Pet Cobra

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Here's an interesting history lesson. Being a WWII-era buff, I was a bit surprised by this; I'd never heard of General Smedley Butler. Two things are striking: one, that the U.S. may have come periliously close to a Fascist coup d'etat, and two, that a mother would curse her son with the name of Smedley. Props to Kurt for forwarding this:

It's often said that those who fail to learn their history are condemned to repeat it. I was reminded of that about 15 minutes ago, when I strolled out to the parking lot and once again was reminded why I should have sold my POS Ford Ranger when I had the chance. Deader than Jerry Garcia. Any sentimental attachment I've felt towards that truck, which I've had for 10 years, is gone, replaced by fear (once, the gas petal FELL OFF just as I was driving it across some train tracks) and loathing (no A/C + no power steering + summer temperatures = sweating through new Banana Republic polo shirts bought to look nice at work). I wonder if my insurance carrier would be suspicious if I were to report that my truck was repeatedly hit by, oh, i don't know, a sledgehammer-wielding maniac.

Speaking of maniacs, Reuters reports today that Illinois Republicans are going to select either Alan Keyes or Andrea Barthwell to run against Barack Obama for the Senate. Both are probably better than their previous choices. The first was Jack Ryan - no, not the guy from the Tom Clancy books; this was the guy who was married to Jeri Ryan, the hot blond Borg chick from "Star Trek", and who showed not only his love for her but for the GOP's morals and values by taking her to sex clubs and encouraging her to be part of the show (folks, you just can't make this stuff up!). The second was Mike Ditka, who used to coach the Chicago Bears and if you subscribe to the theory of truth in advertising had "male problems" which Livitra helped him overcome (no pun intended). But that's not the funny part. The funny part is that the GOP picked Keyes (a radio talk show host who is from Maryland and has lost two Senate bids there - he'd actually have to move to Illinois) and Barthwell (former U.S. deputy drug czar; she's had 2 years experience in that position and no prior work in government at any level) because they are African-Americans, like Obama (who is a Dem rising star, in part due to his great speech at the convention). I'm not sure who thought that blatant Republican tokenism would be a good idea, but it'll be really fun to watch the blowback.

The Springboks have the weekend off; New Zealand can win the Tri-Nations if they beat Australia. If you've never seen rugby, this match (on live on Fox Sports World at 2:30 AM PST; TiVo it!) is an ideal way to get into it. The two are obviously rivals, and watching the New Zealand tribe perform the haka is always cool. Here's more on that (watch the streaming video):

While it's true that what Beth refers to as "the little shorts" the players wear run somewhat counter to our Jordan-esque taste in athletic garb, having 250 lbs of solid muscle screaming out a Maori war chant at you has got to be a bit unnerving. My match predictions, along with a primer on Fun Things To Look For In A Rugby Match, will be posted Friday.

Finally, I have coined a new phrase: "He/she had more fun than Mary Kay Letourneau at a Cub Scout meeting." The Today Show devoted a combined 30 minutes to Letourneau's release from prison today. Which, do you suppose, would do more to raise the intelligence of the person watching it - the 30 minutes of coverage of Mary Kay, or watching 30 minutes of any episode of "Saved By The Bell"?


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