Read about everything that pisses me the hell off.

Friday, February 18, 2005

What happens when there's snow and no hockey?

Special thanks to Dave H. my coauthor in bordom on this one....

Long ago in a galaxy far far away.....

Two very bored hockey fans sat eagerly awaiting the start of baseball season because it's the only thing to look forward to in Mid Feburary in Pittsburgh.

With no sign of a CBA agreement for the NHL, their thoughts soon turned to pitchers and catchers reporting.

However, due to the fact that the evil empire has pretty much assured that their little rebel team has no hope of even getting a sniff of the playoff race, instead of discussing the actual sport.. they came up with this.........


The Yankees as Darth Vader (or Evil Empire, in general)
This one is obvious. The Yankees are generally referred to all over the world as the “Evil Empire”, and for good reason. No other franchise is more gluttonous and power-hungry as the Yankees. They go around the baseball universe gobbling up free agents, luring them in with lusty promises of power, fame, and fortune.

The Red Sox as Grand Moff Tarkin
The Red Sox are a solid member of the Empire, with the second-highest payroll behind only the Yankees. Always competing with Vader to be the most-favored son of the Emperor. Maybe they should really be called Tarkin’s lackey (you know… the one that Vader starts choking out right in front of him in Episode 4, until Tarkin makes Vader back off), given their history, until last year, of choking at crunch time, rather than actually being in charge of Vader. But, since we all know that Vader is truly the power, not Tarkin, this title will suffice.

The Orioles as Han Solo
The Orioles try hard to be cool, and they want to take down the empire, but they just seem to be lacking any true motivation to do so. They’ve got some decent weapons at their disposal, but they seem comfortable settling for third place behind the Yankees and Red Sox every year. Maybe someday when they finally realize that Leia (you’ll have to read further to find out who she is…) is Luke’s sister they’ll be motivated to win something…

The Blue Jays as Greedo
Since the Jays are usually worse than the Orioles (our Han Solo), who better than Greedo to represent them. That’s right… Greedo. The bounty hunter that pathetically misses Han Solo from point blank range in the bar in Mos Eisley Spaceport. Just when you think you’ve got him and you’re going to collect your bounty… WHOOPS! You can’t shoot the dude from across the table, and you end up dead. Sort of like when you had The Rocket throwing heat for you and still couldn’t win much.

The Devil Rays as some fat dancer from Jabba’s palace
Nobody wants to watch that… NOBODY. Please, Jabba, hit that button… the Rancor Monster is hungry.

The Twins as R2D2
A small market team that packs a punch (occasionally, though usually they do it with speed, and R2 is NOT fast… but, hey! Lay off… this is tough, OK?) You never see them coming, yet they have the tools to get the job done. Plus, you can’t help but root for the little guy, much like the way it is with the Twins.

The White Sox as Stormtroopers
All they know are white suits and killing! OK, so that’s the wrong movie, but it does fit here. The typical Empire grunts, they can do a good job mowing down rebel peons, but find a rebel with any skill whatsoever with a rifle or a lightsaber and they’re toast.

The Indians as Dagobah
You have to remember that this discussion is being brought to you by a couple of Pittsburgh guys, and we feel that there’s no place in America dirtier, smellier, and more run-down than Cleveland… yes, worse even than our own rust-belt hell hole. I’m sure nobody as powerful and respected as Yoda has ever gone to Cleveland to die, but other than that, Dagobah would be the perfect description for this town.

The Tigers as TIE Fighters
Given that they’ve recently been able to sign Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez, you might think that the Tigers have escalated beyond the designation of TIE Fighters, but c’mon let’s be real here for a minute. The Tigers suck. TIE Fighters suck. Who’d they ever beat? Porkins? See the correlation here?

The Royals as Alderan
If you’re looking for a team that gets unmercifully slaughtered by the Empire, just as a demonstration of their power, then the Royals are your team. Remember when the fans were throwing fake money on the field to “taunt” the Yankees a couple years back? That’s about as rebel as the Royals get. They would prefer to just live in peace and be left alone, and, as Leia herself said, they have no weapons. We seem to have come out of hyperspace into an asteroid field…

The Angels as Jabba
So, it wasn’t really until their recent ownership takeover that their payroll has become fat, bloated, and useless (see Bartolo Colon, Raul Mondesi, Jose Guillen, etc.), but since then, they’ve made it their policy to buy up high-priced bounty hunters to try and do their dirty work, because they can no longer get off their giant, lazy asses and do it themselves. And really, it might have been an alien, but Jabba DID have his own person Rally Monkey.

The A’s as Mace Windu
Samuel L. Jackson is just cool. He does what he wants, when he wants, but still has plenty of respect for the elder Jedi and the Jedi Council. He hates the empire… everything they stand for. He wants to take them down, but just can’t quite get it done on his own.

The Rangers as Rancor Monster
Remember that contract they gave to A-Rod? And it got them where? That made them look big, tough, and nasty, but all it took was shoving a bone in their mouth and closing a door on them to make them go away.

The Mariners as Ewoks
They’re really far away, nobody pays much attention to them, and they’ve got one recognizable character (Ichiro). Doesn’t Seattle have a lot of trees near it, too? A couple years ago, with enough stones and logs in their arsenal, they were able to put up a slight challenge to the Empire, but they mostly suck.

The Braves as Obi Wan
None of us here in Pittsburgh really wants to admit that the Braves are anything good, but somehow, through all these years, they just keep winning. The only team that can pose a reasonable threat to Vader on a regular basis (and stocked with crusty old dudes), the Braves would have to be considered the Obi Wan of baseball.

The Mets as Jawas
Is there another team in baseball that collects more junk and useless spare parts than the Mets? Is there?

The Marlins as The Millennium Falcon
The fastest ship in the galaxy. Even blew up the Death Star once (and our Dagobah, but that’s besides the point). Once in a while, they’re something great… the rest of the time, they’re held together with duct tape.

The Phillies as Tuscan Raiders
Big bully pretenders who run home to momma when Obi Wan (the Braves) comes around. Close to Cleveland on the stinky scale, Tuscan raiders are known to ride large smelly beasts across the barren desert. And for what? What did they think they were going to accomplish by kidnapping Anakin’s mom? Dumbasses just begging to get slaughtered? Sounds like Philly.

The Nationals (formerly les Expos) as Wamprats
Luke used Wamprats for target practice. The rest of baseball uses the Expos for target practice.

The Pirates as Yoda
Remember, this is being written by guys from Pittsburgh. That being said, Pittsburgh’s glory days (yes they had them… 5 World Series wins) are way behind them, and many the citizen here goes to Cleveland to die. Of course, none of the sports teams ever bow down to Cleveland’s teams. They tried, for a while, to train a bunch of Jedi to oppose the empire, but failed miserably, so now the Bucs are just sitting around the swamp waiting for some young Jedi to seek them out and return them to glory.

The Cardinals as Chewbacca
With all hitting and no pitching, the Cardinals are a team that can shell out a ton of damage, but never win it all when it counts, at least, not on their own. Between themselves, the Orioles (Han Solo), and the Marlins (the Millennium Falcon), they could, on the right day, destroy the Empire once and for all. Now, if only Joe Buck could master the Chewy scream when calling out a homer…

The Astros as Boba Fett
For a few years now, the Astros have been taking in some REALLY high-priced free agents, but not winning a damn thing with them. Randy Johnson stopped there between the Mariners and Diamondbacks (could he be considered some kind of Boba Fett-Chewbacca hybrid, just on his own?). Who else… Jeff Kent? Carlos Beltran? Roger Clemens? Sure seems like the Astros are in the bounty hunting business.

The Cubs as C3PO
Nobody really cares about the Cubs, in fact, some people think they’re better off never actually getting over the Billy Goat curse. Also, it’s the Windy City. C3PO is a windbag that nobody really cares about. Most of us were probably happiest when 3PO got blown up and Chewy was carrying his broken parts around Cloud City. It’s just too bad they actually reassembled him…

The Reds as Imperial Guard
We were starting to run out of characters at this point, and the best correlation we could come up with was some dudes that think they’re intimidating, even though all they ever do is stand around in their red uniforms with their Force Pikes. You get the feeling that they should be, or maybe once were, a force to be dealt with (the Big Red Machine), but now, they, uhhh… are they really even there?

The Brewers as Princess Leia
I know, I know… you’ve all been waiting to see who was going to be Princess Leia. Well, the Brewers are the only team run by a female (aren’t they?), so they’re the obvious choice. We were thinking about going with the Reds for Leia because of Marge Schott, but we couldn’t bear the thought of Marge Schott in that metal bikini on Jabba’s slave barge. UGH! Hold on… I need a minute… one argument I had against the Brewers is that, they’re not rebel enough (you know, because the Seligs don’t REALLY try to stand up to Steinbrenner), but maybe being conformists can be explained by Leia being influenced by her daddy (Vader… not Bud)?

The Diamondbacks as Tatooine
A barren desert with hardly any talent and a spaceport filled with scum and villany. Phoenix, Arizona? You make the call. There’s sort of a 3-way-deal going on here between the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers, and the Padres, which is why we’ve decided to call the Dodgers Uncle Owen, and the Padres Aunt Beru. Yes, we’re struggling now.

The Dodgers as Uncle Owen
See Diamondbacks, above.

The Padres as Aunt Beru
See Diamondbacks, above.

The Giants as Wedge
We got down to the Dodgers, Padres, Blue Jays, Reds, and Giants when were really started to run out of characters. For the Giants, we needed someone who has had a little success, but, in the end, is fairly insignificant. Some of you might think that’s unfair to the Giants, but here on the East Coast, we don’t care about anything that has to do with the West Coast. So, once the Giants and Dodgers went out west, they became irrelevant. At least we’re throwing someone a bone, here.

The Rockies as Lando Calrissian (or Cloud City, in General)
What’s way up high in the clouds in the middle of nowhere and run by a dude that sells Colt .45? Denver! They tried to sell out to the ways of the Empire and turn their backs on the rebels by having a high payroll, but when you’re completely unable to throw a curveball, you realize that your choice of location for a ballpark was poor, and now the only way you can make any money is by hawking terrible booze. Why DOES Coors come in a YELLOW can? Hmmm…

and now for...

Special Cast of Characters

George Steinbrenner – The Emporer (a.k.a Senator Palpatine)
Again, this was the obvious choice. No explanation needed, really. Masquerades as an upstanding (yeah, right) Senator by day, while actually being the Master of the Darkside by night.

Donald Fehr – Darth Maul
The head of the players’ union comes in with his bad-ass double-edged lightsaber and strikes down all the well-intentioned proposals of the team owners, particularly those of the small-market owners. Someday, he’ll get what’s coming to him… we hope.

Bud Selig – Jar Jar Binks
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? If anything in this whole game was nailed perfectly, it’s this. Do I really have to go into the reasons? You know this is true.

Luke Skywalker - NOBODY
There is no savior that's goign to come in and save baseball... it's screwed.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Welcome back to the USSA...

Well, considering my current battle with PenDot and the state of my drivers license I find this topic eerily close to home.

For those of you who are unaware, and from the looks of things that's an awful lot of you, the House just recently passed a bill called the Real ID Act. This act forces states to include federally mandated information electronically on State ID cards such as Drivers Licenses. This might also extend to a federal mandate that forces all adults to carry an Electronic ID card, or worse, an RIFD card or transmitter. Unfamiliar with RFID technology? Long story short they are very small imbedded transmitters that transmit tracking data. It's a scary prospect. They are already using them as Pet Licenses... In other words, trying out the technology on animals in order to see if it's practical to be used on humans.

Everyone brushing up on their newspeak?

Here's some speak for you.. A favorite quote of mine: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" It was said over two hundred years ago by Ben Franklin. It still amazes me that the men that drafted the constitution in this country saw all of this coming and attempted to make provisions for it, but somehow the stupidity of the average person has prevailed to thwart even their efforts. I will say this .. With a 191 Republican votes for this bill, I'm sorely regretting my vote for Mr. Bush and my support of his administration. Sure, it was the house voting and I voted libretarian for the house, but "The White House said in a statement this week that it "strongly supports House passage" of the bill. "* Thank you Mr. Bush. So what are the wise Republicans giving as a reason for this? Well.. 9/11 of course. In other words, they are doing this for "our safety." What's that Ben? We don't deserve liberty or safety? I couldn't agree more.

How is it that a party that stands for small federal government and broadening state powers is going to turn around and grant this kind of power to the federal government? Even more frightening, who is going to determine the data kept on these cards? Why the Department of Homeland Security of course. Who else? The new SS of the new millennium. Here are some details from the a Cnet article on the subject "States would be required to demand proof of the person's Social Security number and confirm that number with the Social Security Administration. They would also have to scan in documents showing the person's date of birth and immigration status, and create a massive store "so that the (scanned) images can be retained in electronic storage in a transferable format" permanently." Hey, George, Tom, ever heard of the 10th Amendment? You know, that thing that says it's up to STATES to control this sort of thing? Yeah... maybe you ought to listen to what the founding fathers said and heed it for once. Last I recalled, Social Security numbers were NOT to be used for identification purposes. Guess someone forgot that little detail. Cnet goes on to say "Another portion of the bill says that states would be required to link their DMV databases if they wished to receive federal funds. Among the information that must be shared: All data fields printed on drivers' licenses and identification cards, and complete drivers' histories, including motor vehicle violations, suspensions and points on licenses. " Why is it anyone's business but my own and the State who has issued my license what my driving record is eh? Or my eye color, weight, height etc. Am I being paranoid? Can't I still just choose not to carry an ID if I wish? Well, when I went to vote this year, I was required to show a Drvier's license. This is a violation of my rights. My Voter's registration card has printed RIGHT on it "Under the law you must present a form of identification to the election officals on Election Day the first time you vote in a new election district, division or precinct. This card -IS- an acceptable from of identification". Yet, when I presented it, I was required to show my Driver's license? What if I choose not to have one? Did I lose my right to not carry a state approved ID if I so choose? Seems I have considering that right on the voter signature form was a line for Drivers License number.

It seems Mr. Bush, who got reelected not on his wartime policies but on his religion and his belief that Chuck and Fred shouldn't be wearing rings, is now using that reelection to push a police state agenda for our own safety. This is all being done because "Republican politicians argued that the new rules were necessary to thwart terrorists, saying that four of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers possessed valid state-issued driver's licenses" Hmm.. Four out of 15. They all possessed legal Visas. This from the same government who wants to just let all the illegal immigrants from Mexico just stay here and enjoy. Give them a courtesy green card and a pat on the ass. Mr. Bush, excuse my French, but your priorities are FUCKED.

Tracking my movements, violating my right to privacy, and forcing me to carry your big brother ID card is not going to keep me safe. It's going to let you in on my life when you have no reason or right to be there. These are the same people that are saying it's OK for the police to place GPS trackers on my car to track my movements, because privacy doesn't extend to my car as it's driven on public roads. These are the same people who passed laws saying that I can be held in jail for 96 hours without having any charges files if they "suspect" I'm a terrorist. These are the SAME people who are against gun control, but, you need a State issued photo ID to PURCHASE a gun. These are the same people who MISSED the 9/11 attack warnings PRIOR to the attack because they had TOO MUCH DATA and NOT ENOUGH PERSONNEL!! So their solution? Track more data on honest law abiding citizens. Hey, how about tightening up the boarders? How about deporting these illegal immigrants instead of giving them carte blanche to take American jobs?

I'm very disappointed that less than a month into the new term, this is the turn our government is taking. Between this, and the attorney General appointee talking about how he wants to limit my freedom of speech, I'm really starting to regret casting my vote in the Bush Administration's direction. I didn't put him in office to remove my freedoms, I put him in office to protect them.

* All quotes were taken from the Cnet artilce that can be found below:

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