Thursday, December 31, 2009

I need more contributors on this blog - you want in?

Anyone out there want to become a contributor for this blog? What's your passion; hobby? Anecdotes? random musings about life? Check out this blog, and consider contributing. When I say I'm looking for just about anything, I mean it. I want opinions, analysis of political/world stories, pop-culture takes, editorials, short stories, essays, beer/movie reviews, sports, obscure stuff I'm not thinking of now, I don't care. My only request, is that I'm looking for original content, and a post or two per week. on ANYTHING. let me know.

Way funny Will Arnett clip!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

maserati, baby....

turn it up, and hypno-rock duders!

Friday, December 18, 2009

drunk 4-yr old steals Xmas pesents from neighbors (yes, it's a true story)!

wow. just wow. - sj

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVC-TV) - A 4-year-old boy, beer in hand, is accused of stealing Christmas presents from his neighbors. It's a strange story, but also a sad one.

April Wright is 21 years old and is going through a divorce with her husband who is in jail. She says she is not sure how her 4-year-old managed to get out of the house, open a beer, and steal the neighbors presents from under their tree. Now she's just glad he's okay and says she won't let it happen again.

The child, Hayden Wright, was found around 1:45 am Tuesday, click here for rest of story/original article.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas, John Waters!

this is a ridiculously-awesome Christmas clip a friend (Rodney Anonymous, Dead Milkmen) recently posted on line. I can't stop laughing. See his awesome blog, "Rodney Anonymous Tells You Hor To Live" here. - sj

Rodney: "OK, as there appear to be some folks out there who don't know the story behind "cha-cha heels" here's the clip from John Waters' "Female Trouble." WARNING: This clip is NSFW and contains language that you wouldn't want your kids to here. That said, it is also the greatest statement about Christmas that American cinema ...has ever made (TBS should just show a loop of this for 24 hours)"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Huffington Post: On The Blog U.S. Soldier Who Killed Two Buddies Was Shattered by Iraq Tragedy

S'upp all? Hope to get back to some real blogging
And original content soon. In the meantime (still one 
of the greatest riffs ever, by Helmet!), I'm posting
must-read articles as I see fit. Just click on them
for full stories. Happy Holidaze! - sj

On The Blog U.S. Soldier Who Killed Two Buddies Was Shattered by Iraq Tragedy
It's gotten remarkably little coverage so far -- perhaps because there's no "terrorist" angle -- but we're now catching up with case of an Iraq...

sent via miPhone...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monty Python "Meaning of Life" clip: Part VI - The Autumn Years

seriously: brace yourselves for hurt stomach and tears. John Cleese just kills in this. Genius.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Johnny Rotten for Country Life Butter!

So a friend of mine is in London on business, working away in his hotel room, when this advert appears on the tele. I love Johnny. always will.

Here's what I say to those who cry "sellout"..If you watch it, he's casting aside, and blowing off Britian (or at least their relevancy in his decision-making) in this commercial. Really, he's remaining true to form (and punk ideals). As a youngster in the Sex Pistols, he always said, "punk and rock & roll is not about the clothes you wear, and the like; it's about what's real. Honesty." so, when he says, "do I buy this butter because of Britsh cows," (or this and that), and answers "no, I buy it because it tastes the best," he's cutting through the nonsense, as it were, and being honest. It tastes the best. Period. What, the guy can't make a commercial and some $? it's over 30 yrs ago, he fronted, and let's be honest, made the Sex Pistols, for crying out loud! He'd tell you himself, he's an "old geezer!" Johnny is one of me few idols in life. He rules. And he can't do any wrong. He kicked many established entities in the teeth, as a youth (mainstream radio, ruling record labels, the British Government, promoters, weak-arse popular mega-rock acts, to name just a few), and exposed them for what they were: weak and dishonest mo-fo's, towing the party line; and he did it w/ flair, fun & fervor. There will be no dissing of Britian's real King, on my watch, people!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Anders Parker, tonight: the M Room, Philadelphia

Hi folks, if you're in the Philly region tonight, go see Anders Parker at the M Room (click for directions). Anders is a prolific songwriter, with an amazing voice, and has worked with and/or toured with Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo) and Richard Buckner (to name a couple), and also fronted the rock trio, Varnaline (guitar, vocals), and played guitar in Space Needle. Bob Mould liked Anders's songs enough to call him up and ask him if Varnaline wanted to support a tour his band was about to embark on. Tonight, he'll be doing an acoustic guitar set ("takin' it back, old school," he told me), and featuring material from his new double-album, "Skyscraper Crow." Check out a past performance below. For more, including discography, tour dates, interviews, songs & record reviews, go to his site, Anders Parker

Jim Carrey on Canada.

a funny-arse clip, from the master...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Healthcare Reform Bill is "In Da House, Boy-eeee!"

The Healthcare bill is IN Da House, as we speak. An unprecedented day for America. You can follow it throughout day on huffington post's 'almost-live' blog here, or any number of blogs on the cx3 blogroll. You can also follow, live, from various tweeter feeds, directly from reporters in the chamber, here: @oknox and probably Ana Marie Cox's twitter feed: @anamariecox

I'd call this a coin flip, this vote passing: we already know every miserable, healthcare insurance-backed republican will vote against insurance for 40 million Americans, and even some Dems. But wow, what a day/weekend if the House could pass this thing!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

Remember, remember the 5th of November,
the gun powder treason and plot.
I know of no reason the gun powder treason
should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes Night (or "bonfire night") is a UK Holiday (also takes place in other countries throughout the world) held on the 5th of November every year. Guy Fawkes was seriously on crazy Mofo, who, w/ accomplices tried to blow up the of British Parliament in 1605, with King James I, and the entire Protestant and most Catholic aristocracy and nobles inside! Can u say, "CRA-ZEE?!?!"

The term/word, "Guy" is derived from his name!

Below, is an intro to the beginning of one of his Wiki entries, and the link to it. I HIGHLY recommend the uninitiated explore this crazy person and his plot. You'll also get an insight, on just how the Brits penalized criminals back then: I can assure you, what they attempted to do to Guy (who actually escaped some of the more extreme torture) and his followers, made Vlad the Impaler's torture-choices seem almost acceptable!

This real-life event also inspired one of my personal favorite movies of all-time, "V for Vendetta." Its in my top 10, probably top 5, ever. If you haven't seen it, please check it out. At it's core, it's a movie about justice and doing what's right; a love story as well; a big time action-drama, and mystery, filled w/ art, wit, spectacle, humor, big surprising twists, and unbelievable cinematography. Orwellian to a degree. Here are a few quotes from it:

Delia Surridge: [V gives her a rose] Are you going to kill me now?
V: I killed you 10 minutes ago [shows her hypodermic needle], while you slept.
Delia Surridge: Is there any pain?
V: No.
Delia Surridge: Thank you. Is it too late to apologize?
V: Never.
Delia Surridge: I'm so sorry [and she dies].

V: Would you... dance with me?
Evey Hammond: Now? On the eve of your revolution?
V: A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having!

Creedy: [desperately shooting at the approaching V] Die! Die! Why won't you die?... Why won't you die?
V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

Wiki intro:

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries, belonged to a group of Roman Catholic restorationists from England who planned the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Their aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I and the entire Protestant, and even most of the Catholic, aristocracy and nobility were inside. The conspirators saw this as a necessary reaction to the systematic discrimination against English Catholics.

The Gunpowder Plot was led by Robert Catesby, but Fawkes was put in charge of its execution. He was arrested a few hours before the planned explosion, during a search of the cellars underneath Parliament in the early hours of 5 November prompted by the receipt of an anonymous warning letter.

Guy Fawkes Night (or "bonfire night"), held on 5 November in the United Kingdom and some parts of the Commonwealth, is a commemoration of the plot, during which an effigy of Fawkes is burned, often accompanied by a fireworks display.

for entire wiki entry (one of many), click here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

World Series, Game 6, live bloggin'...from 5th inning thru end..

5th inning begins…

9:44 – need another beer to go w/ my wine.

9:47 – sweet hit by Jeter. Fuck, he is awesome. Nice bunt, gets Jeter to third.

9:53 - wow, we really don't have one pitcher from our bullpen that can come in and just take care of business. not a one. not this series anyway.

can you tell I'm a little bored?

10:02 – this game is over. Time to watch some DVR’s comedies and WSOP!

10:11 – what point was Joe Buck just trying to make, when he said: “many people criticize the Yankees for buying championships, with C.C., Burnett and A-Rod totaling about $500 million dollars, but them you have Pettitte who only makes $5 Million…” What the hell was that? Yes, Steinbrenner buys championships. Literally. It’s why Yankees are the most-hated sports team in the world.

10:39 – Top of the 7th, 7 to 3 Yankmees. Time to switch to the other World Series. The World Series of Poker. Fuck the Yankees.

10:51 – still here. Utley did NOT go all the way around on that check-swing. Ridonkulous call by the 3rd base ump. Friggin idiot.

11:07 – falling asleep….

11:53 – Yankmees win. And they STILL suck. Fuck ‘em. Now, more than ever….

World Series, Game 6, live bloggin'...pre-game thru 4th inning

All times PM, except when it becomes AM.

7:53 - For the record – and as seen here on this blog several posts ago - my prediction was Yankmees in 6. Do I hope I’m wrong? Fuck yeah!

Is it true Yankees stadium hasn’t sold out once this entire year?

7:56 – doing dishes and singing Jesus Christ Superstar, in order. I have sung – and can sing – every lyric to this rock opera, several times in my life. Pretty awesome. Got the double vinyl in 7th grade, from Columbia Record Club, 7 records for a penny. The other records I got in that bunch?

-Shaun Cassidy’s first solo record.
-Steve Martin’s “Wild & Crazy Guy”
-“Endless Summer”, killer Beach Boys comp
-“Back in Black” by ACDC

…yes, the double-vinyls counted two records…

8:00 – the Flyin’ Hawaiin’s on base! Shane Victorino is from Hawaii and cliff dives from as high as 60ft.

I am concerned about Pettitte. He’s been the model of consistency this post-season, and pitching well.

8:05 – and here comes Pedro!

Good inning. 1 down. He’s gotta watch it though, 2 well hit balls (for outs) dropped just short of the home run fence.

8:14 - Ryan Howard is BE-yond due! He’s trying too hard.

8:22 – wow, so regular season seats, 10 rows behind the dugout, are $600 a game, I heard. Gonna have to check w/ Lee Mazzola on that one, see if it’s tru or not. Friggin insane.

8:27 – is it wrong to walk Gay-Rod? I don’t think so.

Does anyone have a direct ph. number to FOX sports producers? Someone needs to tell them to leave their damn stats/graphics up on the screen for longer than TWO SECONDS! Am I the only one that has noticed this? The most they’re up there is three. No bullshit. Usually, it’s two seconds. It’s ridiculous. Even just a pitch count/balls/strikes graphic is difficult to read in that short amount of time, much less the other long-winded stats baseball is known for.

8:34 – Christ, Pedro serving it up….on a silver platter, for Splat-sui.

8:45 – what a sweet hit and even better base running on a triple by “Chooch!” WOOT-WOOT!

8:53 – that’s great, the NY post front page, and the poster inside – even bigger – of Pedro in diapers. Actually, it’s stupid as hell, but it’s great that Pedro was showing it off in the locker room and thought it was funny as hell. I guess it’s so stupid it’s funny.

9:00 – BULLSHIT UMP. That pitch that walked Damon (great at bat by Damon by the way) was a STRIKE!

What is Pedro doing?!?! Holy crap, he’s hanging it out over the plate for Gay-Rod, w/ bases loaded! (after hitting Duh-Chera w/ the first pitch)….

NICE! Pedro struck-out Gay-Rod looking on a 3/2 pitch, that was definitely a ball. Guess there are make-up calls in baseball. You owed us one UMP!

9:15 – Wow. Guess Spalt-sui is Pedro’s daddy.

9:33 – End of the 4th. Yanks 4, Phills 3.

Yankees history lesson/Phillies inspiration from Chip D., heading into game #6 tonight!

"I'm sure you don't need reminding, but in 1926, Grover Cleveland ("Pete") Alexander entered Game Seven of the World Series for the Cardinals against the Yankees. The Cards were up 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Yankees had two on and the dangerous Tony ("Poosh 'Em Up") Lazzeri at the plate....

...Alexander was at the tail end of a Hall of Fame career, unpredictable, but still able to flash a little of the old magic? Alexander struck out Lazzeri, killing the rally and quieting the Yankee Stadium fans. He then retired the side in order in the eighth, got the first two Yankees in the ninth, and then walked Babe Ruth on a full count. Ruth ... Read Morepromptly got himself thrown out trying to steal second, and the Cardinals won the World Series.

Pete Alexander had begun his career as a Phillie. In fact, until 1980, he was the only Phillies pitcher to win a post-season game, winning Game One of the 1915 World Series against the Red Sox. Let's wish a little of that mojo on Pedro "Petey" Martinez tonight." - Chip D.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


" #6...AWAITS!"

NFL possibilities...

How real of a possibility is it that both Colts and Saints will have a
perfect regular season, AND meet in the Superbowl? What about Brett
Favre as league MVP?!

sent via miPhone...

Monday, November 2, 2009

wrap-up, etc from yesterday's cra-zee...

-so the reason there weren't more posts from both games yeterday, is because there were 60,000 people in the same location trying to use their network services: everythign was jammed, most of the day.

-NY Smackdown, Act II: Yankmees took it to us again last night, and quite simply, they're beating the Phillies in every facet of the game. Sucks, but it's the truth. I have more disdain for Yankmee fans than I ever have, after having to put up with their arrogant, elitist, fairweathdom, in person, at last night's game. If I could punch people in the face and get away with it, I'd have done it at least 4 times last night. Yanks are the easiest team in the history of sports to like and follow, because for better or worse, they win all the time. I can understand why so many people like them. I also understand that their fans - by and large, not all of them! - are weak people, and not able to like a team that actually struggles from time to time, because they are simply to fragile to deal. Yes, I'm stating most Yanks fans are front-runners.

-Eagles smackdown of Giants was quite impressive (40-17), but let's not lose sight of why they won: Andy Reid decided yesterday he wanted to run the football. Our offensive play calling was split, exactly 50%/50%, between running and passing. That's precisely why we won, period. Reid will do this once or twice a year, and it's so successful, that he goes back to passing 65% of the time, by the very next game, and gets right back on the "struggle-train," resulting in the losses and failures we're more used to seeing. Like I've been saying for years now: "Fuck Andy Reid. Now, more than ever." The guy sees what leads us to success. And then proceeds to not do it; cosistently. It's more than annoying to witness, but more than that, it's just terribly bad coaching. And it's ruining our beloved Eagles. Year in, year out, Reid undoes the moderate success he's brought to the team, with his insolence. And unfortunately, we have an Owner in Jeff Lurie, who simply doesn't care enough about winning to fire Reid's sorry ass. Fun stuff!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Let's go Joe!

Joe Blanton warming up. We need you tonight Joe...

NY Smackdown, Act One, completed

40 to 17, Eagles crush Giants. Uh-nnnice-ah!!!

...drinking coke & coffee...picked up wife...heading back for Act Two!

sent via miPhone, from deep in the heart of south Philly, Sun, Nov
1st: Philly vs. NY x2.

"trust us, it's for your own good"

Giants fan in my section, as security came to escort him out of there:
"what did I do?"

Security: "nothing; it's for your own good. Let's go."

You mean there's something after this?

See you in 9 hours, Phillies!

Look at this walking abortion..

Message for the haters: We don't want you, we don't need you, we don't
like you. Go home.

Flyin a kite

"But why,?" she said.
"because we can," they exclaimed, in unison....

(I'm talking) hardcore chillin'

stoked, for what could actually be..,

Home Team!

team spirit..on way to get ice...countdown has begun. countdown to
what, no one knows!

Friday, October 30, 2009

live posting/pic alert: Philly vs NY x2 this Sunday, Nov. 1!

For anyone who cares, is interested, or just plain bored to fucking tears...I will be posting some pics & thoughts on what I'm seeing, feeling, and thinking, this Sunday, Nov. 1st, directly from the South Philly sports complex, where I am lucky enough to be attending both the Eagles/Giants game in the AM, and also game #4 of the Phillies/Yankmees world series, in the PM. Tailgate for the football game begins prompty at 9:45AM. First post approximately 10:00AM. I'm planning on about one very small post per hour. Who knows what will actually happen. Happy Halloween All!

"Why We Love Philly"

A new friend of mine, Shawn Kilroy, made this sweet clip about why he - and we - love Philly. Check it out, Yo! - sj

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prediction: Phillies in six.

I am a full-on Yankee-hater. I won't even predict a win for them against the Nationals. Choking is always an option.

There. I'm on the record. Wanks choke...Phillies in six.

Take that, Wankees!

Go Phils!

Prediction: Yankees in Six

There you go. I'm on record. Me not like Yankees at ALL, but there is
my objective opinion. Do I need to state, "I SO hope I'm wrong!?"

Go Philly!!!

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fail Wankees! Go Phils!

I'm lovin' me some Wankee hate-fest here in Cleveburg. It's easy, even though CC will be on the mound. But, really, CC wouldn't have stuck around anyway. The sight of him in pinstripes is a first-degree, super-duper, extra-large, get-the-job-done barf fest.

C.P. Lee, that's our guy. A gamer. This guy came back from some seriously shitty performances and injuries and was lights out for a Cy Young even though his team sucked dirty canal water. We hated that he had to leave. We loved that he went to the Phils.

Ahh, the Phils. If there's any team a Clevelander can pull for in the senior circuit, it's the Phillies. Blue-collar, hard-luck, smile and smack-you-in-the-face-at-the-same time baseball. That's an American League style lineup you've got there. One through eight can hit the crap out of the ball any day.

So A-Roid has a "resurgence" in the playoffs. He's "exonerated".

He's an ass. Cliff, a little chin music please.



the Yankee hating continues!

Chip D. continues offering up tips, reasons and pointers on Yankee-hating, based on three decades of oft-bitter experience! Tune in all week for more! - sj

Reason #4: Joba Chamberlain

Only in the Bronx does a bean-balling sack of excuses get the "First Name Only" treatment. Chamberlain may learn to harness that 100 mph fastball. He may go on to be the next Mariano or the next Roger. But right now, he's a kid with half a year as a promising setup guy who has failed to transition to the rotation. This does not stop the Yankees's relentless PR machine -- known as the national baseball media -- from promulgating nonsense that leads to barbarities like the phrase "Joba Rules." For the love of Allah! Every Little Leaguer is on a pitch count -- how does Chamberlain's rate its own special, precious little name?

Speaking of Allah, it should also be clear that the heavens no longer smile upon -- or, more like it, chose to overlook -- the Yankees's shenanigans. The celestial signs have been bad for New York baseball since the yawn-fest World Series of 2000. But two particular omens suggest that, these days, finally, Whom The Gods Would Destroy, They First Put In Pinstripes. First, on the night of the Red Sox championship-clinching game of 2004 (exactly five years ago today), there was a lunar eclipse that turned the full moon Red Sox-red. This omen provided not just the almighty imprimatur on the Sox victory, but signaled that the higher powers were again giving adult supervision to MLB post-season results. The White Sox victory in 2005 -- also extinguishing a unreasonably long drought -- and the Phillies' triumph of 2008 continued the string of mercifully Yankee-free World Series. However, no clearer sign of divine displeasure has ever shown itself than in Game Two of the 2007 divisional series, Yanks vs. Indians, Yanks up 1-0 in the eighth, Chamberlain on the mound. Suddenly, a swarm of bugs -- midges -- descended on Chamberlain's neck. He lost his concentration, walked Grady Sizemore, threw a couple of wild pitches -- the second scoring Sizemore -- and the Indians went on to win the game and the series.

As with A-Rod, the failures and disappointments of Chamberlain do not give me joy on any personal level. On another team, in another city, this hard-throwing young man with the confused, hard-scrabble personal life might be an object of sympathy, even admiration. He might be Zack Greinke if he pitched in Kansas City. But most people don't even know who Zack Greinke is, much less his story -- and the national press sure as hell doesn't call him "Zack." Rather, Chamberlain is -- and by a justice larger than all of us ought to remain -- just another guy on the team on whom the midges descend.

Monday, October 26, 2009

'tis the season for yankee-hating! Chip D. supplies the road map!

Chip D. offers up tips, reasons and pointers on Yankee-hating, based on three decades of oft-bitter experience! Tips (or are they reasons?) #2 and #3 below! Tune in all week for more! - sj

Tip #2: The "New" Yankee Stadium

Let's imagine the Vatican choosing to demolish St. Peter's because there were too few luxury pews. That's what the Steinbrenners happily did to baseball's St. Peter's. Then they made the old right field dimensions even sillier -- imagine reducing the number of Commandments from 10 to eight in order to make Sunday services more thrilling to the casual worshipper.

Weren't you pleased in April when the Yankees couldn't move their $2000 per game seats? Weren't you hoping that there was at least one Wall Street kleptocrat using his last shred of decency to resist purchasing those seats when the Yankees dropped the price to a more recession-friendly $1000? Doesn't anyone in New York find this temple of vanity to be a insult and desecration to baseball fans everywhere -- which is to ask, are there no baseball fans left in New York?

It is entirely fitting that the fidelity-challenged Rudy Giuliani attends, and gets himself photographed, at every home game.

Tip #3: Alex Rodriguez

Remember the 2000 Seattle Mariners? They were under-achievers, finishing second in the AL West with only 91 wins, despite the gaudy numbers of their free-agent-to-be shortstop, the 24-year old Alex Rodriguez. He hit 41 homers, drove in 132 runs, walked 100 times -- then left for the Texas Rangers and a quarter-billion dollar contract. However, the Mariners not only improved, but improved by 25 games! The 2001 Mariners racked up 116 wins. The only thing they had in common with their former-All Star was a knack for disappering in October. The Mariners spit up the ALCS to the Yankees that year, 4 games to 1. Randy Johnson, instead, became the former Mariner to take out the Yankees that year, teaming up with fellow Yankee-killer Curt Schilling to deprive the Bronx Bombers of their apparent birthright -- a fourth straight World Series title. Neither the Yankees nor A-Rod have won the World Series since.

Their fates became entwined. A-Rod wearied playing in front of lackluster crowds in a baseball backwater. He yearned for the big time, when he wasn't experimenting with steroids. The hollow, empty numbers bored even the guy putting them up. He joined the Yankees in 2004 where he became the bewildered face of a muscle-bound team. Jason Varitek kicked his butt when he whined about getting hit by a pitch -- "We don't throw at .240 hitters," Tek said to the slumping Rodriguez. In the post-season, he led the Yankees to the most embarassing October collapse in baseball history when the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the ALCS in seven. The picture of A-Rod girly-slapping the ball from Bronson Arroyo's hand became the icon of this defeat.

His fall from grace even lacks the gravity of tragedy. Rather, it is comedy or farce -- passing out during his wife's delivery of their child, later his abandonment of that wife for (wait for it…) Madonna, still later the admission of steriod use. I take no joy in this tale: for a moment in the late 90s, it seemed we were watching the blossoming of the greatest player of our time. During the moronic homerun derbies fueled by Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, one had to hope that 1) A-Rod was clean and 2) he would render their phony records moot. Instead, like Bonds, he has become the joyless warehouser of statistical trivia, the unlovable butt of late-night jokes, the befuddled celeb on the back page of the tabloids. In short, he has become the appropriate face of this decade's New York Yankees. In a just universe, the drought for both would continue.

Tips & Pointers on Yankee-Hating!

"I know I'm unloveable; you don't have to tell me.
Oh, message received; loud and clear.
...I wear black on the outside,
because black is how I feel on the inside." - Unloveable, by the Smiths.

My friend Chip D., a hardcore BoSox fan, offers up tips and pointers on Yankee-hating, based on three decades of oft-bitter experience! Stay tuned for more, hopefully! - sj

Tip/Point #1
They spent half a billion dollars to buy this year's pennant. Sabathia, Teixeira, and Burnett collected $500M in contracts last off-season. Remind Yankee fans that their team is a collection of mercenaries owned by a ruthless convicted felon. Envision your joy if - when! - the Phillies defeat them - like Washington bravely crossing the Delaware to take out that frat-party of complacent Hessians.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers

funniest thing I've read recently. go here for original piece and website. - sj

We're rolling out deal after deal in celebration of the harvest. Check our store daily for this cornucopia of cheap books.

It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers
by Colin Nissan

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal. I'm about to head up to the attic right now to find that wicker fucker, dust it off, and jam it with an insanely ornate assortment of shellacked vegetables. When my guests come over it's gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There's a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.

I may even throw some multi-colored leaves into the mix, all haphazard like a crisp October breeze just blew through and fucked that shit up. Then I'm going to get to work on making a beautiful fucking gourd necklace for myself. People are going to be like, "Aren't those gourds straining your neck?" And I'm just going to thread another gourd onto my necklace without breaking their gaze and quietly reply, "It's fall, fuckfaces. You're either ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest or you're not."

Carving orange pumpkins sounds like a pretty fitting way to ring in the season. You know what else does? Performing a all-gourd reenactment of an episode of Different Strokes—specifically the one when Arnold and Dudley experience a disturbing brush with sexual molestation. Well, this shit just got real, didn't it? Felonies and gourds have one very important commonality: they're both extremely fucking real. Sorry if that's upsetting, but I'm not doing you any favors by shielding you from this anymore.

The next thing I'm going to do is carve one of the longer gourds into a perfect replica of the Mayflower as a shout-out to our Pilgrim forefathers. Then I'm going to do lines of blow off its hull with a hooker. Why? Because it's not summer, it's not winter, and it's not spring. Grab a calendar and pull your fucking heads out of your asses; it's fall, fuckers.

Have you ever been in an Italian deli with salamis hanging from their ceiling? Well then you're going to fucking love my house. Just look where you're walking or you'll get KO'd by the gauntlet of misshapen, zucchini-descendant bastards swinging from above. And when you do, you're going to hear a very loud, very stereotypical Italian laugh coming from me. Consider yourself warned.

For now, all I plan to do is to throw on a flannel shirt, some tattered overalls, and a floppy fucking hat and stand in the middle of a cornfield for a few days. The first crow that tries to land on me is going to get his avian ass bitch-slapped all the way back to summer.

Welcome to autumn, fuckheads!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cole's Woes

Cole’s Woes

“…count all the fingers and the toes; now I suppose you hope the little black boy grows…” I can’t help but think of that line & hook from Pete Rock & Cl Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y)", as I convey these thoughts…

Folks, here's what's going on w/ Cole Hamels, and I'm fairly sure he's going to be battling this throughout the World Series.

He's a brand new, first-time dad. He's tired. He's tired physically; he's tired mentally. You can see it on his face, you can see it in his pitching. You can see it in his interactions with Carlos Ruiz. And It couldn't have been more obvious than when, during last night’s game, with the Phillies just outs away from their second consecutive World Series appearance, the camera cut to him in the dugout, a headshot, and he wasn't really there. His face was a 1,000-yard stare, looking well past the action on the field. He was somewhere else.

You know where he was? Home. Trying to stay afloat in the ocean of chaos and love that a newborn baby brings (son Caleb was born Oct. 9th, not even two weeks ago). He was back at home, wrestling with exhaustion, communicating with his wife, Heidi, perhaps trying to listen to her fun anecdotes about what he's been missing, her frustrations and difficulties with “normal,” new-baby stuff, and perhaps even trying to get along with his mom-in-law, for all I know (if she's there, lending a hand)!

I don't know much about their new baby. I don't know if there is anything abnormal, or complex going on (which can make things even tougher). But even the “usual,” "normal," and "baby-and-mom-are-fine" situation, is extremely difficult, the first few weeks, for everyone involved. There is a lot to stay on top of, lose sleep over, and just plain manage. Including emotions. Heavy ones.

I've been around the world, was a Special Forces Marine (and Desert Storm Vet), and experienced a lot of hardcore, crazy things and difficult times in my life. And you know, when it came to the days and weeks immediately following the birth of my first child, it was all I could do to survive – seriously! And our baby was perfect, by the way! It is an extremely difficult time. Exasperating, and every once and a while, things truly seem futile.

Parents know what I'm talking about. Kid-less folks, er…not so much. I won’t begin to get into everything that goes on the first few weeks a first-born is brought into the world, for those who don't have children, but suffice it to say: you are toast. Burnt toast. Mentally, physically. There are times, when you're just like, "holy &^%#, how the hell am I going to make it?!" “Is THIS what this is?!” When you really do feel, “somehow, I have to survive.”

Cole is wearing these precise emotions on his face. It was crystal clear last night when the camera showed him in the dugout. He was more alert in his post-game interviews, and he had to be: he knew the cameras were on him, and he “snapped to it” with relative ease. But I could still see it gurgling underneath.

If this were his second child, it would be easier on him. You learn tons. You learn how to deal. You’ve learned that you can actually survive it all. Your spouse learns these things as well, and if this were their second child, both of them would be more well equipped to handle everything; the interaction and communications between new parents aren't as daunting; caring for baby is less difficult (though still hard). The global task is a bit easier. But, alas, that's not the case here.

In case you’re wondering, here are Cole’s stats from his last three starts (all post-season):

Game #2, Colorado Series (Phillies lost), when his wife went into labor either just before he took the mound, or once the game had started (he was told as much, after being pulled and headed straight for the hospital):

5 innings pitched, gave up 7 hits (1 homer), 4 runs, 5 strikeouts, with a 7.2 era.

Game #1, Dodgers Series (Phillies won, Cole got the win):

5.1 innings pitched, gave up 8 hits (2 homers), 4 runs, 4 strikeouts, with an era of 7.

Game # 5, Dodgers Series (Phillies clinch World Series Birth):

4.1 innings pitched, gave up 5 hits (3 homers), 3 runs, 3 strikeouts, with an era of 6.75.

Here are his post-season stats combined:

3 starts, 14.2 innings pitched, 6.75 ERA, 12 strikeouts, 20 hits (6 homers), and 41 total bases given up.

Good “enough?” Nope. Not with an impending World Series featuring the Yankees looming.

Sure, these three recent outings and set of stats point to Hamel’s struggles right now, but they aren’t necessary to deduce why his on-field performance is suffering: He’s a first-time dad, and husband of a first time mom. It’s a lot to deal with. Seriously. Simultaneously he’s dealing with the big-time, front-and-center pressures, of trying to steer his baseball team through two post-season series, and on-deck, the minefield of one of the best Yankees teams in recent memory, and a second consecutive World Series title.

You can just see it in him. He’s detached. He hasn’t been in the moment. He hasn’t had his head in the game. And it’s quite understandable, why. The implications, moving forward, are fairly big. And the question is this: can he somehow find a way to leave his awesome new family behind, when he heads to the ballpark?

He’s got a few days off to figure it out. Because in less than a week, one day before Caleb’s three-week birthday, he’ll be taking the mound (presumably) to start game #2 at Yankees Stadium in the World Series.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

miscellaneous thoughts..

"Some of my best friends are yankees fans!" Look, I don't "love to hate the Yankees," or as I often call them, the Yankmees. I know a lot of people who hate the yankees. tons. none of them "love to hate the yankees," or "like to hate the yankees." Who "likes" to hate something? We would simply prefer the yankees go away and to never hear about them again. I don't like their arrogant players, I don't like their big, sloppy egos; I don't care which celebrities they're screwing, and so on. do I need to say this? I don't like their talent or their century of winning championships either. By and large, I find their fans equally annoying. Yes, I have plenty of friends who are diehard yankees fans. I don't find them annoying; they're my friends. but most yankee fans I meet throughout NY, America and the world, are annoying asses. that's just what I find. I take no pleasure whatsoever in immensely disliking the Yankmees and their fans. It hurts a little actually. And let's be honest, part of the hurt, comes from realizing that Yankee fans, do, to some extent, get a little joy out of knowing how much us 'haters' despise them and their team.

Fergie, singer from Black Eyed Peas, with the terrible voice and excellent figure must've just recently, gotten a lot of work done to her face. I saw her on one of the new Direct TV ads, and didn't even realize it was her at first (until I heard her singing). She doesn't look right in the face, yo.

The movie Anchorman. Look, people, I was underwhelmed the first time I watched it. But I have never, in my life, seen a movie, that got SO much better and funnier, w/ repeated viewings. And there are MANY hilarious scenes in that movie. They just went by me the first viewing, due to the seriously quirky schtick of Will Farrell, and the entire premise of the movie, and the fact that there are bad jokes scattered throughout, that the writers should've either kept out completely, or edited much better. But there are lots of comedies like that recently. Tropic Thunder comes to mind. There are def stupid - and nothing more - jokes in both of these movies; but they really do pale in comparison to the perfect blend of witty/absurd/hilarious jokes and scenes that dominate these movies. I've had this discussion before w/ people, and I can tell you, I am not the first to bring up the 'repeated viewing = way funnier' concept with regards to viewing Anchoman. Same thing happens w/ Big Lebowski (ALL Coen Bros. movies, for that matter). Watch it again. Let me know if I'm wrong.

Oh, one last thing: could republicans be any worse Americans?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rape-Nuts: John Stewart takes on the 30 GOP Senators who voted against Franken rape amendment

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In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her Halliburton/KBR co-workers while working in Iraq and locked in a shipping container for over a day to prevent her from reporting her attack. The rape occurred outside of U.S. criminal jurisdiction, but to add serious insult to serious injury she was not allowed to sue KBR because her employment contract said that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration--a process that overwhelmingly favors corporations.

This year, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment that would deny defense contracts

click here for rest of great piece, as well as informative links within article.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rachel Maddow nails it: Obama's Nobel Prize

The conservative hysteria: call it "Obama Derangement Syndrome." As Rep. Grayson said, if President Obama had a BLT for lunch, the Rethugs would try to ban bacon out of spite.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Naked, Sore, Bruised and Bleeding: Alleged U.S. Contractor Rape Victim Fights for Day in Court

Naked, Sore, Bruised and Bleeding: Alleged U.S. Contractor Rape Victim Fights for Day in Court
Senate Passes Amendment to Stop Contractors From Forcing Employees into Arbitration
by: John R. Parkinson
ABC News
Oct. 7th, 2009

Jamie Leigh Jones was a 20-year-old young woman working her fourth day on the job in Baghdad for contractor Halliburton/KBR in 2005, when she says she was drugged and gang-raped by seven U.S contractors and held captive by two KBR guards in a shipping container. But more than four years after the alleged crimes occurred, Jones is still waiting for her day in court because when she signed her employment contract, she lost her rights to a jury trial and, instead, was forced into having her claims decided through secret, binding arbitration.

Today, the Senate listened to her story before approving an amendment by a vote of 68-30 that would prohibit "the Defense Department from contracting with companies that require employees to resolve sexual assault allegations and other claims through arbitration."

"I didn't even know that I had signed such a clause, but even if I had known, I would never have guessed that it would prevent me from bringing my claims to court after being brutally sexually harassed and assaulted," Jones, who told her story to ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross in an award-winning 20/20 story, testified at the Senate committee meeting on the issue. "I had no idea that the clause was part of the contract, what the clause actually meant, or that I would eventually end up in this horrible situation."

read rest of insane, tragic and almost-unbelievable story here

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boy, Oh, Boy - Maureen Dowd's take on Joe Klein's sad outburst and the GOP

Boy, Oh, Boy
by Maureen Dowd, Op-Ed Columnist
New York Times
Published: September 12, 2009

this is from a couple of weeks ago, but it's a good take; meant to post it then; ah well. - sj

The normally nonchalant Barack Obama looked nonplussed, as Nancy Pelosi glowered behind.

Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!

The outburst was unexpected from a milquetoast Republican backbencher from South Carolina who had attracted little media attention. Now it has made him an overnight right-wing hero, inspiring “You lie!” bumper stickers and T-shirts.

The congressman, we learned, belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led a 2000 campaign to keep the Confederate flag waving above South Carolina’s state Capitol and denounced as a “smear” the true claim of a black woman that she was the daughter of Strom Thurmond, the ’48 segregationist candidate for president. Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber.

I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race.

I tended to agree with some Obama advisers that Democratic presidents typically have provoked a frothing response from paranoids — from Father Coughlin against F.D.R. to Joe McCarthy against Truman to the John Birchers against J.F.K. and the vast right-wing conspiracy against Bill Clinton.

But Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

read the rest here

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why Americans Hate Democrats - The Unteachable Ignorance of the Red States

This is one of my absolute, all-time, favorite articles/analyses. It was originally written/posted the day after the 2004 election. There are lots of links and related dialogues to click on, written by well-known and excellent writers, that I highly recommend clicking on as well. Succinct and right to the point. - sj

Why Americans Hate Democrats - A Dialogue
The unteachable ignorance of the red states.
By Jane Smiley - Slate

The day after the election, Slate's political writers tackled the question of why the Democratic Party—which has now lost five of the past seven presidential elections and solidified its minority status in Congress—keeps losing elections. Chris Suellentrop says that John Kerry was too nuanced and technocratic, while George W. Bush offered a vision of expanding freedom around the world. William Saletan argues that Democratic candidates won't win until they again cast their policies the way Bill Clinton did, in terms of values and moral responsibility. Timothy Noah contends that none of the familiar advice to the party—move right, move left, or sit tight—seems likely to help. Slate asked a number of wise liberals to take up the question of why Americans won't vote for the Democrats. Click here to read previous entries.

I say forget introspection. It's time to be honest about our antagonists. My predecessors in this conversation are thoughtful men, and I honor their ideas, but let's try something else. I grew up in Missouri and most of my family voted for Bush,* so I am going to be the one to say it: The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry. I suppose the good news is that 55 million Americans have evaded the ignorance-inducing machine. But 58 million have not. (Well, almost 58 million—my relatives are not ignorant, they are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority.)

Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states. There used to be a kind of hand-to-hand fight on the frontier called a "knock-down-drag-out," where any kind of gouging, biting, or maiming was considered fair. The ancestors of today's red-state voters used to stand around cheering and betting on these fights. When the forces of red and blue encountered one another head-on for the first time in Kansas Territory in 1856, the red forces from Missouri, who had been coveting Indian land across the Missouri River since 1820, entered Kansas and stole the territorial election. The red news media of the day made a practice of inflammatory lying—declaring that the blue folks had shot and killed red folks whom everyone knew were walking around. The worst civilian massacre in American history took place in Lawrence, Kan., in 1863—Quantrill's raid. The red forces, known then as the slave-power, pulled between 150 and 200 unarmed men

click here for rest of article and original story

Thursday, September 24, 2009

morning thoughts...

1) sampled some of the new Alice in Chains. Folks, it sounds like Layne Staley has risen from the grave to sing on the new record. new singer's name is William DuVall. He's toured w/ them in his own band, and also sung w/ them the last few years on some reunion shows. Plays guitar as well. Great voice. If you liked AIC, you'll like the new stuff too.
2)Tired of Philly peeps crying over closer, Brad Lidge's shortcomings this season (last season he perfect). For one, we don't have anyone else. Secondly, a great cure would be if the offense scored more runs!
3) Michael Ian Black on tour, w/ fellow 'stater,' Michael Showalter; playing rock and roll joints/smaller venues it appears. I am stoked!
4) the new iPhone Starbucks app is great, if you're a road tripper or travel a lot: gives you updated locations anywhere. Haters, piss off - dissing starbucks is Sooooo 2004.
5) Nader (new book out), don't go away mad; just go away...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bill O'Reilly down w/ a government option for healthcare insurance?

something you want to say? pissed off? a short story? a review? a project of sorts you'd like to try on line?

peoples, if there is anyone out there who visits this blog occasionally, likes our topics (don't have to agree w/ any!), finds any of it interesting, and would like to contribute: please do! we need more input, more original content, rants, takes, pieces, opinions, stabs, creative writing, commenting on/posting select news items, goings-on around the world, charity awareness, info on movements, dreams, stories, beer reviews, music/movie reviews, food reviews, anything, and everything that this blog is: enlightening, informative, opinionated, educational, fun/funny, and more!

have a short story? post it here! have some thoughts or a long-winded take on something that you just can't post on facebook? let me know, and we'll get it posted here! I need some more and varied input and original content on here. If you're up for a daily post, or want to try something for a week or month straight, let me know, we can make it happen. a video blog, a podcast, whatever! if you have your own blog and want me to link it from here, I'm happy to. let me know! contact me here for any questions or responses:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

new poll: 35% of NJ conservatives think Obama might be anti-christ (NOT an Onion/sarcastic piece)!

Current practicing church-going Christian and co-founder of the religious right, himself, Frank Schaeffer, attempts to break down why so many of our fellow countrymen and women are just plain morons. - sj

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

brief thoughts/stuff... this record review (from a local Philly weekly, mid-90's, by Joey Sweeney) is one of my all-time favorites. It's right up there with Spinal Tap's "Shark Sandwich" review. Joey Sweeney now runs a nice blog called Philebrity. Check it out Yo!...

...Love this quote, from a facebook friend's profile page: "In times of war, you often hear leaders - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - saying 'God is on our side.' But that isn't true. In war, God is on the side of refugees, widows, and orphans." - Greg Mortenson... was Mischa Barton up to this past summer? Cheesus Christmas! Here's a quote from the article I got this from: "'It's kind of silly now to be talking about it because I'm so fine now, but it was just a really bad time for me. It was sort of one of those things. It was like a perfect storm - everything happened at once. I was overwhelmed, I had too much work going on, I had surgery for my wisdom teeth that went really badly. I had two surgeries - I had four [teeth] taken out and it had gone really badly wrong - they had to drill into my jaw and I was just in excruciating pain. I was having Novocaine shots every day to minimise the pain. It really was rock bottom." - I'll say! But glad to see she's back to normal now! or as she stated: 'I'm so fine now'

Sunday, September 13, 2009

some Birds predictions for the 2009 season...

some quick predictions/observations, for the record:

-Eagles will lose today to Panthers, and next week to Saints; but then they'll whip off 4 wins in a row (playing some scrub teams).
-Eagles will go 10 & 6 this year, at the most. another 9-win season would not surprise me.
-They may squeak in as a wild card (like last year), but will exit playoffs in first or second round.
-Giants will win the division.
-Birds will go 3 & 3 vs. Division.
-Not sure where Cowpatties will end up; I'm guessing 10 & 6 also.
-Reid will continue to undervalue the running game and not run as much as he should, like he has his previous 10 years here.
-it's a toss-up whether Reid will employ Vick to the best of his ability and in the best way to help help the team win. If he does, Vick will help us win. Coaches like Belicheck and Jeff Fisher would use Vick to return kicks/punts (occasionally), in the WR positon, RB, out there w/ McNabb, etc. You get the point. Not sure Reid's creative/smart enough to do this.
-Reid will return next year (and McNabb as well most likely), after another disappointing Eagles season.
-Reid's legacy remains: 1 win and 4 losses in conference championship games.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Most of you know I'm a teacher in a public high school. Social Studies, English, but mostly Social Studies. Having a president speak to students via television is nothing new (Reagan, GHW Bush and Clinton all did, and we all know GW Bush was in an elementary school when 9-11 happened). What is new is having misinformed mouthbreathers object to the president addressing students. So my colleagues and I received the following from our superintendent on Friday. The Glenn Beck, et. al. Brigades have been using their cellphones apparently:

Dear Teachers,

In case you haven’t heard, President Obama intends to address the children on Tuesday, September 8th at noon. As a district we will not be airing President Obama's speech or utilizing the supporting documents for the speech. I believe his intentions are appropriate but we will let the political controversy to be handled by the parents. Furthermore, with Sept. 8th being the first day of classes it will make doing a public airing impossible.

While we respect the position of President, as a public school, we also must respect the rights of a parent to make decisions for their children when it comes to politics. We have been inundated with calls and emails by many parents both in favor and against the speech being broadcast live to students. In order to minimize any controversy and the potential disruption of the educational process, I have decided to leave it to parents to discuss or watch the speech with their children on their own time.

Our job is to teach children to think critically and think for themselves. Being in the midst of political controversy is not our intent as we begin the year.

Thank you for your understanding.



You no doubt can see the irony in the last statement. My boss isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier to begin with, and "inundated" by calls probably means two or three. That's the way he operates. One tiny lick of a controversy and he's digging a foxhole and putting on kevlar. Jeebus, could somebody put us out of Glenn Beck's misery, please?

Districts near mine are having all students watch the speech. Parents were, of course, given the ability to "opt out", which is fine, as there never was a mandate from the Dept. of Ed. or the White House for all schools to watch (basically, they don't have the authority to do that). The default position is for all students to view the speech, but that is determined by individual districts, not the government. Yet more evidence that Faux News and their ilk have little regard for facts.

So my buddy at school who teaches AP Government says: "I wasn't going to watch it, but I sure as hell will now. What are they gonna do, send me a nasty email?" And he's a Republican. Nothing like being a Social Studies teacher and being told you can't teach your subject.

Love my frakking job!



Friday, September 4, 2009

Using only Glenn Beck's own words, Glenn beck lies.

This is great folks. Even Glenn Becks followers MUST take pause after watching this. Seriously. You owe it to yourselves to stop listening to anything this birth damn fool ever says (cumbersome vid: give it a chance to buffer; totally worth it) - sj
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

Hi All, this is a fantastically informative piece, and I promise you, you will learn something. I decided to post the whole thing here (click on headline above, for original article); I know it seems long on this blog format, but it's not. Prolly take you less than 10 minutes to read it. I didn't even want to take the chance that some click on link to get rest of story (if I only posted a part of it) and got a broken link or couldn't get to whole article. - sj

the Washington Post
By T.R. Reid
August 23rd, 2009

As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we've overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world. All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they've found ways to cover everybody -- and still spend far less than we do.

I've traveled the world from Oslo to Osaka to see how other developed democracies provide health care. Instead of dismissing these models as "socialist," we could adapt their solutions to fix our problems. To do that, we first have to dispel a few myths about health care abroad:

1. It's all socialized medicine out there.

Not so. Some countries, such as Britain, New Zealand and Cuba, do provide health care in government hospitals, with the government paying the bills. Others -- for instance, Canada and Taiwan -- rely on private-sector providers, paid for by government-run insurance. But many wealthy countries -- including Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland -- provide universal coverage using private doctors, private hospitals and private insurance plans.

In some ways, health care is less "socialized" overseas than in the United States. Almost all Americans sign up for government insurance (Medicare) at age 65. In Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, seniors stick with private insurance plans for life. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the planet's purest examples of government-run health care.

2. Overseas, care is rationed through limited choices or long lines.

Generally, no. Germans can sign up for any of the nation's 200 private health insurance plans -- a broader choice than any American has. If a German doesn't like her insurance company, she can switch to another, with no increase in premium. The Swiss, too, can choose any insurance plan in the country.

In France and Japan, you don't get a choice of insurance provider; you have to use the one designated for your company or your industry. But patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as "in-network" lists of doctors or "pre-authorization" for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment -- and insurance has to pay.

Canadians have their choice of providers. In Austria and Germany, if a doctor diagnoses a person as "stressed," medical insurance pays for weekends at a health spa.

As for those notorious waiting lists, some countries are indeed plagued by them. Canada makes patients wait weeks or months for nonemergency care, as a way to keep costs down. But studies by the Commonwealth Fund and others report that many nations -- Germany, Britain, Austria -- outperform the United States on measures such as waiting times for appointments and for elective surgeries.

In Japan, waiting times are so short that most patients don't bother to make an appointment. One Thursday morning in Tokyo, I called the prestigious orthopedic clinic at Keio University Hospital to schedule a consultation about my aching shoulder. "Why don't you just drop by?" the receptionist said. That same afternoon, I was in the surgeon's office. Dr. Nakamichi recommended an operation. "When could we do it?" I asked. The doctor checked his computer and said, "Tomorrow would be pretty difficult. Perhaps some day next week?"

3. Foreign health-care systems are inefficient, bloated bureaucracies.

Much less so than here. It may seem to Americans that U.S.-style free enterprise -- private-sector, for-profit health insurance -- is naturally the most cost-effective way to pay for health care. But in fact, all the other payment systems are more efficient than ours.

U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world; they spend roughly 20 cents of every dollar for nonmedical costs, such as paperwork, reviewing claims and marketing. France's health insurance industry, in contrast, covers everybody and spends about 4 percent on administration. Canada's universal insurance system, run by government bureaucrats, spends 6 percent on administration. In Taiwan, a leaner version of the Canadian model has administrative costs of 1.5 percent; one year, this figure ballooned to 2 percent, and the opposition parties savaged the government for wasting money.

The world champion at controlling medical costs is Japan, even though its aging population is a profligate consumer of medical care. On average, the Japanese go to the doctor 15 times a year, three times the U.S. rate. They have twice as many MRI scans and X-rays. Quality is high; life expectancy and recovery rates for major diseases are better than in the United States. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person annually on health care; the United States spends more than $7,000.

4. Cost controls stifle innovation.

False. The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who's had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra, come from British, Swiss or Japanese labs.

Overseas, strict cost controls actually drive innovation. In the United States, an MRI scan of the neck region costs about $1,500. In Japan, the identical scan costs $98. Under the pressure of cost controls, Japanese researchers found ways to perform the same diagnostic technique for one-fifteenth the American price. (And Japanese labs still make a profit.)

5. Health insurance has to be cruel.

Not really. American health insurance companies routinely reject applicants with a "preexisting condition" -- precisely the people most likely to need the insurers' service. They employ armies of adjusters to deny claims. If a customer is hit by a truck and faces big medical bills, the insurer's "rescission department" digs through the records looking for grounds to cancel the policy, often while the victim is still in the hospital. The companies say they have to do this stuff to survive in a tough business.

Foreign health insurance companies, in contrast, must accept all applicants, and they can't cancel as long as you pay your premiums. The plans are required to pay any claim submitted by a doctor or hospital (or health spa), usually within tight time limits. The big Swiss insurer Groupe Mutuel promises to pay all claims within five days. "Our customers love it," the group's chief executive told me. The corollary is that everyone is mandated to buy insurance, to give the plans an adequate pool of rate-payers.

The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people's medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.

In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really "foreign" to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we're Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we're Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we're Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we're Burundi or Burma: In the world's poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can't pay stay sick or die.

This fragmentation is another reason that we spend more than anybody else and still leave millions without coverage. All the other developed countries have settled on one model for health-care delivery and finance; we've blended them all into a costly, confusing bureaucratic mess.

Which, in turn, punctures the most persistent myth of all: that America has "the finest health care" in the world. We don't. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the United States does. In terms of finance, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, the number of medical bankruptcies is zero. Britain: zero. Japan: zero. Germany: zero.

Given our remarkable medical assets -- the best-educated doctors and nurses, the most advanced hospitals, world-class research -- the United States could be, and should be, the best in the world. To get there, though, we have to be willing to learn some lessons about health-care administration from the other industrialized democracies.

T.R. Reid, a former Washington Post reporter, is the author of "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care," to be published Monday.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's not to like about health-care the way it is? Everything is just fine!

What's Not to Like?
Reform? Why do we need health-care reform? Everything is just fine the way it is.
by Jonathan Alter
Jul 31, 2009

Go ahead, shoot me. I like the status quo on health care in the United States. I've got health insurance and I don't give a damn about the 47 million suckers who don't. Obama and Congress must be stopped. No bill! I'm better off the way things are.

I'm with that woman who wrote the president complaining about "socialized medicine" and added: "Now keep your hands off my Medicare." That's the spirit!

Why should I be entitled to the same insurance that members of Congress get? Blue Dogs need a lot of medical attention to treat their blueness. I'm just a regular guy and definitely deserve less.

I had cancer a few years ago. I like the fact that if I lose my job, I won't be able to get any insurance because of my illness. It reminds me of my homeowners' insurance, which gets canceled after a break-in. I like the choice I'd face if, God forbid, the cancer recurs—sell my house to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment, or die. That's what you call a "post-existing condition."

click here for whole piece.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

AFL-CIO: Gov't option an absolute must...Or else.

As a union household, we say, ABOUT TIME somebody slapped some sense into the "blue dogs" (aka: wussie footlickers).

AFL-CIO: Gov't option an absolute must - Carrie Budoff Brown -

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Support Gay Marriage: buy Ben & Jerry's Hubby Hubby ice cream!

"Weee--HAHH!!! DO you love it?!?!" The Ben & Jerry's co-founders and their company seriously rule. - sj

Who would have thought ice cream and fashion would be anything more than an oxymoron? But now here’s some caloric indulgence worth undertaking: Ben & Jerry’s is releasing a new ice cream flavor in support of gay marriage. Cheekily called “Hubby Hubby,” the carton features the Vermont company’s signature cartoons this time with a wedding cake and rainbows. Plus, the peanut-butter filled pretzels and vanilla malt ice cream is just the perfect mix of salty and sweet.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Compelling facts and analysis from an expert and friend, ranting away on healthcare..

So here's a rant/a few replies to some "know-it-not," from a new, brilliant friend of mine who recently completed law school, and is now getting her PhD in cellular & molecular biology/virology; she has a clear understanding about the current state of affairs with regards to healthcare and healthcare reform, and what American needs. She's also read lots of the different currently-proposed bills out there. - sj

"...Now onto what I like about the Health Bill Proposal, in a word, everything. What I like most is the objective of the bill a socialized medicine system. I take no issue whatsoever with the implementation plan proposed. I support this plan because medical bills cause more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies.

..Furthermore, it seems to me to be a much smarter idea to have the government being a "middle man" between ourselves and our health care provider, than insurance and pharmaceutical companies. It is simply bad news to have your health care supplied, managed and paid for by someone with a fiduciary interest in your being sick. What is better about having a government official in charge? At least in a government run plan you can elect people to represent your interests. Try influencing what Aetna will cover. Go ahead, try.

...It is in the government’s best interest to keep you healthy so you can work and pay taxes. It is Aetna’s best interest to charge you the most that they can while covering the least stuff they can get away with. Also, the coverage determines the health care you can even have access to because if Aetna doesn’t cover it you are not getting it done.

...I have never heard anyone suggest that we should privatize fire companies, the post office, or the police forces. That being said, some people choose to hire private fire companies or security agents or send something via UPS. My point is that similarly there will always be private insurance companies for people who want to pay more because for whatever reason they prefer that kind of care, but if Obama’s bill passes, there will be insurance for us poor schulbs who cannot afford to pay $1200 plus a year to a company that has a financial interest in our being ill.

You can be general, I just mean don't cite blogs, or FrontPage news. Discuss the content of the bill why exactly you don't like it. Also you misquoted me and misunderstood the part you misquoted. I wrote "It is simply bad news to have your health care supplied, managed and paid for by someone with a fiduciary interest in your being sick." And them went on to note that insurance company express their financial interest by restricting and limiting often essential coverage. Hospital and Doctors certainly want us to be ill because they are for profit institutions. If we are not ill we do no need them. Unlike government which has no interest whatsoever in getting our "sick business." I find it very interesting that the US is one of the riches countries in the world and was ranked 37th out of 191 countries by the World Health Organization in the quality of their health care.

(see here for official site)

...At the top of that list? All nations with socialized health care systems. France provides the best overall health care followed among major countries by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan. We were also beat by:
Norway, at 11th .
Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica and Cuba– 22nd, 33rd, 36th and 39th in the world, respectively.
Singapore, ranked 6th.
In the Pacific, Australia ranks 32nd overall, while New Zealand is 41st.
Let's not forget the Middle East and North Africa: Oman is in 8th place overall, Saudi Arabia is ranked 26th , United Arab Emirates 27th and Morocco, 29th."

Obama's official birth certificate

Here it is you fucking birth survivors (clik official birth certificate for bigger view). Oh, and by the way, the other presidential candidate, John McShame, was born in Panama. Is Panama in America? - sj