Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Speaking of military intelligence

Gosh, this brain-reduction surgery sure has slowed down the old faculties, not to mention the blog postings. Just so long as we don’t get too stupid and start liking Dixie Chicks music or Barbra Streisand…

Speaking of religion and the military, one of the cases we’ve been following is that of Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who’s had career problems over the issue of praying in Jesus’ name (which they’d really prefer he not do). Now our culture warrior chaplain is taking up another cause—the election. And here’s what he’s asking the rest of us to do:

Buy a TV commercial for $150, and influence the vote that could overturn Roe v. Wade:
Go here.

Go here.
(I found Virginia, Ohio, and Tennessee particularly revealing...)

Go here.

We’ve posted this because, obviously, we agree. The only thing we’d add is there are other fine voters’ guides in addition to the one Chaplain Klingenschmitt cited, such as this one from Focus on the Family’s state Family Policy Councils.

Election blockbuster

A note on the South Dakota situation:

God is moving there. The last abortion clinic in the state, run by Planned Parenthood, has to fly docs in from out of state, as there are no more docs in South Dakota willing to perform this murderous procedure. And one of the last of those, Dr. Patti Giebink, has repented of her former involvement and has joined the Vote Yes for Life forces. In fact, she has taped a bombshell commercial there appealing for voters to reject the referendum attempt to scuttle South Dakota’s abortion ban.

You can view that dynamite commercial here.

Is this an important election, or what? You betcha.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Air Force Academy case: Crime against truth

Any day Barry Lynn is vexed is a red-letter day in our book. Mr. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is currently bummed because one of his pet cases just got laughed out of federal court in Albuquerque. That was the ridiculous case of Mikey Weinstein against the Air Force Academy, its chaplains, its football coach and some of its brass, whose Christianity was way too public for Mr. Weinstein, a cadet dad.

Count Abe Foxman, commandant of the Anti-Defamation League, as similarly honked. He was another principal in the caper, as predictably drawn in as a gadfly to a barnyard. Add a grand dollop of media hype and—voila!—another manufactured scandal. And when a Focus on the Family publication had the audacity to expose some of these unseemly machinations, guess what Mr. Foxman called it?

Good golly, can you believe it? “Anti-semitism.” Yeah. Shocking. Shocking, I say. Actually, it was the same thing he said when the same publication exposed the extremism of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Stephen Reinhardt, who’s married to the head of the ACLU for southern California and who also happens to be Jewish. Yep, sounds like a racist conspiracy to us.

Or if you take the trouble to read “Architecture of a Smear,” you might find that the real victim here was the truth. The whole controversy was generated by an anti-war radical feminist Yale Divinity School professor whose report as a consultant was mysteriously leaked to the media, which then prompted Messrs. Lynn and Foxman to “investigate.”

It’s a commentary in itself that the very folks leading the charge to sandblast every vestige of God from every inch of the public square have themselves so little respect for the truth. You can read what the judge thought about their case here and here.

The only thing dampening our own jubilation is the knowledge that it won’t end here. Messrs. Lynn and Foxman will be back. And it seems Mr. Weinstein has been busy building his little hobby horse into an Eiffel Tower. As the Gazette reported, “ ‘We will refile our lawsuit as quickly as possible,’ Weinstein said in a prepared statement issued by his Military Religious Freedom Foundation.” [Emphasis added.]

“Military Religious Freedom Foundation.” Has such a nice ring to it, don’t you think? And so American—freedom from religion.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Vote smart

Not sure what happened, but our ISP was knocked out for an entire day. Then we got socked in by a killer blizzard. Enough excuses. Now for the news:

We’re not a big fan of get-out-the-vote hoopla. If anything, we suspect that far too many people are casting uninformed votes. So, if you really must vote, for crying out loud take a little time to figure out who, what and why. There are all kinds of aids out there to cut the job down to size for the busiest of people. No, we’re not talking about Nancy Pelosi and her ability to scare the pants off of anybody remotely tempted to vote for Ds.

We’re talking about the proliferation of voters’ guides by people who’ve done the homework you don’t have time for. One of our favorites, when it comes to Congress is a joint effort of Focus on the Family Action and FRC Action, called the 2006 Vote Scorecard. Using votes on family-values issues including abortion, marriage and embryonic stem cell research, the Scorecard rates each congressman and senator on a scale of zero (such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi) to 100 (Sen. Rick Santorum).

With a little checking, you can avail yourself of similar tools for state candidates for office—which is no less important. It’s a little-known fact that abortion in this country is being rolled back and tamped down state by state by incremental legislation, such as parental notification and parental consent laws. Unfortunately, legislators can pass all the laws in the world, and if the governors refuse to sign them, it’s all for naught. And, yes, there are a number of governorships in the balance this election.

Another thing we've found useful and handy: Get an absentee ballot. Many states allow this for any reason (or no reason). Our reason is we hate getting into the voting booth and finding out when it's too late that there's a candidate or an issue that's a total surprise and our vote becomes an uninformed coin toss. If that happens with the absentee ballot, you can interrupt the process until you can get the information to vote in an informed manner.

So, as they say: Vote early and often. But only if you know what the heck it is you’re doing. Please.

Monday, October 23, 2006

America's worst journalists

As promised, here is the fist draft of America’s 100 Worst Journalists. It also falls a bit shy of 100. So, we’re counting on you to come up with some nominees we’ve missed. There’s special potential for No. 34—Obscure Locals. Like it sounds, these would be journalists largely unknown outside their own markets who have had ethical lapses that would have made the news had they not been journalists (or had they, of course, been conservatives).

The amazing thing is how quickly you get into high double digits without much strain. Talk about shooting fish in a barrel. . .

1. David Gregory—the mouth

2. Marv Albert—kinky

3. Dan Rather—forgery

4. Katie Couric—Ms. Bias

5. James Risen—NYT national security buster

6. Bryant Gumbel—jerk

7. Charles Kuralt—double life

8. Walter Cronkite—granddaddy lib

9. Keith Olbermann—BDS purveyor

10. Connie Chung—deceit

11. Linda Deutsch—bias

12. Robert Scheer—lefty

13. Jayson Blair—plagiarism

14. Stephen Glass—plagiarism

15. Janet Cook—plagiarism

16. Seymour Hersh—fiction writing

17. H.L. Mencken—anti-Semite

18. Walter Duranty—NYT, “Stalin’s journalist” (Pulitzer Prize)

19. Eason Jordan—CNN covering for Saddam

20. Mike Wallace—wouldn’t help a soldier

21. Leslie Stahl—bias

22. Morley Safer—bias

23. Steve Croft & Don Hewitt (producer) —60 Minutes puff piece on Hillary & Bill

24. Peter Arnett—traitor

25. Chris Matthews— bias (tearing into Michelle Malkin, et al.)

26. Molly Ivins—BDS purveyor

27. Christiane Amanpour—limousine liberal

28. Anderson Cooper—unhhinged

29. Maureen Dowd—where do we start?

30. Margaret Carlson—flaky lefty

31. Nina Totenberg—vicious bias

32. Bill Maher—jerk

33. Daily Kos, et al. —lefty bloggers

34. Obscure locals—hometown reporter with liberal conflict of interest

35. Dana Milbank—national security threat

36. Adam Clymer—major you-know-what

37. Hunter Thompson—nutter

38. Gary Webb—anti-government conspiracy theorist (suicide)

39. Bob Woodward—fiction writer

40. Bill Moyers—bias

41. Linda Greenhouse—bias

42. Andrew Sullivan—class of his own

43. Helen Thomas—out of control

44. Howell Raines—liberal elitist

45. Arthur Sulzberger—liberal elitist

46. Katherine Graham—liberal elitist

47. Howard Stern—pottymouth

48. Don Imus—nutter

49. Mary Mapes—serial libeler

50. Clint Willis—Bush hater

51. Joe Conason—Bush hater

52. David Brock—gay former Spectator writer, went after Anita Hill

53. Margot Adler—NPR, practicing witch

54. Stone Phillips—nutter

55. Cokie Roberts—bias

56. Meredith Vieira—anti-war, from the View to Today, replacing Couric

57. E.J. Dionne—bias

58. Linda Wertheimer (NPR, wife of Common Cause Fred)

59. Ellen Goodman – Jill Carroll & bloggers

60. Eleanor Clift—BDS, bias

61. Andy Rooney—liberal curmudgeon

62. Jonathan Alter, Newsweek—cheap shot artist

63. Cindy Rodriguez (v. Bill O’Reilly) —cheap shot artist

64. Bill Keller (NYT) —indictable

65. Len Downie (WaPo) —bias

66. Dean Baquet (LAT) —bias

67. Stephen Kinzer—NYT left-wing foreign correspondent

68. Dana Priest—WaPo, national security threat (secret prisons overseas)

69. Mike Luckovich—BDS cartoonist

70. Ted Rahl—beneath contempt lefty cartoonist

71. Bilal Hussein—terrorist stringer photog for AP

72. Carl Bernstein—bias

73. Ariana Huffington—liberal elitist

74. Rick Bragg—drive-by journalism

75. Nik Cohn—fiction writing

76. Michael Finkel—fiction writing

77. A.J. Liebling—fiction writing

78. Jesse McKinley—on the take

79. Bernard Weinraub—plagiarism

80. Rosie O’Donnell—BDS, arrogance

81. Nina Burleigh—oral sex to Clinton for keeping abortion legal

82. Jim Axelrod—CBS, bias

83. Ellen Goodman—bias

84. Leslie Cauley—national security threat

85. Inayat Bunglawala— “Reuters death threat”

86. David Schlesigner—Reuters global managing editor, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”

87. Eric Licthblau—with Jas. Risen

Sunday, October 22, 2006

ROSCOE'S Weak-End Review

Get along home, Cindy, Cindy

She doesn’t make the cut for the top 10, but Denver Post columnist Cindy Rodriguez is on our list of the 100 Worst Journalists in America. She’s consistently wrong-headed, mean-spirited and hopelessly knee-jerk PC, even for our run-of-the-mill mainstream mediocracy. Now she’s ripping conservative “values voters”—the ones who’ve elected conservative Republicans to Congress and the White House—as stupid, ignorant “sheeple,” easily led by evil men like Dr. James Dobson and Karl Rove.

Our friend Pete Winn, one of the smartest fellows we know—and a conservative Christian—has nailed her on it. In her recent column Rodriguez included in her lengthy indictment: "Carrie Gordon Earll, a policy analyst with FOTF [Dobson's Focus on the Family], said during a televised debate last week that if gay people are given the right to marry, polygamists will be next." Cindy apparently assumes her readers will agree this is preposterous.

Winn’s response:

Do you not read your own newspaper, Cindy? It was reported nationwide that the American Civil Liberties Union — which has provided the primary legal efforts behind the same-sex marriage crusade — recently weighed in on the side of polygamists in a Utah case.

Ask them. They seem to be proud of it. In their own news release they said the following:

"Living arrangements are really the most intimate kinds of decisions people make," said ACLU of Utah Legal Director Stephen Clark. "Talking to Utah's polygamists is like talking to gays and lesbians who really want the right to live their lives, and not live in fear because of whom they love. So certainly that kind of privacy expectation is something the ACLU is committed to protecting."

Moreover, in the recent ACLU members meeting in Washington, D.C., President Nadine Strossen committed the group to championing polygamy rights.

Actually, we didn’t know that about the ACLU, but it’s no big surprise. And that’s just one example. The whole piece is definitely worth a read. In fact, subscribing to the CitizenLink electronic newsletter is a good move for daily one-stop shopping for values voter news and information.

Meanwhile, we’ll think about posting our list of the Worst Journalists in America. We’re not quite up to 100, but maybe you could help us go over the top with some suggestions of your own. There are lots of Cindys out there. Unfortunately.

Friday, October 20, 2006

ROSCOE’S Weak-End Review

Grow up, Air Force cops

It’s never a good thing when military police try to push civilians around. It’s even worse when they do it to kids. Some of those people seem to need counseling more than they need guns and badges.

To wit: A recent episode at Air Force Academy High School in Colorado Springs, where three cheerleaders were arrested, handcuffed and hauled off to jail, where they were patted down, told to remove their shoelaces and generally terrorized before being released. Their crime? Covering up some letters on the word “Douglass” on a sign for nearby Douglass Valley Elementary School so it would read “ass Valley Elementary School.”

Really. Oh, yeah, and swiping some traffic cones from the parking lot. Most normal people would recognize this as a garden variety high school prank. The difference in this case is that these two schools are on the grounds of the Air Force Academy and therefore subject to military security. Guess they don’t get a lot of opportunity to try out their training, so this particular incident attracted four—count ‘em, four—squad cars for these three dangerous girls.

School officials protested the over-reaction, saying the officers had their hands on their weapons during the entire confrontation. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, “School officials asked security officers to allow the district to decide how to discipline the girls and not to detain them, but the request was denied by the flight chief on duty.”

This is a dangerous situation for civilians, though no surprise to us. When our daughter attended this school a few years ago, I had an encounter with these people that I can only describe as abusive. For simply not stopping at first where I was supposed to while picking my daughter up from band practice, I was screamed at, threatened with arrest and generally intimidated for a good 20 minutes by a pea-brained martinet with an anger management problem who apparently thought he was Sgt. Carter dressing down Gomer Pyle.

It was all I could do to restrain myself and not punch his lights out. Some day someone will. Some day someone’s going to get hurt.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pardon my nuke

North Korea’s Imperial Majesty Kim Jong Il would like you all to know that he regrets that little nuclear event last weekend. But he insisted to the contingent of nunchuck-brandishing Chinese “diplomats” who visited him yesterday in Pyongyang that he didn’t really mean anything by the nuke test.

“Heck, if we’d been serious, you’d know it,” he said. “Portland and Seattle would be toast. Maybe San Diego, too. Our guidance systems still need work.”

Kim said the nuclear detonation wasn’t really intended to be a hostile act directed at anyone in particular. “It was really—what do you call it?—performance art.”

“We regret any inconvenience, or dirty diapers, this has caused anyone,” he added. “We really didn’t do it, and we promise not to do it again. Sorry.”

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan was quick to embrace Kim’s new conciliatory posture. “His word is good enough for me,” Anan said with a straight face. “If Mr. Kim isn’t a man of his word, then I’m not a good judge of character.”

Yet another medical update

Today’s lab results confirm that the Roscoe is not in a life-threatening position with anti-clotting blood levels, if we ever were. That first result was probably a fluke or a lab error, thankfully. By the way, did you know that what they give you to thin your blood is actually rat poison? That’s right. It’s coumadin (or warfarin), which kills rats by causing them to spontaneously bleed to death.

Anyway, our particular levels of rat poison are apparently settling into the safe zone at last without serious side effects. Unless you count the irresistible compulsion to hoard shiny objects and to leave our droppings all over tarnation.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We have a winner!

What do you call a male partner in a homosexual "marriage" and a female partner in a lesbian “marriage”? We asked that question Monday after the Associated Press took it upon themselves to dub the late Congressman Gerry Studds’s partner, Dean Hara, Studds’s “husband.” (We wondered if, by not calling Hara Sudds’s “wife,” they knew something about the relationship that we didn’t.)

Well, now the Washington Post publishes this story today: “No Death Benefits for Studds’s Spouse.” It seems the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress 10 years ago bars the government from recognizing the Studds-Hara Massachusetts marriage. But notice what the Post called Hara: “Studds’s Spouse.”

Well, “spouse” is, in fact, kind of a unisex designator. Gee, we wonder what rocket scientist figured that one out? Well, if you look closely, this was actually a wire service story—from guess who? Yep. The Associated Press. Ah-ha. We gather that the original “husband” obit raised a few more eyebrows than just ours, and even the avant garde mediocrats over at the AP had to backpedal a bit. Some of these people have been drinking the Kool-Aid so long they’ve lost their reality factor. If they ever had one. . .

For the rest of us, we might just have fallen upon a brand-new simile for the 21st century: “As phony as a Massachusetts marriage.”

Walking the dog

The other tidbit that came out of the Studds story was the cause of death. What the former congressman succumbed to while walking his dog: Blood clots. Yikes! Yes, doctor. We’re taking our coumadin like a good boy. Oh yes, we are.

Seriously, the DVT (deep-vein thrombosis) clinic called the Roscoe today to report that maybe we can resume walking the dog. That blood draw from Monday that showed us to be so off the charts in anti-clotting factor that a nosebleed could be life-threatening might have been a fluke. The Tuesday numbers were only fractionally out of the good range.

Whew! So, back to work, it is. We really were getting a bit tired of plodding through all those back issues of National Geographic. (However, we did manage to master some mean new licks on the mandolin. . .)

Roscoe’s best

Our little sis, Stacy, does so many cool things—counseling, podcasting, several blogs, on-line book reviews—that we about can’t keep up with it all. So, we’re trying to remedy that with a brand new link to her main blog, Stacy L. Harp. We highly recommend making her part of your regular browse.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Is that a gun in your pocket, Sheriff?

Does anybody know exactly when it was we took that sudden detour into an alternate reality where truth is much stranger than fiction? I mean, stuff like this has become almost the norm anymore:

DENVER—A candidate for Pitkin County sheriff says a film he made of himself masturbating should not disqualify him from being sheriff. He said it is a healthy example of performance art. [Rest of the Associated Press story here.]

He even says he considers himself a good role model for young people. His name is Rick Magnuson, and if he gets elected, the already unusual community of Aspen is bound to become even stranger. “Oh no, Sheriff. This isn’t a mugging/rape/bank robbery/drug sale I’m doing—it’s performance art. See the camera?”

In fairness, the film reportedly never actually shows Magnuson’s, uh, package, just his arm “in motion” from behind. Well, there are just way too many easy crude jokes here—Magnuson needing to get a grip on himself, etc.—and we’ll try to resist. Most of them, anyway.

But we’d be remiss if we didn’t advise the voters of Pitkin County to give Magnuson this clear message in November: “Beat it.”

The plane truth

Speaking of performance art, did you see that video going around of an F4 Phantom crashing into a concrete barrier at 500 mph and vaporizing? Now, why would the military want to go and destroy a multimillion-dollar machine like that? We gather that it had something to do with seeing if nuclear power plant containments were strong enough to withstand a 9/11-type assault. Kind of makes sense.

The good news is that the concrete barrier survived intact, but the jet did not. Go here and see for yourself. It’s also apparently on You Tube. Those circulating this thing say it’s the perfect answer to lefty-wingnuts who claim 9/11 was a government conspiracy because, hey, where are the leftover pieces of the plane that supposedly hit the Pentagon?

The answer, which this video dramatically illustrates, is that under such conditions the plane is completely incinerated. Like vaporized. There are no leftovers to speak of. Scratch yet another conspiracy theory. (Not that it will stop them.)

Medical update

Several of you have indicated you’re praying for the ol’ Roscoe’s full recovery. (Bless you.) Well, we were actually supposed to return to work Wednesday, but there’s been another bizarre development. All those shots in the belly and oral medication were supposed to boost our anti-clotting blood levels to a 2 or 3. But when the lab results came back today, we were at a 9. Yikes! That means a paper cut or a razor nick could be serious. The clinic says they know of only one other person who got that far over the line, and he’s still alive to tell the tale.

So, by all means, don’t stop praying. And thanks. -- Roscoe

Monday, October 16, 2006

ASK ROSCOE: Poor, poor, pitiful GOP me

Dear Roscoe:

My comment about your Gerry Studds piece: [See Sunday’s “First openly homosexual congressman dies at 69.”] You’re ignorant. You’re a homophobe. And you’re obviously a right-wingnut Republican shill. But I suppose your mother loves you.

--D. Brock

Dear D.:

Well, I’m glad you brought that up, actually. What was it that made that Through the Looking Glass obit of Congressman Gerry “Page Me” Studds especially timely? Right—the current Mark Foley congressional page scandal. You know, the Dems’ October Surprise attack on the GOP in the run-up to the November election.

Hmm. Well, that being the case, can you tell me what party Congressman Studds belonged to? Don’t bother looking at the Associated Press obit. I read it three times, and not once did it mention Studds’ party affiliation. Now, why do you suppose that might be? Do you think if Studds had been a Republican that it might have rated a mention? (Don’t make me laugh; I’ve got a needle in my belly.)

Bottom line: Would you rather be a right-wingnut Republican or a dishonest, hypocritical, truth-perverting neo-lib Democrat? You decide.


P.S. Nah. My mother couldn’t really stand me, either.

Dear Roscoe:

You’re ignorant. Husbands are males and wives are females. So, if a gay man is married to another man, they’re both each other’s husband. And if a lesbian is married to another lesbian, they’re both each other’s wife. What’s so difficult about that, you moron?

--B. Streisand

Dear F-Bomb:

You sure about that? What if you’re a cigar-smoking, oil-changing dominant butch bull dyke—are you going to want to be called somebody’s “wife”? And what if you’re a raving, macramé-ing, interior-decorating, effeminating kind of guy—do you want to be called the “husband”?

Maybe. But we think this is a long way from settled law, and you may be making way too many assumptions. Rather than stealing somebody else’s good name, why don’t these folks try to be a little more original and come up with different names for these new situations?

The Swedes, for example, don’t call all four grandparents “grandmother” and “grandfather.” Each one has a different name: Farmor is the father’s mother. Farfar is the father’s father. Morfar is the mother’s father. And Mormor is the mother’s mother.

I know: Let’s start a Name-the-Partner contest. For the person who comes up with the winning entry, The Roscoe Daley Report will award one free copy of Prayers for the Assassin in its paperback edition, coming out in two weeks.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

ROSCOE'S Weak-End Review

First openly homosexual congressman dies at 69

Don’t look now, but they’re hijacking our reality again. Get this:

BOSTON (AP) -- Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said. [Emphasis added.]

We’re not even going to quibble over the word “gay.” That battle was lost a long time ago. But husband? Look, AP, I’m a member of that “husband” class that you’ve just offended. How about this: “Studds collapsed while walking his dog, his partner said.” You have to go and commit a whole new verbicide?

Go here to visit the scene of the crime.

See, that’s the kind of reality confusion that results when courts start playing God. It seems that former Congressperson Studds “married” his “husband,” Dean Hara, in 2004 in Massachusetts, right after that state “legalized” holy homosexual wedlock. Which, of course, makes it all OK. If God’s got a problem with that, well, maybe He’d just better go find Himself another gig, huh?

So, AP—obviously buying into the whole Massachusetts alternative-reality thing—must have figured they had to accord Mr. Hara a title higher than “partner,” which falls short of society’s official sanction. But what we want to know is how the AP knew Hara was the “husband” and not the “wife”? Has anybody thought to ask the dog? Maybe Hara was really the bitch. Could it be that what we have here is an insidious case of AP discrimination against canine-Americans? Hmm.

No more Mr. Nice Guy

Like we said, we’re a little cranky these days, what with all this sticking of needles into the belly to avoid a blood-clot croaking. So, we hope we can be forgiven if we seem to be taking some perverse delight in the misfortunes of others:

o Like Adam Gadahn, the American-born yellow snake who’s doing the Tokyo Rose gig for al Qaeda, and has now been officially charged with treason. About time, we say. It’s a message that desperately needs to be sent. Speaking of needles, the only better thing that could happen would be for this low-life to get nabbed, convicted and given something a little stronger than a flu shot. Listen up, New York Times and all the rest of you who are aiding and abetting America’s enemies with impunity. . .

o Like Kim Jong Il, who’s managed to further isolate himself in the eyes of the world and even the mainstream mediocracy, while the Bush administration gets some hard-to-come-by kudos. Not that these UN sanctions approved over the weekend are anywhere near strong enough. John Bolton wanted to get North Korea expelled from the United Nations. Indeed. That’s exactly what needs to happen with both North Korea and Iran. The price of readmission: Nuclear disarmament. You can be crazy. You can have nukes. But you can’t be homicidally crazy and have nukes. That’s where the line has to be drawn.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sorry for the interruption in service. Refunds gladly provided. But we do have an excuse: Our post-op recovery took a sudden reversal on Wednesday, when the Roscoe was discovered to have a blood clot. That explained why the legs were aching like a bad tooth. But it also meant implementing an exciting therapy with blood thinners.

Exciting? Well, it’s sort of like this: Imagine taking a needle and injecting 80 milligrams of, oh, battery acid and cayenne pepper into your belly. Twice a day. Ooo-wee, baby. Ooo-wee.

Robbery an option?

OK, we’re willing to consider that our current outlook might be a tad jaundiced. Because normally we disapprove of such misbehavior as bank robbery. But today we find ourselves totally sympathizing with Timothy J. Bowers of Columbus, Ohio.

It seems Mr. Bowers, in despair over ever finding another job at the age of 63, stuck up a bank in hopes of obtaining three squares and a warm place to sleep at state expense until he qualifies for full Social Security benefits in three years. The judge accommodated him. There was no mention of a gun. In fact, the take was four $20 bills, which Mr. Bowers immediately handed to a guard as he surrendered. The Cincinnati Enquirer has the full story.

The prosecutor, Dan Cable, pretty much said it all: “It’s not the financial plan I would choose, but it’s a financial plan.”

Reality check: Is the Roscoe losing perspective here? Or does this hit you the way it does us? That is, we totally relate. Are we going the way of Europe, where people are forced into early retirement because employers are afraid to hire them? (When nanny state regs make it unlawful to discharge employees above a certain age, you can understand the reluctance to hire them in the first place.)

Having been on the job market in our 50s, we think we know whereof Mr. Bowers speaks. The hard reality that few are willing to acknowledge: Nobody wants you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hurray for Hollywood!

Bugged about F-Bomb Barbra and all the other BDS anti-American Hollyweirdos? Well, let’s suggest a slightly different perspective that could soften the sting a bit.

Not that these high-profile hyperventilations aren’t despicable, deplorable and truly unhinged. They are that and more. But how is all this outrageous stuff getting onto our radar screens in the first place? That’s right—courtesy of the old corrupt mainstream mediocracy. Think there might be just a wee little bit of a skew going on here? Think maybe there’s another side to this story that we aren’t being told? (I know, I know—what a shocking accusation.)

Case in point: Denzel Washington.

Yesterday we got one of those chain e-mail things that you’re supposed to rebroadcast to your whole address book. It was this wonderful story about how actor Denzel Washington visited injured troops recuperating at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Tex. Allegedly he was so moved by the experience that he whipped out a checkbook and wrote out a check on the spot to pay for the construction of one entire new “Fisher House,” for the housing of visiting kin.

It seemed just a little too pat to us, so we checked around and found a somewhat different account at Snopes, which purported to debunk this “urban legend.” Are you ready? Seems that this incident didn’t just happen “the other day”—it was actually December 2004, almost two years ago. Furthermore, Denzel didn’t write out a check on the spot for the full amount. He actually wrote a somewhat smaller check weeks later, for which the Brooke Army staff were deeply grateful.

That’s it.

Such a debunking. Would that the old corrupt mainstream mediocracy were half as accurate in its routine news coverage. The fact here remains that Denzel did commit a major act of charitable kindness, generosity and patriotism that deserves a heck of a lot more grateful attention that this. Don’t bother to look. The old corrupt mainstream mediocracy was too busy giving headlines to people like Cindy Sheehan and F-Bomb Barbra to waste any ink or pixels on Mr. Washington. Too bad.

Anyway, enough of this story is true to merit repeating what the apparent original author (someone named Sandy Persky) concluded:

The question I have is why does Alec Baldwin, Madonna, Sean Penn and other Hollywood types make front-page news with their anti-everything America crap and this doesn't even make page 3 in the Metro section of any newspaper except the base newspaper in San Antonio?

Why, indeed. So, next time we’re outraged and bummed out by some flako utterance from F-Bomb Barbra or her ilk, let’s remember Denzel Washington and the other side of the story. The one we’re not being told.

Monday, October 09, 2006

ASK ROSCOE: North Korea goes unclear

Dear Roscoe:

Is it true that North Korea had a nuclear test over the weekend? I’m confused by some of the conflicting accounts I’ve been hearing. Can you clarify?

--M. El-Baradei

Dear M.:

Yeah, why do you think Kim Jong-Il has been staying up so late studying lately? :-)

But seriously, M. You’ve come to the right place. I believe I can clear this up. We’re still waiting for the official clarification to come over the news wire, but we think this is a simple case of a typographical error. (Happens all the time when you go from an idiogram tongue to a real language, like English.) They just transposed a couple letters.

Instead of “NUclear,” it was really supposed to be “UNclear.” In other words, if little Kim wants us to believe he went NUclear, then where’s all the radiation and grotesque mutants and stuff? (Besides little Kim, we mean.) We suspect it was just a hundred gazillion Chinese M80s set off down in a hole to make us think he went nuclear. (Hah!) If that’s the standard, Cecil Cardinger and I were a nuclear power in the fourth grade.

Hope that, uh, clears it up for you, M. Glad we could help.


Dear Roscoe:

Um, what’s with this “brain-reduction” surgery? Frankly, from reading this blog we didn’t think you really had that much to spare. What’s being done with the leftovers?

--H. Dean, M.D.

Dear H.:

Oh. Think we’re so clever, do we? You’re a doctor, and you don’t know about the Brain Bank? From reading your petty partisan propaganda, I think you might want to look into getting a long-term loan.

FYI, the Brain Bank has various levels: Republican brains, $100 an ounce. Independent brains, $250 an ounce. Democrat brains, $1,000 an ounce.

Know why Democrat brains are so much more expensive? Hmm?

‘Cause it takes so d*** many more of them to get an ounce! That’s why.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Rumors of our demise. . .

Yeah, the worst is over. Roscoe is sitting up and taking nourishment—and sending out thankful vibes to all who cared. Also, thanks for the several who did help out by answering the survey. It’s literally given us encouragement to carry on.

And now, the news

We were particularly cheered at last to receive a reply from Robert Ferrigno, author of Prayers for the Assassin. (See several most recent posts.) Apparently we had a bum e-mail address for him, but he discovered our posts and made contact anyway.

Most interesting was the news that Prayers is coming out in paperback next month by Pocket Books. Check it out. As we said, there’s nothing better in fiction this year.

Even better news: The rumor that a sequel is in the works is true—a trilogy, even—which explains his absence from blogging. Says Robert:

“I've interrupted blogging for a bit, working very hard on the next book, the second installment of the Prayers trilogy, in which Rakkim, the disaffected Muslim hero from Book 1 journeys into the Bible Belt. Fun ensues. (I wrote Prayers as a stand-alone book, but always hoped it would be successful enough for Scribner to buy the rest. It was. They did.)

And we’re glad. Can’t wait for the next installment. And thanks for the kindly update, Robert.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

NEWS FLASH: Roscoe goes under the knife

By the time you read this, old Roscoe ought to be in the recovery room or already home from Wednesday morning surgery. (If you must know, it's brain reduction surgery, no biggie.) So, we'll be out of action for a little while--maybe a couple days. But, hey, that ought to give you even more time to help out the old Roscoe by answering the survey. Right? SEE below. Beginning to get the idea we're serious about this? It's not like we're asking for money or anything...