Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bill O'Reilly is a Fucking Idiot ... and Other Talking Points

Merry Christmas

I think Bill O'Reilly is a Fucking Idiot would have made a great name for the blog, but I think Al Franken has a better grasp of it.
And I guess I wouldn't mind so much, if Bill was one of those nut-jobs standing on the street corner screaming about some war crimes or how God is gonna take us up to Heaven ... but he's a nut-job with major cable TV time, which really irritates me. Consider this exchange on that stupid TV show of his:

O'REILLY: Sixty-two percent of Americans will have a Christmas tree, but most of the trees will be artificial.

E.D. HILL (co-host): That surprises me. Only 62 percent have Christmas...

O'REILLY: Yeah. And here - and here's a very - here's something that Rasmussen didn't poll but I know, that most women who like artificial trees...

HILL: Yeah?

O'REILLY: ...have artificial breasts.

He went on to say that he saw a study done at UCLA that confirmed his stupid nonsense. I think the University should sue him for implicating their researchers. I could go for another scandal involving him. It's been a long time since the last one.

If you want, you can read the entire exchange here, and even listen to it, if you have a strong stomach.

And, here's something that I know, Bill. Most people who watch your show and believe the nonsense you spout have artificial intelligence. So, in a way, you're reaching your target audience. People that are just as stupid as you are. It's a match made in Heaven, except for the fact that I really don't want to have to pay for cable that includes Fox "News" or your ridiculous program. Where's a la carte programming when I need it?

Bill should realize that there's a place for humor and a place for reporting facts. Apparently, he doesn't know where that place is. I do. It's way over there ... near PBS or the New York Times or the Philadelphia Inquirer ... Fox isn't even in the same time zone as the truth. Leave the humor to Jon Stewart. Unlike you, he's actually funny.
And while we're at it, how do they get away with calling it "News"? More than half of their programs are opinion shows, and that stupid investing show they run on Sunday features five people yelling over each other with some dumb idea they just thought up, including Wayne Rogers, who somehow became an investment advisor all of a sudden. Of course, I really can't complain, if the dopes watching it are investing and losing their money, it just serves to even-out the wealth spectrum.
All it leaves is for Fox to even up its intellectual spectrum, but we know that isn't going to happen.

O'REILLY: We gotta take a break - we gotta take a break, and we'll be back with Reverend Barry Lynn to talk about why there's so much angst about Christmas in a moment.

Holy crap, Bill.
There's so much angst about Christmas because you won't let up! Give me a break, why don't-cha? People are getting worked up over saying "Merry Christmas", out of fear that they're either saying it to a Jewish person, or that the politically correct Happy Holidays is the catch-all for dumbasses. I've had more people say "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" to me that I want to puke. Make up your mind. If you want to say "Merry Christmas", then say it! Be a man (or woman) and make a statement, instead of kowtowing to every stupid special interest group that can't wait for a baby Jesus to show up on municipal property or have a "Holiday Party" at Christmas.

Leave it to a so-called religious holiday to create a division in people. What would Jesus do? He'd tell Bill to "shut the fuck up", have some egg nog and reign fire down on his stupid TV show, while overturning the cameras and making Bill's head explode and his eyeballs melt like that guy in the Indiana Jones movie. Stare at the Ark, Bill. It's OK, really.

It's artificial. Just like you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

One Man and a Baby

President George W. Bush hands back a crying baby that was handed to him from the crowd as he arrived for an outdoor dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Trinwillershagen, Germany, July 13, 2006.

Five Reasons Why the Kid is Crying:

George told the kid that he's gonna go to Iraq in 17 years.
It's Mary Cheney's kid.
George peed on him.
The baby found out that Rumsfeld was Mary's sperm donor.
Wouldn't you be crying if George was holding you?
Merry Christmas kid.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Perfect Holiday Gift

500 Billion Dollars and Nothing to Show for It

There is a mini shit storm going on over at Pam’s place. The comments box is all assed-up over the war and what President Dubya is doing. Here’s my two cents.

This is from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

WASHINGTON - The debate over sending more U.S. troops to Iraq intensified yesterday [Wednesday] as President Bush signaled that he will listen but not necessarily defer to balky military officers, and Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, his top Middle East commander and a leading skeptic of a so-called surge, announced his retirement.
At an end-of-the-year news conference, Bush said he agreed with generals "that there's got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished" before he decides to dispatch an additional 15,000 to 30,000 troops to the war zone. But he declined to repeat his usual formulation that he will heed his commanders when it comes to troop levels.


Bush has traditionally paid public deference to the generals. At a news conference in July, for instance, Bush said he would yield to Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Iraq commander. "Gen. Casey will make the decisions as to how many troops we have there," Bush said. "...I've told him this: I said, 'You decide, General.' "
By yesterday, however, Bush had indicated that he would not necessarily let military leaders decide, ducking a question about whether he would overrule them. "The opinion of my commanders is very important," he said, adding, "I agree with them that there's got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops before I agree on that strategy."

So, what have we learned today? We have learned that the president is clueless and that the people he is sending directly into the war zone are under the command of a man who does not listen to people who are better informed than he is.

Wait … did he use the words “mission” and “accomplished” in the same sentence? This time, he was careful not to use them together like he did on May 1, 2003 on board the USS Abraham Lincoln. Nice one, Shrub.

His top commander retired and the Iraq commander gives him advice that he doesn’t take after saying before that he would. Didn’t the Republicans get a lot of mileage out of calling John Kerry a flip-flopper during the 2004 election? Re-read that second Inquirer paragraph, and see if it looks like a flip-flop.

One would think that having top advisors and even his Secretary of Defense leave that he would get the point, but this guy is steadfast in his stupidity. In a strange way, you have to admire that about the guy. He is continually wrong, yet remains committed. It’s a shame that the people he is in charge of committing cannot say no.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Four Schlepping Days Till Christmas

So, my quick trip to the grocery store resulted in a bit longer visit than necessary. The "15 items or less" line should also be revised to include "3 children or less". The kids with the grabby hands who take candy and throw it onto the conveyor and the mom who says "That's stealing!" are little reminders that perhaps single-hood suits me. Although, while other people's children are often charming and beautiful, I also have the luxury of leaving and returning home to the cat, whose biggest issue is the occasional fur ball or whatever that brown thing is that he vomits at 3am. It scares the crap out of me when I hear it (whatever it is), and I never fail to step into precisely the spot of the vomit at 3:01am when my aging bladder requires the nightly visit to the household can. I believe his devious little cat-brain has positioned it precisely where he figured. But I digress.

It's Christmas, and around the office (my little Hell away from home), it's about time for the bosses to remind the rest of us why we aren't. The holidays, it seems, are the perfect time for them to let us all know that there is a caste system in place, and it isn't about to change. The countdown has begun. Five days till Christmas, and three days until the bossy-messenger arrives with his envelopes full of Christmas cheer for the girls and boys who are deemed more important than myself and the other office drones who made them what they are.
Sometime this week, I assume, the office messenger will arrive with gifts and big checks for the necessary, and apologies and tiny checks for the rest of us. Yes, last year, my boss actually apologized for my year-end bonus (the Christmas bonus, P.C. style) before he handed it to me. I was later to find out exactly why he apologized. The bosses got 3% of their yearly salary and a nice leather briefcase (which they interpreted as a thinly-veiled hint to take work home with them) while the rest of us got $350 and a nice -- card.
Before you dismiss this as Blog-whining, let it be known that those in my salary grade have not had a salary increase since 2001. I blame the Republicans.
I protested (as you could figure I would) to our Human Resources department (which has the Resources, but lacks the Humans) and was later told that my letter, while nicely written, was met with stares of incredulity and later dismissed as sour grapes. I can either take it or leave it, which is precisely why I fear the season and relent my position, even after fifteen years in Hell.
So, anyways, thanks for indulging me. I'll keep you posted - which is Blogger-speak for these silly things we write from time to time, but you already knew that.
A little bitter today. Venting.

On the bright side, there's good news -- here.
Just trying to make some of my Blogger buddies feel better. And me.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Impulse Drive

What motivates you?

Fear is a pretty good motivator. Fear of unemployment makes us do a good job. Fear of having no money makes us keep our jobs – no matter how lousy they are - and around it goes.
Some folks are self-motivated. They can do things on their own with little help from others. Other people need to be constantly under supervision, sometimes to the point of annoying their supervisors. Personal trainers and people like Martha Stewart make decent livings off people like this. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

We all need something to motivate us. I hope that it is a little more than a little poster with a fancy phrase, or a big book full of fancy phrases – like The Bible. Some people read it every day, while others use it to keep their bathroom door from swinging open. It’s very heavy.

One thing that works for me is if I tell someone I’m going to do something. I really want to do it, but the inner lazy-boy would rather not. I tell someone, because I figure that soon enough, they will ask me, "So ... how's that [thing you told me about] going?" I don't want to look like a failure, so generally, I'll follow through.
So, I told someone, “I want to go to college.” Eight years ago, I went into our Human Resources department with a plan and a dream of getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. That motivated me to fill out some forms and start the mission. I set a goal to finish in six years, going part-time, and made it with a month to spare.

Now, I need to tell someone, "I'm going to get a new job, because the one I have now stinks to high Heaven."

So, how do you motivate yourself? Do you get help or do you do it on your own?

As a slight distraction, this is for my readers who somehow don’t find enough time to waste in front of the TV, or are perhaps too motivated to do so, here's the latest Dunkin Donuts commercial:

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fat Kids and Cable Guys

There I am, Sunday night. The venerable 60 Minutes TV show is running an interview with that Larry the Cable Guy. He's one of those examples of the old saying that "no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the general public". Doug Stanhope hates his guts. He can't get through a show without someone yelling "Git 'R' Done!" - even though it isn't Stanhope's line, and besides, what's the point?

Anyway ... I'm watching this interview with Bob Simon, and two things strike me. One is that his stage voice is a put-on. He's from Nebraska, born and reared, and while he speaks with a bit of a drawl, it isn't nearly as affected as the voice he uses on stage. Do you know anyone from Nebraska that talks like that? I suppose we could accept it as an "act", but I've never been one to buy into the act, whether it's that Yakov Smirnoff (who I figure is a total fraud, but his fifteen minutes were up a long time ago) or that Borat guy, who's just a pain in the ass, plain and simple. As you could imagine, Larry isn't even his real name. It's Dan Whitney. But I guess Dan the Cable Guy ... wait ... he's not a cable guy either? Right.
So, OK, I'll accept the fact that he's a midwesterner playing South and the whole deal is a put-on - get over it. Then, the interview gets around to discussing his management team, and what the guy makes for an appearance.
Sit down, unless you have a fully paid health care program.

The guy takes in between ... wait for it ... $250,000 and $300,000 per appearance. Per appearance. That's what he makes per appearance. Did I make it clear? Per appearance. Running his mouth for an hour and telling those dopey jokes. A quarter of a million per night. Now, I really don't get it. His agent was lamenting the fact that Larry used to earn a paltry $5,000 a night before he found the Cable Guy golden egg. That's a shame. It's nice to see he's finally made something out of himself.
Anyway, nice going Larry - er, umm - Dan. Whether or not I miss the point, I suppose millions of Americans can't be wrong - or can they?

Suburban Sprawl is working on your kids, too.

A view of a neighborhood in the town of Superior, Colorado, a Denver suburb. U.S. children who live in expansive suburbs may start to pay for it with expansive waistlines, new research suggests.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - U.S. children who live in expansive suburbs may start to pay for it with expansive waistlines, new research suggests. Using data from a national health survey, researchers found that teenagers living in sprawling suburbs were more than twice as likely to be overweight as teens in more compact urban areas.

Since they have to be driven everywhere, and find walking to be a bit of a chore, junior's ass is getting rounder, but Dr. Reid Ewing of the University of Maryland has a solution:

In communities where it's not possible for children to walk to school, or where they don't even have sidewalks to use, parents may need to make an effort to help their kids get active, according to Ewing. "Get them away from the TV and get them into sports or some organized activity," he suggested.

Good luck, doc. Where I live, the school bus stops every fifty feet to pick up another kid. Apparently, there's a law against making a kid walk a block to get the bus (let alone walk to school) so the bus stops at every house. Fix the rules before you fix the kids.
In other places, Physical Education programs are being trimmed or cut altogether, so even if the kids get to school, they aren't doing anything but sitting on their asses all day.
Then, they get home and tune in the iPod, Play Station 3, Internet or God forbid the TV for 10 hours a day. These aren't my numbers, folks.

You can blame trans fats, fast food or TV if you want, but maybe it's as simple as our declining lifestyle? After all, where were the fitness centers 30 years ago, when we were kids? A gym was a place where they played basketball and volleyball. Now, we go there for exercise classes - and we're still fat. Go figure.
Every new thing that comes along is designed to make our lives easier, and relegate our movements to pushing a button or watching something. Kids would rather play Fantasy Football than real football. Walk somewhere? You must be out of your mind. I watch cars circle parking lots for fifteen minutes looking for a parking spot, when they could just as easily use the first one they see and walk to the door.

It's a constant struggle for kids and adults, and the way things are going, it won't get any easier. The next time you drop your kids off someplace, try leaving them about a block from where they're going, and check the look you get when you ask them to walk.
The next voice you hear will be your local Child Abuse Prevention Hotline representative.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tag, I'm It

OK, so I'm sitting around, minding my own B. I. business, and this Pam character tags me.
Here are the rules :
Find the nearest book.
Name the book
The author
Turn to page 123
Go to the fifth sentence on the page
Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.

The book that is closest to me on the bookshelf:
The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman

This was the John Lennon who could have led the Beatles forward to become the first great hard rock band of the Sixties. They might have rocked with the tough working-class beligerence of The Who, becoming a group whose musical gestures, seconded by corresponding stage gestures, would have created a rock theater that could have enabled John Lennon to enact the psychodrama seething inside his soul. The machine-wrecking tactics of The Who would have suited Lennon right down to the ground, and eventually he might have written his own Tommy (as, in a way, he did with the Primal Scream Album).

Much more interesting than Pam's. I think it would make a great choice for your book club.

I'll have to think about whom to tag. Watch your comments boxes, Blogger buddies.