Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The ancient art of Tae Po

From the May 31 Times of Acadiana:

Secular culture links 666 to the antichrist. The number is pivotal to the plot of the 1976 horror classic The Omen in which an American diplomat discovers his son, Damien, is the antichrist. A remake of the film starring Julia Styles is due out on June 6.

Secular culture, eh? Help me out, Merriam-Webster:

sec·u·lar (adjective)
: of or relating to the worldly or temporal
: not overtly or specifically religious
: not ecclesiastical or clerical

So it's the non-religious who raise a big fuss over the antichrist? Something seems, well, not right about that! I surely don't remember that ever coming up at the Let's Plunge America into Total Moral Decay Society. And I faithlessly attend every meeting!

In any case, the word they're probably looking for is "sectarian." Which isn't quite correct either, though it does serve the purpose of not being the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what the writer is trying to convey.

Also, they got Julia Stiles' name wrong.

Rockin' Rules

Rule #17: Nix the 'Tine

We must all accept that tobacco is not healthy. It doesn't matter if your cigarettes are light, low-tar, menthol, toasted, all-natural or hand-rolled by genuine Cuban conveyor belts--they will still kill you. Cigarettes are combustible cylinders designed to deliver tar and nicotine to your junkie lungs, along with thousands of cancer-causing agents that would give Erin Brockovich carcinoma through osmosis. So don't be fooled by the more expensive brands; buy GPC cigarettes and use the money you save on a cool Marlboro coffin.

And sorry, but chewing tobacco is just as bad. If you ingest a product that contains fiberglass and is dangerous for you to swallow, then chances are you aren't saving too many years of your life.

Rule #17b: Every cloud has a black lining

Yes, secondhand smoke kills. Study after study after study proves this. A lot of smokers will call it crap, even as they themselves have to roll down their windows to let out all of the smoke that's suffocating them. But even in the inevitable case that Big Tobacco-sponsored scientists discover that secondhand smoke doesn't kill, I'm still against it. Why? Because it's nasty, rude, repugnant and it makes me smell like every choice I never made. And that's enough for me.

Rule #18: GED-R-Done

Stop celebrating stupid. As Americans, we talk a lot about our failing education system and general apathy among our young people. Then we tell them to move out of the way because they're blocking our view of Larry the Cable Guy. Why should kids give a damn about finishing school when we teach them that all they have to do to amass a fortune is "Git-R-Done?" Between the cruel manipulation that is reality TV and the inspiring success story that is George W. Bush, we aren't exactly instilling a strong ethic of educational merit, are we?

The very same people who crow that we have to raise standards before anyone will get off their asses to make themselves better have no qualms about celebrating white trash, rednecks, hicks, gangstas, racists, misogynists, dropouts and anti-intellectuals. Satire is one thing; taking it seriously is entirely another. Perhaps this lowbrow pop-culture approach is a bad idea and we should upgrade it to something that would make knowledge actually worthwhile.

Few sights are sadder than a brainy college student who has to act tough and dumb among their peers just to fit in with some ridiculous concept of cool. We need to stop accepting this as the norm and take a stand. After all, being a smartass is much cooler than being a dumbass, right? So why are smart people so damn stupid when it comes to promoting themselves? Git-R-Done, dammit!

Rule #18b: Trash Compactor

Stop using the term "white trash." It's one word too long.

Rule #19: Payroll Stubble

Stop praising the New York Yankees for their professionalism just because all of their players have to trim their hair and shave. That isn't professionalism; that's what happens when a powerful and intimidating owner forks over a check larger than the combined GNP of the 30 smallest nations. So let's all stop pretending that such sartorial concerns are about anything other than payday. They'd all play just as well with Charles Manson hairdos; and if that's what George Steinbrenner demanded, every Yankee would be waiting in line to have swastikas carved into their unibrows. This is true of workplaces in general, because those with the money ultimately wield all the power, and can ask of their employees pretty much anything they want. The least we can do is admit that this is the motivation for 90-plus percent of our decisions.

Rule #20: Platinum blonde

The only time "Paris Hilton" and "reggae album" should ever appear in a sentence together is when they are in a sentence such as, "Paris Hilton bought a reggae album."

Rules archive

Monday, May 29, 2006

News is depressing!

During discussions of current events, a phrase heard often is: "Isn't it terrible?" Unfortunately, that phrase is just as likely to be about the reporting of the news as it is about the news itself. Much of today's media criticism can be summed up as, "killing the instant messenger."

Bear in mind that I'm not referring to the increasing role of corporatism in the media; that is a very real problem and one that must be addressed before newspapers resort to printing on blotter sheets of uncut saccharin. Instead, I'm referring to the increasing need by Americans to be shielded from honest reporting for the sake of ignoring the world's problems.

People often call for journalists to be softer, to be easier on our leaders and to report more positive news. But journalism's essence lies in its invasive nature. Ideally, the press should be like an ACT proctor, milling about the room and making sure that none of our national test-takers are being spoon-fed answers from an unseen cellular headset. And I don't recall anyone saying, "Well, gee, the proctor was awfully hard on that cheater. Why can't they focus on all the students who didn't cheat, huh?" I, for one, am certainly glad today's call for a softer media doesn't extend to other professions:

"I went to the dentist today. He told me my teeth looked great!"

"But, Frieda, you wear dentures. You lost all your teeth from gingivitis in 1946."

"Yes, but I haven't lost any teeth since 1946! Why don't you ever talk about that?"

"I still don't understand why I have to remain in prison."

"Because you murdered all of your children."

"But I haven't drowned a single child since 2001!"

"Hmmm...good point! You're free to go, Mrs. Yates."

But I digress.

The problem seems to be that people can't take bad news anymore. Which sucks for them, because this is 2006. It's as if people think that, as Americans, they deserve to be shielded from that which is unsavory. After all, they work a very hard 38.5 hours per week and then have to walk home because they can't afford gas for their car anymore and their daughter needs crutches; so why not ease the pain by getting drunk off the intoxicating vibes of Fox News? After all, it's far more satisfying to whip oneself up into a frenzy over other people killing foreigners than it is to understand why the cost of living is killing you.

My advice to you truthophobes is this: treat the news as you would pop radio--don't bitch about the format just because the substance sucks. You purchased the album; now you have to listen to it. Perhaps if the average person cared more about this "depressing/bad news," then maybe we could be more proactive as a society and put a stop to its causes.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Rule #14: 4:55 Shadow

If you want someone to accompany you somewhere, give them more than five minutes' notice. This isn't a rule with major political or cultural relevance, but its enforcement would at least give me time to shave.

Rule #15: Yakety Crack

Cell phones should be at least as hard to get as U.S. citizenship for a Mexican. At least 90 percent of people who own a cell phone DO NOT NEED ONE. All cell phones have done is give most people the false illusion that people actually want to talk to them. Even worse, the few who do need phones (and don't have them) are out of luck because life has come to revolve around ridiculously instant communication. At what point did it become too much for people to wait five minutes to talk to another person? At least watch yourself fly off the road while you're telling me what couldn't have waited!

Another sad side-effect of cellularism is the decline of social etiquette; not the uptight salad-fork kind, but the kind that allows us not to tear each other's heads off. Cell phone etiquette should be the same as that of land-based phones. If you're going to call me to inform me you're coming over, you should at least do it at some point before you're riding down my street.

Another idea is to make cell phones as clunky as their older counterparts. Part of the problem with cell phones is that they're so streamlined and technologically advanced that they fit seamlessly into a pocket or purse. Because of this, people forget they have them and/or it makes it difficult for users to find and silence them during church or the poker raid. Also, headsets have added a new, terrifying dimension to human discourse. If someone deigns to carry around a phone, then they should carry a real capital-P phone so that at least we know what's up. Then I can stop talking to the girl next to me as if she actually desires my interaction.

Rule #16: Blue Laws Blow

Sunday is just another day. Hey, I'm all for days of rest; but I think that if someone chooses to spend that day in the company of friends and good wine, they should be able to purchase some at the store. The way I see it, blue laws are due for a trip to Defunct Land. We no longer have Jim Crow, so why can't we have Jim Beam?

And just so you know, this isn't a self-interest thing for me; I don't drink and I rest whenever I please (even when my passengers object). But blue laws are arcane and don't do much of anything, other than to pacify the kind of people who think we should just shut our eyes to make The Da Vinci Code go away. Ech. Those people need a drink.

Older New Rules

Saturday, May 27, 2006

New Rules

These are inspired by, but not lifted from, Bill Maher's New Rules. They can address pretty much anything.

3/23/14 Rule 238

6/24/13 Rules 235-237
4/24/13 Rules 229-234

12/11/12 Rules 223-228
11/9/12 Rules 218-222
8/13/12 Rules 216-217
7/9/12 Rules 213-215
5/26/12 Rules 210-212
5/21/12 Rules 208-209
5/9/12 Rules 203-207
4/16/12 Rules 196-202
2/27/12 Rule 195
2/6/12 Rules 191-194
2/4/12 Rules 189-190
1/24/12 Rules 185-188

12/6/11 Rules 181-184
11/11/11 Rules 178-180
9/21/11 Rules 176-177.5
7/15/11 Rules 173-175
4/13/11 Rules 171-172
3/22/11 Rules 166-170
1/25/11 Rule 165

12/14/10 Rule 164
8/16/10 Rules 162-163
6/22/10 Rules 160-161
6/18/10 Rules 158-159
4/14/10 Rules 154-157
1/30/10 Rules 149-153

11/5/09 Rule 148
11/2/09 Rule 147
10/15/09 Rules 142-146
10/2/09 Rules 139-141
9/21/09 Rules 136-138
9/16/09 Rules 130-135
7/11/09 Rules 125-129
7/1/09 Rules 122-124
6/25/09 Rules 119-121
6/15/09 Rules 115-118
6/5/09 Rules 111-114.5
5/31/09 Rules 108-110
5/24/09 Rules 105-107
5/4/09 Rules 101-104
5/1/09 Rules 94-100
4/21/09 Rules 91-93
4/16/09 Rule 90
4/6/09 Rules 86-89
3/27/09 Rules 82-85
3/19/09 Rules 80-81
3/18/09 Rules 76-79
3/7/09 Rule 75
2/21/09 Rules 71-74
2/4/09 Rules 68-70
1/31/09 Rules 64-67
1/19/09 Rules 61-63
1/18/09 Rules 59-60
1/15/09 Rules 56-58

12/17/08 Rules 53-55
8/20/08 Rules 48-52
4/7/08 Rules 42-47

9/13/07 Rules 39-41
3/22/07 Rule 38

12/5/06 Rules 36-37
11/18/06 Rules 33-35
9/27/06 Rule 32
8/20/06 Rules 30-31
7/6/06 Rules 28-29
6/20/06 Rules 25-27
6/11/06 Rules 21-24
5/31/06 Rules 17-20
Rules 14-16
5/18/06 Rules 11-13
5/11/06 Rules 7-10
5/4/06 Rules 4-6
4/24/06 Rules 1-3

Unsound Thoughts

"Unsound Thoughts" is my occasional foray into audio nirvana.

A kinder, gentler scowl
4/11/06 New clear strategy?
3/26/06 Lames people say
3/10/06 Barney reads the news
3/6/06 Nukes of hazard
2/25/06 Celebrities like me
2/18/06 Retirement at 85? In years?
1/29/06 That goose wasn't cooked, it was Freyed
1/21/06 bin Laden should just blog
1/14/06 The day I didn't meet Jack Kemp

12/31/05 Category 2005
12/24/05 Christmas Eve disposable douche
12/20/05 You're fuel of it!
11/27/05 Wave buy-buy!
11/5/05 Can't spell "effort" without "F" (aborted)
10/23/05 Feeling out of sports
10/16/05 Olsen twins update?!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Louisiana State Uncouth-ity

At the risk of offending some of my readers, I have to say this: screw LSU!

Okay, maybe that's a little strong. I'm not irritated by the fact that the school exists, and I do have numerous friends and family members with ties to the school, some of whom don't fit the stereotype I'm about to cast.

But come on, must virtually every LSU person cut down the University of Louisiana at Lafayette? With such a bitter rivalry, you'd think the schools were on equal footing. That, of course, isn't true by a long shot. LSU receives fully half of the state funding for education, while every other state school divides the other half. Part of what pisses off the LSU community so much about UL Lafayette is that, in 1999, it decided to change its name from USL (University of Southwestern Louisiana) to a less-regional moniker. The University of Louisiana is the name my alma mater really wants, though that is an unlikely scenario given that the UL board is governed by much of the same members of the board responsible for LSU's half-jacking of state funds. So, in essence, LSU picking on UL is like Shaquille O'Neal challenging a paralyzed Richard Simmons to a dunk-off. Literally, because those are basically the top two names to come out of those respective schools.

But still, I rarely run into an LSU student who doesn't have all kinds of trash to talk about the school I attended for seven years. And while I have plenty of nasty things to say about both UL and Lafayette, I can't hold a candle to incredible arrogance and condescension that emanates from letters like the following from this father-son double-team, that appeared in yesterday's edition of The Independent:

A reorganization of the LSU system might not be a bad thing — if it were done with a clear and attainable goal in sight that would ultimately benefit LSU and the state. However, I believe it is absolutely impossible for any changes made to the LSU system to happen with the faith of the public, if Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Coach Raymond Blanco are involved.

Quick note: Raymond Blanco is basically second-in-charge at UL, and is married to Gov. Kathleen Blanco (UL class of 1964). They are being accused of favoritism for UL based on the Governor's refusal to paint her face purple and gold during press conferences.

We all know that the supporters of Southwestern (call it ULL all you want, but changing the name changes nothing)--

How smug can you get? New rule: neither you nor your fellow snobs at LSU can continue debating us when you don't even care to get our name right. I've heard this time and again from LSU people. It's not a matter of ignorance with you guys; it's deliberate condescension. Your officials in power deny us a legit name change, and then you ruin the complicated name you allow us to have. All the while, you ignore the fact that your school's actual name is Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge Agricultural and Mechanical College. Or something like that.

--have always envied LSU’s flagship status and wanted a piece of the spotlight.

The flagship model is not something to be envied, and in fact Louisiana is one of the few states to still use it. That speaks volumes, if you ask me.

The problem is that they have never done anything to deserve it except to whine incessantly!

Well, evidently it worked for LSU...

Does Southwestern [?!!] have entrance requirements? No!

Um, yes it does, actually. They're not high, but they're working on that.

Does Southwestern have intentions of having any? No!

Do you even listen to yourself?

Does Southwestern have a research school worth mentioning? No!

Yes it has some of the top-rated computer-science and engineering colleges in the country, and is one of three universities in the world to offer a degree in Francophone Studies. Even not considering those, the fact that LSU snorts up half of the state's money doesn't help things in this regard.

Does Southwestern bring tourism dollars to the state by virtue of their athletic teams? No!

Whereas that's about all Linebacker State University is known for. And with the massive amount of money LSU's athletics generate, their teams should be AT LEAST as good as they are. You guys are like the Yankees of Louisiana. Yeah, I know, that's ironic.

Is Southwestern simply a “good” school that opens its doors to students who couldn’t cut the entrance requirements for LSU and La. Tech? Yes!

This is the part I had to write about three times before it passed the parameters of free speech. Suffice to say, I didn't go to UL because I couldn't hack it at LSU! I went to UL because I wanted to attend college in a city that wasn't packed with urban blight and Southern Baptists. I spent a lot of time in Baton Rouge as a child, and nothing about it ever screamed to me, "the best years of your life belong right here!" But mainly, I went to UL because I didn't want to be associated with the arrogant bastards who populate LSU.

And Louisiana Tech rejects? Someone like me would have been burned in Ruston. With actual flames and everything.

Until we see a lot more answers in the yes column, then USL needs to stay what it is — a “good” alternative school to LSU and Louisiana Tech.

We're not USL anymore, and haven't been since 1999. You should know that, being that you're such a smarty and all. And we are definitely not an alternative school, given that many of our academic programs regularly kick your sacred school's fat ass.

At least LSU and Louisiana Tech earned their reputations and the pride in their names; they didn’t try to steal them!

LSU did steal its name, and the resources that could allow for much better academic competition. Anyway, last I chacked, Tech isn't on your side any more than we are.

Gov. Blanco and her husband are the acknowledged champions of Southwestern, and their involvement in this process makes it immediately suspect to all LSU supporters!

That's news to me. In 2004, Blanco betrayed us by endorsing the LSU flagship system and calling her alma mater a "minor school." If UL has earned any benefit from her reign as governor, then it must be visible only on Friday afternoons, when UL shuts down because of budget cuts.

Having said all of this, it’s time for someone to tell Gov. Blanco to stick to mismanaging the state and tell her husband to manage his own school better and stop trying to steal the hard earned name and reputation of Louisiana’s true flagship school — LSU!

Don Antie Jr., Baton Rouge

Hard-earned by Louisiana politics. It's quite a merit system, as we've seen.

I thought I was done with this post, until I saw the letter right underneath the one above. It appears to have been written by the above letter-writer's father, himself a big LSU man. He does his son proud by going one step further:

It is a shame that SLI (Southwest Louisiana Institute for those of you who can’t remember)--

--Yep, he actually digs back to the name the university had back in the 1920s--

--can’t stand on its own and make something of itself by installing entrance requirements, as Louisiana Tech and the LSU system have done.

Again, UL has entrance requirements now. They're basically a joke, but they have been increasing every year, helping with retention and graduation rates. You know what else would help UL stand on its own? LSU-level funding.

As far as Blanco is concerned, as a three-time graduate of LSU born and reared in Louisiana, I am glad that I now live in Mississippi.

Wow. Somebody really loves Baton Rouge and really hates Blanco. Which still doesn't explain why he's in Mississippi or why he's proud of it.

Hopefully, we can stall this until she loses her next election. What she does not realize is that education can’t be legislated and knowledge can’t be bought.

Don Antie, Gulfport, Miss.

Education can't be legislated? Somebody tell the White House, stat! As for buying knowledge, well I suspect a lot of LSU students have at least tried it. I certainly did, and I only went to UL!

In closing, I understand that not everyone who went to LSU cops this kind of attitude. But words such as these from our friends in Red Stick only reinforce the kind of bully mentality that is equally unattractive on the playground, in the board room or in the White House.

Crude comic of the day

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Graphics and Cartoons

These are cartoons and graphics I've done for my blog, of varying quality. I've been drawing since I could first pick up a crayon, and have been doing computer art since I was old enough to pick up a computer. Along the way, I even got a little better!

11/12/08 Palin for President 2012
11/11/08 Sarah Palin's God
10/28/08 Redistribution of wealth
9/29/08 Saints and Sarah
9/23/08 Admittedly cheap shots
6/9/08 McCain Cocoon
6/3/08 Candidate Posters
4/23/08 Change You Can Xerox
3/4/08 GOP Diversity
1/1/08 LOLpocalypse!

11/29/07 Henry Hyde has Dyde
11/19/07 How to Beat the Saints
10/8/07 Saints Doodles
5/28/07 For Memorial Day

11/6/06 How to Build Your Own Atomic Bomb
10/11/06 Lafayette Newsweekly Parody
Tear Down This Wall
9/29/06 Torture!
9/18/06 Bush/Brees '06
9/11/06 9/11 Goes to Kindergarten
9/5/06 Steve Irwin and the Sting Ray
9/2/06 LSU Guide to Flagshippery
8/22/06 Horrible Bush Quote
8/11/06 Aviation Update
8/2/06 Mel Gibson Mug
6/25/06 Patsy Ramsey Dead
5/24/06 Bentsen in Heaven
5/5/06 Torture Quiz
4/28/06 The Upside of $3 Gas
4/27/06 Climate Control
4/1/06 April Fool's Banner (from 2005)
3/30/06 Connect the Dots
3/21/06 The Weezy
3/17/06 Jessica Simpson has principles
2/28/06 Boobs!
2/10/06 The Truth Knows No Lock
1/25/06 Lafayette Sucks For Me 4
1/22/06 Lafayette Sucks For Me 1-3

12/31/05 Category 2005
12/15/05 PATRIOT License-Plate Renewal
12/7/05 Work from Home (in Iraq)!
11/9/05 The Adventures of Darwin Fishies
10/26/05 The Racist Babes of White Hot
10/15/05 Books That Should Exist
9/21/05 DUH News
8/28/05 Hurricane Survival Guide
8/26/05 Who's Your Hero?
7/27/05 The Screaming Icon (from 2001)
7/21/05 Frats RULE, Beeyotch!
6/17/05 Mr. Bill Driver's License
6/1/05 Deep Throat Revealed
5/22/05 Hookers of a Different Kind
5/12/05 Jesus Driver's License
3/6/05 The Best of Ian McGibboney DVD
2/3/05 Where Discourse Comes to Die
1/10/05 Abortion Doc

12/8/04 F the President
11/21/04 Homework Hassles (from 1993)
11/10/04 Original More Than Words banner
8/20/04 The Real Kenneth Starr (second pic)
7/23/04 Jesus-Cheney '04
6/13/04 Power Drain

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ray-torical questions

Why are conservatives who spent the past nine months wishing Ray Nagin would be cast into the pit of Hell suddenly fine with his re-election? At least they seem to feel this way at Conservative Cajun:

Nick: As for Nagin, I've certainly been very critical of him, and rightfull [sic] so IMHO. However, another Landrieu with real state power is the last thing New Orleans and Louisiana needed. The Landruies [sic] have done nothing for Louisiana and are part of the problem with New Orleans. My next op-ed will tie in their Louisiana dynasty and the possible dynasties of the Clintons and Bushs [sic], and how dynasties are probably a bad thing for government, plus give my views on how the recent election sheds a light on the election process.

Cajun Tiger: I ditto your sentiments on Nagin over Landrieu. While he made lots of errors during Katrina, one of his biggest obstacles was the city machine (mostly in place since Landrieu's dad) hated him for cleaning up the city corruption and did everything possible to see him fail.

Which are valid points, except that previously I couldn't utter "Ray Nagin" on this site without Nick posting endless comments about why Nagin was the catalyst for everything bad that happened to New Orleans in the wake of Katrina:

"Nagin is to blame for putting his own ass up in a perfectly comfortable position before the hurricane when he could have helped the citizens."

"The mayor is an incompetent idiot. It was HIS responsibility to have those school buses pick up the people to bring them to the Superdome.

[Referring to a caption-central picture] "'Back there is where the buses were that I could have used to try and save some people. We're burning them so that there will be no evidence of my incompetence, and I can blame everything on the federal government.'"

But all of a sudden these guys are basically saying, "Poor Ray! The deck was stacked against him from the start by policies set up long ago by a corrupt Democratic regime." Mitch Landrieu represented hope for lots of people across the spectrum; but apparently some people are so dead-set against another Landrieu being mayor of New Orleans that they will hitch their wagons to a man they've despised for so long.

The more I read about how the Republicans supported Nagin in the mayoral election, the more I suspect that they are completely unable to put politics aside for any reason. I figured if there was one thing I could count on from conservatives, it was sheer hatred for everything Nagin and New Orleans. Now I can't even count on that! Pretty much all that's left now is their impenetrable loyalty towards George W. Bush. Oh, wait...

Damn. Do the Republicans stand for anything anymore, besides hatred of the opposition?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Caption Central

"Jesus Spanks" edition

--"Like all good Americans, Jesus spoke English. Wait, what?"
--Jesus' ventriloquist act was ruined when he accidentally picked up the oil puppet
--Obvious: "Told ya Jesus backs me!"
--The best argument yet against both evolution and intelligent design
--And thus Jesus spake: "What a major-league asshole!"
--Movie moment: "I do the cha-cha like a sissy girl"
--After 40 days and 40 nights of fasting, Jesus decided not to back Bush
--"Get thee behind me, Jesus"
--This round of "One of these things is different" was dubbed too easy for Sesame Street
--Backed by his hero, Bush outlines his plan to keep foreigners with long hair away from our borders
--Bush: black and white; Jesus: shades of gray
--"This is Geraldo Rivera for Fox News, reporting live from Afghanistan."
--With his left hand, Jesus signals his real feelings for Bush
--"Oh say, can you Pharisee..."
--"I asked Jesus how much he loved me. He said, 'This much,' and then spread out his arms and died. He died for me! George W. Bush! Not you."
--"Excuse me, prophet, can you please hand me a tool? Oh, here's one; never mind."

Not Right News

Not Right News is a Weekend Update-style collection of humorous news blurbs.

1/4/07 2007: the Year in Review So Far

8/17/06 Dumb developments, developed dumb
5/20/06 Finally, some actual commentary
2/15/06 Putting the "bull" in "bulletin"
2/7/06 This just in in injustice
1/31/06 Two touchdowns' worth of one-liners
1/24/06 News: not the opposite of Olds
1/17/06 The week in snooze
1/10/06 The latest pulse on leaders' heartbeats
1/3/06 The year in review, so far

12/28/05 American Gossip
12/14/05 Tight coverage all around the Equator
11/29/05 Hear it, then fear it (with audio)
11/19/05 Return of Not Right News
9/7/05 Katrina: the fuzzy aftermath
8/31/05 A bad week to be a week
8/23/05 Same stories, different sentences
8/18/05 Putting the "spat" in "dispatch"
8/10/05 Where no news is good news...
8/5/05 Here, there and underwear
7/31/05 Acts of headlining
7/26/05 News you can abuse
7/19/05 Stuff you already know, but with me saying it
7/10/05 Like the Sunday Comics, but with news!
7/7/05 Last week's news, today!
6/25/05 Saturday news pellets
6/11/05 First edition

Caption Central archive

Caption Central is a semi-regular feature, usually on Mondays, in which I write several humorous captions for relevant news photos and invite readers to do the same. This feature generally rotates with Monday Morning Musings (or anything else that sparks me on that day).

7/23/09 Obama takes a stroll

10/16/08 Joe Plumber's crack
1/15/08 Bush/Jindal doubleheader

8/6/07 Bush burns bridges
7/2/07 "13:22:07 away from WHAT?!!"
4/30/07 Going, going, Gonzales!

10/16/06 Sean Payton is all ears
9/4/06 Rumsfeld begs our Parton
8/21/06 Snake on a plane
8/14/06 Tasshole
7/17/06 Bang Bang!
6/12/06 Keep him lying
6/5/06 Nero of the Peace
5/22/06 Jesus spanks
3/27/06 Note right
3/20/06 Things that make you go boom
3/13/06 Let freedom wring
1/30/06 Dumb as a poster
1/23/06 Dubya Dubya EEEE!
1/2/06 Craw-Ford F-350 Ranch Limited Edition

12/5/05 Starring New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin!
11/28/05 Brain drain
11/21/05 Photo of the decade...ANY decade!
11/14/05 Playing pretentious
11/7/05 Screening out the riff-raff
10/31/05 Suspension of disbelief
10/24/05 Empty round things
10/17/05 A pic "Super Moist" with easy puns
9/12/05 Unplugged and disconnected
8/22/05 Watch me racist car
8/15/05 Cumbersome birth control
8/1/05 Finishing-school alumni
7/25/05 Colors of the windbag
7/18/05 Courtin', Southern style
7/11/05 Hammertime!
7/4/05 Summer school edition
6/27/05 All you can defeat
6/20/05 No education without desecration
6/13/05 Nontraditionally elected heads
6/6/05 X-rated "Deep Throat" edition
5/23/05 Because I like doing them!
5/16/05 Putting the "bus" in "Bush"
5/9/05 Watch our video!
5/2/05 Turqi
4/11/05 My computer is still malfunctioning
4/4/05 First-ever rerun edition (from 10/24/04)
3/21/05 Unsafe at any speed
3/14/05 Dirty Rice
3/7/05 Born on third base
3/1/05 Yes, I'm finally back!
2/21/05 Gotta get 'em young
2/15/05 Infinite possibilities
2/7/05 In my wildest dreams
1/30/05 Historic "Iraqi election" edition
1/24/05 Need some wood?
1/17/05 Cheap shots and sex jokes!

12/28/04 Not Quite Captions
12/20/04 Minor League of Nations
11/15/04 License-plate slogans
11/8/04 Special "will of the people" edition
10/24/04 Bush Economic Crapbook 1
10/24/04 Bush Economic Crapbook 2
10/24/04 Bush Economic Crapbook 3
10/24/04 Bush Economic Crapbook 4
10/19/04 What's in this man's head?
10/11/04 Drive to Caption Central
10/4/04 Double-decker edition 1
10/4/04 Double-decker edition 2
9/18/04 Dumb other truckers!
9/5/04 Another fun caption contest
8/26/04 Write your own caption!

Changes afoot

In anticipation of Not Right's second birthday, I'm making several big changes around here. Nothing particularly drastic or life-changing, mind you, but just a few things that serve the twin purposes of making the interface easier and relieving the tedium that sometimes accompanies two years of doing the same project.

First off, a new banner is underway. You can already see the ultra-cool anniversary banner I made to celebrate the fact that my blog is now rapidly outgrowing diapers. Following this run will be an all-new logo for 2006. And no, I won't divulge its look--partially out of surprise, and partially because I don't yet have a clue what it's going to look like. But this much is evident: now that I have access to a real digital camera and lots of free time, I can actually make something worthy of my outsized ego :)

Also, the sidebar is going to be a lot different. From now on, you will be able to access all of my favorite posts by subject and name: a greatest-hits collection, if you will. The posts I've compiled represent a cross-section of personal favorites and conversational firestarters, divided into various categories (they do not include my columns, which are on a separate site). The monthly archives will also remain for you hardcore addicts.

Other changes will include: archive links by feature (Caption Central, cartoons, Not Right News, etc.), an updated P.I.M.P. graphic and a more useful profile link. I'm also bandying about a change in template.

With these changes, I intend for Not Right to have a more professional look and feel, without sacrificing the irreverence that defines this place. I appreciate all of the readership over the past two years, and hope that the new site construction makes your trip all that more of a joyride.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Finally, some actual commentary

--Despite promises of tougher immigration laws, many Mexicans have vowed to persist in their efforts to cross the U.S. border. Persistence, pluck and spirit--exactly the kind of scourge America doesn't need.

--The Senate on Friday debated legislation that would make English the official language of the United States. However, George W. Bush is expected to veto the bill because it would require him to speak English.

--FBI agents are actively searching for Jimmy Hoffa's corpse in Michigan. The renewed search began when the agency mistakenly heard that Hoffa was a pretty white girl.

--The Da Vinci Code opened this week amid hordes of protests by religious groups who called the movie blasphemous. Protesters are complaining that the movie presents fiction as fact, something religion never does, ever.

--Japanese officials announced a lift on the ban against beef shipments from the United States. As part of the agreement, beef will no longer contain spines and will instead be harvested exclusively from Democrats.

--Federal agents in Connecticut seized an armored Mercedes from an Army reservist, who claimed the car once belonged to Saddam Hussein. The car is in custody of the Department of Defense, which is conducting an investigation into this so-called "armor."

--CIA nominee Michael Hayden said during Senate confirmation hearings Friday that the agency needs to "focus on protecting the American people." With a high-powered telescope.

--Jennifer Wilbanks, the infamous "runaway bride" from Georgia, has reportedly ended her embattled engagement with John Mason. So much for her self-penned vow, "'Til Duluth do I depart."

--The Washington Post reported this week that high-school kids are using increasingly elaborate schemes to snare prom dates. Some of these methods involve public proposals, slide shows and that good old standby, "How much?"

--Finally, the mayor of Waldron, Arkansas was arrested for soliciting sex from two women who had delinquent water bills. You don't want to know what they did to cover their sewage costs.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Still more rules

Rule #11: Goodbye, Norma Jean

Everybody has to stop looking like Marilyn Monroe. Granted, Marilyn Monroe was beautiful and edgy--but it's been 44 years since 1962. There's no reason that every celebrity or model needs to look like her now. Marilyn did not gain iconic status because she aped some other beautiful actress; she did so because she embraced her natural look. Celebrities would do wise to do the same. Actually, that's good advice for everyone.

But if looking the way you actually do is too much for you celebs, then at least Marilyn's a better look than Nicole Richie. There's no nutrition on that fashion plate.

Rule #12: The principal of the thing

Send our education reformers back to school. If our schools are failing, it isn't because some boy has hair an inch below his ear; it's because school boards and educators are spending all their time bickering about hair length instead of teaching. When I was in high school, long hair on boys was a major class distraction...because we spent half of every class period arguing about how stupid the rule was. Oops! See that? I ended a sentence with a preposition, and I have short hair! Perhaps something else is at play here.

Ditto with school uniforms: the problems are real, but the solutions aren't. You want to end the issue of clothing-related teasing and violence? Stop dwelling on the symptom and attack the sources: consumer culture and poverty. Kids shouldn't aspire to be billboards, and adults would do well to stop force-feeding them the message that stuff equals success. I won't even go into the incredibly lame argument that uniforms are directly responsible for better grades. I made straight A's in first grade, but I doubt my (non-uniform) shorts had anything to do with it...even if I did wet them. Anyway, I don't like school uniforms because I don't like most of the people who like them.

I understand that some specific schools have benefited from the policy. But in most cases, it just seems like a phony solution. Wherever the answer lies, it isn't in the odd mix of communism and fascism that school uniforms represent. Or in letting the smart kids take tax money away from the worst schools.

Rule #13: Idol journalism

Cover stories in a local periodical should have a legit local angle. I already know that American Idol has fans where I live; it's the number-one show in America! Where's the news in that? No one on the show has ties to south Louisiana, and it's doubtful that the article offers any exclusive access to startling new information. If I wanted to see secondhand journalism with minimal original commentary, I'd read a blog.

Rules 7-10
Rules 4-6
Rules 1-3

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Do the Immigration Shuffle

Last night, George W. Bush gave the latest in a series of speeches talking about the greatest threat to our homeland security: Mexicans! Here is the adulterated text of that speech, rearranged to illustrate Dubya's real intentions.

Good evening. I’ve asked for a few minutes of your time to stir intense emotions on a matter of national importance: the reform of America’s immigration system. Tonight, I will make images of immigrants clear, to support these emotions.

In recent weeks, Americans have seen the issue of immigration on display. On the streets of major cities, crowds have rallied illegally. At our southern border, others have organized to militarize our country. Across the country, Americans are trying to reconcile where I stand with where I want to lead our country on this vital issue.

We must begin by recognizing illegal immigrants. Mexicans live in the shadows of our society. Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are problems. We must remember that the vast majority of immigrants put pressure on public schools and hospitals, strain state and local budgets and bring crime to our communities. Decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives are illegal in Mexico.

We are a nation of immigrants. We’re also a nation of borders. I was the governor of a state that has a 1,200-mile border. I was able to sneak across our border, and return to the American life, beyond the reach and protection of American laws. Over the past five years, since I became president, we’ve apprehended and sent home about six million jobs. And yet, millions have stayed.

Illegal immigration has strengthened our country in so many ways. They uphold an urgent requirement of our national security: manpower. We employ them to construct high-tech fences in urban corridors, and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. The men and women of illegal immigration are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances. I am determined to change that.

America cannot be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time. These are contradictory goals. So I support comprehensive immigration reform that will accomplish five clear objectives:

First, the United States must secure its criminals, drug dealers and terrorists from illegal immigrants. This is a basic responsibility of borders.

One way to help is to use the National Guard. Up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border. The Guard will come; that duty will be done by the Border Patrol. To meet this goal, we’ve expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more. It will take time, training thousands of Americans to believe that we have enough Guard forces to win the war on terror, to respond to natural disasters AND help secure our border.

The Border Patrol, they have people entering America illegally. How difficult it is to enforce the border? So the Patrol will patrol online. Tonight I’m calling on the Border Patrol to provide dramatic improvements for Congress. By the end of 2008, we will have more than doubled the size of my Presidency in American history.

During this period of transition, the most advanced technology is going to the southern border. Mexico, our neighbor, is illegal and not our friend. We will continue to work to bring drug trafficking and crime to their border, and to reduce immigration. Another way to help during this period of transition is to ensure that every illegal immigrant we catch crossing our southern border is sent into space within 24 hours. This practice, called “catch and release,” is the law.

Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. They will walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers, or secure the border effectively. Human smugglers! Come to America to work and build a better life!

Third, we need employers to hire someone who is in this country illegally. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up an American who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record.

Fourth, I oppose amnesty. It would invite further waves of employees.

Fifth, we must honor the great American tradition of pot.

Tonight, I want to speak directly to members of the House and the Senate: we must always build a unified country by inciting people to anger, playing on anyone’s fears, and exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain. Pass a comprehensive deportation bill for me to sign into law!

America has the best illegal immigrants in the world. But despite this progress, I do not yet have full control of the United States. I will. Thank you, God.

Monday, May 15, 2006

As much fun one can have with clothes

Name three things Not Right desperately needs, and they are: 1) a fresh batch of clothing, 2) chronic-grade doses of precious cuteness and 3) Jesus. So let's pop by for a visit at the latest online X-Mart to grab my attention: Godly Garb! This store features products from the Lord's loom, Kerusso.

First in the adult gallery (heh!) is "Hip Christian Apparel," which I guess is a prelude to all of the un-hip shirts to come (you can also suffer the children with most of these). The majority of these shirts make satirical references to junk food and drinks, which I guess is the essence of hip among the holy:

"I thirst..." for chocolate pseudo-milky goodness!

Clearly, He was in deep Dew-Dew from the start

More hip fun:

Note: not applicable for Little Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Bowser, Wart, or anything else Mario stomps along the path to Super Salvation

Can you fear me now? Can you fear me now?

You have the mind of a sponge!

But that Napoleon twerp is on his own

Jeez...wasn't The Matrix already a heavy-handed Christian allegory? Why not make a clever pun out of Passion of the Christ while you're at it?

Why isn't this one required of all customers?

Other categories include "Witness on Wheels," which effectively combine Creationism with the Creationism of environment-killing pollution:

No Hell. Just Angels.

Personal Testimony tees...because nothing speaks to your personal epiphany like one of these mass-produced beauties!

God is my liquor

Wear it with pride!

Then there are the POWER t-shirts. Buck up and suck up, son! You may be less than a maggot in God's all-encompassing eyes, but that doesn't mean you can't assert a healthy sense of Christian authority over your fellow man!

Why on Earth isn't this a wife-beater?

Let there be peace on Earth...wait, what?

Of course, sports is also represented here:

Ironic proof that God hates the Saints

An adjunct to this section is the Sportsman's line, which is less notable for its designs than for its action pictures:

It's always Bible season! No limit, blinders included

He has a penchant for exaggerating the size of his catches

Then there's the Proclaim Jesus series, for when you want to express to the world your penchant for S&M (Salvation and Morality, of course)! For example, witness this shirt marked, "Public Display of Affection":

Isn't PDA disallowed in most Christian circles?

But hate is painless

Ladies! Are you a steadfast moral princess who wishes to express your entire dating protocol with a minimum of the filthy interaction that results from actually talking to gentlemen? Then this is your corner!

Taken with myself, that is!

Let me guess...Pisces? Capricorny?

And I'll get pregnant because I have no sex education

Want more? Go to Godly Garb and Games! Or visit any number of my previous shirty posts that rock.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Black Sheep Brothers 2008

I hear Jeb Bush is really pissed. Why? Because his brother Dubya has said Jeb would make a great president. And we all know what a great prognosticator that guy is. Indeed, with Georgie's approval rating spinning at less than 33 1/3 RPM, he appears to be playing Chris Farley to Jeb Bush's Tim Matheson in a twisted remake of Black Sheep.

For the considerable masses who did not see this classic 1996 political documentary, here's a brief synopsis: Mike Donnelly (Farley), a rec-center supervisor, wants to help his brother Al (Matheson) win the governorship of Washington state. Unfortunately, Mike is a walking disaster area and unwittingly sabotages Al's campaign with every step. So Al asks Steve Dodds (David Spade) to babysit Mike until the campaign is over. Of course, this does very little to quell Mike's eagerness, and pandemonium ensues. Voter fraud and an unstable veteran are involved, and the movie was a critical and commercial flop. So naturally, it's perfect fodder for a Bush parallel. Presenting that hip new comedy floperoo: White Sheep!

Dubya: I'll do anything to make sure you win the presidency in 2008, Jeb. You name it, brother. Anything!

Jeb: All right! But I've got good people in my corner, and I need help here at home.

Dubya: Sounds good. I can work the telephone, hand out flyers, talk to the people.

Jeb: But you know, George, there're other ways you can help. Subtle ways. "Differently vocal" ways. You remember John Wayne, don't you?

Dubya: Are you kiddin'? He's only my hero!

Jeb: Think about his movies. Did he talk a lot?

Dubya: No! Mostly he let his shootin' do his talkin' for him.

Jeb: Right! See, real men don't NEED to talk! So the best thing you could do for me is--

Dubya: Shoot you?

Jeb: Not quite. What I need you to do is speak softly. And carry a big stick.

Dubya: Wait a minute...didn't that commie FDR say that?

Jeb: Actually, it was Teddy Roosevelt.

Dubya: Oh, yeah, Teddy! I'm a big fan of his bears.

Jeb: Um, yeah. Anyway, I've assigned my best strategist to help you out. Meet Mister--uh--

Mister: Mister's fine! Hi, Dubya.

Dubya: Howdy, Mister! What's with all that mud on you?

Mister: We're gonna be rich, because I'm the only person in the world who knows where we can find white mud!

Dubya: I'm already rich. Anyway, I said crud, not mud.

Mister: You don't want to know what it is. Suffice to say, I just told Karl Rove that another Bush was running for president.

Dubya: Ewww! Look, Mister, I'm not dumb. I realize that I'm a liability to my brother's campaign, that I embarrass him every time I show up stoned on TV, and that everyone thinks I burned down the rec center. But how can we fix those things now?

Mister: We'll blame the rec-center fire on Dick Cheney's gas ties and expert marksmanship. Your druggy performance on TV? Stress relating to 9/11. Everyone loves 9/11! As for you being embarrassing to your brother, I have solved the problem.

Dubya: Voter fraud?!!

Mister: No...a psychotic Gary Busey wielding a machine pistol.

Dubya: Darn. 'Cause voter fraud, that works.

Gary Busey: Vote for Jeb or Mr. Fire here starts barkin' thunder!

Dubya: You know, maybe we could get Chris Farley to vote for Jeb. Terri Schiavo too!

Jeb: Are you or are you not the Black Angel of Death?

Dubya: Don't be silly! I don't care about black people!

[All laugh. Curtain.]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Even more rules we need

Rule #7: Call waiting for a point

Don't call me if you have absolutely nothing to say. I'm not sitting by the phone wondering what your cats are doing; I also don't want to hear running commentary on your shoe shopping. You may feel super-cool when you spend an entire afternoon at the mall with your ear glued to the phone, but four out of five cashiers agree: you're a self-centered prick. It's so pointless anyway; if I wanted to hear vapid banter about absolutely nothing, I'd listen to George W. Bush.

Rule #8: Short attention slam

Stop hiding behind ADHD, which is a very real and very specific medical condition. If your doctor hasn't told you that you have ADHD, you don't have it; you're just bored by anything that takes more than three seconds to digest. Take two MTV2 videos and call me in the morning, or whenever it is you wake up. Hope this rule wasn't too long.

Rule #8b: Hypo-CON-dria

You don't need drugs, they need you. The pharmaceutical industry began advertising medications to the general public because they realized the real money was in making people think they were sick. Lethargic? Drink some water, eat a banana and take a walk outside. Not getting hard? Stop smoking and relax! Depressed? Talk to somebody and see if a natural remedy is right for you!

Rule #9: Shooting up the bestseller list

You don't get to make a career out of the fact that you shot someone in the face. Since her release from prison in 1999, Amy Fisher has become an acclaimed columnist and author, and of late has been a fixture on TV. And while I'm all for personal redemption, stories like Amy's frustrate those of us who are trying to become successful writers in time-honored ways--like blackmailing and executing backroom deals.

If we continue to celebrate the drastically misguided actions of drugged-up adulterous hotheads, what kind of nation will America become? Tune in at 11 to find out!

Rule #10: World's Greatest Grandiosity

No more self-serving superlatives. No one has the right to brag about having the best-looking spouse, the cutest kids, the perfect house or the greatest parents in the world. Things like that are subjective, which is why there's no "World's Cutest Baby" category in the Guinness Book of Records (there is such a competition currently going on where I live, and that alone should tell you how wrong it is). If who you love and what you have are perfect for you, then that should be enough of a reward. Your family deserves better than to be treated as mere trophies.

Anyway, if your girlfriend really was the best-looking and smartest person in the world, she'd be divorcing Brad Pitt, not hanging with your smug ass.

Rules 4-6
Rules 1-3

Spring Fever

I have absolutely nothing to say today.

Monday, May 08, 2006

"They're McDonald's; we're McDowell's"

I'm not typically one to harp on so-called "frivolous lawsuits." But seriously, guys...nobody confuses Apple Computers with Apple Corps Ltd. They're two of the most iconic symbols in the world!

The Beatles might have had a case in the 1970s, when Steve Jobs was just some mop-top lookalike with a dream. Today? Not so much. Really, what would happen if Apple Corps' lawsuit hadn't been rejected? Would they have retroactively removed Apple's logo from all its products? Louisiana educators have enough on their plate already without also having to worry about removing the nameplates from their schools' state-of-the-art Apple II computers. Out of sight, out of your mind.

Anyway, the logo of the Beatle-founded record label is a picture of an actual apple, whereas the iTunes design is a stylized apple with a bite taken out of it...presumably from Microsoft's teeth. The only similarity between the two is that they both revolutionized their respective media fields in decades long past. Otherwise, it's like comparing apples to...well, apples that look different.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


The Times of Acadiana is currently accepting votes for its annual "Best of Acadiana" list. I look forward to this list every year because I like having my finger on the pulse of the area, and this is about the only way I can ever feel it. It's a hugely expansive list, covering such categories as Best Soul Food, Best Frame Shop, Best Insurance Agent and Best Place to Hold A Wedding ("City Club did my wedding so much better than Acadian Village did my last one!").

I can't wait to see who wins Best Print Journalist and Best Local Columnist. Should be an interesting competition, considering that virtually all finalists in both categories work for The Times of Acadiana or its parent paper, The Daily Advertiser. Obvious bias aside, that makes them all ineligible to win! Even the one guy who is technically eligible was a Times fixture for years. Nothing to see here, folks...

One of the newer categories is Best Local Blog. As you may have seen on my sidebar, I did not make the cut for this category. There are probably dozens of reasons for this, including my general apathy; I'm sure that I could have nominated myself if I'd wanted to do so. I'm still reeling that this category even exists, being that best-of polls serve mainly to generate advertising revenue. And bloggery isn't exactly Coco Chanel in that department.

But I digress. Here are the blog nominees who made the final cut: could find only one blog on their site, and it's this weather blog, which is pretty good in its own right. Still, it seems a bit cheap for this to be on the list, the equivalent of having Burger King on the list for best local hamburger.

Dege Legg's Cablog [misspelled on the online ballot]--Interesting tales of a rocker-slash-cabdriver's life, through a prosaic filter. Is running unopposed for most swear words per square inch.

Lafayette Pro-Fiber Blog--Your number-one source for news on the hot-button local issue of 2005. Updated daily.

MySpace--the whole thing? In that case, I'm voting "restaurant" for Best Food.

The Conservative Cajun--the official blog of award-winning editorialist Nick Bouterie. Yes, I said award-winning. Back when we opposed each other in The Vermilion, his columns won sixth place in a competition. As of this moment, I have no writing awards of any kind. Life's unfair.

I can understand how hard it must have been to find a local blog worth mentioning. Lafayette has generated plenty of one-post wonders, as well as utterly pointless blogs. But come on, at least include Suspect Device so it seems less like you're snubbing the competition!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More rules to live by (collect 'em all!)

Rule #4: Live and let hide

No more reports of Axl Rose sightings. He's not Jimmy Hoffa; he's some guy who used to be famous. I don't want to hear anymore how someone spotting Axl in a music store is a sign of something. Yeah, it's a sign that he's a musician! When he begets democracy in China, then I'll care. Please, Axl?

Rule #5: Power Trippin'

Respect is not automatic. I don't care who you are, what your title is or how much money you make; it doesn't give you license to be a jerk any more than it exempts you from having to use the toilet. If your accomplishments in life are deserving of respect, then they'll speak for themselves. But the more you insist I stand in awe of you, the more likely I am to sit down. Better to be an amiable regular person than someone successful who lost their decency somewhere around the fifth promotion.

Rule #6: Congratulations? I'm sorry.

Congratulations should be reserved for people who achieve goals. I'm getting tired of people offering kudos for things like getting married and having children. These can be wonderful things, but they're not on par with, say, earning a college degree or overcoming cancer. If you can achieve something by paying for it, it isn't an accomplishment; it's a purchase. Or the presidency.

Marriage does not deserve kudos, because anyone can do it. Well, except for gays. My bad.

Rules 1-3