Classic/Vintage bits

Ok, this is the fruition of a long pondered plan.  I have several hundred posts from my page before here.  See, in April of 2008, I moved this site here to WordPress, where it currently lives.  From 2003 to 2008, I was writing under the I am Correct moniker over at Blogger.  Basically, those posts from pre-2008 have been lost to readers.  I have access to them in the back end, though.  Stop snickering!

So, I am going to go through old posts and clean them up and move them over to here.  I say ‘clean them up’ because there was no auto-formatting in those days.  I had to manually write using HTML code, which was a learning process.  So, starting today – 3.12.2013 – I am going to re-claim the better posts.  Also, I may offer updates which will be noted as such… so you can see how I am Correct I was!  So, the formatting will be cleaned up.  Any typos will be corrected.  Otherwise, the verbiage stays in tact.

Come back often.  I will update at least once a week often as I can.  Newly discovered posts will be at the top…  so you needn’t dig.  There are a ton of old articles from when I was on a different server for the first 5 years.  The pieces migrated over, but the tags and titles didn’t.  I need to clean that up, so they are discoverable.  That is my goal for 2014. 2015.  2016.

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This piece below defines ‘first world problems’, aka ‘white  people problems’ to a frighteningly perfect degree

 

The Sound, and Cost, of Silence

*** editors note:  this is a unique and rare crosspost to my music writing site.

Did you hear that? No? Yup, that was mine. I mean… it’s not like I wrote it. It’s a cover. John Cage wrote it. We aren’t even allowed to play it at gigs. It’s a whole ascap/bmi thing, and we can’t afford even the digital sampling rights. Make sense? Good, it shouldn’t.

This is a true story of a man who recorded 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence for an album. That isn’t even the weirdest part of the story. He titled it, released it, and registered it with bmi/ascap. Bmi/ascap is the company that ALL songs are registered to, and through. They are a publishing company that handles that stuff. If you want to play ‘Sweet Home Alabama‘ with your shitty bar band, technically you need release rights and permission from those two companies. They will charge you, and a LOT. Here is an example you maybe didn’t know. If your bar is playing music through the waitresses iPhone over the pa system in the bar… that is against the law.

If you have a piano in your coffee house, and patrons sit down and sing Bob Dylan songs, that is against the law. Unless… you have paid rights to ascap/bmi. The fees are in the thousands. If you aren’t registered and paid up with them, they can come after you. It’s rare, but they do.

Sound impossible? It ain’t… read here.

This becomes pertinent to our story of recorded silence. Mr Cage did not simply leave 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence between songs. He could have done that, but there is no publishing money it. He had to actually record, and publish, the 4:33 of silence.

Update, we are not even half way to dumb yet. The dumb grows a 1,000 fold in the next couple of paragraphs. Stay with me.

Mr. Cage was a classical composer, and I am guessing a pretentious a-hole as well. Never mind, he’s dead. In 2002, another classical composer recorded silence.  He recorded a minute of it. He did this as an homage to John Cage. Cage’s name is even in the title of the song. The songwriter (gee, it feels weird to use that term for a guy who recorded silence) even gave Cage posthumous songwriting credit. Frankly, Cage’s family and lawyers should be touched by the silly homage, right?

Nope. They sued his ass for ripping off 4 minutes of silence. Correction, the composer (Mike Batt) only did one minute of silence. That is barely a cover, and much closer to a sample. Sampling laws are different for artistic creativity reasons.

He thought it would be fun to do this with a track called “One Minute Silence (after Cage)”. This was credited to Batt/Cage.

Shortly after the album was released (and went to number one in the UK classical charts) Mike was contacted by Peters Edition, the publisher of Cage’s work, demanding one-quarter of the royalties from the sale of the song.

They argued over this for a while – interestingly provoking the kind of discussion which Cage had originally intended when he first performed the piece: does it truly qualify as a work? If not, why not? There was even a side-by-side concert performance of the two pieces in London, so that the, errr, differences could be illustrated.

Batt eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed six-figure sum.

Got that? Six figures! That is a minimum of $100,000 for also recording a minute of silence. Doesn’t that give awkward conversation pauses at parties new meaning?  Just sue your host, that fucking thief!

Now, how about you be the judge.  Listen to both, back to back, and decide if Blatt ripped of Cage’s silence, of it Batt’s silence is an original composition.  Sounds like a stupid fucking discussion… but this went court.  So, these were actual conversations being had with lawyers who likely bill north of a $1,000 an hour

here is the original.  Again, as always, use good headphones to properly appreciate this.  NOT those noise canceling ones, though.  That could cause a space/time continuum issue.

********  final comment below

and now for the cover –

 

****** oh my god what pretentious aholes.  Not even going to say assholes, as that would be hurtful to assholes.  Note that the music is presented as ‘for piano’, and the dude has sheet music up.  They aren’t joking, either.  Come on, man.  Even Victor Borge thinks you guys are being hacky

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hijacking a plane – they ruined it!

*** Update 10.1.14 – bottom, after you read this

You know, there was a time was hijacking was a glorious and time tested event. Mostly, it was a victimless crime. Yeah, sure, you got detoured to Cuba or Algeria…. But you lived, right? Think of the stories you will have to tell. Look at DB Cooper; all reports say he was both handsome and very polite. Now that is my kind of terrorist! See, the hijackers never killed anyone, because had they, there would be no ransom money. No one will pay you for dead Americans.  Trust me on this one!  Of course, you and I know ransom money rarely works out even if they pretend to acquiesce. Mostly, the bad guys get killed.

You have probably heard in the movies ‘the United States does not negotiate with terrorists’. This is true, for the most part, and it comes from hijacking. They have to remove the incentive. If each time the US paid a bad guy who hijacked the plane… people would hijack planes daily. So, how does it end? Well, we usually shoot the bad guys. Wanna see a cool movie about this stuff that I think is a thoughtful and entertaining look – Dog Day Afternoon. It stars Al Pacino as Al Pacino. Get it? I mean sure, his character has a name… but dude plays the exact same guy in pretty much every movie.  In this film, he plays a gay psychotic and manic depressive nutjob going through a break up with his boyfriend, who is the hospital as we speak to get gender reassignment surgery.  Yet… it is really just Al Pacino doing his thing.

People understood the rules of hijacking. It was a kind of gentlemen’s understanding. Don’t mess with the hijackers. Be quiet and make NO trouble. No one gets hurt. Yes, they will scream a LOT. Odds are they will threaten to kill you a bunch. Stay cool, you will be fine. Hijacking was grand good fun for all involved

Those were the good old days. Then, the terrorists won. As you know, 9/11 began with hijacking. Initially, no one touched or challenged the hijackers. If you are under 30, you are likely thinking “why in the hell didn’t they attack the hijackers? They were all going to die anyway, that much is obvious, right?” Wrong. As I mentioned above, hijackings rarely resulted in passenger deaths. We also know from recordings that the bad guys didn’t say “Hey, we are going to fly into some buildings.” No. They said “stay cool and no one gets hurt”. Sadly, everyone in the first two planes died a horrible death.

What was different about the fourth plane, then? Why did they attack? This is the question you should be asking. The people on the fourth plane knew all about the first three planes. The fourth plane, which we suspect was heading for the capital building, was hijacked an hour after the first two crashed into Manhattan. So, those folks in the last plane knew they were going to die. They had nothing to lose. What they did took balls of steel, and I forever admire their sacrifice. Let’s roll!

Hijacking, now, is ruined. You can’t just tell everyone to chill out… anymore. You can’t say “give me a million dollars and fly me to Cuba”. If you do that now, the passengers (me included) are going to kill you. For that, the terrorists won.

* bonus trivia: Seth McFarland was supposed to be on the first plane. He overslept. He had the greatest and most thoughtful response to the usual question. People asked him “do you believe you were spared, or have a special purpose in life now?” He answers “

No. To believe that, then you believe all the people who did die died for a reason, or deserved to die

His point being (in case I didn’t explain it right) is to say “to imply god spared me and wanted me to live is to imply god wanted all those other 3,000 to die”.  He is a good man, and I have lifelong respect for him and his thoughtful response.

**** update 10.1.2014

More proof that hijacking was just ‘plane’ fun before 9/11. Just after I wrote this piece, this story came across my desk, via Reddit. It’s a 45 year old story, so it seemed like creepy fate when this popped up a day after my groundbreaking and courageous piece. Do you remember Allen Funt? He was the guy who ran the original ‘punk’d’.   He did a wildly successful show called ‘candid camera’. It was just like it sounds, put regular people in super awkward situations and film them. Then, most importantly, film the reveal. Everyone watched this show. EVERYONE. Know why? Because it was great? No. Because in 1969 you only had 3 channels. NBC, CBS, and ABC. That was it.

Because of this, Allen Funt was one of the most recognizable people in America. In 1969, Funt was on a flight from New York to Miami with his family. The plane was being hijacked. Hijacking was scary common back then. This happened in February, and it was already the 12th hijacking that year. The hijacking was real, very real. Problem was, no one believed it. Since everyone had seen Funt, they all assumed it was a bit, and they were on TV.   Even as the plane was being re-routed to Cuba, everyone thought it was a bit. Rather than being terrified of the hijackers, passengers complimented them on their acting skills and believability.

These people would NOT believe they were being hijacked. The plane was diverted to Cuba (that was all the rage for generations. Why? It was an independent country with no extradition to America and it is super duper close. By plane, it was an extra ten minutes from Miami. Anyhow, then the plane landed in Havana, the passengers stood up in the aisles and gave their hijackers a standing ovation for being so credible.

Don’t believe me? I rarely believe me, either. Here’s proof. This is one of Funt’s kids who was on that plane

The following gem is old.  15 years old.  Way back when I was hosting at blogger.com.  That site is still up, like a myspace page – frozen in time, if you care to enjoy.

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retarTED

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So, the geniuses at United are bankrupt, right? They drove the company right into the ground, right? So they figure the best way out is a low cost alternative. ok, I am with them at this point – lower the prices and air travelers will come. This is sound business. However, United decides not to lower prices… but instead launch a new low cost airline. Keep in mind, all this time they are bankrupt and haven’t paid the city of Denver a penny of the taxes they owe or the gate fees at DIA.

Now, at this point I am thinking “Well, why not just save all that money of a new airline and new planes and just lower your rates to be competitive?”. Well they do me one better when they launched ‘Ted’ yesterday. Ted is United’s low cost fare alternative airline. But here comes the best part, are you ready? Seriously, you are not going to believe this…

Ted’s rates are more expensive than both United’s and Frontier’s rates. For example, Ted charges $358 to fly to Phoenix. That is only a 90 minute flight. I just paid $290 to fly to London. This is more than stupid, it makes me angry. The reason being, Denver’s economy and DIA’s success are both closely linked to United. They are the one and only major airline operating out of DIA. So if you want a good value and a great company, fly Frontier Air, a company from Denver that we are proud of.

* update – Ted airlines only lasted 5 years.  Even better, Southwest Airlines came to Denver.

*** editors note Aug 2016 – I truly think they will teach this in business schools one day.  How to not run a business.  How to undercut your own marketshare.  How to confuse your brand in the marketplace.  In closing, let’s never forget… United Breaks Guitars!

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Son, we need to talk about your music

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Hi.  Come on in, have a seat.

Listen, I was in your room last night and I went looking through your music collection.  Why?  Because I am your father, and it is my job to meddle, that’s why!  We need to talk about it what you have been listening to.  First off, all this stuff that glamorize drugs and sex, I couldn’t find any of it.  Frankly, I am a little disappointed in you.  I know whatever you and your buddies listen to is popular, but that doesn’t make it right.

Let me put it this way, If your buddy jumps off a bridge, does that mean you do, too?  See my concern?  There is not a single song on here glorifying peer pressure, let alone suicide.

How about this devil worshipping nonsense?  I don’t see ANY of it here.  How about these cigarettes?  I just found out you really were holding them for a friend?  Do you think smoking is cool, young man?  Do you think it makes you look tough, or cool?  Because lemme tell you something, buster… it does!

This stuff has real life consequences you need to understand.  If you are going to live under my roof, you are going to have some rules!  Do you think you can just tell your teacher to F off and walk out of class to impress your friends?  Because you should, it’s a rush!

Your pretty little girlfriend that you sneak in the house when I am at work… you think we don’t know about that?  She isn’t even pregnant, is she?

Your mother and I know about the liquor cabinet, too.  We know the old tricks of drinking the booze and replacing it with water and food coloring.  Listen kid, I invented that crap. We know when the booze is missing, and it wasn’t.  Guess what else; How about that little stunt last weekend, when I came in your room?  Do you remember how your promised to be home with my car by midnight?  I checked on you. It was three in the morning and your mother and I were worried SICK about you.  I found you asleep… at home… by curfew… what’s the deal with that?  Are you 16 or not?

Are you cheating at school?  Have you been copying your buddies test because you were too lazy to study?  Cause… you should.  Do you think you can just fake your way through life, and no one will notice?  Cause… you can, and it’s WAY easier than working.

If I don’t start seeing some F’s on your report card, we are going to march down to your school and have a talk with your teachers.  How about your buddy Derek?  That little piece of shit who dresses like a hobo and has no respect for authority?  The one who keeps getting arrested, and apparently has the most permissive parents in history?  I heard he drinks at home, and he is only 15. He seems pretty cool.

I found your magazine stash under your bed.  Yeah, you thought that was invisible because your mother and I never clean?  Popular Mechanics?  If your mother and I catch you with this shit again, you are going to be grounded.  When you are grounded, young man, I mean the kind of grounding where you just wait until we are asleep and then go sneak out.  I know this is rough and unfair.  I know you think I am a bully, and the worst dad in history… and the courts have agreed with you.

but I need you to know that I love you.  This is why I do everything I do.

* believe it or not, this isn’t even my first advice column.  I have been helping parents for generations.

July 2013

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 Miracle Whip is tired of your shit

Growing up, the worst you could be was vanilla.  white.  mayonnaise.  white bread was the worst.  That meant you lacked any culture or edge.  It meant you lacked flavor, and your mom probably cut the crusts off your sandwiches.  You were Mr Rogers, you were mayonnaise (and you still are).

Well, it took them a long time, but mayonnaise found out and it is PISSED.  Miracle Whip is tired of your shit.  Apparently, the ad wizards for Kraft decided it was time to make mayonnaise edgy.  They want to re-frame the discussion of that stuff.  What is that stuff, anyway?  Also, what is the difference between ‘salad dressing’ and ‘mayonnaise‘ and is Miracle Whip either?  Who cares.  Miracle Whip doesn’t.  Miracle Whip is out smoking reefer and banging your sister.  What you are going to about it, whitey?  You best recognize, motherfucker.  MW is in the hizzy.

They have also changed their badging on the jars of sammich goo.  Now it is just ‘MW‘.  Sort of like the old Oldsmobile slogan ‘this isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile.’  See how that worked out for them?  It turns out that it was my father’s Olds, and they are out of business.  You gotta do more than have a great slogan.

miracle-whip-omg

So, when you want to express something as plain, you’d best find some new adjectives, crackers!

May 2011

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HAIL SATAN!

I was at a party the other night for an old friend.  At this party, an older gentleman who I did not recognize yelled “Hey, you are satan.  Hail satan!” and put his arms around me. Being me, something like this isn’t totally uncommon.  Still, I had no idea what I was ‘satan’, but it seemed a good thing to him.  I smiled and thanked him and moved on my way.  After a few more beers, a nice lady approached me and said “satan, my husband told me you were here.  I just wanted to say thank you so much!” You are welcome, I graciously offered.  As I mentioned, they seemed quite pleased with me being satan, so I wasn’t in a hurry to correct them.  I was curious, though.

Then, I got the clue I needed.  The wife said “we still have that CD, and we love it!” Ok, now it all made sense.  I had met these people at a poker party about five years ago.  I was playing music for the crowd, as I was long out of cash at the table (texas no limit hold ’em).  I popped on Neil Diamond’s ‘sweet Caroline’.  Sounds cheeky, but when drunk… these songs are always a BIG hit. The couple in question told me how much they loved Neil Diamond, and they hadn’t heard him in years.  I too love Neil Diamond.  That’s right, I said it.  So, I had made a mix of my favorite Neil Diamond songs.    So that I could remember it, I wrote on the disc with a sharpie “Hail Satan > the hits of Neil Diamond“.  This was truly for my own amusement, since Neil Diamond is quite clearly the furthest from the anti-Christ I could think of. In a fit of generousness, I offered my CD to them.  It was just a home-made burned cd, cost me about 45 cents.  They were thankful and we had more beers and enjoyed our Neil Diamond time together.

Well, fast forward five or so years.  They still have that CD, and totally remember me.  The problem is, they didn’t know my name.  They only knew me as the ‘satan’ guy.  I was cool with that, and never did correct them.  Hail satan, indeed!

Oct 2009

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It’s not garbage, it’s a reef!

I was watching a thing on old ships.  They interviewed these people who had sunk them.  No biggie, it happens.  Just like space junk, right?  No, some of these were on purpose.  Yay, they declared.  We made a reef!  Look how happy they are now.  Look at those happy little swimmy fish, who were like hobos just days ago.  Yes, these people who dump shit in the ocean think they are making these super awesome fish condos.  Yay for man kind, we really do make things better.

No we don’t.  That isn’t a reef.  That is not an ecosystem.  It’s garbage.  Your shit is rotting and rusting in the ocean, and I see that benefit no one.  These fish were fine before you sunk your ship.

Do you remember that song by Arlo Guthrie, Alice’s Restuarant?  It’s the great and true tale of what happened when Arlo and a buddy dumped a VW Bus full of garbage off a cliff.  Know what happened to him?  Yup, he got arrested.  They used all kinds of cop equipment, with the 5×10 color glossy photographs with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against them.  Know this song.  It’s like the Princess Bride of songs… not just a melody… but an ever quotable play.

Arlo had the wrong defense.  Arlo should have declared that mess a reef for bugs and insects.  Think how many birds feasted off that garbage.  By the rules of the ocean, Arlo was really a hero, here.  You know that tire fire that is always burning outside of Apache Junction?  That is an eco system, man!  It provides full time employment for about 300 fire fighters, all the cool rigs, and three full time ‘roach coach’ chuckwagon trucks that live there to feed the firefighters.  Hell, it’s a micro-economy.

I am going to start chucking my fast food out the window as I drive.  See how fast that attracts ants?  It ain’t litter, copper… it is an ant reef!

So, what is the difference?  The ones on land are called pollution.  Well, I call rusted metal in the ocean pollution too.  Especially since that is where all food and life emanate from.  I am more concerned about the ocean than Arlo’s garbage pile.  Have you heard of the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch‘?  It is an area of garbage stuck out in the ocean.  It just sits there and swirls, and it is not breaking down. It never will. Oh, and it’s twice the size of Texas.  Everyone has their panties in a bunch about this.  Ninnies!  Let’s just call it the Great Pacific Garbage Reef®, and congratulate ourselves for what great stewards we are.

Dear Earth, you are super welcome.  I am going to start flushing hot wheels down the toilet.  It’s not garbage.  It’s a reef… for all those goldfish I keep flushing down the toilet.

* in the 8 years since I wrote this piece, the size has doubled.**

**  That is made up, but sounds dramatic… doesn’t it?  It’s probably true… who knows?  The truth is probably far, far worse.

Nov 2009

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Let’s have a Study – Pt 3

Update Oct 2014 down below ****

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In order for this to make sense, start here.   Then, here.  Ok, here today is part three.  They have finally agreed on a solution.  Apparently, there was a fourth consideration I wasn’t aware of.  In order to ease congestion on the i-70, they are going to charge a toll to use it.  It will be $5 a pop to use the freeway to get into the mountains.  Why?  Lot’s of reasons.  One is that by charging such a toll, less people will use it.  Indeed, congestion is an issue, so their is limited virtue in that thought process.

The other reason is to raise money for the widening.  Yes, apparently we are widening and tolling.  Basically, everyone loses.  See, we have no money for the freeway fixins.  I mean, on it’s face it makes sense.  Except:

What the heck are my tax dollars paying for?  Is this not now a law to keep poor people from camping?  Is this not an elitist and short term solution?  What about people who commute every day?  Is this designed just to punish tourists?  I thought that is what hotel and rental car taxes were for.   This solution is stupid, and angers me.  I don’t want to pay a toll to use my mountains and roads.  Also, I don’t want my mountains paved over with roads.  Nobody does, that is why we call them the Rocky Mountains… not the Rocky Mountain Roads.  Maybe Coors should get rid of their current logo and just have a stretch of pavement as their icon.

Let’s say you widen the road from two lanes each way to three lanes each way.  That is 33% more traffic.  You see that, I guess.  I see 33% more pollution, plus an absolute dreaded ten year construction cycle marring the mountains.  Oh, and a bonus $5 per way levee to sit in construction for the next ten years.  Right now, we need an obstructionist!  John Caldera, where are you?

*** update Oct 2014

It’s been 6 or 7 years, and not much has happened.  Well, they tried metering.  Unlike assholes like me, who sit on their couch and decry the efforts of those trying solutions. It was a great idea.  It was counter intuitive and most definitely out of the box thinking.  It worked, but not nearly to the level they needed it to.  I totally respect the effort, though.  In the 17 years I have been here, it is the most anyone has done about anything… except studies.  I respect the CDOT like hell for not just sitting around and waiting for someone to hand them 200 million bucks.

The other update is this; someone recently suggested banning big rigs from the freeway.  That is dumb, short sighted… and (most importantly) mean.  The trucker’s aren’t the problem.  If they were, it wouldn’t just be on Sunday afternoons heading East back to Denver.  It’s the skiers.  I am not blaming the skiers.  Well, actually, I am.  It is the skiers.  However, they are super duper critical to the success of the mountain towns economies.  To ban skiers is as dumb as banning trucks.

Last Winter (that of 2013) was a breaking point… to me at least.  It became a 10 hour struggle to make it the 11 miles from Dillon, CO (the first town at the base of i-70 once you cross the tunnel) to the tunnel.  Ten hours… in a snowstorm.  Does your car have fuel for ten hours?  Do you pack ten hours worth of food when you go skiing?  You can’t turn your car off, either, to save fuel.  You need the heat.  Last fall we took a trip and got stuck in that, and ended up taking the most terrifying detour around I have ever experienced as a driver.  Knowing it was going to be shitty, I bought $50 worth of jerky.  It was a lifesaver.

I want to clarify something.  I am not bitching.  Well, I was.  I am older and wiser now.  I love Colorado.  I love the mountains.  I love my truck.  I was reminded of this recently when I saw a freeway sign in Los Angeles.  It said “you are not in traffic, you are the traffic”.  So, I don’t want to come off as a nimby.  I am absolutely a part of the problem here, being a driver.  This is why I have a vested interest in making things better.  It’s selfish.

Here is the big concern, very soon it is going to be deadly.  Someone is going to run our of medication stuck on that road.  Once the backup starts, you can’t get off.  You are packed in.  You can’t pull of the road or even turn around.  They can’t get an ambulance or a wrecker to you.  Even if you called 911 they could not get a medivac helicopter to you, because this happens during snow storms.

I know no one wants to think about it, or spend that much, but I have the solution.  It isn’t cheap or easy or maybe even fair.  It will solve everything, and works long term.  I said it ten years ago, and I’ll say it again.  I am just waiting for you yahoos to to figure out that I was correct.   Monorail.

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this piece is from 2006.  Almost 10 years later, and no one was held accountable.  Cheney errand boy Scooter Libby briefly took the fall, but was promptly pardoned by Bush.  This is why I still call his administration war criminals.  That isn’t just hyperbole about ‘blood for oil’.  This is verifiable, documented treason against the United States Govt.  Committed, mind you, by the United States Govt.

Bring me the head of Robert Novak

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Ok, you heard about Plamegate, or Spygate, or Rovegate, right?  Whatever you call it, some very high placed Republicans leaked the name of a top secret government agent to get revenge on her husband. They wanted to get revenge on her husband because he said (and he was totally right) that the Niger Yellow Cake story was bullshit. He said Iraq was not seeking Uranium to make nuclear weapons. He should know, he was the American something or other to Niger for some time. Problem was this, the president had his speech ready for America saying ‘we have proof Iraq is in Niger scoring the kind Yellow Cake’. Problem is, that was a 100% lie and the President knew it.

So, when dude told the President and the press “this is totally untrue”, they said “oh yeah, well your wife is a spy”. This much is true, and for the most part people are being finally held accountable. This will go all the way up to Cheney and Rove though. All of the major players in this treasonous scandal have been brought to light and dealt with in some form. All except for Robert Novak, the most odious of all these traitors.

See, what Novak did was publish all this dirt… and more. See, all of this was just high powered politicos playing their games. That all ended the minute Novak wrote a column about the whole thing, naming Valerie Plame as a deep cover agent. It gets worse. Novak also mentioned her cover business. See, like a movie, these deep cover top secret agents have cover stories and cover identities. One of the common covers they used was a fake consulting firm.  She was a NOC.  That is super deep cover.  That is real life Tom Cruise stuff.

For reasons known only to the devil Novak himself… he even published the name of the front company. What this did was endanger all of the other deep cover operatives still active who were still using that cover. That is treason, and for treason he should be hung. Here is what pisses me off the most about all of this. Novak has never had to testify, lose his job, or even apologize. Understand this: Robert Novak willingly outed a deep cover top secret CIA agent for political spite, and endangered countless others by publishing their covers. Robert Novak is an enemy of the state, and yet somehow still writes his column and shows up on TV everyday.

Do you understand how big this is?  This is as big as Watergate.  We did recon to see if Hussein was building nukes.  We got definitive info that he wasn’t.  The war machine was already gearing up, though.  So, there was no stopping it.  As we are gearing up to go to war in Iraq (to protect us from their nukes, which he now know they didn’t have) ambassador Joseph Wilson goes public.  With great balls of steel he tells the public that Iraq isn’t building nukes and he can prove it.  Now, the govt has egg on their face.  So, they quickly have to discredit Joseph Wilson.  How did they do that?  They fed the story to Novak that Wilson’s wife was a spy, so you can’t trust him.  It was true.  She was a spy… FOR US.

Know what else is nuts?  Guess who sent Wilson to Niger to investigate the yellow cake uranium story?  Dick Cheney himself.  The same guy who orchestrates the cover up.

With Novak being the errand boy for the Bushies, Wilson’s wife (Valerie Plame) is now outed as a spy.  Her life is in danger, as she was deep undercover.  THEN… Novak publishes the name of her cover identity.  Her cover story was she was a lawyer for Whitney and Nonesuch (made up name, so you don’t end up dead for reading this).   Well, Whitney and Nonesuch was the cover firm for a bunch of our spies.  So, this outed all of them, too.  Novak never apologized, or even acknowledged doing anything wrong.  This makes him the worst man in America.  It makes him a terrorist and a traitor.  That can not be emphasized or stated enough.

* Epilogue

I have been working on this piece in my head for years, and on paper for a few days now. I get so angry I have to step away. As I was finishing some of my final ramblings, this story pops up as the headline on CNN. Read this:

— A former Sinn Fein official recently exposed as a British spy was found fatally shot Tuesday after apparently being tortured

Oh yes, the consequences are VERY real for outed spies. Mr Novak, you may be the worst human on the planet right now. Well, except for Fred Phelps and that Hussein guy.

** update Jan 2015

Novak is dead, Phelps is dead, and so is Hussein.  That puts Chris Brown in run away first place for worst human being alive in America.

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here is a piece I wrote for Blogcritics years ago, back in 2004

Lono for Senate

America, I have been inspired. My arch rival Roy suggested that I run for senator for Colorado, now that the wonderful Mr Nighthorse Campbell has stepped aside. My qualifications? None. Are you tired of politics as usual in Washington? Are you tired of back office shenanigans? Are you tired of sweetheart deals that screw the taxpayer? Are you tired of your congressman nailing interns on your dollar? I am sure am, America. What Colorado needs is a true outsider. I assure you my friends, ‘slick’ is not the adjective people use to describe me. Charismatic, resourceful, ambitious… these are words not often bandied about in my autobiography! What Colorado needs is someone with a fresh perspective. Somebody who can stand up to the lobbyists. Better still, someone who can stand up to the constituents! I am that man, and I have a new campaign slogan that I crafted myself recently, and I would like to know what you think. It speaks to my fresh ‘outsider’ status.

Lono for Senate, he’s never helped anybody

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This little gem is from 2009.  It’s called ‘the genius of General Motors’

post-3-photo-1

This is awesome.  The headquarters for Chrysler/GM was build in the early 90’s.  It was designed to be easily converted into a shopping mall should the car maker go bankrupt.  Seriously, it’s true.  Read here.

I am really impressed by this.  This is visionary, and forward thinking.  People don’t give credit to American car companies having a far reaching vision.  You know that thing they ask you in interviews:  where do you see yourself in ten years?  Apparently, the GM folk answered that question with “out of business and possibly a dope ass shopping mall!”  Society would be a better place if everyone thought about their actions and consequences 20 years down the line.  So, they are ahead of the curve and should be applauded.

But, then I think more.  I think, if they had a vision of going out of business soon, maybe they could have taken a different tact.  Instead of saying “hey guys, everyone knows we are going to take a digger.  Let’s help re-purpose this place for future generations to use”. Instead of saying that, maybe they should have said “hey guys, this building is super awesome.  We can be super awesome too!  Did you see that Transformers movie?  That was all us!  Yeah, baby!  Let’s make super awesome cars so that we can keep this super awesome building forever.”  I mean… right?

I know a lot of people.  I don’t know more than a couple who own a Chrysler or GM car.  They haven’t made a pertinent car in 30 years.  Well, they had the mini van.  That was pretty smart, and they get props for that.  But… still… they prophesied their own funeral.  I find this epically comical.  The only thing GM has ever gotten right is knowing they would be out of business in 10 years.  Didn’t this raise any red flags?

That is where your Jack Welch’s of the world would have done a course correction.  He would have said something like “What can we do to not turn this into a shopping mall in twenty years”.  He might have said

Hey guys.  Let’s instead make some cars people really want.  Let’s make some sexy cars, and some small ones too.  Let’s make some reliable cars, and some fuel efficient cars, too.   Why we do only make sedans?  Sedans are boring!  Who is in charge of sedans?  Carl?  Ok, Carl, come here please.   Carl, you are fired.  What the fuck is the deal with you and sedans.  Seriously, dude, you are mellowing everyone’s harsh.  Not cool!

These are things Jack Welch would have said.  I feel bad, and almost un-American for wanting these companies to fail.  However, they do not deserve a bail out because they have been failing for 30 years.  American cars sucking has nothing to do with the current economy.  It has to do with them sucking.  Don’t even get me started about that asshat of a CEO who lost 80 billion dollars in four years.  Let me say that again.   He lost 80 BILLION dollars in four years, but his board of directors never fired him.  He was in charge and kept keeping his job and taking home millions.  How did that guy keep his job?  Maybe they will let him work at the chik fil a when the mall opens next year.

* post script – yeah.  They tanked big time.  In fact, we bought them.  You and I did.  We own GM as taxpayers.  I am not sure how something like that works.  But, I think every American should get a coupon for their free GM car.  Go ahead, do it!  There is no real threat.  I don’t even want a free GM car.  Too much maintenance and insane depreciation.  I can’t even make this an anti-union rant.  Ford has turned it around.  For the years I have spent, like you, arguing these issues of American cars being shit… Ford has turned it around.  They didn’t take any of the TARP bail out money, and I have plenty of friends who own Fords.  Ford is making a good car.  The Ford Focus lands in the Consumer Reports for Best Buy routinely now.  So, it can be done.  An American car company can make a good great car.

Proof > Ford is making great cars now.  Well, I hear.  I am still plenty scared, and drive a Toyota (full disclosure).  I had two Ford big ass trucks, and reliability was an issue.  This is a true story of having switched from a Ford F250 Diesel to my Toyota Tundra to haul the horses.   I used to visit my local chain auto parts store.  I knew them by name, as they knew me.  After I got the Tundra, I hadn’t been by in about a year.  The guy at the counter said “Kevin, I haven’t seen you in ages, did you move?”  I said “No, I bought a Toyota truck” and they understood immediately.  That should be a commercial for someone, seriously.

Yet GM had the vision to make a disposable HQ.  What does that say about leadership’s confidence in their product?  If I told you to buy my Widget Series X, with a lifetime guarantee… wouldn’t you be concerned if you heard I had turned my widget factory into a BMX race course?  What was their long term goal?  You had better ask, because it is your company now.

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Here, for the sake of full disclosure… start here.  I wrote this 8 years ago, and it becomes more accurate every day.

I always had a suspicion that Republicans were racists, and the Christian Right was behind the whole mess.  Frankly, it is a pretty obvious stereotypes.  I wanted to be better than that.  Plus,  I just never had any overt proof that the Christian Right is linked with the GOP and the KKK.  Until today, that is.

Now, the link between the ‘Christian Right’ and the KKK is laid out below, carefully.  However, you may ask what does that have to do with the GOP.  The GOP (Republican party) is very close with the Christian right.  They take orders from them.  Why?  Because the Christian right vote heavy, and they vote in lock step.  It is a big voting block that you need as a Republican.  It’s like how Dems go after minorities and unions.  Same thing.

First, allow me to clarify how I use the term ‘Christian Right’.  I am not referring to people who go to church, or love god, or read the bible.  I am referring to the dangerously anti-Christian groups of Colorado Springs that influence and write legislature.  Specifically, I am talking about Rev James Dobson and his ‘Focus on the Family’ team.

You may recognize the group ‘Focus on the Family’.  They are the group that produced Rev Haggard.  Haggard is the guy who spent his time telling kids they were going to hell if they were gay.  That was his full time job at the church… fixing gay.  They did a whole documentary on it, see here.  This guy didn’t fix gay, he just pushed suicides in young gay men.  That was until he was caught in a gay sex scandal himself.  You know, I don’t mind that he was gay.  That isn’t my business.  What IS my business is that this evil, hurtful person drove kids to suicide for being gay themselves.  Nice crew, huh?  That isn’t even what we are writing about today.  We are just establishing character of the Christian Right.  You may say “but these guys don’t represent the entire Christian community”, and I say “Bullshit!  Yes they do“.  These are the ones writing policy, picking candidates, and funding legislation in the United States.  It is all based here out of Colorado Springs.

Anyhow, the Christian Right is growing, and so is the KKK.  Coincidence?  Nope!  Is this just a lefty theory put together by a  vengeful Democrat?  Nope.  the KKK said it themselves.  Business is great in the hate business, because there is a black guy in the White House.

“Membership is booming in Colorado,” said Cole Thornton, Imperial Grand Wizard of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the KKK, which claims to be the largest KKK offshoot in the United States and is active in Colorado.

Mark Potok, SPLC’s spokesman, said, “the truth is that the radical right in the U.S. has grown enormously in the last 10 years, particularly since Obama’s election in 2008.”

So, am I saying everyone who is a Republican or Christian is a racist?  I would not say that, because I am open minded.  However, YOUR dipshit President DID say that.  Remember this gem, about Islam?  “you are either with us, or against us“.  Well, using the the syllogism of your leader, you are part and parcel of racism and hate in America. I am just saying it appears you are all on the same team, and wearing the same uniform.  Good work, righties.  Note, this is NOT a damnation of Christians.  This is a damnation of a specific militant wing of the Christian party working to control US policy.

Note, I am not even getting into the whole Vatican/Catholic priest rape cover up stuff.  This is specific to the racism of the right.

* btw, this is a perfect segue way for my thoughts on the ‘Tea Party’.  The Tea Party are racist dispshits who should all kill themselves.  Why?  Because in the last 50 years, the deficit has been raised the highest in history by Republican Presidents.  It started with Reagan, and each succeeding Republican President raised the debt ceiling higher than anyone in history had.  Each and every Republican president raised the debt ceiling. No one said a word. I had never even heard of the term ‘debt ceiling’ until President Obama, and I follow politics very closely. Not until Obama raised the debt ceiling yet again was it known to me.  See, he had to pay off two completely unfunded wars.  No president in history had cut taxes during war time.  See, wars are incredibly expensive.  Only then to pay off President Bush’ war debt did the Tea Party rear it’s head.  Bush Jr raised the debt ceiling 8 times.  Reagan, the guy all you righties worship, raised the debt ceiling 12 times.  Yet, when this President tried it ONCE… you all flipped.  That is a double standard, and it makes every single one of you tea party asshats racist.

Allow me to clarify why I think you should kill yourself.  I do not think so because you want limited government.  That is a great cause and idea.  I don’t think you should kill yourself because you are fighting for accountability in govt spending.  What you are fighting for, on paper at least, is awesome.  My issue with you is that stuff above isn’t really what you are fighting for.  Nope.  You are fighting all of this because it is a black guy.  How is it never once did you speak up during Bush’s quarterly deficit jumps?  How come no one ever asked “how are we going to pay for these two world wars: Afghanistan and Iraq?”.  How come no one said “isn’t it weird and ironic that communist China has bankrolled our two wars for Democracy?”

Nope.  You were silent, which makes you complicit.  Evil flourishes when good men do nothing.  You, Tea Party, did nothing.  That makes you racist, hypocritical, disingenuous fucktards who should kill themselves.

You know what, the President could pass a bill saying puppies are rad, and Boehner would fight it with every fiber of his being.  That isn’t public service, or even politics.  That is obstructionism.  It is why the GOP has STILL blocked the health care bill designed specifically to assist first responders form 9/11, who are all turning up with cancer now.

** in closing, remember this.   A wise man once said “religion is like your genitalia.  You shouldn’t have it out in public, and you shouldn’t shove it down your children’s throats”

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Seems petty, doesn’t it?

I read today that big pharmco Johnson & Johnson are suing the American Red Cross for using a Red Cross. Read that again. I am very pro- ARC, so that may have some across biased. Specifically, I am a very active volunteer for them.  I will net even pretend to be even handed here. Let me use their words: Red Cross sued for use of cross emblem. I gotta say, I think this is stupid, and super bad public relations. See, the American Red Cross (going forward I’ll just call them ARC for brevity) is a non profit organization. They make NO money at the end of the day because they spend it all saving lives.

Also, ARC was founded before Johnson & Johnson… so nice try on that. To be fair, the J&J does have a patent on the red cross icon. However, they allow the ARC to use it for publicity. See, the ARC gets no money from the government. Not a single penny is given to the Red Cross for anything. Every cent of their budget is from donations. It seems to me that the J&J lawsuit is meritless and malicious.

So, how do the suits at J&J spin suing a non profit public health and safety company? They say they are good friends of the ARC, and big donaters:

Johnson & Johnson noted that it had contributed $5 million over the past three years to the Red Cross and will continue to make donations.

Really? So, you aren’t a bunch of scum sucking bottom feeding lawyers bent on destroying all that’s good? Wait, wait, you are. Read this, which was two sentences later:

The Red Cross said that many of the products in question were part of health and safety kits, and that profits from the sales – totaling less than $10 million – went to boost Red Cross disaster-response efforts. The suit asks the Red Cross to turn over the products in question to New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson for destruction and also seeks unspecified punitive damages.

The key word there is punitive. This is punitive and mean spirited. Clearly, I am not a lawyer… and this will be worked out in the courts. Hey Johnson & Johnson, there is this old lady at my church who keeps aspirin in her purse, and gives it away to old people who are sore. You aren’t going to stand for that, are you? Also, at my job, they give away band aids for FREE. You get the idea.

Doesn’t a business have a right to protect their interests? Not if it hurts the community. It will take the ARC millions just to fight this. That is money that could be helping to rebuild communities after disasters. You don’t think FEMA is gonna save your ass, do you? Exactly!

Regardless, I won’t ever buy another product from Johnson and Johnson if I can help it.

originally published 8.9.2007

* the lawsuit was thrown out of the courts in Nov 2007

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Schadenfreude Capitalism

I was reading earlier today about how swell the new Blockbuster by mail DVD service is. The dude compared it to Netflix, but thought maybe Blockbusters was better. The reason? You can go into a Blockbuster store and return your DVD’s and immediately pick a new one from the in store stock (even though you are a mail customer). Truly, that is an advantage over Netflix. The prices are roughly the same, about $16 a month. I have a Blockbuster pretty close to the house, maybe I should consider switching. Just kidding, I would never switch back to Blockbuster even if it were free.

Why? Because of that term I just coined above. Blockbuster is a purveoyor of Schadenfreude Capitalism®. Since this term has only existed for a few minutes, allow me to explain. The reason why I totally hate Blockbuster and will never do business with them again is because their business model was set up on you failing. Blockbuster only made money if you forget to get the movies back, and they were betting on that. Remember, when you rented a movie for $5, you got it for three days. However, if you were late, it was $5 a day. See, that’s fucked up. It should be that if you were late if would be $5 for every three days. Blockbuster made all their money by you not returning your movies. Blockbuster wants you to fail as a human.

I understand that business is business, and I also understand that I have a choice in business. Another reason to love Netflix? They have a real life call center for help, not an FAQ. Know what else? Their call center is in the United States and is staffed with real life working class Americans! That is a customer service coup, and one we should support. As for Blockbuster, I can’t prove that their entire business model was built on my not returning movies… but twice I saw the assitant manager in my neighborhood slashing tires so we couldn’t get back to the store on time.

originally published 8.29.2007

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the Israeli spy scandal

Ok, back to work distilling the news and issues as only I can. Check out this headline:

American Accused of Spying for Israel

* update 3.2013 > see footnotes

Some dude spent 20 years taking our secrets and giving them to Israel. He got busted, and that is good. Here is where I am confused. I thought Israel was our ally? Israel is the jews, right? Haven’t we been protecting and financing them since WW2? Isn’t our support of Israel why we were attacked on 09/11? rhetorical questions, all. The answer is yes.

So, why are our friends and allies are spying on us? Does anyone else see the conflict here? Haven’t we sacrificed just about everything to protect and defend Israel? If we can’t trust our own friends… you get the idea. Reminds me of another ‘friend’ and ‘ally’; Pakistan.

We have given billions. Billions to the military dictatorship of Pakistan. For what? They are still hiding Bin Laden, they still hate us, they still have nukes, and they are still a dictatorship. That is some great work, Mr President. No wonder it was announced just today that Bush has the worst ratings of a President in HISTORY. Worse than Nixon. Great work, Mr. President!

* after thought: the guy who sold secrets to our friends is in jail. Yet, the guy who sold secrets to our enemies walks free. Why is that?

* update 03.2013 > dig that sentence up there.  I said in 2008 that Pakistan had Bin Laden.  I didn’t say it was a theory.  I stated it as fact, and I was Correct.

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This one is from Sept 2007 >

Jesse Jackson is a doofus

Remember when Jesse Jackson was well respected? Heck, Jesse Jackson used to be feared! Jesse had cred, and he was workin’ hard to protect the black man. I guess Jesse used to be a great man, its tough to tell now. Yesterday, Jesse Jackson accused Barack Obama of “acting like he is white“. What kind of dumb ass racist comment is that? Can you possibly imagine what Jackson & Sharpton would have done if a public figure made the opposite comment (acting like he is black). Man, they would have gone apeshit.

So what happened? Some black kids beat up a white kid, real bad. Jackson wanted to know why Obama wasn’t racing to defend the black kids who beat up another kid. Maybe that is what courts are for, Jesse. Why would Obama, or anyone for that matter, want to go on record defending kids who beat up other kids? Isn’t that why Columbine happened… bullies? Does Jackson feel the beating was justified because the kids were black and the victim was white? I don’t know. Anyhow, Obama stayed mostly above the whole fray. For that, he is ‘acting white’.

Ok, Jesse… you wanna play that way? What then would be ‘acting black’? Why, that would probably be some egregious stereotype of how black people behave in society. If you asked a racist what ‘acting black’ was, he might say; someone who has a child out of wedlock, lies about it for ten years, and steals from him company to pay for his mistress. Oh, snap! That describes Jesse Jackson perfectly.

This whole thing upsets me. We don’t have enough highly visibly positive black role models. Jesse used to be one, until we found out that he was embezzling the Rainbow Coalition money for his mistress. Ok, one role model down. Athletes (black or white) simply aren’t good role models. We had Johnny Cochrane, but he’s dead. We had Ed Bradley, but he’s dead. Gee, is there anyone a kid can turn to for a great black role model? Barack Obama! Sorry, Jesse has decided he is too white. Shut up, Jesse, and go away. You are doing more harm than good.

The worse thing I can say about Jesse is that he is a racist. If you know me, or read here often, you know that isn’t tolerated by anyone at anytime. You just don’t ever single someone out because they look different… unless they are that guy in the post below. Jesus, what a freak that guy is.

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This post below is from Sept 2007

Please Don’t Give her the Kids!

Mary Winkler wants her kids back. Why doesn’t Mary Winkler have her kids now, you ask? Oh, because she brutally and premeditatedly murdered her husband last summer. This isn’t an accusation, she confessed. Anyhow, for whatever insano reason she is out of jail. Bonus, she wants her kids back from her family. No surprise here, the family seems to think this a bad idea. Hmmm… what does the lawyer think:

“She’s such a sympathetic character. She’s the mother of these three children and there’s no evidence she’s ever physically abused them.”

She sure is sympathetic to me. She hasn’t done anything bad to those kids, except for murdering their other parent, of course. “Don’t count her out” a friend says of Mary Winkler. Why? Because she will fucking kill you if you do.

This is one of the best parts, though.

The court papers say that Winkler’s continued separation from her kids is “unconscionable and detrimental” to the girls.

Do you hear that? Taking away their mommy would be mean. In fact, her argument works so perfectly against her. Winkler is, in effect, saying “what kind of asshole takes someones parent away? You have to give me my kids… I am their parent. Parent trumps everything.” This is her message. Normally, I would agree with her… had she not killed the other parent. I have a feeling her thought process is this: without a father, the kids need me more than ever. Again, normally that would be rather true. I fear we are rewarding the wrong behavior here.

Lastly, how is someone convicted of a pre-meditated murder oiut of jail after 67 days? I got more time than that in Tennessee for taking a dump in a Blockbuster video store.

total bonus, on a hunch I did some more research. Tennessee, in their infinite character judging wisdom, doesn’t allow gay marriage. So, it’s ok to kill your husband. No jail, no custody issues… just don’t be gay. Nice work, Tennessee… you must be so proud.

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this piece is from Sept 2007

I am Already reconsidering this piece

Ok, y’all, it’s time to talk about the Senator Craig sex scandal. In brief, this creepy old senator dude from Idaho (or Iowa… one of those states) got busted soliciting gay bathroom sex at the airport. Awesome! Good leadership, Senator. Apparently this isn’t his first foray into trouble. He was implicated back in the early 80’s in s Congressional sex and cocaine scandal. Whatever. What dude wants to do on his time in his house is his business. Problem here is this: dude is married. see, you thought gay sex was frowned upon by the GOP… wait until your wife finds out.

I gotta imagine that is what landed him strollin’ for colon in the men’s room. See, my wife never lets me have crazy gay sex with strangers in my house, either.

It gets better, so stay with me. When the senator got arrested, the officer said it was simply a citation. The officer told the senator the media would not be called, so he should just plead guilty to make this go away. So, he did. This was last year.

A few weeks ago, his local newspaper found this out and released the story. The senator’s response was two fold; he held a press conference to announce:

1. he wasn’t gay
2. he was reconsidering his guilty plea

I love it when people have press conferences announcing how gay they aren’t. That sure worked for Ted Haggard and Mike Piazza. By the way, he didn’t get arrested for being gay. Being gay isn’t illegal, even for Republicans.

So, dude says he was innocent and should not have plead guilty. Then, his entire party (the one’s who hates gays) turned their back on him and told him to resign. On Saturday, he did.

See, we have all been accused of things we didn’t do. I am still angry that 20 years ago when I worked at Jack in the Box they accused me of taking $60 from the register. I never did that. Never. Sure, I stole food… but never touched the cash. My manager asked me to “just confess” and I wouldn’t be fired. I refused to confess. If I were accused to seeking gay sex, I mean crazy weird illegal airport gay sex… and I was innocent > I would fight the shit out of that.

Then, the GOP had an epiphany. Absolutely no Idahoan with half a brain would vote Republican to replace this guy. So, they begged him to stay… after he resigned. So, now the senator has decided to reconsider his resignation. Really, the only thing he should have reconsidered was trying to get laid in the airport bathroom with an undercover cop. George Michael was not able for comment on this piece, but is positively giggling somewhere.

** totally awesome update > Thursday 5:18 pm.

Apparently reading this blog, Senator Craig’s folks released this statement. “he was going to retire, anyway.” That is so perfectly childish. it’s like if you get fired from a job (which he kinda did) and you reply to the boss on the way out “I was gonna quit anyway!”… and that somehow that redeems your shame and self worth.

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