Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Your LOL Moment Of The Day
After the previously posted polka related high jinks, perhaps a more traditional form of music might be an improvement. How about a visit from the heavy metal band Titannica as they visit their biggest fan, courtesy of Mr. Show?
Going where most in the MSM fear to tread, Keith Olbermann continues to provide consistent coverage of current events with a bit more depth than the traditional newscast. And by far, one of it's best feature has to be the hosts' on-target commentaries. Last night's review of All The President's Lies, where he recaps the Bush administration performance on terrorism prior to 9-11 is the kind of coverage that makes this show a nightly "must-see".
In a sorry-assed move from the former "Charlie Hustle", you can now purchase a baseball with a hand written apology for betting on baseball. No apology apparently for the bad taste in offering up this item for sale.
In the event anyone still cares "Weird Al" Yankovic just released a new album "Straight Outta Lynwood" which has all the parodies you would expect, such as the video White & Nerdy. In the event you're in that demographic too, the song is a take-off of "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone. I'll never be able to look at M.C. Escher the same way, ever again. Tons of other obscure, geeky references make this one more fun than I would have expected.
And if you're in the mood for more, try the Weird Al Yankovic Polkarama! on for size. True gluttons for punishment might want to catch his Polka Power video as well. And for an animated version of Weird Al, there's the Robot Chicken version, featuring a celebration of Weasel Stomping Day. How refreshing to be able to use the term "weasel" and NOT be talking about a politician!
As part of an ongoing quest to outfit our dog in increasingly embarrassing outfits, the wife just informed me that we've ordered this stunning Bone Jovi Rocker Dog Tee Shirt. Hey, what do you expect she's from New Jersey and has big hair... the DOG that is!
And I was more than a bit surprised to see the link for Dog Special Occasion; WTF is that? Is that the day a steak falls on the kitchen floor? Target seems to think that it's a day that your dog need to wear a business suit. But it would allow me to bring her to work during the annual "take your daughter to work day" like a co-worker did awhile back. When she was challenged about it, she started to mumble something about "discrimination against dinks" and an uncomfortable truce was reached.
But at least we haven't gone as far as to do this to our dog!
As if it's not bad enough that NFL players have to work in a dangerous, violent profession. They also must endure the Chunky Soup Curse, where players who appear in commercials for Campbell's Soup wind up going into a career tailspin or receiving a serious injury. Far from a sure thing, but I'd be avoiding it if I were in their shoes.
Here's a request for the good of everybody involved: Dear Mr. Madden, PLEASE, PLEASE hit the karma reset button and start putting your picture back on the cover! Let's stop the needless pain and suffering.
Sometimes, things just don't come off the way you might have intended. Poorly chosen words often get in the way of the message. Then in some other instances there are unfortunate associations that are almost impossible to overcome. Just ask any massage professional if they've ever been confused with a prostitute and you'll know what I mean. Other times you just get a piece of stupidity stuck in your head, and no amount of rational thought can displace it. One of my little demons is a mondegreen that causes me to hear the lyrics to the classic "Love Train" as people of the world, join in... on the love train... Lorne Green. Doesn't make a damn bit of sense, I know.
But it's certainly not the only incorrect association that caught on with no reason. Just look at Bush's reputation as being strong on terror, when the reality is something different. And last night's NFL game in the Superdome was an attempt to break an unfortunate link between the darkest moment of the Katrina tragedy and the structures role in hosting those who couldn't escape the hurricane. The presence of big name entertainers, a $180 million refurbishing, and the hoopla surrounding the first post-Katrina game were supposed to make us forget the pain and suffering. For many it probably did, but for most of us the memories and the association will remain.
Now, if we could break the untrue link between the Shrub and his assertion that he's making it safer for us. The recently leaked report from the intelligence community supports what most of us have long suspected. Our misfocused and inept foreign policy has actually sewn the seeds for new generations of terrorism. But as always, Dubya's denial and rejection of the conventional wisdom provided by experts should surprise nobody. He still insists that Iraq and terrorism are linked, and ironically he's made that come true. Hopefully, we can stop the neo-con cabal before they lie and distort and try to steer the ship of state towards Iran.
The headlines about them are, of course, entirely wrong.
It is not essential that a past president, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back.
It is not important that the current President’s portable public chorus has described his predecessor’s tone as “crazed.”
Our tone should be crazed. The nation’s freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as al Qaida; the nation’s marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit.
Nonetheless. The headline is this:
Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done in five years.
He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.
"At least I tried," he said of his own efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. "That’s the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They had eight months to try; they did not try. I tried."
Thus in his supposed emeritus years has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by any one, in these last five long years.
The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11.
The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.
The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."
The Bush Administration did not try.
Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest “pass” for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!
President Roosevelt was rightly blamed for ignoring the warning signs—some of them, 17 years old—before Pearl Harbor.
President Hoover was correctly blamed for—if not the Great Depression itself—then the disastrous economic steps he took in the immediate aftermath of the Stock Market Crash.
Even President Lincoln assumed some measure of responsibility for the Civil War—though talk of Southern secession had begun as early as 1832.
But not this president.
To hear him bleat and whine and bully at nearly every opportunity, one would think someone else had been president on September 11th, 2001 -- or the nearly eight months that preceded it.
That hardly reflects the honesty nor manliness we expect of the executive.
But if his own fitness to serve is of no true concern to him, perhaps we should simply sigh and keep our fingers crossed, until a grown-up takes the job three Januarys from now.
Except for this.
After five years of skirting even the most inarguable of facts—that he was president on 9/11 and he must bear some responsibility for his, and our, unreadiness, Mr. Bush has now moved, unmistakably and without conscience or shame, towards re-writing history, and attempting to make the responsibility, entirely Mr. Clinton’s.
Of course he is not honest enough to do that directly.
As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he is having it done for him, by proxy.
Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News Friday afternoon.
Consider the timing: the very weekend the National Intelligence Estimate would be released and show the Iraq war to be the fraudulent failure it is—not a check on terror, but fertilizer for it.
The kind of proof of incompetence, for which the administration and its hyenas at Fox need to find a diversion, in a scapegoat.
It was the kind of cheap trick which would get a journalist fired—but a propagandist, promoted:
Promise to talk of charity and generosity; but instead launch into the lies and distortions with which the Authoritarians among us attack the virtuous and reward the useless.
And don’t even be professional enough to assume the responsibility for the slanders yourself; blame your audience for “e-mailing” you the question.
Mr. Clinton responded as you have seen.
He told the great truth untold about this administration’s negligence, perhaps criminal negligence, about bin Laden.
He was brave.
Then again, Chris Wallace might be braver still. Had I in one moment surrendered all my credibility as a journalist, and been irredeemably humiliated, as was he, I would have gone home and started a new career selling seeds by mail.
The smearing by proxy, of course, did not begin Friday afternoon.
Disney was first to sell-out its corporate reputation, with "The Path to 9/11." Of that company’s crimes against truth one needs to say little. Simply put: someone there enabled an Authoritarian zealot to belch out Mr. Bush’s new and improved history.
The basic plot-line was this: because he was distracted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton failed to prevent 9/11.
The most curious and in some ways the most infuriating aspect of this slapdash theory, is that the Right Wingers who have advocated it—who try to sneak it into our collective consciousness through entertainment, or who sandbag Mr. Clinton with it at news interviews—have simply skipped past its most glaring flaw.
Had it been true that Clinton had been distracted from the hunt for bin Laden in 1998 because of the Monica Lewinsky nonsense, why did these same people not applaud him for having bombed bin Laden’s camps in Afghanistan and Sudan on Aug. 20, of that year? For mentioning bin Laden by name as he did so?
That day, Republican Senator Grams of Minnesota invoked the movie "Wag The Dog."
Republican Senator Coats of Indiana questioned Mr. Clinton’s judgment.
Republican Senator Ashcroft of Missouri—the future attorney general—echoed Coats.
Even Republican Senator Arlen Specter questioned the timing.
And of course, were it true Clinton had been “distracted” by the Lewinsky witch-hunt, who on earth conducted the Lewinsky witch-hunt?
Who turned the political discourse of this nation on its head for two years?
Who corrupted the political media?
Who made it impossible for us to even bring back on the air, the counter-terrorism analysts like Dr. Richard Haass, and James Dunegan, who had warned, at this very hour, on this very network, in early 1998, of cells from the Middle East who sought to attack us, here?
Who preempted them in order to strangle us with the trivia that was, “All Monica All The Time”?
Who distracted whom?
This is, of course, where—as is inevitable—Mr. Bush and his henchmen prove not quite as smart as they think they are.
The full responsibility for 9/11 is obviously shared by three administrations, possibly four.
But, Mr. Bush, if you are now trying to convince us by proxy that it’s all about the distractions of 1998 and 1999, then you will have to face a startling fact that your minions may have hidden from you.
The distractions of 1998 and 1999, Mr. Bush, were carefully manufactured, and lovingly executed, not by Bill Clinton, but by the same people who got you elected President.
Thus, instead of some commendable acknowledgment that you were even in office on 9/11 and the lost months before it, we have your sleazy and sloppy rewriting of history, designed by somebody who evidently read the Orwell playbook too quickly.
Thus, instead of some explanation for the inertia of your first eight months in office, we are told that you have kept us "safe" ever since—a statement that might range anywhere from zero, to 100 percent, true.
We have nothing but your word, and your word has long since ceased to mean anything.
And, of course, the one time you have ever given us specifics about what you have kept us safe from, Mr. Bush, you got the name of the supposedly targeted Tower in Los Angeles wrong.
Using mnemonics allows you to easily remember information by associating lists or data with other more easily recalled events, words, or sentences. Here's a few that you might not have come up with on your own.
The debacle of the 2000 presidential election made it all too apparent to most Americans that our electoral system is broken. And private-sector entrepreneurs were quick to offer a fix: Touch-screen voting machines, promised the industry and its lobbyists, would make voting as easy and reliable as withdrawing cash from an ATM. Congress, always ready with funds for needy industries, swiftly authorized $3.9 billion to upgrade the nation's election systems - with much of the money devoted to installing electronic voting machines in each of America's 180,000 precincts. But as midterm elections approach this November, electronic voting machines are making things worse instead of better. Studies have demonstrated that hackers can easily rig the technology to fix an election - and across the country this year, faulty equipment and lax security have repeatedly undermined election primaries. In Tarrant County, Texas, electronic machines counted some ballots as many as six times, recording 100,000 more votes than were actually cast. In San Diego, poll workers took machines home for unsupervised "sleepovers" before the vote, leaving the equipment vulnerable to tampering. And in Ohio - where, as I recently reported in "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" [RS 1002], dirty tricks may have cost John Kerry the presidency - a government report uncovered large and unexplained discrepancies in vote totals recorded by machines in Cuyahoga County.
Even worse, many electronic machines don't produce a paper record that can be recounted when equipment malfunctions - an omission that practically invites malicious tampering...
Why does it seem that there are so few teachers with the energy and humor of Dr. Jim Kakalio who explains The Science Of Superman ? But there are some problems that even Superman can't solve. (VIA Boing Boing)
I always get ideas that I think I should run with and I lack the energy or resources to follow-through with them. My concept of the multi-pack of women's underware called "panties-in-a bunch" is one of the balls I've dropped. And a line of colorful snack cakes packaged in a plastic cage called "urinal cakes" is another missed opportunity that I haven't persued.
But now I see that someone has come up with what appears to be the world's perfect job idea: I Do Nothing All Day. The site is a collection of NYC street life featuring video clips of the beautiful, hip and sexy, women found on the streets of New York. Why didn't I think of that?
NSA Super Spy-O-Matic "Simply enter the name of anyone you find suspicious, and Super Spy-O-Matic instantly cross-references NSA domestic phone, e-mail, travel and banking databases to expose shockingly seditious behavior and attitudes! "
The recent announcement from McDonald's that their New 'McKitchen' Could Mean Breakfast Any Time immediately made me think of the old Steven Wright joke. "I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance." This is good news to those of us who inevitably get there five minutes after they've stopped serving breakfast, But as much as it might be appealing to get an Egg McMuffin whenever you want, it's not going to be good news for America's waistline. And I can only imagine how this will slow their service down even more, by adding additional menu items.
Maybe they can take a page from the recent Gap ads, and use Audrey Hepburn as a spokesperson, like this Worth1000 photoshop contest suggests.
Pretty much anything you might need to know about the classic treat Cracker Jack seems to be covered in this article. Although it now comes in foil pouches, it essentially remains unchanged for more than 100 years, It gets its' distinctive flavor from molasses, and yes, it still contains a prize that's increasingly likely to suck.
But is anybody other than me bothered by the lyrics of the old standard Take Me Out To The Ball Game? "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don't care if I never get back." conjures up images of a child, so willing to get Cracker Jack at the ballpark, that he'd do anything, even if that means abandonment! Hardly seems like the kind of thing we would want to endorse.
Gross-Out Gummy Pizza: Crunchy candy fish eyes, worms, and stinky cheese.
Gross-Out Gummy Breakfast: Candy liquified protein shake, duck egg, and silkworm cereal.
More like a "trick" than a "treat" these would be perfect for serving to people who you just can't alienate using more traditional methods. Myself, I'll just stick my head in the garbage can and sniff if I feel the need to get nauseous. But if I want to get a candy that really sends a message, I think I'll opt for these Mini Dickmann's Choclates instead.
Fallen Rapper Pez These prototypes of a suggested series of "fallen rappers" featuring the heads of Biggie Smalls, Eazy-E, and Tupac Shakur never saw the light of day. The folks at Pez didn't think it was going to appeal to their core customer. But this and this would? Must... not... jump... to... conclusions! But you can check out the wide range of Pez dispensers that actually were made at the Museum of Pez Memorabilia.
Lest we forget, RemembertheAFL.com is a website dedicated to recognition of the innovative influence of the American Football League. Viewed as an upstart by the established and conservative NFL, the AFL embodied the free spirited and rebellious 60's. The colorful and charismatic Joe Namath provided respectability for the league when he led the Jets to a victory in Super Bowl III, prior to the league being absorbed into the NFL. But the biggest testament to the league's influence is that most of it's innovations were adopted by the NFL. A fun stroll down memory lane for any football fan.
I can't let this bit of silliness pass without comment. A few days ago I went past the Brookstone store in the mall and noticed the Osim iGallop prominently on display in the front of the store. This odd looking device claims to be a "revolutionary exerciser that can help you shape and tone your tummy, hips, seat and thighs." Oh, and the best part? You don't have to do anything, just sit there and watch TV and it will shake your lazy ass and get you in shape!
Now, I'm pretty much thinking that exercise equipment that doesn't require you to do any work is like drinking your way to sobriety. Nice idea, but probably not effective. What a fat and lazy nation we've become if rather than deal with the tedious process of working out, we'll find a easy way where we don't have to think or do anything. It's that kind of logic that got Dubya elected to two terms!
But who do they think they are fooling? I hardly think that exercise is going to be this devices' primary function. I pass the store daily and I'm always seeing women trying it out. The looks on their faces makes me think that if I stick around I'll be seeing their "O-Face" shortly. Even the name is suggestive to my gutter mind, since if you add R and G to the manufactures' name you reveal the hidden meaning. I haven't been brave enough to stop in and see if they sell any attachments for this baby, but I just can't keep from drawing the conclusion that this is really intended for the bedroom.
To celebrate, you can get in the spirit of things and See How A Pirate Would Say It. But if you wish for a more passive observance, maybe just a look at the Flickr gallery of International Talk Like A Pirate Day group would be a satisfactory level of participation.
I somehow fool myself that I'm objective and open-minded. Although I sometimes do exhibit these qualities, the real issue here is a lack of consistency. Time and time again, I'll make a decision based on a snap judgment that isn't always valid or well-reasoned. When the movie "Wedding Crashers" came out, I dismissed it as being over-hyped and had no interest in seeing the movie. A big part of why I didn't see it was because Owen Wilson was in it, and I just never got his appeal. (This was reinforced by viewing the disappointing "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" which was just a suckfest and it's probably unfair to blame that on Wilson.)
So it came as a surprise to me that I even started to watch Wedding Crashers last night. What came as an even bigger surprise was that I liked it! Two overgrown adolescents who crash weddings to meet lonely women to score with certainly sounds like your typical testosterone driven gross-out comedy. But this movie quickly proved to be a heartwarming romantic comedy in the same way that "The 40 Year Old Virgin" was, just not quite as good as that classic. Maybe it's because I expected so little that I came away from this so pleasantly surprised. It's not often that you can combine a buddy flick, a wacky "guy" comedy, and a "chick flick" in one package and keep everybody happy, but this sure did. Does this mean I have to re-evaluate my resistance to watching "Anchorman"?
Idiot Test Purported to be a product of Anderson Consulting, this test will tell you if you are qualified to be a "professional". Four simple questions will determine how well you sort out details and deal with the results. Good luck!
From a recent "Daily Show" Jon Stewart Explains The Cavuto Law. A disturbing trend which probably originated from the hallowed halls of Faux News, Stewart demonstrates how you can cleverly manipulate punctuation to distort outrageous points of view to masquerade as "fair and balanced" journalism. He points out that the use of a simple question mark allows them to say "f'ing anything".
It takes two to tango, as well as to do the high five, an overdone celebration that may have jumped the shark according to this recent Man Law deliberation.
Although a far cry from the classic "Tastes Great/Less Filling" commercials from the past, these humorous "square table" discussions purport to sort out what is proper "manly" behavior. Luckily, there's a Man Code Wiki that chronicles what up to now, have been these unspoken rules. Just in case you were curious here's a few:
Men do not wear toe socks. This cannot be communicated any more explicitly: MEN DO NOT WEAR TOE SOCKS. It's like wearing women's underwear.
No man shall own more than five pairs of shoes. Exceptions to this rule include specialized shoes for sports, outdoors, occupation, or other manly activities.
Men do not wear outfits, Nancy. Men might wear "clothes that go together" but not "outfits". It's a semantics thing.
Men do not "diet". Men "get in shape".
Men do not go to the bathroom together. If nature calls two or more men in a group, only one may leave the group at a time.
A man should only occupy a urinal that is NOT immediately adjacent to another man. If there are no urinals available which meet this criteria, a line should be formed. There is one exception: if there is a privacy wall between said urinals which extends from the knees to the shoulders. Even with said wall, the buffer should be maintained if convenient.
Eyes forward at the urinal, Susie. There's no reason to be looking around in the men's room. Get in, do your business, and get out.
A State Trooper pulls a car over on a lonely back road and approaches the driver who was visibly intoxicated. "Ma'am, do you have a good reason as to why you're weaving all over the road"? The woman replied, "Oh officer, thank goodness you're here!! I almost had an accident! I looked up and there was a tree right in front of me. I swerved to the left and there was another tree in front of me. I swerved to the right and there was another tree in front of me!" Reaching through the side window to the rear view mirror, the officer replied, "Ma'am... that's your air freshener."
One of these days I'm going to order one of these Obsessive Compulsive Action Figures. As soon that is that I can stop double and triple checking that I've locked all the doors and turned off the iron. This attractive vinyl action figure comes with gloves, mask, and pre-moistened hypo-allergenic towelette to insure a germ free transaction and to insure his safety.
Bin Laden has become the Willie Horton of the midterms. After letting the C.I.A. disband the unit devoted to hunting for Osama — the Senate took a slap at the White House on Thursday when it voted to reinstate it — Mr. Bush now won’t stop talking about the bogeyman he ignored for five years while he transferred all his resources to Iraq.
“The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad,” he said.
Instead of going after Osama, we invaded Iraq. Now W. says we must stay in Iraq or it will be run by Osamas. We must kill all the terrorists we are creating. American soldiers must keep dying because American soldiers have died. If we criticize Mr. Bush, then we’re unmanning the whole country. The logic is deviously Rovian, and we are trapped in the circularity.
On “Meet the Press,’’ Mr. Cheney warned that America cannot let its adversaries “break our will’’ and show we “don’t have the stomach for the fight.’’
“It was the right thing to do,” Vice insisted of the war in Iraq, “and if we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing.”
After all the miscalculations and billions wasted, projects screwed up, lives and limbs lost, foreign enemies made, American stature squandered, Taliban strength regained, North Korean bombs and Iran-Iraq alliances built (visiting the American-hating, Holocaust-denying Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq called Iran “a good friend and brother’’) Dick Cheney wouldn’t do anything differently?
Part of leadership has to be retooling, saying: “You know what? This hasn’t worked. This is making things worse. What else can we do?’’
Break out the Wet Wipes, Mr. Cheney. Time for a good scrubbing.
A taste of yet another powerful Special Comment from Keith Olbermann during last night's Countdown:
Of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds -- none of us could have predicted this.
Five years later this space is still empty.
Five years later there is no memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country's wound is still open.
Five years later this country's mass grave is still unmarked.
Five years later this is still just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful...(snip)
When those who dissent are told time and time again -- as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus -- that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American...When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"... look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Mickey Mouse, 9/11 Co-conspirator (VIA Boing Boing) What's good for the goose is good for the mouse, as this little film treats Mickey with the same disregard for facts as the recent Disney abomination, "The Path To 9/11".
A recent glance at the Sephora website shows them posing the question "What do you get when you cross an award-winning actor, an award-winning perfumer, and an award-winning creative director?" Um, I don't have a clue but I'll go out on a limb and venture a guess that these large egos are going to clash and produce some real ugly results.
Cumming: The Fragrance is apparently the outcome. Dear God, it's hard not to take that right into the gutter. And as if that's not bad enough they describe the scent as a combination of Scotland, scotch, cigars, and sex. Oh yea, that sounds appealing. But it still sounds better than the Britney fragrance, which probably smells like Cheetos, cheeseburgers and beer.
A variety of products are offered in the line, but for some strange reason, no Cumming facial soap is available. No word yet if he plans to branch out to jewelry and market a pearl necklace line.
The feelings of sadness and loss with which we look back on Sept. 11, 2001, have shifted focus over the last five years. The attacks themselves have begun to acquire the aura of inevitability that comes with being part of history. We can argue about what one president or another might have done to head them off, but we cannot really imagine a world in which they never happened, any more than we can imagine what we would be like today if the Japanese had never attacked Pearl Harbor.
What we do revisit, over and over again, is the period that followed, when sorrow was merged with a sense of community and purpose. How, having lost so much on the day itself, did we also manage to lose that as well?
The time when we felt drawn together, changed by the shock of what had occurred, lasted long beyond the funerals, ceremonies and promises never to forget. It was a time when the nation was waiting to find out what it was supposed to do, to be called to the task that would give special lasting meaning to the tragedy that it had endured.
But the call never came. Without ever having asked to be exempt from the demands of this new post-9/11 war, we were cut out. Everything would be paid for with the blood of other people’s children, and with money earned by the next generation. Our role appeared to be confined to waiting in longer lines at the airport. President Bush, searching the other day for an example of post-9/11 sacrifice, pointed out that everybody pays taxes.
That pinched view of our responsibility as citizens got us tax cuts we didn’t need and an invasion that never would have occurred if every voter’s sons and daughters were eligible for the draft. With no call to work together on some effort greater than ourselves, we were free to relapse into a self- centeredness that became a second national tragedy. We have spent the last few years fighting each other with more avidity than we fight the enemy.
When we measure the possibilities created by 9/11 against what we have actually accomplished, it is clear that we have found one way after another to compound the tragedy. Homeland security is half-finished, the development at ground zero barely begun. The war against terror we meant to fight in Afghanistan is at best stuck in neutral, with the Taliban resurgent and the best economic news involving a bumper crop of opium. Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11 when it was invaded, is now a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists.
Listing the sins of the Bush administration may help to clarify how we got here, but it will not get us out. The country still hungers for something better, for evidence that our leaders also believe in ideas larger than their own political advancement.
Today, every elected official in the country will stop and remember 9/11. The president will remind the country that he has spent most of his administration fighting terrorism, and his opponents will point out that Osama bin Laden is still at large. It would be miraculous if the best of our leaders did something larger — expressed grief and responsibility for the bad path down which we’ve gone, and promised to work together to turn us in a better direction.
Over the last week, the White House has been vigorously warning the country what awful things would happen in Iraq if American troops left, while his critics have pointed out how impossible the current situation is. They are almost certainly both right. But unless people on both sides are willing to come up with a plan that acknowledges both truths and accepts the risk of making real-world proposals, we will be stuck in the same place forever.
If that kind of coming together happened today, we could look back on Sept. 11, 2006, as more than a day for recalling bad memories and lost chances.
Ok, so little things drive me to distraction. For years, it gets me crazy when I see a TV ad for Red Lobster and they have the little disclaimer at the bottom of the screen that says "prices higher in Hawaii". Having been there, I certainly understand that things are going to be more expensive. But the larger issue in my mind has always been, why would you go to Hawaii and eat at Red Lobster given the abundance of fantastic places serving fresh, local fare? I have to admit that I did come perilously close to going to McDonald's while I was there, but it was only to see if it was true that their menu included pineapple, spam, rice and hot taro pies. Somehow there was always something better to do, and I never paid them a visit.
Last night I saw a commercial that somehow eclipsed the Red Lobster ones in the head scratching department. Chilli's is running some sort of "triple play" appetizer special, and yet another fine print disclaimer appears at the end that states "prices higher in Arkansas and Hawaii". WTF? Why should the state that brought us Clinton and Wal-Mart have to charge more for chicken wings & fingers when one of the big industries there is poultry? A sinister plot by the chicken lobby, perhaps? Again, the larger question may be "why should I care?"
When all else fails, a return to the classics is always a good idea. So let's look back at the classic TV series You Bet Your Life, where Groucho Mark grilled brave contestants and many times made them look like foolish buffoons.
There's a well traveled story where Groucho had a woman on the show who had many, many children. She explained it as a byproduct of loving her husband. Groucho allegedly replied "Lady, I love my cigar, too, but I take it out once in a while." Who cares if it's a true story or not; it's too darned funny and pretty representative of the tone he took with most contestants.
So it's only fitting that we turn to Groucho for our Quote(s)-A-'Da-Day:
I have nothing but respect for you, and not much of that.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Room service? Send up a larger room.
Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five.
A man's only as old as the woman he feels.
Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
"Blog" itself is short for "weblog," which is short for "we blog because we weren't very popular in high school and we're trying to gain respect and admiration without actually having to be around people."
Creating your own blog is about as easy as creating your own urine, and you're about as likely to find someone else interested in it.
Harsh, but true. And the piece contains some humorous suggestions of what the perfect blog entry would be for some of the more popular sites.
I missed the big kick-off of the Katie Couric era of the CBS Evening News. It looks like the reviews were good, but anyone expecting them to reinvent the wheel might have been disappointed. I see that one big question remains: What should Katie's sign-off be?. You can give her your suggestions on-line if you wish. I guess they didn't want to go with her original suggestion of "Peace out, homies." Maybe she could try these on for size:
Good night and good shoes.
Come for the news; stay for the legs.
See 'ya tomorrow, cause nobody does perky like CBS news!
Doggie Umbrella (FROM Patently Absurd Inventions Archive) Does your "precious pooch" balk at going out in the rain? Or is it that you just hate the "wet dog smell" that results? Now The Doggie Umbrella will keep everybody happy. Thoughtfully designed with air holes up front to keep it from steaming up this little "pup tent", the only problem you'll have to deal with might be your dog's self esteem issues after going out looking like this!
If you have any sense, you won't touch this post with a ten foot pole. For no apparent reason I started to think about the various meanings and uses of the word "pole" and started surfing and searching, ultimately resulting in this giant A.D.D. linkdump: