Sunday, December 31, 2006

You're welcome, Chiefs fans!

Chiefs fans, I'm sure you're pretty happy tonight. Because of the Broncos loss to the 49ers, your team is now in the playoffs. And let me be the first to say 'Congratulations.'

Of course, we're just a week away from both of our teams being out of the playoffs, and this will all be a moot point, but for seven days, party it up!

I'm actually glad the Donks choked. I didn't want to watch Cutler get taken apart (or carted off on a stretcher?) against a better team next weekend. Any of the other teams in there are better than the Broncos, and it would've been like when we played the Colts a few years ago (when Plummer threw that INT with his left hand). Our defense just didn't perform when it mattered.

To be perfectly honest, I'll be rooting for the Chiefs to pull off some upsets and go all the way. Cuz right now, our little rivalry on this page is pretty one-sided. If they won it all, then they would also have two world championships, and then Cowboylaw would have something else to brag about besides QB ratings.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

To whomever just stole my MP3 player:

Congratulations! You are the new owner of an almost three-year-old Creative Zen Touch 40GB MP3 player! You saw where I kept it in my backpack, and when I went to lunch today, you made a quick 'smash and grab.' You must've been in a real hurry, since there were also cough drops in that pocket, and a couple of them were strewn out on the floor of my cubicle.

You also must not be very bright. Stealing this?
Just look at that monochrome screen! Not even the Blue Man Group would like it. It couldn't show pictures or video if it tried! And the brand name -- 'Creative'. Doesn't that just scream out 'resale value'? Without the software or the charging cable, you'll be lucky if you get 20 bucks for it at a pawn shop.

You also left a $150 pair of noise-cancelling headphones in the bag, and a $140 pair of Bose TriPort headphones sitting on the desk, right above the bag. Either of those would fetch you more resale value than a no-video-playing MP3 player with no software or charging cable. And you won't want to keep it, because once you see the kinds of music and the names of the bands on it, you'll think Lucifer himself cursed it.

I've had things stolen from me before (and honestly, who hasn't?), but this burns me most of all because I didn't have the music on it backed up on my computer at home. I'd guess that I spent about 40 hours ripping and transferring over 1,000 CDs onto it. Unlike an Ipod, you don't have to keep them on your hard drive, and I liked that about this MP3 player. So, to whomever stole it, can you at least bring it back to me for a day, so I can copy all of my music over to my computer? Oh, and while you're at it, can you also DIE IN A FIRE?

So, I'm in the market for a new MP3 player. I'm skeptical about the Zune, as it's still first-generation, and I'd like at least 40GB, but I won't go with an Ipod, because you can't rip CDs in WMV format (and WMV takes up about half the space of regular MP3s). Anyone have any recommendations?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Female Teachers: Make Your Students Folkheros

It seems like we've gone down this road before, but repeated searches of the Blog seemed to suggest this is uncharted territory. So, here we go.

I want to make a simple statement: as far as I'm concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with female teachers having sex with their male students, provided that the student is at least 15 and the age difference between them is no more than 20 years. Now, let's talk about why I'm right.

First, as I think we are all becoming aware, this is way more common than most people want to admit. You can check out this link for a Who's Who Among Slutty Female Teachers. As you review the list, you will note one thing: a number of these teachers are relatively hot. Where were all the hot, 20-something female teachers who wanted to screw teenage boys back when I was going to HS? You will also note that a number of these teachers got in trouble simply for performing oral sex. Let me make something quite clear: the only thing a hot female teacher who gives a BJ to one of her students deserves is a medal. Not jail time. How can we call ourselves a first-world nation when we are locking up hot women who's only crime was to fellate a grateful teenager?

People who argue against this sort of thing generally push two relatively lame arguments. I will address each in turn.

1. Male teachers who have sex with their female students go to prison, so we need to be fair and do the same to female teachers.

Now, I will admit that I think that male teachers who sex up their female (or male) students should indeed go to the pokey. But the reason is more complicated than you may think. All the men reading this who have reached a certain age and are comfortable with themselves should have realized by now that if they were dropped back in HS, they could get more ass than a bike seat. Teenagers are incredibly clumsy, uncomfortable, unsure, anxious idiots. If I could keep my charming wit and add Lord Bling's mediocre good looks, I could bag absolutely anyone I went to HS with. That's the nature of the game. It'd be like letting the Jacksonville Jaguars play against a prep high shool team. It really doesn't matter that the Jags aren't that good, they're good enough and they're up against an opponent who simply isn't equipped to deal with them. And that's why teenage girls are off-limits to older men: we really are capable of charming their cute little panties off and then having our disgusting way with them. In comparison, there is little that any teenage boy wants more than to have someone touch his quivering dong. So, I'm not worried about some smooth-talking woman teacher charming a guy's pants off, because no charm needs to be involved. Any woman who is not hag-like can go up to any teenage guy, look him square in the eye, and say "Let's go back to my place and fuck for a few days," and the guy will go into a zombie-like trance and follow her home.

The basic problem with this argument is that it assumes that we need to treat men and women identically. We don't; we need only treat them fairly. Indeed, the law has always said that it is fair to draw distinctions between men and women so long as those distinctions are based on legitimate biological differences and not mere stereotypes. For example, every men's restroom has a urinal. No women's restrooms have urinals. We are not treating the sexes identically, but we are treating each sex fairly. Same thing here. There is a fundamental biological difference between teenage boys and teenage girls: teenage boys will willingly have sex with anything that walks upright. We need to recognize this difference, and legislate accordingly.

2. Teenage boys lack the maturity to give meaningful consent to sex.

This argument lies at the heart of the problem, because the idea behind age of consent laws is that, until a certain age, people lack the capacity to give informed consent to have sex. The problem is that anyone who thinks a 15-year-old guy lacks the capacity to give informed conset to have sex is, no pun intended, fucking nuts. 15-year-old guys think about sex 95% of their waking lives. I think that the proper age of consent for men should be 15. From 15 on, rock on.

Frankly, I think that's also about the right age for consent for women. But, to some people, that's going to seem low. So, let's use 16. At 16, we as a society have determined that a woman is sufficiently mature to slide behind the wheel of her dad's Lincoln Navigator, blow down the freeway going 90, penetrate a family driving a Toyota Prius, and kill 4 people. You can't be old enough to endanger my life and yet to young to consent to bumping uglies. Thus, I suggest this slogan: "If she's old enough to kill, she's old enough to thrill." I fully realize that several other slogans already exist on this topic, many of which set the trigger date much younger. It is because of the effectiveness of these slogans that I think we need one of our own for this initiative.

Finally, everyone needs to recognize one simple truth: a teenage guy who nails a hot (or even average-looking) teacher is going to be remembered for years as a legend in his school. Band geeks will make up songs about him. He will be worshipped by half the male population of the school. Is this guy really the victim of a crime? A crime whose punishment, frequently, is several years in prison? I think not.

So, here's to you Ms. Hot Teacher Who Nails Teenage Boys. You're doing God's work.

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Children will believe anything you tell them

Santa likes Sailor Jerry Rum with his Coke.

Christmas is a magical time of year. Mostly because it provides evidence that children are incredibly guillable. Maybe it's because we don't teach them enough science in school. Overall, people under the age of 25 are very poor consumers of information. Do they ask for evidence to support the existance of Santa Claus? Hell no. Do they question how a fatass can go down a chimney when squirrels die attempting such ridiculous feats? Nope.

One of the things that encourages childrens' belief in implausable things is our very own government. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) actually has a website, where kids can track Santa Claus and his journey around the world, using the latest in military surveillance technology. Despite being horrible at developing appropriate acronyms, NORAD represents the "eye in the sky" for our military and our children.

Adults, on the other hand, know better than to simply believe something because NORAD has satelite imagery that proves its existance. Grown-up Americans would never, say, invade a country, simply because NORAD had satelite intelligence that was interpreted by people that wanted to invade said country that showed weapons of mass destruction. The American people require evidence prior to getting behind such a dangerous and expensive venture. And they would surely have a plan and an exit strategy. Absolutely.

Next time you're amazed by the crazy shit that kids will believe, take a good look around. They learned it by watching you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Imagine if a president won an election with 95 percent of the popular vote. Now THAT would be some 'political capital' to spend in Washington. I mean, talk about a majority:


So, can we stop spending 'hundreds of millions of dollars' for the other five percent? No amount of money spent on abstinence 'education' is going to change people's hormones. Bible-thumper: 'Hey there little Timmy, God loves you.' Timmy: 'Yeah, but not as much as I love poon.'

Any hour now, we're going to see Tony Snow at the White House podium, answering a question about this poll, saying, "Well, a portion of those surveyed were homosexual, and since we won't let them get married, that inflated the results."

No wonder the terrorists 'hate our freedom.' They get their dicks cut off for just thinking about pre-marital sex, and we're running around like Caligula on a spring break bender.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

Expense Reports

Those of you who watch regularly probably saw this already, but it was too good not to post here as well.

The sort of traveling that I often do for work is not quite on the same level as travel writers or foreign correspondants. Some of the items listed on the expense reports are quality. As a result, I'm turning this article in with my next expense report, so they don't complain about my $50 non-itemized receipt to a place called Bob's Beer Imporium (where I only ate dinner and had Coke to drink).

An example of why Iraq is a Clusterfuck

I read something this morning that completely encapsulates why we should have never invaded Iraq, but did anyway. This article by Cliff May posted on illustrates perfectly how idealism has no place in determining our foreign and military policies. May was actually an advisor to the Iraq Study Group (ISG), the committee who recently reported that things in Iraq are a giant mess, which will not be easy to fix.

May's thesis is essentially that the ISG got it wrong in their report. As part of what he describes as a minority on the committee, he feels that his views are more reflective of what the American people feel, and that the ISG report reflects the opinions of the "political class" and that "Americans disagree. Gallup polls have consistently found no less than 60 percent of us believe the U.S. has not been defeated and can still win." Here is actual recent poll data on Iraq from a number of national polls. I'll let you analyze the data to see if you agree with his conclusions.

May's view is that we can still "win" in Iraq. Here's how he proposes that we do this (with some additional commentary from me):

1) Stabilize Baghdad. Wow. Why hasn't the military been trying to do this? Oh wait, they have been. Putting more troops or different commanders, as May suggests, will just pull out the commanders who probably actually understand Baghdad and make for a more "target-rich environment" for the insurgents.

2)We are at war with al-Qaeda in Iraq, so we can't leave or WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! I take exception to this comment, because the only reason al-Qaeda is in Iraq in the first place is because we tossed out a brutal dictatorship and gave them an opportunity. There was no link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, and saying it 1000 doesn't make it so.

3)Hunt down insurgents. Again, I think this has been occurring. May's strategy seems to be stating the obvious, and pretending that it's not current policy. While we're on this, I have an idea too. I think we should print money to exchange for goods and services. Isn't that a radical idea?

4) Deal with Syria and Iran. This is actually a good idea. The problem is that May offers contradicting vague strategies on how exactly we should do this. On one hand he says that we should "make sure that they know that we can and will hurt them" and then finishes by saying "once they understand we have the power and the will to take them on, sitting down to talk may make sense". Let's call it diplomacy by carpet bombing.

5) Accelerate training of Iraqi forces. He must not have read about how the Bush Administration has been pushing this for over 2 years now. We'll stand down when they can stand up ring a bell? As we've discovered through our experience in Iraq, simply training these people doesn't mean they won't be threatened, killed, or rounded up and turned to the dark side by the insurgency.

6) Be a peace broker between Shiites and Sunnis. Despite not saying exactly how we can manage to negotiate peace between two groups that have been fighting for 2000 years, May feels that this is the key to peace in Iraq. No kidding. It's like saying we'd only have peace if they'd just stop fighting.

Needless to say, May will not be getting Nobel Peace Prize for his progressive suggestions regarding our strategy in Iraq. I'm relieved that the ISG didn't listen to his advice, because frankly, it's just the status quo, which is the entire reason that the ISG was formed in the first place. The strategy outlined by May would be fantastic if it were even the least bit realistic. His idealism and partisanship have blinded him to the reality that Iraq is not going to be a peaceful place anytime soon, regardless of what we decide to do.

Those of you who read this regularly know that despite my opposition to our involvement in Iraq, I don't feel that we should pull out either. But, that does not mean that we should continue to use the same antiquated framework of "victory" as a measuring stick for when we get out of there. There is no realistic condition by which we can say we've won this war.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Poor Omahans (Omahaites? Omahonians? Who Cares?)

First, let me say that I am also not a fan of Blogspot selling its soul, even to benevolent giant Google. What a pain in the ass! Also, I am not a fan that they didn't tell any of us, the authors of the content that draws people to their site and generates the ad revenue they depend on. If I wanted a Google account, I'd have signed up for it by now. I can't see any reason for Blogspot to require me to do so. Except that Google needs more members so they can increase the amount of money they charge for "premium links."

Okay, with that out of the way, on with the show.

CNN recently featured an article about a family in Omaha (this blog's home office locale). The point of the article is that this poor family, with a household income of merely $150,000, is finding it hard to pay their bills. Allow me to make the following observations.

1. Have these people so lost touch with the common man that they believe this article will generate anything other than hatred and contempt?? The family's complaints seem so genuine that they really appear to expect an avalanche of consolative emails. As it is, I just want to have them all killed.

2. The unintentional point of the article appears to be that, if one income earner loses his job, he should not embark on a money-spending spree vaguely disguised as a half-assed investment stategy.

3. This family has 4 kids, ages 9 to 4. At a minimum, this suggests that Mom and Dad's favorite hobby is essentially free. Let me ask this question: WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT? Most of the intelligent people I know have had one kid, and said "Wow, this is so much harder than we anticipated. Let's wait at least a few years before having another, if we have another at all." The Schuetts appear to have been under the impression that having babies would soon be illegal, thus they should squeeze out as many as possible in the years they had left. If they're really that hard up, they should sell the youngest daughter. 4-year-old white girls fetch a pretty price on the black market, and it's hard to believe either parent could be all that attached to her. After all, in the scramble to spend time with 4 kids under the age of 10, how many minutes of quality alone-time do you think they've had with her? I'm betting less than 100 hours.

Bottom line: this family falls into the group of people whom I believe it should be legal to hunt for sport. Other members include people who own more than 2 pieces of Abercrombie clothing, men not involved in competitive swimming who own Speedo banana hamocks, and poor people who vote Republican. Darwin's theory needs to be respected, and these people need to be eliminated from the gene pool, lest their genes be passed on. (GPA points out that the parents' genes have already been passed on. But people who carefully read my post will notice that I said the ENTIRE family should be eligible to be hunted, thus solving this problem.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Issues with the new beta

Well folks, you may have not noticed much different on this site, but has decided to merge with Google, and they are now doing some sort of beta test for the site. However, my employer uses an internet watchdog program called 'Websense,' and this program does not like the new software. While at work, I can get to this site, but I can't post anything on it, nor can I read or post comments. That is going to be a huge problem for me, because all but maybe three of my posts in the past year or so have been written while I was at work, either during downtime or lunch breaks. I don't go on the computer at home very often. So as it stands, you may not be seeing much of me anymore. Maybe that's a good thing for everyone?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Deja Vu?

Not a single month goes by these days without another leader of a giant Evangelical Christian church resigning in the wake of revelations regarding homosexual behavior. The above cited article also states:

Barnes was confronted by an associate pastor of the church who received an anonymous phone call from a person who heard someone was threatening to go public with the names of Barnes and other evangelical leaders who engaged in homosexual behavior, Ames said.

For those of you who missed the important part (other evangelical leaders), it would appear that Paul Barnes is not the only gay leader of an evangelical church. I know, very shocking, like finding out that Clay Aiken was gay. Who would have guessed that?

The most hypocritical part of the entire thing, as I pointed out in my previous post on this issue, is that the CHRISTIANS who are members of this church are kicking their gay leaders to the curb. Forgiveness? That's SO New Testament.

The ultimate irony is that the church elders, who probably touch kids in the naughty place each weekend, are kicking these dudes out for being sinners. We are all sinners (some of us just don't give a shit about it). The entire point of joining a church is that God will only forgive you for your sins if you go to a building and sit for an hour every Sunday and leave some money behind, if you follow tht sort of thinking that is the basis of the SUPER MEGA CHURCH. Jesus loves giant churches that make millions of dollars a year.

If these churches are kicking these fellers out for sinning, what's the point of going to church, if they're just going to kick you out for the entire reason you're supposed to be there in the first place?

Also, while the church elders might not be gay, I'm sure they are still commiting other sins, like say maybe hating gay people? Should they be kicked out of their church to for being hateful towards gays? If they did that, would there be anyone left to pay for the giant church and the horrible christian rock band that plays during the service?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Benny Hinn is my hero.

I've flipped through channels before, and stopped on this guy multiple times. He is truly amazing. And so is the person who put this video together!

People actually buy into this shit?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We're 0-2!

The second annual Weblog Awards Finalists were announced today (click here for the full list), and 'Ryan the Angry Midget and Friends' failed to make a single list once again. Either this was due to a lack of campaigning on our part, or they just don't like our mix of leftist political rants and Donks vs. Cheats debates. Either way, this picture sums up our struggle:

Meanwhile, that blow hole of a site by the self-obsessed, morbidly-obese, Rocky Dennis-lookalike Harry Knowles got nominated for Best Culture Blog. There truly is no justice in this world.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bowling for Controversy

Michigan fans are up in arms about what they feel is their team getting the shaft by the BCS this weekend. While the arguement that the current bowl system is broken is a valid one, the fact that Michigan fans (or the fans of any team) are trying to justify their team's credentials over another is foolish. If your opinion is that the system is broken, it's pointless to try to create a scenario where your favorite team should be chosen over another. You can't say a system is broken and then use it to try to make an arguement for your team. Logical fallacy.

As of this morning, 90% of respondents to an poll were in favor of a playoff for determining the national champion in college football. It's important to point out that the fact that 90% of people believe this will not make it so. The current system is simple economics. Many people have lots of money invested in the current system of bowl games, and unless you provide them with a guarantee that whatever replacement system is adopted would provide the same financial benefits, it ain't going to change.

Despite this obvious fact, proponents of the current system do not make this arguement in public. They claim that a playoff would add too many games to the season. But, my brother-in-law Ringo has a plan that I think is viable. Probably makes too much sense to even think about implementing it, but here's how it goes -

-Eliminate the extra game that was just added to the season this year, along with the conference championship and the bowl game for a given team, and you have compensated for every game that would be added in a 16 team playoff. And only two teams would be playing 3 extra games. 8 teams would only have one extra game, since they would be eliminated in the first round of said playoff.

I think this makes good sense. You like the bowls? Keep the some of the bowl games to include all the teams that don't make the playoff. Have the same corporations sponsor different games throughout the playoffs. This is not difficult to envision how this could actually result in more money than the current system.

Despite the foolishness of the current system, the people in charge of these decisions are not stupid people. They have probably discussed such a proposition before. The fact is that the current system only works if you have two undefeated teams at the end of each season, which has not happened more often than it has happened since the BCS came to pass.

If you like the current system, please just admit it's because of the money.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ryan's More Popular Doppleganger

Goat Porn Amy and I went to a Hal Sparks comedy set on Friday, and I have just one thing to say: Hal looks a hell of a lot like the Midget. This photo illustrates some of the similarities, but really the likeness is spookily close. In fact, it distracted me through much of his set.

That said, his set was decent. Hal is not a comedian by training, and I presume he's venturing into comedy as another outlet for his twin talents of acting and thinking up funny stuff. While many people would view this as the complete comedian toolset, Hal's performance demonstrates why great comedy is as good as it actually is. Hal was good. He was funny. GPA and I laughed a lot, and not just because of the 2-drink minimum. But there were some chinks in the armor (and if you really want a detailed discussion, we can do it in the comments section). That said, he's certainly in the top 33% of comedians I've seen live. And, not to toot my own horn, but that list includes Lewis Black (3 times), Mitch Hedberg (twice, a number not likely to increase), Patton Oswalt, and a ton of lesser-knowns.

Also, they were recording Hal's set that night for a DVD/CD combo, so you can rush out, buy the DVD, and listen to me laughing. I'll tell you which jokes feature me as the guy laughing noticably harder than other people.

Sabrina Matthews opened for Hal, and was fantastic. Depending on your frame of reference, Sabrina looks like either (1) a slightly taller, slightly plumper, slightly butcher Patton Oswalt, or (2) a typical Nebraska farmer's wife. If she comes to your local comedy club, go see her.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Door to Door Athiests

Special thanks to Brenwah for sending this along. A friendly reminder that the contributors of Ryan the Angry Midget don't care what you believe in. Just don't show up at my house.

I would be interested to see some stats from the Mormon church about how many people they've actually converted going door to door. Something tells me it's about as effective as telemarketing since the Do Not Call list came to pass and they started leaving ambiguous messages to call an 800 number about a very important business matter. Am I the only one getting messages from Jacob Weinstein?

Either way, don't show up at my door step trying to sell your religion and I won't point out how ridiculous it is to belong to a church that was started because of bunch of old white dudes got tired of only being able to have one wife.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Operation Drink Beer in Kansas City

About once a year, I participate in an epic sports journey. In the last year, there have been a couple to speak of: Wisconsin New Years Extravaganza and the Nebraska Magical Sports Trifecta. This Saturday, I will embark on my next epic sports journey to watch the Nebraska Cornhuskers take on the Oklahoma Sooners at Arrowhead.

My accomplices for my journey will be blog contributor and brother-in-law cheaptrickin, brother-in-law code named Ringo, and Ringo's brother Goodyear. Cheaptrickin has skills in grilling, trash-talking and bartending. Ringo's specialties include transportation, logistics, and pyrotechnics. Goodyear brings his strong knowledge of chemicals (which includes beers), union-busting, and driving.

All in all, we are a veritable A-team of tailgating and spectator sports. Watch for us on ABC.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

From the Morons Who Brought You Intelligent Design....

Because my job is very much science and research oriented, a huge part of what I do on a daily basis, aside from simply trying to avoid getting fired, is to evaluate the quality of research. Simply because something is published, doesn't tell you anything about the level of quality. One example of such a concept was brought to my attention as I browsed this afternoon. See here.

Essentially, the research, which appears in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, says that people who attend church have better pulmonary flow rates than those who do not. Pulmonary flow rate is one measurement that is thought to correlate with better health in old people. Wow. Guess we all better start going to church right?

While on the surface this seems encouraging to those who attend church services, this is a great example of terrible research, simply because the researchers are over-interpreting their findings. Correlation, my friends, is a very very different thing than causation. While the study does show that the church attendance in people 70-79 years old is linked to better pulmonary health, that does not mean one can infer that church is what caused those people to have better health.

The fact that a person is in there 70s and is ABLE to get up and go anywhere is probably a greater predictor of pulmonary function than where they end up going. A better way to look at this question would be to include individuals in the same age group that are matched for age and activity-level who are athiests to those church-going grannies. Something tells me the two groups would be very similar.

Looking into this further, I discovered that another group of researchers published a similar study earlier this year, that tried to conclude that church attendance would add years on to your life. Again, the data don't support their conclusions. While it may be true that people who go to church do live longer on average, the causal relationship between church attendance and longevity is suspect.

This is why good researchers use control groups that are matched for age and other significant factors, because otherwise, you can't and shouldn't make causal conclusions based on correlational research.

White Trash Logic

Every once in a while, I have an experience that reminds me that I do live in Nebraska. This morning, that epiphany occurred while I was listening to 89.7 The River's morning show, Spicoli and Rocco's Morning Fiasco. Omaha is in a bit of an uproar about the death of a 22-month old girl at the hands of her mother's boyfriend. The perp kicked the child across a room and killed her. The story can be found here (registration required).

Given the tragedy and brutality of the crime, it's been a hot topic for discussion, and Spicoli and Rocco were discussing it this morning. People are outraged, and for good reason.

One caller this morning provided an insight that reminded me that the white trash of Nebraska and Iowa are alive and well. White trash have a fundamentally different view of the criminal justice system than the rest of the population. I think this might be related to their more frequent experience with crime and punishment either personally or among their friends and family, but that's simply a theory.

Whenever a whiskey tango talks about a person going to jail, as was illustrated by the caller on the radio this morning, their assessment of "does the punishment fit the crime" has nothing to do with bail amounts, time of sentence, or the amount of the fine. Nope. Trailer trash finds comfort in knowing that because this guy is a child murderer, he's going to get gang-raped daily for a good part of the rest of his life.

This is a pretty common theme in talking to the NASCAR crowd. It's almost like they view prison sex as a mandatory part of the punishment and worse than the death penalty. This makes perfect sense to me, as I would much rather be electrocuted or shot than force-fed sausage from a guy named Meat Grinder.

Nonetheless, it's interesting that when an uneducated lady who makes meth and shoots squirrels for a living makes public comment about punishment for a murderer, her primary observation is that she's glad he's going to get lots of traffic up the Hershey turnpike.

I think the white trash of America have a good point here. I would even argue that prison rape is probably one of the greatest crime deterrents in this country. At least for midgets anyway.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A friendly reminder of the past

Yeah, that's Christian Okoye getting annihilated by Steve Atwater. And that wasn't Tecmo Super Bowl either. But you know what's really funny? CowboyLaw was a Broncos fan when this hit happened.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Guess which 2 teams in the AFC West are 7-4.

Where'd all the smack talk go? I'd say it ran off, but the Donkeys can't run anywhere. 50 yards rushing?? Our second RB had more yards than the whole Donkey team.

Enjoy Jay Cutler. I'm sure that his stunning pre-season stats against teams' third and fourth string defenses will translate directly into great performance.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Health Care Ain't No Rose Garden Neither

Lord Bling raises some great points about the retail gaming business in his last post, mostly things that I haven't thought much about. His post also got me thinking about my particular industry, and what a gigantic fucking mess health care is in this country. Happy Thanksgiving, the post will go downhill from this point.

I work in a hospital, and I work with children. Those of you who read this website on a regular basis understand what an angry SOB I am most of the time, but NOTHING on earth pisses me off more than our priorities in this country. There are 8.7 million kids in the US right now with no health care. That's not kids on Medicaid. Although that number is close to 20 million. Don't believe me? Click here.

That's also not the number of children without adequate health insurance. You know, like all those kids whose parents work for Wal Mart?

If you're one of those people who doesn't understand the economics of health care (like the fact that if someone uninsured gets health care and can't pay, those costs are shifted to the rest of us), you might argue that people without health insurance need to go out and get a job. You know all those jobs that the Bush Administration has created with good benefits right?

But, you cannot make the arguement that children are somehow responsible for their lack of health insurance. That's our responsibility, and we're failing miserably. Unless you want to change child labor laws, kids can't go out and get a job with health insurance.

The fact that we don't provide health care coverage for close to 10 million kids is a disgusting statement about what's important to us in this country. Good thing gay people can't get married, we might errode some of our great values that allow us to not provide health care to children.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The retail games business sucks.

I've been a retail video game buyer for almost a year now, and I've learned one thing: There is no money to be made in this business. As a retailer, margins on hardware are pathetic (usually around one percent, and by the time you count shipping costs, you lose money on it). But you sell the hardware in order to sell the software, right? Well, the game software has margins that are comparable to retail DVD, which is typically around 18 to 20 percent, if you sell the product for the manufacturer's suggested price. Accessories (controllers, AV cables, memory cards, etc.) have a little more margin, but they usually sell the least amount of units. The best money to be made is in used games, but you have to turn your inventory quickly, as the shelf life of video games is pretty short.

So, having said that, the biggest game retailer around (GameStop) just posted their Q3 financial results. Even without the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii launches, they did ONE BILLION DOLLARS in total sales. Pretty impressive. However, if you read further down the article, they made $13.6 million in net revenue. That's only 1.3% margin, and they also have the most robust used game business in the nation.

The company I work for isn't doing any better. Last week, my boss asked me to tell him what's so great about this business. The answer I gave him then was, 'Unless you're a gamer, nothing's great about it.' I've thought about that question quite a bit since then, and I haven't been able to come up with a better answer. Unless you work for one of the top five retailers, you got next-to-nothing from Sony on PS3 hardware. Nintendo took a similar approach. Software and accessories are also hard to come by. So how is a smaller company supposed to keep any customer loyalty, when the biggest suppliers of the product you sell don't give half a fuck about them, or you?

I miss my old job. The film industry has plenty of down sides, but at least the studios didn't make a point of working against the smaller guys.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Midget Weighs in on Immigration

Lord Bling had an excellent post below, which resulted in some even more excellent responses in comments. Read them, and then come back to this post.

Cowboy Law and Hispanic Causing Panic (HCP) have had some thoughts along these lines in previous posts as well, so I should also acknowledge their roles in shaping this post as well.

The idea of border control, even with a gigantic fence is laughable. Do you think any fence could stop this kind of thing from occurring? Only if it extends down to the 10th ring of Hell. I'm not sure how much that kind of excavation would cost, let along what government contrators would charge for it. Conservatives, in particular, get a feeling of safety from having a giant wall along our border with Mexico, despite lots of evidence to suggest that a wall provides very little in terms of deterrance. That didn't keep the Republicans in Congress from passing a law to do this recently. Our borders are pourous, and will continue to be. Deal with it.

If we wanted to end illegal immigration tomorrow, the only thing we would have to do is enforce the existing laws and levy enormous fines upon businesses and individuals who hire illegal immigrants. Demand for immigrant labor would cease, as the economic incentives (cheap labor) would disappear. Produce would become a delicacy. The fines would more than pay for the cost of increased enforcement. If people wanted to work and employers wanted to hire workers, they would be forced to do so legally. The economic impacts of doing this could be significant, but at least we wouldn't have all these criminals washing our dishes, landscaping our yards, and picking our strawberries.

A friend of mine owns a landscaping business in Omaha, and has made a decision not to use illegal labor, despite the fact that doing so, negatively impacts his ability to bid competitively with other landscaping businesses. He does this because he feels that hiring workers for $2/hour is expoitation, not because he is afraid of getting caught. The fact that we likely have over 10 million illegal workers in the US, shows how dedicated the government is to enforcing current laws.

The bottom line is make all the laws you want. Demonize illegal immigrants as criminals, while ignoring their contributions to making our economy tick. Hell, while you're at it, give President Bush credit for making the economy better, despite the fact that he has had NO direct impact on the economy. Name one policy or piece of legislation that he has been a part of that has improved the economy. I'll go find Bigfoot, Santa Claus and a cure for cancer while you do that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Get used to doing your own yard work, Farmers Branch!

No? How's THIS for racist?

And for the record, I live in Richardson, and I do my own yard work.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election and Blog Birthday

Today is the midterm election. Get your asses out there and vote. People in America who do not vote are just as much to blame for the problems our country faces as those of us who put those monkeys in Washington.

The two of you who have been reading this blog since Day 1 probably realized that the site turned 2 years-old on November 1st. Thank you to everyone who continues to read, contribute, and bust my balls. I'll keep doing this, as long as people keep the comments and emails coming.

My election prediction? Glad you asked. I think the Democrats will gain just enough seats to take the house, and gain a few seats in the Senate as well. Unfortunately, I don't think based on the polls that Democrats will be dominating as hard as the media is playing it out, but in true media style, published an article yeseterday that gives all the reasons, including John Kerry, that the Democrats might fall short.

Here's the thing, and feel free to blast my ass if I'm wrong on this one tomorrow, but I think the American people are sick and tired of letting the Republicans run the show. They have nothing to show for the last 6 years of federal government control. That didn't keep Bill Frist from blaming the Democrats for gridlocking Congress, despite their inability to maintain the votes to keep a filabuster going these days given their current numbers.

If the Democrats do manage to take one or both houses of Congress, the responsibility in the next two years will be with them to actually do something with that power. Don't think for a minute that I'll let them off the hook, if they pull the same crap Republicans have been pulling the last 4 years. With great power comes great responsbility, and if the Democrats want to guarantee that we have a Republican President in two years (God help us), complacency is the ticket.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Middle America Just Got A Lot More Inviting for Gay People

One of the hardest things for me to explain to my gay friends is why they should move to the Midwest. Small dogs freeze to death in Omaha. No beaches to show off a patriotic American flag Speedo. People in drag shows in Omaha look like they just finished Drag racing. All those mean, right-wing evangelicals live here as well. But thanks to Reverand Ted Haggard's admission that he had drug-induced butt sex, I think I can safely say that the Midwest might just be the best place for gay people.

Think of all the potential hook-ups! If Evangelical leaders are giving reacharounds, in addition to sermons about Jesus, Omaha might be the next San Francisco!

The best part of the entire situation is that this wasn't just some bible-beater who had a one-night stand at the Flying J in North Platte, Nebraska (I know you're out there), this was the former President of the mega-self-righteous National Evangelical Association. You know, the ones who are always telling the rest of us what satanic assholes we are. Whether or not you believe in God, this is pretty hilarious.

The best part is that the SUPER GIANT WE'RE SO PIOUS AND EVERYBODY ELSE IS GOING TO HELL MEGA FANDANGO church that he was the head of, that had like 30,000 members, fired him. I guess they must have skipped the part about forgiveness in the Bible. You know, the entire New Testament?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

John Kerry: And why did I vote for you again? Oh yeah, you were running against that hillbilly cokehead

Usually, when someone refers to that whacko Senator from the land of crab cakes and Red Sox, Ted Kennedy's giant head pops up in my mind. Thanks to John Kerry's recent comments about the importance of education in avoiding ending up in Iraq, Kennedy will be in good company. Kerry has played it off like it was a bad joke to say that if you don't do well in school, you'll end up in Iraq, but Republicans, lacking perspective, have been jumping on this hoping to bolster their position in the polls.

The actual impact that this will have one week before a hotly contested election is debatable. Kerry is not up for election this cycle, and even if he were, the stellar incumbancy rate in Congress (sitting at well over 90% historically) will assure him of another term in the Senate. Also, Democrats who are up for election have effectively distanced themselves from his comments.

Even so, Republicans are grasping for straws if they think that Kerry's comments will outshine 6 years of less than stellar performance from Republicans, who've run everything except the Congressional Cafeteria in Washington for the last 6 years. Kerry's comments are both dumb and insensitive, but so is sending our troops to Iraq without adequate armor. It wasn't like he was sexaully harassing interns, inventing intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq, taking bribes for political favors, revealing the identity of a undercover CIA operative and compromising the lives of all of her contacts, or making gay marriage and flag burning the key domestic action items while 10 million kids in the US don't have health insurance. Nope, that's not what John Kerry was doing. That's what Republicans were doing or not doing, I suppose.

The best part is that Republicans can't hang any of that on the Democrats. The Republicans wanted to have complete control, and they demonstrated what they could accomplish when they ran all 3 branches of government. It's a compelling arguement to vote for Democrats, even if John Kerry should shut his big fat mouth.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween in the Workplace

Happy Halloween.

When you're a kid and even when you're in college, dressing up for Halloween was an event that you looked forward to. For some reason, when you get out into the working world, something goes horribly wrong and adults violate the cardinal rule of Halloween: wearing a lame costume as an excuse to violate your place of employment's dress code.

We've all seen it. Carl over in Accounting is dressed up in jeans and his Nebraska Cornhusker's t-shirt because he's going to be a Husker fan for Halloween. If I were Carl's boss, I would fire him and then hire a bunch of kids dressed up like pirates to rape and murder him for abusing the opportunity to dress up, simply because he's too lazy to throw on his usual polo shirt and khakis.

Halloween is not an excuse for adults to wear whatever the hell they want to work. You either go big, or call in sick if you want to wear jeans and your REO Speedwagon t-shirt.

One rather large lady that I work with today wore her regular work attire with little fairy wings. I wanted to be like "Hey lady, unless you strap some jet engines to those fairy wings, you ain't flying anywhere." Instead, I said "What are you supposed to be?" And she admitted to me that she just wanted to take the opporunity to wear wings to work. THE AUDACITY!!!

While I round up my band of midget pirates to smite her, you'd better go out and get a real costume or prepare to feel the wrath.

Monday, October 30, 2006

True Facts About Midgets

If you hit a midget on the head with a stick, he turns into 40 glittering gold coins.

If you throw a midget into a tub of hot water, he makes sleepy-time tea.

If you kick a midget in the balls, he turns into 8 squirrels and they run off into the woods.

If you lose a fight with a midget, you become a midget. So, be the bigger man. Literally.

With all apologies to Patton Oswalt.

Who says I can't be brief?

Florida Voting Irregularities Redux

Let me begin by pointing out that I am not an election conspiracy nut. The 2000 Presidential Election pisses me off because of two things: 1) Al Gore didn't have the balls to keep the re-count going and 2) The Republicans, who are all about freedom and democracy didn't want the re-count to continue. What we've learned since is that re-counting can change the outcome of a major election, as in the case of the Washington State Gubernatorial Race back in 2004. And that was before the advent of computerized balloting machines.

Fast forward to this week in, of all places, Florida, where reports are cropping up about problems with the automated machines. If you read the article two things will probably jump out at you. First of all, the errors talked about are all in favor of the Republicans. Secondly, the article quotes election officials saying that they are aware this is occurring and blame it on equipment

If the error is due to an equipment problem, why does it seem to only be favoring one party? Odd, for sure.

I am sure someone will send me an email along the lines of "Ryan, if someone were going to do this with computers, wouldn't they be smart enough to not show the voting errors on the confirmation screen as described in the article?"

This assumes a couple of things that I don't hold to be absolute truths including that the people perpetrating this effort are intelligent. If the vote-changing occurs behind the scenes, we won't have any way of knowing about it, unless someone does an independent audit of election results. This is vote-changing in a very demonstrable way, and I don't think it's a coincidence that the company that makes these machines (Diebold) is a huge GOP contributor. Check out to see what I mean there.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NFL Season Thus Far

Current AFC West Leaders: Denver Broncos

There's been some jawing in the comments section of this website lately about a couple of things that I wanted to address: 1) Why I haven't been posting as much lately and 2) NFL Football.

To eliminate any speculation that might be occurring here, let me just say that in addition to work, I have been taking Calculus class as a refresher so that I can start my PhD next year. I have done way more drugs and drank way more alcohol since the last time I took this class, so it consumes a good bit of my time, just trying to derive, shout profanity and repeat. Your patience is appreciated.

As far as NFL football goes, I wanted to address some of my earlier predictions. Some can't really be judged at this point, but others are clearing up.

1) Pittsburgh did beat Miami in the opening game. Little did we know how much Miami would suck at this point in the season, but at least I didn't pick them to win the Super Bowl, right?

2) Shawn Alexander and the Madden Curse. I was dead wrong on this one. Homeboy has several lackluster games, and then goes out with a foot injury. I have a special, albeit small, place in my heart for the Seahawks, since I used to be able to see their stadium from my apartment's balcony, but this is looking like a bad year for them, unless they can make Seneca Wallace the next Kurt Warner.

3) The Chiefs are in for a lackluster season. If I had one prediction that I wanted to be true more than anything in the world, it was this one. Chiefs fans, as experience on this website has shown, tend to live in a constant state of denial. First of all, the Chiefs are 3-3, but only one of those wins came over a team with a winning record. Arizona and San Francisco are not exactly the pride of the NFL. Even if the Qweefs make the playoffs, which is a huge if at this point, they won't be lucky enough to play teams like that.

Also, Larry Johnson, who was getting a lot of hype coming in to the season is on pace for a mediocre 1304 yards this season. Not quite the 2000 he promised eh? Against one of the weakest rushing defenses (statistically), Johnson had 36 yards (Arizona). Not what I would call MVP statistics.

Because Chiefs fans don't have anything that they can say to make their own team seem better, given these facts, they will proceed to attack the Broncos. The Broncos are 5-1 on the season, despite playing all of their games except one (St. Louis) against a team with a defense in the top 10 in the NFL. People are coming down hard on Plummer, but he's won all but one of the games that he's started against those very same top defenses. The Broncos also beat the Chiefs in one of the most ugly, boring games of the year. I'm not proud of the wins we have, but you can't argue with beating New England at Foxboro and beating the Ravens anywhere. Oakland is a divisional opponent, but their defense is currently ranked 5th in the league, despite the offense.

Chiefs fans lack creativity, so you will also hear them complain about Trent Green's injury and the effects that might have had on their losses as well as their beloved Larry Johnson. First of all, Trent Green is nothing special, unless you're using age as a criteria. This is evidenced by the fact that Damon Huard can come in and essentially put up the same statistics that Green does. In fact, with the exception of the Pittsburgh game, Huard's QB rating was higher than Green's for the first 6 games of last season.

So Chiefs fans can hope for a surge when Green figures out what country he's in and gets back on the field, but statistically speaking, this is as good as it gets. Unless Trent Green brings back a whole new corps of receivers, Tony Gonzales will continue to be the best receiver they have, and when a 90 year-old TE is your best receiver (he led the team in receiving for each of the games that KC lost), you don't have a lot of weapons to make the defense back off and say "Watch out, they might go deep."

It also doesn't help that Herm Edwards' longest passing play that he's called as a coach was a 15 yard curl route either.

The end of the season will be the ultimate test, but for the time being, the Chiefs can enjoy their .500 record and mediocre RB.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

True Facts about Chuck Norris

If at first you don’t succeed, your name is not Chuck Norris.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

The quickest way to a man's heart is with Chuck Norris' fist.

CNN was originally created as the "Chuck Norris Network" to update Americans with on-the-spot ass kicking in real-time.

Time waits for no man, unless that man is Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he never cries.

Chuck Norris doesn't churn butter. He roundhouse kicks the cows and the butter comes straight out.

A Handicapped parking sign is actually a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will become handicapped if you park there.

If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse... horses are hung like Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't shower, he only takes blood baths.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could Chuck Norris? All of it.

Everything King Midas touches turns to gold. Everything Chuck Norris touches turns up dead.

Chuck Norris' penis has a Hemi.

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around, Chuck Norris still hears it.

The drummer for Def Leppard once asked Chuck Norris what time it was.

Chuck Norris is not Irish. His hair is soaked in the blood of his victims.

A lesbian is a woman who has never met Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't say "who's your daddy", because he knows the answer.

Most people fear the Reaper. Chuck Norris considers him "a promising rookie."
Chuck Norris invented the Caesarean section when he roundhouse-kicked his way out of his mother's uterus.

Chuck Norris' first job was as a paperboy. There were no survivors.

Chuck Norris is the only person to have beaten Ray Charles in a staring contest.

If Chuck Norris ever has sex with a man, it won't be because he is gay. It will be because he has run out of women.

The Bible was originally titled "Chuck Norris and Friends."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Midterm Election Fun: Nebraska Style!

Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich?
The election is less than a month a way, and you can't turn on a TV in Nebraska without seeing the face of either Pete Ricketts or Ben Nelson. Millions of dollars are being spent on attack ads that give you that warm, fuzzy feeling that only public displays of hypocrisy can elicit. Ricketts is the millionaire CEO of Ameritrade, Nelson is the millionaire incumbant and former Governor of Nebraska. Either way, we're getting a millionaire who will likely be a whore for special interests. Nebraskans are being forced to make a decision that many men at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada have struggled with: which whore do you want?
Nelson is barely a Democrat, but he's the closest thing to a Democrat that could get elected in a conservative stronghold like Nebraska. In most states, Nelson would be considered a moderate conservative at best. Ricketts is a bit of a political unknown, but if the early debates between the two candidates and Ricketts position statements on his website are any indication, Ricketts makes Trent Lott look progressive. Ricketts doesn't really have any views that could be considered moderate, whichs is a check against him in my book.
Both candidates have attack ads about how the other guy didn't pay their property taxes, and the facts support both candidates assertions. Both Ricketts and Nelson applied for and received significant property tax breaks, as millionaires have a tendency to do, regardless of their political party. Loyal supporters of both candidates will try to argue with you about tax structure or how both candidates earned their money honestly, so they should get to keep it, but it essentially boils down to the fact that both guys know how to work the system. And if you were in their shoes, you would do the same thing. People who say they wouldn't are liars.
At this point, I am going to reluctantly vote for Nelson. Ricketts comes across as a millionaire conservative tool, because he is. You could pull his platform right off the GOP website, and he obviously will tow the party line if elected. While Nelson is not really a Democrat, aside from his membership to the party, at least his political decisions aren't dictated by his party. I respect this a little bit, since the political process often gets bogged down in partisanship on both sides, and at least Nelson isn't a rubber stamp for his party, as Ricketts would obviously be.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Evanescence Sucks Worse than Texas

Where her nose once was, a pop sensation exists instead.
Fall is always the best time of year for music lovers, like myself. Deftones have a new album coming out on Halloween that is being praised as being more like Adrenaline and Around the Fur, two of the greatest albums of all time. The Killers, My Chemical Romance, and Beck all have new albums coming out in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, Evanescence also has a new album The Open Door.
When I first heard Evanescence on the radio several years ago, I wondered how anyone could listen to a lead screamer who sounded like a 14 year-old on the rag with lyrics that make Creed seem multi-dimensional. I thought "Certainly, no one will buy this crap." And when people don't buy crap, record companies find different crap to pawn off on us as music, I write on my blog, and the cycle continues. It seemed perfect.
Except for one detail. Evanescence went like do-deca-hepta-platinum, and today, their follow-up album is released. Anyone unfortunate enough to have radio reception where they live has heard the new single about how the lead singer's boyfriend is a drunk who only calls when he wants to tap that freaky white ass. For a minute, I thought one of my ex-girlfriends had started a crappy band, but even my ex-girlfriends, who are categorically crazy skanks, would not listen to this band.
Evanescence is a perfect example of why popular music sucks. Bands like One Side Zero are completely original and amazing and write songs that are dinstguishable not only from songs on their current album, but also are distinguishable from the songs they have released on other albums. Yet, has anyone aside from Lord Bling and the Shelfo twins heard of One Side Zero? Bands like The Fray, Evanescence and Creed should give this a shot. They might not make as much money, but there would be that much less ear pollution to go on the Gray's Anatomy Soundtrack Volume 47.
Currently, Evanescence The Open Door is the number one selling album on And Americans try to argue that we don't have shitty taste in music? Right.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Goddammit I hate Texas (and other random tangential crap)

I know, I know. I haven't posted much lately. I could lie and say that my social calendar has been booked, but I think you know better. I also haven't felt inspired enough. Well, sometimes all it takes is to read a thing like this.

Fucking Texas. I flip Ryan shit all the time for living in Nebraska, but other than having easier access to major sporting events and concerts, Texas isn't any better. Seriously. These fucking hicks want to ban a book about the burning of books .... because of the language in it. Honestly, I haven't read much of the bible, but what I did read contained more drinking and violence than Bill O'Reilly's fictional doorstop.

So let's assume you didn't get a lot of book-learnin' in skuul. You don't even have to read the article. Just look at the picture of them. The worldwide stereotype of the ignorant overweight American continues. Terrorism doesn't scare me; that stereotype is the real reason why I'm afraid to travel abroad. I don't want to go through customs in another country and have to say, "Yes, actually, most Americans ARE lazy, overweight, ignorant fucks." If you don't believe the stereotype exists, all you have to do is spend 15 minutes with the PSP game called 'Loco Roco'. Don't just write it off as one of those quirky Japanese games, take a closer look. You control a blob that eats, and gets bigger. The world it lives in is in danger of being destroyed, but so what? The blob needs to eat as much as it can, to get as big as it can.

They even colored him yellow, like the yellow ribbon magnets I see on every other vehicle in this state. You know, the ones that WEREN'T EVEN FUCKING MADE IN THIS COUNTRY. Why didn't they just make that blob drive a Ford F-350 dualie with a gun rack in the back window and a bumper sticker of Calvin pissing on an Arab?

(takes a deep breath)

Whew, sorry. Okay, where was I? Book ban, right. Got it. So what makes this worse is I actually have to travel to Conroe for work in about two weeks. I'm thinking of bringing my new copy of Fahrenheit 451 with me on the flight. You know, the one with all the bad words in it.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Parents Just Don't Understand

Fortunately for the rest of the planet, my wife and I don't have kids. At least that's what courts in Colorado and Wyoming decided based on the paternity tests. Don't get too excited, though. As far as I know, we're both equipped, and I'm not lucky enough to dodge that bullet. We are, however, in the age range, where many of our friends are pumping out babies like China. I have to say, we're pretty damn good friends in the respect that we babysit when asked, and we like kids. This post is not about the kids. Kids are great, as long as they belong to somebody else.

When people have kids, I am convinced that the neurotransmitter that controls fun, as well as the ones that give people perspective are severely alterred. If I have another friend with kids who tells me I don't understand what it's like to have kids, I am going to run for Nebraska State Legislature on a forced steralization platform. They're right, I don't know what it's like to have kids. You know why I don't know, because I made a decision a long time ago that if I was going to have kids, it wasn't going to be for a long time.

I don't know what it's like to have kids, yet. But my friends with kids already will never know what it's like to be in their late 20s without having kids. Here's are some other things they don't seem to understand.

People without kids don't care about what percentile rank your child happens to be in height and weight. Unless your kid is 45 pounds at 18 months-old, does it really matter? And then I'll probably just pinch those incredibly chubby cheeks. You're not a mad scientist, you didn't control how your kid's genes were expressed. Get over your fat little bastard.

Having kids doesn't mean you have to abandon fun. If I had a dollar for everytime a friend with kids used their kids as an excuse not to do something social, I wouldn't need to second job to pay for my drinking problem. It's not like I'm asking them to road trip to Guadalajara and inject heroin directly into their necks. We're talking going to the bar and having a beer. Those of you with kids who still do this stuff are models for the rest of society.

Don't treat people without kids like there's no possible way they can understand what kids are like. When people have kids, they act like suddenly as the afterbirth was leaving the vagina, knowledge of children that only parents can have was suddenly imparted. I work with kids and the best parents I know are the ones who don't act like people without kids can't possibly know anything about kids.

We've all had sex. Some of us were just smart enough to take the proper precautions.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The blog is no longer jacked

Obviously, the blog is fixed. Let the debauchery commence.

The blog is jacked

CowboyLaw posts a teary ode to his kitty, and the next thing I know, the blog is crashing, I'm getting emails from people. I think Karl Rove is behind this.

Bear with us. We have been having problems generating new posts etc.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sasha 1996-2006

Okay folks, like a rock band that just got done playing 3 slammers in a row, now it's time to take it down a notch. Because I am going to hijack this Blog to say goodbye to a beloved family pet: GPA and my cat, Sasha, who joined the great carpeted jungle-gym in the sky today. So, snuggle up with a pet of your own, or a glass of whiskey, and join my on this meloncholy trip down pet lane.

GPA and I adopted Sasha in September of 1998. We had just moved to Minneapolis, I had just entered law school, and GPA had just passed her NASD series 7 and series 63. We had promised each other that, after she passed her tests, we would get a cat as a reward (even though the apartment building we were living in didn't allow cats). And so, on a crisp Friday night, we ventured to the local Humane Society. After test-petting several cats, we picked up a small, fluffy cat named Sadie. She started audibly purring the minute we picked her up, and loved being petted. We were sold. We took her home, liberated her from her old-lady-esque name, and began a long process of getting to know her. The first three days, Sasha hid under the bed and wouldn't come out. Finally, I dragged her out (by her tail) and we made her interact with us. After that day, we were officially a family.

Almost anyone who has ever visted us has met Sasha, since she would jump up in the lap of visitors and make them pet her, allergies notwithstanding. Sasha had no use for fake mice (even those stuffed with catnip) or cat toys of almost any type, but did have 2 weaknesses: wadded-up receipts and bows (like from presents). The double-bungalo we moved to after living in the tiny apartment where Sasha first joined us had a carpeted set of stairs. Sasha would flop on one of those stairs, I would throw a wadded-up receipt to her, and she would bat it back down to me. Repeat ad infinitum.

For her entire life with us, Sasha would throw up her food about once every four days. We took her to a vet after about a year of this and the vet diagnosed her with a mild pancrease condition. Every month or so, we gave her a pill, and otherwised got accustomed to cleaning up cat barf (which was an officially-designated GPA job). Last Sunday, we noticed that Sasha hadn't eaten for several days, so we took her to a local vet. The final diagnosis was that essentially every organ in her body was shutting down. GPA and I paid a final visit to her this morning, held her, and cried like 6-year-old girls who had been told that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny had gotten into a head-on, no-survivors car accident with Barbie, Cinderella and Big Bird. I figure we must have appeared geniunely sad because we made the vet cry, and they have to deal with dying pets every day.

I have wondered, in the last several days, whether it would have been easier to take had we just woken up one morning and found her dead. I think this may be one of those pull the bandaid slowly vs. quickly kind of arguments. In general, I'm glad I had a chance to say goodbye to her, as hard as it was.

There are any number of Hallmark-ready lessons one can learn when a pet dies. The only one interesting enough to bear repeating, in my opinion, is this: in life, we have a choice to either open ourselves up to love and life and new experiences, or to close ourselves off and develop a hard shell (Red Foreman-style) of "don't give a shit." If you pick the former route, you open yourself up to all kinds of pain and sadness because that goes hand-in-hand with happiness and joy and love. If you pick the latter route, you will seldom be horribly depressed, but you will seldom be all that happy, either. As usual, Shakespeare summed all of that up very concisely: it IS better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

This is, ultimately, every pet lover's dilema, because the simple fact is, unless you have a toucan or a Galapagos turtle as a pet, we live much longer than our pets do. So, whether you want to think about it or not, every pet you love is a pet you will eventually have to say goodbye to. Thanks, Captain Bring-Down!

At the end of the day, what I will remember about Sasha is the unique slice of my life that I shared with her. She joined our family as I was entering law school, GPA was starting her career, and we were both living in a tiny, crappy one-bedroom apartment. In the 8 years she spent with us, we moved 3 times, including one major move; I changed jobs 4 times; GPA changed employers twice and got promoted 7 times. Our household income increased by 1000%. We owned 4 different cars. I earned my JD and GPA earned her MBA. I went from essentially college student (age 22) to adult-whether-I-want-to-be-or-not (30). Throughout all of it, the only two constants in my life were GPA and Sasha.

So, this blog entry is my tribute to the tiny grey cat who changed me from a dog person to a cat person. I hope your life with us was as great as our life with you. If there is a heaven, we'll see you there, because it wouldn't be heaven without you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fun at the doctor's office!

I've never had much luck with doctors. Either I find a good one, and then I move out of town, or I'm stuck with a shitty one. Here in Dallas, I finally found a good one, so of course, he recently moved to Africa to work with AIDS patients. My new doctor wanted me to have a physical, blood draw, EKG, etc., since I hadn't had those things done in a while (it was my first EKG, actually). He even did a urinalysis, so it's probably a good thing I didn't blaze up with my brother when I was in North Dakota. Although it's been about four years since my last encounter with the sticky-icky, I still don't like handing my piss to a stranger, no matter how many letters he has after his name.

The office is typical of most doctors, in that it smells too nice (whoever invented aromatherapy needs to fall in a well and die), and has the worst music playing over the PA that you could possibly imagine. Worse than 'smooth jazz,' even. This office has the radio set to a 'romance' station. That's bad enough by itself, but all the songs on this station are about 'Baby come back' and 'Baby please don't go.' You know, the kind of stuff that makes even the biggest American Idol fan want to put a gun in their mouth.

Well, the doctor's office called me on Monday morning to schedule another appointment to go over my blood work, and since he told me last Friday that 'no news was good news,' I immediately started making myself sick with worry. Not only was I about to get bad news, but I had to step foot back in that waiting room. But what could it be? Low thyroid? My mom and dad both take medication for it. Cholesterol? Could be, but I work out and don't eat fast food as often as I could. HIV? I can count on two hands the number of women I've been with, and that's only using one finger on the other hand. But of course, that was what my mind started racing about, and the last thing I wanted was to star in a Family Guy skit. In fact, that guy has dark brown hair and a goatee too! Maybe I have the AIDS?!?

So I suffered through another 30 minutes of Hall and Oates and Chicago to hear that I have high cholesterol. My total number is 251, and my LDL is 151. Apparently, that's pretty high. What sucks most of all is, I'm only 31, I'm not overweight, and I'm pretty active physically. But apparently, I'm not active enough (I haven't been doing much cardio, just weight lifting and kung-fu), and I still eat too much food that's bad for me. So the doctor gave me three months to tighten down the diet, and work 30 minutes of cardio into my routine, three times a week at least, and if my cholesterol numbers get to a more manageable level, I won't have to be put on Lipitor or something similar. Still, if I test high again in three months, I think I'm gonna get a second opinion, but god DAMN. I hate trying to find a new doctor.

Speaking of a second opinion, I just found this link. Maybe my cholesterol isn't as bad as my new doctor thinks. My family has a history of heart disease, but that's the only risk factor I have. It's still higher than I want it to be, but are drugs the answer? He gave me a choice of getting on a cholesterol-reducing drug now, or trying diet and exercise. I'm going to give the diet and cardio an honest try for three months to see what happens, but there's a small chance that I found a shitty doctor again. Come to think of it, his exam room has a picture of his daughter with some fascist Texas senator. Yeah, maybe I DO need a second opinion.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Are you ready for some football?

Can you say MVP?

There's probably not a better day of the year as far as I'm concerned than Opening Day of the NFL season. I mean it. Christmas usually involves a lot more travel and a lot less relaxation than any one of us would probably opt for. College football season almost always starts out with weak match-ups and blow-outs, although I'm looking forward to a great game between Ohio State at Texas this weekend. Predicting the outcome of an NFL season is always difficult. Teams that are supposed to be quality, self-destruct (anyone remember how many people picked the Viqueens to win the NFC North last year, before the boat/sex/party?). Knees and Achilles tendons explode. Teams that are supposed to finish last in their division, can make it to the AFC Championship game (The DENVER BRONCOS). It's literally anybody's guess what might happen.

Until now. I am going to offer my predictions on the season. We'll revisit them at the end of the season and see how I did (something that more reputable sports analysts would never do).

5) The Pittsburgh Steelers will beat the Miami Dolphins tonight in the season opening game, but will not return to the Super Bowl. Hear me now and listen to me later, everyone and their donkey thinks that Miami is going to be hot like the cars in the Baltimore Ravens' player parking lot. Miami will have a good season, but people are giving Dante Culpepper way too many reacharounds already. Let's see what he can do BEFORE felating him in every season preview. The Steelers' defense is going to be dominating tonight. And I hate the Steelers.

4) Ring Ring Ring...Kansas City Chiefs are in for a wake-up call - Not only will Larry "I stole my name from a basketball player" Johnson NOT rush for 2000 yards this season, but the Cheats will finish last in the AFC West, which is a bold statement considering they'll have to pry that out the the San Diego Chargers and Toakland Raiders cold, dead hands. Herm Edwards runs to most boring offense in the league, and he doesn't have the brass balls that cry-baby Dick Vermeil did (remember the Raiders' game at Arrowhead last year?)

3) Shaun Alexander breaks the Madden curse We've all heard it. Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and others are among its victims. However, Shaun Alexander is a badass, and while the Seahawks won't be back in the Super Bowl either, expect another stellar year from Alexander.

2) Chicago Bears come up short I think the Bears will win the NFC North Division easily. However, the playoffs are never a good place for a team with Brian Greise as their best option at Quarterback. Sorry, Super Fans, there's always your favorite saying, which is "There's always next year."

1) Carolina vs. Indy in the Super Bowl - Carolina is everybody's NFC favorite for the Super Bowl, and I will jump on that bandwagon until someone gives me a reason to think otherwise. Indy was a shoestring tackle by Ben "I don't need no stinking helmet" Rotlessburgers and a missed field goal by Mike Vanderjackoff from being in the Super Bowl last year, and I don't care who the running back is, the Colts are going to the big show this year.

Check back with me in January to see how I did.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I am a glutton for punishment

So, whatchya doin' for Labor Day weekend? Me? I'm going to Jamestown, North Dakota!.

No, I'm not shitting you.

Yeah, it's to see family. What other reason would there be? I mean, it's not like there's something else to do there. If you take a good look at the calendar on that link, you might notice that they forgot to put 'get a DUI,' or 'get bar sluts pregnant' on there. Those probably aren't things the Chamber of Commerce wants you to know about, but that's all anyone over the age of 11 is doing there. Or maybe they just didn't bother to put it on the calendar because it happens every single day?

Jamestown had about 16,000 people when I graduated from high school. Less than two months later, I got the flying fuck outta there. Now, it was to Wyoming, true, but there, they have things called 'community colleges.' Casper had 50,000 people, so it was a little better. Plus, it ended up being a gateway drug to Colorado for me, so it wasn't all that bad.

It'll be nice to see my brother again though, as it's been a couple of years. Granted, we're going to drink ourselves into comas, but as they say ... 'when in Rome.' Highlights from this trip will be: Beating my brother's cocky little ass at Guitar Hero (even if it only happens once), sharing some kung-fu with my brother (he and his drummer have been practicing Wing Chun for a while now), and perhaps the greatest reason of all...

God DAMN. It's been two years since I've had potato oles. It's motherfucking ON.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Abandoning Lieberman?

Lieberman stumping as an Independent

You want an example of how short-sighted and fickle our two political parties are? Look no further than the current Senate race in Connecticut, where Senator Joe Lieberman was abandoned by his party, essentially for being a moderate. Republicans have taken this opportunity to back Lieberman, likely at the cost of their own candidate. Lieberman was the guy we ran as our VP candidate with Gore in 2000, remember when we won the popular vote? Less than 6 years later, Democrats have abandoned Lieberman for his moderate views on the Iraq war and support of some Bush Administration policies.

The situation has put both parties in hypocritical positions. Republicans, who have frequently painted Lieberman as a leftist, are now supporting his views as being reasonable and moderate. Democrats are abandoning one of the ranking members of their party in the Senate, at a time when every seat will be critical for control of the Senate. Liberal blogs have turned on Lieberman faster than you can say "spin that dradle", and many of their attacks have been complete misrepresentations. Partisanship is in full swing.

The problem for the Democrats is that, as a party, they have taken the wrong position on the Iraq War. While setting a deadline to bring the troops home from what has been a debacle at every stage, seems like a perfectly reasonable stance to take, the execution of this strategy by Democrats like John Kerry has been poor. Setting arbitrary deadlines for troop withdrawal and leaving Iraq in a state of chaos is not a viable option at this point. Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and others in the Democratic party have had the right idea, which is to force the Bush Administration to set a timeline with tangible criteria for troop withdrawl.

As it stands now, the Bush Administration has no metric for success in Iraq. Bush is indifferent to the fact that we will be there "as long as he's President." Unfortuntaely, this is no better than saying "Bring the Troops Home for Christmas." The lack of an acceptable criteria for withdrawl is an example of how poorly thought-out the Bush Administration's strategy for Iraq has been from the beginning. Democrats have an opportunity to re-shape our strategy in Iraq, and set themselves up to the White House in 2008, by campaigning under a viable timeline for success in Iraq. This is something the Republicans can't campaign against, and haven't come up with on their own.

Instead, Democrats continue to present a fractured front on the issue, focusing on political polarization instead of actual policy steps to get us out of the mess that Bush got us into. It's a golden opportunity, and it's obviously more important for us to be the opposite of the Republicans, instead of finding reasonable solutions to these problems.

Macaca Mess

This is a Macaca

Rich Tucker recently wrote a commentary on the negative reaction to Senator George Allen's (R-VA) comments in a public appearance, where he called a campaign worker for his opponent a Macaca. Allen has subsequently apologized, and good for him. What has followed is a perfect example of why conservatives have difficulty changing their image as the "old white guys' club".

Tucker goes on the lambast the media, in general, and the Washington Post, specifically, for portraying Allen as a racist. Let's read an excerpt directly from Tucker's piece, and I'll let you decide if you think he's helping Allen's image as a racist:

  • The piece dredged up the fact Allen once had a confederate flag in his home and noted that in 1984 he’d voted against a state holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. “As a chief executive, he also compiled a controversial record on race,” the magazine asserted.
Whether or not Allen really is a racist remains to be seen. I think you can say that his record as Governor of Virginia, combined with his public comments would at least call this into question, but he did apologize, as every conservative commentator who has written about the event is quick to point out.

The problem is that every conservative political pundit from here to outer Mongolia has defended Allen's comments, and proceeded to paint the issue as a liberal media conspiracy. It's almost like a knee jerk reaction for these guys, and unfortunately, it makes them look like conservatives are defending racist comments. Not exactly a good position to take for a party that is trying to broaden their appeal to minority groups.

The better course of action would have been to praise Allen's apology and provide examples of things Allen has done in his career that show he's not a racist. There have to be some examples right? Particularly, if this whole image of him as a racist was invented by the Godless Left?

When one of the most prominent black members of your party is certified nut-job Alan Keyes, conservatives need to try harder not to appear like the Strom Thurmond-backing, Trent Lott-defending, good old boys who think that calling someone from India a monkey is an acceptable thing to do "because he was just joking."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thank God Jack Kemp Was Never Elected President

This depiction of progressive evolution does not include the ancestors of Jack Kemp

Have you ever wondered what happens to one of the many people who run in their party's Presidential Primaries and then lose miserably? Some fade into obscurity, some become political pundits like Jack Kemp. After reading his most recent commentary, I wish he would have chosen to fade into obscurity.

Jack Kemp wants to reassure conservatives that despite recent victories for those of us who want science to be taught in science classes in public schools, that the anti-evolution movement is far from defeated. Kemp provides the following examples to support his case (if you think I'm kidding, please see his original post):
  • Voter turnout in the Kansas election where Pro-intelligent design board members were ousted from their posts was only 18 percent.
  • Ann Coulter's most recent attempt to write in complete sentences "Godless: The Church of Liberalism" is selling like hotcakes. And as Kemp points out, she spends a good part of the book explaining how evolution is directly at odds with religion.
  • Only 10 percent of the general public, as cited in an anonymous Gallup Poll, believe in evolution as currently taught in public schools.
Boy, Jack Kemp has some great points there. Let me take them on one at a time:
  • Unfortunately for Kemp, a lack of voter turnout does not invalidate election results. The fact that not a single member of the Kansas State School Board that voted to restrict the teaching of evolution in schools held their seat lets you know how the people who matter (those who chose to vote) feel about conservatives trying to insert pseudoscience into their science curriculum.
  • Ann Coulter is nothing more than a bitch, trying to get a rise out of people. She has no credibility, and everything she says should be carefully fact-checked, since she obviously chooses not to fact-check a single thing she says. Want examples ? Just because a book sells a lot of copies does not make anything within it true. Example? Any of the Harry Potter books.
  • Finally, this anonymous Gallup Poll on what people believe as far as evolution is concerned. This is a Jack Kemp fact flea flicker (he used to play football). If you look at a variety of polls completely recently on the topic of evolution and what people believe, nearly half of people believe in evolution. Where Kemp hides the ball on this one is that because schools have to follow that whole, annoying "seperation of church and state" thing, schools don't teach that God had any part in evolution, since whether he did or not is a theological question and not a scientific one. So, because a good number of people who believe in evolution believe that God had some part in it, Kemp is able to say that a very small percentage of people actually believe it as it is taught in schools. Nice sleight of hand eh? Oh, and even if you take those people who believe in evolution without God being part of it, it's still about twice as many (20%) as Kemp cites in his article in any poll in the past 2 years.
The main point is that whatever you believe about how the universe was created, anything having to do with God is not science, and therefore, should not be taught in science class. Intelligent people who have studied evolution will tell you that there is absolutely nothing about evolution that contradicts a healthy belief in God. If you're one of those literal interpreters of the Bible, you've got bigger and more fundamental problems than evolution, such as how to rectify the obvious contradiction between Thou Shalt Not Kill and most of the Old Testament.

Conservatives don't want to be painted as "dumb, rural fundamentalists" to quote Kemp's column. If you don't want to be portrayed that way, then pick up a science book and learn the difference between theology and biology. Kemp was almost your candidate for President in 1988, is this who you want to be your spokesperson on educational curriculum?