The Angry Cyclist
A fleeting grasp of civil, well reasoned discourse.
This blog will comment on topics of interest like politics, business, taxation, the War with Islam / Islamofascists, road cycling, football, and others.
Opinion of The Angry Cyclist:
Grand Seigneur, University of New Hampshire
An idiot relative from Canada
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Monday, December 09, 2002
United Airlines - Chapter 11
Not much of a surprise here...
Just Heard On CNBC
Lockheed Martin, who has the contract to develop the next-generation FA/22 fighter jet, formerly known as the F-22
Clarification - 100 Pounds Of Bullshit
Well, that's the analysis from my favorite Democratic Senator, Joe Lieberman, on Iraq's denial of possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction:
US officials rap Iraq arms dossier
Isn't that mighty white of the UN?
By Robert Schlesinger, Globe Staff, 12/9/2002
After they picked themselves off the floor from laughing so hard...
''The important bottom line out of 12,000 pages - no weapons of mass destruction, no programs to develop them in the last four years, nothing left over from their previous program - I think that just doesn't meet the laugh test,'' David Kay, a former UN chief weapons inspector, said on NBC's ''Meet the Press.''
As UN officials start to pore over the 12,000-page Iraqi declaration, one of the biggest issues now facing the United States is when and to what extent it will reveal classified intelligence that officials say proves Iraq is lying. It will take weeks or possibly months for inspectors to review the mammoth declaration.
It's called buying time.
By late last night, a compromise had been reached that would allow the five permanent members of the Security Council - the United States, Britain, Russia, China and France, all of which have nuclear weapons - to receive unedited copies of the declaration, administration and Security Council officials said.
Since all five possess 100+ kiloton nukes, by implication, none of this is new stuff...
Before the 10 elected Security Council members receive the report, the Los Angeles Times reported, officials will expunge details that they fear might help other countries make their own nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons and ballistic missiles.
''But ... based on intelligence reports that I have seen ... what they gave the UN yesterday was probably a 12,000-page, 100-pound lie,'' Lieberman said.
Like you need to see the report when you're bullshit detectors are off the scale.
Lieberman added that such a lie would qualify as ''a material breach'' of UN resolutions.
Knock me over with a feather...
Senator Bob Graham of Florida, the outgoing Democratic chairman of the Select Intelligence Committee, said that the Iraqi declaration is, on its face, false.
Jesus Fuckin' Christ, hasn't the case been made ad infinitum already?
On yesterday's morning talk shows, several
Uh, guys? Iraq isn't pointing known nuclear capable delivery systems a mere 60 miles from our shores. Such comparisons are WAY overboard.
In that case, the Soviet Union bluntly denied deploying nuclear missiles on Cuba - until Adlai Stevenson, then ambassador to the United Nations, produced photographs showing the missiles. Analysts said that any US disclosure about Iraq would probably lack that sort of impact.
Translation - shut the fuck up already with the Cuban Missile crisis!
Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that the Bush administration should disclose intelligence to make its case.
That's right. In order not to expose our / double agents or other intelligence sources, this can't be done lightly. One example may suffice, but that's it.
''It may very well be that the advice of our allies will be that we ought to go very public, that we ought to have worldwide opinion,'' he said. ''I think these are delicate judgments. It depends upon the nature of the intelligence, and likewise the potential war effort in which we're involved.''
Does this mean waiting for French approval again?
Administration officials have resisted suggestions that they discuss more information to make the case against Iraq.
For reasons stated above.
They have argued that the burden of proof lies on Iraq, not on the United States or any other nation.
On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said:
Thank you for focusing our attention to the matter at hand, Mr. Secretary.
Meanwhile, Hans Blix, the head of the UN inspection team, has publicly said that the US should should share more of its intelligence with the inspection teams.
I'd give it two weeks max, before it's leaked...
US officials have expressed concern that intelligence given to the UN teams might fall into Iraqi hands.
It's a matter of when, not if...
David Albright, a former nuclear weapons inspector, said that ''the time isn't quite right'' for the US to share intelligence.
How about that time frame being 'never'?
They should know, being the subjects of previous attacks...
''They were concerned that Saddam, in being taken down militarily, might very well once again use chemical weapons on them,'' Biden said on ''Meet the Press.''
Or in anyone's mind whose head isn't shoved up his / her own ass...
Robert Schlesinger can be reached at email@example.com
Cheney Task Force Records To Remain Closed
At least to congressional investigators. A federal judge has dismissed the
I always thought this inquiry was in the witch hunt / bullshit category for that precise reason, even to the extent that Enron was involved in these meetings. Once Enron started to go belly-up, it was like
While I was at the Bills - Pats game yesterday, the subject of Bill Clinton came up (I think it was about 'human dogs' or something). LD and I talked about it a few days earlier as well, but as much as I vent my spleen on various subjects, I don't believe I ever devoted an entire post to trashing this human wrecking ball. Maybe the right opportunity never came up, or maybe I'm getting soft.
Well, Saint Hillary's still serving four more years. I'll just do it by proxy...
Open Mouth, Insert Foot
Trent Lott, soon to be Senate Majority leader again, may not return to this position if Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have their way. It seems that Lott, speaking at Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday, said the following in tribute of the Ancient One:
According to Tom Edsall of the Washington Post, “The gathering, which included many Thurmond family members and past and present staffers, applauded Lott when he said ‘we’re proud’ of the 1948 vote. But when he said ‘we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years’ if Thurmond had won, there was an audible gasp and general silence.”
Apparently, Lott has a history of idiotic statements. I'm not a big fan of Lott's in any event, so I'd have no problem if, in this case, the professional grievance industry wins this battle.
Those Wacky Canadians
Some of our Northern neighbors feel morally superior to Americans, no doubt this includes some of the brain-dead do-gooders who recently flew over to Iraq to act as human shields.
Sunday, December 08, 2002
12,000 Pages Of Bullshit
...is the best way to describe Iraq's declaration that it has no WMD's.
A Cause Worth Dying For
Or is it? A report has it that a bunch of
"I’m not too scared,” Vandas told CBC News Online the day before she left. “I think it will be a powerful experience.”
I'll tell you this much - there isn't too much shielding from JDAM's and daisy cutters, other than to stay out of the
Saturday, December 07, 2002
Saddam Plays Hide The Scud
More of the three-ring circus in Iraq, this time aided and abetted by the United Nations, who will make
It seems counterintuitive to me that a report that's over 10,000 pages is needed to declare the 'fact' that Iraq doesn't possess WMD. Unless the goal is obfuscation and delay (which is how I'd bet), a much smaller statement affirming no possession of weapons would suffice. Run that clock, Saddam...
Surprise - Bulger Takes The Fifth
Bill Bulger invokes his right against self-incrimination yesterday in front of the House Committee on Government Reform.
Friday, December 06, 2002
A Very Readable Globe Writer
That would be Scot Lehigh, explaining
Plain talk would serve Kerry better
Yes, it would.
By Scot Lehigh, 12/6/2002
Like his soulmate Bill Clinton, it does seems perpetual.
And, compared with his possible rivals, he's doing passably well. Right now, Kerry is like the soldier who suddenly appears to have taken a significant step forward, though on closer inspection it's actually because the other members of the platoon have all stepped back.
Whoa, Nelly. It's still pretty early in this horse race, as in 'we're not even out of the gate yet'.
Al Gore, for example, faces growing and vocal doubts about whether he should run again. Thwarted in four different efforts to reclaim the House for the Democrats, Dick Gephardt has given up the minority leader's post. The dwindling prospect of a Tom Daschle candidacy may have perished when his party lost control of the Senate.
This is the Democratic leadership, falling on their swords like they should.
Kerry, however, emerged from the midterm elections unscathed - and on the move. A flattering New Yorker profile has been the talk of the political town. A Tuesday speech in Ohio in which he cleverly disguised - ah, make that presented - his progressive tax scheme (freeze the Bush tax cut for the top three brackets in favor of a payroll tax cut) as an essential economic stimulus won solid, serious reviews.
In other words, more of the same tired, rehashed Democratic neo-Socialism.
Meanwhile, at a time of international trouble, his Vietnam War experience and his service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have clearly boosted his stature.
That's why he waited until the last minute to vote in favor of the Gulf War resolution.
And yet there remains about Kerry a cold-fish quality, which, combined with an almost visible sense of calculation, renders him, for all his gifts, an acquired taste. Too often he is left looking distant, vague, and vaporous, a half-frame out of comfortable focus.
A taste I haven't acquired, apparently...
Given that Senator John McCain's straight-talking 2000 campaign is an example Kerry hopes to emulate in 2004, it's useful to measure him against his fellow Navy veteran.
Great measuring stick, that Senator McCain. Perhaps the only Senator more vain than Kerry.
McCain is a folksy, friendly, funny figure who speaks in the American vernacular. Kerry is a more distant presence, a man whose aristocratic bearing and ornate rhetorical constructions carry him perilously close to an off-putting portentousness.
I prefer the word pretentious, but why quibble?
The bigger difference, however, is this: McCain will generally tell you what he thinks in clear, direct language. By contrast, though Kerry is laudably thoughtful, there is a ever-present sense of the tactical about him, a recurring reluctance to give a firm answer that might pin him down.
He might as well talk through a roll of toilet paper, so muffled is the message...
That quality was evident Sunday when Kerry appeared on ''Meet the Press.'' Moderator Tim Russert asked Kerry whether he would support military action against Iraq if the Bush administration judges Saddam Hussein in material breach of its UN Security Council-imposed obligation to disclose its weapons of mass destruction. Almost 600 words and two Russert promptings later, a viewer still couldn't say for sure what Kerry's position was. It seemed, however, to reduce to this: Kerry will support the president under those circumstances if he decides to support the president under those circumstances.
Just what we need in a President: A man who talks much, but says little.
Now, let's grant that it's hard to deal with hypotheticals in matters of war and peace. But should it be so hard to deal with the past? Certainly when it comes to the conduct of others, Kerry's hindsight is penetrating and acute. Thus he's castigated the Bush administration for failing for commit US troops to a greater role in the battle of Tora Bora, a decision that may well have allowed Osama bin Laden to escape.
That theory has not been proven, has it? A man of
So, given Kerry's sharp critique of Bush's putative mistakes, another of Russert's questions proved telling: Would the senator now concede that his 1991 vote against authorizing military action against Iraq had been a misjudgment?
A candid candidate might well have answered in one word: yes. Instead, one astonishing word storm later (more than 350, punctuated by three additional probings from Russert), Kerry still wouldn't admit he had been mistaken in any measure.
What did I tell you?
Now, Russert is TV's Torquemada, an unrelenting moderator who prides himself on making his guests squirm. And Kerry certainly didn't wilt under pressure.
Not with all that mousse in his hair...
Still, he needs to do better. Here's the Sunday postmortem of one particularly savvy veteran of presidential politics. ''Kerry has got to shorten his answers, and he has got to be willing to say yes or no. Trust and authenticity are going to be very, very important in the next presidential election, so it has to feel like he is actually answering the questions he's asked.''
The logical argument is that trust and authenticity are going to be very, very important in every presidential election.
Amen. And if Kerry doesn't believe that? Well, he should ask John McCain.
Well, I think he should just drop out and quit jerking everybody off, but that's just me.
Scot Lehigh's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ptech, Inc. Drive-By
You may have heard about Ptech, Inc, a Quincy, MA software firm that specializes in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software and, allegedly, sending money to the Saudi-based Muwafaq (Blessed Relief) Foundation, which Treasury officials allege is an al-Qaida front used to funnel millions of dollars to the terrorist organization. Big, bloated code is my take on what ERP software is, but then I've always been accused of oversimplifying things.
Since the place is right down the street from me, I checked it out around 6:00 this evening. It's a three story brick building (it looks like they occupied all floors, a few people were milling about). All the local network affiliates were there (CBS, NBC, Fox, WB-56), and some of them were packing up and hitting the road. No cops of any sort were in sight. One of the camera guys told me that I missed all the action, and that the president of the company was holed up in his house, just waiting for the
Thursday, December 05, 2002
I'd Rather Shovel Snow
... than fisk this piece of shit. She's made The Leap - from idiotic to boring.
I'll sleep better tonight knowing Joan told us that Saddam Hussein has an 'alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction'. Maybe Joan should change her name to Jane.
NFL 2002, Week 14
Home team in CAPS:
Last week = 3-3
For the year = 30-24-3
Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Sorry, folks, I'll find the link to the actual article later. My bad.
Can't You Hear the Wind Howell?
Bulger At The Beach
A false alarm has been reported about Whitey Bulger lying around at this Cape Cod beach. Six feet under.
My intuition tells me he's somewhere warm, having been in Jupiter, FL on and off until he hit the road in 1995. He might even be out of the country.
Just Like Clinton?
You be the judge.
Kerry On The Stump
Captain Hairdo is touring the nation on his Magical Mystery (to me) Tour, where the embarrassing questions are jumping out already:
That question: "Senator, who does your hair?"
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
That's A First
A link to this site by someone at Berkeley. There's no hate mail yet, so I'm not sure what to make of it...
These Guys Should Work Kneeland Street
...because they're so good at sucking cock:
A BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL
Well, the debut was unofficially a few weeks ago. There will be no replay of 1988, because it's gonna suck for Kerry to go to the Fleet Center and not get the
Kerry, 58, presents a meaty alternative to the intellectual laziness of the current administration. He is a rigorous thinker; studious and nuanced, if a bit dry in the delivery. Famously decorated in the Vietnam War, he has a visceral understanding of what it means to ask Americans to sacrifice in foreign adventures. What he calls the ''rough, sloppy'' foreign policy of the Bush administration would not characterize a Kerry agenda.
Angry Cyclist, 2 months old, presents a nasty alternative to the intellectual arrogance of current Globe editorial writers. Kind of tough for Kerry 'to ask Americans to sacrifice in foreign adventures' when he's making up his mind at the last minute nearly every time (sorry, the Globe link is hosed). Kerry's flaw is that he's not a man of conviction, unlike those lazy intellectuals in the White House, who make up their poll-untested minds and stick with it. His Vietnam record, relied on in every freakin' press conference and mentioned in every
Kerry is an internationalist, appalled that foreign aid is billions less than it was when Ronald Reagan was president. He is not averse to a muscular role for the United States overseas, but he understands that there are many more notes to be sounded than the one harsh cry now eminating (sic) from Washington. He was most persuasive in explaining his vote to authorize force in Iraq when he said it was needed to spur a multilateral UN resolution.
Yup, nothing like billions in foreign aid to our many friends around the globe like Pakistan, Palestine and Egypt. Your welcome for the $2+ billion dollar a year savings tip, jackass.
This page has had its differences with Kerry over the years: We wrote that his trimming on affirmative action in a speech at Yale University back in 1992 was politically calculated as a play against type. And we do find a worrisome tendency to expediency and issue-straddling. He is against capital punishment, for example - except for terrorists. We hope that Kerry in the coming months will apply his undeniable intellect and personal courage to stand squarely for an alternative vision of America.
Globe World - where only Democrats have intellect, no Republicans need apply.
Kerry has already
Note the use of the word 'halt'. That's different from 'repeal', which no sane Democrat's going to oppose. Great, cut the payroll tax for one year, Kerry - why not just hand out checks like, uh, the intellectually lazy President Bush did last year?
In an interview before his reelection last month, Kerry said: ''I feel as focused and energized as at any time since I came back from Vietnam.'' He isn't a pork-rind populist and shouldn't pretend to be. But he could take a lesson from his fellow veteran John McCain and fashion his own straight-talk express: honest, bold, distinctive. He may find a surprising number of troops behind him.
...but not many Democratic delegates, at least at this juncture, which are the troops that really count.
This story ran on page A20 of the Boston Globe on 12/3/2002.
Vennochi's Complaint Du Jour
Now she's complaining about bait and switch tactics that were allegedly employed by both Mayor Menino and Senator Kennedy to secure
IT'S LIKE YOUR mama told you. Some men will say anything to get what they want. Then, when they get it, it's see you later, baby. That describes the current state of affairs between Mayor Thomas Menino, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and the Boston branch of the NAACP regarding efforts to woo national Democrats to Boston.
My momma told me, you'd better shop around.
On Nov. 10 - crunch time for Democrats deciding where to hold their national convention in 2004 - Leonard C. Alkins, president of the NAACP's Boston branch, offered critical written support to Alice Huffman, head of the site selection committee for the Democratic National Convention: ''As I have made you aware, the Boston branch had previously discouraged the DNC in selecting Boston as its host city for the 2004 National Convention because of Boston's poor record regarding diversity. However, because of commitments from both Mayor Menino and Senator Kennedy, the NAACP Boston branch now encourages the Democratic National Committee to select Boston as the host city,'' Alkins wrote.
Time to start a protest or two!
''I feel used,'' adds Juan Cofield, chairman of the NAACP's 21st Century Boston Project committee.
Like one of these?
As everyone now knows, Kennedy and Menino dearly wanted the Democrats to come to Boston in 2004. What everyone does not know is how much maneuvering went on behind the scenes to convince the DNC that Boston does not have what it obviously does have: diversity issues, particularly a lack of it in high places.
Some of us would call them quotas, but what's in a name?
After top Democrats took a first look at cities vying to be the 2004 convention host, at least two black committee members complained about the lack of diversity in Boston. Local officials downplayed the criticisms, but behind the scenes, they worked to put such fears to rest. Naturally, they did not change anything substantive about Boston. They just changed the image presented to the DNC.
Great move, guys. Send a convicted tax evader as part of your posse. Did they listen to the pitch, or did you get laughed out of the room?
Meanwhile, seeing opportunity for serious discussion about ''what is not happening in Boston'' and seeking real
The letter also made note of the recently adopted Massachusetts House redistricting plan, which is being challenged in federal district court on the charge that it will
Yup, sounds like Alkins & Cofield got played, all right.
What Menino did is appoint a public relations specialist, Donna Latson Gittens, to come up with ''a strategy to involve minority groups and city neighborhoods in the huge political gathering,'' according to the Globe. That, says Alkins and Cofield, is nothing more than ''smoke and mirrors.''
Let the fur fly!
Joan Vennochi's e-mail address is email@example.com.
If You Can't Beat Them, Sue Them
A US District court judge declined a case from eight
Eight students who have failed the MCAS test required for graduation are suing state education officials, saying the test is discriminatory and that many struggling schools have failed to teach students the material on the exam.
Yes, tests discriminate - against the stupid. How about studying for the test on your own to make up the difference? That concept is called homework. You'll have another year to get it down.
I sunk 300 hours into the CPA exam ten years ago last month, over double what the minimum recommendation is. Chance favors the prepared mind.
Bill Bulger Update
It looks like this will not be the first time Billy has appeared before a grand jury:
William Bulger, a lawyer who was president of the Massachusetts Senate when he talked to his brother in January 1995, said his brother was seeking legal advice. He said he didn't urge him to surrender to authorities ''because I don't think it would be in his interest to do so.''
How convenient - his brother was seeking legal advice (Whitey - "Should I run now or wait for the indictment?") so Bill can invoke lawyer-client privilege.
Monday, December 02, 2002
Talkin' 'Bout My... My Reunion
I went to my 20th year high school reunion on Saturday night. It turned out to be a rather interesting affair, despite my lowered expectations. Even after two days of letting this one simmer before posting, I'm hard pressed to say anything of interest on it. Here it goes...
A few people I talked / e-mailed to before last night said that they didn't want to go to this because they didn't want to run into the 'jocks and cheerleaders' crowd (which I've conveniently dubbed the Mutual Admiration Society). For dealing with such situations, I offer my handy Rule of Three: If there's a person you've had at least three conversations with, go talk to them. If not, you don't. I figure if you didn't talk to anybody during that four year stretch, why start now? It's not an insult to them, and they won't even notice. If you want to insult someone or ruffle some feathers, that's easy enough - if you're cornered by one of the Society members, say you were looking to talk to someone intelligent instead (unless they're buying you a drink, then put the diplomat hat on). Or, start your own blog!
I was walking out of the bathroom when I ran into one of these donkeys. I held the door open for him and said "Hey, how's it going"? Not a word of acknowledgement from this prick. Invoking the Rule of Three would have prevented even this minimal act of courtesy on my part. In retrospect, what I should have said in return was: "Your welcome, you fat, balding fuck." At least I don't look like the bastard love child from a gay humpfest between Frankenstein and Marty Feldman.
One clown shows up in a t-shirt and jeans, sporting a kinda mini-Mr. T Starter's Kit around his neck, just to show off his massive pythons. Well, we are talking about Manchester, NH, folks. We can out-redneck any part of the country when the need arises. Or you can go from the superlative 'Hair Of' to 'A Lot Less Hair Of' just like that!
A Boston Globe contributing columnist just went to his 25th reunion:
He's right. A reunion is an opportunity to return to the people who do know your name. You won't recognize everybody, but the ones you do will make you feel happy you came.
That sounds about right.
Naturally, I was hoping for a few more familiar faces in the crowd, but this would have only exacerbated what I felt as I was leaving around 10:30. I ran into a couple of people and talked to them for all of five minutes, which should have stretched out to about a half hour. The night did get better as
The drive home was rather interesting. On I-93 south just past the I-495 interchange, I
One note I'd like to make to the organizers, if they're reading this (or if someone can send them the link). A few people thought that this could be stretched out over two days, similar to what was done at the tenth year reunion, when we had a huge cookout at a state park the next day. I know that won't fly in late November, but even an 'unofficial' event at a local bar would be welcome by a lot of people (admittedly, I didn't do much polling on this), and I don't think this would add a ton of work to the next organizing event. Once all the RSVP's are received, see how many would be interested in a night before event. Pick a place that could hold that number, then tell them you're sending that size crowd over for the night. Any decent bar & grill would love to jump on something like that.
Well, that's my two cents. Since I'm avoiding full names, I'll mention three things - I owe Dave a beer, probably two by the time the next one rolls around, I'm sorry I missed Joyce, my German class 'nemesis' (and a few others in that group), and to the rest of you knobs who didn't show up for this (Donna, Jim (two of you), Ray, Heidi, Gary, Ann, Duncan, Joanne, Marc, Leslie, JP, Ernie, and others too numerous to mention) - what the fuck's up? I hope you have the 'I'm out of state and further away than Quincy MA' excuse for not showing up.
This rant's going to come back and bite me, I can feel it already...
Bill Bulger Update
Bill? It's dinner time!
Your subpoena is served.
I think it's kind of hard to square this story with this one.
Personally, I think there are too many fuckin' nitwits out there using cell phones while driving, to the diminishment of their driving skills.
I called it, didn't I? Here's his third major pre-announcement on his 2002 presidential run.
Here's David Frum on the esteemed Senator:
DEC. 2, 2002: AFTER THE FEAST
Here's Mickey Kaus on Captain Hairdo:
Kerry Mystery Challenge: What is it that makes so many people, myself included, intensely dislike Sen. John Kerry? This is the great mystery surrounding his 2004 presidential campaign. I don't think "aloof and arrogant," the traditional Kerry negatives, are exactly it -- he may be aloof and arrogant, but there are plenty of aloof and arrogant people I don't rule out instantly due to their gross characterological deficiency, which is what I do with Kerry. It's not just his "long record of opportunism," though again that's part of it. ... I say we harness the power of the Web to solve the mystery! A copy of Kerry's undoubtedly riveting book, The New War, to the kf reader (or non-kf reader) who most precisely describes the root of Kerry's loathsomeness. ...(References to descriptions of Kerry by others may also qualify for the prize .) ... My own attempt: I think it starts with the phony furrowed brow. Perpetually furrowed and perpetually phony. It's been furrowed for so long I doubt he could unfurrow it now even if his advisers convinced him that would be a good tack to take! ...Then add the sense that Kerry would never ever take a principled or unpopular stand if losing the argument might actually threaten to derail his precious political career. (He apparently made some anti-affirmative noises in 1992 and quickly backed down when the obvious groups complained.) Add in relentless, obvious self-promotion to the point of indignity -- sucking up to Gore while jockeying for the vice-presidential nod in 2000, for example (as described by The New Republic's Ryan Lizza). Plus the way his equally ambitious supporters call him "JFK." It's creepy. The man's an animatronic Lincoln. There's a metal plate in the back of his head -- under all the glued-on "hair" -- that they open up and stick screwdrivers in when he gets back to his office.... There, that's my best shot. But I'm not sure it's quite there. I know you can do better!. ... P.S.: Here's a small-but-telling example of clumsy self-promotiional dissembling: TNR's Michael Crowley reports that Kerry is not an "unreconstructed liberal in the Kennedy tradition" because Kerry "was a strong supporter of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings balanced-budget act ... 'That was heresy back in Massachusetts,' [Kerry] says." Heresy in Massachusetts? Teddy Kennedy himself supported Gramm-Rudman-Hollings. How heretical could it have been? ... P.P.S.: See Talking Points on the press' dislike of Kerry. ...12:53 A.M.
Last, but not least, is this diddy from Matt Drudge(note this link will go away after a few days):
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON DEC 02, 2002 11:02:49 ET XXXXX
Call my lawyer, Matt...
Sunday, December 01, 2002
NFL 2002, Week 13 - Update
Home team in CAPS:
PHI +2.5 (this was off the board until Wednesday).
Who comes up with this shit (pun intended)?
She's got... Bette Davis poo.
Between crap like Survivor, The Real
It's A Three Ring Circus
How else can you explain something like this?
There Is A God
His name is Preston.
He scored four tickets for the Buffalo at New England game for next Sunday. The Streak continues.
Friday, November 29, 2002
It's a bad time to be a member of Hezbollah.
Spot The Error
I was cruising around and found a discussion of taxation of poor people in California, in part by Kevin Drum. The column is partially a justification of
Have you spotted the error yet? If not, here it is - How on fucking Earth can someone making $12,000 a year afford property and thus incur a property tax liability? Remove that tax from the calculation and the fictitious taxpayer's percentage of tax drops to 12.5%.
Isn't it about time that the Wall Street Journal hired a fact checker for its editorial page?
Et tu, Kevin?
UPDATE - If this person (god forbid) has children, he's eligible for the FULLY REFUNDABLE Earned Income Tax Credit of $2,353 for one child and $3,888 for two or more children. For a person without children, this credit's eliminated at $10,350 of earned income.
ANOTHER UPDATE - Kevin informs me that the property tax number is arrived at by imputing rental payments by tenants as partially allocable to property tax payments. Kevin's just reporting it, so it's not on him.
Oh, yeah, and the tenant is building up equity on the portion of rent payments allocable to the building's purchase price. This is
A Little Clarity
...is in order with respect to my previous critique of the EU. Gregg Easterbrook writes a column for ESPN called the Tuesday Morning Quarterback, which I simply can't read anymore. Dan Drezner notes that Easterbrook does an excellent job boiling down the essence of the great, vaunted European Union:
"The European Union is a kind of quasi-official meta-government that seeks out the cost, bureaucracy and ineffectiveness of each member nation's worst ministry, then tries to impose it on all of Europe."
This, from a senior editor of New Republic and a Brookings Institution fellow. Ouch!
The Sports Guy
Bill Simmons misses Beantown already.
I'll miss you too, Bill.
It's Circus Time!
Like you couldn't see this coming from ten miles away.
Why don't we just send these guys instead?
Hate Crime, Anyone?
Martha Burkitis - It's Spreading
It's on its way to merry old Ireland now.
I guess that means that all female clubs will go the way of the dodo bird, too, right?
Independent In Name Only
"He's the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee," the spokesman said.
Not for long, asswipe.
Who Let The Bitch Out?
Personally, I'd let
Quincy Dominatrix Update
That should get the hit count up, so to speak!
Barbara Asher pleaded innocent to
I think Bobby Brown had a similar experience:
She made a little speech then,
Howie Carr On Bill Bulger
I knew something was up when I saw this yesterday. Today, Howie Carr provides a great recap on precisely how much shit he's going to be in.
That's one guy I don't want to be in the next few (Kevin) Weeks. Maybe now we can figure out who ordered the hit on my buddy's brother, John McIntyre, who they dug up a mile from my place two years ago. The general theory: John rats to the FBI; Connolly informs Whitey Bulger; the hit's put out and conducted at light speed by Weeks.
It's time for redemption, Kevin.
There's No Place Like Home
... to hide Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
A huge freakin' charade is what the inspection efforts is...
Indurain on Armstrong & Ullrich
Not exactly fighting words, but Miguel Indurain thinks Jan Ullrich's a more complete rider than Lance Armstrong:
Asked about which riders had particularly impressed him in recent years, Indurain stated: "Ullrich has been the one from my era who has most impressed me. He’s won the Tour de France, been second four times, and he’s also won the Vuelta and the Olympic road race."
Indurain knows this, but doesn't admit it, and Greg LeMond will agree - you're remembered for winning Le Tour. That's why Lance's efforts are geared (no pun intended) towards that race.
Circus Time In Iraq
You can't make this stuff up, folks. Check out this guy's qualifications. Are we looking for reactor cores or bullwhips?
Tell me the Bush Administration did this on purpose, please!
Globe Idiocy Watch
It's not one of the Usual Suspects this time around, but from William Pfaff, whose ability to blend stuffy and banal is unparalleled, well, still remains that way with this object d' Art. When it comes to stupidity, their team is deeper than the 1986 Boston Celtics.
The problem at the root of US-European discord
... is the EU and France.
By William Pfaff, 11/29/2002
Donald Rumsfeld does not suffer fools gladly...
The members of the administration and their backers claim a moral realism that their critics, specifically their European critics, allegedly lack. The Washingtonians are ''grown-ups'' (in one particularly unfortunate recent formulation). Their ''realism'' consists in believing that there are evil leaders and governments in the world. They are under the impression that their critics are moral relativists, who do not recognize this.
I don't know, Bill. Some people might interpret this as aiding and abetting Palestinian terrorism.
They interpret a reluctance to go to war against Iraq, and potentially Iran and North Korea, and an unwillingness to follow the United States in making radical government reorganizations and restricting civil liberties in an ill-defined and thus far conspicuously unsuccessful war against terrorism as evidence of this moral relativism.
This bunch of fucking idiots are the ones who would rather wait until these known belligerents have 100 kiloton nuclear bombs and delivery systems.
Oh, and Osama Bin Laden? Still dead!
One might think it evidence of good sense or an informed prudence, but the Bush people believe themselves more farsighted than others. This is a recurrent fallacy in Washington. It was Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, who provided this belief's most complacent statement when she said that the United States ''sees farther'' because it ''stands taller,'' being more virtuous than other countries.
Pfaff must be about as tall as Robert Reich, then.
George Ball, an immensely respected US diplomat of the postwar period
Just look at some of George Ball's fellating luminaries. He also avoids the discussion of France decolonizing Indochina and leaving a massive power vacuum in the region, setting the table for Sino-Soviet expansion and thus, the Vietnam war.
Naturally, this attitude does not always go down very well in other countries and has become a particular irritant in American relations today with Europe.
Right. We don't want to offend anyone, do we?
The serious formulation of the neo-conservatives' argument says that while the United States acts on moral realism, the West Europeans have adopted an idealistic view of international affairs that may be appropriate in the concerns of the European community but is irresponsible as an approach to an international order threatened by rogue states and anarchic failed states.
Well, when you let shit like this happen in your backyard and do little about it, let's face it: you're asking for more of the same. And you're a fucking idiot to boot.
In the past year, France and Germany have also been accused of displaying anti-Semitic sentiments, expediently concealed since Nazi and Vichy times but now rampant, ignored by a European leadership which in this respect is no better than that of the 1930s.
Cheap rhetorical trick here, folks. Note the use of the word 'accused', as though there has been no recent incidents in tolerant France or tolerant Germany.
In part, all this reflects old cultural attitudes tied to the complicated relationship of Americans of European descent to the countries their ancestors left in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the case of the neo-conservatives, many of them Jewish, in the attitudes of children and grandchildren of the Nazis' victims.
Yes, the situation is too complex, too nuanced for the simplisme cowboy Americans to grasp.
It also presents, in an intense form, the same disagreement that has separated American governments from their European allies on a number of previous occasions. This, by analogy at least, is a theological disagreement.
That's complete bullshit. The Founding Fathers did not want to live under the boot of King George III and told him to piss off. We've had our constitutional government for 215 years. France has, what, at least five constitutions since then? How about Italy? Europeans, to this day, seem enamored of collectivist / Marxist societies and have done so again by the creation of the European Union, an unelected body of bureaucrats whose purpose is to impose a superstate over existing nations. Like I've mentioned before, this is Europe's biggest mistake since the French invented the Maginot Line.
The rest of Pfaff's article is pretentious claptrap. Read at your own risk.
Dualism has always been a powerful tendency in religion, the unmistakable good - light - confronting darkness and evil. Both Calvinism and the 17th-century Catholic heresy of Jansenism were affected by theological dualism, preaching predestination and the corrupting force of material goods and pleasures.
Cold, Mean And Heartless
Quiz time! That would be:
B) Big Business,
C) Big Oil, or
D) The city of San Francisco.
Cut Off Your Nose
...to spite your face.
What a bunch of stupid, greedy cocksuckers. Airlines were in a ton of trouble well before 9/11/2001. Let
F. Lee Bailey Spotting
One of the O.J. Simpson lawyers is seeking to have his law license reinstated here in Massachusetts after his Florida license was revoked for
Gettin' Ready For The Slammer
That would be Vincent 'Buddy' Cianci, former mayor of Providence, RI, who's going on a sixty-four month vacation to Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Thursday, November 28, 2002
From Eugene, Oregon, home of some hard-core pacifists.
I had a roommate that was re-educated here. This roommate relationship lasted about 6 months, complete with lesbian / feminist art of her creation. Christ, I'll remember her name in a few days, won't I?
She mentioned knowing all the 'ism's'; 'sexism, racism, imperialism...'
I deadpanned - 'Hot jism?'
Hey, she laughed.
According to Drudge, the latest Bin Laden tape is now judged to be a fake.
Do you think our (CIA) believing it was real was, well, disinformation?
Why Airlines Are In Trouble
Inflexible union demands being one of the major reasons.
These have been added to my Blogger template, and they work, too, for the most part.
Tip of the hat to the Cracker Barrel Philosopher, whose code I shamelessly hacked. Thanks!
UPDATE - This doesn't seem to look through my archives, which is what I was shooting for, only to links to this site from Google using the keyword (s). That looks like the next mini-project.
It might explain the handcuffs...
I had to think about this for a minute. What's disturbing about this story is that I thought the body was buried on the Quincy side of the Neponset River bridge, about a quarter mile from my place. They dug it up about a year and a half ago. That means there's two of these psychos in Quincy. Great.
The Daily Jihad
I believe it would be a trivial matter to link to one of these every day:
Militia says it will avenge death of two leaders, but backs off claim Israel was involved
Charles Johnson shows it, he does it every single day.
For Christ's sake, if you look at one of these nitwits the wrong way, the entire Arab Street becomes enraged.
No, not Whitey 'On the Lam' Bulger, but his brother Bill, the current University of Massachusetts president and former Massachusetts Senate president . A US congressional inquiry is requesting Bill's presence so they can ask him a few questions.
Yeah, real tough call here - Bill won't tell them a damn useful thing. I mean, look how it's starting out:
Asked whether his client would appear next week, Kiley said, ''Don't hold your breath.'' A UMass spokesman referred all inquiries to Kiley.
Can't... hold... breath... much... longer...
Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Howie Carr On John Kerry
On so many levels:
Remember the Eliot Lounge in the Back Bay? One Friday night, Liveshot decides to take a pass on the Eurotrash scene at Biba's and instead heads over to the Eliot to scout out the local talent. He waves to bartender Tommy Leonard and begins chatting up two unattached babes at the bar.
Time for a Bob Lobel story, secondhand, unfortunately. When I was an auditor at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, we were located at 215 First Street in Cambridge MA, about 4 or 5 miles from the Channel 4 (at the time) studios, along the Charles River, where he did his sports segment after 11:20 or so. A former friend of mine, Michael Phillip Kearns, who was the ace state sales tax auditor at that time, used to drink at the bar downstairs and noticed Lobel down there on a number of occasions, hitting and scoring on one of the waitresses before and after his gig. I'm sure Susan Wornick (his wife at the time) was real happy with that shit.
Legume: Round Up The Usual Suspects!
Nice try by the Globe to identify Republican switch hitters in the Senate. Chafee, Specter and Snowe are mentioned. Chafee has made rumblings, so he's most likely to go. It means nothing to him unless he convinces Snowe or Specter to join, which is highly unlikely. I hear jim Jeffords is looking for some company!
Numerically speaking, it will come from the House first, and it will be a DemocRAT. I don't see the Senate shifting at all, besides Mary Landrieu (D-LA) losing her runoff next week.
Pete DuPont writes in today's Opinion Journal about a Yale professor (it figures) who proposes not tax relief, but tax 'reform'. Exclusively taxing the rich via the income tax and introducing a Federal VAT (value-added tax) are among his brilliant ideas.
The Internal Revenue Code is a walking clusterfuck. I saw a report a few years ago that estimated the time spent on tax compliance in man-hours is equivalent to that of the output of General Motors, which employs 355,000 people, and I'm quite sure that calculation has increased over the intervening time. It's one of the reasons I bailed out of public accounting after a few years, simply disgusted with all the misapplications in logic.
This professor's another walking clusterfuck. What he essentially proposes is a supermajority electorate that will have the illusion that they don't have to pay taxes because they won't have to file an income tax return, but will still have to pay payroll taxes, state taxes (to the extent they don't piggyback the IRC, which are a few states) and the newly minted 14% VAT. I don't see overall tax rates decreasing with this shit proposal.
My proposals, based on experience and an absence of class warfare rhetoric, would include the following:
Flatten the tax rates. 10% (income from 6,000 to 12,000), 17.5% (income from 12,000 to 20,000) and a top marginal rate 25% (20,000 and up) will apply with a full credit for all other taxes paid, to the extent you can document them. This is nice for two reasons: 1) Everybody will start paying closer attention to their overall tax burden, and there are plenty of tricks (phaseouts, income limitations, calling certain government mandated payments 'fees', etc.) that are used to this end. 2) It eliminates any advantage one state might (say, New Hampshire) try to hype over one of its neighbors (Taxachusetts) in terms of the state tax rates because any advantage is automatically eliminated by the Federal credit. This makes decisions to move based on purer economic criteria (availability of jobs) or on quality of life decisions.
I make these proposals because, let's face it, the Federal income tax will not disappear in our lifetime. It's too institutionalized, too much of a 'tradition', if you will. Think about somebody that has 50K in a Federal capital loss carryforward (given the boom and bust, it's not that hard to imagine, and you might even know someone in this position). And then Bush announces eliminating the income tax. You want to see someone go absolutely fuckin' apeshit? I'd pay $50 to watch that guy go through the roof!
Another point - more than 1/2 of taxpayers have someone else do their taxes. Of course, I shouldn't personally bitch about this point, but I think tax law ought not to be so complicated that you need a fuckin' Doctorate or its equivalent to make a good faith effort to comply with the law.
Many people understand what they get from the Federal government. If they're forced or otherwise influenced to also understand what they put in, I believe the electorate will make better informed decisions about what level of tax they're comfortable with.
Here's the Great White Dope, who's blaming everybody but himself for all that ails America, real or imagined (mostly the latter, I believe).
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Frank Zappa Says
I have a message to deliver to the cute people of the world...if you're cute, or maybe you're beautiful...there's MORE OF US UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS OUT THERE! So watch out.
Of course, from Little Green Footballs.
NFL 2002, Week 13
No Turkey Day games on the board. Detroit has a winning record in Thanksgiving Day games, and they rolled the Patriots last time (in 2000), 34-9. Ugly. If the Pats lose this one, they need to run the table against the Jets, Bills and Dolphins at home during the next few weeks, or they're done. They shouldn't, but I have this feeling Detroit will be a pain in the ass.
Home team in CAPS:
Last week = 6-1 (about fuckin' time)
For the year = 27-21-3
Stl @ PHI is currently off the board. I'll update accordingly.
... was blogging.
On A Lighter Note
I was checking out Hub Blog this afternoon (the Hub Blog that posts with any frequency, I might add) and came across this very interesting update on the rantings of tortured genius, Bobby Fischer. This guy's off his fuckin' John Rocker!
I played chess growing up, and I'll admit it, I sucked like a five dollar whore. Still, it was fun to play and get the illusion that you're smarter than your buddies when you beat them.
The link above covers a lot of ground, from a recap of Bobby's life to his recent anti-American rantings and Jew-hating paranoia. Well, if I was basically kicked out of the U.S. for
In 1992 Fischer came out of retirement to play Boris Spassky in a $5 million rematch that commemorated the twenty-year anniversary of their meeting in Reykjavík. Aficionados dismissed the match as meaningless, since Fischer was no longer the world champion, and Spassky was then ranked ninety-ninth in the world. But the press had reason to celebrate: Fischer was a big draw; there was the nostalgic superpower angle; and the setting was Yugoslavia. United Nations sanctions had been imposed in an effort to halt the fighting in the country, and Americans were forbidden to do any business there, even in the form of a chess match. Fischer spoke arrogantly to the press about the irrelevance of the sanctions, and practically dared the United States to keep him from playing. Annoyed, Washington decided to make an example of him; the Department of the Treasury issued a cease-and-desist letter to Fischer, stating that if he played chess in Yugoslavia, he would be in violation of Executive Order 12810. The penalty for defying the order was a $250,000 fine, ten years in prison, or both. Fischer appeared untroubled.
But you know what, Bobby? You brought all this shit upon yourself.
What he will never figure out, for all his 'genius', is that the concepts of wealth and anonymity have a high negative correlation.
For Your Information
Just so you blog readers don't think I'm some sort of right wing warhorse with rigid ideological blinders, I do manage to check out other points of view.
This looks like, and I hope this is, part of the game plan. You know, pat our ostensible friends on the back while we search for the soft spot to sink the fuckin' knife...
I Almost Forgot
About the Dukakis - Kerry connection.
This makes it easier to portray Captain Hairdo as another East Coast Liberal.