I've moved — check out my new blog at cassyfiano.com!

Redirecting in 10 seconds...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Video of the Day

LOL time!

Sad thing is, I think a lot of them actually think this way.

Hat Tip: The Jawa Report

Guess I don't swear enough, huh?

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

I got this from Rachel Lucas, who weighed in just short of "f-bomb".

Should I be embarassed? I feel like a prude now. I don't swear a lot on my blog, because that's not what you come here for, right? Right?

Well, I guess I'll be a little edgy and drop a random "shit" and "asshole". Just to up my rating a bit.

Serious blogging resuming shortly.

Want to date a hot conservative woman?

Then you should go check out the new article on just that at Right Wing News: Interviewing Six Conservative Female Bloggers on Dating. I was one of the bloggers my friend John interviewed (and there's pictures of all six of us, by the way!), along with another friend of mine, Melissa Clouthier. We were also joined by four other talented ladies, who I do not know but respect very much: Karol Sheinin of Alarming News, Sharon Soon from Conservatives with Attitude, Michelle Odis from Human Events, and Dawn Eden.

We were asked about the difference in dating conservatives and liberals, about our pet peeves, why we think women have such bad luck in dating... the article runs the gamut. The article has some liberals all in a tizzy -- maybe it's because I said stuff like this:
I tend not to date liberals, for a reason. Politics is so important to what I do and I follow it so much. I can't respect a guy who's liberal all that much because it makes me question his intelligence. So, that's a big minus because I'm thinking how smart can this guy be if he thinks John Kerry is a great politician? (Laughs) If he thinks Barack Obama would be a great President, I think, gee, how bright could this guy be?

Go check it out. Read the whole thing, if you're interested in the opinions of six beautiful, intelligent women on dating. And come on, why wouldn't you be? (wink, wink)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another good year for Planned Parenthood

Remember when I reported on the record high profits that Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organization, received last year?
Business at Planned Parenthood is going very well. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) just released their annual report for the 2005 - 2006 fiscal year. The nonprofit organization performed a record 264,943 abortions, attained a high profit of $55.8 million, and received record taxpayer funding of $305.3 million.

$55.8 million profit? Baby-killing is a pretty lucrative business, I guess.

Well, their report for the 2006 - 2007 fiscal year is even better. They made over $1 billion in profits.
A new annual report from Planned Parenthood shows the nation's largest abortion business has made over $1 billion in income for the first time in its history. The non-profit pro-abortion group shows the historical gain in its new annual report covering 2006-2007.

While Planned Parenthood made $972 milion in its 2005-2006 annual report, last fiscal year it brought in $1.017 billion.

On its web site posting of the annual document, Planned Parenthood says it "highlights our advancements in providing and protecting trusted health care services and medically accurate sexuality education."

Instead, the report finds Planned Parenthood doing more abortions than ever before.

The report shows an increase in the number of provided abortions from 264,943 in 2005 to 289,650 in 2006.

Planned Parenthood reveals it has doubled “excess of revenue over expenses” funds from $55.7 million in 2005 to $112 million in 2006.

Of concern to pro-life groups, Planned Parenthood acknowledges the receipt of over $336 million in government grants and contracts from both state and federal governments. However, the abortion business provides no breakdown showing how much Planned Parenthood received from the federal government or specifics states.

Maybe this is a dumb question. But at what point does the government take away your non-profit status? I'd think reporting over $1 billion in profits would be a pretty big red flag.

Here is what Planned Parenthood is getting so wealthy off of:

For every murdered infant, Planned Parenthood is getting roughly $3,500.

Maybe that's why Planned Parenthood tries to convince so many confused girls that there are no other options, that it isn't a baby (just a blob of flesh!), that their parents don't need to know, to not wait a few days to think it over, and that there won't be any harmful side effects -- baby-killing is an incredibly lucrative business! Remember Lila Rose?

Michelle Malkin even did a Vent on the subject:

Safe, legal, and rare?

Don't kid yourself.

Hat Tip: Moonbattery and Free Republic

The most exciting movie announcement of the year!

Oliver Stone is making a new movie... about President Bush! Woohoo!
Director Oliver Stone has set James Cromwell to play George Herbert Walker Bush and Ellen Burstyn to play former first lady Barbara Bush in "W," a drama about the formative years of their son, President George W. Bush.
Josh Brolin is playing the title character, and Elizabeth Banks will play first lady Laura Bush.

Stone will direct from a script by his “Wall Street” co-writer Stanley Weiser. Moritz Borman is producing with Bill Block and Jon Kilik.

Block's QED International is financing the film, which will begin shooting Shreveport, La., at the end of April.

Cromwell recently made another fact-based foray in a film about an iconic political figure: He played Prince Philip alongside Helen Mirren in "The Queen."

Stone was calling the project "Bush" when he began showing it to buyers (Daily Variety, Jan. 21), but the filmmakers are now calling it "W." The film is expected to be ready for distribution possibly by the November presidential elections and certainly before Bush leaves the White House in January.

Is it too early to start taking bets on how craptacular this is going to be?

And how about that casting? Fantastic, huh? Here are pictures:

Josh Brolin

Elizabeth Banks

James Cromwell

Ellen Burstyn

They look just like these people:

President George W. Bush

First Lady Laura Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush

Former First Lady Barbara Bush

I guess with the magic of movie make-up, it doesn't really matter. Raw, seething hatred of Republicans and a healthy dose of BDS is much more important. And let's face it, that's pretty plentiful in Hollywood, isn't it?

And of course, the very fact that it is an Oliver Stone movie means we can expect it to be chock-full of inaccuracies, lies, twisted facts, paranoia, embellishments, and conspiracy theories. Look at his past movies.

Let's use Alexander as our first example. He turned one of the greatest military leaders in the history of mankind into a homosexual mama's boy with horrific blond hair and a penchant for throwing temper tantrums.

Then there are his past political movies: Nixon, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July... all hyper-paranoid, conspiracy theory filled psychotic movies.

It's surely what we can look forward to with W.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Obama's Rev. Wright: Israel created a dirty bomb to kill Arabs and Blacks

More from Obama's spiritual advisor and pastor of twenty years, the oh-so-noble Rev. Wright.

Here's the money quote:
I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the White Supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis were given a blank check; they could test whenever they desired and did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb that killed Blacks and Arabs.

Now, I'm no physicist or chemist or anything like that. But I have to wonder... how is it that you can make an "ethnic bomb" that will only kill Blacks and Arabs, and leave the Jews and Whitey immune? I can see it now: we put a bunch of white racists, Jews, Blacks, and Arabs into a room and discharge this "ethnic" bomb. Only the Jews and Whitey will be left standing! Woohoo!

This was published in a church bulletin during "Family Month" (see Media Mythbusters for the image), in which Wright claims its a "great honor" to be labeled a terrorist state by the United States, a la Libya.

C'mon, didn't you know that Libya wasn't really a terrorist state, but was simply trying to overthrow oppression of Whitey in Africa?


Oh well. Aren't you glad to know that this is someone who Barack Obama keeps very close to him? These are just the kind of opinions we need advisors whispering into our President's ear.

Hat Tip: Moonbattery

Dumbest. Criminals. Ever.

Here's your non-important news story of the day.

Two men walk into a building. They claim to have guns, and demand that the lady behind the counter hand over all her cash.

Now, I worked in banking for 3+ years. We're well-trained on how to handle robberies, so much so that I was never, not once afraid of being robbed (violent robberies, with teller-line takeovers, are very rare, but that would scare me shitless -- most bank robberies are fairly straightforward). Comply with the robbers. Give them everything they want. All the money is insured, so just let it go. Don't fight with them, don't talk back. Just give them the money and let them go. No biggie.

You are not supposed to do what this woman did, which is run for help.

Except these two robbers weren't robbing a bank. They weren't robbing a gas station or a liquor store.

They were robbing a police station.

http://view.break.com/473917 - Watch more free videos

It took approximately 2.2 seconds for police officers to calmly walk out in a single file line with their guns drawn. The two idiots were taken down in about, oh, 4 seconds.

Now, robbing a bank (in my opinion) is incredibly stupid. With fingerprinting, dye packs, cameras recording your every move, evidence you may leave behind (like the robbery note)... it makes it pretty easy to get caught. But robbing a police station?

What were they thinking?!

Hat Tip: Ace of Spades

More patriotism from Michelle Obama

I have to say, I am really loving this Democratic race these past few months. I wonder if either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton understand what they're doing to themselves the longer they drag this out, the more they talk, the more skeletons that inevitably come out. But hey, by all means, keep it up! They're both doing a great job.

Here's some more, uh, patriotism from that America-loving couple, Barack and Michelle Obama. Michelle once again takes on the task of being the official idiotic mouthpiece for her husband, with glorious results:

Money quote:
Because sometimes it’s easier to hold on to your own stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That’s America. So the challenge for us is are we ready for change?

Wouldn't it be just great to have a President and First Lady with such unabashed, seething hatred for their country?

This speech is, apparently, from January so it's a little bit old. But it's just yet another example of how the Obamas do not love America, not even a little bit. This is a horrible, terrible, hate-filled, racist, greedy country, and we need the Obamas to come and offer us their magical change, and they'll fix everything for us! All we have to do is hand over control of our entire lives to them and their big government. They know better than we do, us small-minded, racist Americans.

Rachel Lucas has a pretty good take on this:
... I don’t know what kind of time-space continuum Michelle Obama lives in, but in my world, there are only 24 hours in a day, which would preclude meeting every single student at your college. Maybe that’s the reason the kids she was talking to might not be pals with all the others?

No, we have to assume that every action taken by every person (especially Whitey) has something to do with wanting to avoid diversity, having stereotypical ideas of other races, and operating on misconceptions, all fulminating in proof that we’re ignorant because that’s how Amerikkka is.

So are you ready for the challenge of change? I know I am. I’ll start today by introducing myself to every single person in my immediate area, especially the non-white ones, because it’s time to get out of my comfort zone of prejudice and ignorance. Forget the job and everything else I have to do each day, what’s really important here is that I take advantage of living in a diverse community.

They’re doing it. They’re fixing my broken American soul, one step at a time. Hopechange!

I'd personally love to see some change from the Obamas. How about less people surrounding them who are race-baiting, hate-filled, America-condemning racists, instead of happily making them their pastor, friend, and spiritual and political advisor? How about we start with that change?

Speaking of Jeremiah Wright, he now has been criticizing Italians, calling them "garlic noses" and blaming Italians (huh?!) for Jesus' death.

Michelle, change your own stereotypes and misconceptions. Change your perceptions, get rid of your own racism. Until you do that, don't you dare preach to us measly little Americans about the changes we need to make.

Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flashback Video of the Day

Here's a flashback video for today, of when Obama refused to put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem.

There's no real reason to post this. I'm just doing it because I can. So THERE.

Here's a little reminder on just what exactly is required during the playing of the National Anthem, since there seems to be some debate on it:
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.

When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

"Saluting" basically breaks down like this. If you are an active member of the military, in uniform, you stand at attention with a right-hand salute. If you are a retired member of the military, you stand at attention with your right hand over your heart (although many still salute the flag anyways). Civilians with no hat on their head stand with their hand over their heart. Civilians with a hat on their head stand, remove their hat, and place their hat over their heart. The end.

Of course, if I was Barack Obama, my defense would've been that I wasn't sure if it was the National Anthem being sung. It took me a few seconds to realize that The Star Spangled Banner was what was being sung! I mean, that was absolutely horrendous. Was she just making up how the song went as she sang? It sure didn't sound like any rendition of the National Anthem I've ever heard.

Hat Tip: Tammy Bruce

Doing the assaulting that Americans won't do

Here's a story about the kinds of contributions we can increasingly look forward to as more and more illegal immigrants flood our porous borders:
A Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy is recovering after being ambushed while making an arrest. Investigators say Lake County Deputy Cliff McMikeenamy responded to a noise complaint near Long Acres Road in Sorento Sunday evening. While on scene, the deputy said an unknown suspect threw a beer bottle at his patrol car. McMikeenamy chased the suspect down and attempted to subdue him with a taser gun but before the deputy could secure the man, about a dozen other men attacked the deputy. "As he was securing the subject with his handcuffs, several other people here at the residence began attacking him. They struck him repeatedly, began kicking him, and his injuries lead us to believe that one subject even struck him over the head with a beer bottle,” said Sergeant John Herrell from the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Deputy McMikeenamy was transported to a Florida Hospital Waterman in Eustis and treated for cuts and bruises. At least two men were taken into custody. Authorities say the two who were apprehended have been identified as illegal immigrants.

And before anyone gives me that crap about how all illegal immigrants aren't criminals, and it isn't fair to paint them with this kind of broad brush, stuff it. The very act of coming here illegally is breaking the law; remember that as the MSM starts canonizing illegal immigrants for sainthood.

And it is, after all, a little bit interesting how much crime seems to increase in areas with high populations of illegal immigrants.

They're just doing the assaulting Americans won't do.

Hat Tip: Neal Boortz

Sex offender wants to run for mayor of Dallas suburb

A registered sex offender collared in an Internet sting four years ago is running for mayor of a small Dallas suburb.
James Brian Sliter (SLY'-ter) says he's sorry and needs to prove he can be an asset to his community. The 42-year-old was arrested after arranging sex with someone he met on the Internet who he thought was a 15-year-old girl.

Sliter was placed on 10 years of probation for attempting to commit sexual assault of a child. The case will eventually be dismissed if he stays out of trouble.

Sliter says he's not asking residents of the suburb of Wilmer to condone what he did. He just wants them to forgive him and give him a chance.

Current Mayor Don Hudson says a sex offender serving as mayor will put a stigma on the city.

Needs to prove he can be an asset to the city? Prove it to who? Is he doing this to fix his reputation or because he actually is qualified to be mayor of this city? This reeks of liberalism. I don't know what party he wants to run for (given that it isn't listed in the story, my guess would be Democrat), but it's such a liberal point-of-view to do something to make yourself feel better. It will hurt this poor wittle sex-offenders feewwings, see, if Wilmer residents don't let him prove himself, if they don't forgive him... for trying to have sex with a 15-year-old! But who cares? If it feels good, do it!

I would say that no resident in their right mind would vote this guy into office. But the names Kwame Kilpatrick, Marion Barry, and Ray Nagin are coming to mind.

And the current mayor's response is just priceless. A sex offender serving as mayor will put a stigma on the city?!

Uh... you think?!

The fact that this is even being considered, that this is even in the news, is sad. Sad, sad, sad. Why would anyone give this guy the time of day? The appropriate response to a sex offender wanting to run for office is either a middle finger to the face, or loud laughter followed by a slamming door. This guy shouldn't get even the tiniest modicum of respectability.

Aw, but he's sorry, so we should just let it go, right? Right, liberals? He didn't actually hurt anyone (although not for lack of trying). If he wants to run for mayor, we should just let him, right?

Jeez. How about we throw this guy in jail rather than only giving him probation for trying to have sex with a child and never, ever letting him come into any kind of contact with a child again for the rest of his life? How about that?

Hat Tip: Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

How dare Taco Bell let a supermodel be photographed?!

Feministing brings us today's outraged-over-nothing report, with Taco Bell's Mysogynist Hot Sauce (I'm not kidding).

The feminists are complaining about Taco Bell's new ad campaign, called "Direct Daniella", in which they've partnered up with Sports Illustrated to give some lucky customer the chance to be the photographer in a Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition photo shoot.

They are, of course, offended and simply OUTRAGED!:
One of our readers sent us an email recently, rightfully confused as to why Taco Bell's hot sauce packets are now printed with a website that leads you to perhaps the creepiest ad campaign ever. "Direct Daniella" has the user follow around a swimsuit model, taking pictures of her in a weird stalkerish webcam way.

Reader Karlen wrote, "What this has to do with lousy 'Mexican' fast food is beyond me." Indeed. So I did a little digging. Turns out, Taco Bell has joined up with Sports Illustrated to promote the magazine's swimsuit issue.

Exotic, huh? It's like a big ole chalupa of sexism and grossness wrapped in some fetishization of women of color. De-licious.

See, folks, not only is this campaign steeped in sexism, but there's also some racism, fetishization, and all around creepiness.

Because Taco Bell is letting a regular Joe photograph a supermodel rather than a "professional".

Last time I checked, wasn't the entire point of modeling to, uh, have your picture taken? Am I missing something? I'm female, and I'm pretty unoffended by this.

Oh, that's right! I forgot. I've been brainwashed by the establishment. I clearly can't be thinking straight, since I don't buy into the feminist orthodoxy of perpetual outrage, where men are all EEEEEEEVIL!. Got it.

Here's how Taco Bell, the evil mysogynists themselves, describe the promotion:
Imagine standing on the shores of an exotic beach, the warm sand beneath your feet while the sun glistens off your back. You are enjoying the sound of the waves crashing behind you, when suddenly a gorgeous supermodel walks up and asks, “Are you my photographer?” Welcome to Taco Bell’s Direct Daniella interactive experience.

Taco Bell® has teamed up with Sports Illustrated and 2008 swimsuit model Daniella Sarahyba to create a one-of-a-kind online swimsuit photo shoot, Direct Daniella, where users become the photographer with the exotic Brazilian beauty. Virtual photographers can get behind the lens beginning on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at www.DirectDaniella.com.


Visitors to the site will “direct” Daniella in their very own online photo shoot, set on the beautiful beaches of Grand Cayman Island. The site will feature several scenes of exclusive footage that visitors will be able to choose from for Daniella’s shoot including the model playing volleyball, lying on the beach, and lounging in a hammock. Interactive photographers can tap into their creative side and select different angles and settings to capture the perfect shot of Daniella. The site also allows users to share their photos with friends by sending them a site link or downloading their own images.

“The hotly anticipated Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is a great vehicle to reach our core target, and we wanted to involve them from a unique, personalized perspective,” said David Ovens, Chief Marketing Officer, Taco Bell Corp. “Direct Daniella.com is a fun way to engage with our consumers online, getting them inside a swimsuit photo shoot. To grab their attention in-store, we’re utilizing more than 208 million limited-edition purple Direct Daniella.com Hot Border Sauce Packets during the promotion, the first time it has been printed without its iconic ‘sauce wisdoms’.”

Yes. This is truly shocking. Directing a supermodel for a photo shoot -- what was Taco Bell thinking?! And promoting this sexist crap on their sauce packets?! Horrible, absolutely horrible. Women everywhere will suffer because of this, I am telling you. Things like this are why women in the United States are still victims!

And this Daniella... she may think she is a willing participant. But she's just been brainwashed by the EEEEEEVIL! patriarchal establishment. She doesn't really understand what she's getting into, and therefore, this is not just mysogynistic, but sexual harassment as well! Taco Bell is forcing some poor Brazilian girl to parade around a swimsuit in the Caribbean for the enjoyment of men against her will! How dare they?!

Here's a picture of Daniella, which I think pretty clearly shows that she doesn't have much of a problem with parading around in next to nothing in exotic locales, so what these women are whining about is beyond me:

Stories like this are exactly the problem with feminism today. This is why, by and large, the majority of Americans (both male and female) ignore the feminist establishment. Women have, for the most part, achieved equality in the United States. Sure, there are some isolated incidences of sexual harassment or sexism. But it isn't a problem we face every day in the United States anymore. And fighting abortion, my friends, does not count as fighting for "women's rights". Places where women truly are oppressed, like in the Middle East, are almost completely ignored by Gloria Steinem and co. But here in America, feminists don't have much to complain about anymore, so they find ridiculous things to whine and scream about, even when it's a non-story, like this one, rather than focusing on fighting real oppression around the world.

Feminists: GROW UP. Stop overreacting. When you're ready to act like big girls, maybe then we'll start taking you seriously.

Oh, but wait. I'm a female conservative, and therefore, I'm a whore for Republicans and am brainwashed by the male establishment. Disregard everything I just said. Clearly, I can't have come up with these thoughts all on my own.

Video of the Day

Here's your video of the day. It's of Hillary and Chelsea Clinton's death-defying run across the tarmac in Tuzla, Bosnia, fleeing from the terrifying shots of sniper fire all around them!

Did that look terrifying or death-defying to anyone?

Anyone at all?

C'mon, Hillary, you're supposed to be one of the smartest, most ruthless politicians out there! I'm getting disappointed here.

First of all, of all the trips overseas she may have taken, why on Earth would she choose to lie about a trip on which a CBS news crew and two celebrities accompanied her? I mean, jeez, woman, at least pick a trip in which it isn't so easy for people to prove that you're an incredible liar.

Second, she talks about how she was sent on trips that were too dangerous for the President to go on. If that was the case, then why would she bring her daughter along? Obviously, she wasn't being sent anywhere with that high of a danger level -- either that, or she's the world's worst parent with absolutely no concern for her daughter's well-being, if she's willing to bring her daughter with her to these danger zones.

Third, it's disturbing watching her lie so smoothly. It isn't surprising in the least, but it is unsettling. She doesn't even flinch. Lying, to her, comes as naturally as breathing. It's the entire foundation of the Clinton administration.

I know she wants to psych up her "experience" because, you know, she has none, but isn't she at least smart enough to make up credible stories?


Oh well.

Keep on talking, Hillary, sweetie. The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is loving this! You go, girl!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Summing up conservative support for John McCain...

... in a single bumper sticker.

'Nuff said.

Teaching kids to lose weight... en Espanol!

Check out this ad I saw on TV for childhood obesity prevention, sponsored by the U.S. Government:

Yep. All in Spanish. Here in the United States.

My blood boiled when I saw it.

It brought to mind a particular quote (emphasis mine):
In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
- Theodore Roosevelt, January 3, 1919

Roosevelt also told the Kansas City Star in 1918 that "Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or to leave the country... English should be the only language taught or used in the public schools."

What a switch, huh? Not only is English not the national language, but it isn't the only language taught in our schools, and we have ads commissioned by our own government in Spanish.

Also, does anyone think that this does Spanish-speaking children any favors? Coddling them won't help them assimilate. It's fine for them to grow up here in the U.S. speaking Spanish, but if we expect them to be able to grow up as productive adults, then they need to learn English. And that isn't going to happen if we're accomodating them with Spanish at every turn.

Anti-war thugs protest Easter Mass

Following in the grand tradition of anti-war thugs perfectly willing to resort to violence and bullying in order to get their way, comes the newest story of anti-war assholes.

A group of anti-war protestors calling themselves "Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War" burst into Easter Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago to protest the war, squirting fake blood on themselves and parishioners.
Six people were arrested at Holy Name parish's auditorium Sunday after disrupting an Easter mass to protest the Iraq war.

The group—whose female and male members identified themselves as Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War—stood up at the beginning of Cardinal Francis George's homily and shouted their opposition to the conflict, which marked its fifth anniversary last week. As security guards and ushers tried to remove them from the service, the demonstrators squirted fake blood on themselves and parishioners dressed in their Easter finery.

The red substance, which one protester later described as "stage blood," initially drew gasps and a few terrified yelps from the 600 worshipers at the mass. The shock, however, quickly transformed into anger as people booed the six while they were escorted from the parish auditorium.

"Even the pope calls for peace," the demonstrators chanted as they left. "Even the pope calls for peace."

"And so should we all," said George, drawing strong applause from the parish.

The protesters were all charged with felony criminal damage to property and two counts of simple battery for squirting the blood around the auditorium and onto worshipers' clothes, authorities said. Chicago police identified the six arrested as Donte D. Smith, 18; Ephran Ramirez Jr., 22; Ryane Ziemba, 25; Mercedes Phinaih, 18; Regan Maher, 25; and Angela Haban, 20.

George returned to his Easter homily without further addressing the disruption. A small number of worshipers, however, followed the protesters into the lobby to berate them for disrupting the service and frightening children in attendance.

"Are you happy with yourselves?" Mike Wainscott of Chicago shouted at the demonstrators as they were being handcuffed. "There were kids in there. You scared little kids with your selfish act. Are you happy now?"

In a statement issued Sunday afternoon by Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, the group said it protested at Holy Name "to reach both Holy Name's large Easter audience—including Chicago's most prominent Catholic citizens, who commonly attend Easter mass at the church—and the many more viewers and readers of the local press, which usually extensively covers their services."

Here's video:

Do people like this really think that by protesting Easter Mass they're going to accomplish anything? I mean, honestly now. Did they think that this would endear people to their cause?

Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War describe themselves as:
... a humorous, political street threatre group composed of college students and young adults. The group was formed in October of 2006 and meets twice per month.

Does anyone find their little stunt "humorous"?

What's interesting about these kinds of anti-war thugs is how unwilling they are to have a rational debate. They just can't bring themselves to actually talk to those on the other side, to listen to what we have to say -- probably because they know that if they did, they'd lose. So they have to resort to these tactics to "win".

Interestingly, the DUmmies covered this story as well, and seemed to be split on their opinions with this protest. Some felt it was out of line. Some thought it was perfectly acceptable. Others thought that it was only out of line because it would be bad PR, and even a few conspiracy theories (it was really us warmongers!). Here's a sampling:
There is a time and place for everything. This was neither the time nor the place. Now I am sure people in here will flame me because it always happens when I express an opinion, but f*ck it. I don't care. I am sticking by it. So I repeat, not the time, not the place. After all, Jesus was anti war. So why try to interrupt his celebration with this shit?

I agree. The Mass was a celebration in honor of the most peaceful human being to ever walk the Earth. If we lived by the rules he tried to teach us, we would truly live in peace.

"The most peaceful human being to ever walk the earth . . . " - you have got to be joking, right? First of all, there's lively debate as to whether the figure historically known as "Jesus of Nazareth" even existed. Even if the person did exist and even if the Synoptic Gospels give a reasonably reliable account of his teachings (highly questionable), the figure of the Synoptic Gospels alternates between radical pacifism and calls for violent radical change. (I can't bring the scriptural references to mind right now, but they are there within the first four Gospels.)

I agree. It was not the right time in the middle of Easter Sunday mass. They made many more enemies than friends.

this was the exact time and place for this. if this church is like our local catholic church - pushing the war and support for Bush.

this is the exact time and place for this. Americans, including Catholics really need to get out of the bubble. Who cares if this upset the churchgoers. It's time to think about how the rest of the world is being inconvenienced by illegal invasions and killing. I am glad these six young people protested where they knew it would get media coverage......maybe it will wake up the comatose !

Disrupting an Easter Mass is an outrage. I don't care what your opinion of the war or the church is. This was a bullshit act and these persons should be charged with a hate crime.

When U.S. bombs... actually fell on mosques in Iraq five years ago, killing people ... now THAT was an outrage.

Nobody got hurt ,,, just reminded in Chicago.

My thoughts exactly. It makes us look as bad as 'them' if not worse on this special day.

Lydia Leftcoast:
Unlike the AIDS protests, this is totally whacko because for the most part, the Catholic church hierarchy is anti-war.

It's so far off the mark that I wonder if it has been done by agents provocateurs to discredit the anti-war movement, sort of like the masked "anarchists" who smashed windows at the WTO conference in Seattle.

And on and on. What's interesting is that the majority opinion seems to be that what they were doing was OK, just not where. Nothing wrong with squirting blood on innocent people, just don't do it in a church! Reserve your hatred and thuggery for those who deserve, like our military recruiting centers, right, DUmmies?

The entire act was an outrage, made even worse by carrying it out during Easter Mass. There was no reason for that. There's no real reason for these kind of protests, period -- why is it there's no such thing as "peaceful" protesting? -- but don't try to convince people like this idiots of that.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin

Friday, March 21, 2008

Loving your wife -- and not being ashamed -- makes you whipped

According to GQ, anyways.

They just released a list of the 25 Most Whipped Husbands. Some of them, like Guy Ritchie, are kind of understandable (especially when the picture accompanying has Madonna and Ritchie leaving a "store" with Madonna carrying a strap-on). But some of them made my blood boil.

A few examples:
  • Doug Christie
    A running joke among NBA fans holds that giving a friend a jersey emblazoned with the Sacramento Kings’ number 13 is a none too subtle indication that your buddy is terminally whipped. The swingman’s wife, Jackie, followed him on the road, where in a typical game she was treated to as many as fifty hand signals of love and affirmation. In 2002 his public subjugation was celebrated in the sports pages of The New York Times, where Christie boasted: “Every conversation I’ve ever had with a woman since we’ve been married, besides my wife, she knows about.”

  • Kurt Warner
    The ex-Marine and born-again Christian—that’s Mrs. Warner, by the way—has raised the ire of NFL fans with her unwelcome pronouncements on her husband’s career, her aggressive evangelism, and her mushy postgame kisses. Fans have compared Brenda to Yoko Ono and Gozer from Ghostbusters, but her MVP remains loyal to a fault. When the journeyman QB learned he’d be playing in the Pro Bowl, he sent her a bunch of roses with a note reading “This is a great day for me, but it would mean nothing without you there to share it.” Sheds some light on that groin pull in 2005, doesn’t it?

  • Keith Urban
    First he supposedly signed a prenup agreement that pays him $600,000 for each year he’s together with his Oscar-winning bride, Nicole Kidman—and not a dime should he fall off the wagon, which he’s inclined to do. He entered rehab four months after their 2006 wedding. Maybe that’s why he told an interviewer, “I don’t want to be away from my wife for more than two weeks—I prefer it to be even less.”

  • Seal
    He started dating wife Heidi Klum while she was pregnant with another man’s baby, he says he’s crazy about his in-laws, and his pals claim he even digs changing dirty diapers. Either he’s whipped or the Light FM fixture has stumbled into the perfect marriage. As Heidi told Oprah last October, she fell in love with Seal the minute she saw him: “I met him in a hotel lobby in New York, and he just came from the gym, and I was like, wow... I pretty much saw everything. The whole package.”

  • Mark Consuelos
    When asked if he’d ever dated older women before hooking up with wife Kelly Ripa, the actor and Age of Love host replied, “I don’t remember life before Kelly.” Adorable.

    Yes, these are some true examples of horrible whippage -- telling your wife about conversations he has with other women! Changing diapers! Public declarations of love! Putting your wife above your accomplishments! Not wanting to be without your wife!

    I've written about how I don't like the new breed of whipped men. But this is just ridiculous.

    Guys, don't fall for this GQ bullshit. A real man isn't ashamed of loving his wife, and he isn't ashamed to say so, or to put her first. A real man isn't ashamed of changing diapers. Our men may need to toughen it up, but that does not include the examples here. Don't fall for it.
  • TMZ: Recovering missing soldiers is a "ridiculous waste"

    TMZ, the celebrity gossip site, has taken a break from posting about Britney's crotch shots, celebrity sex tapes, fashion scandals, and American Idol to opine about taxes and the military. Here's what they had to say:
    Former "Bachelor" bachelor Andy Baldwin just got back from the island of Palau in the South Pacific -- not on vacation, on a mission with the Navy. Now let's talk about why we the taxpayers are footing the bill on such BS.

    Baldwin was among 20 military types who were on a search mission in the middle of the ocean. What, you ask, were they looking for? A B-24J bomber that went down during the war. Not Iraq. Not Vietnam. No, not Korea. We're talking WWII, as in more than 60 years ago.

    Turns out, the military spends $52 million each year to find the remains of missing soldiers -- it's part of the POW/MIA program. That's all well and good depending on the circumstances. But a crash that is ancient history, at a time when the economy sucks and the Federal government is sucking the life out of everyone with taxes??

    Baldwin, a Navy medic and diver, and crew found what could be human remains. We're told it's all being tested in the lab and it could take months, even years, to determine identities. At least he got a really good tan.

    A poll accompanied the story asking, "Ridiculous waste?", which 48% of TMZ readers responded, "Yes".

    How, pray tell, is recovering the missing bodies of soldiers who died defending our freedoms considered a "ridiculous waste" of time and money? Bringing home the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for us is the least we can do for them. It's a commitment we make to them -- in fact, accompanying the popular POW/MIA bracelets, stickers, and care decals is often the phrase "Until They All Come Home" -- and no, lefties, that does not mean cutting-and-running. It means that we won't leave any of our soldiers left behind, that we'll bring them home, no matter where they are or how much it costs to bring them home.

    We have an example here in Florida of the torture it is to the families of soldiers whose fate is unknown: Scott Speicher. Scott was originally from Kansas City, KA but moved to Jacksonville, which he then made his home. He joined the Navy, becoming a pilot. He ranked as a Lieutenant Commander. His F-18 Hornet was shot down by an Iraqi surface-to-air-missile on January 18, 1991. He was originally listed as killed in action, but his status was changed to "missing-captured" in 2001. The Navy released a report saying that there was no credible evidence to conclude that he perished in the crash, and believe that he is being held by Iraqi insurgents to this day.

    Speicher's name is listed on the Duval County Veteran's Memorial Wall, however --a monument erected to remember Duval County residents who have perished fighting our country's wars. No one knows for sure what happened to Speicher, though -- whether he is alive or dead. The Navy is still searching for him.

    The lack of information surrounding Scott Speicher's whereabouts are torturous to his family, but also to the entire Jacksonville community. "Free Scott Speicher!" bumper stickers are a regular sight when driving around town.

    Would TMZ consider it a waste if the military was able to tell the Speichers, and his community, what fate befell him? To be able to give him a proper burial, if he did perish, or rescue him, if he is still alive yet being held prisoner?

    It is our responsibility to bring back Scott Speicher and all of his comrades, whether alive or dead.

    If TMZ can't understand that, then that's unfortunate for them. And maybe they should just stick to writing about things they do understand, like the differences between female celebrities' genitals.

    Thankfully, a good number of their readers were insulted, as they obviously understand how important it is to bring our men home. Here were some of the responses:
    The military is committed to recover their own. If there is a chance to find the remains of a relative, they will do it. This is a small price the US Government pays to provide service members' families peace of mind.

    Spoken by someone who has never lost a loved-one to battle. Stick to following stars, TMZ. Your commentary on US spending leaves something to be desired.

    -Someone who opposes war (old and new) but who supports the veterans (old and new) who have fought them.

    How could this even be spoken as a possible waste? Many soldiers in any war have been MIA. These family members would give anything to find out what happened to their loved ones and give proper respect and burial. TMZ's stance is pretty clear. Very Sad, Very Sad

    I don't think it is too much, not considering they gave their lives for the freedom of this country and the freedom you have right now to report on this story and like the freedom I have to view it and comment on it.

    Any American soldier that dies in a ANY war has a right to be brought home for burial! The peeps that think it is a waste obviously don't have any family in the military........

    You children at TMZ have no idea of what you are talking about (again)...this program makes certain that we will bring our heroes home, no matter what, for their final resting place. Not all deaths occur in lands where the people are grateful, like the cemeteries in France...and not all deaths occur where an immediate retrieval is a possibility.

    Wow, "TMZ Staff." I hope you never have to go through the experience of never knowing what happened to a missing serviceman/woman in your family. These "human remains" which you call such a waste of time and money to identify because they're, what -- too old??? -- are some family's sons, brothers, fathers, even grandfathers. Your coverage I usually find amusing and fun, but this is really callous. Have any of you "TMZ Staff" given ANY amount of time to your country (let alone your life)? Or is your definition of 'danger' the possibility of being run over by Britney Spears? Shame on you. And guess what, I'm a Democrat who is against the war but FOR our servicemen, of ALL ages in ALL wars. Go back to your hanging around on the sidewalk waiting for some vapid star to exit a coffee shop. God Bless servicemen and women who help protect America, in ANY war or action, and YOUR FREEDOM to report and OUR FREEDOM to read about every idiot star's beach butt or denial to a club.


    You obviously have no idea what the word "sacrafice" means. These men DIED protecting our country. Now I know that you liberal hollywood types find this notion hard to understand but some people do love the American way of life. It's much easier to hide a continent away and criticize every move this country makes than to put on a uniform and fight. If there was only $1 left in the budget it should go to this recovery effort because without those pilots there would not be an America. Get a clue and stick to the celebs. You people are a disgrace and a joke. I think Britney just left for the gas station. Now run along.

    Those sacred bones belong to US.

    The sacrifice made must be honored and respected.

    I object to Welfare, giving money to people who can but refuse to work!

    Hat Tip: Hot Air

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Hillary's records released

    Today, the National Archives released over 11,000 pages detailing Hillary Clinton's life as First Lady.

    Remember how she says her experience as First Lady qualifies her to be President? Boy, was she right! Check out her duties!
    She had speeches scheduled, at home and abroad. She appeared by Bill Clinton's side at an education event where he angrily dismissed the reports of his womanizing. And if that were not enough, there was his State of the Union address.

    Her schedule has her choosing flowers for a black-tie dinner, congratulating "Guns Aren't Cool" award winners and reading to kids in the week in January 1998 that upended her life and threatened his presidency. She denounced a "vast right-wing conspiracy" in a TV interview.

    The National Archives in Washington and former President Clinton's presidential library in Arkansas jointly released the first lady's schedules after months of pressure from critics who say the Clintons were delaying the disclosure. The issue has dogged Clinton in her bid for the White House.


    In all, 11,046 pages have been made available. Nearly 4,800 pages have parts blacked out. Archivists said that's to protect the privacy of third parties. Schedules for more than 30 days of activities were not included in this release.

    Mrs. Clinton's ordeal during the Monica Lewinsky scandal followed her own legal troubles in 1996 during the criminal investigation of the Clintons' Whitewater real estate dealings in Arkansas.

    In the Whitewater probe, one of the most pivotal events occurred on Jan. 4, 1996, a day in which Mrs. Clinton's personal calendar for late that afternoon is marked "Private Meeting" with her chief of staff, Margaret Williams.

    Several hours earlier, an aide had discovered inside the White House family residence long-sought billing records of Mrs. Clinton's legal work on Whitewater-related real estate transactions that turned out to be fraudulent.

    WOW! Arranging flowers?! Reading to children?! Denouncing Republicans?!

    Jeez, she really is qualified to be President based on her role as First Lady! These records have proved it!

    Obama: Iraq has made us less safe

    If you could see me right now, you'd see me rolling my eyes and snorting in disbelief. This guy doesn't have a clue.

    According to the Obamamessiah, Iraq has made us less safe:
    "Ask yourself," Obama told the crowd, "Who do you trust to end a war: someone who opposed the war from the beginning, or someone who started opposing it when they started preparing a run for president?"

    Obama used the five-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion to again cast himself as the only true anti-war candidate, one who openly opposed the invasion as a state lawmaker. He renewed criticism of Clinton for voting to authorize the use of force against Iraq.

    Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer responded: "The reality is that Senator Obama took practically no action to end the war until he started his White House run while Senator Clinton has been a consistent critic of Iraq for many years."

    Obama also teased likely Republican nominee John McCain for a foreign policy gaffe Tuesday in which McCain, touring the Middle East, said several times that Iran was training al-Qaida in Iraq. Iran is a predominantly Shiite Muslim country and has been at pains to close its borders to al-Qaida fighters of the rival Sunni sect. After another senator on the trip, Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., whispered into his ear, McCain finally corrected himself to say Iran was training Shiite militants.

    "Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no al-Qaida ties," Obama said to laughter and applause. "Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America's enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades."

    No ties to Al Qaeda? Saddam Hussein did not have direct ties to Al Qaeda, no, but he did have ties to terrorist groups who in turn had ties to Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden himself has spoken about how important Iraq is to Al Qaeda. He's encouraged Iraqis to fight against us. For someone who doesn't care about Iraq, he sure is interested, huh?

    And of course, Obama again dazzles us with his brilliant foreign policy. We're succeeding in Iraq, which in turn puts us -- gasp! -- in more danger, not makes us safer! This may be the first war in history in which achieving victory leaves the victorious country in more peril than before they won. And of course, there's the old Democrat stand-by: retreat no matter how well we're doing, and screw the consequences!

    Yet Obama still doesn't give us anything concrete on how he'll keep us safe except that he'll pull out of Iraq. He says he'll make "better strategic choices", but what kind of choices? How will you keep us safer if you won't fight the damn enemy? Give us an actual plan!

    And how about that vote of confidence in our military? Congrats, guys, all of your hard work and sacrifice means squat according to this guy because we're not any safer! Apparently, you've done nothing to protect your country, seeing as how we aren't any safer! Everything you've achieved is meaningless, and as soon as he's President he's just going to pull you out with no plan to keep us safe whatsoever, so everything you've achieved in Iraq, and everything you've sacrificed to achieve it, will be undone by this idiot's cut-and-run plan.

    You know, maybe he should just stick to using pretty words about hope and change, and forget talking about big-boy politics.

    New bin Laden message?

    Drudge is reporting that we're going to get a new message from Osama bin Laden today:
    Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is expected to release a new message, the U.S.-based terrorism monitoring service SITE Institute said on Wednesday.

    The message is entitled, "The Response Will Be What You See, Not What You Hear," SITE said in a release.

    It said an announcement of the pending message was posted on Wednesday, the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, by the administrator of the al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Ekhlaas Internet forum.

    This story is still developing, but I'll keep you posted.

    Five years in Iraq

    Today marks five years that we've been in Iraq.

    Here's an excerpt from President Bush's speech today about the war:
    Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting ... whether the fight is worth winning... and whether we can win it. The answers are clear to me: Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision – and this is a fight America can and must win.

    Over the past five years, we have seen moments of triumph and moments of tragedy. We have watched in admiration as 12 million Iraqis defied the terrorists, went to the polls, and chose their leaders in free elections. And we have watched in horror as al Qaida beheaded innocent captives, and sent suicide bombers to blow up mosques and markets. These actions show the brutal nature of the enemy in Iraq. And they serve as a grim reminder: The terrorists who murder the innocent in the streets of Baghdad want to murder the innocent in the streets of American cities. Defeating this enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this
    enemy here at home.

    A little over a year ago, the fight in Iraq was faltering. Extremist elements were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos.

    My Administration understood that America could not retreat in the face of terror. We knew that if we did not act, the violence that had been consuming Iraq would have worsened, spread, and could eventually have reached genocidal levels. Baghdad could have disintegrated into a contagion of killing, and Iraq could have descended into full-blown sectarian warfare. So we reviewed our strategy – and changed course in Iraq. We sent reinforcements into the country in a dramatic policy shift that has become known as “the surge.”.

    The surge has done more than turn the situation in Iraq around – it has opened the door to a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror. For the terrorists, Iraq was supposed to be the place where al Qaida rallied Arab masses to drive America out. Instead, Iraq has become the place where Arabs joined with Americans to drive al Qaida out. In Iraq, we are witnessing the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology, and his terror network. And the
    significance of this development cannot be overstated.

    I don't really want to get into a huge debate over the war in Iraq.

    Instead, I ask all of you today to simply stop and think about those making the sacrifices in it to ensure our freedom and our safety. Think about the troops who are in Iraq right now; think about the troops who have come home safely. Think about the troops who are preparing themselves to go; think about the troops recovering in Walter Reed and other military hospitals. Think about those who have died fighting; think about those who are left behind, hoping and praying their loved ones will come home safely. Think about those grieving the loss of their son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister; those grieving the loss of someone who was much more than a friend, but a comrade.

    Just remember.

    That's all I ask of you today. Remember. And be thankful.

    Tips for Servers

    Yesterday, I wrote a post about how to treat your server that a lot of people complained was one-sided.

    Well, yeah, it was supposed to be! The piece was about how to treat your server, not how to be a good server, and the main emphasis was being friendly and polite, and a lot of people seemed to take issue with that. Why anyone would disagree with keeping the attitude at home and being nice to your server is beyond me, but OK.

    So, a lot of those same people were saying I should write a post on how to be a good server. I had debated whether or not I should. I didn't think it would be that interesting -- after all, how many servers are reading this blog that want my advice on how to do their job well? But, you guys are interested and I am here to please YOU, my dear readers, so here we go.

    Being a server, to me, is not really a difficult job. It's hard work, and you have to be able to handle a lot of pressure, as well as incredibly fast-paced work, but if you can do that, you should be able to be a good server.

    I was lucky. The first restaurant I ever served at, Sneakers Sports Grille, had the best training program I've ever had -- whether it was in a restaurant or outside of it.

    Sneakers prized itself on giving their customers the best possible customer service there was. The training program was rigorous. Servers were in training for near a month before we were allowed to go loose on the floor. There was "in-class" training, with tests you had to pass and leaflets to read, and then there was floor training, with another server working and you "shadowing". Instilling that kind of service and work ethic in a new server worked incredibly well; it sticks with you forever. I still use the things I was taught there, even though I'm not a server anymore. It was at Sneakers that I was promoted to a trainer and shift leader for the first time, although it wasn't the only time.

    So with all that said, there are some definite Dos and Don'ts for servers.

  • Use the thirty-second rule.
    As I said in the last post, I always, always, always went by the thirty-second rule. Within thirty seconds of your table being seated, you need to greet that table. It's preferable to actually start with the drink orders and everything right then and there, but hostesses don't wait to make sure the timing is perfect before they seat you. You might be carrying food out, or in the middle of getting drinks for another table. So even if you can't actually stop, introduce yourself, and get the drink orders, you still need to acknowledge them.

    A minute doesn't feel like a minute for a table waiting to see their server. The time they're sitting around waiting for you to get over there and greet them drags on, and if you haven't made an appearance, your table will be pissed, no matter how busy the restaurant is. Sticking to the thirty-second rule is vital. You gotta keep your eyes open and be constantly aware of what's going on, but it does pay off.

  • Keep a good attitude.
    As noted in the last post, people are not always nice to you. You can be the friendliest, perkiest, most attentive server in the world, and you will still get tables that treat you like dog shit. You can't let it get to you. You have to approach your tables with a good attitude and keep it, no matter how rude or unresponsive they are. Being a server means having to grow a thick skin. It doesn't matter how good you are; people are always going to find faults with you eventually. You're going to make mistakes and it's inevitable that someone will complain about you. You have to be able to take the criticism, grow from it, and then let it go. Be friendly, even if you think it will kill you. If you have to fake it, then fake it, because it's better than walking over to your tables with a shitty attitude.

  • Be informed and make recommendations.
    It annoys the crap out of me when I go to restaurants and the server doesn't know anything about the menu or the specials for the night. It really does, because there's simply no excuse for that. Just about every restaurant, no matter how strict or lax the training is, will require you to pass a menu test before you can hit the floor. While the menu test is a one-time thing, you need to keep yourself informed about everything. Servers should know the menu backwards and forwards, they should know what the specials are, they should know what kind of beer and wine is served and what kinds of liquor brands are carried. If you have to, keep a cheatsheet on the inside of your book, but you need to know these things.

    You also need to make recommendations. When you greet your table, mention the an appetizer or a drink special you've got going on. If your restaurant is featuring a specific dish, mention it. If you don't want to mention that kind of stuff, at least give your table the option: "Would you like to hear about our specials today?". It's better to say something about what is being featured than nothing at all. There are such things as secret shoppers, and if you don't say anything at all, you'll get marked off (that's a big one).

  • Upsell, upsell, upsell.
    Most people do not realize how important sales is to good serving. A server is who doesn't sell is basically a glorified food runner; you have to be willing and able to sell to your tables as well. If you ask your table if they'd like to hear about appetizers and they say yes, don't just mention three or four at random. Pick one of your favorites, and tell them about it in mouth-watering detail.

    Let's use the bar as an example. If a customer orders a margarita, ask them if they'd like it top shelf. If they order a rum and coke, offer them a premium brand rum like Captain Morgan rather than just going for the well. Not only does this boost your sales, it gives them a better drink. Doesn't a premium vodka like Grey Goose taste so much better than a cheap, well vodka?

    Don't be afraid to sell to your customers. The worst they can say is no. If they order a steak, ask them if they'd like sauteed onions and/or mushrooms. After dinner, recommend a dessert. Most of the time, people will turn you down, but sometimes they'll say yes. You'll come across as knowledgeable and your overall sales will rise.

  • Check back at least once between taking the order and delivering the food.
    A good server should be checking on their tables regularly. After you've taken the food order, you should check in with them at least once before they get their food, more often if their order will take a while. They might need drink refills, they might need to adjust their order (its annoying, but it happens) -- you never know what it is they might need. It's better to be there too much than not enough.

  • Keep an eye on your tables.
    If you aren't checking on them, keep an eye on them. Don't wait for them to ask for a drink refill; if you see that their drink is getting low, get your lazy butt over there and ask if they'd like a refill. If you're in one of those restaurants that offers free bread, ask them if they'd like more if they run out. If you see them doing the swivel head, they're obviously looking for you, so run over there and see what's up. You need to be completely attentive to all of your tables simultaneously -- not an easy feat, but one that can be done, and needs to be done. So keep your eyes peeled and make sure you know what's going on with your tables at all times.

  • Pre-bus.
    Whether your restaurant has bussers or not, pre-bussing is one of the most important things a server can do. It's called the "hands in-hands out" rule -- if you bring something to the table, take something away as well. If you bring a new glass out for a drink refill, take away the old one. If you bring out the entrees, ask if you can take the appetizer plates away. If you have bussers, then pre-bussing will make them like you more and they'll bus your tables faster. If you don't, then it makes your clean-up go by faster. Most importantly, your tables will like it. I personally hate it when my server doesn't pre-bus and I'm sitting there cramped with dirty dishes everywhere. It's the easiest part of your job, and it needs to be done.

  • Don't neglect your sidework or your station.
    Being a server is more than just waiting on your customers. There's also sidework that needs to be done. As shift leader, my job was to assign and oversee everyone's sidework. It could be the drink station, for example. So keep it stocked with ice and cups. Taste each of the sodas throughout the night to make sure they haven't run out of syrup; if they have, go replace it. Also, keep up with cleaning your station throughout the night. Sweep the floors even if it isn't closing time yet; no customers wants to see food splattered all over the floor. Keep your salt and pepper shakers full, and maintain the sugars as well. It cuts down on the amount of time you have to clean later in the night, and makes things run more smoothly, therefore giving the customer a better overall experience.

  • Go by the "two bite" rule.
    You've served the food to your table. Their drinks are full. What now?

    Always abide by the "two bite" rule. After approximately two bites, come and check on the food. No, do not hover nearby the table in a stalker-esque fashion to make sure you check back in exactly two bites. The point is to let your customers taste everything before you come and make sure its OK.

    Some customers say this is annoying, but it needs to be done. These same customers would be absolutely livid if there was a problem and the server wasn't there. If there is a problem with the food, you need to be there as soon as possible to remedy it. So, go by the "two bite" rule. Give them time to eat everything, but check back early in the meal to make sure there are no problems. Then back off for a while and let them enjoy their meal free of interruption.

  • Clear off the table of all dishes before offering dessert.
    This is a little psychological trick. Taking away all the dishes helps people to sort of "forget" how much they've just eaten, and they are therefore more likely to order dessert. It isn't a must, but it's a handy little industry trick. And even if dessert is not ordered, no customer is going to complain about clearing away emptied dishes just sitting there uselessly, taking up space. But obviously, make sure they're finished before you take them away!

  • Ask before you leave the bill.
    Not much will annoy a customer more than dropping off the bill when they don't want it yet. Ask if they're ready for it after you've cleared away the dishes and offered dessert and coffee. Don't just drop it off and walk away; it seems like you're trying to get rid of them.

  • Thank the customer.
    After they've paid, thank them very much for coming in. Leave them a comment card if your restaurant has them; I would attach to each and every check I left with a pen. Even if it's negative, feedback is always good to have. Leave mints or candy if your restaurant has them. Ask them to come again, and ask them to ask for you. Don't go overboard with it, and make sure to be sincere and genuine. It seems obvious, but a lot of people don't do it. Your customers will appreciate hearing it -- everyone wants to know that their patronage is appreciated, so let them know!

  • Continue to wait on them, even if they've paid.
    This one was a point of contention with a lot of you. I still stand by a firm no-parking rule. But for servers, this one is beyond their control. And even if that person is, in effect, screwing you out of making more money off another table, you need to screw a damn smile on your face and keep on serving them. If their drinks get low, refill them. They'll remember it.

  • Clean the table immediately after they leave.
    Don't wait around until you see more people come in, and don't rely on bussers to do it for you. After your table has left, start clearing away dishes (which, if you've done your pre-bussing, should be non-existent). Wipe off the table, and refill the sugars if needed. That way, you're ready for a new table almost automatically, and turning over tables quickly is the best way to make a lot of money as a server.

  • Make nice with the cooks.
    One of the most important things a server could possibly do is to be friendly with the cooks. A lot of servers have a tendency to ignore them or treat them like their slaves, but this does you no good. Actually talk to the cooks; ask them how they're doing, joke with them. If you need a favor, ask nicely and say thank you. If you have to return food, apologize. Don't be rude to them if the customers complain about the food. Just make sure you remember not to look right through them as if they don't matter. Having the cooks on your side will go a long, long way to a better working environment.

    There's a lot than servers can do to be a decent server, but going from average to extraordinary takes more than a little extra effort. These are some good guidelines to follow, but being a truly great server is in more than just following the rules. You either have it in you, or you don't After all, not everyone's meant for the restaurant industry. But if you're thinking of trying it out, or if you want to get better tips each night, following the above might be a good jumping off point to bridge the gap between good and great.
  • Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    Want to enjoy eating out?

    Then this post, my friend, is for YOU.

    Every Monday, my friends and I go out to this restaurant/bar for karaoke. I have been doing this for almost four years, but some of us have been going for longer. As time has gone by, our group has grown and changed, but the Monday night karaoke has become tradition. We make a point to not miss it, often because for a lot of us, it's the only time we get to catch up with each other. All of us have lives, things to do, and it isn't always easy to make time for all of your friends. Our Monday night tradition solves that problem.

    Last night, we were stricken with a particularly horrible server. We've had her once before, and she was awful the last time, as well. Across the bar, I watched as some other patron absolutely laid into this poor girl. Her service was terrible, but he was just treating her like she was no better than dog shit. I wanted to walk over there and slap him for it!

    See, I have a bit of a soft spot for treating servers well. I was one for three years, and a damn good one at that. After starting my first job as a waitress, I was promoted to a trainer and a shift leader in less than three months. I worked my ass off as a server, liked my job, and in general, made good money. But as a server, you have to put up with an unbelievable amount of crap.

    When I get bad service, I try to give them a little bit of slack, because I know that 9 times out of 10, bad service means that there is something going on beyond the server's control. Rarely is the server just a dickhead who doesn't care about the table. So watching a patron be rude to a server gets underneath my skin; I've been there and done that.

    And frankly, people just do not seem to give servers the respect they deserve. There is so much that people either don't understand or care about when it comes to serving, and either don't know or don't care that they're treating an actual human being like crap. I could write a post about how to be a great server -- and maybe one day I will -- but there are more patrons out there than there are servers, and judging by my three years of serving experience, plus observing what goes on when I go out to eat, these kinds of posts are needed. Because people just do not get it.

    So, we'll start at the beginning and work our way through the meal. Read. Absorb. Being good to your server will ensure that your experience is a good one.

  • Be patient.
    One of my personal rules, as a server, was the thirty-second rule. At the absolute least, I would acknowledge my guests within at least thirty seconds. On really busy nights, this was sometimes just a quick stop: "Hi, I'm Cassy. I'll be with you guys in just one minute, OK?" I wanted them to know that I had seen them, I knew they were there, and that I would be with them as soon as I could if I couldn't actually stop and begin my spiel right away to start the meal. But for some customers, this was not good enough. They would get huffy and annoyed that I wasn't there to get their drink order and greet them the instant they sat down, no matter how busy the place was.

    The thing is, servers do not get one table at a time. At the beginning of each shift, the restaurant is divided into sections. As shift leader, my job was to divide up the sections and assign servers to each one. In some restaurants, two servers would split a section and have as little as three tables at a time. In others, they'd get the section all to themselves, giving them as many as eight tables to look after at a time. I mention this because a lot of people do not seem to understand that a server is not there to serve them exclusively, as much as we would like to -- trust me, it would make our jobs much, much easier. But on busy Friday and Saturday nights, we're running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off. We're trying to give the best possible service we can to all of our customers, so if your server is not there instaneously and it's a busy night, give them a break. Be patient. They will get to you as soon as is humanly possible.

  • Be friendly and responsive.
    When I first greet my table, I try to be as friendly and upbeat as possible. It sets a good tone for the evening ahead. But when I walk over there, bubbling over with energy (even if its fake energy), chirp out, "Hey, I'm Cassy! How are y'all doing tonight?", and hear silence, or a "Yeah, I'll take a Diet Coke, please.", it ruins that. When we come over and say hello, say hi back. Actually talk to us. It's great to get a little conversation going. We won't stand there and talk to you all night, but it does lighten the atmosphere. You're more likely to enjoy our service, and we're more likely to give you better service if we like you. So when we talk to you, don't be afraid to respond. Be friendly; have fun. Think about it. When you have a really great server, who you're able to talk to and joke with throughout the meal, doesn't it make your experience at that restaurant more enjoyable? When we ask you a question, answer it. Be nice. We'll be nice back. Remember, servers work for tips -- if you're a total asshole from the beginning of the meal, you're likely to get written off as someone who won't tip well right from the get-go, and therefore will not get treated as well.

    Being rude to your server can be hazardous, as well. Watch the movie Waiting. That stuff actually happens to guests who have too much of an attitude problem. I've never done it myself, but I can guarantee you that it does happen. So, be nice if for no other reason than self-preservation.

  • Don't interrupt.
    When you go to just about any restaurant, a server is likely to give you a whole spiel about the specials for the night, mention a specific appetizer or drink, or recommend a certain dish. Don't interrupt them; don't cut them off.

    One of the restaurants I worked for was the Olive Garden. We were required to present a bottle of wine to each and every single table, to describe the qualities of that wine, and to offer a wine sample. If we didn't, our general manager promised us that we would be fired on the spot.

    So yes, while that information may be completely useless and annoying to you, just listen. It'll only take a minute or two. Your server probably hates saying it as much as you hate hearing it, but if you aren't interested in anything they tell you (and you never know, they might mention something that does catch your interest), then just let them finish and then politely say, "No, thank you," before you proceed to order.

  • Don't blame your server if your food takes too long.
    A lot of people seem to get very, very angry if you don't get your food promptly. This just boggles my mind -- do people think that their server is the one who goes back in the kitchen and cooks it?! We, as servers, have absolutely no control over how quickly food comes out. It annoys us more that it annoys you, because we know that the longer the food takes to come out, the lower our tip is getting, because we're the ones who get blamed. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. The only time you can blame your server for your food being late is if it has obviously been baking underneath the heating lamps, and you can tell when it has been -- sauces will be congealing on the plate, for example. If your food has taken forever, but comes out fresh, steaming, and hot, then you can't blame them. They got your food to you as soon as it was prepared.

  • Don't blame your server if there's a problem with your food.
    Maybe it doesn't taste right. Maybe there's onions mixed in with your pasta when you asked for no onions. 9 times out of 10, this is, again, not the server's fault.

    Say it with me: the server does not make the food!

    Just nicely, politely, let them know what the problem is. They will take it back to the kitchen and get it fixed for you. If the customer was nice about it, I'd usually "reward" them by offering them a free dessert (and this free dessert came out of MY pocket -- servers usually can't comp anything without managerial approval). I'd always have the manager bring the corrected dish out to lend a nice touch. The key here is, that by being polite even when things are going wrong, you'll often get even better service. Your server will be falling all over themself to atone for the mix-up, unless you get an attitude. Again, this will cause you to likely be written off as a lost cause.

  • Control your children.
    I absolutely love kids. I love waiting on them, because they're fun. And parents love a server who will interact with their kids rather than just ignoring them; plus, the kids will feel special and important. That said, there are too many parents who let their kids run wild at restaurants.

    I've had kids at my table completely empty the salt and pepper shakers and all of the sugar packets into a big, salty, peppery, sugary mound of powders onto the table, before playing with it for the rest of the night. The parents don't lift a finger and just let them play. I've had kids at my table throw their food everywhere -- the tables, the chairs, the walls, the carpets -- rather than eat it. The parents don't lift a finger. In one particular instance, a kid saw a server coming towards him while carrying a tray loaded with food. The kid purposely stuck out his ankle and tripped the server. She went sprawling all over the carpet, the food was obviously ruined for some other guest, and broken dishes were everywhere. The parents saw the entire thing, and laughed affectionately: "Oh, he's such a little troublemaker!"

    Parents, just please control your children. You're the adult; you should be in charge. It should say a lot if your kids control you more than you control them.

  • When we ask you how your meal was, be honest.
    Be nice, but be honest. If you didn't like your food, tell us why. If something wasn't great about the restaurant, let us know. If you are nice and polite about it, we're going to absorb that information and know what we can do to improve the experience for you and other guests in the future. If you're rude and bitchy about it, we're going to brush it off as an asshole customer and not really listen to anything you say.

    Are you sensing a trend? It's OK to complain if things don't go right -- just be nice about it. There's no need to be rude. It'll get you nowhere.

    Also, don't be afraid to tell us if your food was fantastic, or if you loved our service. Nothing, and I mean nothing, put more spring in my step than my guests telling me how much they loved having me as a server. Nothing made me happier than seeing guests come in a second and third time and ask for me, specifically. Letting your server know how great everything was is the best compliment you can give them.

  • If you're really angry, take it to the manager.
    Let's say you've had absolutely horrible service. The server was awful, the food sucked, and everything went wrong. Do not lambast your server. If you're that angry, you need to go to the manager about it. First of all, laying into the server only means that the server is not going to report your complaints to save their own skin. Second, servers are not trained to deal with irate customers; managers are. The manager won't try to cover up your problem, they'll try to solve it. The manager is in more of a position to fix it, even if it means firing that employee. So if your problem is that bad, then you need to go to a manager about it.

  • When you pay your bill, don't forget to tip well.
    Here's something that people who don't tip well must not know: servers only get paid about $3.00 an hour. When I was a server, it was $2.13/hr, but I've heard that since then it's been raised to just over $3.00. Your tips pay our bills.

    Yes, servers have to earn a good tip. But even if their service was just average, then you need to tip an absolute minimum of 15%. If their service was great, then tip higher. Never withhold a tip unless their service was so bad that you were going to complain to a manager. Usually, they're trying the best they can.

    If you aren't willing to tip well, then don't go out to eat -- period. Go into it recognizing that a 15% - 20% tip is part of the final bill.

    I have a quick and easy way to figure out how much you should tip your server. Take the first digit of your bill (or the first two digits, if you're into the hundreds). Double it. So on a $20.00 tab, tip $4.00. On a $60.00 tab, tip $12.00. On a $200.00 tab, tip $40.00. It's an easy way to figure out how much to tip, and it's a fair amount relative to the amount of your meal without having to go overboard on the tipping. Tip your server well, and they'll remember you when you come back.

    Likewise, leaving a shitty tip is not acceptable, especially when your server has given you great service. It's even worse when you've complimented your server on how great they were, and then leave a $2.00 tip. It's an insult. If you're going to leave a buck and think that'll be enough for a tip, then don't go out to eat at all.

    Servers have bills to pay just like everyone else. We have to pay rent, buy food and gas, pay for electric and water bills... just like everyone else in the world. And perhaps most people don't know this, but your tips are our main source of income. So if you're going to stiff your server, it will have a bigger impact than you may think it will. Also, servers are required to report everything they make to the IRS, so we don't even get to keep the entire amount you tip us when all is said and done.

  • And finally... don't park.
    After you've finished your meal and paid, don't just hang out there. Don't sit around and just relax for another half an hour unless you are willing to tip more -- a lot more -- for it. By parking at our table for an extra half an hour, forty-five minutes, an hour, without ordering anything, you're keeping us from making money on another table. It's then your responsibility to make up for that loss of money. If you want to stay at the restaurant for a while after you're finished eating, you can. There's a place made for that specific purpose: it's called the bar.

    Making your server happy will make your experience at restaurants much more enjoyable. Keep these things in mind when you go out to eat. A happy server means a happy customer.
  • Dating Rules for Women

    Dr. Melissa Clouthier today gives us eleven dating rules for women:
    Women claim to want equal rights but then do things in the dating dance that makes them look like immature children. It's annoying. A couple friends, male and female, are experimenting with on-line dating, and based on their experiences all I can think is, what is wrong with people?


    This post is not going to be an "ain't it awful" post for women, though. Quite the contrary. For the sake of this post, I'm making an assumption that the vast majority of men are good men, just trying to find a woman they connect with and desiring a relationship. I think this assumption is true, by the way. There are players and male sluts, sure, but I think most guys want what most women want--a close, loving, compatible, dependable relationship.

    If a woman is going to participate in the dating game, she needs to follow some rules.

    Here are a few of her rules:
  • Say "no" nicely.
  • Mean what you say.
  • Don't have sex on the first, second or third date.
  • Get a life.
  • Leave the baggage for later.
  • Express gratitude.

    Here is my favorite part of the article:
    Men might be from Mars, but they're still humans. All the male-bashing that goes on is offensive. One of my least favorite commercials features a guy ordering a pizza which will come in 30 minutes. He asks his wife for sex and she bats her eyes and asks, "What are we going to do for the other 28 minutes?" It's meant to be funny, but it just seems like more of the same disparaging of men.

    Men aren't the enemy. They are lovely creatures. Sometimes strange and exotic, but always interesting. They deserve respect until they've proven themselves to be unworthy of respect and even then, treating any person with respect and kindness is a winning proposition. Because ultimately, it's you who you have to live with whether you end up with a man or not.

    It seems to be en vogue for women to have a monumental chip on their shoulder when it comes to men. Don't. Yes, some men are assholes. But some women are bitches, too -- men do not have a monopoly on being mean, or cruel, or misleading. So many women go into dates and relationships with their guards up, with preconceived notions of what men are, what men want, and how men will treat women. If women can't get that chip off their shoulder, they'll never have a truly happy, successful, long-term, fulfilling relationship.

    In any case, make sure to read Melissa's post to get all of the rules in more detail. It's a great read, and some solid, sensible advice for women -- the kind of advice we could hear more of.