A heavy dose of truth, humor, and political activism.

Location: Phila, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, September 13, 2007


While attending the final Eagles preseason game with my friend Alex a few Thursday nights ago, I became annoyed at the absence of a link between the Eagles and their “official products”.
“Dodge: the official car company of the Philadelphia Eagles”
Why does a professional football team need an official car? Is that what all the players drive? I doubt it. These so-called corporate marketing links occur all the time in professional sports (and elsewhere) and people don’t take enough time to think about just how absurd it is. I understand why the 76ers would have an official basketball or why the Phillies would make the Hatfield hot-dogs they serve at the ballpark the official hot-dog of the Phillies, but these other “official products” are just getting out of hand. Sovereign Bank is the official bank of the Eagles. Does that mean if I’m an Eagles fan that I should bank there? Their stadium is Lincoln Financial Field. Why not Sovereign Bank Field? That doesn’t seem too official to me. Sharp Aquos: The official HDTV of Major League Baseball. Why do they need an official HDTV? My HDTV is made by Olevia and the ballgames I watch on it look great to me. I can only dream about how clear it would be if my TV were an official model. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of the Philadelphia Flyers but I’m pretty sure they use chartered flights and don’t fly in the coach-only cabin of Southwest Flights. If I mention to Southwest that I’m a Flyers fan or even a season ticket holder do I get a discount? No.
In an attempt to make corporate sponsorship gel a little better with the teams they represent, I came up with a few products and teams that I think would make great bedfellows.

1) The Philadelphia Phillies…Tums, the official antacid of Phillies fans. Helping Phillies fans make it ‘til “next year” since 1980.
2) The Philadelphia Flyers…Speed Pass, the official highway payment method of the Flyers. Get Speed Pass or you’ll travel slower than our defensive line.
3) The Dallas Cowboys… Tampax, the official tampon of Cowboys players and fans.
4) The Atlanta Falcons…Evian, official water of Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons. Nothing drowns a pit-bull like Evian.
5) The NHL Stanley Cup Finals…Molson, the official beer of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Molson: helping Canadians overlook the U.S.’s dominance since 1993. Due to the lack of cups in Canada, Molsen should be enjoyed straight from the bottle.
6) Tennessee Titans…Rainex, the official rain stopper of Pac-Man Jones and the Tennessee Titans.
7a) New England Patriots…Trojan: if Tom Brady used condoms he’d use Trojan, official condom of the New England Patriots.
7b) “Cheaters”…the official television show of the New England Patriots.
8) New Orleans Saints…brought to you by FEMA
9) New York Yankees…Mastercard, official payment method of the Yankees. Once those interest rates kick in, you’ll be throwing away money faster than we can overpay for aging talent.
10) New Jersey Nets…Sewage Treatment Workers Union. Sewage: the official smell of New Jersey and the Nets.
11) Florida Panthers…Crack, official drug of the Florida Panthers. Crack: It makes as much sense as ice hockey in Florida.
12) Texas Rangers…George Bush, the official President of the Texas Rangers. Bush managed both the Rangers and the United States. You think the 250 Million we spent on A-Rod was a waste? How about 500 Billion for an unnecessary war? Take that Steinbrenner!
***While we are discussing professional sports here I'd just like to take a second to mention the cheating of the New England Patriots. There is a good possibility that they cheated their way to a Super Bowl victory over my beloved Eagles three years ago and I hope the NFL comes down on them with the harshest punishment allowable (not just the $500,00 fine they gave to Belichick). Maybe Tom Brady should have stolen some condoms instead.***

In a new book released last Tuesday, George “Dubya” Bush opens up about his personal insights and the inter-workings of his administration. The book, written by Robert Draper, carries the same title as the likelihood that Bush will go down in history as one of the worst presidents in U.S. of all time, “Dead Certain”. It’s rumored that the finger paintings that illustrate the book are the work of the Connecticut cowboy himself. Let’s take a look inside the brain of our senseless leader…
"I've got God's shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot," Bush told biographer Robert Draper, referring to war casualties. "I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count as president."
I think what Dubya really meant to say was that he’s shed more tears than HE can count as president; putting the rough estimate of tears shed somewhere between five and ten (it still hasn’t been established if the president has learned to count on both hands yet or is still limited to just one). I guess that’s a good thing; we all know how god hates getting his shoulders wet. It could also turn out the Georgie confused the word “cry” with one of several other three-lettered words ending in “ry” (such as “try” “pry” “dye” or “fry”).
His presidential wisdom continued,
"This is a job where you can have a lot of self-pity," Bush said of the presidency. In his down moments, "[Laura] reminds me that I decided to do this."
Somehow I doubt that George decided to become president. George Bush senior and Dick Cheney decided that wanted to take the country (and the biggest surplus in U.S. history) by storm and needed a patsy. Enter George Bush junior. I’m sure he has a lot of self pity. Before having the 2000 presidential election stolen for him (thanks Jeb) he was dodging the draft, buying his way through Yale, running the Texas Rangers baseball team, being arrested for drunk driving, and snorting more snow than an ant-eater in a blizzard. Now he has the terrible responsibility un-uniting the 50 states, draining the U.S. treasury, and killing a few thousand life-sized GI Joe men. Being an adult sucks doesn’t it George? Boo-hoo. What else do you have for us Dubya?
"I made a decision to lead," Bush said of pursuing his war strategy despite its unpopularity. "It makes people accuse you of unilateral arrogance, and that may be true. But ... is the world better off as a result of your leadership?" I personally contacted George Bush’s top political advisor for an answer to this question. “Is the world better off as a result of George Bush’s leadership?” I asked.
“All signs point to ‘NO’” the magic 8-ball replied.
Now that he’s left his indelible urine stain on the world, what is next for Bush?
In the book, he reflects on life after the presidency. After leaving office, he intends to start a "fantastic Freedom Institute" in Dallas. "I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch." What exactly happens at this Freedom Institute and what makes it so fantastic? Why is the Freedom Institute located on a ranch? And did he intend to go there before getting in the car; or only after the drive became boring? One thing is certain, reading this book will waste more time and kill more brain cells than smoking crystal meth every day until OJ finds the real killers.

A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday. Uh…whoops.
The mistake was so serious that both President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were quickly informed and Gates asked for daily briefings on the Air Force inquiry, according to Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell. Bush simply asked for paint-by-number pictures of the event claiming that he’s a visual learner.
The unnamed official said Gates was assured that "the munitions were part of a routine transfer between the two bases and at all times they were in the custody and control of Air Force personnel and at no time was the public in danger." Danger? What danger? It’s not like we detonated them. It’s no more dangerous than pointing a loaded gun at a room full of people but never pulling the trigger, right? Everyone go load up your gun, cock it, and go point it at your children. According to these clowns, it’s not dangerous if you don’t actually use it.
Rep. Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called the mishandling of the weapons "deeply disturbing" and said the committee would press the military for details. Rep. Edward J. Markey, a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, said it was "absolutely inexcusable."
"Nothing like this has ever been reported before and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible," said Markey, D-Mass., co-chair of the House task force on nonproliferation. Inexcusable you say? I’m willing to bet that aside from a few scapegoat firings, this will be swept under the carpet and ignored.
The plane was carrying advanced cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base, ND, to Barksdale Air Force Base, LA., on Aug. 30, said officials (who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a Defense Department policy not to confirm information on nuclear weapons).
The missiles, which are being decommissioned, were mounted onto pylons on the bomber's wings and it isn’t clear why the warheads were not removed beforehand. Is it clear why our military does 90% of what they do? No. I’m not knocking the military; they just do as they are told. I’m knocking the people in charge, starting with our leader in chief. It isn’t too unclear to me why stupid mistakes are made. Put an idiot in charge, get idiotic results.
According to the same unnamed officials, the weapons are designed with multiple safety features that ensure the warheads don't accidentally detonate. Unfortunately, there is no safety feature to cover the bumbling human error of flying them over many unsuspecting U.S. citizens. Arming the weapons requires a number of stringent protocols and authentication codes that must be followed for detonation. And they are designed to withstand a significant impact, including an aircraft crash, without detonating. Or so we are told. The Titanic was alleged to be able to withstand a heavy impact and the Twin Towers were rumored to be able to withstand more force than that which brought them crashing down. Whether the bombs were likely to be detonated or not is not the issue. Once they make it into the air above our country, we are only as safe as the people who are in control of the codes. A few disgruntled military personnel and we’re all done for. “Terrorists” were trained right here in our country to fly planes (despite the gigantic warning signal that they were only concerned with flying and not taking off or landing); a skill they used to conduct the 9/11 attacks. Is it really that far a stretch to think that people with the same motives could infiltrate our military? Our government has gone so far as to offer citizenship to non-Americans who first join the military. It will be interesting to see how those responsible for this blunder are held accountable when the chain of failure that led to this event is uncovered.

“I comes before U”

Consumers, not just factory workers who work in processing plants, may be in danger of fumes from buttery flavoring in microwave popcorn, according to a warning letter to federal regulators from a doctor at a leading lung research hospital. A pulmonary specialist at Denver's National Jewish Medical and Research Center has written to federal agencies to say doctors there believe they have the first case of a consumer who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years.
"We cannot be sure that this patient's exposure to butter flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy preparation has caused his lung disease," cautioned Dr. Cecile Rose. "However, we have no other plausible explanation."
The unidentified patient described progressively worsening respiratory symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath. Tests found his ability to exhale was deteriorating, Rose said, although his condition seemed to stabilize after he quit using microwave popcorn.
The July letter, made public last Tuesday by a public health policy blog, refers to a potentially fatal disease commonly called “popcorn lung” that has been the subject of lawsuits by hundreds of workers at food factories exposed to chemicals used for flavoring. If there were ever an argument for air-popping your kernels, this is it. Use some real butter; clog those arteries. This just drives home my belief that everything is bad for you. If cigarette smoking doesn’t kill you, it’ll be brain cancer from a cell phone, or fumes from microwave popcorn that do you in.

Civil unions between male couples almost definitely existed around 600 years ago in medieval Europe.
Historical evidence, including legal documents and grave-sites, can be interpreted as supporting the prevalence of homosexual relationships hundreds of years ago, said Allan Tulchin (of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania).
If they are accurate, the results indicate that socially sanctioned same-sex unions are nothing new, nor were they taboo in the past.
“Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize," Tulchin writes in the September issue of the Journal of Modern History. "And Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”
Take that hate mongers.
As an example, Tulchin found legal contracts from late medieval France that referred to the term "affrèrement," (roughly translated as “brotherment”). Similar contracts existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe.
In the contract, the "brothers" pledged to live together sharing "un pain, un vin, et une bourse," (that's French for one bread, one wine and one purse). The "one purse" referred to the idea that all of the couple's goods became joint property. Like marriage contracts, the "brotherments" had to be sworn before a notary and witnesses, Tulchin explained.
The same type of legal contract of the time also could provide the foundation for a variety of non-nuclear households, including arrangements in which two or more biological brothers inherited the family home from their parents and would continue to live together, Tulchin said.
But non-relatives also used the contracts. In cases that involved single, unrelated men, Tulchin argues, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships."
The ins-and-outs of the medieval relationships are tricky at best to figure out.
"I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been," Tulchin said. "It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that.”
That’s the whole point isn’t it? Acceptance. You don’t have to understand something or even agree with it to accept it. I have Diabetes. I don’t want to have it, I don’t like having it, but I accept it (if I didn’t, I’d die). People need to understand that they might not like the idea of homosexual unions, they might even find it disgusting, but it doesn’t hurt anyone and they need to accept that. Two men (or women) having sex, marrying (and then according to current marriage statistics probably divorcing) doesn’t hurt anyone. “God” isn’t going to kill you because somewhere on Earth men are marrying each other. Get over yourselves.

Another walk-off homerun for the Spoons of Truthville today. I hope you were all able to make it to your computer to check out the highlights. If you have a chance, share this site with a friend. Hell, why limit yourself. Share it with several friends. Sharing means caring. Happy new year to all my Jewish readers out there. I hope it's a happy and healthy one. Tonight we're gonna party like it's 5799. I hope you all enjoyed today’s truth offering and please check back soon, to get more truth, straight from the Spoon.