Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ummm, Because I'm Stupid?

I promised everyone a lovely little photo spread of the Richmondtown Restoration earlier this week. Well, I made the trip yesterday...but forgot my camera.

Suffice to say, our Colonial Forebears -- the Dutch ones, not the English -- were some pretty tough people,who lived a fairly spartan lifestyle. By comparison, the English settlers who followed seem to have been a bunch of foppish retards who exected to buy up successful businesses and farms rather than put the work in to create such things for themselves. The typical English "settler" of the 1600's came expecting to find gold laying all over the place, and Indians as ready-made servants. But that's for another time...

I'm going back this coming week, as well as making a trip to the Greenbelt (about a quarter of Staten Island is still woodlands and Federally-protected marshlands, with some awesome scenery that dwarfs Central Park and puts it to shame), so I will probably combine both posts.

If you're intersted in local history, you can read about the Richmondtown Restoration here.

Sanctimonious Twaddle...

There are a few things I really dislike about Google Ad Sense, which I use on this site as a (very meager) supplement to my income. The first thing I dislike is that you can't control what ads appear on your blog. The software picks and chooses subjects off your blog, and then generates advertisements based on what you've posted. That's why I can make a post that, say, excoriates Islam as a pernicious disease worse than Syphilis, and within five minutes Google ads will begin appearing advertising Islamic goods, Paperback Korans, or a cure for Gonorrhea.

I can't stop that from happening, and I apologize to those who come here and become confused by my apparent hypocrisy ("How can you criticize X, and then accept their advertising money....?"). So far as I know, short of turning Ad Sense off, there is no way to prevent some of those contradictory ads, and in any case, they usually seem to disappear in a day or two, as new subjects are added.

Except for the fucking legal ads.

For some reason, the legal ads keep coming, and I haven't posted anything about lawyers for three or four days, now, and come to think of it, that may have been the first post on lawyers in about three years. As of this morning, there were three full pages of legal ads linked to my site. I hate lawyers. They are less useful than warts, and not even half-as-attractive. They exist, as an ex-girlfriend (who practiced contract law) once told me "To make often-ridiculous arguments in the most anal-retentive of ways, and then overcharge for it, win or lose". She was a complete cunt (yes Ladies, I know you find that word offensive, but it's the only one that truly gives her her due) .

Lawyers have done family members wrong -- like the divorce attorney who inventoried my mother's assets for her divorce settlement, and then used that information to drive her into bankruptcy court in order to collect his fees. He lost the divorce case (despite the fact that her 2nd husband had abandoned her, and emptied their joint accounts without her knowledge, she received no spousal support, and was required to take a second mortgage in order to buy the bum out of the house they had purchased together). But somehow, no lawyer would advocate on her behalf on the ethics charges she planned to file, because this particular scum was the Chairman of some Bar committee or other, and no Attorney worth his weight in turds wanted to cross him.

So, it's highly-annoying to see three or four days -- with no end in sight --worth of legal ads appearing on this site promoting a profession that I hate so much. I had hoped that by encouraging readers to click all the legal ads, and then not giving anyone any business, someone might catch on that this was perhaps not the best use of advertising funds, and the ads will eventually stop (and not just on my site). The exact opposite has occurred -- there are now more legal ads than ever on this site (and I encourage you to click every goddamned one! The only way to truly stop it is to make the slugs waste their advertising money!).

Curiosity overwhelms sometimes, and I just have to see who these Legal Paragons offering such fantastical services are--and by the way, you would think none of them EVER lost a case to judge from the ads -- and what they're all about. I probably shouldn't have.

There's the one douchebag who offers a "No-fault Divorce" starting at $99.00 -- but then he advertises a $599.00 Bankruptcy right beneath it. Hmmm, that's sort of like what happened to my mother, so I gather this is a standard practice; get your client a crappy, quickie-divorce decree, then drive them into bankruptcy court to collect? You also have to laugh at the ones who place a picture of the Palace of Versailles, or some similarly imposing, Imperial-looking edifice on their banner, in order to give the impression that they're some ultra-successful Law Firm, when they're Three People Who Barely Passed the Bar, Working Out of An Office Above a Storefront.

If you were really that successful and powerful as to work out of a Baroque-style Imperial Palace -- in Akron, Ohio, to judge by the phone number -- I can promise you that you wouldn't be advertising an industrial-process, discount-rate-slip-and-fall-ambulance-chasing-scam on the internet.

But the one who really took the cake was the Sanctimonious Asswipe with a J.D. who included this bit of honeyed wisdom, a truly Homeric Bullshit Paean to the Legal Profession, in his ad:

"Discourage Litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser -- in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a Peacemaker, the Lawyer has the opportunity of being a good man..."

It's difficult to see how anyone can take you seriously after that virtuoso display of absolute sanctimony and hypocrisy. What's worse, is that bit of oratory was uttered by no less a personage than Abraham Lincoln, who has now fallen a few pegs in my Pantheon of Really Cool Historical Figures.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Staten Island: 1, Radical Islam: 0...

The Catholic priest at the center of the controversy over the Archdiocese of New York's plan to sell a former convent to a Muslim group has publicly asked the church to halt the sale. Father Keith Fennessey has, belatedly and after many weeks of bad publicity and community outrage, asked the Archdiocese to tear the contract to shreds.

Chalk up one (small) victory for the Midland Beach community!

However, never underestimate the ability of the Catholic Church to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory -- especially where money is concerned. It still intends, apparently, on making the sale, the lure of money being stronger than the wishes of it's own flock. According to this article, in the same day's edition of the Staten Island Advance -- this doesn't kill the sale entirely, and leaves the window open on the possibility of the Archidiocese and the MAS coming to some form of alternate agreement. The Archdiocese spokesman on this particular point, quote: "The next step is to see what the response is from the MAS, and I can’t predict that. "

I can. The response will follow one of the following two scripts:

1) There will be a"protest march" through the neighborhood, where a crowd of Muslims will chant "Death to America", burn the Israeli and American flags, threaten violence, make a nuisance of themselves and deliberately provoke confrontations with local residents and the police -- "Mini-Martyrdom Operations" for the "committed Muslim" who's not willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and kill himself, but who still wants to garner some Islamic street cred and sympathy for his cause. They will cry about how rejecting a mosque in our neighborhood is "racist", and leads to more "radicalism", and I'm quite certain every third protestor will carry some mass-produced reminder of 9/11 which will serve two purposes -- trumpeting Islam's greatest victory while simultaneously and deliberately inflicting pain upon the Infidels in Midland Beach. Video cameras will be everywhere, ready to capture to scenes of violence against Muslims that will later be carefully-edited, and shown on every Islamic Media outlet the protestors can find. That they will have most likely incited the violence will be glossed over or never mentioned at all.

2) One of the MAS leaders (probably the one asshole with the marketing degree) will hold a "peace march" through the neighborhood, ensuring that the marchers are just offensive enough, without crossing a certain line. They will delibeately provoke a confrontation, but wait for a member of the community or a police officer to make the first,overt move, so that they can later claim to be "victims" of (Take your pick) Police Brutality/Racism/Religious Bigotry/Anti-Muslim Bias/Anti-Islamic Fearmongers. Video cameras will catch the one idiot who takes the bait, and the video will soon make the rounds of the Islamic Media as yet one more example of why the Infidel pigs should be brought into the Caliphate and enslaved before they destroy the True Believers. The lawsuits will begin shortly thereafter; if they can't get Allah's Justice, they'll settle for the liberal New York Court System's green-tinted version of it.

In either case, the MAS will seek to provioke a confrontation and then claim innocence, a cheap propaganda victory is almost as good as a legal or moral one.

This is far from over, folks. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bill Clinton Could Not Be Reached for Comment...

It's another sign of the Apocalypse. Chatroulette will implement Penis-Recognition Software to protect it's clients from online Wankers.

This is one piece of technology I'm all in favor of. I've never actually used Chatroulette, but from what I've seen of it it appears to be what Microsoft had intended for it's old NetMeeting software; you could chat with a bunch of people, and do so with text and voice-and-video links, and there were some really neat file-sharing programs, and even a Virtual Whiteboard for business meetings. It was pretty cool in the days when Win98 was considered "cutting edge".

I used to play around a bit with NetMeeting in my "Industry" days, and it had a lot of potential except that the bandwidth to make it really work well wasn't available to most home users, and there were some reliability problems that made it impractical for major business use. Right now, what's left of NetMeeting (does Microsoft even still support and market it, anymore?) appears to be the Remote Access features, which Tech Support uses to "take control" of your PC when they're troubleshooting it for you.

I could count upon NetMeeting to be a rather remarkable-but-not-quite-reliable piece of Gee-Whiz high-tech that was fun to play with, but it's major feature was that I could pretty much guarantee there wouldn't be any pedophiles playing Choke the Chicken on the other end, and offering me a peek.

Personally, it's exactly for reasons like this why I stay away from chat rooms of any sort (I went through my AOL chat room phase, thanks. No more!). The anonymity of the Internet gives these disgusting little perverts the opportunity to do that which they wouldn't have the balls to do in real life. It's a sad commentary on the culture when lonely men resort to showing their wankers to complete strangers on the Internet on the remote chance that they'll find someone willing to Indulge the Bulge while they Tickle The Pickle.

Sick bastards.

It's an even sadder commentary when a corporation that could be devoting scarce resources to improving their product or advancing the technology that makes it work, has to instead devote resources to the Problem of Unwanted-Penis-Over-IP.

(H/T Instapundit)

Separated at Birth?

The Fuhrer, Il Duce, and Il Doof-ay. What is it with dictatorial leftists and raised-hand salutes?
At least they caught the Teleprompter's good side.
(Note to the One Asshole-with-no-sense-of-humor-bound-to-be-offended-by-this -- I know Hitler was just waving to the crowd. Get a clue and Save yourself an e-mail).

Do We Really Need A Congress?

I watched some of the posturing about BP CEO Tony Hayward this afternoon, and based on that performance my answer would have to be a resounding "NO". At least not if it meant that if we kept Congress, we'd have to keep the parade of morons currently there. That bunch of people I saw this afternoon were scary; there wasn't enough intellectual firepower up there to burn calories. The performance, the fake concern, the sarcasm, the posturing, the begging for Hayward to resign, was pathetic.

If none of those people aren't already sterile, we should probably make it a requirement for public office. After all, we spay and neuter house cats, so why not Congresscritters? But I digress...

Let's get something straight: Mr. Hayward did himself no good today, either. His company, which is already on my List of 10,000-Least-Favorite-Things-After-Ebola, is in deeper shit than I might have thought possible. If the e-mails that the Congresscritters were jabbering about today are any indication -- e-mails which contain complaints about safety from members of the drilling team, hints about cost-cutting, and internal memos which paint a picture of a company that was in total disarray, where the executives don't know what the workforce does, where the line-managers seem to be cowboys, and this was before the disaster -- are anything close to true, BP will probably cease to exist.

And that is as it should be; that's the Free Market at work. Companies that fuck up go out of business, it's just a shame that Congress can only remember that when they have a convenient foreign whipping boy willing to be shaken down to the tune of $20 billion just to keep the lawyers at bay (for now), and conveniently forgot it when Citibank, General Motors or AIG -- whose executives contributed to the campaign coffers of every Congressional Retard on the Hill -- were at the helm of their own disasters.

But don't get the idea in your head that Congress, by exposing BP's internal e-mails and hectoring Hayward with questions they knew he wasn't going to answer was actually doing anything that will prevent another Gulf Oil Spill, plug the damned hole, or clean up a solitary shoreline.

They just kept asking Hayward questions in an attempt to get something on record with which to clobber him later on. It's an old lawyer's trick, and it's how they eventually got Martha Stewart, you know. They want to lock Hayward into a story so that when the facts eventually do come out (especially the ones that show the government asleep at the switch, or which catch the regulatory agencies at their usual dumb-as-dogshit best), they'll be able to dance around those inconvenient revelations by hammering Hayward over "changes in his story".

BP is not off the hook, as far as I'm concerned, but the dog-and-pony show these last few days with the oil industry being beaten up in the public square so that complete and utter dingleberries can look "concerned" and "tough" and "in command", is an even sadder sight than seabirds slathered in crude oil.

Especially that asshat Joseph Cao, who started all that stuff about hara-kiri. If I remember correctly, Cao was one of the republican votes for ObamaCare, so maybe he'd care to demonstrate the proper technique for the rest of us? At least it would spare us his fake sanctimony and transparent grandstanding. Incidentally, Cao is Vietnamese, I think, and hara-kiri (more properly called "seppaku") is Japanese. Vietnamese don't kill themselves: they surrender to the nearest communists they can find and then take to rickety boats to save their worthless least the ones who eventually grow up to be Congressmen, that is. Cao is the Republican Party's answer to Anthony Weiner.

I know we have to keep a Congress, if only because if we didn't have one the President of the United States would become a dictator...oh, wait, that's already happened...but do we have to keep this one, and give them excuses to stage trials, asking questions (written by aides who did some actual research) of people who know even less than they do?

After that disgusting display, I'm of the mind that all 535 members of both Houses would be more useful if they stopped shovelling their usual nonsense, and hit a Gulf Coast beach to shovel tar balls, instead.

Certainly, BP should be punished for whatever it has done, or failed to do. The time for that, however, will be after they manage to plug the hole in the Gulf and start the cleanup in earnest, because there is no other entity at present who can do either. The Federal Government is inept, and it's hands are tied by bureaucratic bullshit, legalities, and the fact that public employees don't work very hard, or display much initiative. So, lay off BP, especially with the lawyer's tricks and the third-degree bullshit, until they've done what you need them to do.

The fucking lawsuits can wait.

But then I guess if there weren't this Show Trials, some people (mostly the Press, which is an even bigger crowd of idiots than Congress) would ask "where's the government in all this?", and those jerkoffs on Capitol Hill would have no answer. At least now they can claim to have "grilled Tony Hayward and asked him tough questions on the record...", which at least keep them occupied long enough so that they weren't trying to figure out how to tax us to pay for penile implants for illegal aliens.

Unfortunately, it doesn't stop the leak, or clean up one drop of oil. How much you wanna bet that every one of those flapping rectums will make certain the video of today's puppet show appears in their campaign commercials this fall, though?

BP can't plug the hole fast enough, and 2012 can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"...Hurling Frozen Pork Sandwiches At the Muslims..."

I swear, it wasn't me, but I wish I could have been there. Mark Steyn on the coming "Blasphemy Laws" that'll only make it blasphemy if you're talking about Islam, of course. Otherwise, you should feel free to urinate on a Crucifix, burn a Torah, or have your dog hump a Buddah.

The "Legal Profession" Sucks...

I'm asking readers to do me, and by extension their Country, a huge favor. Oh, and it has the added benefit in that it will probably help bloggers everywhere.

If you find yourself on a blog (not just mine, anyone's blog will work) and there's an advertisement for an attorney, law firm, class-action suits, etc, etc, etc, then I want you to click on that ad -- even if you don't require any legal services at all.

Why? Because every time you do, some blogger gets paid by the lawyer who posted the ad. Everytime that lawyer has to pay up, the less money he has available to get the leather upholstery in the BMW this year, or to support or bribe the politician of her choice. Just by clicking ads, you will be striking a blow against the one profession in America even less popular than Prostitute or U.S. Senator, and certanly one that has become even less useful to the conduct and security of a free society than fleas are to a dog.

Many of the dilemmas this country currently finds itself in are the result of lawyers who have abused the legal system for their personal enrichment (see Health Care suits, Product Liability suits, Slip-and-Fall-Suits, and all the opposition to Tort Reform), abused the Electoral System for their personal advancement (see: 2/3 of Congress), use the power of the Law to enforce their ideological beliefs or fetishes upon others against their will (see: Diversity, Title IX), or use the Law a sa tool to advance the interests of narrow constituencies (ADA, Affirmative Action, Sexual Harassment, etc). That's when they aren't busy using the Legal System as a means to subvert the law as written -- and passed -- by elected legislatures (See: half the cases that find themselves before a Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court).

So far as I'm concerned, a Profession that irredeemably corrupt should be restrained by any means possible, and since they usually can wiggle out of their legal, moral and ethical responsibilities by twisting and perverting the very Law they claim to revere, then the next best thing is to take money out of their pockets...which is the only thing that really and truly hurts them.

So click A Legal Ad today and Make a Lawyer Pay!

(Waiting for a lawyer to bust my balls about what a bad rap they get, and how it'sunfair to dump so much approbation on a profession that does so much good...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...I remind you that the President of the United States somehow managed to become a Professor of Constitutional Law, and achieved that lofty position without appearing to have read the fucking thing at any point in his life. That's what sort of esteem they hold the Law in. I'm sure someone will make a "restraint of trade" argument against my proposal, but they can go fuck themselves, too; lawyers didn't always advertise their services, nor were they allowed to launch nuisance suits for the purposes of extorting settlements -- a now-common practice -- and they seemed to do quite okay without any of it).

T'was Only a Matter of Time....

...before the porn-star Baby Mamas started coming out of the woodwork. Warning: some of this might not be safe for work. As if the man didn't have enough problems in his life, the Daily News goes and publishes 92 selected photos of his boot-knockin' partners in sexy poses.

If I were Tiger Woods, I'd be running back to the Fortress of Solitude that is rehab.

And if that wasn't bad enough, it only begins to get infinitely worse: there's more than one porn "actress" involved. and allegations are flying that some of these...ahem...choice conquests ...were given hush money, probably to keep quiet about the fact that -- off the golf course at least -- Tiger might swing both ways. Allegedly.

Now, I have no sympathy for Tiger Woods because his pain is mostly self-inflicted, and his oh-so-carefully-selected menagerie of paramours makes it crystal clear that he has (or had) a serious drug problem (people who aren't under the influence or insane do not make these sorts of choices, or attract this particular class of women). At some point, though, this could all end if the man would just disappear-- he has the money to do so -- but he just won't go away. The cost of that kind of ego is that his peccadilloes will be made public -- drip-drip-drip -- like a Chinese water torture.

You would expect that at some point common sense (and a sense of shame!) would kick in and Tiger would fade away, because the longer he stays in the spotlight -- or struggles to get back into it -- the more we'll be seeing this endless parade of pathetic gold-digging sluts, many with a reputation for deviant sexual practices involving unnatural violations perpetrated by multiple partners, which brings us all one step closer to the Apocalypse.

I'm a guy and even my "fuck-anything-that-moves-male-sexual-reflex" is repulsed by just the thought of some of the...festivities...these women have done to in order to "earn a living" in the porn "Industry"(yeah, like none of you has ever seen a porn video, right?)

You wonder who will win this race; will Tiger's perseverance, stubbornness and sense of entitlement, his steadfast belief that his "image" (and therefore, his fame and fortune) can be rehabilitated eventually be overtaken by the flood of embarrassing activities -- and personages -- that got him into this mess in the first place? Or are we watching the slow death-spiral of The Man Who Had it All But Threw It Away?

Who gives a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? I have my own problems to deal with, thank you.
This is still funny as hell, though.

UPDATE: Link to Tiger's Rogues Gallery of Tawdry Encounters fixed.

The Clueless-and-in-Really-Bad-Taste-Award Goes To...

The MSN homepage, which today posts as one of it's Featured Stories, "Beauty and the Beach... which stars have hit the sand and surf this past week?" where you are afterwards encouraged to "Find out in these Sunny Celebrity Pics!" and click the link.

Now, I'm all for a picture of Megan Fox in a bikini (why, I wouldn't even mind if they posted one every week...I'm just that kinda guy) , but someone should have told MSN that it's probably in poor taste to show "the Beautiful People" romping in Maui or Marbella when there are people spending their summer on a beach down on the Gulf Coast picking up tar balls with shovels, and dousing pelicans in dishwashing liquid in an attempt to save their lives, as fishermen and hoteliers go out of business, and waiters, chambermaids, oil rig workers, cooks, dry cleaners and construction workers lose their livelihoods.

It's completely fucked up that some part of the world is stupid enough to give a shit about Lindsey Lohan's comings-and-goings, or Snooki's Sperm-burping-Barbie-approved bikini, while real people -- people who actually work for a fucking living -- have their lives turned upside down by the biggest industrial accident and environmental disaster in American History.

American Arrested in Pakistan...Was "Hunting" Bin Laden...

You have to give the guy full credit for at least going to where you might expect Bin Laden to be. George Bush promised to get Bin Laden, so did John McCain, and apparently, this attempt is the closest anyone can claim to having actually tried.

Gary Faulkner is the man's name, and according to his relatives, he's not crazy...just really, really patriotic.

At least someone is looking for Bin Laden --it just happens to be a whackjob douchebag, ex-con, Coloradan martial arts fag, Chuck Norris-wannabe dialysis patient, armed with a pistol, a samurai sword, his trusty Bible and Night-vision goggles, who looks like he's the poster child for both medical marijuana and birth control, who does it? He (Faulkner) claims to have gotten within 100 feet of a cave he believes UBL (Usama Bin Laden)has been living in. Not only that, it's the latest in a string of trips he's made to Pakistan to engage in "reconnaissance". Do sane people do shit like this?

The Pentagon and CIA have to be embarrassed. Then again, perhaps this is our version of the Underwear Bomber: the most unlikely loser is sent out on a hopeless mission in which it is hoped (and planned) that he'll fuck up, just to cause the"Other Side" to do something, or to overreact in some way. I mean, after all, where does this dude get the money to keep travelling to Pakistan for his "covert mission", anyways? So covert that he can even tell the Pakistani authorities he's entered the country to hunt Bin Laden...and they don't even take him seriously because, well...would you? It's the perfect plan! Someone get Oliver Stone on the phone!

Personally, I would have hoped he had succeeded, assuming UBL is still alive. I'm guessing UBL is either buried under tons of rubble, courtesy of Uncle Sam, or the Taliban took him out because he fucked up their Islamic Stone-Age Paradise. Now Mr. Faulkner can probably enjoy all the hospitality to be derived from a Pakistani jail, where he'll be frequently visited by rabid Islamonazi interrogators convinced he simply must be a CIA plant.

I wish him luck, the poor bastard.

The Oil Spill Speech...

Here's a handy transcript of what the President said about the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the government's response, and his plans for the future:

Blah blah blah blathery blathery blah, blah blah-blah. It's BP's fault. Bad BP! We'll sue. Blah, blah, blah.

Blah blah blah blah blabbity-bloobity blah blah. It's George Bush's Fault. Again. We'll sue. Blah, blah blah blah blah.

Blibbity-blabbity booh-booh-ba-dangery blahbitty blah-blah, I don't do "things", like cleaning up beaches, and rescuing dolphins, and plug oil-spewing holes -- I'm a Dream the Impossible Dreams kinda guy. You didn't expect a Black Guy from Chicago to WORK, did you? Blab, blah, blech.

Blah blah blah blabbity-blabbity-bloobity blah blah blah, moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling putting thousands more people out of work, and increasing energy prices in an already precarious economy in the process, blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah, empower a "National Commission" --more misdirected bureaucracy by un-elected, un-accountable douchebags -- blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

Blah, blah, blah, waste money on windmills. Blah, blah, blah blah blah, blabbity-blah blah, Cap and Tax is more necessary than ever before! Blah blah blah blah, blha blah blah blah. And let me say "God Bless America", which I really don't mean anyways, blah blah blah.

I don't even think anyone even bothers to write this stuff for him, anymore. He's been giving the same speech for the last two years, and its as if it has become a "fill-in-the-blank" sort of affair where you just substitute "Wall Street", or "Insurance Company, or "Glenn Beck" for"Big Oil" wherever you need to, and then blame everything and everyone under the sun for shit that happens on your watch, and which you might have prevented -- had you not been a Communist. Then you use all that attempted misdirection and blame-dodging to set up your argument for a new regime of expansive government interference. This "New, Stronger Regulation" will have to be supported by more taxes, and enforced with even more (and more ridiculous) requirements, and be overseen by the same politicians and regiments of Public Union Employees who failed in their regulatory duties in the first place.

It's as if the goal -- from the beginning of any endeavor you might imagine -- is never what's best for US, but always in what sends more power, money and authority to people who mismanage and abuse the power, money and authority they already have.

It's not even worth listening to this dude anymore, because you can anticipate what's going to come out of his mouth before he even begins moving his lips. Might as well mail the fucking speech in and spare the American public the inconvenience of having the O'Reilly Factor interrupted for a waste-of-time Presidential rant.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Redecorating...Bear With Me...

Blogger is going all gaga about it's new templates, and I'm trying one out. Soliciting opinions, please?

So far, I think it's alright, except that Blogger apparently doesn't allow re-sizing options for all the page elements -- like the great big gray header box at the top of the blog. It's a bit ostentacious. I'm firing off an e-mail to what passes for tech support.

Monday, June 14, 2010

You Learn Something New Every Day...

I spent my formative teenage years growing up (do any of us ever really grow up?) in New Dorp, one of the "villages" that make up Staten Island, the Fifth Borough of New York. It's pretty much near the center of the East Shore, and is quite a historic place. Within walking distance (long walking distance), you'll find the Richmondtown Restoration (our version of Colonial Williamsburg -- only older and with original buildings), the old Moravian Church on Todt Hill (where many of the "better" Vanderbilt's, including the Commodore himself, are buried), a couple of historic lighthouses, and an honest-to-goodness Tibetan Museum in the woods.

(Side note: as a teeneager, Vanderbilt's Tomb was a hang-out. We teenaged hooligans would drink beer there, because it was secluded, and the surrounding area had deep woods around it, the better to escape anyone who might have caught us!).

That's just to start things off.

Anyhoo, I've been immersing myself in local history recently, and solved a mystery (to me, anyways) about a rather strange house that I have seen practically every day for 30 years, but never bothered to learn about.

I knew the house was a landmark. That became obvious a very long time ago, because it hasn't been repainted in, oh...say 100 years. It's in good condition, considering it's age, and doesn't appear to have had much outside structural work done to it. In fact, I've seen exterior woodwork of a kind that probably hasn't been common in a couple of centuries on this house. I think it's also had a variety of owners since I've known about it, too (I take it it is a pain in the ass to own a landmark building in New York City, what with all the regulations dedicated to separating you from your money). Occasionally, you see movie trailers out front, and neighborhood rumor was (and still sometimes is) that "someone was making porn in there..." I don't know if this is true, and frankly, I'm not all that concerned to actually find out.

So, I have spent the last 30 years blissfully unaware of what the house was, why it was a landmark, and what goes on there. I was, on occasion, curious, but not overly so. To sate my curiosity would have required effort, and consequently, I made none. But that was then...

I recently, accidentally, found out what that building once was. I was researching the Battle History of Staten Island (being an amateur historian, and all. You'd be surprised how many battles have been fought here...and why!), and always inclined towards military history; in this case, the Revolutionary War battles in and around New York City.

That building, I was surprised to learn, was once the Rose and Crown Tavern, a large, rambling affair, that was both alehouse and hotel...and formerly the headquarters of the British Army in New York during the Occupation. Staten Island, in those days, was Royalist Country, with a smattering of the Old Dutch and Huguenot settlements left behind from the days of Dutch New Amsterdam. The British landed here in force because of the old Dutch fort at the entrance to the Narrows (now called Fort Wadsworth, oldest, continuously-garrisoned military installation in the United States), and because fresh water and timber were available in abundance here.

Admiral Howe (brother of the General of the same name) made his headquarters in the Rose and Crown, and an army of 30,000 Redcoats and Hessians was camped here. It was these troops that overran New York City, and chased Washington and his army out of Long Island (Brooklyn). They then set up permanent camp, and made themselves thoroughly unpopular with the locals (the British deforested the island, not to mention imposed upon the locals for everything from food to draft animals to money. When the War was over, the Loyalists all fled to Canada, but not before the Royal Navy fired one last shot at present-day Fort Wadsworth. That was, I'm told, the very last shot of the Revolutionary War. Sore losers!)

I was astonished (I was also astonished to discover that a company of Canadians fought here -- in Washington's Army -- at the Battle of the Old Conference House. Incidentally, Ben Franklin slept there) . I grew up around the corner from it, and have lived in the general vicinity for 30 years, and never knew -- never even suspected -- just what the historic significance of that building was.. So, I've started to wonder about what else I've missed around here. You'd be surprised what's hidden in this most unassuming of places (my research is opening my eyes all the time), and so I'm going to start searching it out, bit-by-bit, and writing about what I find right here. I'll even post pictures.

This week, I'll be taking a walk to Historic Richmondtown, where the oldest, original building in New York City can be found -- the Voorlezer's House -- school, seat of government, and church, and 350 years old.

I think I'll do one of these trips every week, both for the exercise (Damn, but do I need it!), and for the educational value, and because, dammit, I'm proud of where I live! I think, that in these days of Tea Parties and the disappearing belief in American Exceptionalism , perhaps we'd all do well to learn a thing or two about our local history...before it's gone and forgotten.

"This is Our D-Day...We're Trying to Save Our Neighborhood..."

More on the battle over the Catholic Church's intent to sell a former convent to a Muslim Organization here on Staten Island. Here's some more commentary, with video.

I can walk out my front door and within a short radius find no fewer than 6 streets that have been renamed in honor of people who were killed in the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Center, mostly police officers and firefighters that once lived here. If I travel a little further afield -- say within a one-mile radius -- I'll find as many as 12 streets that have been renamed (in total, 270 Staten Islanders -- nearly 10% of all the 2,751 Twin Tower victims -- were killed in the attacks). If I took a little jaunt across the Island as a whole, I'm certain I'd find dozens of streets so renamed. Including many right in the Midland Beach neighborhood where this little drama is being played out.

For us here on Staten Island, the memory and trauma remain. This community has every right to question the presence of a Muslim organization setting up shop here because we've all been scarred by Muslims, and some people here still -- a decade after the attacks -- haven't gotten as much as a fingernail from their loved ones to bury, and many others, myself included, have had their lives severely damaged and disrupted by it.

The City of New York and the Federal Authorities are still here on Staten Island, sifting through 9/11 debris seeking human remains. The debris was brought here specifically for that purpose, and it's still coming in. Every few weeks, construction in and around Ground Zero is often halted as human remains are found. For us, 9/11 is still not over, and it never will be.

This story, in connection with the one about the construction of a "mosque" (code word for Terrorist Indoctrination, Training and Assembly Center) at Ground Zero, is now gaining traction in the "mainstream media". Local newspapers and television, who normally could go on quite happily pretending that this island even exists, are now picking up this story. We even made FoxNews the other day when Megyn Kelly devoted a segment of her program to this battle.

I'm glad it's getting some wider attention, but I have issues with some of the coverage, mostly on two fronts:

It's (the coverage) obviously being slanted, where possible, to make Staten Islanders look like whining, intolerant pansies. I can't tell you how many times the local news coverage uses the same footage of the same people who complain about the parking and property-value issues that the mosque will probably create -- and then cut the video off in mid-sentence so that the complainer looks like a nit-picking jerkoff who just doesn't want immigrants in his neighborhood.

That sort of "coverage" misses the entire point; this community has a damned good reason to be angry and fearful because we've lost Sons and Daughters to people who, on the one hand, blather on about peace and brotherhood and make very lame excuses for the depraved actions of their brethren, and with the other, support such murderous men and their diseased ideology disguised as a religion. They simply don't say so publicly, and pretend otherwise so that they can play the victim when their passivity results in dead bodies.

Now, if I can pick a bone with my neighbors...

Some of you seem truly reluctant to say what's really on your minds. I can understand being upset with the Archdiocese of New York for not informing the neighborhood about some aspects of the sale, or the parties involved. I can understand the confusion and anger brought about by the speed and surprise factor with which the sale was announced. What I take issue with is this hiding behind flaccid points about parking spaces, traffic and property values, which plays right into the hands of the multi-culti Libtards who are more than ready to stamp us all "Greedy, Selfish, Intolerant Right-Winger-Racist" stamp. Class-and-race-warfare, after all, is the stock-in-trade of the Libtard. You're almost asking to be shown in that light with that sort of weakened argument -- especially if you go on camera with it.

The truth about the opposition to this Mosque -- we don't want would-be suicide bombers living and moving about in our community, is too harsh for polite coompany, apparently. That most certainly does sound discriminatory. But I say -- fuck it -- we're going to be tarred with that brush anyway, so why not tell the whole fucking truth? Why deny it? The words "Islam" and "terror" are almost synonymous. If Muslims don't like that, they should take positive steps to fix it; turn in your relatives, assholes, before they kill someone.

We don't want homicidal maniacs living, gathering, training and perhaps being recruited, right in our midst.

Screw the Civil Rights "Establishment". Screw the media. Screw Muslims. Screw the Archdiocese of New York. And for damned sure, Screw What Outsiders Might Think of Us. We pay for almost everything in this City, anyway, and we're entitled to be heard and to have our concerns addressed. Tell the truth, and make it plain that we don't want anyone who espouses vaginal mutilation, honor-killings, bigamy, beheading the helpless, welfare fraud and terrorism-as-political-discourse in our neighborhoods. If Muslims want to build a mosque, they can damned-well build it somewhere else -- not in the middle of a neighborhood that lost so many in the biggest most dramatic, and most depraved act of mass murder in American history. It's an insult to us, and inflammatory, and some of us believe that it's intended as a deliberate attempt to stir up animosity that is simply "Jihad-by-another-name".

The MAS can send as many representatives to public meetings to dodge the really hard questions all it wants. We won't budge, so take the fucking hint and go somewhere else. Do you know how I know there's going to be no quarter given in this fight? Because if you can get 400 Staten Islanders to show up for anything that doesn't involve Little League, High School Basketball -- or beer -- it's fucking important to them...and probably very personal.

I keep saying "We", and when I do so it might give the impression that I speak for others, but I really don't. I can speak for myself only. But I know these people -- they're my neighbors, friends, high-school buds, former co-workers. I can pretty much tell you what they feel and think, and it's pretty much the same as I feel and think. They're just, perhaps, a little less likely to say so openly, and many probably fear the repercussions of being openly discriminatory. I don't, because I know if the circumstances were reversed, few -- if any -- Muslims would come to my defense, or take up my cause.

You can be a Muslim on Staten Island, and no one would care. We're very good about respecting each other's personal space (except on the roads!). However, when you insist on being a Muslim on Staten Island AND building a symbol of your hateful and murderous "religion" in the middle of a community scarred by 9/11, then you'd better expect some push back.

About the World Cup...

There's something about tens of thousands of morons simultaneously blowing horns that produce a sonorous, droning sound that makes it all unwatchable. It also reminds you of those aren't-the-Aborigines-awesome multi-culti segments of the Crocodile Dundee movies, where Paul Hogan gets to make authentic Outback noises with all sorts of Abo gee-gaws that set your teeth on edge.

I played soccer in my youth and found it a pretty decent pastime -- at least the way it's played in America, which is to say, with zip and an ebb-and-flow of attack and defense, and so I have the experience to discern that the International game lacks the same pace you'd find in your local grade school match. It's typically 80 minutes of passing for position, 10 minutes of real action, with another half-hour of grown men grabbing their ankles, writhing on the ground and vying for an Academy Award -- only to pop back up and get into play just as the stretcher and medical team arrive.

I've played ice hockey for many years, and I have never seen a stretcher come out so often as it does during an international soccer match. Hockey is a sport where the players are basically given weapons as part of their basic equipment, and are allowed to throw punches at each other, and rarely do you see a stretcher. If one comes out, someone's unconscious or suffering an actual injury that might involve paralysis. Professional soccer players are obviously great, big pussies.

Anyways, the combination of pussy players, lack of continuous action, and thousands of idiots with the most annoying horns ever devised by man have made what little enjoyment can be garnered from the World Cup hardly worth the effort of sitting through it all. I'm sitting here, not much of a baseball fan anymore (millionaires going on strike and taking drugs pretty much did it for me), certainly no fan of the NBA (little more than highly-paid thugs in shorts. If most didn't play basketball, they'd probably be in prison), and I most definitely WILL NOT watch 50 rednecks drive 200 miles at high-speed, making only left turns, just in anticipation of the accidents.

Golf is not a sport. Sports do not involve carts, or someone else to carry your equipment for you. They should also have some form of defense in them to be considered a sport. Tennis is even gayer than international soccer. There's been more bass fishing on TV than I can ever remember, which means there must be a lot of people with too much free time, a lack of braincells, and a ton of disposable income out there, even in this bad economy.

So far as I'm concerned, there's no sports to watch at all until the Jets start playing real games (and even then, I'm a casual, not a die-hard, fan), and hockey season returns.

If you intend to sell International Soccer to Americans as an alternative to those jonesing for real sports during this in-between time in the major American ones, this World Cup will not help you to do it. Hey, I even have a history with soccer, and I can't stand watching this. It's even worse to have to listen to it. Why is it that wherever there's large masses of piss-poor people, they seem only able to occupy themselves with the most annoying -- and noisiest -- of things? I've seen it at other World Cups, too; cowbells, fireworks, mariachi bands, masses of Germans building pyramids and chanting slogans that make you want to start looking for the torch-lit parade somewhere (not that Germans are poor; just clueless about how stupid they look when they do these things).

I'm not certain you'll ever sell soccer in this country until the demographics change, anyway -- which might be any day now, thanks to the unchecked flood of South and Central Americans entering the country without being shot at at least once. There's another reason to close the borders: who the hell wants to contemplate a future in which soccer becomes a major sport in this country?

My most vivid memory of annoying soccer fans with their penchant for repetitive and mind-numbing noise, comes from the Intercity Rail Station in Watford, England, a suburb of London.
There was to be some"important" match played at Webley Stadium (I think one of the teams was Chelsea, but I'm not certain), and the station was packed with the full panoply of morons these sorts of events attract: the drunks, the gap-toothed-slack-jawed-crowd-followers, the flare-throwers, the idiot who has dyed his hair (even his pubes!) in his team colors, the douchebag who had his infant son tattooed with the team Coat-of-Arms. The Auxillary soon follows in their wake: the gum-snapping-beer-guzzling-muffin-topped slatterns who follow the yobbos (as they're called in England), and who came along on the remote possibility that one of the players will be impressed with their nipple rings and lack of a gag reflex enough to make their "Footballer's Wives" fantasy come true.

The chanting. The horn blowing. The yelling. The Public Urination. It makes you wonder just how it was that the British Empire conquered three-quarters of the globe, if this is it's genetic legacy. If memory serves, the game ended in a 0-0 (or, nil-nil, as they say) draw, yet somehow, someone still won...something...and people were out dancing -- drunk, of course -- in the streets.

The commentators on television that evening took great pains to point out that one team actually DID Play for a tie, not needing a win for some reason or another. That's another problem with soccer: once you get past the lack of action, the brain-dead fanatics and the players who take dives if you breathe on them, you get a "strategy" of playing for a tie, which is too European for most Americans to accept. Not to mention the reports of all the people knifed or disfigured by razor blades for simply having a different team affiliation than one's own (I believe the term is "Chelsea Smile").

I also remember the European Cup final in Barcelona in 2000. I was on vacation in Barcelona at that time, and my hotel on the Rambles just happened to be the gathering point for the Manchester, Munich and Barcelona soccer fans who spent a solid week gathering under my balcony at all hours of the night to bang drums, blow horns, sing, chant, and break bottles. For hours on end, and way into the wee hours. The really sad part? The "Big game" was between Manchester and Munich -- the Spanish fans didn't need to be holding these impromptu parades, except as "host country" they were somehow entitled to make as big a bunch of assholes out of themselves as the English and Germans, I guess. Fights were common between rival "gangs" of fans. Anyways, I'm told it was one of the greatest matches, ever, despite the fact that there was a double overtime and penalty kicks, --which means that one side actually won the game at some earlier point, but the other side had to be given two chances to tie it up again, because Europeans are uncomfortable with "sudden-death" sports, anyway.

Consider it the sports version of the legacy of the Treaty of Versailles; victory should never be THAT absolute.

When that game was finally played, I was -- thankfully -- already in Palma de Majorca...and catching up on my sleep.

Anyway, this is what international soccer usually entails: assholes given license to behave badly, large, unruly crowds sold the most annoying noisemakers you can imagine, drunken brawls, drunken promenades, a thick residue of prostitutes, riots, nationalistic feelings stirred up -- often to the point of violence -- and in the end, someone has adopted the strategy of "playing not to lose" that makes an already-boring spectacle down-right coma-inducing. The horns just put you to sleep that much faster.