Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Fuel For The BSG Fire

Yes, another Battlestar Galactica post.

This promo came out a few days ago -- and it's not just any promo, it's a Romo promo!

See who shows up, apparently under arrest, about halfway through? Attorney Romo Lampkin, or as I prefer to call him, the Final Cylon. This makes me feel better about my Joseph Adama prediction.

Or perhaps it is just a red herring. There have been so many red herrings in BSG shows, promos, and interviews over the years that the producers could open a fish market.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

But Is It Earth?

Heroes may be off until February, but Battlestar Galactica will be back one month from now -- and about time, too. The whole quest-for-Earth business has been overshadowed by the mystery of the Final Cylon. I stand by my earlier theory that Joseph Adama is Romo Lampkin is the Final Cylon. I am also willing to admit that I am probably wrong, no matter how well-thought out my theory is, because TV people have a big problem with logic and common sense. My theory ties in nicely with the upcoming Caprica series. Why not have the BIG REVEAL promote the new show? That would be logical, and good business.

Still. Having perused a plethora of blogs, boards, and articles, I have noticed that there are a lot of people who have determined that Ellen Tigh is the missing skin job. Not least among these was an anonymous blog comment, posted by someone who claims to work for the show, revealing in advance that it has been Ellen all along. I don't have the link handy because I discounted the comment when I read it, assuming that the commenter was either passing out disinformation, or simply lying about being connected with the show.

If Ellen does turn out to be the one, I will be disappointed. My Adama/Lampkin theory just makes too much sense to me. I believe that Five of Five should be someone who is aware that it is a Cylon, and who can manipulate events in a big way. Lampkin emerged from shadow (Hybrid prophecy) to save the day at Baltar's trial, then played a more visible role (in the light) in getting Lee Adama appointed President. What did Ellen do? Manipulate her husband into carrying out her will during the brief time when he was military dictator of the fleet? Carry on like a total floozy with man and Cylon alike? Get herself poisoned by her secret Cylon husband? The only thing that makes sense about her being the Final Cylon is the empty place at the table next to Tigh, in front of the (poisoned) cup. But that has little to do with events in the series.

Ron Moore & Co. had better come up with some really good plot twists (and swirls) to convince me that Ellen Tigh is a Cylon.

Meanwhile...what of Earth? Is the irradiated waste planet really Earth? Is there another world to which the fleet can escape? What's all of this nonsense about the Final Five having been to Earth? Is there really a Cylon God, and is it something manifest, in the form of a thirteenth humanoid Cylon? To heck with Christmas, I want January 16 to hurry up and get here. We've been waiting too long for resolution!

Our Klingon Commander-In-Chief

The nice thing about NBC's Heroes being available on the web is that I never have to worry about missing an episode. I'm usually a day or two behind.

The thing that stood out about this week's opening scenes was not the action on screen, but the presence of the name "Michael Dorn" among the actors appearing in the episode. There have been plenty of Doctor Who and Star Trek actors in supporting roles, but getting Worf on the show is the ultimate. He was always my favorite character on TNG, DS9, and the movies. I was very interested in seeing how he was going to be used here.

Every time someone was chemically altered (Ando, Peter, Mohinder) I half expected them to turn into a Klingon. Why not? What would have been cooler than Dr. Suresh lifting his face out of the pool of red chemicals to reveal a ridged forehead and a voice deeper than the Grand Canyon?

Instead of something ultra cool like that, I had to wait for the end of the show for my Worf fix. I was not disappointed. As soon as it was over, I asked Google how many sites were making reference to "President Worf". Less than a hundred, as it turns out. Still...this is going to catch on. No one will ever be able to watch Michael Dorn in anything without thinking "Worf". If he plays a President, he is going to be "President Worf", no matter how he handles the character. Mark my words, this will stick.

Good show, no matter who is in it. Get Hiro his power back, dammit!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Die Penn Brauerei wird geschlossen

My great-grandfather was a German immigrant who worker as a bartender after he came to Pittsburgh's South Side (then know as Birmingham). Eventually he ran his own saloon. His brother also, for a time, had a saloon. Prior to this, a cousin who had come over several years earlier tended his own bar as well. When my great-grandfather married my great-grandmother, the signed witnesses to the wedding were not family members or neighbors, but a brewery man and his wife from way over the North Side (then known as Allegheny City). The brewing industry was such a big part of my family's life back in the early years, you might say that German beer flows through my veins.

With a heritage like that, it should be no surprise that over 100 years later I would feel drawn to a new restaurant called the Allegheny Brewery. Right in the heart of Pittsburgh's North Side, patrons could dine on authentic Germany style cuisine while drinking Germany style beer, brewed right on the premises. There was even a large window on one side of the dining hall that allowed all to see the big copper kettles where the house brand was brewed. The food was good, the beer was ausgezeichnet!, and the ambiance had a distinctive retro feel to it. This is the closest that I would ever get to experiencing what the night life was like back in my ancestor's day. I went every chance I got. My friends wanted to go out, I took them to the Allegheny Brewery. A cousin visited from out of town, I took him to the Allegheny Brewery. I wanted to treat my future wife to lunch, I took her to the Allegheny Brewery. At some point, the name changed to Penn Brewery, but the quality and charm were undiminished.

After getting married, I stopped going out. What used to be "fun" had become "too expensive". I didn't make it back to the Brewery until a couple of years ago, to meet up with a cousin from out of town. It was still a great place to meet family and friends. I knew I had to get back there again sometime.

Too bad for me, then, that the Penn Brewery is shutting down:

The fate of the historic home of the Penn Brewery, Pittsburgh's first and largest craft beer maker, appears sealed this week as the owners prepare to leave the 19th-century structure with its custom brewhouse and restaurant for new quarters somewhere in Pittsburgh.
So we aren't losing the business itself, just the very special physical structure that gave the restaurant so much charm and personality. This may or may not matter, if the "new quarters" can recapture the feel that the existing place has. If I'm lucky, perhaps it will relocate closer to where I live, or where I work. Maybe it's not so bad for me, then.

For those of us with an interest in historical preservation, there is a small beacon of hope:

But on Tuesday, founder Tom Pastorius, who is still a minority partner in the operation, vowed to find a new owner that would keep the brewery in place.

"I spent 22 years of my life in this building, and I'm sick at the thought of losing it," said Mr. Pastorius. "I'm actively looking for a buyer for either the building, the brewery or both."

I hope he can pull it off, but I'm not betting on it. The current CEO has some sound business reasons for making a move:

But moving started to look good, Mr. Caric said, because of the "liabilities" of the current site, which has no room for expansion and is isolated. He said the company has a real estate agent looking for a new site in a city neighborhood with a busy retail and restaurant scene. That would increase walk-in business, he said, rather than forcing customers to make the "commitment" to drive to the base of Troy Hill.

"We really want to take this opportunity to find a place where we can do better," Mr. Caric said.

The isolation is part of its charm. And how many places nestled in city neighborhoods have decent two-level, off-street, FREE parking facilities? That was a bonus right there. If they can find a location with parking that is both plentiful and free, fantastic! But city neighborhoods "with a busy retail and restaurant scene" are notorious for metered parking. How much customer base will be lost if patrons either have to feed parking meters or take buses to get there? It will be interesting to see where this ends.

Go here and watch your browser's arrow turn into something frothy and delicious! And please visit for a meal and a beer before it's gone for good. You have until the end of February.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Big Musical Mistake

I have always preferred the sound of the electric guitar to the piano. This is as good a reason as any:


On the other hand, I love organ music, and harpsichord music as well. A fast-paced heavy metal song would translate well to Lurch's preferred instrument, I think.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Conspiracy Theory

Perhaps PittGirl bet the continued existence of her blog on a Ted Stevens victory in Alaska.

Nuked From Orbit

See, this is what happens when I spend my Internet time watching YouTube junk and trolling stupid message boards, instead of keeping up with my favorite blogs. I admit, I have fallen behind in blog reading lately. Sometimes I get bored with blogs and blogging. And I forget about it.

Then, a few days later, I wonder what PittGirl is going on about these days, and when I go to The Burgh Blog, it ain't there. The Girl has obliterated it. The current site, the original Blogger site, the archive.org cache, all gone. It might sound silly, but I really want to be sure that I saw the last post before it all went away. Nothing is there but a mushroom cloud in the form of a Dear John letter.

In the greater scheme of things, it's just one more meaningless distraction from the important things in life. But it was FUN, and maybe that's more important than we think.

I don't know who PittGirl is. I don't know if she's somebody I've met. For all I know, she might be related to me. Does it matter? PittGirl is everybody's friend, and everybody's sister.

And if her identity ever becomes public, I hope to God that she really is a girl.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Might Need To Start Burning My CD Collection

I have been a Deep Purple fan for many years. I enjoy listening to every iteration of the band. I own all of the albums on CD. I also like most of the so-called "spin-off" bands, like Rainbow, Gillan and Whitesnake.

Whitesnake.

Whitesnake was in the news recently. It seems that singer David Coverdale, who became famous as a member of Deep Purple in the mid-1970s, has taken a very personal interest in the 2008 presidential campaign. Right around Election Day, Coverdale heard one of his most popular Whitesnake tunes being played during a John McCain campaign rally that was shown on CNN. He did not appreciate his song being used in that way. Mr. Coverdale, we learn, acquired US citizenship not long ago. This means, of course, that he can vote -- for Barack Obama, as it turns out.

This is not surprising. Rock N Rollers have a lot in common with Obama supporters, which is that a lot of them must be on drugs, or at least seem like they are. (McCain supporters, in contrast, are so sober that most of them just stare at the ground and wish there was a pill that they could take to make it all go away.)

Coverdale's objections are understandable. McCain's people should have been vetting the artists whose songs they wanted to play at public appearances in order to avoid being embarrassed when the washed-up fatheads complain. This is just typical of how badly mismanaged the campaign was from start to finish.

On the other hand, I now have a personal dilemma. Since I am now aware that David Coverdale is among those who have publicly expressed admiration for Barack Obama, should I commence incinerating those prized recordings in my collection in which he appears? They are in fact my physical property because I did pay for them, so I have every right to burn them if I want. I am torn right now. I have never felt this kind of animosity for someone on the A list before.

Good thing I don't spend good money on this kind of crap anymore. When it comes to celebrity culture, I just don't know who I can trust anymore.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Senator Night Live

It looks like Al Franken is losing in his bid to win election the the US Senate from Minnesota. As long as we're taking a serious look at former Saturday Night Live people as candidates for US Senate, why not look to Alaska? Ted Stevens, who has been in office almost as long as I have been alive, won reelection but will never get a chance to continue in office due to his legal problems. Governor Sarah Palin will need to appoint a replacement when Stevens steps down. Why not her new best friend Tina Fey? If nearly half of Minnesota though Franken could be a Senator, surely Alaska shouldn't have a problem with Tina. I'm sure that Governor Palin would just love to let Tina stay at her place. And when Tina needs to leave her daughter to attend sessions in Washington, Bristol can babysit.

Obama's Natural Constituency


This seems to be fairly typical of the kind of people I have to work with day in and day out.

Barfobamarama

This post and comment thread at PittGirl is so treacly and drippy that it makes me want to vomit. Stop being so nice, damnit!

Things That Go BOOM In The Field

When non-veteran President Barack Obama has to use military force for the first time, do we get to call him a chickenhawk? What goes around comes around, bitches.

Cry Freedom!

Suddenly, this Alaskan independence movement seems like a good idea, doesn't it?

Welcome To The Inferno

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Second Chance At Greatness

Has anyone noticed that the PG's Early Returns blog doesn't suck today? Bill Toland is back! I actually got to enjoy Early Returns when he was a regular there. Leave it to the PG to farm him out to the Casino Journal blog. If we're lucky, they'll keep Toland in the ER (heh!) past today, but I wouldn't count on it.

Youth

Every four years, when we have a Presidential Election, I inevitably hear about how there is a youth movement gaining ground, how so many young people are registering for the first time and getting involved, and how the younger voters will make a difference in the way things are run.

Oh -- and they are all "liberals", i.e. "progressives". Allegedly.

This is such bunk that I can not take it seriously anymore. Having had plenty of time to think about it over the twenty-three years that I have been voting, I have come to the conclusion that the "youth vote" is a myth. Young people getting involved in the political process has nothing to do with being more concerned about the future than previous generations of American youth. The reason so many younger voters appear to be active is that they are legally eligible to vote for the first time ever. Of course they're getting involved in the current election. It would have been illegal for them to vote in the previous one.

Making a big deal about the youth vote in a Presidential election is like going to bars every four years and noticing that there are more people between the ages of 21 and 25 drinking alcoholic beverages. Or checking drivers' license stats and finding that there are kids in their late teens who weren't driving four years ago.

When there are more forty year olds registering to vote for the first time than eighteen year olds, that will be news.

Barry's Kids

It was very easy to vote for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Albert Gore and John Kerry were such obnoxious assholes that I considered my votes for GWB to be symbolic punches in the nose to those two honorable Senatorial gentlemen.

Barack Obama, for all of his insulting and divisive rhetoric, at least sounds like a decent human being when he is talking. Neither Gore nor Kerry could pull off the right tone. Unlike Gore and Kerry, Obama does not display the condescension worth of a punch in the nose.

The goofshits who support him are another matter, however.

I work at a place where there are a lot of 18-22 year olds, as well as a lot of professionals whose livelihood depends on public funding. Needless to say, you would almost think that Obama was running unopposed if you hung around the place for a while.

It's not just where I work, however. It's on Facebook. It's on the blogs. It's on the editorial pages of our nation's newspapers, as well as on our TV screens. It's on the fronts lawns all over my neighborhood. (What kind of exhibitionist needs five Obama bin Biden signs on his lawn, anyway?) It's in the opinion polls -- oh wait.

I never took part in any opinion polls. I don't have ANY signs in my yard. I don't give a shit what the media tells me to support. I keep my politics off of Facebook. My blog is anonymous and very small-time. In other words, my political views are well off the radar.

While it still looks like Obama's time to win it all, I still harbor hopes that I am representative of a silent majority that will put John McCain over the top. Whatever happens, the next few years are going to be quite a ride.

And I might just speak up if the Obamacrats make a big deal about the election results, come what may. The little dorks.

Vote Early, Vote Once

So, now that my votes have been cast, who did I vote for? Surprisingly, most races had Republican candidates for whom I could vote. John McCain, Sarah Palin, Tim Murphy, Tom Corbett, Tom Ellis, and Chet Beiler all received my vote. The State Representative race between Democrat Dan Deasy and a Reform Party candidate was a joke, so I added a punch line by writing myself in.

If you live in the 27th District, vote for me.

In addition, there was one question on the ballot, something about floating municipal bonds to pay for something or other. Ed Rendell called me the other day -- he sounded like he stopped in the middle of eating his sandwich to record a robocall -- and urged me to vote YES. So I voted NO.

The dearth of uncontested races made it easy for me to finish up, get out of there, and go home to say good morning and farewell to my offspring before heading out to work.

Mikrowellen gegen die Wahl

There was a medium-large sized sign next to the door where I entered my polling place. It dictated two things:

  1. Cell phones must be turned off before entering the building
  2. No picture taking is allowed inside.
It could be that the bureau of elections is concerned about people taking pictures with their cell phone. Sometimes you can't tell if someone is using their phone to text or take pictures. Or maybe they don't want anyone tying up the line by calling someone to find out who to vote for.

I'd like to think that, with all of the other alleged problems that electronic voting machines have, the experts have determined that microwaves from cell phones -- you know, the ones that cause cancer -- interfere with the voting machines and cause people's votes to register incorrectly.

At least, that's the excuse that some people are going to use when their candidates don't win tonight.

I'm Number Five!

When I went to my polling place this morning at 6:45 AM, I was eighth in line. One minute later there were at least twenty people behind me. What good timing.

Five minutes later, one of the two honeys just ahead of me in line took off for parts unknown. I was now number seven in line.

Five minutes after that, another door opened up. The election people wisely decided to make the two districts enter through separate entrances. I was already at my district's door, but the honey in front of me and the guy she was talking to had to move to the other entrance. Now I was fifth in line.

Five minutes went by, and the Constable opened the door to let us in. Sure enough, when I signed in at the table, the Commissioner circled put me down as the fifth person to vote this morning.

In the FIFTH district of my borough

There must be some significance to the recurrence of the number 5 in all of this, but I couldn't possibly say what it might be.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

That Doesn't Scare Me


Last night I walked around my neighborhood keeping an eye on my immediate descendants as they looted people's porches for tooth decaying sweets. Since I was just there to herd them in as they went from house to house, I spent most of the time surveying the yards. As with any holiday, there were some fantastic decorations adorning people's residences. The coolest one was a giant screen in someone's front yard playing the classic Mel Brooks spoof Young Frankenstein -- right next to a John McCain sign.

That surprised me. There were plenty of political signs along the way, for candidates from County Council to President, but all were for Democrats -- except the Young Frankenstein house, and one other a few doors down. The abundance of residential political advertising at Halloween time amuses me. How many yards were there with ghosts, witches, fake graves, coffins...and an Obama sign? Quite a few in my area. It's like Obama signs were the top Halloween decoration this year, intended to scare people. People like me.

It didn't work.

Every time a Republican is in office, or is running for office, or there is a general shift to the right in general opinion, some twit will proclaim that "(person or policy) scares me". Like, "George Bush scares me". Or, "the anti-choice zealots scare me". With these people, it's always "scary" that "this person" thinks "this way" about something. Say hello to the politics of FEAR. Everyday is Halloween for the people, without the candy.

When the scared person is a man, the testosterone deficiency is evident, as is the stupidity. If you don't like someone else's views or plans for running the country, you are supposed to stand up for what you believe in and fight for it. Going on some national cable TV news show and telling the world that you are scared is not an act of boldness or defiance. I know I don't sit there and think, "That man says he's scared. That's the kind of leadership we need!" I laugh at the poor bastard and proceed to ignore him.

Next time you heard some lefty liberal telling you that Sarah Palin, or whoever, is SCARY, try to give him a good swift kick in the balls. Don't worry about hurting him. There won't be anything to hit.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Facebook: The New Psychosis

A few months ago I opened an account on Facebook because it's the thing to do nowadays, and unlike Bebo or MySpace, it doesn't assault the casual observer with an obnoxious array of unbearable sound and graphics. On Facebook, everyone is the same. It all looks friendly.

Through Facebook, I have reconnected with a few old colleagues, classmates, and long-lost relatives. I have even picked up a couple of new friends. Because this is an election year, quite a few of these folks have taken to using their Facebook pages to thrust their views on politics and current events onto the rest of the world. You may, if you wish, identify your politics (usually with one word like "liberal" or "conservative") in your personal info. Generally, this isn't such a bad thing, because Facebook is the place to let people know exactly who you are. Many people define themselves according to their political beliefs.

Some of them link to specific candidates' serious Facebook pages, or join goofy little groups that are all about hating Palin, Obama, or whoever. I have chosen to keep myself apart from any of that, because as one Facebook profile I encountered said, "Politics and social networking don't mix". Since I am not involved in any sort of political activity, I have opted to remain neutral.

Some people, however, have gone beyond taking sides. They feel the need to identify with their candidate so strongly, that they have appropriated his name. Perhaps you have heard about the "Hussein" fad. Many people on the Left are so offended by the Right's alleged obsession with Barack Obama's middle name, that they have changed their Facebook name to "(First name) Hussein (Last name)". Like some guy named John McCain becomes John Hussein McCain just to make a statement.

It's witty, it's clever, and it's completely ridiculous. I have a hard time taking someone seriously when they screw around with Facebook naming conventions this way. Fortunately none of my Facebook friends (some of whom are Obama supporters) have gone with the pack on this one.

So of course, when I look up some folks with whom I've been out of touch for a while, lo and behold I find a Hussein. He's Greek. The man is also pushing age forty. His first and last name are of Greek origin, yet he drops a Hussein bomb smack in the middle. It looks odd. And stupid. I was going to send him a friend request, but now I am conflicted. How can I take this guy seriously when he has such a silly, cartoonish name? I may wait until after the election to contact him. If he drops the Hussein, I'll pick him up. But good grief...I don't want some loony on my friends list.

And Now, A Word From The Bucket-American Community

I just had to get this screen capture before someone notices and corrects it. "Pail rails", indeed.

Who's Up For Some Extortion Tonight?

It's not everyday that you can walk up to people's houses and get handed free sweets. Well, not until Obama gets elected and mandates it, anyway. But for now, this is the one day of the year when this is possible. Halloween! Possibly the only holiday when the entire neighborhood comes out in full force to share in the spirit of the season...because there's candy for everyone!

And what would a holiday be without some nice festive music?



A good time will be had by all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It Is To Laugh: Predictable PG

So I sit down at my computer Saturday evening and take a look at the local news. Like someone who sits through an entire slasher movie in spite of their personal revulsion at the gore and violence contained therein, I took a peek at the Pittsburgh Psychosis-Gazette's "A Fine Point" blog. This is where the paper's editorialists try to stay relevant by playing at being amateur bloggers. The leading contributor to the blog is Tom Waseleski, Editorial Page Editor, and apparently a bigger Arschloch than Reg Henry and Dan Simpson, if you can believe it. (To give you an idea of Editor Tom's mindset, take a look at this rant about Sarah Palin and tell me whether PG Now shouldn't qualify as an internet hate site.)

Back to Saturday: Tom posted a teaser about the paper's upcoming endorsement of one of the two major presidential candidates. I just about fell out of my chair when I saw this bit:

You loyal readers of the PG's Sunday Early Edition have seen it already -- the newspaper's presidential endorsement for 2008. Those of you who read us online will see it posted on our web site after midnight tonight. All other customers, well, you'll have to wait for your Sunday paper.
Those three sentences qualify PG Now as an internet humor site. The PG's "loyal readers" = bunch of dorks. Anyone who has loyally -- or disloyally, in the case of people like me -- been following the PG for the last several months knew who the editors were going to endorse. It wasn't going to be someone with the word "REPUBLICAN" on their voter registration card. It didn't matter if the Democrat candidate was Hillary, Obama, Jesus, or Satan. The left-wing Psychosis-Gazette has been totally in the bag for the Democrats for years.

The subsequent endorsement, naturally, turns out to be a big yawner. It is nicely crafted, starting off with two paragraphs that evoke images of purple mountains' majesty and amber waves of grain:

American exceptionalism -- the idea that this nation by virtue of its history, political beliefs and the blessings of divine providence has a favored place in the world community -- is easy to believe in this year of a presidential election that is in every way exceptional.

Titanic forces have been at work. It is as if history has been a glacier inching its way to the sea, coming together at last for a dramatic climax that most Americans could not have imagined when the journey began.

Wow. I feel like one of the yokels at Sam Drucker's General Store, hearing the patriotic music playing whenever Oliver Wendell Douglas would make a speech about the founding fathers. It's all downhill from here:
Think what an unprecedented cast of characters our democratic process has brought forth to shape history. On the Democratic side, the fates summoned the first African-American candidate of a major party, Barack Obama, who is running with the capable Joe Biden, a more traditional choice.
Obama is special because he's different. Biden brings gravitas, just like Dick Cheney in 2000.
On the Republican ticket, the team comprises a war hero, John McCain, in the past disliked by his own party and once on the brink of defeat during his primary campaign, and the first woman to be on the conservative party's ticket for vice president, Sarah Palin.
It's not so much that John McCain is the Republican candidate, but that he is the candidate who just happens to be registered as a Republican. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is ideologically more in line with what we expect of our chosen representatives. The McCain nomination was such a fluke, it's like Bob Dole all over again.
Think also of the dramatic context in which these figures now vie for our vote -- not only the continuing wars on several fronts since the terror attacks of 9/11, not only the sad legacy of disunion and disarray left by the chronically unpopular President George W. Bush, but also the worst economic meltdown since 1929 fresh upon the American people.
Jimmy Crimminy! You'd think that we had a civil war brewing in the streets of America! And it's all Bush's fault. At the Psychosis-Gazette, everything is Bush's fault.
In three weeks, Americans will be called upon to make an exceptional judgment worthy of the times. The forces of history appear to invite boldness and the Post-Gazette believes they should be heeded by voting for the only authentic, fresh agent of change in this race, Barack Obama.
Whoa! No one saw that one coming! I was sure these guys were going to give a green light to Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. But Obama? Wow! What more can you say but HOPE and CHANGE?
The greatest argument for change is also suggested by history. For the two-party system to work for the good of the republic, the parties need to be held accountable. They need to be sent to the wilderness from time to time to rethink and regroup. Ronald Reagan's success was built upon Barry Goldwater's debacle. The rise of Bill Clinton would not have been possible but for the lessons learned from the defeats of Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. For every phoenix there must first be a fire and that time has come for the Republican Party, whose arteries are clogged with ideology accumulated at the long feast of power.
I can't really dispute anything in this paragraph. The Republicans do need to clean house, but it would be better if they could do so while still in power.
Despite the recent nastiness of his campaign. Sen. McCain is essentially a good man, but he is yesterday's man. His campaign takes its core text from the "Wizard of Oz": Don't mind the man behind the curtain. That man is George Bush, the failed magician who cannot be spoken of lest the American people be reminded of what he has wrought and what party he belongs to.
It doesn't take long for the editorialists to resume doing what they excel at: Bush-bashing. And doing so at McCain's expense. John McCain and George W. Bush have been rivals for years. McCain has always seemed ill at ease around Bush. There are still plenty of hard feelings between the two from the 2000 primary campaign. McCain's nomination came in spite of, not because of, George Bush. But he is a Republican and, says the PG, must be inextricably linked with the Bush administration.
To make their trick work, Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Palin, trade heavily on being mavericks -- too heavily to be believed.
Yeah, I'll admit that the whole "maverick" thing has been overplayed. At least Sarah's mavericosity was directed at RINOs.
It is true that Mr. McCain has a capricious streak that has made him a thorn in the side of his own party on various issues. Yet while he has not joined the know-nothing brigade in climate change denial, he has picked a running mate who is a diva in the drill, baby, drill chorus of fossil-fuel adulation. Mr. Obama, while he has recognized the need for more drilling, has put more emphasis on new sources of alternative energy, the only real hope for the future.
It's not whether you recognize the need for new sources of energy, but how much you emphasize it. That's change. That's hope.
On Iraq, Mr. McCain did needle the Bush administration to put in more troops and he makes much of the fact that he backed the surge. That the surge was a success to the point that it reduced bloodshed does not vindicate the wrong decision in the first place to invade a country that was not behind the 9/11 attacks and did not have weapons of mass destruction; Iraq has been a huge diversion from Afghanistan.
Even when McCain's right, he's wrong!
All of this Mr. McCain, despite his vaunted experience, got wrong at the start when Barack Obama recognized the folly. That fundamental error is still costing the nation $10 billion a month, funds desperately needed at home, yet Mr. McCain sees the surge as more reason to stay than to plan now to leave and put the war in the hands of the only people who can ultimately win it: the Iraqis. That is what Mr. Obama wants to do in stages and what Mr. McCain only hopes for over the rainbow.
Yeah, the guy with access to all of the intelligence got it wrong while Obama, who was basically a nobody back in 2001, should have been listened to! Makes perfect sense.
On health care, Mr. McCain's insurance plan is straight from the George Bush playbook, with its heavy reliance on private competition to give Americans coverage. His $5,000 tax credit for families is a pittance that won't solve America's national shame, the millions in the ranks of the uninsured. Mr. Obama's health-care plan will address that directly -- and, no, it won't be socialism. Americans will still have their choices.
Call it socialism or don't -- it will still be government control over American lives. We have choices when it comes to our children's education, but just try opting out of the system. No private school, no homeschooling -- just drop out completely. See how soon it takes for government to respect that choice. It'll be the same for government health care.
On the economic meltdown, Mr. McCain famously said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" shortly before it collapsed. Although he has admitted that economics is not his strong suit, he foolishly suspended his campaign briefly to interject himself into a situation that he did not understand and where he was not wanted.
Shame on a United States Senator for getting involved in a public issue! What, does he think he might have to vote on it sometime? Perish the thought.

As for the "fundamentals of our economy are strong", I agree with that insofar as it refers to a free-market based economy. The more government gets involved in money matters, the more it screws things up. When the government raised the minimum wage last year, did you notice groceries and gasoline getting more expensive? Or did you notice your employer making staff cuts and laying people off in order to be able to pay the new wage? I sure did.
Mr. Obama doesn't have all the answers either, but he does acknowledge what former champion of deregulation John McCain can't: While there's blame to go around both parties, the economic crisis is the final verdict on the failure of the Bush administration.
And it's all McCain's fault. Look, I'm sure McCain would love to criticize, even badmouth, George Bush, but politics restrains him from doing that, because publicly they are supposed to be on the same side. All politics is stupid.
In this and much else, Mr. McCain is not the steady hand he purports to be, and nothing proves it more than his reckless selection of Sarah Palin, whose lack of knowledge to take over as president has becoming increasingly obvious and embarrassing. If Mr. McCain had chosen one of the many accomplished women in the Republican Party, his candidacy would have the stamp of seriousness. Instead, it bears the superficial imprint of pandering populism.
I do not dispute that McCain has exposed himself as a pandering populist in the campaign. He alters his rhetoric from week to week, trying first to appease the undecideds, then trying to rein in the disaffected right wingers in his own party. Either group would have more respect for him if he could just make up his mind and be consistent.

I wouldn't call the Palin selection "reckless". I like her. She pisses off all the right people. (Or is it all the left people?) I would rather see her running for president than McCain. But the choice came at least four years too early. Oh well -- at least she made Tina Fey the star of SNL again. No one else could have done that!
But this election is not just about the shortcomings of Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin and the failed legacy of a philosophy that they seek to perpetuate under the hastily erected banner of maverick.
At first glance, I thought that said "erected boner of maverick". Now, whenever I see John McCain, I'm going to think "horsecock".
It is about the strengths of Barack Obama, whose rise to prominence is not a fluke or national infatuation but the consequence of his remarkable skills -- a keen intellect, noble intentions and the wit and grace to express them in ways that have inspired millions across the country. He has a rare gift exactly suited to the fearful times -- he knows the language of reassurance and hope.
Like hell it's not a fluke or a national infatuation. People started supporting Obama because of what he represents: He's a break from the past, from politics as usual; he doesn't look like the guys on US currency; his name and family background are different than what we are used to; and he knows how to talk about HOPE and CHANGE. Most importantly, he's a Democrat running at the end of a two-term Republican presidency. A lot of people just want something different. No need to puff him up. Tired of chicken every night? Let's try the beef this time. For most people, that's what it's all about: Not diversity, but variety.
If his were just empty words, this would be just another cheap political gift. But what he says is carefully considered. In the debates and on the hustings, Mr. Obama has been the voice of moderation, combining common sense and compassion on issue after issue. When the subject turns to foreign policy, supposedly Mr. McCain's strong suit, Mr. Obama gives no indication that he will have to learn on the job.
This is a fancy way of saying, "Obama is better at sucking up to the easy marks than McCain".
That the argument about issues has been essentially won by Sen. Obama is plain from the scurrilous attacks now being launched against his character -- increasingly by Ms. Palin -- alleging guilt by association, unpatriotic behavior and worse.
The PG calls that a victory on issues? That exposing Obama's personal history is a sign of defeat for McCain? This should have been talked about months ago. One of McCain's biggest problems is that he is too nice to people who hate him and want him to die. They don't deserve it. Hit 'em fast, and hit 'em hard.
This closing blizzard of slime is another attempt to spread the wizard's curtain further: Don't look at how the economy has impoverished you while a Republican has been in the White House, look at Mr. Obama's passing acquaintance with an old radical who did bad deeds almost 40 years ago, because that is more important.
"Closing blizzard of slime"? Good grief. No wonder so many McCain-Palin supporters resent the media. Like I said above, why be nice to people who hate you and want you to die?

If Obama's earlier associations aren't enough, how about his current bunch of buddies: Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, Mayor Daley...a true rogues' gallery if I ever saw one.
Yes, they apparently do think the American people are that stupid.
Are you talking about McCain-Palin or about yourselves? Because I really can't stand being talked down to by the editorial geniuses at the Psychosis-Gazette. Every piece that comes out in the PG insults my intelligence.
On Nov. 4, we believe Americans will heed the better angels of their nature and recognize that the election of the eloquent Barack Obama -- whose story is a quintessentially American one of impossible odds overcome -- will best answer the pressing call of history.
"Better angels" equals voting for Obama? First they call us stupid; now they call us evil. What conclusion can I make after wading through this stream of bull?

Simple: I'm voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Three Are Down To Two

Bit of bad news this morning:

WPXI announced yesterday that morning and noon anchor Newlin Archinal's last day at the station will be today.
This sucks! I love the WPXI Morning News. It's the only newscast -- local or national -- that I watch on even a semi-regular basis in the Internet Age. I can get the weather, the traffic, and even a bit of general goings-on as I'm headed out the door to catch my bus. Not only is the information well-presented, but the visuals are fabulous. And when I say "visuals", I mean what I like to think of as The Triumvirate of Beauty: Newlin Archinal, Krista Villarreal, and Trisha Pittman. Those ladies are awesome. They look good, they sound good, and they have good personalities. They carry out their on-air duties without coming off as stiff and serious, or frivolous and silly.

More importantly, considering that television is a visual medium, they are all gorgeous. I love being able to sit down with my breakfast and have those three lovely ladies smiling and talking to me. It makes me wonder how the male member of the morning news team, Bob Bruce, handles it. If I had his job, I would need to take saltpeter before going to work. Lucky bastard.

Alas, The Triumvirate of Beauty is breaking up. This is the worst thing of this kind to happen since Shannen Doherty left Charmed. Fortunately, that show was saved by the addition of Rose McGowan to the cast. WPXI needs someone to do for the Morning News what Rose McGowan did for Charmed. But who could possibly take Newlin's place??

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Communists With Crucifixes

Back in the year 2000, a co-worker of mine proudly displayed two bumper stickers on the back of her car: A Bush-Cheney sticker, and a Pro-Life Woman sticker. She confessed -- if you'll pardon the expression -- that she was a Republican solely because of the abortion issue. If the Democrats would adopt a pro-life stance, she said, she would register and vote as a Democrat. The reason? She was a Roman Catholic, and Democrat policies largely reflected her Catholic values. She was what we call a "single-issue voter". One issue trumped all others for her. A simple sea change would turn her to the other side.

There is a minor debate raging on the pages of the Psychosis-Gazette's Letters to the Editor page. Yesterday, a Catholic voter dismissed Barack Obama as a viable candidate, based on his and his party's position on abortion. This prompted a flurry of responses from outraged Catholics who argue that Barack Obama reflects their "Catholic values" on issues like war, capital punishment, and "social justice".

Normally, I don't pay any attention to Catholic intra-faith squabbles. Whether or not something is "Catholic enough" is totally off my radar -- unless it concerns the governance of my nation. Then I keep both eyes -- and ears -- open.

My belief concerning government is that, if there is a system in place, we ought to follow that system -- unless that system is irrevocably flawed, in which case it's time to hit the proverbial "reset button" and try something different.

I like the Federal system that we have in place. You might call me a constitutional fundamentalist. I believe that the fundamentals of our system are sound, in spite of the fact that politicians have spend over two centuries trying to screw things up. It's still a free country.

After reading the letters from left-wing Catholics, I'm not so sure. The responsible American voter should consider constitutionality when taking stances on the issues of the day. Most voters are not so responsible, and make their choices based on attitudes like, "what's in it for me?" or "how can I help people?" These Catholic correspondents fall into the latter category. It bothers me. They are trying to impose their religious views on the rest of us.

Funny thing is, if a pro-life Catholic (or conservative Christian in general) votes Republican because of abortion, leftists accuse them of trying to impose their religion on others. It makes me wonder -- what part of "Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness" do these people not understand?

Every election, there is a great deal of talk about the Catholic vote, as if Roman Catholic adherents constitute a monolithic voting bloc that always goes one way or the other. Truth is more complex. There are plenty of diehard Catholics who are also diehard Republicans. If I were to conduct a survey of my mostly right-of-center blogroll, I expect a majority would turn out to be Catholic. They can be good practicing Catholics without taking a subversive stance on American political issues. They believe that charity means "freely giving to others" and not "we need to pass legislation to soak the taxpayers for more of their income because it's easier than giving away our own money". Catholic Republicans are like the peaceful monks who gained converts by setting a good example of selflessness. Catholic Democrats are like the zealots who converted pagans at the point of a sword, upon pain of death.

Do you want your taxes to go up and government spending to increase because it allegedly "reflects Catholic values"? Or do you prefer the American system of government under which you have the freedom to give as you see fit? Unfortunately, the raging financial crisis may give the advantage to the former.

John McCain Is Human!

I skipped watching the McCain-Obama debate last week. Anything of value that either candidate might have to say has already been said, just not face-to-face. The only possible reason to sit through one of these debates is the possibility of some unintentional entertainment, like George W. Bush's "Wanna buy some wood?" in 2004. Otherwise, they are snoozefests.

Tony Norman of the Psychosis-Gazette, in a surprisingly non-judgmental post at the paper's new "A Fine Point" blog, tells us that John McCain may have muttered the word "horseshit" in response to a comment by Barack Obama. Naturally, the video clip is all over YouTube.



It sounds to me like McCain is saying, "Of course, of course", but I wish he really had said "horseshit". Politicians in general are not straightforward enough with their language. If they think that something before them is horseshit or bullshit, let them say so. I personally know of two undecided voters in the year 2000 who declared for Bush when he called some journalist a "major league asshole". People appreciate that kind of openness from their representatives.

John McCain needs to call horseshit when he sees it. That's the Straight Talk Express on which I am wholeheartedly on board.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Letters To The Editor, They Hurt My Brain

Usually I read the Moron Mail at the Psychosis-Gazette web site just to scoff at the asininity of 90% of the letters that the paper publishes. This morning's letter writers are striking back at me with a vengeance. Like this one:

Indeed, the proposed bailout is more like an entitled demand, as befits these Masters of the Universe, as they huddle in the Hamptons while they send their well-shod lobbyists to Congress...
I am seriously screwed, for I shall have this song stuck in my head for the rest of the day:



To say nothing of the mental image of those CEOs hanging out at the pool in fur bikini and blond Pete Rose wigs. Then there's this one:
If ever an administration has forfeited all rights to our trust in its judgment, it is this one.
This administration, of course, being...what? Whose administration? Rendell's? Onorato's? Ravenstahl's? Your local school district's? When you read the rest of the letter, it becomes clear that the administration in question is the George W. Bush administration. But the writer never mentions the name Bush or the office of the President. Does this twit suffer from such a severe case of BDS that she can not bring herself to say PRESIDENT BUSH, as if it were some sort of swear word? People do that in person, too. Whenever some lefty twerp starts mouthing off about "this administration", I want to chop them across the throat. ANYTHING to get this to shut up.

Then:
John McCain is trying to distance himself from the Republican Party. I think that it is time for all Americans to distance themselves from the Republican Party.
By voting for John McCain? Brilliant!

Idiot number 4:
We do not need to invade countries and fight at the drop of a hat like Mr. (John Wayne) Bush seems to think.
Yes, because he just went right into Afghanistan, Iraq, and all of those other countries without checking with Congress or the United Nations. Wait -- what other countries? And he DID go to Congress and the UN for support. Jeez, the PG will print anyone's garbage as long as it agrees with the editors' viewpoints, validity be damned!

This one donated money to Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008, so he has a financial stake in the election results:
I'm a Democrat and I pray every day for my country. I pray to God that Republicans will wake up to the destructive powers that they have unleashed upon our country and this planet.
See, this is why I am not a "religious right" type of person. I don't go around blathering and boasting about prayer. It sounds goofy when someone on our side says it, and it sounds goofy
when someone on their side says it. My spiritual meanderings are best kept personal and private. On the other hand, this guy makes me feel like the Dark Lord of the Sith, which is kind of cool. I've always wanted to shoot lightning from my hands.

Sometimes they scream out their rage at previous letter writers:
Mr. C tries to portray diplomacy as improper behavior that only Democrats engage in, when, in fact, Condoleezza Rice was recently on a diplomatic mission to Libya to meet with Moammar Gadhafi. Libya was responsible for 1998 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which some consider quite radical.
I will be looking forward to her next angry letter a few months from now, when (hypothetically) President Obama meets with Ahmadinejad, who was part of the gang that took Americans hostage back in 1979. Some consider that to be quite radical, too.

We hear from a proud feminist, too:
Sarah Palin is being hailed by the GOP as the perfect example of the successful conservative working mother. Yet there's something creepy about the GOP's latest ploy to lure women voters. Hiding your pregnancy from co-workers, friends and close family? Returning to work three days after giving birth? What kind of family values are these?
Yeah! Right on! Why didn't the Governor of Alaska tell everyone how her husband thrust his member inside of her and filled her with babies? Huh??? Why not? Oh, maybe because IT'S NO ONE ELSE'S BUSINESS! It didn't significantly affect her job, and she has a husband (and older children) who can perform child care duties. My wife and I both work. We have five kids, too. After the first couple of births, the novelty wears off and it's no longer "the great unknown". My wife was ready to go back to work -- mentally as well as physically -- sooner after the last couple of kids were born. I see nothing wrong with Sarah Palin resuming her duties three days after Trig's birth. The same letter writer complains that Governor Palin is "turning back the clock" on the "women's movement". Bullshit. She is the epitome of the modern working mother. I see it at home every day.

Another correspondent chimes in on Palin:
...it greatly disappoints me that Sarah Palin will gain votes for Sen. McCain simply because of her gender.
Now this disappoints me, too. No, not the thing about people voting for Sarah just because she is a woman. I'm going to vote for her because she has reasonably good conservative credentials, and because she has more in common with America at large than any other candidate in the national race this year, except maybe for Ron Paul. What disappoints me about this clipping is his incorrect use of the term "gender". Gender is a grammatical term, referring to things like pronouns (he/she/it). What this guy needs is SEX. In place of the word "gender", I mean. SEX has come to be treated like a dirty word, because it is most frequently used as a shortened form of "sexual intercourse". Don't be afraid of SEX. Dig?

That feels better. SEX has made my headache go away.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reg Hatred

A guy who publishes a weekly hate-filled screed in the Pittsburgh Psychosis-Gazette and tries to pass it off as a "humor column" naturally attracts some degree of criticism. I'm not talking about people who post in a blog that no one reads (like this one). I'm talking about people who directly correspond with him. Why? I have never felt compelled to communicate with a journalist. Those people are nuts. A few years ago I wrote a post in which I criticized one of Sir Reginald's colleagues, a man whom I have never referred to in this blog before or since. The old sod sent me an email accusing me of being paranoid about black helicopters. I had said nothing from which he could possibly infer such an assumption. He was simply being a crank. And we should trust these people to tell us what is going on in the world...why, exactly?

Sir Reginald is a little better. At least when he sends a snippy, insulting email to a critic, he tries to sound gentlemanly, albeit rather elitist. Nevertheless, he is still a shill for the Democrats. His last couple of columns fit nicely in place with the left-wing media's major offensive against Sarah Palin. Reg is just a drop of water in a big pool of hatred. He is so comfortable with hate, that he doesn't even know that he hates. Instead, just about anyone who takes issue with his screeds is a hater.

He excerpted some of this "hate" in his latest blog post -- yes, he has a blog called "Reg On Wry", on the PG's web site, though it ought to be called "Reg? Oh, Why!". He prefaces the post with his feelings about the folks who write to complain about his drivel, using a whole slew of negative adjectives: "vile", "abusive", "bilious", "hate-filled", "cowardly", "bitter", "humorless", "ugly", and, as a grand finale, "intolerant, abusive, irrational, juvenile, explosive and not amenable to reason". Oh, and apparently we all take our cues from Rush Limbaugh and talk radio. Thank you, Reg Hatred, for letting us know just what you really think of those who disagree with you.

Reg cleverly proceeds with a comment from a critic who, unfortunately, uses a racist slur to refer to Barack Obama, thus establishing (in the minds of his target audience) that the rest of us who take exception to Sir Reginald's livelihood must be EXACTLY LIKE THE RACIST IN EVERY WAY! Bastard. The rest of the comments were much more temperate and, of course, accurate in every way (with my comments in boldface):

You are pathetic. (Yep, he sure is) There was not one thing insightful in your article. (There never has been) There was only cynicism. (Reg us capable of nothing else)

If you want to criticize someone, there should be some meat and not merely snide remarks. (Right, that's an unpaid blogger's job)

And:
You’re an idiot, and one of the many reasons I no longer read the Post-Gazette. (By "read", he probably means "pay to read")
Then:
You sir are a total ass. (Crudely put, but factually accurate)
The last two are somewhat longer, but basically turn Reg's attitude back on him. Reg bemoans the apparent fact that his correspondents are voting for the McCain-Palin ticket. You know what? If Reg Hatred's writings bring more McCain-Palin supporters out of the woodwork and into the voting booth, then I say: Write, Reg, write!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Did The Devil Make Them Do It?

Tony Norman, longtime editor and columnist (and former music critic) for the Psychosis-Gazette writes today about the newest controversy in this year's political campaigns: Republican politicians using the music of left-wing musicians at public appearances. This has been an issue in past campaigns as well, and it never ceases to amaze me that no one seems to learn from these incidents. Why does the Republican Party court controversy by pissing off jerks like the Wilson sisters or John Mellencamp by playing their songs? Why do the musicians risk alienating the Republican portion of their fan base by making public declarations of outrage? It seems to me that no one comes off as a winner in this sort of scuffle, though the fault would seem to lie with the McCain campaign for raising hackles in the first place.

There is something that I am wondering about. Back in the 1990s, Rush Limbaugh told a story about how his show had recently been contacted by a band that I had never heard of (before or since) called The Bottle Rockets. The band objected to his use of one of their songs as bumper music. Rush responded that he liked the song, he would continue to play it, and that he had the right to play it because his station/network/whatever had paid the requisite fees to ASCAP, so therefore The Bottle Rockets were duly compensated for use of their music. The band continued to complain but Rush Limbaugh was legally in the right. So how does this work with political campaigns?

Do the Democrat and Republican parties have to pay ASCAP before playing this music at public rallies? Do the same laws that apply to radio broadcasts of music apply here? If so, then they would be free to play all of the Heart, Van Halen, Jackson Browne, Mellencamp, Springsteen, etc. that they want. But it would still be a stupid thing to do.

Speaking of stupid things, I am a little disappointed in Tony Norman. While I seldom agree with any of his views, Tony writes one of the more intelligible columns in the PG. Today, however, he slips dangerously close to Reg Henry-level stupidity with this assertion:

It looks like the staples of FM radio are in full revolt against the opportunism of the Republicans. For a party that used to believe that rock 'n' roll was of the Devil, they've been doing a lot of thievin' lately.
When was "rock 'n' roll is the Devil's music!" ever part of the Republican Party platform? Did I miss something? When has the party -- either party, for that matter -- taken an official stand on the supposed theological nature of a musical genre? I'd like to see something backing up that allegation. Isolated statements by rednecks and religious fanatics don't count. I feel like I've been slandered, and I want PROOF.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Heir Apparent

I have a theory. You may not agree with it; in fact, you might question my state of mind after I tell it to you. My theory is very simple and, really, apropos of nothing. It's just that I have noticed a certain trend over the last sixty years concerning the Presidents of these United States of America. You ready? Here goes:

The candidate whose last name is two syllables and ends with the letter "n" is a shoo-in to get elected President.

Nutty? Let's look at the history of two-syllable "-n" presidents:

  • Jackson, Andrew -- Nothing really remarkable here, insofar as he was the only president in the first fourscore years of the Republic to whom my theory applies. Besides, in those pre-mass media days, people has longer attention spans and preferred men whose names had three syllables and ended in "n": Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Van Buren, Harrison Buchanan.
  • Lincoln, Abraham -- Bad mojo -- he was assassinated.
  • Johnson, Andrew -- A lot of people might have wanted him killed, but they impeached him instead. A couple of decades later, there would be another three syllable "-n" president, another Harrison, but that was the last gasp for that lot.
  • Wilson, Woodrow -- Had a stroke while in office. Also, never trust a candidate who runs on a platform of keeping the country out of war. It comes back to haunt you. But hey, at least we won the damn thing!
  • Truman, Harry -- The Great Depression and World War II changed everything. Up to this point, "-n" presidents were few and far between, and often hard luck cases. Truman took over when a popular chief executive died in office, literally dropped A bomb, and won the war before being elected in his own right, despite the headlines of the day. Finally, lasting success!
  • Johnson, Lyndon -- Civil rights, Great Society, Vietnam...whether you agreed with him or not, LBJ could get things done.
  • Nixon, Richard -- Nixon had his chance in 1960 but couldn't compete with Democrat machine politics. 1968 was another story. President Johnson dropped out of the race early, thereby avoiding a tense "-n" vs. "-n" showdown. Humphrey might have done better if his name had been Humphren.
  • Reagan, Ronald -- The shame of Watergate might have done away with "-n" presidents forever, if not for the ineptitude of Ford and Carter. We needed an "-n" in 1980, and we got it. Reagan was only the third of the first eight "-n"s to be elected twice and serve two full terms. Most of the others either died in office, took over for someone who died, or resigned in disgrace. Reagan brought dignity back to the "-n"s.
  • Clinton, Bill -- It was inevitable that Bush 41 would lose when faced with an opponent who adhered to the rule of "-n". Like Reagan, Clinton served a full eight years and became synonymous with a decade in American history.
So where are the "-n" presidents for the 21st century? Hillary Clinton would have been obvious had she secured the nomination. Obama certainly doesn't fit. I don't count McCain because there is really only one vowel sound in his surname. So let's look at the Vice-Presidential candidates.

Biden and Palin. It's a toss-up! Obama is a fairly young man and not likely to kick the bucket anytime soon. If the Democrat ticket gets elected, Joe Biden should get used to being VP for a long while. On the other hand, some people (I don't know who they are, but you can look them up on the Internet) think that a President McCain will die in office because he is OLD. If such a tragedy were to occur, we would have yet another "-n" theory president. Since the odds are more in favor of McCain dying in office than Obama, I predict that McCain-Palin are the likely winners of the election. Remember that it was quote common for a newly deceased president to be succeeded by a "-n" vice-president.

Jackson. Lincoln. Johnson. Wilson. Truman. Johnson. Nixon. Reagan. Clinton. And Palin.

Sarah Palin, future President of the United States of America.

Another thing about these "-n" names: Back in 1996, Stone Cold Steve Austin became the most popular wrestler in the history of sports entertainment when he uttered the phrase: "Austin 3:16 says I just kicked your ass!" I pointed out to some of my then-co-workers that any name with two syllables ending in "n" could replace the name "Austin", but the phrase would have to be customized in order to fit the named individual. For instance, there was a guy named Owen who shelved things, so naturally "Owen 3:16 says I just shelved your ass!" Even better was a lady named Ellen, who was responsible for dictionaries and other reference books: "Ellen 3:16 says I just look up your ass!" And so on.

So you could come up with 3:16s for any of the above listed presidents. Be creative. I have one for Sarah Palin, who is now the world's most famous moose hunter. She stands above a mortally wounded moose, looks it straight in the eye, and yells "Palin 3:16 says I just capped your ass!"

Maybe we should save that one until after she wins the election.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Moron Mail

As if the jerks who get paid to write for the Psychosis-Gazette aren't bad enough, check out the idiots who write to the paper in hopes of seeing their words published on the editorial page.

From Monroeville:

In selecting Sarah Palin to be his running mate, does John McCain think he can sway some of the pro-Hillary voters to his ticket?
John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate because she can attract Hillary voters to the Republican side? That's news to me -- I must have missed the memo. Oh, that's right! I didn't get the memo because I'm not a Democrat! Only a Democrat would be stupid or evil enough to propagate the lie that Sarah Palin is supposed to make Hillary people vote Republican. Naturally, the liars are Psychosis-Gazette subscribers.

From Churchill:
The Republican attempt at winning the votes of disappointed Hillary supporters is an insult to the female electorate. Those Hillary supporters who would vote for the McCain-Palin ticket because of that selection diminish Mrs. Clinton's candidacy and the aspirations of woman who aspire to elected office based on their qualifications and not their gender.
Supposedly, this is a different moron than the first letter writer. The BIG LIE memo is certainly making the rounds in the eastern suburbs.

What does Swisshelm Park say?
And, by the way, John McCain, if you think that you can condescend to us female voters by placing Sarah Palin's name on the ballot, you are sadly mistaken. She is nowhere near qualified to be vice president and is nowhere near as qualified as Hillary Clinton to help run this country.
The hate is palpable, and matched only by the correspondents' obtuseness. Allow me to make something clear:

SARAH PALIN WAS NOT CHOSEN AS MCCAIN'S RUNNING MATE BECAUSE OF HILLARY CLINTON! SHE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HILLARY CLINTON! SARAH PALIN IS A CONSERVATIVE! SHE WAS CHOSEN TO WIN BACK DISAFFECTED REPUBLICANS! And guess what -- IT'S WORKING! SO STOP WITH THE STUPID HILLARY BULLSHIT AND PAY SOME FUCKING ATTENTION, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

I could also shout something about having these dorks hit themselves over the head with hammers, but of course they would never do that -- unless the order came in the form of a memo from DNC headquarters.

HATE Is His Watchword

Today is a good day for anyone who is trying to house train a puppy, because it's Wednesday, and that means another inane Reg Henry column for Fido to poop on. Sir Reginald is giddy with glee! The emergence of Sarah Palin on the national scene has given him someone new to hate. It has also given him a new opportunity to demonstrate his ignorance.

No investigative journalist he. Reg makes a number of assumptions about Palin's moose hunting activities that makes me wonder whether everything he knows about moose he learned from watching Captain Kangaroo. I have never encountered a moose myself, but I know people who have. Moose mothers are some of the most protective mothers around, and will not hesitate to charge a human in the vicinity of their babies. They are dangerous animals to encounter under any circumstances. All one needs to do is google the keywords "moose" and "dangerous" to learn what a challenge it is to hunt the antlered giants. Actually trying to learn something about the subject, however, would cripple Reg's already lame attempt at humor.

He then goes on to mock the names of Governor Palin's children, and her hairstyle. Now that is some substantive writing!

And this:

Fortunately, the presumptuous vice president has family values. In fact, with her sort of far-right values, she could be Genghis Khan's sister.
If Reg's credibility wasn't already shot, I would say he lost it with the "Genghis Khan" remark. This is the sort of anachronistic nonsense that lowers the level of political debate in this country, to say nothing of diminishing journalistic standards. There was no concept of political "wings" in the 12th century. Leftists think it's funny to make such comparisons, though, so they keep on doing it.

Finally, Reg gets to the point: Palin is inexperienced. After all of the "mooseburger" blathering, he concludes that Sarah Palin is just as inexperienced, if not more so, than Barack Obama, and that makes her unfit to be the backup for the highest office in the land.

His conclusion?
Now his critics are reduced to not liking him because he doesn't shoot moose. This may not be progress but it is some wild and crazy fun.
Reg has a single theory to explain everything: Obama's opponents oppose him because he is inexperienced! If that doesn't last, they'll come up with some other reason to dislike him!

Does it not occur to him that there are myriad reasons that not everyone lines up to fellate the Obamessiah? It's like the issues don't exist, or McCain and Obama are so similar that there has to be some superficial reason to prefer one to the other.

Typical. Never expect substance from Reg Henry -- or from any other Psychosis-Gazette writer.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stephen Maloney Rules The World

Friday afternoon, I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned when the hygienist asked, "So what do you think of John McCain's surprise pick?" I had been at work all day and hadn't heard the news. She informed me that the Governor of Alaska was now McCain's running mate.

"Surprise pick?", I wondered. That's all I would hear in the media for the next day or so. "Surprise pick". I have been hearing it enough that I figure the mainstream media must have received some sort of DNC memo ordering them to use that catch phrase.

John McCain's VP selection is no surprise to anyone who is familiar with Professor Stephen Maloney, proprietor of several blogs on current political campaigns. He knew who Sarah Palin was months ago. Anyone who reads Steve Maloney was anything but surprised by the Friday announcement.

Never doubt the man. Whatever he says, goes.

For the record, I agreed with him that Sarah Palin would make a good addition to a national ticket. I just never expected it to happen this year.

Steve is shining like gold this week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Reimagining The English Language

From the same article that I cited in my last post, we find this quote:

"Barack Obama is a liberal with respect to three core concerns," said [some Sociology professor]. "He's for phasing out our involvement in Iraq and not repeating the calamitous error of preventative war. He supports moving toward universal health care. And he's committed to investments in sustainable fuel and pulling back from oil dependency."
This is one of my biggest problems with political rhetoric for the last 100 years or so. "Liberal" has become a dirty word in politics due to its misappropriation by leftists. "Liberal" derives from "liberty", so someone who is a "liberal" should be someone who advocates freedom. Let's take a look at the alleged liberalism of Obama's "three core concerns" as described above.

First, opposition to "involvement in Iraq" and to "preventative war" in general. This one is arguable. Going into Iraq was not an absolute must. Neither was going into Afghanistan. Hell, you could say that we shouldn't have gone to Japan during World War II. We did all of these things because there were compelling arguments to do so. Would a true "liberal" support the continuation of Saddam Hussein's regime? No.

Second is "moving toward universal health care". This would be a system of government coercion. Can you opt out of paying your taxes that go to supporting socialized medicine? If the answer is no, then this is not a liberal policy.

The third and final concern is energy policy. Self-described "liberals" demand that we never tap another well, never build another refinery, never explore domestic sources of oil that will keep our cars running while new technologies are still in development. How do they put these demands into effect? By making them the law. In other words, more government coercion.

A political viewpoint that tells us government can make things better by passing more restrictive laws is not liberal. I wouldn't mind if more of these leftists would call themselves progressives or socialists (I prefer "commies"), but they have been repeating the Big Lie that they are "liberal" for so long that they have come to believe it.

And they have the audacity to call themselves "The reality-based community"?