Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hitler, Not So Much

Bush is not Hitler.

While there is a certain religious fervor and hatred of the infidel other among many of his supporters, Bush and his backers, and by backers I mean those with the money, are not Nazis.

They are rather a variety of fascists, in which the interest of the corporation is the interest of the state, in which anxieties over religion, race, and sexuality are fanned into a flaming animosity as a matter of political convenience. It's always the same tactic.

The war that was supposed to take 6 months, a year tops, that was supposed to be paid for by the oil revenues, has now celebrated its third anniversary with no end in sight. Oil and gasoline are more expensive than they have ever been, and we will no doubt soon crack $100.00 per barrel. The surplus the Clenis left us is gone to pay for tax cuts (and there are MORE to come next week), and corporations are doing well, yet the economy for the man on the street is in the toilet.

Not all of this is George W. Bush's fault: the Clenis's insistence on NAFTA opened the floodgates to mass unemployment as corporations ditched high wage Americans for low wage Mexicans (and then went on to ditch Mexicans for slave wage Chinese). But most of it is. In fact, Mr. Bush's insistence on a guest worker program, as envisioned in the Senate, makes the Clenis's NAFTA scheme even worse, creating a permanent exploited-class citizen, and cracking tthe door ajar for the corporations to treat native-born Americans the same. Who woulda thought I'd be siding with James Sensennbrenner?

It is not that we are "fighting a war against Islamic terrorism/fascism": as long as Saudi Arabia sits on all that oil, we are content to leave the Wahabbis in charge. It's that we are fighting a war for corporate profit. It's a fallacy: the interests of an American corporation are not always the interests of the American people, as NAFTA and associated schemes, the manufacturing implosion, outsourcing, and off-shoring have demonstarted.

Tom Friedman, in a moment of clarity in an otherwise benighted existence, is dumbfounded that GM is giving out credits for a year's worth of cheap (by current standards) gas to customers who buy Hummers: we are funding our so-called enemies with every gallon. The interest of the coporation is not the interest of the people: what we need are different fuels, we are choking on our fumes like yeast chokes on CO2 and alcohol, drowning in its own excretions.

Bush is not Hitler. Hitler really believed the Jews (and Communists, and Slavs) were to blame for everything that had gone wrong in Germany, and if Hitler's Willing Executioners is to be believed, anti-Semitism was endemic in the part of Western Europe: Hitler simply exploited attitudes that already existed. Bush may adopt some of the Nazis' favorite slogans (the notion of an American "homeland" always gets my hackles up: as my father says, "The homeland, as distinguished from the lands we've conquered."), but he is no true believer in extermination based on religion, race, or sexuality. He represents the corporation: it does not matter who has to die in the corporation's interest, just as it doesn't matter if no one has to die. As long as the corporation, and I mean this in the caricatured Global Tetrahedron sense as so aptly expressed by The Onion, gets what it wants, then all is good. If that means getting normally quite kindhearted religious people riled up about issues like homosexuals getting married in order to distract them from the fact that we're sending other people's sons and daughters into year three of a meat grinder that was supposed to rid our former ally against Iran, Saddam Hussein, of weapons of mass destruction that the corporation knew didn't exist from day one, well, that's what you have to do.

For that matter, if the corporation is losing money in the weapons sector, it's sometimes necessary to send other people's sons and daughters into year three of a meat grinder that was supposed to rid our former ally against Iran, Saddam Hussein, of weapons of mass destruction that the corporation knew didn't exist from day one.

It's the same approach to everything. You do what you have to do to achieve your objectives: if you have to lie, break the law, exploit base emotions, it does not matter. All of these are valid tactics.

Bush isn't Hitler. Hitler believed in something.


Melissa got some money for consulting and is getting driving lessons!

I can't WAIT to have one less thing to complain about.

Meta-Blog: Blockquotes

A few months ago I experiemented with a template provided by Matt, formerly of Tattered Coat. Things worked for a while, but I had some issues with graphics spilling over the sidebar. I may experiment with that template again in the near future, but until I get it just right, I am going to enclose my text in blockquotes. Quotes that would ordinarily be blockquoted will receive bold italic tags. Graphics will be without blockquotes.

Portrait of a Liar

We all know about my obsession with For Better or For Worse, and I wanted to take a moment to point out that the recent plotline, in which Lizzie will leave Paul "Dudley-Doo" Wright and head back to Milborough, is annoying the living bejesus out of me. I am actually really angry about this: the plotline is idiotic, and is expects the reader to empathize with the bad actor.

A review: Lizzie, the eldest daughter of the Patterson clan, has travelled to Mitigiwakikikikwasaki, to teach on an Indian reservation. One night, her mom (Elly) almost fell asleep at the wheel after visiting, and some kindly police officers allowed the woman to spend the night at the stationhouse.

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In the morning, one of the cops, Paul Wright, saw a picture of Lizzie and remarked to Elly that she was cute, and inquired into her availability. Elly responded that the girl was single, and waiting for "Mr. Right". Never one for subtlely, Lynn Johnson, the strip's author, added a meta-comment: a sign pointing at the name on Paul's office door, punning on "Wright vs. "Right".

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A few weeks later, Paul and Lizzie met and began dating. Things moved fast:

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Lizzie was dancing around the apartment proclaiming that she now knew what true love feels like. Ikky prose, yes, but at least a coherent plot-line.

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Little did we know that the fourth panel wasn't ecstasy, but the triumphant song of the Siren, leading a sailor to his death.

Flash forward: On May 1, Lizzie received an email from her sister. Her ex-boyfriend from high school Anthony (the one who married a woman he didn't love while telling Lizzie to wait for him, the one who promised the wife he didn't love that if she'd have a baby, he'd be the primary caregiver, only to whine that she went back to work, the one whose wife finally left him for being such a weenbag) was now on the market again.

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o what's a Saint Patterson to do? One word: LIE.

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I know she's lying about being homesick, because back in January, Lizzie was back home complaining to her mom about how boring Millborough is.

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"It's something I just realized"? Please, don't feed me that baloney. What you just realized is that there's a spare cock in Milborough (and while we're on the topic of baloney, it's not like you've been riding the Constable's, or anyone else's, baloney pony, so what do YOU know anyway?)

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[I'd like to call attention to the date on this panel, from 2/24: Lizzie is obviously refusing to put out, which is what makes the "yes yes yes" panels posted earlier, and dated 2/25, so funny: she turns down the sex and then sends the guy on his way with a hug. How fucking lame is that? Oh, about as lame as moving in with your college boyfrind and insisting on your own bedroom, because you're "not that kind of girl". Obviously. The kind of girl you are is called a "prude".]

It's no secret that the Pattersons are modeled on Lynn Johnson's own children. The characters' names are, in fact, her actual children's middle names. So it's not too much of a leap to surmise that these people are the protagonists of FBFW, the central characters we're supposed to be rooting for. So here's who I'm supposed to root for: a woman who has lied to her significant other, who's been carrying a torch for a married man, and one who's been emotionally cheating on his wife at that.

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I'm to cheer for a woman who's been stringing along a guy who seems nice enough, if a little overeager, a guy who's explicitly professed his love for this dim bulb and has proved willing to uproot his life for her by putting in for a transfer at work so they can be closer together? I'm supposed to be rooting for this immature, sexless prude who randomly moves the goalposts and pulls out the rug? COME ON! This is total bullshit, and lest I be charged with bitterness and sexism, it would be so if it was a guy doing this. As a writer, Lynn Johnson has less respect for her readers than Jim Davis, of "Garfield" fame. Say what you will about Garfield, it sticks to a tried and true formula of dumb gags. There is no attempt to be anything more than dumb gags.

But then again, I'm not from Canada, so what do I know? Considering the last minute nonsense I went through in August 2005, maybe that's just SOP for the ladies of the north: set the poor foob's hopes up like a frame of bowling pins, and then knock it all down.

Fortunately for Paul, it looks like he's been written with a little more sense than his dumb girlfriend.

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What that last panel translates into is "Yeah... as if." Or perhaps, "I wish this dummy wasn't clinging to me."

Lizzie Patterson, and by extension Lynn Johnson, can get fucked. I am totally offended by this strip. Run, Paul, run as fast as you can.

Oh, and I fully comprehend how utterly deranged this entire post is, and how weirdly involved with this strip I have become. It's not just me: see the Foobiverse Journal. Josh the Curmudgeon admits the same twisted obsession. I can't explain it. I hate, despise, and loathe every. single. character. Yet, I cannot stop reading it. It's the first thing I look at, either in the actual newspaper or online, often before email.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sam Went Home Today

I'll get into any post-visit depression later. Right now, I want to simply, and hopefully briefly, describe my evening and morning.

We went to my friend Ryan's house for a cookout in Northern Liberties. I know Ryan from Drinking Liberally: he and his wife Amy have two boys about Sam's age. It was a really good time.

Because Melissa's folks were unable to do the Syracuse run this month (and I have my specualtions about that inability, I can tell you), Melissa took a bus down to Philly arriving late last night. Because it saved a couple of hundred dollars, she booked a flight out of LaGuardia Airport for 10:00 AM today. I knew that if I drove to LaGuardia I would have to take the day off from work, and I have no intention of wasting my vacation time on driving my ex around New York City. Instead, we went to Port Authority, where a shuttle bus heads out to Queens and the airport every 20 minutes or so.

This still meant getting up at 4:00 in the morning. Typically if I have something important to do in the early morning, my body releases adrenaline or something the night before, rendering sleep impossible. Put it this way: I was in bed by 11:15 PM. I didn't fall asleep until about 3:00. I am feeling REALLY fucked up right now. REALLY fucked up.

Despite all the rancor that's boiling away in my guts like the sulphury fart of a festering onion, I managed to be civil and even engaging during the drive. Do you have any idea how uncomfortable that was? Even worse was reaching back and holding Sam's hand. I won't lie: last night while singing bedtime songs, I cried like a baby. I couldn't even get two verses of Wheels on the Bus out of my throat without choking on sobs, and when the kid started singing In the Pines again, I damn near lost it. When we held hands this morning in the car, I could feel my heart jumping into my throat and my eyes began to well up, but there is no way I'm going to let a fucking MacIntyre see me cry. I'll gouge my own eyes out before I let that happen. I may not have much, but I do have my dignity and my pride.

So yeah, really fucked up and spacey today. I want to drop by Drinking liberally and grab a beer after work, but I might drop off at the bar and start snoring, kinda like the junky crashed out on the front steps of my job today.


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Monday, May 29, 2006

Greetings From English Creek

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Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day,
Or as it was originally known,
Decoration Day,
In honor of those who died,
fighting, the Civil War.

This Memorial Day
Say a prayer or a rememberance
for those who died,
because the President lied,
for every PTSD,
for every amputee,
for the families of soldiers
who come home in cargo planes,
and those who never come home at all.
So many have died
because the President lied.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


This site is awesome, and will be added to the blogroll. Go now.

Mind: Blown

Sam and I were watching the closing credits of Thomas: Calling All Enginges again tonight, a story following the rivalry, and consequent reconciliation, of steam engines and diesel engines on the Island of Sodor, when I noticed that he was trying to say the words the chorus of British children were singing. When that failed he reverted to the way I always sing the [usually instrumental] theme music, which gets stuck in my head for days, and sometimes reappears unbid. If you have kids, you know the theme. If not.. well, you find it. It's a damn sight better than freakin' Barney if you ask me.

We came upstairs for bedtime songs (it was too late to do both songs and stories), and we started with his new favorite, "The Wheels on the Bus".

The wheels on the bus
Go round and round
Round and round,
Round and round.
The wheels on the bus
Go Round and round
All through the town.

Although he is becoming more verbal, Sam isn't that interested in talking, Melissa and I have noticed. It's not that he doesn't understand, or can't talk: it's more that he communicates so well with his eyes, body language, and other tools at his diposal that he has little use for verbalization.

"You know, if you'd like to sing too, that's ok with me," I said. And so he started singing along with me from behind his binky.

When I began Freight Train, an Elizabeth Cotton song he likes, he joined in again, uninvited, and I'll be damned if the kid didn't know all the words to the chorus!

And then we did In the Pines, his other favorite. Except for one verse, he knew all the words. Not perfectly, but he was right on it. He sang with me all the way through, even with the sharp jump in the second "pines", where the G blends into a G7, the blue note. He's not even two-and-a-half yet, and the kid's memorizing entire songs.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised: I've been singing him In the Pines since he was born, and Freight Train almost as long. It's just mindblowing that one moment the kid communicates like he's out of a Charlie Chaplin film, little more than exagerated gestures and marginal dialogue, and the next he's drawing from this deep reservoir of words that has apparently been sitting untapped for God knows how long.

He's just a little guy, how can he have all that stored up there? And what else is up there that I have no way of knowing about?

When I put him to bed, I told him how proud I was of him. I am bursting at the seams as I type this.

I gotta get to sleep!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


From Carlin Romano:

Hi, Brendan. I note your ironic (if not sarcastic) tone, but you're missing something. This was a scene piece about a panel at a convention, not about the industry as a whole. No one present spoke up for the left. You don't "balance" a report on a panel -- you just report what happened there.

I respond:

You don't "balance" a report on a panel -- you just report what happened there.

That's an interesting response, and rather Colbertian (is that a word?): "Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home." It's been my experience reading the newspaper that regardless of the topic, alternative voices are supposed to be sought out, often whether those alternatives have something valid to say or not (like the Swift Boat people).

I was using the word "balance" with more than a little irony. My point is that nothing these whiners had to say was verifiable fact. You had a bunch of people with a particular point of view saying they're being treated unfairly. Well, what else is new? Interestingly a few paragraphs from the end of the article comes the suggestion that perhaps the whining isn't based on reality: as I pointed out, if these conservative writers are so oppressed, how come a third of Regnery's stable is on the NYT Bestseller list? Both can't be true.

Furthermore, the conservative perspective dominates on talk radio, television, and yes indeed, many newspapers. I have to tell you that of the titles listed as "left wing" the only name I recognized was Amy Goodman, and she doesn't have anywhere near the media presence of Rush, Coulter, etc. On the other hand, of the right-wing books, I recognized every single name, and have seen their work in more places than I can mention. I CAN verify this: turn on the radio or open any major daily.

You don't "balance" a report on a panel -- you just report what happened there.

Are you saying that if you covered a panel held by NAMBLA or the Klan, you wouldn't provide any evidence at all challenging any claims they made that were questionable? How is that responsible journalism?

I always thought journalism was about truth, not just writing down what people said. I would think this would hold true no matter what the topic was, whether a crime or a convention. I am disappointed that you seem to believe otherwise.
Brendan Skwire

Gorilla Porn

h/t to Atrios for the link to this fine piece about
Bill Frist Loves Gorillas.

As some of you may know, I have a brewing side career submitting short porn pieces to Hustler Letters. I think MY version of the article is much better. But blame Atrios. He's the one who brought the link to my attention.

Bill Frist: A Doctor at Heart

By Heywood Jablome
Wednesday, May 24, 2006; A21

The houses were dark on Bill Frist's street. A morning bird chirped; the others were waiting for dawn. But Frist was awake, and his bedroom light was on. "I'm going to take a shower," the Senate majority leader said brightly. Ten minutes later, the blow dryer roared.

In the kitchen, Frist's wife, Karyn, was brewing coffee and remembering their life before politics. For 20 years, Frist had worked as a heart transplant surgeon. He had stitched hearts into more than 150 lives.

One Saturday night, Karyn recalled, "we were supposed to go to a movie. He walked out in his scrubs." Instead of taking Karyn to the theater, Frist brought her to the operating room. "To see the human body alive -- without a heart in it. He's, like, SO FUCKED UP. All he does after work is jerk off to back issues of National Geographic or that stupid movie, Gorillas in the Mist. Between that and chasing the cat around the house, he has no energy left for me! You think that New York Times article about Bill and Hilary's marriage was bad, spend some time here, and you'll see how fucked up things can get when you're married to an egomaniac."

As Karyn spoke, Frist came down the stairs. "This is really who you are," she said, looking up at him. She first met Frist in the emergency room, where he treated her for a sprained wrist. "I fell in love with him in his scrub suit, with blood splattered on his clogs. I see him doing that, almost more than as a politician.

"God, what the FUCK was I thinking?" she muttered, rolling her eyes as she washed a handful of antidepressants down with vodka, and lit the fifth cigarette in as many minutes.

Frist, at heart, is a doctor. At 5:45 a.m., before a recent Senate workday, he prepared for a quirky slice of surgery. During congressional breaks, Frist, 54, has been known to fly to Africa to operate. But in Washington, he has quietly cultivated another practice: gorillas at the National Zoo.

"These gorillas seem to develop heart disease," said Frist (R-Tenn.). "It's totally unknown. I did a lit search -- nothing. The fact that we're working on the edge of the unknown is fun."

"Well, your first patient was a dog," Karyn said. In medical school, Frist cut out a dog's heart and held it in his palm. It continued to beat for a slippery minute. He also made a habit of going down to the SPCA and "adopting" stray cats, only to kill and dissect them later for school.

"Watching it beat, the beauty of it," Frist recalled, his mouth watering, rivulets of anticipatory drool hanging in thick cables from his forked tongue. "I decided I would spend my life centered around the heart. Yes, the beating. Watch it beat.. beat... beat my little heart, pump those..precious...bodily...fluids," he groaned as a throbbing lump began to manifest itself in his pants.

"And you didn't say 'I'll take some time off and be a politician' while you were holding the dog heart," Karyn said, as Frist began to rub his crotch rhythmically muttering "Hearts...hearts...blood and hearts..."

Frist, in a gray suit, picked up his file marked "ZOO" and said, "We've got to be on time to open the Senate."

He climbed into the back of the Fristmobile, a large black SUV decorated, WW2 flying ace style, with cat heads, representing the felines he slaughtered in pursuit of his degree. The hood ornament was what remains of Terri Schiavo's decapitated, rotting head. Thumbtacked to the skull's forehead was a mylar balloon. "It reminds me of that day in the Senate, when I diagnosed her as being healthy," Frist recalls. "Boy, was that a mistake. When I snuck into her hospital room down in Florida, she barely moved at all when I put "Little Bill" in her mouth.

"Lousy fucking gimp," he sighed. "Whore."

His driver steered toward the zoo. "I gravitate towards insurmountable problems," Frist said, his long legs spilling between the front seats. "I try to use creative solutions." One day, he hopes to cure AIDS or cancer, by videotape. He sucked on the stem of his glasses. Then he sucked on a dead kitten. Then he attempted to suck his own penis, and almost dislocated a disc. "The typical person around here may not understand. Only Ron Jeremy knows."

At the zoo hospital, a team of four veterinarians, three technicians, an animal keeper and a veterinary dentist were wheeling a 350-pound gorilla into surgery as Frist arrived. They would perform an ultrasound of the heart, a root canal and a physical. Frist joined the team, as he had on other mornings, tying on a mask. He unbuttoned his business shirt, revealing jungle-pattern surgical scrubs and a pair of hairy, toned biceps. As he stretched luxuriously, his muscles rippled under his shirt. This reporter's panties instantly moistened, and she slid a single digit surreptitiously across her swelling clitoris. Frist's head, abnormally large for his narrow shoulders, makes him look like a lollipop or a Pex dispenser, both of which bring to mind distinctly erotic memories from this reporter's lonely teenage years.

"A little bit like Superman," said the dentist, Chuck Williams, who was sporting a massive erection at the sight of Frist's sagging buttocks and sunken chest, glistening like some kind of oatmeal gone cold in the morning sun.

Frist snapped on rubber gloves. He leaned over the operating table, gripping the corners. An oxygen monitor beeped. The patient gagged, as Frist inserted his swollen cock into the gorilla's oral cavity.

"This is home," Frist said through his mask. "Where I spent 12 hours a day for 20 years, orally, vaginally, and yes sometimes anally violating sedated zoo animals." Frist spent so much time in the hospital in Tennessee that when he came home to his wife and three sons he felt like an intruder. He smelled even worse.

He pressed his stethoscope, and then his testicles, to the gorilla's chest and narrowed his eyes. Kuja, a silverback patriarch, was breathing isofluorine. He was the Senate majority leader of the gorillas, who negotiated disputes, back-slapped the ape boys and owned exclusive mating rights with the females. Much like Frist himself, a man who had taken a hit for the team by making love to Dennis Hastert. When Kuja started to stir, a veterinarian injected more anesthesia. One backhanded swipe could break Frist's neck, never mind his cock. "It's still better than Denny," Frist said. "God, that man was as malodorous as he was voracious." Frist's ass clenched instinctively, remembering the peculiar tastes of the gorilla-sized Speaker of the House.

Frist listened to the heart; the gorilla's lub-dub sounded human. "When you're this close, you feel this kind of oneness with them," Frist said. The stink of ape sweat and gorilla testosterone soaked his hair and clothes. "Gorillas, people, men. You look at the people here, a symphonic flow of people pitching in. It's the oneness of humanity. And I for one want to make sweet sweet love to all of them when they're unconscious or brain damaged, but especially the gorillas."

This kind of oneness does not come easily to Frist. Though devoted to matters of the heart, Frist acknowledges that he is aloof, something he traces back to the day he refused to attend kindergarten, after Father O'Malley touched his "special private parts". He calls it "the Great Wall," an emotional barrier that has kept him from having close friends. It is a wall that could block his connection with voters, some say, and his way to the White House.

But in the operating room there were no walls, only bridges, as one arm reached over another. A veterinarian rotated the ultrasound probe over Kuja's heart. The dentist tweezed out the bloody string of a root canal -- "Isn't this exciting?" And Frist slipped an IV needle into Kuja's vein. His gloves turned red with gorilla blood. "I get SO physically aroused at the sight of blood. Blood.. blood...

"I'm going to fuck his chest cavity now," Frist announced, pulling down his pants. All two inches of his fully erect penis, red and shiny like a nightcrawler, stood at attention under the fluorescent lights. The other doctors oohed and aahed, except for one, a Democrat, who promptly regurgitated.

"Why do you hate America?" roared Dr. Frist, slicing open the doctor's throat. "We'll use HIM for any emergency transfusions," he added, as the offender collapsed.

"Oh God, the blood, the precious blood," Frist moaned, as he crammed his face into the sucking chest wound he'd opened up on Kuja. "There's almost a spiritual, poetic component to it," Frist said, his eyes expressing what his surgical mask hid. "This oneness, this wholeness. You can't compare it to the Senate floor. I immerse myself in it. This is my real life. I love BLOOD! I LOVE TO FUCK ZOO ANIMALS!"

Frist lifted Kuja's huge, leathery black hand, and wrapped the animal's fingers around his penis, which was turning purple and approaching ejaculatory inevitability. Williams, the dentist, said, "Take him with you to the Senate, so when Biden or Kennedy mouth off, you can turn him loose."

"He's on my side," Frist said, stroking Kuja's fur, as he dumped a massive load (for testicles the size of raisins) on the gorilla's unconscious face.

Afterward, Frist buttoned himself back up, into his blue shirt and into his senatorial reserve. "I need to be talking to the Israeli prime minister in 18 minutes," he told his driver as the SUV rumbled toward the Capitol. He said he was aware of critics, "People say, 'Oh, he's inside-baseball, and stiff.' heh... if he'd seen me five minutes ago, he'da known what stuff really means"

"Reid called," an aide said at the Capitol door, referring to the Democratic leader.

"I think we're on the same wavelength," Frist said as they strode inside.

At 9:30 a.m., Frist opened the Senate, gripping the corners of the lectern, as he had the operating table. Across the city, rolling in a bed of hay, Kuja opened his eyes and grunted. The gorilla kept touching his tongue to his tooth. Something had changed inside of the beast while he slept; his ass hurt, and there was a funky taste in his mouth. Frist smiled and spoke unremarkably from the lectern, reeking of silverback testosterone.

Off Camera is a monthly column by Laura Blumenfeld featuring Washington's top decision makers in their off hours -- outside the office and inside their lives.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Letter to Carlin Romano

Mr. Romano,

Your article on conservative publishing woes was

I have noticed that it is common in journalism to give voice to an opposing point of view. For instance, when John Kerry claimed to be a "war hero", the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were given a platform to say that this wasn't true. For every talking head concerned about global warming, there is a representative from Exxon to argue that global warming isn't happening, or if it is,there's nothing that can be done. For every Michael Moore saying the war in Iraq was based on lies, there is an Ann Coulter to remind us that Michael Moore is fat.

I was wondering, therefore, why your article only includes statements from conservatives. There is no balance at all. Am I to simply take these people's
words at face value? If I was to claim that I can fly to the moon by gluing feathers to my shirt and flapping my arms, would you publish that claim without challenge, as you do the claims of these oppressed conservative publishers?

On a related note, I was also wondering what publishing woes Regnery is referring to, if fully "one-third of her books [are] on the extended New York Times best-seller list".

Thanks, and I look forward to your fair-and-balanced reply.
Brendan Skwire

Welcome Fellow Kossacks

You'll find that Brendan Calling is a bit diverse: we do comics, complain about the baby mama and the emotional torment of being separated from your only child, and we occasionally photoshop an anus where Areln Specter's mouth should be.

You'll have to scroll down for the hideous photos you've come to see.

Cease and Desist Letter Due Any Day Now.

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I just couldn't resist. What with Arlo and Janis doing it on the sofa (Arlo keeping a Norelco in the nightstand for that late night cunnilngus session as well), Ziggy marrying his pets, Michael going for a late night quicky while the kid's got a fever, it was time to address Yenny, which is SUCH a dirty strip.

And pseaking of dirtiness, Lynn Johnson DOES know that "freakin'" is a pretty thin cover for "fuckin'", right?

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When Dr. Patterson bought the car a week or two ago, inquiring into how fast the vehicle would go, Lynn's script read "It goes like a bat," awkwardly dropping the "out of hell" part. The only reason I can surmise for the omission of last three words is because "hell", used in this manner, is a mild curse.

But it's OK to say "we're freakin' flying?" [Don't get me started on "fried" as an expletive. "Fried" refers only to the feeling you get after 11 or more bong hits, and has nothing to do with being stopped by the police, unless of course you're Tookie Williams.]

Next week: April refers to Elly as a "frikkin' c-hole".

Two Sam Shots

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Separated At Birth

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Cathy Guisewite, creator of the comic strip, Cathy.

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Skeletor, nemesis of He-Man.

Bil Keane: Older Than Dirt.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Sam is Visiting

Sam is visiting this week! I'll have new pictures posted sometime later.

We worked on the deck yesterday, went on a walk around the neoighborhood, and dug some new flower beds on the back yard. This weekend, I'm taking friday off and we're going out to New Jersey to visit my parents. Sam is also talking a lot more, and coming very close to complete sentences. He's also a lot bigger. It would be nice if his mom sent me photos when he's gone, but there are a lot of other things that would be nice that I don't get either, so what else is new?

I am VERY happy he's here. This does not, however, do anything to alleviate how bad I feel 90% of the time. Ten days (or less) every other month, including the driving days, amounts to nothing more than tantalizing crumbs. It's a tease, and a cruel one that manipulates my emotions. I will not be satisfied until I get my week every single month.

This trip I drove even farther than usual, all the way to Lake George, NY. It was about 12 hours round trip. His mom is taking the train to Philadelphia on Monday, and flying home Tuesday morning. I am driving them to Port Authority in NYC, where they'll pick up a bus to LaGuardia airport. I find myself aghast that she can raise the money for a flight but is adamant that she can't afford to get a license (even at the high price exacted for the privilege in Canada). The license would free her from depending on her parents or discount airfare to get Sam to me... or is that the point? And before you tell me I'm being paranoid or suspicious, consider the past three years.

Wanna cast any bets that Sam won't make it to Wind Gap Bluegrass festival with me in June? His mom said it wouldn't be a problem, but somehow I doubt he'll be there.

All things considering I'm STILL feeling pretty fuckin' bitter right now.

Pro-child? So Why Are You Raising Their Taxes?

Despite Pledge, Taxes Increase for Teenagers

Published: May 21, 2006

The $69 billion tax cut bill that President Bush signed this week tripled tax rates for teenagers with college savings funds, despite Mr. Bush's 1999 pledge to veto any tax increase.

Under the new law, teenagers age 14 to 17 with investment income will now be taxed at the same rate as their parents, not at their own rates. Long-term capital gains and dividends that had been taxed at 5 percent will now be taxed at 15 percent. Interest that had been taxed at 10 percent will now be taxed at as much as 35 percent.

The increases, which are retroactive to the first day of the year, are expected to generate nearly $2.2 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, which issues the official estimates.

Because only rich people's kids should go to college, right?
I sent this article out to the two-or three people I know who are Republicans. It reminds then that really they WILL pay higher taxes, or at least their kids will.

Why does the GOP hate children?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Open Letter to Arlen and Rick

Dear Arlen and Rick,

I'd like to express my amazement at your votes to make English the official language of the United States and to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage. What an incredible use of the people's time and money. I stand awestruck.

Now that you've shown you can get important legislation moving, I'm hoping you'll turn your attention to piddling matters such as IT COST ME $180 TO FILL MY GAS TANK, and perhaps HOW LONG IS THIS WAR GOING ON FOR ANYWAY?. Oh, and Arlen, running cover for the illegal spying? That's just weak.

Stop being such blowhards and do something, you know, contructive for a change. And no, I don't mean self-serving pork.
Thanks guys.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Couldn't Help It: He Was Asking For It.

Brad Davis only has himself to blame for the obvious setup:

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Arlen Specter: Puckered Starfish

Feingold, Specter clash over gay marriage

"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.

"If you want to leave, good riddance," Specter finished.

"I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman," replied Feingold, D-Wis., who is considering a run for president in 2008. "See ya."

"You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I". Sure Arlen. Sure you are.
So if you're such a "protector of the Constitution", why are you trying to make the illegal NSA spying legal? Why are you helping to block judicial review of the program (and incidentally, one of Feingold's pet projects). The only "good riddance" will be when you retire. With regard to "protecting the Constitution", Mr. Specter, all YOU seem to do is talk a lot of shit with no action. In fact, whenever you DO commit yourself to action, it's always in the service of the President and his illegal programs which explicitly UNDERMINE the Constitution.

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You talk so much shit, your breath smells like my kid's diapers.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Citizen's Responsibility

Your taxes pay for it.
You might as well look at what you're paying for.
Apologies to those of you with weak stomachs.

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The preceding photos were taken in Abu Ghraib (and like those that follow, were taken with permission from After Downing Street.

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Talk about getting your ass blown off...

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"There's a higher Father that I appeal to." That's Mr. Bush's quote, according to Bob Woodward...

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... and that makes sense when you consider that Satan rule OVER his imps and associated daemons.
Father of Lies, Lord of the Flies.
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New Blog: SistaSmiff

A Whiff of Smiff, is also added to the roll. Blogging has become a topic on the bluegrass-l, and I got a comment from Sharon on my MaryE announcement, so looked and now I'm linked. I dig Sharon's blog: funny stuff (Not a Good Gift is good 'un).

FOOB: I Don't Even Know Where to Begin With This One

This weeks For Better or For Worse was shaping up to be a real snore this week (instead of being the usual roller-coaster of excitement. Not.), but today's strip merits comment simply due to stupendously dim-witted leaps Lynn Johnson makes in her desperate search for a plot.

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Does this make any sense? "A cell-phone is like a gun."

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This is a cell-phone

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These are handguns.

The only people I know who routinely mistake cell-phones for guns are trigger-happy police.

"You can wear 'em on your hip in a holster.." Fair enough.

"You load 'em with a battery an' your personal stats."

I'm not totally up on my gun tech, but my friend Alex IS, so I asked him. Big Al, HE say:
As far as I remember, only experimental firearms used batteries, either
to power a solenoid to hit a conventional primer, or as a heating
element to fire a rocket- I'm thinking of the MBA Gyrojet-.

Smart guns are a bit off right now. I think Glock experimented with a
pistol that was electronically linked with a ring that you would wear.
If the gun went away from the RFID transmitter in the ring, it would
automatically go safe. The design was to prevent disarmed police from
being shot with their own firearms, but no police forces adopted it
after some early failures. Police tend to value reliability and
simplicity in their firearms. More complicated versions that would scan
dna or handprints never got anywhere for the above reasons.

I think we can safely say that guns, unlike cell-phones, don't use batteries and are not repositories of personal data.

"An' guys strut around with them, making "super important calls" in public places - with an attitude that says... "the world is my personal space, baby!"

Did Lynn Johnson get mugged this weekend or something?
Look, I live in Philadelphia, where the gun violence is out of hand. But the idea that gangsters are gunning people down at anywhere near the rate that people are carrying on loud conversations in public is not only nuts, it's an unproductive metaphor. In fact, it is not the fact that handguns are brandished like cell-phones that makes them so dangerous: if everyone with a handgun was waving it around in public in the same way that cell-phone abusers talk at the top of their lungs about recent colostomy operations and susequent bowel movements, there'd be no problem. We'd all know who to avoid and when to duck. It's the fact that handguns are typically concealed up to the minute they're employed that makes them such a problem.

"The world is my personal space, baby!" Well, yes it is. It's everyone's personal space. We live here.

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[OK, OK, Diallo brandished a wallet. If Lynn can pretend a gun and a cell-phone are comparable appliances, I can pretend that Diallo had a cell, not a billfold.]

A Fool and His Freedom Are Soon Parted

And Philadelphia is a city of fools.

Watching the evening news last night, I saw that something like 72% of Philadelphians voted "yes" on a ballot question asking whether the City should consider placing surveillance cameras to prevent crime. This is a boondoggle. It will not work. Indeed, it was demonstrated in yesterday's Daily News that surveillance doesn't work.

On Monday evening, I watched a report on the local CBS affiliate, KYW, about a foiled rape in the subway tunnel under City Hall Although not mentioned in the linked blurb, the broadcast reporter called specific attention to the fact that there are no surveillance cameras in that particular station, implicitly suggesting that had there been a camera the attempt would have been thwarted.

What happened the very next day? In my neighborhood, a man was shot to death at the 37th and Sansom trolley stop, in the heart of Penn campus, where a surveillance camera stares down at the passengers waiting for their ride. When I worked at the University, I would get off at this stop every day.

So much for surveilance, the great panacea. All this is going to do is make it easier for the corrupt GOP-controlled Philadelphia Parking Authority to issue more tickets (hey guys, are you EVER going to deliver on that promise of funding the schools?).

Christina Suggests:

With regard to the previous post, Sitemeter Oddities, Christina submits Not Gay.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sitemeter oddites

two referring sites, from my Sitemeter:

Ridge Church Men's Ministries


Houston versus Orwell

Whitney Houston was wrong. The children are not the future.
George Orwell was right. "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face -- forever."

At least my faith in Specter wasn't shattered: I knew he'd roll.
He still the same old corrupt cancerous colostomy bag he's always been.

Travels With MaryE: a new Blog

MaryE Yeomans is a frequent poster on the bluegrass list--serv I subscribe to. Like me, she writes long, descriptive pieces. Recently, she caught undeserved flack on the list from some loudmouth who disliked her style, and in sticking up for her, a number of peope suggested she start a blog. MaryE has done so: Travels With MaryE. I already love it and I'm sure you will too. I've added her to my blogroll under "Art, Writers, Thinkers, and Humor". Pay her a visit!

Ghost Truck World

Moving to Philadelphia in January 1999 was the culmination of a really difficult year. I'd been with the same woman since 1992: both of us wildly dissatisfied with New Haven, Connecticut and the hole of crack, illy, and murder it was sinking into, we'd moved to Northampton Massachusetts together where I was enrolled at UMass, and where she began sending out applications to graduate school, ending up at Simmons College in Brookline.

When I say I loved Melissa Watterworth, I mean that in the deepest, unconditional sense of the word, and I know she would say the same about me. I would have, and still would, take a bullet for the dame, and she IS a dame, a good dame at that. I can't even begin to count the sacrifices we made for each other, working shitty jobs to pay the rent and the bills, driving 2 hours each direction to see each other during the weekends, vacations that amounted to sitting around in the living room because we couldn't afford to actually do anything. Despite her frequent protestations that she was a wimp, that she didn't have stick-to-it-iveness, Watterworth was the best camper I've ever had the pleasure to be with 10 miles into the woods without a cellphone or even a working lighter. On one of our first trips together, out along Bear Mountain in the Berkshires, we took the bad advice of some other hikers to follow Sage's Ravine down to the road instead of following the trail back to the parking area. When the "trail" we'd been led down dead-ended at a cliff and a roaring waterfall, Watterworth lowered me down onto the rocks ten feet below on the slenderest bit of line, and when I established that we needed to turn back and figure out a different way to get back down the mountain, she pulled me up and helped me track the hikers who had led us astray to begin with, bringing us down to the road five miles below.

So I was blindsided when she began cheating on me. I should have seen it, the signs were there, but I simply couldn't believe it. When I walked in on them, rolling around in a bed at a party in the house where my band practiced and where we were actually performing that evening, I didn't know what to do. My first thought, after walking in on the girl I'd asked to marry me dry-humping another guy, was to go out to my car and get my tire iron. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I must have gone into shock, suddenly became completely detached from what I was seeing: my emotions flipped off, and I became eerily calm. This isn't right, I remember thinking as I walked down the stairs. They didn't see me. I'll just beat them both to death and go home.

I stopped in the middle of the stairs. No, I can't kill them because I'll get caught and go to jail. I definitely don't want to get sent upstate. Maybe I'll just go home. That wasn't an especially productive line of thought either, which is when my gut took over, turned me around, marched me up the stairs, and kicked open the door. "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING??" I remember yelling. "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING DOING?"

There was a lot of screaming and yelling. She left. He laughed in my face. I don't know why I didn't hit him. I was 27. I didn't know what to do. I was a coward.

Melissa and I left together in my truck and went back to our apartment, fighting all the way. "I'm not your girlfriend," she screamed at one point, "so stop saying that! I'm not not NOT your girlfriend anymore, so stop saying that!" It had been almost six years, and now she's not my girlfriend? This was news to me. I dropped her at the apartment and told her I'd be back later.

Man, did I drive that night, drove around and around and went nowhere, winding along the backroads through Leverett and Montague at a million miles an hour. Where was I going, what would I do? Go back to Newport? For what, why? To Boston? Who did I know there? Maybe I'd get lucky and the truck would fly off the road and kill me, that'd show the fucking bitch. The mind was spinning as fast as the tires as the truck raced through the night.

As it happened I stayed in Northampton for a few more months. We worked in the same restaurant (I'd gotten her the job when she was desperate), and in the open kitchen everyone on the staff knew what was going on. That sonuvabitch she was seeing would come in during the lunchtime and just stare at me while I tried to do my job. Not enough that he'd grabbed my girlfriend, mine motherfucker, he'd come in and try to fuck with me, silently, at work. My boss ended up banning the guy, which set off more hystrionics and angry accusations.

Those last few months were brutal. If you've ever been to Northampton, you know it's a tiny, presumptuous, arrogant little fishbowl of town that envisions itself as Western Massachusett's cultural mecca. There used to be a billboard as you crossed the county line, "Northampton: Big City Excitement, Small Town Charm", which I guess beats the old motto, "The Lesbian Capital of America". I could't go anywhere without seeing the two of them. I'd wander down to Hugo's after work for a few beers, and I'd see them walk by behind me, reflected in the mirror. I'd withdraw money from the ATM, and they'd be in line behind me. There was no escape: it was like living in Merle Haggard's "I Can't Stand Me":

Oh when I look in the glass and see a grown man cry
it makes me wanna hang my head
I used to feel real proud just to be alive
but now I think I'd rather be dead
I can't stand me since I lost you and I can't stand nobody else
I can't stand me since you went away and I gotta get away from myself

Around November 1998, all pretensions of trying to get along imploded. Melissa had pulled a really bullshit move one weekend at the VFW where The Lonesome Brothers, a local country band and one of our favorites, were playing. The new boyfriend was making an ass of himself by dancing the way he imagined a hillbilly would, and clearly she was embarrassed. I ignored them, busy hanging out with Jim and Jennie, for whom I was now playing bass (and living with). During "I Cry For You", one of the Lonesome Brothers' slower, weepier numbers, Melissa came up to me and asked if I wanted to dance: it was the last straw. "No," I replied. "Who the fuck do you think you are? What, you think I'm some kind of fucking doormat you can walk on? Fuck you!" I turned around and left.

The next day I called her on the phone. "I don't know what the hell you were thinking about last night, but you stepped way over the line," I said. "Never mind that retard you're dating and his bullshit antics, but I am not going to have you fucking with my goddamn emotions like that. I don't want to talk to you anymore, I don't want to look at you anymore, I don't want--" She started screaming at me.

"Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou!" she shrieked. "If you don't want to be my friend, then why the fuck are you borrowing my tv? I WANT MY TV BACK! I WANT MY TV BACK!"

"Fine," I sighed. "I'll put your TV on the front porch. You can get it whenever you want." I hung up the phone mid-shriek, and headed downstairs to break the news to Jim and Jennie.

"Ummmm.... there's kind of a problem with that," Jennie said. "The uhhh tv kind of just stopped working right before you came downstairs."


"Yeah," Jim said. "Just like a second ago, we were watching this shitty Christmas movie of "Oliver Twist", when all of a sudden the thing went haywire. The picture shrank down to nothing, just a little dot on the screen and then there was a flash, and the tv shut off. Smell the back, it's all ozoney."

"She blew it up," I muttered. "I can't fucking believe it," and explained the conversation I'd just had with Melissa.

Jennie's eyes went wide. "She DID! She did blow it up!" She stared at the now-deceased tv. "I'm not touching that thing, it scares the hell out of me.

"I've heard about this kind of thing before," Jennie added, "people who get so angry that they have some kind of... telekinesis or whatever. Just get that haunted thing out of here before it chases us around the house trying to kill us."

That TV sat on that porch for the rest of the year. A few weeks after the incident, Jim dropped the bomb that the band was moving to Philadelphia in January and wanted me to move with them. I agreed immediately: at last, an escape from the fishbowl. We spent the rest of the year hastily finishing up the album we were working on, working our contacts in Pennsylvania, and preparing for the move. A few days before we left, I called up Melissa and told her I was bringing over the television she'd never picked up.

It was a weird scene: I returned the tv and we collapsed on each other, sobbing. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry for everything," she said. "It was all my fault, I fucked up so bad."

"Water under the bridge, water under the bridge" I said, through a thick stream of tears. "We'll work through it some way or another. I'll call as soon as I get set up in Philadelphia." And to make a long story short, we're best of friends today: she's getting married next summer, and I couldn't be happier for her. (Also, a few months after I moved here, she called me to ask what the hell I'd done to the television. "That was all you," I said and told her how the tv had blown up the very minute she was screaming at me.) And oh, if you're reading this hon, you better fucking invite me or I'll invite myself.

When Melissa MacIntyre dropped the news to me that she was staying in Canada,it was the same kind of blindside sucker punch that Melissa Watterworth dealt me in 1998, but far far worse because there's a baby involved. I'd been waiting for two years, and my teeth are still rattling in my head from the blow. At least once a day, I want to get in my van and just drive around like it was 1998 all over again, anywhere but here, anywhere but anywhere.

In reality, it's worse that 1998 when there was nowhere to go. It's not like mourning an ex-girlfriend: girls come, girls go, and the pain is transient. You heal up eventually and then it's off to "the fields of opportunity, it's ploughin' time again." It's flesh and blood, it's like missing my right arm, and the phantom pain isn't phantom at all. "Phantom" is an apt word: the ache always there, like some kind of poltergeist that lurks around an old house wondering what went wrong and where everybody went, throwing appliance around the kitchen in frustration. The visits almost make it worse, salt in the wound, a quick glimpse at everything I'm missing. Sam comes down this Saturday, and I haven't seen him, not even a picture, since he went home in March. We are like ghosts ourselves, or one step away: what else is a voice on the phone but a deliberate electric disruption traveling through the ether?

So when you see me looking forlorn and haggard, when I sound resentful and hostile like I've shouldering a yoke and plough for a few too many furrows, with that 10-mile stare into nowhere, that's what I'm thinking about. And the words keep echoing through my head, like some kind of mantra, No, Fuck YOU! No Fuck YOU! No Fuck YOU!

In 1998, I had nowhere to go; in 2006, I can't escape from myself.
You can get over your ex-girlfriend. Can anyone tell me how you get over your son?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

And Now It Appears That I Am Hostile

Apparently, sending the better part of my disposable income to Canada for the privilege of seeing my son for a few days every other month is not good enough. I have been told I am "more and more hostile" and "difficult to talk to on the phone" with every day. This is the first I've heard of this. I go out of my way to be civil and engaging on the phone, and I am always honest and upfront when I am in a bad mood. I say things like "I'm in a bad mood right now and don't particularly feel like talking" or "I am feeling more depressed than usual about Sam so let's make this short and to the point."
I don't do this every day: I only do this when I'm feeling genuinely down in the dumps. Usually, I am pleasant. I try to keep my thoughts to myself.

Perhaps I will start talking like the maitre d'i on The Simpsons. "Ye-esssss!" Perhaps THAT will be enough.

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See my son every other month and have no relationship to speak of with him? Why YE-ESSSSSS! That sounds FAAAAABULOUS!

"Fine: you can just go back to your little blog and keep writing nasty shit about me."
AHA! It is not my phone manner that is objectionable: it is that I would dare to express myself, in a way that is less than flattering regarding Sam's mom, on my website.

This is a message for ANYONE that visits this website: if you don't like what I'm writing, don't come here. Eventually, I'm going to offend you and if you can't take it, maybe it's time to go back to ewementawy skool.

Mother's Day

This year, I am a little... what's the word... ambivalent about Mother's Day, a holiday I ordinarily pay no attention to or as little as possible. A card for mom, a phone call to grandma. For the past 2 years I would call up Canada and talk to Melissa, but I don't think that's on the agenda this year. Or next year either.

This troubles me because I feel like I should set my anger aside and not be a petty, vindictive son of a bitch, but at the same time I feel that besides whatever else she may be doing to be a good mother to Sam, everything else has to be taken into consideration: primarily the fact that I don't have any relationship to speak of with my son who mostly knows me as "that voice over the phone every other day." So maybe I'm a little petty and vindictive today. In fact, may I go as far as to say "Fuck you and the fucking horse you rode in on. You've made my life fucking miserable and I will never ever forgive you for what you did, not in a million years, not ever."? Thanks. I knew I could.

As a matter of fact, Mother's Day is NOT your standard Hallmark Holiday. It was originally a protest against poor working conditions in the Appalachians, and later became related to the antiwar movement. The woman who established the holiday was furious when it was co-opted and regretted ever establishing the holiday.

Back to decking...

I Owe an Apology to Rick Santorum

Dear Rick,

When you said "In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality", I was appalled.

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I apologize, Senator Santorum. You were right and I was wrong. Let's work together to ban Ziggy and his perverted urges from bringing down the rest of the comics.


The floors are down; only a few more screws to completely secure it to the frame.
Railings, staircase, pix tomorrow (today).

Friday, May 12, 2006

Well, Finally

Troi Torain, the disc jockey known by the name D.J. Star, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, the Manhattan district attorney's office said. Law enforcement officials had launched an investigation into his remarks on Thursday after reviewing a transcript of his recent rants about D.J. Envy and his family.

Finally, they took these two schmucks off the air.

Responsible people in Philadelphia have wanted these two clowns off the air for mon ths if not years. See petition here, another article here.

I am consistently amazed that a radio station that largely markets to black people, who have been on the receiving end of so much unadulterated racism, would put two unapologetic racists on the air and suggest that racism, when directed at people who are not black, is nothing but harmless fun and games.

Gilliard nails it as well.

Unger versus Smerconish

"Michael Smerconish is a pussy. A big gaping pussy.

He loves to talk tough from his comfortable reclining chair about death penalties and the war on terror - and how tough he would be in killing people. Yeah, I know, you're really tough. I'm sure Al Qaeda is quaking in its boots thinking about big, tough Smerconish.
I'm so tired of hearing these big, bad conservatives try to characterize decent people who try to do the right thing as wimps - and worse yet, in their world - gay! It doesn't take a genius to figure out where Smerconish is going with the sissy label, but in case you missed it, he hits you over the head with it by stating the definition in his latest post: A boy or man regarded as effeminate.
Okay Smerconish, show me how tough you are. I challenge you to a fight - verbal or physical. I promise to kick the living shit out of you, either way. I'll stand in for all the people you call sissies and you stand in for all the tough guys - and let's see what happens.

I'm not trying to be clever. I'm being literal. I look forward to kicking your ass. Al Franken once pulled a maneuver like this, so it's not like I think that I've come up with some new gimmick. I'm being serious. You choose - either a debate on foreign policy or a fight (UFC rules are fine with me). Show me how tough you are.
So, you pick how you'd like to get your ass kicked and I will make it happen for you. Of course, if you're a real man you will accept this challenge. But if you are the little sissy that I suspect you are, you will run away like a little bitch and make excuses as to why you couldn't accept the challenge.

Let's see what you got, tough guy.

My prediction: Big tough Michael Smerconish will will run away like a little bitch and make excuses as to why he couldn't accept the challenge. That's what right-wingers do. Just ask Reverend Mykeru, who offered to fly his right-wing "challeger" out to Nashville so he could respond physically to the winger's chest-puffing, only to have the guy chicken out.

Interestingly, it was Attytood that linked to the Cenk Uygur article. The same Attytood where you can find right-wing troll DB Cooper (aka George Connor of Schwenksville PA), who I've had more than my share of arguments with as Frenchy L'Amour. I've seen all manner of right-wing nonsense at that site from people who like to dish it out but can't take it. For example, DB Cooper, who liked to talk shit about liberals and leftys, but when challenged to meet somewhere demurred and began attacking my sanity instead. Don't wanna get called out as a pussy? Don't talk like a big fuckin' man and then make little weasely pronouncements about why you couldn't possibly live up to your big words.

One of the reasons I don't visit attytood anymore is that when challenged on their bullshit, the wingers who comment there consistently go crying to the administrator. "Waaah, he hit me back," they cry. And for some reason, the administrator protects these chunks of shit from having to suffer the consequences of their actions. I mean "words": none of these people ever DO any of the stuff they talk about, whether it's dealing me a "righteous ass-kicking" or enlisting in the war they support. For example, why is the poster known as "Arn" still there, after he posted the personal home address of Gloria, another poster? Why did Gloria have to beg the administrator to remove the identifying information?

I'm posting these reflections on attytood not in some effort to slag a blog that, except for its commentors, is really quite good, but to point out the irony that a blog that refuses to back its left-wing commentors when they challenge right-wing commentors is now linking to a left-wing commentor physically challenging a right-wing commentor.

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Cenk Uygur, Wharton grad 1992.

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Michael Smerconish, Penn law 1987. He shaves his head now, in a misguided effort to not look like the old man he is.

Wanna cast some bets? I'll be Cenk takes the motherfucker out in 2 rounds, if you use standard boxing rules. In a free-for-all? Smerconish wouldn't last 5 minutes. Not that he'll show up at all anyway.

I'm totally in favor of this kind of thing. Oh sure, someone's bound to mewl something about "sinking to their level". The best piece of advice my father ever handed me was that the only thing a bully understands is a good hard punch in the mouth. Michael Smerconish, Rush Limbaugh, and all those other pontificating pansies have made careers out of being bullies, and for years the left's response has been "let's not sink to their level." No more. I wanna see the Uygur/Smerconish smackdown, preferably at the Blue Horizon.

It Takes All Kinds

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...but dude, your wife is a rectangle with breasts.

And while I like munching box as much as the next guy, well maybe a little more,
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...was it reallynecessary for Arlo and his rectangular wife to go at it in the Friday comics? Get a room!