Wednesday, January 31, 2007

US to Declare War on Iran, Part II


POWDER KEG: Ahmadinejad's sabre-rattling on nukes and Iraq faces domestic opposition as economic sanctions take hold in Iran. Steep declines in oil pricing and UN sanctions are taking their toll on Iranian wallets, leaving the Iranian president politically weakened. Those looking for a damper on the Iranian powder-keg take heart?

Not yet. Iran's bluster and bravado has not waned in the least. Ahmadinejad still insists the US can't inflict too much pain on Iran, and doesn't have the balls to initiate a full-blown attack. And the Bush Administration is claiming Iranian trained militia killed US Soldiers. Are the flag-draped coffins en-route to Dover our next WMD?

STUCK IN A RUT: As Francis Fukuyama points out, "Hey Asshole... your strategy sucks in Iraq. It will suck in Iran." But as Highland Ave. and Fukuyama agree, "When your tool of choice is a Hammer, everything looks like a nail." Bush's Go-It-Alone approach means that there aint gonna be any diplomatic attempts to build a military coalition against Iran. Furthermore, recent bluster to the contrary, Congress abdicated its right to declare war over 60 years ago. Sorry James Madison, there aint no Check to Balance the 'Sole Decider.' With 30% approval ratings, little chance to salvage his legacy, and an obstinate inability to reconcile his worldview with reality, Bush is a bat-shit crazy gambling man with nothing to lose. And he isnt necessarily flying solo.

DIVE FOR COVER: Party at my place, pizza and beer, to watch next month's "Shock and Awe" over Tehran, Live after "Sista Sista," on The WB.

ASIDE: Why is Radio Free Europe (see above link), the US-run Cold War propaganda machine, the only news source talking about a weakened Ahmadinejad?

War on Politics Over! Mayor Ravenstahl puts Councilman Jim Motznik in timeout

Mayor Ravenstahl puts Councilman Motznik in timeout
Jim Motzdick's War on Politics is over. A higher power has stepped in and informed the councilman that his behavior is grounds for a timeout.
The Post-Gazette quotes Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl telling local jackass/councilman Jim Motzdick (D-Douchebag Heights) to stop the online "blog-slinging. " (credit for the term "blog-slinging" goes to the PG copy writer)
"I don't think it's productive, and I don't think it's in the best interests of the residents," the mayor said of Mr. Motznik's blogging. "We certainly have very important issues that we need to discuss, and the blogosphere is not, in my opinion, the best avenue to do that."

Kudos to Ravenstahl for muzzling a loose cannon. The public will hear innuendo dished by an independent observer or a campaign supporter. But when an elected official writes like a gossip columnist for the NY Post, the public turns a deaf ear.

The Tribune-Review used this episode to publish a reheated story on blogs. The only worthwhile piece of information in the Trib story is:
The Burgh Report reported two weeks ago city solicitor George Specter has overstayed his welcome. TBR states that the city charter does not allow acting officials to serve more than 90 days. Specter was appointed last July. Ravenstahl pleaded ignorance.
"I didn't realize that was the case," Ravenstahl said. "We'll have to take a look at that and discuss it with (Specter)."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Softcore porn of the day: Emily Wills (photo), Pittsburgh-area Miss America contestant, swimsuit (photo)

Pittsburgh chick Emily Wills wins swimsuit contest; credits her plump badonka-donk to pierogies and Primanti's

According to co-workers, who listen to country music Donald Trump slept with/crowned Miss America recently. But since Miss Nevada was not in the competition, I didn't care...

Until I learned a skanky yunzer chick was involved!

Beaver babe Emily Wills, 24, lost the pageant, but won the swimsuit competition, and a double-team with talk-show bloviator Chris Matthews and A.C. Slater from "Saved by the Bell."

Her victory proves once again that Pittsburgh is a world-class city.

Pittsburgh Councilman Jim Motznik declares War on Politics; launches worst blog ever

Councilman Motznik declares War on Politics; launches worst blog ever

Pittsburgh Councilman Jim Motzdick (D-Douchebag Heights) , angry that a drunked-up Mayor Ravenstahl tussled with a cop before a Steelers game and everyone knows about it, started a blog that will "make sure we can all wade through the shit and get to the truth!" (direct quote) Motznik promised to fight every rumor with rumor, using "sources" and "word on the street." Now Motznik has a closed platform (no comments allowed!) where he can personally refute the opinions of John McIntire, a pruveyor of punditry and "snarkery."
Welcome to the Internets, Jim. Polish your sabre of justice and prepare to do battle with the great truthseekers in the blogosphere. Just make sure no one posts comments on your blog, Jim.

Gosh, I'm embarassed for Motzdick. What kind of two-bit politician feels the need to personally bicker with a talk-show host?

My favorite passage from his unreadable screed:
...a certain blog was posted about what a certain someone heard from a certain someone else what a certain someone did.
WTF?

Monday, January 29, 2007

US to Declare War on Iran ala Tonkin Gulf


Bush Supporters: "4 More Years, 1 More War."

Two months after the US and Britain dramatically escalated allied naval power around the Persian Gulf, a few weeks after the US sternly warned Iran that we'd jack them up in response to meddling, and less than 100 hours after Bush greenlighted the killing of Iranian operatives in Iraq, Iran has finally responded.

The Iranian Ambassador to Iraq announced that Iran is interested in creating an Iranian "economic area" in eastern Iraq. From the NY Times:
In the economic area, Mr. Qumi said, Iran was ready to assume major responsibility for Iraq reconstruction, an area of failure on the part of the United States since American-led forces overthrew Saddam Hussein nearly four years ago.
Further, Iran promises to help in the 'security fight,' which in Persian translates as "Ethnic Cleansing," or "Slaughter the Infidel," depending on the contexts. In other news, the Japanese Empire occupied Manchuria and the Sakhlin Islands, dealing a severe blow to the Russian Baltic Fleet at Port Arthur. No, really, when was the last time anyone tried to establish an "economic area," or "sphere of influence," or "protectorate?" Better, when the hell has anyone tried to contest American power so blatantly.

Apparently American forces are so vulnerable that Iran is openly talking about expanding spheres of influence in OUR territory. Good strategy too, because there ain't a God Damned thing we can do about it.
W has two options, either concoct some excuse ala Tonkin Gulf to attack Iran (like anyone will buy that), or officially draw the curtains on Pax Americana.

UPDATE: Good Wash Post article today about how the US war dramatically increased Iranian influence throughout the Middle East.

Our Daily Bread: Sarah Spain, Bears fan (pic) auctions her body for tickets


Sarah Spain is a Bears fan so desparate for Super Bowl tickets that she attempted to auction herself online. Sadly, the suits at eBay put the kibosh on the Spain Train. That's where Axe, the makers of magic-sex potion for eighth-grade wonderboys, stepped up. They gave Spain four tickets - one for her, two for friends, and a fourth ticket for you!

To win the ticket you must send your picture and application to hotsuperbowldate@hotmail.com. Rules for entry can be found at www.myspace.com/superbowldate. The submission deadline is Wednesday. Hat tip to Kissing Suzy Kolber.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Affirmative Action on the Ropes


With the banning of race based admissions in Michigan and California, the number of Black and Hispanic students at state schools in these states has plummeted to historic lows. No one wanted to see this seemingly inevitable decline in minority enrollment; but at its core, Affirmative Action's racial preferences were inherently un-American. In the American melting-pot meritocracy, racial preference was as absurd as it was counter-productive.

A bit trite, you think? Doesn't it force some form of equality considering white kids generally get better educations and are thus better prepared for the competitive enrollment process at the best universities? Further, wouldn't it be better if a school's racial complexion accurately reflected that of the nation itself? Lastly, isn't it scary when the resultant lack of diversity yields white kids who really think this is reality?

What is un-American about Affirmative Action is also un-American about American public education. Society turn a blind eye to rotting urban schools, absurdly calling the salvation of a select few students 'social progress' or 'equality.' Now that option is off the table, and hard choices must be made. Quote Ohio State University administrator: “The only long-term solution is to do better in the pipeline and make sure all kids get the best education possible, K-12.”

From now on, Colleges need to work harder for that racially balanced admissions brochure. Let colleges run the high schools in America. Fire the flunkies on school board, turn over the business of education to the professionals, and let the parents pick the best-fitting school.

With a level playing field, the hungriest will win. As the Pole and the Jew supplanted the WASP in the circles of power, merit will again ensure widespread diversity.

Our Daily Bread: Another Julie Stimmel photo, Trenni of Fox Sports Pittsburgh drunk'd up

Dear reader PSUstoekl brought to our attention in a posted comment that a Stimmel photo can be found at Flikr. In this image Mrs. Stimmel looks careworn. She smiles brightly, but crows feet softly tug at her sad eyes. Her sexy posture is stilted.

Keep 'em coming.

Here is the link.


Trenni at Fox Sports Pittsburgh gettin' her groove at wedding
A hat-tip to Mondesi's House, where I first learned about Ryan Vogelsong's wedding album. Trenni Kusnierek bears her pearly whites in a manner that makes me think of a man struggling to make a bowel movement. Be sure to note Josh Fogg's sad little soul patch. And who knew Kip Wells was such a natty dresser!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Jeremy Peltz: "one of my best friends is black!" Texas college (Tarleton State)

Note to racist college dopes everywhere:
Next time you decide to celebrate equal rights by throwing a party that would make David Duke blush, make sure attendees leave their cameras at home.
Students at Tarleton State University in Texas (where else?) hosted an racist-themed MLK Day bash. Party-goers guzzled forty's, ate fried chicken, and dressed like gang members. Afterward, pictures were posted to Facebook by Jeremy Pelz.
I think somebody has a career in politics ahead of them!

Photo and clip from the Smoking Gun: Jeremy Pelz, on whose Facebook page the photos were placed in a folder titled "MLK." In a reply e-mail [to a sophomore who is head of the school's NAACP chapter and happened to discover the photos], Pelz [said] he would rename the folder in which the photos were placed "so it does not bring any disrespect to Mr. King." Pelz noted that the party was started a few years earlier "because one of best friends is black or African American, whichever you deem politically correct, to be his day not to dishonor him."

Fire Ron Cook, Post-Gazette columnist. Ron Cook sucks


Does anyone out there hate Ron Cook as much as I do?

His rhetorical question lede?

That's followed by another question?
Do you dislike his formulaic oratory, in which he addresses the reader as if all seven of them have gathered in a lecture hall to listen to his pablum?



From Cook's last column, in which he asked six questions: But what if Tomlin isn't necessarily the best choice? What if he got the job because Steelers owner Dan Rooney cares just a little more about his NFL legacy than about his franchise? What if Tomlin got the job, at least in part, because of the Rooney Rule?

Please stop.

I recently reviewed the last two months of half-Cooked columns. These "stories," which average four questions usually address the reader in the second person.

Example: Do you know how important stability is to an NFL coach?

No, I don't Ron. Could you tell me?

Half of all columns opened with a question. Four of his columns opened with a question immediately posited a second question. A particularly egregious violation of journalism came in a story in which argued the Steelers should hire Ken Wisenhunt. After counting seven questions I became too angry to continue.

Ron Cook needs to retire. Please write to sports editor Jerry Micco (jmicco@post-gazette.com) and put a stop to Cook's vexing condemnations of the fan, the athlete, the coach, etc.

Hot for Teacher: Update on Julie Stimmel (photo, links to all news stories)

Sad news to report today from North Allegheny High School. English teacher Julie Stimmel resigned yesterday much to the consternation of every male student attending NA.

If you're new to the story, Stimmel is the 28-year old blonde bombshell who was carrying on an extracurricular affair with a 17-year old student. Stimmel, pictured yesterday in a Darnnews' exclusive post (see below), appears not be of the skankalicious variety (Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers). There are no camera-phone stripteases...yet!

However, the Post-Gazette quotes DA Steven Zappala as saying alocohol may have been involved. My wicked, wizened and wig-wearing English teacher only brought us bagels...once.

The Tribune-Review reports that county detectives will meet this week with the district attorney and lawyer retained by the boy's family. At this time, no criminal charges have been filed.

A big fuck-you very-much to WTAE and KDKA's Paul Martino for pilfering the photo from Darn News without crediting our research. Not that I'm bitter or anything. What goes around, comes around I suppose.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Darn News' posts the Julie Stimmel photo

I think I have found a photo of Julie Stimmel (pictured left), the 28-year old English teacher who was tutoring her 17-year old student in lovemaking, according to a story in today's Post-Gazette.

Your intrepid reporter discovered that Mrs. Julie Stimmel directed Cinderella in New York at North Allegheny High School. A few google searches later and I stumbled across a gallery of Cindarella in New York production photographs. This photo did not identify who these two women are, but they aren't students. And they appear official. I found a thumb of Julie Stimmel in her wedding dress at a cached myspace page. I wonder if she's a natural blonde.
Speculate away, dear readers!


Now if we could only find a pic of her beau...

And now we have a link to Mrs. Stimmel's classroom web page [hat tip to Dex]. Nothing interesting here, but I hope she posts an "announcement" soon about her future plans!

CMU to Ban Smoking


Foes of Smokes in Nerdburgh, Marching as to War.

Every college got its start through some benefactor with a fat checkbook looking to create "model citizens" in the 'defense of the republic,' or 'for Christ and Society,' or in CMU's case, to 'advance the Steel Industry.' In pursuit of this lofty society, the endowment is spent hiring lofty academics to train lofty protégés. If it sounds a little like “Social Engineering” or “Cloning,” you’ll forgive them for translating such ugly words into Latin before they carve it into stone.

In it's latest effort to mould our society, CMU wants to ban smoking. Not just outside, but EVERYWHERE. Per the latest fad, smoking is passe, if not totally gross! So unless it's weed, no more smoking. This ban is expected to safeguard anti-smoking students on campus, like prima-donna theatre major Caitlyn Glennon of Orlando, Florida:

“The other day, I walked out of a building here and was just met with this huge billow of smoke. I started coughing. It does affect my voice. It's very unhealthy."

More disturbing than the absurdity of someone gagging on outdoor smoke, or the insufferable spelling of Caitlyn’s name, or the fact she’d bitch about being outdoors in Pittsburgh’s shitty weather anyhow (with or without smokers), is the ulterior motive of CMU’s administration in regards to the ban.

Following the public health craze, CMU’s Social Engineers are trying to create an environment 'conducive to quitting.' What if I don’t want to quit, you ask? In a little read proposal, pro-choice smokers will be forced to wear yellow armbands embroidered with a cigarette, and live in South Oakland.

Our Daily Bread: Hot For Teacher (Teacher + Student = Sex: Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers, and Julie Stimmel/Julie Lawrence)




Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad ...
The Post-Gazette reports 28-year old North Allegheny teacher Julie Stimmel tutored a 17-year old student in advanced sexual maneuvers 200.
The married English teacher was "escorted" from the campus last week after being "relieved of her duties." Translation: she was fired for screwing the lad in her classroom. The young man's father said they will not press charges. Instead, he'll reward his son for fulfilling the dream of every teenage boy with a cherry-red Corvette.
We sincerely hope Mrs. Stimmel, who is the former Julie Lawrence, graduate of Slippery Rock 2001, has role models: Debra Lafave and Pamela Rogers (pictured here). We can't wait for the pictures!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bush Promises Another Broken Promise on Energy


President Bush is slated to promise extensive greening of the US energy market in his State of the Union tonight. Sez the Washington Post:

Under Bush's plan, which the White House has dubbed "Twenty in Ten," three-quarters of the reduction in consumption would come by increasing the mandated use of ethanol and other alternatives to oil. The federal government would require that 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels be used annually by 2017, nearly five times the 7.5 billion gallon mandate now set for 2012. The aim is to displace 15 percent of projected annual gasoline use in 2017.

Here we go, 2 more years of 'studying' the matter only to be told Global Warming is a scientific hoax. Good strategy though, W. Focus on Green Energy, detract attention from the Green Zone.

Asshole Parking Nazi At Crazy Mocha!

I drove my girlfriend to work around 8 AM this morning. 8:15 AM, Feeling a bit parched, stopped for coffee at Crazy Mocha on Ellsworth. Came out at about 8:45, and was immediately confronted by an angry parking-lot attendant in red jacket.

"You owe me $3.
"What are you talking about?"
"This is private parking."
"There's no sign, no fare schedule. No indication that this is even private parking? I come here all the time, and have never been charged! I don't want to cause a problem, but..."
"Look, you ain't causing a problem unless you don't pay. Otherwise, I got your plates, and I'll send them up to the judge and send you a summons. Then it's your problem, not mine!"

At this point, I've been angrily confronted about a situation I didn't even know about. Throw in a threat, and I feel obligated to respond.

"Maybe we can work this out. I don't have any cash on me right now. I apologize."
"Work it out with the judge."

O.K. dick.

"Who is the property manager here?"
"I have a contract, I'm the boss."
"That's not what I asked. Who owns and manages this building?" Read: The owner of a multi-million dollar commercial development in the heart of Shadyside doen't mill around parking lots in a flourescent jacket.

"Blah Blahstein Real Estate, third floor."

I go up and argue with this secretary who thinks I'm just trying to dodge paying three dollars. I say, "My coffee cost more than the parking, I have no problem with that. I have a problem with a confrontational parking guy demanding I pay money for a space with no sign-age, no rates." She tells me his sign was stolen (imagine that, someone stole the jerk's sign?) Then she runs into the whole, 'he's just trying to make some coin, this is his livelihood, you should have known it's private parking, never park here again,' rigamaroll. Everything in that guilt omelette.

I don't care.

Upon getting outside, they agree to let me go free. Only then do I offer to pay. They haughtily refuse. Guy gets on his moral high-horse about it and turns down my $3. A great moral wrong had been committed in his mind... I refused to pay for parking! There I am, black turtleneck, coat, representative for every freeloading hipster that has ever skipped out on his lot without paying! This is his whole life, this shitty slice of asphalt, and I trumped him on it. I just shit, and didn't flush!

Either way, don't treat me like shit pre 9AM.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Missed Connection: lovely ladies of Long John Silvers/A&W in Cranberry

probably the best looking fast food joint in the area, especially the two chicks in back. Wanna grab a frosted root beer some day? just kidding, I would never take you to your own restaurant, especially with a Sheetz so close by. The lobster bites and hush puppies were great, but they had nothing on the crab cake. Best crab cake I had all afternoon? I think so! Someone even topped it off with a pretty little hair doll. Not just one, but 7 or 8 intertwined that look like they fell out of a hair tie. Did you do that on purpose? I can't imagine how one part of your beautiful body could stand to be seperated from the rest of you. Regardless, it's mine now and you can't have it back. Hair nets be damned-

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rendell Claims Political Capital

Gimme that Ol' Time Religion

Ed Rendell was sworn into his second term in office yesterday; his gravelly voice promising a bright new future for Pennsylvania. The crowd, 1,500 state employees under compulsory attendance, cheered Rendell's proposals to provide universal health coverage, provide adequate transit funding, and end corruption in Harrisburg. Tall order for any man; equal to that of cheering frigid state employees forced to give up their lunch break.

Inspite of statements to the contrary, Rendell is likely building up his national profile through a solidly enacted reform platform at home. Universal healthcare brightened the political futures of Mitt Romney and the Governator in Massachusettes and California; and everyone in Philly and Pittsburgh is damned sick of the annual threat of broad-based transit service cuts. But really, did we have to throw draining the swamp in there?

Perhaps a bit skeptical, but the mayor of Pay-to-Play Philadelphia is gonna join forces with Pay-Raise Billy DeWeese? Really, who got religion? A plan for term limits and transparent campaign contributions ring particularly hollow when delivered from the steps of the "House that Graft Built." Like holding Good Ol' Tent Revival in a strip club. But why not... here's to Hope! That the winds of November are still blowing strong well into this next legislative session.

Amen.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Our Daily Bread: Shawn Hornbeck, Ben Ownby; Sgt. Tommy Vandling and April Johnston; Prostitution in China

The Saturday newspaper is usually thin on material, but you can find engaging human-interest stories on the op-ed page.

Shawn Hornbeck, Ben Ownby found
Four years ago, Shawn Hornbeck disappeared at age 11. Police shockingly found him Saturday after successfully tracking down a second boy, Ben Ownby, who was abducted several weeks ago.

Prostitutes and beggars in China
I find Post-Gazette reporter Dan Fitzpatrick's civic boosterism nauseating but his recent series on Chinese-Pittsburgh connections was very very cool. Today, he published his observations on Shanghai - from the incredible carnival of consumerism to the Victorian poverty of modern China.

Sgt. Thomas Vandling obituary, by April Johnston
On January 1, Sgt. Thomas Vandling was killed in the Babil province, south of Baghdad. The manner of his death - a roadside bomb - was not valiant. Sgt. Vandling was an ordinary victim, which is to say a loving friend and consummate patriot. April Johnston eloquently memorializes her friend, Tommy Vandling in this story published by the Fayetteville-Observer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It's become too easy for my generation to argue the politics and strategy without personally feeling the impact of war. Since this war is fought by an all-volunteer army certain groups bear the burden more heavily than others.
Another reason we ignore the personal loss is because we don't see it. Today, community is ephemeral. Never before has one generation had so many opportunities in education and the pursuit of wealth yet the technology to stay connected. We leave our hometown and frequently do not return, choosing to forge new bonds with people we are closer to in ideology and temperament. We are physically farther from the sacrifice made by people still living in the places we grew up in.
War will always punish one generation, one class, one sect, or one family more than another. It behooves no one - pro or anti-war - to ignore that.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pirates name Jesus "Slugger" Christ hitting coach

Thwarted in their attempts to acquire Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche the Pirates named Jesus Christ their hitting coach today.
Manager Jim Tracy said Christ's reputation as a miracle worker might just be the prayer the Pirates need to prevent a 15th consecutive losing season.
"No one would believe the Pirates would sign a left-handed power-hitter so plan B was a more reasonable avenue to begin with," said Tracy.
Christ said he was looking forward to working with all-star Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez, NL 2006 batting champion, but tried to keep expectations realistic.
"I've already told Humberto Cota to seek another line of work or pray to a different deity."

US EMBASSY AT ATHENS ATTACKED


BLOGGER LEARNS CAPITAL LETTERS CONVEY SENSE OF URGENCY, EVEN WHEN NONE IS DUE.

Greek leftists are being blamed for an attack on the US Embassy in Athens, and for trying to prop up discredited leftist ideology by blandly copying tactics of Sunni Insurgents.

Narrowly missing the embassy emblem, the anti-tank shell pierced the building near the front entrance shortly before 6 a.m., damaging a bathroom on the third floor, which houses the ambassador's office, and shattering windows in nearby buildings.

The Washington Post reports that previous attacks by the 'terrorist' group, the Revolutionary Struggle, very nearly injured somebody and left threatening black soot marks on a newly paved sidewalk. Revolutionary Struggle followed up the attack with a rockin house party where everyone in a Che Guevara t-shirt got to hit the beer bong. Unfortunately, these battle scarred patriots in the struggle for global change were wall-flowers when the dance floor really started pumping, and the jocks from Communist Front ended up scoring with the hot girls.

The US Government promised that the threatening looking fascist Eagle targeted in the attack would remain on the exterior of the embassy. "We might be in the depths of the darkest hour for capitalism," said Ambassador Charles Ries, "but we know how to look pissed off."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Our Daily Bread: A Cure-y for Cancer, Arthritis (turmeric prevents arthritis); Free Coffee at Borders in East Liberty

Indian curry eases joint pain, arthritis Turmeric, an Indian spice found in curry and other dishes like chicken tikka masala prevents joint swelling and the onset of arthritis in rats, according to a study in the November issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism. Scientists also found that turmeric injections seemed to help retard joint decay in rats that had already developed the affliction.
Other studies have shown curry spices like curcumin and capsaicin may protect against Alzheimer's and cancer.
Quick aside: I've fried and baked chicken for tikka masala, but believe I may achieve gourmand goodness with a slow cooker. I intend to try the dish with a rotisserie, as well. My findings will be published here.

Free coffee at Border's in East Liberty / Shadyside
For the first time in the history of the Internets, a retailer emailed their dlist something other than corporate spam. Border's recently opened a new store in the East Liberty development called Eastside (corner of Highland and Centre Avenues). Until January 23, patrons will receive a free 12 ounce cup of Seattle's Best Coffee when they redeem this coupon.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Venezuelan Nationalization Spree! Russia Halts Oil to Europe.


Drink Responsibly

As if we needed further indication that the global supply of oil is in tenuous hands, a dispute over a Russo-Belorussian oil pipeline (aptly named the "Friendship Line") has cut off supplies to Western Europe, rekindling discussion in Europe about the reliability of Russia as a supplier of energy. On the other side of the globe, Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize TV and Telecommunications industries today. "We're heading toward socialism, and nothing and no one can prevent it," Chavez announced at a press conference in Caracas. His first official his first act as the new premier of TV- A 24 hour movie marathon featuring "Guerrilla" and "My Motherland is the Organization of Communist Youth!" (to be simulcast on TBS tonight!) FYI: Venezuela is the western hemisphere's largest producer of oil. Remember that when you fill up next time at your local Venezuelan State Oil Company, Citgo.

This past month saw the price of a gallon of gas fall by about 50 cents. Head's up, Wexford, it ain't gonna last. Besides instability caused by our own failed attempt to create a brave new world, Russia and Venezuela promise years of future price fluctuation. And why not, every spate of instability causes significant increases in the cost of fuel. Regardless of threatening technocratic essays claiming market instability will drive gas-dependent nations towards alternative energy sources, short term fuel-spikes leave Putin & Chavez flush with cash. And with fuel-economy regulations and mass-transit investments still-born on Bush's desk, the threat of an Alternative Energy backlash is as hollow as Chavez' promised New World Order.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fire Ron Cook, Post-Gazette columnist. Ron Cook sucks


Does anyone out there hate Ron Cook as much as I do?

His rhetorical question lede?

That's followed by another question?
Do you dislike his formulaic oratory, in which he addresses the reader as if all seven of them have gathered in a lecture hall to listen to his pablum?

From Cook's last column, in which he asked six questions: But what if Tomlin isn't necessarily the best choice? What if he got the job because Steelers owner Dan Rooney cares just a little more about his NFL legacy than about his franchise? What if Tomlin got the job, at least in part, because of the Rooney Rule?

Please stop.

I recently reviewed the last two months of half-Cooked columns. These "stories," which average four questions usually address the reader in the second person.

Example: Do you know how important stability is to an NFL coach?

No, I don't Ron. Could you tell me?

Half of all columns opened with a question. Four of his columns opened with a question immediately posited a second question. A particularly egregious violation of journalism came in a story in which argued the Steelers should hire Ken Wisenhunt. After counting seven questions I became too angry to continue.

Ron Cook needs to retire. Please write to sports editor Jerry Micco (jmicco@post-gazette.com) and put a stop to Cook's vexing condemnations of the fan, the athlete, the coach, etc.

Drew Brees wife Friday Porn: the Monday Morning Quarterback edition (Drew Brees wife poses naked in your head)

Pictured left: Allison Rattay is a more mobile quarterback than her husband, Tim. She'll be starring in this year's Lingerie Bowl.

Where can I find photos of Drew Brees wife? Read on.

Damn you, the Internets and your series of unnavigable tubes. Scouring The Google for David Carr's wife is not an efficient way to gather jerk-off material.

Why couldn't some undersexed, athlete-worshipping nerd-boy compile - in one central repository - pictures of NFL athletes' sex-slaves?

Welcome to 2007, espnophile. Find images of Drew Brees' wife, Jake Plummer's girlfriend, and Jeff Garcia's sweetheart here.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Meet the Potatohead: Tim Russert

Tim Russert's Meet the Press was the top-rated Sunday news program for the ninth straight year, according to the Drudge Report.

"Meet the Press"........3.768 million total viewers
"Face the Nation".......2.842 million
"This Week"................2.503 million
"Fox News Sunday"...1.330 million

This post is an excuse to compare Tim Russert's head to a baked potato...again.

"I'd like to smother his head in broccoli and cheese."

Our Daily Bread: Rehnquist addicted to drugs, explains his dilated pupils and gavel-fondling; Mark Madden, Pens fans rally to keep both in Pittsburgh


FBI: Rehnquist withdrew from painkillers
The American citizenry has learned that former Chief Justice William Rehnquist was once addicted to Placidyl, a painkiller so powerful it was once used by police sharpshooters to tranquilize Sienna Miller. If a statesman like Rehnquist can be a drug addict, what hope do the rest of us have?




Mark Madden fans organize rally to keep blowhard in Pittsburgh
Pens fans will also rally
Friends of Mark Madden (FOMM) have organized a grassroots rally at the Civic (Mellon) Arena this Sunday at 3 PM to keep Mr. Madden in Pittsburgh. ESPN radio 1250 talk show host Mark Madden has threatened to leave for Kansas City if state and local governments do not build a new arena that can hold his corpulent vessel. Proud M'fers unite! Joining FOMM and M'fer's prior to the game against Tampa Bay that night will be Penguin fans, who will be rallying to keep their team from leaving for Kansas City, too. After meeting with Fast Eddie, Mayor Opie, and Dan Onorato (he really needs a perjorative nickname) Mario said he was 'optimistic' that the team could work out a plan for a new arena.

Goodbye Pittsburgh, Hello Raleigh!
Without
Cowher Power, Rooneys think of buying a hybrid - 50% run, 50% pass?
The Chin will depart tomorrow; the rest of his head and body should arrive by next Tuesday. Today, Steelers Nation is bemoaning the retirement of Bill Cowher but is thankful for the merciful end of awful chin/body jokes. Like the dear editor of Carbolic Smoke Blog, I - Capitolman - will sorely miss the DVE Morning Show skit "Gladiators."

Snobs


"Americans should be ashamed of themselves." Hail, the monotonous judgement of Pinko Fondamoore, average lefist Francophile. Having learned from Borat that fat racist rednecks still live in the south, or WMD from Michael Moore, Pinko is wound tight about Pax Americana's latest encroachment on the peace and prosperity of our Pacific planet, and here he is on the Allegheny Front to tell you all about it. Our bad food, our lying government, our overweight population, and our excessive suburban lives. If only we lived like idyllic Haiti: eco-friendly, transparent government, good food!

Unfortunately, all this criticism dulls one's judgment. When everything American is bad bad bad, then bad doesn't really carry any significant connotation. How is it that outrage can be dispensed equally over Abu Graib and front-page glossies of Britney's crotch and Janet Jackson's nipple?

Historically, American's could muster sufficient ire to snuff "Imperial" pillaging in the Philippines, or to demand cessation of similar imperial excesses by Spaniards in Cuba. Throughout the Cold War, the centrality of Human Rights for American at home and abroad defined America vs. the USSR. Ronald Reagan could stand before the tyrannical Berlin Wall and demand Gorbachev remove such an affront to freedom, because Reagan represented the United States. Czechs and Hungarians, Natan Sharansky and Pope John Paul II, Valclav Havel and Nelson Mandela, remain grateful to this day of America's smug, sanctimonious, rightful condemnation of injustice and inequity worldwide. Our greatest strength was not just our might, but the fact that we shamed the "Evil Empire" until it collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions.

Today, we've forgotten all that human rights bullshit. Now, the crystal clear Geneva Conventions are vague and misleading. Abu Graib, whatever. Jose Padilla, an American Citizen, shouldn't have Habeas Corpus. 6 years ago, GW's summer reading of Fear No Evil resulted in lots of backslapping and photo-op's with Natan Sharansky. Whoda thunk he was charting out strategies for Git-mo.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Our Daily Bread: Google hires cat lady, Pirates still suck, and Gina Redmond gets in a bar fight

Our Daily Bread is a new feature from The Darn News. Our Daily Bread is a synposis of what's worth reading from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and national newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times.

UFO sighting at O'Hare Airport

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- -- Federal officials say it was probably just some weird weather phenomenon, but a group of United Airlines employees swear they saw a mysterious, saucer-shaped craft hovering over O'Hare Airport in November.

At least one O'Hare controller, union official Craig Burzych, was amused by it all.

"To fly 7 million light years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable," he said.

Cat lady lands job at Google
The cat lady who lives in the apartment below yours appears to be eccentric enough to work at Google, according to this story in the NYT. Google has begun asking candidates questions about their attitudes and life experiences. The iconoclastic company tried hiring employees using traditional rubrics but has since learned that not all talents can be found on a report card. One thing Google found is there appears to be a correlation between owning a dog and being a top-notch programmer.
The money quote: "Sometimes too much schooling will be a detriment to you in your job." Finally, there's a Fortune 500 employer who knows how irrelevant my grades are but values my alma mater's selectivity.

Pittsburgh Pirates still suck
Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Dave Littlefield has acquired journeyman Jose Hernandez...for the third time in the last three years. The fans are overjoyed.

From Pirates Q&A at the post-gazette.com.

Q: So, is Jose Hernandez the left-handed power hitter or the veteran right-handed starting pitcher? Or are Dave Littlefield and Jim Tracy planning on using him in both of those roles?
Judd Fuoto of Oakton, VA

Cat fight at Primanti's on New Year's Eve

A police officer physically subdued a crazy broad at an all-female brouhaha on New Year's Eve at Primanti's in the Strip District. Too much slaw on the sammich. As the officer was breaking up the rest of the fight, the woman fled. Police do not know her identity. Does anyone know where former WPXI anchor Gina Redmond was that night?


Good v. Evil: The Night Collegiate Football Died

Pardon the hyperbole but on January 2, 1987 college football cease to be amateur and officially become a professional sport. The Fiesta Bowl, which had no conference affiliation invited Joe Paterno's second-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions to square off against Jimmy Johnson's number one Miami squad.

Rivalry is artificial. It's based on arbitrary state boundaries and school colors. This game was a contrast of coaches, programs, and style. Made for television drama, it was also the first bowl game played on primetime television.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Our Sunday Best: Top Stories from the New York Times

The best of the Sunday stories from national newspapers

After four years of procrastination at Carnegie Mellon, I learned one thing: how to read the newspaper with a discerning eye. Here's what you should be reading:

America the overfull
I visited Iowa this past weekend. As the plane crossed the Mississippi River, I stared in wonderment at the gravel roads and shorn cornfields. The neatly laid plots of land created an unending grid more perfect that a mathematical graph. In this story, Paul Theroux laments America's sprawl and its inexorable homogeneity. His prose is not irritable like the rant of a dimestore Andy Rooney, but that of a mourner seeking peace.
"The overcrowded, much noisier, more hectic, intensely urbanized and vertical world of the present can seem hostile and hallucinatory to anyone who knew America in a simpler form."

Truth, justice, abortion and The Times Magazine
Turns out the pro-lifers are right. The NYT is crazy-in-love with abortion! An April 9 story written by freelancer Jack Hitt for the Times Magazine stated that "a few" El Salvador women had been imprisoned for having abortions. Turns out Hitt's poster-child - Carmen Climaco - was not sentenced to 30 years in jail for aborting her fetus, but rather for strangling the living child she birthed. I believe the punishment given to the recalcitrant magazine editors was 30 lashings. So much for the lessons of Jasyon Blair.

Tested by hardship, the L.A. Lakers' Lamar Odom Presses on with a survivor's instinct
A talented player drafted at age 19, Lamar Odom never completely meet the high expectations set for him by fans, coaches, and teammates. But after his 6 1/2 month-old son died from sudden infant death syndrome in June, a fierce basketball player has emerged. This isn't just a story about the healing powers of immersion in one's work; it's also a story of grace and maturation.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Oh, stewardess? Would you stuff my kid in the overhead compartment?

Say what you will about Nazi Germany, but at least the trains ran on schedule. Too bad there's no Hitler to whip our sorry airlines into shape. Flights are consistently delayed. Overextended airports limp along with 40-minute depature delays while modern facilities with adequate access sit vacant. TSA screeners are regulatory-addicts and functionally-literate drones who want to make you as miserable as them. Where there is no common sense, there is no glamour.

If Hertz can rent only to drivers 25 and older, why can't an airline do the same thing?

If the sound of a child's laughter make you recoil with horror - what little Tommy will repeat again and again for next 60 minutes? - then join me on this national protest against children. It's time we hold them accountable for their incessant wanting, shrill whining, and minature bodies.

Thankfully, the good people at the Boxakid Company have a short-term solution until we can rid the plane of child and sip our complimentary 6 oz. beverage in peace.

I don't blame the parents of the schools. I blame the children. Feel free to share your kiddy nightmares here at www.darnnews.com.

Excogitation on 2007 (This is mental masturbation) Motorola + Samsung = suckitude; I vote for Nokia

Happy new year to darnnews.com readers!
Both of you are terrifc people.

Our business is at hand. Resolutions and ruminations.

1. Break down and buy a Nokia. Why did you ever leave in the first place?
Stop. Stop making phones, Motorola. No explanation of your tragressions is necessary . Samsung, you should know better. A phone that gives two hours of talk-time is no phone at all, no matter how thin and moderne you are (A short aside: moderne is the fraternal twin of Art Deco. Streamlined moderne starts with industrial design during the 1920s and 1930s. I like to think as streamline modern as distinguished while art deco is flirtatious. An example of retro (pardon me, moderne) is a steel appliance found in your great-grandmother's kitchen.