Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bag of Severed Heads Left Near Mexican School

Texas Governor Rick Perry's camp immediately takes responsibility

Five severed heads were left in a bag near a Mexican primary school, the latest example of the ruthless violence plaguing the country. Authorities speculate the cloth bag, found near an Acapulco resort, is connected to Mexico's growing drug violence, or to a stunt to rebuke charges Texas Governor Rick Perry is soft on illegal immigration.

"To think that Rick Perry isn't ready to protect our borders is simply wrong.", insists supporter Bebe Rodgers. "This here sends the right message. As President, Rick Perry can do even more because he can eliminate federal interference. I'll personally strap on my gun and ride with him into Mexico next time." While the governor’s top aides publicly insist they have no plans for real or even symbolic changes to their campaign, the only pivot they’ll make, they have said, is to "become more aggressive".

This defiant response in the face of unsteady debate, and a decisive trampling in Florida's GOP straw poll, is a reflection of Perry’s own pugnacious style — the best defense is a good offense. In responding to his young campaign's first dose of adversity (allowing children of illegal immigrants to pay discounted tuition to Texas colleges), he's doing what he's always done: hit harder.

"You want to stop something? Leave a sackful of heads.", chuckles Arlen "Trout" Rodgers, Bebe's grandfather. "I'm not for sticking them on poles at the border, but a sackful next to a school will make people think won't it? Come into this country legally, or don't come in at all."

Local police also speculate the grisly find may have been connected to extortion threats against teachers. Some 140 schools have closed their doors in recent weeks due to frightened teachers going on strike, according to The Associated Press. With the government cracking down on the drug trade, gangs are turning to extortion, and last month dozens of teachers in Acapulco said gangs had threatened them with violence if they did not hand over half their salaries.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gender Affirming Toys

Of course we want all little girls to feel . . . well . . . special. But somehow, I think these toys take the little ones in an entirely new direction.

DISCLAIMER: I've always liked maids and strippers. But I'm more than a little disturbed by these toys.

My cleaning trolly. Really? Teach little girls to be like Jennifer Lopez in that horrible chick flick? Here's another;

And here are real winners - both racial and gender insensitive. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say both of these toys were manufactured in China.

And here's another (I gotta admit - having a bi-racial child, I chuckled at this one).

Tramp stamps for little girls. This will be the rage at next seasons' child beauty pageants. By the way, did you know that had she lived, Jon Benet Ramsey would have turned 21 this year?

And finally, my absolute favorite:

What do these say about us, as Americans? Actually, nothing. But they speak volumes on how Americans are perceived by other countries. Think about that for a while.

The middle class in America no longer exists. Children have two paths to choose from. Get incredibly lucky and therefore impossibly rich - or be simply satisfied with your lot in life. Its a sad end to a Century of Aspirations.

Who would buy toys that encourage their little girls to be maids or strippers when they grow up? Someone is.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fish Water - Pic

I was at Walmart, and found this in the pet department. I was speechless. The sheer balls of the guy who came up with it gave me new hope for the human race. Imagine - selling bottled water (at $2.97 per bottle) , for fish. Yeah, designer water, for fish! I had to take a picture cause no one would believe it.

I figured it would cost the bleeding heart tropical fish owner around $120.00 for a twenty gallon tank. And $40.00 for a partial water change every week. What are these fish eating anyway?

One of Brandon's favorite stories illustrating just how stupid his father is, relates to our own fish tank upstairs. We were in the living room when thunder rolled and lightening began. I told him to run upstairs and close all the windows before the cloudburst was overhead. He asked why, and I quickly replied, "So the fish don't get all wet."

Getting away from my senior moment, let's get back to this bottle of water. . .

Friday, April 1, 2011

Life of a Jazz Singer

The most important concert film ever made (exempting the original Woodstock) was a 1960 release called Jazz on a Summer’s Day. Of course, at the time I couldn’t have cared less (I was six). But as I have grown older, I’ve begun to appreciate the process of “WHY”; how things became as they are. Perhaps the fifty year mark turns people away from reading fiction, and more toward history and biographies. I don’t know, but I have realized the past, is just as important as the present. I comb through Netflix for documentaries, on any subject. Jazz on a Summer’s Day is a vitally important work, yet I saw it for the first time only four months ago. More on that film in later posts, but today, I want to talk about one performance, one artist, who took my breath away as I watched.

Anita O’Day (October 18, 1919 – November 23, 2006) was one of the finest Jazz singers ever. Her sense of rhythm and dynamics was incomparable. And her voice was, quite simply, sexy as Hell. Her short set at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival documented in Jazz on a Summer’s Day, has turned her into an obsession with me. There is no doubt her Sunday afternoon performance was the finest of the whole festival. Which is why I urge every to go to your Netflix account right now, and order Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer.

The documentary, released in 2007, was produced and directed by Robbie Cavolina and Ian McCrudden. It is fantastic. It chronicles her life without passing judgement. But most of all, it lets you see performances you will never see anywhere else. She was true to the Hard Swing Styles of the Big Bands, but her rhythmic and dynamic improvisational skills puts her right up there with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian and other Be Bop legends. You must see this documentary to believe it. Aside from the performances, the film also explores the dark side of her life, in her own words. No excuses.

You must see Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer. It won’t change your life, but you will learn to appreciate music differently.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pic - At the game.

(left to right) Brandon, Brian, and David at D.C. United's season opener.

Friday, March 18, 2011

1st Chessboxing Worldchampionship PT1

I'm posting this without comment. Knowing full well, Abaad should have something to say about it lol.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Waiting for Superman

Last night I was able to finally see the documentary, Waiting for Superman. I would never go out and see a documentary in a movie theater, as my movie experiences usually consist of back-to-back fart jokes my son and I can enjoy together. But I've wanted to see this movie ever since I saw a few brief glimpses on the news. It is finally at Netflix, and I urge everyone to see it.

It is a masterpiece. A true documentary that objectively examines an issue, without tainting its conclusions with pre-conceived notions or a blatant political agenda. Did I mention Michael Moore should be fed ground poodle until he suffocates in canine paste? Davis Guggenheim (I can't believe this is the same guy who came up with "An Inconvenient Truth") does a truly remarkable job. The lottery scenes at the end are pure edge-of-your-seat suspense. Yes, I'm talking about a film that presents options to improve public education.

I don't think you need children in public schools to get something out of it. But having an eleven year old out there, I teared up more than once. Anyone who supports the unions in Wisconsin need to see this movie, but of course they won't. Just like I refuse to pay to see Michal Moore's latest rant (by the way, did you know the rich aren't rich at all - they are just holding the money, which is an American natural resource (!), and they need to give it back now that we need it?) Charlie Sheen makes more sense than Michael Moore.

As a moderate Republican with a strong Libertarian slant, it pains me to say I would vote for Barrack Obama's re-election, providing he replaces Arne Duncan with Michelle Rhee at the Department of Education. Under Michelle Rhee's chancellorship, D.C. secondary schools improved their standardized test pass rates by 14% in reading and 17% in math, while elementary school pass rates improved 6% in reading and 15% in math. Graduation rates also improved by 3%, up to 72% in 2009. However, Rhee's critics (no doubt funded by Teacher Unions) complained her speed left them without input on the changes. The District Council also criticized Rhee for being unresponsive to Council members' requests for information about school operations. Its easy to turn the tide when Union money comes rolling in. Mayor Fenty is killed, and Rhee with him. Waiting for Superman is a lasting legacy for innovative educational policy, not just Michelle Rhee's crusade, but to educators who get it. To simplify Wisconsin's situation as "union busting" is horribly wrong - its about bad teachers who can't get fired, poisoning children's chances before they have a chance.

See Waiting for Superman. You will be glad, and angry.

On another subject; who in HELL decided not to teach children cursive writing anymore? Was there a vote? Some sort of press release? Anything? Imagine - the next generation of America's youth WILL BE UNABLE to read the Constitution of the United States.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quoting Norio Ohga

Norio Ohga, born January 29, 1930 in Numazu, Shizuoka, is a Japanese electronics businessman who originally trained as an opera singer. After being dissatisfied with the low quality of a Sony Corporation tape recorder, he sent a critical letter to the company that resulted in his being offered a job, and he rose through the company's management. He was made the President of Sony in 1982, and the CEO of Sony in 1989.

"We have many assets here. The most valuable asset of all are the four letters, S-O-N-Y. I tell them, make sure the basis of your actions is in creating the value of these four letters, S-O-N-Y. In other words, when you consider doing something, you must consider whether your action will increase the value of S-O-N-Y, or lower its value."

I've kept this quote in my wallet for ten months.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

State of the Union Was Tantamount to Plagiarism

Off politics for a bit - plagiarism is running rampant through our culture, and no one seems to care enough to do anything about it. As far back as high school, I was taught copying another's work (especially uncredited) was the worst crime intellectually you could commit. But that was in the seventies. Now, and in popular music particularly, the gloves are off. Rappers gleefully admit "biting" another rapper's work. Sampling is common place .

Lady Gaga (whom I like) admits to being influenced by Madonna, but I don't think you could say she was stealing from the Material Girl. But right now, there at least four ambiguously sexual, rail-thin, spooky chicks drinking Gaga's Little Monster Kool-Aid. The last BET Hip Hop Awards (which I am compelled to watch because of work) was three hours of the SAME SONG.

I only point this out to say blatant plagiarism is still criminal, but like popular culture, politics seem to have been given a free pass.

Obama's State of the Union Was Tantamount to Plagiarism - Alvin Felzenberg (

Q: Where can men over the age of 50 find younger women who are interested in them? A: Try a bookstore under fiction.