Friday, April 30, 2010

Please Keep Gilad Shalit In Your Prayers

I missed Israeli Independence Day (mostly because I can never keep the Hebrew date straight). But Sergeant Shalit was taken hostage four years ago. To date, he has been held a hostage by Islamic terrorists who masquerade as freedom fighters or as a government. You know them as Hamas.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Never missing a chance to miss a chance

What is it with the current Board of Supervisors? Only one of them seems to be willing to tackle the fiscal problem the city is facing a meaningful way, and even then I get the feeling it's only halfhearted and to get some attention in the press.

What am I talking about? Apparently, not content to tax us in a variety of ways to the point of insanity, the city of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors has decided on a new 90 day trial plan with a new fee for many of us. What is that you may ask? It's parking on Sunday.

In a way, this is just like Spirit Airlines and their recent decision to tack on a fee for all luggage carry-on or loaded on their flights.

Whenever someone government says that taxes temporary, I think we need to look at their definition of temporary versus our definition of temporary. Governments never like to give up sources of revenue. There is always some pet project that can be trotted out they can justify the continuation of a tax.

In the people we elect a government, as well as the bureaucrats which they appoint, are not the only ones to blame. We enable this habit. We rubberstamp the spending by continuing to return the same people office over and over again. Voters have a memory the most major-league closers would kill for. If it didn't happen in the last few news cycles, barely remember it happened at all.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors is apparently going to authorize this new parking meter extension to Sunday's, saying that polygamy for 90 days in the know about with the program. Right... what you want to bet this is the 90 days or a Board of Supervisors is going to look at the pile of money that they've made from you dropping coins into the meters and the meter maids issuing tickets and say to themselves "this is a lot of moneyh, we could do something with this".

But is it really going to bring down the deficit that this government in San Francisco is running right now? Can act as a Band-Aid. It's going to make people think that we've solved our fiscal problems. But the only to really solve the problems is to get back to living within our means. If that means cutting some programs and we need to do that. Otherwise we're just to be raising and raising and raising more and more fees and taxes in the city.

At some point, enough has to be enough. Why don't we start now?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Can I dance with madness? (DWTS Recap)

Chelsea and Jake Pavelka start off the night with the Samba. Jake decided to forgoe the fake tan apparently. He’s not bouncy enough. He looks like a chicken and will someone please tell him those facial expressions are not helping him. He is also off timing wise, and just barely missed knocking her on her bum. Mrs. Angrybell doesn’t think he is doing the hold very well, and thinks that he grabbed her boob. We disagree on whether we think he is having fun with the dance. As the lead off pair, they get the benefit of the doubt. 21.

Evan and Anna followed up with a samba of their own. This is a man who barely has been introduced to his hips. That fall int eh training looked painful and concussion worthy. And apparently, Dr. Axel says it was a mild concussion. Mrs. Angrybell is against Anna flipping Evan. And now on the Samba. They got a much better song than Jake. He looks like he is squatting a bit. I’m not sure that is right. Mrs. Angrybell likes it. I am just wondering about some of Evan’s stuff. His hip movement is working for him. It just feels like there are bit where it goes a little wrong and he is just off and then gets right back into it. Can’t call it perfect. And then Len put his finger on what I couldn’t say. He is right, it was too balletic and not enough party. Mrs. Angrybell thinks the 7s were frakked up. Even with Len’s comment (which she disagrees with). I agree, Evan got hosed.

Niecey and Louie showed up with a change of pace with the argentine tango. Niecey is having too much fun training. Mrs. Angrybell is stunned speechless by Nicey’s outfit. And not in a good way. The footwork is nice in the beginning, and playful, but she is not close enough to his hip. For someone who is not in shape, nor flexible, she does a good impersonation. That lift over the knee is just off, but I love the cookie at the end! Len liked the comedy and the cookie? Is the world about to end? Will the Cubbies win the World Series now? What the hell is going on with these scores? Can't you people admit that Jake did not deserve the 7s he got and stop penalizing the rest by giving them 7s when they did better? 21 for Niecy.

Maksim and Erin argued their way on to the dance floor. Dancing the Samba in an unfortunate outfit. Mrs. Angrybell thinks she looks like Adrianna from the Sopranos. Interesting that he tried a little solo bit in the beginning. Problem is, she is not that graceful. Mrs. Angrybell thinks that Maksim is having to drag her around too much. As the dance goes on, she is dancing more, following, as opposed to being drug about. Ahh, and then Maksim gets to show off the guns. Tatiana Ali where are you? Mrs. Angrybell thinks there is no need for the shirtless Maksim. Erin is... not a great dancer, but then again, she is not as abd as some of the models that have graced the stage. Carrie Ann is smoking something. And apparently Bruno is too. Is the fix in? Really? 25? Mrs. Angrybell calls foul!

Chad and Cheryl need a good dance tonight. He started off well, and then has gone into a bit of a decline. And tonight is the Argentine tango. Well he is good and close to her. The problem is that he looks a little tentative in the start. When they get into the spin, he looks better, but when Cheryl has him choreographed for the slow pause steps (I know they have a proper name, and I can't remember what they are), he looks less sure. On the good side, Cheryl makes it hard to look at him. The intensity is there in the face, but not always in the steps and then it starts to come out at the end. Ugh. Two dances in one. Fortunately for him, the judges only seemed to see the parts he did well. 24.

Nicole and Derek also drew the samba. Nicole is really feeling the pressure this week. Now this is what a samba should look like. I am not a fan of her hair and its causing her trouble sometimes. But otherwise, I am enjoying this. She should have raided Edyta's closet for this dance. I am not a fan of this outfit. And she could've almost worn some of Edyta's stuff. That last move at the end was very nice. Whats the problem with this dance? I'm not sure. Len is interesting in that he thinks that if certain steps are not there its a problem. I agree with that to a point, but it looked good. 26. Bruno is in love with her.

Pam and that guy (Damian?) danced the Argentine tango. Why is he having so much trouble lifting her up? She looks like she weighs almost nothing. Is saline or silicone that heavy? And she is going to do it with a dark hair style going. This is so not Pam Anderson. Apparently, she is listening to Colby now. I like that opening lift sequence. Mrs. Angrybell and I are split over the sharpness of her steps. I think she is doing just as good if not better, especially on the slows of the steps. Nice second lift, but the landing was a little rocky, Damian! Now her steps are a little of and in the last tango spin it was not quite on. First half of the dance was great. Last half started to lose steam. 22 thanks to Bruno.

Mrs. Angrybell on Brooke Burke: "Have you noticed that Brooke Burke has not looked like a crazy freak all season long? I think it was a contract provision that they not let any of Samantha Harris' dressers/stylists near her."

Now for the group swing marathon. As Chad says "White trees can't dance." And Jake and Chelsea start by mucking about. Really a good idea guys with that many points on the line? Chad and Cheryl look sloppy, as do Pam and Damian. Jake and Chelsea go down first. Derek and his zoot suit are doing what they always do with his partner. Louis and Niecey are working it, but then they go down. Chad is not keeping good time, even when shirtless. Evan and Ana go spinning out of control and they gets them the hook. Nice life from Pam and Damian, even if she almost goes into the floor and not in a good way. I have to say, I am surprised the Maksim and Erin have lasted this long. Chad and Cheryl go down, which is good. Pamela is somehow surviving, but I';m not sure why. And then they go down after a bad series of lifts. Erin should go first, but we shall see what happens. And down goes Erin and Maks. For the second season in a row, Derek and partner win the marathon.

Alright, people, let's get this right this time. Pam does not belong in the bottom two. She should be going on.

As far as leaders. It remains unchanged in my opinion. Nicole and Derek are distancing themselves on the women's side. For the men, unless Chad steps up big time next week (assuming he survives), the best the men have to offer is Evan.

What about the rest? Niecy is nice, but her time on the program may be getting short. Erin, despite that shockingly bad assessment by the judges tonight, should also look out. But in the finally result, the next to go should be: Jake. Can't dance. Surprisingly uncharismatic. Please, send him home!

We are definitely not getting what we paid for

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time over the last couple months, he may have noticed that I am very upset over the state of Muni, and specifically with how much everyone involved in it is getting paid. Well, it looks like this problem is not just restricted to Muni. It looks like just about everybody involved in San Francisco government is getting paid way too much money.

The San Francisco Chronicle today released an article detailing just how many people in city government makeover hundred thousand dollars a year. That's not hundred thousand dollars a year with over time, that's $100,000 a year as your base salary for a city employee. In case you didn't read the article, let me just summarize it for you: 1 in 3 city employees makes over hundred thousand dollars a year.

In many cases, now paid by the city and County of San Francisco to its employees are higher than those of other surrounding municipalities. What is interesting to me, is that not only is it higher than surrounding municipalities, that is in-line or higher than the private sector for similar jobs. Are we getting our value for paying the people who serve us as city employees? Or to put it another way, if this employee unions are going to insist be paid private sector wages, then why are we going to expect private sector results from our employees?

I think it's clear, we are not getting our money's worth. Muni is a travesty. the San Francisco public schools are rapidly heading towards travesty. Homelessness is still a rampant problem in the city. But hey, our Muni workers get treated like kings for failing to do their jobs well and the head of the ethics commission can walk away with $140,000 in compensation for doing... what?

I understand that people should be paid what they're worth. However, the problem is I don't think that the people of the city of San Francisco are getting what they paid for. If you want to be paid top dollar, he has to show that you were top dollar. If you can get paid more than people in the private sector, significantly more in one of the factors of the benefits and pensions are things that no private employer can match these days, then why aren't the city streets paved properly? And why aren't the homeless in doubt with an effective efficient manner? And why can't the buses run close to being on time in the city?

If you're getting paid like Barry Zito, then you damn well better pitch like Tim Lincecum.

First, let's fix the Muni travesty. Then the rest of the city government.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Madness Is Back After A Hiatus (DWTS)

Alright. Thank you America. You ditched the dud (aka Aiden). So let's see what this week has in store for us on "Movie Night".

Niecy and Louis lead off with the jive. I think that Niecy is understanding why weight is not a good thing to have too much of in a ballroom competition. Good song this week already. Last week was just awful for music. Starts off with some nice basic jive moves. Mrs.Angrybell was scared by the shimmying to the judges. Niecy is not as light on her fight as this dance demands. But she is keeping time well. She is just not.. bouncy... enough for lack for a better word. And on that break, she looked a little lost. Her arms, also, at time seems to be tentative and not making the nice lines that Cary Ann likes to see from the contestants. She needs refinement is what we are seeing here. And Len just said exactly what I've been typing! I can't be completely crazy. The 6's were lower than I thought they would give. I honestly thought it would be 7's across the board.

Chad and Cheryl followed up with a quickstep. Mrs. Angrybell thinks they are dating because their dynamic is weird in the practicing. I think its just a weird dynamic, but then again I've been watching too many old episodes of Lie to Me. Bare Necessities. Great song for this dance. In open, Chad looks too lackadaisical and keeps looking over at Cheryl for cues too much. In hold, they are not close enough, and the frame is not locked in place. This is a bit of a mess . Despite all this, the footwork is not bad. He is getting some heel toe action, but then he starts going to his toes too much. Mrs. Angrybell thinks he looks too staid for this dance. Little trip during Cheryl's twirls. Basically, I thought it was mess. Good grief, Cary Anne and I sharing a moment in agreement. Whats wrong with me? Mrs. Angrybell thinks that this is Len's week to be sweet, because she was expecting the fire and brimstone Len. The 6's were right on the money.

Maks and Erin drew the Pulp Fiction jive. They are definitely not having a relationship. They remind me of a brother and sister trying to work together. Too much mucking about and I can't wait to see what Maks and the menu. Alright, go back and compare this dance with Niecy. The foot work is better but she is still having the problem of being heavy on her feet. Niecy at least has an excuse. As Mrs. Angrybell points out, she is tall like Stacy Kiebler, but whereas Stacy used it to her advantage, Erin has this habit of just looking gangly. The split was a nice touch, but too choppy. She needs to smooth out her moves and not look so choppy. Mrs. Angrybell says she needs finish. But overall, you have to say she made Uma wish she looked that good in that outfit. Look at what Stacy did with her height and compare that with what Erin does with hers.

I'm a little confused with Bruno's 8. The sevens were right on. It was just off.

Now comes one of my least favorite men in the competition: Jake. One of these days, Chelsea has got to get someone good. Can someone please tell this guy to stop patting himself on the back. They drew the cha cha cha. Apparently, Jake does not know movies. He came in with the Top Gun volleyball look. I really didn't need to see that. Mrs. Angrybell is shocked, stunned, and speechless, by the start and his costume. I was jsut hoping those pants would get their quicker than his footwork. Now, I never thought of Old Time Rock and Roll as a cha cha cha song. Mrs. Angrybell is wondering what dance he is doing. According to her, he is not doing much and Chelsea is carrying most of the load. I have to agree that the first half is like that. The hip movement is almost nonexistent. But he has flashes of some good movement. Too uneven. Now its my turn to be shocked, stunned and amazed by Len's review of the dance. And of course, Carrie Ann gushes over it. I'm sorry, I don't see it. 8's from the bookends? For real? Len's 7 is closer to the truth, but 8's?

Pam Anderson and Damian drew the quickstep to 9 to 5. One busty blonde channeling another. As a side note, I'm impressed by her endurance, especially in light of her health. Oh Len is going to hate this. Too much screwing around before they get into the dance. But I like the hodl and the closeness. She gets off but then gets back in on his hip. Her head is a little wrong and her frame is not as locked as it should be. Her footwork is good, but the slide step was a bit off. Mrs. Angrybell says "Put Pamela in less clothes." the part where they go over the desk was great. Mrs. Angrybell was willing to give extra points for making it over the desk and chairs as elegantly as she did. And according to Len, it was 24 bars of messing around. Shocking! But its nice to see our crabby Len back. A 7, 6, and 8. Len could've been nicer. Bruno was wrong, but

Next up was Kate and Tony. Can America please put her out of our misery? Its just so painful watching her. And she apparently has never watched Breakfast Club. What woman in that age group has never seen this movie? Really? And watching Tony, I just feel so sorry for him in the rehearsal. She is just obnoxious. I hope he is getting hazard pay for dealing with her. She is jsut phoning it in. Good song. Mrs. Angrybell wants to know which character Kate is supposed to be in this quicksteps (or was it a foxtrot? I have no idea it was that bad.). Mrs. Angrybell says "Kate's hair is becoming increasingly frightening. It was one think when she went for dyke-chic but this.. the 90's called and wants the style bad." There was nothing about this dance I can say that was good on her part. Please, send her home. Apparently, neither can Carrie Ann (aka Pollyanna). And Bruno was downright mean! Go Bruno! The 5's were a gift.

Following that trainwreck was Nicole and Derek doing a tango to Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison. She is starting to feel the stress. I like how they did the opening. It was messing about but it was done in dance moves. Mrs. Angrybell is impressed how well she is hitting her steps. And I love how well she is right on his hip when she is supposed to be. This is such a sharp routine and they are so in synch on their kicks. She looks confident. The spins were great. She looks like she is dancing with him,instead of Derek having to pull her through the dance, like say Tony has to do with Kate. Wow. Mrs. Angrybell is concerned that Bruno may have gone over the edge this time. Len was overly harsh with his 9. I've seen them give lesser dances 30 in other seasons. Sorry Nicole, you got robbed. It should have been 30 and not 29.

Evan and Anna drew "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" for a rhumba. Mrs. Angrybell thinks that Anna stole the keys to Edyta's closet this week. Nice hip movement from Evan right out of the gate. Its not as much as it should be, but it makes Jakes look like what he was: pathetic. He is losing hip action as the dance goes on. However, he has nice lines. THere just wasn't any special moment in the dance. The 27 was nice.

Alright, clearly this week Nicole separated herself from the others in this competition. Pam Anderson is hanging in there, showing some nice improvements. From where she is right now, if the final three were named today, she would probably be in there.

On the men's side of the sheet, its a bit of a mess. Chad seems to be in freefall. Either he needs to give up sleeping with Cheryl or he needs to sleep with her. Because whatever it is right now between them, its not working. Evan is in control of the men. The rest... they might as well not exist.

But this is true: Kate needs to be given a swift boot off this show. Please. Do it for Tony!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tales From the Deposition

So my wife was working from home today, taking a telephone deposition. And I partially heard some of the testimony, which triggered the memory of a deposition I was taking a few years ago.

As a little bit of background, this was a case where the plaintiff was alleging he was injured because of exposure to asbestos. All he could show at the time were pleural plaques on his lungs. Pleural plaques may, or may not, be a pre-cursor to a more serious asbestos-related disease. But developing them does not always mean it will happen.

So the guy we were deposing this one time was in his mid-50's and a former insulation worker. He was a little overweight, and talked with a sort of affected southern-accent (even though he was from Northern California.) Along with the deponent, there was his attorney, and about 30 defense attorneys who think they've heard and seen it all at asbestos depositions.

But anyways, this was the exchange:

Angrybell: Can you tell me how you knew the material was made by...

Deponent: Are you asking why I brought this case?

Opposing Counsel: Sir, just listen to the question before you answer.

AB: Not really, I just want to know..

D: You want to know why I brought this case? I'm gonna tell you!

AB: Sure, tell us.

D: I can't walk to my truck no more without getting winded. I can't hunt no more. And I can't mount my wife without getting winded! I have to stop and take a break when I get on her!

OC: I think we're going to take a break off the record.

AB: Sure.

Co-Counsel: Well, I guess that takes care of damages.

Other co-counsel: Failure to mitigate! His wife won't get on top!

Obama's Guide To Bowing

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Muni Operators Just Don't Get It

So the Muni mess here in San Francisco just keeps on going.

Yesterday, it was announced that Board of Supervisors, including Supervisor Elsbernd, denied a petition by some transit activists to delay the proposed cuts to the Muni system. The petition was brought on the grounds that the MTA officials decided on the cuts with out going through the proper procedure. The Board of Supervisors reasoning was that the MTA had declared an emergency and that allows them to just chuck a, rather onerous, process.

So nice to see that the Supes want to see things done the right way each time. Apparently, all you need to do is cry emergency, even if it is a self-inflicted one, and you get to screw the citizens of San Francisco.

Good job guys. Way to keep the pressure on Muni management to make some changes.

As this is going on, Muni management is trying to negotiate a new contract with operators union. Now, I have grave doubts about Muni management's ability to negotiate anything in the City's favor. After all, they've been the one handling this for years and look where its gotten us.

The Muni operator unions, the Transport Workers Union, are refusing to budge on their contract demands. According to the Chronicle, they claim that they are being "scapegoated in the mass media for the financial mess." My response to them: don't worry, you're just the first up for this; the management is next and they know.

The Transport Workers Union seems to have a little problem with reality. They seem to see nothing wrong the fact that they want to protect contract guarrantees that allow:
  • 36 full time employees work only one run (not route, but a run through a route) per day.
  • Free gym memberships for the employees.
  • $2 per hour premiums for employees who are transferred from a shift or to a different division.
  • While at the same time giving employees a 50 cent per hour pay increase for remaining in a division for more than 5 years
  • 8 percent premiums for working after 6 p.m.
So, let's get this straight. Muni is supposed to be unable to transfer people to meet the systems needs without paying a tax in the form of higher wages. Also, after a certain amount of time working in the same division, without determining whether the operator is good at their job or not, they get a $.50/hr increase. This is kind of insane!

And perhaps my favorite part about the Muni-TWU negotiations: the TWU won't give a counter-offer to Muni. Why? First, the membership can't even get its act together to vote on what counter-offer to make. Second, the poor head of the TWU needed some time off because of stress. Where does Irwin Lum go to de-stress? Apparently Paris, France.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nixon went to China...

And changed the geopolitical landscape.

Pres. Obama, using his smart foreign-policy, went to China this week. And what did he bring back? I believe the technical term is bubkiss.

Alright, maybe it wasn't nothing. There were some vague commitments by China, Chile, and the Ukraine to ship some uranium to the United States. and Russia did promise to send some of its enriched uranium DNA state for safekeeping. But they won't start doing that for eight years. But what else did the Pres.'s trip to China accomplish? The commitment for 47 countries to get together and work on the problems that were facing them at the meeting in China this week. And, oh yeah, that meeting will happen in two years.

Most significantly, President Obama failed to get China on board with his proposed sanctions against Iran. Nothing concrete was accomplished in regards to North Korea.

However, if you read the headline of the AP article, it sounds like a lot got done. "Summit endorses Obama goal on nuclear security" cries the AP. the reader will into the article and you'll realize that, well, nothing substandard happened. Just a bunch of world leaders getting a photo op together saying "nuclear weapons are bad and we should do something to stop the spread of them."

And hey, the president did get wonderful opportunity with the president of China, so he could show everyone he knows how to bow to yet another foreign dictator.

Multilateralism at work, getting nothing done. I guess that's the legacy that President Obama wants to leave with his foreign-policy.

Great job Mr. President. We elected him why?

Monday, April 12, 2010

We Need People To Make Hard Choices, Not Throw Bread To The Circuses

Well, I suppose it had to happen at some point. After the ridiculous spending sprees of the of the Carter administration and the previous administration, that would be both Presidents Bush and Obama, our economic house seems to be in complete disarray. Thank you a much President Bush and Pres. Obama.

So what are we going to do about this? Are we just going to keep spending incredible sums of money and hope that people are going to keep buying our bonds, even though it appears that our rating is going to go down? Perhaps we'll just end up taxing everybody at higher rates?

Well it looks like the government just wants to increase taxes on everybody.

It seems to be a truism, that once you start spending money in Washington, you can't stop it for some reason. Every time we spend money in Washington DC, it creates an interest group and that interest group wants its money to continue. And whatever program, and I will bet to lunch at in and out that there is a group out there that has lobbyists ready and willing to make sure that that money stream never gets turned off.

I suppose that's part of the problem, but we just don't like to stop spending money. We start a program, thinking it's going to help people and pay off in the end. But then it really doesn't do what we hoped it would. And we start throwing money at it to fix it. But somewhere along the way, we forgot how to say you know what it does not work change our minds. Because somehow in our political landscape changing your mind has become equated with failure and defeat.

Then again, we start some programs purpose of helping people and we don't really take into account how the hell were going to pay for it. Case in point: the new healthcare law. the Democratic Party, in its infinite wisdom, pushed through a healthcare law for which this country cannot afford to pay. They did this because we were so tired of the Republicans running this country that we kicked too many of them out of Congress. So in a sense, we did this to ourselves. We as voters did not really think hard enough about what our votes really are going to result in.

This is really just a long-winded way of getting to what's bothering me today. And that is, the fact that we are faced with a president who's going to want to propose sometime soon, namely a proposal for the enactment of a value-added tax. Now value-added taxes, or VATs, have been around for a while. They're commonly used in a lot of other countries. A VAT as one reporter noted, is a sales tax on steroid. Now, liberals like to tax the rich, right? Well, how not so much the case when it comes to a VAT. A VAT is probably the most regressive tax upon conceive of because it affects everyone and is added on to everything that gets purchased. So that means pretty much everything, from food to clothes to widgets, are going to get hit with an added sales tax.

Think you like paying the 10% sales tax in San Francisco right now? Just wait and see if the added size 10 or 15% sales tax that the federal government is going to add onto the end of that. It's going to be fun.

You can only have guns and butter if you got the money to pay for both guns and butter. Ask the British Empire they manage to do it for about 10 years and then the wheels fell off. There were other solutions available for healthcare. The Democrats chose not. They chose to ignore the evidence. And as a result of this, or we are going to get hit with some taxes. Well, that's not true. A lot of taxes.

And if you think that the VAT is going to be a temporary thing but I suggest you look at your telephone bill sometime. there is an excise tax in in your phone bill that dates back to the Spanish-American war, which ended in a 1898. tax was supposed to be a temporary measure to help fund the war. However, Congress found it to be a nice full cash cow, reauthorizing in reviving the tax until 1947 when they just went ahead and made permanent.

But then again, when you run your administration solely on the basis of doctrine rather than pragmatism in reality, does it really matter that other people suffer so you can have your place in history book? Apparently to Pres. Obama, it doesn't.

We need to overhaul the system. We need to make cuts, because endless taxing and borrowing on credit from other nations is unsustainable at the levels at which we are doing. The systems that we put in place to combat poverty are not having the effect that it was hoped for. However, we cling to the systems as though they are holy cows was from G-d.

If recent history is anything to judge by, taxing and spending our way out of our problems are not working. The stimulus package has failed. The mortgage bailout program has failed. A healthcare plan is going to fail, not because its goals are bad or even unachievable said the money for it is simply not there.

We need to make hard choices. We need people in power or willing to do the right thing, not the doctrinaire thing. Otherwise, we will simply become tax slaves for the government instead of free citizens who are represented by government.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Really?!?!?!?!?!?! (Dancing With the Stars Reveal)

Really? You sent home Buzz and couldn't have the decency to at least put that whiney shrew Kate Gosselin in the bottom two?

What are you all thinking? She needs to go home. She cannot darken our screens for more weeks. Please, put Tony out of his misery!

Some Dancing Madness That Isn't My Own (DWTS News)

Think dancing isn't tough? Think that the network lawyers cracked down on Dancing With The Stars after the injuries during Season 8?

Think again.

Apparently Evan Lysachek is dancing with three broken toes. However,he is refusing to pullout despite the pain. His toes have taken to the net and are twittering about this.

And to add to the fun that is going on on stage for Kate Gosselin, she is going to be heading back to court. Her former husband, Jon Gosselin, is taking her to court for primary custody of the children because she is appearing on the show. I feel so bad for Tony. Not only can't she dance, not be a drama queen, and be coachable, but now he is going to have to deal with her added stress of facing a court date while prepping her for the next dance.

Tony, you and Edyta deserve an award for this season. But hey, if America shows some compassion, you will be done with her tonight.

One can dream right?

And then just when you thought nothing else could be worse, Bruno is apparently appearing nude in an ad campaign. Yes, its for charity. But really, do we need to see more of Bruno?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Its Madness Time - Dancing With The Stars

Mrs. Angrybell has the initial observation: Brooke Burke likes nice. Like really nice. Like she slipped the wardrobe department an envelope stuffed with twenties to make sure they never did to her what they did to Samantha Harris on a regular basis the last two seasons.

Its drama night. Or story night. Or whatever they are calling the theme tonight. The only downside of the opening number was the fact that Lacey Schwimmer made an appearance. Thankfully, she did not open her mouth to speak.

Up first are Evan and Anna doing the quickstep. This week may kill Len, because I foresee a lot of messing about before the dancing really starts. Mrs. Angrybell says "What a happy little gay dude, but not a pansy. That Lance Bass gave gay dudes a bad name" He is working this dance. Nice, peppy, joi de vive (that was Mrs. Angrybell). Couldn't tell about the footwork but it looked good. A 26. Not sure it was that good, maybe straight 8s.

Buzz and Ashley doing a waltz. Buzz is a super-cerebral guy, something I never would have thought. I really hate critiquing him since he is so old. So what I am doing to say is that he is trying hard. A 13. It was brutal but ... deserved.

Chelsea and Jake doing a quickstep. To "Walk Like An Egyptian". Interesting. Jake is whiner. Shut up and do what she says. Personally, I think Chelsea is too easy on him. But he thinks she is being "disrespectful"? What a wuss. Grow up, grow a pair, and learn the routine. This is an eh routine. Footwork apepars to be a bit of amess and he is staing up on his toe stoo much. Plus, there was too much messing about, seriously. It took them too long to get to the start of the dance. I was hoping she would leave him in the sarcophogus but damn if he slink out. The 21 was a little on the generous side for my tastes.

Niecy and Louis were, hopefully, going to wash the taste of Jake out of our mouths. Touching little moment between the two of them. Then on to the waltz. I like that Louis gets them into the dance quickly and uses that to tell the story rather than all the mucking about before they get into hold. Mrs. Angrybell is not happy with Niecy's lack of gliding. I'm thinking its not great, but its getting better. Looks like the lift police is going to make an appearance. Part of Niecy's problem is she is not getting the heel toe movement which is hurting her rise and fall. But then that spin is really pretty. Nice little story. Going to take some hits for her lack of rise and fall (aka glide). The 21 was not generous, in fact it was low. There should have been at least one 8 in there. It was better than Jake's mess and more daring.

Doing a paso doble were Chad and Brooke. Chad knows about coming back from bad games... he's played for Cincinnati for a few years. This guy is honest at tiems. I like how he comes right out and says its humbling to realize he is not automatically good after being good in football. I like the song. There are times in the beigngin he is not as crisp as he should be. Btu he has the character down perfectly and its nice little story going on here. His footwork, not so good. But the paso is hard to do. And was Mrs. Brady in the back-row near the fishbubble thing? And I love the Tony and Jonothan doing the three amigos thing. The 20 was bogus. I understand he did some sbad stuff with the posture but overall it was a good run. Better than Jake. Maybe its just that Jake was so over rated. Shocker.

Following this was Pamela and her partner whose name I can't remember (Damian?) with another paso. Can we please take out the PETA crap please? No bulls will be hurt in this dance. I promise! Can someone people explain how Pamela got less votes than Kate Goselin. And the dance is on. She needs to look up more. Her feet seem to be going right, but her hands are nto and this important in this dance, since she is cape. Her arms start to get better, but she is not getting them to full extension. She looks a little lost in the open, but recovers. Even lost, she looks in character. Her main problem in this is that she keeps lookign down while in hold. She neesds to keep that head up. Alright a 21, not what I would give her but in light of overscoring on Jake, its right for tonight.

Next up is another poor soul: Aiden. Edyta, I'm so sorry that you are stuck with this anchor around your neck. They will be doing a quick step. Mrs. Angrybell noticed that Aiden's daughter is wearing her favorite baby clothes designer: Janie and Jack. (Angrybell note - Mrs. Angrybell has a little Janie and Jack addiction) Ahh, a dream girl of a painter! Now I see why they chose this story. It allows Edyta to wear almost nothing. Not that that's a bad thing. Aiden, singing with the music does not help you dance, in fact, I think you have screwed up a few time sin the first seires. It got better in the second pass with the kcisk and flicks. Unfortunately, he might actually be getting some rise and fall. Damn, I want him to go home. It may be because we can't stand him, but it felt lackluster from him. And Len put his finger on what was bothering me: it was too careful. The 20 was about right for the screwed up scoring of tonight.

Maksim and Erin doing a waltz. Its amazing she looks this calm with death threats going on around her. Mrs. Angrybell thikns that being graceful does not come naturally to Erin. She needs to eb closer to his hip. You know, she looks better (dancing-wise) with the blindfoldon. her glide is better and she is making less mistakes with her feet (she made two in the opening open routine). The 23 was pretty fair.

Oh hell, its Kate Goselin and Tony. Doing a paso. And she can't let the wench inside out? And she thinks that she has been hiding? Wow. Talk about self-deception. And now to the dance. Wardrobe did not like her in the lest. They managed to make her look like an elephant. And if people vote for this dance, please shoot yourself. There is no crispness to her. She is walkign through this with a bad sneer on her face. Compare this dacne to Pamela Andersons. Pamela had some problems. However, she was in character and made a go at it. And Tony looked so frustrated at the end of the dance, I feel sorry for him like I do Edyta. Tony, you got handed a lousy, uncoachable, controlling partner. You're doing the best you can do. The 15 was generous.

Derek and Nicole drew the quickstep. Nicole sounds stressed. Godo song for this dance. Mrs. Angrybell thinks that they had the cutest little outfits. She now wants me and Angrybabybelle to dress like that. I'm scared. Why am I not talking about the dance? Simple, she is doing a good job. Her posture is pretty good and in hold her head keeps going to the right place. And they manage to make it look like an old 30s movie. There were just a few times at the end where she looked like she struggling to hold on, but she held it together I thought. Alright Len was right about the contact while in hold. I'll have to go back and look for the lift. Those scores were all over the board. 23. Whoa. Ok. Looking at it again, I see a bunch of Len's complaints, but I keep missing the hold. He was right, quickstep, you have to stay in hold for.

So who goes home? If its up to me... Kate Goselin. Please, put Tony out of his misery.

Nicole and Evan stay the favorites. However, if America gets it collective heads out of their bums, Pamela could make a serious run at this. But only if you all vote!

Please, vote for anyone but Kate Goselin.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I Think Someone Needs To Reconsider Their Analogies

So yesterday was the inaptly-named Good Friday (as in the day when Jesus was crucified according to Christian texts). Many Christians celebrated it by going to church. At the Vatican, there was the yearly mass. This year, at the Pope's mass, one of the homilies was given by Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa.

Rev. Cantalamesssa stood up and gave a talk about the problem which has been dogging the Catholic Church for years now: pedophile priests. Now, not all priests are pedophiles. Not the entire Catholic Church is evil. However, the evidence shows that the Catholic Church knew about the problem and did not do nearly enough to protect those at risk from the danger posed by those garbed in liturgical cloth.

For that, many Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, and even the sitting Pope should be held accountable.

But the Catholic Church does not do well with criticism. They like to appear as though they are always innocent. And always right. And they never, ever, ever like to admit that they were at fault, especially in this mess.

So doe Rev. Cantalamesssa say? Does he say the Church should apologize? Does he say that the Church should adopt new guidelines for dealing with these priests? Does he call for the excommunication of those who are pedophiles within the ranks of the Catholocism or the Church?

Nope, he plays the victim card. Which is kind of rich seeing as how the Catholic Church, over the centuries has been the oppressors of many other groups.

Problem is... I think that Catholic Church, and Rev. Cantalamesssa in particular, need to take some classes on how to do it. Why?

Well, his homily essentially said that criticism of the Church for the pedorphile priests was the same as Anti-Semitism.

Let's think about this for a minute. Anti-semitism essentially arises from a couple of things. When it comes from Christians, it usually stems from the old blood libel claims. These include that:
  • Jews killed Christ. (We didn't. The Romans did. Furthermore, the biblical account of the alleged Sanhedrin arrest and trial of Jesus bares little relationship to how the Sanhedrin operated. For starters, it was illegal for the Sanhedrin to hold a trial at night, as the Bible states.)
  • As part of our Passover seder, we would sprinkle the blood of murdered Christian babies/virgins on our matzoh. (Simply put, eating blood is not Kosher)
Now, criticism of the Catholic Church stems from a policy condoned at high levels of the Church by Archbishops. These bureaucracies knew of the predatory nature of some of the pedophiles. Yet they continued to put these priests in contact with children, allowing them to be alone with them.

One set of criticism stems from fantasy and propoganda. The other from fact.

Try again Rev. Cantalamesssa. Maybe you can liken yourself and the Church to Blacks because this scandal is like slavery for you....