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Overtaken by Events
Life may have no meaning, or, even worse, it may have a meaning with which I disagree

Monday, September 11, 2006  

Letterman's Monologue After 9-11

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:53 PM

Monday, July 10, 2006  

mondial 2006 coup de boule de Zidane

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:12 AM

Friday, December 20, 2002  

Back Home, Barely

This will officially be my last post about anything having to do with air travel. In an earlier post I mentioned how, "I always get a total kick out of takeoff. I’m not so fond of landing". So, on the trip back home I had as near a death experience as I will ever need until I have the real death experience.

We were on a Lear and hit a violent crosswind about fifteen feet off of the runway, and the plane tipped up to where the wings were nearly perpendicular to the ground. When the pilot corrected, we rotated all the way to the other side. Then, the nose went up at around a 60 degree angle and we were yawing back and forth. The back wheels hit hard and we bounced back into the air to commence another session of flying like particularly drunk senior citizen. Once again the back wheels hit the ground and the pilot was able to slam the nose down as well. We rolled to a stop a few seconds later. At one point, looking out the window, the fuel tank on the wingtip was running around 12 to 14 inches from the runway. This is something that you really don't want to witness except in the form of a special effect. Thinking about it, the most amazing thing was how totally silent it was in the cabin. There were seven of us on the plane, and the only words spoken were by one guy suggesting that we might want to hold on. This was before we did our first aerial maneuver. When we were actually in the midst of the mock dogfight there wasn't a sound. There were several white faces, though, mine included. We pulled up to the hangar, grabbed our bags, shook the hands of both pilots and headed home. I think the seriousness of the whole thing hit me about five minutes from where I was meeting Vicky for dinner. That was when I noticed myself crushing my steering wheel in the Vulcan death grip and driving about 60 in a 70 MPH zone.

You don't really have all that many moments to appreciate what is actually good in life, and it seems totally corny to talk about, but I think we all went home with a little extra knowledge of how quickly things could change.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:49 PM

Wednesday, December 18, 2002  

Day Two

Woke up at four-thirty with no clue as to where I was, bummed to figure out that Vicky wasn't there. There was a pretty good snow last night and everything is beautiful outside. Except for the fact that I will be driving over a mountain pass on the new, beautiful snow, life isn't bad.

Logan is your typical college town (Utah State) but for one detail. I haven't seen a single bar. Maybe we haven't been to the right (or wrong) part of town, but it seems strange not to have one on every corner.

To be continued...

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:49 AM

Tuesday, December 17, 2002  

Mid-Flight Blog

Tuesday at 8:15 AM, somewhere over Wyoming (I’ve always wanted to say that). The difference between flying corporate and commercial is so staggering as to be unbelievable. The check in process consists of remembering the first letter of your last name and being able to press it on a touch screen monitor. Then they take your bags and hand you a cup of coffee and a pastry. When it is time to leave, the pilots walk over, introduce themselves, point the way and even hold the doors for you. The politeness is almost eerie.

We broke the surly bonds of earth in a heavy fog that gave way to brilliant sunshine within about 60 seconds, temporarily blinding everyone on board. No matter how much I fly, I always get a total kick out of takeoff. I’m not so fond of landing.

I’ve got USA Today, so here are some highlights:

The “Really?” Headline of the Day. “Meeting to Decide Future of Sen. Lott – on BET GOP leader denies he’s a racist

Well, what a strange turn of events, I half expected him to go on and say, “OK, you got me, and I hate midgets, too!” I’ve attempted mostly to stay away from this topic, but it seems that it isn’t going away. IMHO, I doubt that Lott is a racist, closeted or otherwise. Hell, at this point, I’m not sure exactly what a racist is. It used to be disliking people that looked different than you for that reason only. Obviously the definition has evolved. I was raised to respect people for what they were as individuals. My parents were extremely religious, but I never was lead to believe that anyone espousing a different faith or no faith at all was any less deserving of respect, and certainly not based on the color of their skin. The problem now is that the number of thin skinned, run crying to a sympathetic press type groups have grown astronomically since I was a young lad. You even have subsets of subsets demanding more special treatment than the basic protected class. When does it end? If everyone has special privileges, then no one’s privileges are special. I believe it is nothing but fear of competition. You have an entire “elite” intelligentsia out there telling us how damaging having winners and losers is. They’ve stopped keeping score in all kinds of youth sports, from soccer to baseball. We are going to end up with an entire generation of people that have no idea how to evaluate themselves. They’ll have no yardstick because they were taught that nobody is any better at anything than anybody else. This, obviously, is the large, family sized crock of excrement. My wife is better with money, a better cook, better looking, a better writer, and she generally, much to my chagrin, beats me at Scrabble. It doesn’t matter, it all balances out. I don’t need a federal grant to build my self- esteem.

Wow, I am all over the board today, sorry. Vicky will be posting these for me, and I hope to do a few more, mini-travelogue type posts on this trip. We are starting to get closer to the ground. There is a solid white blanket of snow on the ground that is almost painful to look at.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 1:08 PM

Monday, December 16, 2002  

Overtaken Goes on the Road!

OTBE is headed for the nightlife capitols of America, Idaho Falls and Salt Lake City. If you're a blogger in the area with a desperate need to buy other people's beer, leave a comment. Kidding, this is a work trip. We NEVER imbibe on work trips, honest. Anyway, posting will probably be light, we still don't have broadband link-ups on the company jets (Bastards). Back on Thursday.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:41 PM

I found this blogpoll via Lynn Sislo via Amber Bach. It's kind of interesting and someone will have to capture the nationwide results. Take the temperature of the blogosphere, so to speak. It's easy, just answer ten little questions.

1. Which blogger have you known longest online only?
Easy. Jonah Goldberg on NRO mentioned Andrew Sullivan which led me to Matt Welch and Ken Layne. I was hooked after that.

2. Which blogger have you known longest IRL?

IRL means "in real life." I've know the Very Irreverant Mike for several years through work. We only discovered recently that we were both bloggers. That only happened because our wives, Vicky and Rita, somehow hooked up online.

3. Which blogger have you spent the most time with IRL?
Take a wild guess. Not to disparage Mike's good looks, but, come on.

4. Which blogger would you most like to meet IRL (that you haven’t met IRL)?
I have a dream blog bash attended by Tim Blair, Juan Gato, Welch, Lane, Kaus, Bashman, Moxie, Michele, Acidman, K-Lo and others to numerous to mention, but, if I'm supposed to have one answer, it would be Blair.

5. Which blogger do you think has the best blog design?
I would say that Gut Rumbles is one of the cleanest, but I have to vote for the love of my life. (BTW, I think Sullivan's is one of the most unreadable sites available today)

6. Which blogger do you like most to argue with?
Again, too numerous to mention.

7. Which blogger makes you laugh the most?
For everyday yuks, it's hard to beat Gato and Ott, but Moxie had this post about her cat's gastrointestinal problems that literaly had me laying on the floor in tears as I tried to read it to my wife. Simon has good cat stories too.

8. Which blogger intimidates you the most?
Click on Instaman's Sitemeter sometime. Seriously, some of these brave souls that are blogging from Tehran and Baghdad are incredibly impressive.

9. Which blogger do you most wish would post more often?

10. Which blogger do you most wish would get a comment system?
Blair and The Corner.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:22 PM

Sunday, December 15, 2002  

More Brilliance from our Neighbors to the North

This is exactly the kind of statement that an American leftist could get away with (can you say "Hymietown"?). We'll see how many people condemn this "respected Saskatchewan Indian leader". Trent Lott is an idiot and shouldn't be majority leader with or without the current situation, but I'm about to drown in the hypocrisy. In my mind, a joke, however ill-advised and completely idiotic, is a far cry from a national organization paying for a TV ad calling the president a murderer.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 4:00 PM

damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn, damn...

Comedians everywhere are in mourning at word of the news that Gorebot isn't running in 2004. I think this is a good news/bad news sort of thing for the GOP. On one hand, the world will be spared more tongue wrestling, but on the other, the Dems might actually pick someone who could win. Oh wait, Terry McAuliffe is still in charge. Nevermind.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:48 PM

Breathe Deep, the Sigh of Relief

After many hours and many steps backwards, we finally have Vicky's new site up.

Now begins the work on mine. Movable Type absolutely rocks!

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 12:51 PM

Thursday, December 12, 2002  

As much as I hate it, There will be little or no posting tonight. I am up to my elbows in CSS preparing for Vicky's Movable Type debut. Who am I kidding, I love to do this stuff. Knowing that I get to do this sort of thing when I get home makes writing at a fifth grade level and dealing with people who believe red text on a green background is truly "spiffy" almost bearable.

Meanwhile, there isn't a blog over there to your left that isn't worth checking out. Vicky covered castrated reindeer, and Rita has a Christmas post that will make you cry. BTW, although I have been blogroll challenged lately, Mike and Rita have their new MT site up, briefly titled, The Church of the Blinding White Light of Stupidity. I'm glad that Mike is finally plunging in. I've met few people in my life, ummm..., more eclectic. On the upside, if you need a gourmet meal, a complete worldwide network or just a good laugh, he's your guy.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:48 PM

Wednesday, December 11, 2002  

Did I say Light?

What I meant was, non-existent. It was a long day sandwiched between a four hour round trip,during which I was treated to the cultural gems that are the movies Scary Movie and Like Mike. All I wanted was to finish my book.

A return to normal posting will begin tomorrow, but I wanted to spread some gratitude first:

I can't believe I actually got a mention at Cut on the Bias. I have been reading Susanna's blog for quite some time (long enough that my bookmark still sends me to the redirect page) and to Pdawwg, a newly found and very entertaining blog.

I have, in the past three days, for whatever reason, doubled my hits from what they were over the past month. I suppose it is just gratifying that not everyone thinks I am a complete dumbass.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:27 PM

Carnival of the Vanities #12

The latest Carnival of the Vanities is up and scorching Idiotarians everywhere! Laurence went all out with the cool little icons, and most of the posts are pretty good, too (certain drivel about Jimmy Carter notwithstanding...).

Go there NOW!

FYI (for both of you that care), posting will be light today as I will be trapped in a car with five people I don't like all that much.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:11 AM

Tuesday, December 10, 2002  

Noblesse Obliged to Speak Drivel ala Jimmy

"The world has changed greatly since I left the White House.

Yes, to include 100 or so fewer American hostages in Iran, interest rates at roughly 20% of where you left them and, what was that other one.....oh yeah, no more Soviet Union.

Now there is only one superpower, with unprecedented military and economic strength.

< beginqueencd > We are the champions, my friends!< /endqueencd >

Instead of entering a millennium of peace, the world is now, in many ways, a more dangerous place. There is a plethora of civil wars... and recent appalling acts of terrorism have reminded us that no nations, even superpowers, are invulnerable.

I do not think you know what plethora means. I would not like it if you used the word plethora and did not know what it means.

It is clear that global challenges must be met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances and international consensus.

Yep, as clear as your typical human rights declaration authored by Sudan

Imperfect as it may be, there is no doubt that this can best be done through the United Nations.

WOOHOO! He used a three syllable word correctly! If only he'd left out the next sixteen words he would have had the perfect phrase.

Today there are at least eight nuclear powers on earth, and three of them are threatening to their neighbours in areas of great international tension. For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventive war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences.

Of course, I personally don't believe that even a minor wedgie is an appropriate response to being bitch slapped.

For more than half a century following the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, the Middle East conflict has been a source of worldwide tension.

Does this sound eerily like a camoflauged call for the destruction of Israel? Nah.

United Nations Resolution 242 calls for withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, and provides for Israelis to live securely and in harmony with their neighbours. There is no other mandate whose implementation could more profoundly improve international relationships.

And no other mandate that would give Hezbollah, et al, easier access to legitimate targets of war like schools, playgrounds and nightclubs.

Perhaps of more immediate concern is the necessity for Iraq to comply fully with the unanimous decision of the Security Council that it eliminate all weapons of mass destruction and permit unimpeded access by inspectors to confirm that this commitment has been honoured. The world insists that this be done.

Screw that! I insist because that young whippersnapper in the White House is going to go and show me as a senile gasbag, yet again, if they don't.

I am not here as a public official, but as a citizen of a troubled world who finds hope in a growing consensus that the generally accepted goals of society are peace, freedom, human rights, environmental quality, the alleviation of suffering, and the rule of law.

Not too much disagreement here, but I'd prefer the rule of law a little closer to the head of the line.

During the past decades, the international community, usually under the auspices of the United Nations, has struggled to negotiate global standards that can help us achieve these essential goals.

One word: Sisyphus

I am convinced that Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and others can embrace each other in a common effort to alleviate human suffering and to espouse peace.

I am convinced that Trilateral Commission is sending killer rays directly into my brain while I sleep.

At the beginning of this new millennium I was asked to discuss, here in Oslo, the greatest challenge that the world faces.

You'll remember, the title of my speech was, " Bill Clinton's Legacy or Hot Damn, I'm going to look like a GREAT preident next to Impeachment Boy!

I decided that the most serious and universal problem is the growing chasm between the richest and poorest people on earth.

The further apart they are, the more creamy filling you get.

The results of this disparity are root causes of most of the world's unresolved problems, including starvation, illiteracy, environmental degradation, violent conflict and unnecessary illnesses that range from Guinea worm to HIV/Aids.

You forgot butt pimples, toe jam, and unsightly, discolored grout in your bathroom. Thank God, it has been weeks since I've heard the "root cause" argument.

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good.

Are you saying that you believe in the concept of a just war? Or just hedging your bets?

The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices.

As evidenced by what, exactly? There is no evil in Jimmy's world, only misguided youths that need time out.

God gives us the capacity for choice. We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes - and we must."

And thus ends another Rev. Jimmy sermonette. My greatest praise for this speech would, of course, be its length. The poor Nobel Committee would still be there tomorrow had Clinton won.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 2:20 PM

Bring Outcher Ded

Laurence Simon at Amish Tech Support is hosting the First Annual All-Blog Dead Pool. I find this to be a great way to start out a new year, by arbitrarily deciding who won't live to see the next one. Laurence was extremely helpful as I am male and NEVER read the instructions. He informed me that I had Strom Thurmond on my list and would receive -1 point when the old bastard kicks. Fortunately, I had another right-fielder handy, Daryl Strawberry (60 points!!). My favorite rule, however, is the one that forbids you from actually killing the person yourself (with a couple of exceptions).

Here's my entry:

Edward Said - Perhaps one of those rocks he throws at the IDF will come zinging back.
Jack Germond - Come on, how unhealthy does this guy look?
Andy Rooney - Anything to stop the sound of that voice in my head.
Kirk Douglas - OK, I feel kind of bad about this pick.
Jay-Z - My token rapper.
Henry Kissinger - Hopefully early in the new investigation. Geez, give someone else a chance, Hank!
Judi Dench - My wife will kill me for this pick, but she was such a convincing dying person in the movie Iris
Elizabeth Taylor - Not the young one, like in Taming of the Shrew, but the new one scares me.
Daryl Strawberry - my token troubled, former athlete.

So, what are you waiting for? Go and join the fun. Pick nine people and spend the enitre year wishing them ill. Give yourself a legitimate reason to peruse the tabloids, and please, please pick Britney Spears!

Rita, you KNOW Mike would love this...

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 12:14 PM

A Better Informed Public?

An article in the Washington Post this morning (via Drudge) talks about an apparent sales slump for "big name" authors. Industry people are blaming everything from Wal-Mart and Costco to the proliferation of movies and cable TV, but, at least in my case, there are a few more specific reasons. Sure, if there is a new realease that I absolutely must have, I will probably go to Sam's and get it for $15 instead of paying $30 at a chain store, but frankly, in the past couple of years there have been fewer and fewer must haves, and I will often wait until I can find the book at my local used bookstore (miles of wonderful, dusty shelves). The other reason is that I read so many seemingly well-read people everyday in the blogoshpere that I am rarely without several recommendations, and those recommendations are never King and Clancy. They are history and biography and other books that matter and the plugs for these books are from people I trust, at least in the sense that I'm fairly sure they aren't morons. Over a year ago I read a discussion on Ken Layne's blog about the book Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, and a few days ago I am standing looking at the crap paperback section at the local Wal-Mart and there it is, one copy, that had obviously been there for a while. I thought, "What the hell!", and bought it. It's like having this massive, disorganized peer-review system, and so far it has not steered me wrong. I'm sorry that Stephen will only be able to purchase one Bentley this year, but I'm reading much better, thank you.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 6:14 AM

Monday, December 09, 2002  

Help Has Arrived!!

Juan Gato notices that we can spool down from the war preparations. Anjelica Huston and Mike Farrell are sending a letter to President Bush tomorrow.And, get this, 100 OTHER CELEBRITIES SIGNED IT!! That's right, they physically took the cap off of a pen and wrote out their whole names (except, of course, Billy Bob Thorton and Sean Penn who signed in their own blood) (Well, not their own blood, but one of their assistants).

This part really opened my eyes:

The letter reportedly is signed by stars including Kim Basinger, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Lange and Martin Sheen, publicists for the event said Monday.

Event? What event? They are mailing a freaking letter! You need a publicist to do this now? My wife is going to be pissed, just more bullshit every time she needs to send the Visa payment.

I swear by all that is holy that I will crawl through broken glass to Fisk this weighty tome.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:26 PM

Wow, you don't look at your blog for a day or two and you never know who mentions you. Thanks Andrea!

I've also had my first contact from the Military Industrial Complex. Check out Horologium, he Fisks little Rusty as well.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 6:38 PM

Saturday, December 07, 2002  

Russ Kevin Childers - Idiot

Throughout his eight years in office, President Ronald Reagan, in his efforts to restore luster to a downtrodden citadel America, did more to turn foreigners against this country than most people realize.

Not to get into minor details like facts, but isn't there a McDonald's near Red Square now?

President George W. Bush is now, perhaps equally unwittingly, on the verge of taking this to a new level.

No Kidding? Maybe that is why there are thousands of Iranian students risking arrest and much worse to be, ummm..more like us

On the whole, Americans do not understand (and all too often do not seem to care) how our actions are interpreted outside our borders. This is true in particular of those presidential actions that are meant to make us feel proud and strong. By exhibiting so little interest in other countries and cultures, we all but ensure we will continue to shock, frighten and anger people around the world.

Wow, he at least got it half right, we really don't care about frightening, angering and/or shocking people around the world who hate us and wish us cast into the depths of hell. BTW Rusty, if it takes a "presidential action" to make us feel strong and proud, then the terrorists have won. We're strong and proud because of the reactions of normal, everyday Joe and Jane Six-Packs that risk their lives, to varying degrees, each day.

Sadly, most of these instances could and should have been easily foreseen and avoided, if only we had cared enough to think about it and showed even moderate respect for how others view the world and choose to live their lives

Moderate respect? We so disrespect the people that hate us that we pour billions into their countries in a futile attempt to raise their standard of living.

The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, which were portrayed in the U.S. media as a chance to show the world what a great country we are, produced a far different effect.
The flag waving and "U.S.A." chants alarmed many Europeans, with older Germans saying, "This is how it began in the 1930s," a reference to the mass rallies held by the Nazis after they attained power. The potential dangers inherent in such fervent displays of nationalism were not to be overlooked by those "lucky" enough to have lived through Hitler's reign.

Oooh scary! I had forgotten the potential danger in cheering on a fifteen year old girl trying for a medal in gymnastics. I'm no expert, but I don't remember Mary Lou Retton proclaiming herself as a member of the master race of short stumpy people.

After the 9/11 attacks, the United States enjoyed an enormous wellspring of sympathy from people around the world. Bush has squandered this support by projecting an unfortunately all-too -typically arrogant attitude toward the world.

WTF was our attitude supposed to be? How can it be more than a year since the attack and there still be self -loathing fuckwits that don't realize that THEY ATTACKED US? I know that in our time of sorrow we should have looked to Kofi for inspiration, but he was too busy adding Sudan and Libya to the Human Rights Comission.

Should we end up attacking Iraq unilaterally (aside from the bombs we have been dropping on them weekly for years) or with token support from reliable allies such as Great Britain (where several hundred thousand people recently turned out to tell their prime minister not to support any U.S. military action that does not have the support of the United Nations), the answer down the road to the question of "why do they hate us?" will be easily traceable to this episode.

For Christ's sake, did Robert Fisk write this paragraph last year and post it for every brain-dead, Bush hating asshole to include in their oh-so-earnest missives? Russ, we honestly don't give a rat's ass why they hate us. They can hate us until the end of time. When that hate, however, turns into action against us, all anyone really needs to understand is that they will have the Price Club sized can of whoop ass opened upon their poor, misguided, misunderstood, fatwa loving souls.

We can only hope that sanity will prevail, even if it is barely visible now

I'm not sure that this last sentence comes across exactly as he meant it.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:01 AM

It's Pearl Harbor Day

I will celebrate by driving my Japanese car, listening to music on my Japanese stereo equipment, maybe take in a movie on my Japanese DVD player and enjoy a dinner of sushi and saki. IMHO, the fact that I can do all of these things is a testament to the generosity of America. I've been trying to think of another situation where the clear winner of a war gave so much to rebuild the aggressor, but have come up empty. If the pattern holds, our descendents will be struggling to make the decision between the Iraqi Jihad Convertible Coupe or the North Korean Dear Leader SUV.

On a serious note, the sacrifice made by our elders is almost unimaginable. When the 1st Marines were relieved on Guadalcanal it was estimated that more than 80% had malaria and almost all were malnourished and suffering from various other ailments. Today we call in sick if our hair doesn't look good. I can only imagine the fortitude it took to step onto a barren rock in the middle of an ocean knowing it was likely the last place you would see. There are some truly touching stories here and here.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:13 AM

Wednesday, December 04, 2002  

Room Temperature Site of the Week
I just found the most hysterical (hysterical as in ha-ha, and as in mentally unbalanced) site. Evil GOP Bastards. They have one of the best mottos I've run across yet:
Exposing the ugly truth about the Republican Party's diabolical plot to replace constitutional democracy with an oligarchic fascist theocracy...
It's the only rational explanation!

I especially like their helpful visual aids such as:


and my absolute favorite,

My, my, aren't we demonstrating that we are the party of tolerance. Don't get me wrong, if this site was satire, it would be hysterical. Sadly, I think they are taking it all seriously.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:28 PM

The Beauty of the Blogosphere

Wife begins blogging (over dead body). Wife hooks up with another blogger who happens to be in the same city, who also happens to be married to someone that Husband knows from long before either husband met respective wife and also happens to work for the same company. Other Husband has mechanical breakdown. Husband reads about it on Other Blogger's site and leaves comment, offering transportation. Ice storm ensues but both husbands come home in one piece. Life is beautiful.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:21 PM

Photographic Evidence

Vicky and I have had about 15 rolls of film developed in the last couple of days that span about 18 months, all the way back to pre-marriage days. Of course, because we were justifiably concerned about quality, we chose not to take them to Wal-Mart and instead went to the most expensive place in town. They do great work, but at $10 a roll, they should. A few of my favorites (I'm not allowed to scan the honeymoon shots).

My Lovely WifeTM and I at our 1st annniversary brunch (also the exact spot where she said yes). We look rather goth for some reason. I am obviously the luckiest man on earth.
The view from one corner of our front deck, complete with the prerequisite cat (Emily).
Angus, our extremely mellow Jack Russell (roflmao), at his first dog show. He took second in the celebrity look-alike category (Eddie, of course) to a 220lb Mastiff that looked just like Walter Mathau

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:43 PM

Sunday, December 01, 2002  

Scott Ott has his own view of the retail slump.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 4:15 AM

The NYT is getting hysterical again, and surprise, surprise, it's all Dubya's fault.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 4:12 AM

Preemptive Strike ala Hans Blix

BAGHDAD -- Serious doubts surfaced over the surprise nature of new arms inspections in Iraq when a United Nations spokesman admitted the head of a suspected weapons site had been given advance warning of the visit by the UN experts to his facility on Saturday.

To paraphrase an old lefty question, "Who's inspecting the inspectors?"

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 4:05 AM

It must be wonderful to have a staff to pound out 1,222 completely predictable words (rr), not to mention a big, hairy ass kissing New York Times drooling to print them. Fortunately, everyone will be happy to find out that WJC has decreed that AIDS is not "not a death sentence". If only the governments of the world would unite against the evil drug companies, it would all just go away.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:48 AM

Interesting test of self control. Juan Gato is taking a break from blogging for the next couple of weeks, so how many times will I click over there to see if he is back?

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:41 AM

Poets of the World, Unite!!

Leave it to two sphincter-squeezing ninnies to bring a guy down when he's just trying to bring some color to the workaday world of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Justice J. Michael Eakin had the following to say in an opinion from last Wednesday about a lawsuit over a prenuptial agreement:

"A groom must expect matrimonial pandemonium
when his spouse finds he's given her a cubic zirconium
instead of a diamond in her engagement band,
the one he said was worth twenty-one grand."

However, Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala seems to believe that rhyme is an indication of not being nearly serious enough.

"The filing of an opinion that expresses itself in rhyme reflects poorly on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania," Zappala wrote. "No matter addressed by this court is frivolous."

I'm no poet, although I do come down firmly on the side of fun in the workplace, but it would seem this should outrage the many EYP's who toil to have their innermost blatherings published in the oh-so-serious journals of verse that every university puts out.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:35 AM

Mark Steyn has a new site of his very own. It isn't all that pretty, but who cares. By the way, he wasn't impressed with The Quiet American.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:12 AM

It looks as though Black Friday was indeed black. Doing the math, you have 4,436 business units (worldwide) doing $1.43 Billion in a single day. That works out to roughly $322,000 per unit. Seems as though the registers were hummng.

What few of the stories I've read, regarding the terrible outlook for holiday sales, seem to mention is that there are 6 fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than there were last year. It is a curious fact that, when the reverse is true, people spread their spending out to cover those days, but you don't actually see more spending beyond the expected yearly growth. Sales ths year may seem to be much better looking at it on a day by day comparison, but a 5% overall rise in spending during this period would be a gift to most retailers.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:07 AM

Wednesday, November 27, 2002  

I Almost Cried

WASHINGTON, DC—Preparing for a showdown with Iraq, President Bush deployed more than 15,000 very special U.S. forces to the Persian Gulf Tuesday.

Bush said the objective of the mission, named Operation Great Job!, is twofold: to force Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors currently in the country, and to provide America's very special forces with a positive, rewarding, esteem-building experience.

"With Operation Great Job!, we send the message loud and clear to Saddam Hussein that his longtime defiance of the U.N. and international law will not be tolerated," Bush said. "We also send the equally important message to our own troops that what's important is not whether you defeat the enemy, but that you try your best and have fun."

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:11 PM

Forehead Slapping Headline of the Day

From CNN:
FBI fears trouble from 'extremist animal rights group'

I love the quotes...

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:38 PM

Michael Kelly, Brilliant as Usual

One day in 1998, I was invited to have an off-the-record chat with an important staff person on the Clinton administration's National Security Council. We met, at the important person's suggestion, at the important person's important club, where the major domo was kind enough to lend me a tie. We sat in important old chairs and drank important old whiskey and had a made-for-TV version of an important old Washington conversation--the personage from the White House setting me right, one important man to another, on the real and complex forces at work behind our government's seemingly mindless, but actually deep and subtle and clever, actions. And me trying to nod in a way that suggested a fine blend of Kissingerian cunning and Lippmannesque wisdom, which is hard to do in a borrowed tie.

Read the whole thing

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:36 PM

A much better day. We went to an internist who immediately hospitalized Dad and brought in a gastroneurologist to consult. They are going to run about three pages worth of tests over the next several days until they figure out the cause. I want to go to the original doctor, who prescribed antidepressants and sent Dad away, and kick him in the shins.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:23 PM

Several doctors later and still zero ideas as to what is causing Dad's illness. We are trying yet another today. I hate to leave my blog so neglected, but My Lovely WifeTM is graciously picking up my slack. I am amazed at her. Less than a month as a blogger (and brought to it kicking and screaming) she celebrated her 2,000th visitor yesterday. I generally need a cattle prod to get any quality PC time now.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:47 AM

Sunday, November 24, 2002  

I would love to post on the normal, trivial things in life that always set me off. However, this weekend has taken it out of me. We started on Saturday with a funeral, and it went downhill from there. My father seems to be dying right in front of our eyes, and no one can figure out why. Six weeks ago, he was the most robust, take-charge person on the face of the planet, and now we can barely get him to speak. An incredibly talented aeronautical engineer (if you've ever flown on a Beechcraft or Raytheon aircraft, thank him for being alive), he is the one responsible for our family being solvent and sane. To watch the smartest, most respected person in your life deteriorate for no discernable reason is, to put it mildly, distressing. I think I was actually alright until I spent some time around my Aunts and Uncle, whom I also respect as the competent elders of the family. They were even more frightened than I. Now I am really freaked out. I don't have any clue how to deal with this. There is one thing I am sure of, though, I firmly believe that the advent of anti-depressant medication has made ALL doctors lazy. Instead of looking at physiological causes for problems, they just say, "Oh, you must be depressed, here's a pill."

Posting here will be light for a while (for both of you who care).

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:54 PM

Thursday, November 21, 2002  

I lied, one more

I know it's satire, but Scrappleface has the best idea I've heard in a while.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:42 PM

I was going to post tonight after returning home, but it just isn't in me. Vicky had a very traumatic day, due the personal tragedy a co-worker experienced, and mine was just incredibly long. In addition, it is extremely hard to accomplish anything with a very large cat firmly ensconced between me and the monitor. I saw a lot of incredibly blog worthy things today, but the flesh is indeed weak. I'm going to nurse this glass of wine, smoke a cigarette, read a little bit and crawl in beside my beautiful wife.

BTW, My liberal, card carrying Democrat wife wrote a very long and scathing post about unions, this is undoubtedly Bizzaro World.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:35 PM

Around these here parts we call it Sudden Deceleration Syndrome

Wellstone Died From Plane's Impact

Man Dies After 9,000 Foot Fall From Plane

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:53 AM

Religion of Peace

ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has declared an alert and bolstered security around Western installations after a gunman set fire to a U.S.-owned McDonald's restaurant near Riyadh that stayed open during the daytime Ramadan fasting period.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:39 AM

I hope that THESE children aren't our Future

About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn't even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean's location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:39 AM

Movable Type is now installed (thanks Ben and Mena). This weekend will consist of getting everything moved and then NO MORE BLOGGER!! I shouldn't crow, the people at Blogger provide something great and they take an enormous amount of crap from a lot of people. A lot more than I would take were I offering a free service. It's like raking the leaves for the little old lady next door and having her follow you around bitching about the ones you missed.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:30 AM

This citation brought to you by Jim Bob's House o' Donuts

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:26 AM

It's amazing what a brief mention from the King of Australia will do for your traffic. The question now is how to keep up the current trend. I feel pressured to find more celebrities to take apart limb by limb. Not that there isn't ample fodder (third item).

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:17 AM

Wednesday, November 20, 2002  

Overdue Blogroll

David Hogberg - Seems to make sense of Iowa politics

DC Thorton - News, commentary, and observations that freely stimulate and opinionate

Howard Bashman- All Court, All The Time!!

The Infamous Feddie- He thinks my Wife looks like winona...!

Ken Layne- Poet, Novelist, All Around good Guy

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:35 PM

OK, it's me vs. the UCFW

I can blog a bit late tonight because I will be spending 12 -16 hours tomorrow dealing with these idiots.I really, in the historical sense, have nothing against labor unions and truly think that they did a lot of good in their time. However, they have become much like the trial lawyers and are in the game for no other reason than the money. Benjamin Franklin said, "He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money." That is exactly their position, if these workers just make more money then they'll be able to pay their union dues. I can just imagine the union bosses licking their lips over 987,000 domestic employees.

Here's my request from my limited readship, if you happen to be in a city where some of these protests are taking place, please send me any anecdotes, pictures and/or observations you might have ( The protests will be heaviest in Ohio, Michigan and California, but are also spread throughout another 26 states.

There have been hints of violence, and I know many of the people that will be innocently running the facilities that are their responsibilty. I would just like to see that they comport themselves as professionals. they certainly don't deserve the crap they are going to be put through tomorrow.

Sorry for the rant, I will leave my house early this morning and not return until sometime Friday morning, because of this crap.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:37 PM

Damn Women for reading the instructions, DAMN THEM!!

Vicky just informed me why her archives weren't publishing (oops, I forgot to set up the proper directory). She has bwah ha ha'd me and given me a rasberry on my neck (things are looking up). I now have to take my poor puppy out to the bathroom. Angus had to have his back shaved this week due to a spider bite that was eating his flesh away.

There will be late night blogging for reasons I will discuss in a few minutes.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:35 PM

WOOHOO, I'm a Winner
Being the only guy with a metaphor referencing a female hygiene product makes it a pyrrhic victory, sure...

Here was my one and only entry:

I pick up a package of Always Maxipads and hope that, one day, America, too, will spread her wings and soar above all of the pollution and waste. Preventing the leakage of one more drop of oil.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:09 PM

Democrat Lawmakers Face Increased Security Threats

At least according to Tom Daschle.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle says threats have increased against him and his family and blames talk show host "Rush Limbaugh and all of the Rush Limbaugh wannabes" for an increasingly negative tone in politics.

Yeah, I've hardly been able to get any news at all except for the 24 hour-a-day coverage of the Tom Daschle Assasination Watch.

"What happens when Rush Limbaugh attacks those of us in public life is that people aren't satisfied just to listen," Daschle, D-S.D., told reporters Wednesday. "They want to act because they get emotionally invested. And so, you know, the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically, on our families and on us, in a way that's very disconcerting."

Okay, personal challenge, I will pay $100 to anyone who provides proof of a Rush Limbaugh inspired murder (no kooks, voices in their head don't count). You're right, Dumbass, those that listen to talk radio are not satisfied just to listen, they also vote. That's why you're MINORITY LEADER now, you pathetically sore loser.

"If entertainment becomes so much a part of politics and if that entertainment drives an emotional movement in this country among some people who don't know the difference between entertainment and politics, and who are then so energized to go out and hurt somebody, that troubles me about where politics in America is going," Daschle said.

Brilliant supposition, Einstein. Oh wait, those people that produce most of the entertainment of which you speak give all of their money to you and yours.

All in all, this had to be one of the weakest responses to a humiliating loss since, hell, since ever.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:47 PM

Tuesday, November 19, 2002  

David Hogberg of Cornfield Commentary is running a contest (1 day only!) for the best (worst) metaphor between everyday products and general America hating.

His entry:
I pick up a package of toilet paper and worry about nuclear waste. I hope that someday America can wipe away all the waste it produces.

The comments section will leave you in tears.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 6:46 PM

You know it's a slow news day when the biggest discussion on The Corner is about whether dogs have souls.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 6:21 PM

I'm waiting patiently for El Gato Grande to skewer the latest from Helen "Watch Me Make My Scary Face" Thomas. Something tells me that this is not an old lady he'd help across the street.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 4:00 PM

Susan Sarandon Boggles the Mind (Again)

The not very talented wife of Tim Robbins whose last good movie role was Bull Durham, took her schtick on the road to Australia. Again railing about the oppressive labor camps that Bush has constructed to hold the likes of her, Michael Moore (as if he could do any labor without suffering a coronary event) and Barbra Streisand.

Susan Sarandon has a message for Australian actors, musicians and artists who are cowed into suppressing their opposition to war or the treatment of refugees by the fear of being labelled un-Australian - it's your job.

No Susan, their "job" aside from asking if I want another glass of wine, is to entertain me, get their paycheck, and shut up.

"It's always been not only the duty but the natural place of artists - because they're outside society - to comment on, to question, to make people look at things, to challenge their perspectives on anything," she said yesterday.

Hang on, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the "outside society" remark. Sure, certain artists have been a little strange in their behaviour, (see previous M.J. post) but most of them socialize, purchase stuff and pay taxes just like the rest us lesser mortals.

"Not to get an answer necessarily but to reformulate the question. Maybe because the arts are in bed with corporate America, [publicly opposing] has become more unacceptable but an informed populace is better: the more information you have, the more diversity of opinion, the harder it is to control them."

Hmmm....I didn't notice Charlton Heston or Ted Nugent in the crowd. Maybe we shouldn't get THAT diverse.

"I live in a democracy," she sighed.

Huh? Perhaps you'd prefer the enlightened, feminist hugging state of Saudi Arabia.

"I was under the impression that it was not only our birthright but our responsibility. It's terrifying to me to feel the fear that exists now in the United States to even question anything for fear of being labelled anti-American."

It's your birthright to say whatever stupid thing enters your kumquat sized brain. It is not your birthright, however, to have anyone listen to you. Similarly, it is my birthright to call you whatever I'd like. Such as talentless hack, or the ugly chick that has to show her breasts at least six times per movie to get any boxoffice.

Susan sums it all up:

"I remember the first time I was in Nicaragua (campaigning for Danny Ortega, no doubt) and I knew my life was somewhat in jeopardy and the thing I thought was, 'oh my god if I get killed Meryl Streep will get an award playing my life and I would be really pissed off'."

Portraying your life may be Roseanne Barr's only chance for an Oscar.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:37 PM

It's too good to excerpt, just go read Mark Steyn

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 3:15 PM

It looks like Garrison Keillor, in addition to his mind-numbingly incoherent screed against Norm Coleman (warning, it's just the teaser page), has now decided to take on Ron Popeil.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 2:27 PM

The French Finally Get Off of the Dime

KABUL, Afghanistan (BusinessTwaddle)--Efforts to root out the remaining Taliban and Al Qaida forces in Afghanistan heated up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of Muslim zealots by proving the nonexistence of God.

Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or 'Black Berets' will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy.

Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris's Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement Cafés at strategic points near the front lines.

There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man's lonely isolation in the universe.

They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers' ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.

Read the whole thing
via Volokh

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 2:03 PM

Scrappleface nails down Gore's platform for the '04 presidential race.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 1:51 PM

Thank God

I just learned that my blog is accessible in China, think of the number of potential hits!!! You can test your site Here.
via NiceDoggie

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 1:33 PM

What Would Jesus Drive?

Not being terribly religious myself (understatement alert), I nevertheless was in church three times a week while growing up. For all of the things I remember about it, I don't seem to have any recollection of the minister railing against the congregation's selection of various transportation choices ranging from the Bird's AMC Pacer to Mr McAtee's enormous Cadillac. Apparently times have changed and now a group of Religious LeadersTM are attempting to shame the big three automakers into cancelling their SUV production. I know, I know, it's for The ChildrenTM.

“Automobile manufacturing now requires thinking about values, not just vehicles.”

WRONG!! Atomobile manufacturing requires thinking about physics, chemistry, and a whole host of other disciplines

Fortunately, a GM spokesman actually spoke the truth.

“The marketplace determines what vehicles are produced by manufacturers. It’s that simple,” says Chris Preuss, a GM spokesman.

BTW, a search for the term "Religious Leaders" brought back 4,500 hits on Google News.

My wife pointed out that Michele at A Small Victory posted on this too. She has the much better line, though, in surmising that Jesus would drive a Chrystler

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 1:12 PM

Well, I suppose it got Eric Clapton some sympathy...

It was apparently yesterday in Germany. I love this quote:

His close friend Uri Geller didn't seem to believe what had happened. He told ITV News Channel "I was not there to see exactly what he had done, but I can tell you this - Michael is a very responsible father and it's just hard for me to believe that he dangled his son over the railing of his balcony."

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 12:58 PM

I'd like some mathmetician out there to calculate the odds of this happening for me.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:45 AM

Mary Frances Berry Vows to Fight On!!

Actually, after fighting a unanimous Appeals Court decision to install the President's nominee to the Civil Rights Panel, the Supreme Court today didn't even give her the courtesy of a reply.

Without comment, the court yesterday declined to review a unanimous ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals that forbade Berry from blocking President Bush's appointment of Peter Kirsanow to sit on the commission.

This after a year where the "less conservative" members of the panel would do mature things like not tell the token conservatives where the meetings were being held. I have an idea, just dissolve the whole thing and name Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as Co-Race Czars. They probably couldn't be much more annoying and wasteful as Ms. Berry.

Here is the Washington Post's slightly less gloating take, and the Washington Times pipes in as well.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:35 AM

Monday, November 18, 2002  

Commercial Timeout

Just finished the switch over to Hosting Matters. What an absolute joy these people are. Great tools, speed and fantastic service. Now, on to configuring @#^@%^ Movable Type.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:54 PM

Sunday, November 17, 2002  

War on Drugs

My Lovely WifeTM has a quote on her blog that reads:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I use lithium for salad dressing."
~ Steven Wright

Apparently this was also true for the exalted John F. Kennedy.(Great headline, Honey)

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:39 PM

Apparently you have to use the term "Bachelor" to get hits now. I, of course would never stoop this low.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:34 PM

Hey Idiot, this isn't United Airlines

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:28 PM

Woohoo, we're saved!!!!

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:24 PM


I haven't posted anything on this hideous crime partly because it seems so unbelievable and, having occurred in my hometown, could have been just about anyone I grew up with. Now that the trial is complete though, all I can say is that you sorry bastards got less than you deserved and may you burn in hell forever. At least a family member of one of the victims got a good shot in:

"Happy birthday..." yelled an angry Mark Befort, whose brother Jason was killed in the soccer field with Heather Muller, Brad Heyka and Aaron Sander

I can't even begin to get into the media bias that surrounded this crime and trial (nobody saw Jesse and Al comforting the families), but others have covered it pretty well, here and here. Suffice it to say that Court TV was going to provide wall-to-wall coverage of the trial but changed their minds when the Winona trial came up.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:23 PM

History Repeats Itself

Byron York from National Review reports that certain Democrats (go ahead, take a wild guess) may try to shut down the lame-duck session over the nomination of Dennis Shedd.

There is word that several Democrats, including Kennedy, Leahy, and Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, are working to organize a filibuster that would prevent a full-Senate vote on the nomination. Such a move would be highly controversial, even among Democrats, because it could tie the Senate up in procedural knots at a time when lawmakers are racing to finish work on the Department of Homeland Security and other measures during the lame-duck session.

They must be basing this strategy on the wildly successful government shutdown the GOP pulled off after the the "revolution". Yeah, that worked out really well.

It is also an extraordinarily risky move politically. Some Democrats, apparently including Majority Leader Tom Daschle, are worried that a filibuster against Shedd could hurt the election prospects of Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who faces a runoff election next month. Some Democrats believe that the party's opposition to Bush judicial nominees hurt Democratic candidates in Georgia, Missouri, and Texas, and they believe an anti-Shedd filibuster would add Louisiana to that list.

I'm not sure if I agree with the position that the horrible treatment of Bush nominees swayed the election in any way, but it seems pretty obvious that Democrat obstructionism on the Homeland Security bill DID hurt them. If the proposed filibuster takes that off of the table, Landrieux is probably toast. They even admit that the move is a total suck-up to their interest groups:

...some key Democrats are said to be worried that a quick confirmation of Shedd would anger the NAACP and other African-American groups that strongly oppose the nomination. The party desperately needs those groups to help in get-out-the-vote efforts in Louisiana, and Democrats are loath to do anything that might alienate them at this crucial time.
I suppose it will come down to whether they want a one more senator or one less Bush judge.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 5:02 PM

Back where I'm from you could get a $50 ticket for whizzing in public (ummm.... a friend told me).

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 4:48 PM

Saturday, November 16, 2002  

< gloat > Banner Day < /gloat >
Did I mention that K-State absolutely CRUSHED Nebraska?

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:13 PM

I plan to post much content today, if for no other reason than to justify my existence. I will be jostling with Vicky for bandwidth, but I'm bigger. It is now, however, time for a nap.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:54 AM

Face to Face With the Mainstream Media

I had the opportunity to meet Peter Jennings this morning (yes, we work Saturdays thanks to a tradition of early weekend morning meetings started by our founder). He came to promote his new book, which apparently isn't selling all that well (beside the point, I know).

He gave an interesting, if brief, talk about his opinion of the state of the country (strong, if nervous), Thomas Jefferson (Holy Crap!! Commerce really does spread democracy), the elections (Dubya's "brilliant" strategy + Democrat wretchedness = Huge Win) and a little about being an immigrant. The funniest moment came when he was taking questions. He had just made a comment about how George Bush was very intelligent even if he did mangle the English language and the next question was, "Has there been one story in particular that has shaped who you are?" He thought a moment, and said, "interesting question, is there one story that has shaped who I are...". Needless to say everyone cackled heartily and catcalls of , "Way to go, Dubya" were heard.

I got the chance to meet him after his talk and found him to be quite gracious. He left to go sit in an office and sign books. When I was leaving work the line was around 600 yards long.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:28 AM

Thank You, Thank You!

To Matt Welch for his generous mention of Vicky and I. It's nice to see the hits double and especially coming from Matt, who, as I mentioned before, is my personal blogfather. It was lovely that he didn't mention Vicky's breasts, too.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 6:15 AM

Thursday, November 14, 2002  

This is the sound of me congratulating myself for my longest post ever...

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:12 PM

This is why I'll be working about 100 hours next week.

They are REALLY outraged this time, though, and they are going to DEMAND the following:


1. Pay their associates a living wage so they can afford basic living expenses such as a home, health insurance, and modest savings for children’s college and retirement. :
Would someone please define a "living wage" for me?

2. Provide affordable health care.
"affordable health care", "military intelligence", "pretty ugly", "efficient bureaucracy"

3. Treat injured workers fairly and provide prompt and complete medical attention for workers injured on the job.:
Yes, let's be like all the other companies and provide on-site MD's at all 3,200 locations.

4. Stop illegal interference with associates’ right to organize, cease all coercive, threatening and bullying tactics to discourage organizing, and let the workers freely decide.
As soon as you stop illegally spending member dues on political activity, AND having professional union organizers hired on as cart boys.

5. Adopt less cut-throat, more cooperative policies that respect established commercial districts and avoid pricing out small businesses.

Sorry, no comment, the next two points have my attention.

6. End employment practices that discriminate against workers who are women, people of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender:
Please see my work history below

7. Truly respect all associates as individuals irrespective of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
Hmmm, this is BarrelfiskingTM.I am an agnostic that sits next to a Baptist very near a Mormon directly across from a Church of Christer. I have daily meetings (and many social outings) with several Hindus (mostly Tamils, but some Sikh), Muslims and a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses, just for a little spice. I don't really feel the need to go into sexual orientation, but suffice it to say that several different ones exist within my sphere. the main point of this, obviously, is that I AM THE WHITE MALE PROTESTANT, and all of us are in decision making, management roles. Please, in the name of all that is holy, take your diversity bullshit and jam it up your stupid, ignorant, too busy protesting to learn some readily available facts, ass.

8. Respect the environment.
Last I heard, we weren't the company drilling for oil in Al Gore's yard. What does this point mean?

Let's see, in my tenure with this horrible company I have directly reported to:

2 Females:

1 African-American:

& 1 white guy (He was a graduate of UC Berkeley with an MBA from Columbia, so he really doesn't count)
Using the AFL-CIO's logic, I am obviously the oppressed one.

Let's take a look at the sponsors for this spontaneous demonstration::

American Federation of Teachers
Democratic Socialists of America
Feminist Majority
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
And my favorite...
Muslim Society of Washington (No link available):

You'll notice that they've left out all of the third-world sweatshop slaves that we keep down on a daily basis. Thank God Kathy Lee is gone.

To paraphrase, with these kinds of enemies, we must be doing something right. I realize that no company is perfect, but the vitriolic hatred of corporate America is just childish. I am always reminded of a line from P.J. O'Rourke:

P.J.: Why don't you see the Young Republicans protesting?
Friend: We have jobs.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:24 PM

Matt Welch, my official Blogfather, has the Science Headline of the Day (not for the faint of heart, it involves genitals and digestion)

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:07 PM

My wife will be thrilled by this little tidbit

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:01 PM

Michele at A Small Victory has a scathing post on the verdict in the Barry Grunow wrongful death suit. The Einsteins in the jury decided to place 5% of the blame on the gun manufacturer, The widow sued for $76 Million. The school and the owner of the gun were found liable for the rest. The striking precedent I saw in this case, (I'm not a lawyer like so many of the blog gods), was that apparently, this is the first time a manufacturer has been held liable in a murder case. This little fact would seem to have far-reaching implications if it is upheld. BTW, little Nathaniel, the unforunate sould that stole the gun, loaded it and blew his teacher away for, well, being a teacher, was found totally blameless. O.J. should obviously be suing the Ghinsu company.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:47 PM

I've Been Discovered!

I spent a good minute creating a logo for Adam Felber's quest for $10,000,000 smackeroos (a minute I'll never get back, mind you). However, I've been so innattentive to my blog this week, I failed to notice that he posted my entry last Sunday. He's probably wondering why my pathetic, simpering gratitude is so late in coming. Thank god he knows how to wait ... wait. Adam, of course, has my dream job of being in close proximity to, or at least over speaker phone with, my Dalai Lhama, P.J. O'Rourke. For this reason, I felt that I should deliberately withhold my appreciation out of pure spite. It's not like he doesn't have little P.J. groupie cast-offs stalking him (what I wouldn't give to be spat upon by a P.J. groupie). But at long last, Adam, here is the adoration you crave. Thank you, thank you for considering my humble submission worthy of Project Space Force status.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:00 PM

Wednesday, November 13, 2002  

I think that "YUK" sums it up nicely....

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:44 PM

Here's the Skinny

< rant >Imagine you were to walk up to someone you work with and say, "Gee Mabel, you are really putting on some weight. Is there something wrong with you?". This would amount to what we in the industry (gainfully employed) call a CLM or Career Limiting Move. So, why is it that I get to hear this question almost everyday with only the "putting on" replaced with "losing"? Did someone (probably that fat bastard Ted Kennedy) put in an exemption to the plethora of harrassment laws that exempts people who are crapping on those of a lean persuasion? The latest comment I personally experienced came from an executive in my company's human resource division. For God's sake, if they can't be tactful, who can be? Don't even get me started about the daily questions regarding whether Vicky and I will have kids. It's like I work with people who are all bad Jewish mother stereotypes. < /rant >

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:20 PM

Wednesday, November 06, 2002  

I Apologize

I am going to bed (some of us work for large multinational corporations, and we damn well start early). It has been a joy to cover my minor state for all 12 of you that cared. Th high spots being finding another Fayetteville Blogger via a California Blogger, and a fellow Arkansas Blog via the comments. Democracy really does bring people together. I expect that a Fayetteville Blogfest will be forthcoming shortly (Jose's anyone?).

Good night to all. It has been a blast.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 12:27 AM

Bootsie Pulls ahead!!!!!

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 12:07 AM

Oh Goodie, Pryor has just promised to oppose any reform of social security, support raising the minimum wage by a huge amount and to support free medicine for everyone. Thank God, We're saved!!! But, as Mark said, it's all For The Childrem,TM In closing, this victory belongs to the people of Arkansas, except for the 48% of us that didn't vote for him.

What no one seems to mention, is that Mark Pryor is the son of a man that was the Democratic party boss in the senate for 18 years. Yet another political legacy we have to live with for at least six years.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 12:03 AM

Tuesday, November 05, 2002  

Great Picture

Mark Pryor slamming a Bud Light before making his victory speech.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:55 PM

Hutchy Concedes

I hope that his little floozy helps him stay warm at night, because he could have blown it for the whole party. what a piece of crap. I have no love for Mark Pryor, but he probably won't divorce his wife to marry the big-nosed blond. She's even trying to do the royal blue and pearls "Barbara Bush" look. Can you say, "Aqua Net Super Extra Hold"?

Anyway, I will spend the next few years with two senators from the idiotarian party, barring the possibility that Mark Pryor turns out to be of more substance than Blanche Lincoln. Bummer. However, I do rejoice in the apparent gains maid in the overall national picture.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:44 PM

R.W. Apple is Bummed (along with the rest of the NY Times)

Two years after the most bizarre presidential election in American history was decided by the Supreme Court, 14 months after the unspeakable horror of terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the nation voted yesterday in a mood of disenchantment and disconnection from the political system
Oh, so if the Dems lose, then the American public is disconnected from the political process. Yeah, if the percentages had swung a few points the other way, we would have been totally in touch. (Please leave the room if you are offended by profanity) I hate that stupid, ass-kissing asshole!!

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:33 PM

Dare I hope?

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:27 PM


Nightline has begun assessing blame. Apparently it is all Dick Gephardt's fault. I haven't heard Daschle's name mentioned once. Plus, all of the media's predictions about the gubanatorial races have come undone. Losing Georgia and Maryland has shaken things up a bit. I thought that Claire Shipman was going to cry.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:24 PM


How can someone named Bootsie lose?!?!?

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:03 PM

Hutchinson Concedes?

Well, not quite, he is saying that despite a Pryor lead, the two most Republican counties have not yet reported. Great quote, "They seem to know how to close the polls up in Northwest Arkansas, but they count a little slower."

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:00 PM

What Happens to the 7:30 - 9:00 Votes?

Apparently there were Republican pollwatchers almost arrested trying to challenge votes after the 7:30 deadline in Pulaski County. Huckabee is going to stomp Fischer. The turnout in Washington county is probably going to break records. They also forgot to reset the numbers on one of the counting machines, so they had to start over. Results in around 12AM.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:07 PM

The Arkansas Supeme Court voided Pulaski County Circuit Court's temporary order to have the polls remain open until 9:00 p.m. CST. In Northwest Arkansas, voter turnout is estimated at 80% of registered voters. However, because of the Pulaski County debacle, no results are officially being posted in Northwest Arkansas. So far, Mark Pryor (D) is coming in at 54 to 46 against Tim Hutchinson (R). In the Governor's Race, Mike Huckabee (despite his silly name) leads Jimmie Lou Fisher (despite her silly name) 54% to 46%. Amazingly, the candidate for Governor named Elvis M. Nash, (no website available) has 0% Apparently, the West Memphis vote has not yet been tabulated.

Other Results:
Win Rickefeller, the current Lt. Governeror is up 60-40. In Washington County, predominantly Democrat, JLF is ahead. Sue Madison 51%; Bootskie Ackerman 49%

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:45 PM

Another Clinton Lackey Goes Down!!!

Goodbye Erskine!!!

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:06 PM


The Wine is Here!!!!!! Amazingly, she found the very last bottle of Robert Mondavi '99 Cabernet. I love my wife!

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:58 PM

Totally Unrelated

Benjamin Netanyahu is already challenging for the PM position in Israel. I hope he gets it, I have been an admirer of his since reading several books about him.
Now may be a good time to address this subject, contradictory to many of my fine southern freind's assumptions, my last name ending in "berg" does not automatically make me jewish. I have been asked many, many times (not that there's anything wrong with that...). I just like Benji, he's all about solving the problems, period. He is the provider of the 72 virgins.

And now back to your regular coverage....

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:56 PM


Not enough wine to get through Election Night! Matt makes emergency trip to Bypass Liquor (hopefully soon so I can stop typing his crap, he only uses three fingers, LAMEASS!!)! Rita will understand.

Earliest reporting from the heavily Democratic 4th District shows, at 1% reporting overall, Pryor (D) at 75% and Fisher (D) at 73%. Understand, this is equivalent to reporting Crawford, Texas only in the W. Bush presidential race.


Vicky goes to get the wine!! She Rocks! My three fingers are sewing like the wind. The guys at Bypass Liquor dig her more anyway.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:31 PM

Missouri Results

Gephardt only has 53% of the vote so far without any full-on Republican campaign. I don't find that very impressive...

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:19 PM

The Excuses Begin

Redistricting of Pulaski County is being blamed on voter confusion about where to vote and shortages of ballots with the correct candidates (via the local CBS affiliate). Hutchinson will not comment on the current problem.

So, they are going to leave the heaviest democratic districts open for an extra hour and a half. The dems may be able to pull a full slate with this plan.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:05 PM


We are about to officially become the 2002 Election LaughingstockTM I don't want to hear from any of you lame-o's in Mass., Florida or Oklahoma. The trophy is OURS DAMMIT, ALL OURS....BWAH HA HA HA....

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:54 PM

I know that wasn't the most well written post, but my lovely wife was literally typing it as they were speaking (she types like a girl, namely Mavis Beacon).
This is unbelievable. Wouldn't yu think that the polling place would be prepared for every registered voter? Oh wait, that's the problem, they probably were, it just the non-registered and/or dead people they weren't prepared for.

What I said above may have been in a fit of pique, but I doubt it.

I'm confident with the precedent set in St Louis during the 2000 campaign, that a judge that can actually read will overturn this.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:51 PM

KHBS is reporting that the Pulaski County (Little Rock) polls open for an extra hour and a half. Alleged problems with election machinery, and a shortage of ballots. People not given opportunity to vote; Dems got an injunction issued ; county will cast 1/7th of votes in the election. They have every reason to believe Pryor will carry the county, so dems took initiative to get the injunction.

Also: Pryor 51 Hutchinson 49 - Record turnout in NW Arkansas (Heavily Republican)

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:20 PM

I feel sooooooo Citizeny

I know I'm 7 minutes late. I truly believe my poll workers lost their election cherries during the very competitive Dewey/Truman race (I know, ageism).

It was extremely busy at my polling place. There were at least 40 people ahead of me when I arrived. All of the tables were full (yes, folding tables with pencil and paper, only the handicapped voting area had any privacy). By the time I was finished there were even more people in line and coming into the parking lot as I left. All in all, it was a good experience, except for the fact that I have an 11 letter last name, which always adds to time searching the rolls.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:15 PM

I'm showing hits from, aren't they in recess? Besides, the Republican house candidate in our district is guaranteed to win by 100%

FYI, there are a few loose ends to tie up, then the commute to the polls and then home. Full-Time blogalacious election coverage will commence around 7PM CST.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 4:13 PM

#$%@#% Blogger!!!
The Movable Type site goes up this weekend!

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:00 AM

Mark Pryor: Frugal or Cheap?
Rita (of the unpronouncable Latin blog name) has a great post on Pryor's housekeeper. I think this story broke too late to do much damage, but the striking thing is that he said she made less than $1,000 in the 4-5 months she worked for him.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:06 AM

...mmmmmm Donuts!

I'll bet this exit poll is more accurate than VNS.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:54 AM

Very Informal Workplace Poll

Hutchinson wins despite himself.

Huckabee wins despite a very silly name.

Cat juggling is now a felony.

I never again have to pay sales tax on Wing-Dings, YooHoo or Percocet.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:45 AM


The Northwest Arkansas Times is predicting higher than normal turnout. Some of this may be based on the actual races, but IMHO it's probably more about the two hot button initiatives that are on the ballot (one making animal cruelty a felony and the big one removing the sales tax from groceries and medicine).

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:00 AM

Dang It

My initial hope for an early election controversy has been dashed. Vicky went to vote this morning and said it was smooth as silk. No banana republic death squads or even AARP diaper brigades. The lady at the polls told her to be sure and, "Fill the little circle plumb in". They were apparently extremely nice and very concerned that she voted properly. I'll be going there after work to see if the good attitude has legs.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:27 AM

The Commute

Another election day dawns. Another election where my wife and I will go to the polls and promptly cancel out each other's vote. I drive the 30 miles between Fayetteville and Bentonville on I-540 every morning and someone apparently got very energetic between my trip home last night and the drive in this morning. About every four to five miles they planted a cluster of "Vote Today" and "Vote Hutchinson" along both sides of the freeway and in the median. There were also Hutchinson supporters standing at the bottom of the exit ramp waving signs. I know that Democrats in Northwest Arkansas are rare at best, but I've not seen anything like this amount of activity since I moved here.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 7:49 AM

Monday, November 04, 2002  

My Election Day Pledge

I am going to to do my best to post as much of the local Arkansas and surrounding states election news as possible. I even promised Bill Quick that I would. The best part is that it really doesn't matter whether I get a single hit more than the 89 my sorry little site already has. I really enjoy this crap, unlike my lovely wife.

Feel free to tune in, updates could start as early as 8am CST. Vicky can go to the polls early, I, however, having to be at work at 6:30 or so, have to wait until the evening. At least she'll be able to give me a feel of the turnout in our little microcosm.

I do have to mention at this point that Fayetteville has the candidate with the best name in politics, Bootsie Ackerman no, seriously, that's her name. In this particular race that's the only hook we have to vote on. Bootsie is the Republican. Sue Madison, the Democrat, has T-Shirts that say, "Love Mother Earth". My wife takes great joy in wearing it around the house just to annoy me.

Tune in on election day, Rita and I'll take Arkansas, Juan Gato will have Missouri, Mike Silverman takes Kansas, Alex is all over Lousiana and Chris will cover Oklahoma.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 11:55 PM

My Day With 43

I was so looking forward to today. Not only did I get out of a half day of work, I was going to witness a scene which always give me the chills. You know, where the President, the most powerful man in the Free World steps out of the plane all alone, comes down the steps, and salutes. I know I am an emotional schmuck, but I love that.

Anyway, President Bush made his final campaign stop here in Northwest Arkansas today (just as he did before the 2000 election, please god don't let that be an omen). It was actually quite fun. Aside from the logistical problem (the closest parking was around three miles from the location of the rally), and the interminable speeches from the "down-ticket" candidates, I was fairly impressed. In all, the event was much less partisan than your typical Paul Wellstone funeral. About the biggest slur I noticed was the use of the word "Daschlecrats", which I found rather amusing, especially after trying to merge the words Bush and Republican (Bublican was as close as I came).

Laura Bush was with the President, it was her birthday, and he was smart enough to apologize to her for dragging her all over the cuountry as a present (how can you not love a guy with instincts like that?).

As for the meat of his speech, you can watch the clips on any of your favorite 24 hour drivel channels, what you can't appreciate is the impact of seeing it live. Being less than ten feet from guy who'd rather kill terrorists than kill the other party, and by all appearances, at least feels a little of the conviction he displays is pretty moving. The sad part is, I don't even consider myself a GOP guy, more of a small "l" libertarian (legalizing heroin is a stupid, losing issue), and even more, an anti-idiotarian. I hate that Bush tolerates the idiocy of Harvey Pitt, and even more some of the moves that are being made at the State Department, but overall, when you hear him say, in person, "Those people need to be killed", it's hard not to agree.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:53 PM

Saturday, November 02, 2002  

Tripping Across the Bologoverse

The Professor receives correspondence which may signal the beginning of The Distinguished Gentleman from Minnesota's political career, desired or not. I'm all for it, he may be the only person that could adequately duplicate the sheer entertainment that was a floor speech by Senator Wellstone. I would, however, be laughing WITH Mr. Lileks.

Gasp....almost 11 days without anything from journalist/commentator/oppressor!

And BTW, what the hell happened to Ken Layne? (My supposition is that he neglected to pay the gravity bill and is stuck to the ceiling, either that or he's on a MAJOR bender)

Virginia examines political gay-baiting and applies a couple of slaps on the wrist.

Mickey Kaus doesn't think the Wellstone "memorial" was so bad (fifth item) and theorizes that were the situation reversed, Hilary and Daschle would be booed by the GOP faithful. I'm a little surprised by his use of tu quoque argument to justify that festering pusshole of shame. On the other hand, his post regarding the effect of the current economy on welfare reform is heartening.

El Gato Grande needs chicken, and has a fantastic idea for Fox's next reality show.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 2:06 PM

Tuesday, October 29, 2002  

Today's Headlines of Genius

Arizona Shooter Was 'Angry' Oh, do tell!

U.S. names American killed in Moscow I have no doubt that he was named at or near the time of his birth.

Update! Juan Gato agrees about the first one.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:34 AM

Money, Money, Money, Money...............................MONEY!

Yet more evidence of what most people knew about Gray Davis. Only in California would someone spend $65 million to stay at 43% in the polls.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:25 AM

Mr Moore, Meet Mr Clue

(via Instapundit)
Rachel Lucas, who wins "Best Use of the Word Piquant" in the BlogoverseTM absolutely decimates Michael Moore's latest vomitous offerings. It's too good to excerpt, but I will anayway:

"Thank you, Mr. Heston for this unnecessary carnage. Thank you, Mr. Bush, for supporting Mr. Heston and his group's agenda -- which protects only the criminals. And thank you, Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., for providing the gun used to shoot the 13 people in the DC area."

Yes. And thank you, Mr. Henry Ford for the unnecessary carnage and fatalities numbering in the millions. Thank you, stockholders of America, for supporting automobile manufacturers and their agenda - which results in tens of thousands of violent deaths every year in this country alone.
And thank you, Boeing, for providing the four aircraft used to murder 3,000 people last year. After all, we wouldn't want to hold the 19 hijackers solely responsible for that mass murder. Let's blame the guys who built the airplanes! They surely could not have knocked down two giant buildings without them. Thanks, Boeing!

Read it all.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 8:18 AM

Monday, October 28, 2002  

So, my lovely wife ends up as Fozzie and I, the hardcore capitalist, end up as:

Yuoo ere-a zee Svedeesh Cheff!
Yuoo ere-a a guud cuuk, thuoogh yuoo cun't speek Ingleesh fery vell. Bork Bork Bork!

I wanted to be Animal...

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 9:24 PM

Wednesday, October 23, 2002  

The University of Arkansas Takes Up the Mantle of OU and Miami circa 1985?

A Razorback Team Captain is now off the team, arrested on drug charges. 22-year-old Jermaine Brooks was a Starter Defensive Tackle for the Razorbacks. Take a look at why he's in trouble: undercover police officers say they found in Brooks apartment more than seven pounds of marijuana, more than $16,000 in cash, several rifles and handguns, and various drug paraphernalia.

Seven Pounds?!?! That doesn't sound like an official "Woody Harrelson" personal use quantity. What amazes me is the focus on football:

It's never a good time for something like this to happen, but this is an especially bad time for several reasons, besides the fact that this sidelines the career of this football player. Homecoming is just three days away, and ESPN is filming a behind-the-scenes look at the Razorbacks.

Oh, how horrible, ESPN is in town and we're going to look bad!!

Fortunately, Jermaine, a 23 year old with a degree in Industrial Technology, halfway to his masters, has an explanation:

Brooks responded to the charges in a phone interview on Wednesday morning. Brooks said, "tell everyone I made a mistake, a big mistake. I would like to tell all Razorback fans, Razorback teammates, family, friends, and especially the coaching staff, that I am truly sorry. I made this mistake, and therefore I apologize to everyone for the decision that I made."

To make matters even worse (gasp), also arrested was his girlfriend, Auburn (ignore the irony). Thankfully, the local media finally finds something troubling about this:

This situation is also troubling, because it also involves a Razorback ambassador, of sorts. 21-year-old Auburn Celeste Williams is Brooks' girlfriend, she is a Razorback Belle, and she also faces drug charges.

I've been in Fayetteville almost five years and while I am not an enormous Razorback fan (Go Kansas State!!) I have begrudgingly begun following and rooting for the Hogs (I still refuse to do that Wooo Pig Souie thing, though). This was a guy that came from a horrible background that hadn't had any trouble that I can remember. He was on the academic honor roll and regardless of whether he had a shot in the NFL (which he probably did) he had a fruitful life in front of him. I feel horrible that he made this choice, I feel even worse that the kids on the team have to deal with the ridiculous media. Can you honestly believe that they will be asked a question that doesn't reference this for the rest of the season?

IDIOT SPORTS REPORTER: So Billybobarkansasplayer, your team finished the season with eight straight wins, including a crushing defeat of Miami in the Orange Bowl. how did the Jermaine Brooks incident draw the team together?

IDIOT SPORTS REPORTER (who's name rhymes with bark): So Billybobarkansasplayer, you losers failed to score a single point the rest of the season after the Jermaine Brooks incident, could this team just not come together after such a trial?

If this sounds ridiculous, indulge me, here are the three top headlines gleaned from Google News:

Arkansas Tackle Dismissed From Team - Chicago Tribune

Arkansas tackle booted off team after arrest - Houston Chronicle

Arkansas Tackle Kicked Off Team - San Francisco Chronicle

One of three major newspapers in the country mention the arrest in the headline (this is understandable for the Houston Chronicle as all Texans hate Arkansas). Honestly though, is this actually the most important aspect of the story? I didn't go to one of the prestigious J-Schools, but I'm pretty sure this is what is known as "burying the lede". Either that or showing the media's complete and irredeemable shallowness.

posted by Matt Drachenberg | 10:01 PM
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