Friday, August 6, 2010

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD

By Michael R. Shannon

The DC metro area suffered a little collateral damage this week as part of Democrats long march toward "Social Justice." One nun was killed and two were hospitalized after their car was hit head on by an auto with a drunken Carlos Montano at the wheel.
But three nuns is a small price to pay in return for the feeling of moral superiority you get from enjoying affordable landscaping and watching Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in Congress.
Montano is evidently here in the US to drink the beer Americans didn't want to drink and he gets an early start because he smashed into the nuns at 8:30 AM on Sunday morning. This was his third DUI and fourth alcohol-related offense. What's more, Montano has been belting down cold cervezas in the US for FIVE YEARS.
Montano is a citizen of Bolivia and, according to Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert, his offenses include reckless driving, public drunkenness, driving with a revoked license, speeding and oh yes, three driving while intoxicated charges.
Ebert is outraged that Montano is still in the country but the local Jefe de Policia Charlie Deane considers these offenses to be small potatoes and not worth upsetting the Hispanic community with an illegal immigration crackdown.
Even the paper shufflers at Immigration & Customs Enforcement know a dead nun, courtesy of a drunk illegal they released from custody on two different occasions, presents a public relations problem.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Incompetano has announced an "immediate review" of the case. A review that is certain to deliver a butt-covering report sometime after the November election.
Putting a brave face on inertia, ICE spokeswoman Cori Bassett says Montano was released on his own recognizance pending a deportation hearing, and "has reported as required on a monthly basis to ICE." Which must not have been too troublesome for Senor Thirsty as I count five bars within about a mile of the Fairfax County ICE office.
The fact that Montano's second DUI came after he was released the first time was no cause for concern at ICE. It wasn't like he had to pass a breathalyzer when he reported.
Motorist-of-the-Month Montano is why states like Arizona pass laws to crack down on illegal immigration. It's not racism or profiling or bigotry. It's resentment of foreign nationals breaking the law and demanding privileges they have not earned.
Virginia Del. Scott Lingamfelter is "so mad, I can't see straight." He's been attempting to address the illegal alien problem in Richmond, along with Delegates Bob Marshall and Jackson Miller. They are joined by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who just issued an opinion that says police officers may inquire about the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest.
Do you notice a certain similarity here? Every one of these elected officials is a Republican. That's because Democrats have no intention of doing anything to stop illegal immigration. Local Democrats pass the buck to national Democrats who try to spend it.
Sure some deluded members of the GOP, George Bush and Karl Rove come to mind, think they can out pander Democrats, but that is a fantasy.
During the current nun-induced CYA scramble in Washington the Obama administration is claiming its focus on "criminal alien" deportations proves a commitment to enforcement. What they don't tell you is the increase in that category is more than offset by the large decrease in deportations of other illegals. Meanwhile the administration is also reducing workplace immigration raids.
Some focus.
Mom and dad Montano showed up at the St. Benedict Monastery Monday night to express their sorrow for the death caused by their son. This is a family of five that snuck across our border in 1996 and stayed illegal ever since. Enjoying our schools, our social services and our malt beverages.
In 2007 the crack enforcers at DHS granted work permits to the parents, daughter, oldest son and good-time Carlos - who got his work permit after he had already been charged with his first DUI.
The Montano family is a case history of how "comprehensive immigration reform" - a codeword for amnesty - is going to work under Democrats. The illegals do nothing but avoid capture and Uncle Sam rewards their elusiveness with citizenship.
In spite of what Democrats claim there is not going to be any "go to the back of the line" or learning English or paying a fine. Democrats are going to absorb these new voters and reap the benefits.
Mr. and Mrs. Montano's appearance at the monastery was a nice gesture, but since I don't approve of illegals working in the US, I'm also not going to encourage acts of contrition by people who should not be here.
The Montanos can be contrite in La Paz after Carlos kills someone there.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

THE READERS ARE ALWAYS WRITE

By Michael R. Shannon

This is a good week to catch up on reader correspondence concerning pressing national issues like government employee hydration. So stand by for the letters:
Did Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell really reverse former Democrat governor Tim Kaine's ban on state purchases of individual-sized bottled water for government employees? I thought McDonnell was a REPUBLICAN! Is there really something in the water in Richmond?
Hot & Hydrated Taxpayer
I cannot remember the last time I agreed with one of Kaine's policies and now McDonnell goes and reverses it! Of course Kaine didn't ban the bottles for the obvious reason that buying water is a waste of money. He did it to be "green."
The last time I checked Richmond was still located in Virginia, not Botswana or Karjackistan or even DC. The water is perfectly safe to drink. I've done so myself.
The taxpayer's liquid obligation to government employees begins and ends at the water fountain. (Well, maybe the toilet, too.) If Richmond tap water doesn't meet the employee's exacting standards, she can bring her own.
This whole bottled-water fetish is additional proof that rot in a society, like a fish, begins at the head.
I was still in Dallas when trendy, empty-headed pacesetters starting paying good money for Perrier - a French bottled water - to show how sophisticated they were.
Business owners could not believe their good fortune when these nitwits started paying two bucks for water that was free at the fountain. So now the entire populace is infected with this mental defect, but I don't think taxpayers should be on the hook for an employee's private neurosis.
The Washington metro area has some of the worst traffic in the nation. We are usually listed as fourth in time lost to gridlock. Don't you think it would be a good idea to restrict driver's licenses to those under 65-years-of-age and get the old codgers off the road?
Not Able Heed the Call of the Open Road
Since rush hour traffic moves along at about 20 mph, elderly drivers should feel right at home in any of the three lanes. Besides a recent survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows older driver's accident rates have declined by 37 percent, with the biggest drop among drivers over 80.
Researchers are baffled, but that's because they are overlooking the obvious: elderly drivers are safer because they aren't barreling down the highway while texting. Mainly because drivers over 65 don't know how to operate a smart phone.
Younger drivers are whizzing down Interstate-95 "lol" and "OMG!!!!!!" to a fare-thee-well, while the elderly driver is so grateful the clock in the dashboard now keeps good time, thanks to those nice men in Japan.
An elderly motorist may occasionally be distracted by a minor stroke, but younger drivers are in a constant state of distraction that is driven by technology their grandparents don't understand.
Our highways would be much safer if younger drivers were not allowed to drive autos that contained technology invented after 1966. That would eliminate most of the technology distractions and those that remain would be contending with wind noise and the body rattles from that era's auto, which pretty much eliminates any cell phone conversations.
Texting is out too, since the primitive steering cars had then usually required two hands on the wheel at all times.
I don't' see that happening, though. But in the meantime, lay off older drivers. Grandma is much safer; unless she knows how to operate a camera phone and the grandkids are in the car...
Am I unemployable? Last week at a job interview I mentioned that I'm a people-person who enjoys a good "dialogue." The interviewer frowned and said no one uses that word any more. He also checked my age again. He claims smart people and smart companies have "conversations." So I checked. Everywhere I look people are "joining the conversation" or "part of the conversation" or "dominating the conversation." Has language passed me by?
Clueless on Clichés
Journalists and ad copywriters are an unholy duo when it comes to propagating clichés. As you've discovered "conversation" is the new "dialog," which in turn replaced "rap" - each meaning an interesting discussion, open to all comers. Unfortunately, most of the "conversations" people actually hear are loudmouths yelling into their cell phones.
If you need something to do between job interviews, take a highlighter to the newspaper and see how many times "conversation" is used in the news columns and ads. You should be appalled. Our modern society produces clichés at a blinding rate.
Personally, I can't get over the constant use by media types of "as well," when they mean "too" or "also." "As well" is the "like" of the pseudo-intellectual set and only serves to clutter up language.
As for being unemployable, moldy buzzwords simply indicate a need for retraining, which may qualify you for stimulus funds.

I'M STILL NOT JERRY KRAMER

By Michael R. Shannon

My age and marital status have combined to place severe limits on what are acceptable topics for my formerly rich fantasy life. I'm pretty much down to dreaming about food and fantasy football.
I've found that if you talk too much about food fantasies, people will begin slowly sidestepping away at parties. Until, after a very short while, the only people listening are really skinny adolescent girls who ask you if the carrot stick they just ate makes them look fat.
Fantasy football is a much more serviceable topic for the socially inept. The women clear out pretty fast, usually at the first mention of your draft strategy, while the men stick around.
What's more, talking about the digital fantasy game is an improvement over talking about real analog sport, because you don't have to listen to Cowboy fans boasting about what Arlington's Team is going to do this season.
Each fantasy team is unique and composed of players from many different NFL squads, therefore eliminating a concentration of Texas egomaniacs. From time to time an unsuspecting owner may be burdened with an individual Cowboy player, but one always has the option to bench him.
For those readers who have never played, fantasy football is the perfect pastime for opinionated NFL fans. If you've ever complained about some bone-headed decision the coach of your favorite team made, fantasy is a chance for you to make your own bone-headed decisions.
In the beginning fantasy leagues involved face-to-face meetings, index cards, arguing, booze and calculator abuse. Now fantasy leagues are hosted on computer websites, so just like Facebook you can be "best friends" with league members without ever being forced to actually encounter one in person.
Computers have streamlined and removed all the complicated parts of the game, leaving you free to concentrate on the booze.
Leagues consist of eight to twelve players. Before the NFL season begins a league registers with a host, I like ESPN - it's free, rarely crashes and you can customize your league - and you schedule your draft date.
Each draft consists of 15 rounds. A team fields one QB, two RBs, two WRs, a TE, a "flex" player (can be a WR or RB) a kicker and a defense and as many backups at those positions as you want until all 15 slots are filled. ESPN even suggests who you should draft if you're feeling insecure.
Scoring is based on yards gained for RB, WR, TE and QBs; along with touchdowns scored. Points from the kicker are based on the distance the field goal traveled and how much of a girly-man he is when avoiding the tackle on the subsequent kickoff.
Defensive point scoring is incredibly arcane that even employees of the Congressional Budget Office simply rely on the website.
On game day the starters you pick are matched against your opponent's, the individual scores are calculated the highest total wins. Leagues that charge for their services even have online grief counselors to help you deal with defeat.
You build your powerhouse team on draft day and express your inner Lombardi. You could draft a team composed exclusively of felons. Or you could mix and match, say sex harassers with parolees. You could even base your draft selections on how "creative" a player's touchdown "celebration" is. (If you do this, I want you in my league. Please.)
I'm the commissioner of the leagues at my church where, as you can imagine, we don't concentrate on the booze. And even though we are narrow, intolerant Baptists, women are allowed to join a league.
The only rule is froo-froo team names are forbidden. No man wants to endanger his ego with a defeat by the Cuddly Bears or the Hot Flashes.
We even have a Champions League composed solely of owners who have won a division title or championship the previous season. Unfortunately, I won't be part of this league due to an unfortunate run of steroid suspensions last season.
Finally, I want to give you the opportunity to benefit from my vast insight, so I've formulated Five Fantasy Football principles:
1. Drafting the best available Cowboy is not the foundation of a successful team. It's not even a winner for Jerry Jones.
2. 'Bye' is not the toughest team in the league. Your players don't score when they face 'Bye' because they aren't playing.
3. Sometimes players take an extra, surprise 'Bye' week. See above.
4. The same people who produce the five-day weather forecast also produce the predicted weekly point totals for fantasy players.
5. Resting your starters for the playoffs is not a winning strategy.
6. BONUS: When real players are suspended, reality intrudes on fantasy.

Followers