the talking dog
APRIL 2002 POSTINGS
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Plains, April 29, 2002. Well,
an amazing pair of obituaries over the weekend: General Alexander Lebed, paratroop commander of the
Soviet Red Army, government official and presidential
candidate of the Russian Republic, and Ruth Handler
inventor of the Barbie Doll.
(By the way, your TD is pleased to see that the
Prez has FINALLY taken some initiative to basically
FORCE, rather than broker, some movement in the Middle
East, even if it is only Yasser's personal movement; if
this persists, maybe he'll get used to it and FORCE an
ultimate solution down both parties' throats; most
Israelis, and many Palestinians, would support this).
Lebed had a decisive role in the bizarre '90-91 coup
that removed Gorbachev in favor of Boris Yeltsin;
ultimately, he proved to be a patriot, and his actions
may have single-handedly saved democracy in Russia. Later, he ran a bizarre "get tough" presidential
campaign AGAINST Yeltsin, only to throw his support
behind Yeltsin in the ultimate run-off.
Still, to have lived such a life (including
having suffered a broken back as a paratrooper) and be
dead at 52 in a helicopter crash:
told, an amazing man.
Handler (dead at 85) was a denizen of a struggling
post-war LA-based toy company called Mattel, until she
came up with its blockbuster product, a sort of
anatomically correct doll, named after her daughter
(Barbara Segal, also of LA, not Barbi Benton, as I often
heard rumored; Ken was named after Ms. Handler's late
doll generated much feminist ideological idiocy about
the absurd expectations of pulchritude the doll may have
engendered in certain already insecure people (a
5'6" proportioned woman would measure an extremely
unlikely 39-21-33, to match Barbie's proportions).
But sometimes, a doll is just a doll:
the damn thing sold kazillions, and made Ms.
Handler fabulously rich.
Ms. Handler, evidently, never let the politically
correct bullshit bother
and she has
this TD's admiration for that.
April 28, 2002.
Sorry sports fans. Not only did the Yankees let a no-hitter slip away (and
losing the game to boot -- while the archrival Red Sox
pulled off their own no-hitter!!!) your TD disappointed
all and crapped out of running the Achilles Marathon.
Not to worry:
he's entered in the big one in November, and may
try to find another 26-miler somewhere between now and
then -- so there. Only
one of our readers pledged on the hotline (thanks Al!),
so at least Habitat didn't suffer that much.
well; your TD's commute has wreaked havoc to his
training activities (not that they were substantial when
the TD worked in the shadow of the WTC), but adding 3
hours a day for a round trip to work is not a formula
yet another horror story out of the Middle East: a group
of settlers ambushed by Palestinian gunman, four dead
including small children.
Massive IDF retaliations will likely follow, and
the cycle continues.
I tend to agree with New York Times shill [and
Shadow Secretary of State] Thomas Friedman:
the United States has to impose a solution on
both parties, and soon.
Otherwise, we can watch the Israelis and
Palestinians come up with new and creative ways to kill
the meantime, The Times also reports on new
Defense Department doctrine that invading Saddam will
wait until next year (after Congressional elections?)
for various logistical and political reasons.
That gives Saddam at least that much time to
develop appropriately nasty weapons of mass destruction
to deter us from doing just that. (Time is on Saddam's side; in the end, American action will
be unilateral. Lining
up "coalition support" seems to be simply
cover for other excuses for inaction. Let's
hope that the Prez gets as decisive on this issue as he
did with his tax cut. If so, Saddam is in big trouble... If not, then the rest of us
April 27, 2002.
Well, let's hear it for 150,000 or so protesters
in France who took to the streets to show their
narrow-mindedness in protest of the alleged
narrow-mindedness of candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen (you
know: Le Rightwing Nut).
they, of course, bothered to go out and VOTE for Jospin,
their usual candidate, Monsieur Le Pen could have gone
back to the fringe, and waited until he was about 80 to
run again. Aside
from Le Pen and the National Front's undeniable and
unrepentant anti-Semitism and general bigotry, though,
your TD wonders about some of what this protestation
against Le Pen is really about?
I'm not sure he doesn't have a point about the EU
-- a bizarrely elitist, anti-democratic institution
accountable to no one that is constantly acting to
weaken its nation state components (you know: the ones
that ARE democratic and accountable).
April 26, 2002.
it for Crown Prince Abdullah, telling our fearless
president that unless he intervenes in the Middle East
in a way that the Saudi leader likes, we will have
"real trouble". You've
got to admire the humility of the Saudis: we
have yet to hear anything like, oh, an apology for the
fact that 15 of 19 September 11th terrorists were Saudi
citizens, acting under the direction of a VERY prominent
Saudi citizen, funded with Saudi money, ostensibly
carrying out a logical conclusion to what they learned
in Saudi funded schools.
instead we get lambasted for not being
"even-handed". We should follow the Saudi lesson on this score: apparently,
besides Saddam Hussein, the Saudi government (or at
least prominent citizens, in that totalitarian medieval
shithole, is there really a difference?) sends stipend
reward checks to families of suicide bomber murderers
(martyrs in the Saudi parlance).
good news: with
the might of the IDF on display in Jenin, Ramallah and
Bethlehem, and the might of the American military on
display in Central Asia, the Arab world, where (per
cliché) actions speak louder than words, the Arabs know
that they are on the defensive, and lack either the will
or the ability to repulse a direct frontal assault. The
bad news: we may not get our own message, and listen to barbarian
tyrants for fear of gasoline prices going up a few
read it here many times before. My
recommendation continues to be: level
we can consider Saudi protestations about Middle East
peace from a position of having the Saudi's respect, a
place we are not apparently at.
April 24, 2002.
Well, its just about time for your TD's running
of the Achilles Marathon (scheduled for Sunday morning).
Last year, the TD raised over 300 bucks for NYC's
chapter of Habitat for Humanity -- a worthy cause
despite its association with former president Carter.
I'm asking our loyal readers to pledge generously to the
cause -- 'cause I'm not sure I'm up to running the event
(but will if there are some smackers for Habitat riding
on it). I
doubt I'll equal last year's time of 5:04 or so (placing
me 26th of 41 in the "able bodied finisher
still, all you need to do is click here, firstname.lastname@example.org,
and e-mail us with your with your earthly name, snail
mail address, and the amount of your pledge (suggested
amounts are a dollar per mile, or $26, or for the
metrically committed, $42 (a dollar per kilometer).
Pledges unrelated to the course distance are also
NO ONE responds to this pledge drive, I probably won't
the other hand, if you pledge generously, I promise to
post pictures of your TD (as taken by the course
photographers) -- so you can have a good laugh watching
the Talking Dog die like a dog.
(We won't bother you again until...next week at
now, I suppose, we can take an assessment of the Mayor's
"first hundred days" (probably about 115 or
so) in office, and give a big "huh"?
Where has this guy been?
And I don't just mean on weekends.
Sure, the Board of Ed needs reform, and
hopefully, that deal can get done.
And sure, your TD actually thinks the mayor's
stand that increased taxes are anathema -- even at the
expense of service cuts -- is probably sensible at a
time when the City is reeling and desperate to attract
new business and more importantly, hold on to the
business (and productive people) it already has.
But on the whole, the last guy (you know, the
LEADER whose coat Governor Pataki held, according to the
loathsome little fuck Andrew Cuomo, who as an aside
joined his brother-in-law, former heavy heroin user
Robert Kennedy Jr., in lamenting that large pig farmers
are a greater threat to our nation and our democracy
than Osama bin Laden) -- that guy had that vision thing.
Mike had a good enough strategy to make himself one of
the richest men in the City (if not the world). But,
this City is bigger than that! It
needs a vision even bigger than that -- all the more
critical as we rebuild from 9-11.
Finally, we are delighted that the Pope came through on one of our April Fool’s predictions; of course, when Cardinals actually start resigning in consequence for their cardinal sins of omission -- THEN we will believe the apology is sincere.
Plains, April 22, 2002. Well,
let's hear it for our good friends, the French. True to form, the French wanted to show the world that Jorg
Haider is not just a small country aberration, but the
EU's second (and the world's fifth) largest economy
notwithstanding, good old fashioned bigotry and
anti-Semitism, along with plain old xenophobia, live on
in 21st century France (as if recent synagogue attacks
and other indicia did not make this all obvious).
(As an aside, note that in the post 9-11 US of A,
support for Israel over the Palestinians hovers at over
3 to 1, while in major countries of Europe, such as
France, Britain and Italy, it goes the other way by over
2 to 1; amazingly, the exception is Germany, where
support tends to be about even; but your TD digresses).
le Vichy! Vive
Monsieur LePen et la Fronte Nationale!
Of course, with the zany French, one wonders what
difference a LePen government would make in the great
scheme of things anyway?
Perhaps Monsieur Le President Le Pen would
actually be MORE willing to join a US-led coalition to
remove Saddam Hussein than the Chirac government for
knows if the crazed right wing nut might just not make
for a more orderly world than the maddening appeasers
that currently run France (and the rest of Europe)?
parties in France must, of course, now "do their
duty" to defeat Monsieur LePen.
Indeed, Archrival Jospin has had his spokesman
say that HE will vote for the despised Chirac.
April 21, 2002.
you've got to hand it to The New York Times: its
Sunday magazine lead cover story article on Florida is,
of course, little more than Janet Reno campaign
learn more about her (much of it probably erroneous,
though some interesting, such as Janet Reno's pre-Ellis
Island name being the Danish "Rasmussen", Reno
apparently selected from a map) in a more favorable
light than one thought humanly possible! We
here at TTD, of course, like to pump whatever little air
we can into the quixotic campaign of former Attorney
General and future Florida governor Reno (there, we did
it again) -- but in all seriousness -- we think The
Times is simply desperate to keep the happy days of
the Clinton Administration alive! (Obviously,
despite the fact that JEB is by far the most
intelligent, and therefore probably least sinister,
scion of the Bush dynasty [he actually speaks Spanish,
apparently, although with the Bush family, you'd have to
see it for yourself!] I would vote against him just
because he was a Bush, and even if it were Bill
Clinton's best friend in the world, Janet Reno, running
So Janet, keep on driving that pick up. The paper of record for the other 5 of the 6 boroughs believes in you! And brake for those manatees!
Plains, April 19, 2002. Your
TD has seen polls that right now show that the American
public, 7 months post 9-11 would STILL prefer to (1)
attack Iraq, as soon as possible, unilaterally if
necessary, and with nuclear weapons if necessary; (2)
support Israel in invading, occupying, and if necessary,
leveling the West Bank and Gaza strip; (3) impose
stringent increases in gas mileage ("CAFE")
requirements; and (4) ban all forms of human cloning,
"therapeutic" or not.
Frankly, the public is now more interested in
what can be construed as "public affairs" than
at any time this generation, largely as a result of the
September 11th events.
our free press (with the apparent exception of the
Internet) seems to have reverted to form, perhaps
because of its intrinsic liberal bias (yes, it has one).
The conventional wisdom in the media seems to
believe that talking up what's happening in the world
somehow helps the Bush Administration, ergo, the front
pages of our tabloids, and some of our more serious news
outlets, are back to the IMPORTANT news.
You know: what
J-Lo is wearing.
rest of us, I suppose, really don't care HOW many of our
military men and women are now committed to fighting in
South Central Asia, or much else.
Dog Point Constitutional Freedom and Right to Counsel
Stewart has specialized in representing the extremely
unpopular. But her shtick is as an old time leftie:
if the Sheikh were a supporter of the Soviet
Union, I might buy these bullshit charges against Lynn.
Her, an advancer of Middle Eastern terrorism?
what this is about is a message, a message reminiscent
of Ari Fleischer's chilling "in times like these we
should all watch what we say and do". The message to the bar is:
don't take cases like these.
Forgetting the public ostracism from representing
REALLY BAD PEOPLE, and the effect on your practice, now
you can add possible arbitrary prosecution to the list
of your concerns. Nice.
TD is familiar with this.
Although his career has been as a civil lawyer,
he recalls at least two cases where he was told, point
blank, by trial judges with the power to issue arbitrary
fines, that he shouldn't be representing certain people
deemed unpopular by the court.
And this in CIVIL cases, solely about money, with
a MONEY FINE intended to chill further representations
of that type.
Plains, April 17, 2002. Well, let's
hear it for the "spring thaw" in terrorist
activity predicted for this season by our president at
(newly integrated) VMI. In the Middle East, of course, at this time of year, a young
man's fancy turns to thoughts of martyrdom (and his 72 Black eyed virgins).
So one wonders what exactly the president -- who
is finally looking as stupid as he did BEFORE September
11th -- is thinking about (other than cloning, of
my scorecard shows the good guys (represented by the
troika of George, Dick and Colin) 0, with the axis of
evil (Osama, Saddam and Omar) ahead at 1.
Fortunately, we seem to be in the early innings,
so Saddam doesn't have to go the bomb! Still, it would be nice if our "free press"
actually reported just how extensive our troop build up
in Afghanistan really is, as a result of how
ridiculously UNsuccessful our initial
"victory" against the "regrouping"
Taliban and al Qaeda forces really was.
Honestly, if we are going to do anything
militarily, we will do it unilaterally, and our
"friends" will wisely jump on board.
Why the need to placate Riyadh and Cairo -- home
of the bastards who murdered over 3,000 Americans last
mean, George, Dick and Colin:
you will NEVER fully satisfy your Arab masters --
so why start now?
April 15, 2002.
Happy birthday to our own unseen editor.
He knows who he is.
And get those tax return extension requests
be wanting to incur the half percent a month
"non-payment" penalty rather than the vicious
5% per month "non-filing" penalty (if, like
some, you just send in the extension sans green).
Fortunately, by the end of the Bush
Administration, those of us who earn much over say
$40,000 a year will probably not be paying taxes!
At least, that's the theory.
obviously, your TD, like many "bloggers", is
obsessed with the Middle East.
The answer, of course, comes from our featured
Economist, which suggests simply that the United
States impose more or less the plan agreed upon by the
then lame duck Barak government, but withdrawn shortly
before the less forgiving Sharon government arrived.
Dubya had best act soon while his approval
ratings hover merely at 70%!
Another link comes from this rather long-winded
I think the right wing Limeys have it correct.
Just impose order, if not peace.
one wonders what the hell we're doing the rest of the
we can sit back and watch Argentina (the world's
14th – no make that 22nd! – largest economy) go to
hell in a hand basket. But Venezuela? Our
number three external oil supplier?
Surely we take an interest there?
Don't we? Oy.
the way, we have it from a decent source (with picture,
not shown here for security reasons – actually,
because I don't have the picture) that the undisclosed
location the Veep often hangs out in is actually in his
official home state of Wyoming.
Perhaps our esteemed current mayor will reveal to
us that he spends weekends in Bermuda?
Or perhaps HE is with the Veep in Jackson Hole
(oops, I said it).
Brooklyn, April 14, 2002. My sincere apologies to our readers for our recent reticence. The perfect storm to silence your Talking Dog occurred: my home AOL service crashed, while I have been out of my office on trials in the courts of our fair city, unable to report THE TRUTH to you, our loyal readers. Well, rest assured, thanks to the tireless assistance of our Unseen Editor, we are back up and running at home...
Plains, April 5, 2002. Well, it’s
refreshing to hear that the news out of the Middle East
(shocking, no?) does not seem to include the daily
plethora of suicide bombers that was the subject of the
news just about every day in March.
At least for the moment, of course.
the Israeli Defense Force is in control of Jenin,
Bethlehem, Ramallah, and other hotbeds of suicide
bombers, and Yasir, Hamas, and the rest of the
terrorists are, at least for the moment, NOT in control
of these regions that are the hotbeds of hatred, suicide
bombers, and little else.
Amazing how that works.
leads us to the bizarre dichotomy of President Bush
simultaneously condemning old Yasir for not stopping
terrorism (i.e., perhaps because he IS a
terrorist) but heeding the international siren song to
call for the "immediate withdrawal" of IDF
forces from the West Bank, the result of which will be,
as it has always been, more suicide bombings, and the
deaths of more Israeli women, children and civilians, at
the hands of Arab suicide bombers (and others).
of the musings of our unseen editor, the front line of
World War III has shifted to the cafes of Jerusalem and
the terrorists are emboldened by a victory in Israel,
the renewal of hostilities by the Arab world against
American interests, which has never really stopped, will
proceed unabated. As
the Rabid Dog noted, thanks to September 11th, and when
you count things like the Lebanon barracks bombing,
Khobar Towers, the Cole, the Kenyan and Tanzanian
embassies, and World Trade Center bombing I, FAR MORE
AMERICANS have been killed at the hands of Arab
terrorists than Israelis!
And the anti-American sentiment runs as deep,
frankly, as the anti-Israeli sentiment.
It’s about time we stopped trying to deny this,
or trying to wonder why this is so.
It just is; there is only one thing we can do
about it: deal
with it. And
acknowledge the fact that we are now at war with the
Arab world, like it or not.
Israel is just the front line. (Editor's
Note: No sense asking why the
Palestinians are so angry, is there? They're just
animals, so why concern ourselves with what they think,
Plains, NY, April 4, 2002. Well,
the Israeli Defense Force is engaged in an ongoing
gunfight with Palestinians who have sought refuge (and
tactical position) in Bethlehem's Church of the
Nativity: one of the holiest sites in Christendom. Your TD recently read an article (probably in one of our
featured links) that the current Israeli-Palestinian
battles have all the earmarks of what the Spanish Civil
War did with respect to military technology and tactics
in the 1930's. That
is to say, we are watching the next World War, played
out on a "limited scale".
It sure looks like the earmarks of a World War,
doesn't it? Two
sides living cheek by jowl, each at the other's throat,
every act of violence against one seemingly fueling the
ferocity of the counterattack, ad nauseam.
And on the same battlefield that seems to have
been in play literally since Biblical times: a crappy
stretch of desert around the size of New Jersey.
Plains, New York, April 1, 2002. Your
LLD (or I should say, your TD, since it looks like the
RD has finally succumbed to the hydrophobia) was pleased
to hear that the Pope, at his Easter message, apologized
to Jews and all other non-Catholics for mistreatment by
the Church during the Inquisition, as well as for the
Church's failure to take greater steps to oppose the
Holy Father also apologized to the families and recent
victims of sexual abuse by priests in the United States.
however, did not prepare me for the good news that came
out of the Middle East, where Yasser Arafat announced
his intention to renounce all violence, called for
Democratic elections for the Palestinian Authority, and
announced that he was now willing to waive the so-called
"right of return" of Palestinian refugees to
Israel in exchange for a one-time payment of $20,000 per
refugee (a version of a plan first proposed in this
blog!). As a "goodwill gesture to show his seriousness, Arafat
announced the arrest- and handover to Israeli
authorities, of the leadership of Hamas, Hezbollah and
Islamic Jihad. Prime
Minister Sharon remains hospitalized after a minor heart
attack, following Chairman Arafat's recent
announcements, made over a crank operated cell phone
from his two room complex in Ramallah.
Pentagon, meanwhile, announced that as a result of
unprecedented cooperation from Saudi, Pakistani and
Egyptian intelligence, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar
are now in American custody in Afghanistan, and have
identified most of the remaining elements of the Al
Qaeda network, including its extensive links to Iran,
Iraq, North Korea, and France.
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