Monday, September 26, 2016

Voting Advice from the Grave

1699 Voting Advice from the Grave

Here’s Today’s Quote:
-“If you agree with me on nine out of 12 things, vote for me.  If you agree with me on 12 of 12 things, see a psychiatrist.” -- Ed Koch (1924-2013)

Many people today can’t make up their minds about which candidate to vote for (or against.)  So as public service, here’s a scorecard in case you’d like help deciding.

The major party candidates are designated “A” and “B.” You can decide which one you want to put first. There is no room for the little leaguers because there’s no chance of winning.

Issue: A           B
Personal integrity __   __
Global warming __ __
Iran __ __
Trade agreements __   __
Tax cuts/rich __   __
Tax cuts/middle __ __   
Mexico Wall __ __  
Mexican deportation __ __
Muslim Ban __ __
Honoring Treaties __   __
Freedom of abortion choice __   __
Probable Supreme Ct. choice(s) __   __
LGTBQ rights __   __

That’s 13 issues, not twelve.  And you can adjust the standard to fit your own peculiarities.  For example, some people don’t need nine categories of agreement. Seven or eight will do.

Many Libertarian followers like to say that supporting their candidate is not throwing your vote away.  Very pure of you, fellas and girls.  Flush that toilet on principle if you must.  You’ve made a statement! It’s one that only your fellow solipsists can hear… which doesn’t matter because you’re really the only one who counts and you’ve heard it.

Some people who support the Green Party candidate say the same.  Some questions: Would you let Dr. Stein anywhere near a patient you love?  And Ajamu Baraka, nee LeRoi Jones?  Gimme a break.  The Greens also are Ever So Pure.  But they have the same solipsism problem as the Libertarians.

(More about Solipsism Wednesday.)

So now you have a scorecard. And if you’re on the fence, it may help you clarify.  But unlike your golf score, you can alter it to suit your needs without sneaking into the rough beside the 12th Green with your little pencil and trying to make it look like you didn’t erase anything.  

We can’t see you cheat.  But on the Wednesday after the election, we’ll know.

--Felonious banks when caught resort to platitudes and promises to fix things and often don’t do more than form committees and task forces that go nowhere.  Here’s an example of how they act when charged with bad taste in their ads.  A cry of outrage forced Capital One to re-do an ad in which spokesman Samuel L. Jackson’s script told him to say they pay bonus points “every damn day.”

-If they can make decent tasting decaf and perfectly good unleaded gasoline, why can’t they make whole wheat pasta that doesn’t taste like the box it comes in?

-Where does Publishers Clearing House get all that money it claims to give away when what they now sell mostly is dime store stuff without a magazine in sight?

-China has launched the world’s largest single dish radio telescope in hopes of finding intelligent life in space … few have found much of that here on earth.

-Arnold Palmer’s passing makes us wonder if maybe you shouldn’t ask your doctor if Xarelto is right for you.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

1698 No Laughing Matter

Here’s the quandary:  The old pressure cooker no longer works.  It’s one of those snazzy electrical things, with a 1990-ish Star Trekky control panel on a brushed chrome body.  It’s taking a lot of valuable cupboard real estate and we have to get rid of it.

Sounds like a simple problem. Isn’t. You can’t put something like that out on the curb for collection without attracting a visit from the bomb squad.

Thoughts wander in this direction:  A cop with a bullhorn at 3 am on a weekday announces for all the neighborhood to hear

“This is the police.  Your house is surrounded. Come outside with your hands up.”

Thoughts of eager officers with one of those break-down-the-entrance ramrods eager to swing it at the front door, turning it to splinters and rolling a flash-bang grenade into the living room followed by a canister of rifle-launched teargas.

The bomb robot rolls to the curbside pressure cooker, picks it up, rolls it into a truck with steel walls three feet thick and slams the door shut.  Then we’re all cuffed and herded into patrol cars or a paddy wagon and taken “downtown” for interrogation.

Meantime, as the teargas clears, still more officers, these in hazmat suits, are scouring the house for traces of ammonium nitrate or dispatching bomb dogs to sniff every corner.

Guys!  It’s just a pressure cooker.  No bomb. Just a broken 1990s Star Trekky kitchen appliance.

Okay, curbside disposal is out.  Maybe we can bag the thing and after dark slip it into someone’s dumpster.  That’s a crime called theft of services.  But it sure beats a visit from the bomb squad and its ramrods, flashbang grenades, tear gas canisters, hazmat suits and handsome German Shepherds with sensitive noses.

Except when Homer and Gomer take their trash to the dumpster and spot the chrome thing and call the police, the scene will take place as described and cause a fuss out in back of the big box store.

The place and surrounding buildings will be evacuated and closed for the duration.  They’ll find fingerprints on the cooker -- our fingerprints -- and the whole break-down-the-door scene will spread to our house.

It’s just a pressure cooker, officers.  No bomb. Nothing but the fumes left by years of cooking the yummy kind of mush that pressure cookers make.  One pot dinners. Can’t you see the little picture of Wolfgang Puck or Emeril or Paula Deen on the side there?

Who would want to blow up Wolfgang or Emeril or Paula?  (Well, maybe Paula… but really!)

Maybe we should rent a steam roller and flatten the thing in a road somewhere. No one would be bothered by the sight of a former pressure cooker that’s been reduced to two dimensions by a 44-thousand pound steamroller.  

Plus where do you rent a steamroller?

Maybe just leave the pot in the cupboard.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

1697 Larry Kingski

What are Larry King and Ed Schultz doing on the Russian government owned TV channel RT America?
Talking, what else?  
American broadcaster Larry King holding microphone

Americans don’t take kindly to offshore owners of media unless it’s Rupert Murdoch (who became an American citizen so his company could own actual TV stations in this country.)  Or maybe the BBC, because they’re so… so English.  But Russia?  The Red Slave Empire reimagined for the 21st century?

RT wants to be known as a legitimate news outfit.  At least that’s what their publicists say.  What they say in Russia is Demigod Putin started this “service” to sneak into the US with Russia’s point of view.

It’s kind of the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in reverse.  Remember Radio Moscow? And if you watch it, which an overwhelming majority of Americans don’t, it’s perfectly clear which side they’re on.

King’s program is sold by a syndicator called Ora Media.  One of its head guys is a man named John Dickey.  

Asked about putting All-American Larry King on PutinVision, he said every network has a particular viewpoint and Ora is only a seller of programs.  

Does Larry King need the money?  Does Schultz? CNN busted King and MSNBC busted Schultz.  Ed did nothing for awhile. Larry did and does infomercials for questionable health-inducing potions.

King is 82.  Time to slow down, fella. He does a fairly decent interview under the right circumstances… like when someone hands him a sheaf of research and he actually reads it… or he reads at least the dust jacket of an author’s latest book

Schultz is only 62.  And while he’s a lefty, he carries on with the bluster of Rush Limbaugh and the charm of Tales from the Crypt.

No one has taken either of these guys seriously for ten years.

To both we say отвяжись which is pronounced ot-vy-az-HIS'.  And it doesn’t mean “have a nice day.”


--This Ahmed Rahami fellow will soon be in court where he can tell us his little bombing spree in New York and New Jersey was because he had a tough childhood and be assured, he’s “not a bad person.” Further we will learn about his lifelong devotion to his religious beliefs and all the other claptrap these guys always spew.  Good thing he’s more inept than inspired.

--How long before Governor Doublewide (R-NJ) is subject to a recall movement?  The prosecutor in the George Washington Bridge intentional traffic jam nonsense says Chris Christie knew about the problems as they happened, something he’s denied. There goes that appointment as Secretary of Morals and Morale in the Trump cabinet.

--We always wanted to live in a pre-war triplex and we do.  Unfortunately it’s not in Manhattan.  And the war it was built before was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

1696 Subtitles

Oh what a fuss they made when some of the big opera companies installed this machinery.  It lets you know in English what’s going on.

Dialogue; words to the arias. It’s all right there for the Great Unwashed to see. The code is broken. No longer do you have to be a scholar to know the story or the words.

“There goes the neighborhood” sniffed the Opera Cossacks.

Televised opera soon followed suit. Subtitles. The same Cossacks were even more outraged!
“Caruso would be apoplectic” they sniffed. (Actually, Caruso would probably would say “passi prego lo scozzese,” which means “please pass the scotch.”)
They have the right idea. But they haven’t taken it far enough.

Let’s expand it. Start with rap. Anybody know what these guys are saying? Put up subtitles in English and you can find out.
“Emsa so great can’ gettaday t buttum notgunna hesitate. gonnamate.” Thus becomes “I’m so great, though I can’t get a date but I won’t hesitate. I’m going to mate (anyway.”)

Loses nothing in the translation, except the cowardly hiding behind the mumbles.

You can do heavy metal the same way.
Thus “eeeeyu waaa baaaaa SCREEEEEEEEM” becomes “my life sucks and it’s your fault.”

But why limit this to music. Or to what passes for music these days?

Medical appointments, political statements, laws and the like also deserve subtitles.

DR. SKIN to patient: That is a suspected malignant melanoma. Let’s take a piece and do a biopsy.

SUBTITLE: That is a malignant melanoma. We need a biopsy to confirm, but I’d bet if you leave it alone for six months you’ll be dead.

DR. OBGYN to patient: This will feel a little cool and you may feel some pressure.

SUBTITLE: I’m going to freeze your private parts off and it’s going to feel like there’s an elephant in there.

HOLISTIC “DOCTOR” to patient: The medical establishment is trying to keep it quiet, but our double-blind scientific tests show this stuff will definitely cure your cancer, heart condition and muscle pain. Just take six tablets three times a day.

SUBTITLE: we don’t know what this junk does, but it’s our major profit center and we’d not only like you to try it, but we’d like you to become a “distributor” and you’ll rake a little off the top of every bottle sold by anyone you recruit.

DENTIST to patient: We’re almost done.

SUBTITLE: maybe another hour or two and we’ll be at the point where we can think about getting you out of the chair.

AUTO TECHNICIAN to customer: You’re next.
SUBTITLE: your car is a mess. Come back next week, we’ll probably be finished by then.

GASOLINE PRICE SIGN: Unleaded Regular 2.48 (9.)
SUBTITLE: $2.49.

JUDGE JUDY to courtroom: Ruling in favor of the Plaintiff for $250.

SUBTITLE: Pay the guy 250 dollars for the hole you knocked into his trailer.

STOCK ANALYST to customer: We don’t think United Widget will meet our expectation for fourth quarter earnings this year.

SUBTITLE: Sell this mutt.

KEN LAY to Enron stockholders: Buy.

TOBACCO EXECUTIVE to Congress: There’s no scientific proof that nicotine is addictive or that smoking causes lung cancer.
SUBTITLE: Your mother had cancer because of tree pollution and she CHOSE to smoke four packs a day. All we did was make the stuff available.

RUM COMPANY EXECUTIVE to news media: We find that at a certain level, the consumption of 151 proof beverages has a fast acting and moderately long-duration effect on the autonomic response times of a particular class of individuals.

SUBTITLE: Drink a shot glass of this stuff and you’ll be drunk for a week, and a menace on the roads. If you’re 14 and under, it’ll kill you in 20 minutes or less.

GENERAL to Congress: We call it a peace keeper missile system because The Aggressor will not want to engage us in any meaningful way.

SUBTITLE: we can blast those clowns back to the stone age by pushing two buttons in a missile silo in the middle of the desert. I hope they’re stupid enough to try something.

ROAD SIGNS: Route 495 East, Route 87 North, Traffic Moving Well To Cross Island Parkway.
SUBTITLES: Long Island Expressway AWAY from the city, New York State Thru-way to Albany, Traffic not too bad until you get there. Then, it’ll “well” into a total screwup.

MAGAZINE to subscribers: Published bi-monthly .

SUBTITLE: published every other month except combined issues in March and August and a triple issue in December-January-February, and no issue in May on alternate leap years. All of which means you never know when the thing’ll show up.

IRS to taxpayers: Combine the totals on lines 12a and 14b, then subtract the total on line 23f.

SUBTITLE: we haven’t figured this one out yet.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2006 Which means this is a slightly edited re-run.