Thursday, June 30, 2011

Remembering Martha Kent: 1 Year Later

It's been a year.... a life worthy of remembrance.

God bless you, Mom.

l, ®

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Been away from keyboard while on travel. Just returned; I'll post more when I've gotten a chance to come up for air.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

REPOST: Star Trek Meets Monty Python

Friday, June 24, 2011

RIP Peter Falk

It's Friday. Time for Greg's Giggles.

It's that time again. Laydeez and Germs, Mr. Greg Schankin!

* A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. - George Bernard Shaw.

* Alabama just passed a tough immigration law that requires schools to find out if students are in the country illegally. Fortunately, schools know what to look for when identifying foreign students: high test scores.

* Rep. Michele Bachmann once said that gay people lead a very sad life. Apparently, she has never celebrated Halloween in San Francisco.

* Did you see that video where a crying baby is handed to Obama and as soon as the president holds the baby in his arms it stops crying? Do you know how rare that is these days that a politician is handed a baby from a crowd and it’s not his?

* If the police arrest a mime, does he still have the right to remain silent?

* Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

* We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse.

* Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson lashed out at CNN as being elitist for not allowing him to participate in the Republican debate. He said CNN was robbing him of the opportunity to reach literally dozens of viewers

* The Great Wall of China is one of the great wonders of the world. Since they put up the wall, not one Mexican has snuck in the country.

* The beautiful star of the TV show “Mad Men,” January Jones, is pregnant but she will not reveal who the father is. To which John Edwards said, "Why can't I meet women like this?”

* I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

* Al-Qaida announced that they’ve found a replacement for Osama bin Laden, thanks to all of you who called in and texted your votes.

* The Florida Marlins just named 80-year-old Jack McKeon their new manager. It wasn’t a great start. Last night, he had to make four trips to the mound and 12 trips to the bathroom.

* People are bidding for a private lunch with Warren Buffett. So far, the bidding has reached $2 million. Buffett says the first financial tip he’ll give the winner is, “Try not to spend $2 million on lunch.”

* Last night was the first Republican debate, Mitt Romney faced his fiercest ideological opponent: himself from four years ago.

* The closest I ever got to a 4.0 in college was my blood alcohol content.

* What do you get when you cross the Godfather with a lawyer? Someone who makes you an offer you can't understand.

Abadia, abadia, tttthat's all, folks.....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roads to Moscow

Continuing on the theme of yesterday: Al Stewart's 1972 Roads to Moscow, the only song I've ever heard in English on the war.

Note: the man in the song was arrested at the end of the war because he had been captured. It was Stalin's order that any who fell into the hands of the Germans, even for a day, be sent to a Russian camp in Siberia as a security measure.

((One last note: one of my Russian teachers introduced himself as a "Two Percenter." He was one of 2% of males born in 1919* who was still alive in 1945.... having spent the war in a security camp, as he was a German speaker and thus suspect. He was also Jewish. Go figure.))

*My father was born in 1919. I took this bit of information rather personally.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greatest Infamy: June 22, 1941

Soviet propaganda poster, WW2: "Death to the German occupiers! - Forward to the West!"

We Americans rightfully remember the horror and the insult of the September 11 attacks, the great massacre that marks the true boundary between the 20th Century and the 21st.

We cannot forget the 2977 who died, the thousands more wounded, the millions whose lives were changed forever that fateful day.

We also never forget the Seventh of December 1941-–a date that shall itself always live in infamy–-and another 2402 dead.

But as appalling as those horrors were, neither were by any means the greatest human or military disaster to strike this past century.

That distinction must go to June 22, 1941, and a land far away from either New York or Hawaii.

Imagine, if you would, an alternate universe: one in which, say, the Mexicans were a warlike people, armed to the teeth, and, having prepared a great national armament, chose to strike at us across the border with an army of more than a million men, and tens of thousands of tanks and aircraft, with the intent of enslaving and subduing the United States through the most brutal of conquests.

Imagine, if you would, heavily armed hordes by the millions pouring north, consuming Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California.

Imagine Los Angeles under siege with a million dead. Imagine Dallas, Houston, Austin, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, all occupied. Imagine a great battle around, say, Kansas City or St. Louis that ends with the entire city a rubbled heap of concrete and corpses.

Imagine America's intellectual elite rounded up and sent to gas chambers.

Imagine 20 million Americans dead in four years of war before the invaders are expelled, and the nation so exhausted by the effort that the United States dissolves peacefully a few years later.

Ridiculous. Yes. This is unimaginable to us, thank God.

But something like it really happened, on this day, seventy years ago: precisely this event happened to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics when the legions of Hitler poured across the Soviet border and tore at the very throat of Russia.

Within months, the Baltic states, what is now Belarus and Ukraine had fallen, Leningrad was under siege, and Moscow itself within the very gunsights of German tanks. A half million Jews were already massacred at the hands of the SS, and millions more to follow; three million Russian soldiers were in prison camps, 97% of whom would never see home again.

Yes. The Soviet Union itself was a monstrosity, Stalin was responsible for the mass murder, starvation and extermination of even more people than Hitler had killed.

But no nation deserves that which Hitler inflicted on the Soviet Union and the nations which formed it.

There was a singular hideousness of the assault of the German Army and its allies on Russia that rings to this day.

In the Second World War, Britain lost 451,000 and the United States lost 418,000; our losses were about 98% all uniformed military, and the British, mostly so (perhaps 80 to 85%).

The people of St. Petersburg–-the city then named Leningrad--lost more than one million men, women and children in three years of siege from 1941 to 1944 alone.

Twenty six million Soviet soldiers and civilians died in that war, including two million Jews at the hands of the SS Einsatzgruppen and at death camps in Poland. One sixth of the population of what is now Ukraine was murdered, and one-quarter of that of Belarus (White Russia): now that they are a separate nation, they are recognized as having suffered the greatest proportional losses at the hands of Nazi Germany and its allies, even greater than Poland's. And of course, 80% of Europe's Jewish populace perished as well.

Thirteen percent of the population of the USSR of 1940 was dead by 1945. That's one in 7.7. (By comparison, the American Civil War killed 1 in 50.)

And it all started at 4:00 in the morning seventy years ago to the day.

We are rightfully proud of our great achievements that won the Second World War: the Battle of the Atlantic, our first baby steps in North Africa, the hard grind up Italy, the great landing at Normandy, the Bulge, the final push to the Elbe.

But let us never forget for an instant that for every one of our soldiers who died fighting the Germans, the Soviets lost a hundred.

Furthermore, our victory in the Second World War would have been impossible without the sacrifices of the Soviet Army. And the casualties that they took in that war made the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union, if not inevitable, then at least possible.

Nobody can surpass my loathing of the Soviet system and of the Communist world view and I regard the collapse of that system an unalloyed good.

But I salute those who fought and died under the Soviet flag to destroy the fascist beast. We walk in freedom today because of their sacrifice those many years ago.

Большое спасибо, товарищи. Большое спасибо. Thank you comrades. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Special Edition Greg's Giggles: Weinerschnitzel

Now how can you have a "Special Edition Greg's Giggles" when this is only the second Greg's Giggles this blog has ever run?

Simple. Some of Greg's most brilliant work recently has been about our late, lamented former Congressman from the Great State of New York. Unfortunately a Weiner joke is like a Weiner left out overnight: i.e., with a very short shelf life. So we proudly present to you Greg Schankin on Congressman Weiner, with the promise that we really have gotten this out of our system.


Heeeeres Greg.....

* After John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and father-to-be Anthony Weiner, who would have thought Charlie Sheen would be dad of the year?

* Congressman Weiner resigned from Congress at a senior citizens’ center in Queens. It was smart, because they had no idea what Twitter is.

* Congressman Weiner’s wife returned Friday from her diplomatic trip to Ethiopia. She said she got really tired of Ethiopians telling her, 'I feel so sorry for you.'

* Photos of Congressman Weiner have surfaced of him cross-dressing in college, in bra and pantyhose, proving that even back then he knew he wanted to be a Congressman.

* Thank you, Anthony Weiner, for your premature evacuation.

* Congress has just lost its Weiner. One minute he's in, one minute he's out ... typical Weiner.

* Last week, Congressman Weiner contacted Nancy Pelosi to let her know he was resigning. Weiner let her know by texting her a picture of his penis cleaning out its desk.

* And I still don’t think Weiner gets it. Did you hear what he said at the end of his press conference? 'Anybody want one last look?'"

* Anthony Weiner’s still involved with the internet. Today he started his own site called MyTube.

* The good news is that they already found a replacement for Anthony Weiner. The bad news is that it’s Brett Favre.

* Congressman Weiner has checked into the That's Not Mayo Clinic!

* Anthony Weiner asked Bill Clinton for advice, and actually followed it for awhile. Of course eventually he was forced to tell the truth.

* Anthony Weiner has asked that everyone respect his privacy. I guess that wasn’t his concern when he was texting pictures of himself.

* The New York Daily News is reporting that Anthony Weiner’s car isn’t registered at the DMV. Oh man — he must be so embarrassed right now.

* The housekeeper said the affair wasn’t all Arnold’s fault because “it takes two.” Then Anthony Weiner said, “Actually, it only takes one.”

* President Obama said regarding the economy, "The sky is not falling." The poll numbers are falling, the market is falling, support for the war in Libya is falling, Anthony Weiner’s pants are falling, but the sky is fine.

* Congressman Anthony Weiner announced that he's resigning in the wake of the scandal. We thought he was going to stand firm but then he just went limp.

* Congressman Anthony Weiner has just checked himself into a treatment center for people battling chronic sexual dysfunction. Checked in? He's already there, it's called Congress.

* Tattoo it on your chest, MEMENTO-style, Weiner: 'The Internet is forever'.

* I don't know if laws were broken or not, but Weiner was sending around pictures of him in his underpants and I thought, Well, now, wait a minute, what is the big deal? Don't men and women in Congress get to mail their packages for free?!

* Every time a new woman comes forward in the Weiner mess , I imagine Tiger Woods sitting in the back room of a Hooters somewhere laughing his ass off.

* People wonder why Weiner engaged in such reckless behavior. If you wanted people to check out your crotch, go to the airport and go through security like everybody else.

* Democrats in Congress have been distancing themselves from the Anthony Weiner scandal. Just to be safe, everyone is staying a good 6 to 8 inches away at all times!

* This Weiner episode shows you how the political race has changed. Remember it wasn't that long ago when candidates would ask 'Where’s the beef?' You can’t ask that now!

* The Anthony Weiner scandal shows that despite the wars and the economy, we’re all really still in 9th grade!

(Doesn't it just. Till next time, that's Greg's Giggles.....)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life goes on. Indeed.

Happy Father's day, everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Robert Reich and MoveOn--A Lethal Combination

Robert Reich decides to tell us what is wrong with the economy.

It's an amazing performance, amazing in that Robert Reich can cram so much disinformation and bullshit into two minutes and fifteen seconds.

1 Average household income adjusted for inflation increased 25% between 1980 and present ($40K to $50K).

2. The reason WHY the economy doubled in size between 1980 and present is BECAUSE taxes were cut.

3. By saying that "the rich translated their wealth into political influence" means that Mr. Reich doesn't like the concept of certain individuals (the rich) exercising political power. Countries that tried the opposite didn't end well. See Union, Soviet; Korea, North; Europe, Eastern.

4. Had the tax levels Mr. Reich engages in fantasies about remained in place, the economy would NOT have doubled and public services would be even worse off than they are now.

5. Mr. Reich wants to take money that doesn't belong to him and use it to make sure his political buddies remain in power. That's why they're going to get crushed in the next election. Sorry.

6. Leftism doesn't work; and when leftists run the economy, workers don't work, either.

Finally, average household income doesn't sum up anything like the total increase in social wealth even the poor benefit from. Try making a cel phone call in 1980. Try using a personal computer, the Internet, or doing text research. Try surviving heart surgery in 1980 v. today, or diabetes, or cancer. No, Mr. Reich, the world we live in is a lot better off, and the only real massive losers are those who profit from state control. Like, oh, you. No thanks.

Next up: Obama explains why every but him is at fault for the Great Recession. Bleah.

Denny Crane for President?

Last week I posted a quote where Bill Shatner gave us the Preamble of the Constitution.

Now this. We Have Found Our Candidate.

Or maybe not.... :0)

Capt Kirk for President from Rowdy Wickstrom on Vimeo.

Note: when you see a yes-no question in a headline the answer is almost always NO. Nevertheless, this is pretty hilarious.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Greg's Giggles for Friday

We're starting a new feature here at the Silverback: In our endless quest to create more happiness and laughter in the world and to increase our site traffic, we have joined forces with my old high school buddy Greg Schankin, who is either a rapier wit and hilarious raconteur, or at least is a shameless thief of other comedians' materials. (We leave that call to you.)

Here we go, this week's First Batch....

* At the first Republican presidential debate, seven candidates got together to agree on how much they dislike the government they would like to run.

* Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

* My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not you’ll become a philosopher. Socrates

* Hitler had a stiffarmed salute; Churchill his V for Victory sign, Mussolini his strut; Romney's is touching his finger to his tongue and testing the wind.

* President Obama has offered bailout money to keep Greece from defaulting on its loans. When Greece thanked him, Obama said “Don’t mention it . . . to China, because it’s their money.”

* The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

* Ever notice Flag Day is the only holiday that we don’t get drunk to celebrate.

* Legal experts are now investigating John Edwards for the money he spent to hide his mistress and love child. The good news for Edwards is that he is now eligible to run for governor of California.

* Could you drive any better if I shoved that cell phone up your ASS?

Unf rtunate Implications

This sign is on the side of a church clearly visible from the third deck, third base line at Comerica Park in Detroit.

It is supposed to say "CENTRAL UNITED METHODIST."

The missing 'o', alas, gives the sign a much different meaning....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our long national nightmare is over.

Anthony Weiner has finally resigned.

Thank you, Lord.

Thank you.

Michigan At It's Purest! (Warning NSFW!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cheers. jeers. whatever.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Moving Political Message!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Telegraph Accuses Sarah Palin of Sending Death Threats

The Telegraph in Britain ran a story today with the following headline:

"Sarah Palin emails: Enemies sent a series of death threats"

Not for nothing do they study grammar in school in England.

Does that headline not say that Sarah Palin sent death threats via Email?

Of course, that's not what the story says. The story says the exact opposite: that her enemies (nominative clause) sent (verb) to Sarah (dative clause) a series of death threats (accusative clause).

Not. the. other. way. round.

These people are going to need to change their pants when Sarah is elected President next year....

An Eye Exam For The Internet Age

Saturday, June 11, 2011


[Note: I first ran this post in April 2009. Insofar as I am working on an article about the United States Constitution for this blog--but it not being ready yet :0>-- I thought it might be fun to run this wonderful clip again.]

I always thought that The Star Trek episode called "The Omega Glory" was Bad Trek at its finest. Maybe you remember it--it's the episode where a disease turns everyone on a Federation ship into rock salt, leaving one survivor, the captain, who is the badguy. This captain beams down to the conveniently near planet, and violates the Prime Directive when he phasers hundreds of savages while protecting a village. Then Kirk gets into a fistfight with badguy captain, before they all are rescued, conveniently just before the closing credits.

It's a very silly story.

The science is ridiculous; the plot, absurd.

And I haven't seen the episode in thirty years.

But I have to admit that, when watching the Remastered Edition version of this ep this weekend, I was caught flat footed by the last three and a half minutes.

Bill Shatner reading the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States is not to be missed.

It's a message for!


(I also like: "The Holy Words will be obeyed. I swear it." - Cloud William.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Very good point.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm No Longer So Keen On The Death Penalty

A story out of Holland illustrates why:
On March 1, 1946, Felix Gulje, the head of a construction company in Leiden, Holland, was shot dead on his doorstep. During the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War II, resistance fighters had suspected Gulje of collaborating with the German occupation authorities. Dutch police officials had arrested Gulje after the war, but he was acquitted on collaboration charges. Indeed, in subsequent years, it's been reported that Gulje actually aided Jews during the occupation; he provided shelter and money, and allowing a banned Catholic group associated with the resistance to use his factory.

Yesterday, Leiden Mayor Henri Lenfrink.... "said a woman has confessed to the killing, saying it happened in the mistaken belief that Gulje had collaborated with the Nazis," the Associated Press reported.

The woman is 96, and will not be charged with the killing.

"Do not be quick in dealing in death and judgment, Frodo.
Even the wise cannot see all ends." - LOTR

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

....or not.

The headline on Drudge SCREAMED.


and then suddenly, it didn't. It was a headline about the heat.

Turns out that that there weren't any dead children at all.

Some "psychic" lady called the local sheriff's department and informed them that there were dead children buried on the property.

From the story: "The tip was considered serious enough to warrant the resources of the sheriff's department, the FBI and the Texas Rangers."


And it hit the news....

....and they actually went to the property and searched it, finding nothing.

Now, it seems that the people on the property were not precisely model citizens.

One former resident was said to have been a registered sex offender--OOPS! He doesn't live there any more.

It was also said that the police found blood stains on the front porch--OOPS! 'Sposably the blood stains were from a suicide attempt by another resident a few days ago.


No dead bodies.

The story here is (a) Don't believe everything that you read on the internets. That one is obvious. But...

....what about (b)? As in: Psychic informants to the police should be ignored.

There may indeed be real psychics out there--hey, my own sister is a professional psychic.



Why are the police using "Psychic informants" to obtain a search warrant from a magistrate?!??

My God, since when is a psychic's 'inspriation' or 'hunch' enough to constitute probable cause? A cop's 'hunch' is not enough; why should someone else's?

I hope the property owners sue the pants off of the local cops, and Miss Psychic. I really do.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Prayer For The Third Millenium

God, Please God, Master, Lord of the Universe, All Powerful, by Thy Divine Decree and Intervention, Please, Please, Please....

....Changest Thou Congressman Wiener's Name to 'Smith.'

Thank you.


Monday, June 6, 2011



Sixty seven years ago today, seven Allied divisions--four American, two British, one Canadian--landed on the beaches of northwestern France and broke the back of Hitler's Atlantic Wall. Thousands died. Thousands more were wounded. And the slow, painful process of rolling back Nazi conquests began, which ended eleven months later on the Elbe.

Those men--who (full disclosure) included my Uncle Thomas C. Kent--not only freed the West of Europe from the scourge of the Nazis, but also saved it from the equally great scourge of Soviet Socialism. Although, by this time the fall of Berlin was inevitable, there was a real possibility that the Russians would once again "liberate" Paris as they did in 1814.

For the sacrifice of those men the West was saved and, eventually, would triumph over both Swastika and Hammer and Sickle.

Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Twin Brothers--*Franciscan Brothers*--
die on same day at 92

Gotta say that this story is purely awesome.
[O]n Wednesday, after 65 years as identical twins wearing the identical brown robes of the Franciscans -- mostly at St. Bonaventure University -- Brother Julian Riester and Brother Adrian Riester died together at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Julian died Wednesday morning, followed by Adrian in the evening.

God Bless them both.

PS - This story from a couple of weeks ago is pretty cool too.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lawrence Eagleburger, RIP

We note today the passing of former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who died yesterday at the age of 81.

Now if you remember Eagleburger at all--a sensible career State Department employee of the very old school--you likely remember him for two things: he was one of the few of that species who ran toward Republicanism, and he was, er, um, a man of great size.

Actually he went beyond that. He was tremendously obese--as in 350 lbs+ obese. And yet that did not harm his career in the least, which is a testimony of how great a man he truly was. (The joke on Capitol Hill was that "You can always tell where Lawrence Eagleburger stands on any issue; there are dents in the floor.")

But he bore that with dignity and never let it get in the way of his true vocation, which was to preserving peace and advancing the interests of the United States (not always in that order, but that was his job).

He also had a great sense of humor. From the Fox story:
Asked at a Senate confirmation hearing if he had ever in public or private pinched a woman's behind, Eagleburger replied: "Can I divide that into two questions?"

Asked by reporters how he planned to run the State Department after Baker's departure, Eagleburger responded: "Badly."

He named each of his three sons Lawrence -- they used their middle names Scott, Andrew and Jason -- and had a lack of pretension that was appreciated on Capitol Hill, and elsewhere.

"It was ego," Eagleburger told The Washington Post about giving his sons the same first name. "And secondly, I wanted to screw up the Social Security system."

He also played a major role in bringing peace to the former Yugoslavia and in stopping Serbian aggression there--for which he received little thanks.

A life well lived, Mr. Eagleburger. I salute you. Rest in peace.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dr Death Meets The Real Deal

A certain suicide doctor whose name I forget died this morning.

And that's all I am going to say about that. I'll leave the rest to our guest blogger, some fellow named Matthew:

25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

A guy walks into a bar .... (whang!)

The story goes that a priest, a lawyer, and an engineer were sentenced to death during the French Revolution. The priest went to the guillotine first. When the blade fell, it stopped an inch above his neck. "It is a sign from God!" he said. "You must free me!" So they did.

The lawyer went next. The blade fell, and same result: the blade stopped an inch above his neck. "It is the law of France!" the lawyer said. "You get just one chance to execute me. You must free me!" So they did.

The engineer stepped up and said, "Yanno, if you just loosen that screw a couple of turns, that thing should work just fine......."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So it's not Christmas. Sue me.

"And He shall reign
for ever and ever
King and King
And Lord of Lords...."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rat Mladic Goes to Hague!

We mentioned that genocidal terrorist war criminal Ratko Mladic had been arrested a few days ago by Serbian security in Belgrade. Yesterday it was reported (via our friends at the Srebrenica Genocide Blog) that he was removed from Serbia entirely and transported to The Hague to stand trial at last for his massive war crimes, including the genocide of more than 8000 Bosniacs (or Bosnian Muslims) after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995.

This is significant because, what with the large numbers of Rat-man fans in Serbia, it was not certain he would actually stand trial even after his arrest. Now the time has come for him to stand in judgment for his crimes.


The following video newsfeed with subtitles tells the story....

Excuse me while I do a happydance. Twadjie, these steps are for *you.*