Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. We've written, as serious writers like to say, extensively on the subject of slot machines at greyhound tracks, and how excited the overlords get when it looks like, once again they've dodged the bullet called meaningful labor.

But, you know, sometimes it must suck to be an overlord, because just when you think you've got next month's trailer payment in the bank, this happens.

Business at Broward's fledgling racetrack casinos has been lackluster, falling well short of Wall Street's expectations, according to gaming industry experts. Particularly startling is the weak performance of Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, the first of the casinos to open, analysts said.

Ouch. That's gotta hurt. Just what will it take to get people to come out to greyhound tracks anyway? Dan Adkins, Mardi Gras Racetrack & Gaming Center, formerly Hollywood Greyhound Track chief gaming executive said the pari-mutuels are struggling to establish themselves. "Most people associate greyhound track with drugs and crime," he said. "It may cause people to avoid us."

Yeah, well he may have a point. Lipstick on a pig and all that, right Mister?

Mister is very friendly and affectionate. He wants to be near his foster family all the time. He will follow the family from room to room. He has puppy-like moments, but most of the time he is very easygoing. He likes to stick his nose under your arms for affection. He will play catch and is learning to fetch. Mister would do well in a working family home. He is not comfortable around children, so needs a family with no young children, only teenage children. He is the only dog in the foster home, but has also been good with other dogs of various sizes he has met while on the walk. He tends to be a little vocal when left alone so he would do best in a single family home. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mitt Romney: Dog Lover

Regular readers of this blog probably need more to that here in the marbled halls of IM Central we are big fans of canis familiaris. Specifically, the companion of gods and goddesses, but in truth, we're equal opportunity ear scratchers. So you might imagine our reaction whilst perusing yet another "in depth" press release about presidential candidates, in this case Mitt (tell me what you want to hear) Romney, we ran across this:

Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.

See, this is why we drink. People who are this clueless about living beings who are not them should not be allowed out without adult supervision. And by adult supervision we mean anyone capable of tying their own shoes.

Well, as you might imagine, Mitt's excellent adventure didn't turn out so well:

As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

First of all, who names their kid Tagg? What are the other kids' names? Dodgeball and Hopscotch? Whatever. OK, so here's the Romney clan, merrily motoring down the highway with a dog strapped to the roof of the car so traumatized he has lost control of his bowels. Now, you would think that diarrhea might be a clue for Mr. Mitt that he may have misread the situation vis-a-vis canine travel arrangements. Alas, no, but our humble scribe now steps in to provide the verbiage that explains this little foray into the Mittster's character:

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.

"Emotion-free crisis management." In other words, the guy has all the compassion of a box of rocks. But that's not the scary part.

Starting with probably a criminal lack of common sense, Mitty concocted this plan to lash the family pet to the outside of the car, alone, where the noise of the wind, and traffic could proceed to practically scare him to death. Then, faced with he fact that his plan was not proceeding according to his original intent, what did he do? Hosed the dog off, threw him back in the crate and headed off down the highway with a song in his heart and buzzing in his head. In other words, when faced with the need to go to plan B, he chose to stay the course.

Sound familiar?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eternal Sunshine Of The President's Mind

The president is a lot smarter than you think. He grasps Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein was talking about how time can seem to go at different rates and to explain it he used the analogy of a person sitting on a hot stove, and a person sitting in the park on a warm spring day with his true love. For the person on the stove, the seconds seem like hours, but for the person in the park the hours seem like seconds.

The president gets this. See for us, Iraq is like sitting on a hot stove, but for him, Iraq has been like sitting in the park with the voices in his head. It's just been a couple of minutes for him while thousands of Iraqis were displaced, wounded, killed and basically had a whole generation wiped out, while here at home families were devastated, lives destroyed and thousands of wounded soldiers returning from his neo-con, chest thumping, "Let's you and him fight," testosterone induced, tragedy called "The Bush Foreign Policy" are left abandoned. So it is with a clear conscience, and a bright smile (once Laura wiped the chocolate milk mustache off) that he can ask for more time in Iraq.

The White House appealed for more patience on the war in Iraq as Democrats warned for the 237th time that the clock was running out and a prominent Republican declared that president Bush's policy is not working, the sun rises in the east and the pope is a catholic. "Bush is an idiot," said Senator Richard Lugar R-Ya Think?. "I see that now, but more importantly, I see the need to get reelected."

White House spokesman Tony Snowjob said Lugar was a thoughtful man and that his remarks came as no surprise. "Is there anybody that doesn't think Bush is an idiot?" he asked. "Other than the people who watch Fox news I mean."

"We've known that he's had reservations about the president for some time," Snowjob said "Basically since he stopped watching Hannity and somebody ugly. That action was not authorized by the vice president's office by the way."

Lugar's position is unlikely to affect votes on upcoming anti-war legislation. Spokesman Andy Fisher said that Lugar is not planning to switch his vote and embrace a deadline for troop withdrawals. The purpose of the speech was to express his concerns publicly before Bush reviews his Iraq strategy in September, Fisher said. "It's not like the Senator actually believes any of this," Fisher added. "We just need to start distancing ourselves from the Clown in Chief if we're ever going to have any hope of getting reelected."

Lugar's grim assessment of the war puts substantial pressure on the administration to change course. "No it doesn't," said Snowjob. "We're at 28, 29 percent approval and we're pumping more into Iraq. You think we care what people say about us?"

Most Republicans have said they were willing to wait until the fall to see whether Bush's recently ordered troop buildup in was working. But if progress is not made by then, GOP members say they will demand a change in course. "Unless the president needs more time," said an aide to a Republican Senator not up for reelection. "It's all relative."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Look Kid, The Rest Of Us Don't Have Any Rights Either. Just Ask Cheney

Kids are so uppity these days. It's like they think they have the same rights as illegal immigrants or something. Permissive parents, we guess. Well, leave it to the Supremes to put the smackdown on that sad parade of scrawny behinds.

A high school student who was suspended for unfurling a banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" did not have his rights violated, a divided Supreme Court ruled. "He's a high school kid, said Justice Scalia. "He doesn't have rights in the first place."

The high court's conservative majority ruled that a high school principal in Juneau Alaska did not violate the student's constitutional free-speech rights by confiscating the banner and then suspending him. "This is a great validation of our policy of STFU when it comes to dealing with student speech," said principal Deborah Morse. "Hope you're paying attention Mr. incoming student council president."

School officials say the phrase "bong hits" refers to smoking marijuana. Morse suspended the student, Joseph Frederick for 10 days because she said the banner advocated or promoted illegal drug use in violation of school policy. When asked why she knew so much about smoking marijuana, Morse replied that she had a friend who used marijuana for "medical reasons" and she visited him frequently to check on his condition.

Frederick, 18, had been standing on a public sidewalk across the street from the school when Morse grabbed his banner and crumpled it. "She asked me what I thought I was doing," he said. "I said being a high school kid."

The majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts said the court agreed with Morse that those who viewed the banner would interpret it as advocating or promoting illegal drug use, in violation of school policy. "Now if it had said something like "Kill Osama 4 Jesus, we could have gotten behind that," Roberts said.

Liberal Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsberg dissented on the constitutional issue writing, "and we wonder why the kids hate us."

Later, principal Morse agreed with Justice Roberts saying she "probably would have allowed" the Kill Osama 4 Jesus banner. "This is America after all," she said.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Dang. Sometimes you just can't catch a break, you know? Just when the overlords get done their way with the use of classic argumentative skills and geometric logic...yeah, that'll do....just when the overlords get done putting out one fire, another one erupts.

According to state records, greyhound injuries increased to a record level at Hinsdale Greyhound Park during the first four months of 2007, nearly tripling the total from the same time period a year ago. "Well, that's going to happen when dogs race," said a worker at the track who asked to remain anonymous because of warrants. "We're fine with it though."

"These terrible injuries are occurring every day at Hinsdale Greyhound Park," said GREY2K USA Board Member Michael Trombley. "During the first four months of the year, more than a dog a day was injured."

"That can't be right," a track spokesperson said, "We don't race every day. These animals rights whackos are always making things up." When it was explained that Trombley was talking about averages, the spokesperson responded that he had "never been good at math."

"We have not given up in our effort to end this cruelty," said Trombley. "Dogs play an important role in our lives, and deserve to be protected from individuals and industries that would do them harm."

"Right." said the track spokesperson. "We completely agree that the exploitation of these animals is both cruel and unnecessary and we want to see it stopped as much as everyone else. Well, except for the fast dogs. They're still making us money. I got bills you know."

Good to know someone's looking out for you, huh Darwin?

Decisive Strike AKA Darwin wants to be the center of attention. He is very easygoing and mellow. He is very affectionate. He loves to be scratched behind the ears and under his chin. He will sit there for hours if you pet him. He gives funny “burps” when he finishes drinking his water. Darwin would do well in working family home with well-mannered children, ages 4 and up. He is okay with other dogs and would probably be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We're Still $40,000 From Our Goal. Don't Make Us Hurt The Kids

Generally we try not to spend too much time actually reading the stuff we write about. We find the less we know about a particular story, the better able we are to cast it in a useful and productive light for our burgeoning readership (Hi Mom! Hi Aunt Pat!). It is much easier and more efficient to unleash our formidable powers of analysis if we remain fact free. We call this the Bill O'Reilly corollary to the Fox News approach.

Still, we occasionally run across a lede that is so compelling, so provocative, so bizarre that we find ourselves compelled to read beyond the first line our two. A lede like this:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars through the fundraising efforts of a supporter targeted by several lawsuits alleging child abuse. "We should make very clear that the money was not collected from the children," said an aide to Romney. "They were abused for marketing purposes only."

133 plaintiffs have alleged that Robert Lichfield, co-chairman of Romney’s Utah finance committee owned or operated residential boarding schools for troubled teenagers where students were “subjected to physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse, and having to listen to Rommney's stump speeches.”

Sure, but I need to reiterate again that we never asked them for money," said the aide.

“Mr. Lichfield is one of 6 Co-Chairmen of our Utah finance team,” said Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho in a statement. “He has donated to numerous Republican candidates and committees. The Romney campaign will continue its policy to make our fundraising efforts as effective as possible. You'd be surprised how bringing a couple of kids with black eyes, or bruises in to a room full of potential donors can loosen wallets up. Particularly if the doors are locked.”

Lichfield did not respond to requests for comment made through the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS). WWASPS is his co-defendant in several lawsuits and Lichfield sits on its board of directors."You remember the Board of directors, don't you?" asked an aide to Litchfield. "Or maybe at your school it was the Board of education. Very motivating if you get my drift."

The president of WWASPS, Ken Kay, said the lawsuits are a ploy to get money and dismissed the credibility of former students making allegations. “Most of them are ludicrous,” Kay said of the claims made against his organization and the boarding schools. “A certain percentage of the kids [who participate] are never going to be happy. They weren’t happy with public schools, they weren’t happy with law enforcement, and they have a long history of lying, fabricating and twisting the story around to their own benefit. It's like they're troubled or something. I don't know what they expect from us."

Former students allege they were transported against their will — sometimes in handcuffs — by operators such as Clean and Sober Solutions and Teen Escort Services to far-away locations. Once at the boarding schools, they say they were subject to harsh treatment. Some students say they never attended classes and simply received Romney position statements to read on their own without supervision. Others allege that staff at the schools threatened them with cattle prods and punished them severely when they pointed up Romney flip flops. Several students alleged in legal complaints that they were forced to lie face down on the floor for hours at a time, forbidden from moving their arms or legs until they could recite current Romney positions on abortion, stem cell research and gay marriage. "We pride ourselves on using best practice techniques," Kay said.

Kay said WWASPS worked only with the schools and never had direct contact with the students. "The schools sent in their dues, we sent them membership cards. We're an oversight organization. Heck we didn't even know they had students until a couple of months ago."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oh, James Say You Didn't Meme It.

Imagine our surprise when we stumbled over to our little electronic window on the world today, brushed away the empty Cheetos bags, flipped the switch and brought down upon us the bodacious internet tubes, only to find out we'd been tagged.

Now, we'd be the first to admit that we aren't a bunch of what you might call technomages here in the marbled halls of IM Central, in fact we actually did think the internets were a bunch of dump trucks until Senator Stevens straightened us out. Still, we are vaguely familiar with this whole tagging thing where one blog calls out another blog to perform some sort of exercise--usually something that can be accomplished without violating any local ordinances, or causing Michelle Malkin to retire to the fainting couch with a case of the vapors. Leave aside for the moment why anyone would want to publicly admit they know about the existence of this blog.

So, James has thrown us a challenge that goes something like this:

The Rules:

  1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog
OK, eight things you now know about us, but probably wish you didn't:

1. We used to race motorcycles when we were young and supple (and stupid) but our worst crash was on the street two years ago when we rode into the back of a Chevy Impala which had somehow managed to leave the factory without brake lights. At least that was the owner's story.
2. In college, our summer job was working on the iron ore boats that sail the great lakes. One day, while we were unloading cargo, the bosun came back from shore leave drunk and jumped in the hold. Luckily it was still full (it's about 60 feet from the deck to the bottom of the hold) and he just sunk in the pellets up to his waist. Because this was a "workplace anomaly" a report had to be filed and we were called before a Coast Guard panel as a witness. They were not pleased that we couldn't get through the story without bursting out laughing.
3. We're left handed.
4. We've never been to Lichtenstein.
5. In high school, we bought ourselves a medical dictionary and went into business as the excuse letter writer for people who wanted to get out of gym class. Just want to miss a day? $1.00. A week? $5.00. Want a disease that will get you on TV? $50.00.
6. In our first teaching job out of college we slipped a copy of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch to an incredibly bright and talented 11th grader.
7. We've been married to Mrs. IM Central for 26 years. We attribute this to the fact that both of us are kind of lazy, and don't really like meeting new people.
8. We became vegetarians after watching this video.

OK, now we're supposed to tag some folks with this task and thus replicate the the chain the meme...ah, whatever. Who listens to us? Certainly not these folks:
1. World O' Crap
2. Anejo Mockingbird
4. Tbogg
5. Shakesville
6. Pharyngula
7. Slacktivist
8. Creek Running North

Update: Dang! upon actually reading the directions we find that George (INOTBB) is actually the one who tagged James. Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Don't drink and blog.

Monday, June 18, 2007

OK, You've Been Trying To Kill Us for The Last Four Years, But If You Sign This Paper We'll Let That Go

Boy, we know just how the president feels. We've had those D'oh moments too. You know that, Oh jeez, why didn't I think of that before time, like when Bill Gates beat us to developing an operating system for computers, or Ben and Jerry's beat us to the Coconut Cream Pie Lowfat flavor. Hey, we didn't say they were all good ideas.

Anyway, it seems the president has finally figured out how to solve the troop shortage: Tell the Sunnis they're on our side now. Brilliant! A U.S. program to combat al-Qaida in Iraq by arming Sunni Muslims undercuts the Iraqi government and years of U.S. policy, and is a tacit acknowledgment that the country's violence is really a civil war, some U.S. military officials in Washington and foreign policy experts say. "Well sure, every policy will have some downsides," said a White House Spokesperson. "But you're the ones who wanted us to do something different."

The program, which Bush administration officials have hailed as a sign of progress in Iraq, has sparked heated debate among military and foreign policy analysts. "Look, these are the very same guys who tell you we're winning when the violence goes up because the insurgents are desperate, and we're winning when the violence goes down, because it's going down," said a state department official who asked not to be identified. "They have about as much a chance of coming up with a viable policy as I do of becoming Angelina Jolie's boy toy."

By giving weapons and training to Sunnis in Anbar and Baghdad who've been previously associated with Sunni insurgent groups, the program endorses unofficial armed groups over official Iraqi forces as guarantors of Iraqi security, military officers who oppose the program say. "Oh yeah, like Maliki's government was ever going to work in the first place," said the White House aide. "We can't handle natural disasters in this country, you think we know how to handle a man made one 6000 miles away?"

At the Pentagon, at least six officers who served in Iraq shook their heads when asked about the idea of arming the Sunnis. Three other officers banged their heads into walls, and one colonel threw himself down a flight of stairs.

"It is the U.S. basically acknowledging that Iraq is in a civil war," said Vali Nasr, an expert on Shiism at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan foreign policy organization. "And that the (Iraqi) government is irrelevant."

"The president does not acknowledge that he is in a position to acknowledge that acknowledgment," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "I can't make it any more clear than that."

In Baghdad, the mostly Shiite government already is saying it cannot be expected to disarm militias if Sunni groups are receiving arms from the Americans. "What? They don't trust us?
asked Snowjob.

Maliki told Newsweek that U.S. forces are making "mistakes by arming tribes sometimes." He said coalition forces don't know the backgrounds of tribes they're backing. Askari, his aide, said Maliki has given orders to Iraqi Security Forces to treat the U.S.-armed groups as "outlaws."

"Big deal," said Snowjob. "We don't know who we're fighting half the time now."

"There is risk, but we are at a point in this endeavor where we think, and the government of Iraq generally thinks, that some risk must be taken. You cannot just continue to do what we were doing, in some areas, and expect to have different results," said Lieutenant General Graeme Lamb, deputy commander for Multi-National Force-Iraq. When asked to elaborate, General Lamb said, "Well, when I say risk, I mean we haven't got a freaking chance, but if this doesn't work, plan B is to try and get the Sunnis hooked on baseball."

Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, acknowledged that the government was worried about the new plan. "Sure they are concerned," he said. "They want to make sure that we are not forming a Sunni militia that will fight the government. And I say to them, of course they're not going to fight the government. They're going to turn the guns on us."

Odierno said that the Sunnis working with U.S. forces are checked closely and are asked to sign a statement that they will not fight U.S. forces or the government. "Sign a piece of paper," said a Maliki aide. "Can the Americans be that dumb?" another aide added, "Have you met their president?"

Abu Bilal, a leader of an Islamic Army cell working with the U.S. military there, said he is committed to expelling the "occupation." "We fight the occupation to liberate our lands," he said.
"In retrospect, it probably would have been better to have asked him who he thought the 'occupiers' were, us or al Qaida, before we gave him the guns," said Odierno.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Aw, man. See This is what's wrong with democracy. When people don't get their way, they aren't lead off and shot, or banished to areas where the temperature is measured in Kelvins. They get to regroup, reorganize and try again!

Opponents of greyhound racing say they’ll push for a ballot question outlawing the sport in the Bay State, their third such campaign this decade. "Isn't it obvious that people want greyhound racing?" said a spokesperson for the two operating tracks in the state. "I mean, look around, tracks are opening up all over the country, revenue is up and people are flocking to greyhound racing in droves. I just don't know what world these animal rights whackos are living in."

"Greyhounds are still suffering here in Massachusetts," Christine Dorchak, president of Grey2K USA said. "Since 2002, over 700 dogs have been injured racing at Wonderland and Raynham Park. For this reason we feel it’s important to bring this question to the voters, so this cruelty can end, once and for all."

"Well of course greyhounds are injured," said
said Gary Temple, track manager, director of simulcasting, Parking manager, and head custodian at Raynham-Taunton greyhound track. "That's why we have a breeding program, so we can replace those dogs with fresh ones and the racing isn't disrupted. You think we don't have a business model or something?"

Racing supporters have said the tracks employ thousands of people who would be out of jobs if the tracks were forced to close. "Look, these people are doing the jobs illegal immigrants won't do," Temple said. Closing these tracks would just be un-American."

We must have missed that part of the Constitution that protected our rights to exploit animals. Do you remember seeing it Crystal?

Crystal is very dainty and sweet. She’s an adorable and affectionate, happy little girl. She loves to be close to her foster family. She likes to nuzzle in closer when she’s being petted. Her family describes her as a delicate flower. She has to take all of the toys out and put them on her bed. Crystal would be better in a home with someone that is home more often or doesn’t plan on crating her if they are a working family. She does well with well-mannered children, and she would be fine as an only dog, as long as the people gave her the attention she needs. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Can Field Strip A Smith And Wesson MP-15 In Three Minutes, If Not Distracted By The Voices In My Head

Full disclosure: Growing up in Chicago we never really had a chance to experience that whole outdoor culture thing. In fact we were 12 years old before we saw a real tree. As a result we really don't understand guns and the desire to rain high velocity death down upon woodland creatures, or your friends if they happen to get in your way.

That is not to say we haven't had some experience with firearms. When we were 13 our old daddy, always concerned that we transit the path to manhood in a, well, manly way, took us deer hunting. We had been to hunter safety school, shot the snot out of targets, bottles, cans and what have you, and were even treated to some camouflage accouterments from the local army navy surplus. When the appointed day arrived, we trudged menacingly to the blind, if one can trudge menacingly while half asleep and shivering in the pre-dawn cold, ensconced ourselves and prepared to commune with the spirit of our frontier ancestors.

Except when the deer showed up we couldn't shoot it. Shooting cans, bottles, targets, that's one thing. Shooting something that looks back at you...well...let's just say, to paraphrase the poet, our father's countenance could not unfrown itself.

In short, we ain't no Mitt Romney.

Which may be the source of our confusion about this.

The House passed what could become the first major federal gun control law in over a decade. The bill was the outcome of weeks of negotiations between Representative John Dingell D- Mosberg, the most senior member of the House and a strong supporter of gun rights, and the NRA, and in turn, with Representative Carolyn McCarthy D-Woodstock, a leading gun-control advocate. "Allow me to state categorically and for the record, that Representative Dingell did not attend a single negotiating session while armed, despite what you might have read," said an aide.

The NRA insisted that it was not a "gun control" bill because it does not disqualify anyone currently able to legally purchase a firearm. "This bill controls access to guns," said a NRA spokesperson. "But that's not the same as gun control because you still have your eBays and your Walmarts and your crazy uncle Sids who have an arsenal in their basements. We're not worried about a drop in gun violence as a result of this legislation."

Under a gun control act that passed in 1968, people barred from buying guns include those convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison, illegal drug users, those adjudicated as mentally disabled, and illegal aliens. The legislation approved Wednesday would require states to automate and share disqualifying records with the FBI.

And the law has worked too. How many hopped up, crazy illegal aliens come out of prison and go on killing sprees, huh? Name one.

The law would automatically restore the purchasing rights of veterans who were diagnosed with mental problems as part of the process of obtaining disability benefits.

Yeah, and that's some real progress on getting guns out of the hands...wait a minute. A regular crazy person can't buy a gun, but a crazy person who's been professionally trained in the military to get the most destruction with the least effort can? "I support our troops," said president Bush announcing his backing of the bill. "And you will too if this bill passes and you know what's good for you."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Surgeon General, Mechanical Contractor. Tomato Tomahto

OK, so we're peeking through some of the internet tubes the other day, hoping to catch Angelina Jolie coming out of the shower and we ran across this:

President Bush's nominee for surgeon general, Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr., wrote a paper in 1991 that purported to make the medical argument that homosexuality is unnatural and unhealthy.

Our first thought was how come generals get to have their own surgeon? Just another example of the widening gap between the haves and have nots in this country. Then we thought, wait, does this mean the generals are gay?

Now, admittedly our thoughts may have been somewhat jumbled, having just returned from the St. Tropez, Tanqueray, Cod fillet, Spiked OJ, Plug and Play, Come what may, Burning Man executive planning retreat.

So, after a Stoli or three to clear away the cobwebs, we did a little research (Because giving our readers accurate information is what we're all about. Unless it's too much work, but hey Wikipedia can't be wrong about everything and besides even if Conservapedia is more likely to be right because of god being an editor and all, there's something about this entry on the origin of kangaroos that just doesn't sit right with us, especially that part about getting to Australia via jet ski after they got off the ark in Istanbul. We don't remember anything in the bible about passports and visas. )

Where were we? Oh yeah, the Surgeon General. Says here that the Surgeon General is America's chief health educator, giving Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury.

Which explains why the nominee belongs to a church that offers a ministry to "cure" gays of the sexual orientation. Well, sure, but with the "best scientific information available," right Doctor?

Holsinger argued that male and female genitalia are complementary -- so much so "that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming pipe fittings either the male fitting or the female fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other." Body parts used for gay sex are not complementary, he wrote. "When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur."

OK, for those of you without a medical background, allow us to explain. What the doctor is saying is that if we all would relieve service pressure with a tap tee instead of damming the tapway, we could cure cancer in our lifetimes. Or something. We think.

"It is absolutely clear that anatomically and physiologically the alimentary and reproductive systems in humans are separate organ systems, i.e., the human does not have a cloaca," Holsinger said, referring to the posterior orifice that serves as the one opening for genital, urinary and intestinal tracts in amphibians, birds and reptiles.

Hmm...The Surgeon General nominee knows we're different from snakes and birds. Well, it's a start. Looks like Bush has finally gotten the hang of nominating people with some expertise in the job he wants them to do.

Monday, June 11, 2007

In Which We Throw Away What Little Scruples We Had For Some Of That Hot Celebrity Action

You know, we have tried mightily to stay out of this whole Paris Hilton thing because there are some things that are even less socially redeeming than a blog with no socially redeeming value. But then we saw this headline: Paris Hilton says she will no longer "act dumb."!

"I used to act dumb. ... That act is no longer cute," ABC quoted Hilton as saying.

Now, of course "dumb" is one of the adjectives we would have used to describe the actions of Ms. Hilton. Not the first adjective, nor even one of the top ten, but before we go on we have to ask you something:

Do you really need us for this?

Didn't think so. It's a beautiful day. Go outside, walk in the park, pet a dog, give a homeless guy a buck. We're going to take a long shower, then burn our clothes.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

See, in order to get the rubes to the track so they can be fleeced, the overlords have to put on at least the appearance that they aren't a bunch of, well, overlords. Usually this isn't a problem since most of the people who think betting on greyhound racing is a good way to finance their retirement aren't a bunch of what you might call rocket scientists. Or maybe high school graduates is a more apt descriptor. Well, for the sober ones anyway.

Still, when you've got those pesky state gaming commissions looking over your shoulder things like this can happen:

There were no dogs running at Tucson Greyhound Park on Wednesday night. A kennel operator tested positive for drugs on Tuesday night, thirty dogs were scratched, and racing was canceled Wednesday night because there weren't enough dogs to race. "This is totally uncalled for," said Tucson Greyhound Park CEO Tom Taylor. "Do you know how seldom it is that only one employee shows up drunk or high?"

Taylor said that he supports drug testing and keeping the industry honest, but he said that the Department of Racing wants to go way beyond the finish line with more drug testing for dogs and more audits of the betting. "It's like they don't trust us or something," Taylor said. "I'm really hurt by that."

The Department of Racing gets almost three million dollars for its enforcement budget from the Legislature. Its director, Geoffrey Gonsher, wants dog and horse racing to pick up the tab, and bring the system up to national standards. "Crimminy! Three million dollars?" Said Taylor. "Do you know how many two dollar bets that would be? Let's see, that's three million...divided by...carry the two...13 billion!"

Oooo...Mathematics. Never an overlord strong suite, huh Forever?

Forever AKA Furry is very happy, friendly, outgoing, and affectionate. She likes to be petted and she likes to be near her foster family all the time. She is playful and active for a senior dog. She likes to go for walks. She has played with every toy in the house. She will throw the toys in the air and run after them. She will take them outside in the yard to play. She rubs her head on her foster family when she gets excited. Furry would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 5 and up. She really enjoys being around other dogs, and would be happiest with another dog in the home to keep her company or in a family with someone home more often if she is as only dog. She tends to be vocal when left alone, so she would do best in single family home – no condo. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hello. My Name Is Doug And I'll Be Your Scapegoat Today

Never underestimate the desperateness of a desperate man. A while back we told you about the difficulties our Bungler in Chief was having finding a fall guy for Iraq after Rummy left. The posting was on Craigslist and everything. We heard he even put in on Wonkette, thinking that since most people who read that blog are drunk, or stoned, or both it was sure to reach some of his old buddies.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Bupkis. Sound of crickets.

Now that's truly a puzzler. Here's the president offering someone the opportunity to be the face of one of the most egregious miscarriages of policy ever, one of the most tragically unnecessary wastes of resources in modern times, one of the most disingenuous, dishonest, down right criminal applications of government power since, well, ever, and there are no takers.

What to do, what to do...Wait. The president is the commander guy. If he can't find a retired general who's shell shocked enough to take the job, then he can just get an active duty guy and order him to take the job.

It's good to be the president.

Bush this month nominated Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute to become deputy national fall guy on Iraq and Afghanistan, a newly created position intended to reach across agency boundaries and better execute the president's policy on the two wars.

Wait. The president has a policy?

Sure. It's keep flinging people in front of him whenever questions of responsibility come up until his term is over and he escapes to Paraguay.

Wow. Guy sure is a forward looker isn't he?

Yeah. He's got the vision thing.

The general picked by President Bush to become his war patsy said he has serious concerns about the Iraqi government's ability to take control of its country, no matter how many patsys the president finds. "I'm telling you this now, because after you confirm me, I'll be back to tell you how great things are going in Iraq," said Lute.

"How much more time should we give after four years in Iraq?" asked Carl Levin, D-Combover.

"I'd say six months," Lute replied. "Of course I'll say that six months from now and six months from then as well. Truth is, as long as the president's in office and you guys have the gonads of a titmouse, we're never getting out of there."

Last month, Bush signed war spending legislation that -- for the first time in the four-year war -- conditioned U.S. aid for the Iraqis on Baghdad's ability to meet certain milestones. "We figure it's easier to ignore unmet Iraqi milestones than our own," Levin said. "Besides, if the president can make a war czar responsible for his mistakes, we can make the Iraqis responsible for the fact that we haven't got a pair."

Lute said he will work closely with Bush national security adviser Stephen Hadley, who will have a broader portfolio. "Wait a minute," said Levin. You're the czar, right? How can an adviser have a 'broader portfolio' than a czar?"

"Did I say czar" Lute responded. "I meant dupe."

Bush's decision to create the new position raised questions among lawmakers about its necessity and its ability to improve conditions in Iraq. "If those other individuals were properly doing their job, this position wouldn't be necessary," said Senator James Webb, D-I Beat Macaca, referring to other administration officials with purview over Iraq policy.

"Right," Lute replied. "But this setup ensures that none of them will ever have to take any responsibility for being total screw ups."

Ain't that America?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Oh, We Have To Do This Legally. Well, Why Didn't You Say So In The First Place?

OK, this is getting serious. We really have to do something about activist judges in this country. We mean, how is the U.S. going to go about ridding the world of evil doers if we have to constantly be starting over because we forgot one little thing, like finding a law they broke. Isn't it enough that they're brown?

The US government defended its effort to try Guantanamo Bay "war on terror" detainees by military commission despite judges throwing out two early cases. "We don't agree with the ruling," White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters. "I told that to the judge and he said the law is more important than my opinion. The nerve!"

"The system is taking great care to be within the letter of the law," he added. "Which, as you know is new and uncharted territory for this administration."

His comments came after cases against Toronto native Omar Ahmed Khadr, 20, and Osama bin Laden's ex-driver Salim Ahmed Hamdan were thrown out by two judges. "Two judges," Fratto said. "Two judges. It wasn't enough that one judge threw the cases out, but another had to come along and join him. Now that's just piling on."

In both cases, the judges found they had no jurisdiction to proceed with military commission trials, as neither Khadr nor Hamdan had been classified as an "unlawful enemy combatant" as required by a recent US law. "Details, details, details," Fratto said.

Fratto maintained that "in no way do those decisions affect the appropriateness of the military commission system," adding the Defense Department had asked for time to study the rulings to consider an appeal. "Well, actually we're considering getting some different judges. We've asked the folks at the Department of Justice to help us find the right people."

So far only three people have faced hearings at Guantanamo Bay since the Military Commissions Act (MCA) was rushed through Congress in September after the US government's old procedure was overturned by the Supreme Court. "Hey, three out of 517 isn't bad if you consider most of the lawyers have been pulled off the case to defend Tom DeLay."

The only Guantanamo trial to proceed was that of 31-year-old "Australian Taliban" David Hicks, jailed for nine months in March under a plea bargain deal. "That's right evil doers," Fratto said. You mess with America and you'll be doing hard time. Libby gets 30 months, you get nine. What do you think...wait. Is that right?"

"This entire exercise serves as an indictment of US law and policy regarding the detention and trial of foreign nationals in Guantanamo and elsewhere," said Amnesty International's observer Jumana Musa. "Yeah, but it keeps the mouth breather vote in line," Fratto responded. "Did I say that out loud?"

The ruling triggered calls for the release of Khadr, who was just 15 when captured in Afghanistan. "If we lose the appeal, our fall back position is to charge him with being out after curfew," Fratto said.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I Will Kill Your Spirit With My Bic Of Doom

OK, here's a conundrum for you. Are we catching only the terrorists who are idiots because that's the only ones we can find, or are we catching only the terrorists who are idiots because that's the best they got?

We draw your attention to this week's episode of Larry, Moe, Curly and Shemp go jihad:

Four men were charged yesterday with plotting to blow up fuel tanks, terminal buildings and the web of fuel lines running beneath Kennedy International Airport. "We had these guys under surveillance for quite a period of time," said Mark J. Mershon, the assistant director in charge of the FBI office in New York. "Well, since right after we saw a posting on Missed Connections that said 'You were the tall swarthy gentleman with a deep hatred of America. I was wearing the Moqtada Rules T shirt. Did we have a moment?'"

Oil industry experts said safety shut-off valves would almost assuredly have prevented an exploding airport fuel tank from igniting all or even part of the network. "See the thing is, we don't want them to explode," said a spokesperson for the company that manages the pipeline and storage facility. "That's why we design them to do things like take lightening strikes, earth quakes, hurricanes, stuff like that."

But officials said the four men determined to carry out their attack, having conducted “precise and extensive” surveillance of the airport using photographs, video, the recollections of Russell Defreitas, who had worked as a cargo handler at JFK, and satellite images downloaded from Google Earth. "They planned to actually go out to the airport and look around as soon as they saved up enough for cab fare," said Mershon.

“The enforcement action we are announcing today was taken to prevent a terrorist plot from maturing into a terrorist act,” Mr. Mershon said. "We figure they were only days away from realizing they could ride the bus to JFK."

Mershon said the men had also traveled repeatedly to Guyana and Trinidad in recent months, seeking the blessing and financial backing of an extremist Muslim group based in Trinidad and Tobago called Jamaat al-Muslimeen. "They were given coupons good for free drinks with the purchase of a Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and an undisclosed number of disposable Bic lighters."

One law enforcement official played down Mr. Defreitas’s ability to carry out an attack, calling him “a sad sack” and “not a Grade A terrorist.” Comparing the case with the plot in which a group of men were arrested last month on charges of planning to attack soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey. "These guys need to quit watching A Team reruns and get out more," the official said.

“They didn’t have the money and they didn’t have the bombs,” the official said of the suspects, “but if we let it go it could have gotten there; they could have won the Lotto; they could have gotten a scholarship to Terrorist University; maybe even an athletic scholarship which would have made them eligible for special tutorial assistance. I don't even want to think about what might have happened if they ever got out of explosive training with all their fingers."

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Hmm...As that highly respected and oft quoted contemporary philosopher Scooby Do says, "Rut Ro."

The Jacksonville Kennel Club first opened its doors in 1935, and live greyhound racing has continued at the track on McDuff Avenue for more than 70 years. But that long slice of Jacksonville sports history reaches the finish line this week.

Overlords all over the Jacksonville area are trying to memorize the phrase "Welcome to Walmart."

Jacksonville Kennel Club remains open for simulcasting - meaning instead of live racing, the races are shown on television screens throughout the facility. "We're not sure how long we'll do that though," said track spokesman Michael Munz. "People just come in to get out of the rain and they keep asking the staff to change the channel to Oprah."

Jacksonville Greyhound Racing says it isn't abandoning its oldest facility and is making the change because of construction concerns near Jacksonville Kennel Club that inconvenience customers. "Both of them," Munz added.

In interviews with the sober patrons at the track last week, all said that Jacksonville Greyhound Racing wants to move year-round racing to Orange Park because it's a newer facility in a more upscale area. "Them folks got all their teeth up there," said Robert Vaughn, who says he lives about six miles from the track. "Under that railroad bridge next to the highway."

"It is under construction," said Mike Miller, director of external affairs for Jacksonville Transportation Authority. "We have a project to do, and they create short-term inconveniences." But Miller said the JTA does its best to work with businesses and residents to minimize any disruptions. As for the construction's impact on the kennel club, Miller said, "I'm sure there are other ways to access the facility. Especially since most of the people that go there can't afford cars."

"That's just the people who work here," countered Munz.

According to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the total betting handle declined significantly at the Jacksonville Kennel Club (total handle of $7.4 million on live racing, down 16 percent last year).

"The decision has been made, and business is business," said a patron who identified himself as Bernard, but wouldn't give his last name. "You look at the accessibility and the socio-economic status of this neighborhood, and we are at a loss." When asked where he learned a term like socio-economic status, Bernard responded that he heard it on Judge Judy.

Well, maybe if Oprah isn't on, someone will tune in Judge Judy for him, right Albert?

Albert is a very happy, mellow, nice boy. He decapitated the poinsettia with his tail when he got excited. He sits on command and is very well mannered. Albert is very affectionate and a kisser. He’s a shadow and loves to be with people. He plays with his rabbit toy and throws it up in the air; he knows he has to put it down before the door gets opened to let him outside. He is a happy-go-lucky dog that loves attention by way of hugs and pats. Of course, he does love the treats. He'll sit like a good boy as a hint. Albert would do well in a working family home with older well-mannered children, 10 and up. He would be fine as an only dog or with medium to larger size dogs in the home. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.