Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why I'm Not A Democrat Part XXVVII

I believe that everybody, more or less, wants the same things. National security, clean water, good schools and jobs etc. Republicans and Democrats just differ on how to go about making these things happen. Republicans believe that more often than not government is the problem, Democrats believe that government is the solution. I am a Republican, John DeStefano the Mayor of New Haven is a Democrat running for Governor of Connecticut and boy does he believe in government.
He plans on creating jobs here in Connecticut by investing in education and focusing on high tech industries and creating an "Economic Swat Team". Who can find fault with this? It all sounds innocent enough, but according to DeStefano's own website his plan to stimulate the economy will cost the taxpayers $375 million. This would be money well spent if by chance we actually got what we payed for, but one need only to look to the department of motor vehicles to see how government spends your money. Overpaid state employees with solid gold health, dental and retirement benefits, doing the absolute minimum because if you don't like it you can register your car in Rhode Island.
DeStefano also wants to raise the minimum wage. Those of you who may own a small business may wonder how he plans on creating jobs while artificially raising the price of labor. Good question. Labor like any other commodity has a market price. It's a shitty fact of life. It would be great if everyone made Oprah money but we don't, and few of us put as many butts in seats as Oprah does so I guess that's fair.
“I believe it’s wrong that people who work for a living in Connecticut are living in poverty,” said DeStefano. “Since President Bush took office the working poor in Connecticut - and elsewhere - is falling further and further behind. My proposal would create a Moral Minimum Wage – an assurance that the minimum wage always keeps up with inflation and that people who work hard will have the opportunity to make ends meet.”

Don't just love the language, moral minimum wage. It's alliterative and it's moral. It's also a pipe dream. If you raised the minimum wage tomorrow to $20 an hour a hell of a lot of people would find themselves out of a job, and guess what? Everyone of them would be poor folks. No one is meant to live on minimum wage even here in Connecticut where it's $7.40 an hour. Hell, it would be hard to make ends meet at twice that and I assure you he won't try to raise the minimum wage to $14.80 so this is all window dressing.
Another Destefano gem is his plan for universal health care called the The DeStefano Connecticut Cover All Now! plan. Again with the alliteration and an exclamation point. He must be a fan of Jeopardy!. Universal health care is like the Holy Grail to liberals everywhere, because if they could only get their hands around it, they could drink from the cup of power for generations to come. But this will not happen either. A look north to Canada shows us how well government controlled health care works, i.e. not so well. While it would be great to see everybody with health insurance, isn't there a way to make it happen with out involving government in it? Like make employer paid insurance premiums 100% deductible to encourage employers to provide it to their employees. I trust 50,000 small and large business to make the right decision and show accountability much more than than any government. DeStefano estimates that this will cost $350 million, he plans on paying for it by closing "corporate tax loopholes". Guess what John, there are other states that would welcome these corporations. If two or three large corporations relocate to North Carolina to escape your hostile business environment, how are we better off?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I'm Spartacus!

Film director extraordinaire Stanley Kubrick was born today July 26, 1928 in the Bronx, he died March 7, 1999. You may remember him from such films as Spartacus, Barry Lyndon, Paths of Glory, Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not a bad list of films at all. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite Kubrick film, they're all so different. Spartacus had Kirk Douglas sporting a Johnny Unitas flat top, Barry Lyndon has Ryan O'Neal in it yet it's still watchable, Dr. Strangelove Peter Sellers, Slim Pickens and a very young James Earl Jones. If pressed I'd have to go with Full Metal Jacket, if only for the line "Private Pyle, you are definitely born again hard! Hell, I may even allow you to serve as a rifleman in my beloved Corps!"

Harold Reynolds

Harold Reynolds has been canned by ESPN allegedly over sexual harassment. This sucks, after Peter Gammons Harold Reynolds is my favorite Baseball Tonight commentator. I don't know the details of the story, but I doubt ESPN would have taken this drastic action unless they had to.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Argument For Capital Punishment

In 1985 Marshall Vann Crenshaw Jr. murdered his baby daughter Dale-Lyn Crenshaw. He pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Upon his release from prison in 2002, Crenshaw relocated to his native North Carolina where today he stands accused of murdering 19 month year old Na'ziyah Lavon Miller, the daughter of his live in girlfriend.
I oppose the death penalty because I think when you have a convict in captivity and control his comings and goings and who he able to contact, it's unnecessary to kill him. Apparently when somebody murders their child because they're jealous of the attention their wife gives to their child it is unreasonable to expect that this person will never see the light of day again. In cases like this where another baby girl lies cold and dead and this asshole still breathes, my opposition to the death penalty seems like moral vanity.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961

I tried to get this post done earlier in the day, in honor of Pappy's birthday. Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park Illinois. I was an English major in college, (I know hard to tell, I never said I studied) and to me literature before Hemingway was always a challenge to read. Victorian literature has it's fans, but frankly I can't be bothered to find out if Penelope will find true love and fulfillment with Lord Thistlewick if it takes 240 pages to find out. Hemingway is much more direct. Often times what isn't written is as important or more so than what is. From The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber:
Thirty-five yards into the grass the big lion lay flattened out along the ground. His ears where back and his only movement was a slight twitching up and down of his long, black-tufted tail. He had turned at bay as soon as he had reached this cover and he was sick with the wound through his full belly, and weakening with the wound through his lungs that brought a thin foamy red to his mouth each time he breathed. His flanks were wet and hot and flies were on the little openings the solid bullets had made in his tawny hide, and his big yellow eyes, narrowed with hate, looked straight ahead, only blinking when the pain came as he breathed, and his claws dug in the soft baked earth. All of him, pain, sickness, hatred and all of his remaining strength, was tightening into an absolute concentration for a rush. He could hear the men talking and he waited, gathering all of himself into this preparation for a charge as soon as the men would come into the grass. As he heard their voices his tail stiffened to twitch up and down, and, as they came into the edge of the grass, he made a coughing grunt and charged.

Edward Hopper 1882-1967

Was born today in Nyack, Ny in 1882. He's probably most famous for his Nighthawks which is often bastardized with kitschy pop icons. I like his work, it's seems like something Tom Regan would have on the wall of his apartment in the Barton Arms.

The Plot Thickens

According to a story in the Hartford Courant Republican candidate for US Senate Alan Schlesinger was sued by two New Jersey casinos over gambling debts. Schlesinger continues to insist that he has done nothing illegal, and so far as we know he hasn't. But this continued bad press does not bode well for him. Most Connecticut voters have never been in a casino and even if they had, a $28,000.00 debt seems an astronomical debt to your average voter. What if any effect does this have on his campaign in light of Governor Rell's and Chairman Gallo's request that he withdraw? I think that he will have a hard time raising money for his campaign and without money his candidacy is doomed. I'm sure Schlesinger makes a good living, but he's no Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman has a war chest is more than ten times larger than either of his challengers. According to Open Secrets.ORG Lieberman has over $8,000,000.00, Lamont has just under $800,000.00 and Schlesinger has slightly over $20,000.00. To date the candidates have spent: Lieberman over $5,000,000.00, Lamont over $500,000.00 and Schlesinger has spent $1,823.00. We are four months away from the election, do you think Schlesinger can catch up with the millionaire and the incumbent?
Alan Schlesinger is hoping that televised debates will raise his profile and firm up his candidacy. In this day of 500 channels and 22 second attention spans, I think he'd be lucky to see a 10 point bounce. I'm somewhat interested in politics, but even I would rather put the new flea collar on the cat than listen to this debate. Lieberman will go after Lamont's inexperience, Lamont will accuse Lieberman of kissing Bush and both of them will more or less ignore Schlesinger because Lamont needs him and Lieberman needs only to survive the primaries more or less unscathed.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Snakes and Primates

A new study has come out that says primates evolved due to fear of snakes. Scientist are not sure where Mary Matalin comes from.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

With Malice Toward None In The MSM

The Stamford Advocate interviewed your humble blogger for a story on the Rell/Schlesinger boon-dangle. I feel so news worthy.

Where's The Joementum?

According to Quinnipiac Senator Joe Lieberman may have a battle on his hands with the single issue wonder kid Needle-nose Ned Lamont. At this point the Lamont has come from behind to a 51-47 lead.
I never thought of Connecticut as a rough place, but in this senate race we have the GOP grandees harpooning their own candidate, Alan Schlesinger and the Dems from top to bottom dumping on poor Joe Lieberman. I can understand why the Dems have fled Lieberman's camp, he had the effrontery to vote his conscience and show some independence of thought which is anathema to liberal group think. Why Republican Governor Jodi Rell and George Gallo, chairman of the state Republicans have fugged up a golden opportunity for the national GOP to benefit from the Dems disarray is beyond me. I wonder if Ken Mehlman Chairman of The National Republican Committee is aware of the Connecticut GOP squabbling.

Cormac McCarthy

One of my favorite authors, Cormac McCarthy was born today July 20, 1933 in Providence Rhode Island.
Everyone raves about his Border Trilogy, All The Pretty Horses, The Crossing and Cities of The Plain, and rightfully so they are all great books, you should try to read them if you get the chance. But my all time favorite is Blood Meridian. Based in part on Samuel Chamberlain's My Confession it recounts, in prose unlike anything since Faulkner, the exploits of the Glanton party who waged war against the Apaches on behalf of Mexico in the mid 1800s. Be warned if violence upsets you, this book is not for you. When they teach this book in college literature classes many students withdraw because they can't stand the violent imagery. But it's not just blood and gore for b&g sake. Blood Meridian is a western, but forget looking for the stand up American cowboy. There is no chivalry, no honor, no truth to be found. Violence here is not to be understood, nor does mean anything, it just is. God is unknowable and hard to find, the devil sits at the campfire and holds court on science and the arts. If that's not an apt depiction of mankind, I don't know what is.
If all this sounds incoherent, it because it probably is. I'll be the first to admit that despite reading Blood Meridian several times I'm not exactly sure what the hell it all means. But unlike Finnegan's Wake, at least it's enjoyable to read.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gibson Vs. Gimlet

Since malaria is rare in New England I never learned to drink gin and tonic. When it's hot I prefer a tasty Gimlet:
2 oz. Gin or Vodka
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with a lime squeeze.
It's like a Martini only better. Every once and a while you'll get a bartender who'll give you a Gibson instead:
2 oz. Gin or Vodka
2 drops Dry Vermouth
Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with Pearl Onions
This is a Martini only garnished with friggin' onions of all things. Call me a prude, but I struggle to see how onions belong in any beverage that isn't soup. An olive is bad enough, but an onion is affront to civilized drinkers everywhere.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rare Moment of Candor From Chuck Schumer

Liberal blow hard and uber 2nd amendment opponent Chuck Schumer has decried the Dem's lack of agenda:
"We don't have 80 words" to sum up the Democratic agenda, he lamented. "We don't have eight."

That's true of course, the democratic agenda can be summed up in six words: GEORGE BUSH, WE ARE AGAINST HIM.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Big Five Test

Here are my results from one of those quickie pseudo scientific personality test I took online. The big shock is that I'm not very agreeable and find it easy to criticize others. Who knew?
I'm" a O93-C58-E48-A22-N14 Big Five!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Politics and Truth

I read this interesting story about a Mexican epidemiologist who determined that the disease that wiped out the Aztecs was a native hemorrhagic virus called cocolitzli. Read the story it's fascinating on many levels. What struck me is that when confronting untruths that may be the cornerstone of a particular groups cultural heritage you had better be prepared. Prepared to have your motives questioned, your methods questioned and every other thing about you questioned. Why? Because sometimes the truth is not as comfortable as myth.
The Native American populations are not alone in embracing myths that are central to their world view. If you were to ask most Americans to describe what America is all about a lot of them might say something like freedom or liberty because that what we were taught in grade school. I'm not saying that isn't true, there's just so much more to the story. Ask a Black man or a Vietnamese girl in 1870 or 1970 what America is all about and his answer may surprise you one way or another. In the story about cocolitzli all the answers were there all along but most never thought to ask the question because the myth was too cozy.

Cox & Forkum

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Vatican Condemns Israel

The Vatican condemned Israel for going after Hezbollah in Lebanon. I wonder how the Vatican will respond when Hezbollah or it's equivalent launches rockets into their country and murders their citizens?
I am a Roman Catholic, but I struggle to remain so when the Vatican misses the easy moral questions. Easy like, any nation has the right and the obligation to defend it's citizenry from those who would kill them. The Vatican was critical of the US Military's treatment of the detainees at Abu Gharib prison too. Which is a fair criticism, if only slightly hypocritical. Within months of the childish transgressions at Abu Gharib, there were trials and those responsible were punished. The Church on the other hand, turned a blind eye or worse aided and abetted pedophile priests for decades and they continue to do so. Ex Bathists get the frat boy treatment and it's a crime against humanity. Thousands of mostly young Catholic boys and girls are sexual abused by those entrusted with preaching the Gospel of Christ and it's business as usual. Do you see my problem with them?
I get the feeling some of these Vatican mouth pieces are Europoodles first and churchmen a distant second or third. If these were Swiss Guards captured and Italian citizens killed by terrorist rockets, I wonder then if they could find the backbone to stand up to terror?


I sent this email to Alan Schlesinger Republican candidate for the US Senate:

Dear Sir,
I'm not some DU operative looking to help Lieberman or worse, Lamont into office, but I think it's time you end your candidacy for the US Senate. You have become an embarrassment to Republicans everywhere, please withdrawal. Using a fictitious name at the casinos while an elected official shows, at the very, very least, highly
questionable judgement. How can we trust you to represent the interests of our state when you can barely see to your own?

Thank You

Note the use of "withdrawal" instead of "withdraw". Nothing is quite so embarrassing as demonstrating poor grammar, ignorance or poor typing skills when you're trying to zing somebody. In response to this email I received this:
David, Only one question sir, are you kidding? Schlesinger US Senate

To which I replied:
No. One question for you, do you think that I'm the only Republican who feels this way? Bluster and denial can get you only so far, and you've reached that point. If I were a betting man, which I'm not, but apparently you are, I'd bet a year's salary that you will lose in ignominy and do harm to the CT GOP. Further I bet that Wampumgate is but the first of many peccadilloes that will swarm about your candidacy.
Connecticut just got rid of one embarrassing Republican, we do not need another.
Thanks for answering my email, best of luck in the private sector.

To which the Schlesinger campaign replied:
David, Do you have the intestinal fortitude to talk to Alan directly? Because he is currently in the office and would like to speak to you. Please feel free to call. (203)xxx-xxxx Schlesinger US Senate

So I called the Schlesinger campaign, identified myself and asked to speak with Alan. Mary put me right through. Alan answered the phone "So you do have the intestinal fortitude to call"? I said why not I have nothing to lose. I won't go over in excruciating detail every tidbit of the conversation, but Schlesinger told me that this Wampumgate business was nothing more than a tempest in tea pot, (my words not his), and has been blown way out of proportion. While legally gambling at the casino, he was repeatedly asked to sign up for a wampum card and did so under a fictitious name because he wanted to maintain his anonymity. Primarily because he favored state run casinos as opposed to The Tribes collecting all the lucre and he didn't want his political adversaries making hay of his presence in the Pequots casino. Fair enough. According to Schlesinger this is all there is to the story. I asked him why some prominent Connecticut Republicans tossed him so thoroughly under the bus, he said he has his theories but would prefer to give these political luminaries the opportunity to explain themselves, which he expected them to do in the next month or so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
We spoke further about my perception of this imbroglio. I said that as a Connecticut Republican nothing pisses me off more than the Rowlands, Santopietros and Giordanos of the Route 8 corridor. He bristled at the mere mention of that disgraced trio, as well he should. I told him that from my view in dog patch, this thing didn't bode well for the GOP and that I thought it could have been handled better. He assured me that there was nothing to it, he's no Rowland, and that this was just a politics as usual. Schlesinger is in this to stay, he thinks he can win, and despite my former scribblings I think he may have a chance.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Say It Ain't So

Oh no, Rivers Cuomo says that Weezer may be done forever.
I last saw Weezer at Toads Place in New Haven many years ago. 'Twas a great show to an appreciative crowd. I saw Cuomo hanging with his parents before the show and Matt Sharp took the stage with bed head and looked liked they woke him up about ten minutes before showtime. Even then I was 10-15 years older than everyone else in the crowd. Dexter was supposed go with me but was under house arrest or something, which left me in the dubious position of being the only guy at a concert who wasn't dropped off by his parents. I did bump into my niece though. She was in the no drinking area which was netted off by these silly cargo nets to keep the kiddie winkies away from the hooch, so I wasn't gonna hang out with her. Good times, good times.

Alan Schlesinger Asked To Withdraw

What a wiener! Alan Schlesinger a Shelton attorney who is the Republican candidate for the US Senate seat currently held by Joe Lieberman has been asked by Republican Governor Jodi Rell and CT GOP Chairman George Gallo to end his candidacy because he used a fictitious name to gamble at the Foxwoods Resorts Casino while an elected official in the 1990s. Schlesinger said he used a pseudonym because he wanted to protect his political aspirations.
"I was in politics. I used a pseudonym just for this reason, this stupidity we're going through now."
That worked well didn't it "Judgement King"? According to Schlesinger he had been asked at various times not to play blackjack, perhaps because he can count cards. Good for you Alan, I have no problem with that, I hope you took both casinos for tens of millions. But can't you see how hanging out in a casino, using a fake name to gamble, potentially trespassing by doing so, may be inconsistent with the life of those who would join the worlds greatest deliberative body? If not, your judgement is questionable and your candidacy doomed and an embarrassment. Withdraw.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New Books (To Me Anyway)

Last year I asked Dexter Librisvermis for some book recommendations and just like that, I ordered some of them last week. Elmore Leonard's The Hot Kid and Mr. Paradise and The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley. I also purchased Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels and The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurion , neither of which were specifically recommended by Dexter, but he's probably read them anyway.
I got The Killer Angels because my oldest son has been asking me questions about our Civil War and some people I respect have gushed about how great it is. The Wonder of Boys is not a NAMBLA pamphlet, rather it's about "how to shape our boys into exceptional men." I think there's a tendency in our society to discourage the very qualities in boys that will one day make them great.
During the last week of July and first week of August I'll be in the sunny Pacific Northwest on vacation, where I will read, sleep, fish, fish, and fish some more. I'll let you know what I think of the books and if I'm lucky I will have some fish stories as well.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Pan Flute

I just noticed something: It's impossible to play the pan flute and look normal or even sane at the same time. Unless of course you're Pan. In that case the fact that you're a sentient half man half goat, indeed a living and breathing faun playing a musical instrument, no matter how lame, draws away any notice of banal things like sanity and normalcy.

Monday, July 10, 2006


My Top Ten Beers:
  1. Sierra Nevada IPA All Sierra Nevada stuff is good, their IPA is simply the best IPA out there. Hoppy but not too hoppy and kind of citrusy, goes real well with prosciutto and melon, real hot dogs and Mexican food, not so well with black licorice.
  2. Dogfish Head IPA In case you can't guess, I like IPA. Dogfish Head IPA is more hoppy than thou, in fact the 90 minute version is neigh undrinkable if you don't like hops. If so buy yourself a skirt and stick to Zima.
  3. Sierra Nevada Celebration This brew comes out for the winter holidays and is one of those spicy brews that I normally hate, but man is this good. It probably wouldn't fly as an everyday beer, if one were to drink daily, but it's nice as a change of pace.
  4. Hires Root Beer The one, the original. All other root beers with the possible exception of Barqs are overly sweet, vanilla laden piss. When making a root beer float, don't mess with perfection Hires Root Beer, Breyer's original Vanilla Ice Cream with the little flecks of vanilla bean, then see Florence then die.
  5. Sam Adams Boston Lager Like Sierra Nevada almost all of Sam Adams stuff is good, the Boston Lager is the default beer when at family restaurant which may have only one decent beer on tap. Unfortunately I no longer buy Sam Adams stuff because they sponsored the Opie and Anthony show where a couple thought it clever to have sex in Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Clever marketing strategy numbnuts, flog your good beer to lowlifes and piss off discerning would be dipsomaniacs like me. I still remember a Sam Boston Lager I had 15 years ago. It was August and I was in Kenmore Square waiting for Iannis or Dexter or both. I went in to the Pizzeria Uno and ordered a ginormous Sammy Boston Lager in the air conditioned bar. It was good.
  6. Boddingtons Pub Ale Good stuff when your throwing darts and want to appear all continental and all. I love the can too, sometimes I like a good can. There's a sports bar down the street that has 200 types of beer with 20 or so on tap, they almost always have Boddingtons on tap and it is delicious, creamy and smooth.
  7. Guinness Stout What beer list would be complete without Guinness? Not my everyday beer, but when your in the mood for a Guinness nothing else will do. If you have a good barkeep it will take a minute or two to get a Guinness in a proper glass without a bishop's collar. Some will swear that Guinness in the Holy Land is different and superior to our Guinness here. Having bent both elbows on both sides of the Atlantic I can honestly say I found no difference, except people here drink more than they do Ireland, and that's saying something.
  8. Newcastle Brown Ale Who would think so many British beers would be on my list? For a dark beer Newcastle is kind of light and easy drinking, maybe too easy. This beer is almost not carbonated, sweet and not very hoppy if at all. As much as I like the bottle, the bottle cap is even cooler, I have hundreds of them nailed to my bedroom ceiling.
  9. Czech Rebel Like Pilsner Urquell but cheaper and not nearly as skunky. There's a package store near here that sells cases of this stuff real cheap in half liter bottles. When you want to pretend to read The Book Of Laughter and Forgetting in the original Czech, one must be seen quaffing a genuine Czech beer, but not the obvious Czech beer, something that only the locals might know.
  10. Coors Light When you want to celebrate something by showering everyone and everything with beer and don't want to waste beer that the beer gods might actually care about or that you may regret wasting, Coors is the beer. If a 23 year old Sophia Loren is a Sierra Nevada IPA, Coors light is a blow up doll of a 12 year old Kate Moss - with a leak in it.


I watched Empire of The Sun yesterday with the boy. Spielberg can be pretty good when he lays of the sap and the saccharine. It occurs to me that our memories are indeed short if we think we are the only power that North Korea has pissed off recently. Now comes this news story that Japan is thinking about changing their constitution to allow them to preemptively strike North Korea. China can't be happy with an awakened Japan and will probably exert it's influence on it's client state to behave. Either that or the Japanese will knock the dog poop out of them and sow their fields (if any) with salt.
The guys over at Pajamas Media have a few ideas how things might play out.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hangover Anyone?

Death In The Afternoon:
1 Ounce Pernod
5 Ounces Chilled Champagne (use decent Champagne)
Pour one ounce of the Pernod into a chilled Champagne glass, fill with Champagne. Drink. Repeat until everything is funny and everyone is good looking. What's it like?
'It tastes like liquorice,' the girl said and put the glass down.
'That's the way with everything.'
'Yes,' said the girl. 'Everything tastes of liquorice. Especially all the things you've waited so long for, like absinthe.'
'Oh, cut it out.'

Insomnia Theater

Where am I between 11:30 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.? At
Insomnia Theater in New Haven:

Every Friday AND Saturday at 11:30PM
Admission only $5 Criterion Club Members $4

Fri 7/07 & Sat 7/08
RoboCop (1987)
My Drivers Ed Teacher had an 6000 SUX.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven Starring Peter Weller and Nancy Allen

Fri 7/14 & Sat 7/15
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino Starring Harvey Keitel and Tim Roth

Fri 7/21 & Sat 7/22
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Moving in Stereo. Phoebe Cates.
Directed by Amy Heckerling Starring Sean Penn and Judge Reinhold

Fri 7/28 & Sat 7/29
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) I'll stay home and read a book this weekend.
Directed by Alek Keshishian Starring Madonna

Fri 8/04 & Sat 8/05
Repo Man (1984)
The Life of a Repoman is always intense.
Directed by Alex Cox Starring Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez

Hannibal's Elephants

Where did Hannibal get his elephants? Since African Elephant are nearly impossible to train, did Hannibal go all the way to Asia for a pack of Pachyderms? It turns out that Hannibal probably used the now extinct African Forrest Elephant Loxodonta cyclotis, which is smaller and presumably easier to train than the larger more common African Savanna Elephant Loxodonta africana.

Mess With The Bull...

A New York man was paralyzed below the waist while running with the bulls in Pamplona. As sad as this is, it can only be called fair play considering what's going to happen to the bulls.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Can't A Man Kiss A Boy On The Stomach Anymore?

Does this guy own a pet chimp named Bubbles and have an amusement park in his back yard? He does? I thought so.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Limbaugh Gets Off

There will be no new charges in Bonerpillgate:

The state attorney's office said Dr. Steve Strumwasser's name was on the Viagra bottle, not Limbaugh's. Strumwasser, who is Limbaugh's psychiatrist, told authorities he "agreed to have his name on the label in an effort to avoid potentially embarrassing publicity for the suspect," according to a filing by the prosecutor's office. "Thus, the medication contained in the subject pill bottle was legitimately prescribed to the suspect by his physician," the filing said.
It is generally not illegal under Florida law for a physician to prescribe medication in a third party's name if all parties are aware and the doctor documents it correctly, said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the state attorney in Palm Beach County.
However, since the doctor wrote the prescription in Miami-Dade County, the case has been forwarded to prosecutors there for review.

The Skull Club For Men

He's not just the president he's also a client!

Notice The Language

Here's a story from the AP about Somalis shot dead in Mogadishu for watching soccer:

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Radical Islamic militia fighters in Somalia shot and killed two people who were watching a banned World Cup soccer broadcast, a radio station reported Wednesday. The hard-line Muslim fighters, who have banned watching television, opened fire after a crowd of teenagers defied their orders to leave a hall where a businessman was showing Tuesday's Germany-Italy match on satellite television, according to Shabelle Radio, an independent local station. It said the businessman and a teenage girl were killed.
Hard-line Muslim fighters, who wrested control of the Somali capital from warlords in June, have forbidden people from watching television or movies in line with their strict interpretation of Islam.

Walking into a hall and blasting television viewers with an AK-47 is not a fight, it's cold blooded murder. How can a news source be trusted when they plainly refer to killers as fighters?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

North Korea

I'm thankful I live in society that has sent men and women, from different countries, into space and on Independence Day 2006 we did it yet again. More importantly the launch happened while my wife and I were chomping down on juicy, thick, medium rare porterhouse steaks and some perfectly ripe cantaloupe. I didn't go to church this past Sunday, but I could have. I ordered 4 books from Amazon today and by Friday I will have them. Almost everyday I write something in this blog that might irritate somebody, yet not one knock on my door. On this computer I have hundreds of songs, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, that I can listen to anytime I want. I, like most of you, live in a blessed time and place.
Then there's North Korea. A country that can't feed it's people has found the means to launch several missiles into the Sea of Japan. The US responded by denouncing this action, and talking to our allies and the UN. Good luck. I would like to know why this is our issue? If Cuba launched a missile across Florida into the Gulf of Mexico would Japan take the lead in kicking Cuba's ass? Not likely. Japan is a wealthy nation and if memory serves a damn tough one. Let them knock the dog shit out of north Korea, bury that bizzaro Kim Jong Il up to his neck at a crossroad and make every passer by take a saw at neck with a bamboo saw. Then as a reward for ridding the world of a gigantic pain in the ass, Japan would have exclusive rights to rebuild and exploit the New North Korea for fifty years. A Sanyo in every living room , a Toyota in every garage. Japanese skill, industry and know how turning a famished nation into a food exporter in 10 years. We did our part in that region, let Japan repay the favor.

With Friends Like This....

Hillary Clinton, trying to sound principled, is ditching Joe Lieberman if he is not the victorious in the Democratic primary:
"I've known Joe Lieberman for more than 30 years. I have been pleased to support him in his campaign for re-election, and hope that he is our party's nominee. But I want to be clear that I will support the nominee chosen by Connecticut Democrats in their primary. I believe in the Democratic Party, and I believe we must honor the decisions made by Democratic primary voters."
What we are seeing here is HRC walking on eggshells not piss off the "No Blood For Oil " crowd while still appearing presidential to reasonable people, just in case she might run for a national office someday. Sorry Joe, if it's any consolation, Pets R Us down on on Route 1 is having a sale on puppies, maybe you can find some loyalty there.

Hitch on Flag Burning

Once again I find myself in agreement with Christopher Hitchens in his opposition to a constitutional amendment banning flag burning. I still think that burning anything without a permit is an activity, not speech and should be regulated accordingly. Those who burn a flag should be mindful of an old fashioned ass kicking, but we should not demean our constitution by passing feckless amendments. Here's a bit of Hitch's reasoning:
When it was proposed that my apartment building in Washington display Old Glory after Sept. 11, 2001, I was not at all opposed but did express a misgiving. What about the day when the flag becomes tattered and drooping, and it's nobody's particular job to take care of it? (You can all think of a comparable example, from a ragged flag on a truck to a half-vanished flag decal on a taxi.) There is nothing more dispiriting than the ebb of such a tide. If I find that I have stuck a flag-stamp on an envelope and accidentally put it on upside-down, I admit with slight embarrassment that I now start over with a new envelope. Nobody would ever notice my tiny disrespect, but I still won't commit it. However, the whole case would be altered if I was told that I had to get it right. The flag would no longer stand for the constitutional spirit that gives it meaning in the first place. It may once have waved over hellish plantations but it was also defended to the end by the Maine regiment at Little Round Top. Without ambiguities and ironies, it would not be what it is. And ambiguity and irony are just what the flag-fetishists do not understand.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Franz Kafka

Literature's favorite neurotic, Franz Kafka was born today July 3, 1883 in Prague. While at UConn I bought a collection of his short stories at a used book sale at the Homer Babbage Library. The Metamorphosis is kind of weird but has nothing on his In The Penal Colony. I sat there in the comfy chairs that overlooked West Campus and thought this guy is genuinely twisted, not in the funny "haha, man your twisted way", but the I'm glad I'm not him sort of way. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it's about a penal colony where the condemned have their crimes inscribed into them by a machine, here's a excerpt but please read the whole thing and see what I mean:
“This apparatus,” he said, grasping a connecting rod and leaning against it, “is our previous Commandant’s invention. I also worked with him on the very first tests and took part in all the work right up to its completion. However, the credit for the invention belongs to him alone. Have you heard of our previous Commandant? No? Well, I’m not claiming too much when I say that the organization of the entire penal colony is his work. We, his friends, already knew at the time of his death that the administration of the colony was so self-contained that even if his successor had a thousand new plans in mind, he would not be able to alter anything of the old plan, at least not for several years. And our prediction has held. The New Commandant has had to recognize that. It’s a shame that you didn’t know the previous commandant!”
“However,” the Officer said, interrupting himself, “I’m chattering, and his apparatus stands here in front of us. As you see, it consists of three parts. With the passage of time certain popular names have been developed for each of these parts. The one underneath is called the bed, the upper one is called the inscriber, and here in the middle, this moving part is called the harrow.” “The harrow?” the Traveler asked. He had not been listening with full attention. The sun was excessively strong, trapped in the shadowless valley, and one could hardly collect one’s thoughts. So the Officer appeared to him all the more admirable in his tight tunic weighed down with epaulettes and festooned with braid, ready to go on parade, as he explained the matter so eagerly and, while he was talking, adjusted screws here and there with a screwdriver.

Nacho Libre

We took the kids to drive in movies to see Cars and Nacho Libre. Short review of Cars, a decent if middling Pixar effort, NASCAR fans would probably appreciate it more than I did, Paul Newman is always a plus.
Nacho Libre is an interesting film to me because it is not the overly funny, overly vulgar laugh fest I expected. Rather it seems to me to be a charming, gentle, outsider exposition of what is best to pursue in life. Fame, vanity and fortune or humility, service and love. Nacho is man out of place who must decide what he wants. I know this seems a reach for a Jack Black Mexican wrasslin' movie, but in essence that's what it's about.
One thing about Jack Black, he’s one of a kind. No one else could have played Nacho, except maybe Christopher Walken, but that would be an entirely different movie. You either find Black’s antics funny or you don’t and in this movie I think he brings the right mix of stupid/funny and schmaltzy warmth. Who else can get away with the line “They are just ninos trying to release their wiggles” in a fake Mexican accent?
Ana de la Reguera plays Sister EncarnaciĆ³n, the object of Nacho's affection. Having been educated by Nuns for a good part of my life, I can honestly say I never seen one as beautiful as her. I would describe fully the relationship between Nacho and Sister EncarnaciĆ³n, but that is more or less the point of the film. Briefly, on one hand he would clearly love to be with her and have a family. On the other there are their vows and the ninos he's already responsible for. I like how he resolved these conflicting desires.

Mark Steyn On Hamdan

Mark Steyn, as always, is dead on in his reaction to SCOTUS Hamdan decision. Read the whole thing.
The immediate consequence of this is that America's friends in India, Australia, Singapore, Denmark and elsewhere will conclude that this country is simply not serious and its descent into moral narcissism too advanced. The long-term consequence will be the opposite of what the justices intended -- the sidelining and eventual discarding of Geneva, at least by nations that wish to survive the depredations of the jihad.


Prediction: Whoever wins the American League Championship Series will win the World Series. I know, bold prediction. Sad to say but the National League is just plain weak. The New York Mets have the best record in the senior league and the Red Sox beat them like a rented mule who owed them money. The American league on the other hand is full of contenders. Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, Toronto, Minnesota and to a lesser extent Oakland could beat any NL team. This year I believe it will be a race between the AL Central and AL East. I like Boston's chances this year because they seem to be well balanced and are doing all the little things right. Detroit has a pitching staff that Steinbrenner would sell the rest of his soul for and Chicago, the defending World Champ, is still a great squad. The Yankees can never be counted out, because somehow those s.o.b.s always find a way to win, even with a pitching staff who carry AARP cards.
The ALDS will be Oakland Vs. Detroit, Chicago (wild card) Vs. Boston. Detroit will rip Oakland apart in 3 or 4 games, Boston may beat Chicago in 5, or vice versa. I would still bet on Boston because I'm silly that way. Detroit and Boston meet up for an epic 7 game slug fest with Boston emerging victorious. Then Boston goes on to beat the NL team - Mets or Cardinals in 5 games in a pro forma World Series. There will be much rejoicing.

Blue Connecticut

Connecticut is so liberal that Joe Lieberman may have to run as an independent for his senate seat. Lieberman, as George Will once described him, the sole member of the worlds smallest minority - observant Jews who are in favor of partial birth abortion, is in trouble with Connecticut democrats because of his support of the war in Iraq. Opposing him is Greenwich multi-millionaire Ned Lamont, who's principle qualifications can be summed up in his 75 page tax return and his opposition to the war. There was a time when Joe Lieberman could be pointed too as a respected, reasonable member on the Democratic party, then came the 2000 election where the hapless Gore/Lieberman ticket recklessly spent Lieberman's moral capital in that embarrassing Florida fiasco. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. One could hope for a GOP candidate to swoop in and capitalize on the Democratic internecine squabbling. Unfortunately most Connecticut Republicans seem to ooze out of the Waterbury political aficion and are as crooked as a syphilitic snakes with scoliosis. Former GOP senate candidate and Waterbury Mayor Phillip Giordano who ran against Lieberman in 2000 is serving 37 years in the federal pen for screwing children in the Mayor's Office and other bad behavior . Our former Governor John Rowland another Waterbury republican was an angel by comparison, he just abused his office for cash and other perks, now he's out of the clink and talking about how power corrupts. No shit John, really?