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" Citizen Soldiers" (5)
" Putin' Out" (5)
" Thin Ice"(9)
""I Ain't Got Much" (5)
""Soft Memories" (7)
"$100, Are You Sure?" (5)
"0 Preservative Added"(2)
"105 Minute Workday"(9)
"16 Percent Factor"(3)
"176,000,000 to 1"(8)
"26 Damn Dollars"(6)
"3 Percent Turnout" (2)
"37 Come 11" (5)
"3:10 to Yuma" (7)
"50 Weeks of Reality TV"
"501 (c)(4)"
"54 Pounds" (8)
"8.8 Pounds"(6)
"A Capitol Idea" (6)
"A Code in My Node"
"A Course is a Course"(2)
"A Day At The Beach" (3)
"A Dog Named Bo" (5)
"A Hobbit of an Idea"
"A Man's Army"
"A Patriot Act" (7)
"A Patriotic Act"
"A Perfect World"
"A soldier booed?'(7)
"A Space Odyssey" (4)
"A Taxing Story" (5)
"A Thousand Campfires"(4)
"A Three Hour Tour"(8)
"A Touch of Class"(5)
"A Waisted Day" (5)
"A Woman Scorned"
"A-Train"
"AAARRRGGGHH" (6)
"Aagh,I'll Pay,I'll Pay"
"Abe Wong, of Gondor"(5)
"Act I, Scene I" (8)
"Act I, Scene II" (8)
"Act I, Scene III" (8)
"Adjustable 2nd Card"(3)
"Adjusting Policies"
"Adjusting the Clock"(8)
"Aegean Adventure" (2)
"Ah ah ah Stayin' Alive"
"Airline Highway" (5)
"Alan Scott" (7)
"All Aboard"
"All Bets Are In" (2)
"All Charged Up"
"All Good Things" (4)
"Allah Be Praised" (5)
"Almost Heaven" (2)
"Alpha Dog"(7)
"Alright, Who Did It?"(7)
"Also Sprach Frodo" (4)
"Always Wear Gloves" (3)
"AM Radio Next?"
"America's Toilet" (6)
"American Cemetery"(8)
"An Admission"
"An Apple A Day" (7)
"An Hour A Day" (6)
"An Ugly American"(4)
"Anchorman" (6)
"And the Winner Is" (2)
"Andy Griffith Redux"
"Another Single Woman?"
"Another Three-namer"(5)
"Another Time/Place"(4)
"Anvil Throwin' Time"(8)
"Apocalypse Now?" (3)
"Aragorn" (4)
"Armored Dildos" (3)
"As Far As We Know" (2)
"Ask Ann Landers" (3)
"Assembly LineDancing"(4)
"Astronaughty" (2)
"Atlanta Times Three"
"Augmentation" (2)
"Augustus Agonistes" (5)
"Aurora Borealis" (8)
"Autumnal Observances"(2)
"Avast You Lubbers"(6)
"Baby Doctors (2)"
"Baby Fiona"(7)
"Baby Nathan Yahoo"(10)
"Back Door Basra (2)"
"Back inthe Saddle Again"
"Bad Boys, Bad Boys"
"Bad Time for Bonzo" (3)
"Balance of Nature" (3)
"Balance of Payments"(5)
"Balancing the Budget"
"Ballamer" (4)
"Balls"(10)
"Bang the Drum Slowly"
"Bank Prank" (5)
"Baptists are Pussies"(7)
"Barbed Wire Escape (2)"
"Barbie Banditos" (3)
"Barely Bearble"(7)
"Barely Defensible" (2)
"Barry Me Not (2)"
"Bathroom onna Right"(3)
"Beach Music" (7)
"Because It Is Hard" (4)
"Beechwood 4-5789"(6)
"Belling the Cat" (2)
"Ben McGee" (3)
"Benny and the Jets"(5)
"Berlusconi in Love"(6)
"Best be straight Boy"(5)
"Best Day/Worst Day"(6)
"Best in the South" (5)
"Best in the World?"(5)
"Betray Us" (3)
"Bettah than Etta"(4)
"Better Man" (3)
"Better Than Pong"
"Big Time Sports" (3)
"Big Words,LittleMind"(6)
"Bilbo's Birthday (2)"
"Bilbo's Little Boy"(5)
"Bilbo's Revenge" (5)
"Bill and Hillary (2)"
"Billy World" (2)
"Bimini Babes" (3)
"Bird is the Word" (3)
"Birmingham Jail" (5)
"Birthday Baggins"
"Birthday Buddies" (7)
"Birthday Memory" (4)
"Birthin' No Babies" (3)
"Bishop to King's Castle"
"bitch,bitch,bitch"(6)
"Black Friday" (2)
"Black Gold, Texas Tea"
"Black Hole Blues" (4)
"Black Jack"
"Black Russians" (6)
"Black Widow" (3)
"Blackboard Jungle"
"Blame Game" (3)
"Bleached Bones" (5)
"Blitzkrieg Bellini" (2)
"Blood and Swash" (3)
"Bloopers" (5)
"Blue Christmas" (2)
"Bo's Birthday"(5)
"Bob Sikes' Cut"(9)
"Bob, Bob, Bobbit" (3)
"Bobby, not Ben"(6)
"Bon Air Bellicose" (4)
"Bon Giorno" (6)
"Bona Lisa" (5)
"Bonds-v-Skvara" (3)
"Boo Boo Poo Poo"(9)
"Boromir & Galadriel"(5)
"Bottled in Thyme"(7)
"Bottom Ten"(9)
"Bovine Stem Cells?"
"Boy, I Say Boy"
"Boycott BP"
"Breaker, Breaker" (4)
"Breakin' rules" (7)
"Breaking News" (7)
"Brer Fox (2)"
"Bridge at Andau"(11)
"Bring Back Ross" (2)
"Bring the Bowl"
"Broken News"(10)
"Brother of the Ring"
"Brownback Mountain"
"Brownie Hawkeye"
"Buckwheat Breathes" (2)
"Bumper Sticker"
"Burn Baby, Burn" (3)
"Bush in the Bullrushes"
"Bush Baby, Bush (2)"
"Bush is Chinese?" (2)
"Bush Press Conference"
"Bush-Bashers Be We (2)"
"Bushenomics"
"Busman's Holiday(2)"
"Butt...Butt...Butt" (3)
"Butterflies? Sheesh!"
"Buttermilk Drops" (3)
"Buy a Subaru" (11)
"Buy Stock in America"(6)
"Cabin Fever" (5)
"Cain Not Able" (7)
"Cake in the Rain"
"Cake in the Rain"(3)
"Call Me Ishmael" (3)
"Callista, an Albino?"(7)
"Camp Pleasant" (2)
"Can She Name Them?(2)"
"Can You Hear Me Now?"
"Canaan Conspiracy"(6)
"Candygram" (4)
"Captive Audience"(6)
"Caramel or Carmel?"(3)
"Carolina Cougar(2)"
"Carolina Curmudgeon" (5)
"Cartoon Characters" (3)
"Case of Packy Stann"(3)
"Cash crash crashed?"(5)
"Cat Fight" (5)
"Caterpillar Quandry" (3)
"Causal Relationships"(9)
"Cause It's One, (2)"
"Ceramic s"
"Ch-ch-changin'" (4)
"Change a'comin" (5)
"Change is Good" (5)
"Change?" (3)
"Changin' Channels" (2)
"Chapter 13"
"Chariots of Fire"
"Chariots' a' Comin'"(4)
"Chassahowitzka" (2)
"Chauncey Gardner"(7)
"Checkmate"(5)
"Chemical Alley" (6)
"Cheney of Fools" (2)
"Cherem" (3)
"Chew my Gazebo, Willya?"
"Chief Noc-a-Homa" (3)
"Chingachgook Lives"
"Chipmonkeys Alert (2)"
"Chipper" (6)
"Christian Balls"(10)
"Christian the Lion"(4)
"Christian Valuelessness"
"Christmas Communique"(3)
"Christmas, 1936" (2)
"Chutzpah Hooters" (4)
"Cilled a Bar?" (3)
"Cindy, oh Cindy"(4)
"Citizen Soldiers" (2)
"Clark and Lois (2)"
"Classified Ads are Cool"
"Claymore Gregg" (3)
"Clean Machine" (2)
"Clean up in Aisle 4!"(4)
"Climb It Chains" (8)
"Clinton Cuts" (7)
"Clone Chipper,Please"(4)
"Cockatiel Lounge" (2)
"College of the Shire"(6)
"Colosseum"
"Combat Kelly (2)"
"Come On Baby"(8)
"Come on Down" (3)
"Comin' Clean" (5)
"Comin' Home" (3)
"Commencement (2)"
"Comparables" (6)
"Condi for President" (3)
"Cone of Silence" (4)
"Conflagration" (3)
"Confusion Reigns"(10)
"Congress Goes to War (2)
"Congress' Schmidthead"
"Conspiracy Theory" (4)
"Copy Cat Chinese" (5)
"Country Roads" (7)
"Crawford Convention" (2)
"Crikey" (2)
"Crime and Punishment(2)"
"Crotch Rocket Delite"(4)
"Cult of the Wild"(7)
"Curious, George?"
"Currahee" (5)
"Da Juice Is Back" (3)
"Dad" (5)
"Damages Done (2)"
"Damn Close" (4)
"Damn It To Hell" (5)
"Damn Lies" (7)
"Dandy Dale" (7)
"Danger Will Robinson"(5)
"Danger,Will Robinson"(8)
"Darth Dick" (5)
"Darwin's Company" (4)
"Das Boot"
"Das Ende" (6)
"Date With David" (2)
"Day of Infamy" (4)
"Day-O, Me Wan Go"(7)
"De Tar-Ball Baby" (6)
"Dead Honkey"
"Dearest Bilbo"
"Debits on the Left?" (2)
"Decisions, Decisions"(6)
"Deep and Dark" (5)
"Deep Shiite" (3)
"Degree of Separation"(6)
"Deja 1958 Over Again"
"Deja Who?"(7)
"Delano" (4)
"DevelopmentalStudies"(4)
"Diazinon Ditties (2)"
"Dick Clark Top 10(2)"
"Dimmer Switch" (6)
"Dirty Copter" (4)
"Do They Like Kool Aid?"
"Doctor, Mr. MD"(9)
"Dodged a Bullet"(7)
"Dogmobile" (3)
"Dogs Rule"
"Doing the Right Thing"
"Don't Cut My DSL" (5)
"Don't Feed the Animals"
"Dont Touch That Dial"(6)
"Doofus" (9)
"Doohan's Delight" (3)
"Doris Miller" (6)
"Dorothy Rose" (4)
"Double Deal" (6)
"Doubting Thomases" (3)
"Doug Williams"(4)
"Dover" (4)
"Down Below Back Home"(4)
"Downtown Cardinals"(9)
"Dr. Phil" (5)
"DroughtExitStragedy"(3)
"Dubai-Bye" (3)
"Dueling Banjos" (3)
"Dumb and Dumber" (3)
"Dumb As We Wanna Be"(3)
"Dumber Than Dirt" (3)
"Dumbest Politico (2)"
"Eager Uighurs" (4)
"Early Admission" (8)
"Eight Nine Four" (4)
"Elect Jeff Jackson"(10)
"Elizabeth I" (5)
"Emily Latella Lives"
"Emperor's Clothes" (2)
"End of the Line"
"Ending Sams Patience"(7)
"Engine Uprisin'" (4)
"Ensign Pulver"(5)
"EOTUS" (5)
"Equinox Approaching"(10)
"Equinoxious" (4)
"ERA"
"Escalator Escalatin'"(5)
"ESP" (6)
"Etchings, Anyone?"(5)
"Ethel Merman Lives"
"Eve, It's Oil!"
"Evenin' Govnah" (6)
"Everyday Miracles"
"Evil Thoughts" (3)
"Eye Opener" (3)
"Eyes of a Gorilla"
"Fair is Fare"(7)
"Falcon" (8)
"Fall Ball" (3)
"Fallin' Behind"(11)
"Falling Apart" (9)
"Fargo Felines" (5)
"Fashionable Frodo" (5)
"Father Ed" (3)
"Faux les Bas" (2)
"Female Insurgency (2)"
"Ferengi or Ferangi?" (3)
"Fergit? Hell No!"
"Film at 11"
"Findin' William"(11)"
"Firing US Attorneys" (3)
"First Freeze" (6)
"First Learn to Lose"
"First National Bank" (5)
"First Sentence" (8)
"Five Easy Pieces" (4)
"Float Yer Boat" (4)
"Flower Power (2)"
"Foe Years Old" (4)
"Follow the Money"
"Followin' Ava" (4)
"For More Years" (3)
"Forbidden Fruit"
"Fords and Dads" (2)
"Foreclosure Follies" (7)
"Foreclosure Notice" (6)
"Forest Primeval"(8)
"Form 666" (3)
"Forms For Everything"(6)
"Foundling Fathers"(7)
"Fourteen Years Ago?"(5)
"Fox Views" (3)
"Frack You" (7)
"Frances Died Today"(7)
"Fred's Dead Head" (3)
"Free at Last"
"Free Hidden Telecast"(4)
"Freedom? Hell No" (3)
"Friend by Your Side" (3)
"Friend by your Side" (4)
"Friendly Persuasion" (5)
"Friends of Bill" (7)
"Frist Friends"
"Frodo and Housman" (2)
"Frodo and Jesus"
"Frodo and Revere?"(7)
"Frodo And Truckers (2)"
"Frodo Dissents" (6)
"Frodo Not Foggo (2)"
"Frodo of Arabia(2)"
"Frodo Op" (5)
"Frodo Regrets"
"Frodo Study Group" (2)
"Frodo visits Bilbo"
"Frodo's Almanac"(9)
"Frodo's Bad Day"
"Frodo's Book Club"(5)
"Frodo's Dilemma" (3)
"Frodo's Faux Pas" (3)
"Frodo's Final Four" (3)
"Frodo's Foreign Policy"
"Frodo's Hall of Fame"(4)
"Frodo's Newer Friend"(6)
"Frodo's Retirement"(8)
"Frodo's Revenge"
"Frodo's Revenge"(7)
"Frodo's Solutions" (6)
"Frodo's Xmas Story"(6)
"Frodo, James Frodo" (3)
"Furriners" (4)
"Gainful Employment" (3)
"Galadriel Is No More"(3)
"Gandalf's Challenge (2)"
"Garland Duesenberry" (2)
"Gas Guzzler A-Go-Go"
"Gasp, Wheeze (2)"
"Gay Faux Holes" (5)
"Genarlow de Chariot" (3)
"Genesis Ignored" (3)
"Geneva Accords Redux"
"Geography Lesson" (3)
"George to the Rescue"(3)
"Georgia on my Mind"(3)
"Getting Your Wish" (3)
"Gidget Goes Gondor"(7)
"Gimme Head With Hair"(3)
"Girls Night Out" (6)
"Give 'em Hell, Tom" (5)
"Give Heath a Chance (2)"
"Give Us Your Tired. . ."
"Giving Way to Anger" (2)
"Glenn Frey"(11)
"Glory Days"
"Goin' Home" (3)
"Gondor Goodfellas"(9)
"Gondor Gravitas" (3)
"Good Cop" (7)
"Good Day America" (6)
"Good Friday It Was"(9)
"Good Friday, Maybe"(11)
"Good Ol Mountain Dew"(5)
"Good Son"
"Goodbye Kids (2)"
"Goodbye, Ethan" (2)
"Goodman is Hard to Find"
"Goose Again"
"GOP Convention" (3)
"Gotta Have a Home (2)"
"Grading on a Curve"
"Graffiti Government" (2)
"Great American Hero"
"Great American Hero" (2)
"Greatest Duet Ever"(6)
"Greed is Good"(5)
"Greetings" (8)
"Grissom not Gruesome"(4)
"Groupies for Edwards"(4)
"Guess We Forgot?"(8)
"Guest Workers (2)"
"Guns of August" (7)
"Guts of August" (3)
"Gwinnett Again?" (3)
"Halo, 1,2,3?" (3)
"Ham I Am" (3)
"Handi-Wipes" (3)
"Hang 'em High" (2)
"Hanky Time, Ladies"
"Happens in Threes"(5)
"Happy Anniversary"(9)
"Happy Mardi Gras"(2)
"Harpo Speaks"
"Harry" (2)
"Harry's Bar-Venice" (2)
"Hatfield-vs-McCoy"
"Hawkeye, Redux"(7)
"Haz Mat" (3)
"He Ate the Olive!"(7)
"He is deeply missed (2)"
"He Picks Up Poop?" (5)
"He Took De Bait" (8)
"He's 'Little Ricky'?"(7)
"Healthcare for Frodo"(5)
"Heart Soar Like Hawk"(5)
"Heck of an Engineer"(7)
"Hedge Fund Hippies" (3)
"Heeeerrre's Frodo" (3)
"Heeere's Johnny" (6)
"Heeerrrre's Frodo" (3)
"Hello, Mr. Wilson" (5)
"Hello? Central?" (3)
"Help Wanted"
"Helping Frodo" (4)
"Here Come da Judge" (2)
"Here Come da Judge" (6)
"Here Kitty-Kitty" (4)
"Here Kitty-kitty"(5)
"Here's Help, Now Leave"
"Here's Your Watch" (3)
"Hi Jinx" (5)
"Hide Anythin' Edible"(5)
"High Chair" (2)
"Hobbits And a Truck"(4)
"Hold On Romo" (2)
"Hold the Malaise" (4)
"Homeless"
"Honey Dew List"(9)
"Hopalong Frodo"(9)
"Horn of Africa (2)"
"Horse Latitudes" (6)
"Horsehockey" (3)
"Hosea Can You See" (3)
"Hosea Can You See?" (3)
"Hot Tamale" (3)
"Hotel Plimhimmon"(9)
"HOV or DOA?" (3)
"How Dogs Love Us" (10)
"How Many Delegates?"
"How Many Delegates?" (3)
"How Now Broun Cow"(8)
"Hraka" (4)
"Huckleberry Hound" (3)
"Hund Scheisse CSI" (5)
"Hungarian Answer" (4)
"I Believe in Music (2)"
"I can hope, can't I?"(9)
"I Could Cry" (2)
"I Inspired You?"
"I say it's Spinach. . ."
"I'll Get Back to You"(3)
"I'll Huff and Puff" (4)
"I'll Take a Vowel"
"I'm Baaack" (2)
"I'mSo In LoveWithYou"(7)
"Ides of March Again" (4)
"Ides of Texas" (6)
"IED's in Congress" (2)
"If Frodo Ran The DHS"(5)
"If It Ain't OneThing"(5)
"If the truth be told"(6)
"If You Remember,Then"(6)
"If" (6)
"Imagine,General Newt"(6)
"Imitation of Life" (5)
"Immigration Reform (2)"
"Impregnated"(10)
"In a Galaxy Far Away(2)"
"In a Pig's Eye" (4)
"In Dog We Trust" (10)
"In the Beginning"
"In the Beginning" (3)
"Incomparable Moron" (4)
"Indoor Toilets Rule" (4)
"Intersex Village" (2)
"Interstate Parking (2)"
"Ion Propulsion"(7)
"Iran's Tom Hayden"
"Irish Spring"(3)
"Is it in the Water?"
"Is That in America?" (2)
"Is You da One,Jimmy?"(3)
"Islamic Fundamentals"(8)
"Isn't Amnesty Good?"(3)
"Isn't Change Good?"(6)
"It's A Trap" (6)
"It's Just a Movie"
"It's Just Business"
"Ja, Wir Konnen."
"Jack Crabb" (10)
"Jambo Jumbo" (3)
"Japanese Movie?" (3)
"Je suis Frodo"(10)
"Jefferson Rock" (3)
"Jes' the facts Ma'am"(4)
"Jim Crow" (5)
"Joad Family Reunion?"(6)
"Joad Jobs" (4)
"Joe Soptic" (8)
"Jonestown Redux" (3)
"Jose and Claudia" (4)
"Joshua Generation" (3)
"Just Another Day" (3)
"Just Clearin' Brush"(3)
"Just Desserts (2)"
"Just Desserts" (7)
"Just Say 'Nyet'"(7)
"Just to CU Smile" (5)
"Kandy Kakes 2"
"Ken Meets Jack"
"Key Word Apology" (6)
"Killer's Geraldine" (4)
"Kilowatts Per Mile" (6)
"Kiribati Republic"(6)
"Kirk Saves Nemo"
"Kiss a Girl Goodbye"(2)
"Knew You Not Pompey?"(3)
"Kodak Moment" (2)
"Kool Sailboat" (4)
"Korea, Korea" (2)
"Kudlow's Kreeps"(4)
"Lady of Rohan" (3)
"Land Ho"(8)
"Lean and Hungry " (2)
"Leeward, I Say, Leeward"
"Legs Diamond" (3)
"Legs" (3)
"Leslie" (4)
"Lessons Learned" (2)
"Let Them Eat Cake"
"Let's Bake Cookies" (3)
"Let's Play A Game" (6)
"Letter Home" (6)
"Letter to Lou" (4)
"Liberal Lament" (40)
"Lief, Leaf, or Loaf"(8)
"Life In A Red State"
"Lights of Chicago"
"Like a Barack" (2)
"Limbaugh Hero"(7)
"Lime Bandits" (3)
"Lime is on my side" (6)
"Limestone Cowboys" (3)
"Lip Smackin' Good?"(6)
"Little Big Horn (2)"
"Little Houdini" (5)
"Little Sky"
"Littlest Angel" (2)
"Livin' is Easy?"(7)
"Loans and Deposits" (4)
"Lois, I Never Lie"(8)
"Lonely Avenue" (3)
"Lonesome Frodo" (3)
"Look away Dixieland"(6)
"Look for da Union Label"
"Look Who's Talkin'" (2)
"Lookin' Back, Texas" (3)
"Lost Weekend"(8)
"Low Water, Slow Flow"(3)
"Lox? Or Locks?" (7)
"Lunatic Cattle Call"(8)
"M-G-M Material"
"Ma Bell is Baaack" (3)
"Ma Bell Lives" (7)
"Macaca, Your Macaca" (2)
"Mad Dogs&Englishmen"(6)
"Made You Look" (6)
"Magic Fridge (2)"
"Magic Moments"(7)
"Make Jobs, Not War"(7)
"MaMa's Little Babies"(3)
"Man For All Seasons" (2)
"Man of the Century"
"Man Up, Harry"(6)
"Man's Best Friend?"
"Many happy returns"
"March Forth" (8)
"Marking Time" (3)
"Martyr Magic" (2)
"Marvelous Mac"(8)
"Mary Lee & Genie"(8)
"Master of None" (8)
"MatriculationMadness"(5)
"May Day, Comrade"(7)
"Maynard G. Krebs" (7)
"McCan't"(9)
"Medal of Honor" (6)
"Media is the Message(2)"
"Media Reporting" (6)
"Memories"(10)
"Mental Healthcare" (4)
"Michelle, my Belle"(7)
"Mick's Day"(8)
"Mickey and Me"(6)
"MidSummer Nights Dream"(7)
"Mikileaks" (6)
"Missionary Position" (3)
"Missionary Position" (7)
"Mississipp' Sippin'"(2)
"Mister Roberts" (8)
"Moamar:The Movie"(7)
"Mohair Sam" (5)
"Mon Petit Shoe"(4)
"Monkeys in Mississippi"
"Moody Blue"(7)
"Moody" (7)
"Mooman" (3)
"Moon Over Miami"(4)
"Mooosic" (5)
"Moovin' On Up" (2)
"Mordor or Antarctica?"
"More Than Some" (4)
"Moultrie Poultry" (3)
"Mount Mulch" (2)
"Movin' On Up" (2)
"Mr. Toad's Motorcar (2)"
"Mudbums"(9)
"Mumbai, My Lord" (4)
"Murtha For President(2)"
"N. Leroy" (7)
"Name That Tune"(4)
"Nascaroil" (4)
"Nat King Cole Sucks"(5)
"NCAA---Blech!" (7)
"Nein, nein, nein"(7)
"Never Doubt Bilbo"
"Never heard of him"
"Nevermore"(6)
"New Life, Old Leaves"(4)
"Newest Friend"(8)
"Newman's Own" (4)
"Newt/Mitt '12" (3)
"Next Case" (6)
"Next Door Neighbors" (3)
"NFL Commissioner (2)"
"NFL Trade" (3)
"Nielsen Ratings" (2)
"Nine Months PG" (7)
"Nixon Agonistes" (3)
"Nkosi"
"No Faux News?" (3)
"No Googling Allowed"(4)
"No Humor Today"
"No Peanut Left Behind"
"No Sale" (3)
"No, Not Russian" (4)
"No-No, No" (3)
"Nobody Even Asked"(8)
"Noo Yawk Stateamind"(2)
"Not a Bang,a Whimper"(7)
"Not Funny, Dr Jones"(5)
"Not North Carolina" (6)
"Not Percy Sledge?" (3)
"Not Percy Sledge?"(3)
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Friday, December 11, 2009
Do You Like Good Music, Yeah, Yeah
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: "Twismas Tunes" (5)

Doing business as the Holiday Season approaches and surrounds Frodo is difficult enough, but there is also a seasonal intensity for closure prior to a seemingly universal period of inactivity.  Frodo has been circling Middle Earth as a participant in the frenzy, and sometimes it is difficult to match appointments with directions, and he ends up somewhere that has no relationship to his end-goal.  Despite MAPQUEST and his GPS, Frodo finds that if the starting point is a misdirection, then efforts to correct mid-course leave him dodging icebergs (some might call them red lights, traffic accidents, and police cars).  There is an open bottle of GELUSILS on the seat of his motorcar.

There is also Scott Shannon, disc jockey extraordinaire, who will play a song by the Dixie Belles, then comment on something astounding in the news, cleverly disguising a segue into another song which may have been the only hit ever penned by one named Harry Chapin.  Then, there is Bing Crosby, or Bing Crosby and David Bowie, Brenda Lee, Elvis Presley, and possibly even Alvin of Chipmunk fame, warbling a unique composition about the Season.  Frodo's blood pressure returns to the sub-normal of the long-distance runner.

Christmas songs also reflect the American art form.  "Silver Bells," "I'll be Home for Christmas," "The First Noel," and "The Little Drummer Boy," all have their place in the traditions of the Winter Equinox.  But it is Elvis singing "Blue Christmas" that brings out the little boy in Frodo.  What about that great video of Dolly and Kenny, portraying their chance meeting in the days before World War II, in a pub in a jolly, old Hollywood Sound Stage?  It makes Frodo want to see if his personal choreography matches the picture in his mind.

Who cares if Frodo is fifteen minutes late for the meeting with that corpulent representative of an underperforming financial institution?  Scott just put a spin on Gene Autry, and Frodo will spend a few seconds singing along until he reminds himself that the reindeer still love him, too.  


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:55 PM EST
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Thursday, December 10, 2009
Shake It Up Baby
Mood:  cool
Topic: "Part Two" (5)

Frodo is a big hit at parties (hint, hint).  For some inexplicable reason, he thinks up cool things to occupy the lightly-inebriated, and some times it even means that no one has to remove their clothes.  Frodo often asks the listener to document their very first cognitive moment in life.  "How old were you, what were the circumstances, and how do you know exactly how old you were?"  Frodo begins the game with this true story, and it is a kind of neat segue into the promised topic for this evening.

Bilbo's Second child was born exactly two years and nine months, to the day, after Frodo.  The event in question took place on Christmas Eve, and the Second child was ambulatory.  This means that Frodo was most likely four years and three months old when he looked down through the transom in the joint bedroom he shared with the Second child, and they both watched Bilbo and Frodo's Father placing toys under the Christmas tree.  The next day, of course, Frodo heard the usual discourse about "Santa Claus," and it was the moment that he first used the expletive "Bullshit."  Traumatic moments, such as what followed, are often the basis for the first memory.

The Second child followed Frodo almost everywhere, and that was no problem.  The enmity developed much later, when Frodo began to distance himself from activities at home, and the Second child had not yet caught on.  The conflicts became more frequent when the Second child felt it necessary to share Frodo's secrets, as if there needed to be a penalty for growing up and away.  On the other hand, Frodo was a successful student, and it was as if the Second child was in a constant state of secondary achievement.  Sibling rivalry being what it truly is, there was no permanent damage at this point in time.

Frodo began to accumulate rights of passage which were, quite naturally, more than what was available to the Second child, who was beginning to exhibit less and less patience.  The conflicts became more open, louder, and much more frequent.  The Second child accelerated opportunities to publicly berate or humiliate Frodo, and he grew increasingly determined to be somewhere, anywhere, where the Second child was not.

Once Frodo went away to the College of the Shire, he was convinced that things would even out over time, and that a normal sibling relationship would develop.  In fact, as Frodo matriculated beyond pure academia, Samwise came into his life and the Second child smiled with true approval.  When storms tossed the relationship between Frodo and Samwise, it was the Second child who stood by him, and helped him think about something other than ending it all.

The worst day came when the Second child, now independent and on her own, came to visit Frodo and Sam, from half-a-continent away.  Frodo was in a very responsible position which demanded the highest of personal standards, and here came Second child bringing dope into the pre-Shire household.  It soon became clear that the Second child was associating with elements whose futures were limited by bullets and prisons.  Frodo's lack of interest in the affairs of the Second child were partly defensive, and partly offensive. 

Over time, they grew more distant, and the Second child began to change, physically, significantly.  In a funk, Frodo testified that there was no longer a friendship, but merely siblings of fact, not choice.  The Second child left the presence of Frodo, and the great schism began.  It was exacerbated by the death of Frodo's father, and the complete collapse of the Second child in relationship with anyone, not least being the survivor, Bilbo.

Immediately after the death of his father, Frodo sat down with the gentleman who had lobbied to be Frodo's investment advisor, and told him of Bilbo's plight.  Bilbo, he said, had less than $20,000 in savings, a house with complete equity, and Social Security.  He told the advisor that he could have Frodo's business if he first met with Bilbo, set up a way for Bilbo to continue independent living, and to inform Frodo only when Bilbo was about to run out of money.  Frodo wanted his assurance that the advisor would work only with Bilbo, and be there to attest that Frodo had no hand in anything which the Second may someday allege was imprudent. 

Seventeen years later, Bilbo had $75,000 in savings, a house with complete equity, Social Security, and a "Living Trust."  Frodo's advisor had matched the "loaves and fishes" which fed those who attended the Sermon on the Mount.  But the aging Bilbo had been duped by a local parasitic salesman, who frequently feed off the elderly, and had established a "Living Trust" (without telling anyone), in order to avoid the "costs of Probate."  Frodo had no knowledge of this until his investment advisor told him what she had done, and that he would need legal authority in order to work with the "Living Trust."  The bomb at Hiroshima did not do the same level of damage that was soon to occur in Frodo's life.

The Second child had evidently harbored increasingly vituperative resentments of Bilbo's financial independence.  So, while on a visit with Bilbo, and hearing of the developing problems, took it upon herself to contact the financial advisor directly, and to treat him with feudal disdain.  He, of course, refused to discuss any of Bilbo's affairs, except as it related to the "Living Trust" and anyone with a Financial POA in that regard.  It ended with the Second child filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, both of which were short on either fact or justification.  Frodo entered the scene and sought to assuage the feeling of the investment advisor and his employers, while letting the Second child know that the actions were unjustified and insulting.  In order to stave off a lawsuit against the Second child, Frodo and the investment advisor, out of respect for Bilbo, ended that relationship which had served Bilbo so well, for so long.

Today, Bilbo's house is up for sale, her Social Security checks still arrive monthly, and her savings are somewhere down below $15,000.  Frodo forgot to mention that the drug habits of the Second child may still be present, that she has developed all the signs of being clinically bi-polar, that she has been unemployed for almost four years, that she has removed her name from any and all assets, and that she has resided with her same-sex partner for the past decade.

So Frodo travels to Mordor to bring Bilbo into the house he shares with Samwise.  It is likely that it will be the last parting between Bilbo and the Second child, and certainly the last with Frodo until the act of burial occurs for Bilbo.  The tragedy being that Frodo does not care.

If you're planning a holiday party, don't invite Frodo this time around.  He'll be more fun next year  (and it'll give him a chance to flatten his abs for a different game).      


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 8:58 PM EST
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009
So Close And Yet So Far
Mood:  irritated
Topic: "Road Trip" (5)

Frodo believes that everyone is an actor, portraying multiple roles throughout their time on the stage.  For example, "Tiger" Woods is both a husband and an adulterer (allegedly), he is a father and a golfer, he is a taxpayer and a licensed driver (although not for long), and among his multitude of roles he is also a son.  Frodo contends that this is the role which embodies the least preparation and the greatest heartbreak.  Frodo should know.

Bilbo has endured throughout her life.  She and her siblings lost their father at an early age, in the midst of a Depression, and found themselves wards of the State when their Mother re-married, and the Stepfather wanted to start a family afresh.  With limited educational opportunity, and a psychologically understandable bent to protect that which she deemed as hers, Bilbo joined with a sister and followed the boys preparing for War.  She found Frodo's father, and they became one just before Mr. Roosevelt called him to help fight real Nazis.  She became mother to Frodo exactly nine months after he returned from almost three years of absence.

An addition to the family unit followed two years and nine months later.  Frodo has never written about that relationship, and he will hold that thought until the morrow.

In her ninety-first year, the last seventeen of which had been on her own, Bilbo decided that she could no longer endure another moment of sunshine all alone.  With the assistance of the Second child, she entered an Assisted Living Center, and promptly began to identify every conceivable deficiency.  Her personality was no longer akin to that of one whom any would revere, rather it became accusatory, racist, and whining.  Bilbo began to lobby for a change.

Against all caution, Bilbo and the Second child decided that relocation to the Second's residence in the mountains of West Virginia (also known as Mordor) would give her familial contacts and a fresh approach to life.  That seemed to work fine, for almost six weeks, then it got cold.  Confined to a basement apartment, with her own bathroom, and mobility limited by a walker and a 24/7 relationship to oxygen, Frodo's telephone rang, again and again.

The relationship between Bilbo and the Second child has, absent direct observation, grown untenable.  There are threats, and loud voices, and tears, and pleading for the efforts of the Good Son.  Frodo's residence in the Shire contains stairs twisting in endless directions, requiring agility, even among the canines and feline who share space therein.  It has always been an obstacle to the easiest of decisions.  Sam has been the strong right arm of Frodo's climb up Mount Doom, and in this instance it was Sam's doggedness which identified several Assisted Living facilities nearby to the Shire.

On Saturday, after Frodo finishes ringing the bell for the Salvation Army (remember to drop a few coins in the bucket for the Hobbit), Frodo and Sam will drive to Mordor in order to transit Bilbo to the Shire for acclimation to Middle Earth.  After a few short days, the plan is to tour facilities in order to help Bilbo find her home.

As the next post will tell, there has been much pain in this process, and the suffering is far from an observable end-point.  What is important is that, absent any training whatsoever, Frodo is the Good Son.  He plays a role of leadership and decisiveness, albeit with sensitivity and compassion.  He will lead, and he will demand certain sacrifices, but he will likewise remove anxiety from the logically-determined few days that remain  to Bilbo.

Frodo's lot was cast on his father's deathbed.  No longer able to speak, but still fresh of heart and clear of mind, Frodo's father exchanged brief notes with the Good Son.  Frodo wrote, finally, to his father, "Are you worried?"  With great effort, and determination, Frodo's father was only able to write one word in response.

"No."

The torch had been passed, and the preparation was complete.  Frodo has known from that moment what he must do, and his challenge only that which requires balancing roles with great consequence, and little reward.  Perhaps Willie Nelson will serenade Frodo and Sam in their motorcar; that, indeed, is one thing to which they can look forward.     


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:24 PM EST
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Sunday, December 6, 2009
Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: "Bloopers" (5)

Many years ago, so goes the story, a radio announcer was interviewing the buxom movie-starlet Jayne Mansfield.  The termination of the interview was programmed to coincide with a commercial to be introduced by the announcer.  The announcer thanked Ms. Mansfield for her time and then said, "And remember friends to 'Knock, knock, for Bigger Knocker Beer' (which, of course was supposed to be "Knock, knock, for Knickerbocker Beer)."  This was affectionately dubbed as a "blooper," and was one of many collected far and wide on long-play albums to titillate the developing psyches of the pre-beat generation.

Frodo's all-time favorite blooper emanated from a Baseball Game-of-the-Week broadcast, featuring former players Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean as the announcers.  During a slow moment on the field, the black-and-white camera panned the fans in the stands.  The camera settled on a young couple, taking advantage of the moment, bussing each other affectionately.  Pee Wee, waxing poetic, remarked "Aw Diz, ain't love wonderful?"  The less than Homeric Dizzy Dean mindlessly responded, "Yeah Pee Wee, he's kissing her on the strikes, and she's kissing him on the balls."

Frodo recalled "bloopers" yesterday when he took note of the tragic news coming out of Ohio, about a fire at the Lebanon Raceway that claimed the lives of as many as 60 racing horses, and two people.  Frodo happened to be listening to the CNN Broadcast, since it was the only news channel available at that time-of-day, and the announcer was the mindless chattering chiasma, Don Lemon.  Frodo always changes channels, except in an instance such as this, when the ebullient Mr. Lemon is occupying the announcer's chair.  In Frodo's opinion, he is documentation of the periodic ineffectiveness of affirmative action.  The guy doesn't have a clue.

When all was said and done, Mr. Lemon concluded his presentation of the terrible news about the fire's destruction of the horse stables by announcing that "Racing has been cancelled for the day."

Frodo had this vision of jockeys, circling the far turn, in their multi-colored "silks" and high boots, sprinting afoot, taking necessarily itty-bitty strides toward the finish-line.  Thank Heavens that Mr. Lemon was there to correct Frodo's faulty assumption that the race would go on, even if all of the horses were dead.

Thanks to Mr. Lemon, all he could say was "Well, duh!" 

  


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 11:56 AM EST
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Thursday, December 3, 2009
Finding Your Way Down Baker Street
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: "Cash crash crashed?"(5)

"Ladies and gentleman of the press, my name is Sergeant Frodo, and after a brief statement regarding the events of the last several days, I will respond to your questions.  As you all know by now, Tiger Woods crashed his SUV through the fence surrounding the White House during the State Dinner offered in behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.  Among the first to respond to the accident scene were a Mr. and Mrs. Tareq Salahi who were apparently uninvited guests who had been playing a round of golf with Mrs. Elin Woods on the East Lawn of the White House.  Mrs. Woods assisted in the rescue effort by smashing the windows of the SUV with her nine-iron in order to allow her husband access from the crash vehicle.  Mr. Woods was removed from the accident scene by three uniformed Secret Service Officers, and the White House Social Secretary, Ms. Desiree Rogers, and transported to his private offices in Dubai."

"Subsequently, the House Homeland Security Committee has initiated an investigation into the events of that evening.  Subpoenas were issued to each of the parties identified above and to the Director of the United States Secret Service, all of whom were scheduled to appear this morning at 10:00 AM.  Unfortunately, with the exception of Barrister Gloria Allred, who seemed to be representing everybody, none of those to whom subpoenas had been issued chose to attend."

"The Director of the Secret Service has announced that three uniformed Secret Service Officers have been assigned to administrative leave.  White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has announced that Ms. Rogers will not be allowed to testify before Congress, citing the Constitutional guarantees of Executive Privilege.  Mr. Woods has produced a CD, available for $11.99 at www.tigertales.com in which he describes his duets with four disparate performers.  The Salahis are in discussions with the ghostwriter of the best-selling book currently shilled nationwide by the former Governor of Alaska, Gidget von Braun."

"That concludes my statement, and I will now entertain your questions."

"Yes, Chuck." 

"Sergeant Frodo, is there any indication that the Salahis, the Woods, Ms. Rogers, or any of the parties involved were acquainted?  In addition, is there anything you can tell us about any threat to the President or anyone else at the State Dinner?"

"Yes and No."

"Jim Cramer, CNBC, you have a question?"

"Sergeant Frodo, the former CEO of ING has intimated that the SEC and the FBI were issuing an MOU to Wall Street Banks and AIG that Mr. Woods had invested more than $100 Million in speculative real estate in Dubai and that since his business partners were seeking to re-structure their IOU, that he was distraught over the potential loss?  Any truth to that?"

"I'll have to get clearance from the Presidents to respond to that."

"Pardon?  You said President(s)?"

"Yes, both the past and current Presidents of the Federal Reserve Bank, Messrs. Greenspan and Bernanke."

"Andrea, I assume you have a question?"

"Yes Sergeant Frodo, can you update us on the status of the President's efforts to secure additional troops for deployment to Afghanistan from NATO allies, and on any progress in his efforts to persuade Members of Congress regarding Healthcare Reform?"

"Ms. Mitchell, you should know better.  The President is preparing for a trip tomorrow to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and upon his return will have to take "Bo" to the Capitol Groomer.  He is trying to deal with the issues that most interest the American people first."

"Is that it?"

"Okay, since there are no more relevant questions, that's all for now.  Another briefing will be held as facts warrant."

    


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:51 PM EST
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Oh Happy Day
Mood:  happy
Topic: "Christian Valuelessness"

As a general rule, Frodo does not revel in the misery of others.  What follows is an exception to that rule, for in the spirit of Senator John Ensign (R-NV) or Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC), we have another shining example of hypocrisy swathed in an episode of "dickie dunking".  So, sit back dear reader, and enjoy a few moments of consternation in the life of the soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Great State of Georgia, Glenn Richardson.

Several weeks ago, the local gendarmerie were summoned to the palatial digs, in Paulding County (which for the geographically challenged, sits adjacent to the Alabama State Line), of House Speaker Glenn Richardson (R), in response to a suicide attempt.  The Speaker was sitting, dazed reportedly, on the edge of his bathtub, pistol in hand, with a plethora of pills strewn all about.  The local media covered the story the next day, reflecting on the "severe depression" experienced by the Speaker, given the recent break-up of his marriage, the death of two of his closest friends in an airplane accident, and the continuing financial problems of the community bank in which he was a major investor.  All of this had caused him to call his Mother, in order to bid her a fond adieu, and to slip the shackles of bondage.  The police, apparently, arrived in the nick of time.

Note the use of the word "apparently."

Three weeks later, the Speaker was alerted to the fact that his estranged wife was holding a press conference on the local CBS affiliate in two hours.  Susan Richardson ended their 17-year marriage in 2008, moved to a neighboring county with two of their three children, and received an unspecified grant of alimony, plus $3,000 per month in child support.  She held a press conference in order to charge that the suicide attempt was merely a call for attention, and that he continued to harangue and accuse her of inattention to their children.  The "coup de grace" came however with her allegation that he conducted an affair with a lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light Company who, concomitantly, was representing the utility before the State House in order to build a controversial $300M pipeline.  Previous allegations of such activity by the House Ethics Committee had been dismissed.  As a "sidebar," it should be noted that every member of that Ethics Committee had been appointed by the Speaker.

Subsequently, the affair became known to the employer of the lobbyist, and she stated her fear of being fired to the Speaker.  The Speaker was quoted as saying "He will not fire you.  I can and will bring all hell down on them if they do."  The corroboration of this statement, and many others, it seems, are in the e-mail messages emanating from the Speaker's personal computer, which Susan Richardson now has in her possession.  Her comment about the apparently long-standing affair is that most of the e-mails are "very explicit."  

The story goes on and on, with even the local chapter of the Christian Nuts for Republican Mismanagement (aka "Christian Coalition") stating that the House "may need to re-evaluate the qualities they have a right to expect from their leader."  Richardson, for the uninitiated, is but another of the characteristically petty criminals who cloak themselves in the manner of the false prophets.   Elmer Gantry may have been a fictional portrayal by Burt Lancaster, but the model he displayed is as real today as it has been since the days of Reconstruction in the American South. 

Richardson is a bombastic, bullying, iconoclastic, sorry-ass excuse for a man, much less one of the most important political leaders in this part of Middle Earth.  Frodo is, quite obviously, dancing on his political grave, knowing that pyrrhic victories are better than none at all.

Frodo also notes that the Appalachian Trail begins, or ends, in Georgia.   Perhaps it is something in the water?  


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:36 PM EST
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Sunday, November 29, 2009
Long-Haired Freaky People Need Not Apply
Mood:  sharp
Topic: "Willie B had heart" (5)

When Frodo first visited the Zoo of Atlanta, it was generally regarded as the worst such facility in the developed world.  Frodo would not argue with that assessment, for he well remembers both his sense of shame and his mind-numbing anger.  He has often recalled his first encounter with Willie B, the dean of the gorillas on exhibit at the time, and the fact that he was housed in a smaller space than that currently reserved for Charles Manson.  Frodo is pleased to report that, over the years, the situation improved immensely, and in Willie B's later years he became the star attraction at the magnificent gorilla facility in Atlanta, and even fathered several off-spring prior to his peaceful death, at age 55.

Willie B died from heart disease.  It seems that heart disease is the number one killer of gorillas in captivity, and that made Frodo think about all of the people he knows with heart ailments who might be interested in what the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech has learned from its work with Willie B's compatriots.  Starting with Ozzie, the current primogenitor, the project has been to teach the 22 gorillas to take their own blood pressure readings periodically throughout the day.  Now that Ozzie has begun performing the testing on his own, four more gorillas are currently undergoing training.

In sum, an electronic "cuff" has been placed in the exhibit area, where, under the direct observation of the trainers, once Ozzie places his arm in the cuff, a blood pressure reading is taken, then Ozzie receives a treat.  In this case, Ozzie receives, and seems to prefer, vanilla pudding (sugar-free).  According to the trainers, medication can be administered to any gorilla suffering from high blood pressure, as necessary, once the readings are verified.

Frodo asked if that would include LIPITOR, one of those disgusting products whose advertisements disturb his time before the black-and-white?  Frodo was shocked to find that his flippant query yielded a positive response.  The gorillas could be administered to with LIPITOR, or indeed with many other treatments available to Man or Hobbit.

Frodo thought about Dick Cheney.  Nahh, he'd argue that he couldn't follow in the path of a simian.  Or would he argue that he couldn't follow in that path again? 


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 8:58 PM EST
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Monday, November 23, 2009
That Ain't The Way To Have Fun
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: "37 Come 11" (5)

Frodo would have turned Pro if he had ever scored 37 points in a basketball game.  By the same token, a score of 37 on an examination of any kind at the College of the Shire would've meant that he would have had to move to Alaska and run for Governor.  The point being that a number is a relative measurement and its true value is based on the medium.

To be cited for 37 separate violations, as a barrister, would probably get you a good citizenship award and elected to Congress in most southern states.  In Louisiana we all know the story of "The Kingfish," Gov. Huey Long, (D-LA) who, while speaking for re-election in lovely Winnfield, noted that he had been indicted by the United States Government for "stealing" a million dollars.  "A million dollars?  A million dollars?" he asked, rhetorically.  "Hell, I stole two million dollars."  The cheering throng re-elected him by nearly the same margin.

What, pray tell, does it take to make people grab some pitchforks, light a few torches, dip a sleazeball in some tar, and cover him with feathers?  Is it Frodo's fate that he spend the rest of his days futilely hoping that at least one really truly rotten politician get hung from a sour apple tree?  Frodo needs your help, dear reader, and you don't even have to send him any money (although contributions are gratefully accepted).  Let us make sure that Governor Mark Sandford (R-SC), who surely spent more on condoms than he authorized for early childhood development expenditures in the public schools of South Carolina, spend at least eleven years in an all-male prison. 

Why eleven years?  Well, they say, ha ha, that hindsight is 2020, and that should be quite a sight by then.


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:18 PM EST
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Sunday, November 22, 2009
I Got The Notion You're Causing Commotion In My Soul
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: "Best in the World?"(5)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said today that "Every developed nation in the world has a better healthcare system than does the United States of America."  Frodo has known that for quite some time, and he has listened with great amusement to the demagogic rantings of Michelle Bachmann, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, and the money-driven falsehoods of former (now lobbyist) US Rep. Tauzin (D-LA) and countless others whose personal net worth is their prime directive.  Now that the issue of reform is legitimately where it belongs on the floors of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is appropriate that a few comparative facts be on the record whenever, dear reader, there is an opportunity to separate information from mis-information.

Simply "google" the words "Frontline healthcare" and up comes a link to the Public Broadcasting presentation which, just a few nights ago, did a rudimentary comparative analysis of the systems utilized by other nations in healthcare administration.  Surprisingly, Ms Bachmann and her clan of cave bears might find that now the truth is out there, for all who want to see.  It will be interesting to see how long, or if, the words "best healthcare system in the world" and "United States of America" emanate from the oral cavities of those who have confused the words "oral" and "anal."

Utilizing complete data from 2007, FRONTLINE reported that "Healthcare," as a part of GDP (Gross domestic product) represented 6.3% in Taiwan, 8% in Japan, 8.3% in Great Britain, 10.7% in Germany, and 11.6% in Switzerland.  In the United States of Bachmann, the figure was 15.3%, highest of them all.  More of our national wealth goes into spending for healthcare than in all the others identified.

It is important to note several isolated factors from the FRONTLINE presentation which also come into play.  With the exception of the United States of America, none of the national healthcare systems identified above were the major reason for the filing of a single case of personal bankruptcy.  In the United States of America however, healthcare costs are the largest single contributing factor to the filing of personal bankruptcies than anything else.

Germany's system, which extends back to the time of Otto von Bismarck, is the oldest in comparison, and it centers around the competitive options available from more than 200 private providers.  Great Britain's system is the only one of those compared that required that a "gatekeeper" family physician be an initial point-of-contact, thereby negating the presence of any bureaucrat standing between a patient and the doctor of their choice.  Taiwan's system, enacted in 1995, after a comparative analysis of systems from around the world, specifically rejected the system utilized in the United States of America as "inhumane" in its application to the public served.  

Only in Germany, and only for elective surgical treatment, was there any future scheduling utilized which could be even vaguely construed as "rationing."  In fact, the "complete satisfaction" of the citizenry in the subject comparison with the sevices received was almost universal.  It was noted also, that many foreigners, particularly from the United States of America, have been utilizing the Asian systems (Taiwan, Japan) for their own surgical treatment needs, as opposed to seeking service in the much more expensive United States of America.  The doctors, after all, are mostly all trained in American schools, and, Frodo adds, they had better grades than their US counterparts.

So, given the overwhelming data, and it goes on and on, why haven't we used an international comparison in order to draw up our reformed system?  

Because we are arrogant enough to believe that nobody else can come up with something better, Frodo contends.  That is why the tack has been taken by those who would derail our national best interest for what is arguably their own personal reasons.  It plays to the audience to say that "We are Number One," and to turn up the speakers.  It is also true that in many of the comparative systems, prices are set for medical procedures on a centralized basis, so that a "Gall bladder operation" costs the same no matter who performs the service.  That means the "competitor" who charges twice as much as another does not exist (and that sounds like "socialism" to a doctor who just lost a bunch of money in the stock market).  Frodo is disappointed, on the other hand, in the fact that the advocates have not had enough confidence in us to take the argument to the Neanderthals on our own terms.

Imagine what a difference it would be if the United States of America adopted the Taiwanese model, and reduced the percentage of our GDP devoted to healthcare in half?  We could probably pay our doctors more, and keep the brightest graduates here.  It would certainly mean that no American would ever freeze, or starve, in the dark, simply because they couldn't pay for medical treatment.  And our deficit, our Bush-ballooned deficit, would slip twixt the pages of the Book of Job.    

 

 

    


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 12:53 PM EST
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
About Forty-Five Minutes Southeast Of Tippy-Toe Louisiana
Mood:  happy
Topic: "Abe Wong, of Gondor"(5)

The Men of Gondor are preparing for their annual ringing of the bells on behalf of the Salvation Army.  This year is proving to be one of the most difficult in scheduling elves to participate, and Saint George is suffering immeasurably because of changes in availability.  Frodo was looking forward to working with Abe Wong, Man of Gondor, on December the 5th, but outside forces changed the workday to the following Saturday, at which time Abe will be out of the country.  Frodo, therefore, will take this opportunity to tell you dear reader, while he will miss his ever-smiling fighter against injustice and bad management.

Abe is similar in stature to Gimli.  It is unlikely that he will ever dunk a basketball.  He has however, even spent time going door-to-door selling bibles to people who not only had never heard of Taiwan but who would probably guess that it must lie somewhere in New Jersey.  Hard work and sincere devotion helped him build a business and two daughters, each of which are successful and the source of great pride.  Perhaps that is why he smiles.  He deserves to do so.

His participation as one of the Men of Gondor is particularly valuable to Frodo.  He taught Frodo about the various regions of China, introducing him to the social and religious diversity the nuances of which are virtually unknown in Middle Earth.  Frodo can talk about Han Buddhists and Uighurs.  Frodo may not be able to speak a word of Chinese, Mandarin or otherwise, but he knows that Chinese is spoken on a tonal level, and that the "pitch" of a vowel or consonant can change entirely the meaning of a word or phrase.  Frodo has also learned a great deal about Chinese food.  At one gathering of the Men of Gondor, Frodo and Abe sat and talked about the upcoming Presidential Election.  Abe told Frodo that if Sarah Palin should attain a position of political prominence, then the United States would deserve to fall significantly behind the Chinese.

It was a particularly unsettling day for the Men of Gondor when Abe announced that he and his wife were separating.  Assuring his comrades that he was okay, and that the divorcees remained amiable, it became clear that the marriage had endured for the benefit of the beautiful, and brilliant, offspring.  That moment is the only one that Frodo can recall when Abe failed to smile.

Abe will be in Chinese airspace when Frodo rings the bell this year.  No one is better, with an infectious smile, at winning the attention of toddlers, than is Abe Wong.   Perhaps the similarity in stature plays a part, but the result is that the small fry ring the bell with Abe, and their parents drop money in the kettle.  Everyone leaves happy, and smiling.  Frodo will miss sharing a few hours with Abe, making money for the Salvation Army.

When December 12th comes this year, and if you happen to be in front of a Wal-Mart, drop a few coins in the kettle for the Salvation Army, and tell them to give credit to Abe Wong, Man of Gondor, friend to Frodo.

     


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:42 PM EST
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