Anything from current events, campaign finance reform, sports (especially baseball), corporate/political/legal ethics, pop culture, confessions of a recovering comic book addict, and probably some overly indulgent discourses about my 3-year old daughter. E-Mail: sardonicviews -at-
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Saturday, December 14, 2002

The Wife May Kill Me...

Damn, this is about the only reason to care about the Nobel Prize.

Still Alive, But Not From Clean Living

I once noted a story in the Cleveland area of a man arrested for drunk driving. It was his 17th arrest in 20 years. Well, it looks like a Pittsburgh man has made that guy seem like a lightweight.

Since 1967, Johnson, 66, of Wilkinsburg, has been convicted at least 30 times for driving while intoxicated. Much of that travel has been accomplished without a license, which expired in 1980 and has not been renewed, according to the state Department of Transportation.

That's CONVICTED, not arrested, more than 30 times in 35 years. He's been arrested twice in 2002 alone. The article is way too brief. It doesn't say whether Johnson owned the car, or whether it belonged to someone else. In his latest arrest, he blew a 0.26. Wow. That was some major binging.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Blasting One's Own

The whole Trent Lott affair has led to many bloggers to point out that Lott has been condemned and the calls for him not to serve as Senate Majority Leader have forcefully come from the right -- even more than from the left. There has been some questioning about how the left doesn't seem to do the same when their own screws up. Well, maybe not on a national level, but I found this blast at incoming Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates to be heartening.

To truly appreciate how low Tom Bates stooped with his petulant stunt involving The Daily Californian, you need to understand the hope he once represented. In a city worn down by the bitter vindictiveness of Shirley Dean and the often-embarrassing posturing of her progressive foil Kriss Worthington, Bates was the man who would lead Berkeley out of the darkness.
Then last week, we all found out what kind of man Bates really is. He's the first mayor of Berkeley to disgrace his office before attending even a single city council meeting. On the day before the election, Bates stole close to 1,000 copies of The Daily Californian, which had endorsed the moderate Dean. Four Republican students watched him systematically steal every copy of the Daily Cal off the racks in Sproul Plaza -- in the middle of the day, no less, surrounded by thousands of students. The students promptly notified staffers at the campus newspaper, who filed a complaint with university police. It was just a matter of time before this remarkably stupid and illegal act was exposed.

The mayor's supporters describe the incident as "unfortunate," a euphemism that has come to mean, "Yes, our man got caught breaking the law and subverting an election, but we're still holding onto the hope that people won't take this seriously." City Councilwoman Spring says Bates was working on maybe three hours of sleep, and the stress just got to him. "It wasn't premeditated," she says. "If it was, it wouldn't have been in the middle of the day. It was probably an emotional reaction to the editorial. He probably just blew it."

The issue of whether he should resign is mentioned near the end, along with a rather strong admission from another on the left.

The Daily Cal has called on Bates to resign, which one might expect. Dean, the defeated incumbent who wants her old job back, has joined the resignation bandwagon. Not even Bay Times publisher Kim Corsaro, who has long admired Bates' politics, could bring herself to give him a pass. "God, you just can't do that," Corsaro said when she learned what the mayor had done. "I'd hate to make a snap judgment on this. I have to be honest; if he were some right-wing creep, I'd say off with his head. It totally fucks with the whole democratic process."

It gives hope to more honest discussions of views.

Sidebar Update: Regarding Lott, Here's an article from the Washington Post noting the strong criticism from the right on Lott's disgusting comments that have continued.

Nader Nosing About Newspapers

Ralph Nader has decided that this country is too fat and lazy. He's decided the best way to fix that is to have newspapers serve as agents of propaganda to get people active.

When it comes to his newspaper, Ralph Nader wants more stories about intramural volleyball, pickup basketball and touch football.

The consumer advocate, former presidential candidate and Lou Gehrig idolater is asking America's newspapers for more coverage of recreational and participatory sports. A page a day would be ideal.

"I'd have them cover local leagues, local issues dealing with playgrounds, whether it's softball leagues, tennis, all the things that go on," Nader said. "Here in Washington, they play these pickup games over by the Washington Monument."

The real goal of the man responsible for the death of Chevrolet's Corvair - it was "Unsafe at Any Speed" - is to use newspapers to get couch potatoes off the couch and out of the chip bowl.

Obesity, diabetes and other illnesses "could be reduced by a better-informed, active, healthier and more confident citizenry," Nader wrote to managing editors at the nation's 50 largest newspapers.

Yeah, people would love to read about that. This is the sort of crap that gets written up in the free community bulletin papers.

Still some, think Nader's activity is good

However this plays out, [Roy Peter] Clark [a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute,] thinks "it's great" that the nation's best-known consumer advocate has turned his sights on the nation's newspapers. Newspapers boost their credibility when they listen to people outside the business, whatever their opinions, he says.

"Plus, it's refreshing to have somebody from the left telling us what to do."


Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Fun from the Alumni Association

I received my monthly e-mail from Pitt Alumni Association. Included was this under "University News":

SECURITY MONITORING SOFTWARE -- Software that detects a sudden
increase of symptoms indicative of a possible bioterrorist attack is
immediately available free of charge to any public health organization.

Fun for the whole family.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

This Was What the Fuss Was All About?

The NY Times posted the formerly spiked articles on Augusta National Golf Club. Well, you can see for yourself how controversial and dangerous they were to interoffice squabbling as Dave Anderson is clearly a muckraker:

All the continuing commotion about the Augusta National Golf Club, the site of the Masters, and its all-male membership isn't Woods's fight any more than it's any other golfer's fight. Or the PGA Tour's fight. Or the Ladies Professional Golf Association's fight.

It's Augusta National's fight with the National Council of Women's Organizations. And the club can't win this fight. It can prolong it, but it can't win it. Sooner or later, the club will admit a woman as a member. When it does, its stubborn defiance will have seemed silly.

Phew! Clearly this is in opposition to the NY Times Editorial position.

Then there is Harvey Araton who has the gall to suggest that maybe there are more important women's issues regarding sports to worry about than getting a really rich woman into a private club. Essentially the article is about the growing attacks on Title IX. Again, a matter that the NY Times Editorial staff must oppose. Oh, wait.


(Copyright © 2002-2005 Chas Rich All rights Reserved.);
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