’tis the season for janklow to be annoyed with the holidays IV: between Twitter and expensive shoes, it might be time to burn this Christmas down

at this point, it’s probably been pretty well established that our hero janklow is not a big fan of the holidays (at least among our thirteen avid readers, anyway); as such, beyond the token “this is this week’s introduction,” further discussion of said point is QUITE redundant.

that said… i do occasionally try to get into the spirit of the season and savor the very brief moments when mankind actually acts their age over the holidays. it’s not completely impossible; there’s always little moments such as when anonymous donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts or just the generic “watching people stuff cash in those Salvation Army buckets” thing. and to borrow a notion from Patton Oswalt (specifically one from his Finest Hour album, available at fine retailers everywhere), it’s possible for me to look at this and think to myself, “we’re going to make it!”

…only for my version of his avatar of sloth, the avatar of These Goddamn Holidays, to rear its ugly-but-expected head:

all the below being said, i do admit “a map of Maryland” is a pretty lousy gift. it’s not the most scenic state to look at in map form


yes, okay, i understand that every generation says the one after it is the worst of all time and that in doing so, i’m not breaking any new ground. and surely many, many members of MY generation (or even the one before it) were just as bitchy on Christmas, so it’s not like some stuck-up teenage girl in 2011 is the first girl who ever reacted badly when daddy failed to buy her that car she TOTALLY deserves, like, OMG!

so perhaps the actual problem isn’t so much that these kids should all die in a fire clutching their greed, but that all this cutting-edge social media is exposing MY precious sensibilities to it. when i was a child, i couldn’t tell everyone on the internet how much MY parents had fucked me over because they didn’t buy me an iPad or an iPhone or whatever else Apple told all these children their parents would have bought them if only they loved them.

sadly, “Christina Nicole,” you have managed to make yourself sound about as greedy as possible

so yes, i blame Twitter for this. and with the kind of irony only someone complaining about his petty problems and opinions on a crude internet blog can manage, i completely resent them for allowing the average person to live out the fantasy that everyone on the internet might care about their random constant thoughts. i at least have the decency to only post updates around once a week, and usually INCREDIBLY late, at that.

but surely there isn’t anything else about the holidays and/or humanity that i find soul-crushing…

fucking SHOES
i am hoping this guy in the red shirt is as outraged as i am

new Air Jordans still incite shopper violence 9 years after player’s retirement

oh, wait, there’s the whole “must have this product so badly that i go completely berserk for it and maybe trample a guy to death in a Wal-Mart.” although i think that trampling thing happened in 2008, so i’m admittedly mixing my narratives up on this one.

“Almost nine years into the basketball legend’s retirement, a new version of Michael Jordan athletic shoes can still send fans into a mad frenzy: Stores nationwide were the scenes of violence and police officer injuries Friday, authorities said.”

although i DO like the vague notion that this happened because people are still stirred up about Michael Jordan, even well after his retirement. please note the following, news agencies: no one cares about Michael Jordan. they care about expensive, trendy shoes.

“In Richmond, California, police investigated a gunshot fired outside a mall where the latest version of shoes named after Jordan went on sale for about $180 a pair Friday morning, police told CNN affiliate KGO. A 24-year-old Richmond man was taken into custody in connection with the gunfire, said police Lt. Lori Curran. “It appears right now it may have been just a negligent discharge,” Curran said.”

well, i certainly hope so, because otherwise we’re not so much talking “shooting someone for their expensive shoes” as much as “shooting someone for the RIGHT TO BUY expensive shoes.” i imagine that, at the very least, they’ll be checking your ID extra closely if you follow up murder by firearm with trying to pay for those shoes with a credit card.

and America had many problems in regards to these shoes, including my own great state of Maryland, where:

“Crowds overwhelmed shopping malls, a Montgomery County police officer was assaulted and several people were arrested locally in the frenzy surrounding the release of a new model of Air Jordans. The shoes, which went on sale overnight Thursday, were even rumored to have led to the death of a Washington area man.”

it turned out to be just a rumor, at least. my local mall apparently ALSO saw a fight break out over these sneakers. seriously, Americans, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE. this is all over shoes?

“On Friday afternoon, eBay was featuring new pairs of the Air Jordan Retro XI selling between $219.99 and $510.”

and in some respects, this is really the saddest part of all: people weren’t even going berserk to own these rare shoes, but rather, to sell them on the internet for a $40-$330 profit.


anyway, i guess i should cut the internet some slack because it DOES do me a pretty solid favor: every time i think there might be some amount of hope for humanity, the internet quickly disabuses me of that notion. so actually, thanks, internet!

but in the interest of fairness, i should note that not ALL was bad with Christmas for our hero this year:


this awesome little robot is making me some tea so that i will calm the fuck down. happy holidays, everyone.

in which the bail jumping charge remains a beautiful mystery, never to be explained by all of man’s science

recently, we’ve tried some of these highbrow “essentially one-idea” updates, and while they’re good and everything as far as making us feel like we’ve made some mild achievement, they also take much more work, because you have to have an IDEA and then make it relate to some JOKES and man, is that tiring. time to quickly escape back to making fun of recent events!

Mark Thomas Wach
also normal for rednecks: regular brushes with the law, stays in jail, unflattering mug shots

Arrested Palm City man says fighting normal for rednecks

please let Palm City be in Kentucky… please let Palm City be in Kentucky…

“PALM CITY, Fla. – A 43-year-old man said to have shot at his lawn mower while intoxicated, fought his adult son and pulled a shotgun on the adult son was arrested after being shocked three times with a Taser, according to recently released records.”

DAMN IT. anyway, i’m not going to sit here and tell you he’s wrong. fighting IS normal for rednecks. it’s not normal for everyone else, it’s not socially acceptable, its constant occurrence can bespeak larger problems like “inbreeding run amok” or “too much lead paint in baby’s diet” … but it’s still pretty much one of those things that rednecks do. as they say, there is great truth in whatever cheap bottle of bargain-priced bourbon this man prefers.

“Mark Thomas Wach, of the 4400 block of Southwest 83rd Street in Palm City, was arrested Nov. 20 on charges including aggravated domestic assault with a firearm and domestic battery in connection with the incidents near his home. Wach told a Martin County Sheriff’s deputy he was puzzled about why he was going to jail.”

maybe there was a misunderstanding? as in, he did not understand his rights as they have been explained to him? or what the charges mean?

“”He then stated that he shoots in the yard all the time and that fighting is what redneck people do,” records state.”

ah. well then. although i have to ask, while fighting IS what redneck people do, is shooting in the yard? all the time, even? because i have to imagine the rednecks next door would be concerned about their collection of old-cars-propped-up-on-cinder blocks getting accidentally damaged.

“Wach’s 18-year-old son, who said he wasn’t hurt, said that about 45 minutes before he called authorities, Wach was intoxicated in the side yard shooting a pistol at his lawn mower. Wach went on his son’s porch and began “a verbal altercation with him over (the son’s) mother not paying child support.””

one thing not mentioned here is that if a drunk gun with a gun whose fighting an 18-year-old can’t even hurt him, then he’s simply not very good at fighting. which, in turn, leads me to believe that despite Wach being a redneck, fighting might NOT be what he does. nor shooting either, if he couldn’t get the job done on that lawnmower. still, you know, i guess it’s good that no one was hurt?

“The son said Wach pointed the pistol “all over,”-“

minimalist, but still, an excellent description!

“-but the son managed to get the .380 caliber handgun away. Wach left, and his son thought he was going home “to sleep it off.”

ah, a classic redneck mistake. see, while we all understand that drunks in general DO eventually have to retreat to “sleep it off,” we should all also recognize that it’s not often as cut and dry as “he behaved badly for a brief period of time, no one got hurt, and then he went to sleep it off.” SOMEONE has to get hurt before the sleeping it off can begin!

“Instead, Wach returned with a 12 gauge shotgun. The son said Wach started to point the pump action shotgun at him, but he wrestled it away. They engaged in a physical altercation, and the son said they rolled out onto the porch. That’s when a deputy arrived and saw them fighting.”

maybe i just haven’t been in that many redneck fights, but i have to admit something: whenever a fight (or “physical altercation,” if you want to get technical about it in an article where a drunk redneck shoots at a lawnmower) involves rolling anywhere, my mind says, “bullshit! this is not the movies! people only roll in MOVIES!” i guess i have to admit regular non-movie people are CAPABLE of rolling… but i just don’t see it happening.

“Wach was on top of his son, and the deputy told him to stop fighting. Wach didn’t, and the deputy shocked him with an X-26 Taser. Wach didn’t follow additional instructions and was shocked twice more.”

for the love of god, why couldn’t you clarify those additional instructions? they might have been HILARIOUS. “okay, now stop thrashing as the electricity courses through you! STOP THRASHING!” (shocks redneck again) although i suspect what happened here is an unspoken policy of “just keep shocking those fucking rednecks until they stop moving.” and i don’t say this to bash the unspoken policy. the unspoken policy is based on sound logic.

“The son wouldn’t complete a written statement because he didn’t want his dad to get in trouble.”

yeah, it might be a little late for that, son, considering the following OTHER things that have happened:
–someone presumably called the cops based on the fighting or the SHOOTING AT A LAWNMOWER IN THE YARD;
–father witnessed by deputy fighting his son, with a pump shotgun somewhere in the mix;
–the part where the son co-signs all the events to whatever news organizations cover this

“The records didn’t state whether the lawn mower was of the riding or push variety.”

…and we’ve discovered the best possible way this article could have ended. kudos, Will Greenlee, kudos.

Kasia Rivera
apparently, this is the face of the person countless New Jersey residents turn to for penis enhancement

the ‘fake woman doctor who killed man, 22, by injecting his penis with silicone during pumping party’

there’s a very strong chance this is one of those “yeah, we can just read the title and stop right here” articles, because not only is that headline BEYOND long and descriptive, i’m always suspecting (or maybe just hoping) that these “rogue plastic surgery” stories are completely fake. but until we prove that they are…

“A fake doctor injected a man’s penis with silicone, killing him, police said Friday.”

for starters, i don’t think you need to add “fake” there when we’re talking about someone who’s jamming silicone into penises; that’s pretty much understood. for another thing, and at the risk of sounding heartless, the loss of someone who’s thinking, “yeah, maybe it’d be a great idea to pay someone to jam my dick full of plastic” is probably not the greatest loss humanity could incur. this guy was probably never going to go into a career in astrophysics or anything like that.

“Justin Street visited Kasia Rivera, 34, at her home in New Jersey for the penis enhancement proceedure on May 5, prosecutors say. But just a day after attending the so-called ‘pumping-party’ the 22-year-old was dead.”

i suspect this question isn’t going to be addressed during the article… but “pumping party?” does this mean there’s a fair number of SURVIVING random dudes cruising around the streets of New Jersey with their whatnots packed to the brim with artificial enhancements? because if so… i mean, damn, New Jersey, i rip on you all the time, but at least TRY to make it difficult for me to do so.

“A medical examiner determined he died of a silicone embolism.”

and to think, we thought only bored and sad housewives were at risk for silicone embolisms… won’t someone think of the children?!

“But blackmarket illegal use by untrained practitioners continues as a quick-fix budget alternative to cosmetic surgery. Doctors say the slow economy has also fuelled the trade.”

now, i suppose the logic here is that people have had their wallets lightened by the slow economy and thus are forced to turn to these shady unauthorized doctors to get their penises swollen with toxic gel… but doesn’t it seem like cosmetic surgery is the kind of thing you CUT from your budget when money is tight? are a lot of people thinking, “man, i REALLY want to get my penis enlarged somehow, but this damn recession is killing me! there must be some cheap, dangerous alternative!”

“There is also no guarantee of medical grade silicon at so called ‘pumping parties’ cosmetic events held in homes, offices and even motel rooms.”

you mean the creepy man/woman/whatever the hell that thing is that’s jamming a massive needle into my penis in the back of his/her windowless van isn’t using actual medical-grade silicone? it’s just a mixture of Vaseline and peanut butter? AND he/she/it isn’t even a doctor? I DEMAND MY $40 BACK, SIR OR MA’AM!

“Last year a New Jersey model was charged with providing toxic buttock boosting silicon calk injections to six women, leaving them needing surgery, the Star Ledger reported. … A fake surgeon was last month accused of carrying out DIY surgery on at least five people in Florida. Oneal Ron Morris allegedly inserted deadly toxins including cement and tyre sealants into her patients, before sealing the wounds with superglue.”

again, it seems wrong to make light… but for Christ’s sake, CEMENT? see, this is why i hope all these stories are fake: i cannot fathom the person who sees the procedure that awaits them –for i highly doubt you get your ass jammed full of tire sealant in a clean, well-lit office– and STILL goes through with the deal. but then again, my great curse is that i’m an optimistic when it comes to the human race.

Aaron Rodgers
all the below being said, i could understand if you had to choke your daughter because she talked bad about Aaron Rodgers. i mean, not to DEATH, but the kids have to learn to watch their mouths when Chico’s finest is involved

irate Green Bay Packers fan charged with choking daughter

let me be honest: my immediate assumptions here were “male Green Bay Packers fan” and “asshole teenage daughter who happens to be a Cowboys or Steelers fan totally deserves this.” however, it turns out that NEITHER of these assumptions was correct:

“Police say a drunken woman twice choked her 11-year-old daughter on Sunday after becoming angered by the Green Bay Packers game.”

aaahhh… that’s much less defensible, although if the 11-year-old is a Broncos fan, i’m not going to be TOO broken up about the situation. because the kid’s fine, right? probably!

“The 36-year-old Grand Chute woman was charged Monday in Outagamie County Court with felony child abuse and misdemeanor counts of bail jumping and disorderly conduct.”

let me break it to you all right now: they will never explain what the bail jumping charge is about during this article, and to me, that’s just a sign of lazy journalism. but hey, that’s what modern America is coming to these days. anyway, i like to think she was out on bail for getting in a fight over the quality of Bubba Franks as a receiving tight end… and let me also note that this is a classic inside joke for J.Miles. “OH MY GOD HE’S A PRO BOWL CALIBER TIGHT END!”

“Police were called about 8:15 p.m. Sunday to a Grand Chute hotel where the girl told police her mother grabbed her by the neck during the football game. The woman was drinking alcohol and became upset because the team was losing. The girl said that after the Packers lost, her mother choked her again with enough force that the girl couldn’t breathe, and her mother said, “Do you want to die?” the criminal complaint says.”

see, i just don’t understand the thought process. as a Raiders fan, you KNOW football has mostly been a depressing, painful experience for me. i get the part where you scream the foulest obscenities at the television and wish death on all men; i get the part where you try to kill the pain with alcohol and totally don’t cry because men don’t fucking cry over football, okay? NOT AT ALL. so at what point do you think, “man, i am SO UPSET about the Chiefs beating the Packers that i need to choke my daughter to death RIGHT NOW,” exactly?

…unless that daughter was secretly a mouthy Chiefs fan. i’m not discounting the possibility.

“The Post-Crescent is not naming the woman to protect the identity of the child.”

which has the negative aspect of making it MUCH more difficult to mock this woman on the internet.

“The woman’s husband told police she also threw her dinner on the floor, broke a lamp and attempted to punch him in the face because she was upset about the game, which marked the Packers’ first loss in 14 games this season.”

okay, question: did all of this come before or after the child choking? because if it was before, how did we not see the escalation coming and just slide on out the damn door? and if it was after… really, are we bitching about this in the aftermath of child abuse? “well, Grace got really mad about the Packers and choked the hell out of Grace Junior … AND THEN SHE FUCKING BROKE A LAMP AND I WAS ALL LIKE, POLICE, GET THE FUCK IN HERE AND TASER THIS BITCH INTO SUBMISSION.”

…unless it was a turbo-nice lamp. again, i’m not discounting the possibility.

“The child abuse charge carries a maximum sentence of 12½ years of imprisonment and $25,000 in fines. The woman could face up to nine months in jail if convicted of bail jumping and 90 days on the disorderly conduct count. She is being held in jail on a $2,500 cash bond.”


anyway, next week we’ll have a belated holiday update? yes? sure, let’s promise that.

in which i steal Bruce McCullough’s idea and relate it to road repair

recently, our hero janklow was attempting to drive to work in the morning when he came into contact with some road repair being performed by the illustrious members of the Maryland State Highway Administration. it… did not go well. the major problem, however, was that i’m not exactly sure who i should be blaming for some of the specifics of this situation, causing our hero to fume with impotent rage… and i think we all know what THAT means.

and now, janklow with an open letter to the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Maryland State Highway Administration
fuck you, man(s), fuck you

well, why did you do it? are you some sort of jerks or something? do you not understand what various times of day mean and are called? or the very concept of detouring traffic around obstructions? or is there some kind of “blah blah blah lazy government workers blah blah blah” commentary i should be getting into here? alright, alright, point made; let me break this down.

the initial road that janklow drives to work has the misfortune of having only one lane in either direction, but a respectable amount of traffic nevertheless; some would probably say too much traffic, although those people tend to be either a) older folks or b) janklow. Maryland’s State Highway Administration has been telling us for some time that there would be impending road closures at night due to, you guessed it, nighttime repairs. the morning in question, however, has led me to believe that the State Highway Administration has some sincere problems.

problem one: apparently no one at the SHA knows what “night” means

as in, it’s eight in the morning… so why are the roads closed? why are we still doing repairs? now i SUPPOSE there’s some legitimate reason to explain all this, like delays or something… but let me just say this: if i can’t even SEE any work being done, it’s hard for me to believe that there are CURRENT repairs going on this morning. it’s fair to say that i am not America’s most trusting soul.

problem two: apparently no one at the SHA knows how a detour works

i initially followed a detour that went on… and on… and on… before being forced to abrupt stop in a massive backup that led me to believe the initial plan by the SHA was something along the lines of “eh, direct everyone down into the swamp region of this county indefinitely and hope everything works out.” i admit this is an optimistic portrayal of their thought process –i suppose it’s equally likely people were just high– but i submit it bespeaks poor planning.

so our hero then decided to follow some available back roads, which a) found him being a school bus, b) led to the discovery of surprise detour signs, and c) ultimately deposited us back at the original detour. i really, really want to believe that this was done on purpose rather than accident, because then at least there’s some halfway-intelligent pranksters at work behind it all as opposed to some horrible, empty-headed entropy at work making all things more difficult for no rhyme or reason.

problem three: apparently someone at the SHA knows how a detour works ALL TOO WELL

after backtracking some ways to a traffic circle, our hero THEN discovered the following detour sign, which i shall now represent in cartoon map form:

the world's most awesome map!

…where the “joke detour” is where i found myself trapped in a cruel loop, and the “hidden detour” is a detour sign in the circle ONLY visible when you’re facing it. so i think we see how helpful THAT is.

then began a long, long meandering route that had randomly-located detour signs that seemed to point nowhere in particular AND sometimes directly in contradiction to the previously-seen detour sign. and i’ll just say this: i don’t have anywhere NEAR the world’s best direction sense, but i know this area a little… and i am pretty sure i left the state twice and saw one of those arching “here there be monsters” sea serpents during the course of following this detour.

ultimately, i HAVE to assume this was intentional, because it was too complicated to be solely the work of idiots. so, okay, Maryland State Highway Administration, you got me. i had to drive to Virginia and back and sit behind a school bus. YOU WIN THIS ROUND. KUDOS. and anyway, eventually i got to work and everything worked out okay…

…except for the part where i passed off all this off as a legitimate update. so the joke’s actually on you, loyal reader! AHAHAHAHAHA! wait… that’s probably not very conducive to repeat viewing. i’m sorry, loyal reader, you know i love you. i just get so FRUSTRATED sometimes.

tales from the stands of FedEx Field III: now with 75% less threats regarding sexual assault in the bathroom!

in the past, i’ve written a few words here and there about experiences at our local sports stadium, FedEx Field, home to the generally mediocre play of my grandmother’s precious Washington Redskins. that said, it has been some time since i had such an update (say, 2007 or so), but recent events (possibly to include the Redskins-Patriots game) have inspired me to produce additional commentary in this vein! words that denote pretend excitement go here! yeah!


Patriots fans and their precious alcohol
i think it’s long been understood that Patriots fans have various emotional problems; that being said, it doesn’t mean you should keep feeding them alcohol

now, generally speaking, most opposing fans know the drill when you’re at a football game hosted by another team: resist the urge to act incredibly asinine, less a band of those local fans express their distaste for you and your team physically… and by “distaste,” i mean “raw and unbridled hatred,” and by physically, “that thing where you are struck by beer bottles, battered about the face and groin, and then hurled from the upper deck of the stadium.” now, to be clear, i am not supporting such physical violence in any way, but i also recognize as a matter of fact that it can (and, sadly, does) happen. that said, there are always going to be guys violating this advice. it happens. but sometimes… it’s a woman doing so. which brings me to a few points.

01. getting hammered and talking ridiculous shit remains poor form, even when you’re a woman.
the only difference is that either you’re going to get a pass on your behavior, as a) most guys won’t really get in the face of a woman and talk shit back at her regardless of her actions and/or words, and b) depending on your looks, there’s a chance those guys would rather not lose their 0.00013% chance to fuck you by calling you out on your bullshit. now, given the filthy mouth and general appearance of the Patriots fan female i am speaking of, it was PROBABLY the latter in this case. the problem with this point, of course, is that drunks can’t pause in the middle of their ranting and general misbehavior to realize their poor behavior is poor and change it, but that’s nothing new.

02. it’s still incredibly lame to cheer your team’s offense when they’re on the field.
because we all understand that this is stupid as it is the DEFENSE that wants noise (because of the disruption to the opposing quarterback) and the OFFENSE that wants quiet, right? it’s only done as a “fuck you” to the local fans who are cheering on their defense, and it simply makes you look like a stupid football fan. now, not to be sexist, but i would think that the average female football fan, who’s probably used to people assuming she doesn’t know shit about football because, you know, GIRLS, would want to try all the more to make an impression of football intellect. but again, alcohol enters the picture here.

03. if you’re a drunken, ranting woman’s boyfriend, stop bringing her beers.
there was a part of this game-slash-drunken-woman-experience where the woman’s boyfriend (who was a Redskins fan) brought back a pair of beers. at this point our section, which was composed of a mix of Redskins and Patriots fans, all wondered in unison, sometimes audibly, “who is that beer for?” it turned out that one of the beers was for her, which, considering her drunken, swearing state AND the fact that said boyfriend had already acknowledged to people how hammered she was, seemed to be, in our mind, a poor idea. because let’s be honest: when someone is drunk and aggressive, has giving them more alcohol EVER been a good idea?

04. when your fellow fans cheer your departure, you’re clearly not a good fan.
so eventually this drunken woman, whose name i will assume was Fuck Yeah Tombrady, given the general thrust of her conversation, left with her boyfriend trailing behind her, at which point our immediate area –which, again, contained many Patriots fans– cheered her departure. now, since the general rule is that opposing fans stick together in an opponent’s stadium, this may indicate to you that i am not simply a salty Marylander hating on a woman whose team won that day.


some men's bathroom
ah, the men’s bathroom at a stadium: the scene for so many sad, sad happenings

bathroom etiquette is a bit of stickler for me, and as such, i’ve probably written about THAT in the past, here and there. but, as always, the bathroom at FedEx Field has once again led to my disappointment, and thus i must present things that i feel people should not be doing in the bathroom:

01. for starters, and as a throwback to past material, you should not loudly and aggressively declare you’ll be fucking anyone in the ass. especially in an “assault” kind of way; i suppose it’s less offensive if you’ve meant it to be romantic all along.

02. attempting to slide past me in the line in the bathroom? unacceptable. do you think there isn’t a massive line in the men’s room after a game? do you think that, while i have been standing here for fifteen minutes, i didn’t realize that you were ahead of me? honestly, the only possible explanations for this behavior could be “i’m a drunken and oblivious asshole” and “i feel like i can do whatever i like in the face of small men.” i deem neither of these explanations to be acceptable.

03. cutting the line in the men’s bathroom, is, to say the least, even worse than trying to slide past me. and when you declare “oh, no one’s waiting to use the stalls” to jump ahead of some fifty guys, you should be aware that no one thinks you’re clever. the rest of us are just taking part in that reasonable portion of society that acknowledges “rules” and things like that.

so, okay, this was not a phenomenally-sized update and a little redundant, but that happens sometimes. oh well!

“Mr. Trump’s participation will contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere” can be attached accurately to all topics

in trying to keep the hate flowing into “more and better, or, if not better, at least more” updates, i have admit that i flipped out about Donald Trump regarding the first article below and went into this long-winded and incredibly-profane rant about Donald Trump. the sad part is, i used some very colorful terms of reference for him, but i’ve kind of lost track of them now that i have calmed down, and that’s an absolute shame.

anyway, we’re raging against some common targets of hate here today: Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg. to keep the topics 100% redundant, i’ve mixed in an update about an Amish story we covered a few weeks back. enjoy!

Donald Trump
Donald Trump just wants us all to keep him in mind for the “most punchable face in America” title, even if he knows, deep down, that Sean Penn has him beaten

Donald Trump mentions his reality television show to complain about being called a reality television personality

let me preface this remark by saying that, with all due respect, the Republican attempts to find a presidential candidate have been something along the lines of a fiasco, and this just reminds me of how much i wish we had NOTHING to do or say about the 2012 election until, you know, 2012. but, hey, once again we find Donald Trump trying to make himself an extra couple of dollars by getting involved in this GOP mess once again. a couple of people, at least, seem to understand that this is ridiculous:

“At least two Republican presidential hopefuls are declining to participate in a debate moderated by real estate mogul Donald Trump. Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will both skip the debate, citing concerns about the seriousness of the event.”

now, i think this is maybe a little insulting, but ultimately deserved, as, you know, Donald Trump is a goddamn reality television host and danced around the idea of running for president, throwing out outrageous and/or self-promoting remarks before bowing out prior to having to file financial documents that might prove what a liar he is about his net worth. BUT I DIGRESS. the point is that “concerns about the seriousness of the event” seem legitimate. i’ll let Ron Paul handle this:

“The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity,” Jesse Benton, Ron Paul’s national campaign chairman, said in a statement. He added, “Mr. Trump’s participation as moderator will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues such as the national economy, crushing federal government debt, the role of the federal government, foreign policy, and the like. To be sure, Mr. Trump’s participation will contribute to an unwanted circus-like atmosphere … Mr. Trump’s selection is also wildly inappropriate because of his record of toying with the serious decision of whether to compete for our nation’s highest office, a decision he appeared to make frivolously,” Benton said.

so there isn’t much more to say on THAT point; i’m pretty sure Paul hit all the buttons, with the possible of exception of “Trump’s rank hypocrisy on matters of international trade,” “Trump consistently lying about his net worth, business acumen and success at anything other than inheriting money from his father” and the whole deal with Trump’s hair.

now, there’s basically two ways Trump could have taken this type of response: a) be childish about it, or b) take this opportunity to stress how serious Trump takes his role in this debate, how unfortunate it is that Paul and/or Huntsman won’t be there, and, you know, be the bigger man about it. so, of course, Trump went with choice A.

“As I said in the past and will reiterate again, Ron Paul has a zero chance of winning either the nomination or the Presidency,” Trump said in a statement to CNN. “My poll numbers were substantially higher than any of his poll numbers, at any time, and when I decided not to run, due to the equal time provisions concerning my hit show The Apprentice, I was leading the Republican field.””

so let’s hit the main problems here:

01. the fact that Trump says Paul, who i’m not a great fan of, but who is currently polling second or third (depending on the poll) has “a zero chance of winning.” now, i know i have implied that Trump is not the business whiz he claims, but if you equate “consistently drawing around 20% support” with “0% chance of winning,” it might explain some things about Trump.

02. it did not take me long to find examples of Trump, who DID once poll well in the Republican field, having poll numbers equal to or worse than Paul’s “at any time.” for example, here is Donald Trump falling to a fifth-place tie at 8% with… Ron Paul.

03. has there been any evidence that Donald Trump dropped out of the race “due to the equal time provisions?” because i recall his statements at the time being more along the lines of “business is my greatest passion, and I am not ready to leave the private sector.” now, true, the two ARE related –Trump is in the business of making money by being Donald Trump– but it sounds like he wants to claim he HAD to not run, as opposed to recognizing at the time that he could not run successfully.

04. it’s furthermore clearly a lie that he was leading the Republican field when he decided not to run. see also: that fifth-place tie with Paul thing.

05. Trump makes sure to mention “concerning my hit show The Apprentice” despite the fact that this is a major argument of Paul’s as to why Trump is not serious. i officially award this point to Paul.

of course, Trump was not finished:

“Few people take Ron Paul seriously and many of his views and presentation make him a clown-like candidate,” Trump said. “I am glad he and Jon Huntsman, who has inconsequential poll numbers or a chance of winning, will not be attending the debate and wasting the time of the viewers who are trying very hard to make a very important decision.”

again, “few people” as in “as many as were supporting Trump when Trump fled the race.” but the real question is going to be who else participates in this debate. see, if Bachmann or Santorum are there, there’s no way you can claim to only have people with consequential poll numbers here, as Bachmann’s have dropped and Santorum polls on par with Romney… and neither, if you ask me, have a chance of winning. and yet the man polling SECOND in Iowa won’t be there for Trump’s debate in Iowa because he has inconsequential poll numbers?

Trump should probably also not call other people “clown-like.” pot, kettle, all that. let’s just close with the remarks from Huntsman’s campaign:

“We have declined to participate in the ‘Presidential Apprentice’ Debate with The Donald,” Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller said in a statement. “The Republican Party deserves a serious discussion of the issues so voters can choose a leader they trust to defeat President Obama and turn our economy around.”


the Amish
well, at least they’re recognizing the authority of the court by removing their hats. that’s something

FBI arrests 7 Amish men on beard-destruction charges

let me just take a brief interlude here to talk about a topic i touched on somewhat recently: a rogue band of Amish gentleman who were apparently stealing beards from rival Amish for purposes of general humiliation. it would be remiss of me, however, to not point out a colleague’s response to this story: “are none of these gentlemen aware that beards grow back?” anyway, it seemed like there was no easy way to make this story more ridiculous, but here we go:

“FBI agents on Wednesday raided an Ohio compound and arrested seven Amish men on hate charges in connection with haircutting attacks on other members of the usually isolated Christian religion.”

yes, that’s right: hate charges. now, i don’t want to make light of these serious anti-beard charges, but doesn’t it seem a little weird that Amish-on-Amish crime qualifies as a hate crime?

“The early morning arrests opened a window in the world of the Amish, who are known for shunning modern conveniences, using horses and buggies rather than cars, and preferring to deal with their problems within their traditional and ordered communities, without going to outside civil authorities. …All are charged with conspiring to carry out a series of assaults over the last few months on Amish men and women, cutting off their beards and head hair with scissors and battery-powered clippers. The acts were especially heinous to the Amish who believe there is a biblical injunction to shaving when men marry.”

although let me remind the audience that these charges had the Amish beard-thieves having non-Amish people drive them around, as well as the aforementioned use of battery-powered clippers… so i am not sure how much longer we can claim the Amish “shun modern conveniences” with a straight face. also, there’s no distinction in the religion between “voluntarily shaving” and “having your beard stolen by force?” this seems unnecessarily strict. if a married Amish man’s house catches fire and his beard is burned off, is that also “especially heinous?”

“If convicted, the suspects face up to life in prison, the government said.”

…for stealing beards. sorry, for the HATE CRIME of stealing beards. nope, still seems weird.

anyway, the motivation for this attack seems to have been the excommunication of Mullet’s group, described as “a schismatic group with some of the attributes of a cult,” and the rest of the Amish, whose beards the Mullet team seeks to seize. there do seem to be some clear ways in which Mullet’s group qualifies as a cult:

“Mullet, as head of the splinter group, excommunicated those who left… Samuel Mullet Sr. has forced extreme punishments and physical injury to those in the community who defy him, including forcing members to sleep for days at a time in a chicken coop… Mullet “has been ‘counseling’ the married women in the Bergholz clan and taking them into his home so that he may cleanse them of the devil with acts of sexual intimacy.”

and let’s be honest: it’s not really a cult unless the leader has come up with some elaborate and/or illogical explanation that requires him to sex up all your wives and/or daughters. “uh… see, your daughters are acting wild because of the devil… so i better fuck them until that’s resolved.”

“Mullet said that he didn’t order the haircutting but didn’t stop his sons and others from carrying it out. He said the goal of the haircutting was to send a message to local Amish that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community, according to the court papers.”

you know… something tells me that this defense of “i didn’t tell them to do it, but i didn’t stop them from doing it, as i approve of the message it sends” is going to result in something less than a total acquittal.

Michael Bloomberg and friend
you just know Bloomberg is thinking, “okay, you may have a very fancy uniform, but the one i had made for myself as commander-in-chief of New York City is MUCH fancier”

Mayor Bloomberg continues to generally be a self-important asshole

so let’s keep the theme of “seriously hating on political figures” going for the week. i don’t think it’s any secret i have a low opinion of Mayor Bloomberg, largely because of his incredibly deceitful ways with MAIG, as well as the whole “rules limiting terms should only apply to mayors who are not Bloomberg” thing. but it helps me greatly when he makes self-promoting remarks like these:

“Trying to offer some idea of the scope of New York’s workforce, Bloomberg got a bit carried away with himself. “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh largest army in the world,” he said.”

so let’s start with this. it’s not the seventh-largest army in the world, Bloomberg, it’s your police force. while i understand (and often complain about) the fact that many police have militarized themselves to the point of THINKING they’re in the military… they’re not. would Bloomberg seriously compare the NYPD to what appears to be the seventh-largest army in the world, Turkey? i know Americans have a high opinion of themselves, but my money’s on the slightly more heavily-equipped 620000 members of the Turkish Armed Forces.

also, this is a complete lie. if the NYPD has roughly 35000 officers, 4500 auxiliary officers and 5100 school safety agents, then their force of 44600 is outnumbered by something like 70 countries if you ONLY count active-duty personnel (remember again: seventh-place Turkey has 620000 ACTIVE-DUTY members of their armed forces). so there’s also that. and since the lie is less about what the NYPD can do and more about self-praise… well, i think this says something about Bloomberg.

“I have my own state department, to Foggy Bottom’s annoyance.”

yeah, i cannot imagine why the federal government would be annoyed with the fact that the mayor of a city claims to have “his own state department.” surely most mayors would be within their rights to interfere in the realm of international affairs? of course, Bloomberg neither elaborates or has a track record of being honest thus far, so maybe there’s really no reason for them to be annoyed.

“We have the UN in New York, so we have entree into the diplomatic world that Washington does not have.”

so either Bloomberg thinks he has access to diplomacy that the federal government does not have which, as a member of the UN security council, they clearly do, or he thinks he has access to diplomacy that the CITY of Washington, DC doesn’t have … which makes me have to remind him where all those embassies and diplomats can be found. either way, more nonsense!

my major question at this point is if all these New Yorkers are aware they elected a man who’s mentally handicapped to the mayoral office.

“Bloomberg also got in a sharp dig at Albany, one of his least favorite places on the planet. Speaking of the difficulty he’s had getting higher-mileage standards for taxicabs, the mayor said turning to Albany for help wasn’t much of an option. “Our state is so in the pocket of some of the entrenched interests. They won’t force anybody to help us in this energy dependence that we have.””

so i’m trying to remember how Bloomberg made all that money he has… and then i remembered that it was things like “investment banking” and “financial news and information services media company.” surely he has no connection to entrenched interests! this is where i would laugh if the audacity of this remark wasn’t so goddamn depressing.

next week (or whenever the update comes out, whatever), we’ll think about doing something a little less angry… although i have to admit that, since it’s the holiday season, that’s unlikely. but we’ll see!