Sunday, November 30, 2003

I saw a VA license plate today that really irked me: MEAT KLZ. If there's one group of people that are sure to get on my nerves, it's those self-righteous vegetarian types. But to actually put their message on a license plate and proclaim to the world that they are somehow better than the rest of us who remain stuck in the omnivore stage of evolution is the height of arrogance.

Here's a point to ponder: If a vegan drives (or even rides in) a car or bus, aren't they violating their belief system? After all, vegans not only avoid meat, they avoid ALL animal products, including eggs, milk, cheese, and even clothing made from leather. But if they use transportation powered by gasoline or diesel fuel, they're using precious fossil fuel which is derived from... Dead dinosaurs!!!! Now, I may be wrong about this, but weren't dinosaurs animals?

Anyway, I grabbed a half-eaten hot dog off the floor of the passenger seat, pulled alongside the vegetarian scum, and threw it at the driver. This apparently startled them so much that they lost control of the car, veered off the highway, smashed into a tree, and burst into flames.

Hmmm.... Guess the license plate was right after all.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

----------Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star

Thursday, November 27, 2003


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Researchers say they have discovered that some species of octopus have erectile tissue in their tentacles.

Well, that's it then. No more calamari for me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

----------Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Normally I try to come up with something amusing to share with my readers.... And please know that I value both of you very much. However, it's time for me to depart from the norm and briefly get serious about the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

A year ago I was a reluctant supporter of Bush and his plans for regime change in that troubled country. After all, this was the President who had led us to a brilliant military victory in Afghanistan. So when he said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was working with known terrorist groups, I believed him. Whatever reservations I may have had about another war stemmed from the fact that while we may have achieved victory in Afghanistan--for the moment at least--we still had not gotten Osama bin Laden. If we had captured him, or confirmed his death, then I would have had no qualms about going after Hussein.

But Bush had already committed the nation to a course of action in Iraq. By the end of last year there was simply no going back. To do so would have made the United States look weak in the eyes of our enemies. That perception, in turn, would have led to more attacks against us. That's why the Administration had my support. And that is also why I felt the antiwar protestors were wrong: It was obvious we were going in, and all their screaming and yelling would accomplish nothing.

Well, actually, I think they did accomplish ONE thing: They--as well as France and Germany--gave Hussein false hope that Bush would back off at some point. Had the international community been more unified behind us, I still believe Saddam would have realized the futility of his position, left Iraq, and gone into exile.

So when Baghdad fell on April 9, and I saw the jubilation in the streets, I felt the United States and England had been vindicated. And with our brilliant military strategy triumphant, it was now time to institute our brilliant plan to rebuild iraq. Only.... Well.... Er.... We didn't have one.

As the days without electrity became weeks and months, resentment at our continued prescence grew. If we had at least been accomplishing something tangible that the citizens could see, it would have been different. But we didn't, and it soon became painfully obvious that someone had dropped the ball. Also, as the months have gone on, the ferocity and sophistication of the attacks against our people has been increasing.

So where do we stand now? Well, we're no longer losing an average of one soldier a day, but several. And that's not even counting the toll of wounded, who very often require extensive surgeries, artificial limbs, and lengthy physical rehabilitation. And we still have no WMD's to point at to justify our little foolhardy misadventure. Nor has any evidence surfaced that Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda prior to the war. Now, however, it has become painfully apparent that assorted groups are taking advantage of the postwar anarchy to go in and wreak havoc. Additionally, since we lost our focus on Afghanistan, that country is slowly slipping back into chaos.

But simply packing up and bringing our forces home is not an option either. We went into that country and eliminated its government. To leave them now would be irresponsibility of the highest order. On the other hand, they don't want us there, and the members of the Iraqi Governing Council are basically targets. Simply put, we are stuck.

That is why I simply cannot vote for Bush next year. This is unfortunate, since I don't think I've ever voted for a Democrat. But he has put our nation into a position from which it will difficult to recover. Not only are we stuck in Iraq, but all the international goodwill that was bestowed upon us in the wake of 9-11 has been pissed away.

I hate offering criticism without also offering possible solutions, but I simply don't see any.

All my feelings about Iraq came to a head this past Thursday. You see, I drive a cab, and I had picked up a semi-regular passenger. He's an older gentleman, and a nice guy. While we were stuck in traffic, he sat in the back reading my copy of USAToday. Then I hear him using his cellphone to call someone. It was his wife, and he proceeds to tell her about something he just saw in the paper. One of the soldiers killed in last weekend's collision of the Blackhawk helicopters was a Joey Whitener, the 19 year old son of some good friends of theirs. By the end of the conversation, the man was softly sobbing into the phone. I later came to find out that this man and his wife had known the son since he was a toddler. Upon leaving the military, Joey was planning to go to college, and eventually, medical school.

Sometimes war is a necessity, and sometimes war is a waste.

And I'm sorry, but this one's a waste.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Scientist type people have concluded that global warming should lead to better wine. The theory is that vintages improve with rising temperatures.

So even if the world's changing climate ultimately leads to the collapse of civilization and the extinction of mankind, at least we'll be too drunk to give a crap.


----------Walt Handelsman, Newsday


----------Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press

----------Dana Summers, Orlando Sentinel

Friday, November 21, 2003

Greetings, Earthlings.

Take me to your children.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Wacko Update

CBS has now officially pulled the plug on that Michael Jackson special scheduled for next week. The network will instead fill the time slot with a very special episode of CSI: Neverland Ranch.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

There is late breaking word that Michael Jackson has mounted one of his pet llamas and is leading police on a wild low speed chase towards the Mexican border.

The suits at CBS has been having a rough month. Under intense pressure from Republicans and other red-blooded Americans, they recently pulled the Reagan movie from their schedule. That move, in turn, set off howls of protests and charges of "caving in" from the America hating Democrats.

Now with yesterday's raid at Neverland Ranch, the fate of the network's planned Michael Jackson special--tentatively scheduled for next week--is uncertain. If the network airs it, they run the risk of offending anyone and everyone with a minimal of sense common decency. But if they again cave in and yank the program, then they risk alienating 45 year old men who log into teen chatrooms and pretend to be 14 year old cheerleaders.

Such a dilemma.

Despite all the controversy, the network is sure to preserve at least some of its former dignity with tonight's Victoria Secrets special.

Word is that authorities in London probing a security breach at Buckingham Palace. Heck, it was probably just Prince Charles looking for his butler.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Well, former child star turned human hermaphrodite Michael Jackson is back in the news. His Neverland Ranch was visited by 20 deputies armed with a search warrant. No official word on what they were looking for, but it probably wasn't autographed copies of his latest release. Hell, no one's looking for that....

But why do the authorities keep harassing Michael? Are they jealous of the attention he receives from little boys who otherwise won't listen to their own fathers? Is it because no one can moonwalk like him.... Except maybe Neil Armstrong? What?

They should just leave the poor man (or whatever) alone. Let him do whatever it is he wants to do in the privacy of his home.

The people the cops should be going after are the parents stupid enough to leave their kids alone with a known child molester. I mean, who are these people? Don't they know Jackson's history? It's these parents who should be arrested, beaten, dope slapped, and have their parenting licenses revoked.

Oh, wait.... Parents don't need licenses, do they? Guess that explains a lot.... About the world as a whole, actually.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

There's an old joke that says if a person's last words on Earth were "Hey, watch this," then alcohol was probably involved.

It is not known for sure if those were Christopher Loughrey's last words, but alcohol was involved when he and a buddy decided to go "surfing" on top of a moving subway car in New York city. His subsequent encounter with a low clearance overpass earned Chris a certain nomination for a Darwin Award, and also served to raise the collective IQ of the human gene pool just a bit.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Evidently the Saudis haven't heard of Roy Horn.

----------Mike Thompson, Detroit Daily News

Friday, November 14, 2003

Since time immemorial, man has wondered how the world will end. Would it be by fire or by ice? A nuclear holocaust, or the resulting nuclear winter? Greenhouse gasses suffocating all animal life on Earth? Rogue asteroid strike? A mutant viral outbreak? Famine? An alien invasion from a distant star system? The possible reasons for mankind's eventual demise are mind boggling.

However, one potential cause that has rarely been considered is suddenly turning into the leading contender: Advertising run amock.

Please understand that I have no problem with advertising on TV. I understand that broadcast television is an otherwise free service available to all Americans, and that it is through the selling of commercials that the industry is able to pay its electric bills while paying a million bucks per actor per episode of Friends. Quite frankly, that's NOT a bill I would like receive in the mail on a weekly basis.

Advertising in newspapers and magazines I can live with. It helps offset the cost of all that paper and ink, as well as the reporters salaries. Again, that's understandable.

Junk mail, however, begins to push the limits of my tolerance. It requires a certain degree of effort to sort through one's postal mail and pick out the important pieces while discarding catalogues I never requested or coupon books I'll never redeem.

But the naming of stadiums is over the top. Who was the genius who first came up with the idea of charging a company $20 million to slap their name on a sports venue? Better yet, who was the genius who first agreed to pay the 20 million? There was a time not so long ago that stadiums were named for dead people (Jack Kent Cooke Stadium or Wrigley Field) or geographic features of a city (Three Rivers Stadium or Mile High Stadium). But what the hell is a Qualcomm Field, and how do you even spell it?

Now even movie theaters are getting into the act. I've already paid eight or nine dollars for the privilige of sitting in a darkened auditoreum while my blood pressure skyrockets because the idiots in the row behind me won't shut up. And that's NOT including the additional seven bucks for a flat drink and stale popcorn! So in light of all this money I've just shelled out, why I am I being subjected to more ads? And I'm not talking about the trailers, which I can live with. I'm talking about paying out my hard earned money for the privilege of watching a Pontiac car commercial on a two story high screen? Who's bright idea was that? More importantly, why do we tolerate it?

And then there's email spam, which is rapidly clogging the internet. Despite the extraordinary efforts of you and I to block the stuff, it just keeps coming and coming, multiplying like some sort of evil lifeform. And spammers seem to delight in finding new ways to circumvent filters and clog our inboxes. But why? Can't they understand that the whole reason we're blocking them in the first frikkin' place is that we don't want their crap?

And if that's not bad enough, now spammers are going after cellphones and weblogs. Again, what makes them think I want to use up the precious airtime on my phone--airtime I pay for--reading text messages about Viagra and low mortgage rates?

Even subway systems are beginning to fall victim to the scourge of advertising run amock. DC's Metro system, which thus far has been a class operation and a point of pride for our nation's capital, is considering selling ad space on its railcars. Another idea is to install lit signboards in the tunnels that become a "movie" as the train goes by at 60 mph.

Personally, I'd prefer annihilation by asteroid.

----------Jim Borgman, Cincinnati Inquirer

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Today's big story in DC--aside from from the sniper trials, Iraq, the Senate's all night session, Anthrax scares, small planes encroaching on the no-fly zones around the White House & Capitol, and the threat of an imminent fiery Armageddon--is the wind. With gusts of up to 60 mph, numerous trees have come down and scattered power outages have resulted.
It's always a hoot to hear the traffic reporters on the radio when they say, "If you encounter a traffic signal that's out, treat it as a four way stop." HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
Yeah, right. That approach may actually work on inhabited planets elsewhere in this vast universe of ours, but it ain't gonna make the cut here on Earth.
Everyone knows that in the real world you and I exist in, the larger vehicle has the right of way. Unless, of course, two Hummer H2's happen to encounter each other at a darkened intersection simultaneously. In that event, the drivers must exit their vehicles, hurl verbal abuse at one another, and then engage in fisticuffs.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Today is Tonya Harding's 33rd birthday. She celebrated it by beating the sh*t out of her cake with a lead pipe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Tom Selleck will portray General Dwight Eisenhower in an upcoming A & E network TV movie. As always with such projects, produders will exercise a certain degree of creative license. For example, in this version of his life story, Ike will have a sexy mustache, land on the Normandy coast wearing shorts and flip flops, and drive through western Europe in a bright red Ferrari.
No word on who will portray his man-servant.

Monday, November 10, 2003

That Sinking Feeling

Today marks the 28th anniversary of the sinking of the Gordon Lightfoot, which went down in Lake Superior after striking an iceberg. The tragedy was later immortalized in Canadian singer Edmund Fitzgerald's famous song, "The Wreck of the Gordon Lightfoot."

Or something like that.


Never Satisfied

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Here's a tip for any of you who may suffer from insomnia: Watch a lunar eclipse.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks--the group that sparked a firestorm of controversy last winter with leader Natalie Maines' anti-Bush comment--and her husband are expecting twins.
In a compromise move intended to satisfy both critics and fans, Maguire plans to raise one of the children as a God-faring patriotic Republican, while the other will be raised as an atheistic America-hating Democratic.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

I caught The Matrix Revolutions earlier and--while I still don't have a clue as to what the hell is going on--found it quite impressive. The battle for Zion was particularly riveting. Expect this baby to do quite well aat the box office.
After watching the movie I decided to check out the reviews, and sure enough, most of them are negative. Why do critics always pan the movies that Joe Q. Public loves? My poersonal theory is that it's because they're stuck-up elitists who are full of themselves.
Most reviewers inevitably end up talking about things like like character development. Stephen Hunter in The Washington Post seemed to be especially stuck on this point. Well, that may be important if you're taking a writing course in graduate school. But do most of us out here in the real world honestly care about what a character's motivations are? I would venture to say "no."
When we shell out eight or nine bucks for a movie--assuming we're not also buying a "small" 32 ounce soda for $3.50--we expect to be entertained. That's OUR motivation. And for guys that usually translates into lots of explosions and spectacular shots of cleavage. And while Matrix only had one reasonable cleavage scene, it did have LOTS of explosions.
If professional movie reviewers grasp this concept, then the rest of us may start more attention to their opinions.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Remember ugly-as-a-horse Linda Tripp, who ratted out Monica Lewinsky's "non-sexual" affair with Bill Clinton? She has received a $595,000 settlement for having had her confidential personnel records leaked to the press.
Hmmmm.... $595,000? Wonder if that babe is still single?

Monday, November 03, 2003

Congratulations to rap star Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, who successfully completed the grueling New York City Marathon. He finished the 26.2 mile race in a respectable 4:14:54.
Puff's time could have been even better, except he ended up wasting 15 minutes returning fire after the starter pistol went off.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Pamela Anderson has written a letter to KFC head David Novak requesting a meeting to discuss the conditions under which the company raises its chickens. Specifically--and I'm not making this part up--she said "I must admit from the outset that I can't understand why a company that claims to care about animal welfare would continue to allow chickens to be bred and drugged to be so top-heavy that they can barely walk."
Shortly afterwards, the National Weather Service was forced to issue a severe irony alert.

Actress Renee Zellweger has reportedly gained more than 20 pounds for her part in the sequel to Bridget Jones.
Of course, she is not the first actor or actress to go to such extremes for a role. For example, Sly Stallone put on some 30 pounds for Copland. And back in the late '70's, Marlon Brando packed on an estimated 25 million billion metric tons for the original Superman, in which he played the planet Krypton.


----------Greg Varvel, Indianapolis Star


Saturday, November 01, 2003

What is art? Hard to say sometimes, but apparently covering the floor of Grand Central Station in New York City with 450 naked women qualifies. That was the project photographer Spencer Tunick recently undertook one recent morning at 3 A.M.
A number of members of the New York Yankees got wind of the event and rushed to the scene hoping to get dates.
But in keeping with their recent performances on the field, they all struck out again.