Good News From Iraq

Rightwingers have been bitching and moaning about how the media only covers bad news coming out of Iraq. That's because it's almost all bad news. But now, we have some actual, verifiable good news, and the media has not been shy to report it.

Jill Carrol, the Christian Science Monitor journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq, has been released.

This is 100% good news. There is no downside to this story.

This means, of course, the right wing will make one up.

See, Jill made the mistake of saying that while being held hostage, she was “well treated”. Which led the idiot who runs the idiotioc Powerline blog to snipe:
This is a sentiment that one often hears from people who have been released by kidnappers; one gets the sense that the victims are grateful—understandably, perhaps—to the terrorists for letting them go…
Or maybe, idiot, one gets the impression that she was well treated. You know, the opposite of “treated poorly”? She never once said she was grateful, not once. You, idiot, made that up. If, under the circumstances, she was “treated well” and then says so, who the fuck are you to tell her what she meant? You’re pretty obviously projecting what you wish she would say, so you can use it as a weapon in your losing ideological battle.

Later, the idiot says this:
But let’s not encourage a lot of warm feelings toward the murderous thugs who kidnapped Carroll, shot her translator, and may well have received a ransom to let her go.
Did I miss the memo? Are there hordes of people with “warm feelings” for kidnappers? No, there aren’t, Don Quixote, so go battle some other imaginary giants.


Fuck Barbara Bush

Okay, it’s been awhile. I’ve been moving into a new place. I am still moving into a new place. I am sick of moving into a new place. I don’t even have that much stuff.

Anyways, I guess I should try to ease back into blogging with something nice and not bitter. So here goes.

Barbara Bush is an evil bitch.

"Barbara Bush?" you say. "No way, man, she was downright grandmotherly."

Yeah way. Her. B - I - T - C - H.

Examples? You want examples? You got examples.

Regarding her son’s composure before the war in Iraq:
But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it’s gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it’s, it’s not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer.
Her reaction to Katrina victims who were placed in shelters in Houston?
Almost everyone I’ve talked to says, ‘We’re going to move to Houston.’ What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.
And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.
Maybe to counter this perceived arrogance and borderline racism, Barbara could give some money to help Katrina victims. That would be nice, selfless, and begin to repair her crumbling image.

So she did.

Sorta kinda.
Former first lady Barbara Bush gave relief money to a hurricane relief fund on the condition that it be spent to buy educational software from her son Neil’s company…

Since Barbara Bush’s gift, the Ignite Learning program has been given to eight public schools with high numbers of Hurricane Katrina evacuees, the Houston Chronicle reported…

“Mrs. Bush wanted to do something specifically for education and specifically for the thousands of students flooding into the Houston schools,” the former President Bush’s chief of staff Jean Becker said Thursday.

Barbara Bush chose to promote Ignite because she supports her son and has genuine enthusiasm for his company’s program, Becker said.

Two years ago, the Houston school district board wrestled with conflict of interest concerns over the Ignite program. Neil Bush had helped raise $115,000 for the district’s philanthropic fund from donors who insisted the money be spent on his company’s software.

The district accepted the donations and used them to pay half the costs of new Ignite software, about $10,000 per school.

This is ridiculous on many levels. You have homeless families, families who have nothing, and you demand your money goes to buy…..software? From your prostitute-loving son? Not to pay rent for apartments, not money going to a food bank, not to rebuild levees, but to your son’s company? Does she expect to be praised for this? You’re his mom. If the program is so damn important to the children, why couldn’t you convince your son to donate it? And who gets to choose exactly where their donations go anyways? What self serving bitch.

I will let Keith Olbermann sum it up:
Houston Chronicle reporting today, and her chief-of-staff confirming, that Mrs. Bush made a generous donation to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, co-chaired by her husband, the former President, and former President Clinton. But there was a catch. The money she donated had to be spent, was earmarked for, was intended only for use for buying computer software programs for schools in Houston, computer software programs for schools in Houston that were sold by her son Neil. You’d think if a woman has reached her 80th birthday she’d understand that if you make a donation to charity, then make the charity give the donation to your son, it’s not a damned donation anymore! Barbara Bush, today’s ‘Worst Person in the World’!”
Barbara Bush is an uncaring bitch. A bitch who’s dangerously close to crossing the c*** line.


R.I.P. Buck Owens

I didn't discover Buck Owens until a redneck punk band I dig (Nine Pound Hammer) did a cover of Adios, Farewell, Goodbye, Good Luck, So Long. I soon discovered there was more to the man than hosting Hee Haw. Mainly, a lot of great music.

So, Buck Owens, Adios, Farewell, Goodbye, Good Luck, So Long.
Honky-tonk star Buck Owens, who sold more than 16 million albums and popularised country entertainment on television, has died. He was 76.

Owens helped spread the twangy "Bakersfield sound" as an antidote to Nashville's slick country music.

A song Owens made a hit, Act Naturally, was recorded by the Beatles with Ringo Starr on vocals in 1965, the same year that Ray Charles enjoyed a Top 10 pop hit with a cover of Owens' Cryin' Time.

Creedence Clearwater Revival mentioned Owens in the song Looking Out My Back Door, and the Grateful Dead cited him as a major influence.


Ashamed To Be An American

Salon.com has published a complete report, with pictures and video, documenting the abuses at Abu Ghraib (to get full access, click on the site pass). The images are very graphic, but it is your patriotic duty to see what is being done in your name. I've heard nary a peep about it from the "liberal" media.

I really don't know what to say.

Is this what we've become? Are you okay with this? If so, we're no better than those we attack. Man, I long for a day when I can be proud of my country again. That time is not now. Now, I'm just ashamed and embarrassed.



Seriously, how long could it possibly take you to fill your soda? Must you wait for the foam to settle all the way down, get a lid, put the lid on, get a straw, take the wrapper off of the straw, insert the straw into the soda, all while blocking the entire soda bar, even though your particular soda is on the far right of said soda bar, and not caring at all that there are other people who may be just as parched as you? Get your goddamned soda, and do all the peripheral soda preparation elsewhere, you jackass.

And you! Do you need 12,000 cups of salsa? You're order is for here, not to go, so just refill your goddamned cup when it runs out. Are you addicted to hot sauce? Do you mainline the fire roasted salsa? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? Why does it take you 10 minutes to get salsa/hot sauce. My food is getting cold while your Salsapalooza '06 runs long.

Rubio's, you're dead to me.

Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead

It's weird to be glad someone died, just a week after being very sad someone died. But when that someone is a monster, then how can you not be glad?
Former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was found dead Saturday in his prison cell near The Hague. He had been charged with genocide and crimes against humanity in a number of indictments spanning from the wars in Croatia and Bosnia to the fighting in Kosovo.
Good riddance, Slobodan. Rot in hell, you murderous prick.


America's #1 Paranoid-Schitzophrenic

Bill O'Reilly's journey into madness continues....

Bill O'Reilly, the conservative blowhard notorious for yelling "SHUT UP!" to anyone who refuses to cowed by his faux-macho bullying,is now convinced that "local authorities" give a shit about protecting his radio program from callers who disagree with him.

Here's the setup: Bill O'Reilly is a pompous ass, and Kieth Olbermann, who hosts the only watchable cable news show, gets a kick out of mocking O'Reilly's various idiotic escapades (and there are a LOT of them). So O'Reilly doesn't really like Keith Olbermann.

So, here's a word of advice: If You call Bill O'Reilly's radio show, DO NOT MENTION KEITH OLBERMANN!!!! If you do, the Gates of Hell will be opened on you.

The following exchange actually happened, it is not a joke:
O'REILLY: Orlando, Florida. Mike, go.

CALLER: Hey, Bill, I appreciate your taking my call.


CALLER: I like to listen to you during the day. I think Keith Olbermann's show --

O'REILLY: There you go, Mike is -- he's a gone guy. You know, we have his -- we have your phone numbers, by the way, so if you're listening, Mike, we have your phone number. And we're going to turn it over to Fox security, and you'll be getting a little visit.

E.D. HILL (co-host): Maybe Mike is from the mothership.

O'REILLY: No, maybe Mike's going to get in big trouble, because we're not gonna play around. When you call us, ladies and gentlemen, just so you know, we do have your phone number. And if you say anything untoward, obscene, or anything like that, Fox security then will contact your local authorities, and you will be held accountable. Fair?

HILL: That's fair.

O'REILLY: So just -- all you guys who do this kind of a thing, you know, I know some shock jocks, whatever -- you will be held accountable. Believe it. We'll be right back.
I'm sure Mike is shaking in his boots. Can you imagine the conversation between "Fox Security" and the Orlando Police Department?

"Hi, is this the Orlando Police Department? Oh, hi, this is Greg from Fox Security. What? Oh Fox, like the News Channel. Anyways, I wanted to report a guy named Mike. Mike who? Uh....I don't know but we do have his phone number, just in case you didn't know, when you call a radio station, we keep your number. His phone number is 555-555-5555. He called Bill O'Reilly's radio show and mentioned Kieth Olbermann. What? Olbermann, he's a poopyhead talk show host. Anyways the whole thing was very untoward. So yeah, if you could, like, arrest him or something, that would be mighty cool. He needs to be held accountable. It's only fair. We don't play around here at Fox. Believe it.

Did I mention that we have his phone number? Hello....? Hello...?"


Kirby Puckett

So, Kirby Puckett died, and I'm having a hard time with it.

It doesn't really makes sense. Like a lot of people my age, I was a big Kirby Puckett fan. But still, I didn't know the man personally or anything. So why does it affect me for more than an hour? I'm trying to figure it out.

First of all, I know of no baseball fan that didn't love Kirby. Take a popular player today, like Barry Bonds or Derek Jeter. Some people love them. Some people despise them. Not so with Kirby. Everybody loved Kirby. He was everyone's "favorite player who is not on my favorite team". He had so much positivity, and his big ass smile betrayed any attempts to conceal it.

He was built like a bowling ball, but hit like a wrecking ball, just like a poster he inspired. Oh, and the defense! Jumping up the Hefty Bag wall of the Met to snare a ball occured so many times it became rote. What you say? Kirby just robbed a home run? Yawn. What else is new?

He was the heart and soul of gritty Twins club that won two World Series against teams with more talent and less heart. If my bonds to the San Diego Padres and Tony Gwynn had not already been formed, there is an excellent chance I would have become a Twins fan, based solely on my love of Kirby Puckett. So from a purely baseball perspective, there are a lot of reasons to mourn the loss of Kirby.

But I think it goes deeper than that. And for that reason, let us turn to that bellwether of American cinema, City Slickers:

"Whenever my father and I couldn't talk about anything else, we could always talk about baseball."

Let me be clear: Me and my dad had a great relationship. There were no problems. But because of the nature of our household, a lot of things that needed to be said never got said. Hopefully, I conveyed to my father how much he meant to me and how much I respected him, but I could never just come out and say it. It was too awkward and in my immaturity I would have been embarrassed. Always about me, isn't it? Since the lines of communication never ran too deeply, sports in general, and baseball particularly, is how we communicated. We'd talk baseball for hours. We'd make the occasional trip to San Francisco to see his Giants or to Anaheim so I could see Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew, who was my favorite pre-Tony Gwynn player. Bottom line, some of my best memories with my dad concerned baseball. And my dad, too, loved Kirby Puckett. And now they are both gone.

I am not prone too being overly emotional. In fact I am probably not emotional enough (at least that's what the ex's keep saying). I keep a lot in, so when I found out about Kirby, I think I tied it up with my dad, and it gave me an excuse to release some of the emotional buildup regarding not just my dad, but everyone else close to me I have lost. In it's own way, it's kind of lethargic. It's too bad it takes death to make it happen.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this. I mean, I'll probably be fine tomorrow. Maybe I'm just sad that I'm getting older, and this is the first instance of one of my personal baseball heroes dying, which forces me to deal with my own mortality. Maybe it reminds me when my life was much less complicated, and I actually had the time to pour over statistics, sort baseball cards all day, play wiffle ball, and create various baseball games involving dice and a scorecard. Ah, youth!

I don't know.

All I do know is that I'm really sad that Kirby Puckett is gone.


Your Kid Is Not Cool

Man, I wish parents would stop trying to make their toddlers and pre-teen kids "cool". I was in this shopping center and noticed a place called "Cool Cuts For Kids". Um, what? Kids get their own salon now? As I was trying to digest this, I saw another store called "Hip Baby". Babies aren't supposed to be hip, they're supposed to be stupid and disgusting. And trust me, yours is.

This trend of "cool kids" must stop. You're going to get enough attitude and arrogance from them when they hit middle school. Why encourage it from the day they are born?

Humiliate your child. Go out of your way to make them an uncool nerd. The world needs it. Take your kid to the goddamn barber shop and buy their clothes at K-Mart. Kids should have to suffer the indignities of wearing Traxx or Pro-Wings. The opposite sex should have cooties for as long as possible. Braces? As long as they are prominent, preferably with headgear. None of this invisible braces crap. Their musical world should revolve around Raffi. Social awkwardeness at a young age builds their social immune system. They'll be better for it. Society will be better for it. Sure, there is a slight chance that they may shoot up a school or something, but even that is better than these douchebag "hip" kids who are just going to grow up to be cocky douchebag adults.

Basically what I'm trying to say is this: If I see another baby with a CBGB's shirt on, someone will die. Your baby shits himself. No need to try and convince me he listens to the Ramones. CBGB's shirts are reserved for adult poseur (and yes, fuckers, it's poseur, not poser) assholes who have never even been to New York and will never be as cool as they think they are.

You know, people like me.

I Am Jerri, Hear Me Roar

So I was at a burger joint in downtown Sacramento. I place my order (double cheeseburger – no lettuce [lettuce is a cheeseburger buzzkill, trust me]), and it goes something like this:

Order taking dude: “Your name?”

Me: “Jerry.”

Dude (writing): “Okay, Jerry, that’s J-E-R-...?”

Me: “X-Q.”

Now, I understand when people ask about the Gerry vs. Jerry thing, but I’m very curious about how else to end my name. I was in the “fabulous” part of town, so perhaps he thought I spelled it “Jerri”? As silly as that sounds, a few moments later, a lady asked me if I was “homosexual”, because she was doing "market research" on gay friendly jewelry or something. So maybe the dude at the counter thought the same thing. Do I look like a Jerri? I know I like shoes, and I love Ikea, and I kinda have a crush on Vince Vaughn, but I assure you, Dear Reader, despite my gay friendliness, I am straight.

At least until Vince ditches Jennifer. Then I'm Jerri.