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Archive for July, 2008

American Idol Registration

It’s 7:14 A.M. at the Cow Palace parking lot, and I’ve been put on a timeout.

I’m typing on an unfamiliar computer, which has already eaten my blog post once. At this point, I’m afraid to even worry about spelling correctly.

I arrived about a half-hour ago at what I thought was the invitation of Fox to “cover” people registering to compete in the next round of “American Idol.” I parked in a lot holding approximately seven cars and made my way over to the gate, where a man with a hat was overseeing potential Idols coming in to register. I asked a couple questions and introduced myself. His demeanor changed upon discovering I was media.

I asked what time people started showing up. He looked around, and said tersely “You’ll have to talk to someone inside about that. I don’t have that kind of information.”

Suddenly I felt like I was trying to wrest classified data from the NSA.

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Posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
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Heroes and Zeros: Obama & the New Yorker

New Yorker coverHERO: The New Yorker magazine, for having the guts to satirically depict Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim – presumably a terrorist, since the American flag is burning beside him in the Oval Office’s fireplace and a picture of Osama bin Laden hangs on the wall. Fist-bumping Obama is his wife Michelle, depicted as a radical Black Panther-type, wearing camouflage, combat boots and carrying an assault rifle (and she has an Afro – oohhh, scary). Of course, the New Yorker doesn’t mean it.

The point is to skewer the right-wing’s ridiculous suspicions of the Democratic presidential nominee and how loud his foes are willing to publicly whisper that he has secret, un-American motives. It’s a bold statement for the magazine and, in a sensible society, would be taken for what it is: parody of the ridiculously-ignorant, with faux-embrace of their idiocy.

(If anything, America might want to be a bit more suspicious that Obama isn’t as different from other mainstream politicians as people want to believe, but no need to go there now.) The intention was good and, in a perfectly evolved world, it would’ve worked.
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Posted on Monday, July 14th, 2008
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Friday’s Heroes and Zeros

HERO: Utah resident Ron Mcgee was recently honored at Ogden Regional Medical Center for hitting the 50-gallon mark in blood donations. Not 50 pints … 50 GALLONS. That’s about 400 donations. He comes in about every couple weeks, and he’s been doing it for “many  years.” The guy has helped scores of people by bothering to take the time to do something pretty simple, and he deserves plenty of recognition.

ZERO: The goofy government of Iran, who made a big deal of a supposed multi-missile launch by releasing videotapes and photos of their supposed military might, along with threats they would hit U.S. ships and Isreal with these same type of missiles if anyone dares mess with them and their nuclear facilities. Only one problem: they lied. The Drudge Report says the New York Times will publish a story Saturday saying not only were the photos doctored to show more missiles than were actually launched, but the one, or ones, they launched didn’t have the 2,000-kilometer range they claimed. It was an older missile with less range that isn’t even in production anymore. The story will also say it was a single missile, shown from different angles, giving the impression of a massive launch. D’oh. Yeah, they’re going to rain fire on us all. This sort of reminds me of the Three Stooges episode where Moe, Larry and Curly pose as inept dictators of a country not so thinly disguised as Hitler’s Germany. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

 

Posted on Friday, July 11th, 2008
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Thursday’s Heroes and Zeros

Today’s HERO: Let’s call this a lifetime achievement award, for Mak Erot, the Indonesian woman who was anywhere from 101 to 130 when she recently passed away, according to reports. Though admirable, age wasn’t what made her semi-famous and our hero for the day.

Mak Erot was famed throughout Indonesia for her reported supernatural and obviously heroic skills in lengthening a man’s penis.

Known as one of the greatest woman – no, people – to have ever lived, this kind and wonderful woman used herbs and prayer to get the job done. Her treatments allegedly spawned many imitators in clinics all over the world, none of which anyone writing this blog would have any reason to know anything about. She was a pop culture legend in that part of the world, appearing in everything from advertisements to teen-comedy films, according to Breitbart.com. Rest in peace, dear sweet woman. Your work is done.

Today’s ZERO: Yes, as predicted earlier today, it’s the guy in Knoxville, Tenn., who is suing his church because he claims he was so consumed by the Holy Spirit, he fell and hit his head while worshiping.

I would still absolutely hate to be this guy’s lawyer.

Matt Lincoln wants Lakewind Church to pay $2.5 million for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering. Which, as stated in the last post, brings the question: If he was so consumed with the Holy Spirit, why was he feeling any pain? Okay, he had a couple surgeries after the spill, so I guess he was legitimately hurt. His problem is he says he’d been bowled over by the experience before and someone always caught him.

To repeat, I think this guy is suing the wrong entity. He needs to sue God, or at least the Holy Spirit. I’d like to see him find a lawyer for that one.

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2008
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Suing God

We have an early leader for the zero half of our daily Heroes and Zeros feature.

A man in Knoxville, Tenn. is suing his church because he claims he was so consumed by the Holy Spirit, he fell and hit his head while worshipping.

I would absoltely hate to be this guy’s lawyer.

Matt Lincoln wants Lakewind Church to pay $2.5 million for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering. Which brings the question: If he was so consumed with the Holy Spirit, why was he feeling any pain? Ok, he had a couple surguries after the spill, so I guess he was legitimately hurt. His problem is he says he’d been bowled over by the experience before and someone always caught him. D’oh.

I think this guy is suing the wrong entity. He needs to sue God, or at least the Holy Spirit. I’d like to see him find a lawyer for that one.

 

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2008
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Wednesday’s Heroes and Zeros

Today there was lots of material from which to choose.

HERO: L.F. Eason III, a 29-year-veteran of the state Department of Agriculture in North Carolina, who instructed his staff not to lower the building’s flag to half-staff to recognize the death of former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms. Eason ignored Gov. Mike Easley’s directive to state agencies to lower their flags, because he didn’t feel that the … oh, let’s just go ahead and say it – racist Helms was worthy of the honor. The 51-year-old Eason was given a choice: lower the flag or take an early retirement. Easley stood by his guns and took the retirement … from the only job he’s had since graduated from college. Though maybe it wasn’t his place to drag personal convictions into a state job, he nevertheless had the guts to say lowering the flag wasn’t appropriate because of Helms’ “doctrine of negativity, hate and prejudice.” Which was quite refreshing to read, considering how so many reports glossed over Helms’ long history of open racism while calling him “dedicated,” and other puny euphemisms. Just because someone dies doesn’t mean they get an instant halo. For a refreshing, accurate and honest take on Helms, please read this.

ZERO: The guy in Denver who stands accused of checking out hundreds of books and DVDs from Denver libraries, then trying to sell them. Thomas Pilaar, 34, was sentenced to ten years in prison and ordered to pay more than $53,000 in restitution. Only about 500 of the 1,400 items he borrowed have been recovered. Quick question: How did the Denver library system manage to lend him so much stuff? At least the guy has a built-in job in prison. He can push around the library cart.

Posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
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The debut of Heroes and Zeros.

After a long discussion with editors over whether the word “zero” has an “es” when it goes plural, yet “hero” has just the “s,” I’m taking matters into my own hands. Don’t ask for an explanation because I don’t know why I do anything.

So we’ve been having some discussions recently over a daily blog item in which we would, by late-afternoon, select the day’s “winner” and “loser.” The name is still in flux because, frankly, we couldn’t find a word as cool as “ninja” to call the losers.

So now I’d like to introduce our “Heroes and Zeros” feature, which we’ll run daily … unless I’m sick, tired, kidnapped, vacationing, dead, or I forget and/or just don’t want to do it.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008
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The Russians Are Coming

I wrote a column that ran in Sunday’s paper explaining, among other vital points, how experts are again warning us that, despite the ugliness we’re now dealing with in the world, we still have to be prepared for nuclear war.

And today I see a story on the Internet detailing how the Russians are threatening a military response if we install a missile defense system in the Czech Republic.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008
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I always root for the bulls …

And they aren’t from Chicago. They started the traditional running of the bulls over the weekend in Pamplona, Spain. And, sadly, only 13 humans were injured. I’m pretty sure, as usual, all the bulls were killed.

I’m no crazed, explosive-tossing animal rights guy. But, really, isn’t this the stupidest thing on the planet?
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Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2008
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First Episode of SNL

Because I’m always right on top of things (five days later) I figured I should mention something about last Saturday’s re-run of the first “Saturday Night Live” ever, hosted by George Carlin. The network ran it in tribute to Carlin, the comedic genius who died earlier that week.
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Posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2008
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