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Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Portland Weather: We’re All Going to Die. Or Not.

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Snowpacalypse Now! Snow Country for Old Men. February Flakefest. Snomageddon!

These are just a couple of ways residents of Portland, Oregon now it’s really not going to be all that bad outside.

Through the fault of no one in particular, weather forecasters across the city have been predicting doom and gloom on and off most of the winter and, as is typical in Portland, the result has been a lot more gloom than doom.

It’s hard to be mad at them though one woman wrote to a local station saying she thought it was typical that a man would promise seven inches only to deliver two.

It’s worth noting that there doesn’t seem to be any truth to the rumor that the weather guys were all paid off by Les Schwab or one of the other tire shops looking to clear their inventory of chains and snow tires.

And given the fact that Portland, despite being in the shadow of several mountains more than 10,000 feet tall, is unable to deal with snow on any sort of logical level, it’s important to let people know what might happen.

At the supermarket the day before the last “storm” people were lined up at checkout with carts full of supplies as if they weren’t going to be able to get out of their house for weeks once the storm set in. Even under the worst case scenario, it wasn’t going to be that bad.

But living in Portland with snow in the forecast is like living in a city filled with Jewish grandmothers: You never know… better safe than sorry.

But that’s what life is like in the city where there seems to be just a little bit of rain pretty every day. Certainly during those glorious days of summer (roughly July 5-13) when there is nary a cloud in the sky.

The rest of the time there is rain in one of its various forms. Forecasters in Portland seem to have as many words and phrases for it as Eskimos apocryphally have for snow. Rain. Showers. Scattered showers. Thunderstorms. Sprinkles. And, my favorite, filtered sunshine.

It’s often so wet in Portland that seagulls fly inland from the Columbia and Willamette Rivers only to find themselves disappointed. I don’t get it, the gulls say, if it’s this wet there really should be fish.

The thing you have to remember about rain in Portland can be summed up by looking at how Groundhog Day is celebrated.

While the rest of the country uses it as a barometer indicating whether or not it will be an early Spring, in Portland, it’s different.

In Portland, they take out the groundhog and if the little guy doesn’t drown, it means five more months of rain.

If it does rain, it also means five more months of rain.

And you have to buy a new groundhog.

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Mike Pence’s Modest Proposal

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm

“Mr. Speaker. The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America. The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funds.

“The Pence Amendment – which I’ve named after myself so I would not forget that it was my idea – would simply prevent any funds from going to Planned Parenthood. It would not reduce the total amount of funds available for family planning.

“The nation’s leading abortion provider is also currently under investigation in multiple states including Indiana, California, Alabama, and Tennessee for allegations of fraudulent use of Federal funds. Additionally, I have a strong hunch they are guilty of numerous other crimes including speeding, grand theft auto – the crime, not the game – and jaywalking.

“If global warming did exist, it would be their fault.

“Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not about eliminating Federal funds for family planning. There are a number of federally funded clinics across the nation that offer beneficial services including patient counseling, breast cancer screenings, HIV prevention education, and many more.

“I think family planning is an essential part of restoring the greatness of this country. Not only are we facing a moral crisis we are facing an economic nod and to get out of this mess, I think we need to look to Ronald Reagan who had a vision for this country. A vision rooted in fantasy, yes but a vision nonetheless.

“He wanted to restore the sanctity of human life to the law and return power to the United States.

“Even though our economy is struggling and America seems at a low point, I believe we can fulfill Reagan’s vision, restore our economy and our moral grandeur but it will take vision and courage to do it.

“The new Republican majority in Congress must embrace a bold agenda for economic growth built on timeless free market practices and reform.

“So what are the building blocks of an incentive-based, growth agenda? I submit they are the following:
Sound monetary policy;
Tax relief and reform;
Access to American energy;
Regulatory reform;
Trade

“In other words S.T.A.R.T. You could call it a prescription for a fresh start for the American economy. Some of these are new ideas. Some are timeless. Taken together, they will put us back on track for job creation and prosperity.

“Start what you may ask. And I will tell you. This is a plan to end abortion, solve the immigration problem, make liberals happy and restore America to greatness.

“We need to do s better job of letting immigrants in to the country. This way we know who is here, where we can find them and, when necessary, put them to work at jobs Americans no longer want to do. This will free Americans up to do what they do best – come up with brilliant ideas such as these.

“Another thing is that many foreigners want to come here and have anchor babies. I say that we encourage that activity. But instead of allowing them to be the anchors for their parents they will become the new anchors of our economy and food supply.

“And this is something that should make the liberals happy because it I’d about sustainability and cutting down on carbon emissions.

“My experience is that many of these foreigners like to have children so we can use these kids to fill open jobs that would otherwise go unfilled.

“And the rest of the kids could be used as food for the rest of the country.”

Palin on Parenting

In Entertainment, Politics, Uncategorized on February 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

“And that is why the Mamma Grizzly had to kill the seemingly sweet, adorable bunny rabbit. As always, thank you for coming to the Sarah Palin Institute of Parenting. Does anyone have any questions?”

“Um, Governor?” says a woman sitting toward the front as she gathers up her notebook.

“Yes?”

“Well, I read that you gave an interview on Long Island where you said that the First Lady is telling people to breast feed because the price of milk is so high.”

“Oh, gosh, yes. Milk is just so expensive these days. That’s why I ask my Todd to go out and hunt pregnant, female elk, wound them and take all of their milk before killing them. Milk is just way too expensive.”

“Well, um, yeah,” says the student, a little disarmed. “A couple of things about that, I guess. First, aren’t babies supposed to get either breast milk or formula? I mean, I’ve never heard that you’re supposed to be giving them cow’s milk.”

“Where are you from?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“What does it have to do with anything? Everything. I would bet you’re from somewhere on the East Coast.”

“Ohio, actually.”

“Exactly. So you’re one of those East Coast intellectuals who probably gets most of their parenting tips from The New York Times. You probably think that your precious little child will be too good for cow’s milk. Let me ask you something. Do you think baby cows drink formula?”

The woman looks a little dumbfounded.

“Of course not. And do you think your baby is somehow better than a baby cow? A baby is a baby and we are all Mama Grizzlies looking to care for our young. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

The woman shakes her head.

“Good, because it is very important that we never lose track of the importance of the things that are important to us. Sure, you can listen to some person using Kenyan parenting techniques to raise a child who will grow up to be a Marxist revolutionary looking to overthrow a government and upend all that is sacred to Mama Grizzlies looking to protect their young, and eat them if necessary, or you can do what generations of women have done for generations and make sure that the price of milk isn’t so high that people are forced to consider using their babies as anchors.”

“Anchors?”

“It happens all the time. People need to wake up and tell this administration that their ideas of parenting, ideas that they picked up in places like Cuba and Russia – which I can see from my house – are not the kind of ideas we want to use when it comes to raising our American babies.

“Anyway, I want to thank you all for coming. Next week we will talk about how to make sure you’re not secretly raising a Muslim baby. You betcha you’re going to want to be here for that one.”

Shopping for a New Democracy

In Media, Politics, Uncategorized, World on February 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

“Welcome to Bed, Bath and Beyond Democracy,” says the impossibly cheery sales clerk. “What can I do for you today, Mr. President?”

“Well,” President Obama says, checking out the price tag on a set of flatware before moving on to a set of the collected writings of James Madison. “Egypt is getting a new government and Michelle and I thought it would be nice to get them a democracy-warming present.”

“I’m sure we can help you find something,” says the clerk. “Do you know if they’ve registered?”

“It all happened fairly suddenly,” President Obama says. “I don’t think they had a chance.”

“Not a problem. We have many great things for a fledgling democracy. If you would just follow me.”

The clerk leads the President over to a wall of rolled-up parchments.

“This is what we call Constitution Corner where we keep all sorts of founding documents to help a nation set up a government. We have everything from the U.S. Constitution to the Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown also known as the English Bill of Rights to the rules governing the Soviet Politboro to Robert’s Rules of Order.”

President Obama looks at a copy of the Magna Carta. “I think the constitution is something people there are going to have to come up with on their own. What else do you have?”

“Oh, plenty. Our free press starter kit is very popular with new democracies. It helps them transform a state-run media operation into privately run system and you can get attachments so they can have a public broadcasting component and social media network.”

“That could be interesting,” the president says. “Does it come in any other colors?”

“We also have — and this has proved very popular in Central America and Chicago — a rig your own election kit. Though it does tend to work better for more advanced democracies.”

The president looks at the box. “Recommended for countries 100 and older as well as military dictatorships pretending to be governments of the people,” he reads. “Yeah… I think this is what they’re trying to move away from. Let me look at the free press kit again. Does it come with freedom of information laws or are those sold separately?”

“They’re included.”

The president keeps walking through the store, finally stopping at a very large display case with people inside. “What’s this?” he asks.

“Oh, these are political consultants. We have all sorts of political persuasions and you can even get a sampler box that comes with one of each.”

The president looks at the price tags. “Kind of expensive, no?”

The clerk smiles. “Political campaigns aren’t cheap. But I guess I don’t have to tell you that.”

The president efforts a half-hearted smile. “No. You don’t.”

At that point, Michelle walks over and joins them.

“Did you find anything,” her husband asks her.

“All sorts of things. They have that internet kill switch I know you’ve been wanting.”

“We’re not here for me. Did you see anything for Egypt?”

“There were a couple of budget-balancing kits that I thought were nice but you know what I really liked?”

The president waits.

“Cuisinart has a really nice new mixer.”

“How much?”

She whispers in his ear.

The president smiles.

“We’ll take it,” he tells the clerk. “Do you ship?”