September 13, 2003

Everyone have a nice weekend. I'm off to Santa Monica (prob. Over/Under) for some college football, followed by Mosley-de la Hoya tonight.

UPDATE: Never again !! Anyone (besides the de la Hoya haters) who thinks Mosley won that fight should be prevented from handling sharp objects. But it was nice to see Bill Plaschke finally find an African-American athlete he could get behind.

September 12, 2003

This may not mean much of anything, but readers of Kausfiles know that one of his current obsessions is about an appearance A.S. had on the Tonight Show a couple of decades ago, in which he boasted about being a part of a chimney repair scam when he first came to the country. The nation's paper of record fills in some of the gaps. The name of the venture, European Brick Works, was formed by the candidate and his pal and fellow bodybuilder, Franco Columbu, after the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, to "repair" masonry devastated by the disaster. According to the records of the Contractor's State License Board, no entity by that name has ever been licensed in the state of California, either as a general contractor or a C-29 masonry specialist, nor do the names "Columbu" or "Schwarzenegger" appear as either officers or personnel of any licensed contractor.

Understand, I've only handled a few construction cases in my legal career, and I have only a passing knowledge of contracting law as it stands today, much less what it was like in the early-70's. "European Brick Works" may have obeyed the law in every respect, and the stories Ahnolt was telling Johnny Carson may have been apocryphal, like the now-infamous "gang-bang" story, designed to showcase the non-conformist, outlaw rep that he thought would sell his screen persona.

But I have a feeling that state law back then would have frowned on anyone, even skilled bricklayers, from falsely claiming they were licensed contractors, and I find it hard to believe that the typical Valley homeowner (or, for that matter, the homeowner's insurer covering their earthquake claim) would have employed an unlicensed business to "fix" their chimneys.
Being a friend sometimes requires you to tell someone that what they are doing is wrong; sycophancy and friendship are incompatible. It's called "tough love". If your friend has had too much to drink, and is acting in a belligerent and irrational manner, you call him a taxi, or you try to settle him down. You don't tell him he's okay to drive home.

Since September 11, 2001, Tony Blair has not been a very good friend to the United States. When we needed allies, instead we got co-dependents.

September 11, 2003

The latest L.A. Times poll is out, and it pretty much affirms the findings of the Field snap-shot earlier this week: Bustamante maintains a five-point lead, 30% to 25%, but he's pretty much hit the ceiling as far as his potential support is concerned; Ahnolt is failing to generate much excitement; and McClintock is hanging in there, with 18%. If this poll is accurate, there is absolutely no reason for McClintock to drop out. Support for the recall remains at 50%, but Davis has narrowed the gap to within the margin of error in the poll; he now trails by only 3%. If the big three in the replacement election continue to go negative on each other, the voters are going to choose the devil they know. Davis will probably survive, in spite of himself.
This is way beyond belief. How can any country that considers the Barbie doll to be a "Jewish" plot against Islamic morality be considered an ally in fighting terrorists? [link via Adam Felber]

September 10, 2003

If the blogosphere is the next big thing, then it will have to produce a writer as eloquent, as insightful, as fearless in speaking truth to power, as Prof. Krugman. We may all have to wait awhile on that one...UPDATE: My, what a stupid thing to post. Not about Krugman; he's still god. But about the blogosphere...what was I thinking? I only visit this site twice a day, this site several times, and wish that this site would resume posting. And the author of this article is what each of those blogs have in common. If the L.A. Times doesn't give him a bi-weekly column soon, their shareholders will hold them accountable.

September 08, 2003

The latest Field Poll has Bustamante maintaining a five-point lead over the pack...UPDATE: here's the actual polling data. At first glance, it appears that Bustamante may have problems getting above his current total, while A.S. continues to under-achieve, and McClintock may actually have an outside shot of pulling off a shocker. Wiser men than myself have already analyzed the significance of the ethnic and gender breakdown in the poll; what I think is interesting is the fact that almost a fifth of the self-described conservatives polled are undecided, as opposed to only 6% of the liberals polled. With his name recognition, Ahnolt should have already nailed down this group, so the fact that so many are still on the fence indicates that they have a hard time rationalizing a vote for him, but still remaining skeptical about McClintock's chances. If that attitude changes, if the State Senator actually starts running a halfway-decent media campaign, if Bustamante doesn't find a way to expand his current support beyond African-Americans, Latinos and women, and/or if A.S.' idiosyncracies become too hard for the typical Dana Point/Palos Verdes elector to stomach, McClintock could be our next governor.


Resolved: Any writer who continues to translate the MeChA slogan Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada as "For the Race, everything. For those outside the Race, nothing," is himself a racist.

Resolved: Anyone who says that MeChA is morally equivalent to the Nazis or the KKK, is himself sympathetic to the methods(if not the specific aims) of the Nazis and the KKK.

Resolved: Any blogger who denounces MeChA, or similar groups, as "misguided identity politics", has proven why "identity politics" is still going to be embraced by many non-WASPs.


September 07, 2003

Howard Owens, who's been taking me to task recently for my sympathies to MeChA and La Raza, has a lileksian piece on record collecting that's worth your time. I used to have a pretty decent and comprehensive collection of British Invasion LP's, but like the rest of my albums they all were ruined when the roof of my bedroom collapsed as a result of the Northridge Earthquake. BTW, do they even sell turntables anymore?

The usually-excellent conservative legal blog, Volokh Conspiracy, had this unfortunate cheap shot yesterday on the Alabama budget crisis. Quoting the nation's paper of record:
The Horror!

After the rally at Troy State, Lucy Skellett, a sophomore cheerleader, explained how the budget woes affected her. Last year, the cheerleading squad got to travel with the football team. This year, there is no money for away games.

"Four games," Ms. Skellett said. "That's all we get to cheer now, is four games. You know how hard we work out for that?"

If Alabamians won't vote for a $1.2 billion tax increase to help out Ms. Skellett ... well, I'm just speechless. Oh, the humanity!
As an unabashed and unapologetic fan of cheerleaders and cheerleading, I feel it incumbent to defend the honor of Lucy Skellett and the rest of her teammates on the Troy State squad. Unlike college football and basketball players, cheerleaders don't get paid for what they do. A great deal of work and practice goes into it, and their only reward (besides an improvement in their social life) is to hear the third-rate cracks from the geeks and nerds they won't go out with (like me).

More to the point, however, is the fact that this budget cutback is happening at Troy State. Not Alabama. Not Auburn. Troy State. I guarantee you, if the Crimson Tide were forced to cut back on any aspect of its football program due to budget cuts imposed by an outdated tax code, the powers-that-be in that state would rise up, and demand higher taxes !! But since the cutbacks are occurring at a "lesser" state school (no doubt similar sacrifices are going on at the historically black colleges in that state as well), well, we can laugh at the poor girl who has to work her ass off (figuratively speaking) for the honor of being treated like a joke by her home state.