Friday, November 30, 2007

Rape, Whip and Imprison Me, I Asked For It

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Welcome to Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the all powerful, all merciful Mohammed. For you infidels among us, try to imagine a 19 year old female, any young unmarried female, sitting momentarily in an automobile wearing the latest in custom made designer fashion burqas with a dude. This 19 year old could be your sister, your daughter, your cousin, or even your friend and for attempting to retrieve a photo from a guy she considered her friend, she has just been kidnapped, driven to an isolated area, brutally gang raped by seven low life, pious, religious sons of Allah. What a violent, despicable heinous act this was. It doesn't get much worse than this. Wrong camel breath, this poor girl was just sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to receive 200 lashes with a whip for being raped and not being too happy about it.

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What the hell did I just write? Did I write that this girl was gang raped by seven guys and, as a result, she is going to spend six months in prison as soon as the 200 lash whipping portion of her sentence has been fulfilled? Yeah, this isn't some evangelical wet dream, this is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia. The very same Saudi Arabia that produced 15 of the 19 terrorists that executed 9/11. The same Saudi Arabia that the Bush family has a hand holding relationship with. The same Saudi Arabia that financially supports the madras schools that teach innocent children to hate non-Muslims and provide them with valuable bomb making techniques. It seems the Shiite Muslim woman was convicted of violating Saudi Arabia's rigid Sharia Islamic law on segregation of the sexes. Did these people forget to to set their calendars to 2007 A.D. rather than B.C.?

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The rape took place in 2006. The victim has said it occurred as she tried to retrieve her picture from a male high school student she used to know. While in a car with this student, two men comandered the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area. She said she was raped there by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend. The rapists have all been caught and will receive up to 10 years in prison and a thousand lashes but because one of the rapists was married, the 19 year old victim was also guilty and convicted of having committed adultery. You would think this has to be a sick goof, but unbelievably it's not. The victim's lashes were actually increased from an original sentence of 90 hits to 200 because she had the nerve to complain. People in this country talk of building a security fence to keep illegal immigrants out. I think instead, we need to build a security fence around Saudi Arabia to keep those people in.

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What can reasonable, intelligent people do to help end the hold over people's lives that religion has gripped? Instead of allowing religion to think for you, take responsibility and think about religion. These religions basically all began when people were convinced the world was flat, when natural disasters were caused by a supreme being's anger, when wars were fought because people lacked the communicative skills to negotiate, when basic understanding of other cultures was non-existent and when wealth and power were so restricted to a select few so that wars allowed the masses a diversion besides seething with anger when wondering why their lives were so bad off while their leaders were relieving themselves in golden, bejeweled bedpans. You know, pretty much like life remains in the USA today.

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In its proper context, a little religion won't necessarily harm anybody. You want to wake up early on Saturday or Sunday and belt out a few tunes or listen to a pompous windbag pontificating on topics he neither understands or has personally experienced. You want a safe environment for your kids to be molested by priests in or you need a place to have a few pina coladas and play cash bingo on Las Vegas Night while being lectured on the evils of gambling and demon rum. Religion is your panacea. All I or anybody else who is willing to accept evolution as a scientific certainty asks, is that you keep it to yourself. Don't tell me your religion is the greatest. That often is code for somebody else's religion isn't. Don't kill people you don't know anything about except for the fact their religious beliefs don't jibe with yours. Don't not vote for Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon, don't vote for Mitt Romney because he's a moron. Do you really think Jesus, Mohammed or any other of these other god knuckleheads is going to resurrect himself and come back here? Of course not, would you? They're so embarrassed and mortified by the acts their disciples have performed in their name, they'd sooner go to hell. At least the inhabitants there don't claim the acts they committed were done in their favorite deity's name.......

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Save Buckets

Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, dedicated shoppers just like you are looking for the best ways to buy great gifts at the lowest possible prices. Fortunately, a website like this now exists and it's called Save Buckets. Save Buckets, you see, is a website that will compare prices, which helps you find the best deals available on an extensive listing of gift options. Save Buckets does not sell any items. What they do, however, is search their comprehensive data base of shops for the sole purpose of locating for you the best possible prices. In addition to well known retailers and specialty shops, Save Buckets also searches lesser known online shops, which often provide better pricing for your product. As an added benefit, if there's a specific item you want but the best price offered is still above your budget, the My Price feature allows you to enter your email address along with the maximum price you are willing to spend. Save Buckets will then regularly check the price of that particular item across all represented vendors as they update their pricing and notify you right away if and when your product is available at your desired price or, in some cases, even a lower one. If after two weeks time this desired product has not met your price, Save Buckets will notify you via email with the lowest price available at that moment. Save Buckets is a remarkably valuable shopper's assistant, saving both your valuable time and money.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hillary is Starting to Look Bushed!

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Hillary Clinton is finally beginning to show the wear and tear often associated with a crumbling facade. The woman who would be king. The woman above the fray. The woman who was planning her very coronation during what should have been the arduous dog days of endless campaigning, is beginning to exude a certain desperation in between her self proclamations of invincibility. It seems Hillary's specific Achilles heel has been rediscovered and that heel be she.

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One month ago, people were focusing on the more important aspects of life. Not the future of the United States mind you, but more essential interests such as what accessories they would need to complete the finishing touches on their Halloween costume. After all, the union has managed to survive for more than 230 years, but the 2007 version of Halloween only comes but once in a lifetime. As for our country, in recent years we have managed to withstand the first foreign attack on American soil since 1812, nearly seven years of George Bush, Dick Cheney, et al, O.J. Simpson once again being arrested on multiple serious felony charges and the average cost of a gallon of gas creeping ever closer to the $4 mark. We can't be worrying our collective pole dancing and pirate asses about a presidential election still a year away. Fortunately, a few people disagreed with that premise and not only noticed but began reporting about Hillary's slippage and now that holiday shopping is really the only competition, more and more voters are actually beginning to take notice as well.

The first crack occurred at the democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia on the night before Halloween. Hillary's democratic opponents finally realized that by not verbally attacking the front runner, it only made her aura of invincibility seem more prominent. So fellow democratic rivals Obama, Edwards, Biden and Dodd began slowly chipping away at Hillary. This was a major departure from previous strategies. They all assumed that if any male candidate was critical of Hillary, he would come across as a brutish man attacking a poor, defenseless woman. This is nonsense in a political campaign, but who in their right mind would claim most politicians were thoughtful and above reproach? Clearly this new tactic flustered Hillary, perhaps to the point where she made her first major gaffe of the campaign, when she appeared to support the right of illegal immigrants to be issued driver's licenses yet opposing this same right simultaneously.

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Realizing she made a blunder, she did what almost all politicians do, she grossly overcompensated for the goof. She drew significantly more attention to it then would have been the case had she just issued a short release explaining exactly what she wanted people to believe. Then she should have droped the subject and subsequently ignored it. But she did the exact opposite. Hillary raced up to her all female alma mater in Massachusetts and, while surrounded by female students and faculty, claimed she was a poor defenseless woman being unfairly attacked for her gender. Hillary chose to completely ignore the fact that she was the leading candidate and therefore was being treated exactly like any man, including her husband, in the same circumstance. That backfired, so her current husband and former president decided to take his turn by chivalrously accepting the blame for her failed health care project early in his first term. Good try Bill. That works if your woman takes an extra hour selecting just the right pantsuit for a formal dinner thereby causing you to arrive late, but not for a tough candidate who wants to be president. Clearly the Backlash Express was beginning to pick up steam.

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I fully acknowledge this country has no shortage of imbeciles. You start at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and splay outwards from there. There are a certain percentage of people who under NO circumstances would vote for a woman, an African-American, a Jew, a Mormon, a homosexual, an intellectual or a thoughtful, honest candidate opposed to Americans being permitted to own and discharge firearms anytime they feel the slightest bit threatened. I'm not talking to them. I'm talking to however many people remain. In just over a year, this country will have completed our collective sentence of having the worst president in U.S. history. Unless another catastrophic event takes place, we will soon be able to see the first glimmer of light at the end of the long dark tunnel we have been in. If we learned anything from the past seven years, it is that we must vigilantly avoid repeating a failure anywhere close to this again. I can honestly state I don't care what gender, skin color, religious or lack of religious background, sexual preference or what kind of company they would be drinking the proverbial beer with. I do care, however, how honest, bright, thoughtful, current as well as prior event savvy and courageous they are. Not the former military deserter willing to send others to their death kind of courage we see now, but the courage to think and talk rather than kill or be killed mentality we're choking on now.

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I'm not completely certain that candidate exists, but I know with 100% certitude when it doesn't. Hillary Clinton is not a president. She wants to be president. She believes she should to be president. I'm convinced she's willing to tell you what you want to hear, tell me what I want to hear and then tell herself what she wants to hear kind of president. But a successful president must not only be the brightest person in the room, but must be willing to listen to those around her who aren't, even when their positions are 180 degrees different. Flunkies are easy to find, intelligent adversaries on your payroll aren't. Ultimately, all of humanity is our individual superior in that we may learn from them. George W. Bush believes he never made a mistake. Hillary Clinton believes that any mistakes she makes are magnified because of her gender. I believe we could have done much better in 2000 and because of that, we must do much better in 2008.......

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Friday or is it Wack Friday?

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Kill or be killed. Take no prisoners. Only the strong survive. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Give no quarter. Show no mercy. Are you a man or a mouse? Hey lady, watch your cart, I only have two of these and I'm really fond of them both. It's Black Friday, damn it. I'm sure I've left out some of your favorite cliches but eight is my limit for one paragraph. I'm fascinated by the concept of "Door Buster Bargains" beginning at the same time respectable degenerates are first crawling home after a night of exhibiting their full arsenal of proper debauchery techniques.

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People will take lawn chairs, hibachis, blankets and credit cards with them to camp out in heat, cold, rain, snow or sleet for days, in some cases, because they have allowed merchants and advertisers to manipulate them into thinking they're getting the deal of the century. They are drinking the kool-aid the retailers mixed up themselves in order to program them into believing that the more they spend, the more they save. They mass up at entrances like sheep to charge into the stores like the very dogs Pavlov himself trained.

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I am not saying that a tenth of one percent of all these millions of participating shoppers throughout the country won't get a great deal, but everyone else will not. Simple mathematics dictates that when thousands of people are lined up at stores all over the country and maybe 25 or 50 incredible deals are available per store, most will not get the best advertised deal that the store promised. But you stayed up all night and waited in line anywhere from a few hours to a few days and, by God, you're not leaving that mall until you've bought a plethora of expensive crap you don't want or need. But you can't leave empty handed. You came determined to get a bargain, damn it, and whether said bargain is real or imagined, your not leaving until your mini van is packed from floor to ceiling.

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This concept plays into a long held theory I've had that people will inconvenience themselves beyond belief if they think they're scoring a great deal. Erect a wicked big flashing neon sign stating you're giving away a valuable product completely free of charge in 24 hours. I'm convinced people, without even knowing what that valuable product specifically is, will attempt to out maneuver their own mothers in order to get their hands on anything that's flashing valuable and free in the same neon message. In my fantasy theory the valuable product would be East Indian elephant dung. You see, the circus was in town and the elephants contracted an intestinal ailment that tripled their normal output requiring circus honchos to dispose of the extra output. Apartment dwellers with only plastic ferns in their dinette area would ask for seconds if they thought they were getting a great deal. Not until they arrive back at their 550 square ft apartment does it dawn on them, "what the hell am I going to do with 20 pounds of parasitic East Indian elephant dung?"

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Sit down and think for a second, geniuses. The odds are far greater you'll get hit by lightning or win the lottery than you'll get a great deal on a product you really want. Why do you think they call it BLACK FRIDAY? It's the day merchants turn a profit for the calendar year. They don't do this by giving consumers great deals. They do it by making consumers think they're getting great deals. Do the smart thing. Wait until you go back to work today, better known as CYBER MONDAY, and instead of working, spend the day surfing bargains on the internet. You don't have to camp out overnight, be herded against people who haven't showered for two days and be privy to unavoidably hearing people's cell phone conversations while you decide if you should kill them or yourself. Whatever you decide, you can do it all over again the day after Christmas when you take all the hideous crap you received as gifts back to the store to exchange them and get another deal of the century....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Baking and Basting Birdzilla - Stuff This!!!

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Now that it's Thanksgiving Day, we're ready to prep and cook the actual turkey. Remember to remain focused on the task at hand. The sooner your guests have been fed,the sooner you can stampede them through the nearest door to their waiting vehicles.. Now, using that as your primary motivator, let's get to work, shall we?

For the first time in modern history, my top secret turkey recipe is about to be released to the public. Gobble, gobble.

Ingredients: one (1) stick of butter, softened to room temperature, providing of course your room is not located in the north pole.
tabasco sauce
black pepper
ground red pepper
garlic salt
onion powder
poultry seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First step is to remove all of the assorted bags of disgusting stuff crammed inside inside your turkey. Thoroughly rinse bird with cold water. Pat dry with clean paper towels. Liberally sprinkle salt inside the turkey's body cavity. With turkey on a large platter, thoroughly coat entire bird with the softened butter. Any excess butter can be placed inside the cavity. Season with tabasco sauce, paprika, garlic salt, onion powder, black pepper, ground red pepper and poultry seasoning. Sprinkle flour over top of turkey. Place turkey in a roasting pan and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Bake your turkey for 22 minutes per pound. When there is 45 minutes remaining, remove the aluminum tent and baste your turkey with the pan juices. Broil for the final 5 to 10 minutes.

Once the turkey is completely cooked, remove from the pan to cool. Leave only the juices behind. Pour pan juice into a measuring cup and let stand until fat separates. Pour 1/4 cup fat back into the roasting pan placed over two burners at medium heat. Discard remaining fat. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour. Add enough liquid (broth, wine, water) to the turkey juices to total 3 cups. Slowly add the juices into the flour mixture, stirring vigorously to blend well and avoid lumps. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Next, bring gravy to a boil, stirring until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti
Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond extract
1 1/4 cups sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Transfer to wax paper. In the same bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites and extract until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and, using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix until just moist. Add the cranberries and almonds and mix just to combine. On a floured surface, divide batter in half and pat each half into a log about 15 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place log on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Using a thin bladed serrated knife, cut each log crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Stand the slices upright on the baking sheet and bake another 20 minutes. Let cool and store in loosely covered container.

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Cranberry Swirl
Ingredients for Cranberry Swirl:
1 1/2 cups cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cranberry or orange liqueur
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Ingredients for Filling:
6 oz imported white chocolate. finely chopped
three 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs

For cranberries - Combine all ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until cranberries lose their shape and mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to processor and blend until smooth. Strain. Cool.

For filling - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir 6 oz white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Mix in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually mix in white chocolate.

Pour half of filling into 9 inch diameter spring foam pan. Drop half of cranberry mixture atop filling by 2 tablespoons, spacing evenly. Use small sharp knife to swirl cranberry mixture into filling. Carefully pour remaining filling over. Drop remaining cranberries atop filling by 2 tablespoons, spacing evenly. Again, swirl cranberry mixture into filling. Bake cake until edges are puffed and golden, about 40 minutes. Cool on rack. Chill overnight.
Run small sharp knife around sides of pan to loosen cheesecake. Release pan sides. If desired, press white chocolate curls onto edges of cheesecake.

Now feel free to loosen your pants, say ahh a few times and for your grand finale, further deplete your planet's shrinking ozone layer with noxious fumes. Make sure you remain conscious. The following video selection shall demonstrate why........


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Preparation - Prepare This!!!

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As Thanksgiving Day draws ever closer, it's best to prepare as much of the festive feast ahead of time as possible in order to set aside as much alcoholic time as possible. That being said, once those beloved relatives start rolling in, with the kids hysterically screaming and the old fossils dredging up ancient grudges with promises to settle the score out back, the kitchen may be the only safe and peaceful place to be. Regardless, I still strongly recommend doing as much advance prep work as possible. Then, when the chaos begins, you can simply hide in the corner and smile catatonically as your liver and brain cells begin to degenerate.

Let the cooking begin.

Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients: three (3) 15 oz cans of pumpkin
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 to 2 tsp sugar, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
Put pumpkin in a large pot. Add sugar and a little salt and pepper. Pour in chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes until soup is hot, adding water to thin, if necessary. Serve hot. Pass around yogurt in a bowl so your guests can stir in the amount they want.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice or water
1 cup sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and orange juice (or water) in a large mixer bowl. Beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Cranberry Apple Stuffing
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium tart apple, cored and diced
1 cup each of diced celery and diced onion
3/4 cup dried cranberries
14.5 oz can of chicken broth
2 six oz bags of seasoned stuffing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, sauté apple, celery, onion and cranberries in oil until onion is tender. In a large bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, broth and stuffing mix until well blended. Spoon stuffing mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

Cranberry Sauce
Ingredients: 2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 bags (12 oz each) fresh cranberries
1 bag (12-16 oz) frozen strawberries in syrup
2 cans (11 oz each) mandarin orange segments
1 can chunk pineapple
Bring water and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes. Cool completely to room temperature. Once cooled, add strawberries with syrup, mandarin orange sections (drained) and chunk pineapple (drained). Refrigerate until serving time.

Green Bean Casserole
Ingredients: 10 3/4 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 packages (9 oz each) frozen cut green beans, thawed
1 1/3 cups French's french fried onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 1 1/2 quart casserole, combine soup, milk and pepper. Mix well. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup french fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup onion. Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Ingredients: 3 cups mashed or 1 (40 oz) can yams/cut sweet potatoes in syrup, drained and mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, sugar, milk, eggs, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and 1/2 cup melted butter. Stir well. Pour into prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup butter, pecans, brown sugar and flour. Spread over potatoes. Bake 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Can't you just feel your arteries hardening. Tomorrow, we do turkey.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Holy Tryptophan, It's Thanksgiving Already

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It's once again time for Americans to celebrate how thankful we are for all the many gifts that have been bestowed upon us during the past 12 months. We do this in a number of different ways. First, by spending a dreadful day in an overcrowded airport wondering how much longer it will take for our overdue flight to depart while we contemplate how to best harm the child screaming in our ear that's sitting next to us and avoiding being seen by a nearby surveillance camera. If you happen to be a republican senator from out west, you substitute waiting in the concourse and instead spend time in a predetermined men's room meeting interesting fellow travelers in the adjoining stall. If your destination is closer, you may prefer to spend $3.50 per gallon of gas to drive bumper to bumper for 12 hours while threatening your kids as they too are screaming in your ear. A wonderfully crowded bus or train ride are also both viable options. Why do we put ourselves through this misery? The answer is elementary. To be able to spend a few days overeating, belching, expelling flatulence that will eventually kill Uncle Ned's parakeet, watching football and fantasizing about slashing our wrists just to be in the bosom of our family.

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If you feel compelled to overeat, and my God it seems almost everyone does, I shall spend the next few days sharing some of my family's and my own favorite top secret holiday recipes. For the sake of full disclosure, I would never eat any of this crap, but most well adjusted and non-health conscious humans seem to scarf these delicacies down with the same indiscriminate appetite as a blood smelling great white shark.

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Today I will list all the ingredients you need to stock up on from your local markets. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, I will divulge the actual step by step preparatory directions for these closely guarded recipes that have been buried deep in my family's vault for as many as 1,000 years or is it 1,000 days? I'm not really sure and it doesn't really matter. Let's get started, shall we?

Pumpkin Soup:
three (3) 15 oz cans of pumpkin. chicken stock, sugar, salt, pepper, plain yogurt

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread:
flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, sugar, one (1) 15 oz can of pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, orange juice, sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries

fresh or frozen, size to be determined based on number of guests

flour, broth, salt, pepper

Cranberry Apple Stuffing:
vegetable oil, tart apple, celery, onion, dried cranberries, chicken broth, two (2) 6 oz bags of seasoned stuffing

Cranberry Sauce:
fresh cranberries, sugar, canned chunk pineapple, canned mandarin orange segments, frozen strawberries in syrup

Sweet Potato Casserole:
one (1) 40 oz can of yams in syrup, sugar, milk, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter, chopped pecans, light brown sugar, flour

Green Bean Casserole (because everyone expects this one):
condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, pepper, frozen cut green beans, French's french fried onions

Cranberry Almond Biscotti:
flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, vanilla or almond extract, sweetened dried cranberries, sliced almonds

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Cranberry Swirl:
cranberries, orange juice, sugar, cranberry or orange liquer, grated orange peel, cinnamon, white chocolate, cream cheese, eggs

Coffee, Tea, Milk, three cases of your favorite alcoholic beverage and a six pack of Pepto-Bismol

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Barry Bonds is a Foul Ball of a Human Being

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Right off the top of my naturally sized head, I feel strongly there are three acts a human being should NEVER commit. Firstly, never don a pair of blood soaked shorts before taking a few relaxing laps inside a shark tank. Secondly, NEVER dare to compete with George W. Bush in "the World's Dumbest Man" competition and think for one second you have a snowball's chance in hell of emerging victorious. Lastly but certainly not least, NEVER lie under oath whilst answering a few questions before federal prosecutors. Especially when said prosecutors guarantee you full and absolute immunity against self incrimination. Barry, I would urge you to read number three again. This time, read it slowly and carefully while allowing the text to seep into your enlarged melon of a chemically altered cranium.

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Barry Bonds, major league baseball's farcical all time home run king, was indicted earlier this week on five felony charges. Four of the five charges were for perjury and the fifth for obstruction of justice. All five offenses occurred while Bonds was testifying before a federal grand jury in 2003 that he never used anabolic steroids or a human growth hormone. The indictments were filed 100 days after Mr. Bonds passed Hank Aaron, the peoples all time home run leader. The indictment capped a four-year federal investigation into steroid use by elite athletes. Mr. Bonds has long been considered the primary target of the investigation. Seven others have pleaded guilty in the case, most recently the former Olympic sprinter Marion Jones.

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The indictment contends the government can prove that a positive steroid blood test result seized in connection with an investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative belonged to Mr. Bonds. If true, this would be the first direct evidence that Mr. Bonds took steroids. Bonds' lawyer, Michael Rains, immediately called a press conference to decry prosecutors and claim his client was innocent while terming the charges “ridiculous.” Mr. Rains also said that the government made no effort to negotiate a plea deal with Mr. Bonds, 43, adding that he first learned of the indictment when he was called by a reporter. A federal judge also ordered Greg Anderson, Bonds' former trainer, to be released from jail in Dublin, Calif., yesterday afternoon. Mr. Anderson had spent more than a year in jail for contempt of court for refusing to testify to the grand jury about Mr. Bonds. Anderson’s lawyer, Paula Canny, said it was “mean-spirited” to have kept Mr. Anderson in jail if the government did not need his testimony to indict. Why would a person spend more than a year in jail for refusing to offer testimony that would clear his good friend unless he was looking to avoid the same charges leveled against Bonds?

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To illustrate the clarity of these charges, let everyone understand that Bonds is not being charged with shooting anabolic steroids and human growth hormones into his body. Bonds was once a lean and graceful athlete blessed with all the necessary attributes to be a perennial all-star caliber player. He was also a near sure bet of being inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame immediately after the five year waiting period had expired once Bonds retired from the game. This wasn't enough for Bonds. His few friends and confidants shared information that Bonds grew increasingly frustrated watching what he believed were inferior players posting more impressive power statistics that he was. It has long been baseball's dirty little secret that many players were using steroids and hormones to bulk up additional body mass and muscle that would prove the difference from long fly ball outs to those same balls now flying over the fence.

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Looking at Bonds specifically, however, the numbers are irrefutable. It's a documented medical fact that men reach their peak strength between 28 and 30 years of age. In Bonds' first 13 years as a major league ballplayer, Bonds averaged a home run every 16.2 at bats. Those numbers began when Bonds was 23 years of age until he was 36. When a man is a 36 year old politician, businessman or medical professional to name a few, he is regarded as youthful. When you're a professional athlete, however, 36 places you in the declining twilight days of your career category. It was a widely agreed upon fact that Bonds began his steroid and growth hormone period in 1999 as a 36 year old player with the San Francisco Giants. Between the years of 1999 and 2004, when Bonds would turn 41, his home run frequency production more than doubled, now averaging a homer every 8.2 at bats. In 2001, after being chemically injected for two years, the 38 year old Bonds hit a home run every 6.5 at bats. This is a staggering number and nearly three times as many as when Bonds was in his prime a full decade earlier. That same year, Bonds hit a major league record 73 home runs passing Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, two other players widely associated with steroid use. You can read for yourself some additional overwhelming evidence in this article from San Francisco Chronicle reporters.

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Bonds asserts he thought vitamins and supplements were being injected into his ass. I guess the fact that his head increased a hat size and his body changed from a thin wiry physique to a body building hulk figure never challenged his curiosity. That defense might work more for our current president then for a professional athlete whose body is his moneymaker. The best part of the whole sordid chapter in this story is, A. Bonds didn't need drugs, he was already one of the game's top players and B. he could have avoided this five count indictment by just admitting what he did to the federal prosecutors. The Feds don't indict unless they're a minimum 99% certain "they got ya." Bonds is too arrogant and bitter to admit he lied now. He would rather go to prison than acknowledge he cheated and lied. Well Barry, be careful what you wish for as they say. Bonds' next home run over the wall will not be retrieved by a fan, but instead by a prison guard......

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Waterboarding Part III

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I almost resisted using this photo for fear of George W. Bush reading this and deciding it might not be a bad idea to begin torturing insurgent babies. Then it dawned on me, Bush hasn't read anything since the good old days when he used to sit on Karl Rove's lap, move his lips, and read ad-libs while Rove drank a glass of water. But enough about the man who puts the word idiot in idiot savant later. Almost all of the many respondents to offer their opinions on waterboarding were totally opposed to this practice and torture in general. For whatever it's worth, I was pleased to know that the majority of Americans don't support the barbaric and cowardly process of obtaining information from our enemies by harking back to the good old days of torture chambers popularized in the middle ages. Torturing a bound victim and inflicting great pain, fear and abject cruelty is nothing more than a gutless act committed by a pathetic cabal of cowards.

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A sampling of the comments I received regarding waterboarding include the following:

"I think the country we live in stands for more than mean spirited things, such as this barbaric form of torture."
"Any form of torture, as waterboarding certainly is, is wrong. Period."
"Let's waterboard people who don't think waterboarding is torture. After all, they should be cool with it..."
"I think torture is just a way to get some poor soul to admit to anything you ask them to. It's only used by idiots."
"We cannot expect to promote democracy and justice in the world if we undermine it ourselves."
"Waterboarding is a miserable thing to do to someone."

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I thought a lot about the interrogation of enemies designed to elicit useful information to uncover future plots, locate specific individuals or to prevent ongoing operations. I came to the conclusion there's no one stop singular method that will work for everybody. I think you learn very quickly that your enemies are the same types of people as your friends. In order to acquire useful intelligence you have to be able to quickly surmise exactly who your captive is. How bright is he? How easily can be intimidated psychologically or physically? Would he be willing to talk if you offered him a "cookie" as an inducement to spill his guts? Do you believe he's the type of person even capable of telling the truth or would he lie like the fisherman detailing the length of the 25 foot shark he just caught armed only with a butter knife? I realize this is a dilemma, but CIA and intelligence agents get paid significantly above minimum wages to figure this out. Strapping a guy to a board and pouring water in his face and mouth until he feels he will drown may get him to talk, but will a word he says be truthful?


Another thing I wonder about is the 29 percent of Americans when recently polled who said waterboarding is NOT a form of torture and when asked whether they think the U.S. government should be allowed to use the procedure to try to get information from suspected terrorists, 40 percent said yes. In other words, 3 out of every 10 Americans feel waterboarding is not even torture and 4 out of 10 are just fine with their government torturing human beings. The one question the pollsters never seem to ask is how would the American people who support torturing our enemies react to our enemies torturing our troops. I mean a war can't be fought if only one side is participating, it takes at least two. I think there's also an expression regarding geese and ganders thats applicable as well.

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So what do you say Joe and Mary America? Since 40 percent of you say it's ok for the U.S. to torture enemy combatants, I have to assume you find it acceptable for those same opposition members to capture American soldiers and citizens in and around the battlefield and whip out the board, the rope, the washcloth and the tub of mountain fresh, crystal clear Iraqi or Afghani spring water to torture our guys and women as well? Why stop at waterboarding, these Middle Eastern sons of Allah have been in the ruthless torture business for approximately 14 centuries. Our government could learn much more from them than they could ever learn from us. You want to turn your HDTV on and watch Shiite or Sunni extremists brutally torturing our troops? I have to assume you think it's just fine because fair minded people such as you realize full well that torture is not a one way street. That kind of traffic flows both ways. So if you are one of those 40 percentile supporting the U.S. in the torture of the extremists, I have to assume you equally support reciprocal behavior perpetrated on American combatants as well. Funny how the Marines and Army never show the exciting acts of torture in the carefully orchestrated television commercials or slick recruiting brochures.

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One year from today a new president will have already been elected. Based on the current slate of candidates being offered by both parties, the next president may not be ideal, but can't help being a noticeable upgrade from what we have today. George W. Bush has disgraced himself and more importantly his country. Petty politics has become the order of the day in recent years. I urge you to be smarter than Bush and reject the handful of manipulators and profiteers who subliminally infiltrate your brains. To quote President John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country." In other words, stop the petty partisan politics that is decaying our country and ask which candidate is truly best for our country. Every so often, it feels better aspiring to be a hopeful optimist, than it does being a cynical pessimist. What do you have to lose, other than your country........

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Waterboarding Part II

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Yesterday, we primarily discussed the method of how to properly waterboard a victim whilst analyzing the morality and legality of the practice. Today I want to talk about the first known examples of waterboarding, the lasting effects of being subjected to it and how the Bush Administration addresses the issue. Tomorrow in Part III, I will conclude this torture trilogy by including some of your thoughts and comments on the art of waterboarding. If you would like to express your opinion, please email me at Just include your first name and maybe I'll include it in tomorrow's posting. But first things first.

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The first recorded use of waterboarding occurred during the Spanish Inquisition in the 1500s on people suspected of holding Jewish, Protestant or other heretic beliefs. Yesterday I wrote about how the Japanese military tortured allied prisoners during World War II. Not to be outdone when it came to subhuman torture, the Nazis also subscribed to the practice as well while attempting to elicit secret information from recently captured prisoners. The Khmer Rouge employed waterboarding during its reign of terror in Cambodia. This form of torture was widely unknown, however, until the Bush administration authorized CIA interrogators to use the technique as one of several "enhanced interrogation techniques" for individuals classified as enemy combatants during Bush's jihad on Muslim terrorism. Many of the recent victims of this practice happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and virtually no proof even exists these captives are terrorists. They were rounded up off the streets and relocated to top secret sights in Europe and Guantanamo in Cuba. They have been tortured and held in direct violation of Habeas Corpus for years without being officially charged with any crime or having access to an attorney.

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Most doctors agree the bulk of any long term damage from waterboarding is primarily psychological. Dr. Allen Keller of Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City recently testified before Congress that victims of waterboarding are so traumatized they continue to have nightmares, depression and panic attacks years later. According to Keller, one patient told him that he was unable to take showers and suffered panic attacks every time it rained. The fear of being killed is a terrifying experience, according to Dr. Keller. These methods are intended to break the prisoners down, to terrify them and cause harm to their psyche, thereby resulting in lasting and harmful health consequences. I don't know about you but I have to believe this is not the best method available in order to gather truthful information from one's enemy. As stated yesterday, prisoners in this state will say anything they think you want them to say in order for the torture to stop. The probability that the statement obtained under these circumstances comes close to resembling the truth is very low indeed.

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Knowing this, it makes you wonder what kind of spineless moron would condone and approve of this ineffective and cruel method of gathering information. The Bush Administration, at least publicly, refuses to say anything about waterboarding. But in 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that all prisoners in US captivity must be treated according to the Geneva conventions. In July, George W. Bush signed an executive order barring humiliating and degrading treatment that any "reasonable person" would deem beyond the bounds of human decency. The CIA had stopped waterboarding months earlier and no longer uses the technique, according to unnamed government officials quoted in several recent newspaper stories. Still, the administration won't say publicly that waterboarding has been banned, allegedly on the grounds that it doesn't want terrorists to know what to expect if they are captured. A recent survey indicated that approximately 90% of all worldwide terrorists are regular subscribers to the New York Times.

The U.S. Senate recently confirmed the nomination of Michael Mukasey as the replacement for Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General by a vote of 53 - 40. Despite initially receiving broad bi-partisan support, Mukasey's nomination was almost derailed because in the grand tradition of the Bush administration, he flat out lied when he claimed not to know exactly what waterboarding was. I have to assume this learned scholar lacked the intellect and computer savvy to google waterboarding like I and millions of other less qualified goofballs did. Despite being publicly against torture, he wouldn't state he was against waterboarding until confirmed and briefed what it was by Bush. I would love to be a fly on the wall listening to that conversation, albeit a mentally retarded fly. Obviously Mukasay knows full well what waterboarding is and the illegality of the practice. He refused to admit that however, because if he did, he might find himself in the position of having to request an independent counsel for the purpose of criminally prosecuting both Bush and Cheney for perjury and authorizing torture contrary to U.S. laws.

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Tomorrow in Part III, I will include your thoughts, my thoughts and some plain thoughts for all of you to ponder as to how you really feel about living in the land of the illegally wiretapped and home of the cowardly, deserting, torturing, nitwit savant president, Chicken George Bush....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Land of the Free, Home of the Cowards!

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Waterboarding of late has generated more publicity than even America's Sweetheart, Britney Spears. Whether or not you consider this practice torture seems to rely on what your political party affiliation is. There are some irrefutable facts you may want to consider if you're undecided or feel this practice is a necessary tactic for Blood and Guts Bush's War on Terror. According to an article I recently read in THE WEEK Magazine, the practice of waterboarding has been banned by both international law and U.S. policy for decades. It's an established fact the U.S. has throughout history regarded this practice as a criminal act. As far back as the Spanish-American War of 1898, a U.S. military officer named Major Edwin Glenn used this technique on Filipino insurgents and was court-martialed as a direct result of his actions. Hmmm, U.S. military personnel torturing perceived enemy combatants or insurgents nearly 110 years ago. I sense a certain eerily reminiscent ring to this terminology. It's nice to know the Bush administration is using the latest technological breakthroughs when it come to interrogating insurgents in order to save our lives.

We move forward to World War II, where several Japanese soldiers were charged and convicted of waterboarding Allied prisoners of war. Those Japanese soldiers were handed down sentences ranging from hard labor to the death penalty for this practice. In the Vietnam War, a U.S. soldier who had waterboarded a North Vietnamese prisoner was drummed out of the military with a Dishonorable Discharge for his courageous act under fire. Even noted right wing veteran and republican presidential contender, John McCain states that waterboarding is torture. In fact McCain's exact words described the practice as "very exquisite torture." Whether you like, loathe or feel totally ambivalent about McCain, he did honorably serve this country during the Vietnam War. He has the credibility to speak of torture because of his position as a former POW, and has done so almost as many times as Rudy Giuliani has reminded anyone who will listen that he was mayor of New York City on 9/11. George Bush and Dick Cheney really can't speak about the pros and cons of torture because that subject rarely comes up when you're a drunken AWOL deserter or a Brokeback Mountain cowboy with priorities other than honorably serving your country in a time of war. In their defense, Bush did kill a lot of Jack Daniels bottles and Cheney would mistakenly confuse an old man with some pheasants and drop the guy with one clean shot to the face.

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But enough about Chicken and Little. While the sky remains where it should, allow me to explain exactly how waterboarding works. The intended victim is normally tied up on an inclined board with his feet raised and head lowered, whilst he is blindfolded and has his face and mouth covered with a towel or washcloth. The interrogator then begins to pour water over the victim's face in a steady stream. The purpose of this is to cause the wet material of the cloth to cling over the mouth and nostrils. As the water continues streaming into the victim's face, some of it begins to penetrate the cloth and nostrils and begins seeping into the lungs. At this point, the victim begins the process of sensing he is beginning to drown and begins to buck and gasp for air in a panicked state. Few people can last very long in this position. Highly trained CIA interrogators who have undergone this procedure as part of their training were only able to last an average of 14 seconds before pleading for the practice to stop. An unnamed CIA agent explained that "while you're being waterboarded, you're inverted, thereby escalating the fear. It's not painful but it scares the living s*** out of you."

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The reason experts say this procedure is so terrifying is because the sensation of water filling your nose and throat triggers a very real primal survivor mechanism almost all humans have. Prisoners become desperate to escape the position but are unable to breathe or move as they simultaneously are fighting for air. Shortly after the procedure begins, the steady stream of water overwhelms the gag reflex and makes the victim feel as though he is dying. This continues until the the prisoner nearly passes out from this sense of strangulation. People cannot continually remain in this state for very long. A victim will soon become hysterical. In theory he will tell his captors anything they want to know at this point rather than endure another session. But like with all good things, there is some bad mixed in with the good. Most trained interrogators will agree that when captive prisoners finally agree to spill their guts, said spillage is not always the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Allah.

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Just like the old adage there are no Atheists in foxholes, captured and tortured combatants are not notorious sticklers for every little detail. First off, if you or I were being barbarically tortured, the aforementioned truth may become the first casualty of the process. When a prisoner finally screams out, "I'll tell you anything you want to know," he means just that. He'll tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear. These are often two entirely different scenarios. If you ask me, for example, is Al-qaeda Johnson hiding under the latte machine at the Starbucks on the corner of Mohammed Ave and bin Laden Blvd, I will cheerfully announce he most certainly is. It's like meeting your girlfriend's father in high school, you quickly gauge what he wants to hear and that's exactly what you tell him and throw a sir on the end for additional style points. So as exotic and 007ish as torture may seem, the ultimate purpose may fall far short of psychologically breaking a person down and eliciting actual useful information that is reliable. Opponents would argue about time constrictions. Yeah you're right, better to hurry and get useless information from a terrified prisoner than getting reliable information a few days or a week later. I guess this is just one of many reasons the U.S. is kicking Iraqi and insurgent ass so impressively.

Tomorrow, Part II of waterboarding will address the early roots of waterboarding, the unnecessary panic and mental toll that stays with victims for years to come, and the Bush administration's willingness to use this useless technique. But Bush and useless seem to be unavoidable synonyms. Wednesday, I will use your letters and comments in my post so as a reminder, if you have an opinion or a comment, send them to me at:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's Your Opinion?

I am in the process of doing research for a post on the practice of waterboarding. As this has become such a controversial issue, I want to hear your opinions and even include some of your comments that specifically address this point. So here's the question: Should the United States be involved in the practice of waterboarding people they consider to be enemies in order to elicit information?

Please email your comments to

Thanks in advance for your participation.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pompous Preacher Picks Pompous Politico!

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Just when it seems politics and religion can't become any more ridiculous, Pat Robertson and Rudy Giuliani team up to demonstrate in the clearest of terms that it can. The Pat and Rudy show made its debut on Wednesday morning with the announcement that the brain cell deprived preacher was endorsing America's [sic] Brayer for president. Rudy immediately added the word evangelical to his stump speech. That term will be Rudy's noun to go along with his verb and his mention of 9/11 in every speech he gives from this moment forth. I initially thought what an unlikely duo these two make. But after some reflection, I realize how much these two bags of bologna have in common. Primarily, they're both pathological and compulsive liars. Pat spends way too much time talking to God and Rudy spends way too much time talking on the cell phone to his wife during speeches he makes around the country. Pat likes to explain every catastrophic event in the world as God's way of retributions against people he and Pat both hate. Rudy is on the verge of admitting he water boarded every organized crime family member into confessing felonious activities so that he was able to transform New York City into Emerald City. Pat Robertson has uttered far too many stupid remarks for one article, so I've culled through them and come up a "Best of" tribute to Pat.

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One of my favorites was Pat agreeing with the then alive but now dead Jerry Falwell following the 9/11 attacks in New York City. You might want to hear this one Rudy. Following the Sept. 11 attacks, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say: "You helped this happen." I wonder if mayors who are on their third wife, support abortions, have two kids who loathe him, who support homosexuals and frequently dress in women's clothing may have helped guide those planes into the towers as well?

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"Lord, give us righteous judges who will not try to legislate and dominate this society. Take control, Lord! We ask for additional vacancies on the court." Pat apparently was encouraging God to put out a "HIT" on Supreme Court Justices he didn't agree with.

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"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history." The Nazi's killed 6,000,000 Jews through long term starvation and death in gas chambers. Pat, ease up on the hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you, This is not a message of hate -- this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor." –Pat Robertson, on "gay days" at Disneyworld. Now God is putting out a HIT at America's number one theme park. Is God a bully or what?

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"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." Hmmm. feminism turns happy, healthy women into husband leaving, child murdering lesbian witches? I better keep my chicks masculine.

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"God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible and he says 'This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No, this is mine.' ... He was dividing God's land. And I would say, 'Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the E.U., the United Nations, or the United States of America.' God says, 'This land belongs to me. You better leave it alone.'" --Pat Robertson, on why Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke. So sometimes God doesn't kill people, he just incapacitates them mentally. I guess this explains what happened to you, Pat.

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Great endorsement, Rudy. Have you looked into who Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden are supporting?

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