Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union

Fellow citizens, I come to you today to deliver the first State of the Union address of my long and illustrious reign. The last year has been a good one for Pug Life Ministries. Our membership rolls have expanded greatly. We have established a feared fighting force, and I have full confidence in Brody the Bulldog to manage our conscription and training efforts and continue to sharpen the scimitar of canine military might.

We have flexed our economic muscle, launching two successful boycotts. In the quarter that we boycotted the corporate charlatan Comcast, the company lost over 40,000 subscribers. Our boycott against Austria has not yet had quite the same tangible effect on that anti-dog regime's tourism industry. But I believe this is because Vienna was not at the top of most canines' vacation wish lists anyway.

We have made great scientific strides, identifying a colorful salamander and developing the technology to cryogenically freeze our enemies.

We have moved swiftly toward our goal of establishing a theocratic pug homeland. For the first time in recorded history, canines are taking part in the democratic process. Dozens of dogs have cast their ballots to decide on a name for this new nation.

We have repelled numerous attacks, and each time, this ministry has emerged stronger. Criminal charges have been dropped. The International Atomic Energy Agency has turned its attention elsewhere. The IRS has stopped hounding us, for now. Our clandestine surveillance program deserves much of the credit for this improved security. The critics may cry foul, but let me assure you: It is legal. Obviously, as your leader, I would not engage in this domestic spying if it were not legal.

2005 was a banner year for me on a personal level as well. Thanks to the growing visibility of this ministry, my harem has never been larger. Thank you, Allah. Thank you. And my Batpug jersey has been retired, and it is now framed along with a commemorative Pug-O-Ween plaque.

Though new challenges will undoubtedly arise, the state of the Pug Life union is strong. Let us face these challenges head-on and work to make Pug Life even stronger in 2006. God bless Pug Life; God bless us all.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekend in Oklahoma

Greetings, friends. I am in Oklahoma, where I last night spotted a fox roaming the streets of downtown Norman. I attempted to take advantage of this rare opportunity to minister to a new species, but he ran away. After I return to Texas and have more time to write, I will share with you a most scandalous tale about Sister Bella. Or should I say, the former Sister Bella.

Friday, January 27, 2006

No hanging chads, please

I think we can all agree that an autonomous pug homeland will soon rise in the American Southwest, with yours truly as its unquestioned ruler. So it is time to begin preparing in earnest. It is time to name this future global superpower. In the past, I have generally chosen to rule with an iron paw. But after seeing how democracy has transformed Iraq into an oasis of peace and prosperity, I have decided to put this momentous decision in your capable paws and hands. Yes, Pug Life has gone democratic. So I urge you to vote early and often on the name of this great nation. You can find the polling place sandwiched between my handsome mug to the right and those fabulous yet tragically underclicked ads.

The poll is configured to allow you to vote once a day. If you would like to campaign for your favorite choice or engage in voter intimidation, you are welcome to leave comments below.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mugsy weighs in on Oprah book flap

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

Mugsy condemns high energy bills

Having just extended my 100 percent success rate in extracting Milkbones from my Kong ball, I come to you this morning with a grave concern. You see, my heating bill this month was through the roof. A typical bill in the ayatollah household this time of year is around $70. This month, it is over $200. I am certain that you are as outraged as I am. Although I do not actually pay the bills, I am still concerned. That extra money has to come from somewhere; what if my parents have to dip into the rawhide fund? That would be most unacceptable. So I must swiftly and forthrightly condemn Atmos Energy for this outrageous gas bill.

It would be one thing if I had recently taken in a family of gypsies or started bathing more than two times a month. But that is not the case. Instead, we have had an exceedingly warm winter. And thanks to my vibrant fur coat, I am able to keep the thermostat set low even when the weather cools. There is simply no reason for this exorbitant bill. As you know, I am not one to throw around inflammatory language lightly. But this smacks of price-gouging, and that is an ugly phenomenon, indeed. The only instance I can think of that would justify this outrageous energy bill is a sharp increase in the share price of Devon Energy (DVN). In that case, the capitalist pug in me would readily pronounce that this is simply a result of market forces at work.

Must-see TV

The local PBS station is airing "A Pug's Life: The Dogumentary" this weekend. It apparently is not running nationwide, so check your local listings. Although the filmmakers foolishly did not interview me for the movie, I still plan to watch it. Here is the information for Dallas-Fort Worth, from the local station's Web site:

Sunday, Jan. 29, 8 p.m.
Channel 13 (KERA)

A look at precocious pugs and their owners includes the canine star of the film “Men In Black”; therapy pugs working with special-needs children; a posh doggy-day-care center; and the “Halloween Howl,” where pugs don whimsical costumes.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A message to the enemies of Pug Life

In recent days, we have witnessed a sharp rise in anti-Pug Life activity. Visionary leaders are often the targets of persecution, so I am not surprised by this. But that does not mean I will take attacks on my ministry lying down. Belly rubs, maybe. But not attacks. Witness this mangled piece of paper. This morning, it was a happy, healthy document, without a care in the world. But then it dared to carry an anti-pug message. Look at it now: It is a slobber-covered, shredded shell of its former self. Learn from the paper’s example.

These enemies may be motivated by religious intolerance. They may be anti-pugites. Or perhaps they are just cat people. Whatever the case, they must know that when I am provoked, my fury is unrelenting. I urge you, do not make me take out my banana hook.

Should I demand a recount?

Well, it is an online test. I suppose it must be right.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Golden investment opportunity

Let it be known by one and all (and especially GoldenPalace.com) that the chance to own a piece of history has arrived. This week, I will journey to PetSmart to have my nails trimmed. And I will save the clippings. If William Shatner's kidney stone is worth $25,000, then surely my nails will bring in at least $20,000. I want to hurry and get this auction under way, before GoldenPalace -- with its investment portfolio of worthless oddities -- goes belly-up. I never commanded the Starship Enterprise, but I do lead the world's largest interfaith, interspecies congregation. God willing, that has to count for something. Let the bidding begin at $5.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

You go, Google

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am an admirer of Google. It is written in Google’s corporate bylaws that it is, officially, a dog company. Combine that with the fact that this company from Mountain View, Calif., is absolutely in the right, and it is easy to support Google’s decision to fight the federal government. You see, the Justice Department has demanded that Google and other Internet search companies turn over a week’s worth of search information. That’s tens of millions of searches on all manner of topics. Clearly, there is no probable cause in such a demand. The Fourth Amendment plainly states that the government can’t go looking in doghouses willy-nilly, hoping to find signs of wrongdoing. If there is no compelling reason to search – and nothing specific to search for – then the government has no right to conduct the search. Period. Surely there is some irony in the fact that the reason given for the Justice Department’s demand is to revive a law that has already been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Let us all get behind Google, which has been transformed into a canine-friendly crusader for the Constitution. The government has far overstepped its bounds in this instance. Such demands should be reserved for totalitarian states, the likes of which I intend to found in due time.

Rather than wait for my subpoena to arrive, I will voluntarily reveal some of the search phrases used to find this blog in recent months:

"chewing panties" (twice)
"panty lore"
"glorious panties"
"foster imposter chicken value"
"giantess belly dancer harem"

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It takes a PugVillage

Over the last day, we've had a surge in hits on this Web site, leading to a new high since I began tracking these things a few months ago. Nearly 10 billion unique visitors on Wednesday. It would no doubt be humbling if I were not already so modest. Most of these newcomers have come from the PugVillage forums, where a good Samaritan posted a link to this ministry. So I would like to extend a warm Pug Life welcome to all of the new visitors. I invite you to stop by anytime, and please feel free to join in the discussions by adding comments of your own.

As a wise pug once said: A stranger is just a friend you haven't sniffed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Tough decisions

Secure in the knowledge that the canine defense forces were in the capable paws of Brody, I went to work Tuesday to whittle down the hundreds of applicants for Team Pugforce. It was a grueling process, and one that I expect to continue for several weeks. After all, not just anybody can spread Allah's word through feats of strength.

With fellow judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, I began the audition process bright and early. We must have watched 80 people shatter concrete blocks -- and another 80 fail to shatter anything but perhaps their hands. It is times like these when I thank Allah for the button under my desk and the large trapdoor to which it is connected.

One of the most surprising applicants was Sylvester Stallone. Apparently, his boxing reality show "The Contender" was a bit of a flop, and he's hard up for cash. Although I greatly respect his writing ability and the fact that he single-handedly brought down communism in Eastern Europe with his 1985 movie "
Rocky IV," I had to cut him. He just wasn't strong enough to be a member of Team Pugforce. He couldn't break a single concrete block or even bend an iron bar. And truth be told, he's shorter than I am. I guess the camera really does add four feet.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sifting through job applications

Applications have begun to pour in for our new bodybuilder/evangelist positions with Team Pugforce. Among the applicants have been the world's strongest Pomeranian and Hollywood star Dolph Lundgren. But the most impressive application thus far has come from Brody the Bulldog. Federal labor laws do not permit me to post his resume, but you can find it on his blog, Bull by the Horns. Brody is co-captain of his dog park wrestling team and has an outstanding kill record (including 24 toys, four soccer balls and a television remote control). He also has no criminal record, which is more than I can say for myself. In short, Brody is vastly over-qualified for the position.

So Brody, I would like to offer you the position of supreme commander of the Armed Revolutionary Forces (ARF). We could use a bulldog like you to shape up our fighting forces and lay the groundwork for canine rule. There is no pay, per se, but you will be able to keep half the booty your troops plunder during military campaigns.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Help wanted

Wanted: Several burly bodybuilders to spread God’s word through feats of strength. Must be able to break multiple concrete blocks with fists, forearms, elbows, knees, feet and face. Must also be able to smash blocks of ice. Must be able to work well under pressure and be unafraid of pyrotechnics. Some team members will be asked to occasionally don a Kool-Aid Man costume, break through a brick wall, and offer spectators a sip of "Ayatollah Mugsy's Kool-Aid." Minimal acting skills required. Ability to rip a phonebook in half a plus.

Description: Team Pugforce is a new touring group that will use pyrotechnic displays and feats of strength to spread the word of Allah. Team Pugforce members will serve under the direction of Mugsy, supreme ayatollah of Pug Life Ministries.

Education: As little as possible.

Salary: Commensurate with education and experience in a canine-run ministry.

Must be willing to pass a positive steroid test. Unitards will be provided. Team Pugforce is an equal-opportunity employer.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wright, Wren, Gehry, Mugsy ...

As I chronicled in my travel blog, I visited Paris last year. One of my stops was Notre Dame Cathedral, where I saw a real-life hunchback. Now, I can visit Notre Dame (sans said hunchback) anytime I want in the comfort of my home. You see, in the proudest moment since my PetSmart graduation day, I completed this replica of Notre Dame Cathedral. I finished the three-dimensional puzzle early Wednesday morning, and it was no easy task. After I tore off the plastic wrap with my nimble paws and peered at the endless sea of pieces inside the box, I said to myself, "Self, what have you gotten into now? You can’t even remember the last time you did a regular puzzle, and now you’re going to try to do a three-dimensional puzzle?" But I persevered, I prayed, I deposited much rawhide in my curse jar, and roughly 48 hours later, this architectural wonder sat gleaming on my kitchen table. Excuse me a moment; I have to wipe a tear from my cheek. Next up, God willing: the Dogloo Mosque.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mugsy issues fatwa

I have witnessed too many near-collisions, seen too many uncouth vertical travelers to remain silent a second longer. Let the word ring out throughout the Pug Life empire that I have issued a fatwa! When riding an elevator (or a lift, for our more syllabically economical British readers), it is the duty of all Pug Life faithful to wait for other passengers to disembark before boarding. Woe be upon the brute who storms through the doors at the first hint of daylight. Stand aside, let the passengers exit, and then board the elevator car. In case you had not noticed, the door stays open for a certain amount of time anyway. You will not reach your destination faster by rushing headlong into the car, risking a collision with unsuspecting passengers and possibly trampling children (or canine religious leaders) underfoot. Any cretin who dares to disobey this binding religious order should be prepared to see severe bite marks on his or her shins. That is the fate that awaits you should you storm onto my elevator car.

Disgraceful behavior

What is this world coming to when a Muppet will speak this way to children? Clearly, Pug Life Ministries is needed now more than ever.

Odds and ends

Greetings, loyal Pug Lifers. Over the last couple of days, I have begun work on a great architectural project. It is not of the same magnitude as the Dogloo compound, but I believe you will find it impressive nonetheless. Like the Dogloo compound, this structure is religious in nature. If all goes as planned (and this is not a certainty, given the complex nature of this project), I will share a photo of the awe-inspiring finished product with you soon. If not, we will never speak of this again.
During my last visit to Rabbi Jake's synagogue, I had my first experience with a doggy door. Jake came and went as he pleased, displaying a sense of freedom that at first appealed to me greatly. But that flap of plastic made me uneasy. With his long snout, Rabbi Jake was easily able to push the doggy door open. I, on the other hand, have a nearly concave snout. I felt that if I were to walk through the doggy door in the same manner as Rabbi Jake, my sensitive eyeballs might hit the plastic first. And that would not be good. So I called on my human servants to hold the doggy door open for me. This technology holds promise, I believe. But it needs further refinement. I suggest the humans model the next generation of doggy doors after those automatic doors at PetSmart.
This week in 1959, Rawhide, starring Clint Eastwood, premiered on CBS. Millions of intrigued canines tuned in, only to be sorely disappointed when all they saw was a bunch of humans in cowboy hats.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Keep that CO2 coming

I spent a good chunk of Saturday afternoon basking in the sun and meditating. After soaking up the rays in my back yard for awhile, I went to the local dog park. While there, I ministered to a few needy canines and did my best to keep the soil pH levels in proper balance. But mostly, I just enjoyed the 82-degree early-January heat that Allah has bestowed on North Texas. Honestly, I don't understand all the paw-wringing over global warming. Embrace it, my children.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Remember me when you're famous

I thought this story might be of interest to the congregation, given all of the smart and talented canines who stop by. A German woman has set up a fame academy for pets, where talented animals get a chance to sing, dance and play musical instruments. Using positive reinforcement, teacher Viviane Theby of the Wittlich Fame Academy has already trained her dog to dance and taught a cat to play the piano. And then there's that xylophone-playing chicken.

Is there no justice in this world?

Re: Pat Robertson
I know I've brought this up before, but I am once again reminded of my righteous indignation. How is it, exactly, that this classless buffoon has a TV show and I don't?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Boycott Austria!

We must increase the pressure on the anti-dog regime in Vienna. Though I gave them every opportunity to do the right thing, the Austrians have left me no choice but to launch a boycott. By harnessing the economic power of the Pug Nation, we will bring this fourth member of the Axis of Evil to its knees. For the duration of the boycott, Vienna sausage shall be known as freedom sausage.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

An outrage

Recent events in Austria have really gotten my hackles up. A new law in Vienna requires the city's dog caretakers to purchase liability insurance for their canines born after Jan. 1. According to the Associated Press, policies must have minimum coverage of $864,000. The Austrians say the policies are meant to pay for legal, medical or other costs arising from any damage or injury caused by the dogs. Those caught without insurance could be forced to pay fines of more than $4,000.

It appears that prejudice is still alive and well in the country that produced Adolf Hitler. (And not in that humorous, Mel Brooksian way.) This policy could only be intended to limit the dog population by deterring humans from adopting canines. Honestly now, what is a bigger public menace: a pug or a European teenager? I didn't see any bulldogs or Jack Russell terriers torching cars in the Paris suburbs a few months ago. And yet there is no push to require liability insurance for the parents of European teenagers. This sinister law must be overturned. The vast majority of dogs are loving, peaceful creatures. For now.

In an unrelated story, a pack of angry Chihuahuas was accused of attacking a California police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop. Police say the officer suffered minor injuries, primarily bites to his ankles.