Thursday, June 30, 2005

White House hypocrisy over Mexican stamp

The White House is criticizing Mexico's issuing a stamp that features a cartoon character that unflatteringly depicts blacks. I wish the White House would worry more about Mexico's outrageous complicity with illegal border-crossers than a silly stamp.

Yeah, the stamp is offensive, but it's really none of our business from an international relations standpoint. However, it is very much our business when Mexico City issues a guide on crossing the border, including illegal crossings!!

Bush needs to stop doing the Macarena with Vincente Fox and dam up the borders. That we have not had a domestic attack since 9/11 is perhaps more due to sheer dumb luck than brilliant foreign policy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Liveblogging the Richard Scrushy verdict

11:47 a.m.: Much blather about Scrushy leading prayer with his "Amen Corner."

(For those of you not familiar with the trial, Scrushy suddenly decided to join a mostly black church after he was indicted. He also hired a black attorney. Birmingham proper has a large African-American contingency. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.)

11:50 a.m.: The GGB prediction -- he'll get off scot free. Not because I think he's innocent.

11:51 a.m.: Anyone who's ever worked for HealthSouth will tell you the idea that Scrushy knew nothing about the fraud being perpetrated by the corporation is complete bupkus.

11:58 a.m.: Verdicts being read. He's been acquitted on one conspiracy count. Waiting for the others.

11:59 a.m.: Counts 1-15. Not guilty.

12:03 p.m.: Not guilty on all counts. What did I tell you?


Monday, June 27, 2005

The quotable Coen brothers

Inspired by AFI's 100 Top Movie Quotes, I thought I'd share a few of my faves from the Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou?, one of the most quotable movies ever.
  • "Damn, we're in a tight spot!"
  • "You two are dumber than a bag of hammers."
  • "I've said my piece and counted to three."
  • "We ... thought ... you ... was ... a ... toad!"
  • "I'm the damn paterfamilias!"
  • "Well! Ain't this place a geographical oddity! Two weeks from everywhere!"
  • "Mrs. Hogwallop done R-U-N-N-O-F-T."
  • "Is you is or is you ain't my constituency?"

Fairly unbalanced

I've had about as much as I can take of the Dead & Missing Kids Revue and the Gitmo Follies.

Spent considerable time at my computer Saturday working from home, so much of the time I had Fox News keeping me company. Over the course of several hours, here were the big stories:

- Natalee Holloway is still missing.
- Detainees at Gitmo eat better than our soldiers and get free ice cream if they're good.
- Three little boys died in a car trunk when it accidentally shut.
- A 14-year-old girl died from a shark attack in Florida.

Not one ... not ONE ... mention of the watershed Supreme Court decision from last Thursday that basically said the government can take your property if Mr. Big Land Developer wants it. If I didn't follow blogs, I doubt I would have known about this.

Folks, as much as I love FNC, this is ridiculous. Aside from the minor public service value of these missing/dead children stories, at the end of the day, it doesn't make much difference to me. Not that I don't emotionally respond to these families' plights. I do, and my prayers are with them.

But for the love of Pete, Fox has Geraldo Rivera and Greta Van Susteren in Aruba detailing every sniffle. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is using the Constitution for toilet paper.

(And don't even get me started on Gitmo.)

So, dear Fox, please, alert me if they find Natalee Holloway or if they actually charge someone with a crime. (I have yet to figure out the Dutch legal system.) Until then, could we have some real news?

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot. They also mentioned that Runaway Bride Jennifer Wilbanks was interviewed by Katie Couric and her story may be made into a TV program.

Lord. Help. Us. All.

Wilbanks supposedly said that she ran away because she was afraid she couldn't be the "perfect wife" for her fiancé, John Mason.

No argument from me, Jen!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We make lousy gods, part III

(See my first two posts on this subject here and here.)

Michael Jackson and a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Funny where you find a little revelation.

In my two earlier posts on this topic, I talked about how fame and money screws with your head. Too much of it and you start thinking you're the Supreme Deity and live in a fantasy world of your own construction while, to the rest of the world, you just look like a buffoon. And to have the audacity to commission a painting of the Lord's Supper with yourself in the role of Christ as Michael Jackson did. Sheesh.

But I realized that Michael Jackson simply put his money where the human heart is. Frankly, we all like to star as God, don't we?

And what about that Excel spreadsheet? Oh yeah. I was working on my finances earlier and realized I'd severely overshot my budget for the month. At his height, Michael Jackson was worth half a billion. I earn about a hundreth of a percent of that, and I don't do that well with it. Would I do any better if I were earning gobs of money? I doubt it.

Michael Jackson had the money and the power to live out the basic human tendency: To do exactly what we want to do and not have anyone else tell us "no." Not that that is an excuse for reprehensible behavior. I hope that even if I had his fame and bank account I'd refrain from committing (alledged) felonies, and I'd appreciate it if he'd do likewise.

But if you had such power and insulation from the real-world consequences of your actions, just what sort of demons would come crawling out of the darkness?

I am glad I am not Michael Jackson, but in the cosmic scheme of things -- compared with God -- I am no "better" than he is.

We make lousy gods, part II

As I originally wrote here, human beings don't do well with near-omnipotence when they're suddenly rich and famous -- a la Michael Jackson.

So you can imagine how my ears pricked up when an interviewee on last night's broadcast of Why Michael Jackson Won (A&E) said that above his bed, Jackson has a painting of the Last Supper. Except the figure seated in the center is The Gloved One himself, not Jesus Christ.

::: shudder :::

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Some clear thinking on Gitmo

I won't waste your synapses on a rant on Senator Dick Durbin. (I've already waxed eloquent on outrageous Nazi analogies here.)

Kathleen Parker rightly observes today that Gitmo deserves some scrutiny nonetheless, and Durbin's rantings are a distraction from some real problems at Gitmo, namely the sexual humiliation of male detainees by female soldiers.

Note: Might want to wait 'til after lunch to read this.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya ...


If Natalee Holloway had disappeared in Deadhorse, Alaska, would half of the world's journalists still be there?

And now that the Michael Jackson trial is over, will the other half of the world's journalists be jetting down to the Caribbean to speculate on who gave Joran van der Sloot that hideous haircut? (Note to the media: Please stop pronouncing the young man's first name as "urine.")

I must say, thought, I do relish the sight of Fox News' Rick Leventhal in his tropical whites.

Meow meow

Now HERE's something you don't see every day:

Oregon Cat Born With Two Faces

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cosmic narcissism

Via the Mudville Gazette, via Michelle Malkin, here's a charming story of "pastor" Fred Phelps of "God hates fags" fame in action again, this time protesting at the funeral of a fallen US servicewoman:

Phelps protests funeral

It's difficult to put into words how much I despise stunts like this.

This is beyond the pale. As far as we know, the late Corporal French wasn't even gay. (Not that that would justify anything.) Rather, Phelps is claiming that US deaths in Iraq are God's judgment against his church being bombed six years ago.

::: long sigh :::

Cosmic narcissism and religion is a very bad mix.

'Nuf said.

Why Thriller went to File 13

This pretty much sums it up.

Monday, June 13, 2005

My prediction

Michael Jackson will continue to play house with underage boys, if the adulation of the courthouse crowd is any indication of people's persistent stupidity when it comes to celebrities.

There will be another incident. This man is incapable of self-control. His head would explode if he did the very thing to protect himself from future allegations: Stay away from children.

And just for the record, my old cassette tape copy of Thriller went to File 13 some time ago.

Jacko verdict

::::: eyes rolling :::::::

He's bad, I know it.

UPDATE: To the person holding the "repent" sign -- I agree with your sentiments, but please, put down the poster board. You make us (Xians) all look silly.

UPDATE II: Watching him walk out of the courtroom, I think Jackson is on Xanax and ludes.

UPDATE III: If the verdict had been guilty, just what would that woman have done with the doves???

Folks, I have to admit, this is our legal system working properly, so to speak. They had no direct evidence and the accusers seriously lacked credibility.

However, our society is NOT working properly when a man who sleeps with underage children is venerated by screaming throngs.

God help us.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The inmates are running the asylum

All right, I'm getting cranky again.

Check out today's Nealz Nuze at Neal Boortz' site. (Today only -- I think the page refreshes daily.) Scroll down to "Border Insecurity." Deranged Canadian Gregory Despres was allowed into our fair land after customs agents relieved him of a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chainsaw stained with blood.

Apparently his arsenal of weapons -- coupled with the fact that he's straight of central casting for a part in the next Friday the 13th film -- was not enough to get his sorry self sent back to Canada. (Which highlights the absolute inanity of customs enforcement. We spend millions keeping weed from entering the country, but a maniacal, chainsaw-toting Canadian? No problema!)

Well, wouldn't you know it. Mr. Despres wound up murdering an elderly couple. The husband's head was cut off and stuffed into a pillowcase. Is anyone surprised? Anyone? Anyone?

If this isn't proof positive that the people in charge of our border security are brain damaged, I don't know what is.

And one more thing: I am seriously beginning to think that Jennifer Wilbanks is on something.

Almost famous?

Although I'd never want to be as famous as Michael Jackson, it's trés cool to get a little recognition for your work.

The GGB was mentioned in a roundup of "blonde bloggers" at Specifically mentioned was my rant about the f-word documentary. (And the challenges of reading Neal Stephenson when you have ADD. Oy vey!)

Should I tell them that I'm actually closer to brunette now? Mmmm ... nah ...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

We make lousy gods

You have to feel a little sorry for the King of Pop.

Yeah, I think he's a creep, too. I don't believe for a second that all he did with his bedmates was have milk and cookies and read Dr. Seuss.

But Michael Jackson may, in part, be the victim of "godhood" imposed on him by unparalleled talent, outrageous luck and a mass media machine to make it all happen. When you have a multi-million-dollar bank account, a fairtytale home and the adulation of millions who worship at the Church of Michael, you can pretty much do what you want ... even if that includes hacking your face into a death mask.

Fabulous wealth + worldwide fame = self-destruction. Look at Elvis Presley. At least he stuck with chrome suits and Krispy Kreme as his vices. Nevertheless, he ended up dying on the toilet in his early 40s. Who thinks that Michael Jackson will make it to 60, either in or out of jail?

It's not good to be a god when you're just a human being. Virtually unlimited influence, power and wealth? Elvis couldn't handle it. Michael Jackson couldn't handle it. Who could?