Friday, October 28, 2005

Got a smoke?

I have a friend who was a heroin addict for years. He dealt; he used. In the 1970s, he got caught. A plea bargain was arranged, but the judge wasn't interested in rehabilitation. He slammed Gary with 11 years, instead of the agreed-upon 3-with-detox at the Lexington FCI.

Gary took a runner on the feds. He knew that he couldn't be hanging out with drug dealers, so he had to quit the smack. He and his wife checked into a central Florida motel, and he went cold-turkey. Breta brought him damp towels and saltines for three days. He describes it as a massive hangover, not the dramatic Frank Sinatra screaming of "The Man With the Golden Arm." I've had some killer hangovers, and I can guess it wasn't fun, no matter how it lacked in drama.

Gary ran for 20 years, and eventually got nabbed. The judge appreciated his crime-free, sober lifestyle, and only tacked a couple of years for escape onto the original sentence. My friend paid his debt, and is currently a productive member of society. He never went back to the smack.

When he was released from prison, Gary decided that he was enjoying the clean and sober lifestyle to the point where he announced he was going to quit smoking. He proclaimed this to all who know him. I had the good fortune to see him some weeks later.

After "Hello! How are ya?" the next thing my friend asked was "You got a smoke?"

I reached for my pack, ready to shake one out, then hesitated. "I thought you quit."

"I did, but I've gotta tell was easier quitting heroin than it is quitting smoking."

Don't try this at home, kids. We're professionals.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

He's baaaaack!

Rumors of "The death of a great blog" are greatly exaggerated. As I had hoped and whined about, Great Scott Ott merely had a bad hair day, and changed servers. The new, improved ScrappleFace is back!

(See the links at right, and chase ScrappleFace. It's definitely worth the click.)

I took some heat for what was called a "slam" by some, and "attack mode" by others. It was an expression of sorrow, kids. Yeah, yeah, it was childish whining, too.

Scott Ott established a forum that is far more widespread than my little rants. For him to suddenly close it off to everyone distressed me far more than I could find adequate words for. Those who comment keep us sane; otherwise, we'd be talking about how good the coffee is at the local Waffle House. Despite the time and effort it costs him, Great Scott transcends this, and gives an open forum to people of like mind. He is also too kind, and too good of a Christian, to crack down to those who have nothing to say, but burn up his bandwidth anyhow, a.k.a. Those People. . . the dissenters. We will be hearing more from The Usual Suspects in the near future. That, too, is a rant for another day. For now, I am doing as I have advised others: hiding and watching.

Great Scott Ott is back, with a vengeance. I cannot catch up on his output, and I have been remiss on trying to update United Possums, for health reasons. Hence the picture. Don't ever do what I did, and light the first one. That's not Political Correctness; it's good sense. Nevertheless, it's my choice, and I made it. Someone has a book with a tag-line, and I heard it in my family first: "Take what you want, and pay for it."

Go chase the link at the right, to ScrappleFace; I can never hope to be as funny. Thank you, Scott, for not turning your back on us!

I do not say things to be nice. I am too old for that kind of gratuitousness. Scott Ott is damned good. This is my blog, and I can say that! Go see for yourself.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Birds! Eww!

In an attempt to capitalize on widespread public panic about a possible avian flu pandemic, McDonald's has introduced a new snack treat as an adjunct to their low-fat salads. The crunchy snack treat, made from spare parts of formerly contagious poultry, is guaranteed to be germ-free, reasonably healthy, and is promoted as quite tasty by the corporate giant, formerly known for its dominance as a purveyor of hamburgers and so-called "French fries."

"Chicken McNoggin is a low-cholesterol, fat-free alternative to our politically discredited meal known as 'The Big Mac with fries'" said Mr. Sandy McBurglar, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton. "Here at McDonald's, we strive to provide the fastest food at the lowest cost. We are also keenly aware of the obesity epidemic across America. The best thing we can do with those allegedly infected birds is turn them into tasty snack treats. There'll be no bird flu wherever our deep-fat friars are in operation. We have uses for chicken, and it isn't spreading disease to the American people."

Colonel Harlan Sanders, a noted advisor on poultry distribution in America, was unavailable for comment.

Sales of the tasty snack treat are expected to be especially high in Third World countries.

Monday, October 17, 2005

So proud!

I am so proud to be a white man! The Nazis in Toledo have done me proud! My people came here from Ireland years ago, never owned slaves, and fought for what they thought was right with the Confederacy. We came out on the wrong side of history, but as a family, we never lost our sense of decency.
What in the world are those people thinking? If I have any claim to superiority, it is because I think, not because of my color. The trait of thinking is not confined to any race or culture that I'm aware of. I do not want to hear of colored people saying they're victims of some white oppression, nor do I want to hear some pale white dude telling me he's somehow upscale. I want to hear ideas, not sad-sack laments.

An old bartender in Toldeo got burned out this weekend, whether by idjit white boys or reacting blacks. I still have my gray uniform hanging in my closet, in honor of my ancestors. Isn't it time we moved on beyond this? I celebrate my heritage, in being a re-enactor. I also have a clue to the future, and it doesn't include any Aryan superman bullshit. (It's my blog, and I can call it like I see it.) All you niggers, white trash, and anyone else who wants a demonstration, should go home. That includes Jessie, Al, David Duke, and anyone else looking to make mileage out of Ohio. There are things that the American people should be paying attention to, and those issues have nothing to do with slavery, color, or ever how you want to paint it. Thanks, my Nazi friends. You just reduced every white man another notch, and lessened our credibility to speak on social issues. The so-called "black leaders" won't speak on this; it's all about self-aggrandizement for them. The only time I'll stand behind a Nazi supremacist is to shoot one in the back.

How dare these people speak for me? Perhaps black folks should be asking the same question, instead of throwing rocks. Do you think and speak for yourself, or do others usurp that right? Yankees beat us into the dirt for your rights; are they now surrendered for a vote and a welfare check? Get off my plantation!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

UPI News flash!

In the wake of the Iraqi constitutional referendum, United States President George Bush congratulates Sunni leader Abu ben-Bob for his opposition to the proposed new pathway to democracy in the war-torn country, by voting "NO" on the constitutional draft.

"At least we got them involved," the President stated. "They may be a stubborn bunch, but they turned out this time, purple fingers and all. They didn't blow too much stuff up, and we'll give them some of those no-bid Halliburton contracts if they continue to behave."

"As soon as they get the hell out of here, we can get back to unrestricted tribal warfare," Mr. ben-Bob was quoted as saying. "We'll continue to sell them oil for four dollars a barrel, and the capitalists can gouge what they want. I want to kill some Baathists and Kurds. By the way, Saddam, do you have a fork handy? Stick it're done!"

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Death of a great blog

Scott Ott, the proprietor of ScrappleFace, has discontinued comments on his blog. I have no idea what prompted this decision. Maybe he was tired of wrangling and deleting the obscene comments posted by Those People. I'll leave the link up for a while, in case he changes his mind.

In my bitter disappointment that he has closed his forum, I think that he has gotten a case of what we hillbillies call “the big head”. Book deals, lecture tours, and Rush raves on his radio program have convinced him to turn an open forum into a vanity site. ScrappleFace provided a sense of community, even family, among conservatives. All six of my readers are people who drifted over here from Scott’s site. Despite the negative remarks that showed up with regularity, there was a larger sense of the unity of purpose among conservatives that appeared daily on his forum. Friends were made, and support in many ways was given through the open forum he provided. I mourn the loss of such a widely visited place of expression. Scott is a perceptive and witty, intelligent man; however, I do not think his wit will survive in the vacuum he has created by eschewing comments on his posts.

UPI will remain open as is, and lacking the input of posting at ScrappleFace, I will try to remain more diligent in response. Perhaps Great Scott is pushing us towards this. A lot of former Scrapplers have their own blogs now [see links at right]. I do not think a vanity site with no comments will long survive. I have my moments of cleverness, but without the occasional slap upside the head, I’m nothing more than a drunken braggart. Those slaps come from the comments.

Great Scott, we knew ye when!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Terms of Endearment

The last comment on the previous post here made mention of my phrase "Those People" in referring to Democrats. Please allow me to elucidate:

I've mentioned it before over at ScrappleFace, but I'll spell it out for any lost strangers who might've wandered in here and don't care to chase the link at the right. "Those People" was the term employed by Robert E. Lee for Yankees, during the War of Northern Aggression. Lee was a devoted Christian, and eschewed the more profane descriptions used by his troops to describe the enemy.

Name-calling is the territory of the "progressive" elements, and since they are the enemies of faith, tradition, and common sense, "Those People" seems suitable for a public forum that generally prohibits obscenity. Those People break down into two sub-species: Obstructionists, and The Usual Suspects.

Obstructionists are Those People who follow the party line. They live in a grim, cheerless alternate universe where Utopia is just around the corner, if only everyone would listen to them. To their way of thinking, most folks are incapable of thinking for themselves, and making informed decisions. Only the enlightened few who have a clear vision of what comprises Utopia should be allowed to lead, kind of like Moe of The Three Stooges constantly telling Larry and Curly "I'll do the thinking around here!" (Or as Ricky repeatedly told Lucy, "I'll do the thinnin' around here!") Anyone who would grant a degree of autonomy to the unwashed masses, and even suggest that they might know how to spend their money or battle evil better than Those People, is obviously dangerously insane. Crazy people have to be restrained, for their own good as well as the common welfare. If crazy people have somehow taken the reins of power throughout the government, they must be thwarted at any cost.

Tax cuts for everyone, so they'll have money to spend as they see fit? Insane! Fighting back against an evil that seeks to enslave or murder us? Insane! In the Utopian anti-world, all that's needed is to raise taxes, and provide Those People with some spare money to pay off the murderous enslavers. It's okay for crazy people to sit around and mutter about what they might do, but if they start to act on it, they must be stopped before they can cause harm. If the crazy people in the White House and the Congress make a proposal, and begin to act on it, they must be obstructed! Hence the term "Obstructionists". They have been given their marching orders by their top leadership, and like good little soldiers they march selflessly into the legislative wars. I say "selflessly" with great sarcasm, because they know that their actions may result in their being lynched at the polls by the unwashed masses, who are smarter than Those People think. They might not take a bullet, or get a bayonet in the gut, but if they're voted out of their cushy political sinecures, they might have to go out and find a real job. Most Obstructionists would prefer the bayonet, so they assure their constituents that they alone are the balance to the schemes of the sinister crazy people. That ploy gets them re-elected, and they get some good face-time on TV, but the inmates have taken over the asylum, as the red/blue map of the last election shows.

The Usual Suspects are the generals of the Obstructionist army. They are the senior politicians who can be counted upon to organize the little battalions of Obstructionists into unified resistance. The Usual Suspects make the strongest appeals to the peons to support them, and reject the crazies they oppose. Hillary, Chuckie-doll Schumer, Ted and John, the Massachusetts version of Laurel & Hardy. . . you know who they are. They're on TV spouting a rebuttal before the president can give his speech. You shall know them by their actions and words, to paraphrase something I think I read in the Bible a long time ago.

I hope this clarifies some of the obscure euphemisms used in my incoherent little rants here. When I see The Usual Suspects in action, or hear of the latest ploy by the Obstructionists, I call them a lot worse than Those People in the privacy of The Possum Den. General Lee's enemies wore blue, so "Those People" seems doubly appropriate to this Southern boy as a term of reference for Democritters. The picture at the top of this story is a prime example of the compassionate tactics employed by Those People when they don't agree with someone. I think I'll stick with General Lee.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I got your service!

I am so tired of hearing the rhetorical question from Those People: “Where did you serve? Were you ‘in country?’”

Visiting the garden spot of Southeast Asia does not confer a special moral authority upon someone. I feel for Cindy Sheehan; she lost a son…my father was murdered by a serial killer in 1985. There are at least four families suffering, and I alone speak up for them. Dad brought home a Silver Star from War II, and never made a big deal of it. He charged Panzers in the dark during the Battle of the Bulge; it was a big deal.

I am weary of hearing the question about service to the country. By the lights of those who oppose finishing the job in Iraq, anyone who supports the efforts of our troops is a merciless babykiller who sends “children off to die” in a corporate cause. The role of corporations in the American way of life is a future rant. Go read some Ayn Rand in the mean time. We’re on service here.

Service to one’s country does not confer some special moral authority. Al Gore polished the one bullet he was allocated, while he sat in Saigon with the PIO. John Kerry almost shot himself in the arm, while piloting his “brown-water-navy” boat. We endured years of lack of leadership from a pudgy, priapic president who made a big deal out of not serving. He had a sweet spot carved out, through influence, in the Arkansas National Guard, but even that billet offended his “moral sensibilities.” It is arguable that his raining of cruise missiles on Afghanistan, as diversion for his oral sex escapades, made Osama bin-Laden a sworn enemy of the United States, but that, too, is a rant for another day.

“Moral authority” is not an endowment of gunfights. To wear a uniform for five minutes does not allocate any specific right to judge, or step aside, on any moral issue. I’ve had gunfights; so what? I’m worse than most who will read this; the fact that I survived doesn’t give me any special right to tell you how to live your life. My moral judgments are exclusively personal, and based upon my Christian faith. I endeavor to be a loosey-goosey Libertarian in my relations with others; do what you will, but don’t approach my family. Don’t do it in the road and scare the horses. Otherwise, have at it.

I use my little space here to encourage veterans of any war not to respond to Those People who pose that question of “where…when did you serve, chickenhawk?” These people are not worthy of reply. It is a “straw man” question, at any rate. Moral authority is not conferred by military service. You did, or you didn’t. No one holds it against you, whatever your choice was. Do not be a hypocrite and say “I support the troops”, then turn around and claim they are innocent children, sent off at the point of a gun by cynical parents, to die for some imagined corporate greed. They made their choice; they may not be happy with it, but they show up. Every damn day.

Moral authority emanates from belief and practice of that faith, not from the wearing of a uniform. I have no special claim on so-called moral authority, and I will not reply to questions about my service in Nam. Take a swing; you have the 50/50 chance of guessing correctly. Does it matter, either way? Your point is something dark and sinister, and the service question is only a rhetorical tool. People are dying for your right to pose the question. Consider that, not the past service of others.