Friday, May 29, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Shall we break out the Royal Burka?



Once again, England bends over and takes one in the ass, as it withdraws a medal personally established by the Queen for the former colony of Trinidad and Tobago after it was deemed offensive to Muslims and Hindus.

The medal, known as The Trinity Cross of the Order of Trinity, has been ruled unlawful and too Christian. Never mind that England is (or was, it seems) a Christian country, as was their island colony.

It has been awarded to 62 distinguished residents of the former colony over the past 40-plus years, including cricket players Brian Lara and Garfield Sobers, novelist V.S. Naipaul, and many diplomats and politicians.

Groups representing the Islamic and Hindu communities of the islands, which account for around a third of their 1.3million population, had argued that the words 'Trinity' and 'Cross' were 'overtly Christian'. They also said the use of a cross itself was offensive.

Five British law lords, all members of the Privy Council, have ruled that the honor breached the right to equality and the right to freedom of conscience and belief. The Council, an obscure body made up of senior politicians, bishops and parliamentary peers, advise the monarchy on the use of the Royal Prerogative and act as a final court of appeal for many former colonies.

In the judgment, Lord Hope of Craighead said that the Trinity Cross was “perceived by Hindus and Muslims living in Trinidad and Tobago as an overtly Christian symbol both in name and substance” and as such breached the islands' constitution of 1976.
It will be replaced with the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, a circular medal featuring a sun, stars, water and a map of the islands.



Anand Ramlogan, a lawyer for the Maha Saba Hindu association, said of the decision: 'It's a vindication of the 40 years of disquiet and unease silently suffered by the Muslim and Hindu communities whose legitimate grievance with the Trinity Cross was flippantly dismissed by successive governments.'

The implications of the ruling are being studied by lawyers in the Cabinet Office, which oversees the honors system. Hugh Peskett, editor-in-chief of Burke's Peerage and Gentry, warned that changing the names of titles to remove Christian references would destroy hundreds of years of history. 'Part of the significance of an honor is its antiquity,' he said.

Queen Elizabeth II is due to visit Trinidad and Tobago, which was granted independence in 1962, in November for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting. I wonder if the residents of her former colony will expect Her Majesty to wear a burka? Perhaps they should all stop speaking English, too? That might be too Christian. And quit sending teams to the Olympics; those tiny little track shorts are an affront to Allah.

Y’know, if you’re offended by an award, you don’t have to accept it…

Unemployed Boogeyman Gives Speech, Film at Eleven



I’ll be frank; Dick Cheney used to scare the shit outta me. He was angry, shadowy, always hidden away in various secret locations when he wasn’t having heart attacks or shooting people in the face while hunting.

And Darth Veep went back underground since the end of the Bush administration, but he’d been flying under the radar for so long that it didn’t surprise anyone. He’d have stayed in the shadows, too…if Joe Biden, the loony riding His Obamaness’ coat-tails, hadn’t blabbed about the location of the secret bunker under the VP’s residence at the Naval Observatory, I think Dickie would still be down there eating Spam and MRE’s and sleeping with a Glock under his pillow.

However, the former Vice President made one hell of a surprising speech this week at the American Enterprise Institute, in which he blasted the Obama Administration like an atomic bomb at some points and praised it at others.

Here are some excerpts from the speech.

“In top secret meetings about enhanced interrogations, I made my own beliefs clear. I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program. The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do. The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work and proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.

Our successors in office have their own views on all of these matters.

By presidential decision, last month we saw the selective release of documents relating to enhanced interrogations. This is held up as a bold exercise in open government, honoring the public’s right to know. We’re informed, as well, that there was much agonizing over this decision.

Yet somehow, when the soul-searching was done and the veil was lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth. The released memos were carefully redacted to leave out references to what our government learned through the methods in question. Other memos, laying out specific terrorist plots that were averted, apparently were not even considered for release. For reasons the administration has yet to explain, they believe the public has a right to know the method of the questions, but not the content of the answers.

Over on the left wing of the president’s party, there appears to be little curiosity in finding out what was learned from the terrorists. The kind of answers they’re after would be heard before a so-called “Truth Commission.” Some are even demanding that those who recommended and approved the interrogations be prosecuted, in effect treating political disagreements as a punishable offense, and political opponents as criminals. It’s hard to imagine a worse precedent, filled with more possibilities for trouble and abuse, than to have an incoming administration criminalize the policy decisions of its predecessors…

… It is a fact that only detainees of the highest intelligence value were ever subjected to enhanced interrogation. You’ve heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists. One of them was Khalid Sheikh Muhammed – the mastermind of 9/11, who has also boasted about beheading Daniel Pearl…

…We had a lot of blind spots after the attacks on our country. We didn’t know about al-Qaeda’s plans, but Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and a few others did know. And with many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we didn’t think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all…

…Even before the interrogation program began, and throughout its operation, it was closely reviewed to ensure that every method used was in full compliance with the Constitution, statutes, and treaty obligations. On numerous occasions, leading members of Congress, including the current speaker of the House, were briefed on the program and on the methods…

…Behind the overwrought reaction to enhanced interrogations is a broader misconception about the threats that still face our country. You can sense the problem in the emergence of euphemisms that strive to put an imaginary distance between the American people and the terrorist enemy. Apparently using the term “war” where terrorists are concerned is starting to feel a bit dated. So henceforth we’re advised by the administration to think of the fight against terrorists as, quote, “Overseas contingency operations.” In the event of another terrorist attack on America, the Homeland Security Department assures us it will be ready for this, quote, “man-made disaster” – never mind that the whole Department was created for the purpose of protecting Americans from terrorist attack.

And when you hear that there are no more, quote, “enemy combatants,” as there were back in the days of that scary war on terror, at first that sounds like progress. The only problem is that the phrase is gone, but the same assortment of killers and would-be mass murderers are still there. And finding some less judgmental or more pleasant-sounding name for terrorists doesn’t change what they are – or what they would do if we let them loose…

…To put things in perspective, suppose that on the evening of 9/11, President Bush and I had promised that for as long as we held office – which was to be another 2,689 days – there would never be another terrorist attack inside this country. Talk about hubris – it would have seemed a rash and irresponsible thing to say. People would have doubted that we even understood the enormity of what had just happened. Everyone had a very bad feeling about all of this, and felt certain that the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and Shanksville were only the beginning of the violence.

Of course, we made no such promise. Instead, we promised an all-out effort to protect this country. We said we would marshal all elements of our nation’s power to fight this war and to win it. We said we would never forget what had happened on 9/11, even if the day came when many others did forget. We spoke of a war that would “include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success.” We followed through on all of this, and we stayed true to our word.

To the very end of our administration, we kept al-Qaeda terrorists busy with other problems. We focused on getting their secrets, instead of sharing ours with them. And on our watch, they never hit this country again. After the most lethal and devastating terrorist attack ever, seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until the danger has passed.

Along the way there were some hard calls. No decision of national security was ever made lightly, and certainly never made in haste. As in all warfare, there have been costs – none higher than the sacrifices of those killed and wounded in our country’s service. And even the most decisive victories can never take away the sorrow of losing so many of our own – all those innocent victims of 9/11, and the heroic souls who died trying to save them.

For all that we’ve lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings. And when the moral reckoning turns to the men known as high-value terrorists, I can assure you they were neither innocent nor victims. As for those who asked them questions and got answers: they did the right thing, they made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.

Like so many others who serve America, they are not the kind to insist on a thank-you. But I will always be grateful to each one of them, and proud to have served with them for a time in the same cause. They, and so many others, have given honorable service to our country through all the difficulties and all the dangers. I will always admire them and wish them well. And I am confident that this nation will never take their work, their dedication, or their achievements, for granted…”


By far, it was the most I’d ever heard Cheney say in the past 9 years. Dude still kinda gives me the willies but it’s good to hear him defend against all his detractors out there. I think if Dickie had been a bit more engaging during the administration and a bit less angry-looking, the American public would have trusted him more. I’m still not a hunnert percent convinced he wasn’t raking in millions off the Iraq war through Halliburton and their no-bid contracts. I’m not a hunnert percent convinced we didn’t invade both Afghanistan and Iraq as knee-jerk responses to 9/11 before we had all the proper intel.

However, I do think that we gained valuable intel from enhanced interrogation techniques that foiled plots and saved lives. I also feel that if we turn the Gitmo Gang loose, within 6 months every last swingin’ dick one of them will be back to making car bombs and killing Americans, and half of America will say that we’re the bad guys while the terrorists cut some American’s head off live on streaming Internet while some Muslim Mickey Mouse sings in the background about killing Isrealis and Americans. Remember, the Religion of Peace and all that… and we’re the bad guys… sure, and we need to cite all the legalisms for everything we do because they’re just poor oppressed Muslim freedom fighters.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The World Waits for Gordon Ramsay's Death


Am I the only one in the world amazed that no one has yet told this guy to fuck off? I can't be the only one waiting for someone on his show to snap and hurl a pan of scalding oil into his eyes.

It will come as no surprise or shock to me at all whatsoever when someone finally takes their chef's knife and plants it firmly in that sanctimonious prick's trachea, hilt-deep, in the middle of one of his screaming rants.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day 2009



Once again, Memorial Day weekend is upon us.

Wall Street would have us go out and spend all of our money at sales that have absolutely nothing to do with Memorial Day or remembering our fallen warriors. Folks call this weekend the “Official Beginning of Summer”, though summer is actually almost a month off still, and ads beckon us to cookouts and beach parties and non-stop booty-shaking at every club in town.

Hollywood generally releases some blockbuster or other this weekend every year to kick off the summer movie season and to gain revenues by having a long holiday weekend.

The worst possible thing you could do in my humble yet correct opinion is to wish someone a Happy Memorial Day. This day isn’t necessarily about being happy; it’s about being grateful for the sacrifices made by the tens of thousands of brave men and women who died in the service of this nation.

Some places still get it, and those are the places that still have a Memorial Day parade, and places where they still place wreaths and flags, in remembrance of America’s finest.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have any fun this weekend. I have to work Monday, as usual, but tonight I'm headed to a friend's house to watch a hockey game. However, I’d like each and every one of you to take a moment this weekend and think about what this day means and the people who serve this nation. And whether or not you agree with our current actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, at least support the people who are there, thousands of miles from home and family, doing their duty so that you and I can sit at home and be safe & secure.


Being a veteran myself, of course I have a soft spot for my brothers & sisters in all the branches of our armed services. Each year on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day I have a tendency to highlight the sacrifice of one of my brethren.

Go read my previous Memorial Day blogs here:
http://mojosteve.blogspot.com/2008/05/memorial-day-2008.html
http://mojosteve.blogspot.com/2007/05/memorial-day-2007.html

Yesterday was the 41st anniversary of an exceptionally sad event in the history of the U.S. Navy’s submarine service. On May 22, 1968, a year and six days before I was born, USS Scorpion (SSN 589) was lost at sea with all hands. There’s all sorts of speculation as to what happened, and the truth will likely never be known.

The Scorpion got underway on 15 February 1968 for a Mediterranean Sea deployment. She operated with the Sixth Fleet into May and then headed west for home. Scorpion suffered several mechanical malfunctions including a chronic problem with Freon leakage from refrigeration systems. An electrical fire occurred in an escape trunk when a water leak shorted out a shore power connection. Scorpion was an intelligence-gathering platform, and as this was the very height of the Cold War, many vessels were kept on a very hectic deployment schedule to spy on the Soviets as much as possible. Ships sometimes didn’t get as much yard time as their crew would have liked, and sometimes towards the end of a deployment both ship and crew would be frazzled.

Upon departing the Mediterranean on 16 May, two men departed Scorpion at Rota, Spain. One man left due to emergency leave and the other man departed for health reasons. Scorpion was then detailed to observe Soviet naval activities in the Atlantic in the vicinity of the Azores. With this completed, Scorpion prepared to head back to Naval Base Norfolk. She never reached home.

For an unusually long period of time, beginning shortly before midnight on 20 May and ending after midnight 21 May, Scorpion was attempting to send radio traffic to Naval Station Rota in Spain but was only able to reach a Navy communications station in Nea Makri, Greece, which forwarded Scorpion's messages to SUBLANT (Submarine Forces Atlantic). Six days later, she was reported overdue at Norfolk. Navy personnel suspected possible failure and launched a search.

A public search was initiated, but without immediate success and on 5 June, Scorpion and her crew were declared "presumed lost." Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 June. Some recent reports now indicate that a large and secret search was launched three days before Scorpion was expected back from patrol; this combined with other declassified information led many to speculate the US Navy knew of the Scorpion's destruction before the public search was launched.

At the time of her sinking, there were 99 crewmen aboard USS Scorpion. The boat contained a treasure-trove of highly sophisticated spy gear and spy manuals, two nuclear-tipped torpedoes, and a nuclear propulsion system. The best available evidence indicates that Scorpion sank on 22 May 1968 at approximately 1844Z after an explosion of some type, while in transit across the Atlantic Ocean from Gibraltar to her home port at Norfolk, Virginia.

Several hypotheses about the cause of the loss have been advanced. The US Navy's Court of Inquiry listed as one possibility the inadvertent activation of a battery-powered Mark 37 torpedo. This acoustic homing torpedo, in a fully-ready condition and without a propeller guard, is believed by some to have started running within the tube. Released from the tube, the torpedo then somehow became fully-armed and successfully engaged its nearest target, which was Scorpion herself. Few torpedomen familiar with the Mark 37 have expressed confidence in the self-destruction-by-torpedo theory, however.

A later theory was that a torpedo may have exploded in the tube, caused by an uncontrollable fire in the torpedo room. The Mark 46 silver-zinc battery used in the Mark 37 torpedo had a tendency to overheat, and in extreme cases could cause a fire that was strong enough to cause a low-order detonation of the warhead. If such a detonation had occurred, it might have opened the boat's large torpedo-loading hatch and caused Scorpion to flood and sink. However, while Mark 46 batteries have been known to generate so much heat that the torpedo casings blistered, none is known to have damaged a boat or caused an explosion.

Another theory, and a rather popular one, is that Scorpion was sunk by the Soviet Union. A few months previously, the Soviets lost a Golf-II missile sub off Hawaii (see my post about it here: http://mojosteve.blogspot.com/2009/03/somber-and-sobering-anniversary.html ) Some hypothesize that Scorpion was found and prosecuted by Soviet submarine and surface forces and sunk in retaliation, although current evidence leads to the conclusion that the Russian boat sank while trying to launch a nuke at Hawaii. While I was in high school, I read a novel by Mark Joseph called “To Kill The Potemkin”, which was a fictionalized account of what may have happenned to Scorpion, by which the fictional USS Baracuda chances upon a new type of deep-diving Soviet sub (presumably the Alfa class) and is sunk to keep the performance secrets from getting out.

The following officers and men were lost with Scorpion:
Officers
•CDR Francis Atwood Slattery, Commanding Officer
•LCDR David B. Lloyd, Executive Officer
•LCDR Daniel P. Stephens
•LT John Patrick Burke
•LT George Patrick Farrin,
•LT Robert Walter Flesch
•LT William Clarke Harwi
•LT Charles Lee Lamberth
•LT John C. Sweet
•LT (JG) James W. Forrester, Jr.
•LT (JG)Michael A. Odening
•LT (JG) Laughton D. Smith

Chief Petty Officers

•TMC (SS) Walter William Bishop,Chief of the Boat (COB)
•MMC(SS) Robert Eugene Bryan
•RMC(SS) Garlin Ray Denney
•RMCS(SS) Robert Johnson
•MMCS(SS) Richard Allen Kerntke
•QMCS(SS) Frank Patsy Mazzuchi
•EMC(SS) Daniel Christopher Peterson
•HMC(SS) Lynn Thompson Saville
•ETC (SS) George Elmer Smith, Jr.
•YNCS(SS) Leo William Weinbeck
•MMC(SS) James Mitchell Wells

Enlisted Men
•FTG3(SS) Keith Alexander M. Allen •IC2 Thomas Edward Amtower
•MM2 George Gile Annable •FN(SS) Joseph Anthony Barr, Jr.
•RM2(SS) Michael Jon Bailey •IC3 Michael Reid Blake
•MM1(SS) Robert Harold Blocker •MM2(SS) Kenneth Ray Brocker
•MM1(SS) James K. Brueggeman •RMSN Daniel Paul Burns, Jr.
•IC2(SS) Ronald Lee Byers •MM2(SS) Douglas Leroy Campbell
•MM3(SS) Samuel J. Cardullo •MM2(SS) Francis King Carey
•SN Gary James Carpenter •MM1(SS) Robert Lee Chandler
•MM1(SS) Mark Helton Christiansen •SD1(SS) Romeo Constantino
•MM1(SS) Robert James Cowan •SD1(SS) Joseph Cross
•FA Michael Edward Dunn •ETR2 Richard Philip Engelhart
•FTGSN William Ralph Fennick •IC3(SS) Vernon Mark Foli
•SN Ronald Anthony Frank •CSSN(SS) Michael David Gibson
•IC2 Steven Dean Gleason •STS2(SS) Michael Edward Henry
•SK1(SS) Larry Leroy Hess •ETR1(SS) Richard Curtis Hogeland
•MM1(SS) John Richard Houge •EM2 Ralph Robert Huber
•TM2(SS) Harry David Huckelberry •EM3 John Frank Johnson
•IC3(SS) Steven Leroy Johnson •QM2(SS) Julius Johnston III
•FN Patrick Charles Kahanek •TM2(SS) Donald Terry Karmasek
•ETR3(SS) Rodney Joseph Kipp •MM3 Dennis Charles Knapp
•MM1(SS) Max Franklin Lanier •ET1(SS) John Weichert Livingston
•ETN2 Kenneth Robert Martin •ET1(SS) Michael Lee McGuire
•TMSN Steven Charles Miksad •TMSN Joseph Francis Miller, Jr.
•MM2(SS) Cecil Frederick Mobley •QM1(SS) Raymond Dale Morrison
•QM3(SS) Dennis Paul Pferrer •EM1(SS) Gerald Stanley Pospisil
•IC3 Donald Richard Powell •MM2 Earl Lester Ray, Jr.
•CS1(SS) Jorge Luis Santana •ETN2(SS) Richard George Schaffer
•SN William Newman Schoonover •SN Phillip Allan Seifert
•MM2(SS) Robert Bernard Smith •ST1(SS) Harold Robert Snapp, Jr.
•ETM2(SS) Joel Candler Stephens •MM2(SS) David Burton Stone
•EM2 John Phillip Sturgill •YN3 Richard Norman Summers
•TMSN John Driscoll Sweeney, Jr. •ETM2(SS) James Frank Tindol III
•CSSN Johnny Gerald Veerhusen •TM3 Robert Paul Violetti
•ST3 Ronald James Voss •FTG1(SS) John Michael Wallace
•MM1(SS) Joel Kurt Watkins •MMFN Robert Westley Watson
•TM2 James Edwin Webb •SN Ronald Richard Williams
•MM3 Robert Alan Willis •IC1(SS) Virgil Alexander Wright III
•TM1(SS) Donald H. Yarsbrough •ETR2(SS) Clarence Otto Young, Jr.


Archive pictures of the wreckage of USS Scorpion





Sunday, May 17, 2009

Score: Arpaio 1, Sharpton 0




I dunno how this managed to escape my notice last month. Seems that noted liar, blowhard shit-disturber, and anti-Semite Al Sharpton had planned a protest against Sherrif Joe Arpaio of Maricopa Couny, Arizona.

Joe took umbrage at the plans, but invited the esteemed reverend to drop by anyways. The letter Joe wrote was priceless. Wonder when Al's gonna come by for tea & crumpets?


One man's letter to the President



The United States' Military Code of Conduct:

1. I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender those under my command while they still have the means to resist.
3. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
6. I will never forget that I am an American, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.




What with all of this complete & utter bullshit surrounding the Democrat-led crusade to crucify those who either performed waterboarding or knew of it or authorized it or can spell it or use it it a sentence, this letter came to my attention via a caller to my favorite radio talk show (The Schnitt Show, on from 3PM to 6PM Eastern, on XM Channel 152 and several channels nationwide. Go to www.schnittshow.com for details)

The caller was a former U.S. Navy aviator who had been waterboarded during his pilot training, specifically during a very intense program called SERE School (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape). The retired officer in question, named William, started SERE school late in 1980 and finished up on the same date of President Reagan's Inauguration.

All you Liberal assclowns are sniveling about extracting information from proven terrorist scumbags, information that has prevented acts of terrorism against us and saved American lives (as the lives of other nations' citizens), but could care less that we've done the same thing in training to our own people. I guess the logic is that we military types are all war-mongering knuckle-draggers who got what we deserved for serving our nation, while the peace-loving innocent freedom fighters of Islam were tortured for the benign activities lumped under Man-Caused Disasters....

Blow the pictures up to read William's letter to President Obama,and see how a real American patriot feels about being waterboarded...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baracky Road (from Guest Blogger Rick)



Many of you have probably already seen this one, but I found it uproariously funny. It came to my email courtesy of Guest Blogger Rick, my old Army buddy in Florida.

In Honor of the 44th President of the United States,
Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream has issued a new flavor,
" Barocky Road "


Barocky Road is a blend of half Vanilla, half Chocolate, and surrounded by
Nuts and Flakes.

The Vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and usually denied
as an ingredient.

The Nuts and Flakes are all very bitter and hard to swallow.

The Cost is $100.00 per scoop.

When purchased, it will be presented to you in a large beautiful cone,
but then the Ice Cream is taken away and given to the person in line behind
you.

Thus you are left with an empty wallet, no change, holding an empty cone,
with no hope of getting any Ice Cream.

Now, aren't you feeling stimulated?




Thursday, May 14, 2009

Animal Cops Walterboro: Episode 3 On Location in Charleston



On today's episode, we leave the comfy confines of Walterboro and go to the Big City lights of Charleston, specifically the exciting locale of Veteran's Terminal of the State Ports Authority, Building 207...

Whilst outside warming up this morning, I saw this little greyish brownish nugget slowly scuttling across the parking lot and went to investigate. Turns out it was a rather lost-looking wee fiddler crab, perhaps 2 inches across maximum. He looked a tad pathetic out there.

Fearing that my little crusteacean friend would get eaten by a passing gull, run over by a passing truck or forklift, or roasted by the sun, I opted to rescue the little bugger and carry him over to this marshy boggy grassy creek-like area across the lot. While possibly not the most perfect venue, it was by far better than where he was.

Crab rescued. Mission accomplished.

En Garde! The actual crab in question in my parking lot.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Idolatry and Shark Jumping



I feel a tad insulted today.

In what could be the best slice of irony that I’ve seen in a long time, Wednesday night’s American Idol episode featured a performance by judge/punching bag/Vicodin-munching rambler Paula Abdul, debuting her new single “I’m Just Here For The Music”.

For a show that’s ostensibly all about singing and vocal performance, isn’t it a slap in the face of every contestant and an insult to our intelligence for Paula to have the audacity to lip-sync her performance? It was painfully obvious that she was phoning it in, despite the lightning-fast camera-angle changes every 3 seconds.

Then again, there are currently thousands of people paying hundreds of dollars to watch Britney Spears basically grind up on a stripper pole miming a medley of her songs so the American public is just stupid enough to accept this chicanery.

Later in the same episode, Gwen Stefani sang live with her band No Doubt, and you knew it was live. Later still, Idol alumnus Chris Daughtry and his band debuted their new single, and they were also live.

It was a little over a year ago that Abdul last attempted to be relevant to pop music again with “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow”, lip-syncing it on the Super Bowl while fellow Idol judge Randy Jackson mimed playing the bass like it was 1986 and he was still in Journey, minus the giant 80’s mullet-perm flat top.


At least Paula was sober during the show; a few of this year’s episodes made me wonder. She went off on these rambling semi-coherent rants, all glassy-eyed like she’d been chewing Vicodins like TicTacs.


Last night also saw a grave mistake by America by voting off Allison Iraheta, the high-schooler with the giant voice and even bigger potential and star appeal. I hope she fares better than another Idol contestant with similar cherry Kool-Aid colored hair. Nikki McKibbin was the hottest little sexy thing this side of buttered toast, and last year she was on Celebrity Rehab with Drew Pinsky. She was third overall on season one; Iraheta finishes fourth this year.

America instead has all guys as a final three.

By all rights, after butchering Aerosmith’s “Dream On”, Danny Gokey should have been sent packing. I like Danny and was sucked in by his heart-wrenching story of competing shortly after the death of his wife, but while I initially loved his voice I’m now finding that all his performances sound the same: pretty one-dimensional and limited by his gravelly voice. He can always sing jingles for Lens Crafters if he doesn’t win. I shit you not, there’s a website where you can buy Gokey’s myriad assortment of eyeglass frames, as well as other Gokey-related trinkets, with 10% of the sales going to the Sophia’s Heart Foundation, named after Gokey’s deceased wife. The site claims no affiliation to Gokey or the foundation. www.dannygokeygear.com


Kris Allen has a great voice and always surprises me by his creativity with arrangements and song choices, but he has the stage presence and charisma of a Styrofoam cup. Reminds me of a grown up version of last year’s runner-up, David Archuleta, who has a great voice and the stage presence of cat litter.


And then there’s the judge’s little darling, Adam Lambert. He’s pretty to the point of being effeminate, and while he’s super-talented, that caterwauling falsetto wail of his is like nails on my mental chalkboard. An unstoppable juggernaut, he’ll soon be overplayed on every Top-40 station in America. Get your eyeliner ready.


In my humble, yet correct, opinion, Idol jumps the shark every year and then reinvents itself. They caught shit for all the bashing they did to people in the audition shows, so they cut back on the bad auditions and tantrums, which was honestly the best part of the season really. They kept bringing on these musical guest judges and mentors who were completely and utterly irrelevant to today’s pop music, like Tony Bennett and Barry Manilow; great artists in their day but so far removed from the pop landscape that they stand out like whores in church…whores with extensive facelifts and fake tans.

This year they’ve been a bit better about their “mentors”, even bringing in guitar guru Slash this past week, and they’ve made attempts to boost ratings by bringing in various contemporary music artists to perform current singles during the shows. They’d never allow an aspiring rapper to be a finalist on Idol, yet they brought in Kanye West, and it was amusing that they let Jamie Foxx sing “Blame It On The Alcohol” to all the little kids watching. And of course they have to bring out any and all Idol alums who are releasing albums during the season, like Kelly Clarkson and the aforementioned Daughtry, and they brought in Carrie Underwood to spice up Country Night since mentor Randy Travis had the charisma of a lump of coal that week.

Honestly, I’ve been so bored this season that Paula’s drunken ramblings and her lipping of her new and instantly forgotten single were the true highlights. I wonder how much more exciting it would have been had they included Crying Emo Sissy Nathanial Marshall, Melodramatic Crying Nonstop Talker Tatiana Del Toro, and Wannabe Comedian Who Refused To Take This Shit Seriously And Blew It Nick “Norman Gentle” Mitchell?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A couple of interesting bumper stickers

I see a lot of bumpers on my daily commutes. Occasionally, the adornments make me laugh. Often, as in the case of all these rampant Obama stickers, they just make me grind my molars.

I was a bit taken by surprise to already spot an election sticker for the 2012 Presidential campaign. Something tells me the Governor doesn't yet know she's been drafted as a candidate.


The other sticker that made me chuckle is a great play on words. I guess you sorta have to know your Egyptian dieties to get the joke...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Animal Cops Walterboro, Episode 2



On today’s episode of Animal Cops Walterboro, instead of rescuing a wee orange kitty like we did last time (see my October 2007 archives), we get a little less domesticated and a little more wild in our speed bump rescue efforts.

The last thing I expected to see in the middle of a busy Highway 17-A on a Friday night was a large black lump that started walking. Granted, he wasn’t walking very fast, because the speed bump in question was a pretty good-sized snapping turtle.

The u-turn this time was at least legal, but no less speedy since at 7PM on a Friday night, 17-A is pretty busy and how this dude managed to get to the very middle of the road was a testament to this little fella’s fortitude and luck.

I scooped him up and got him to the side of the road, where two other cars had also stopped to see if he’d make it. I snap-decided to run him to a more turtle-friendly environment, and so into the empty trunk of the car he went. He had air, and since the trip was only three miles in duration, he was only going to be in the dark for a few minutes.


He was heavier than I expected him to be, about 15-20 pounds, and holding him out in front of me so that if he peed it wouldn’t get on my t-shirt made for a very long hundred-yard walk from the parking area to where we released him. He lay there in the grass, very still, for a few minutes until we walked away, and just as we were almost beyond visual range I saw him walk towards the water and safety.

Cletus the Turtle is now residing in the main swamp pond of the Great Swamp Sanctuary in Walterboro.

Rescue complete, animal relocated safely, mission accomplished.

Small Town Parades Are Fun


As always, Mahatma the Rice Dude was there...


Last Saturday was the annual Rice Festival here in Walterboro. Each year it shrinks and gets worse, due to a crappy economy and a burgeoning gang problem in Colleton County.

Even the parade gets lamer every year. This year there weren't any military units, even though the National Guard armory is 3 miles from the parade route. There were no Anah Temple Shriners with little go-karts. This year, even Waffle House's van was absent.

Of course, all you have to do to be in the parade is be able to fog a mirror and pay the fee, so I could put on my kilt and march alone as my own float as the Walterboro Saint Andrew's Society. Maybe next year...

Highlights from this year's events:

There's always at least one fashion faux-pas at the parade.


You know it's a small town when the Clerk of Court has a float.



Gotta have the religious crazies in the parade with hand-painted signs...


Nothing says Small Town Parade like the truck that sucks the shit out of your septic tank.



And then another religious crazy preaching from the hood of a hearse, being towed by a cherry-picker bucket truck owned by the septic tank guy.