjostrom
21) San Jose Sharks - Dan Boyle
22) Dallas Stars - Nathan Horton
23) Ottawa Senators - Ilya Bryzgalov
24) Detroit Red Wings - Nikolai Zherdev


ROUND 2
1) Los Angeles Kings - Kari Lehtonen

2) Toronto Maple Leafs - Marek Zidlicky
3) Washington Capitals - Slava Kozlov
4) Edmonton Oilers - Pascal Leclaire
5) Chicago Blackhawks - David Booth
6) Buffalo Sabres - Dan Hamhuis
7) New York Rangers - Shane Doan
8) New York Islanders - J.P. Dumont
9) Boston Bruins - David Vyborny
10) Philadelphia Flyers - Daniel Carcillo
11) Colorado Avalanche - Shea Weber
12) St. Louis Blues - Steve Sullivan
13) Carolina Hurricanes - Martin Erat
14) Minnesota Wild - Stephen Weiss
15) Montreal Canadiens - Tomas Vokoun
16) Pittsburgh Penguins - David Legwand
17) Calgary Flames - Todd White
18) New Jersey Devils - Filip Kuba
19) Anaheim Ducks - Nick Boynton
20) Vancouver Canucks - Derek Morris
21) San Jose Sharks - Jiri Novotny
22) Dallas Stars - Sergei Federov
23) Ottawa Senators - Bryan Allen
24) Detroit Red Wings - Dan Ellis



ROUND 3
1) Los Angeles Kings - Alexei Zhitnik

2) Toronto Maple Leafs - Karri Ramo
3) Washington Capitals - Rostislav Klesla
4) Edmonton Oilers - Ville Peltonen
5) Chicago Blackhawks - Vernon Fiddler
6) Buffalo Sabres - Mike Zigomanis
7) New York Rangers - Adam Foote
8) New York Islanders - Keith Ballard
9) Boston Bruins - Cory Murphy
10) Philadelphia Flyers - Jared Boll
11) Colorado Avalanche - Dan Fritsche
12) St. Louis Blues - Niclas Havelid
13) Carolina Hurricanes - Ryan Craig
14) Minnesota Wild - Paul Ranger
15) Montreal Canadiens - Mathieu Darche
16) Pittsburgh Penguins - Duvie Wescott
17) Calgary Flames - Brett McLean
18) New Jersey Devils - Noah Welch
19) Anaheim Ducks - Greg de Vries
20) Vancouver Canucks - Mathias Tjarnqvist
21) San Jose Sharks - Pascal Dupuis
22) Dallas Stars - Brad Larsen
23) Ottawa Senators - Jason Chimera
24) Detroit Red Wings - Garnett Exelby


The smarter teams immediately waive three players that are taking up cap room and roster space with their terribleness. The Kings immediately start looking to trade Lecavalier so they don't have to worry about resigning him in five years. The Flyers sign all of the undrafted goons and hold a round robin brawl to decide which guy makes the team. And the Leafs continue to suck, even though they've finally gotten a scoring winger for Mats Sundin.

ESPN begs me to sign a deal with them and I demand Tuesday and Thursday doubleheaders, plus a Hockey Night in America Saturday feature. My demands are met.

Meanwhile, Gary Bettman has since become a lobbyist for the oil industry. Congress immediately raises CAFE standards in 50 miles per gallon and demands an all-ethanol automotive fleet by 2015.

This Thing Is Starting To Come Together!

Okay, on Tuesday I was sworn in as NHL commissioner. Did you know they don't use a Bible when swearing in the commissioner? They use Mike Foligno's old helmet. It looks like an alien's dildo and I didn't want to touch it, but if you want the job, you gotta put your palm on it.

On Wednesday I unveiled my rule changes for the league. Wednesday afternoon, I had angry calls from Bobby Clarke and Martin Brodeur. Clarke was mad that I made cross checks to the face illegal. Says I'm making the game soft. Brodeur was mad he can't rifle the puck around the boards any more. I reminded him that he plays for a three-time Cup champ that draws 4,000 people a night, so maybe his stickhandling isn't that interesting. Don Cherry also called to yell about something but then starting rambling on about some 17-year old in Peterborough and how he plays the game the right way and bless his family and this and that. I put the phone on the desk and went downstairs for a coffee.

Today, Thursday, I'm unveiling my changes to the league. This is a big day and I'm very excited! Also, thunderstruck by my power and decision making, Giada is calling to set up a lunch date. It looks like both fantasies are going to come true. Wow, am I excited. You know those things bounce real nice.

First, the simple changes:

1) Referee performances will be reviewed on a more stringent basis. If you don't want to make the calls, Pierre Champoux, I'll find somebody who can.
2) Pierre Champoux will change the spelling of his name to Shampoo. That is just ridiculous, and I'm not even a francophobe.
3) Fines and suspensions will be increased for headshots and boarding. Even if it's missed by the game officials, the eye sees all. All! Hey, you give me $25,000 and I'll let you hit everybody in the back. It's such a tough guy play! So manly!

And then things got interesting. Because the big C came into play. Contraction.

4) Atlanta, Florida, Nashville and Phoenix, say goodbye to your franchises. You'll hardly even notice they're missing, I'm willing to guess.

And herrrrrrre come the lawsuits. But the best part is...I don't care! That's right! Because I ignore the lawsuits, I somehow will prevail in court. The mayor of Glendale calls to yell at me because they just built that big, new arena. I tell him to follow Dubai's lead and build America's largest indoor ski slope. Then I tell him to get fucked. Probably unnecessary, but I'm on a roll.

Now we have 26 teams, leaving a clunky 13 in each conference. Ordinarily, Carolina and Tampa would be easy picks, but they've won Cups and that still means something in this crazy, workaday world. So Carolina, Tampa and Columbus are put on notice. Whichever teams draws the most fans is saved from my sharp blade. That will be Carolina (my new powers also include soothsaying) and Tampa and Columbus are chopped from the league.

In the end, we settle out of court in a deal similar to the ABA/NBA merger. The six contracted owners get a piece of NHL revenue for 15 years. It's amicable enough.

5) The conferences are renamed Wales and Campbell and the divisions are renamed Patrick, Adams, Norris and Smythe.

At this point, I really am just airing out Bettman's stench. Carolina, New Jersey, New York, New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh go into the Patrick. Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Washington go into the Adams. The Norris gets Colorado, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota and St. Louis. That leaves Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Jose and Vancouver for the Smythe.

6) A league-wide schedule is back. So are divisional playoffs.

For years, Bettman tried to get rivalries back in the game. You want that? Have teams play each other in the playoffs just about every year. I can smell the hatred from here.

Up next: What makes more headlines? Contraction or the re-entry draft?

I Will Make Hockey Relevant Again. And Then I Will Smooth Out The Israel/Palestine Thing For Dessert.

Some people fantastize about having a nice lunch with Giada. They maybe have a warm calamari salad and then too much Lambrusco leads to an afternoon of nakedness. Oh my. You know what? That sounds great. But I've had a different fantasy lately. In this dream, Gary Bettman is fired after more than a decade of incompetence and I am installed as NHL commissioner. I have this fantasy because I have delusions of grandeur and also because I hear the office comes with a really nice desk.

Now, the simplest move would just be to undo every single thing Gary Bettman has done during his reign of terror. Easy AND effective. Whether Bush or Bettman has done more damage while in charge is nearly impossible to figure out. It's really up to you to decide whether the suspension of habeas corpus or the RBK Edge system offends you more. But I'm willing to go above and beyond and unveil my however-many-steps-it-turns-out-to-be plan for improving both the league and the game itself.

Let's handle the game first. Although some people might be fans of the head hunting, insane boarding and stickwork, other people are fans of skating. Although the league seemed to be more vigilant coming out of the lockout, waterskiiing is coming back in fashion and obstruction is way up. If the NFL was like the NHL, defensive backs would be allowed to tackle wide receivers while the ball was in the air. Running games would have to grind out 10-7 wins and Western Canadians would be raving about the NFL's grit. The rest of us, of course, would be bored out of our minds.

So we need to heavily, heavily discourage obstruction and hooking. The annual promise to call the game tighter is a given, so our first substantial change is:

1) Power play goals will no longer end penalties. All calls will run for the full two or four minutes.
2) Shorthanded teams are no longer allowed to ice the puck.

You want some fun? Watch a tired forward try to beat two guys so he can carry the puck across the red line to dump it. Or watch a defenseman behind his own goal line try a soft clear so it doesn't go all the way down the rink. Are you an exhausted defenseman fishing the puck out of your own net for the second time in 90 seconds? Don't get mad at me. Get mad at your boy who lazily put his stick into an opponent's ribs.

3) Goalies are no longer allowed to handle the puck behind the net.

I'm not paying money to watch Marty Brodeur whip the puck around the boards. As it stands now, teams can line four guys along the blue line and if the puck is dumped in, a good goalie can fire it back out. No problem for the guys standing on the blue line. But if that's a live puck behind the net just sitting there, the offense can blow by the defense because they're sitting still. Dump-ins will become much more effective and a quick team can have a bang-bang play. Dump it in, win the race, pass out to the slot, boom, goal. So easy! Eventually defensemen will start backing up so they stop losing races to the puck behind the net and suddenly the blue line is open again. Oh my God, I'm something like a genius.

Goalies can't touch the puck behind the goal line even if they can reach it for the crease. Puck sitting besides the net? There's a fun race for you! Only a true visionary could make a simple dump-in a cardiac event!

4) Goalie gear is going on a diet.

The league made goalie pads shorter a couple years back. Great! Now the puck hits a goalie in the thigh instead of the upper pad. Big difference! The pads are getting narrower, barely extending past the width of a leg. This is the space age. Everything is lighter and stronger. Goalies will not get hurt with smaller gear. Unless you're fat, your legs should not touch when you're standing still. I want to see some space! Narrower pads, narrower blockers, smaller gloves and upper body gear that wraps around the body. Nothing drapes. Watching games today, you'd think every goalie played left tackle in college. Marc-Andre Fleury weighs about 120 pounds. He should look it in net!

So those are changes to game itself. It's already so fun that LeBron James has become an afterthought. People think he's an actor because nobody in the NBA is famous now. I did it!

Up next: Changes to the league itself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"I'm Italian, so..."

First off, let me just say I love the Italians*, even if they thought tomatoes were poisonous for about 100 years. The crazy kooks. But there's this one thing they all do and it's so crazy and mysterious that I can't get enough. Wife beating? What? No! Jesus!

No, I'm talking about how Italians love explain even their most basic behaviors by virtue of their Italianosity. Also known as Italianness.

"Excuse me, why are you yelling? We're inside."
"Oh. Well, I'm Italian, so I talk loudly when I'm upset!"

Oh. Interesting. You raise your voice when angry. What a unique character trait only found in your lineage.

"Well, I'm Italian, so I really like red wine."

Okay, I see. I know most of us hate the sulphuric stench of red wine, but good to know your DNA has a special genome that allows you to choke it down.

"Oh, my hands? I'm Italian, so I move my hands a lot when I talk, you know?"

Uh huh, uh huh. I do know. This is all starting to make sense now.

"What can I say? I'm Italian, so I'm protective of my sister."

The Italians! A unique and interesting people who do things nobody else does because they're not Italian! Bene!

(* - Offer not valid in the New York / New Jersey tri-state area)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Damn Lies and Statistics

As an American, I don't particularly enjoy thinking about the bigger picture or connecting loose ends on my own. If you want me to know something, just tell me! Don't make me read Story A and Story B and figure out if they go together. I'm busy!

Like, for instance, this story about US military spending. According to Global Security.org, our 2008 military budget is projected at $623 billion. The rest of the world combined in 2007 spent an estimated $500 billion. Now, in fairness, we're projected to spend around $180 billion in Iraq this year. And since nobody else in the world thought that invasion was a very good idea, that's all of our money. So let's knock our spending down to $443 billion. Not nearly as bad! Of course...the Bush administration's yearly budgets for Iraq have softpedaled the actual number every year. They're usually at least half off. So, let's take the number up to $700 billion.

Wow. That's a lot. $200 billion more than the entire world. Well, you know, as the Republicans say, the entire world would like to invade America and kill every single one of us, so let me do the math here. $200 billion / 300 million people = $666. The United States is spending as much as the entire world on military matters PLUS an extra $666 so you can survive. Just you. That is reassuring. When you arrive home in one piece tonight, think about it.

And, you know, China is the rising tiger of the East. They certainly want to have a more powerful army than us so they can jack up the prices of their goods but still force us to buy the,. So what are they spending? An estimated $65 billion. Well, the officially announced figure was $24 billion, but Global Security says a more likely estimate is $45 - 85 billion. But those Chinese are sneaky fuckers and the lead they're putting in our toys to kill us in stealth mode isn't free, so let's bump Chinese spending up to $100 billion.

Okay, so here's what we have:

US - $700 billion
China - $100 billion
Rest of world - $435 bilion

You will never get us, world! We have too many defenses! And it's not like our economy would collapse under the weight of the military-industrial complex. That fag move is for the Soviets!

Sorry that took so long. Then there's Story B. According to research noted at Physorg.com, the US is last among 19 industrialized nations in deaths that could've been prevented by access to timely and effective health care. France came in first. In 97-98 (a Clinton year, by the way), we were 15th in this study. We've since fallen to last. Bill O'Reilly tells me socialized medicine doesn't work, so that can't be the reason why. After all, he is smart. Maybe it's the red wine. Although the French drink white in the summer because it is more refreshing.

In 2002, the United States government spent $2,364 per capita on healthcare. France spent $2,080. Which perfectly explains why they're last and we're first. Wait. Hold on. We're last. Huh. Weird.

Anyway, if the United States spent $2000 on healthcare for every single person in the country, that would be $600 billion. You could call it universal coverage. If you like people dying instead of living, you could call it socialized medicine. It really doesn't matter what you call it, though, because such a system just isn't tenable. This country simply doesn't have that kind of money to throw around. I mean, it's not $500 billion is just sitting in a hole somewhere!

Anyway, that's that. Two stories, totally unrelated.

Oh! I almost forgot. If our healthcare system was as efficient as France's, 101,000 fewer people would've died last year. A lack of access to timely healthcare killed 101,000 Americans last year. The terrorists are so totally jealous.

Moo.

In Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, a man mailed a severed cow's head to his wife and her new lover. It was not meant as a housewarming present.

He got caught, went on trial, got probation and then his lawyer, Henry Hilles, said that Jason Michael Fife "understands that in a civilized society a person cannot send a severed cow's head to anybody."

Sure. He understands that NOW.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The New York Times Just Doesn't Get It

Through hard work, dedication and some balls out lying, the right wing over the last 30 years has achieved two goals: convincing the American public that they're not selfish, paranoid, racist, power hungry dicks...and convincing the mainstream media that they have a liberal bias that must be addressed.

The New York Times recently hired William Kristol as a columnist in yet another attempt by the media to placate the frothing right wing. Kristol, who was for the Iraq war, is already for the Iran war and is generally for any war you can imagine, will be heralded by the paper as a hire made for balance.

But here's the thing, Thomas Friedman and William Kristol don't achieve balance. A +10 on the conservative scale and -1 isn't balance. If Kristol was hired in 2002, the Times would've had Friedman talking about what a good idea invading Iraq is, Kristol proclaiming that soon the entire Middle East would love America and Judith Miller running around as Dick Cheney's bullhorn. That is some tremendous balance.

To balance Kristol idealogicially, the Times would have to hire a freshman year Womyn's Studies major. Or Woody Harrelson. Kristol could write a piece about how we should invade Iran so a gallon of gasoline will fall to $1.15 and Harrelson can write a counterpoint about how in two years cars will run on hemp oil.

To balance Kristol factually, the Times would have to hire a paranoid schizophrenic. They also make really outlandish predictions that never come true. Kristol can write a piece about how Saddam shipped his WMD to Syria, where Bassan buried them in the desert sands. And the schizophrenic can write a piece about how Saddam actually buried the WMDs in his colon and that when we executed him, it started a chemical reaction that infected everybody present and those people have gone forth and spread the virus. It would be a very compelling argument and nobody would ever point out that, you know, maybe Saddam didn't actually have WMD after all. Don't mention that, please, because the right wing will erupt in a fury and call the Times biased. For...printing factual material.

Here's what the Times and the rest of the national media don't get. The right wing will never like them. The right wing generally hate facts that run counter to their world view. They find them inconvenient. After all, if you're trying to build a fortress of lies, facts can set back your completion date. So they rouse all this rabble about liberal bias, the media caves, hires a far right idealogue in the pursuit of balance, that guy proceeds to spew inanities and right wingers say, "The Times sucks except for Kristol."

Great! Great work, New York Times! Keep hiring right wing mouthpieces until you move in line with The Free Republic. That'll balance things out!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I Was The Victim Of Racism Today

When I woke up this morning, I didn't know that today was going to be different. I didn't know that today was going to change everything. But then...it happened.

I handed my badge to the Mexican security guard at the gate and we exchanged our usual friendly banter. And then he said to me, "Hey, what's a good stock to buy?"

What's. A. Good. Stock. To. Buy? !!!!!!!!

Oh, I get it. Just because I'm white, I must have a great portfolio. Perfect balance between blue chippers and up and comers. I must have some inside information somebody passed to me at the country club during brunch. You probably think I was eating eggs benedict, don't you!?

With Obama winning in Iowa last night, I really thought this country was turning a corner. Now? I'm not so sure.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Man Told Me This

Nick at work was the inspiration for the original gay scale. Yesterday he became the inspiration for my bafflement and confusion.

As he tells it, as a child he had a spine with a 70% curvature. Not scoliosis, the other one. The one nobody has ever heard of. However, being shaped like a question mark didn't hamper his flexibility and as his body began to change in a pubescent way, he discovered he could fellate himself. Maybe that's what turned him gay, who knows? Maybe his own hose was so magnificent that it became the standard for his desires. I really don't know. I've never seen it and I hope to keep that streak alive until I'm dead.

This of course, wasn't enough stimulation for a flowering Nicholas, so he hopped on a nascent AOL and began chatting up guys who wanted to witness a hunchback blowing himself in person. It's too bad Nick didn't grow up in New Orleans, as he could've become a local celebrity on par with Emeril.

Eventually Nick met a guy who he described as a 19-year old piercer. Who would've thought somebody could post a personal of "19yo piercer, non-smoker ISO of curvy WM into autofellation. Must send picture." and get a response. But sure enough.

The affair, I'm sure, was torrid and frightening. In the end, Nick was left with a ding piercing for his troubles and the other guy was left with memories that won't ever be erased.

But while Nick had a skill, it was a niche skill and eventually he decided to have a complete spinal reconstruction to straighten out his body and make him normal. Physically. Mentally, he knew he was an self-blowing show pony with a pierced ding and a huge phone bill from all of that dial up time. And there's not a surgery to correct that. Yet. The Germans are working on one.

So at the tender age of 15, Nick had his spine rebuilt. Bigger. Stronger. He was now straight (again, physically) but couldn't blow himself. Win some, lose some. Also, he had to lose his piercing. He says it's because the OR was a sterile environment. I say it's because the doctor coulldn't stand looking at it.

When I told Nick I was going to post this tale, he wondered why. He didn't think it was that wild. Apparently, if we plumb the depths of his soul, we'll learn even crazier thing. I feel like Dante wondering if I really want to cross this river in front of me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

You've Been Shelved!

You want 2008 to be cool, right? 2007 was basically old lady tits, and that is bad. All wrinkled and flappy, looking like two fried eggs and smelling like the bacon. Terrible. Terrible year, 2007 was. Way to not go, everybody.

The first step in making 2008 cool is retiring something donk from 2007. At the end of 2006, I officially retired Namey McNamerson. That joke template where somebody puts a Y and a Mc on a name and think they've made an introspective comment. "You like those french fries, huh? You're a real Frenchy McFrenchfries. You eat too many and you'll be a Fatty McFattersons."

I put the kibosh on that on 1/1/07. It was done. Anybody who used that joke after 12:01am was officially lame.

So what will it be for this year? What was so incredibly overused in 2007 that it has to be officially put out to pasture before we all go insane? Britney's snatch? Nice one, dude. No, in '08 we're retiring that move where you point at your eyes with two fingers and then turn your hand around to point at somebody else's eyes, as if to say, "I'm watching you, bucko."

That move is lame and is officially cashed. See ya, move! See ya!

Now, when you take, you gotta give. So what's new for 2008? The word dildo. It will begin to replace douche as an insult this year. Hopefully this happens with minimal fuss and I don't have to take the drastic step of retiring the word douche next year. Don't be a total dildo and continuing calling people douches until August. Just...don't do it.

Now get out there and '08 it up!