The more things change the more they stay the same. And that is no difference when looking at the news…

1. Canada loses shelf… not self

Well it seems as if the head of steam being built up here in the US is at last hitting Canada. Yes, the hot air created by the Republicans at the convention seems to contribute to climate change for their neighbors up north. Can’t be any other reason now can it? Republicans don’t believe in global warming so it must be the hot heads down in St Paul who did this. Or windbags. Poor old Canada. They have so little going for them when it comes to history and now they just lost an ancient ice shelf that is almost the size of Manhattan. Luckily Canada isn’t as populated as that little island off the east coast. They suspect only one person died but the nation is in mourning because about 7,286 moose died. That is the same ratio of moose per person in Canada. The Canadian authorities are still counting all Canadians to try and confirm the death of the unlucky fellow. One person is counting every Canadian and is expected to be done by early Saturday. All Canadians was asked to stand in a straight line but there was a delay because the counting guy had to go to a blubber fest first. He’ll start counting on Friday evening.

2. “Uncertainty looms in Sudan”

That is the actual headline of the report – “Uncertainty looms in Sudan”. WTF? What was there before? Hope? Love? Peace? Stability? Democracy? Ubuntu? Change? Certainty? I think not. Can “uncertainty” be a weather pattern? The Sudan version of a monsoon? It comes in and destroys everything in its path. Or maybe “Uncertainty” is some god we never heard of. You know, like Apollo or Zeus or Atlas. Wonder what “Uncertainty” does? Squash all sense of justice in his path and murder the innocent for breakfast. Sound about right. Also known by another name. President Omar “The Bastard” al-Bashir. No. Sorry. “Uncertainty” would be a step up for most Sudanese. At the moment they only have “Genocide”.

3. Obelix with no Astrix?

The great Obelisk of Axum returned home at last. Okay. It’s been there for a while already. About 3 years. It was unveiled this week. Come on people, it’s African time. You know. “Just now” means anything between within the next two hours and 2 decades. But we should be happy the Axum Obelisk is back. Now if we can only find the great Astrix of Governance somewhere…

4. From Palin to Pale-One

You thought Palin was more than just a pretty face? Think again. The McCain campaign now says that she won’t be talking to the media on foreign or domestic policy. Apparently “the American people don’t care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy… the American people will learn all they need to know” (and all they deserve to know) from Palin’s scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads. Talk about Hollywood moments and acting like a celebrity. Mr McLame and Pale-one, this is called acting and not leadership. Maybe scared that she can’t hold her own? Here is your problem. She might be able to pull the wool over the eyes of (some of) the average American voters out there but you might have a bit of a problem if she travels outside these US borders. Haha! Actually, I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall. Putin will have her for lunch. Oh man you are in so much trouble with this one. Not quite the PTA now is it?

5. Let’s be honest… hum, maybe not

Citibank used to have a nice little racket going. And hardly anyone noticed. What they did was to remove the positive balances on the credit card accounts of their poorest and “deadest” clients. Yes, they targeted the vulnerable (poor) and really vulnerable (dead). But those damn pesky little whistle blowers. Someone thought that stealing money from their clients might be going too far. And that damn liberal State Attorney of California agreed. And won! Yes, poor Citibank lost settled the case and paid all the money back. And a bit of a fine to top it off. The clincher? An executive trying to justify their decision really went all out with the “feel sorry for me” line. With difficulty. He said, “Stealing from our customers is a business decision, not a legal decision.” The same executive later said that the sweep program could not be stopped because it would reduce the executive bonus pool. I don’t think he gets the humanity part that well. Maybe he was taking a bit off the top because he is missing a bit on top. For some or other reason I don’t feel that sorry for Citibank.

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What’s up in the news?

1. Thanks for the invite

Condoleezza Rice, or Condi to her friends, spend a bit of time in Baghdad this week. Good for you Condoleezza. It is much better than staying in that big white house up on the hill. You know that guy will work your fingers to the bone. Anyway, she spent time shopping in the “Green Zone” I think. Must be. Why else would she be saying something like this? “Obviously, the American forces are here, coalition forces are here at the invitation of the Iraqi government.” WTF? I don’t think so Condoleezza. Remember that you send those big tanks and flying objects called missiles into Iraq? I didn’t see the letter of invitation. Oh, you mean these guys in charge now? The puppets you put in place? With a fake vote that reminds us of Florida style democracy? I don’t think so Condoleezza. Crap stays crap. Whether in DC or Baghdad. Let’s get this straight Condoleezza, you are not invited to my house. With or without a gun in your hand and a tank at your feet.

2. McCain playing the age card

I think McCain might be playing the age card after weeks of playing the race card and the celeb card and the general lies and snake oil card. This time it was all about Russia and the “Georgia incident”. No. Not Atlanta. Anyway. He made another “misspoke” when commenting on the Russian invasion. And I quote, “in the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations”. Huh? Excuse me? Did I miss something? Or is it your age playing up? Did you get a free coupon to invade Iraq? I can’t even say grow up. McCain. McCain. McCain. You are one scary dude.

For McCain

For McCain

3. This man is stupid

I really couldn’t find a better heading for this guy. A guy from Nigeria has been told to divorce his wife. No wait. His wives. He has to whittle it down to four wives and no more. So he’ll have to divorce 82 of them. WTF? Dude! Doos! I don’t know what to say? The four that are staying are asking what the hell did they do wrong that they have to stay with him? Guess how many kids he has? 170. He had just under 2 children with each wife. Lesson? They thought the first time was just a bit of a… hum… problem… anxiety. The second time? They realized it wasn’t. You can fool some of the people some of the time…

4. But he is worse…

It seems as if Mugabe has decided to not continue the talks with Tsvangirai. I am not surprised. Mugabe doesn’t give a damn. And neither does my President. Mbeki. Blood on your hands. Go share what I gave McCain further up. And up yours. If Mugabe is the African Than Shwe (Burma), then you are the African Bush. No. Not the African bush.

A dick and a prick

A dick and a prick

5. Buy at employee price… if you can find one

GM has been taking a pounding in the sales department over here in the US. But they hit back with a brilliant new ad campaign. You can now buy a car at the employee price. Cool isn’t it? We know how much discount those guys get. Should work. Shouldn’t it? It should. If you can find an employee willing to sell you a car. It seems that most of the models just don’t make it to the dealers. And the salesmen doesn’t show up either. Great plan GM. Get the people to come into the showrooms to buy a car that isn’t there from a salesman that isn’t there either. I think Toyota might have a better plan. Sell people a car they want. I know. It is way unorthodox but it might just work.

6. How to kill the American Dream

How do you kill the American Dream? Bureaucracy… We’ve seen it everywhere in America. Little kids learning the rules of making money by selling goodies at roadside stands. Simple stuff. Lemonade, veggies, ice-cream and other stuff the can grow themselves or mix themselves. Just pretty simple stuff. Nothing much. But it teaches them the basics of how to be an entrepreneur. It’s as American as apple pie. But not anymore. At least not in Clayton, California. A little girl and her brother used to sell some veggies they grew in their back yard. Until the cops showed up. And dispersed the illegal merchants. Stupid right? And you would expect the Mayor to back the kids. Think again. “They may start out with a little card-table and selling a couple of things, but then who is to say what else they have. Is all the produce made there, do they grow it themselves? Are they going to have eggs and chickens for sale next,” said Clayton Mayor Gregg Manning. Mayor Manning, go get some of that McCain coffee offer I have up there. Stupid.

Remember to read between the lies… I mean lines.

Am I getting dated? I am sure I am going to lose track of how many I have done but I don’t think I will run out of news soon. Let’s have a look what has been cooking this week.

1. The pot calling the kettle…

President Bush decided to show some global leadership balls. On China. Calling them out on their human rights record. He is apparently not impressed. Good on you President Bush. Stand up against the (next) bully. Don’t let them push us around. Just please don’t invade them. We know how you get all worked up. This one might be a little bit to much for you to handle. Two big guys in the schoolyard getting ready for some “how’s your mother”? Nah. He won’t do much other than bitch a bit and then sit back and run in his Chinese made running shoes, watch Bill O’Reilly on his Chinese made television, and wave his Chinese made American flag. But there is another snag. Calling China out on their human rights record… Two words President Bush… Guantanamo Bay… Sorry, you lost your right to bitch about humans and their rights. Can’t have it both ways. No matter how big and strong you are.

2. I don’t give a flying…

You want a bag with that sir? That will be $15 thank you. Oh, you have two! Hand over another $25. We made you miss your flight and you need to change it? $150 please. Thirsty? A dollar for a cuppa Joe. As if you want to stay awake on this flight. You’ll have to pay for the movies in any case. But better to pay $5 to watch a movie I guess. Better than paying $7 for a blanket and a pillow. Next up? How much for a safety vets? We packed 5 – open bids start just after take-off. No wonder American airlines are going bankrupt. They offer nothing and charge you the world. And still can’t get you off the ground in time. Try this in Africa. Feeding people nothing and charging them for air… Here’s one I don’t get. Why is it that they charge per bag? Weight… It’s the weight that gets to them. Apparently the fuel costs are out of control and one way to save on fuel is by cutting down on the weight. Apparently, people still weigh more than the 400 tonne bloody airplane. Riiight… No, it’s true. They have a real obesity problem over here in the US. But what happens if I go on a diet? Can I get a discount? American airlines… Like the economy. Going down fast. At least the dollar lost value. Or else the airline greed might actually hurt. But not yet. So far it is only really stupid and funny. Their motto? I don’t give a flying…

3. I can’t recall, recall

We can’t afford to go to Disney yet (January maybe!), but we have found another way to entertain ourselves. We go to Whole Foods. It is just one amazing place for us Africans in America. The food so fresh they make Pamela Anderson blush and they use baby bottoms to wipe the apples because they are so delicate. Oh, Whole Foods. They have mist spraying over the fresh fruits and vegetables – it makes me feel as if I am on the farm or in the Amazon somewhere. And they have juices, cookies, hams and fruits to taste all over the place. We take the kids there on a Friday night. We call it “eating out”. I like to spoil my girls. Ah, Whole Foods – the amusement park for Africans. But they have a memory like a leaky watermelon those guys. They forgot to recall the bad meat. And then recalled that they had to recall. You see, they found E. Coli a few months ago from a company called Nebraska Beef. And it is not a Springsteen song. So all those “shops for the less privileged” like Costco and Stop & Shop (where we shop) had to make a huge recall of all the meat. But of course we knew Whole Foods wouldn’t be affected by it all. I mean really they feed their chickens organic Fairtrade corn with mint jelly and slaughter their cattle by massaging them slowly to death. And then it happened. Months later. Whole Foods had to recall the meat. Because they too bought from Nebraska Meat. But they recalled it months later. Only after they recalled that they bought meat from the same dude that Earl’s Meat Palace & Pet Shop bought his meat from. After it was already sold. Nice business plan Mr Mackey. It is at last off the shelf. But rest assured. It might have been E. Coli. But it was organic E. Coli.

How the E.Coli rumor started...

How the E.Coli rumor started...

4. Power less sharing

Crazy Uncle Bob and Tsvangirai are talking. Bah, humbug. Talking about ending the fight between the two of them that has been going on for months. Talking about sharing power. In some way. Sharing power. Was that a joke? Most of the country hasn’t had electricity for ages. Not since Mugabe needed it to keep his food warm and artificial heart pumping. And share what? There is nothing to share. Jack baby. Mugabe has already eaten the donkey and now wants to share the carcass? Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum doing the slow dance. Doing the slow dance to Power of Love or Careless Whisper? I think Bob was listening to I Got You Babe.

5. South Africa takes over England

I guess they had to do something. I mean really. They got their backsides kicked by the South Africans in cricket. Just a few months after getting their butts kicked in rugby. It’s a national pastime in South Africa. Beating the English in anything and everything. Ah, they thought they had the political one in the bag with Gordon Brown. Sorry dudes, our President Mbeki is pulling away in the lame-duck race. But back to the sports. So what do you think the Poms did after losing to us again? They appointed a South African as their captain. A guy who can’t make our team. He’s their best guy… And he is from Durban. It’s a bit like saying he’s from Texas. Minus the silly hats. But they are loud, have funny accents, like to talk about how great they are, but their leaders stink like Sue Ellen’s acting in Dallas. Hey, England! I have one for you. Why don’t you take Zuma? We won’t be able to beat that one.

6. China wins. Next year.

The US better take as many medals as they can at the Olympics in Beijing. Because China is about to take their lunch money. The US economy is going down the dumps. It’s slowing down faster than McCain without a cane first thing in the morning. Or me without coffee. Dropping faster than President Bush’s popularity. Yes. It is pretty bad. But here is the clincher. China will overtake America as the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods. Yes. China will push America off the top spot. A spot they have held for over 100 years. Will someone remember to switch off the lights when the last factory closes its door? The USA. Made in China.

________________________________

Hope to have better news next week. Yeah, right.

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The news isn’t getting any better is it? Time to have a closer look. I must apologize first though. I do get a bit worked up today. So please excuse the anger. But some of this stuff just isn’t funny anymore. Don’t worry though, some of it is still pretty funny. Hey remember, no news is good news. So some news is slightly crap news. I’ll start with the crap news first.

Same old, same old...

Same old, same old...

1. Mr McCain, act your age – or maybe not

It’s becoming a bit tedious. Every week I tell myself that I will leave McCane alone. His an old man after all. And I am not being nice. My mom won’t be impressed. You know, she always said I should show respect to old people. And I really want to. But then he does it again. Or maybe I should say, “Oops he did it again”. Yes, McCane has scrapped right through the bottom of the barrel and is now digging up old cat crap from the garden soil below. He is reaching a new low. Even for a Republican. Okay, maybe I am wrong. You can’t really reach a new low as a Republican. Or at least not this type of Republican. They boldly go where no one has gone before. Anyway, let’s get back to the Mac. McCane decided to take Obama on by focusing on the issues. Not. No, he decided to tell us nothing of his own policies or why he might be a good President and instead compared Obama to Britney and then said Obama is playing the race card. Sigh. (I wish my wife would allow me to swear in my blog. McCain deserves one.) Come now Mista McCane, what the hell do you stand for apart from anything anti-Obama? The USA actually needs someone to stand for something and not just against everything. Look what happened the last time you picked a President that stood for nothing but anti-everything. You are living in that world right now. Who are you McCane? Who are you when you look in the mirror apart from an angry old man with no life or policies? If Obama is Britney, are you the wino old hag who hangs around Britney trying to catch a bit of her “shine”? Get a life of your own please. And saying Obama is playing the race card… Have you actually been on the “internets” as your buddy calls it? Have you seen and heard the things people are saying of Obama? Have you not heard how that stupid blond woman called Ann Coulter play “funny” with Obama’s names? Have you seen the original racist comments that Rooster99 left on this blog? Obama playing the race card… Bah! Wake up and smell the roses. Grow up and act your age. No wait. Please don’t. We don’t need another President asleep behind the wheel. I guess the next thing you should start bitching about is that Obama is playing the intelligence card and walking the leadership path. That is so unfair hey? Ek is gatvol van MyPyn se wyn.

2. UK decides not to prosecute corruption

Imagine if this happened in South Africa. Or anywhere in Africa… The anti-fraud agency starts to investigate allegation that the largest national arms manufacturer and dealer offered bribes to a potential buyer. A bribe to get the buyer to buy some weapons. Maybe even a few weapons of mass destruction? And the buyer? A Middle Eastern buyer. With a really bad human rights record. And then the agency drops the investigation. Why? Because the buyer blackmailed the investigators by saying that they won’t give any anti-terrorism support or intelligence info in the fight against terrorism. What would you expect the agency and your government to do? Don’t answer – let’s first look at what the UK did. The UK government actually supported the investigators decision not to probe a bit deeper into the bribery case. Even though they already had good evidence. And they are so happy the agency dropped the case. The reason? National security. Bull. Let any African government do this and guess what – everyone will be all over them and throw their toys. They will talk about the corruption by African governments. And say it is just “the way these Africans are”. Well, stuff you. Go put it where the sun don’t shine. You Mr Brown and gang, the bribes are on your hands and for the whole world to see. The blood of those who die because of these weapons? One your hands. National security? Guess what. Did you know that Osama bin Laden comes from that country involved in this corrupt arms deal, terrorism threat and blackmail case? To the UK – you just lost your right to bitch about corruption anywhere else in the world. Especially in Africa. Go clean your own house first.

Oh, in a new development… This same UK arms manufacturer (BAE) was just caught in another case. One that involves their links to a Zimbabwean arms trader. A Zimbabwean arms dealer with strong ties to Robert Mugabe. Sweeping that one under the carpet as well now shall we? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Right? No reason to investigate this one if you didn’t want to look at the Saudi one. “Nothing to see here folks. Please move on.” Spineless bigots. Murdering bastards. What a pair they make. The UK and Zimbabwe caught necking behind the barn. Brown and Mugabe seen doing some heavy petting in the hay. Blood on your hands you stupid gutless Pom.

3. UK crime levels fall

I know I joked about it in my Next Week’s News Today II, but it is actually true. Crime rates are falling in the UK. It has done so by 10% over the last year. I stand by my original assessment that the economic crunch is behind it all. There is just nothing to steal anymore. I just wonder if the nanny state UK government will provide the criminals with some economic “stimulant” package as well. I mean really. It’s bad if the mob can’t even squeeze anything out of the dry UK well anymore. See? Crime doesn’t pay. Not now. At least they will have the dole to fall back on.

4. Scientific proof that Conservatives are sick

A new study from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque!) has just linked religion with diseases. Basically, the study “proves” that there is a link between the number of religions and the “control” of diseases. Apparently, society organizes itself in religious groups to limit the spread infectious diseases and other health risks. That’s a bit of a bummer. It makes the US a pretty sick society. I mean really, the Christian churches over here are worse than Trotskyists – they split into two separate groups every time two Christian conservatives/evangelicals get together in a room. Aah, now I get the whole anti-science thing amongst some of the more fundamentalist Christian groups in the US. You see, some science actually focus on healing people. Get rid of diseases. So the basic fibre of religion will fall apart. The healthier we are the more secular we will become. I hope Hagee and Bush don’t read this. Or maybe they knew about this all along. You know – denying evolution and denying global warming. Very Christian of them.

5. China and US sync laptops

China. What can I say. Loved it over there. Just don’t take your laptop with when you go and visit. They don’t like free information that much. Like to control it a bit. Can’t get access to all the sites on the internet. Including this one. (Wonder if they lifted the “ban” on this one when they relaxed their control a bit this week?) Anyway. They like control. And they have a bit of a habit of taking laptops at airports. You know – to check for “information”. And good luck if you can get it back. They go a bit further though. They check what you do and download your information, contacts and everything they can get their hands on. It helps that they control the networks you have to use. They are checking for anything that can “threaten” China. I call it no freedom and control freaks. So no surprise that American politicians are a bit unhappy about that. America is build on the foundations of freedom. Free expression and information are the cornerstones of this great country. I was even happier to see that it was a Republican being pissed at the Chinese for doing this. Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas was really pissed at the Chinese and their attempts to get every single piece of information they could get their hands on. Good on you Senator Brownback. Freedom of expression and information should always be protected. It’s the American way. But… Hang on a minute… What do we have here? It can’t be. The US doing the same? Yes! You see, first it was invasion of privacy with the “Patriot” Act. Like the Chinese, they will track your info like a true Chinese autocrat. And now it seems they are taking another leaf from the little red Chinese book of control. They are ready to take your laptop at the airport. And do pretty much what ever the hell they want to do with it. And they go a step further. They’ll take your iPod as well. Not to control your music as if it is some 50’s rock ‘n roll clampdown. No, just to check what info you have on there. (I would be so embarrassed by my playlist.) So there you go. Information control. China and the US dancing to the same tune. And I bet it ain’t to the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Closer to the Grateful Dead I guess. George W Bush and Hu Jintao, both President and Commander in Chief of the two most powerful nations in the world, dancing the slow dance of control. It’ll make Mao so proud. He didn’t even have to invade the US for the Red Revolution to take over. First they took over the economy and now exported they own special brand of information control and freedom suppression. Tangle or tango anyone. Any wise words of wisdom now Senator Brownback?

________________________

That’s it folks. More pissed than usual. But can’t help it – they keep on feeding me crap.

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Today started off like any other Friday. On the train to work, iPod playing and already in a weekend state of mind. Almost like having Georgia on your mind, but with more fun and no threat of the death penalty. Anyway… I was getting ready to get off at my stop when I noticed her.

She was right in front of me. I didn’t take much notice at first. I was adjusting my iPod earpieces. And then I saw it. The tag of her jersey was showing. It was on the outside of her jersey. It took me a while to figure out whether she had her jersey on inside out or whether it was just a fashion statement. I couldn’t see her face and had no idea how old she was. And I have seen some funny fashion statements in my time. I lived through the 80’s people. Wearing clothes inside out as a fashion statement would not surprise me one bit. But now I was in a bit of a dilemma. Do I tell her or not?

I should do it. Just tell her. If I am wrong – no problem. I will be slightly embarrassed, but she would be fine. I might even bring a smile to her face. You know – she would be thinking, “What a dork. He just isn’t in with the latest style.” I can live with that. And if I was right? I would save her from embarrassment. She might be slightly embarrassed and pissed at me, but at least she will be okay when she walks around town later in the day. She might actually thank me silently later on when she sits down and have a tall skinny non-fat strawberry mocha frappuccino with no whipped cream at 200 degrees and room on top. And a block of ice and one Splenda. Whateva! (And I snap my finger and whip my hair around while saying that.)

I was still thinking through my options when I saw it. I froze completely. Just stopped dead in my tracks. I panicked completely. I have heard of this, but have never actually seen one. The nightmare no woman wants to face. And no man wants to be responsible for. The horror. The horror.

A skirt was tucked into her knickers…

Her whole backside was showing. Or all that I could see from my quick glance was her complete left buttock and about half of her right cheek. And the little red hearts on her white undies. Not that I noticed. But she was completely unaware that she was caught in the pantie-butt-tuck. One thought flashed through my mind. And right after that I thought – what now? What the hell was I supposed to do now?

Do I go up to her and tell her? How? Do I just tap her on the shoulder like a friendly stranger and flash her my winning smile? Do I walk past her and look back nonchalant and tell her in my normal voice as if nothing happened? Or do I whisper in her hear like an old friend? And then what? What do I tell her? That her skirt is tucked into the top of her pantie? That her butt cheeks are showing? Or at least one of them is in full view? I had no problem telling her. I was just stumped about how I approach the subject and what I had to say.

So I just stood there. My brain frozen. I knew I had to say something. But this was a first for me. Something I was completely unprepared for. And she disappeared into the crowd while I stood there like a stupid ass. No pun intended.

No, really. I was a stupid ass. I should have reacted quicker. But I really wasn’t ready for this. Next time I will be. Please God don’t let there be a next one though. Because I still don’t know how I will approach her and what I will say.

Excuse me, mam?

Excuse me, mam?

I eventually started walking again jumped into the shop to buy some… hum… cigarettes… I mean… nice healthy water. To calm my nerves. But at least the “water” wasn’t in a plastic container. That’s just so environmentally unfriendly. But let’s just say that it could be true. Except that I think that water is for meant for coffee and plants. And maybe to make putu. And sometimes for a shower. But that’s about it. Anyway…. I digress.

I was standing in the line waiting for my turn to hand over the ransom pay. Just minding my own business. I looked over to the magazine rack and my eyes started to wondered to the top rack. The adult section. I really didn’t mean to look at them. It was merely for “research” purposes. I swear. Ek belowe. And then I looked a little bit closer at the cover of one of the magazines. It was a Playboy cover. And the woman on the cover had the oddest pose.

She was bending over like she was carrying an imaginary backpack, her legs were slightly apart but straight as if she just wet her pants, her ass pointing up like a Dodgem car, her hands hanging down towards the floor neanderthal style, and she had that weird look like she was slightly constipated (or just wet her pants) but was trying to hide it from the camera – you know, that smirky smile. But it wasn’t her look that made me laugh. It was her total pose. It looked as if she was about to pick up something really heavy. My immediate thought was “she better be careful as she might hurt her back picking something up that way”. She should really use her legs more and not use her back when lifting heavy objects.

And the magazine next to it had a woman pushing her… hum… front view towards the camera. Like she was going to wring-dry her top. Really. I didn’t see anymore covers as I had to look away. People were going to notice. Especially with me laughing out loud standing in a queue looking at porno magazine covers.

It made me think. What’s up with the porno pose? This can’t be nice for her or for the sad little man who gets some sort of satisfaction when he buys the magazine. or rather when he reads the magazine. You must be really odd to get any satisfaction from the act of buying only. Would that be seen as soliciting? Anyway… I am sure that he buys it for the great articles on cars/environment/economy/whatever. I mean really. It isn’t even remotely sexy or attractive. Even if you objectify women. Someone really needs to get a life.

So it leaves me with two questions.

Tell me. What should a man say to a woman if she is caught in a pantie-butt-tuck. I need to know that.

And also. What’s up with the porno pose? I just don’t get it.

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Back from Bucks County. And back with some views on the news. It’s been a weak of news. Backward news. Let’s have a look, shall we?

1. Can’t take my eyes off of you

Poor old man McCain. He just can’t get any attention. It seems as if people, and especially the media, thinks he might be a bit boring. Big yawn. Big surprise. The most exiting thing that happens to him is when the comb-over flaps in the wind or when he puts in his teeth in the morning. Anyway… So McShame decided to show the world, or at least his closet closest friends, how unfair this all is to a senior citizen like himself. And decided to show it in a way that is a bit more hip. You know. To get with this “internets” thingy. Made up a nice clip (two actually) and posted it on YouTube. Showing to the world how unfair the media can be. Nice one. You really showed your age with this one. Or maybe not. My 4-year old won’t even do this. It is way below her standards. She is too grown up for it I guess. But then, she isn’t a Republican politician either. But then he pulled it off the site again! No, it wasn’t the early signs of ADD. Or flip-flopping. I was hoping it was his promise to “fight a good clean fight that will stay on the moral high ground”. Nope, that wasn’t it. He is already playing with the pigs. Remember the Bush man-love hug? Anyway… He pulled it because it was way to popular. And maybe illegal. Yep, the only way he could get any attention was by showing pictures and videos of Obama. Go figure. And then? He had to pull it because one of the songs they used, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, might have a licencing issue… Yep, the more popular the clip the more they have to pay. A bit like oil prices I guess. And now McPain realizes he will have to pay up if he wants to be watched – or at least watch Obama being watched. Hah! Dig a hole for yourself Mac. Come on. Pick the nearest forest and start digging. Or offshore. You might just find enough oil to pay for using that song. Hope it is legal. The song. And the digging. He is going to be really pissed when he hears the European Commission just extended copyright for songs to 95 years. Even he can’t outlive that.

The Obama camps denied reports that they are currently looking at posting two clips of McCain on their YouTube channel. One showing him crying in the rain to “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd) and another of him throwing a hissy fit to “She Thinks His Name Was John” (Reba McEntire).

I love you so much Big Fella

I love you so much Big Fella

2. McCain knows no shame – dissing the troops

I think that McCain is becoming desperate. Really desperate. He is now willing to shred the last pieces of decency he had. I don’t know if he is losing his mind or whether he lost it months ago already. But the last inch of respect he had is being lost at a rapid pace. Why? Because he is starting to disrespect the troops. It’s fine to throw cheap shots at Obama. That’s politics the Republican way. Cheap. Shots. But playing with the troops is another thing. Using them and abusing them for cheap shots is just… hum… you know… not on. Obama decided not to visit a military hospital in Germany because the Pentagon thought that it might be inappropriate as it might be seen as playing politics. Fair call. So Obama did the right thing. Pull out of the visit. This showed his respect for the troops. Not willing to let them be pulled into politics. Good on you Obama. And then McShame decided to open his stupid mouth again. Calling Obama out for not visiting the troops. He hinted that Obama isn’t showing enough respect for the injured troops. WTF? Are you for real? You want to show some respect for the troops? Shut your mouth when it comes to the military and get the troops out of this stupid war of yours. The troops should be supported. Not your stupid mindless war. You were in the military. But not anymore. It doesn’t give you a free pass when it comes to the lives of Americans. Troops or not. Show some respect.

Oh, and while we are on the war thing. That new ad of yours where you climb into Obama for not being in Iraq often enough. Here is a wake-up call for you. You don’t need to be in Iraq to know that war was the wrong decision. Maybe even illegal. A bad decision based on bad intel. The War on Error. And not one single person who supported that decision to invade is saying they are sorry. No, they are trying to say that it is “working”. Working! Bah! Maybe our definitions of working differ slightly. Working like a bloody band aid on a broken back yes. It was wrong to go into war with Iraq and that doesn’t change no matter how many times you visit.

And Afghanistan? Go read up a bit more. Not only are we losing the War on Terror there, but also the War on Drugs. The poppy’s are blooming. We are losing the war over there because the military is stretched to the extreme. Hope it doesn’t snap. So what do you do? Move the pieces around. Troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. There is an old South African saying, “Slim vang sy baas.” The bright one catches his master. It means that eventually all you decision will backfire if they are wrong. And you just keep on sticking to those wrong ones baby. So, ¡Ya basta! Stop your whining and start showing some respect for those troops who are fighting your stupid war. Don’t play with them just to try and become President. It’s not on. So get off.

3. Please Mr President, just shut up

Look, it takes a damn lot to make President Bush look sharp and full of wisdom, but President Mbeki isn’t going to give up trying. At least President Bush is doing little to make things worse during the last few days of his reign. No wait. The war is still on, the economy is tanking, he wants to drill for oil no matter what or where, and he is still playing chicken with Iran, North Korea and whoever else said no to the dinner date. Okay… He can do way more damage, but so can Mbeki. Here is a man I used to support and defend. And then he lost me at… hello? Anybody there? First he made a joke of science with his Aids policies. Then he danced on the graves of human rights and logic with his “quiet diplomacy” approach to Mad Uncle Robert Mugabe over there in Zim. Both of these decisions took a special kind of leadership. Special needs more like it. It refined decision-making. Redefined stupidity in leadership. But just when you thought it can’t get any worse… He goes on to say that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should not be prosecuted for war crimes. WTF? (Second one for today.) Come again? The reason? Because it will mess up the peace process. You know, you can’t talk peace with a guy who is in court at the same time. Now hang on in there El Presidente Mbeki. That logic doesn’t work. Say someone breaks into my house and steals everything. Now you are arguing that we can’t charge the guy because it might hinder his rehabilitation. No, no! No, baby, no. You don’t negotiate with someone while they are bus murdering and killing the innocent. You charge them and let justice takes its course. Please President Mbeki. Show some backbone. Stop making President Bush look good. I really don’t need that right now.

4. Not Mama’s Apple Pie

So you are just sitting there having a nice piece of apple pie. As American as can be. Spoiling yourself. At Maccie D’s. And you take a deep bite. You can feel the apple pie squirm against your braces. And then… Wait! I don’t wear braces! What the hell is this piece of metal doing in my apple pie? Screw them. Metal screw in the apple pie. That’s what happened to this poor woman. But that’s not the news. Bad food at McDonald’s? What’s new. No – the real news is further down the article…

“Her nephew had also eaten an apple pie, but there were no foreign objects in his dessert.”

Haha! Come on! You ate an apple pie at Maccie D’s. Of course there were foreign objects in your dessert. It just wasn’t metal.

While we are on the fast food topic. I see The Governator Schwarzenegger banned trans fats in restaurants. Good. Right? One thing has always bugged me about banning trans fats at fast food joints. Do you really think of any health issues when you go buy a donut from Dunkin’ Donuts? Do you stop for a minute and think, “I wonder how many calories in this Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese?” I don’t. I know it is bad. I think everyone knows that eating crap food is bad for you. This trans fat debate is a bit too nanny state to me. Too English. Not American. Eat crap and die.

5. Stop Press! Money to Democrats!

Those slightly crazy right wingers at NewsBusters and American Thinker really got their backs up this week. Because they just “proved” that the media is biased. You see, the media is giving more money to Democrats than to Republicans. And about 235 journalists gave money to the Democrats compared to 20 to Republicans. And who said the media is stupid? It isn’t a lot of money. About $225,000 compared to $16,000. But still. Why are they doing it? NewsBusters and the stupidity gang argues that the media is biased. But even Fox gave to the Democrats and not to the Republicans. So that can’t be right. I mean NewsBusters and American Drinker Thinker adore and pray at the feet of Fox. So what’s the reason then? I have an alternative theory. The media is giving money to the Democrats because they are sick and tired of getting screwed for nothing by Bush and the Repugnants Republicans. They are arguing that if they are going to get screwed they might just pay for the more entertaining lot. And better looking as well. I mean really. You don’t know where those Republicans have been before. Apart from airport toilets that is. Also, you pay for something that is worthwhile. Will you pay to watch a re-run of Gigli or the Adventures of Pluto Nash? You know what the Republicans are all about. Been there and done that. No reason to pay for it and see it again. It was aweful the last time around and you know it won’t be better the next time either. Not when you have the real blockbuster coming right up – the Democrats are the movie for next summer. You don’t know if it will be any good, but you know it will be a damn lot better than the bad show of last years and yesterday. No it isn’t the media being biased. It’s the media deciding that it is better to pay for hope than get screwed for nothing by dope.

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See ya’ll later.

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Out here in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Having a ball. Having fun. I’ll give the the rundown at some later stage. I’ll tell you all about our holiday and the places that we visited. For now I’ll just say that Riegelsville is an amazing little town. And that I want to live in New Hope or Lambertville. Yes, Lambertsville, New Jersey. It doesn’t smell! Hah! Beautiful little village. Not Atlantic City at all. Sorry Boss – love your music, but don’t want to live in those towns you sing about. Oh, and I have no idea why anyone wanted to fight over Easton just north of Bucks County in Northampton. Maybe fight over who can have it. But more like – “No, you take it! I don’t want it!”. A bit like Northampton in England… But more on that later in another story. For now we’ll just do a bit on Philly.

We went to Philly today. Our first time there. The place where it all happened. Back then. The birth of the US of A. Before that. Just A. No US. Hah! No us. A few things stood out about Philly. Stuck in my head. Here’s a few highlights. Just three random notes on my experience and observations while in Philly – and I’ll start with the heavy one.

Do you have wireless and where can I plug in my laptop?

Do you have wireless and how do I plug in my laptop?

1. Independence Hall is way small

It’s amazing how small Independence Hall really is. Not a big building or even a big hall really. I mean really. It is a pretty insignificant-looking building. Brick and mortar. Pretty square with a little tower on top. Two floors and that’s it. You wouldn’t notice it if you drove past. Okay – take away the Rangers and you wouldn’t know it was much of a historic place. Especially not if you compare it to some of those buildings in England. No castle this. Not Windsor. Not even a wing in Buckingham Palace. Hardly a maids quarter in Downing Street. I mean really, even my living room is bigger. Well, almost. Not really. But you get the idea. It really isn’t that big a place.

It’s so small you can’t even change your mind in there. And the “entertainment area” upstairs isn’t much to write about either. Smaller than most boardrooms. But in its day one of the largest rooms in America. They even hired it out for weddings back in the old days. (Sorry – they don’t do that anymore. So don’t even bother asking.) Yes, the building and rooms are small. Very small. But it fills a huge space.

What is amaziing is that from the most humble beginnings we have the most powerful nation and notion in the world. Not just in military and economic power. More than that. Way more than that. That will come and go. But from this little crappy room came an idea. An idea that inspired people across the world. And continue to inspire people everywhere. And drive fear and hatred into others. The idea of “the people”. To rule themselves. To be free. To be equal (eventually). Not bound by king or religion. But by “the will of the people”. A-bloody-mazing. All from this little room in Independence Hall. I felt underwhelmed and overwhelmed at the same time. It is so appropriate that this room be so small. So insignificant.

Because it tells us that the freedom we seek is not in big symbols. Not in a big White House. Or a House of Parliament (in the UK and elsewhere). It is in the heart of us all. It is small. It starts small. It starts with us. And then it builds. And grows. And the single heart (or small hall) is a drop in the ocean. But the meaning we give it and the struggles that go with it make the dam fill and will break the walls. The walls that keep us chained. We are the freedom. We are the people. We can be the driver of change no matter where we are. In our houses in Boston or Baghdad or Beijing. It doesn’t matter. The will of the people starts anywhere. And everywhere. No matter what the size might be. The heart is to big for that room. Or your room.

Man, I am glad that the Independence Hall is so small. Because the power of that is just so huge.

Oh – hang on. You know it isn’t actually called the Independence Hall? No. It is actually the Pennsylvania State House. Again. Beautiful. Call it what you want. The people will give it a proper name.

I like that it is known as Independence Hall. So American. So to the point. Say it as it is. If it was the English? They would call it the Great Hall of Change. The French would call it Hall de Magnificant. South Africans would call it Die Moerse Groot Hol. But no. Americans just call it Independence Hall. Not even Hall of Independence. Just two simple words. And to the point. Good on you. Keep it simple. Keep it straight. And say it like it is.

Another lesson – especially for Americans. You don’t need the big car to make a difference. You don’t have to make it bigger to make it better. These Founding Fathers got together in this small little building and wrote a one page little document. The Declaration of Independence. And then, about 11 years later, another one. A simple one page document that started with a simple preamble…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

All this from a small room in a little nondescript building in Philly. You don’t need it to be bigger to be better. They didn’t use a word they did not mean or need. They just did what worked best and what was needed. Scale back baby. They gave you the right to pretty much do what you want. But you would celebrate them more if you remember what they did and that you carry the same responsibility today. So drop the big car and super sized meal. You don’t need it. Your ego doesn’t need it. They didn’t need it.

The smaller the better. Less is more. God bless those dudes in the small house. Job well done. Wicked man. You were way cool. And you didn’t even have air conditioning.

2. Rocky Rules!

Yeah! Went up the Rocky Steps! Sorry, Philadelphia Museum of Art. My wife really wanted to see it. And so did I. Kids didn’t get it. Kept on asking, “Why the heck do you guys want to go up there?” And we’ll look at each other and laugh. And start humming, “Duh, duh, duh … duh duh.” You know. The Rocky song as he ran up the steps! We just had to go.

Of course we wanted to sound all superior. Didn’t want the “people” to know we are going to the Rocky Steps. We waved down a taxi and jumped in. I sat in the front seat because it would be a squeeze with four of us in the back. The cab driver looked at me and asked, “Weh ya’ll goin?” (Or something like that.) My response… “Philadelphia Museum of Art. Please.” He looked at me and mumbled, “Rocky Steps?” I was like a kid and gave him my idiot smile and said, “Yeah!” I am not sure if he rolled his eyes.

But we got there. My wife and myself were like little kids. But we had to go to the Rocky statue first. Get our photo taken. Wife and daughters stood while I took a photo. And then came Blainy. A dude hanging around as the “official” photographer. Offered to take a few shots of us as a family at the statue. And made us do all these poses. Arms in the air like Rocky! Man it was cool. Sylvester is way bigger than I imagined though.

Blainy handed back the camera and said he “accepted tips”. A bit of a shame really. I was going to pay him a decent wage. But a tip is 15% of the pay – so I gave him 15% of what I was going to pay him originally. He lost out on that one.

No. Not really. But I thought it would have been cool to tell him that.

And then the steps. My wife went up and I took a few shots. And then I had to go up. I wanted to run up those steps like Rocky. But I had the Oakley backpack stuffed with maps and toys and drinks and food and more things for the road. So I just slowly made my way up the steps. But in my mind I was running up those steps. With the music playing. “Duh, duh, duh … duh duh.” I got up to the top at last. Sweating more than Rocky did after he ran up the steps. But hey, he did it in winter with no backpack. And he got paid to look good.

But it wasn’t just us. Everywhere people were running up those steps. Old people. Young people. Middle-aged people. Men. Women. Kids. And all of them ran like Rocky. And when they got to the top? Like Rocky. Jumping up and down with their arms in the air. It was a sight. It was great. Rocky rules.

The Rocky Steps. More impressive than that little room back in the Pennsylvania State House. But almost as inspiring. At least it worked off a few of those Philly Cheese Steaks.

3. Philly Cheese Steaks are awesome!

A friend of mine – let’s call him Slacker – told me to have a Soft Pretzel and a Philly Cheese Steak (and a Hoagie). Never had the Hoagie. I mean really. How much can one man eat in a day? The Pretzel was great. But the Philly Cheese Steak was awesome! Wow. They really knew what they were doing with this one. Meat and cheese. Mixed and melted together. As simple as that. I dropped the onion. I love onion. But onion doesn’t love me. We have… hum… issues. That always needs some dealing with later in the day… And counseling doesn’t help. Neither does Pepto Bismol. Still. The Philly Cheese Steak was awesome. But also troublesome. For reasons other than the onions.

You know that Philly is the fatest city in America? No wonder. How many Hoagies and Soft Pretzels and Philly Cheese Steaks can you eat before you start swelling up? I had to flee Philly before I “forced” myself to eat another Philly Cheese Steak. And I already had one-and-a-half! (My wife didn’t have all of hers.) Man, they are damn good. Too good. Way too good. And it shows. In the waistline. And waste line. Too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing at all.

Philly – take note of the Founding Fathers and their lack of “size”. Cut back on those Philly Cheese Steaks and Soft Pretzels. And Hoagies. Get out and run up those Rocky steps a bit more often. Be lean. Like the Founding Fathers with words. Wait. Now I know why those Founding Fathers kept on meeting up in Philly. It’s those damn Philly Cheese Steaks. They just couldn’t say no. Or stay away for too long. I thought they looked a bit “rounder” than I expected…

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Note: Friends make the world go round. I must tell you just a little about us being in Bucks County. We are staying in a gorgeous house in Riegelsville. It is really beautiful. A dream house for anyone who need to get away for a few days. Or forever. All thanks to my good friend M and his husband R who gave us their house for the week. Actually, I never checked if they are married. I haven’t met R yet. But looking at his house – he knows about making a home. And making it beautiful. But that’s just it. They have this stunning house and they just gave it to us for a week. I didn’t aks. M just asked me if we don’t want to go there. Almost begged me to go. And R hasn’t met any of us yet. And M only knows me. Haven’t met my wife or kids. We have known each other for about two months now. Become really good friends. But still. They gave us their house for a week. And the fact that R gave us their house without having met me or my family. What can I say. Some people are special. And they are for sure. More than special. Just two of those people I am honored to know. And even more honored to have as friends. M even phoned today to check how we are doing. Wanted to know if we were enjoying ourselves. M&R – salt of the earth. But with taste.

I am just so happy that they didn’t see the t-shirt I bought today. It’s brown with two simple sentences in 70s style blue writing. “49% trailer, 51% trash”. Love it.

Oh – why are the postcards of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall printed in China? Really people…

We’re having fun. We’re having a ball. See ya later.

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