Thursday, May 31, 2007

Good Riddance, O'Donnell

I hate Rosie. I mean absolutely despise her. Just thought you should know.

I don’t hate Rosie O’Donnell because she’s gay. I don’t hate her because she’s fat. I don’t hate for being rich & famous. I hate her because she’s a fucking ignorant twat.

I danced a merry jig when “Ro” decided to go cry in her tofu and not come back to The View after her hugely publicized snit with Elisabeth Hasselbeck a week or so ago. Finally, that bloated sack of protoplasm is off my TV screen, at least until some fucktard studio wonk gives her another show.

The argument between Hasselbeck and O’Donnell began over O’Donnell’s statement about the war: “655,000 Iraqi civilians had died. Who are the terrorists?” I guess she’s implying that everyone killed in Iraq died at the hands of our bloodthirsty soldiers, who slaughter babies and then dine on the marrow cracked from their bones.

Rosie is simply ignorant. She quotes inaccurate and highly exaggerated death figures and then blames the U.S. for those deaths when over 90% of Iraqi deaths have been caused by other Iraqis, and more would die with us leaving them in a vacuum than by us being there. Her figures are as bloated as her figure. Using her math, Iraq will be devoid of humans sometime in early fall 2009.

It seems another noted waste of skin who lost her own show, Ricki Lake, was on The View sucking Mama Rosie’s teat and sounding off against the troops. Ho’Donnell, who can’t have a debate without interrupting anyone, be it Donald Trump or her co-hosts, even interrupted her own crony:

O'DONNELL: Wait, can I just say something? Why do people enlist in the Army?

LAKE: To get an education, and they're poor-

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

LAKE: -and that's the only way to get one.

O'DONNELL: The vast majority- Yes, Elisabeth. It's true!

As the show’s token conservative, Hasselbeck responded harshly and Rosie continued to smear volunteer soldiers before she claimed that she does actually support the troops.

HASSELBECK: First of all, in the past year, the testing scores of our armed services have been higher than ever, so the education level-

O'DONNELL: You are wrong. We have more convicted felons in the Army because we're allowing them to get through.

HASSELBECK: So they're awful? They're awful then?

O'DONNELL: Elisabeth, I do everything I can to support the troops financially and emotionally. I love them as much as you do. I'm as much of a patriot. I want them home.

Oh, horse shit. Financially? Emotionally? Saying the war is wrong and that American fighting men and women are poor, uneducated babykillers isn’t exactly emotional support, “RoHo”. And going back to your big Hollywood home full of babies you bought on EBay because you’re rich enough to adopt a brood of kids while a sickening number of American soldiers’ families qualify for food stamps and have to take second jobs to make ends meet isn’t exactly financial support either.

Talk-show critics accused O’Donnell of calling U.S. troops terrorists. She called Hasselbeck “cowardly” for not saying anything in response to the critics, which set off their lengthy argument.

According to a recent study by the Heritage Foundation, military enlistees are "better educated, wealthier, and more rural on average than their civilian peers." Additionally, "recruits have a higher percentage of high school graduates" and "the distribution of household income of recruits is noticeably higher than the entire youth population."

As a former soldier, I am patently offended by her callous remarks. I may not have finished my degree, but my reasons are my own, and since I was carrying a 3.67 GPA when I left, it’s not like I was too stupid for college. I’d like to think I’m articulate and almost erudite, despite my penchant for the F-word. If I look back 20 years to my recruit class at Fort McClellan, we had several guys in my platoon with college educations, and every swingin’ Richard was a high school graduate. Last I checked, they’ve never been too keen on allowing convicted felons into any branch of the military, and most misdemeanors disqualify you as well. I know of a guy right now who’s been trying to re-enlist for awhile, an experienced non-commissioned officer and combat veteran who would be a huge asset to the Army right now, but has so far been denied because of a DUI conviction. The Pentagon is not clearing out America’s prison cells just yet looking for soldiers, because America’s best and brightest are still enlisting to serve their country.

Seems that every time Rosie opens up her Clam Rest as of late, she’s saying something stupid. Her fight with Donald Trump started when Trump decided to give a second chance to former Miss USA Tara Conner after she got busted on various alcohol charges. Big deal; it’s HIS pageant. He owns it. If he wants to be magnanimous and give a fucked- up kid a second chance, it’s his prerogative.

Then she outed Clay Aiken on national TV like she’s the self-appointed Gay Crusader. When Aiken, who has never once anywhere said whether he’s gay or not, was hosting Live With Regis & Kelly, he put his hand over Kelly Ripa’s mouth, and Ripa jokingly said that she didn’t know where his hand had been. She was referring to the fact it was cold & flu season and didn’t want to take any errant germs home to her kids. And Rosie The Gay Crusader waddled into action to say Ripa was being homophobic. So are you outing Clay Aiken? The dude has never said he’s gay, so he’s got every right to sue her ample ass for libel.

Y’know, it’s funny. I never thought Ellen Degeneres was funny till she came out of the closet. Her sitcom was okay, but was lacking something. She came out as gay and suddenly she was hilarious. It’s like the funny switch was turned on because she was no longer living a lie. She was comfortable enough & free enough to be who she was, and who she was turned out to be funny. It’s a damned shame her show got shitcanned a few weeks after she came out. Now Rosie on the other hand, was moderately funny on her show. I even gave her serious kudos for promoting one of my favorite bands, Erasure. Then she came out, and became a total absolute bitch. Maybe coming out freed her up to be who she really is? Queen of Nice, my ass. I have gay friends who are embarrassed to the core because of her actions, in the same way many Southerners are embarrassed by trailer trash on the Jerry Springer Show. It’s not an accurate representation of a segment of society, but it leaves a lasting impression.

So now O’Donnell has opted not to come back for her final 3 weeks on The View. Good fucking riddance. Just stay out of rural Alabama. The local 11-year olds carry guns and are out to bag the next Hogzilla.

The Great Doggy DNA Caper

Not long ago I made mention in one of my blogs about the severe backlog of cases that are being delayed on DNA evidence. The police labs are so overwhelmed that they can’t keep up with the volume of DNA evidence to be tested. I also said that private labs should be required as part of their certification and licensing to do a certain amount of pro-bono testing to assist the police, for the good of the people, as pro-bono implies. Lawyers do it, so why not DNA labs? Give a little back to the community, and the community gives back to you, at least ostensibly.

Imagine my dismay and consternation to find out last week that since the cost of DNA testing has plummeted, concerned dog owners can now send off a sample of their pup’s DNA, either through the mail or even at their vet’s office, and for about $80.00 find out exactly what breeds make up the genetic background of their canine companion. I’m serious. No shit. People are awaiting DNA tests on death-penalty cases, and DNA labs are testing cheek swabs on the beloved pooch that drinks from your toilet and licks its own balls.

I guess if you spend a couple thousand bucks for a seriously purebred showpiece breeding animal, I can possibly see wanting to screen the critter to make sure you’re getting what you paid for. But that’s a want, not a need. That’s low-priority stuff to me. But the crux of the Doggy DNA movement is so that curious owners of mixed-breed mutts can see what ingredients their Heinz-57 is concocted from. Is it half Lab, half Chihuahua, or half Lab, half Jack Russell? Or is it a third Lab, a third Jack Russell, and a third Chihuahua? Like it fucking matters……

I guess with the advent and rise in popularity of these fruity designer dogs, ie: Labradoodles, Cockapoos, and Puggles, now owners want to make sure their hybrids are actually what the recipe called for. What’s this you say, Steve? What are these breeds of which you speak? A cockapoo is the mutant cross between a cocker spaniel and a miniature poodle. It just screams KICK ME. A Labradoodle is a skinny Lab with a slightly curly coat, the result of mixing a standard poodle with a Lab. It looks like the canine equivalent of one of the Village People, manly yet effete. And a puggle is the newest designer house pet, made by breeding a pug with a beagle. It’s almost cute in a creepy way.

I suppose I could make a fortune breeding new designer creatures and selling them on E-Bay. The American Sheeple will buy anything if a celebrity owns it, so if some lackwit like Paris or Lohan should decide to pay several thousand dollars for one of my hybrid Mengele Monsters, my fortune is made. Maybe I can just give them away initially as Rehab Gifts…..y’know, spend 30 days in rehab, get a puppy. Better yet, serve your entire jail sentence, get a free dog. That’s hot……

We’ll mix a Chihuahua with an Akita and have an angry little Chikita. We can breed German Shepherds with Chocolate Labs for the German Chocolate. Maybe mix a Great Pyrenees with a Scottish terrier for a Great Scot. Cross a Scottish deerhound and a Blue Tick Hound for a Deer Tick. Or throw the whole world askew by the great combination of a Bulldog and a Shit Tzu…….the Bullshit. Fetch me my test tubes!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.

I saw something extraordinarily simple and beautiful Friday morning during a work trip. Looking out across the water while driving over the bridge by Parris Island, about a mile or so away in the distance I saw the giant American flag blowing in the morning breeze above the parade ground. It filled me with a sense of awe and a sense of pride. I feel a very special kinship with the men & women who serve this nation, for they are truly my brothers and sisters. I was once one of them, and we are all joined by a special bond of duty, honor, and country. Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, cook, grunt, mechanic, tanker, supply clerk, truck driver, aviator, submariner, intel analyst, or medic, from lowly privates to lofty generals; I am you and you are me, and we are each other.

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. Unfortunately, to most Americans, this means nothing more than a long weekend full of beer and barbecue, sporting events and sleeping late. Corporate America thinks this weekend is nothing more than an excuse to hold sales on cars and shoes and pots and pans. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t relax and have fun this weekend; far from it. I have plans for fun myself, since Memorial Day weekend is also my birthday. But my revelry each year is also tempered by somber & sober reflection and remembrance of my comrades in arms who made the ultimate sacrifice, paying the price so that this nation, and other nations, could be free.

Earlier this week, yet another funeral was held at Arlington National Cemetery. Finally, after 54 years, John B. McGovern, known as “Earthquake Magoon”, was buried with full honors. He died on May 6, 1954 while his C-119 Flying Boxcar cargo plane was hit by ground fire while parachuting a howitzer to the besieged French garrison at Dien Bien Phu. Reportedly, as he was breaking apart & going down his last radio transmission was “I’m taking her in, boys". His remains were recovered from an unmarked grave in Laos in 2002, identified last year, and now he is finally at rest among his fellow warriors.

Still missing are two soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, SPC Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass., and PVT Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Michigan. The search for them continues into its third week. Also missing, but seldom discussed, is SPC Matt Maupin, 21, an Army Reservist from Batavia, Ohio, who was captured on April 9, 2004 by Iraqi insurgents. You three are not forgotten.

As a former Military Policeman, I want to tip my hat and raise my glass to a fallen MP on this Memorial Day. PFC Sam Williams Huff was barely a year out of her prom dress and cap & gown when she was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on April 17, 2005. Sam turned down a modeling contract and put off college to enlist as an MP. At 18 years of age, Sam Huff was buried at Arlington.

Lastly, the Medal of Honor Museum opened this week aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriot’s Point. There were 42 of the 110 living Medal of Honor recipients on hand for the opening of the museum. I’ve had the honor and privilege to meet a couple Medal of Honor recipients in my lifetime, and it has always been a humbling and heartening experience. Skip going to see the world’s largest ball of twine; this landmark if far more important.

I leave you all, my comrades, with this poem, which I first read on a wall at the US Army Military Police School at Ft. McClellan, Alabama in 1988.


I was that which others did not want to be.

I went where others feared to go and did what others failed to do.

I asked nothing from those who gave nothing and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness...should I fail.

I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moments love.

I have cried, pained, and hoped...but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten.

At least someday, I will be able to say that I was proud of what I was...a Soldier.

George L. Skypeck

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Them New Fangled Soldiers

Each successive generation of soldier, from the Revolutionary War on to Iraq, says that the new generation of soldier has it easier than they had it. When I went through Basic Training in January 1988, my instructors all said how easy we had it compared to when they went through. I look at today’s soldiers and find myself guilty of thinking some of the same thoughts on occasion. However, each successive generation also wants to view itself as tougher and meaner than the next in order to not feel so obsolete. But all it really boils down to is that as technology evolves, the tools of the trade change to ease the soldier’s burden a little. I’d like to make a few comparisons between The Baby Boomers, Gen-X, and what I’ll call Generation 911. The Boomers came of age during VietNam and just after it. I guess I fall into the Gen-X crowd, and Generation 911 came of age around the time of the 9/11 attacks.

When I went to Basic, my drills all said we were lucky because they could no longer strike us. Back when they went to training, their drill sergeants could, and would, give them a beatdown for infractions and failure to adapt. They weren’t even supposed to swear at us, though that rule was bent to the breaking point quite often. Now I’m told that trainees can pretty much call a Stress Time-Out if they feel too burdened by the mental demands of their training.

The Boomers were issued plain and uncomfortable black boots, olive drab utilities with brightly colored insignia, a steel canteen, and a steel pot helmet. My first helmet was a steel pot but I got a Kevlar Fritz when I got to my first unit. My boots were a newer version with speed-lacing and a better tread. I had a camouflaged utility uniform with subdued black & green insignia, and my canteen was plastic. Today the helmets have a built-in mount to hold night-vision goggles, the boots are no-shine rough leather, the uniforms have computer-designed patterns, angled pockets, and Velcro insignia-mounts, and the troops drink from a CamelBak.

The Boomers ate ham & lima bean C-rats, I had first-generation MRE’s with the dehydrated pork patty and Three Fingers of Death, and today the MRE’s are so advanced they actually taste good, with enchiladas and Kool-Aid. Boomers had the K-bar knife, I had an M-7 bayonet, and now there’s the M-9 bayonet that doubles as a wire cutter. Boomers had a shitty poncho made of rubberized canvas that smelled like vomit and let every other rain drop in. I had a 2-piece rain suit of rubberized canvas that smelled like vomit and kept all your body heat in so that the sweat made you wetter than the rain did. Now they have breathable Gore-Tex foul-weather gear that wicks away moisture. Instead of a shitty canvas shelter half that snapped together with your buddy’s half into a really lame pup tent that smelled like mold, now there’s a slick little tube tent.

The guys before me threw grenades or used an M-79 Bloop-Tube, and I launched grenades from an M-203 under my M-16. Now they just hose you down with a belt-fed Mk-19. The Boomers used binoculars, I could get intel from a scout helicopter, and now they fly a drone from 3000 miles away with a satellite feed. Boomers had a khaki dress uniform with brass insignia that had to be polished and leather dress shoes that had to be spit shined. I had a green polyester leisure suit with patent-leather shoes and gold insignia that could be wiped with Windex. Now the uniform has a belted jacket and you can get your awards as a thin plastic sheet instead of all those separate ribbons.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Each generation of soldier was represented by America’s best & brightest, idealistic young people from every race & religion, selflessly serving their nation in peace and war, doing impossible tasks for often ungrateful people in places no one wanted to go, and I’m proud to have been one of them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Food Terrorism and Other Scary Crap

I’m not the sort of man who cries wolf or gets up in arms doing the Chicken Little thing. If anything, I often get accused of being disinterested in things enough to discount what most perceive to be the End Times. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m ignorant of things around me or that I don’t file away little nuggets of happenstance for future reference.

That said, I’m beginning to wonder about Food Terrorism. That big E-coli scare last year with all the tainted spinach, followed up by tainted broccoli and tainted lettuce, and then the tainted pet food, and now tainted honeybees……whoa, wait a sec Steve…did you say tainted bees? Yup.

I was willing to let slide the tainted spinach and such. Escherichia-coli is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the intestines. Run off from a pig farm or something similar was the published cause. Perfectly plausible excuse, but it still makes me wonder; wouldn’t watered-down pigshit be the first suspect if there’s a hog farm next door to your veggie plot? If so, then why’d it take awhile for the Gummint™ to say so? Sure, they wanted to be 100% sure before they went public; makes sense. But then again, they could have been scrambling for a plausible explanation that wouldn’t scare the public too badly…

Then the pet food poisonings; turns out that a plastic by-product called melamine had leeched into wheat gluten used to make the pet food. Hmmm….all the wheat we grow here in America, and all the wheat we don’t grow by paying farmers subsidies to not grow food, and we’re buying wheat gluten from China. Fat lot of good that move did you, eh? Possibly thousands of house pets killed by kidney failure and all anyone can say is,”Oops!”

And the bees. There’s been an unexplainable malady striking the North American honeybee population that causes them to abandon the hives and letting the hives go fallow, eggs & queen and all. They aren’t producing honey and aren’t producing new bees, and are just dying off. Many bees are showing up with bodies rotted out by some sort of parasitic fungus. As much as 25% of the honeybee population has been lost.

This hasn’t been getting nearly the press coverage as Fluffy and Fido suffering multiple organ failure. Cats & dogs are cute; bees are vile death-dealers with poisoned stingers and an insatiable appetite for human blood….Actually, bees are a hell of a lot more necessary to humans than the bundles of fur splayed out on your sofa. There are dozens of crops that rely on bees to pollinate their species. Without the bees, there’s no pollination and the plants die out. There are 21 food crops in America that rely on honeybees as their SOLE pollinator. Can you say “Decreased Food Crops”? Can you say “Higher Prices for What Food Remains”? What if this fungus that’s killing off bees was intentionally introduced? What if this was Saddam’s weapon of mass destruction?

Some splinter cell could have easily scattered E-coli into a few food crop fields to cause a little mayhem and see what America’s reaction was as a precursor to a larger poisoning. Hell, China could be a willing accomplice with some terror organization in testing out how fast America detected a toxin in food by purposely poisoning pets. And some lab hidden in a far-off cave could develop a toxic fungus to kill off bees, and thus weaken our food supplies.

Or I could be just ranting like a deranged conspiracy-theory kook. I’m not saying this is what actually happened. I’m saying “What if this is what happened?”….or wouldn’t it be some shit if the CIA did economic terrorism and poisoned the pet food to lay the blame on China so we’d stop buying from them? What if the pet food scare was a ruse developed by the Gummint™ to take attention away from the war in Iraq? What if the bee fungus was something developed by the pointy-heads at Fort Dietrich (the Army’s nasty little chem-warfare lab in the Maryland farm country) and it went horribly wrong?

Oh, the list goes on….squirrels and monkeys and other small & fuzzy things are being found with a strain of the plague. Yeah, THAT plague. The Black Death. Ring Around The Rosy. Is it terrorism, or a Gummint™ experiment gone awry?

Scared yet? You should be. And you should continue with your life, and question the motives & actions of the Gummint™, which aren’t always in your best interest, and be aware (very aware) of threats against us from nefarious types who wish us all dead. All I’m really saying is, PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT GOES ON OUTSIDE YOUR DOORSTEP, and question it sometimes instead of being one of the Sheeple.

Thanks, NBC News

It’s not often that I feel the need to go back and offer up to eat crow for something I’ve said. However, when I wrongly malign someone, I’ll retract what I’ve said & dine on my just desserts. Today I must actually THANK the people at NBC, after having just bashed them the other day.

Thanks NBC, for spearheading the drive to showcase Dragon Skin body armor for our troops. Thank you for showing that there existed a product better than the current Interceptor body armor, and thank you for getting Interceptor’s inventor to publicly say that Dragon Skin was better. Thank you for conducting an independent test of the armor side-by-side to expose for everyone how much better Dragon Skin is, and thank you for also admitting your test was abbreviated and not done under any extreme climate conditions. Your honesty was commendable, and your actions even more so. For once, the media is on the side of the poor grunt in the field, and hopefully lives can be saved by your having gotten the good word out.

For troops in the line of fire, body armor can spell the difference between life and death. Brig. Gen. Mark Brown, who oversees body armor for the Army, told NBC, “The body armor that we issue to our soldiers today is the best in the world. Bar none. It’s proven by live-fire testing, and it’s proven in combat.” But is it really the best?

An NBC News investigation — including independent ballistics tests — suggests there may be something better called Dragon Skin. Military families and soldiers have tried to buy Dragon Skin believing it offers better protection. But the Army banned the armor last year even before formally testing it.

The Army’s current body armor is called Interceptor. NBC News tracked down the man who designed Interceptor a decade ago, Jim Magee, a retired Marine colonel:
LISA MYERS: What is the best body armor available today in your view?
JIM MAGEE: Dragon Skin is the best out there, hands down. It's better than the Interceptor. It is state of the art. In some cases, it’s two steps ahead of anything I’ve ever seen.
MYERS: You developed the body armor that the Army is using today.
MAGEE: That's correct.
MYERS: And you say Dragon Skin is better?
MAGEE: Yes. And I think anybody in my industry would say the same thing were they to be perfectly honest about it.

Why? He says more stopping power and more coverage.

According to Magee, the Army’s Interceptor uses four rigid plates to stop the most lethal bullets, leaving some vital organs unprotected. Dragon Skin — with discs that interconnect like medieval chain-mail — can wrap most of a soldier’s torso, providing a greater area of maximum protection.

Magee, who has no financial stake whatsoever in Dragon Skin, told us, “If you would ask me today, ‘Jim we’re sending you to Iraq tomorrow. What would you wear?’ I would buy Dragon Skin and I would wear it.”

He’s not alone. NBC News has learned that the CIA bought Dragon Skin for elite operatives in Iraq, they say, after it passed CIA testing. But Brown says the Army conducted its own tests of Dragon Skin last year.

BRIG. GEN. BROWN: Thirteen of 48 shots that were taken at Dragon Skin were penetrating; full penetrating shots.
MYERS: So that’s a catastrophic
BROWN: Correct.
MYERS: So Dragon Skin failed?
BROWN: Dragon Skin failed miserably.

Brown suggested those tests led the Army to issue a “Safety of Use Message,” warning soldiers of “death or serious injury.” There’s just one problem: the Army banned Dragon Skin in March, almost two months before that testing began in May.

MYERS: General, the Army banned Dragon Skin before the Army even tested it.
BROWN: Lisa, I’m — I’m not aware of that… I don’t know that.

Nevin Rupert, a mechanical engineer and ballistics expert, was for seven years the Army’s leading authority on Dragon Skin. Now a whistleblower, he says the Army’s timing wasn’t coincidental.
RUPERT: I believe there are some Army officials at the lower levels that deliberately tried to sabotage it.
MYERS: What possible motive would Army officials have for blocking a technology that could save lives?
RUPERT: Their loyalty is to their organization and maintaining funds.

He says that because Dragon Skin was not developed by the Army, some officials considered it a threat to funding of Interceptor and other Army programs.

RUPERT: It wasn’t their program. It threatened their program and mission funding.
Rupert also says he was ordered not to attend the tests of Dragon Skin.

MYERS: You spent seven years evaluating Dragon Skin. And the Army goes to test it. And you're told not to attend?
MYERS: They didn't want you there?
RUPERT: They didn't want a lot of people there.

Rupert was recently fired by the Army, he says, for supporting Dragon Skin. When questioned about Rupert by NBC News, the Army said in a statement:
“Mr. Nevin Rupert was employed by the Army Research Laboratory for more than 33 years as a mechanical engineer in the Weapons & Materials Research Directorate, located at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. Mr. Nevin left federal service on February 24, 2007. He has a June 2007 appeal before the Merit System Protection Board.”

NBC News also has learned that, well after the Army ban, select soldiers assigned to protect generals and VIPs in Iraq and Afghanistan wore Dragon Skin.
An active duty soldier, who asked us to conceal his identity, told NBC he wore Dragon Skin on certain missions, with the full knowledge of his commanders.
“I wore it and I saw other people wearing it… It conforms to your body, it gives you more mobility,” he said.

LISA MYERS: Does the ban on Dragon Skin apply equally to everyone in the Army?
BRIG. GEN. MARK BROWN: Lisa, yes it does.

However, sources and documents obtained by NBC News reveal that a top general’s security detail in Iraq bought and wore Dragon Skin.

MYERS: If Dragon Skin is good enough for a 3-star general, shouldn’t it be good enough for other soldiers?
BROWN: Lisa, even 3-star generals make mistakes.

A Pentagon spokesman says that Gen. Peter Chiarelli, once the top ground commander in Iraq, “had no knowledge that Dragon Skin was prohibited” and “never wore Dragon Skin,” though it’s possible his staff ordered it for him. The spokesman went on to say that Chiarelli acknowledges that his bodyguards ordered and received concealed body armor, but that Chiarelli “didn't know the armor was Dragon Skin.”

Given the controversy over body armor, NBC News commissioned an independent, side-by-side test of Dragon Skin and the Army’s Interceptor vest. In that testing, Dragon Skin outperformed the Army’s body armor in stopping the most lethal threats. Retired four-star Army Gen. Wayne Downing, now an NBC news analyst, observed the tests. “What we saw today, Lisa, and again it’s a limited number of trials, Dragon Skin was significantly better,” he said.

These independent, limited tests raise serious questions about the Army’s claim that Dragon Skin doesn’t work. NBC News will report on the specific results of that testing on Dateline NBC Sunday. Critics tell NBC they’d like to see the Army re-test and re-evaluate Dragon Skin.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tinky Winky Gets the Last Laugh

Jerry Falwell, the TV evangelist whose 1979 founding of the Moral Majority (which was neither) galvanized American religious conservatives into a political force, died Tuesday at age 73. While in no way am I going to sit here and be happy that a man is dead or that his family is grieving for their loss, I will say that at least there’s one less religious extremist fringe kook to worry about meddling in politics.

Born to a man who sold bootleg whiskey during Prohibition, Falwell said religious voters "cannot be silent about the sins that are destroying this nation," which he identified as pornography, abortion, "amoral liberals," drugs, welfare and the abandonment of biblical morality. To him, it seems there was no separation of church & state; he wanted the church to run the state. On the heels of 1973's Roe v. Wade case, Falwell was spurred to create the Moral Majority Coalition. Using the organization as a bully pulpit to rant against abortion, pornography and a host of other issues he deemed in defiance of God's will, Falwell became a lightning rod for controversy, having the audacity to say that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality.

In 1999, he told an evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably already alive. Falwell later apologized for the remark but not for holding the belief. Hey, Jer, in retrospect, ya’ think maybe the Antichrist could be an Islamic fundamentalist? Or perhaps even a pseudo-Christian in disguise?

Shortly after the Sept. 11, attacks, Falwell had to apologize after televised comments in which he described the attacks as a judgment on America for "throwing God out of the public square."

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America," he said. "I point the finger in their face and say 'You helped this happen.' " . Again, an insincere apology done to placate the masses.

Often his statements were received by most as absurd, such as his virulently anti-gay attack on Tinky Winky, the purple, purse-toting character in the "Teletubbies" children's show. His National Liberty Journal warned parents that Tinky Winky was a gay role model and morally damaging to children. Falwell charged that because Tinky Winky had a triangle on his head and carried a bag, he was a symbol of homosexuality. What the fuck? All the deranged shit on TV, including scandalized fellow televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart (sex scandal), Oral Roberts (the whole 900-foot Jesus and spurious fund-raising techniques), and Jim Bakker (sex scandal and skimming money), and he picks on a dude in a costume making goo-goo noises to entertain babies? Please…

In the mid-1980s, Falwell found himself at the center of what would become a landmark First Amendment case. Hustler magazine published a parody ad of him suggesting drunkenness and incest. Falwell sued publisher Larry Flynt and the magazine for libel. He didn’t win the libel claim, but in 1984 he was awarded $200,000 for emotional distress. The case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the original verdict in favor of Falwell was overturned. The details of the case were played out in the 1996 film "The People vs. Larry Flynt", quite humorously, I might add.

Just a week before his death, Falwell told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that he needed at least 20 more years to accomplish his vision for his Liberty University. Falwell told the story of Hezekiah, who in the Bible asked to live for 15 more years and was granted that wish. "I'm praying the same prayer with an option to renew," Falwell said. Guess somebody wasn’t praying quite hard enough, huh?

Seldom in recent history has one person used their position of influence over the masses to spread so much hateful rhetoric against others. Blaming gays for the 9/11 attacks is like Hitler blaming Jews for Germany’s woes after World War One. Saying the Antichrist was a Jewish male was meant to rally his right-wing Christian army against Jews, like Hitler rallied his supporters against Jews. Both came from humble, troubled beginnings and both dabbled in influencing politicians, though only one went into politics himself. Both were considered harmless kooks by many, until it was too late in Hitler’s case. Both used to media to propagandize and influence the masses. And while both had many who mourned their deaths, there were a lot more breathing a sigh of relief.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Paris Hilton Revisited

I’m amused greatly by what I just read in the paper about Paris Hilton. It seems Her Bonyness is scared of jail to the point where she’s incapable of even testifying in her own deense in yet another court case. Paris is "emotionally distraught and traumatized" over her 45-day day jail sentence and is not capable of testifying in a civil lawsuit against her, according to her psychiatrist. Dr. Charles Sophy has been seeing Hilton for the past eight months and has talked with her several times since her May 4 hearing for violating the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case, according to court papers.

Sophy said Hilton needs time to recover from the shock of receiving jail time before testifying in a civil case brought against her by “actress” and diamond heiress Zeta Graff. What’s this? Dueling heiresses? How delightfully white-trash! In court papers filed Monday, Sophy said Hilton is "distraught and traumatized as a consequence of the findings at the May 4 hearing ... and her fear of incarceration." He continued, "At this point in time, Ms. Hilton cannot effectively respond to examination as a witness or provide any significant input into her defense."

Graff filed a $10 million lawsuit against Hilton in 2005, claiming that Hilton spread "vicious lies" about her. Hilton has denied that she was behind a report alleging Graff once tried to grab a necklace worth $4 million from her throat. Wow…..she was probably drunk, or just unable to support herself on 6-inch stiletto hooker shoes, or maybe weak from lack of food, and stumbled into Paris and held on for balance, thinking she was a lamp post. Wow…just think that if what Hilton said was worth $10 million, she could probably sue me for at least $50 million for how vicious I am. I know I’m by far more vicious than both of them combined.

Anyways, I find it delectable that Paris is afraid of jail. She should be. I have three years experience working in correctional environments and a total of around six years all told working in and around law enforcement, so I know from what I speak. Jail is a scary place. I certainly have a healthy fear of incarceration myself. I’m sure the “ladies” at the LA County Jail are already jockeying for position to be the first to beat her ass and do various acts of an adult nature with her scrawny hide.

But because of some serious overcrowding in Los Angeles jails, she may not have to serve the complete sentence, which I think is crap. She doesn’t take up much room and won’t really eat much. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known internationally as very tough on inmate-coddling, says he's spoken to the chief of jails in Los Angeles and offered to house Hilton at Tent City in the Arizona desert. Tent City looks pretty much like the POW camps that I set up on training missions in the Army.

"I just made an offer," Arpaio said. "Instead of reducing her sentence, which I feel is wrong, why not bring her over here? We can incarcerate her here. She can do her time over here." And according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff is considering the proposal. Arpaio says that while that Los Angeles County is considering his offer, Hilton’s lawyers will probably object. Gee, ya’ think?

And now, crawling across the bottom of my TV screen, it says that her ass is only gonna serve 23 days and she’ll be kept separate from everyone else. That’s BULLSHIT! That’s not jail! That’s DETENTION!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thanks, CNN...

When these homegrown terrorist scumbags were busted last week for plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, needless to say I was pissed. Pissed at them for turning their backs on the country that took them in and gave them a far better life than they would have had back in their respective points of origin, pissed that terrorism aimed at troops on American soil had arrived, and even more pissed at CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and the rest of the liberal media powers-that-be who seem to go out of their way to give terrorists new ideas and how to implement them.

My, oh my, Steve…whatever are you talking about? What is this madness you speak?

Haven’t you ever noticed that after any terror attack or, blessedly, a foiled plot, these talking head asshole “experts” flood the airwaves with features that practically point a huge glaring neon finger at ripe juicy targets, along with a step-by-step how-to guide for hitting those targets?

Some airbrushed prettyboy with gleaming teeth, perfect hair, and a smarmy used-car-salesman voice comes on with “How safe is America’s water supply from terrorism? We’ll explore the issue and just how easy it would be to poison millions, next on The Douche Report.” Then the prick proceeds to show us how he walked up to a reservoir that provides water to a major American city and dropped in a tiny vial without being spotted, and that if he were a terrorist that vial could be full of a toxin so deadly that one tube could infect and kill millions.

Or they go and show in Technicolor what we’re doing to fight terror, what weapons and tactics and strategies we’re using or developing, and who’s working on it, pretty much giving our enemies a heads-up and a how-to on ways to avoid being foiled. Just as stupid is the practice of announcing troop deployments and movements. They broadcast a fucking timetable for deployments for each unit going overseas and how long they’ll be there. Why you’re at it, give the flight number, the airline, the departure time, and the altitude along the proscribed flight path…

Soon enough you’ll show how you can bring down an airplane by hiding at the end of a runway and releasing hundreds of birds into the engine intakes or some such crap. Why not? You’ve already shown stories suggesting blowing up targets like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sears Tower, and the Capitol Building, how to make dirty bombs, how to make biological weapons, and how to poison the food and water supplies.

Do you traitorous fucks live in some rarified, under-oxygenated La-La Land to think Osama Bin Shithead and his merry band of Raggies don’t watch American TV? Sure, he may be hiding in caves and moving around every 3 days, but I assure you, he’s watching. The dude has access to BILLIONS in funding; you think he doesn’t have a Honda generator and a plasma TV on the wall of his cave? He’s got lackeys bringing him USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the London Daily Mirror, and he’s watching CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the BBC, and possibly the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to catch the monologue. I’m pretty sure he was voting to keep Sanjaya on American Idol. And if not him, then you’ve got every other froot-loop from Fatah, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and all the splinter cells in between that are picking up on the info.

People keep wondering why it’s so hard to find Osama….it’s been six and a half years, why can’t we find Osama. We have all these troops and blah blah blah ….Maybe if reporters weren’t telling the entire known universe where we’re looking, how we’re looking, what we’re looking with, and when we’re looking, we might stumble over him. Remember, half the FBI and the state police of North Carolina spent millions of dollars and man-hours to find clinic-bomber Eric Rudolph over a span of what, six years? And they only got the guy after some bumpkin town cop saw what he thought was a homeless dude dumpster-diving and decided to bust his balls over it.

So the next time some headline screams about troop deaths or terror bombings, or some pompous ass on TV points a finger of blame somewhere, remember that they’re just as much at fault in this, and there’s blood on their lily-white hands too. And when Osama turns up busted by some part-time militia dude who herds goats when he’s not in uniform and who was gonna roust this bum living in the cave where he takes his on-duty nap, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Some stupidness from the news

I pulled some stuff from today's USA Today. I'm a news junkie and read/watch the news daily, usually morning, at dinner, and before bed.

The city council of Eureka Springs, Arkansas has agreed to create a domestic partner registry. Effective next month, same-sex and unmarried couples can pay a $35.00 fee for a document proving their domestic partnership. Opponents of the measure say it violates the state’s ban on gay marriage.

What the fuck? No one’s talking gay marriage, you ignorant backwoods Bible-thumping cretins. It’s a simple domestic partnership arrangement. Are you saying the unmarried heterosexual couples who are documented under this measure are married too? Last I knew, marriages were ceremonies performed by the clergy or by a justice of the peace. This is a registration document.

I may be mistaken, not being a Biblical scholar and all, but Adam & Eve didn’t have a preacher to perform a ceremony with witnesses, so were they married? And if they spawned the human race out of wedlock, then they were in the wrong for doing so, the vile sinners.

In Woonsocket, Rhode Island, a criminal simple assault charge was dropped against a woman accused of driving her daughter, who was serving a suspension from school, to the local middle school so she could fight another classmate. The classmate’s mother also became involved in the fight, according to police. The other mother refused to testify against the first mother, so charges had to be dropped. Perhaps it was the embarrassment of looking like a complete dumb ass that prompted the reticence to testify? This just proves that trailer trash don’t just come from the South.

And noted dickhead Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana says an FBI raid last year on his office was unconstitutional and wants his seized material returned. His lawyer claims that while agents looked for documents related to a 16-month long international bribery investigation for allegedly accepting $100,000.00 from a telecommunications businessman, they also examined records related to Jefferson’s work as a legislator.

Sorry, pal. If the warrant was written correctly, then the agents could look anywhere that evidence could reasonably be ensconced. If I’m looking for papers that implicate someone, those papers could very well be hidden inside of other, more innocuous records and not in a bright red folder marked INCRIMINATING FILES.

You may recall that Representative Jefferson was the douchebag who commandeered a National Guard convoy to during the Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts to run him to his house so he could retrieve $90,000.00 hidden in his freezer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Revisiting the Death Penalty

So maybe I’m a knuckle-dragging war-monger flesh-eating conservative, but I support the death penalty. I not only support it but I think it should be doled out a bit faster and harsher than it already is.

I’m not calling for the Islamic beheadings of people who shoplift a pack of gum or burning a woman at the stake because some asshole didn’t like the color of the burlap sack she was forced to wear. But rapists at the very least should be castrated, and if they kill the victim in the process, they too should be killed. And muderers? Yeah, kill ‘em, too.

It costs about $50,000.00 a year to feed, clothe, and house a prisoner these days. While I don’t advocate a total solitary-confinement, chain-gang deal for all convicts, I also don’t want these guys sitting around watching free cable, eating ice cream, making tattoo kits from sharp objects, and smoking cigarettes all day, and lifting vast amounts of weight to get bigger & stronger to commit worse crimes. Job training, remedial education (not free college degrees), and lots of counseling & rehab; yes sir, all day long. Rehabilitate the offender instead of letting them languish and have no way to better themselves once they get out. But for those on death row……

I’m not saying the death penalty should be handed out pell-mell, either. It’s the most severe punishment there is. And while I believe there should be no shadow of a doubt as to guilt before sentence is carried out, there exists such a backlog and logjam in our justice system that the appeals process takes 20 years. That’s a million dollars, not counting legal costs, of taxpayer money. I’m also not saying that there aren’t innocent people in jail or on death row; DNA evidence is exonerating more & more innocent people every year.

But I propose a few changes. First off, no plea bargains for a confession or information on a crime. Don’t allow a killer to bargain down to life in prison for information like where a body is hidden or to get a confession, unless that life sentence will be at hard-labor or solitary confinement or both. Life in prison watching Jerry Springer and ass-raping a cellmate is too good for them. Let the rest of their life be spent on a chain gang making crushed gravel by day and watching a blank fucking wall all night. Otherwise, you can opt out for death. Hell, take the life sentence and then opt for death after it starts to drive you nuts, sweet-pea. We’ll accommodate.

Second, I propose that these capital crimes get sped through the process. None of this waiting in jail for 2-3 years before a court docket comes available. Trial within 60 days. That’s time enough to get your shit together. And fast-track the appeals process. If it’s a capital crime with capital punishment, the appeal is heard immediately within 6 months by the state supreme court. Screw going through 10 levels of appeals courts up & up & up the ladder till it gets heard by the United States Supreme Court. Unless it’s a Federal case, it’s not the federal government who is executing you. It’s the state; therefore, the highest court in the state should hear your appeal. And once the court upholds the conviction and sentence, that sentence needs to be carried out swiftly. Within 30 days, you’re gone and no longer a burden on society.

Of course, that will put a hefty strain on the courts. However, this IS a life & death matter, kids. Less-pressing cases like some dickhead suing a dry-cleaner for 57 million dollars over a pair of pants can wait. If there’s DNA evidence, then that evidence takes priority over less pressing shit like paternity testing for the Maury Povitch show. Baby-Momma-Drama can wait another few days. To ease the strain on existing overworked criminal DNA labs, private labs should be required to assist the police as part of their state license certifications. You can still make an ass of money off paternity tests, but now & again you’ll also be doing some testing for the good of the people, a little pro bono work. It also puts a lot of pressure on both the defense and prosecution, but then again it also ensures that they’ll be scrambling to do their absolute best.

And then there’s the execution itself. Last I knew, no one stopped before killing someone and pondered the most humane way to murder someone. No, murders are generally painful, messy affairs. Though some would say it’s barbaric to execute someone in the same manner in which they killed their victim, there are others who would say if you shoot someone, then you should be shot too, etcetera. The flaw in that reasoning is that where are you going to find people who will carry out these sentences? If someone out there is willing to be a paid state employee who has to occasionally strangle people or stab them 56 times with a rusty screwdriver, then I am very afraid of that person.

Now we have all these bleeding-hearts out there who made us come up with lethal injections because hanging and electric chairs and gas chambers were inhumane and cause the condemned to suffer unduly. Excuse me? I’m supposed to have sympathy for someone who beats someone to death with a shovel for the $17.00 in their wallet? No way. And now we have more whining sissies complaining that even lethal injection is cruel and inhumane. So? Your point is? Tell you what; let’s do it the old-fashioned way. The guy who came up with the lethal injection concept was recently quoted as saying that the best way to execute someone so that it’s over instantly and without pain is the guillotine. Yep, lop off that head lickety-split. Let ‘em eat cake. I guarantee facing a giant stainless razor blade might be a deterrent for some people.

But the better option for deterrence? Public executions. Now, earlier I spoke against the public executions that get performed in the extremist Muslim nations. I should clarify a little. Don’t kill someone for a trivial crime. Islamic Sharia law (or more rather whack-job fundamentalist zealotry) has you being killed for everything, it seems, from parking violations to having a Koran written in the wrong font to just being a woman. But if we started televising executions it might act at as a deterrent. Or just put it on Pay-per-View, with the proceeds going towards victims’ recompense. There’s like 250 million people in the United States. If say, twenty million people paid 25 dollars to watch the event, that’s $500,000,000.00. Yes, half a BILLION dollars. If the victims get say, 10% of that, that’s still fifty million. Hell, charge more for really notorious criminals. Charge fifty bucks for a serial rapist or triple homicide. A hundred bucks to watch a terrorist get executed. Shit, I bet if they’d put Saddam’s hanging on PPV, it would have been a sellout at five hundred, and that’s for High Def multi-angle coverage, not some bullshit cell phone video.

Then you’ll get some dicks like Golden Palace dot com to sponsor the condemned. The guy shaves his head, and as he lays it on the chopping block, you see the big letters saying before the beheading. But what’s in it for the condemned? A last request for a hooker, and the advertiser picks up the tab. There’s a buck to be made here, and you know they’ll make it.

That Missing British Toddler

I caught a small blurb the other day in USA Today that has since taken on huge proportions. It’s sad, it’s tragic, and it’s a damned shame. Everyone who can do so is searching all over Portugal for missing 4-year old Madeleine McCann, who was seemingly abducted from her hotel room. When she went missing she was 3; her 4th birthday was over the weekend.

I have serious problems with the circumstances surrounding this child’s disappearance. The kid was napping in the hotel room…..while the parents were across the courtyard eating. I dunno how you guys raise your kids, but I don’t even like to leave my dog alone for too long, let alone a kid. Who in their right fucking mind leaves a 3-year-old alone and asleep in a strange hotel in a foreign country? Never mind that they were only 150 feet away. To exacerbate the situation, also in the room were her twin siblings, whom I believe are less than 2 years old. So, who in their right fucking mind leaves THREE babies alone in a strange hotel room in a foreign country?

The family was on vacation from England, where the parents are doctors. Yeah, you read that right…DOCTORS, obviously college-educated and assumedly brighter than a Christmas tree bulb. Remind me to NEVER get sick while in England. This is the sort of shit they do on the Jerry Springer show….”Well, Jerry, I was over smokin’ meth in my neighbor’s trailer when little Cletus done camed up gone-like…” but you would somehow think a doctor, no…TWO doctors….would be a tad less likely to make a fuckup of this magnitude.

But why take just the one kid? Why not steal all three? Or why not steal the smaller ones, as they are easier to transport and can’t talk in a cute little British toddler accent and scream “I want me Mummy!!!” as you make your escape. Authorities are looking for a German man and a Polish woman, neither of whom ostensibly would be carting around a screaming British child. Non-talkative infants would seem easier to sell or pass of as your own.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the parents feel all bloody horrid over this whole affair, yadda yadda yadda…..hell, I’d be embarrassed too. They may as well have held up a sign that said “STEAL MY CHILD/ROUBE MEU BEBE”. And of course, media attention is just insane over this and the reward money/celebrity involvement just adds to the circus. Harry Potter author JK Rowling has donated money, and soccer uber-star David Beckham has gotten involved. By the end of the week there’ll be a telethon and a benefit concert at Wembley Stadium.

I don’t mean to sound cavalier over the disappearance of this child. I sincerely hope she returns safely to her family. I do, however, intend fully to lambaste the parents for allowing the situation to come up in the first place, and I intend to question the motives of the media circus that is setting up its tents and publicly crucify those who seek to profit from it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Law & Order: Shark Jump Unit

Me thinks that NBC’s “Law & Order” franchise has finally jumped the shark. The original incarnation of the show has been on for approximately 17 seasons now, and with the spin-offs Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent, the writers are becoming hard-pressed to come up with solid storylines and episode themes. I personally only watched the original series for a couple seasons in the late 90’s, and I followed SVU for a few seasons around the turn of the millennium; Criminal Intent sparked zero interest from me in the same way CSI: New York sparked zero interest. It was too much of a good thing, and it could only serve to thin out the pool of available decent plots. Seems I was right.

Episode trailers have been on NBC this week for upcoming episodes featuring a love triangle of astronauts, complete with requisite diaper jokes, and the story of a stripper-turned-model who looks 99% like Anna Nicole Smith, played by Kristy Swanson. Coincidentally, I’ve seen both naked in Playboy, but one’s in the grave, and the other’s career is in the grave.

This is just shameless and tasteless. Normally, I revel in the shameless and tasteless, but it also smacks of a stale lack of creativity and base dumbness that I can’t condone. I guess there’s always Law & Order: Truancy Squad, where a brash woman cop with a great set of jugs, an old white veteran hard-nose Irish detective, a misfit younger white Jewish rookie cop, and a quiet studious black cop with a gangland ghetto past will chase down kids skipping school and fucking off at the mall. Sounds like a winning formula. We can put it up against Ron Howard’s triumphant return to network TV playing a grown-up Opie Taylor in CSI: Mayberry. Yeah, Opie’s back in rural North Carolina after 20 years as an Army MP, suffering from PTSD from Iraq and heading up the department his father ran in the old days. But Mayberry’s changed for the worse: vicious gangs have taken over at Barney Fife Memorial High School and Mayor Gomer Pyle is embroiled in a gay-sex internet scandal.

Way to go, Hollywood. You’ve flogged a dead horse and flayed all the meat from its carcass; now you’ll crack the bones and suck the marrow too, it seems.

Paris Hilton Is a Waste of Skin

I’d like to start with publicly declaring to Paris Hilton: I think you are a complete Waste of Skin and I would shed nary a tear if Arab Jihad scumbags beheaded you live on streaming Internet.

There, that felt good. I mean, for shit’s sake, her sole occupation seems to be that of Public Spectacle. I was overjoyed that for once, a celebutante was actually sentenced to jail for a crime, instead of some liberal pansy-assed pussy of a judge offering up probation or community service. And not some day-care vacation day-spa jail either, but a real actual lockup. Sure, Martha Stewart went to jail but it was some low-key facility where she showed her fellow inmates how to knit shawls and make a holiday centerpiece by spray-painting the turkey carcass gold and stringing beads through its ass. Even as many times as Robert Downey Jr. has been locked up, which all told could amount to more time than Hitler served in 1923, it wasn’t exactly the bowels of Riker’s Island getting sold for a pack of smokes to a big dude named Leroy and getting ass-raped to the point where his Hershey Highway ended in the Holland Tunnel. Wynona Ryder shoplifted and got probation. Mel Gibson got a DUI and received probation, and after a televised boo-hoo and a brief stint at a day-spa calling itself a rehab ward, he’s still the darling of the liberal media.

Back to Hilton…this bony twat seems to feel some sort of sense of entitlement for being born rich. After an arrest for DUI, she later gets arrested for driving on her suspended license. The judge in the case sentenced her to 45 days in jail, which is a hell of a lot less time you or me would have gotten for the same offenses. Miss Shitforbrains had the fucking audacity to plead to the judge that she couldn’t afford to be away from her career for that long, or some such similar whining, and prattled on about how she doesn’t even open her own mail and has people who do that for her. This officially makes her Dumber Than Hair. There’s actually an internet petition going around to ask Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger to grant her clemency and commute her sentence. Why? So she can get back to her demanding work schedule? The last fucking thing she did that was even remotely close to work was pulling off the biggest musical scam since Milli Vanilli when she released an album last year. Even the cd from Hulk Hogan’s kid has more street cred than Paris Hilton's.

Holy shit…how tough can her life possibly be? She gets up at the crack of noon, licks a rice cake for breakfast, goes to the salon, and then goes shopping. Around 10 PM she gets spotted eating a $400.00 salad at some trendy bistro, throws it up in the bathroom, does a line or two, and then jets off to some club, drinks 32 Red Bull and Grey Goose shooters, and parties till 5AM. Somehow she makes it home, pours herself into her sheets and the litany starts over again. In the rare event that she should actually ingest enough food to make a turd pebble, she wipes her ass with hundred-dollar bills. And I’m supposed to have sympathy for her? My buddy Steve Simpson is headed back to Iraq for a third fucking tour, risking his ass in Bush’s Folly for the next 15 months so that privileged little fucktards can snivel about getting a 45-day sentence? Then again, 45 days without getting your picture taken with no panties on at some swanky party is like 20 years hard time to us pee-ons. If Schwartzenegger commutes her sentence, he may as well move back to Austria, renounce his American citizenship and raise goats.

Fuck you, Paris. Fuck you with something hard and sand-papery. That’s hot.

A lil' honesty, please?

Honesty in Car ads

Once…just once…I’d like to see an honest, no bullshit car ad. I want someone, not a celebrity sitting in the back seat reminiscing about how they got into music and how great the stereo is, but some average schmuck who works at the manufacturer, without gimmicks like little kids and special effects and crashes and ripped-off pop tunes, just say “Hey, I’m Joe Schmuckatelli from CarCo. We make the new Deathtrap LX. We think it’s a well-made driving machine that will suit all your family’s transportation needs and provide a cost-effective value for your hard-earned dollar. Thank you.”

That’s not asking much, is it? I don’t think so. Instead, you have to be a fucking detective worthy of an episode of CSI and a translator from the CIA to wade through the car-ad doublespeak and disclaimers. I used to sell cars, many moons ago…so I’ve had to deal with it from both sides of the equation.

Gas mileage—Look, assholes, be honest. Why can’t you come up with a car bigger than a bread box that doesn’t eat gas like a fat man at the Golden Corral buffet? Last night I saw an ad for the “new” 2008 Ford Escape, and now things have gotten so bad that they’re phrasing the estimated mileage as “up to 28mpg”. I guess that really means is “On a full tank of gas, with no passengers or cargo, with a standard transmission, windows up, no A/C, on the highway with the cruise set at 70 mph, freshly washed & waxed against wind resistance, on a sunny day and with a slight breeze behind you, you might see 28 mpg. Otherwise, count on about 23, max.”

It is my firm belief that the car companies are in cahoots with the oil companies, otherwise it wouldn’t have taken 30 years for hybrids to show up, ethanol would be more available, more cars in big crowded cities would run on compressed natural gas, and SUV’s wouldn’t get 50 feet to the gallon. I’ve figured out that any foreign-made SUV seems only to be available with full-time 4WD, which eats gas a much higher rate than selectively going from 2WD to 4WD in inclement weather. This is so that gas-guzzling American fuel-whore SUV’s look no better than the, say, Japanese or Korean imports. Be honest, guys….Big Awl leans on you to make cars eat their products.

Starting at……pricing. This is all just a scam. Telling me that “Three V-dubs start under 17 thousand” just tells me that the BASELINE barebones models start at $16,999 and just go up from there. People, the prices they give you are simply there to get your asses in the door. Because in REALLLLY tiny lettering on TV, blowing by so fast you can’t really see it, is a disclaimer that says “Pricing on Model X. Model Y as shown, $$$$$”. So they get away with telling you that they start at $15,995.00, when the one they show in the commercial is $23,475.00. That delicious price they tease you with is for a base model vehicle with a standard stick shift, seldom more than an AM/FM radio, plastic hubcaps, seats covered with burlap, and regular rollup windows & manual door locks. If you want an automatic, a spoiler, a sunroof, nice seats, power locks and windows, a cd player, and shiny wheels, well, you just doubled the price.

Must Take From Dealer Stock means just that….you’re stuck choosing from whatever homie has left on the lot. This explains why people get great deals on cars that are Urine Green or Crayon Orange. Everyone else came in, saw them, and said no. So they did a dealer swap or a special order and paid boo-coo more.

My favorite crap is the asshole disclaimer that says “Professional Driver on a Closed Course. Do Not Attempt”. Well, no shit, genius. Most of us don’t do skids and donuts in the desert or jump their cars through rings of fire. It really irks me to see that disclaimer in an ad where the car is doing nothing more than sedately driving through a neighborhood or running along a quiet country road. You mean to tell me that my car shouldn’t do what I’m buying it to do? I saw that disclaimer on a Hummer ad that showed like 5 of them driving side by side in about 2 inches of snow. Granted, I seldom drive in formation with others, but if I’m gonna drop 50 grand on an overpriced Tonka Toy Penis Extender, it better be able to run through more than a light dusting of snow. I was especially irked when the Ford Edge commercial showing the vehicle driving along roof edges above the city ran the disclaimer “Do not attempt. Cars can not drive on roofs”. I hope like hell that this was done tongue-in-cheek.

Crossover Vehicles? WTF? This is the newest term to get tossed out. I guess when SUV sales started to tank when gas prices started to rise, they invented a new term for Oversized Soccer Mom Grocery-Getter and Yuppie Transport. How many people who claim to need an SUV actually ever take it off the road? Face it…you needed a station wagon or a mini-van but you wanted to look cool so you opted for a 10-ton monolith that has a higher payment than your mortgage.

Special rates for qualified buyers----yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve set the bar so high on the credit check that the Pope couldn’t qualify for the 0% financing. Just cut the bullshit Special Interest Rate crap and admit that we’re all stuck paying more than you’re advertising.

As with anything, you need to be able to read between the lines, because none of them will tell you the absolute truth unless forced to.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Be The End of Our Species

I recently got back in touch with a friend from high school whom I’ve only seen once in the past 20 years, and that was briefly at our ten-year reunion. She and her husband, another classmate of mine, live a fairly simple, unfettered life in rural Vermont. She was worried that I’d poke fun at her “crunchy” lifestyle of tofu & veggies, but the more I think about it, Anne and Greg & their two kids will probably still be nibbling granola well after the rest of us are nibbling dirt. Why? Preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup, dummy.

The way I look at it, the last generation of healthy Americans was the generation that fought WW2. They grew up on farm-fresh perishable foods and stuff that didn’t have artificial colors and sweeteners. They canned and smoked their own foods. They got meat at the butcher shop and produce at the farmer’s markets. The milk didn’t have artificial growth hormones and came fresh to your door.

Then after WW2 when technologies changed, came the "miracles" of modern science, like TV dinners and sugary snacks and preservatives. The chemicals and shit everywhere were gobbled up by the Baby Boomers, who are the parents of my generation. My generation of kids, who were born in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I'm convinced our DNA was subtly altered by those chemicals, as well as all the drugs our parents took. I know I grew up on sugar-frosted everything, with chemicals and preservatives and unpronounceable words on the ingredient list, and USDA-approved artificial colors that don’t occur in nature. Now take a look at our kids…

As a school-aged student, I’d only vaguely heard the term “ADD” and I was in my early 20’s before I’d ever heard of Ritalin. Our DNA has changed enough to where the children spawned by my generation have so many chemical imbalances that they get diagnosed with an alphabet of syndromes and disorders before they make it past third grade. My generation grew up eating Twinkies, which have a shelf life longer than that of most nuclear waste. You could bury a Twinkie in the ground and dig it up 5 years from now, and it’ll still be edible. You can’t kill a Twinkie. They’re the Rasputin of snack foods. Whereas our parents’ generation smoked pot and dropped acid, and sometimes did heroin, my generation added cocaine, crack, paint huffing, Ecstasy, and crystal meth to the mix. I’m surprised our kids don’t have tentacles and scales. I’m beginning to think that Ritalin is part of the school lunch program these days, since so many kids are on it. But hell, Ritalin is just the Gateway Drug now. We’re building up immunity to it. Throw in Adderal, Clonadine, Tenex, Strattera, and Concerta to the stew. It’s shocking how many kids today need all these chemicals to correct imbalances in the genetic code.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) will be the death of the human race. I defy you to go an entire week without eating or drinking something without HFCS as an ingredient. It’s damn near impossible anymore. When something is “sugar-free”, it usually means that instead of refined & processed white sugar, it’s instead loaded with enough HFCS to embalm a corpse, or some other even more insidious sweetening agent, like Aspartame or Splenda or some other chemically-enhanced concoction. Studies are showing that HFCS has a negative effect on metabolism and is a contributor to the pandemic obesity in the western world. Take a minute and walk over to your fridge. Start reading the labels and I guarantee you’ll find HFCS in more than you thought. I work at a dairy, and in a span of less than 45 seconds I found 3 products with HFCS in them in my storage cooler, and that was before I opened the ice cream cooler. There’s ketchup, BBQ sauce, pretty much every soda on the market, Thomas’ English Muffins, 9 outta 10 breakfast cereals, Miracle Whip, many cough syrups, all those Lunchables we stuff in our kids’ lunchboxes, Ocean Spray Cranberry drinks, even Wonderbread; all have HFCS as ingredients somewhere. The mesquite marinade I used at dinner had it listed as the first ingredient.

When I was a kid in the 70’s they pulled Saccharin off the shelves as a sweetener because it caused cancer, and yanked the drug Thalidomide, which was supposed to help with morning sickness but instead caused massive birth defects like missing limbs. The FDA approved both products and then had to recant, so who’s to say what the latest round of government-sanctioned yummies will do? The chemicals very well may be harmless when alone flying solo, but what happens when they all start to combine? Exposure to multiple layers of chemicals can cause myriad issues.

I read a book a few years ago that was written by Michael Donnelly, a former USAF fighter pilot who was suffering from ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He thought that his ALS, which cripples the nervous system, was brought about by exposure to multiple chemicals while in the first Gulf War. Prior to deployment, he was exposed to pesticides on his base as they sprayed for mosquitoes, then the military had him take pills that were anti-malarials and others that guarded supposedly against chemical-warfare agents, plus he had to fly through clouds of burning oil smoke. That smoke was chock full of burning petroleum residues, and who knows if there were various chemical weapons burning into the air too? If you think Gulf War Syndrome isn’t real, then why is the rate of birth defects, miscarriages, and other unexplainable health maladies so high in Gulf War veterans? In his book, Donnelly stated that the rate of ALS amongst Gulf War vets was 37 times the national average. Major Donnelly died in 2005 from his disease.

Oh yeah, our DNA is changing as a result of preservatives and chemical exposure and shitty lifestyle choices. Won’t it be ironic when intelligent life from some other galaxy lands on Earth and finds that humans went extinct as a result of the wondrous crap they created to prolong their lives? Oh well, at least they’ll have Twinkies to eat.

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Before I start really uploading lots of stuff here, I want to state that I've been sorta stockpiling these things. I started writing what I called "rants" a couple years ago; every few weeks or so I'd come up with something to write, and just held onto them with no outlet for my scribbles. Then I started to occasionally post them up as blogs on MySpace, and I started to get some very positive feedback from my friends.

A few weeks ago, my buddy Chris said I was wasting my time just letting a few people read what I had to say through MySpaceand that I needed to branch out. Earlier this week I asked my friends to read my stuff and then tell their friends to read it too, and the response was even better. After some great feedback from Wil Whalen ( in Portland, Maine, I opted to go global.

I'll be uploading all my older stuff here as well, so some of what you read might seem a bit dated at first.

The rest, as they say, shall be history.

Why does hockey get such a bad rap?

Anyone who’s known me for more than 11 seconds knows I’m a hockey fan. It’s the only sport I follow. While everyone else was talking Final Four in NCAA basketball, I was thinking Frozen Four. When people talk about home openers in the fall, they mean football….and I’m thinking the third Saturday in October when the Stingrays first home game is played. Other people wonder who the starting pitcher will be at the All-Star Game…and I wonder who the starting goalie is. Never mind who has the pole position in this Sunday’s NASCAR race; it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs, man! There’s hockey to be watched.

Hockey is a beautiful, elegant game, fast and exciting. To watch a 2-on-1 breakaway speeding down the ice with crisp passes, a deke around the defenseman, and a perfectly aimed wrister over the keeper’s shoulder, it’s fluid poetry. It’s also at times a tough and almost brutal sport, and this is probably where it gets its bad reputation. No other sport allows participants to engage in fisticuffs, albeit penalized fisticuffs. You’re going to sit a 5-minute span in the penalty box, but no one’s going to go apeshit over it. Hockey fights are an accepted part of the game, seldom really injure anyone, and once they’re over, it seldom leaves any lasting animosity. Yes, there have been a couple of unfortunate incidents over the past couple years, notably the Bertuzzi incident and a couple others, but overall the violence in hockey is very controlled and gentlemanly. Hockey fights don’t spill into the crowds the way basketball brawls do. Hockey fights seldom involve more than two players; basketbrawls involve 8-12, not including fans, and baseball brawls usually drag an entire dugout onto the field. We won’t even get into the whole melee at the Carolina-Clemson football game…..

Yes, there’s some hard body-checking against the boards, but the hits are no worse than the poundings players give and receive in football. There are occasionally incidental injuries like broken facial bones from a puck or errant high stick, but acidental injuries happen in all sports. I watched Moises Alou’s leg spontaneously break as he was running to first base a few years ago and when the Red Sox were winning the World Series, pitcher Curt Schilling had visible blood pooling in his sock from a ruptured tendon. And nobody called for an end to football after Lawrence Taylor inadvertently broke Joe Theismann’s leg and ended his career.

Off the ice, by & large hockey players are involved in far fewer legal woes than their counterparts in other sports. I can’t recall the last time a hockey player was involved in a drive-by shooting like the one that killed a Denver Broncos player around January. While some can easily point a finger at Dany Heatley’s tragic and stupid accident that killed teammate Dan Snyder, Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was found to have been drunk and talking on his cell phone when he crashed his SUV into a parked tow truck and killed himself last week. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and had marijuana in the vehicle too.

While Florida Panthers goalie Ed Belfour and teammate Ville Peltonen did get arrested last month following some shenanigans at a club, more than fifty NFL players have been arrested since 2006, including multiple arrests for several players. Tennessee’s Pacman Jones has been arrested five times and been questioned by police five other times since being drafted in 2005. One pending felony charge involves inciting a melee at a Vegas titty bar that led to a triple shooting. Tank Johnson’s felony weapons charges forced the Bears to get a judge to authorize his travel to Miami to play in the Super Bowl this year. Johnson was released from jail Mother's Day morning at 7AM after serving 60 days of a 120-day sentence for his charges. San Diego’s Steve Foley was shot 3 times by a cop after a high speed chase involving his second DUI in 5 months. But hockey players are Neanderthals?

Please….Neanderthals? While some could easily make the case that most pro football and basketball players have a college education (that’s spelled Phys Ed major), let’s not overlook the current crop of hockey players. Just looking at recent rosters for my local team, there are graduates of such esteemed institutions as Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Northeastern, Boston College, and one player who has a degree in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Not exactly the knuckle-dragging social scene.

It’s a travesty that a sport with such a long and storied history gets less television exposure than poker, which is NOT a sport despite being shown on ESPN, or wrestling, which falls between comedic soap opera and choreographed gymnastics. It’s a travesty that these athletes get paid FAR less than their peers in the other three major North American sports. I’m not saying that a marquee player like Rod Brind’Amour should get a bloated paycheck like Alex Rodriguez gets, but Brindy’s $4,000.000.00 million dollar paycheck this year is a bit small compared to A-Rod’s $ 22,708,525.00 . The Boston Red Sox have a median payroll this season of $3,591,667.00, and the Boston Bruins? Try $925,000.00. Basketball is no better. Where Kobe Bryant pulled in $17,718, 750.00 this season with the Lakers, across town with the Kings his opposite number Rob Blake made $6,000,000.00.

Yeah, it’s a shame that hockey gets such a bad rap. A lot of people are missing out on a great game.

(NOTE: Special thanks to USA Today for the salary info)