July 19, 2002

Beam me out of here, as Congressman Traficant might say...I'm off to Frisco. Will next post Sunday.

July 18, 2002

One of the more rancid pundits of the modern age retires. This farewell gives her the sendoff she deserves....
What earthly purpose is served by locking up Jeb Bush's daughter? Although it may be advantageous for some of our political leaders to have the experience of seeing a loved one face jail time under our nation's cruel and archaic drug laws, surely this is not a cross this poor girl (or anyone) should have to bear.
I unsuccessfully linked to this site several days ago, concerning lessons one can learn from even the worst Lifeline / Oxygen / USA TV movies. Hopefully, the problem has been fixed.
My sister's show, Six Feet Under, kicked ass with about two dozen Emmy nominations this morning. Normally, I have almost as little interest in Emmy nominations as I have for the Tonys, Grammys or the Espys. I have never seen an episode, not even a five minute snippet, of The West Wing or Everybody Loves Raymond, and on one hand I can count the number of Friends shows I've seen. My basic TV diet is HBO, ESPN, CNN, Alias, The Shield, The Simpsons, and occasionally South Park and 24. I did see Shackleton earlier this year, but that was mainly for the purpose of becoming the only American to have seen every movie Phoebe Nicholls has ever appeared in. Other than that, I avoid the tube; it distracts too much from the vital public service I perform here.

Anyways, congrats, Cat, and if you see Jennifer Garner at the ceremony, send her my best wishes.

July 17, 2002

This weekend I am going to a 20th reunion of my dorm floor from college. Except that it wasn't really my dorm floor, and I didn't even live in that dorm until the following year, and I suspect most of the floormates probably thought at the time that I was Jim Christianson's parasitic friend. In any event, since I spent a good deal of my waking hours in my sophomore year at Berkeley with those people, and kept in touch with many of them over the years, they generously decided to adopt me as an "honorary" member of the floor, so invited I am for two days of fun and adventure in the Bay Area. Its yet another milestone in my life, a reminder that I am approaching middle age having lived a life completely different from the one that I aspired to at the time, but I think I am more depressed by the fact that in the years since I first awoke in my own puke the night after I met the floor for the first time, CAL has defeated Stanford only four times in the "Big" Game.
I wonder if this writer understands that his column has just reduced the chance for his desired invasion of Iraq, no matter how necessary it might become.

July 16, 2002

My father was a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, and as a result had a very unusual perspective about the cycles of the economy. The better the economy, the fewer the bankruptcy filings, and vice versa; when work was slow, he used to joke that I didn't have to worry, hard times were going to come eventually. There is of course nothing funny about the events of the past two weeks; the consequence of the market crashing, and to a lesser extent the media's rediscovery of the "bidness" dealings of the Prez and Dick, will not just mean that people are going to lose a bit of their I.R.A.'s (two excellent takes on this can be found here and here). Over the next couple of years, companies will have less money to reinvest, and productivity and employment will shrink accordingly. After the accounting scandals and the ponzi schemes that many big corporations have been engaged in, ordinary investors are not going to return enthusiastically to the stock market any time soon. In all likelihood, we are going to see one bitch of a recession by 2004.
Let's face it, we're all going to miss this guy. Short of his calling Lyndon LaRouche as a character witness, I don't see how this proceeding is going to be made any less of a circus.
Of particular interest to you intellectual property buffs out there (and you know who you are): although the Dept. of Homeland Security has not been officially established yet, it already has a logo, apparently, according to Mr. Tomorrow.

July 15, 2002

Its been only two days since I ejected Sullivan, but I nevertheless had to pay his site one last visit, with almost the same compulsion one has to get a last whiff of the month-old carton of milk before you pour it down the sink. And lo and behold, he outdid himself Monday with a post in which he actually boasts about receiving a positive letter of recommendation (or something like that) from Camille Paglia (!?!), followed later by an excruciatingly bad parody of a Maureen Dowd column. Truly, his is the gift that keeps on giving. It's too bad Abe Rosenthal doesn't have a column anymore; along with Howard Fineman, Michael Kelly and David Horowitz, we have the good fortune of living in a golden age of bad punditry.
For those of you who still care, Lindh copped a plea, and will do up to 20 years. Jeez, remember when that used to be such a big story.
For the many followers of Smythe'sWorld in the Bay Area, I will be visiting your hellhole next weekend for my dorm's 20th reunion bash. If anyone wants to get in touch, feel free to e-mail.

July 14, 2002

Check out this hilarious prank pulled on "Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S." by a fellow blogger.
Its a shame that Vicki has but one birthday a year (or that Deborah celebrates her Birthday Week only once a year). A splendid time was had by all at the happiest place in Culver City, especially that crazy woman who drank five Electric Lemonades in 3 hours. For whatever reason, there were no ballgames on, but ESPN was able to show us, in order, an MLS game, an hour long replay of the Running of the Bulls from Pamplona, Spain, and the World Championships of Poker. Although watching bulls repeatedly gore drunk American tourists never gets old, I have to say that the excitement of poker just doesn't translate well to television. Another TV at the bar had the Miss Hawaiian Tropics pageants (US, then World) back to back. I surmised that the "judges" were probably all major figures in the adult entertainment "industry", since I hadn't heard of any of them (assuming that pageant judges are supposed to be "celebrities"). A blonde girl from LA won (for some reason, almost all the contestants were blondes, even those from Central America and Southeast Asia), giving the City of Angels its second major title this summer !!!
Two very interesting articles on the Harken scandal are out today. In this article, the evidence indicates that W. did know ahead of time (ie. before he sold his stock) that the company was about to tank. However, according to this story, it wouldn't have mattered from a legal standpoint, since the price of the shares didn't collapse until many months after the news about the company's losses was posted, making the insider information "non-material". In other words, the Prez may have acted in a sleazy manner back in 1989, but, in spite of his best efforts, probably didn't break the law. As is typical of the "liberal media", neither story mentioned the real villain, Bill Clinton, who at the time Bush dumped the stock was the Governor of Arkansas. Whew...if that story had lasted another week, we might have had to go to war with Iraq....

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