Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Porn: Fishing For Jokes Edition

The month of April announces its arrival with two of my favorite diversions: trout fishing and rude, childish pranks. April 1 is the start of fishing season in many states, New York included, even though several of these (New York, again) open some waterways year-round to anglers. The first of the month is also April Fools' Day, an important date for anyone who enjoys stuffing a friend's mailbox full of dog crap without actually appearing insane. Some classic April Fools' lines include: "I have a plan for the Democrats to win back the Congress"; "I'm late, and it's yours"; "Mr. Bonds, we all believe you"; "Freedom is on the march in the Middle East"; and "I love you." To sum up, this, plus this, plus this equals FUN!

Ah screw it. Here's a picture of some model's ass.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Straight Outta Congress

... Crazy motherf---er named Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, from the district called Georgia's 4th! (Sorry.) It seems McKinney -- who received a perfect "100" rating from Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Preservation of Batshit Conspiracy Theories, in 2002 -- has punched a Capitol Police officer in the chest or something. She was entering the Longworth Building, a House office building on Capitol Hill, when an officer stopped her and asked to see identification. At least that's the official story. The Hotline's blog remembers it just a lil' bit different.

The best summary of the incident can be found at The Hill, complete with a list of McKinney's greatest "hits." (Sorry.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Damn Aint it Good to be a Gangster

From post-war New York Harbor, Lady Liberty's torch welcomed hoardes of peasant Sicilians and Eastern Bloc refugees to the promise of America's great immigrant slums. The world's greatest meritocracy quickly enriched the most ambitious- as evidenced by the phonetically challenging names dotting mailboxes in the 'burbs (Scalia, Czolgosz, Pascocello). 50 years and 3 generations saw these families from poor immigrants to middle class; the uniquely American system of hard work and merit paying dividends for millions.

Fred Seigel is a believer in this system, and the cities historic primacy in making this system work. His book, "The Future Once Happened Here," documents how the hard-knock slums that raised so many to prosperity were abandoned by the political establishment. The potent mixture of liberal idealism and bankrupt urban leadership imposed high taxes, encouraged welfare, and blackmailed with the threat of riots and crime. The resultant, widespread urban disinvestment destroyed entire cities for a generation. Those left in the charred remains of the urban core adopted a new American system; a debilitating cycle of entitlement.

In the "Most E-mailed" column of the NYT is a column by Harvard professor Orlando Patterson. "A Poverty of the Mind" argues that today's black males don't succeed in school because academic success doesn't have the glitz and allure of gangster/baller life. An alternative path towards success seems to have taken hold, and Patterson argues that black male youth prefer it.

In the slums of Calcutta, students obsessively struggle with calculus by candle light, seeing math as the surest route out of misery and destitution. In America, a support structure based on entitlement has enabled a cost-benefit analysis of the most perverse nature. As we abandon our faith in our sysem as cruel, funny how others readily pick up the torch.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Return of Friday Porn, or "Ugh. Not Him Again."

St. Patrick's Day -- a minor holiday celebrating traditional Irish good cheer like funneling artificially-colored lager and abandoning your group of friends to vomit on a police horse -- has, sadly, come and gone (and left cab fare on the dresser). So what's an uncontrollable belligerent drunk to do for fun now? Drop acid and break into a Go-Kart track? Attend an Arquette family reunion? Get a twentysomething MTV producer to cast you on next season's "Real World"? I say go to spring break. College spring break is after all the only week-long event that can boast of some of this nation's dumbest students and Central America's most immoral street vendors. Plus there's nickel beers and those triple kisses with Sarah Lawrence co-eds, so that's pretty rad. Oh, and skip St. Tropez if you have visible bacne and nipples the size of laser discs. Trust me, they will not let you hear the end of it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Beards: Not Just For Sullen Loners Anymore

Ladies, have you noticed your boyfriend/personal cash machine sporting a little extra facial hair recently? His lack of personal hygiene might indicate a deepening sense of withdrawal from the outside world brought on by the twin stresses of work and relationships, manifesting itself in a diminishing interest in his physical appearance, and foreshadowing your future with him as one devoid of true emotional attachment, shared professional ambition, and hope. Then again, maybe he's just caught on to the latest trendy New York export: beards!

Yes, beards -- that strange, hair-like substance which clings to a guy's face on the weekends, when there's an excuse not to shave, a look beloved by both the homeless and street-walking mentally ill alike -- is now cool. The Times explains the new face fur explosion as a reaction to the metrosexual wave of a couple years ago. It seems straight men grew cold to the idea of resembling gay men almost identically. Strange. Now young professionals everywhere can don a look which screams, "Do not date me. I sleep at the bus station and probably carry a homemade knife."

From my own personal experience, I can tell you that wearing a beard, whether expertly trimmed, poorly groomed, or completely neglected, will get you laid only if: a) you are a model, b) you're rich, c) your last name is "Blitzer," or d) some combination of the above. And that's the news. Now go shave, hippie; you look terrible.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Venezuela Is For Lovers!

Hey, are you a left-wing Hollywood activist with a skewed sense of reality and a romantic attachment to the 1960s? How about a rich white kid with a notional affection for social justice and a readiness to be fooled? Or maybe you're just a prol defector who wishes to make amends with a Latin American dictatorship before his family is systematically disappeared?

Then beautiful Venezuela is the destination for you! Take the Times's word for it -- Hugo Chavez and his merry band of Bolivarian revolutionaries are waiting for your arrival, so act now.

(Note: Offer does not apply to capitalists, neo-liberals, imperialists, homosexuals, Pat Robertson, or anyone who reads the news.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Shoes

I said to Celanie the other night, as she trolled eBay looking for ivory earrings, "What could I even buy on eBay?" A brief discussion ensued, and I ended up buying new dress shoes at a completely different site, Because I really did need another pair of dress shoes.

I know that these shoes are sort of cheap, but I couldn't bring myself to buy something advertised as for "my collection." These replace one of my two pairs of work shoes, my old black ones, and now go with the remaining pair of Nunn Bush oxblood loafers, which I fondly thing of as my purple clogs.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Rock the Vote!

Rockstar Councilman Bill Peduto gotta read the writing on the wall this time: though it's easy to get a Senior poli-sci major to polish your knob in the bathroom at Doc's, it ain't easy to get her to vote. Bill Kraus, a successful Southside Flats businessman backed by Peduto, was edged out by City Councilman Elect Jeff Koch, a public works employee from Arlington. Koch, the party endorsed candidate, argued his experience painting curbs would add gravitas to future budget debates. Peduto rightly believed his candidate was more qualified; and staked his strategy on a good turnout of college students living in the district. Unfortunately for Peduto, a post-spring break Binger at Doug and Smitty's house supressed the student vote... and the Rockstar Councilman wasnt even invited!

The 8th and 14th districts, encompassing the towers and the South Oakland slums, turned out a total of 139 votes, or 4% of those cast. Those who fought for the right of Pitt's students to vote have egg all over their face on this one. The whole damned council race was postponed so that Pitt Students on spring break wouldnt miss the election. In an effort worthy of Rock the Vote's costly quadrennial voter-outreach boondoggles, music and food was provided to lure more students to the polls. At 139 votes total, the whole effort is embarrassing as hell.

Look at the bright side, Billy. You might never win Mayor on a tide of student discontent... but that sweet little blonde at the end of the bar is willing to take your mind off of that.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Friday Porn, Monday Edition

Last week's Friday Porn apparently drowned in Thursday night's slurry of cheap vodka and Carlo Rossi... I hope that my modest suggestion for this Monday's Hangover Porn will be a (blurry) sight for Dain's bloodshot eyes.


Friday, March 10, 2006

"...they want to send me back to the WOMB"

Roe v. Wade is a critical freedom for Americans, granting our citizens the right to drunken fornication without the eventual responsibility of parenthood. Collegiates no longer drop out of school, secretaries need not destroy their boss' marriages, young women no longer relegated to poverty- this is truly a critical right.

But what of those women who "choose life?" What of those situations where she does so against the will or desire of her mate? The courts say a man has no choice, in effect taking the Victorian concept of a man's financial responsibility for his family and turning it on it's head. In exchange for support of a household, the Victorian man ruled his stead as a potentate. Feminism rightly negated male soverignty, but conveniently left male financial responsibility in place. Such is the plight of a man today that his child can be born regardless of his opinion, that the mother can require he support that child, and she can impose such restrictions on him that his only contact with the child is his checkbook.

In the same way that the death penalty is an ineffective deterrant against murder, I doubt this looming threat is much of a deterrant from unbridled drunken sex in a dormitory stairwell (just take all the spunk out of my favorite webcam!). However, its a damned fair question to have answered. Not only is it a fair question for the man's checkbook, but as well for the child. Afterall, who wants to be born into a world with only a 50% approval rating?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Garfield Rawhide

Bobby O is at it again. Having successfully shuttered the Horoscope Lounge, he was back in the streets of Garfield last week for a walk and talk about drug dealers. Shutting down a nuisance bar is much easier than halting urban drug trafficking; but I'd hate to criticize a tactic that has shown early promise. Here's wishing all the luck in the world to Pittsburgh's Irish Cowboy.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Qualified Expert Witness?

Evidence Text Book Note:

See United States v. Johnson, 575 F.2d 1347, 1360 (5th Cir.1978) (An experienced user, who "had smoked marijuana over a thousand times," was permitted to testify that a certain marijuana came from Columbia. "He based his identification upon the plant's appearance, it's leaf buds, stems, and other physical characteristsics, as well as upon the smell and the effect of smoking it.")

We've got ourselves here some mighty fine jurisprudence.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

High Noon on Penn Avenue

Bob O'Connor's successful mayoral bid in 2004 was light on ideas, heavy on gladhanding and posturing. Taking a nod from G.W.'s wild west
smoke'em out theme, Bobby O promised to literally ride front the possee and tackle Pittsburgh's crime one street at a time. The image of this Mayor cum Sheriff astride his trusty horse was a bit incongruous to the image of slick Bobby O's neatly coiffed hair and pinstripe suit; but yesterday he showed that, though unwilling to ride in on a horse, apparently he is willing to tackle crime as promised.

Bobby O made a guest appearance at the Horoscope Lounge in Garfield yesterday, 2 hours after some thug got popped in the leg. He promised a more concerted effort to shut down the Horoscope, which has been on the nuisance bar list for a decade. Bob's version of smokin' out the bandits, putting community activists and residents in his possee, is a promising first step towards keeping his commitment. But just as a Presidential soundbyte doesnt capture a terrorist, a photo-op won't shutter a nuisance bar. In the coming months, there will doubtless be more gunslinging at the Horoscope: lets see if O'Connor's on-the-scene approach leads to a padlock on the door of Garfield's worst bar.