Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

My photo
Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Separated at Birth? Nick Perkins & Charles Laughton.

Top to bottom: Charles Laughton in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939) and my Cedar Rapids' buddy, Nick Perkins, playing on the computer. Wait - try "bottom to top". Sorry.

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GOLD! USA Bobsled I!

USA Bobsled I (or bobsleigh): Steve Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler, Curtis Tomasevicz. First time in 62 years. Congratulations!

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ferch's Fabulous 50's.

Ferch's in Greendale. Great sliders.

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Santa Ynez wine country. Gurgle, gurgle.

The last weekend during my trip to Cali (a week ago0 we went wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara County). Spent some time in Solvang with my friends Sam, Josh and Erica, and my family - the Nowak's (Grafton Uncle Bob's family). Hit some old wineries and some new. Had a limo (thanks, Sam), which is a convenient way for winos to travel. Beautiful weather. Good wine. All in all, an excellent time.
Click on READ MORE! for more pics.

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Favre fan billboard, Part Deux.

This one by KFAN Radio out of Minneapolis, the flagship station for Minnesota Vikings' game broadcasts. The first one was was initiated by a fan-based Facebook site.


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Friday, February 26, 2010

GOLD for Demong! SILVER for Spillane! USA Nordic Combined Domination!

Bill Demong - the first American gold in the history of the Nordic Combined.

And Johnny Spillane - silver in the Nordic Combined, his 3rd silver in these games.

Nordic Combined is a...well, a combination of cross-country skiing and ski jumping.

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I've become a fan of Canada's Cheryl Bernard.

Here's the "skipper" (captain) of Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It's Canada against the defending champions, Sweden tomorrow. "Ohhh, Cheryl Ber - I mean, Canadaaaaa..."

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TGIF! presents...The Partridge Family & "Come On Get Happy"!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A forlorn Lady Liberty.

Check the Art of the Prank for a background story on this mess. This photo was taken by photographer Peter Patau, and was originally posted on his blog, Letter from Here.

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Fuck Buzz.

I don't care if this jerk off has a Pulitzer. He can shove his Pulitzer up his ass.

So Buzz Bissinger writes this scathing diatribe on what he thinks of Minnesota Viking QB Brett Favre in The New Republic. Good for "Fuzz" (like the lint you pick out of your belly button). He's entitled to his opinion. What he is NOT entitled to is second-guessing Favre's motivations - or anyone else's for that matter.

Here's Fuzz's statement I take the most offense at:

"He (Favre) knows what sportswriters crave, not just the junk food of the noble warrior but the soul-aching confessional, which largely accounts for why he admitted to being a Vicodin addict in 1996. He knew that, when he decided to play a football game the night after his father died in 2003, it would not be perceived for the act of self-absorption it was, but as an act of courage after he carefully spun it as that’s what pappy would have wanted."

Really? First off, that's mocking Favre and his father. Fuck self-righteous, pompous queef. So Fuzz KNOWS Brett didn't opt to play in that Oakland game - a game where the usually merciless Oakland fans cheered for Favre - because Brett's a consumate competitor, never missed a game and that it's what Favre's "pappy" would've wanted. Or that perhaps it was the only way Brett could cope with his father's death, by playing the game his father coached him in since Brett's childhood? No. Buzz is convinced that Brett played the game simply because Brett's self-absorbed. And the world is supposed to believe what Fuzz says because he has a Pulitzer. But Fuzz is not self-absorbed.

Fuzz...if you ever call my father a "pappy", I will find you and kick you in your balls - then in your Neanderthal forehead. I swear to God.

My other issue is Fuzz's statement:

"Against the Saints, he (Favre) could have scrambled for at least several yards to set up a likely winning field goal and a trip to the Super Bowl."

"Likely"? Fuzz whips out his magic ball and KNOWS that Vikings' kicker Ryan Longwell was guaranteed to make a 50+ yard FG, particularly in a season where competent kickers were missing 35 yarders every other Sunday. I love people who know everything. God, I'm such a stupid fucker. Had I known the Vikes were going to lose to the Saints in OT, I might've saved myself the grief and skipped watching the entire season.

Fuzz has a Pulitzer. No one else can write. He's not self-absorbed. He hates blogs and probably most bloggers. Here he is on Bob Costas' show on HBO, ripping into the publisher of Deadspin. And get this - he berates Will Leitch of Deadspin for not caring about facts, yet Fuzz is the one who uses no facts - but assumes - Longwell would've "likely" made a 50+ yard FG for the Vikes to win the NFC Championship Game.

Lastly, Fuzz paints (as most Favre-haters do) Favre as the Hall of Fame QB who chokes in the playoffs. Philadelphia in OT (he doesn't mention that the Packer defense allowed the infamous "4th & 26" play that sent the game to go to OT), Giants in 2007 (no mention of the lack of Packer OL blocking or lack of running game...something like 35 yards gained) and Fuzz fails to mention that in the NFC Championship this year, the Vikes fumbled the ball 6 times - 3 lost and 2 of those were inside the New Orleans' 20-yard line.

All Brett's fault? Certainly not. Big INTs in big games? Sure. Course, everyone knows Favre purposefully blows big games which is the reason he only has one Super Bowl ring. Then there's the ever-present Packer, Favre-haters mantra concerning Favre, "there's no I in TEAM, Brett". Unless, of course, Brett throws an INT in the playoffs. Then it's all Brett's fault.

I don't care if this jerk off has a Pulitzer. Fuzz can shove his Pulitzer up his ass.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And now for something completely different...naked sledding in Vancouver!

The womens' German luge team was seen in Vancouver getting in some extra training for - well, presumably for the colder weather they'll face in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

You're gonna have to click on READ MORE! to see a picture from this event (NSFC-Not Suitable for Children).

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Indians need not apply. (Pillagers and plunderers welcome.)

"They took the whole Cherokee nation
And put us on this reservation
They took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife"*

And the Lac du Flambeau, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Oneida and other tribes in Wisconsin continue their quest to take away all use of the names "Indians", "Chiefs" and "Redmen" as they pertain to high school nicknames, mascots and logos.

This dialogue (I was going to say "battle" but for the purposes of this article, I'll keep it PC) isn't novel. Marquette University here in Milwaukee, for example, used to be the Marquette Warriors (see logo above - the indian part of it - Al McQuire’s 1977 NCAA basketball champions) until 2004. They’re now known as the Eagles. Or is it the Screaming Eagles? Nope - Golden Eagles. Even their new nickname has gone through revisions. And just when you thought it had quieted down, Wisconsin Assembly Bill 35 is in the news again.

From the Associated Press, a proposal designed to crack down on race-based school mascots and logos in Wisconsin came up for another vote before the state Assembly on Tuesday (the bill was voted on and ordered to a third meeting). The bill must pass both the Assembly and Senate and be signed by Gov. Jim Doyle before it would become law. This refers to high schools only - not colleges.

Click on READ MORE! for the full post, including a transcript of the actual Assembly Bill 35. Say, what about the Nords? Are they pissed about the use of "Vikings" and "Raiders" as school mascots and logos? You know - the Vikings who raped, pillaged and plundered for hundreds of years?

*"Cherokee Nation" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, 1971.

First introduced in 2009, Assembly Bill 35 provides that a school district resident may object to the use of a race-based name, nickname, logo, or mascot by the school board of that district by filing a complaint with the state superintendent. There's a hearing and it has to proved that the race-based name, nickname, logo, or mascot does not promote discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping. The state superintendent must issue a decision and order within 45 days after the hearing. If there's due cause, the race-based name, nickname, logo, or mascot within 12 months after the issuance of the order. Any violation of an order must forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. Each day of use of the race-based name, nickname, logo, or mascot constitutes a separate violation.

"They took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan"

The Wisconsin Indian Education Association "Indian" Mascot & Logo Taskforce (IMLT) site was extremely enlightening, and includes common questions raised concerning this issue, like "Why is the term "Indian" offensive?", "We are paying tribute to Indians", "Aren't you proud of your warriors?", and "This logo issue is just about political correctness", as well as an interactive map of Wisconsin showing the schools who are in violation of this "volunteer" law.

IMLT's opening position statement is: It is imperative that schools teach respect for America’s indigenous cultures by removing stereotypes in the form of "Indian" logos, mascots and nicknames. If we are to have any meaningful dialogue about eliminating racism in our society, we must first stop teaching this form of overt racism in our schools. One other point to ponder - the typical mascot or logo is of an indian in a headdress, which is associated (from a Native Americans' perspective) with religious ceremonies - not sporting events as they're used in schools.

"They took the whole Indian nation
Locked us on this reservation
And though I wear a shirt and tie
I'm still part Redman deep inside"

Here's a list of all the athletic conferences in the state of Wisconsin. As of October 7, 2009, there are 36 schools that have retained their "offensive" logo or mascot. Specifically, these are the names that are deemed offensive: Apaches, Braves, Blackhawks (non-bird), Chieftains, Hatchets (with indian references), Indians, Raiders (non-medieval), Redmen, Red Raiders, Warriors (indian), Warhawks (non-bird).

According to IMLT - and this is interesting - the reason the term "Indian" isn't acceptable is because "that name was given to indigenous people on this continent by an explorer who was looking for India, a man who was lost and who subsequently exploited the indigenous people. "Indian" is a designation we have learned to tolerate, it is not the name we call ourselves. We are known by the names of our Nations - Oneida, Ho-Chunk, Stockbridge-Munsee, Menominee, Chippewa, Potawatomi, etc. There are many different nations with different languages and different cultural practices among the Native American peoples - as in Europe there are French, Swiss, Italian, German, Polish, English, Irish, Yugoslavs, Swedes, Portuguese, Latvians, etc."

"And some day when they've learned
Cherokee Indian will return
Will return will return
Will return will return"

I'm not Native American; I really don't have a say in the manner. But my question is why other nationalities - specifically, Scandinavian - aren't playing the racial stereotype card when it comes to the use of "Viking", "Raider", "Norseman" and so forth? If you add this element to the 36 schools IMLT mentioned, you have over 70 schools with racial-based, stereotypical names (and there were 19 conferences I never checked as their school mascots weren't listed on the website). Why aren't the Scandi's concerned with centuries of rape, pillaging and plundering when it comes to the use of their mascots and logos? Should anyone else be (I don't care, by the way)? Or medieval references to "Knights" or "Crusaders"?

I'm also wondering why Wisconsin's Assembly is spending time on this bill (which was scheduled for another meeting, blah, blah, blah) when it most certainly has an agenda filled with more pressing state issues (jobs, crime, education, health)?

ASSEMBLY BILL 35: "An Act to create 118.134 of the statutes; relating to: the use of race-based names, nicknames, logos, and mascots by school boards, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, and providing a penalty."

2009 02-12-09. A. Introduced by Representatives Soletski, Pope-Roberts, Mursau, Young, Benedict, Berceau, Black, Colon, Cullen, Fields, Grigsby, Hilgenberg, Kessler, Mason, Milroy, Molepske Jr., Nelson, Parisi, Pasch, Pocan, Radcliffe, Schneider, Sheridan, Sherman, Shilling, Sinicki, Smith, Steinbrink, Turner, Van Akkeren and A. Williams; cosponsored by Senators Coggs, Hansen, Carpenter, Taylor, Risser and Holperin.

A. Read first time and referred to committee on Education
A. Fiscal estimate received.
A. Public hearing held.
A. Assembly amendment offered by Representative Soletski
A. Executive action taken.
A. Assembly substitute amendment offered by Representative Soletski
2010 02-17-10. A
. Report Assembly Amendment 1 adoption recommended by committee on Education, Ayes 13, Noes 0
02-17-10. A. Report passage as amended recommended by committee on Education, Ayes 8, Noes 5
02-17-10. A. Referred to committee on Rules
02-17-10. A. Placed on calendar
2-23-2010 by committee on Rules.

Current law prohibits discrimination against pupils on a number of grounds, including race and ancestry. This bill provides that a school district resident may object to a school board’s use of a race−based name, nickname, logo, or mascot by filing a complaint with the state superintendent of public instruction. The state superintendent must schedule a hearing on the complaint, at which the school board has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the use of the race−based name, nickname, logo, or mascot does not promote discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping. If the state superintendent finds in favor of the complainant, the state superintendent must order the school board to terminate its use of the race−based name, nickname, logo, or mascot within 12 months after issuance of the order. A school board is subject to a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each day that it uses the race−based name, nickname, logo, or mascot in violation of the order. The decision of the state superintendent is subject to circuit court review.

Legislative History Representative Soletski offered Assembly Amendment 1. On March 24, 2009, the Assembly Committee on Education unanimously recommended adoption of the amendment and recommended passage of the bill, as amended, on a vote of Ayes, 8; Noes, 5.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Karma's a bitch, Kramer.

Normally I'd feel terrible for Winter Olympics speedskater Sven Kramer, Netherlands, who seemingly won the 10,000m race (he won gold in the 5,000m days before) but was DQ'd afterwards for an improper lane change - a lane change Kramer's coach told him to make.

The reason I DON'T feel a stitch of empathy for Kramer is because of this NBC interview with Kramer after he had won the 5,000m. Watch the video below - Kramer is speaking with a Dutch journalist, recounting his interview with the NBC reporter.

I actually feel worse for the coach. Kramer's a real douche.

NOTE: The video above has been pulled by NBC. In it, Kramer was talking to a Netherlands reporter about his interview with an NBC reporter. The American reporter asked Kramer to slate his name, country and what race he just finished (this was the 5000m). He said to her, "What, are you stupid? Hell no I’m not going to do that.” The reporter said that they introduce every tape like that. Then he told the Netherlands reporter that the NBC reporter was right there and saw what race he had just finished and that it was dumb for her to ask him that question. Kramer and the Netherlands reporter both agreed, "Well American and Canadians - they don't care about speedskating like we do".
February 25, 2010 12:01 AM

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Why Obama should fire special envoy Rashad Hussain.

Rashad Hussain's character has been called into question after only 9 days on the job. This does not bode well for an administration that promised the American people "hope" and "change".

In January of 2009, Rashad Hussain was named deputy associate counsel to President Barack Obama. Before that he served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Then President Obama appointed Hussain, an Indian-American Muslim, the United States special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Flashback to 2004. While a Yale law student, Hussain spoke alongside the daughter of Professor Sami al-Arian, who was employed by the University of South Florida in Tampa, at the Muslim Students Association’s annual conference, a group founded by the Muslim Brotherhood (see below*). Professor Sami al-Arian was convicted of being a key leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group and later admitted to being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was sentenced to the maximum 57 months in prison, with deportation to follow time served.

At the 2004 conference, Hussain stated, "The case that Laila (al-Arian's daughter) just reminded us of is truly a sad commentary on our legal system. It is a travesty of justice, not just from the perspective of the allegations that are made against Dr. al-Arian. Without passing any comment on those specific allegations or the statements [that] have been made against him, the process that has been used has been atrocious." Hussain went on to say, the treatment of al-Arian fit a "common pattern ... of politically-motivated prosecutions where you have huge Justice Department press conferences announcing that a certain person is a grave threat to American security." You can read the full Politico article here.

Hussain (left) initially said he didn't recall making those statements (and the White House supported him, saying the journalist was wrong). I believe they were first attributed to Professor Sami al-Arian's daughter - not Hussain. However, the statements Hussain said he couldn't recall were caught on audio tape. So NOW Hussain admits he DID make those statements.

Forget, for a moment, all Muslim references. Just forget them. Most Muslims aren't bent on jihad. What kills me is the "not recalling the statements" part. If Hussain honestly didn't recall them and then suddenly remembered them - that's plausible. But Hussain ALSO admitted contacting the magazine where the story first appeared to get the magazine to change its on-line version to erase the fact. "I made statements on that panel that I now recognize were ill-conceived or not well-formulated," Hussain said, referring to the 2004 conference. "When I saw the article that attributed comments to me without context, leaving a misimpression, I contacted the publication to raise concerns about it. Eventually, of their own accord, they modified the article." The publication being the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs.

So it didn't just dawn on Hussain that "oh, yeh...I guess I did say that shit." He lied about it. Not only couldn't he recall making the statements, but he couldn't recall contacting the publication about his statements. Terrible memory - and this guy went to Harvard and Yale Law School? Oh yeah - Hussain made that call THREE YEARS LATER. Why? Interesting how not long after contacting the publication, Hussain was hired to fill the trial attorney position (handling civil cases against the government) at the U.S. Department of Justice in 2008? Coincidence?

And yet The White House has expressed its full confidence in Hussain. Discussion over.

Hussain lied to protect his ass. Or he wouldn't have contacted the publication to confirm what he had said three years prior. But what's another liar in Washington, right. Fuck it. Who cares? The liberals don't care 'cause Hussain's Obama's guy. Republicans are the same way. If it were one of their own they'd say, "you're making a bigger issue out of this than needs to be."

*Back to that Muslim shit. Even though the Muslim Brotherhood has stated it eshews violence, several documents linked to the organization say otherwise, including one from 1991 that explained the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. is “settlement” , defined by the author as a form of jihad aimed at destroying Western civilization from within and allowing for the victory of Islam over other religions. Hmmm.

I'm reading American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, and I recalled this passage:

In a 1786 joint message to their superiors in Congress, Ambassadors John Adams (Britain) and Thomas Jefferson (France) described the audacity of Barbary pirate terrorist attacks. Adams and Jefferson asked the ambassador from Tripoli on what grounds these outrageous acts of unbridled savagery could be justified. “The Ambassador answered us that is was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not acknowledge their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners…”

Some things don't change. Rashad Hussain should be booted; better yet, he should resign. NOT for his beliefs or affiliation to any Muslim group (that's a separate issue) - but, first and foremost, because he lied and tried to cover it up. How can Hussain be effective at his job as envoy when he will be forever scrutinized?

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"But, mom, there's nothing to do."

Next time your son(s) say, "But there's nothing to do", throw this book at'm - then throw out their cell phone, television, computer, IPod and Playstation. Or they could mow the lawn, shovel, chop wood, bail hay, milk the cows, weed, clean their room or get a job.

Review: "If Huckleberry Finn were to settle down, somewhere out there in the territory, and decide to become an author, he might very well come up with a book like this one . . . evoking the kind of boyhood that nearly every American man would like to have had himself, and hope that his son (or daughter) might still enjoy." - Washington Post Book World

Customer review: "Filled with black & white illustrations and schematics, this guide for American boys, originally published in 1882, is organized by season and is chock-full of instructions, suggestions and advice about kites, fishing, knots, telescopes, tents, soap bubbles, animals, snowball warfare, puppets, kaleidoscopes, whirligigs, costumes, decoys--even fireworks!! The emphasis is on building things yourself, and to that end it is an extremely valuable handbook for our increasingly passive society. There are definitely things here that will give you pause or that are culturally dated -- like making a blow gun, trapping and raising wild animals and taxidermy at home...Snowball war, anyone?"

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Historian Gordon Wood "on idols"...

"We Americans make a great mistake in idolizing...and making symbols of authentic figures...No real-life historical figure could ever prove a satisfactory hero because his human weaknesses would always undercut his saintly status. [Except, of course, when discussing the quarterback, Brett Favre]."

- Gordon Wood, noted Revolutionary War historian and winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bode! GOLD!

Finally...USA's Bode Miller captures his first gold ever, in the Men's Super Combined - his 3rd medal of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

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Ignorance ain't bliss, Ms. Hockey Puck.

USA Olympic women's hockey team Angela Ruggiero was recently interviewed by the Daily News in Los Angeles. Ruggiero is one of the oldest members of the team, winning hockey gold in 1998 at Nagano, silver in 2002 at Salt Lake City and bronze in 2006 at Turin.

DN: "Is there any chance of you playing on the 2014 U.S. team?"

AR: "I don't want to pull a Brett Favre. I'm leaning toward no, but I'm not saying either way. I'll take it year by year. In 2006, I thought I'd retire, but all I needed was six months off and I felt rejuvenated. I'll keep training. But a lot of pieces have to come together."

I take offense (imagine that). First off, this chick's not in the same league as Brett Favre, though one could argue you can't fairly compare NFL football to Olympic women's hockey. And sure Brett has retired and unretired numerous times, driving the world (seemingly) and anti-Favre fans batty (not me). A more accurate statement from Ruggiero might have been:

AR: "I don't want to pull a Brett Favre or a Roger Clemens, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Junior Seau, Mario Lemieux, Reggie White, George Foreman, Lance Armstrong, Magic Johnson, Ryne Sandberg, or a Sugar Ray Leonard...". All athletes who've retired at least once - if not more times.

Then Ruggiero contradicts herself. "I'm leaning toward no, but I'm not saying either way. I'll take it year by year." Isn't that what Favre does? Didn't she just say she doesn't want to pull a "Favre"?

While representing the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Ruggiero made comments to Sports Illustrated website regarding the Canadian team's behavior during the preliminary round of the women's hockey tournament, for which she received some criticism: "I'm upset that Canada has been running up the score, especially against the host nation...There was no need for that. They're trying to pad their stats...Canada is running up the score for whatever reasons - personal, short-term."

When it comes to sporting events, it's my philosophy that - regardless if it's amateur (Olympics, but how "amateur" is it anymore?) or professional - you play to win and you score as many points as your opponent will allow you. Ruggiero graduated Cum Laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government, wrote a memoir on her hockey-playing experiences and was a contestant on The Apprentice. She's savvy enough to understand she should just keep quiet and play hockey.

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NEW! Marilyn Monroe picture revealed!

At least, it's new to me. I've always been a fan. Not sure why. Is anyone? Average actress. Not a ton of movies. Gorgeous. Sexy. Click on READ MORE! to see my favorite pic of Norma Jean.

Milton's Greene's vision of Monroe. Greene photographed Marilyn between 1953-57.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tim Burton's movies getting scaringly tiring.

I won't see Burton's latest flick, Alice in Wonderland. I'm gettin bored of Burton's dark, brooding take on everything he puts his hands on. But I realize that's Burton's MO. I'm also sick of his girlfriend, Helena Bonham Carter. Same dark, brooding, psycho in every movie she's in. And she's in every movie of Burton's.

Didn't see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (heard it sucked), Big Fish (heard it was great), Planet of the Apes (horrible), Sleepy Hollow (liked), Mars Attacks! ("C"), Ed Wood (liked), Batman Returns (liked), Edward Scissorhands (liked), Batman (liked), Beetle Juice (liked), and Pee-wee's Big Adventure (liked).

I guess I liked most of his earlier films. Christopher Lee's in Alice though. Lee rocks.

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Capricious doodle.

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Remember Choward's Violet?

Charles Howard started Choward's in the early 1930's in a loft Broadway in New York City. The mint, Choward's Violet, was/is his flagship product.

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Texas suicide dude influenced by Tea Party Movement?

Fifty-three-year-old Joseph Andrew Stack III deliberately flew a stolen Piper Cherokee PA-28 into an Austin federal building that housed the local office of the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday.

It seems a number of media outlets (with liberal tendencies) are thinking out loud: "Boy, this Stack dude's suicide letter/manifesto sort of resembles - you know, that Tea Party rhetoric." I paraphrased all that.

A Washington Post blog read: "His (Stack) alienation is similar to what we're hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement." And Time magazine's online write-up twice included links to a background on the Tea Party movement - but those have since been removed. Removed? Why?

Chris Rovzar of New York Magazine stated, "In fact, a lot of his (Stack) rhetoric could have been taken directly from a handwritten sign at a tea party rally."

"Similar"? "Could have been?" Remind me to approach some random man in the street, punch him in the face because he looks as though he might be thinking about possibly assaulting me...and worry about the ramifications of my actions later.

I hate politicians. I hate the media. Liberals accuse the conservatives of fear mongering and chastise Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck. Then the liberal media turns around and surmises that Stack's beliefs are somehow/maybe/possibly/perhaps/almost like the Tea Party's platform. Ergo (third time I've used "ergo" in a blog post in the last two months), the Tea Party's philosophy is as whacked as a guy who embarks on a airplane suicide mission. Am I assuming too much? Like the liberal media is? That IS what they're saying, right?

New York Magazine attributed its assertion (I don't know that you'd call it an "assertion") to portions of Stack's suicide letter:

"We are … brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was "no taxation without representation." I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a "crackpot" traitor and worse."

Sound like the Tea Party? Maybe it does. I agree with the above statement. I know a lot of people who agree with that statement. And they're not all conservatives and Republicans. Don't worry - I don't know how to fly one anyway.

Here's another excerpt from Stack's letter: "While very few working people would say that they haven't had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainly that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say."

Gotta agree with Stack on this one as well - though I might not go as far as to say "never been". Can any of us really be sure of our elected officials' motivations? I realize they're supposed to be working SOLELY for their constituents; I also know that Washington politicians are taking monies from special interest groups for their reelection campaigns and then voting the way those special interest groups want them to vote. Is that working for me - or you?

One more. "It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their "freedom" … and they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them."

Well - I believe, even while this country is trying to pick itself up from last year's economic fuck-up, most Americans feel the United States is the best country in the world. Think about the shit going on in Haiti, Iraq, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Africa, parts of South America - we have it good. But people are pissed. People are out of work. They lost their savings. And homes. This Stack guy is just one man. I don't know...maybe he wasn't whacked. We may not ever know. Maybe he was perfectly sane and simply wanted to drive home a point by giving up his life for his cause.

They've been doing that in the Middle East for thousand of years. And they don't have a Tea Party over there.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Peculiar silhouettes from a horribly disfigured gentleman.

Exactly what I think when I say this childhood bedtime prayer. The horribly disfigured gentleman's website. Make sure you read his biography and visit the "theatre" section to see more examples of his work.

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TGIF! presents..."Miracle on Ice"! USA defeats Russia!

If you don't wanna watch the entire video, go to the 7:00 mark for the final minute of play. I remember this like it was Wednesday. I was a sophomore in high school. How excited the country was. Mark Johnson, a member of that Olympic team who was raised in Madison, WI, is the head coach of this year's women's hockey team. They're supposed to be good.

The "Miracle on Ice" refers to the medal-round men's ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, on February 22. The United States team, made up of amateur and collegiate players and led by coach Herb Brooks, defeated the Soviet team, 4-3, a team which was considered the best hockey team in the world. The US went on to win the gold medal by defeating Finland in their final match.

I wanted to put up a video of speedskater Eric Heiden but I couldn't find any videos that would post. He's the Wisconsin speedskater who won all five gold. Incredible athlete. Not sure but I don't think anyone has swept all five events in one olympics since (someone check that).

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Lysacek! USA Gold!

USA - Evan Lysacek - Figure Skating/Men's. First time an American has won this event since Brian Boitano's gold medal win at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vonn! White! Davis! Kearney! Wescott! USA Quintuple Gold!

Congratulations to all the USA medal winners, thus far, at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver! I believe my fondest winter olympic memories are from Lake Placid in 1980 - Speedskater Eric Heiden's (WI native) five gold medals and the Olympic Hockey team's magical gold medal run. Ahhh, youth! Take a look at 5 gold moments:

Lindsey Vonn - Alpine Skiing/Ladies' Downhill

Shani Davis - Men’s 1000m Speedskating (trained at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee)

Shaun White - Men’s Halfpipe (snowboarding)

Hannah Kearney - Freestyle Skiing/Ladies' Moguls

Seth Wescott - Men's Snowboard Cross

I added one more USA medal winner - even though it was the silver. Click on READ MORE! to find out who.

Julia Mancuso - Silver medal/Alpine Skiing - Ladies' Downhill. Julia "in" Olympic garb...

...and sans duds. SKOL FAVRE! SKOL VIKINGS!

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