October 31, 2004
The Candy Report
My neighborhood is just thick with kids. So far, all nice. But ya can't swing a dead cat...etc.
How much do I stock up for the Halloween hordes? Laid in a couple of bags of Costco's finest. And so far it's been...mmmmmm...medium. Like once every half hour a big gaggle of kids will show up. Always with parental units lurking along...except for one group that looked rather teenager-ish and uncostumed. Every kid gets handsful of chocolate from me, because I seem to have over-shopped.
Mt. San Jacinto this Morning
October 30, 2004
An account of shopping at the two New Jersey IKEAs. The one close by the Newark airport has tempted me several times during long layovers.
This past week I had run an errand into West Hollywood, and stopped at the IKEA in West Covina on my way back. I considered this my orientation run, as it's the first time I've been to one since I visited the Long Beach store back in like 1997 on the occasion of my first touristy visit to L.A. which eventually included my first-ever visit to Palm Springs.
They've got some nice stuff at some nice prices. It was pleasant seeing the young and pretty L.A. people shopping. The only thing I bought was some ginger snaps and a water for the drive home.
I'm currently watching Sorcerer which is a 1977 remake of the 5-star Le Salaire de la peur (1953) and it's good (Sorcerer, I mean). But it requires suspension of disbelief. In the limited technology of 1953 it made sense to be transporting nitroglycerine over dirt roads in bad trucks, but not in 1977. A helicopter is the obvious alternative, but the helicopter pilot cites vibration and turbulence as absolute barriers, so the explosives must go by land. Okay, we'll give 'em that. But why is the only supply of explosives this nasty old pile of dynamite (or is it TNT?) 200 miles from the oil fire? Once they see that the explosive is unstable, why not use the helicopter to fly in stable explosives? If that can't be done, then why not helicopter in some decent vehicles? Why do they have to build up a pair of trucks from junk? And for that matter, why trucks? They need 4-wheel drive vehicles to negotiate the bad roads, but a Jeep would have done as well, and (being lighter) would have traversed the delicate spots better. And, since this is seems to be the only road to the oil well, and is the road used by trucks to carry workers in and out, why does it seem so inadequate when our guys drive it in their trucks? And why do the speedometers show miles? What Latin American colony of America uses miles? Not even Panama. Puerto Rico does, but they don't drill oil there, and it's not some godawful third-world country without sewers but with a corrupt dictator for President.
If they felt the need to remake, they should have set it in the early 1950s, and things would have gone swimmingly.
|Heather O'Rourke||Jack Lemmon|
If you're all registered to vote, but just don't know where your polling place is, go to MyPollingPlace.com, enter your address and it should come back with the location of your polling place. Worked for me.
Then, if you show up at your polling place and encounter some shenanigans that prevent you from voting, you may want to call 866-OURVOTE which is a non-partisan organization with a bunch o' lawyers standing by to help.
I got one of these ridiculous mailers yesterday, purporting to be from the Environmental Protection Agency. It would fool only the very stupid. Nonetheless, there are federal laws against this sort of falsehood. And then there are laws about using the postal service to spread this fraud around. I look forward to some Homeland Security agents showing up on someone's doorstep soon.
We Are But Cockroaches
October 29, 2004
Let Osama Decide
I don't know how I missed this when it came out earlier this week, but the local Desert Sun has endorsed Bush, reasoning, basically, that we should let the terrorists tell us who to vote for:
to turn our backs on President Bush now would send the wrong message to terrorists around the world. It would be an open invitation to come at us again because when they do, we toss out the leader who seeks revenge and retaliation.
|Headstones in Sandbanks Cemetery in Watertown, Massachusetts||The grave of Edward Le Veque, the last Keystone Kop to die (1989). Hollywood.|
...of snow at the top of the tram. Maybe 3 feet on the peak itself. The novelty is drawing people from all over.
"It looks like big batches of shaved ice," [Hawaiian] Dayne van Gieson, 11, who had never seen snow before, said after experiencing a few rides on a green plastic snow sled his family bought at a tram station shop for $18.99.
October 28, 2004
Best Editorial Yet
Throughout his long career in public service, John Kerry has demonstrated steadiness and sturdiness of character. The physical courage he showed in combat in Vietnam was matched by moral courage when he raised his voice against the war, a choice that has carried political costs from his first run for Congress, lost in 1972 to a campaign of character assassination from a local newspaper that could not forgive his antiwar stand, right through this year’s Swift Boat ads. As a senator, Kerry helped expose the mischief of the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, a money-laundering operation that favored terrorists and criminal cartels; when his investigation forced him to confront corruption among fellow-Democrats, he rejected the cronyism of colleagues and brought down power brokers of his own party with the same dedication that he showed in going after Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal. His leadership, with John McCain, of the bipartisan effort to put to rest the toxic debate over Vietnam-era P.O.W.s and M.I.A.s and to lay the diplomatic groundwork for Washington’s normalization of relations with Hanoi, in the mid-nineties, was the signal accomplishment of his twenty years on Capitol Hill, and it is emblematic of his fairness of mind and independence of spirit. Kerry has made mistakes (most notably, in hindsight at least, his initial opposition to the Gulf War in 1990), but—in contrast to the President, who touts his imperviousness to changing realities as a virtue—he has learned from them.
Kerry’s performance on the stump has been uneven, and his public groping for a firm explanation of his position on Iraq was discouraging to behold. He can be cautious to a fault, overeager to acknowledge every angle of an issue; and his reluctance to expose the Administration’s appalling record bluntly and relentlessly until very late in the race was a missed opportunity. But when his foes sought to destroy him rather than to debate him they found no scandals and no evidence of bad faith in his past. In the face of infuriating and scurrilous calumnies, he kept the sort of cool that the thin-skinned and painfully insecure incumbent cannot even feign during the unprogrammed give-and-take of an electoral debate. Kerry’s mettle has been tested under fire—the fire of real bullets and the political fire that will surely not abate but, rather, intensify if he is elected—and he has shown himself to be tough, resilient, and possessed of a properly Presidential dose of dignified authority. While Bush has pandered relentlessly to the narrowest urges of his base, Kerry has sought to appeal broadly to the American center. In a time of primitive partisanship, he has exhibited a fundamentally undogmatic temperament. In campaigning for America’s mainstream restoration, Kerry has insisted that this election ought to be decided on the urgent issues of our moment, the issues that will define American life for the coming half century. That insistence is a measure of his character. He is plainly the better choice. As observers, reporters, and commentators we will hold him to the highest standards of honesty and performance. For now, as citizens, we hope for his victory.
Believe in Our President
For those who believe in our President George W. Bush, here Thomas F. Schaller revels in the rich complexity of that devotion. Read it and BELIEVE!
I believe the president was right to oppose the formation of the 9/11 Commission, to change his mind but then oppose fully funding it, to change his mind but then oppose granting its request for an extension, to change his mind but refuse to testify for more than an hour, to change his mind but then testify alongside Vice President Dick Cheney so long as transcripts and note-taking were prohibited. I believe the investigation into the Abu Ghraib prison scandal shows it was the fault of a handful of misguided underlings who simply misunderstood a memo signed by the Secretary of Defense which authorized the use of dogs to interrogate prisoners.
Domestically, I believe income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are the solution to budget surpluses or deficits, high or low inflation, stable or unstable interest rates, expanding or shrinking trade deficits, widening or narrowing wealth gaps, increasing or decreasing poverty rates, rising or falling unemployment, prosperity or recession, wartime or peace. I believe record-setting budget deficits, record-setting trade deficits, and a burgeoning national debt are examples of the president's fiscally-conservative economic leadership.
The Washington Post has announced the "2004 Best Blogs - Politics & Elections Readers' Choice Awards." Who even knew there was a contest going on? Anyway, they have awarded Best Rant, Best Inside the Beltway, Best Democratic Party Coverage, and Best Republican Party Coverage to National Review - The Corner.
Today's Front Pages
In marked contrast, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn't even MENTION the World Series on the front page! However, they do devote an enormous amount of space to the discovery of that new species of Homo in Indonesia [that's a link to a PDF which changes daily].
Lots More Snow
October 27, 2004
RED SOX WIN!
What more can I say?