Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Friday (uh huhh)

Happy Friday everyone! Today I bring you this video from a February 1982 concert in Hamburg, Germany. I was crazy about this song by Trio at the time and lived in Hamburg that year but from May through August. I was a big fan, but never got to see them in concert. Trio was based in West Berlin - as it was called at the time - and rarely played live. In fact they were only around making records for a few years.

These days, this song is known mostly for being featured in numerous TV commercials. My memories of it will always be of hearing it on the radio all the time in Europe (it was a super monster hit) and from playing it on my "Neu Deutsche Welle" LP. I bet if you ever wanted to dig around, you can still find some other music by Trio around. Even if you don't speak a word of German, you will probably still come to enjoy the childishly simple beats and silly lyrics of this highly unusual and very entertaining band. more on Trio

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I am a U.S. American

UPDATE: I have also posted this on DailyKos and you can read the 50+ comments here.

The internet video sensation of the moment is Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina who brutally mangled an answer during her competition recently for Miss Teen USA. While her incoherent response is certainly funny to watch - it may also may have, however accidentally, contained a gem of idea. Read on.

Those of us in The United States usually call ourselves “American”. It’s short, simple and manages to put down everyone else who lives in North and South America. What could be better?

The only alternative I'm familiar with is the bureaucratic description of "United States Citizen". So while our neighbors to the north and south are also known as "Canadian" "Mexican", "Brazilian" and "Peruvian" - we are left to identify ourselves by a term either to arrogant or too technical.

Everyone is making fun of Miss South Carolina's inarticulate response and understandable so. Unfortunately, at that moment, she epitomized much of what the rest of the world thinks of us ... um… Americans. But she may have actually come up with something. Somehow the phrase "U.S. American" stumbled from her mouth and I think it is a great name for us ... um … United States Citizens.

"U.S. American" sounds good and is actually very catchy once you say it once or twice. It describes us much more accurately than “Americans” and sounds more naturally patriotic than overly basic “United States Citizen”. Also, we often call our country “U.S.A.” and “U.S.American” is a logical extension of that. Finally, "U.S. American" kind of looks like US (all of us) Americans, and that's a pretty good idea to be associated with in a national name.

So, Miss South Carolina worry not. Your frightened ramblings are now the subject of much mockery. But who knows - you may have actually brought us a gift - a much better way to describe the citizens of these United States.

UPDATE II: Maybe this is what she should have said.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Those Crazy Reds!

Here's a quick look at a couple of stories that caught my eye yesterday. They are about one of my favorite topics - the absolute fraud of the so called conservative movement and how you have to be crazy to still believe in it.

TEG NUGENT: Yes that crazy rocker is back and quickly becoming the darling of the right wing. Recently during one of his concerts he lambasted Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton even making veiled threats on their lives. Nugent is a gun toting loud talking right wing nut but when it came to his own (in)action during the Viet Nam war, we only have to look at his own words to understand his hypocrisy. He not only dodged service but pissed and crapped himself and did not wash for a month to get a deferment based on mental illness. No wonder Sean Hannity has embraced him now. After all this neo-conservative thing is also a form of mental illness and it stinks to high heaven.

LARRY CRAIG. This is not a re-post, this is a new story. A right wing, family values Republican was caught soliciting sex in an airport men's room. (Getting redundant isn't it?? Makes me wonder if the GOP is the Gay Old Party) We have all heard some outspoken right wingers claim that homosexuality is a mental illness while people like me like to say that conservatism is. Whoever is right, this stalwart of the GOP is a real nut job - or at least just looking for one.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Damage Done - Gonzo Gone

Alberto Gonzales has finally resigned, putting aside his selfish desire to further pad his resume. Of course, this is long overdue. Gonzo allowed the Justice Department to be run by political operatives who abused power in order to get "a permanent Republican majority". Gonzo was a puppet and figurehead who was there pretty much to serve four main purposes for George W. Bush. 1. It proved loyalty - Gonzo got Bush out of trouble a lot over the years, so the AG job was a personal reward. 2. He was easily manipulated - this allowed Karl Roves' people to run the department putting the interests of the Republican party over that of our nation. 3. It made Bush look inclusive - the main qualification in Bush's mind was that Gonzo was Hispanic. We all remember Bush pointing to Condi Rice and Colon Powell to prove he didn't hate blacks. Gonzo was there to show that he didn't hate Hispanics either. 4. It made Bush feel smart. Hard to believe but Gonzo was actually more shallow and less intellectually curious than George W. Bush. It must has been great for W to have someone around that actually was more dimwitted than himself.

Gonzo is a perfect analogy of the Bush administration and the current Republican party. He "believed" in the right things and refused to let facts ever get in the way of those ideals. He was a loyal crony who provided no criticism or oversight over the misdeeds of his sponsors or his party. And he was simply terrible in his job even as he harbored illusions of self grandeur. Adios Gonzo - go sign that fat contract with FOX news now so they can have another lackey to put front and center.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Better to go topless?

Living in New York is a constant educational experience. One of the many things I have found out is that people take their baseball caps very seriously. For example, no honest New Yorker would be caught with a hat that has an adjustable band. Why? Well they are for kids - who's heads are still growing. Adults (adult males specifically) buy fitted caps (to be called "fitteds" never hats or caps). I got myself a fitted a few weeks ago at the stadium and people really notice the difference. Hard to believe but true - people on the street uptown who I see from time to time called out praise for my fitted with no encouragement on my part the very first time I wore it. It's a big deal. Also, up here one doesn't curve the bill like we did in Florida. Back there, it was the first thing you did to a hat - curved the bill so that it blocked the sun from all angles. Up here the bill is kept absolutely straight and the hat is pulled all the way down. At first I thought it looked ridiculous - now I do it that way too to avoid being the ridiculous one. Anyway here is a story about some people who took their fitted's a little too seriously. (If I get the chance, I'll post before/after pic of me in headware ... )

Happy Friday!

May it be out of this world!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Republican cavalry is coming ... but not with weapons

A new group, Freedom’s Watch, is launching Wednesday with a $15 million, five-week campaign of TV, radio and Web ads featuring military veterans that is aimed at retaining support in Congress for President Bush’s “surge” policy on Iraq. "For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry is coming," said former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who is a founding board member of the group. The big ad buy, funded by high-profile Republicans who were aides and supporters of President Bush, reflects a furious public relations battle that will unfold as Congress debates the crucial progress report by Gen. David Petraeus, which is due Sept. 15. more

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blue Sox Win!

The Bet Shemesh Blue Sox have won the Championship of the Israeli baseball League!!!! Managed by former Yankee Ron Bloomberg and lead by (future Yankee?) Michael Lyons they shut out their opponent the Modi'in Miracles 3-0 Sunday in the Chamionship game. Lyons had a key hit in the forth inning to bring the championship to the Blue Sox. Congratulations to Lyons, whose poise under pressure proved so valuable all season long, and to the Israeli Baseball League as a whole, who have helped spread the great game of baseball to another corner of the world.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Friday!

I tend to think of myself as a big thinker. I'm always trying to figure out answers to all life's big mysteries. In fact, in a world full of people who "can't see the forest because of the trees" I have always been analyzing all the different forests and could just as well get by without thinking much about the individual trees. Through it all though, one of the life's' most vexing questions I have pondered on is "What are the real words to the 1966 Kingsmen song 'Louie Louie' ". At last this secret of life has been revealed to me and I share it with you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Huckabee sees support on the left

I have been reading and occasionally submitting to the liberal (and now famous) blog DailyKos for quite a while. It's a very diverse, very crowded website where just about anyone can write just about anything. Most of it is pretty thoughtful and it all leans, to various degrees, to the left. Someone wrote an opinion piece about conservative Republican Mike Huckabee on Tuesday that really caught my eye. It started out as a warning to Democrats about Huckabee's politics but ended almost convincing the writer and many commenter's that Mike Huckabee might actually make a pretty good President. As I will always remind you, I have been saying this for quite a while now. While none of us has become a "Democrat for Huckabee", I think we've all opened up to the possibility that he is a candidate that could really lead this country in the right direction. Read the story for sure and then check out a cross section of the comments. Read a couple, scroll down a while and read a couple more. You can almost see some light bulbs going off. Mike Huckabee may or may not become President, but he may have found a message that can be used a guide to closing the divide that now exists between Red and Blue America.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I remember hearing Phil Rizzuto broadcast Yankee games back in the 70's. His "Holy Cow" was always so comforting to hear. I remember his appearance on the Meat Loaf song, Paradise By the Dashboard Light. In fact, I remember him talking during a game about doing it the day before! See ya Scooter.

Number 101!

For those worried about the mental and physical health of vlogger daxflame - rest easy. He's back with video 101.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Huckabee Surge?

Regular readers will know that my favorite of the Republican candidates for President is Mike Huckabee. While I disagree with many of his positions, I see Huckabee as a realist, humanitarian and not caught in the game of pandering to the hate mongers who have been pulling the strings in the GOP for a generation. I would have much respect for my Red American friends if they were to actually nominate this man - who has an uncharacteristic (for modern Republicans) understanding of the real world and a genuine compassion for his fellow Americans. I'm thrilled that he not only came in a strong second in the Iowa straw poll this weekend, but did so without having to "pay off" people as many of the other candidates did including first place finisher Mitt Romney. For the good of this country, I hope Mike Huckabee gets a second look now by Republicans and I hope that they come to realize that he would be an effective President and may actually be the only candidate in their party who could get a significant number of cross over votes, making him perhaps the strongest hope they have for success the general election.
Mike Huckabee finished a surprising second with 18.1 percent of the vote in the straw poll here Saturday even though he did not have the funds to rent a single bus or put a single commercial on TV. POLITICO

Musical Monday

"I Don't Like Mondays"
Boomtown Rats

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Political Correctness

I ofter hear "conservative" commentators whine about Political Correctness and try to say that liberals are always trying to enforce PC on America. Of course it is pure rubbish. Here's one example of how PC is not only used by "conservatives" but used much more often by "conservatives" and not only to correct bad behavior but to severly punish and intimidate those they target.

The story linked illustrates this. This poor guy, confined to a wheelchair, wanted to visit the Dali museum in St. Augustine, FL so he entered a contest on satellite radio. He won the "Date with a Porn Star" contest and went to the museum escorted by and adult film star. The "date" itself was innocent enough and he got his wish to see the museum. That's where the fun ended and the trouble began. First, he went on the radio and got ridiculed for being in a wheelchair. Then he was forced to resign his teaching position which he held for 14 years because of the "date".

Certainly liberal Political Correctness can get pretty silly, with some folks getting carried away about the use of language. But in my view, "conservatives" who enforce their version of PC tend to go way beyond wagging their finger at people using inappropriate language. They usually go for the jugular - destroying peoples lives and careers if the stray from the "conservative" moral boundaries they try to enforce on everyone else but rarely follow themselves.

Cartoon Commentary

Friday, August 10, 2007

Somebody get the cheese..

.. because I'm bringing the whine. OK, so you all have heard me bellyache about the hot, hot weather. Well, right now it is 55 degrees and, for those of us dressed for summer, it's freaking freezing! So I guess I should carry shorts, rain gear and winter clothes with me wherever I go - because clearly you never know what the city is going to throw at you.

NEW! AP News Headlines

You'll notice an exciting addition to my blog in the left hand column. It's a latest news headlines courtesy of the Associated Press. All you have to do is click the headline that interests you and the story will appear. When you're finished, click on the left pointing arrow to return to the headlines. I think this makes my site more useful for people who want to keep up with breaking news all day long. Enjoy!

Extreme in the Mainstream

Remember this post from a few weeks ago which showed a Hindu religious leader being heckled by Christian extremists in the US Congress? Well perhaps that attitude is more mainstream than I let on - at least among Red Americans who will never stop trying to retake power in the United States. Just a little reminder of the long term challenges we face from people who misuse Christianity to disguise their own ignorance and hatefulness.

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and a great weekend!

Here's a video that seemed so bizarre to me I figured "why not share it?". I get continual updates of all the most popular YouTube videos of the moment and this was right up there all day long. It's by a young Director who goes by the handle daxflame. This is his 100th and final video. It's a farewell that had me gripped with it's emotion, laughing at it's silliness and baffled as to it's sincerity. Basically, after 100 videos he has gotten well know but grown weary of the criticism that inevitably comes with success. I'd never heard of daxflame before but he is the sensation of the moment and he could grow up to be the next David Letterman or Steven Spielberg. more

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thursday Roundup

It's a new day and everything seems to be returning to normal in New York City. Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day for me. By 2 I knew I wouldn't be making it to work so I decided to just enjoy the day off. Since I couldn't really go anywhere, I put myself under house arrest. I watched TV in the air conditioning, did some reading, took a nap but did not make a pot roast as I had planned (did not want to go to the store or stand over a hot stove for hours). Instead I made some pasta and a salad. I got plenty of rest and feel just great this morning. Everything turned out for the best. The New York Times has some great photos and stories from the meltdown yesterday - you can read and hear more here.

Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run on Tuesday night. I figured that since I was a kid and saw Hank Aaron hit 715 on television, I would try to catch the Bonds' home run live. I did. It was somewhat exciting and less disappointing than I thought. Yes, he used steroids and is a nasty sort of guy, but I'll give him his due today and then let it fade from memory. Alex Rodriguez seems next to challenge the record in 5 -10 years. I hope he does it in a Yankee uniform.

The Yankees got killed last night but overall they are making great progress in the race to the playoffs. They are only 1/2 game behind Detroit in the wild card race. The Tigers come to town next week and I eagerly await seeing some of that series.

The Miami Dolphins, like all other NFL teams, have opened their training camp. I know I'll be alone here rooting for the Dolphins but once again I am hoping for a return to greatness that we haven't seen in quite some time.

With the day off yesterday I got to see some of the trapped miners story. The spokesman for the company seems like a real oddball. At this point he seems to just be spinning the story to make him look good. If things turn out badly he's going to be the subject of some great ridicule and justified anger.

The Democratic debate at Solider Field in Chicago was interesting the other night. Barack looked good but Hillary seemed to strengthen her position as the most prepared. Overall, I'm not sure having debates outdoors at a football stadium is such a good idea. There was too much background noise like whistling and jeering. Very annoying. Don't look for the faint hearted Republican to try anything that unscripted.

Have a great day!!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hot and Bothered

I’m sitting at home hot as Hell. Yes, hot because of the weather and yes, hot because of my looks ;) but also hot as in angry. I took a class yesterday for work and had another scheduled today way down on 23rd Street. It is an easy ride on the subway. I could take the closest train, the 2 or 3 line to Times Square , switch to another train for 2 stops or so and walk a bit to get to the class. Always one to be over prepared I arrived there 45 minutes early yesterday because I wasn’t sure how long it would take. Not long.

Today is another story altogether. Now knowing it is a quick commute, I set the alarm a little later to enjoy a rare morning of sleeping in until 8:30. I woke up around 6 to hear a nice thunderstorm going on. “Ahhhh” I thought, perfect to have this on a day I can sleep in. I rolled over to enjoy a couple bonus hours of zzzz’s When I got up at 8:30 the radio was announcing that the subways were in big trouble because of the storm. I went to their web site and of course, when people really need it, it crashed. Finally, I learned that the 2, 3 lines were completely down, so I walked over to another avenue to catch a B, D, F or C train. It would take more time, require more walking but if I hurried I should make it.

I hurried - quickly coated in the sweat that pumps out of me like a fountain. I got to the station and there was a wild mob scene. It took me at least ten minutes just to get to the platform, pushing through all the hot, angry people mulling around. When I got there they announced that ALL downtown train were stopped. Arrggggg!!!!! The bus stops resembled mosh pits and it would take forever to travel 120 blocks by bus anyway. There were thousand of people were standing in the streets trying to flag down anyone to drive them downtown. It was a mess.

I decided to go back to my apartment to see what I could find out. Seems that virtually the entire subway system is currently shut down because of the rain. RAIN! As I sit here I am witnessing today devolving into my one day off. Crap! Sure, it would be nice to have a day off but I have never, ever known what to do with a day off. The whole reason for a day off has been to go out the night before! Like a good student I spent last night studying for class when I could have been tossing back a few cold ones with my pals over at Jimmy’s. (Been about a month since I was there - it’s really overdue!)

After a night at Jimmy’s I usually like to spend the next day keeping the apartment cool and dark, cooking up a great meal, watching movies and tending to any head or stomach ailments that might have resulted from any accidental overindulgence. But here I am, with tons of energy and possibly the whole day to kill. (For me -it’s too hot to go out just for fun and to have a drink or two today would only make tomorrows work day a miserable event).

So I’m going to go back to the subway station at about 1or 2 to see if I can get to work by then and avoid totally losing this day. But if it is still a mess - which at this point seems will be the case - I’ll probably get a nice pot roast and cook it up - taking my anger and frustration out later this evening on the dead cow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Presidential Horse Race 8/1/07

It's been a very busy couple of weeks so I haven't blogged as much as I might have liked. But here is one thing I have been working on - my view of the Presidential race. This breakdown is as of last week - August 1st. I will have another view (with some big changes) later this week. Then I will update this from time to time when situation warrants it.

Here is a list of the candidate in the order of likelihood they will be the next President.

F. Thompson

Now here is a look at the possible match ups. The number next to the candidates name is the percentage chance I feel they would win in that match up. It is NOT a prediction of popular vote. So, for example, if Clinton faces Romney in the general election, I think Clinton has a 55% chance of beating Romney ... and so on. (As of August 1, 2007)

(55) H. Clinton v. M. Romney

(60) B. Obama v. M. Romney

J. Edwards v. M. Romney (52)

(57) H. Clinton v. F. Thompson

(53) B. Obama v. F. Thompson

J. Edwards v. F. Thompson (51)


(60 ) H. Clinton v. R. Guliani

(55) B. Obama v. R. Guliani

(52) J. Edwards v. R. Guliani


(62) H. Clinton v. J. McCain

(65) B. Obama v. J. McCain

(55) J. Edwards v. J. McCain

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cartoon Commentary

(click to enlarge)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Go North Young Man!

The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000. ABC News

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

South Park + Scooby Doo x C-SPAN = Lil' Bush

Lil Bush is on again tonight {Wednesday} at 10:30pm on Comedy Central. I wrote about it last week but in case you missed it here's another reminder. I think I have a pretty good amount of disdain for Bush and the Republicans but the creators of this show even go further. It is shockingly funny. This short story from CNN (not the best story but what do you expect considering that Miami flunkie Rick Sanchez is doing it) addresses the controversy surrounding this show.