On Political Debate, Senseless Violence, and The Constitution

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. It’s an expression some elected officials and media types would be well served to learn.

When one has a public forum like this there is a certain sense of obligation to comment on significant events. However, one must exercise caution. I have been guilty on occasion…maybe not here so much as in other places…of letting my emotions dictate a phrenetic response full of, as my Grandma used to say, piss & vinegar. That is usually not a wise course of action and so I have learned the fine art of pondering. It has been a couple of days since the tragic events in Arizona, which has given me time to contemplate my views.

All manner of news outlets, from TV & radio to newspapers & the Internet, have been covering the sad shooting rampage at a political event for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Rep. Giffords was shot in the head and though she survived and the prognosis is positive the road that lay ahead is undoubtedly long. Six others were not as fortunate, dying as a result of their injuries. The dead included three individuals in their upper 70’s who were so close to completing this race we call life only to be cut down violently in their “golden years”. Their funerals will not be what those of such an advanced age can, most of the time, reasonably hope for…slightly melancholy yet buoyant affairs that are often a reunion of sorts for friends & family, a celebration of the life of a person who has successfully run the course and finished as well as could be expected. No, these folks don’t get that sort of quasi-triumphant ending. And then there is 9 year old Christina Green, ironically born on September 11, 2001, a little girl whose budding interest in politics spurred her to attend the event in Arizona and ultimately ended her life. Think about that…nine years old. There are no words capable of capturing the sadness and anger such a death brings about. The murderer is a 22 year old wackjob whose motives are unclear and will probably never make sense, because there is no way that killing 6 people…especially a child…can ever make sense no matter how much context one is able to attribute to the circumstances.

But we are human beings, and asking “Why??” is just one of those things we do, even when we know there will never be a satisfactory answer. To that end, there has been no lack of response to the Arizona tragedy, and much of it has been predictable yet troubling.

Infamous law enforcement pinata Rodney King once asked the question “Can’t we all just get along??”. The answer Rodney, is no, we can’t. Why can’t we all get along?? I suppose there is a variety of answers to that, but an overwhelming reason is self-serving greed and egotistical narcissism. We Americans can muster the capability to be united in heartbreaking anguish and wrath for about 10 minutes before someone decides to use the situation to further their own agenda. And, with apologies to my bleeding heart liberal friends, it has to be said that it is usually their heroes that are the first to start gnawing on something like a dog with a rawhide, usually in an effort to demonize conservatives and spit on The Constitution. In the past 48 hours we’ve seen the Arizona sheriff investigating the shooting blame Rush Limbaugh, South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn demand renewal of The Fairness Doctrine (which limits free speech), New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy call for yet more gun control laws, and idiots ranging from testosterone-challenged Keith Olbermann to Hanoi Jane Fonda blame The Tea Party and more specifically two of its most ardent figureheads, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Meanwhile, back in the real world, evidence is mounting that the shooter was an anti-Semitic (Congresswoman Giffords is Jewish) leftist pothead with a personal grudge against his target and no affiliation with any political party. There is absolutely no evidence that he was a listener much less a passionate follower of any particular talk radio host or other pundit, and nothing to support the assumption that “vitriolic political rhetoric” is to blame for his heinous act save for a not uncommon dislike for the government in general. Several friends and acquaintances have come forward expressing a decided lack of surprise that this lunatic would commit such a violent crime. Even the dimwitted sheriff so hell bent on casting aspersions on Limbaugh stated that the man came from “a somewhat dysfunctional family”. The predilection toward trying to assign rationale to irrational, violent behavior is understandably human. The penchant for taking advantage of the grief of others to play political games and crap all over freedom & liberty is a sad commentary on the state of both “journalism” and ethical, moral, sapient leadership.

The bottom line is this…..

More gun laws will neither bring the dead back to life nor would it have prevented the event from happening. Stifling of free speech would be just as misguided. The simple fact is that a young man with a lot of issues and more than a few screws loose went off the deep end. He is to blame for his actions, and if the legal system works the way it is supposed to then some form of justice, as hollow as it will undoubtedly seem in relation to the lives of the victims and their families, will be served. Everything else is just a bunch of poppycock, a vain attempt by some to make this horrific tale about them and their megalomaniacal tendencies & need for power and control.

The Inaugural Sammy Awards – 2010 Edition

Traditionally I do a Year In Review, a rundown of all the significant events of the past 12 months infused with my sardonic wit. However, I have decided to change things up a little. Every time one turns around there is an awards show on television, with insiders from all manner of industry patting themselves on the back, usually for maintaining the status quo level of mediocrity. So I got to thinking…why not me?? Why can’t I have my own awards?? And since this is my site and I can do pretty much anything I darn well please within the confines of decency and good taste that is exactly what I am going to do. Therefore, it is with pleasure that I present to you what I hope will become a long lasting annual staple here at The Manofesto. I present to you the inaugural edition of The Sammys.



Best Movie (That I’ve Actually Seen)



Hot Tub Time Machine

The powers-that-be wanted it to be the second coming of The Hangover, but it falls short of the mark. Still, it’s an entertaining movie with time travel and a fun cameo or two. I don’t feel like I wasted my time or money.



Shrek 4Ever After

Supposedly this was the final Shrek film. It has an It’s A Wonderful Life zeitgeist and isn’t a bad film, but at this point there’s just no juice left in the tank for the franchise and this fourth entry is nothing more than superfluous.



Grown-Ups

I have always been an unabashed Adam Sandler fan, even if his comedies are completely pointless and stupid. Unfortunately he (and an all star cast) attempt to have a point in this movie and it just fell flat. Or maybe it just wasn’t what I was expecting.



Toy Story 3

Now this is an example…hopefully…of a franchise ending on a high note. Don’t let the PR for 3D fool you…this movie doesn’t need gimmicks. These Toy Story movies are well written and have great performances, making the entire trilogy a cut above most animated fare.



The Social Network

I spend way too much time on Facebook, so I was excited to see a movie based on its origins. Even better, the script was written by Aaron Sorkin, the scribe behind TV gems like The West Wing and Sports Night.



And The Sammy goes to…..



The Social Network. Honestly, it was a close race, with Toy Story 3 a very very close 2nd. But I really enjoy Sorkin’s writing, and Jesse Eisenberg starring as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was mesmerizing. I even liked the performance of Justin Timberlake, who may want to consider giving up singing in favor of acting.




Assclown of the Year



Jay Leno

Leno should have walked away…it’s that simple. In the fall of 2009 Jay had handed over the reigns of The Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien and settled into his own 10pm show. Unfortunately the ratings for both shows were less than stellar so by January 2010 the suits at NBC panicked, wanting Leno back at 11:30 (for a half hour) and The Tonight Show at midnight. Conan, understandably, did not like this plan. Instead of ditching NBC and getting a late night gig somewhere else Leno played the “I just do what I’m told” card, going back to Tonight while Conan was unceremoniously dumped, albeit with a nice buyout. As of this moment Leno’s Tonight Show is going strong, while Conan’s new show…Monday-Thursday at 11pm on TBS…started out on fire but seems to be headed toward a downward spiral. Jay Leno, in my humble opinion, has shown his true colors, and he isn’t as nice of a guy as most thought a year ago.



Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi, & Harry Reid

The three headed ultra liberal monster that has lead the Democrat Party the past couple of years cannot be separated. They work as one, in concert with one another, forcing upon an unsuspecting, easily distracted, sadly uninformed American public a quasi-Communist agenda that will have negative ramifications for decades. And besides all that they are just buffoons. Voters took a step in the right direction (pun unavoidable) last month by significantly altering the makeup of Congress, ensuring that Pelosi would not continue as Speaker of the House. But that is next year. In 2010 this unholy triple threat got a lot done, and most of it won’t be good for America in the long run. Your mileage may vary, and that’s okay.



Jim Joyce

On June 2, 2010 MLB umpire Joyce was working first base for a Detroit Tigers/Cleveland Indians game. Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. A close play at first was ruled an infield hit by Joyce, costing Galarraga a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at perfection. Replays showed the runner should have been called out, and to his credit the umpire was deeply apologetic while the pitcher showed an unparalleled level of grace and class. Jim Joyce’s heartfelt remorse and frank honesty earned him a measure of redemption, but making such a critical mistake and screwing another individual out of a monumentally singular accomplishment, an opportunity Armando Galarraga will almost certainly never have again, dictates a nomination for this “honor”.



Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben may be one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL, but his off-the-field reputation took quite a hit in 2010. In March Ben was partying with college students at some dive bar in Georgia, which right off the bat seems below a 28 year old professional athlete. Even worse, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 20 year old co-ed in a bathroom. No charges were filed, but the district attorney, by the words he used in addressing the situation, seemed to strongly infer that it is likely something improper occurred but that it would be too difficult to secure a slam dunk conviction. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who doesn’t have to answer to anyone and has no problem doing whatever he wants, suspended Roethlisberger for the first 5 weeks of the season. Roethlisberger rebounded nicely and has the Steelers on a roll, but the public perception of him is undeniably altered forever. Only two people know what really happened in that bathroom, but I believe that where there is smoke there is almost always fire. My prayers are with that young girl, that she can move forward as easily as the man who may or may not have raped her.



Tiger Woods

The self destruction of Tiger Woods actually began right around Thanksgiving of 2009, but by January 2010 the situation had spiraled completely out of control. For awhile it seemed like every day a different woman came out of the woodwork admitting to an affair with the very married golfer. To Tiger’s credit he didn’t try to deny the allegations, although how could he?? If one woman says she has slept with a married guy he can deny it, but when more than a dozen tell similar stories there is just no way out of the mess. Tiger’s indiscretions cost him his wife and tore apart his family. The situation also effectively destroyed his career, atleast in the short term. For over a decade Tiger Woods was unquestionably the world’s #1 golfer, mowing down the competition like no one since the classic Jack Nicklaus-Arnold Palmer rivalry years. That all changed in 2010, as for the first time in his professional life he did not win a single tournament, let alone one of the coveted “majors”. Before this scandal it seemed inevitable that Tiger would breaks Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, but now the possibility of that record being broken is much more in doubt. Woods lost a ton of money off the course too, as sponsors scurried away from him like roaches from sunlight. Some folks may never look at Tiger Woods the same, some have already moved on and anxiously await the day he re-ascends the throne as the much feared king of the links. We shall see what 2011 brings, but nothing can erase the horror that was the past 12 months.



Lebron James

Speaking of kings, we must nominate basketball’s King James, the modern NBA’s biggest star. Up until 2010 Lebron seemed like an excellent role model for the league. He comes across as intelligent, thoughtful, well spoken, and likeable. I always thought he was reminiscent of Magic Johnson, with the amiable smile dialed down and replaced with Michael Jordan’s competitive intensity. The exclamation point was that, after deciding to come straight out of high school in 2003 the Akron born & bred Lebron was drafted by his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. All that was lacking was a storybook ending, i.e. the kid leading the team of his childhood from the cellar to an NBA Championship. Unfortunately that was not how the story ended. Instead Lebron decided to go into full diva mode, stringing the Cavaliers and several other teams along during a long, self aggrandizing process at the end of which King James ditched the small market Cavaliers and “took his talents to South Beach”, aka the glitz & glamor of Miami. I have no issue with a free agent deciding to go to another team where he thinks the chances of long term success are more solid. This is America, and Lebron James simply took advantage of the opportunities afforded to him within the system by which the NBA runs. That is fine. What I and many others took exception to was the arrogant way the situation was handled, culminating in a TV special on ESPN called The Decision, during which James took a full hour to tell us what he could have said via Twitter or a normal news conference in about 30 seconds. There is a way to conduct business and a way not to conduct business, and it’s a lesson Lebron James has yet to learn. When I look at him now I don’t see intelligence, thoughtfulness, or likeability…I see a spoiled child whose amazing, God given athletic talent has provided for him a lifetime of being coddled to and put up on a pedestal. Funny thing about pedestals though…they are really fragile and easily come crashing down.



And The Sammy goes to…..



Tiger Woods. A huge part of me would love to give the award to James, but at the end of the day what he did was within the rules and probably a smart business decision, even if the process was gone about awkwardly. Tiger, on the other hand, committed adultery…over & over & over again. I am not trying to be judgmental, just honest. What Tiger Woods did destroyed his personal life AND his professional life, and completely changed the public perception of him as a human being. I am quite sure he will get his game back and win more tournaments, but I doubt if he ever completely recovers from a series of monumentally stupid decisions that were obviously made with the wrong head.



Best TV Show



The Big Bang Theory

The adventures of two super intelligent but socially awkward nerds and their gorgeous, blonde, airheaded next door neighbor. It’s an old fashioned sitcom with rapier sharp wit, excellent writing, and a talented cast.



Mike & Mike in the Morning

If shows like this would have been around 30 years ago the course of my life would have been so much different. I mean really…two guys getting paid to sit around talking about sports for four hours every day??What a great gig!! It’s a radio show that is simulcast on television’s ESPN2 each morning from 6-10am, starring an Odd Couple-esque pairing of ubernerd sportscaster Greeny and former journeyman NFL lineman Golic. I am not generally a morning person, but this is appointment TV for me.



Entourage

Male bonding at its best. HBO’s series have been hit & miss in my opinion. I never watched The Sopranos or Oz and unlike the werewolf/vampire enamored masses I have no interest in True Blood, though I did enjoy Sex & the City and Six Feet Under, and have occasionally watched Hung, Curb Your Enthusiasm, & Big Love. But from the moment it hit the air in 2004 I have been enamored with Entourage. It is the ongoing adventures of popular young actor Vincent Chase and his posse of friends, including an older brother who is also an actor but not a very good or sought after one, his manager who also happens to be his best childhood friend, and another buddy from the old neighborhood in Queens named Turtle who doesn’t seem to serve any useful purpose. Then there is Ari, an agent…a manic, foul mouthed, hyper, over-the-top, ultra Type A personality whose antics are mesmerizingly hilarious. HBO doesn’t really adhere to what we tend to think of as a normal television season (usually a couple dozen episodes beginning in the fall and ending in the spring, with summertime being a bunch of reruns). Entourage runs in the summer and has somewhere around a dozen episodes per season, and it is literally almost an entire year between seasons. I think this has the effect of “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, because I get excited when I know a new season is on the horizon. Sadly 2011 will mark the 8th and final go round for a great show, but there is talk of a potential film franchise. When that happens I am SO there.



How I Met Your Mother

Anyone who still thinks of Neil Patrick Harris as early 90’s wunderkind doctor Doogie Howser hasn’t watched this show. Is it kind of a Friends ripoff?? Maybe kinda sorta. But it has a vibe all its own and is a completely fresh take on the NY City apartment dweller posse genre. There is even an element of The Wonder Years, as the entire show is framed as a flashback wherein a narrator (Bob Saget) is showing his children thru supposed flashbacks how…well…how he met their mother. It doesn’t seem like a show that’s been on the air five years, which is a testament to the writers and actors who keep things crisp and funny. Harris is a revelation as a vain womanizer that doesn’t resemble Doogie one bit. It’s a show that doesn’t necessarily cover new territory, but does a type of familiar, comfortable comedy in ways that keep the viewer interested.



Pawn Stars

I must give a shout out to my friend The Owl for introducing me to The History Channel’s documentary show about a family owned Vegas pawn shop. On the surface it would seem like a limited concept, but I find it fascinating. The family dynamic between the three generations of men who own & operate the shop is real and amusing, and each episode is like a mini history lesson since the stuff folks bring in to pawn/sell isn’t your usual junk, or at least the producers are intelligent enough not to show the mundane, pedestrian items on TV. Instead we see things like Civil War memorabilia, early 19th Century firearms, and rare coins. I don’t feel like I’ve completely wasted my time after spending 60 minutes with this program, and with all the crap on our televisions these days that’s saying something.



Hawaii-Five-0

Remakes are generally cause for a healthy dose of skepticism and railing against lack of creativity or imagination. I have to admit I was a little hesitant to check out this “reimagining” of the legendary 1970’s show, of which I have a vague childhood recollection. This apprehension was not only because it is a remake but also because cop shows are a dime a dozen and I’ve never really been a big fan of any of them. However, I was wrong and this is a good show on all fronts. Once again no new ground is broken, but I think what I have realized is that is a good thing. I like my comedies formulaic and my dramas to fit a certain mold. Hollywood seems to royally screw things up when they take a proven formula and try to make it unique and modern. This applies to both movies and television. I guess I am just an old fashioned kind of guy. I can usually guess who the real villain is about 10 minutes into the show, but that’s okay. The acting is solid and the writing is above average even if the plots are a bit predictable.



And The Sammy goes to…..


Mike & Mike. I love this show. It has no offseason and no reruns. Both Greeny & Golic seem to take copious amounts of time off, but even when one or both are gone the regular lineup of guest hosts adequately fills the chairs. Sports lends itself to this format because there is always always always something going on and more than enough topics to discuss. The guests and experts that call into the show add depth, and various subject matter is examined from all angles. The show can be irreverent and fun, but also serious and thoughtful when necessary. Mike & Mike may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for the serious, hardcore, die hard sports fan there is nothing better.





Best Water Cooler Topic



Twilight

I’ve never read the books or seen the movies. I most likely never will. However, I do realize I am in the minority.



The Late Night Wars

During the first few months of 2010 a dominant subject of conversation was the controversy surrounding NBC’s bungling of its late night lineup, Leno’s return to The Tonight Show, and the unfair ouster of Conan O’Brien. Things were made all the more hilarious by late night hosts David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel, who didn’t hesitate to use their shows as a forum to jump into the fray and show support for Conan. It was definitely a fun ride while it lasted.



The End of Lost

Yet another subject on which I am not really qualified to comment. I never watched the show even though I had numerous friends tell me they thought I’d love it. I suppose by the time I considered giving it a whirl I just knew it was too late. This was a show one had to have been in on since the beginning, and for those that were the end came too soon.



World Cup Soccer

Well…it is the world’s most popular sport, so I am sure people were buzzing about it somewhere…probably outside of The United States. All I know is…speaking of buzzing…I learned what a vuvuzela is and think it may be something a lot of folks will encounter again in the fiery pits of Hell.



Sandra Bullock/Jesse James Split

America’s Sweetheart (now that Meg Ryan is all Botoxed up) found out her tattooed biker husband was cheating on her with an even more tattooed biker chic. Shocker. But hey, atleast Bullock won an Oscar.


Apple’s iPhone 4 & iPad

I’d love to have an iPad, but I’m not paying $800 for one. I do have an iPhone, but have not upgraded to the 4 because it seemed superfluous and unnecessary. Still, I have to give Apple credit for getting folks excited about these items, even if it is just tricky marketing of products that don’t really do anything new or special.



True Blood

Yet another show I have never watched and never will. I really don’t get America’s fascination with werewolves and vampires.



Oprah’s Final Season

Faithful citizens of The Manoverse will recall my deeply held belief that Oprah Winfrey is a minion in Satan’s Army. It does my heart good to know that we are now in the midst of her final season. Yes, I am aware that she is going on to helm her own network, but hopefully she will remain behind the scenes and it will be a channel I can completely ignore, like Lifetime, QVC, or MSNBC. Farewell Oprah, and good riddance you obnoxious shrew.



Bristol Palin on DWTS

Surprisingly enough Dancing with the Stars is a show I do watch. I find it fascinating, and appreciate the talents of the professional dancers. Scantily clad hot women may have something to do with it too I suppose. Anyway, when it was announced that former Alaska Governor, former VP candidate, future Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s eldest was to be a contestant on the latest season of the show it got some attention. Sarah Palin is a lightning rod that people either adore or despise, so the hype was predictable. It turns out that poor Bristol dances about as well as Jar Jar Binks on acid and has the personality of stale rice cakes, but somehow she still made it to the finals of the competition. This brought about a myriad of conspiracy theories, but in essence it just exposed DWTS for the popularity contest it really is and validated Sarah Palin’s level of popularity, despite her shortcomings.



And The Sammy goes to…..


The Late Night Wars. Admittedly this is a very personal, biased choice, because as noted some of 2010’s hottest topics were things in which I just had no interest whatsoever. But late night television has long been a favorite of mine, so the real life soap opera that viewers saw play out each night on TV for several weeks was extremely entertaining in my world.




Biggest News Story



The Haiti Earthquake

2010 got off to a rough start in Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit on January 12, killing nearly a quarter million people (roughly the population of Birmingham, AL) and affecting atleast a million. American citizens of all ilks offered humanitarian aid, spearheaded by former Presidents George W. Bush & Bill Clinton, and singer Wyclef Jean.



Unemployment

Despite President Obama’s plucky enthusiasm about the economy finally being in recovery mode, unemployment has still lagged around the 10% mark all year. I’m no economics guru, but I don’t think it is accurate to say the economy has recovered if nearly 10% of the population can’t find a job.



The Gulf Oil Spill

On April 20, 2010 an explosion on an offshore oil rig 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana set off what would become the biggest disaster in the history of the petroleum industry. It took three months for the well to be capped and the oil to stop flowing. In those three months over 200 million gallons of oil spilled into The Gulf of Mexico, causing extensive damage to wildlife and marine life, the delicate ecosystem, the fishing and tourism industries, and the general economy of an area covering 68,000 square miles. The U.S. Government and British Petroleum engaged in a battle of wills over responsibility and cleanup efforts, with neither party coming out looking all that impressive. The effects of this spill continue to this day.



Obamacare/National Health Care Reform

In March of 2010 President Obama and a Congress controlled by liberals passed a nationalized health care bill. This was a topic that had been hotly debated for years and successfully defeated at first, but eventually resistance was futile. I like to refer to an old Ronald Reagan quote that says “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” Conversely, a growing majority of Americans seem to be perfectly comfortable with The Nanny State, wanting Big Brother to take care of their every need from birth thru death. Any law that takes free choice away and fines a person who chooses not to be insured scares the hell out of me. Any law that enacts anything resembling end of life counseling, making whether an ill person will or will not be treated an economic decision makes my skin crawl. Any law that rations how much health care folks may receive is troublesome. I fear that this massive expansion of governmental power will lead down a lot of other even more frightening roads, and that the masses will not truly understand what havoc they have opened the door to until it is much too late.



The Death of Senator Robert C. Byrd

West Virginia’s senior Senator was 92 and had been a fixture in Washington DC for well over 50 years when he died back in June. Byrd served three terms in the House of Representatives and nine terms in the Senate, impressive considering the fact that his role as a public servant was preceded by serving as a leader in a local Ku Klux Klan unit, once writing The Grand Wizard and saying “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.” Boy we sure can pick ’em here in The Mountain State, huh?? Byrd later renounced his membership and appeared to have a change of heart, but one can easily assume that was just the politically expedient thing to do. During his decades in Washington Senator Byrd became an extremely powerful figure and was able to funnel a lot of much appreciated pork back home to WV, which is obviously why he kept getting re-elected. Anyway, it is not my intention to kick a person when they’re down…or dead. So let me just say that Byrd’s death may not have been that big of a deal elsewhere, but here in West Virginia it was huge news.



The Tea Party

A year ago no one would have believed that the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat would be filled by a Republican, but in January 2010 that is exactly what happened when Tea Party backed Scott Brown won an election in Massachusetts. The Tea Party is not an officially recognized political party, but more of an energetic movement based on conservative core principles of reduced government spending, lower taxes, strict interpretation of The Constitution, and debt/deficit reduction. It sprang up in 2007, really hit its stride in 2009, and in 2010 had an impact of everything from the midterm elections to Dancing with the Stars. The de facto leaders seem to be former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, among others. The Tea Party was instrumental in costing several RHINOs (Republicans in Name Only) victories in primary elections in atleast a dozen states, and helped Republicans take back control of The House of Representatives. Liberals and their fluffers in the drive-by media have been predictably derisive of the movement, calling followers Tea Baggers. However, sticks & stones may break bones but name calling has thus far done no good in slowing down the momentum of this unofficial yet powerful organization.



2010 Midterm Election

Tuesday 11/2/10 was a day when, if I may borrow a phrase, chickens came home to roost for liberals in our nation’s capitol and elsewhere. Republicans gained 6 seats in the Senate, took control of the House with a swing of 63 seats, won an additional 6 Governorships, and gained 680 seats in statehouses nationwide. No matter how the media tries to spin it the election was a total rejection of liberal policies championed by President Obama, outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (who inexplicably won re-election). However, the work for conservatives has only just begun, with the next vital step being to find a viable Presidential candidate for 2012 (i.e. NOT Sarah Palin).



The Ground Zero Mosque

Back in the spring of 2010 plans were made public for what became known as The Ground Zero Mosque. The building is actually going to be a community center two blocks from Ground Zero, but it will have a Muslim “prayer center”, so the controversy aroused by having such a facility that close to where thousands of Americans were massacred by Muslim extremists/terrorists is understandable. I can see both sides. On one hand it is a free country and folks can build what they want where they want within the boundaries of the law. On the flip side I get how the idea can be perceived as offensive and distasteful. It just amazes me how the masses seem to bend over backward to make provision for Islam while even hinting at anything related to Jesus brings forth scorn and mockery.



End of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell

In 1993 The Clinton Administration signed into law a policy prohibiting the military from inquiring about a person’s sexual orientation since being openly gay was considered just cause for discharge. At the end of the 2010 Congressional session this law was repealed and the military ban on being openly gay lifted completely. I have made my faith based beliefs about homosexuality and issues like same sex marriage quite clear over the years, but if someone is willing to serve their country and put their life at risk in the defense of freedom then that’s fine with me.



The Arizona Immigration Law

I am still blown away by the fact that anyone would have an issue with laws being enforced, which is all this law does – make sure existing laws are followed. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free?? Okay…fine. But if you are going to come into is country and take advantage of all the freedom, liberty, and other benefits then I don’t think being required to jump through a few hoops and following a legal process is too much to ask. Predictably it’s been the whiny, bleeding heart ultra libs who’ve cried about this bill the most. These are the same people who are ready to fine me if I choose not to buy health insurance, yet they have no problem with undocumented illegal aliens running rampant, eating our food, enjoying our public services, and utilizing our resources all while thumbing their noses at our laws and receiving a free ride because if they aren’t legal then they darn sure aren’t paying taxes. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. To my knowledge this law is still languishing under red tape, with various legal protests preventing it from being put into effect. I hope 2011 brings about an end to these silly court proceedings and sees laws like this spread nationwide.



TSA Groping Controversy

The Transportation Safety Administration, specializing specifically in airport security, is part of the Department of Homeland Security, created after the events of 9/11. Not a bad idea. However, in November of 2010, new screening procedures went into effect, including x-ray scans that display images of passengers’ bodies to TSA officers and pat-downs in which TSA officers fondle passengers’ breasts, buttocks, and genitals. Sounds like every pervert’s dream job. Predictably travelers haven’t been too keen on these procedures, as many feel like it’s just a bit too invasive. A lot of crazy incidents have been reported, including folks being forced to remove prostheses, small children being patted down, and hot babes claiming they’ve receive some…extra attention (if you know what I’m sayin’). TSA agents fired back whining about how awful their jobs are because they have to touch fat people. The ACLU has gotten involved. Lawsuits have been filed. It’s a big mess. Shocking, considering it’s a government run program. “Don’t touch my junk” indeed.



And The Sammy goes to…..



The Oil Spill. Not that the other nominees weren’t worthy, but let’s face it…when we look back in hindsight at 2010 two words will automatically pop into our brains: oil spill. It was almost as big of a story as 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, with many similarities including slow response from the federal government, who’d rather take over our health care, hate rich people, and try to eliminate Jesus from the world altogether rather than doing things they actually should be doing. As for BP, I understand that it was an accident and accidents happen, but their response…or lack thereof…was even more painfully slow than the government’s, and when (now former) CEO Tony Hayward called the spill “relatively tiny”, stated that he wanted “his life back”, and was then spotted at a yacht race while oil was still spilling into the Gulf the American public had its whipping boy. My prayers are with the people of the Gulf Coast, many of whom hadn’t even recovered from Katrina yet and now they’ve had to endure the ramifications of this situation.




The Rosie O’Donnell Memorial Just Go Away Award



Justin Bieber

I’ve honestly never listened to one of his songs, but the tastes of 12 year old girls are notoriously bad and the kid needs a haircut. If rumors about Bieber starring in a remakes of Grease and Back to the Future come true I may finally decide humanity is beyond redemption.



Glee

I watched this idiotic show once. It might be the gayest thing I’ve ever seen on television, no disrespect to alternate lifestyles intended. The acting was bad, the singing was not much better, and the overt sexuality was troubling. Honest to God Glee makes Dawson’s Creek look like freakin’ Shakespeare.



Kim Kardashian

Is she hot?? Yes. But what other redeeming qualities does this bimbo have?? Atleast Britney Spears can kind of sing and Lindsay Lohan can act when she stays sober. Kardashian and her entire clan add nothing of substance to the human race.



Jersey Shore

Reality shows, as a general rule, are awful. So a reality show about a bunch of clichéd Guidos just can’t be good. I have watched a few times and was completely unimpressed and not entertained in the least. People that are entertained by such garbage make me sad.



Lady Gaga

I saw Gaga on an episode of Saturday Night Live several months ago, and you want to know something interesting?? She can sing. The gal has some pipes. So why does she have to hide behind the stupid name & outrageous outfits and sing crappy songs about sex with lyrics like “bluffin’ with my muffin’”?? Take off the stupid clothes, use that great voice to sing quality songs, and use your real name (Stephanie something-or-other) and maybe I’ll be interested.



Stephen Colbert

I just don’t find him funny. It has nothing to do with politics, as Bill Maher is also a raging lib yet I find him rather amusing.



Brett Favre

If there has been a sadder public figure in 2010 I’m not sure who it would be. Favre has annoyed football fans for the past few years with his on again/off again retirement/comeback act. Last year he had what was arguably the best year of his career yet fell short of leading the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl. Favre is to football what Mario Andretti was to the Indy 500…so close so many times but always felled by bad luck, karma, timing, or whatever other negative forces in which one may believe. After playing his annual “Will he or won’t he??” game again last summer he was predictably cajoled into “one last season”, only this time I think Bret Favre really is finished. The Vikings, beset by injuries, poor leadership, a midseason coaching change, and other calamities, have been horrible. Favre’s 41 year old body has finally let him down, and his consecutive games streak was broken at 297. On top of that the aging quarterback has been mired in an embarrassing scandal in which he is accused of sending naughty text messages…complete with pics of himself au naturel…to a female reporter a couple years back when he was playing for the NY Jets. You’ve heard of sports stars who “went out on top”?? This is the direct opposite.



Katy Perry

Is she hot?? Yes. But come on…put on some clothes for pete’s sake. No one gives a damn about Katy Perry, it’s Katy Perry’s breasts that have had the successful career.



Twilight

As noted previously I have never read the books or seen the movies. And I find people who are just a bit too obsessed by the whole thing really annoying.



Heidi & Spencer

He’s a tool, her body has more plastic than a Tupperware factory.


Hey Soul Sista/Train & I’m Yours/Jason Mraz

Every freakin’ time I’ve gotten in my truck the past several months and turned on the radio I have heard one or both of these songs. I sort of liked them at first, but that mild affection ended after about the 400th listening. Let’s move forward. Or maybe I will just listen to more talk radio.



Miley Cyrus

A role model she is not. I am not sure when it became mandated that all female singers & actresses had to be airheaded sluts to succeed, but if that’s the rule Miley is following it to the tee. And let’s be honest…she’s not a very talented actress or singer.


Lindsay Lohan

Is Lindsay still in rehab?? I don’t know and I don’t care. Lohan is the poster child for wasted potential. Unlike the average Hollywood tart this gal has skills. It was apparent from childhood that she had all the makings of a fantastic actress, one that might someday be thought of in the same vein as well respected performers like Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Holly Hunter, or Sally Field. Instead Lindsay has pissed away nearly all that potential.



And The Sammy goes to…..



Ladies and gentlemen, you are a witness to history. For the first time in the storied annals of awards shows we have a 13 way tie – they all win…or lose (depending on one’s perspective).



Moment of the Year



The Rescue of 33 Chilean Miners

I am born & bred in the great state of West Virginia and my grandfather lost a leg in the coal mines, so I am familiar with mining disasters. In August of 2010 a different sort of mine accident occurred in Chile. A cave in at a copper mine left 33 miners trapped underground but, thankfully, still alive and mostly unhurt. Rescuers quickly figured out that the men could be retrieved from their prison 2300 feet underground…but it would take months. Not hours, not days, not weeks…months. Suddenly hope turned to fear. However…miraculously…all 33 men were able to survive 69 days in a spot built for such situations. Rescuing the men took a lot of effort on the part of many many individuals from all walks of life, but on 10/13/10 all 33 men were safely retrieved from what could have been their graves. The story was an inspiring one of hope, faith, effort, and teamwork.



WV’s DaSean Butler & Coach Bob Huggins At The Final Four

It is likely that no one outside the state of West Virginia considered this much of a story. The West Virginia Mountaineer men’s basketball team won the Big East tournament and entered the NCAA Championship as a #2 seed, making it all the way to The Final Four. In the second half of the semifinal contest against Duke, Butler, the Mountaineers key player and leader in every way, went down with what looked like a very painful knee injury. As he lay on the court crying in agony Coach Bob Huggins, a man who has been much maligned for most of his career, went to his senior captain and cradled him in his arms, reassuring and comforting the fallen young man. It was a rare glimpse inside the heart of an otherwise tough as nails coach, and it was a moment that reinforced the reason many of us are sports fans.



Betty White’s Career Renaissance

Hollywood always has and always will cater to The Pretty People. Stars put their bodies through hell and have more elective surgery than anyone in their right minds should just to please a shallow industry and remain relevant and employed. Usually by the time a performer, especially a female, turns the corner past 50 she’s done. In 2010 Betty White went against the grain and was the exception to the rule, at the age of 88 having as big a year as anyone. It all started with a hilarious Snickers commercial during the Super Bowl, which for some reason spawned a viral campaign on Facebook to have the octogenarian host Saturday Night Live, which she finally did on May 8. That guest host spot even got her an Emmy nomination. White went on to do guest spots on sitcoms Community, The Middle, Hot in Cleveland, and 30 Rock. Betty White is proof that true talent overrides superficial indicators like age and breast size.



Phil Mickelson Wins The Masters

While the golf world was busy kvetching over Tiger Woods’ sex life Phil Mickelson offered a touching counterpoint. Both Phil’s wife Amy and his Mom had been battling cancer, and Phil had steadfastly stood by them. When Mickelson won his third Green Jacket in April and embraced his recovering wife on the 18th green one couldn’t help but think “Now THERE’S a role model”.



The 2010 Winter Olympics

Honestly I am giving a nod to the 21st Winter Olympiad more out of politeness than anything. Did it have some fun stuff going on?? Sure. The U.S./Canada battle for hockey gold was compelling, some of the ice skating was entertaining, and curling is always awesome. But really, if a Russian luger hadn’t been tragically killed then there would be virtually nothing memorable about these Olympics.



The Conservative Uprising

We’ve already covered the Tea Party movement and the results of November’s mid-term elections. Those two things combined with President Obama’s low approval numbers are all the proof anyone should need that this country leans right and that conservative values and principles are alive & well.



Zuckerberg Donates $100 Million To NJ Schools

Most wealthy people get a bad rap. They are perceived as selfish, haughty, and only concerned with money. However, back in September Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is portrayed in a rather negative light in the movie The Social Network, donated a huge amount of money to the Newark, NJ school system for education reform. I am not privy to the details of what they are attempting to accomplish in Newark or how they are utilizing the funds, but that big of a chunk of change should have a significant impact. Zuckerberg wanted to make the donation anonymously but was coaxed into making it public by both the mayor of Newark and the Governor of New Jersey. And while it may be true that $100 million dollars is pocket change to a man reportedly worth over $7 billion it is equally as true that such a donation cannot be overlooked and must be respected and appreciated.



The Theatrical Release of Part 1 of the Final Harry Potter Film

In November the 7th installment of the highest grossing film series of all time, one that has made over $6 billion, was released. It is the first of two films that cover the last Harry Potter novel, The Deathly Hallows. Personally I have enjoyed the books far more than the movies, but the release of these final two films marks the conclusion of a 14 year love affair between an adoring public and its boy wizard. Both the books and the movies become darker and more sinister as they progress, and at some point the story really evolved from a childrens’ tale to something much more mature and literary.



3 Day, 11 Hour Wimbledon Match

I’m not a huge tennis fan, not at all. I will watch a match occasionally if I am really bored and if the circumstances are compelling for some reason. In the first round of tennis; crown jewel, Wimbledon, in June, such circumstances arose. American John Isner was pitted against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, with Isner the favorite. The two men proceeded to engage in the longest match in the history of tennis. It was suspended twice due to darkness and played out over 3 days, equally over 11 hours of playing time. The two men broke all kinds of records, with Isner eventually coming out as the victor. By the time the third day rolled around the attention of the masses had been captured and even lukewarm fans like myself were mesmerized.



The New Orleans Saints Win The Super Bowl

Most people are familiar with what the city of New Orleans has had to endure since being hit with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And while sports is a relatively unimportant cog in the societal machine it can provide a unique sense of inspiration, motivation, and validation. When the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 on February 7, 2010 to hoist their first ever Lombardi Trophy, it was a triumph not just for the team, but for an entire city. It seemed to signify that New Orleans was indeed back. Super Bowl XLIV was watched by over 106 million people, making it not only the highest rated Super Bowl in its 44 year history but also the highest rated television program of any sort ever, besting the legendary 1983 farewell episode of MASH. Just a few months later New Orleans would be hit with disaster once again due to the aforementioned Gulf Oil Spill, but for one night its citizens were able to put all their troubles on the backburner and celebrate like only they can, and it was a pretty darn nice story for the rest of us too.



Glen Beck’s “Rally To Restore Honor”

Glen Beck seems to have surpassed Sean Hannity and even The Godfather of Talk Radio himself Rush Limbaugh as the conservative raging libs seem to despise the most. Admittedly Beck is a bit too histrionic for my tastes, but if one is able to put aside the theatrics and listen to what he says Glen Beck makes a lot of sense most of the time. On 8/28/10 ol’ Glen really peed in the Cheerios of a lot of his critics by holding a rally where he and guest speakers weren’t shy about emphasizing faith, character, values, and conservative principles as much needed things our nation needs to fall back on. Not coincidentally (no matter what Mr. Beck says) this shindig was held at The Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s memorable “I Have A Dream” speech. It was bad enough Glen Beck was openly talking about God, but the fact that he was co-opting liberals’ self-righteous “we’re the only ones who give a damn about black people” vibe really had a lot of folks on the left foaming at the mouth. The event was attended by anywhere from 80k to over 1 million people, depending on what source one believes. I watched it on television and saw absolutely nothing that anyone of any political persuasion should have been offended by. The speeches were uplifting and invigorating, tribute was repeatedly paid to our military, and there was really not a lot of political rhetoric. It is sad that we have come to a point in history when openly talking about God raises the ire of a not insignificant portion of the populace. A few months later TV personalities Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held their own event that basically mocked Beck and all things conservative, and it was predictably obnoxious, offensive, and sophomoric.



And The Sammy goes to…..



The Rescue of the Chilean Miners. The fact that all 33 survived the initial cave in was a miracle. Then to have them endure that long underground was a testament to the efforts of countless people and the spirit & fortitude of the men themselves. And on top of that what was an extremely delicate rescue went off without a hitch and no one sustained any injuries. I don’t know what is in store for the lives of these 33 individuals, but God was certainly in the midst of this situation and I pray that all involved appreciate the blessings bestowed upon them and do extraordinary things with the second chance they were given.





NFL lineman Gaines Adams…wrestling legends General Skandor Akbar, Angelo Poffo (father of Randy “Macho Man” Savage & Leapin’ Lanny Poffo), & Jack Brisco…Hall of Fame baseball manager Sparky Anderson…former Pirates pitcher Jimmy Bibby…NFL Hall of Famers George Blanda, Jack Tatum, and Don Meredith…former NBA standouts Manute Bol, Lorenzen Wright, and Melvin Turpin…pro wrestlers Trent Acid, Bastion Booger, Chris Kanyon, & Lance Cade…legendary Pittsburgh Pirates executive Joe L. Brown…Senator Robert C. Byrd…uber-producers David L. Wolper (Roots, The Thorn Birds, North & South, L.A. Confidential, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles) and Stephen J. Cannell (The A-Team, Riptide, The Rockford Files)…actresses Barbara Billingsley (Leave It to Beaver), Lynn Redgrave, Frances Reid (Days of Our Lives), Dixie Carter (Designing Women), Rue McClanahan (Golden Girls), Helen Wagner (As the World Turns), and Jill Clayburgh…actors Tom Bosley (Happy Days), Pernell Roberts (Trapper John, M.D.), Gary Coleman (Different Strokes), Tony Curtis, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Landesberg (Barney Miller), Andrew Koenig (Growing Pains), Robert Culp, Dennis Hopper, Leslie Nielsen, Corey Haim, Peter Graves, & John Forsythe (Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty)…musician and sausage king Jimmy Dean…musician Ronnie James Dio…directors Blake Edwards (The Pink Panther) and Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back)…Elizabeth Edwards…Penthouse founder Bob Guccione…former Secretary of State General Alexander Haig…voice of the Detroit Tigers Ernie Harwell…singers Teena Marie, Teddy Pendergrass, and Lena Horne…former Major Leaguers Jose Lima and Bobby Thompson (The Shot Heard ‘Round the World)…Art Linkletter…NBA legend Maurice Lucas…actor, NFL lineman, and commentator Merlin Olsen…authors Robert B. Parker Erich Segal, and JD Salinger…former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski…Olympic organizer Juan Antonio Samaranch…former NBA player and collegiate athletic director Fred Schaus…former head of NBC Sports, Commissioner of the USFL, and President of ESPN Chet Simmons…gym teacher and inspiration for southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd Leonard Skinner…NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner…fabled college basketball coach John Wooden


Random Thoughts 18

Congratulations to the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. The game did not play out like most expected, as Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning looked quite average instead of like one of the greatest field generals of all time. The victory is good for the beleaguered city of New Orleans and I sincerely hope many benefits are reaped.

The re-entry sequence near the end of Apollo 13 deserves to be ranked right up there with the baptism scene from The Godfather and the “Dad” scene at the end of Field of Dreams as among the greatest movies moments of all time.

I have come to a spiritual crossroads. My faith and belief in God and in my Savior Jesus Christ is still there, but my patience with superficial Christian clichés has run out. I no longer desire church to be a shallow social gathering. At the same time, I see no value in being a humorless Bible thumper who can’t loosen up and have fun…others too easily disregard that person as an uptight, unhappy killjoy. I am on a journey seeking an authentic & devout relationship and I am not sure it is available in the places one would normally assume it can be found. Something inside me has either broken or been awakened (I’m not sure which) in the past few months, and my BS meter when it comes to religion is on high alert.

Even as a diehard conservative I am not really sold on Sarah Palin as a legit Presidential candidate, but the outright vitriol aimed in her direction by histrionic shit stirrers on the left is puzzling. Palin and former President George W. Bush have their flaws for sure, but how some can so completely eviscerate them almost daily while at the same time putting Barack Hussein Obama on the largest pedestal mankind has ever known is completely beyond all logical comprehension.

I would like to nominate ESPN’s Skip Bayless as the worst sports journalist in history. His arrogant and condescending attitude is off the charts, and his opinions are so often dead wrong that he has become a joke. I recently saw him trying to justify the possibility of 13-11 North Carolina being chosen as an at-large team for the NCAA tournament. He was dead serious about the Tar Heels being selected merely due to their history and pedigree over lesser known teams with better records. Not only did the debate prove him to be a complete fool, but it highlighted what can be very wrong with collegiate athletics when so much credit is given to a reputation and a perception instead of actual performance. Call it The Notre Dame Fallacy.

Valentine’s Day has to be the worst holiday on the calendar.

I love it when people act like they understand something when in reality they have absolutely no clue. It really makes them look silly. Mark Twain famously said it is “better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”. More people should follow that advice. And yes, I see the irony in a guy who writes a VERY opinionated blog espousing that philosophy.

Can we please dispense with the term “pro-choice”?? People who are pro-choice only believe in a woman’s right to choose if she ultimately chooses to have an abortion.

Speaking of BS…..

I accepted long ago the fact that it is very possible that I may someday be one of those people who is dead for several days and whose body is only discovered because the neighbor’s begin to notice a stench. This is because at some point it became very clear to me that very few people legitimately give a damn whether I live or die, which does not in any way make me special or unique…..it’s just the way we human beings treat each other nowadays.  So armed with this awareness, I have very little patience for petulant, bratty adults who act like whiny children in a desperate attempt to have their ego validated. Encounters with so-called adults make me ever more determined to fade into the background in a concerted effort to not draw attention to myself.

I like Nascar and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

 

The 2009 Year In Review

It’s that time again, when we take a trip down memory lane and remember all the highs and lows of the past 365 days. As always, while we pause to look back we also look forward, embracing each new day with renewed optimism. Each breath is a gift from God, and whether we are perfectly satisfied with the status quo or desire some semblance of change in our lives, it is up to us…not the government nor any other entity…to make the proper decisions that will facilitate our happiness.

 

Personally 2009 was a case of a few steps forward, a step or two backward…change but not necessarily progress. Transformation is slow, but I see the hand of God working within my life. I just need to get out of the way, something that I am not as good at doing as I’d prefer. The great new job I got near the end of 2008 lasted less than 6 months, as I was fired from Verizon in March. It turns out that they don’t necessarily give a damn about their customers, only the bottom line. If that means tricking folks into buying bells and whistles that they neither want, understand, or even realize they are receiving then that’s just dandy because it’ll be 6 months before most customers actually examine their phone bill closely enough to recognize they are being screwed and call in to cancel those services. If I seem like just another bitter former employee that is unfortunate because I simply speak the truth. I am not a salesman, and I am certainly not abjectly amoral. The day those wretched souls lowered the boom on me I could not stop smiling. Do I miss the $20/hour paychecks?? Of course. But I sleep at night and I can look at myself in the mirror. Anyway, after a couple months of down time I got a new job at a 24/7 abuse and neglect hotline where I am not paid nearly as well but I am much much happier and feel like I am actually doing something positive. So all’s well that ends well, as ol’ Will Shakespeare might say. This fall I traded in Big Red, my 13 year old Buick Skylark, on a truck (still unnamed at the moment). I bought an IPhone. Those events have pretty much been the highlights and lowlights of my year. I am not all that exciting…I work, I play with my puppy, I am active in church and with Literacy Volunteers, and I watch way too much TV and waste far too many precious hours on The Internet. That’s pretty much it. I am very aware of my shortcomings and as always look at a new year as an opportunity for positive transformation.

 

We started out 2009 by swearing in a new President, and the results thus far have been inarguably subpar. Anyone who disagrees has their head stuck so far…well, somewhere…that the jaws of life may not be sufficient to set them free.

 

Speaking of our socialist leader, he was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize. No one seems to have a good explanation as to why.

 

The biggest story in 2009 continued to be the economy. I can’t add anything substantially new to the conversation, but suffice to say that I do not believe more government is the answer. The massive New Deal-esque bailout package has thus far been a flop with no signs of that changing. And no matter how much the “mainstream” media tries to twist itself into knots to paint a positive picture, the fact that there is no job growth is a sure sign that there is no economic recovery.

 

Many Americans were brought to their knees by something called Swine Flu, or if you prefer the PC term, H1N1. I’m undecided as to whether it is a genuine semi-pandemic or just unnecessary mass hysteria. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle…it is a legit disease with some rather nasty effects that affected millions, but I don’t think it really warrants comparisons with the bubonic plague.

 

Former comedian Al Franken was elected to the Senate from Minnesota. These are the same people who elected former pro wrestler Jessie Ventura Governor a few years back. Maybe we should consider selling Minnesota to Canada.

 

My Pittsburgh Steelers won their record 6th Super Bowl in extremely exciting fashion. I just wish the success had carried over into the following season. The Penguins brought yet another title to Pittsburgh by winning the Stanley Cup. Wherefore art thou Pittsburgh Pirates??

 

The war in Iraq and Afghanistan continues. No one seems to give a damn anymore.

 

Uber-successful TV drama ER ended its 15 year run. Having spent far too much of my life in hospitals and around doctors I never really made an effort to get into the show, but the few times I watched it over the years it seemed well written and acted.

 

Companies that went under in 2009 – General Motors, Lehman Brothers, Chrysler, Eddie Bauer, The Rocky Mountain News, Goody’s Clothing, and over 140 banks nationwide. I’m quite sure I am forgetting several notables.

 

The New York Yankees bought…ummm, I mean won…the World Series…again.

 

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevic became a national joke after being thrown out of office for attempting to sell the available Senate seat of now President Obama. On the bright side he finished 3rd in the Grant Goodeve Lookalike Contest.

 

King of Pop Michael Jackson died. Parents of small children everywhere are breathing easier.

 

Sonia Sotomayor was voted onto The Supreme Court, a breakthrough for Latinas. The fact that Justice Sotomayor’s qualifications were quite suspect didn’t seem to matter. It’s all about being inclusive and multicultural these days.

 

A really cool video of a Minnesota couple’s…shall we say “nontraditional”…wedding entrance became a YouTube sensation. Redemption for Minnesota?? Maybe.

 

General Motors became Government Motors and Chrysler was forced to merge with Italy’s Fiat. Ford stands alone as the only remaining free market American car company. The Obama Administration has already begun using its takeover of GM as a way to further a radical global warming (or is it climate change??) agenda.

 

I’m not sure what the top grossing movies of 2009 were or what made the critics all tingly, but I went to the theater three times. I saw The Hangover, Star Trek, and A Christmas Carol. I quite enjoyed all three.

 

A Muslim extremist masquerading as a psychiatrist infiltrated the United States Army and killed 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas. This should scare the living hell out of everyone.

 

Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Jessica Simpson all had a rather quiet 2009 by their standards, but the pop culture machine found new twits to waste valuable time on in Jon & Kate, The OctoMom, the Kardashian clan, and some guy who made the world think his 6 year old kid was in a runaway balloon when he was in the attic all along. Edward R. Murrow and Chet Huntley, wherever their souls reside these days, must cry a little every time they see Access Hollywood, Extra, and The Insider.

 

59 year old Tom Watson darn near won the British Open.

 

Pilot Sully Sullenberger became a national hero after saving the lives of 155 people on board a commercial airliner. The engines on the plane died and somehow the pilot maneuvered it so that it landed on top of the water in the Hudson River, not sinking until all the passengers had been safely rescued.

 

Conan O’Brien took over The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon took over Late Night, Jay Leno got his own show at 10pm, and David Letterman became a bitter old man who cheats on his girlfriend with members of his staff. America suddenly decided we needed more sleep and started turning off the TV earlier.

 

Tiger Woods was discovered to have been putting his balls into more than 18 holes. Idiot.

 

Microsoft, having realized that Windows Vista was a colossal flop, came out with Windows 7. I myself am still using Windows XP cause that’s how I roll.

 

Politically correct, racially sensitive types got their panties in a bunch when a white cop in Massachusetts arrested a somewhat well-known black Harvard professor who was being a jackass and deserved to be arrested. President Obama angered policemen everywhere by saying that the white cop had “acted stupidly”. Obama smoothed the whole thing over by inviting the two men involved to the White House for a Beer Summit. If only legitimately important issues were as easy to solve.

 

Paula Abdul left American Idol. Oh my God, how will I ever find the strength to go on??

 

Millions of horny teenage boys (okay okay okay…and grown men) got the opportunity to see ESPN sportsbabe Erin Andrews au naturel. Unfortunately the circumstances were so creepy that it had a negative impact on one’s enjoyment of the show. Not that big of an impact, but nevertheless an impact.

 

Speaking of creepy…Congressional ne’er-do-wells Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid got really close to ramming a universal health care measure through, even though 60% of the American people are against it. This was made clear over the summer in a series of contentious town hall meetings in which many Congressmen were confronted by angry constituents that they theoretically represent but in reality could not possibly care less about. Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana proved themselves to be filthy whores whose votes can be bought. I suppose that shouldn’t shock anyone, but the blatant disregard for morality and the will of the people never ceases to amaze.

 

Michael Vick made an uneventful return to the NFL. Good for him.

 

Not even the combined magnetism of Obrahbama was enough to snag the 2016 Olympics for the city of Chicago. I blame Steve Bartman.

 

England’s answer to American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, produced an overnight sensation in 47 year old Susan Boyle. Because we human beings are shallow, belittling types the hosts of the show and the live audience immediately began to laugh at Ms. Boyle when she came onstage because she did not fit within the Barbie Doll parameters we all expect from our stars. Ms. Boyle shut the morons up rather quickly when she started singing, and it should have been a valuable lesson for all involved.

 

The Obama Administration showed early signs of stupidity back in April when it allowed Air Force One to fly low over Manhattan for a photo op…the same Manhattan that witnessed 9/11. You remember 9/11…when airplanes were flown into The World Trade Center?? Morons.

 

Alaska Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin took a huge political risk by resigning from office. Most assume that Palin will make a bid for The White House in 2012 or 2016 (or both), and it is my opinion that she may have made a serious error in resigning. I’m not sure she’s electable anyway, but quitting in the middle of her term just gave her enemies on the left unnecessary ammunition.

 

Part of the government bailout that bears particular attention is Clash for Clunkers. Though numbers can be twisted in such a way that the program looks like it was a rousing success, those numbers are rather specious at best. And again, the whole thing was a not-so-cleverly disguised attempt to further an environmentalist wacko agenda.

 

RIP – movie auteur John Hughes, actress Farrah Fawcett…Senator Edward Kennedy…actor Patrick Swayze…Congressman Jack Kemp…sidekick Ed McMahon…actor Karl Malden…Golden Girl Bea Arthur…guitar guru Les Paul…boxer Arturo Gatti…wrestling legend Captain Lou Albano…infomercial king Billy Mays…Vegas headliner Danny Gans…funnyman Dom Deluise…actor David Carradine…King of Pop Michael Jackson…Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboard player Billy Powell…radio voice Paul Harvey…actor Ricardo Montalban…politico Robert Novak…comic Soupy Sales…NFL QB Steve McNair…former host of MTV’s classic game show Remote Control Ken Ober…newsman Walter Cronkite…actor/singer Al Martino (Johnny Fontaine in The Godfather)…sportscaster Harry Kalas…former NBA coach Chuck Daly…baseball player and famous brother Dom Dimaggio…actress Brittany Murphy…jazz saxophonist and former NBA player Wayman Tisdale…Cincinnati Bengals WR and former WV Mountaineer Chris Henry…evangelist Oral Roberts…and impressionist Fred Travalena

The Sammy Claus Wish List

Being Sammy Claus is kind of like being Frank Sinatra Jr. or the Vice-President…it’s a nice name that wields no real authority. However, in hopes that the real Santa may take a break from supervising the elves and doing important flight prep by surfing The Internet and being a faithful reader of The Manofesto, I have prepared my own list. Go ahead Big Guy…check it twice, verify who has been naughty or nice. But I am pretty sure my own reconnaissance has been thorough and you’ll find everything here in order. And since it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) I am not asking for anything myself…well, atleast not much. My focus here is on the needs and desires of others.

 

The Marshall Thundering Herd…..a new football coach that will lead my alma mater’s gladiators of the gridiron back to the success we had in the 1990’s. I grant you there was some good fortune back then with future NFL players Chad Pennington, Troy Brown, Randy Moss, and Byron Leftwich…and there may have even been some minor cheating. But there’s nothing that says that level of achievement cannot be attained again and more future pro caliber players can’t make a stop in Huntington.


John & Kate and Heidi & Spencer…..sterility and a complete lack of media coverage


The Economy…..tax cuts & job growth. I know it’s a long shot with a socialist President and a liberal Congress, but we’ll deal with those issues in the coming years.


Kanye West…..the most spectacular career crash and burn of all time!!


The WV Mountaineers…..a new special teams coach. I have softened my stance on canning head coach Bill Stewart, but Stew doubles as the special teams coach and it hasn’t worked. A 9-3 finish was surprisingly decent given the lack of energy, skill, and discipline shown at times this season, but a few special teams plays probably cost the Eers atleast 1, possibly 2 additional victories.


The Republican Party…..a triumphant return to conservative values and the emergence of a formidable group of candidates for the 2012 Presidential campaign. Unfortunately I am not talking about Sarah Palin, who is damaged goods and I believe unelectable.


Adam Lambert…..irrelevance. Really dude, get the hell off my TV.


Myself, The Owl, Greg, Sealey, and Slack…..a memorable and dare I say legen…wait for it…wait for it…dary trip to Vegas this summer. This is the year gentlemen. Seriously…I mean it this time!!


Ford Motor Company…..continued success as a non-government run business


Michael Jackson’s children…..a happy, healthy, normal life while enjoying the boatload of cash your freak of a father left you


Carrie Underwood…..the love of a good man…a man that is single, has his own blog, and lives in northcentral WV. Call me. Please.


Algore…..complete , irrefutable, 100% proof that global warming is poppycock


Susan Boyle…..a musical repertoire that goes beyond I Dreamed A Dream


Coach Rich Fraudriguez…..continued ineptitude and complete failure not only at Michigan but wherever you go and in whatever you do professionally and personally. You are the lowest form of excrement the human race has ever produced and not worthy of sharing the same oxygen as even the most vile and wicked piece of dung imaginable.


Universal Health Care…..complete and total defeat


Tiger Woods…..a case of condoms, a good lawyer, and a full time chauffeur


David Letterman…..cancellation


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi…..facial movement. Seriously lady, lay off the botox.


Tim Tebow, soon-to-be former Florida Gators QB…..a case of tissues, because the crying will likely continue at the NFL Draft and on into your rookie season there when you figure out you’re really not THAT good (as if Alabama didn’t drive that point home already)


Jay Leno…..better ratings


Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, & Glen Beck…..continued success teaching the masses about conservatism


Phil Mickelson…..success in overtaking that dirtbag Tiger Woods as the worlds #1 golfer

Random Thoughts 14

I’m pretty much completely off the Letterman bandwagon. I’d already begun to sour on him over the past few years because of his increasingly bitter and jaded schtick (and it has to be bad for me to be turned off because I do bitter and jaded pretty well myself) as well as his turn toward the hard left. Then the whole Sarah Palin incident happened and that was a real head scratcher. Now news of Dave’s numerous trysts with female staffers and the ensuing extortion stemming from those infidelities is being treated as one big joke. I am far from a prude, but it’s all just too much. I watch my late night shows to laugh and be entertained, not to be taken on a reality roller coaster ride.

Baseball’s final four…..New York Yankees, LA Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, LA Dodgers. What a God awful end of the season. I have absolutely zero interest in any of these teams. I won’t watch a single inning of any of the last three series. Will someone PLEASE buy the Pittsburgh Pirates and make them relevant again?!?!?

Congratulations to the city of Rio de Janeiro for procuring the 2016 Olympics. Unfortunately Rio’s victory comes at the expense of Chicago. I guess the committee decided that the athletes couldn’t compete effectively while wearing bullet proof vests.

I am hearing that the winter of 2009-10 will be the worst in 60 years, one that “you’ll tell your grandkids about”. I really hope that doesn’t prove to be true.

Apparently a reboot of the Vacation movie franchise is in the works, this time with Rusty Griswold as the bumbling patriarch of his own family. Now I LOVE the original Vacation and, because of my deep affection for Christmas films, absolutely adore Christmas Vacation. European Vacation and Vegas Vacation…..ehhh, not so much. If this next sequel actually occurs I really hope it is good and worthy of its heritage, but that will only happen if a few things occur. First of all, Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo must appear as Clark & Ellen Griswold, even if it is only a token cameo. Secondly, the original Rusty, Anthony Michael Hall, must must must be signed to star. There have been four different Rustys, but the original was the best and really the only one who most would buy as a father. And finally…and this is more of a generality…the writing must be funny and original. Amusing references and homages to the other movies in the series are fine, but it won’t work if it’s just Rusty repeating the same gags that his father did two decades ago.

Farewell Saturn…the car, not the planet.

Sooooooo…..according to out of touch Hollywood elitists director Roman Polanski should be let off the hook for raping a 13 year old girl because he has been rich enough to elude the police for 30 years and because he happened to direct some decent films. Yep, that makes perfect sense. Idiots.

RIP Captain Lou Albano, one of the most memorable pro wrestling personalities of all time.

The pre-emptive ouster of Rush Limbaugh as a perspective NFL owner is more than unfortunate…it’s racially motivated. The media and the powers-that-be in the NFL are more willing to listen to twits like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who have proven to be divisive and fraudulent, than a man who has 20 million listeners every week (equal to the most popular shows on television). The NFL is chock full of thugs who’ve done everything from drive drunk to possess firearms to beat their wives, yet somehow Rush isn’t good enough to be a minority (pardon the pun) owner?? That’s such a load of PC hogwash. Assclowns like Al Davis, Jerry Jones, and Daniel Snyder are allowed to own teams yet Rush is deemed inappropriate?? Unbelievable.

Random Thoughts 10

I seriously doubt if I will ever get into Twitter…..but never say never.

 

A study has found that individuals “with unpopular names are more likely to engage in criminal activity”. Oddball names are “connected to factors that increase the tendency to commit crime, such as a disadvantaged home environment, residence in a county with low socioeconomic status, and households run by one parent.” The study goes on to say that “adolescents with unpopular names may be more prone to crime because they are treated differently by their peers, making it more difficult for them to form relationships.” Allow me to translate: if you think you’re being cool by naming your illegitimate baby Loquanda, FayNeNe, Donquavious, Shataniana, or adding Da/De to common names like Shawn, John, etc……well, you’re not. You are starting that child’s life already behind the curve and reinforcing stereotypes rather than proving them wrong. Maybe we should call this The Orenthal Theorem.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he would jump at the chance to drive in the Indianapolis 500 if there were not a conflicting NASCAR race on the same day. – Atleast he couldn’t finish 38th…..there are only 33 cars in the Indy 500.

 

An update on The Stimulus: it’s still not working.

 

The U.S. Agriculture Department would be given the power to regulate all food sold in schools, including vending machine snacks, when Congress renews child nutrition programs. Agriculture Committee work on child nutrition will begin with a draft that gives the USDA the authority to oversee all food in schools, so nutrition programs are not “undermined” by junk food in vending machines. There has been “pushback” from schools that count on revenue from vending machines to pay for student activities. – I’m a solutions oriented guy..…so I suggest the government just ban vending machines from schools and pay for all student activities by raising taxes. Why waste time when that’s where Hussein Obama is headed anyway.

 

ESPN’s newest on air talent, Michelle Beadle, makes a favorable first impression. She’s reminiscent of a perkier, younger, somewhat less sultry Ellen Barkin.

 

The past several weeks have seen the deaths of actors David Carradine, Karl Malden, and Farrah Fawcett, singer Michael Jackson, Japanese wrestling legend Mitsuharu Misawa, sidekick Ed McMahon, infomercial guru Billy Mays, retired boxer Alexis Arguello, impressionist Fred Travalena, and former NFL QB Steve “Air” McNair. I’m not one to put celebrities up on a pedestal, but what a brutal month. May they all rest in peace.

 

Speaking of McNair…..as much as everyone wants to put him up on a pedestal because he was a star athlete (misguided hero worship that usually begins in junior high), the simple fact seems to be that he was just another guy cheating on his wife with a much younger woman. It’s likely that she had the attitude shared by young women everywhere, an overly romantic and idealized view of love. She probably thought he was going to leave his wife and they’d live happily ever after. She found out she was wrong, flipped out, and now they are both dead. Very sad story, and all too common.

 

An employee at a New Jersey chocolate processing plant died after falling into a vat of hot chocolate. He was dumping raw chocolate into the vat for melting when he fell in from a nine-foot high platform. – Wow…what a tragically awesome way to go.

 

I’m not so sure that Sarah Palin resigning as Governor of Alaska was such a wise move. Time will tell.

 

ESPN’s Mike and Mike were recently contemplating ways to make baseball’s all star game matter, lamenting the fact that it currently doesn’t, and trying to figure out why. It’s quite simple really. Baseball itself has become increasingly irrelevant. The game is populated with cheaters, junkies, and thugs. Babe Ruth was a beer guzzling, woman chasing, hard partying character…..Barry Bonds and his ilk are just a steaming pile of garbage. Clean up the game and it will regain its significance.

 

Michelle Obama showed off her more expensive taste in fashion by carrying a $6k black alligator manila clutch while strolling the wooded landscape outside of Moscow, Russia. – I’m not a woman and admittedly know nothing about purses…but how ostentatious is that??

A Final Word About Sarah Palin and David Letterman

I am making an educated assumption that most everyone has atleast heard about and may have followed to some degree the public battle between late night TV kingpin David Letterman and former Vice Presidential candidate and current Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. In a nutshell, he made some jokes at her expense that were of questionable taste and she called him out on it. Then the drive-by media started chiming in and the whole thing got completely out of control. Letterman kind of apologized and the masses seem eager to move on to the next meaningless controversy. However, to paraphrase John Belushi’s Animal House alter ego Bluto Blutarski…..”Over?? It’s not over til I say it’s over!!”.

 

I need to preface my opinions by first of all sharing my feelings about the parties involved.

 

Governor Palin was a shining light in an otherwise mundane election last year. As a conservative I was excited to have her on the ticket, and was outraged at the public dismantling of her character. Was…is…she ready for prime time?? Maybe…maybe not. But she isn’t any more unproven than the embarrassment that was ultimately elected. He was just a bit more smooth and polished. And he had other things going for him. I’ll let you interpret that any way you wish. Anyway, I look forward to Governor Palin’s future. If she plays her cards right I sincerely believe she has a legitimate opportunity to become the first female President of the United States in 2016 (I don’t think the current President will flop bad enough, atleast in the view of the mindless adherents to liberalism that elected him in the first place, to lose in 2012).

 

I’m a night owl and a fan of late night television and therefore a Letterman fan. I don’t put him on quite the pedestal that some others do…..I don’t think he’s that much better than Leno or Conan or Jimmy Kimmel or Craig Ferguson or Jimmy Fallon. The Top 10 is obviously his calling card, but more than that it’s his goofy and irreverent style. Dave used to do things like drop objects off the top of buildings, crush stuff with a streamroller, and elevator races. My favorite Dave bit was when he drove around Los Angeles in a convertible filled with 1000 tacos. He has incorporated many “real” people into his show…..people like stage manager Biff Henderson, Mujibur and Sirajul (who owned a little shop next door to the Late Show theater), Larry “Bud” Melman (aka Calvert DeForrest), Meg Parsons (the girl who worked across the street at Simon & Schuster), and of course Dave’s Mom Dorothy.  But something inside Letterman seemed to change after his heart surgery in 2000 and then the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. He has become increasingly political, and his bitterness and cynicism is often palpable. He’s still fun, but he’s not the same guy he was 10 years ago.

 

As far as the current situation, what happened is that Letterman quipped about Sarah Palin’s “slutty flight attendant look”, and worse, told a joke involving Palin’s daughter being “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez during a Yankee game. This has caused a firestorm that has raged several days longer than I ever thought possible. Predictably the drive-by liberal media has leaped to Dave’s defense, while those who are unhappy with our coarsening culture and “anything goes” society have grabbed onto the issue like a dog with a bone. Palin, who had slipped back into relative irrelevancy after the 2008 election, is either truly angered by the comments made about her and her family, or is seizing an opportunity for some face time. What one believes probably depends on what hole you punched last November. Letterman is trying to play the “I’m just a dumb guy who tells jokes” card, but no one is really buying his naivete. He’s nothing if not shrewd.

 

So is it much ado about nothing or is it a perfect example of why our nation is heading to Hell in a handbasket?? I’m honestly not trying to hedge my bets, but I tend to believe it’s a little of both. Letterman obviously leans left and would never have told a similar joke about a Democrat (if so he’d have been hung out to dry by the drive-by media). But I’m quite certain he never, in his wildest dreams, thought those jokes would cause such a commotion. He has done and said things just as tasteless without a ripple of reaction. I tend to believe that Governor Palin’s indignation is genuine. However, I do think she needs to be cautious. She wants to make a run for The White House someday, and taking this issue too far may have long term negative repercussions.

 

The bottom line is this…..what offends you may not offend me, and vice versa. Do I think our society has sunk into a moral abyss?? Yes, I do. There are many reasons for this, chief among them the dogged determination by some to eliminate God from everything coupled with a lethargic malaise by Christians who have far too long lain down and let it happen. But I also believe that we walk a very thin line. We must choose our battles wisely. Getting ourselves into a self-righteous lather over every single thing tends to cause a backlash. I am reminded of the classic children’s fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Complaining and protesting too much elicits a dismissive reaction from the opposition, and more importantly sways those who are sitting on the fence to the other side.

 

Was what David Letterman said wrong?? Yes. I do think that part of the debate that has been overlooked is the fact that his joke more than likely was meant to refer to Palin’s 18 year old daughter Bristol, who famously did become pregnant out-of-wedlock just as her mother was coming into the spotlight, but that the daughter who was actually with the Palins at that Yankee game was 14 year old  Willow. It was a huge mistake by Letterman and his writers. Of course the jokes were in bad taste either way, but the clarification of which daughter was the target has a lot to do with the strong reaction. The acceptance by most of this type of borderline vulgarity is a topic we could spend hours debating. What society deems as okay in 2009, whether it be on television or any other facet of life, is far different than it used to be. Some of the things one sees or hears on TV or in movies or just at the office are shocking in comparison to what we deemed suitable just a decade or two ago. That’s a problem that is, unfortunately, too big for me to tackle all by my lonesome. What I (and each of you as well) can do though is live life in as Godly and Christ-like a fashion as possible. It’s surely easier said than done, but that’s no excuse not to make the effort. We can’t solve all the world’s problems on our own, but we can attempt as best we can to be shining examples of The Creator who made us in His image, the Savior who paid the price for our sins, and the Holy Spirit that should dwell within us.

 

As for Letterman and Palin, life goes on. He will continue to have a successful show that people will watch and be entertained by (including me), and Governor Palin will move forward with her political career and I for one will be interested to see where it goes. It’s time to put all this in the past.

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts 8

More and more I see people who are either atheists or are embracing wacked out nonsense like kabbalah and scientology. This is coupled with an alarmingly casual acceptance of things like abortion and same sex marriage. Not that long ago this idiocy seemed to be mostly confined to Hollywood and New York City, the domain of the wealthy and/or eccentric. But it’s slowly seeping into “real” America. I know it’s prophesied in The Bible, but it’s still disturbing to actually see happen.

 

I finally caught the Speed Racer movie on HBO. It was okay. I had no qualms about the story or the cast. But much like 1997’s Batman & Robin (with Clooney as The Caped Crusader) Speed Racer is visually obnoxious.

 

Let’s be honest. We all know that Miss California USA Carrie Prejean lost her crown not because of any contractual wrongdoing but obviously due to her stance against same sex marriage.

 

“Hyena attack on girl spurs manicurist to build school” – well there’s a headline you don’t see every day.

 

I’m kind of tired of hearing about The OctoMom. Who cares??

 

There are two issues that are interesting in relation to David Letterman’s jokes about Sarah Palin’s “slutty flight attendant look” and her daughter getting “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez during a Yankee game. First, it confirms something I’ve felt about Letterman for awhile now. Always known for his acerbic wit, Letterman, much like late comedian George Carlin during the last few years of his life, now too often crosses into bitter and mean-spirited territory. There’s a reason why Jay Leno got the best of Letterman in the ratings for so long, and it’s got nothing to do with the infamous Hugh Grant appearance on The Tonight Show. After all, that was 14 years ago. Leno’s dominance had much more to do with his easygoing, breezy, and fun loving style of comedy in comparison to Letterman’s increasing leftist vitriol. People have grown weary of Letterman’s act. Secondly, I didn’t mind the jokes so much as the fact that it’s not a suspicion…it’s not an assumption…it’s an absolute 100% rock solid certainty that if a conservative (Rush, Hannity, Glenn Beck, etc.) would have aimed similar humor at a liberal kid…..Chelsea Clinton, the Obama girls, the Gore babes…..they’d be publicly lynched and likely lose their jobs. The double standard is so obvious Helen Keller could sense it.

 

Ok…I’ll admit it…..I like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies.

 

Congratulations to the 20o9 Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I doubt if my appreciation of hockey will ever be on the same level as my love of football, baseball, basketball, or even Nascar. But I feel like I finally did become somewhat of a fan this season.