Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shaolin Inc, Arms and the Bobble-Head Dolls

Fareed Zakaria
Christopher Buckley

"My May 3 post, “Dick Cheney Purchases Four Predator Drones From U.S. Government for ‘Personal Use,’” was not entirely accurate, nor was it technically speaking “true” that the former vice president planned to “use the drones to hunt elk on his Wyoming ranch.” - Christopher Buckley

For all of you investors out there, I know you must be disappointed by the report that the Shaolin Temple is not going to list itself on the stock exchange, optimizing the Shaolin Brand. "The ancient Shaolin temple - famous for its fighting kung-fu monks - has denied a report that it is planning to list on the stock exchange. The government body responsible for the 1,500-year-old temple's tourism said it was "absolutely untrue."

I've been to the Shaolin Temple. It takes a long drive to get there, and there was only one small guest house in the farming village where it's located. The temple was renovated after the Cultural Revolution into a tourist trap, with statues of monks practicing kung-fu placed in the monastary cells. In the 1980's a wealthy gentleman from Miami built a more modern training hall nearby, and this is where the monks are trained nowadays.

The monks used to be assigned there, it was a job like working at a hotel. The Communist Party assigned all jobs, and it wasn't until the last 15 years or so that people could send their kids to train there. OK, they actually could have done so in the past, but the government wouldn't pick up the tab... And it has changed a lot. There are now touring companies of Shaolin monks, who travel all over the world giving choreographed shows of Shaolin kung-fu, and the temple has regular training programs for foreigners. The head abbot is concerned with the Shaolin Brand Name, hence, the rumors that they were going to be listed on the stock exchange. Would buying stock in the Shaolin Temple be considered a "green" investment?

The North Koreans are a bit pissed that one of their arms shipments had been intercepted in Thailand. Munitions and missiles are really the only thing they have left to import, since those Kim Jong Il bobble-head dolls didn't sweep the world market. So now they are demanding a lifting of the arms ban on them if the US wants them to come back to the table for talks about their nuclear arms program... Hey, a country has got to eat.

The US wants to have a representative in North Korea all of the time, and there has been no response to that. But Kim Jong Il did announce a campaign against all foreign hair styles! Now, all men must keep their hair cut short and women must keep theirs tied up. Evidently, the great leader took offense to a store clerk who had her hair down that day... Whomever we choose as a representative, they must have an awful lot of patience... I know, let's send Sarah Palin, but only if we know she won't quit on us...

Well, I can't find anything else that strikes me as weird happening today, it's been pretty slow on all of the websites. I think maybe not much will be reported to happen until after Christmas, which is just as well, as there's over 34 more college Bowl games to watch. I don't know if I can sit in front of the tv that much and still be sober. Actually, now that I have diabetes I have stopped drinking alcohol and eating a lot of sugar. I used to love eating ice cream, but I have discovered a wonderful substitute: greek style yoghurt. Specifically, 3 Greek Gods plain yoghurt, with less than 6 grams of sugar, compared to 16 grams of sugar on up for all other brands. It has helped me get my diabetes under control, and is the perfect treat for after dinner...

late night political jokes:

"Well, according to MSNBC, President Obama's approval rating has now dipped below 50 percent. To tell you how bad it is, people are now finding ways to sneak out of the White House." –Jay Leno

"Remember the phrase, 'hope and change'? They amended it today. Now it's 'don't give up hope, nothing is going to change.'" –Jay Leno

"Oh, and listen to this. It happened yet again last month. A Georgia couple showed up a day early for a tour at the White House — you know, just regular folks. Showed up to tour the White House, somehow wound up in an invitation-only breakfast with President Obama and the First Lady. Isn't that amazing? The only two people that couldn't get in the White House this year were John McCain and Sarah Palin." –Jay Leno

"The Obama Administration announced today that the Shinnecock Indians on Long Island will be federally recognized, which means they can now build a casino in New York City. The White House recognized them as an official tribe after meeting with the four tribal leaders, Fat Tony, Louie the Barber, Crazy Sal, and Momo Ricardo. The Gambino tribe, indigenous people to the area." –Jay Leno

"And listen to this. After one single senator, just one senator — Joe Lieberman of Connecticut — was able to block passage of the Medicare buy-in provision of that health care bill, some people are calling for the Senate to begin experimenting with a whole new way of doing business. Yeah, it's called majority rules. They're thinking of trying it to see how it works." –Jay Leno

"Well, on the news today, people are complaining that we can't find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Bin Laden in Afghanistan? We can't even find Tiger Woods in Florida." –Jay Leno

"Well, here's good news, I think. The Democrats down in Washington believe they have 60 votes to pass a health care bill. That's 58 Democrats and the Salahis. They're going to go in there and vote." –David Letterman

"But they don't think that the health care bill will get passed before Christmas, unless they switch to the Mayan calendar." –David Letterman

"Anybody going over to Denmark for the world global climate conference thing in Copenhagen? Yeah, I know. I'm going too. Here's the idea. It's got to be every country on the planet working together. And the United States is doing its part. And today, as a matter of fact, Barack Obama was talking to the Netherlands. He said, 'Here's the deal. You send us a windmill and we'll send you Joe Lieberman.'" –David Letterman

"Senior New York Senator Chuck Schumer was on an airplane, and they were flying someplace. And they landed. He called one of the flight attendants a 'bitch.' Apparently, there was some ugliness. There were words exchanged. And it got heated and at one point the argument was so loud, it actually woke up the pilot." –David Letterman

"It's hard to believe there's only two weeks left in 2009. President Obama is already said to be hard at work on his New Year's resolutions. His plan for 2010 is to do all the things he said he was going to do this year." –Jimmy Kimmel

"Hey, this is interesting. After somebody threw a tomato at Sarah Palin during a book signing at the Mall of America, she went to another signing at a Costco in Utah, where they took all the tomatoes off the shelves. So instead she got hit by a three pound bag of frozen spinach ravioli." –Jimmy Kimmel

"During his speech at a Home Depot in Washington, D.C. today, President Obama said he thinks energy efficiency and retrofitting are 'sexy.' He had to cut the speech short, however, after Al Gore showed up and tried to give him a lap dance." –Jimmy Fallon

"According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, 26 percent of unemployed adults blame George W. Bush for the high unemployment rate. The other 74 percent blame the fact that they majored in English literature." –Jimmy Fallon

"I don't know what to make out of this. NASA is in the process of trying to convert human waste into fuel. Man, talk about pressure to go on command, right? 'Come on, Barry, just pee. We got to get back to Earth, man.' 'I can't do it. Everyone is staring at me, man. Stop looking at me.'" –Jimmy Fallon


  1. A tip of the hat to the senator from Connecticut for killing the first chance we've ever had for meaningful health care reform....

    Honestly, has there ever been as vengeful a little gnat as Joe Lieberman? You'd really have to search the archives of history pretty thoroughly to find someone comparable. There are many reasons why Al Gore was defeated in 2000 by a half-witted frat boy like George W. Bush. One of the main reasons was the abysmal choice of running mate Lieberman.

    It was obvious during the debate with Dick Cheney during that campaign that comical Joe was a useless drag on the ticket. When Cheney said that his success in the private sector had nothing to do with the government, Lieberman let the statement stand. Cheney made his fortune at Haliburton because of Government contracts! Government had everything to do with it! Did he purposefully sabotage the Gore campaign? Maybe it's pure paranoia on my part but a case could be made that he did.

    Say it ain't so, Revoltin' Joe.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen NY

  2. Hi tom, you're almost as grumpy as I am, though I don't add my blog address when I write a comment... maybe I should.

    I often wonder how folks like Joe get re-elected, they make a great argument for term limits. Perhaps cap and trade could mean that when a Senator makes the top limit from a lobbyist, we cap him off and trade him...


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