First and foremost, get well soon to one of our favorite journalists, Peter Gammons. Pete Gammons suffered a brain aneurysm on Tuesday and after hours of surgery, is in the ICU in a Boston hospital. A favorite of VFLOAB for years, we wish Pete Gammons a speedy and healthy recovery.
So as we’ve been ‘rolling in the ocean/trying to catch her eye’ over the past few days trying to enjoy this World Cup, a few things have caught our eye. So let’s just get those out of the way.
The Washington Post has an interesting interactive blah, blah, blah on the upcoming MIDTERM elections in Novembers (yeah remember that day we go to a school and we get to choose between cyanide and Sodium thiopental, and then the news makes a big deal out of it, but we see little change but read about corruption, war, and weird sex stories in the newspaper? That’s coming up). So check out the interesting battles that we really should start paying attention too. But then again, I’m not paying attention to shite until the Democrats start paying attention to me and others of us who give this a thumbs down to the War and GOP in general… GOP Lite isn’t going to get the job done guys. Though, we’ll take this new found stance as a good sign… Yay signs! "We're going to do anything it takes to stop the congressional pay raise this year, and we're not going to settle for this year alone," Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said at a Capitol news conference.
"They can play all the games the want," Reid said derisively of the Republicans who control the chamber. "They can deal with gay marriage, estate tax, flag burning, all these issues and avoid issues like the prices of gasoline, sending your kid to college. But we're going to do everything to stop the congressional pay raise."
Okay, so it’s not the greatest thing ever said, but Reid sounds really good until that last sentence (even though we agree with him). It’s interesting that with all this shit going on in this country the GOP is wasting our time and money (remember it’s your tax dollars that pay these morons and their staff) talking about gay marriage and flag burning (two of the most pointless, who gives an eff?, ‘you GOPers do know that people are actually dying in the world today’ type topics in the history of American politics). Isn’t it good to know that with gas prices as high as they are and the cost of higher education almost out of control and the gap being the rich and middle class growing by the minute, not to mention the war in Iraq, that the GOP is tackling tough issues like gay marriage and flag burning? What are we going to say in twenty years when 100 people own everything in this country; we’re all trying to make a few bucks to see the fam in the burbs of some Rust Belt city but can’t make it because Wal-Mart just jacked up their prices? Are we really going to care if Jay Mariotti got married to Ozzie Guillen or that you can’t burn a flag any more? And has anyone ever seen an American burn an American flag? Does this take place a lot in Georgia and I’m just not aware? Someone tell me it actually does happen a lot so it actually sort of doesn’t make sense that they’re even… I AM STOPING BEFORE MY HEAD BLOWS UP.
So we finally, after reading more and more about this Dane Cook guy checked him out on youtube… not funny. Not even kind of funny. In fact, this is four minutes of my life I want back (WARNING: if you watch it, don’t blame me). It’s not even like train wreck funny. It’s just stupid. Yelling, bad dancing, and more yelling isn’t funny. And it never was… I don’t get it…
Just a guess, but this stuff with Gaza, the Israelis, and Palestinians… not going to end well. Why can’t they just all stop being stupid?
I know we’ve been sports (WORLD CUP) heavy here at VFLOAB for the past few weeks, and you probably don’t want to hear about this… but tough. But the fall of Andy Roddick is pretty amazing. We’re closet tennis fans here at VFLOAB as we’ve stated many times, but we’re not even sure what happened to Andy. Maybe it’s the A-Rod nickname… who knows. But James Blake is poised to leave the outskirts of London as the best American tennis player in the world. We think this is a good think. Blake is charismatic, a good story, from Fairfield, CT (good town), and has a really hot girlfriend (even though this is a crappy picture).
50 years ago this month, Ike (President Dwight Eisenhower) signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act which created the modern US interstate highway system. It’s sort of amazing how this law completely changed American life. From the continued growth of the ‘burbs to the rise of companies like Wal-Mart and hotel chains, the Federal-Aid Highway Act pretty much impacted us in more ways than we probably know. And not always for the better. While the interstates helped create the amazing infrastructure that this country has depended on to move people, products, and goods over the years; it’s also had its drawbacks. Most towns in America all look the same, and while we may have regional differences (simply divided: the South, Northeast, Midwest, Planes/Rockies, West, and Texas), it’s nothing like you’d find in the UK or France, let alone Spain or Italy. In a bizarre twist, it’s pretty easy to connect the dots between the death of cities (along with lack of funding especially in the 1980s) to the building of the interstate system. The rise of the ‘burbs, in the end, has been a negative force in this country, disconnecting people from communities and leading more independent and individualistic lives. Well let the Economist finish this off for us:
Carmakers and retailers are not the only ones to relocate because of the interstates. People have too. Besides linking distant places to each other, the system has encircled many urban areas with “beltways”, which let motorists move between surrounding suburbs without having to bother with the cities. Once commuters began whizzing (on a good day) around those beltways, centrifugal force did the rest, propelling office space, staff and tax revenues away from the centre…
The interstates replaced social interaction and serendipity with speed and efficiency, and some have lamented the change ever since. By 1962 John Steinbeck was writing about the disappearance of antique stores, factory outlets and “roadside stands selling squash juice”. He complained that the new roads would make it “possible to drive from New York to California without seeing a single thing.”
The interstates paved the way for fast food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken, which set up shop near the access ramps. Besides changing the way that motorists eat, the new highways also transformed the ways in which companies moved their goods. One reason that Wal-Mart became a cost-cutting behemoth was because it exploited the logistical advantages of the new system faster than its competitors did.