Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: October 2006

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Deal or Deal" Video

Deal or Deal

"Deal or Deal" video as soon as Tales of the New Depression/Brooklyn vs Bush.

"Bush Bedroom" Video

Bush Bedroom

"Bush Bedroom" scene as seen on Tales of the New Depression/Brooklyn vs Bush.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tickle Me Brain Dead Cowboys

A group of physicians hired by the National Football League have concluded there is no evidence that concussions diminish brain activity. They would have gotten away with their conclusion if they hadn't added a footnote stating they also believe that cigarettes are healthy.

A shipment of drugs was found. The drugs were stashed inside Tickle Me Elmo dolls. Police were suspicious as the dolls were giggling uncontrollably even when not tickled.

As I was going through security, I saw a cowboy with his gun in a holster, smoking a cigar, and drinking a beer going through the line. I turned to him and comment “you don’t read the news much, do you?”

Monday, October 23, 2006

Speaker Ben Wonders If Gilligan Runs FEMA

Speaker Ben has been enjoying making new friends and discovering the 21st century. He was horrified to learn of the difficulties our emergency management programs face in getting assistance to people in need. He was glad to meet Dawn Wells, but was upset to later her how she was trapped on an island for years on an uncharted island, even though she stranded with a scientist and two skilled sailors who were unable to figure out how to fit a broken boat or signal for help. Dawn laughingly told Ben how she went to throw out the first baseball at an Altoona Curve game. Her first pitch went so wide it didn’t count. So she rolled the second throw to the catcher. Ben tried to throw a baseball, but found he isn’t big enough to even move a baseball.

Speaker Ben met Todd Bridges. Todd, when he was younger, was on such television shows as “Diff’rent Strokes” and “Facts of Life.” Ben was embarrassed because he thought the “Facts of Life” was a junior high health class films. Todd still gave Ben his approval.

Ben wonders how the judicial system has evolved since the 18th century. He sought the advice of Brian Knobs, who is from the Allentown. Brian explained that he will be a Judge on a television show entitled “Trailer Court Justice.” Ben expressed his sincere hopes that the trailers receive proper legal representation. Brian indicated he still likes Ben, anyway.

Speaking of justice, Ben was not certain which side of the law Hank Williams is on. Hank is the author of books on movie cowboys, such as “Crusaders of the Sagebush”, “Those Wide Open Spaces,” and “Hoppy”. Ben wonders if Hank has problems depositing checks on banks.

Ben was impressed that he got to meet Hercules. Ben recalls reading about Hercules when he was a boy. Samson Burke portrayed Hercules in the movies and later worked on the television program “Magnum PI.” Ben was just glad Samson did not crush him.

Ben was very pleased to meet Carl Moscarello. Carl was the sailor in a famous Life magazine photograph that was taken when World War II ended. Ben held the famous photograph with Carl. Ben had a little trouble holding the picture, so some unidentified stranger helped him hold the photo.

Ben wants people to know that these (will soone be) and other pictures are on the Internet. They may be found on Ben’s own web page: ben. Ben is concerned about civil liberties in the 21st century and is concerned that so many women with web cameras have written to him on MySpace asking to be his friend. Ben raised some Constitutional points and wonders whether warrants were executed before the web cameras were installed

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Inning an Outie, and We're Not Talking Belly Buttons

A comic is outing himself, stating he is homosexual. The evidence he presents is an experience that happened when he was asleep. I am sorry, but I have contacted the Judicial Council of the Gay Mafia (what? You didn’t think it existed? OK, there is no Gay Mafia. They’re really called the Gay Cosa Nostra) and they have made an official ruling: this comedian's one gay purported experience does not count. He may not call himself gay. He is no more a gay than a person who gets his leg humped by a dog may call himself being into bestiality. Until he provides any other evidence, he is not allowed to call himself gay. Sorry, but while he's trying to “out” himself, the Judicial Council of the Gay Cosa Nostra is forced to “in” him.

I saw a woman begging for dollars holding a sign stating that her child is lost. What? I give you a dollar and suddenly you can find your dollar. If your child is lost, shouldn’t she be looking for her child instead of asking for dollars? This must be a new gimmick, as later in the day in another part of town I saw another woman with a similar sign stating she has lost her child. Either there is a sudden epidemic of poor women losing their children in New York City, with the police advising that the best way to look for lost children is to go around begging for dollars, or this is a con.

I love all the animals dancing around in Disney’s “circle of life” song. Now, children, the subtext of the song is this: when the song is over, half those animals are going to eat the other half.

I overheard a woman of the streets of New York state “I’ve never been out west. The furthest west I’ve ever been is Los Angeles.” Sorry to break the news to this woman, but if she ever goes any further west, I hope she’s wearing a life preserver.

Last night the television news told a local shooting death and how the police termed the shooting as “suspicious”. Huh? Well, at least the police still consider shootings suspicious and not death by natural causes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Book Review: "Elections in Pennsylvania"

This book by Jack Treadway provides an excellent portrayal of how Pennsylvania’s history and politics are intertwined. It further shows how political trends help shape this history, and how these trends continue and reemerge.

Readers note how Pennsylvania, the second largest state with the country’s third and seventh largest cities in 1900, had its most 20th century population growth primarily along the New York border while the rest of the state’s growth stagnated. Of interest, the growth of suburbia fairly stabilized the proportional makeup of the state as the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas were 47% of the state’s population in 1900 and 51% in 2000.

The 20th century saw Pennsylvania change from a state whose economy was based upon the coal and steel industries, to one where manufacturing fell from 30% of the workforce as late as 1970 to 16% in 2000, into a state where service industries now dominate with 34% of the workforce in 2000. This has also created wage shifts as there have been decreases in higher paid manufacturing jobs as lower paid service jobs have increased.

The 20th century also saw the rise of the Democratic Party from one where its urban Democratic leaders cut deals for campaign inactivity in return for patronage jobs from Republican office holders to one in which statewide Republican domination yielded to competition and ultimately to where Democrats surpassed Republicans in voter registration in addition to establishing themselves as the dominant urban party while Republicans dominated suburban and rural voting communities.

The 19th century saw the rise of the Republican political machinery as led by Simon Cameron in the 1860s and 1870s and then Matthew Quay in the 1880s and 1890s. Voter registry laws led to ease of registering voters of the dominant party and ease of striking voters of the challenging party. The Republican one party dominance led to scandals as when it was discovered interest on the state’s bank accounts were going to Quay instead of the state. Quay was acquitted of charges yet was refused by the U.S. Senate to be seated as a member of the Senate. Quay resolved the matter by bribing state legislators to elect him back into the U.S. Senate. Boies Penrose took over leadership of the Republican Party following Quay’s death in 1903. Voter fraud was widespread with estimates there may have been 50,000 to 80,000 fake names on the voter registration lists as well as commonplace multiple voting by single voters. Penrose was a strong leader although his death in 1921 left the party without a prepared successor which partially led to a weakening of the state Republican Party from then on.

While Republican Party dominance decreased during the 20th century, the author notes that both parties lost influence from the 1960s on. Voters have become more independent in registration and in voting patterns since. The author relates this to historical patterns of independent voting that existed even during times of one party machine dominance.

While Democrats have achieved more registered voters than those registered Republican, the author notes that Republicans have higher turn outs at elections than Democrats. Berwood Yost estimates Pennsylvania actually is a state with a 250,000 Republican statewide voting advantage despite official records giving the registration edge to Democrats. Ticket splitting affects elections, as the author observes that about 20% of voters vote for different parties when voting for President and then U.S. Congress.

As for state legislative elections, the author observes that these elections have become less competitive from 1892 through 1972, except for an increase in competitive elections during the 1930s. Further study notes that legislative elections during the 1970s through the 1990s remained relatively uncompetitive. This is attributed to incumbents being more apt to seek reelection and then enjoying high reelection rates. Also, it is noted that the victory margins for legislative incumbents have tended to increase during the 1980s and 1990s. Thus even when there were significant shifts in party voting patterns in legislative elections by political party, these large victory margins, coupled with both parties tending to have similar numbers of seats at risk, have not resulted in significant changes in legislative representation by party. Thus it is noted that neither Democrat Casey’s 68% of the vote for Governor in 1990 nor Republican Ridge’s 65% of the vote for Governor in 1998 translated into legislative victories for their party’s candidates. Democrats increased their number of Democratic state legislators by four in 1990 and while Republicans found themselves reducing their number of legislators by one in 1998. The author believes there is a maximum of 60 out of 203 state legislative seats where either party has a chance of winning.

General Assembly members in 1901 were more apt to have been people who rose up the political ranks having served in another elective office than General Assembly members in 1995. The author also finds legislators had more partisan backgrounds in 1995 than in 1901. State Senators held their positions the longest, on average, during the 20th century than any other elected position, followed by members of Congress.

This is an excellent descriptive and analytical book that allows readers to learn the results of Pennsylvania’s elections. It is highly recommended for students of Pennsylvania politics.

Book Review: "Pennsylvania Elections"

This is an excellent book by John J. Kennedy detailing and explaining the nature of Pennsylvania politics. It tells of the importance of strong Republican Party control of much of politics in our state’s history from the Civil War until the 1950s. Even as late as 1948, Pennsylvania was considered by some political scientists as about the state the third most likely to consistently elect Republicans. Republicans scandals in the 1950s coupled with the arrival of successful reform Democratic movements in some areas began the emergence of what today some might label Pennsylvania as a “purple” state, one where both blue Democrats and red Republicans can achieve statewide victories. Democrat George Leader’s election as Governor in 1954 is credited with introducing the statewide shift that broke the previously strong Republican electoral machine.

The book has studies Pennsylvania elections and provides interesting analysis for the period 1950 through 2004. During these 28 election cycles, Democrats have collected more votes than Republicans in 22 of these elections yet Republicans have won 64% of what the author describes as the “top tier” elections of Presidential electors, U.S. Senator, and Governor.

The author explores geographic shifts in voter patterns, especially noting how demographic shifts of urban voters to Republican dominated suburbs changes regional voter patterns as well as issue priorities within regions. The author also notes that Republican urban voters were leaving urban areas at higher rates than Democratic urban voters. This is shifting the state’s political balance, as noted that the four Philadelphia suburban counties in total surpassed Philadelphia in the number of its registered voters in 1982. In southwest Pennsylvania, a similar pattern is seen as Democrats fell from 71% of registered voters in 1986 to 65% in 2004.

This is a well researched book with excellent academic analysis. It is highly recommended to those wishing to learn more about contemporary Pennsylvania politics.

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