Friday, October 29, 2004

Copy Cat
Taking a daily visit to DelaWhere? DelaWho? DelaWhat?, I noticed the changes he's made to his Identity. A Daily Boondocks strip. CD's on the listening station. Nice Touch. How better to send him a compliment than to copy his method. Hey!! How about some non-hip-hop related cd's? I know you're listening to other music. Let's see it. Keep up the changes, Mr. Ivan.

He Hate Me
Back in the days of the XFL, semmingly any half-baked idea proposed was accepted in an attempt to get someone to watch the fledgling league. Remember sitting governor Jesse Ventura doing color commentary? Nom de plumes emblazoned on the shoulders of players were the rage. A notably talented running back, Rod Smart, eschewed Smart on his back, instead preferring He Hate Me. While the name was gramatically challenging, it did make play-by-play announcing interesting.
"He Hate Me up the middle for a gain of 20 yards!."

I'm wondering if cheap copies of his football jersey are to be had, in bulk, for pennies on the dollar....

Mr. G. Bush has delivered on at least one of his 2000 campaign promises. I failed to connect the link between the promise and the accomplishment for a long time. Blame it on my brain for being too embroiled with the other doings under his administration. But, there it is!
He said that he was a unifier and that he is.
At no other time, in at least the last 100 years, has the world been so unified.
At no other time in the last century have strong and similar feelings tied so much of the world together.
Credit should be given to where credit is due.

The world is unified in its hate for us.

It's such a bizarre feeling. We've always been the good guys. How could this be? I ignored this state of being for the last 2 years. It just could not be possible! Everybody loves us, right?

Oh, sorry that was the state of affairs under the previous administration. Everybody loved Clinton; well, except for Congress and the Bush Clan...

So, it's on to e-Bay to rustle up some He Hate Me jersies. I'm planning a European vacation for next summer; have to make sure I can be readily identified as an American. I'll even spring for the expensive style, the shirt that's easily washable. I figure I'll be washing it daily what with all of the commentary spat my way.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Shoe Fest Fetish
Don't remember the site that pointed me to Manolo Shoes, and, for that, I apologize profusely. This a blog site that has short daily entries accompanied by a picture (or two). The Manolo, as he prefers to be titled, has his tongue firmly planted in (facial)cheek. Anyone who gives Karl Lagerfield the nickname "El Diablo" is worth a daily visit. The Manolo is pithy. 10-30 seconds of your time. Tops. And you've had your daily recommended dose of fashion snippets, along with a laugh. Highly recommended.

Vote for ME!! No, wait a minute...Vote for me!!
Just checking out the Official Delaware Nov 2 Ballot, so I know which levers to push, punch, pull, or ignore. Mr. Infante, mentioned in a earlier blog, seems to be opting to run against himself. Perhaps, he is trying to corral all of the schizophrenic votes in Delaware. He is listed as the gubernatorial candidate for the Liberterian party and for the Independent party. Now, since he's running against himself, theoretically, all votes for him would negate each other, right? Walking further down this ridiculous road, theoretically, Mr. Infante could garner the most votes in the state race for governor, tie with himself, and lose. Now, this sounds like an interesting election.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Smack upside his head
Is it just me or would you also like to smack Pedro upside his head with a merde filled sock?
I want the Sox to win, more so to give the greater New England area something different to moan about for the next 86 years than to actually get the World Series trophy.
The Cardinals seem like a team one can easily cheer for as well; there cetainly is no hate or dislike toward them.

But Pedro? What an arrogant bastard! And what's he got to be arrogant about? If it wasn't for some Keystone Kops base-running by the Cards last night, he would have been gone from the game by the 3rd inning.
Maybe "Zimmer" was in training this summer. Practicing his tackling moves, greasing his head, reviewing tape of last year's "Toss the Yankee Coach on his Noggin" contest...
Maybe he could come back for the 4th game of the Series.
Throw out the ceremonial ball.
Take a detour to tht Sox bench.
Take a 2 x 4 to Martinez's suddenly larger head...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

"Politics is ALWAYS Local"- "Tip" O'Neil..and always more interesting.
(Though all the Delaware 2004 Guberbnatorial candidates look like folks you'd rather not run into in a dark alley, that is current Delaware governor, Ruth Ann Minner, on the far left. Mr. Infante is seated on the far right. Mr. Lee, the Republican candidate is sitting, uncomfortably, in the middle)

Driving back to work from lunch in the quaint burg of Smyrna, Delaware, I drove by the "Bull Dozers Saloon." It's a ramshackle of a place, composed of two rectangular boxes meeting at an obtuse angle. Parking lot is in the closing end of the angle. Rooms for rent are in the back. An EZ-Display sign is in front of the bar, teetering over into the street. Usually, the next bands to be playing at the saloon are listed there.
Today, I jumped on the brakes as I passed the sign.
WHYY Gubern Deb !!!!
(WHYY is a public tv station operating out of Philly-Wilmington)
Why the advert on a boogie bar's sign for the governor's debate on public tv? Frank Infante.

Independent-Libertarian Frank Infante Rocks!! (or, he used to)
Age: 36
Party: Independent, Libertarian
Residence: Smyrna
Education: Penncrest High School, Media, Pa., some courses at Delaware County Community College
Occupation: Co-owner of Bull Dozers Saloon, Smyrna, DE; President, Delaware United Smokers Association
Family: Married, two children
Prior public/civic service: Citizen lobbyist for several issues, including a partial repeal of the state's indoor smoking ban and Senate Bill 2, which would allow the state to barbering and cosmetology board to license ex-felons. Before entering the bar business, Infante was a member of the ultra-heavy metal band Our Mad Sychotic Frenzy, OMSF
Web site: on the issues:

From The (Wilmington) News Journal, the following is excerpted:

Regarding Our Mad Sychotic Frenzy, Mr. Infante said, "The group made two albums. The wrapper on the band's 1994 "Lords of Metal" warns of explicit lyrics, a caution well-heeded by the squeamish, and the liner notes list Frank's quote of choice as "If everyone hates you, you're winning."

The band's lyrics are sometimes threatening - "I gotta settle the score, not gonna mess around, I'm gonna bring you down" - sometimes despondent and mournful. One song, "Mercy Kill," is about a son who kills his father to end his suffering. Another, "Blind Eyes," is about the danger of drug abuse.

Infante, who favors the music of Ozzy Osbourne and Slayer, said life in a heavy metal band was wild. But his brushes with the law were minor, he said.

"I've never been convicted," Infante said, though Delaware County, Pa., court records disagree. "But I did all kinds of things when I was a kid - stuff like drinking too much beer. I lived like a heavy-metal musician. We were not always little angels, especially when we were young guys."

His experiences, though, give him a valuable perspective, he says. "When you're approaching 40 years old, you always think of things you'd do differently," he said. "But I wouldn't be the person I am. Maybe I wouldn't be as well-rounded to represent all those people. Maybe I'd have gone to Harvard, but I might not be the kind of person I'd vote for. Maybe making mistakes - which we've all done - turns you into the person you are. You're able to represent people without judging."

Court records show some of Infante's mistakes include a DUI conviction in 1987, a suspended driver's license, and, more recently, a resisting arrest conviction in 1996 - "petty stuff," he said. His first wife filed for a protection from abuse order at the time of their divorce in the early 1990s, but Infante said "that happens quite often when people go through a bad divorce."

I'm sure that 10-15 years ago, Mr. Infante's candidacy would have been a great ploy for free advertising for his fine establishment. However, with Jesses Ventura's joke of a campaign that landed him in the Minnesota governship as precedent, you can't just laugh this Delaware version off.
Hell, based on just the short list of events in his life above, you'd think there would at least be one C&W song to go along with th his candidacy. There's a lot of folks out there in New Castle, Kent, & Sussex counties that have lived the hard life. Mr. Infante, with his direct, brusque but engaging manner may steal enough votes from Ms. Minner to make the race interesting. Mr. Lee, the only college educated candidate actually seems to be the oddball out.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Something in the Air
It's not every day and it's definitely not every Monday that one walks out of one's house's door and is greeted by a caterwaul of cats. Five on the porch. Two on the steps. Three pseudo-hiding in the bushes. And the mother-of-all-cats perched precipitously on the lid of our garbage can.
All staring. All with that crazed look only cats get when there's a juicey meal to be had. Whiskers were alive, full tilt boogie.
What the ?!?!?!?!
And then the disaster of last night's dinner came back to me, awash in the continuing airs wafting from my kitchen and the aforementioned trash can.
Sunday was "Gourmet Night."
As the years depreciate the taste buds, rubbing those little sensory nubs on your tongue until they are flush, spices are the last resort to a memorable meal. Paprika, cayenne, curry powder, sage, chili powder. They are the Viagra of eating pleasure. So, while driving home on Thursday, I was listening to The World on our local NPR station. Sprinkled amongst the usual stories of the downtrodden, unlucky, cursed people or countries, food somehow came up. Two recipes came up for discussion. One item, Clay Pot Pork stuck out. Something to foist on the family on Sunday, the only day of the week where the proper amount of time could be spent on actually cooking a meal in the correct way.
Along with the main ingredient, pork shoulder garlic, pepper, scallions, shallot, and chicken broth Vietnamese Fish Sauce were also called for in this dish. The recipe stated that any fish sauce was fine, but Vietnamese Fish Sauce was the Thing. that seperated this dish from your pedestrian pork dish. Scroungin around our local Far East shoppeteria, I came upon the sauce, "Viet Huong Three Crabs Fish Sauce" to be specific. The smile (dare I say the "mysterious smile") of the shop's owner shuold have tipped me off when I was checking my purchases out. I misinterpreted it as recognition of a fabulous meal soon to be had.
"To be had" is what I should have come away with. In the course of the meal preparations, visions of the pig came to me. It was laughing at me, "Poor fool, you really don't know what you're in for." Two hours later, the pork shoulder was finally cleaned and seperated from the enwrapping fat. The off-putting sweet smell would soon be gone, I thought, by the spices. The fabulous spices. The fam would be ecstatic with the results!

Carmelize the sugar.
Pour in (gently!!) the chicken broth.
Throw in the spices.
Open the Viet Huong Three Crabs Fish Sauce (after freeing the bottle from the encasing plastic. No wonder dolphins are killed by this plastic netting. Only multiple sets of knives will free the glass from the wrapper).
I reeled.
I shimmy-shammied.
I believe I even did the Watusi.
I'd fallen into the full-to-the-brim hull of a fish factory ship.
The odor exploded out of the bottle and invaded the house. Plants were wilting. Our newly painted dining room was turning form Mustard Yellow to Vomit Green. I heard a muffled sound as a stampede of cockroaches headed next door.

I must be oversensitive. Or had the fish sauce gone bad? Trudging onward, I picked myself up off of the floor, steadied my hand, measured out 2/3 cup of the vile juice, and dropped it into the mixture.
Heat! Heat and time will do the trick, I supposed. Covering the dutch oven with it's heavy lid, I crawled out of the kitchen. Hopefully, the smell would rise and my position, kissin gthe floorboards, would offer some succor from the nasal onslought.
Three hours later, the pork was done. Or I awoke. One of these. I empathized with my neighbours north of the Delaware state line. They lived amongst the mushroom growers, a fecund spot of olifactory overload, if there ever was one. If they could get used to their overpowering airs, so could I.
Unfortunatley, I forgot my family had been out of the house during this dining debacle. Their arrival came with loud coughs and "What happened"'s. Acclimitization was not a pleasant 30 minute ordeal. I called ABC Rentals to see if they had Diver's Tanks available, but I forgot it was Sunday. They were probably at home cooking an edible meal.

The short of it all? The pork actually tasted fabulous. Who would have thought that mixing a pig with a chicken and a fish (anchovy) would have resulted in such a tasty piece of meat. But the house? It's still in sensory shock.
The balance of the Viet Huong Three Crabs Fish Sauce?
It went the way of your normal dead aquarium fish, down the porcelain subway.
The bottle?
Out in the trash bin; no recycling for that baby.
The cats?
I went to work, leaving them moaning and mewing about the fish that got away.

End of the World Forget your typical sandwich board-wearing unshaven and alcoholic breath realing biped pronouncing doom and gloom and the End of the World as we know it. You actually have to go to get on a train, drive a car, or fly into a major city to see such individual theatrics. Just turn on your tv sets. The signs of impending doom are right there. How else do you explain the Red Sox being up 2-Zip to the superior Cardinal of St. Louis? How else do you explain 4 errors in games, back to back, by the Sox of Rouge, and two victories from those fielding debacles? How do you explain miraculous and yet jury-rigged surgeries on the Ankle of Schilling? Is this not the same general area as the Tendon of Achilles? How is it that weaknesses and faults have now become excuses for victory? What pact with the devil has Trot Nixon made to be making catches like Jim Edmunds? And what parent, aside form one with stomach ailments, names their child "Trot"? So the world shall soon end, and possibly before Nov. 2nd, the day that Havoc will spread.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

It Figures
There's a logical reason for everything. Especially, when you get to concoct the logic after an event's passing. Who can argue with you? Lay it all out on paper or on blackboard. Toss in a few Greek letters signifying importance, shorthand, and history (all at the same time). Voila! Step-by-step calculated certainty of what happened. Questions!?!? Just point to the end result. So, the Red Sox did the improbable. They read their own press clippings, which assured them of an appearance in the World Series. Then they promptly went into the dark hole of 0-3. Eternal darkness awaited them. But, as the formula shows, nothing to fear. And here they are today, victors @ 4-3 out of 7. For those formulaically inclined, it was always to be anyway. It's in the numbers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Barks & Bites
Remember going to school past that house with the beat up low-slung chain link fence? Some four-legged beast of disputable heritage ran a Moebius strip by the street-side of the fence, Barking and growling and nastily drooling. Scared the hell out of you each morning, while you were half-asleep as you sauntered by. Bugged the hell out of you when you slinked by the beast on the way back home.
Then, one day, you had it. Something at school didn't go well, somebody looked at you crosseyed, your p'butter-jelly sandwich was smushed, your locker was pennied shut. So, on the way back home, that damn dog starts with the fence prowling and throat growling. You lean over the fence and start barking back. Your friends back away; you're about to get your face ripped off. Instead, the dog hightails it back under the dilapidated porch, shivering.
Another life lesson.
The louder the bark, the more non-existent the bite.

So, when the "Pubs start ranting and barking against Kerry's service record, pull out the following list (provided by a friend of mine, no reference attached) and see who's got the bark and who actually has the teeth.

This could be the last election where military service in Vietnam has any political significance, but just for the record it's worth noting who really served from each of the major political parties:

Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
David Bonior: Staff Sgt. Air Force, 1968-72.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lieut., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted 1969, sent to Vietnam Jan.'71 as army journalist-
Engnr. Brig.
Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. US Navy, 1966-69, Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47, Medal of Honor, WWII.
John Kerry: Lieut., US Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with
Combat Purple Hearts.
John Edwards: did not serve.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt. US Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, US Army 1965-68: Silver Star & Bronze Star,
Ted Kennedy: US Army, 1951-53.
Tom Harkin: Lieut. US Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-79; Captain, Army Reserve, 1979-91.
Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, Bronze Star & 7 campaign
Leonard Boswell: Lieut. Col., Army 1956-76: Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Star
Pete Peterson: Capt. USAF, POW, Purple Heart, Silver Star & Legion of
Mike Thompson: Staff Sgt., 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
Bill McBride:( Candidate for Fla. governor), USMC Bronze Star-
Gray Davis: Captain, US Army; Bronze Star - Vietnam.
Pete Stark: USAF, 1955-57.
Chuck Robb: USMC- Vietnam.
Howell Heflin: Silver Star.
George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC - WWII.
Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments - Entered draft &
Jimmy Carter: Lieutenant US Navy ; seven years of service including
Walter Mondale: US Army, 1951-53. Korea.
John Glenn: US Navy WWII & Korea, six DFCs and Air Medal with 18
Tom Lantos: served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul
Wesley Clark: US Army 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart,
Silver Star, retired Four Star General.
John Dingell: WWII.
John Conyers: US Army, 1950-57- Korea.

Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom Delay: did not serve.
House Whip Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve - several deferments due to "other
John Ashcroft: did not serve. 7 deferments to teach business.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxy Chambliss: did not serve due to a "bad knee". This is the man who
attacked the patriotism of Max Cleland who lost three limbs in combat
in Vietnam.
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Vin Weber: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Tim Hutchinson: did not serve.
Christopher Cox: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Don Rumsfeld: US Navy flight instructor 1954-57.
Geo. W. Bush: six year Nat'l Guard commitment (incomplete).
Ronald Reagan: poor eyesight, made movies and canteen visits in WWII.
Gerald Ford: US Navy WWII.
Phil Gramm: did not serve.
John McCain: Vietnam POW, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, DFC.
Bob Dole: US Army WWII, wounded in action.
Chuck Hagel: Purple Heart & Bronze Star - Vietnam.
Jeff Sessions: Army Reserve 1973-86.
J.C. Watts: did not serve.
Lindsey Graham: attorney for National Guard.
G.H.W. Bush: US Navy pilot-WWII, shot down by Japanese.
Tom Ridge: Bronze Star - Vietnam.
Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
Clarence Thomas: did not serve.

Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a "pilonidal cyst").
Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Paul Gigot: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.
Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
Michael Medved: did not serve

Monday, October 18, 2004

Mea Culpa
My apologies to anyone out there in Blogoslobia who, when connecting to my site, encountered a popup message saying they were now infected.
1) Not to worry, you were not infected. That's right, this site did not have the "kooties".
2) The popup appeared due to one of my blog entry's inserted picture being tied to another site, specifically a runner's site somewhere in the Land of Hoosiers.
3) My apologies to their site (, I believe) for using their "prom" pix without consulting with them. I believe I'll be serving some time in the modern version of Dante's Inferno for this slip-up. (But, as you can see, I'll have cash availibility while I burn)
4) Said picture has been dutifully expunged from my site and the popup, as a result, has as well.

So, all is well in the "Land of Verging on Pertinence. I appreciate your visits and, especially, your comments.

And, once more, sorry for the unintended scare!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Rush to Caffeinated Leisure

Netflix, greatest self-indulgence idea since Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Emporium, delivered, as promised, the DVD version of Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes a few weeks ago. I had a chance ot see the movie on The Big Screen in the early summer. Enjoyed it tremendously, but missed some of the lines. Mumbling does that to you. So, having the ability to re-play scenes over and over again (until my wife started to throw her shoes at my noggin) was such a pleasure.

I know what i'll be pawing through my Christmas stocking for this year.

No blood. No gore. No sex. No animal sacrifice. No color.

Yes to cigarettes. Yes to coffee (and Tea, including the Tea Mother). Yes to Tom Waits & Iggy Stooge. Yes to Bill Murray, RZA, & GZA. Yes to Steven Wright & Roberto Benigni.

And, of course, there's some additional items, including outakes (but NOT enough of them) and director's commentary. More time for lounging and soaking it up.
The best part of the movie? No scenes in Starbucks or a facsimile.
Worst part of the movie? No scenes in Starbucks or a facsimile. Damn!? I would have loved to see Mr. Jarmusch do at least one of the bits in a mass commercial establishment, just to see his take on the matter.

The film:
"Muze Description -
Jim Jarmusch has consistently wowed audiences with his truly distinctive cinematic vision. Shot over the course of a 17-year-period, COFFEE AND CIGARETTES proves once again that Jarmusch is a true original. This time around, the director tries his hand at the short film genre, delivering 11 shorts that are all based around the seemingly insignificant acts of drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. In the first short, "Strange to Meet You," Steven Wright and Roberto Benigni discuss the perks of cigarettes and coffee. In "Somewhere in California," Iggy Pop nervously tries to befriend Tom Waits, who decides that he can have a cigarette because he just quit. Cate Blanchett delivers a towering dual-role performance in "Cousins," playing both her Hollywood superstar self as well as her bitter cousin. In a similarly titled yet totally different short, Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan are brilliant in "Cousins?" And then there is "Delirium," one of the best short films ever made, in which Rappers Rza and Gza (Wu-Tang Clan) discover that Bill Murray is a coffee addict, and they use their expertise to preach to him the benefits of alternative medicine. Jarmusch builds to a poetic conclusion and the film is shot in an artistic black-and-white, making COFFEE AND CIGARETTES both an impressive work and a lighthearted, yet genuine, tribute to the art of smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee"
(from( Rotten Tomatoes)

The vignettes form was previously a technique he used in Night on Earth, my personal favorite of Mr. Jarmusch's.
(An aside: Why the ?!NASJLANS&%!%? isn't his available on DVD? My VHS copy screeches sometimes when I'm playing it. I see double images.) While Night on Earth had carefully scripted stories that all tied together, Coffee and Cigarettes has a (very)thin thread that runs through some of the bits, namely Nikola Tesla, a scientist of Croatian birth, that seems to be having a revival of sorts and the checkered pattern of some of the tablecloths. Each item is an observation of Coffee/Cigs manners, even ones we may have witnessed or participated in. Well, perhaps not the Jack White filmette.
As is usual with a Jarmusch flick, there are great one-liners and confused faces. Some of the stories must have been of the one-take variety. The Wright-Benigni piece, first of the eleven to play, is an example.

I strongly urge a Netflix rental. And then decide, after multiple viewings, if this is one DVD that needs to be possessed.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Pessimism & Your post-Nov. 2nd Portfolio
Along with charter buses plying there way northward in search of cheaper meds, like salmon to spawn, so shall a good deal of our citizenry be taking any mode of transportation, including bipeding, to get over the Quiet Border. This, at least, according to various answers given to pollsters inquiring about the upcoming election.
If Prez Bush makes it a double term, turnstiles will have to be set up at major border crossings to Canada.
What's one to do?
Well, if you're a social pessimist but an economic optimist, it's time to consider diverting those mutual fund dollars helping support a military complex and a coffee crazed nation addicted to electronic ware to destinations further north. Unless the Canucks opt to keep Americans out, which I doubt they'll do since they are the most polite country in...well, at least in all of North America, an uptick in their population will bring with it a demand for goods and services. Where to put your money, you ask?
1) Location. Location. Location. All of these border-crossers will need a place to lounge and spread out their material goods. Get the Toronto Globe & Mail, Toronto Sun, Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal, etc. Look at the real estate sections. Look for properties close to highways and shopping malls. Something akin to the places folks are leaving form the States.
2) Food. Food. Food. Canadian cuisine is as world famous as Al Queda pacifists. Just like the al Queda, the Canadian cuisine is difficult to locate. You may be staring at it right on your plate, but you'll fail to recognize it under the cover of brownish gravy. The newly arrived will want pizzas, burgers, and fries. And that means fries without vinegar! Ecoute la! Donut Shoppes are also a good investment. Tim Horton's is Canadian, well-established (I.e., heavy on the goodwill), and easy to manage.
3)Beer. Beer. Beer. Although, in general, Canadian beer is much preferable to the mass-produced American version, you'll have quite a few Americanos unwilling to sip anything with taste, so getting into the importing business would be a solid opportunity. This may not be a good long-term investment however, as continued residence in Canada may teach these folks the appreciation of good tasting biere.
4) Sports. Sports. Sports. 12 men on the field? Three downs? Out of end zone point scoring? Does this sound foreign to you? Well, it is! Except in Canada this is called Canadian football. Once the ex-Americans have found a place to lounge and lintpick, sports entertainment and beer (see #4) become the next big needs. This is an optimal investment opportunity. That group of whiny drinking buddies? Time to troll for dollars and put it into a sports team, preferably a football team. Say, the Arizona Cardinals. They should be ripe for the picking. The Chicoutimi Cardinals? That does have a nice ring to it.

Modest Proposal
Short continuance of last night's debate comments. The two candidates opted to wear the same color scheme, i.e., suit, shirt, & tie, last night. Suavely bland. Personally, I like a bit more verve and color in a tv talkathon. When the answers to questions are not being answered, when the same comments are shilled from one debate to another, when the ratio of points to be made to words exhaled turns to 1:500 (or worse), you need some distraction to keep your interest going. Since the stage setting is uniformly droll, it's the candidates' clothing that needs to serve as an attention getter and maintainer (Excuse the use of Bushglish here).
I propose the NASCAR clothing theme. My apologies to the reader if they've already come up on this proposal elsewhere; I haven't, so I can honestly say I'm not (consciously) stealing someone else's sartorial recommendations. Why not allow the clothing to speak for the man, especially if you're not that interested in what the man is (at that time) speaking of.

The driver's jumpsuits are easy to get in and out of. This shedding quality adds a more natural element to the events. Every sporting event has its forum and its specialized uniform. I say, ban the two piece suit; bring on the one piece jumpsuit! Plus! The suits are easily washable, which is something to consider with the amount of phlegm and invective thrown around.
Both could opt for a distinguished navy blue basic jumpsuit, lending a tinge of dignity to the affair.
Patches of assorted campaign sponsors would be tastefully sewn on.
The tv audience would be able to see the candidate, who is the visible 1/10th of each party's campaign.
They would also finally get to see the other 9/10 of the campaign's iceberg, namely the corporate and other interested parties' identities.
So, aside from keeping you, the viewer, interested the NASCAR style suit would assist in your deciphering of the answers. Seeing Pfizer or Merck patches on Dubya's suit would illuminate his responses to the higher health & prescription costs. That Trial Lawyers of America patch on Kerry's left arm offers you a perspective on his defense of litigation attorneys.

And, YES, this would all be tastefully done! No Viagra patches would be allowed. Nor any TJ Hobbs Bail Bondsman & Collection Service Emporiums ads. Come on! We're talking about a dignified dogfight here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

A Kiss for your Sister
Round #3 is over and, well, spray a little Binaca and give your little sis a peck. I'd say the presidential debate tonight was a draw. Both Bush and Kerry came out in identically dark suits, red ties, and American flags on their left lepals. And they left, looking the same.
Mr. B. tried some lame joke about the "leading newspapers" that never got anywhere. But the experience of the previous two debates let you know that he was almost obliged to do something in the "Words & Phrases" dept., so his "What'd he say?" escapade tonight barely registered. Dubya poked fun at himself at the end of the debate, when he answered the last question of the night, one regarding the importance of his wife to his life and career. He was self-deprecating, funny, and obviously gaga about Laura Bush. The audience, understandably, reacted positively. It was odd that he would seemingly allow his guard down, thus coming off as a vulnerable, regular, married with kids kind of guy. At the previous debate, when queried about the possibility he had ever made a mistake during his tenure as president, he ignored that issue and then proceded to act like the horse-blindered born-again Christian never-at-fault kind of guy we are more familiar with. Laura B. must have given him a talking to after the second round.
Kerry came off well. His usual polished self. Trying to show the passion that IS SOMEWHERE inside of him, he answered the wife question with almost equal emotion, though not as funny. He did bring in his late mother into his response, thus one-upping Dubya on that count.
I'm sure Barbara Bush will take George out to the woodshed on that one. She'll be taking and telling him who's the wife, who's the woman, and who's the Mama.

Now, 21 more days of flying horse dung. And then the jury will file back into the voting booth.

It's the little Things
Some days you look for any occurence, happenstance, incident, or murmur to brighten up what's turning out to be a general hoser of a day. Such a day was today, when any mote of positivity was hoped for. E. F. Schumaker's Small is Beautiful is your credo. While waiting for the morning coffee to brew in our Engineering dept (where the best coffee is made! They are exacting in their grinding, their measuring, their filtering of water, and their judicious use of cleaning products), I happened to come upon two slips of paper in my pocket. You know how it is, you're standing there with nothing in your hands, so you take the opportunity to do a complete audit of the contents of your pants. It's a Guy Thing.
Traffic to work that morning had been heavier than usual, some work related reports were due early that day, some of my employees were absent, the weather indicated afternoon drizzle...just a drudgy day. Looking at the slips, I realized I was wearing pants I'd just purchased a few days ago.
Dressing in the dark is always a surprise; one day I realized I was wearing shoes of the same style but of different colors. So this morning's garment adventure had me unknowingly putting on some new slacks. The slips of paper that I'd found were the usual "I have personally inspected every detail of this garment..." with the Inspector's id# noted. Usaully, getting more than one slip means that the Inspector just put in two of his own slips. Not today. Seems 2 seperate Inspectors had been giving the once-over to my trousers. My pants are special...ergo...I am special. Thank you, Inspector #43 and Inspector #37. My day is improving.

Monday, October 11, 2004

'l'esprit de l'escalier'
In French, as well as meaning 'spirit', 'esprit' can mean 'wit' and it seems that the second meaning is what is intended in the phrase.

Staircase wit.

The witty riposte one thinks of only when one has left the drawing room and is already on the way downstairs, in Paradoxe sur le Comédien (written 1773-8, published 1830, Denis Diderot (1713-84) French philosopher and man of letters)

From Collins Robert French Dictionary:-
Avoir l'esprit d'escalier - to be slow on the repartee, to have a plodding mind

This has always been one of my favorite expressions, next to le monde au balcon (the world in the balcony), in assigning a tangible quality to a personal trait (although le monde would be tangible, but at your own risk). L'esprit... is a phrase that pokes fun at you while you're trying to recall it. In effect, your clever little phrase escapes you even as you hope to launch it at your adversary. You chase your own tail and, thus, appear foolish rather than witty.

The debates have reminded me of a mansion full of staircases of wit. It's as if the candidates, specifically our Prez, want us to forget they had a debate, especially one where they've botched some facts or where they've been taken to taks. They go out the next day, armed with their hammers and nails provided to them by their ever-researching staff and try to build some formidable structure of logic and sense. Buildings of verbiage to hide the hole thet dug for themselves only a night earlier.

And all you see is the hole. They're on the ground floor, trying to fool you that they're in the balcony..with the world.
But there I go, foisting l'esprit de l'escalier on you.

Prez Quippings

From, with props to Debate Line of the Week

Let your memory engine engage.

God's Comic (apologies to Elvis Costello)

Excuse my insertion of another Bill Hicks piece so quickly after my last posting. Prosletizing does have its sound reasons. And Hicks was nothing if not sound.

From Konformist on "Bill Hicks", an excerpt of a letter from Bill Hicks re. his being exorcised from a Letterman show. Please read the whole piece; it includes part of the act he did that got him expunged. The letter in the blogpost was an unpublished (at that time) missive to John Lahr, a writer for The New Yorker and The New York Times.:

(In regard to the Letterman appearance (well...what turned out to be a non-appearance)
"I did what I've always done - performed material in a comedic way, which I thought was funny. The artist always plays to himself, and I believe the audience, seeing that one person can be free to express his thoughts, however strange they may seem, inspires the audience to feel that perhaps they too can freely express their innermost thoughts with impunity, joy and release, and perhaps discover our common bond - unique, yet so similar - with each other.

This philosophy may appear at first to some as selfish - "I play to me and do material that interests and cracks me up." But, you see, I don't feel I'm different from anyone else. The audience is me. I believe we all have the same voice of reason inside us, and that voice is the same in everyone.

This is what I think CBS, the producers of the Letterman show, the networks and governments fear the most - that one man free, expressing his own thoughts and point of view, might somehow inspire others to think for themselves and listen to that voice of reason inside them, and then perhaps, one by one we will awaken from this dream of lies and illusions that the world, the governments and their propaganda arm, the mainstream media, feeds us continuously over fifty-two channels, twenty-four hours a day.

What I realised was that they don't want the people to be awake. The elite ruling class wants us asleep so we'll remain a docile, apathetic herd of passive consumers and non-participants in the true agendas of our governments, which is to keep us separate and present an image of a world filled with unresolvable problems, that they, and only they, might somewhere, in the never-arriving future, may be able to solve. Just stay asleep, America. Keep watching television. Keep paying attention to the infinite witnesses of illusion we provide you over "Lucifer's Dream Box".

The herd has been pacified by our charade of concern as we pose the two most idiotic questions imaginable - "Is television becoming too violent?" and "Is television becoming too promiscuous?" The answer, my friends, is this: television is too stupid. It treats us like morons. Case closed.

And now, the final irony. One of the "hot points" that was brought up as being "unsuitable for our audience" was my joke about pro-lifers. My brilliant friend Andy posited the theory that this was really what bothered and scared the network the most, seeing as how the "pro-life" movement has essentially become a terrorist group acting with impunity and God on their side, in a country where the reasonable majority overwhelmingly supports freedom of choice regarding abortion.

I felt there was something to this theory, but I was still surprised to be watching the Letterman Show (Iím still a fan) the Monday night following my censored Friday night performance and, lo and behold, they cut to a - are you ready for this? - pro-life commercial. This farce is now complete. "Follow the money!"

Then I'll see you all in heaven, where we can really share a great laugh together Ö Forever and ever and ever."

Mr. Hicks died of pancreatic cancer on February 26, 1994. Bill Hicks' website is still being maintained. Go have a visit. Jump over to his cd releases and pick up a few of his available bits. I've been listening to Relentless, Dangerous, Love, Laughter & Truth, and Philosophy. For starters, I'd recommend Philosphy. I suggest sending the kids out to play or donning some headphones; Mr. Hicks is not shy about language nor topic. He is true adult entertainment as his wit and wordplay are simultaneouly on a higher plane and in the gutter, 2 places children shouldn't be visiting until their developmental teenage (late teenage) years. He's wearing Armani in the outhouse.

Friday, October 08, 2004

A Lively Interpretation

One of the many memorable and insightful shticks that the late great standup comic Bill Hicks was one he performed soon after the Rodney King-LA Police community relations encounter. His take on the trial of one of the officers involved, an Officer Koons, (on which Mr. Hicks commented, "I swear. I could never have invented a name like that."), went something like this:

Judge (J): "Mr. Koons. How do you plead?"
Officer Koons (OK): "Innocent, your honor."

The jury gasped. They shook in fear and astonishment. There were witnesses! There was a video tape of the beating! This man has such chutzpah! He needs a wheelbarrow to cart his cojones around! He has incredible balls!

J: "Innocent?! And how do you make this claim? We have a video tape! We have witnesses."
OK: "Well, your honor, it all depends on how you look at it."
J: "How you look at it? And how do you propose we should look at it, Officer Koooooons?"
OK: "Well, like I said. It all depends how you look at it. See, if you play that video in reverse, it looks like I'm helping him (Rodney King) up off the street, And then, you see, I'm helping him into his car. Heck, I'm even waving him off. See, it all depends on how you look at things.

The second presidential debates took place tonight. With minimal recall cells active in my head at this time of the night, only two things stuck out.

1) Dubya's need to have the last dig overwhelmed any of the proper and civil manners that his parents had tried to drum into him. At one point in the exchanges with John Kerry, when Bush had his last ALLOWABLE say on an issue, Bush, shaking with ill-concealed anger, strode to the center of the stage, ignored the moderator's (Charles Gibson) repeated instructions that his allotted time was used up, and garbled something in anger for 20-30 seconds. I wish I could recall what he'd said; at least to see if the verbiage matched the emotions and the issue at hand. Physical violence actually seemed possible.

2) What speechifying I did remember of the President was his interpretation of the release of the CIA's findings that there were no WMD's in Iraq, nor any evidence of any in the past 4-5 years. How he was able to say, with that tightly drawn straight face, to those "town meeting" folks that he welcomed the report since it proved his point about the future intent of Saddam Hussein, irregardless of any physical proof now would have made Bill Hicks choke on his cigarette. Regardless of what other folks may say, I think George Bush has improved in office. Perhaps not grown into the office; those shoes are just too big. But you have to give him credit in developing that fine art of political twisting.

Even Bill Hicks, wherever he is now, would have appreciated it. You know Officer Koons is wondering if he'll be receiving a consulting fee for that lesson.

Yep, it all depends simply on how you look at it.

Not the Prom

The following is (well...not the picture) a total copy of the October 3rd blog on BarlowFriendz. I know I've been doing a lot of pointing to or copying from other folks' commentary. Well....if I catch a piece that's well written and presents a strong case for thoughts I'm coping to put on blogpaper, I'll take a mulligan on my writing and stick my nose out and point. Ruff! Ruff! Besides, this is what blogging's supposed to be about, isn't it? Not so much introspection as out-there-spection.

Supporting Kerry Anyway...
› 03:14 AM | Bush Outrages/ Current Affairs/ Politics

I'm aloft somewhere between Rome and Cincinnati, jetting back towards my crazed, stupefied, dangerous country after three days in Berlin. I dread coming home. You know things have taken a paradoxical turn when Germany feels safe, sane, and free by comparison with the United States of America. But that's how it looks to me.

That's how it looks to the Germans too. The idea that we might actually re-elect George Bush is unfathomable - indeed, inexcusable - to them. As one of them put it to me, "We can forgive you for electing him once. As we ought to know, any electorate can make a tragic mistake. But if you elect him twice, we will start fearing you Americans as much as we currently fear your government." I suspect this is a sentiment one could encounter almost anywhere on God's blue earth. If the election were global as, in fairness, it probably ought to be, it would be a pulverizing landslide.

I had a hard time explaining to the Germans why it's starting to look like we might just re-elect Bush anyway. For one thing, they have not, after all, seen as much of John Kerry as we have.

And let's face it, folks, John Kerry is really irritating.

There. I've said it. And, having broken the surface tension on that spleen blister, let me just get the rest of this off my chest once and for all.

For me, John Kerry's voice has already started to acquire that special fingernails-on-the-blackboard effect that Bush's induces in me. The thought of listening to him daily for the next four years makes me feel better about the possible onset of rock 'n' roll deafness. His morose Eyeore visage has become a vista almost as tiresome as Bush's simian smirk. His patrician demeanor reminds one why George Bush has gone to such pains to disguise himself as an illiterate West Texas hick rather than the Yalie he also is.

Worse, Kerry's transparently theatrical efforts to out-macho the Republicans make him seem, as a friend recently put it, all dick and no balls. Bush's problem, to hear Kerry tell it, is that he's *not tough enough,* despite his being demonstrably willing to bomb civilians in a country that neither attacked us nor expressed any desire to do so. That's pretty gosh-darned tough, if you ask me.

Kerry's failure to capitalize on the failures of the worst administration in my lifetime is unfathomable. The systematic ineptitude of his campaign organization so far fills me with grave concerns about his ability to form an administration that wouldn't make us nostalgic for Gerald Ford's.

Generally speaking, it would have been better for the future of the Republic if, upon eliminating Howard Dean, Kerry had been stashed in a location as undisclosed as the one where they usually keep Dick Cheney. Then he could have let Bush defeat himself through policies and actions that no sane electorate could have ratified.

But no. He insisted on campaigning, apparently under the misapprehension that to know him - or at least to know that virtual version of him his marketing wizards had wrapped around him - was to love him. This, unfortunately, has not been the general effect. Gradually, I have watched the steam go out of the Anybody-But-Bush crowd as we realized that anybody, in this instance, was the increasingly irksome John Kerry.

People who, several months ago, were ready to go door-to-door in Ohio in order to defeat Bush are unwilling to even campaign among their friends to elect John Kerry. And I have become, I must admit, one of these. Being an actual Kerry *supporter* just seems, well, un-cool.

For the last month or so, the election seemed reminiscent to me of ads for the film "Alien vs. Predator, " the tag line of which goes, "Whoever wins, we lose." (Further, it has seemed right to me that one of these characters is an alien and the other a predator.)

The first debate, which I watched over the Internet in Berlin, did nothing to alter my feelings about the candidates. Though many American pundits seemed to think that Kerry "won" that Battle of the Teledroids, it looked like they both lost to me, with their stammering repetitions and hollow phrases. Lincoln vs. Douglas it was not.

Is it any wonder that so many people are playing political possum again? As ordinary folks go back to pretending to be asleep, the true believers, more fervent than ever, prepare to re-elect George Bush.

But is Kerry really as personally lame as he appears? Well, in fact, no. I had dinner with Kerry at one point last year, and, while I found his views that evening to be a bit too tightly congruent with those of the real money at the table, I found the actual John Kerry to be a great deal more likeable than his manufactured simulacrum. I remember thinking he might be an entertaining guy to spend a day skiing with.

But even if Kerry himself were as off-putting as the guy I see on TV, should we allow his personality deficiencies or cultural idiosyncrasies to dissuade us from supporting him? I would say not, especially when we consider what's at stake here.

Right here, right now, somewhere over the Atlantic, I'm having a moment of clarity. I realize the obvious. I realize that, along with a lot of other people, I have fallen prey to the peculiar American frailty which has given us so many bad presidents. I refer to our national tendency to treat presidential elections as though we were all high-schoolers choosing a Prom King.

Thus, when it comes to qualifying for the American Presidency, a grating accent can be a bigger political liability than a record of homicidally misguided policies. Being inconsistent is a greater personal failing than being consistently, doggedly, disastrously wrong. Being dorky is more damning than being dictatorial.

We all need to get a grip and quickly. Whatever it has been traditionally, this Presidential race should not be a personality contest. I say this as much to myself to myself as I do to you. I have to snap out of it and remember we are not electing our new best friend here. We were electing a set of ideologies, cultural predispositions, policies, practices, and beliefs - many of them religious - that may literally affect the fate of life on earth. And one thing I will say for George Bush, he has disabused me of my old belief that it doesn't really matter who's President.

That's because George Bush was and is a package deal. Along with the man himself, whatever his personality traits, we got a large cast of characters who, in aggregate, have been vastly more important than the hands-off President himself. We got Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Condoleeza Rice. We got Ashcroft to a fare-the-well. We got Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle. And, boy, did we ever get Karl Rove.

We got a legion of too-smart-by-half Stepford husbands with flags on their lapels, fire in their eyes, and God on their side. We got pharmaceutical companies designing our health care systems, the prison-industrial complex designing our sentencing schedules, Exxon and Enron designing energy policy, Halliburton and the Carlyle Group and the Center for the New American Century designing foreign policy, Louisiana-Pacific designing forestry policy, and Con-Agra designing agricultural policy. We got the super-rich and multinationals designing tax policy to their personal benefit, creationists designing school curricula, fundamentalists designing scientific research agenda.

However one feels about the shapes of either John Kerry's jawline or his vowels, what matters most is the shape of what he would bring with him to the White House. His masters, his servants, and his fundamental beliefs will all be very different, whatever his marketing wizards (all of whom study Rove) are telling him to say now.

More to the point, terrible things have happened during the last four years that should not be rewarded no matter how we feel about John Kerry. The war in Iraq alone is unforgivable. While it would be a wonderful thing to have a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, it is criminally misguided to think that we could bomb such a thing into existence. And while it has become a mandatory cliche to say that the world is safer without Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq, I wouldn't even say this appears true at present.

Between his ill-conceived military adventures and the billions his tax cuts have diverted into the pockets of his friends, Bush has created a deficit that may ultimately bring down the world's economy. He has started the United States on a path towards oligarchy that, unchecked, could turn America into a country that makes Mexico look like Sweden. He is responding to the foreseeable exhaustion of the world's oil reserves with policies that burn them faster. And as nearly unprecedented hurricanes whip out of the warming Caribbean, he has continued to be the primary obstacle to a collective human response to galloping carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere. He has taken a good shot at gutting the Bill of Rights, and, with regard to Moslems, he has largely succeeded.

I won't attempt to repeat the list of his catastrophes here. It's far too long, and much of it has been enumerated on the Internet already. We all know it, and yet we continue to occupy ourselves with such airy trivialities as which candidate looks most "presidential." And against this backdrop of Bush-driven national emergencies, I've been allowing John Kerry's accent to diminish my sense of commitment to his election,

I can't do this any more. Neither can the rest of us who have any regard for the well-being of our descendents.

Yeah, John Kerry makes a lousy candidate for Prom King. But that isn't what he's running for.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

A Picture...a story

From From Here to Obscurity and possibly threaded to Elsewhere. Although, I think the color is a little off. Must be the difference between nuclear radiation tan and burning oil well tan.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A Delaware Bonus

Living in Delaware has its...spiritual upside. Well, at least according to World of Crap and its Official Religion Listing per State references. The "scientific method" used involved the following subjective reasoning....

Then I took the most populous state: California, and matched it with the religion that the most people said they belonged to: Christianity. And so on, through the various states and religions. Except that about 3/4 of the way through, I realized I was going to run out of religions, and so I assigned a few states another demographics grouping that were equal in numbers to the religion that would have come next on the list (I didn't want to have any states with no one living in them; and besides, I figured that maybe the gays and lesbians, etc. would like their own state). And when I got to the least populous states, I just got creative and assigned them a fun demographic group to try out, or a major world religion that I thought might be nice to have represented in America. Oh, and I assigned the same religion twice near the middle of the list, and didn't notice this until I was done, so I gave that state their choice of a couple of interesting faiths. Let me know if you think this is going to be a problem.

So, after what must have been an intense 20-30 minutes of calculation, the listing looked like this:

Official State Religions

1. California: Christian
2. Texas: Protestant
3. New York: "Born again" or "evangelical"
4, Florida: Catholic
5. Illinois: Baptist
6. Pennsylvania: Non-religious
7. Ohio: Evangelical (theologically)
8. Michigan: Methodist
9. New Jersey: Southern Baptist
10.Georgia: Lutheran

11. North Carolina: United Methodist Church
12. Virginia: Presbyterian
13. Massachusetts: Pentecostal
14. Indiana: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
15. Washington: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
16. Tennessee: gay/lesbian
17. Missouri: Episcopalian
18. Wisconsin: Judaism
19. Maryland: Eastern Orthodox
20. Arizona Satanism (or Juche--they can have their pick)

21. Minnesota: Buddhist
22. Louisiana: Non-denominational
23. Alabama: French speakers
24. Colorado: Megachurch attendance
25. Kentucky: Jehovah's Witnesses
26. South Carolina United Church of Christ
27. Oklahoma: Mennonite Church USA
28 Oregon: agnostic
29. Connecticut Churches of Christ
30. Iowa: Hindu

31. Mississippi: atheists
32. Kansas: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
33. Arkansas: Unitarian Universalist
34. Utah: Seventh-day Adventists
35. Nevada: Neo-pagan (incl. Wiccans)
36. New Mexico Church of the Nazarene
37. West Virginia Reformed Church in America (RCA)
38. Nebraska: Libertarian party members
39. Idaho: Baha'i
40. Maine: Native American Religionist

41. New Hampshire: Sikhism
42. Hawaii: Deism
43. Rhode Island: Weight Watchers
44. Montana: Dittoheads
45. Delaware: Jedi
46. South Dakota: Zoroastrianism
47. North Dakota: Zombies
48. Alaska: Ingayats
49. Vermont: Ba'al
50. District of Columbia: primal-indigenous
51. Wyoming: Rastafarianism

Who would have thunk it?!? Delaware, Home of Tax-Free Shopping and continual I-95 gridlock, is practicing the Jedi Way. And Wyoming, Home Of Dick Cheney? Well, seems ol' Dick's been hiding his dreadlocks under a Halloween bald cap. Perhaps tonight, in his conversation with Mr. Edwards, Mr. C will be letting all of his hair down.

This, also from World of Crap

First, let's review what Karen Hughes told the Wash Post:

Bush confidante Karen Hughes explained the president’s petulance this way, while acknowledging the presence of such petulance, “On his face, you could see his irritation at the senator’s misrepresentations,” Hughes told the Washington Post. “He was answering the senator with his face.”

A confidential source told us that Karen said that during tonight's debate, Dick Cheney will be answering John Edwards with his butt.

And here's some advice for Cheney from Tom Rath:

Tom Rath, a former New Hampshire Republican state chairman, said he thinks the vice president will display his "gravitas," his foreign policy expertise and political skills during the debate. At the same time, Rath said, Cheney will need to come across as "a real live individual who cares, not some sort of dark presence."

Yes, I thought it really helped Dick's image when he played Twister with Bill and Ted -- you know, it showed him as a FUN dark specter.

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