Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Johnny Pipes

130 Johnny Pipes

So you think plumbers make a lot of money? Listen to this! Gianni P. of The Bronx, New York. Lives in Westchester now. Has a big house with a big lawn and no shrubbery. Says he likes his view without anything in the way. His view is the street. Not much of a view. Paid a million, two for the place, spent another half a mil fixing it up.

Good money in plumbing.

They call him Johnny Pipes. He says that is a slur against ordinary citizens of Italian lineage, which he calls “Italian abstraction.” They call him Johnny Pipes because he is the Michelangelo of plumbers. You need a bathroom, a kitchen, maybe a basement sink? You need something that leads from the house to the sewer? Johnny’s the guy to call. He’ll make it work beautifully and better yet, what you look at when you look at it is a work of art.

His shop’s still in the old neighborhood. Doesn’t get a lot of calls from the new one. But those who DO call are always happy. Johnny wouldn’t have it any other way. Art. Not just plumbing, but ART.

Last year, Johnny took in maybe as much as his house cost. And most of the time he works alone.

The apartments in the Bronx need a lot of work. They don’t need art. But they get it anyway.

And he keeps unusual hours.

He’s in at maybe five or 5:30 in the morning. And sometimes he works well into the night. Work is play when you love your job.

So how does this guy pull down a million bucks in a year, buy a house in Westchester and takes the wife and kids on a cruise to the islands at least once a year?

Art. Industrial art.

Johnny Pipes has a sideline and it’s a pretty good one. He’s in there at 5 AM working on the lathe, firing up the blowtorch, that kind of thing. Makes small pipes out of big ones. Threads the ends. Fills the insides with little pieces of aluminum and fiberglass and sometimes when he can get it, asbestos.

These are not for the kitchen, bathroom, basement or sewer.

These screw on the fronts of handguns. Makes them more efficient, in a way.

All that stuff in the pipe does slow the bullet down a tad if the gun is fired. That’s not the efficient part. The efficient part is when you fire the thing, it doesn’t usually make enough noise to disturb the neighbors.

Not only is he an artist, he’s a CONSIDERATE artist.

These efficiency gizmos, he calls “sculpture.” His customers call them “silencers” which Johnny doesn’t much care for. Why? Because you still hear something of a “pop” when the thing’s used. It isn’t right to call it “silent” when it’s just “quiet.”

An artist, and an honest one at that. No false advertising here.

Art like this is expensive. It’s hard to find. And the market is excellent. Booming, in fact.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Run on the Bank

129 A Run On The Bank

It’s the Little Local Bank, or it was. Now it’s part of a big conglomerate that wants to keep the Little Local Image and so continues to do Little Local things. But it did manage to open a new branch, about 100 yards away from a previous branch which shared a parking lot with a motel whose customers declined to obey the “Little Local Bank Parking Only” signs.

Those of us whose parents were alive in the Great Depression still fear the site of a huge crowd at a bank. It means the customers have lost confidence and are there to pull their money out. Never mind that the money is usually tied up in CDs with expiration dates. Never mind that the bank is insured and so are the accounts. Never mind any of that stuff.

One recent morning there were 252 people crammed into the brand new branch of the Little Local Bank. That’s an actual count by the 252nd person. But the Little Local Bank was not closing. This was not a run in the Great Depression sense of it, it was another kind of run.

To celebrate the Little Local Opening, the Little Local Bank was giving away something that no one in his right mind would refuse, free gasoline. But only to the first 250 people who showed up on this particular day.

You get a ten dollar coupon, good at Moote Pointe Exxon. That’s two gallons plus in the price-of-the-moment.

Only an idiot would turn that down.

But, only the first 250.

Probably minus some Visiting Firemen from the big conglomerate, secretly attending to make sure none of the regular customers filched a second coupon. Big conglomerates are like that.

The Little Local Bank has no tellers and no voicemail. Instead, people, usually reasonably attractive young women sit around at desks and do teller things. Kind of like First Republic of San Francisco, only with worse furniture.

No voicemail is a real asset. You can do anything by phone except pick up a free gas coupon.

You want to know rates? You want to know how much is in your account? You want to know if your paycheck cleared for a change? Easy. Call ‘em up and an actual human being (a) answers the phone and (b) answers your question. Of course they only have about 300 customers per branch and they only have five branches.

Two hundred fifty two at THIS branch, for sure.

Clarina one of the non-teller/desk sitters promised the two of us extra hotdogs and extra ice cream if we would return on Little Local Ice Cream day and/or Little Local Hotdog day.

Til Ungapochka, the 251st guy on line said he’d do that. Number 252 wasn’t heard from. But he and till went across the street and bought coffee and shared a stack of pancakes. Would have driven, but not without the free gas coupon.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Friday, August 25, 2006

We've Simplified Your Statement

128 We’ve Simplified Your Statement

These are words to strike fear into your heart. Like “easy to assemble” or “cashier in training.”

Periodically, you get changes in the look of bills from the phone company, cable or satellite company, gas company, electric company, fuel oil dealer and your credit cards.

They don’t make anything easier. They just make things more confusing.

Here’s a tip to the Visa/Mastercard/Discover/Macy’s/Cablevision/Con Ed/ExxonMobil/Verizon conspiracy: We need one change and one change and one change ONLY in the bills. Put the account number in the same place – any place will do. Just make all of your bills show the number in the same spot as all the others.

That way you don’t have to hunt for the number when you’re ready to write it on your check or money order. Each bank, each utility, each department store, each gasoline maker, each phone company puts the account number somewhere else. You never know where to look. You have to hunt. And ignoring the suggestion to put the number on your check is an invitation to chaos.

If you want to make life easy for us, make the account number BIG. Sixteen digits are hard to see and copy accurately. (15 for American Express. 14 for Allegheny Power, a mere nine for Verizon Wireless, offset by 16 for Verizon Not Wireless.)

Digression: why do they call the bills “statements.” A statement goes something like this: “The President is a moron,” or “I love you,” or “the holdupman was wearing dark glasses and a hood. He came in around 11 PM, pulled a gun and demanded the contents of the register.”

Something that says how much you owe is a bill. The billers don’t like to call it a bill because that sounds grasping or gauche. But that’s what it is.

Now, back to the main event. “Simplifying” a “statement” is nothing more than moving data around the page. If you have a bunch of phone bills and need to compare two or more of them, it’s easier if all the information’s in the same place on each. Simplifying in the current context makes things harder, not easier. So they’re not really simplifying the bills, they’re compli-fying them.

Is there some idiot at Verizon who really thinks they’ve made the bill simpler? Or is this just another dilution of the English language? If you are a Verizon wireless customer, you may have noticed that they have “simplified” your “statement” by removing the monthly lists of called and received numbers. Granted these bills WERE complicated and bulky – and probably cost quite some bucks to mail each month. But the information could be both interesting and useful. Now, they give you summaries. Brilliant! Perhaps Simply Brilliant!

So simplifying has come to mean new ways of having you play hide and seek with your own account number, boosted the sales of jeweler’s loupes and magnifying glasses (does CitiBank own an optical company?) taken away useful information and made everything else harder.

Figures.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Africans & African Americans

127 Africans and African Americans

There’s been some trouble between these two groups lately. They seem not to like one another any.

Why would that be? Good question, Let’s see if we can come up with some answers, or at least some trails that lead to answers.

Story: Those of us on the 4:05 AM train out of Moote Pointe know this one. (It’s hard not to notice everything going on when on a train that empty.)

You could tell the difference between the African Americans and the Africans pretty easily. The former were listening to rap on their iPods, always loud enough so you could hear the percussion but not the words (Tune anyone? Nah.)

The latter were studying.

The postal exam, the police exam, the civil service exam, the FDNY exam. Or American history. Calculus. That kind of thing.

They land here from Ghana, or Togo or Senegal, take menial jobs and learn about America and American ways.

They may not have much to offer at the start. They sell knock-off Rolexes out of K-Mart attaché cases on aluminum stands, or umbrellas when it rains. Sometimes even African art and sculpture on streetcorners.

Not one in the past ten or 15 years has been accused of a violent crime, let alone been convicted.

They send money home to families in The Ivory Coast, live frugally and listen and learn. The next generation of these guys is going to include stock brokers and professors, auto technicians, computer geniuses and entrepreneurs. Like their Caribbean co-ethnicists, they compete to see how many more jobs than their neighbor they can hold.

They come to our shores with two advantages: First, they have lived in colonies and know what real hardship is, unlike some of their US born counterparts who think it’s tough living in public housing and not having enough money to buy the bling of the moment or the Nikes they want. Second, they mostly speak the language. That’s not Ebonics, it’s English!

Somehow, the racist, whites-only culture that many young African Americans say holds them back doesn’t do the same for the African Africans.

There’s almost no drug or alcohol problem. Families – if they are here as a unit – tend to be two-parent household.

But it’s not just what Bill Cosby called “the culture of failure” among modern blacks. There’s another element: the total ineffectiveness of the churches. Go to 125th Street on a Sunday morning and who do you see heading in to worship? Usually it’s older women in furs and those wonderful hats. Young people? A scattering. Probably had to toe someone’s line and act as an usher or a member of the choir. But you take those older women away and the joints are empty.

Young African Americans seem not to trust organized religion (they shouldn’t) and so turn to the rappers who either hate everything or find that they can make a good buck pretending to hate everything, advocate violence, demean women and bully the general culture into believing they need more than what their leaders of the 1940s, 50s and 60s fought for.

It’s the path of least resistance. Is there any other way to go?

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wessay #126 Dictionarians/Worst of Summer '06

126 The Dictionarians /Worst of the Summer of ‘06

The research department has discovered a new religion, Dictionaryism. They teach that the dictionary is the inspired word of the Diety.

But they’re not buying those “new translations,” the ones that base their inclusions and exclusions on the whim of some editor or focus group investigation of the way people use English.

Prescriptive dictionaries only – and nothing later than Webster’s 2nd Unabridged. The Old Time Religion!

They point out that everything you need to know is between the covers of this book. Every concept, every noun but proper names, every verb, adverb, even those pesky adjectives. It’s all in there, they say. All you have to do is put it together.

Imagine that, a religious sect with a do-it-yourself scripture.

All the words are in there…. What more do you need?

Now, for the part we’ve all been waiting for, the Worst of Summer ‘06

Yes, fall is about to arrive, so it’s time to take a look at current and semi-current events and how they stack up against each other in various categories.

First, the Worst Real Event. This summer, that has to go to those good neighbors in Lebanon, Hezbollah. Thanks, Hezbos. We needed that.

Worst Non-Event: France proposes sending a UN force to Lebanon and then all but withdraws from participating.

Worst Contrived Event: Jonbenet Ramsey case solved. Or not. Whoever did the murder, the parents remain responsible for turning an apparently normal little girl into a dancing Barbie Doll robot while she was alive, if you can call it living.

Worst Movie: The reissue on DVD of “Double Indemnity.” This is perhaps the worst movie EVER made. But the reissue happened in the summer of ’06. NOTE: This is the first time a Disney movie has not led this category.

Worst Television Show: the honors are shared by the various rip-offs and knock-offs (or is it rips off and knocks off – have to check with the Dictionarians) of “American Idol.”

Special mention to USA Network for considering six episodes a full season of its original shows, “Monk,” “Psych,” “The 4400” and “The Dead Zone.” Six episodes is NOT a full season, guys.

Worst Radio Show (national): “Car Talk.” These guys aren’t either funny or informative anymore.

Worst Radio Show (Satellite): “Bloomberg On the Economy.” What the hell are those guys talking about?

Worst Radio Show (New York): Jack-FM.

Worst National Ads: Battle of the CEOS and a tie between “Dr. Z” of Chrysler (cute, funny, meaningless.) and Bill Ford for Ford (sincere, concerned, meaningless.)

Special mention: that awful creature from Geico. And lose the British accent, lizard brain.

Worst Regional Ad (New York) Empire Diamond and Jewelry Exchange, High Atop the Empire State Building.

And finally, our Worst Politician of the Summer: Joe Lieberman (D-CT.) Go back to Shule, bubby and talk to G-d about your dumb-assed decision to run as an independent. Maybe he can talk some sense into you. Heaven knows the voters couldn’t.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Friday, August 18, 2006

Make Room For Andy

125 Make Room For Andy

Move over, Mel. There’s someone else needs a seat on the anti Semites’ bench, Andrew Young, former UN Ambassador, Mayor of Atlanta, and most recently Wal-Mart’s ambassador to black America.

Mel was drunk when he went on his anti Jewish tirade. Was Andy? Seems the Jews, the Koreans and the Arabs are ripping off the blacks in major urban areas, and that’s why they need Wal-Marts. Los Angeles, New York and other large cities have made it tough if not impossible to open there. In comes Super-Andy to pave the way.

‘Drew had the good sense to resign right away. Wal-Mart issued a weasel worded statement about how it wants to cuddle up with everyone (white Protestants and Pentecostals preferred, but what-the-hay, we’ll take anyone’s green money.)

Serial ripper offers in Black America, huh?

First the Jews, to be replaced by the Koreans and now the Arabs with stores in the black community. So that means this has been going on for what? Fifty years? Seventy five? One hundred?

If that’s true, Andy, what does that tell about the people who live there?

Young worried out loud about the sale of stale meat and outdated veggies in the inner cities. Later, he backpedaled and said he only meant his neighborhood in Atlanta.

The Wal-Mart here in Moote Pointe PA has its share of wilted vegetables, without benefit of a ghetto. Oh, and by the way, that self-same Wal-Mart? Most if not all of its African American, Asian and Middle Eastern employees have the night shift.

For the record, there are three major supermarkets on or about 125th Street. The C-Town, Met Foods and Pathmark. And, yeah, sometimes the vegetables are wilted. And you have to watch the dates on meat and dairy. But it’s no worse than what we’ve come to expect from a city market in any neighborhood.

There are two hardware stores within a couple of blocks of the C-Town. Neither is as complete as Home Despot or even Wal-Mart. But they have pretty much what the neighborhood needs and at “regular” prices. One’s owned by a Spanish guy, the other by an Anglo. Both have high counters which probably conceal weapons of rip-off destruction – maybe a rifle or a baseball bat.

And what does THAT tell you about the black community, Mr. Ambassador.

(There’s also a paint store, owned by an African American couple. It’s next to a different kind of protection, a church. But, then, on 125, everything’s next to a church.)

Young was considered a middle of the road civil rights leader. That is, he never advocated the violent overthrow of the government in public, seemed to want to work with everyone, didn’t show up at irrelevant venues like Sharpton or Jesse, kept focused on the real issues, and so on. Maybe we all should re-think that.

And maybe we should try to figure out who else wants to climb on this big band wagon. It ain’t just Mel and Andy.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Terrorists From Texas

124 Terrorists from Texas

News item: Dell recalls millions of computer batteries which might explode.

The batteries are manufactured by Sony somewhere in the far east and inserted into laptops and notebooks which are assembled in a suburb of Austin, Texas, among other places.

Is this yet another plot against America? Is some group of America haters infiltrating the battery factories of Indonesia and Malaysia? You’d think a Sony battery would be made in Japan, the company’s home base. And some still may be. But labor costs there and in Korea has sent a lot of that work elsewhere.

Or is this another industrial screwup, kind of like the Lincoln “Zephyr” or that Ford with the famously exploding gas tank? Or “Window’s ME.”

Dell is embarrassed and humiliated. And probably liable for a lot of damages. You can see the cheap lawyers lining up now to launch class action suits. Soon, full page ads will start appearing in the major newspapers and magazines: “You may be eligible for tons of money if you bought a Dell computer with a Sony battery. Contact the law firm of Ron Damage at 1-800-Bat Bomb.”

The poster boy for victims of this latest attack is that poor schlub peering through the window of his burned out pickup truck, the interior of which looks like a South Bronx apartment house, only no roaches.

Teach you to peck and drive at the same time, buddy. Did that straw hat get fused to your head in the explosion? Or are you just using it to cover the hole in your head that was there BEFORE the blast.

What idiot would leave the computer on while driving around, anyway? Probably most of us.

But that’s not the point. The point is if someone wanted to attack America, for real, they could turn almost any common household object into a weapon.

Batteries are especially vulnerable to this kind of thing, though this incident apparently wasn’t an example.

We worry about dirty bombs and contaminated water supplies, sabotaged food or medicine bottles and Russian or Chinese made rifles stored in the back rooms and basements of candy stores.

Maybe we should be worrying about our flashlights and electric shavers.

Maybe we should follow mom’s advice and turn the damn things off when we’re finished with them, so they don’t sit on the front seat or the desk getting hotter by the minute. Even the batteries that DON’T explode do THAT.

Or maybe we should be encouraging the construction of factories in this country instead of farming the work out. It’s not that American batteries are less vulnerable to either tampering or foul-ups. It’s just that we might be better able to see who’s stalking us.

Note to the Energizer Bunny: we may not know you as well as we think. Please remove your rabbit’s foot before entering our Ipods.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Monday, August 14, 2006

Broadway Jake Makes The Bigs

123 Broadway Jake Makes The Bigs

Altoona. Broadway Jake Steinberg and his Big Jazz Band. Jakes about 80, maybe 85. Silver hair. Chubby. Plays a good saxophone.

He’s playing a store opening. The “Big Band” is Jake with his sax, his clarinet and his bongos. On drums, Manny, his brother-in-law. On keyboard, Bobby “Little Liberace” Steinberg (no relation.) And the vocalist, (“put your hands together to welcome one of Nashville’s top baritones, Jimmy McCaw.”)

Jimmy sings “Where or When” from the “Best Musical of 1937,” “Babes In Arms.” Ray Heatherton did it in the real show. He would be whirling in his grave if he hadn’t spent the last years of his career doing ads for a crooked bank and working as a greeter at the Garden City Hotel.

Jimmy does a pretty good Louis Armstrong on “It’s a Wonderful World.” In fact, he’s better as Louis than he is as Jimmy. He’s there in his “bling” necklace, his wide-frame shades and his Hawaiian style shirt. Doesn’t look or sound too Nashville, but after a few songs, he’s warmed up and does okay.

Little Liberace is really good. He can crank out the tunes from “God Bless America” to “Up on the Roof” like he was born to do it.

Brother-in-law Manny has a beat like a cop. Nobody home. Is that a toupee he’s wearing? Or does he really have hair like that at his age? It’s sort of grey, like everything these guys play. But it doesn’t look real, even though most toup’ wearers opt for the Huge Hair look, which fools no one.

Broadway Jake, as mentioned, is okay. No bad notes and a lot of feel. At least on the sax. The clarinet sounds like he has been using the same reed since coming back from Afghanistan. (“I’ve been in 56 countries, you know.”)

The bongos, he must have learned from Manny of the drum kit, because he, too, has a beat like a cop.

So, Jake’s talking with an onlooker after the set.

Onlooker: Lot of fun today, Jake. But don’t you know anything written after 1940?

Jake: Oh, yeah. I play everything.

O: Sounds good.

J: Toured with Bob Hope after Les Brown died.

O: Ah, so you must know Geoff Clarkson, right?

J: I know the name.

At the time of Hope’s death, Geoff had been his piano player and musical arranger for something like 50 years.

J: Played with the Dorseys, you know.

O: Ah then you know Henry Adler!

J: Oh sure.

O: Hell of a trumpet man, eh?

J: Oh, yeah, he got some wild notes out those horns!

Henry Adler was a famous drummer with the Dorseys and never played trumpet.

O: Well if you know Henry, you gotta know Marty Gold.

J: I know the name.

Marty Gold was a well known arranger, pianist and conductor. He had a string of minor hits in the 1940s and 1950s and appeared (along with Henry) in the Movie “Seeking Susan.”

O: Well, good show. What brings you to Altoona?

J: Oh, I do all this company’s store openings.

Welcome to the Big Time, Jake.

Play that thing, man.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Friday, August 11, 2006

Moonshine

122 Moonshine

“They call it that good old mountain dew

And them’s that refuse it are few.

I’ll shut up my mug if you fill up my jug

With that good ole’ mountain dew.”

-American Folk Song

“I’ve been a moon shiner for many a year

And made (spent) all my money on whisky and beer.”

-Irish Folk song.

So, the middle easterners have picked up yet another western habit. Only this one isn’t the decadent menaces of, say, dancing or under dressed women in movies.

This is moonshining, the manufacture of illegal alcoholic beverages. Only no one officially drinks in the middle east, so what to do with all this good chemistry?

Ah HAH! Blow up some airplanes. Brilliant.

Molotov cocktails made from whisky and beer. There you go.

Probably they don’t serve alcoholic beverages on airplanes anymore. So you have to make and bring your own if you’re going to tie one on or if you’re going to stick a fuse in it, light it and send it rolling down the aisles.

(Hint to the Homeland Security Keystone Kops: you can make a fuse out of a sweat sock by pre-cutting the edge, then once on the plane, tear the material easily. No scissors, knives, etc.)

Matches? No problem. Take a tip from your drug mule brethren. Stick a pack of ‘em in a condom and put same… well, somewhere in your body. You figure it out. Be first on line for the bathroom once the plane is airborne.

Of course, the undercover Homeland Security operatives have secret stashes of spring water and (if near enough to your sock and your condom) can probably extinguish the fire before it gets to whatever you’re carrying to make the explosion.

The do-it-yourself fad has spread to the terrorist community. Or maybe it began there. Who knows.

Here’s a free idea to make a pile of money: Open some Bomb Depot stores in the middle east, the deep south and the mountain west.

Carry all the stuff under one roof. Everything from 30 percent hydrogen peroxide (none of that wimpy drug store stuff,) to tubing for your still, to nail polish remover (mixes with the peroxide. Boom!) Fertilizer (Tim McVey are you listening? Here’s where to go before your next caper.)

Instruction books, power tools, plumbing supplies.

And don’t forget to visit the counterterrorist counter for all the latest detection equipment and safety gear. You don’t want to go to heaven until you make that decision on your own, right?

In this country, we have “revenuers,” which is pronounced “revenooers.” Apparently they have something like that in Britain and Pakistan, too. And most likely they’ll stop about the same percentage of the moonshiners there that the revenuers do here, which is not many.

There’s some discussion of banning all liquids on all flights. Except baby formula. That bring anything to mind?

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Search for Searches; Javits Syndrome

121 The Search for Searches; The Javits Syndrome

Did AOL publish your search data?

Nah, not here, either.

Pity.

That means we’re both still anonymous.

Those whose search info was released showed … what? They like (or dislike or are interested in) dogs? Porn? Poker?

All in the name of academic research.

Fred Ottoman (who is neither a footstool nor an empire,) at Moote Pointe U says the AOL disclosure did, indeed, help in a large scale study of people who wash peanuts in the holds of cargo ships before they’re brought ashore.

Ottoman is researching the effects of hydrated peanut dust on those with nut allergies. He does not say why the AOL search data disclosure helps in that regard, since there are few computers aboard nut carrying steamships. But Fred insists that it’s necessary to know the identities and interests of nut jobs.

The privacy crowd is righteously miffed about disclosure of enough information to let you identify some of the searchers.

But some of the rest of us feel left out. We want our 15 megapixels of fame.

Here’s the “morning read” on THIS computer: Gmail, Stella guitars, New York Radio Message Board, the NY Times, Yahoo News, Google News, Google Finance and Bloomberg dotcom. Not very exciting, eh?

That would lead the AOL guys to think the people who use this computer are literate and interested in the world around them.

It also might mean the people who use this computer are showing off for the researchers or the other spies in our midst. Plus we may be clever enough to hide our tracks when finished with enquirer.com, WWE.com and girlsgirlsgirls.ru.ca.

In Other News:

--That disgraceful Mr. Lieberman was defeated in the Democratic Primary for the US Senate nomination from the Grrrreeeaaat State of CT. Taking a page from the Jake Javits playbook, Sen. Lieberman is to run as an independent, probably propelling a lot of phone traffic between A. D’Amato, the principle beneficiary of Mr. Javits’ idiotic decision, to his Republican counterparts in the Greeeaaat State of CT. (Note to AOL researchers: Had to look up the spelling of D’Amato.)

--That disgraceful Ms. McKinney lost her runoff in the primary for a congressional nomination. She’s been in and out of congress for maybe 14 years. Slugged a cop. Known to her colleagues as Lady Farrakhan. Bye bye.

(Note to AOL academic researchers: had to look up McKinney’s name and the spelling of Farrakhan.)

--That disgraceful Mr. Bush dissed Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten for asking a question without first removing his sunglasses. Wallsten is mostly blind and legally blind. (Note to AOL researchers: had to look up Wallsten’s name and where he works, and that wasn’t easy.)

Said self-same Mr. Bush wore Elvis style sunglasses while conducting a tour with the Prime Minister of Japan. (Note to AOL researchers: should have looked up the name of the Prime Minister, but who cares.)

Once again, Bush was “proving” he was better than Poppy and Presidenting. Not only did he conquer Iraq and remove “SAD-im,”) but he managed not to puke on the Prime Minister of Japan.

(Note to AOL researchers: no searches were conducted for the previous two sentences. This stuff, we have memorized.)

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mel and the (Other) Jews

120 Mel and the (Other) Jews

Only another Jew can be such a Jew-hater. Somewhere in his murky past, Mel Gibson had to have had a Jewish gene or two. Go back far enough and you’ll find that gene, probably in a grandfather or great grandfather. We’re everywhere, so it shouldn’t surprise you to find us in Ireland or wherever it is this guy’s people are from.

Let’s clear some stuff up at the start. One: the little piece of excrement’s apology is meaningless – most are. Two: this is nothing new with this guy. His movies smack of it, his fore-life smacked of it and his present life does as well.

What should we do with the little putz? Ignore him and he’ll go away. That’s the ultimate solution to the Mel Problem. Don’t go to his movies, don’t read stuff about him (except this Wessay, of course.) Take down the fan pictures. Boycott the “Globe” and the “Star” and “In Touch” or anyone else that writes anything about him. Let him become the non-person he is.

Mel’s not the first case of this kind. There’s plenty of evidence to link Adolf Hitler, probably history’s loudest and most effective Jew-hater had some “Jewish blood,” whatever the hell that is. There must have been one of those J-word grandfathers or mothers somewhere in his past.

Only another Jew can be such a Jew-hater.

In Austria at the start of the twentieth century there was so much intermarriage in Western Europe, you really couldn’t tell one brand of white guy from another.

Number two on the hit parade, and number one on the domestic list is Louis Farrakhan.

Born in the Bronx, raised in Massachusetts. Jamaican father, mother also from the islands.

Here’s a test. Go to the Jamaica phone book and find the name “Cohen.” Surprise, surprise, there are dozens, if not hundreds.

Today, most of them have brown skin. Originally it was a bunch of Hebes from Europe, come to infiltrate and infest St. Kitts or Jamaica or Trinidad.

Plus Lou always looked like a Seventh Avenue hustler even when he was King Calypso or whatever he used for his first stage name. This is the kind of guy you’d see stalking the halls of ancient office buildings selling surplus dresses or bolts of bulk silk. Dollar a yard. For you, 89 cents. Okay SEVENTY nine, but you can’t pick, you gotta take all of it. And you gotta use your own truck.

Adolf always looked like a crazed clerk in a fish store, someone in a Vienna suburb who’d say stuff like “If you buy the Salmon today, you’d better cook it today, unless you’re trying to poison your husband. In that case leave it out overnight and cook it mid day tomorrow.

Mel looks like Schlomo after the Ken Doll facelift.

Adolf, Lou and Mel. Are they Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or just a preview of same-sex polygamy?

Maybe the problem isn’t Jewish anti-Semitism. Maybe the problem is organized religion, period.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Friday, August 04, 2006

This Stinks

119 This Stinks

You can tell Moote Pointe, PA is a small town because there are only three Starbuckses. As regular listeners know, the goal of that outfit is to build enough stores so that when you look out of one of their windows, you see another one.

That hasn’t happened here in the Intellect Capitol of the Western World, yet.

The three that ARE here have been trained to make a concoction developed at the Wessays Secret Mountain Laboratory. It is called a “Tire Fire.”

You take a large cup and deposit two shots of espresso. The older the better. Fill the rest of the cup with the normal burned-taste coffee they serve and that’s that.

The “Tire Fire” smells and tastes exactly like its name.

If you have never been at a real tire fire, you have no idea what you are missing. Vulcanized, steel-belted-radial rubber burns slowly and said fires can burn for months, depending on how many hundreds of tires there were.

It stinks. And if you’re there for more than a few minutes, YOU stink.

And no matter how vigorously you scrub, the odor remains in your nostrils forever.

It’s tough to describe. But think of a combination of boiling tar and smooshed skunk.

So the clerk asks “why do you call it a tire fire?”

And the customer answers “Because it smells and tastes like burning tires.”

So the clerk asks: “…so why make a drink like that?”

And the customer answers “you have to like tire fires.”

The point of all this is the thing keeps you awake. It makes “Red Bull” seem like chamomile tea.

Energy. Boundless energy.

Probably not for the faint of heart. In fact, probably more than one a day will make said heart explode.

There’s another good name for a non-alcoholic beverage. “The Exploding Heart.”

Maybe add a little Red Bull to the “Tire Fire?”

Like Scotch and Aussie beer, Bach and “Law & Order Criminal Intent,” this is an acquired taste. It takes training and discipline to acquire it. And it takes perseverance and dedication. Don’t expect this to be easy. Nothing this good ever is.

Start slowly. Test and push your limits. Reduce your daily exercise program if you have one.

Side effects include palpitations, flutter, dizziness, nausea and itchy scalp. In rare cases, it causes delusions and twitching of eyelids and middle toes.

So take only as directed.

Energy.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Here, Spike!

118 Here, Spike!

Spike the Dog comes to that command. So does Spike, the Oil Price Increase. One major difference, though. Spike the Dog responds to the direct command. Spike the Oil Price Increase responds to everything.

Recent headline: Russian Pipeline Leak Sparks Oil Price Hike. Well, maybe that’s justified. Of course, when they fix it, IF they fix it, you’ll see the headline Russian Oil Pipeline Patch Sparks Oil Price Increase.

So, it breaks, they shut down the oil and because there might be six fewer barrels per day for a month, the price goes up. Then, they patch the thing and they have to make up for the six fewer barrels so they charge more and the price goes up.

Heat Wave Sparks Oil Price Hike. Well, sure. Fossil fuels for the electric generators and a heat wave makes demand increase and oil prices rise.

Then there’s End of Heat Wave Sparks Oil Price Hike. Of course. With demand down, oil companies’ profits will fall and they’ll raise prices.

Middle East War Sparks Oil Price Hike. Neither Israel nor Lebanon produce oil in any quantity, but speculators bid the price up because they fear the oil producing countries will get drawn into the conflict and the supply will be reduced.

Middle East Peace Sparks Oil Price Hike. On general principals.

The Right Wing Whacko fringe will tell us that the biggest cost in a gallon of gasoline is the tax. Maybe so. Blame it on the government and not on ExxonMobil, which is just a little candy store trying to sell a few Milky Way Bars. They’ll also tell us that the spotted owl crowd is preventing us from exploring and drilling in Alaska and that Venezuela is to blame because it’s a neo-commie country these days.

The Left Wing Whacko fringe will tell us that it’s just the oil companies up to their favorite old trick, price gouging.

Nah. Impossible.

Who do you take it out on? No one.

Boycott Exxon? Doesn’t mean anything. The “Free Market” is a fairy tale.

The answer is hurt the stock. That’s the only thing they pay any attention to.

The oil companies are NOT OIL companies, and neither are the industrial conglomerates, the big retails stores or the auto companies. They are FINANCE companies who happen to sell oil or jet engines or clothing or cars.

Spike the Dog is just a dog. Slobbers. Eats, goes for walks and runs.

Spike the Oil Price Increase is a spear pointed at your head, your wallet and your psyche.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR