3-7-2004 Go Pens!

You are what you is. And that's all it is.--Frank Zappa

What's up with this Martha Stewart trial? Should a sixty-something lady reputed to be worth millions upon millions of dollars end up in the pokey over $51,000? There's something wrong with this picture. Who did she piss off? After the Enron implosion, the feds promised to get tough with the cheating corporate types of the world but, Martha Stewart? It doesn't matter much to me but, I suspect there are bigger fish to fry out there.

What I do find interesting is how completely dependent Martha Stewart's corporation, OmniMedia, is on her being who she is. If she can't beat this conviction on appeal, her company probably ceases to exist without her and the thousands of employees she employs are going to be out of work. All over $51,000. I'm scratching my head. I read that on paper, she's worth a billion dollars. And I'm supposed to believe that she knowingly flaunted the law to save $51,000?

Ted Kennedy is on CNN right now telling us how foul and vile Dubya's re-election commercial is simply because it makes reference to the 9/11 attacks. This comes from a guy who stumbled away in a drunken stupor from a submerged car that contained a drowning girl. Consider the source.

This entire flap is much to do about nothing. Would anyone object to having had FDR mentioning Pearl Harbor in an election ad? Basically, the Dems are trying to dictate to Bush what he can and can't use in his own election ads. I heard some horse's ass of a woman on CNN last night complaining that since Bush was at an elementary school in Florida when the 9/11 attacks commenced, he had no right to seek to benefit from the deaths of the people that died during the attacks. That's a new one. Now he's being criticized for where he was exactly on 9/11? What about his suit? I'm sure we could find something offensive about what he was wearing on that fateful day.

It didn't take long before the group this supposedly outraged woman belonged to was exposed as a less than objective critic of Dubya. From NewsMax.com:

Saturday, March 6, 2004 12:08 p.m. EST

Heinz Foundation Bankrolled Group Protesting Bush 9/11 Ads

The group Peaceful Tomorrows, which bills itself as an independent group of 9/11 victim families and whose members have led the charge to force the Bush re-election campaign to yank ads citing the Twin Towers attacks, has direct financial ties to the Heinz Foundation, the charitable trust administered by the wife of likely Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.

On its Web site, Peaceful Tomorrows identifies itself as "a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization."

A December 2003 report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review detailed the financial relationship between the Tides Center and the charitable foundation controlled by Mrs. Heinz Kerry:

"Known as the Tides Center for Pennsylvania, formerly the Tides Center for Western Pennsylvania, it is a creation of the Tides Foundation and Center, headquartered in San Francisco, and two Pennsylvania-based foundations the Vira Heinz Endowment and the Howard Heinz Endowment chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry."

According to the Tribune-Review, Mrs. Heinz Kerry funneled millions of dollars into the parent group of Peaceful Tomorrows:

"Between 1995 and 2001, $4.3 million of that money came from the Howard Heinz Endowment. In 2002, it and the Vira Heinz Endowment blessed The Tides Center, a San Francisco spin-off of the Tides Foundation, with another $190,000 while the two endowments gave $1.6 million to the new Tides Center for Western Pennsylvania," the paper revealed.

Though the Tribune-Review report was first unearthed by researchers on FreeRepublic.com within 36 hours of the inception of the Bush ad controversy, the mainstream press has been slow to pick up on Peaceful Tomorrows' anti-Bush pedigree. The group, for instance, has long been active in opposing U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Still, PT's political portfolio escaped the notice of the Washington Post, which described the group as "nonpartisan" on Thursday.

Other mainstream outlets repeatedly quoted PT members without revealing their anti-Bush agenda.

Comments by PT's leader, Colleen Kelly, have been prominently covered by the Associated Press, the Boston Globe and in dozens of other press reports complaining about the Bush ads. None of the reports mentioned PT's money ties to Heinz Kerry.

Andrew Rice, another prominent member of PT, has been quoted in the New York Times and has appeared on MSNBC, again without a single reference to his group's Heinz Foundation funding.

Besides Peaceful Tomorrows, other Tides grant recipients include the Iraq Peace Fund, which has helped bankroll anti-war marches, and MoveOn.org, which featured a campaign ad in November comparing President Bush to Hitler.

So much for getting the money out of politics. Heyna?

These Dems keep telling us they want to debate the important issues of the day but, they do everything but debate anything of substance. Bush lied and lied. Bush was AWOL. Bush mentions God too much. Bush is destroying the environment (by rightfully scoffing at the Kyoto Treaty). Bush is alienating our (chicken-sh*t) allies. Bush is politicizing the deaths of Americans. Where's the substitive debate they all openly yearn for?

Speaking of lies, what about John Kerry pounding home the point that our economy is on the verge of collapse? The worst economy since (insert bald-faced lie).

About the only promise we can expect George W. Bush to keep this time around is his pledge of steady leadership. He has no problem campaigning on the same failed economic policies that have steadily led America into economic decline.--John Kerry, in Houston this week

Economic decline? The economy is growing at a pretty healthy rate if I'm to believe that boring economic sh*t I've read in the newspapers. What's the unemployment rate? 5.5%? The best that Clinton managed during the 90's was 5.8%. Kerry offers up distortion after distortion and wants our vote based solely on his half-truths and unthruths.

More from "Honest" John:

George Bush is a walking contradiction and a walking barrel of broken promises.

"A walking barrel of broken promises?" Geez! And his detractors claim Dubya isn't a good public speaker.

Once again President Bush has told one of those tall Texas tales. I think George Bush ought to leave the ranch and come out and talk to people who have lost their jobs.

Wow! A limp-wristed New England liberal wants to talk trash on Texans. Maybe he ought to send his Secret Service detail home and then talk all tough down yonder. Ya' reckon?

Talk to the people who have lost their jobs? Let's re-check that unemployment rate. 5.5%. Tell that lie often enough and some of those fools called Democrats will buy into it. This comes from the champion of the unionized workers who voted for both NAFTA and GATT. Dubya's a liar?

Dubya's "new tone in Washington" is admirable and all but, he needs to sink to John Kerry's level in defense of himself.

You wanna fight? Then let's fight!

My son-in-law, Scott, recently spent some quality time in Maine with Wells, his bestest buddy in the whole world. And they stayed with this guy, who calls himself a bleeding heart conservative. This is the same state that produced Stephen King. 'Nuf said.

Wells is a volunteer fire fighter in New York State. I never fully understood this calling. It's a selfless and noble pursuit but, it surprises me that so many are willing to do it. If ya want me to risk my life, pay me. Whatever. Here's a shameless plug for Wells' fire fighting outfit. Our lovely model, Gage Andrew, agreed to pose for this pic.

Go Wells!

I think I mentioned this once before. When I was but a wee lad growing up in Derby, Connecticut, my step-dad used to drive into Bridgeport on occasion for the procurement of his favorite Chinese food. Yuk! Much like I am now, as a boy, I was definately meat-averse. It's probably his fault. If he had actually cooked the meat I was served as a kid, maybe I wouldn't have been so grossed out so much of the time. Call me a weinie if you will but, a plate of blood is not very appetizing to me. Being the cave man that he was, the fact that I would prefer to be beaten to eating raw flesh drove him freaking nuts just about every time we sat down to eat. He constantly ridiculed me, he put a few dents in my skull, and on many occasions, I was treated to those fake, raised diamonds his belt had to offer my bare bottom. No matter what he did to me, he simply could not make me appreciate eating his latest uncooked road kill.

So, we used to visit the Muck Chow restaurant in Bridgeport quite frequently. Every time we went there, I would order the meatless chow mein and every single time, it would infuriate him to the point of going off the deep end. He was prone to bitching at me, bitching even louder at my mom, and then mumbling something to himself about "being so f**king skinny" during our entire stay. And without fail, he always treated me to the line he thought was so completely funking clever: "Boney Maroney, like a stick of macaroni." And his other timeless classic, "You'll never be a f**king man if you eat like a f**king rabbit." More of the usual from him. Beat the boy. Your boy. Not mine.

One Saturday night, while we were watching a late fifties sci-fi B movie on Channel 5 from New York, the phone rang. My step-dad's buddy Frenchie called to inform him that his favorite chinese restaurant had been closed down by the local Board of Health because what they were passing off as lean beef was actually the local pets that had gone missing. As an oppressed young dork, I couldn't help but to feel somewhat vindicated and I laughed at him. He responded by kicking me off of my stool and into the wall. I cried. My mom fussed over me and quickly spirited me off to bed before he could inflict anything else upon me.

As I laid there in bed, the abject hate I felt for him consumed me as it so often did but, at the same time, this time, a part of me was laughing at him and I fell asleep feeling somewhat content and ready for the latest Godzilla nightmare.

You ate a dog. I ate rice.

Why did I subject you to some more of my excess baggage? It's SNAKE's fault. He sent me this link which had me giggling about Leo's "Puppy du jour" all over again.

Thanks completely to a gracious local businessman, we had four tickets for the Pens/Philthydumpia game at the arena last night. When he offered us a second trip to the best seats in the house, I jumped at the chance to see the Phantoms face-off with the local Pens. I knew what was going to happen. Namely, fists and plenty of them.

When I got these tickets, I had no way of knowing at that time that this would be my last weekend off before finally going back to work. Basically, when it came down to it, I didn't want to go. I wanted to spend the last couple days of my long lay-off at home with wifey and the grandkids. When I have absolutely nothing to do for almost three months and then learn that I'm but hours away from going back to the grind, chilling out and getting mentally prepared is more important to me than watching kids from Nova Scotia and the Ukraine fist fight.

Blade to the B...

I suspect that one of the reasons these tickets were offered to me in the first place was to get me excited about the arena experience, where I never was beforehand. I may be wrong about that but, I've been known to be wrong about most things. Care to chime in Ethel? If I'm somehow, surprisingly correct, those tickets achieved the desired results. My kids, my son-in-law, and my daughter's boyfriend are now certified Penguin fans. The fan base has recently grown by five and I'm happy about that.

I skipped this event but, I so want to thank the dude that allowed us a glimpse from the top of the arena that most of us common folks will never see. Not only did he provide me with a few tickets, he provided me with a much better understanding of how this venue was funded and who made that happen. It's too easy to bitch about the folks that have much more money than we do, but we do so at our own peril. In this isolated case, the folks earning much more than most of us are also reinvesting much more in this community than we'd care to believe. Can the leasing of an expensive luxury box at an arena somehow be construed as being a quasi-philanthropic undertaking? In actuality, it can, if you know the particulars.

Whatever. This poor boy learned a lot, and my kids had a freakin' blast in the process. For that, I am eternally grateful. If you ever need a bicycle repair, an obscure album, or some knowledgable termite advice, give me a buzz. I owe you one. Or two.

Ebon, Jason, and Scott

Me gotta go. Kevin Harvick is up front and looking strong. 208 laps complete.