the talking dog
MARCH 2002 POSTINGS
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The Left-Leaning Dog Says:
The Rabid Dog Says:
Plains, New York. March 28, 2002.
As we hear about the Passover massacre in
Jerusalem, and your LLD comes off of his own Seder, I
shudder at the thought that the closing line of every
Passover Holiday Seder Meal is traditionally "Next
Year in Jerusalem".
Well, for over 400 Israelis (and for many more
that number of Palestinians) since the latest round of
the intifada, there won't be a next year, in Jerusalem
or anywhere else.
the focus of analysis of this nightmare should finally
shift from Chairman-of-the-Board Arafat (who, let's face
it, has been consistent in his actions since the
founding to the Keystone Kops apparently running Israel,
as pointed out in two recent articles in The Weekly
26, 2002, White Plains, New York. Say,
weren't the Academy Awards presented in an unusually warm and tasteful manner this year? There were no stupid self-indulgent dance numbers, a minimum
of montages (sure, there was a Woody Allen montage of
New York SANS WORLD TRADE CENTER -- but in a 5 hour
show, some things will go wrong, right?)
I mean, the honorees were, for the most part,
Sure, SOMEONE can find something nasty to say
about Sidney Poitier or Robert Redford, but who wants to
hear it? And
itís nice to see 2 actors of color win best actor and
best actress, especially considering that both probably
deserved the award [Editorís Note: You saw the movies? Or
is this just affirmative action in punditry?
Perhaps you should read John
Podhoretz on this.]. Of course, let's leave it at that. Hollywood is a business: one of America's most successful
export businesses at that.
It knows what it has to do.
Audiences want to see certain things and certain
people, and Hollywood responds accordingly.
Audiences like black actors and actresses,
especially the inconceivably attractive Halle Berry and
Denzel Washington, and Hollywood must recognize this.
Nothing larger or earth shaking is going on.
takes us to the next sentence I heard on a major radio
network's newscast (OK, it was NPR):
after announcing that for the first time, there
was an "African American sweep of the best
actor-actress awards", the next sentence concerned
the filing of a suite for slavery reparations by a
that's just it, isn't it?
Its a matter of history.
Sure, when your LLD was born in 1962, there were
doubtless people alive, in the United States, who were
born as slaves. There
were CERTAINLY many people who were children of people
who were born as slaves (though, frankly, I doubt there
are many of THESE left either).
Now, of course, slavery has been illegal in the
United States for 137 years.
(If someone wants to draw an immediate
distinction between "reparations" litigation
and the recent spate of Holocaust survivor's litigation,
it is just that: in
the Holocaust case, many of the victims, and many of the
perpetrators, are still alive and able to assert their
claims directly. That's
all I'll say). [Editorís
Note: So, the fact that the actual victims are dead makes their
ancestorsí claims illegitimate?]
21, 2002, White Plains, NY. It
is unfortunate that we live in a world of ever
decreasing attention spans, shorter memories, and
has now been six months and 10 days, and yet, September
11, 2001 may now be, to the average American -- hell, to
the average DOWNTOWN NEW YORKER -- as or less relevant
than November 22, 1963, or December 7, 1941, or for that
matter, July 4, 1776.
a group of parents of Stuyvesant High School students
(and other nearby residents and rabble-rousers) now
believe that enough time has passed to use their
affluence and political pull for an effort to "NIMBY"
(not in my back yard) protest the use of a pier behind
Stuyvesant, just a few hundred yards from the World
Trade Center site, for the garbage barges that remove
Ground Zero debris to Fresh Kills landfill on Staten
be fair, this group has also questioned the rather
optimistic air quality assessments for both Stuyvesant
and Downtown, which were, to be honest, largely the
product of the Saint Rudy Spin Machine (living less than
2 miles downwind in Brooklyn as the crow flies, lemme
tell ya: the
air quality sucked for a long time, and if it wasn't
toxic to boot, the burden is on public health agencies
to demonstrate that!)
But the present protest (which, presumably will
include the obligatory lawsuits) smacks of the efforts
of last year to try to stall re-commissioning of a power
plant in Brooklyn (full disclosure:
I signed that petition, and gave money to NYPIRG
at the same time, I AM a left-leaning dog, after all!)
on environmental grounds.
This, of course, is a luxury of affluence and of
luxury we had last summer when I signed that petition,
and frankly, a luxury we no longer really have.
While better air quality monitoring is certainly
a reasonable request (and indeed, a less fascistic prior
mayoral administration probably would have been more
forthcoming with this a long time ago), stopping the
Ground Zero barges is not.
The WTC site has to be cleaned and rebuilt as
soon as possible. But,
NIMBY may be thicker than blood (or something like
of course, that the press is now obsessing over (1) a
crazy woman in Texas that even a Texas jury wouldn't
condemn to death; and (2) child sex abuse involving
Catholic priests; this issue comes up from time to time,
and while infinitely more serious (and usually less
covered) than political sex scandals, somehow, this does
not seem to be the time.
brings us back to where we started:
September 11th occurred just after the LLD and
the RD and the UE had finally undertaken to commence
this web-site. Despite
the fact that 9-11 ended up being our "raison
d'etre", the fact is, the events of that 90 minute
stretch on that Tuesday morning in September which
transpired one city block from where I stood (and, in
retrospect, FOOLISHLY, watched) was the defining moment
of the lives of every American alive and sentient at the
frankly, the president and Congress could have asked
for, and gotten, the reinstatement of the draft, gas
rationing, a massive tax increase to pay for necessary
military spending -- or just about any similar measure
that President Roosevelt asked for, and got, to fight
World War II, a war which DID NOT MAKE ITS WAY TO THE
MAINLAND UNITED STATES -- we were told instead to rely
on a few professional specialists, to guzzle as much gas
as ever, and to shop more.
March 18, 2002. Operation Candy Man? Obviously,
your (father of a 2-year-old-girl) LLD is not going to
stand here and laud child pornographers, especially when
among the arrested include members of the Catholic
clergy, who seem to be the subject de jour in the area
of child sexual abuse.
One wonders, of course, why now?
These stories, representing an unfortunate flip
side of a bizarre puritanical streak, that ends up,
unfortunately, in inappropriate THOUGHTS being driven
underground, and often ending up in inappropriate
American citizens are being targeted for murder in
places like our friend Pakistan, the REAL question
should be: what exactly has ISLAM contributed to
humanity, other than, apparently, hatred, subjugation of
women, poverty, corruption, more hatred, and lately,
violent terrorism? As
we live in an absurd politically correct world where we
must "accept other points of view", so the
question comes back: as important as the issue of protecting children from sexual
abuse is (and itís important), why exactly has our law
enforcement hierarchy decided that the best use of its
resources is this area, right now, when the PHYSICAL
SURVIVAL OF EVERYONE appears to be at stake?
Plains, March 13, 2002. Starting
as little more than a diatribe between a couple of
garrulous (and querulous) canines which first aired
literally as the fires of Ground Zero burned their
nostrils, we at The Talking Dog
are pleased that we have passed yet another milestone
(or millstone): our
3,000th hit! Many a major leaguer would be jealous of that statistic --
the mark of a truly distinguished "blog"
("web log") considering that we are not
(probably because we have refused to pay any bribes)
picked up yet by any major search engine (we encourage
our readers to gleefully talk us up in web newsgroups or
other similar blather -- we love shills -- and, short of
taking any effort on our own part -- welcome any means
of increasing readership!)
moving right along...
In the bad taste department, we refer you to The
Onion for the best take on
the unfortunate Andrea Yates situation.
seem to be going well for our troops in Afghanistan (we
hope); Robert Mugabe claims victory in Zimbabwe (one
man, one vote, one time...), "life" goes on in
the really troubled Middle East...
more casualties to follow.
If its going on somewhere, it'll probably make
its way to the mouth of The Talking Dog!!! Woof!!!
March 10, 2002
until World War I (other than a brief foray with income
taxes in the Civil War), the ONLY source of revenue for
the federal government, albeit the pre-New Deal Federal
government, was tariff revenue.
At minor levels, a 1 or 2% tariff increase,
actually would be a tax increase, because it probably
wouldn't deter economic activity, and WOULD increase
a BRILLIANT plan would have been that: a 2-3%
non-punitive steel import duty, with proceeds going for,
say, job re-training, pension and health care for
affected steel workers...the Euro-fags, and more
importantly, the Koreans, would have little complaint,
because it would not be INTENDED as a trade barrier, but
as a revenue raiser
(of course, itís a tax increase, but one that
could easily be absorbed). Brilliant and the Bush Administration are not, however, words
that are often heard in the same sentence.
other thing about our tax system and international free
trade is that we have OUTRAGEOUS transfer price
arrangements with our offshore possessions that let the
Fortune 500 get away with murder at the expense of the
rest of us -- and apparently, at the expense of our
trading partners (who, by EU rules, CAN'T dump tax free
profits to their far off colonies, if they have any!)
March 7, 2002. Well, let's just say,
its good to see the RD keeping up a regular writing
good to hear the barks from both sides of the kennel, as
we say here at The Talking Dog. Even from the quarantine cages.
March 6, 2002. Well, congratulations
to Dennis Cardoza.
The Levy family couldn't end Gary Condit's
political career. Governor
Gray Davis and the California legislature's
redistricting plan couldn't end it, either.
September 11th, notwithstanding our earlier
prediction, apparently granted the embattled Congressman
from Modesto, California only a temporary extension of
his career. Apparently,
only his home county gave him a majority.
The rest of his district said that they would
rather not have a homicide suspect as their
representative to Congress.
March 4, 2002. Contrary to the
ravings of the RD, I do not relish the deaths of
patriotic men and women who are willing to make the
ultimate sacrifice in the service of our nation and its
have simply said that, unfortunately, the recoiling in
horror at even a single casualty (official Clinton
Administration policy) only served to embolden our
enemies and put MORE American lives at risk.
Indeed, I am not pleased to be vindicated by the
fact that notwithstanding the prior willingness to rely
on proxies -- proxies whose enthusiasm for doing
American dirty work has waned now that their country has
apparently been liberated so it can go back to its usual
internecine fighting unencumbered by the Taliban's
bizarre reactionary social policies -- may have left us
less prepared for the work at hand, and parenthetically,
allowed bin Laden and Omar to escape into Pakistan.
as I have said many times, the current Administration,
while neither headed nor staffed by the brightest bulbs
in the Christmas tree, has shown remarkable flexibility
and adaptability, as tactics require, certainly in their
own political meanderings (now deficit generating tax
cuts are patriotic!), as well as, of course, the conduct
of the war.
March 3, 2002. Well, the RD and I
are in agreement on at least one point:
the current Sharon strategy is not working.
Over the weekend, the carnage continues to mount.
It is so constant and routine that it is often
not reported here anymore.
Our Unseen Editor has asked that I apologize to
the Great State (now second in population, having
finally passed us, the
Empire State) of Texas for calling its populace
I humbly do so (in a rare fit of clarity not
undermined by the rabidity).
Well the Andrea Yates trial seems to be
proceeding apace. I
wonder where the LLD comes down given that Ms. Yates
seems to have become as much a poster child for American
feminists as suicide bombers have for Palestinian
I guess mainstream, institutional feminism is now
synonymous with dead children (the choice of Andrea
Yates as poster child is all the more troubling, since
the principle issue holding American feminism together
these days is abortion on demand).
Well, let's hear it for ABC:
David Letterman, a man who, whether he is or not,
at least comes off as a mean-spirited prick (who, not
coincidentally, costs a fortune):
Koppel and Nightline -- one of the most respected
institutions in television journalism: OUT.
Well, it looks like the LLD has finally gotten
one of his fondest wishes:
Americans apparently dead in combat in
appears, unbeknownst to anyone, the Department of
Defense has greatly increased troop levels, and is now
fighting the most intense battles of the Afghan campaign
(which may soon rise to the level of "war").
Unlike the usual NPR listening left, the
president notes that most patriotic Americans will
accept casualties as an unwelcome but
necessary part of our mission (though only the
LLD welcomes casualties for their own sake, as long as
they are Americans, or perhaps, Palestinians).
a sad way, this is a foreshadowing of bloodletting to
come, when the rest of the Evil Axis, especially Iraq,
is taken on once and for all. It appears the President and his team, to their credit, are,
while mopping up residual elements of Taliban/Al Qaeda
(they are, despite legalisms insisted upon by our effete
"allies", the same bunch of bloodthirsty
medieval terrorists) -- preparing for the greater battle
3, 2002. Well,
its been -- what? A
week since the LLD last chimed in on his latest
breakthrough for Middle East peace?
the issue becomes relevant to the United States because
bin Laden has latched on to "the Palestinian
cause", greatly increasing the critical need to
resolve the Middle East situation once and for all.
Of course, the longer this issue festers, the
more suicide bombers get recruited, who may be turned
against American interests directly.
Current Israeli policy is, to put it politely,
untenable (if not insane).
The Palestinians have about 3 1/2 million
potential suicide bombers -- now that women's liberation
has finally arrived there in the form of female suicide
bombers, we can presume that any Palestinian man woman
or child capable of strapping themselves with explosives
and wandering into Israel is a potential bomb.
And the Sharon government, rather than defusing
them, is hell-bent on pouring more combustible fuel on
latest initiative of Crown Prince Abdullah (unleashed on
the world via Thomas Friedman of the New York Times)
makes about as much sense as anything else that's ever
been proposed: a
straight exchange -- recognition from the 21 or so Arab
governments of Israel (and its "right to
exist") in exchange for a pullback to the pre-Six
Day War borders. Gaza
and West Bank to Fatah and minions, Golan Heights to
Syria, half of Jerusalem to God knows who.
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