A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ann Apology

Recently, my wife informed me that I had made an error on one of my previous blog entries. We have since corrected the situation, but I felt I should be totally honest and offer an apology for this mistake. While I try to be as accurate as I can in my writings, every once in awhile something will slip through that is erroneous. It is only fair that I now take the time and this space to clear the air.

In a few of my entries I have taken cheap, tawdry verbal swipes at one of the more high-profile pundits and opinion-makers of our times. This person is highly respected in some areas of society and commands great attention when she appears on television. You may have guessed by now that I am talking about Ann Coulter.

So, I humbly apologize and beg your forgiveness, Ann Coulter, for the grievous wrong I have committed against you. My error is so obvious that I just don’t know how it got past me. Still, the facts remain that, on my previous entries I misspelled your name.

I got the last name right, but I did screw up your first name, even though it is only three letters long. It is so simple, but I overlooked the fact that you do not spell your name with four letters. Don’t fear; we have snipped off the offending “e” from your name, and I will do my best to make sure it does not happen again.

Those who know me best might believe that I was thinking of my wife and/or my mother at the time I wrote those entries. They are both named Anne, but with an “e”. Now, it’s no fair thinking that this was a Freudian slip (as opposed to say, a Freudian teddy) on my part. It would be best to just let this explanation suffice and allow my contriteness to stand on its own.

Let me take this opportunity to clarify that my apology does not apply to my other feelings about you, Ann. I still believe that you are a bony-assed witch who could stand to eat a sandwich or two and put some meat on that skeleton of yours; who spreads half-truths and irresponsible political rhetoric about liberals just to sell a few books; that although you have blonde hair to die for and killer gams, you do not contribute anything worthwhile to the public discourse on the world at large; and that, deep down, you harbor liberal tendencies. I hope my apology hasn’t caused any confusion about my feelings for you.

(You know, Ann, you should think about wearing a Freudian teddy the next time you appear on Hardball. I’m sure it would make Chris Matthews stand up and take notice!)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ambitious Cats

Soon it will be that time of year when parents everywhere will have stories about the goals their children accomplished during the summer vacation. They’ll have stories about Johnny’s swimming merit badge from Boy Scout camp, or Paula baking a cake in the shape of a bunny during a class at the community center. Then, once school is back in session, there will be awards for completing the summer reading assignments. I can just hear the teachers now: “Suzy gets a star today for reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica over summer vacation! Good going, Suzy!”

Poor Suzy! All she gets is a lousy star! She could really use free tae kwon do lessons that she’ll need to fend off her jealous classmates in the schoolyard.

Then the parents will have photos of the child with the merit badge/cake/star to share with their colleagues, but I’ll be ready for them this year. With a little help from Photo Shop, I will make my own photos to share my children’s accomplishments. There is just one small detail to work out; my wife and I don’t have children. We have two cats, Meredith and Stephen, neither one of which has done anything at all this season. Still, I feel I can wake them long enough to fire their ambitions and let them feel the thrill of completing a project during the last few weeks of summer.

Yes, in the fall, I can pull out photos and show everyone, “Look, here’s Meredith helping out at a soup kitchen in Center City. No, I don’t know how she could hold that ladle in her mouth. She’s good, huh? Oh, and here’s Stephen helping Dr. Stephen Hawking work on a complex quantum physics problem. Here’s Meredith again marching on City Hall to stop the gun violence. Here’s another one of Stephen measuring planks to be cut at a Habitat for Humanity work site in New Orleans Ninth Ward.”

Who am I kidding? I will more likely get a shot of Meredith gnawing a felt tail off her catnip filled mouse. I don’t know what photo I’ll get of Stephen. He is so fascinated with the strap on our digital camera that he gets too close to the lens to be photographed. He’ll end up looking fuzzy and out-of-focus; sort of the way I feel the day after my neighbors have their New Years Eve party.

I will have to accept the fact that my kids are classic underachievers, which is perfectly normal when you are a cat.

(Bow to your sensei, Suzy!)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Are We Winning Yet?

Recently, the Ford Motor Company announced another round of layoffs and plant closures due in part to declining consumer demand for SUVs. The incredible part of their action was the statement that “nobody saw this coming.” Translation: “We didn’t want to see this coming. We wanted the gas guzzling party to last a lot longer.”

I wonder what these executives have been thinking during the last sixteen months when gas prices have been spinning wildly out of sight. I can only imagine that their MBA degrees blinded them to the reality of the oil market. The rest of us have relied on our common sense. The consumer could see that the market for large vehicles was shrinking. Why couldn’t they see the connection?

Henry Ford must be spinning in his grave. Would he have seen a trend toward smaller automobiles while gas prices rose? Quite possibly yes! Would he have re-tooled his assembly line to meet this demand for smaller vehicles? Again, quite possibly yes! And if all that failed, and he got pulled over by the police while driving under the influence, would he have gone off on a rant blaming the Jews for all his troubles? Absolutely yes! (Boys and girls, there’s a lot you don’t know about Henry Ford.)

While we’re on the subject of public stupidity, members of the Bush administration are crowing about Ned Lamont’s victory over Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary. Bush operatives Cheney and Rove have been reported using the victory as an example of the leftward direction the Democratic Party is taking. They hope to scare their conservative base to action. They are also painting the Democrats as soft on terrorists, who will “cut and run” as opposed to the GOP mantra “adapt and win.”

Okay, let’s review this last phrase. “Adapt” to me means that you have a goal, you determine a course of action to reach that goal, and when a complication arises which compels you to rethink your action, you try another approach to achieve the goal. Recent history has shown that this administration refuses to believe that they have done anything wrong in Iraq. If you can’t or don’t want to see your mistakes, then how can you “adapt” your actions to the changing situation?

This brings us to “win”. I would define this as to defeat, overcome, overpower, conquer the obstacles that keep you from achieving your goal. Okay, when does the winning start? I’m not seeing any of these things happening yet.

The charge that Democrats are soft on defense is ridiculous! Who got us into Vietnam? A Democrat! Who led us into World War II? A Democrat! After all, why should Republicans have all the fun?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Next Trial of the Century

Just when we thought that JonBenet Ramsey’s case would go the way of Judge Crater and other unsolved mysteries, it appears there is finally a break in the case. An American living in Thailand confessed to the crime last week and is now back on American soil waiting for the wheels of justice to grind slowly on. There are several outrageous elements to this latest turn in the case.

First the accused, John Mark Karr, got to fly in business class back from Thailand. This entitled him to champagne and a nice hot meal! Champagne for a self-confessed child molester! The news footage accompanying this report had the accused surrounded by authorities as he left the plane without any signs of physical restraint! I had an acquaintance years ago that, while serving a life term, had to be manacled at the hands and ankles, and a deputy’s shotgun in his back every time he so much as had a date in court. Now it’s champagne and no restraints! My, how times have changed!

Another outrageous element is the horrifying prospect awaiting all of us if this man is tried for the murder. (At the moment there are a lot of holes in Karr’s confession, and each new day brings new doubts to his story.) That prospect is the media tsunami that will engulf many of us if this case proceeds to be the next trial of the century.

If you doubt this, then let me throw this name at you: O.J. Simpson.

Remember that trial of the century? It certainly had sensational elements to it to qualify for the title “trial of the century”, although I wouldn’t group it with the Scopes Monkey Trial, or the Manson Family Trial. I believe the Simpson trial earned this title because it lasted a full century. Many of you will argue that it didn’t last that long, but only seemed to due to intensive media coverage. I would disagree: the Simpson Trial lasted 100 years. I know, because I timed it!

The media frenzy will be impossible to escape. I suspect every news outlet from Fox News all the way down to the tiniest journal will send their reporters to cover the story. There won’t be a hotel or motel room to be had in the entire state of Colorado! Then everyone involved from the judge, the attorneys, the jury members and court clerks to the people who open and close the doors for the accused will all get their own book deals!

Of course, Hollywood will step in too. The accused will naturally sell his life story to a film producer, but you can bet there’ll be at least three film versions of Karr’s story released. At least one of these versions will be produced and premiere on Lifetime. This is a given, even though it’s not required by the Constitution...not yet, anyway.

I can only see two winners out of all this. First, there will be the Bush administration. While everyone is keeping their eye on the trial, Bush and his pals will be free to upset the checks and balances even more without interference from anyone. Karl Rove is probably praising the heavens now for this amazing stroke of luck. He couldn’t have planned this any better, if it hadn’t just fallen into his lap.

The second winner could conceivably be John Mark Karr. He will either (A) get tried and convicted, getting free room and board for decades while his death sentence is appealed; (B) get tried, but found insane, getting free room and board in a mental institution for the rest of his life; or (C) exonerated by DNA evidence, released, and sign a book deal that will give him the money for the sex change operation for which he was starting treatment at the time of his arrest. The money for the operation is probably all that he is really after in the first place, but we’ll be the ones bearing the brunt of the media abuse.

Oh, I just remembered the Michael Jackson trial. That was another trial of the century, but it only lasted fifty years. All these lengthy trials make me feel 200 years old!

(More Chardonnay, Mr. Karr?)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Say What, W?

It’s been nearly a month since I have noted anything about the President in my blog. It is my painful (yet devilishly pleasant) duty to report today that my cease-fire with him is over. The main reason is that he has struck the English language again, and I can’t let it pass without analyzing the situation.

On Tuesday, August 15 he is quoted as saying, “America is safer than it has been, yet it is not yet safe.”

What happened, W? Wasn’t Darth Karl available to proofread your remarks, or did you go way off script again? We haven’t had this much fun with politician ad-libs since Dan Quayle mangled the United Negro College Fund catch phrase, “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste”. (Ahh, such wonderful memories!) Of course Danny Boy never made it to the Oval Office, which makes your command of the English language all the more frightening.

No matter. We’ll just say “Huh?” and try to decipher your message.

We brought in a team of language experts to do just that. Their reactions ranged from screaming, “What the hell is he talking about?” over and over, to laughing maniacally while banging their heads against the wall until their ears bled. In other words, the experts reactions were normal when you consider that the leader of the free world spoke these words.

My own guess is he was trying to say that America has made progress against the terrorists, but that we have not reached our goal. That goal, of course, is to keep Congress Republican. Still I have questions about how this will affect me personally.

I mean, should I build that underground bomb shelter in my backyard, W? Or should I go the Y2K route and stock up on provisions (Heinz ketchup of course), gas masks and jugs of water in my basement? And what exactly do you mean by safer? What are the numbers, W? Are we 50% safer, or 75%, or maybe just 62.5%? Should I relax, should I be vigilant, should I stay or should I go?

What exactly is your definition of “safe”? Is it safe for small children to cross the street? Can we go about our business without fear of having you listen to our phone conversations and examine our e-mails? Or is it safe as in murderous-sadistic-Nazi-dentist-types-to-come-out-of-hiding-and-examine-their-safe-deposit-boxes-without-fear-of-being-recognized-safe?

Once again, Mr. President, you’ve taken a very simple statement that should both encourage and warn the American people, but you end up confounding us. This is like all your ideas – Social Security reform, or the Medicare drug program to name just two – in that you trumpet your ideas with much fanfare, poo-poo the details, and then you wonder why we have more questions about what you want to accomplish. I could go on and on with questions, but I don’t know if I should be more afraid of your actual answer, or that you would try to answer at all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

G.O.P. – Not British

The GOP is hoping that the latest terrorist plot foiled by Scotland Yard, with an assist from Pakistani authorities, will boost their credibility with voters on the issues of security and the war on terror. They want the American voter to believe that the world is safer with a Republican administration in the White House, a Republican-dominated Congress, a Republican-leaning Supreme Court, and a small green lizard that can save you hundreds of dollars each year on car insurance. It appears that they want to take credit for stopping the terrorists this time.

Well, gather around kiddies (especially the 50% of you that still believe in WMDs) and I’ll tell you that this is all bunk! First, let’s look at who cracked this case - Scotland Yard. This legendary law enforcement organization is based in London, England and has at no time in its history (past, present, and future) been associated with the United States. Shocking, but true! They are the ones that deserve props (with an assist from Pakistani authorities) for bringing these terrorists to justice! Scotland Yard, not the GOP!

Then there is British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was vacationing out of the country when the plot hit the fan. No matter, the operative word in that last sentence was British. Tony Blair has never been employed by the Bush administration, and I doubt that he is a card-carrying member of the GOP. Shocking, but true!

Our Homeland Security department did not announce the latest airport security measures until 8:00 AM the day the story broke. I doubt they were awake all night thinking up these things. Why? Because we copped our security measures almost word for word from (yes, you guessed it) the British! The British authorities had their airport security measures in place long before America’s first Starbucks opened for the day’s business. Why? Because the British get up at 1:00 in the morning! My, the British put in long days!

So, be wary of the GOP, fellow Americans! They do not speak the truth, and, most importantly, they are not British! Sorry about the lizard; I don’t know how he got in here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Outting Ann

I see her long blonde hair waving wild and free with the wind in my deepest, most private thoughts. I close my eyes and imagine her long, long legs covered by just the tiniest hint of a mini-skirt. Then I can feel the sting of her spike heels walking over me as she tries her best to crush the naughty liberal tendencies out of my body.

Then Ann Coulter opens her mouth and ruins my fantasy!

I would’ve thought that after all the times she put her foot in her mouth she would be more careful about what she says. At the very least I would think that the pain of her spike heels piercing her uvula (that’s a small growth at the back of the throat for those of you thinking of something else) would have been enough incentive to keep her trap shut. But, no, Ann has struck again and she has targeted an old enemy of conservatives everywhere, Bill Clinton.

In several interviews over the last few weeks she outted Bill Clinton as a latent homosexual and called Al Gore a “total fag.” Come on, these guys aren’t even in power anymore and she’s picking on them again. I wonder what Democrat flew up her bony-assed butt to set her off now!

I am just as shocked as everyone else is. I mean, who could’ve realized that Clinton, with his mild reputation as a ladies man, was actually fooling around with Monica, Paula (Jones), and Kathleen (Willey) just to cover up his being a homosexual. I’ll bet it never occurred to the GOP Congress that he might be carrying on just to hide his true nature. You remember the GOP Congress? Those were the boys and girls who dragged the entire country through the absolute hell of impeachment proceedings against Clinton. Their entire case had to have been based on the assumptions that (a) Clinton lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and here’s the clincher (b) that he preferred girls!

Now Ann Coulter comes along and blows (pun intended) the GOP assumption right out of the water.

Where was she with this news eight years ago? It could’ve saved the country a lot of heartache if she had come forward then. No, she had to keep quiet and not spill the beans until she had a book to sell.

This whole episode has got me thinking that if people with a certain set of behavior patterns or beliefs act exactly the opposite just to cover up their natural pattern, then what does this say about Ann Coulter. It can only say one thing. I believe that Ann Coulter is really...a liberal!

Yes, I believe that Ann favors huge government programs and the tax bills that are needed to pay for them. It probably pains her that the current administration has cut programs to the bone and beyond. This is why she lashes out at the “godless” liberals, because she longs to be with them, but she fears giving herself away.

She might be afraid that the liberal media would find out about that check she sent to the Re-Elect Hillary Clinton Senate campaign. Or that someone will find out that she likes Doonesbury.

Or that she fantasizes carrying on a civil conversation over a candle lit dinner with Al Franken.

Or perhaps trading fashion tips with Arianna Huffington at the next Democratic National Convention. Or that her deepest desire is to protest the war in Iraq on the Mall with thousands of other liberals. If any of this leaks out, her credibility as a conservative bulldog is shot!

If this is the case (and mind you this is all my personal theory), then all we can do is shake our heads and pity her. Poor Ann! She is suffering so much! All I can say is, by paraphrasing one of Clinton’s most famous quotes, I feel her pain.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Quest for Whoopee (or Beetles Just Want to Have Fun)

Every once in awhile I will feel compelled (no, obligated) to direct my blog comments at a certain segment of the population. This is one such moment. So, if my blog entry does not pertain to you, or you are not the least bit curious about what I might say, then come back in a few days. Today, I speak directly to the Japanese beetle.

Gentlemen, I have seen literally thousands of you fly into our beetle trap in our side garden over the last few weeks. You are lured there by the smell of a possible mate, but once you get there you find only a funnel-shaped plastic bag with no female to be found. I hope you realize that your quest for whoopee is making all males look stupid. You beetles are a disgrace to the male of every species of animal that walks, crawls, swims, and flies on God’s good earth!

What are you thinking? Don’t you realize that this lure of free, easy sex will lead to your doom? You’ll find that, once you fall into the bag, there is no hope of carnal knowledge with a lady beetle. Instead, there will be only hundreds of your brethren, crawling over each other, crushing those beneath them, all asking out loud, “Where is she? Where is she? Where is she?”

Well, there is no “she” in this case. The mating scent has been artificially created for our pleasure and your grief. We get to save our beloved plants and flowers, while you get to die and decay in a plastic bag. This is not a very appealing way to die, is it?

You set a fine example for those of us who are lucky enough to be higher up in the food chain. Do you think that we humans would fall for such an old trick? Do you think that the male of my species would fall prey to the smell, the sight, and the sound of a mate? Do you think that your human counterparts are as easily fooled and led to their demise as you are, all because of sex?

Of course we’re fooled. It must happen hundreds...nay, thousands of times every day.

Still, this should give you something to think about before you fall into the trap. If there is any good to come out of your failure to resist temptation, it is the lesson it will teach young males of the other species. Young males everywhere! Listen up! Heed the lessons of the Japanese beetle! Sex equals death!

If only it wasn’t so much fun...

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Case Against Brett Myers

Today the case of Brett Myers is scheduled for a hearing in Boston. It was about six weeks ago that a public relations nightmare for the Phillies sprang up when he was arrested on domestic battery charges on the streets of Boston. The team did not immediately move to discipline him and did not move too quickly to denounce the domestic abuse. This response wasn’t good enough for various feminist groups and certain representatives of the media. They led the court of public opinion in pouncing on the team.

In the court of public opinion, Brett Myers is no longer a star pitcher in the major leagues, but a rotten, scum-of-the-earth dirt bag who probably sacrifices small, cuddly animals by moonlight. This court has never been known for mincing its words. I agree that Myers’ act was reprehensible, but I do have some issues with the public reaction to the incident.

First I should explain that I would never strike a woman - barring an incident of self-defense in which case my body would act on reflex. I would not do this on moral grounds since the woman has the traditional societal role of being the nurturing, care-giving side of humanity. I don’t buy the weaker sex argument; anyone who can withstand the rigors of childbirth should not be considered weak.

I don’t, as a rule, strike out at anyone physically for practical reasons. I am short of stature and I figure that 95% of the world’s population would beat the crap out of me if I picked a fight with them. As a male, I have studied the female figure for many years and I have concluded that, despite some anatomical and physiological differences, women possess the same tools to fight as men. They have arms like men, and they have hands like men, hands that can be balled into a fist to do damage to my body.

Would I ever strike my dear, sweet, wonderful spouse? Of course not! There are many reasons why it would be very foolish of me to do such a thing. Mainly because I consider her part of the 95% of the world’s population that could beat the crap out of me.

My complaint is against the various women’s groups and members of the media demanding that the Philadelphia Phillies do something about this abominable monster known as Brett Myers.

Now back to the court of public opinion. Ahem! Ladies and gentlemen of the court, why is Brett Myers not entitled to the presumption of innocence? It is that presumption that we would all want for ourselves if we were accused of a crime, but yet we seldom want to extend this presumption to our fellow citizens. Yes I will admit that the Boston authorities feel they have a strong case. I also know that witnesses have come forward with their accounts. Still, until the wheels of justice grind slowly to its verdict, we all have to be content with the belief in innocence and the judicial system. You, in the back! Put that rope down! There won’t be any hanging here, at least not today.

So until the full story comes out, and until the prosecution and defense toss their motions back and forth (this could go on for months), we will have to concentrate on other issues.

Such issues as: can the Phillies win against the Mets and Braves this coming week, or the escalating war in the Middle East, or what a great asshole Mel Gibson turned out to be. Domestic battery is a very serious problem, far too serious to leave its prosecution to amateurs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

DUI Rant

Okay, so you’re an A-list Hollywood celebrity and in normal circumstances you know exactly what to say in all situations. You know what to say because your agent tells you what to say, or the studio publicity machine tells you what to say, or the scriptwriter tells you what to say when the cameras are rolling. Then, one night, you’re caught doing something illegal and there is no script, no time to consult your agent, and the publicity department is closed for the night. Even worse, your improvisational skills fail you.

First thing you should remember not to do is go off on a racist rant in the faces of authority. This is particularly true in Hollywood which, as one film historian has theorized, was created as a haven from the anti-Semitism in the world. This behavior will put your career on the fast track to oblivion faster than you can say “Fatty Arbuckle”! Also, anti-Semitic rants have been done, in fact over done. If you don’t believe this see Hitler, Adolph, Mein Kampf.

Here now, as a public service, are some suggestions for the A-list driver who is bombed out of his/her gourd and is pulled over for DUI. First, let the police do their job, the breathalyzer, the walking test, and cooperate fully with them. Then, if you really feel that further explanation for the situation is warranted, try these talking points.

Try opening with a joke like, “Hey did you hear the one about Ann Coulter and Mel Gibson leaving a party at Babs' together?”

Or try some small talk like, “Damn, it’s hot out here! How are you guys coping?”

Or “I know a great little coffee shop around the corner. They’ve got donuts too! Wanna come?” If you think the donut line is too condescending, then by all means, don’t use it. Also, as a warning, do not ever finish this small talk with the words, “My treat!” This could be misconstrued as an attempt to bribe the nice officers to look the other way this time. This could result in another strike against you and it will mean more paper work for them.

Or, if you feel confident enough, try starting a conversation on current world events.

Always remember to avoid religion and politics; in other words, any talk about the Middle East is out of the question. Also avoid domestic politics. You may be in the liberal enclave called Hollywood, but there are conservatives surrounding the area from all sides. You never can tell the political leanings of the authority figures that have pulled you over by sight alone. A remark like “Hey, did you ever notice that the governor talks funny” could be the fatal faux pas in an already strained and embarrassing situation.

Or, best of all, just limit your conversation to short expressions like “Yes sir” “No sir” and “Thank you, officer.” This way the tabloids will have nothing to report and the gossipmongers will not have anything nasty to say about you. As an added bonus, you’ll still have a career when you wake up the next morning. I hope these suggestions help.

Good luck, watch what you drink, and drive safely!