Mediocrity.US http://mediocrity.us America Doing What America Does Best Mon, 22 Sep 2008 15:52:16 +0000 en A CEO Disgraced http://mediocrity.us/justice/a-ceo-disgraced http://mediocrity.us/justice/a-ceo-disgraced#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2008 15:49:12 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=208 It became publicly known with Kenneth Lay upon the collapse of Enron, passed through Carly Fiorina of HP after a 50% drop in revenue and the layoff of 20,000 people, and most recently was unjustly denied to Daniel Mudd and Richard Syron of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. CEO’s have a self-evident right to award themselves tens of millions of dollars, even as the companies they lead are swirling around the porcelain. It’s in The US Constitution. It’s the American way. They work hard. The failure is always someone else’s fault and they should not have to suffer for it.

That’s why AIG former CEO Robert Willumstad is such a disgrace. AIG is on the verge of collapse, but will survive due to an $85 billion bailout from you, the taxpayer, by way of the Federal Reserve. Large corporations are what make this country great, and therefore it’s only fitting that we save this great national resource, much in the same way we would save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) from oil drilling. We’re still doing that right?

But ex-CEO Robert Willumstad is spitting in the face of American capitalism. He has rejected a $22 million severance payment from AIG and in doing so has disrespected shat upon every American who aspires to the kind of wealth a CEO is entitled to have. Shame on you Robert Willumstad. Shame.

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100 Calories Too Many http://mediocrity.us/health/100-calories-too-many http://mediocrity.us/health/100-calories-too-many#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2008 00:40:35 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=201 There is no better example of an American industry that excels in mediocrity, than the junk food industry. Okay, that’s probably an overstatement considering the fast food and entertainment industries. And how could I forget porn?! But back to junk food. I mean, this is the industry that gave us diarrhea Olean!

Fighting increased awareness about their contribution to obesity and the diseases that come with it, junk food marketers have found a way to pretend that their food is actually good for your diet. You’ve probably seen the 100 calorie packs for cookies, crackers, chips and other goodies and thought, well, I can have that, it’s only 100 calories! It’s all about portion control, right? This is my lucky day!

Well, no. It’s not. Studies show that the perception that you’ll eat less because of smaller packaging is false. You’ll eat more, because the guilt is gone. The end result is that you consume more, they sell more, and everybody feels good about it. That, my friends, is the taste of genius.

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Meat or Potatoes, Not Both http://mediocrity.us/environment/meat-or-potatoes-not-both http://mediocrity.us/environment/meat-or-potatoes-not-both#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2008 17:30:13 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=195 Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, burgers and fries, corned beef and hash, steak and scalloped potatoes, and the list goes on. While all of these are delicious (to those who aren’t vegetarianists) there is one main reason not to eat them. Beef. Don’t get me wrong, I like beef. Cows are very cute and they are wonderful producers of methane gas milk for dairy products. And there’s no denying cows are delicious, but they are horrible resource hogs. (Hogs, get it?)

The San Diego Natural History Museum is currently exhibiting Water: H2O=Life and had a couple of interesting facts:

  1. Only 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater, and only 1% is available for use by life on the planet’s surface. The rest of the freshwater is hidden underground, or frozen.
  2. This is the amount of freshwater it takes to grow:
    • 1 lb. potato - 60 gallons
    • 1 lb. rice - 200 gallons
    • 1 lb. beef - 8,000 gallons

In 2007 The US consumed 28.1 billion pounds of beef. That’s 224 trillion gallons of water for 93.6 pounds of beef per person per year at a population of 300 million (that includes babies and people who don’t eat beef, so really, it’s more that that per beef eater). If you assume that you eat 1/4 pound of beef per meal, that’s 374 meals a year. If you ate potatoes instead, you could have had 49,920 meals for the same amount of water. Potatoes are just an example, there are other vegetables, you know. Same goes for cows and other meats.

Freshwater is scarce and is far more necessary to life than oil. Look at the wars fought over oil, just imagine the wars that will be fought over freshwater. Desert areas like the Middle-East and Africa are already arguing over water rights, imagine when those volatile areas become desperate. Do you really need to eat that much beef? Who, ultimately, will really be the one to get slaughtered for that burger.

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Big Mac over KFC 23,000 to 0 http://mediocrity.us/health/big-mac-over-kfc-23000-to-0 http://mediocrity.us/health/big-mac-over-kfc-23000-to-0#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:49:39 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=192 Don Gorske of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin has eaten 23,000 Big Macs since May 17th, 1972 - that’s about 1.75 a day, every day (except the day his mother died, per her request) over 36 years. Don says that it’s the highlight of his day, since he loves them so much. What even more astonishing is that he’s 54-years-old and still alive.

Apparently Don hasn’t tried Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe, a recipe so secret, that KFC is completely revamping the security on the recipe that only two company executives have access to it at any given time, and no one knows who they are. Apparently, having it locked in a cabinet with two locks, behind a door with three locks, all inside a vault, wasn’t enough. Still, if that’s all you’ve got going and it’s making you $5.3 billion a year, then by all means - beef up security.

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School is Now a Job http://mediocrity.us/education/school-is-now-a-job http://mediocrity.us/education/school-is-now-a-job#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:25:33 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=189 Washington, D.C. has now joined Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, New York, and Virginia in paying students to succeed in school. Apparently, it’s not enough that school is free (for the students, not the taxpayers), D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee seems to think that children need to be compensated for taking something that is already being given to them for free. According to Rhee, the old method of detention, suspension, and summer school isn’t an incentive to get kids to succeed in school. She wants kids to be “invested in their education… and take ownership of their learning.” Invested, ownership - sounds like Capitalism, so it must be time to pull out the cash.

Let me make sure I get this. Children today have such a strong sense of entitlement that they feel they are doing America a favor by succeeding in school and should be paid for it - and lawmakers agree with this. If the kids are getting paid, that means that these local governments are essentially employing these children to learn. School is now a job.

I think we should take this to it’s next logical step. If a child is being paid to do well in school, aka, at their job, then if they don’t do well, they should be fired. They can then apply for a worse paying school/job and if they get accepted, they will be allowed to work there. If they can’t find a school/job that will take them, it’s their own damn fault and should end up on the street. The system isn’t letting them down, the system is letting the kids take ownership of their learning.

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How to Move Jews http://mediocrity.us/religion/how-to-move-jews http://mediocrity.us/religion/how-to-move-jews#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2008 17:28:47 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=184 While the Israeli government has temporarily suspended talks on compensation for Israeli settlers to leave their homes in the West Bank, Alabama has stepped up. That’s right, Dothan Alabama. The Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services of Dothan is offering up to $50,000 to Jewish families who will relocate to Dothan, an overwhelmingly Christian town of 58,000 that calls itself the Peanut Capital of the World. As long as they get involved at Temple Emanu-El and stay at least five years, the money doesn’t have to be repaid. Larry Blumberg and his friends are trying to bring new families to the town. The next generation has moved away to the cities, and they don’t want to see their community die and their synagogue close.

Here’s an idea, a smart enterprising Israeli settler could take the compensation from the Israeli government to leave the West Bank, move to Dothan, and retire like a king! They’ll feel right at home: hostile neighbors of another faith, hotter than hell, lots of poverty, and a low cost of living. Paradise.

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Too Good for His Own Good http://mediocrity.us/sports/too-good-for-his-own-good http://mediocrity.us/sports/too-good-for-his-own-good#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2008 16:48:44 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=181 Barach’s Law is very clear. To have America reward you, you need to excel at mediocrity - not excel. Sadly, 9-year-old pitcher Jericho Scott had to learn this the hard way. The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven, CT told his coach that the boy couldn’t pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left.

This is a sad example of how America can’t tolerate to much excellence, and so they walk away and let it whither. Excellence is too frightening. Why elect public officials that are brilliant when we can elect ones that are folksy, just like us? Why patron an excellent local restaurant when Applebee’s is local everywhere?

The Youth Baseball League of New Haven are actually doing more of a disservice to the other children in the league than they are to Jericho Scott. He’ll probably play with older kids and end up making millions of dollars in MLB, while the other kids will have missed out on an opportunity to really be challenged, instead of being coddled.

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No Frakkin’ Way http://mediocrity.us/politics/no-frakkin-way http://mediocrity.us/politics/no-frakkin-way#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2008 16:28:52 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=170

McCain and Tigh were both decorated pilots and wars prisoners that were tortured. They’re both crotchety old men, and McCain has had so much of his skin replaced, he’s practically artificial, like Tigh.

Palin is just a hockey mom who ended up innocently in power, just like Roslin, a teacher who didn’t expect to find herself in politics. They both have a take no prisoners attitude (which wouldn’t have and probably won’t work out well for McCain, or Tigh). Both are strong opponents of abortion, and they both look great in glasses, not Tina Fey great, but close.

Read more about the Tigh * Roslin campaign.

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Sarah Palin or George W. Bush http://mediocrity.us/politics/sarah-palin-or-george-w-bush http://mediocrity.us/politics/sarah-palin-or-george-w-bush#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2008 16:25:02 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=163 I know they don’t look alike, but I still get them confused. Maybe you can help me out here. Which one is it that loves big oil? I also heard that one of them has a daughter or two that like to party just a bit too much. Anti-abortion and pro abstinence education and a huge darling of the religious right? I’m pretty sure one of them has an investigation over questionable firings of government officials going on now. And then there is that issue of pork, the money, not the meat - you know how one of them loves it, but then speaks out against it. Also, who’s the one that’s just a regular person?

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The Voice of America Has Been Silenced http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/the-voice-of-america-has-been-silenced http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/the-voice-of-america-has-been-silenced#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2008 17:15:22 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=157 No, not the US government’s international propaganda machine, but a voice that people actually listen to. Don LaFontaine, the voiceover artist who’s done just about every trailer for every movie that’s ever made a buck, died at age 68 in Los Angeles. Everyone knew his voice, but only after doing this GEICO spot just a few years ago did people know his face.

 

He was a crowning example of an American who did what America does best. May he rest in peace.

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Vladimir Putin is Dangerous http://mediocrity.us/politics/vladimir-putin-is-dangerous http://mediocrity.us/politics/vladimir-putin-is-dangerous#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2008 17:40:24 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=152 Putin’s not dangerous because of his stranglehold on Russian government, or his invasion of Georgia. He’s dangerous because he’s physically the equivalent of James Bond. I don’t mean the pansy-ass Roger Moore version of James Bond, but the kick-ass Daniel Craig style. Of course, Putin was KGB, so unlike Daniel Craig, he really was an ass-kicking spy.

Putin’s latest feat of manliness was the shooting of a Siberian tiger with a stun gun. The wild tiger escaped from being trapped in it’s natural habitat in the far east and charged a camera crew. Putin was just arriving with some wildlife specialists, and seeing the tiger loose and attacking, he shot and sedated it.

Here is where Russians and Americans are different. Putin sedated his prey, while Palin would have killed it, and Cheney would have shot a wildlife specialist in the face.

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Kids in Texas Grow Up Fast Like http://mediocrity.us/justice/kids-in-texas-grow-up-fast-like http://mediocrity.us/justice/kids-in-texas-grow-up-fast-like#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2008 18:45:11 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=147 While we’re on the topic of Texas children and driving, Corpus Christi, Texas Police spotted a 12-year-old boy driving his grandmother’s car. When they tried to stop him, he led them on a 60 mph chase before swerving to avoid spikes in the road and crashing into a fence. That’s what they call growing up fast in Texas.

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School is Safer in Harrold, Texas http://mediocrity.us/education/school-is-safer-in-harrold-texas http://mediocrity.us/education/school-is-safer-in-harrold-texas#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2008 18:26:24 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=143 For many children, today is the first day of a new school-year, the day kids go off to be coddled taught those subjects important to their success in US society. This can be stressful for parents, what with all of the dangers children face today in school, but let’s remember that it’s also stressful for the teachers. One local school board in Harrold, Texas has taken action to help relieve the stress and make school a safer place, by authorizing teachers and employees to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Granted, I don’t know anyone in Harrold, Texas, but from the looks of that tombstonesque sign near the school, and the fact that all of the shootings at schools in recent history have been committed by students, I know I’d want to be able to protect myself if I were teaching there. Way to protect the innocent teachers, Harrold, Texas, and make school safer for those who really matter.

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Kudzu - Rock Band or Cuddly Doll http://mediocrity.us/science/kudzu-rock-band-or-cuddly-doll http://mediocrity.us/science/kudzu-rock-band-or-cuddly-doll#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2008 18:41:36 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=140 Neither, kudzu is a fast growing vine that has various nutritional and medicinal uses (it even helps with hangovers - I kid you not. Look it up!) the US Natural Resources Conservation Service encouraged southern farmers to use from 1935 -1950 for control of ground erosion. The problem is that this Japanese import grows completely out of control in the south-eastern US due to the friendly climate there - friendly to kudzu that is, less friendly if you’re not church-going.  If you’ve been anywhere in the south-east, you’ve seen it climbing trees, poles, bushes, and just about anything that sits still for more than a day.

Now kudzu is creeping into Indiana, and they don’t like it one bit. Not only because they are afraid it might smother Dan Quayle, but because they are a proud midwestern, rust-belt state that is not going to let another Asian import take over American jobs. They have launched a campaign to eradicate it, because kudzu can carry a fungus that is a threat to an important local, all-American, red-blooded, Indiana-grown crop. The soybean.

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Justice Against Americans http://mediocrity.us/justice/justice-against-americans http://mediocrity.us/justice/justice-against-americans#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2008 17:51:13 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=136 Senator Joseph McCarthy

Why does the US Government hate Americans? Apparently, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is preparing to give the FBI broad new authority to investigate Americans — without any clear basis for suspicion that they are committing a crime. Additionally, the rules may also authorize the FBI to use an array of problematic investigative techniques. Among these are pretext interviews, in which agents do not honestly represent themselves while questioning a subject’s neighbors and work colleagues.

Now, I know that it’s hard to follow in the footsteps of John Ashcroft’s spying on Americans and Alberto Gonzales’s quaint torture, it really is Mike, but I can’t tell if you’re doing this because you have a serious inferiority complex, or you really don’t trust Americans. Mukaseyism just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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Winner of the 26th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/winner-of-the-26th-annual-bulwer-lytton-fiction-contest http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/winner-of-the-26th-annual-bulwer-lytton-fiction-contest#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2008 01:10:59 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=131 You probably never hear of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, but you certainly know the opening line of his novel Paul Clifford from 1830 - “It was a dark and stormy night.” San Jose State University holds a contest in bad writing and this year it was won by Garrison Spik, a 41-year-old communications director and writer, with this opening from his non-existent novel:

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped ‘Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.’

So, here’s the thing. What you have just read is truly terrible, awful writing, but it’s so remarkably good at being terrible that it’s fantastic. This is mediocrity at its best, and it brought tears to my eyes. Not the horrible writing, but that a California state university sponsors a competition in mediocrity. A genuinely American competition. More American than baseball.

You’ve all been to bookstores and browsed through the bestsellers. This kind of writing sells. If it sells, then it’s fulfilling our capitalist dreams. Mediocrity incarnate. In fact, Garrison Spik, short of having a bestseller of your own, you have come as close to the American Dream as anyone (meaning, not that close - you still need to write that bestseller).

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Twelve-Year-Old Designated Driver http://mediocrity.us/justice/twelve-year-old-designated-driver http://mediocrity.us/justice/twelve-year-old-designated-driver#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2008 22:05:53 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=98 AP reports that a 35-year-old woman was arrested in Longview, Texas after admitting that she had her twelve-year-old daughter drive her to a bar. Let’s see one of those Chinese gymnasts do that! Yeah! We still got it!

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Do All Roads Really Lead to Rome? http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/do-all-roads-really-lead-to-rome http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/do-all-roads-really-lead-to-rome#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2008 21:53:35 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=94 Let’s say you’re the mayor of Rome and you are convinced that you need to attract more tourists. You don’t have much to work with, except the magnificent ruins of an ancient empire, the splendor of the Vatican, museums full of priceless art, amazing food and accommodations, fashion, you know, the usual. No, you need something really special.

I know, how about a theme park? It sure worked for Paris with Euro Disney. Tourists love theme parks. And the best part, is that you can will be able to see theme park versions all of the major attractions of Rome, without having to deal with traffic or reality. Genius!

But it looks like the mayor’s magnificent plan will be foiled by the evil Lazio Regional Government (of which Rome is the capital), because fun hating council member Claudio Mancini “says no to Americanization”. Either way, they are both paying us a huge compliment in proclaiming that the appeal of mediocrity is more powerful than the real remnants of ancient Rome.

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Again China is Beating US http://mediocrity.us/politics/again-china-is-beating-us http://mediocrity.us/politics/again-china-is-beating-us#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2008 16:50:07 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=88 With all of the attention on the Olympics, Americans are learning that China is more than something you register to get as a wedding gift. Previously, I ranted about how the Chinese are beating us at our own mediocrity game, and now they have gone and beaten us again.

According to the obvious physical appearance of the Chinese girl gymnasts and various evidence to be found on the Internets, many of these gymnasts are not sixteen - the age required by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to compete. Yet their government issued passports all say that they are, and the IOC is accepting that at face value, despite the obvious.

Why, you ask, should we care? Well, it’s not the obvious fact that they cheated and therefore won the team gold meal from our deserving and aged women gymnasts, nor is it that their government lied to an international body and is getting away with it. It’s that they lied, got caught, and no one cares or dares to do anything about it. We just aren’t that good. The Chinese indeed deserve to win that gold medal.

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Robots with Biological Brains http://mediocrity.us/science/robots-with-biological-brains http://mediocrity.us/science/robots-with-biological-brains#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2008 23:48:39 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=85

Scientists at the University of Reading in England have created a robot that receives input to, and processes responses from, a brain made of rat brain cells. The robot knows how to steer to avoid colliding with objects.

I don’t really understand what all the hoopla is about. Americans did this in the 1980s. Doesn’t anyone remember Ronald Reagan? Regardless, anyone that has watched (the best show on TV) Battlestar Galactica knows that biological melding with machines can’t end well.

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Three’s Company http://mediocrity.us/politics/threes-company http://mediocrity.us/politics/threes-company#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2008 07:15:03 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=74 W’s third Attorney General, Michael Mukasey must be very proud. After all, following John “Tap that Wire” Ashcroft and Alberto “Geneva = Quaint” Gonzales is pretty intimidating. Still, he’s off to a great start in making sure the Justice Department is looking out for justice department.

Mukasey announced that there will be no criminal prosecutions for former Justice Department officials accused of allowing politics to influence the hiring of prosecutors, immigration judges and other career government lawyers. He told delegates to the American Bar Association annual meeting, “Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime. In this instance, the two joint reports found only violations of the civil service laws.”

I’m no lawyer, but my understanding of English tells me that if you violated the law, you committed a crime. What I get from all of this is that the Attorney General’s job is to create new definitions to commonly accepted principles, not uphold justice. Let’s review:

  1. John Ashcroft - civil liberties do not mean freedom, rather that the government knows things it can’t tell you and therefore knows better than you what’s good for you.
  2. Alberto Gonzales - torture is humane brutality.
  3. Michael Mukasey - criminal activity is only when you break a law that conflicts with administration interests.
Michael Mukasey has finally lived up to his predecessors and earned a nickname (and not a cute W. nickname, like “Brownie”). What about Michael “Tow Toe* the Company Line” Mukasey?
* Thanks to David Tuffy for the edit. See David’s comment for more.
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So She Can’t Sing. She Sure Is Cute http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/so-she-cant-sing-she-sure-is-cute http://mediocrity.us/entertainment/so-she-cant-sing-she-sure-is-cute#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2008 05:25:17 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=69 No, I’m not referring to Britney Spears, or Ashlee/Jessica Simpson, I’m referring to nine-year-old Lin Miaoke who lip-synched a great performance at the Olympic opening ceremonies. According to Reuters, US bloggers are enraged that the Chinese swapped out Yang Peiyi, the real singer, because she had crooked teeth. How dare the Chinese ruin such a beautiful moment with such beauty!

You’d think that I’d be annoyed with the self righteousness of American bloggers for making such a fuss over something that we do all the time. Have any of these furious bloggers ever watched TV news? The reporters/anchors are HOT! As Samantha Bee calls them - NILFs. Are they the best journalists? Who cares. That’s what the off camera writers are for. No, I’m not annoyed with the cited bloggers for their double standard, I salute them. Here’s why:

  1. The Chinese have taken our talent to manufacture mediocre crap and raised it to an art form
  2. The Chinese are opening a new coal power plant a week, and are now better at polluting than us
  3. The Chinese execute more criminals than we do
Our noble bloggers should be seething. The Chinese are overtaking the US at everything that we do best, and now they are overtaking us at our prized mediocrity. If they can manufacture cuteness better than us, where will it end!?
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Trucker Energy Saving Ingenuity http://mediocrity.us/energy/trucker-energy-saving-ingenuity http://mediocrity.us/energy/trucker-energy-saving-ingenuity#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2008 16:49:56 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=63 For years, truckers have been urinating in bottles and throwing them out of the window to save time as they speed to their next job. With fuel prices so high, a trucker’s priorities have changed from saving time to saving fuel, but the methodology stays the same.

Everyone now knows that slowing down will save gas, but more importantly, you get better gas milage on highways that in the city, because accelerating burns more gas than holding momentum. If you don’t stop, you don’t need to start again. As proof of this ingenious trend, police in Ontario, Oregon say there’s been an alarming rise in urine-filled plastic containers found along a slow moving  three-mile stretch of I-84.

Truckers know that if faced with a new problem, use the tried and true solution that has always worked for you. Truckers call that “staying the course”. Peeing in a bottle is the best answer to every trucker’s problem, just like more drilling is the answer to our country’s every problem.

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Stupid, Lazy, or Corrupt - You Decide http://mediocrity.us/politics/stupid-lazy-or-corrupt-you-decide http://mediocrity.us/politics/stupid-lazy-or-corrupt-you-decide#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2008 05:55:05 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=51 Thomas Friedman writes about how Denmark responded to the 1973 oil crises by becoming energy independent while growing their economy. In 1973 they got 99% of their energy from the Middle East, and decided that just wasn’t going to work for them. By raising taxes on fossil fuel and lowering income taxes, they created an environment for innovation where people were encouraged to work harder at conserving energy.

Instead of getting out of the Middle East, like the Danes, we seem to have gotten ourselves in deeper. We pandered to Saddam Hussein, then attacked him in 1991, and then ousted him from power in 2002. We let fundamentalists overthrow the Shah of Iran, got stuck in a hostage situation, and now we are shaking our fists at the same fundamentalists after we practically encouraged them to support terror. And let’s not forget how we kiss the feudalistic and human rights trampling Saudis asses, (you know, the country of Osama Bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11) while they laugh all the way to the banks they own.

Why is it then, that unlike the Danish (mmmm, delicious) government, whose encouragement of energy independence has led to a more healthy society (50% of vehicles on the road are bicycles), our government has led us into war and fear for the past 35 years. The Danes are now the main exporters of alternative energy, but they say they’ve seen 35 new competitors in the last eighteen months. That would be great news, except not one of those companies is American. They are all Chinese. Are we stupid, lazy, or corrupt. I vote for all three.

It makes me wonder if Al Gore had become President where we would be now.

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Obama is not Black http://mediocrity.us/politics/obama-is-not-black http://mediocrity.us/politics/obama-is-not-black#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2008 00:08:43 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=45 We all know that Barack Obama’s father is African and mother is white. That makes him white, not black. Why you ask? Well, according to Jewish law, a person is what their mother is, not their father. Obama’s mother is white, so he is white.

But, you may say, Obama isn’t Jewish, he is Muslim (isn’t he? Oh, he’s not? Whatever, work with me here). And according to Islam, he is black. To that I say - shut up, no one asked you.

With Obama being white, we are yet again faced with another boring election of two establishment type white guys duking it out to be more of the same. At least if Hillary Clinton would have won the Democratic nomination, we would finally have had a radically different election with a candidate that’s nothing like the white guy establishment. Am I right, or what?

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John McCain is Officially the Antichrist http://mediocrity.us/politics/john-mccain-is-officially-the-antichrist http://mediocrity.us/politics/john-mccain-is-officially-the-antichrist#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2008 15:50:58 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=32 The Nation reports that the respected True Bible Society in Colorado Springs has uncovered startling evidence that Senator John McCain may be the Antichrist. Like the Antichrist, John McCain:

  • Comes from Romanian heritage - his grandfather’s last name was Mihai, a Romanian name that means “who is like the Lord”
  • Wants to stay in Iraq for another 100 years - thus rebuild Babylon, from whence the Antichrist will attempt world domination
  • Is genial and folksy - therefore charming and unseeming evil
Here’s my question. If Evangelicals perceive McCain to be the Antichrist, and they want the end of days to comes so that they can be united with Christ, would that make them more or less likely to vote for McCain/Antichrist?
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Drugstores Against Health http://mediocrity.us/health/drugstores-against-health http://mediocrity.us/health/drugstores-against-health#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2008 21:46:13 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=25 I always wondered about drugstores. They’re partially pharmacies that dispense medicinal cures like an olde time apothecary, but that’s just a small part of what they sell and it’s usually hidden way in the back of modern drugstores such as CVS, RightAid, Longs, Walgreens, etc. It seems to me that most drugstores sell medicines the way Wawa and Sheetz sell gasoline. It’s a loss-leader to get people into the store.

Most of what’s in a drugstore has nothing to do with drugs or health. You’ll find gift cards, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene, seasonals (fans, heaters, ornaments, costumes, grills, umbrellas) magazines, pulp fiction, and photo services. My favorite part of the drugstore is the food and drinks. Here you’ll find a selection of the absolutely most unhealthy foods, beverages, and of course cigarettes that Phillip-Morris aka Kraft can produce. In fact, it seems like most drugstores are more interested in competing with convenience stores like 7-Eleven, than they are with providing anything related to health.

If you’ve ever been to a GNC or Vitamin Shoppe, you’ll notice that everything that they carry in the store is geared toward your health. It might not be the best stuff or even good for you, but it’s intended to be. Drugstores don’t even pretend that what they carry is good for you. They make you walk past all the bad (bad=profitable) stuff to get to the pharmacy, and walk past it all again to get out.

I’m convinced that we are all better off getting our medications at the grocery store, where we can also get healthy food, and that we should forget about so called drugstores altogether. They aren’t drugstores, they are convenience stores with pharmacies. In fact, I think your local 7-Eleven is more of a drugstore. If you want your drugs, at least you can get them out front and not have to go to the back of the store past all of the crap that will kill you.

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A New Beginning http://mediocrity.us/notices/a-new-beginning http://mediocrity.us/notices/a-new-beginning#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2008 17:22:21 +0000 David Barach http://mediocrity.us/?p=3 I started Mediocrity.US back in 2005 and worked on it for a month or so, thinking that what I had to say was witty and important. Very quickly I bored myself to tears and the blog died. So here is the good news. I’m back, and this time I don’t care how boring I am, and neither should you. Here’s why:

The Old Mediocrity.US Widget

  1. This is going to be fun instead of preachy.
  2. It’s all about me, so screw you.
  3. I’m going to share brilliant insight into the American condition that you just won’t want to miss, boring or not.
  4. There is no 4.
  5. Just trust me.

So, you may be wondering why I decided to start this back up again. The main reason is that I was inspired by my friends John Shore and Jamie Kelly, who have blogs for very different reasons. 

John is a professional writer and his fans just can’t get enough of him, so he writes a blog to give them something between book fixes. He also needs to eat, and his blog pays enough for a couple of meals. He is also a compulsive exhibitionist, who can’t stop sharing his innermost thoughts. I can relate to that.

Jamie is just having fun and writes because she likes to. I can respect that.

Welcome, and have a nice day.

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