The Raptor  

Your Bridge To The Greatest Generation

Daily Thought Page - 2010 Created 01/03/10 Modified 01/04/11

 

    

It Figures - Originally Posted 12/16/2010 

The Raptor has a number of favorite flicks including such classics as “Animal House” “Caddyshack” and “The Godfather Trio”.  In addition to these epics, The Raptor is also a big fan of the Will Smith genre which includes the “Independence Day” as well as “The Men In Black” series. 

When MIB shows up on evening TV it is a must see event and much of the dialog has been committed to memory. Who can’t forget one of the opening scenes when Edgar (played admirably by Vincent D’Onofrio of the “Law and Order- Criminal Intent” series) the farmer is introduced…

Edgar: “Is it too much to ask to come home to a decent meal after a long day,  Beatrice…about the only thing pulling weight around here is my damn truck!”

Edgar - Alien Creature From "Men In Black"

"Give Me Sugar...In Water..."

While Edgar bellows at his pitiful spouse, the villainous Bug arrives from outer space in his ship and crashes into the farm, obliterating Edgar’s truck in the process. Upon hearing the crash, Edgar walks to the farmhouse screen door and utters the word “figures” in a dry laconic fashion….figures…say it with me gang…figures…and then shrug your shoulders in frustration.

The recent round of shenanigans in Washington DC regarding: tax cuts, unemployment benefits, estate taxes and changes in Social Security withholding rules can tell you everything you need to know about how politicians work a complex system which Americans have come to despise and distrust.

The key issue in this cycle is the “Bush Era Tax Cuts” (BETC’s) which are scheduled to lapse on December 31st, 2010.  In a nutshell, these tax cuts lowered the top tax rate from 39.1% to 35% and the lower rates have been in effect since January 1st, 2003.  When President George W. Bush fought for and then implemented these cuts they were an absolute bonus for the wealthy among us. The “savings” a married couple can accrue will amount to about $20,000.00 per year if that couple has adjusted gross income of $375,000.00.  How about a couple making a mmmmmiiiiiillllllioooon dollars a year in AGI? Do you think they could appreciate an additional $46,000.00 which normally would be used by the federal government in some arbitrary and capricious manner?

The threshold of $375,000.00 per year is felt to be a barometer that places an American of that means in the “rich” category.  Man…it would be so cool to be rich…being rich makes life easy especially when the government would give you a $20,000.00 (or more) yearly bonus to do any thing you desire with…buy a TV or an iPod or even a new fancy Tasssimo Brew Bot…maybe install a pool in your back yard or head out to California Wine Country for a tour of the Earnest and Julio Gallo facility.

The key players in this tax cut saga include our President, Barack Obama along with dour faced Mitch McConnell, of the US Senate.  McConnell is a Kentucky Republican and in the Senate, he is in the minority party.  However, since the Senate Majority leader, Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, is somewhat of a retard…Senator McConnell is the present and future face of that august body.

President Obama attempted to broker a “compromise” which would “extend” the BETC’s for two years.  In return for this plum, the Republican Party agreed in principal to extend the unemployment benefits of over 2 million Americans for an additional 13 months.  Also, wage earners would experience a 2% Social Security Tax Holiday while the estates of “millionaires” would be taxed at 5 mmmmmiiiiiillllllioooon dollars rather than the previously bandied 3.5 mmmmmiiiiiillllllioooon dollars.

President Barack Obama (D)
"Look..."

 

Senator Mitch McConnell (R) Kentucky
"I'm Old...I Take Viagara...I Just Bought A New Snuggy...The Answer Is No!"

So what was the problem?...Well, for starters, The President didn’t include the Democratic Party controlled House Of Representatives in the discussions and they are pissed…especially Nancy Pelosi.  The House has not been returning calls recently since their members were roundly trounced in the election.  Many of these lame duck officials have probably gone home for Christmas rather than sit around watching their replacements move in.

Congress Woman Nancy Pelosi (D) California aka Speaker Of The House

...aka Skelator...

 

So as a result, Democrats (who normally are the champions of the ethnic, poor, sick, elderly and mentally challenged among us) have gotten all uppity about all the tax cuts and they are “threatening” to take their ball and bat and go home.  Meanwhile, John Boehner, Speaker of The House elect is looking to avoid compromise and instead is standing on a small patch of real estate which he calls “common ground” weeping uncontrollably so he is not getting involved and President Obama has called out former President, Bill Clinton to put his stamp of approval on this mess.

Congressman John Boehner (R) Ohio aka Speaker Of The House-Elect

"I Just Worry That Our Children Aren't Going To Live The American Dream...Sniff"

 

Ok, so The Raptor is as confused as many of you and to top it off whenever I sit in the company of my fellow “rich” friends I can tell that these shenanigans are not a priority for them.  All they talk about is being “overtaxed”. But, and this is a BIG but, there are no solutions forthcoming.  Think about it….these tax cuts have been with us for almost 10 years…great things are supposed to happen when wealthy Americans get to keep more of their income and or their estate…so how come the economy is so weak?  Its all a big sham and the only additional comment The Raptor can think of is…”figures”… 

 

That's Good Eatin' - Originally Posted 11/23/2010 

The Raptor noted that a "5 Guys Burger" open last week just down the block from the office building I work at.  The structure is owned and operated by the Atlantic development Group which has operated Pizza Hut Franchises in the Erie area for many years.  As a result, in addition to the 5 Guys Burger, there is also a Pizza Hut in the sane facility.

The 5 Guys Restaurant Franchise is one America's greatest hopes of providing employment to our nations former manufacturing base...Congressman-elect Mike Kelly must be so happy to see a positive move forward in his efforts to create jobs here in Erie!  This is almost as important of a development as the time former County Executive Rick What's-His-Name was extolling the virtues of opening up a Krispy Creme Donut Franchise...

This restaurant has been very busy on a daily basis and The Raptor knows why.  I mean WTF...who wouldn't want a delicious burger matched up with a HUGE bag of French Fries....but what about the downside?...

Down the street from the shiny new stands the looser in the struggle of franchising ideals...The Back Yard Burger...

The poor Back Yard Burger Restaurant...now just a shell of a building with a staff of forlorn burger flippers with no one to serve...

 

So what's to happen here?...well here is what I think happened...Pete Fedorko is the franchisee of BYB...in addition, he is the owner of the land where the 5 Guys facility is built.  Since BYB isn't going anywhere...Pete has gotten a piece of the action with the newest, bestest thing...that's what makes America a great place....if need be, the forlorn burger flippers can work up the street at the new place, taking their experience flipping burgers to the major leagues while newbees who are yearning to get into the burger flipping workforce can learn their chops at the minor league level BYB...then after a short stint at the grill, the burger flipper can seek a promotion to manger and eventually take classes at the new Community College in order to become a App developer for Sprint...all the while the consumers continue getting fatter and more lethargic...

 

Political Science For Dummies - Originally Posted 11/15/2010 

The Raptor’s is always thankful when interesting content shows up which I can insert here to educate and entertain...

DEMOCRAT


You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none. 
You feel guilty for being successful.  
You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone. 

 

REPUBLICAN


You have two cows. 
Your neighbor has none.
So? 

 

SOCIALIST


You have two cows.
The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. 
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow. 

 

COMMUNIST


You have two cows.
The government seizes both and provides you with milk. 
You wait in line for hours to get it.
It is expensive and sour. 

 

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE


You have two cows.
You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows. 

 

BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE


You have two cows.
Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain. 

 

AMERICAN CORPORATION


You have two cows.
You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. 
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. 
You are surprised when one cow drops dead. 
You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses. 
Your stock goes up. 

 

FRENCH CORPORATION


You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows. 
You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good. 

 

JAPANESE CORPORATION


You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. 
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school. 

 

GERMAN CORPORATION


You have two cows. 
You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. 
Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year. 

 

ITALIAN CORPORATION


You have two cows but you don't know where they are. 
You break for lunch.
Life is good. 

 

RUSSIAN CORPORATION


You have two cows.
You have some vodka.
You count them and learn you have five cows. 
You have some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. 
The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have. 

 

TALIBAN CORPORATION


You have all the cows in   Afghanistan , which are two. 
You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature' private parts.
You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons. 

 

IRAQI CORPORATION


You have two cows.
They go into hiding. 
They send radio tapes of their mooing. 

 


POLISH CORPORATION


You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them. 

 

BELGIAN CORPORATION


You have one cow.
The cow is schizophrenic.
Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish. 
The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk. 
The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
The cow dies happy. 

 

FLORIDA CORPORATION


You have a black cow and a brown cow.
Everyone votes for the best looking one. 
Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the  black one.
Some people vote for both.
Some people vote for neither.
Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best  looking cow. 

 

CALIFORNIA CORPORATION


You have millions of cows. 
They make real  California cheese. 
Only five speak English.
Most are illegal.
Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.

 

 

Requiem For A Heavyweight - Originally Posted 11/02/2010 

The Raptor is recalling the early days of TV and the teleplay “Requiem For A Heavyweight” which was written by Rod Serling and was broadcast live on Playhouse 90 in October 1956 with Jack Palance in the starring role.  The TV program was later made into a motion picture starring Anthony Quinn.  It was a sad story with a former boxing champion seeing his career come to a painful end. 

Last evening was a little somber at The Raptor’s home as the family was reeling due to the loss of our beloved 36” RCA TV which had expired last Thursday after 15 years of daily usage. After a service tech gave the set the last rites yesterday afternoon, The Raptor contacted the next door neighbor to assist in the unceremonious dumping of the expired carcass on the front porch where it shall remain on display until final interment in the landfill.

This TV was more than a friend; it was like a member of the family.  Fully loaded with state of the art picture quality (1995 style), plus all sorts of options and accessories, it was too legit to quit.  When set in place it costed about $1,800.00 which was a LOT of money for a TV back in those pre HDTV days.  The favorite feature used by The Raptor was the Picture-In-Picture (PIP) which allowed for many unique permutations.

This feature thoroughly ticked off The Raptor’s wife as she was irritated by having two choices to consider, since one choice had no sound.  As a result, The Raptor would keep it simple in her presence and perhaps watch a football game along with the Weather Channel or…maybe NASCAR on the primary screen with a Golf Tournament on the small screen. The PIP feature was especially useful during some commercial interruptions since it was possible to switch to the action which was occurring in the alternative programming.

The PIP placement was always a consideration and The Raptor’s favorite position was generally to put the small screen in the upper left corner of the display.  However, in the later years when the NFL began super imposing additional telemetry regarding game stats or scores from other contests, this proved to clash with PIP positioning.  As a result, the PIP was sometimes moved to the lower right quadrant.

The Raptor always fancied the High Tech accessories which made TV viewing that much more enjoyable.  During it’s tenure, the RCA had a wild array of devices tagged in including: a BETA VCR, VHS VCR, DVD Player, Digital Cable Box AND Surround Sound….Seeing those four devices piled high was an awesome tower of tech bells, whistles and LED blinks.  This necessitated a trio of remote controls to keep everything organized. 

Unfortunately, a universal remote was difficult if not impossible to manage and The Raptor particularly enjoyed staging four different shows at once which were viewed by utilizing the recall button on two different remotes.  If only David Sarnoff had been alive to see that! (For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Sarnoff became famous during the Titanic Disaster while serving as a radio operator at the Wannamaker Department Store.  He claimed to have decoded the message which was sent from the Olympic which gave official notification of the sinking of The Titanic.  This event may not have occurred as Sarnoff claimed, but he was able to parlay the fame to become head of Radio Corporation of America (RCA)).

What’s next for the spot previously occupied by The RCA? It’s too early to make a hysterical decision of this magnitude, so The Raptor has made a temporary transfer and elevated the 32” tube from the office to the top position.  While much smaller than the 36” RCA, it will at least get us through these troubled times while we reflect on the passing of a Champion…perhaps it’s time to head up to Sam’s Club to see what happening in the world of TV’s…LCD, Plasma, LED…wow! So many choices, so little disposable income.

If The Raptor was filthy rich, I could see a 72” LED Samsung occupying the pole position, perhaps coupled to both digital cable AND a digital dish, along with a blu-ray, surround sound and a High tech, hardwired CAT5 PC in order to interface HULU onto the wide screen…that would be hot!....meanwhile bow your heads and recite a prayer as we observe this Requiem for a Heavyweight…

Election Day Is Finally Here! - Originally Posted 11/01/2010 

The Raptor is here to tell you that this has been the most fascinating election cycle he has ever experienced...the candidates refused to campaign, they just sat by and launched the most effective negative ads ever conceived!.  After all who could you believe.  Each candidate whether they were Democrat, Republican or Conservative Tea Party (how silly has that name become?) all stated that the other candidate was responsible for lost jobs and that they should be voted out.  The Raptor is going to make this short and sweet...

For Governor, I am endorsing Dan Onorato.

For US Senator, I am endorsing Joe Sestak

For US Representative In Congress I am endorsing Kathy Dahlkemper....

If you have opened this link and have read this far, then The Raptor would like to point out that the Sharon Pennsylvania Herald is basically in the same district as Butler Pennsylvania.  Butler is the home of Candidate Mike Kelly!....Kelly's local newspapers can't endorse him!  That is just plain sad!...

Now, The Raptor knows that many of the browsers are Republican and I am OK with that.  But, this is one time when you could let your hair down and push the envelope of common sense.  Ms. Dahlkemper is from Erie...Mr. Kelly is from Butler....Kathy's brother is the legendary Prep and Notre Dame stalwart, Pat Steenberge...Kelly had to quit the team due to injury...Ms. Dahlkemper's hubby is Dan Dahlkemper who is a Raptor acquaintance from Penn State...there is a psychic connection here people!

When Kathy Dahlkemper tossed her hat in the ring and sent Phil English packing over to the K-Street Deli to plan his next meal, she did the 3rd Legislative District a favor...now do The Raptor a favor and give her your vote!

Is That The Best You Got? Part II - Originally Posted 10/25/2010 

The Raptor is still watching a lot of TV and is always amused during campaign season with the awfulness and nastiness of the negative campaigning.  While most good people are nauseated by negative campaigning, The Raptor enjoys and condones it. With that being said, Let The Raptor make a few observations here...

Candidate Mike Kelly, running for the seat in Congress now held by Kathy Dahlkemper, really has no campaign whatsoever...this was all pointed out in black and white this past weekend when the Times News of Erie gave their endorsement to Ms. Dahlkemper.  The Times cited Mr. Kelly's lack of a platform of any substance as proof enough of his skimpy preparation for this important task.

It would be one thing if he had ANY reasonable statement to make but when queried about what programs presently being administered to by the Federal Government, he had no specific one that he could with a straight face tell the Editorial Board he would cut.  This brand of disingenuous tomfoolery is typical for Republican candidates since their only reason for running is to provide fodder for people like The Raptor...

How about Mr. Kelly's capstone argument...he states in his advertisements that Ms. Dahlkemper's stewardship of the seat has resulted in numerous jobs being created in China.  Meanwhile, Mr. Kelly states that he has "created" hundreds of jobs at his Cadillac dealership in Butler, Pennsylvania...Oh really?...

Mike, does this mean that you have created these jobs during the time that Ms. Dahlkemper has been in office?  Or...perhaps during the time that you have owned and operated the dealership?  Or, since the dealership opened in 1953?  Or, did you in fact cut a fact corner here?

The Raptor figures that if you have created 100 jobs in the past two years, that just means that you wade through salesman like a Brahma Bull in a china shop...big deal!...More than likely, your disingenuous advertisement is typical Republic smoke and mirror stuff.  If you are thinking that because a hundred people work at your dealership that you created "hundreds" of jobs than you have no right to represent this district since you are clueless about the concept of job creation.  Your ability to get elected and then create jobs is nil!

The Raptor invites my conservative and otherwise Republican browsers to choke on that as you prepare to cast your ballot for Mr. Kelly...

Is That The Best You Got? - Originally Posted 10/05/2010 

The Raptor has been watching a LOT of TV lately due to the miserable weather around here and most of the content is advertisement for the major electoral races on the ballot this fall.

Let's see...there is the Governor's race pitting Democrat Dan Onorato versus Tom Corbett.  Onorato seems like a nice enough guy but he looks like an accountant.  Corbett on the other hand is dashing and a tough talker.  As the Raptor is a registered Democrat (or liberal Kook if you ask Allan Collum), I will cast my ballot for Onorato.  Even though he wants to raise taxes.  Go ahead and tax me - I can handle it...

Another race which has garnered interest is the bi-annual grind of determining who is going to be Erie's representative in the Halls of Congress.  This year, Democratic incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper is running against Republican challenger Mike Kelly.  Kelly who is head of the family business, a Cadillac Dealership, earned the respect of his party during a tough primary battle against Meadville businessman Paul Huber.

Ms. Dahlkemper, on the other hand is a candidate in rarefied air as she attempts to hold onto a seat which has been reserved for the Republican Party for many years.  The most recent Congressman, Phil English, held the title for over 10 years.  Prior that that, Tom Ridge did the same.  And before that the seat was held by Marc Lincoln Marks...also a Republican This represents a 30 year period!

The 2008 election was a barn burner and it was English's swansong as the voters swept out the last of the officials who catered to the idealistic meanderings of George Bush, Newt Gingrich and the Master of His Domain, Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh - America's Biggest Phony Newt Gingrich- America's Second Biggest Phony

 

What a difference two years make.  Bush is all but forgotten...Gingrich,  is attempting to mount a campaign to become our nation's next President, and a kinder gentler Rush is roaming the airwaves in various capacities.  Before we move onto to the primary message with this post, lets take a quick side step to explore some thoughts on the 2012 Presidential Election...

Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee...Obama is in for sure if the Republican Party puts one of these capable candidates in the top spot...

 

Now, back to Rush...Most recently he made a strong cameo appearance on the Fox TV Networks staple, The Family Guy, and he will soon pop up as Hank Haney's pupil on the Golf Channel.  The Raptor admires Rush for getting out of the booth and demonstrating some fresh qualities.  Whom ever dreamt up this makeover should be commended....

When we last left Kathy Dahlkemper and Mike Kelly, they were embroiled in a pressure cooker campaign which has benefitted no one...except the advertising industry...and these candidates will spend over 3 million dollars trying to secure this seat.  What is it all about?...Health Care....If the Republicans can win this seat, they can repeal the law, as if that is an accomplishment...but, there is one critical aspect of this campaign that the voters should concentrate on and that is the meaning of respect...

Work with The Raptor here...Mike Kelly states he is a hard working, job creating, business man...yet he is so creepy, he can't even show enough respect to state Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper's name correctly in his TV advertisements.  The name Dahlkemper is well know to the region.  Her family has been involved in numerous business ventures and EVERYONE knows how to pronounce her name.  It's Dahlkemper and it rhymes with hall...

Kelly on the other hand is most disrespectful in pronouncing Ms Dahlkemper's name by rhyming it with pal...he makes a concerted effort to do this and by doing so he demonstrates his lack of capability to be your next Congressman.  If he can't even say a name right, how do you expect him to conduct the people's business...

The Gift That Keeps On Giving - Originally Posted 09/23/2010 

The Raptor periodically checks the statistics report which is archived at the server site of this collection and notes that there ARE some visitors to this site, several of whom may visit here daily...hoping for a new kernel to digest...

Well, your prayers have been answered as that section of humanity know as "The Gift That Keeps On Giving" aka "Republican, Fundamentalist, Bush Apologist" has resurfaced just when it was getting awfully boring around here...

The Raptor would like to take you back to the section of this site known as "The Daily Thought - 2007" for starters.  Migrating to that page gets you to the archive of Home Page Postings which occurred during 2007.  On November 22, 2007 I had posted some thoughts which in effect painted newspaper letter writer, Allan Collum as a "dweeb".  Collum had laid down a gauntlet at that time which The Raptor found to be lacking a clear cut understanding of the ramifications of involvement in the affairs of nations such as Iraq.

My ultimate take on the subject was that Bush Apologists had to continue to defend the United States involvement in Iraq as a homage to the fallen troops who bravely traveled to that country to locate weapons of mass destruction only to stick around there after none could be found in order to "fight the good fight" and bring peace, justice and The American Way to that troubled nation.  So, The Raptor made a trite but firm statement that..."regardless of the success of "the surge", Iraqi security forces will never stand up.  Those dopes couldn't secure a paper bag!"

Now, three years later, Mr. Collum has responded directly to The Raptor in the following email...

"Raptor writers

I will accept and apology from you dopes for your predictions in your article about the Iraq War on 11/22/07.
 "Mr. Collum...regardless of the success of "the surge", Iraqi security forces will never stand up.  Those dopes couldn't secure a paper bag!"
   Looks like you kooks were wrong, again...America haters, liberals, left-wing, Marxist goofballs usually do...
     Allan Collum" 

Allan...I am really not sure how to apologize here...yes I did call you a dweeb and from the looks of things this could very well be true...consider how you have framed your statement...first, you open your remarks with the salutation..."Raptor writers"...this is plainly wrong as The Raptor is a singular writer...there are no other individuals who publish content to this site (but I know a few who would like to)...

Second, you state "I will accept and apology" when in fact you should have said..."I will accept an apology". Third, you state "America haters, liberals, left-wing, Marxist goofballs usually do" when in fact you should have said..."America haters, liberals, left-wing, Marxist goofballs usually are.

Fourth...you are utilizing the standard Republican/Conservative/Tea Party mantra of referring to realistic Americans who might offer an alternative voice to your hysterical ramblings as being "Liberal, Marxist, Kooks"...c'mon Allan how can you call The Raptor a Kook.  Are you kidding me!!!?  If you think that somehow, some way the Iraq nation is 100%...read the papers...every day there is another story about a bomb blowing up, or a bunch of people at a wedding party getting killed or any number of other stories of tragedy and destruction...plus there are still thousands of American soldiers in Iraq!...and they will be there for years to come!

Any one with a pulse knows there was a strategic rationale involved here...a quick look at a map tells you everything you need to know about that region...it is virtually impossible to construct a major, fortified Army base anywhere except Iraq...it can't be put in Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt or Saudi Arabia.  The only way to manhandle Al-Qaeda and The Taliban is to have a presence in the region so America can help defend Israel.  If that forlorn nation falls...all hell will break loose...and like I said before, The Raptor will say it again...there is no need for those dopes to secure their nation...not as long as America will invest our capital in that hell hole...

Allan, The Raptor is not a Kook.  Nor do I hate America....I love America.  America is a great place...it's like a huge country club and you are part of it...this website is a tongue-in-cheek experiment and The Raptor thinks you ought to relax and take what's written here with a grain of salt...get ready for the fall elections since you will have lots to celebrate over...us Kooks and Goofballs are in for a tough stretch...but keep in touch as you and you friends from The Right are "The Gift That Keeps On Giving"...

Originally Posted 05/21/2010 

The Raptor was saddened recently upon hearing the news that former Black Sabbath/Rainbow frontman, Ronnie James Dio had passed away.  Dio...shown here flashing his "Secret Devil Sign" also known as...Rock Horns...

...was 67 years old at the time of his passing and leaves behind a legacy of awesome heavy metal iconic music which created a rep for him as a Metal God.  The Rock Horns were a homage to Dio's grandmother who used to make a hand gesture to ward off the evil eye which is common among superstitious Southern Italians.  Dio threw the horns during Black Sabbath live performances but they became a trade mark and fans in the know love to flash the horns.

Dio's most popular rock icon songs included "Rainbow In The Dark" and "Holy Diver" from the "Holy Diver" Album which was released in 1982.  There is nothing finer than checking out the Holy Diver video on youtube to fire up the horns.  Ronnie James Dio...you were one of the best!

Originally Posted 05/14/2010 

The Raptor listened to Sportcenter this morning to catch the results of the Cleveland Cavs versus Boston Celtics matchup which was held at Boston Garden.  The Cavaliers, with the NBA's best record during 2010 are led by Lebron James...

Lebron is also known as King James and his stats are amazing.  He can't be more than 25 years old but he has been league MVP the past two years and he is a superb athlete and truly deserves to win a championship. The Cavs were motivated to win this thing in 2010 as the whole world wants LeBron to dump Cleveland and play for the New York Knicks?...the worst team in the Eastern Confernece.  Cavs management even brought in Shaquille O'Neil to bolster the middle. 

The Boston Celtics on the other hand are a team...they have been an NBA franchise since the get-go and are legendary.  The Raptor has been a Celtics fan since the early 60's...way back then they had charisma.  Their coach was a gent named Arnod "Red" Auerbach.  Their roster included NBA greats such as Bob Cousey, Bill Russell, KC Jones, Sam Jones, John Havlicheck and Bailey Howell. at one stretch the team won NBA Championships 11 times over a 13 year span from 1957 to 1969.

During the Larry Bird years...one of the most beloved players ever to wear a Celtic uniform the team won championships in 1981, 1984 and 1986.  It was during those years that Bird along with Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish battled NBA Super Stars like Magic Johnson in thrilling contests which held The Raptor's attention with authority!

 

Unfortunately...the championships dried up and the interest faded.  Prior to the 2008 season, a 22 year drought existed and Celtic faithful were left with those what if type dreams.  The whole era seemed to be identified with the tragic death of Len Bias, a fabulous collegiate ballplayer who was drafted #1 by the Celtics and promptly partied himself to death.

The Celtics fought back with capable play by new roster additions such as Paul Pierce, Rahjon Rondo and Kevin Garnett.  Garnett, who had been stalled in NBA hell over at the Minnesota Timberwolves camp ignited the team into solidarity and the Celtics went on to win the 2008 crown.

Fast forward to 2010...the Cavs and The Celtics waded through preliminary heats to set up an epic matchup.  Unfortunately, it all came crashing down this week.  After trading spit decisions during the first four contests, the Celtics totally humiliated the Cavs in Cleveland on Tuesday as Lebron played one of the worst games of his career.  Last nights contest was equally distressing as Lebron tried valiantly to hold things together.  Scoring an impressive triple double was not enough and the Celtics prevailed.

Its a weird feeling...The Raptor was pulling for the Cavs even though the Celtics are my team.  I really wanted to see LeBron bring home the championship to a city that needs a lift.  Browns, Indians, Cavs...its been a tough 50 years...

Originally Posted 03/29/2010 

The Raptor has now spent the past two weekends playing golf at WWGC after a layoff of about 4 months.  It has been great fun to get out and soak up the fresh air while chatting it up with friends and making new friends in the process.

As a result of this early start to the golf season...the other tasks have been negligenced.  Right from the get go the most compelling thread has to be how decimated everyone's NCAA bracket pool has become.  With only Duke surviving the beat down on Number 1 seeds, the tournament has become somewhat of a "so what" event.  However, with West Virginia surviving into the Final Four, there are a number of local fans that will tune into to Saturday's game to root for the Mountaineers.

The Raptor can't even guess who is going to win this thing, The remaining teams include Duke, Michigan Sate, Butler and the previously mentioned WVU, so I guess I will pull for the Big 10 and cheer on the Spartans.

Also in the news is this ongoing "scandal" which is about to envelope the Pope and is creating a lot of controversy.  In a nutshell, there were some priests who performed heinous acts of pedophilia years ago that were not disciplined by the Pope before he was the Pope.  This is laughable since The Raptor is pretty sure this Pope couldn't discipline he way out of a paper bag let alone deal with complex issues such as defrocking a pedophile.  The irony here is the fact that in other sections of this site, The Raptor tends to build content which is contrary to the Catholics and Christians of this world.  The Raptor is saddened by news reports such as this since there are real problems to be considered and this should be one of them...perhaps if a few of these bozos were defrocked in a more vicious manner some of this crap would cease...but, how is it that The Catholic Bishops can get so radical in their condemnation of elected officials who support a woman's right to choose but can't protect the living members of their church?

Finally, The Raptor is wondering which right wing jackass (Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity etc.) is going to come out swinging on President Obama's recent overnight trip to Afghanistan to provide some encouragement to our troops while delivering some tough talk to Hamid Kharzai.  For sure the talking heads will register disgust that Obama has some how politicized the war to curry favor with the American People.  Mark my words.

Originally Posted 03/14/2010 

The Raptor is excited for the first time in a long time about a pending change with Big Time College Football...A Raptor Fav...the news?...The Big Ten (a group of 11 college sports programs which includes Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan Sate, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Purdue) is considering incorporating another sports program into it's roster to provide balance and other amenities and make for increased fan interest.

 

The principal motivation could very well be to create conference championship games in the next generation of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in order to REALLY make for interesting match ups and further the capability of the Big 10 to compete against other college programs such as Florida, Texas, Alabama and USC.  Notice that The Raptor didn't say "college football programs" but that's what its all about.

Over the past 5 to 10 years The Big 10 has been able to field some strong football teams and make a play for the BCS Championship Game.  Consider these past results...

Season Date Winner Points Loser Points
1998 1/4/99 1 Tennessee (SEC) 23 2 Florida State (ACC) 16
           
1999 1/4/00 1 Florida State (ACC) 46 2 Virginia Tech (Big East) 29
           
2000 1/3/01 1 Oklahoma (Big 12) 13 2 Florida State (ACC) 2
           
2001 1/3/02 1 Miami (Florida) (Big East) 37 2 Nebraska (Big 12) 14
           
2002 1/3/03 2 Ohio State (Big Ten) 31 1 Miami (Florida) (Big East) 24
           
2003 1/4/04 2 LSU (SEC) 21 1 Oklahoma (Big 12) 14
           
2004 1/4/05 1 USC (Pac-10) 55 2 Oklahoma (Big 12) 19
           
2005 1/4/06 2 Texas (Big 12) 41 1 USC (Pac-10) 38
           
2006 1/8/07 2 Florida (SEC) 41 1 Ohio State (Big Ten) 14
           
2007 1/7/08 2 LSU (SEC) 38 1 Ohio State (Big Ten) 24
           
2008 1/8/09 2 Florida (SEC) 24 1 Oklahoma (Big 12) 14
           
2009 1/7/10 1 Alabama (SEC) 37 2 Texas (Big 12) 21
           
2010 1/10/11 ?   ?  

There have been obvious trends but it is apparent that teams like Florida, Texas and Oklahoma have dominated as of late...but...Ohio State has played in the game 3 out of the past 8 contests and has won one of those games against a tough Miami team in 2002 and that's probably due to letting Maurice Clarette play when he should have been in jail.  Unfortunately during their past two visits, Ohio State has been totally and severely whipped by obviously stronger opponents.

The Raptor can distinctly remember the crass comments made by supra jerk Woody Page on ESPN's "Around The Horn" a couple of years ago when Penn State was lurching towards a possible National Championship Game after besting Ohio State at home only to loose a heartbreaker to Iowa the following week.  Page thanked the Football Gods that Penn State lost...thereby insuring the contest between Florida and Oklahoma.  This demonstrates a bias against well coached, well disciplined teams by sportswriters like Page in favor of athletic programs who "hire" the best teams in order to provide the most compelling contest.  Forget about the student athlete...their only concern is the point spread.

Enter Notre Dame...

The Fightin' Irish are considered a prime candidate to become the next college athletic program to become part of the Big 10.  It makes sense but there is buzz from the alumni base that it's not necessarily a done deal.  Consider what a this Notre Dame alumni said recently in an email exchange with The Raptor...

"Assuming the BCS doesn't change the current rules, I really could not think of a worse move than to join the Big Whatever. As far as making money, the only sport that really matters is football and ND has their own deal with NBC which puts them in a far better position then they would ever be in if they were to join a conference. Losing the NBC contract does not appear to be likely as it was just renewed for an extended period of time for at least the 3rd time that I can recall. Even with ND having a few bad seasons over the last 15 years, people still love them or hate them and the ratings are very good. If fact, almost every one of their away games (ie not on NBC) are also on national TV. As far as the other sports, they are already in the Big East which is very strong in every sport and widely regarded as the strongest conference this year in Hoops. I stand by my comment that ND can play anybody they want because they are independent. Over the past 10 years, ND has played the best teams in the BIG 10 nearly ever year( ie Mich, MSU., Pur., OSU, and PSU). No they have not played Wisc. or Iowa but they also don't have to play NW, Ill. IND.,or Minn. every year. Instead of playing the same teams every year, they have been able to schedule teams like USC, LSU, Tenn, Fla. St., Neb., Texas A&M, Geo. Tech and are able to schedule teams like Oklahoma, ASU, USC and WSU in the future. It gives the fans and the recruits a national audience as opposed to a regional one."

Also consider that the Big 10 tendered an offer to Notre Dame way back in 1999 to join the Big 10 and the Irish turned it down.  Money talks and bullshit walks and its the attitude of the alumni that they would rather see their football program sink in a pool of mediocrity while acting as an independent as opposed to belonging to a conference.  It's time to be pragmatic here...

As long as athletic programs continue to award scholarships (see recent news reports about the Oregon Football Program) to street thugs who may very well not be able to spell their own name, quality institutions like Notre Dame, Ohio Sate and Penn State will be hard pressed to compete for the National Championship.

The Raptor has come out in favor of Notre Dame joining the Big 10.  While the money is good in the present deal, it's possible that NBC could change their segmentation strategy in the future.  If the Irish keep fielding mediocre teams, the fans who are still paying attention will dwindle. Patton said it best..."All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball player, the toughest boxer. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time"

It's possible The Raptor could be wrong but it makes sense for Notre Dame to join the Big 10.  What are the options?...Pitt?...come on Notre Dame get on board and lets "Bring It On!"

Originally Posted 02/12/2010 

There never seems to be enough time in the day for important matters and lately with weather issues and other responsibilities, it has been difficult if not impossible to keep browsers of this site up to date on what is on The Raptor's plate.

One item that continues to burn is the awfulness that is the Republican Party.  Consider the GOP's next candidate from hell, Sara Palin.  Governor Palin was in the news recently after her successful address to the annual Tea Party Convention which was held this past weekend. 

Palin, who continues, along with other Republican dofuses such as Rush Limbaugh to be the gift that keeps on giving...for The Raptor...is seen here lounging on a Bear which she apparently shot in the wilds of Alaska

 

Going back to last weekend, Governor Palin is hot for the Presidency and as such will say or do anything to appeal to her base...whom ever it happens to be at that moment.  So when called upon to address our Nations voting block of malcontents, she needed to keep several key issues on her mind.  Lacking a brain, she elected to write them on her right palm and so now we know that Governor Palin is all excited about Energy, Tax Cuts and Lifting The American Spirit.  The coolest thing to note here is how Governor Palin first wrote "Budget Cut"...then wrote "Lift American Spirit"...then went back and crossed out "Budget" and wrote in "Tax"...what happened here Sara?...no white out available?

If this is all it takes to get mindless sheep to vote for you maybe I should take a crack at it.  What could I write on my hand?  Probably something like...Childhood Obesity, Drug Addiction and Criminalizing the XBox.

Another major player in the present Republican Strategy for 2012 game is Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich is the ultimate GOP role model.  He's white, older, fat and has a big obnoxious mouth as is evidenced by the photo...

It not to difficult to imagine what Gingrich is saying here...probably something like..."Hey Obama...your fly is open!"

 

Gingrich was recently seen on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and decided to come out and criticize President Obama's administration for reading the Underwear Bomber his rights rather than interrogate the poor bastard in order to gain some valuable intel on his Al-Quiada overlords.  The event is best summed up by Sam Stein of The Huffington Post...

"Newt Gingrich tried on Wednesday to brush off the glaring gaffe he made this week on "The Daily Show" when he insisted that the Bush administration was right to read shoe bomber Richard Reid his Miranda rights because he was an American citizen.

But in doing so, the former GOP House Speaker only dug his hole deeper.

In a post on his Twitter page, Gingrich explained that when he made the Reid comment to the "Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart his reference was actually to Jose Padilla. Reid, after all, is a British citizen -- Padilla is American.

But Gingrich wasn't done there. In a dig at the Obama White House, he added to the tail end of his tweet: "Treating terrorists like criminals wrong no matter who is Pres."

That's a standard GOP talking point, and yet when President Bush moved the Padilla case from a military setting to the criminal system, it was Gingrich who came to his defense despite conservative howls of protest, a Democratic source points out.

Appearing on Fox News in November 2005, the former speaker said the following when asked whether it was "a loss" for the Bush White House to have tried Padilla in civilian courts after holding him for three-and-a-half years as an enemy combatant:

"Well, I think if they believe they have enough evidence to convict him, going through the process of convicting him and holding him, I suspect, maybe for the rest of his life without parole would not be -- would hardly be seen as a loss," Gingrich said.

The former speaker went on to note that Bush was "wrestling with what are the real ground rules for dealing with people who are clearly outside of normal warfare" -- suggesting, implicitly, that a criminal setting was appropriate for Padilla because it was the most effective at the time. "[W]e don't have a good set of rules," he declared.

But that is a mirror of the Obama administration's current argument -- the one that Gingrich criticized on Twitter.

The Raptor can sympathize with Gingrich.  I am fat too and a lot of times, I say things which are inappropriate.  The difference is that I am not an elected official charge with managing the affairs of this Country!  Gingrich has stated he has not ruled out a possible run at the White House.  Another gift that keeps on giving...

Originally Posted 01/18/2010 

The Raptor would like to mention that last Wednesday, on my post which is reviewable below...I suggested that certain members of the Republican Party would have their balls in a bunch over the disaster in Haiti.  Little did The Raptor realize that the voice of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, would jump on the band wagon and perhaps get his tittie in a twister in the process...you see...Limbaugh pictured in a familiar pose behind bars...stated that real Americans should NOT donate funds to Haitian disaster relief since it would improve President Obama's position with "light skinned and dark skinned African Americans"...Way to go Rush...you are the gift that keeps on giving!

Originally Posted 01/13/2010 

It’s a new day and there are a fresh set of stories migrating into our homes as we sip the morning Red Bull...First, and obviously the most compelling is the devastating earthquake which has struck the nation of Haiti.  The quake, measuring about 7.5 on the Richter Scale has apparently leveled the capital city of Port Au Prince.  The quake occurred about one hour before darkness yesterday so those individuals unlucky enough to be in one of the shanties which predominate the region have now been crushed between concrete slabs for over 12 hours in total darkness.

As their only recourse is to pray to a tone deaf God, they can enjoy their life forces ebbing away all the while knowing that soon...they will be in heaven.  This is another example for the Dave Heintziel's of the world (see The God Page for additional background on Mr. Heintzel) to reinforce the theme that God...and Jesus...love us.  Yes...they love us soooo much that they periodically have to engineer catastrophes such as this earthquake in order to test faith and bring common enemies together to save the residual zombies that will be sitting on a stoop in their own excrement waiting for the help that will come their way from...

...the U.S. Taxpayers.  Can you imagine the thorn sticking in the craw of such limp dicks as Mitch McConnel, John Kyl, John Ensign, and John Boehner as they prepare to offer their condolences and prayers for the Haitians all the while wailing and gnashing their teeth over the government aid which will flow to Haiti..

While it's taboo to help poor island nations such as Haiti and Cameroon out of the squalor they exist in, it's admirable to ravage a nation like Afghanistan to win the War on Terror.

Speaking of the other news of the day...The Raptor's old friend, Sara Palin has been in the news again.  She has just come down from cloud nine after the successful release of her book..."Going Rouge", only to realize that normal individuals such as Mark Halperin and John Heilman can write too.  And write they did with their just released book..."Game Change", which seems to deal with 2008 as it pertained to the Presidential election.

The most compelling stories to come from this book involve Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) stating that Barack Obama was desirous since he was a light skinned African-American who did not possess the "negro dialect".  Also, that Bill and Hillary Clinton are awful (Clinton organized a transition team before the primaries we over) and that Governor Palin could not disseminate the reasoning behind a North and South Korea.  Palin also has been clashing with McCain/Palin campaign staffer Steve Schmidt as of late.  Schmidt came out on 60 Minutes to reveal how Governor Palin was having difficulty prepping for her debate with Senator Joe Biden and had a unconscious tick which caused her to refer to him as "O'Biden".  She also went into a "blue funk' and became squeamish. This is hilarious...What a dolt!  And she wanted to be our latex salesman!

The Raptor is dismayed to learn that NBC has messed up the late night talk show scene...again!  It was just about 15 years ago that Carson retired and Jay Leno and David Letterman came out swinging to determine who would host the iconic "Tonight Show".  Now the combatants will be Leno and Conan O'Brien.  News to follow for sure but the gist of the story is that O'Brien has been asked to step aside to allow Leno to host a on half hour show preceding his show.  For this he is feeling unappreciated.  This is all moot for The Raptor since I am usually asleep by 10PM.

On the local scene, the region has seen almost 4 feet of snow fall since January 1st and the piles are impressive!  Fortunately The Raptor has a 8 HP snow blower with electric start capability and as a result the driveway is in excellent shape.  The Raptor enjoyed the shootout between Green Bay and Arizona this past weekend and can safely say that The Taliban don't know what their missing.  If they could figure out a way to take their difference to the athletic field, the world would be a better place.

This weekend the matchups include: The Cardinals versus The Saints (Sat - 4:30) and The Ravens at The Colts (8:15).  Meanwhile on Sunday The Cowboys will be visiting The Vikings for a 1PM contest while the Jets will go cross country to test the mettle of The Chargers in a 5:00 game.

Predicting the outcome can be tricky but here goes...The AFC Championship game will pit the Chargers and The Colts while the NFC Championship will feature The Cowboys and The Cardinals.  Meanwhile the Super Bowl will see The Cowboys up against The Colts with The Colts winning the big Tamale.

 

Originally Posted 01/07/2010 

It’s safe to state that everyone has a morning routine and The Raptor is no exception.  Aside from the traditional procedures which involve personal hygiene, The Raptor also likes to pick up a morning cup of coffee as well as some munch able sandwich or sweet roll.

Many of you out there might say to yourself…”how silly…he could just as easily brew a cup of coffee at home and save a lot of money” If you are thinking that…forget about it…saving money is not the operative issue here.  It’s trying to learn more about what is happening in the trailer park regions of the world.

You see…most of the attendants who work at places like McDonald’s or Burger King and make minimum wage either live in a trailer, a shanty or a converted lean-to which they have attached to a culvert.

In addition, if you’re the kind of sped that likes to save money by brewing up a mug of coffee at home, your probably also the kind of personage that will drive to Country Fair, park at the gas pump, walk into the store, use a frequent flyer credit card to purchase the 5 cent off gas card and walk back out to the car to pump the gas.  Consider this Mr. Thrift…at 5 cents a gallon you have just saved $.75 cents by filling up a car that has a 15 gallon tank.  If your car gets 20 miles to the gallon and you drive 10,000 miles per year, you will save a whopping $25.00 over the course of the year while spending almost 6 hours of your life walking to the store and back to the car while inconveniencing the other patrons who are there trying to get a cup of f***ing coffee!

Anyhow, back to the story…The Raptor’s morning coffee routine is variable in that I have identified 3 or 4 places en route to work where I can pick up a coffee and a sweet roll.  The current prime spots are Tim Horton’s (cool jerks like to refer to it as Timmy Hoes), Burger King (cool designation unavailable) and McDonald’s (Mickey Dees).  In a pinch The Raptor will stop at the previously mentioned Country Fair but as a rule despises getting out of the car for fear of having to get behind the previously mentions gas saver jerk or the half asleep on-the-way-to high school smoking skank.  Also available is the Kwick Fill which is the most poorly designed coffee emporium ever conceived by man but is desirable since there is NEVER anyone buying anything at that store…not sure how they stay in business.

The three prime locations feature differing desirable delectables.  At Tim Horton’s, The Raptor likes to pick up a large coffee and a cinnamon roll lathered with frosting (price - $2.56).  At Burger King, I go with the large coffee coupled with the croisssandwich with sausage and cheese (no egg please) (price - $4.22).  Finally, At McDonald’s The Raptor goes with the large coffee with a sausage McMuffin with no egg (price $3.59).

All was well with the world until Wednesday January 6th, 2010 when The Raptor elected to try McDonald’s for the morning routine.  The Raptor was filled with tremendous trepidation regarding this visit.  You see…McDonald’s have just opened their new store at 26th and Zuck which was directly across from the old store on the South side of the roadway.  McDonald’s had performed this relocation for the simple reason that breakfast has become extremely important to the corporate bottom line and the owners felt they could maximize revenue by getting the traffic which was entering the city as opposed to the traffic which was leaving the city.  Oh how wrong this whole exercise has become.

For starters, the entrance to the parking lot is extremely tight and two cars (or trucks) attempting to cross in the apron of the drive could potentially run into each other.  Second, due to the busy intersection, there are instances where 5 or 6 vehicles could be stuck in queue waiting to exit the drive.  Third, this backlog of exiting vehicles shuts down the capability of patrons attempting to place an order since they can not get to the operator.  Fourth, the order station has a robotic first responded who asks a preprogrammed question such as “Welcome to McDonald’s…would you like to order Mocha?”  Immediately after that occurs and you are so disorientated, an actual attendant comes over the speaker to take your order.  In the three times The Raptor has tried to pick up a coffee, the operator has had tremendous difficulty getting the order correct.

However, this most recent visit was the worst one yet.  Amazingly, there was very little traffic at the store as it was about 6:45.  Unfortunately, there was something wrong inside the store and The Raptor couldn’t figure out if it was a leak in the roof or an ice machine but everyone was stumbling around the store.  The attendant, who was a vacant appearing blonde woman approximately 20 years of age was confused about the order process but, come on…how tough can it be to punch up a coffee and a Sausage McMuffin?  After finally getting the order straight, The Raptor was now stunned to learn that the price of the order had shot up to $4.11!  That was a 14percent increase!  The rest of the experience involved getting back on to 26th Street which was near impossible due to snowy conditions coupled with slow moving traffic.

The Raptor was forced to travel east to the Country Fair at Zuck…drive through the parking lot and get onto Zuck…then turn left or west to head to work…needless to say, The Raptor will not be heading to McDonald’s any time soon.  Sorry Ronald!...it’s time to find a new vendor for the morning routine.

Originally Posted 12/12/09                 

The Raptor has been mulling over yesterday's developments in this Tiger Woods melodrama.  For most of the day, The Raptor recalled the post which placed blame for Tiger's demise on his wife's shoulders - it was the "she made me do it" defense.  This theory was further defined by a story or "fable" which demonstrated the prevailing attitudes and postures of many of our nations fairer sex.

The Raptor would like to reiterate here that I've seen it all before and this concept I am trying to explore is as a result of meeting up with way too many of the superficial type of spouse who has adopted a persecution complex over marriage.

It is dead wrong to advocate adultery.  It's bad, there is no doubt in my mind.  

So in fairness to Tiger Woods and his request for privacy, I am extracting yesterday's post in hopes of contributing a positive gesture.  As a result, The Raptor will formulate other threads later this weekend and submit them for your approval

 

 

 

 

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