I quit smoking, had wild mood swings, and became a major proponant of nation building. And I oficially endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic nomination, because he's crazy enough to make Bush's reelction entertaining. 2003 was a good year for me and for America, though many won't admit it or are unable to see it. I just hope that by the end of 2004, Dubya is heading into term 2, Osama is dead, and Elizabeth Smarts parents are in jail. Happy New Year everybody! Stay safe, and have a great holiday. I'll be back to ranting next week. Later.
:: C.M. Burns 12/31/2003 02:44:00 PM [+] ::
My Best and Worst Posts of the Year
Rounding out my self-congratulatory/self-mocking roundup of my year in blogging, I first link to the three best things I wrote last year(I couldn't nail just one). First, a half-serious, half-joking smear of the Smart family called "Elizabeth Smart's Parents are Nutjobs". I basically attack them for hiring a homeless man with obvious mental problems as a roofer, since he kidnapped their daughter. Also, I guess I bash mormons a bit. But I think it was funny since Elizabeth WAS found. If she disapeared forever, well, I guess I wouldn't have noticed, which I mention in the article. I had one or two follow ups to the piece, my favorite being This piece in which I wish the Smart's were arrested for child endangerment. God I hate those people.
My second pick for best of the year is my dual piece on the Olsen Twins and the curse of the "Tweens" which you can find here. It's crazy and bizzare, and the funniest thing I think I've written in years. If you disagree, well, I don't care.
Finally, my third is part of my short lived "American Bastards" series. It's my essay on the evil legacy of the very awful Joeseph P. Kennedy. I don't bash the boys in this one, but I take dead aim at one of the worst people of the 20th century. I think it's good. Share, won't you?
Back in a few with my favorite goofy links, and an end of year roundup.
:: C.M. Burns 12/31/2003 02:27:00 PM [+] ::
Best and Worst Political Posts
Well, the whole reason I started this blog was, admittedly, during the whole warblogging phase, but since I've moved more to domestic politics, I thought that this post here, "Permanent Friends Vs. Permanent Interests", was probably the best thing I've written about politcs in general, not on a specific target. It's based on something a professor said, that in Washington there are no permanent friends, just permanent interests. I think I do a good job explaining why this is wrong in this piece. I like it.
My worst political post is easy to point out:"The Patrick Hayden Political Manifesto". It's a whiny, tiresome rant about how I was going to leave politics because people were mean. It sucks. Read it and laugh at me.
Coming soon: My best and worst posts of the year, and my favorite links!
:: C.M. Burns 12/31/2003 02:02:00 PM [+] ::
Sic Transit Gloria's End of the Year Round-Up
It's been said by many that blogging is a purely self-indulgent activity for most. A sort of online self-pleasuring that is only useful to the blogger and a few others. While that's not true for the better, funnier bloggers, and the smarter ones, it's certainly true for someone like me. So I'm just giving a round-up of the best and worst stuff I've written in this, my first year of blogging. Again, totally self-indulgent and meaningless, yet I have fun doing it.
In that self-indulgent spirit, I'm linking to my most self-indulgent topical post and non-topical post, that it, the most "me-centric" post I wrote about something that happened in the news and then one about something that happened to me personally. It's all rather sad, which is why I enjoy it. First, the most self-indulgent topical post, which comes from October 16th. It is, of course, my response to the Cubs loss, and how it affected me. Not worthless(There's gonna be a topic for that later), but certainly the most self-indulgent thing I've written. Here's the link in which I whine about the pain of rooting for the Cubs.
My "personal" posting that is most self-indulgent is from August 25th, and is titled "I Am Who I Pretend To Be: How I Went From A Relatively Nice, Laid Back Guy to An Asshole". It's whiny, weepy tripe about me being a jerk sometimes that I wrote when I was feeling guilty about something. It's easily the worst personal thing I've posted as well, being uninteresting and poorly plotted. Frankly, I'd erase it but I wrote it a posted it, so it stays. Read it and laugh at how bad it is.
That's the beginning of the rundown. Later, the Best Political Post and the Worst, and my best and worst attempts at humor.
:: C.M. Burns 12/31/2003 09:52:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 18, 2003 ::
I Don't Understand Some People
Right, so I found an article from a Rueters reporter named Jim Loney called "The Mixed Blessing of Wright Brothers' Milestone". In it, Loney chronicles all the bad things airplanes did, from dropping bombs on people to AIDS. Really. Which makes you wonder about how this man's mind works. The article is supremely negative, and closes with a quote from a peace activist. Now, taking the way he writes the article to it's logical conclusion, one would think that we would have been better off if we had never evolved in the first place. I'm serious. Since humanity's tale has always included innovation and since many innovations have been put to a negative purpose, he is obviously unhappy that we have evolved. The computer he typed the article on has made weapons research easier, the phone he used to talk to the peace activist made battlefield orders quicker, resulting in more deaths, the freedom he has to type his article in America has cost millions of lives over the years. It's a real shame the printing press got invented, because Hitler was able to publish Mein Kampf to a wider audience, which led to the Nazi germany and still inspires hate. Those ingenous bastards of the 16th century! I guess we should all just de-evolve. At least then we wouldn't have to worry that every thing we do might be used for evil.
In all honesty, yes, actions have consequences, and the greatest invention of the 20th centruy, flight, did have some unintended consequence, but to infer a sort of blame onto the Wright brothers for their achievement is bizzare and stupid. Which is why I don't get some people. I just don't.
:: C.M. Burns 12/18/2003 12:21:00 PM [+] ::
Random Foreign Policy Thoughts, With Extra NY Times Bashing!
I'm still trying to figure out how Wesley Clark, the man who's replaced John Kerry as saddest Democratic candidate since Saddam was caught, would have located Osama by now. Since the Pentagon is pretty tight lipped about special ops, it stands to reason that Clark, who was hated by the Pentagon, doesn't know what's being done to look for Osama. I know I don't, but I could also say "I would of cought Osama by now", and intellectually my comments and Clarks are the same, ie based on whimsey, except I don't get noticed because I'm the only one who cares about this blog and Dean gets media attention. I have a theory on Clark's candidacy I'll get to in a minute, but first, one last thought on his "plans" to find Osama and get us out of Iraq. My boss suggested that the proper follow up question to Clark: "General, if you know how to find Osama quickly, like right now, why not tell the Pentagon how. If you are so certain, share with us how you would capture him and tell us now so we can get him before he strikes again, and not wait until you're elected president(hahahahahahaha!)to tell us". If he did that, and we did catch him, I might actually respect him, instead of pitying him.
Over at his blog, Andrew Sullivan has two interesting pieces I'm linking to in one link right here. The top piece is actually a link to an article at Slate.com that theorizes why the Dem candidates are failing to hit bush effectively on foreign policy: Bush's policy is right, his execution of it is wrong. It bears reading, and if the Saddam capture changes anything, if I was John Kerry I'd start reading. The second thing just points out how much fun it can be to read the New York Times Editorial page. The first editorial talks about how Saddam was just an obsession for the US. The second calls Saddam a "real threat". The first was written two days ago, the second, 14 months ago. Now, you can argue that the Times is responding in the more recent editorial to unclear links between Saddam and terror that they asumed were there pre-invasion. But the tone of the editorial says the Times has always thought that Saddam was no threat, which is just hysterical. You can change your mind, but you can't say that you never believed the first thing.
Wesley Clark Conspiracy Theory
Clinton urged him to run to keep Clinton in control of the party, knowing he would lose and that Hillary could come in 2008 and save the day. It's not original, but I think it backfired on Clinton since Clark is really, really incompetent. How does someone this clueless get four stars?
:: C.M. Burns 12/18/2003 11:58:00 AM [+] ::
My Two Word Review of Return of the King
Seriously, I only need one: AWESOME!
I'd write more, but I'm trying to figure out how Wesley Clark would have found Osama bin Laden by now.
:: C.M. Burns 12/18/2003 10:48:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 ::
Does the Vatican NOT Want Me back?
As if not being able to take critisism was bad enough, the Vatican continued to piss me off today by having some doofus Cardinal say that The U.S. Treated Saddam 'Like a Cow'. I guess checking him for bugs(literally) and cleaning him up was not a good thing. We should have let him rot. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And sometimes I wonder why people dislike the Church...
:: C.M. Burns 12/16/2003 02:26:00 PM [+] ::
Howard Dean Supporters Hate Bush? You're Kidding!
There is an account in the New York Post today of a Howard Dean fundraiser that apparently attracted every left-wing comic in New York and turned into a profanity-laced hate fest that took aim at the President, the Veep, the Veep's wife, the Veep's daughter, and Condolezza Rice. The attitude is hysterical in these Dean comics. The column, by NY Post DC Beareau Chief Deborah Orin, exposes these hypocrites for what they are. Apparently, it's ok to use the N-word in reference to black people if it's to "prove" that Republicans are racists. David Cross, a man who's a better comic actor than comic(his stand-up is always aggressivley mean), used the N-word. Apparently though, the most hate was directed by the female comics at Condi Rice, a woman who is probably 30-times smarter than any of the people who bashed her for being a Black Rebulican. Ms. Orin writes:
"Comic Kate Clinton evoked Michael Jackson (hit with new child-sex-abuse charges) and said: "Frankly, I'm far more frightened of Condoleezza Rice" - the Bush national security adviser who has nothing in common with Jackson except being black. Rice seems to drive liberal woman comics especially nuts. Sandra Bernhard insulted her in racial terms with a "Yes Massa" accent at another Dean fundraiser the same night. Perhaps the pro-Dean comics find it unbearable that the most powerful black woman in U.S. history, close friend to the president and his wife - and a brilliant classical pianist to boot - dares to be a Republican."
The upshot of the column is that the Dean camp did not tape the event on any form of media. No TV cameras, no voice recorders. Which is good for Dean. His own Democratic rivals were able to score a few hits on him just by getting wind of what happened. Apparently the NY Times saw fit not to cover it. Or, they did, but then buried the story. Of course, we all know what happened to Trent Lott after a comment that was INTERPRTED to be racist(I think it was racist, and Lott got what he deserved, but compared to Dean's non-condemnation of the event, Lott's an angel). Dean did not condemn the comics. He did not do the smart thing and say they were out of line. Read the article and see what was said. It speaks volumes of the insanity that has infected the left, and while I love that Dubya does this to them, a cringe at a society that will not call them for the hate-mongering scum that they are.
:: C.M. Burns 12/16/2003 10:35:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 15, 2003 ::
The Only Gift Guide You Need
The funniest man in America(well, in Florida), Dave Barry, is once again spreading holiday cheer with his annual Holiday Gift Guide. So check it out and get those Bowel Buddy Bran Wafers for the needy friend in your life.
:: C.M. Burns 12/15/2003 03:41:00 PM [+] ::
Lauryn Hill Blasts the Vatican-At the Vatican!
I wrote earlier today of how far Jeanene Garofalo had fallen, and lamented her ill-informed, Iraq war stance. However, I think government is about the only area that celebrities need to tread carefully on. For instance, Lauryn Hill, an incredibly talented musician and all around cool woman, had the guts to call the Catholic leadership on it's non-reaction to the clergy sex scandal in the US, and she did it in the Vatican! Now, some will say she shouldn't have done it at a concert the Vatican invited her to, but she spoke truth to power when she said "Holy God has witnessed the corruption of your leadership, of the exploitation and abuses which are the minimum that can be said for the clergy." THAT takes guts, and comes from the heart of a believer. That she isn't Catholic matters not. She has done a great service for all those that the Church has ignored over the years.
As a Catholic(though not muchof a practicing one), I feel compelled
to link to this post on National Review's blog by Rob Dreher. Rob's the resident Catholic expert there, and he and I feel that she was right to do what she did when and where she did it. The lame response from the cardinals in attendance at least shows she's brought up something they've been ignoring for too long. Good for her.
:: C.M. Burns 12/15/2003 01:59:00 PM [+] ::
I Hate Soccer, But...
I hate soccer, but since my beloved Alma Mater, Indiana Univserity, won the Men's National Title this year, I felt compelled to report on it. The Indiana University Athletics home page has great coverage, if you care about that sort of thing, and on a final note Jerry Yeagley, IU's retiring head coach, went out with a victory and tied for the all time record for soccer titles. He's to IU Soccer what Bobby Knight used to be to IU Basketball. Another bonus: in the Semi's on Friday, IU beat my sister Lisa's Alma Mater, Santa Clara. Take that, God school!
:: C.M. Burns 12/15/2003 12:29:00 PM [+] ::
Some of these are bizzare and others funny, while some are disturbing in the extreme. My favorite, though, belongs to a poster named Carrie B. on Howard Dean's blog. She writes: " Ican't believe this. I'm crying here. I feel that we now don't have a chance in this election." Gotta love Dean supporters for beig consistant, even if it is consistantly stupid.
:: C.M. Burns 12/15/2003 12:03:00 PM [+] ::
No one seems to have known this, but I for one will be wishing for the best. If you pray, say a prayer for the man.
This could mark Powell's exit from the cabinet, and may very well end this Republican's dream of Powell as surprise Veep next year or President in 2008. Apparently the surgery has been planned for a while, and he is not in any danger, so hopefully they caught it soon enough to make a full recovery, but the appearance of illness in politics is often a death knell for a career. Paul Tsongas, recovering from cancer in 1992, lost the Democratic primaries to Bill Clinton, but Tsongas, who died a few years later, went out of his way to prove his health. This WILL change a few things, but for know, lets just hope for a swift recovery for the Secretary of State.
:: C.M. Burns 12/15/2003 11:54:00 AM [+] ::
The Sad Decline of Janeane Garofalo
If there's on thing that the Iraq War has done to piss me off, it's how it turned Janeane Garofalo, for years my secret celebrity crush, from acid-tounged comedian and actress to shrill, anti-war activist. As I think Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon prove, it IS possible to seperate your professional work from your private causes. Tim Robbins moreso than Sarandon, who goes on TV way too much and knows not of what she speaks, and even though Robbins is a little crazy, he's not about to give up acting to be a shrill, unfunny activist, which is what happened to Garofalo.
I held out hope for awhile, but then I read her response to what was a negative article about her efforts on a tour called "Tell Us the Truth", whose goal was to get people active in progressive causes, but ended up turning a lot of people off. Anyway, the article was in Salon, which has occasional flashes of integrity when it turns the microscope on its own readership. You can find the link to it in the below story, Janeane Garofalo responds. That's a free link.
In the letter, Garofalo seems to have become the kind of person she was spoofing on "The Ben Stiller Show" 11 years ago. The DVD's just came out, and she was usually pretty damn funny. Her acting career was also pretty good, and she was always good for standup. Then she found politics, an arena of thought that she is ill-suited for. What's so sad is watching her in the "live" segments on the Stiller show and seeing how that Janeane would hate what this Janeane has become. Well, I guess all celebrity crushes must end, so I've had to replace her with Amy Poheler on SNL. She's HOT! Sorry Janeane. I don't hate you because you're anti-war or anti-Bush. I hat eyou because you've become a moron. Sorry.
:: C.M. Burns 12/15/2003 11:10:00 AM [+] ::
The Power of "Red Dawn"
I've been in a party mood all weekend, and rising yesterday to the news of Saddam's capture just made me feel all fuzzy inside. Hearing Lieberman slam Dean was pretty funny, too, but not as funny as saying the only choices in the primary now are either he or Dean. I think Gore's backstabbing has made Lieberman insane.
Anyway, how great is it that the op to get Saddam was called "Red Dawn", and that the two Bradley Armored Vehicles that were involved were called "Wolverine 1" and "Wolverine 2". If you recall, this is a reference, a homage if you will, to the Reagan Era classic film Red Dawn, the story of how some teens in Montana killed a bunch of Commies after the Reds invaded us. They called themselves the "wolverines", after their High School mascot. And they killed a bunch of people. Greatest cheasy 80's acion flick ever.
:: C.M. Burns 12/15/2003 10:47:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 11, 2003 ::
Johan Goldberg Kicks The Supreme Court's Ass
Campaign Finance Reform is, as written, a horrible, awful curtailment on Free Speech that gets people like the NRA and the ACLU on the same page. In his G-file today on NRO Jonah Goldberg rips the recent Supreme Court decision to shreds, exposing it for what it really is: a direct attack on political free speech, the very heart of the 1st Amendment. It's well worth reading. Sure, in the short term this hurts the Democrats, but I believe in the Constitution before I believe in the GOP, and this law is the most awful, overt censorship the Congress has ever passed. THIS is the real slippery slope, not the Patriot Act, which looks like a toothless old goat comapred to this monster. I weep for our freedoms.
:: C.M. Burns 12/11/2003 02:19:00 PM [+] ::
Does The Media Actually COVER Iraq?
In the past few days, I've been reading a lot of blogs that have linked to video, pictures, and written accounts of a massive anti-terrorist march that occured in Bahgdad last weekend. Most people have no idea this took place. Why? Well, the only major media outlet to mention it was FOX News. CNN, The Nets, The NY Times, and others just ran their usual negative stories that day. This link goes to Instapundit.com where Glenn Reynolds has links to analysis of the march from bloggers here in the US and in Iraq, and ruminates on why it got NO Coverage. My theory is that positive events in Iraq go against the media's plan.
:: C.M. Burns 12/11/2003 12:38:00 PM [+] ::
These Crazed Old Folks Will Destroy Us All!
I get flack from my parents these day when I talk about why I hate Medicare and Social Security taxes: Namely, that the government is taking money away from me to fund programs that will be bankrupt and gone by the time I might need them. Part of the reason I hated Al Gore was his insane "lockbox" talk about Social Security, which ammounted to him supporting a policy on Social Security which ignored the problem in the hope that it goes away. The Democrats are equally shameless when it comes to Medicare. Every time I heard Ted Kennedy say that "this legislation will lead to the end of Medicare as we know it", I wanted it to pass even more. If it kills off Medicare quicly, perhaps I can invest some of the money I save in taxes and actually PROVIDE for my retirement, instead of using the crutch of the government. Fundamentally, the Democrats lack of focus and ideas on even TALKING about reforming these outdated systems proves they are unfil to govern this country.
Anyway, in "Meet the Greedy Grandparents - Why America's elderly are so spoiled," Steve Chapman tells us the history of Social Security and why, if nothing changes, the economy is doomed, as are all people my age and younger. Which is why, if Dean is nominated, many people I know who lean Democratic and don't care for Bush are going to vote for Dubya: Dean is not serious about reform, wants to repeal ALL tax cuts and would probably move the country backwards by 60 years. God, why can't the Dems see past their own stupidity?
:: C.M. Burns 12/11/2003 11:14:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 ::
The Kerry Collapse
Probably the saddest primary campaign ever run has to be John Kerry's. The man seemingly had everything Dems would want to majorly challange Bush, but his campaign has been so inept and out of touch, and he keeps trying to redefine himself that he just comes of as disengenuos, which I honestly don't think he is. I certainly respect him the most out of all the Dem candidates, as he's sane, intelligent, and a reasonable alternative to Bush for those who find Dubya to be not quite their cup of tea-translation: he should appeal to crossover voters and independents. But he's had too major fuck ups this week. The first was when he actuall used the phrase "fuck up" in reference to the post war situation in Iraq. It was in "Rolling Stone" magazine, that faded relic which is actually less relevant than Playboy magazine is. Everyone thinks he was trying to be hip. His defenders, honest themselves, say he was being candid and open, and this may be true, but using profanity comes off as an attempt to appeal to the angry left that loves Demo Dean and just doesn't seem like something he'd say. The second screw up comes from his campaign staff, which, in sending out a Press Release regarding AlGore's bizzare endorsement of Dean, included an intra-camapign memo on the Senators appropriate response that reveals too much about their startegy. You can see that right here on The New Republic Online. As my friend the Counselor said to me, he and many he knows desperately want Kerry or even Clark to beat Dean, as Dean's pronounced vision for America is such an anti-Bush vision that it pushes the country backwards. The Counselor, who is no fan of Bush AT ALL, said that if Dean's nominated, he may well vote for Dubya and simply become a Republican, as Dean's policies, if they reflect the Democratic party, don't jive with him at all. Finally, summing up Kerry's bigegst flaw, the Counselor told me that Kerry's biggest mistake was hiring a lot of senior Gore staffers. Since Gore's campaign was the worst since Mondale's, it's easy to see whay Kerry is stumbling. Of course, Gore's endorsement fo Dean is seen as either showing Gore's true liberal colors(populist my ass) or a way to ensure that Dean is nominated and trounced so badly that the Democratic Leadership Council, the moderate group that spawned Clinton, gets it's respect back and Gore can run again in 2008. As usual in politics, nothing is as it seems.
:: C.M. Burns 12/09/2003 02:31:00 PM [+] ::
METRO Mishaps: Ranting for a Purpose
When I first came to Washington, I fell in love with the Metro, the little subway system that could. It seemed perfectly suited to a city of DC's size, it seemed to run on time, and it went just about everywhere I needed to go (fuck Georgetown). However, after 3 years and 4 months here, I've realized that the Metro is devolving into one of the worst transport systems I've ever seen, and I rode in Rome's subway, which only goes back and forth in a straight line for a total of 10 stops. It's like an amusement park ride.
Why do I say this? Well, over the past year, Metro has done some pretty boneheaded things, starting with the massive screwup that kept it from operating right after the blizzard back in February. They knew it was coming. They had time to prepare. They got caught with their pants down. Since then, they've been talking about new cars for the trains, which is good, and expanding the system, which is very, very bad. Adding lines out to Dulles or a Purple line that rounds the beltway looks good on paper, but when you consider that adding MORE people to the influx on the already taxed Metro will push most people's commutes from merely annoying to rage-inducing, the idea looks bad.
This past week has not been good for the average commuter, if the average commuter is, say, me. Last Friday it was raining. More Metro customers. And the Red Line broke down at 8 AM causing a half an hour delay. At Union Station, I saw three trains go by in about half an hour, all filled to the brim, none allowing passengers. I ate my $1.20 and took a cab, which I shared with a nice young woman who had her infant sun with her. She said that things were so crowded where she was on the platform that she and the child were almost pushed in front of a moving train. Nice. Normally, I'd blame the crowd, but having been in that mass of people, I couldn't. I could see how it would happen, and if someone I loved was killed that way, I'd sue Metro in a second. With that large a delay and that many people on the platform, Metro officials should have shut down access to the station and started running shuttles. Only they couldn't shut down the station because the Red Line was still operating fine in the direction of Silver Spring, but with a proper response program like shuttles, they could have safely gotten people off the platform, or at least offered an alternative to some. No action was taken.
This sort of thing happens all the time on Metro. Part of the reason is that the trains are old and occasionally break down. Part of it is that people block the Metro doors from closing, which causes the doors to break. The Metro won't function with broken doors(an actual good idea). But the most awful reason that trains get backed up and people mass in front of the doors and almost trample each other is that often, during rush hour, Metro will send only four-car trains on it's busiest lines. I don't know the reason, though having read how Metro accesses the need for trains, which is asinine (actual counters count people), I could guess that some idiot with a calculator figured it was noi big deal. And the four car trains have to be the biggest cause for delay. It happens like this: You send a four-car train down the red line, the busiest line in the system and one that, theoretically, should be the first to move to seven-car trains. People have to pack themselves into the cars on these shorter trains, and by the time it reaches Union Station, the train is already delayed and holding up other trains behind it, as in cold weather people will push their way onto the four-car train, so it actually takes more and more time at each successive stop for the train to leave. By the time it gets to Union Station, a four-car train in rush hour is packed and 5-6 minutes behind schedule, which means it's been about 8 minutes since the last train came through the station, and the platform is packed. The train conductor asks that people wait for the train that is directly behind him, but people have been down this road before. Once the backup starts, EVERY train becomes packed, even the six-car ones, because they either stay at the previous stations longer to give the four-car train room, or the four-car's runnoff of people has already packed that train. On days when this happens, which seems like at least twice a week on a good week, the people know that it could up to 20 minutes more until they get on a train, and they've already been there for 5 minites or more. So they push and don't jump back, and if you get on the train you're packed so tight you can barely breathe, or you're stuck waiting on the next train, which will let maybe 4 people off at each car and 30 people will try to board. After the wait, I no longer blame the people. I blame Metro for creating the situation. Just by running a four-car train, Metro can create it's own massive delays. It happened to me today, 25 minutes waiting to get on a train, because you always think the next won't won't be as full as the last, but it is. If I could afford it, I'd cab it every day. I don't WANT to give the Metro my money, as they just waste it.
So here's what I propose: if you read this blog and live in the DC area, go to this page and call, email, or write the Metro to complain about how awful they are. Start a drive. Tell them their customers are suffering, and lawsuits won't be far behind once someone is actually killed by a long wait. I'm sick of showing up late to work because of the Metro. My boss isn't happy either. I'm also going to start lobbying the HR office to give us cash for cabs instead of metrochecks. Fuck the Metro. It's run by fools like everything else in this city. I say, let them die.
:: C.M. Burns 12/09/2003 10:02:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 08, 2003 ::
BCS Conspiracy Free For All-Random thoughts that make no sense!
Note: In the spirit of insanity encouraged by the BCS, this post will be random, bizzare, and occasionally make sense only to me. You are warned.
Well, USC was screwed out of the Sugar Bowl. Really. I hate to admit it, but the Trojans deserve to play LSU in the title game, and Oklahoma deserves to be placed on the trash heap of teams that looked past the game they were playing. They looked like such crap on Saturday night against K. State that I'm not even sure why teams were afraid of them. It's like the Wizard of Oz. Everybody THINKS Oklahoma is all powerful, and plays poorly out of fear, yet once revealed as the dottering old man that it is, Oklahoma quikly rolled up and left town, figuratively speaking. Actually, I'm not sure anything I wrote makes sense, but in my head it reads like Shakespere.
Anyway, the fun part of this mess is that the media will tie itself up in knots beating up on the BCS until January 4th, after Michigan thumps USC in the Rose Bowl and LSU beats the tar out of Oklahoma. Then, LSU will be consensus number one, and everyone will forget about what happened to "poor" USC and then people will want a playoff between Michigan and LSU. Why? Because Michigan only "lost" to one team. They beat themselves against Oregon early in the year, and then simply stumbled early to Iowa, finishing the season by demolishing everyone in their path. The two best teams in America right now? LSU and Michigan. Hands down. Michigan's defense has been unpenatrable since the Iowa game, and John Navvare, while not, techinicall a "good" or even "passible" quarterback, has been getting so much time to throw to recievers who can catch anything, that he lloks great. Add a dominant rusher in Chris Perry, and Michigan looks tough.
Similarly, LSU beat up on Georgia, a very good team, and has dominated the SEC since the beginning, despite a fluke loss to Florida, and they also have an excellent defense and running game. They also played the toughest schedule when compared with Michigan, and fared about the same. USC on the other hand, did play a weak schedule, though to their credit, no one expected Notre Dame to be terrible this year, and the PAC-10 underperfomed so you can't hit them too much for scheduling push overs. You can only hold that against Florida-based teams and Nebraska. Oh, and lets hit on Oklahoma a bit for scheduling North Texas and Fresno State, as that should be a disqualifier in itself.
Anyway, USC is playing well, and with only one loss has more of a claim to the Sugar Bowl than Oklahoma. Another interesting outcome of Saturday's meltdown by Oklahoma will be how it impacts their quarterback's Heisman chances. I, and many others, believe that Eli Manning is the best QB playing right now, but Ole Miss had a not-spectacular year, even though Manning did, and that has hurt him. But Jason White, the Sooners QB, has been overrated all season and has been the favorite for the Heisman, or at least in the top 3. He threw like crap on Saturday against a defense that had him totally figured out. His two interceptions, one run back for a TD, were so telegraphed a blind man could have cought them by using his enhanced sense of hearing. He is not mobile and could not get his team near the end zone all night. In a BIG game, only the second big game the Sooners played in all year. Hopefully, this will only help players like Manning and Michigan's Chris Perry.
In the end, in the unlikely event both Oklahoma and USC win their bowl games, the BCS will be beat up on even more and then the BCS commission will go into hiding for a month and come up with some gimmick that "fixes" this year's problem but probably causes another. While I love chaos in the college bowls, I really think that the time has come for a playoff. But as long as teh BCS commssion includes ABC, the Bowl Sponsers, and other hucksters, it's all about money and how to screw the fans and the players. I say, we need to rip the power from the conference and school heads and give it to the coaches. That would at least create empathy for teams like TCU that were left out in the cold. Then we could at least make progress, with one exception: The title game will always be played in, and called, the Rose Bowl, and it will be shown on January 1st. Why? Because the Rose Bowl in the oldest and best Bowl their is, in terms of stadium quality, seating, and history. The Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta bowls can go fuck themselves for all I care. The Rose Bowl is the crown jewel of College Bowl games, and all the best bowl games are played on New Years Eve, damn it. Tradition matters in College Football, unlike pro football and the other sad sack pro leagues. Tradition must be upheld. To paraphrase Fiddler on the Roof, without tradion, we're a shaky as ESPN's integrity. Go Blue, go LSU, and down with the BCS, though it won't happen. This is one revolution I can actually get behind.
(PS: Isn't it funny that since ESPN sponsers the coaches Poll, it will have to refer to the winner of the Sugar Bowl as the National Champion because the Coaches sold their souls to the BCS by agreeing to vote for the "title" game winner, no matter who they thought might be number one? And for all their bitching, most of ESPN's witless anchors will do so with a smile once the game is played? THAT's funny. God, ESPN has sucked since Disney bought them.)
:: C.M. Burns 12/08/2003 12:25:00 PM [+] ::
Here's Something to Haunt Your Dreams
As it's the holiday season, I've been looking for gifts for people. Ebay is a great place to find a unique gift for the loved one who just doesn't want another gift certificate to Borders.
However, Ebay also sells the world's most awful items. I don't know who put this monstrosity up for bid, but I think they and all of the bidders on this item need to be rounded up by the FBI before bad things happen.
(Link via Dave Barry's Blog)
:: C.M. Burns 12/08/2003 10:30:00 AM [+] ::
I Found A Way To Prove If God Loves Us or Not
Julia Roberts, or, as I know her, Toothy McHorseface, has decided that she's leaving her chances of getting pregnant to the "will of heaven". So if God loves us, she'll remain barren and will not leave a hellish spawn on the Earth. If God hates us, she'll have twins, twice. Adopting doesn't count. Place your bets...
:: C.M. Burns 12/08/2003 10:24:00 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, December 05, 2003 ::
Rummy: A Man of Many (clear) words
The Plain English Society gave US SEC DEF Donald Rumsfeld, my favorite US Secretary of Defense ever(Sorry Edwin M Stanton!), it's annual foot in mouth award for the following statement:
"Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because, as we know, there are known knowns, there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know."
The society said this was a poor use of the language, when actually, as The Guardian points out today, Rumsfeld's statement makes perfect sense and is more clear and direct than what we usually get from cabinet level officials. Another reason to love Rummy!
:: C.M. Burns 12/05/2003 10:58:00 AM [+] ::
The Decline and Possible Fall of Playboy Magazine
Men like to look at pictures of naked women. Well, straight men. I can't speak for the gay guys out there. Any straight guy who says that he would not like to see a picture of a beautiful woman shot in a realtively tasteful way is a liar or a enuch who doesn't want the torture. Sure, Porn can go in other, occasionally very wild, directions, but it starts with the naked woman. That's what the guys want to see, and that's why Playboy magazine, now celebrating it's 50th Anniversary, succeeded.
This would all seem obvious and not even worth mentioning if it weren't for the fact that Playboy's management seems to think that it wasn't all about the nudity that made the magazine sell. No, as recent articles in serious cultural journals have said, Hef & Co. seem to think that without Playboy, America would be as rigid and uptight and repressed as it was in the 1950's when a young Chicago guy named Hugh Hefner got naked shots of Marilyn Monroe and published them in Chicago. Surprise surprise, the magazine was a hit. An original copy of that first issue sits in the Chicago Historical Society museum, and for years one of the first buildings you saw as you approached the city via Lake Shore Drive was the Playboy Building, where the original magic happened. Growing up in the area, I always liked seeing that building, as the word "Playboy" meant one thing: naked women.
Well, see, that's because Playboy has been about naked women first and all the cultural stuff later. Sure, you could read the latest Updike essay in a 1970's issue, but first you'd flip to the Margot Kidder or Bo Derek pictorial and probably skim the article and cliam you were refined. Even Hef's image, that of the very lucky, very sexually active man, is something of a charicature now, and many stories coming out of California say that his 7 (or is it 12) girlfriends are mostly for show. Also, Hef's image which seems all about hedonism and nothing but hedonisim, contradict the magazine's claims about how much it contributed to society. The magazine may have claimed to be a supporter of women's lib, Civil rights, what have you, and I'm sure they were, but did reading it change anything? Hell no! Early feminists rejected the idea of pornography as antithetical to their idealism. Sure, post modern feminist thinkers like Camille Pagllia have embraced in, and in the end if a woman wants to pose naked for money, it's not degrading(at least in Playboy. I wouldn't say the same about Hustler). But as a rather funny opinion piece at Wall Street Journal.com points out, Feminism, Civil Rights, and the liberal causes of the 70's would have done just fine without Playboy.
Don't tell their editors that. I admit to owning the 50th Anniversary Issue, and I can tell you that it's the most disgusting piece of self-congratulatory garbage I've ever seen. It sees it's own history as the history of America, and seems to think that Hef is like the founding father of Sexual freedom. Which is of course bullshit, and the magazine has lapsed into self parody so often that you wonder how they typed their pat on the back editorials with a straight face. Men never read Playboy for the articles. Sure, there's good interviews and back when Norman Mailer and John Updike meant something they were in there, too, but men read it for the naked women. It's that simple. Perhaps the joke is on me. Perhaps the entire issue is sort of a joke, and they don't really mean that they were a leading cause of the legalization of Abortion. But I doubt it.
Even as the magazine claims it's always been respectible, it's deseratly trying to hang on. It's been losing readers to Maxim and other such Mags that feature women who aren't quite willing to get naked, but close enough, and "articles" about beer, gambling, and stupid, stupid things are eating up the younger demographic. In an attempt to appeal to those of college age, the mag hired an old Maxim editor and finally jetisoned any hope of respectability. I give it a couple of years before it falls apart completely. Well, a couple of years after Hef passes on, anyway.(I can only cringe at the memorial issue that they've got planned for when he goes. Gay Talese waxing poetic about nights in the Grotto, Hunter S. Thompson telling us how the man was a God, and Gore Vidal saying that if he was straight, HE would have spent his nights in the Grotto. Ugh.)
All Playboy did was make it OK to look at naked women in magazines(no complaints) and create a culture that exists only in Hef's mansion. Where C-list celebs hobnob with the bunnies who's turn-off's include mean people and who all want to act. What will they do when Hef dies? Where WILL Richard Grieco hang out?
Hef swallowed his own Kool-Aide years ago and thinks he actually did something more that make a magazine that features naked women. Though Larry Flynt disgusts me, he did sum Hefner up best when he said: "He's never come to terms with the fact that he's a pronographer". And he hasn't. It's so deliciously true. Almost makes up for the fact that since Hef is a pornographer, Flynt might as well be a wife beater, except he can't walk or swing his arms.
:: C.M. Burns 12/05/2003 09:37:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 04, 2003 ::
The "Reagan Did Nothing on AIDS" Myth
The recent Showtime "docudrama" on the Gipper drew praise from those who never liked him or knew him and condemnation from those who knew him, respected him, or had any integrity. In a column today in the Washington Post, Bob Novak, who notes that he covered Reagan for 22 years, called James Brolin's chracterization a hideous distortion, and points out the excellent book "Reagan: A Life in Letters", which directly refutes many of the movies assertations. I'm reading it now, and it is remarkable.
The biggest myth surrounding Reagan was also the largest point of contention by Conservatives: the idea that the film puts forward that Reagan did nothing about AIDS. Originally, it was even worse, with a line from Reagan that essentially says he hated Gays. Well, over the past couple of days, some conservatives have gotten their heads out of the sand on this and done some research, and it proves that Reagan DID in fact do a great deal for AIDS, and that he was hardly "inactive" on the issue. Especially important is that the "fact" that Reagan never even said the word AIDS in public until 1987 is shown to be a massive distortion of history that radical leftists have used to discredit the Gipper.
I have several links here, because I think this is important. The first goes to an excerpt from the book "Queer Street: Rise and Fall of an American Culture, 1947 - 1985." by James McCourt.It's at Andrew Sullivan's site. Sullivan is an HIV-Positive Gay Conservative Catholicwho used to edit The New Republic and has been active in the struggle for Gay Rights for years. He is intellectually honest, and proves that being gay does not make one a Democrat, as Democrats would have you believe. Sullivan gets beat up by Eric Alterman and his cronies for being an honest intellectual, which is more than Alterman can stand. Which make Andy OK in my book. Anyway, the quote from the book is taken from a dialouge, in which the speaker says that the biggest boost AIDS funding got was when Ronald Reagan learned his good friend Rock Hudson had the disease. In 1985, funding went up by $100 Million. In '85. Nd the disease didn't even get it's current name until about two or three years earlier. So there's one lie.
Sullivan himself dedicated a good portion of his blog to defending Reagan, and I'll just point you to his long and informative post: "Reagan and AIDS". He links to Delroy Murdock's article that breaks down AIDS spending per year, and shows Reagan who I guess could of done more, was still doing more than his harshest, mean spirited critics give him credit for. Finally, Murdock's piece kills the calssic "Reagan never said the word until 1987" lie, which has been propogated from every liberal organization in the world and was cited in the book and HBO film "...And the Band Plays On", which, while still beating up on Reagan, also takes a tough look at just about everybody in the medical community and at least comes to more honest conclusion than Reagan's main detractors do, even if it also wants Reagan as a scapegoat as well. Murdock points to evidence from a Sept. 17, 1985 press conference where Reagan was asked about AIDS and answered it using the term, not skirting it.
I write this in the hopes that some might stumble across it and realize that Reagan was no monster, that he was a good man who made mistakes, but nothing as bad as Clinton ever did. This is especially important on the eve of HBO's presentation of the legendary Tony Kushner play "Angels in America," which is about AIDS in the 1980's. Reagan and conservatisim are raked over the coals, and the play is a celebrated piece of work in liberal circles. Eric Alterman, who, if you couldn't tell, is a moronic, self-involved dick in my opinion, loves this play, and calls Kushner a treasure. I don't doubt the dramatic and emotional impact of the play, which features a hell of a TV cast. But Kushner has been quoted as saying that Reagan "killed his boyfriend". Which is, of course, nonsense, but the media loves it. He can say what he wants, his play is fiction, for the most part, and seeks to place blame on everyone and everything except for the behavior that accounts for the most cases of AIDS-sharing of needles or unprotected sex. In short, personal behavior, not the government caused the AIDS crisis, and "...And the Band Played On" is much more honest that Kushner is. In the end, read all this stuff, and see who's being more honest about AIDS-the activists who scream about it, or the men and women with the personal and intellectual courage like Andrew Sullivan who live with it and know EXACTLY what it means.
:: C.M. Burns 12/04/2003 02:42:00 PM [+] ::
Rise of the Health Facists
Last night, "South Park" once again confirmed that it has replaced "The Simpsons" for the most biting social satire on TV. In last night's episode, entitled "Butt Out", the boys decide to take up smoking after an especially grating group of overenthusistic young people (think "Up With People" meets those annoying "truth" kids) urging them not to smoke. The straw that gets them puffing is when the hopelessly upbeat kids say "If you don't smoke, you could end up like us!". The next scene shows the boys smoking in a desperate attempt not to end up like those losers. They get caught smoking and while attempting to hide their cigarettesm, they burn down their school. The prinicpal is upset, not because they burned down the school, but because they were smoking. Of course, the parents blame "those evil tobacco comapnies" for "brainwashing" their children, and call in Rob Reiner. What follows is a hilarious send up of all that is wrong about anti-smoking zelots and their demonization of the tobacco industry by using half-truths and outright lies regarding second-hand smoke. I laughed my ass off. I'm an ex-smoker, but anytime I see a truth commercial or some health nazi on TV I want to pick it up again just to piss them off. Advertising didn't get me smoking. I did it for my own reasons and quit when I didn't like it anymore. People who smoke, despite the pleas of their greedy relatives who have been suing tobacco companies when they die, know exactly what they'e getting into. And from what I've seen, quitting is only as difficult as you want to make it. Smokers should not be hounded like THEY are the bad guys. After all, they don't want to end anybody's individual rights.
I write all this today because I live in Washington, DC, and last night the city council had a large hearing on the banning of smoking in all workplaces, which, of course, includes bars, resturants, and nightclubs. ("Smoking Ban Bill Arouses Emotions"). This is the legacy of NYC and California. Unable to ban smoking outright, the Health Facists have decided to make it impossible for you to smoke where you might actually want to. New York City's ban has had the effect of driving people who enjoy smoking with their drinks to clubs and bars outside the city. Sure, not most, but a good number. When I was in NYC in October, not only did I see scores of people standing outside bars smoking, which has to be some kind of safety hazzard as they were blocking exits, I also saw the most insulting ad campaign since the "truth" ads began. In it, various New Yorkers are talking about how nobody went to baseball games, the airports, or work after smoking was banned in those places. The ad concludes that since it didn't really happen then, it wouldn't happen now. In addition to being insulting, the ads are also stupid, as banning smoking inside an airport is about 180 degrees different from banning it in a bar.
Anyway, last night in DC the Health Facists were out in force, seeking to let the government do your thinking for you. I seriously hate these people. I don't know what they would do with themselves if they ever won this battle. I think they might try to ban liquor next. It's almost like neo-puritanism. And the people pushing it are almost always on the Left. Smoking and tobacco only have champions among the Right in this country, with the exception of the legislators from tobacco-producing states. The Clinton administration and Al Gore in his campaign always attacked "big tobacco". As if "little tobacco" existed. It's a word that makes their opponents seem large and evil. Where is the ACLU in this? Isn't this a personal choice? Shouldn't NARAL be out there protesting this sort of ban?
Now, the only thoughtful idea came from a Republican last night, as council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large), suggested that tax incentives be given to eating and drinking establishments that VOLUNTARILY choose to ban smoking, so as to offset any loss in revenue they might incur from loss of clientel. A good idea, that allows the individual companies to CHOOSE their own path, not have it imposed on them by overzealous assholes like the anti-tobacco people. If a bar voluntarily bans smoking, fine. I don't care, I don't smoke, and it's their right. But many of my friends smoke, and frankly, I don't want to have to go out of the city to drink on the weekends which might end up happening if this stupid ban is passed.
What really galls me is the attitude of the supporters, and also the coverage in the Washington Post. The first line says it all:
On one side were anti-smoking activists wearing slogan T-shirts and bearing pictures of relatives lost to lung cancer. On the other side were hospitality industry lobbyists telling tales of potential lost profits and layoffs.
Now, the rest of the story hardly mentions that many lobbyists, and in fact says that the Mayor of DC, Anthony Williams, is afraid that it will hurt city revenue. Also, the article accepts without question the stats from the anti-smoking people but finds the objections raised by the pro-freedom crowd not worth getting into detail about. The most craven and untruthful part comes at the end of the article, when a woman who "lost her husband to second-hand smoke" says that: "This discussion should not be about the right to smoke but about the right to work in a healthy, smoke-free workplace." Well, actuallu ma'am, I'm sorry for your loss, but this IS about the right to smoke. Since the article does not say where your husband worked that he got cancer, I'll assume it was a bar, since you can't even smoke at work in non-resturant type DC buildings. He didn't have to keep working there, and the smokers were their first, and finally, well, there really isn't any evidence that second hand smoke even causes cancer. At an independent websiterun by a guy who fought the ban in New York City, the harsh truth that second hand smoke's dangers have been massively overhyped, inflated, and lied about in the larger quest to ban ALL smoking nationwide. Second-hand smoke cancer is a myth, and since carcinogins can be found anywhere, just saying the man died of second hand smoke is irresponsible of the part of the reporter.
The whole thing sickens me. People like me who support smoker's rights are called names and hated by these mistaken, angry, and dangerous Health Facists. Just to prove I'm not alone, I'll end this post with the final quote in the article, which is from a non-smoker against the ban:
"The truth is that people don't go to bars to be healthy. They go to socialize."
The incident on Sunday in which a black man died after an intense struggle with police is a major national story. Community leaders in the already troubled city, which saw massive race riots several years ago, are calling for a full investigation, and the 6 police officers involved are on paid leave. Frankly, I've seen the video, and, unlike many Americans, I've heard the audio, which has not been as well publicized. Put together, I don't see how the officer's were at fault.
Let's break it down: Nathaniel Jones, the 350 pound man who died, was acting bizzare at a White Castle in Cincinnati. After he fell down and passed out, the employees dialed 911 and a ambulance was dispatched. While attempting to treat Jones, the paramedics were hampered when he came to and started ranting a bit and acting threteningly. Police were called to the scene. After a while, when the video starts, Jones, who is large AND threatening-looking, took a massive swing at one of the cops. They closed in and tried to restrain him. He resisted heavily, as the video shows, and batons were used. All the blows, the 40-60 that were needed to calm him down, were to the body-not a single blow to the head. He died of a heart attack. The subsequent autopsy showed him to have an enlarged heart, and cocaine and PCP and methanol in his system. While the death has been ruled a homicide, it is only because his life did not end by accident, suicide, or natural causes. Yes, the attempts to subdue him killed him. These are the facts.
Now, I remember from my college RA days about the effect PCP has on the human body. It is frightening. Besides enducing a feeling of euphoria, it also encourages hallucinations and makes you feel invicible. On top of that, it's like instant steroids, in that it unleashes chemicals into your system that could give you the strength of many men. We were told in cases that PCP might be in a residents system to keep them in view, protect ourselves, and call the police, as they could easily turn violent and attack us. The officers were obviously responding to the physical threat they faced from this man. It took 6 officers to get him into a position where they could cuff him. Sadly, he died. And the beating led to his death. But it seems that the force used to subdue the obviously dangerous Jones was appropriate and not excessive. This is not Rodney King part 2. This is just the sad effect of drugs on a man who had wasted his life. his grandmother is quoted as saying that he wasn't a violent person, that he was somthing of a jolly guy. This could be true. But the PCP doesn't make you act normally, and I doubt he was ever on it when she was around. So her opinion of the situation means has no merit at all.
What is worse, though, is the way this is being handled by the community leaders in Cincinnati. It is true that the city has had racially motovated incidents involving the police in the past. Though the questions being asked by the leaders are opperating on the asumption that the cops are guilty and are only serving to add fule to a fire that could rage out of control. Still worse is Jones' family, which has retained a lawyer who has put forth the absurd theory that Jones was trying to surrender. He also blames the police placing him in a prone position on his body led to his heart attack. Since it's police procedure to put a violent suspect down on the ground in that position after being cuffed, it seems that the lawyer is arguing that the man should not have been restrained. This is absurd. Now is the time for a sober investigation, without the DOJ sending civil rights investigators and further inflaming the situation. I think that the officer's will be exonerated in the end, and I also think that the community leaders should ease off their rehtoric. What would they have done if a 350-pound man, be he black, white, hispanic or what, on PCP attacked them?
Finally, one last thought. If the Jones' were white, this wouldn't even make it to a late-night news show. Perhaps the media needs to back off a bit, as well. It's a sad situation for everyone, and everyone, save the local government, which has acted admirably, is making it worse.
:: C.M. Burns 12/04/2003 10:42:00 AM [+] ::
Everything Still Bush's Fault, Says NY Times
"Everything We Don't Like is the Presdient's Fault" should be the headline of the lead editorial in the NY Times today, which has finally written another editorial that irritates me and is full of half-truths and wishful thinking. I'm not sure if other editorials lately would have upset me, but frankly, I haven't even bothered reading them.
In "Kyoto Protocol in Peril", the wise, all knowing Times Editorial Board claims that since the administration is badmouthing the treaty and refusing to sign it or endorse it, the US is getting a "free ride", while the rest of the world "Soldiers on". I could get into why Kyoto is a bad idea, but, frankly, smarter people have already done that, so if you want to know more, just google the damn thing and read all the analysis. The important thing to remember is that despite the wonderful leadership of Bill Clinton, the Senate, which is the body that under the Constitution has to ratify treaties, roundly rejected the whole magilla back when it first came up. Hell, you hardly hear any of the Democratic candidates talking about Kyoto, because they know it's not good for the US, and endorsing it would hurt them publically. Sure, Dennis Kusinich likes it, but since he's insane, that might work against the treaty in general. Anyway, even though Kyoto effectively died before Bush took office, it's failure, and the threats the Russians have been making about it, are all Bush's fault in the view of the Times. I wish it were all Bush's "fault". I'd love to give him credit, but the credit goes to Al Gore for selling out the US and pissing off the Senate when he helped negotiate the thing back in the 90's. Thanks Al!
(Two notes: One, you need to register for the Times online, but it's free and they do still cover a few things well, and two, isn't it interesting that the Constitution only matters to the Times when it's convenient to them? Just a thought.)
:: C.M. Burns 12/04/2003 09:06:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 ::
Small Bush Gaffe Gets Headline, Dean "Soviet Union" Statements Still Getting No Play
If Eric Alterman, or anyone of any import, really, who claims that there wasn't a liberak bias in the media, was to read my site, I would point them to this: "Seven-year-old boy corrects Bush" It's on CNN.com, and the story is how a 7 year old who was at a White House event corrected the President when Dubya claimed he was 6. The President responded good naturedly. Of course, the headline suggests a "potatoe-Qualye" style mistake. And the Headline writer couldn't resist. I wouldn't object, but not a single major media outlet has called Howard Dean on the fact that he seems to think that the Soviet Union still exists. To mis-quote Alterman: "Say it with me now: what Conservative Media?".
:: C.M. Burns 12/03/2003 11:32:00 PM [+] ::
John Kerry's Unreliability, Take Two
Does Theresa Heinz not trust John Kerry to be President? Heinz is Kerry's wife and mega-rich heir to the Ketchup fortune handed to her by her late husband Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa(About half a billion mega-rich). Well, it turns out that Mrs. Heinz may not trust her husband with her money. According to Tim Noah's article in Slate "Does Teresa Heinz Trust John Kerry? - If not, why should we?", Kerry and Heinz signed a pre-nup when they married in 1995 and not one red cent can go towards his presidential campaign, or, at least not enough to be substantial. She can obviously give the legal individual limit. The story is she knew of his Presidential ambitions before they married and was against them, causing the pre-nup to be drafted. She didn't want to fund his campaign. Why? Well, Noah asks the pertinent questions and finds some interesting answers and ideas about answers. I just think that it's funny that the man is so hopeless even his wife doesn't trust him to be President. I know I don't.
:: C.M. Burns 12/03/2003 02:34:00 PM [+] ::
John Kerry Day at Sic Transit Gloria
OK, too much Howard Dean stuff, so I'll take a look at hapless also-ran John Kerry today. I swear, no more Dean stuff unless he does something really stupid, which, keep in mind, is always a possibility.
Right, so my first Kerry item is that he's so afraid of Dean that he's decided to ape him on alot of issues, in this case foreign policy. Kerry, who served in Vietnam for those of you just emerging from a coma, said yesterday that he would reverse Dubya's policies. All of them. And, just like Dean, he would "get tough on the Saudis", through sanctions and whatnot. I know the Saudi stuff is essentially the only angle on terrorisim from which the Dems might actually score points on Bush, but the reality of the situation is lost on Dean and now Kerry. As much as I really don't care for the Saudi's, considering that the alternative to the House of Saud is essentially radical Islamofacists running that country, I think we need to tread carefully. His aping of Dean's line just proves what a sad sack Kerry is. I'd almost feel sorry for him if I didn't have so much contempt for him.
Also, just for laughs, Kerry said he would appoint a special ambassador to the Middle East, perhaps Bill Clinton. Now THAT'S funny. Because Clinton did such a great job before. This is really getting pathetic.
:: C.M. Burns 12/03/2003 10:53:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 ::
Semi-Socialist Dean Essentially Says He Understands Capitlaism More Than Anyone Else
Honestly, I don't WANT to beat up and make fun of Howard Dean all the time, it's just that he's such an easy target I can't resist.
In his continued descent into madness, Dean said on Hardball last night that if elected president he would break up giant media conglomerates and said that the essense of Capitalism is that you have to have rules, which right-wingers apparently never get. See
Drudge here for the whole transcript. Apparently, it's not just foreign policy that Dean doesn't get. It's capitalism, too, which wouldn't surprise you if you've looked at Vermont lately. Dean's supporters like to say GOP-types like myself are "afraid" of Dean. They're half right. We are afraid of him and also amused by him: afraid because if he actually got elected the country would devolve into a REAL nightmare, not the fake one Dean's supporters hallucinate exists, amused because the Democrats are actually stupid enough to support a candidate who's views are as poorly concieved and out of the mainstream as possible. Bush hate will literally kill the Democrats next year. Dubya should do something like command an aircraft carrier for a day to really drive them up the wall.
:: C.M. Burns 12/02/2003 03:13:00 PM [+] ::
Canada, Crappy Health Care AND no Free Speech!
Many on the far, far left(I mean the wackos like Michael Moore and his worshipers) have long pointed to Canada as some kind of Utopia where everyone is free and happy and safe from mean old Americans. Well, David E. Bernstein, a Law Professor and author writes today on how anti-discrimination laws are eroding civil rights in Canada. Bernstein writes that the erosion of free speech in Canada has been occuring over the past 12 years, starting with the passage if "Hate Crime" legislation that was far too broad and was supported by a willing Judiciary. His piece contains cases that we in America might find distasteful but would at least defend as Free Speech. Well, most of us. But the true irony comes in the end of the piece, when he writes that a marxist and radical feminist Anti-American professor was investigated for hate crimes when she called Americans "bloodthirsty". The laws, intended to "protect" minority groups from "hate speech" was turned on her since it now applied to any kind of speech that might be offensive towards anyone. It's truly frightening, and I think Civil Libertarians on the Right and Left(yes, they exist on both sides, Democrats) need to stay ever watchful about laws that might curtail speech in this country in any way. And people think our government is "oppressive". Christ.
:: C.M. Burns 12/02/2003 11:33:00 AM [+] ::
Even Salon.com Readers Hate Stupid Anti-Globilization Protesters!
If there is one group of activists that all sides of the political spectrum tend to despise, it's Anti-Globilization activists. These are the well-off college age idiots who show up at trade meetings and protest against vague conspiracies involving free trade and corporations, with little or no basis in reality. It's always fun to watch them clash with cops, but also disconcerting when you hear about the damage the end up causing.
The most recent protests were in Miami, where these wayward marxists and anarchists clashed with cops, damaged property, and accomplished exactly nothing. Salon.com published a sort of diary by one of the activists, in which she shared her experiences with the reader. It was one of the stupidist things I've ever read, but you expect that from a cpaitalisy pig like me. Reading the responses posted atSalon.com today, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are thinking liberals out there you realize how asinine these protesters are. The first two letters are impassioned support letters thanking Salon for publishing "a relatively clean look at the protests and for giving a glimpse at what lies behind them." The unclean look comes from the "corporate media", which is, of course, evil. However, the more intelligent, thoughful letters, and the funnier ones, too, come from people who saw nothing of value in the reports. One reader writes that "(he is)sure that the author has no clue about what is at stake here, namely that Latin American countries desperately want to be able to trade with the United States". Another threatens to cancel his Salon.com subscription "if (he has) to spend more bandwidth receiving love letters to mindless middle-class anarchists with their daddies' Visas in their backpacks". Finally, my favorite quote, which sums up the reality of these idiots perfectly and calls them on their lack of understanding:
"Melissa Handler sure gets it right: "Certainly the mainstream media will continue to portray us as clueless, dissatisfied radicals looking to make trouble." Well, duh. Maybe because you are "clueless, dissatisfied radicals looking to make trouble." Add "ineffective and juvenile" to the description and you've got it about right."
:: C.M. Burns 12/02/2003 10:22:00 AM [+] ::
Howard Dean, Foreign Policy Genius
I posted a bit yesterday about how Howard Dean has been talking to Jimmy Carter about foreign policy and that he thinks he can teach Dubya a thing or two about the subject. Well, if he's talking about the alternate universe he lives in, maybe he can. Last night on Hardball, Dr. Dean made several references to the Soviet Union. Not historically. As if it still exists. Here's a good quote: "The Soviet Union is supplying much of the equipment that Iran, I believe, most likely is using to set itself along the path of developing nuclear weapons." Well, I for one thought the Soviets disbanded 12 years ago, but I don't have an M.D., nor was I governor, nor is my political advisors one of the worst Presidents in history, so I could be wrong. Also, wouldn't the media trash Bush if he said that?
:: C.M. Burns 12/02/2003 09:05:00 AM [+] ::
SEGWAY Menace Threatens US Military
Foolish Pentagon tech-heads have taken another step towards the unfortunate and dangerous acceptance of the SEGWAY, as they announced yesterday that they wish to use the two wheeled death cart to build battlefield robots. The fools! Don't they see that THIS is how the machines rise, just as Gov. Shwarzennegger predicted!? God help us all.
:: C.M. Burns 12/02/2003 08:54:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 01, 2003 ::
The Original French Bashers
It's true that Americans enjoy beating up on the French. It's odd in that the French helped us gain independence, but considering that since WWII the French have opposed just about every thing we've done, the animus makes sense. But the British have been hating the French better and a lot longer than we ever have. They've fought many wars against the frogs, and know their military style. In a Naval dictionary from the 18th Century William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine, you can find the definition of retreat as
RETREAT, the order or disposition in which a fleet of French men of war decline engagement, or fly from a pursuing enemy. The reader, who wishes to be expert in this manoeuvre, will find it copiously described by several ingenious French writers, particularly L'Hôte, Saverien, Morogues, Bourdé, and Ozane; who have given accurate instructions, deduced from experience, for putting it in practice when occasion requires. As it is not properly a term of the British marine, a more circumstantial account of it might be considered foreign to our plan. It has been observed in another part of this work (see the article HEAD)that the French have generally exhibited greater proofs of taste and judgment in the sculpture, with which their ships are decorated, than the English; the same candour and impartiality obliges us to confess their superior dexterity in this movement.
Heh. That's why I'll always like the Brits.
:: C.M. Burns 12/01/2003 11:30:00 AM [+] ::
Is Howard Dean a Presidential Candidate or an Escaped Madman?
Over at Drudge today there are three stories that make me think that perhaps the man posing as "Howard Dean" is, in fact, an escaped lunatic and not the former Governor of Vermont. This link leads to several angry photos of "Dean". Look at his eyes, the window to the soul. He looks crazy. Especially in the second picture.
Finally, this links to a story on Dean attacking Bush on defense. Dean, who has the worst grasp on the international situation of any of the top candidates, actually said he could teach Bush a thing or two about defense and that Bush lacks backbone. Say what you want about Bush's policy, I don't think he lacks backbone. Dean's example was that Bush doesn't stand up to the Saudis. Well, if Dean ever paid attention to the world situation, he'd realize that the Saudis are unfortunately needed allies, and that "standing up to them", perhaps glaring at them Dean-Style, is not easy considering their current situation. But "Dean" the mad imposter doesn't know that because he's been getting advice from Jimmy Fucking Carter! He has to be a clone or dopleganger or imposter, because no one who's as well educated as Dean is could ever say these things! If I was a Democrat, I would start testing this "Dean" to see if he is a pod person or something. He's insane, and the fact that the looney left has embraced him should have all normal Dems shaking in their boots. This is the GOP's wet dream.
:: C.M. Burns 12/01/2003 09:34:00 AM [+] ::