July 01, 2005

Today's retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor promises to provide all of us with a fun-filled, action-packed Summer of Love, so if I might offer my two cents on the issue to those of us (and I include myself) who anticipate opposing whomever is nominated by Bush: let's try to emphasize some issue other than his/her position on Roe v. Wade. Even without O'Connor, we've got five votes on the Court (since Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the last major case to challenge Roe, was decided, pro-life White has been replaced by pro-choice Ginsburg). There are plenty of other issues, pocketbook issues, that will be dealt with by the next Supreme Court, and which the replacement for O'Connor will be the swing vote. So let's focus on those, rather than frivolously refighting a battle that doesn't need to be fought this time around, and will only serve to once again piss off a significant portion of the electorate. It might work to our advantage.
Three Women and a Piano Tuner: I could hardly claim to be a fan of the lady at the top right of the screen without mentioning at least one good review she's received. Well done, Mrs. Sturridge...UPDATE: more raves about the PhoeNix, from the Guardian and the Times.

June 30, 2005

A somewhat minor issue, compared with his home sale and yacht rental, but The Dukester now seems to have run afoul of a different ethical bylaw: a set of knives that were sold by his "Top Gun" business were imprinted with the Congressional Seal, which is a no-no...I'm thunderstuck by how anyone could be this ethically obtuse.
Absolute proof of the non-existence of a wise and merciful deity....

June 29, 2005

Youngest Future HuffPost Contributor: It's not quite there yet, but those of us who've been waiting for The Great Blog by an athete or actor might want to look at this contribution, by LA Lakers' first round pick Andrew Bynum...UPDATE: Mr. Bynum (or his agent) has thrown the page down the memory hole, apparently out of fear that making him seem good-natured and funny is bad for P.R. Here's the cached version on Google.
California Earthquake: For the first time, both of the announced candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor are beating Ahnold Ziffel, head-to-head, according to the Field Poll. [link via Daily Kos]
I've fixed my Atom feed problem...so syndicate away.

June 28, 2005

The Constitution Works: An oldie but a goody from the Onion, back when it was still funny....
Before reading Mr. Samgrass' rant on why our Hawks have no moral obligation to do anything more than send others to die in their stead, it is important to remember that he happens to have two children of fighting age. Apparently their asses ain't dogproof, either.

Implicit in Hitchens' argument is an arrogant, contemptuous slighting of the military; it's a vocation like any other. It is the opposite side of the coin to the claim made during the debate over Senator Durbin's remarks on the Senate floor, that anyone who holds soldiers responsible for their actions is, in fact, denigrating the entire military. It must have been quite a surprise to soldiers serving in the Middle East and elsewhere that so many chickenhawks back home now considered torture and war crimes committed in their name to be so routine that anyone who dares focus on such abuses is, in fact, slurring the brave men and women at the Front.

Far from being shamed by the courage others have shown in fighting for his ideological crusade, Hitchens offers a convenient explanation:
Did I send my children to rescue the victims of the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center? No, I expected the police and fire departments to accept the risk of gruesome death on my behalf. All of them were volunteers (many of them needlessly thrown away, as we now know, because of poor communications), and one knew that their depleted ranks would soon be filled by equally tough and heroic citizens who would volunteer in their turn. We would certainly face a grave societal crisis if that expectation turned out to be false.
In other words, they had jobs they were paid to do, just like soldiers are paid to protect us, and people like him are paid to drum up the ideological rationale for their wars. So enough talk about the "sacrifice" of others. Who wouldn't kill for those death benefits....
YBK [Part 8]: Some good news, mixed in with the bad. In May, bankruptcy filings rose 5% nationally, the third straight month the number of filings were up significantly from the year before. However, the raw totals were sharply down from March and April, which, although historically not unusual, is a sign that the initial interest in the new bankruptcy law may be cooling, at least for the time being. In the meantime, keep watching those foreclosure numbers in Massachusetts and California....

June 27, 2005

Los Angeles [N.L.] 5, San Diego 4: Dodgers snap their two-game-with-Smythe-in-attendance losing streak, thanks to some timely power hitting by Jeff Kent and some solid pitching from rookie D.J. Houlton. The evening was marred by the theft of three commemorative Sandy Koufax statues (now selling for +$26 on E-Bay !!), belonging to me and my seatmates, Howard Owens and Rob Barrett, by a group of scofflaws who waited til the three of us temporarily left our seats on a beer run; those punks must have seen us coming a mile away. For those of you interested in the esoterica of MSM internet sites, word has it that the LA Times, in the wake of the "wikitorial" experiment, is planning to set up an unmoderated photoblog to prove its web bonafides, whilst the Ventura County Star should soon have its on-line "tweener" section going....
Not even trying...If I'm a shareholder at Time-Warner, my scrotum just shriveled into nothingness after reading the last sentence of this article.