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Archive for August, 2012

Random Thoughts on the RNC

– My favorite speech of the three nights was Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s.  He would have been a much more stellar keynote address maker than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

– Nothing against Christie’s speech, if had it’s moments (especially his lines on school choice and school reform), but keynotes are supposed to be about what the ideals of the party are and how they are exemplified in the nominee. Christie did fine in the first part, but seemed to forget he was there to promote Mitt Romney.

– Going with the above, and how much Bill Clinton hates Barack Obama, you wonder how the hell he’s going to be able to stop himself from being all “Remember me?  Remember how awesome I was?  LOVE ME!” next Tuesday.

– Ann Romney was stellar.  She truly is the secret weapon she was said to be.

– She may never be President of the United States someday, but I really hope Condi Rice is elected to public office in the future.  She is intelligent, full of grace, and a modern woman in every sense of the phrase.

– The War of Talking Points over Paul Ryan and the Janesville GM plant amuses me.  Liberals are fighting about trying to determine a timeline, all the while conservative are going…”You know that plant is still closed right?  You’re complaining about ‘When’ and not about ‘How do we get those people in Janesville back to work?’  How in the tank for Barack Obama are you that you’d rather fight semantics than accept the reality on the ground?”

– Part of the reason why the left if trying to demagogue the Ryan speech is that few people if ever remember anything from a vice presidential nominee’s speech?  Do you remember anything about Biden’s from 2008?  I don’t?  Cheney’s in 2000? Me either.  By trying to put the “liar” moniker on the press is trying to do all they can to help Biden out in a Vice Presidential debate he is likely to get clubbed to death in.  10-11-12 will be a fun night.

— The Oparowskis are genuine people.  God bless them. May God keep the soul of their son David until they are rejoined with him in the next life.  Their story showed what kind of a guy Mitt Romney is when no one is watching.  That’s the kind of guy all of us should hope to be someday.

– Everyone’s trying to call Clint Eastwood a senile, old man after last night’s speech.  Frankly, I’ve seen stranger $#!+ done by Will Farrell in the name of comedy and he’s supposed to be some sort of “left-wing comic genius.”

– My only riff with the Eastwood thing was that it should have been done earlier — I would have switched him with the Olympic athletes in the night’s calendar if I ran the show, Mike “Rizzo” Eruzione and Derek Parra were great  — and that it was too cute by half.  Someone in back must have been like, “Hey, it’s Clint Eastwood.  Let the man do what he wants!  We’re the Republican Party, the one Hollywood hates, villainizes in their products, and labels “uncool.”  When are we going to get an “A-lister” like Eastwood again?”

– But all-in-all, what he said was dead on“I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there’s 23 million unemployed people. That is something to cry for, because that is a disgrace, a national disgrace, and we haven’t done enough, this administration hasn’t done enough to cure that.” — It’s true.  Challenge it with facts and logic if you dare!

– Or this? — “It’s not politicians owning [this country], politicians are employees of ours.” — Curse the man out for pointing out the essence of our very democracy!

– And this? — “I never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to be president anyway… I think maybe it’s time for a businessman.”

Yeah…I don’t know how the hell that one would ever work to anyone’s advantage…

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Cartoon of the Day

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There’s Hope for Western Civilization Yet…

…MTV is canceling “The Jersey Shore.”

MTV is ending fist-pumping TV phenomenon “Jersey Shore” after this season, the network has confirmed.

MTV announced today that the series will end after its sixth season, which premieres Oct. 4.

MTV said it will start farewell programming next Thursday with a one-hour retrospective to be called “Gym, Tan, Look Back.”

The series, which has followed a group of self-proclaimed “guidos” and “guidettes” from the Jersey Shore to Italy, made stars of characters Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Jennifer “J WOWW” Farley. It has given us new phrases such as as “grenade” (an unattractive person) and “GTL” (gym, tan, laundry).

The decision comes as cast members grow up: Polizzi has just given birth to a son and The Situation recently completed a stint in rehab.

The rest of us, have just completed a stint in Television Hell.


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NFL to Go Into Season with Replacement Refs

Get ready for blown calls, penalties for things normally done in Pop Warner not the NFL, and longer than usual Sunday afternoons in fall.  Replacement refs are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

The NFL will open the regular season next week with replacement officials and said it was prepared to use them “as much … as necessary” afterward.

Replacements will be on the field beginning next Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants to open the season, league executive Ray Anderson told the 32 teams. Negotiations are at a standstill between the NFL and the officials’ union.

The NFL Referees Association was locked out in early June and talks on a new collective bargaining agreement have gone nowhere. Replacements have been used throughout the preseason, with mixed results.

In 2001, the NFL used replacements for the first week of the regular season before a contract was finalized. The speed of the game and the amount of time starters are on the field increase exponentially for real games, making the replacements’ task more challenging.

Anderson, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told the clubs in a memo Wednesday that the replacements will work “as much of the regular season as necessary,” adding that training with each crew will continue.

The NFL noted it has expanded the use of instant replay as an officiating tool this year to include all scoring plays and turnovers. Officiating supervisors will be on hand to assist the crews on game administration issues.

Mind you, this is a lockout, not a strike.  The refs want to get paid more, the owners are unwilling to give them a raise.  Hence the standoff.

Wonder if we’re going to hear much from the #WIUnion folks on this one next Sunday.  That’s when the first Packers home game is against the San Francisco 49ers.

Meanwhile, the players’ union is vowing “Solidarity” with the locked out referees.  One questions how much “solidarity” can exist when the lowest-paid rookie on the kick return unit next Sunday at Lambeau Field is pulling down 6 to 7 times more than the ref will for that game.  Rookie minimum’s about $23,000 a week in the NFL.  Being the head of a refereeing crew gets you about $3,500 a game.

No wonder guys like Ed Hochuli, the most well-known ref (and upper body) in the NFL’s refereeing community, is a million-dollar trial lawyer the other six days of the week.

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Cartoon of the Day

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PA Man Assaults Teen, Then “Tebows” to Mock Victim

Talk about your “News of the Weird.”

After assaulting a Pennsylvania teenager Monday morning, a man paused to mock the victim by “Tebowing,” according to cops.

Shenango Township Police Department officials report that the 17-year-old was on a riding lawn mower cutting grass outside his home when he “turned around on the road, apparently into the path of an oncoming vehicle.”

The car’s driver–who investigators describe as “a taller male, bald, wearing glasses”–exited his vehicle and approached the boy. The suspect then “knocked the juvenile off the lawn mower and assaulted him in the front yard of the residence,” according to police.

As the suspect walked back to his car (“possibly a 1980’s Chrysler New Yorker maroon in color”), he was observed “stopping and kneeling down as if in prayer (a ‘Tebow’),” noted cops. The man then fled the New Castle crime scene.

Police are seeking information on the assailant.

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ABC Gives Greenlight to a “S.H.I.E.L.D” Series from Marvel

You gotta love synergy.

Disney owns both Marvel and ABC.  Marvel provides characters and concepts for movies which makes billions for “the Mouse,” and now moves them onto ABC for our weekly consumption.

And this appears to be what will be the project which gets Joss Whedon back to television after directing the blockbuster film, “The Avengers,” this summer.

ABC has ordered a pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D, a live-action series from The Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon, Marvel TV and ABC Studios. The project is based on Marvel’s peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D (which stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) found in both the Marvel comic book and feature film universes, including the blockbuster 2012 movie The Avengers, in which S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury, recruits Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor to stop Thor’s adoptive brother Loki from subjugating Earth.

S.H.I.E.L.D. will be written by Whedon and frequent collaborators, his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Joss Whedon also is set to direct the pilot, schedule permitting. Production on the pilot, which marks the first live-action Marvel TV project to get a green light, will start immediately. Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Tancharoen executive produce with Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb.

The project had been in the works at Marvel TV and ABC Studios for some time. Earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that it had signed an exclusive film and TV deal with Joss Whedon, which included him writing and directing The Avengers sequel and develop a live-action series for Marvel TV and ABC, both owned by Disney.

Few things first.

1) The Whedons (Joss, Jed, and Tancharoen, since she’s Jed’s wife) are busy working on and wrapping up the sequel to “Dr. Horrible” the successful web musical they produced during the 2008 Writer’s Strike.  TV shows (which “Horrible” stars Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion have for day jobs) are back in production for the upcoming fall season, so the project is rumored to be in production in the Spring of 2013.

2) There’s going to be a hang-up over Samuel L. Jackson.  He’s “Nick Fury” in Marvel’s movie universe, so not having him appear once or twice in the beginning of the series would seem strange.  No one knows if Jackson has the rights to reprise the character or is contracted to do so.  That’s going to be a problem.

3) If I were advising Whedon — which every comic book geek on the planet will think they’re doing anyway — I’d suggest revolving the show around Daisy “Quake” Johnson, an established character in the comic books, but one that has never been in any of the movies.  Daisy has a complicated past (she’s a mutant, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent, the personal protegee of Fury, and she’s the illegitimate daughter of a super-villain), but she’s a tough as nails agent who gets the job done.  If you’re looking for a comparison of what the show could be like, think something along the lines of the USA show “Covert Affairs,” but with much more explosions.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Duke Gets the Cone of Shame

You don’t know how much this bums me out.

I love my parents’ rat terrier “Duke” who we’ve had since 2005 when our previous rat terrier “Dusty” passed away from old age.  He’s had rather intense skin irritation for years, but now it apparently has gotten so bad he’s had a plastic cone put on so he stops scratching around his eyes and gnawing at his legs.

In the past, a simple steroid shot usually was enough to keep Duke’s allergies at bay, but as he’s aged it apparently is not enough anymore.  Here’s hoping the little guy gets some relief to his skin problem and the cone removed in a few days or a week at most.

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Guess this Explains Bill Maher

New study posted in the London Daily Telegraph highlights that consistent, prolonged use of pot will “permanently lower” one’s IQ.

Ain’t it great to have studies around to tell us what hanging around with a pothead for ten minutes would also produce?

Researchers found persistent users of the drug, who started smoking it at school, had lower IQ scores as adults.

They were also significantly more likely to have attention and memory problems in later life, than their peers who abstained.

Furthermore, those who started as teenagers and used it heavily, but quit as adults, did not regain their full mental powers, found academics at King’s College London and Duke University in the US.

They looked at data from over 1,000 people from Dunedin in New Zealand, who have been followed through their lives since being born in 1972 or 1973.

Participants were asked about cannabis usage when they were 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38. Their IQ was tested at 13 and 38. In addition, each nominated a close friend or family member, who was asked about attention and memory problems.

About one in 20 admitted to starting cannabis use before the age of 18, while a further one in 10 took up the habit in the early or mid 20s.

Professor Terrie Moffitt, of KCL’s Institute of Psychiatry, who contributed to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said “persistent users” who started as teenagers suffered a drop of eight IQ points at the age of 38, compared to when they were 13.

There’s nothing quite like science to tell us that smoking anything is going to damage you in some way, shape, or form?

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