Thursday, October 31, 2013

Andy Borowitz

The Borowitz Report

  • OCTOBER 31, 2013

G.O.P. UNVEILS OWN HEALTH-CARE WEB SITE, EMERGENCYROOM.GOV

POSTED BY 

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that "the American people are fed up with a disastrous Web site that doesn't work and never will," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) and a phalanx of congressional Republicans today unveiled their own health-care Web site, EmergencyRoom.gov.

"At EmergencyRoom.gov, every American can access the one tried-and-true health-care system that has worked in this country for decades," he said.

While Healthcare.gov has frustrated many users with its difficult-to-navigate design, Rep. Cantor said that at EmergencyRoom.gov, "Health care is just three easy steps away. One: enter your zip code. Two: see the list of emergency rooms. Three: get to the nearest one before you die."

The Virginia Republican wasted no time touting the cost savings of EmergencyRoom.gov, comparing it favorably with the notoriously expensive Obamacare site: "Unlike Healthcare.gov, which private contractors built at a cost running into the hundreds of millions, EmergencyRoom.gov was built for nine hundred dollars by my intern Josh."

And in contrast with Healthcare.gov's maze of forms, links, and phone numbers, he said, "EmergencyRoom.gov has just one phone number: 9-1-1."

In what may be the strongest selling point for the new site, Rep. Cantor said that the wait time on EmergencyRoom.gov is "virtually nonexistent," not counting the twelve to thirty-six hours spent in the actual emergency room.

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****
Juan
 
Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.
-- Clint Eastwood


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Andy Borowitz

Jim Morin




N.S.A. PROMISES TO STOP GETTING CAUGHT SPYING ON ALLIES

POSTED BY 

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — Responding to the firestorm of controversy over its spying on European allies, the head of the National Security Agency said today it would do everything in its power to avoid being caught doing it in the future.

"There are two important jobs for every spy agency: spying on people and avoiding detection," said the N.S.A. chief General Keith Alexander. "Unfortunately, at the N.S.A. we have only done the first job well."

"We have abused the trust of some of our closest allies," he said. "And none of this would have happened if they hadn't found out."

General Alexander said that the agency was instituting strict new practices that amounted to "a zero-tolerance policy on getting caught."

"I had a meeting with my top people today and said, 'I want you to put the same energy you put into spying on Germany, France, and Spain into keeping them from figuring out what we're up to,' " he said. " 'Anything less than that will be unacceptable.' "

General Alexander also offered a heartfelt apology to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a prime target of the agency's eavesdropping. "I know how upsetting it must be for you to know that your closest ally has been listening in on your phone conversations for the past eleven years," he said. "I give you my solemn promise that in the future you won't know."











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****
Juan
 
There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
-- Ralph Nader

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Something to Know - 26 October

102313-toon-luckovich-ed

Charles Blow, of the NY Times, is pointing out the obvious dilemma of the state of our nation.  The rich are getting to be even richer fat cats, the middle class is shrinking, and the poorer are sliding into the depths of despair.  All the while, the thought is that we are holding on to the hope that the "responsible Republicans' will take back their party so that we can again prosper as a nation.  Meanwhile, our schools are failing, there are no jobs for those who desperately need them.  Perhaps it is time for you and me and other Progressives to get up and do something about it, rather than wait for the mysterious cavalry from around the bend of reason to show up:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/opinion/blow-billionaires-row-and-welfare-lines.html?emc=eta1

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****
Juan
 
There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
-- Ralph Nader

Friday, October 25, 2013

Something to Know - 25 October

Jeff Danziger
1.  Whatcha wanna bet that not all Republicans share in this editorial from the NY Times?:

2.  This is an interesting article for those of you who fancy being able to understand the complexity of big government economic policy.  If you are not one of them, you just might go for it as one Nobel Prize winning Economist gently and politely shoves a critical barb up former Allan Greenspan's new book.  These guys bicker with each other in ways that just go over our heads:

3.  Lots of buzz about Obama Care website issues.  Too many, and some are distracting.  Here is one opinion on how to approach the fix, and it makes sense:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/opinion/emanuel-how-to-fix-the-glitches.html?pagewanted=2&emc=eta1

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****
Juan
 
There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
-- Ralph Nader

Monday, October 21, 2013

Something to Know - 21 October

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1.  Remember the previous crisis (the one before the government shutdown)...or where there others before that...??.   Anyway speaking to the issue of the Wall Street manipulation of junk stuffed into prime investments that caused a near fatal economic disaster....well, it was fatal for many.   The US Justice Department kept at the real issue, and kept on pursuing criminal behavior and came up with this deal that nailed JP Morgan for $13 Billion.  It does sound like a lot, but it is only half of what that organization made in profit last year.  Not nearly the sting and hurt that caused thousands and thousand of investors and home buyers to find ruins in their wallets.  Still, it is a move by big government against the big banks who are supposedly immune to failure.  What I particularly like, it is not exactly a deal that JP Morgan accepted to buy freedom for their dishonest execs.  The Justice Department is still free to bring criminal charges, if they can prove them:
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/u-s-deal-with-jpmorgan-spurred-by-a-phone-call/?emc=eta1

2. Libertarians love to rant about having government get out of our lives.  There is a good reason why they are not wielding any elected power.  This case in point regarding our health and the food we buy and eat is an excellent example why:
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-salmonella-foster-farms-20131021,0,2601984,print.story

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Juan
 
You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.
-- George W. Bush

Andy Borowitz

The Borowitz Report

OCTOBER 21, 2013

NATION THAT WAITED DECADES TO PASS HEALTH CARE INFURIATED BY SLOW WEB SITE

POSTED BY 

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—A nation that waited several decades for health insurance is becoming increasingly infuriated by a Web site that is wasting minutes of its time, reports from across the United States confirm.

The official Web site of Obamacare, HealthCare.gov, has been plagued by glitches, crashes, and sluggishly loading pages, say millions of angry Americans attempting to log on to the site at exactly the same time.

"Look, I know that we had to wait longer for health care than virtually every other industrialized nation on earth," said Tracy Klugian, a muffler salesman from Akron, Ohio. "But the time I spent on that Web site is thirty-five minutes I'll never get back."

Sharing what he called his "Obamacare horror story," Mr. Klugian said, "Being on that Web site slowed down our wi-fi so much that my kids couldn't stream videos. For a so-called health-care program, it's causing a lot of stress that's the opposite of healthy, if you ask me."

Harland Dorrinson, a gym manager from Knoxville, Tennessee, had an Obamacare nightmare of his own, having to log on to the site "two completely different times" before getting health insurance for the first time in his life.

"President Obama said he was going to make health care affordable and available to millions of Americans," he said, bitterly. "He didn't tell us it would take more than an hour."



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****
Juan
 
A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.
-- Archibald MacLeish

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Something to Know - 19 October

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1.  Now that Congress has settled down for a brief period, much of the buzz has been taken up by speculation as to what the Tea Baggers will be up to and how they will conjure up new strategies to disrupt the next round.  Enough, I say !!.  Instead, let us focus on how Obama will be able to apply the screws to to the schism that exists in the Republican Party.  By continuing to marginalize the GOP, through a very important issue for both parties (Immigration Reform), the president can pull off another bipartisan win:

2.  Texas.  It sure has a collection of wing-nuts in high office.  Gail Collins takes you away on the landscape of the elected goofies of the GeeOpie in the Lone Star State.  Goofyland with Spurs:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/opinion/collins-a-ted-cruz-on-every-corner.html?emc=eta1&_r=0&pagewanted=print

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****
Juan
 
A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.
-- Archibald MacLeish

Friday, October 18, 2013

Andy Borowitz

The Borowitz Report

OCTOBER 18, 2013

CRUZ PLANS TO READ AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

POSTED BY 

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Now that the government shutdown is over, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) plans to read the Affordable Care Act, he told reporters today.

"It's definitely been on my must-read list for a while now," Sen. Cruz said of the law often referred to as Obamacare. "Things have just been so hectic around here lately, I couldn't get to it."

The Texas Senator said that he started reading the law this morning and observed, "So far, it's pretty dry."

"It's not a page-turner, that's for sure," he said. "But it's caused so much controversy, it must have some pretty juicy stuff in it. I'll keep reading it and see what I find."

Sen. Cruz said that when he finishes reading the Affordable Care Act, he plans to read the United States Constitution.

"People kept bringing it up the last few weeks," he said. "So I'm kind of curious to see what all the fuss is about."


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****
Juan
 
A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.
-- Archibald MacLeish

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Something to Forget - 17 October


Stuart Carlson
There is plenty of good feelings going around among Progressives and Democrats this morning.   However, that is just a temporary attitude, for sure.   What is the pack of Tea Baggers up to now?   Well, here is the call to battle from the band of merry destroyers.   At least they are marginalized to the extent that we know who they are, and they seem hell-bent in separating themselves from the "mainstream" moderate GOP.  Perhaps they will actually break and form their own independent group, and forever flame out in due time:

Dear Patriot,

Last night, the professional politicians in BOTH political parties sold the American people down the river.

Again.

"Republican" Mitch McConnell cut a deal with Barack Obama to ram through a massive government spending bill that fully funds Obamacare and hikes the debt ceiling limit.

And in the process, the D.C. "ruling class" reminded the nation once again why millions and millions of Americans formed the Tea Party movement.

Donate Now!

Please make a generous contribution of $35, $50, $100, $200, or whatever you can afford to help us get back on the political offensive.

This betrayal must not go unanswered!

Now more than ever, our movement must recruit and organize so that we have the political clout to prevent more economy-destroying backroom deals like the one that was just passed.

Next month the Republicans are set to open new negotiations with the White House over spending. Obamacare MUST be on the table. Mitch McConnell and his "Republicans" must not cave again!

Now more than ever the Tea Party must strike back. The future of our nation is at stake.

Please help us reach that goal by making the most generous donation you possibly can right away.

My friend, if we don't stand up and fight back against the big spenders, whowill?

Remember, it was Mitch McConnell and his big-government Senate allies who refused to hold the line and fight Obamacare.

Instead they attacked Ted Cruz and the Tea Party. They claimed it was "impossible" to rein in government and save the American people from the misery of the health care law.

And then they sold out. Completely.

It's clear that the leaders of both political parties would rather play games and cut back room deals than do what is right.

We've said it before and we'll say it again:

We are on our own. We have to build an even stronger independent Tea Party movement today if we want future generations of Americans to have any chance at prosperity tomorrow.

We have to strike back NOW or McConnell will cut yet another back room to deal on Obamacare and spending.

Donate Now!

Please make a generous contribution today.

We need to fight back now and grow the Tea Party movement like never before. These "Republicans" have not yet gotten the message.

Things are so bad in Washington that some of the politicians are even arguing that because they didn't vote to massively increase spending that this sellout is actually a "victory" for conservatives!

Mitch McConnell and his cronies clearly think we are stupid. They truly believe that they can "spin" their way out of voting for this fiscal calamity and that we will wait until at least 2016 to repeal Obamacare.

No way. No how.

We are going to use this disaster to start more Tea Party groups across America.

We need a local affiliate in every single Congressional district in thecountry so that Tea Party members can organize and directly confront the politicians who are ruining our future.

Then we need to train thousands of grassroots volunteers to spread the word in their communities about how dire our economic situation is. If we don't slash government spending now and stop Obamacare, America is doomed!

We need to run pro-Tea Party ads across the nation. We need to bombard the Senate with calls, faxes and letters.

We need to strike back hard so that the politicians finally get the message: Cut Spending and End Obamacare Now!

But, as you know, Tea Party Patriots is a non-profit citizen-led organization. We can't accomplish any of these goals without your financial help.

So please, make the very best donation you possibly can now. $35, $50, $100, $200, or whatever you can afford will help us get back on the political offensive.

Please donate what you can. Don't let Mitch McConnell and the rest of his big government allies get away with this betrayal. Help the Tea Party strike back!

Thank you in advance for your help.

Donate Now!

For Liberty,
 

The Tea Party Patriots National Support Team


--
****
Juan
 
A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.
-- Archibald MacLeish


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Andy Borowitz

I wish we could say that the long nightmare is over.  Unless the GeeOpie adjust more to the GOP of old, it is not, and we are just on a 3-month crisis interlude:

The Borowitz Report

OCTOBER 16, 2013

CRUZ: "THE DREAM OF KEEPING POOR PEOPLE FROM SEEING A DOCTOR MUST NEVER DIE"

POSTED BY 

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Acknowledging that the government shutdown was coming to an end, an emotional Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor today to make an impassioned speech, telling his colleagues, "The dream of keeping poor people from seeing a doctor must never die."

His eyes welling up with tears, Sen. Cruz said, "I embarked on this crusade with a simple goal: to keep affordable health care out of the reach of ordinary, hard-working Americans. And while this battle was lost, that dream—that precious, cherished dream—will live on."

Reflecting on the government shutdown and near-default that almost touched off a global financial apocalypse, Sen. Cruz said, "We'll give it another try in a few weeks."

Sen. Cruz's closest ally, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) also spoke reverently of the shutdown, calling it "the most expensive Civil War reƫnactment in history."

"Unfortunately, once again, the wrong side won," he said.

Over in the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) congratulated his colleagues on the deal to resolve the shutdown, telling reporters, "This proves that when we work together, we can come up with a totally unsatisfactory solution to a completely unnecessary crisis."

But the last word belonged to Sen. Cruz, who ended his emotional speech with a quiet benediction: "Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere."



-- 
****
Juan
 
A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.
-- Archibald MacLeish


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Andy Borowitz

The Borowitz Report

  • OCTOBER 15, 2013

RAND PAUL PROPOSES REOPENING JUST ENOUGH OF GOVERNMENT TO HOLD NEW HEARINGS ON BENGHAZI

POSTED BY 

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Adding his voice to the eleventh-hour debate about the government shutdown, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) today proposed reopening just enough of the government to hold new hearings on Benghazi.

"Across this great nation of ours, people are suffering," he told Fox News's Megyn Kelly. "Suffering, Megyn, because they still don't know what really happened in Benghazi."

Noting that the government shutdown had furloughed investigators who could be looking into Benghazi, he said, "If there's something in our government more worthy of funding than that, I can't think of it."

Senator Paul said he knew that he would draw the ire of fellow Republicans by suggesting that the government be partially reopened, but added, "Sometimes, you have to put politics aside when there is something more important at stake, and I think any reasonable person would agree that there is nothing more important than getting to the bottom of Benghazi."

"For the two weeks of this shutdown, the American people have had no new information about Benghazi," he said. "It's time to stop the madness."



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****
Juan
 
You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
-- Winston Churchill

Today's Tea Bagger Plea

After you read through all the mis-information and vitriol from the Tea Baggers, you can take away that they are now accepting ObamaCare as a law....with the operative warning to their fellow "patriots" that ".....if it is allowed to take full effect....".  In other words, it is going to happen, now the fight is to take something away from it.....anything.   Just send them money, to continue the fight.   So, in the aftermath, the Tea Party will be able to claim victory because their efforts prevented full-effects of the law....just send money (because their big money baggers are not so happy with them):

Dear Patriot,

Over the weekend, we alerted you to a crucial fundraising goal that we MUSTmeet to continue and accelerate our aggressive online and TV ad campaign.

And right now, we are still $29,327.60 short of our goal.

Donate Now!

Please, make the most generous contribution you possibly can to Tea Party Patriots right away to help us cover the cost of this crucial ad campaign.

You see, with your help, we met and surpassed our initial goal of $65,000 in just a few days' time.

We were able to produce and run aggressive ads all over the country, pummeling the Obamacare-defending liberals in Congress.

But the left-wing interest groups defending Obamacare have struck back, and struck back hard.

Which is why we must raise an additional $29,327.60 to keep up with them, and why we need your help right away.

Please, do whatever you can.

As you know, nearly three weeks ago, the Republican leadership courageously held the line on Obamacare by passing a resolution that would fund government but would withhold funding from this Big Government disaster.

And since then, they have offered even more generous compromises to Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and their liberal allies.

But these left-wing Democrats are absolutely committed to Obamacare. They were willing to shutdown the government to save this nightmare of a program, and they've kept it shut down ever since.

That's where Tea Party Patriots comes in.

Our hard-hitting video ads are reaching our fellow grassroots patriots from coast to coast, both online and on TV in crucial states represented by vulnerable Obamacare-defending Senators.

Donate Now!

These ads are the most effective way for us to quickly and efficiently rally the anti-Obamacare grassroots pressure that will force these politicians to defy Harry Reid and vote to stop this disaster!

But to keep them going, we must raise this remaining $29,327.60. Please, give whatever you can right away.

We've come way too far in this fight to give up when the going gets tough.

And defeat is simply not an option. If Obamacare is allowed to fully take effect, it will threaten the very idea of American liberty and prosperity as we know it.

We simply can't accept anything less than total victory, which is why we urge you to give whatever you can right now to help fund this crucial ad campaign.

Your generous gift of $5, $10, $25, or more will be instantly processed by our online system, meaning that you will be making an immediate difference in this fight.

So please, don't wait a minute longer. Please, give whatever you can right now to help us keep the pressure on the pro-Obamacare liberals in Congress.

Thank you so much for your help.

Donate Now!

For Liberty,
 

The Tea Party Patriots National Support Team

Tea Party Patriots, Inc. operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

Paid for by Tea Party Patriots, Inc., Debbie Dooley (Treasurer)
and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's agent or committee.
Copyright © Tea Party Patriots, Inc. 2013
Tea Party Patriots
1025 Rose Creek Drive | Ste 620-322 | Woodstock, GA  30189
Support: 404-593-0877
http://www.tppsupport.org

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****
Juan
 
You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
-- Winston Churchill

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Something to Know - 13 October

101313-toon-luckovich-ed


Let's step back from the Affordable Care Act and try and understand the vast pit of ignorance that surrounds it.  The Republicans, urged by the Tea Baggers, are capitalizing on the average boob not knowing the details of ACA, and using the ignorance as a platform for their campaign of misinformation and Obama hatred.  This same criteria is used by them for every other strategy used to do their bidding:

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19279-the-american-publics-shocking-lack-of-policy-knowledge-is-a-threat-to-progress-and-democracy#.UlnTALUvwsk.gmail

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Juan
 
You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
-- Winston Churchill

Something to Get Used To - 12 October

Yes, it all had to come to this.  Thanks Tea Baggers:

 
In  of anger her majesty Queen Elizabeth II issued the following letter to the citizens of United States of America
To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
In light of your failure to financially manage yourselves and inability to effectively govern yourselves responsibly, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).
Your new Prime Minister, David William Donald Cameron, will appoint a Governor for the former United States of America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1.    You will learn that the suffix ˜burgh" is pronounced "burra"; you may elect to spell Pittsburgh as ˜Pittsberg" if you find you simply can't cope with correct pronunciation. Then look up "aluminum" and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
2.    The letter "U" will be reinstated in words such as ˜colour", "favour" and "neighbour". Likewise, you will learn to spell "doughnut" without skipping half the letters.
3.    Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up "vocabulary"). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.
4.    There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter "u".
5.    You will relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).
6.    July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
7.    You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults and then used solely for shooting grouse. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to handle a gun, let alone shoot grouse.
8.    Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
9.    All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
10. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
11. The former United States of America will adopt the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland prices on petrol (which you have been calling "gasoline") of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
12. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French Fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with malt vinegar.
13. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.
14. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling "beer" is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
15. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
16. You will cease playing "American" Football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American Football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies or Jessies – English slangs for effeminate males and blouses for big girls respectively).
17. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the "World Series" for a game which is not played outside of the United States of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket.
18. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
19. An inland revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
20. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
Thank you for your cooperation.

--
****
Juan
 
You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.
-- Winston Churchill

Something to Know - 12 October

It's a beautiful day here in Claremont.  I'm getting ready to go do my volunteer work at the college (interviewing applicants on Saturday), and I look up to the fading melting Mt. Baldy as it releases the snow from a few days ago.  The air is clean and clear...just a beautiful day, and I am drinking my coffee and reading the paper.   This article just struck a nerve in my growing awareness of where I am and what I am doing, and realizing that I too am back in Los Angeles.  Hope you enjoy this non-political, and frankly more interesting and warming view of life:



PERSPECTIVE

For this Dodgers fan, a late-blooming glove affair

He was a San Diegan who grew up rooting against the Boys in Blue. But then the city, and the team, began to grow on him.





Sunset at Dodger Stadium

At his third Dodgers game, a reporter noticed something he hadn't before: the picturesque setting. (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times / August 30, 2013)

By Matt Stevens

October 11, 20136:48 p.m.

My first Dodgers game was uncomfortable.

My college-newspaper colleagues and I were packed so tightly into our bleacher seats that a woman I had just met was basically sitting in my lap.

My second Dodgers game was infuriating.

A few of my buddies from the Bay Area had worn Giants gear. Inning after inning, they traded good-natured insults with Dodgers fans. But when the game was over — a Dodgers victory — one hometown fan plucked the cap off my friend's head and sent it sailing over the railing. I had to hold folks back to avoid a fistfight.

That night cemented my distaste for the Dodgers.

So six years later I'm left contemplating just how it came to be that when Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out the final Atlanta batter on Monday, a win that sent his team into theNational League Championship Series, I sprang off my couch, clenched my fist and let out a whoop in the middle of my living room.

Was I a bandwagoner? I don't think the explanation is that simple.

I was a kid from suburban San Diego, and my idea of baseball involved sushi, craft beer and a scenic view of downtown from the cushioned seats inside Petco Park. The Padres have been so bad for so long, watching the game on the field wasn't the main attraction.

Back then, about the only reason I had to jump up out of my seat was to boo the Dodgers, the only team Padres fans hated enough to heckle hard.

The wealthy Boys in Blue, you see, had signed Padres ace Kevin Brown right after he'd helped lead San Diego to the 1998 World Series, to a then-record $105-million contract. Dodgers fans, the narrative went, were also bullies. So Padres fans had no trouble summoning up an old chant — and shouting it with feeling:

"Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!"

Even after enrolling at UCLA and moving north, I didn't understand the Dodgers' draw. The stadium was decrepit, the famed Dodger Dogs were droopy and the traffic heading to Chavez Ravine was a disaster.

More troubling, I wasn't sure I could ever come to love Los Angeles.

Until I scored a campus parking space my junior year, my knowledge of the city was limited to places the Big Blue Bus could take me. But having a car in Los Angeles presented its own problems.

The parking tickets piled up and the road rage boiled over. I easily could go to Koreatown for barbecue, but was the restaurant really worth a two-hour wait? A concert at Staples Center sounded awesome, but driving there meant having to leave at 5 p.m. for a 7:30 show.

After graduating and landing a job reporting on this city, I pledged to do my best to get to know it — to give it a chance.

Moving out of Westwood was the first step. Then came checking items off the bucket list, one weekend at a time: Visit the Getty, get Sprinkles cupcakes on the way back from work, spend a Saturday on the Venice Boardwalk.

Slowly the attractions I now see as touristy gave way to the experiences I treasure most. Dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley, taking the train to the Watts Towers in South L.A. and spending an hour in Skylight Books after a hike in Griffith Park.

I have seen a giant rock — and then a space shuttle — crawl though Los Angeles and amp up its residents' civic pride. I have run the city streets during CicLAvia and taken in eight miles of Venice Boulevard, one step at a time. I voted in the mayoral election.

My apartment mates like to say we've dug down into the city's second layer. I like to think we're finally seeing and understanding the less-polished pieces of this town. They're the parts that give this place its character, and the parts I've come to appreciate most.

Consequently, I find myself defending Los Angeles to friends who pass through and leave only with nightmares about the 405.

On a recent trip to New York, someone asked me where I was from. To my surprise, I said: "L.A."

My third Dodgers game came on a cool, crisp summer night in 2012.

We sat high in the stands — with a picturesque view of the city that I somehow had neglected to notice before. The sunset was stunning. The palm trees swayed in the breeze.

That night, the L.A. Kings were taking the ice in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, hoping to bring home the city's first NHL championship in 45 years.

When the Dodgers televised the Kings hoisting the cup on the stadium's giant screen, the old ballpark erupted.

I sat there and soaked it all in.

In that moment, it was impossible not to feel like a Kings fan, a Dodgers fan and a proud resident of a championship city.

So I'm either a bandwagoner or a resident who's finally comfortable as an Angeleno.

matt.stevens@latimes.com


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Juan
 
If I decide to be an idiot, then I'll be an idiot on my own accord..
-- Johan Sebastian Bach