Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.

network solutions made me a child pornographer!
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Requiem for a fictional Scotsman

Oh my God! They killed Library!! Those bastards!!!

Elegy to a Mostly Maine Coon

It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day

A Pittsburgher in the Really Big City

Da Burg Annat

I Have Issues

Yeah, yeah, I'm inspired

At least the rivers freeze in Pittsburgh

He knows if yinz is a jagoff

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Saturday, May 14, 2005


A group of current and retired United Airlines flight attendants have published a calendar to raise funds and stick it to the bankrupt airline for dumping its unfunded employee pensions.

“We are producing this calendar because we are facing the frightening probability that our "guaranteed" pension will be terminated,” says the Stews Stripped website. “Our mission is to create a national awareness to the naked truth that no retirement fund is completely secure and that there is a definite crisis in the pension guaranty system. Make certain that your retirement plan is not sitting on a time bomb. Take an active role in your future and start now to plan for your retirement years. You can never start too soon. Will your pension/retirement fund be there for you when you need it?”

Well, it certainly got my attention.

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Friday, May 13, 2005

Down in flames

United Airlines lost $1.1 billion in the first quarter and dumped its huge unfunded employee pension liabilities into the lap of the taxpayers.

Oh yeah, it also gave Chief Executive Glen Tilton a $366,000 bonus. Good going, Glen.

These events and the imminent threat of strikes by the airline's various unions means I'm going to start using up my United frequent flyer miles and begin the switch to Southwest for my Pittsburgh-Chicago commutes.

The losers here are United's employees. Despite layoffs and pay cuts, the pilots, flight attendants and mechanics at the bankrupt airline have maintained one of the best on-time performance records in the industry.

But the company's in a power dive now, and there's no way it's going to be able to pull out without the wings shearing off.

In related news, two-time bankruptcy loser US Airways has asked the court for permission to give managers and salaried workers up to $55 million in bonuses and severance pay.

So, let's see; let's cut the pay of the people who actually keep the airline running, and give bonuses to the people who mismanaged it to the brink of oblivion.

Every week you read of executives golden parachuting themselves out of the plummeting fireballs of the companies they've destroyed. Rewarding incompetence is an insane way to run a business.

Maybe we should start teaching Chinese in schools. Nah... it'd divert funds away from critical football and basketball programs.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Grenade, President turn out to be phony

Fake Weapon No Threat to Fake Leader, Security Officials Say

(from The Borowitz Report)

A hand grenade hurled in the direction of President George W. Bush in Tbilisi, Georgia on Tuesday caused a momentary scare among security personnel in the former Soviet republic until it was determined that the grenade, and the president himself, were both phony.

The grenade, which was found within 100 feet of the tribune in Tbilisi's Freedom Square where the president spoke on Tuesday, was at first believed to be real, as was the president himself.

But after authorities were able to examine both the grenade and the president more closely, it was determined that they were both completely fake.

"The grenade posed no real threat at all," said a top Georgian security official. "Much like Iraq in March of 2003."

The White House issued no official comment on the phony grenade, but said that the president would make a false statement later in the day.

But White House spokesman Scott McClellan confirmed reports that a phony plan to fix Social Security had been discovered late Tuesday afternoon on the president's desk in the Oval Office.

After the fake plan was spotted by a sharp-eyed administrative assistant, a bomb squad was brought in to detonate the phony document in a safe and controlled manner.

"If that plan to fix Social Security had been real, it would have been incredibly dangerous," Mr. McClellan said. "Fortunately, it was a total fraud."

Elsewhere, United Airlines said that their employees would no longer be entitled to a pension but that they would be offered a light snack for purchase on all domestic flights.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Headline of the week

On The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, reporting on Bush opening up a third of all remote national forest lands to road building, logging and other commercial ventures:
"Run, Forest, Run!"

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Mission: Malaprop

After several quiet, uneventful months, my somewhat off-kilter e-mail pen-pal has started sending me important classified information again. Despite my protestations, he still believes that is the official web site of the Russian secret police.

This time his urgent missives are in Arabic. Pages and pages of impenetrable Arabic, lines of dense script interspersed with what appears to be various numbers and dates.

"Please translate," my buddy Mohammad pleads. "This is crutical."

Whoa. Crutical, it appears, is a combination of crucial and critical.

I explained, again, that I'm not part of any intelligence agency and that I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. His e-mails to me are both fruitless and futile.

So I told him to knock it off. "Future communications," I explained, "would be fruitile."

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Good genes

"M" is for the million things she gave me,

"O" means only that she's growing old,

"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,

"H" is for her heart of purest gold;

"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,

"R" means right, and right she'll always be,

Put them all together, they spell "mother", a gal who's going to call me tomorrow and ask, "what's with this “only that she's growing old” shit?"

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Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The e-mail address is now something other than saga. used to be until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up and adopting created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the domain name in 1993, and had since that time used as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that was no longer but rather which is longer than and more letters to type than and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than but actually just as functional as I sent e-mails from the address to just about everybody I knew who had used in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that no longer is the they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...


Crystal Methodist

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

I am a professional. Do not try this at home.

I canna change the laws of physics

As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)

Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Left wing liberal nut job

Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.

Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.

If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.

If evolution is just a theory, why am I surrounded by monkeys?

Nutrition makes me puke

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