Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cute animal vids now? Really? 

Seems YRHT is losing its edge. The first is a kitty cat wrestling a toddler (h/t BWE), and the second is a confused indoor lamb (h/t Annti).


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Raise High the Roofbangers, Front Office 

Chef Who Dat posts a letter to the New Orleans Saints, from a member of a "game day community" that has been unceremoniously displaced.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer Chef Who Dat (or a cafe member Chef assigns) the season ticket I lay claim to (with Hana's approval), so he (or a displaced assignee) may watch the championship banner unfurl, and see the Saints perform throughout the 2010 season.

I sincerely hope the Saints front office can make satisfactory arrangements for the fans who've been jettisoned from their beloved seats. But if they can't, I will gladly offer my ticket to Chef so that one more displaced cafe member can be in the Dome next season to celebrate the World Champion Saints.

(Obviously, I don't get extra points for flaunting this offer publicly. But perhaps others with available tickets will be similarly inspired.)



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Friday, March 19, 2010

Vitter participates in political meacharound 

Not such a good day for the right. As we see every now and then, everyone from Drudge to the national political blogs, to Louisiana's Hayride all pounced on a false story, this time about an unauthenticated memo, that now looks as if it's part of a hoax.

Ever the credit-whore, Sen. David Vitter tried to aid his campaign fundraising by claiming on his website that "we intercepted the Democrat memo on Obamacare".

Let me clarify something for the Junior Senator.

This is an interception:

And this is thinking you made an interception, when in fact you're just a hapless participant in a Meacharound:

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Quotes of the weak 

1. "While I am sure that someone who is Black must be qualified for the position [on the Louisiana Board of Ethics], ethics among Blacks is usually a lacking character trait."

-- Louisiana political blogger and former KKK member Greg Aymond. Cenlamar has more.

2. "Twenty five years ago I made a mistake that has now come back to haunt me. I was 28-yrs old and I foolishly went hot-tubbing with a young woman nearly half my age. Although we did not have any sexual contact, it was still clearly inappropriate -- and it was my fault."

-- Former Majority Leader in the Utah Legislature, Kevin Garn, who resigned days after admitting his naked hot tubbing episode with a fifteen year old girl. In 2002, Garn paid the woman $150K in hush money. Garn claims there was no sexual contact, but did not say whether he repeated the phrase "this is crazy" three times before entering the water. [While Garn's quote isn't ridiculous, he did receive a standing ovation from the Legislature for his confession.]

3. Steve Benen at the Political Animal encapsulates this qow perfectly, so I'll just reprint his effort since I can't improve on it:

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the #3 official in the House GOP leadership, spoke to The Daily Caller about some of the procedural questions surrounding health care reform.

So, for example, we see this exchange:

The Daily Caller: Yesterday you said the self-executing rule was unconstitutional. Is that correct?

Mike Pence: Well I think it's probably unconstitutional. I know that there are leading legal scholars who believe it is unconstitutional. My background in law and constitutional issues suggests to me it's unconstitutional.

Which was followed soon after by this exchange:

The DC: My question is, though, that Democrats say you voted for self-executing rules yourself on three occasions.

MP: Yeah, sure.



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Alex Chilton profile on 120 Minutes 


(Hat tip DT)


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Thursday, March 18, 2010


USA Today's "Green House" section asks:

What should the U.S. government do with the 120,000 formaldehyde-tainted trailers it bought for Hurricane Katrina victims? Destroy them? Sell them?

Sell them to someone who will destroy them.

This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

(Story here.)


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Oeyster and Crabathon dialogue 

Crabathon: Hello, Oeyster. How ya feeling?

Oeyster: Fine. Well not good, actually.

Crab: What's wrong?

Oey: I heard Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n Roll" on an oldies radio station. I laughed because I thought they played the track by mistake, but the DJ came on and apparently it was intentional.

Crab: Get in the game, chief! It's 2010. Eighties music now qualifies as oldies music.

Oey: But that's not right. Not right at all.

Crab: Lemme paint a picture for you. Remember when you rocked out to that Joan Jett song in the spring of '82?

Oey: Vividly. It sounded so different and cool.

Crab: Right, well what did you consider to be a "golden oldie" in 1982?

Oey: I don't know. Beach Boys, I guess.

Crab: I Get Around, for example?

Oey: Sure! It's a pity no one is inspired to sing about cars anymore.

Crab: Just follow me on this one. In 1982, I Get Around was eighteen years old. Today, I Love Rock 'n Roll is TWENTY-EIGHT years old.

Oey: No.

Crab: Yes!

Oey: No! It can't be! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Crab: Face it, sweet tits. You're getting older.

Oey: Aw, man, this is horrible. I feel the same sort of disbelief I did when they said Roger Maris' home run record had stood for more years than Babe Ruth's. "How's that possible?", I thought.

Crab: You just need to update your tastes, so you feel more current. You liked the "old" punk and rock 'n roll, why don't you try the new stuff?

Oey: Because it sounds so stale and derivative.

Crab: That's what an old person would say.

Oey: Ok, well, I like the Donnas.

Crab: The Donnas have been together nearly fifteen years and just released a "Greatest Hits" album. Think more current, like Orianthi.

Oey: I'll give her credit for fretboard skill and cool influences, but that song's too poppy for me. Plus, can you see me walkin' around in an Orianthi shirt? If I went to the mall, I'd get laughed at.

Crab: Never mind, then. I was just trying to help. Go watch the Runaways movie in a tight Blackhearts t-shirt amongst a throng of "Twi-hards". That's much cooler.

Oey: Thanks for the chat. This has been a fine pick-me-up.

Crab: See ya around, gramps.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Short for promenade 

Are you like me? When you learned the news about a Miss. high school prom being cancelled because a lesbian student intended to bring her female date, your first thought was: but are they hot?

Or maybe your maturity level is above that of a boorish tool, and you were impressed with the teenager's moxie and disappointed in the school board's small mindedness.

I like Richard's take on what local hotelier Sean Cummings proposed:

[New Orleans hotel owner Sean Cummings] offered to transport the students from Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton in buses to the city. He says he would host a free prom at one of his properties.

In the AP interview video segment here, Constance McMillen says "I'm not going to pretend. I wasn't raised like that. I was raised to be proud of who you are."

Good on ya, Constance. I'm glad support is flooding in from around the country on this. A heartening sign of the times.

Many teenagers don't understand that proms are inherently lame. They must discover this fact for themselves, and I believe everyone-- gay and straight-- should be allowed the chance to acquire this disappointing knowledge.

On a personal note, not only did I attend my high school prom (with a future girlfriend) but I attended my rival high school's prom as well, with an acquaintance from my church. I was much more relaxed at the latter, as I hardly knew anyone and there were no romantic concerns. But over the course of the evening my date revealed her growing fascination with white supremacism. I was horrified, but remained polite and tried to change the subject, but she kept turning the conversation back to her racist theories. At the dance, she hung out with a circle of "friends" who shared her views. Her high school was predominantly black, btw, and bunk racialism was all these shitheads could talk about. At the prom!

Not the funnest night of my life, by any stretch. But at least there weren't any openly same-sex couples there, degrading the magical atmosphere of the event.

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"In my line of work I seldom need more than this" 

Since it was too expensive for General Motors to pursue arbitration with all the dealerships whose franchises were yanked last year, GM has decided to reinstate nearly 700 of them. I don't know whether New Orleans' Buick GMC dealer (profiled here) elected to arbitrate, so it's unclear whether this decision may potentially benefit them.

GM has got some momentum going, especially in their upper echelon divisions. Cadillac is being reconfigured to compete with BMW, as Buick is geared to compete with Lexus. Not long ago, such notions were ridiculous and laughable. But last year Buick rated number one in reliability in 2009, and Motor Trend recently put Buick on its cover for the first time in 28 years, favoring the new LaCrosse over the Lexus ES 350.

So the product is there. But what about all the bailout loans and bankruptcy and the U.S. Treasury owning nearly two thirds of the company? How's GM handling that whole embarrassing mess? Surprisingly well, actually:
General Motors Co Vice Chairman Bob Lutz... said the automaker will pay back its bailout at a profit for U.S. taxpayers without lowering quality in vehicle development. ...
In an interview, Lutz said the automaker was on track for a turnaround that will allow it to pay off $8 billion of government debt and then sell stock to allow the government to unload its 61 percent stake in GM.

Lutz said he expected the government would end up making money on the $50 billion given to GM, just as it did on the 1979 loan guarantees extended to Chrysler.

Bob Lutz is a legendary auto executive; a real "car guy" who knows how to craft and move steel. His batting average hasn't been perfect, of course, and I certainly don't agree with him on all issues, but Lutz's word on this matter counts with me.

Lutz isn't the only one who is more optimistic, though. GM's new CFO thinks there's a good chance of profitability this year, and GM might even schedule an IPO, and reduce the government's share of the company. That would be a pretty amazing turnaround in such a short time, under challenging conditions, and a major success of the TARP initiative.

Unfortunately for GM, Lutz, 78, is retiring in May. The dude is old school, but a maverick. He's been around the block and then some. When Lutz moved to the marketing division of GM last summer, I WISH I could've seen his reaction when the (no doubt Gen X/Gen Y) ad team presented him with the new "hip" campaign for the Buick Enclave, wherein a BrĂ¼no-esque film director is shown suggestively caressing the suv. I'm imagining a scene from The Larry Sanders Show where Rip Torn learns some disturbing news and goes on a cussing rampage. (Few cussed with more zest and effortless hilarity than Torn on The Larry Sanders Show. It was a beautiful thing to behold.) And-- oh lord-- to be a fly on the wall when Lutz got wind of Chevrolet's infamous "Bumble Bee Boys" sexy gay video for the new Camaro... that would be a riveting spectacle, as well. Needless to say, Lutz made immediate wholesale changes to GM's marketing approach, installing the "If you can find a better car, buy it" ad campaign.

With Toyota's reputation currently imploding, GM has a chance to grab some lost market share.

I'm not a fan of Ford Motors, but obviously they've had a good run of late. Their product has also improved noticeably, and they've taken advantage of the fall of their top rivals.

However, the arrogance and smugness of Ford and Ford's supporters irritates the hell out of me. To review: just a few years ago Ford was absolutely reeling. They took the biggest loss in the company's history in 2006, and decided to mortgage damn near every asset they had in N. America, including their blue oval logo, to Goldman Sachs and other banks for $23 billion. Lucky for them, '06 was a bubblicious year of easy credit, so Ford was able to get their loans and begin "restructuring" (i.e., cutting jobs, closing factories, and designing cars that weren't hideous abortions) without government help. Three years later, it was Chrysler and GM's turn to falter. But easy credit at low rates was unavailable. Instead of getting "bailed out" by Goldman Sachs during a bubble, GM had to get bailed out by Government Sachs during a Great Recession. Some say timing is everything in business-- but still, Ford showed real chutzpah when they went around acting like they were William the Conqueror by virtue of their borrowed cash on hand!

No, Ford. Don't be haughty. Don't act like you're an inherently better automaker with better business practices and too much corporate pride to accept government assistance. The fact is: you basically got lucky. You had the good fortune to suck hard at the right time, and decide to restructure when loans were easy. If you were a slightly better auto company five years ago, you'd now be in the same boat as GM.

Apropos of little, tho it contains the title quote, I present Jack Elam as Dr. Nikolas Van Helsing in Cannonball Run:

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Lost a good post 

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oeyster and Crabathon dialogue 

Oeyster: Just between you and me, I've been feeling really low in recent weeks.

Crabathon: Join the flippin' club, douchenozzle. I mean, have you spoken to anyone around here for any length of time since the flood? Jeezm.

Oey: Of course I have. But this was worse. I really think I reached my nader this time.

Crab: You mean "nadir".

Oey: No, I mean Nader; as in, I feel like my egotistical efforts to affect positive change have backfired horribly and are leading to future disaster.

Crab: You're really not that important or consequential to worry about causing such things.

Oey: You may have a point.

Crab: I'm a crab, I've got several. Listen: have you been listless, despondent, sad, hopeless, stressed out, vacant, distracted and distant?

Oey: Yes.

Crab: Have you been prone to paranoia, self-sabotage, apathy, anxiety?

Oey: Those, too. Plus, I've been feeling itchy and unkemp.

Crab: You mean "unkempt".

Oey: No, I mean un-Kemp; as in, I haven't felt like a sunny "bleeding-heart conservative".

Crab: If I could roll my eyes I would. Anything else?

Oey: I've had some olfactory hallucinations of nitpicking interlocuters.

Crab: You mean "auditory" or... hey wait!

Oey: *chuckle*

Crab: At least you remember laughter, like that old rune-wailer in the tight jeans.

Oey: That's the thing, I--

Crab: Let me finish. So the bivalve's interior life hasn't been chock full of pearls. Well, boo-flippin'-hoo. You think you've got it bad, ersta, I could tell you about the time I got so depressed that I wanted to shred my innards and top a plate of trout menieure.

Oey: Gracious. What did you do?

Crab: Day after day, I went to the museum and stared at Cezanne paintings on an empty stomach. Eventually the art washed the creepies off my brain.

Oey: Really?

Crab: No, you gullible faggot. Never mind my recuperative methods. Whether they involve fine art or a steady diet of asian crab whores isn't relevant. Let's talk about fixing you up.

Oey: Ok, but--

Crab: Have you seen a therapist? That can help.

Oey: Yes, but--

Crab: They can get you a fistful of meds. Have you tried a fistful of meds?

Oey: No, it's really not my style.

Crab: Oh, well let's not upset your precious style. Heaven forfend. If you haven't tried a fistful of meds, have you tried a fistful of Jesus? Some say he's a wonderful counselor.

Oey: I don't get personal with the Nazarene. Can't justify anything but prayers of thanksgiving.

Crab: I'm going to ignore that theological morass you just opened up. Have you tried... I hesitate to recommend this. It's a bit radical.

Oey: What?

Crab: Have you tried drinking a bottle of scotch in one sitting?

Oey: I don't think I could.

Crab: But there may be value in the attempt! Don't discount it.

Have you forced yourself to come out of your shell and talk to people rather than wallow in a descending cycle of fear and loathing? Have you forced yourself (or gotten others to force you) to pursue the goals that make you who you are? Have you busied yourself with service to others until good things come back around?

Oey: Yes, some of those actions have helped.

Crab: Listen my little bivalve, it sounds like you're going through a pretty dark "midnight of the soul". I get it, you're at a low emotional ebb. But it's nothing like the clinical depression I went through--

Oey: Well, I wasn't trying to set any records. But I haven't told you the good news.

Crab: There's good news?

Oey: Yes. In recent days I'm now trending up and coming back. The juices are flowing again. Cognition is clearer, goals and hygiene are part of the agenda, and crippling self-loathing and pity are receding.

Crab: Well why didn't you say so in the first place? So you're beginning to filter around like your old self?

Oey: Yes. Some of the recommendations and home remedies you mentioned helped to varying degrees, but so did some of my old stand-bys: philosophy and comedy.

Crab: I'm dubious about the philosophy part, but if that seems to work for you, and if it removes the nausea, then more (will to) power to you.

Oey: Would you like me to share two of my favorite quotes about laughter and philosophy?

Crab: Oh, yes please. I don't know how I'd make it through the day otherwise.

Oey: The first is from Fritz Nietzsche.

Crab: What an inspirational model of mental health.

Oey: Shaddup.

"And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."

Crab: Yeah, well, I'm glad you're feeling better, Oeyster.

Oey: Wait, I got one more.

Crab: Bloody wonderful.

Oey: Ludwig Wittgenstein said "A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes."

Crab: That's very special too. Once again, I'm glad you're--

Oey: Did I tell you that I resolved on New Year's to perform stand-up comedy before the end of March?

Crab: Oh dear.

Oey: Yeah, I'm getting pretty excited about it.

Crab: I might've underestimated your capacity to cause epic failure and disaster.

Oey: Very funny. So I'll have an announcement about that soon.

Crab: I'll be sure to keep all of my near-term calendrical engagements flexible. But I'm glad you're feeling better.

Oey: Yeah, me too. I'll be blogging more often, among other things.

Crab: I'm surprised there wasn't a voluntary moratorium throughout the internets, in your absence.

Oey: You're like the Arthur Hardy har har of sarcasm.

Crab: Good one. Be sure to incorporate that into your little comedy bit. It will kill.

Oey: Thanks for the chat, Crabathon.

Crab: Glad you're on the upswing, bivalve. Stay in touch.


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Monday, March 15, 2010

oyster and Kate + Fate 

Unforeseen circumstances necessitate hurriedly putting my face on and flying to a little place I like to call destiny.

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And there's evil, disguised as good ... I think it's the polizei 

Jeffrey asks some strong questions of our local fourth estate, such as: "If Frontline didn't want to do the story, would the T-P have just kept quiet?"

Update: And can we eliminate the need to preface all of our discussions about criminal acts and abuses within the police force with the obligatory statement that "not all cops are bad"? Of course not all cops are bad. Not all people are bad, either. Let's start with the premise that an unacceptable number in the NOPD are "bad", and see if we can't move a step further.

The post title at the incomparable Library Chronicles might refer to some song lyrics (prolly GBV) or it might be just a good locution. The post-- and other events-- brought to mind the embedded song below (which contains the title quote). If you haven't heard it in a while it's ok, mostly. And if you stare at the Femmes faces during the song they will half wink at you.

"I know that some bad things are going down"

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