July 13, 2002

I haven't mentioned Alias in a few weeks, so now is as good a time as any to order you to set your VCR's tomorrow: the two parter featuring Quentin Tarentino rebroadcasts at 9 pm. Its also worth watching to see our heroine react at the beginning to the news of her mom's treachery. Vintage TV !!!
Hey Tricky Vicky: Happy Birthday !!!
Let's see, Thursday the Blogger program wasn't publishing any of my posts, and yesterday I was unable to get anything through AOL. I tried a new format, which lasted exactly fourteen hours before I gave up in frustration. So its back with the old. I will try to get all the old links back up by the end of today, except for "Bencam", which linked to Saipan's only full service restaurant, store, and mortuary, and Sullivan, which I dumped not because of his conservatism and his increasing aversion to dark-skinned people the world over, but because I was finding that almost all of his posts were unintentionally hilarious; if that's what I wanted, I would just as soon link to David Horowitz or Dennis Prager. Oh well, he gets about a million hits a day, and I don't think he's going to miss the one or two visitors he gets from my site. The two new links, Matt Welch and The Weekly Standard, are just as conservative, but at least attempt to adhere to some level of intellectual integrity.

July 12, 2002

I'm reformatting the blog, so please bear with me; I hope to have it as good as new by the end of the weekend. If you prefer the old format, I can be talked out of the off-white background
Oh oh...the server's down. My posts are going up very sporadically.

July 11, 2002

As I remarked below, it is incumbent to avoid schadenfreude in not attacking every stumble made by the Prez: one must focus on 1) whether laws were broken by the then-private citizen George Bush back when he dumped his Harken stock, and if so, how much did he (and others) profit; 2) whether his past actions, legal or not, provide him with the credibility necessary to take part in the national debate as to what reforms are needed to police corporate practices; and 3) whether any diminishment in his credibility will lead to a weakening in confidence in the economy (as it has apparently already happened with Wall Street). This article, by America's greatest living columnist, touches every base on these emerging scandals.
Since its the right thing to do, I'm going to give W. a pass on the latest "scandal", the low-interest loan he got from Harken back in the late-80's. Regardless of how bad it looks from an ethical standpoint (his dad was President back then), it clearly was a routine ''bidness" gratuity, and was apparently not illegal, unlike, let's say, dumping stock based on insider information and then not filing a form disclosing same. That he now wants to outlaw such loans is not hypocritical, or not any more hypocritical than a politician voting to repeal a tax write-off that he had exercised in the past. It ill-behooves anyone who defended Clinton during the phony scandals of his administration to jump on any negative story about the current President, just because he's a conservative moron.

July 10, 2002

What some people won't do for more unique visitors....
Is there a bigger rip-off on cable than "ESPN Classic"? And to think that I once was excited about moving to the West SF Valley because I had been told (incorrectly, as it turned out) that it would be on basic cable. Half its programming is the treacly "Sports Century", and about 2/5 consists of rebroadcasts of second-rate car races and SEC college football games from the '80's. The rest of the time, it simply rebroadcasts the final two games of the 1991 World Series. Absolutely no replays of NFL football, ever, but if you stay up til 4:00 a.m., they will show those propaganda films football teams make to celebrate their season ("football experts everywhere predict that the 'never-say-die' attitude of the 2000 New Orleans Saints defense will lead to bigger things in 2001").

Even worse is when they have a replay of an old game that was entirely forgetable at the time it was played, but is only on because ESPN had the tape in its vaults. I must have seen the 1984 NCAA tournament game between Dayton and Washington about a half-dozen times on that channel; it wasn't particularly close, the only player of note on either team was Detlef Schrempf, and the team that won, Dayton, got knocked out in the next round. Oh well, as the historian and social critic Jill Schlessinger once said, "the world is ugly and the people are sad."

July 09, 2002

Congratulations to Bud Selig, for his singularly moronic decision to call the All-Star Game after 11 innings. So much for having any optimism that a strike will be averted....
If anyone out there has access to Nexis, do me a favor and see how many times the phrase, "my lawyer ate my homework" has been used since July 4th, when your correspondent used it in a post about W's evolving series of excuses over his Harken stock swindle, errr, I mean, the "honest disagreement about accounting procedures."

July 08, 2002

It’s MAILBAG time:

MC Hammered rips into my final World Cup commentary:

Soccer always has and always will suck. I don't care if anyone likes it just like I don't care that some people watch snuff films. The only reason I stayed at Joxer's after hours was that it afforded me the opportunity to drink myself silly for over twenty four straight hours. I believe I only looked up at the T.V. twice and that was when Madonna scored and the Panamanian team fans screamed (they certainly were more boisterous than the Swiss fans).

Typical conservative viewpoint: snuff films are a matter of individual taste; lets get drunk.

Sir Mix-a-lot responds to my response last week:

I wasn't making excuses for Arafat. Arafat doesn't have any real power to stop the terror attacks. Sure, he can arrest all the nutcases, stop financing terrorism and tell Saddam and other instigators of terrorism to go to hell. But, I contend that this will do little to stop the violence because the violence occurring in Israel/Palestine is the expression of a human desire to be free, the current violence is the result of years of economic oppression and violence perpetrated against the Palestinians since Britain gave the land to the Israelis. For every nutcase Arafat arrests there is another in waiting because he or she is tired of living the life of the oppressed or wants revenge in the name of a relative who was killed by the Israeli army. As you said last week, diplomatically Arafat has nothing to bring to the table. Sharon is fighting a war against the will of an oppressed people…who obviously have nothing to live for. The real power to end the violence lies with Sharon and his ability to offer Palestinians a reason to live…Until Sharon realizes that the fate of the Israeli and Palestinian is interlaced he will continually put fate of innocent Israeli civilians in harms way. Mind you, this is not said in support of or to justify terrorism…it is simply my view on where the power lies to end the conflict.

Your comparison to Mandela and South African apartheid is misguided in that you failed to acknowledge the role that the global community played in shifting that country away from apartheid. In addition to the political insurgency of the ANC, global protests and economic boycotts forced change to occur in South Africa. That kind of global consciousness will never occur with regard to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict because the world is afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic. Perhaps this is a lesson learned from the complacent African-American who reminds others of historic injustices and hides behind race, religion and ethnicity when it is time to be held accountable. Dialogue about race in America is often limited because people do not want to be unjustly accused of being racist. Similarly, the world will never openly criticize Sharon and his supporters for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic.

First off, I agree with your criticism about Sharon, and the craven manner in which the President has appeased him and his faction. He has been opposed to any Palestinian state, and has no constructive part to play in any peaceful resolution of that situation. I also agree that many of the less scrupulous people in the Likud faction have used the brush of “anti-Semitism” to tar their opponents, and to silence those who would like to see a more humane society in the Middle East. However, you can hardly argue that tying explosives to one’s body and walking into a crowded mall is an effective way of galvanizing world opinion in your favor. I also do not accept the view that the suicide bombers have “nothing to live for”. These are not people who simply desire an end to Israeli oppression on the West Bank and Gaza, since their victims are usually not soldiers or settlers. These people want to see a Palestine rid of the Jews, and in that sense are no better than Klansmen.

As far as the other topic last week, I got some reaction on the Miss Overrated beauty pageant, with votes for Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Campbell and Julia Roberts. To date, the almost universal opinion as to Anna Kournikova is that I've lost my mind. No one has heard of either Linda Evangelista or Paris Hilton, so they don't see how they can be overrated. Julia is winning, but I'm still accepting ballots....
An excellent take on a "psychotic death cult" that threatens all Americans, as elucidated by Bin Laden's favorite jurist.
It was a bit of a dull weekend; the period from the end of the NBA Finals to the first game of the college football season is usually nine lost weeks for me, but it does give me an opportunity to things I wouldn't normally do, like see a movie.

On Saturday, I had the house to myself, so I decided to work out the "George Foreman Grill" (ie., the single man's best friend). The task for the Iron Chef: Dodger Dogs !!! People who go to Chavez Ravine now have to settle for boiled, mushy wieners, which, if you're lucky, will have grill marks on them. I didn't take the time to steam them, but I did get the grilling part right, and boy did it bring back memories...of when I was a wee lad, and I'd go to two or three games a year with my father. Before the game, he'd leave me alone to fill out my scorecard, and he'd go to the concession stand to buy me two Dodger Dogs, nothing on them. I would finish them by the end of the second inning, and it always seemed that he would have an extra dog on hand, that he would split in two and share with me. Then we would watch the remainder of the game together, son and father, honor-bound to sit there til the bitter end. I guess with memories like that, a person doesn't die in any real sense....

July 07, 2002

What's more frightening, Serena Williams' new "look", or that she honestly believes it works for her? To make it a complete debacle, she should see if she can buy that outfit Gwynnie wore to the Oscars this year.