Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Fugitive

I crouched low behind some brush as the spotlight from the helicopter swept by my position. I knew it was only a matter of time before I was spotted. I thought I could escape him, but I had underestimated his determination. Now I was trapped. How had matters come to this? It seems like only yesterday we were all celebrating, we controlled it all. Yet today here I am, laying in a drainage ditch, praying he won’t find me. I’m running for my political life.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to accept some of the blame. Me and the other members of my party created him after all. Sure, he looked good when he draped his arm around that fireman at ground zero and spoke into his megaphone, but we couldn’t help ourselves. It was such a ripe opportunity to make all our conservative dreams come true, we had to turn him into a god. And gods can never be questioned only blasphemed. And did THAT ever work for us! Control of the House, the Senate and a two-term Executive!. Whatever he wanted we gave him, all while sticking it to anyone who dared criticize or question. We created our own monster.

None of us imagined the true extent of the horror however until all Republican congressmen up for reelection were invited to the Oval Office a few weeks ago. There the President told us that he was going to campaign for all of us. He told us he was going to barnstorm the entire country, just like in his first term, even if his poll numbers weren’t so hot. He said it would give him a chance to explain how well the Iraq War was going to all the constituents in our districts, all while dressed in a flight suit. He also told us that he was going to introduce a new plan to privatize Social Security and put Harriet Myers and the United Arab Emirates in charge of the agency. He also assured us that the Vice President would be coming along to defend warrantless White House wire taps and quail hunting. Pale and shaken we left and made our plans to escape.

The first reports came from congressmen on the east coast. They had politely told the White House that they had previous engagements and couldn’t be at the President’s stop. But the President followed each of them to their alternate rallies, getting photo-ops with them before the candidates knew what hit them. A senator from Tennessee tried to make a run for it as the President joined him on stage but he was shot with a tranquilizer dart and returned to the stage so the President could embrace him. Clearly, this chief executive would not be stopped.

I thought I was going to get away with my campaign rally. I changed the date at the last minute. But right in the middle of my speech, just as I was distancing myself from the administration’s position on the ports deal, I heard the helicopter. It was Marine One and it was heading straight for me. I eluded it’s intense spotlight and dove from stage and rolled under the bleachers. The gifted pilot hung low and moved the spotlight back and forth, my only chance was the drainage ditch that ran behind the stands. I made it, but Marine One was not far away.

Dust from the helicopter blew all around me, over the din of the blades I heard a loud speaker come on. It was the President. “Come on out now son,” he said, “you’ve given us a good chase but you’re only making it harder on yourself. Time to get a photo with your President, Heh heh heh heh” The laugh chilled me. I knew his 38 point approval hand shake would soon be on me and my political career would be over. It was too late for me. But to all you other Republican congressmen and senators, listen to me; save yourselves! Hide, for the love God, hide! He’s coming.......he’s coming......he’s coming.......

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Gone Fishin’ With Bub Dinkleman

Bub Dinkleman: Howdy folks, welcome to another episode of Gone Fishin’. I’m your host Bub Dinkleman. Joining me in the 21 foot Stratos 201 fishing boat this week is a great fisherman in his own right, none other than Captain Ahab from the novel Moby-Dick, ready to get after them large mouth bass today Captain?

Captain Ahab: Hast Seen the White Whale?

Bub Dinkleman: Captain Ahab, like I said, we’re looking primarily for large mouth bass today. Shawano Lake here in Wisconsin is prime spot for this great game fish and it’s conveniently located within easy driving distance of the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.

Captain Ahab: It’s a white whale, I say, a white whale. Skin your eyes for him, men: look sharp for white water, if ye see but a bubble sing out.

Bub Dinkleman: Easy there Captain Ahab, I’m pretty sure Shawano Lake isn’t deep enough to hold a white whale. I think our best bet today is to hang off some docks and points and make sure we get the right presentation angle for our lures. I may be changing my lure color to chartreuse once this cold front goes through.

Captain Ahab: It was Moby-Dick that dismasted me; Moby-Dick that brought me to this dead stump I stand on now. Aye, aye, it was that accursed white whale that razed me: made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!

Bub Dinkleman: Easy there Captain, as you know, too much noise can drive a school of bass away before you can get your first cast out. But I understand what you mean about the importance of fishing safety! A friend of mine hooked my ear when we were fishing for steelhead on the Root River and...

Captain Ahab: Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out.

Bub Dinkleman: Well, since we aren’t tournament fishing today Captain, I think it’s best if we just do catch and release this trip. Ooo, say, there’s a nice overhanging branch, a perfect location for skipping! I’d suggest a stickbait, rigged Texas style and weightless. I don’t think you could go wrong with a Yamamoto Senko or Venom Salty Sling!

Captain Ahab: Drink, ye harpooneers! Drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat’s bow-Death to Moby- Dick!

Bub Dinkleman: If you’re looking for a beer Captain Ahab, I got some cold Leinies in the cooler by the livewell. Hey Captain, looks like you got a hit there! Holy Smoke, that’s no bass! You must have a muskie! I sure hope you have a strong enough line to pull him....whoa! Captain Ahab, where the hell did you get a harpoon?! Captain, put that down, only the tribes are allowed to spearfish!

Captain Ahab: Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.

Bub Dinkleman: Captain Ahab, your foot is caught in the line! Stop! Don't....

Captain Ahab: Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! And since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus I give up the spear!

Bub Dinkleman: Huh. It doesn’t look like he’s coming back up. Well THAT’S never happened before. Uhmmmm...OK, stay tuned as my wife Amy will have some delicious recipes for preparing shore lunch pike. We’ll also have a preview of next week’s Gone Fishin' when my guest Santiago from Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and I search for crappies on Lake Winnebago!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dr. Max’s Mashup

A list of mostly unrelated, half formed post ideas thrown together just so Dr. Max can use a hot Web 2.0 term in the title

Oh God, Not Another Story About the Kids: Hey everybody, how are you doing? Really? You don’t say. Why don’t you put some ointment on that and I’m sure it will clear up in no time. Dr. Max here. How am I? Good.....good....well, by good I mean very, very, very, very tired. Tired in the way any of you who have had toddlers about will understand. Our daughter, who is not yet two, has somehow convinced herself that she is in fact, twenty-one years old. She insists daily, by screaming the word “I”, that she can A.) put on her shoes, B.) tie said shoes C.) find a deal on a used car so she so get a job and apartment in the city. Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I wanted a little girl with self confidence. We would never want to discourage her from feeling like she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to in life. We just think she should be over, say, three or four feet tall and work on her motor skills just a bit more before she tackles the stairs by herself or hang gliding.

Our 6 year old son just completed his second tour of duty as a ring bearer. Dad did his best to worry and fret that he would mar the dignity of ceremony, but once again he handled his task with a cool professionalism that his father still doesn’t possess, even in his old age. So I did what every good father should do: told him I was proud of him, that I loved him and then drove to Target to make good on the Nintendo GameCube bribe.

Texas and Presidents Don’t Mix: I am referring of course to the eerie similarities between the Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush administrations (and, out of dignity, leaving out the most pertinent example: JFK). I think the problem stems from that unique quality of the Lone Star state, Texas pride. I do not begrudge Texans from possessing an almost manic need to cover unwarranted feelings of inferiority by plastering large state flags on anything in it’s borders that doesn’t move. It’s their state, they are entitled to love it in the same manner that Lennie in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men loved his soft bunnies. Texas qualities worked well for Johnson in the Senate, allowing him to rope and tie legislators to do his bidding. Bush was also extremely popular as a Texas governor for being a Republican and untroubled by the prospect of executing the state’s prisoners. It’s when you make these drugstore cowboys the chief executive of the entire nation that trouble begins. This Texas pride tends to make them start wars halfway across the globe for imaginary reasons and then stubbornly refuse to accept the fact we’re losing. Years go by and we are told daily of final corners and local armies standing on their own as American life and treasure are wasted in a distant conflict we’ve managed to stick ourselves in the middle of. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but I bet we’d do a lot better with a president from Hawaii.

Moose Tunes for Kids: My wife picked up a CD for our kids on her last business trip called Moose Tunes for Kids, sung by Brent Holmes and Marty the Moose. Now I understand this CD was not created for my personal demographic, it’s sole purpose is to entertain the young ones. The thing that amazed me was that the CD had 14 tracks. 14 songs about moose! Really, I think if I were a songwriter, I’d only have one or two moose songs in me, tops. I can only applaud the ambition shown in producing so many ballads about the hoofed Alces alces. I then learned Brent also has a couple of other CD’s including Cow Tunes for Kids and Bear Tunes for Kids! Truly, Mr. Holmes is the livestock songsmith of our generation.

And a Big Thhhppptthhh Of the Raspberry Goes Out to You Democratic Insiders: Once again, the gifted sages that constitute the power elite of the Democratic party have used their vast knowledge of the electorate to shoot down the censure measure of Russ Feingold so they could emphasize the much sexier issue of the national debt in the upcoming midterms. I didn’t think it was possible for Democratic leaders to screw up a 36 point approval rating for Bush, but this brain trust promises to equal their Hindenburg landing in Lakehurst-like success of the last two presidential elections. Only this crew could out-Rove Rove and solidify for voters the perception of Democrats being a group of milquetoasts afraid to directly stand up for any principles. I mean it’s not like a president unilaterally deciding to spy on American citizens is a big deal or anything. Could somebody please tell me where the Grassroots Party stands on the important national issues of the day.....or are they just about the hemp?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Best President Ever, No Questions Asked

This transcript of a discussion held among federal, state and local officials on Aug. 28, 2005, has been updated to include the thoughts of President George W. Bush as he listened to the concerns regarding Hurricane Katrina striking the Gulf Coast:

MIKE BROWN, DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: Everyone, let's go ahead and get started. It's noon, and we have a lot of business to cover today. Before we get started, I wanted to very briefly introduce Michael Jackson, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, and my good friend from .......

President Bush’s Thoughts:.....Brownster? Nah.....Brownalong-a-ding-dong? Nope. Hmmmm. Brummel and Brown? Charlie Brown? Wait a a fudge brownie, heh heh heh, that’s it! I’m gonna call him Brownie. How ya doin Brownie? Nice day, huh Brownie? You’re doin a heck of a job there Brownie!. Yeah...that’s good, even in a crisis I can still come up with my patented clever nicknames....

...MAX MAYFIELD, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: Okay. Good afternoon. I don't have any good news here at all today. This is, as everybody knows by now ,a very dangerous hurricane, and the center is about 225 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Putting the visual loop up here, Slide 100 here, just so you can see the size. You know, if there was ever a time to remind people not to focus on that skinny black line, this is it. This is a very, very large hurricane....

President Bush’s Thoughts:....heh heh....that’s funny, those satellite photos make that hurricane look like a booby...heh heh....a big white booby....

...MAYFIELD: So if the really strong winds clip Lake Poncetrain, that's going to pile some of that water from Lake Poncetrain over on the south side of the lake. I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levies will be topped or not, but that's obviously a very, very grave concern...

President Bush’s Thoughts:..boy this new video room at the ranch sure is cool. Look at the paneling they put in here! They musta gone to the Home Depot! If Laura thinks she’s gonna get her craft room back she can FOR-GIT-IT! I bet I get to keep that big screen TV after I’m done being president....I’m gonna get a nice massage lounger in here and it will be 24-7 baseball, yee haa!

...BROWN: Any questions?

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: Hearing none, this concludes the weather portion of the conference.

BROWN: Thank you very much. At this time, I'd like to go to Crawford, Texas. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce the President of the United States.

President Bush’s Thoughts:...Doo Daa Da Doo, Daa Da Doo, Daa Da Doo, Daa Da Doo, Barracuda! Doo Daa Da, why has everybody stopped talking? Oh crap!

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: Yes, Mike, thank you very much.I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm to help you deal with the loss of property. And we pray for no loss of life, of course. In the meantime, I know the nation will be praying for the good folks in the affected areas, and we just hope for the very best. Mike, thanks for letting me speak to the people I know who are working long hours. Again, I want to thank everybody involved in this effort. I appreciate the long hours you're keeping. I expect you to keep more long hours until we've done everything we can in our power to help — to help the folks in the affected areas. Thank you....hours.....thanks.....long hours...very best...thank you.....thanks.

President Bush’s Thoughts:...heh heh, hey that almost sounded like I was paying attention. Those years of pretending I knew what was going on during those Harken Energy meetings really paid off.....

BROWN: Mr. President, thank you. We appreciate your support of FEMA and those kind words very much. Thank you, sir.

BROWN: Okay. We'll move on now to the states. Louisiana?

SMITH: Good morning, Mike. This is Colonel Jeff Smith here in Louisiana. We certainly appreciate those comments from the President, because I can tell you that our Governor is very concerned about...

President Bush’s Thoughts:...Oh blahbiddy blah blah blah, Jesus Christ, let’s move it along here folks! We get it, big storm coming. The brush is NOT going to clear itself around here y’know. That reminds me, I saw one of those infomercials about that DR Field and Brush Mower. Oh baby does that look sweeeeeet. I gotta get me one of those next time I go to the Home Depot.....

...COL. SMITH: Mike, no. (Inaudible) resources that are en route, and it looks like those resources that are en route are going to – to be a good first shot. Naturally, once we get into this thing...(CLICK)....And welcome to Sports Center...

BROWN: Excuse me, who just turned Col. Smith’s channel to ESPN?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: He wasn’t finished? Oh, sorry, (CLICK)

COL. SMITH: FCO is onsite. ERD-A is onsite. EMAC-18 is onsite. We've got everything that we need from the Federal Government. And, again, we appreciate what you and FEMA are doing. Mr. Secretary, I appreciate you being there. It shows the support at that level. We really do appreciate it. We certainly appreciate the words from the President....

President Bush’s Thoughts:..Y’now what I’d really appreciate? Somebody ending this damn meeting. C’mon Brownie, wrap this crap up, it’s s'mores night at the ranch for the Secret Service guys and I gotta go down to the FINA station for more Hershey bars....

...BROWN: We have DOD assets over here at the EOC. They are fully engaged, and we are having those discussions with them now.

CHERTOFF: Good job.

BROWN: (Missing.)

CHERTOFF: I did, yes. Thank you.(Missing.)

BROWN: Are there any other questions or comments anyone needs to make? If not, carry on. Next meeting noon tomorrow. I'll see you from Baton Rouge.

President Bush’s Thoughts:...Oh thank God. FINALLY, it’s over. These fricking meetings are really screwing with my vacation hours! I don’t want to hear another word about God damned Katrina the rest of the week!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

South Dakota’s Rapists and Incest Perpetrators Applaud State’s Defense of Their Fatherhood Rights

A bill which would ban all abortions in South Dakota, unless necessary to save the mother's life, has been applauded by the state’s rapists and incest perpetrators who become fathers through their acts. The bill, designed to challenge Roe V. Wade in the US Supreme Court, makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion, even in a case of rape or incest. It is thought to be the first bill in the nation to defend the fatherhood rights of inhuman monsters.

Will Penstamp, a rapist in Pierre South Dakota, said it was high time the state support his right to become a father. “I’ve been raping on and off for 20 years now,” said Penstamp, “and for me, it’s never been just about the reprehensible sexual assault of a woman’s body. Any true rapist will tell you the real thrill is the control you feel through the shame and scaring you cause in a woman’s life. I would really like to thank the South Dakota state legislature and Governor Mike Rounds in particular for recognizing this fact. By insuring that my victims carry the offspring from my violent act to full term I know they will never forget me. Where other states would callously allow victims an abortion to help them move on with their lives, the good people of South Dakota see me as a dad as well as a rapist. I hope this bill will finally challenge abortion rights in this country, so rapists nationwide will be allowed to experience the joys of fatherhood. But if the Justices only allow abortion bans on a state by state basis, at least rapist dads will know they have a home here in South Dakota!”

Abraham Flagstrom, a Sioux Falls area incest perpetrator, said he is proud to be a citizen of a state that recognizes his right to become a combination father and grandfather. “As a twisted freak who has regularly violated the most sacred trust between a father and daughter, “ said Flagstrom, “this issue means a lot to me. Thank God we still have Republican politicians of courage here in this state, who see it as their duty to require my daughter to spend 9 months carrying the results of my perverted need to break a taboo. In South Dakota, I'm now free to look forward to the day my daughter gives birth to her sister and I can hold my little daughter/granddaughter in my arms. Maybe it's just a dream, but thanks to this bill and the vile impulses that rule my sick life, perhaps one day I can be the father of her child too!”

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The 59 Flavors of Windows Vista

Microsoft corporation has announced that the next version of their Windows operating system, Windows Vista, will come in multiple versions and price points to better match the the various needs of it’s many customers. Following are the Windows Vista packages that should be available by the end of this year:

Windows Vista - Virus Free Starter Addition: A Windows Vista box with no software, only a static cling screen cover with the Vista menu page printed on it. Since no Windows software is installed Microsoft engineers guarantee your computer will be 100% virus and adware free!

Windows Vista Home Basic : The newer version of XP Home edition. Microsoft engineers say they have worked long hours to provide customers with a more stylish blue screen of death experience. “Oh, trust me, it will crash just as much,” says Microsoft Vista project head Dale Cobblejob, “but we’ve had some design firms come in and help with the look of our famous fatal error page. Since customers see it so often, we wanted to create a nice visual for them while they contemplate all the work they just lost.”

Windows Vista Home Basic N: This version will only be available in Europe as EU antitrust rulings have forced Microsoft to provide a version of their operating system without the Windows Media Player. The EU cancelled plans to require Microsoft to also create a version minus Internet Explorer when they realized it would have started a global population shift of grateful customers moving to Belgium just to get a copy.

Windows Vista Home Premium: This version includes all the features of Vista Basic along with Tablet PC and Media Center capabilities as well as Microsoft’s exclusive, Aero (TM) Interface. “It’s really a ham handed copy of the Mac OS X look and feel, but we call it Aero,” said Cobblejob. “We never consider our job done until we’ve created a pale imitation of the Apple OS. As for the Media Center functionality, we think we have a real opportunity here to offer Vista users the ability to crash their new big screen plasma TVs as often as their PCs!”

Windows Vista Business: Windows for small to medium sized businesses, who want to rely less on their own dedicated IT support. “Not that Vista Business will be much better than XP Pro, “ said Cobblejob, “it’s just that every box will include a list of Microsoft licensed 24 hour call centers located in India. That will free up IT personal in these businesses to add strategic value to the organization....or to be laid off on Friday and escorted out of the building.”

Windows Vista Enterprise: Designed for all large or global sized companies with complex information technology needs. This version features data protection and encryption technology. It will also hunt for any existing copy of Linux on an enterprise PC or server and erase it, charging only a nominal fee to the user for each copy destroyed.

Windows Vista Ultimate: Vista Ultimate combines all the features of Vista Home Premium and Vista Business combined into one package. “Hey, we have our fingers crossed that Ultimate will be the best of both worlds,” said Cobblejob, “but when a company reaches Microsoft’s behemoth like proportions, who are we kidding? With all the political infighting that goes on around here, consider yourself lucky if this sucker is stable enough to get you to the start screen.” Each Ultimate package will also include special bonuses, including a Bill Gates trading card, some gum, a Windows Vista decoder ring, a chocolate pudding cup, a “I heart Windows Vista” poster and t-shirt, a Steve Ballmer action figure, baked beans and Spam.