It's all a matter of perspective.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Striesand Public Policy Institute
5670 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
October 4, 2002


President Busch
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20502

Attention: Karl Rove; Leo McGarry, Richard Cheney

Dear Sir:

Subject: War with Iraq

Sir, I refer to you as President Busch only out of respect to the office. You know and I know that you stole your position from my dear friend Al Gore through the dubious use of an evil conservative Supreme Court. You know and I know that you lost the popular vote, and only got the votes you did because of your family’s beer empire wealth. As Shakespeare said, “If you see the son of a rich man doing something you don’t like, that is because he is a dirty, selfish, money-grubbing punk. I should know, for I am Othello.” Besides that, Busch is not a very tasty beverage.

But I must now speak to you regarding an issue much more important, an area that I am an expert in. I must speak of a matter that I have spent years studying and all night thinking about. That is of course, War with Iraq.

Don’t do it. It is that simple. Someone might get hurt. I hate that. Plus it would be expensive. We could be using all of that money to buy poor homeless single mothers a television. They have poor people in Iraq also, Mr. Busch. I know that means nothing to you because you have a history of hating the poor and minorities. Iraq is, after all a nation of minorities. I recently found out that almost all of the population of Iraq is made up of Arab-Americans.

Now about this Saddam Hussein character, let me tell you that I don’t think he is as bad as you make him out to be. I mean, how could he be? He is a person just like me and you. He has feelings and family that love him. As Norman Mailer once wrote, “If you cut him, will he not bleed? And I should know, for I am Hitler.”

Now I do not like Saddam’s mustache any more than the next beautiful and talented singer and actress does, but is that any reason to hate? I think not, Mr. Busch. I mean, Rosie O’Donnell has a similar mustache, but she is a harmless, humorous, lesbian. (A valid and wonderful lifestyle choice I might add.) Perhaps instead of trying to kill him, we should let Saddam host the Grammy Awards. Then maybe we could foster some understanding. I would gladly accept a much deserved lifetime-achievement award from him. Don’t hate, congratulate. Or as the great Jewish writer, Moses once wrote, “L'Chiam! Sie haut gevain a courva in de momma' s bouch! Shainera menchen haut me gelicht in drert! Oy! Mazeltov! And I should know, for I am tired and my ankles are a little sore.”

To sum up, Mr. Busch: You are not my president. Your family’s beer is watered down and tastes like piss. Don’t hate, congratulate. Mustached lesbian dictators are people too. I am right. You are wrong. I quoted a lot of famous people to prove my point. Shlemiel and Shlemazel.


Barbra Streisand
Sr. Policy Advisor
Striesand Public Policy Institute
If I could have one wish, it would be seven Fridays in a row, because that is the day that I spend with you. I love you blog, and I miss you. I have class on Monday through Thursday nights. I have work Monday through Friday. On class days I have to spend all of my free time at work trying to stay caught up on my homework for class. That is not fair, because it just takes away from you, sweet blog. Then I get off work and go to class and then come home and play with the boy and then put him to bed and then I need some time with my chair. I love you blog, but my chair is not nearly as understanding as you. That is the way it is with leather recliners, you have to give them at least an hour a day or they quit being your safe place.

Saturday and Sunday are reserved for my family, who sees me even less that you, dear blog. Poor Wylie is going to grow up with Big Bird for a Dadoe if I am not careful.

But Fridays, sweet Fridays, oh that is the day for you and me. I am at work, but it is slow because when people break their computers on a Friday they say to themselves, “eeehhh I’ll call and get it fixed on Monday.” So I am at work but have no homework and not too many people bothering me. That means that I can give you a little attention, my precious, lonely, patient, giving, blog.

Tell me what you want to hear. Perhaps and anecdote about the boy? Maybe a little politics? Perhaps you would like a parody or a short humor piece? Or maybe, this once, since I have so little to give you these days, we will spend some time talking about you.

British scientists have scientifically determined the world's funniest joke. Among those at the top:
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other man pulls out his phone and calls emergency services.

He gasps to the operator: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator in a calm, soothing voice replies: "Take it easy. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence, then a shot is heard.

Back on the phone, the hunter says, "Ok, now what?"

PATIENT: "Doctor, I've got a strawberry stuck up my bum."

DOCTOR: "I've got some cream for that."

TEXAN: "Where are you from?"

HARVARD GRAD: "I come from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions."

TEXAN: "OK -- where are you from, jackass?"

"A man and a friend are playing golf one day. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course.

"He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows down in prayer. His friend says: 'Wow that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You are truly a kind man.'

"The man then replies: 'Yeah, well, we were married 35 years.'"

"Two weasels are sitting on a bar stool. One starts to insult the other one. He screams, 'I slept with your mother!'

"The bar gets quiet as everyone listens to see what the other weasel will do.

"The first again yells, 'I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER!'

"The other says: 'Go home dad, you're drunk.'"

Have you heard that Politician Smurf is running for the Senate in Montana? He is a Libertarian too!

Thursday, October 03, 2002

MLB Post Season

This is more who I am rooting for than who I actually think will win.



Cards over D’backs in 4

Braves over Giants in 5


Halos over Yanks in 5

A’s over Twins in 4


Braves over Cards in 6


Halos over A’s in 7


Braves over Halos in 6

What do you think?

I am a really big West Wing fan. As someone who hopes to make his living by writing some day, I am blown away by Aaron Sorkin and how consistantly good he is. (I was a big fan of Sports Night too.)

The season premiere last week was really something, but last night’s episode kind of stunk. President Bartlett’s post bombing speech about how more teachers in the class room and spending more money on public schools could have prevented the bombing . . . give me a break! That was stupid, let alone inspiring, which they made it out to be. Also CJ at the rock the vote thing was equally full of crap. I do not have any of the problems that most conservatives have with the show because it is normally so well written and even the left-wing policy is usually argued in an intelligent way. Last night it was not. CJ basically told the rock the vote crowd that the government was to thank for their birth, the air they breathe, and how cute puppies are. “Don’t think government is important to you? How many of you want a comfortable mattress to sleep on at night, huh?”

I’m not worried, though. Soon Aaron Sorkin will get a new bag of ‘shrooms and the prose will start flowing once again.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Editor's note. Also from the Fatnathan's Greatest Hits - this essay was written in August of 2001. This just shows that I have long enjoyed talking about how lazy and fat and indifferent I am.

Late August is the time of year when people really start to let things go. The days are long and the heat is oppressive and we just become lazier and lazier. When I say people, I am speaking of myself. Pray for my wife, because when August rolls around I cannot bring myself to get out of the chair for any reason other than food, bathroom, or bed.

The first thing to go is the yard. While I love the clean lines and uniform look of a freshly mowed lawn, this time of year I can not bring my self to venture out to the mower until strangers start knocking on my door and offering to cut the grass for a special price.

There is one fellow in particular that I have a very hard time saying no to. He is a tall, thin white guy who appears to be in his mid-thirties. This guy does not have some big lawn care company with a fancy white truck and trailer and logo. He simply walks through the neighborhood pushing an old worn out mower with a gas can balanced on top of it. If he sees a yard in need of attention (and mine invariably is) he will knock on the door and say, “I’s wonderin’ if you needed yer yard cut for ya?” He is sweaty and carries the distinctive scent of his chosen profession and I feel awful for saying no to him. I always gently decline and offer a glass of water, but he never takes me up.

You see there is something a little bit offensive to one’s masculinity to pay to have the grass cut for you. My old man is a pastor and lives in a parsonage. For equity’s sake he owns the lot next to the house he lives in. This is out in the country where the lots are large and two side by side creates several acres of yard to be mowed in the summer time. Fortunately he is not lazy. With the trees and the flowerbeds and the garden to cut around, by the time he finishes mowing it is pretty much time to go back to the beginning and start over. With this as my example, it shames me to be so worthless when it comes to my tiny mid-town lot. So when the seed heads are about knee high, and the sweaty guy starts knocking on my door, and my wife starts making fun of me, I will amble begrudgingly out to the shed and see if I can get the old push mower started.

Just the other night while I sat in my chair and watched my one-year-old son eat a snack from the remains of his dinner scattered on the floor underneath the high chair, I realized that the yard is not all that I let go in August. It has only been about a month since I saw him eat a piece of a cheesy cracker off of the kitchen floor and totally flipped out. I jumped up and ran across the kitchen, shoved my finger in to his mouth and demanded he give up the bite. Then I restrained him while I swept and disinfected the floor as if it were an operating table. When it was all over I looked at my sweet wife and said in a quivering voice, “I was not prepared to be a parent!”

Now it is August and when the boy gets hungry for a snack he knows that he can just toddle over to the dining room area. In the seat of the high chair and underneath on the floor there will be crumbs and bites and fruits a plenty for his taking.

August brings easygoing summer vacation laziness to all facets of my life. I don’t shave very often. I do not get a haircut until it starts to flip on the ends. I don’t shower until people start to move away from me. The floorboard of my vehicle starts to clutter with empty hamburger wrappers and soda bottles and pay at the pump receipts. The only thing that gets plenty of attention this time of year is my chair and remote control.

Soon it will start to cool off. Class will start and I will have to study. My wife will get fed up and tell me to get it together. Things will start to have some order to them once again. Then, post-season baseball will start.
Editor's note. From Fatnathan's Greatest Hits - here is a speech I gave at my old man's church for Senior Banquet the year my sister graduated from Ouachita Baptist University. Get your hankies ready, this one is a real tear jerker!

Jennifer Lyn Greer as her Brother Remembers

Jennifer was born November 6, 1978. She most likely weighed somewhere between six and nine pounds and was probably about 20 inches long. I don’t remember, I was two years old. Looking at her now, you can tell that she was born healthy.

I hear from Mom and Dad that she was a bit of a fussy baby, providing long, colic fueled nights of squirming and screaming. This fostered no resentment from the family however, she was a baby girl and she was beautiful. Really she was, if you do not believe me, then go take a look at the pictures on the poster board.

This brings us to the theme of the story. When I look back over what I remember about Jenni’s life, the one thing that strikes me as the underlying motif is success. Sitting here, right now I can not think of anything that she has attempted that was not a total success. This was no lucky streak though; the explanation for success is hard work and perseverance. Jenni is a hard worker who figures out what her goal is and works toward it in a straight line. Except when it comes to selecting a major, but that is beside the point. Back to our narrative.

My first memory of our childhood might seem random, but here it is. One of the older girls in my Dad’s youth group at church had aspirations of hair dressing. My parents being the encouraging mentors that they were volunteered Jenni’s head and mine for the purposes of science. Cutting my hair in those days was certainly no challenge. The only variables were the size of the bowl that was placed on my head and what was used to trim around it. Jennifer on the other hand knew exactly what she wanted. This was about 1984 and every female in the room knows where this is going . . . the Dorothy Hamil. To make a long story short, our friend from church was not yet a professional and Jenni is the one that ended up with the bowl cut.

About year or so later God moved us from the big city to Caney, Arkansas. While I was outside discovering seed ticks and BB guns, Jennifer was inside cultivating her musical talent. While she always had a beautiful voice, and I can recall many heart felt renditions of “I am a Promise,” the tune that sticks in my head was her two fingered piano rendition of “I Dropped My Dolly in the Dirt” She learned it quickly and rehearsed it regularly. I mean she played it over and over again. It was the last thing she did before she got on the bus in the morning and the first thing that she did when she got home n the afternoon. I dropped my dolly in the dirt. I begged her for mercy, I threatened bodily harm, I appealed to Mother and Father, but the only thing that saved me from certain mental break down was when one of her friends taught her to play “Heart and Soul.”

Jennifer moved on from music to softball. First with Sassy Scissors and later with Al’s Angels she played catcher, outfield, and second base. In the batter's box she hit the ball a ton (I can remember several inside the park home runs, and this from not the fastest girl in the mid-south) but mostly they won. I think that my simple city family had no idea that in the country, 10 year old girls were not only allowed but rewarded for playing in softball tournaments until three o’clock on a Sunday morning. Ashdown, Salem, Malvern, Pine Bluff, the dreaded Paragould, these girls saw them all and left with trophies. If Dad ever seemed a bit rambling or incoherent on a July Sunday morning about 1989-1993, it was because we had just gotten back from the softball complex in Fort Smith or perhaps Sheridan a few hours before church time.

When fall rolled around softball season was over, and Jennifer needed a new sport to excel at; enter cheerleading. I feel bad now for all of the times that I aggravated her by saying in my best valley girl voice “Hi, My name is Jenni with an I, and I am a cheerleader, and I am so popular.” But she was. Without the silly voice. She was a great cheerleader, eventually working her way up to captain in college. Besides, anyone who volunteers to stand on the sidelines in Mountain Pine Arkansas in a tiny little uniform when it is thirty degrees outside with a stiff wind and look happy about it, deserves better than a lazy non-athletic fat brother making fun of her.

Jennifer Greer is one of the best students I have ever seen. She is smart, and always made good grades. The most impressive thing to me was how well she plays the school game. She always did her homework, (all of it) she studied for every test, and when she got to college and it became an option, she still went to class. I was not any good at any of these things. When we were young, our parents told us that if we studied hard and got our college paid for; they would buy us a car to drive to school. I took the cynical pessimistic approach and figured that I could ride a bike at college, I’d rather not have to do my homework now. Jenni took them up on it and in 1997 graduated Bismarck High school a governor’s scholar, having never tasted even a B grade in her entire public school career.

Here we are four years later and she is through with college. Did you hear that, through with college in four years. I spent parts of six or seven years at college and am no where close to being through. When Jenni was little and she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, her standard answer was “a doctor.” Here she is at 22 years old and she has finished her undergrad with a degree and grades that might just get her in to medical school if she decides that she wants to go. No matter what she chooses as the next step for her I am sure of one thing, she will succeed. She will succeed because she will work hard and persevere. She will succeed because she has a loving family and church family and great friends that will support her. Mostly she will succeed because she will trust God and follow him. History shows us that Jennifer Lyn Greer is a sweeping success, and we are more proud of her right now than ever before.
Work is busy, class is busy, home life is busy, and I can not get motivated for ship. I would rather write nothing, but a sense of duty leads me to share the following information.

First of all: Last night my two year old son, Wylie Allman, said to himself, "Where's my ballsack? My ballsack is in my diaper." Yes, he knew what he was talking about.

Then today at lunch my sister in law was at the house. In the course of conversation, she told Ms. J that her husband thinks that some person is gay. She said, "I mean, he is NOT GAY!" To which Wylie replied, "He's not gay!! I'm not Gay!! Momma's not Gay!! Daddoe's not Gay!!" Then he paused for a beat, turned to me and said, "We don't bite gays."

Wylie is going to be the kid that corrupts the kindergarten class.