Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 in Review

Well folks, here we are again at the end of a year. And I’ve decided to bore you all once again with my best and worst for 2007. So, without further ado, here we go!

Best moment of 2007:
Welcoming my second nephew into the world. Welcome, little guy! We’ll try to keep the world in one piece until you’re old enough to take over.

Worst moment of 2007:
Seeing a well-liked boss leaving a post he had held for 12 years. Stupid voters. Not ALL Republicans are bad (just most of them!)

Best Sports moment of 2007:
OSU: 14
UM : 3
‘Nuff said

Worst Sports moment of 2007:
Florida: 41
OSU: 14
Again, ‘Nuff said

Best movie of 2007:
Hearing the voice of the original Optimus Prime and hearing the familiar Sound of a Transformer after years nearly brought a tear to my eye. Pirates of the Caribbean 3 was a close second.

Worst movie of 2007:
Ghost Rider
This movie nearly made me throw up in my mouth. Little tip folks: When the main character becomes a hero by SELLING HIS SOUL TO THE DEVIL then it might be just a little too dark for the big screen. Not EVERY Marvel comic deserves to be made into a movie. Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer was a close second.

Best new TV show of 2007:
I’ll let you know if I ever find one worth watching. Nothing so far. Seriously. If this is the best the writers can come up with, maybe they should STAY on strike!

TV show I will miss the most when it’s gone:
Scrubs. This show is one of the funniest, smartest, most thoughtful sitcoms I’ve ever seen. And you can count the number of sitcoms I’ve said that about on the fingers of one hand.

TV show I will miss the LEAST when it’s gone:
Far too many to list here!

New Year’s Resolution I’m most likely to keep:
Umm…can I get back to you on that? :)

New Year’s Resolution I’m LEAST likely to keep:
To write more often in this blog!

That’s all I’ve got for now. See everyone in 2008. Have a safe and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas?

Two days ago, at work, I received a call from my father, who informed me that one of my best friends from High School (and for a long time thereafter) was found dead in his apartment. He apparently died from self-induced alcohol poisoning.

So. Here we are. 3 days away from Christmas. And I find out that a man who once was as close to me as a brother decided that his life wasn't worth living.

What goes through a person's mind when they reach such a state?

Oh, I've heard all the usual theories. It's a chemical imbalance. It's the time of the year. It's despair. It's any number of things.

I don't buy that.

This man and I were almost the same age. We both were unmarried. We both lived alone.

But he chose to end his life. Perhaps accidentally, perhaps on purpose. We may never know.

So why did he do it?

I think it's because he wanted to take the easy way out.

I know that someday someone who knew both of us may read this post and be very angry at me for saying that. I don't give a flying fuck. I'm seriously pissed off.

My daily life is miserable. I'm stuck in a dead-end job with little or no room for advancement. I'm 40 years old and I live alone except for a neurotic dog. I have little to be happy about.

But I keep going. Because I know that the people in my life would be miserable if I didn't. Like I am right now.

And I am mad at him for that.

It's irrational. It's insensitive. It's wrong on many levels. But it's how I feel.

And I hate myself for it.

And I hope that venting myself like this will help me get over it. And remember that this man was my best friend, and that I should be happy for the time we spent together, and for the many fond memories we created.

As a final word, let me say this: My friend, I will miss you. And although we drifted apart over the years, I treasured your friendship. I didn't have many friends in High school, and the fact that you chose to be my friend when you could have had many friends who were cooler makes me happy. May you find the peace in death that apparently eluded you in life. Goodbye.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Burn On, Big River

I make no secret of the fact that I am a fan of Ohio State. You need only to look at the colors of the banner ads to the right of this post to see that. And I have little or no use for the NFL.

(By the way, I remind the 3 readers of this blog that any revenue I receive from clicks on the banner ads from this blog will be donated to the USO)

That being said, I am a fan of the Cleveland Browns. Throughout history, there has been NO city that has experienced the loss of its professional football team, only to gain ANOTHER NFL franchise, AND keep the name of the original. 3 cheers to Cleveland. This is a city that was immortalized in song by Randy Newman for being infamous for having the only river that actually caught on fire.

This is a city that has the Cleveland Indians. Another Major League franchise that has the dubious distinction of winning 3 games in the American League championship and then losing the last 4.

This is a city that allowed lobbyists to put an issue on the ballot that would've allowed a casino.

But this is also a city that has cleaned up its river to the point where it is no longer in danger of catching fire.

This is a city that was strong enough to regain an NFL franchise. With the same name.

And The Browns have kept themselves in Playoff contention for the season. With defense.

It will be poetio justice if the Browns manage to make the playoffs on the strength of their defense.

Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Another One.

So. There has been another random psycho shooting.

I picked up The Blade the following morning and saw that the story about it was sharing space with a story about a local refinery merging with another company.

Are we, as a country, so inured to random acts of gun violence that we believe such a story is no longer deserving of exclusive front page coverage?

If so, I fear for our future.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Go Sooners!

I am getting so sick of every sports talking head and their mothers saying Ohio State does not deserve the number 3 ranking they enjoy. Everyone complains about their "weak" schedule, because they played, among others, Youngstown, Akron, and Kent.

First of all, while none of these teams will ever be considered a college football powerhouse, you have to remember where OSU's coach is from: Before gaining the Buckeye coaching job, he was Coach at Youngstown. He is a product of Ohio, plain and simple. And he likes being able to give college football teams from Ohio the national attention (not to mention the money) they get when they play prestigious teams like Ohio State on national television.

Second, there is no such thing as a "weak" schedule when you play in the Big Ten Conference, particularly when you are leading the conference. Every team you play brings its A game to the field. It's no coincidence that 9 of the 11 Big Ten teams (yes, I know it makes no sense) have winning records, and that 10 of them are bowl-eligible.

Third, people make a lot of the fact that OSU lost to Illinois. Fact is, Illinois is a LOT better than many people give them credit for. I knew they would be good LAST year, when I saw their quarterback play. Mark my words: You will see this guy playing on Sundays in a couple of years (barring injury of course). And this year, when they got a good running back to go with him, they became great. They may very well win the Big Ten next year. It's no surprise Ron Zook was named Big Ten coach of the year.

So I will root for Oklahoma to beat Missouri tonight. And if they do, thus allowing OSU to sneak into the championship game through the back door, then I will be happy without any remorse. Maybe they'll get a chance to avenge their loss last January. If not, well, that's football.

Oh, and one other thing: Wherever the Buckeyes go for a bowl, about 50,000 loyal fans follow. Lord knows, New Orleans could certainly use the economic windfall they would receive from that!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I realize I have been lackluster in my postings of late. I could laugh it off by saying I have been busy lately, but that would be a lie. The truth is that I am just lazy (this should come as no surprise to any of you the 3 readers of this blog!)

But, I would like to make a Thanksgiving post.

I am Thankful for:

1) My family. My father. My Sister. Her husband. My nephews. My cousins. My living Aunts and Uncles.
2) My Job. In this day and age, I am grateful to have a job that allows me to not have to moonlight to pay the bills. Almost.
3) My Dog. I adopted Minnie more than 4 years ago. I've never lacked for companionship since. Dogs offer us the only love in the world that is absolutely unconcditional.
4) My Friends. In this day and age, having people that will stand by you is a rare thing. It is to be treasured.

There are probably many more things, but these are what I came up with for this post.

As we head into this Christmas season, with the promise of the most turbulent election year in history ahead of us, it is good to remember that there are still a few things to be thankful for. I invite any reader of this post to add what you are thankful for in the comments. Thank you and God bless!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Buckeyes Fall

OK. So the Biting Illini beat the Buckeyes. Meh.

I knew it would happen.

Ohio State did not focus on this game. They were thinking about next week.

As a result, they lost.

And next week, the Ohio State/Michigan game has no significance, other than to prove which team is better.

As it should be.

On, Wisconsin!

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin, plunge right through that line.
Run the ball clear down the field, a touchdown sure this time.
On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin, fight on for her fame.
Fight, fellows, fight, fight, fight, we'll win this game.

Wisconsin 37
Michigan 21


Well done, Badgers!

Now if the Buckeyes can just beat them next week...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Script Writers: An Oxymoron

So. The Hollywood script writers are on strike. I have to say I'm of two minds about the whole thing.

On the one hand, as a union member, I sympathize with any union fighting big business. I also agree that TV studios are milking every last cent they can get from TV shows. It seems like a TV show doesn't even have to last a full season in order to be released on DVD. And then there's the full episodes available on the web. And every other trick Studios use to milk every last cent out of everything they produce.

But on the other hand, have you SEEN some of the new stuff coming out of Hollyweird lately?! Let's run down the lineup, shall we?

Cavemen: Possibly the dumbest show I've ever seen, created from a series of unfunny GEICO commercials. Whoever decided this show would be a good idea needs to be stabbed repeatedly in the heart with a rusty butterknife.

Journeyman: Let's see: A guy travels back in time to fix things that went wrong. I think I saw this show before. It was called Quantum Leap.

Life: A man is wrongfully accused of murder, gets out of prison, and works to clear his name while applying lessons learned in prison to his job as a policeman, meanwhile being clueless about certain aspects of modern life. I can't begin to count the number of shows this is ripping off, everything from The Pretender to The Fugitive.

Bionic Woman: The latest entry in the "Women are Powerful" genre. Look, there was a reason this show only lasted 2 seasons back in the '70's--It SUCKED! And the new show's not much better. This latest entry from the Women's Lib genre is following the same formula as the original, and it will likely meet the same fate.

Chuck: This show looked so dumb I didn't even watch it. I don't know what it's about, and I don't care.

There are probably many more that I'm forgetting, but I have to say that so far I haven't seen a single new fall show worth investing my time in. If this is the best that Hollywood writers can turn out, maybe they should stay on strike and make way for new talent. God knows they couldn't do any worse.

Meanwhile, if this strike lasts, we're condemned to a steady diet of Reality and Repeats. Thank God for my large collection of DVD's.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Strike Two!

OK, so here we go again, folks!

UAW members working for Chrysler have walked off the job.

Most people in the know say this strike may last considerably longer than the one against GM.

And again, the power of the nation's most powerful union will again be put to the test.

This time, a much more powerful one.

Update (11:30 PM) The strike is over, almost as quickly as it began. I gotta wonder just who is blinking in these standoffs. I have to believe that after not one, but two called strikes, the auto companies are terrified that they do not want to face the massive production losses created by strikes. It wouldn't take more than a few weeks of no production to drive an American Auto manufacturer to desperation.

At least, that's what I hope.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


The line between commercials and programming has officially been erased.

This fall, ABC debuts a new sitcom called "Cavemen", which involves characters created by the insurance company GEICO for a series of commercials.

First of all, the commercials weren't even that funny. Second, of all the boneheaded ideas the programming execs at ABC could have come up with, creating an entire series based on a group of about 5 un-funny commercials ranks right up there with New Coke in terms of bad business decisions.

I seriously hope this ridiculous series dies the quick but painful death it so richly deserves.

And that Big Business will learn that some lines should never be crossed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shortest. Strike. Ever.

Yesterday, I posted an entry about the U.A.W. strike against GM.

Today, that strike ended as quickly as it began

I don't know who blinked, and I'm sure neither side will ever admit who it was.

But the dispute is over, pending ratification of the new agreement.

Today, I was introduced to the process of a contract negotiation. Y'see, I am a union steward.

And I gotta say this: Good God!

Any outsider with no experience can wonder why contract negotiations can take so long.

Anyone who has the slightest inkling of what goes on at the bargaining table would never question that.

I will never again accept a bargaining committee nomination.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This is IT!

So. The strike is on.

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last day and a half, you know that the U.A.W. has gone on strike against GM. This strike will be the true test of whether organized labor has any real power left.

I don't claim to know all the details, but I know that the big issue separating the 2 sides of the bargaining table is--of course--health care. What a surprise.

The figure I've heard is that GM currently pays approximately $1300 per vehicle it manufactures to cover the costs of health care for its current and former employees. I can't imagine the other American automakers pay much less.

And that is the problem! American manufacturers are losing their competitive edge in every market due to the rising cost of health care in this country. And they seem to have NO problem with that.

I mean, if American business was at all serious about cutting their manufacturing costs, they would press the government to provide universal health care, thus removing a major cost of doing business. But there is no interest in doing that. They are more interested in buying politicians to give them more tax breaks while blaming workers for their financial woes.

So I will be interested to see how this strike turns out. The PR machines of both sides are in full-on attack mode. And, while the U.A.W. may be in the weaker position financially, they have the power of the people. Including me.

It remains to be seen how powerful that power is.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Progress?! I thought "major combat operations have ended" in Iraq!

Does this mean Bush lied? Surely not! He would never lie!

Would he?

(Thanks to for the video.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007



That was the score of last Saturday's Michigan-Oregon game

Oregon was the team with the 39, by the way.

Oregon's mascot is the Duck

Michigan dropped the game to Oregon.

The team that was supposed to have dominated the Big 11 has now lost its first 2 games of the season

On a smaller note, Ohio State's offense was rendered nearly useless by Akron.

Could there finally be a state of equity in College football?

Time will tell.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day

First, a brief history lesson:

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the "working man". It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a federal holiday by Act of Congress in 1894. (source:

But nowadays, what began as a federal Holiday created to honor the Organized labor movement has now, sadly, become something else entirely. About the only thing closed on Labor day any more is the government. Labor Unions, once a powerful force to be reckoned with, have been reduced to a shadow of their former selves, thanks to the actions of Wal-Mart and other corporate powers that work actively day in and day out to diminish the power of organized labor even further.

It was the power of organized labor that instituted the 40-hour work week, the child labor laws, and scores of other laws that forced businesses to treat their employees like people instead of assets to be used up and then disposed of. Corporate America has never forgotten that, and they have been working ever since to undo those changes. And they have time and an endless supply of money on their side.

So before you, the 3 readers of this blog, kick back and enjoy your barb-B-Q and beer, pause and take a minute to reflect what your life would be like without the laws Organized labor instituted. For one thing, you'd probably be working right now instead of reading this.

Then, count your blessings.

By the way, for those of you keeping score at home, this makes 3 posts in 3 days. That's a personal record for me!

Restoring My Faith

Yesterday, September 1st, I went shopping at the newly opened COSTCO wholesale store.

But when I went onto my pocket to pay for my purchases, I discovered that I had lost my money clip with all my cash in it. I had to visit the local ATM to get more cash to pay for my purchases.

After spending a day searching my house for it, I decided to call COSTCO on a hunch. I was informed that someond had found the clip and turned it in to the office.

I went back and retrieved it, and discovered that all the cash that was in it was still completely intact. I asked who had turned it in, only to discover that it had been returned by an anonymous employee, robbing me of any opportunity to financailly reward this good Samaritan.

This act of anonymous kindness has, at least temporarily, restored my faith in the human condition, and given me hope that there may be a slim chance that we as a race will survive in the long run. Maybe.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Appalachian State

Division 1-AA school Appalachian State has defeated Michigan in what may be the upset of the year, decade, century, or EVER.

In the first few games of the year, the major teams of Division 1-A college football pay large amounts of money to bring small, easily beatable teams to their home fields to massacre them. The Big schools get easy wins, and the small schools get national exposure for their stars and a big paycheck.

But today, that strategy may be turned on its end.

Because, today, for the first time in years, decades, or CENTURIES, the sacrificial lamb turned tails and devoured the feaster.

Every other weak team fulfilled its job, lost, and went home with a big paycheck for its division.

App. state refused to do that. They BEAT their Goliath. And they earned 400K for doing so.

Hopefully, the message they sent was that just because the scouts ignore the 2nd tier players, it doesn't mean don't have the talent to be the best.

Because if today has proved anything, it is that you cannot count ANYBODY out!

Go Bucks!

Update (9/2/03): Bowling Green State University, a local team, upset Minnesota in OT. Another lamb slaughters its would-be killer! God, I love it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Support the War, Dammit!

This morning, a conservative group launched a $15 million ad campaign encouraging all Americans to support the continuing disas--er--liberation of Iraq.

They are saying the same old thing over again: Just hang on, people! The more money, resources, and troops we pour into Iraq, the better things will be. And once General Petraeus gives his assessment of the current situation in Iraq, everything will be wine and roses.

This, of course, is complete and total BULLSHIT!

Even if Petraeus gives a rosy evaluation of the current situation in Iraq, anyone with half a brain will realize that he is at best greatly exagerating, and at worst lying through his teeth, probably on the orders of the Administration.

But the problem is, we won't care! NOBODY gives a shit about the thousands of American troops who have been killed needlessly. We as a country are apparently more interested in the latest antics of Linday Lohan or Paris Hilton. Even when tragedies happen right here at home, as in the case of the Utah mine disaster, there is no public outcry! There is no demand for a stringent re-evaluation of mine safety regulations. As long as we have our endless diet of reality TV and Hollywood gossip, we are apparently content to let tragedy and mayhem occur unchecked, both here and abroad. The Constitution is in tatters, people are arrested without charges or trial, and a willing media trumpets lost causes 24 hours a day. But we as a people seem to be OK with it all!

We face a future of endless war abroad and constant surveillance at home, and yet we don't seem to mind one bit. George Orwell's vision of our bleak future seems to have turned out to be 100% correct--He was simply a couple of decades ahead of reality.

THAT is the nation--and the world--we will be handing over to our children. May they forgive us someday. I wouldn't.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cheney Said it Himself!

Key words to focus on: "Quagmire". "Pieces of Iraq". "Endless casualties".

(Say the same words as a Democrat and you are branded a "coward", a "Cut and runner" or a "Traitor".)

Could this be it? Could this video flying around the internet be the final nail in the Administration's coffin? Could this be the first sign of the disintegration of a White House that lacks the guidance of Karl Rove for the first time in nearly 8 years?

Nah. The American people have been shrugging this shit off for years. Why stop doing that now?

Prove me wrong, if you can.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Home Run Champ

Barry Bonds.

He is now the Home Run King.

That's it.

I will say no more about it than this: He has hit more home runs in the Major Leagues than any other person who plays major league baseball.

And there is no other way to respond to that.

Until some other baseball player hits more home runs than he did, that record will hold. Period.

It does not matter that he may or may not have used performance enhancing drugs. The fact is that if a man has the ability to swing a stick of wood so that it connects with a 3 and a half inch sphere traveling at him at 90+ miles per hour and sends that sphere over 390 feet, he deserves a level of respect that no mortal can manage. I could never do that if I injected myself with 7000 vials of steoroids And I respect any man or woman who can do that.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Kingdom of Loathing

I heartily recommend this game to the three people who read this blog! It's fun!

And today is Saint Sneaky Pete's day!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Knew It

I figured it would only be a matter of time:

I mean, one of the top Democratic presidential candidates having a first name that was only one letter away from the world's most notorious terrorist--I knew it would be inevitable.

Once again proving that there is no limit to how low the other side will go.

By the way, in case you were wondering, that's Mitt Romney smiling in that picture. And he was more than happy to autograph it.

Thanks to BuckeyeStateBlog for the picture.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Great Britain: Strong as an Ox

(This is a semi-follow-up to yesterday's post.)

It would seem that Hollywood, and perhaps the world in general, seems to think that England will always prevail.

You see, much in the same way New York City always seems to be destined to be destroyed in the movies, England always seems to be destined to survive whatever apocalypse will destroy the world not so very long from now.

By the way, why is it that celluloid versions of the future always seem to depict the world of the future(s) either as a high-tech utopia or a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Of all the movies I've seen, only Minority Report seemed to achieve some kind of middle ground between the two.

But I digress. As I was saying, England always seems destined to somehow survive whatever cataclysm has rendered the rest of the future world a barbaric wasteland. You see it in everything from movies like Shaun of the Dead to V for Vendetta. (And if you haven't seen either of those movies, stop reading now and go to your local video store and pick them up. You won't be disappointed.)

What is it about England that has everyone convinced it will survive?

Well, for starters, part of it may have to do with the fact that it survived for so long. I mean, here is an island nation whose total land mass is less than the state of Idaho (I include Northern Ireland), with limited natural resources, and with no shortage of enemies throughout the ages. And it's a nation that has not only survived centuries of brutal military assaults, but has beaten them all back and in most cases repaid the favor in spades.

It's also the nation that founded this nation of ours, and that, despite our differences over the decades, remains to this day one of our strongest allies.

It's also a nation that maintains its standing as one of the oldest surviving monarchies, despite the fact that its monarch is little more than a figurehead, and that its royal family is lately plagued by more scandals than Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Michael Jackson combined.

And it's a nation that is famous for the "Stiff upper lip", the trademark stoicism that has carried the British through crisis after crisis for years.

In fact, the only thing I can think of that will bring Great Britain down is if some kind of plant virus were to destroy every single tea leaf in the world.

Without tea, England would be gone in a day.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Children of Men

I recommend that the 3 readers of this Blog do 4 things.

1) Rent the movie in the Title of this post.

2) Watch the movie and the special features.

3) Pray for the survival of mankind.

4) Hope that our children will forgive us for the world we are leaving for them.

Good night, and Good Luck.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Ran across this car in the parking lot of a local grocery store. Please, please, PLEASE tell me this is not the saddest thing you've ever seen in your life:

Seriously, personalized license plates aren't cheap. So how much sense does it make to spend that kind of money to advertise to the world what a complete and total dork you are?

Perhaps the words of William Shatner can best explain how sad this is:

You know, before I answer any more questions there's something I wanted to say. Having received all your letters over the years, and I've spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled... y'know... hundreds of miles to be here, I'd just like to say... GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're dressed! You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME!

I mean, how old are you people? What have you done with yourselves?

You, you must be almost 30... have you ever kissed a girl?

I didn't think so! There's a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn't watch television! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements! And get your own apartments and GROW THE HELL UP! I mean, it's just a TV show dammit, IT'S JUST A TV SHOW!

Now I realize that he was talking about trekkies--sorry, trekkERS--but just replace the words "TV Show" with "movie", and replace William Shatner with Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford, and then imagine the owner of that car standing in the front row of the crowd. Suddenly the speech isn't so much a humorous SNL sketch as it is a desparate cry for help.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The One True Church--NOT!

This week, Poop--er Pope Benedict XVI has approved a document asserting that Catholicsm is the One True Religion, and that the Eastern Orthodox Churches are defective, and that other Christian Churches are not true churches.

And may I say to Poop-er Pope Benedict XVI this: Fuck You!

And may I further add: And the horse you rode in on!

Perhaps I should change that to the Chariot you rode in on.

Yes, the Chariot. For you, as the head of the Catholic church, have refused to acknowledge that there may be any advances of mankind past the wheel.

You see, God gave us the power of imagination.

And that power enabled us to imagine that there might be something to do other that spend our entire life worshipping Him.

That power enabled us to imagine that some day, humankind might find a cure for diseases that had killed millions of us.

That power enabled us to imagine that someday we would break the bonds of gravity and fly.

That power enabled us to imagine that some day, humankind might esape the bonds of this Earth, and live in the Stars.

That power enabled us to imagine that we as a people would launch a deep space probe named Voyager, loaded with data that NASA scientists thought was the best humanity had to offer, into the interstellar void.

And that power of imagination helps me to think that my 2 nephews will one day lead humanity in establishing a human Republic in Space that will last for Millienia. Hey, a man can dream.

And, most importantly, that power of imagination helped us believe that God wouldn't mind if people chose to worship Him in dozens, if not hundreds, of different ways.

So I reject your finding that there is no other valid religion. As I have rejected every other tenet from a religion that seems to want to stay permanently mired in the 15th century. Mankind has progressed in spite of the Catholic church, not because of it. And I have to believe that we are all the better for it.

Monday, July 09, 2007


So. I went to see Sicko over the weekend.

Yes, I have seen every Michael Moore film ever made. In case you hadn't noticed, I am an unabashed liberal. I make no apologies for this. I firmly believe that every social advancement in this country has been championed by liberals. Abolition of slavery immediately pops to mind...

So, keeping the film in mind, I reject any arguments that Moore has created a propaganda piece designed to demonize the American medical system, and advance the cause of socialized medicine.

As Moore pointed out, we have socialized a lot of things in this country. Fire, police, education (for the most part) spring to mind.

So why not health care?

Because, in 1971, a man named Kaiser managed to convince the Republican Administration that providing health care could be profitable. The same administration that created the Environmental Protection Agency, by the way.

I firmly believe that the Health Maintenance Organization was created to help people. After all, who could be unhappy about companies that had the ultimate goal of encouraging people to live a more healthy lifestyle?

But over the course of the next 30+ years, that goal became corrupted. The almighty dollar reared its ugly head. And these companies became increasingly profitable by demonstrating how much care they could NOT provide, instead of the reverse. And as the insurance and drug companies showed increasing profits, they gained even more incentive to make those profits even larger. It became a vicious cycle of greed.

It culminated in the deregulation of drug companies in the mid-90's. A flood of commercials for drug companies hit the airwaves, driving the demand for drugs to treat everything from high cholesterol to erectile dysfunction.

As a result, we as a nation watched our quality of health care decline even as its costs rose. I myself, in the 11+ years I have been in my current job, have seen my health care costs more than quadruple. And I have insurance!

Conservatives complain that Moore's film lionizes the health care systems of other countries while ignoring their faults. Not one mention is made of the faults readily apparent in our own system of health care.

After all, if you had a choice between waiting a few weeks for a medical procedure or being totally denied that procedure, which would you choose?

I thought so.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Pardon in all but Name

So. Scooter Libby has received a full pard--er, commutation of his sentence from Idiot Boy--er, president Bush.

What this means is that the only man to be held slightly accountable for leaking the name of a covert CIA operative to the media, thus ending her career, will not spend a day in jail, and his token fines (you may think 250K is not such a token fine, but consider that a special fundraising commitee has already raised 2 Million for his defense and any financial penalties he may incur) will not even cause him the slightest inconvenience.

And while you may say that now he is a man with a criminal record (pending reversal on appeal), I might point out that many other people involved in White House scandals and who now have criminal records to show for it have gone on to have long and prosperous careers (G. Gordon Liddy, I'm looking your way here!)

The Constitution of the United States states: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

Valerie Plame was heavily involved with countering the efforts of rogue nations, terrorist groups, and other nefarious characters to obtain materials for constructing nuclear weapons. She did this, presumably, by building a secret network of informants throughout several African states which posessed the resources necessary to construct these weapons. These informants would in turn inform her of anyone attempting to obtain said materials. In other words, she was doing the job she had been assigned to. We will probably never know how well. It is a well-known tenet that only the failures of the CIA are ever known.

But publication of her name in the media ended those efforts for good. And irreparably destroyed her career. All in the name of embarassing her husband, a well-known critic of the Bush Regime. A regime, I might point out, that considers any criticism of it to be treason of the highest order.

Scooter Libby, leaking the name of Valerie Plame, committed treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy, by way of letting them know exactly who they could not trust. He no doubt did this on the orders of Vice President Cheney and/or Karl Rove and/or "President" Bush. We will probably never know just how high up on the food chain that order came from.

But we will always know that Scooter Libby committed Treason as defined by the Constitution. And he will never spend a single day behind bars for doing so.
And that is a disgrace.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Close the Book

Last Thursday, NBC aired the final episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It was the last of a 4-episode arc obviously originally intended for sweeps month.

I was a huge fan of this show from the beginning. It was made by the creators of The West Wing and was aimed at fans of that show, like me. It featured sharp humor, liberal politics, and, most importantly, excellent writing! This last item is a feature that is rapidly disappearing from Television.

I mean, network television today is all about the so-called "reality" shows and watching talentless wannabes singing karaoke badly. There has been a dearth of quality writing on network TV of late, and I highly respect NBC for having the guts to still put out quality, well-written television shows.

Of course, the fact that nobody seems to be watching them makes me wonder how long that trend will continue.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Great Day Indeed

Last week, I had a great day at work.

As all of the three people who read this blog know, our much beloved boss lost his bid for re-election last November. And his replacement has gone out of her way to completely change the way everything was done by the old administration, regardless of the fact that our office ran like a Swiss watch for years. And her subordinates have followed that doctrine. Basically, they are trying to get rid of anyone who worked in the old administration, any way they can.

That has meant that every tiny little mistake I make has been magnified tenfold. So far, this has meant only one disciplinary action for me. But I am on constant guard against further action.

So last week, my supervisor handed me an e-mail detailing 3 mistakes that had been made the previous week.

And, after a bit of research, and going into e-mails I had been sent, I was able to prove that all 3 mistakes were her fault. It was all I could do from breaking into a shit-eating grin while explaining this.

So it was a good day.

No, it was a GREAT day!

The only downside is that now she'll be even more actively seeking ways to make me look bad.

Bring it on!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cindy Sheehan Calls it Quits

Cindy Sheehan, the longtime protestor of the war in Iraq, has stepped down as the public face of the anti-war protest movement, saying, "I’ve been wondering why I’m killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush,"

Hear, hear.

Last year, we as a nation decided it was time to put an end to six solid years of full Republican control of the government, and many of us (myself included) cited frustration with the disastrous war in Iraq as the primary reason.

So what did the Democrats do with their fresh new majority? NOTHING!!!

They caved!

Completely and totally!

Under continuous veto threats from the White House, a PR smear campaign eagerly hyped by the steno media, and constant attacks from the 101st keyboard brigade, the new Democratic majority in Congress once again gave the President exactly what he wanted.

Just wait, they tell us, until next year, when there's a Democrat in the White House. THEN you'll see something new.

First of all, that's a big if. There are no guarantees about that. The current crop of Democratic presidential candidates is mediocre at best. And while the Republicans don't have anything better, the same electoral machine that got the Worst President In History elected twice is already gearing up for next year. And the Democrats have proven time and again that they cannot match the juggernaut that is Republican electoral politics

Secondly, Americans seemingly just don't care! As a country, we seemed to be a LOT more interested in who wins American Idol than in who is running for president.

Don't believe me? Quick, without googling, name me five candidates from each party currently running for president. I'll wait.

I thought so.

Don't feel bad. I couldn't do it myself.

Towards the end of the war in Vietnam, the protest movement in this country against the war was so strong that any candidate who spoke out against it did so at his (or her) peril.

But it took over 14 years and the lives of nearly 70,000 U.S. troops for us to realize what a mistake that was. And this was in a time before Entertainment Tonight, 24 hour news, Paris Hilton, Brangelina, and Anna Nicole Smith. God knows how many more soldiers will have to die before we realize what a mistake this current war is.

Right now, we just don't seem to care. And anyone who does care, like, say, Cindy Sheehan, is shouted down by the right wing smear machine, with the willing help of the steno media.

Perhaps Ms. Sheehan said it best: "Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it. It’s up to you now."

I couldn't agree more.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lest we Forget...

"The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten."
-Calvin Coolidge

Of course, soldiers aren't the only ones who die in wars...

Maybe someday there will no longer be wars. And maybe someday a pig will be taught to say the Rosary and then be taken bodily into heaven.

War seems to be a basic part of the human condition. There may be no way to avoid it. Sad.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jerry Falwell, R.I.H.

(Rot In Hell)

Jerry Falwell is dead.

Notice that I did not call him the "reverend" Jerry Falwell, or any other similar honrific.

Because I believe that he was as much a voice of God as, well, frankly, I am.

I have never claimed, nor will I ever claim, to speak for God. I do not believe that any man, woman or child on this Earth can ever claim that right.

And yet that was what he claimed he did, every day.

The man was, put simply, a racist, misogynist, homophobic bigot.

In 1978, he founded the so-called "Moral Majority" (2 lies for the price of one), which helped usher in the Reagan-Bush era, and helped ensure that social progress in this country would be set back by about 50 years.

He campaigned against sanctions against the Apartheid government of South Africa, claiming that Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a "phony".

He asserted that the Antichrist was alive and a Jewish male.

And, after the September 11th, 2001 attacks, he asserted on National Television:

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this (September 11th) happen.'"

He later apologized for this, and claims he was quoted out of context, but I've seen the video. And this is a man who has been performing in front of a camera for more than 30 years. There is nothing he ever said in front of a live camera he didn't mean.

So I will shed no tears for this man. And I have no sympathy for anyone who does. And I realize that I may lose one of the three readers of this blog by writing this. I don't care. This blog isn't about the readers. It's what I think.

There is an old saying I learned long ago: If you ever see a man coming toward you telling you what a good Christian he is, put one hand on your wallet and walk the other way.

Jerry Falwell became a very wealthy man telling other people what a good Christian he was. Because too many people didn't follow that advice.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Four years ago today, our esteemed leader stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier under a large banner reading "Mission Accomplished" and declared that major combat operations in Iraq were over.

Since then, more than 3,000 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians have been killed.

But major combat operations ended 4 years ago today. Our President said so.

So I guess they weren't killed after all.


Oh well. Here's a picture of my brand new nephew. Hopefully, this war in Iraq that was over four years ago will actually be over before he and his brother are old enough to be drafted.

Welcome to the world, young man! I promised your brother when he was born that I'd do my best to keep the world in one piece until he was old enough to take over. I make you the same promise.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


So. The VT shooter has been identified.

From everything I've heard so far, this guy was, not to put too fine a point on it, one scary-ass motherfucker.

Excuse the language, but there are some times when it is called for.

I mean, from what people have been saying about this man, the only conclusion I've been able to draw is that people should have been asking not if he would have a serious nuclear meltdown, but when.

What is it that can drive a person that far around the bend? Was it some sort of chemical imbalance in his brain? Was it the environment he was raised in? Was it some kind of mind altering drug (or drugs)? Was it cosmic rays from outer space?

Or can it just be that some random event pushed this already dangerously unstable young man over the edge?

I freely admit that there have been times when I have felt the kind of rage that would drive me to homicidal behavior. But I have never acted on that impulse. I simply have to believe that the reason for that is that there is something in my makeup that would never allow me to do that.

Because if there isn't, then I am no better than Cho Seung-Hui. No better than an animal.

And I refuse to believe that.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yet Another

So. Another mass shooting at a school.

This time, 31 students of Virginia PolyTechnical University are gunned down as they were in the prime of life.

As I understand it, VT is a technical University, heavy into research much along the lines of M.I.T. or Cal Tech. There is a heavy emphasis on Engineering and science curriculum. They also have a pretty decent football team.

So what does the loss of these 31 students mean, exactly?


For one thing, 31 young lives have been brutally snuffed out before they could become contributing members of society.

31 families will receive the worst news any family could ever receive.

31 promising careers have ended before they even got a chance to start.

Perhaps, more importantly, the future of mankind could have been snuffed out today.

There may have been some student among the dead who was destined to invent the low-cost desalinization device that would ensure an endless supply of fresh water, enough for everyone on the planet and more.

There may have been some student among the dead who was destined to create the new fusion reactor that was destined to solve all the world's energy problems.

There may even have been some student among the dead who was destined to design the spaceship that would carry mankind out into the stars.

OK, so maybe not. Maybe these 31 dead children (that's what they were, and now will always be) were destined for nothing greater than a boring 9 to 5 in a cubicle in the headquarters of some random Fortune 500 company, mindlessly going through the motions of creating a false impression of job satisfaction (a task I am PAINFULLY familiar with).

But, thanks to the actions of a madman, we will never have the opportunity to find out.

But the madman did not kill everyone. Madmen will never kill everyone. Many have tried. None have succeeded. So let me say this to those who survived the attack today: You're alive! Each day you live from now until the day you die is a gift! And you have an obligation to those who did not live through this day to make the best you can of your lives.

Because you can never know when the next day will be your last.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I Am Smarter Than a Fifth Grader

Most of the time, anyway.

I've gotten myself hooked on the new game show, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.

And I have to say, I'm light years ahead of the competition.

Most of the time, anyway.

Tonight, for example, the final contestant was beaten by the following question:

"How many meters are in a kilometer?"

Please, please, PLEASE tell me I don't have to tell you the answer to that!

So, should I be scared or entertained?

I mean, only one contestant that I've seen so far has made it past the $25,000 level.

They are answering questions from elementary school textbooks.

And they are not getting the right answers.

Again, should I be scared or entertained?

Admittedly, there was one question tonight I got wrong, but only because it's the one concept of geometry I never learned.

So I am smarter than a fifth grader. Most of the time, anyway. I just wish everyone was.

Because otherwise there is no hope for this country.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sometimes I Hate Where I Live

The three regular readers of this blog know that I live in the midwest.

And if any of them have been paying attention to The Weather Channel, they know that now, in April, the current temperature is in the low 30's, and there is sporadic snow falling.

This is no surprise. I've been living here almost 30 years. Nothing about the weather surprises me. I'm used to it. But it still bugs me.

Why? Because it does. There is no other explanation.

I'm tired of living through four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.

I'm tired of days where I've had to switch my car from Heat to A/C in the same day.

I'm tired of wearing a T-shirt to work one day and a Winter coat the next.

But the problem is, there is no better alternative.

Where else can I go?

Florida? Nice weather, but Hurricaes.

Arizona? Hello?! Desert!

California? Hey dude, let's party!

The East Coast? No problem. Just 12 feet of snow every now and then.

Y'see, the Midwest may suck in terms of weather, opportunity, and everything else, but we are the heart of the country. And we will be around long after everyone else.

Which is why the best President in History hailed from Illinois.

And why, hopefully, the next President will also hail from there.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

You Know What They Say...

...A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

These pictures are worth 3,218 names...

(The picture above was taken from a window of my office, which is on the sixth floor. Hard to see the tombstones with my camera phone picture, but I'm trying to convey the scale of this memorial--One full city block long!)

For more information about the Arlington Midwest Project, go here.

Monday, March 19, 2007


So. Here we are again at another anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

The title of the post refers to the number of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq since March 19th, 2003

3,079 of those deaths have occured since George Bush stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier (in front of a "mission accomplished" banner) and declared major combat operations in Iraq were over. Somebody, apparently, forgot to tell the other side this.

Add to that the over 24,000 (official) wounded, many of whom are now maimed, crippled, or otherwise scarred for life. This is to say nothing of the thousands more who are now suffering from deep psychological scars that are visible to no other person. It will probably never be possible to count all of them.

Add to that the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have died, both during the war and during the occupation. Most of whom were killed for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And let's not forget to mention the cost of the war financially. Just check the counter to the right for the current total.

I know that I tend to repeat myself in these anniversary posts, but DAMMIT! IT NEEDS TO BE REPEATED! OFTEN! AND LOUDLY!

Someone HAS to stop this insanity. The American people HAVE to start standing up and SHOUTING! I do every day, but I'm pissing into the wind, apparently, because NO ONE IS LISTENING!

The reason no one listens to me, I think, is that no one WANTS to listen to me, or to anyone else who says things like this. Because to acknowledge that the things I say here are right simply reminds people that THEY DID NOTHING TO STOP IT!

So people simply nod uncomfortably and tune me out when I say these things. Because it makes them realize how wrong this whole venture has been from the get go. And if there is ONE THING that we as Americans--no, as a human beings--refuse to acknowledge, it's the possibility that we MIGHT have made a mistake.

The last time we made a mistake of this magnitude, it took nearly 20 years to admit it. And in the meantime, this mistake cost the lives of nearly 60,000 American soldiers and MILLIONS of Vietnamese, both military and civilian, on both sides.

We as a race seem to have a inherent inability to learn from our mistakes. It may very well be the thing that ultimately destroys us. And sooner than we think.

Until then, I'll keep hoping it doesn't happen. I'm probably fooling myself.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bad Decisions

What makes people make bad decisions?

God knows I've made more than my share in my life. But none of them--thank God--have resulted in the end of my life. Yet.

Early this morning, though, two people made bad decisions that ended theirs.

A Toledo Police Department detective, working undercover in the vice narcotics division, and his partner stopped and attempted to arrest two people who were apparently engaged in suspicious activity.

Both men fled. The police detectives chased them. One of the suspects turned and fired at the detective chasing him. The detective was struck in the chest and killed. He was not wearing a bulletproof vest (undercover police officers usually don't).

This detective was the first TPD officer killed in the line of duty in more than 36 years.

The suspect in the shooting has been arrested. He is 15 years old. If tried as an adult and convicted, he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.

I will mention no names in this entry. If you're curious, go to The Blade's website and find the answers for yourself.

I mention no names because that is not the topic of this post. The topic of this post is why people make bad decisions.


Why would two highly experienced police detectives stop their car at one in the morning in a cold and heavy fog to spprehend two people?

Why would a 15 year old white male be out on the streets at one in the morning apparently attempting to buy or sell drugs? With a gun?

Why would said suspect not only flee from a police officer, but then turn and fire on him?

And, more importantly, why do people make bad decisions that can lead to the end of their lives? Is this a conscious choice? Or is it instinct?

Have we, as human beings, truly not progressed further, emotionally and intellectually, than the first neanderthal in prehistoric times that bashed his fellow neanderthal over the head in order to steal his fresh kill?

Can we ever become better than that? Are we not capable of making good decisions in times of crisis?

As much as I would like to say yes, the truth is that throughout the course of history, bad decisions have outnumbered good ones by a considerable margin. And the only reason that we as a race have not destroyed ourselves many times over is because at several key points in history people have made good decisions.

Whether this was by the grace of some Higher Power or simply the result of enough good people being in the right place at the right time, we may never know. We can only hope that the trend continues.

In the meantime, I will mourn the loss of an experienced police detective, who leaves behind a wife and two children. And I will mourn the loss of the life of a young boy on the cusp of adulthood, who may never again experience another day of freedom.

Both of them made bad decisions. Only one will have to live with it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Bravo, Dixie Chicks!

First an aside: Sorry I haven't posted in quite a while. I've been UNBELIEVEABLY busy the past few weeks. My office is in the midst of a political transition to a new boss and I've been doing a lot. Most of it unwillingly.

But I had to post today. Last night, The Dixie Chicks took top honors at the Grammy awards, earning five, including best album and best song.

And may I say again, Bravo!

Any group that can take the kind of abuse they have suffered for nearly four years and not only suck it up but EMBRACE it and then record a song that is basically a four-minute long FUCK YOU! to all of the people who gave them, in no particular order, hate mail, disc destruction parties, death threats, and constant verbal and written abuse, just to name a few things. I really can't blame them for being just a little--no, a LOT--bitter.

And no one else can and should blame them, either.

And last night proved it.

And now, I offer to you the lyrics from the song "Not Ready to Make Nice":

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and i'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and i kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

(Lyrics from

I really think you should pay particular attention to one particular section: "It's a sad sad story That a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger".

Seriously. Where do people think kids learn this stuff from?

Good night, and good luck.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reaching Out

The three people who read this Blog know that I am a registerd Repulican.

They also know that I am a RINO

For those uneducated, that means Republican In Name Only.

The only Republican I ever voted for was my boss, Larry Kacala. And that was because he was one of the few candidates for political office I have met who dared to put doing his job before pandering to political interests.

And he was defeated for that reason.

In Our country politics are often placed before reason.

And that is a shame.

Our office has been held as a standard for other Auditor's offices to follow. That could NOT have happened without the cooperation of everyone in the office, regardless of the initial after their nme.

So I will work to make sure that that most important office in the county remains free of political consideratiosn. No matter what it costs me.

America must keep woriking. Regardless of who steers it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

So, What's Been Happening?

Well, many things:

Ohio State performed a complete meltdown in the National Championship game, with their offense accumulating a total of 82 yards, which turned out to be 11 yards less than the return by Ted Ginn Jr. accumulated when he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

Draft * I * Tis (n): A condition suffered by many college football playing juniors and seniors. Symptoms can manifest as poor play in post-season games, leaving games early with "injuries", and overly conservative play-calling to avoid possible career-ending injuries.

What Else?

The Toledo Blade has gone on a serious hate campaign towards my boss, the outgoing Auditor of Lucas County. Why? Well, no one knows for sure, but it's possibly because once upon a time, he called one of tho Publishers' ex-girlfriend a psychopath.

Yes, he's that petty.

What Else?

The Patriots, Bears, Saints, and Colts all make it to their respective championship games.

Nobody is surprised about the Patriots. Tom Brady is apparently the energizer bunny of football.

The bears are a mild surprise. But given that they seem to have finally found an offense to match their defense, it was sort of expected.

The Colts are a surprise. Nobody ever expected that Peyton Manning could FINALLY win a post-season game. Most people figured he was too busy shooting commercials.

The Saints are the biggest surprise, and the team I HAVE to root for this year. New Orleans needs some hope that there is a light at the end of the very long tunnel they've been in.

That's all for now.