The Food Network is about the only television channel I can watch that is mostly free of politics. The shows are entertaining and my kids watch them and get interested in eating things other than chicken nuggets and fries. However, like all other networks, the allure of reality television has taken hold and the mindless desires of television executives to recoil from new programming and to just repeat over and over and over and over what has been successful before is now the norm. This is why we take a good show like Chopped and end up with Chopped Canada, Chopped All Stars, Chopped Grill Masters. You get a brilliant show like Cutthroat Kitchen and some brainless drone from the 10th floor says “Let’s do Cutthroat Kitchen but do it in a summer camp and call it Camp Cutthroat Kitchen.”

Then there is the need to put the handful of likable chefs in every show you do. Does poor Bobby Flay or Giada De Laurentiis ever get a chance to see their families? Is Guy Fieri doomed to wander the back roads of America for our amusement until the end of time? Something must be done.

Well luckily I have been working on it and have come up with some new Food Network shows. I give my ideas just a dash of tired and true, toss in a half cup of brilliance, and add a twist of the unexpected to cook up the next great shows. (You all saw what I just did there right?)

Idea 1: America’s Top Prison Chef (or Iron Bar Chef)

Prison cooks are some of the most inventive cooks on the planet. They have to make food with low grade materials for folks that have the most discriminating of pallets and the shortest of tempers. It is time to showcase these skills in the ultimate culinary competition.

Four prison chefs compete in three rounds. Each round a prisoner is eliminated and is then served cold justice for their failure. The winner gets a pardon from the Governor.

Idea 2: I’m Not Gonna Eat That!

Chefs will compete in three challenges. A Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. They will get some of the finest ingredients from all over the world including fruits, vegetables and meats you have never heard of. These meals will then be prepared for the toughest panel of judges ever assembled. A group of five year old kids.

Will a chef be able to prepare barramundi, dragon fruit, or chard while under the watchful eyes of your typical five year old and  get them to not only eat a bite but to like it? I don’t know but I want to find out.

Idea 3: Dollar Store Chef

Can you prepare a delicious dinner for two for $25 bucks using only ingredients found in a Dollar Store? How would one of the Food Networks celebrity chefs fair? Well now we can find out as we take them to the Dollar Store and set them loose. Everything for the dinner must come from there. Meat, veggies, spices, and drinks all must come from there. It is the ultimate challenge.

Idea 4: Make Me A Sammich

OK, this one is going to be a little outside the box because it combines two reality show concepts that have never been paired before; The dating show and the food competition show.

We will take one eligible bachelor who is just looking for the woman of his dreams and twelve ladies who believe that the reason they have never found true love is not their shallowness but because they haven’t tried it in on national television. Each week they will cook a meal for him and he will make his choices based solely on the food. He doesn’t even get to see them until he chooses the last one and marries her live on the air.

Is the way to a man’s heart truly through his stomach? We will find out this fall.

Idea 5: Meat The Parents

Now before you think that the last idea was a bit sexist and degrading I am not a monster. In the finest tradition of television I have a spin off for the poor lady that comes in second on Make Me A Sammich. She gets to be the one who is wooed by 12 young men who must cook for her and her parents. Since she could not win the first contest she will need someone that knows his way around a kitchen and be able to prove to mom and dad that he can take care of their princess. Oh and the contestants will be able to sabotage each other along the way.

So there you have it. Five shows that will revolutionize not only the Food Network but television itself. You are welcome America. I egerly await a phone call from the executives on the 10th floor and I will take cash up front for the ideas and a small percentage on the back end.

So there has been a lot of ruckus in the news cycle (or lack there of depending on what side you are on) about the whole Plan Parenthood videos. I have kept my opinions on the subject to a minimum because everyone that knows me pretty much knows where I stand on the issue of abortion. For those of you just joining me I am against it with the exception of a very, very narrow set of circumstances. No, I do not want to share what they are but even in those circumstances I find the end result to be heartbreaking.

I have noticed that no matter what side you are on the issue you quickly lose the ability to understand why the other side is for/against it. I can understand that if you do not believe that life begins at conception or at the very least heartbeat that you just think of it as tissue or a benign tumor and have not problem surgically removing it. I also understand why you would think it silly for folks to clutch their pearls and get all huffy about the issue. It doesn’t make those folks stupid, dumb, ignorant or some sort of woman hating monsters trying to force their religion on you.

I can also understand those that believe that an abortion is essentially ripping a part a tiny human in the most horrific way possible is wrong and think that those who think this is a good thing are nothing but ghoulish monsters who cant wait to bathe in the blood of the innocent. It doesn’t make those folks horrid, godless, or heartless.

I am also perplexed about the calls to defund Planned Parenthood. I am even more perplexed that a private non-profit group that charges for its services and makes money off of selling products based on a result of their services and received millions in private donations is receiving any government our money.

No one has been able to justify to me why they should get tax payer dollars (feel free to try in the comments). I really do not understand why any private non-profit would or should receive any public money no matter what they do (again please feel free to try below). I do not understand how the government can pick and choose which one gets the money and which one doesn’t. You may say it is because of the donations they make to hookers politicians election funds, but there are plenty of private non-profits that do the same but do not get to suck at the teat of government largess.

However the damage is done and Planned Parenthood will continue to get cash to keep doing what half the country thinks is morally repugnant. That is the way it works. Once something receives government funds the chances of it stopping is about the same as me winning this week’s Powerball (which is zero because I don’t play Lotto). So all the cries to de-fund Planned Parenthood will be useless and a waste of energy.

Now, before you get all upset I do have a solution. That is what I do for a living after all. I live to provide solutions to problems and in this case I have come up with a solution worthy of King Solomon himself.

Instead of taking the money away from Planned Parenthood we just link their funding to a similar group. Planned Parethood is a private non-profit, that provides services to a community, charges for their services and makes money off a result of their services and receives millions in private donations. If they also receive taxpayer money then it is crony capitalism at its finest! So, we should just find a private non-profit that at least half the country finds morally repugnant and give them an equal amount of money.

That organization is the National Rifle Association. Think about it, giving an equal amount of federal money to both organizations would go a long way to calming things down. Is this the best solution? Nope. However I learned a long time ago you can not make everyone equally happy but you sure as heck can make everyone equally miserable. From what I understand the NRA currently does not receive taxpayer dollars (if they do it is nowhere near the amount Planned Parenthood does.) It is a simple and elegant solution. Those on the right hate Planned Parenthood and see it as their sacred mission to destroy this godless blight on our national soul and those on the left hate the NRA and see it as their sacred mission to destroy this godless (or whatever they believe in) stain our national soul. Both sides get to keep doing that but the reality of that never happening will be secure.

See everyone is happy, or not. I don’t really care. Abortion is wrong and you will never make me see it any different. You may think it is ok and nothing I will say will ever make you change that. I understand that and accept that. Just don’t ask me to pay for your thing and I won’t ask you to pay for mine. You believe in Planned Parenthood or the NRA then give your money to it and do not demand that I give mine. It doesn’t mean that I hate women or that you are heartless. It is just the way things work.

So fully embrace crony capitalism and support the Planned Parenthood-National Rifle Association Spending Bill. Call your congresshookerman and tell them to fund both organizations fully and equally. Bipartisan and all of that.

(For the record I also do not support the NRA. I have my reasons and no I am not going to share those either.)

I really want my blog to be about more than me being snarky about politics and ranting about stuff. I want to be positive about things and help others. So in that vein let me start by being helpful. It will make life happier for everyone involved.

STOP TRYING TO BLACKMAIL ME OVER FACEBOOK!!

You see every so often one of my friends on Facebook will post one of those “Hey Facebook, this post means you can’t steal my privacy! By posting this you can’t use anything I post to make a profit off of something you are letting me use for free! Heck, I don’t pay a dime to use this wonderful bit of technology that would make folks 20 years ago at the dawn of the internet scream “Jumping Jehoshaphat, what have we created! We made this thing to share information not duck faced selfies and high scores in Farmville! Please shoot me now in penance for what we have done!” So yeah, by posting this there is nothing legally Facebook can do because I have found a loophole based on US Code 867-5309 that somehow their army of lawyers forgot. So I don’t want anyone violating my privacy on Facebook.”

Now that really doesn’t bother me as much as the thing they always use at the end of it. It usually goes something like this:

“Now post this in your status so I can see it. If I don’t I will unfriend you faster than you can say Candy Crush”

That is the part I don’t like. It makes me want to scream. I mean the first part i just shake my head and laugh. If you think you can have privacy on the Internet then you really shouldn’t be on the internet. The internet was not created for privacy. It was created with an idea that anything and everything can be and should be shareable. Here is the best privacy tip I can ever give anyone. If you want something to stay private, DO NOT PUT IT ON THE INTERNET! Listen anything you put on Facebook is open to the public and by posting something about obscure laws or adjusting a “privacy” setting to protect the picture of your birthday dinner at Applebee’s is absurd. But if it makes you feel better go ahead and post it, it is Facebook after all and Lord knows I have posted stupid stuff on Facebook.

However it is that last part that really galls me. You see, I don’t friend everyone in creation on Facebook. If you are one of my under 200 friends you are there because I actually like you and care when your cat has kittens, or when your son makes the little league team, or when you post that YouTube video of a dog barking at a mirror. That is what I adore about you. My friends of Facebook don’t follow lock step in what I believe. I have lefties, righties, Christian, Atheist, Old, Young, Gay, Straight, Rich, Poor, Famous and Obscure. If I am your friend I love you for who you are and each of you are special enough that I want to read about the minutia of your lives.

I never, ever paste and repost one of those comments. This applies to not just the ones about Facebook Privacy, but even the ones that tell me to post something and if I don’t then I don’t love Jesus, or I want some kid to get cancer, or you are doing it because you think no one ever reads your post and you are doing it to find out who your true friends are.

Listen. I love Jesus, I hope no kid ever gets cancer, and the fact that I haven’t unfriended you should be all the sign you need to know that I still love you.

So, stop trying to threaten me. Accept the fact that you have no Privacy on Facebook especially in an era when a 12 year old with a script can hack your bank account and the NSA listens to your phone calls and just relax.

Now if you will excuse me someone just posted a link on how to make toothpaste using common household items so I can stop spending $3.79 a tube and just spend $15.00 on all the ingredients to make it myself.

So I have been away for a while. I just got too busy to really post something and I notice that most bloggers tend to post a lot of stuff every day (or at least once a day). I had a few friends and a blogger that I respect point out that this site is really a waste just sitting here doing nothing. I have been encouraged to at least post once a week. Hey this is my blog and I should do it because I like it not because I feel the need to keep up with other bloggers. So I have been spending time thinking about what I wanted to post about and then I heard this:

 

“All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio, and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do,” -President Barack Obama

After taking a moment to wonder how he could say that statement with 10 tons of Irony sitting on his chest, (MSNBC, Daily Kos, Ed Shultz, Al Sharpton, Media Matters, anyone?) I realized he was talking about me. I am a blogger, albeit one on inactive duty, and I have written some unkind things about our President in the past. I was shocked to learn that my freedom of speech has prevented him from performing the basics of his job.

Here is a man that was touted as the bringer of fire from Olympus to light our way out of the darkness spread across the land by W. He was smart, articulate and clean (thanks to Biden for pointing out that last one). Hope and change for everyone! Instead he turns out to be so thin skinned that he makes a hemophiliac look like the Man of Steel. The media has deemed him so precious that he must be protected from all bumps and bruises of the real world. The Secret Service protects him well from the sticks and stones, but by golly words sure do hurt him.

Imagine that hordes of unwashed bloggers are the ones that ground the government to a halt as he stood helplessly by. His only choice was to thrash about knocking stuff off his desk like some spoiled child who was just told that we could not afford to upgrade him to the next iPhone and to be happy with the perfectly good one we just bought him. Seriously the “shutdown” didn’t really hurt anyone, but he darn well made sure that it would be aggravating.

You see the government wasn’t really shutdown. I can prove it to everyone of you, well to the ones that are fortunate to have a job. Take a look at your paycheck you received yesterday. Did they take Federal Tax out of your check? I will wait…..

Oh they did? Well guess what amigo? The government was still up and running. Listen I know I am going to make some of my friends mad about this next statement because I have a few that work for the government. The only folks that were really hurt by the shutdown were those that Federal Government deemed “Non-essential”. If you worked for the Federal Government and was sent home during the shutdown your employer picked you because you are not necessary to run the functions of government. I hope you took the time off to figure out how many part time jobs you will need to replace your check.

That sounds harsh, and I am sorry. Something everyone must understand is that we will reach a point where all of this government will be unsustainable. You have been put on notice that you will be the first to go as they attempt to save the bloated carcass. That should scare the bejezzus out of you.

Here is the thing. No amount of blaming bloggers, radio talk show hosts, the Koch Brothers, Hailburton or the left’s boogyman du jour will change that fact. However I will be happy to accept the blame if it makes Barry feel better. There is nothing I hate more than seeing a grown man whine, especially if he occupies the office of the most powerful nation on the planet.

So welcome to the Thunderdome. Remember 2014 is listening and will take the first one that screams.

A man brings his pet monkey into the vet. The monkey had received a serious injury to its tail. The vet examined the monkey and sadly shook his head. “I am afraid we are going to have to amputate the tail.”

The owner, with tears in his eyes, authorized the vet to amputate the tail. The vet’s assistant took the monkey into the back and prepped it for surgery. The owner went to the lobby and sat down.

While waiting in the lobby the man hears a loud shout and a horrific screech, then silence. A moment later more shouting and shrieking then more silence. Then again louder shrieking and more shouting. The man could not stand it. He got up and barged his way into the operating room.

The sight that greeted him was horrific. There was blood everywhere. The vet was panting heavily and covered with scratches. His beloved monkey as huddled on top of a cabinet in fright and obviously bleeding to death.

“What on earth is going on! What have you done to my monkey! This is not how you treat an animal!”, the now distraught owner yelled at the vet.

The vet assumed a very superior air and addressed the angry man.

“You obviously know nothing about the veterinary sciences. Cutting a tail off of a monkey is a very painful and traumatic procedure. If you just lop it off you can cause severe harm to the monkey. So I elected to just cut off the tail an inch at a time until the full amputation is complete.”

So please feel free to insert whatever metaphor you wish in the comments below.

I have been thinking a lot about the future. Right now I have a job, but I am looking for a second one. However I have to have a goal beyond just wanting a job.

My favorite website is IMAO. It’s founder Frank J (blogger, twitterer, author, and raconteur) has put his hat in the ring for President in 2016. His basic philosophy is that Presidents should have awesome power but do absolutely nothing with it. Also he believes that the United States should be defended by Dinosaurs with imbedded rocket launchers and we have the science to accomplish it. So over all he is the perfect leader.

Well I want in on this. Now most fawning sycophants would try and butter Frank J. up for either a Vice President slot or even a cabinet position. Those that would try and do that will not understand what a Frank J. presidency is all about. So I want to throw my hat in the ring that in a Frank J. administration I want to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

I would be an excellent Ambassador. I understand fully what the function and purpose of the United Nations is and will do everything I can as the representative of the greatest nation on the planet to make sure the UN stays on mission. What is that mission? We it is basically a forum where nations of the world can ineffectively shake their fists at us and call us names without really doing harm to our goals and agendas. They get to complain and feel good that they got all snotty with us and we didn’t strike them down with our Olympian like powers. However, previous and present Presidents and Ambassadors have allowed the UN to actually accomplish things that harm our country. I will set things right.

How can I accomplish that? Well it is simple and let me give you some examples.

1.       The Kinison Doctrine

Whenever a country starts chastising us and telling us how to run our stuff I will simply invoke the ultimate trump card of our awesomeness.

“So you think the United States should not do X and that country X is has some sort of moral equivalency to us? I tell you what, you think your country is the bees knees, well (cue power point image of the moon) there is the moon, go up there and bring our flag back! Oh and since we already did the hard work of figuring out how to get there and back in the Dark Ages of the 1960’s and I am sure your backward country has stolen that info we are going to up the difficulty level a bit. Once you launch your rocket to the moon we are going to shoot missiles at it. If for some reason we miss and you survive the trip to the moon and back we will shoot missiles at the return vehicle. If you survive that and have your astronaut march in here with our flag the US will proclaim you awesome and listen to what you have to say. If you can’t do that then sit down and shut up!”

2.       Opposite Day Every Day

Did you know that the every permanent member of the UN Security Council  (US, Britian, Russia, France and China) has veto power. Yes, that means that if one of those countries vote’s NO on an issue no matter how many vote yes then it does not pass. So my plan is that anything that Russia, France or China votes YES on then I will automatically vote NO. Typically smart things that the US votes for one of those three vote NO on just to be jerks. I really don’t care if it is a good idea or not, the UN is not about good ideas, I am going to vote opposite of anyone one of those three countries.

“So we are voting to ban the use of landmines because goats keep blowing themselves up. Ok what did France vote on that? Yes? Ok then my vote is NO. Everyone keeps their landmines.”

Simple.

3.       Move the UN out of New York

We were pretty generous when we set up the UN with some prime New York real estate and basically pay for them to live there. They have perfectly good facilities in Geneva and since they can’t stand America or Americans then close up shop in NY and go back. My wife loves chocolate anyway and would love getting some good Swiss Chocolate. So my plan is to ask for President Frank for a couple hundred U-Haul trucks and park them outside of the UN. Let them know that we have stopped paying the light bill and they have until the end of the day to get all their crap out of the building because by tomorrow morning the entire place will be an Indian Casino and I plan on watching a Jeff Dunham show there by the following evening. Achmed cracks me up.

4.       Foreign Aid to be determined by Wipeout.

You know that show where contestants run a wacky obstacle course and bounce off those huge inflatable balls and fall into cold water for a shot at $50,000 bucks? Well imagine what some country’s ambassador would do for a shot at one billion dollars! If you want money from us you have to jump through some hoops and entertain us in the process. The winner gets the Aid package as well as having to sign a document stating how awesome American is and how crappy their country is to have to come a beg us for money. The document will be written in English and whatever language they speak so there will be none of that “Well I said America is Awesome in English, but America is Sucky in my native tongue” nonsense. We have caught onto that trick and will stop pretending we know about it. So you want to beg money from us, no more acting like you deserve the money.

 

So there it is., my application for Ambassador to the UN in the Frank J. Administration. Worthy of a place at the John Bolton Institute of International Diplomacy.

 

Frank J. 2016: Nuke the Moon!

The election is now over and the institutional scab picking now begins. The consensus that is coming out of the media is that the Republicans lost the election because of their focus on social issues. Being against abortion, gay marriage and evolution was the nail in the coffin. This idea is not just coming from the finger wagers on the left who are more than happy to equate the Republican views on social issues (and those that hold them) with knuckle dragging Neanderthals, but from some folks on the right as well.  One of my favorite talks show hosts, Neal Boortz, almost daily nails home the idea that a mindless obsession with abortion cost the election. He shares this idea with one of my favorite folks on the left, Wil Wheaton, who seems to make almost every other one of his Tumblr posts about this issue.

However, I disagree that it was the social ideas of either party that won or lost this election. Social issues were a smokescreen to cover the true reason for the outcome of this election. The election was about getting free stuff. All this social issue stuff was just the cover to make someone feel noble. Saying you voted for Obama because you wanted to stand up for the rights of women, gays or minorities makes you feel better about voting because you wanted free stuff. Republicans were offering some free stuff but not nearly what the Democratic Party was. When you have someone saying that they are not going to pay for your stuff verses someone who says they will pay for your stuff no matter what (and don’t worry about how we are going to pay for it) you can’t beat that.

Some of you may be saying, “Derek, you are wrong. The Republicans hate women and gays and blacks and the poor. They wanted to take away their rights and steal their money to fund wars. I care about the debt and the economy but someone needs to help those people. So I voted on the social issues to help them.” My answer to that is, “Liar.”

You see there was a party out there, The Libertarian Party, that promised nearly all the same things that Democrats claim to support socially. They are for abortion, gay marriage, legalizing drugs and for pulling out of all these wars and never going into another one unless we are attacked. The Libertarian Party received less than 1% of the vote. They promised all the social issues that the Democrats claim to care so passionately about, with the notable exception that you still have to be fiscally responsible. You didn’t vote for them because even though they said you can have all the drugs, abortion or gay marriage you want you just have to pay for them yourselves. They were rejected in droves. They didn’t offer the free stuff and that was the only difference between them and the Democrats.

That is the problem. If all those that tell me that you voted Democrat because of the social issues really believed that we also need to fix our national debt and huge budget deficits you would have voted Libertarian. However, since the Democrats promised the social issue jackpot as well as promising to do nothing substantial about our debt while promising to keep checks going out to everyone on the government life support system, you voted for that. Social issues are a fine thing, and we can debate them all we want, but if we collapse as a country because of debt we will not be around to discuss them.

So there it is. You can’t vote against the guy giving free stuff. As I saw one of my Democratic friends say, “Don’t vote against your own self interest.” So here is my advice to the Republican Party, give up. If you have enough money and can do it then go ahead and pull a John Galt and take the ball and go home. Get out now before you are drained dry. Now to all the others that cannot do that I suggest you do what I call a Reverse-Galt. There is still some borrowed money left in the system, so latch on and suck out as much as you can and squirrel it away. Crash the system so we can start over before they can mold it into a system that only keeps the body politic alive but brain dead and we cannot escape it.

That way it will be hard to promise free stuff when there is no stuff left to be free.