Saturday, March 26, 2011

Benny Hinn returns to the Burgh

On April 18, 2003 (back in my pre-blogging days), the world's wealthiest televangelist, Benny Hinn, came to Mellon Arena for one of his famed miracle crusades. I decided to launch a counter protest at the venue. My goal was clearly stated - Demand an apology from Mellon Bank President Martin McGuinn and an assurance that Benny Hinn would not be permitted back in the future. I thought the mission statement of Mellon Bank was incompatible with the objectives of a faith healer/con artist. My theory - if you purchase the naming rights to a venue, you have an overriding responsibility to the public to ensure that the event "reasonably conforms" to community standards. For example, I seriously doubt Mellon Bank would want their good name affiliated with a Neo-Nazi rally or a KKK function at the now defunct Mellon Arena.

So I rented a van and assembled a rag-tag group of about 10 protesters. We displayed signs and coated the parking lots with anti-Hinn literature. The "protest" was a mild success. Believe it or not, it was the lead story on all 3 Pittsburgh news channels (KDKA, WPXI & WTAE). However, we never got the apology from the Mellon President. And we were shuffled off arena property. I do think I got my point across though. You simply cannot have faith healers exploiting taxpayer funded municipal buildings. They belong in circus tents aka the carnival circuit.

Anyway, 8 years has passed and many things have changed. One thing that has not changed is my utter contempt for Benny Hinn and others of his ilk. Despite my attempt to neutralize this billionaire predator, he still sends me junk email. So I was flabbergasted when I saw that Benny Hinn is making his triumphant return to Pittsburgh on Thursday Sept. 1 (7pm) and 2 "shows" on Friday, Sept. 2. This fuckhead will be appearing at the Soldiers & Sailors Hall on the University of Pittsburgh campus in what is hailed as a "Fire Conference." Ooooh, I like the sound of that. What the hell is a "fire" conference. Let me give you a hint. If you don't give him money, you'll burn in the fiery pits of eternal damnation. It's the same old song and dance. Prey on the naive and terminally ill, while Benny Hinn laughs all the way to the bank (perhaps Mellon Bank).

Granted, Hinn's stature has been relegated a bit over the years. He still has an enormous television presence but has scaled back on the number and size of touring crusades. Thus, a much smaller venue this time around - probably a capacity of about 3,000.

Anyhoo, for those unfamiliar with Benny, he is a tall, thin Hispanic man. And he has a penchant for wearing these expensive all-white Italian suits. Unfortunately, he also has a state of the art security contingency which rivals that of the Secret Service. You can probably see where I'm going with this.

It is my desire to "tar and feather" this con artist. In the old days, tarring and feathering was quite popular. Usually, not designed to seriously injure, just to publicly humiliate. Adulterous women were often the recipient of this unusual style of punishment. Kind of like wearing a scarlet letter. Also, political dissidents would be routinely tarred, feathered and paraded around the town square. It's logical to conclude that the time has returned for a good 'ol fashioned T & F.

You could smuggle in some maple syrup (compliments of G Mo from the annual maple sugaring event at Oglebay Park's Schrader Environmental Center - it's going on right now as we speak... or as I type I suppose). I would load it in either small squeeze Aunt Jemima bottles or miniature Super-Soaker type weapons. You would have to dilute it with a sufficient amount of water and then add the requisite black dye.
I AM TAR MAN (see... like Tom Hanks in Castaway - "I AM FIRE MAN. I HAVE CREATED FIRE," etc. blah).

I will require 2 volunteers. One needs to spray this "tar-like" solution on Benny Hinn. Then, while another is filming this debacle, I come out of nowhere with a garbage bag full of feathers (most likely extracted out of stolen pillows from Wilson Lodge). BAM! That fuckhead gets a modern day tar and feathering. All the while, the whole thing is immediately posted on youtube. Of course, there is a downside to all of this. We all get manhandled by his security and have to spend the night in jail. I recommend bringing mace to defend thyself. Probably end up with disorderly conducts and destruction of property (his near $5,000 suit). I doubt he'd have the balls to press charges though. But yes, this would most likely entail some jail time.

The other option is to go and disrupt the fire conference with air horns. Assemble your teams and spread out. Just when things start to heat up (it being a fire conference and all), you blast Benny with simultaneous blares. This is really more of a feel-good deal. Doesn't really accomplish much. The upside, no jail time.

Anyway, I'm open to other suggestions. This Benny Hinn shit is going down right before the WVU home opener on September 3. If I were to meet my demise in a potential artificially generated surge at Mountaineer Field... Well, I say fuck it - I'm going out in style with a pre-Hinn Wolfman Berzerker blitz that would please both Jay and Silent Bob.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eltoned in the John

I zipped up to Gig's for the Elton John show at Consol Energy Center last night. Around 4pm I exited the Fort Pitt tunnel and was crushed by a brief hail storm. 279N was a slight mess. Several cars pulled off to the side as if that would somehow alleviate the problems associated with God's fury of frozen water. Anyway, made it to her place and the cats were cowering. One in the basement, the other beneath a blanket. Sure enough, another 5 minute hail blitz broke out. Very unusual weather patterns.

So we cruised over to the arena and parked in our favorite Church parking lot in the hood. I'll never be a god-fearing bozo, but if I ever have even the slightest inclination to join a congregation... it's going to be St. Benedict The Moor Catholic Church on Crawford Street near the cusp of the hood. This is the baddest ass lot n'at in all of dahntahn.

As usual, we had no tickets and were unwilling to pay. Why ruin a streak? So we made 4 signs.

ELTON SMELLTON (that's all it said - not really sure what this would accomplish)


I GUESS THAT'S WHY THEY CALL ME A JEW. (take off on the song "I Guess that's why they call it the Blues" - I thought this was clever)

and the customary mainstay...
All Hail Sir Elton (subtle reference to the earlier hail storm).

Anyway, we eyed up this one couple who had extra tickets but got chased away by an overzealous cop. He wanted to see my sign. Fortunately, I showed him the "won't sit next to you" side, not the "suck my dick" side. So after being bullied by the pig, we walked down to the lower entrance. Apparently, this cop doesn't watch much Dr. Phil. If he did, he'd be more aware of the bullying crisis that's suddenly sweeping the nation.

This one older trio I encountered seemed content to eat a couple tickets. We spoke for a bit and despite my reassurances to not resell them or sit near them, they opted to eat 'em anyway. As they walked through the entrance, I yelled "SHAME" trying to instill a recollection of the ongoing Wisconsin collective bargaining labor crisis. But alas, they were completely unfazed.

But we scored tickets in no time. Mine was actually a floor seat print-out (face value $142 + $7). This couple said their son could not attend and was more than happy to give me a freebie. COOL! A shout out to Mark Alessandro - that's the name on the print-out. Gig got a freebie first level.

So we walked in and went all the way to the top. We grabbed a standing table on the other side of the curtain. We watched one guy wolf down an entire roast beef sub in about 48 seconds. He dipped it in the au jus with unbridled enthusiasm. It reminded me of the Asian kid who dunks his hot dogs in a bucket of water during the annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest. Then we saw another man voraciously chugging a box of M&M's.

Something about these seats/standing area just wasn't right. This was quite possibly the farthest area from the stage in the entire arena (the back of section 212). We decided to hang there for a couple songs. After the second song (Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting), these three older women walked down the aisle and waved 3 tickets in the air. Out of nowhere, she asks us, "Do you guys want to use these floor tickets?" Gig's response was "sure" and I think mine was "F'in A." We glanced at the tickets - all Floor comps indeed, section 8.

We decided to walk to the front and see how far we could get. The answer - would be 5th row aisle seats, directly in front of Smelton John. Certainly some of the best/priciest seats in the house. About 10 songs in, a crazed middle aged woman came rumbling through. She was very emotional and seemed to want to stomp her heels a lot. Eventually, security escorted her out. At one point she took over my seat and I was forced into the aisle. I was cool with it though. She seemed to "need it" more than me.

Highlights for me were "Philadelphia Freedom", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Tiny Dancer." Quite the showman, he was joined by famed Leon Russell on another Yamaha grand piano. Russell, who I initially thought was one of the guitarists from ZZ Top, played mostly bluesy, slower stuff. For the most part, it was pretty cool. Elton John played about 30 songs for almost 3 hours. Long show. And I really enjoyed the 4 black female background singers. Especially the larger one on the left who really seemed to embrace the atmosphere.

On the way out, we went scavenging for extra ticket stubs for the downstairs bathroom wall. Instead, I found a cell phone on the floor of the first level. Gig eventually made contact and we met up with the owner outside. Their van pulled up and she rolled down the window. Considering, we went out of our way to help her, you would think she'd be somewhat appreciative. Not the case whatsoever. I wasn't expecting a cash reward, but she could have at least been a teeny bit grateful. If I recall correctly, she was from Bethel Park. I'd estimate she was in her mid 50's. She bore a slight resemblance to female golfing legend JoAnne Carner. I'd say her theme song was "The Bitch is Back" (one of the concert highlights). If you know this woman, tell her to suck a bag of dicks.

So we took a non-circuit pathway back through the hood. Made it back to Gig's in less than 10 minutes. Gig made me a pizza of which I devoured half. Then, out of nowhere, I got a horrible migraine headache. Probably a combination of the lack of food and an abundance of wine. I haven't had a migraine in years. I couldn't lay down. I just kept walking around like a zombie with my head throbbing. At one point, I had tears rolling down my face. Crazy. So I just decided to bolt. I figured the cold air might help. The headache finally began to subside around Dallas Pike. Got back to my place around 5am and dutifully blogged the events of the night - another concert in the books.

I've never been a huge Elton John fan, but I do respect the guy. A consummate performer. Great stage presence. Like Gig said, how often do you get to see not one, but two pianists in a 20,000+ arena-style venue. And I never mentioned, I'm pretty sure it was a complete sell-out. Glad we went. Other than the headache, definitely a fun one.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

why Libya?

Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me, "Saf, why do you think we're specifically bombing Libya?" I gave it some thought.

If gas prices hit $5.00 per gallon in 2012, the possibility of Obama getting reelected is vastly diminished. The Obama team is well aware of this. This Operation "Odyssey Dawn" is about sending a message to rogue Middle Eastern & North African dictators. If you can't maintain stability (we prefer to call it instituting democratic reforms), you're outta there.

From what I understand, Libya has about a 2% stake in the light sweet crude market. Not a significant presence, but it could definitely cause long-term instability in the oil futures markets. This is diesel fuel which has a much larger role in Europe; hence, the return of our traditional allies (France, Spain, England). I thought it was curious that we are going to "hand over" the military operation to France. Maybe Obama could recycle the "Freedom Fries" nonsense from 8 years ago. Christ, it doesn't seem like it has been that long. In any event, if the European economy (which is already fragile) takes a hit, these days in the interconnected global economy, we'll take a major hit as well.

So what happens to Libya? Here's my best guess. Moammar Khaddafy (sp? - there are about a baker's dozen different spellings) retains power in Tripoli and maybe some worthless regions in the South. The U.S. has made it clear that killing Khaddafy is not integral to the mission. I suspect they'll partition Libya and enforce the new borders with NATO ground troops. The plan - maintain enough stability so gas doesn't go near the 5 buck mark just in time for the next election cycle. If it happens... there will certainly be a double dip recession. This translates into NO Obama... or Nobama.

The energy wars have always been with us, but with the fallout from the Japanese nuclear crisis and the Obama administration push for clean energy (EPA vs. the coal and gas states), this thing is going to heat up. The Republicans will embark on a unified message. And it goes something like this, Obama has no rational domestic energy policy and this results in a haphazard foreign policy. And he can't be trusted to handle the complex problems in the Middle East (because he's sympathetic to the desire for a Muslim caliphate). Safe assumption - parts of the Middle East and North Africa will continue to be hotbeds of instability and turmoil. Even if things clam down (doubtful), you can always portray them as turbulent.

If I'm Mitt Romney, I let the others (Palin, Gingrich, Huckabee) use the harshest "Obama is a Muslim" rhetoric. I stay cool, calm and most important, PRESIDENTIAL. Then, at crunch time, I tell the American public that I'm the jobs, energy and economy candidate. Let all the others duke it out for the extreme social elements of the Republican primary voters in Iowa. There will be a ton of candidates and no clear cut winner will emerge. Downplay the Iowa caucuses, head to New Hampshire and spend a shitload of money. But don't wait til Florida like Guiliani did (very foolish). By then, you haven't established any momentum. I suspect the more moderate Romney would do well in Florida with all the retired Northeast transplants. The interim South Carolina primary would probably play out much like Iowa - a diluted vote with no clear cut winner.

All in all, the Libya excursion is about looking down the road and trying to anticipate the future. And for most Americans, it's about the cost of gas. If it costs over $50 to fill up the Jeep Wrangler at Exxon, I don't have money left over for that Slim Jim beef product. I have to downgrade from Marlboro Lights to Basics. No Gatorade either, gotta save a dime and go with Powerade. It is these three consumer choices that could break the Obama administration. Tubed meat in a plastic sheath, quality cancer sticks with the accompanying breath stank and ion-replenishing sugar water. Not a good time for Obama to mention his affinity for arugula.

Do not be fooled. It has nothing to do with freedom, oppression and genocide. In the near term, it's ALL about oil. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, you can always throw in those tag lines. And I suspect you'll hear them at-will during the forthcoming Republican debates. They're already laying the groundwork with this incessant theme of "American exceptionalism." It's going to be an exhausting refrain. Just don't be fooled.

One other observation. I think Obama secretly wants a challenge from the left wing of the Democratic party. Some anti-war liberal like Dennis Kucinich with no money and few resources would be ideal. Obama would quickly dispose of him. Much like Clinton disposed of Bill Bradley (D-NJ) back in 1996. Plus, it reassures the small number of undecideds that Obama is trending toward the center. Obama needs to appear hawkish on foreign policy. He wants that sustained war-time footing. No U.S. President running for reelection has ever lost during a time of war. If gas surpasses $5.00/gallon, Obama could prove the exception.

And I still think Obama dumps Joe Biden. Shake things up a bit - maybe bring on Ed Rendell (former Governor of Pennsylvania - very similar to Biden w/ the blue collar appeal, but far less gaffe prone). Plus Rendell has fantastic national exposure via cable news and represents the critical electoral votes in the underrated Appalachia. Watch for Rendell - A savvy political ploy to take back the center. We'll see.

I'll predict in 2012, the Obama/Rendell ticket squeaks out a tough campaign over Romney/Pawlenty. Of course the best way to secure an Obama victory... get a fiscal-hawk, social extremist Tea-partier like Sarah Palin to run as a third party candidate. She gets about 8% of the vote and screws the entire Republican party. How's that for irony? McCain created a Frankenstein. Except this Frankenstein has an insatiable ego and the ability to memorize and spout off about everything imaginable... except her daughter Bristol's baby being born out of wedlock. YOU BASTARD! (Think in terms of Braveheart where the two sides ignite their intimidation campaign prior to the Battle of Stirling). These days, we call it bullying.

Above all else, Palin wants to stay relevant and in the news. She could care less about her negatives. She just wants to maintain her coinage. Perhaps be a major player at the RNC 2012 convention. With such a display of overwhelming personalities (Romney, Pawlenty, and all the other bean counters), she would probably steal the show and possibly steer the national discourse on the classic social issues (abortion, gays and DOG). Maybe she could run on this sole, key issue - institute EVERY day as a national day of prayer. Doesn't only one day of prayer constitute a slap in the face to an omnipotent, omnipresent overseer? Seriously, all 365 days a year should be federally sanctioned as days of prayer and repentance. If it's only one day, a vengeful DOG will surely lash out with more environmental disasters. If DOG is indeed a merciful and caring DOG, we must do more to placate its monster ego.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Peter King hearings

If the Peter King (R - New York) led congressional hearings looking into the problem of Muslim radicalism are a sound idea, why not have them at all levels of government? Seriously, if the direness of the impending threat is so extreme... why not have hearings at the state, county and city level as well? Shouldn't we look to congressional activity as a barometer for evaluating the needs of our country. Seems reasonable. After all, these terrorists are lurking in sleeper cells in various nooks and crannies. Interesting that crannies is a real word. I figured it would get red-squiggly underlined.

My question is this. Why hasn't a single high-profile person opposed to these hearings offered this counterpoint? It's a great way to phrase the argument and "refudiate" the objectives of Peter King. After all, this is simply a McCarthy-like witch hunt. I don't think it was a reelection ploy though. He's from a pretty conservative district (especially considering it's right outside New York City). I realize 9/11 had a greater emotional impact on this region of the country, but I don't believe he's pandering to anti-Muslim sentiment as a strategy for re-election.

What I'm saying is that someone else must have encouraged these hearings. I'd speculate it's part of an overall strategy to get rid of Obama. Did this entire movement to crush collective bargaining rights just magically appear throughout the entire Northeast and a bunch of pivotal swing states in the Midwest? Is it all just a spontaneous coincidence? Of course not.

Obamacare was the big enchilada though. The Republican response necessitated some national coordination. They really needed to galvanize the Republican base, especially the poor schmucks of the south. Best to do that through social issues. Stick with classics - abortion, gays & god. And be sure to stoke the flames of Islamaphobia and the incessant socialism/anti-freedom refrain. As if the two are mutually exclusive.

The problem is the Republicans, with the exception of Romney, just don't have any credible contenders. Newt the hypocrite is literally fucked by the Clinton impeachment vote. Huckabee, who's still strong in Iowa, is screwed by the "Obama is a Muslim" rhetoric. Palin is a whack job and her high negatives will never go away. Santorum has no cash. Pawlenty could be strong in the vp role. If there ever was a guy who looked like a VP, it's Pawlenty. Even his name sounds VPish. Mitch Daniels and John Huntsman - nobody knows these guys. Haley Barbour, way too southern.

I'd go with a Romney/Pawlenty ticket or possibly Romney with John Thune. But my point, the Republicans need this country to be a complete train wreck and then just play the blame game. Not the worst strategy. It could be very effective if there's another Islamic terror attack. That's why they all stick to the "Obama's a Muslim" rhetoric. The toned down, barely politically acceptable version of this is, "He says he's a Christian and I'll take him at his word." I think this a wise Republican theme - keep hammering away at it. If it's only about the economy and nothing suddenly catastrophic occurs, Obama should squeak by and keep most of the states he won in 2008.

Bush vs. Gore (2000) - the pivotal state was Florida and the forgotten crisis in New Mexico.
Bush vs. Kerry (2004) - it was all about Ohio
Obama vs. McCain - (2008) the swing states all went Obama, and he picked up Virginia (huge) and I'm pretty sure Indiana and North Carolina. I'd expect these states to play a looming role in 2012. It's going to be a rough ride for the Republican candidate to snag back these states, let alone the historic swing states (Ohio & PA). Good news is West Vagina - guaranteed Republican. You could even run the deceased body of Richard Nixon.

My prediction. Obama dumps Biden. Hillary steps in to fill the VP slot. The Republicans need a credible anti-war Independent running from the center-left. I've said it before... Tom Hanks. If Hanks, or someone in a similar vain, makes a move - Obama is fucked. Same thing's true for the Democrats. If someone like Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan run from the center-right as an Independent, Obama stays put. A cool scenario - 2 strong, credible Independent candidates from both angles. You would really start to carve apart the popular vote. It's gotta happen one of these days. Too many egos in the country with too much spare change.

Friday, March 11, 2011

morningstar communications

I just got a junk email from these guys. This is beyond insane. The message they sent is worthless, but it's the email recipient list that will completely blow your mind.

Here's the crappy message. It's not even coherent or convincing...

Dear Investor,

Over here at Morning Star Communications, we strive to find you the best
market opportunities. We are happy to say OTC:BB IDVC is the right kind of
opportunity. Find out why the house, senate and DOD all agree that this company is heading in the right direction.

Click here to get more information::

MorningStar Communications.

But here's what puts the "CON" in the Wis-CON-son collective bargaining crisis.
The email list is full of "sonofs." I guess this would be pronounced "sun-uhhvzzz" I chose not to complete them w/ the relevant domain name (they're all hotmail). I just thought it made for an interesting spam e-mail subset. If you were the I.T. consultant for Morningstar and dished out cash for this "targeted" email list, I hope your superiors don't read this blog entry. Anyway, here are some of the unusual email addresses...

sonofsword - Sounds like something from a Lord of the Rings fanatic. I've tried to watch that movie 3 times now. I fall asleep every time about 30 minutes in. It's exhausting with all the whispering and early emphasis on jubilant Hobbit crap.

sonofsapphire - My birth stone is the peridot.

sonofsun - they stole this from me. One of my double cds is the sonofsun/sonofmoon compilation.

sonof666 - I was at Starlake many years ago and this guy milling around the top of the steps had a t-shirt that simply read...


I like it when these concertgoers show up at Eat'n'Park, Friendly's or King's after the concert. Any family style restaurant will do. The facial reactions from elderly diners are a sight to behold.

sonoffrance - What the hell does this mean anyway? Sounds like something out of Braveheart. Edward the Longshanks reached a duplicitous arrangement with Son Of France.

sonofabitch - Maybe the person likes that crappy anthem rocker, "Now You're Messin' With A Son of a Bitch." I forget who sings that song - Nazareth or someone like Ted Nugent?

sonofasonofasailor - Lame. Fail. Obviously a Jimmy Buffett fan. Stick a cheeseburger up his ass. He'll probably think it's paradise.

sonofsilverman - Ahhh, a fellow Jew. I wonder if there's a sonofschwartz.

sonofsaturn - I have a hunch on this one. General Motors marketed and actively promoted their Saturn line to gay men. Proud fag bought new car.

sonofsam - there were a bunch of these accompanied by several different numerical combinations (i.e. sonofsam13, sonofsam666, etc). Overall, not too creative.

sonof69 - Does anyone actually try this sex move anymore? I think it got phased out in late 70's/early 80's porn.

sonofyourmom - this begs the question, "Who are you?" and the person replies - I'm the son of your mom" Assuming that's the intent... hysterical, very funny.

I regret to inform you that there wasn't a Kind of a bummer. I thought there might be a few more duplicate names other than sonofsun. After all, I've got over 40 sonofcds and you figure the law of averages would kick in at some point.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Porter Stansberry commercial

I just saw the Porter Stansberry commercial that runs on MSNBC and who knows what other channels. You know, it's the one where this visionary investor who predicted the demise of General Motors, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae is claiming the United States will soon face an economic catastrophe that is 10X worse than the 2008 U.S. economic collapse. The 30 second commercial claims a financial Armageddon is coming this year. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I do not know. Fortunately, he describes ways you can actually make money when the U.S. government goes kaput. In any event, I did listen to his entire infomercial. A few observations...

First is the doomsday ploy he uses to grab your attention. This was done through the short commercial blip. And it's pretty damn effective. I like how they showed the children playing in the schoolyard with the ominous, foreboding music in the background. I also was intrigued that he focused on the housing crisis and not companies like AIG. After all, most people have short attention spans when it comes to the specific insurance companies and banks. They're far more likely to have been affected by the housing crisis. Smart move w/ Freddie & Fannie, even though most people have only a vague understanding how these companies work. They just know that they're affiliated with the federal government. It is fair game though.

The major thing that stuck in my mind was the "IMMINENT DANGER WARNING - MANY PEOPLE WILL FIND THIS OFFENSIVE" at the top of the screen. There's an underlying suggestion that there are "corrupt individuals" that wish to silence him. If the information I'm about to divulge finds its way to the general public, we're all screwed. Never mind that it's pasted all over the interent. This is just a simple "me against them" approach. It's not very effective with me, but has this aggressive Fox News distribution mentality which is so pervasive these days.

I also thought the format was curious. There's no way to scroll through the damn thing. The timing bar at the bottom has been disabled so you have absolutely no idea how long this piece will drone on. You can't just sift through it. You have to listen to the thing in its entirety. I wouldn't be too shocked to see more of this stuff on the internet int he future. Very effective propaganda - just text with a reassuring voice overlay. My brother forwarded me a similar piece that lashed out against Bernanke, Geithner and the Federal Reserve. This one was far more convincing because they didn't try to sell me anything at the end.

The build up is fascinating. He spends about the first 75% building his resume. Impressing the listener with facts, figures, charts, quotes, etc. Also fair game but easily refuted. One of the key arguments he makes is that there's a growing number of countries who seek to suddenly eliminate the prevailing global U.S. currency standard. And it's all going to happen at once. Yep, you guessed it - in 2011. But he refuses to acknowledge that all the countries involved in this exclusive cabal would face dire economic consequences as well.

At the end of this unusual piece, he claims he has "secret" ways to save your finances and more importantly, "protect your family." This is big-time fear mongering. He even surprisingly mentions the possibility of stocking up, hiding out in the woods and living off-the-grid for 6 months. Surprised he took it to that level because that's not just scare tactics, it's pure fear mongering. The government will not protect you. They will only seek to protect themselves. You'll be left out in the cold. And your children will starve.

Finally, he makes his pitch. You've got to buy gold and silver NOW. Hey, this advice is free. Ahhh, cool. Thanks man. But wait, he has "secret" ways to go the extra mile that the government doesn't want you to know about. The investment advice is free but you need to pay the extra 50 bucks for the "inside" information which will strengthen your bank account even when the country is in a state of civil war. Also curious is his desire to be paid for this confidential information with U.S. currency - the stuff he feels is going to be totally worthless. Hmmm?

What I found fascinating was the build-up and production quality of the commercial. It's designed to appeal to your two base instincts, fear and greed. This is the oldest scam in the book. Prey upon the 2 biggest emotions that govern impetuous decision making. The pure rolling text lets you read along and be educated. Some words in bold, some underlined. The whole thing reminds me of my arch nemesis Benny Hinn, the world's leading billionaire televangelist. Hinn uses very similar tactics. Although far less informative from an intellectual standpoint, Benny loves to use the fear card (of course, he goes after your physical health AND financial well-being). Same general principles though.

I just found the whole thing fascinating because this Porter Stansberry creation could represent the first, major attempt to legitimize investment scams in the name of free speech. Stansberry has already been fined 1.5 million by the hated SEC for some "monetary free speech" issues that arose in 2002. So he has this cult-like standing to pursue his cause. And we've already seen political commentators like Glen Beck pushing for a return to the gold standard. Maybe Beck, Stansberry and Benny Hinn could get together and resurrect the Cross of Gold speech (William Jennings Bryant - see, that 10th grade U.S. history class finally paid off). I think it's interesting that MSNBC execs took the low road and decided to run this ad. Perhaps they weren't given a choice or some form of leverage was exacted upon them. Either way, I suspect you'll see a case of this nature make it's way to the Supreme Court. The pervasive elements of fear-mongering and "the world is coming to an end" make this type of sales pitch unique. Then again, even this Supreme Court (trending conservative) thinks free speech is pretty absolute with the recent cases to greatly loosen laws regarding private corporation contributions to political campaigns and of course the Westboro Bapist fucks. What happens in Topeka, stays in Topeka. Well... not in this day and age.

Will the United States face an unfathomable economic collapse in 2001? Possibly. I do not know. But here's something I do know. As the economy continues to flounder, I suspect this commercial, the accompanying internet advertisement and similar politically inspired financial schemes will become more commonplace. I look for some fallout on this one because Stansberry takes it to an entirely new level.

And here's what's really crazy... After railing against Stansberry's straw house arguments, emphasis on doomsday scenarios and unabashed fear mongering, I still think he has the first amendment right to push this drivel on the American public. And I have a hunch the current S.C.O.T.U.S. will back his ass up.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


It's Sunday morning and I'm watching my favorite European soccer team. At the half-way mark, Liverpool is up 2-0 over Manchester United. If you were ever curious (and I doubt you are), I'm a big Liverpool fan. I jumped on the soccer bandwagon back in 1994 when the World Cup came to the United States. Regrettably, the 2022 World Cup bid was awarded to Qatar but that's another matter entirely. I'm still bitter over that nonsense, but like I said, another time.

Anyway, there's a pretty large gap in American comprehension of soccer. Most people in the states just don't have a decent grasp. Since I have a decent understanding of both, I'm going to chime in. Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of the rules and trends, I'm going to spoon feed you the essentials. I'll be the first to admit, if you turn on the television and view a soccer match at random, it can be kind of dull and uninspired. It's imperative to know which games to watch. Which games matter in terms of relegation or promotion - a concept that Americans will never comprehend. Anyhoo, a good question you might ask is, "I don't know shit about soccer. Saf, what team should I root for?" Excellent query.

My heart will always be with Liverpool. Back in 1994, I was captivated by the 17 year old phenom Michael Owen. His heroics rallied the English National team even though they eventually fizzled out. Owen got his start at Liverpool so naturally they became my instant favorite. Another reason is their anthem. The song "You'll Never Walk Alone" is sung before every game. It's a tribute to the 96 fans who died as a result of a stampede in the former stadium in nearby Sheffield, England. Knowing my fascination with human stampedes and the possibility of death through crush asphyxiation, Liverpool just seems cool. And they were home to The Beatles. Tough to top that one.

I could understand if you have difficulty wrapping your head around that line of reasoning. So allow me to simplify. If you're a fan of the coolest NFL franchise aka the Pittsburgh Steelers, you should invariably root for Liverpool. Liverpool is historically the most successful team in English soccer. The fans trend very passionate and have a noticeable blue collar vibe. Very similar to the Steelers faithful.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the most reviled, yet commonly worshiped team known as Manchester United. This is the ultimate poser, bandwagon team. If you ally yourself with things like gaudy jewelry, Hummer-type vehicles, boob jobs, Jersey Shore antics and just an all-around propensity for being an obnoxious douche bag... look no further, you should cheer for Manchester United. Now which American football team parallels those thematic underpinnings? Yep you guessed it. The Dallas Cowboys are the no-brainer choice here in the states. The egomaniac owner and the self-absorbed fans help elevate the Cowboys to the status of "America's Team." Man U. fans have that exact same distinction. I mentioned The Beatles were home to Liverpool. If I had to select a band to represent the Cowboys, I'd probably choose an emo-band like Good Charlotte, or better yet, Creed seems to be a nice fit.

One of the other big English clubs is Arsenal. This team reminds me of the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams always seem to place an emphasis on speed, pace, precision, accuracy and timing. Does that sound like anyone familiar? Yep... Peyton Manning. The Arsenal legend Frenchman Thierry (pronounced tea-air-ee) Henry reminds me of the Indy QB. Henry is far less animated but just as effective and confident. Ken Dague likes to say the word "Arsenal."

The final team of the big 4 is Chelsea. I don't really have anything against the blues. I'm a big fan of the Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba. Definitely one of the most recognizable athletes of Europe. This guy is a bad ass finisher. I suppose I'd compare Chelsea to the New York Giants (probably the traditional blue uniforms). Chelsea is owned by a billionaire Russian oil tycoon. Very high profile, just like the New York Giants despite their stadium being in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Dirk Kuyt just scored another goal for Liverpool in the 66th minute. He has a hat trick. They are now up 3-0 on the asshole team and the fans at Anfield are going nuts. For American football fans - a ripe analogy would be the Steelers beating the Cowboys 24-0 late in the 3rd period. And James Harrison just knocked Tony Homo out of the game with a concussion.

Since I'm on the subject of European soccer, here are the other cool teams in case anyone wants to know.

Germany - stick with Bayer Leverkusen. The Dallas Cowboys of the German Bundesliga are most certainly Bayern Munich.

Spain - Cheer for Deportivo La Coruna (Leigh Cliser's favorite team because she enjoyed repeating the word "Deportivo"). Barcelona is also cool to root for. Lots of flash and excitement.

Italy - You're probably assuming I'd root for Juventus, because my weak WV accent would pronounce it "Jew-Vent-Us." You would be mistaken. I honestly don't have a favorite Italian club team in the Serie-A. The Italian style of play bores the piss out of me. Low scoring games with a tedious emphasis on the bulk of play through the midfield. I do like the Roma fans, but that's just because they assaulted the poser Man U fans a few years ago at a European Champions League game in Rome. Manchester United followers have no right whatsoever to equate their behavior with that of the true hooligans.

Scotland - I'd probably go with Falkirk or Stirling based on the battle scenes from the movie Braveheart. Not very scientific methodology with this one.

France - don't care.

And my favorite national team is England of course. Runner up you gotta go with The Netherlands. In a distant 3rd place, I guess I'd go with our own National team which really need an identity. We just call it the U.S. National Team. Lame. England has a cool nickname - The Three Lions. The Dutch are usually referred to as Clockwork Orange. How fucking cool is that? Maybe the U.S. team could be called "The States." Or maybe "All-States." Hell, you could get that assholic insurance company Allstate to come on board, maybe they could be the sponsor. I detest all insurance companies, but there's a special place in heart for Allstate. Actually, instead of my heart, I'd place my love for Allstate somewhere deep in my colon. Specifically, the portion that is affected by a flare-up of ulcerative colitis from time to time. But why do I specifically loathe Allstate? In 1991, I canceled my auto insurance with their local provider. Nonetheless, they decided to reward me with an additional 2 months of coverage. Even though I proved that I switched insurance coverage, they sent me the bill. I ignored the bill and yep, you guessed it, those mother fuckers sent it to a collection agency. Nothing's worse than insurance, right? Well, there is one thing that's worse. Paying for insurance that doesn't insure shit. Fuck Allstate. Fuck them. I will never let this go.

And Liverpool triumphs 3-0 over Manchester United. You'll never walk alone (unless you have insurance through Allstate I suppose).

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Peter Wong in Hong Kong

I am Peter Wong in Hong Kong. Please
I would like you to assist me in a business
project worth Fourty Four Million Five Hundred
Thousand Dollars.

You will have 50% of the total Funds as your share.
If you are interested to know more details contact me
back at my private email: {}

I will be waiting to hear from you.

Best Regards,
Mr. Peter T.S Wong


I just got this email in my junk folder. Pretty convincing, ehhh? It made me wonder if I personally know any dumbshits who might be duped. This could represent some of lowest-end spam ever conceived. But when you investigate further, you see the brilliance.

The rhyming of "Hong", "Kong" and "Wong" really sucks you in. Tantalizing from a phallic perspective. This peaks ones interest right from the git-go. And I like the stand-alone request for assistance... Please. Then, there's the purposeful misspelling of "Forty." I think this is meant to humanize the request. After all, this Chink is asking for $44,500,000. Hardly chump change. Truth be told, if I was vulnerable to a get-rich-quick scheme, I'd sooner fall prey to a Chinaman. And I really enjoyed the broken English/Asian phrase "contact me back." Sounds like something out of an old school USA Network Kung Fu marathon. Then, I like how he "Americanizes" himself at the end. Hmmmm, I'll sign my first name "Peter" (more subtle cock references). Finally, he capitalizes the word "funds." This also seemed intentional. Kind of a "rapper/show me the money" vibe.

I think I'm going to respond to this email and see how it unfolds. The question is... what constitutes a decent reply? I do not know. My strongest inclination is to copy and paste this entire blog as the response. Or should I play along with something like...

Peter Wong,

My name is Saf. I'm very interested in your business proposal. However, I only have three hundred twenty eight dollars of disposable income. Contact me back.



Whoever is first to respond in the comment section will get to choose my reply.
Option #1 - copy and paste the entire blog
Option #2 - the formal, latter response

Honestly, I need some closure on this. Someone out there in cyberworld has been scammed. I will refer to this as getting "Wonged in the Kong."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Top 10 ILLEGAL Beverages in Wheeling, WV

10. Sex on the Beech Bottom
Less filling. Tastes like ass.

9. Moondogshine

I finally found the ride of a lifetime...

8. Wheeling Island Iced Tea
Equal parts crackhead, drunk, hooker
and elderly degenerate gambler.
Splash of cat urine for added color.

7. Elm Grove Dodge Car Bomb
Your car blows up the second you exit the lot.

6. Route 7 & 7
The seven deadly sins of East Ohio...
Inbred, Fat Ass, Redneck, Pedophile
Chain Smoker, Stupid Fuck & B.O.

5. Bombay Safire Gin & Tonic
Who the fuck made this shirt?
Stick a lime up his ass!

4. Hare of the Dog
A Krishna Klassic...
1 part patchouli, 1 part crickwater
and 4 parts stank. Garnish with a doobie.

3. Rum and Coke Plant
This drink is no longer in existence.
It has been officially shut down.

2. Funky Cold Adena
I don't fool around with no Oscar Meyer wiener.
You must be sure that your girl is pure for the
Funky Cold Adena

1. Bell-Dirty Martini
Use only the cheapest Vodka from Rite-Aid.
Garnish with a generous chunk of olive loaf.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

nude gingrich

So Chris Matthews spoke about his prediction for the top 5 Republican candidates - Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Seems like an invigorating group. Maybe they could all debate that instant millisecond when a sperm and egg form a viable life. This way they could lay a foolproof foundation for criminal charges against women who have miscarriages.
Based on the Republican primary process, I still think it will be Romney. It's almost like a coronation of sorts. I'd be more curious to see who he picks for the VP slot.
But my interest is more about when Gingrich takes the plunge. I went and saw him speak a few years ago at the Capitol Music Hall. I found it intriguing that he had an exceptional grasp of local blue collar issues like steel and mining. It seemed like he was testing the water. What better a way to see if the Republican base is receptive to a potential presidential bid. You don't get much more Republican than Wheeling, WV. Tea baggers in these parts are always willing to go that extra mile. I overheard the following conversation at Kroger -

Woman A. - "Yes, my daughter is donating her hair for a philanthropic cause. I'm so proud of her."

Woman B. - "Really! That's so wonderful. Which organization? Locks of Love?"

Woman A. - "Well, actually she's donating it to Fox personality Mike Huckabee. She thinks it will help his presidential campaign if he has more hair. You know, he'll appear more photogenic."

Woman B. - "That's so wonderful."

Anyway, it got me thinking of a cheap and hysterical way to destroy Newt's campaign. He'll probably make the announcement in his home state of Georgia. You go to the event with one of those remote controlled helicopters or frisbee-like rc devices. You attach a sign to it that simply says "HYPOCRITE". As he makes his speech, you're sitting in a wheelchair with the remote control discreetly in your lap underneath a blanket. Just as he reaches the crescendo (his bid announcement), you fly in the disc about 3 feet directly over his head. The crowd is "going wild" and he's smiling form ear to ear. Then KABOOM! Nobody can reach the sign because it's untouchable. The enthusiasm quickly dissipates as everyone in the crowd simultaneously realizes that the horse they've backed is totally fucked.

Obviously it's a blatant reminder of Gingrich's infidelity while he was trying to impeach Bill Clinton for the same offense. This would be bad ass. He would just be left standing there like a buffoon. Theoretically, it would be a lot like the emperor who wore no clothes. In essence, a nude Gingrich. His hypocrisy (and gock) exposed for the world to see.