Archive for July, 2008

Batman–The Dark Knight after 9/11

Monday, July 21st, 2008

This past Saturday night I had the pleasure of seeing “Batman: The Dark Knight.” The movie was exceptional, and I believe it should be given multiple Oscar nominations.

I spent yesterday going over the many reasons to see the movie itself. It is a brilliant entertainment vehicle. Yet watching this movie twice is necessary to appreciate its equally brilliant political commentary.

The Joker played by the late Heath Ledger is more than a criminal. He is a terrorist.

Like any other terrorist, negotiation does not work with the Joker. He cannot be reasoned with, because he has nothing to lose. He is not afraid of dying.

Also, the Joker, like true terrorists, does not even want anything. He cannot be bribed. He craves neither money nor power. The destruction and carnage he inflicts is not the means to any end. The pain and suffering he causes is the end itself.

The movie does not bother to understand why he acts the way he does. He is simply a homicidal sadist. He kills people because he can, because they are there, and for sport. He also wants to torture them before he kills them. That is why he prefers the slow twisting of a knife to a quick kill with a gun.

Nevertheless, he is perfectly comfortable with guns and other munitions.

He also does not mind using mentally and physically handicapped people as his unwilling suicide bombers. As for his willing accomplices, he murders them the moment they cease to become useful.

When I was in the car after the movie, my friend was trying to figure out who would be the evil terrorist most comparable to the Joker.

My opinion is that neither Osama Bin Laden, Zawahiri, or Saddam Hussein fit the analogy.  True, these men were bloodthirsty killers. However, they were also pragmatic. None of them were willing to die.  None of them were willing to kill indiscriminately. In fact, they killed for specific reasons. Osama and Zawahiri wanted to spread Islam and create a caliphate. Saddam killed for the most basic of reasons, to enhance his own power.

So who best fits the role of completely psychotic, and willing to kill anything and everything?

Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi.

Zarqawi enjoyed violence for the sake of violence. He even murdered his fellow Sunni Muslims.

My friend proffered a theory that is worth considering. What if Bin Laden and Zawahiri gave up Zarqawi? Maybe he was too bloodthirsty for even them? By killing to brutally, and against anyone and everyone, the local tribal leaders switched sides and joined the Americans against Al Queda.

The Joker was too evil for the other criminals. The mobsters wanted him dead, regretting that they ever did business with him. Harvey Two-Face wanted him dead as well. The Joker did not have loyal followers. He had victims that he brutalized into helping him.

The Joker also showed no interest in money. Without spoiling the movie, what he does with his share of the money he steals defies any reasonable behavior. Given that money is unimportant to him, he cannot be negotiated with.

In a world of terrorists, there are those that fight them. They come in the form of police officers, district attorneys and their fellow prosecutors, politicians, military personnel, and various special forces such as SWAT teams.

In any war, the bad guys are usually united. The good guys get bogged down arguing over procedures. The bad guys do not have to worry about warrants, Miranda rights, or writs of Habeas Corpus.

The delicate balance that the good guys face in the Batman movie and in real life is how to catch the bad guys without becoming them.

Harvey Two-Face sees the ruin that is his life as one of the good guys, and descends into becoming what he hates. He becomes one of the bad guys.

Batman and Commissioner Gordon refuse to give in. Commissioner Gordon is a law and order policeman through and through. He will not cross the line.

Harvey Two-Face could be represented by the American people. We struggle on a daily basis with the choice between doing what is morally and legally right, and doing what is effective. These two roads often diverge, and moral hazards and how we respond to them make us human. Harvey Dent, brilliantly played by Aaron Eckhart, lets his despair consume him. The good way does not work. He slides into badness. Others in the movie refuse to give in. Commissioner Gordon never given in.

This is why so many people are uncomfortable with Batman. He operates outside the law. He is a vigilante. The debate among the people of Gotham City about Batman is a debate about vigilantism itself, especially in a post 9/11 world.

Those who favor the rule of law at all costs see Batman as a threat. Yet those who support Batman do so because they see their civic institutions at being unable to protect and defend them.

This argument goes all the way back to ordinary people like Bernard Goetz. He shot several people who approached him with screwdrivers. They were going to rob him (For those who dispute this, grow up. They were going to rob him). His choices were shoot or be victimized.

This is at the heart of the gun control debate. Some feel that only police officers and judges should have guns. Others feel that this would embolden criminals. We now know that increased citizen gun ownership leads to dramatic reductions in crime. Deterrence works.

Batman is a deterrent. His methods scrape dangerously against the law. In fact, Batman takes steps in this movie that would make the ACLU cringe. A debate between Christian Bale’s Batman and his henchman, played by Morgan Freeman, about how far is too far, is a fabulous metaphor for how far we can go in an attempt to catch terrorists.

Issues such as warrantless wiretaps, FISA Courts, and military tribunals bubble beneath the surface of this movie.

Also, Gotham City does not have the equivalent of Guantanamo Bay. They merely have the county jail. The Joker knows this. In fact, he wants to go to a jail. That way he can use the jail itself to further his ambitions. Criminals in jail meet other criminals. Had the Joker been given solitary confinement, perhaps he could have been stopped.

One quality of Batman is that he will not murder. If he catches a criminal alive, he will preserve that life. He is willing to capture the Joker, and kill him if he has to do so. Yet he will not murder him. The Joker has no such constraints.

So who is Batman?

Batman is controversial. He has his supporters, and his detractors. When times are good, people love him. When times are tough, he is hated. He is even blamed for exacerbating problems, when the audience knows that deep down he is the good guy willing to do what they will not do.

People criticize Batman, but they simply do not understand that he saves lives.

Most importantly, Batman himself is willing to be reviled and let others take the credit. He is not worried about the popular opinion of him. He is busy saving lives.

I did not make the comparison, but my friend pointed it out perfectly. Batman is President George W. Bush.

President Bush wants to kill terrorists. The argument is not over whether to do it. With the exception of the most extreme left wingers, there is a consensus in America to get the bad guys. The argument among the good guys comes in the form of the methods.

President Bush, like Batman, gets raked over the coals. Yet when all is said and done, Batman’s critics have no alternative solutions that are viable. If they did, Batman would not be necessary.

There are people in this nation that have a deep dislike for President Bush, in many cases crossing the line into hatred. Yet when asked what they would do to keep America safe, the crickets chirp loudly.

Talk of diplomacy can work with those that want to live. Yet with bloodthirsty madmen like Zarqawi, there is no room for dialogue. We killed him in a targeted air strike, and the world is forever better off for his death.

The question regarding Batman is whether he is a net positive or net negative. For those who focus on methods, he is a negative. For those who care about results, he is an overwhelming positive.

For those on the left, be prepared to be frustrated by the new Batman movie. With regards to the War on Terror, the message is very politically conservative.

Gotham City is at War, and the terrorists are using Gotham’s civil institutions against it. Batman dangerously approaches the line, and some would argue that he crosses it. Yet when all is said and done, he gets the job done. He delivers results, which is more than anyone else is doing.

Yes, this is a movie. However, entertainment has always been about social commentary. It is refreshing that in an industry dominated by left wing nonsense, that the biggest blockbuster of the Summer, and perhaps of all time, is offering an anti-hero that prefers a hard @ssed approach to crime and terror.

In fact, crime and terror should not be lumped together. Crime can be defeated with jails and courtrooms. Terrorism requires much more aggressive methods.

Gotham City is like any other city in America. In fact, it is actually the metaphor for New York City.

New York City was decaying. Then the crackdown of Rudy Giuliani took place. Yet even Mayor Giuliani could not have been prepared for the horror and pure evil that was 9/11.

One reassuring aspect of the movie is that despite some despairing that the Joker has won, when all is said and done, he does not win.

The arguments over the methods used to capture the Joker can and should be argued. Those debates are part of a healthy democracy. Having said that, I maintain that Batman did the right thing. He saved the city, and took the backlash. Saving lives trumped dithering and dawdling.

In the same way Batman  leaves, George W. Bush will be leaving office in several months. His detractors will never give him his due. His supporters are just glad that Zarqawi is gone.

Now we need to get the rest of the Zarqawis.

All hail the Dark Knight. He got the job done.


Batman–The Dark Knight

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

First, a quick housekeeping note. On Tuesday, July 22nd, at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, Los Angeles, at 8pm, Evan Sayet will be doing a night of politically conservative comedy. I am one of his opening acts. For the love of all things holy, show up en masse.

I will skip the recap of my coed touch football game since we got thrashed 36-10. I hope to redeem myself playing kickball today. Yet sandwiched between those two events was a trip to the movies to see the new Batman movie, The Dark knight.

It will take two columns to cover this movie, and I recommend that people watch the movie twice. The first time, watch it as a movie, and only as a movie. Enjoy it as entertainment. Then watch it a second time, in a political context. Make no mistake about it. This movie is very political.

Tomorrow’s column will deal with the politics of this movie. Today I will just deal with the movie itself.

In a word, it is phenomenal. I have seen all 6 Batman movies. This movie by far is the best of the bunch. None of the others even comes close. This movie is that good.

I am a purist when it comes to Batman. I want any production of anything connected to this series to be truthful to the original comic book characters. I personally do not read comic books, and as a child, never did. Nevertheless, I am aware of what the characters are supposed to be.

The very worst portrayal of Batman (the entire production, not the lead role itself) came in the form of the television show from the 1960s. While Cesar Romero and Burgess Meredith are outstanding actors with distinguished careers, the series never captured the true characters. Adam West and Burt Ward were fun, and Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt were as well. Yet fun does not and should not be confused for accuracy.

In all fairness to the series, it never claimed to be anything other than what it was: a campy television show.

“Campy” is the word used to describe the show. In a vacuum, the show was comical and inoffensive. Yet it was never a true reflection of what Batman was all about.

The very best portrayal of Batman came in the form of “Batman: The Animated Series.”

The animated series is simply brilliant, bordering on flawless. Although it is a cartoon, it is not for children. In fact, as good as the cartoon itself was, the cartoon movie “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm,” was even better than that.

The contrasts between the television series in the 1960s and the animated series of the 1990s is as different as night and day.

What the series in the 1960s got wrong, the animated series…and the newest movie…got right.

First of all, the Joker on the original series was a thief who cackled. He stole stuff. He was a fraternity prankster that engaged in heists.

That is not the essence of the Joker. The Joker is not a thief. He is a homicidal lunatic. In fact, “lunatic” is not the right word. The Joker is not crazy. He is simply evil. In fact, he is a homicidal sadist.

What makes the Joker in the movie so fabulous is that there is no explanation for why he became this way. There is no sob story. There is no attempt to humanize him. The villain is not another societal victim.

Also, the Joker does not kill or destroy for money or power. He does it because he feels like it.
The destruction and mayhem and pain he inflicts is not the means to a greater end. It is the end itself. The reason this matters is because it is impossible to reason with somebody who cannot be bribed or bought, or even threatened. Try to kill him. He doesn’t care. He kills for sport.

As simple as the Joker is, Batman is supposed to be complex. He is not a smiling guy. He does not have a sense of humor. He is an individual that is tormented. His pain never heals.

(One thing the movie never deals with is the fact that the Joker murdered Bruce Wayne’s parents when Master Wayne was a boy. Leaving this out does not in any way diminish an outstanding movie)

Yet as compelling as Batman and the Joker are, the rest of the characters are brilliantly fleshed out. Commissioner Gordon is a true good guy. The descent of District Attorney Harvey Dent into the abyss that is Two-Face is perfect.

I again recommend that people watch the animated series to get a feel for what the heroes, villains, and anti-heroes are all about. Then watch this movie.

With the Joker, there is no explanation for how he became who he is, and why he does what he does, because that would weaken the character. With Harvey Two-Face, it is essential to understand every aspect of him. Why he acts the way he does is critical to his storyline.

This movie deserves an Oscar nomination. As for the actors, some people wanted to give an Oscar nomination to Heath Ledger, who plays the Joker. For the sake of an honest viewing, do not go into the movie with sympathy for the tragic death of Heath Ledger. I say this only because had this young man lived to see opening night, the audience would have still rewarded him with loud ovations. His death was tragic, but his performance itself stands alone as worthy of a nod from the academy.

Not counting best picture, I would give at least four, and perhaps six, Oscar nominations.

If I could give only one Oscar nomination, it would go to Aaron Eckhart. His performance as Harvey Dent and Two-Face were masterful.

Gary Oldman, who plays Commissioner Gordon, absolutely deserves a nomination.

Christian Bale is by far the best of those that played Batman. With all due respect to Jack Nicholson, who was very good, Heath Ledger was better. Both Bale and Ledger deserve Oscars.

Although they had limited roles, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine should be given consideration. Morgan Freeman plays the tech genius who works at Wayne Enterprises. Late in the movie, he has what I consider to be one of the most important scenes in the movie. It has political overtones that will reverberate in the form of debate water coolers for years to come. As for Michael Caine, his Alfred the Butler is one who is understated, speaking the soft, infrequent…but meaningful…words.

This movie touches on civil liberties, and is absolutely a metaphor for the War on Terror. In fact, the Joker is more than just a villain or criminal. He is a terrorist.

This is important because the “good guys” are not always on the same page. Some want to preserve civil liberties at all costs. Others want to catch the bad guys regardless of the societal consequences. In between representing the shades of gray are some of the other characters. Rather than state who is at what point on the spectrum, although it might be obvious, it is best to let viewers watch for themselves.

The parallels for who each character might represent can be saved for another day. Actually, that day is tomorrow.

For today, it is merely a cinematic masterpiece.

One of the goals of the original Batman movie with Michael Keaton was to create an environment that was “dark, but positive.”

This movie is dark. The positive is there, but one has to dig down deep to find it.

As for the movie itself, one does not have to dig deep to find what is positive. From beginning to end, “Batman: The Dark Knight,” is spectacular.

Watch it twice.


I know, for I told me so

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Barack Obama has formulated his Iraq policy.

After that he went to Iraq to see the situation.

Does anybody see the flaw in this picture?

To quote rock group Spinal Tap,

“I know, for I told me so, and I’m sure each of you quite agree…the more it stays the same, the less it changes!”

Inspired by Mr. Obama, I am now officially declaring myself an expert on everything.

To heck with the NAACP. I am now the new black leadership in America. I can’t be any worse than the current leadership, and I know most of the words to the tv show Different Strokes. Besides, what organization would be so racist as to deny a man their leadership position based on the color of his skin? That is racism.

We can also get rid of the NOW. I should speak for all women. I know women like the back of my hand. I enjoy sleeping with women, and most women don’t. Therefore, I know them better than they do.

I watched a musical performance involving bagpipes. I am now prepared to take the reins of power in Scotland.

No, I have not stayed at a Holiday Inn to the best of my lack of knowledge, but I have seen the commercial. I am ready to be their CEO, if that position exists.

I am also now a world class chef, fabulous auto mechanic, linguistic genius, and technological guru. I ate lunch today, drove my car, and typed this column on a computer.

I know, for I told me so.

However, I am no longer qualified to be President of the United States.

I get my information from actual soldiers that have, or have had, boots on the ground.

Men at organizations such as Vets for Freedom, who I will be interviewing July 30th, have unmitigated gall claiming that they understand Iraq just because they were there firsthand. Pete Hegseth of Vets for Freedom has some nerve arguing with Chris Matthews. Matthews runs “Hardball.” That sounds tough. How could a tough guy like that know less than some guy that served in Iraq but does not have a tough guy name like Hardball?

I think it is high time that we stop listening to people just because they know what they are talking about.

I am also an expert in Christianity. Yes, I am Jewish, but if you saw my email spam box, you would understand. In fact, Christian debt relief is all the rage. I now know how accepting a lord and savior I do not believe in can help me pay off my mortgage, which would be useful if I was not a renter.

As a finance expert, I can help save Barack Obama some money.

He needed to cancel his trip to Iraq. His opinions are predetermined, so the trip is pointless. He should spend the money on the finest quill pen and rich quality paper, so that his report will be as important as the second coming of the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence itself.

Writing papers with no actual facts or knowledge is a time honored tradition. This is referred to in American culture as “academia.” The most egregious form of academia is what is referred to as a “thesis.” Some young person spends several years arguing something, and then some academic slaps their own name on it and declares themselves the ultimate knowledge behind the subject matter.

Come to think of it, Barack Obama is an academic. This explains it. He actually does know everything.

He understands the rationale behind why we cannot drill for oil in Alaska, despite the people of Alaska supporting it. Those people are fools.

I used to spend a ton of time in school in the Principal’s office. I am now qualified to be the Principal of a school, which I will do if every other career path in life ceases to exist. I saw “Lean on me,” and “Stand and Deliver.” I am prepared to sing gospel hymns and do derivatives in advanced calculus.

Also, given that I spend many nights dreaming about the Chicago Cannonball, requiring changes in underclothing, I am now qualified to lecture all of America about the need to reduce emissions, especially at night. Move over Al Gore. I am the new emissions expert.

This knowing everything is easy enough, but storing all the knowledge will be difficult. Then again, I have boxes from the last time I moved apartments a decade ago. I even spent a day helping out the people at Operation Gratitude send packages to soldiers. I am now officially a shipping expert in the great tradition of Aristotle Onassis. By marriage, this makes me an expert on Jackie O.

Some will say I am not an expert on Iraq because I have not been there. Fair enough, but at least I listen to the people who have. Besides, some soldiers have never been to San Diego, and I take great pride in conveying to them my expertise in vacation spots, with Coronado being slightly better than La Jolla.

I admit that I do not have all the answers, even though we all know I do. Yet Barack Obama has no clue, unless he owns the board game or the movie based on the board game, and many people accept his words as the final say on the subject.

Barack Obama is doing the right thing by going to Iraq. Perhaps he can take Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, and Nancy Pelosi, and leave them there. Besides, they would love it there. There are no republicans, unless one counts the Iraqi Republican Guard. It would be paradise for them, and safer than the inner cities in America they wrecked.

Where Obama is wrong is reaching predetermined conclusions before seeing evidence.

This is why John McCain must be President. He understands the nature of war, with all of its horrors. He is prepared to reevaluate strategy, and was the man who insisted on the surge that Obama opposed from the very beginning.

Then again, why would anybody listen to General David Petraeus? He has never even been elected to Congress. He has never held a talk show. He does not even have a radio show or a blog, and any untrained monkey can do that. How can he possibly have credibility?

For some reason, being the very best and brightest does matter.

I know, for I told me so, that Barack Obama has already written his report and made up his mind. He can use the money he saved by canceling his trip and buying a subscription to whatever products I am currently hawking.

I may not be an expert, but I know more than him. I would be happy to teach him if he is capable of learning. He is pretty liberal, but then again my parents were schoolteachers. I know everything about that career path. I know so much, I might one day enter a classroom again.

Yeah right. Me going back to school is like Obama going to Iraq. I am not into spending money on pointless exercises where I vow to learn nothing and talk about it endlessly.


Meeting Senator Roger Wicker

Friday, July 18th, 2008

At the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, I recently had the pleasure of meeting Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi. Senator Wicker filled the seat vacated by the now retired Trent Lott.

Senator Wicker and his wife are devout Christians, and like many devout Christians, have a deep love for Israel and the Jewish people.

No, the Senator did not try to convert me. He did not need to. I am already a republican.

Before bringing the remarks of the Senator, I just want to say that for those people that have never been to Mississippi, I strongly recommend that they visit.

The entire stretch of land from Louisiana to Mississippi contains the best food in the nation, and the best music outside of Chicago.

I visited Gulfport, Mississippi in 1999. It was a town that had very little except beautiful greenery and even more lovely people.

The next year was a new millennium, and Gulfport had changed overnight. It was now a mecca of riverboat gambling, the midpoint between Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

Mississippi had some lean years, but popular Governor Haley Barbour has turned the state around. Mississippi is on the rise.

One thing that has not changed is the friendliness and decency of the people.

This decency is very well reflected in Senator Roger Wicker.

His words are below.

“We have an opportunity for historic gains.”

“If you have not spent all your paychecks on gasoline, please donate to my candidacy.”

“My wife Gayle and I are both Southern Baptists. We skipped Church to be here tonight.”

“Mississippi has other Christians as well. We have Episcopalians and Presbyterians. Mississippi also has Pentacoastals who run up and down the aisles.”

“The majority of our Christians feel that Jews are God’s chosen people.”

“Israel has had a right to exist for 60 years.”

“Support means being for a strong national defense, understanding the threat of Islamic terrorism, and supporting the Iran Sanctions Act.”

“We must the Israel foreign aid bill.”

“I was in Israel 2 to 3 years ago as a Congressman. I also went to Lebanon. A United States ID was helpful in Lebanon.”

“On a map, there was Syria to the North, and Palestine to the South of Lebanon. The Lebanese government supplied that map. That is unacceptable. I suggested in a letter that it is wrong for the USA to give a briefing using a map that does not recognize reality.”

“If moderate neighbors like Lebanon don’t get it, then we have a hill to climb.”

“It will be an honor to work with you in the future.”

“If Reagan were here, he would sing along to ‘America the Beautiful.'”

“The Star Spangled Banner begins and ends with questions. Francis Scott Key wondered…would we still be here? That question has been answered in the affirmative for generations. It will continue to be answered in the affirmative.”

I spoke to Senator Wicker on 2 or 3 occasions that night.

“Senator, I just wanted you to know that when me and my republican Jewish friends are concerned, it is because we worry about Osama Bin Laden carrying a bomb, not Pat Robertson holding a book.”

The Senator laughed heartily, and said, “I am glad you feel that way, because Pat Robertson is one of your best friends.”

I agreed with him and continued.

“Senator, the problem with Christianity is that it has radical ideas that frighten people. Can you imagine what could happen to society if children were taught dangerous beliefs such as ‘love thy neighbor’?”

The Senator laughed again and said, “Oh no, we can’t have that. That could lead to peace.”

When I think of the phrase “Judeo-Christian values,” I think of Senator Wicker. He and I have completely different theologies, but his kindness and goodness of spirit transcends religious faiths.

Perhaps one day it will transcend politics as well. It would be nice to hear more liberal democrats offering such ringing defenses of Israel, Judaism, and Christianity.

I wish a long, healthy, and happy life for Senator Roger and Mrs. Gayle Wicker.


Semper Max

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Some things are beyond partisan politics.

Some things get discussed not because they are sexy, but because they are important.

Tim Maxwell is important.

I hope everybody in the world learns about this man, and his website.

I am a monkey typing on a keyboard. He is a man that cannot even type.

Hyperbole can wait for another day. Tim Maxwell is about America now.

Below is his message from his about page.

“My name is Tim A Maxwell. I am a LtCol in the USMC,

wounded in Iraq in 2004, when a mortar round exploded

and inserted shrapnel into my brain. I have learned a lot.

I have learned that medicine is very complicated, confusing,

and addicting. I have learned that paperwork, such as PEB,

VA, and Social Security, is brutal. But most of all, I have

learned that being alone is the worst. Those who stay in

their service, regardless of their frustration, are better than

those who live alone. So, I have come up with this web site.

Even though we cannot all be together physically, we can be

together mentally. If you are doing great, share your story.

Give others some hope!

If things are not going well, read and learn how others have

dealt with the same type of situation. You can also send me

an email, and I will try to put you in contact with the right person.

The bottom line….we all need to stay in the fight TOGETHER!”

Below is his biography.

Below is his most recent column, published a few days ago.

I wrote Tim a heartfelt note letting him know how much I appreciated his service.

His return email is moving.

“Thanks for that. We know that many, many cizilians get it.

We have not choice. They attacked us, and they will not stop.

Most americans have not forgotten. It just does not seem like

it when we watch the news on TV. Greatest depression I had

when lying on a bed in the hospical. Not kidding. But every

now and then, a civilian thanks us. Tells us that they remember

it all. And that helps us. So keep it up! And thanks.


Regardless of one’s position on the war, wounded soldiers are part of the American family. We have to love and take care of them.

Tim Maxwell, despite everything he has been through, supports the war. In his self deprecating manner, he points out that he does have a brain injury.

He may have a brain injury, but his mind functions clearly. He understands the evils of war, and why we must win.

I pray that we win the War on Terror, and that every wounded soldier gets the care they need.

It is the very least we can do for people that defended the nation they love, especially since they would do it again.


Tony Snow and the Axis of Antisemitism

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Tony Snow, like Tim Russert before him, died way too young. Another kind human being beloved by many has been taken from us. It will never make sense to me.

Before going any further, I want to offer condolences to the Snow family, and also to radio host Mike Gallagher. In one of the most heart wrenching columns I have ever read, Mr. Gallagher mourns the passing of his wife of 20 years to cancer a couple weeks ago.

My own family has felt the pain that cancer inflicts. My cousin died at age 42. Her husband of 17 years will never be the same. Their two children no longer have a mother. It is totally unfair, and I will never make sense of it.

Maybe the Billy Joel song is true, that only the good die young.

As much as levity may seem totally inappropriate at times like this, that is how I heal. I will never forget a comedy routine by acid tongued comedian Dennis Leary on this subject.

“Useless people live forever. Good people die every day. The truly great people, we kill. JFK…bang! RFK…bang! Teddy Kennedy, the gunman is about to pull the trigger and he stops and goes, ‘Oh, leave him alone, he’ll f*ck up himself!”

As much as I love Ronald Reagan, Leary’s skewering of the Gipper was funny.

“Ronald Reagan will live forever. Reagan is mocking us all. The man is indestructible.”

(Leary doing Reagan) “I’ve had @ss cancer, I’ve had face cancer, I’ve been thrown from a horse, I’ve been shot at. I’m going nowhere. Give Nancy some cancer, she’ll survive it. Come on God, give my dog some dog cancer, he’ll beat it. Nobody’s dying in this family!”

Yet there is nothing funny about slow painful deaths from deadly diseases. I have a million negative things to say about Ted Kennedy, but on the day his illness was announced, I kept quiet. On the day he dies, I will keep silent.

On the day Bill Clinton had heart surgery I prayed for him, since my father has had it twice.

I do not want John Edwards anywhere near the Presidency, but I want he and his wife Elizabeth to have many happy years together. They have already lost a child, and should not have any more suffering ever again.

So what is it about the Axis of Antisemitism that forms, the Daily Kos, and the Huffington Post, that makes them such terrible human beings?

Both sides have good and bad we are told. Yet the bad apples on the right are the aberrations. The hatred on the left is mainstream.

Below are some horrible quotes from those that make up a good chunk of liberals today. This is not cherry picking on my part. The decent sentiments would be the anomolies.

I hate even printing this bile, but mainstream America needs to see what lives inside the hearts of liberalism. From celebrating a culture of death in a way that would make Palestinian terrorists proud, to using the day to condemn conservatives in general, all I can say is that “These are liberals. This is how they behave.”

Congratulations liberalism. Below is what you are, with the language sanitized.

Daily Kossacks:


+ Jackyldo

To Tony’s wife and family, condolences for your loss of someone who died far to young.

I did not agree with Tony much, especially when at the podium he lied for Bush every day.
That said, I hope St. Peter will ask Tony, just what were you thinking? before he opens the gates.



As noted when one cannot say anything nice, it best to remain silent.



You had a tough job, Tony. You had to lie for your government.
No judgement now that youre with the universe.

RIP my fellow human.


i wonder if photos of this professional liars casket will be allowed in the media. anybody want to bet on it? no, no photos of the caskets of our dead soldiers but plenty of photos of the dead republican liars. more typical republican values..
and as the story said “with a broadcaster’s good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook _ if not always a command of the facts _ he became a popular figure around the country”.
it appears to me that as long as you look OK and can lie with a straight face, it does not matter if you get caught lying. and as long as you are a republican, you are OK..
exactly WHO was he a popular figure with? nobody i know..
the riddance, it is good.


Carl Rove must be palpitating and peeing in his pants now. Who’s next?


I guess he could not live on $1.5 Million per year either.


You’re not talking about the Tony Snow I knew…he sold out his honesty and integrity to lie for Faux News and the most criminal administration the US has ever known…



He upstaged Bush to such a degree that people were temporarily blinded to the blatent
fact of how very very badly the IRAQ WAR was going. Fortunately everyone saw through
the fog he was promulagating but it took a while.


I did not admire you as a person, I did not like you or what you stood for, and to be honest I think you were a straight up liar who played mind judo with the press to avoid answering credible questions that your Administration was uncomfortable with.

That being said, cancer is an absolutely horrible disease and I am so sorry you lost your battle. May God bless your family and may you RIP Mr Snow


Huffington Compost:

“He did his job well. I don’t blame him for what he did.”

If what you do is evil, doing it well doesn’t make you a good man, just a talented one.

The government works for us. The job of the White House Press Secretary isn’t to lie to us, or to pitch us White House propaganda, it’s to inform us.


Tony knew that his boss was full of sh*t and that he was lying to the American people everyday. He gets no kudos for being a lying sack of sh*t. Yes its terrible for his young children, but it is also terrible for the young children of soldiers who keep getting killed because of the bullsh*t this lying sack of cr@p spewed everyday from his podeium. rest in hell.




Websters Dictionary defines a tragedy as:

1 a: a medieval narrative poem or tale typically describing the downfall of a great man b: a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that elicits pity or terror c: the literary genre of tragic dramas2 a: a disastrous event : calamity b: misfortune3: tragic quality or element.

Sad, perhaps. The tragedy here is for his family and friends. But eliciting pity or terror? No. If anything, the terror he provided on behalf of this administration was tragic.



if they’ll let him into heaven after working for bush, it surely beats the hell out of this place.



(So long Snowjob) Sad news, to be sure. It’s too bad he’ll mostly be remembered as the guy Bush got to lie for him. And he did it so well, too!



(may you be in heaven) before the Devil realizes you’ve talked your way out of Hell…



(To hell goes snow, he lied, our soldiers died) sorry, but when you become the mouthpiece for
a war criminal involved in furthering a worthless
and useless war god will not let you enter heaven.
He sacrificed his moral principles to continue
the useless slaughter of both americans and
iraqis and for that mr. snow god has punished
You are a co conspirator and a liar. And
god will take care of you on your judgement
day. You lived to 52. Many of the our
brave soldiers who died for your lies were not
so lucky!



(Wow, I am not going to be mean) but…..Really – the guy lied to us on a daily basis.



(Good riddance to a P.O.S. Another piece of sh*t who’s made a lot of money flakking for executive level criminals.

We should be rejoicing every time one dies. What is up with all this “sad” cr@p?

He’s just another scumb@g who made money ($168,000 to be precise, or tax payer money) by standing in front of the American public and lie to us. HE made millions doing it on FOX prior to it. In fact, if he was alive and on TV today, he’d be helping slander Obama.

He helped perpetrate horrible action by this presidency, there is no forgiveness for that.

Some of you seem genuinely more sad about this scumb@g’s death then the NEARLY DAILY DEATHS of our own soldiers and the innocent Iraqis!!!!!

WHY???? JUST because he was on TV he deserves “respect”? WHAT THE F*CK FOR?)


(If O’Reilly/Hannity/Limbauh died) I would be having a celebration at my house. i would be writing a diary p*ss*ng on them even though it could never make up for all the p*ss*ng they have done on our country. Yet Snow was different, he was in an official government capacity when he was spreading their lies. He’s dead- WTFever. did not even bother to mention the man’s death on their site, making them less disgusting than the other members of the Axis of Anti-semitism by default.

I would ask if these people have any decency, but the answer is that they do not. I truly worry that one of these crazed, rabid animals will try to assassinate the President. Actually, they are more likely to try for easier targets, and run Katherine Harris off of the road with their car, or engage in mob violence against a College Republican trying to get to class and become a productive member of society.

Conservatives take their hatemongers and shame them. Liberals take their hatemmongers and give them ticker tape parades.

One man engaged in decency amidst a sea of bile. He is an aberration, but if more liberals listen to this particular liberal, they may become human. I thank this one man for his respect.

Before he was an administration mouthpiece, he was HUMAN.

You don’t have to like him. You don’t even have to RESPECT him. But if you can’t mourn for him at the most basic, abstract level (as a father and husband who left behind young kids and a wife) then there’s SERIOUSLY something wrong with your wiring.

Corporate Dog

May Markos Moulitsas, Arianna Huffington, and the Moveon Deaniacs be given the judgment they deserve when the time comes. Unlike them, I do not mistake myself for the God issuing that judgment. They will be dealt with, and they will deserve it.

Tony Snow can rest in peace knowing that the savages that criticize him will never get to where he is now. He is in Heaven with God. May God and Tony spit on these animals. They won’t. The truly good are simply better than that.

Farewell Tony. You left us too soon.


The New Yorker–More Liberal Hate Speech

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Once again, another liberal ragazine is offering hate speech.

I am a New Yorker, but the “New Yorker” ragazine does not speak for me.

Their most recent cover shows Barack and Michelle Obama in a ridiculously unflattering light. Barack Obama is wearing a turban, and Michelle Obama is holding a machine gun. In the background is a picture of Osama Bin Laden, along with a burning American flag.

The picture is designed to play into the fears of those who see Obama as a closet Muslim who hates America. The unsophisticated reaction is to see this as an attack on the Obamas. This is not the case. The New Yorker is to ragazines what the Jayson Blair Times is to newspapers. It is an elitist liberal bucket of arrogance that only a John Kerry leftist could love. It is “sophisticated,” or as normal people would describe it, smug, arrogant, condescending…liberalism at it’s finest.

This cartoon cover is trying to demonstrate absurdity by being absurd. While the Obamas were right to criticize it, the real people who should be enraged by this cover are republicans. Anybody that votes for John McCain is doing so because they are ignorant, uninformed bigots.

The stage is already being set to demonize anybody that votes against Barack Obama.
Chris Matthews of Hardball has done everything but purchase Obama’s trips to the toilet on Ebay.

Here are some facts, devoid of emotion.

The democrats are the party of slavery and the KKK. They currently have a Klansman sitting in the Senate, as well as another man who drove over a bridge, left a woman to die, and is lionized by women because of abortion.

Most Dixiecrats did not become republicans. A precious few of them did.

Willie Horton was brought to the American people by Al Gore.

John F. Kennedy, considered a God by Black America, did nothing for them. He was happy to delay Civil Rights legislation in exchange for foreign policy concessions.

George W. Bush, despised by liberal blacks, has had more blacks in his cabinet than his phony predecessor.

Rudy Giuliani’s crime crackdown in New York City benfitted all people, including blacks.

Democrats have always talked about inclusion but trapped blacks in a culture of dependency that has decimated black America. Republicans are terrible at public relations. If they ever learn to stop being afraid of themselves, black America will love them.

The goal of the New Yorker, and liberals in general, is to paint all republicans as racist.

The choices are simple. Either vote for Obama, or be labeled a racist and an imbecile.

There are two things that need to immediately be accepted. If these facts are not accepted,, there is no reasonable dialogue.

The first absolute truth is that if Barack Obama gets elected President, racism will not have ended in America. Eliminating affirmative action outright, and declaring all of our ills solved will not…and should not…happen.

The second absolute truth is that if Barack Obama does not get elected President, this in no way means America is more racist than ever.

Liberals who claim that America will not elect a black man need to look in the mirror.

Yes, Barack Obama performed horribly in late primary states such as Kentucky and West Virginia. Yes, many of those voters confessed that they would even vote for Hillary Clinton over a black man.

Those voters are democrats.

Many people look at black republicans and call them Uncle Toms, and not “authentically” black. They throw Oreo cookies at them. They take people like Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Clarence Thomas, and denigrate them.

These people are democrats.

Many people have taken black Americans and tried to murder them. These people overwhelmingly were democrats. Whether it be the redneck with the shotgun or the young gangbanger with a blade, it is not white collar investment banker republicans that are trying to kill black people for sport.

Republicans have made it clear that they will vote for a black conservative. Liberals say that these republicans are lying. The evidence suggests otherwise. It is democrats voting against their own nominee in late primaries.

The Clinton campaign engaged in disgusting race baiting, using the excuse that they were just toughening Obama up for the inevitable republican racial onslaught.

There is no republican racial onslaught. We will not be hoping for Obama’s death RFK style. That would be liberal Hillary.

We will not be accusing Obama of playing the race card. That would be Bubba Bill Clinton.

We will not be threatening to castrate Obama. That would be liberal Jesse Jackson.

We as republicans are the party of John McCain.

John McCain is one of the finest human beings to ever seek the White House in any era.

That is why people are looking at John McCain.

I did not say this about Bush Senior in 1988, Bob Dole in 1996, or even the Dub, who I absolutely love and proudly voted for twice. George W. Bush won me over after getting elected.

John McCain is a hero. He is one the greatest Americans alive today.

The reason why McCain is not coasting to victory, in addition to a tough GOP year, is that Obama is a tough opponent with fine qualities of his own. The reason why Obama is not coasting to victory in a big democratic year is because the same is said about John McCain.

Two good men are running for President. This is not about race.

Barack Obama is wrong on taxes, wrong on trade, wrong on oil drilling, and wrong on Iraq and the War on Terror. On every issue that matters, Obama is wrong.

In tough economic times, one does not raise taxes. This approach was tried by liberals in 1990, and agreed to by a republican President, who was fired two years later when those same liberals turned on him. There is nothing racial about a blue collar man wanting to keep more of his money.

Show me a serious black Presidential candidate that supports supply side economics and a hawkish foreign policy, and republicans will vote for that candidate en masse.

Obama wants to heal divisions with our allies, but is against free trade deals with nations such as Colombia that are resentful at American protectionists. He has thumbed his nose at South Korea, a long time ally.

American workers benefit from free trade. Protectionism and trade wars cripple everbody. This is not racial. It is economic.

Most importantly, there is not one serious republican intellectual or political operative that has any stomach for hitting Obama below the belt.

Whether it is the Republican National Committee, the Republican Governors Association, the Republican Jewish Coalition, or myself as the Tygrrrr Express, we despise racism.

We have no patience for any “B. Hussein Obama” rhetoric. It is deplorable.

We know that Obama is not a Muslim. He has said that he is a Christian, and that is the end of the subject. As for Americans that do not know the truth, I would love to find out whether these uninformed people are liberal democrats or even more liberal democrats. We know that they are not republicans because that would be the page one story in the Jayson Blair Times. The breakdowns are being suppressed. We know the questions are being asked. Polling is sophisticated.

Barack Obama is a good, decent man whose personal story is an inspiration. He grew up without a father, and for most of his life, without a mother as well.

Therefore, when he talks about personal responsibility, he is cognizant of how black America is bleeding. Yet if a white American said those words, it would be considered racism. After all, white America cannot speak about such things.

To paraphrase Barack Obama, yes we can. Yes we can, and yes we should.

We support John McCain because winning the War on Terror and lowering taxes helps all Americans.

We disagree with Barack Obama not because his skin color is different. We disagree with him because his policy prescriptions are the same as George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and John Kerry.

Barack Obama is a good husband, a good father, and an overall good human being. He is also a liberal. As a conservative, I say this disqualifies him to be President.

The New Yorker wants to exacerbate tensions. Republicans must not back down.

After John McCain gets elected, there should be a role for Barack Obama. If he truly is committed to faith based initiatives, he and Mike Huckabee can help religious outreach together, in the same way that former Presidents Bush and Clinton came together for Tsunami relief.

Republicans want no part of the racial gutters. We want lower taxes and dead terrorists, and will vote for the candidate that provides this.

The democrats cannot win on substance. The only thing they can do is spread bile and hatred.

What Jesse Jackson and the New Yorker did to Obama is one version of black on black crime. Those tactic are beneath the dignity of Barack Obama, and those who disagree with him.

Barack Obama himself said, “If I lose this election, it will not be because of race. It will be because I failed to convince the American public that my ideas were right.”

It may also be because John McCain is beyond worthy.

Democrats keep justifying racism under the guise that republicans will do it anyway. Republicans need to stop cowering and attack democrats who spread racism.

Republicans are not interested in spreading racism. We want to spread liberty, freedom, and democracy.

Others may disagree about these issues, but they are actual issues.

There is no room for poison and hatred, be it the KKK, Jesse Jackson, or the New Yorker.

I condemn below the belt attacks on Obama’s patriotism and religion, and enthusiastically support John McCain based on his life and his policies. I represent mainstream political republicanism.

Barack Obama and John McCain are both good men. John McCain is the better man at this time in history for this particular job. He should win for that reason alone.


Ideological Bigotry Part XV–Hatred’s Finale From Amy Klein

Monday, July 14th, 2008

One cannot teach an old dog new tricks, and one cannot teach an aging bigot the way to humanity and decency.

It seems that at that this rate, I might need an entire new blog just to detail the hate speech coming from an agent of tolerance of the Jewish Journal, Amy Klein.

When I use the word tolerance, I mean it the way a politically liberal person would mean it. One should show compassion for Gitmo detainees, Palestinian homicide bombers, and other terrorists, but republicans should be decried as evil at every possible turn.

I can understand making anti-republican remarks if one is a liberal debater on a talk show. Both sides spout their talking points, and move on.

What bothers me is when one engages in smears for no particular reason. Like the bully that steals school lunch money, there is no rationale. They do it “just because.”

When I go to the grocery store, I expect the checkout clerk to smile, offer me my change and my receipt, and ask me if I want paper or plastic. Assuming that my comments are equally benign, I would not expect the checkout clerk to then say, “Oh, and I hate republicans, especially George W. Bush.”

The above fictional situation is taking place in many areas across America. It is usually followed by foaming of the mouth, which is common in many liberals and other out of control rabid animals.

It is almost a disease, but then again our society treats everything from alcoholism to road rage as a disease. What it should actually be labeled is what society used to refer to it as…bad behavior.

This week, only one week removed from her previously bigoted comments, Amy Klein has struck again.

The basic substance of her column, and I use the word substance loosely, is that she desperately wants a husband. Like most Jewish liberals, she is angst ridden. This week she hemmed and hawed about whether or not to make a “list” of what she wants in a man.

She decided to make the list, and out of 25 qualities, 2 of them lunged out at me like a poisoned dagger.

2) Liberal.

This is fine by itself. She has every right to preach tolerance while excluding republicans. Yet further down the list is where her bile surfaced.

8) Empathy for the world (See # 2).

Had she just left # 8 without the parentheses, it would have been a beautiful character trait. However, by making # 8 conditional on # 2, she decided to offer a giant slap in the face to half of America, myself included.

This is another example of liberals claiming that conservatives and republicans are intolerant, when it is the left that possesses the hostility in abundance. The left will then claim that both sides do it, but the difference is that hostility on the right is from fringes, and it is quickly shouted down by the left and the right. Hostility and rage on the left is encouraged by the left, and even celebrated.

This can be seen in the venom being directed at Barack Obama for his support of President Bush’s faith based programs. Obama has criticized President Bush relentlessly, but the one time he says something remotely positive about a man he disagrees with on most issues, his most fervent supporters turn on him. One of them even threatened to castrate him. Folks, it is not republicans acting this way.

With regards to Amy Klein, let’s see how liberals have shown empathy for the world.

By banning DDT, liberals contributed to the mass murder of millions of Africans. Malaria is still killing them. This is liberal empathy.

By trying to ban all animal testing, liberals are delaying the ability to develop cures for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. AIDS activists are normally liberals. This is liberal compassion.

By caring about trees and animals more than human beings, liberals are putting many families out of work in the Pacific Northwest. Timber companies consist of blue collar workers trying to feed their children, but the various forms of the Spotted Owl matter more. This is liberal compassion.

Liberals support public school systems where kids go to die from drugs and guns, despite the fact that many black people in America, including liberal Barack Obama, support faith based programs (or at least claim they do). Black Americans want to send their children to religious schools, but the National Education Association would rather kids pray on their knees to the person about to shoot them than pray on their knees to the God at a religious school that loves them. This is liberal compassion.

Liberals want to ban all guns, while claiming that they only want “reasonable” gun control. Four liberal Supreme Court Justices believe that only criminals should have the right to own guns, leaving many people in poor neighborhoods, especially minorities, vulnerable at the hands of armed criminals. The states with the strictest gun laws have the highest rates of crime, but liberals will ignore this. This is liberal compassion.

So Amy Klein basically wants to kill all minorities. She wants black people to die especially violently from drugs, guns, and pestilence. This makes her a racist.

No, of course I do not believe that last sentence. However, It is that easy to slur a faceless individual.

I am a proud Jewish republican, and I absolutely have empathy for the world.

I have empathy for Afghani women who can now walk in the street without being beaten to death.

I have empathy for Iraqi citizens and their purple stained fingers, who are now free from the madman that was Saddam Hussein.

I have empathy for Israelis, 70% of whom supported President Bush in 2004, who at least now face homicide bombers not being funded by the deceased Mr. Hussein.

I have empathy for the woman who prevents somebody from raping her because she is allowed to own a gun to offend her attacker.

(Oh, and enough of these movies that show him taking the gun out of her weak and frail little wrists. That is sexism, or as liberals call it, compassion)

I have empathy for black republicans that have Oreo cookies thrown at them and the Jewish republicans that are called Nazis by “enlightened” and “tolerant” liberals, many of them Jews.

I have empathy for the surviving family members of a murder victim that cries out for justice when some liberal judge refuses to enforce the death penalty in the name of compassion.

One of the reasons that I despise the label “compassionate conservative” is because conservatism is compassion.

The highest form of Tzedakah (charity) according to Jewish law is the concept of helping somebody else become self sufficient, rather than giving them a handout. This is conservatism.

Welfare is not empathy. Welfare is poison. It is the modern version of slavery. Welfare reform is compassion.

One need no further proof of what benefits the downtrodden than the violent reaction of Jesse Jackson towards Barack Obama. Jesse Jackson has built his career on exploiting human misery and exacerbating racial tensions. Barack Obama, while not my candidate of choice, wants to truly bring racial healing.

Jesse Jackson can rail against Barack Obama all he wants, but it does not change the fact that Jackson is a miserable creature resigned to being yesterday’s news, while Barack Obama, win or lose, has already surpassed Jackson by wide country miles. Jackson keeps grousing, and Obama keeps smiling.

This analogy is how I shall deal with Amy Klein. As much as her ideological bigotry is hurtful, she remains nothing more than an angry woman desperate for a husband, unable to see that her own hatred for people she has never met prevents her from a brighter future. I have plenty of single friends, but I would not let them near her.

As for me, I remain blissfully happy with the Chicago Cannonball. While there are no guarantees, one thing that we both agree on is that our political differences will not keep us apart. She does not have to care about my politics. She cares about me, and I am one of the luckiest men on Earth.

She is liberal politically, and she is “tolerant,” loving, accepting, and empathetic of all people, even those who are different from her.

Amy Klein can learn from this empathetic liberal who cares about the world we live in.

She could also learn from this conservative who does as well.

I suspect she will not learn. Oh, well. My keyboard has time to deal with her and every other person who spreads ideological bigotry.


Editor’s note: Mere hours after I wrote this column, but before it was published, I became aware that Amy Klein is no longer with the Jewish Journal. Apparently the separation occurred on July 7th, four days after I wrote my original column dealing with her conduct. Unless I am presented with direct evidence to the contrary, I shall chalk this up to a coincidence.

Am I happy about this? No. Am I sad about it? No. What I hope is that Amy Klein loses the hostility she has towards republicans.

1993–Raiders, Romance, and Rocking Earth

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

25 years ago, the 1983 Raiders won the Superbowl.

15 years ago, the 1993 Raiders showed a ton of heart. I also learned about matters of the heart.

Before getting to football, I want to pay a tribute to some heroes. No, not those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those people are heroes, but I am talking about the unsung heroes that engage in actions on a daily basis without recognition.

Yes, of course I am referring to myself.

Normally I am awake at the crack of noon on weekends, but today I somehow woke up at 10am. While this alone might not seem like an accomplishment, it gave me an opportunity to dig down deep. My football game was not until 1pm, but if somehow I could make it out of bed, I could help my nation when it needed me most.

I started my day with my standard 4 word prayer…We…can…do…this.

It was not easy, but through grit, determination, and sheer will, I made it to my destination at 10:57am, 3 minutes before the 11am deadline. I beamed with American pride as I let the person on the other side of the counter know what I wanted. “McDonalds Deluxe Breakfast please.”

Yes, in an economy that some see as teetering, I could not stay in bed. I had to go out and contribute to the local economy. I know many people want to thank me for this, but it was my duty as an American to help, and I was happy to honor everything that is decent, right, and tasty in this world.

While my first task was pure glory, my football game was less successful. I did have one reception, but it was not enough.

Our team, “Touch This,” ran into a buzzsaw. One play into the game, a touchdown bomb had the score at 7-0. This would have been delightful had we not been on defense. After falling behind 14-0, we had a touchdown bomb of our own. The ball was bobbled and caught, at which point the receiver raced to the end zone. Unfortunately, the play had been blown dead. It was an inadvertent whistle. We did throw a touchdown on the next play, but it was to the other team. The interception return turned what should have been a 14-7 game into a 21-0 hole. Another completion for a touchdown by our team resulted in 7 more points for the other team. When our team went to the half, we were down 35-0.

I could brag about how we shut the opponent down in the second half, but it was possible that they stopped caring. On the last play of the game, they scored their only points of the second half. Unfortunately, it was still more than the bagel we put up, matching our first half output. We went down to defeat 41-0.

After the umpteenth interception, the referee heard me say that this was like watching Rich Gannon in the Superbowl a few years back. I think that Buccaneers defensive players Dexter Jackson and Robert Brooks were on the other team against us. I still have flashbacks about that debacle that ended the 2002 NFL season.

As for my teammates, they are very nice people, and everybody grieves in different ways. Some of them consumed alcohol. I have my own post game therapy. I announced to them that I was an alpha male, and as an alpha male, I was going to go shopping.

My teammates also asked me how my girlfriend got the nickname I gave her, that being the Chicago Cannonball. I let them know that unless she gave me permission to disclose that, I would just say that I am a happy guy.

As for the game, I love football, but sometimes love hurts.

Yet if 2008 was emotional, especially for a crybaby like me, 1993 was the year that everything went bonkers. It seems like only 15 years ago that it was 1993.

Everything that happened revolved around the Raiders, and their struggle to reach NFL greatness on the 10th anniversary of their 1983 Superbowl triumph. Key moments in my life directly intersected with that season.

The team started 2-0, and Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns had the Raiders up 16-3 in the 4th quarter. Yet I was nerve wracked. The offense was doing nothing, and the defense was exhausted. I know football, and the score was deceptive. Sure enough, the Browns closed to within 16-10, and then a safety made it a 16-12 game. The nightmare got worse. Cleveland running back Eric Metcalf broke off a long run, just short of a touchdown. With 10 seconds left in the game, the Browns had the ball on the Raiders one yard line.

At that moment my girlfriend of almost 3 weeks came into the lounge and wanted to discuss feelings, and what our relationship meant. Luckily, yours truly had the best male friends a guy could ask for. They surrounded this woman, whose only redeeming quality even I could not identify, and let her know that she would be executed if she bothered me at that moment.

On the next play, the Browns scored a touchdown, and won a shocker 19-16. I stormed out of the lounge in a rage. I was a senior in college, and took things slightly harder than I do today.

I was disconsolate on the stairwell in the dorms when one of the guys let me know that there was a barbecue with hot dogs and hamburgers. I said I did not want anything, even red meat. At that moment he yelled out that the situation was a “code blue,” and absolutely nobody was to talk to me. He sealed the stairwell off to keep everybody away from me. The only two guys that could deal with me in that situation are still friends of mine to this day.

As I lay in the stairwell disgusted, I heard the viper, who was truly my worse half, say, “He is being a baby. He needs to get over it.” One of the guys questioned the woman as to whether she had a death wish, or a death expectation.

She then snapped, “You would think it was something important.”

Another girl standing in the area looked at the viper and replied, in a soft voice masked with a thick Russian accent, “Don’t you see. It’s important to him.”

Even in my dazed condition I processed all of this. Later that night I dumped the viper. Several days later, the Russian and I began a 2 year relationship.

A couple of weeks later the Raiders had another psychotic finish. Week 5 was against the New York Jets. It was a miserable first half for the Raiders, and they fell behind 17-0. Quarterback Jeff Hostetler was a leader and a winner, but this was just not his day. Vince Evans, who may have been 100 years old, came into try and give the team a spark.

Normally my new girlfriend would stay far away from me on NFL Sundays, but she saw me in the hallway and saw that I need consolation. She let me rest my head on her stomach. I was in a daze, but she assured me the Raiders would come back and win. She made it clear that while she knew nothing about football, she knew that she wanted me to be happy, and the Raiders would do their part.

I went back to the lounge, and Vince Evans began reining bombs. The Raiders came back and tied the game 17-17, but a costly interception by Evans led to a field goal that had the Jets up 20-17.

The Raiders drove down the field, as the clock was running out. In a complete reversal of 2 weeks earlier, the Raiders had the ball on the Jets one yard line with seconds left. A field goal would have been automatic, but the clock was running and their was no time to get the kicker on the field. Head Coach Art Shell ordered the team to go for it, and Nick Bell barreled up the middle for a touchdown. He fractured his ribs on the play, but ended his season heroically. The Raiders won 24-20, and I remained sprawled on the floor in exhaustion. The Russian found me and helped get me to my dorm room to sleep it off.

Several weeks later the Raiders had a thriller on Monday Night Football against the hated Denver Broncos. The Raiders led 13-0, the Broncos went ahead 17-13, and the Raiders pulled back ahead 20-17. The Broncos were driving for the winning touchdown when the Raiders held them to a field goal and a 20-20 tie. As my close friend and I watched in his apartment off of campus, the entire neighborhood heard the basket case that was me. On the last play of the game, in the Cold Denver air, kicker Jeff Jaeger nailed a 53 yard field goal for a 23-20 Raiders victory. The congratulatory calls began coming in immediately, but I was on the floor unable to speak. My friend let everybody, including my girlfriend, know that I would call them once I came out of my stress induced coma.

Yet this season was never easy. After 15 games the Raiders were 9-6. Week 16 was the rematch with the Broncos. It was do or die. If the Raiders won, they would be in the playoffs. A loss ended their season. It was January 2nd, 1994, but for football fans, it was still the 1993 season.

The Broncos scored the first 6 times they had the ball, and led 30-13. John Elway was on fire.

My girlfriend did not come in the lounge. She would send other people in, and they would report back to her. In that sense, she really failed to make matters worse, unlike the viper.

Hostetler threw a touchdown to close the gap to 30-20. The defense finally stepped up. A field goal made it 30-23. The Raiders had one last drive, and with seconds left, Jeff Hostetler threw a pass as he was being sacked. Alexander Wright caught it. ESPN announcer Chris Berman called him “Alexander ‘If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be’ Wright.” The game went into overtime tied 30-30.

The Broncos got the ball first in overtime, and Elway took them right down the field. My friends and I, all rooting for the Raiders, watched helplessly. My Raiders jacket, a silver and black badge of honor, was used by me as something to bite into. Long time kicker Jason Elam came on for a 40 yard field goal, and the chance to end the Raiders season.

At that moment I remembered my relationship with God. There are no atheists in that type of situation. I will not say what promises I made, or whether I honored them. I believed them at the time.

The kick is up…No good!

Winston Moss, the emotional leader of the Raiders defense, pounded his fist into the turf. I pumped mine into the air. The Raiders had life.

Hostetler, aka “The Hoss,” made the most of his opportunity. Several plays later, Jeff Jaeger came on for a 47 yard field goal. Chris Berman’s voice thundered during the post game highlights.

“Jeff ‘Mic’ Jaeger…Paint it black! It’s good! Jaegermeister on the house!”

The Raiders had won 33-30 in overtime. They were going to the playoffs. Their wildcard opponent was…the Denver Broncos. Both teams made the playoffs. The Raiders would be hosting again.

January 9th, 1994, was more than the WIldcard game. It was my 22nd birthday. Mark your calendars everybody. The date has not changed, only the year does.

Friends of mine from all over Southern California joined me in the lounge. We were either all going to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday after the game, or I was going to stay in my dorm room and break things.

The Russian stayed far away, asking anybody who walked out of the lounge how things were going.

The game was tied 21-21 at the half, and everybody was making sure that the day ended in celebration. Sometimes people tease me. Not today. Everyone was supportive.

The Raiders took over in the second half. With 18 seconds left, the Raiders led 42-24. I was still nervous. When the clock hit zeroes, everybody sang the best rendition of happy birthday I have ever had. The Russian heard the jubilation, and I let her know that it was time to plan the carpools for the party. My birthday was held at a 50s cafe, and I was sky high.

On January 15th, 1994, the Raiders had their divisional matchup with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills had been to the Superbowl after the 1990, 1991, and 1992 seasons.

In 1990, the 4-0 Raiders, who have never been 5-0, led the Bills 24-14 in Buffalo. The Bills then exploded, with a blocked punt and several turnovers leading to a 38-24 Bills victory. Because of that game, the Raiders ended 12-4, and the Bills 13-3. The rematch was played in the AFC Championship game, with the winner going to the Superbowl. The Bills led 41-3 at halftime, and won 51-3. It was humiliating.

In 1991 the Raiders wanted revenge. The 10-3 Bills came to Los Angeles to play the 9-4 Raiders. The Raiders led the Bills 27-14 with 5 minutes left. The Raiders then collapsed, and the Bills won the game 30-27 in overtime. The Bills went to the Superbowl again, while the Raiders went into a tailspin, losing every remaining game.

In 1992 The Raiders defeated the Bills, but had a terrible year and finished 7-9. The Bills went to the Superbowl.

In the magical 1993 season, the Raiders had their best game one week after their worst game.

In Week 11, they played the 0-10 Bengals at Cincinnati. The Bengals won the game 16-10. Jaeger missed 4 field goals. The entire game was a nightmare. 0-10, and they beat the Raiders.

Yet Week 12 was against the Bills in Buffalo. The Raiders were 6-5 and desperate, especially after losing to the Bungles. The Bills were 8-3. Despite the cold, the Raiders showed a ton of heart. Trailing 24-16, they converted two Buffalo turnovers into a 25-24 victory. This game saved the season.

Now the Raiders needed to beat the Bills again, in Buffalo. The wind chill made it 30 degrees below zero. These Raiders would not back down. A touchdown pass by Hostetler had the Raiders up 23-22 in the 4th quarter. Another one point shocker was possible.

The Bills went up 29-23 on a touchdown, and the Raiders next offensive series went nowhere. Buffalo had 6 1/2 minutes left, and they ground down the clock, and my heart with it.

This hurt worse than 51-3. This game was winnable. Yet it would be Buffalo going to their 4th straight Superbowl. The 1993 Raiders went 10-6, and 11-7 including playoffs.

I wanted Buffalo to suffer consequences, perhaps a tornado. Instead it was Los Angeles that got rocked two days later.

On Monday, January 17th, 1994, I went to bed about 4:15am. I was still fried from the emotional football weekend. 15 minutes later, the Northridge Earthquake rocked Los Angeles.

Like any football fan, the first words out of my mouth were pure me.

“Oh, great. First the Raider game, and now this. This week is really going to suck.”

I was always calm in these situations. After all, with Earthquakes you either live or die, and the answer comes quickly. Besides, I was exhausted, and just wanted to go back to bed. It’s not like this was something stressful, like football. It had been a long season, and I needed the offseason to recover. 2 days into the offseason, the timing of this quake could not have been worse.

People began yelling about everybody going to the basketball court on campus, because that was the flat level ground. When people knocked on my first floor window to get to the basketball court, I replied, “I don’t want to play basketball. I’m tired.”

I would have stayed in bed but somebody yelled that the Russian hurt her foot running outside.

I grabbed my keys and wallet, and tended to her. She was frightened, but I ignored orders about going back into the building to get her a couple blankets. I wrapped one around her foot and the other around her body. Also, I got my sneakers and socks because I was cold.

Then after being told not to go back into the building, I remembered that I had orange soda in the fridge. I went back and got it. What were they going to do, write me up? That was not new to me.

I told one Resident Assistant. “I am really cool, calm and collected right now. I can be very helpful…or very cranky. Now which do you want in this type of situation?”

The R.A. pointed out that if I kept going back into the building, it could collapse on me and kill me. I replied, “Then I would deserve it, and you would not have to deal with me anymore.”

Then I ignored orders not to use any telephones by going back into the building and calling my friend, who lived in a house around the block from campus. Everybody else stayed on the cold basketball court until about noon.

We were ordered to stay on campus, so I had my friend pick up the Russian and me, and we were back asleep in a warm house by 7am.

That night one of the Resident Assistants, whose sole reason for living was to write me up, confronted me about my actions.

“If everybody had done what you did…”

I immediately laced into him.

“Look, my girlfriend was hurt. She wasn’t looking to R.A.s for help. She was looking to me. It is my responsibility to keep her safe. Now if you want to write me up the next time I get in a fistfight, or break any number of screwed up rules in these dorms, do it. Let this one go. I did the right thing, and I will go into the Dean’s office and accept my medal if that will get you off of my back.

You were busy trying to do things. I actually did them. That’s why you guys froze till noon, and she and I were back in bed by 7am. Now I don’t have time to sit here and sing kumbaya with you. I handled things my way, and my way worked.

I acted out of love. She’s safe. That’s it. Now I am going to go take care of her while you fill out paperwork.”

He never wrote me up, and that very night I told the Russian that I loved her.

I made sure that she fell asleep safely, and my two closest friends, who as I previously said, are still close to me 15 years later, were on the phone. These guys knew me like nobody else in this world. They understood me.

“Eric, can you believe what an awful situation…I mean what a disaster.”

I knew what they were talking about, and it had nothing to do with a natural disaster. Their voices got intense.

“Why the hell did the Raiders run the ball on 3rd down and 10? You have to throw in that situation!”

Finally! People were speaking common sense.

Yes, I had finally professed my love for my girlfriend. Yes, the Earthquake was unpleasant, although my running the campus radio station lightened the mood as I thundered out “What’s Shakin’ Baby!,” over the microphone, before playing ACDC singing “You shook me all night long,” and Europe singing “The Final Countdown.”

Yet nothing could change the fact that the 1993 NFL season had ended. The Raiders did not win it all, but I remain a believer in the silver and black.

September of 1994 was only 8 months away. I needed to get some rest before kickoff.


Jesse Jackson and other angry women

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Before getting to today’s lighthearted column, I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Tony Snow. Mr. Snow left us way too young.

Rather than provide an immediate eulogy, I will be monitoring left wing sites on the blogosphere to see if they are capable of conducting themselves with the same grace and class that Mr. Snow did. Any left wing hate speech will be reported. Meanwhile, Tony Snow is resting comfortably with God.

Unlike Tony Snow, who did his job with quiet dignity, Jesse Jackson does whatever his job is with nothing remotely resembling any human class.

I always knew what race Jesse Jackson belonged to, but until now I did not realize that I completely failed to recognize his gender.

The evidence has come in. Jesse Jackson is a jealous woman scorned.

Like many homemakers, Jesse Jackson has never held a private sector jobs. However, homemakers actually keep their house clean and raise their family. Jesse Jackson soiled his home by trying to raise two families.

Nevertheless, Jesse Jackson has threatened to have Barack Obama neutered, or to be more blunt, castrated. After all, Barack cheated on him.

First of all, Jesse Jackson would not be the first woman who wanted to neuter her cheating husband.

Bill Clinton still sleeps with one eye open on the rare nights he is forced to sleep next to Hillary. To quote David Letterman, Hillary got so fed up that “she had Lojack installed in his pants.”

Barack Obama should not be afraid of betraying Jesse Jackson by choosing to act sane, refusing to hate whitey for no reason. However, Barack Obama should be deathly afraid if he ever cheats on Michelle Obama. Make no mistake about it. She could take care of it in ways Jackson could only dream of. I suspect Obama is faithful.

Now Jesse Jackson could have been neutered for straying from his wife and impregnating a young woman, all the while counseling Bill Clinton. Poor Jesse. It is pure racism that the White President screws around and does not get knocked up, while the black man screws around and the girl does.

Sure, it could have been luck, but with Jesse, everything is racism.

I would say that a long time ago Jesse Jackson’s logic fell down a black hole, but apparently now that would be racist as well.

No wonder Jesse Jackson supports abortion on demand. He is a radical feminist! He wants to emancipate himself and other women from the bonds of bullying men.

Jesse Jackson has been helping republicans get elected for decades. His bullying of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis crippled them. In fact, he was thrilled when the Willie Horton ad destroyed Dukakis because it gave him another chance to run. Unfortunately, Jackson did not count on the fact that enough people saw Bill Clinton as black.

That was the true tragedy of the Sister Souljah situation. People were tired of black on black crime.

Black America is still tired of black on black crime. That is why they do not want a thug like Jesse Jackson to violently attack an educated black man with a bright future ahead of him.

Jesse Jackson probably wants John McCain to win almost as bad as Hillary Clinton does. After all, they are both angry that America would elect a black man over a woman like them.

Barack has insisted that he never cheated on Jesse, and really wishes Jesse would go away so Barack can be with his new wife. Jesse refuses to let go. I think he is planning to try and blackmail Barack for alimony the same way he shakes down Wall Street.

In fact, Jesse is threatening to tell the world that Barack Obama is only 50% black. Barack Obama’s campaign seemed puzzled by this threat, and is debating on whether or not to just admit that the allegation is true.

The hardliners in the Obama camp are threatening to reveal that Jesse Jackson is a race baiting criminal that has never worked an honest day in his life.

However, the idea of sending him a copy of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry me a river,” was deemed too cruel. Jesse Jackson may be horrible, but even he does not deserve to be treated like Britney Spears.

The more moderate Obama faction wants to send him a copy of Billy Joel’s “I love you just the way you are.” Unfortunately, he wrote that for his first wife, and he apparently only loved her for the way she was. Besides, he then met Christie Brinkley, and they lived happily ever after.

Jesse Jackson does have some Hollywood connections, and apparently he, Diane Keaton, and Bette Midler are starring in the sequel to the movie about divorced wives having the nerve to attack their husbands for their desire to be with attractive women who shut up and leave them alone.

In the same way Bubba does not like being nagged by Hillary, Obama has no more time for Jesse. He is past his prime, his breasts are sagging, his lip is in need of collagen, and his words have lost their luster. He is like Lola the Showgirl, who just has not been the same since Rico killed Tony at the Copacabana. He has lost his poor racist mind.

Jesse does not scare me as much as Hillary does. If she was mad at me I would buy a metal cup and a bodyguard. Jesse is like the gang banger that just wants to fit in. Like an aging female rocker, he just needs to remove the heavy makeup and the leather skirts, and adopt a more traditional look.

Jesse would not be the first angry bitter woman to threaten to remove her man’s manhood.

Nevertheless, along with the rest of the NOW, perhaps it is time to just give him some crochet tools, as long as he does promises not to do needlepoint on his former male love.

Oh, and Jesse…Iron my shirts…you little b*tch.

Yeah girlfriend. I went there. I must be a misogynist. After all, I am against Jesse Jackson.