This is just Effing Ridiculous!

I was alerted to this little bit of a travesty by a friend through Facebook:

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/dap_10151_10101_DAP_Christmas+Lane?adCell=W4

WTF!  I mean really!

I know the “shopping season” keeps getting pushed earlier and earlier, but this is bleeding ridiculous!  It’s July for Pete’s sake!

It’s bad enough that the season has become entirely commercialized, with all being about the shopping and stuff rather than family and faith.  But this just goes too far!  I boycotted Target a few years back (I’m over it now), when they ran Christmas ads around Halloween.  Now K-Mart is on my shit list, probably permanently for this atrocity.

I won’t even entertain thoughts of Christmas until after Thanksgiving here in the USA (end of November for those that don’t know).  One holiday at a time please.  I can start to get in the “holiday spirit” at Thanksgiving.  There isn’t any major holidays (for us) between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I can get ramped up for it.  But not in July.  The Fourth has only just passed, there’s still Labor day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day (Remembrance Day in Europe), and Thanksgiving to get through.  Why on Earth should I be thinking about Christmas now?

Of course, K-Mart is not alone here, as they’ve dragged Sears into it.  As they’re one company now, it was unlikely that one would go down this road but not the other.  So I guess that both K-Mart and Sears on my shit list.  No more shopping there for the fore seeable future.  If more people do this, we can try and take back the holidays from the crass commercialism that has usurped them.

OK, So I’ve been lazy of late

And I haven’t done much of anything with this blog in quite some time.  Sue me.  I’m not one of those whose entire existence, whose sole self worth is determined by the number of hits I get here.  This is a place where I get to sound off when  I so feel like it.  I am not compelled to post daily, nor do I have any sort of need to do so.  I post when I like, about what I want.

That said, I have had thinsg to post of late, from PS3 game reviews, to Bluray movie comments, even to some political ramblings.  I just never quite got around to it.  I think I’ll get to it this week, or maybe weekend.  But as a teaser, for those that care (all 5 of you I’d guess), these will include:

PS3 games: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe; Call of Duty: World at War

Bluray Movies: The Dark Knight; Resident Evil-Degeneration; Hellboy II; Event Horizon

On the political front: Kirsten Gillibrand’s appointment to the US Senate; Who will replace her in the 20th Congressional district; the “bail out”; the farce that the Minnesota Senate race has become; Joe Bruno’s “indictment”.

That should keep enough posts coming for a few days…

Old Moral versus New Moral

H/T to Kurt via email for this gem…

Two Different Versions! Two Different
Morals!

OLD VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer
long,
building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays
the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

———— ——— ——— ——— —-

MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building
his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays
the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and
demands
to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while
others
are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the
shivering
grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with
a table
filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor
grasshopper is
allowed to suffer so ?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody
cries
when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house
where the
news stations film the group singing, ‘We shall overcome.’ Jesse
then has
the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’ s sake.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King
that the
ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call
for an
immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act
retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green
bugs
and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is
confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a
defamation
suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal
judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent
welfare
recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits
of the
ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens
to be
the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain
it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the
house, now
abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once
peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2008

Around the World

Well, it looks like Zimbabwe is heading for another sham election process.  Not only have they denied several news outlets access (per CNN), but are already trying to intimidate the opposition.  The arrest (for unspecified charges), of the private contract pilot for the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai, is just the latest.  The army and police, personal thugs for Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF ruling party, have denied permits for opposition rallies, have violently moved against opposition meetings, and have openly threatened a coup if Mugabe loses.  As if the economic melt down precipitated by Mugabe hasn’t been bad enough.

NIcholas Sarkozy is just bouncing around politically.  Yes, he took a hit in some local elections recently.  But not a bad or irreperable hit.  But now his second wife is stirring up some controversy.  How some 15 year old nude photos of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are more important than the new French deployment plans for Afghanistan, or Sarkozy’s threatened boycott of the Beijing Olympics is beyond me.  Then again, in this day and age of tabloid press, and the more salacious the story the better, it really shouldn’t. 

Oh those fun and games with China.  We’ev got Tibet and the Olympics.  The leftists talk about our presence in Iraq as an “illegal occupation.”  If you want to see a real illegal occupation, one tacitly approved by the world, look at the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet.  For over 50 years, the PRC has attempted to subjugate the people of Tibet, taking over thier religion (imposing a pro-PRC Dalai-Lama), trying to eliminate their language, and generally trying to destroy their culture.  Despite several risings over the years, the Tibetan people have been up against a juggernaut, one that continuously has rolled over them.  This latest upsurge in dissent in Tibet is well timed for international coverage, but probably ultimately fruitless. 

Meanwhile, across the Taiwan Straights, an “oopsie” on the part of the US DOD has generated quite a bit more controversy.  Seems the DOD “accidentally” sent some missile parts to Taiwan (aka Republic of China, aka Nationalist China).  This would be in “violation” of some treaties, and certainly a tweak at the nose of the People’s Republic of China.  Arms sales to Taiwan are always sticky when it comes to the PRC.  A now 80 year old struggle is still a sore spot for the Communist Chinese, and US policy has been muddled as regards it (at best).  For some reason, I don;t think this was a “mistake,” except in that it became public.  All parts “mistakenly” shipped to Taiwan have been “recovered.”  Again, for some reason I doubt this, but then again, I have no problem with it. 

A US vessel fired on some small boats that ignored warnings while transiting the Suez Canal.  So what?  The security detail on the cargo vessel did exactly as they were supposed to.  After what has previously happened (USS Cole), such measures are necessary, more so to avoid a USS Cole type situation in a vital choke point such as the Suez.  The reports are contradictory, much like the incident with the Iranians in the Persian Gulf.  Neither US Navy, or Egyptian authorities had any indication of any casualties.  From the Navy and Egypt, all shots fired were warning shots, and all shots were accounted for, all hitting the water, not any boats or individuals.  But not to let an opportunity pass, some people jumed up with reports of deaths and severe inuries.  Have yet to see any offical word on this, or any reputable reports from outside sources confirming this.

Myriad Musings

I didn’t want to go into any one subject in depth today.  So what you get are more “sound bite” musings.  Suffer or enjoy as you wish.

Ralph Nader is once again running for President.  Ho-hum.  The only person he’d be a factor for is Hillary, who would lose votes to him.  Otherwise, McCain and Obama have nothing to even worry about.

Obama’s picture in traditional Somali garb is making the rounds.  Even made the Schenectady Gazette.  Big whoop on this one too.  All sorts of people, from Presidents, to diplomats, to Congressional types, to average every day citizens have done things like this.  Another non-story that some how became a story.

Looks like Roger Clemens will be facing a perjury investigation.  He might have avoided it if that picture (yet to be released AFAIK) of him at the Canseco party he said he didn’t go to hadn’t surfaced.  On a related note, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are allegedly looking at signing Barry Bonds.  Honestly, Tampa Bay is too good for Bonds.  Bud Selig should make Bonds sign with Kansas City for the MLB minimum.  That should be good for at least 5 years off whatever he gets from his perjury trial.

Never, ever, play Mahjong with old guys who refer to Confucius as “that young upstart from the country side.”

Jack Cafferty is still an idiot.  How this moron ever got on TV is beyond me.  His inane “rants” and monologues are not entertaining, or informative, or enlightening.  He’s a twit on TV, so people give him undeserved credence.

The Oscar ceremony was on Sunday night.  I, like 99% of planet, did not watch any of it.  The whole Academy Awards thing is so irrelevant now, and is little more than a bunch of Hollywood insiders glad handing each other. 

Robert Mugabe, wanna-be dictator for life of Zimbabwe (aka Rhodesia), expelled a former party loyalist who dared to challenge him for the presidency.  He then threw a lavish birthday party for himself, commandeering buses and taxis to truck the well wishers to a spot outside of Harare (aka Salisbury).  The level of decadence really doesn’t matter, as the nation is already facing a food shortage, and 18,000% inflation. 

Turns out my favorite TV cook, Anthony Bourdain, not only has a really fun TV show, No Reservations, but a blog as well.  Read it here: http://anthony-bourdain-blog.travelchannel.com/

 Been about 3 months since I last posted a comics review.  Mea Culpa.  Deal with it.  But a quick run down of a few things.  Joe Q at Marvel is a twit.  J.Michael Straczynski gets a bit of sympathy from me for his dealings with Joe Q, but he’s still a mediocre hack writer.  DC is ramping up for their “final crisis” event.  Geoff Johns is still the man among comics writers today.  Sergio Aragonnes has returned with a new Groo limited series. Best non-traditional titles are: DMZ, Scalped, Progamme, and Drafted.

The Boston Celtics still have the best record in the NBA.  They’re sliding a bit right now, but what a turn around from last year!

The Red Sox have signed Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal.  An interesting move.  It’s fairly risk free, and whatever Colon gives, as long as it’s better than Joel Pinero will be a bonus. 

Just checked, Jack Cafferty is still a moron.

Ed Morrissey, The Captain’s Quarters, is shutting that down and moving to Hot Air.  I’m not sure I like this move, but will have to wait and see how this effects the Captain’s style and substance.  Here’s to hoping…

Can’t think of anything else at the moment.  Well, except maybe trying to get Jack Cafferty to play Mahjong with some older Chinese gentlemen for real money…

Sometimes I have to wonder…

First off, I was semi-distressed to find that a portion of my Union dues were used to support the “YearlyKos” gathering.  It’s not bad enough that the National and International treat our local as second class citizens, but now they go and do this.  Oh, and if anyone really thinks that Junior Hoffa is a champion of labor, let me remind you that he was a union busting corporate lawyer before running for the Presidency of the Teamsters.  I don’t think that the man ever held a Teamster job in his life.  He lives off the reputation and legacy of his father, who despite his flaws (and Mob ties) was a champion of labor (and his own personal power).  Maybe I’ll demand the portion of my dues that were used for this event back.  Yeah, like I’d ever see it if I did.

For those who don’t realize it, the spirit of Joseph Goebbels is alive and well, risiding in Hollywood, and masquerading as “socially conscious” film making.  A recent piece on CNN about three upcoming “Iraq War movies” which are more propaganda than “fact.”  Phil Donohue, Charles Ferguson, and Brian de Palma are all putting out “films” that have more in common with “Triumph of the Will” than Casablanca.  Well, let’s be honest here.  It’s more like if you merged Joseph Goebbels and Felix Dzerzhinsky.  Though a touch of Stalinist ideological orthodoxy would not be out of place.  These can only be considered pure propaganda, feeding a cycle of anti-Americanism, and anti-military sentiments already held as “truths” by the left.  These “truths” border on the realm of religious dogma, and not on rationally considered political or even ideological positions. 

It’s scary in many ways, that the left, particularly the American left, are speedily gaining more in common with the Inquisition, Nazism, and Stalinism.  You can’t question anything they hold to be “true.”  It doesn’t matter what it is, be it “global warming,” or race relations, or what not.  If you do, you will be attacked personally.  Belittle and demeen is the preferred methodology.  Facts are unimportant, and God help you if you even think about taking on any of the left’s sacred cows.  They will call you names, pry into your private life (but no one should be able to look at theirs!), show misleading images in advertisements to give a false impression of who you are.  Academic credentials?  They only matter if you support them, otherwise it’s a phony degree, or you didn’t get a high enough GPA to make that degree “legitimate.”  Remember kids, Hollywood and politicians know what’s best for you, no one else. 

The Nobel Peace Prize.  Ugh.  What a joke this was this year.  Al Gore?  And for “exposing the global warming crisis?”  Can you say political sham?  Now this is not to say the Nobel committee doesn’t get it right at times, but this one is a joke.  If he got it for propaganda or even for science, I could understand it.  But the Peace Prize?  An undeserving win, and the first since Kofi Anan won it a few years back.  Martti Ahtisaari, Rebiya Kadeer, and Irena Sendler were all far more deserving candidates.  My choice would have been for Ahtisaari, who has done yoeman work for various peace processes, and is currently working Kosovo. 

Complete change of pace here.  Yet another “who’s your real candidate” quiz for the upcoming US Presidential elections (Thank you Kurt for the link):

http://www.wqad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460

Again, with no surprise, I’m still a McCain supporter. 

Governor Bully-Boy is at it again.  Now he says he’ll sue any County Clerk who refuses to enforce or accept his new liscensing policy (for NYS Driver’s Liscenses).  Yeah, like he’s really going to sue 29 County Clerks over this.  That is provided he doesn’t back down before the Minority Assembly Caucus sues him to stop the policy, and provided that he wins that law suit.  This is a stupid, and dangerous policy change, one that the Governor should back down from.  Not that he will, beacuse he’s “a political steamroller” and all.

Meanwhile, all sorts of legislation is being held up because in no small part due to his antics.  As if “Troopergate” wasn’t enough, he just had to throw in an insane policy change effecting not only NY’ers, but the nation as a whole.  So, while we have to get more 30 second sound bites from Spitzer about slandering various Assembly members and State Senators, cpaital improvement projects are on hold, as are economic packages for upstate, as well reforms in several other areas.  Not that Spitzer is in Albany to do any negotiating, he’s too busy hiding out in his NYC office. 

I wonder if Jack Kemp has ever thought of running for governor?