A Poobagram For The Masses

I'd like to let everyone know that I've been asked to become a regular contributor at Bring It On! Pretty exciting stuff for a minor Deity from a small, backwoods corner of the Heavens.

The plan is that I'll be the featured post about twice per month on Thursday, beginning June 8 and will contribute several smaller pieces on Tuesdays and Thursdays that will appear on the front page.

For now, I'm not planning to make any changes here. I've become fond of all you mugs and can't bear to leave. But, you never know what might happen.

I'm not the only one jumping aboard the Bring It On! bandwagon. Several other folks joined at the same time as me, and they are all pundilicious. Stop by and give them a read.

Thanks for all of your support so far. You've made me the God I am today.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 31, 2006

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The Republican Bill of Wrongs

We the Overlords of the United States, in Order to form a Union that most benefits us, establish fundamentalist Justice, insure tax-cuts, provide for Iraq's defense, promote the general Welfare of the top 1 percent of wage earners, and secure the blessings of our own personal Lord and Savior who you ignore at your own peril, do impose and dictate this revised Constitution of the United States of America.

Amendment I

Congress shall pass only those laws in agreement with the Christian Bible and compel the exercise thereof unless that religion is of the Jewish or Islamic faith. Congress shall abridge the freedom of speech or of the press at every opportunity as determined by less than one-third of the people. Congress shall also discourage the people from assemblage unless that assembly is in support of abortion or denigrates homosexuals.

Amendment II

An unregulated Militia, being necessary to guard our sacred borders from those hordes of smelly Mexicans, shall not infringe the right of the deranged to keep and bear Automatic Weapons.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be paid a livable wage, nor in time of war, to end his enlistment at the originally agreed upon time.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures does not exist. No Warrants shall issue and if warrants are issued shall be ignored by shoving said Warrant up an ACLU member's ass as he is forced to cluck like a chicken.

Amendment V

All persons held to answer for an alleged terrorist crime, shall be held until they die or are coerced into a confession, whichever comes first. No law shall prohibit that person from being transferred to foreign nations until a confession is gained by force.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have no right to a speedy and public trial nor to an impartial jury, especially if that person is of Arab descent. The accused shall never be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation because he is already Guilty as sin.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy is the Presidency, the right of trial by chad-picking shall be preserved.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall be required, excessive fines imposed, and cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted because dirty thieves deserve what they get.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall be construed to deny and disparage others such as fags, ragheads, Jew Boys, and other Godless Heathens.

Amendment X

Powers are not delegated to the people by the Constitution, but are reserved to the President, because he obviously knows best, Hey, he's the President!

Amendment XI

No further amendments or alterations to this document shall be permitted because it was created in the image of George Bush and is obviously perfect as ratified.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 31, 2006

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Haven't We Been Around This Corner Before?

GPS mapping devices are a popular option in many new cars. With a click of a button and a quick look at the screen you can know, within a few yards, exactly where you are and where you need to go next. It's a pity the Presidential limo doesn't have one of these newfangled things.

Each time something happens in Iraq, Lord Bush and his cabal tries to spin it for us. At some point in their twirling monologues, you're likely to hear the now-familiar phrase, "it's a signal that we've turned another corner in Iraq".

By my count, we've turned about eleventy-seven billion corners already. What the hell is Iraq, some sort of rat maze sans the comfort of cheese and shredded newspapers? Think about it. If you went for a Sunday drive and turned as many corners as we have in Iraq, you might as well have just stayed home. By now, you'd either be hopelessly lost or have arrived back in your own driveway by sheer lotto-beating luck.

Like they say, "No matter where you go, there you are."

Ol' Daniel Bush seems to have eyed a new corner leading us out of his wilderness. The Pentagon has announced they are moving a 3500-man brigade into Iraq to "temporarily" bolster the forces of the Coalition of the Inept. Meanwhile, Iraqis are hurling road bombs, suicide bombs, sectarian bombs, and probably stink bombs at our hapless troops caught in the crossfire.

Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone except George and his Gang Who Couldn't Straight. Everyone else - well, at least 2/3 of everyone else - knows this isn't a corner. It's a brick wall and they're getting mighty tired of the pain caused from banging their collective heads against it.

A few months back, he said we'd turned a corner because the Iraqis voted. Aside from a populace with purple stained fingers, it didn't amount to much. But, it was a corner turned, to be sure.

After several months of storming out of meetings and assorted infighting, the Iraqi Prime Minister heard his Mommy calling for dinner and promptly quit and went home. Surprise! Another corner turned.

Then, the Iraqis formed a government that immediately announced that it couldn't agree on several top ministers, but what the hell, they'd press on anyway. Yet another corner turned.

Shortly afterward, we looked up and saw the glittery disco ball of spin starting to accelerate. "Pssst. Look over here. We'll have the troops home by the end of the year. Really, it's a slam dunk." New corner turned? Not so much. Instead they said, "Send in the brigade and put the Christmas stockings away boys, it looks like we're not going home like we thought."

Since 9/11, we've turned enough corners to make us look like Bush's fishing line on a perch expedition. He has one of his expensive, hand-tied flies stuck to his ass and furiously yanks away at his line, accomplishing nothing but tying himself up tighter and tighter. I can only imagine what a laugh Osama and the perch get out of this. Hell, I'd be laughing myself, but I'm too depressed by it all.

It appears George never learned one of the cardinal rules of fishing - some days they just aren't biting. And when that happens, a smart angler knows to cut his line and wait for a better day. Instead, George just cusses and tries to untie his fishy mess, making things that much worse. He blindly fights on against the stubbornly knotted line and never does untie it, until . . . BANG! He runs headlong into a tight corner that puts another knot on his shockingly thick head.

So, I reckon it's time for us to do something. Something like turn around to George in the back seat and yell, "George, stop it this instant! Don't make me come back there and stop this war!

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, May 30, 2006

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My Memorial Day Address

We've come to that holiday we have every year, which half the population mistakes for a clearance sale at Walmart and the other half just forgets. Unless the horror of war touched you in some personal way, or you happened to pass a cemetery this weekend, you may have forgotten the purpose of the day too.

I suppose that's what makes it the second most American holiday after Independence Day. On one, we celebrate sacrifice and on the other we forget about what sacrifice costs. Either way, we celebrate both days in exactly the same way - with apathy and ignorance of our history. That is, after all, the American way.

Even though I'm a Cold War veteran, I somehow managed to serve during one of the few, and distressingly brief periods in which we've not been at war. But, my Grandfather was wounded in WWI (his flag and Purple Heart sit next to me as I write this) and my father was a WWII submariner in the Pacific. I've also been privileged to know many others who did serve during times of war, including several who are no longer with us as a direct result. So, I think I have some idea of the hell war is.

However, I would never pretend to know it like someone who's been there. In that respect, I have much in common with most of the American people - including our President (who fought his war in Texas - when he felt like showing up), our Vice President (who had "more important" things to do than serve), and our Secretary of Defense (who was a Navy pilot, but who never saw combat and repeatedly disdains those who have). One might reasonably argue that the men responsible for sending people off to die would have it weigh heavily upon them, but these men don't seem to have given it much thought.

Perhaps they've been too busy trying to repeatedly justify their costly adventure. Maybe they've been tied up smearing every person who dares speak against their outrage. I'm not sure. But I do know this - none of these men know the meaning of sacrifice.

For those with a short memory, let me remind you that one of the first pronouncements Mr. Bush made after 9/11 was to say the best way to help was to go shopping so the economy wouldn't suffer. He made that pronouncement while the embers of the collapsed buildings still glowed. That was his idea of sacrifice.

In the time since, he's cravenly associated everything - either bad or good - with this damnable War on Terror. Not once has he asked anything of this country save to forgive him for the many mistakes he never admits. He's content with waving flags, paying lip service, and bragging about his leadership. He has repeatedly, and with great disdain, flown in the face of the law and disregarded both the spirit and letter of the Constitution. His sole sacrifice seems to be his once-favorable poll numbers.

Meanwhile, the American people have sacrificed - not because he asked them to - but because he simply seized things without the courtesy. We all have markedly less freedom today than only a few years ago. Workers have sacrificed livelihoods to the likes of Ken Lay and Bangalore. Each day brings a new scandal or incompetence. We are more beholden to foreign powers than ever before. Our schools crumble, our future is for sale, and the only thing that unites us is our visceral hate for each other. What was once a great democracy is now a petty, backstabbing, den of squabblers out for themselves and unwilling to make sacrifice of any kind.

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to do something President Bush seems unable to do on this hallowed day. I call on all Americans to reach out and work together instead of at deadly cross purposes. This will mean sacrifice. It means accepting some things you don't want in exchange for strength we all have only when we are together.

Don't misunderstand, this does not mean to squelch dissent. That is one of the few liberties we have left and we must respect it more than we do ourselves. It means to continue to dissent if that is your wont, but remember that, in the end, we all must work together and never let that same dissent become the weakness of keeping us free.

Mr. President, that's my memorial this year. I hope you can take time from telling our West Point graduates that you are the second coming of Harry Truman. I hope you can take a few minutes away from impeaching our freedoms to think about those who are dying at this moment to protect them. I hope that you can once - perhaps for the first time in your coddled life - lead nearly as well as you seem so fond of claiming.

There isn't much time left, unless you want your legacy to be many more despicably overcrowded Memorial Days to come. It's time for you to make a sacrifice. It's time for you to stare at your overwhelming hubris in the mirror and cast it off before it ruins us all.

Mr. President, while you stare in the mirror, look closely. In the background you'll see your empire burning and there are still those who want it to be free.

Editor's Note: I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my nephew, who is currently serving in Mosul, for his service. Son, you're fighting a war that I believe was unnecessary and neither right nor honorable, but you are serving in it honorably and for that I thank you.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, May 28, 2006

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As We See It: The Divine Milkshake Edition

If You're Not Completely Satisfied, You'll Get Your Money Back - Guaranteed

Pope Begins World Sainthood Tour...CD's Are Available at the Gate!

Fitzgerald: Cheney's "State of Mind" Important in Pre-Trial Motions

Ken Lay Taunts Prosecutors With His Favorite Nursery Rhyme as He Prepares for Appeal

Let's All Do The Presidential Pokey!

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, May 27, 2006

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Mistakes? What Mistakes?

Bush, Blair Concede Missteps was the screaming headline of the week. It was a terrifically depressing headline too. It's a sad state of affairs when admitting a mistake - for anyone - should be front page, 72-point, above-the-fold, news - doubly so for two important world leaders.

Of course, the Infant-in-Chief has a renowned fear of admitting mistakes. Once asked if he could think of anything he'd done wrong in his first term, the Perfect One said, "Nope. Don't think so," as resolutely as the captain of the Titanic as his shoes grew damp. In fact, Shrub is so pathological in his fear of mistakes he even manages to admit an error, and then tell you it was actually the right thing to do, in the same breath.

"Mr. Bush, was it a mistake to invade Iraq?"

"Why yes, it was a mistake, but I'd do it again even knowing what I know now."


However, the pain doesn't stop at his paradoxical ability to make a mistake, but do it in the "right" way. The other depressing part of the George and Tony Perfect People Telethon was George's ability to wander completely off topic. In most politicians, this is a finely honed skill to deflect attention from embarrassments or hot issues. In the Bloviator-in-Chief's case, it seems more like some sort of Reaganesque dementia.

He always starts by restating the question- indicating he took the information in - but before he gets to an answer, wanders off for a walkabout in the rhetorical outback and never comes back. For example, a question about Iraq might start there but pass through Ecomonicsville, Education City, Global Warningsylvania, and end up at Texas Ranger Congratulations Town after they won their last game. Clearly, George doesn't take the Logic Express. Instead, he prefers the scenic, slow whistle-stop local.

I'm convinced this isn't an overt attempt to be vague. I think he is just vague by nature. To prevaricate that well suggests he swims in the deep end of the family gene pool rather the kiddy pool where he's normally drowning. I think he truly believes he's answering the question. There simply must be some sick, miswired, and twisted logic he's following like a bloodhound on a convict's trail. The problem is, there's no convict and the bloodhounds are more lost than he is.

The other problem he has is an odd sense of comfort at the podium. While his eyes and mannerisms are those of the proverbial deer in the headlights, his body language is something else entirely. He not only leans on the podium, he lounges, yawns, fluffs, and brings a pillow. For him, the podium is a Sleep Number bed. His mind may be terrified, but his body is staying behind for a quick nap atop the stump. Maybe he isn't a moron, maybe he's just sleepwalking.

So, were the headlines justified? Probably not.

While he did "admit" mistakes, they were limited to unfortunate turns of phrase like "Bring 'em on!" or "Wanted, dead or alive". As he once said, "I'm from Texas. We don't do subtlety in Texas." The fact that the world is a smoldering heap of crap isn't something he sees any responsibility for. There was nary an admission for any of the BIG MISTAKES. Iraq, Katrina, spy scandals, wire-tapping, nothing of any consequence had any admission attached to it. Just a few humble words he admitted to misusing, but then quickly forgave with a cavalier, "Sure, it was a mistake. But not a big one. And I didn't really mean it. It was an accident, but I can't be held accountable for it. I was right to say it anyway."

If you ask me, making him President was the biggest mistake of all. And for that, we can't blame him.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, May 26, 2006

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Holy Shoe Phones, The Chief and Max Are at It Again!

As often happens with Lord Bush League and His Cabal of Ninnies, two perfectly juxtaposed events this week illustrate his well-known, tenuous grasp of common sense.

First, a laptop containing personal data for all veterans discharged since the 70s disappeared from a VA analyst's home. Apparently, this Data Daredevil was able to sweep stealthily through the Ft. Knox-like privacy protections that El Jefe promises are working so well and nonchalantly carry the machine home for a little porn surfing.

Pooblisher's Note: Thanks a lot there Daredevil. I love it when someone honors my military service by losing my Social Security number. Feel free to use it at Big Tit World anytime you want. Just consider it my little thanks for a job well-done. OK?

Of course, the theft took several weeks to crawl up the VA's FEMA-like chain of command before reaching the top dogs.

"Gee. Think we oughta tell anybody about this? I think somebody's going to be awful mad and I don't want get yelled at," they must have thought. So, like true disciples of the Decider-in-Chief, they took several more days to "decide" their way through this complicated scenario before deciding, "Um, I guess, but don't yell at me. It's a little thing, really."

This event is a classic example of what happens when your data security plan is as tight as leaving stacks of $100 bills on a Louisiana Congressman's desk. The stuff changes into cashsicles in the freezer at home.

Wow, who knew?

The second event was news that Lancelot Link, Secret Presidential Chimp, signed yet another Executive Order for "Maxwell Smart" Negroponte. Max can now waive all those pesky accounting and privacy laws if The Chief decides he wants data from a company like AT&T or Verizon. Strangely, this Executive Order coincided with the recent leak about the mega database of call data. But, that's obviously another in a long line of miraculous coincidences. Perhaps the Pope could nominate the Bushmaster for sainthood, what with all the "miracles" he can perform.

So here's the juxtaposition: Lancelot wants us to believe that he's only gathering critical data for use against "terrists" while in the same breath saying, "Ah'm just uh collectin' that there data in case we need's it. I wouldn't dare dream uh usin' any of it." Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.

He then continues, "We's uh keepin' them datas as secret as Big Dick's undisclosurated, super secret, cross my heart an' hope ta' die, location. There's no way one them lil' datas can es-cape out to tha Internets. Our privacy system's tight as a coon dog's asshole I tell ya."

Then - just to make us comfortable and because protecting data is such "hard work" - the Decider-in-Chief outsources all the deciding about such things to Baldo Negroponte. There my friends is one more open screen door in his data privacy policy. If we don't trust the top idiot to stay in control about all our private data, I don't think asking us to trust subordinate morons will fly. But, I'll give the Chief the benefit of the doubt. Besides, this must be a mistake caused when George and John sat down to talk data privacy inside their Maxwell Smart autograph-model Cone of Silence. That has to be it, doesn't it?

So why do I feel like Agent 99?

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, May 25, 2006

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The Voice of the Right Speaks Its Mind

OK, I was willing to let the whole election thing slide, especially since I think he beat Mr. Gore and Mr. Kerry fair and square.

When he climbed up on the pile of rubble at Ground Zero and said he'd make the "terrists" pay, I thought, "Well, OK, it's a good cause."

When he invaded Afghanistan and chewed through the Taliban I thought, "Well, maybe they really are bad guys."

Saddam's got nu-cu-lars? OK, pound him good.

When he said "mission accomplished", I thought, "Wow! He does look good in a flightsuit."

Out that horrid seceret agent woman? Well, her husband did say bad things about the President.
If he needs to spy on my every move and listen to my every word, then I guess it's OK. He's the President isn't he? I mean, he should know.

He's right about the rich too. They are a grossly misunderstood minority. I guess. I wouldn't know. I'm not rich or anything myself. If he says they need tax breaks, so be it. I know my turn will come eventually. I'm planning to spend my tax refund on a paint job for the trailer.

Sure, he wants to send the National Guard to the border, but I hear they aren't really going to do anything. What's the harm? Maybe they could even teach the Mexicans some English. That would be nice.

I listened to those Generals, but I think Mr. Rumsfeld is just...um, intense. He always seems so polite in his clips on the O'Reilly Factor. And, OH, isn't Bill such a gentleman?

If Mr. President says he needs to listen to my phone calls, I say, "Go ahead!" He's the President. He should know what he's doing. Besides, I hear it's all perfectly legal.

But, today I read something that really just frosts my shorts. I mean here the President is doing such hard work, such good work, and something comes along to ruin it.

No, not that Iranian thing. Goodness, those people are Godless heathen, they deserve whatever Ms. Rice thinks is right for them. I'm even donating money down at the church for the Bible Drop we have planned when we kick their scruffy hides.

No, I'm talking about putting advertising on official US Postal Service stamps. I mean they always have such pretty stamps - flowers, Mickey Mouse, famous dead people, flags.

Why can't they just leave well enough alone? I'm so cheesed that I may just have to think twice about voting for Mr. Bush again. This is an outrage! This is a travesty! This is a clear and present danger to the nation.

What? Oh. He can't run again?

Never mind.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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Who's Got That Vision Thing

There was a time when running a company was simple. Some bookkeepers told you if you were making money and you adjusted your products and workers accordingly. No muss, no fuss.

But somewhere along the line, science got involved. Instead of a few bookkeepers, economic analysts now run scientific financial models to predict every up and down in the market. Companies no longer simply buy materials and stuff them into a warehouse, they have hordes of logistical analysts to deliver what the workers need the instant they need it. Workers no longer take orders from a former member of the shop who managed to rise to the exalted rank of supervisor. Now a dozen layers of managers send reports to each other, do lunch, and make PowerPoint presentations in between "business trips" on the company jet for weekend "meetings" in Paris.

Perhaps one of the oddest new advents is the mission statement and its equally odious cousin, the vision statement. These two teats on a boar hog came into substantial vogue around the time King George I mumbled his way through the Presidency. In those days, he was famous for talking about "the vision thing". Of course, like all Bushspeak, this meant he was clueless about the subject he was addressing. In fairness, I don't think he started the trend, but it is stupid enough to sound Bushonian.

For the uninitiated, a mission or vision statement is a clear, short explanation of what the purpose of the company is. Apparently, "we make things and sell them for money" isn't clear enough for the modern manager.

Having been involved in drafting several of these literary turds, I can tell you they're never clear, short, or even particularly readable. They're written by committee, usually managers who should be spending more time out on the floor helping workers make things to sell for money. Instead, they prepare endless rounds of drafts over three-martini lunches. Then, they enlessly review each one with an eye on how they can hike their leg on the draft and mark their editorial territory. If the Founding Fathers had written the Declaration of Independence like this, the British would still be on the boat waiting for the Americans to show up on Bunker Hill.

For all their apparent complexity, the statements only come in one of two flavors - long or short.

Long versions typically contain several sentences, all of which are required by law to contain at least 57 words, 16 semicolons, and a healthy sprinkling of commas. If you can shove everything into a single sentence, so much the better. Proponents of this form believe you can can boil the most complex company down to a single sentence in much the same way you can boil an entire horse down to a single pot of glue.

The short version advocates aim to keep it simple and usually do - so simple, in fact, their vision/mission is a statement of the obvious. "Company X believes the customer is always right", is a good example. So is, "Company Y exists to make money for our stockholders." I've suggested, "We believe in excessive executive compensation" several times, but the suits always think this is a little too snarky.

So why do companies put themselves through this?

Well, a long line of very highly paid experts told them this is how you "invest employees in the overall goals of the enterprise" - a long-winded version of "you want your employees to give a shit about whether the company tanks". Apparently, paying decent wages and providing health insurance isn't a, "cost-effective economic rationalization of benefits vis a vis employee commitment.

The other reason they produce these tortured monuments to stupidity is because when you make 400% more than the employee on the shop floor, you have to make it sound like you're doing something for all that dough - aside from the weekly trips to St. Andrews, Scotland for golf outings with Tom D. and Jack "the Hat" Abramoff.

You also want to show that you share the concerns of your employees. Perhaps not so much that you'd refrain from laying all of them off to get your 600% performance bonus for the quarter - but let's not quibble over details.

We actually believe in that last reason, and that's why we believe executives will be more than willing to stand by their fine vision statements, even in a court of law. I advocate that the next Jeff Skilling or Kenny Boy Lay who comes along should have their mission statements read to the jury and if the words, "we exist to screw our shareholders, employees, and customers out of as much money as possible" doesn't appear they should be convicted on the charge of "failing to live up to the vision thing". Suggested sentence? Fifty years in lockup and hearing their mission statement read to them continuously 24 X 7, without the possibility of parole.

That seems more than fair to me.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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The Way of the Poobah

Just Another Day at the Omnipotent Poobah Intergalactic Fortune Cookie Company

One of the primary duties of an omnipotent being is dispensing wisdom to the masses. Jesus has that Bible thing, but I see that as a pretty inefficient communication medium. You have to wade through hundreds of pages about fishes, loaves, money changers, and icky crowns of thorns to pick out the real gems hidden deep in its biblical bowels. Sure, the Ten Commandments make a pretty good executive summary, but they wrap things in so much metaphor that people can - and do - interpret the verses in radically different ways. Still, I'd love to own the copyright on that sucker. I could buy that little house in the South of France I've been eyeing, but to get it I'd be caught up in court for centuries.

Instead, here are some of my wisest pearls:
  • It's much easier to damage than to improve.
  • You can try all the diet pills and powders as you want, but you'll only lose weight by eating less and exercising more.
  • If I meant you to be vegetarian, I wouldn't have given you omnivorous teeth.
  • Never eat to live. Instead, eat to enjoy.
  • Never let the dog get too close to your ice cream cone.
  • Always plan for the worst. It things turn out as planned it's merely what you expected. If it turns out better, it's gravy.
  • Never use a speakerphone in a cubicle. If someone does, smite them.
  • Never pick up a baby that already smells like poop.
  • Always concentrate more on the journey than on the destination.
  • When you get to the destination, party like hell.
  • Sometimes things just are what they are, even if that sucks for you.
  • Don't think too much. It only makes your head hurt and gets you into trouble.
  • Never jump at an opportunity. Sometimes they sidestep and you fall off a cliff.
  • Never vote for a person who repeatedly demonstrates they have all the perception of your average tree stump.
  • Friends don't let friends do stupid things. They provide formal training to help them do stupid things.
  • Remember that sometimes you aren't smart enough to ask a question.
  • No matter how many times a person explains something, the most critical fact will always be missing.
  • If a person asks you a question, it's the sincerest form of flattery.
  • The chance of error is exponential to the number of people participating in the enterprise.
  • It's more important to know where to look for answers than to know the answers.
  • Never ask if you can. Always ask if you should.
  • Those who can should teach. Those who do should find themselves a teacher.
  • The low fuel light is never an idle warning.
  • Gods and Generals have huge egos. Never let them get in the way of your own.
  • Liberals want to build a new world. Conservatives want to roll back the clock. Somewhere in between is the logical path.
  • The horse may be out of the barn, but that's no excuse for not trying to herd him back in.
  • When faced with a mugger, pissing yourself is the surest form of safety.
  • Always follow the moderately lazy. They invariably find the shortest route between two points.
  • It's human nature to complain. The sooner you accept this, the faster you can get on with your own complaints.
  • Don't look before you leap, it'll only scare you.
  • Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot. Somewhere in Washington an idiot is looking for brush to clear.
  • Compromises, by their nature, never completely satisfy anyone except the arbitrator.
  • Never use a computer to do something a pencil can do.
  • The writer who relies on spell check to find all errors is a morrone.
  • In war, combat is the easy part. In peace, keeping it is the hard part.
  • The world would be a better place if heads of state donned boxing gloves to settle arguments rather than raising armies to do so.
  • If it smells to bad for a dog to eat, it probably isn't safe.
  • Always beware of cracker barrel philosophers and televangelists, they're God's original punishment for the stupid.
Tech Tags:

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, May 23, 2006

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From the Poobah Files: Spanish Clouds

I've been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit, making it to 24 countries in all. I've covered every continent (excluding Australia and Antarctica), all 50 states, and nearly all of the Canadian provinces and I carry thousands of snapshots around in my head.

Click. My first sight of England on a foggy summer morning, greener than any green I've ever seen. So green even the fog had an emerald cast. Huge jackrabbits bound across manicured lawns surrounded by dull, red brick houses. I can smell bacon frying as I enter the green.

Click. An evening on Midway Island during goony nesting season. Millions of huge, smooth-white goonies and their puffball brown chicks nested on every available surface. Lush lawns, pristine white beaches, roadways, runways, disused houses, all covered with nests. As I pick my way around the ubiquitous nests, the clowning parents clap their bright bills while the chicks peep loudly. The ground seems alive with them as the clapping bills applaud the sunset.

Click. I'm in Montevideo, Uruguay. The streets are filled with 1950 vintage cars and the people are wearing 1950 vintage clothes. Even though it's impossible, this snapshot is in black and white. A big freeway, nearly devoid of cars, circles the harbor. In one snapshot, I stand on a harbor jetty and watch an old four-stack destroyer towed into the harbor. Sailors in brilliant whites line the rails, standing at perfect attention. A half-hour later, the same tugboat retrieves the vessel and takes it back to dock - perhaps the world's shortest cruise.

Click. I'm lying atop an airplane on a Spanish Air Force base near Madrid. It's a Sunday and the flight line is deserted and quiet. For hours, I revel in an incredible blue sky pocked with the most amazing clouds I've ever seen. As they move, I float along - one more galleon in the Armada. There is a feeling of the warmth on my face, a breeze in my hair, and the quiet rhythm of my own heartbeat to keep me company.

Click. I'm sitting inside a brown cafe in Amsterdam. Smoke fills the air with a bluish tint and glasses softly clink all around me. There's a jazz trio crammed into the corner and they croon for the patrons drinking beer and eating bites of satay. Outside, a light rain speckles the front window, turning the houses into wavy ghosts across the canal.

Click. I'm standing at the base of the obelisk in the Place de Concorde in Paris. It's night and every monument in the City of Light is living up to the name. Incredible flashes of monumental gold compete with the headlights of a whole Grand Prix full of cars racing around the circle. The Arc de Triumph squats at the far end of the Champs Elysees, bathed in dramatic light and with a mammoth French flag swaying in its portal.

Click. I'm walking through a souk in Casablanca. Fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat fill tables all around me. I sit in a cafe with the Herald Tribune and have strong black tea with plenty of sugar. Donkeys vie with small cars for space in the crowded streets and white robed men bargain over stacks of colorful cloth. They all yell to be heard over the noise.

Click. I'm strolling the street in Pusan, Korea. I'm a head taller than almost everyone there. A block away, I see red hair poking up from the throng. As it nears, I recognize it as my college roommate, in Korea on a company trip. I remember thinking the world is indeed a small place and we both stopped at a curbside stand for some delicious kim chee.

Click. I'm standing atop Corcovado on a sweaty Rio de Janeiro night. The city fans out below me, thousands of twinkling lights joining the well-off parts of the city with the horribly crowded favellas where the peasants live. The wavy brick path along Copacabana beach dramatically divides the black sea from the lights of the city and I can smell the orange blossoms that crowd the hill.

Click. I'm sitting at my computer, more than 20 years away from these sights, but remembering them as if they happened only yesterday. In a few hours, I'll finish work and go home to my wife and daughter. We'll have dinner, chat a bit, and then say good night, but not before I take a few snapshots of the evening.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, May 21, 2006

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As We See It: Da Vinci Code Edition

Next on Punk'd: The Da Vinci Code

Maybe the Da Vinci Code WAS a Little Harsh on Albinos

Idiot Man and Rummy Boy to the Rescue!

Political Shocker: The Chickenhawk-in-Chief's Poll Numbers Are Down

Dog Bites Man: George Rethinks the Whole Gitmo Thing

Bush Addresses Nation on Immigration: Millions Forget All About Iraq

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, May 20, 2006

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God's on the Divine Cellphone and He's Pissed

Ever since Noah floated his boat, evangelists have used natural disasters as markers for the end of days. Every cat or dog that rains down, every Jell-O-jiggled plot of ground, every Tasmanian Devilish tornado is cited as sure 'nuff proof that God is pissed and ready to begin the smiting. You'd think that the world continuing to exist would really annoy the doomsayers, but it never seems to deter them.

As proof, we offer up Pat Robertson's latest predictions, personally delivered to him by his own, personal and righteous God. (By the way, why does the Lord always choose the biggest asshats on the block to communicate through? You'd think he could create an eloquent, well-respected, non-polyester clad spokesperson to brush up His image a little. Maybe He needs a PR angel.)

In what's become an almost annual occurrence, Pat found his divine cell phone ringing and God was on the line. "If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," he explained on his perpetual telethon, the 700 Club. "There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest," he added.

That Pat is one damn fine prognosticator, a real Nostradumbass.

The coasts of America will be lashed by storms. Who knew?! Pat, the coasts of every other nation on Earth will be "lashed" too. That's what happens to land abutting an angry sea - storms roll in off the ocean and lash it. I double-checked this fact in my trusty Intelligent Design handbook - thoughtfully provided by the Gideons on behalf of Regent University - just to make sure. Yup, it says God invented weather because Eve ate of the apple and He decided that a fit punishment would be to cast the stupid wench out of the garden, make her wear clothes, and lash her "coasts" with storms.

You can't argue with Intelligent Design man! It'll blind you with science! Just ask Pat, he'll tell you.

Then, there's the tsunami. The geological record shows that huge tsunamis hit the Pacific Northwest every few thousand years. But, Intelligent Designers tell us that all that rock is a lying, inanimate object of the Debil because God only got around to making the planet a few tens of thousands of years ago. Whom are you going to believe - some damn, newfangled radio carbon dating machine or a decent God-fearing disciple who thinks rocks are God's own turds left to harden in the sun?

However, Pat did skip one hallmark of his annual Godly Gabfest this year. He didn't blame these tribulations on any of the usual suspects in the weather-borne terror biz. No gays, no State Department employees, not even those piker 700 Club watchers who refuse to acknowledge that their money should be rendered up to Caesar Robertson were singled out for their devilishness.

It was a curious omission. If you can't blame the usual baddies, who takes the fall for all the bad juju?

Pat has come up with a novel idea - "no fault weather". Maybe Christian terrorizing fornicators haven't caused bad weather. Maybe it's nobody's fault. Maybe it's just the way God created the planet.

Nah! Can't be! Everyone knows God is infallible. How could He create a planet that just randomly kills people? That's not very loving is it? He's got be smarter than that.

Doesn't He?

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, May 19, 2006

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Panties, Panties, Panties

I'm taking a day off today in favor of a guest blogging gig over at Blue Gal's place. She's on a much deserved vacation and we support anything that takes a person away from actual work - although breaking away from blogging was a little disturbing. I just decided to cut her some slack there.

Since Blue Gal has this panty thing goin' on, I thought it only appropriate to chime in with my cents worth of lace. Click the link, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, May 18, 2006

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Lil' Georgie Eats Too Much Candy

As with most things Bushonian, El Jefe's immigration speech attracted a hodgepodge of reaction. The Dems liked it because it was closer to their position and conveniently underscored the arguments between the GOP faithful. The conservatives hated it because it didn't throw anyone in the hoosegow and actually might make businesses accountable for hiring illegals. Middle-of-the-roaders thought it was an OK place to start, but wasn't beefy enough to solve the problem. But mostly, people just turned a deaf ear.

The only thing everyone agrees on is that it was hastily planned, extremely shallow, and contained a sop to nearly every position in the immigration debate. In short, it was a vintage Bush.

I don't doubt Bush wants to do something about immigration. I know that if every voter in the Republic was chomping my ass, I sure would. He's talked it up since day-one and put forth actual proposals in the past. As his performance goes, he's made his professors proud with a little C-level work on this one. The only thing about his commitment I do question is the timing of the speech. Although he believes what he said, KarlSnowCo probably just wanted to change the subject away from some of the other gigantic problems he's facing.

However, it takes more than desire to get things done in Washington. Even though he's floated proposals in the past, he's always done it with the smirking swagger for which he's famous. His "my way or the highway" approach united his base and detractors - but not in a good way.

Instead of buckling down and hammering out compromises, he flitted off to other issues like a Ritalin kid who'd fallen off the wagon just that morning. The trouble was, choosing another issue was like turning Lil' Georgie loose in the candy store. Eyes agoggle and pockets bulging with campaign donations, he bought Iraq, Afghanistan, Social Security, Katrina, and wire tapping bars. It finally became too many mini-Tootsie Rolls for Lil' George and he found himself puking his guts out behind the candy store.

George constantly reminds us what "hard work" Presidentin' is. I would imagine this is true, especially when you have to deal with every issue on a sick stomach, no place to unload the candy, and with friends and foe alike counseling you to have another Snickers and everything will be fine.

George needs a little Pepto to help him recover from this sugar high. He needs to understand that no candy gets him the love and attention he adores - it only makes him puke. He needs to understand that it's better to savor the taste of a few candy bars rather than gorging on Peeps like its Easter morning.

George, here's some advice. You need to stand up and say, "My name is George and I'm a candy junkie" and get to work detoxing yourself. You may as well start with this issue - it's as good as any - and solve the damn problem rather than trying to cover it in chocolate to make it sweeter.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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The DaVinci Code: Albino Uprising

As you can see by the sidebar, I'm a member of the Anti-PC League. Most of those who belong to this group are hardcore conservatives and I'd say that on most issues, we disagree - a lot. But, in between the Stop the ACLU banners, Ann Coulter love fests, and calls for eviscerating Moonbats, we have some common ground - we believe we've become so politically correct we can no longer hold a rational conversation for fear of offending someone.

I'm sure many League members think this is only a problem with liberals, but I'd have to disagree. One need look no farther than the recent "controversy" over killing Christmas for Christians. Other than some conservative pundits, I didn't hear anyone threatening any such thing. It was a bogus, politically correct complaint engineered to make everyone feel sorry for those poor, misunderstood, and oppressed Christians. Nobody wants to take Christmas away from anyone except the people who needed something to feel oppressed over.

That isn't to say there aren't some egregious examples of offense. The Constitution protects free speech, but it doesn't encourage stupid speech. It isn't OK to say racist, sexist, or any other "ist" things at will - but it's not illegal either. In other words, I think most rational people are on the anti n-word bandwagon, but there's still a division over whether calling someone black insults them or simply provides another way to identify them in a vast sea of races.

These issues aren't new. Society debates whether naming sports teams after Indians - or Native Americans, First Nations peoples, or aborigines, if you prefer - is an insult or a compliment. For some, it's insulting to name a team the Fightin' Braves and have a cute cartoonish mascot who does tomahawk chops. However, it's OK to name them the Marauding Vikings and have a cute mascot who wears a helmet from a bad opera and does broadsword swipes.

Car crash victims are currently all in a kafuffle about new Volkswagen ads. The ads show people in a car that's suddenly struck by another vehicle. We see an actual air-bag deployment, breaking glass, and grinding metal. It's a relatively realistic scene, but there's no blood or gore. Some might make the point that such demonstrations are useful and just remind people that sturdy seatbelts and airbags are lifesavers. The fact they just happen to be Volkswagen-supplied seatbelts and airbags is just a happy coincidence that helps Vee-Dubya sell cars.

Instead, accident victims have called for the removal of the TV spots. The realistic scenes apparently remind them of their own accidents and repeat the trauma each time they see the ads. Now I'm not completely unsympathetic to these victims. That sort of thing is traumatic, but probably less so than seeing a fiery crash on the freeway up close and personal. I doubt if many victims have stopped driving or riding in cars. How about continuing to fly? Airplanes crash don't they? What about all the movies and television shows that feature exploding propane trucks and cars squashed like bugs? I'd guess most of the victims haven't stopped going to the movies, otherwise Arnold Schwarzenegger would just be an aging dude with sagging muscles.

However, my current peeve is the DaVinci Code. Dan Brown and Tom Hanks have apparently managed to slander and defame the entire Catholic religion, several major sects within it, Leonardo lovers, and Biblical scholars using a FICTIONAL book and movie. In examining these victims' claims, I can only conclude that these people think Spiderman movies are fact-based biographies. I can't wait to get me a set of those bitchin' web shooter things and swing along with Kirsten Dunst clinging to my well-muscled body.

But wait! There's more!

Albinos are now calling for a DaVinci code boycott too. They say albinos are always the bad guys in books and movies and it's damned unfair. Based on the inexhaustible supply of albino-featuring movies - all three or them - I guess I'd have to agree. It's true that I haven’t seen that many albino good guys - although I have always wondered why Johnny Winter never got more of those roles - but, I haven’t seen that many albinos period. This doesn't mean it's OK to ridicule albinos, I'm sure they're good folks - but let's look at this argument another way.

Let's say the bad guy happens to be a white male. Albino Logic (now that's a movie that could use Johnny Winter in a starring role) posits that all white males would be mistaken as bad guys in real life. However, I can't think of anyone seriously arguing that white males are an oppressed group, despite the fact that nearly every non-white, non-male group feels completely justified in regularly ridiculing them.

But then, maybe the albinos have a point. Maybe I AM quite offended that all the albinos, Opus Dei flagellants, and BDSM nuns haven't been rushing to my oppressed side to help beat back those scourges of civilization - non-white non-males. In fact, I think white males need a mascot. Maybe a cartoonish fella dressed in a 3-piece suit and driving a Buick. We need a slogan too. How about the Fightin' Y Chromosomes or the Battlin' Insurance Underwriters?

It does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, May 16, 2006

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Pay the Crapweasels What They're Worth

When you purchase a light bulb, do you really care if it provides a soft, warm glow or simply a bright light? If it lasts five years instead of two, does it really matter? How about a bulb that saves 2 cents a month on your utility bill?

If you're like most people, you simply pick the one on sale. Whether it's a 65 watt or 75-watt bulb doesn't matter. As long as it provides enough light to read the political cartoons, you don't really care. Ditto with the modest savings on your utility bill. You buy on price, because light bulbs are a commodity, much like gasoline or salt.

Now, look at yourself in the mirror. Do you see a 150-pound light bulb staring back? If so, you may be one of those people who've been "commoditized". This popular economic theory holds that people with the same skill set are interchangeable commodities. For example, engineers are the same in New York as in Bangalore. Their worth in terms of experience, education, or ingenuity means little. Companies figure there's no difference between the two, except one makes a lot less money and eats naan for lunch.

The issue of quality is a moot point. Today's businesses believe they only need to suck marginally less than their competitors to lead a market of continuously lowered expectations. Instead, the issue of money drives the process. Small amounts of those savings make it to the consumer in the form of lower prices. The stockholders get a few cents more per dollar come dividend time. And, the CEO laughs all the way to the bank, leaving a trail of money from his overstuffed pockets. Hell, even the Indian engineer benefits because now he has a job to pay for that delicious naan. The poor guy who used to be the engineer? He's now working at an Indian takeout place baking naan - if he's lucky.

I actually like commoditization. I'm a consumer and stockholder, not a naan chef, so I'm making money. I think companies are exactly right. Quality doesn't matter because stuff is so cheap I can just buy something else when something inevitably fails. If one Indian engineer is the same as any other engineer, I say go whole hog. Move the job to Darfur where people would kill for the opportunity - or maybe just kill, I'm never sure about that one.

I even advocate expanding the program. Hell, if there are cheaper engineers in the world, what about accountants, PR people, or sales. I once bought a car from an Indian guy. That dude could move the metal if you know what I mean. Sure, the rogan josh breath was a little pungent, but that guy saved me $2K. He even threw in some naan.

In fact, I like this idea so much I have a proposal.

Let's commoditize CEOs. They certainly don't have any unique skills. All it takes is a complete disregard for other people's money, the inability to listen to anyone else, an ego the size of a small European country, and a "I don't give a shit about anyone else as long as I get mine" mentality. Experience running companies into the ground a plus, but not required. Heck, I can think of dozens of people who could qualify - even me.

And just so you know - I work cheap. Give me $10 million a year and we'll call it even. I'm a bargain at twice that price.

Just ask Ken Lay.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, May 14, 2006

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As We See It: If Only He Could Tell Time Edition

Tony Snow Starts First Press Conference Early, Says Telling Time is "Hard Work"

GM Axes Hummer H1s, Plans New Fuel-Efficient Styrofoam Model Next Year

Bush Nominates Hayden as CIA Chief - The Fact That He's a General the Least of Our Worries

Castro Passes the Secrets of His Success to Future Generations

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, May 13, 2006

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I'm Sad

I'm sad.

I normally do an As We See It post on Fridays. Mocking the stupid and insulting the insane usually gives me a little pick-me-up. Today, I feel too tired and sad to think of anything even remotely funny.

I'm usually pretty laid back. I like people to hold opinions and defend them as they see fit. A born cynic, I ofttimes think those opinions are stupid, but that's not the point, I still try to give them a fair hearing. My attitude is that if an idea is stupid it will be apparent, just like good ideas stand on their own.

I may be wrong.

These days I find myself overwhelmed by truly awful ideas. They've crossed the border between merely bad and ill conceived to dangerous and catastrophic. Each day brings a new injury to our country. Each day people are called traitors, the flags come out like poppies on a Flanders field, and Chicken Little runs around shouting, "9/11! 9/11!". And just as surely, a complacent public says, "Ehhh, it doesn't directly affect me, so what do I care."

I'm sad.

I'm sad that people have lost sight of the very things that used to make our country unique. While the US was never completely innocent, there used to be a certain respect for us. When we spoke, the world listened. When we took moral stances on human rights, or leading the global community, or helping our neighbors in the world, people knew they could count on us to do the right thing in the end. We had gravitas and respect.

We no longer do.

I'm sad that people have lost sight of what's important inside the country too. We used to be a nation that held people responsible and where the Constitution was a sacred object given great deference and fervent respect. We used to refer to ourselves as a melting pot, now the pot has melted. Now, freedom has come to mean fear. Freedom is no longer truly free. Cravenly absurd leaders who spy on us and call it freedom hold it at bay. They preach about a society of laws and then willfully break them. They convince us that right is wrong and wrong is right. They speak of equality while they do everything in their power to deconstruct that ideal.

I'm sad.

I'm sad we've used a fear of terror to terrorize ourselves. Despite all the bellicose words and flag-waving jingoism, we've reduced ourselves to a nation of frightened, tiny people who toss away their freedoms like an old pair of socks in the hopes no one will hurt them. We've transformed ourselves into the very society we were founded to propagate. We're now a nation where freedoms disappear and the only response is a yawn. We're a country where laws no longer mean anything. It's not our President or his corrupt friends that are tearing up the Constitution like so much old toilet paper. It's us doing it to ourselves.

I am sad.

I am tired.

I am willing to fight on.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, May 12, 2006

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Advice My Momma Gave Me

When you're omnipotent, there's a high premium placed on avoiding mistakes. After all, it's what people expect of their deities, so who am I to disappoint? One step on this path of perfection is to practice a little advice from the Omnipotent Mom delivered when I was a mere pup of a god - always put the shoe on the other foot.

Sadly, this advice seems largely forgotten today. Perhaps that's why I'm one of the few remaining practitioners. Today, people only put their shoe on the other foot after they've taken it off and smacked dissenters up side the head like a crowd of Iraqis setting upon a statue of Saddam Hussein. Scarce is the politician, pundit, or public that looks at both side of an issue. I'm reminded of this repeatedly by the debate over warrantless wiretaps.

Those on Side 1 claim tis better to give up a rarely used civil right to sleep better at night. The flip side believes that civil rights are inalienable and should be protected at all costs. While there's plenty of existential filigree, the debate is really a very simple one - how far do you trust your government?

More often than not, questions like this end up in a partisan pie fight the Three Stooges would envy. One side implicitly trusts the Bushmen while the other doesn't trust them any farther than they could throw Karl Rove.

Righties generally believe that anything BushBoss Squarepants does is okey-dokey. To them he's a man of honor doing what he believes is right for the country. They trust Dub not to misuse his imperial fiat to tap their phones because he's a good guy who talks like them. After all, they're not terrorists, so what's the Moonbats' problem? Damn commie lefties!

The lefties see it differently. To them, El Jefe is a bad, bad man. He's out to string up anyone who disagrees and he'd just as soon wipe his ass with the Constitution than give ground to a liberal. He's not to be trusted about anything. If he says the sky is blue - he's a frickin' low-life liar who KNOWS it's green. Damn his miserable hide!

So let's now imagine this:

Righties, you trust Mr. Bush because he is a kind, benevolent leader who only believes in what's right. He'd never use his awesome power to harm anyone other than those who deserve harm. But, what if this was eight or nine years ago? You'll recall being awfully upset with Billy Bob Blowjob. You didn't trust him any more than lefties trust your leader now. So, put the shoe on the other foot. How much would you trust Bill, Hillary, Al or some other commie with the same sort of power? Would you exchange losing sleep over terrorists with losing sleep over liberals wielding lots of power? My guess is there are quite a few out there who would.

And lefties, you're just as bad. For you, George is shredding the Constitution and breaking the law. However, I didn't see many of you lining up during his administration to call for his well-polished balls when he criminally lied to a grand jury and perp-walked down the impeachment trail.

Democracies, by their nature, are messy, strife-filled affairs, but they needn't be so polarized. We'd all be better served by politely listening to those on the opposite side and being open to their points. There will always be disagreements, but it helps if people don't go around wearing them like a bomb strapped to a suicide bomber on a crowded bus. It's important to listen to and understand dissenting opinions, because one day the power will certainly swing the other way and when it does, you'll find that now you've become them.

Ain't such a comfortable place, is it?

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, May 11, 2006

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Barry at the Bat

I'll state this right up front - I'm no lover of baseball. It's slow and tedious and its chief appeal is sitting around drinking beer and eating hot dogs in the hot sun. Personally, I'd rather drink my beer and eat my hot dogs in the comfort of an air-conditioned room accompanied by a more exciting spectator sport - croquet perhaps.

I also dislike baseball because it has another major disadvantage - it's played by a gaggle of overhyped, overspoiled, overpaid shitheels who whine about poor treatment in between stints in the county lockup or Betty Ford clinic. In my omnipotent opinion, the shittiest of the shitheels is the San Francisco Giant's folically-challenged crybaby Barry Bonds.

For the uninitiated, Bonds has been implicated of using steroids to boost his performance, a fact that seems apparent by his freakishly proportioned body and repeated rounds of grand jury testimony. Despite the admissions of several other player/users and his former dealer, he steadfastly claims he never used steroids. His alibi? He thought the stuff he was flaxseed oil. He and his lawyers never have explained why it's necessary to inject, rather than ingest, the stuff or how flaxseed oil does anything to your body other than give you the shits. This is one of the reasons why I hold lawyers in the same esteem as asshat-clad baseball players.

In case you haven't heard, Bonds is also in the headlines because he's closing in on Babe Ruth's second place position on the career home run list. This feat not only requires a bat and great swing, it also requires a team of lawyers to keep Barry out of jail and security guards to protect him from the fans and keep the media away.

Several days ago, Bonds slithered onto the field in Philadelphia to hit #713, one less than the record-tying run. Philadelphia fans came equipped with numerous insulting posters, lots of jeers, and general vitriol for the slugger, so it was a happy coincidence that the "lucky" fan who caught the ball just happened to be one of the few Giants fans in the park that day. A fervent supporter, Mr. Happy Fan Guy posed for pictures with the Steroid Slugger and told the press how pleased he was that he'd caught the ball and had been able to meet his sports hero.

At the end of the well publicized meet and greet, Mr. Fan asked Barry to sign the now-famous and valuable ball - a custom at such times. Overbearing Barry gave an emphatic NO, bolted for the exit, and told the sports fan, over his rapidly disappearing chemically-enhanced shoulder, to sign a release waiver allowing Barry to use the pictures of the touching moment in an upcoming reality show the slugger plans.

Even for a man who's filed suits against reporters, claimed of being railroaded out of the league, charged teams with non-existent racial bias, and once half-jokingly threatened suicide, this was a very odd and sad act. It must have been a crushing blow for the star-struck fan to see the back of Barry's lumpy, shaved head disappear over the horizon while the ball was still warm in the his outstretched hand.

Baseball is a statistically driven game, so there's much hubbub about whether the record should be yanked if Barry is convicted or at least asterisked because of steroid abuse and numerous changes that made his record easier than it had been for the Babe. This argument misses the point I think.

Here's a boorish, rude cheater who whines about every perceived injustice while single-handedly causing rising ticket prices to cover his outrageous salary. Meanwhile, he sees fit to crap in the face of those self-same ticket holders when they dare to ask him a small favor.

This requires a debate?

I say string him up by his steroid-shrunken balls and put him on rotating display at all the major league ballparks as a warning to the other shitheels. He doesn't need an asterisk, unless it's tattooed on the top of his lumpy-assed head. Dock him salary. Banish him from the league, or even better, planet Earth. Don't give him any record, asterisked or otherwise. And make sure that when he perp-walks off to jail, his cell is on the lower level of the block with the toilet from the cell above plumbed directly to the ceiling of his. But above all else, make him sign baseballs until the bastard's chemically strengthened fingers cramp and fall off.

It's what the Babe would have wanted.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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