Headline: Sisters of Mercy plans to sell health center in Texas

Caught this headline on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Web site. Of course the article clarifies that the Sisters of Mercy Health System St. Louis, a nonprofit health conglomerate (can nonprofits be conglomerates, or is that word reserved for the greedy corporations?).

Not the, you know, Sisters of Mercy. Although it would have made the article much more interesting indeed.

Close The Loopholes So They Can Open New Ones

Missouri legislators (Republicans) are battling the Missouri governor (Democrat) over the current state budget. He’s vetoed the budget bills they’ve sent him because those bills cut spending to match the incoming revenue. Instead, the governor wants them to increase taxes to meet the required outlay. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time (i.e., you’re not just here because Google spit it out when you looked for EVA MENDEZ or MONICA BELLUCCI HOT PIX), you know whom I favor in this battle.

One thing worth noting in this particular bout of sensibility versus deliver-the-goods-so-I-can-get-elected-Senator-ability is that a “non-partisan” group called something like Committee for State Education Security has “coincidentally” released a report that some of the largest corporations in the state are paying nothing in corporate tax every year. No Sputnik, Sherlokov.

After all, whenever one of those large corporations ponders a move to the unspoiled wild tax breaks of Illinois for its production facilities, what’s a poor bunch of legislators to do but promise tax credits, no corporate taxes, a free stadium, and free car washes for corporate executives? These same tax breaks mean that the corporations pay less taxes? Say it ain’t so! Apparently it’s good enough that these corporations employ workers who will pay taxes, enough so to unfairly burden those workers with the tax load until such time that the workers cannot provide statewide Meat on Streets programs to ensure every stray dog can eat New York Strip steak. When one puppy goes hungry, it’s time to soak the greedy corporations.

The state government, through its successive crises, robs Peter to pay Paul, and then burglarizes Paul’s house when he’s out spending the money. Further proof that Keynes’ balancing wheel is a little wobbly.

Regular Schedule, Defined

Hello, everyone. By regular blogging schedule, of course I meant as much blogging as I would regularly do were I to repaint my home office, which means disconnecting all computer equipment, moving all furniture, and covering the remainder with plastic sheeting and/or blue paint.

Maybe when I go back to work next week and can get used to coming home tired and unambitious, I can get back to my regular ranting. Until then….

Close The Loopholes So They Can Open New Ones

Missouri legislators (Republicans) are battling the Missouri governor (Democrat) over the current state budget. He’s vetoed the budget bills they’ve sent him because those bills cut spending to match the incoming revenue. Instead, the governor wants them to increase taxes to meet the required outlay. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time (i.e., you’re not just here because Google spit it out when you looked for EVA MENDEZ or MONICA BELLUCCI HOT PIX), you know whom I favor in this battle.

One thing worth noting in this particular bout of sensibility versus deliver-the-goods-so-I-can-get-elected-Senator-ability is that a “non-partisan” group called something like Committee for State Education Security has “coincidentally” released a report that some of the largest corporations in the state are paying nothing in corporate tax every year. No Sputnik, Sherlokov.

After all, whenever one of those large corporations ponders a move to the unspoiled wild tax breaks of Illinois for its production facilities, what’s a poor bunch of legislators to do but promise tax credits, no corporate taxes, a free stadium, and free car washes for corporate executives? These same tax breaks mean that the corporations pay less taxes? Say it ain’t so! Apparently it’s good enough that these corporations employ workers who will pay taxes, enough so to unfairly burden those workers with the tax load until such time that the workers cannot provide statewide Meat on Streets programs to ensure every stray dog can eat New York Strip steak. When one puppy goes hungry, it’s time to soak the greedy corporations.

The state government, through its successive crises, robs Peter to pay Paul, and then burglarizes Paul’s house when he’s out spending the money. Further proof that Keynes’ balancing wheel is a little wobbly.

Regular Schedule, Defined

Hello, everyone. By regular blogging schedule, of course I meant as much blogging as I would regularly do were I to repaint my home office, which means disconnecting all computer equipment, moving all furniture, and covering the remainder with plastic sheeting and/or blue paint.

Maybe when I go back to work next week and can get used to coming home tired and unambitious, I can get back to my regular ranting. Until then….

Back from Chicago

Ah, after a much needed vacation (from the Spanish for vaca tiempo, literally “cow time”), the beautiful wife and I have returned from three days in Chicago. You’ll certainly be hearing about it.

At any rate, we should get back to a regular blogging schedule soon.

Count Your Syllables, Honey


My dear esteemed spouse asserts that Jewel rhymes with fool and drool. Of course, she’s referring to my NOE (near obsession experience) with the newly techno-confected songstress Jewel Kilcher.

However, I must point out (in a “I am superior, but I am not acting superior” tone of writing) that jewel has two syllables. It rhymes with crewel and, well, cruel, but not fool or drool, or for that matter, joule.

Of course (:: sniff!::), as a former practitioner of “free verse” poetry, you’re not as aware of these subtle distinctions as a writer of real poetry.

Count Your Syllables, Honey

My dear esteemed spouse asserts that Jewel rhymes with fool and drool. Of course, she’s referring to my NOE (near obsession experience) with the newly techno-confected songstress Jewel Kilcher.

However, I must point out (in a “I am superior, but I am not acting superior” tone of writing) that jewel has two syllables. It rhymes with crewel and, well, cruel, but not fool or drool, or for that matter, joule.

Of course (:: sniff!::), as a former practitioner of “free verse” poetry, you’re not as aware of these subtle distinctions as a writer of real poetry.

The Perfect Charge For Hoaxes!

Fark provides a link to a story in the Washington Post about some artists who, metaphorically, paraded around looking like nutjobs in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Buried in the story is this nugget:

    Although the objects under the duct tape turned out to be harmless, Olaniyi and Patel have been charged with interstate transportation of an explosive device, a charge that can be used in a hoax.

And, apparently, in situations where no explosive devices exist. Unless, of course, the explosive device in question is their van.

Luckily for the kids in Casinoport, they didn’t cross any lines with their chickens-in-a-box devices.

Parks Are Not For the People, Parks Are For the Park Officials

/. points to a story about how Minnesota parks are cracking down on the esoteric hobby of geocaching. Buried within the article, we get this nugget:

    They worry that hundreds of people tramping through their woods will damage plants and habitat.

Dang! I thought parks were to give people the opportunity to tramp through plants and habitat. This quote would seem to assert that parks are really designed to keep park officials employed or to maintain habitats for flora and fauna.

Until such time as the flora, fauna, and park officials pay to preserve these parks, instead of gigging my paycheck for it, I say, “Honey, have you seen my tramping shoes?”

Hijinks Not Yet A Felony

Here in Casinoport, four high school students are getting the pamphlet thrown at them for a senior prank. Ill-advised youngsters ran into their high school cafeteria while wearing masks and carrying boxes with chickens in them to release said chickens. They’re getting misdemeanor disturbing the peace (or maybe “Disturbing the 10-Piece Bucket”) charges. What an outrage!

You mean it’s not yet a felony to wear masks in public or carry chickens in boxes? Legislators, take note! We need to make an example of these young men, assuring that they’re stigmatized for life and that they forever have to tell this particular story when checking that little “Yes, I have been convicted” box on job applications. And if they’re convicted felons, they can’t vote against you! Win/win!

Remember, when have senses of humor are outlawed, only outlaws will have a sense of humor. And in case it’s a law exempt from ex post facto, allow me to assert “I am serious.”

You Can Quote Me On That

Thought for the day:

    “Being a marionette is worse, because at least a puppet gets the warm personal contact of a hand up its, ah, bum.”

Kirk Built a Gun From Sulphur, a Tube, and His, uh, Urine and Vinegar

Fark (and other sources) are reporting about the New Zealand guy who’s building a cruise missile in his garage from parts he bought, essentially, in electronics catalogs from around the world, and get this, New Zealand Customs didn’t stop the legal parts trafficking!

Let the uproar begin. So this yahoo fancies himself Tom Swift or the modern equivalent, who instead of building a time machine or rocket to get to Saturn, builds a cruise missile or a Ptomekin-class nuclear submarine. It ain’t easy to do on one’s own, and if he can do it, more power to him. However, the Hysterics-That-Be will undoubtedly want to clamp down on mail order now and maybe even curiosity among the civilian populace.

Remember, Captain James T. Kirk once built a gun out of the surrounding environment (while nearly shirtless, no less). But in the end he didn’t kill the guy in the awkward lizard costume out of civilized behavior.

Perhaps society and its emissaries (of which government is but one, and a subserviant one at that) should work on promoting civilization and not worry so much about taking away our individual pointy objects. Civilized people don’t use them on one another without good reason. Or reason, anyway.

“More Than Words” Is Different From “More Than Words Can Say”

All right, for the last time, let’s get this straight. Although it’s easy to confuse them, Extreme did the song “More Than Words“, which does, in fact, differ from the Alias song “More Than Words Can Say“.

Of course, anyone can confuse two sweet-sounding power ballads from late 80s hair bands. And Alias and Extreme, or was it Extreme and Alias? But remember, although Alias was truly a one-hit wonder, Extreme was a two-hit wonder. They also charted with “Hole Hearted” off of the same album (Extreme II: Pornograffitti) and made a valiant attempt to follow that album up with III Sides to Every Story (how clever!), but to no avail. “Hole Hearted” is the better of their two hits, in my opinion.

So keep it straight from now on. I don’t want to have to discuss this with you again.

Tomorrow Bejeweled

The new album, 0304, from Jewel comes out tomorrow, June 3, 2003. I have a wallet with $16 in it all ready.

The first single, “Intuition”, sports a more techno sound than her previous works, but it’s still her sweet, breathy vocals. Innocent, playful, and yet suh-exy.

I have been a fan since Pieces Of You, which I gained after leading a friend on a trip to numerous record stores to find it on a winter evening. Finally, we found it, and we listened to it several times consecutively. I ordained myself Paladin of Jewel and have had to defend her honor, or at least her vocal talent, on many occasions. Of course, since she’s no Sarah Brightman (or Sarah McLachlan, for that matter), so it’s been easier to resort to righteous violence than to offer evidence to her vocal prowess, so I have had to smite many a man, woman, and schoolchild to preserve her rightful head of the pantheon of pop.

Here’s CNN’s take on her album: “Jewel: Sexy dance diva?” I hope I can sleep tonight, and that the anticipation will not keep me tossing, turning, and upsetting nestling cats.

And for those of you wondering, Jewel’s official score is MOT-MCBDFHM (Much of That, Minus a Couple Bags of Doritos For Her Munchies).

The Educated Wine Palate vs John Kass and Me

John Kass (registration required) and I don’t drink el vino but we do drink the brews. So we can only wonder at people who improve their brains and their palates to tell the difference between wines.

The Brian Wine Chart includes these continua:

  • Taste: From sweet (1) to not sweet (10).
  • Buzz: From good (1) to very good (10).
  • Price: From cheep (1) to “I’ll never taste it” and beyond (10).

For instance, I give St. James Velvet Red scores a 3.5.3. Les Bourgeois Riverboat Red scores a 1.6.3.

Only Guinness Draught scores better, 1.1.1. What, you say, it’s not wine? Well, it’s not cheap either, but it’s the contender to beat!

Didn’t Get the Rent-A-Negro Point?

Didn’t get the point of the Rent-A-Negro.com Web site that I mentioned? In the Chicago Tribune, Clarence Page explains it (registration required).

He makes some points about blackness-as-phenomenon I am not sure I would agree with, though.

Of course, I am not <insert thing I am not here>, so I couldn’t understand.