Friday, September 28, 2007

Don't Purchase Items from HD Workshops

I just received a call from a place called HD Workshops. It's based in Phoenix, Arizona. Here is the description of the company's services from its website.

HD Workshops is a service-oriented company offering you the opportunity to purchase products to benefit the disabled community. Our locally owned and operated company has set up a work environment where disabled citizens are able to sell to you a variety of products. Whether you need to pick up lightbulbs, cleaning supplies, T-shirts, or gifts, give us a chance to provide the products for you. By placing an order, you are helping people of all colors, races, creeds, abilities, and ages become taxpayers instead of a tax burden. Contact us in Phoenix, Arizona, to place an order for lightbulbs, cleaning supplies, T-shirts, and gifts sold by disabled workers. We also offer 21 days to return any product you may be dissatisfied with.

The fellow who called asked for my wife, Kelly, by name. I told him I was her husband. I waited and finally after a few moments, he asked for Kelly again. I said, “Excuse me, I said I'm her husband, what can I do for ....” At this point he cut me off and said, “Don't get smart with me, I know where you live, cuz.” He then hung up.

I called back and managed to speak to a manager, a Mr. Thomas. While he was very apologetic, I did tell him that he had lost a donor (we have contributed in past years). I would not recommend this company to others.

It's a shame, too. All because of the attitude of one person.

Random Thoughts on Friday

When are the Democrats in Congress going to grow the balls - all right that might be a bit much for the female members – get tough and tell the Republicans to go fuck themselves? This stupid proposal from Republicans to condemn MoveOn had the Dems falling over themselves, ingratiating themselves with their Republican counterparts, and blathering up wimpy excuses to those liberals they rely on to keep them in office.

Face it, the Republicans have nothing to offer. That's why they get all up in arms about MoveOn. It's a diversion. And the Dems let them do it!

Former Michael Dukakis campaign manager and now Fox News contributor, Susan Estrich, is the perfect example of the fawning, lapdog Democrat that Republicans know and love. Glenn Greenwald has a great piece on the wimps in Congress titled The Susan Estrich Complex.

My mother has made a surprise visit to Milwaukee from her home in Arkansas (great place for retirees). Taking the baby to see her, go for breakfast, and then over to a local rummage sale.

Be Very Wary

I can't improve on this. From Slate:

The Spanish newspaper El País recently published the transcript of a conversation between President George W. Bush and then-Prime Minister José María Aznar on Feb. 22, 2003—a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq—and it confirms some (though not all) of the most dreadful accounts and suspicions about Bush's intentions and nature.

It may be a bit late in the day for another round in the debate over how the war in Iraq began. But the time is ripe for a discussion of what qualities the next president should possess—and the transcript reveals that, in many aspects, they should be the opposite of President Bush's qualities.

The crucial exchange, in this respect, comes toward the end of the conversation, when the two leaders are discussing the magnitude of changing Saddam Hussein's regime by force.

AZNAR: The only thing that worries me about you is your optimism.

BUSH: I'm an optimist because I believe that I'm right. I'm a person at peace with myself. It was our turn to face a serious threat to peace.

Here, in three sentences, is the first lesson on how to assess the current crop of presidential candidates: Don't pick anyone who utters, or seems capable of believing, those three sentences.

Read more here.

Limpballs Has Audacity to Disparage Troops

Rush Limbaugh said recently that troops who want America to get her troops out of Iraq are “phony soldiers.” This from a guy who couldn't serve because he had a pimple on his ass. Jon Soltz, a guy who was actually a soldier in Iraq, calls Limpballs out.

As Media Matters reported today, Rush Limbaugh, on his show said that those troops who come home and want to get America out of the middle of the religious civil war in Iraq are "phony soldiers." I'd love for you, Rush, to have me on your show and tell that to me to my face.

Where to begin?

First, in what universe is a guy who never served even close to being qualified to judge those who have worn the uniform? Rush Limbaugh has never worn a uniform in his life -- not even one at Mickey D's -- and somehow he's got the moral standing to pass judgment on the men and women who risked their lives for this nation, and his right to blather smears on the airwaves?

Functional Illiteracy

I have to admit I'm a little torn over this issue. Read the beginning of the article below.

TRENTON, N.J. -- A longtime critic of Rutgers University's drive into big-time sports is being criticized over a newspaper article comment that university officials have branded as racist.

At the end of a New York Times article Wednesday about William C. Dowling's failed efforts to get Rutgers to turn away from high-stakes athletics, the tenured English professor responded to arguments that athletic scholarships provide opportunity to low-income, minority students.

"If you were giving the scholarship to an intellectually brilliant kid who happens to play a sport, that's fine," Dowling said. "But they give it to a functional illiterate who can't read a cereal box, and then make him spend 50 hours a week on physical skills. That's not opportunity. If you want to give financial help to minorities, go find the ones who are at the library after school."

Rutgers Athletic Director Bob Mulcahy told local newspapers that Dowling's comment was "a blatantly racist statement."

I remember being annoyed that there were those who received scholarships, but not for any academic prowess. Of course, my annoyance was not in the context specified above ... I was pissed off at anyone who received the ill-begotten assistance.

I'm with the professor. Give the money where it will do the most good.

I wonder what the one or two who read this blog think?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Glenn Beck is So Funny

The baby is underneath the chair, grabbing my legs. Meanwhile, surfing a few sites on the Internet, I came across my friend, Bill over at View From the Cheap Seats. Bill is a great guy. He has been a guest of ours once and we have also shared breakfast. Plus, our baby daughter Quin likes him.

Still, we come from opposite sides of the political spectrum, of which I'm sure Bill would readily agree. We have had a few spirited arguments. This might provide more kindling for the fire.

Bill has a post titled Thoughts on Liberal Radio. He listened one day for a short while and decided it was hateful regarding President Bush and things conservative in general. That's a fairly common refrain. I've never listened to Air America, so I can't answer his claim except to say that in the world of talk radio and blogging, it seems that one person's hate is another person's humor. I mean really, Bush is a deluded fucking idiot is not much of a hateful remark. I would consider it rather truthful ... which, I guess makes me a hater. Oh well.

Bill admits the example she provides are not the worst. He does not print the ones that were worse, so it's hard to gauge, but I do know Bill to be an honest guy so I'll take him at his word. However, this comment he provides (in the comment section of the post) is what causes this post. Bill states that Glenn Beck is in no way hateful and shrill.


Bill, those long drives at night in your rig have done something to your “hate” antenna, because if you think calling Bush a deranged idiot is more hateful than the following examples of Beck's spewage, I think you need another vacation.

Waste of Skin
Where I come from, calling someone a waste of skin is akin to saying that person should not be alive ... in other word non-existent or dead. And that is exactly what Glenn Beck said referring to former president Jimmy Carter. From the February 8 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

Is there a day that God ever says, "What was I thinking?" Here's what I mean: Do you think God ever says, "I could've used that skin making somebody of value, you know? I could have used that skin in such a -- just a better way." You know? And its not -- the reason why I bring this up is: Is there a bigger waste of skin than Jimmy Carter? Ya know, I don't mean to, you know, I don't mean to look the maker in the eyes and say, "Eh, kind of a waste," but I'm asking, do you think he ever thinks, "I don't know, man, I could've used that skin someplace else." You know? Who's the bigger waste of skin, can you name a bigger -- you know, and you could immediately go to people like Kim Jong Il. OK, there's a big waste of skin, but not really, because his skin's being utilized by evil. At least evil is using that skin. Who's using the skin of Jimmy Carter? What purpose does the skin of Jimmy Carter -- it's like an empty suit walking down the street.

In the January 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck called anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan "a pretty big prostitute," later amending, at the behest of his executive producer, Steve "Stu" Burguiere, that "tragedy pimp" would be "the most accurate description."
Beck did not like Sheehan because she was, ostensibly, prostituting her son's death. Without getting into other activities that Sheehan involved herself rightly or not, I hardly think Beck has the right to call Sheehan anything until he has a child killed, especially in a wrongful war.

Prove It
On the November 14 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck interviewed Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), who became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress on November 7, and asked Ellison if he could "have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards up on the table." After Ellison agreed, Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " Beck added: "I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

Last time I read the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion was something allowed and enshrined in the first amendment, which states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I think that rightfully includes not questioning the patriotism of someone simply because of the sex, race or faith one chooses to follow.

She's Such a Bitch
Where I come from, calling a woman a bitch is not a friendly little aside. One might even say it's just a little hateful. But that's exactly what Beck had to say about Senator Hillary Clinton. On the March 15 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck said:

"Hillary Clinton cannot be elected president because ... there's something about her vocal range." He went on to say, "There's something about her voice that just drives me -- it's not what she says, it's how she says it," adding, "She is like the stereotypical -- excuse the expression, but this is the way to -- she's the stereotypical bitch, you know what I mean?" Beck also asked: "[A]fter four years, don't you think every man in America will go insane?" and pleaded, "I'm sorry for being such a pig. But please, America. Please. I don't think I could do it for four years. I mean, sure the country is going to go to hell in a handbasket, but could we make this about me for a second? I just don't think I could take it from her." He also said that "there is a range in women's voices that experts say is just the chalk, I mean, the fingernails on the blackboard."

Shades of Auschwitz
On the June 28 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck commented on a mock ad -- produced by subscribers to his website known as "Insiders" -- depicting a "giant refinery" that produces "Mexinol," which, according to the ad, is a fuel made from the bodies of illegal immigrants from Mexico. Beck read from the ad: "At Evil Conservative Industries, we know four things for certain. The country needs cheap, alternative fuel source. Two, the human body is 18 percent carbon. Three, carbons can be turned into hydrocarbons. Four, we have a buttload of illegal aliens in our country."

It wasn't too long ago that human hair was used as jacket filler for submariners and to line the insides of boots. Not too funny.

Michael Moore
Whatever one may think of Michael Moore, advocating his death isn't very funny and might just be considered, you know, kind of hateful to suggest. But that's what Beck did during the May 17, 2005, broadcast of his radio show, Beck himself fantasized about killing filmmaker Michael Moore:

Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong?

I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, "Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore," and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize, "Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death," and you know -- well, I'm not sure.

Use Your $%$#@&^ Signal Lights

I just managed to avoid an accident this morning, one that would have included two of my children and all because some bozo didn't think it necessary to use his signal lights.

I was heading south on 794 and was signaling to get into the Greenfield Avenue exit lane. There was a car on my right that was traveling that lane, having exited off I94. Autos who exit I94 to 794 generally merge and continue south to the airport, to Chicago or to the I43 exit for Beloit. Occasionally, however, they stay in the lane and exit on Greenfield Avenue.

I was moving faster than this auto and not seeing a signal light, continued thinking I would pull in ahead (there was another auto just behind it following closely). All of a sudden, out of my right peripheral vision I saw the auto swerve toward me. I managed to swerve enough to avoid the auto and sped up to get ahead without interrupting traffic on my left. But my son was shaken and the baby started crying because of the jerk to her head caused by my sharp and quick actions.

I got into the exit lane and looked over to my left in time to see this auto, being driven by some guy, drive by without even a glance in my direction or a wave of apology.

Bastard. Use your %$%$#!%&* signal lights.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baby Pictures

Quin is almost nine months old now. Couldn't resist a couple of pictures for my two or three readers. Or is it four readers? My popularity is growing exponentially ... by 2045, I'll be up to six viewers. Very exciting.

Anyway ....

Random Thoughts for Tuesday

Choosing A Wife

A man wanted to get married, but he was having trouble choosing among three likely candidates. He decided to give each woman a present of $5,000 and watch to see what they would do with the money.

The first purchased a total make over. She went to a fancy beauty salon to get her hair done and new make up. She then went to the store and bought several new outfits and dresses. She told him she did this to be more a attractive for him because she loves him so much. The man was impressed.

The second went shopping to buy the man gifts. She bought him a new set of golf clubs, some new gizmos for his computer, and some expensive clothes. As she presented these gifts, she tolds him that she spent all the money on him because she loves him so much. Again, the man was impressed.

The third invested the money in the stock market. She earned several times the $5,000. She gives him back his $5,000 and reinvested the remainder in a joint account. She told him that she wanted to save for their future because she loves him so much. Obviously, the man was impressed.

The man thought for a long time about what each woman had done with the money he'd given her.

Then, he married the one with the biggest boobs.

Men are like that, you know. There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

from my mother

Monday, September 24, 2007

Random Thoughts on a Monday

Aaargh. If only the Brewers had not lost all those games with 3+ run leads. It does highlight their youth, though. I have been surprised that they have contended as long as they did. I truly thought next year would be the year. They're not out of it yet, but with the Cubbies playing the Sisters of the Poor the next six games, it doesn't look good.

My beautiful wife and both lovely daughters are sick with the flu. Can't wait until Wednesday or Thursday when the symptoms start popping up in me. Oh well. I know it will be miserable because Kelly is not a whiner by any stretch, but she has actually complained this time.

The Jena 6: I don't know much about this. I perused some articles. What I gather is this case is not as simple as some clowns on the right make it out to be. There has been anger simmering for some time on both sides of the fence. Kid brings a shotgun to school ... kids take it away and jump him (f**k, I would too). They get charged with theft and attempted murder. Gimme a break. No one is innocent here, but the charges are ridiculous.

Brett Favre looks almost 38 years old ... if judged by his running ability. Man, that arm, though.

Caught a mouse in one of those sticky traps. I named it Fred and then drowned it to put it out of its misery.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Little Accuracy Would Be Nice

Jessica McBride really should be sure of what she is posting before doing so. In this case McBride, as an update at the end of a rant about Columbia University inviting the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to speak, informs us that Hitler once did visit Columbia University. She gives a hat tip to that intellectual, Michelle Malkin (though no link) for leading her to that fount of accurate info, Little Green Footballs. It is there, she says, where the truth of the University's dalliance with the enemy is revealed.

Well, not exactly. Little Green Footballs reveals that it was the German ambassador to the United States, Hans Luther, who was invited to speak, not Hitler. In fact, the closest Hitler ever came to the United States was probably in some trench during WWI. Something the eternally clueless McBride could have discovered if she had checked. Something, you know, a lecturer in journalism at a major university might have done.

What gets me the most, though, is not this yet-another-example of McBride's sloppy writing, it's the fact that she really does not understand how a free society operates ... you know, that marketplace of ideas thing that she should be promoting as (I shudder to write this again) a lecturer of journalism at a major university. Let's look at the facts for a moment.

When the offer to speak was extended to Herr Luther in 1933, Germany was still ostensibly a democratic nation and the elected president, Paul Hindenburg had just appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor in January. It would have been considered a coup then (as today) to have the ambassador of a major country speak at any university. And make no mistake about it, Germany was considered a major player in the world and its recovery from the Great Depression was looked upon as a marvel. A recovery, by the way, that had almost nothing to do with Hitler and had almost everything to do with the democratically-elected government, sound fiscal policies and a hard-working citizenry.

Hitler's political success would come later at the expense of a cowed parliament that rubber-stamped everything he and his thugs proposed, and citizens who were exquisitely deluded by the propaganda machine of Joseph Goebbels in a manner not unlike how talk radio is used to misinform and promote GOP talking points and hysteria today.

So, it's easy for wing-nuts to condemn Columbia University, in hindsight, but the fact is in 1933 the excesses to come of the future dictatorship were as yet unknown. That there were some protesters who were prescient enough about Hitler still says nothing about the university's decision.

Inviting the president of Iran to speak is not a condoning of his nation's policies. It is an opportunity to hear what he has to say, and perhaps to ask tough questions, where he will learn first-hand what freedom of speech really means. It will be a remarkable opportunity for students. They should not be denied the chance to hear, unfettered of propaganda from either govenment, what a major actor on the world stage has to say.

In the end, it's just another stupid gotcha attempt by the right and Jessica McBride.

The Party of Family Values

State Representative Frank Lasee can dish it out, but he can't take it and he doesn't like journalists, at least when they are writing something truthful about him. Dan Bice uncovers the fact that Lasee lives in a see-through house and that the self-described father of TABOR is not much of a father in real life.