Sunday, June 25, 2006

Vonnie, Are You Sure You Want To Go There?

I'd have put this on Vonster's "blog", but comments aren't allowed, so it goes here:

Vonnie says that communism "has killed 100 million people" in his new sub-title. Um, er, well, where do we start? I'm assuming from his tone and his past, we are supposed to say, "wow, that communism is the worst thing EVER." I'm here to tell you, communism isn't alone in it's vileness.

First, the total itself. How is that total arrived upon? It seems like a pretty vague thing to say. Does it mean Russia killed 100 million enemy soldiers? Does it mean that several million starved because they had no food, and "communism" was blamed? I mean, it's obvious that communism failed, and humans being what we are, it will never work. And thankfully, it is not the rule we live under. But we're not to be held completely innocent, either, are we?

But do you really want to go there with that stat, Von? Could someone not come right back with the argument "how many people has democracy killed?" How many American Indian nations were demolished "in the name of democracy"? How many slaves were beaten to death, or starved to death, or worked to death by the American white man? (I am, of course, an American white guy.)

Or should we look into how many have died at the hands of christianity? Or radical islam? Or religion as a whole? We really don't want to go there, do we?

Pro-Life = Anti-Choice

Chase made a comment on a thread below, and it reminded me of a recent discussion I had with some of my internet fantasy baseball buddies.

I prefer to call so-called pro-lifers "anti-choice". Why? Because when it comes to the death penalty and war, they're usually more eager to pursue and condone the death penalty and more "willing" to accept casualties. So they're not really "pro-life", except where abortion is concerned. More correctly, by wanting a ban on abortion, they are trying to take a woman's personal choice away. Hence, "Anti-Choice".

Immediately upon saying that, it gets mentioned that I, then, am "anti-life". Well, that's not correct. Without even getting into the semantics of when life begins, for me to be "anti-life" I'd have to demand that EVERY prisoner be executed, EVERY soldier die, and EVERY pregancy not be allowed to come to fruition. Eventually, there wouldn't be any "life". That would be closer to "anti-life".

The bottom line is that "anti-life" and "pro-life" both make zero sense. You're either for choice, or against it. Therefore, the correct terms to describe the sides on the abortion debate are "pro-choice" and "anti-choice".

It's A Good Day To Be A Fan Of Minnesota Sports

Ahh, what a nice weekend.

The Twins are red-hot, and two straight over the pathetic Cubs is icing on the cake. The Twins are going for the sweep right now, but even if they lose today, they've won the series. Who would have thought the AL Central, with the Tigers, Twins and White Sox, would be baseball's best division?

Plus, the Twins learned they are finally getting a new ballpark....long overdue.

Meanwhile, the first overall pick and three of the top eight picks in the NHL draft were native Minnesotans. Think about that, a draft of the entire world, and the State Of Hockey (as we like to call it) had three of the first eight picks. Amazing. That first overall pick, by the Blues, was defenseman Erik Johnson, who has many options right now: He could go to the University of Minnesota and play this year while remaining property of the Blues, he could sign and make the big club in St. Louis, or he could sign and spend next year as a Peoria Rivermen before making the jump to the Blues.

Also, the Minnesota Wild of the NHL improved themselves greatly by trading a draft pick for Pavol Demitra, the former Blue, who played last year in L.A. He will add more punch to a team that plays great defense, but doesn't have much scoring firepower.

So it's a good day. Oh yea! As I write this, the Twins take a 2-0 lead on Team Pathetic. Nice.

Tsk, Tsk, Denny


Porky Hastert not only brings home the bacon to Illinois, but he goes beyond that and fills his bank vault in the process.


Did You Apply The Same Standard To Mr. Bush?

That is a question I pose to Peoria Journal-Star letter writer Donald Frank of Washington today. His letter in this morning's paper points out his disgust with John Kerry and other "liberal politicians" (there's that dirty word "liberal" again) for wanting a timetable and a withdrawal date from Iraq, wondering if those people are not indeed treasonists for making such a demand.

So my question to Mr. Frank is posed, of course, because of the words then-candidate George W. Bush spoke in 1999:

George W. Bush, 4/9/99:

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”

George W. Bush, 6/5/99

“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thank you blogger!

Just got an email this morning from the Blogger Team, they got my stuff back online. Thank you to Alexander, who sent me a note saying he'd recovered the blog.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Made-up Words

One thing that the political right has lambasted the left on for many years is "politically correct speaking". And in many cases, they are dead on the money.

But the left doesn't have a stranglehold on "politically correct" anymore.

The Bush Administration constant comes up with new ways to try to soften a bad situation, or deflect from what is really going on, and they never get called on it. I'm so sick of the "mainstream liberal media" b.s. that it makes me want to puke. This administration, which is widely accepted now for what it is...a complete joke, still doesn't get called on the carpet for it's use of the language.

Some of my favorite Roveisms:

Contractors: Um, dudes, let's just say it like we used to...these people are mercenary soldiers.

Insurgents: When "guerrilla fighter" or "rebel" just won't do.

Sectarian violence: In 1861, this was known as a "Civil War". But when you're repeatedly telling the world that there is no "civil war" in Iraq, it's just easier to say this and hope nobody figures it out.

Guest worker: I dunno, something just seems smarmy about this one. It may not necessarily be wrong, it just seems so..."softened".

Create Personal Accounts For Workers: How nice of you! Thank you for creating an account for me. That sounds so generous!

"Faith-based initiative": As long as that faith is the same one as George's, right?

Clear Skies Initiative: One of the BIGGEST lies this administration has tried to pass off. A bigger misnomer than "Utah Jazz".

Healthy Forests: Um, yeah, the best way to help forests is to cut them down, right?

Activist Judges: Defined as anyone who thinks differently than the Bush Administration on ANY issue, regardless of importance.

Pre-packaged News Segments: This would be "propoganda". But that sounds so...Japanese World War Two-ish, doesn't it?

Constitutional Option: Seriously, I'm not kidding here, when "nuclear option" met with 2 to 1 disapproval, Lott and Frist helped them come up with this wacky wording.

Special interests: The Bush administration, with the help of mouthpieces like Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Rielly, and Coulter, have turned this into a dirty word to describe one thing: unions. Doesn't matter what union it is, it's bad. Bad. Bad like Dana Carvey doing Bush I bad.

Can you think of any more?


Yep, went to see it on opening night. When you've got a 10-year old, and when you're personally fascinated by the utter brilliance of Pixar's animation, you go on opening night.

Enjoyed the movie very much. Paul Newman as the Hudson was perfect, of course I'm a fan of the idiotic comic stylings of Larry the Cable Guy, so I enjoyed his character, and Michael Keaton is always great. He even breaks his voice back into the great character he played in the underrated classic "Gung Ho", Hunt Stevenson.

Gung Ho, btw, was directed by Ron Howard, who has gone from "Gung Ho" and "NightShift" (both with Keaton) and "Splash" (with Tom Hanks) to do "Cinderella Man", "A Beautiful Mind", and then back with Hanks in "Apollo 13" and "The Da Vinci Code". Pretty impressive resume for Opie, er, Richie Cunn...,er, Ron Howard. But I digress.

So I go into the movie last night knowing it was going to be full of kids, and knowing there would be the occasional howl of unhappiness and the occasional sprint up the aisle to hit the tinkle room. But even with those expectations, it was the loudest theater I've ever been in, and I'm not talkin' about the movie.

My word, people, this is NOT your family room and this is NOT a DVD we're watching. People have paid money to enjoy this flick on a big screen with comfortable (?) seats and a bag of popcorn in hand. They did not come to hear a normal-voice...not even hushed tones...conversation about whether or not the car doors are locked or "did you leave my purse in there?" or "Aunt Maggie called today." Jeezus. It's a m-o-v-i-e t-h-e-a-t-e-r. You can't shut yourself or your elementary school-aged children up for 95 minutes?

Toddlers talking in a theater? I understand. Whispering your thoughts or quietly telling the 11-year old to hush up a bit? Good. Talking out loud with no concern for the other people in the theater? Do us all a favor and go home. That's not a matter of "free speech", it's a matter of courtesy and the ability to not be rude.

Oh, if you like Pixar, if you like a fun little story, go see the movie, but I'd recommend the 10 o'clock show.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Things That Make You Go...ARRGH.

Dudes (and dudettes) that drive 48-52 in a 55, forcing you to follow them for several hilly miles, then speed up when you try to pass, then flip you off when you finally get by. ARRGH.

Drivers that turn left onto a two- or three-lanes wide street...and go ALLLL THHHEEE WAAAYYYY to the right lane. Quick tip: That's incorrect driving. Oh, and they RARELY have a signal on while they do it. Oh, and they honk if you're opposite them, turning right into the far right lane like you're supposed to, and you DARE stick your nose out there as they're coming across three lanes. Double ARRGH.
Drivers that cruise across parking lots diagonally, darting between parked cars and generally showing no regard for anyone else. I saw a UPS truck fly through a parking lot in Kewanee today doing at least 35 MPH as he flew "sideways" through the marked lanes. No ARRGH, just happy he didn't kill anybody.

Drivers that whiz through construction zones at 55 in a 45, then hit the open road and do...57 in a 65, side by side with a semi-tractor trailer, for miles. Guy passed me this morning near Northwoods Mall, screaming at the guy on my left. I was set at 45, the guy on my left came by me in a Lincoln at 47,48. And the dude in the white pickup is all over his bumper, yelling and screaming. The Lincoln pulls back in front of me, the angry dude makes the pass and scoots away. We are all pleased that he is gone. But alas, we come upon him before Kickapoo, driving 57 in the left lane, passing a semi, and now holding up several cars. It wasn't just me he was aiming to displease, it was apparently everyone. Again, no ARRGH, just a "somebody needs his butt kicked" thought passing through my head.

Drivers that pull out in front of you at the last second, forcing you to stand on the brakes like you're stomping out a fire, then travel 20 miles per hour below the limit, then make the very next turn...slowly, of course. Lady couldn't wait to jump out in front of me on IL 78 while I was coming about 60 MPH, then drives 35 for 1/2 mile until turning right back off IL 78. This, to me, is the biggest ARRGGH of all. It wasn't meant to be rude, it wasn't meant to upset me, it was just being totally oblivious to the surroundings. Those people flat SCARE me.

I witnessed all of these things in the past two days.

Who Is More Dangerous? I'm Confused.

Which scenario is more damaging:

Two quiet, private men who have been monogamous for 22 years and would like to remain that way for 40 more...or a polygamist who has forced 14-, 15- and 16-year old girls to marry adult men and give birth to their children?

Which scenario is more damaging:

Two women committed to each other who spend their time traveling abroad, never drawing attention to themselves and just enjoying life together...or a priest repeatedly abusing young boys throughout his career?

I know my answers. Yet now we have the GOP trying to wrangle votes and bring out their "social conservative" base (i.e. bigots and homophobes, generally) so they don't lose the house and senate in November. Never mind that they know they can't get an amendment to the constitution, that's not the point. Appealing to the faction that thinks they're the only ones who know what their god is thinking is the goal.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It Boggles the Mind 3: Fast Food Edition

Oh, what an interesting half hour I had tonight:

At 8:07, I arrived at a local fast food chain's drive thru. I'm not going to name the place, but let's just say it rhymes with "Fairy Spleen". I know it was 8:07, because I glanced down to turn the CD player down. The CD player was on an AC/DC disc, from Slot 4, Cut 6 in the changer. Store this information, it's important to the story.

I was the fourth car in line, behind a boring Chevy sedan (okay, that was redundant), a white four door Pontiac Grand Prix (a good looking car, by comparison to the afore mentioned Chevy), and a BMW Z3 convertible, driven by a young man of fairly immense proportions, he looked slightly out of place in this little car. Why do I have so much information here? Because I had plenty of time to assimilate it, that's why.

Window down, I listened as the people in front of me ordered. At 8:10, the Chevy ordered two ice cream treats. Now, keep in mind this Fairy Spleen does serve hot food, but they STILL specialize in ice cream delights. I hear the person on the other end say "pull ahead to the window" and the Chevy sits still. Why? Because it cannot move. I'm guessing (not sure, just judging distance in my mind) there are three cars in front of the Chevy waiting for their order.

Finally, at 8:14, we lurch forward. The lady in the white Pontiac orders a drink and an ice cream treat. At 8:17, the Z3 driver orders THREE ice cream treats (not all for himself, I'm guessing). Finally, at 8:20, I get to move to the order screen. At 8:23 (!) I order. I order two large Pepsi's. I'm greeted with "what size mistys did you say?" I repeat, "two...large...Pepsi' a glass...with a straw...".

She does not sound amused. I cringe at my next item before I even get it out: "I also need a large Sierra Mist". Oh, oh. Surprise! She gets it. Then says, "that it?"

"Nope, I also need two plain hot dogs."

"What do you want on them?"

"Nothing. Plain is fine."

"zat it?"

"I also need a caramel Sundae."

"What size?"


"We're out of small cups."

"Fine. Medium. Do I get that at a small price?"

"'zat it?" (The lack of a sense of humor is appalling to me.)

"Yep, that'll do."

"Please pull forward."

At 8:28, the Z3 gets his three ice cream treats, totalling just over $5. Not wanting to be left out in totally pissing me off, he breaks out the debit card to pay for it. This, of course, is followed by an employee leaving the drive thru area to go to the front...I do not blame Fairy Spleen for this...who the hell uses a debit card for five-something dollars at a drive thru? In a BMW? With the top down? Sheesh.

It's 8:32. Those four minutes were used for the employee to jog three blocks to the South Side Bank ATM, pull out five-something dollars for the guy, and jog back with his receipt and his card. Apparently. I notice the CD is on Slot 4, cut 12. Crap. I've missed 1/2 of an AC/DC disc. I also observe the gas gauge in the Ford to be in a different position than when I arrived.

At 8:34, I pull to the window. Four employees are staring up at a screen that I cannot see. They are either looking at my order, or watching The Gilmore Girls. I can't be certain. I pay. I wait. At 8:36, I get my beverages. With one loose lid that threatens to turn the passenger side of the Explorer into Lake Sierra Mist. But I catch it.

At 8:37...YES, a FULL 1/2 HOUR, we HAVE A WINNER!!!! 8:37, I get my plain hot dogs. I drive away, and notice that while I pulled up to the south side of the building wearing sunglasses as Ol' Sol tried to squeeze through the clouds at sunset, I am now having to turn on the headlights as I leave the North side of the building. Damn. Summers are so short anymore. And mine was spent in the drive through at a Fairy Spleen.

I cannot emphasize this enough, the three in front of me ordered about 12 dollars TOTAL worth of ice cream treats and beverages. And it STILL took that long.

As I pull onto Sher...oops, I can't name the street, you might figure out where I was. Um, er, as I pull onto the street, I turn up the CD player. Marc Chesnutt is singing "Someone Save The Honky Tonks". Angus Young is nowhere to be found.

Hells Bells.