Sunday, December 31, 2006
The site can stand a bit more tweaking -- okay, a lot more, i.e., some text and audio/video additions -- and it'll kick butt, but I am pleased with the look so far.
The weather drizzles in your nation's capital as I type ten minutes into '07, the shepherd keeping watch over the flock by night. But then, there are worse places to be keeping watch than in Dupont Circle. Fun spot. And I can derive enough of said fun vicariously. And at second glance, I note the posting time reflects when the new post is opened, in this case with three minutes left of 2006, and not when it's published, in this case a year later. Thus am I having a temporal discombobulation-- and I'm still freakin' SOBER!
HAPPY NEW YEARRRR!!
My NE Pats, acquitting themselves right proper yesterday afternoon, helped facilitate a righteous flow to my resevoir of glad tidings, particularly as they prevailed over a Titan team that looks like it'll be mighty impressive next year. And relieved I am Denver didn't make the playoffs, losing in OT2SF, for they would've been headed to Foxboro next week, and they plum give the Pats the flamin' fits. Besides, I much prefer a grudge match w/the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets.
Boston & New York. New York & Boston. And the world, she goes 'round & 'round...
So sayonara, Oh-6! You gave a fun ride, ups & downs & all-arounds. But had I my druthers, I'd request from Oh-7 many more ups and far fewer downs.
As for you, dear reader, have yourself a merry little new year!
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Let's get real, shall we? I like him well enough and would vote for him over anything -- emphasis on thing -- the Republicans have to offer, but I can't help but wonder: is America ready for its first African-American president? Outside shot: America is sooo groggy from the mass ensephalopathy caused by Dubya's reign, anybody'll look good. Meanwhile, St. John the McCain is finding his advocacy for escalation in Iraq is killing him in the polls. Even Hillary, the ultimate poll-whore, has steered clear of the issue and was rewarded with superior polling numbers. Still it's wayyy too early and the swift boats remain in dry-dock.
Even so, it echos: is America ready for its first African-American and/or woman president?
So I keep looking. And not expecting to be, I was fairly impressed with John Edward's appearance on Hardball this week. And now I see he's getting some attention, the kind Dennis Kucinich can only dream about:
[I]n the first blush of presidential courtship, Nevada Democrats welcomed the former North Carolina senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate with a standing-room-only crowd and pointed questions about the deficit, immigration and the war in Iraq.This is encouraging, and particularly giddifying that Edwards has taken a page from the Blogosphere and is tying Dubya's desperation for escalation directly to McCain's tail, calling it "McCain's Plan." And, oh yeah, McCain's boy has just signed up with the Marines and looks to be slated for assignment to the sandbox. One's first impulse is to wonder if, gahd forbid, the boy gets clipped, will St. John's numbers soar? Imagine the old man's inner conflict then. I mean, c'mon, ol' Mr. Straight Talk has shown himself to be so obsessed with winning the office, he's offered to be YouTubed while fellating Dubya.
Meanwhile, Messrs. Falwell, Dobson, and Robertson (a.k.a., the 3-headed Christianist Hydra), greatly disillusioned with Mitt Romney's political windsockery, are deliberating joining the current and presumptive presidents for a five-way Around The World.
Major disturbances emanate from the right, people. They are on the run, and, depending upon whether you like it Greek-style, it either is or it ain't pretty.
President Bush called Saddam's execution "the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime."And the kind of justice Dubya denies millions, including his fellow Americans? What is to be done about that?
Friday, December 29, 2006
... until now.
h/t to Scott Thill via HuffPo
Haven't signed up yet, but I'm thinkin' on it.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The DNC had gotten copies of the photographs taken of the three tramps in Dealey Plaza, and identified two of them as long time Nixon henchmen E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis. This put the DNC in a position to at least blackmail the President, if not expose him outright. This is why E. Howard Hunt lead the break-in; it was his own ass he was trying to save.Meanwhile, my particular take on Oswald as the loan gunman is a total mystification as to how it is possible any sentient being, or even a rum-dum from middle America, let alone a lawyer on the Warren Commission, who later would become the senior Senator from Pennsylvania, could swallow the notion of a U.S. marine as Soviet symp (with lots & lots of pictures, mind you).
The photos resurfaced as part of a news story, and E. Howard Hunt sued the publisher, Liberty Lobby. He lost. Attorney Mark Lane provided witnesses that placed E. Howard Hunt in Dealey Plaza at the time that John F. Kennedy was killed.
Ah, for the good of our country...
Neh, it wasn't Castro neither. But here's who it was: Hoover, the FBI, and the amorphous Military Industrial Complex, i.e., the previous generation of the same fascist scum who put Bush in power, and are keeping him there because he's a useful idiot and they're making a frigging mint in war profits.
Oh, how do I know? I simply do.
Can I prove it... ?
Do I really have to... ?
It's like Jefferson says, that is every time he's resurrected: We hold these truths to be self-evident.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The Mass and the Catechisms always put me to distraction, my eyeballs rolling every which way but toward the collared speaker mouthing the usual quasi-Latin/English nonsense. Best I can remember is "The Mass is ended. Go in peace!"
To which I never failed to join the flock: "Thanks be to God!"
So much for blind faith.
And yet I love Christmas! I love the spiritual pretext, I love the music. I love the family need and sense of personal duty. I love the time off from the working universe so that I may reflect.
This year I stayed home and avoided people, family and friends. I had my reasons. But it was still a good Christmas.
Hope yours was too.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
He's still talking about victory in Iraq. He's even leaning toward a "surge" of troops in Baghdad that no one but the loopiest neocon ideologues is for, and that deserves its scare quotes; it would actually be yet another extension of duty tours for our courageous but vulnerable and war-weary soldiers. And not only has he rejected the bipartisan Iraq Study Group's proposal to talk with Iran and Syria; he's even ordered a Navy battle group into the Persian Gulf. Hey, Mahmoud, look how big my stick is!What with the big buildup of ships in the Persian Gulf in concert with the machinations toward beefing up the troops already in Baghdad -- 20K was the talk before and just after election day, and then it was 30K and, at last check, up to 35K; anybody want to guess a whole lot more? 50? 60? 75K?
And then it dawned on me: The new troops aren't for Baghdad but for Tehran.
Reality-based analysts have said for a while now that bombing Iran in response to their nuclear proliferation would not stop them from doing so, but rather give them the incentive to accelerate, and could very well set the entire region on fire, such that the Shias in Iraq might take a suicide charge on American troops, they who are already beleaguered and bedraggled. And how about a second wave of Iranian troops? An uprising in Riyadh?
Powell and McCaffrey did say "broken," didn't they?
Oh, and the Iranians actually have an air force and missile technology, which Iraq did not after Op Desert Storm. I wouldn't think they'd sit still, like Saadam had to, while we shocked & awed the good Iranian people, who, by the way, were quite pro-western pre-Dubya, and are quite fed up already with president Ahmadinejad.
But Dubya and Big Dick Cheney feel they can't go out this way, as abject failures possibly facing war crimes indictments, and, with the new Rumsfeld, Bob Gates, they have no other option than to do to Iran what they've done to Iraq, this in hope they can wrench any semblance of victory from Defeat's clutches.
Iraq is lost (and so is Afghanistan), nothing more to be done there. So Dubya's petulance compels him to lash out at Iran. The only question is whether a meager 50 thousand troops extra can make a difference against a second country that's far stronger than was Iraq circa 2003. The question, in case you were on Beta Centauri the last three years, is rhetorical.
And so, against everybody else's better judgement, including a unanimous JCS', Dubya does have a mission in mind for the troops, he's just not sharing it with those who have to carry it out.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
there are no straight fundamentalists in foxholes (or in colorado either, but that's another story)...
Seventy-three percent of US military members would accept openly gay and lesbian service members being in their units, according to a new poll released by Zogby International and the Michael D. Palm Center.The army may be breaking, but it's evolving too.
Q: The Sox should just tell Manny he got traded to Boston. He won't know the difference.
--Mike H, Noxen, N.H.
SG: I love this idea. They could go all out with this: Call him up, tell him he's been traded to Boston, have him pack up all of his stuff, fly him in circles in the team jet for five hours, then drop him off in Cambridge and tell him he's on the West Coast. He might fall for it. By the time the season starts, it will be too late for him to complain. I really think this could work.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Bridget Moyhnahan I discovered when she played the android-enamored scientist in "I, Robot" with Will Smith. Dug her intelligence, dug her passion, and dug her hottie self; but then I only buy Playboy for the articles.
So one imagines the life: being the pro QB who everybody wants to be, dating the babe everybody wants. What could be sweeter? Certainly not reality! Ol' Bridge is 37 and wants rug-rats, clock ticking and all. Tom is near put a decade younger and has options. Sounds a little like Brad & Jen only in reverse: She wanted the career/he wanted the rats. And as any man with those kinds of options could, Brad upgraded; although having said that, I gotta believe Angelina, she w/the vials of Billy Bob's blood, is definitely higher maintenance than Jen-babe Aniston could possibly be.
And, y'know? I think I could settle for her.
Can't wait to see who Tommy-boy emerges with next.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I'm not sure what my next step will be, that is once I've finished dubbing the KIA library. VHS is history, just ask the video stores. Even so, my laptop doesn't accept half-inch, hi-8 or three/quarter. And it's all I can do to keep up with the techology or even keep to within 4 or 5 years of it. Everybody sings the praises of "Final Cut," and -- Good Christ! -- there's no reason I can't read the damnable boilerplate and learn to edit with the thing, it's just a matter of sitting down and doing nothing else. And my attention span, y'see... ?
I coulda been a contendah.
But here's what I don't get: Why didn't William Holden leave with the cupcake rather than blow her off and then get his ass shot off by Norma Desmond? And is it me, or didn't Gloria Swanson play it a hair over the top?
But nevermind that, ever have a bottle of wine that tasted foul the first glass but left you wanting more after the last?
The ultimate collector's edition.
While much of Washington kept rapt attention on the health of Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, an article in Salon today speculated that President George W. Bush could tip the Senate to a Republican majority via other means -- namely, appointing Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut to be America's next Ambassador to the UN.Fine. Get 'im gone. But imagine a resentful collection of Democratic Senators voting against the prick, denying him the seat at the U.N. Now wouldn't that be fun? Of course he'd have to resign before receiving the guarantee of getting confirmed to assure a Repo majority, although I'm made to wonder if there might not be even ONE Republican who'd vote against him.
Right! I'll hold my breath.
Friday, December 15, 2006
It'll be interesting to see when & where the running backs, Richardson & Baylark, go in the NFL draft next spring.
Appalachian State defeats UMass to repeat as I-AA champs
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Kevin Richardson led Appalachian State to its second straight Division I-AA national championship, running for 179 yards and four touchdowns in the Mountaineers' 28-17 victory over Massachusetts on Friday night.
Richardson's third touchdown put the Mountaineers (14-1) ahead 21-14 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. He added another for 2 yards with 1:51 left that gave him the I-AA record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 30.
Appalachian State is the first team to win consecutive crowns in six years, and the Mountaineers relied heavily on Richardson.
The Minutemen (13-2), hoping to win their first title since 1998, cut it to 21-17 on Chris Koepplin's 42-yard field goal with 8:46 left. UMass got the ball back, but Appalachian State's Corey Lynch had an interception to seal it.
Appalachian State is the first team to take home the newly named NCAA Division I Football Championship. The NCAA is phasing out the terms Divisions I-A and I-AA that applied to football. I-A is now the Football Bowl Subdivision, while I-AA is the Football Championship Subdivision.
The large contingent of Appalachian State fans, who didn't have to travel far from Boone, N.C., swarmed the field as the final seconds ticked off the clock and celebrated as fireworks went off.
Appalachian State was ranked fourth nationally in rush offense, and Richardson came into the game with 1,497 yards on the ground.
Richardson broke the TD record of 29 set by Colgate's Jamaal Branch in 2003.
The Mountaineers' freshman quarterback, Armanti Edwards managed the game well and finished 12-of-19 for 146 yards. He also ran 15 times for 81 yards, and Appalachian State totaled 285 yards on the ground.
Richardson's counterpart for UMass, Steve Baylark, tried to carry the Minutemen. He ran for 133 yards on 24 carries.
UMass tied it at 14 in the third quarter on Liam Coen's 17-yard pass to Brad Listorti, who tiptoed a few yards down the sideline to stay in bounds and score.
The Minutemen got the ball after James Ihedigbo intercepted a pass by Edwards at the UMass 19, stopping Appalachian State's first prolonged drive of the second half.
UMass had not allowed an opponent to score in the second half during the playoffs, but Appalachian State responded with a drive that lasted nearly 6 minutes and was capped by Richardson's 4-yard run with 13:22 remaining.
The Minutemen then had to settle for a field goal. Appalachian State got the ball back and scored to put the game away. UMass scored on its first possession when Matt Lawrence ran through the pile a yard for a touchdown.
Appalachian State tied it at 7 at the end of the first quarter on Richardson's 45-yard touchdown run. He ran up the middle and then veered left toward the end zone to avoid defenders.
Richardson put the Mountaineers ahead 14-7 on his 6-yard scamper with 49 seconds left before halftime.
The drive started after a young woman wearing an Appalachian State jersey and holding a big yellow foam finger ran onto the field during a television timeout. She was escorted away by security.
The attendance was announced at 22,808, a sellout and overflow crowd and the largest for the I-AA title game since it moved to Chattanooga in 1997.
Washington, D.C. Alumni Club
UMass Amherst vs. Appalachian State
FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday, December 15, 2006
8:00 p.m. kick-off
201 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C.
Cheer the Minutemen on to victory with your fellow alumni as they play the Appalachian State Mountaineers in the Division I-AA national championship game! UMass Amherst will be fighting to become the national champion, and all D.C. area alumni are called upon to come root for the team.
Food and drink are purchased on your own.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
A Democratic Congress cannot purge an officer corp that values Jesus/Family/Country over Duty/Honor/Country but they can put a hold on any further promotions of these 1 to 4-star squirrels...
U r soy gay... Anybody for a tinki-winki?
Looks like the Sox and Dice-K have called off the wedding...
And now I hear it's Wednesday's Child that's full of woe.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Ach, the 21st century! You can have it.
What'd I miss -- Did Dubya pull the troops out yet? Did the Pats squash the Phins?
Can I stay home from work tomorrow?
Saturday, December 09, 2006
UMass 19, Montana 17
By Amy Beth Hanson, Associated Press Writer | December 8, 2006
MISSOULA, Mont. --Steve Baylark ran for 169 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 76 yards to lead Massachusetts to a 19-17 victory over Montana on Friday night in the NCAA Division I-AA semifinals.
Third-ranked UMass (13-1) advanced to the championship game against the winner of Saturday's semifinal between top-ranked and defending national champion Appalachian State and fourth-seeded Youngstown State.
No. 2 Montana (12-2) saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end.
Baylark scored on a 35-yard run with 12:10 left in the first quarter and on a 6-yard run with 8:33 left in the half.
The Minutemen, who trailed 17-14 at halftime, pulled to 17-16 when Domenique Milton forced Montana quarterback Josh Swogger to fumble and the ball rolled through the end zone. UMass' Chris Koepplin added a 43-yard field goal with 13:25 remaining.
Montana's first score was a 23-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter 3 seconds into the second quarter. The Griz went up 10-7 when Muckie Foreman intercepted Liam Coen's pass and returned the ball 58 yards for a score with 11:54 left in the half.
Montana ran the 2-minute drill to perfection just before halftime, taking a 17-14 lead on a 1-yard run by Brady Green with 10 seconds left.
Friday, December 08, 2006
"We all know that men never talk, never look at each other, and never laugh much in the restroom [ladies, take note]. The men's room is a serious and quiet place. But now, with the addition of one mural on the wall lets just say the men's restroom is a place of laughter and smiles."
I understand that San Franciscans love the bum, but nobody else does. And it didn't look like there was another team out there willing to sign him. So why would the Giants give this cheat $16M for a farewell (and not soon enough) tour, one the rest of America, including MLB itself, doesn't want to see -- where he breaks Hank Aaron's home run record?
You wanna play for us, Barry? How much money you got socked away??
No, I won't take a check!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Washington, D.C. Alumni Club
UMass Amherst vs. Montana
Division I-AA Semifinals Football Game-watch
Friday, December 8, 2006
7:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) kick-off
201 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C.
Cheer the Minutemen on to victory with your fellow alums, as they play the Montana University Grizzlies in the Division I-AA Football National Semifinals. This event is being held in conjunction with Montana University's alumni club in Washington, D.C.; so we need all UMass alumni fans to come out and cheer as loud as they can for the Minutemen! Food and drink are purchased on your own.
Join the Alumni Association now at UMassAlumni.com/membership/.
Sample that set me laughing my shorthairs off: The holiday frozen turkey. If dropped, could it break your foot?
These engineering/math geeks create a robo-homemaker (pair of rubber hands) that drops a frozen turkey on a prosthetic foot, complete with skeletal bone-structure within a plastirubber coating. The turkey crushes the thing into a thousand parts.
Oh, but it gets better. These crazies create another prosthetic. A dog this time, with bulging eyeballs.
The turkey is dropped.
The dog's spine is shattered, it's left eyeball goes flying.
Best effect in Slo-mo Instant Replay.
I'm dyin' here.
If either of you heard Matt Lauer's interview w/Al Gore Wednesday morning? I'm thinking if you jump on his "Inconvenient Truth" bandwagon now? you might keep him out of the '08 Presidentials and, as such, kicking both of your'n asses.
(What, too many inflections?)
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
'Course, this bit of news makes my eyes bug out: Sox sign J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo. Couple that with a fade on the trade of the fanny that is Manny (love a good giddy, silly rhyme) and the lineup looks monstrous (er, of the green variety):
1) Youkilis, 1b
2) Lugo, ss
3) Big Papi, dh
4) Manny, lf
5) Drew, rf
6) Varitek, c
7) Lowell, 3b
8) Crisp, cf
9) Pedroia, 2b
depth: Pena, Hinske, Cora...
And if the Sox cowboy up on the signings they seem intent on signing, i.e., Daisuke Matsuzaka and Eric Gagne, the pitching staff looks like:
Lester, Delcarman, Hansen, Okajima, Timlin, Gagne(?)...
Be afraid, Yankee scalawags!! Be very very afraid!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
He could heedlessly let his mind go to seed and still attend, though not be bothered with actually studying at, the finest schools; he could disdainfully go to the head of the Vietnam-dodging line and still wear a uniform for fun; he could abruptly create disastrous business ventures and still profit.Throughout American history, the damage done to humanity by the Bush family has been extensive and beggars the imagination for its range from the intricate to the brutal. One can only hope this is the end of the line for the lineage. Jeb's prospects for '12 (forget '08, but one cannot harbor too romantic the notion given the short American attention span) will be the acid test.
Fast forward to middle age and he was still counting on magical promotions and privileged protection, no matter how distasteful his behavior. After monumentally screwing up the high office he was handed, Pop's Old Guard and others who serve his exalted status rush predictably to the rescue. It's OK, everything will be alright, we'll take care of it, you just go ahead and be you, George.
One saving grace? That Dubya does to his family's "legacy" what he's done to the Iraqi people.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
"Keith is a refreshing change from most of the coverage of civil liberties since 9/11," says Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor and frequent guest on Olbermann's show. "Reporters tend to view these fights in purely political terms, so the public gets virtually no substantive analysis. As long as two people disagree, reporters treat it as an even debate. They won't say that the overwhelming number of constitutional and national security experts say this is an unlawful program -- they'll just say experts disagree. It's extremely misleading."
Let's get this straight - once and for all. It was a Republican president, a Republican administration, a Republican Senate, a Republican House and entirely Republican government that started and lost the war in Iraq. No excuses. They screwed this thing up entirely. It is 100% their fault.Can that, like, fit on a bumper sticker?
Oh wait, there's more:
At this point, these Republicans are incapable of and uninterested in governing. I wanted limited government, not anarchy. These guys are completely incompetent. I don't know if they have a secret plan to show how government can't work, but I am not interested. I don't give a damn about their ridiculous secret plans. I care that they suck.And here for the last six years I thought I was going insane.
Nothin' like a niiiiice piece o'hickory.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Meanwhile, UMass is 12-1, and it says here they're gonna, yes, stomp the higher seeded Montana Whatevers next Saturday. But I think back on the decision by the Whosiheimers -- what, the Board of Trustees? -- to keep the footballing Minutiamen in Division 1-AA, rather than graduate to Div 1, simply because "t'is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven."
Ach! If we only knew.
Update: Buggering Bollacks! UMass hoopsters outscore Boston College in the 2nd half, but fall short 84-73. (I'm sorry, Tuscaloosa?? Yo, Heavynews -- Help!)
Massachusetts 24, New Hampshire 17
Dec. 2, 2006
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -Liam Coen passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns and Massachusetts withstood a determined New Hampshire bid in the final seconds to beat the Wildcats 24-17 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs Saturday.
UMass (12-1) has won 10 straight and plays at Montana in a semifinal game Saturday.
Massachusetts, which trailed 17-14 at halftime, blanked the Wildcats in the second half after having beat New Hampshire (9-4) 28-20 earlier in the season.
UMass went ahead for good late in the third quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Coen to Brandon London that made it 21-17. The Minutemen tacked on a final three points on Chris Koepplin's 33-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
New Hampshire's late drive was halted with 33 seconds to play, when Rick Santos' pass was deflected to the ground on a 4th-and-one play from the 6. Santos was held to 129 yards and one touchdown.
Steve Baylark rushed for 198 yards and one touchdown for the Minutemen.
Although it fumbled the opening kickoff and was forced back to its own one, it took UMass only six plays to march down the field for the first score. Baylark ran in from the 1, with his earlier 60-yard run the key play in the drive.
Following the kickoff, New Hampshire needed only one play to pull even - an 87-yard touchdown trip down the sidelines by Chad Kackert.
UMass drove 84 yards in the second quarter to go back on top 14-7. Again Baylark produced the big play in the drive with a 39-yard run to the 6. Coen passed to Ian Jorgensen for the touchdown.
But New Hampshire bounced back following an interception by Jeff Pammer. The Wildcats evened the score at 14 on an 11-yard pass from Ricky Santos.
With 50 seconds to play in the half, the Cats went ahead 17-14 on a 41-yard field goal by Tom Manning.
What's dangerous about what's going on right now is that an electoral defeat of the Republicans [Nov. 7], and perhaps a similar defeat in a presidential race two years from now, might fool some people into thinking that the responsibility for the Iraq war can be sunk forever with George Bush and the Republican politicians who went down with his ship. But in fact the real responsibility for the Iraq war lay not with Bush but with the Lettermans, the Wolf Blitzers, the CNNs, The New York Timeses of the world -- the malleable middle of the American political establishment who three years ago made a conscious moral choice to support a military action that even a three-year-old could have seen made no fucking sense at all.The piece is passionate, well written, and can be summarized with a proverbial "for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing" schpiel, which makes me wonder if doing nothing in the face of evil, can one still claim the mantle of goodness. I doubt it... and I blog it... being the good, though never malleable fellow that I am.
Footnote: And even though I started this blog in '05, I can refer you to friends & acquaintances who can attest to my wanting Dubya to burn in Hell as far back as '02. One of whom (*cough* Heavynews) emailed me a week later: "Did they send you to Gitmo yet?"
I hate to drag Stephen Hawking into this. (Whenever I think of him, I remember that he left his first wife for his nurse and think, "Is any of us safe?")Oh, c'mon! Stephen Hawking? Left? For his nurse? Have you seen Stephen Hawking, Ms. H.? Physically he's a leaf of soggy lettuce. He "left" only if somebody was pushing him out the door -- literally. And maybe a nurse is in better position to take care of his rapidly deteriorating condition than was his wife? Y'think?
Melinda makes it sound like Newt Gingrich shoving divorce papers in his wife's face as she lay in bed undergoing chemo.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was the great sex.
Like, brrr... !
Of course Geppetto wanted Pinocchio to be a real boy. The old puppetmaker was tired of plucking splinters out of his fingers, tongue, and cock. For no matter how much you sand the pine sphincter of a marionette, it's still just an asshole made of wood. But flesh, god, how Geppetto dreamed of young, tender boy flesh, even as he pulled Pinocchio to him tight and wept about how wonderful it was just that he had been cut from his strings. When that Blue Fairy finally granted the wish, when she made his sticks supple and changed his sap to blood, Pinocchio knew that he had to try, once again, to run away, even if it meant becoming a donkey. Better an ass than just a piece of ass for an old man whose breath stunk of Lambrusco. So, on his pudgy new boy legs, Pinocchio ran, with that vile cricket constantly pimping for Geppetto, whispering in the boy's ear that he would be better off home.The humorous allegory here being Gepetto as Bush to Malaki's Pinocchio.
Hoo boy! Those Italians.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Trying to create an updated variation of my Know It All page, and half-way through, Blogger's automated posting-protection program suddenly impliments a "word verification" requirement; all well and good to weed out the robo/repo bot commentary (as you would see should you choose to, say, comment below), but for posting on a blog, it's a royal pain in the posterior's apperature.
"Click on the Question Mark" they tell you. So I click on the friggin' thing and it provides you an explanation that if you click on the friggin thing it takes you to a disable feature - WHICH IT DOES NOT; just again to the directions, though perhaps only on the Mac. I am finding, you see, Mac and Blogger are not buddies. And I'm just the poor schmoe in the middle trying to work it out.
So I try to navigate the verification by typing in the weird-word... and the fuckin' Blogger system kicks me out and won't let me back in. Bastards!
I'm going home now. Will try one more time on my desktop PC (as Microsoft and Blogger seem to be so much more chummy!). If that doesn't work... well, there are other fish in the blogging cyber-sea.
Wish me whatever!
Update: On the PC... Bupkus! I HATE BLOGGER!!!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Consider, for a moment, that [Bush] might be pursuing an agenda beyond mere ego and arrogance and idiocy.I attended a private art sale in McLean back in '02. Refreshments were served around an elegant dining room table. People milled about, chatting about the works and what-not. The conversations meandered, but the issue in most minds was the imminent invasion of Iraq by the U.S. One man suggested it had everything to do with 9/11 and was therefore just. I remember meeting resistance, and some condescension, when I suggested it had everything to do with the oil in Iraq, and, for that matter, so did 9/11.
Why do they hate us so? Because we're greedy oil addicts who value and respect their lives not at all -- that's why!
At the time, that was decidedly not a popular view; deemed cynical on an intellectual level, unpatriotic on the visceral. But what the hell, I never liked being agreeable for the sake of harmony. And I never had any respect for lemmings, particularly when they came in human form.
But the cat's out of the bag now: We're there because it's the oil, stupid! Always were.
But will we always be?
I paraphrase (I think): "Well I'm 72 years of age and I gotta tell you I have a fuller, thicker head of hair than when I was 18. Avacor really works!"
You know, it's great the old man loves his shag. But, dude, you're 72 years old! Who gives a flyin' flatulent fig whether your hair's thicker'n your skull or your middle?? YOU ain't gettin' any anymore!! Now get offa yer hi-chair and goda bed!!
Hadda get that out...
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Rangel's proposal forces us to stop being in denial about what we know. It forces us to put words to it. And as we do so, the ache of awakening only intensifies. And the more we look at what we're really asking of our kids - or other people's kids - the more we realize that the draft is a bad idea because the military itself, down to its core principles, is a deeply flawed institution that needs rethinking as we confront the requirements of the 21st century.Koehler, of course, says it better.
I wonder, for instance, what sense it makes that an institution that manifests the worst of human nature and is premised on blatant moral relativism - it's acceptable to kill, might makes right - commands half the federal budget? Pageantry and parade rhetoric aside, this is an institution that dehumanizes not only "the enemy" but, all too often, its own children.
Also of course, Nancy Pelosi would do the entire world a favor by allowing this debate to proceed.
As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population. The plain truth is this: There is no good reason to believe in a personal God; there is no good reason to believe that the Bible, the Koran, or any other book was dictated by an omniscient being; we do not, in any important sense, get our morality from religion; the Bible and the Koran are not, even remotely, the best sources of guidance we have for living in the 21st century; and the belief in God and in the divine provenance of scripture is getting a lot of people killed unnecessarily.I'm not one who subscribes to "atheism" any more than I do "theism" because I adhere to the principle of not knowing: "I Don't Know!" And while not presuming wisdom here, I have heard said the path toward it begins with that phrase.
I don't know if there is a God or if there is not. But like Harris, I do applaud those who seek truth through empirical methodologies and, short of that, logic. Lowest on the totem pole ought be the so-called faithful who are anything but. I don't mean thoughtful people who are able to acknowledge their intellectual inconsistencies as to their respective conclusions, I'm talking about the desperate and the grasping sorts in need for spiritual security and insist on calling it "the truth." Would that that could satisfy them, let alone inspiring their taking it to the Nth degree and imposing this "truth" on others.
Best that type just piss off and down wind.
Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.More questions: 1) How much time would Webb get, and 2) After he's done his time, would he be carried out of the slammer on the shoulders of thousands or millions?
h/t to TPM via Kos
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Liquidated the 401K, not a whole helluva lot for 6 months. The bastards that lay a body off without adjusting top-end benefits are why a lot of people voted for the Democrats this time around. Guess the gay-abortions thing didn't have its usual zest.
Okay, the employment agencies have been buzzed; online applications via Careerbuilder: in progress; sent out emails with MP3s and resumes to Boston/Springfield/Hartford radio stations - nary a nibble. Experience dictates proactive follow-up, but that can't happen until I finish my business here, tie up the proverbial loose ends. After that, and if I'm ready to actually move to a new city, only then can I put on the full-court press.
But then what? Sucks being broke. Gotta sell the comics & the baseball cards. I'd estimated $10K's worth and would settle for $5K. Was thinking out loud to the sister'n law yesterday: "I'd like to chuck it all and go back-pack across Europe." She thought it a swell idea, but then anywhere outside her house might sound right smart after a long wknd of catering to this family, eh?
Could get back into Realty. The licenses are in referral, and it wouldn't take much to reactivate. Of course, the Realty board would want its cut, then the NAR, and, of course, the insurance companies... the bastards will all want their respective pounds of flesh. Jesus! It's such a racket. Everybody gets a cut. And you wonder why the Realty lobby is so strong on Capitol Hill?
Of course there's the Great American Novel. Lotsa money there. Just gotta go write it. Mebbe while I'm backpacking my way to the... brothels of Amsterdam.
Yeahhhh! That's the ticket.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Even so, we're waiting on the bulk of the kin to arrive later: older brother with the mum; sisters and husbands, etc. Guess we'll catch it on the tube, i.e., if anybody's showing it. NESN, maybe? No chance we won't catch Notre Dame/USC tonight.
The Pats & the Bears tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I need s'more Z's.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
the holiday awaits...
slam dunk to MA for the weekend...
a day or two extra in beantown and then back to VA the middle of next week...
may blog in betwixt... or not... time & space being yet another relative...
and speaking of relatives: my family rocks... ! looking forward...
happy thanksgiving... !
(this thing on?)...
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Hot Babe: (pissed) He's dead?? Stupid! Stupid! You think a guy like that'd put a ring on my finger before now. "Pre-engaged" -- What the hell is that??
Det. Brisco: Don't ask me. All I know is "Post-married."
Congressman Charlie Rangel plans to reintroduce a bill calling for the reinstating of the draft under the banner statement: if you're prone to knee-jerking America into war again, you had better be prepared to put your hawk-ass where you hawk-beak is. Otherwise, think twice before you rah-rah another misguided armed conflict because Uncle Sam will be asking you for help. And that help will involve a bit more than slapping a yellow-ribbon magnet on your SUV before waddling downstairs to play SOCOM.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Malignant egophrenia forces upon us the responsibility to come to terms with the evil inside our own hearts. If we solidify Bush as being evil and react with righteous indignation, we are guilty of the very same thing we're accusing Bush of (i.e, projecting the shadow). We then become a conduit for the very evil we're reacting to. Who among us has not been guilty of being a channel for ME disease at one time or another? If, when we see this virulent pathogen, we contract against it and react in any way, be it in judgment, hatred, anger or revulsion, we're helping to perpetuate the diabolical polarization that is the signature of the disease. Our reacting in this way, which is typical of many political activists, is itself an expression that we ourselves have the disease, or to say it more clearly, the disease has us.So remember, kiddies: When you finally get to kickin' Dubya's sorry butt to the curb, y'gotta do it with a smile!
Say g'bye, Cosmo. It's all over for you, dude. You'll be lucky if you get a job washing dishes now.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
"The Trouble with Tribbles," where the hand-muff props as alien kitty cats, they of the headless/tailless/limbless variety of species, do nothing but purr. The "trouble" with them, of course, is their propensity to breed like rabbits on crack, along with a corresponding appetite for eating one out of starship & home. On the other hand they have a profound and requited dislike of Klingons, a good thing... that is, up until the Next Generation series was launched.
The episode falls in the genre of "camp," a creativity-challenged fetish of which I prefer all future Trek writers steer clear as it almost guarantees inherent laziness in the production and for tedious viewing. Too many franchise episodes (ST, Next Gen, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and the movies) are just so cloyingly campy (And who ever told Shatner he could improvise?), a stark contrast to, say, the reincarnated Battlestar Galactica. "Tribbles," for example, ends with the obligatory group-chuckle, this time on the bridge, when Scotty declares he's beamed all the little beasties over to the Klingon ship.
Problem solved? Not if you're a tribble. You see how Klingons eat? Imagine the carnage then... although the writers don't go there.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
[I]t's almost too easy to say, "I would have heeded the warnings." In fact, I think I would have, I know I would have. We had several instances when the CIA's alarm bells went off, and what we did when that happened was, we had emergency meetings and called everybody together and made sure that all systems were go and every agency was hitting on all cylinders, and we made them bring more information, and go into the second and third and fourth level of detail. And made suggestions on how we could respond in a more coordinated, more effective way.And... and... Amen.
It is inconceivable to me that Bush would read a warning as stark and as clear [voice angry now] as the one he received on August 6th of 2001, and, according to some of the new histories, he turned to the briefer and said, "Well, you've covered your ass." And never called a follow up meeting. Never made an inquiry. Never asked a single question. To this day, I don't understand it. And, I think it's fair to say that he personally does in fact bear a measure of blame for not doing his job at a time when we really needed him to do his job.
And now the Woodward book has this episode that has been confirmed by the record that George Tenet, who was much abused by this administration, went over to the White House for the purpose of calling an emergency meeting and warning as clearly as possible about the extremely dangerous situation with Osama bin Laden, and was brushed off!
And I don't know why--honestly--I mean, I understand how horrible this Congressman Foley situation with the instant messaging is, okay? I understand that. But, why didn't these kinds of things produce a similar outrage?
And you know, I'm even reluctant to talk about it in these terms because it's so easy for people to hear this or read this as sort of cheap political game-playing. I understand how it could sound that way. [Practically screaming now] But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure? This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country!
Jesus, it's embarrassing!
Just now saw it again, plugged in during a commercial break on the AMC channel.
Friday, November 17, 2006
I've a degree in Communications and have studied broadcast media for some 30 years. As such, I'm especially enamored of #3 and hope it'll get more play in the run-up to the Dem takeover in January. Although 1, 2 & 4 work for me too.
Democrats, Don't Wimp Out
1. Investigate -- But Smartly
2. Don't Be Afraid to Pick Fights
3. Boycott Fox
4. Attack Conservatism
Gotta take it to the bastards!!
"It really wasn't a decision that was mine to be made," said Gaulke. "My unit's going. I've accepted it. It's part of the whole scope of why I joined; I'll be there for all of us over here."Not yet part of the new 20,000 "final push," I'm guessing. Still, I knock wood hoping she doesn't come home in a body-bag.
In August, a Morristown family court judge ordered the gridiron genius to make himself available for questioning by attorneys for Shenocca, who wants to know if Belichick is financing his estranged wife’s “extravagant lifestyle.”Could be platonic. The man could be as altruistic as they come, financing a woman's "extravagant lifestyle" and not be schnooking her...
Thursday, November 16, 2006
America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes.Or more simply -- Class Warfare: Bitched about by the lower classes, perpetrated by the upper class.
Incestuous corporate boards regularly approve compensation packages for chief executives and others that are out of logic's range. As this newspaper has reported, the average CEO of a sizable corporation makes more than $10 million a year, while the minimum wage for workers amounts to about $10,000 a year, and has not been raised in nearly a decade. When I graduated from college in the 1960s, the average CEO made 20 times what the average worker made. Today, that CEO makes 400 times as much.
In the age of globalization and outsourcing, and with a vast underground labor pool from illegal immigration, the average American worker is seeing a different life and a troubling future. Trickle-down economics didn't happen.
Proud to say Virginia has definitely upgraded from Mr. "Macaca."
Ohio State, Michigan! Michigan, Ohio State! The most storied rivalry in college football comes to Columbus on Saturday."Most storied"? I thought that was Harvard/Yale.
... and no redeploy in Iraq for at least another year...
Reports of massive oil slicks slathering down Capitol Hill are as yet unconfirmed, but if you're a betting soul...
He's a good guy, J.; bought himself a pair of season's tickets. And even though he comes into hockey a historical strippling, he's as avid a rooter as I've seen of late; dressed in the full Caps regalia: shirt, cap, everything but the pads. He's vociferous. Relative, of course, as I'm downright spasmodic when the Pats are on a 2-game skid or when the Sox break the bank on a foreign pitcher w/great buzz but is as yet unfamiliar.
The surprise was the opponent, the Boston Bruins. Back in the day, 70s-early 80s, I could rattle on about even Hockey, that kind of sports nut I. In the early 70s, you had the Big Bad Bruins with Esposito, Orr and Sanderson. Later that decade there were the Don Cherry perennial Stanley Cup finalists who always would lose to les Habitants de Montreal (and fuck Mario Trembley while yer at it, eh?): Jean Ratelle, Brad Park, Terry O'Reilly, Rick Middleton, Wayne Cashman, Stan Jonathan, Gerry Cheevers, et al.
Loved those guys.
The 80s? Some guy named Bourque... Word is he was good. But I had started to fade. Then it was just the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots -- in that order. I retired as a Celtic fan right around when Larry Bird left the scene.
The 90s? I think I remember a Bruin team early in the decade getting swept by Edmonton in the finals. That right?
Last night? I couldn't name a single freakin' Bruin. They'd post the players' pics on the jumbo-tron while announcing the lineups. Pic: "Never heard of 'im." Pic: "Never heard of 'im." Pic: "Never heard... " etc. Joe Thornton's gone, right? They won, at least, 3-2 on a Shootout in overtime. Never had Shootouts back in the, uhm, day.
Yo, D.J.! Help me out here!
Where has the time gone?
Update (11/17/06): Wow! 3-game win streak for the Bs...
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
As many of you now know, my wife, the beautiful, lovely, talented Adrienne Shelly, was brutally murdered in NYC on Nov 1.You may have seen Adrienne Shelly on various television programs, like Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, and Oz. I didn't know about this until just now. It staggers the soul and the spirit.
My heart goes out to Andy Ostroy.
The story published a week ago...
One former senior aide to the National Security Council, who wished to remain anonymous, offered a different perspective, saying "They are doing cartwheels in the E ring and could not care who was nominated so long as Rumsfeld resigned. They would not care if Satan replaced him."Hmm, Bob Gates: the devil you do know but pretend you don't.
The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."And here I thought all the reporters had to say was "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his prophet!"
He said he expects the payments for Centanni and Wiig's freedom will encourage Palestinian groups to carry out further kidnappings.
Once again, the Almighty Dollar trumps the Almighty... even among fanatics...
... theirs and ours.
Armstrong at MyDD says it's gonna be Murtha:
I've heard from a couple of different Hill sources that Murtha is ahead; that newly elected Democrats favor Hoyer by a 2:1 margin, but that Murtha is ahead by about 25 votes overall, which has come about from the standing members after Nancy Pelosi's letter. The vote is Thursday. Let's hope that sticks and Murtha becomes the Majority Leader.while Kurtz at TPM says it'll be Hoyer:
With the dynamics of the race suddenly shifted from simply Hoyer v. Murtha to a larger question of Pelosi's political strength and capabilities, she shifted her support for Murtha into overdrive, starting to make phone calls and twist arms. The problem is that it was probably too little, too late. (Actually, there are indications, as the Observer article suggests, that Murtha's candidacy had been a lost cause from the very beginning.)I reckon we'll find out tomorrow. Meanwhile, viva la difference of opinions. And when have you ever heard the rightists say that?
Did Pelosi make a misjudgment?
This page endorses Murtha as he pretty much became the sole, legitimate voice of opposition to the boy king and his castle guard, without which the Corporate/Repo facist movement would well have metastasized. Now, with the Dems looking to rein in the captains of industry run-amok, one has reason to dare hope again.
Steny Hoyer? He wants to establish another K-Street Project. Even if it's for the Dems, it still stinks of Tom Delay. It's corrupt, and I don't want to be like them. At best Hoyer's proven he doesn't play nice with Nancy Pelosi, and since she'll be getting a disproportionate share of flak & resistance from the Repos and the stooge-M$M, she ought to be able to choose her allies. She's taking a chance in endorsing Murtha, he with his own apparent ethical sidebars. It is encouraging nonetheless, Pelosi going the extra mile; not so much her wanting Murtha, but the mere fact she's not adverse to taking chances.
Nancy Pelosi is showing she has guts, something that's been in short supply 'round here and for some time.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
"Coming over from Japan where he threw a lot of innings and had 13 complete games, I would think this would seem like a vacation to him. It's a lot of money, but if you have it, why not use it on a kid like this? The Yankees have to be sick about this."And a sick Yankee is a good Yankee, eh?
Meanwhile I haven't been to a game in Boston since '99 and I never developed a taste for plunking down $70 for a Fenway box seat, satisfied with catching the Hose at Camden Yahds in Bal'mer a coupla times a year, say buy a nosebleed for $15-25, and sneak down to the boxes in the 5th or 6th inning. (Beware! Those stadium yabbos at Oriole Park get pretty agitated w/the sneaks. Fortunately they're usually older gents, who can only bark at you; not like those BC footballers you see in the Fens, and who'll hoist you by the ear if you look at 'em cross-eyed.) But crikey! -- I remember when bleacher seats were three bucks... as recently as, uhm, '77, which, ahh, d'be my senior year at Somerville High. In a galaxy far far away...
Ah ah ah ah, stayin' alive... stayin' alive...
Still he almost resembled his old self when he recently waxed on post-Decision '06 via email. Almost brought a tear to my eye:
Personally, I think two years of Speaker Pelosi will be energizing for the Republican Party. I think it will be relatively easy to take back the House in two years -- Do you really think Tom Delay and Mark Foley's old districts suddenly got all blue? Nah, just a punishment thing. I can understand that.What 1 for 3?? Webb & Tester both were Netroots candidates not wanted in the beginning by Schumer, Reid, Rahm, et al., and there's a slew of House rookies owing their new digs to the Blogarythmic Function.
Glad Chaffee is gone -- if this had been a 50-50 Senate, he would have probably gone all Jeffords on us.
Disappointed, really, that Harold Ford Jr. (and Michael Steele, too) lost.
Glad to see that, at best, the Kos Kids went 1-for-3-- losing the one that really mattered to them, in Connecticut.
Glad to see George Allen off the table as a national candidate. Knucklehead.
(BTW, if you had told me before this fall that I could take Mark Warner off the table as a Democraticnational candidate and all it was going to cost me was taking Allen off the table, I would have made that deal in a second. And you'll throw in John Kerry for free? Hmmmm, I'll have to think about that.)
The Big Picture item, from my standpoint, is that the Democrats had to run more conservative-sounding candidates in order to win in most situations. Actually more conservative? We'll see. That had to be the first step in becoming a mainstream party again. And one night, as much fun as it has been for them, doesn't accomplish that.
To the contrary, the election of these more moderate Democrats has the effect of pushing to the forefront some of the most liberal Dems who are in leadership positions. There's a disconnect there that will have to be reconciled at some point. Probably in the 2008 primary smackdown.
Folks are tired of the war. The English were exhausted at the end of World War II -- voted out Churchill. Truman, who won the freaking war, was largely reviled by the end of his full term. Folks are tired of the war, but the real war has barely begun.
The surrender monkeys are ascendant for a brief moment. We'll hope for the best.
Meanwhile, why don't we let's strangle this baby in the crib, Heavy m'boy: George Bush is NO Winny Churchill or Give 'em Hell Harry! And he will never find redemption in history's eyes. Gotta come up w/a better comparison -- say, Hitler or Stalin.
Well, hey, they're a lot closer!
In any event, it says here the fight is between Mitt Romney and Al Gore with Gore in a walk.
Wolfson, Moore and thousands of mothers like them call themselves and their belief system "Quiverfull." They borrow their name from Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Quiverfull mothers think of their children as no mere movement but as an army they're building for God.Child abuse, by any other name...
Quiverfull parents try to have upwards of six children. They home-school their families, attend fundamentalist churches and follow biblical guidelines of male headship--"Father knows best"--and female submissiveness. They refuse any attempt to regulate pregnancy. Quiverfull began with the publication of Rick and Jan Hess's 1989 book, A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ, which argues that God, as the "Great Physician" and sole "Birth Controller," opens and closes the womb on a case-by-case basis. Women's attempts to control their own bodies--the Lord's temple--are a seizure of divine power.
Today on Fox News Sunday, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said the federal government does not need to negotiate lower prices for seniors. Bartlett said that prices have “come down” and drugs are already cheap enough. He concluded, “the proof is in the pudding.”Right! Somebody spike his pudding!
Monday, November 13, 2006
Likely House committee chairman outlines Wall Street agenda
If Rep. Barney Frank leads the House Financial Services Committee, he intends to tackle the issue of overpaid executives.
Gee! What a GREAT idea!
And while many netroots bloggers describe themselves as progressive, they are generally not leftists in the conventional sense. Certainly they aren’t committed to any program of fundamental political and economic reform. . . [T]he netroots aren’t complaining that the Democratic Party isn’t radical enough; they’re complaining that it’s losing elections. Netroots bloggers don’t share a common ideology. If they are united by anything, it is their harsh criticism of the Republican Party, their shared anger at the Democratic Party’s failures, and their rough analysis of how it could do better.Coming up: Heavynews pontificates via email on the hows & whys the Repos will take back Congress in '08.
Some of my greatest memories involve sitting in the press-box high above courtside at the old Boston Gahden, hob-knobbing and bantering with the likes of Johnny Most, Marv Albert and Will McDonough; a favorite memory being inside the Celtic locker-room after they had soundly beat the Milwaukee Bucks in an earlier playoff game. Danny Ainge's locker stall was next to Larry Bird's. Ainge had already left, but Bird was always the last to leave due to a usual throng of reporters that would surround him for yet another soundbite. And Bird always towered over the lesser mortals, a scene reminiscent of Gulliver and the Lilliputians.
That night, I couldn't get near him through the humanity, so I circumnavigated over to Ainge's stall, and, using his metal folding chair, stood up beside the 6'9" Larry Legend, who was, at that moment, turned away. When I threw out my question, he jumped, startled to see a reporter eyeball to eyeball. His reaction drew chortles from the reporters and he shook his head in bemused relief. I still have a tape of the exchange. Thinking of posting it... as soon as I, uhm, figure out the podcast process here.
I remember this in reflection of yesterday's truly mediocre performance by Tom Brady and the lackluster Patriots against the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets, I'm still in a bit of a sports-induced malaise this monday morning. The sports pages are no fun to read when your team sucks the pipe the day before. Be it as it may, there will be no armchair quarterbacking for me here; Brady has earned at least a full season of mediocrity before I even think of barking up his tree.
And I mention the Celtics prior for they too had a nice run of championships during the 80s (as well as the 70s & 60s), whose ride I most certainly enjoyed. Consequently, I'm a fellow who has developed the proper perspective. After decades of cultivating a vociferous fanaticism for the Sox, Pats & Celtics, I'm now rather sanguine in simply watching and enjoying, and not getting so purple with appolexia whenever events trend awry. In short, it's been sweet.
I wonder, however, if I'd feel that way if my appetite were never sated by those championships never experienced by, say, a living Cubs fan.
This is not to say, of course, that Belichick won't snap out of his gloom, and that Rodney Harrison won't be back to kick some secondary tail in time for a decent, if not great, playoff run, but a two-game losing streak by these N.E.Pats is a splash of cold water to this Boston sports kibitzer's face.
Something Bob Ryan wrote recently about fearing a Pats' decline, after a kick-butt first half, resembling this past season's Red Sox debacle. Could be worse, I suppose: Chontos, for example, says "I'm liberated!" from any further concern for his precious 'Skins, who totally shat the bed once again, and this time yesterday against the hated Eagles. Good to get out on a Sunday afternoon, eh? And while the gettin's good.
But -- Oh hey! -- Are the Sox actually going to get Matsuzaka??
Hot Stove Hot Stove Hot Stove... *cough*... !
Saturday, November 11, 2006
hysterical stuff... especially since it's so damned near the edge... and maybe a little over...
The exit polls that leaked out in the late afternoon ended up matching the final results almost exactly -- nothing like what happened in those other Bush-era elections. The razor-close races all broke late for the Democrats, unlike Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004...and when that happened, there were no major charges of fraud, no "Brooks Brothers Riot," and no demand for a recount. The last two losers -- Conrad Burns of Montana and George Allen of Virginia -- went quietly into the autumn night, despite relatively close vote tallies. There appear to be no other Rovian stunts, like calling in the GOP's chits with Joe Lieberman to get him to caucus with the Senate Republicans. And there was no October surprise, not in Iran and not back home.
Friday, November 10, 2006
"[I]t is Democratic rhetoric that reducing the tax percentage is a benefit only for the rich.… Why should I have to pay a greater percentage of my income than you? Further, if I spend money not taxed, or invest in the stock market that is capital created to generate more jobs that can be further taxed.… In economics that is called the "multiplier effect". Generating wealth creates more tax revenue."Let me confess here to an overall ignorance of economics, market capital, taxes, etc., and I bow to his superior knowledge on the matter. I'm just a news junkie and political animal with an interest in a great many issues, though professing little expertise on any one other than my navel. But I'll give this a try.
First, I stipulate to the premise that spending money not taxed stimulates the economy. Bully! That's what greases the wheels of civilization, generates jobs, etc. That is the lifeblood of the free market, apple pie and Chevrolet. It's what makes things Go! It's what's made us great in the traditional sense of the word.
But that's money that's ultimately ending up in fewer and fewer hands. Taxes, on the other hand, is what a government Of The People uses to better the lives of those people. It pays for our military, our law enforcement, environmental cleanup, healthcare, public education, consumer protection, and on and on. Money not taxed is inevitibly earmarked up, not down, such that a corporate CEO earns 1,435 times that of his lowliest employee, say, a coal-miner, while the miner, when not working in dangerously under-regulated conditions, sees his promised retirement & health benefits rescinded by fiat and not out of necessity. Why do you think the first order of business in the 110th is to raise the minimum wage?
And what of jobs these days? You mean the ones being outsourced to India, Indonesia or to Mexico? Or the ones still to be had stateside: the ones in manufacturing-turned-hamburger-flipping? And let me squash the "generating wealth creates more tax revenue" myth: Maybe it did in a bygone era, but I think I'd very much like to hear what a Henry Waxman/Barney Frank/John Conyers-chaired committee can come up with regarding this thing called "off-shore accounts," or, say, the massive redistribution of wealth in this brave new world of Bush-brand tax cuts. I'm betting that jury will be out for some time.
Again, I don't pretend to know a whole lot about all this as I'm not paid handsomely to analyze finance, nor do I have to contend with the harsh reality of high-overhead personal finance, so I'm hoping you can educate me: The reduction of the tax percentage means, I think, what Steve Forbes has championed and what you're advocating: A flat tax, yes?
And why should you have to pay a greater percentage? Well, maybe you shouldn't. Maybe we all should pay 30 cents to the government for every dollar we earn. Why not eliminate the income tax altogether and go with a national sales tax?
For the sake of argument then, perhaps you should because you reap a greater reward, just as the upper class earns an even greater reward -- rewards not necessarily bestowed by the government but by life itself. You have a lovely, large home. You drive a snazzy car. You can afford to pay a monthly stipend to ensure your family's health coverage. You've travelled the world. You play golf and fart a lot!
I say this knowing you are one who does indeed count your blessings. You value your good fortune and your family and friends. So why, then, should you be made to pay a greater percentage when it may not be empirically justifiable? Bottom line? Because that's where the money is, the money to make life palatable for the rest of us. We who are without health insurance; we who live in the ramshackle, and/or drive same, while we toil and spin and can barely afford to go to the beach for a weekend and call it a vacation; we who aren't asking for welfare but do expect a decent subsidy and -- yes, Goddamit! -- health benefits for our hard work; we who hear "Let them eat cake!" and want only to respond with "Off with their heads!"
"Hey, life's a bitch!" you say? (Or as Naahm put it recently: "Too effin bad!"). Well mebbe so. Consider it protection money then. Peace of mind. The great unwashed can be made angry and they can be motivated to do things that also trickle up. If done in an orderly manner, we have an electoral "wave." When it's disorderly... well, you're enough of a historian to have heard of riots and revolution? But if that's too abstract, know this: without the workers' efforts -- their LABOR -- none of us owns squat! There y'go! Consider your taxes a gratuity!
And smile, my Brother! Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, as will I (albeit at a significantly lower rate), and I will see you and the family at Thanksgiving, eh?
And U 2, Brotherman the Elder! Happy Birthday!