Archive for the Op Ed Category

THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR MITT ROMNEY

Posted in disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Geopolitical Insults, GOP, Hubris, Money and Power, Op Ed, presidential candidate, Small Town America, The Great State of Montana!, The Wrath of God, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, טילים on September 15, 2012 by paulboylan

I’ve made no secret of my opinion that Mitt Romney is the wrong man at the right time to run for POTUS.  The time is definitely right: Obama should be easily defeated.  He is an unpopular president serving during a severe economic crisis that really hasn’t improved enough to get him re-elected.  Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt succeeded in obtaining a second term under similar circumstances, and Obama is no Roosevelt.

So the time is right.  But Romney is the wrong man.  I don’t agree with Rick Santorum on much, but I agree with him when he stated during those ridiculous GOP debates that Romney “is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

Santorum knew what we all now know – that Romney is a political opportunist: a rich guy who dabbles in politics as a hobby, who doesn’t really believe in anything and is willing to say anything and do anything to get elected. A recent example of how far Mitt Romney is willing to debase himself to get votes is his recent admissionhthat he admires Snooky.l

And he isn’t really all that smart.   He makes George W. Bush look like a genius.  Let me give you just one example. Here is something Romney said at a campaign rally:

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This quote is worth repeating just so there is no doubt about just how stupid it is:

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that is the America millions of Americans believe in.”

This statement is a whole lot more perplexing than anything Bush ever said, including the Bush line about “how hard it is to put food on your family.”  That was a slip of the tongue.  Romney’s  circular and nonsensical statement about what he believes was not a slip of the tongue: it was an example of what is going on inside of Romney’s head.

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[Look at it this way:  John McCain had a choice between Romney and Sarah Palin for his running mate, and he chose Palin. Does that tell you anything?]

Santorum realized this about Romney.  I knew it.  Others did, too.  Yet Romney won the nomination.

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Why? Because he does best when he faces no competition.  His opponents dropped out of the primary races because they couldn’t compete with Romney’s ability to put out pre-vote advertising.  Romney won the nomination because he was able to outspend his impoverished competitors – which is exactly the way he made money buying and breaking up smaller companies when he ran Bain Capital.  He won from a position of overwhelming financial advantage (the story of his life).

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More importantly, Romney won the nomination because he had the support of right wing media and news outlets like Fox News that habitually overlooked and even excused his failings.

Those two conditions have changed. Romney is now facing vigorous competition. He is losing because he is no longer the richest guy in the race.  Obama’s money machine is generating as much if not more than Romney – even though Romney is getting huge donations from billionaires.  So Obama can match Romney’s political advertising.

And the support he received from right wing media is beginning to crumble.  Joe Scarborough is an extremely conservative Fox News pundit who has, in the past, been one of Romney’s chief apologists.  Not anymore.  When Mitt Romney tried to politicize the deaths of American diplomats in Libya by criticizing Obama’s response as being too soft, for “sympathizing with terrorists” by refusing to link Islam with terror, Scarborough said:

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And when Romney made matters worse by doubling down on his criticism of Obama’s handling of the murders, Scarborough said:

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This is the sign of a sea change. It is the beginning of the popular recognition that, even if Romney could win, he doesn’t deserve to win.

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And when other right wing news outlets like the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal find the courage to say the same thing, Romney’s candidacy is doomed.

Americans are fairly sure they want to replace Obama.  But we are increasingly convinced we don’t want to hire Romney as Obama’s replacement.  A large majority of Americans believe Obama hasn’t done a good job.  But we are not prepared to fire him and hire the one guy who is applying for the position.

Hating Obama is no longer enough.  “Anybody but Obama” is no longer a viable political slogan.  The character and intelligence of the man who replaces him matters, and Romney’s character and intelligence are not up to the task.

It is a mistake to back this man.  Doing so will end up destroying the GOP.  I do mean destroy.  If Republicans continue to support Romney, and he loses (which is likely) the GOP will break apart into smaller “rump” political parties.

This political season has been a disaster. We need to accept that. Like Romney, doubling down on a losing bet is just plain stupid. Republicans need to concentrate on keeping the House of Representatives and winning a majority in the Senate – and reform the internal mechanisms of the GOP to make sure that, in the next election, the GOP fields a viable candidate.

THE NEW SOCCER MOMS

Posted in American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Bigotry in America, Crime and Punishment, GOP, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Money and Power, Mordor, News, Newt Gingrich, Op Ed, photograph, Photography, Politics, presidential candidate, Religion and Politics, Small Town America, The Great State of Montana!, The Wrath of God, Uncategorized on May 12, 2012 by paulboylan


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The American political world is abuzz withhnewsnthat, when Mitt Romney was attending a private preparatory school in Michigan during the time his father was Governor, he lead a mob who chased down a gay boy and held him down while Romney personally used a pair of scissors to cut off the gay boy’s hair.

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Romney first denied the story. When it was corroborated, he said he didn’t remember it happening.  When even more witnesses came forward to support the story, Romney said that he doesn’t remember this particular incident, but that he participated in lots of pranks and engaged in youthful hijinks when he was in high school, he is sorry if he offended anyone, and if it happened he didn’t know the boy was gay.

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The Original Prankster

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Romney supporters have attempted to brush the news story off as a “hit piece” designed to distract the American electorate away from the issue of Obama’s failed presidency and substitute it with the issue of gay rights.  They may be right.  It is an amazing coincidence that, right after Obama publicly declares his support for same sex marriage, it is revealed that Romney was a gay-basher in high school.

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However, despite the very best efforts of the Romney camp to refocus on economic issues, this story just won’t go away.  It is increasingly resonating with the electorate in a way no one could have anticipated. The reason for this resonance is simple: either Romney really doesn’t remember the event or he is lying about it, and either option is troubling to the American voter.

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Let’s not sugarcoat the incident. What Romney did wasn’t a “prank” and it wasn’t “high jinks” (as Romney himself tries to describe it).  Leading a pack of boys that hunted down, subdued and then forcibly cut off the hair of another boy who was “different” with a pair of scissors was an assault, a battery and a hate crime.  This is a graphic example of bullying in its most pure, most evil and most damaging sense. The fact that Romney lead the mob and actually committed the act makes it worse. 

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Imagine it happening to you.  Imagine you running, scared, being knocked down by a gang of boys, held down so you cannot move, while one of them sits on top of your chest and cuts off your hair “in large clumps” as one of the witnesses to the incident describes.  Imagine yelling for help and crying as you look up into the face of a young Mitt Romney grinning down at you and most likely laughing.

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 I’ve imagined this and it is terrifying.  I’ve been bullied when I was younger, but nothing this bad happened to me.

Let’s contrast Romney’s attempt to laugh off the incident with something from Obama’s past that Romney supporters point to as evidence that, if Romney was a bully, that Obama was a bigger bully.  In Obama’s autobiography Dreams of my Father he describes an event from his early childhood when he pushed a girl. Here is what he writes:

 Before my arrival she had been the only black person in our grade. She was plump and dark and didn’t seem to have many friends.  I ran up to Coretta and gave her a slight shove.  She staggered back and looked up at me, but still said nothing.  ‘Leave me alone,’ I shouted again.  And suddenly Coretta was running, faster and faster until she disappeared from sight.  Appreciative laughs rose around me.  For the rest of the afternoon I was haunted by the look on Coretta’s face.

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Any moron can compare what Romney did with what Obama did and see the differences between the two events.  Obama isn’t denying what he did, excusing it or attempting to trivialize it. He is “owning it” and is ashamed.

Romney, on the other hand, attempted to hide it, when discovered tried to deny it, when proven tried to trivialize it as a simple prank not worthy of even remembering.

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This was an event worthy of remembering, so Romney is probably lying when he says he doesn’t remember, and if he is lying, well, Americans don’t like liars. 

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We joke about politicians lying, but we get upset when they get caught doing it. Scooter Libby wasn’t prosecuted for revealing the name of a covert CIA operative; he was prosecuted for lying about doing it. Bill Clinton wasn’t impeached because he had sex with a chubby intern – he was impeached because he lied about it.  If he had come clean when he was caught the odds are the American public would have forgiven him. 

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So Romney is lying about not remembering that he chased down a gay student, held him down and cut off his hair displays a character flaw that troubles the average American voter and only serves to reinforce the uneasy feeling they have about him.  The Democrats say he is willing to change his position and “flip-flop” to get elected, and Romney’s lying about what he remembers only reinforced that perception.

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The average American voter, on the other hand, does not believe the same thing about Obama. Sure, right wing lunatics shout, scream and froth at the mouth about Obama’s duplicity, but the average person doesn’t see it. They view Obama as a basically honesty guy, and his “owning up” to his own bullying incidents reinforce that favorable view – and this means that undecided voters are now more likely to choose Obama over Romney in November.

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But what if Romney really doesn’t remember such a graphic and horrible bullying event that he himself perpetrated?  If that is true, then it is even more troubling than lying about it.

Some bullying experts say that Romney may actually not remember what he did because bullies often lack empathy. They don’t feel any of the pain they are causing, so in their minds the individual acts of bullying really are trivial and not worth remembering.

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Let’s review: Romney did it; he did the horrible thing described above. He was a bully. If he doesn’t remember it is because, at the time, he lacked empathy.

And this is the problem. Lack of empathy is one of the signs of psychopathy.

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Please control your outrage. I am not accusing Romney of being a psychopath in the popular sense – i.e., an insane killer.

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I am, however, suggesting that these recent events place into sharp focus many aspects of Romney’s personality that have troubled millions of Americans, especially conservative Americans.  And the reason why is that Romney may very well be, in a clinical, non dangerous sense, a high functioning emotional/interpersonal psychopath.

Psychopaths possess a general lack of empathy, and this includes deficiencies in comprehension and appreciation of others’ experiences and motivations, and lack of tolerance of differing perspectives.   Emotional/interpersonal psychopaths (as differentiated from socially deviant psychopaths) are often glib and superficial, egocentric and grandiose, lack remorse or guilt, and have shallow emotions. h[1]8  They display a lack empathy with no anxiety along with a predisposition to tell people what they want to hear. h[2]9 

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This describes Mitt Romney. When people complain that he is “wooden” and “boring” they are complaining about his lack of emotions.  When he says the wrong thing or “puts his foot in his mouth” he is being glib and superficial. His regular “flip flopping” is a manifestation of his predisposition to telling people what they want to hear.  He is clearly egocentric and his plans for the nation are undeniably grandiose. When people complain that he is “robotic” they are observing that he never shows any signs of anxiety.  A big complaint about Romney is that he is distant and not in touch with the common person – i.e., he has deficiencies in comprehension and appreciation of others’ experiences and motivations.

The bullying event and his reaction to the public learning about it provide the final pieces for a diagnosis:  he cut off that boy’s hair because it was dyed blond and draped over one eye, causing Romney to openly and loudly complaint that it “isn’t right; he can’t do that” which means that Romney was motivated to organize and lead a lynch mob and to assault and batter that boy because of Romney’s lack of tolerance of different perspectives. Romney cannot remember the event because of his lack of empathy.

A lot of politicians, especially those on the extreme right wing of the political spectrum, are emotional/interpersonal psychopaths. Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich certainly fit the description.

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Romney does, too.  We’ve all felt it, wondered about it, asked ourselves why we cannot support Romney and are still reluctant to do so.

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We are troubled by the inescapable fact that Romney is either lying about remembering his bullying history, or he actually doesn’t remember, and we don’t know which is worse.

Finally, the story about the boy Romney chased down and molested resonates with a brand new demographic:  those who were bullied in school and kept their silence.  They hate bullies, hate their excuses, hate the privilege that keeps bullies safe from any consequences that should result from openly expressed cruelty and sadism.

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You know these victims. They are short. They are fat. They are unattractive. They are weak. They are powerless.  They are poor. They are gay. They are “different.”

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They are Legion, and they all hate Romney.

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Bulling Victims are the new Soccer Moms.  They are a demographic that cuts across social, economic, regional and political boundaries.  And they all know what happened. They all know that Romney lead a lynch mob of rich boys who chased down a gay kid and cut off his hair for expressing  his individuality and difference.  They marked him and humiliated him in a way that neither the victim nor the bullies can ever forget.

And they are going to be the swing vote that gives Obama a second term as President of the United States.

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SIMPLE MATH [UPDATED]

Posted in American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Barry Goldwater, Bigotry in America, Crazy People, End of the World Knock-Knock Jokes, GOP, Hubris, lächerlich, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Op Ed, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Religion and Politics, Small Town America, Stupid People, The Wrath of God, مقاطع‏ ‏سكس‏ ‏مصارعه, خنده دار, سياسة on April 3, 2012 by paulboylan

On January 20, 2011, when George W. Bush took office as President of the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was at 10,587.60

Bush immediately implemented his economic plans based on right wing ideology, and this had an immediate negative effect on the US economy.  For example, on March 20, 2001, the DJIA closed below the previous year’s low for the first time since 1982.

Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, and when he did, the DJIA was at 7,365.

As of the date this is posted, the DJIA closed at 13,149.55

Let’s crunch the numbers a bit:

During Bush II, the US economy experienced a steady decline that culminated with a virtual systemic melt down. During Bush’s term in office, the DJIA lost 3,222.6 points.

The Obama years saw, at first, a worsening economic climate, with the DJIA dropping even further.  Non partisan economists believe this was due in large measure to the downward momentum from the collapsing economic system Obama inherited from Bush II.  However, as of now, during Obama’s term the DJIA has added 5,784.55 points.

The GOP is offering us Mitt Romney to replace Obama.  Here is the problem:  Mitt Romney is a somewhat stupid rich guy who is out of touch with the real world and who relies on weird economic nonsense born more of ideology than reason.

Romney wants to give the rich a tax break and pay for it by taxing the poor. No fooling.

 But we already tried that with Bush II. It didn’t work.  Obama, for all his many, many faults, has made it better.

The American people are being asked to try again what didn’t work the first time and to replace a devil we know with a devil we don’t.

The American people will pick the devil they know – warts and all. They won’t believe the shrill screams from the lunatic Right that Obama is responsible for the economic mess he inherited.  They won’t believe that he can’t take credit for the recovery we’ve experienced.

That’s all there is to it.  Romney cannot win without moderate republican votes like mine, and I won’t vote for a return to the policies of Bush II.

I am going to do what most Americans will do – I will look at the DJIA for a sign of economic health and I will look to see if my SEP retirement fund has recouped the losses it suffered during Bush II.

It has. My retirement fund is in the black again for the first time in years.  And I’m feeling a bit more secure and eating out more.  Buying that bottle of wine. Taking that short vacation.  Not caring quite as much if the lights are left on or not.

I hated living otherwise. I hated being afraid. I remember being afraid that the banking system would crash and the rest would follow.  I started wondering if I should hoard black pepper because it might be hard to get when the international trade system collapsed.

I will never forget what that felt like.  I won’t jeopardize the positive change that has come – albeit slowly.

The GOP could have given us Jim Christie.  The GOP could have embraced Ron Paul.  But it didn’t.  They found someone as much like George W. Bush as they could.

It isn’t my fault if Romney isn’t a viable candidate.

 It isn’t my fault that the GOP did everything it could to keep the economy from improving – and failed.

It infuriates me that keeping the economy bad was their big strategy to being with.  It isn’t my fault that the Republican elite is praying – and scheming – for an economic downturn right before the next election.  It isn’t my fault that the GOP strategists decided it was a good idea to spread rumors that Obama was born in Kenya and pander to bigotry by spreading the rumor that Obama is Muslim (or “muslin” as they say in the deep red states).

All they had to do was run on Obama’s record – which is really, really bad, – and give us a viable alternative.  It isn’t my fault they decided to focus on something else.

I feel bad I cannot vote for Romney. All I am doing is pursing my personal best interests. That is all any American voter should be expected to do. And that is why Romney will lose.

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UPDATE:  The latest employment figures were disappointing: unemployment dropped, but the number of jobs created was lower thane expected.  

Romney wins in November!!!

HEADLINE – FDA claims no need to test Pacific fish for radioactivity

Posted in American Decline, Brave New World, Fiction, Food, Globalization, Headline, Headlines, IN MEMORIAM, Isnt nature wonderful?, News, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Paying Attention, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science Fiction, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, USA! USA! USA!, What are you sick or something? on April 17, 2011 by paulboylan

FDA spokesperson Vinny Slimp

WASHINGTON D.C. – North Pacific fish are so unlikely to be contaminated by radioactive material from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan that there’s no reason to test them, state and federal officials said this week.

“I personally smelled a fish that came out of the Pacific that looked like it could have been Japanese and could detect no radiation whatsoever,” said FDA spokesperson Vinny Slimp. The Food and Drug Administration has oversight of the nation’s food supplies.

“Based on the work they’re doing, no sampling or monitoring of our fish is necessary,” Slimp said. “We also consulted with a really good psychic that works for the North Pacific Fish Foundation who told us to tell everyone to eat all the Pacific fish they want and that no testing is necessary.”  The North Pacific Fish Foundation is an advocacy and lobbying group that represents the sea food industry and works closely with the FDA to provide guidance on sea food safety regulations. 

“Fish is good for you even if it is radioactive,” said Rocko Vincenchi, Associate Director of the Food Safety Advisory Board. “Like the chemicals in drinking water from plastic bottles and dyes in foods, there is nothing bad, per se, about radiation.  We got radiation everywhere. You walk outside and you get hit with radiation from the sun. That’s right, from the sun. Solar energy and radiation are the same thing.  Besides, fish got all that healthy fish oil in them, so the more radiated fish you eat the more you will be protected from radiation in the fish!” Vincenchi said, then quickly added “but I’m not saying there is any radiation in any fish. The FDA says there is no need for testing so that means there ain’t no radiation,  right?”

Rocko Vincenchi

The Food Safety Advisory Board is an advocacy/lobbying organization supported financially by the food industry and is dedicated to repealing food safety regulations.

Source:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/04/16/1629400/fda-claims-no-need-to-test-pacific.html#ixzz1JnSXmTVC

HEADLINE – Gov’t focus on nuke crisis angers tsunami victims

Posted in Barry Goldwater, Brave New World, dada, Fair Use, Get a job, Getting it Right, Globalization, Headline, Headlines, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Smiley Face, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, Uncategorized, USA! USA! USA!, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags , , , , , , on April 2, 2011 by paulboylan

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan – As Japan’s prime minister held another in an endless stream of press conferences to describe in great detail the Japanese government’s efforts to fix damaged nuclear reactors, frustrated tsunami victims complained that the government has been too focused on the nuclear crisis that followed the massive wave.

“Hey! Over here! 165,000 people living in cardboard boxes and packing crates! HELLO?? Is anyone home??” 35-year-old Megumi Shimanuki shouted at the Prime Minister from the crowd gathered at the press conference. “Yeah, yeah, highly radioactive water is leaking into the sea. Blah, blah, blah. I need a house,” Shimanuki yelled.

“Go find the corporate executives and their stooge government regulators who willfully and knowingly decided to operate unsafe nuclear reactors right near the ocean, line them up against a wall, and shoot them,” suggested Ken Hashimoto, a fellow tsunami evacuee.

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“Kill them all, then confiscate their multiple homes, expensive automobiles and jewelry they bought with the profits they made cutting safety corners.  Sell that property and use the money to get me some food,” Hashimoto added.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com

HEADLINE – Japan vows to review nuclear safety standards

Posted in Brave New World, dada, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Headline, Headlines, Humor, Isnt nature wonderful?, Life, Mad Men, News, Op Ed, Parody, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, satire, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2011 by paulboylan

In response to charges of criminal regulatory negligence that resulted in the clearly apparent failure to build and maintain safe nuclear reactors, the Japanese government vowed to review Japan’s nuclear safety standards.

“We will review them, if we can find them,” promised Ken Fujikuma, Head of the Japanese Nuclear Industry Regulatory Commission and Late Night Drinking Games.

Fujikuma also pledged to “look into” the wisdom of running while holding scissors and playing Russian Roulette with fully loaded hand guns.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110329/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_earthquake;_ylt=AqGOpu9PvKLz0Dh77MPCoIys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFoOGJ1Ymw0BHBvcwMyNwRzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9uX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNqYXBhbnZvd3N0b3I-

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Nietzsche Family Circus

Posted in American Decline, Artists Rights, Barry Goldwater, Berne Convention, dada, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Hapax Legomenon, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Mad Men, Moral Rights, Op Ed, Our animal friends, Parody, Paying Attention, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, satire, Small Town America, Stoats, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, The Wilhelm Scream, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 20, 2010 by paulboylan

I don’t know if this is taking place in any other part of the world, but here in the U.S. of A. virtually every newspaper has featured a daily cartoon entitled “the Family Circus.”  Here is an example:


I hate this cartoon strip.  Please note that I am using the word “hate” in reference to the Family Circus cartoon series.  First, it isn’t funny.  At most, it is merely cute, and cuteness doesn’t sustain any meaningful interest. Second, and more importantly,  the  Family Circus cartoon series represents – and works to reinforce and therefore perpetuate – just about every evil that slowly works to subvert American greatness.  The cartoon strip champions mediocrity.  It laughs at – and accepts – idiocy in thought, attitude and behavior.


The Nietzsche Family Circus pairs randomized Family Circus cartoons with randomized Friedrich Nietzsche quotes, and by doing so, not only is wonderful parody but brilliant and piercing satire, e.g. -

Man is something to be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

And, from my very limited and idiosyncratic viewpoint, the random parings are also very dada, which, for me, provides added value and elevates the Nietzche Family Circus to art.



Please enjoy:


http://www.losanjealous.com/nfc/


And, as a bonus for my mate, Flinthart, here is a Family Circus cartoon quoting H.P. Lovecraft:



Obama IS a secret Muslim!

Posted in American Decline, Hapax Legomenon, Hate Crimes, Mad Men, News, Op Ed, pandemic, Paying Attention, Politics, Pycho-Social Trauma, Small Town America, Stupid People, Television, The Wrath of God on August 19, 2010 by paulboylan

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Anyone who believes that Barak Obama is a secret Muslim is an idiot.

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Anyone who thinks it matters what religion – if any – the President practices is a bigger idiot.

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Anyone who believes that Islamist extremists want to build a “victory mosque” at the site of the 9-ll World Trade Center (Ground Zero) is incapable of the minimal critical thinking skills necessary to be an active American citizen and should be forcibly sterilized and prohibited from voting.

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They also want englich proclaimed the ofishal langwaj

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OKAY, SO I WAS WRONG ABOUT STARGATE UNIVERSE

Posted in Art, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, Fiction, Getting it Right, Joseph Bleckman, Op Ed, Pop Culture, Review, Stargate Universe, Television, TV, Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 by paulboylan

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I just watched the latest episode of Stargate Universe, entitled “Sabotage.” If you haven’t seen it, you must. It was one of the finest pieces of science fiction I’ve ever seen.

My personal relationship with art is centered in recognizing balance.  In my view, all art embodies at least two kinds of balance: the first is the balance of the genre it is part of; the second is the balance unique to the particular work itself.

In general, the evolution of science fiction as an art form has been a struggle to achieve artistic balance.  The early science fiction of Jules Vern and H.G. Wells was beautifully balanced, partly because Vern and Wells were not science fiction writers. They were authors who used science fiction as a story-telling delivery mechanism.  It was the story that was important to these writers; science fiction provided the structure to tell those stories.

These early science fiction stories also benefited from the fact that so few people could read and write. Those who could were automatically better educated and cultured than those who could not and, consequently, Vern, Wells and those like them were part of a “high art” literary tradition.

Such status was short-lived. Industrial societies depended on mass education that included reading and writing, which became common even among the uneducated and uncultured.  And it was these great unwashed masses that began both writing and reading science fiction.  Through pulp magazines, Sci Fi moved from high culture to popular culture.

And what a load of crap gushed forth – garbage written by amateur hacks with no story sense and poor vocabularies, using science fiction as a means of adolescent male masturbatory  wish fulfillment that really couldn’t get very far past rocketing off to a place they might encounter space chicks needing rescue from bug eyed monsters.

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In other words, this pulp rubbish lacked artistic balance and focus.  If “ray guns are cool” is the reason a story is written, and if the writer lacks the talent, skill and educational foundation to reach beyond their fingertips, then the story is going to suck.

I believe that has changed.  Kim Stanley Robinson and John Birmingham are proof that SF has changed for the better.

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Robinson and Birmingham are serious artists who, like Vern and Wells, use science fiction frameworks to tell stories that resonate beyond mere fantasy escapist wish fulfillment. Their work is artistically balanced in the same way any good novel worth reading and remembering achieves artistic balance.

Science Fiction cinema followed the same progression from early greatness  - e.g., Fritz Lang’s early silent work -

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From Metropolis


to adlolescent escapism – e.g., the Flash Gordon serials -

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to artistically balanced, nuanced good works that are cinema first and science fiction second – e.g., 2001, Alien and 12 Monkeys.

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The same is true for science fiction television – from high art of the Twilight Zone –

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to the idiocy of the Adventures of Buck Rodgers -

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to the retooled, reimagined excellence of Battlestar Galactica.

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This new video excellence was only possible because the popular audience is older and smarter, and cable television makes it possible to reach a smaller, smarter audience and still be profitable.  Battlestar Galactica was not just an artistic success – it was a commercial success.

And nothing succeeds like success. All commercial successes spawn imitations. Those behind Stargate Universe want to repeat, if not exceed, the BSG‘s commercial success and they concluded the way to do it is to imitate BSG‘s artistic success – i.e., focusing on story, plot and character and complex themes that resonate emotionally and intellectually.

Which created a different balance problem: too much focus on story, plot, character and complex themes is just as bad as too little.

Stargate Universe‘s first season suffered from this imbalance, resulting in slow, ponderous, boring television.  For me this imbalance was so annoying that I actually watched the show only because I was hoping to witness some of the more boring characters die and the slowest, most ponderous story lines end.

Which is why this last episode so delighted me. It is a demonstration of perfect balance between plot, character, theme, special effects and action. It isn’t boring in the slightest and when it was over I wanted more and cannot wait to see the next episode.

I so hope this isn’t an aberration. I so hope this is a sign the series as finally found its voice.

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HEADLINE – US combat rifles embedded with Bible verses

Posted in Barry Goldwater, Evil Smiley Face, Fiction, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Hapax Legomenon, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Joseph Bleckman, Mad Men, News, Op Ed, Our animal friends, Paying Attention, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Sports, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on January 19, 2010 by paulboylan


REYKJAVIK – Combat rifle sights used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry references to Bible verses, stoking concerns about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops.


Military officials said the citations don’t violate the ban. One such inscription includes a reference to John 8:12: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”


“These inscriptions communicating Jesus’ message of peace and understanding do not violate the ban against proselytizing,” said Air Force spokesperson, Major John Blankenship.

 

Maj. John Blankenship

 

“There is no indication that any of our bullets have converted any of their targets to Christianity,” said Blankenship.


There is evidence, however, that bullets fired by guns with Bible verse inscriptions are convincing the Taliban and al Qaeda to change their ways.

Thinking it over.

“Right before Achmed was killed by an American sniper, he looked at me and said ‘I am suddenly compelled by logic, reason and spiritual insight to conclude that our leaders are completely wrong in their argument that the Americans are fighting a religious war against Islam and that their invasion is little different from the European invasions during the Crusades,’” said Aziz, a Taliban commander.

Aziz

“Achmed paused in deep though, and then continued, saying ‘perhaps this also means that we should reject Islam and consider accepting Jesus as our personal savior.’ Then Achmed’s head exploded.”

Achmed

“Nevertheless, Achmed’s points were well-made, thought provoking, and his logic impeccable,” Aziz concluded.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said he has received complaints about the Scripture citations from active-duty and retired members of the military. Weinstein said he couldn’t identify them because they fear retaliation.


“We see nothing ironic whatsoever or in any way hypocritical, alarming or distasteful in inscribing weapons with Jesus quotes,” said General Jack T. Ripper from an undisclosed location.

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Sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8468981.stm

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HEADLINE – Argentina forces dirty war orphans to provide DNA

Posted in Fiction, Globalization, Headline, Headlines, Humor, News, Op Ed, Research and Development, Travel on January 17, 2010 by paulboylan

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Ulan Bator – The Argentine legislature has enacted a controversial bill requiring all war orphans residing in Argentina to provide DNA samples – but only if they are “filthy.”

“Just look at those dirty, filthy war orphans,” said Juan Hepilmeyer, Argentine Minister of Public Hygiene. “The Argentine government has finally decided to do something about the problem of dirty war orphans, and the first step is to collect their DNA,” Hepilmeyer said.

“I don’t care what the law says,” said Ricci Polinski, a hygienically-challenged war orphan who wanders the streets of Buenos Aries. “They won’t get of my DNA,” said a defiant Polinski as he picked his nose and wiped his finger on his shirt.

Hepilmeyer said that the new law authorizes the use of the Argentine Army to enforce the new regulations.

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Source: http://www.stltoday.com/argentina-forces-dirty-war-orphans-to-provide-dna/

REMEMBERING THE 2000 COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE, PART 2

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV on December 27, 2009 by paulboylan

In Part One of this series, we encountered “Hello, Meteor!” – a commercial the Discovery Channel  (TDS) made during the 2000 commercial actors strike.  “Hello, Meteor!” garnered critical and commercial acclaim.  This success encouraged TDS on to assign more of their non-actor office to star in other commercials, including the now classic “Hello, Mosquito!” shown below.

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REMEMBERING THE 2000 SAG COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE

Posted in 3D, American Decline, Art, Artists Rights, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Berne Convention, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Evil Smiley Face, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Moral Rights, morbid obesity, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Parody, Paying Attention, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, satire, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, South Korea, Space, Sports, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stoats, Stupid People, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, TRIPs, TV, Uncategorized, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, West Korea, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on December 23, 2009 by paulboylan

If you are anything like me, then every so often – when the winter wind blows clean and fresh from the north – you are overcome by nolstagia for the halcyon days of the 2000 Screen Actors Guild Commercial Actors Strike.

Ah, those halcyon days! – when men selling things on television had to do without actors because actors who acted in television commercials wanted more money for their labor, but the major studios wouldn’t give them more money.  And so they went on strike.


Commercials got made and were broadcast without professional acting, and sometimes the results were simply wonderful.



The Discovery Channel used accounting and technical employees to act in a series of commercials that have since become legend, the first of which I feature below.

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AHHH!!!   THE ATMOSPHERE!!!!  AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

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HEADLINE – GOV’T IMPOSES 3-HOUR LIMIT ON TARMAC STRANDINGS

Posted in Evil Smiley Face, Fiction, Headline, Headlines, Life, Mad Men, News, Op Ed on December 22, 2009 by paulboylan


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By Rhappi Kanasta (Ass.Press) – 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has ruled that airlines can hold passengers on grounded jets or planes for no more than three hours. After that, the passengers must be set free.

“The three-hour limit and other new regulations are meant to send an unequivocal message to airlines not to hold passengers hostage on stuck planes,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “If airline passengers are imprisoned any longer than three hours on a motionless, cramped, hot, smelly jet or plane, the responsible airline will be fined.”

The announcement was hailed by consumer advocates as “a Christmas miracle.” However, airline industry insiders predict that restricting the practice of forceably holding passengers on planes until the flight clears will result in more canceled flights and more inconvenience for passengers.

In related news, the Obama Administration also announced that rape victims can be sexually assaulted for only three hours, and no more.

“The three-hour limit on rape and sexual assault is meant to send an unequivocal message to rapists not to sexually assault anyone,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas.  “If victims are raped for longer than three hours, then the rapist(s) responsible will be fined.”

The announcement was hailed by rape victim advocates as “a Christmas miracle.” However, experienced rapists predict that restricting how long rape can last will result in more rapes and more inconvenience for rape victims.



WHAT AMERICANS SOUND LIKE

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV on December 21, 2009 by paulboylan

As I’ve often mentioned (purely as a matter of pretense), I often lecture to non American audiences. With minor exception I lecture in English.

The noted internet social analysis and general media maven, Joseph Bleckman, sent me this link that shows what non English speakers hear when they hear Americans speaking.  It isn’t a very loving or kind parody, but it is pretty funny.


RESTAURANT REVIEW

Posted in Art, Avatar, おかしなふるまいの, अजीब, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, buffo, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, greannmhar, 재미, αστείος, ανόητο άτομα, lächerlich, Life, Mad Men, News, neşeli, скарлетт йоханссон, смешной, Op Ed, Photography, Pop Culture, Review, Small Town America, Smiley Face, snaaks, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, مقاطع‏ ‏سكس‏ ‏مصارعه, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, 滑稽, מצחיק, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون on December 17, 2009 by paulboylan

Last Saturday my wife and I ate at Ming Tu’s – a restaurant located at 1158 “L” Street in Downtown Sacramento.  Ming Tu’s serves Asian” inspired” food in a casual setting.

Not affiliated with Ming Tu in any way whatsoever.

Many people have eaten at Ming Tu’s.  Some of them have written reviews that can be found at http://www.yelp.com/biz/ming-tus-asian-diner-sacramento.  For example, Karina of Elk Grove writes:

“I’ve been here twice – with coworkers and with friends.  The food is definitely an Americanized version of Chinese food, but far better than Panda Express. Love their Mongolian beef over brown rice.”



Moo N of Sacramento writes:

“I work a couple of blocks from here so I have had opportunity to eat here often.  Each time I have eaten here, I have been quite happy.  The teriyaki chicken with rice is my fave and I love the fried rice too!  I love rice so if you do too you should definitely partake :-)”



My dining experience was a little different from Katrina’s and Moo’s. My meal was not as good as theirs. So this is going to be a negative restaurant review.



Over the years I’ve written plenty of restaurant reviews, may of them negative, and when I write a negative review I spend a lot of time describing what I ate and how it was served. Then I complain a lot.


I feel this is a special case. The usual descriptions of the food and service and the usual complaining just wouldn’t be enough to properly express how I feel about this dining experience. So I’m not going to describe the food or the service. I’m not going to make fun of the owner’s funny accent. I am not going to mock the handicapped busboy.  Instead, I will simply describe what I did after I left Ming Tu’s.



After I paid the bill and my wife and I left the restaurant, I immediately walked to a nearby church and prayed that God would reach down with His mighty hand and, with a fist of divine fury, smite Ming Tu’s, crushing it down to the bedrock, destroying it utterly.



I know what you are thinking. You think I over reacted.  You are thinking: “Aw, come on, Paul. The meal couldn’t have been so bad that you would call upon the Creator of the Universe to smite those responsible. “



If you are thinking this, you are wrong.  You weren’t there. You didn’t pay good money for really bad Chinese food. It was so bad that I felt, and still feel, within my rights as a God fearing Christian to call upon the power of Almighty God to send down destruction upon Ming Tu’s and punish all those responsible for my mediocre dining experience.



Now you are thinking: “Okay, Paul, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the meal you were served wasn’t very good.  Is that sufficient reason for calling for divine retribution? Isn’t being served a bad meal at a restaurant a trivial reason for calling upon the divine power of God Almighty to smite those who displeased you?”



Not at all.  And if you think that, then you probably are not a Christian.


Or you might be a Socialist.


A Socialist Atheist, that’s what you are, if you think there is anything wrong with me asking God to smite anyone I don’t like or destroy any business that has provided less than acceptable service.



Every day, ordinary people from all walks of life call upon the power of the Lord to avenge them – often for seemingly trivial reasons. My own Aunt reads the Bible every day and goes to church every Sunday – and every single day she prays to Baby Jesus that her neighbor die of a heart attack.

Her neighbor is a liberal who plays that jazz music much too loud. And he voted for Obama. Who is a secret Muslim.


But I digress.  My point is that it is perfectly okay to call upon the power of God to right any wrong, no matter how trivial the wrong may appear. The Bible shows us that God responds in dramatic ways to correct what seem to be trivial wrongs.


For example, in 2 Kings 23-25, the prophet Elisha, who had a bald head, cast a “curse unto God” at a bunch of young boys who were making fun of Elisha’s bald head.  Now, you non-Christian, socialist liberal secret Muslims will say that what those kids did was no big deal.  Well, God didn’t think so.  In response to Elisha’s curse, God sent two female bears to kill forty-two of those boys.



So Elisha called upon the divine power of the Creator of the Universe to punish a bunch of boys who made fun of him. I am calling upon that same power to smite a restaurant that served me a lousy meal.  I honestly don’t see the difference. I fully expect to see a big hole in the ground where Ming Tu’s used to be when I next drive or walk by that place.



I’ll let you know if it happens.


WINNING THE AFGHAN WAR

Posted in Op Ed on December 4, 2009 by paulboylan

I am a negotiator by profession.  I lecture and write on the subject.

Don’t be too impressed. It isn’t complex. The basis for all negotiations is:

  1. someone – let’s call him “Ted” – wants something someone else (let’s call him “Raool”) has.

  2. In order to persuade Raool to give Ted what Raool has but Ted wants, Ted has to do one of two things:

    A.  offer Raool something Raool knows Raool wants; or

    B.  educate Raool that Raool wants/needs something Ted has that Raool didn’t realize Raool wants or needs.

If you have these things, you end up with a successful negotiation that results in a deal.

It is the same whether you are looking at negotiations between individuals, groups, businesses or nations.

And that’s what bothers me about the Afghan War.  To me it is inconceivable that the United States is fighting this war virtually alone when it could very easily negotiate a deal with lots of other countries to help finance and even fight that war.

Let me show you how easy it should be.  Many, many nations want to begin a process that will reduce global consumption of fossil fuels and maybe –just maybe – help avoid aggravating the affects of global climate change.

I am not interested in debating whether or not humans are responsible for climate change or even if it is happening at all.  What matters is that lots of countries – especially the ones prone to flooding if sea levels rise, or the ones prone to famine from loss of rainfall due to shifting weather patterns – really, really want the United States to cooperate with efforts to cut back on greenhouse gases.  That’s what they want – and they want it bad.

So, it looks like a deal can be made.  They want something that they can’t get done without US cooperation (movement towards a global effort to limit greenhouse gases) and the US wants something (troops and money for Afghanistan).

So why is the United States making noises like it is going to cooperate with an international plan to begin to address the climate change issue without an agreement for troops and/or cash for Afghanistan from the countries that most want and need the US to cooperate in an international effort to combat climate change?

It simply makes no sense. To me.

But it isn’t too late.  President Obama, listen to Professor Boylan: don’t give anything away without getting something back for it.  And do not agree to anything on climate change treaties or legislation without getting troops and money to help fight and finance the Afghan war.

HEADLINE – Burqas not welcomed in France

Posted in News, Op Ed on November 16, 2009 by paulboylan

Sarkozy: No Place for Burqas in France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

By Rhappi Kanasta, Ass.Press Reporter

PARIS (Nov. 17) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy says there is no place for full face and body veils such as the burqa, or for the debasement of women, in France.

“Becoming French means adhering to a form of civilization, to values, to morals,” Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy said Thursday during a speech on national identity that “France is a country where there is no place for the burqa.”

“However,” the French President continued, “we are totally in favor of hot women wearing exciting underwear.”

“There is definitely a place for sexy lingerie in France,” Sarkozy concluded.


President Nicolas Sarkozy and a hot French babe. So she slept with Mick Jagger. So what?

What would Sarkozy think about this?

HEADLINE – Lawyer: Accused Fort Hood gunman may be paralyzed

Posted in Getting it Right, Mad Men, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Pycho-Social Trauma on November 13, 2009 by paulboylan

Alleged Ft. Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Hasan paralyzed and may never walk again, lawyer says

BY Rhappi Kanasta
ASS.PRESS NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, November 13th 2009, 11:38 AM

alg_fort-hood_nidal-hasan

May never walk again, his lawyer said.

The accused Fort Hood gunman is paralyzed and likely will never be able walk again, his lawyer said Friday.  Attorney John Douchebag said Maj. Nidal Hasan’s medical condition remains “extremely serious” and “it appears he won’t be able to walk in the future.”

“OMG!” said no one in particular, Senior Fellow at no institution of higher learning whatsoever. “That poor murderer of 13 soldiers! He may not be able to walk to the gas chamber!  We must make sure he can be carried or wheeled there!”

MISSING BABY FOUND

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Website of the Week on November 5, 2009 by paulboylan

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Little Shannon Dedrick’s disappearance caught the world’s attention.

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7 month old Shannon Dedrick

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The world breathed a collective sigh of relief when, today, Shannon was found in a box under the bed of her baby sitter – who had apparently abducted the infant.

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I am glad the ordeal is over for Shannon’s parents, but someone has to point out that their child is an alien.

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resized_Shannon_Dedrick

That isn't drool.

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Little Shannon is clearly a human/alien hybrid.  I am the last person on this or any world to so much as imply that there is anything wrong with that.  At one time some stygma might have attached to parents who gave birth to an alien baby, but recent high profile celebrity adoptions have removed much of that stygma.

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As a consequence, caring for an alien baby has become quite fashionable.

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Shannon’s parents must realize that raising a human/alien hybrid is a challenging, but ultimately rewarding endeavor.

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Every child is a special gift from God.

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For example, Shannon’s remarkably large head indicates that she will be telepathic.

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resized_Shannon_Dedrick

Knows what you are thinking.

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Telepathic children are unusually challenging because they know when daddy says “no” that he really means “yes” and when mommy says “just wait until your father gets home!” mommy really doesn’t mean it.

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Nothing but trouble

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As an alien/human hybrid, little Shannon is likely to develop the skill to levitate.

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Extra care is required.

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Like telepathy, the ability to levitate will be a job skill that employers will appreciate, but in the beginning, the parent of an alien/human hybrid must exercise extra care, such as making sure windows are closed at all times.

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Not good.

So, we are all glad baby Shannon is back, but her parents need to pay attention to her special qualities.

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HALLOWEEN AT MY PLACE

Posted in 3D, Art, Artists Rights, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Berne Convention, Brave New World, Cinema, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Evil Smiley Face, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Humor, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Moral Rights, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Parody, Paying Attention, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, TV, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 3, 2009 by paulboylan

Culturally speaking, the United States has contributed two things to the world – popular barbecue and Halloween.

Why not both at the same time?

By “popular” I mean widespread.  No people on earth have popularized cooking outdoors over live fire the way we Americans have. For a more serious discussion, please click here. l


Considered good eating in Perth.

By “Halloween” I mean an unabashed annual celebration of the spooky.

Other cultures celebrate death.  They do it in China. They do it in Mexico.  But those celebrations are essentially spiritual and/or religious.  But not Halloween.  Halloween has nothing to do with the spiritual. It has nothing to do with religion.  It has everything to do with fun.

Every year on October 31st – when the wall between the worlds is thinnest and most easily crossed – kids and adults dress up in costumes and, when it gets dark, they go door to door essentially begging for candy – which they receive in large, monstrous handfuls.

This completely non religious festival is becoming part of the international scene.  American style Halloween is now celebrated all over the world.

Halloween in Costa Rica

Halloween in Costa Rica

Halloween in Singapore

My favorite expression of this spread is Sandra’s haunted balcony in Hamburg, Germany.

It makes sense that the Germans in particular would embrace Halloween.

Admirable Teutonic exuberance.

But I digress.  I am here to tell you – to show you – what Halloween is like here in Northern California in the small town where I live.

Blackula1

For me Halloween began with a knock on my door early in the morning.  My neighbor and his son came by to ask is they could install a portal into a dimension of evil in my front yard.  My lawn was destroyed when my home was remodeled, so I figured, heck, when would there be a better time to have a portal into a dimension of evil installed in my front yard?

A hole was dug.

digging the hole

The device was installed.

adjusting the device

While my neighbors tinkered with the field densities between the universes, a flock of wild turkeys strolled down my street foraging and decided to spend some time on a roof at the end of the block.

roof turkeys 1.0

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It was a good omen.

I decided to carve a pumpkin, but the pumpkin bin at my local market was somewhat bare with slim pickings left.

pumpkin dregs

Nevertheless, I was able to find a reasonably decent pumpkin and was able to exercise the minimal artistic talent every American is born with and which is useful only for carving faces in pumpkins.

awaiting darkness 3

The dirt from the hole that housed the portal into the dimension of evil made a couple of fine impromptu graves.


awaiting nightfall

All we had to do was wait for darkness and some unsuspecting Trick or Treaters.

trick or treat

Actual Trick or Treaters who came to my door.

I went out and bought candy to give away to the little boys and gouls who would come to my door that evening.

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In addition to the usual treats, I included in my selection the very finest fake glow in the dark sour worms I could find.

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The perfect Halloween treat.

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And then it was time to get our collective freak on.

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The device in my front yard worked nicely.  I had a switch inside the house that triggered the device whenever someone rang the door bell, causing much shouting and the occasional scream.

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It was a most satisfying Halloween.  But I’m beginning to wonder if that portal is going to harm the value of my property.

 

DISAPPOINTED IN OBAMA’S NOBEL PRIZE

Posted in Getting it Right, Globalization, Life, Mad Men, Op Ed, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Review, The Matrix, Travel on October 9, 2009 by paulboylan

I’m a little ticked-off it wasn’t awarded to me.

“YOU LIE!”

Posted in 3D, American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Bigotry in America, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, GOP, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Great State of Montana!, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, USA! USA! USA!, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 29, 2009 by paulboylan

JOE WILSON AND THE AMERICAN WAY

I want to talk to you about Joe Wilson, the guy who heckled Barak Obama by yelling “you lie!” when the president was addressing a joint session of congress.

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He looks retarded, but he is more than that.

He looks retarded, but he is more than that.

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The liberal media has expressed extreme outrage over this incident, accusing Wilson of being everything from a boorish idiot to a racist.

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Victim of the liberal media

Victim of the liberal media

Don’t let that outrage fool you. What Wilson did is no big deal – especially when viewed through the lens of American history.  A congressman yelling “you lie!” at the president during a presentation to congress is not only a trivial event, the event itself fits well within the American traditions of political free speech.

The American Way

The American Way

To begin with, allow me to remind you what it means to be an American.  More than anything else, being an American means having the constitutional right to speak your mind.  Many Americans take this important freedom for granted.  But those outside our great nation know how special and precious it is. During the great wave of immigration that took place near the beginning of the 20th Century – the time my Greek ancestors came to this country – immigrants wrote home saying that the streets of American cities were “paved with gold.”


In a literal sense this wasn’t true.  But to people escaping tyranny, oppression and poverty, the freedoms and opportunities that came with merely walking on American soil were priceless.  Where they came from, no matter how hard they worked they could never hope for a better life for their children.  In America, men and women who are willing to work hard can shape their own futures.  In their homelands, these immigrants could be arrested and imprisoned for saying the wrong thing.  But in America they could argue in the streets and express their opinions freely.


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What the liberal media wants us to forget is that the right of free speech includes the right to get angry.  When Joe Wilson interrupted the President of the United States by shouting “you lie!” Citizen Joe was merely exercising his rights as an American and was taking part in a tradition that spans our nation’s noble history.

The American Founding Fathers were notoriously cranky, rude, angry men who openly hated each other.  Benjamin Franklin hated Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine hated George Washington. George Washington hated all French intellectuals – who, in a very real sense, gave birth to the American Revolution.


Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr hated each other so much they fought a duel – and Burr killed Hamilton with a bullet that pierced Hamilton’s liver.  Thomas Jefferson – the man given credit with drafting the American Declaration of Independence – made loud, unmistakable noises simulating flatulence – often using his hand and armpit – every time he encountered his political rival John Adams.  Adams never hesitated to accuse Jefferson of “preferring the company of young boys” and of stealing the design for the swivel chair from Nathaniel Swivel, a Boston furniture maker and brewer.

Nathanial Swivel

Nathaniel Swivel

As our republic grew and matured, so did the salty nature of American political discourse.  Martin Van Buren – our 8th president – and the first American president born in the United States – won the 1832 election in a landslide.  But the Whig Party (now defunct) despised Van Buren and refused to recognize his legitimacy.  They spread rumors that he was born in Holland and that he was secretly a Quaker.

Quaker

Quaker

In conjunction with this rumor campaign, the Whigs engaged in a rhetorical attack utilizing misleading vocabulary. For example, Winfield Scott – a Whig Party organizer – gave a speech in Buffalo, New York accusing Van Buren of vague charges that no one understood but everyone believed.  Scott is quoted as saying:

“In addition to the many crimes Martin Van Buren has committed against the American people as a whole – nay humanity – perhaps most disturbing, if not revolting, is the indisputable fact that Van Buren is a notorious masticator.   Reliable sources close to Van Buren – if that is his real name – confirm that he masticates at least three times a day, often in the presence of his wife. As monstrous as this may seem, Van Buren has also been known to vacillate on numerous occasions.  I put it to you that, not only is Van Buren a vacillator AND a masticator, he vacillates WHILE he masticates! The man has practiced vacillation and chronic mastication ever since he was a small child in Holland!”

These Whig tactics worked: the public turned against Van Buren, with many refusing to shake his hand for fear of where it may have been.  Whig congressmen and senators began pelting Van Buren with rotten vegetables whenever he spoke publically. The threat of violence became so pronounced that Van Buren would carry two loaded pistols whenever he addressed congress.

Packing heat

More recently, Republicans unhappy with Franklin Delano Roosevelt – a polio victim confined to a wheel chair – accused Roosevelt of being born in Norway and of secretly being a Free Mason. They would yell “cripple!” and “gimp!” during Roosevelt’s State of the Union addresses, pretending that they were sneezing.

He killed and ate this child.

He killed and ate this child.

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So, when seen through the lens of history, Joe Wilson’s yelling, “you lie!” at Obama during the the President’s State of the Union Address, or Arizona Governor Jan Brewer jabbing her finger into the President’s face while yelling at him, or even a reporter heckling Obama during a press conference, it really isn’t very important.

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Maybe it was tourettes.

This never happened when a white president was giving a speech.

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This would never happen to a white president, and never has.

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Perhaps they feel free to disrespect him because he isn’t white, so he can’t really be the president, so they don’t owe him any respect.

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 It is just part of the American way.

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HEADLINE – Ugandan gorillas join Facebook

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 27, 2009 by paulboylan

Endangered Ugandan gorillas join Facebook, MySpace

By Rhappi Khanasta, Ass. Press Writer – Sat Sep 26, 10:53 am ET

KAMPALA, Uganda – Around 340 mountain gorillas — nearly half of the 740 remaining worldwide — have joined Facebook, Myspace and Twitter in an attempt to live it up before the end.

“I figured, what the hell?” explains M’bitah, a male silverback weighing 400 pounds (180 kilograms) who lives in Uganda’s lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. “Maybe I can hook up with a willing female and have a little fun before I am shot, killed and eaten,” M’bitah said.

Despite their size — a male silverback can reach over 7 feet (2.1 meters) — the gorillas are threatened by poachers who kill them for meat, farmers and charcoal-burners who encroach on their habitat, and the indiscriminate bullets of rebels on the run.

“We Mountain Gorillas will probably be eaten into extinction within a year or two,” said Kampanga, a female adult mountain gorilla. “But I just got friended by five people on Facebook and 28 people responded to my tweet about scratching my stomach,” she said. “How cool is that?”

“We support efforts to include gorillas within internet based social networks,” said N’kita “Ernie” Ruzigandekwa, President and former Treasurer for the Ugandan Bush Meat Advisory Board, a nonprofit, corporate sponsored interest group that promotes eating gorillas. “The Ugandan mountain gorilla is an elusive creature that is much, much easier to sneak up on when concentrating on updating their Facebook profile,” Ruzigandekwa said.

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BOYFRIEND (WITH BENEFITS)

Posted in Op Ed on September 23, 2009 by paulboylan

Its funny because it’s true.

To be more precise, it’s funny if you are a citizen of the United States of America. Anyone in France, England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Finland Spain – well, just about everyone who isn’t American – won’t get it.

Has no idea why the video is funny.

Has no idea why the video is funny.

“I don’t get it,” said my good friend Benedicte, who lives in France.  It took my about fifteen minutes to explain before she got the joke, but she never laughed.

“So,  women in your country without health care must resort to prostitution to see a doctor?” she asked.

“Why do you hate America?” I snapped back.

Benedicte: cant understand why anyone would have sex with another person in order to obtain health care.

Benedicte: can't understand why anyone would have sex with another person in order to obtain health care.

MY FAVORITE HOMOSEXUALS

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 16, 2009 by paulboylan


Today I couldn’t help but notice homosexuals all over the place.

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I noticed three homosexuals while I watched television as I made coffee for my wife. I saw half a dozen more as I drove my son to school. I saw another two or three in the supermarket where I stopped to buy milk on my way back home. And, when I parked outside my house, I waved to Ted, my gay neighbor, as he was leaving his house to go to work.

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My gay neighbor, Ted.
My gay neighbor, Ted.

We chatted a bit and both agreed that the weather was fabulous for this time of year.

It wasn’t always this way.  At one time, not so long ago, I could go for months without encountering a homosexual or even noticing one on the street. Other than Richard Simmons, you almost never saw one on TV.

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Richard Simmons. Very gay.
Richard Simmons. Very gay.

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But things have changed.  The media today seems jam-packed with homosexuals – both real and imaginary. For example, on the television show Will and Grace, Eric McCormack – a fine, upstanding heterosexual actor – plays the part of a homosexual lawyer.

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Eric McCormack: not gay.

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While on the television show How I Met Your Mother Neil Patrick Harris, who is gay, plays the part of Barney, who isn’t.

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Neil Patrick Harris: totally gay.
Neil Patrick Harris: totally gay.

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(Harris also played the part of Doogie Howser, which disturbs me.  Somehow I cannot accept that Doogie is gay.)

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What the hell?

What the hell?

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It wasn’t always this way.  In the old days, you could go your whole life without noticing a homosexual.  You could be in the middle of a crowd without realizing you were surrounded by them. Your best friends could have been gay – and probably were – but you would never have known it because they did everything they could to look, sound, dress and live like heterosexuals.  And they were pretty good at it.  Some – like Senator Larry Craig – got married and even had kids just to avoid anyone knowing they were gay. You gotta admire that kind of effort.

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Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Gay - with children.

Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Imagine the effort.

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But now it seems that more and more homosexuals go out of their way to appear “gay” by embodying gay stereotypes.  I see lesbians every day with short hair, often wearing bandanas on their heads, dressed in flannel shirts, wearing extra-long baggy cargo/plaid/khaki shorts and walking in Doc Martins or Birkenstocks.

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(If you are a woman and I just described what you look like, and you are not gay, I’m sorry, but it isn’t my fault: you look like a lesbian).

Every day I see effeminate, lisping, mincing, fastidious, fashion-forward, musical theater loving guys who “simply adore” Betty Davis, and who go out of their way to demonstrate that they throw like a girl. (“Here! Catch!  Don’t I throw like a girl?”)


But I am not one to judge.  I mean that in a literal sense.  I tried it, and I was a terrible judge.  I couldn’t really accept the whole “innocent until proven guilty” slogan.  I mean, if the accused might be innocent, then why were they in jail?  They must have done something wrong, right?  When I found out judges are supposed to be “impartial” I realized I am not one to judge.

Not as easy as it looks.

Not as easy as it looks.

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Neither am I here to debate the issue.  I am not here to say whether the advent of open homosexuality is good or bad.  The last thing I want to do is get involved in a argument over whether homosexuality is a naturally occurring condition – like red hair and freckles – or a mental disease like acute schizophrenia that can be treated with intensive psychotherapy or drugs or even institutionalization.

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As far as I am concerned, both positions have merit, but I don’t want to get involved.

In all honesty, there is a limit to my ability to embrace this brave new world.  I feel I speak for many heterosexuals when I say that there is a certain “ick” factor associated with the concept, if not the practice, of homosexuality.

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We heterosexuals are trying to keep open minds, but we are wired this way and cannot help finding the picture below sort of unsettling on a visceral level.

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And let’s not forget the problems inherent in the persistent argument that the gay lifestyle is an abomination in the eyes of God.  I mean, Leviticus 18:23 really complicates the whole discussion, doesn’t it?

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Repressed homosexuals

Repressed homosexual (the one holding the signs).

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But I digress.  The point I am trying to make is that there are lots of homosexuals out there and I might as well point out the ones I like.  Here is a quick list of the homosexuals I approve of:

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Ellen DeGeneres:


Ellen is American’s Gay Sweetheart.

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She is smart.  She is funny.   She replaced Paula Abdul on American Idol.

When you see Ellen it is easy to overlook that she prefers to have sex with women.


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Karl Rove:

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Karl is one of my favorite homosexuals because he defeats the gay stereotype that male homosexuals are fastidious, well groomed and fashionable.  He does this by being fat and sloppy.  Snap! You go, Karl!

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And, to give balance to this column, my least favorite homosexuals are….

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Elton John:

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Elton hasn’t had a hit for years and that thing on his head is clearly a toupee.  Come on, Elton: spend the money.

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Rosie O’Donnell:

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I detest Rosie O’Donnell.  She is a loud-mouthed, annoying, pompous, self-important, corpulent idiot.  She discredits all homosexuals – especially the fat, ugly ones.


Well, that’s it for my thoughts on homosexuality.  I think I’ll have a beer and watch High School Musical. That show is totally gay.

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SARAH PALIN AND THE GOP RENAISSANCE – Part 3

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headlines, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on August 20, 2009 by paulboylan


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It has been a while since I’ve appeared here. During my absence I’ve paid close attention to the increasingly hostile national debate that is now focused on health care reform. The way the topic is being debated reinforces my belief the Republican Party is poised for renaissance and that Sarah Palin is key to the GOP’s rebirth.

As I’ve said, I am not addressing these comments to everyone out there who considers themselves conservative Republicans.  As I’ve explained previously, over the last 30 years the term “conservative Republican” has become warped and twisted to include people that hold positions contrary to what the GOP has historically championed.

Considers himself a conservative.

Considers himself a conservative, and is probably a registered Republican

Let me make it simple:  if you believe that Barak Obama can’t be president because he was born in Kenya, or if you think Obama’s health care reform proposals are similar to anything Hitler did,  then stop reading.

Yeah. You. Stop reading. It will only make your brain hurt.

Yeah. You. Stop reading. It will only make your brain hurt.

Go watch Glenn Beck on Fox.

Proof there is a flaw in the First Amendment.

Proof there is a flaw in the First Amendment.

Enjoy yourself.

But stop reading this. You lack the intellectual and/or emotional capacity and/or stability to join the effort to fix what is broken and to help guide the GOP back to national prominence.

I am writing to conservative Republicans who, like me, reluctantly supported Obama because a McCain win that included Palin as his Vice President was too horrifying to event think about.

I am writing to you out there who are watching with equal horror as crazy people disrupt town hall meetings – and then are interviewed on cable news.

I am here to tell you not to worry. The screaming crazies are part of a chain of events that will transform the GOP from its current status as a “rump” political party into a new and stronger national force.  And Sarah Palin is the key to this rebirth.

But before that can happen, we need to admit some basic truths – like the undeniable fact that crazy, stupid people have taken over the GOP.

Crazy+Christians+Protesting+Academy+Awards+BHeKb7Xyebql

Ronald Reagan invited them in.

We need to recognize that this was a mistake.

Republican candidates lose votes every time some middle-aged fat, poorly dressed woman screams “I want my country back!” at a nationally televised town hall meeting or some wild-eyed attorney (who is also a dentist and real estate agent) demonizes Obama by comparing him to Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler and calls for the army to revolt against our national government.

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She really said that (the one in the middle).

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When John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, he did so with the hopes of pleasing social conservatives/fundamentalist.  He succeeded.

They flocked to McCain/Palin rallies where they did what they always do at their local school board meetings, city council meetings and county board of supervisor meetings – they screamed and shook their fists in anger.  They demonized their opponents.  They proudly proclaimed their intellectual, educational and worldly ignorance.

Palin encouraged this because she was and is, essentially, a small town politician. She did what she knows, and that included saying and doing really dumb things, and then lying about it.  She pretended to be moral when her record revealed entrenched corruption.  She exploited her Down Syndrome baby because that plays well to small town crowds.

Small town crowds just adore retarded babies.

Small town crowds just adore retarded babies.

Plays GREAT in Wasilla!

A photo op at home!

A photo op at home!

Possibly the most exploited child in America. I'm not saying they should be ashamed of him or hide him. I am saying they actively exploited that poor kid.

Possibly the most exploited child in America. I'm not saying they should be ashamed of him or hide him. I am saying they actively exploited that poor kid.

I take that back. These were the most exploited children in America.  Remember: marriage is a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers.

I take that back. These were the most exploited children in America. Remember: marriage is a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers.

But it did not play well to the national American audience.  McCain, to his credit, tried to manage the damage, but it was too late. Palin gave the crazies a reason, a platform, a place to do their crazy political thing in front of the whole world.

And that is why McCain lost. Although he is a true conservative, he had no choice but to choose Palin as his running mate because the GOP is dependent on the lunatic fringe’s money and support in the same way a drug addict is dependent on his or her supplier.  But when moderate conservatives saw the lunatics screaming at Palin rallies, McCain lost the moderate vote, which lost him the election.

Don't think it didn't hurt.

Don't think it didn't hurt.

Dont think it doesnt still hurt. Dont you understand? The GOP left us no choice.

Don't think it doesn't still hurt. Don't you understand? The GOP left us no choice.

Palin’s resignation as Alaska’s governor freed her to reach out to the crazies who support her.  In essence, she is forming a new political party.

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Traditional conservatives should welcome this.  The crazies need a place to go – and stay.  They are welcomed to exert local and regional influence, but, if the GOP has a chance of returning to national prominence, the crazies cannot be allowed to hijack  the national debate.

Palin will continue saying outrageous things that the media cannot resist reporting.

Each time this happens, more and more screaming crazies will join her organization. Close to the next election, Palin will approach the GOP leadership – probably at the national convention – and try to make a deal. She will offer money and support in exchange for influence behind the scenes on the national stage.

We need to say no.  If we accept the deal, we will be repeating the mistake Reagan made, which will alienate the moderate votes we need to regain the White House and majorities in congress.  We need to say no when the devil comes again to our door with promises of power in exchange for just a little bit of our soul.

Yeah, its a little like this.

Yeah, its a little like this.

It won’t be easy. Politicians often cannot resist the lure of easy money or the promise of guaranteed votes. But if our Republican leaders can resist this temptation, then the GOP will again become the voice of and for the American majority.

MOST OF THE RUMORS ARE FALSE

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Website of the Week on July 14, 2009 by paulboylan

Coming soon.

One of my regular readers – who goes only by the name “Penelope” – recently wrote:

“I bet your getting a good laff  writing about me in the valley smear laff it up jew boy I heard that the departement of justise is gonna file charges against you for getting fired for lying to elected officials! ha! they are on there way to arrest you right now I heard that you are cheating on your wife with oriental illegal aliens who dont speak english we should send them back where they come from along with all the other illegal aliens who wont speak English and welfare cheats and homisexual liberals I hope your afraid because of the stuff I heard about you from reliable sorses like my neighbors and other reliable sorses like my other neighbors and other people who know things about you that they heard from reliable sorses”

Penelope’s comment highlights a growing problem: what do you do when you hear rumors, especially when you hear them from people you trust, who probably heard them from people they trust, and so on, and so on?

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As Penelope’s email shows, there isn’t much you can do when confronted by a rumor other than spread the rumor and, if you spend most of your day on the internet, it is pretty easy to spread a rumor farther than ever possible before.  But what is an average individual supposed to do?

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An ordinary person really can’t do much to verify or disprove a rumor – especially the kind that is either started or spread by anonymous people on the Internet.  I, on the other hand, am not an ordinary person.  In addition to having webbed toes, I am fortunate to be an attorney with the skills and the connections needed to round up answers and get to the bottom of things – which means I can verify rumors.

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dr_strangelove

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So, as a service to a community that has been very good to me, I investigated some of the more prevalent and persistent rumors currently floating around and have determined whether they are true or not. I want to start with something personal, and then go on to rumors of a more general interest.

Rumor No. 1:  I am Jewish.

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Superficial similarities.

Superficial similarities.

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This rumor is false.  I really have no idea how it got started or why it continues to spread. People keep sending me emails arguing that the Holocaust was a “Jew plot” to discredit the Nazis. People call me to complain about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Complete strangers walk up to me on the street to ask me when the next Barbara Streisand movie is coming out.

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We all know each other.

We all know each other.

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To set the record straight, I am not Jewish: I am Greek Orthodox, a faith that prides itself on being the oldest continuous version of Christianity.  Despite some similarities – e.g., Greeks have big noses, are notoriously cheap, are smarter than goyum (i.e., non-Greeks) and control the media – Judaism and Greek Orthodoxy have very little in common.  And then there are the goat sacrifices – which I would rather not get into right now.

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Hilarious at parties.

Hilarious at parties.

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Rumor No. 2:  The words “Butte County” mean something obscene in Latin.

Knows what it means.

Knows what it means.

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This rumor is false.  “Butte County” has no Latin meaning whatsoever.  The word “butte” is French, meaning “a small hill or mound of earth detached from any mountain range”  Coincidentally, “Butte County” mean “socially embarrassed potato” in Swahili.

The persistent rumor that “Butte County” is a foreign obscenity can be traced to a printing accident that took place shortly after Butte County was founded in 1850.  Butte County’s first Clerk,  the legendary Earnest H. Sockmender, ordered stationery that mistakenly read “Butt County.”  The mistake wasn’t discovered until 1853 when famed actress and exotic dancer Lola Montez was performing at the Yellow Foot Saloon in Biggs.

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Lola Montez

Lola Montez

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Rumor No. 3  Glenn County was founded by an insane polygamist wheat farmer who used a private militia to force the Colusa County Council, at gunpoint, to “let go of” the land that eventually became Glenn County.

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The Battle for Glenn County.

The Battle for Glenn County.

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This rumor is false.  Dr. Hugh J. Glenn – the prominent California wheat farmer and amateur dentist that Glenn County is named after – was not insane.

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Rumor No. 4:  Glenn County Superintendent of Schools, Arturo Barrera, is really a woman.

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Arturo Barrera

Arturo Barrera

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Despite my very best research and investigative efforts, I can neither confirm nor deny this allegation.  Barrera’s bodyguards – who seem to be with him 24 hours a day – make it impossible to get close enough to perform the examination necessary to either confirm or disprove the rumor. However, I’ve eaten with Arturo, and I can tell you from first hand experience that no woman can devour a bucket of fried chicken that fast or that vigorously.

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The next few rumors are relatively recent, and seem to be part of an attempt to explain why the Glenn County Superior Court decided to remodel a courtroom scheduled to be closed, and then spent more money in attorney’s fees than the remodeling cost trying to keep the remodeling details secret.

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Rumor No. 5:  Retired Glenn County Judge St. Evans killed a guy and hid his body in a “man-sized safe” for a time period longer than the one recommended by the Judicial Counsel. The “remodeling” was a cover story created to explain efforts to remove the evidence.

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Dont go in their closets.

Chambers of Mystery.

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This rumor is false and, frankly, it offends me that anyone would repeat it.  It is simply unbelievable that any judge would kill anyone (except for those two judges in Los Angeles) and violate the Judicial Council’s standards for body storage/disposal (again, except for those same two judges in Los Angeles).   Also, hiding evidence of judicial misconduct doesn’t explain the decision to install high-tech infrared remote controlled automatic window shades.

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Rumor 6: The Orland judge’s chambers remodeling project cost so much money because they are building a trans-dimensional portal that will be used by evil insectoid aliens to invade the earth and use people for food.

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It would look a lot like this.

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This rumor is seductive, lulling the listener into believe it because it explains so much.  People wonder why such a large amount of money was spent to remodel a room so tiny, but a trans-dimensional portal could easily fit in that tiny space with room to spare.  The large amounts of money spent trying to keep the project details secret is also explained by the need to prevent humans from finding out about the plan before it is too late to stop it.  Even the high tech electronic automatic window shades are explainable because it is well known that insectoid alien monsters – hungry for human flesh – are notoriously light sensitive.

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Dislikes direct sunlight.

Dislikes direct sunlight.

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However, no matter how tempting it is to believe this rumor, I cannot confirm it, and it is my firm opinion that it is probably untrue.

In closing,  I want to say that I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords and would like to take this opportunity to remind them that, as an attorney and lobbyist, I can be helpful in rounding up others to serve as a food source during their stay on our world – and I am willing to do it at a very low hourly rate.

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Such a deal, eh?

Such a deal, eh?

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RECENT FAN MAIL

Posted in Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Hubris, Humor, It's not what you think, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, Op Ed, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Small Town America, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, The Wrath of God, USA! USA! USA!, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on July 3, 2009 by paulboylan


article-0-023D558600000578-369_468x286


One of my regular readers – who goes only by the name “Penelope” – recently wrote:

“you think you’re so smart but I am smarter than you and I rarely leave my house I spend all day doing research on the Internet looking up stuff about people I don’t like and then I spread gossip about them on the internet  I hate you I hate Jews and the Pope and illegal aliens why won’t they speak english like normal people english is the national language and they should be forced to speak it or they should go back where they came from but as I was saying before you interrupted me  you are a criminal and I bet all of your clients are criminals and you help them do criminal stuff I hope you die soon.”

houstonproud

Before you rush to my defense, sit back and think about what Penelope said.  He may be an under-medicated, uneducated, cross-dressing racist kook, but he raises one valid point that is worth discussing.  Most of my clients are not criminals, but some are.

A thought criminal I would be proud to represent

A thought criminal I would be proud to represent

Why do I represent criminals? It isn’t the money.  Representing criminals doesn’t pay as well as you might think.  Believe me, criminals rarely ever pay their bills.  I don’t want to stereotype anyone, but I can tell you from experience that criminals are incredibly cheap.  They hate spending money. 

Hated paying his attorneys.

I imagine it is because crime doesn’t pay as well as it once did. 

Trying to bundle and sell hand job derivatives.

Trying to bundle and sell hand job derivatives.

Whatever the reason, more often than not, my criminal clients do everything they can to avoid paying me for my time. So it isn’t the money that prompts me to represent them.  I do it because I believe that there is only one thing more dangerous than organized crime – and that is disorganized crime.  There is nothing that poses a greater risk to the public than a disorganized criminal.

Let me give you some examples (all of these really happened):

First: the Case of the Disorganized Jewel Thieves. Neiman Marcus is a high-scale department store in Beverly Hills that offer valet parking to its customers.  Three masked gunmen robbed the Neiman Marcus jewelry department, but they forgot they parked their car with the valet, and so had to take off on foot through residential Beverly Hills to escape the police. 

They were easily apprehended, but I think we can all agree that disorganized armed criminals running down the street dragging bags of money, jewelry and expensive shoes for their wives presents an extreme hazard to the community that could have been avoided if the criminals in question were a bit more organized and planned the robbery out in advance.

Next: the Case of the Disorganized Bank Robber.  Some poor fool tried to rob a bank using a paper bag over his head as a maks to hide his true identity.  But he forgot to cut holes in the bag so that he could see what he was doing and where he was going.  To compensate for his failure to properly plan the heist, the robber kept lifting the bag up so that he could see – which allowed the bank’s surveillance cameras to get a good look at his face.

Didnt think it through.

Didn't think it through.

This idiot used a gun to rob that bank – which is dangerous enough without the person holding the gun blinding himself by putting a paper bag over his head.  An organized bank robber would have presented less of a threat to the innocent bystanders in the bank.

Next: the Case of the Disorganized Drug Dealers.  A police car in a nearby town noticed a car weaving back and forth as is traveled down a city street.  When the car was pulled over, the police officer discovered that the car was weaving because the three men in the car were watching a video on a portable player while they were driving.  More importantly, the video was an instructional tape designed to teach the viewer how to grow and sell marijuana.  The police officer discovered one hundred pounds of marijuana in plastic bags piled on the car’s back seat.

Organized criminals would have watched the instructional video before getting in the car, which means the drug dealers would have been able to keep their eyes on the road.These are only a few examples proving the point that disorganized crime can be far more dangerous and presents much more of a threat to the health, safety and well-being of the public than organized crime. I do not condone criminal acts, but I am far more afraid of disorganized criminals than I am of the organized ones. An organized criminal would never think this would work.

I represent criminals because there always comes a time when I am sitting with them face to face and, after they tell all about what they did and they didn’t do, I get the chance to look them straight in the eye and ask “what are you, stupid?”   Maybe, just maybe, they will realize they are too disorganized to be a criminal and, knowing that, they will give up their criminal aspirations.

Feels better than it looks.

Feels better than it looks.

And maybe they will pay their defense attorneys.  That would be good, too.

I can dream, cant I?

I can dream, can't I?

THE 100,000 MARK

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Barry Goldwater, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on June 6, 2009 by paulboylan

I’ve passed my 100,000th visitor. I know that 100,000 is a drop in the bucket for you uber bloggers out there,  but is it even smaller than that.  When you look at the kinds of google searches that lead people to my site, the following  search terms are the ones that keep bringing people to this page:

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Smiley - 53,424

 

 

 

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Smiley face – 20,013

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Sarah Palin – 11,301

6a00e552e19fa3883300e554ca89968834-800wi

 

 

 

 

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Sarah Palin nude – 3,175

palin 629618_f260

 

 

 

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Martin Van Buren  - 1,007

 

 

 

 

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Martin Van Buren nude – 1,005

 

 

 

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Katie Couric cleavage – 728

 

 

 

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Redneck -366

 

 

 

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Stupid people – 359

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Oops – 254

 

 

 

 

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Steampunk office – 249

 

 

 

 

 

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Mean smiley – 208

 

 

 

 

 

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Morons eating pie – 119

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Jews in the news – 103

 

 

 

 

 

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Taye Diggs Wife – 99

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beastiality – 97

Horrified-woman

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I very much appreciate the 10 or 20 people that seem to habitually drop by. But the vast majority of those visiting here pass through looking for something else (pics of nude politicians) or land here utterly by mistake (‘oops”).

I’m not complaining – just grooving on the goofiness of the whole thing.

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