Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dear Dr. Dean

I recently received a “grassroots” survey from the Democratic Party. I was, of course, free to make any contribution I wished when I returned the completed survey. Below is what I enclosed in the envelope.

Dear Dr. Dean,

I am returning your survey with mixed emotions. While I agree in general with the principles the Democratic Party has aligned itself with, I am disappointed at the shallow nature of these questions. Many of my responses are indicative of the choice that is the least unlike my views, as they were written with too broad a brush.

My greatest disappointment is with Question 1. Asking me to rate my ten most important issues, and leaving civil liberties off the list completely, shows how seriously out of touch the party is with what is important to me. Aside from Senators Leahy, Dodd, and Biden, I see little interest in rolling back the curbs on the freedoms our elected officials have sworn to protect.

I began this year with great hopes for the Democratic majorities in Congress; those hopes have been largely dashed. Majority Leader Reid is regularly outflanked by his Republican counterparts. His tepid responses, and continued compliance with the Bush Administration have become an embarrassment. Whether he lacks the courage of his convictions, or any convictions at all, is difficult to say, almost as difficult as deciding which is worse.

I gave $100 to a grassroots organizer on Connecticut Avenue in Washington last year; this year I will limit my contributions to specific candidates, such as Senators Dodd and Biden, until the party as a whole shows itself not only concerned about the issues I hold most dear for the good of the country, but willing to act on those beliefs. The politics of appeasement have failed us for almost seven years now. I am not arguing for confrontation, but merely that it is time for the politics of conscience to have its turn.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tim McCarver is the AntiChrist

Call of the Green Monster is the best baseball fan blog going. For proof, here are his comments about Fox television's Tim McCarver.

This is dead on; I can only add one thing. During Game 2, the ever-obvious Mr. McCarver noted, "once you drop the bat, baserunning is the most important element for scoring runs." Really?! Why didn't I think of that? I mean, I've only watched several thousand baseball games in my life; why didn't such a precise observation ever spring to my lips when enlightening The Sole Heir about the finer points of our National Pastime?

Maybe it's because, once you drop the bat, baserunning is the only element for scoring runs, dumb ass. Offense in baseball consists of two elements:
1. Hit the ball.
2. Run the bases.

Disgusting and incurable diseases abound. There are drug-resistant viruses and flesh eating bacteria. Do you expect me to believe there isn't permanently disabling, incurable disease that only attacks vocal chords? A just and merciful God would have given it to McCarver years ago, if He really answered prayers.

Unless McCarver works for a different employer. Let's think about this. He works for Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch. We might be onto something here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Like Things Aren't Bad Enough in California

President Bush today dispatched Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and FEMA Administrator David Paulson to Southern California to aid with the wildfires that have devastated the area for several days. Suicide hotlines were overwhelmed with calls when word of the impending “assistance” leaked.

The Bush Administration made it clear that the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina will be used to assist California. Boats are on the way now to shuttle displaced persons to the Superdome.

Monday, October 22, 2007

An Organized Crime

There’s an ad making the rounds on the local sports station with a disturbing undercurrent about the current state of America. The ad promises a “garage organization system” uniquely designed for you. Call today, and they’ll take $500 off.

How much do they charge to clean your garage if they can lop off five Benjamins and still make money? I know, you’re thinking the same thing Craze and The Sole Heir thought. “They do more than just clean your garage.” Okay, so they’ll take $500 off for cleaning your garage and building shelves.

Someone willing to spend that kind of money to make sure there’s room in the garage for their car needs a lot more than a “garage organization system.” They need behavior modification. Without it, the garage organization company will just be back next year. If they really want to help these people, they’d have some system to keep their customers away from yard sales. Something like, if you leave the house on a Saturday morning, the kids stay with us. You come back empty-handed, the kids can come home.

There’s a much easier way to handle this. The next time you think of putting something in the garage, make sure the car’s in there first.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Worse and Worse

I can't begin to tell you how the current government disgusts me. Dahlia Lithwick gives you an idea of why here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Truth Hurts

The mainstream media may finally have a clue. Read Frank Rich's dead-on column about our conduct in Iraq and at home. I will gleefully debate anyone who disagrees, so long as you don't do it anonymously.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Meanies and Hypocrites

I'd been thinking about writing something about SCHIP and what it said about "true" conservatives, but E.J. Dionne beat me to it here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Good Riddance (Finally)

I’m a simple man, with simple tastes. Working class background. No extravagant vacations or fancy cars. Meat and potatoes. Coke, not Pepsi. Among my unadorned joys is watching the New York Yankees lose. I enjoy seeing the Yankees lose so much that the city of Cleveland (aka The Mistake By the Lake) has even redeemed itself in my eyes until the Browns play the Steelers again.

With apologies to the Low Brass Correspondent (a dear friend and Yankee fan, proving the two aren’t mutually exclusive), what makes it so much fun to see the Yankees lose is the attitude of Yankee management and fans that it is their divine right to win every year. In their eyes, no one has ever beaten the Yankees. The managers makes a bad decision. A player, or players, stink, or choke. Bad umpiring.

Yankee owner George Steinbrenner sank to a new low this week. Forget about the threat to fire Joe Torre if the Yanks didn’t win. Big Stein has made this threat every year since 2001, so no one but the media got too worked up.

The new low came when the SOB (Senile Old Bastard) said Game Two should have been stopped when his rookie pitcher, Joba Chamberlain, was distracted by swarms of small, flying insects. Blaming umpire crew chief Bruce Froemming, a thirty-seven-year veteran, Big Stein promised Froemming would umpire no more Yankee games.

Huh? Last I heard, teams didn’t get to pick their umpires, and Froemming worked Games Three and Four. This is just the Yankees being the Yankees, blaming everyone and anyone for their own inability to parley a $216 million annual payroll into anything better than a wild card spot and an early playoff exit. Maybe Steinbrenner should ask who authorized paying 45-year-old Roger Clemens $18 million to pitch half a season (and not very well, at that.) Or who signed the checks for Jason Giambi, a $120 million platoon player. Or trade for Alex “The Invisible Man” Rodriguez. Sure, A-Rod hit a home run last night. Down four runs, with no one on base. He hasn’t had a playoff hit that mattered since Saddam Hussein was in charge.

Speaking of early playoff exits, the Yankees’ demise is one of few early exits this year. Last night’s game lasted four hours, three minutes. The average for all Division Series games was 3:24. Contrast this to Game Seven of the 1960 World Series, possibly the greatest baseball game ever played. Pittsburgh beat the Yankees 10-9, in a game with pitching changes and base runners galore, capped by Bill Mazeroski’s home run to lead off the ninth inning, two hours and thirty-six minutes after the game began. (Today is the forty-seventh anniversary of the glorious event, the first memory to which I can attach specifics.) The only games shorter than that so far this year are Josh Beckett’s four-hit shutout of the Angels (2:27) and the Diamondbacks’ 3–1 dispatching of the Cubs in Game One, a game in which ten hits were crushed by both teams combined.

Fox tampered with the post-season schedule to keep Games Six and Seven of the Series from falling on a Saturday and Sunday, where they draw low ratings. Maybe Fox should exercise its considerable clout within the Commissioner’s office to do something about the length of the games. Schedules are tweaked to allegedly accommodate the Eastern and Pacific time zones, but the games go on so long only the Central and Mountain folks can actually see the whole game. People in the Pacific aren’t home from work when the game begins, and those on the east coast are asleep when it ends.

This proves baseball is the single greatest creation of the mind of man. Otherwise, the skills of those in charge for the past 131 years would have run it out of business.