Saturday, January 29, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Depending on the statistics you find, America is the obesest country in the world. Some have Mexico edging us out, but I don't think that should count. Much of Mexico's fat population is made up of people who came to live in the U.S., got fat and went back to Mexico. So those are actually our American fat rolls undulating on midriffs from Sonora to Sinaloa.
Some people think that the U.S. is the richest country on Earth, but that is untrue. Wealth is measured in GDP per capita which puts us between sixth and eighth, depending on the source. With the largest GDP in the world, the U.S. does have the largest economy, a distinction we are slated to enjoy for the next 25 years when China is expected to step up and eat our lunch. Look out, China. There's a lot of calories from fat in that lunch. That's how we roll, no pun intended.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
The Rent Is Too Damn High party is really hanging in there. Their website is still up, they haven't splintered off into the Rent Is Too Motherfuckin' Ridiculous party, and father of the movement Jimmy McMillan is rockin' out with his cock out in this unsurprisingly peculiar Youtube video. Seriously, if I had a show, I'd invite Jimmy on as my musical guest. I'm not quite sure about the improvisational dancer though. She's wearing leg warmers. Her spectacle crowds the stage. It's like the "What Up With That" sketch on SNL where the chubby black guy (I don't know how to spell his name properly and I'm too lazy to check it) plays a talk show host who interrupts his guests to break into absurd, overproduced versions of the show's theme song. Ms. Leg Warmers here looks like she's right out of that kind of catastrophe.
It makes me think of my college years when Dith Pran, the subject of "The Killing Fields" was speaking at my school and I got to go to lunch with him. Accompanying Mr. Dith was a woman with curly brunette hair. They were a strange enough pair for me to be compelled to ask "so how do you two know each other." I remember him identifying her as his friend so she was not there in any working capacity unless he paid his friends to hang out with him. Other than that, what I remember her for mostly is loading her ice water up with a bunch of maraschino cherries while stating emphatically "I love cherries."
Every once in a while I see someone doing something weird and it reminds me of Cherry Water Lady. Ms. Leg Warmers is such a person. I can not attest to the relationship between Jimmy McMillan and Leg Warmers. It is hard to even tell from the video if she is doing him a favor or vice versa. There is evidence, however that what they have is non-sexual. There is an email link on the RITDH website that women can click on if they want to date Mr. McMillan who, according to the site has been single for 30 years. If that is the case he must not be getting any from this Solid Gold Dancer who, if you notice just kind of casually bails towards the end.
I should cut her some slack though. She is probably tired from working two jobs just to put a roof over her head because... that's right... the rent is too damn high.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Sure, there is some controversy to the saga between the U.S. and China if your idea of controversy is the value of your currency to that of the nation that holds the bulk of your national debt. Zzzzzzzzzzz.
If there is anyone with the depth of mind to take on Hu and this tiresome nevertheless crucial matter it would be Barack Obama. With Obama, Hu is getting more than what he got the last time he met with a U.S. president - lunch (“That there’s a turkey sandwich and those are Fritos. Sorry about the plastic plates but they thought it might be insensitive if we ate off the china. Mind if I turn on Oprah?”). The low-key nature of the affair was due to the fact the Bush people did not want to appear to lavish so much attention on such an egregious violator of human rights.
The Obama Administration on the other hand figures that if one of the biggest commie-haters in history, Richard Nixon could famously break bao with the Chinese then why not them. Obama would like a chance to reset relations with the spurned Hu by having a proper state dinner with a bunch of CEOs of companies whose products are made with inexpensive Chinese labor. Yes, it just keeps getting duller and duller. Even John Boehner who loves CEOs could not bring himself to check the "sure, I'm in" box on his evite. This event is bound to be far less fun than taking health insurance away from children.
This entire visit will have a similar life to a Miss America pageant; it is being hyped as a special event, most Americans are probably unaware that it is happening, and unless Hu makes some unfortunate statements regarding his opposition to gay marriage it will pass unnoticed.
The leaders of the largest and second largest economies in the world already have about as much leverage on each other as possible without snapping bones. So there should be plenty of "I'll stop keeping the value of the yuan low if you stop your Federal Reserve from buying long-term Treasuries which devalues our stake in your debt." All lovers of Sino-American relations are at the edge of their seats for a doozy of a stalemate which some experts are calling the most important visit by a Chinese leader in 30 years. Back then it was Jimmy Carter and Deng Xiaoping and they apparently had three decades worth of fun times together.
Now the torch has been passed. It's up to the lawyer who excelled at basketball and the hydraulic engineer who showed promise at singing and dancing. Crises averted!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Thirty percent of Americans would do something to commemorate MLK on his birthday? I highly doubt it. And surfing past a History Channel documentary on King does not count. If we break down the thirty percent, we are destined to find some truth-tellers. There were parades. There were speeches. There were those who answer the call to service in Dr. King's honor, but I would put that number closer to ten percent, roughly. The other twenty percent were people who confuse their desire to be well-intentioned with the reality of their agenda.
Some people just want a day to plop on the couch and say "Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, I'm free at last until tomorrow" and that's okay. It is still a sign of progress. In this country we used to only loaf around in honor of white men. That has changed. I would not say that this is the Dream of which King spoke, but it is an added benefit.
To that proportion of the thirty percent who had every intention to get out and celebrate in some fashion but did not plan accordingly, there is still Martin Luther King Day 2012. Start planning now!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
As of now it is not known if Rep. Gabrielle Giffords D-Ariz is dead or alive after being shot in the head while meeting with her constituents at home in her district earlier this morning. While someone is in custody, it is unknown what that person's motivation was.
While it is too early to draw conclusions it should be of high interest that Giffords' office was vandalized shortly after her vote for the Patent Protection Act. In a subsequent MSNBC interview Giffords was asked about the political atmosphere and if it was or was not indicative of real danger. Here is that interview.
In spite of some of the reports I am hopeful that Rep. Giffords and all other victims of this attack recover.
Friday, January 7, 2011
This picture was taken in a spot above short bluff 30 feet above a paved trail in the
On this day I wanted the dog to have all the glory. I wanted to be able to have something where I could brag like Hank Hill: “Today the old boy scampered down a sandy cliff to fetch my hat like it was an escaped prisoner.” Instead the dog looked at me then walked off in the opposite direction. So I lowered myself about five feet down the near 90 degree slope just as three young hikers were rounding the bend on the path below.
“Look, someone’s coming down.”
“Great” I thought. “They see
I dropped for a terrifying non-stop three feet or so when I slowed and came to a stop about five feet up and three feet over from the hat. Now all three ladies were looking up at me. To let them know everything was A-OK I yelled over the wind “Just getting’ my hat!” I lifted my right hand off the side of the bluff to point to the hat. The momentum of that gesture was enough to put my body back in motion and I slid another three feet to where I was in range to reach the cap with just the right application of dexterity and a little luck.
“Are you alright?” one of the ladies hollered up. “Just gettin’ my hat” I yelled again to assured her as I nimbly crossed my left arm over and down to retrieve one black youbet.com baseball cap with chewed visor and wave it in the air to let her know I was making an ass out of myself for a reason. I rehatted as my dog who was with me every slide of the way down but as sure-footed as he was on flat ground tried to lick my face. I crankily rebuffed his attempt to now play adoring pet.
I scooched down a couple feet further to where I could easily stand and ride the remaining scree on my feet. When I got down to the pavement I looked up and wondered why I had so much trouble negotiating such an unintimidating face. It was steep. I gave myself that but from the ground it looked more like it was about fifteen feet high, twenty tops. “How pathetic” I thought. “So much for Spiderboy.” Then I remembered, the name Spiderboy came from my ability to scramble up inclines, not down. For a second I considered spidering back up the side to redeem myself. I was almost certain I had scaled this one place before, but not after so much rain. The risk of falling upwards was not worth the loss of a little pride from falling downwards. I got my snapshots for the day. I called it and went home.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I have no way of knowing for sure, but Congressman Darrell Issa (R) California seems the kind of guy whom if you are in a Congressional men’s room and you hear him entering you immediately rap it up at the urinal even if it means pissing your pants so you don’t have to talk to him.
It’s not that Darrell isn’t a good Republican party boy. He toes the party line in an intellectual stratum somewhere above Birther levels. He enjoys giving the anti-Obama movement stuff to be happy about. In that vein Issa has announced as the new chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee he will be conducting endless investigations into the Obama Administration which he describes as the most corrupt in history. As evidence of the corruption he cites the extent of the Recovery Act whose large price tag is bound to lead to misappropriation and/or ethical lapses. So using that same brand of logic we can assume that Mrs. Issa finds her husband repulsive by the fact they only have one child. It will be interesting to see if the $680 million in Stimu-cash that went to Issa’s district will be equally scrutinized.
Every party needs its crusaders, but why do the Republicans always end up choosing such dour, unlikable loudmouths? Is there anyone who remembers the fate of the charm deficient Newt Gingrich?
In addition to being the most annoying member of Congress, Issa is also the richest according to Wikipedia. Issa made a fortune as CEO of Directed Electronics which is responsible for manufacturing car alarms. Pretty apt. Car alarms, especially in congested areas have become synonymous with self-defeating nuisances. When people hear a car alarm in
In case you are wondering, Issa’s company did not make the car alarm that cycles in different sound themes ad infinitum (dee dooo dee dooo dee dooo dee dooo dee ooooooooop ooooooooop oooooooooop wank wank wank wank wank wank wank wank beeyoo beeyoo beeyoo beeyoo beeyoo beeyoo etc). Directed Electronics made the Viper whose warning salvo is a recording of Issa requesting of any random rabble that gets too close to your ride “please step away from the car.” Still, every time Darrell Issa speaks I feel like I’ve just been woken up at 2 a.m. by the latter alarm. I don’t hear words coming out of his mouth, just loud annoying repetitive tones that should be ignored to the best of my ability.
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