Thursday, April 1, 2010

Almost got me.

OK, so April Fools' Day is over (or as it is sometimes called All Fools' Day) and as usual, the Internet was rife with phony news stories designed to reel us in and make us look ... foolish.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States will get its latest unemployment count Friday, with high expectations that the tally will herald an improving job market and a quickening economic recovery.
Sure. Har, de har. With Obama pushing the country to the brink of ruin, how could anything good happen?
WASHINGTON – Reversing course, Army Secretary John McHugh warned soldiers Thursday that they still can be discharged for acknowledging they are gay, saying he misspoke earlier this week when he suggested the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy had been temporarily suspended.
April Fool, you gay bastards! We really got you with that one. How cool is it that it took about 20 years to formulate that one? Good pranks take time.
PORTLAND, Maine – Facing a public still wary of his massive health care overhaul, President Barack Obama urged Americans not to judge the nearly $1 trillion legislation he signed into law last week until the reforms take hold.
During an enthusiastic, campaign-style appearance in Maine's largest city, Obama mocked the pundits and pollsters who say he isn't getting a boost from his yearlong campaign to pass the sweeping reform.
Sure, like I'm going to believe that. Patience? Where is patience when we're rushing headlong into Socialism? How are the Republicans supposed to remain relevant if they can't scare us into a panic? Nice try. The next thing you're going to tell me is that Sarah Palin has her own TV show. Oh.
Meanwhile, at least one store seems to be in the spirit of the day...
NORFOLK, Va. – A Poquoson man who said he fell after stepping in dog feces at a PetSmart store has filed a $1 million negligence lawsuit against the company. Robert Holloway alleges in his lawsuit in U.S. District Court that he badly injured his back, struck his head and knocked out four teeth when he slipped in January 2009 at a Newport News PetSmart. He alleges that PetSmart and its manager should have protected him from a hazardous condition created when they allowed animals to defecate on the floor.
In court documents, Phoenix-based PetSmart denied the negligence allegations.
Poop? Really? Is that the best you can do?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obviously, the work of Satan - or just a coincidence.

“People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them."
- Dave Barry
WASHINGTON (AFP)* Nearly 40 percent of US Christian churches saw a drop in offerings from their flock last year, according to a survey on contributions compiled by the group Christianity Today International.
"For the first time in consecutive years there is a notable decline for a significant number of churches," said Matt Branaugh, one of the report authors.
Lawd-a-mighty, what is we gonna do? The recession has hit religion.
According to the survey of 1,000 churches across the United States taken for a second consecutive year, 38 percent of churches registered a drop in donations, against 29 percent the previous year.
The "State of the Plate" survey did not report the value of the offerings.
One third of the churches surveyed -- 32 percent against 14 percent the previous year - cut expenses between one and 20 percent, which included cutting back on trips, conferences, renovations and parish expenses, according to the report.
One thing they did not cut back on was property tax expenses. Oh ...
Religion is fascinating to me, but especially fascinating are the people involved in it. Good things, they say, are provided by God (their God) but bad things are God's will or some sort of test of their faith. When they survive some sort of horrible accident they say that "God was looking out for me," while failing to admit that God put them in that place to begin with. It's kind of flimsy.
When someone wins a sporting event or other such contest they thank God for giving them the victory, as though the loser is some sort of heathen who deserved his fate. That's a selfish viewpoint. Once, I'd like to hear someone thank Satan for helping him triumph over God. That would be interesting television.
Maybe we'll start to see churches close because of economic hardship the same way we have seen governments close libraries, cut spending and programs? After all, what's the difference between Lutherans, Presbyterians and Baptists anyway? It's like Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. They're all built on the same platform. Even dopes like the people running General Motors realized that it was time to stop building Buick's. There are too many divisions of God. Stop building a few and get the gang together. Consolidation works for business, and there is hardly a bigger business than organized religion. You can do it - God will help you.
Maybe the economic hardship of millions of Americans will force churches to downsize the way business has downsized? Perhaps churches will start to charge their attendees a fee rather than expect them to tithe a given amount every week the same way government taxes us for owning property? Going to church on Sunday? Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. $25 plus a small "convenience fee."
States like New Jersey are cutting funding for education and raising taxes on their residents to get the state through massive budget deficits. What's more important - educating a kid or forcing him to go to church? Do you really need that giant pipe organ? How about a nice CD player? And while we're at it, those churches are a little gaudy. All that fancy woodwork and marble. Whatever happened to plywood and a nice plastic bench? Is it about God or architecture? Do you need heat and air conditioning? God will provide your comfort.
Cities like Philadelphia are proposing a tax on sweetened beverages and have already taxed its residents $300 for trash pickup. I wonder how much money they could bring in if they started - finally started - taxing the property that is owned by churches in the state? It would take a brave politician to propose taxing churches.
Maybe then they could start paying for their representation and putting some money toward the government that they so loudly voice their opinion over. Religious groups all over the country carry signs and scream about issues and elected officials, yet pay nothing toward the maintenance of the system. I'm tired of listening to their church-funded opinions without seeing anything going in the government's collection plate. Ten percent would be nice.
We'll call it God's will.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A slow news day.

Basketball is something like life. Not a lot like life, but something like it. For example, the last 2 minutes take a half hour, because we value last two minutes of something more than the first two minutes. They run up and down the court for two hours only to have the outcome hinge on the last 2 minutes. Why don't they just play two minutes and get it over with?
That's why holiday shopping is such a farce. We put off purchases until the last day, thinking that the options will suddenly become clear to us, but they do not. The options are always the same, it's just the time constraint that changes.
It's funny to me when a team is ten points down with 30 seconds left, and they call a time out. The options do not change then either, and they are still left wondering. The guys on TV say that coaches don't want to go into the locker room with time out's remaining. That's nice, and it makes their employers think that they have done everything possible to win, but they're just acting like they have, which seems to be the priority. Maybe if they were more concerned at the beginning of the second half they wouldn't have to panic at the end. That's like the guy who has a high school reunion coming up in 6 weeks and suddenly decides he needs to lose 80 pounds. Ain't gonna happen.
Network TV loves it because they get to show more commercials. Those of us watching know the outcome, but we still watch thinking that some miracle will happen. It doesn't. The reason TV doesn't give up on lost causes is because of that Jets-Raiders football game in 1968. They called it "The Heidi Bowl" because the game ran into the time frame allotted for NBC to show "Heidi." Since the game's outcome seemed certain, NBC cut away with 65 seconds remaining and showed the movie at its original starting time. Then, the Raiders came back to win and nobody saw it. Now, games that are way out of hand remain on until the final seconds tick away. A 42-year old lesson. But that is football, and I digress.
The Final Four is set, and although there are still three games left to play, they call it final. Only one 1-seed remains, and I wonder how many clueless people will win their office pools because their grandson attends Butler University or they think that Michigan is a nice State. Either way, I'm out ten bucks.
Why do I have a can of chick peas in my cupboard? Do I live at Saladworks? Don't do the grocery shopping when you're drunk. A little tip for the kids reading out there.