Best Books of 2005

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For your reading and gift-giving pleasure, I have grabbed the NY Times’ 100 Notable Books of the Year list for 2005 and posted it to this site. Keep in mind this isn’t the be all end all of lists. For instance, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is not on the list and I’ve heard from a ton of people that it was a great book. That being said, here is the list:

Fiction & Poetry
BEYOND BLACK. By Hilary Mantel. (John Macrae/Holt, $26.) Neurotic, demanding ghosts haunt a British clairvoyant in this darkly comic novel.

A CHANGED MAN. By Francine Prose. (HarperCollins, $24.95.) A neo-Nazi engages a Jewish human rights leader in this morally concerned novel, asking for help in his effort to repent.

COLLECTED POEMS, 1943-2004. By Richard Wilbur. (Harcourt, $35.) This urbane poetry survived the age of Ginsberg, Lowell and Plath.

EMPIRE RISING. By Thomas Kelly. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) A muscular historical novel in which the Irish erect the Empire State Building in a cheerfully corrupt New York.

ENVY. By Kathryn Harrison. (Random House, $24.95.) A psychoanalyst is unhappy but distant until Greek-tragedy things start happening in this novel by an ace student of sexual violation.

EUROPE CENTRAL. By William T. Vollmann. (Viking, $39.95.) A novel, mostly in stories, of Middle European fanaticism and resistance to it in the World War II period.

FOLLIES: New Stories. By Ann Beattie. (Scribner, $25.) This keen observer of the surface of life now slows down for an occasional epiphany.

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. By J. K. Rowling. Illustrated by Mary GrandPr. (Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, $29.99.) In this sixth volume of the epic series, the Dark Lord, Voldemort, is wreaking havoc throughout England and Harry, now 16, is more isolated than ever.

HOME LAND. By Sam Lipsyte. (Picador, paper, $13.) Lipsyte’s antihero, a loser but unbowed, asserts in endless letters to his alumni magazine that all the others are losers too.

THE HOT KID. By Elmore Leonard. (Morrow, $25.95.) Many seek fame in this rendering of America’s criminal landscape in the 1930’s; the title character, a killer lawman, achieves it.

HOW WE ARE HUNGRY: Stories. By Dave Eggers. (McSweeney’s, $22.) A shining miscellany peopled by characters in close touch with childhood.

IN CASE WE’RE SEPARATED: Connected Stories. By Alice Mattison. (Morrow/HarperCollins, $23.95.) The stories concern a family whose members couldn’t lose each other if they tried.

INDECISION. By Benjamin Kunkel. (Random House, $21.95.) This postmodern, posteverything, fresh and funny novel by a young writer seems to develop a nonironic social conscience.

KAFKA ON THE SHORE. By Haruki Murakami. (Knopf, $25.95.) Two characters alternate in this dreamish novel: a boy fleeing an Oedipal prophecy and a witless old man who can talk to cats.

LUNAR PARK. By Bret Easton Ellis. (Knopf, $25.) A novel starring a brat named Bret Easton Ellis, who knows everybody and has more fun than ever happens to real people.

MAPS FOR LOST LOVERS. By Nadeem Aslam. (Knopf, $25.) Unhappy Pakistani exiles in a cold, hard Britain populate this intricate novel.

THE MARCH. By E. L. Doctorow. (Random House, $25.95.) Characters in this absorbing novel are transformed by distress and destruction as Sherman marches to the sea in 1864.

MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES. By Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (Knopf, $20.) A strange and luminous novel whose elderly hero pays for sex but finds love.

MIGRATION: New and Selected Poems. By W. S. Merwin. (Copper Canyon, $40.) Half a century’s work, from archaic allegories to unpointed lyrics to secular prophecy and wisdom verses.

MISSING MOM. By Joyce Carol Oates. (Ecco/ HarperCollins, $25.95.) This novel peers into the void left by a woman’s sudden absence.

MISSION TO AMERICA. By Walter Kirn. (Doubleday, $23.95.) In his new novel, Kirn invents a religion whose believers hit the road to recruit.

MOTHER’S MILK. By Edward St. Aubyn. (Open City, $23.) In this novel an ancient family’s sins are visited on its offspring, who repeat them.

NATURAL HISTORY: Poems. By Dan Chiasson. (Knopf, $23.) This second collection conjures a postmodern landscape where folk knowledge and superstitions arrange into oddly moving litanies.

NEVER LET ME GO. By Kazuo Ishiguro. (Knopf, $24.) This bold novel imagines a school where clones are trained for a terrible destiny.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. By Cormac McCarthy. (Knopf, $24.95.) Women grieve, men fight in this hard-boiled Texas noir crime novel.

ON BEAUTY. Zadie Smith. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) The author of ”White Teeth” pounces on a place like Harvard in a cultural-politics comedy.

OVERLORD: Poems. By Jorie Graham. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $22.95.) Politics and World War II, mediated by a major poet.

THE PAINTED DRUM. By Louise Erdrich. (HarperCollins, $25.95.) A ceremonial drum is magically linked to children and death in Erdrich’s latest novel set among the Ojibwa.

PLEASE DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON. By Dean Bakopoulos. (Harcourt, $23.) When the fathers in the Rust Belt town of this novel abandon it en masse, their sons take over.

PREP. By Curtis Sittenfeld. (Random House, $21.95.) A scholarship girl at a nifty prep school is thrust into a world of privilege in this novel.

SATURDAY. By Ian McEwan. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26.) This novel traces a day off in the life of an English neurosurgeon who comes face to face with senseless violence.

THE SEA. By John Banville. (Knopf, $23.) Banville’s new novel, which won this year’s Man Booker Prize, concerns an aging art critic mourning his wife’s recent death – and his blighted life.

SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY. By Elliot Perlman. (Riverhead, $27.95.) An Australian novel so large in its concept of fiction’s grasp on the world it takes seven narrators just to tell it.

SHALIMAR THE CLOWN. By Salman Rushdie. (Random House, $25.95.) Beauty loses out as Kashmir and Rushdie’s characters who live there turn brutal.

SLOW MAN. By J. M. Coetzee. (Viking, $24.95.) Crippled at 60 in a car-bike accident, instructed willy-nilly by a know-it-all female novelist, Coetzee’s hero studies the diminished life.

STAR DUST. Frank Bidart. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $20.) The fastidious and the primal join in poems concerned with man as maker.

THE SUCCESSOR. By Ismail Kadare. (Arcade, $24.) A whodunit tragicomedy by Albania’s pre-eminent novelist, about a loyal Communist who dies before succeeding to power in that unlucky land.

TOWELHEAD. By Alicia Erian. (Simon & Schuster, $22.) A bluntly erotic novel whose narrator’s budding sexuality gets her driven from home.

VERONICA. By Mary Gaitskill. (Pantheon, $23.) A novel that ruminates on beauty and cruelty, told by a former Paris model now sick and poor.


THE ACCIDENTAL MASTERPIECE: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa. By Michael Kimmelman. (Penguin Press, $24.95.) A study of the unpredictable, by the chief art critic of The Times.

AHMAD’S WAR, AHMAD’S PEACE: Surviving Under Saddam, Dying in the New Iraq. By Michael Goldfarb. (Carroll & Graf, $25.95.) A memoir of a good man murdered for his decency.

AMERICAN PROMETHEUS: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. By Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. (Knopf, $35.) The first full biography of the atom bomb’s father — rich in new revelations.

ARE MEN NECESSARY? When Sexes Collide. By Maureen Dowd. (Putnam, $25.95.) The Times’s twice-a-week Op-Ed columnist for the last decade expands her observations on the gender situation, from the Y chromosome up.

ARMAGEDDON: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945. By Max Hastings. (Knopf, $30.) Though obviously beaten, the Germans wouldn’t give up; an experienced journalist pursues the apparent paradox.

THE ASSASSINS’ GATE: America in Iraq. By George Packer. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) The New Yorker reporter reviews the pride and ignorance he blames for the war.

THE BEATLES: The Biography. By Bob Spitz. (Little, Brown, $29.95.) Spitz’s broad, incisive chronicle breathes new life into the familiar story of the Liverpool boys who conquered the entertainment world.

BECOMING JUSTICE BLACKMUN: Harry Blackmun’s Supreme Court Journey. By Linda Greenhouse. (Times Books/Holt, $25.) A Times correspondent tells how a Minnesota lawyer became the author of the Roe v. Wade decision.

BEYOND GLORY: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink. By David Margolick. (Knopf, $26.95.) A heavyweight chronicle of good’s symbolic clash with evil in the ring.

BOSS TWEED: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York. By Kenneth D. Ackerman. (Carroll & Graf, $27.) The colorful master of graft, our greatest.

BREAK, BLOW, BURN. By Camille Paglia. (Pantheon, $20.) Smart, lively essays on 43 poems, written without ego for a popular audience.

BURY THE CHAINS: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves. By Adam Hochschild. (Houghton Mifflin, $26.95.) How the struggle availed, especially when black Haitian armies beat white French and British ones.

COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. By Jared Diamond. (Viking, $29.95.) In ”Guns, Germs, and Steel” (1997), Diamond speculated on how the world reached its present pecking order of nations; his latest book examines geographic and environmental reasons some societies have fallen apart.

CONSPIRACY OF FOOLS: A True Story. By Kurt Eichenwald. (Broadway, $26.) A meticulous dissection of the rise and fall of Enron by a correspondent for The New York Times.

DE KOONING: An American Master. By Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan. (Knopf, $35.) An exploration at length of de Kooning’s life and work and their role in art’s midcentury upheaval.

DREAM BOOGIE: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. By Peter Guralnick. (Little, Brown, $27.95.) This exhaustive biography surrounds Cooke in the overlapping worlds of gospel, the civil rights movement and rock ‘n’ roll.

ELIA KAZAN: A Biography. By Richard Schickel. (HarperCollins. $29.95.) The stranger-than-fiction life story of the distinguished stage and screen director.

AN END TO SUFFERING: The Buddha in the World. By Pankaj Mishra. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) An intellectual autobiography: what Mishra has learned from the Buddha’s legacy.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. By Charles C. Mann. (Knopf, $30.) This sweeping portrait of pre-Columbian civilization argues that it was far more populous and sophisticated than previously thought.

FREAKONOMICS: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. (Morrow, $25.95.) A maverick scholar and a journalist apply economic thinking to everything from sumo wrestlers who cheat to legalized abortion and the falling crime rate.

GARBAGE LAND: On the Secret Trail of Trash. By Elizabeth Royte. (Little, Brown, $24.95.) A chronicle of the weird stuff that happens to what we discard.

THE GLASS CASTLE: A Memoir. By Jeannette Walls. (Scribner, $25.) Walls and her three sibs, dragged all over the country by damaged parents, thought it a glorious adventure. Tough kids.

A GREAT IMPROVISATION: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America. By Stacy Schiff. (Holt, $30.) A wise account of Benjamin Franklin’s diplomatic brilliance, revealed in Paris at 70.

IN COMMAND OF HISTORY: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War. By David Reynolds. (Random House, $35.) How a very busy man and a staff of busy assistants managed to turn out six volumes in 1948-54.

JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU: Restless Genius. By Leo Damrosch. (Houghton Mifflin, $30.) A life of the self-taught Swiss who proclaimed the noble savage and denounced conventional social distinctions.

JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH: His Life, His Politics, His Economics. By Richard Parker. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $35.) The career of a public intellectual, ambassador and aphorist.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE BRONX IS BURNING: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City. By Jonathan Mahler. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) A narrative that captures New York City’s about-face from rot to rehab.

THE LETTERS OF ROBERT LOWELL. Edited by Saskia Hamilton. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $40.) Confessions, opinions and other people’s secrets animate these missives from a fine poet.

LINCOLN’S MELANCHOLY. By Joshua Wolf Shenk. (Houghton Mifflin, $25.) In an era before the relentless good cheer and glad-handing of modern politicians, Lincoln passed through shadows to triumph.

THE LOST PAINTING. By Jonathan Harr. (Random House, $24.95.) The adventures of Caravaggio’s ”Taking of Christ,” painted in 1602, rediscovered by scholar-hunters in 1990.

MADE IN DETROIT: A South of 8-Mile Memoir. By Paul Clemens. (Doubleday, $23.95.) Clemens (born in 1973) recalls growing up working-class white in a black city losing both people and jobs.

MAO: The Unknown Story. By Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. (Knopf, $35.) A huge, meticulously researched biography that paints Chairman Mao in authentic Hitler-Stalin 20th-century hues.

MARK TWAIN: A Life. By Ron Powers. (Free Press, $35.) A wise and lively biography of an American paradox, always lively, rarely wise.

MATISSE THE MASTER: A Life of Henri Matisse. The Conquest of Color, 1909-1954. By Hilary Spurling. (Knopf, $40.) The final volume of a huge, careful study of a 20th-century wizard.

MIRROR TO AMERICA: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.)A riveting and bitterly candid memoir by a seminal African-American scholar, raised and educated in an era of stifling race prejudice.

NEW ART CITY. By Jed Perl. (Knopf, $35.) The art critic of The New Republic explores heroic Abstract Expressionism and its cool, empirical successors in New York.

NIGHT DRAWS NEAR: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War. By Anthony Shadid. (Holt, $26.) An Arabic-speaking reporter on life in the Red Zone, outside American control.

OH THE GLORY OF IT ALL. By Sean Wilsey. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) A coming-of-age memoir by a writer so skillful his account of his sufferings as a rich kid never becomes insufferable.

OMAHA BLUES: A Memory Loop. By Joseph Lelyveld. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22.) A memoir of a complicated childhood by a former executive editor of The Times.

102 MINUTES: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers. By Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. (Times Books/Holt, $26.) A skilled reconstruction by writers of The Times.

THE ORIENTALIST: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life. By Tom Reiss. (Random House, $25.95.) The bold writer and impostor Lev Nussimbaum (Kurban Said) (Essad Bey) and his lives from 1905 to 1942.

OUR INNER APE: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are. By Frans de Waal. (Riverhead, $24.95.) De Waal addresses the similarities between humans and their closest relatives, bonobos and chimpanzees.

POSTWAR: A History of Europe Since 1945. By Tony Judt. (Penguin Press, $39.95.) An inquiry into why the condition of Europe is so much better than anyone would have dared hope in 1945.

THE PRINCE OF THE CITY: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life. By Fred Siegel with Harry Siegel. (Encounter, $26.95.) Giuliani seen as the Machiavellian prophet of an alternative urban policy and as an eligible president.

THE RISE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: Jefferson to Lincoln. By Sean Wilentz. (Norton, $35.) A clear, readable and monumental narrative work of scholarship, full of rich detail.

THE RIVER OF DOUBT: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey. By Candice Millard. (Doubleday, $26.) A vibrant retelling of Roosevelt’s postelection expedition through the Rio da Davida; what was supposed to be a well-provisioned safari became instead a survey of an uncharted capillary of the Amazon.

1776. By David McCullough. (Simon & Schuster, $32.) A lively work that skewers Washington’s pretensions and admires citizen soldiers.

SPOOK: Science Tackles the Afterlife. By Mary Roach. (Norton, $24.95.) A diligent, cheerful account of efforts to learn whether science can show that there is (or isn’t) life after death.

THE SURVIVOR. By John F. Harris. (Random House, $29.95.) An assessment of Bill Clinton’s performance in the White House; by a reporter for The Washington Post.

A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS. By Amos Oz. (Harcourt, $26.) A memoir by the Israeli novelist, mourning the death of his mother long ago and the demise of the socialist Zion in his own time.

TEAM OF RIVALS: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. By Doris Kearns Goodwin. (Simon & Schuster, $35.) An elegant, incisive study of Lincoln through his relationships with his former political rivals turned cabinet members.

THE TENDER BAR: A Memoir. By J. R. Moehringer. (Hyperion, $23.95.) As an only child abandoned by his father, the author found an adoptive family in a Long Island bar (now defunct).

THEATRE OF FISH: Travels Through Newfoundland and Labrador. By John Gimlette. (Knopf, $25.) Gimlette explores the provincial psyche by journeying through the barren regions whose chief resource, fish, has departed.

TULIA: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town. By Nate Blakeslee. (PublicAffairs, $26.95.) How 38 people, mostly black, were convicted of grave drug charges on virtually no evidence but the word of a single cop.

VINDICATION: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft. By Lyndall Gordon. (HarperCollins, $29.95.) A biography of the brilliant early feminist.

A WAR LIKE NO OTHER: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War. By Victor Davis Hanson. (Random House, $29.95.) The fate of Athens, the superpower of its day, after it tried to export its political system to the rest of the Greek world.

WARPED PASSAGES: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions. By Lisa Randall. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $27.95.) From a Harvard physicist, advanced cosmological theories for lay folk who are a bit baffled by the idea of 10 dimensions.

WITHOUT APOLOGY: Girls, Women, and the Desire to Fight. By Leah Hager Cohen. (Random House, $24.95.) Cohen thoughtfully tracks girls’ boxing till she herself is converted to pugilism.

WODEHOUSE: A Life. By Robert McCrum. (Norton, $27.95.) The prolific, industrious creator of Jeeves and oh so many dear others.

THE WORLD IS FLAT: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. By Thomas L. Friedman. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.50.) The New York Times columnist maps the next phase of globalization as technological forces level the world’s economic playing field.

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING. By Joan Didion. (Knopf, $23.95.) A powerful, persuasive account of the crisis of mortality after the sudden death of the author’s husband.


Longer Needles Needed For Fatter Butts

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I like to put my own spin on whatever I post and create my own titles instead of simply cutting and pasting an article’s existing title. That being said, the headline to a science article about how longer needles are needed for fatter butts was so perfect that it basically forced me to reuse it. It seems that fat asses are causing many drug injections to miss their mark as regular length needles are not getting to the buttock muscle. Fascinating.
Via Neu


Playing Politics

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I just learned that Lipson, among other things, is a ward (an electoral district represented by one or more councillors) in the city of Plymouth, England. I would love to be Councillor Lipson of Lipson at some point in the future. I probably would have to become a UK citizen though so I’ll really have to think about this one.


Just End The Season Update #2

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Another Sunday, another loss and they keep getting worse. One week removed from a total drubbing the J-E-T-S this week decided to dole out large scoops of hope (which tasted delicious). However, an hour or so later it was evident that the hope I had just eaten had spoiled months ago and that I was soon going to be very sick.

Like so many other Jets games that I’ve watched over the years, they fought gallantly only to come up nauseatingly short at the very end. Down by 2 points with only 10 seconds on the game clock, their rookie kicker, who already had made 4 field goals (the Jets had lots of trouble figuring out how to get into the end zone), came up about a yard short from about 53 yards out. Actually, it might have been a foot short. It was that close, but you know what they say though: close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. This game featured neither, the Jets lost at home and they are now a disgusting 2-9. Yes, Houston is still worse as they blew a 21-3 lead at home to lose 24-21 in OT which dropped them to 1-10. Its like they both are playing a game of chicken and I pray the Jets swerve first. Having the first pick in the draft isn’t that big of deal to me. I’ll take dignity over Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush any day…


Texting "GOOGL"

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Topping my “I should have bought this stock at the IPO” list for the past few weeks has been Google. One of the reasons is because it continues to release cool apps. Take Google SMS for instance, which enables you to send queries as text messages over your mobile phone or device and easily get precise answers to your questions. No links. No web pages. Just text – and the information you’re looking for. Try the demo and see how you can:

  • Get local business listings when you’re on the road.
  • Obtain driving directions to get from point A to point B.
  • Find movie showtimes and theater locations.
  • Check weather conditions and 4-day forecasts.
  • Study the latest stock quotes.
  • Get quick answers to straightforward questions.
  • Compare online product prices with ones you find in retail stores.
  • Look up dictionary definitions.

Its pretty cool. If you are stuck in traffic during the holidays, play around. Tangentially related, I wonder if “texting” an approved way of referring to sending someone a text message, as in “I’m texting it to you now.” What do you think? I vote “yes.”


Just End the Season Update #1

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Last week I issued my declaration that the New York Jets should just end the season. Yesterday, they validated my call by getting shut out for the first time in 10 years in losing to Denver 27-0. Lovely. They have lost all 6 of their road games and have been outscored in those games 151 to 44. Super lovely. They also lost 2 quarterbacks in 1 game for the second time this season, which isn’t half as bad as the fact that these 2 are different from the last 2, which means that the Jets are now on their 5th different quarterback this season. Super duper lovely. Did I mention that Brooks was vomiting on the sideline due to his massive concussion before he was escorted to the locker room? Did I mention that before Interceptaverde was knocked out he threw 2 more picks and fumbled the ball thrice bringing his total after only 4 and a half games to 6 interceptions and 5 fumbles? I think I’m going to stop now and just say I told you so.

Needless to say though I’m still watching and still hoping. Longtime Jet and future Hall of Famer Curtis Martin said “It’s about as low as it gets, to be honest with you, but you can never give up. We’re going to keep coming to work and we’re going to keep trying.” Actually Curtis, it could be worse. Houston is 1-9 and relatively healthy so their excuse is that they are just plain awful. Then again, who knows what will happen next week – the J-E-T-S may pass them by…


Bring Them Home

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I have for a long time subscribed to the “you break it, you buy it” foreign policy in regards to Iraq. We broke it, we bought it, period. However, as it seems that no strides have been taken towards creating any sort of a plan almost 2.5 years after we first went there, I’m starting to think getting the hell out of there as soon as possible is not such a bad idea.

Yesterday, Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, rejecting the Bush administration attacks on war critics and raising bipartisan pressure for a new policy. Rep. Murtha, the senior Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party’s top voices on military issues said, “The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home.”

When one of the biggest Democratic defense hawks, who happens to be a decorated Vietnam War veteran and retired Marine colonel, says something like that, I listen. He said, “The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It’s a flawed policy wrapped in illusion” and I agree wholeheartedly.

This 73-year-old man is a decorated Marine veteran who served as an intelligence officer in Vietnam and is widely respected by his colleagues on military matters. His stance has the potential to influence others in Congress who are nervous about falling public support for the war (I have my fingers crossed). Emotionally, he spoke of his regular visits to wounded soldiers at nearby Walter Reed Hospital and Bethesda Naval Medical Hospital. “Our military is suffering,” he said. “The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course.”

I also loved how he rebuked recent Cheney’s scare tactics by making a reference to the draft deferments that kept Cheney out of Vietnam. He said, “I like guys who got five deferments and (have) never been there and send people to war, and then don’t like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done.”

Well said. Well said. I for one have decided that I’m going to be more vocal in supporting the elected officials who I believe are part of the solution. If they are going to stick their necks out for the Republican Scare & Hate Machine to try and chop off, I’m going to get their back. I just called Congressman Murtha’s DC office (202-225-2065) to say that I support him and that I thank him for speaking out. I have a feeling I’m going to dialing Washington alot more in the next few months so that my voice is logged and noted. As I’ve previously stated, these calls and emails DO matter. I suggest that if you agree, you do the same. Enough is enough.


W Got Google bombed

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Yesterday, Jessie sent me a classic google bomb and while I have seen it before, it continues to make me laugh.

  1. Type in the word “failure” into Google’s search box
  2. Click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky!” button
  3. See what happens

If case you are scratching your head over the term, here is a definition:

Google bomb – a certain attempt to influence the ranking of a given page in results returned by the Google search engine. Due to the way that Google’s PageRank algorithm works, a page will be ranked higher if the sites that link to that page all use consistent anchor text. A Google bomb is created if a large number of sites link to the page in this manner. Google bomb is used both as a verb and a noun.

Google bombing is also why you see stupid non-sensical comments advertising all sorts of naughty things (you know, sex, drugs and not too often rock n’ roll) on my site almost daily. These are known as comment spam and they have forced me scrub my site daily which annoys me to no end. All comment spammers should die a painful death followed by spending an eternity in hell. Wow. I went dark there for a minute didn’t I? Speaking of dark, I wonder which government agency picked up this post because of the title. Maybe there is now a file on me. Just food for thought.
Via Jessie


Pizza Pizza

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Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of pizza “officially” being in America. On November 14th, 1905 New York City granted Lombardi’s Brick Oven Pizzeria a license to operate, making it the first pizzeria not only in New York City but in all of America as well. I for one love pizza and think that this auspicious occasion should be celebrated by one and all. Here are a few reasons why:

  • It is everywhere, its quick and its convenient. Doesn’t matter what time of day it is – if you are hungry, there is a pizzeria nearby and you’ll have a slice in your belly in no time flat.
  • It is like sex – even when its bad its good.
  • It contains all 5 food groups in one tasty slice: grains (the dough), fruits & vegetables (the sauce), dairy and calcium-rich foods (the cheese), proteins (if in fact you get sausage, pepperoni or chicken on your slice) and fats and oils (the stuff that turns 2-3 napkins translucent).
  • It is the perfect compromise: “You want to cook?” “Not really.” “You want Chinese?” “Nah.” “Thai?” “Nah.” “Italian?” “Eh, not really.” “Well, what about just pizza then?” “Pizza? Yeah, I can do that…”
  • It is a good indicator of inflation. A slice of pizza almost always mirrors the cost of a subway ride. Going back to when a slice was a nickel, economists have shown that the slice of a piece of pizza and a ride on the subway have remained almost equal for the last 100 years. When you see a slice of regular pizza hit $2.25 or $2.50, look out for an MTA fare hike. For about a year a plain slice was $2.00 while the subway was only $1.50 a ride so I knew something was coming and sure enough, the MTA raised the fares. Coincidence? I think not.
  • Some of the best commercials have been for pizza. Any of these ring a bell? “Avoid the Noid.” “Regular price, Four bucks, Four bucks.” “Its not delivery, its DiGiorno.” And don’t get me started on the Little Caesar’s commercials. In fact, I’m going to try and hunt down my favorite pizza commercials and post them here.

If you have any other reasons why you think pizza is so fantastic, post a comment and let me know. If you don’t like pizza, I want to hear from you too because I just don’t see how that is possible…