Sunday, July 5, 2015


  1. Ten facts about the Andy Griffith Show that will surprise you
  2. 12 things that every preppy wedding has to have
  3. Ryan Gosling is disgusted with Costco
  4. Club Kid killer reveals prison's secret sex spots
  5. That's no rat in KFC's chicken
  6. Is it time for Germany's doorless elevators to move on?
  7. 13 surprising things you didn't know about Mormons
  8. Fran Drescher:  "I had tons of sex with my gay ex-husband'
  9. Celebrity splits that nobody saw coming
  10. Without a trace: 4 famous missing corpses

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

jimjustselling . . .

(Actually, I'm not, but the good folks at HenschelHAUS are. And they're now offering FREE SHIPPING IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.


What they're saying about Jim's provocative blog:
--"He's from this country, Mexicans don't read him, so that's good enough for me."--Donald Trump
--"Jim is obviously making a name for himself--Mr. Irrelevant!"--Don Rickles
--"Almost too entertaining!  (Well, sort of.)"--David Letterman
--"Blogaschizzle!"--Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. (aka Snoop Dogg)
--"The one thing I DO read!"--Sarah Palin
--"About what you'd expect from a dopey, sniveling piece of execrable skunk vomit from Wisconsin!"--Don Imus
--"The most fun you can have with your clothes on (but DO take a shower afterwards)."--Dick Cavett


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life  
  • Yes, it's sadly true--there really is nothing new under the sun.  I mean, whoever thought beheadings would be making  a comeback?   (Can tarring and feathering be far behind?  Stay tuned.)  
  • It will be interesting to see if the Catholic Church changes its position on performing same-sex marriages when (not if) its tax-exempt status is challenged.  (We'll see which principles/priorities prevail!)
  • Is is just me, or isn't pink-skinned, white-haired Bill Clinton looking more Albino-like with each passing press conference?  (Not that there's anything wrong with that;  I'mjustsayin'.)  Kind of a  strange transformation for  our self-styled "first black president."  
  • How bad is your life going if you turned down for a Wal-Mart greeter job  (if "job" is really that applicable a term)?   How does Target survive without them?  
  • Memo to pundits and headline writers:  Stop calling the members of the highest court in the land The Supremes!  Because (a) doing so  trivializes an important bulwark of our government,  and (b) if there hadn't been a popular Motown group of the same name, you wouldn't be doing it.  Sometimes there's such a thing as being too "clever" by half.  
  • "Rome wasn't born in a day."--Former major-league baseball player Johnny Logan
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say (actual partygoer's name here), did you know that the average American woman now weighs 166.2 pounds, about the same as the average American man weighed in the early 1960s?   Over the same time period, U.S. men have gained nearly 30 pounds, from 166.3 in the ’60s to 195.5 today.  (Thanks to for this alarming statistic.)
  • I think it's time for an AILU--American Indecent Liberties Union.
  • Poker has become so popular, young people are even getting into it.  What's next? The Little League World Series of Poker?  ("I'll see your Skittles and raise you three M&M two-packs.")
  • jimjustsaying's Techno Term of the Month:  Forensic Holodeck.  An immersive 3-D simulation of a crime scene, viewed through an Oculus Rift headset, Wired magazine reports.  
  • Named after "Star Trek's" simulated reality chamber, this device will help judges and juries picture bullet trajectories and see crimes from victims' and suspects' perspectives.  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it!)
  • Speaking of crime, there is this police imponderable:  Why is it that those foot chases you see on Fox TV's "Cops"  invariably have an out-of-shape cop catching up to and tackling a guy who looks like a marathon runner?  Uncanny.  But it happens all the time.
  • Speaking of law enforcement, haven't we become an investigation-happy world?  Two elderly terminal cancer patients are found dead in an obvious murder-suicide.  Yet  . . .  "the investigation is ongoing."  What's to investigate?  Where the shooter bought the gun?  Who cares?  We have two dead people with an already-documented history of the Bad Disease.  So, nothing to investigate here, folks, just move on.  
  • Then there was the "second black box" hysteria from that GermanWings tragedy--you know, the one in which a pilot made the skies decidedly unfriendly by purposely flying his plane into a mountain, killing 150 people.   
  • Even if undamaged, what can the box possibly reveal that (a) we don't already know and (b) what possible difference would it make?  The hydraulic system--even if faulty--didn't make his girlfriend jilt him and turn him suicidal. Yet . . . "The investigation is ongoing."   
  • (The investigation business must be immensely profitable to someone because there is a lot of superfluous investigating taking place.  Or else the investigators want us to think our tax dollars are "at work" when, in reality, they are most likely being wasted.)
  • "There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing!"--Mary McCarthy, "The Vita Activa"
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  "TV Duke."  As in Patrick "TV Duke" Duchac, Kenosha (Wis.) News obituary, June 10, 2015.  R.I.P., Mr. Duchac.
  • jimjustsaying's Product of the Week:  Orcon LB-C1500 Live Ladybugs, Approximately 1,500 Count, $14.89.
  • Who really uses all that extraneous stuff on those elaborate watches they make these days?  And how did I manage to lose 90 pounds and keep 80 of it off for 10 years without a Fitbit?
  • Believe It or Not Dept.: A Christian church-design company, The Week magazine reports, has proposed building McDonald’s restaurants inside churches to attract more worshippers. Lux Dei Design (see their Web site) says its “McMass Project” will “draw a wider audience to the church” and spread “the message of Christ’s love.”  (Do you want fries with that message?)  
  • jimjustsaying's Faded Phrase of the Week:  "Put on the feedbag."
  • It would be easier to cure cancer and achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East  than to get people to stop using Google as a verb, to stop mispronouncing "asterisk" and to refrain from saying "reason why," "VIN number" or "ATM machine."
  • Neutron peas:  n.  Tiny green objects in frozen dinners that remain frozen even when the rest of the food has been microwaved beyond recognition.--"More Sniglets (any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should)."--Rich Hall & Friends
  • Is it just me, or are you also not getting as many free return-address labels in the mail these days?  
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Haud, muneris, illic nusquam in vehiculum vos postulo ut fatigo super. ("No, officer, there's nothing in the car you need to be concerned about.")


Greek debt crisis not catastrophic
Greece is a mess. The banks are shut; withdrawals from ATMs are strictly limited. A referendum will determine whether Greece accepts tough conditions for receiving further financial aid. It looks (and is) grim. Global stock markets are rattled. But don’t be fooled. Whatever happens to Greece, the fallout for the rest of Europe and the world economy will probably be modest. It’s conceivable that the Greek turmoil will lead to a Lehman Brothers II--a global financial panic --but the odds are against it.
--Robert Samuelson, Washington Post

About that trade deal
The Democratic revolt signals a  liberal retreat from the world.   Bullied by unions, Democrats have abandoned the idea that America should be an economic  anchor for free nations everywhere.   Do they even care that China would love to see the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] fail, so it can step in and set the rules in the Pacific?
--Bret Stephens, Wall St. Journal

Democrats have simply learned from past mistakes.  Under President Clinton, the party supported trade deals that were supposed to boost employment and exports.  Instead, corporate profits soared while manufacturing jobs disappeared to China. Globalization made the rich richer and most of the U.S. population poorer.
--John Cassidy,

President Obama knows that globalization is pressing on the middle class.  But he also understands that the U.S. can’t turn its back on an increasingly interconnected world, and that the only way to lift up ordinary Americans is by investing in education, research, and infrastructure.  Obama has made this point so many times that we tend not to hear it.  But that doesn’t make it wrong.
--Fred Hiatt, Washington Post

How ISIS replaced al Qaida
Finally, 14 years after 9/11, al Qaida is being destroyed.   The bad news?  It is being replaced by something far worse--the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which now offers  the best product in the jihad market. For years, al Qaida leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri ran their terrorist group like a genuine business.  They offered jihadists the chance to set up franchises around the world, with perks that included paid vacations and 72 virgins in the afterlife.  But then al Qaida’s Iraq franchise went rogue and mutated into the more violent, bloodthirsty ISIS. Suddenly, would-be jihadists had a choice.  They could sign up for al Qaida’s  stodgy and abstract version of terrorism.  Or they could join ISIS, and become one of the militants they’d seen on YouTube  ransacking and pillaging, riding cars wherever they want, and buying sex slaves for as little as a pack of cigarettes.  For disaffected young Muslim men, that’s a no-brainer.  Terrorism has become an industry like any other--and ISIS has a much more compelling marketing campaign than al Qaida.
--Jonah Goldberg,

China’s robots spark a jobs crisis . . .
For well over a decade, China has built a global reputation as a "job-eating monster," thanks to its "seemingly limitless supply of low-wage workers.   But the country’s tens of millions of factory workers are now increasingly being displaced by machines, with "significant consequences for China’s economy--and the world’s."  Last year, Chinese factories used 25 percent of the world’s industrial robots, up 54 percent from 2013.  In Guangdong, a leading appliance manufacturer is replacing 6,000 employees, a fifth of its workforce, with robots by the end of the year.  Foxconn, which makes products for Apple, Sony, and Microsoft, will automate 70 percent of its factory work within three years.  But as China sheds these factory jobs, it’s not creating new ones.  The country is already struggling to employ its soaring population of college graduates.  This does not bode well for China’s economy, which needs to dramatically increase consumer spending as it transitions from a manufacturing-dependent economy to one more reliant on services.  Expanding the social safety net may help "somewhat."  In the meantime, China will face a "staggering challenge" as it becomes ground zero for the robot revolution.
--Martin Ford, New York Times

. . .  and where are the China hawks?
China, not radical Islam, is the biggest threat to U.S. national security.  A military and financial superpower, Beijing seeks to dominate the world economy, has extended deep financial tentacles into the U.S. and other nations, and is now using its vast resources to build a powerful navy and claim ownership of the oil-and-gas-rich South China Sea.

So why do Republican hawks ignore China and obsess over ISIS and Iran? To begin with, China’s aggressive expansion isn’t  visually spectacular.  ISIS became public enemy No. 1 after the horrific images of several beheadings  bred a primal fear that Washington politicians were quick to exploit.   Hawks leveraged the fear of radical Islam to make the case that Iran would build and use a nuclear weapon, even though that would be an act of  regime suicide.  For ideological reasons, the Right prefers foreign adversaries to be truly  evil, and Beijing is much harder to portray as a demonic force in some  quasi-theological war than is radical Islam.  Unless China starts cutting off Americans’ heads, it will be ignored in the next presidential election.
--Peter Beinart, The Atlantic

Hillary's transparently cynical ploy
Clinton knows the black voters who twice turned out in record numbers to elect Barack Obama won’t be as motivated next year to vote for her.   So she’s trying to close the enthusiasm gap by creating  a sense of crisis, particularly among African-Americans, that Republicans are seeking to put them  "back in chains," even though the charge is bogus.   Minorities are no more incapable of getting a photo ID  than anyone else, which may be why a 2012 Washington Post poll found that two-thirds of African-Americans--and three-quarters of all Americans--actually support voter-ID laws.
--Jonathan Tobin,

Back the Kurds, not Baghdad
It’s time to rethink the war on ISIS.  For too long, we’ve put the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad at the center of our policy and made it the channel for all military aid.  We have nothing to show for this strategy.

In Fallujah, Mosul, and Ramadi, the Iraqi army fled when faced with an inferior force from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, leaving behind stacks of American weapons and vehicles.

We can train them forever, but Iraqi forces clearly don’t want to fight. And why should they? They are led by commanders who are corrupt, sectarian, and incompetent.  So let’s abandon our outdated fealty to Baghdad, which is now largely a tool of Tehran, and redirect our efforts to friendly forces deeply committed to the fight, beginning with the Kurds.  Despite receiving only a trickle of American weapons from Baghdad, the Kurds have so far taken back more than 500 towns from ISIS this year.  Imagine what they could achieve with more U.S. training, equipment, and air support.  Defeating ISIS doesn’t require an American invasion. But it does mean  supporting our few genuine allies on the ground.
--Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post

Transgender folly
[The transformative surgery]] sadly may not bring Caitlyn Jenner lasting happiness. At Johns Hopkins, we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery in the 1970s, after discovering the operations did nothing to solve the patients’ underlying social-psychological troubles--and only left them still disappointed with their appearance.  A 2011 Swedish study that followed 324 surgically reassigned people for up to 30 years found that they remained deeply troubled and isolated; after a decade, their suicide mortality rate rose  almost twentyfold above the non-transgender population.
--Paul McHugh, former Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist-in-chief, 
 in The Wall Street Journal

When doctors scam the system
American politics is haunted by the mythological specter of the welfare queen.  Despite Clinton-era welfare reforms and a growing list of state restrictions on how public benefits can be used, Americans remain convinced that vast numbers of undeserving citizens are swindling the system.

There is welfare fraud--but the biggest perpetrators are health-care professionals.  The Department of Justice announced last week that 243 people had been arrested and charged with stealing $712 million from Medicare.  Forty-six of those arrested were doctors, nurses, pharmacy owners, and other medical professionals who billed the government for fraudulent therapy sessions and prescriptions. One Los Angeles doctor allegedly prescribed 1,000 medically unnecessary power wheelchairs at a cost of $23 million; a doctor in Michigan is accused of handing out addictive narcotics in exchange for his patients’ personal information to generate further false billings.

These cases aren’t rarities--fraud likely consumes around 10 percent of Medicare’s $500 billion annual budget.  So forget welfare queens.  It’s the crooked doctors we really need to worry about.
--David Graham,

Political dynasties are harmless
It’s understandable that many Americans feel troubled by the prospect of another Bush vs. Clinton presidential battle.  but a Jeb-Hillary matchup would not spell the death of our democracy.

Political dynasties are a recurring part of American life, from the Adamses and the Harrisons to the Roosevelts and the Kennedys.  Sure, this nepotism doesn’t exactly square with our country’s delusions of meritocracy--but does it really do any harm? History suggests that dynastic politicians don’t as a rule make worse decisions than outsiders. As for the fear that Bush and Clinton represent more of the same, that’s a lazy mischaracterization.  George W. Bush was a very different president from his father, after all, and the introspective Jeb would surely not be the same kind of president as his brother.

Ultimately, the identity of the president matters less than we care to admit: Had Clinton won in 2008, she’d likely have employed most of the same Democratic political advisers and policymakers as President Obama and probably would have pushed a similar agenda.  Granted, the esthetics of another Clinton or Bush presidency don’t look great. But optics have little bearing on what either candidate would do in office.
--Jamelle Bouie, Los Angeles Times


The next financial crisis?
Policies that aided recovery from the last one may be setting the stage for the next one 

Humans extinct in 100 years?
Eminent scientist points to climate change and other factors

The fork (and knife and spoon) in the road
Dietary changes, not exercise, key to weight loss

Doctors go online for medical information too!
They learn about patient experiences with rare conditions --sometimes information goes beyond what is in medical literature

When change stops waiting
A week of stunning moments of social change--casting aside a racist symbol, solidifying health care and affirming love 

Hillary Milhous Clinton?
Similarities between Richard Nixon and Mrs. Clinton go well beyond their hostility toward the press

Leftward Ho!
The surest sign yet that Hillary is taking the Sanders campaign seriously

What Ralph Ellison could tell Rachel Dolezal
She can no more become black than a black woman can become Chinese

Cold War without the fun
International geopoltics with a W.W.E. tint 

The plight of the young and unemployed
The 20s are too early in life for people to have abandoned job hope

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric, and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life  
  • Sorely needed:  An explanation of how 7 inches of rain can make a river rise 22 feet!
  • I'm willing to bet that many people who named their daughter Caitlyn are second-guessing that decision right now.
  • Sometimes I feel like a 100 percent- cotton guy in a Dacron/polyester world.  
  • (I wonder if anyone has ever named their daughter Polly Esther?)
  • Baseball players have it backwards:  Instead of planting shaving-cream pies on the faces of a game's pitching or hitting heroes or dumping liquids or chocolate syrup on them, they should be doing that to the goat--or goats.  (Better yet, how about a commissioner's edict to end these sophomoric displays?)
  • Sudden thought: What if they found out that an endangered animal was eating all the endangered plants?
  • Whatever happened to the so-called No-Call List?  There are so many exceptions, loopholes or scofflaws that its existence has become a sick joke.  (Whom do I call?  Is there anyone you can call?  Or are we No-Call List complainers on the No-Call List's No-Call list?)
  • In a PC-driven world in which you're not manic-depressive anymore, you're bipolar, and you're not retarded, you're developmentally disabled, it's time to expand the euphemistic nomenclature:
  • Serial killers?  Let's call them, er, "prolific demise facilitators."  So-and-so is a hit man?  No, he's  an "Eternal Reward concierge"!
  •  jimjustsaying's Tip o' the Week: Never play poker with a man named Doc, never eat at a place called Mom's--and never go shopping at a Shoppe.
  • What do Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney have in common?  They are members of The Emil Verban Society, a "club" started by columnist George Will in honor of a Chicago Cubs infielder (1948-50) of no particular distinction. Others members are (or were) Barack Obama, Donald Rumsfeld, Pat Sajak, John Cusack, Jim Belushi--and Ronald Reagan.
  • Don't put your mouth where your money is..  According to a New York study, 3,000 types of bacteria were found on a dollar bill, one of them the kind that causes acne.
  • Workplace Woe:  When the boss you absolutely hate is on vacation the same time you are.
  • One sure way to deal with the brutal education budget cuts and keep good teachers teaching is to get the schools out of the food-service business!  
  • Breakfast and lunch at school?  Before you know it, they'll be serving dinner, Sunday brunch and midnight snacks!  The 3 R's apparently are reading, 'riting and restaurant!
  • Scofflaw Watch:   Aerial photographs revealed that estates owned by Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West still boasted green lawns and lush gardens despite water restrictions imposed during the worst drought in California history.
  • There will never be a Bill Murray Look-Alike Contest.
  • Works for me:  A California DJ and entrepreneur is pushing a new line of clothing that will make celebrities  "invisible" to prying paparazzi, The Week reports.   Chris Holmes says his cutting-edge hoodies and scarves are made of "retro-reflective material" that becomes so bright when hit by a camera’s flashbulb that the photo is overexposed, and all other parts of the photo--including faces--come out dark. (As much as I take a dim view of most "celebrities," I take a dimmer view of their stalkers.)
  • "You're only young once, but you can be immature forever."--Former major-league pitcher Larry Andersen
  • An alleged bank robber is contending he didn’t commit a crime because he politely asked the teller for $150,000.  According to news reports, Dominyk Antonio Alfonseca used a note to rob a Virginia Beach bank, asking for money and saying he would "appreciate" if the teller didn’t sound the alarm.  The 23-year-old was quickly arrested but now insists that there was no robbery, since he didn’t use a weapon and didn’t threaten the teller.  "She could have said 'no,' " Alfonseca said, "and I could have left."
  • (I guess you could say . . . he was just sayin'.)
  • Any candidate for political office who promises to crack down on the widespread abuse of "handicapped parking spaces" has my vote!
  • Speaking of candidates:  "The joke circulates in Hollywood that Hillary Clinton is like Coca-Cola's Dasani Water:  She's got a great distribution system, but no one likes the taste."--Maureen Dowd,  New York Times
  • "The neurotic has problems; the psychotic has solutions."--Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  Omaha.  As in Howard "Omaha" Wolf, Door County Advocate obituary, May 27, 2015.  R.I.P., Mr. Wolf.
  • Glutetic Chair:  adj.  "A 20th Century design of chair found most often in movie theaters, the main feature of which is its ability to keep folding up underneath a person as he or she tries to force it down with his or her rear."--from "Sniglets," Rich Hall and Friends
  • Sixty-first Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Green Bay Press-Gazette Obituary: Beaver, Wis.. (R.I.P., Terri Jo Bischof, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, April 30, 2015).  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Dousman, Butternut, Montpelier, Cecil, Red River, Gillet, King, Laona, Kelly Lake, Glenmore, Tonet, Stiles, Morrison, Dunbar, Askeaton, Wild Rose. Neopit, Ellisville, Pickett, Flintville,  Forest Junction, Thiry Daems, Black Creek,  Mountain, Ledgeview, Lunds, Suring and Lakewood.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  EGO sum rumex si I've ledo vos. ("I'm sorry if I've offended you.")