August 17, 2002

Damn courteous of baseball to threaten to cancel its season on August 30, the day before the first full week of college football games. It'll be easier on the fans that way. But remember, the next time you hear a writer complain about "small market" teams, the Minnesota Twins, future Central Division champs, are one of the teams he's referring to. There are no small market teams, only small-time owners.

August 16, 2002

Apparently the unofficial newspaper of my alma mater, the Daily Cal, was able to mau-mau its way into having the ASUC building renew its lease. For some inexplicable reason, the normally reliable TAPPED seems to think that this is a victory for "free speech" over the forces of "political correctness"(whatever that means), rather than a well-funded student rag being able to prevent less fortunate student groups from being able to occupy some choice campus office space.
Uneventful weekend planned, with a family barbq Saturday and a trip to the Skirball Center (for a food festival !!) on Sunday; anything to avoid the malignancy of R****** fans at Joxers. In any event, I will be there tonight.
This guy wasn't a bad actor, although I hope Phil Gramm doesn't try to emulate him. My favorite Thompson performance was in the TV series, Wise Guy, when he played a white supremacist con-man; it was the only role of his I can remember when he didn't play either a government official or a lawyer.
Unfreaking believable!!! While Andrew Sullivan is on vacation, reputed "scholar" Camille Paglia is pinch-hitting. Its just as good as those old Sanford & Son episodes when Redd Foxx couldn't be bothered to show up on the set, so Grady would be the star that week. Highlight of her debut post: her oft-repeated but bogus claim that she is a "disillusioned Democrat" who voted for Clinton twice !!! As far as I could tell, though, she failed to refer to any of her adversaries as "Stalinists", so this might be the work of an imposter.

August 15, 2002

As noted in this space last week, Delaware is rightly called the hellhole of the universe, in part because of its lax incorporations laws. From the perspective of a bankruptcy lawyer, it means that a whole grip of Chapter 11's get filed there, and are heard before judges with a sycophantic bent toward those debtors with the good fortune to be incorporated there. This article proposes a reform that makes too much sense: federalizing corporate law, thereby making all corporations that conduct interstate commerce susceptible to the same standards and practices, and giving shareholders everywhere the same protections. Ideally, of course, the federal standards would be the bare minimum; states could adhere to even higher standards, if they so desire.
For a nation supposedly formed around the principal of opposing "taxation without representation", I have always been amazed that our great experiment in democracy never blessed the District of Columbia. This good piece eviscerates the arguments against DC statehood; although he doesn't say it in so many words, I think its safe to say that if DC were a predominantly white city, it would have had its two senators and representative some time ago.

August 14, 2002

Concerning the title of this article, isn't "sushi cook" a contradiction in terms?
For those of you who want me to quit whining about the "Bankruptcy Reform" act currently before Congress, and want me to let you know what you can do about it, check out this site (thanks Sir Mix-A-Lot !).
Having busted the budget with an unnecessary tax rollback for his friends in Newport and Waco, W. now decides to push the "fiscal responsibility" cart with a veto of a spending bill that consists, in large part, of programs that he originally pushed. With all the talk about Ashcroft threatening to roll back civil liberties, its stories like this that actually offer some reassurance: can a moronocracy truly be feared?
A word of caution to those of you who were directed to this site by Google: this blog mainly concerns politics and sports, with occasional forays into Alias, Phoebe Nicholls, my drinking bouts at Joxer Dalys, and my fledgling write-in campaign to be SF Valley Mayor. I do not typically write about "Paris Hilton" (four hits !!), "Anna Pornikova"(two hits), or "The Miller Sisters"; that was from last month's Miss Overrated 2002 contest, and, in any event, my references to them were not too kind. I have never written on the topics of either "Klum Being Screwed" or "Gretchen Mol rumors", so you should take that up with Google.

August 13, 2002

This Krugman column explores the old adage (I think it's the Kinsley Law of Scandal) that holds that the real scandal isn't the illegality; its what's perfectly legal.

August 12, 2002

Last week, I mentioned, almost in passing, stories published about two public figures, Jose Offerman and Gwyneth Paltrow, that I thought were so poorly sourced that it offended me that any reputable journalistic venture could have published them (by the way, I believe this blog is the first to ever put those two individuals together in the same sentence; I can't wait to see if someone reaches me through a Google search for " 'Jose Offerman' AND 'Gwyneth Paltrow' "). Its not a big deal, unless you're the subject of such a hitpiece; the journalistic standards regarding "anonymous sources" for sports and entertainment/gossip are so low anyway that the public has already developed an ingrained skepticism about such stories. Then again, I came upon this story and this story today, which only show what a strong shelf-life the most odious of lies can take on.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of you have already heard about the smear of Al Gore last week: that he and his wife attempted to use influence to get some freebies to the opening Springsteen concert, and had a fit when he didn't get the tickets. Coming as it did on the heels of a campaign season when false stories were printed about the former Veep taking credit for inventing the Internet, or for having been brought up in a luxury hotel, I was amazed that anyone with a sense of fair play could have believed that allegation even for a second. To that end, I would propose a hard and fast rule concerning any published story that uses anonymous sources: unless it involves a whistleblower, or a Mafia informant, anything that you read that contains a reference to an unnamed "friend", "teammate", "source" or "insider" must bear the presumption that it is a lie, unless the journalist can show elsewhere in the story that the anonymity was granted to protect the source, not the reputation of the journalist.
(Ed. I would be happy to discuss with anyone who e-mails or comments, below, why I believe the stories involving Gore, Offerman and Paltrow were untrue in whole or in part)
Look who might have to give up his Second Amendment rights....
Good follow-up piece to NYC's efforts to scam the Oscars from LA, using 9/11 as a crutch. Its pathetic that Gov. Davis and Mayor Hahn are willing to allow the ceremony to be split, although Davis' motivation is obvious: Harvey Weinstein must have "contributed" to his campaign. I'll make it easy for Hahn: your job is to do things (like govern) that are good for LA; if New York City is willing to share the Giants or Jets, or allow the Tony Awards to come to LA the next time we have an earthquake, than we can talk about having the two cities host the Academy Awards.

August 11, 2002

Staggering, moronic review in the LA Times today of Slander, the bestseller by the writer I've come to know and love as Fraulein Goebbels. Someone named "Andrew Malcolm" wrote the puff piece, which praises the author's rigorous use of footnotes and her provocative and ironic style. No doubt his review of Mein Kampf would marvel at the writer's wit and clearheaded social and political criticism. I'm not an LA Times basher (I have to go someplace for my sports scores), but its book review section really is a pit of mediocrity.
Well, I spent a good deal of the evening Saturday at what is arguably the happiest place on earth, watching a full panoply of pre-season football and the like. Since Joxer's is unofficially a "R******" bar, the place filled up with transplants from the Virginia/Maryland/DC area, all of whom were disappointed big-time when the management couldn't pull down the game from their satellite. With two exceptions, they all left by 6:00 p.m. What a vile specimen of rodent excrement is the Washington football fan. They root for a team whose nickname is a racist obscenity, they never show up at any other time except when their team is playing, they sing that idiotic (albeit catchy) fight song, and then leave without paying their bar tabs. Simply sharing a sports pub with them over the years has practically turned me into a hard-core fan of "America's Team", which is an almost unthinkable turn of events in my life, considering how I grew up believing that Roger Staubach was the anti-christ, and that Tom Landry was the person about whom Lucas based the evil emporer from the Star Wars movies.