Friday, February 27, 2009

just another day in Eagles land...

"Eagles Front Office Sure Do Put The Fun In Dysfunction!"

so for a number of reasons I haven't been following the daily drama and heartbreak of the Philadelphia Eagles off-season, like I usually have. well about 4 hours ago I'm on an errand run and I hear a plethora of Eagles news items on 950AM, which is local sports some of the day, and nationally syndicated espn radio other part of the day (as far as I can tell). I don't listen to 610WIP during the 3pm-6pm time frame because a living abortion named Howard Eskin is on at that time, and not only is he an Andy Reid apologist/lapdog, and CLUELESS about actual sports, but he's a magnanimous fucking asshole. So here's what I hear, coming through & being reported off on as either news, rumors, fact or speculation, much of it centered around the free agency period that I believe started this week:

Correll Buckhalter (our #2 RB) is now a Denver Bronco.
Brian Dawkins (our starting Safety for most of his 12 or 13 years here, and probable Hall-of-Famer) is a Denver Bronco.
L.J. Smith (TE) is an Atlanta Falcon.
Lito Sheppard (CB) is being trade to the Jets.
Stacy Andrews (OT) is now an Eagle.

Lots of news/rumors for me to hear at one time, for the first time!

Well, here are my immediate thoughts on this stuff (and we'll see what actually happened or not in the days to come).

Brian Dawkins: The guy is a flat-out stud, he's been one of the leaders on this team forever, he's a straight-up guy that usually always tells it like it is, he's a HUGE fan favorite, he's WAY into being an Eagle, he's probably going to the Hall of Fame, he's a brutally-physical player, and he has always stated, he doesn't want to go anywhere else, and that he wants to retire as an Eagle. So, why is he going to Denver? The short answer is because we have a dysfunctional team of half-wits who run this team: Joe Banner, Jeff Lurie, and Andy Reid, to be specific. Our VP, Owner, and Head Coach/General Manager, respectively. Here's how the meeting might have gone down...

Dawkins: "So guys, can you give me 5 or 6 million for the next two years? I can play in relief, teach the new guys (Q. Demps, to name his replacement), continue to be the leaders, start if need be, continue my community work, what do you say?" (by the way, we're ALWAYS under the cap and this figure that I'm guessing is just a guess, but they SURELY have the money to this, even with everything else they could possibly get done this off-season).

Banner: "Nah. You know by now we don't play players for what they've done, and only pay for them for what they're gonna do."

Lurie: "How about the league minimum, 1.5 Million for two years?"

Reid: "Whaddaya say, Dawk, we'd love to keep you!?"

Dawkins is all too familiar with the way this front office of Lunatics operates. I'm sure it wasn't even a surprise to him. So he went elsewhere. Who can blame him? This front office has sucked in these types of dealings through the years. We'll miss you Brian. On the field and off. Good luck dude. You did the right thing.

Correll Buckhalter: I always liked the guy's abilities and I was glad Reid never got rid of him, even though he sure could have, during the 5-year stretch where he incurred season-ending injuries in THREE of those years. He wasn't a great RB, but he was always solid and consistent and good, whenever we actually decided to run the stinking ball. It sucks to see him go, if for nothing else, we don't actually have another running back to back up Brian Westbrook at this moment in time. Reid, did you hear that? We don't have a back up running back! HELLOoooooo! Well, he'll be a great addition to the Broncos and I hope he kicks ass out there.

LJ Smith: A dollop of GOOD NEWS! He shoud've been cut during training camp two years ago, when it was Brent Celek was better than him. LJ Smith has been a below average Tight End in this league his ENTIRE career here. MAYBE he had one year he was above average, stats-wise, but I'm not positive about that. One of Reid's MANY deficiencies is seeing talent where none exists (and conversely, not recognizing talent), and LJ Smith is a perfect example. Praise Jesus this dreadful chapter is over. And By the way, no one - I repeat, NO ONE - has been a bigger fan of Brent Celek than me, since he first put on an Eagles Jersey. We don't need to get a TE. We've HAD one for two years now. Brent Celek is ALREADY better than LJ is, already a top 10 TE in the league (okay, so he's 10th), and has a chance to be great. And spare me the, "but he's not that good of a blocker" horseshit. You can learn to block. And he's plenty big enough to be successful at it.

Lito Sheppard: he's a really good Cornerback, sometimes he's great. We'll miss him a little if he goes, but we do have two starters that are better than him. I heard we're trading him to the Jets. Sure hope we're getting something good for him, and not a couple draft picks Reid will have no clue what to do with.

Stacy Andrews: We'll now have bookend bros on the Offensive Line, as Stacy Andrews is the brother of Shawn Andrews, our lineman we've had here for a few years, and while he's yet to show the consistency needed at that position, he is a VERY good linemen, and will probably be great for years to come. And please, people, stop with, the take that his bro was brought in to babysit him, due to his depression problems, or 'heavy issues' he had last season that kept him out of games for several weeks: 1) nobody knows what he went through, for one. And if some of it was too heavy, then why not have your brother around for inspirations, support, etc? and 2) we NEED another offensive linemen, as some of ours are getting old! I don't know much about Stacy, but he's big, and I'm guessing he'll be taking Runyan's spot, who can't go for much longer. least maybe we won't have to botch a couple draft picks, taking a lineman in the first round this year, perhaps. Not that Reid won't botch picks, but perhaps we can botch them on some other positions. Oh wait, we did that with our QB of the future pick a couple years ago, Tony Hunt, RB a year ago, don't even get me started.

So, in summary:
Fuck Reid, Fuck Lurie, Fuck Banner.
Now, more than ever.

WRODS...and what really matters...

So next time a friend, chat-buddy, message boarder, or some loser you happen to be arguing with on poker stars chat-box while you're playing a sit n go tries correcting your misspelled words or typos becasue they either have no other argument, have OCD, or are just plain too hyper about correcting spelling mistakes, send them this. Because really, it's not about spelling properly, anymore than it's about speaking properly, using correct grammar, et al: it's about conveying thought, and doing this just well enough so the other person understands what it is you're saying or typing. sj

Here's a recent study from Cambridge University that is pretty cool…
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig, huh?

jsut saiyn

Man dies after Viagra-fuelled 12-hour orgy; it was a bet!

The British paper ‘The Sun’ has released details about a man who died after taking one too many of those little ‘blue bombers’.

Sergey Tuganov was bet $4300 US dollars that he could not satisfy two women completely. The former mechanic took the challenge happily, downing an entire bottle of Viagra, to keep him going for a 12-hour orgy with the two women.

Tuganov won the bet and the women admitted defeat, declaring the man the winner. But the victory was short lived, as he collapsed, and was pronounced dead on the scene when paramedics arrived.

The women admitted to betting Sergey Tuganov $4,300 that he wouldn't be able to follow through with the half-day sex marathon, according to the London Sun.

"We called emergency services but it was too late, there was nothing they could do," one of the women said.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Funny, funny analytical anecdote from Rachel Maddow

this clip is a perfect example of Rachel Maddow's genius and humor; check it out. sj

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Governor Jindal = Epic Fail

Did he really use Katrina as an example? He went there?
I had heard Jindal was actually intelligent. WTF did we see last night?

David Brooks thought it was a "disaster".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama's address to congress (continuing), that was short. I was just settling in... Well, not really, I missed 2/3rd's of it parenting! ah well, I'l be live blogging more in the future.

extremely ambitious agenda. as he laid it out, let's be real, it cannot be done. no way. But it's awesome he's gonna try.

Obama's address to congress (continuing)

9:45: Healthcare for every American is an extraordinary and ambitious goal, but it's also just plain awesome. Who doesn't WANT that? THAT's caring. Only a government by the people, for the people has any chance in hell of making that happen. Obama might not be able to steward that dream, but at least he's going to try (by the way, my 'girl' Hillary was WAYyyyyy ahead of the curve on this)...

9:48: However much money gets spent during this administration, it's nowhere near the amount of money Bush Co pissed away on an unnecessary war, tax breaks when the country absolutely did not need them, et. al...and I can assure you one thing: this money being spent, and these ideals and policies Obama and the Dems hope to implement, are unequivocally, to make America better for Americans; that's something that did not happen the last eight years, the facts have shown. Why does no one talk about the utterly foolish idea that Bush and the republicans had to privatize Social Security, based on "the markets" - can you imagine?

Holy crap. There would be no talk of a revolution: there would have been one already. And I don't know if Bush and company would have survived it...

Obama's address to congress...

9:33... 6 month old baby girl is freaking and wailing in her crib, so I'm juggling some chores, managing her and watching this address some.

....streaming thoughts...

How awesome is it to see Barack, Joe and Pelosi, up there? The very first thing that came to mind when I saw them up there in the chamber was the BIG difference between them and Bush & Cheney: Obama and the dems actually, sincerely CARE about the United States and the Americans that live in it. You really believe that Obama cares. Did you ever get the feeling Bush REALLY cared about all Americans?

9:38: Joe Lieberman is a fucking clown (as much as us Dems may need him these next 8 years). John McShame is a has-been and every single American is better off that he got his bell rung last November.

Smoke This Recession

Mark Morford's one of the best current event/news/political/social writers and commentators in America now. He has been for years. He's witty, simple, serious and fun. If there is another person out there who I agree with more on a myriad of topics, issues and concerns, I don't know who he or she is. You can read his weekly posts and a long list of archives by clicking on his link/page on the left sidebar. sj

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, February 20, 2009

It's simple: First we tax the booze. Then we legalize the pot. Done.

It is a time of strange bedfellows and bizarre contortions and extraordinary responses to extreme situations, all overslathered with gobs of panic and dread and oh my God, I might have to sell the Range Rover.

In other words, it is a time -- like you don't already know -- of plentiful alarmist rhetoric, resulting in weird outbursts of ingenuity and wanton ethics-loosening, all in a desperate effort to suck up some much-needed cash.

Translation: Money's tight, baby. City's in trouble. State's deep in the hole. Nation's broke.

Solution? Upend the system. Think differently. Get creative. Demolish Ye Olde Ways. And maybe get a really nice buzz on while you're at it.

Where to begin? How can the city/state refill their empty coffers and further gouge the populace to make ends meet? Increased bridge tolls? A new per-mile driving tax? Heavier parking fines? State parks abandoned and left to seed? Child's play, darling.

You want to raise funds in an instant? You want a sure-fire, double-barreled source of nearly limitless funds from a wary, burned-out citizenry? That's easy. Go after its biggest vices, its most beloved balms.

Up first: booze. Already local governments are quietly proposing jacking up the alcohol tax and loosening sales restrictions because, well, why the hell not? Aren't you, right this very moment, as you prepare your taxes and weep over your gutted portfolio and stare down one very bleak 2009, more in need of a drink or three than at any time in recent history except for the entirety of the last eight miserable, Bush-stabbed years? Well, there you go. Tax increases on cocktails, here they come.

But it's not just governments. Check out the happily shameless TV networks who, for the first time in a whocares number of years, are allowing ads for alcohol and K-Y lube during prime-time programming. Oh the outrage! Oh the debauchery! Who, pray who, will protect the children? Oh wait, the children are out buying daddy some more beer and applying for a job at Starbucks to help pay rent. Never mind.

New taxes on the other Great American vices: porn, gambling, prescription meds, pro sports, obesity, Miley Cyrus? Watch for it.

Now, let's get serious. Because there are, of course, bigger fish to fry in the sea of potentially lucrative, all-American inebriates. There is a far more potent, obvious solution to the state's budget woes, a huge, untapped revenue source, and now might be the perfect time to, you know, light it up.

Really now, could there be a better time to decriminalize/fully legalize pot? Or, more fully, to decriminalize pot, and then spread respectable pot shops and vending machines and dispensaries far and wide, instill quality control and decent oversight and then tax the living hell out of the glorious, stress-reducing goodness, as we stop wasting billions fighting its grand ubiquity and instead sink into profitable pools of warm, hazy progress? Don't you already know the answer?

It's difficult to imagine that some intrepid legislator hasn't already walked into Arnie "Pot is not a drug" Schwarzenegger's office and said, "Governator, now is the time. Light it up. Inhale the new reality. Pot is, by a huge margin, the single largest cash crop in the state unless you count porn stars and celebrity rehab. It rakes in upwards of $14 billion a year -- maybe a lot more than that -- and that's just from five clever hippies and a couple intrepid grandmas in Ukiah. Imagine what we could do if we went all-in."

Are the discussions ongoing? Are they passing the bong of possibility around the state Senate chambers? You're damn right they are. What's holding them back? Probably the usual: the negative PR, looking "soft" on crime, encouraging permissiveness, pressure from prison lobbies, and so on. Don't worry, Sacramento. Everyone's already plenty drunk/high on prescription meds trying to alleviate fears of losing their job to care about that nonsense right now. Get to it.

There won't be much pushback from D.C. President Obama's already stated that his upcoming appointee to head the DEA is going to knock it the hell off with the insidious raids of harmless medical pot shops in California, and wants to quit using federal resources to bash hippies and circumvent state laws.

Look. Is there really anyone left who doesn't already know the "War on Drugs" is a pathetic joke, an abject failure and a taxpayer nightmare, and the only reason it survives at all is to fund the CIA and fellate the prison guard unions and support a shameful prison system, and to let politicians say they're "tough on crime" so they can to deflect all those uninformed parents who relentlessly whine about pot in public schools just before dashing off a wine-tasting party to snort a nice line of Bolivian coke?

Anyone left, furthermore, who doesn't know that pot is far safer than booze, less addictive, nonviolent, more transportable, easier to light, and generally won't interfere with your ability to crawl across the carpet and lick cookie crumbs from your lover's thighs? And sure, while heavy, daily usage can make you slow and stupid and rather useless to the world, well, so can a six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper and six hours of TV every day. Gateway drug? That's on Channel 2, right after "Oprah."

And another thing. Maybe it wouldn't be merely tax 'n' puff. Maybe California, already the pot-growing capital of the nation, could become something more. A hub. A world-class research center. Pot education, study, medicine, import/export, the works. We could ship our crop to various nations in desperate need of chilling the hell out, like Israel. Palestine. Pakistan. Russia. The N-Judah on a Friday afternoon. We could become the largest research and manufacturing center in the world. How proud we would be. You know, sort of.

Let's phrase this grand scenario in another way: Why the hell not try it? What have we got to lose? What, we could go more broke? We could get more desperate and anxious? Fact is, economic nightmares need not breed only miserable stories of lost homes and lost jobs and shuttered businesses. They can also spawn creative solutions, innovative thinking, widespread munchies. Now is the time.

Let's not get carried away. Pot's only one little inebriate, one mild and -- let's just admit it -- relatively boring feel-good plant. California is $40 billion in debt and we're running low on water and we can't give away those hideous tract developments out in Stockton. Milking the pot cow for all she's worth might net us, at best, a few billion a year. To get out of this massive hole, we'd have to legalize Ecstasy too. (Someday, honey, someday).

But it's something. It's radical new thinking that's not the slightest bit radical, or new, and in fact the notion is now even more obvious than it's been for the past 30 years. What are we waiting for? A match?


just wondering: is the Collagenist who massacred Mickey Rourke's face still employed?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

ethics be damned: Pill could help you forget bad memories

you can't stop

Findings could lead to better treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder
By Irene Klotz
Discovery Channel

Bad date last night? Take this pill and forget all about it.

In a bid to stem the harmful effects of fear triggered by haunting memories, psychologists have come up with a concoction that prevents the brain from reliving the bad experiences.

The findings may have implications for understanding and treating people suffering emotional disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, said University of Amsterdam psychologist Merel Kindt, the lead author of a paper in this week's issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Kindt and colleagues devised a test to see if the cycle of fear could be eased by interrupting the brain's ability to recreate a memory of a traumatic event.

Sixty volunteers were shown pictures of spiders and given a mild electrical shock to create bad memories. The next day, they saw the pictures again but half were given the drug propranolol, a beta-blocker commonly used to treat heart disease. The other half took a placebo pill.

The participants returned a third day and were shown the pictures again. The researchers found that people given propranolol had a much lower emotional response — measured by a startle reflex — to the images.

"The procedure did really eliminate a simple fear response, which is a promising basis for future treatments," Kindt wrote in an e-mail to Discovery News. "This was not possible before."

Psychologists typically try to treat memory-triggered stress disorders by teaching patents to modify their response to fear, but the technique is ineffective for many people.

"This method focuses on erasing the fear response," Kindt said.

Additional studies are planned to see if the results are long-lasting.

Daniel Sokol, who lectures on medical ethics at St. George's, University of London, cautioned that wiping out the effects of a bad memory may have unintentional consequences.

"I joined a chess club and lost to an eight-year girl," Sokol told Discovery News. "That was absolutely humiliating. I made a blunder, and I tell myself that I'll never make that mistake again. If you eradicate the memory, will the lesson still remain?

"A lot of our memories seem to be interconnected," he added. "I wonder if after the intervention if you could end up terribly confused, unable to understand why you're feeling a particular way. In essence, you might end up with some sort of dementia."

Friday, February 20, 2009


The New York Post's editors clearly weren't thinking, which appears to be par for their course:
"But it has been taken as something else -- as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism," reads the statement. "This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize....However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past -- and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback," the statement says. "To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon -- even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."

Come, now, you can't really believe that is a legitimate apology. Any reasonably sentient person with even a shred of historical perspective would easily make the association of the chimp to the first African-American President of the US. Given the legacy of racist depictions of African-Americans, over centuries, as monkeys or apes, any aforementioned reasonable person should draw the conclusion that a cartoon such as this would be perceived as at best insensitive, at worst blatantly racist.

As for the defenders of the artist and tabloid who point out that GW Bush was often portrayed as a chimp, the intent of the cartoon is beside the point. There is a line beyond which is no man's land when it comes to racial sensitivity, and there's just too much historical baggage for this to be taken in another context.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Did You Die?

this is one of my all-time favorite poems - sj

How Did You Die?
By Edmund Vance Cook – 1866-1932

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there – that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts;
It’s how did you fight and why?

And though you be done to death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only, how did you die?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Baby-faced boy Alfie Patten is father at 13

BOY dad Alfie Patten yesterday admitted he does not know how much nappies cost — but said: “I think it’s a lot.”
Baby-faced Alfie, who is 13 but looks more like eight, became a father four days ago when his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman gave birth to 7lb 3oz Maisie Roxanne.

He told how he and Chantelle, 15, decided against an abortion after discovering she was pregnant. The shy lad, whose voice has not yet broken, said: “I thought it would be good to have a baby. “I didn’t think about how we would afford it. I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10.”

Alfie, who is just 4ft tall, added: “When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble. We wanted to have the baby but were worried how people would react. “I didn’t know what it would be like to be a dad. I will be good, though, and care for it.” Alfie’s dad Dennis told how the lad does not really understand the enormity of his situation — but seemed desperate to be a devoted and responsible father.

He wanted to be the first to hold Maisie after the hospital birth. He tenderly kisses the baby and gives her a bottle. And Dennis, 45, said: “He could have shrugged his shoulders and sat at home on his Playstation. But he has been at the hospital every day.” Maisie was conceived after Chantelle and Alfie — just 12 at the time — had a single night of unprotected sex. They found out about the baby when Chantelle was 12 weeks pregnant. But they kept it a secret until six weeks later when Chantelle’s mum Penny, 38, became suspicious about her weight gain and confronted her. After that Alfie’s family told only those closest to them for fear he would be “demonised” at school.

Chantelle gave birth to Maisie on Monday night after a five-hour labour at Eastbourne Hospital, East Sussex. Last night she told The Sun: “I’m tired after the birth. I was nervous after going into labour but otherwise I was quite excited.” Chantelle told how she discovered she was expecting after going to her GP with “really bad” stomach pains. She said: “Me and Alfie went. The doctor asked me whether we had sex. I said yes and he said I should do a pregnancy test. He did the test and said I was pregnant. I started crying and didn’t know what to do. “He said I should tell my mum but I was too scared. We didn’t think we would need help from our parents. You don’t really think about that when you find out you are pregnant. You just think your parents will kill you.”

But Penny figured out what was going on after buying Chantelle a T-shirt which revealed her swelling tum. Chantelle admitted she and Alfie — who are both being supported by their parents — would be accused of being grossly irresponsible. She said: “We know we made a mistake but I wouldn’t change it now. We will be good loving parents. “I have started a church course and I am going to do work experience helping other young mums. I’ll be a great mum and Alfie will be a great dad.”

Chantelle and Maisie were released from hospital yesterday. They are living with Penny, Chantelle’s jobless dad Steve, 43, and her five brothers in a rented council house in Eastbourne. The family live on benefits. Alfie, who lives on an estate across town with mum Nicola, 43, spends most of his time at the Steadmans’ house. He is allowed to stay overnight and even has a school uniform there so he can go straight to his classes in the morning. Alfie’s dad, who is separated from Nicola, believes the lad is scared deep down. He said: “Everyone is telling him things and it’s going round in his head. It hasn’t really dawned on him. He hasn’t got a clue of what the baby means and can’t explain how he feels. All he knows is mum and dad will help.

“When you mention money his eyes look away. And she is reliant on her mum and dad. It’s crazy. They have no idea what lies ahead.” Dennis, who works for a vehicle recovery firm, described Alfie as “a typical 13-year-old boy”. He said: “He loves computer games, boxing and Manchester United.” Dennis, who has fathered nine kids, told how he was “gobsmacked” when he discovered Alfie was to be a dad, too. He said: “When I spoke to him he started crying. He said it was the first time he’d had sex, that he didn’t know what he was doing and of the complications that could come. I will talk to him again and it will be the birds and the bees talk. Some may say it’s too late but he needs to understand so there is not another baby.”

Chantelle’s mum said: “I told her it was lovely to have the baby but I wish it was in different circumstances. We have five children already so it’s a big financial responsibility. But we are a family and will pull together and get through.“She’s my daughter. I love her and she will want for nothing.” Last night Michaela Aston, of the anti-abortion Christian charity LIFE, said: “We commend these teenagers for their courage in bringing their child into the world. At the same time this is symptomatic of the over-sexualisation of our youngsters and shows the policy of value-free sex education just isn’t working.”

Today Sussex Police and the local council's children services said they have investigated the case and pledged continued support for the young parents. Britain’s youngest known father is Sean Stewart. He became a dad at 12 when the girl next door, 15-year-old Emma Webster, gave birth in Sharnbrook, Bedford, in 1998. They split six months later.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Please Help Billy Evans

I didn't believe this-BUT IT REALLY WORKS! I found a check for $3,876.53 in
my mailbox just TEN DAYS after I initially forwarded it. Please...try to help
this very poor little boy with more challenges than
we could ever imagine!

Hello Everyone: I am a very sick little boy. My mother is typing this for
me, because I can't. But she is crying. "Don't cry mommy." Mommy is
always sad, but she says it's not my fault. I asked her if it was God's
fault, but she didn't answer, and only started crying harder, so I don't
ask her that anymore.

The reason she is so sad is that I'm so sick. I was born without a body.
It doesn't hurt, except when I go to sleep. The doctors gave me an
artificial body. My body is burlap bag filled with leaves. The doctors
said that was
the best they could do on account of us havin' no money. I would like to
have a body transplant, but we need more money. Mommy doesn't work because
she said employers don't hire crying people. I said don't cry, mommy and
she hugged my burlap body. Mommy always gives me hugs, even though she's
allergic to burlap, and it chafes her bad. I hope someone will help me.
You can help me if you forward this e-mail. Dr. Johansen said if
you forward this that Bill Gates will team up with AOL and do a survey
with NASA. Then the astronauts will collect prayers from school children
from all over America and take them up to space so that the angels can
hear them better. Then they will go to the Pope, and he will take up a
collection in his church and send the money to the doctors. The doctors
could help me get
better then. Maybe one day I will be able to play baseball. Or maybe
just use lungs and heart, when the doctors make them. The doctors said
that every time you forward this letter, the astronauts can take another
prayer to the angels. Please help me. Mommy is sad, and I want a body. I
don't want my
leaves to rot before I turn 10. If you don't forward this e-mail, that's
o.k. Mommy says that just means you're a mean heartless son-of-a-bitch
who doesn't care about a poor little boy with only a head. She says that
if you don't stew in the raw pit of your own guilt-ridden stomach, that
she hopes you die a slow horrible death so you can burn in hell. What
kind of person are you that you can't take 5 minutes to forward this to all your friends
so that they can feel guilt and shame for the rest of their day, and them
maybe help a poor, bodiless 9 year-old boy? Please help me. This really
sucks. I try to be happy but it's hard. I wish I had a puppy. I wish I could hold a puppy.

Thank You!
Billy 'Smiles' Evans, The boy with just a head. And a burlap sack for a body.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

While we circle the drain economically, hoping that President Obama can convince the holdouts to enact some stimulus legislation before we drown...if I hear another dumbass say something about how "FDR made the Great Depression worse" my head will explode. That is simply not true.As one can see above, GDP moved along in a generally upward fashion during FDR's presidency. The one blip of decline was related to budget-balancing in 1937. By the time WWII began (in late 1939), the US was well on its way up and out of the hole, so that by 1941 and US entry into the war, the Depression had effectively ended already with record GDP achieved years earlier.

Obama is looking at charts & graphs showing a precipitous fall in employment. Note the green line. That's where we are now. Where's the bottom? The US lost almost 600,000 jobs in JANUARY. What's this month or next going to look like? Obviously, the GOP economic free-for-all orgy of greed left one hell of a mess for the rest of us.

I give you the Bush-Cheney Recession (or Bush-Cheney Depression). The past eight years will inhabit some seriously dark chapters in history books.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Billy Joel: worst pop singer ever?

The Worst Pop Singer Ever
Why, exactly, is Billy Joel so bad?
By Ron Rosenbaum

Saw this on the Slate a week or so ago. good analysis, and something I've been asking myself my whole life. Ron Rossenbaum does a song by song breakdown from a greatest hits record as well. Below an excerpt; click on title of this post for entire

...I'm reluctant to pick on Billy Joel. He's been subject to withering contempt from hipster types for so long that it no longer seems worth the time. Still, the mystery persists: How can he be so bad and yet so popular for so long? He's still there. You can't defend yourself with anti-B.J. shields around your brain. He still takes up the space, takes up A&R advances that would otherwise support a score of unrecognized but genuinely talented artists, singers, and songwriters, with his loathsomely insipid simulacrum of rock.

..there's always the chance we'll see another of those "career re-evaluation" essays that places like the New York Times Sunday "Arts & Leisure" section are fond of running about the Barry Manilows of the world. The kind of piece in which we'd discover that Billy's actually "gritty," "unfairly marginalized" by hipsters; that his work is profoundly expressive of late-20th-century alienation ("Captain Jack"); that his hackneyed, misogynist hymns to love are actually filled with sophisticated erotic angst; that his "distillations of disillusion," to use the patois of such pieces, over the artist's role ("Piano Man," "The Entertainer," "Say Goodbye to Hollywood," etc.) are in fact "preternaturally self-conscious," not just shallow, Holden Caulfield-esque denunciations of "phonies," but mentionable in the same breath as works by great artists.

...I decided to make a serious effort to identify the consistent qualities across Joel's "body of work" (it almost hurts to write that) that make it so meretricious, so fraudulent, so pitifully bad. And so, risking humiliation and embarrassment, I ventured to the Barnes & Noble music section and bought a four-disc set of B.J.'s "Greatest Hits," one of which was a full disc of his musings about art and music. I must admit that I also bought a copy of an album I already had—Return of the Grievous Angel, covers of Gram Parsons songs by the likes of the Cowboy Junkies and Gillian Welch, whose "Hickory Wind" is just ravishing—so the cashier might think the B.J. box was merely a gift, maybe for someone with no musical taste. Yes, reader. I couldn't bear the sneer, even for your benefit.

...let's go through the "greatest hits" chronologically and see how this "contempt thesis" works out.

First let's take "Piano Man." You can hear Joel's contempt, both for the losers at the bar he's left behind in his stellar schlock stardom and for the "entertainer-loser" (the proto-B.J.) who plays for them. Even the self-contempt he imputes to the "piano man" rings false.

"Captain Jack": Loser dresses up in poseur clothes and...

(click on title of this post for the breakdown)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

another take on the Michael Phelps event...

So Radley Balko from reason-online wrote this piece. I put two snippets below from his article. Click on the title of this post to go to the original article and read the entire post; it's funny, and he makes some excellent points. Radley himself, is an interesting character; you can click on his name in the article and read about his many accomplishments and career, including his time as a policy analyst for the Cato Institute specializing in civil liberties issues. sj

What Michael Phelps Should Have Said

Smoking pot shouldn't be a crime. Or the public's business.
Radley Balko | February 2, 2009

Dear America,
I take it back. I don’t apologize.

Because you know what? It’s none of your goddamned business. I work my ass off 10 months a year. It’s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance that’s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture.

...and then this, at the end of the piece:

Go ahead and tear me down if you like. But let’s see you rationalize in your next lame ONDCP commercial how the greatest motherfucking swimmer the world has ever also a proud pot smoker.

Michael Phelps

click on the title of this post to go to the original article

Sunday, February 1, 2009


So here are the results of two polls, in which I asked people how much they would hypothetically (duh!) pay to spend the night with Orlando Bloom (great-looking dude; very cool; actor) or Miranda Kerr (gorgeous super-model, also very cool). They've been dating for at least a year and there are many rumors they'll soon be getting married.

The multiple choice answers for each were: $500, $1000, $2500 and $5000. Here's the breakdown on each:

Orlando Bloom: 6 responses. 50% would pay $2500 or more to spend the night with him. The other 50% $1000 or less. 2 would pay $5000.

Miranda Kerr drew a little more excitement: 11 responses. 8 people (72%) would gladly pay $5000 to spend the night with her; 3 more, $2500. 90% of respondents would pay $2500 or more for one night with her. Only one of the people who responded deemed this hypothetical event only worth $1000.

Now here's something funny: I had two males ask me why there wasn't a $10,000 choice! They "surely would've picked that one," they both said! I told them we're in a recession, times are very tough, and I selected the choices based on what I thought would be realistic. Fun(ny) stuff.

Phelps has 14 olympic medals. And he smokes weed. Problem?

okay, so apparently this is a big story today. why? can't one of the greatest athletes of all time relax every once and a while? Not only is he not harming anyone, his occasional relaxing with beer and marijuana over the years (as has been reported before, by the way), most surely hasn't effected his utter domination of every and all swimming opponents or his obliterating of the record books in all swimming strokes and different competitive formats. Now, if smoking green is in violation of the OIC rules and/or other governing bodies, and rules him out for future events, next olympics, etc, then so be it. Rules are rules. And surely he's aware of those rules when he made/makes his choices. But enough with the uninformed, misguided and ignorant stigma and critiques that are too often associated with marijuana, and the people from all walks of life who chill out socially with it; almost everyone I know, chills out or partakes once in a while with beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, soda, coffee, cigars and/or more; most of which - if not all - are more harmful to people than marijuana is. Perhaps amongst the "aww, I really liked him," and "I am shocked - he seemed like such a good kid!," and all the other similar reactions we'll hear endlessly on this event, there will be a few reactions along these lines: "wow. he smokes marijuana and he's still far and away the greatest swimmer in the history of the world. how bad can it be?!"

Michael Phelps in Shocking Drug Scandal After Being Pictured Taking Hit from a Bong

Normally when you talk about Olympic athletes using drugs it is steroids or some type of supplement that can increase their performance in their sport. Michael Phelps, who dazzles the sports world last year, isn't exactly Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens when it comes to his drug of choice. The record breaking gold medalist, instead, has been snapped on camera taken a hit of a marijuana bong that was obtained by UK scandal sheet News of the World [1].

The picture was taken at a University of South Carolina party and, if it is proven that there that was in fact cannabis in the bong, Phelps would likely get sanctioned from the Olympic committee.

In the past few months, Phelps has been partying hard and having some insiders in the sport wondering if he can regain his world class athletic mantle with his lifestyle. In the the News of the World Report, they wrote:

One party-goer who witnessed the star’s behaviour told the News of the World: “He was out of control from the moment he got there.

“If he continues to party like that I’d be amazed if he ever won any more medals again.”

In 2004 after his Olympic glory in Greece, Phelps was popped for a DUI and sentenced to 18 months probation. After dominating this Olympic games, that scandal blew over and the swimming star was able to earn a number of endorsements. With this new allegation, the only thing that Phelps may now be able to advertise is an upcoming c film.

This isn't the first time that Phelps has made headlines for the wrong reasons.