The Rhumb Line Headline Animator

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant teen who knew not man. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never married or owned a home. He never held a job, yet paid taxes. He never set foot inside a metropolis. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never wrote a book, or held an office. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He received no awards, no medals, no prizes from His peers. While He was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies, and went through the mockery of a trial. He had no lawyers, no friendly juries, no fair hearing. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had - His cloak. After He died, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave. Those who stood watch could not explain His disappearance. And yet two thousand years have come and gone, and today He is still the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this "One Solitary Life."

Jim Bishop 1907-1987

MERRY CHRISTMAS
Your friends at VMG


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The VMG Christmas Gift Guide

We love Christmas. Santa handles the kids, leaving adults to deal with their own "gifting." That's when we get our Scrooge up.

Re-gifting is all the rage - igniting rage. You know the moment you open them. Vino from somebody's backyard vineyard with a label featuring his golden Retriever and a cutesy-poo brand like Good-boy Beaujolais. Crocheted poodle toilet paper cozies. Cookbooks about British cuisine.  Ashton Kutcher DVDs.

We all have our Christmas D lists. These are people we feel compelled to give gifts to for a variety of reasons -- none of them good. Like the neighbor who has every tool ever created and lends them to you, but is so annoying you'd like to remove his tongue with the Robo-grip pliers you have yet to return. Or the co-worker you want to force feed a live grenade, but last year he gave you a Dilbert coffee mug, so reciprocate you must.

As a service to our esteemed clients and fans, VMG offers gift ideas to help you fulfill obligations while achieving your agenda.

For the soon-to-be ex wife or girlfriend:

Power Bracelet
Roll video to capture her fury as she opens a jewel box expecting karat weight bling, only to find 75¢ worth of latex in fiesta purple. These $30-$60 (retail)  rubber bands should have come from the mind of Madoff. Claiming to increase strength and balance and endorsed by several pro-athletes and one race horse (all with identical IQs) they're sure to destroy even a slightly entropic relationship.

For people you hate, & their kids:


Suzy Homemaker Espresso / Pit Bull
Enliven their days and nights with either or both of these thoughtful gifts. The espresso machine  makes double shot treats with the caffeine equivalent of a case of Red Bull. Their kids will be up for weeks, pinging off the walls like fleas in a hot jar. The pooch is guaranteed to ensnare the recipient in civil or criminal litigation.


The Perfect Gift
Then there's the A list -- those valued friends and business associates for whom you  must find the greatest gift. There is only one choice:

This book contains more laughs and wisdom than any you're likely to find. Whether you are a dad, have a dad, know a dad, are thinking of  becoming a dad, suspect you may, in fact, be a dad, or are being accused of paternity, you'll benefit from this masterpiece. 

Click here and get yours today! 



LARRY BLEIDNER

Monday, December 13, 2010

Of Tax Evasion and Twitter

Tax Cheat/Convict
At nearly the precise moment actor Wesley Snipes began a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion, the IRS -- the outfit  that took his freedom -- announced it was using Twitter. We see tremendous irony in the confluence of these events.

According to the press release, @IRStaxPros wants to "share timely information with taxpayers" via Twitter.

Snipes was convicted on a mere 3 misdemeanor counts. The average felon (that includes assault, battery, arson, burglary, robbery, murder, and rape) serves... the same 3 years.
Tax Cheat/Treasury Secretary

The judge said he was "making an example" of Snipes, primarily for his contempt of the system. Looks like the "example" is, give us 'tude and we'll lock your sorry ass up, same as if you murder, maim and rape. Unless you happen to be part of their crew. Timothy Geithner evaded taxes, and they made him capo di tutto capi of the whole, massive shakedown operation.

VMG accessed the Twitter conversation between Wesley and his persecutors er, prosecutors and published those pithy missives herewith:

IRS:
@WesleyTheBlade Hi Wes! What are you doing?
29 Nov

WS:
@IRStaxpros I'm sending you a check for 5 million. Will that settle us up?
30 Nov

IRS:
@WesleyTheBlade Not even close. Send more $$. Don't make us go all New Jack City on you. And beg our pardon, too.
1 Dec

WS:
@IRStaxpros C'mon, man! I'm tapped out! Cut me some slack! How ‘bout a free DVD of White Men Can’t Jump?
2 Dec

IRS:
@WesleyTheBlade Got it.  Wes, you're going prison for three years. Brush up on your karate.
4 Dec

WS:
@IRStaxpros This is nuts!
5 Dec

IRS:
@WesleyTheBlade Seen our vids on youtube, Wes? Very informative. Oops, sorry.  No web surfing where you're going. BTW, what are you doing?
7 Dec

WS:
@IRStaxpros Time, you f*@kin pri#%s! Time!
8 Dec

IRS:
@WesleyTheBlade Check back with us in 3 years for tips on how to act compliant and obsequious. Happy Holidays!
9 Dec

LARRY BLEIDNER


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Intersection of Langley & Sesame Street

Top of everybody's home page this week: WikiLeaks.

Color us flummoxed. Sure, an email is more like a postcard than a sealed letter -- we get that. But how does an ostensibly "secure" system allow one low-level Benedict Arnold to purloin and distribute 250,000 confidential documents - from the State Department, no less? There will always be traitors. One would expect a labyrinth of trip wires, encryptions and codes to negate treason on such a massive scale, no?

Perhaps we expect too much. After a bit of snooping, it looks like "The Company" has relocated -- culturally at least -- to Sesame Street.

The CIA is actively recruiting - much like Sears or Walmart.  Visit their web site www.cia.gov.  and you'll be hard put to say whether it's for real or a plug for Agent Cody Banks 4.

Back in the day, CIA guys were covertly culled from elite military outfits. They were tall, dark and dangerous and lit cigarettes with rigged Zippos that could blow up Murmansk. 

The new CIA has a kids' page. We kid you not.

There's a self-administered test: https://www.cia.gov/careers/games-information/photo-analysis-challenge/index.html. It displays two similar photos. Spot the differences and you may be secret agent material. To help determine your spy profile/potential are several "movies" (actually cheesy Power Point slide shows) with Miami Vice-ish techno sound tracks. This is beyond idiotic.

Hot Ruskie Spies
Still unsure as to whether you want to crawl over broken glass through a Pyonyang alley or sip cold Dom on a super-yacht as you wheedle secrets from hot Ruskie spies? Just take the CIA personality quiz: https://www.cia.gov/careers/cia-personality-quiz.html. It's a LOT more fun than the Scientology personality quiz, and once I finished, it declared me an "impressive mastermind."

Is this any way to safeguard a nation?

In the interest of National Security, we've forwarded this man's resume to the appropriate "intelligence" agencies. We're pretty sure he'll make the cut.

If you're considering digital encryption for your business, drop us an email - we can recommend  several private sector companies that have never had a breach.

Lastly, there was a 007 that predated Sean Connery, who is erroneously believed to have been first to portray James Bond on screen. If you can name him, we'll send you a bullet hole from the gate house at Checkpoint Charlie.

This page will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

Good luck.

LARRY BLEIDNER