Archive for May, 2008

I called mom yesterday

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

For those of you wondering how long it would take for me to just simply recycle columns, the answer is not “every single day.” However, to come up with an original column every year for a holiday that my mother simply does not care about would be pointless. I could write about something else, but then others would ask why I neglect my mother.

With that, I present last year’s column “Dear Mom, Happy Useless Symbolic Holiday.” Updates to the column are solely to create the illusion of effort.

Oh, and I called my mom yesterday in case I were to accidentally forget today.

I called my mom today to wish her a happy useless symbolic holiday.

(Update…again, I called her yesterday…pay attention.)

No, I am not the worst son on the planet. I am not even in the worst 100. It is just that I was born to parents who simply do not care about holidays. This is not reverse psychology on their part. They just don’t care. I have never understood this, and I plan to make a big deal out of every holiday known to man when I have own family. Here is a contrast, from the beginning to the end of the calendar.

New Year’s Day–I have to find the biggest party in the biggest city with millions of people, be it Vegas, New Orleans, or Los Angeles. I somehow stagger out of bed to watch all the bowl games. My parents get up early, partly because they fell asleep the night before at 11pm and missed the ball drop, partly because they do not want to be slothful like me. They would not know a football from a meatball. My dad remarks that the Rose Bowl is as interesting to him as the toilet bowl.

(2008 update…no change.)

President’s Day–I am grateful for the day off. My parents are reminiscent of when Washington and Lincoln were worth separate days. Given that my parents are retired, I am at a loss as to why this concerns them.

(2008 update…they say I am at a loss to understand most things.)

Purim–I spend days perfecting my costumes and going to every party on the planet. My parents wonder when I am going to grow up.

(2008 update…my readers need to remind me to one day tell the story of going pantsless.)

Passover–I go to Seders because I enjoy them. My dad goes to one sometimes to keep my mom happy. We never had one in my home because the grandparents handled that.

(2008 update…Passover with the Chicago Cannonball was awesome…all holidays should involve lingerie…next year she insists it would be less weird if she was the one wearing it.)

Mother’s Day–I am exhausted from Cinco De Mayo or whatever other party was that week. I staggered out of bed today at 1pm, and wished my mom a Happy Mother’s Day. I didn’t get her flowers or a card because she finds that stuff useless and cluttering. She read a book and typed stuff on the computer, which coincidentally she did yesterday, and will do tomorrow. If I want to be a good son, she wants me to just live a good life.

(2008 update…My mom and the Chicago Cannonball are both mortified at the above tasteless lingerie joke from Passover.)

Father’s Day–Like my dad needs a necktie. He is retired. The phone call is not to interrupt his tv show. If I want to be a good son, spare the useless gifts and succeed at my job, have a decent haircut, shave, meet a nice girl , put money away for retirement, and stop flying so much. Every time a plane crashes, he worries. I wish him Happy Father’s Day anyway, and he repeats his litany of what he wants.

(2008 update…I met a nice girl…he will judge for himself. Either way, I am still saving money sparing him gifts.)

Independence Day–This one is a major deal for me. I break out the Toby Keith, the Mellencamp, and the Springsteen. I need a barbecue with lots of friends. My parents see a kid blowing his hand off with a roman candle on tv and pray I am smart enough not to do so. The fireworks used to disrupt the dogs, they remind me. We no longer have dogs, but my parents wish people could celebrate quietly.

(2008 update…American Joey Chestnut won the Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathans in Coney Island. Japan surrendered again.)

August–No holidays. I plan everything through the end of the year. My parents sit, watch tv, and relax…the same as the other 11 months.

(2008 update…I hate August. I have not had a day off since July. These 5 day work weeks are killing me.)

Labor Day–I am excited because the following week, football season starts. My dad worries that my intelligence level will drop because football season starts. He thinks we should have a holiday called “Shut the hell up and go to work day,” rather than give my lazy generation a day off. Nothing we do resembles labor, since we sit at desks and do not build buildings with our bare hands.

(2008 update…I am ignoring all of you because football is on.)

Halloween–This is the big one. I again pick out tons of costumes, spend months preparing, and go to every party, dragging things out a whole week. My parents wonder when I will grow up, the same as the other 364 days a year. I did stop trick or treating when I was 22, but costume parties…come on, that is for adults as well. Women dress up slutty. As I said, my favorite holiday.

(2008 update…The Chicago Cannonball will lord willing dress sluttier than anyone else I have ever met. In return, her list of demands may remain endless.)

Thanksgiving–We never celebrated this in my house. I would eat a Swanson dinner. To this day, if no one is around, I eat my Swanson Dinner, watch the Lions and the Cowboys, and relax. My parents do not like football, but they do sit and read books or watch tv.

(2008 update…There are now 3 football games instead of 2. I like this holiday 50% more than before.)

Hanukkah–8 days of partying, which I do from coast to coast. I have been in 4 different cities the last 2 years over the 8 days. My mom does light the candles, and I do visit my parents around this time of year. My dad remarks that I should find a nice girl, and then when I tell them I am going to Hanukkah parties, my dad asks which bimbo I am chasing this time. I tell them they are nice girls, and he responds that they are all nice girls, and I have no taste.

(2008…The Chicago Cannonball needs to show up at my door wearing a Hanukkah bow…and only a Hanukkah bow.)

New Year’s Eve–I call my parents at 10pm to see if they are still awake. They wish me a Happy New Year, tell me they love me, and ask me if I have plans to start the new year properly. I tell them I plan to sleep in and then watch football, and then both they and I lose interest in the conversation.

(2008 update…this might be in lieu of my snappy remark for 2009.)

I genuinely love my parents dearly. They are good people. For whatever reason, they simply do not get worked up over holidays. They never have.

It makes for a less stressful relationship. Some people have a month of stress trying to find dad the perfect necktie. I just have to roll out of bed, and make a perfunctory phone call that he could care less about receiving.

I sometimes think that they do not celebrate holidays because every day of having me as their son is a holiday. They reject that notion. Besides, if somebody ever created a holiday called “Tuck in your shirt, get a haircut, and shave day,” they would absolutely celebrate it with enthusiasm.

All I know is my future family had better be prepared. Everything is a big deal. I grew up watching the Cosby Show, and everybody is going to be gathered around my table.

Then again, with all the horror stories about people sitting down to dinner and fighting, perhaps I am better off knowing that my parents don’t need balloons, parades or fancy meals to know that I love them or vice versa.

I do call to wish them happy birthday, but they just sit and watch tv and relax. I naturally throw a big party and invite the world.

I love you mom. Happy useless symbolic holiday. I love you too dad. Happy useless symbolic holiday in advance, in case I forget to call. It is Sunday. As always, I will give you the best gift that you always wanted, the one you never had when I was growing up…peace and quiet. I will call in the afternoon so as not to wake you up. Ok, who am I kidding, you will be up 5 or 6 hours before me anyway. I will call you inthe afternoon so I can sleep in and get peace and quiet.

I would ask you when “son” day is, but then you would remark about how every day for 18 years was son day, and that you have the grocery bills to prove it.

I could send you a cd of Madonna singing “Holiday,” but you would use it as a coaster. Then you would tell me that you used to listen to “The Coasters,” who sing “Yakkety Yak, don’t talk back,” which is actually something that would make your day ideal if I ever decide to follow that advice.

I love you both. May you be around for many useless symbolic holidays for a long time to come. In my home, they will be a big deal, but don’t worry. You do not have to come or bring presents. 3000 miles is alot to travel for a useless symbolic gesture. A phone call will suffice. Actually, scratch that. Send lots of presents. In fact, any gift you have that you hate, just send it to me. Anything from precious metals to McDonalds gift certificates would be cherished.


(2008 update…I am still asleep…I called mom yesterday. That is good enough for her, and therefore good enough for me.)


John McCain vs Bill O’Reilly–The conclusion

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Bill O’Reilly wrapped up his interview with John McCain.

The first half of the interview was harmless, but did not break any new ground.

Before getting to the second half of the interview, O’Reilly performed a public service that every red blooded American male should thank him for. He had Amanda Carpenter and Mary Katharine Ham on at the same time. Because Amanda Carpenter did an interview with me, and Mary Katharine Ham was very friendly when I met her, I will resist my junior high school impulses to make comments that are beneath the dignity of these two smart, classy, republican women. Besides, the Chicago Cannonball and I are happy, rendering discussions of paddling or jello wrestling with other women inappropriate, even if they are republican.

Below is the substance of the second half of the interview.

Bill O’Reilly very frankly told John McCain why he supported waterboarding. McCain politely but firmly stood his ground on how he felt about the issue. O’Reilly pointed out that the Geneva Convention does not protect Al Queda, but McCain disagreed with exactly what the Geneva Convention represented.

When asked if he would support an Israeli preemptive strike against Iran by Benjamin Netanyahu (if he becomes Prime Minister of Israel), McCain stated that he would need to see the circumstances first. However, he then followed up this equivocation with a crystal clear view when he said, “I will never allow a second Holocaust.”

Regarding the Iraqi government, “they are functioning badly, but better.” He acknowledged significant progress in the last 6 months in Basra.

“Setting a date for withdrawal would cause chaos and genocide.”

“Nobody hates war more than those who have been in them.”

He cited Ronald Reagan’s “peace through strength,” and reiterated that he “would rather lose an election than lose a war.”

O’Reilly asked McCain the same question he asked Hillary, that being the location of hotbed activity in Pakistan. O’Reilly again mentioned Quetta, but McCain deftly pointed out that Whiziristan was the key.

McCain was asked about how he can straddle separating himself from the unpopular President George W. Bush without offending him or his supporters. McCain pointed out his differences on climate change and spending, and the War in Iraq.
This part of the interview was only about 6 minutes long, yet it contained more meat than the much longer first part of the interview.

This was the best part of the interview. John McCain is a man of deep convictions and principles, and on areas where others may disagree with vehemently, they still admire his honor and integrity.

This was also a fairly “quiet” interview. What I mean is that with John McCain, you have to listen to him. He does not yell or rant or rave. He speaks in a calm, quiet voice, but his words matter.

This interview started wrong but finished strong.

The interviewer, with all respect to Bill O’Reilly, is barely relevant. John McCain is an adult, and those wanting serious answers to serious questions should listen further to John McCain.


John McCain vs Bill O’Reilly

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Senator John McCain entered the No Spin Zone yesterday and answered questions from Bill O’Reilly.

The interview was very cordial and polite.

John McCain’s comments are below.

“Obama’s main weakness is inexperience and lack of judgment, such as sitting down with leaders who want to destroy Israel, and raising taxes, including capital gains taxes.”

“If Iran abandons their rhetoric on issues such as Israel, then perhaps sitting down can work.”

“The issue of Reverend Jeremiah Wright is between Obama and the American people. Obama says it is a legitimate political issue. I condemn Reverend Wright’s remarks, and will let the American people decide for themselves.”

“This campaign will be about vision, a plan of action. People are hurting right now.”

“The worst time to raise taxes in an economic downturn.”

“If you call 100 million people rich, I don’t think that is the rich in America, and they do not see themselves as rich either.”

“I steadfastly reject and repudiate Pastor Hagee’s comments. I accept his endorsement. He endorsed me.”

He answered the issue of the Jayson Blair Times’s hit job on him regarding a female lobbyist with dignity.

“I have had tougher times in my life than a political campaign, my friend. I have faith in the American people and their judgment.”

O’Reilly hit hard regarding one of the worst pieces of legislation to come into existence in recent years.

“George Soros was the main beneficiary of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law.”

McCain shifted the debate, not wanting to discuss that issue. He laughed regarding Arianna Huffington’s comments about him faking being tortured. He does not read the Huffington Post.

O’Reilly then bashed oil companies in a manner that would make socialists proud. McCain referred to his plan to repeal the gasoline tax from May through September as temporary relief. O’Reilly then asked why gas prices have gone so high. McCain blamed the Cartel that can set prices as they see fit.

As for drilling in ANWR in Alaska, John McCain is against drilling there or in the Grand Canyon or the Everglades.

O’Reilly point out that nobody lives there. McCain responded that the areas are pristine, leading O’Reilly to retort “So what?”

On illegal immigration, McCain does not approve sanctuary cities.

With regard to health care, “it’s not quality of health care, it is cost issue. If your employer is paying for it, you won’t care.”

He will be releasing his medical records “very soon, in the next couple weeks or so.”

As for this interview, it did not break any new ground. Both men were respectful, but the interview was on the bland side. There did not seem to be any passion in O’Reilly, with the exception of his off target attacks on the oil companies.

I found very little to criticize about this interview, but if it changed anybody’s mind, I would be surprised.

McCain is at his best when he speaks from his heart. He has always been a “reluctant hero.” While there is much truth to the notion that real heroes do not need to announce that they are heroes, Senator McCain needs to open up more and let people in.

No, I am not advocating they he imitates Barbara Walters, and starts revealing details nobody wishes to hear. I just think that he is too reluctant to mention the sacrifices he has made for America. His remarks about “having faced bigger troubles” than comments from people like Arianna Huffington, are too subtle.

O’Reilly did not say or do anything inappropriate, but his show is known for tough questions and answers that give us more insight into the interviewee.

That did not occur during the first half of his interview with the Senator.


Giant rebuttals about God

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

A debate about God between intellectual titans took place at Baht Yam Synagogue on Thursday, May 1st, 2008.

Dennis Prager offered the Jewish perspective. Dinesh D’Souza offered the Christian perspective. Christopher Hitchens offered the Atheist perspective.

While the opening statements of all three men were impressive, the red meat of the evening were the rebuttals and cross examinations.

Rather than offer any analysis, this column shall remain descriptive in nature in the spirit of William Shakespeare, who is rumored to have said, “The play is the thing.”

The analysis shall be left to the readers of the Tygrrrr Express.

With that, below are the rebuttals and cross examinations of the debate participants.

Hitchens: Mr. Prager claims that there are secular roots of anti-semitism. This is not true. The worst anti-semitism has come in the form of Catholic right wing fascism.

Prager: There was no secularism until the Philosophes of the 18th century. Hatred goes back 3000 years. There are no secular roots when there is no secularism. Yet most anti-semitism today comes from the secular left.

Hitchens: The worst anti-semitism comes from Hamas and other practitioners of Islamofacism, who are the brothers of Jews and Christians. 60 years ago it was Catholic right wing extremism. Now it is Islamic right wing extremism where anti-semitism flourishes.

Hitchens: The Pope claims that there is only one true Christianity. Mr. D’Souza, how do you feel about that?

D’Souza: I do not know how I feel about that. I am a Catholic. My wife is an evangelical Christian. I consider myself a “Neo-Christian.”

Hitchens: This is why religion is a “clerical cafeteria.” People take bits and pieces and choose whatever fits. True Catholicism requires that one reject all other forms of Christianity. This is a “soft ecumenicalism.”

D’Souza: Atheism is parochial. Christianity states that Judaism is true. Catholicism places one’s conscience as greater than the Pope. Atheism is intolerant.

Prager: Mr. Hitchens, do you ever at any time doubt your Atheism?

Hitchens: Atheism is based on doubt, but I never believe in God. I have tried to doubt Atheism and believe in God. I cannot. The laws of biology did not emanate from some divine cloud.

Prager: Arrogance comes in the form of certitude. Religious people question their own beliefs. Atheism is dogmatic. Religious people are much more openminded. As for the early challenge of finding good actions by religious people that secularists can’t do, I am now ready to collect my prize. Pearl and Sam Oliner of Humboldt University wrote the “Book on Altruism.” It discusses the rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. The Jews during the Holocaust were not knocking on doors of doctors and other secular professionals. They were knocking on doors for the people who would help them. They wanted the Priests to save them. The Priests helped save them because God told them to help their fellow man from evil.

Hitchens: Jews did not turn to the Churches. The Churches were aligned with Hitler and Mussolini. They celebrated Hitler’s birthday every year until 1945. Documents of Jews were turned over so Nuremberg laws could be enforced. Not one Church leader was excommunicated over this. Nazi leaders were not excommunicated for this, not Heidrich or Himmler. Joseph Goebbels was excommunicated for intermarrying with anther denomination of Christian.

Prager: Mr. D’Souza, do you believe that Jews, who reject Jesus, are safe?

D’Souza: Yes. The bible talks about Abraham in Heaven, long before Jesus. My evangelical wife would agree, albeit with further discussion. Christianity argues for the God of Israel, and universalizes it.

D’Souza: Mr Hitchens, religion has brought much good and beauty into Western culture, from the music of Bach to the beautiful gigantic cathedrals. Can you see any good in religion?

Hitchens: I see secularists being murdered by religious cults. One can have culture without superstition and the supernatural.

D’Souza: Zeus did not destroy the Parthenon.

Hitchens: Belief in cults, aka religion, was often coerced. Temples based on human sacrifices were a bad idea of religion.

D’Souza: Where is the Christian Bin Laden? Where is the Christian Hamas?

Hitchens: In the 1930s, it was the Roman Catholic Church that was the most dangerous. Religions take turns. Northern Ireland had their time. Now it is the Islamofascists turn.

D’Souza: Some secularists argue that Jesus Christ was fictional. How can this be? There are only two sources for Socrates, one of which was Plato. How can opne follow Socrates when Jesus had many more sources in terms of proof of existence?

Hitchens. There is no proof of Socrates. I have often stated that I can revere the Socratic Method without Socrates.

D’souza: All historical figured have fragmentary evidence.

Hitchens: Alexander the Great has coins in his name. Jesus has only fan support. There is no evidence of Jesus or Moses. We have found the graves of the Macedonians. Where is Jesus’s grave?

D’Souza” Mr. Prager has stated that the Old Testament God is vengeful? How does that get explained? The Christian God is loving.

Prager: With regards to God’s vengeance, wrath was inflicted upon those that committed evil. Israel’s enemies were wiped out because of their evil. Evil was child sacrifice. The greatness of the Hebrew bible is that it is filled with self criticism. Jews judge all people including Pagans by their decency. Christians judge people by their beliefs, where everyone ends up in Hell. The Old Testament says “Love thy neighbor.”

Hitchens: The advantage of Judaism is because it had an equal relationship with Hellenism. The heretics were Christians. Judaism is intellectually superior to Christianity. Torturing one to death (Jesus) to absolve others is hideous. 99.8% of species cease to exist. Earth is the only planet to exist. The universe is exploding away. We are heading to nothingness. Only an unkind designer, a cruel and indifferent one, would create something only to destroy it.

Prager: I desire a just world, a world with no child rape, war, or pre-menstrual syndrome. Death gives meaning to life. Meaning is what makes me read and get out of bed. The alternative to an unjust world is worse. Judaism leads to repairing the world. In the same day we circumcise a child for it’s health, the eight day of the world is circumcision repairing. As for cultural achievements without the supernatural, the death of God has led to the death of culture. Music and art today suck. Secularism has led to fecal paintings and blood smearings. Secularism is an empty chamber.

D’Souza: Has the principle of virtue been invented by Theism? Yes, in the form of abolishing slavery. Western civilization fought against slavery. Slavery was controversial in the modern era, and objected to by Quakers and evangelicals that believed the notion that all men are created equal, and that no man can rule another. Representative democracy requires consent. There were no Atheist anti-slavery movements anywhere. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” supports Christianity from 1933 to 1936 solely to appease the German churches. The book “Hitler’s Table Talk” offers complete venom towards Christianity. Heidrich and Himmler wanted to destroy the churches. Mr. Hitchens blames crimes of Christians on Christianity, yet he also blames crimes of Atheists on Christianity. This is cheating. Peace loving Atheists are therefore to blame for secular killers. Pol Pot was only a “little Atheist.” After all, he was not as bad as Stalin or Mao or Kim Jong Il. Pol pot only killed two million people.

Hitchens: Hitler’s men hated the church, but they still groveled at it. I am not responsible for Pol Pot unless I feel that the Khmer Rouge were just misunderstood cultural reformers. I do not. North Korea is not secular. North Korea is led by a religious zealot. The people are taught that Kim Jong Il is the reincarnation of Kim Il Sung. The son is the reincarnation of the father. That is only one short of the trinity. Stalinism is equal to the Czar in terms of tactics. The only nation to have a written secular Constitution is the USA, and it works. Slavery was biblical in birth. The South said, “God is on our side. God will vindicate us.” Ben Franklin and other Founding Fathers had no God. Not all is just, but order and design give way to chaos and collapse. Misery is not my problem, and a penis needing to be snipped is not very well thought out. A God that sanctions this is heartless.

Prager: Young kids think they are intelligent by asking if God could make a rock so big that even he could not lift it. As adults we realize the utter nonsense of such questions.Celery would be fattening and cheesecake would be healthy if I were God. God is not natural, and God does not need to be started. Only nature does. Try to explain every human cell, or endoplasmic reticulum. Scientists are baffled by this. Saying North Korea is religious is wrong. It is not a God based religion. The human being is designed to find meaning. Secularism has no meaning since it’s all nothing. Religious people believe that life has meaning. Therefore, meaning requires a meaning giver, which is God. Life is not about being trouble free. Life is about meaning. That is what keeps me balanced, God and His Torah.

D’Souza: To quote Winston Churchill, “It is great to be shot at without result.” Slavery only became controversial and criticized by Christendom. Human life had little value in ancient Greece and Rome. Babies died, and were quickly replaced. Thinkers did not care, and the value of life was not thought of. The Founding Fathers cited God in declaring equality and as the source of all of our rights. They adhered to a “Transcendent Creator.” We feel zero guilt as religious people for Stalin and North Korea. The Inquisition killed 2000 people. Yes, even one is too many. Yet ordinary Atheism on a normal afternoon kills more.  Atheism is incidental to Marxism based on class and Nazism based on race.

As for the Tygrrrr Express, this is not the final word on the subject. It is not even the final word on the event itself. Even closing statements, which by definition are the conclusion of most events, were not the finale. Those closing statements will be offered soon, followed by questions and answers.

Yet when all was said and done, there were more questions, fewer answers, and thunderous applause for three men that brought a debate that was and is vigorous, vital, and important.


From Indiana to North Carolina to Washington, DC

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

The Tygrrrr Express arrived in Washington, DC last night. I will only be here for several hours, flying back to Los Angeles this evening.

My six hour meeting in DC is part of an event for the leadership of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

The second half of the meeting will be a trip to the White House. I think I went once as a kid to DC, but I do not remember it. My social security number has already been run, and as expected, my background check came back cleaner than a baby’s hide. Thank heavens fistfights in junior high school do not count.

Sadly enough I will not get to meet “The Dub.” He is busy working. However, I will get to meet his press secretary Dana Perino, as well as John McCain’s campaign manager.

However, with all due respect to both of them, the real thrill will be the initial meetings. Columnist and pundit Bill Kristol will be there. I like Bill Kristol, but in my mind, he is not the main event.

I rarely bow down before people, but the man I am flying to see is no mere mortal.

Yes, I will have the absolute thrill and privilege of meeting Sir Charles of Krauthammer.

I keep hearing this man is just a man like others, but I suspect the evidence would suggest otherwise. God gave him less physical mobility, confining him to a wheelchair. Instead he simply gave the man a finer mind than most Earthlings, myself included many times over.

My friends and I belong to a group called the “Republican Zionist Crusader Alliance (For World Domination). It sounds sinister, but it really consists of three guys that talk politics while watching football. I would be happy to offer membership to Sir Charles of Krauthammer if he desires the “privilege.”

This is all a fancy way of saying that my meetings and subsequent travels today leave me no ability to provide adequate coverage of the results from the North Carolina and Indiana primaries.

As I have mentioned before, the movie L.A. Story, with Steve Martin, had him predicting the weather in advance. I prefer Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam saying, “Today, it’s hot. Tomorrow, it’s hot. The next day, it’s hot.”

Therefore, here are my pre-written summations of the results from North Carolina and Indiana.

Heck, it is one thing to offer ham handed comments in lieu of serious analysis. To offer recycled ham handed comments…now that takes a true lack of talent and effort.

Anyway, replace the words “Texas” and “Ohio” with “Indiana” and “North Carolina,” and that is exactly what probably happened. Also replace “Las Vegas” with “Washington, DC,” and “Chicago” with “Los Angeles,” to reflect where I am and where I am flying to later in the evening.

Now I can enjoy the conference with a clear conscience knowing that everything has been wrapped up in a nice little bow.

Yes folks, a column that would make Sir Charles of Krauthammer proud.

Ok, not really. Nevertheless, in an attempt to make this column readable, attached are some columns of Charles Krauthammer predicting the results of the 2008 primaries. That way, if he is wrong, then I most certainly am allowed to be as well.


Gabbing about God–The Beginning

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

The long running television show “The Simpsons” once did a parody of a serious religious debate show. The serious debate program is “Religion on the line.” The parody was “Gabbing about God.”

I had the pleasure of attending a very serious debate about God. Offering the Jewish Perspective was Dennis Prager. Dinesh D’Souza offered the Christian Perspective. The Atheistic perspective was offered by Christopher Hitchens.

The entire event was so substantive that days are required to provide its full depth. So for now, it is time to go back to the very beginning. In this case, the very beginning means each man’s opening statements.

Arguing the perspective that there was no God, because if there was, God would be horrible, Christopher Hitchens began.

“I normally wear garlic when entering a temple.”

“It is ironic that we are working today on the day of the international melee (May 1st).”

“Commandments are meant to be broken.”

“Religion poisons everything. It attacks us in our deepest integrity. It makes us animals. It makes us a ‘Celestial North Korea.'”

“To reject Atheism you have to be able to do two things. If you do them I will give you a prize, to be announced later. Nobody has ever done them. The first thing you have to do is find a good action by a believer that could not be made by a non-believer. Even if you can do this, which nobody has done, the second challenge is even more impossible. Try and find a wicked action by a non-believer that could not have been done by a believer.”

“Religion offers the worst attempt at explaining our lives. Whether it be climatology, cosmology, philosophy, Earth, diseases, religion falls short. This is because we have a heritage of ignorance and stupidity. ”

“The worst aspects of life all emanate from religion. Genital mutilation is based on religion. Suicide bombers claim religious motives. Creationism, ethnic cleansing, nationalism, and racism are all religious.”

“Humans have existed for approximately 100,000 years. For the first 95,000 years, people lived 20 to 25 years, and they fought over women and territory. Then in the last 5000 years, religion intervenes, at which point we have human sacrifices. This is attributed to God.”

“If you believe that, then God is bungling, incompetent, and wicked, and you will believe anything.”

Jewish theologian Dennis Prager then offered a ringing defense of God.

“People who are most prepared to believe what is most idiotic are secular.”

“The nonsense of religion is constricted to a few beliefs.”

“Churchgoers are more rational.”

“There are those who believe that men and women are the same. They give dolls to boys and trucks to girls. You have to be secular to believe this would work. The concept of global warming is believable if you are secular. ”

“If you stop believing in God, you stop believing in anything, not nothing.”

“If you believe the USA is morally equivalent to the former USSR, you must be secular.”

“Secular people make religious people look normal. The worst murderers and torturers were secular.”

“If you drop God, you drop wisdom. There is no wisdom in Atheism.”

“Common sense and likelihood says that everything could not have just come about on its own. Nothing comes from nothing!”

“The believer must account for unjust suffering. The atheist must account for everything else.”

“We did not go from nothing or a rock to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony or Bach. If you believe that, then you will believe anything.”

Dinesh D’Souza then offered his view of God from a Christian perspective.

“I started a conservative newspaper as a young man. The problem with having a conservative newspaper is that it is like pig wrestling. You get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

“One thing we (he, Prager, and Hitchens) all agree on is that we believe that Islamofacism is a problem, and that communication and dialogue should take place in the form of live ammunition.”

“Religious belief is not equivalent to rational knowledge. Some argue that we believe when we don’t know. Yet if you remove God, the puzzle still remains.”

“Why did man accomplish nothing for 95,000 years? There was no wheel, no cave painting, no anything. In the last 5,000 years, something happens! Souls! We are not Darwinian primates.”

“I am a Christian because the Portuguese came with a bible in one hand and a bayonet in the other. They were very persuasive.”

“Lately my faith has become ‘Crayon Christianity.’ We know Santa.”

“We pull away because we don’t know the answers, not because we can’t answer them. Then we get wrong answers from secular college professors.”

“Anyway, to quote Henry VIII to one of his wives, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t keep you long.'”

“The universe is a giant conspiracy to produce us. It is immune to Darwinian attack.”

The opening statements were followed by sharp rebuttals and powerful closing statements. They will be provided shortly, but for now, the debate shall rage at the Tygrrrr Express.

After all, there is no need to provide the answers immediately when the readers of this column are bright enough to figure them out for themselves.


The non-debate in Indiana

Monday, May 5th, 2008

First Chris Wallace, then Bill O’Reilly, and now Fox and Friends.

Despite liberals finding a bigger threat from the Fox News Channel than from Al Queda, the democrats running for President have decided to try and actually talk to people that may disagree with them.

Make no mistake about it. The democrats would be happy talking to people in only 18 states if they could win elections that way. They detest the 32 states that make up Middle America. Having to campaign in flyover country with people they have contempt for is a nuisance. Had the democrats won in 2000 or 2004 (For those who say the democrats did win, cry me a river. You are not sitting in the Oval Office), they would continue to run the same 18 state strategy.

Therefore, this sudden willingness to talk to red state America is one of political expediency, not altruism.

Despite the fact that Chris Wallace is an accomplished journalist, Bill Clinton waved his finger at him in a manner to that says, “I am a liar, and you ask tough questions.” Apparently Barack Obama found Mr. Wallace to be a man made of water, blood, and plasma, like most actual people. He did an interview with Mr. Wallace that went well.

Hillary Clinton, while claiming to be a God fearing Christian, was interviewed by a man the left considers to be the anti-Christ, Bill O’Reilly. A thorough analysis of Mr. O’Reilly’s history shows that he is not Stalin or Pol Pot, and was not responsible for the Holocaust or 9/11. Apparently he seems to be just the host of a news opinion show.

Despite the liberals castigating Bill O’Reilly at every turn, Hillary had no problem appearing on his program when it appeared that some voters may disagree with her. She fared well.

Getting elected is about cold, hard mathematics. Fox News gets higher ratings than their opponents combined. This could mean that most of America is republican, a delightful but wrong conclusion. The left would like to think that every viewer is doing opposition research. Again, this is fantasy. The bottom line is that there are simply many people in America that find the quality of the news better on this station. The same people that cite Presidential poll numbers as the end all be all ignore television ratings, and their own polling, when it ceases to be beneficial.

Now both Obama and Hillary have visited “Fox and Friends.” This show is about as substantive as “The View,” but without the rancor, anger, bitterness, and hostile estrogen.

The reason for the current and sudden lovefest is because Indiana and North Carolina are red states, and these people do watch Fox News. Fox News covered both candidates addressing the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Indiana. While this was not an official “debate” per se, both candidates addressed the crowd. To Hillary’s chagrin, she spoke first, with Obama being the headliner speaking last.

Before getting to their remarks, I want to make it clear that I am not criticizing their going on Fox News. Yes it is cynical, but doing the right things for the wrong reasons is still doing the right thing. It would be nice if they actually respected Middle America, but showing up is better than not showing up at all.

I did not cover their remarks in their entirety because a majority of it was boilerplate. This is also not a criticism, but freshness requires being different, whether a campaigner or a blogger. I took their key remarks, and offered my own analysis.

With that, here are the remarks from them both, starting with Hillary.

“I am endorsed by Hugh Shelton, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

Of course, she is also supported by Wesley Clark. Shelton was Clark’s former boss, and he found Clark to be unethical. He never said why.

“Republicans should be so embarrassed by the last 7 years that they would just hand over the keys.”

Hillary always did have a sense of entitlement.  I could make a cheap remark about taking away Bill Clinton’s keys, but that would make me as nasty as Hillary. Hillary made over 100 million dollars recently during the Bush years. She should give it back.

The Bush economy has been just as good as the Clinton economy, if not better. Bill Clinton had his Presidency “book-ended” by recessions in 1992 and 2000. The Clintons judge his Presidency by the years in the middle, which is fair. President Bush has had rough book-ends in 2000 and 2008. The middle was very successful economically despite much tougher circumstances.

“John McCain has the wrong ideas for America. He wants to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years.”

Hillary again lied. This story has been repeatedly debunked. He would keep them there in a peacekeeping rule similar to South Korea, not in a combat rule.

“Republicans don’t see a purpose to taking care of children.”

Some remarks are too disgusting for everybody except Hillary. This remark qualifies.

“We should hold Wall Street Moneybrokers responsible for their role in this recession.”

Wall Street creates thousands of jobs, including one for Chelsea Clinton, whose actual “work” she does at a hedge fund is top secret. She has every right to campaign for her mom, but I wonder how she can be effective at her job missing that many days of, again, “work.” Wall Street Moneybrokers are some of the top donors to the Clinton, with former Goldman Sachs executive Robert Rubin still leading the charge.

“I will take on the oil companies.”

The oil companies are not the problem. Corporate America is usually the solution, and in the case of high oil prices, not the problem. The problem is crooked Arab Governments, some of whom are even closer to the Clintons than the Bushes.

Her desire to tax “windfall profits” is what Vladimir Putin did in Russia. If oil companies start losing money, will Hillary then give what she confiscated back?

“I know how to create good jobs and keep good jobs in America.”

No she doesn’t. She complains about companies getting tax breaks and then going overseas, but this is a lie. They go overseas because they are getting tax breaks from other countries. It is very easy to make a tax break conditional on staying in America. Hillary wants attack corporations, and then she wonders why they want to leave.

“I am no shrinking violet. I will never quit until the job is finished.”

She is right. She is combative. The only problem is she combative towards corporations and republicans. She cannot unite people because she wants to destroy those who stand in her way. Her brief tenure in the Senate had her bipartisan moments, which were calculated, triangulated, and overstated. Her entire career is one of refusing to work with people, leading to debacles such as failed health care reform.

“I always admired the grit of the guys in the movie ‘Hoosiers.'”

She has also always been a Yankee fan. This is a fairly harmless lie, but a lie nonetheless.

“We will take our constitution out of cold storage.”

It’s a great line, but we should take her out of cold storage and use her lips to open up beer bottles. She comes across as frozen solid, lacking any warmth or human emotion.

Obama then had his turn.

Obama thanked many people, and in a very classy gesture, thanked Evan Bayh, who is supporting Hillary. Unlike Hillary, Obama does not see opponents as enemies.

Obama also thanked Howard Dean for handling the stress of the campaign, in his usual graceful manner. This was not a joke.

“During the 15 months of this campaign, babies that were born are now walking.”

The man may blather, but much of his blather is harmless.

“Working in the factory involves earning more than a living. It is about earning dignity and a feeling of worth.”

Again, this says nothing, but is truthful and pleasant.

“Where is that America today?”

Obama rattled off a bunch of good things about America before 2000, and then offered a bunch of problems since 2000. This is called cherry picking. Like Hillary, Obama also did well during the Bush years. He should also give it all back.

“We have veterans issues, single parents, health care issues, and CEOs getting rich.”

This happened a long time ago. There were homeless people before 2000, and single parents have existed forever. Heck, one single parent even began a religious faith. George W. Bush believes in that faith, so i guess the problem of single parentage is his fault, and not cancerous liberal programs that destroy families.

“There have been fundamental economic shifts that have shipped jobs elsewhere.”

Yes Barack, it is called globalization. Life is about adapting, and we all have to adapt. There is outsourcing, as well as insourcing. Businesses take their business where they can sell more of their products and services. This is basic Economics 101, which apparently Hillary and Obama have flunked. The way to keep businesses here is to stop trying to steal their profits in the name of fairness.

“Telecommunications revolutions mean jobs can be sent anywhere.”

Again, this is something positive. Nobody likes to lose a job. Yet adapting means learning new skills. We did not preserve the dinosaurs. They died out because they could not adapt.  Trying to preserve the horse and buggy is not the answer. More free trade, not less, is the answer.

“Politics did not lead me to working people. Working people led me to politics.”

Liberals are not wrong because they are boring an tiresome. They are boring and tiresome because they are wrong.

“We can’t afford tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”

We can’t afford liberals that want to drive corporations overseas by taxing them out of a healthy economic existence.

“We can’t afford four more years of George W. Bush policies even though John McCain is the one presenting them.”

We can’t afford another version of Al Gore or John Kerry, who become wealthy themselves while acting ina  smug and condescending manner towards those in Middle America that want to become wealthy themselves.

“There are oil companies, drug companies, insurance companies, and others who keep us from quality health care.”

The USA has the best health care system in the world. Drug companies spend billions trying to create new drugs and save lives. Insurance companies protect families.

“We cannot continue to check polls before we check our principals. We cannot calculate before we act on our convictions.”

Tell that to Pastor Jeremiah Wright. Then again, compared to Hillary, you are principled, but that is a low standard.

“We do not need a gas tax holiday, we need another round of rebates.”

We should repeal the gas tax entirely. That was enacted by Bill Clinton. Rebates were enacted by President Bush. Does this mean Obama supports Bush’s proposal?

“Does anybody trust the oil companies? It is a Shell game…literally.”

Nice job Barack. It is bad enough to attack an entire industry. Now you are attacking an individual company. I want to know if Barack Obama has ever owned stock in Shell Oil or any other oil company. He should be forced to donate any profits to charity. After all, those are windfall profits, and he did nothing to earn them, because investing in the stock market, according to liberals, is not real work.

“Apparently McCain’s conscience got waylayed on the path to the republican nomination. The wheels fell off of the Straight Talk Express.”

Obama and Hillary are not fit to shine McCain’s shoes. Pastor Wright should be fair discussion. Obama and his wife do not get to decide when the discussion is closed.

“There is no reason to give tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

Mr. Obama, sit down and be quiet. You know less than nothing on this issue.

“We can tax the record profits of the oil companies and use that money to invest in solar power.”

Mr. Obama, I would like to confiscate your Senate salary and give it to homeless people. After all, why should you be given so much money to do nothing?

“I don’t want teachers teaching to the test. I want them teaching what they love.”

I don’t want teachers teaching what they love. I want them to shut up and stick to the bloody syllabus. Maybe if teachers did that our students wouldn’t be so far behind other nations today.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both disasters. As for who “won” this unofficial Indiana debate, I will let the polls on Tuesday answer that. In terms of economics, they are both losers. Only a loser could fail to understand that low corporate taxes, low capital gains taxes, increased free trade, and allowing companies to invest their own hard earned profits as they see fit are the factors that drive the economic engine.

Only a loser would complain about a non-recession recession in 2008, and use that top invalidate an economy from 2001-2007 that has been spectacular. Black home ownership hit an all time high, as did the stock market.

Yes, some speculative bubbles burst because all speculative bubbles burst. Yes, some  irresponsible Americans bought homes they could not afford and then tried to blame greedy lenders.

Until Obama and Hillary open up their investment portfolios, they should shut up. I suspect they own oil stocks, drug stocks, financial stocks such as stock brokerages and insurance companies, and real estate stocks and other mortgage backed securities. All of the profits from these stocks should be confiscated and put into a “green” mutual fund that loses money but makes them feel better.

This will never happen. Democrats may bash republicans getting wealthy, but they certainly do not mind keeping that wealth. Republicans want everybody to get wealthy. People in Indiana understand this. This is why they have voted republican the last few decades.


Da Hitchens, Da Prager, D’Souza, oh my!

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

I had the pleasure of attending a debate about God with three intellectual heavyweights. My brain is still trying to be put back together after a brief explosion. Years of atrophy followed by intense learning caused the problem. The debate was about God, and it was given from various perspectives.

Offering the Jewish perspective about God was radio talk show host Dennis Prager. Despite much suffering in this world, he believes that God is good.

Dinesh D’Souza offered the Christian perspective. He spoke of salvation, and how it is our responsibility to become worthy of God.

The Atheistic perspective was offered by Christopher Hitchens. In simple blunt language that is too crude for a man of his caliber, there cannot be a God, because if there was, then this God would be an awful wretch.

This debate was simply too brilliant to be summed up in one blog entry. It will take me several days to go over it.

The gentlemen each began with an opening statement. Then each one of them was allowed to cross examine the other two. Then each one was allowed to offer rebuttals to the other two. Then there were closing statements, followed by some questions by the moderator. Audience members were allowed to write down questions, but very few of them were asked due to time constraints. The audience seemed fine with this, and the quality of the debate could have kept people riveted well into the following morning. As a working stiff, for that reason alone, thankfully it did not.

The debate took place at Temple Baht Yam in beautiful Newport Beach, California. For those who have not been, this area is in Orange County, the midpoint between Los Angeles and San Diego. While Orange County is known as a white Christian republican stronghold (I have often joked that I might be only creme or eggshell, and therefore not white enough to live there), even this area has a healthy Jewish community.

The Synagogue was packed to capacity with people who had paid decent money to hear this lecture. Thankfully yours truly was an invited guest, which is a fancy way of saying a nice guy took a liking to me for some reason that is hopefully justified.

No boundaries were left untouched, and nothing was sacred. Even the Holocaust was mentioned and debated as either a reason that God did or did not exist.

After the event, which had plenty of fireworks, I had the pleasure of meeting all three men.

I was introduced to Dennis Prager. He was pleasant as always. I mentioned to him that I had met him a few months ago at an event in San Francisco, and he mentioned how much he enjoyed that event as well. I had approached him in the past about doing an interview. While he is a busy man, he was again gracious, and said he would make the time to do it. He told me to get his information from a mutual friend of ours who has it. Since the mutual friend is the one who introduced me to him and was standing right there, credibility is a non-issue.

I had the pleasure of meeting a friend of Mr. Prager’s, and I told her what I told him. One of his best lines that he has ever said (although not in this forum) was that it would be an absolute shame and a horror if Jews went down in history as the people who opposed President Bush’s removal of Saddam Hussein, who paid money to homicide bombers to murder Jews.

Mr. Prager’s passion is matched only by his knowledge and his kindness. He is a mensch.

Mr. D’Souza is a calm man, not one to raise his voice. Then again, compared to Mr. Prager and Mr. Hitchens, most people are calm. Despite a quiet speaking style, Mr. D’Souza has a sharp wit, and several of the funniest remarks of the evening came from him.

He is an amalgamation of Mr. Hitchens and Mr. Prager in the sense that he has a science background, but believes in organized religion. Mr. Prager is a clear Theist, while Mr. Hitchens prefers science over religion, aka reason over revelation. Yet Mr. D’Souza uses science and scientific arguments, all the while staying true to his religious beliefs.

I mentioned to him after the event that I found his remarks brilliant. I told him that while I was still not converting to Christianity, I nevertheless liked him. He laughed. He was the only one of the three not to commit to an interview with me. He said he would try, but conceded his schedule was busy. I absolutely respect his honesty in this manner.

Christopher Hitchens was by far the most provocative of the three. For most of the evening, there was a love fest between Prager and D’Souza. Their disagreements were mild. Both of them sparred with Mr. Hitchens, especially Mr. Prager.

Mr. Hitchens likes to push buttons, and he has a rapier wit. His tongue can be made of acid, and on more than one occasion he pointed out that he did answer the question, the audience understood this, and others were simply not willing or deliberately ignoring the response.

Yet for all of his supposed bluster, I found him significantly less pompous than he even makes himself out to be. When I spoke to him, he was very pleasant and gracious.

I told him that I have never encountered a man I disagreed with so fiercely yet respected and admired so much. He laughed and thanked me. I told him I learn much more from people I disagree with, and that I wanted to read his book just so that I could try and rip his arguments to shreds. That way if I succeeded, I would have stronger reasoned arguments myself.

He responded that we would both benefit since I would be buying his book. He also said that I had given him the “highest compliment” I could have given him.

The last thing I did was thank him for his support on the War on Terror. I told him that I was a conservative, and that while I knew he was on the left on most issues, on the one issue that mattered most…he got it perfectly. He was persuaded by Tony Blair, and he has since persuaded many that being a leftist does not have to mean being an appeaser.

Mr. Hitchens gave me his information, and I look forward to interviewing him.

Whether one believes in monotheism or atheism, and whichever strain they believe, there were two things that were agreed upon during this event.

The first point of agreement, which was the line of the night, was delivered by Dinesh D’Souza in his opening remarks.

All three men found common ground on the issue of dialogue with Islamofacists. In the words of Mr. D’Souza, “Dialogue must come in the form of munitions aimed at all of them.”

The second point of agreement among the participants and the audience was that it was a brilliant debate. among brilliant men.

I look forward to bringing virtually every word of that evening into the blogosphere over the next few days.

I hope reading it provides as much enjoyment and intellectual and philosophical stimulation as I had attending the event.


Leave me alone, and don’t talk to me about it

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

For those who have been reading the Tygrrrr Express more often than never, you have learned that there are certain things I just don’t talk about.

I am not a fan of vulgarity or crudity. I just think a certain amount of dignity and decorum should exist.

Former Georgia Governor Zell Miller goes into the topic in depth in his book “Deficit of Decency.”

It still baffles me that people talk about stuff that just should not be discussed.

I don’t even like to say some words.

When women are going through their emotional thingie, I don’t want to hear about. I don’t want descriptions, or visuals, or any other Powerpoint presentation on what they are going through. I don’t even want to hear the words. An ex-girlfriend of mine used to say she had a stomachache. I was in college, I was naive, and I got her some tylenol. I never found out until one of her friends told me exactly what the problem was. It was a woman thing, not an ordinary stomachache. My girlfriend at the time was upset that somebody else told me, because she was a private person. I also did not want to know.

I also have anxieties about losing my appendages. When women are sitting around talking about what they would do to a man if he cheated, I don’t want to hear it. I once walked in on a “war council” of six women, and one of them held up a scissors and said, “We’re talking about (male appendage), want to join us?” I ran out of the room in fear. To this day the movie “War of the Roses” creeps me out because of that one scene.

One time the girlfriend of one of my closest friends revealed an intimate sexual detail of her relationship with him. She told me that she felt comfortable telling me because she knew how close he and I were, and that she knew I already knew. He and I were, and to this day are, close. We also never talk about that stuff. He was mad at me for hearing it when I wanted to hear it less than he wanted it told.

The relationships I have with my friends are not shallow. Some of those relationships run very deep. Nevertheless, boundaries exist. Many of them are unspoken, because they should not have to be spoken.

It is for this and other reasons I do not like to spend my weekends in Victoria’s Secret.

One friend I have known since age 11 made the mistake of interacting with a woman that had some depressing qualities, one of which was being a blabbermouth.

My friend was refusing to speak to her, and she wanted me to talk to him. She thought that over two decades of friendship gave me the latitude to get involved in his love life. It didn’t. I kept telling her that her problem was not my business, and that her business was not my problem. I also told her that as soon as I tried to talk to my friend, he would say, “I don’t want to talk about it.” I told her that the reason my friendship with him worked so well is because we don’t talk about stuff. We leave each other alone.

She kept badgering me, so I called him. The conversation was ridiculous.

Eric: “Listen, I need to talk about something. As soon as I start talking about, you are going to snap at me and say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Well before you do, I don’t want to talk about it either, but the only reason I am bringing it up is because somebody begged me to talk to you about it, and I promised them I would talk to you about it.”

Friend: “What is it?”

Eric: “I was at a party and I ran into (name redacted).”

Friend: “I don’t want to talk about!”

Eric: “That’s what I said! She wouldn’t listen to me. She talks about stuff.”

Friend: “We never talk about stuff. That’s why we get along.”

Eric: “I told her that. She would not listen. She insisted you would talk about it.”

Friend: “Well I don’t want to talk about it.”

Eric: “Ok, good. Does this conversation count as talking about it?”

Friend: “Yes it does.”

Eric: “Ok, so if she comes back to me, I can say with honesty that we talked about it.”

Friend: “Yes, we talked about it.”

Eric: “Good, I’m glad we talked about it, and I’m glad we’re done talking about it.”

Friend: “Me too. So what’s up?”

Eric: “Nothing much. You?”

Friend: “Nothing much man. Give me a call some time.”

Eric: “Yeah, it was great talking to you bro. Take care.”

Yet if dealing with that woman he did not want to discuss was awkward, another aspect of life is excrutiatingly painful.

I don’t know why I get so uncomfortable about normal bodily functions, but why can’t people just shut up about it?

When I tell my secretary that I am “stepping way for a few minutes,” or “I’ll be back in a few minutes,” she either nods her head or says “ok.” That’s it. The “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” policy works. Neither one of us will benefit in any way from knowing.

One friend of mine, a good guy, for some reason feels the need to say things like, “There is nothing in the world like a terrific…” I am like, “Dude, I don’t to hear it.” I have admonished him more than once. It’s not conversation I have any desire to engage in.

My office building has six floors. My company only works on the sixth floor. There is a cafeteria on the third floor. Therefore, there are no reasons except one to be on half of the floors in the building.

What is it about guys that they have to give each other a hard time about something natural that everybody does?

When you are 14 years old, saying, “Mention my name, get a good seat,” is funny. Adults should just look the other way.

Once I was getting off at the fourth floor and a pretty woman who knew me asked why I was on the fourth floor, and she asked if my company expanded. I just said, “We are everywhere my dear.” I don’t know why I had to answer that question, but the truthful answer made me uncomfortable.

I also carry a notepad with me that hides the newspaper. Every guy brings a newspaper, but waving it proudly is just gross. By having my legal pad I look like I am contemplating work. I am sure everyone knows, but that is me.

I can’t be on the sixth floor. One of my colleagues might be there. The only option is the third floor. When a coworker sees me I just make a remark like, “off to get a beverage.” That way they think I am going to the cafeteria. I even walk towards the cafeteria until the elevator shuts.

Occasionally it is amusing, when everybody has to go at the same time, and guys are passing each other in the elevator looknig for an empty floor. Then it is ok, because everybody knows what everybody is doing. Of course the boss wants to know why it takes 30 minutes to handle a bodily function, when the truth is 10-15 minutes is spent trying to find a floor.

Also, if you are in there when I walk in, and you see me…leave. I don’t want you there. I need peace and quiet. I don’t want you, whose life revolves around me, telling everybody that you heard or saw me, and what happened. Also, if one of us accidentally walks in on the other one because the door did not lock properly, never ever discuss it. It never happened, and I saw nothing. Sheesh!

One office I worked in had a cool guy who brought the newspaper into work every day. The sports section was left in the “reading room” for everybody, and nobody was to remove it. I once asked him out loud where the sports section was, and he yelled, “Ok, who removed the sports section from the reading room?”

The guy who did it was less embarrassed about taking the property out of the reading room than of having to be in there to begin with. When one of the women said, “That is so gross,” like she had never had a stomach eruption before, it reaffirmed why guys fear being caught having to go. My coworker then announced that when nobody was looking, whoever took it should just put it back. That helped matters, but now everybody knew I had to go.

One ex-girlfriend from three years ago had a studio apartment. It was a nightmare. We would go to sleep, and in the morning I would have a stomachache from eating too much the night before. My place is a two bedroom, two bathroom. No problem. Her studio apartment was small. I did what any paranoid guy would do. I would drive home by myself.

Yes, we lost many hours together because I did not stay over during the day. Thank heavens the Chicago Cannonball has a bathroom that is far away from the bedroom.

The point is, men are disgusting creatures, and even though we have our vulgar moments, that does not mean it is necessary to inflict them upon others.

Anyway, I have to take care of something.

It is not your business. Don’t ask me about it, leave me alone, and don’t talk to me about it afterwards.

Don’t even know about it. Everybody does it, but they don’t have to talk about it.

My legal pad has plenty of writing on it that looks like serious business. Time to go work on some business reports and grab a soda from the third floor.


Hillary Clinton vs Bill O’Reilly–The conclusion

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I apologize in advance for bringing you all an irrelevant column about lightweights.

I was looking forward to bringing my readers the conclusion of the Bill O’Reilly interview of Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I will be delivering.

I had the pleasure and honor of attending one of the most intelligent debates I have ever witnessed. Either that means I do not get out enough, or the three participants were brilliant. Perhaps a bit of both is true.

I will hold off on revealing who the debaters were, since I will be blogging about it for several days. Nevertheless, after watching and meeting heavyweights, O’Reilly and Clinton did not measure up. They are both heavyweights in a vacuum, but for reasons that will be articulated soon enough, they are not the best and brightest. This is not to denigrate them. It is just that I witnessed intellectual greatness, reducing the perceived quality of a merely very good discussion between Bill O’Reilly and Hillary Clinton.

One thing O’Reilly did after the interview was address his using of words such as “bull” and “bupkus” in disputing Hillary’s assertions. He pointed out that had she been President and not just a candidate, he would have been more tactful. I felt he should have been more tactful with somebody seeking the office. One can be tactful without being too deferential. O’Reilly was better in the second half of the interview. His self analysis was noble, but I still found his reasoning flawed. I may not like Hillary, but she should be treated with the respect that comes with being First Lady, and until a month ago, a serious candidate for the White House.

With that, here is the conclusion of the Hillary Clinton interview by Bill O’Reilly.

Hillary Clinton does believe we are in the middle of a shooting War on Terror. She believes Iran is a significant danger. Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. She claims she would be very tough on Iran.

Yet then O’Reilly pointed out that withdrawing from Iraq was good for Iran. Hillary claimed the mission is done, since Saddam is gone. This is what President Bush said when he said “Mission Accomplished.” Hillary I guess agrees with the President.

Hillary believes that Iran picking up arms would galvanize the Iraqis. O’Reilly disputed this by saying that withdrawal from Iraq will be seena s weakness, and that Iran will not be stopped, as oil prices would skyrocket.

Both O’Reilly and Hillary believe speculators are driving up oil prices. Apparently supply and demand is lost on both of them. On the way home in the car, I heard Mark Levin for the first time. He said that the only thing O’Reilly knows about oil is what he puts in his hair.

Hillary was asked if she knew where the primary Taliban haven was. Hillary seemed to have a pretty goo grasp of this issue, knowing it was in Pakistan. She did not know the city of Quetta, but most people would not know that.

Where Hillary is wrong is in her insistence on getting tough with Musharraf. If Musharrraf goes down, the fundamentalists that would take over would be much worse.

Nevertheless, Hillary came across as an adult on this issue. She has done her homework. This does not make her right, but at least she can discuss issues in depth.

O’Reilly praised how the Bush Administration has decimated Al Queda since 9/11. He wanted to know if Hillary would support waterboarding under extreme conditions. She would not.

George Tenet and Michael Scheuer both support it. They are far from the end all be all, but Hillary would not say who supported her position. Hillary wants an aggressive Al Queda effort, and do whatever it takes, but will not engage in waterboarding.

Hillary correctly pointed out that all three candidates are against it, and that Senator John McCain knows more about it than her and O’Reilly combined.

Again, from a political standpoint, she is completely wrong. However, a cold impartial analysis showed a woman who was well prepared for a tough interview.

Hillary stated that she would not crack down on sanctuary cities. She cited the example of people not willing to report crimes for fear of being deported. This was the Rudy Giuliani position.

Hillary wants to go after employers. That is not wrong, but she seems to blame corporate America for everything. She also disagreed with O’Reilly on what the meaning of a sanctuary city actually is.

Hillary falsely claimed that those against illegal immigration want door to door searches.

She criticized President Bush on the issue, even though he favored a guest worker program. Then again, she disagrees with him because he exists.

When challenged as to if the interview with Hillary was his most fun, O’Reilly joked that it was not because he once interviewed Cher. Hillary laughed.

If I did not know Hillary, this interview alone would get me to consider voting for her. Luckily I do know enough about her to never consider that as an option.

O’Reilly conducted himself better than in the first half of the interview. He was more respectful. Hillary did well during both halves. O’Reilly had a bad first half, but redeemed himself after the midpoint.

When O’Reilly joked about Lanny Davis revealing that Hillary Clinton was a naughty schoolgirl in law school, Hillary shined in her response. She joked she would support torturing Lanny Davis in this extreme situation. It was a genuine funny moment.

Then she danced around like a naughty schoolgirl with Van Halen’s “Hot for teacher” in the background. No, not really. The Carl Jr. “Flat Buns” teacher in the burger commercial would be more appropriate. She is more butt plus than butt minus.

Hillary delivered a solid performance. Most importantly, Hillary looked…human.

Had she done interviews like these a year ago, she would be the nominee as inevitably thought, not the afterthought who crashed and burned against a political novice.