Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Angry Mob Playset

Here's MSNBC's Rick Santelli getting his 15 minutes of fame.

In slightly related news, the group ACORN (which recently got a few jillion stimulus dollars for community organizing) is now breaking into homes as a protest against "the forclosure crisis".

After snapping a lock with bolt cutters, ACORN member Louis Beverly told supporters "this is our house now."ACORN staged the demonstration to protest the foreclosure crisis sweeping the nation.The home in the 300 block of Ellwood Avenue used to be owned by Donna Hanks. She lost this home in September, after owning it since 2001. When things got tough she struggled to make her payments.
Her mortgage? $1995 a month.
Her income? $2200.

Out of all the possible foreclosures ACORN could've chosen, they're using this as one of their test cases? Isn't your house payment supposed to be no more than 1/3rd of your income?

"We feel that it was unjust, we feel as though she was strong armed robbed, we feel that Wells Fargo could have modified her loan and that is what we are asking for right now," says Beverly.

There's a warm place in my cold, cold heart for ACORN (hit the tab below), and nothing in this surprises me. But wait, there's more !

ACORN says that they will move Donna Hanks back in despite the fact that she no longer owns the house. During the taping of this story a man by the name of William Lane told ABC2 News that he owns the house currently--and plans to sue Acorn.

What William Lane should remember is that ACORN will soon have its share of the 3 or 4 billion stimulus dollars allocated for Community Organizing. They will own enough lawyers to fill up hell during an expansion year. Good luck, buddy.

One other thing.....I'm predicting increased sales for The Angry Mob Playset & Action Figures. Don't know why. It's just a feeling.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If Obama and McCain had NASCAR uniforms

A writer named Bob Bader has a proposal in the Lodi News-Sentinel:
....for the sake of simplicity we should more clearly identify the primary players, their partners and sponsors. To start with, the various individuals who have their snouts in the public trough should be obliged to wear uniforms of a sort. The politicians' clothes might resemble those worn by NASCAR drivers and their crews, hard hats and all. Their political affiliation should be clearly marked by big "Rs," "Ds" and "Is" displayed on their chests sort of like the big red "As" that outed some less-than-distinguished persons many years ago. The politicos' sponsors' logos would be prominently sewn on their clothes and caps. That way, when you are out hustling their favors and votes on one matter or another, you'd know who else is kissing their rings to garner favors — it'd say so right on their uniforms. That way, you could temper your ardor based on the competition or lack thereof.
This is similar to something I once saw in "Good" magazine a couple of months ago.
Here's a picture of Obama and McCain with their NASCAR-style logos:

Click here to see the full-size original. Look at the logos that appear on BOTH uniforms. Bailout/bankrupt companies, one and all. Billions worth.

And people say that corporate sponsorship doesn't pay off....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Take The Liberal Test

To your right, just below the "About Me" verbiage, is an invitation to take a test. Hit the green button, and get back to me.
Here's a direct link, just in case I ever move the button to someplace else.

If you don't score at least 40% on this test, please lean back from your computer. (All that dripping saliva harms the keys....)

Fortunately, many of the people who ruined the word "liberal" in the U.S. are now calling themselves "progressives", since words aren't the only things those people screwed up.

For more links on how the word "liberal" has been corrupted, you can click here.

Liberal. It means "one who is willing to leave everyone the hell alone". It comes from the same root as Liberate, Liberty, Libertine (heh !), Libertarian, and several other currently unfashionable terms. A good, solid, honorable word.

HT to Chris with the Feline Enumerators for the link.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Barack Obama's Accomplishments As President Of The United States Of America

Before I get to Barack Obama's Accomplishments As President Of The United States Of America, I want to send out a thank-you.
Thanks to Coalla (sp?) King, my 11th grade typing teacher at North Sunflower Academy, I can type for hours and hours. A lot of my posts are waaaay too long.

So back in September, just as a joke, I wrote some posts that were nothing but headlines.

Barack Obama's accomplishments as president of the Harvard Law Review.

Barack Obama's accomplishments as a community organizer.

Barack Obama's accomplishments as a law professor.

Barack Obama's accomplishments in the Illinois State Senate.

and finally,

Barack Obama's accomplishments in the U.S. Senate.

The joke was that instead of my usual logorrhea, there was nothing at all beneath the headlines. Obama hadn't done much of anything other than reach for the next rung on his career ladder.

Dr. Ralph, who I keep expecting to appear on these pages morphed into some kind of bald, cat-stroking James Bond villain, gamely wrote comments under each post as fast as he could, I ridiculed The Doctor's contributions as quickly as I could, the fun lasted for a few days, and now those posts are among the leading Google results for Obama's accomplishments as lawyer, senator, teacher, organizer, and Messiah who came to save his people from their sins.

So..... 20 to 30 years from now, middle schoolers will have to write about Barack Obama's Accomplishments As President Of The United States Of America. They will go to the internet, or its future equivalent.

The internet is the first draft of history. Start commenting....

The New Quentin Tarantino Movie

Inglorious Basterds.
That's not a typo.
It's the new Quentin Tarantino movie.
Yes, that's Brad Pitt.
Other people play Hitler, Churchill, Joseph Goebbels, etc.
I'll probably see it in the theatre twice, and then buy the DVD.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day

Here's a list of the United States presidents and first ladies that I've seen, along with the circumstances. I've given each encounter a numerical grade based on nothing more than the general vibe of the experience.

Let's start with the most recent president. In February of '08 I saw Barack Obama when he spoke at Reunion Arena in Dallas. This was the infamous appearance where he got applause for blowing his nose. Having re-read my post about the event, I'm proud to say that I didn't get suckered in, although I had a lot of respect for his rhetorical skills. I'm also proud that I contributed $12.50 to help him defeat She Whose Name Is Not Spoken in the Democrat primary. But Godalmighty, he's an economic disaster.

Score: 7

I used to manage the Bookstop store at Preston & Forest in Dallas. (We were bought out by Barnes & Noble, who eventually closed all the locations or converted them to B&N stores.) This store was in the same shopping center where one-time presidential candidate Ross Perot got his infamous $10.00 haircuts. In 1992, Perot was often in our store saying things like "Ahm lookin' fer yer books on guvment waste !" We'd go find whatever he was looking for, and two nights later the little man would be quoting the books on television. We were drunk with power.

Another celebrity of sorts often came into the same store to kill time. George W. Bush was then owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and he often came in the store and spent a lot of time in the History, Current Events, and Biography sections. He always bought more than one book. You can say a lot of things about the man, but illiterate he's not. In person, he's a really nice guy. We had more than one conversation about how 3rd baseman Steve Buechele's batting average was improving. Somewhere in my house I've got an autographed GW Bush business card that I've been trying to find for about 10 years.

Score: 9

I've never seen the current Secretary Of State, or her husband.

Score: 10 (out of gratitude)

The guy before The Clintons was George H.W. Bush. I saw him throw out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers baseball game in 1991. Papa Bush was captain of the Yale baseball team, and played first base. But the pitch he threw made it only 2/3rds of the way to home plate before bouncing in the dirt.

Score: 4

My mother went to high school in Merigold, Mississippi, and graduated in a senior class of maybe 7 people. One of these 7 was a guy named Larry Speakes. After running a few newspapers, Larry became press secretary for senator James Eastland, and then worked his way up to press secretary for president Ronald Reagan.

Larry's now known for two quotes: "I would dodge, not lie, in the national interest," and "Those who talk don't know what is going on and those who know what is going on won't talk."

In 1981 or 82, my father bought a used Winnebago motor home for about $2,500.00
That was about $2,000.00 more than it was worth. We worked on it for a few weeks, and decided to take it on a shakedown cruise.
From Mississippi to Washington D.C.
My mother made arrangements with Larry for us to get a private tour of the White House. My father's farm co-op gave us a 50-pound bag of Mississippi Delta rice to take to the Reagans. Larry's father was still the town banker in Merigold, and he gave us two fishing poles that he wanted to give his grandsons as birthday presents.

So my parents, two sisters, brother and I drove a ramshackle motor home all the way to the White House parking lot, got out of it with a 50-pound bag of rice and two fishing poles, went through security, and carried the stuff inside. We didn't get to go into the Oval Office, but Larry took us to the press briefing room where they have all the news conferences. Somewhere there's a picture of me behind the podium looking very un-presidential.

We got to see Reagan's helicopter land in the back yard of the White House. He was a very tall, very healthy looking man. The helicopter prop wash was blowing everyone's hair all over the place, but Reagan's didn't budge. He waved at us. I don't know if Nancy ever cooked the rice.

Score: 8

Before I worked at Bookstop, I managed stores for a Mom & Pop company called Taylors Books. I once had to help work the door for a Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter book signing when they came to Dallas. They were publicizing their book "Everything to Gain: Making The Most Of The Rest Of Your Life". The line of customers zigzagged down every aisle of the store, out the front door, around the store, and into the back alley. Carter seemed nice enough, and Miss Rosalynn seemed mildly sedated. Their publicist would hand them a book, the former president would write "Jimmy &", and his wife would write "Rosalynn Carter". They could get it done in less than 8 seconds per copy.

We had plenty of copies of the book. Acres of it. But the Carters could only stay for about two hours. Even at 8 seconds per copy, some customers were going to be turned away.

This would have been in 1987 or 1988. Reagan had been in office for most of his second term by then. History had already passed judgement on the Carter presidency, and that judgement wasn't very kind.

The people waiting in line to see JIMMY CARTER OF PLAINS GEORGIA with their own two eyes? They didn't care. These were die-hard democrats, the last of the true believers. Jesus Christ himself was inside Taylors Books, turning water into wine, and I was the one who had to keep letting them in at the rate of only one customer every 8 seconds.

This was my first experience with The Herd Mentality. It wasn't pleasant when Jimmy and Rosalynn left us to do radio and TV appearances.

Score: 2

I never saw Gerald Ford, although I had one supervisor in the early 80's who thought I should go to his wife's clinic.

In April of 1973, my parents got us up in the middle of the night to go to the new Naval Air Station in Meridian, Mississippi. Richard Nixon was going to be guest speaker at the opening of the base. Daddy fired up the station wagon, Mama threw some peanut butter and crackers in the back seat, and we took off.
(This was near the peak of the Watergate scandal, and the only places that Nixon could appear without being booed were military bases in the Deep South.)
When we got to Meridian, we'd eaten all the peanut butter and there was already a mob in the open field that surrounded the podium. The best we could have honestly done for seats was about 75 yards away from the president. But we are not a shy family.
Daddy saw some empty chairs in the second row of the VIP area, and we started plowing toward them. The seats had signs on the backs, reserving them for assorted high ranking officers. My parents STEPPED OVER THE ROPE BARRIERS WITH THE SECRET SERVICE MEN WATCHING, and led us to the chairs.
We got to hear Nixon speak from about 10 yards away. When the speeches were over, my mother was impressed that Pat Nixon got down on her knees at the edge of the stage to shake hands with a woman in a wheelchair.
Daddy's theory on why we got away with it: The Secret Service knew that any family smelling that much like peanut butter couldn't be a threat to the president.

Score: 8

I never got to see LBJ, but I saw his wife Lady Bird get the BRIT International Award of Excellence for her work in preserving Texas plants and wildlife. Fort Worth's own Van Cliburn played the piano and sang for her. It was a great night.

Score: 7

That's all the presidents and first ladies that I've seen. Hope you enjoyed hearing about it. I've enjoyed remembering it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Octuplets, Part 2

Cartoon from here. I'd planned to burn several gigabytes of text comparing the cost per child of the octuplets to the cost per household of the latest stimulus giveaway. Never mind. The picture says it all.