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Saturday, November 01, 2003

Vulf NFL Picks... 

Not my strength, by any means, but here are my picks:

Winners (strong picks in bold):
Miami, NY Jets, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, San Diego, Carolina, Oakland, Seattle, St. Louis, Arizona, Philadelphia, Dallas, New England and Minnesota.

Watch out for upsets against Seattle and St. Louis.

Can you liberate without knowing the people? 

Two US soldiers now face court-martial for marrying Iraqi women (they converted to Islam first!). The article, interestingly, also posits that the brides will be in danger in Iraq:

" 'She's in danger,' Mrs McKee said. 'News of their marriage is all over Arabic TV, and they've shown her photo. I'm so scared for her and my son.' "

I doubt it. Because the article also says:

"Blackwell's wife, now working as an interpreter for a US firm in Baghdad, wrote that the Army had prevented him from contacting her since the wedding"

Well, no contact, but she's free to talk to the press. Seems she doesn't feel endangered there. The Iraqis aren't crazy. Soldiers wield the power in Baghdad, which is an occupied city. Fact is, soldiers will fraternize with the women wherever they go, and vice versa, in no small part because of this unnatural power in the face of the uprooting of all that was status quo. As Chris Hedges noted in his landmark book, "War is a Force that Gives us Meaning", there is an unavoidable--if perverse--attraction between Aphrodite and Ares. Isn't marriage an honorable way to handle this desperate need for liaison?

If you don't think at least some of the troops in Iraq are desperate, read the linked article further:

"MORE than 30 US soldiers are missing after being given a two-week break from combat in Iraq".

Can't say I blame them.

-Vulf

il mio amici 

Right on!!


- So sayeth Lupus, BTW Happy All Hallows!

Friday, October 31, 2003

Vulf's Weekend Quotes of the Day 

Saturday
I went to the Great Lakes last year. Great my derriere! They're filled with water just like the rest of 'em

Sunday
I don't go to the Dentist anymore. Instead I sit at home all morning hitting myself in the jaw with a sledgehammer. Same results, lower cost.

Monday
The world's your oyster!
That is, the world's your salmonella-inducing, potentially lethal glob of snot.

They Report, We Deride! 

And we've done more than a fair share of it lately. But WHAT ELSE can we do? The "W" administration has tinged our lives with a surreal twilight zone feeling of disbelief, and the supine capitulation of the so-called "opposition" has frankly left even "left-leaners" like Lupus and I incredulous in our paucity of options.

Maybe Lobo cleared the first few yards of wilderness from a credible path forward last week with his insightful analysis of the Denver Police force. Change the rules of business. Stop buying things we don't need. Stop driving. Stop using oil. Huddle together in blankets with the heat a little lower--warm each other up, it's fun. Work to convert our own engines over to ethanol, and directly purchase it from farmer's co-ops. Get rid of the banks and support credit unions. Lobo the alpha wolf, let your pathos and spirit move on to the rest of the country. Let's learn what it means to listen again, to have an hour-long chat with a friend for our coffee break, to play with the kids instead of the remote. If we show the potentates how intangible their "power" really is, we become the power in the land.

I'm not suggesting a Luddite withdrawal. What's been invented is here to stay, and American military might, deployed appropriately, would allow the American spirit to contribute to World advance. But we have lost our way. Pull the plug on Fox News, introduce yourselves again to those neighbors whose "strange ways" you fear, get out of yourselves. There's a revolution coming, il mio amici, let's make it a Gandhi one and not a Danton one.

Peace,
Vulf

Appealing to the base  

Thanks Vulf. I think I understand now what politicians mean when they say they are going to appeal to their base constituents.
adj. Having or showing a contemptible, mean-spirited, or selfish lack of human decency.

Whew, TGIF Furball Sports Interlude 

Now to some more lighthearted distractions, Mark passes the buck to his older Bro. Dave Toft.

A Fan's Notes - Week 10

Mark Toft and Dave Toft



Reeling from Denver’s Monday night loss (and nostalgic for the days of primogeniture), our usual columnist has temporarily passed the propeller beanie of prognostication to his older brother Dave, a Vikings fan living in Poland. Look for Mark to report back as soon as he gathers the pieces of his shattered manhood and understands how he went 5-9 last week.


If you live in North America, you have no idea how fortunate you are to blow every fall Sunday as well as three major holidays watching football. I have been football-deprived--pro, college, high school, PeeWee, you name it--for five years now. German TV used to broadcast an NFL game of the week, but the main entertainment there was in the voice-over commentary: “Play-action, und der Quarterback wirft . . . und Interception!” or “Der Runningback ist getackelt.” (To translate football from German, you need to remember that the noun “interception” is capitalized and the verb at the end of the sentence goes.)

Given that I do not have the opportunity to watch any games, let alone review the hours of tape as my little brother does, I feel I am uniquely qualified to offer unbiased picks and a viewer’s guide for this column’s readers. Picks are in CAPS.


Viewer’s guide

Each game is rated from 1 to 5 belches to correspond to the extent of indigestion you would suffer by sitting in front of the television stuffing your face instead of enjoying a nice late fall day outside exercising. The more interesting the game, the higher the indigestion points, and the higher the number of belches.


5--No better way to spend a Sunday, and no better way to develop that duodenal ulcer. The exercise can wait.

4--Good game, provided you have beer and pretzels. You’ll get light exercise going to and from the fridge.

3--Not a bad game, but only if your partner gives you a back rub for at least ten minutes of every quarter. Moderate exercise will be achieved when you get up to see what the kids or the neighbors are up to.

2--You might watch a few snaps during commercial breaks of The Beastmaster (it must be airing somewhere on cable), starring Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts and--in a stirring portrayal of evil high-priest Maax--Rip Torn. Might be a good time to rake those leaves?

1--Slack-jawed troglodytes only. Racquetball anyone?

Summary of early games:
If you live on the West Coast, consider sleeping in. There’s no need to stir yourself for the mind-numbing experience of cliché bombardment from the commentators hosting these dull, unimportant games. If you live on the East Coast, give church a try, then adjourn for a long brunch somewhere that has no large-screen televisions.

ARIZONA CARDINALS at Pittsburgh Steelers (1 belch)
The ESPN message boards for this game are conspicuously empty. Arizona is “surging” after beating Cincy and Fran. In his first column, Mark likened Pittsburgh’s season to a swirling vortex. After this game, Pittsburgh will be saying hello to Moaning Myrtle at the U-bend of the plumbing.

Chicago Bears at DETROIT LIONS (2)
Just as insecure freshmen cling to their beers at their first college party, these two teams are nursing fragile win-streaks. Well, Chicago’s wins came against San Diego and, just two weeks ago, against Detroit. It’s hard to beat even a bad team twice in one season.

Houston Texans at CINCINNATI BENGALS (1)
In his ESPN press photo, Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis resembles Bill Cosby. I like the Coz and think he’d find a way to win this game. Rather than the game, I would rather watch the Cosby Show rerun in which the Coz forces Theo to wear the poorly tailored designer shirt (a “Gordon Gartrell” knockoff) that Vanessa has made for him.

Miami Dolphins at TENNESSEE TITANS (4)
Tennessee is ascending, healthy and coming off a bye week. Miami’s pass defense will finally make McNair earn his win, while Denver cast-off Brian Griese will guide his father’s former team to . . . defeat.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at CAROLINA PANTHERS (4)
Last time these teams met, Grampa Bay imploded with 168 penalty yards, kicker Martin Gramatica was stuffed on an extra-point attempt, and Carolina won in overtime. Tampa is looking as bipolar as they did in their Tony Dungy days (not that it was Tony’s fault) and has alternated wins and losses since their season-opening victory against Philly. This should be the Bucs’ week to win, but they will instead demonstrate their ability to shank the big one by losing two in a row.

Atlanta Falcons at NEW YORK GIANTS (2)
The Giants keep beating my favorite team--the Vikings--including two weeks ago and the utter humiliation (41 to douche bag) in the NFC Championship game a few years back. Meanwhile, Atlanta is calling faith healers from Eastern Europe to try to get Michael Vick ready to play. Atlanta has curried my ire since week five, when quarterback Doug Johnson stated that the Vikings were not as good as Atlanta and that better teams should beat their inferiors. No kidding.

CLEVELAND BROWNS at Kansas City Chiefs (3)
Will KC continue its unbeaten streak? Quite likely. But the games in Cincy and San Diego later this month have jinx written all over them. Maybe KC should just get the loss out of the way this week against a more respectable team? Because they will not be 12-0 going into week 14 when they face the Broncos. That’s not a prediction, it’s fact and anyone who has ever cheered on a favorite undefeated team knows KC is headed for doom. Face it, KC fans: the roulette wheel has hit red the last eight spins. Time for the double zero.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at Jacksonville Jaguars (3)
The rest of the season looks grim for the endangered Jags. After this week, they can update their Gantt charts to show another milestone achieved on the way to the first pick in next year’s draft. If only they had lost to San Diego! And how will they navigate their ship onto the rocks in the final game of the season against the wingless Falcons? Indianapolis, on the other hand, must be due for a humiliating upset soon. Just not this week.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at Washington Redskins (3)
Expect Washington’s Fun-N-Gun offense to chunder and hurl like a toddler on ipecac again this week. This game will be a mere speed bump for Holmgren and his Hawks as they continue to cruise along in first place in their division (look for them to sputter and fail late in the season). On a positive note, the Hawks will not blow their shot at a wild card: the other teams in the conference are just too weak. The Redskins, however, after this rending loss, should consider changing their name to the Posturing Catamites.

Summary of late games:
Cataclysmic boredom. When will the NCAA announce Bowl matchups?

Buffalo Bills at DALLAS COWBOYS (1)
I would really like to pick Buffalo against the rectally challenged (read: anal-retentive) Sowboys. I have loathed “America’s Team” for years, especially since I had no alternative but to watch the insufferable asswipes every Sunday during my youth. Sure, Dallas has not beaten a solid team this season. Then again, Buffalo is not a solid team. I’ll have to exact my revenge on Dallas with a low game-rating.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS at San Diego Chargers (3)
I have followed the Vikings--mere shadows of the plunderers after whom they are named--through thin and thinner since before most of today’s players were born. In 1983 I even had a T-shirt made with the following bold prediction: “Minnesota Vikings 1987 Super Bowl Champs.” They did not win, nor have they ever--and I wonder if they ever will, given their tendency to fold like a paper napkin around this time of the season. While lesser teams have occasionally posted impressive records (12-4 or better), the Vikes once went 15-1 before quivering at the feet of the worthless Falcons. Still, on this particular Sunday, they won’t lose to the Chargers, a team I suspect has given up and now just wants our pity.

NEW YORK JETS at Oakland Raiders (2)
It is apt that this game is being played in “the black hole,” as the Oakland Coliseum is known, because no photons of hope are escaping to brighten either team’s season. Chuck Woodson finally snapped from Oakland coach Bill Callahan’s egocentric approach and disdain for veterans’ opinions. (I am reminded of Mike Ditka’s dire prediction of his team “not winning another football game.”) The good chemistry is gone, and now Oakland’s own players are adding water to acid. The Jets are a rancid concoction as well and function like flaccid pudenda.

BALTIMORE RAVENS at St. Louis Rams (4)
Strange, but for one of the more interesting matchups of the week I can find nothing to say.

Philadelphia Eagles at GREEN BAY PACKERS on Monday Night Football (3)
Donovan McNabb finally performed well last week in Atlanta; yet a game against the Falcons can’t provide proper calibration of a truly fine performance. Favre’s troubles with his thumb mean that Green Bay is likely to repeat the ground-game strategy that proved effective against Minnesota.

Those in repose: Denver, New England, New Orleans, San Francisco.

Mark’s mosh pit:
I’m too embarrassed by last week’s effort to talk any smack. I humbly offer the following suggestions: Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincy, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Dallas, St. Louis, New York Giants, KC, Indy, Seattle, Minnesota, New York Jets, Green Bay.

Last week: 5-9. Season: 83-47.


-Lupus

The Stage of Politics III 

Vulf with his LCM post caused me to revise my earlier post, "The Real Story."

Lambert from Corrente asked the question:

Why is it that...
... the wingers always use anecdotes, and the liberals use statistics and cite sources?


To start off, Ed Quillen points out this simple fact which many Democrats have seemed to forgotten, "All of politics is a stage." Staging inherently involves framing for good or bad. For example, Kathleen Parker frames Rush Limbaugh's contribution to politics this way:

Say what you will about Limbaugh, he brought life to the party.

Note, there is no admiration for his clear thinking and his factual presentation. No, Rush gave a party and people came.


In politics, as in most things in life to our chagrin, perceptions often matter more than reality. And the Republicans have been winning the perception battle. How, by effectively framing issues through compelling phrases or narratives made to appeal to our basic human desires. Calpundit lists some of these motivations here in his post on framing:

Fairness — everyone should be treated equally
Territoriality — it's my property to do with as I please
Group identity — us vs. them
Aversion to being taken advantage of — punish the cheaters
Family — protect the kids at all costs


These basic human desires then trigger an emotional reaction, e.g., fear and hope. Once activated, our emotions go far in establishing our perceptions. Our perceptions then guide how we view the facts. Without framing, people often will respond with indifference to the dry facts. Robert McKee, a screenwriter instructor, makes that point here as he interacts with to a budding screenwriter:

"I've got a villain."
"You don't have a story. You have a subject matter . . . But who cares?"
"Well, the facts. . ."
"No, No, the truth of the matter is: Who cares? . . . You have got to ask yourself big questions, 'Why am I attracted to this material?' "

From: The Real McKee: Lessons of a screenwriting Guru, The New Yorker, Oct. 20, 2003.

To anyone who says this only applies to movies, McKee was also hired to teach C.E.O's the commercial virtues of telling compelling(rather than a blindly upbeat) story of a corporation's life. This is not to say facts have no value. Facts provide credibility and dencency to this whole enterprise of framing. The lack of facts employed by the Right in their framing attempts explains why many of us of recoil at their efforts.


Digby analyzes on frame for example, "strict father(GOP)" vs "nurturing mother(DEM)," versus "rigid parents(GOP)" vs. "conscientious parents(DEM)," to show how similar frames can provoke wildly different perceptions. With the result that the former works to the advantage of the GOP, while the latter works to the advantage of the DEMs.


Calpundit ends with the admonishment, [r]egardless of our differing policy positions, and regardless of our appeals to our better natures, Democrats better make sure we also cover our bases on appealing to these basic human desires. If we don't, it's going to be an uphill battle every time. Or more succintly by Juddy Collins, the folk singer:

I don't think protest music, as such, has a place anymore, because it has a sense of lecture instead of a sense of life.

The Democrats sadly have no place anymore because they too have a sense of lecture instead of a sense of life. Until we capture that sense of life, DEMs will be sitting back watching the GOP run the show.

-Lupus, Back from hunting

Note: I always reserve the right to edit previous posts as I obtain new information in order for them to clearer reflect my thoughts.

Hitler in 1956 

Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1988.
Hitler gassed the Jews in 1941.
The US and allies entered Saddam's land in 1991.
The US and allies entered Hitler's land in 1944.
Saddam Hussein was NOT removed from power in 1992.
Hitler was removed from power in 1945.
2003 is to Saddam what 1956 was to Hitler. Would it have helped the Jews, the Poles, the Russian peasants to remove Hitler in 1956 (assuming for the moment that US power tipped the balance)?

-Vulf

Lowest Common Denominator 

All of politics is not a stage. Dean looks far better on the stage of politics than a stumbling-drunk, slurring "W" after all. And he still provides substance. Dean reaches right out and grabs people with anecdotes, with a powerful message and debate, and still could kick "W"'s butt so fast he'd have to plead to Daddy to wipe his tears rather than to not give his Award for Public Service to Ted Kennedy (I can't wait for November 7 to see what Daddy really thinks about "W"--giving this award to Teddy K can't mean he likes how "W" is ruining the world!). Does he cite figures and facts? Absolutely (See his message on the economy)! But I think they are facts that even the densest of Americans can understand:

"Since this Administration took office, nearly three million Americans have seen their jobs disappear. The unemployment rate has risen to over 6%. Nine million people are unemployed, and countless more have joined the ranks of discouraged workers and dropped out of the labor market entirely. Millions of Americans, from young people just out of school, to others who are the victims of massive layoffs, are underemployed in jobs that fail to take advantage of their talents or reward their reasonable expectations. Too many of our fellow citizens are laboring at subsistence-pay levels without benefits or prospects of advancement. "

But he ends with a simple message:

"I know what it takes to generate economic growth. As President, I will work tirelessly to put the American economy back on the road to prosperity not just for the favored few, but for all. "

And he notes without my rancor the corporatism in America: Large corporations get the breaks, as do our backs

What the Republicans have done is successfully reached for the lowest common denominator and made it the deciding issue in campaigns. California? The car registration fee. Let's see what the Lowest Common Terminator can do when he and his corporate buddies are in charge. Whether it's "gay marriage" or "car registration fee" or "inventing the Internet", they make single issues the focus of debate. This is a sound strategy, because then you only have to win one battle, while some (but not all!) Democrats are more broad-minded and so win all the other battles but still lose the war.

One could just as easily argue, as does the Utne Reader, that Democrats lose because they shun Pop Culture. Regardless, Lupus is spot on when points out how boring most "upper level" democrats are. But are the Republicans more "lively" because they're so funny (hahaha, WMDs, what a good one!) or because they actually tap into base emotional responses?

The Democrats have failed for a number of more obvious reasons. First, they have sold out...Kerry, Gephardt, Lieberman, they all signed up for the use of force in Iraq. This "war" will now cost America $1000 for every car in the country to wage...some registration fee, no? Second, they are at heart JUST AS CONSERVATIVE as the Republicans, because they are greatly influenced (some would say controlled) by the Teacher's Union. The same teachers who fear liberal education measures that are desperately needed to actually teach Americans to think beyond one issue, to realize the difference between props and actors--if indeed "all of politics is a stage."

It's pitiful, really. Are Americans simply too stupid--as the rest of the world thinks--to see through asinine tax breaks that will only help the rich? Maybe so, since 19% of Americans think they are in the top 1% in wealth and 20% more think they'll get there (There's 39% of the vote--sorry to keep citing facts). Doesn't sound like a stage to me--sounds like greed, inability to understand the true wealth of the wealthy, and stupidity.

Where the Democrats have really gone wrong is not just a matter of being less appealing to the heart of the nation. Neither party captures the nation's heart. Some Democrats--Dean and Clark, for example, capture the nation's head. The heart would be good, too, and Dean does that for some of us.

But don't say the Republicans appeal to the soul. They do not appeal to the heart. If Limbaugh brings life to a party, it is only at the expense of someone else's death. That doesn't capture a sense of life, it captures a sense of death. When society says it is more compelled by unsubstantiated hatred than it is by fact, society deserves what it has coming. I say, Rush Limbaugh and the like appeal to the bowels. The Lowest Common Denominator (LCD). The hatred, the insensitivity, the greed in us all, that many are able to overcome and so grow as humans. If the LCD will win elections, so be it, it will destroy the country completely. And then there will be the natural reaction of the many. France 1789. Be still, Bastille, be still.

As Dostoevsky-as-Ivan noted, through the voice of the people in the Grand Inquisitor, "Make us your slaves, but feed us." That is Fox News. That is the "pre-emptive war" in Iraq (equivalent to removing Hitler from power in 1956). That is Limbaugh. That is the single-issue focus. Make us your slaves, but feed us. THE BOWELS, not the heart, not the soul. And if you cannot rise above the bowels, expect to live a life filled with crap.

I choose an option. Not the Democrats, but a Democrat: a clear choice. Dean.

-Vulf

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Who's the coward? 

After reading this article (soldier charged with cowardice), I am very confused about what it means to be a coward these days. This Fort Carson soldier requested help from his superiors after experiencing a panic attack. Instead of receiving help, he finds himself facing a court martial.
In the meantime, our President does not even have the decency or courage to face the families of soldiers killed in combat in Iraq (Bush ignores burials).

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Airport Security 

Airport security has really got out of hand...last week I was pulled over in line because their sensors indicated I didn't have a personality.

-Vulf

Vulf's Friday Sports Day Quote of the Day 

I think a really cool way to celebrate scoring a touchdown would be to pull a switchblade out of your jersey and just pop that pigskin.

Vulf's Thursday Quote of the Day 

Whenever I'm feeling down in the dumps,
I can usually collect 5 bucks worth of aluminum and glass.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Litmus Test 

Everyone remembers doing the litmus test in high school biology or chemistry, right? According to one site, the litmus test could save your life!.

Well, the expression "litmus test", as even a cursory glance at a Google search on "Litmus Test" will substantiate, has become generalized to mean a pivotal test in any arena. I would therefore like to propose a litmus test for the health of a society. The test is how that society treats those who are outside the "comfort zone" of the current potentates, or "powers that be". Now, we know Cheney's daughter is gay (common knowledge). Still, the fact remains that Republicans are rumored to make "gay marriage" the pivotal "conservative-galvanizing" issue of the 2004 elections (Many web sites, including this one, cite this), even above abortion. Why? Because they have already taken a stand against abortion (see last week's blogs on this) and may wish to put the next row over Roe v. Wade off till after the election...the election is going to take a lot of "tweaking" to win this time, methinks. Besides, gays are a smaller group than pro-choice folks, and it costs them less votes to galvanize many more.

Let's get two things straight here. First, if "gay marriage" were framed as "civil union" it would pass overwhelmingly (thanks to my good bud, monsieur J, for that one). Most people don't care if gays get a tax break, they just don't want them being "married". But "marriage" has been made out to be the only way for a civil union status to occur. Clever that. A group of generally high earners with some cash to spend get taxed higher, helping to support the war in Iraq (which itself spends more money than it would cost to completely transition the nation's energy system from a fossil fuel-based system to an ethanol-base system--more on that in a future blog). Second, there is a difference between being anti-gay and anti-gay-marriage, which relates to the first. I know many people who are "anti-gay-marriage" but impassive about "gays per se", or at least they tell me that.

We know that "W" is clinically schizophrenic. He told Abbas that God asked him to invade Iraq (I couldn't make this crap up!), which in the psychiatric definition of schizo is "BINGO!" Either that, or he's a lying sack of garbage, but I'll be generous here and give him credit for both.

So, what does a crazy man with God in his head do? He probably deplores gay folks (though for the life of me, I don't know why--where did Adam and Eve's grandkids come from? Why was Noah drunk and naked in his tent? These are much more important issues in Genesis--let alone the Bible--to be concerned with than gayness!), citing some twisted scriptural interpretation that escapes me (remember, Bush doesn't even seem to know Christ was born by pathogenesis, not in Genesis). Thus, how gays are treated by the current Administration and the nation is a litmus test for how sick or healthy our society is overall.

Keep this in mind the next time you hear "gay marriage". It's NOT "gay marriage", it's "civil union for high tax-paying generally non-hostile, non-threatening, law-abiding people". They're doing us all so many favors, paying high taxes, raising in general small families, etc. Are they the equivalent of 1938 Germany's Jewry, who made up some paltry 1% of the population? Maybe so. Don't be an enabler. Vote yes on gay marriage and let God sort things out the way She/He wants to when we are all limbo bimbos. If She/He really doesn't like gays, She/He'll take care of it when the time comes, or don't you trust in Her/Him?

-Vulf

Monday, October 27, 2003

Vulf's Wednesday Quote of the Day 

If you live near an airport, the last thing you want to do with your Christmas lights is lay them out in long lines in your backyard. Free cocktail peanuts, though.

Vulf's Tuesday Quote of the Day 

Some people have no sense of humor. Like on Halloween last year, I showed up at my neighbor’s house dressed as a state trooper with a note that said his Mom died in a traffic accident. Lighten up, man, it was just a joke.

Vulf's Monday Quote of the Day 

I’ve never gotten a traffic ticket since I painted my car to look like a great big pork rind.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Ben Campbell responds to the Bite 

US Senator Ben Daycow (he flip-flopped again!) Campbell called Vulf today, taking onus with Death's close call at Ben's near-him experience. This is the transcript of the phone call...
________________________________________________
Daycow: "I read your interview with Death on the Bite yesterday."

Vulf: "Not possible. No one reads the Bite."

Daycow: "I'm not going to dignify that with a response."

Vulf: "You just did."

Daycow: "Want me to give you a good throw?"

Vulf: "Nah, but thanks for the promise of a physical relationship."

Daycow: "Very funny. I'm serious, you liberal media, you. I was the captain of the 1964 US Judo team."

Vulf: "I'm well aware of it (Ben hurt lately?), Big Ben Campbell. Now I also know you have a soft left shoulder and right knee. And, I know collegiate & Greco-Roman wrestling and some Judo myself."

Daycow: "Hmm, perhaps I've underestimated you. Ever spent time in a Turkish prison?"

Vulf: "Ha ha, your turn I guess. Ben, let's cut to the chase. Why the call?"

Daycow: "I'm a bit peeved at the insinuations in your blog of yesterday."

Vulf: "How so? It was all either true or satire. I'm allowed both on the Bite. Sean Hannity's allowed both on the "News", along with lies, lies and more lies. And he may have less "readers" in more ways than one, but he sure has a lot of viewers."

Daycow: "Sean, huh? I know he's been to a Turkish prison. But I don't particularly like him, myself."

Vulf: "Fair enough, so why are you calling the Bite?"

Daycow: "I'm a American Indian!"

Vulf: "Come again?"

Daycow: "You said I was Portugeuse, but my Dad was a tribal chief."

Vulf: "Your Dad who gave you that traditional Native American last name, 'Campbell'."

Daycow: "I won't dignify that with a response."

Vulf: "Too late. Anyway, what do you care what we say about you? Aren't you retiring next year?"

Daycow: "I'll crush anyone who says that."

Vulf: "Why run again? You have no legacy to leave, you haven't mattered. You were a Democrat for 9 years, a Republican for 9 as of next year, assuming no change-back. It adds up to a net nothing. Why go negative? Hasn't this close call with death changed your priorities?"

Daycow: "Yes, it's made me realize that it's time for another transformation, as you noted. Every nine years."

Vulf: "Great, you'll be a Democrat, but in the Lieberman-Gephardt fashion?"

Daycow: "No, another step in the direction I've been heading."

Vulf: "As in Goose step further to the right? Come on, I'm giving you credit for being an opportunist, not a Fascist. Colorado went Republican in the mid-'90s, and so did you. Your 'middle name' became fashionable after 1964, and so you used it or made it up for all I know--it's not on the 1964 Judo team site. If wearing a poisonous plant on your head became fashionable, you'd be Ben Nightshade Campbell."

Daycow: "I was talking about a transformation in the jewelry-making business."

Vulf: "Ah, yes, you have 200 medals or more in jewelry making. I have none. So, I'll take your word on that, and I'll bet you can really make an impact there. And more power to you. Now, could you do the honorable thing and name your Democratic successor?"

Daycow: "Democratic? But I'm Republican!"

Vulf: "I know, we'll give her back to you at mid-term..."

Daycow: "Good bye, [interesting parting word deleted]."
________________________________________________


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