Stop Animal Abuse in Brazil - Crueldade Nunca Mais - Sunday, Jan. 22

January 20, 2012

On Sunday (Jan. 22), we’ll be attending the Crueldade Nunca Mais rally in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This is not just a nation-wide rally, but an international one, dedicated to strengthen extremely weak laws in Brazil against animal cruelty.

Coming from a military dictatorship, Brazil has erred on the side of caution when it comes to handing down sentences for crime (the maximum sentence for any offense, such as murder, is 35 years). Partly due to this, as well as cultural issues, the laws for animal cruelty are particularly weak, and cruelty against animals is always a problem here. From the Web site (Note: Disturbing images):

This event is the beginning of a series of actions to correct penalties for cruelty to animals.

The official goal of the movement is to collect 1.5 million signatures. … The demonstration is a peaceful movement and law-abiding, conceived and organized by animal protectors of Brazil, and will be the beginning of a series of actions intended to correct penalty for crimes of mistreatment of animals.

The events will be held throughout the nation of Brazil, as well as in other countries, including the United States and England. Check the Web site here for locations.

Pets have become an important part of Brazilian life. I’d like to thank Crueldade Nunca Mais for fighting to strengthen animal cruelty laws, and for fighting for the rights and lives of the animals we love.


Max chews it over

January 18, 2012


A quick update on the now-famous Boston Terrier Max (hey, has your dog appeared in the Washington Post?): Despite what seems like an endless array of problems thrown at him (including a perennially runny nose), the little guy keeps motoring along. Here he is this morning, enjoying a little chew.


Mitt Romney is just not very good at this

January 18, 2012

If there’s one thing that’s glaringly apparent in the GOP nomination process, it’s this - Mitt Romney is just not a very good candidate for office.

It shouldn’t be this way. Romney is very intelligent, attractive to the point it almost appears he was assembled by a crack team of human designers, and well spoken. Add to that the fact that he can afford the best campaign advisors money can by, and he truly should be a juggernaut of a candidate.

But here’s Romney’s flaw in a nutshell - he is unwilling and unable to own up to who he is and what he has done.

He is unable to own up to his record as the Governor of Massachusetts. This really shouldn’t be that hard. He was a Republican who became governor of a very liberal state. In a country where state’s rights have become all the rage, why can’t he own up to the fact that he governed it as conservatively as he could, but still had constituents to please?

He is unable to own up to his own wealth and privilege. For God’s sakes, he intimated that he’s middle class. He tried to say he spent time in Paris as a street urchin (he actually lived in a mansion). He tries to make his time at Bain Capital appear as though it was philanthropic, that it was all about job creation. Here he is, the leading candidate for the Republican party, and he’s practically apologizing for being rich and successful.

Romney comes off as completely out-of-touch for two reasons - 1) He is. 2) He pretends he isn’t. Say what you will about guys like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, but at least they know who they are and why they do what they do.

Mitt Romney, for all he has going for him, is uncomfortable being Mitt Romney. He is unable to take command of who he is and what he has done. This is why he is a lousy candidate. This is why he’ll never be President of the United States.


Brazilian drug dealer takes tagging to the next level

January 16, 2012

Sometimes Brazil can be a leader in innovation. Not always in good ways, mind you. From the Associated Press:

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian police say a suspected drug trafficker is giving crack cocaine addicts free drugs in exchange for tattooing his name on their bodies.

Police in the northeastern state of Bahia said Monday that upward of 70 people in the small town of Itapetinga have tattooed the surname “Freudenthal” on their bodies.

Police have also found corpses of suspected drug addicts with the same tattoo.

Well, I suppose just tagging walls and billboards gets old after awhile.

HT Greg Pollowitz


Muhammad Ali & Martin Luther King Jr.: America is the better for them

January 16, 2012

It is a wonderful coincidence that Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday comes the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While the two essentially ran in different circles, as it were, both were amazing parts of a time that saw America change dramatically for the better.

While yesterday saw Americans look to King’s words and actions, all would be remiss to overlook what Ali did to change social and cultural norms in the United States.

In some ways, Ali was a direct link to Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion. Johnson was proud to be a Black man long before such an attitude would be accepted in the United States. And for that, he would pay a high price. For more than a half-century after Johnson rose to the top of the boxing world, Black fighters learned an important lesson - if you want to last in boxing, it is best to let your fists do the talking.

Ali, however, was not to be quieted. Not at all. But herein lies the difference between Johnson and Ali. While Johnson was loud and proud, his actions tended to be for the benefit of himself. Ali burst into the public consciousness in the turbulent 1960s and - with great humor and personality - was a man of his times. He was thoughtful and intelligent, and evolved into a man who understood and thrived on his place in changing times.

Much has been written of Ali’s journey and it is not necessary to recap his life and actions here. He was, without a doubt, a controversial figure during controversial times and he was an imperfect man. But he brought a pride to the African-American community like no other athlete before or since. He changed how many Americans - both Black and White - felt about themselves, their communities and their country. And as his career progressed, he became a man beloved and respected by nearly all.

Ali’s pride, strength and determination were the only things that spoke louder than himself. And his effect on the American psyche is still being felt today.

Happy 70th birthday, champ.


John Huntsmann made a name for himself in the GOP

January 16, 2012

Today, the brave and serious campaign of John Huntsmann will end. And we are all the lesser for it.

John Hantmank has dropped out of the GOP race.

In what has been a contentious race for the GOP nomination for President, Hantsman brought class, strength and vision to an otherwise unworthy field. Sure, Hurtmink never seemed to get past 5 percent in most polling and found himself being beaten by the non-running Stephen Colbert in a recent South Carolina poll, but those are just numbers.

You see, Hankmen brought a quiet, unassuming charm to a boisterous crowd of candidates. While Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry threw red meat to their followers, Hartmap was a calm, almost unnoticeable visage through debate after debate after debate.

His attempts at humor were genius, often going over the head of everyone in the nation. Who can forget his Kurt Cobain joke? Or his joke in Mandarin? Most people, probably. But that never deterred Hampton. He went forward with a quiet dignity, and truly earned his spot as “The Guy Who Polled Slightly Higher Than Buddy Roemer.”

The race for the Republican nomination has been marked by vitriol and confusion. But one man stood above it all. And he is no longer in the race, one thing is incredibly clear - by running for President, John Harbaugh truly made a name for himself.


Is that a frog on your dime or are you just happy to see me?

January 14, 2012

Well, I guess that is a frog. The world’s smallest variety of frog at that. Learn more about it at National Geographic.


Chael Sonnen’s & soccer team Palmeiras highlight a dilemma for Anderson Silva & Brazilian fighters

January 13, 2012

When Junior Dos Santos creamed Cain Velasquez to win the UFC Heavyweight belt, it codified something everyone knew - from top (Dos Santos) to bottom (Jose Aldo), Brazilians are a dominant force in the UFC and MMA.

But while UFC134 in Rio showed the world that Brazilians love MMA and their fighters, a simple fact remains - soccer is the No. sport in Brazil. By far. And American middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has shown he’s well aware of this in his effort to get middleweight champ Anderson Silva back into the ring. He showed as such in a recent video he put out, wearing a shirt from the famed Brazilian soccer club Palmeirias.

The story behind the video is this: Silva is sponsored by the soccer club Corinthians, the reigning Brazilian League champions. For this, Silva receives approximately $250,000 per year. Silva wore a Corinthians jersey into the ring with him in Rio prior to his obliteration of Yushin Okami.

This would seem a simple enough situation. One could imagine Jon Jones entering the ring wearing a Dallas Cowboys’ jersey without a risk of destroying his fan base. But this is Brazil. And while Corinthians has a large fan base, they are also easily one of the most hated teams in Brazil. So while the Spider has a good fan base in Brazil, he has also become a hated figure amongst those that despise Corinthians, especially amongst fans of Corinthians’ main rival, Palmeiras.

Sonnen - who has proven to be one of the smartest trash-talkers in all of sports - quickly glommed on to this and began talking up Palmeiras. The management at Palmeiras jumped into the fray, sending Sonnen some team jerseys and other team paraphernalia. This led to the video in which Sonnen - who obviously did his homework - promised a victory over Silva and that he’d dedicate the win to Palmeiras and hand the belt to recently retired goalkeeper Marcos - a Palmeiras legend.

This is by no means a desperate move by Sonnen. Should he get the chance to fight Silva again - a victory over Mark Munoz on Jan. 28 will give him that opportunity - he could walk into the ring with Brazilian supporters, even if the fight were held in Brazil. Such is the power of soccer in Brazil. A brash, trash-talking American could walk into the ring in Brazil against a Brazilian legend and have a fan base.

This should be a teaching moment for Brazilian fighters and fight teams - being supported by a soccer team, regardless of your support for them, should be avoided. Brazilian fighters such as Shogun Rua have avoided connection with soccer clubs and enjoy unanimous support amongst Brazilians. Not so with Silva. For a fighter with the ability and personality of Silva - who already has national sponsorships from non-sporting entities such as Burger King - the support from Corinthians will likely have a cost of much more than $250k.


Anderson Silva announces new injury

UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, who already has been on the shelf due to a shoulder injury, told the Brazilian TV Show “Good Morning Brazil” that he is now dealing with a back injury, as well.

“I’m not sure when I’ll come back,” said Silva. “I have the shoulder injury, and another injury arose recently in my lower back, so I’m dealing with that now.”

While the UFC has examined Silva and seen he has bursitis in his shoulder, the lower back injury has yet to be confirmed by doctors. Dan Henderson, who along with teammate Chael Sonnen are angling for rematches with the Spider, stated he’s not convinced the shoulder injury is real.

“All the ‘injuries’ that keep Anderson from a rematch with me or Chael will heal real fast if they offer Bisping to him,” said Henderson.


Should William K. Wolfrum look at porn all day, or be a Work Vigilante?

January 12, 2012

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when I, William K. Wolfrum, should actually do work, or whether I should just look at porn all day.

One example mentioned recently by a reader: “Mr. Wolfrum, there have already been two GOP Primaries and several GOP Debates. You have written nary a word about these events. I wish you would stop spending your days looking at porn and instead try working for a change.”

Another example from a reader: “Bill, you need to work more. Now. Stop looking at porn all day or our marriage is in real trouble.”

These messages were typical of mail from some readers who, fed up with my porn habit and evasion to work, look to me to get off my ass and actually do something. Anything.

Is that the prevailing view? And if so, how can I, William K. Wolfrum do this in a way that is objective and fair? Is it possible to be objective and fair when I actually do things, as opposed to doing nothing and being as fair as possible? The question here is a simple one: Should I look at porn all day, or be a work vigilante? This, of course, leads to other questions, such as:

  • When I cut the lawn, should I set it on fire and then shoot bullets into the house, or should I be a lawnmower vigilante?
  • If I have a child, should I ignore it and allow wolves to raise it, or should I be a parenting vigilante?
  • Should I eat cereal dry, or should I be a milk vigilante?
  • Should fireman stand by and watch houses burn while mocking the owners, or should they be firefighting vigilantes?

Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at [email protected] with the subject line: Readers Point the Way: Wolfrum Work Vigilante. Please adhere to my comment moderation policy when posting. If I don’t get back to you, assume I am looking at porn.


Boston Terriers: The World’s Greatest Dogs, period

January 11, 2012

Boston Terriers are just the best. I shall not be disputed on this opinion.


Mitt Romney at the RNC Convention: What to say, what to say?

January 10, 2012

As the results start flowing in from the New Hampshire primary, it’s time to accept an absolute - Mitt Romney will win the GOP nomination and be the man on the ballot against Barack Obama. It all comes down to one simple fact: The average Republican voter is not a mindless ideologue in search of moral victories. They want a candidate that at least has a shot, and Romney is that guy.

The rest of the Republican race for the nomination will be more or less kabuki. A candidate will go up, a candidate will go down. Newt Gingrich will say something stupid. Rick Santorum will hate on gays and lesbians. Rick Perry will drop out tomorrow. basically, the only thing of interest now - regardless what the media tells you - is how badly Romney’s fellow candidates will hamstring him leading up to his match-up against Obama. It’s very possible - likely even - that candidates will soon fall in line and hail young Willard as the man of the hour. However, it’s also possible they will tear into Romney with everything they and their Super PACS have and leave him a shuddering shell in the general election. At very least, it makes the whole endeavor watchable.

But here’s where it will get interesting. At the RNC Convention in August, they will need to say SOMETHING about Romney. In 2008, John McCain was helped at the RNC Convention. No matter what your feelings about the guy, his military experiences and government service made for great theater. For Romney, Republicans can only talk about his time as governor of Massachusetts for so long before they run into that pesky Romneycare issue. And now, with the help of Gingrich, Romney’s time at Bain Capital has become untouchable.

Essentially, when Mitt Romney walks up to the stage to accept the GOP nomination, he will do so after being lauded as a guy who ran a long-forgotten Olympics and a guy who ran for officie and failed a lot. There really isn’t much more to say.


Jesus Christ - もう1つは本当の救世主

January 10, 2012

The mystery of Jesus Christ has finally been solved. And as was expected, it ended in Japan.

Christ first visited Japan between the ages of 21 and 33 (the Bible does in fact skip over large periods of Christ’s early life, and many theories exist about what he did in the intervals). The document claims he studied the native language and culture before returning to Jerusalem, where he was crucified. Only it wasn’t really him who was crucified. His younger brother, Isukiri (who makes no appearance in the Bible), nobly took his place on the cross, pretending to be the Son of God, while the real Christ fled to Siberia.

A few years later, via Alaska, he arrived at the port of Hachinohe, just 40 km from Shingō. He made his way to the village, where he married, had three children, and lived to the age of 106.

So, that ends that mystery. Jesus Christ let his brother die for him, fled to Siberia and - via Alaska - made his way to Japan, where he lived a pleasant life and was by all accounts, just a fine fellow. No word on whether Sarah Palin has seen Christ’s actual footprints from her house.


Fun with Some E-Cards

January 10, 2012

Thanks to SomeEcards.


Ok, I did it

January 10, 2012

P.S.: For those that have inquired about our little Boston Terrier Max, he’s doing well. He’s comfortable, gets in some solid napping and still attacks food like the greedy little piggy that he is. Also, his ego is through the roof now that he’s been featured in the Washington Post.


This weekend in Jesus Christ

January 9, 2012

Things Jesus didn’t do over the weekend:

Help Arizona-born U.S. citizen Amir Mirza Hekmati avoid being sentenced to death for being a spy in Iran.

Help millions of Iraqi refugees.

Keep Syrian protesters from being killed.

Keep Beyonce & Jay-Z from naming their daughter “Blue Ivy.”

Help 10 Pakistani soldiers avoid denogginization.

Help the two people killed in a bus crash in Montana.

Keep gas prices from rising.

Keep a young girl from being cyberbullied until she killed herself, and keep the cyberbullies from mocking her after she died.

Things Jesus did over the weekend:

Help Tim Tebow beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and throw for 316 yards, which is similar to a Bible verse.


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