Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiger Woods

I'm no legal expert so correct me if I'm wrong but I thought when something happens that may be in the purview of copland and they call you down to the precinct or come to your house to talk to you you pretty much have to, I mean Joe Schmoe just can't slam the door in their face and say he's had a hard day at work, he's tired. Yeah I'm talking about The Accident. I remember about a year or two ago when Tiger's game was suffering, he'd miss a few putts here and there, he was a little off his game, just a tad and my brother said "that's because he's still thinking about her sitting on his face last night" but that was then, apparently the shine may be off the conjugal apple. Now sure his Swedish supermodel of a wife was probably tempted early on, he's another one like Simon Cowell who can wipe his ass with money AND single-handedly fund health-care reform but a smart gal with a good head on her shoulders would have easily saw down the road and seen the signpost marked TEMPTATION, turn around. You know it's a pretty big story when it's the second lead story on the national news over the weekend even bigger than those White House party crashers and the prevailing theory right now at least among the women is that he had an affair and she wanted to wrap a golf club around his neck, just sayin'.

Tiger Woods, I always thought he had a 'tude.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How do you define a conservative Utopia?

Let's say in our futuristic theoretical scenario conservatives got every victory under the Sun they ever fantasized about

except One,

and anyway the FC's have always had a problem with this one issue. They say the SC's are way too concerned and focused on It and it would do the party well to give it the old heave-ho since we agree on so many other things. OK so let's say in our hypothetical here liberalism is a total thing of the past, a fossil, don't gotta even worry about it anymore and so we have our conservative society, our conservative world but without Pro-Life. We got everything else just not that one thing. The libertarian wing got their wish big-time and so the everything else includes the usual: leaner government, vastly lower income taxes (or none at all), a strong and stable military (very Reaganesque), labor unions gone, a better educational system that got rid of tenure, geez terrorism you don't even have to worry about anymore even at a shopping mall in Israel, free speech and then some, tort reform

the whole gamut,

except that not only is abortion-on-demand still the law of the land but the country hasn't even been pulled in a pro-life direction, in short there's no pro-life influence even. The FC/libertarians would naturally be perfectly fine with all of this but it would still be a spiritually empty victory. Take away the moral tension on any issue and you leave yourself a vacuum, there is a part of us that likes to be reminded of Right and Wrong though we may bristle at it on the surface. Even the FC's themselves who no longer hide their irritation at the SC's, take away the SC's would they still miss us? We need that moral voice even if we disagree with it, if anything it may lead us to calibrate our own views, many times they need calibrating anyway. If abortion ceased being on the political radar screen, if every pro-life voice vanished overnight it'd be like your Dad buying you a Hustler and a bong, you'd be taken aback and would lose the sense of sin. Many of you may hate the SC's the way Barry Goldwater did in his dotage but do you really want us to go away? Can't we on some psychological level represent Conscience at least in some rudimentary, vague and primeval way, serve some type of existential purpose? Tension, moral tension always serves a purpose and liberals can serve this purpose as well. We will always oppose the Welfare State but the moral calibration here caused by liberals force us to give more charitably, at least that's my theory and studies bear this out, conservatives are not at all stingy when it comes to the collection plate. Take away every single moral voice which you hate be it liberal or conservative and what have you got? Many FC's say Rand had the perfect blueprint for a perfect society but for me for all of her great ideas and she had a few it would still leave me spiritually empty. We NEED other voices!

How do YOU define a conservative Utopia?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Idol without Paula

She's been on since the show's founding and I ain't the president of the Paula Abdul Fan Club or something but it's like when a regular worker leaves for all their faults you still miss them. Ellen the newest judge, no musical expertise or connection to the music world that I know of. Drifted in and out of Idol all last season and what we got was Adam "It's Because I'm a Gay Man" Lambert. Paula has had two careers, as a pop singer and larger imo as a judge on AI. We have treated her zaniness as a threat to the Republic ("oh did you see?") when the more important issue is the government running the country into the ground (Bush government or Obama government, doesn't really matter). Anyway I ain't watching this time 'round. It's not a kind of fervored protest on my part just a show that doesn't know what to do with itself. Did they want to get rid of her all along?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Earth Goddess has made a prophecy

OPRAH has announced her last show will be sometime in 2011 - "25 years feels right in my bones" (it does to me too) - and this was promulgated with the utmost gravity. The way it was announced though I thought her last episode was just two weeks away. It's apparently as important as a predicted astronomical event and one can expect a new understanding of Time itself: there was BC, AD and now AO for After-Oprah. So why can't SNL, the Simpsons and the Tonight Show with any host follow suit?

Knew a Jamaican chef once who said he couldn't put his finger on it but he just doesn't like her. "I know she's done good things with her Book Club and all but I just don't like her." Her beneficent and fruitful Womb has spawned Dr. Phil and now Dr. OZ. If she and Obama ever have sex we could have ourselves a new Creation Myth in about 2,000 years hence, the Renewal of the Earth and archaeologists will be unearthing the bones of Republicans and conservatives in the Gobi Desert.

Phil Donahue was big back in the day but not like this. He'd have on say a very sexually active grandmother and raise her hand and say "God bless you Mama!" with cheers from the audience but he kind of resembled a big channel catfish near the end foraging in the muddy river for chicken guts and doughballs the kind a good ole Southern boy night noodle or grapple with. He was a liberal who knew his time was up.

Somewhere in the cold winter nighttime sky between Orion the Hunter and the Twins lies the as yet to be discovered Oprah constellation, future beacon to navigators and seafarers alike and when she passes she will be mummified in a sarcophagus, lines will form around the Globe and Mankind will finally know Peace.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Does being pro-choice mean you have to be pro-Roe?

Is this constant percolating tension between the social conservatives (SC's) and the fiscal conservatives (FC's) within the party a false one? Can one be pro-choice and anti-Roe vs. Wade? Soapie has said in the past abortion should be a states' rights issue though he is personally very much pro-choice but he seems one of the very few fiscal or libertarian conservatives to actually say this. Put it this way I could (though there are alot of other factors involved here) support someone for political office who is pro-choice but anti-Roe and I would say the majority of pro-lifers these days are not purists on the issue. The Human Life Amendment is pie-in-the-sky stuff except for folks like Judie Brown of the American Life League. If Giuliani had adopted this federalist approach even a few years ago he well might have been the GOP standard-bearer instead of McCain by default. I've never understood it, this internecine political rift between the SC's and the FC's when there is so much potential common ground here. Roe was wrong on so many levels that would be a separate blog unto itself, I'd probably have to break it down into 3 threads at least.

FC's do the same thing with Terri Schiavo, it's always the Congress shouldn't have gotten involved but I've talked to a couple of pro-choice people who saw it from other angles. When that case was living news a chef friend of mine whom I worked with at the time first said he wouldn't want to live like that (DUH, who would?) but then framed it as the husband was suspicious (no mention of Congress' involvement) point being can't the FC's look at pro-life issues from any other perspectives? My chef friend though I disagree with his politics (he's a liberal) generally thinks of things the right way, goes through the correct thought processes and I don't see alot of objectivity out there. Again he and I both had a common ground here about why not just let Terri's family take care of her and so you can't tell me there can never be any thoughts that coincide on the life issues between SC's and FC's or even between conservatives and liberals in general.

George Will once concluded that the abortion issue is stale, maybe that's because he prefers it that way. You take any issue under the sun and I can find new hues, other nuances, perspectives, shades of meaning. Maybe the problem is our limited imaginations.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Conservatism at its most primeval

I like every single conservative on the planet oppose the Welfare State but I come at it from a more visceral, more personal angle. Sure I oppose folks sitting on their duff getting a check for the usual reasons, fosters dependence on government yada yada yada but where I differ from most conservatives is when they say work automatically ennobles a person. Occasionally yes but more often no, let's face it work sucks for most of us so the main reason I oppose welfare is if I have to suffer then so do you pal. Not exactly high Newt Gingrich philosophy, won't make the GOP platform but there you have it. I oppose the beatnik philosophy of getting up whenever the hell you want to and doing whatever for the rest of the day because I can't do it. My brand of conservatism is you could say off-kilter, it goes all the way back to the Id. The Id has a few things to say about race too but I'll leave that for another day, well no let's do it here. Folks who are racist are that way because of black crime, not like they wake up one morning and decide to become a bigot. Obama bending over for the Japanese Emperor on his Asian trip, now this Emperor had a father once who was also Emperor by the name of Hirohito I believe who okay'd the attack on our sleeping soldiers at Pearl Harbor. Now I GET the criticism that we conservatives are just looking for stuff, the guy can't do anything right (your basic Shaw Kenawe position) but he's making it too easy. It's times like these when I believe you should be allowed to say without a peep from Keith Olbermann or Bill Moyers the guy's a FUCKING ASSHOLE!

I can't believe I'm living.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sarah Palin Week & other thoughts you hear seldom expressed (if at all)

Yeah Sarah Palin Week is coming up. I know if you're a lib you're supposed to hate her and if you're a conservative you're supposed to love her but mine is a non-position just like I'm not for or against Dancing with the Stars because I don't watch it. I'm not into Sarah Palin, there's just something existential about it. I'm at the point in my life where I'm bored with alot of stuff but seems to me

we should have cured cancer first instead of impotence. Impotence is not a tragedy, it's a misfortune and folks often confuse the two. Cancer on the other hand...put it this way, how can you enjoy Sex if you're dead?? Our cultural priorities don't seem very logical but then again it'd give everyone something to talk about if you're lying there in the casket with a boner.

Can or should the act of onanism land you in Hell? Posed this once at a religion forum where I was deemed somewhat controversial but seems to me if you're gonna be damned for all Eternity you should at least have done IT with another party. I don't get Catholic theology on this one, not advocating for or against but just seeing the existential absurdity of it all. God doesn't want you, the Devil doesn't want you (you're not depraved enough) and so there must be some kind of Limbo out there for folks like porno pete.

Re Love % Romance I have alot of thoughts. Now what are the odds exactly of two people feeling exactly the same way about each other? No I'm not talking about being compatible, you both like bowling and hate Obama, you both ipod to Pink, you're both against the oral but the whole Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor, Antony and Cleopatra thing, a love for the ages -- "Elaine!! Elaine!!." Can you grow to love somebody? seems in most cases we have no choice, Life ain't that poetic or doesn't cooperate or whatever which if you go back in my blogging archives is one of my recurring complaints, a romantic peeve of mine. Here's the paradox although we won't admit it, the stalker's view of the universe is the correct one, it's the way Life is supposed to be, but his or her actions are wrong of course, after all as bloggers well know it's the hardest thing trying to convince someone else of your own POV although we sure as hell try. Most folks are against the happy ending, "reunited and it feels so good", and we seem to want to trudge through Life with our bad memories. Goes a long way in explaining
our divorce culture,

It's November the 15th and here in the Northeast it's balmy again. Wondering how long it will take before the rest of my conservative brethren admit maybe the Goracle just may have the smidgeon of a point, a sliver of the total picture. I don't know how to dress in the morning anymore, it's chilly at 6AM but then I find I overdressed around 2 in the afternoon. Wasn't this way in the past when this time of year was autumnal but that was in the era before global warming and the climate change stuff. We shouldn't disagree on this one anymore only question is why do we care so much? if it's 65 degrees out in January why the massive cause for alarm? Enjoy the day, I mean if you don't have cancer.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Obama, the Hamlet of foreign policy

It's the Nobel Effect. What's a peace-prize winner supposed to do, send an additional 30,000-40,000 troops to Afghanistan? although I did read in the paper just the other day he was on the verge of doing just this. Short of a mushroom cloud does the guy call anything a terrorist act these days? I don't feel comfortable.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why is Glenn Beck so worried about South Park and Playboy?

If there's that much concerted effort to attack you even amounting to a journalistic conspiracy at least it shows you're important (the Z-man would actually envy this treatment - ALAS!). So South Park made fun of our guy last night. The only people I know who actually watch South Park and talk about it the next day are young men, the artwork ain't even good. It's as annoying as Family Guy or American Dad with the gay alien (this my friends is where the FOX Network sucks). As for Playboy they've been losing sales for years. I mean if you're looking for sex on film you're gonna be going hardcore I would think and don't want to see some woman's head bobbing up and down with a vase in the way (what's that? porno pete agrees). What kind of man wears pj's all day when he can be out fishing, on a boat or playing baseball? must be the French influence, left-wing faggot. The cultural importance of what Tony Snow once memorably called this "saggy bag of flesh" is grossly overrated and at his passing with the usual media encomia expected Z promises a relevant blog. In fact I put Playboy and Rush in the same category, they are soooo yesterday like the old-fashioned Yoo-Hoo bottle you may find while hiking in the woods or that old Stephanie Mills album you buried in the back of your stereo cabinet - "oh look at this!" - nostalgic and all but then you move on to something else. Put it this way, my friend and I were in a Barnes & Noble the other day and they still have Archie and Veronica comic books around with modern themes like text-messaging, do we care?

Another critical and key difference between liberals and conservatives -- libs are more worried about anti-Muslim backlash, they seem to see every major terror attack as Fort Hood through the prism of geez I hope they don't beat up the Muslim guy down the block who's getting his morning paper. Conservatives are more worried about Islamic extremism itself and will even call into question the whole religion although this is not allowed at Hannityland. Lib concerns are not irrelevant but I put myself firmly in the con column, I don't see the need to have coffee and donuts with Mustapha at this point. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly met for a whole hour the other day with Muslim leaders to address their concerns in the wake of Fort Hood but I ain't into the whole imam scene. That's fine and all if that's your thing, in fact it's swell, I got no problem but personally I'd be like you have to take back your whole faith system first.

The Beckster (oh that's so gay) is back with a bang! Did you know there's doggie insurance in the health-care bill? Rumor has it that Hef likes the animals, just sayin'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We're a free country but we could be freer

While there are myriad themes running through my blog if I could encapsulate the Theme of Themes it would be this: "yes we're a free country but we could be freer." We all have our own concerns and issues, I might talk about things that Glenn Beck doesn't even touch on and vice versa but the way I see it is even though we're still a democracy, yes I know a republic, a capitalistic system (although those days seem to be numbered) we have slowly evolved into a Work State. My friend and I took a trip to Piermont yesterday and then off to the Palisades Center Mall, largest mall on the East Coast and as usual we hashed things out. He's an Irish conservative but somehow seems less Obamacentric than most, we talk about Things in General that bother us. We both work in the food industry and we both have only one day off a week which is hard to coincide, you really have to cram everything you wanna do or have to do in that one day (e.g. oil change, haircut, things you need to buy) and so he said "you're like a sailor on leave" and when you're a sailor on leave you start doing crazy things, get a tattoo, get 10 lap dances BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO GO BACK. It's a control issue, your life is structured for you by OTHERS and so that's what I mean when I say we live in a free country but we could be freer. Every time somebody does something stupid pass a law. We have this thing at work now there's never a key in the compactor because that's the law and when you take the garbage up you waste more time trying to find a manager with his big ring of assorted keys. So that's what I mean, we're somewhere in that gray realm between being a pure capitalistic system based on freedom and the communist model and we seem stuck in this mode. Dunno what to call it yet, liberty with a hundred footnotes. You see people are threatened by total freedom, you can never have total freedom and so we can't give him 2 days off a week because productivity would fall even though that's a myth, if anything you'd have happier workers. So after Piermont we're driving along Rte. 59 to the Mall and he goes the country is like "a big jock itch growth of corruption, it has to be lasered out." We touched on job stress causing skid marks in your drawers and he goes "we should send the laundry bill to the Company." Then if this isn't enough you have your psychos and sadists to deal with, people who use the fear factor like you just had an extremely busy Sunday at work, the only question is how much the sales were up and so you happily tell your boss the next morning you were rockin' 'n' rollin' and she goes "we were down 500 dollars." Everyone's job is now on the line, honchos driving around in their big limo and may stop in later, doomsayers, naysayers, psychological terrorists, the world is ending, press a button. So then we capped it off eating at some Tex Mex place on the 4th floor, ordered some beef and chicken enchiladas, tacoes, roasted peppers, rice and beans and the portions were humungous. Now no sooner do we start chowing down the EFFECT was immediate, you felt different, you wanted to go to sleep, it was like a narcotic effect...OMG MKULTRA!!!...and so to get a more objective sense outside my own world of paranoid delusions I run it past my friend and he said he felt exactly the same way. We couldn't finish the stuff, he chucked his doggie bag at home later although he said the guacamole was the best he's ever had. That's the thing with restaurants these days, they either give you too little or food fit for a fat slob (was that a shadowy G-man we saw at The Christmas Scene before dinner?). Dunno man but I'm feeling trepidatious lately. Glenn Beck is back on the air today and he says to trust your instinct, to go with your gut, your dog knows when something Ain't Right so I don't know what to make of all this, it's haphazard bullshit, that's what it is (make myself feel better) but I do think if there's some massive conspiracy afoot it's to Work Your Ass Off...on the road again...

Monday, November 09, 2009

Obama's erotic dreams of socialism

In case you missed it by now there's some sort of liberal consensus out there that we conservatives all go to the Big K whenever they have a big tinfoil hat sale. Well yeah to call Obama a socialist you have to wear a tinfoil hat so just the other day I got my new issue of The Fatima Crusader in the mail, Issue 93 - August 2009. Hey it may not be most people's main source of information here but the themes are the same and that's the beauty of the VRWC, many segments are deliberately kept in the dark about the other factions, it truly is what the V stands for and is as complicated as Whitewater so that should the day ever come when THEY decide to prosecute us it'll be too, shall we say like that George Clooney movie Syriana. Anyway an article by traditionalist Catholic writer John Vennari is germane here: We Must Choose Between Our Lady of Fatima's Plan for Peace vs. the New World Order Tyranny ( Now to those of you whose eyes glaze over at every mention of the supernatural there's enough Glenn Beck stuff here to really sink your teeth into. A recap:

"Obama is essentially a left-wing radical, he is a globalist and he is one of the most (if not the most) pro-abortion political leaders on the planet...In a January 5 interview of CNBC on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Kissinger, speaking of Obama and the current economic crisis, said, "I think that his task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a 'new world order' can be created. It's a great opportunity. It isn't such a crisis." There's some stuff on the Bilderbergers and "one of the main aims of the New World Order is to erode the national sovereignty of nations in favor of an international world government." yada yada yada David Rockefeller, special interests...oh God he's even more pro-abortion than Barbara Boxer!! Oh yes and then there's Saul Alinsky, radical left-wing organizer who died in 1972, Obama a big student thereof. The Rules for Radicals, Chicago, "it is crucial for the radical not to look like a radical" (hmmmmm.....). In a 2001 radio interview Obama said the liberal Warren Court didn't go far enough, didn't "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" meaning redistribution of wealth for instance but you already knew that if you're good Glenn Beck fans. Education and health-care, euthanasia down the road, globalism and the UN, cap 'n' trade, climate change, communist treaties, government should raise your kid yada yada but I saved the best for last. The People's Weekly World which is the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA sees Obama as "the best opportunity in decades" (so where do they get their tinfoil hats?).

WHEW, let me give my fingers a rest. President Obama, you must be giving out the wrong signals dude! Hugo Chavez likes you, the Castro brothers don't think you're half bad, you pleased Putin, some Norwegian socialists gave you their highest prize (the Dalai Lama is soooo yesterday) and now the official paper of the Communist Party USA thinks you're great. They say they can tell you're one of them, they just know even if you don't yet. Maybe there's a latency here, some erotic dreams never talked about but if I were him I'd take a day (or two) and take a walk down by the lake without the wife and kids, go out on the pier in the fading sunset and skim a few pebbles across the lake and take stock, sort things out, work on some issues. SO WHY IN HELL DO SO MANY RADICALS IN THE WORLD LIKE ME??? The right-wing, they're nuts of course and yet the commies and the socialists just love me, well they don't exactly hate me like Ronald Reagan...hell call Michelle and take a couple more days and hit the cabin, you need to be alone, every Man needs to, call it a retreat. It's like when you're shopping in the supermarket and some perv comes on to you or when you went to high school the quirkiest kid in the class shunned by all the others took a liking to you and sat next to you and tried to be your friend. The right-wing is telling you you're a commie, the left-wing is telling you you're a commie. If you ask me there's some serious VIBE action going on here. Everyone thinks you're in the closet dude, whassup?!? time to get......reorientated?

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Z Platform

Started blogging way back in August of '06 and been going at it steady now for three years. Such a wide variety of topics so I thought I'd break it down and you have it over there on the right. Certain themes, concerns, issues, peeves, obsessions have emerged:

I'm fairly libertarian but with social concerns -- now there's a very fine needle to thread between soapie and kris, what's a guy to do?

War only as a last resort -- where I differ from most conservatives these days. I'm not by any stretch an armchair neocon warrior but not Mahatma Ghandi either. I would rather have brought OBL to justice and save Saddam for another day, again I'm off the plantation on the whole foreign policy thing, sorry.

Big Business is not always right -- again where I differ from most conservatives these days so don't bring me on a shopping spree at Walmart.

Let's debate Islam -- hand it to Matt Lauer for asking some good questions this morning on the Today Show about that tragic Fort Hood massacre in Texas. Seems the soldier/psychiatrist who did the shooting is a Muslim and yelled "Allah Akbar" (God is great) before he commenced killing 12 soldiers. Let's debate Islam, something you can't do at Hannityland. Maybe on balance Islam is a peaceful religion but dunno anymore, let's talk about it.

No More Laws -- we could even get rid of a few. Ties in big-time with alot of other themes here.

Sex -- don't desexualize Life but act with decorum. In the wake of the Steve Phillips scandal ESPN held a conference call recently to discourage office romances. Ever work in a totally desexualized workplace? BORING, not the solution ok? Sex ties in with

Feminism which imo has done more harm than good. Now there are laws and policies in the land basically in effect legislating how men pursue women (yes I said pursue, got a problem with that?). Men are wired this way, if you don't like it move to another Planet. Sure there are excesses but I come from an era where Men were red-blooded and not pc-feminized pussies, I'd rather be annoying than afraid.

Free Speech -- while not absolute it is what it says. I like the raw feed when you get somebody's thoughts unfiltered, Deal With It.

Pets -- It's my feeling that conservatives can be a little more pro-animal, a little more pro-environment. You don't have to save every snail darter on God's green earth but you don't have to build UPS and Coca Cola plants right by a beaver pond either.

Law & Order -- think Dirty Harry and Charles Bronson movies.

Rush & Glenn -- Glenn is downright interesting to listen to but I think for myself thank you. Rush on the other hand...

Psychiatric Drugs -- doesn't get to the root of the problem, may as well take LSD.

The Bad Mooders -- bosses often fit into this category. If I wake up in a good mood don't bring me down asshole.

Work -- I don't worship it like most Republicans. It's a means to an end that's it, I don't start humping the table because the boss just said I can work 2 hours OT today.

You know I'm gonna cap it here, this is gonna take all day.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


You know when people get married everyone throws money their way? Let's say it's your cousin, whoever and at the reception everyone lays their envelopes on the table. Most probably contain hundred dollar bills, maybe mine was a fifty. Anyway let's say a few years down the road they get unhitched do we get our hard-earned money back, a refund you could say?

"Hey I gave you guys 50 bucks for a washing machine and you didn't even stay together."

I believe in spending money but I don't like wasting it. Hey if folks want to get divorced so be it, it is what it is BUT GIVE US OUR $$$$$ BACK!!!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thoughts on Election Day

Does your vote really count? Sometimes I feel like a drop in the ocean when I go in there, if you don't have a million other drops just like you it's meaningless, a kind of existential politics if you will. What with corruption, voter fraud and the special interests in answer to the question somehow I don't think it really does. In a perfect world.

The theoretical -- What if you had 100% voter turnout? What if everyone eligible to vote in this country did how would it break down? Would Obama even be President? If there's such a groundswell of grass-roots opposition to him now how come this didn't manifest itself in the voting booth then? Are liberals just better organized? Was it corruption or is it simply a case of buyer's remorse? In this case it wouldn't be such a right-wing thing as the msm is making it out to be, a bunch of Glenn Beck podpeople mechanically doing what the Master says but let me not ruin a good story.

"He couldn't be elected dogcatcher." Do we even have dogcatchers anymore?

& Finally Corzine, throw the bum out on his keyster!!