Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Watch the video below. If you're familiar with director George Stevens' 1952 classic film Shane, you know what it's about. If you haven't seen Shane, take a look, and pay close attention.

The legend of Shane is set in a valley in late 19th Century Wyoming where, as the story goes, the closest law enforcement was three days' travel away.  However, I'd like to know your answer to this hypothetical question: 
What if the laws of current-day Florida were in place in Shane?

I'm not kidding. If what you just saw had taken place in Florida, could Jack Wilson, (Jack Palance) the grinning, black-hatted shooter, be convicted of a crime? Or was he simply defending his own life against hot-tempered so-called sodbuster Frank "Stonewall" Torrey (Elisha Cook, Jr.), who clearly drew a gun on him in front of plenty of witnesses?

I want to know what you think. I've got Disqus on my blog now, so it's easy to comment. Knock yourself out.

By the way, Shane is well worth watching if you've never seen it. It's not #45 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Classic American Movies for nothing. You can see it on Amazon or Netflix, and the Blu-ray is being released in August 2013.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


You know who Hank Johnson is, don't you?


What if I told you he has to be the least intelligent member of Congress currently in office, bar none? Would that help you?

What's that? You say he can't be as dumb as that guy who expressed his concerns to a Navy Commander about putting a Marine base on the South Pacific island of Guam because it might cause the island to capsize?

That was Hank Johnson!

From a March 26, 2010:

Here's a portion of the transcript of his comments in the video; the hearing's transcripts can be found here (Johnson's questions to U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. Robert Willard, U.S. Navy begin on page 26).  

When the video of Johnson's "capsize" comments went viral, he claimed that he was using humor to make a larger point about the potential damage a new military base could cause to Guam's infrastructure and environment. 

Let's talk about that. 

It's true that Johnson did voice those concerns, but his unsteady inquiries about the length and width of the island (although, shockingly, he couldn't get the words "length" and "width" out of his mouth) indicate to me he had in mind that the adding a naval base to the island might tip it over much like an unbalanced canoe would.  Hank should have no such fears; an additional 25,000 more residents shouldn't put Guam at risk of sinking under the weight of approximately 200,000 residents. After all, there is an island property of the United States that does just fine with one-ninth the acreage of Guam and 1,600,000 residents. What's the name of that island again?  It seems to have slipped my mind. 

Oh, I remember. It's called "Manhattan."

Now, that's comedy ... kind of. I'm no comedian, but I know I'm funnier than Hank Johnson for the simple fact that I know this: If you're the only one who gets it, you're not doing it right.  Good humor may at times be complex, but it's never so obscure that people have no idea what is being talked about.  Funny people learn this at a young age.  As we get older, the stakes get higher. When a mature adult flubs at telling a riddle much like kindergarten kids often do, it's not cute.  It's embarrassing at the least, and at the worst it's pathetic.  People wonder if you're just bad at being funny, or if you're dense.  Maybe Hank, in his own mind, thinks he's Bill Cosby or Richard Pryor. I think not. Try Stepin Fetchit. That, of course, is predicated on the notion that Johnson wasn't being dead serious.

Johnson is also on the House Judiciary Committee.  In the run-up to so-called comprehensive immigration legislation passed in the Senate with the aid of moderate Republicans of the "Gang of Eight," border hawk Trey Gowdy (R-SC) proposed the "SAFE Act," a bill that authorizes and funds the enforcement of federal immigration statutes by state and local governments.  On June 13, 2013, hearings were held regarding the bill.

You're about to watch one reason why I don't give Hank Johnson the benefit of the doubt when he offers explanations for appearing to be totally clueless.

Out of the nine persons seated before the HJC that day, two Californians had compelling accounts to relate. Jamiel Shaw Sr. (right, with his late son, Jamiel Jr.) testified about how local governments' refusal to deport undocumented criminals -- in this case, a young gangbanger who had just been released from jail -- led to his teenage son being murdered as he was walking home from high school. Ironically, Shaw Sr.'s wife and Jamiel Jr.'s mother was serving in Iraq at the time of his killing. She survived a war zone in the Middle East. Her son died in the war zone in his own neighborhood.  Here's a link to video of Shaw Sr.'s statement.
Sabine Durden (left, middle, following a court appearance) testified before the Committee about how laxity in deportation of undocumented criminals led to her adult son Dominic being killed in traffic by an illegal immigrant on probation for GTA & armed robbery and 2 DUIs. Dominic Durden was a well-respected volunteer firefighter and police dispatcher who had been recognized multiple times by government officials and politicians everybody has heard of.  Ms. Durden's statement can be seen here. 

Now, watch and listen to the way Hank Johnson wasted his five minutes to question the panel, and zeroed in on Mr. Shaw and Ms. Durden.  Then, watch as Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) responded, how HJC Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) intervened, and how Shaw & Durden returned fire.

Although Shaw and Durden got to say their peace, I don't think either of them believes Johnson got it or gets it.  The frustration of Durden was evident on her face as Johnson finally stopped talking. I was alerted to this situation after I heard Durden in an interview on The John and Ken Show on KFI-AM, Los Angeles. She made note of the "rude gentleman from Georgia."

I am in the Congressional District of Nancy Pelosi. She's not much sharper than a butter knife either,  but she neither has a law degree nor practiced law for a quarter-century. Apparently, Hank Johnson does and did.  I'm trying to imagine Johnson in court, and just thinking about it is excruciating. I don't know if he's had a motorcycle accident without a helmet or something, but there's nothing that has come out of that dude's mouth lately that indicates he can do anything more than read and regurgitate talking points he can barely grasp (thus the specious mumblings about the corrections industry and ALEC).  

Certainly whatever sector of his brain from which compassion should originate has been rendered inoperable.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Before the world is rocked by whatever the Supreme Court has decided regarding same-sex marriage in the cases regarding Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, I just want to remind people of how loving and tolerant the advocates of gay marriage have been over the years.

Here's alleged comedienne Margaret Cho, a San Francisco native, at the annual Gay Pride celebration in June 2008 (NSFW; language warning):

She was a Sunday School teacher? Well, you know what they say: "...those who can't teach."

Fast forward a few months to November, 2000; Barack Obama was elected President, but Proposition 8 was victorious in California largely because of African-American voter turnout.  Exit polls say that 70% of black voters approved of Prop 8. So naturally, gay activists came out in droves and marched on the black community.


Of course they didn't go after blacks. They went after Mormons, who were among the most generous and vociferous donors toward the cause of reaffirming traditional marriage as the norm.  If you march on a Mormon Temple, you're pretty sure there will be no pushback. You can't necessarily say that about your typical inner-city Baptist church. And when you're a minority group that is overwhelmingly white, the optics of going into a black neighborhood to protest are really bad.

Anyway, here's Cho again, making an appearance in Cincinnati, Ohio at what seems to be a gay rights rally the morning after the election.  She's written a song for the occasion targeting Mormons.  The lyrics are below.  The crowd was wildly supportive of all the lyrics, even singing along at the end.

What ever happened to democracy?
Everything equal and fair?
Mormons deny our humanity
And they wear weird underwear

All that we ask for is family
Free from homophobic complaints
Spare me your holy insanity
I protest the Church of Latter-Day Saints


Don't let the Mormons get away with it
Don't let their legislation pass
Why do you think that they give a $#!+
Shove Proposition 8 up their ass

Maybe we can get them audited
Cut the whole church down to size
They hate gays 'cause they're closeted
Protect our kids from their lies

I want them to suffer for what they've done
What would the Lord on high say?
A true Christian tries to love everyone
And Jesus was probably gay

They've flooded our airwaves with blasphemy
Distortion and misuse of wealth
They try to deny their polygamy
Oh Mormons, go #U¢< yourselves


As I typed these lyrics, the line "Maybe we can get [the Mormons] audited..."  Hmmm.  Cho seems to be suggesting using the tax code as a weapon against ideological opponents...in Cincinnati! Were there any IRS employees in that crowd?


But seriously: More interesting is the way Cho refers to polygamy, which was abandoned by the LDS church as a condition of Utah Territory being awarded statehood.  Only dissident Mormons (such as the ones loyal to convicted felon Warren Jeffs) continue to openly practice polygamy, daring state and federal governments to prosecute them.  It sounds as if Margaret -- who is married, but counts herself among the gay community because she beforehand "went through seriously slutty phases" as a "trisexual" -- thinks polygamy is objectionable; I can't think of another context in which it enters the discussion.

Most of the time, same-sex marriage advocates don't talk about polygamy.  They don't want to get into a conversation about how it's the next logical restriction on marriage to fall.  Once it is stipulated that men are no longer limited to marrying women and vice versa, for what fathomable reason should the law limit the number of marriage mates to two?  What about "trisexuals," like Cho?  Why can't she marry a woman in addition to her man?  Why can't her man marry another woman?  Why can't her husband marry another man?  Why can't the man her husband also be married to another woman? Or another man? And so on, and so on.

When it comes to plural marriage and other laws based solely in common standards of morality, if both Prop 8 and DOMA are overturned, expect Justice Scalia to find a scholarly way to say "I told you so on Romer. I told you so on Lawrence. And I'm telling you now."

Mark my words.

P.S. I'm happy to announce that REACTOR has switched to Disqus comments, which are much more user-friendly than Blogger's, which don't allow blockquotes and have those annoying captchas.  So please COMMENT!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


From the document "Conway to Cook Interstate 5 Master Plan," published by the Washington State Department of Transporation in November 2008 (page 3-6)


I-5 was constructed through Skagit County in two segments beginning in the mid 1950’s and on into the mid 1960’s.Several more bridges were built in the 1970’s as interchanges were added to I-5 at Conway (SR 534), Old Highway 99 South, Anderson Road and George Hopper Road. The 2nd Street bridge in Mount Vernon was replaced with a new bridge that opened to traffic in 2006. Twelve of the 17 bridge structures in the I-5 corridor from Conway to Cook were built between 1953 and 1964 and are still in use today. All of the I-5 bridges are structurally sound and safe. Washington State has a meticulous inspection system which rates the primary components of bridges. The age and design of most of the oldest bridge structures in the corridor makes it economically unfeasible to modify them to accommodate I-5 widening for ramp or lane improvements or to accommodate wider arterial streets crossing I-5. 
I-5 pavement in the Conway to Cook corridor is primarily asphalt in both directions of travel except for a short section in the southbound lanes in the vicinity of the Cook Road interchange where the pavement is made of Portland cement. Through the years sections of pavement have been repaired or replaced on the mainline lanes and the interchange ramps. The pavement is generally in good condition but there is some rutting and cracking at a number of locations. Replacement and repair of state highway pavements, including I-5 from Conway to Cook, is prioritized regionally and statewide to ensure pavements remain safe for travel and that their useful life is optimized in order to make the best use of limited funds.  

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Mel Brooks, a comedy fixture for over six decades and an award-winning producer of movies, television shows, and Broadway musicals and plays, announced that after the revival of the Star Wars saga by The Walt Disney Company, he's going to embark on a sequel to his hilarious 1987 sci-fi satire, Spaceballs.  

Spaceballs starred Bill Pullman, the late John Candy, Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga, the voice of Joan Rivers and, of course, himself.  Front-runners to take up Candy's role as "Barf" include Seth Rogen and Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet.

Here he is announcing the good news on the Monday, March 32, 2013 edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Friday, March 29, 2013


On March 27, the evening after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments, you may have noticed a symbol popping up as avatars all over social media: A red box with a pink equal sign signifying solidarity with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's premier gay rights lobbying group.  
The red box is a variation on the blue and yellow logo HRC has used for many years.


Those of you with a presence in social media who don't believe in same-sex marriage may want to make your views known as well. I certainly did. Because I didn't want to attach myself to the views of someone prone to saying something I wouldn't want to say (including but not limited to the vile, blasphemous Westboro Baptist Church), I last night decided to create my own symbol for my Twitter account.  I hated to part with my tribute to Andrew Breitbart after a year, but felt like I had something else to say

For people who haven't figured out what I mean by the above graphic: Before you make the definitive statement that marriage of a man and a woman is the equivalent of that of a man and a man or a woman and a woman, pause....and think.  Why do you believe that?  Is that because this is what you were told by your peers?  Or what you've learned from entertainers?  Or from your religious leadersDid teachers, professors, politicians, or self-styled "experts" tell you that you were a mean or cruel person if you thought otherwise?  Or did people who love you intimate that you don't really love them unless you accept their point of view on the matter?  After all, it seems lately like every other day, a famous person who either was vocally opposed to or silently dismissive of same-sex marriage is coming forward to announce that they are (now that some opinion polls indicate more people approve than disapprove) just okey-dokey with it 

What changed their minds, if in fact their minds were changed?  One popular assertion is they say they've observed friends or family who were gay, and that did the trick of changing their perspective.  This raises a question: Was their previous stance based mostly on their lack of a personal point of reference rather than their hard-and-fast principles?  As of the moment I write this, I can't recall an "evolution" by a public official on same-sex marriage that truly fits the meaning of the word; such actions are more akin to descriptions like "about face," or the dreaded "flip-flop." 

I also included the "Fast Forward" symbol to spur debate about what is commonly referred to as "progress" when it comes to issues such as these.  People speak of "being on the right side of history" as if that means what happens in the future is necessarily beneficial to the nation on the whole.  But as is true with new "miracle" prescription drugs, there is always the potential for unpleasant side effects.  For example: when Americans generally let go of the idea that premarital pregnancy was scandalous, one would have been "on the right side of history" to say a couple of decades later, teenage girls with no discernible skill but fertility would be regularly be featured on the cover of fan magazines.  

It is my belief that once the Supreme Court door is flung open to same-sex marriage, there is no valid reason why faith-based plural marriage and libertine polygamous marriage wouldn't follow on its heels.  Intellectually honest people like George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley -- no right-winger he -- admit this is true, and I blogged about his representation of a reality show polygamist in 2011.  So I believe that rather than charge fast forward into exchanging the bedrock of American society for a sinkhole, we all ought to hit the Pause button.

Unfortunately, in between the time I created my animated Breitbart avatar, Twitter prevented new anigifs from being used; I guess I was "grandfathered" in up until the moment I replaced it.  So I just went with the "Pause" frame of the .gif, pictured at the top of this page.  For you people who would like to use the animated Pause avatar (without my personal logo), it's below.  

But -- not so fast. 

I don't want the Pause Avatar to become a symbol of attitudes that I find abhorrent. So, for the record: Being its originator and having proffered it for your use, if you choose to use it, you agree with me in principle that: 
  • Pejoratives reasonably accepted as offensive in debates such as this are counterproductive;
  • All of us are sinners who are in need of redemption;
  • No mortal individual can stand in the place of the Almighty and say who is irredeemable and who is not;
  • Nobody ought to be threatened simply for expressing their opinion on the internet, and...
  • The people who do that sort of thing are jerks.

Everybody got that? Good. Here it is.

Let me know what you (and your friends) think about it.

(Edited for clarity).

Thursday, January 31, 2013

(Part IV of IV)

Note: I am tardy in completing this four-part series, and I've got other things I want to speak out about. So I'm posting this final part with a few things left to include. I reserve the right to update it further.


  • 2012 Democratic Convention delegates' voice vote rejects re-inserting "God" and support for Jerusalem as Israel's capital in its platform, and even MSM can't pretend it didn't happen.  On the first day of the convention, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan made mention of the specific deletions of the words "God-given potential" and a declaration that the disputed city of Jerusalem is recognized by both Dems and the GOP as Israel's capital city.  Both were in the Dem platform in 2008.

In this opening-day interview with Fox News' Bret Baier, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-MI) tripped all over himself insisting that the exclusion was not deliberate, and fumbled through strawman talking points alleging that Fox News was casting aspersions on the party:

Ironically, as this contentious interview was conducted, Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker was shouting on stage extolling the virtues of the Dems' platform. 
To put an end to the issue, the first order of business the second day of the convention was to formally insert "God" and "Jerusalem" back into the platform.  Here is the scene as captured by C-SPAN, featuring Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the scourge of the John & Ken Show::

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

(Part III of IV)

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This the third of a four-part year-end post about 2012.  What didn't suck about The Earth, Commercials, and Business/Brands can be found here. What didn't suck about Radio and Television can be found here.


  • Breitbart.com On January 18th, 2012, I assisted Andrew Breitbart on Twitter as he cyber-pummeled a progressive bloggerette who denied that 1) Multiple sexual assaults occurred at Occupy camps around the world, and that 2) Victims were discouraged from calling law enforcement. It was a great moment in my online life when I refreshed and saw the notice "@AndrewBreitbart is now following you."  

So it felt like a punch in the gut when I saw the news the morning of March 1st saying he had suddenly died.  I was hoping it was either a disgusting prank by A(nonymous)-holes, or perhaps that Breitbart conspired with intrepid investigative journalist James O'Keefe to fake his death in the hope it would expose the cruelty of his detractors.  Sadly, his death was real, and even sadder, it did expose that cruelty. 
Here's Breitbart in his shining moment, conducting an impromptu press conference after Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace.  It was a righteous victory lap around the MSM figures who questioned the veracity of Weinergate solely because the story was broken on Breitbart's web.

When the shock of his death had passed, I said that Breitbart had from of exhaustion after kicking so much butt.
The Breitbart sites were in the process of being re-designed when his heart failed, and the new Breitbart.com -- connecting all of the "Big" sites seamlessly -- turned out great.  I'm not going to lie and say that the website is as good as it would have been with him, and I'm kinda creeped out when it seems fellow fans want to make him a Che Guevara-esque figure, but I'm delighted his movement didn't die with the man himself.
  • My YouTube video of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis at Dodger Stadium (watching the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants defeat the home team) was linked by the New York Daily News and to date has over 94,000 views, much more than all my previously posted videos combined.
  • Patterico's Pontifications, the blog presided over by Los Angeles County Assistant D.A. Patrick "Patterico" Frey.  For over a decade, when he hasn't been working on putting Southland gangsters behind bars, Frey has kept tabs on how facts are often mangled into an unrecognizable mess by the Los Angeles Times. In recent months, however, he's been the target of vindictive far-left partisans who are guarding the reputations of two indefensible characters. The first: Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.  The second: Convicted perjurer, convicted domestic terrorist, false accuser of former Vice President Quayle, and all-around scum-of-the-earth Brett Kimberlin. Kimberlin is a sociopathic serial litigant going back to his days behind bars for setting bombs in the Indianapolis area, and cannot abide his past coming back to haunt him.  Even though he doesn't have a law degree, he is one of the most odious practitioners of "lawfare," using the courts to terrorize people who do no more than retell prima facie fact about his past.  Kimberlin has even more personally targeted for destruction the operator of ... 
  • Allergic To Bull, the blog by Manassas, VA attorney Aaron Walker, aka "Aaron Worthing." Walker explained in excruciating detail (because it's absolutely necessary to tell the whole story) how Kimberlin and his minions harassed Walker's bosses until he was fired, tried to make him a target of bloodthirsty jihadists by filing a legal brief for the express purpose of putting his home address into public record, and sought to ensure his disbarment by framing him for assault by lying about a hostile encounter in a courthouse (Kimberlin failed to notice video surveillance cameras that would eventually disprove his allegation that Walker punched him). All of this persecution of Walker was retribution for giving some free legal advice to another blogger that Kimberlin eventually harassed into silence. Unfortunately, some judges have no patience for what they mistakenly believe are frivolous squabbles on the Internet. At least two didn't even bother doing their due diligence in reading the briefs, which on Kimberlin's side are purposefully voluminous and arcane to the point of incomprehension.  As long as left-wing haters with disposable income (such as Barbra Streisand) continue to feed Kimberlin's non-profit activist organizations millions in cash, he'll keep this crap act going.
  • DC Trawler with Jim Treacher, aka snarkmeister extraordinaire Sean Medlock of DailyCaller.com.  He's the man who coined the phrase "Clown nose off, clown nose on"   referring to the way Daily Show host Jon Stewart shields himself from criticism of his own partisanship. Every day, Jim's at the DC pricking the overinflated...well, I'd better not say that.  Treacher made the MSM notice him when he answered David Axelrod's petulant tweet referencing the Romney dog-on-the-roof story by pointing out that in Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama recounted that in his youth in Indonesia, he dined on canines. Full disclosure: Treacher also will have my never-ending gratitude for being the first person (that other people have heard of) to write the words, "...I am now an L.N. Smithee fan." 
  • Iowahawk, aka David Burge. The "Oh, yeah?" answer for people who say that conservatives can't be funny. He's a one-man Onion, minus the meanness. Watching his success is very cool for a fellow former full-time Freeper.
  • Legal Insurrection, Cornell law professor William Jacobson's increasingly important blog.  It keeps close eye on Washington D.C., on state capitals, and now college campuses, where the indoctrinated get propagandized by Academia Nuts (TM) who lie through their teeth about their dedication to "freedom of speech."  As a black conservative, Jacobson's "Saturday Night Card Game" highlighting leftists' specious allegations of GOP/Tea Party racism is a must-read and redistribute.
  • @ChrisLoesch. Husband of Dana Loesch (see RADIO), Chris is one of the first Twitter users to be held in "Twitter Gulag" via a devious organized lefty effort to report his @ChrisLoesch account as "spam."  Conservative tweeps banded together with him to badger Twitter into restoring his presence. Shortly after the second Presidential Debate, I also got tossed in "Twitmo" for seven days for reasons that Twitter refused to explain despite my repeated requests.  Now in addition to his usual activism, Loesch is involved in helping out other outspoken conservatives who follow Twitter's TOS but still get treated like a POS.
  • MacIver News Service. The webcasting arm of the Madison, WI-based John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy was invaluable during the massive (and sometimes violent) protests in and around the state Capitol in 2011, when Governor Scott Walker led a drive to limit collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. MNS continued to dig beneath the smooth surface of some of the most committed progressives in America. Below is an example from March 2012, just before the recall election against Walker failed. To train its members in activism techniques, an education union was enlisting a chapter of the Industrial Areas Foundation, an organization founded in 1940 by Marxist icon (and Obama favorite) Saul Alinsky.  Most of the videos are much more in-depth than this, but this one is pretty entertaining.

I wish Fox News always had the cojones MacIver News does.

  • Twitchy.com, Michelle Malkin's new site watching for left-wing hate in social media.  Why is it necessary? Because right-wingers are accused of "hate" on social media even when they aren't being hateful. For example, when African-American Republican Congressman Tim Scott was selected by Indian-American Republican Governor Nikki Haley to replace white South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the mainstream media scrambled for ways to continue to imply Republicans are racists nonetheless.  MSNBC's Luke Russert, the most disgraceful son of a respected journalist since Matt Taibbi, did so this way:

  • Yogchick.blogspot.com, now defunct. I don't know what has become of Yogchick, a liberal lady whom I befriended while I was defending Sarah Palin on the Oprah website in 2009. Hundreds if not thousands of Oprah fans -- most of them being Obama maniacs -- besieged Oprah.com in an effort to bully Winfrey into canceling Palin's October 17 (?) appearance on her show to promote her runaway bestseller Going Rogue, which turned out to be the highest-rated single Oprah episode in over two years.  I argued with her constantly on the site, but she later sent me an email thanking me for rationally defending my position.  She was the one from whom I always expected a comment when nobody else seemed interested enough, and she was very sweet when I revealed my personal losses last New Year's Eve.  Her blog disappeared without a trace early in the year.  I hope she's OK. If you're reading this, Yogchick, email me.

4. MUSIC: 

  • Soundhound. This smart phone app allows the listener to simply boot it up, hold it near a speaker, and voila! You discover the information about a song that the radio DJ won't tell you about before you have to get out of your car. Even better is when you hear a song from years before that they stopped playing on the radio that suddenly comes over the PA at Walgreens.  I've learned to endure the fifteen seconds of awkwardness as I hold my phone aloft near the speaker in the ceiling, hoping that the song won't be interrupted by "*Ding dong ding!* Customer service needed in the deodorant department."
  • "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen, The infectious old-fashioned pop song by the Canadian Idol finalist rocketed to Billboard #1, giving elderly whoopie cushions like moi hope that people still want to make and hear music, and not synthetic bass beats strung together to resemble music  (More on "Gangnam Style" below). 
  •  "We Come Running," by Youngblood Hawke.  This song is designed to be a radio hit. I don't get the Shark Week video for the song.  The band members are all look at least six years older than they sound, so I suspect their voices have been pitched up in the studio.  Whatever, dude. I'm a sucker for smooth youth choir harmonies ("Ooo-whoa-oh! Ooo-whoa-uh-oh!"). And when you get right down to it, pop music is all about "the sound, the sound, the sound"! 
  • "Home" by Phillip Phillips.  American Idol winner Phillip Phillips proved me wrong -- his sweet "Home" is a legitimate smash, and re-entered Billboard's Top 10 after dropping off the Hot 100 (the first to do that within a calendar year).  Unlike most Idol releases by artists besides Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, "Home" ought to have a long half-life; it's got that irresistible train rhythm, its lyrics can apply to any person who loves any other person or group of people ("Just know you're not alone / 'cause I'm gonna make this place your home"), and that's followed by a flowing, hummable break that's recognizable in the shortest snippets. People who didn't watch him perform the song after winning American Idol heard it as it was played in NBC's London Olympics coverage, which revved up interest from an entirely new audience.
  •  "I'm Henery the Eighth, I am," Harry Champion. While doing research on a totally unrelated topic, I came across the first recorded version of this song, which was a #1 hit in the USA in 1965 for British invasion band Herman's Hermits. Recorded in 1911 on cylinder by British Music Hall star Harry Champion, it's superior to the later version despite the former's ultra-low fidelity sound quality. 
  • Korean rapper Psy's execrable "Gangnam Style" stalls at #2, denying the annoying two-faced goof (birth name Park Jae-Sang) the elite distinction of being a chart-topper on the Billboard 100. By now you likely know that eight years ago -- in our blissful ignorance of his existence -- Psy wished death on American soldiers and their family members after an unfortunate tank incident near the De-Militarized Zone resulted in the death of a 10-year-old Korean girl.  My responses included this tweet:
Note that I didn't link his video, because you've probably seen it enough to last the rest of your life already.  Instead, here's American Idol reject William Hung, who cashed in mightily on his lovably lame audition. 
According to recent reports, Hung's living now is crunching numbers in Los Angeles government.  That's not a bad job if it's as hard to get fired from a civic duty in L.A. as it is working for the city of San Francisco.  His ersatz musical career certainly must have paid off his Cal-Berkeley tuition.  But after witnessing Psy's suck-cess, I have to wonder if Hung sometimes considers he was just a high school dance class away from international superstardom.

Coming up in the conclusion: What Didn't Suck About Politics, Sports, and My Personal Life in 2012!