Archive for October, 2007

Musings from Bama

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

For those who wonder why I would spend a lovely day in Birmingham, Alabama, typing on a keyboard, rumor has it that I occasionally type my column the night before. In Los Angeles I can predict the weather most of the time, but if it starts pouring in Birmingham, I can always edit this.

Saturday consists of meeting the Jewish people of Birmingham, and Sunday consists of meeting republican leaders in Bama. It will be a Republican Jewish Coalition function, so there will be religion and politics, two of the three things that should not be discussed.

The third one is sex, so hopefully a couple Scarlett O’Hara types will complete the trifecta of decadence.

Barring that, I am continually amazed at how people on the coasts truly believe that red staters are a bunch of hillbillies. Yes, hillbillies do exist, but at some point it is healthy to actually meet and talk to people. I have actually met blue staters that are not elitist snobs that I want to smack within seconds. Heck, some of them are quite enjoyable when they sit down and stop babbling about nonsense that only they care about. Heck, some of them even like football.

I say this because as soon as my buddy and I got to Birmingham, our initial plans of raisng hell and tearing up the town gave way to his exhaustion from driving a couple hours and my jet lag. We turned on the history channel, apparently because ESPN went to commercial. I am not ready to declare this network the Revisionist History Channel, because I have not watched it often enough to draw that conclusion. However, for those who have certain images of red staters, boy did this program live up to the ridicule.

The program was about Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, a moonshiner in North Carolina. First of all, the guy makes Boomhauer from “King of the Hill” seem coherent. Secondly, not since Roscoe P. Coltrane chased Bo and Luke Duke has moonshine been something to capture more than five minutes of my attention.

As my buddy cringed, insisting that there was no way this fellow could be real (he did look like a comic book character that an elitist such as Garry Trudeau would create to denigrate southerners), the internet confirmed that bootlegging is alive and well. This being the 30 year anniversary of Smokey and the Bandit and all, I am sure his family is proud. Actually, a further surfing of the internet tells me his daughter has a blog about him, and the purpose of the blog is to tell the world she hates him.

Just when I thought the idiocy could not get any worse (I am always wrong about that), I saw on the news that a liberal congressman wants to have all people who attend Nascar events in North Carolina get tested for various diseases. So apparently enjoying Nascar is a way of spreading communicable diseases. I could not make this stuff up if I tried.

I guess I am just not enlightened or sophisticated enough to make real contributions to society, but at least I can beam with pride and say that I never won a Nobel Terrorism Prize. I wish Prince Albert had stayed in the can. Having said that, I have to give him credit for carbon credits, or as I call them, “screwup credits.”

Here is how screwup credits work. I get to act like a screwup and destroy the environment by flying in private jets, and to offset this, other people cut back on their energy consumption to make up for my bad behavior. Everybody wins. The people cutting back on energy get to feel pride, and I get to make speeches and fly around the world.

Imagine how this idea has been used in the past.

Israel is one big screwup credit. Jews were murdered throughout history, but then Israel was created. It works perfectly. Jews have one place they can go and be among other Jews, and to balance this out, they can still be murdered everywhere else.

Hey, maybe we can apply screwup credits to the future. If people in Oregon would just plant twice as many trees as usual, then I can burn down the local forest and build a shopping mall. If more people in some areas would have the courage to quit drinking, smoking and doing drugs, then those who refuse to quit can do twice as much with a clear conscience.

Now I just need to find more people to get up early, exercise more, and become vegetarian. That way I can sleep in tomorrow even later than normal, and start my day having two burgers instead of one.

So from what I have learned today, liberals are virtuous by talking about good deeds while conservatives spread moonshine and diseases.

It is a beautiful day outside (memo to self…be prepared to edit this line), and despite my best efforts, I just do not have the time to break down the political views of Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Most liberals thought that the puppets on that program were right wing hatemongers, and that the original title of the show was “The Ku Klux Klan and Ollie.” Then again, maybe had the cast of that show taken conservative republicans and set them on fire, the puppets could be winning Nobel Peace Prizes right now as we speak. After all, the bar is lower than a limbo stick right before I fall on my hide.

I could have offered an assessment of the autobiography of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The book is fabulous, but I only finished half of it. I will read the other half on my way back to Los Angeles. One of my many great gifts is the ability to sleep very well on planes. Even the brilliant Judge Thomas could not keep me awake. After all, I took a sleeping pill before the flight. Well, not an actual sleeping pill…I read Al Bore’s acceptance speech. After all, it takes a great man to have people with an ideological agenda similar to his to offer him an award usually only reserved for failed Presidents, bloodthirsty terrorists, or both. I am not sure what protecting trees has to do with ending genocide, but perhaps I can save the life of a mattress by going on television and announcing that I will lead an awareness campaign to prevent people from cruelly ripping the “do not rip” labels off of the products. So many mattress labels get murdered every year. Like babies being ripped out of the womb, these labels are ripped from their mattress mothers.

For those of you who are passionate about Kukla, Fran, Ollie, Popcorn Sutton, Roscoe P. Coltrane, or my friend Billy who played high school football at Alabama, I trust that this column is worthy of an award. All I need to do is find somebody who contributes less to serious society than I do, and have them present me with a journalism award.

See how easy it is? Typing on a computer from Alabama, I am benefitting the world. Besides, on days when I have even less to say than today (let’s hope not), I can always save the environment by recycling…old columns that is.


Rupaul and Tancredo must go

Friday, October 12th, 2007

(I use parentheses when dealing with irrelevant people who barely deserve a mention. I will not be discussing the winner of the Nobel Terrorism Prize, since the award is meaningless until Armageddonijad wins. For those who care about nobodies, a link is below. Now for serious business about people who matter);jsessionid=BYVTNMH40LUKZQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0?xml=/opinion/2007/10/12/do1202.xml

It is one thing to be a 4th tier candidate with no shot of winning the republican Presidential nomination. It is another thing to violate Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment, “Thou shall not criticize any other republican.” Yet it is treasonous to claim that unless you are the nominee, you may bolt the party.

Unlike democrats that eat their own, whether it be Joe Lieberman supporting the war in Iraq or Bob Casey Sr. for being pro-life, republicans truly are a big tent. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are as welcome in the party as Bob Barr and Newt Gingrich. Some on the left claim Jim Jeffords was forced out, but he voluntarily left, which is the type of problem that affects the left much more.

Yet when all is said and done, and the primaries are over, republicans are to circle the wagons and support the nominee. Exceptions can be made for hatemongers such as David Duke, but there is no one political issue that should ban good republicans from supporting other good republicans that bested them.

The other night, during what was a mostly meaningless republican debate, the question was asked of the lower tier candidates…”If you were to not win the nomination, would you support whoever the nominee was?”

Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback both said yes. They did say that they believed it would be somebody who shared their values (translation, pro-life), but did say they would support the nominee.

Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo said no. Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo must go.

I do not have litmus tests for abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, or other hot button issues. My litmus test is the big tent that is the party that Lincoln created and Reagan expanded into a governing majority. I will not have it torn asunder by spoiled brats that think that their almost 1% in the polls gives them the right to decide what the other 99% may believe in.

Giuliani, McCain, Romney and Thompson should marginalize these traitors as quickly as possible unless they retract that statement. The debates are for republicans, not those who will only be republicans if they and they alone win. That is not acceptable.

These men Rupaul and Tancredo will not threaten to walk, because nobody would follow them. It is time they are pushed. Unlike Israel, where parties with 5% of the vote get to blackmail parties with 40% of the vote, the USA is based on fringes being treated as such. No, everyone does not deserve to be represented. Those who favor bestiality or child molestation do not get representation just because there are enough of them to merit an asterik among the population. The general public gets represented, not the lunatic fringes.

The democrats should be in sync on this issue. Any democrat that does not promise to support the democratic nominee should immediately be asked to leave.

This is not about blind loyalty. It is about putting the good of the party above one individual.

For those who want to bolt the republican party, there are plenty of other parties looking for candidates. The republican party belongs to republicans, and no one republican gets to decide who does and does not get to join. There are a unifying set of values, and again, acceptance of others in the party is mandatory. The Christian Coalition and the Log Cabin Republicans can disagree on policy, but they had better not try to treat the other side as second class citizens.

James Dobson said that he could not support any candidate who was pro-choice on abortion. This is begging for a Sister Souljah moment where somebody tells James Dobson where he can stick his threats. It is one thing to issue concern. It is another to issue ultimatums. There is only one ultimatum that matters…get on the train or get off.

Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback fell into line. They should still be quietly asked to leave the stage, but politely. Rupaul and Tancredo will not go quietly. They do not do anything quietly, or with dignity. It is time for them to leave, and if banning them from the debates is necessary, then so be it.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is hosting a candidate forum. This is a serious look at serious issues that the RJC believes in. Since the primary issue is the War on Terror, of course Giuliani, McCain, Romney, and Thompson will be in attendance. Huckabee had a scheduling conflict. Hunter, Tancredo and Rupaul were not invited because they have no shot of winning. Rupaul threw a tantrum, because that is what he does. In addition, Rupaul is anti-Israel, which is putting it mildly. How dare a Jewish organization not allow an anti-Jewish candidate to address them? Next thing republicans will be forced to debate on MSNBC…ok, bad example.

Sam Brownback was invited due to his long history of supporting Israel, but make no mistake about it. This is a winnowing event. If we give equal time to every candidate, then I can file papers and demand a speaking role. At some point the madness has to stop.

Tom Tancredo is a one trick pony, and his one trick is a divisive issue. Simply put, the Wall Street Journal and National Review are both well respected, and they sharply disagree on illegal immigration. It is one thing to have only one issue. It is another to have one issue that republicans sharply disagree on. As for Rupaul, he has one issue that republicans overwhelmingly agree on…against him. He is against the War, and republicans overwhelmingly favor it. It is ironic that Ron Paul is so awful on Israel, because he would fit in well there, where any extremist left or right can find five or ten followers and get Knesset seats.

Yet in America, we govern from the center. This is a center-right nation, and the major republican candidates are all somewhere on the mainstream center-right line.

Therefore, any so called republican that cannot swallow their own pride and admit that a better man beat them should just go away.

I wish all four of the top tier candidates were in our government. Perhaps Guiliani as President, Romney as Vice President (McCain would never accept it), McCain as Secretary of Defense, and Fred Thompson as Law and Order in Chief as Attorney General. Maybe Mike Huckabee can be the head of faith based initiatives, or Secretary of Education. Duncan Hunter could be Deputy Secretary of Defense, or perhaps Secretary of State, where he could try and reform the culture there. Sam Brownback could take whichever of the two posts Huckabee does not want.

As for Rupaul and Tancredo, they have already promised to possibly betray the party. I take them at their word. They will not leave, so they must simply be forced to go.

Maybe Giuliani’s security firm or Thompson’s Law and Order character can find some law enforcement officials to arrest intruders who try to crash a debate when uninvited.

As for the RJC event, it will be ultra-professional.

Without Rupaul and Tancredo, they are already off to a great start.

The rest of the republican party can learn from the RJC.

Only serious, dignified, 11th commandment supporting republican candidates need apply.


Eastbound and Down

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

The Tygrrrr Express is Bama bound.

Given my love of Tigers (with the exception of the Detroit Tigers and Tiger Woods, who I am neutral towards), I visit campuses that feel the same. I have been to Princeton, NJ, and the Clemson campus in South Carolina. The only thing left is to visit more of them at Auburn in Alabama.

For those who have seen the movie, “My Cousin Vinny,” where New Yorkers face culture shock in the deep south, I can say that this is not what happens to me. Sorry to disappoint those that have never been to a red state, but they are fairly normal people. As for the deep south, the one stereotype that is true is that the food is fantastic. Southern hospitality and food is as true as it is fantastic.

I say this because as the Presidential race kicks into high gear, I confess to being a tad jealous of the candidates. I could care less about their wealth, and while the power is nice, it is not the end all be all. What I am jealous of is that they get to meet millions of Americans and hear their stories. If I could shake the hand of every American and hear their story, I would try to do it.

For those who remember Charles Kuralt, he would take his camper around America into small towns, and just meet Americans. I refuse to call them average or ordinary, because they are just plain great. With Mr. Kuralt gone, the closest thing would be to meet John Madden. Lord knows I would eat well.

For those who have never been to the deep south, it is true freedom. For one, it is freedom from traffic. People drive fast in the left lane, and slower cars actually move out of the way so the faster cars can get on with their lives. This does not happen in big cities in California. When Yahoo Maps tells me something will take 2 1/2 hours, in the south it takes me 90 minutes.

The people are friendly. True, when I say I am a New Yorker, or that I live in Los Angeles, they initially think that I think that I am better than they are. Truth is, there is plenty of arrogance on the coasts to justify this suspicion. Then when I let them know that I grew up on Long Island, my dad played the banjo, and that I like red meat, football, and support the NRA, I make friends easily. I don’t watch NASCAR, but when I tell them I haven’t been able to watch since Dale Earnhardt died, they understand, and hope one day I will watch Junior. The reason my comments are not patronizing is because the comments are sincere. I really am like this.

Oh, and they are very tolerant down south. I am Jewish. The bible belt is Christian, which in most cases means they like Jews. No, they do not try to convert me. They understand I do not believe in Jesus, but they are appreciative that I overwhelmingly respect that they do. I wish more Jews, and liberals in general, could meet these fine people.

Some people say the south is the same south that was racist. If that were true, why are so many black Americans moving down there? Atlanta is still booming, and Charlotte is the biggest banking center outside of Wall Street. Prejudice can exist everywhere, including on the enlightened coasts where middle America is looked down upon.

I arrive in Atlanta Friday night, where a buddy of mine (Yes, he has a pickup truck, and I like it!) and I will be driving to Birmingham. Sunday night it is back to Hotlanta, where just outside the city people bought 4 or 5 bedroom houses for $200,000 only a couple years ago. The quality of life is peaceful. Monday night I am off to Washington, DC, where on Tuesday I will have the pleasure of meeting Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Thompson, and Brownback. Yes, that will be blogged about, and no, I can’t wait.

Then it is back home to Los Angeles on Tuesday night. I love this city, but getting out replenishes me. My blogging might be spotty over the next few days, but that is because I will be living life.

People ask what I do when I have writers block. So far I have been lucky. My life is a traveling carnival of adventure, and the adventures abound again very soon.

I will be meeting people, shaking hands, and if I work up the nerve, asking for votes.

As you know, I am competing in the bloggers choice awards, and am # 4 in the country. I am one spot behind left wing hate site Daily Kos, and I have several days left to defeat the Kossacks.

I am not a natural politician. Yet the one thing that is natural about me is my liking of people. I hate having to ask for things. I am not a salesman. Yet when I have no agenda, to dive into a crowd and shake hands, and make friends, I am very at ease.

The key is to know the environment. To go to the deep south and ask where a guy can get a vegan dinner and a juice bar special is possible, but I am grateful that is not me.

People want to know that you know anything about anything they are familiar with. I remember talking to a lady in the Kentucky Attorney General’s office who was not happy about something. First of all, the words “attorney general” and “unhappy” should never be in the same sentence. The woman on the phone was pleasant, but she said, “The problem I have with you guys on the coasts is that you don’t know anything about Kentucky. You’ve never been here, met us, or even looked us up on a map.”

I had to correct her. “Mam, with all due respect, I grew up on Long Island, there was a farm around the corner, the general store was within walking distance, and one of my favorite songs is ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky.'” For the sake of ethics, I saw an episode of “King of the Hill,” where Boomhauer (sung by Vince Gill) sings the song, and it has been in my head for a decade. Nevertheless, the lady was incredulous, and she asked me to sing a few bars. I explained to her that I was at work, and I did not want to be carted away. It is important to note that one should also never mention the words “carted away” when talking to someone in an attorney general’s office.

So I sang to her, as my boss looked on wondering if I was on crack. “Blue Moon of Kentucky, Keep on Shining…Shine on the one whose gone and proved untrue. Blue Moon of Kentucky Keep on Shining…Shine on the one whose gone and left you blue.”

The woman said, “Young man, you are delightful. This matter is closed.” Now if we were guilty, a song would not have gotten us off the hook, but innocent people can get in trouble when they come across as unlikable. If I have trouble in Bama I know the song, “Hail…hail…the gang’s all here…at the Alabama Jubilee.” I just hope the officers are old enough to know country music legend Jerry Reed.

Some people think I like red states in the deep south because they vote republican. That is only partially the reason. It is that they believe in things that just do not resonate with many ivory tower liberals, particularly those in academia. For one thing, it was not New England liberals at Iwo Jima. It was “bubbas” fighting for their country, and proud to do so. Bubbas don’t think they are better than anybody else. They just don’t want to be treated like they are worse.

As for the women in the deep south, the moment they open their mouths, I want to just give them my credit cards. Scarlett O’Hara type women turn my brain to mush. Hot, sexy, republican women…heck, even the Jewish ones, while democrats, are not leftists.

While the south is as modern as anywhere else, try finding a general store on a corner on either coast. A song my dad played for me as a kid talks about how life used to be. It just moves so fast, so think about how great it would be if it would just slow down once in awhile. The south moves, but not at the breakneck pace of the coasts. In the south, you can sit back and smell the flowers, and they smell great. As for the song…

“There’s an old wooden sign…just outside of Stratton, Maine…it says…’if we ain’t got it…you don’t need it…Bill Jones’ General Store’

Oh I can hear the creaking, of that rusty old screen door…smell the penny candy…at Bill Jones General Store…the pipe smoke and tobacco…wet boots on the floor…Campbell’s Soup and shotgun shelves, at Bill Jones General Store.”

The song is actually sad. It talks about how the town gets deserted, because times change, and in real life, the store gets replaced with a conglomerate. Yet what does not change is the dignity of the people in the town.

We grow or we die, and progress is not always so. Yet it is possible to be modern without giving up old fashioned values, such as God, country, and yes, mom and apple pie. That is not “hokey.” It is traditional.

I love LA, it is my home, but there are too many liberals here, taking days off of work to protest the right to protest and not work. I look forward to five days away from them, so that I can come back and remind myself that normal people do exist.

Plus, if we can just get the car cranked up to 90, my friend and I can emulate my heroes of 30 years ago. Yes, 1977, the year that Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed brought America the Bandit and the Snowman in “Smokey and the Bandit.” Interstate 20 is a straight shot from Bama to Hotlanta. It is a sweet drive during the day, and a rapid dream at night. Now all I need is the black Trans Am.

“Put your foot hard on the peddle…son never mind them breaks…let it all hang out, cause we got a run to make…the boys are thirsty in Atlanta, and there’s beer in Texarkana…we’ll bring it back, no matter what it takes…Eastbound and down, loaded up and trucking’…we’re gonna do what they say can’t be done…we got a long way to go, and a short time to get there…eastbound, for another Bandit run.”

I will leave you all with the theme from the third Smokey movie, a song by Lee Greenwood that is so rare that even he can’t seem to find a copy of it (I asked his people). Lee Greenwood does sing, “God Bless the USA,” but he also sings my theme song, “The Bandit Express.”

“Look out the Bandit’s coming, get your money and warn the women…tell them smokeys all to take a rest…because they’ll never catch the Bandit Express.”

Yes folks, that is how my blog came into existence. There can only be one bandit, and Burt Reynolds took care of that. I am a Raider, a pirate, and many other characters.

Yet at heart, I am a Tiger. To be more accurate, a Tygrrrr.

I am Bama Bound. So hide your kitchen utensils, snap on tools, and Jewish republican brunettes with hot southern accents. Break out your best plastic silverware and lock the liberals on the coasts so I can get some needed relaxation in the south, aka relaxation nation.

“Tell your daughters they better get some rest…cause they’ll never catch the Tygrrrr Express.”


Debate Fatigue

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Maybe it is because I stay up too late when I contemplate my column, but I think debate fatigue is setting in.

I still like the major republican candidates. I think the top four candidates are all good men. Yet at some point, and that point is long past, other candidates need to realize that their 15 minutes of fame ended 20 minutes ago, and they need to leave the stage. The initial debates were fun, free for all sessions that resembled early episodes of American Idol. However, listening to the earsplitting sounds of hacks gets old quickly, and people want the truly talented and meritorious to be on the stage.

As for the debate itself, CNBC is investing for dummies. Yes, Maria Bartiromo is hot, but even she looked bored. As for Chris Matthews, I wish the republican candidates would follow Zell Miller’s example and just challenge this agitator to a duel and be done with it. Ron Paul seems crazy enough to do it, but he and Matthews did everything but french kiss each other after the debate. Rupaul may put the fun in fundamentalism, but Matthews never figured out a way to put the word moderate in moderator.

Nevertheless, unlike the gutless democrats who are more scared of Fox News than Al Queda, the republicans debated on MSNBC. Besides, it was not like anybody would notice if any of them made a mistake, unless Fox News ran clips.

Debates are made out to be Superbowls, but they are really pre-season games. Therefore, analyzing every play is overkill. Here are some observations.

Sam Brownback, in describing America, said, “This place rocks.” Is he young and hip or what? Or what.

When asked about ethanol subsidies, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and Mike Huckabee had a competition to see who could be the most gutless. Being a free market conservative means being principled. Making an exception for ethanol subsidies due to the Iowa caucuses is cowardly. Using national security as an excuse for this cowardice is pusillanimousness at its worst. John McCain vowed to eliminate ethanol subsidies. McCain also refused to say he would force oil companies to take their profits and put it into alternative research. He said he “hoped” they would, but would not mandate it. McCain won easily on this one.

On social security, Thompson would grow the economy and index benefits to inflation.

Tom Tancredo is as Tom Tancredo does. He bashed CAFTA, doing what I call the Fast Track Backtrack.

Even by Chris Matthews low standards, a question about unions was phrased in an idiotic manner. The candidates were asked if unions were good for America, and that they should answer from the perspective of a union worker. Can anyone picture the democratic candidates being asked if corporations were good for America, and to answer from the viewpoint of a wealthy CEO?

Given the chance to blast unions (Yes, the debate was being held in Detroit, but not all of America wants to be like Detroit, a model of a failed city),  gutlessness again reigned supreme.

Rupaul likes unions. Mike Huckabee, who is developing a reputation for honesty and sincerity, pandered the whole night, especially in his praise of unions. Romney would not name one bad union. Rudy Giulani mentioned his mother being in a union. McCain did say that union membership should not be compulsory, but only Thompson talked about taking on unions. Thompson won hands down, with McCain doing ok in the round.

A lightning round of questions led to people wondering if they were watching Wheel of Fortune.

Giuliani would not tax the internet. Huckabee started out right on Schip, and then caved again. Romney. when asked about Arabs (the debate was actually in Dearborn, not Detroit), refused to back down about pursuing the bad guys. He avoided namby pamby political correctness. Thompson fumbled through a question about the dollar, while Giuliani correctly pointed out that the way to reduce the trade deficit is to make it as easy as possible to sell American products overseas. He hammered this point on several occasions, and was effective in doing so. Brownback said that his top economic advisor would be Alan Greenspan or Phil Gramm, both solid choices. McCain was brutally honest when saying he did not know how Ben Bernanke should proceed. He admitted to knowing less about economics than an economics expert. Giuliani, Romney and McCain all did fine in this round.

When asked if they would support the republican nominee regardless of who it was, Rupaul and Tancredo said no. They should have immediately been kicked off the stage and banned from future debates. Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback said yes.

Maria Bartiromo asked if London was going to replace New York as the global financial hub, which Giuliani and Romney both derided. Giuliani sparred politely with Bartiromo, and he bested her. Thompson said our relationship with Canada was fine, Huckabee wants to reduce pressure at airports to help the problems plaguing airports and airlines, and McCain wants a new agency to catch Bin Laden. Giuliani and Romney fared best in this round.

When asked about what the greatest economic threat was, Romney blew it by stating that it was a lack of optimism. Brownback is as Brownback does, stating that the breakdown of the fmaily was an economic issue. Unlike earlier, he did not do the Brownback Backtrack. Giulinai said it was problems in education. Perhaps he did not mention terrorism because this debate was specifically about economic issues.

Giuliani got in some knocks about Hillarycare, Thompson said the debates were boring until he arrived, and Brownback and Tancredo traded bizarre jokes about Brownback’s mother.

Maybe it was the moderators, but if this debate was any less substantial, it would have been confused for a debate among democrats. Then again, a democratic debate of this kind would have been 20 minutes on black economic issues, 20 minutes on gay economic issues, 20 minutes on Arab economic issues, and 20 minutes of Gravel speaking Gravelly. At least this debate focused on issues affecting on all Americans. It just was not done in a dignified manner.

Giuliani and McCain did spar over the line item veto, but they both had more fire at Hillary, effectively so.

Overall, Romney was less effective than in debates past. Even less effective was Thompson. Thompson’s detractors refer to him as “lazy,” with one columnist calling him “Deputy Dog.” I like him, but he did seem to be coasting through this debate on his likability. Perhaps in a more serious forum he will be more polished. He could have been lowering himself down to the level of the quality of the debate itself. Huckabee has had some solid performances, but this was his worst. He pandered the whole time. He is conservative on social issues, but does not seem economically conservative.

McCain and Giuliani won this debate.

As for the rest…oh who cares…as I said…fatigued.


Tony Romo–Pay attention children

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

I have said on many occasions that every lesson a parent could teach their child can be gleamed from football. No, it is not life and death. Yes, it is a game. Yet in terms of inspiration, I want children 100 years from now to watch a copy of the Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills. I want them to learn about a 23 year old kid named Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were on the verge of defeating the Seattle Seahawks in a playoff game. All they had to do was kick a 23 yard field goal. Then the unthinkable happened. Tony Romo fumbled the snap. He tried to pick the ball up and make a play. He almost did. Yet he didn’t. Seattle won the game, Dallas was done, and sports had a new goat. Anybody can have character when times are good. Tony Romo showed character. He went to the press conference rather than hide from the media. He promised to erase the memory of this blunder.

Fast forwarding several months, Tony Romo brought the 4-0 Dallas Cowboys into a Monday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills. On a national stage, Tony Romo had one of the most nightmarish games in NFL history. He had four interceptions in the first half alone. Two of them were returned for touchdowns. A kickoff return of a touchdown had Buffalo up 24-13 in the 4th quarter. After cutting the gap to 24-16, Tony Romo had a golden opportunity to redeem himself. Deep in Buffalo territory, he then…threw a 5th interception.

Yet Buffalo failed to capitalize. So Tony Romo was given yet another chance. He drove Dallas down the field, and a touchdown pass with only 20 seconds left cut the gap to 24-22. A two point conversion would tie the game. Yet it didn’t happen, and it appeared Dallas was done. However, a perfectly executed onsides kick followed by a couple perfect Romo passes led to a 52 yard field goal as time ran out. Two scores in 20 seconds resulted in a 25-24 Dallas shocker.

I hope that people who never grasp football can teach their children why the result of this game is relevant. The lessons are so obvious, but yet even the obvious can be obscured in a world of negativity.

Lesson number one is that failure is acceptable. Human beings fail. It is what makes us human. Accepting failure is what is not acceptable. Yes, this game had a happy ending, but if it did not, Tony Romo would try again next week. He failed last year, and he came back.

Every person I know has either failed at a job, a marriage, rearing a child, or trying to do what they were simply not able to do. They lost. They were not losers, but they lost. For those who lose a job, it is bad, but not as bad as losing a marriage. For those who have lost a marriage, it is horrendous, but not as bad as losing a life.

When we wake up in the morning, we are not dead. By definition alone, we have life. We have a chance. We all lose sight of this. I know I do. Heck, I lose perspective when a slow driver in front of me causes me not to beat a traffic light that turns red. I get angrier when that one car at that one light causes me to get to work at 9:01am instead of 8:59am.

Yet life is a series of knockdowns. Some people are blind. Others are deaf. Others are confined to wheelchairs. Yet I worry about being short and wearing glasses.

My father is a Holocaust survivor. He spent the first four years of his life being shot at. Needless to say, my having trouble in social studies class was not the end of the world.

Having said that, this does not mean we should ridicule others who feel pain. Telling a paraplegic to be happy that they are not a quadriplegic is not the answer. The answer is to lift people up, and give them the ability to life themselves up.

Although I am not a baseball fan, two games stand clear in my mind. One game just happened a few hours ago. The Yankees had their season end at the hands of the Cleveland Indians. Yankee Manager Joe Torre, who is about to be fired after every game for 12 years, might be fired for real this time. One of his last gestures was to tell the losing pitcher that losing this game did not invalidate all the great things that happened during the season. Again, the team lost, but they were not losers.

Another game had an ending that should never happen. In 1986, the California Angels were on the verge of defeating the Boston Red Sox for the right to go to the World Series. Angel pitcher Donnie Moore then threw the pitch that the Red Sox turned into the winning home run. The Red Sox won the Series, and the Angels were done. Then the nightmare scenario developed.

Donnie Moore was soon out of baseball. He fell into financial trouble. Within three years of almost reaching the pinnacle of success, he committed suicide.

Life should never have to be that way. Human beings…all human beings…are too important to have even one of them waste away. We are creatures of God. A piece of God dies when we do.

Life can leave us black and blue. Sometimes we feel like there is nothing but pain and misery. Yet some of my best moments in life have followed those black clouds. Losing a job and being nearly broke was followed by getting an even better job. A painful breakup was followed by meeting a woman I was much happier with.

I have said many times I have been lucky. Yes, being lucky helps. Yet so does digging deep down inside of us. Human beings often have time to pick themselves up. Football players do not have such luxuries. A quarterback that gets belted to the ground has about 40 seconds to be ready for the next play.

Yes, Tony Romo led a heroic comeback. However, had his comeback attempt failed he would still be a human being that matters. Tony Romo said last year that if the worst thing to ever happen to him would be losing a game, he would have led a good life.

If he means that, he is luckier and more well grounded than most.

I know that in the coming years, I will fail at things. I also know that I have a great family, and great friends. I will try not to let them down, and hope they do not let me down. Yet if any of us do, the lifting back up will be vital. If we do not, our children will suffer.

Children already have it rough. For one thing, public schools are a haven for making sure that children suffer. Some kids are fat, others are funny looking, but they are all one bad experience away from slipping through the cracks. As time goes by, to quote rocker Bret Michaels of Poison, “It just makes me wonder why so many lose and so few win. Give me something to believe in.”

I do believe in something. I believe in the dignity and resilience of the human spirit.

I also believe that lessons can be learned in unlikely places. One motivational speaker took a one hundred dollar bill, crumpled it up, stepped it on it, and mashed it. He then asked the audience if anybody still wanted it. They all did. Why? Because even crumpled up and near tattered, it still had value. It had worth.

So do we.

Tony Romo did not save the world. He did not win the War on Terror, cure cancer, or save a drowning animal.

What he did was fail repeatedly, and refuse to allow his failures to define him. He got up off of the mat, and eventually flourished. Beyond the score of the game, if one child gives one last extra effort in anything, whether it be a school paper or a sporting event, Tony Romo will have given a life lesson worth emulating.

Somebody buy Tony Romo a beverage. Then somebody make as many copies of this football game as possible, and let young kids know what they are capable of when they dig down deep and reach their God given potential.


The animals had it coming

Monday, October 8th, 2007

I have never accused activists of being guilty of logical reasoning or thoughtfulness. Yes, they value trees, mosquitoes and dirt more than human beings, but at some point the hyperbole train needs to avoid going off the rails.

Actually, for activists, being off the rails is a way of life. Colonel Sanders kills a chicken, they evoke the Holocaust. A bunny rabbit becomes Hossenfeffer (to quote my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoon), they evoke the pain of slavery. Chanting, “Meat is murder,” they truly can compare Jeffrey Dahmer with the woman taking her children to McDonalds. The way those bloodthirsty children play on the slide after devouring a dead cow is just sinister. They are future killers in waiting.

Rather than try and teach a pig to sing, which wastes time and annoys the pig, it is easy to use these “lacktivists (activists usually lack everything normal people possess)” as a foil to entertain normal people. Lacktivists tend to be intolerant. In some cases they are lactose intolerant, but Jewish law prohibits mixing milk and meat, so I will leave milk out of this discussion.

Dennis Leary crystallizes it perfectly when he claims, “We only want to save the cute animals.” Here is a segment from his routine.

“What are you?”

“I’m an otter.”

“What do you do?”

“I swim on my back and do cute things in the water.”

“You’re free to go.”

“And you, what do you do?”

“I’m a cow.”

“Get in the truck!”

“But I’m an animal.”

“You’re a baseball glove, get in the truck!”

I encountered one lacktivist on Michelle Malkin’s website. Below is their screed, with the name redacted for privacy and the screed itself redacted for length and coherence.

“I am also a longtime member of PETA and been veg for about 22 years. I think refraining from eating meat is a noble act. It takes thoughtfulness, restraint and discernment. It means you have standards. It’s not the only noble act we can do in this world, but it’s a significant one. Meat eating is destructive on many levels, not only to animals themselves but to humans as well. If you want to eat meat, fine, do it, but don’t embarrass yourself by putting down others who actually have a higher standard than you. It only shows your insecurity (can you say ‘tallest poppy?’). Most of all, those who care about this are thinkers. I just read a study that said vegetarians, as a whole, have a higher Intelligence than the general population. Go ahead and Google it…and find out for yourselves. It just means you care about the horrible suffering of innocent animals at our hands. Caring about animal suffering is sweet, noble, and kind. These are ideals that conservatives should, at least theoretically, embrace and admire.”

I should return my advanced degree, since apparently my eating meat means I am too stupid to grasp concepts that enlightened lacktivists can understand. I did not go to a poison ivy league school, so I thought my degree was worth something. Nevertheless, I feel a little levity is best when dealing with lacktivists. My reply is below.

“Who says these animals are innocent? I have it on good authority by a well respected anonymous moral authority that many of these animals had it coming. Their parents were awful animals, and their kids would have been awful animals.

I know I am right because the anonymous study I cite is beyond reproach, because it agrees with me, which confirms I am right.

Hail to the Lord of Circular Logicians everywhere!

Time for Monday Night Football and a burger.”

Apparently humor is lost on lacktivists. I suspect we could make the left wing and the right wing happy environmentally if we could just remove the wooden sticks that lacktivists have up their rumpuses. The right wing would be pleased that leftists would be less self righteous, and the left wing would be happy to find another tree. Perhaps the proctologists of the world can unite with the environmentalists to work on this. Until then, the lacktivist missed my point.

“Vegetarianism and, even better, veganism is a higher choice morally and ethically because it takes into account the effects meat eating has on animals and the planet. Blackty Grrrrr the animals that have to live in factory farms and face a gruesome end in the slaughterhouse certainly didn’t ask for it. They did nothing but were found in hapless circumstances. I can’t believe you said such a thing…I’ve never, in all my years of arguing this issue, have I heard anyone say that animals deserve such abuse and had it ‘coming to them’. Just proves that we humans will and can rationalize almost any habit, no matter how little substance we can give for it.”

Folks, I can’t make this stuff up. Liberal lacktivists are the gift that keeps on giving. I offered one last response.

(name redacted) “You may or may not be the only person on this site that did not realize I was kidding. Reread what I wrote above.

Personally I have nothing against animals. Dogs can’t raise my taxes. Felines can’t block traffic with protests about nonsense. Iguanas can’t screw up public schools.

Liberals mess up society more than animals ever could, which is why I rooted for the Cincinnati Bengals to defeat the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.

Unfortunately, humans, even liberals, are superior to animals, even tigers…Patriots 34, Bengals 13.

The Pats ate the Bengals for dinner! Somebody call Peta now! It wouldn’t be the first time this year they harassed the NFL, but I won’t go there.”

Let me explain it to the lactivists one last time.

Lacktivists…nobody likes you. You talk to each other. The rest of the normal American population wants to get to their car without being burdened with leaflets. It is not your cause that bothers us as much as the the leaflets. Attending peace rallies and engaging in violent shouting matches defies sanity. Trying to destroy the global economy for a greater good is nuts. Criticizing terrorists for eating meat would be great if you also criticized them for killing innocent human beings. Lastly, just because Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian does not mitigate other bad things he did.

How I live my life is my business, but I grew up around wild kingdom. I had dogs, cats, birds, iguanas, and fish. I loved them all. I miss them all.

They are in Heaven, where they are enjoying peace and quiet. A world without lacktivists…of course it is peaceful.

Now I just need to relax and enjoy my own peace and quiet, in a place where humans reign supreme and animals have no say. I will have a burger for dinner, and I will watch another animal slaughter on television.

What kind of human being takes joy in watching animal slaughters? I do.

The Dallas Cowboys will eat up the Buffalo Bills. Let the lacktivists protest all they want, but barring an upset, a good old fashioned rodeo steer roping…excuse me, bison roping…will round out the day.

Besides, if one day I am wrong, I will stand before God and sing, “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.”

That song is from the 1960s, and it was done by…you guessed it…The Animals.


NFL 2007–Week 5 Recap

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

With the Raiders having the week off, I expected this to be a dull NFL weekend. I did not expect it to be one of the worst weekends in NFL history. The early games had very little significance, and very little compelling story lines. Many of the games had teams that were trying to lose, with some 0-4 teams having to struggle to make it to 0-5. The games for the most part were just badly played. Having said that, there were still some exciting finishes. Below is the recap.

Miami Dolphins @ Houston Texans–With the game tied, winless Miami had an opportunity to win with a 56 yard field goal attempt with one minute left. They decided to punt the ball instead, and the Texans had to start inside their own five yard line. It was a sensible call, but the Miami defense wilted, and the Texans had a 56 yard field goal attempt on the last play of the game. Kris Brown nailed it. He was 5 for 5 on the day, and became only the third kicker in NFL history to have three kicks of over 50 yards in one game. His 56 yarder was in addition to a pair of 54 yarders. 22-19 Texans

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints–The winless Saints led 13-6 in the fourth quarter, but they had a field goal blocked that would have put them in total control of the game. They turned the ball over, which led to Steve Smith tying the game at 13-13. The Saints then through an interception late in the fourth quarter, and the panthers capitalized by throwing an interception right back. This gave the Saints had a chance to win late in regulation, but a long field goal was wide by a country mile. That set up stalwart kicker John Kasay for a 53 yarder. His kick was good as time ran out, as the Saints remained winless. Nevertheless, it was bittersweet for the Panthers since quarterback Jake Delhomme, who sat out the game, is now out officially for the year with an injured elbow. 16-13 Panthers

Atlanta Falcons @ Tennessee Titans–This ugly game had the Falcons’ kicker missing three field goals. The Titans broke a 13-13 tie in the fourth quarter, and then the bizarre occurrences happened. With the Titans leading by seven and only needing to run the ball to grind down the clock, Vince Young threw his third interception. The Falcons then capitalized by turning it right back over, in what was a theme in several games today. Both teams had an interception returned for a touchdown, and the Titans had five turnovers on the day. The Titans could not run the clock down, and veteran punter Craig Heinrich failed to get the punt off. It would have been blocked, and he rightly got tackled rather than kick it or try to make a bad play worse. This gave the Falcons the ball inside the Titan 10 yard line with two minutes left. Although Joey Harrington played the whole game, recently acquired Byron Leftwich was brought in for this deciding series. With the ball on the one yard line, rather than run straight ahead, a dangerous pitchout was fumbled, losing several yards. Several plays later, the Titan defense held. 20-13 Titans

Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers–This was not a Super Bowl rematch in terms of excitement. The Steelers held the ball for almost 41 minutes, and Seattle had only 144 total yards. Willie Parker had 28 carries for 102 yards, and a 10 minute plus drive in the fourth quarter against an exhausted Seahawk defense iced the game. 21-0 Steelers

Detroit Lions @ Washington Redskins–The other insignificant games were at least competitive. Not this one. Despite a scoreless first quarter, the Redskins dominated every phase of this game. The Lions were 3-1 coming in, but were quickly exposed. The useless stat of the day was that the Lions had never won at Washington in their entire history, although this game has not been significant since the NFC title game that ended the Lions’ 1991 season. The Redskins have not been special since that season either. Antwon Randle El had 100 yards receiving by halftime. John Kitna was harassed all day. The game was never close. 34-3 Redskins

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs–This was Jack Del Rio football, a tough, grind it out win. The Jaguars had the ball for nearly 37 minutes. When the Chiefs had the ball, they did nothing. Larry Johnson had nine rushes for 12 yards. Maurice Jones-Drew had a 52 yard touchdown run in the first half, adding to a first quarter field goal and a 10-0 Jaguar lead. A Jaguar touchdown with nine minutes left sealed the win. Brodie Croyle entered the game when Damon Huard was injured, and threw his first NFL touchdown pass during garbage time, which for the Chiefs was the entire game. 17-7 Jaguars

Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots–The game had to be played because of the “any given Sunday” possibility of upsets. This was not to be. The Patriots jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way to become the first team to reach 5-0. Cleveland did have 353 yards of offense, but four turnovers did them in. New England had 412 yards of offense and no turnovers. Tom Brady had three touchdown passes. The game was never close, and New England scored with under a minute remaining for emphasis. 34-17 Patriots

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams–The winless Rams had their best chance to get a win. Kurt Warner replaced an injured Matt Leinart, but the bottom line is that Warner is playing well and Leinart is not. Leinart has a fractured collarbone and will be out 6-8 weeks. The last time Kurt Warner stepped in for an injured starter, he led the Rams to a Superbowl win and a three year offensive pinball machine. Gus Frerotte, filling in for injured Mark Bulger, had three touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions. With the game tied 20-20, a Frerotte interception was returned for a touchdown and a 27-20 Arizona lead that they would not relinquish. With the Rams down 27-23, the last interception for the Rams led to Warner’s lone touchdown pass of the game and a 34-23 Cardinal lead with three minutes left. The Rams scored a touchdown with seocnds left, but failed to recover the onsides kick. The Cardinals have won back to back games, and the Rams remained winless. 34-31 Cardinals

New York Jets @ New York Giants–The rivalry at the Meadowlands was an exciting game. Giants running back Brandon Jacobs fumbled deep in his own territory, and it was returned 11 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Jets lead. The Jets actually led 17-7 at the half, even though they were being booed in their own stadium since they were the road team for this game. Then again, they get booed at many home games in the Meadowlands. Yet it was the Giants being booed more in the first half. After the Giants cut the gap to 17-14, Leon Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and a 24-14 lead.

Then Chad Pennington took over, which helped the wrong New York team. He completed three passes to New York receivers that were wearing big blue instead of gang green. The Giants also racked up 374 yards of offense, including 124 yard receiving by Plaxico Burress. An interception by Pennington in the Giants end zone wasted a scoring opportunity for the Jets. A pair of touchdowns put the Giants ahead, and Pennington’s third interception was returned for a touchdown to ice the game with three minutes left. 35-24 Giants

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos–Norvelous Norv Turner needs one good game before his inevitable firing. When he coached the Raiders, they went into Denver in a blizzard and the Raiders shocked the Broncos 25-24 in Denver. San Diego lightning struck twice in Denver, as the Chargers exploded out of the gate. An offensive touchdown was followed by a fumble return for two touchdowns in an 11 second span. San Diego led 17-0 before Denver finally cracked the scoreboard with a field goal of their own. A quick drive just before halftime led to another San Diego field goal and a 20-3 lead. This game will need several more weeks before it can be accurately dissected. It could be an aberration, or a turning point. I suspect an aberration. Norv Turner beats Mike Shanahan again in Denver. 41-3 Chargers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts–The Tampa Bay grind it out defense versus the Indy pinball machine offense. THe Colts did race to a 13-0 lead, which is typical for them, especially at home. Tampa Bay then slowed the pace of the game, which is Buc Ball. A touchdown closed the gap, but a field goal before the half had the Colts up 16-7 at the break. Both teams are well coached, but the Colts simply have too much firepower, especially at home. 33-14 Colts

Baltimore Ravens @ San Francisco 49ers–Two overrated teams, and the first half accurately reflected this. The Ravens defense was, as always, helped by an offense that consisted entirely of field goal kicker Matt Stover. The Ravens led 6-0 at the half, although the game was less exciting than the score suggested. Despite protests from fans who care, the game was not canceled, and the second half was just as ugly. The Ravens had the ball for 38 minutes, and Joe Nedney missed a field goal with three minutes left that would have altered the results of a game nobody should remember. 9-7 Ravens

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers was the Sunday night game. Th Packers came out running the football, which was a surprise to those of us who associate the West Coast Offense with an inability to run the ball. What was more surprising was that they ran it right down the Chicao Bears’ throats. This is not the same Bears defense. The Packers dominated the first quarter in yards 189-20, and the Bears did not even have a first down. However, the Packers only led 7-0 because their receivers turned it over twice in Bears territory after lengthy gains. A bear field goal in the second quarter was taken off the board by a questionable defensive penalty. Instead, the Bears scored a touchdown on the next play to tie the game. A 50 yard touchdown bomb by Brett Favre after some more strong Green Bay running had the Packers back up 14-7. Favre was ridiculous in the first half, going 19 for 22 with 243 yards passing. Two of the three incompletions were spikes. Green Bay led 17-7 at the break.

An exchange of field goals was followed by a play that makes anyone coaching Favre crazy. He is the touchdown leader, but is on his way to becoming the interception leader because being from Mississippi, he is a riverboat gambler. A pass across the field deep in his own territory was intercepted by Brian Urlacher. On the next play, Brian Griese threw a touchdown pass that cut the gap to 20-17. After an exchange of punts, Green Bay fumbled on the punt return, for their fourth turnover. Green Bay dominated the first three quarters statistically, but the Bears tied the game 20-20 due to the turnovers.

Brian Griese threw an interception with 12 minutes remaining, but in the second half Green Bay’s offense was nonexistent. A touchdown pass by Griese put the Bears in the lead for the first time all game. With two minutes left, Favre had the ball. Favre got the ball to the Bear 30 with 13 seconds left. On the last play of the game, Favre’s Hail Mary was intercepted in the end zone. It was Favre’s 3rd interception, the 5th green Bay turnover, and Favre’s 277th interception overall, allowing him to tie the all time George Blanda record. 27-20 Bears

Dallas Cowboys @ Buffalo Bills was the Monday night game. The of the game was the Bills punter. A perfectly executed fake punt kept a drive going, and even when it stalled, a punt rolled out at the Cowboy 2 yard line. The first half was a nightmare for Tony Romo, who had four…yes four…interceptions by halftime alone. The first one was returned for a touchdown and a 7-0 Bills lead. The second one led to no points when the Dallas defense stoned the Bills on 3rd and 1, and again on 4th and 1. Romo then threw a touchdown pass to Jason Witten to deadlock the game 7-7. Bills quarterback Trent Edwards played well throughout the first half, and his drive with three minutes left in the half set up a field goal for a 10-7 Bills lead. Romo’s third interception had him passing from his own end zone. It was deflected in the air and caught for another touchdown, putting the Bills up 17-7. Romo’s 4th interception set up a Ryan Lindell 54 yard field goal attempt. However, the kick was wide, and Romo showed a lot of character by leading a rapid drive that set up a successful field goal for Dallas. Despite having a miserable first half, the Cowboys were only down 17-10 at the break.

Terrell Owens, perhaps attempting to undo the damage he has inflicted upon himself, remained supportive of Romo, cheering him up after the interceptions. This was in contrast to his sideline blowup with Donovan McNabb, when the Eagles were 6-0. The key to Dallas this season will be what happens when there is adversity. Bill Parcells was unable to rein in Owens, so Wade Phillips will be judged based on whether or not he can.

The other people were those on the sidelines. Jim Kelly was watching as Thurman Thomas was being honored. Two of Kelly’s worst games were against Dallas, so it was a change of pace to see Dallas with all the turnovers.

In the same way kicker Scott Norwood bounced back after his miss heard round the world, Tony Romo bounced back as well. His last tie under the microscope was a disastrous fumbled snap that ended the Tuna’s era in Dallas. Romo led Dallas on a six minute drive to start the second half that led to a field goal, cutting the Bills lead to 17-13. The Bills apparently did not need an offense in this game. Two defensive touchdowns were complemented by Terrence Macghee’s 103 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put Buffalo up 24-13. A Dallas field goal cut the gap to eight, and the Cowboys were driving again when Tony Romo had his fifth turnover, this time a fumble with 10 minutes remaining. With Buffalo inside the Dallas 10 and needing only a field goal to possibly ice the game, Trent Edwards saw his flawless game go out the window. A sideline pass was deflected, intercepted, and returned 70 yards to the Buffalo 17. In a shocker, Tony Romo had his 6th turnover, as his 5th interception was returned from the Buffalo end zone and returned to the Buffalo 38 with five minutes remaining. T.O. was scowling on the sidelines.

The Dallas defense held, and with two minutes left, all Tony Romo did was to charge down the field and throw a touchdown pass with 20 seconds remaining. The 2 point conversion was perfectly thrown from Romo to T.O., but an even more perfect defensive play by Jabari Greer made the difference. Greer ripped the ball out of T.O.’s hands to preserve what looked like a Bills win. That was, until a perfectly executed onsides kick had Dallas at the Buffalo 47 with 18 seconds left and no timeouts.

Yes, the game was that ridiculous, as well as that thrilling. A pass to T.O. inbounds led to a spike with one second left in field goal range. The pass was ruled incomplete on review, and the clock was reset to 13 seconds. In an even more bizarre scene, backup Cowboy quarterback Brad Johnson argued that because the ball was spiked before the review, the pass should count anyway. It did not. A pass to Shawn Barber got to the Buffalo 43 with 7 seconds left. A pass to Creighton got to the Bills 35 with 2 seconds left. A 52 yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk was…GOOD! Cowboys win!

Ummm…no, they don’t. Somebody slap Mike Shanahan. A timeout was called at the very last second. A second attempt was…GOOD! AGAIN! This time it counted.

I have often said that everything a person can teach their children in life can be learned from football. Somebody buy Tony Romo a beverage. The Cowboys remained unbeaten, the Bills lost a shocker, and this game will go down as one of the all time great comebacks.  25-24 Cowboys

In the Adult Sports League that I am playing in, I played all of the first half and some of the second half before having to take a friend to the airport. This does not happen in the NFL. We were down 26-8 when I left. I did not enhance or detract from the team in any way, as the Brown team lost to the Black team.

As for the Oakland Raiders, they are actually in sole possession of first place!

God bless the bye week. The last time the Raiders led the division was 2002, and that year they went to the Superbowl. I’m just saying…

eric :)

Desperately Seeking Susan and other bored Filipino Housewives

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Terri Hatcher rambled hysterically and incoherently. This is understandable, because she gets paid good money to have her character, Susan Meyer, act like a helpless airhead. The whole point of “Desperate Housewives (yes, there actually is one),” is to show that rich, hot women actually have problems. Of course this is untrue, but it makes the average American feel better about themselves.

Some people have better things to do than watching Eva Longoria and Terri Hatcher traipse around like an older but still hot version of “Girls Gone Wild.” Those people are heterosexual females and homosexual males, and I respect their right to be bored with a television show that is basically a 60 minute “Summer’s Eve” commercial.

Regarding hot women, apparently some jealous people feel that they should be seen, but not ever heard. The Desperate Housewives are all the rage, and apparently that rage is now being directed at them by a Filipino group demanding justice.

Terri Hatcher’s character remarked that we should bomb all Filipinos and send them back to wherever they come from, which according to my extensive research, is the Filipines. Ok, I made the bombing part up. Teri Hatcher’s character, in a state of hysteria, asked her doctor if he got his degree from the Filipines. This was meant to inquire if the doctor had an inferior degree.

The reason why few people dislike Filipinos is because most of them keep their mouths shut, go to work, and take care of their families. Any culture that does not currently emulate these values should immediately begin doing so. Freedom of speech gives me the right to think that people who open their mouths and spout nonsense are imbeciles. So now some Filipinos are fighting for their right to stop being seen as successful high achievers, and instead be seen as hypersensitive oppressed people that cry over nothing.

One of the leaders of America’s next potential ethnic lynch mob is Kevin Nadal. Mr. Nadal has many job descriptions, and whether or not they are actual real jobs is not for me to judge. He “specializes in multicultural consulting, facilitation training, and diversity awareness issues.” So basically, he finds healthy companies, screws them up, and earns a healthy fee doing so. I hope I do not get in trouble for using a word that contains one syllable that is actually an Asian slur, but “multicultural consulting” sounds like gobbledygook to me. Yes, I said gobbledygook. Maybe I do need this consulting.

For those wondering why I am directing fire at somebody who until yesterday was famous for being anonymous, this fellow went on Bill O’Reilly’s program to declare that people must be more sensitive to other people’s cultures. Ok, fair enough. However, he then said the following to Mr. O’Reilly:

“somebody from the midwest or the south, who doesn’t even know what a Phillipino is, and then they watch this show…”

I then wrote the following to Mr. Nadal:

“Mr. Nadal,

When you expressed your opinions on Bill O’Reilly’s show, you made an overwhelmingly insensitive remark.

You stated, ‘somebody from the midwest or the south, who doesn’t even know what a Filipino is, and then they watch this show…’

Nice job. Southerners are bubbas, and middle America are all a bunch of squares and yokels that think the glamour of Desperate Housewives is real life, and could not possibly be educated enough to know what a Filipino looks or sounds like.

One does not need an advanced degree to know what an arrogant liberal gasbag looks and sounds like.

Given that all middle America is pasty white people, and that they are all the same, I do not expect them to be protesting in the streets at your remark. They are too busy playing croquet and attending macaroni and cheese baking parties, with white Wonder Bread on the side of course.

Comments like yours tell me that ‘multicultural consulting,’ while paying better than unemployment, contributes less to society.

eric aka ‘The Tygrrrr Express’

For those who still do not seem to understand the heart of this matter, let me crystallize it for you in terms that even a bored activist who may or may not be Filipino, a housewife, or both, can understand.

As somebody who loves watching Desperate Housewives (Eva Longoria is the reason I am not a social conservative), the one thing that people who got angry about the “joke” missed was that Teri Hatcher’s character is on many levels an “airhead.” She was not cast in a positive light during that scene. She was rambling hysterically as her doctor tried to calm her down. I equated this to the Seinfeld “Puerto Rican Day Parade” episode that caused flak when a Puerto Rican flag was banned. The character who burned the flag was seen as the idiot, not the Puerto Rican people.

Filipinos should worry about what Non-Filipinos should worry about…that Islamofacists are trying to murder us all…not some tv show.

My dad is a Holocaust survivor, but I am not going to go ape-spit over the “Soup Nazi.”

Lighten up America (when I say lighten up I am not implying that we must all become caucasian). Randy Newman thinks that “short people have no reason to live.” I will not be suing him, although I did sue Santa Claus when I was 8 years old for being an anti-semite. My republican father straightened me out, and I dropped the class action I was organizing with my Jewish friends.

Another thing that has to be looked at is intent. Did Desperate Housewives have a political agenda against the people of the Filipines? No. Does it have any political agenda? No.

Desperate Housewives is about hot women frolicking around in their undies. Whether or not that is good or bad for society (me likey), the show itself is hardly a pillar of ideological controversy.

However, one character who is “uptight” and “proper” is a republican, and in one scene when told she was being uptight about something sexual, the other character said, “You are such a republican.” It was meant as a good natured tease.

The show is harmless, except for the anti-undie frolicking crowd.

The bottom line is that if I were to advocate burning French or Belgian people in effigy, I would rightly be described as a hate monger. However, civil rights lawyers do not need to be called if I merely burn or even advocating burning French toast or Belgian waffles. Hey, I like my food extra well done.

This desperate tempest in a housewife’s teapot is the equivalent of a waffle, and waffles are only bad when they are affiliated with politicians, be they Belgian or otherwise.

As for those who are desperately seeking Susan, she is a fictional character. If Desperate Housewives is truly what riles people up, then the problem is not the women of Wisteria Lane. It is that in addition to every other aggrieved group on the planet, society now needs to be concerned with desperate…and incredibly bored…Filipino Housewives.


Death on Simchas Torah

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Sometimes I decide what my column will be, and sometimes life events decide for me. Sadly enough, real life has intervened.

Thursday, October 4th, 2007, was the Jewish holiday of Simchas Torah. Simchas means “joy.” It is one of the most festive nights in the Jewish calendar, as people sing, dance and drink to excess. Judaism actually has two drinking holidays. On this day Jews are commanded to drink “until they cannot distinguish Mordechai from Esther.” Yes, there are Jewish people who ignore the rules all year and then declare themselves religious on this night as an excuse to imbibe, but for the true believers, it is a night of letting loose.

I do not drink, for no other reason than I do not like the taste of alcohol. I prefer soda. Yet in years past, on Simchas Torah, I have been “the goalie.” People would spill out into the streets, and I would kick them back into the temple and away from oncoming traffic.

One of my friends once got so blasted that he pointed and yelled out, “Who is that Amish guy, and why is he wearing the Rabbi’s pants?” I explained to him that he had had enough alcohol for one night.

I laid down for a nap to pace myself for a long night of partying. I then remembered that there was this young lady I was supposed to call. A man keeps his word, and in a sleepy haze I called her. There is something about hot women that just makes them a joy to talk to on the telephone. So between a hot girl and a night of partying, life was good.

Then the phone call came. It was my friend from Miami, who I used to work with. We were stock traders, and kept in touch long after we scattered across the country. He asked me how I was, and I replied in typical classy fashion, “Hey bro, can I call you back, I’ve got a hot girl on the other line.” He said, “Eric…Zack died this morning.”

After a triple take, where I was positive he said anything but that, I told him, “Ok, let me get rid of this girl on the other line.” I was polite with her, but I quickly told her what happened, and she more than understood. Perhaps it is because she is a registered nurse. More likely, it is because she is a decent human being.

The conversation about Zack was less than five minutes. In short, he had just been given bad luck in life’s lottery. He was a professional athlete, a tall and handsome Israeli fellow, and a former Israeli army soldier. He was also somebody that was just born with a bad heart. He had open heart surgery before, but I thought he was fine. Now, at age 42, he is gone. This was not about drugs, alcohol or anything else. It was just a good hearted human being who was not given the heart he needed to survive.

I do not even think the bond was about our being Jewish. I think it was because we are stock traders. To trade stocks, you have to be a little off kilter, and every one of us that worked at the firm we were at were slightly out of wack. Some jobs people leave, and they never communicate with anyone again. This job…we were like a family. We kept in touch. We hung out. Again, on tough days financially, we had each other.

I remember one of our guys getting so frustrated that he yelled out, “That’s it! I’m trading pantsless!” He then yelled out, “I’ve already lost my shirt to the market, I might as well give it all up! I’m dropping trou (sers)!”

Zack used to tease me because he was a big trader and I was a little trader. Not just in terms of height, but in terms of size. Yes, when trading, size matters. He would joke that the hundred shares I was trading would mess up the market if he was trading a couple thousand shares of the same stock. I was good at picking stocks to trade, but never had the guts to go balls out. He did. When he had a losing trade, he would say, “Ricky, quit messing up the markets!”

My name is Eric, but he used to call me Ricky. I never knew why, but it beats being called an expletive. His name was Zach, So I called him “Zachariah.” To me Zachariah is the name of an old guy with white hair, and it bothers me that he will never become that guy.

People think of trading as stressful, but life is as stressful as you make it. Zack was a calm guy, probably because he had bigger worries than the stock market. Also, people think of the stock market as constant action, but there are times when things are very slow and uneventful. To me, most of the action was in the first couple hours and the last hour. During the middle of the trading day, several of us would do what all bored men do when not trading stocks…surf the internet for women.

I preferred Jdate, but Zack preferred because it was a larger pool. I remember once during the trading day Zack got angry, and banged his fist on the table and said, “I don’t believe this, are you kidding me!” I asked him what stock he was trading (assuming he had just lost money), and he replied, “No man, this girl on just declined my instant message. Who does she think she is?” We all laughed.

One odd thing I used to do was inspired by a bizarre commercial where a waiter rubs a customer’s head in the restaurant while singing to the customer, “You don’t know how many times I wish that I could hold you.” I adopted that as my theme, and whenever that song came on, would walk over to a different coworker and sing that one line. I tried that with Zack once, and he said, “Ricky, get a woman and hold her, but if you try to hold me we are going to have problems.” I told him I already had plenty of problems and he replied, “Yes, but you trying to hold me makes your problems my problems. Now when you go back to your desk, don’t mess up the market. Tell me what you are trading so I can trade something else.”

It is still hard to fathom that Zack is gone.

I have said many times that I believe in God. I do not understand God’s motives, but I believe God has a plan. Yes, I have free will, but God is going to do what God is going to do. One could make a speech about being responsible for their own actions, but that does not apply here. Zack was simply born with a medical defect, and that defect cheated him out of the old age that people feel they are entitled to having.

As soon as I get the information, I will send a condolence card. I will then do what I always do in a situation like this…call my parents, tell them I love them, and be grateful that I still have them.

I will sit, have a beverage, and think about what it all means, and try to make sense of it. I could try to make myself feel better by claiming that God takes the ones he loves and needs most first. That is a copout. It does not help.

I will say a prayer for Zack’s family, and then keep my mouth shut, because there is nothing I can say to make the situation better.

I lost a friend. I only hope that as soon as he got to Heaven, he told God to start pouring the drinks, and bring on the ladies, because it was Simchas Torah.

Take care Zack. May every day in the afterlife be Simchas Torah for you.



My Interview With Burt Prelutsky

Thursday, October 4th, 2007
I had the recent pleasure of interviewing long time entertainment industry writer and current political blogger Burt Prelutsky. His book “Conservatives are from Mars, liberals are from San Francisco” showcases his humor with his political beliefs. Yes, he is serious about issues, but the guy is also downright funny. I attended two lectures recently where he gave reasons why he “left the left.” He is not for open borders, except when it comes to free speech and hard hitting opinion. 


1)    What television shows are you most proud of working on, and if any, which were you most ashamed to be associated with?


“MASH was a good credit, but I wasn’t a big fan of the show.  I’m prouder of my TV movies than I am of the shows I wrote for.  I wasn’t ashamed of any of them.  If I had been, I wouldn’t have written for them.  Well, I would have during the 1990s when ageism kicked in, but by then jobs were very hard to come by.”


2)   Do you think the state of television today is better, worse or the same as in years past, and why? What are the best and worst of television today, and what is needed to improve the state of television today?


“TV is a lot worse than it ever was.  That’s mainly because so-called reality TV has taken over so much air time.  Also, the audience keeps getting dumber and dumber.”


3)        What led you to Townhall, and what is your mission with regards to your contribution to Townhall?


“My mission in life is to ridicule liberals and to give comfort to conservatives, to remind them that, in spite of what the MSM says, they remain the last great hope of America and therefore the hope of the world.”


4)        Who are your top 3 American political heroes? Who are your top 3 Worldwide political heroes?


“I liked Jefferson, Lincoln and Reagan.  On a personal level, I liked Truman, but, after reading Coulter’s ‘Treason,’ I think I may have been easy on him.  Among the non-Americans, I liked Churchill, Thatcher and, so far at least, Sarkozy.” 


5)    What entertainment industry people over time have you admired most?

 “There are plenty of people in the entertainment industry I’ve admired.  There are or have been hundreds of very talented people who have given us great movies and great TV.  Among the folks in show business that I’ve most admired have been Billy Wilder, Preston Sturges and Elmer Bernstein.  Those that I’ve personally known and liked have included Oscar Levant, Groucho Marx, Jamie Farr, Pat Sajak and George Kennedy.”


6) What separates you from the many conservative authors in general? Do you have a special niche or theme? 


“I write better and usually more humorously than the others do.”


7) In general the media are seen very unfavorably. Do you believe this reputation is justified, overblown or even understated? If not overblown, what can the media do to improve itself?


“The media is as bad as it can be.  It serves as a Fifth Column.  If Stalin were still alive, he’d be favorably impressed.  The media could be improved if wealthy conservatives would buy up newspapers and TV stations.”


8.) Do you belong to any religious faith, and does that faith play any role in either your career or the stories you cover?


“I am not religious.  But I have a soft spot for Christianity because the majority of Americans are Christians, and they serve as a wonderful example when it comes to religious tolerance.”


9) Given the liberal bias in education, how do you or anybody get through to the “South Park Conservatives” before they get indoctrinated? What is the key?


“School vouchers would be a step in the right direction.  Also, conservatives should steer their children to colleges and universities which aren’t little red schoolhouses.  But they won’t because they’re snobbish enough to be impressed if the kid gets accepted by Harvard, Yale or Berkeley.”


10) Do you believe that “infotainment” should be banned from the nightly news? Should the news only be “hard news,” with celebrity stories relegated to shows such as Access Hollywood? Is the news harmed by infotainment stories, or is that overblown?


“I wouldn’t ban it.  But, then, I don’t watch the nightly news. The news isn’t harmed by dealing with Hollywood celebrities.  It’s usually a lot more interesting than news dealing with Washington celebrities.”


11) What are your thoughts on the 2008 elections? What makes 2008 important to you?


“It’s a chance for someone to defeat Hillary Clinton.  I am pulling for Giuliani to get the nomination because I believe in a general election he has the best shot; partly because he might be able to take New York and New Jersey.  Of course the problem is that a lot of lemming-like Republicans might sit it out because Rudy isn’t their dream boat candidate and one mustn’t overlook the Ron Paul nuts who may drag off enough GOP votes to cost the Republicans the election the way Ross Perot did in the past.”


12) Are you backing any candidate in particular, and if so, why? 


(See #11.)


13) What are your views on the Bush Doctrine of preemptive military force?  If given five minutes to interview President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and General David Petraeus, what would you ask them?


“I am in favor of preemptive military force, although I don’t accept that we employed it in Iraq.  Hussein had lost a war and then, in order to retain power, agreed to abide by the terms of surrender.  This he failed to do, as all the leading Democrats pointed out during the 1990s, but they did nothing about it.  If I had five minutes, I wouldn’t waste it on Cheney or the good general.  Instead, I would ask Bush why he hogtied the military in Iraq, forcing them to fight house-to-house instead of laying waste to the place.  I would also like him to explain why he’s spent six years playing the role of Mexico’s punk.”


14) Given that there are many liberals in America, why are they failing in some segments of the media from a ratings, and more importantly, a financial standpoint? Are Air America and the Jayson Blair Times anomolies, or typical of a larger problem? 


“The media has become a propaganda machine for the far left.  One almost has to admire the way they have put their agenda ahead of their bottom line.  Every day I pick up the L.A. Times and marvel at the fact that they insist on insulting the beliefs of, say, 40% of their potential readership, even though it’s cost them well over 300,000 subscriptions in the past half dozen years.  The NY Times is a wonderful example of self-promotion.  They’ve been a rag at least since the early 30s, when their Moscow correspondent, Walter Duranty, won a Pulitzer for his Stalinist propaganda.”


15) What was the last straw that caused you to switch your political affiliation?


“Hating myself for having voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976.”


16) What advice would you give somebody trying to make it in television today? What about the overall entertainment industry?


“I’d advise against it.  The people who would ignore my sage advice just might have a chance to succeed.  But 99.99% of them will eventually wind up selling houses or cars.”


17) What do you think have been the most positive achievements of the Bush Presidency, and what has left you most disappointed?


“The best thing he did was invade Iraq.  It showed that he accepted that we are at war with Islam.  I was disappointed at the way he insisted it be fought, with an eye on how it would play in the MSM.  Just as LBJ allowed Walter Cronkite to cost us a victory in Vietnam, Bush has allowed Cronkite’s kids to cost us a quick win in Iraq.  I also wish he had a backbone when it came to Mexico.” 


18) You are President on January 20th, 2009. What are the first three things you do? What is your hundred day plan?


“I get the wall built across our southern border and I create a national ID card.  I’d find a way to crack down on any municipality that announced it was a sanctuary city, even if it meant having federal marshals arrest the mayors.  At the same time, I cut off all social services to illegal aliens. They had a very difficult time sneaking into our country.  They would have a far easier time getting out.  I contact the underground in Iran and, together with them, I take out Ahmadinejad, the Mullahs and the nuclear facility. And I alert every other Islamic country that either they crack down on Hamas, Al Qaeda, etc., etc., or the U.S. cracks down on them.  And that definitely includes Syria and Saudi Arabia. And perhaps before I did any of those other things, I would make sexual crimes against children a federal matter, and see to it that the punishment was, at the very least, life in a very nasty prison.”


19) If you have five minutes on O’Reilly or Hannity right now, what do you talk about?


“I would talk about what gas bags O’Reilly and Hannity are.  Or I could just make fun of Alan Colmes.”


20) What do you want people to know most about you? What do you want most out of this world?


“That I’m a terrific writer and they would all do well to not only buy my book–seeing as how they buy really dumb books allegedly written by people named Clinton–but that they read it.Most?  Several more years of life, so long as I don’t have to spend them in the offices of doctors and surgeons, to be followed by a quick and painless death.  I would also like to see more conservatives in elective office, and I would like to see liberals go the way of the Whigs.”


I again thank Burt for his time, and anyone suggesting he should mend fences should be prepared for him to reply that it cannot be mended if it is never built to begin with.