The Airing of Grievances
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
World Class Harvard Hateration
Start with intelligence. Add grain alcohol. Season liberally with "Inferiority Complex". That is the recipe for truly fantastic college prank.

During The Game - 2004, between Harvard and Yale at Soldier Field, undercover Eli operatives dressed as the "Harvard Pep Squad" handed out cardboard that was supposed to spell out "Go Harvard", yet when they put their plan into action, the truth was revealed:

The "HPS" Yalies have a pretty slickly produced video of the event and its build-up on their website, but the streaming seems to peter out after their Everclear tailgate party, and we don't get the full effect. (Ahhh, college...) Damn you Yalies with your great ideas and your miniscule bandwidth.

Ed. Note - Due to strong Harvard alumni involvement on our Comments boards, and Cozmo's rugby touring mates, the AofG is generally a "Crimson-Friendly" zone, but these guys from Yale came up with a solid. Well done.

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A Little Afternoon Deep Thinking

For my first lengthy post-turkey and post-flu entry on AofG, I would like to thank Electablog for linking to this frightening San Francisco Chronicle piece. It concerns a Dover, PA high school that is ordering its biology teachers to include the teaching of the "intelligent design" argument into its curriculum. While it's not an explicit statement as such, it becomes pretty apparent that this is a not-to-subtle way to put creationism on the same platform as widely accepted scientific theory.

Now, AofG doesn't pretend to know where we came from and doesn't look with disdain on any of the many viewpoints out there. Except for the Raelians. Those guys are fucking nuts. Fact of the matter is, the various theories of evolution have holes in them, owing mostly to the fact that the entirety of fossil and bone evidence of pre-homo sapiens man can fit neatly in to the bed of a pick-up truck (I'd like to thank Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything for that little tidbit - check it out, fastest I've ever read a 500-page book). But at least they're science. Personally, I have no problem with creationism-type theories being taught in schools. So long as they're not taught in science classes. Or in public schools.

Interestingly, the folks in Dover have chosen the argument from design as the basis for the inclusion of anti-evolutionary thought as scientific theory. You know the argument from design, right? In a world with so many complex interactions on a micro-biological level, surely there must be someone manning the controls and all that? I leave you with Bertrand Russell on that note:
When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless.
Talk amongst yourselves.

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A Ridge Too Far
The man who brought you color-coded alerts, got you to buy rolls of duct tape, played on your darkest fears, and spoke in a voice not unlike that of an impatient kindergarten teacher is out.
Ridge, 59, told colleagues he was tired and needed to earn more money to pay for his two children's college educations, the Associated Press reported July 30. His salary is $175,000.
Guy is 59 years old and he hasn't started a college fund yet? Great, really glad he was in charge of my homeland's security.
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Honor. Friendship. Fisting.

Finally, those wiley Off-Off-Off-Off Broadway producers have given America a musical to get excited about:
It's Karate, Kid - The Musical.

It's Karate, Kid explores the more overt sexual overtones (hetero-, homo- and otherwise) of The Karate Kid, and is not really safe for Red State audiences. IKKTM will enjoy an "extremely limited" run on the Lower East Side of three weeks, or until Columbia Pictures catches up to them and shuts them down.

Until then, check out some of the music from the show available online - if you don't mind some stomach-turning obscenity on your computer (i.e. this is not really safe for work if you can't control your computer volume).
- The Cobra Kai's sensei tells us of his fiendish methods, and that he is an evil, evil sensei in The Way of the Fisting. (Nasty.)
- Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel San about being his "Goddamn Slave" on the musical version of "Wax On! Wax Off!" (I actually really recommend this one - pretty clean and hysterical)
- And finally, Ali let's the world know all about Johnny's secret love of strap-ons in "My Name Is Ali". (Yuck - but funny)

And check out the biopages here. Imgagine if you spent $100 grand on drama schooling and your first NY City show is IKKTM? Holy Crap.

In real Karate Kid news, this guy thinks that Miyagi is a liar. He brings up some good points.
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Holiday Spirits Are High
Check out this Badass Santa.

No, not that Badass Santa. This Badass Santa.

Word has it that Santa's assailant was inspired by Jackie's Holiday Shopping post.
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Desperate Housewives

This show is absolutely on fire. Twenty-seven million tuned in this Sunday. Sure that little Monday Night Football skit didn't hurt none. Anyways, thought it was fine time to continue the nice chatter we had going following our initial Housewives post. Sure Griever Geep is happy to see a couple of more black characters getting some camera time. So, so far we have a street hooker, a hitman and tile delivery guy. Wonderful. You would think they could at least hit us up with a friendly housekeeper or a wise nanny or something. I'm beginning to get concerned here.

In any event, Mrs. Huber catching it was incredibly predictable. Bree's son epitomizes everything wrong with the teenage entitled surbabanite. I mean really, how bad do you want to crack that kid? And nothwithstanding all of her super-hotness, I'm really beginning to despise Gabrielle. An incredibly selfish little vixen she is. But, she escapes the b-word for the "My uterus is not for negotiation" line. Classic. By the way, nice touch seeing the Van De Kamps being made uncomfortable by another family's bickering after Bree's "He cries after he ejaculates" bombshell at the dinner party. Glad they've moved on from Lynette's little addiction. She was looking Rough. Tough to look at. And nice to see that Mark really did love Mary Alice. As for the ending of this week's episode, Pheeenomenal. Let's just say Mike is a very, and I mean very, lucky man. So, Grievers, there are plot twists galore to discuss. Whaddya y'all think?

PS: Boston Legal is pretty tight too. Alan Shore is Da Man. Carries the show.
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The Second Civil War
The early predictions are in. And it's not looking good for those of us up North. Have a listen for yourselves. (The topic of conversation is whether New Jersey iron worker Robert O'Neal, who ran over and killed a teenager who allegedly robbed O'Neal at gunpoint, threatened to rape his daughters, and shot at him, should be considered "a hero or a criminal." By the way, I say hero.)

Hat tip to Atrios.
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Holiday Shopping
Don't get it. Can't stand it. Won't do it.

Can someone please explain this insane phenomenon to me? I mean honestly, can you think of a worse way to spend your day off than waiting in line at a friggin' department store? Waiting to pay for the opportunity to force somebody to act all phony come present time? Listening to jerkoff, after jerkoff, after jerkoff incessantly yapping on their cell phones? Needing to break out the barf bag as all the actresses suck each other over some real marginal shit? Shuffling around while some assclown tries to sell you some shit you have no interest in buying? "Sir, can I interest you..." "No, you can't. Leave me the fuck alone." Anyways, the more I think about it, the more this shopping thing sounds like a blast. Where do I sign up?

PS: And just so you know, I'm not buying the it's better to give than receive malarkey. Granted, there may be a kernel of truth there, but the real "better thing to do" is to neither give, nor receive. The "better thing to do" is just kick back, chill and enjoy some time with your "loved ones" (provided you can stand 'em). And that, my friends, is why Thanksgiving is far and away the number one holiday of the year.
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Hell Hath No Fury
From the NJ Star-Ledger:
A father, angry over his daughter coming home drunk and unruly, called the police to teach her a lesson.

Instead, police ended up arresting the father after his daughter led them to a stash of illegal weapons and more 600 vials of cocaine inside the house.
Payback's a bitch.

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Royal Blue

Likely how he's feeling and definitely what he's needing. Princess Di posthumously tosses Prince Charles under the boss. Says he was a "hopeless" lover who only stepped up to the plate once every three weeks. Hey Charles, smarts, don't it?
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Monday, November 29, 2004
Takeru Kobayashi Is Not Impressed

From NY Newsday:

A world championship was on the line, and Eric "Badlands" Booker was determined to win. So he went to a deli, bought a few matzo balls, took them back to his home in Copiague and placed them on his kitchen table. And he began to talk to the matzo balls.

"What's the quickest way of eating you?" Booker asked. When the conversation was over, he had his answer: In thirds, and like an apple. Booker now holds the world record: 21 baseball-sized matzo balls in five minutes and 25 seconds.
Eh, mildly impressive. But if the man steps up and throws down fifty pieces of Gefilte Fish in 25? Then, well ... I'm not quite sure what.
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Do We Have Any Art Critics?
If so, whaddya think?

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There is not much I love more than football in the Snow. Great game last night in Denver on ESPN between Oakland and the Broncos. Oakland won 25-24, but really, we are all the winners when 300 lbs grown men slide in the snow.

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Best Seinfeld Sporting Moments
ESPN.com lists the top ten sports-related Seinfeld moments. Unfortunately, yours truly was not involved in any of 'em. Enjoy.

Thanks, Puddy.
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Sunday, November 28, 2004
Is Karl Rove Taking Notes?
As you've likely seen, Frank has done his typically stellar job in keeping us up to date on the recent Ukrainian elections and subsequent protests, here and here. As I inquired in the Comments to Frank's latter post, have you seen what's happened to the face of opposition leader Victor Yushchenko over the last coupla months? Have a look for yourselves:

The picture on the left is Yushchenko in July 2004 and the other in November, after a mystery illness. According to CNN.com, Yushchenko has accused Ukranian authorities of poisoning him. In the event that such is the case, that really is some truly reprehensible stuff. Dirty pool of the dirtiest variety. Sick.

(Hat tip to Drudge.)
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Saturday, November 27, 2004
Vince McMahon Cracks Me Up

Check out this this clip from WWF Monday Night Raw spoofing the Desperate Housewives skit from Monday Night Football. The link to the video is located under the "Are You Ready For Some Wrestling" header. Funny.

Thanks, Mr. Nice.
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Friday, November 26, 2004
Shopping For Democracy
If you are as fascinated as I am with the Ukrainian elections and subsequent protests, here are a few blogs to check out:

A Fistful of Euros
Blog de Connard
The Periscope
Le Sabot Post-Moderne

The last one is in the middle of very nice multi-part background piece on the nature of how political power is attained and maintaned in Ukraine, as well as other post-Soviet states. Once I understood how the system normally works there and what is really at stake in these protests, it made the motivation and mobilization of Yushchenko supporters all the more impressive.

It also made me ask myself, "Why the hell didn't we think of this in 2000?" Seriously, is there anything that would rouse Americans out of their homes at all hours of the night, to stand amassed with thousands of their compatriots, pitched against corrupt forces, in what might ultimately be a fruitless effort?

Oh yeah, there is.

(Many thanks to Andrew Sullivan and Instapundit for the links)
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Pretty Damn Lame

Just read where Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden essentially blamed the recent brawl between South Carolina and Clemson on the N.B.A. fiasco the night before. From the NYTimes:

In an interesting twist, Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden said that the N.B.A. brawl between the Pistons and the Pacers on Friday night had factored into Saturday's brawl.

"They sat there and watched that for 24 hours," Bowden said in a conference call yesterday. "I think it did."
Always refreshing to see a "leader" of young minds displaying such accountability. Simply excellent. Sorta reminds me of the time when erstwhile D.C. mayor Marion Barry got caught smoking crack with a prostitute and said: "The bitch set me up." Sure she did.

PS: You Grievers have any additional all-time lame excuses or alibis to share?
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Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Jesus, Is Coming Again
Courtesy of Kramer: OK, so we have come to this. We are harvesting unborn children from mothers-to-be in the third world. First, we started modestly stealing women into sexual slavery. Then we worked our way down the food chain to children. Then there were the horrific stories of men getting mickeyed by hookers and then waking up on a bed of ice in the bathtub of a cheap hotel, sans kidney.

It vaguely reminds me of "The Seventh Sign", a movie about the apocalypse starring Demi Moore and Stanly Tucci. Except, in this real life episode the live birth of the baby and the amazing survival of the mother will not give mankind salvation. The cup of souls grows light.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Ba-Rock Star

Click on me!

See that man standing at the podium at the far end of the room? That would be the future of American politics, drawing a crowd of well over 1,000 to a booksigning at the Union Square Barnes & Noble tonight.

I wasn't a fan of an Obama 2008 campaign - as energized as I was by his DNC keynote speech, I felt that, like John Edwards, he'd be knocked for his inexperience and be another good man made to look the fool by the right wing smear machine. Well, I'm sold. Sign me up. He can handle it. Take Hillary and any of the other unoriginal, establishment Democrats who want to make a push for more of the same crap and shove 'em down a flight of stairs.

The man is not ashamed of having a progressive voice or of his belief in government's ability to promote inclusiveness and make its constituent's lives better. Nor is he afraid to proclaim a belief in American exceptionalism. The most poignant moment for me tonight, particularly as a New Yorker, was a question that was asked about the roots of terrorism. Wihtout going in to too many details, the questioner clearly tried to lead Senator Obama into an answer of the easy, "Blame America" variety - Obama would have none of that. Instead, he focused on the economic and social causes of terrorism, while ackowledging that we need to do a better job as the world's leader in solving the problems posed.

He owned the room in a way that I've not seen since Clinton. He's the real deal and I'm going to be watching.
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That is all.
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Ok, my bad for killing you Grievers with this Artest stuff, but this little rundown was really just too good to pass up. Without further ado, the wonderful world of Ronnie Artest:

* At one point last season, Artest practiced in a bathrobe.

* Last year, Artest noted, "If I had a player out of line, I would bench him. That's all you can do, bench him. You don't kiss nobody's rear end, because it stinks."

* As a rookie with the Bulls, Artest applied for a part-time job at Circuit City.

* When Keyshawn Johnson was deactivated by the Tampa Bay Bucs last season, Artest said, "He was basically like Ron Artest from last season. He's got his Super Bowl ring, right? They gave him all his money, right? Now he can use the time off to go get his attitude right."
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The Pass, 20 Years On
This week marks the 20th anniversary of Doug Flutie's last-second Hail Mary to Gerard Phelan, giving BC a huge victory over defending national champion Miami.

Still remember watching this game live when I was nine years old, still think it's the best televised sporting event I've ever witnessed.

The fact that it took place twenty years ago makes me feel real friggin' old.
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The Blessed Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich has found a home

The proud owner? Online casino GoldenPalace.com, who surfaced with the following plan:
In a statement, GoldenPalace.com CEO Richard Rowe said he planned on using the sandwich to raise money for charity "and we hope it will raise people's spirits as well."
I know it's put a spring in my step...now where did I leave that shotgun?
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Well, Isn't That Precious

Papi Artest sticking up for his baby boy. 'Scuse me while I break out the Kleenex.
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Well, How About That

With all the talk of the "thugs," "gangstas" and "hooligans" infesting the NBA -- code words for young black guys with tattoos, cornrows and the like -- I'd be less than honest if I did not admit that this news put a little spring in my step. Turns out the guy who threw the beer at Artest is every bit thug, gansta and hooligan as even the baddest of badasses in the National Basketball Association. According to ClickonDetroit.Com, the fan was identified Monday as a 39-year-old John Green. The same John Green who has a rap sheet that would make any hooligan proud:

2003 -- Operating under the influence of liquor/operating while visibly impaired (second offense)
1989 -- Assault with intent to do great bodily harm
1989 -- Escape from prison
1986 -- Carrying concealed weapons
1986 -- Uttering and publishing, which is using a false, forged, altered or counterfeit record, deed or instrument to injure or defraud.
Oh, by the way, as part of his probation Mr. Green was not supposed to be drinking. Gonna go out on a limb here and say the man was in violation. In any event, guess what the sorry ass has to say for himself? It wasn't him. Sure.

PS: No, this in no way alters my very firm belief that Ron Artest deserved to get the boot for the year. If he'd been banned for life I woulda been cool with it. The guy's a severe liability. Good riddance.

PPS: If ya got a jones for some high level chatter about all things Pistons and Pacers, head over to The Sports Frog's Swamp.
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Monday, November 22, 2004
Student Ordered To Remove Anti-Bush Shirt

First, we had the so-called free-speech zones -- such a ridiculous concept on its face you would think its proponents would be embarrassed -- and now, we have some more pure horseshit like this. According to the Delaware News Journal, a thirteen year old student was threatened with suspension for wearing a t-shirt with the words, "The Real Terrorist Is In The White House," written in black on the front, and "End the Tyranny" written on the back.

Unsurprisingly, the school claims that it's neither violating the boy's first-amendment rights, nor choking on the administration's schlong that's so deeply embedded in their orifice of choice. No, none of that. Instead, the school claims it has a right to censor the boy, because the shirt is becoming a distraction. A distraction, huh? Perhaps I'm missing something, but when I was thirteen a whole lotta things, and a whole lotta outfits, distracted that hell out of me, and let's just say that not a single one of 'em had anything thing to do with a political message. Seems to me the only folks distracted here are the powers-that-be who simply do not like the message. And kudos to the boy for stepping up and calling them on their shit:
Truszkowski said he will circulate a petition next week, and if less than 20 people are offended by his shirt, he said he will wear it again. He may set a date where students can wear the same shirt to school, "to prove how many people are with me."
Well done, Mr. Truskowski. No way, no how do you give up your right to express your opinion on our government simply because you enter a school. Very nice to see that you're not letting those assclowns tell you otherwise. Excellent for you.
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More Taser Fun
Looks like shock-the-shit-out-of-'em is all the craze among our nation's finest. A few weeks back, we had the Miami PD throwin' 50,000 watts into an eight-year old boy. There, the fifty-five pounder was allegedly so out of control, and so dead set on harming himself, that grown officers had no other option but to hit him up with some voltage. Well, here, in Wayne County, Detroit, we have an incorrigible fourteen year-old, who had no intentions of harming himself, but refused to give up his Game Boy. He even got to scrapping with the local rent-a-cop who tried to frisk him. With the rent-a-cop overwhelmed, the real deal got called in. Two of 'em. Did they simply restrain the knucklehead? Of course not. They lit his ass up not once, but twice. Wonderful.
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Things I'd Rather Be Doing

Seeing U2 certainly qualifies. Unfortunately, I'm stuck at a desk, feeling like complete shit.
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Burning Hatred
The fact that nonsense like this still goes on really just sucks. Unfortunately, it does not surprise me in the slightest.

Thanks, Kramer.
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JFK Reloaded -- Disgusting

This is really unbelievable. According to Reuters, a new video game will be released today that allows players to simulate the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. And check out what the managing director of the company releasing the game has to say:

"We believe that the only thing we're exploiting is new technology."
Sure. That's entirely plausible. No exploitation of the man's friggin' death or anything. None at all. In any event, here's hoping that the general public steps up and denies these yahoos the only thing they can possibly be concerned with -- fattening their wallets. Unfortunately, I'm not too sure that's gonna happen. Shame.
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Sunday, November 21, 2004
Judge Cellie Nazi
District Court Judge Salvatore Alamia has sentenced a Long Island women to 21 days for contempt. Her infraction? A ringing cell phone is his courtroom. From Newsday:
As [Mariela Acevedo] awaited her hearing, an electronic device went off in Alamia's Central Islip courtroom and he warned everyone to shut off all cell phones and pagers or face contempt charges.

"If you don't know how to shut it off, go outside and introduce it to the heel of your shoe," he said according to a transcript. When Acevedo's phone subsequently sounded, Alamia called the teenager forward and asked, "Did you think I was playing with you?" She responded, "No. I thought I had turned it off." "Yes, you did. Right," said Alamia, sentencing her to 21 days on the spot. "I know you've been playing with it all morning, sayonara."
Twenty-one days? A tad bit excessive, no? One can only imagine the type of sentence Alamia woulda laid on Vincent Gambini. But perhaps Alamia considered this some type of egregious moral transgression. After all, he is a Republican.
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Saturday, November 20, 2004
Reptilious Fun (Link Working)
Cozmo's fascinating King Kong Fu post, triggered the 'ole memory on this bad boy. Hilarious.
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NBA Mayhem

Here was my initial reaction upon seeing the brawl (that Frank linked to below):

Ron Artest should be kicked out of the league (or at the very least suspended for the season). Not really that complicated. Blah, blah, blah and all that shit about the fans, Detroit and whatever. Artest clearly has mental issues and he's a danger to everyone else out there. No way, no how should he be going into the stands. No way, now how should he be throwing those blows at Turtle. Completely unacceptable. And his deplorable "body of work" should not be ignored. (Highest comedy of the situation was dude in the black t-shirt's face when Artest rushed him. Hilarious.)
Well, I've had some time to think it over and my sentiments are pretty much the same. Artest needs to be given some serious time off. The man clearly needs counseling and very likely should be institutionalized. He's been pulling this borderline certifiable crap for some time now. His nonsense needs to be nipped in the bud before somebody gets killed. Really, how utterly ridiculous was that scene last night? Of course, Artest is not one-hundred percent responsible, but he clearly deserves the lion's share of the blame. If he's not involved, none of this stuff happens in the first place. Period.

A bunch of Artest apologists are running the heat of the moment argument. That is, that the frenzied and tense nature of the situation somehow absolves him from blame. That almost anybody would have done the same thing under those circumstances. To that I say a very hearty Bullshit. You simply can not go into the stands and start taking matters into your own hands. In no other professional line of work would such nonsense be considered even remotely acceptable. And what makes it worse here, is that these professionals are well-oiled machines who very likely would send the average joe to the hospital, if not the morgue, if they land a solid punch. So, please, if you are, stop defending Artest.

In any event, if I'm David Stern, Artest's getting at least a year off. Perhaps during that year, in between working on his wack ass rap "career", he can seriously consider whether or not as an adult "I can do whatever I want to do" as he said in an interview last week. In the end, one word sums up Artest and his actions. Disgraceful.
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Good Lord
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Friday, November 19, 2004
'Scuse Me George, Can I Get That Towel Back?
Sounds as if Kerry is willing to revoke his concession if appropriate. From a letter sent out today from his campaign:

"Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted -- and they will be counted -- we will continue to challenge this administration."
We can hope, can't we?
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Hey, La Femme Blackita: Got Syrup?
Echoing sentiments previously expressed by Harry Belafonte, Wisconsin radio host John Slyvester ("Sly") has dubbed Colin Powell an "Uncle Tom." He also took it a bit further and threw the "Aunt Jemima" label Condi Rice's way. From the Wisconsin State Journal:

"I'm not apologizing for what I said," Sylvester said Thursday in an interview. "I stand by it....I was aiming that directly at a black person that is letting himself (and herself) be used by an administration that has been extremely hostile to minorities ....I don't think being subservient to white people and not blowing the whistle on their misdoings is a good role model at all....

I did call her the Aunt Jemima of the administration because I think not only have they used her race as a trophy, but I think her price of admission to the White House has been complete obedience to the white power structure in the White House," Sylvester said. "(And) I called (Powell) Uncle Tom. Frankly I think they bought his silence."
So, looks like there's some folks out there who aren't buying the La Femme Blackita handle that AofG giant Kramer is selling (see Comments here). But Aunt Jemima? That's pretty damn tough. Listen, I really would like to kill this Sly character, but I can't bring myself to do it. While I definitely think the use of such derogatory terms in public discourse is a bad thing, there's also something to be said for taking the gloves off, putting the p.c. bullshit aside and just letting things rip. Granted, he was probably looking for a ratings bounce, but at least he's done a decent job of articulating the reasons for his views. Do I think his comments were in poor form? No question. It's really not necessary to go there to make the point he was trying to make. That being said, if you're some irrelevant radio host, and want your point to be widely heard, I guess it's understandable. Can't kill him.
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Red State Hog Smoking Day At The NYT
Dick Cheney's enormous manhood must have struck fear into the hearts and minds of the NY Times editiors this week. I go to check out the Times' Op-Ed Page, and I am confronted three articles that could have been culled directly from the annals of the Fox News website.

First, David Gergen compares The Boy King to Churchill. Seriously, I shit you not. Churchill.

Then, Dan Rooney, the owner of the Steelers, goes off on ABC for showing bare ankles on Monday Night Football.

Finally, and most sinister, is a piece written by Donna Harrison MD that bespeaks the grave danger of RU-486 and supports Senator/Mullah Jim Brownback's proposal to cease distribution of the drug immediately. Even though RU-486 becomes dangerous only when it is precribed incorrectly or used incorrectly, which even Dr. Harrison admits (if tacitly), she lambasts the FDA for approving a drug that had been in safe use in Europe for almost two decades before its approval, and has only resulted in 7 known deaths in two dozen years. Hell, more people (and a greater percentage of people) die from Tylenol in one year. Only if you read to the end do you see that Dr. Harrison is a board member of something called the "American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists" The not-so-well masked purpose of this article, you ask? To undermine the safest and best option for an abortion for most recently pregnant women- plain and simple.

All of these articles in one day on the NYT Op-Ed page.

In the immortal words of Vince Lombardi, "WHAT THE HELL IS GOIN' ON AROUND HERE?!?!"

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The Ukraine Is Strong!
Three Things Ukraine Has In Common With the United States:

1) Smokin' hot models
2) Insanely corrupt government
3) Wire-tight elections

Notable quote:
"Of course, Yushchenko will call people to the streets and my problem is what will happen then," Gelman said. "There is a big danger that there will be a bloodshed."
Ye gods...

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Old Friends
Hit the streets last night for a 30th birthday party of a friend through one of my closest friends who passed away around three years ago. One of the most outstanding, brightest, interesting, fun-loving and genuinely care-free cats you'll ever meet. And I'm not saying that just to say it. I'm saying it because it's True. He was quite simply The Goods. Love him. Miss him. Hope he's well.

In any event, it was great to see some of the faces from the summers of '96 and '97 who, typically motivated by the Big Fella, always got things done. Without a doubt, we lived it up to the fullest. Outstanding times.

Anyways, I'd be remiss if I did not give a special " shout-out or high-five or props or whatever the annoying phrase is" (hat tip: James Wolcott) to the cat who made me reconsider my initial choice to skip the party. Ya see, the same cat who was clownin' about "The Linen Pants" (long story), while all the while calling me "The Airing of Grievances Man," is the same cat who said "nice to see you're letting Corporate America control your life" when I e-mailed him pre-party and said things were not looking good. Just one of those e-mails that made me take a step back and think a bit. A little perspective if you will. Thought about it. Thought about my buddy who would never, and I mean never, miss a chance to laugh wih some friends. Thought to my self, "Self, get your shit together and get your ass over there."

So, I got my ass over there and I'm really happy that I did. Old faces. New faces. Old stories. New stories. Old friends. New friends. Genuinely good times. And genuinely what it's all about. So, thanks for the fun guys, I'm sure the Big Fella was looking down on us and laughing that big 'ole laugh and smiling that big 'ole smile.

And in the enduring spirit of the Big Fella, I'm not gonna keep this all heavy. Gonna go right ahead and throw some much deserved props the Big Apple's way. Ya see, seeing as how I've been bogged down with the corporate life in the gawd-awful Times Square area for what seems like forever, I've really neglected the rest of the city and it's wondrous inhabitants. Well, the little shindig last night -- over in the newly developed and currently sheek meat packing district -- forced me to re-open my eyes to the wonderful sights and sounds of The City.

The sights? The women. Good lord. To parrot a phrase AofG regular BV used in the Reptilious comments, "off the friggin' chain." Just a bevy, and I mean bevy, of bee-uuu-tee-full women. Some legitimately other level shit. Bananas. And seeing as how one rarely sees this particular species in one's every day affairs, I'm left to wonder, as always, where the hell they come from? What they do all day? Where they do it?

The Sounds? Well, as always there's just too many to recount. The most notable: (i) A fat chick getting all salty about some fine chicks wearing outfits that her fat ass woulda looked disgusting in. Needless to say the two ladies were card carrying members of The Bananas Crew. The kicker here was the fat girl's man trying to act like he felt her while all the while staying firmly fixated on ass number one; (ii) A random brutha on the corner talking 'bout all the girls he's wined and dined, while downing a hearty swig from his brown bag and looking like he's going nowhere fast; (iii) The caribbean weed dealer saying to a passerby of Asisan descent, "Yo, China Man. Yo, China Man. Chinese. China Man. Chinese. Yo, China man." The Asian kid was none too pleased. High comedy.

So, in the end, last night I was able to catch up with some old friends -- those from the Big Fellas Crew and the Big Apple itself. In Shawsank Redemption, Andy Dufresne said "Get busy living or get busy dying." Well, thanks to the wonderful city that is New York, thanks to a coupla of words of wisdom, and thanks to the Big Fellas Crew, last night, yours truly got busy living. And, without question, I'm very happy that I did.
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Thursday, November 18, 2004
King Kong Fu
Watch this.



Watch it now.
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How To Snarl Traffic For A Month Straight

NYC 2012 has published its Olympic Bid plans on its website yesterday. Most people I know are pretty down on the Games coming the the big apple, but I think it would be kinda sweet.

It's actually a good plan - Unlike most Olymipic Cities, NYC already has most of the infrastructre in place - with some events based around the Olympic Village in Long Island City and many events in Flushing Meadows park, an easy access point with multiple mass transit locations built into it. Check out the Williamsburgh Aquatics Center - Sweet. Personally, my favorite idea is the Mountain Biking venue on the Isle Staten near Fresh Kills landfill. Good times, brah.

Ain't gonna happen, though, current odds at Ladbrokes has NYC at a 50-1 shot behind Paris and London.
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Another Blow For The Reality Based Community

Although the "moralily" and "family values" discussions coming out of Washington are dominating the airwaves, another trend coming out of nearby Langley, VA is causing Cozmo to lose sleep at night.

Ex-GOP congressman-turned agency head, Peter Goss has been GUTTING the CIA from the top down over the past few weeks. Now, as somebody who fixes broken organizations for a living, I can tell you that you can't make lemonade without first shaking up the jug, but the stories coming out of Langley make me think that this is something just a little more dangerous than pruning some low-hanging fruit. It smells closer to a partisan purge of the CIA. If there is something more dangerous to a broken organization than continued interita moving down the wrong path, it is the inability of that organization to face hard facts about its position. I am not hopeful that an administration that has insulated itself from factual thinking about international relations in favor of dogmatic goals based on broad themes of conduct is "purging" the CIA for the factual basis of the information it provides. I fear that the Bush administration will be looking for the information coming from the CIA solely to support its pre-determined positions as opposed to reporting the "facts on the ground" as they are, regardless of how they fit the administration's agenda.

As Rob Choudry from The Daily Show quipped yesterday, "Now information from the White House will come in pre-misinterpreted."

Decide for yourself, though. Check out this article from Salon.com, linked in its entirety on Truthout.org yesterday.
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Sssssshhhhhhh-ut The Fuck Up!
Peggy Noonan often makes me want to vomit. Today is no exception.

Peggy's advice to anyone who has a problem with anything right now? Shut up. Don't like the direction of the country? Don't speak up, be quiet. Don't like the new Secretary of State because she was asleep on the job and lied before the 9/11 Commission? Sshhh. Religious wacko doesn't like Arlen Specter? Can it, God-boy. OK, I actually agree with her on the last one, but it's still no excuse for hackneyed prose.

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Johnny Is My Homeboy
Seems some over-zealous Red Sox fans just can't rub it in enough, as this has become a common sight in Brooklyn:

The Daily News has more. If you absolutely must see the bearded one's mug, please, no defacement of property. Might I suggest one of these fine t-shirts? Or maybe one with the Trinity's original starting centerfielder?
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Trick or Treat
Looks like some guy took the whole thing a little too literally. Not quite a strict literalist, but close enough. According to the Denver Post, a 23-year-old man was arrested for giving pornographic DVD's to a couple of 13 year-olds on Halloween. The kids apparently believed the DVDs would get them in trouble and crushed them shortly thereafter. The man said he felt bad about the "treats" and told officers he "didn't know what he was thinking." Funny, I'm thinking the perv knew precisely what he was doing, whereas the kids temporarily lost a hold of things. Thirteen-year old boys destroying free porn? Shocking.
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Frank's Link of the Day
Check out The Onion's excellent interview with Chris Rock. A few choice quotes:
O: Before that, you were in New Jack City. How do you prepare for playing a crackhead?

CR: You smoke crack.
Pootie Tang, to use a rap metaphor, would be my posse album. You know, Eminem's got his D12 records, Fat Joe's got the Terror Squad, Biggie's got Junior M.A.F.I.A., Nelly's got the St. Lunatics. I've got Pootie Tang.
All this and the lowdown on a new parody of Outkast's "Hey Ya!" entitled "Crackers". The man is a genius.
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The Fever For The Flava

Do George and Condi have it? According to the Washington Post:

"Aides said Bush and Rice know each other so well they have conversations based on body language, with maybe four words exchanged."
Four words, huh? To be a fly on that wall.

(Thanks to Swamp and AofG giant Bobby P for the photo.)
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The Rude Pundit on Powell
As you likely know, Frank and I have already shared our thoughts on Colin Powell here and here. Well, the Rude Pundit has weighed in too and this just may be his rudest work yet. If a grimy profanity-laced obliteration is not your cup of tea, you probably should skip this one.
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MMMM, Immaculate Conception
Some goon is selling his grilled cheese sandwich on eBay because he thinks the grill marks make an image of the Virgin Mary. It's worth a look just for the ramblings of the current owner of the Our Lady of Perpetual Flavor's cheesy goodness. Listen to this:
...I would like all people to know that I do believe that this is the Virgin Mary Mother Of God, That is my solem belief, but you are free to believe that she is whomever you like, I am not scamming anyone
Right. Here is a view of the mother of God, which you can own for the right price.

Current high bid for the sandwich is $70,000.

SEVENTY GRAND! Are you kidding me. Here's a brief list of things you can do with $70,000:
Buy 14,000 grilled cheese sandwiches at your local diner.
Buy a Porsche 911.
Buy a home near the seller.
Feed 2,500 children for a month.

Oh yeah, it will also run the buyer $9.95 to ship the Virgin Mother direct to his/her home.
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...for governor of Peurto Rico. Apparently, only 3,200 votes separate the pro-Commonwealth candidate from the pro-Statehood candidate. There's alot at stake in this one for the PR.

Jose Long-Distance, do you have any thoughts on this?
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Gotta Love the NY Tabs

So, whady'all think about Pedro pitching in the Bronx? Personally, I've got zero problem with it (although the premature death of the "Who's Your Daddy" chant would be quite unfortunate). The Yanks have been in soulless mercenary stage for quite some time now. If that's the route they're gonna go, and it is, than they might as well do it to the fullest. Bring in Pedro, bring in Randy, bring in Beltran, bring in Pavano, bring back Milton. But, whatever you do, just make sure you do it right and that we don't end up with assclowns like Javy Vazquez and Kevin Brown. Four years since the last one fellas. Unacceptable.
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The Elephant In The Room
After getting much play from some pretty smart dudes in The Swamp, it's time we have a little AofG take on the hypocrisy inherent in ABC's apology regarding Terrell Owens and Desperate Housewife Nicollette Sheridan. In the latest moral values Mt. Molehill, people are pretty pissed that ABC had the unmitigated gall to show a towel around a pair of nude ankles. If you promise not to sue the AofG or any of its parent entities, you can have a look at the clip here, on the Dallas Morning News website.

The offending back

Personally, I thought it was pretty funny. But then again, I am pretty out of touch with America and its values these days.

ABC has delivered a mea culpa, and then goes and shows the entire clip on ESPN's Sports Center the next day. Moreover, all the morning shows air the clip, including ABC's Good Morning America (that is the way we all should say "Good Morning"), CNN Morning Edition, and Even Regis and Kelly. It really is a whole lot of NOTHING, when you think about it, with what passes for wholesome entertainment on soap operas and evening TV. Producers and FCC sensors obviously feel that this is not that much of an issue. Hell, NYPD Blue showed Dennis Franz's ass and didn't get this much outrage.

Which leaves Cozmo with only one rational conclusion - A lot of what is behind this uproar is the fact that TO is black and NS is white. Why else would people be so up in arms over something so innocuous that a quick perusal of TV on at 2:30pm (when many kids are home from school) is significantly worse. I'm sure that many of these "family values" complaints stem as much from "racial values" and the taboo of showing the "mongrelization" of the races than of nude backs and ankles.

The other Elephant in the Room is how terrible an actor TO is. He should stick to cheerleading.
"The how 'bout you tell me what's buried underneath that pool?"

Let's hear what the Grievers have to say. Sound off in the Comments, kids.
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Tough Break for Gary Sheffield

Ouch. Looks like the freaky-deaky past of his wife is coming back to haunt him. According to the NY Daily News, the Yankee star is being blackmailed by some lowlife joker who claims to have a video of Sheffield's wife engaging in "very repulsive" sexual acts with R&B star R. Kelly. That's right, before she married the Sheff, his wife was involved with the man who has brought us a slew of oh so soulful lyrics like "You Remind Me of My Jeep." The same man who is very fond of taping his sexual conquests. The same man who's been known to enjoy sharing a golden shower or two. The same man who, well, is very fond of having sex with little girls.

In any event, apparently Sheff has not seen "not seen the alleged videotape, nor do I care to." Yeah, it's probably a good idea for the health of all parties involved if he doesn't. But can you imagine what his imagination is doing here? Must be sheer hell. But still, thinking of all types of nastiness has gotta be better than actually seeing it. Basically a spectacularly shitty situation no matter how you slice it. Sucks to be him.

Update: Be sure to catch the AofG Exclusive that Coz has posted below. Let's just say I'm honored to be associated with someone who does such fine work. Outstanding, Coz. Simply outstanding. You Da Man.
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BREAKING SHEFFIELD NEWS!!! - Another AofG Exclusive!!!

We have obtained a copy of the R. Kelly Mrs. Sheffield Sex Tape mentioned by Jackie here.

Click the link here, and watch out for the pop-up ads. It's worth it, though. Man, that R. Kelly is one messed up dude.
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Bad Idea Jeans
File this under Uses of the 2nd Amendment The Framers Had No Inkling Of #2,419 - some wing-nut in Texas is trying to enable his ranch to be the world's first internet hunting excursion.

His target market? Disabled hunters or people too far away from Texas to get to his ranch.

A screen capture image of the proposed hunting interface

I mean, how lazy can we get, really? These guys must have been wearing Bad Idea Jeans when they came up with this one.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Bush on Condi: Hypocrisy & Ridiculousness
Just caught some of the president's comments on Condi Rice and this little beauty jumped out at me:

"As a girl in the segregated South, Dr. Rice saw the promise of America violated by racial discrimination and by the violence that comes from hate," Bush said. "But she was taught by her mother, Angelina, and her father, the Rev. John Rice, that human dignity is the gift of God and that the ideals of America would overcome oppression."
Maybe it's just me, but this seems to be a pretty clear indication that the president considered Rice's diverse background to be a noteworthy factor in choosing her to be Secretary of State. And here I thought that he was a steadfast opponent of diversity-based affirmative action. Silly me. In any event, can we characterize this as a flip-flop from the resolute one? Or should we just keep it simple and say the man is full of shit? I'm going with the latter.

Now that we've established that, let's move on to the other clear suggestion in Bush's statement -- also pretty high up there on the bullshit scale. That would be the not so subtle implication that the situation in Iraq is analogous to the situation in the Civil War South -- "But she was taught by her mother ... that the ideals of America would overcome oppression." Somehow, I'm thinking that the "freed Iraqis," don't feel quite as hunky dory about things as the freed slaves. But hey, like I said, maybe it's just me.
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Can't We All Just Get Along?
More nonsense from the hip-hop world. During last night's taping of the Vibe awards a full-fledged melee broke out while Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones were on stage preparing to give a life time achievement award to Dr. Dre.
Fists and chairs started flying and a man was stabbed. Dre appealed to the audience to calm down and the show was stopped for about half an hour, these people saw what happened:

"Someone yelled out 'Dre, watch out' and then Dre's group G Unit intercepted the attacker."

"I saw Dr Dre fighting somebody, I don't know if he was fighting back, or I don't know who started it or whatever, but there was a guy taken out bloody."
Depressing. These characters are talented multi-millionaires and continually act like a bunch of two-bit thugs. Seriously, at what point do you say, "You know what? I'm friggin' paid. You can keep it real and act hard all you damn please, but I'm gonna just keep on smilin' and takin' my checks to the bank." I mean really, once you're a friggin' millionaire what on earth do you have to be so angry about? Granted, we don't know the particulars and the paid folks may just have been protecting themselves, but why are these cats so frequently embroiled in this nonsense in the first place? Even worse that the ever so classy Quincy Jones is going to be associated with this ridiculousness. In any event, it seems as if the very unfortunate early deaths of two of the brightest minds in the rap game, Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, has done nothing to deter these juvenile (and at times deadly) shenanigans. Like I said, depressing.

PS: Suge Knight was in attendance but claimed he had nothing to do with the violence. Sure.
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Kickball Anybody?
Y'all recall the kickball days? Back in elementary school, lunch recess, pick up sides, have some fun? Yeah, kickball, running bases, tag, catcher's flyer's up, and all that good stuff? Some of my fondest childhood memories. Good times. Well, looks like the youth in Iraq are trying to have a little playground fun as well. The game? Not quite the same innocent fun. More cowboys and indians and cops and robberish. From today's NY Times:

At one playground [in Mosul], Amin Muhammad, 10, and his friends raced around with plastic guns. "We divide ourselves into two teams," he said, "the mujahedeen versus the American forces." And in their battles, he said, the mujahedeen always win.
Pretty safe to conclude that in about four or five years most of these kids will be old enough to take this thing to the non-playground level. That's just wonderful. Nice to see the whole winning hearts and minds deal working out so well. Warms my heart.
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Colin Powell: Treated Like A Red-Headed Step Child Until The Bitter End
As you've likely seen, Frank has already hit us up with a superb Powell write-up up here. But, with some additional details coming forth in an article in today's Washington Post I felt the need to chime in. Turns out that Powell played the chump role right down to the very bitter end. According to the Post:

[Powell planned to resign a few months ago, but apparently] "had second thoughts and had prepared a list of conditions under which he would be willing to stay. They included greater engagement with Iran and a harder line with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ....[But Powell] was not asked to stay. A senior State Department official said Powell made no demands of the president and gave no hints that he might stay, an account echoed by White House aides."
So, apparently Powell's last gasp effort to restore even a modicum of dignity to his formerly good name, never even made it off the ground. Purportedly ready to make one last stand and the door slammed right in his face. Run along now boy your services are no longer needed.

To be fair, as yours truly noted in the Comments to Frank's post Powell was in a truly unenviable situation these last four years. On the one hand, his military training resulted in a need to be fiercely loyal to the administration. But on the other, that same background purportedly calls for carrying oneself with the utmost honor and dignity. Obviously, simultaneously adhering to both of those priniciples during his tenure at State was nothing short of impossible. That being the case, Colin had to go with one or the other, and, from where I sit, the choice he made is one that he will regret for the rest of his life. As we all know, Powell opted for loyalty. By doing so, he did a grave disservice to himself as well as his country and, as a result, leaves office with his credibility shot to hell and his dignity lost in the very deep recesses of George Bush's ass. His worst moment, and the point of no return, undoubtedly coming during his his February 5, 2003 address to the U.N. Security Council (and the world) concerning the since proved to be non-existent weapons in Iraq:

"My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources."
In the end, the strongest emotion I feel for Colin Powell is sympathy. Yes, of course, there is a good deal of disdain, but sympathy carries the day. He hitched his cart to the wrong wagon and paid a spectacular price -- his formerly good name gone and his inner peace presumably not far behind. Used up. Kicked to the curb. And left to wonder what might have been. And, to me, that's about as sad as it can get.
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Monday, November 15, 2004
More CIA Hateration
This month's issue of The Atlantic Monthly has an edited version of a particularly chilling letter, written by former agent Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Ladin unit at the CIA and now better known as the once-anonymous author of Imperial Hubris: How the West Is Losing the War on Terror.

The letter details ten intelligence failures, nine of which occured during the Clinton administration, many of which indirectly paved the way for 9/11. However, it is the last one, a status report as of September 2004, that is the most chilling:
10. September 2004: In the CIA's core, U.S.-based Bin Laden operational unit today there are fewer Directorate of Operations officers with substantive expertise on al-Qaeda than there were on 11 September 2001. There has been no systematic effort to groom al-Qaeda expertise among Directorate of Operations officers since 11 September ... The excellent management team now running operations against al-Qaeda has made repeated, detailed, and on-paper pleas for more officers to work against the al-Qaeda—and have done so for years, not weeks or months—but have been ignored ...
With dipshit politicos like Porter Goss running the show now, the whole "Not If, But When" prognosis for future terrorist attacks weighs a bit more on the mind.
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Remain Calm, All Is Well!
Stories like this one bring to mind the final scene in "Animal House". You know the one:

After the Deltas show up and the town starts going bonkers, Kevin Bacon, playing Chip Diller, a freshman ROTC student and one of the uber-douches from Omega house, tries to assert authority and bring some sense of order to the proceedings. His appeals to remain calm and assertions that everything is under control are met and overpowered by the contrarian force of the rioting mob.

There are plenty of neophyte douche bags running around Washington, trying to tell people that everything is under control. We seem to be a bit lacking in the Rioting Mob department, though. On that note, I leave you with the words of former Senator John Blutarsky.
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What Would Jesus Do?
Strange, strange world we live in. Check out this story about the principal of an Alaskan high school who was fired for engaging in disciplinary tactics he says were inspired by Jesus.

When the two seniors, 17 and 18, got caught kissing girls in front of younger students in late October, Principal Unfreid said that while contemplating what discipline to hand out, he woke at 3 a.m. and prayed how to avoid expelling them. He said that was when he remembered years ago he had cured his son of chronic lying by telling his son to hit him with a wooden ladle instead of spanking the youngster.

Later at school, Unfreid walked the boys down to a basement room with [teacher Joe] Brost. He told them, " 'Guys, this has gotta stop,' " he said. " 'I've let the atmosphere get too lax. I share in this discipline. This is a one-time deal.' " Then the principal took off his belt, gave it to Brost, and instructed the teacher to "discipline me like you would discipline your own son."
Mama and Papa Chiles, you reading? If so, next time yours truly gets out of line, please be sure to ask yourself what Jesus would do. Thanks.
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Ohio Recount: Gentlemen, Start Your Lawyers
According to this press release, a recount in Ohio is a sure thing. The party requesting the recount? The Green Party. Well, how about that. As the one-of-a-kind Cozmo Kramer says, "It's nice to see the Green Party finally bringing something to the table." And considering how they just yanked the sheet out in 2000, I'd have to say I strongly agree. Will be interesting to see how this thing plays out.
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Wine 'Em, Dine 'Em, Sixty-Three 'Em

Just when I was ready to be all conciliatory and shit with the folks from the Red States, I have to read a story like this. Fort Wayne's own John Hostettler is making a serious run at the Ohio Congressman who came up with Freedom Fries and his ownership of the Fuck-knuckle Timewaster Achievement Award.
"Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do."
Gott in Himmel...

(I would thank Big Willie Style for sending along the link, but, really, I'm incapable of behaved, rational discourse after reading this)

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H.L. Mencken: The Real Nostradamus
Check out what the man wrote in the Baltimore Evening Sun on July 26, 1920.

"The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

PS: As the inimitable Frank Costanza pointed out, "The man has broken down several months of AofG ranting in two paragraphs. If Mencken were alive, we'd invite him on board, so long as he posted under the alias of The Maestro."
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I Can't Stands No More
Powell has had enough.

As I'm hopelessly out of touch with how the majority of this country thinks, I'm not confident in any of what I'm about to say. But I'm led to believe that Colin Powell is respected enough that his resignation comes as a disappointment to most and is, at its core, not a "good" thing. After all, experienced foreign policy vets who behave like adults aren't found in large numbers these days. All of the articles I've read thus far portray Powell as a voice of reason in the Bush cabinet, but also as a man who is weary of fighting the good fight in the name of international diplomacy as an alternative to the go-it-alone, scorched earth policies to which so many in the Bush Administration adhere. Conventional wisdom also holds that his resignation comes as no surprise, because of the nature of his struggle, not to mention the neo-conservative bent towards affairs of state that we have taken. This leaves me with one question: if the departure of Colin Powell is such a blow, what does that say about the people who are running things? Actually it leaves me with two questions: if he is seen as a voice of reason in a group of rash cowboys, why the hell are these people still in charge? OK, three questions: taking all of this into account, what does it say about us as an electorate?

Nobody flinched when Ashcroft resigned because, except for people who find over-the-top 21st century versions of the Horst Wessel Song appealing and dancing to be an abomination, he was regarded as a pretty crappy Attorney General and a relatively psychotic human being. The indifference and sense that things were going to improve when his torture-endorsing successor was chosen speak volumes about what we thought of Ashcroft. Now, we face the possibility of Condi Rice making the move over to State, where maybe she'll be able to willfully ignore warning signs about deteriorating international relations as well as she did briefings on emerging terrorist threats. Great, grand, thanks a lot.

That's not to say that I'll miss him. Powell had many a chance to either resign in protest or at least voice his displeasure at recent events and pull the rug out from under the Adminstration. He chose not to do so, speaking in vague language and standing pat with his stock answer of "I serve at the leisure of the President" or some such cop out. To think that Powell could possibly be happy with the way we've conducted ourselves is equivalent to dismissing Liberace as just another snappy dresser. All the clues were there. The October surprise I longed for in this past election was that Powell would come out, guns ablazing, a few weeks before the election as, you guessed it, a respected voice of reason firing torpedos through the doublespeak and rosy Pollyanna blather put out by his cohorts. Despite his odious performance at the UN a couple years back, he's basically unimpeachable in the eyes of the American people and, I would guess, has approval and favorability ratings that top our own President's by a good ten points. He's 67 years old and doesn't have much of a political future to look forward to. What's to lose, except the continued degradation of the American ideal in eyes of the international community?
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Noice summary Frank.

Let's hope that Powell leaves it all on the field and goes off like Marsellus Wallace on Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Butch: You okay?
Marsellus: Naw man. I'm pretty f'in' far from okay.
Butch: What now?
Marsellus: What now? Let me tell you what now. I'ma call a coupla hard, pipe-hittin' niggaz, who'll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass.
Butch: I meant what now between me and you?
Marsellus: Oh, that "what now." I tell you what now between me and you. There is no me and you. Not no more.
Butch: So we cool?
Marsellus: Yeah, we cool. Two things. Don't tell nobody about this. This shit is between me, you, and Mr. Soon-to-be-living-the-rest-of-his-short-ass-life-in-agonizing-pain-rapist here. It ain't nobody else's business. Two: you leave town tonight, right now. And when you're gone, you stay gone, or you be gone. You lost all your [DC] privileges. Deal?

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Heaven Help Us

The apocalypse creeps even closer.

As of today, advertisements are running in California supporting a constitutional amendment that would allow Arnold Scharwzenegger to run for President. The ads are the creation of a Bay Area mutual fund manager and major Schwarzenegger campaign donor who has a companion Web site www.amendforarnold.com.

Listen, I'm all for certain libertarian leadings that Arnold has displayed, and I've certainly got no problem with his stance on stem cell research, gun control and certain health protections for drug abusers. But seriously, first things first, the guy is an utter buffoon. The assclown of all assclowns if you will. A mental girlie man. And we're going to go amend the United States Constitution so this character can be President? Are you kidding me? To take a page out of Arnie's playbook, the three strikes and your out rule would certainly apply here. That is, if America somehow puts this guy in office, after two terms of Bush, it deserves whatever damn punishment it gets. C'mon now.
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The Road To Freedom
Video from Fallujah.
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So now he wants to be black? That's funny.

Michael Jackson's feud with Eminem spilled on to the streets of New York as the self-styled King of Pop's fans listened to their hero slam the rapper during a protest over a music video depicting a Jackson look-alike in a bed with children (as we reported here.)

"It's demeaning and disrespectful...and I also want to make it clear that it's not just about Michael Jackson but about a pattern of disrespect that he has shown to our community."
Hey Michael, not for nothing, but your standing to call out another for disrespecting "our community" is pretty much non-existent. Yes, you too were once part of "our community," but you certainly are no longer, and you've certainly shown "our community" a good deal of "disrespect" while breaking, I mean bleaching, away. Perhaps I'm off here and by "our community" you mean a community of vaudeville clowns and freaks, and if so, my bad. But so long as you're referring to the "black community", well, I'll go ahead and speak on their behalf and tell you to go fuck yourself buddy.

As an aside, I know it's been said a gazillion times, but the Jackson crew is seriously one of the more dysfunctional public families of all-times. Perhaps if Crazy Joe had a taser instead of a belt things just may have worked out a little bit better. Perhaps.
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Sunday, November 14, 2004
Don Cheney Exposed (Update)
Update: Voila. Here's the pic. And, by the way, you can still color me skeptical. I mean really, that's ridiculous. Perhaps his Depends got dislodged.

Well, looks like the Vice President may just very well be, er, blessed.

Joining Vice President Dick Cheney’s motorcade in Green Bay, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Dale Guldan [captured] a unique image during an otherwise scripted campaign visit in September....Upon closer inspection, it seems the vice president’s smile was not his biggest, ahem, asset.

Let’s just say the snugness of Cheney’s pants left little to the imagination, and we’re not talking about his waistline....“It’s like a scud missile, for crying out loud,” [Milwaukee morning radio host Carol Caine] said.
Unfortunately, the picture is unavailable. However, the apparent fact that Cheney is hung like a donkey begs the question of why he feels the need to swing a big missile dick all over Iraq. You would think dude would be more secure in his manhood, no? Until I see some photos, color me skeptical.

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Saturday, November 13, 2004
2000 Election Phone Call
Only if. Funny.
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Bush Like Me
Here's a great piece from the Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi about his undercover work in the grass roots of the Republican Party. Taibbi's motivation, according to him:

Let me explain by first saying something about the critics of our president. A great many of them like to laugh at George Bush for not reading books and for being uninterested in visiting other countries. But a lot of those same people are guilty of the opposite offense. They prefer to read books and travel abroad rather than actually getting to know their own country face to face.

These critics do a terrific job of mocking his mental deficiencies and dismissing his supporters as hapless morons, but they do not do a very good job of explaining the nature of his support. The few dissident commentators who bother trying to explain the Bush phenomenon seldom do more than reach for the nearest Marx-inspired academic cliche. They will tell you, for instance, that Republicans are a vast intellectual underclass cynically manipulated by the rich through a mesmerizing cocktail of yahoo enthusiasms, xenophobic fears and ancient superstitions -- and those same people will insist, if forced to offer an opinion on the subject, that one should feel sorry for most of them.

This is the wrong approach. As a professional misanthrope, I believe that if you are going to hate a person, you ought to do it properly. You should go and live in his shoes for a while and see at the end of it how much you hate yourself.
So, Taibbi sets out to better understand and the result is "Bush Like Me" a insightful documentation of his time on the inside. The piece is chock full of wonderful anecdotes, and, from where I sit, really does try to give Bush supporters a fair shake. That being said, Taibbi certainly throws in a couple of jabs, but when you have Republicans driving around with bumper stickers like this -- IF I'D KNOWN THIS WOULD HAPPEN, I'D HAVE PICKED MY OWN COTTON -- well, you really can't blame him, can you? In any event, the very human piece is well worth the read. Do yourself a favor and give it a whirl.

(Thanks for the heads up, Kramer.)
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Friday, November 12, 2004
Go Home And Get Your Shinebox!

Frank Rich seems to think that the Christian Right was manipulated to get out the vote for Bush but, when push comes to shove, they are and will be pushed out of the spotlight. Well, Bush Term II hasn't even started, and they're already starting up the mantra of "Fuck you, pay me". From a letter sent by Bob Jones to President Bush that's making the rounds of the blogosphere today:
"If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them ... Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."
Mull that over this weekend.
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Help Me Out
For the life of me, I can't figure out who Arafat's bear- er, wife, looks most like:

Uncle Fester?
The Emperor from "Star Wars"?
Wallace Shawn?

(yeah, yeah, I'm going to hell and all that...I'll say 'hi' to Yasser for you)

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Hey Mexico, GFY
So, its about 40 degrees and pouring rain in the Grande Pomme, and I'm walking up Park Avenue from getting the "full treatment" at John Allans for lunch. What do I see but this truck trailer net to the sidewalk, with plexiglass walls, a fake beach inside and girls in bikini's with a sign on the trailer that Says "Mexico, It's Better Here".

I mean, damn right, Mexico, but don't rub it in.
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Miami's Finest

Miami - Police used a stun gun on a 6-year-old boy in his principal's office because he was wielding a piece of glass and threatening to hurt himself, officials said Thursday.

The boy, who was not identified, was shocked with 50,000 volts on October 20 at Kelsey Pharr Elementary School
Listen, I'm not saying that all police officers are incompetent (or just plain sick), but the endless amount of totally unacceptable stuff you hear coming from that lot is pretty damn troubling. Hitting up a 6 year-old boy with 50,000 volts!? Man, something is seriously wrong there. I mean really, what kind of training do they give some of these clowns? Jesus.
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Beyond The Pale
University of Tennessee law school professor Glenn Reynolds, known in the blogosphere as Instapundit, is promoting the t-shirt pictured here. Here's what the racist prick and one of his cronies have to say about the shirts.
"Got my shirt, and love it. Perhaps I'll wear it to a faculty meeting..." - Professor Glenn Reynolds

"ThoseShirts.com has not only some of the highest quality shirts I've ever seen, but they also deflect bullets, give you super strength, and ward off monkeys. I hate monkeys." - Frank J. of IMAO
As Steven Gilliard notes, the blatant racism here is utterly appalling. The slogan choice -- Celebrate Diversity -- a clear shot at affirmative action. The pan-African colors -- red, black and green -- not very subtle. The reference (by Frank J.) to warding off hated monkeys about as crystal clear as you can get. The inescapable suggestion is that Reynolds is promoting a diverse set of firearms to kill off black folks. Just some sick racist shit. Jim Crow would be proud, friggin' ecstatic in fact. That the University of Tennessee Law School continues to employ this prick is nothing short of digraceful. Unfuckingbelievable.

As Kill Nordy pointed out in the Comments, the Celebrate Diversity shirt that Reynolds is pictured wearing does not contain the Pan-African colors.
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The Culture War Is Over ... We Won!
So says Frank Rich, in an absolute must-read from this Sunday's New York Times, on the utter hokum of so-called "values" driving the bus of the most recent election cycle. So many money quotes, so little time:
If anyone is laughing all the way to the bank this election year, it must be the undisputed king of the red cultural elite, Rupert Murdoch ... The Murdoch cultural stable includes recent books like Jenna Jameson's "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" and the Vivid Girls' "How to Have a XXX Sex Life," which have both been synergistically, even joyously, promoted on Fox News...None of this has prompted an uprising from the red-state Fox News loyalists supposedly so preoccupied with "moral values." They all gladly contribute fungible dollars to Fox culture by boosting their fair-and-balanced channel's rise in the ratings.
It's in the G.O.P.'s interest to pander to [the] far-right constituency - votes are votes - but you can be certain that a party joined at the hip to much of corporate America, Mr. Murdoch included, will take no action to curtail the blue culture these voters deplore. As Marshall Wittman, an independent-minded former associate of both Ralph Reed and John McCain, wrote before the election, "The only things the religious conservatives get are largely symbolic votes on proposals guaranteed to fail, such as the gay marriage constitutional amendment." That amendment has never had a prayer of rounding up the two-thirds majority needed for passage and still doesn't.
When Robert Novak writes after the election that "the anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, socially conservative agenda is ascendant, and the G.O.P. will not abandon it anytime soon," you have to wonder what drug he is on. The abandonment began at the convention. Sam Brownback, the Kansas senator who champions the religious right, was locked away in an off-camera rally across town from Madison Square Garden. Prime time was bestowed upon the three biggest stars in post-Bush Republican politics: Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger. All are supporters of gay rights and opponents of the same-sex marriage constitutional amendment.
If the Republican party's next round of leaders are all cool with blue culture, why should Democrats run after the red? Received Washington wisdom has it that the only Democrat who will ever be able to win a national election must be a cross between Gomer Pyle and Billy Sunday - a Scripture-quoting Sun Belt exurbanite whose loyalty to Nascar does not extend to Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was fined last month for saying a four-letter word on television.
This last quote jibes well with Jackie's outstanding post from yesterday detailing his refusal to change the gameplan when it comes to presenting our approach in appealing to the American people.

Rich also goes a long way towards answering my long-standing question of why the highest concentrations of high quality strip clubs appear almost exclusively in the moral fortresses that are the red states. The answer? Utter fucking hypocrisy.
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Show's Over Folks
Well, go ahead and bandy about whatever theory you like. But, looks the certain rationale ones on the right have gotten to the bottom of why the Democrats did so poorly. And the reason strongly suggests that no matter what the dems do, they're slated for second place until the end of time. Have a read for yourselves:

Then Bunning (R-KY), whom I personally admire a great deal, began to say unusual things [during the campaign], such as his opponent reminded him of one of Saddam Hussein's sons. The Louisville Courier Journal, which hates Bunning because of his beliefs, suggested that perhaps the Senator had become mentally ill... Bunning said he no longer watched television or read the newspapers. That did it. His support dropped like a cast-iron pancake...

...I heard over and over again the day after the election from Republican officials "we knew that one was gone" and "we braced ourselves for an upset." But the Lord knew better.
And here I thought He was too busy helping Kurt Warner complete a couple of passes on Sundays. Silly me.
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The Political and the Personal
This is a simply phenomenal piece by David Neiwert from November of 2003. I recall reading it then and thinking that it was a must read for all. In light of the very distinct divide in our country today, I decided to pull it back up and take another pass through. Extremely happy that I did. The arguments Neiwert sets forth still resonate with incredible force. Do yourself a favor and give it a thorough read. Just extremely solid and thought-provoking stuff. Trust me.
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Thursday, November 11, 2004
This Sucks
Washington - A Monroe High School student was charged with felony harassment Wednesday for allegedly waving a noose at a black student. The white student, 17, called the other boy a racial slur and swung the rope back and forth before him in the school's parking lot ....
The more things change ...
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This Is What You Get

Apparently, thanks to the above boobage, viewers of several ABC affiliates won't be able to watch "Saving Private Ryan". Why? Because it's indecent, of course! Two of the stations in question specifically cited worries of fines for the harsh violence and foul language that ABC won't let them edit out. Fair enough, never know what Mullah Dobson is going to go after next. However, one station cited the heightened sensitivities of the current war in Iraq as a motivation for pulling the movie. And oh, what a shock, several of the affiliates in question are owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the same dipshits who thought the loss of 15% of their market value was a small price to pay for running an anti-Kerry documentary.

Now, to be fair, in response to overwhelming pressure, Sinclair stations eventually ran a more even-handed piece on bias in the media and not the controversial "Stolen Honor". But it can be easily read between the lines that their current squeamishness is probably not over indecency. Rather it seems, to me at least, to be yet another attempt by Sinclair to mask the realities of how brutal war can be. I have no idea what war is like, but I would bet that the first 45 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan", which depict the Normandy invasion in all its confusion and brutality, probably comes damn close. When I saw the movie in the theater, it hit a little too close to home and had me sobbing my eyes out for two hours straight (damn you, Spielberg!). To this day, I haven't been able to watch the film again. But indecent, it ain't.
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On A Lighter Note
Good one.
(Thanks, Dr. Dolen.)
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Dumbing it Down: Not for the Kid
With each new article taking not so veiled shots at the intellect and lifestyle of certain red staters, I keep hearing how Democrats are scoring points for the Republicans. How if Democrats keep up the whole "we're smarter than them" routine, they'll be doomed to second place forever. Well you know what? I really don't agree. If someone's going to be so put off by a bunch of columnists, pundits or comedians taking a few shots at stuff that is certainly shot-worthy, that it would cause that person to never vote for a Democrat, well, I really think such a low level person is beyond reaching.

Honestly, I find the whole idea that the dems have to dumb it down to reach certain red staters, to be a very big crock of shit. First of all, it's not like Bush won this thing going away. Far from it. Second of all, whether or not he really won in 2000 it was pretty damn close. Third of all, we won the two before that and there was zero doubt about the fact that we won. And now, all of a sudden, because Bush arguably wins a couple squeakers against two pretty much atrocious candidates (can you give me a little charsima please?), we're going to give up acting as witty rationale beings, because it offends some folks who are gonna vote Republican no matter what you do? And don't give me this stuff that we're losing the folks on the fence. If someone is thoughtful enough to be on the fence, they're thoughtful enough to appreciate (or at least not be offended by) rationale arguments tinged with a bit of sarcasm. They won't have the stupid guy's chip on the shoulder and take things personally. Ya know, we're laughing with you. Not at you.

Honestly, I feel like I'm hanging around with a bunch of pansies that have a fit if you say a bad word about another. "You know what, that guy really is an asshole. You hear how he did his boy." "Oh, stop talking about people. It's so not nice. I don't engage in saying bad things about people. If that's what you're gonna do ...." "Well, you know what then? Go fuck yourself. 'Cause I'll tell ya what. If folks do some stupid shit that warrants talking about, and if the talking about results in conversation about what an asshole dude is, then I'm talking about what an asshole he is. If you're feelings are hurt by that, I can't help you. Get lost."

The truth of the matter, NewsFlash, is that not all red staters are morons. As I've stated here before, I know hordes of incredibly bright people who vote Republican. All of these folks, are more than up for the intellectual exchange of ideas that may just include a couple of barbs here and there to keep things fun and keep everyone sharp. And it's folks like that, folks that actually have a mind of their own, who are the type of folks you just may have a chance at getting to cross the aisle. As for the others, those folks that are so far gone, that a little rationally based wit and sarcasm gets their panties all up in a bunch, well, I say fuck 'em. I know, I know, "Well, if you're gonna be divisive like that, you're always gonna lose." Bullshit. As I already said, we barely lost these last couple of times, and without a whole bunch of nothing-to-with-voters-shenanigans we clearly would have won in 2000. And the more and more we hear about this election, and this Diebold ridiculousness (thanks, Unknown), the more and more it seems like that just may have been the case this year too. Yes, we lost. Yes, it's over. Yes, I've accepted that. But please don't give me this nonsense that we have to start making all the concessions and that other side can just go about their business with their blatantly divisive and intolerant ways. That really is a load of horsecrap. And, if that's not the general democratic consensus, and this dumbing down business is going to be the plan, then I, for one, will be jumping ship with a swiftness. That shit is dead. Period.
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