Saturday, May 16, 2009

South Bend cops too gentle

I was reading a story about President Barack Obama's stop at Notre Dame during his Hopes and Dreams '09 tour and couldn't help but feel a little let down by the light treatment the pesky protesters received.

According to an AP story, one of the people resisting Obama's odd appearance at a Catholic university is Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff identified as "Roe" in the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.

It seems that McCorvey is now one of those anti-abortion types and she went to protest Saint Obama with the intent of getting tossed in jail. However, she said the security hired to keep protesters in line in South Bend, Ind., were downright gentle with her. A cop, seemingly, allowed her to chance to walk away from the scene instead of whopping her upside the head and tossing her in a paddy wagon.

"I didn't know why he just kind of gently moved me away. So I'm like, maybe this isn't the right time," McCorvey said.

I'm downright shocked by all of this. Here in Arkansas, people who opposed Bill Clinton had to put up with some real threats.

We got hooted at by Clinton's "truth squads" when getting anywhere near a polling place when Bill was running against Sheffield Nelson during the 1990 gubernatorial election. The homeless in downtown Little Rock are gathered up and shipped off to God knows where (I think that's somewhere in south Little Rock) when the former president is in town visiting that double-wide trailer that serves as the Clinton presidential library.

And do you think University of Arkansas students were allowed to display the enemy's campaign propaganda when Clinton visted the college during the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns? Hell no! There's nothing like the threat of expulsion or the levying of some form of nonsense criminal charge to keep the pesky dissenters in line, is there?

Again, I'm disappointed that those South Bend cops simply refuse to be brutal to the protesters who dare show up and complain about that saintly Obama character. It seems certain that some protesters will get arrested, but where's the inhumane abuse in that? An arrest just lasts for a bit, but some scars inflicted by thugs wearing jackboots last forever.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pittsburgh Pirates in good shape to set a record!

As I've whined about on this here blog before, I'm a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.

Generally, that is a cause for great shame. The Pirates are terrible and show absolutely no signs of improving one whit.

Ah, but the very source of that shame has turned into a reason for Pirates fans around the nation to feel great pride in that terrible team. Why? Pittsburgh is knocking on the door of destiny -- that little team is on the verge of officially being saddled with the honor of being the worst franchise in professional sports.

How? Pittsburgh has had 16 losing seasons in a row and, as such, is tied with the Philadelphia Phillies for having the worst record in baseball. That's right -- we've not seen a record that horrible since the Phillies piled up 16 losing seasons from 1933-1949. No team in the NBA, NFL or NHL has put up that many consecutive, losing seasons.

If Pittsburgh manages to turn in another losing season, the team will be the only one on professional sports to have 17 horrible seasons in a row. The record-setting Pirates are well on their way to earning the recognition for doing what they do best -- playing really, really terrible baseball.

How bad are they? The Pirates ought to get the word "suck" copyrighted as no one is as terrible as Pittsburgh. Think your team sucks? You're wrong -- Pittsburgh owns the word. If the team was an auto manufacturer it would be Chrysler. If the team was a presidential candidate it would be Mike Dukakis. If the team was a world power in World War II it would be France.

Ah, there were some that thought the Pirates wouldn't make it to that magical 17th season of suckitude. The team started off the year with an 11-7 record, causing some to express doubt that they'd fulfill their destiny of being the worst pro team in the country.

I always had faith in the Pirates, however, and they've silenced all the mean-spirited doubters by quickly dropping the past 12 of 13 games leading them to the current 12-19 record and their well deserved, last place position in the NL Central. Way to stink it up, Pirates! I knew you could do it.

Besides, Pittsburgh has started off hot in a few seasons over the past 17 years and it always end the same. That should come as a surprise to no one. Just have a look at the nobodies that dot the Pirates' roster and you'll understand why I'm certain the team won't disappoint all of us who believe the team will set a record this year. With a bunch of players like that, there's almost no way the team won't fail miserably and achieve immortality in the process.

I'm going to be so bold as to predict that the Pirates will not only blow this season but will tank next year and probably fail a few more times before actually stringing enough wins to finish up above .500. The Pirates have that losing formula down and I can't imagine they'll do a whole lot to change it.

That golden, losing formula works like this. Let's say Pittsburgh has an outstanding player. They will trade that player for, say, three prospects. Let's assume two of those prospects are terrible and one turns out to be spectacular. The terrible prospects will become franchise players while the spectacular one will be traded for more prospects.

The pattern repeats itself every year, thus insuring that Pittsburgh will remain inept almost every year. Such dedication to sucking is to be applauded -- most clubs merely want to win games and reach the World Series, but those lads in Pittsburgh have a different agenda.

No, the owners of that team obviously want to suck worse than any club in the history of professional sports in the United States. They set their goals way on back in 1992 after the team that almost reached the World Series disbanded through free agency. Thanks to those visionaries, the Pirates will -- without a doubt -- set a record that will stand for a long, long time.

Good luck, Pirates! You stink like no one else can or probably ever will. Good job, lads!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Plant theft?

Folks, just what the hell is this world coming to?

A few months ago, my office moved to a new location. There was plenty of landscaping done at the new building and a good chunk of that included a lot of those scrubby little shrubs that are so nondescript that they fade into the background.

Some people took notice of them, however. Last week, a thief ran off with 27 of the things and had to be replaced for $1,400. Who the hell runs around town stealing shrubs? I've learned over the past few days that a lot of shrubs are turning up missing around Little Rock. I wasn't aware there was a black market for shrubbery, but such a thing does apparently exist.

There are two things to learn from this. First of all, my office is in Little Rock and this theft is a great example of why I live in Benton and commute about 20 miles to work everyday. Those Little Rock folks will steal anything that's not tied down.

Second, we were robbed twice. The first time we were ripped off by the company that had the audacity to charge $51.85 per scrubby shrub and the second time was by the folks who loaded those shrubs up in the middle of the night and made off with them.

Actually, we got robbed three times -- we had to pay to have the shrubs replaced to the tune of $51.85 per bush.

As usual, the folks at my organization have overreacted by purchasing a security system that is to be installed soon. I'm not sure how much that system costs, but it's a safe bet it will be worth more than the shrubs it will monitor.

Furthermore, an external security system isn't that hard to thwart. What if the sneaky thieves decide to show up in ski masks and unmarked trucks? What if you capture a couple of people who can't be identified on video and show it to the cops? With the amount of crime in Little Rock, I can't imagine the police will dedicate a lot of resources to tracking down a bunch of shrub thieves.

Maybe the "security system" plan will work fine. Those cameras do come with big, intimidating signs that warn of electronic surveillance. Maybe that threat will be enough to convince the shrub thieves to move on down the road and hit an easier target. What would be a lot cooler, of course, would be a couple of angry dogs patrolling the perimeter. Yeah. That would be a lot cooler than a bunch of easily-tricked video cameras.

Regardless, the mind boggles. $51.85 for a shrub? No wonder people are stealing them all over Little Rock.

Oh, here's another odd thing. My office is located near the FBI building in Little Rock. The thought was the proximity to the feds would effectively cut down on crime in the area. Evidently, that assumption was very wrong.

I do hope our victimized shrubs found a good home after being put on the black market. We can only hope. Thinking otherwise is just too painful.

Music Monday -- New Duncan Imperials

These boys put on the best show I've seen -- I caught them in Fayetteville, Ark., at JR's Lightbulb Club around 1993. The members of the band, of course, are Pigtail Dick (guitar and lead vocals), Skipper Zwakinov (bass and backing vocals) and Mr. Goodtime Dammit (drums). Enjoy!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be DELETED without prejudice.

Pepsi does something right

Here at Casa de Hawg, we've always hated Pepsi products with a passion.

Pepsi is generally regarded in these parts as "too northern" for us Coke-swilling folks and a lot of us tend to avoid it. Yes, Pepsi was originally developed in North Carolina and Coca-Cola was formulated in Atlanta, but the perception is what it is.

The folks at Pepsi, however, have finally done something absolutely right -- the company makes a cola that is flavored with real sugar instead of that dreadful corn syrup garbage. That's right -- Pepsi Throwback is sweetened with sugar instead of corn rot, and the stuff tastes great.

How great? I'd take this stuff over Coca-Cola and its dreadful corn sweetener any day of the week. It doesn't taste quite so chemical and sickening as the corn syrup stuff. Oddly, the stuff doesn't taste as "thick" as regular Pepsi and it's a bit fizzier. Besides, I get enough industrial-grade chemicals when I drink Diet Coke, so why would I want more of that slop in a regular glass of cola?

Still, I'd love it if Coca-Cola would follow suit and offer Coke sweetened with real sugar. Hopefully that will be the case and people will love the stuff, thus prompting more drinks filled with sugar instead of corn garbage. I hope we're seeing the beginning of a trend here.

Oh, Pepsi has also released Mountain Dew with real sugar, but who cares? Head on over to the Pepsi Throwback site for more information.

By the way, my wife tells me that pouring Pepsi into a Coca-Cola glass is sacrilege. I'll have to do that more often.