Saturday, October 31, 2009

Still Not a Fan of the Afghan War Right Now


Despite the relatively puff pieces that talked up very very very limited local Afghan successes, I was not swayed by the NBC News' Afghan War Pep Rally last week that seemed to take over their National News Show.
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The War's Proponents, which escorted Brian Williams' around by his nose in a most uncharacteristic way, had to tread a very tight line. They went out of their way to show successes versus the last time NBC was there (1 or 2 years ago) - and how good the US is doing (yeah us!)... But they also had to show why more troops were desperately needed because we were losing right now (need help ASAP!)
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The most Alice Through the Looking Glass Moment came when Brian Williams intelligently asked what the difference was between the Taliban and Al Queda. The military commander said, that when we invaded we did so only to drive Al Queda out of Afghanistan and they were two entirely different groups. But in the last few years they have joined forces and we have to defeat them both. Brian Williams nodded intelligently, but did not ask the obvious follow up, "Why are they united now?"
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It is because they are united now against an occupying power, us!!!
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I was embarrassed by lack of follow through and what was obviously propaganda shown to the US population in exchange for access to good footage. It was not worthy a news organization that is usually as good as the one headed by NBC's Brian Williams.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dr. Orley Taitz est Kaput & we hardly knew thee


Dr. Orley Taitz, Queen of the Birther Movement, producer of a Kenyan birth certificate so very very false, even fox news had to retract it in less than an hour. Dr. Taitz, Dentist, Lawyer, Real Estate Salesperson and lost Gabor Sister... We hardly knew thee..
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She has now played out her last sad lawsuit. The one judge who tried to help her has finally turned. A rapid dog of the insipid left, his ruling might be read as wistful, but Dr. Titz... sorry Taitz... chosen to read the sad words harshly.
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The PUIS Party salutes you Orley. You and your incoherent language, your Natasha and Boris accent, you who rise up to show the real side of Orange County California. We salute you with the final words of Judge Carter to you and Alan Keyes (your co-crazy)..
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The hearings have been interesting to say the least. Plaintiffs’ arguments through Taitz have generally failed to aid the Court. Instead, Plaintiffs’ counsel has favored rhetoric seeking to arouse the emotions and prejudices of her followers rather than the language of a lawyer seeking to present arguments through cogent legal reasoning. While the Court has no desire to chill Plaintiffs’ enthusiastic presentation, Taitz’s argument often hampered the efforts of her cocounsel ... to bring serious issues before the Court. The Court has attempted to give Plaintiffs a voice and a chance to be heard by respecting their choice of counsel and by making every effort to discern the legal arguments of Plaintiffs’ counsel amongst the rhetoric.
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This Court exercised extreme patience when Taitz endangered this case being heard at all by failing to properly file and serve the complaint upon Defendants and held multiple hearings to ensure that the case would not be dismissed on the technicality of failure to effect service. While the original complaint in this matter was filed on January 20, 2009, Defendants were not properly served until August 25, 2009. Taitz successfully served Defendants only after the Court intervened on several occasions and requested that defense counsel make significant accommodations for her to effect service. Taitz also continually refused to comply with court rules and procedure. Taitz even asked this Court to recuse Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato on the basis that he required her to comply with the Local Rules. Taitz also attempted to dismiss two of her clients against their wishes because she did not want to work with their new counsel ....
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Additionally, the Court has received several sworn affidavits that Taitz asked potential witnesses that she planned to call before this Court to perjure themselves. This Court is deeply concerned that Taitz may have suborned perjury through witnesses she intended to bring before this Court.
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Orely Orley Orely.. Can't you read the true meaning of these words. This is not hate from a Left Wing Judge, it is a sad recognition that -no matter how much he tries to help you - this is probably the last time your hot mess of blond hair, your oh-so-erotic accent and your red hot (if mis-placed) passion will grace his stage. No one wants to bring down the curtain on the final show of "Cats"... but now memories is all you will both have.
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Memories.... of your days in the sun....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Republican Heros (From Their Web Site)

You GOTTA love the new Republican National Party Website (http://www.rnc.org/).

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My favorite part is the "GOP Hero's" Section. In this section they spotlight Republican Heroes. In this "Hero" section are 18 different heroes - and clearly a random sample of the republican party.
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They include 10 black men, 4 women and 4 white men.
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Of they "Heroes" only 5 are from after 1900. And of those, only 1 is from after 1970 (and that is Ronald Regan).
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Just like the Republican party of today.

Figure Skating Even Gayer

From Modern Family....
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The More I See, The More I Know... This is the Future


The more I see of these two media whores, the more I know one of them is going to be President. I am not sure which one yet (I would give slightly better odds on Sarah Palin - but Levi has 17 years left to get there).
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What's more, they are the Presidents we deserve. I mean big business runs the country and our elected representatives are a side show (last week they worked on (AND I AM NOT KIDDING) Democratic legislation to "honor Confucius' birthday" & Republican Legislation to a resolution to honor the marchers who came out for the tea party protest in Washington, D.C.)
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And we continue to elect and stand behind these dipshits.
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Not me. Not anymore. I am now officially behind the "PUIS" Party (People-Us-In Style).
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Sarah and her $1.25 Million Dollar Ghost Written book, and Levi and his 3 hour work-outs for 6 weeks to poise nude for Playgirl are my new ideological heroes. Plus, Levi is says he's proud to show us the goods.. no Burt Reynolds leg in the way for him. We are going to see the wanger that knocked up Bristol Palin. Who, as befits the PUIS Party, is the poster girl for ABSTINENCE.
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Someone once said we get the politicians we deserve. Hell yes!
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And they have Biblical Names... but not so Biblical mouthes...
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Says Levi of Sarah...
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In an interview with The Early Show, Levi Johnston says that Sarah Palin jokes about her "retarded" baby and says the Palins constantly fought about getting a divorce.
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Says Johnston: "If she's going to go out there and say things to me, about me, I'm going to leak some things on her. I mean that's just how it is...There are some things that I have that are huge...If I really wanted to hurt [Sarah Palin] I could very easily. But I'm not gonna go that far."
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Says Sarah of Levi...
Says Palin: "We have purposefully ignored the mean spirited, malicious and untrue attacks on our family. We, like many, are appalled at the inflammatory statements being made or implied.
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Trig is our 'blessed little angel' who knows it and is lovingly called that every day of his life...CBS should be ashamed for continually providing a forum to propagate lies. Consider the source of the most recent attention-getting lies — those who would sell their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are likely to say and do anything for even more attention."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interesting Defense: Too Fat To Kill


I must say it is an interesting defense. (full story)
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TRENTON, N.J. - A Florida man accused of killing his son-in-law in New Jersey is arguing that he was unable to commit the crime because he was too fat.
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When Edward Ates takes the stand in his defense Wednesday, he's expected to tell jurors he wouldn't have had the energy needed to climb and descend the staircase where prosecutors say the killer was perched when he shot Paul Duncsak, a 40-year-old pharmaceutical executive, in 2006.
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An attorney for Ates claims that in 2006, the 62-year-old stood 5 feet 8 and tipped the scales at 285 pounds, and that he was in such bad physical shape that he couldn't have pulled off the shooting or the fast getaway the killer made.

TV Addict Review of the Season So Far...

We all know I am a bit of a TV Addict. So let's see where we are so far in the season (per the random thoughts of Scooter).
So You Think You Can Dance.
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Well, this show has finally started this week. I (and by I, I mean Ed and I since I don't give him the remote) don't really watch the audition shows. Why get your hopes up for someone who is just kicked off in 2 shows.
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I have to say I like this season - but I like every season.
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If you saw it last night, you know why. Some of the dancers are scary good. And I like that the judges give honest and helpful critics (even if they are a little full of themselves sometimes).
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FYI - This would be unwatchable without Tivo.
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Survivor Samoa.
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Worst. Survivor. Ever.
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First, it is rainy all the time. The people are miserable, and not "Scooter can make fun of them" miserable, just wet cold and not fun.
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Second, turns out "Russel, the most diabolical Survivor Ever!" is merely "Russel, no one else get out of the shelter".
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Third... well, no third, I am just a little over it.
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4th - Hasn't Samoa experience a major Tidal Wave and disaster since this was filmed? Maybe you should mention that at some point .. althought the whole show is a disaster right now (rim shot.."thank you...I'm here all week... please tip your waitresses").
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Modern Family.
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Genius of a show. I loved when the grandfather had to watch the Ohio State game with the gay son-in-law from Illinois and said, "Great, I gotta watch this with Dick Butkus" and his son yelled that it was homophobic comment and the boyfriend had to explain this was a great Illinois alumni. .
And the gay son said, "Butt-kiss. Really? Is no one going to acknowledge this?" and it was just left hanging. .
Plus they named the Chinese baby Lily - and the grandfather said "Why don't you name her something she can say?" Ed O'Neill is genius.


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Cougar Town.
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Humph.
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I liked it in the beginning, and it seems to be getting better. But it doesn't seem to be getting better fast enough.
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Hell, I like seeing Courtney Cox (-Arquette) working, but the neighbor (from the old Drew Carey show) looks like she has had some AWFUL work done!

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Fringe
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I already said this. Creepy at night, stupid on Tivo.
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It is only made acceptable by Joshua Jackson (loved him on Dawson's Creek).
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Flash Forward.
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Not fast enough.
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Only so much tortured Joseph Fines I can take before I slap him something silly.

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Dancing with the Stars.
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Their hideous choice of talent this year actually got me to kick this habit.
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I am 2 months DWTS Free!
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Finally, I gotta say, Monday Nights on CBS is getting stale.
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How I Met Your Mother... Meet the GD Mother already!
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Two and 1/2 Men... You know a show is in trouble when the ventriloquist dummy is broken out.
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Big Bang Theory... Still funny, but perilously close to jumping the shark. First, get Wollawitz out of those painted on pants (it stopped being funny and is now pathetic) and second let Raj speak around women. Raj silent as Penny all but moves in makes for stupid story.
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And finally finally, I got to say something about NBC. Their "prime time" line up is so bad...
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(how bad is it?)
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their PRIME TIME LINEUP web site for shows lists Chuck (not coming back until March 2010), Southland (cancelled before being aired), America's Got Talent (I guess returning in July of 2010), 3 Law and Orders, 4 late night talk shows (for some reason the Tonight Show Experience is listed as a Prime Time show), one show on Direct TV only, one daytime soap opera AND a Saturday morning kid's cartoon.
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It is like watching Bozo the Clown try to be the opening act for Pavarotti.
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But their Sports kicks ass!

Interesting Interview with Krauthammer on Obama


I don't agree with many of the things he says, but Salon has a very interesting interview (reprinted from Der Spiegl in Germany) on why Charles Krauthammer thinks Obama is an "average" President. Here
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It is interesting from a conservative viewpoint, but not a reflexive, knee-jerk reactionary viewpoint.
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I disagree with a lot of the assumptions - Mr. Krauthammer takes President Obama at his words on a lot of issues, where I think President Obama is playing to the audience (at the UN for example). But it is an interesting viewpoint.
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If I filter President Obama through my President Bush filter - instead of my hopeful filter, I might get to the same conclusions.
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Anywho, if you have time and the interest in a serious look at the "other side", then you should take the time to read it.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No McDonalds in Iceland: The Horror!!

I think this is a fun story from Salon's How The World Works.

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How did our world become so screwed up that a decision by McDonald's to close three restaurants in Iceland is deemed by the international press an embarrassment so great that it must merit blanket coverage?
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Here's the
Financial Times' lead sentence:
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Iceland edged further towards the margins of the global economy on Monday when McDonald's announced the closure of its three restaurants in the crisis-hit country and said that it had no plans to return.
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Even worse: Look at the company Iceland is keeping. The only other European countries without a McDonald's are "Albania, Armenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina." The shame. The shame! Bar the door and pull the curtains down, Sigrid, we can't let the neighbors see us like this!

When We Used to Travel for Pleasure


I barely remember a time when travel was a pleasure. It used to be. It isn't anymore.
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You used to be able to pick someone up at the airport. One of my fondest memories was seeing Eddie wait for me at O'Hare. Seeing his shy smile and his face light up was wonderful.
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We have given up a lot of life in the name of safety (that doesn't really make us safer).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fascinating Class on Muslim Diaspora Tonight


Tonight in Migration and the Muslim Diaspora class we had a guest, Naeem Mohaiemen.
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He is an artist, who does photographic work and video work on the dynamics of politics and ideology within Bangladesh and within the migrant Bangladeshi community in New York.
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He is very secular, and anti-"Islamist" but he had some really interesting things to say I hadn't thought about.
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For example, he blames a lot of Islamist Jihadi action on economic factors. Newly independent governments couldn't find jobs for their people, but the could find an enemy by using Islam.
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He also spoke about the different types of projection of power. How when he was young the United States had libraries and outreach into the Bangladeshi community (he saw Star Wars at the US Library in 1978) - but how now everything is geared towards security not reaching the community. I guess now in Bangladesh, the ONLY US presence is the embassy and it is powerfully guarded. It is understandable - yet at the same time reinforces the feeling of enemy, not friend.
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Also he discussed how even our "soft" diplomacy - cultural projects, libraries, exchange programs - are outsourced by underfunded agencies to the pentagon or other security folks like blackwater -so even our outreach is channeled first by security.
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Finally (I will shut up after this), he discussed the idea of home as an abstract place for migrants. For example, in England a lot of Bangladeshi migrants wear the headscarf to remind them of home, but in Bangladesh itself, very few women wear the headscarf. Migrants carry this idealized home in their minds that might not really exist.
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Nothing he said was Earthshattering, but it made for a great class.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday

Friday we went to a service for Mike's Brother, Regis. We didn't know him, but Mike, Shaun and the girls stayed here and we went to support them. It was a lovely service. Ike's brother died very young (47) of Pancreatic Cancer.
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This is a picture right before the service. Don't Shuan and Mike look like Secret Service protection for the girls?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Empire Pride Dinner

So we went to the Empire State Pride Dinner. This is Ed shooting the shit with Mayor Bloomberg. Swear!

Ann Hathaway was the honoree. More pictures late.

Picture for Lynn


Lynn loves big cats, so I saw this picture of a a baby Jaguar born in Palm Beach Zoo and I wanted to share.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good Dog and Long Lived Plants

This plant was a housewarming gift from Patti over 3 years ago. I haven't killed it yet! Actually there was also a vine with it originally and I have to transplant that one to a different pot and it is still alive as well. But even Zela kept one of those wierd vines that everyone has in their office alive so that's no great shakes (Zela had a black thumb).


Elise left Monday, but before she did she wanted to say goodbye to Trevor. So here is a picture of Elise, Trevor and Jules, one of her friends from New Mexico that ended up spending a night here.
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If you have ever seen Greg the Bunny - Trevor looks a lot like Greg in this picture.

I Hate Giving Bad Reviews


I saw this horrible play ("The Oldsmobiles") with Richard Masur and I had to give an awful review. I hate that.
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This is how I started it...
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The Oldsmobiles, a new play by Roger Rosenblatt, is oddly reminiscent of an overly long Carol Burnet sketch, both in gentle humor, oddly inappropriate subject matter and immediate forgetfulness. It isn’t a bad play, but it isn’t much of a show either.
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Clocking in at a quick hour, the show is all about an elderly couple preparing to commit suicide off the Manhattan Bridge. They kid each other fondly, express amazement over who shows up tp convince them not to jump and try to remember why they are doing this. Half way into the show, I wanted to push them into the East River myself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cutest Baby in Tinley Park Needs Your Vote!!


This is Kate Gomez, the cutest baby in Tinley Park's costume contest.
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If you think she is the cutest (and you know you do) then go and vote. She is #70!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Elise (my cousin) and I


Elise is visiting New York with a bunch of friends from University. They came here and went to a hostel. She decided to stay with us instead.

Paula and Loyda's New Boys

So these two muchkins are Kirill and Eugeni. Paula and Eugeni adpoted them from Russia. They are brothers but were separated in different orphanges for 4 years.
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ps - they insist on dressing alike because they are brothers. They don't know they are suppose to hate each other yet :-).

Everyone with Ed and Trevor (Kirill, Trevor, Eugeni, Paula, Loyda).

Trevor was a big hit with the boys.


They loved playing with the pupster


Friday, October 16, 2009

Eddie Spagetti Loves These


I found these at Whole Foods and thought I would try them. Ed LOVES these. The vegetable packets are amazing as he now eats veggies with them! And, of course, the Chicken Tiki Masla is great.
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There are pretty easy to make (except chopping ginger - I finally found it best to cut the husks off, then use the "amazing chopper" we got at some street market to make it work.
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Anyway, these are yummy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Long Week Is Coming to a Close

It has been a long week. I know that sounds odd coming from the boy off work, but it is true. There has been some deaths on the friends and relatives of friends front, which is never fun.
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And it is hard to know what to say all the time.
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Ed has been very busy with work (as you can see from the news reports) and I have been reviewing my ass off - but I am not complaining about that at all.
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And now, suddenly, the weather turned bleak. I think we are getting the tail end of whatever hit Minnesota this week-end.
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More later. (I saw a middling play tonight and have to write it up).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ghost City: Cairo Illinois

I have posted previously about "Ghost Towns", abandoned for economic, political or just crazy reasons.
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I was looking at MUG (Manhattan User's Guide) e-mailing today and was struck by this "Ghost city".

This is Cairo, Illinois. I can feel many of you mentally scratching your head saying, "I know that name, why is that?" Because I have brought it up before as the home town (although not birth site) of my paternal Grandparents. It is Zela's home town.
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I went once and was struck by the emptiness. Apparently it has gotten worse. Cairo (KAA-row) is at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Barge traffic is no longer important and so the city has declined in popularity. Apparently in the 1960s and 70s it was also a hot bed of racial troubles, and whites fled in droves. It is now all but a ghost town.
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Below are two more pictures of San Zhi, Taiwan - which part of me wants to move to and rebuild completely.
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Apparently in the 1980's San Zhi was being built as a resort town on the north part of the island of Taiwan. Shoddy construction practices (and possible shoddy materials) cause a number of accidents and deaths.
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San Zhi was abandoned when the construction workers fled the spirits and ghosts of the dead.



I love the look of this place.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So I have never seen Hamlet until tongiht.


I have never seen Hamlet before. It is sooo long. I couldn't even watch it with Kenneth Branaugh. And I love Kenneth Branaugh. (I have seen a lot of Shakespeare, just not Hamlet).
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But tonight I saw Hamlet with Jude Law. He has been doing this show in London for a while and he is doing a limited run here in New York.
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He was astounding.
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The reviews were that he was a little fast (but the show is still 3 1/2 hours -so not that racing). But I thought he was great.
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They brought pretty much the entire British cast here (which is rare), and they were very very good to. I loved Matt Ryan - who played Horatio as well.
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It was an amazing show.
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And Jude Law! Okay, I don't think he is cute. I mean he just doesn't do it for me. But he is hot on stage. I mean, he has a stage presence - a way of moving - it is just electric.

Are they stupid or do they think we are stoopid?

I quote Steve Wynn (Las Vegas CEO) on Rush Limbaugh lovingly brought to you by Fox News.
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WYNN: Government has never increased the standard of living of one single human being in civilization's history. For some reason that simple truth has evaded everybody. The only thing that creates an increased standard of living is giving someone a job, the demand for their labor -- whether it's you and I, Chris, or anybody else. The people that are paying the price for this juggernaut of federal spending are the middle class and the working class of America.
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RUSH: Right.
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WYNN: And soaring rhetoric and great speeches with or without a teleprompter aren't going to change the truth, and the truth is: The biggest enemy, the biggest obstacle that working middle-class America has is government spending.
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So the question must be, is he and idiot or does he think we are?
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Here are some of the things that "Government" has done to increase the standard of living for Steve Wynn, Las Vegas and all of us.
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1) Provided roads to drag people to Vegas.
2) Built the Hoover Dam to power Vegas
3) Filter and provide clean drinking water.
4) Provide subsidized water for irrigating the desert.
5) Stopped the dirty coal burning and above ground nuclear tests to improve the health of Vegas workers and visitors.
6) Provided schools
7) Provided Universities
8) Stopped Polio, Smallpox, dysentery, typhus of the population.
9) Built the damn Vegas Airport
10) Provided a gambling loophole in Nevada for the growth of an industry in what otherwise would be a punk ass desert (see Elko for a city in Nevada with no water or power).
11) Built flood control channels to stop desert flash flooding from washing parts of the city away.
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I could go on, but why... He is a dip shit. Not because he is dumb - I don't think you can be in charge of Wynn Industries and be dumb, but because he thinks we are all clueless jackenapes. I think he now judges all Americans but tthe gamblers he sees for a short amout of time as suckers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

FINALLY!!!! A Petition I Can Get Behind

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #262
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As best as I can tell, life is intolerable. Oh, not always of course. A case can be made for all the big wonders and little blessings and blah, blah, blah. But when you really boil it down, our entire existence rests on a few really ugly premises. First, life, and by that I mean the big life, life with a capital L, must ingest other life in order for it to remain life. Or, put another way, in order to witness the miracle of creation, we must continually eat, and then poop out, a little bit of that miracle. Second, one of the charming side effects of sentient life is emotional pain. The fact that dead and fermenting plant life creates alcohol - a terrific anesthetic for emotional pain - might cause one to think that this is, by nature, a compassionate universe. Think again. Keep dulling that pain with booze and you wind up, if you're lucky, in a church basement sharing your tears with complete strangers. If you're not lucky, you wind up on a waiting list for a motorcyclist's liver. And finally, there is the ever-present knowledge of death. In order to "more fully appreciate the gift of life," we all get to ponder a violently sudden or slow and agonizingly painful descent into oblivion -- after which our beloved bodies turn into the stuff of nightmares. Which brings me back to my original premise: life is intolerable. But rather than go gently into that creepy night, I've decided to start a petition to protest the fundamental conditions of existence. I know it's not much, but it's a start. And damnit, I'm just the guy to do it! The petition is available at chucklorre.com. Sign on now and make your voice heard before you're dead and your vocal chords are being eaten by a swarm of disgusting bugs.
1st Aired: 12 October 2009

How on Earth??

How on Earth can there only been like 2 cold days in New York city - and suddenly the mole people come out of the ground onto the subway.
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Really, you would think these people had been hidden from the sun for years and years! The pallor, the hidiousness...ewehhhh!

This is why I use the $1 a Wear Rule.


Sure, a lot of people make fun of me for sticking to my rule that clothes should be $1 per wear over time (not counting cleaning).
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But look at the outfit GQ has put on Mark Sanchez here. Jeans and a tight yellow tank top. $685 total.
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Neither one is worth a year of wear (hell, if I had Mark Sanchez' body I might not even wear clothes). But, if you really wanted faded jeans and tight yellow tank top - The Gap could fit you nice for under $70 and Target could fit you up nicely under $35.
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Nin-com-poopery.

And Suddenly There is a Much Worse Nobel Prize!!!


I personally think the Swedes (which give all the Nobel prize bar the "Peace Prize") are trying to get their Norwiegen brethren out of that Obama Peace Prize hole.
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The decided to go with 2 Americans for their analyses of economic governance - the way that authority is exercised in companies and economic systems.
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Right now!?!
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You want to know how 'authority is exercised in companies and economic systems', because I can tell you in less time with less research (making it less 'economically' expensive). How is it exercised? Like warn loose horse turds - dropped in the road stinking and ignored.
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Where's my prize?

Sometimes I say, I Don't Understand....

.. when I actually mean, that is a stupid thing / idea.
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Bunt in this case, I really don't fully understand.
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The University of Minnesota recently completed a beautiful stadium on campus. I understand that.
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However to play there they left the Minneapolis Metrodome (where they didn't own the suites - and had to pay rent), I understand that.
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But the new stadium doesn't have a roof and the Metrodome did - and people like this.
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I DON'T understand that.
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You know how cold it was in Minnesota for their game Saturday. So cold they had to SNOW PLOW THE SNOW OFF THE FIELD!!! October 10th - snow on the field.
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You know where there is no snow on the field on October 10th - 3 blocks away at the Minneapolis (HHH) Metrodome!
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And this isn't like Washington State - who brings in the boys from LA and Arizona up to East No Where in November and we all freeze and can't play. Most of the Rodentia Conference is already used to the cold weather and snow. This only screws their fans!
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I know that a home stadium on campus is really cool. I know that it adds to college life. I also know that if I was sitting in the chairs recently cleared of snow on Saturday I would have looked longingly at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and though, "roof!"

A Friend of Ed's..

This is Megan, a girl Ed used to work with as a waiter back in the old days of Stephen's Creek.
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She was in New York for a friend's birthday and dropped by for a Saturday brunch / lunch with us.

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PS The Emmy isn't Ed's fault. Everyone wants a picture with it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Welcome to the Internet Fringe Left....

After President Obama spoke at the Human Rights Campaign dinner last light (and promising nothing - which we have already received in abundance) - NBC asked the "White House" officials if they were worried about the gay protest in Washington.
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Barack Obama is doing well with 90% or more of Democrats so the White House views this (gay) opposition as really part of the Internet left fringe (emphasis mine).
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Now, this is the reason Eddie and I didn't go. Going doesn't help. You know helps - not giving them money. I gave the Democrats money forever and I have stopped. I have been called like 6 times and every time I give the same answer. "No. I worked for him and gave money and Obama hates fags. So no, you aren't getting a dime from me."
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If the Democrats call you and you don't want to give money - give that as the reason. Tell them "No, Obama and the Democrats have lied to fags and don't give a shit." That will shut them up. Don't argue - just say you gay married friends / relatives don't get shit for rights. If you want to give money ... fine. But if you don't want to give money, please use that excuse.

Two Different Shows: Two Really Different Emotions

To quote Joey from Blossom, "Whoa!"
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Yesterday I saw (and have to review) two very very different plays. One huge Broadway show with big stars, big sets and a great cast at the top of their game. It was Royal Family, it opened Thursday to good reviews. I enjoyed it –but at 3 hours I enjoyed it for too long and it was a remote play.
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Then last night, in a tiny theater (maybe 35 seats), I saw a minimal 4 person show that blew me away. Blew . Me. Away. Lila Cante – a new show.

Ultimately, I guess, you have to review how you feel. And thought I was impressed by the big beautiful show, the little one kicked my ass.
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It is odd though, to give a more enthusiastic review for a tiny show that pulled me in – than a full grown Broadway revival that did everything right. Odd, but right.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Even if you like him... It's awfully early for a Nobel Peace Prize...

I think some Norweigans are seriously out of touch with reality... and I pretty much like Obama.

Truth in Advertising: Peter Sarsgaard


Peter Sarsgaard stars in "An Education" opening today.
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I got to be honest, every time I hear the name "Peter Sarsgaard" I picture some ruggedly handsome Norwegian or Icelandic guy. Tall, outdoorsy and a bit of a Viking (mental picture -not actual Vikings - they were not pretty).
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And then I find the picture of him. The New York Times, in it's review, refers to him as "quietly dashing".
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Balderdash. His is blandly good looking.
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Which isn't to say he is a bad actor. He is a very good actor. He should just change his name to something like "Peter Smiith" (I left in the extra 'i' on purpose to reflect his double vowel heritage).

Thursday, October 08, 2009

It is a rare thing when...


It is a rare thing when you can pinpoint the moment when a play goes south. That critical misstep when the female writer / actress steps to far over the line - and then continues into the abyss.
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And tonight, I saw one such moment.
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This lovely lady, Antoinette Lavecchia, proud authoress and star of a one woman show, "How to Be a Good Italian Daughter" took that step off the edge.
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Don't look away... I shall share it with you.
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Was it as she played her mother AND herself as she was being born (in the birth canal)? No.
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Was it the constant guilt trip about being a bad daughter because she was divorced? No.
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Was it when she used her hands to portray her VaJayJay singing a little song? No, but we are getting warmer.
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Was it when she used her hands to portray her VaJayJay AND upon see a handsome fellow say, (and I must quote here) - "He is like a tall drink of water.. is it possible to be thirsty AND wet at the same time?" Yes. That was the end of it.
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I have to write a review of this - and I don't think I can actually say that in the review.

Interesting Take on Afganistan...

From Walt Over at Foreign Policy (.com)..
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This got me thinking.
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Imagine that the situation in Afghanistan were exactly what it is today -- a corrupt government in Kabul with dubious legitimacy, the Taliban gaining strength, al Qaeda's leaders still hiding out in northwest Pakistan, etc. -- except that the U.S. military wasn't there. And then ask yourself: would you be in favor of sending 100,000 or so American soldiers to fight and die there?

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My views on this subject are clear, so feel free to discount what follows. But I doubt we would be having a serious debate about sending a large number of troops to Afghanistan if we weren't there already. Instead, we would be treating Afghanistan the same way we treat most failed states. We'd express our concern, offer modest amounts of humanitarian assistance, we'd let the U.N. do its best, and if we thought al Qaeda was operating there, we'd go after them with special forces and Predators or other military assets. Just look at how we are currently dealing with Somalia or Yemen or Sudan and you get an idea of how we would be dealing with Afghanistan if were we not there already.

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And notice that the scenario I've posited is actually more favorable than the one we are actually in. In this counterfactual, Kabul is losing on its own, whereas in reality, Kabul is losing even though there are 100,000 or so foreign troops already trying to help, at a cost that far exceeds the entire GDP of the country. At this point, nobody should be under no illusions about how hard this really is.

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Of course, one can argue that the simple fact that we are already there fundamentally alters the strategic calculus. We wouldn't intervene if we were starting from scratch today, but some will say that allowing ourselves to be defeated by the Taliban will have disastrous effects on our reputation and encourage bin Laden & Co. to believe they are winning.

I have SO tried not to comment on this... but whatever

Lord knows I have tried to ignor this... but I can't. It is a piece of Nincompoopery worthy of the ages. The people behind "Conservapedia" are rewriting the Bible to take out the "Liberal Bias". Honestly. Apparently the King James Version (KJV), like Baraka Obama, is a commie pinko.
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I quote the stated "Purpose"..
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As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]
1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the
NIV is written at only the 7th grade level[3]
4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new
conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".
5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";
[5] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census
6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of
Hell or the Devil.
7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the
adulteress story (sm. This is the "let he who is without sin cat the first stone" story.)
9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting
open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels
10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

- Thus, a project has begun among members of
Conservapedia to translate the Bible in accordance with these principles. The translated Bible can be found here.
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(personally I do not think the work "peace" and "miracle" have lost their meaning, but then I am a liberal)
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Sweet.
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Now some translations free of "liberal bias" (gathered for your enjoyment from Salon) ***begin quoted text baby**
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Some of Conservapedia's denizens, apparently including Schlafly, have been working on a new version of the Gospel of Mark. That has involved, at times, trying to come up with more modern terms for the Pharisees, a group of Jews who are often seen in the New Testament as Jesus' antagonists. There's been a bit of debate about what to call them -- one contributor used "intellectuals," for instance, while another said, "In an effort to capture the flavor for conservatives, I suggest changing Pharisees to 'the Self-Proclaimed Elite' or maybe just 'the Elite.' Given modern culture, I think this is more accessible and has a less benign/neutral connotation than 'intellectuals.'"

Another contributor had a better term: "Liberals." That's led to verses like this one, for now Conservapedia's version of Mark 3:6:

The Liberals then fled from the scene to plot with Herod's people against Jesus, and plan how they might destroy him.

Conservapedia's editors faced another problem -- how to deal with verses in which Jesus is quoted as saying things that are less than Republican. Take, for example, Mark 10:23-25, which in the translation they're basing their work off of, reads:

And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How unlikely it is that those who worship riches will enter the kingdom of God!"
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And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, "Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
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Here's how Conservapedia has edited that:

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How unlikely it is that those who worship riches will enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were astonished to hear this.
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But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a man who cares only for money to enter into the kingdom of God."
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The last bit of that new translation inspired the comment, presumably from another Conservapedia edtior, "very nice improvement of the imprecise term 'rich.'"