Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Devil Wears Prada

Mark Steyn noted that Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan had a certain reckless fatality about it that seemed pre-ordained to lend itself to the unfortunate and bloody conclusion that unfolded on Thursday. Whether Bhutto was a fatalist hell-bent on martyrdom is a point hardly worth debating, and given her opulent lifestyle and craving for all the trappings of aristocracy at the expense of the poor she claimed to champion tends to lay that argument to rest.

What is missing from the debate in both the circles of punditry and public discourse is any sense of context, both in the arrogant assumption that any Westerner knows a thing about Pakistan or even Bhutto herself, and the real legacy of her brief and corrupt reign. The media has reduced the discourse to such astounding levels of banality and ignorance that it is not uncommon to hear some self-professed "Expert on Pakistan" make the sand-poundingly stupid remark that the Bhutto family were Pakistan's version of the Kennedy's. When I first heard the remark uttered by some hawk-nosed pundit with very important hair, I was ready to throw my bag of Doritos at the TV, until it dawned on me (mid Doritos hurl) that the commentator's comparison to Bhutto and the Kennedy's was a back-stage homage at how very skilled Benazir Bhutto had been at seducing Westerners, particularly Europeans, into buying into her own self-created mythology.

To the West, and to adoring pundits, Bhutto was the exiled champion of the poor, ready to risk her own life to return democracy and moderate government to the hands of the people, and $1 jello shooter nights for all (well, maybe not the last one). With her Harvard and Oxford education, designer clothing, Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, and quick wit, she courted the Western media, re-writing her own history and never being questioned on it because she had carefully crafted her image as a freedom fighter right out Hollywood central casting. She was everything we wanted in a Mid-East leader and she knew it. The problem was that her adoring sycophants in the media never bothered to scratch beyond the shiny surface layers to reveal what lay beneath the expensive clothes and behind the silver tongue.

Bhutto was nothing more than a corrupt opportunist who was ousted from power in 1990 after 19 charges of corruption were filed against her and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, after a New York Times investigation revealed a complex scheme of money laundering, fraud and kickbacks. Some experts allege that by the time she fled the country, or was "exiled" as Ms. Bhutto preferred to call it, she and her husband had stolen over a billion dollars. Her husband spent eight years in prison - the money is still in an unmarked Swiss account.

A champion of the poor she was not. She was an elite from a political dynasty marred by corruption. One of her closest allies during her rule, as the corruption charges swirled around her, begged her to orchestrate some sort of damage control by meeting with those in the poorest regions of Pakistan. "A Prime Minister does not do such things", she coldly responded - and this, perhaps, gives us the best glimpse into the psyche of the lady who signed off her emails with a capital B.

So what are we left with? Poor President Musharraf - who came from poverty, created a middle class in Pakistan, eliminated the massive deficit left behind from the Bhutto years, brought cell phones, the Internet and technology to the masses, and gave the poor hope - is left trying to stabilize an already volatile situation he barely had under control before the nefarious little muck-raker stuck her nose back into to the fray, hoping to one day dip her hand back into the cookie jar. As the tension mounts, his government is forced to beat back ridiculous conspiracy theories that they were to blame for her assassination. It would seem that for President Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto will be a bigger headache in death than she was in life.

Gustave Stresemann once said that Dante can be understood only within the context of Italian thought, and Faust would be unthinkable if divorced from its German background; But both are part of their common cultural heritage. This is also true of Benazir Bhutto and Pakistan. Perhaps President Musharraf should invest in some Gucci loafers and Armani Suits; It may not play well with the poor of Pakistan, but we sure will gobble it up in the West.

Cordially

Joe

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's A Tough World, But We'll Always Have Bill

My article on the NIE report regarding Iran's uranium enrichment program, and the media's expected reaction to it, is being met with no small amount of hostility. My assessment illuminated that the report contained little new information, and only confirmed that Iran's uranium enrichment program was still in full swing, and their nuclear weapons program had only been suspended, not halted as the liberal chattering classes are so smugly asserting. The reason? The presence of the American military and their allies in the region has made it virtually impossible to acquire the necessary components to complete the project. The fact they intend to resume the program in 2010 should be a cause to raise alarm bells, and not a reason to celebrate.

Had my article fallen on deaf ears, it would have been less puzzling than the response it received from Ezine, who were considering publishing the article. They rejected it calling it "defamatory" and "inflammatory". Now, either these guys write speeches for Jesse Jackson in their spare time, requiring them to write rejection letters with lots of words that rhyme nicely, or they are adhering to the age old law that editors love the letter Y. Either way, defending President Bush and alluding to what I saw as a clear and overwhelming bias in the manner in which in the media handled the report is hardly inflammatory, nor did I defame anyone. But that's the nature of the beast when you're a conservative writer. Unless I adopt the childish mantras of the anti-war crowd, it's tough to make a buck in the world of editorial journalism.

My very own local paper, the Times and Transcript, are always quick to whip out a litany of semi-literate editorials by their resident paint sniffer in chief, Bill Belliveau, who, when he's not screaming about how George Bush is a war criminal, he's reminding us how we should be grateful to be paying taxes, or how Prime Minister Harper is a knuckle dragging neophyte for suggesting that we should be able to keep more of our money. I wrote a short letter to the editor outlining not only my views, but those of many others in this country who feel that the NIE report was a snow job. They chose instead to publish a letter from some guy who simply wrote in to inform us all that he was getting a busy signal at his doctor's office. It took all of two sentences. It seems that if I were to write in a letter about how very pleased I was with this year's entries in the annual gingerbread bake-off, I'm sure they would give me top billing.

I'd be less cheesed with Times and Transcript if their letters to the editor section was a-political, but it is not. Any nutcracker who wants to go on anti-Israel, quasi-Hebrew-baiting rant gets published. Any guy who doesn't like the fact that cops use tasers gets published. And of course, anyone who thinks that President Bush beats puppies and eats the souls of babies on the weekend definitely gets published.

Oh well, for all the caveats that come with this genre, thank the good Lord for blogs. At least for those who prefer wit over cleverness, facts over media fiction, and fresh perspectives over regurgitated talking points from the left, you can always click on the Hype. For the rest of you, there will always be Bill.

Anyway, I hope Mr. Belliveau has thick skin. Have a great week, and make sure you check out the Hype's artist of the week, the hypnotic Regina Spektor, singing her amazing song Fidelity.

Cordially

Joe

Friday, December 07, 2007

Slightly Less Annoying Than MySpace



Blue something or the other. It's a new social networking site, I think, and I don't intend to go out of my way to find out. Facebook is enough, which I guess is the new Myspace. I don't want to add the "Zombie Application" or the "Happy Flower Application". I took off my Funwall after I could no longer take 17 people bombarding me with Youtube videos every day of a dog who took in an orphaned raccoon as a baby, or some endless video clip of reasons I should grateful I don't live in Darfur. I'm fairly certain I don't need reassurance from well-intentioned people that I should be happy that troops of 12 year-olds armed with machetes aren't breaking down my door to lop my limbs off in a bloody mess and parade my head through the streets like some modern day Thomas Becket. Enough already.

Did you know that the mail service use to run up to 5 times a day in some countries, so people could be bothered to put pen to parchment, slap on a stamp, and write something substantive to their neighbors across town? Now people are strapped up like Tom Cruise in Minority Report with their Ipods and Blackberries so they can write in some cryptic language to text trivial things to half of their wired network. Yeah. TTFN. Do you know you're actually saying tata for now? Have we become a society of gay 19th century socialites? The last time someone said "tata" to me, I'm fairly sure I was 2 years old and was I being admonished for shitting behind the chair in the kitchen.

I know people far more skilled then I have tackled this topic before with much more wit than I, but good lord, IHMD! (I've had my druthers!)

But I'm 34, and maybe getting a little misanthropic with age. Facebook is fun enough, but it's a little like the cyber equivalent of showing up on someone's door step unannounced. I get a notification that some guy I used to work with, never spoke to, and am pretty sure hated my guts, wants to add me to his friend list. Gee. Why didn't you just actually try to be my friend when we worked together 13 years ago? That would have been a hell of a lot simpler.

Why? Because there is something blatantly disingenuous about all this social networking. I used to repeatedly mock former CNN anchor George Bernard Shaw when he asked the former President Bush some 15 years ago whether the Internet would come with a price, the price being the loss of human contact, religion, and maybe our soul. Ok, maybe he was going over the top with the soul comment, but Mr. Shaw foresaw something the rest of us didn't. Funwalls and Zombie applications.

Cordially

Joe

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Still A Threat


It didn't take long. The press copies from the NIE report supposedly downplaying Iran's nuclear capabilities were still warm to the touch, and the rabid Trotskyites from the major news networks were already pouncing on President Bush. CNN's Ed Henry threw all semblance of objectivity out the window, reporting that he was "shocked" that the President "showed not even the slightest admission that he was wrong about Iran's nuclear weapons program." Well, with all due respect to Mr. Henry, had he read the report in full instead of looking for "gotcha!" quotes, he would have found the report shed little light on anything new, and confirmed what President Bush has been saying all along - that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium and has no intentions of stopping any time soon.

As Clifford May so eloquently pointed out in his recent column, there is vast difference between "suspending" a nuclear program, and "abandoning" it altogether. Iran, as the report clearly stated for those who bothered to read it in it's entirety, is only suspending the program until 2010, and would resume it much quicker if they had the capability.So through all the naive static and accusations of Anderson Cooper and the like, we are left with this fact. Iran is continuing to enrich uranium, and has said in the past that "a world without the United States … is achievable...We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization … We know how we are going to attack them.” Comforting huh? At least President Bush doesn't think so and neither should anyone else with a grain of sense in their head.

Of course, this will fall on deaf ears, as people like Keith Olbermann and his ilk prefer to conveniently turn a blind eye in the face of overwhelming evidence because they cannot see clearly through their almost bizarre hatred of the President. But if you choose to believe that the NIE report is actually saying that Iran has no dire intentions behind it's ACTIVE Uranium enrichment program, be my guest. Remember, these were the same guys who told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction - now they are saying Iran has none. Where they wrong then, or are they right now?

Cordially
Joe

Friday, November 09, 2007

Random Blogging by Numbers


I promise that I shall touch on topics of a relevant or least semi-coherent nature in an upcoming blog at some point, but for the moment I am effervescing, and in these states of effervescence I am prone to pontificate on trivial things that seem like earth-shattering quandaries at the time.

1-Don't know if this is shared experience, but I went to the washroom today, and when I looked in the mirror I realized my tie was mid-crotch. Now that's pretty low. I mean, it was hanging just above where the sun peeks out over the mountain tops.

It's vastly better than having tied it too short. Finding my tie mid-nipple would have been much more of a fashion faux-pas, like the stapler guy from office space - but mid-crotch is still pretty 'tardo. I looked like an ape. It throws your body all out of proportion.

2-It's almost a certainty that someone has an Aunt Jemima, and I'm equally certain that there are countless people out there who have an Uncle Ben. BUT - if Crunch is an actual last name, is it possible that someone out there has a relative in the military who, by title, is called Captain Crunch? I think that would be rather interesting.

3-How come there aren't anymore TV shows or movies starring guys driving 18 wheelers with their chimpanzee sidekicks, criss-crossing the country solving mysteries? I'm rather glad that they've fallen by the wayside, as I don't like chimps, but I wonder why monkey side-kicks have lost their appeal. Part of the reason could be the traced back to 2001, when 3 hepatitis A-infected monkeys escaped from a lab and went on a rampage in California.

4-Did you ever almost flat line at the hospital because some doctor you wouldn't trust to babysit a hamster decides to diagnose your slightly elevated blood pressure and chest pains as angina, and then squirts you with two doses of nitroglycerin? I did. Not fun. My eyes got all big and glassy, I was sweating like a fat man eating tacos in a sauna, and my skin turned whiter than Michael Jackson's. I looked like Steve Buscemi after a night in a crack house. The Moncton Hospital is beyond redemption.

5-And how's this for a lead to my next blog post? If you've been listening to CNN or CBC or any of the news sources consumed by the pseudo-intellectual intelligentsia, or those aspiring to be, you may be snorting overpriced brandy with your equally liberal sycophantic friends over the latest NIE report that seems to indicate that Iran abandoned their Nuclear program in 2004. You are, no doubt, also smugly asserting that President Bush is a knuckle-dragging war monger. If you are amongst these sorry souls previously alluded to, then you are A - completely wrong...again... and B - soon to have a bit of egg on your face (oh how I hate that expression. Look what you've reduced me to).

6-Finally, I am happy to report that my lovely girlfriend is back from being trapped on a rock in the middle of nowhere (Newfoundland) due to a snowstorm. She is now back from St. John's and we are getting ready to head to my hometown for a quick over-nighter to deliver some illegally imported cans of Diet Dr. Pibbs to some man named Cletus who lives in a trailer, doing nothing but watching re-runs of the Cosby show, and drinking sweet, sweet, Diet Dr. Pibbs.

New post to follow. Enjoy the weekend.

Cordially

Joe

Monday, November 05, 2007

Coast to Toast


I just got back from a business trip to Vancouver and Seattle with some of my colleagues. Now, being relatively new to working for a company that affords such luxuries as jet setting around the country on someone else's dime, I was somewhat dismissive about the cautionary advice from colleagues who had previously embarked on the same trip, about how exhausting and fast paced it can be. Come on. Really. 5 star dining, everything taken care of, strolling around in exotic cities with a limitless sense of entitlement on someone else's corporate credit card? How hard can it be? I checked the itinerary...it looked manageable. The problem? I didn't consider the variables, like flight delays, traffic, jet lag, and rabid monkey attacks (well, there weren't any monkey attacks).

Nothing ever goes according to schedule, and that's where your walk in the park business trip starts getting shot to hell. You can have 5 meetings penned in for one day, at say, 3 different locations...but suddenly, your flight/bus shuttle is delayed. Miss X from marketing is going to be an hour late for the meeting. Your air has been delayed because a passenger on your connecting flight decided it would be smashing fun to start reading his favourite passages from a dog eared copy of Penthouse forum as loud as possible. Your day was supposed to start with a leisurely breakfast at 8:30, but it's bumped up to 8:00 to make up for lost time, with a warning to shovel down your eggs benny in 20 minutes or less to meet in the lobby. Once you get there, you realize that Deb from department A is missing - by missing, I mean somehow managed to pass out on her bed from exhaustion when she ran up to the room to grab her jacket which was making everyone late already.

Once dishevelled Deb makes her harried appearance in the lobby, everyone breathes a sigh of
relief because though your boss is trying her best to give off the facade of being unflappable,
you can see that underneath the pearly white grin she is about 30 seconds away from smashing
her fist through the mahogany concierge desk. Now you're ready to be on your way, until
you realize that John is missing because he went looking for Deb, which wouldn't be so bad
except John thought Deb went to grab coffee at the Starbucks 5 minutes down the street.

When everyone is finally assembled, you're on your way, albeit an hour late. The buffet
lunch at Chez Wazzhisname has been cancelled to make up for time, so your boss has
instructed everyone to pilfer anything edible left over from breakfast and stuff it god knows
where.

After 6 hours of non-stop meetings, which curiously never seem to involve sitting, you arrive
at your last stop, to inspect company X's facilities. It's 7pm, you haven't eaten at all since 8:00am, and you haven't sat down all day. The people at company X are extremely gracious but don't know this, nor do you want to burden them with the pedantic details of your day. So the tour commences. The very long tour commences, and the pretty company rep in the designer suit could be talking about the merits of Keynesian vs. Supply Side economics and you would have barely noticed, because the day is starting to have the feel of a Batan death march.

Finally you settle down to eat, and as you sit there surrounded by your friends and colleagues,
you realize that a neat bond grows between the people you go on a business trip with. You
see each other outside of the cubicle, and for good or bad, there's something special about that.
And of course, when your employers deem that they can trust you to fly across the country
without breaking, stealing anything, or screwing everything up, there's a sense that you've done
something noteworthy in your professional life - and that's something too.
Cordially
Joe

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not So Sleepless in Seattle


Sorry for the lapse in posting, but I'm preparing for a trip to Vancouver and Seattle, getting ready for my driver's exam, procuring documents to annul my marriage from ten years ago with the Catholic church, and waging a tireless campaign to return toast to it's rightful place as the mid-afternoon snack of choice.

Actually, I've been more than a little lax, but between root canals and my job as a diuretics tester, I've been a little busy. I shall try and make a commitment to re-double my efforts to keep up to date with the latest in politics, bizarre news, and my usual conservative quasi-libertarian rantings.

Rudy Giuliani seems to be keeping a comfortable 10 point lead ahead of Fred Thompson, who - though it's early - just isn't living up to the part. Giuliani made a gutsy move by appearing in front of a jam packed auditorium of social conservatives. Giuliani received a positive reception from the crowd after a shaky start, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council noted that "He won simply by coming. He helped himself, he certainly didn't lose any ground". The pro-choice Giuliani has come under much criticism from social and religious conservatives, but assured the audience that he would work to reduce the number of abortions, and reminded them of his record of ridding New York of porn merchants and defending religious freedom. Social conservatives are warming to the idea of Giuliani as an acceptable candidate in a general election.

And of course, what weekend update would be complete without some entirely unrelated and bizarre story that seems to be the main attraction of this site, aside from my weekly whipping of CNN's resident Christ off the Cross, saviour of the world, and self-proclaimed "journalist" Anderson Cooper. Anyway, if last month saw a spate of strange elephant related deaths, October saw a rise in fatalities due to drunken urination. A 40-year-old man, somewhat inebriated, attempting to urinate into the River Bulbourne in Hemel, Hempstead, England, fell in and drowned. A 58-year-old man stood up in his boat to urinate while fishing and fell into a lake near Farmington, N.M. He also drowned. And finally, a train driver in Berlin, Germany, apparently attempting to urinate out of a door at 70 mph, fell to his death.


Have a good weekend, and watch where you piss.

Cordially

Joe
(PS - I don't know who the drunk guy in the photo is, but for those of you who are worried, it's not me. I haven't fallen off the wagon - but many years ago, I'm sure there were lots of nights when I looked like that poor fool)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Asleep At the Wheel in Michigan


Katherine Jean Lopez commented on National Review Online that had Fred Thompson been unable to name the Prime Minister of Canada, it would have hardly caused a blip on the radar screen outside of the beltway. After all, the debate was held at four in the afternoon, and a Republican debate on economics is far from what I would call high octane action. The debate was about as exhilarating as listening to Al Gore drone on about polar ice caps, and listening to Ralph Nader extolling the virtues of air bags could conceivably be the only other possible scenario that could have created such intellectual sedation. Mitt Romney's CEO of America shtick was an almost insurmountable obstacle in the belly of a union card carrying Democratic enclave such as Michigan. His performance was passable, if somewhat over scripted, and he can thank his lucky Mormon stars that the other candidates did not verbally cannibalize him for uttering the sand-poundingly stupid remark that he would consult with lawyers prior to exercising his executive privilege under the War Powers Act. The other camps tried to play catch up on Romney's flub the next day in a flurry of press releases, but it was too late to capitalize on the momentum.


Thompson's trepidatious toe-dipping in his first presidential debate proved that, thus far, he is not living up to the conservative media's hype that he is the second coming of Reagan. Perhaps it is to his advantage that the debate provoked little interest, so he could have the opportunity to stretch his political sea legs outside of the glare of a larger and more engaged audience that surely will follow in a debate with a broader forum broadcast on CNN or Fox.


Though many pundits opined that Thompson had won the debate on substance, Giuliani once again won on style and sheer presence. Giuliani exudes the ease and confidence of a winner and a veteran of the ruthless New York press core, though some of this can be attributed to Chris Matthews' almost sycophantic adoration of Rudy that was - at best - unprofessional, and - at worst - blatant favoritism. At times it seemed that he and Giuliani were discussing the value of baseball cards over beers at the local pub.


McCain seemed grumpy, and at times almost annoyed. The acoustics in the building were so unfavorable that several questions had to be repeated, though he partially redeemed himself from seeming old and senile by being self-deprecating and managing to squeak out some of the few laughs of the night.


As for the rest of the field, they are slowly but surely being pushed further to the back of the pecking order, and even the folksy and engaging Mike Huckabee seems to be realizing that his admirable and well fought grassroots campaign is running out of steam.


The only standout amongst the Last of the Republican Mohican's were the incoherent and bizarre ramblings of Dr Ron Paul. Paul came off like a crazed mental patient who had escaped from a seniors day trip to the bowling alley and had somehow stumbled onstage. At times he appeared so agitated that he stuttered like Porky Pig after spending the night in a crack house. Judging by his quasi-populist left-leaning rhetoric, he will no doubt soon be begging about the current crop of Democratic contenders looking for a VP spot as a token Republican on a Democratic presidential ticket.


All in all, after an hour and twenty minutes of, at times, nauseating pandering to union Democrats, I think little was gained for any of the front-runners, except for the fact that they did themselves no harm. And in politics, sometimes that's more than enough to pay the bills.


Cordially,

Joe

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Skunked


Ever get sprayed by a skunk? We did, meaning Claire, myself, and Sammy the
wonder dog who caught the worst of the little bastard's spray bomb.

The dog smells like an egg that's been sitting in the sun all week, the house smells like a Pakistani pay toilet, and Claire and I smell like tomato juice and poo. Really pleasant.

I failed my driver's exam, so you can allow your children and the elderly to roam freely
about the neighbourhood until the next time I attempt to write it. The problem was that
I studied the "required distances" portion in feet, and they asked for the answers in
meters. Now, because I am A - mildly retarded, and B - a liberal arts major, I "skunked"
the exam - even though there was a conversion chart pasted on the wall directly in
front of me. I completely neglected a useful piece of information that was obvious
to everyone - kind of like Anderson Cooper.

More to come

Cordially

Joe

Monday, October 01, 2007

Driving Miss Crazy


Tomorrow I'm going for my drivers test. My beginner's license, which means
should I pass the Provincial Government's written test, I will have my class
7.1 licence, permitting me to drive whilst in the company of another passenger
with a valid driver's licence for the period of one year, at which point, I
will take the next step of attempting to pass final the driver's exam.


Now you may ask; "How come you're 34 and don't have your license?
Are you retarded, lazy, or both?" To which I would respond, yes, yes,
and absolutely. Really, considering I was perpetually drunk for a large
portion of my life, I'm grateful that I was never careening wildly behind
the wheel of a motor vehicle, 3 sheets to the wind, blasting Eva Cassidy
CD's and whooping like a banshee.
Anyway, am I dreaming, or did I hear something on the Situation
Room regarding Russian bomber jets violating US air space multiple
times today? I was passing by a TV set at work, and I'm sure that's
what I heard Wolf Blitzer saying, but I can't be sure. I tried to check
all the major network news websites, but apparently Britney Spears custody
woes are of more pressing concern to national security. If the story
is true, this is an extremely foreboding incident. Ex-KGB honcho
and current Russian President Vladimir Putin has been slowly turning
back the clock to the days of the Gulag and violent crack downs on dissidents
(some of this is happening already). If you know anything, post a comment
or email me so I can do some follow up on the blog.

Happy hunting, and after 10 tomorrow, stay off streets, sidewalks,
parking lots, and your front lawn. I'm going to be driving for the first
time in 34 years. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Cordially
Joe

What Was That? A New Blog Post?


Missed going to an AA meeting this week, through nothing but my own
laziness. Not that I'm craving running out to the nearest liquor store to
buy 12 bottles of Malt liquor and re-enact scenes from Gladiator
in my living room using a spatula for a sword and a spaghetti strainer
as a cod piece (my props to Jonah Goldberg). Nevertheless, I have
to hit a meeting tomorrow.

Spent the weekend at the cottage (as mentioned earlier), where I lived
it up Hugh Hefner style, parading around in PJ's and a bathrobe, napping
in the afternoon, reading, and smoking constantly (minus the hot tub and
the games room - but there was a stand up shower and a scrabble board with
some of the letters missing).

A got a few big links this week. They were brief but noteworthy, including
Foxnews, and some dude from XM radio. Who thought that taking a few
pot shots at everyone's favourite, vacuous bobble head Anderson Cooper,
would generate so much traffic to the site? It's like you just whisper the name
Anderson Cooper, and you get plastered all over Google. Not that I would
connivingly paste the name Anderson Cooper all over a blog post just to get web
hits. I mean, it's the blog that's important and not Anderson Cooper.

Anyway, an interesting debate is to be had over how early the election campaign
gets into swing, and my friend and former Co-Editor, Ace Smith, has apparently
gone so far as to refrain from consuming any pre-election news (this is similar
to a period in 1997 when he decided to react violently to anyone who sported
facial hair, and beat the living bejesus out of David Suzuki).

Have some exciting news to announce! My girlfriend Claire has officially
accepted the unofficial title of associate editor, meaning she has the
thankless job of picking through my atrocious punctuation and egregious
spelling, so everyone give her a big Hype welcome.

Have a good week, not sure what's on deck for the coming days, but
keep checking in.

Cordially

Joe

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

French Fried, and Fun with Fred


First, I want to thank the folks who wrote in to voice their disagreement
over my views on "the Coop". It would be a very boring site indeed
if the only people who wrote in simply sang my praises, or told
me how wonderful I am in bed, or how incredible it is that I
can stuff 50 Cheetos in my mouth without suffocating (most
of the time). If you're commenting, then your taking the time to
read my blog, and I appreciate your patronage enormously
(although I still think Anderson Cooper is a pod person) .

Despite his late start, ignoring Iowa, and bucking all the usual
conventions followed by aspiring presidential candidates, former
Senator Fred Thompson has closed the gap behind front runner
Rudy Giuliani by 4 percentage points in a sampling of national polls.
Senator Thompson has thus far not lived up to the hype his entry
into the race generated, and his public appearances have been well attended,
but lack the folksy energy he is famous for. Perhaps he is still toying
with the media, but eventually, playing too many games in the race
may cost him dearly, unless he comes out swinging in his first debate.

On another note, after almost a century of anti-American schmaltz
coming from those cheese eating surrender monkeys in the land
of 2 hour lunch breaks and baguettes for all, France's new President
Nicolas Sarkozy seems to be turning a new page. During a recent
speech to the UN, Sarkozy broke with his predecessors' long standing
love affair with rogue states, condemning Iran and issuing the following
scathing warning; "There will be no world peace if the international
community shows weakness in the face of proliferation of nuclear
weapons". Happy to see the French coming to their senses. Next
step-daily bathing.

Going to the cottage again this weekend. Claire and I have a long
weekend, and we are celebrating 6 months together. She has been
the most wonderful gift I have ever received. I love her dearly, and
feel privileged to call myself her boyfriend. Love you dear!

Have a wonderful weekend to all, keep reading, and for those of you
who write in, for the love of God, please don't electrocute yourselves
typing emails in the bathtub.

Cordially

Joe

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Last Word on The Coop


It seems that there is nothing I can say to change the minds of
the pseudo-intellectual sycophants that worship at the alter
of the sainted Mr. Cooper.

They find it "laughable" that I don't consider the anchor of
the lowest rated news show in its time slot to be a serious journalist.

They seem unfazed that he would have the audacity to
tell the public that babies were being raped in the Superdome,
without checking his sources. They seem to think
he still has credibility after repeatedly telling the nation
On Jan 3rd, 2006, that all 12 miners trapped in the Sago
mine had survived based solely on the testimony of a
crazed lady, playing with the emotions of millions of
viewers who were watching. He didn't bother to verify
the information with a single official source.

I hold myself to higher standard of journalism, and
I hardly think that spending a week in Iraq posing
in designer cargo shorts, asking inane and simplistic
questions, and one point, being unable to tell
the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite, as
hard hitting journalism.
Perhaps his fan club could explain his exemption
from basic journalistic standards without pointing
the finger at CNN or other networks, but I doubt
they have intellectual fire power to do so. Their
choice in nightly news is proof enough.

It's probably the reason why they never comment
when something is posted on the economy, Korea,
the Libby trial, the border dispute, or the Iowa
straw poll. However when I write about a vapid
anchorman with very important hair, they break
out into a mad frenzy on their laptops. Maybe they'll
comment on something substantive eventually. I'm
sure Anderson will tell them what to think.

Cordially
Joe

Monday, September 24, 2007

Super Cooper


Apparently I upset the apple cart of a few Anderson Cooper fans who
feel that I am somewhat unfair to CNN's golden boy. Perhaps there is
somewhat of a point to be made in the belief that Anderson is just a puppet
of the brain-sucking Trotskytes at CNN, and this is what is holding the
intrepid journalist from covering the real issues that he claims to champion
as though he were Christ off the cross.

Anderson was quick to point out the failures of the Bush Administration,
FEMA, the state of Louisiana, and Mayor Ray Nagen in his Katrina "Keeping
Them Honest" retrospective, but he certainly neglected to hold himself to
the same standard.

During the turbulent days after Katrina hit, Cooper caused no end
of hysteria and sensationalism by making the following claims;

A-Cooper claimed that there were "bands of rapists going block to block"

B-That snipers were shooting at rescue crews.

C-There were "10,000 dead", and "even little babies are being raped"

D- That "Gangs of Rapists were trolling the Superdome", and "bodies
were stacked like cord wood"

These are just a few of the exaggerations, and flat out lies that Cooper
told during the Katrina debacle. ABC alone had over 200 journalists
in the Superdome, and the stories of a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic, hell zone
were completely false.

So did Mr. Cooper address the media's disastrous reporting? Where was
CNN's accountability, and honesty that Anderson purports to uphold?

It seems it was forgotten as Cooper and company engaged in hour after
hour of nauseating back slapping, and self-congratulating.

Anderson Cooper certainly isn't the only one guilty of Katrina mania,
but he seems to stand alone in pompous self absorption, packaged
as objective journalism.
Cordially
Joe

Sunday, September 23, 2007

CRAZY WEEKEND UPDATE/ANDERSON COOPER POOPER SCOOPER 2!!


What a week! Anderson Cooper who cares so much about the suffering
of those in New Orleans and Iraq has decided to show his dedication to
"keeping them honest", by devoting his inane, nightly fluff-cast to the latest
OJ Simpson fiasco. It appears the Juice flipped out in a Las Vegas motel
room, under the belief that his one time associates, were trying to rip off
his sports memorabilia. Now, I'm not the sharpest nail in the box, but
I think it's generally a good life strategy not to piss off a double murderer,
while in the confines of a small hotel room. I'm sure the poor people
still reeling from the effects of Katrina are happy that Mr Cooper is
is on top of OJ's legal battles.

In other news,
the armless man from Georgia who head-butted a man to
death during a fight over a lady friend, will not be charged with manslaughter.
Perhaps the issue of how they would handcuff him, may have played
a roll in their decision.

Anyway, spent a great weekend at the cottage sleeping, eating, reading
and doing crossword puzzles with the love of my life Claire. Best weekend
ever! Hope your own was as fantastic as mine!

Cordially

Joe

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Old Pal Al


Former Federal Reserve Chairman, and economic policy wonk, Alan Greenspan has a lot to say lately. So much so, that he has written a book entitled "The Age of Turbulence". In the book, he claims the President's Economic and Budget policies have been "irresponsible".

Not so, says long time friend, Vice President Dick Cheney. In an Op Ed piece
in the Wall Street Journal, VP Cheney, whose fondness for Greenspan is apparent
in the article, remembers a breakfast meeting with then President Elect Bush, in
which Greenspan accurately predicted the burst of the so-called "dot com" bubble,
warning then President Clinton, of the economic slow down that was to come in
the technology sector. President Clinton ignored Greenspan's warnings and the
slow down led to a massive recession.

So is Greenspan's assessment of President Bush's fiscal policies on the mark, or
is Mr Greenspan losing his Midas touch?

In his book, Greenspan makes the case that President Bush lacks discipline
and hasn't been aggressive enough in reigning in spending and reducing tax cuts.
True, the President is far from being the second coming of Reagan, but the
600 pound elephant in the room Mr. Greenspan seems to have completely
ignored, is 9/11.

The economic fall out from 9/11 was unprecedented. Within the proceeding 3
months, one million Americans were jobless. Trading was suspended, vacations
cancelled, retail sales slumped, and thousand of flights were cancelled. The economic
impact was swift, and merciless.

Despite these challenges, Cheney asserts that Bush was prudent, but far from
timid, and certainly not irresponsible. Despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges,
President Bush pushed ahead with his tax cuts, prodding the sagging economy forward,
with income to the treasury at 12 to 15% annual increases, and a six year, unprecedented
economic growth spurt.

To be sure, even before 9/11 there was a chorus of conservative voices accusing the
President of not being aggressive enough on the subject of tax cuts, mine being one of them.
But given the challenges of juggling a budget in the midst of a costly war, President Bush
has succeeded where any other President would have failed.

Mr Greenspan may indeed be the Guru of the Federal Reserve, but as for his recent tome,
he has come in a penny short, and a pound shy.
Cordially
Joe

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Our Day of Infamy


On Sept 11th, 2001, there was not a computer, television screen, or radio station that was not broadcasting the images of two commercial
airlines crashing into the Word Trade Center. Before that day, 9/11 was only known as the number you dialed in an emergency. That night, as Mark Styne noted in National Review, many Americans went to bed
wondering if they would wake up the next morning. At the time, I was a dealer support liaison for a major telecom company. That night, filled with neither fear of rage, just an empty, surreal desolation, I wrote the following column.


Sipping strong coffee in the breakfast nook of his downtown apartment on 14th and Union, National Review's rookie Editor Rich Lowry hears the low roar of a plane. It is a quarter of nine, and though he has learned to tune out the noisy bustle of the city that is New York, the sound seems out of place. It's too loud, louder than what he ever heard living in Manhattan.

"That's the sound people talk about when they report seeing plane crashes."

Lowry quickly tucks the thought away; New York is by nature a noisy animal. His thoughts return to work and the business of editing one of the largest and most respected magazines in the United States. Lowry is wrapping his brain around a possible follow up to his article advocating the decriminalization of marijuana, when the phone rings. The disembodied voice dispenses with conventional pleasantries:

"Turn on the TV."

What blazes across the screen is one of the most surreal and horrifying images the 30-year-old editor had ever witnessed. A live video feed from 5th avenue, just a quarter block from his apartment gives him a front row seat to the destruction that is unfolding. The North Tower of 2the World Trade Center is engulfed in a cloud of gray smoke. Just moments earlier, American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked by a group of unknown terrorists, pilot the doomed commercial airliner into the upper floors of the behemoth structure. In another 20 minutes, United Airlines Flight 175 will collide with the South Tower - within an hour, both structures, straining under the pressure caused by the massive structural damage will be flattened into a pile of twisted steel and shattered concrete.

The South Tower is the first to collapse. As it crumbles towards earth, it rains down a path of deadly debris destroying surrounding New York landmarks. The Marriott, the Commodities Exchange Building, the Dean Witter Building, and the US Customs house, all are destroyed within seconds. Over 300 police, firefighters, and rescue crews working to evacuate the doomed towers would be crushed beneath the falling rubble.

Back at his apartment, Lowry scans the chaos on Union Street below. He describes an almost carnival like atmosphere as hoards of people hurry out to 5th Avenue to get a better view of the unfolding disaster. Ghoulish spectators rush to snap photographs of themselves, grinning like imbeciles against the backdrop of the falling towers. Lowry describes the scene:

"The street was clogged, because cars, including a bunch of cabs, were pulled off along the side of the street, their drivers standing next to their cars, with the doors open, sometimes with their radios turned up high. One moron had pulled his pick-up truck over and sat up near the cab so a friend could snap an Instamatic picture of him with the worst terrorist attack ever on the American homeland burning in the background."

As the South Tower of the Trade Center Collapses, the FAA makes a dramatic decision to close all air traffic across the nation, an unprecedented step never before taken. Hundreds of flights are rerouted to Toronto and Halifax, leaving local emergency workers scrambling to find makeshift accommodations for the stranded travellers. 40 minutes later, Flight 77, a Boeing 757 en route from Washington's Dulles International

Airport to Los Angeles, carrying 58 passengers and six crew members aboard, slams into the Pentagon. The Pentagon was on Alpha security alert at the time. While the administration commences the evacuation of all federal office buildings in Washington, United Airlines' officials report that that United Flight 93, en route from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco is missing. The smoldering wreckage of the plane would be found in a field southeast of Pittsburgh.
Back in New York, Rich Lowry sits in his office scanning the latest cover art for National Review's October 1st issue. In bold imposing letters set against a black background read the words "AT WAR". 24 hours has passed since his Nation was attacked by faceless cowards. CNN is reporting that the death toll will exceed 10,000 souls, more than the Revolutionary War, Pearl Harbor, and the war of 1812 combined. There are no words to describe the deep sense of loss and anger we at the Rant feel at this time. Platitudes about defending the shinning City on the Hill feel hollow as one watches footage of rescue crews sifting through the shattered remains of our cherished symbols of freedom.

Our day of infamy was a perfect September day in New York.

Joseph Leger

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Breaking News


OK, well maybe not in the anchor interrupting fashion, with that fancy graphic, and specially composed orchestra music that informs us that
Senator A, or B was caught in the back seat of a car doing unspeakable
things to his pet dog Sparky, or when Paris Hilton gets pulled over for
taking her SUV out for a 100 mile per hour Sunday drive hopped up
on Xanax and Crown Royal-but to me this is breaking news. You see, my girlfriend Claire is coming home from Toronto after 2 months, and I missed her and love her so much.

I know, my readers expect more from me, than the idle ramblings about
my personal life that they could care less about. They want today's salient
issues dissected with a conservative-libertarian take, filled with wit, and
humor. So as my readers (all 3, they have fan club meetings in a phone booth),
are the life-blood of this organ , I shall not disappoint!

After much anticipation, speculation, and a war chest that hardly seems adequate
to enter into a hotly contested Republican field, the Thompson campaign has
officially announced that Claire is coming home today...oops, sorry.

Anyway, the media's castration of Senator Craig, though his actions are disgraceful,
seem somewhat hypocritical. Senator Craig was arrested and convicted of
trying to solicit an undercover male officer for a little slap in tickle in the
men's bathroom of an airport. Craig was never sentenced to jail time, but
infuriated his colleagues by suggesting he was entrapped, and was actually
only trying to pick up toilet paper. (I'm not kidding). Craig remained steadfast
in his refusals to resign, despite pressure from colleagues, but has finally
caved under pressure, and will announce later today that Claire is coming
home. Oh crap I did it again.

OK. Today, after two years of increasingly cold-war style actions by
ex-KGB thug, and current Russian President, Vladimir Putin, a Russian
spokesperson has announced that Claire is coming home today.

Oh forget it. I'm too pumped.
Cordially
Joe

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dog Fight!!


OK, you've been emailing and pelting rocks at me on the street because there's been nothing on my blog in some time. Truth be told, I'm waiting
for a root canal and I'm in intense amounts of pain. I'm thinking of youtubing the entire event, or in true youtube spirit, devising some contraption with a string tied to my aching tooth, and the other end
tied to a Chevy half-ton and just watch the aching little bastard tooth fly out of my mouth like
a scene in Jackass.
I recently returned from Toronto, where the weather is unbearable and the
air smells like a dysenteric leper. The food is awful, and if you try to
be friendly to people, they nervously start fondling their cell phones
as if you're some kind of crazed escape mental patient.

I have to say, I'm not a big fan of the city, but there are a few joys
like the Market, the Royal York, and of course, my girlfriend,
who is set to return to Moncton in 8 days.

Anyway, I know I'm going to piss off the bizarre animal-maternal
instincts that many of my readers have, but this entire Michael Vick
thing is just perplexing me.

Pro-athletes pop drugs and steroids like Pez, they beat up underage prostitutes,
and get all coked up and drive their beamers down the interstate in high speed
chases, and while they often suffer some slight legal consequences, the NFL,
doesn't really seem to care.

Now this Vick charecter, while obviously a full-fledged sadist who likes
to play WWE smackdown with his dogs on the weekend, and recreates
scenes from the inquisition with them afterwards, gets suspended
indefinitely.

Now yes, I know, animals are helpless, and how we treat them is often
a reflection of society in general, but isn't the 14 year old prostitute's
life who gets used as a punching bag all night by some of these fellows
perhaps more important then Snoopy's scraped up face after a round of doggie
wrestling? When did human life take a back seat to the welfare of animals?

I don't like what Mr. Vick did, it turns my stomach, but if he
had picked up some crack whore in Vegas and made her fight a homeless
guy for a box of Saltines, I think he would still be playing football.

Ugh. I just don't understand. Maybe it's the Tylenol no 3.

Cordially
Joe

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mea Culpa (just a little)


Earlier on the blog, I wrote a piece coming to the
defence of former Senator, and aspiring presidential
candidate, Fred Thompson. I double checked my facts,
as much as one can with the resources at my disposal,
and went ahead with the story. It now turns out, the
story has some merit, though not to the extremes that
the LA Times is claiming.

The Thompson camp, after a story published by the New York Times,
and backed by the always reliable National Review, admitted that Thompson
had indeed done some brief lobbying for planned parenthood organisations,
to obtain federal funding for abortions.

Now, let it be noted that a lawyer working as a lobbyist takes on a plethora
of clients, and his job is to be an advocate for his client's views, even if
they often do not reflect his own - just like a defence lawyer takes on
clients, who have more than often done things, he, or she, may find horrifying.

The full picture, as an op-ed piece on NRO points outs, is murkier than
we would like it to be. Recently revealed letters to constituents show
that his beliefs in the mid 1990, clearly indicated that he leaned towards
the pro-choice position. Mr. Thompson's voting record, however, has
always been solidly pro-life.

A murky situation indeed, especially when Thompson proclaimed that
he couldn't possibly fathom how anyone could paint him as pro-choice.
Regrettably, as the Thompson camp has now had to concede, the evidence
shows how one could indeed come to that conclusion.

But let's give the benefit of the doubt to old Fred. 15 years ago is a long
time, and his voting record to the pro-life cause has always been solid.
Perhaps he, like many others, changed his mind over the years, as I'm
sure many voters have. This is not unheard of, and can hardly be
called a latter-day conversion, like that of Mitt Romney. (pardon the pun).

As for me, I am guilty of jumping too quickly to defend Mr Thompson,
and for that, my readers may declare shenanigans on me. (that's a South
Park reference if that went over your head). Thompson's situation is confusing,
but his voting record is not. Let's give the benefit of the doubt to Mr. Thompson,
and those who choose not to, better be prepared to remember projects they were
working on 15 years ago as well. Rest assured, the Thompson team is working
over time to remind them of when, and for whom, they were working for.

Cordially

Joe

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekend Update...Sort Of



Really, unless you're a student, government employee, or someone lucky enough
to still 9 to 5 it up, Dolly Parton style, few of us have a Saturday-Sunday weekend. That said, I can't fathom why I feel obsessed with being so pedantic about posting
weekend updates before Friday. My own "weekend", as I now think the word deserves
quotations, falls on Thursday and Friday, which is actually a Muslim weekend, and almost a
Hebrew one. So Mazoltoff! to all my Jewish readers, and Molotov! to all the Islamo fascists out
there.

I went to a local Irish Eatery, where I had chicken curry smothered on french fries, which
to me, is like slathering Bechamel sauce on cheesecake. Now, I hear in that part
of the world, curry and chips is all the rage, especially in England, where it is not the culinary
abomination that it sounds like. Anyway, the curry was passable, but the mushed concoction
made it feel like East Indian Leprechauns where jumping up and down on my stomach.

Anyway, my weekend, was beset with a slight malaise, topped with a sprinkling of
melancholy, but it went better than this poor schmuck in Thailand who has become
yet another victim of an increasing number of Bizarre elephant tramplings. The poor chap
is quite dead, but happily, the elephant was subdued with bananas. I guess he got so
hungry, he thought smashing someones skull might prove to be a clever way to incorporate
more fruit into his diet. (note that the header for the story reads; "Angry Elephant Stomps
man to Death". Maybe if he had shined up on his happy, he would have had more bananas
to begin with.)

My Girlfriend is still in the big city, and I am anxiously waiting her return in several weeks.
Hopefully she won't come back wearing Prada and lamenting about you just can't get
any decent theatre in the Maritimes. I'm teasing. She's going to be the same girl
I love when she gets back, as she was when she left.
Cordially

Joe

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Anderson Cooper Pooper Scooper

My friends and acquaintances know that I am like an urban Bedouin.
It seems that fate, circumstance, sprinkled with sometimes, plain old
bad luck, require me to move more than I would like.

Granted, never feeling settled down for any extended period of
time can be tiring, but I have always believed that home is where
there is love and friends, so in a sense, I'm always home, at least
with a few exceptions from my past, which I care not to rekindle.

Now, the only real caveat to my constant gypsie-like ways, is
that sometimes I am without my lifeline, my current events
thermometer, the only station no self respecting conservative
can do without - Fox News.

I'm not going to get into a long winded defence of why Fox news is, I think,
though not perfect, at least the best cable news network out there. The
other two options being CNN, the mouthpiece for left of center democrats,
and Johny-come-lately populists, and MSNBC, the far left, low rated
mess of a news station, often jokingly referred to in the industry as
"a website with a news channel".

Seeing that I don't miss MSNBC when I move to a place where there's
no digital cable, I'm forced to endure the rantings of the pod-people at
CNN, who usually devote an entire news day to whatever non-celebrity
has gotten themselves into some kind of substance related trouble, or have
assumed room temperature, because of their substance related trouble.

I don't know who the producer is for CNN's dreadful morning show,
but if the current trend continues, I'm sure to be shedding my temporary
fat pants, and back into my pin striped, slim-jims in no time.

On Saturday morning, while munching on toast, I was informed of the
President's colonoscopy. Now, that doesn't gross me out, and I took
a certain glee that during the 2 hours that President Bush was
under anaesthesia, my man Dick Cheney was at the helm. (I can imagine
the hordes of unshaved Birkenstock clad liberals, dashing down to
Martha's Vineyard to hold each other.)

As I stated, the colonoscopy didn't turn me away from my Wonder bread,
it was the medical expert whom they selected that went into great
detail about how far this electronic probe would be inserted into poor
President Bush's colon.

After recovering from the details of the President's anus (everyone loves to chat
about poop over breakfast), I was lulled into a false sense of security and
after the commercial break, I was bombarded with stories and images
of the cruel things people do to puppies and animals. Lovely. It's not
even 8:30 AM.

Sure, the Fox morning team can cause me to want to cry as well.
There are only so many cute animal stories I can endure - like clips
of a deer running amok in someone's backyard set to "Flight if the
Bumblebees".

But at least Fox has the courage to call a spade a spade, and label "insurgents"
and "suicide bombers" as terrorists. They're not afraid to call pedophiles - creeps,
or uncover ramped corruption at the UN, which is being covered in every other
country across the world, except the United States.

If Anderson Cooper was so concerned about "Keeping Them Honest", as
his nightly segment so pompously asserts, perhaps he should wake up and
realize that he is not going to be crowned the Patron Saint of New Orleans, and
that no government policy can prevent natural disasters, or the mess they create
in their aftermath. Bad things happen Anderson. Hurricanes, the mess in New
Orleans and politicians wasting tax dollars are hardly headline news. Why
don't you stop trekking around the rain forest in your designer LL Bean cargo
shorts, rumpled just so by your producers, and start digging into the oil
for food scandal at the UN, that has affected more lives across more
continents than any other pedantic scandal you seem obsessed with.

Anyway, I'm off on a dinner date with 3 lady friends of mine, (yes
my girlfriend in the big city is aware of this), so I wish you all a
good weekend.

Cordially

Joe

Sunday, July 15, 2007

6 Degrees of Separation to No Where


Former Senator, Law And Order star, and potential presidential candidate,
Fred Thompson, is making some on the left very nervous. The Washington Prowler is reporting that the LA Times worked overtime to publish a story trying to link Mr. Thompson to various pro-choice groups, including planned parent hood.

The allegations date back to 1991, when Thompson held an office at the Ardent
Fox Law firm in Washington. The LA times has been feverishly to trying corroborate
implausible story that Thompson had been hired by the National Family Planning
and Reproductive Rights Association.

The reason the LA Times sat on the story for so long is that the ties that
bind Mr. Thompson to the radical organization, come by several degrees of separation.

Thompson only worked in the office, was never a partner, and primarily
worked out his home base in Nashville. What has got the Times grasping
at straws is that the National Family Planning and Reproductive rights director,
Judith Desarno, had a working relationship with Michael Barnes, A former
partner at the firm.

Even more foolish is the fact the same pro-choice organization that the
Times is trying to claim Thompson was hired by, once listed him as
"Anti-choice Enemy No. 1".

The foolish attempt to tie Thompson with the radical pro-abortion group, is
a clear signal that the LA Times, an accurate thermometer of the American Left,
is spooked by the prospect of Thompson's rising popularity in national polling.

Thompson is an eloquent speaker, with a solid conservative voting record, and his
ability to communicate ideas, in a plain, no-nonsense manner will have
enormous appeal to undecideds, conservatives who have felt alienated by
President Bush, and closet, pro-war democrats.

The liberal LA Times has much to fear from a potential Thompson Presidential bid,
and this attempt to undercut his stellar reputation amongst pro-life Republicans will
fail miserably.

The Times would be ill advised to mess with Fred Thompson, but if they

continue to do so, it will a jolly good time to watch them get pimp slapped

into next week.




Cordially



Joe

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cottage Country


Mike Bloomberg defecting from the GOP, immigration reform dead, then rising again like Lazarus, and the lecherous Hillary Clinton leading in the polls. It's enough to make you want to shove thumb tacks in your eyes, or at the very least, head to a place where such extreme self mutilation is not necessary-the cottage.
My girlfriend's parents are the proud owners of a quaint and modest cottage in Pointe Au Cheine. It is cluttered with books and hand made crafts, fabricated from the shells and rocks of the seashore landscape that surrounds it. Some of the books date back to the late 19th century, many of them extremely rare and are the products of a collection started
many years ago by her Irish Grandfather.
There is nothing fancy about the cottage, at least not in the aesthetic shallowness
we have come to attach to the word, but is possessed with almost intoxicating charm,
whose memories are as real and as tangible as the walls themselves.

There are no tv's, something you would think, or at least I thought
at one time in my life, as necessary as food and toilet paper. But, even
for 48 straight hours, sitting peacefully in front of the soft glow of
a fire place, reading and laughing, smoking cigarettes on the patio,
and watching the other denizens of cottage country putter about
their yards, you are beset with a peace and serenity that I have
felt no where else.
Anyway, just a quick update on my weekend. Hope you all
enjoyed your own time as much as I did mine.
Cordially
Joe

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hardbull


Chris Matthews, the once sensible Democrat, and former aide to speaker of the house Tipp O'Neil, was caught off guard and dropped an "S" bomb, live on
the air. Mathew's is the bombastic host of MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews".

Returning from a commercial break, Matthews, who was readying himself
to announce the breaking news that New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg
was preparing to renounce his ties with the Republican party to become in
independent.
Matthew's, displaying his trademark arrogance, muttered; "We're all reacting
here, and putting on shit".

Matthew's certainly is right. MSNBC is shit, and so is his show, which
at one time, was one of the few interesting and balanced programs
on the network.

As for Bloomberg, good riddance to that insidious little traitor.
Cordially
Joe

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Worst Movie Ever, and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!



It's father's day, so happy father's day to all the dads,
step-dads, grand dads, and cool cat, daddy-o's. Most
of all, my Dad, who taught me about courtesy, compassion,
and the dignity and value of human life. Thanks Dad.



Watched Children of Men yesterday, which was an
odd way to mark the occasion. It was a self-serving,
skull numbing, lefty piece of drivel. Director Alfanso
Cuaoron took P D James' novel, and destroyed her rather
thoughtful and provocative take on a world facing extinction
after a plague of infertilty, and turns into his own self-absorbed
diatribe against the inequity of Capitalism. In the director's
commentary, the fool even goes so far as to say the brutality
of communism, was far better than the "unfairness" of
Capitalism. Yeah. Communism has been responsible for
the deaths of 110,000,000 innocent people. Capitalism
has been responsible for creating opportunity and hope,
and the means for people like Mr Cuaoron to make his
silly drivel.

Mr Cuaonon's director's comments where so nauseating,
I had to stop watching the bonus features for fear he
would make yet another monumentally stupid statement, or
continue to ramble on about how important his movie was.



Sigh. I feel better.

Happy Father's Day.

Cordially

Joe

Thursday, June 14, 2007

WEEKEND UPDATE



Stop the presses. Time to take a break from the news and sit back
and relax from our womb to tomb full-tilt boogie to the rapture.
Anderson Cooper continues the wall to wall coverage with the rest
of the pod people at CNN, over the Paris Hilton revolving door jail
sentence. Cooper is trying to show he is above the fray, by making
it a point to never mention her by name, yet continuing the Paris,
non-stop orgasmo coverage none the less. If Anderson Cooper
had blood, I'm sure he'd be blushing.

Planning on being a home handy man this weekend, and stripping
down the hot-sick wall paper from my fixer upper apartment,
and re-painting. Now, me doing handy work, is like asking
Paris Hilton to conjugate verbs. My bedroom may look like
Courtney Love's hotel room after spending the night
free basing coke, and trying to paint her nails.

We shall see.

Cordially
Joe

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Border Disorder Redux/Libby in Limbo





President Bush, pardon the pun, is in a most curious Mexican stand-off.
The boldest of his domestic policy initiatives sits dead in the water.
Democrats who would otherwise be inclined to support the immigration
legislation are too delighted at seeing the President squirm, than to pass
a bill they actually feel strongly about.


Bush has little negotiating room with the few Republicans
who are rightly opposed to the bill, and righteously
annoyed with the President for his less than polished remarks aimed
at them as his frustration level reached the boiling point.

Immigration reform is perhaps the most important
domestic issue on the President's agenda, and failure to pass the
bill would send the media into a frenzy, tripping over each other
to ramble on about "legacy", and "lame duck Presidents. CNN has
already started beating the drum and it is taking me everything not
to travel down to Atlanta to personally Jap-slap Anderson Cooper.

Let me say this so there is no ambiguity. While I may support the
administration on the war, I am opposed to the immigration bill.
It is a flawed pipe dream, and a dangerous proposition. That being
said, were I advising the President, and knowing he is not going to
back off from this bill, I have one peice of advice. Pardon I. Lewis "Scooter"
Libby Jr.

On March 6th, Mr Libby was unjustly convicted of perjury and obstruction
of Justice in connection with the Valerie Wilson leak. Odd, considering the
prosecutor could not even establish if and when the leak occurred, and
whether or not it constituted a crime. Well, perhaps not so odd when you
consider that this was a politically motivated prosecution to poke a
a thumb in the eye of the administration, when all other avenues had
failed.

Mr. Libby should never have been brought to trial, and those who
are opposed to the current immigration deal, are equally incensed
at the conviction of Mr Libby, and his subsequent 30 month
prison sentence.

Pardoning Mr. Libby may be the only political card Mr. Bush has
to play, and it may backfire if Democrats decide not to play ball
anymore after the pardon is granted. Either way, immigration
deal or not, Mr Libby deserves to be free.

President Bush. Pardon Mr. Libby, and let this good and honorable public

servant, reclaim his reputation.

Cordially

Joe

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Border Disorder




It looks like the immigration deal is dead in the water, at least for the time

being. This is good for conservatives overall, as the bill was deeply flawed,

but it is continuing to further alienate the only reliable allies President

Bush had on the right. Writing on NRO today, Katherine Lopez

wrote a polite, but firm piece, expressing her disappointment at the president.


"You’d think after conservatives forgave and forgot and fought hard for Samuel Alito the

White House would consider thinking twice before kicking its friends again. Instead, you’re

reminded that — back when the president was governor of Texas — he always prided

himself on working with Democrats rather than with his natural allies. "


Laura Ingraham was a bit less forgiving. Speaking from on her nationally syndicated

talk show, she lambasted her friend, claiming the President had;


"...taken his gloves off to punch us....he sure has a weird was of showing his love to his

political allies."


Oy. The mood is reminiscent of pre-9/11 when conservatives (including this one),

swallowed his big government tendencies, hoping that somewhere there lurked a

real leader with a genuine conservative heart...and we were not disappointed. From

the wreckage of 9/11 emerged a leader who found his confidence, and led the

nation with resolve through the months and years ahead.


President Bush is not the only one who will be feeling the ramifications of the

failure to pass the immigration reform bill. Presidential hopeful John McCain,

who made the bill one of the center pieces of his campaign, is wiping the

proverbial political egg from his face. As the bill sputtered it's last breath,

one of McCain's loyalest supporters and confidants, John Dowd, defected to

the burgeoning Thompson camp, in the anticipation of his expected candidacy

announcement. Dowd's defections is a double blow for McCain, as he is

one of the most savvy fund raisers on the hill.


I shall keep on my toes, like a midget at the urinal, and monitor any new

developments.


Cordially


Joe

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lost in the Labryinth


Hang on. This post will be rambling, large, and lacking in depth
and clarity - kind of like Rosie on The View.

I finally saw Pan's Labyrinth, which while visually
stunning, suffers from the fatal flaw that Guillermo Del Torro
had, until this point, avoided in previous films, and that is to
fall into the temptation of trying to reach profundity, and falling
very short of the mark.

The "Labyrinth", a term which was often used to describe Franco's
Spain, is the central theme throughout the movie, as a Labyrinth also
serves as the escape mechanism of the film's protagonist, Ofelia (Ivana
Banquero).

The fairy tale in which Ofelia immerses herself, runs as a sort
of allegorical parallel marking pre, present, and post Franco Spain.
The dilemma with Mr. Del Torro's weighty subject matter is that
it suffers from a certain post-modernist pretension that has run amok
in modern cinema - that being the tendency to sacrifice character
development, and/or plot, with audio and visual wizardry. We are
expected to accept the sacrifices of Ofelia's mother, (remarrying the
crazed Captain Vidal (Sergi Lopez), after the death of her husband,
a tailor whose death we are left no clues with), without any explanation
other than the overall implication that this is post civil war Spain, and
Franco's Spain is a rather brutal and bleak place.

So to, are we to accept the sociopathic cruelty of Captain Vidal, who
makes Ted Bundy look like a cuddly teddy bear.

And perhaps, this is not entirely, a bad thing. Hollywood buys heavily
into the mythology of moral relativism, and it was somewhat
refreshing to find a movie that was bold enough not to blur the lines
between good and evil, but still within the confines of fairly safe
subject matter for the left minded intelligentsia. If only Stephen
Spielberg had been so bold in Munich!

I won't spoil the plot, but the theme of fathers, and fatherlessness runs deep,
as well as some rather daft pot shots at the Catholic church, in the form
of an emaciated, eyeless monster, who sits at a table filled with a rich
feast from which no others can eat. The imagery is creepy and effective,
but also was somewhat offensive, given the monster is also afflicted with
stigmata.

I have to recommend Pan's Labyrinth for it's cinematic beauty, and
the haunting musical score composed by Javier Navarette. Just remember,
this is NOT a children's movie. It is graphically violent. If you show this to
your kids, be prepared to pay for 10 years of on going therapy!


Cordially

Joe


Sunday, June 03, 2007

He Came, He Conquered, He Ate 59 Hot Dogs


From Fox News;


A California man smashed the world record for hot dog eating at a contest Saturday, gobbling
up more than 59 franks in 12 minutes.
Joe Chestnut, 22, of San Jose, shattered the record held by Takeru Kobayashi of Japan by downing 59 1/2 "HBDs" — hot dogs and buns — during the Southwest Regional Hot Dog

Eating Championship at the Arizona Mills Mall in suburban Tempe.


Kobayashi's old record of 53 3/4 was set last year at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog

Eating Contest, held at Coney Island in New York, said George Costos, who helps runs the

regional contests for Nathan's.


Chestnut placed second in last year's world championships, consuming 52 hot dogs.


"He's unbelievable — he just keeps on going," said Ryan Nerz, who works for Major League

Eating, which he describes as "a world governing board for all stomach-centric sports."


"These guys' numbers have just been going up at a tremendous clip," Nerz said. "I always

thought there was a limit — a limit to the human stomach and a limit to human willpower

— but guess not."


Chestnut won a free trip to New York, a year's supply of hot dogs and a $250 gift card to the

mall.