Friday, June 29, 2007

YES! KAR - The Showgirls of the Internet

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

And we managed this rating even without pictures of the Thong Babe!

(Kool Aid Guy raises his glass to the very PG Bogus Doug for the tip.)

Doing the Gatekeeping that the Fraters Won't Do

Today over at Fraters Libertas, Wall Street Journal gadfly Mark Yost begins his series of critiques of several ballparks between here and Brooklyn. Full disclosure: Yost initially approached KAR for this project, but decided to seek another forum because our Chief Editor demanded that all his stories include pictures of the best floaters he found in the restrooms of each stadium.

And after reading today's misleading installment about my beloved Miller Park, I'm relieved we decided to go our separate ways:

The National League-leading Milwaukee Brewers beat the Houston Astros, 6-3, in 11 innings at Miller Park Wednesday afternoon to complete the three-game sweep.

This is an important fact we shall return to...

George and I arrived at Miller Park about 45 minutes before the 1:05 first pitch. It was easy to get into from I-94 and general parking was $8. We quickly found a guy selling Loge tickets, the second deck, for $4 off face value and made our way toward Section 209, about halfway between first base and the foul pole.

Another important fact that shall be revisited anon...

It had been raining in the morning, so the retractable roof was closed. That, combined with the 80-degree temperatures outside, made the place a real hothouse. The humidity was palpable at about 90%.

I'll give him this: I can't understand how some of the decisions are made to open or close the roof. I mean, if the rain has passed, why not open that bad boy up?

I've been here before and like Miller Park. The fans like to show up early and grill in the parking lots.

For the benefit of those from more provincial parts of the country, like Brooklyn, the term for this is "tailgating".

Inside, the brats are good, too. I took Learned Foot's [waving] suggestion and got one with the red sauce and grilled onions.

Fraters did not contact me for comment, but if they did, they would have learned that I in fact did not recommend the grilled onions. Although, there is nothing wrong with them. But for the authentic experience, I would have recommended sauerkraut on the brat. But since I think kraut is disgusting (hellooooo? Fermented cabbage anyone? Yum!), and I prefer my brats unadorned with even non-disgusting vegetables, I only don my brats with the exquisite Stadium Red Sauce, and I advised Yost of as much.

Delicious, and reasonably priced at $4. Catering to the many beer-bellied cheeseheads, Miller Park has a pretty good selection of beer, too.

On the downside, they have a coffee bar, something that has no business being in any major league park. The bottled water was outrageous at $3.50. While I inhaled my brat, George forced down the nasty Palermo's pizza. Six bucks for some gooey dough with ketchup and barely melted cheese. If my barber from New York, Tony Palermo, had been with us, he would have slapped the counterman. And the service was pretty poor. The guy who waited on us clearly hadn't mastered the cash register yet.

Um, not to put a too fine of a point on it, but allowing a child to eat pizza at a ballpark - any ballpark - is a disgraceful failure of parenting. It's like going to Brooklyn and eating something that does not contain olive oil. Or going to the Metrodome and eating anything.

What a gavone!

Once in our seats, we found ourselves literally wedged between the drunks and the retards. Behind us were two rows of developmentally challenged adults. Many just sat there, staring blankly at the field. Unfortunately, we got the seat in front of the hyperactive one. Throughout the game, he loudly yelled cheers and encouragement that had nothing to do with the action on the field.

Geez. Imagine that: a rowdy a baseball game! Milwaukee is totally unlike those polite folks at Yankee Stadium who golf clap politely for a base hit by the home team and never, ever throw D-cell batteries at a players head.

But he's obviously a regular, because he responded appropriately to all the prompts from the sound system. He also knew the lyrics to every Heavy Metal song they played (his last name must be "Nugent.")

Or McBrain!

But if he's from Milwaukee, his name is probably something along the lines of "Styczinski".

In front of us were the aforementioned fans who were here for anything but the baseball. As best I could figure, it was the yearly outing for one of the local tire shops. They had absolutely no interest in what was happening on the field.

And as I asked you to recall at the very beginning of this, the game that Yost attended (and the fact he is blissfully ignorant of, presumably because he was focusing all his attention on the mid-inning warmups) was, in fact "LaCrosse Day". LaCrosse Day at Miller Park is a special day for the simple, bucolic folk of that western Wisconsin river town; when its citizens climb aboard several buses and make the trip down to Milwaukee and stagger around wide-eyed and slack-jawed at the wonders of the Big City.

"Look Myrnah! There's one of them colored fellas we done seen on the TV!"

Yost was sitting behind a bunch of LaCrossians.

All they cared about was the location of the beer man and taking close up photos of the thong straps of the cute 20 something in their group who was all too willing to show evermore as the game went on.

In yet another gatekeeping flub by the Fraters, they neglected to publish any photos of the Thong Babe. An oversight that would not have occurred here.

They did take notice of the sausage mascot race at the end of the sixth inning. The Polish sausage won, although the brat holds the season-long lead, having won 28% of the races.

It's a good thing the Nihilist wasn't there. He would have bet on the Choritzo.

During the 7th inning stretch, our neighbors behind us sang enthusiastically during "Take Me Out to the Ballpark." The drunks cleared their pipes for the "Beer Barrel Polka" sing-along that followed.

Another dropped ball by the gatekeepers: it's called "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

For those who were paying attention, it was a pretty good game, knotted up at 3. At the end of the 7th inning stretch, sweaty from just sitting there, I said to George, "Just two-and-a-half more innings. You can do that standing on your head."

He looked at me, soaked in sweat, and said, "Dad, I can't even stand on my head."

In the 8th inning, the retards got into a heated argument about the score. Most understood that it was tied up, 3-3. Our boisterous neighbor argued that the score was 7-6, which was actually the total number of hits, not runs."

It's the second set of numbers," he yelled, loud enough for Brewers right fielder Corey Hart to hear. He did, to his credit, follow the shuffling baseball caps game on the Jumbotron and guess correctly that the ball was under cap number three.

Oh, those whacky LaCrossians! Although they were unwittingly doing the Brewers a service standing up like that. For little did they know that they were blocking the throwing lane of the unhinged New York battery chucking goomba sitting behind them, itching to uncork a Duracell on Prince Fielder.

At the end of nine innings, the only sober guy with the drunks decided to leave. He was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Star Wars Celebration IV." A half inning later most of the drunks left, too, "to be closer to the beer," giggled the girl showing off her thong straps all night. I doubt they knew it was a tie game.

In the bottom of the 10th, the retard cheered for a grand slam, even though no one was on base. Then he sang along -- a little too knowingly for my comfort -- to AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long." George and I moved over a few sections closer to home plate.

And here I refer you to that second thing I told you all to remember above. If Yost hates typical baseball fans this much, instead of paying a scalper $4 off for upper deck tix amongst the unwashed masses, he could have taken a crowbar to his wallet and sprung for the uber-classy club level seats; or better yet, the alcohol-free family section in right field is a perfect fit for effete East Coast pussies who hate chicks in thongs and beer.

To their credit, most of the Brewers fans stuck it out through the extra innings. When Damian Miller stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 11th with two men on base, a couple in front of us stood and started cheering.

Important note: Damien Miller is from LaCrosse.

A couple of old guys behind us politely asked them to sit down. The man turned around and gestured for them to stand up and then ignored their pleas. While one of the old guys went to get an usher, Miller sent the game-winning three-run homer into the Brewers' centerfield bullpen. A fitting end to our Miller Park experience.

And Yost made two new friends who, just like him, know how to act at a ball game. Passive and disinterested.

I don't want you to leave this extensive first post thinking Miller Park is a horrible place to see a game. Quite the contrary. It has good sight lines, good food, and, for the most part, good atmosphere. Furthermore, this is not meant to be a rant against Brewers fans (Learned Foot) [waving]. I'm sure they're no less boorish than the fans we'll find on the rest of our trip. Sad, but true.

Try Comiskey Park. Or Yankee Stadium.

Fans aside [waving], I'd rate Miller Park an 8.

Well, la-tee-da.

George and I will have an off day from baseball on Thursday. We're going to the Great America amusement park just across the Illinois border. But we'll be back at it Friday night, in Detroit for Tigers-Twins.

Which means that this will be the final installment, as Mr. Yost will likely be shot on his way to Comerica Park.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Inside the Mind of a Vacationing ThunderJournalist

UPDATE: For full enjoyment of this post, please listen to this cheesy midi while reading!

(The following occurred on Monday. Or Tuesday. I think. It's hard to remember.)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Morning of day 3 at the lake. The sky is clear. The temperature perfect. Birds singing. The coffee hot. And the morning poop was glorious. I think I shall sip on my coffee outside while the kids still sleep.

Lo! What's this! Someone has abandoned today's Milwaukee Jenitel on this picnic bench. Why I believe I shall peruse its pages while I enjoy my morning coffee. It's been ages since I have taken in the hometown paper.

Ah. What have we here? It appears to be a guest commentary from some writer of whom I have heretofore never heard. Perhaps it is the Jenitel's version of Jim Boyd's "codpieces". I think I shall read this piece. Vacation has been perfect so far. What could possibly go wrong now?

Often you can sum up the collective actions of the Supreme Court under a particular chief justice with one word. The Warren court will always be remembered as liberal, the Burger court as pragmatic, the Rehnquist court as conservative, and the Roberts court in a short time has already earned its moniker: mean.

Uh oh. This isn't starting well. When you begin referring to the Highest court in the land using a pejorative normally reserved for use by put upon 5th graders, things do not augur well...

The addition of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the heartless duo of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas has cemented a plurality for cruelty.

I'm starting to get a headache...

If there's a choice between casting their lot with the little guy and tipping a case toward compassion, or putting a foot on his throat, it's a safe bet that these four will be getting out their boots.

I'm not sure if this person's heard, but "compassion" and "justice" are two very different things. The later is the job of the courts.

Thomas and Scalia are the guys who said in a dissent that a prison guard kicking and punching a prisoner to the extent that he suffered a split lip and loosened teeth didn't amount to cruel treatment under the Constitution. To them it was a case of "insignificant harm."

Hmmm. Why there's that eagle again, majestically soaring overhead; searching for its prey without the tiniest hint of context, let alone a citation. God, how I do love this place.

Now we see that Roberts and Alito are cut from the same razor wire, and when Justice Anthony Kennedy joins them its a winning hand for corporate interests, big government and persecutors everywhere.

YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! Hot coffee in the crotch HURTS!!!!!!

I shall shake my fist in the air while I shout "Damn you vile, talking-point-barfing bitch! Damn you to hell!!!"

Just imagine the amount of rotting snakes, snails and puppy dog tails it took for these five men to rule against Lilly Ledbetter, a woman who suffered years of pay discrimination as a supervisor at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. When Ledbetter retired after 19 years, she had a salary that was $6, 700 lower than that of the worst paid male of the same rank.

The right thing would have been for the court to recognize that every slighted paycheck Ledbetter received was another incident of discrimination. That would have allowed the six-month clock for filing a sex discrimination complaint under Title VII to begin anew every payday, and it would have allowed Ledbetter's trial court victory to stand.

Apparently in this universe, "ability to read a statute" = "mean". And why did Congress even put in that limitations provision in in the first place? Are there that many people that get paid semiannually?

Damn my crotch hurts.

But the court majority went another route, one that is so far from understanding the world of work that it seems purposely blind. It said that she was out of luck because she didn't file a discrimination complaint within 180 days of the original sexist decisions to grant her lower raises than her male peers. Even if she didn't know her colleagues' salaries, it was up to her to intuit that she was being cheated and take quick action, or her employer gets off scot free.

OK. Coffee's mopped up. My shriek awakened Moonchild. And I have more than a strong suspicion that this flake would not have done well on the easiest bar exam ever.

Now Kennedy, Roberts and Alito are joining them in a ruling that is certain to impact the makeup of juries by making them more likely to vote for death. In Uttecht vs. Brown, the high court allowed a trial court to disqualify a potential juror from a death penalty case because his support for the death penalty was not unqualified.

Because it's good public policy to empanel jurors who would refuse to uphold the law.

Listen lady, your quarrel is with the legislature that enacted the death penalty, not with the courts.

You do know the difference between the legislature and the courts, don't you?

Of course you don't. You're a moron. But maybe if you pulled your enormous cranium out of your gigantic -


Oh great - Moonchild is out of bed and throwing rocks at me.

Anyway, I find it more than a little odd that someone who has big big problems with wiretapping phone calls from known al Quaeda (I'm assuming - safely) would vest so much power in the one branch of government whose officials are not elected.

Really. Think about it.

Oh, of course she won't. She's a moron.

So far, there is so little daylight between Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia that we should refer to the group as the RATS Pack. I wonder which powerless litigant they'll chew up next?

Hey! Moonchild. Heave another rock at the Old Man's melon!


Nope. I still remember this piece of crap column. My vacation is ruined.

The Glad Haikus of Returnitude

Foot back in saddle.
Mad ups to Head, for keeping
The poop fires burning.

It's good to be back.
Upside: hangover near gone.
Down: softball tonight.

Looks like I didn't
Miss a whole lot of stuff. But,
There's one thing of note:

I have a feeling
That this will not end well for
Our fave punching bag.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

News Haikus

I read today's news.
Forgive me for forgetting
we have NBA.

Soros-funded blog:
"All gay news, all of the time!
Gay gay gay gay gay!"

Blame it on steroids?
And will McMahon show the deed
on home pay-per-view?

We've heard this before.
May they should do weather
for the Monitor?

Well, hello, numb-nuts!
See the TV's "on-off" switch?
It has two settings!"

Hello, Learned Foot.
You're coming back...tomorrow?
Right? Um - tomorrow?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Up The Fever Swamp Without An Airboat

Not that I enjoy sending traffic over to Soros-funded leftyblog Minnesota Monitor, you understand.

But I'm curious.

Like most lefty blogs, Minnesota Monitor draws a crowd of really twisted commenters. It's hard (like on most leftyblogs) to pick the biggest, weirdest, most bizarrely twisted one of the bunch. So I'd like your help.

Read this thread. And then vote for which Minnesota Monitor commenter is the biggest wackjob:

  • "Grace Kelly", who seems to work for "ConspiracyMart": "2) How many people remember that a third building fell on 9/11? 3) How many people know about the issue of two shadows on the moon photographs and how that challenges the fact of lunar landing?"

  • "Phoenix Woman", a woman (?) whose writing sounds red-faced and screechy, who writes: "Notice that conservative network FOX does not claim to be more truthful -- instead, it claims to be "fair and balanced". In other words, they don't believe in truth -- or rather, they hope to convince you that there are no such things are hard, objectively knowable facts, because as Stephen Colbert points out, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias".

  • "Dora", who believes that the media are really really conservative: "Conservatives understood how important it was to control the media and started on that path many years before Bush 43 came along. "

Vote below:

Which commenter at Minnesota Monitor is the biggest wackjob?
"Grace Kelly"
"Phoenix Woman"
"Dora" free polls

Hiring Eric Black to "class up" the MinMon is like spraying Lysol on roadkill.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Reporting for duty.
Heh. I said "duty".

Minocqua Calling

(Sung to the tune of the Clash's "London Calling")

Minocqua calling to the faraway towns
Frivolity is declared - and the Foots come on down
Minocqua calling to the jaded world
There's beer in the fridge, you boys and girls
Minocqua calling, now don't look at us
Try to waterski drunk without biting the dust
Minocqua calling, golf clubs to swing
'Cept if it rains - we do the gambling thing

Vacation is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, patience growing thin
Pack up the children, wife and our gear
'Cause Minocqua is calling and I gotta get the hell outta here

Minocqua calling, to get lit up and zone
Forget it, brother, I may never come home
Minocqua calling to the zombies of beer
Quit holding out - fill the mug up to here
Minocqua calling - and I don't wanna shout
But while we were sunning I saw you nodding out
Minocqua calling, your sunsets I hail
Watching them from the patio of the Thirsty Whale

Vacation is coming, the sun's zooming in
Engines stop running, let the drinking begin!
A pleasant era, and I have no fear
Unless Moonchild gets into the fireworks and beer

Now get this
Minocqua calling, yes, there I will go
An' you know who's taking over? The Head of Alfredo!
Minocqua calling - I'm going away
And after all this, I'll be back on Thursday!
Minocqua Calling

I never felt so much alive

Closed Circuit to Uncle Meatball

A new study confirms what we already knew.

Still waiting on that study that finds younger siblings are more likely to grow into big, beefy guys addicted to bacon.

ALMOST FORGOT: This is just more depressing news for the Younger Brother Community which, it has also been recently discovered, has a higher likelihood of being gay.

*sniff* I still love my dim, gay brother!

I Never Knew that Stupid Could Cause Vision Problems

Um, Jeffie...

You always were a moron, and you continue to be a moron.

While that star and crescent moon on The Blog Formerly Known as KvM's header is not an exact one to one reproduction of Turkey's flag (and it apparently never occurred to someone as smart as you think you are that background color and space limitations may play some small role in the design), it doesn't look anything like the flag of Mauritania. Actually, taken literally (that is, not taking into account background color, space limitation, artistic license, etc.) it's not really an exact reproduction of any national emblem of an Islamic country.

But, you know, pwn3d, whatevs, men suck, etc...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Feel Like I've Been Here Before. Feel Like I've Been Here Before.

It's been done before.
Only better (if less gay),
And more prolific.

Why Do Liberals (Continue to) Hate Free Speech?

Because they're not comfortable when they can't micromanage the message. Because their message sucks.

Leftist propaganda mill "Think Progress" -

As long as we're looking at ways to gut the First Amendment, how about we also make it illegal for any leftist think tank, blog or organization to use the word "think" in its name, under the auspices of false advertising?

Anyhoo, "Think" "Progress" points to a "study" that comes to the shocking conclusion that AM radio is dominated by righties:

While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, right-wing talk reigns supreme on America’s airwaves. Some key findings:

– In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.

– Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk — 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

– 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.

Then they include a neat-o graphic for its simpleton readers who have trouble with words like "inroads".

And for the 50,000th time, the "problem" is not that there's actually more demand for Rush Limbaugh than there is for Ed Whatzizface. Oh, no no. The problem is not enough content-non-neutral government regulation:

Two common myths are frequently offered to explain the imbalance of talk radio: 1) the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine (which required broadcasters to devote airtime to contrasting views), and 2) simple consumer demand. Each of these fails to adequately explain the root cause of the problem. The report explains:

Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in management. […]

Ultimately, these results suggest that increasing ownership diversity, both in terms of the race/ethnicity and gender of owners, as well as the number of independent local owners, will lead to more diverse programming, more choices for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities and serve the public interest.

Yes, increase that ownership diversity. Create a bigger pool of station owners trying to land Limbaugh. Rush would love that - it'd drive up his revenue.

Oh, sorry - that was microeconomics, which is the study of reality. These boobs are nowhere near it.

I can think of at least 2 other reasons why conservative talkers routinely eat the lunch lefty ones:

1) Every lefty jock ever offered up to the audience has sucked donkey wiener; and

2) Lefties wishing to to hear the reverberations of their own echo chamber have all kinds of places to get that.

KAR will issue the reports of our "study" on this later in the day.

Nah. Let's just call this our "report," and leave it at that.

Top 11 Nihilist in Golf Pants Birthday Plans

11. Get a case of Coors, a bottle of Jergens, and every DVD Lindsay Lohan has ever made.

10. Redeem that coupon for one free glockenspiel lesson from Mitch Berg.

9. Pressure Brian "St. Paul" Ward to pay tribute to his big day by mentioning his blog an extra 17 times on NARN broadcast.

8. Cash in back-dated stock options; Go to Canterbury Downs; Bet it all on horse most likely to break its leg coming out of the gate.

7. Visit every bar within a 100 mile radius that offers a free birthday drink.

6. Reenact final scene of the Sopranos at Mickey's Diner with onion rings brought from home.

5. Pretend to be 15 years old so he can get into the Jimmy Carter Presidential library for free.

4. Apply for advance placement AARP membership.

3. Attempt to hit all 47 area Applebee's, so he can get his free birthday appetizer at each.

2. Talk about Notre Dame football (this is actually no different than any other day).

1. Take a day off from posting crap.

I Really Wish the Brewers Would Have Done This With the Racing Sausages

Let the avalanche of Sopranos Final Episode spoofs begin continue!

Am I the only one that just loves the idea of AJ's role being played by a giant piroghi?

Kool Aid toast to Iron Daven.

Which reminds me: if anyone out there has mad audio/video editing skeelz, get in touch with me. I have an idea.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Socratic Method Fails to Yield a Satisfactory Answer for, Like, the First Time Ever

Yesterday, due to time pressures related to maintaining my license and boogers, I called upon the online community to fisk a particularly worthless guest commentary that appeared in the Strib. Thousands Hundreds Dozens Five leaped at the rare chance to be a KAR Designated Fisker. Alas, few were called; none were chosen.

So it falls upon me, your humble humbler of the smug and the overconfident-in-their-own-intellect to point out the one factor that completely undermines (to the point that there is no column left to speak of)the argument put forth by some "aviation worker" from Lakeville.

To recap, the aviation worker from Lakeville claims that tax cuts (or, to provide the correct philosophy he assails, lower tax rates) do not grow or stimulate growth in the economy. As proof of this, he points to the comparative growth in GDP over four decades (presumably because looking to smaller more precise durations in time probably undermined his already baseless argument):

The commonly accepted measure of economic growth is the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP). You can get the truth about tax cuts and economic growth by comparing the different decades. If tax cuts were an economic miracle, you would expect to see more economic growth in the decades of tax cuts and slower growth when taxes were increased.

And then he goes on to detail the numbers, reproduced here merely for purposes of res gestae:

The real GDP grew 36.9 percent during the '70s, before tax cuts were the fad. During the '80s, after the Reagan tax cuts the real GDP grew 37.8 percent, just slightly better than the '70s. During the '90s, after the Bush I and Clinton tax increases the real GDP grew 38 percent, even better than the '80s. During this decade after the Bush II tax cuts, the real GDP is projected grow 30.7 percent.

And his conclusion, such as it is:

The fact is that the best economic growth came after the Bush I and Clinton tax increases, and the least economic growth is projected to be this decade after Bush II tax cuts.

Well, that appears to be the end of fiscal conservatism. Some scrappy aviation worker from Lakeville has shown us the error of our ways. I guess the only thing left to do is jack up the rates to Carter-era levels, piss on the campfire and call the dogs.

See ya'. It's been fun.

Oh wait. There's just one thing.

Let's assume that, as the Aviation Worker from Lakeville asserts, that the efficacy of tax rates on economic stimulation can be discerned by the growth in the GDP, broken into arbitrary 10-year chunks that begin in years that end in zero.

Does comparing decade to decade show how the economy has grown due to tax cuts or lack thereof?

No. You're comparing two discrete moments in time with its own variables and circumstances. The real measure of how a lower tax rate would stimulate the economy as evidenced by the growth in the GDP (remember, we're assuming this is a valid measure) is to compare the GDP growth after the tax rate is lowered to what it would have been had there been no change in the rate over the same period of time. (This is your answer in a nutshell.)

For example, let's say that in 2000, the tax rate was reduced a significant amount. And like the Aviation Worker from Lakeville says, the growth in GDP over the ensuing decade is 30.7%. Compared to other decades, it's a paltry number. But what if GDP growth over the same decade sans a low tax rate would have been only 20%? Then it's pretty damn good policy, isn't it?

And, of course, it cuts both ways: perhaps the GDP growth would have been 40% without the tax cut. Either way, it's a moot point. Those figures are unknowable. Thus, because of his failure to offer anything more than a canard that doesn't even compare the data relevant to his thesis, the Aviation Worker from Lakeville's argument must be dismissed as the ravings of some idiot who wants to make himself feel better by making someone else pay for his "largess".

KAR FLASHBACK: Earlier in this post I surmised:

As proof of this, he points to the comparative growth in GDP over four decades (presumably because looking to smaller more precise durations in time probably undermined his already baseless argument)

Sisyphus does the digging, and shows this statement to be more than the idle supposition I had intended.

I'm Not Sure What to Make of This

It has now been a weeks since I spat out my epic rant responding to the Brewers hitless performance in Detroit. In that rant, I announced KAR's official position that the hitting coach should be fired.

Since then, the Brewers have won 6 of their last 7. Four of those wins came on the road against good teams.

Maybe the team finally woke up because of that humiliation in Detroit. Perhaps they realized that they were playing too tight. Or, conversely, maybe they realized that they just can't set the cruise control and blow by the rest of the league as they do the NL Central.

But I think the best explanation for the Brew Crew's resurgence is that vicious pixelated tongue lashing I delivered last week.

KAR is happy to take the credit for the end of the slump.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Steal This Post

OK. I'm in CLE hell again. And, to make matters worse, I have this annoying, stubborn, industrial strength super-booger lodged up in my right nostril that simply refuses to be torn from its mucusy nest. No amount of blowing, cajoling or picking (politely, with a tissue, of course) can dislodge this beast. I may take a little time later to really root around up there.

So being that I am preoccupied with legal enlightenment and my booger, I call upon you, the good citizens of this electronic treehouse we know as KAR-Nation, to point out the obvious, glaring Fecke-sized flaw in this guy's opinion piece (of crap).

I know you're afraid of the comment threads here. But I assure you, they've been scrubbed of all trolls, dweebies, dickheads, licknobs and twerps. Except for Chad.

And while this particular article has to do with (what else?) why we should tax ourselves into oblivion, the big error is more of a logical one (and maybe a little factual too - as is always the case when one wields statistics as a blunt instrument like this aviation professional does) than a misapprehension of economic realities.

But, if you want the economic angle - and more statistics - we'll put the call out for the Good Perfesser as well:

Sure, I could have done another Open Thread for Sisyphus, but that would cheapen the franchise (scarcity, people!). Can't go to the well too often, and all that.

Plus the Big Guy needs his rest between gigs.

Have at it.

UPDATE: Wow. Y'all need a little more coffee? I thought this one would be pretty easy...

UPDATE 2: You people make me sick.

UPDATE 3: OK. Here's a hint. The big, gaping, chasm-like hole in flyboy's "argument" can be found in this paragraph:

The commonly accepted measure of economic growth is the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP). You can get the truth about tax cuts and economic growth by comparing the different decades. If tax cuts were an economic miracle, you would expect to see more economic growth in the decades of tax cuts and slower growth when taxes were increased.

UPDATE 4: The booger has been extracted. Repeat: The booger has been extracted.

UPDATE 5: Yoohoo? Bogus Doug? What's wrong with the aviator's analysis?

Where's Doug? He's usually pretty good at these things...

Monday, June 18, 2007

MilF Tips: TPC at Valleywood #8

NOTE: This is the eighth installment of an 18-part series introducing MilFers to the Home Course. It is funded by a grant from the Foundation to Provide LearnedFoot Shit to Write About When There's Nothing to write About.

"A Prarie Home Abomination"

Number 8 is the place where Valleywood says to the golfer: "OK, putt-putt time is over. You are my bitch now." The hole is a 425 yard par-4 from the MilF tees, but plays more like 950 yards because of the enormous wall-like hill that presents itself for your tee shot. There's a rumor that Valleywood once had Sherpas for hire at the #8 tee box to help golfers find their errant tee shots to the prairie nature preserve area on the top of the hill to the right, or to prevent the shorter hitter from rolling backwards down the hill and drowning in the pond at the bottom.

The eighth is also notable for being the backdrop of the incident in which the Nihilist in Golf Pants mistook Andy Aplikowski for an elderly fat woman.

Be that as it may, once you crush your 200 yard drive over the hill, you have a fairway wood or long iron in to a small, undulating and unforgiving green. Take your double, and move on.

FOOT'S SECRET TIP: If you're walking the course, be sure to tip the beer cart chick well. Maybe she'll give you a lift to the top of the hill.

***KAR EXCLUSIVE*** Ryan's New Tats

Rumors that ThunderJournalist Ryan Rhodes, who is best known for goosing his traffic by posting a picture of his ass, has gotten a new tattoo have turned out to be true. KAR has gotten its hands on an exclusive photograph of the legendary ass-blogger sporting his new ink: - Custom comment codes

In an unrelated development, Mr. Rhodes also appears to have grown a mullet.

Doing My Part to Help Aspiring Rednecks Avoid Bob Costas

In an post elegantly entitled - as always - "Bob Costas Is A Pompous, Effete, East Coast WASP," the Fraters resident crank JB Doubtless opines:

Costas is un-watchable. And we have the baseball playoffs to look forward to when he can regale us with his showy knowledge of who the second baseman was for the 1926 Black Sox.

That would be Eddie Collins.

You can now safely watch the World Series with the sound muted and without fear of being exposed to anything.

Perhaps listen to some Iron Maiden while watching?

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Big Question...Answered

Eric Black, soon to be formerly (looking at watch) now formerly of the Strib politics desk and the popular Big Question Blog, will be fielding questions on NARN tomorrow.

Those of you from out of town may be familiar with Eric Black only because we've had an awful lot of fun with his choice of followup gig. But seriously, in the past, Black has articulated his desire to find the "sweet spot" between the professionalism and resources of legacy journalism and the immediacy of blogging. And then he promptly abandoned that desire and signed on to mentor a bunch of paid propaganda pooper-outers.

But if Eric is still interested in finding that "sweet spot," he may want to take a look at Sisyphus' last open thread for a glimpse of what that rarefied thing might look like. It doesn't get any sweeter than that.

Kindly pass that link along to Mr. Black if you please, Mitch.

Any Way You Want It: Again With the Sopranos Finale

NOTE: To experience the full impact of this post, listen to this cheesy midi of "Don't Stop Believin'" while reading.

Yes, Ed. I, like Joe Tucci, thought the Soprano's ending was brilliant. But Ed's dismay about the finale is to be expected from someone who is as inept at poker as Ed is (as I can personally attest) because he's unable to see or properly interpret the little clues that are set before him.

But as further testament to the brilliance of the ending of the show, the discussions and debates continue. And some believe they're closing in on the answer:

Fans of “The Sopranos” are seizing on clues suggesting the controversial blackout which abruptly ended the TV mob drama meant that Tony Soprano was rubbed out, and HBO said on Thursday they may be on to something.

One clue in particular, a flashback in the penultimate episode to a conversation between Tony and his brother-in-law about death, gained credence as an HBO spokesman called it a “legitimate” hint and confirmed that series creator David Chase had a definite ending in mind.

Well, duh. But then, like in poker, it's not the "tell," so much as it is knowing how to use it. In this case, I think they're going all in on an unsuited nine and four. Some background first:

“While he won’t say to me 100 percent what it all means, he says some people who’ve guessed have come closer than others,” HBO spokesman Quentin Schaffer told Reuters after speaking to Chase.

“There are definitely things there that he intended for people to pick up on,” Schaffer said.

Chase himself suggested as much in an interview on Tuesday with The Star-Ledger newspaper of New Jersey when he said of his end to the HBO series, “Anyone who wants to watch it, it’s all there.”

In the final moments of Sunday’s concluding episode, Tony, the conflicted mob boss who has just survived a round of gangland warfare, sits in a diner with his family munching on onion rings as the 1980s song by rock band Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing,” blares from a juke box.

Tension builds as a suspicious man wearing a “Members Only” jacket eyes Tony from a nearby counter before slipping into a restroom. Then, as Tony looks toward the restaurant’s entrance, the screen abruptly goes blank in mid-scene — with no picture or sound for 10 seconds — until the credits roll silently.


The biggest hint, according to a consensus taking shape on the Web, is a scene from an earlier episode in which Tony and his brother-in-law, Bobby Bacala, muse about what it feels like to die.

“At the end, you probably don’t hear anything, everything just goes black,” Bobby says while they sit fishing in a small boat on a lake.

That scene is recalled briefly in a flashback played at the end of the penultimate “Sopranos” episode, as Tony is lying in the darkened room of a safehouse clutching a machine gun to his chest in the midst of a mob war.

Predictably, and I believe, erroneously, people think that this means Tony took a slug to the temple:

“I think that is one of the most legitimate things to look at,” Schaffer said when asked about theories that the Bobby Bacala flashback was meant to foreshadow Tony’s death.

Moreover, he said the man in the “Members Only” jacket could be interpreted as a symbolic reference to membership in the mob. “Members Only” also was the title of the episode in which Tony’s demented Uncle Junior shoots him in the gut.

That's a stretch.

OK there are two ways to look at this:

1) Who - keeping within the story - would kill Tony at this point in the story? Leotardo's crew backed down and Leotardo himself was taken out of the picture. Paulie shrunk at running Ciffaretto's crew; why would he want to take over for the capo? And what kind of hitman would cap a guy in a crowded restaurant? Certainly with Tony now off the mattresses, there'd be better opportunities.

In short, the theory that Tony died of a gangland whacking when the screen went dark, is way out of character for a series where the conclusions to storylines flowed from the natural consequences of events earlier in the show.

If you still buy that premise, then please, tell me who hired the Member's Only guy to have Tony killed? Agent Harris?

JOE TUCCI INTERRUPTS: I gotta go to the john, Boss. Be right back.

2) Cinematography. Back to Bobby's remark, that when you die you don't expect it and everything goes black. Therefore, the screen going black signals Tony's death. I believe that this is the interpretation Chase refers to as "close, but not 100%". Think about it from a filmaker's perspective. In the very final shot before everything went dark, we were looking straight at Tony's face. Did we die?

No. The show did.

If it was Tony that would have bit it, and Baccala's statement was a setup, an honest director would have been filming the scene from Tony's perspective, looking through his eyes up until the blackness snuck up on him. But he didn't. Instead, we were looking at Tony. Chase briefly punched a hole through the proverbial "fourth wall" signaling the end of the Sopranos the show, not the family.

But don't take my word for it. Lest you think this is all idle speculation on my part, let me tell

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Putatively Punitive


Strib editorial number 1,980,153 lamenting the fact that the Minnesota taxman isn't butt raping it's citizens as much as other more enlightened places to live (like Wyoming and the District of Columbia) are anymore.

It's all been said before. Just let the lies, hyperbole, fallacious logic and condescention wash over you.

News that Minnesotans have dropped from 16th place to 23rd in the amount of state and local taxes we pay as a percentage of our personal incomes,

I heard it was from 10th to 14th place. Where are you getting these numbers from? Your ass? Boyd? Is that you? Are you still there?

And it seems a little punitive, doesn't it? How about focusing on how much revenue is generated? Because I can gurandamntee you that the contractor the state hires to repave the roads doesn't give a shit about what percentage of who's income his revenue is.

and that our state has fallen from 28th to 31st place in state and local government spending, was greeted with fanfare this week by the governor's office. Not only was this "good news for taxpayers," Tim Pawlenty said, but a signal to those wanting to grow jobs in Minnesota that "we're open for business."

Unless you are a kindergarten teacher for 4-year-olds.

Well, yes. It's nice to feel our comparative tax burden losing some weight, and to anticipate that industry, now duly informed, will deliver the stream of high-quality jobs we've been expecting since our slim-down phase began.

I really should crank out another "Fleen" comic one of these days.

And so we're waiting. Eagerly waiting. Because job growth has been dismal since the tax-and-spend diet began eight years ago with the tax cuts of the late 1990s to the point that now, for the first time on record, Minnesota's unemployment rate for May exceeded the national average, and its rate of job participation fell to the lowest level since the early 1990s.

Hmm. Yet it's unemployment is down from its millennial high of 5% in 2003 and 2004, back when T-Paw was still cleaning the boa feathers out of the Governor's office.

To say nothing of Minnesota's all-time high of 9% in 1982 (back when "no new taxes" was a foreign concept, I believe. To say even nothinger of the fact that Minnesota'a all time low unemployment rate was something like 2.5%. And simple math tells us that 4.5% (the current rate) is an awful lot closer to 2.5% than it is to 9%.

(source, source)

Hey! I can quote stats too!

And so we're waiting. Eagerly waiting. Because job growth has been dismal since the tax-and-spend diet began eight years ago with the tax cuts of the late 1990s to the point that now, for the first time on record, Minnesota's unemployment rate for May exceeded the national average, and its rate of job participation fell to the lowest level since the early 1990s. That's not all. Last week brought the not-so-cheery news that Minnesota's economy grew at a sluggish 2.9 percent in 2006, lagging the nation's growth for the second straight year and dropping the real growth of our gross domestic product to 30th among the states.

As President Bush might say, "Heckuva job."

The phrase "correlation does not equal causation" continues to bounce around in my head like Pac Man. I wonder if the editorial will address that?

Under Pawlenty's guidance, the state seems headed rapidly from exceptional to below average. Minnesota does stand "open for business," as the governor suggests. But the invitation should read: "Come! Take advantage of our traffic jams, our crumbling roads, our inadequate transit system. Come experience our declining, high-disparity graduation rates. (Only 43 percent of blacks and 65 percent of Asians graduate from high school -- among the lowest rates in the nation.) Come witness our declining per-person investment in higher education, our scant support for bioscience technology, our problems in attracting talented students, our untrimmed parks and littered roadsides, our rising rates of disorder and hopelessness, our underfunded and outmanned police forces. Come notice the palpable decline in a quality of life that we once shared together but now reserve for those with means to enjoy it on their private patios."

Again. And again. They are framing the argument to create the impression that nobody is paying any taxes. And again, I have a strong urge to march up to Portland Avenue and shove my tax return in their pudgy pug-nosed faces.

And then maybe poop on the table.

Ohh!!! Hey! I just found some more statistics:

Minnesota population increase from 1990 to July, 2005: 15%

Minnesota biennial budget increase from 1990 to current biennium: 150%

(Source source)

So accounting for population growth, we've endured 135% inflation over the past 17 years! Who let Jimmy Carter back into office?

Oh, regular inflation wasn't 135%. Inflation of the cost of Minnesota government was 135%.

But that, of course, does not take into account the most important lodestar that is tax revenue as a percentage of personal income. Because if you don't do that, well, then, one tax dollar is only worth, like, 50 cents or something. Right?

Minnesota is fast adopting the winner-take-all format of the national economy and social structure. It's a format in which the poor don't really get poorer, but fall further behind everyone else, especially the jet-propelled top 1 percent, who now control a whopping 19 percent of the national income. This, apparently, is the "balance" so attractive to job production. And so we wait eagerly.

Aha! So it is a punitive tax structure for which they're advocating! Heckuvajob Jimmy! Or Lori. Or whoever you are.

Actually, this page preferred the old formula:

Seizing the means of production and vesting ownership of all capital in the State?

Minnesota as a commonwealth, a place where nearly everyone swam or sank together.

Yesss! Called it!

The state was a bit pricier.

Actually, read those budget numbers again: it wasn't. You just want the glorious DFL to enact more useless vote-buying giveaways so that you can feel better about yourselves for working for the good of society without having to take a crowbar to your own friggin' wallets.

But it competed on the basis of quality. And it worked: During the higher-tax 1980s (9% unemployment! - ed.) and '90s, Minnesota routinely outperformed the nation on job creation and income growth.

Which of course was totally due to the tax rate...

Sadly, that Minnesota is fading from memory. So, until the jobs roll in and prosperity returns, we'll side with St. Louis Park Mayor Jeff Jacobs who, on a related matter, said of the governor, "I personally just don't get it, the notion that you are going to cheapskate yourself into greatness."

This from the guy who provided free public screening of An Inconvenient Truth on the taxpayer dime.

He should also note that you can't tax your way to prosperity. And contrary to what the Strib and all the others who spend hours on end thinking of ways to spend your money we are already taxed plenty.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Black in the Saddle - Episode IV: The Phantom Edit

The fourth installment in the never-ending fish-out-of-water tale of Eric Black, the newly hired Minnesota Monitor "New Journalist". When we last left off, Jeffie the Wingnut Slayer (JTWS) had just gotten an enormous scoop while "mentoring" the "newbie" Eric BLACK. Despite BLACK's protestations that the "tip" was actually and obviously a crank call, JTWS begins furiously pounding out his story on his pink keyboard.

JTWS: *tappity* *tappity* *taptaptap* *tappity*...

BLACK: You're not seriously going to run with this, are you?

JTWS: Shut up, you!

BLACK: ...

JTWS; *tappity* *tap* *tappity* *tap* *tap* tap*...

BLACK: Have you ever read A Confederacy of Dunces?

JTWS: No. Why?

BLACK: If it weren't written 40 years ago, I'd swear it was a biography of - er, never mind.

JTWS: Whatevs. *tappity* *tap* *tap* *tappity*...

BLACK: Are you almost done?

JTWS: *tappity* *tap* *tap* *TAP* Yes! Done! Ha! Pwn3d! [Prints out his story and grabs the page off the printer]

JTWS: Here. Now, as a learning exercise, I'd like you to edit my work.

BLACK: Okey dokie. [Peruses the copy which reads as follows]

In one of the most stunning revelations of Michele Bachmann's short and heinous political career, the Congressperson from the 6th district has come out as a lesbian.

Representative Bachmann made the startling admission of her lesbianic tendencies in a phone call to the Minnesota Monitor today.

"ME ALWAYS LOVE WOMEN!!!!!!!!!! ME LIKE TO BE CARESSED BY WOMAN!!!!!!!! ME ALWAYS WANTED TO WEAR BUZZ CUT TOO!!!!" The congresswomyn from Stillwater told this reporter during a brief phone interview. And to add drama to the story, the gruff-sounding Bachmann also announced that she was switching parties.


This news will come as a shock to many of her wingnut political allies like Focus on the Family, who have built careers on killing gays and feeding on their entrails. Conversely, Ms. Bachmann's Road to Damascus moment is playing well in the gay community.

"This is massive news," proclaimed Noted Gay Person Andy Birkey, "No longer will she be a tool of the far far right wing hate mongers."

Congresswimin Bachmann was previously known for being trapped in a public restroom and pwn3d by a couple of little old nuns who made her cry like a little bitch.

BLACK: Do you have a pencil?

[JTWS hunts down a pen on his desk, buried under a pile of discarded Hoho wrappers, and hands it to BLACK]

BLACK: OK, so I'm supposed to edit this as I would for any other professional media news source?

JTWS: Yes indeedly doodly.

BLACK: Fine. [In a frenzy, marks up the copy beyond all recognition]. There, this is a story that is fit to print. I have deleted all the accounts from unreliable sources, redacted unconfirmed or uncorroborated facts and assertions, removed all the libelous statements, and cleaned up the language.

JTWS: Let me see that [Rips the copy out of BLACK's hand and reads it. JTWS's original copy now appears as follows:]

In one of the most stunning revelations of Michele Bachmann's short and heinous political career, the Congressperson from the 6th district has come out as a lesbian.

Representative Bachmann made the startling admission of her lesbianic tendencies in a phone call to the Minnesota Monitor earlier today.

"ME ALWAYS LOVE WOMEN!!!!!!!!!! ME LIKE TO BE CARRESSED BY WOMAN!!!!!!!! ME ALWAYS WANTED TO WEAR BUZZ CUT TOO!!!!" The congresswomyn from Stillwater told
this reporter during a brief phone interview. And to add drama to the story, the gruff-sounding Bachmann also announced that she was switching parties.


This news will come as a shock to many of her wingnut political allies like Focus on the Family, who have built careers on killing gays and feeding on their entrails. Conversely, Ms. Bachmann's Road to Damascus moment is playing well in the gay community.

"This is a massive story," proclaimed Noted Gay Person Andy Birkey, "No longer will she be a tool of the far far right wing hate mongers."

Congresswimin Bachmann was previously known for being trapped in a public restroom and pwn3d by a couple of little old nuns who made her cry like a little bitch.

JTWS: WTF??????

BLACK: Well, let's see. You published an interview given by someone who is decidedly not Michele Bachmann while attributing it to her. You consistently spell "woman" wrong -

JTWS: That's how it should be spelled - without the "man" part. Because a womin needs a "man" like a fish needs a bicycle! You must hate wimmin!

BLACK: [Ignoring JTWS's retarded ravings] ...And for whatever reason, you concluded your story with a completely unrelated factually ambiguous assertion that has nothing to do with either advancing the story, or providing any meaningful background. For reaction from the "other side," you quote a fellow, uh, "reporter." And not only that, you made up his quote -

JTWS: Well, that's what he would have -

BLACK: SHUT IT! Then you libeled anyone who belongs to Focus on the Family or anyone who is sympathetic to them by claiming as a matter of fact that they kill and cannibalize gay people!

JTWS: [Puzzled] They don't?


[Exit BLACK, running]

JTWS: ...

[Picks up phone. Dials.]

JTWS: Hello, Robin? Yeah. Um...I don't think the new guy is going to work out...

In Which LearnedFoot Meditates on an Erudite Question Involving Our National Pastime

What the fuck?

No, seriously. What the fucking fuck?!!!

I seriously hope that this signals the nadir of the Brewers' fucking month-long swoon, and it's all up from here. Otherwise we here at KAR will have to call for the firing of the entire rancid coaching staff, from Ned Yost on down. At the very least batting coach Dale Jim fucking Sveum Skaalen ought to be out on his ass today. There is absolutely no excuse for a lineup with that much fucking firepower to get no-hit by anyone. And don't even get me started on that paltry output these fuckers have pooped out during most of May and all of June.

Shit, I'm just surprised they didn't get no-hit by a flavor-of-the-week 10-day callup from AAA.


KAR is officially calling for the ouster of Dale Sveum Jim Skaalen. And if the Brew Crew can't get this shit turned around in a hurry, the whole fucking lot of them.

Pathetic. Just pathetic.

ERRATA: Blinded by our own rage, we inadvertently misidentified the Brewers' batting coach in this post as Dale Sveum. The Brewers' batting coach is actually some guy named Bob Slowik "Jim Skaalen." KAR is calling for his firing instead, and regrets the error.

UPDATE: After having a couple of hours to work through our anger issues, we are still intensely peeved. Therefore, KAR is now also officially calling for the firing of bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel.

UPDATE 2: No, that really didn't make us feel any better either.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CLE Leaves Me Cruelly Unfree to Post My Twee

Sorry for the Nihilist in Golf Pants-level of ThunderJournalistic production this week. I have to accumulate approximately 476 more CLE credits before the end of the month so I can keep my license. Some days I wish I would have married a lawyer so I wouldn't have to keep up such pretenses.


Today I enjoyed a stimulating excursion into legal didactics whilst sitting next to the Warrior Monk. And he will be able to attest to the fact that I finished the somewhat difficult New York Times crossword in a little under 20 minutes. Thus I had to spend the remaining 45 minutes of the program actually listening to it.

More better posting later in the week. Like tomorrow.


Because of a conflict at the TPC at Valleywood that cannot be resolved soon enough for our comfort, Bill and I have been forced to reschedule the 3rd Annual Millard Fillmore Memorial KAR-Nation Open Championship Celebrity Charity Golf Outing Classic and its attendant Post-MilF Awards Ceremony and Gala.
After painstaking research and an overarching desire to provide a date that will force Noted Smack Talker Chad the Elder to put his money where his mouth is while maximizing the likelihood of somebody getting heat stroke, The Championship Committee has determined the true actual date that you all can safely write into your day planners in indelible ink:

FRIDAY AUGUST 24th, 2007.

We apologize to anyone who is inconvenienced by this. Apparently there's some jerkoff in Edina who wants to have a shotgun tournament for a high school reunion that day, and he's been slow reporting to the course the number of golfers it will need to accommodate.

Apparently there aren't any golf courses in a more appropriate location. Like, say, near Edina.

So remember, the new actual date for the MilF and Post-MilF is...

One more time in case you missed it:

Don't you dare miss it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fade to Friggin' Black

Joe Tucci here.

The skipper asked me to to the post about the final episode of that great American documentary, The Sopranos. He tells me that our old pal the Nihilist in Golf Pants predicted that one of us KARnies would write something about it, and the boss thought it'd be nice for the Nihilist to feel what it's like to actually predict something correctly for a change. But being that the Nihilist is a second-rate cafone, he delegated the task to myself.

Now I've been noticing a lot of bitching about last night's finale around the blogospheres. Seems that folks didn't like the ending. See, the producer or director or writer or whatever of the series, David Chase reportedly filmed three different endings for the episode. The thing that's got everybody up in arms is that he didn't use any of 'em. Instead -


Ay! Getthefrigouttahere! I don't play to the Tivo crowd. You didn't see it and don't want to know how it ends? Tell your Goomah to keep her panties on and wait until 9.

Anyway, the episode ended with the Soprano family - the real family not the euphemistic one -meeting at some dive for dinner. Then the screen goes black, causing me to swear a lot and hit my TV. Then the credits roll, and I'm all like "Oh, they meant to do that".

So then everybody goes all ballistic saying that there was no "closure" and that this Chase guy is stickin' it to his audience.


Sil ended the series breathing, Ton' salvaged his operation, stayed out of jail and lived. And that greasy-lipped fuck Phil Leotardo got his head squished. What the hell else do you want? Adriana to come back from the dead and start doing some hot girl on girl action with AJ's girlfriend?

Actually, now that I think of it....

Never mind.

Really, how did you want it to end? Because to provide the closure that all these armchair critics require would be to set off a nuke in downtown Newark and kill everybody off. Would sending Ton' into stir for life have been an appropriate ending? How about his death?

Ton' was a guy that survived a contract put out by his own mother, and a gunshot wound to the gut. He was a survivor. Killing him to end the series would have been a non sequitur.

What Chase did here was not to "give his audience the finger" as I have heard it put, but a gift. Here you had a legendary TV show that was appointment viewing for millions. Most of us Italian-American documentary connoisseurs didn't want it to end. Indeed, I'd venture to guess that most Sopranos fans didn't want it to end. And guess what?

That somewhat ambiguous ending has everybody asking "what the hell happened next?" some 18 hours after their TV screens went prematurely dark. And they'll probably be offering up theories about what happened right after the screen went blank for weeks, maybe years. It's not over. And it won't ever be over as long as people keep talking about it.

Chase ended the Sopranos by not ending it. And you're bitching?

LEARNEDFOOT CONCURS: Those who would criticize the finale as a copout would be well advised to remember the First Rule of Show Biz.

JOE TUCCI BEGS CLARIFICATION: Never sign on to a project based on a story by L. Ron Hubbard?

LEARNEDFOOT CLARIFIES: Sorry. Let me rephrase:

Those who would criticize the finale as a copout would be well advised to remember the SECOND Rule of Show Biz:

Always leave the audience wanting more.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Light Rail vs. Conceal Carry -- SCORING UPDATE

Yes, we have another update in our tragic tally of fatalities attributable to the Light Rail Train of Doom versus those caused by a concealed weapon permit holder (which - if you'll recall the rhetoric while the CC bill was being debated - was going to turn the Minnesota into Westworld).

Sadly, the Light Rail has jumped out to a seemingly insurmountable lead:

Light Rail: 4

Conceal Carry: 1

But don't turn that dial just yet - we're still just one postal worker gone amok from this becoming a contest again!

Open Thread for Sisyphus

A place for the Hawaiian-shirted to ruminate about Obama's 80's glam metal obsession, real reporters gone fake, those who suddenly embrace ethnicity, Ryan's magical dump, the gender divide in ThunderJournal golf outings, Bogus Doug's return from oblivion, and others who weren't so lucky.

Sisyphus only please.

Towards a More Sensitive, New Age MilF

I have been going over the roster of participants in the 3rd Annual Millard Fillmore Memorial KAR-Nation Open Championship Celebrity Crarity Golf Outing Classic and noticed a something missing.

No chicks.

Now I don't know why persons blessed with a vagina would be reluctant to participate in the world's foremost and largest ThunderJournal-related golf event. I, being the renowned feminist that I am, always figured that golf, beer, fireworks and sausages held the same appeal to the fairer sex as it does to males with thick, manly, chest hair like Joe Tucci. I don't know if it's because dames don't golf, don't want to be associated with us rabble or don't read this here ThunderJournal (ding ding ding), but I, as Event Chairman am determined to bring gender equity to this august and thoroughly ridiculous event. Call me the "Anti-Hootie Johnson". While you're at it, call me the "Anti-Hootie and the Blowfish" as well.

Perhaps if Bill held a special Post-MilF breakout session workshop on pie decorating...

Meh. In any event, if you are a babe, feel free to sign up at:

Even if you don't golf, the PostMilF Gala and Awards Ceremony is loads of fun. Good food. Good drink. A betting pool on who will blow a digit off first. Andy will be there with his fuzzy head. So will a couple other somewhat eligible bachelors. And Strom.

But don't let that deter you.

The Sopranos in Vowels

This Sunday will see the final rat whacked on the HBO juggernaut. And while I find myself lachrymose at the prospect of having to find something else to do on Sunday nights at 8 pm central (sex, maybe? hmmmm), I really hope that greasy-lipped fuck Phil Leotardo gets what's commin' to him.

For those of you suddenly-ethnic-loving red-staters who have missed out on the Sopranos' 8-year (12 episode) run, here's a good two minute summary of the show:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Sad Farewell Moron Mail

I do not exalt in the misfortunes of others. In fact when it comes to the recent bloodletting at the Strib, I actually lament the moving on of those who have provided me, and others, so much material over the years.

Which brings us to a letter in the Strib today; a touching tribute from a reader to remind us what we are losing:

When I first learned about the changing arts coverage in the Star Tribune, I seriously considered ending my decades long subscription to this paper.

But I reminded myself that the well-researched and reasoned editorials remained.

Since Jim Boyd and Steve "Hertz" Berg are heading for the door, you have good reason to be sanguine.

Wait a minute... you're use of the word "remained" leads me to believe that you actually think -

Oh Jeez.

I also considered Linda Mack's incisive reviews of our metro architecture, Stormi Greener's amazing photos, Doug Grow's needed and often gutsy columns and Chuck Haga's smart and earthy reporting of the human stories all around us.

I decided they and the rest of the staff would ensure my loyalty to the paper. Then I read this latest report of employees who will be leaving the Star Tribune. It reads like a list of who's who in the national media. Many of those being asked to take a voluntary buyout are award-winning, well-known professionals.

I don't like where this is going...

So many top journalists -- Steve Berg, Eric Black, Jim Boyd, Kate Stanley, David Peters, Sharon Schmickle, et al. -- are leaving!

Steve "Hertz" Berg and Jim Boyd are...

..."top journalists"??????


Excuse me a moment while I rename this post.

I am beyond being dismayed. This is no longer the paper that made Minneapolis proud. This is no longer my paper.

I, a newspaper junkie, am on the way to being cured of my addiction to the morning paper -- against my will.

Yes Jim "wingnuts falling out of the trees onto their empty heads" Boyd sure made everyone proud.


Well, Linda Bonerson, I have a special treat for you. KAR has obtained an exclusive copy of Steve "Hertz" Berg's resignation letter:

As many of you are aware, today is my last day at the paper. It is time for me to move on and I want you to know that I have accepted a position as “Trophy Husband”. This decision was quite easy and took little consideration. However, I am confident this new role represents a welcome change in my life and a step up from my current situation. While I have a high degree of personal respect for the Strib as a paper, and I have made wonderful friendships during my time here, I am no longer comfortable working for a group largely populated by gossips, backstabbers and Napoleonic personalities. In fact, I dare say that I would rather be dressed up like a pinata and beaten than remain with this group any longer. I wish you continued success in your goals to turn vibrant, productive, dedicated reporters into an aimless, shambling group of dry, lifeless husks.

May the smoke from any bridges I burn today be seen far and wide.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Berg

UPDATE: We have just learned that large portions of Steve Berg's resignation letter were actually copied verbatim from a rather famous resignation letter that made the rounds on the internet a couple of years ago!

Wow. Old habits die hard.

UPDATE 2: Steve Berg writes to correct the record:

I am sorry that I inadvertently incorporated a large portion of the resignation notice of another person into my own. I do recall reading that one several years ago and it must have subconsciously crept into my letter while I was writing it.

As for the rest of my tenure at the Star Tribune, I regret nothing. As a member of the editorial board, it was our duty to question the motives of our government and uncover corruption wherever we found it.

Thoughtful criticism and close scrutiny of all government officials by the press and the public are an important part of our democratic society. Now as in our past, only the understanding and involvement of the people through full and open debate can help to avoid serious mistakes and assure the continued dignity and safety of the nation.

UPDATE 3: The KAR crack research staff has just discovered that the third paragraph of Mr. Berg's followup e-mail is identical to a passage of Jimmy Carter's farewell address.

UPDATE 4: Mr. Berg writes back regarding his lifting from the Carter speech:

Ever had a conversation
That you realize you've had before?
Isn't it strange?

Have you ever talked to someone,
And you feel you know what's coming next?
It feels pre-arranged!

'Cause you know that you've heard it before.
And you feel that this moment in time is surreal.
'Cause you know when you feel deja-vu

UPDATE 5: With very little research, we have been able to determine that the above-quoted correspondence from Mr. Berg is just a cut and paste of some Iron Maiden lyrics.

We have set our spam filter to block any further correspondence from Mr. Berg.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Big Scoop!

[When we last left off, Jeffie the Wingnut Slayer (JTWS) was beginning his "mentorship" of former Strib reporter and MinnMon newbie Eric BLACK. We join their "mentoring" session, already in progress. Part 1 here; Part 2 here.]

JTWS: when you get a quote from a wingnut -

[Phone rings]

JTWS: Oooooo! The tipline! This could be a big story! Let me take this. [Answers phone.] Minnesota Monitor. Deputy Assistant to the Associate Editor Jeffie speaking!


JTWS: [Covers mothpiece with hand.] It's Michele Bachmann! I'll put this on the speakerphone so you can listen and learn. Please do keep quiet though. [Pushes speaker button and places handset in cradle.] What news do you have for us Madame Representative?


JTWS: Sorry, it's too tiring to take notes with one hand while holding the receiver with the other.


JTWS: I'm glad you do. Now tell me why you're calling me today. And don't worry - I always try to be fair when I write my stories.


JTWS: Hehdeedly!


JTWS: ... [Half chewed Ding Dong falls out of suddenly slackened mouth.]

BLACK: [Whispering] Jeff, I don't think -

JTWS: Shut it! [Into phone] Go on.


JTWS: [Looses a long-held burst of flatulence] Well, this is certainly surprising news. Can you tell me why you had this epiphany?

[BLACK tries to say something, but JTWS quickly stiffles BLACK's mouth with a Ding Dong.]


BLACK: [Spitting out Ding Dong] This isn't Michele Bachmann, Jeff!

VOICE: WHO SAY THAT?????!!!!!!!

JTWS: Nobody. Listen, Ms. Bachmann, can I call you back so we can finish this interview?

VOICE: SURE!!!!!!!!! ME NUMBER IS 952-867-5309!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JTWS: Great! I'll get in touch with you soon!


JTWS: What was that?


[Hangs up]

JTWS: Wow! This is a scoop!

BLACK: Um, that wasn't Michele Bachmann. In fact, that person didn't even try to sound female!

JTWS: Yeah but you heard her - she's a lesbian.

BLACK: [Shaking head] What the hell have I gotten myself into? Listen to me Jeff and listen good: That. Was. Not. Michele. Bachmann. It was a crank call. Real - er - reporters get them all the time.

JTWS: Why would a person open himself up to a libel suit and risk going to jail for life for a silly prank?

BLACK: [Dumbfounded] Um, that's not what libel is. And you can't go to jail for libel either.

JTWS: Yes you can.

BLACK: No, you can't.

JTWS: Yes you can.

BLACK: No, you can't.

JTWS: Yes you can.

BLACK: No, you can't.

JTWS: Yes you can.

BLACK: No, you can't.

JTWS: Yes you can.

BLACK: No, you can't.

JTWS: Listen, pal - I was briefly married to a lawyer. When it comes to the law, I am the world's foremost expert.

BLACK: ...

BLACK: I'm beginning to rethink that buyout.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mentor, Mentee... Mentee, Mentor.

(Continued. Part 1 here.)

[MinnMon editor in chief ROBIN introduces Strib expat and new "New Journalist" Eric BLACK to longtime crack "reporter" Jeffie the Wingnut Slayer (JTWS).]

ROBIN: Jeff, this is our new participant in the Mentorship Program, Eric. I'll just leave you two fellas to get acquainted. There's lots of mentoring to be done! [Exit.]

BLACK: Pleased to meet you! [Extends hand]

JTWS: [Shakes hand] Likewise, I'm sure. Here, have a seat. [Clears a pile of discarded Hostess Ding Dong wrappers from chair next to him.]

BLACK: [Still recoiling from JTWS's limp, clammy handshake, sits and points to computer monitor] So, what are you working on here?

JTWS: I'm doing some sourcing for my next post about abortion on

BLACK: Interesting choice of sources... let's see [reading over JTWS's shoulder] "...and that's why I would pull out my fucking tampon and menstruate on Dick fucking Cheney's fucking head"???? I'm not sure that's a source -

JTWS: Well, you've got a lot to learn then, n00b. Here, look at this while I finish up here. [Hands Black a sheet of paper.]

BLACK: What's this?

JTWS: It's a syllabus. Familiarize yourself with it, and I'll get to you shortly.

BLACK: [Reading the "syllabus"] "The glories of e-mail: doing an interview without ever having to turn off Cinemax After Dark"... "The well-aimed blinders: How to confirm your stereotypes of wingnuts without actually thinking"... "Making up facts to make others look bad" ... "How to (conveniently) forget how to read"... "Why all males should become slaves for glorious womyn because of past patriarchal misogynies"??????

JTWS: Yeah, that last one is more extra credit. But it's well-worthwhile.

BLACK: I don't think you understand: see, I am to be your mentor.

JTWS: ...

BLACK: Look, I've been in the newspaper biz for over 30 years. I've seen it all. I have a lot of experience to impart. And from what I can tell, you could use some. No, more than "some." A lot.

JTWS: ...

BLACK: I've read your stuff. Frankly, you suck. You need a lot of help.

JTWS: ... You done?

BLACK: Um, yes?

JTWS: Good, then let's begin mentoring you. Lesson 1 on your syllabus: E-mail interviews. This is the New Journalist's secret weapon, and I've used it a lot. There are many advantages to communicating via a medium that inhibits follow-ups and offers the excitement of not really knowing with whom you're corresponding...

To be continued...

The News in Haikus

Cum on feel the noize!
Obama: "Blacks hate the goys -
"They''ll get wild wild wild!"

For the love of all
That is good and holy, you two
Should never have kids.

Will Black tint MinnMon's
Cred? Or will MinnMon taint his?
The later I think.

Sopranos gang war!
Bobby down! And Springsteen needs
A new guitarist.

Suddenly Ethnic

[Waving arms]

Yooohooooo?? MNob?

[Pointing at self]

I'm "ethnic" too.

Love me.

Vafanculo brutto musso!


Monday, June 04, 2007

Bogus Doug's Back! Er...Again.

I shall take this opportunity to step aside and let the freshly-prolific Doug have the floor.

OK...I just don't feel like posting right now. Putting togather that last "Fleen" has left me emotionally spent (and physically sickened).

(NOTE: If the link above doesn't work, try this one.)

A Very Special Episode of Fleen

Round and Round - The MilF Will Find a Date, Just Give It Time

Forgive me for neglecting my MilF duties over the past couple of weeks. I have been too terribly occupied with creating substantive posts about fake bar exams, dumb leftyblogger propagandists that can't read and Andy's metaphorical boners, as well as thwarting Moonchild's daily attempts to destroy the world, to pay any attention to the MilF.

That said, after crunching the numbers and taking into account the meager input I received from interested MilFers, I as chairman of the MilF Tournament Committee, am declaring the following date to be that of the 2007 Millard Fillmore Memorial KAR-Nation Open Championship Celebrity Charity Golf Outing Classic:

July 20, 2007

Bill will be making the arrangements with the course this week, and an e-mail to all interested MilFers with instructions will follow.

Since the MilF is the largest and most prestigious blog / ThunderJournal related golf event in the world, and is an Officially Sanctioned MOB Event(tm), slots will fill up fast! Don't you dare miss it!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Iron Maiden Can Teach Us a Lot About the Outcome of the Ecker-Foot Softball Game Last Night

On this battlefield no one wins. --Iron Maiden

A tie? A freaking tie? Are you kidding me?

Yes, despite the game starting late, and despite there being a couple minutes left in our allotted field time, and despite there being no game on our field after ours, and despite there still being more than enough daylight left, the umpire decided to end the game at 7 innings despite the tied score.

There's a phrase to describe this sort of softball situation to which you might only be privy if you were a grizzled Beer League veteran like myself:

"That fucking blows."

The ambiguous outcome aside, our individual performances went pretty much as expected. Kevie dribbled out to second (me), dribbled out to first, popped out to me and played unremarkable in the field.

I went 3 for four, with 3 runs scored - though I fully expect Kevie to solely focus on my first AB in any comment he may make on the game:

Though I will say in my defense that the ball I took for the second strike would have been called deep by just about any other umpire I have experienced in this league. And no, I'm not whining about the umpiring (though there were many legitimate reasons to do so - see above). As the game wore on, I noted he was consistent in calling deep balls strikes, so I adjusted accordingly and reached on my next 3 ABs.

For those keeping score at home, I got 0 total bases against Kevie's "pitching." He didn't pitch. I did get 3 total bases against the guy who did pitch, and it could have easily been more if A) that deep liner down the left field line I hit in the 4th didn't just barely land foul; and 2) the umpire hadn't stopped the game, as I was due up in the eighth.

Also unlike Kevie, I put on a defensive clinic.

Unfortunately our 2 squads don't meet again until next year. So my complete and utter outplaying of Kevie in every aspect of this game will have to suffice for smack until then.