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Deaths You Might Have Missed


We’re just past the half-way point of 2009 and it has already been known as The Year Celebrity Deaths.  So far there have been a bunch of notables:

Ricardo Montalbon, Paul Harvey, Ron Silver, Natasha Richardson, Bea Arthur, Dom Deluise, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Billy Mays, Karl Malden, Walter Cronkite, among others.

But here are some notable people that died in the first half of 2009 that you probably missed:

  • Pat Hingle, Commissioner Gordon from the Batman television show;
  • Bob May, The Robot from Lost In Space;
  • Clarence Swensen, A munchkin from the Wizard of Oz movie;
  • Altovise Davis, Sammy Davis Jr.’s wife and oft used punchline;
  • Dom DiMaggio, Pro baseball player and brother of Joe DiMaggio;
  • Wayne Allwine, voice of Mickey Mouse since 1977
  • Dallas McKennon, voice of Gumby.

Oh, and on February 27th, Alan Landers became the third cigarette company manly-man model to die of lung cancer. He was the “Winston Man”; the other two were “Marlboro Men.”

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Pot and Kettle


Watch how I do this:

The United States army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of insurgents, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.

All I did was substitute “United States” for “Mexican” and “insurgents” for “drug traffickers.”

Here is the original from the Washington Post.

The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.

Neat trick, huh?

Oh. The United States is threatening to withhold up to $100 million of anti-narcotics assistance if Mexico doesn’t straighten out their act.

After all, we did.


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Girls, Girls, Girls


Men are idiots. I’m telling you that as an inside man. We’re idiots.

Sometimes I wonder how you ladies allowed us to be in charge of so much stuff. And then I read this little ditty about the 88-year-old guy who shot up the holocaust museum yesterday:

When his ex-wife met him in the mid-1960s, he was a wine swiller consumed by hatred.

“[It] ate him alive like a cancer,†said the 69-year-old woman, who did not want her name used. “It’s all he would talk about. When I questioned him, he would get angry and abusive.â€

He was a “wine swiller consumed by hatred (and) would get angry and abusive†whenever he was questioned about it. And still he was able to attract a woman 20 years younger than him.

“I know he’s a hateful, abusive drunkard, but I just HAVE to have him. I’m not going to let any other woman get this man. He is a keeper.â€

Ladies, it’s girls like her (and the one’s that marry the Menendez brothers and Scott Petersons of the world) that are holding you back. You need to do something about them.


In a related note, if you’re a guy that wants a girl and can’t get one, maybe you’re gay but won’t admit it.


[SOURCE: The New York Daily News: Holocaust Museaum Shooter]

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I was just reading an article about a man who allegedly killed and beheaded his wife. (Well, she wasn’t “allegedly killed”; she’s dead. He allegedly did it.) According to the article the man had a history of domestic violence against his wife and she had a protective order placed against her. This is the absurdity, according to the article:

The order didn’t prohibit Muzzammil Hassan from living with his wife, but did order that he “restrain from assault, stalking, harassment, aggravated harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, intimidation, threats or any criminal offense†against Aasiya Hassan, the couples’ two younger children—Danyal and Rania—or Muzzammil’s two older children from his first marriage—Sonia and Michael.

The emphasis is mine because you aren’t allowed to do any of those things anyway! I don’t need and no one should have a court order that states that one must refrain from:

  • assault,
  • stalking,
  • harassment and aggravated harassment,
  • menacing,
  • reckless endangerment,
  • disorderly conduct,
  • intimidation,
  • threats or,
  • any criminal offense.

We ALL have court orders against such things. It’s called The Law. (Now that I think about it, maybe we should be mandated in marriage vows.)

Anyway, the guy’s wife is dead. He probably did it. The judge who issued the protective order is an idiot and should be disbarred, and maybe even charged as an accessory before the fact.


A Giant Mistake


The Mason-Dixon Line of NFL football in this area is Lacey Road. People who live south of Lacey Road are 95% Philadelphia Eagles fans. People who live north of Lacey Road are 95% New York Giants fans. (For the record, I don’t count the New York Jets in this mix. I don’t even care if you’re a New York Jets fan; you don’t have to chime in.)

I work just north of Lacey Road, just barely in Giants’ territory. And since the Eagles beat the Giants to earn their way into NFC Championship game yesterday, the Eagles’ fans have jumped the border and have all found their way into my office. They are all waving their private parts in my general direction.

I respond to their shitty smiles and generalized taunts with a quick shot across the bow, “Don’t tell me. I have the game TIVO’d. I’m going to watch it when I get home from work.”

I’m sick of it.

I thought I might gain a day. But no one is buying it.

Halfway through the fourth quarter yesterday, I turned the television off and went to Target to buy a new set of drumsticks for the Guitar Hero game (I’m the drummer in my kid’s cyber-band). I don’t know the final score. I haven’t listened to any of the post-game analysis. I have not read one article regarding the game. Sports radio is verbotten. But I’ll give you my take on the game:

I imagine everyone is blaming Eli Manning’s interceptions or John Carney’s missed field goals. Some might even say that the Giants missed Plaxico “I-Shot-an-NFL-All-Pro-Reciever” Burress. They might even be praising the Eagles defense for making two fourth down stops. I don’t know, but that’s not the game.

The losing started before the game began. The Giants won the coin toss and elected to take the ball. It was a windy day. Every Giants’ fan knows — and I mean EVERY Giants’ fan knows — you don’t take the ball, you take the wind. In the fourth quarter you want the wind going with you. Period. No analysis. The wind in Giants Stadium is legendary. It gets so bad that in a 1985 playoff game against the Bears, the Giants’ All-Pro punter, Sean Landeta, whiffed at a punt because the wind moved it away from his foot on the drop.

If you win the coin toss, you take the wind with you in the fourth quarter. Over thirty years of football at that stadium has proven this out.

The next thing you do in the winter in Giants Stadium on a windy day when you have the NFL’s number one rushing offense is run the damned ball. Smash-mouth. Off tackle. With your best rusher. Not Derrick “Got Him Off the Jets Practice Squad” Ward. Your best rusher is the 6’4″ 265 pound battering ram, Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs falls forward 3 yards. Give him the damned ball.

Doesn’t the coaching staff realize that Ward was shitty when he wasn’t playing #2 to Jacobs? Doesn’t the coaching staff realize that Ward got his best and longest rushes after Brandon Jacobs wore the hell out of defensive lines? Derrick Ward should have only been on the field in the first half on third down or if Jacobs was gassed. Period.

And when you give Jacobs the ball, don’t rush him sideways. Please.

Was that a new wrinkle? Sweeps? With almost 300 pounds of running back? Did Earl Campbell sweep? Did Christian Okoye sweep?  Did John Riggins sweep? Big boys don’t sweep.

Pound the ball. Pound the ball. Pound the ball. Wear out the defense. Wear them out. Period.

In the second half, if you want to work Derrick “Not-Gonna-Be-Here-Next-Year” Ward as a change of pace. Go ahead. That’s what’s worked all year. (Frankly, Ahmad Bradshaw is a better change-of-pace back than Ward, but I’m not going to quibble. Maybe he doesn’t pick up the blitz as well as Ward. I don’t know.)

Don’t worry if you’re losing in the fourth quarter. Just keep the game tight. You have the wind and a worn out defense in the fourth quarter. That alone is worth 10 points. Just be within 10 going into the fourth quarter.

This is Giants Stadium winter football 101. I learned this stuff watching Bill Parcells orchestrate the Giants in the mid-1980′s. The script was written 25 years ago.


So to reiterate my stance, the New York Football Giants lost because of a panoply of strategic errors starting with winning the coin toss and not taking advantage. Period.


Micro$oft Wants More of Your Money


According to CNET, Microsoft is envisioning “pay-as-you-go computing” and has applied for the patent on it. (Hat tip: The Ruminator)

In a nutshell, Microsoft wants to charge you for every moment you use your computer with the fee being a sliding scale for the amount of computer resources you would use. Kids (and geeky guys who can’t attract even one girl) who play high-end games would pay a premium because they use so much of a computer’s resources; moguls who check their email and read The Wall Street Journal online wouldn’t pay as much because they barely touch the computer’s resource potential.

I say all that just to read this to you, the article says:

According to the application, the issue with the existing PC business model is that it “requires more or less a one chance at the consumer kind of mentality, where elasticity curves are based on the pressure to maximize profits on a one-time-sale, one-shot-at-the-consumer mentality.”

That old “PC business model” seems to have worked so far. How much money does Bill Gates have again?

Who here can teach me Linux?*

*No one will teach you Linux, Jim. Linux users are, by-and-large, pretentious fucks. Ask them for help and they make fun of you. The best way to get anything out of them is by going to one of their geeky forums and tell them that Linux sucks because it can’t to XYZ. A hundred of them will come out of the woodwork and say, “Yesh it can! Here’sh how …” Lesson learned.


What a Turkey


Moments after Sarah Palin gave a turkey amnesty, she went outside and gave an interview. It doesn’t matter what the interview is about, it doesn’t matter if you have the sound on or not, you’re only job is this:

Realize that this was a public relations gimmick.
The gimmick was to pardon a Thanksgiving Turkey.
And then watch the guy in the background.

(Write your own joke here.)


Big Auto Goofiness, Part II


The other day I wrote a bit about the American auto industry. It was a piece about how a company can get so big that it feels that it can’t go under, that the Feds will bail them out because going out of business would impact the country.

In an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, Mitt Romney talks about how the American Auto Big Three needs to take its lumps, go bankrupt, and start again (“restructure itself”). He believes that the Feds throwing money at them will only encourage their goofy (my word) business decisions. Nothing will change. It will only postpone the inevitable.

I encourage you to read the piece at the Times. It’s short and accessible. But, if you don’t read it, the high points are:

  1. The “huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated” — This, he believes, would be by restructuring labor agreements and retiree benefits to “align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors”;
  2. “Management must go.” The people who got the companies into this crisis have to leave. Period. You made goofy business decisions. See ya;
  3. The company needs to have a business model that looks beyond the quarterly earnings reports and invests in its future;
  4. Don’t punish your best dealers with “new financial or performance demands they can’t meet”;
  5. Oh and “Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms – all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands who will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.”

Big Auto Goofiness


The United States’s auto companies are circling the drain. They may be out of money by the end of the year.

The US government is considering bailout options to get them over the hump. President-elect Barrack Obama says they need “bridge loans”, but the can’t be “bridges to nowhere.”

The real problem isn’t that a business is going under. Businesses fail every day.  Every hour. About one business files for bankruptcy in the United States every 15 minutes.

The problem is that the automakers are so big. GM alone has around 145,000 employees. That represents 145,000 families. 145,000+ healthcare beneficiaries. 145,000 mortgages and rent payments. 145,000 people.

GM goes under and so do those people. I understand that. I don’t want that. The empathetic part of me will do almost anything to not allow that to happen.

The businesses that employ so many people have gotten so big that their mere bigness is an insurance policy against them going under. They can make stupid, short-sighted decisions and then can petition the government for “bridge loans” to cover their goofy asses.

It’s not what these business ever wanted or anticipated, but their hands are out to the Feds. They need help. And the people who made the goofy business decisions won’t be held accountable; they’ll be praised: “Good job, Irv. It must’ve been tough getting $3 billion of Uncle Sam. Thank God you were here.

Here’s an example of a goofy business decision that, as far as I’m concerned, got Ford into some trouble:

One of Ford’s best selling cars is the little (but roomy) and sporty Fiesta. It’s been in continuous production since 1976. It’s base model gets 50 mpg; the economy model gets 65 mpg.

I would like to buy one. But I can’t. Ford doesn’t sell them in the United States anymore. They might be able to get them here in 2010.

The Ford people cite “business reasons” why they can’t sell the Fiesta in the US. Well, ultimately, it might be because of those kinds of “business reasons” that they won’t be able to sell any Ford anywhere.

(This post started as a comment left over at Harry’s website not too long ago.)

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Rising Gas & Oil Prices


Of the rising gas and oil prices in the United States, George Bush said on Saturday, “Our problem in America gets solved when we aggressively go for domestic exploration. Our problem in America gets solved if we expand our refining capacity, promote nuclear energy and continue our strategy for the advancing of alternative energies as well as conservation.”


I’m not an economist but, Bullshit!

I’m not an expert on international commodities but, Bullshit!

I’m not an expert on energy policy, alternative energy, or domestic oil but, Bull-fucking-shit!

I want you to consider this, gas prices are up in the United States for two reasons:

  1. The value of the US Dollar is the lowest it’s been in the last six years. As such, things cost us more on the world market. Oil is a world market commodity.
  2. The world is in the middle of an industrial revolution. Poor, “Third World” countries are becoming industrialized. Industry runs on oil. There is an increased demand for oil. Increased demand equals increased price.

Those are just my opinions. I’m pretty firm about them, but I could be talked out of them.

I’m all for domestic exploration and refining. I’m all for alternative energies (including … ahem … nucular) and energy conservation. I’m all for the Saudis or the Kuwaitis or the Venezuelans or the Russians increasing oil productivity.

But I’m more for promoting the United States. I’m more for making the United States a world leader, a world friend again. I’m more for figuring out a way for the rest of the world looking up to the United States and having confidence in the United States.

I’m more for increasing the value of United States currency (and not just financial currency).

Bush is a simpleton.

And I voted for him. Twice.