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John's Blog

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!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Barack The Vote

Nothing sums up the compelling reasons why this election is so important better than this letter submitted to Daily Kos, I Didn't Vote For Obama:
I'm a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville, Florida. I've got a wife and two kids. Because the kids had no school today, I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early. Fifty-nine minutes later, two smiling children and I proudly sported "I Voted" stickers.

But I didn't vote for Obama...

I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with with nothing as immigrants.

I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades.

I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky. (Killed by an IED two years ago in Iraq).

I voted for Shawn, another who's been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who'll be going back to Afghanistan again soon -- and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started.

I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school -- it was years before it occurred to me how different her experience of our school must have been.

I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and yes -- Muslim.

I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young.

I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I want him to get a REAL tax break.

I voted for four little angels from Birmingham.

I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it.

I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too. But mostly, I voted selfishly. I vote for two little kids, one who has ballet in an hour, and once who has baseball practice at the same time. I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them. I voted for a government that will be respected in the world. I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile. I voted for everything I believe in.

Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn't him I was voting for -- it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all.

Who else is there to vote for?
|| JM, 10:40 AM || link || (6)||comments|| Email this link:


  • "Go, and never darken my towels again."
  • "I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought I'd rather dance with the cows until you come home."
  • "A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."
  • "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
  • "Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms."
  • "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
  • "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
  • "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
  • "Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like a banana."
  • "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
  • "A man's only as old as the woman he feels."
  • "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
  • "My favourite poem is the one that starts 'Thirty days hath September' because it actually tells you something."
  • "Here's to our wives and girlfriends...may they never meet!"
  • "I've got the brain of a four year old. I'll bet he was glad to be rid of it."
  • "Groucho" Marx
    Tags: ,
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    A Trip Worth Taking

    An informative look at "real America" via Jason Jones recent piece from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Understanding Real America in Wasilla. Although some of his work falls flat, this was dead on!
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    This Might Work

    A PSA from Natalie Portman & Rashida Jones, as they present a solution to the global economic crisis.
    Tags: ,
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    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Even Lipstick Doesn't Help

    A sampling of Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone article Mad Dog Palin:
    Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.
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    Literally Speaking

    As if the literal version of Take On Me wasn't funny enough, along comes a literal version of Tears For Fears' Head Over Heels. Given the treasure trove of goofy 80's videos, I suspect we've barely scratched the surface of this trend.

    And in a semi-related vein, College Humor shows us what Metaphor-Free Radio would be like.
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    "I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself."
    Marlene Dietrich
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    I Did Not Know That

    Gawd, I love pointless trivia, even if it's not true. So you might imagine that these nuggets from Things You Probably Already Know, But Have Forgotten would be right up my alley:

  • 40% of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.
  • 315 entries in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.
  • The 'spot' on 7UP comes from its inventor, who had red eyes. He was albino.
  • On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents, daily.
  • Most lipstick contains fish scales.
  • Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
  • Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.
  • Upper and lower case letters are named 'upper' and 'lower' because in the time when all original print had to be set in individual letters, the 'upper case' letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, 'lower case' letters.
  • Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.
  • There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange, purple, and silver!
  • Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors. Also, it took him 10 years to paint Mona Lisa's lips.
  • The mask used by Michael Myers in the original "Halloween" was a Captain Kirk mask painted white.
  • The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law, which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb (sign of a truely civilized society.)
  • Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!
  • The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
  • Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a space suit damages it.
  • Tags:
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    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Others Feel The Pain

    We've all been suckered into them; sometimes willing and sometimes not. But they all seem to get stuck in our heads and in our collective consciousness. These "memes" (NOT to be confused with my stalkerish obsession) spread quickly and soon embed themselves into the mainstream. In the event you missed any, or just want to relive some, a great interactive timeline at Internet Memes (VIA Gawker) allows you to do so.
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    Believe It, Or Not

    A weird thing happened again last night. I'm sitting there watching Fringe, and suddenly I start to nitpick. They were "reprograming" the brains of homing pigeons in a plexiglas chamber with giant electrical arcs above, and for some reason I had to stop and say "that's not realistic". How strange is it that you can suspend belief, and accept every-other bizarre and unbelievable sci-fi premise that the show presents, but you find that one line that you're just not willing to let your imagination cross.

    I had a similar problem with a recent Heroes episode, when Nathan flies in and saves Tracy/Niki who had just jumped off a bridge in a suicide attempt. Now I'm not at all bothered by a US Senator who flies and has survived both a nuclear explosion and an assassination attempt. But show me a suicide off a bridge taller than any that exist in DC and you have a major continuity error that bugs the crap out of me. I'm willing to let many of those continuity errors slide, since having Fringe use a different cow in the pilot than in the regular episodes isn't a big deal. It's not on par with changing Darrens, or anything.

    I'm not that harsh a critic of Heroes, and so far this season seems a huge improvement over the truncated, mediocre 2nd season. But a few more nitpicks while I'm in the mood for a pointless ramble:

  • Why does Hiro have to be such a childish dumbass? I'd expect him to be a little harder by this point. I'm not asking for "bad-assed Hiro of the future" that we saw in S1, but a bit of character growth, please.
  • And while we're on the subject of Hiro, how come no special interest groups have complained about his over-the-top ethnic stereotype? I'm not Asian, but at times it makes me cringe.
  • Maya; why? Don't get me wrong, she's been looking great and wearing some hot outfits. Oh wait; nevermind I just answered my own question. Although as one of the pod people, it sure limits the T&A time.
  • We haven't lost a major character for a long time. Maybe Mohinder would be a good place to start. Turning him into "the fly" HAS made him more interesting, but no less annoying.
  • And you got rid of Elle, just at the point I was beginning to like her. But if that's the price we have to pay to be rid of Bob, so be it!
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    Two Cups, One Guy

    When I first looked at this "self-help" device I was mildly amused. At the time these disposable cups, which the seller so gently and euphemistically describes as an "adult novelty concept" were only available in Japan.

    Well, score one for American ingenuity and free enterprise, since it looks like they are now available in the good ol' US of A. And at the bargain price of 2 fer $35,with free shipping and handling. Well, actually, you're kinda' responsible for the handling if you catch my drift.

    Ultimately my initial amusement was displaced by slimy revulsion after I watched the YouTube clip of it's features and benefits. Probably NOT the future of masturbation as they claim. On the other hand, if you want to argue that the future of mental masturbation is blogging, then you would have my wholehearted agreement.

    But since we're on this topic, it seems like the perfect time for the wit and wisdom of Louis CK on the subject:

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    "I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them."
    Adlai Stevenson
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    Pants On Fire?

    It's good to see a few people in the media call out Caribou Barbi on her less than truthful responses to the report on Troopergate. In this clip, Rachel Maddow calls a liar, a liar. And in this piece, Steve Bensen asks "Is Sarah Palin shockingly dishonest or is she functionally illiterate? Inquiring minds want to know."
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    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Vote Early, Vote Often!

    A fun new political site Candidate Equals allows you to create pictograms showing how the Presidential & V.P. contenders equate to common objects. Some funny stuff; you can make your own or just view others handiwork. So far, this one is my favorite.

    And if the prospect of this really happening weren't so freakin' terrifying, Palin As President would be pretty darned funny.
    || JM, 12:09 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    PMS For Dudes?

    Being the spineless, mindless, couch-riding, web-surfing schlub that I am, I couldn't help but to sit up a bit straighter and take notice that the term "Irritable Male Syndrome" spiked into the "spicy" category on Google Trends after author Jed Diamond appeared on the CBS Early Show to hawk his book of the same name. It describes changes in male body chemistry and behavior that occur as men age; essentially "male menopause".

    For a guy like me with psychosomatic tendencies, this can't be good news. I'm the guy, who when I read about "flesh-eating disease", was convinced that I had it, despite the absence of rotting flesh. With all the horrible news we're bombarded with on a daily basis, we need more things to worry about these days? But this video from WhatYouOughtToKnow helped talk me down from the ledge. Just a bit. Then I took the The Irritable Male Syndrome Quiz and suddenly became angry again.
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    "Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, political parties, nations, and eras it's the rule."
    Friedrich Nietzsche
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    Hot Stuff

    Just when you think Hot or Not is oh so "2000ish", along comes somebody who does another variation making it fresh. A new site The Only Vote allows you to view one Democrat, and one Republican and pick who you think is hotter. Unfortunately, they only identify their party affiliation AFTER you've voted. Despite my best efforts to guess which is the Democrat, I keep picking Republicans. This, in combination with seeing Cindy McCain the other day and thinking she was looking pretty good REALLY has me a bit scared!
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    Listics (VIA onegoodmove) asks and answers the question "Maverick? No, branded" and provides the fitting illustration.
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    Monday, October 13, 2008

    The Way I See It...

    Ok, I really need to stop doing this but anybody other than me think that Troopergates' Mike Wooten looks like a "separated at birth" version of Heroes' Matt Parkman? Maybe it's just the uniforms. Just sayin'.

    But the real comedy begins when Palin claims that the report vindicated her of any wrongdoing. This malarkey probably plays very well with her base, who don't usually seem overly concerned with "inconvenient" facts. However, those of us who try to live in the real world have to conclude that "it’s simply not possible to lie more deliberately or flagrantly than this".
    || JM, 7:21 AM || link || (7)||comments|| Email this link:


    "Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."
    Abraham Lincoln
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    Yes, Yes, Yes!

    I've seen some pretty well done, "cleaned-up porn" before, but Diesel XXX's SFW Porn (VIA Random Good Stuff) really tops all the rest!
    || JM, 7:17 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    Drill, Baby, Drill?

    Probably to avoid the inevitable lawsuits they market this as the "NOT Sarah Palin Inflatable Love Doll" but no need to debate their intent. You'll have to wait for the "Nailin' Palin" porno, but for those who need instant gratification you can order this now, although I suspect prices may go down after November.

    "Sarah Palin makes sexism sexy. Cross party lines with your own inflatable running mate... Blow her up and show her how you're going to vote. Let her pound your gavel over and over. Bypass the Bush and have some MILF." And unlike the real deal, this one won't annoy you with the Fargo accent or disturbing right-wing views. And for good measure, a bit of re-edited kink.

    And one more bit of MILFY goodness, but this one courtesy of the McCain campaign. Apparently John McCain Owns the URL for!
    || JM, 7:48 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Faux Noise

    Ode to Sean Hannity (VIA onegoodmove)
    by John Cleese

    Aping urbanity
    Oozing with vanity
    Plump as a manatee
    Faking humanity
    Journalistic calamity
    Intellectual inanity
    Fox Noise insanity
    You’re a profanity

    || JM, 7:46 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:


    "Why is it that the Republican party seems to consist solely of the top 5% of America's wealth holders and the lower third of the IQ spectrum with NO ONE in between?"
    Richard Metzger
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    These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

    Simple things amuse me, so You Fell Asleep Watching a DVD (VIA Found on the Web) provided me with much pleasure. So simple and stupid; it's funny!
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    Wednesday, October 08, 2008

    It's Becoming Clearer

    Well, I'm glad John Oliver of The Daily Show finally cleared up my confusion over who those undecided voters actually are. It looks like last night's debate audience was filled with this motley group. Let's hope that they took something away from this sterilized horse and pony show, although they probably just wound up liking a little bit more who the one they preferred before the event.

    What a gawd awful format; how dare they call these debates? There really needs to be more back and forth rebuttal. This was just two guys walking around a stage making speeches. And Tom Brokaw didn't seem to add much other than his schoolmarmish attempts to reign in the length of answers. I would have preferred unscreened questions from real people; like that's gonna' happen! But even when hit with a question from left field like the "What don't you know?" one, they both quickly worked back to the canned responses.

    Of course, for most of us, the sound bite of the evening was McGrumpy's use of the phrase "that one" which clearly exposed his contempt for Obama. Overall he came off looking angry, frustrated, and a bit confused at times, not projecting a Presidential manner. If this was "his format" it certainly did him no favors last night. On the other hand Obama appeared cool and collected; a stark contrast to his opponent. Seems like momentum is building in his favor.
    || JM, 10:29 AM || link || (3)||comments|| Email this link:


    "There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good."
    Stephen Colbert
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    The Squashacity Of Hope

    Go download one of the pumpkin carving stencils at Yes We Carve. Then use it to create your own "Jack O'Bama", or is it "Barack O' Lantern"? Sound like good, wholesome messy fun either way!

    And for more homegrown fun, be sure to visit Pinocchio Politics, and download the pattern for one of their Pinocchio noses. Perfect for wearing as you read their long list of lies that the McCain campaign has been guilty of spreading. For bonus points, download the McLiar Bingo and play along during the next debate!
    || JM, 10:20 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Tuesday, October 07, 2008

    A Few More Reasons

    Thirty graphics designers pulled together for the final days of the Presidential campaign creating an internet crusade 30 Reasons to Vote Obama to encourage support for Obama. A new poster will appear daily.
    "Tell me it can't be true. Following 8 years of disastrous governance, the Democrats field the best candidate this country has seen in generations, against one of the worst the Republicans have ever mustered, and the media's political pundits would have us seriously contemplate more of the same. Is anyone ever going to learn?"
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    Tall Tales

    A fantastic illustration from Derek Chatwood (The Searcher on Flickr) showing ol' McGrumpy as the Unoriginal Maverick that he is.

    But until the NY Times told us how the term originated I didn't know that it relates to a family in Texas. Back in the day, they had a cattle ranch, and didn't bother to "brand" the cattle as other ranchers did, so any unmarked livestock were assumed to be "Maverick's".

    The sad part of the story is that the family has had a long history of progressive political views. Predictably, they are none too happy over his usurpation of the term to "brand" his increasingly desperate and negative campaign.
    || JM, 10:39 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:


    "Sooner or later people are going to figure out that if all you run is negative attack ads you don't have much of a vision for the future, or you're not ready to articulate it."
    John McCain (2000)
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    You Betcha!

    Great; I had to watch Terminator Chronicles last night and missed Keith Olbermann's Special Comment "It's Palin doing the pallin". Obviously, I picked the wrong Sarah.
    "Governor, what would you call someone who arrives in a suburb, blames a resident for the local crime, organizes a mob to threaten the woman, convinces the authorities to go and raid her home, and then chases her out of the suburb?

    C'mon Governor, just give us one answer that has something to do with the question you were just asked. That's right you'd call him a terrorist. And since it was in his own country, that would make himmmm? Yes, very good, a domestic terrorist.

    So, you, Governor, you've been "palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” Say it ain't so, Gov! Say it ain't so! Of course it is....

    Because if you think the terrorism con, and the racism sting are going to do anything but bury you and Sen, McCain, you need to pick up one of those how-many-ever newspapers you reed and check the headlines to find out what people are really worried about right now.

    Otherwise, when you said "the heels are on, the gloves are off,” you got as close to telling the truth as you've ever gotten, and without really knowing it.

    Because, for you and Sen. McCain, Governor, it's not the gloves that just came off.

    Obviously—it's the wheels."
    And The Jed Report raises the question "If Sarah Palin wasn't a secessionist, then why was she palling around with them?" Mudslinging; ain't it grand?

    || JM, 10:34 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Monday, October 06, 2008

    Time Flies

    Wow, you take a little breather and before you know it a few months have flown by. The urge to post has hit me sporadically, but the notes just sit there and I usually lose the will to try and tie the tidbits together into something semi-coherent. I was on the verge of culling through these notes and pulling out a few gems, when I had my 2nd hard drive failure in three months; of course I didn't have anything backed up. Luckily I didn't lose all that much, mostly just music and pictures. Hopefully, I've finally learned the value of frequent back-ups.

    But I will take a moment to tackle one of those topics that I left unexplored to go off on a little "mini-rant". Of all of the frustrating things that I see in the political arena, the one that baffles me the most is the large numbers of "undecided voters". Who the heck are these people, and what does it take for them to make-up their minds? We are faced with stark contrasts between the Presidential tickets on policy direction, demeanor, and character so it really shouldn't be all that tough to pick a side.

    Yet apparently, many still fall into this category. It makes you wonder what criterion they must be using to make a choice; apparently reading up on issues and candidates isn't one of them. I had hoped that we had learned that using superficial silliness like "which candidate would I have a beer with" isn't the best litmus test, but apparently not. McCain continues to re-invent himself and hide behind the bogus "Maverick" label, with few challenging him on this fiction. The recent Rolling Stone article certainly calls him to task and reveals a disturbing pattern of dishonesty that stretches beyond this campaign. This is not a man who has the character or intellect to be in the White House. And don't even get me started on "Caribou Barbie". Who knew it would be possible to find two less qualified (and more dangerous) people than Bush & Cheney?

    Of course, the 300 pound gorilla in all of this is the race card. I'm sure that much of the negativity that we will see in the home stretch will attempt to stir up doubts and fears to play to the undecided voters for whom this is a factor. One of the more effective and moving rebuttals to this came from AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka in a recent speech where he blasts racism and underlines why workers should vote Obama in 2008. I can only hope decency and common sense prevail in this election; I don't think I can take another crushing disappointment, nor can our country!
    || JM, 11:23 AM || link || (2)||comments|| Email this link:


    "Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.

    And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket. And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed Middle American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin' Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning."
    Matt Taibbi
    || JM, 11:21 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Sing-A-Long Time

    A NSFW (but oh so true) ditty about Sarah Palin with subtitles so that you can join in on the fun! Canada never looked better.

    And from Things Sarah Palin Can Name comes "Other Differences Between a Hockey Mom and a Pitbull":

  • Kids are missing teeth
  • Can’t lick private parts
  • Embarrasses children by screaming at games
  • Can drive a car
  • Opposable thumbs
  • Sleeps with postal carrier instead of biting
  • Less nipples
  • Flirts with coach
  • Understands strategy behind left wing lock
  • || JM, 11:20 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link: