the talking dog
JUNE 2002 POSTINGS
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The Talking Dog Sunday Extra, June 30, 2002, Brooklyn, NY. Well, weblog superstar Instapundit has acknowledged your TD's keen understanding of domestic policy, particularly with respect to Western wildfires (and, we suppose, all land-use management issues)...
30, 2002, Brooklyn, NY.
Well, it pains us that this will be our final
entry for the month of June and first half of '02; June,
with mentions on Eve
Tushnet and Unqualified
Offerings (and we loved your sites BEFORE you were
astute enough to recognize your TD's contributions to the
web) marked the first time (we are aware of, anyway)
when our readership has expanded beyond Mr. & Mrs.
TD's friends (many of whom log in just to look at the
picture of Baby TD!) and friends of Rabid Dog and Unseen
our readership includes friends and fans of Eve and Jim too –
we love you guys! All
sarcasm aside (as if we were capable of that- even for a
minute!), we believe our featured regular links,
incorporating mainstream news organizations as well as
what we consider to be THE BEST (whether the most widely
read or not) in blogging, are, simply the BEST of what
the web has to offer.
Your TD will continue to flatter himself that he
is worthy of being in such company...
beats Germany in the World Cup final (2 nil).
Go back to sleep.
Actually, back in '89, when thanks to an
obscenely good frequent flier deal offered by Eastern
Airlines, the then-future Mrs. TD and I visited Brazil
for a week or so. Aside
from getting mugged 5 minutes after setting out for a
walk near the Copacabana Beach (in which the group of 4
or 5 youths abandoned the effort to take anything when
they discovered that all I was carrying at that moment
was near-worthless Brazilian cruzeiros, as opposed to
green backs), the one thing most noticeable on the
beaches of Rio (at that time, the super-teeny mini
thongs were not in abundance) was a game of volleyball
being played entirely with feet and heads (NO HANDS).
I just thought at the time (and still do), that
we just can't compete with these guys in soccer. Let's face it: the
Brazilians are better at this game, and even their
B-team -- maybe even their C-team -- can kick the ass of
anyone else at crunch time (even the ruthlessly
efficient, and boring, Germans).
Of course, thanks to more IMF brilliance and
Secretary O'Neil's brilliant command of the
interconnectedness of world affairs, Brazil is facing an
Argentina-type financial melt-down (which your TD
desperately hopes can be staved off, and fast; he notes
that in response to same, his bank, behemoth Chase
Manhattan, has already imposed "2-day
clearance" on payroll checks to compensate for the
extra liquidity it will need to cover its Latin American
in Arizona, a Bureau of Indian Affairs firefighter is
arrested and charged with... starting the fire that
burned down a large portion of Arizona!
Throw this in with the arrest in Colorado, and
you begin to think that the West would be perfectly safe
from these massive fires if it weren't for these damned
in the sentiment is nice but jobs are better department,
we give you this
from New York's (running for reelection) governor.
is incredibly valuable real estate.
A memorial is necessary -- and will inevitably be
included in PART of the site.
But what makes New York New York is its ability
to absorb ANYTHING, stop, say its prayers and
acknowledge its remembrances, and then do what needs to
be done. What
needs to be done now is to rebuild downtown, and bring
the jobs and economic vitality lost.
Politically motivated pandering is NOT what needs
to be done.
thanks to our friends at Unqualified Offerings for
yet another mention of this site, and our continued
wisdom over Middle Eastern affairs. Of
course, as you know, we are also all-knowing on domestic
affairs as well.
would be remiss if we did not point out the excellent
work UO is performing following leads involving the
anthrax case all the way to Salisbury -- Harare. Keep
it up, as Special Agent Rowley will tell you (from her
new assignment at the FBI), "the truth is out
29, 2002, Brooklyn, New York. Well, our best wishes
for a speedy recovery to the President, whose
phenomenally good physical condition seems to have
enabled him to fly through his colonoscopy; Dick, you
can relax now.
perhaps the IDF has read our link to Pravda: it solved
its stand-off over a Hebron PA police station by
Reader Bites Back:
Clinton was universally mocked for suggesting that
whether one “is” having a sexual affair depends on
what the meaning of “is” is.
Of course, he was technically correct:
once an affair is over, one can’t truthfully
say one “is” having it.
Attorney General John Ashcroft, however, won’t
have even a technical defense to perjury when he tries
to peddle the lie to the Supreme Court, in the Pledge of
Allegiance case, that “God” doesn’t really mean
And that will be the heart of his ridiculous defense.
He will argue that the word “God” in the
Pledge is mere “ceremonial deism,” devoid of
That, in fact, the term “God” is actually a
secular one, no more an expression of faith than the
preposition “under” which precedes it.
He will chide the plaintiff, atheist Michael
Newdow, for twisting the obvious meaning, the meaning of
God that “everyone knows.”
I can only judge whatever everyone knows from what everyone
what everybody says is that “God” means “God.”
President Bush made it quite clear that the
“God” of the Pledge was that Supreme Being from whom
“all of our rights are derived.”
Hillary Clinton explained that God must remain in
the Pledge because “we should never forget the
blessings of divine providence that undergird our
Bloomberg concurred that we are “a nation under
Lieberman declared that the decision “offends our
Indeed, the sole basis for the public outcry against the
Pledge ruling is that it is suppresses an expression of
a passionate and literal belief in a living, breathing,
The anger is not that Mr. Newdow has made much
out of something trivial or meaningless, but that he has
refused to acknowledge the truth of a very important
belief that the majority of Americans hold dear.
The outrage is all the more acute, as so many
politicians have observed, because we are living in a
post-9/11 era in which belief in God has become so much
more passionate and literal.
Rest assured that the 416 Congressmen and 99
Senators (Jesse Helms was hospitalized) who rushed out
their resolutions this week did not do so in defense of
some abstract secular artifact.
And when they later gathered in session to recite
the Pledge they shouted out the words “under god”
lest one mistake the exercise for something other than
It is that prayer that Mr. Newdow does not want his daughter
subjected to. He
does not believe in that “God” any more than
President Bush believes in Zeus, any more than Ashcroft
believes in Vishnu, any more than Senator Lieberman
believes in Jesus, or any more than Senator Clinton
believes in, well, anything.
As Judge Goodwin implied, the public outrage
would be the same if the name of any one of those gods
were substituted in the Pledge, and no parent would
stand for their child having to listen to praises being
sung to some other deity.
The fact that “God” is the generic, wildcard
expression that is acceptable to theists of most stripes
does not make it innocuous or secular.
Although I agree with most of what The
has said on this subject, I will quibble with his
characterization of Mr. Newdow as “rabid.”
Rabies is a disease which infects the brain and
makes one mad, destroys one’s perception of reality.
The term “rabid” would be better applied to
those Jewish, Christian and Islamic litigants who sue to
enforce the commands of some false, delusional,
nonsensical baby-talk sky-god and pressure their elected
representatives to enact laws imposing those commands
upon the rest of society.
“Rabid” would better describe New York
Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, who devoted four years to a
legal battle to compel New Yorkers to continue, as they
had for the past eighty years, to pay Orthodox Rabbis to
determine what foods God deemed fit to eat.
“Rabid” would also describe those politicians who are use
public funds to facilitate the worship of a three-ton
metal cross at the site of the World Trade Center
wreckage which some imaginary god apparently used to
splatter helpless, screaming burning humans as they
attempted to flee from a burning skyscraper that was
demolished by madmen in hopes of being rewarded by their
own imaginary god with an eternal virgin-fucking spree.
In this connection, it worth noting that Mr.
Newdow is also is also Dr. Newdow – an emergency room
physician who has written medical research articles for
JAMA, one of which was cited in “A Study of Civilian
Victims of Terrorist Attacks.”
Accordingly, he spends most of his time outside
of the courtroom, saving lives.
And there is very little chance that you will
ever see him foaming at the mouth – one of his
articles dealt with the treatment of rabies.
Whether he will also discover a legal cure for
the disease remains to be seen.
Your TD thought HE was a hard-ass.
28, 2002, New York, New York. Well,
my God (in whom we are under, and in whom we trust)
hasn't June just flown by (for those of us not killed,
maimed or losers of loved ones, during this past month)?
I know that my new perch high atop mid-town
Manhattan is a welcome change for me (and I'm even
really happy at my new job to
although you all know my feelings (oy, do you know my
feelings) on "Middle-East peace", another
well-thought out take on our President's recent Middle
East policy speech comes from Istanblog, which, we
believe is somewhere in Turkey.com.
links to this Washington Post gem in which it notes
(down a bit) that a peculiarly opportunistic senator
from Connecticut is calling for a constitutional
amendment to place "under God" in the Pledge
of Allegiance, even as the Ninth Circuit itself stands
ready (perhaps) to reverse its own decision!
Well, you all know what I think of this issue...
to the G-8, and I'm quite sincere on this, for pledging
more money to clean up nuclear and chemical warfare
detritus lying around the former Soviet Union.
I think this is a critical task, and, frankly,
even after the increased funding, we still don't spend
nearly enough to solve this particular problem, which,
if allowed to fester, could quite literally result in
the likes of Osama bin Laden having the means to wipe
out humanity. It
looks like the mountain air has done you good, Mr.
it will even improve your running times when you return
to sea-level, like it does for the Kenyans.
on to the Supreme Court's school voucher decision.
Although I have personally ALWAYS supported the
idea of school vouchers since I heard free-market maven
Milton Friedman espouse them nearly 25 years ago on the
incredibly important "Free To Choose" series
of the late 1970's, they seem to be one of those
liberal-conservative flashpoints (note the 5-4 vote),
largely because of the blank check that teacher's unions
have written to the Democratic party.
This is too bad, because the principal supporters
of school vouchers, at least in the inner city context,
are parents of color who want a shot at improving their
children's lives, and don't see the public school
systems as providing that shot.
Hey, the Cleveland voucher of, perhaps $2,000
will not be enough to send an inner city kid to Andover
or Choate (or, I suppose Hawken, the only decent prep
school in the Cleveland area I know of), but it has
enabled many parents to bridge the gap and send their
kids to Catholic schools, which rightly or wrongly, they
see as an educational improvement.
there good arguments against school vouchers?
Well, the blogosphere is awash by noting that now
radical Islamic madrassas may receive voucher funding,
or perhaps the next litigation round will involve the
issue of public school systems that exempt religious
schools from voucher programs.
The basic argument (although, it is espoused in
general by largely entrenched teacher's unions with a
vested arguments) is that it will divert money away from
public schools, and potentially make them even worse,
and in the end, most students will remain in the even
worse off public schools (which, after all, are also
forced to bear the costs of special education,
disciplinary problems, etc. that private schools can
slough off). The
counter-argument, of course, is that faced with
competition, the public schools will improve, and
improve fast, or they will go out of business and ALL
public education will be delivered by voucher (yes –
private enterprise – and
more competent private enterprise than Chris Whittle and
the Edison Project, would step in to fill this
I can say is that I find the ideological line-ups on
this issue to be the most amazing part: liberals
(yes, I'm one of them, even if the rest of you don't
believe it!) ordinarily want to have an income transfer
scheme for EVERYTHING, be it health care, prescription
drugs for the elderly, public housing, food,
transportation, or of course, income itself, you name
education, the ONE AREA which such a scheme might
actually result in allowing poorer people to better
their opportunities, through a relatively small INCOME
TRANSFER (in the form of private school vouchers),
liberals cry foul!
Perhaps they are fearful that, properly and
adequately educated, poorer people may actually end up
IMPROVING their economic and social lots ON THEIR OWN,
and not NEED the rest of the governmentally mandated
income transfers? Hmmmmmmm...
Talking Dog Extra EXTRA.
guesses as to what the highest court in the land will do
to the Pledge of Allegiance case, when and if it reaches
27, 2002, Talking Dog Extra. Again,
continuing kudos to web-log powerhouse Unqualified
Offerings for once again recognizing the wisdom of your
Talking Dog's suggestion to make Israel our 52nd state, by
brilliantly suggesting that we make, as our 53rd
state, the new Palestinian State (which, I guess, we can
call "Palestine", and its license plates might
say: "the Palestinian State" -- or if that's
too boring, "Land of 10,000 Suicide Bombers"
or "First in Terror").
27, 2002, New York, New York. Kudos
to the United States Senate for its 99-0 rushed
resolution condemning the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
for its ruling finding that the Congressional addition
of the prepositional phrase "under God" to the
Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional in the context
of making a second grade girl have to sit through the
recitation of this pledge (causing her rabid atheist
father to sue over it).
We appreciate the Senate's choice of things to
single out for unanimous condemnation (and by the way,
we note a comparable chorus of condemnation from
President Bush, Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg,
among others), and note that of ALL the issues currently
affecting the United States, disallowance of the
"under God" portion of the Pledge of
Allegiance is BY FAR the most compelling.
[Editor’s Note: Interesting that the Senate didn’t have time to condemn the
nation’s Catholic priests from raping young
children with a similar unanimous vote.]
the Ninth Circuit made a legally correct ruling:
our courts have, when it suits them, usually
ruled that under the Constitution's Establishment
Clause, our national religion is effectively atheism.
The problem is, of course, not the legality, but
the political implication of an unstated social compact,
what your TD and the Unseen Editor often describe as
"You can keep your guns and we can keep our
porn" -- or a trade-off of the First Amendment's
freedoms of speech and religion and political dissent
(demanded by the "Blue States") versus the
right to bear arms, including assault weapons (demanded
by the "Red States"). The best constitutional argument about the pledge is that,
YES – it’s the establishment of some level of
religion (theistic as opposed to atheistic) – BUT, the
burden of reciting the Pledge is REALLY SMALL and
keeping quiet about this is part of the Guns for Porn
deal. We Northern liberal pointy-heads just have to suck it up on
certain things, such as “In God We Trust” in our
courtrooms and on our money, for what is mostly a good
deal for us (generally, constitutionally protected
now, of course, our blowhard politicians at all levels
have something they can seize on and divert attention
from, say, governing the country.
Way to go, Ninth Circuit.
protestors of the G-8 meeting continued knitting, and
otherwise, seemed unusually polite for one of these
shindigs (despite being allowed nowhere near the world
President, be careful of the high altitude -- stop your
workout if you have any lightheadedness, and as always,
drink lots of water.
Yasser says he's running in the Palestinian elections in
he might win?
26, 2002, New York, NY. Well,
apparently, it’s not just "dot coms" that
are devastating the stock market (and crushing even the
memory of the "prosperity" part of the
"peace and prosperity" that was supposed to
constitute the "Clinton legacy"; the peace
part seems to have gone to hell sometime around
September...), the disaster is associated with ANYTHING
with "Com" in it; today,
shown by this CNN report
-- it is WORLDCOM that is placing downward pressure on
the stock market.
course, some Bush Administration official (was it
Secretary O'Neil?) described this sort of thing as
capitalism in action (sorry for the paraphrasing -- but
you all remember that quip about Enron).
Of course, all but the most doctrinaire of
libertarians (or, perhaps, members of the Bush
Administration or their immediate beneficiaries and
dependents, such as "victims of the death
tax") would acknowledge that even libertarian
paradises have laws against private use of force, and
against fraud. And
this is, simply put, fraud in its most basic sense.
WorldCom simply misstated its revenues and
expenses to generate a massive profit disclosure (and,
ergo, run up its stock price) when it should have
generated a massive loss disclosure (such as were
generated by AOL and JDSUniphase, the two companies that
have the distinction of having the largest write-offs in
financial history, and, of course, both being
represented in the TD's personal stock portfolio...
Of course, this ISN'T a financial advice column,
although I note that WorldCom, Global Crossing and Enron
somehow didn't make it into my stock collection!)
one more thing: WorldCom's
auditors were, of course, none other than the soon to be
defunct Arthur Andersen.
Makes you wonder if, perhaps, while
"everyone bent the rules", and there are
clearly improprieties that can be attributed to the Big
Four standing -- maybe the government's de facto
corporate death sentence of Andersen is less of a bad
thing than first meets the eye (notwithstanding that
Andersen's "conviction" in Texas appeared to
be the result of deliberately relying on juror
confusion, and as such, is probably subject to
and all, so far THE REALLY BIG accounting fiascos
(Enron, Global Crossing, now WorldCom) all seem to
involve Andersen. Either Andersen is either unlucky, really dirty, or it has a
really lousy press agent.
when it is not locking up American citizens to keep them
from disclosing Iraq's and al Qaeda's potential role in
hitherto believed to be "domestic"
terrorism (see this
also), the Bush Administration continues to quietly
scuttle any meaningful efforts at accounting reform, and
continues to try to "make permanent" the tax
cuts that have already transformed our 12-digit budget
"surplus" into a 12-digit budget
"deficit" (including that oh so troublesome
death tax, that will make 5 or 6,000 multi-millionaires
EXTREMELY unhappy if it is not repealed!)
Oh, and the President has demanded that the
Palestinians embrace democracy, unless of course, that
democracy involves the guy most likely to actually be
TD continues to beg the President to drink lots of water
and to take it a bit easier on those workouts at this
time of year (early mornings are coolest, sir.)
Talking Dog Extra
25, 2002, New York, NY. Well,
your TD is still trying to figure out the implications
of the President's "major Middle East policy
statement", the sort of thing one would have
expected from Bill Clinton (you know:
I have to do SOMETHING to keep my name in the
headlines, damn the implications to those actually
my understanding from National Palestine Radio (NPR) is
that Yasser believes the President's statement is
"constructive". Does Yasser have secret retirement plans?
It sounded anything BUT constructive to me, if
you're Yasser. It
said the corrupt kleptocracy he has created has to go,
before anything further can happen.
It is CONSTRUCTIVE if Yasser believes, or knows,
that the President's statement is but a rhetorical
flourish, and that substantively, nothing changes (oh
here we go again.
the behest of my dear friend the Unseen Editor, I will
now vent my spleen at what I consider the primary
problem in American foreign policy:
evidence is mounting (check out the best of the
conspiracy on Junkyard
Blog) that Jose Padilla is linked to the Oklahoma
City bombings, perhaps as John Doe II, and there are
troubling links between Messrs. McVeigh and Nichols and
potential al Qaeda operatives AND IRAQ.
As a whole, the evidence is extremely compelling.
what is can we conclude from this (other than I should
probably join the fray myself and start regularly
linking to this conspiracy stuff!)? I mean, where do we go from here with this?
We can conclude that our own government WANTS to
keep Padilla quiet.
That it wanted to keep McVeigh quiet, by rushing
his execution? But
TELL YOU WHY. What we are
witnessing is the greatest catastrophic Presidential
failure in the foreign policy realm in American history
(which pretty much triggered a depression, though for
definitional purposes we called it a
"recession") played out at the expense of the
rest of us. The
failure is 41: he
failed to take out Saddam, after embarking on a mission
that should never have been started in the first place,
for the benefit of ingrate "allies" who have
only turned on us; honestly, would we be so much worse
off if Saddam HAD taken over Saudi Arabia as opposed to
the Wahhabi *&^%s who run it now?
Hell, they're the best of friends as it is!
Saddam, ever keeping us off balance lest we actually
organize and take him out, keeps coming at us, not ever
with a direct assault, but with death by a thousand cuts
and a couple of airplanes and car bombs and powdered
COULD have reversed this, but that would have involved
"risk" to his legacy and high approval ratings
caused by the go-go NASDAQ, not to mention interfering
with getting head from interns and whoever else was
not clear to me what Gore would have done differently,
but at least he would have done it without the ulterior
motives of Clinton!
God help us all, the frigging Supreme Court installs
ANOTHER BUSH -- son of failure.
And the Stupid son at that!
So Saddam steps it up.
And even after assault after assault after
assault, (9-11, anthrax, Flt. 587, attacks in Pakistan,
of which seem to have "Baghdad" written as
their return address, WE ARE STILL UTTERLY HAMSTRUNG!
Oh, it’s TOO HARD to take him out!
Oh, smart sanctions will work!
Oh, we need to solve Israel-PLO first!
Oh, we need a coalition!
in the interest of preserving the Bush family legacy,
whatever that is, and making sure the rest of us don't
ever learn just HOW big of a screw-up 41 was,
the full scope of the Iraqi involvement in this
round of terrorism must be suppressed, at all costs.
Even if it means scrapping the Constitution, and
messing up investigations that might foil future
24, 2002, New York, New York. President
Bush calls for the ouster of Yasser & Co.
course, what exactly does this mean?
Is it OK now for the IDF to forcibly remove him
(say, to Tunis or Tripoli? Or
perhaps Elba or St. Helena.)
Because he ain't leaving on his own; by making
this statement, our Prez
(I TOLD you to drink lots of water, Mr.
hot out there!) may have forgotten something basic:
being an "honest broker" means
pretending to listen to BOTH sides.
One of those sides happens to be Yasser.
I'm not sure HE will be happy about this (and I'm
pretty sure he ain't going, absent overwhelming force).
York, New York, June 24, 2002. Well,
another weekend's "fun and sun" in those wild
and crazy Hamptons.
Actually, after a four-hour-plus drive out there,
your TD actually spent a good deal of the weekend
is fun? (Only
to be met with a four-hour-plus drive BACK on Sunday
TD and I will need to seriously discuss our weekend
speaking of wild and crazy, it looks like our President
plans on giving his "major Middle East policy
statement", which I understand according to Karl
Rove will take place at some point between the step
class and the lap swim.
The problem with this, as noted by the
opportunistic but not wrong Senator Joe Lieberman of
Connecticut is "what exactly IS an interim
I have said many, many times, your TD favors a
"Palestinian state" -- which I will stipulate
as consisting of some contiguous linkage of Gaza and the
West Bank on roughly the size of the territories held by
Israel since 1967 with its capital in some part of
Jerusalem -- he is not exactly sure what an
"interim state" is.
In fact, the failings of the Oslo accords are now
legendary. We have all had nine or ten years of experience showing that
"interim" anything is a bad idea. "Trust
building measures" mean little to people who have
been weaned on mistrust of the other side. Amazingly, Colin Powell still believes in "Tenet to
Mitchell to Oslo", as if the last ten years (let
alone the last nine or eighteen months) didn't happen.
fact, to your TD, the whole term "peace
process" seems absurd; what the parties need is
more akin to an "armistice" or a
They can agree to hate each other, in fact, for
the rest of time, as long as they agree to stop killing
each other for the foreseeable future.
the United States' role as "honest broker" is
improved if it is not seen as favoring EITHER SIDE.
What can be perceived as rewarding the
Palestinians for stepping up the intifada with
"interim statehood" (whatever it is) will,
justifiably, not make the Israelis happy.
And of course, it is a not so subtle message to
Osama and company that "terror pays" and
"terror against the United States pays best".
My advice to you, Mr. President, drink lots of
water during your workouts: Washington is very hot and
humid this time of year.
And scrap the "interim state" thing.
York, New York, June 21, 2002. Well,
we must all bid sayonara to the overachieving United
States national soccer team, who lost to the mighty
Germans (in the only sphere in which the Europeans can
any longer claim supremacy).
For the boring details, see
in a troubling REAL sort of game, the Palestinian terror
has led to the inevitable counter-violence, see The
Jerusalem Post report.
your TD believes that, while this Israeli action is
unfortunate and horrible, it was obviously not the
intention of the tank crew to go out and kill civilians
(unlike the intention of your usual terrorists) and
thereby bring further international scorn on their
already pariah nation. Naturally,
your TD predicts that this sort of thing tends to be
good for Hamas recruitment.
Further, this will escalate, and no matter how
many Israelis are massacred at cafes, Palestinians will
suffer more (also, good for Hamas recruitment).
In the end, while I understand the Israeli's
response based on feeling personally victimized by
terror (your TD was certainly pretty darned angry at the
Arab world in the first few weeks, or months, after 9-11
-- hell, he still is!).
Unfortunately, the issue is: what
can we do to stop getting our people killed, or at least
to get fewer of our people killed.
And your TD has only two thoughts:
join the United States (as one of them), or suck
it up and negotiate.
we understand that the President had no comment on his
major Mid-East policy statements in between rounds of
calisthenics and Pilates.
Ariel and the Cabinet have come up with a
strategic reoccupation of the West Bank until the
violence ends. That's
going to make this a long, painful game, and your TD
doesn't think for a minute that the vagaries of
short-term politics (in Israel or here) will allow it to
play out to its logical conclusion (i.e., a strategic
noose around the Palestinians forcing THEM to come to
the negotiating table; it'll end up working the other
our President's agenda has apparently been diverted away
from a "major policy statement on the Middle
East" to a "national campaign for physical
TD, of course, notes that the president, now in his 50s,
can run around a 6 minute mile, and can cruise at a 6
1/2 to 7 minute mile and has a personal best marathon of
around 3 1/2 hours; your TD is 39, but unfortunately,
constrained by having to actually work for a living,
barely has the time to maintain ANY fitness level at
all, and can barely run an 8 minute mile or cruise at 9.
The President's best marathon is over 40+ minutes
better than your TD's personal best in that event and an
hour and a half better than his best time since he was
TD resents the President, and the fact that while
worthier men were denied the office, he, who obtained it
(and in a controversial manner at that) uses it
primarily as an opportunity to exercise at government
expense -- hours and hours each day -- while the far
less physically fit Dick Cheney actually administers the
by a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court has ruled that it
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment to execute the
retarded, a stance that numerous states have already
enacted on their own.
As always, Justices Scalia and Thomas and Chief
Justice Rehnquist thought that executing the severely
retarded is just fine.
But then, what else would we do with them?
when it keeps happening to YOU, as it does to the
writers of The Jerusalem Post, you don't use
stupid hackneyed phrases like "Homicide
Bomber" (and I daresay, I am sure that lapel pins
with the Israeli flag are not in fashion in the
Jerusalem Post newsroom).
So, nothing changes, as this fiasco shows.
with a re-occupation (note that word: it
means that for 98% of the Palestinians who were under
PLO control, they were not PREVIOUSLY under Israeli
occupation, at least since implementation of the Oslo
accords) of the West Bank, or parts of it, a certain
level of violence in retaliation for THAT would be
TD, alas, is of the view that Bibi and Ariel's "we
won't negotiate under fire" stance has proven
ultimately counter-productive, making one question
whether these guys are as clueless as Dubya.
By all means, negotiate, and simultaneously do
what is necessary for security (be it incursions and
arrests, or fences and lockdowns). Negotiating in and of itself is not a sign of weakness;
refusing to protect oneself during negotiation, THAT is
a sign of weakness. But
convincing the average Palestinian that there is nothing
to be gained by talking (the Bibi/Ariel way) will only
help with Hamas recruitment. Demonizing
Arafat, while accurate, short of having the balls to
actually kill him (and accept the really nasty
consequences that would follow from that), accomplishes
negotiate with him; just don't expect too much.
now, under Ariel, the violence is escalating unabated;
maybe the fence and re-occupation will help; maybe not.
Meanwhile our fearless leader in the big white
house is supposed to be making a "major Middle East
policy statement" any day now (and it probably
won't include adding a 51st or 52nd star on our flag to
include Israel). We're
18, 2002, New York, New York.
Well, as I feared, the Palestinians are up to
their usual game of bait and switch:
pretend to talk about continuing negotiations,
while plotting more murder. (And let's all stop pretending that Arafat, Fatah and the PA
are somehow a different group from Hamas and the
"Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade".
Sharon and company will dither about removing
to worry: they
more dead in Jerusalem:
ostensibly, blowing up a school bus full of 10-12
yet, these murderous bastards are the darlings of
anyone figure out why?
their victims are JEWS -- who the Europeans have ALWAYS
thought of as someone who wasn't them!
(Its actually NOT anti-Semitism in the
conventional sense of wanting to see Jews persecuted.
It’s somehow even MORE contemptible -- of the
"thank God its not us" variety.
But guess what Jean and Fritz:
it’s coming to a mall or a bus or an office
tower near you, soon, if this particular brand of
murder-of-children-as-warfare isn't scotched, and
from your TD's point of view, the proposed fence on the
"green line" can't go up fast enough.
Note that Gaza, which is more or less
hermetically sealed, despite headquartering Hamas,
manages to send very few suicide bombers into Israel
proper. The West Bank, by contrast, particularly the northern part,
including Jenin and Ramallah, being largely open (except
for the irritating, and somewhat less than fully
effective, checkpoints) seem to send the overwhelming
fence will stop a lot of this (obviously not all).
Who will suffer most from a fence?
Palestinians looking for work inside Israel, and
their dependents. (Honestly,
though, have we ever heard of another instance where
those seeking to overthrow a nation complained about the
fact that they weren't able to work inside the country
they were trying to overthrow?)
we can soon expect a "major" speech by
President Bush (whose nickname for Russia's leader is
"Pooty Poot" and for his advisor Karl Rove is
"Turdblossom" -- with thanks to The New
Yorker) on Middle East policy. Your
TD can't wait. (By
the way, note that the apparent presidential instruction
to overthrow or assassinate Saddam Hussein only permits
such action in "self-defense": “Look,
Saddam has picked up a grenade launcher, according to my
executive order handbook, we can open fire!!!)
York, New York. Well,
happy day after Father's Day, out there, for those of
you inclined to celebrate it.
Your TD's Father's Day was spent driving
tremendous distances to the northern suburbs, where we
saw Mrs. TD's father, and then, later, TD's father.
Thankfully, nasty holiday traffic was pretty much
confined to the borough of Manhattan.
is one more reason why soccer won't catch on here, no
matter how well our national team does (i.e., even
assuming an extremely unlikely victory against Germany
on Friday -- for God's sake, this is a stupid game, and
not a world war!).
the low scoring and really arbitrary ending (penalty
not rock, paper, scissors -- or a coin flip?).
I am talking about game statistics -- the most
compelling characteristic of baseball and football, and
recently basketball (triple doubles, anyone?).
all the stats generated by the US-Mexico match.
dishwater dull, no?
Like the game itself.
Let's face it:
name a kick-ass country.
The United States. Our national sport is baseball.
Name ANOTHER kick-ass country.
There aren't any others.
(now co-hosting the soccer World Cup).
Japan's national game:
rest my case. (Don't
get me wrong: its
a great game to play -- Baby TD is getting pretty good
-- for a 2 1/2 year old; but to watch?
some encouraging news as reported by The
Jerusalem Post re:
an apparent sudden softening of Palestinian
negotiating demands. Could it be that less reticence with respect to overt
on-the-ground IDF retaliation (coupled with President
George W. Bush's remarkable hesitance to criticize
Israel for doing so, given that the United States
purports to ALSO be in a war on terrorism) has finally
convinced THE PALESTINIANS that it’s time to start
negotiating again because the violence is NOT going to
win the game for them?
Israel will have to become an American state.
I say we throw the book at the poor idiot Forest Service
employee in Colorado who
seems to have inadvertently burned down most of the
state while burning a letter from her estranged husband.
we now have a documented "snail mail" version
of a flame, I suppose.
Once the smoke has literally cleared, I would
anticipate that the charges would be reduced against
this idiot (particularly, dereliction of duty as HER JOB
was to discourage the very type of fire she set). Right
now, this all sounds kind of like charging Mrs.
O'Leary's cow for the Chicago fire (which KILLED an
awful lot of people).
As always, the interesting question about Western
forest fires is why so many homes are built in areas
where they are so vulnerable to forest fires in the
first place. (Of
course, the developer WANTS to build a house in the
woods; the environmentalist already owns one...)
in the Dogs' world, CNN reports that the
San Francisco dog mauling case judge has overturned the
murder conviction, but sustained the manslaughter
takes us back to the interesting question: why
do we allow people to keep really vicious dogs in
densely populated cities in the first place?
(Unfortunately, I am reminded of a doctrine
learned in law school called the "one bite
rule" -- i.e., a dog owner is given the benefit of
the doubt that their dog is not vicious until it bites
someone; the unfortunate tenor of the judge's ruling
above seems to be "make that bite count".)
Talking Dog Extra
we wonder – what does “permalinkless” mean?
14, 2002, New York, New York. Happy
Flag Day. These
long forgotten patriotic holidays suddenly seem less
hokey this year.
we're sorry to hear about the utter horror of a suicide
bomber outside the American consulate in Karachi.
Proving however, that your average suicide bomber
is as likely to be as stupid as he (or she) is crazy, we
understand that among the dead and injured were included
no Americans, largely because most personnel had been
moved out of Pakistan (because of that -- you know--
nuclear thing, between India and Pakistan).
So the murderous thug bastards that thought this
one up will have to be content with killing Pakistani
policemen and a Pakistani ladies' drivers' ed class.
al Qaeda just needed to do something to quell its
boredom, now that tensions seem to be easing (however
slightly) over Kashmir (where, we are assured, they are
not operating; except for the times we are advised they
All right already, with this issue, I'm even
making myself sick.
Finally, I have a proposal that will give just
about everyone what they want in the region in one fell
Palestinians will get what polls show they want: Israel
as a sovereign, independent state will come to an end.
But, Jews, will ALSO get what they want: a secure
homeland, located on their traditional Biblical homeland
(indeed, EXTREMELY RELIGIOUS Jews already believe that
the Jewish state is improper, because the Messiah has
not arrived; they can finally be satisfied).
America will get what it wants:
the end to the troublesome problems of its
international pariah client state; indeed, under my
plan, Israel's citizens will now send money to
Washington, instead of vice versa.
do we accomplish all of this at once?
Israel will become our 52nd State (in order to
appease Republicans, fearing that the Jews will always
supply 2 Democratic senators -- and they will -- Texas
will be split into 2 states as well, so "South
Texas" will be our 51st state; in the alternative,
Massachusetts can merge with, say, Vermont, and Israel
will be our 50th state).
Jews will be safe there -- certainly as safe as
in the rest of the United States, because they will BE
IN the United States.
A suicide bomber (and his Hamas handlers) needn't
worry about retaliation against his town or refugee camp
by an Israeli army worried about world opinion and
limited by fear of the American response; he would worry
about a retaliatory attack by the AMERICAN Air Force:
carpet bombing from 45,000 feet (to ensure a
minimum of casualties) from bombers based in Missouri.
no one will (very loudly) complain about
"massacres" or brutal occupation -- because
the occupation will also end -- IMMEDIATELY. Egypt will get Gaza back; it has billions in American aid
riding on keeping the maniacs there in order; I am sure
Hosni can keep order there.
Ditto Jordan and the West Bank.
(Indeed, Egypt and Jordan each move up one on our
list of client states, to numbers 1 and 2!!!)
And what about Yasser?
Go ahead, TAKE ON THE UNITED STATES -- WE DARE
that are preposterous for Israel to defend are JUST FINE
for the United States to defend!
Israel's enemies needn't fear a tacit nuclear
response from a clandestine arsenal; they need fear a
VERY REAL American response from a VERY REAL American
nuclear arsenal. Saddam
wants to launch some Scuds at Tel Aviv?
Try it! The American people would tar and feather any president who
does not immediately respond against Baghdad with
nuclear weapons if he dared attack THE UNITED STATES
(i.e., our homeland).
In short, regional stability -- and the safety of
our oil transit --
will be accomplished in one fell swoop.
And we need never again worry about where to base
our fleets in that region:
we would do so in our own bases, in our own
has a well-educated, middle class population, a large
proportion of whom already speak English (and at the
rate we're going, a large percentage of whom will be
emigrating to the United States in the next couple of
years as it is! I'm sure a referendum for American
statehood would pass there overwhelmingly -- if nothing
else, their income taxes would probably go DOWN!).
can retain the Star of David as its State flag; it can
remain the State of Israel; its nickname can be
"the Jewish State" (like the Sunshine State, or the Garden State).
The Knesset can simply become American's second
unicameral state legislature (joining Nebraska).
Church-State issues can be worked out; Israel is
mostly a secular state as it is.
As solutions go, this is far less preposterous
than thinking that lifelong criminal (and hence darling
of Europe) Yasser Arafat could become a statesman.
Talking Dog believes that, finally, he may have an answer to
the conundrum that is otherwise known as the Middle
it's high time the world's only superpower made it
happen, and ended this bullshit, once and for all.
York, New York. It
appears that our esteemed Lord Mayor has received the
"control" of the City's schools that his
predecessor (Mayor Duce) had so diligently, yet
unsuccessfully, tried for over the 8 year course of his
reports on it here.
good luck with it, Mayor Bloomberg.
At this point, while your TD and Mrs. TD have not
yet decided on the details of Baby TD's schooling, we
are pleased and hopeful that the once mighty City public
school system can, now that it is politically
accountable to someone we can actually vote for, improve
TD's favorite part of the legislation, as he understands
it, is the "sunset" provision, which more or
less sets this provision up for only seven years, after
which it would require legislative reenactment. Why would our legislature do such a thing?
of the 800 lb. gorilla (in all fairness, I think he's
only like a 170-180 lb. gorilla), former Mayor Giuliani,
who has every legal right to run for Mayor again in
means this education control provision will (unless
extended by the legislature) go OUT OF effect in 2009
(assuming, I guess, that Mr. Giuliani decides to run
against Mr. Bloomberg, stepping down from his post as
Homeland Security Secretary to do it!), when Baby TD
will be in 5th or 6th grade... If we can only coordinate all of this with the phase-ins and
outs of the Bush tax cuts...
York, New York. I
suppose this should be obvious, but the Jerusalem
Post picks up this
AP report indicating that the majority of
Palestinians support, as the goal of their Intifada, the
destruction of the State of Israel.
You think? (Today's
suicide bomber in a falafel stand in Herzilyah kills a
15-year-old-girl and wounds over a dozen.
A wonderful moral basis on which to found the new
state built where the to-be-abandoned-Jewish-State was.)
there is cause for hope, because a sizeable minority of
Palestinians see the goal of their Intifada as creation
of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, a goal espoused by
both President Bush and The Talking
enough of that! Onto
more pressing things, like how to make a dirty bomb.
First, get some fissionable material -- or even
modestly radioactive material.
Then, put it in a conventional bomb.
Mr. Padilla was trained to do this, or so John Ashcroft
the way, other than the damage from the explosion
itself, in terms of damage, most experts believe that
one's clothes that encountered such material should
probably be discarded, and one should wash thoroughly,
in Ivory Soap. I'm
not kidding: these
are cable pundit experts talking.
The real damage
(again, aside from that caused by the underlying
explosion, which as we know, can be considerable) is
psychological and economic (contaminated buildings would
probably have to be destroyed, for example).
this to make light of an extremely serious problem?
No, I shudder to think about an all out attack
like that. When
I returned home on September 11th, for example, a
neighbor started reciting the symptoms of anthrax
exposure (he had hazmat training).
While I pointed out that a fiery airplane seemed
to be a lousy delivery vehicle for anthrax, he said
just note that your TD gets the feeling that given the
Bush Administration's mimicry of the Clinton
Administration's "perpetual campaign" mode,
there is no reason to think that not only is the capture
of Mr. Padilla primarily a publicity stunt (even if he
is guilty as accused, since he has not yet been
charged), but also that it is intended to divert
attention from something far more troubling (such as,
perhaps, imminent plans involving REAL nuclear weapons,
such as are being developed in, well, the Axis of Evil
-- including in North Korea under partial American
an independent commission of inquiry might find out this
sort of thing, too?
York, New York. Well,
its now 9 months to the day since...you know, that
TD confesses that he found himself a bit freaked out as
he exited the subway this morning in prime target Grand
Central Station, which he left immediately (and only
felt better when he emerged in the relative security of
his 43rd floor office!)
in the "extra-constitutional detention"
department, we give you one Jose Padilla.
You know, right now, Mr. Padilla (or his Arabic
nom de guerre, Abdullah al Muhajir) was detained by the
FBI in Chicago on May 8, when he arrived from Pakistan. After President Bush declared him an "enemy
combatant" on Sunday he was transferred to a naval
prison in South Carolina.
will just let the AP report quote of our president
will run down every lead, every hint," Bush told
reporters after a meeting with Congressional leaders at
the White House. "This guy, Padilla, is a bad guy. He
is where he needs to be -- detained... And there's just
a full-scale manhunt on."
Bush sidestepped a question on whether any of
Muhajir's co-conspirators were in custody, saying: "As
we run down these, you know, killers or would-be
killers, we'll let you know."
"The coalition we put together has hauled in
over 2,400 people, and you can call it 2,401 now,"
you feel better-- now that this dastardly plot has been
only does our president (as usual) sound like an idiot
(and of course, his attorney general IS an idiot), he
(as usual) forgets that the principal reason this
country is better than everybody else is because we have
a Constitution, and we follow it -- even when its
inconvenient to do so.
Mr. Padilla has been in extrajudicial, in camera
custody, unable, for the most part, to have counsel, or
many other rights usually afforded prisoners, such as an
he is guilty of that which he is accused, by all means,
charge him, try him, and if convicted, punish him, to
the full extent permitted by EXISTING law.
Unfortunately, our enemies (and all too
frequently, our friends and allies) accuse us of
arrogant disregard of, well, everything, in the pursuit
of our self-interest based objectives.
The ad hoc treatment of foreign detainees (so ad
hoc that no one actually has any idea of what it is!),
and now, of citizens (albeit arguably miscreant,
treasonous ones), is not in the best traditions of our
York, New York. Its
now a given in sophisticated circles, of course, that
somehow there is something WRONG with the United States
and its people because we're not "in" to
course, I suppose we could be as "into" it as,
Or I remember fondly, our friends in Central
America, where a war between El Salvador and -- was it
Honduras? -- over a qualifying match.
Or, of course, the Colombian player who, after
inadvertently committing an "auto-goal"
allowing the United States team to win an upset match in
1994, was duly murdered by one of his angered
we in the USA riot after the Olympic hockey win in '80,
or the controversial basketball loss in '72?
strikes me as unlikely that ANYTHING our national team
did in any sport (with the exception of "military
operations") would get anyone here all that upset
enough to riot; here in America, like all politics, our
sports rioting is local, be it the U. of Maryland
basketball team, or the Detroit Tigers.
in America, the only sport of recent vintage to get
people that upset is played on a court: trials. Thus, the "Over the Rhine" rioting in Cincinnati,
or the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.
Does this make us a better country, than the rest
of the world? In
a word, YES.
June 9, 2002.
After a 3+
hour return drive fro the Hamptons, your TD is REALLY
pleased he didn't waste 4 hours watching the
schlockumentary of the same name last weekend. Although,
based on the reviews in the Hamptons papers, such as Dan’s
Papers, or The
East Hampton Star, it sounds like I might have
enjoyed it after all.
Grubman took her Benz,
York, NY. Well, the
President gave a speech last night; I'll just make the
same juxtaposition as many commentators, between the
President's noting that the nation and the world have a
"titanic struggle" against terrorism, and the
statements by Democratic Senators Kennedy and Byrd that
the president's proposals amounted to rearranging deck
chairs on the Titanic.
It is, of course, absolutely no coincidence that
Special Agent Rowley testified to a Congressional
Committee about FBI bureaucratic failures earlier in the
day. I note
that Agent Rowley was promised that there would be no
retaliation against her for her whistle-blowing and
internal criticism of the bureau (FBI Director Mueller
made the same promise to Congress).
Your TD is pleased to report that, effective next
week, Special Agent Rowley has been given a
substantial promotion, and will be reassigned to FBI
headquarters where she will be the new agent in charge
of the X-files.
at least one of our featured links (Josh Marshall)
argues that, as politically motivated as the new
"Department of Homeland Security" obviously
is, if it is to be a serious endeavor, Tom
Ridge is not the man for the job.
agree; go to Chartreuse Alert, Mr. Sulu.
6, 2002, New York, NY. Happy D-Day.
Let us take a moment to reflect upon -- and to
thank -- this nation's fighting men and women, now
preposterously few in number in proportion to the rest
of us -- who valiantly agree to risk their lives so the
rest of us can live in freedom and material prosperity.
of freedom and material prosperity, your TD looks
forward to a nice quiet weekend at the beach (perhaps
this blog will have a date line from there this weekend;
don't hold your collective breaths, however).
Mrs. TD's mother -- whose beach house it is--
will be away this weekend, so this looks like a fine
opportunity for some R&R with Mrs. TD and Baby TD.
Not that your TD is complaining (when would I ever do
that?), but he has actually worked more
or less continuously since early October,
following his involuntary 3-week furlough last September
(because of that, you know, thing.)
TD will also report on whether the Hamptons crowd is
taking the puff piece mini-series made in their name
with appropriate aplomb(though I understand only Lizzie
Grubman was indicted ).
The chief joy of the Hamptons is that, despite
being over 100 miles to Manhattan's east and containing
no tall buildings, one does not get homesick for
Manhattan. Indeed, one is pleased that most Manhattanites don't drive
for the most part while in Manhattan, choosing to export
their road rage to the once bucolic Hamptons (and all
points in between). But I digress; smile: it’s the summer.
can stop thinking about Yasir for a few minutes.
The Talking Dog
enjoy your TD's "other" contribution to the
York, New York. Take
a look at Kausfiles
(his blog now being the property of Slate, a/k/a The
Microsoft Corporation, notwithstanding), to see that he
has picked up the slack where Smartertimes
has left off (since its principals are now occupied
running The New York
Sun), to wit, debunking the myth of "All
the News that's Fit to Print".
anyway (by which I mean June 5, 2002, and not "the
present era") it seems all the blogging rage to
tear apart the left leaning bias of the paper of record,
our fair city's own The New York Times.
Your TD only has one thing to say on this
that this stops me -- see below!)
The only people who lack the sophistication to
understand that The Times is, while in no sense Pravda
or Izvestia (yet), ultimately striving for that
same level of ideological purity, are not likely to be
READING The Times in the first place.
Your TD appreciates that The Times is but
one of a spectrum of information outlets, and that other
than this blog, of course, NO ONE is truly objective,
and EVERYONE (INCLUDING this Blog) must be examined in
light of its appropriate place on the spectrum of
said, your TD will turn, for today's discussion of the
news, to the front page of the Gray Lady herself.
There is a Naderite
discussion of the 2000 census, headlined "Gains
of 90's Did Not Lift All, Census Shows" (recall
Ralph Nader's campaign slogan that under Clinton-Gore, a
rising tide lifts all yachts).
The Times' conclusion is that the
"poor remained entrenched", noting that men's
incomes declined slightly, and women's incomes went up
around 7% (but wait -- aren't many poor families headed
by women – oh, I forgot that we draw the conclusion
first, and report the facts second!).
There is a celeb
puff piece: "Curse
of the Jaded Audience:
Woody Allen, in Art and Life", noting that
even Woody's fans don’t give a shit about him anymore.
THIS I believe.
There is a biz
piece, on Edison Schools getting $40 million in
loans, enabling it to operate in the Philadelphia school
system (one can sense disappointment that this exercise
in private operation of public schools -- which, to be
sure, has plenty of problems in its own right-- has not
utterly imploded, as the editorial writers would
doubtless have preferred).
there are articles
that current holder of the title of 9/11 mastermind
Khalid Mohammed is related to Ramzi Youssef, WTC
1993 bombing suspect (probably false -- Youssef was
mostly likely an Iraqi agent, as set forth in an article
by former CIA Director Woolsey buried deep in our
archives, but here
again for the fun of it, a
panel of Catholic Bishops is recommending dismissal
from the priesthood in "new" sex abuse cases
(apparently, to forgive is truly divine for
"old" such cases), the
Red Cross will open its books, Congress
will look back as far as 1986 in its 9/11 inquiries
(that should enable it to include all of Whitewater as
well as Iran-Contra), and finally, and of relevance
here, that the
Justice Department will fingerprint holders of certain
visas from certain countries (you know: Muslims).
June 4, 2002.
Well, our "intelligence" services
(which will doubtless soon be merged with the D.C.
Police Department so that, at least, we can all feel a
bit better because not only won't we be able to
interpret meaningful data, we’ll no longer even be
able to gather it).
Now, an American "intelligence" test:
first, has the 9/11 mastermind been identified as
(1) an Iraqi (?); (2) an Iranian (?); (3) a Libyan (?);
(4) a Syrian (?); (5) a Lebanese (?); (6) an Afghan (?).
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. wrong and wrong.
Not even a North Korean.
one Khalid Mohammed is a KUWAITI.
You know: a
national of that MODERATE Arab regime, for which we went
to war, oh 11 or 12 years ago (and destroyed our own
economy in the process, as well as destroying that of
Iraq and giving Saddam the best profiteering opportunity
in human history; surely, someone who would use mustard
gas on his own people wouldn't mind a little
profiteering at their expense, 80,000 or so dead Iraqi
means that the perpetrators of 9/11 were, in order of
their complicity, nationals of (1) Saudi Arabia; (2)
Egypt; and (3) Kuwait. What do these countries have in common? All are purported ALLIES OF THE UNITED STATES. Oh
wait, they are three of the most reactionary, regressive
dictatorships on the planet. Oh, and by the way, except for Egypt, they have this oil thing
going for them. Which
explains why, forget leveling these places (a policy
your TD has advocated for months) we won't even ADMONISH
their leaders are personally welcomed to the president's
sure makes you happy that our Supreme Court elevated our
present oilman government, doesn't it?
York, New York. Well,
there it is. The
New York dateline.
Your TD has finally written and sent these words
from Manhattan, which had, of course, been the original
plan when this blog was conceived last summer, before
that thing in September moved things around a bit.
to that thing in September, it now seems (much sooner
than your TD would have predicted) that news is breaking
out on all sides of catastrophic intelligence failures
by our FBI and CIA (though, so far, the President
remains relatively unscathed by all this, this is all
doubtless part of his master plan!).
We continue to be at Code Yellow (I think!),
despite more unsubstantiated reports of ongoing
disasters (?). Well,
no matter. Since I am not driving to work these days, in the solipsistic
haze that defines my birthright as an American, I am
less concerned with the bridges blowing up (until I have
to cross them, of course).
I do note that there is NO building of sufficient
height between where I now sit and the Empire State
Building or the Pan Am Building (OK, Met Life Building)
-- but, I can ago blissfully back to sleep, because
airline cockpit doors must now be locked, so nothing bad
can possibly happen.
we needn't worry ourselves over that "nuclear
thing" going on between India and Pakistan:
(1) they're really far away, (2) Putin will
probably talk them out of it, and if he doesn't, since
our entire cabinet is on the way over, one of them will,
and (3) they're really far away.
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