Sunday, July 31, 2005

Jimmah Carter, Disgrace

The protocol has always been that former presidents didn't criticize sitting Presidents, and that US officials ( or former officials ) refrained from criticizing the country or its leaders when in another country.

Jimmy Carter violates both long standing traditions regularly.

Note that President Clinton , out of office, strictly adheres to these traditions--he certainly does not see eye to eye with Bush, but as someone who knows how hard the job is, he is most discreet in his criticism, and never criticizes Bush in a foreign country.

Similarly, Bush Senior did not criticize Clinton during Bill's 8 years, Nixon did not criticize Carter, etc back all the way to George Washington. Until this jamoke from Plains Georgia came upon us.

Carter, of the Hostage Crisis, the Gas Lines, high interest rates and his self-created " malaise" was one of the worst presidents the US ever had. And he is by far, the worst former President.

Burqas and Bush

Italia Bans The Burqa

Good job Italy. Banning the burqa is a step in the right direction.

Those who think the extremist variant of the "Religion of Peace" are just as valid as any other religion will be all upset, but I'm not. And a lot of young girls from Muslim families will quietly cheer --the burqa is often enforced on European immigrants by either the family or by young male punks who attack girls who won't wear the horrid, degrading garment.

More Good News

The Commander in Chief is in killer physical shape. Drudge says his blood pressure is 110/64. He's embarrassing the other politicians. He's embarrasing me!

Manny Ramirez -- Mets Dodge A Bullet

The Mets supposedly were very interested in signing Manny Ramirez of the Sox. The deal didn't happen, and thats good. Manny Ramirez, great hitter that he is, is a horrible defensive player and a bad guy in the clubhouse.

The other day in Boston, he was due to get a day off but when Trott Nixon was hurt, the club asked Manny to play that day. He said no, and put the team in a spot. He is --exactly--the type of guy that a rebuilding team like the Mets do NOT need.

The Mets got rid of Rey Ordonez when they did because they did not want him influencing Rey Ordonez and the other young players. Well, Manny is just about that bad, though he can play. When he wants to.

Cannot believe the idiots on WFAN, etc that are saying that the Mets just had to trade all their prospects for this overpaid one-dimensional player, a bad influence with a bat.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bye Bye Pataki

Word has it that George Pataki will not run for reelection as Governor of New York.

One reason for this is that he is so unpopular, that he could not beat Bozo the Clown in an election these days. The other is that this protege of d'Amato the bagman actually thinks that he is a national figure, and that he should test the waters for a Presidential run. What a self-delusional jamoke. His national rep does not make it to Jersey City.

Pataki is the latest in a long line of bad governors, presiding over a high-tax government that kills jobs and steals from the people.

And he has never been a friend of New York City. Will never forget how he tried to scam a train line to Schenectedy out of 9/11 aid money. And how he has botched the WTC redevelopment ( the Post did not call it Pataki's Pit for nothing ).

Bad luck to you, you Pataki you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pope: Clumsy Kraut or An Intentional Omission?

The Israelis are angry at this statement by the Vatican. Rightfully so, too. Unless the German pope thinks its ok to kill civilians in Israel, which happens to be the one country that has suffered the most from terrorism?

Monday, July 25, 2005

A New Savior For the Middle East

this guy

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Police Search on NYC Subways / Sharm el Sheik Bombing

The terrorist murders in the London subway has refreshed the memory of those many, here and there, who think that 9/11 happened oh so long ago, and that the terror threat is in some way distant.

It's not distant. At all.

The NYPD is now conducting random bag searches on the subway. I am entirely in favor of this. I understand the " civil liberties " argument against this practice. I also understand that Muslim lunatics are trying to blow us all to hell.

In the name of Allah, the merciful Islamic tough guy up there in the sky over Mecca, I praise the NYPD. When they search my bag, I will do what I do when they search my carryon at the airport --thank them.


Sharm el Sheik bombing

Its funny, most Americans have shown Egypt a wide bearth in recent years, as the result of terrorist attacks on tourists. But Europeans have continued to go there, thinking the risk to be small. Unfortunately, the risk is not small.

This murder of 84 plus people will probably kill most all tourism to Egypt, an absolute body blow to that country's economy.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Linda Hopkin - Those Were the Days

Linda Hopkin
Funny how a song can remain in your mind over the years. I remember when this was a world - conquering hit back in 1968. I liked it as a kid, and I've continued to enjoy it over the years on those rare occasions when I'd hear it. ( Link to song within the above link )

Today, I decided to look for it in my Yahoo music player, and there it was, as part of the 1969 " Post Card " album. Now I have it. This it's a timeless song. And there are wonderful Italian and Spanish versions on the same album.

There are good versions of " Turn Turn Turn " and " Young Love ". But what the hell was Paul McCartney thinking of when he put " No Business Like Show Business " on this. Yes, Paul McCartney, bossman of the new Apple Records was the producer of this album.

And Donovan plays guitar on a couple of the songs.

An uneven album, but the best of it consists of absolute treasures. Add it to the permanent collection.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Saul Bellow Had it Right

"On some nights New York is as hot as Bangkok.The whole continent seems to have moved from its place and slid nearer the equator, the bitter gray Atlantic to have become green and tropical, and the people, thronging the streets, barbaric fellahin among the stupendous monuments of their mystery, the lights of which, a dazing profusion, climb upward endlessly into the heat of the sky." ( Saul Bellow, from " The Victim " in 1947. ) Fits NY this week to a T.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hawaii and Vietnam


Back two days from Hawaii. Still tired, but the 11 hour flight has nothing to do with it. I've gone to bed late both Saturday and Sunday nights, which are really half the reason.

The other half is that the humidity and heat in NYC are simply awful. You walk two blocks in this devils armpit, and you're wet and gross and you don't think straight and you're tired and sluggish and that's it.

Hawaii was great. Its always great. Was more great this time as Katie & Keri brought their parents out there, and I got to hang out with them for most of a week.
A swell adventure.

For starters, Katie and Keri had no idea I was coming. They were brought into the Shell Lounge in the Hilton Hawaiian Village and sat next to me. They agreed that the guy next to them " looked an awful lot like Uncle ( Phantom )". Prodded to approach me for a picture, the game soon was up.



My Vietnam visa is ready.

A couple of people, including the Swede, are not crazy about my going to the place. Because its a repressive place, because of the bad things they did in the war.

Well, I agree that it is a repressive country. Its less repressive than it was eleven years ago, when Dr. K went there, but it is still a Communist dictatorship.

But its a Communist dicatorship that is loosening the reins, and is every day becoming a little more friendly to the US. Things like this are only one of many signs.I think you encourage more liberalization with things like tourism and friendly contact between citizens.

You don't encourage more freedom by staying away and by blockading, the approach that has helped Castro starve the Cubans for 40 years.

If its ok with John McCain that I go to Vietnam, then I'm goin'.

Why are the US and Vietnam becoming such buddies? They both are concerned about an aggressive, imperial, revanchist China, that's one reason. But another is that I think both countries really want to put the horror of the Vietnam war behind them. I'll write a lot more about that later.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Back from Hawaii

Got back from a one week vacation in Hawaii yesterday. No real updates during that time, as I only had access via a 56k connection, which was unbearably slow.

Hawaii was great, as it always is. Will write more when I have some energy, which may not be today.

Monday, July 11, 2005

In Hawaii. It's good to be in Hawaii.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hello from Hawaii

Arrived in Hawaii yesterday afternoon. Continental Airlines almost messed up my travel arrangements completely, and rectified the error and also upgraded me to Business / First for the entire trip here. Good job, boys.

It's threatening to rain, but this is the tropics, guys. Am happy to be here. Am staying in the Hilton Hawaiian Village at Waikiki. Will shortly go for my first swim.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Freedom Tower / Slate Review

Slate magazine has a much more sophisticated architecture critic than the knucklehead who writes for the Times. This guy gets it.

London Bombing

I'm not surprised at the horrible events of this morning. Nor am I at the stoic, brave, caring response of Londoners to it.

The media will be full of this news today, lots of bloody pictures for a few days to come. Then they and most of us, will forget, and it will be back to the usual sniping and second-guessing and forgetting.

I don't forget. My only criticism of the War on Terror is that it is not being prosecuted much, much, harder.

An article from National Review that I could have written myself. As it turns out, Rudy Giuliani was in London today, and will certainly be speaking on what he saw there.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New Yorkers Win Olympics

Nobody that I know in NYC wanted the Olympics, not even the biggest sports fans. The Olympic Games is one of the world's greatest scams, where almost every host city has lost money and has been left holding the bag with useless stadiums for cycling and yacht competitions after the two week Olympic Three Card Monte Mob has closed the tent and moved on to the next sucker city.

So, again, since most New Yorkers did not want the Olympics, they got what they wanted when the games were awarded elsewhere. Thank you, voters.

That heavy favorite Paris lost makes it even sweeter. The francais are really depressed about this, quelle domage.

Sirius Posted by Picasa

Dog run to be named after police dog killed on 9/11

Sirius, a yellow labrador retreiver police dog, was killed on 9/11. The residents of Battery Park City have voted to name a dog run after him. I really liked this story, from the surprisingly good lower Manhattan paper Downtown Express. Sirius is quite famous, and apparently has several websites that honor him. This one and others demonstrate the great love that the police and others have for Sirius and other police dogs.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Put it off as long as I possibly could, but finally got around to painting the metal decorative overhang over the second floor porch of my house.

The most disagreeable part of the project was the prep work. Part of this metalwork had not been painted in ages, and I had to scrape off tons of chipped paint. As it was above me, the paint chips rained down on me.

Had to stand on a straight ladder for long periods of time, not a huge problem when I got used to it.

I don't begrudge painters who charge decent bucks for this type of work, it's hard, nasty labor.

Some of the metalwork is rusted through, but most of it is in decent shape. It, and the house, date back to 1918, maybe by guys back from the Great War, just after the Fourth Avenue subway was punched through a Bay Ridge that still had working farms.

Now that the work is done, it looks so much better. My next door neighbor to the left as you face the house ( or to be accurate a previous owner of their house ) got rid of this metalwork, and/or covered it over. Terrible, terrible mistake. I love that fact that I have this original metalwork on my house, hand crafted 87 years ago.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8-Ball

Like the idea behind Live 8, but don't think that the large crowds mean that everyone is behind this cause. If the top bands were not there, instead of a million people in Philly, you'd be very lucky indeed to have a thousand in the city that booed Santa Claus.

The level of " awareness " is much higher in Europe, but again, without the acts, the crowd would be a tiny fraction of what we saw today. So this is about as much a revolution as Live Aid was.

Unfortunately, debt forgiveness and the like are really meaningless when you speak of countries like Zaire, where you cannot even pick up a package at the Post Office without paying a bribe. And should we be giving aid to Sudan, or to Zimbabwe? With governments run by murderers and criminals, who have destroyed whatever wealth these countries used to have?

But what the hell, lets dig the music, follow the faded Rat, pretend that the large crowds went to the free concerts out of concern for Africa , and feel like we are all so morally superior.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Freedom Tower - A Towering Improvement

The redesigned " Freedom Tower " . It actually looks like a building. Unlike the previous, silly, Libeskind design, this is topped by an antenna that is centered. Libeskind's design had the massive antenna to one side, where it would eventually fall off. The delays in this project have been really frustrating, but have led to a building that real people seem to actually like. Everyone except the " architecture critic " of the NY Times, some guy named Nicolai Ouroussoff, who wrote a column the other day in which he stamped his feet, dismissed the design from opening para to end, as " A Tower of Impregnability, the sort Politicians Love ". If this guy hates it, and if Libeskind the munchkin is reduced to a figurehead, that's a very good sign that the professionals are finally in charge. Posted by Picasa

Went to Brady's Tavern down on Murray Street last night with the Honorable One, Jeannie, Skippy and Marjorie. The craic was very good, as they say in Dublin. When the Honorable One insisted that the ( Friday night ) Yankees' game be put on the tv, barman Brendan immediately entered the bartender's hall of fame when he replied " Today's Thursday, you knucklehead"!