‘Disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature’:
The UMass president
sums it up pretty well. ... Perhaps a non-journalism-professor journalist should have a gentle talk with the student editors about certain realities in life, i.e. it’s not nice to print/broadcast Jay Severin-like hate
that celebrates/ condones/encourages killing. ... Speaking of sophomoric: Looks like National Guard Adjutant General George W. Keefe
is struggling to graduate from second-rate potty humor to lame political jokes about Democrats. ...
FYI: It should go without saying there is such a thing as first-rate potty humor.
‘I am already gagging’: Steve Bailey
beat me to the barf. ... Off on a tangent: Have you seen the obnoxious Microsoft ads where dorky employees celebrate their company’s latest quarterly numbers? There are just some people who can’t let go of the ‘90s. ... My greatest worry about the recovering tech economy: A widespread return to Forced Fun moments
by high-tech CEOs who think they’re hip while the rest of us view our jobs as something out of Office Space hell.
‘He got what was coming to him’:
The student editors
at the UMass Daily Collegian are learning their trade fast: how to talk down to readers, how to sound pompous, how to put halos over their heads, how to tout themselves as noble defenders of the First Amendment etc. etc. etc. ... They’re nobly reacting, of course, to a truly sophomoric op-ed
by a UMass grad student who said Pat Tillman got what was coming to him. ... ‘The backbone of journalism: The First Amendment.’ ... Well, they are or recently were sophomores. ... Tillman op-ed via AS
‘Arrived in Boston as a stowaway,’ Part III:
Nothing here. Move on. . ... Wait. Now we learn from another federal agency that, well, maybe, OK, there might have been a link between stowaways on Algerian LNGs entering Boston Harbor and terrorists.
the matter. ... The crack Boston office of the FBI: They make me feel so secure. ... Nothing here.
Move on. Nothing here.
My mommy gave me away on national TV:
Oh baby, it’s indeed an outrage
. Making desperate couples jump through media hoops. Allowing a young woman to make a public choice of new parents for her unwanted child. ... Can you imagine the playground chatter five years from now? ‘Your mommy gave you away on TV.’ ... Or worse: The kid viewing a video of the show 12 years from now, tears streaming down his face. ...
(sub. req.) has more. ... Love the runner-up prize: a 2-year-old. ... Bob Barker: 'And tell Contestants No. 3 what they've won.' ... 'Well, Bob, they'll get a new 7-year-old foster child, complete with full polio and measels shots.' ...
Full Medal Ruckus: Jeff Jacoby
has a good chronological summary of the medals ruckus. ... I think most people lost track of the varying accounts after Take 3. I know I did. ...
‘It's strange ....’:
Disagree with Tom Keane
about Mitt’s use of a law to bar non-resident gays from marrying in Massachusetts (see post
the other day), but I absolutely agree with him on the larger issue of Mitt losing credibility as a result of the gay-marriage issue. Tom:
“It’s strange. You go on vacation for a week, return and find your governor a man obsessed. He once seemed such a reasonable guy: less a conservative than a square shooter, a smart businessman who rejected the casual moral squalor of the State House, an honest broker riding herd over the Democratic monopoly.”
Mitt’s greatest problems seem to arise when he stops thinking of how to be a good state governor and starts thinking what a whiz he is on the national stage. This is encouraging
: He’s inevitably getting involved in the presidential race but not forgetting the local ties he needs in order to govern. It’ll probably end up a political disaster. ... One doesn’t give into the hackerama mentality by working with them. One does give into the hackerama mentality, as Weld did, when you start wheeling and dealing with them on their squalid level. Mitt hasn’t figured this out yet.
An explanation for Irish bachelorhood?:
may have found it. ... I wept through the whole article. ... Can’t wait to tell the regulars at the bar tonight. ‘Hey, guys, we have Asperger's syndrome.’
‘Don't much care what either of them did in their military service’:
Re my post yesterday: A Brookline reader writes in with quickie explanations on ribbons vs. medals, George’s National Guard service, and how their military service ain’t the issue. Excerpts:
“When people talk about ribbons and medals being interchangeable, they are not referring to the pieces of cloth that suspend the metal part of the award. The ribbons in question are insignia that are worn on the dress uniform -- look at any senior officer or long serving soldier/sailor/airman/marine and you'll notice an expanse of colored ribbons on the left chest. This ‘fruit salad’ is comprised of ribbons representing battles and wars that the service member has participated in, as well as honors and awards - including medals. ...
“While I'm writing, I'd also like to take issue with the continued sneers (not necessarily by you) at Pres. Bush over his Guard service, as well as the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner. While W's Guard service may not have been as risky as Bob (not John) Kerry's heroic service in combat, it was not risk free -- the F-102 was a notoriously difficult aircraft to fly. Even in peacetime we regularly lose pilots and aircraft, such as two of my college classmates, whose F-14 hit the water short of their carrier's flight deck back in the '80s.
“I don't much care what either of them did in their military service -- I'm much more interested in Kerry's tendency to tell clumsy lies whenever he thinks a new story would be more convenient, and his whining about ‘the Republican attack machine’ when someone accurately reports his voting record or shows a videotape of him making a campaign speech.
“The ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner has been similarly misinterpreted -- the carrier's crew and air wing had just completed a demanding mission requiring an extended cruise. It's pretty much standard to rig such a banner when returning to port. ...”
Hub Blog’s response
-- I’ll stand corrected on the fruit-salad ribbons, which I was aware of while writing the post but obviously didn't think that's what people were referring to. Silly Hub Blog. ... Obviously doesn't change the ever shifting medal explanations by Kerry, though. ... He "forgot" the medals at home? ... As for George, I respect the NG dangers he endured but they weren’t the same as actual combat, which he was clearly trying to avoid, which we all know in our gut to be true. ...
‘Back then ribbons, medals were absolutely interchangeable’: They were?
Hub Blog’s question: If there was no difference, then why didn’t he lob the medals with the ribbons? Hub Blog’s answer: Because he was trying to have it both ways. ... Who the hell detaches ribbons from medals? Did he pin the ribbons to a wall and forget the medals were in a shoe box? ... Attention past Olympian winners: Please send Hub Blog the non-ribbon part of your gold medals. I’d like to pawn ‘em off to pay my cable bills for life. Please feel free to keep the ribbons. They’re the precious memory, after all. ... Tom Oliphant
remembers ribbons, even though he used the word medals at the time. But fear not: Ribbons and medals are interchangeable! ... Joan Vennochi
has the entire tired issue pretty much sized up.
-- Had you heard of the ribbons vs. medals distinction before? I hadn’t. Whenever I brought up the 'Full medal ruckus'
subject, I was always admonished by Kerry backers for getting the facts wrong. He threw other people’s medals over the fence,
I was sternly told. Now we know: He did both!
-- If Kerry’s medals are an issue, Bush and Cheney’s non-war records are fair game, too. That issue was opened up last year, in my mind, when Bush landed on the aircraft carrier, playing warrior pilot, with ‘Mission Accomplished’ plastered across the conning tower. At least Kerry has/had some battlefield ribbons/medals to non-throw throw away. It matters, right?
has some thoughts on the issue. Not sure I agree with Oliphant having the 'definitive say.' But there's little doubt how Kerry has 'optimized the events of that day in different ways in different times to different advantage.' ...
... Isn't it amazing how the Full Medal Ruckus has come roaring back? We, in the great Bay State, have been chuckling and arguing over this issue for decades now. Fun to see the national media
and non-Hub bloggers
jumping into the fray.
‘It would have been nice to see an offensive lineman’: Kevin Mannix
is now a little more skeptical about the Pats' weekend draft. Ron Borges
is now less skeptical. They’re converging to a consensus: Pretty darn good weekend with puzzling caveats. ...
‘The `Las Vegas' of gay marriage’:
Carp all you want about the motives for Romney’s new edicts
on gay marriages, but his reasoning is sound and balanced. He’s: A.) told justices of the peace to abide by the rule of law by marrying gay couples later this month, following the law-of-the-land ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and B.) he’s ordered no out-of-staters shall be married here if their marriage would be void in their home state, also based on a law-of-the-land ruling of the Legislature that the MSJ court didn’t address -- and shouldn’t have addressed. ... I’m most fascinated with the carping on point B.). What did gay-marriage proponents expect? They sought a state court ruling. The state court ruled in their favor as it applied to the state of Massachusetts. But now they want to extend the state ruling by judicial fiat to other non-residents from other states? ... If proponents think the only-Massachusetts-residents clause is unconstitutional, they should prepare a separate lawsuit or, as the Herald suggests
, actually seek a vote of the Legislature to overturn it. ... FYI: I favor gay marriage and abortion rights. But exclusively relying on court rulings to advance social causes often results in marches like yesterday’s
over a 31-year-old judicial decision that’s now only one justice away from being overturned. ... Hub Blog has often thought that if Democrats really wanted to make political mischief, they’d allow Republicans to get their precious last anti-abortion vote on the U.S. Supreme Court. The result, in the next election, would be an overwhelming Democratic landslide. Guaranteed.
... As for Mitt showing off on the national stage, I think that the charge is true and that it’s hurting him. Bad. There are a lot of people -- both pro- and anti-gay marriage -- who have the ability to file away displays of political opportunism and cynicism. His weekend edicts are fine. Probably the first time he’s shown balanced statesmanship on the issue. But his play-to-the-national-audience antics leading up to this weekend were not based on the political and legal realities on the ground in Massachusetts. ... File it away.
‘I wouldn't have dismantled the team’:
By all accounts, the Celts are going down in flames, stealing the too-few parachutes on board and elbowing each other out the hatch. Here’s the Globe account
and the Herald account.
... Robert Parish
wants to get back into the NBA, but he ain’t going to do it, unfortunately, with the Celts, considering these comments on Trader Dan’s moves this season: “Personally, I would have just added to the foundation. ... You had Antoine (Walker) and (Paul) Pierce. They needed a center, they needed a power forward and they needed a point guard. I would have addressed those issues had I been in Danny's position. I wouldn't have dismantled the team.”
I know the build-on-the-foundation argument is now moot and, yes, I grudgingly sort of get where Danny is taking the team. But, damn, the build-on-the-foundation route was indeed logical, as Parish notes. ... I’ve come around, though, to the argument that O’Brien’s defense-at-all-costs coaching style probably would have cramped even Parish’s vision.
: The Pats took DT Vince Wilfork yesterday. Kevin Mannix
thinks he was a steal. Ron Borges
appears to be still trying to take Bill down for trading Drew. ... Must admit: The heavy emphasis on defense miffs. But it’s Almighty Bill’s style. So ...
‘The future of tourism in Massachusetts is now in the Legislature's hands’:
The very future of tourism in Massachusetts
is at stake? What should we do? Yes, give the industry group some public money! The very future of tourism in Massachusetts is at stake! ... This must be a holdover people-will-die op-ed from last year’s budget battles. No other explanation. ...
‘I've had it up to here...’:
Boston blogger John Farrell Coppola
, director of the locally produced Richard the Second
, makes swift mincemeat of the slow motion trend within the film industry. ... I hadn’t really noticed the slow-motion aspects of the final episode of Lord of the Rings. Perhaps because I was nodding off by the end of the overly long, overly sentimental finale. The battle scenes were good, though. Loved the Non-Wooly But Mammoth elephant assaults. ...
That ‘slam dunk’ thing:
Hub Blog has been avoiding all things Iraq and Kerry lately. Why? I’m pacing myself. ... But the now famous/infamous George ‘Slam Dunk’ Tenet scene in Bob Woodward’s latest media-hyped book cries out for a slam dunk Hub Blog analysis. ... First, Andrew Sullivan
is absolutely right that Tenet should be fired. Second, Scot Lehigh
takes the logic (and the scene in the book) a few steps farther and rightly draws not-so-flattering conclusions about the man at the top. ...
Now here’s my slam dunk Hub Blog analysis in the form of a question: Will you fully believe this administration the next time they marshal the focus groups and PR machine to rev us up on a critical and complicated national-security issue? I don't think so. You see, there’s this thing called ‘trust’ and ... Slam dunk! ...
Don’t look now, but the WMD/Democracy in the Middle East crowd
is now warning us that, well, maybe we won’t get the back-up/retroactive Democracy in the Middle East scenario either. ... Iraq is definitely not another Vietnam. Iraq is just Iraq.
‘I'm a nut for fountains’:
Now I know why most city fountains
don’t work -- and why there are not more of them. ... But a question: Why do the Frog Pond and Post Office Square fountains work every year? Just asking. ...
‘A very strong New England brand’:
Hub Blog, a quart-at-a-time Briggies fan, wishes the new Brighams owners
well. It truly is a ‘strong New England brand.’
But if they try to turn it into an obnoxiously cute Ben & Jerry’s
or screw it up like Friendly’s
due to overexpansion, they should be run out of town. ... NO CUTE FLAVOR NAMES, PLEASE. ...
‘New Mitt agency a haven for hacks’:
Never thought I’d see those words strung together in that order. Or at least not so soon.
... Kind of undercuts his latest reform push
has comments on both Brighams and Hacks, i.e. he likes the former and disagrees with the latter.
'It’s great to have the Montreal hate back,’ The End:
I know, I should have posted this yesterday. The Bruins loss was truly a ‘complete collapse.’
But I wanted to give my friend time to grieve and compose himself. Here’s his final missive on the subject:
“Part of me laughed when that final empty net goal went in. I almost threw a tantrum like I did when I was little boy in the late 70's and early 80s but then I just laughed. More than any other sport, hockey is flawed. You play an 80 games season, a seven game playoff and a guy throws it off the side of the net and it bounces to his teammate and they win and the Bruins lose. Why do I care? Well I don't anymore. .... For God's sake the Bruins' coaches game plan was to ‘throw the puck at the net and get some traffic in front of the net’ another words ‘I hope the puck finds its way in the net somehow.’ That's like Bill Belicheck saying ‘Alright boys, lets send all I receivers deep, Tom you throw it up as high and as long as you can, we are bound to come down with a few touchdowns sooner of later.’ The Bruins of the 70s and 80s will always be a part of who I am, they taught me to work hard and never take any shit from anyone, but the sport itself is the equivalent of pinball on ice. Whoever gets the bounce wins the game. I'm done with it.”
Microsoft and blogs?:
When you hear the words 'Microsoft' and 'blogs'
and 'build relations' and 'software developers,' the blogosphere should go on high Defcon-4 alert.
'It's getting hot in here':
The Herald has a marathon blog.
‘It’s great to have the Montreal hate back,’ Part III:
Oh dear. The suicide watch
has been upgraded from ‘precautionary’ to ‘likely.’ ... This is getting serious.
Bruins fans will be jumping off ledges tomorrow if they don’t win. ...
Is this a great sports weekend in Boston or what? Celts fans expected nothing more.
Sox fans expected nothing less.
Marathon fans can expect another awesome Kenyan performance.
‘This time we're the Redcoats’:
Must be something subconscious about Patriots Day weekend, but lots of mentions of Redcoats in yesterday’s post below and now in this brief
about how we’re the Redcoats in the way we’re responding to terrorism. ... Speaking of Redcoats, David Hackett Fischer, the Brandeis professor and author of the local classic ‘Paul Revere’s Ride,’
has a new book out, ‘Washington’s Crossing.’
What I like about Fischer’s work, besides focusing on cool subjects, is how he debunks the revisionist debunkers. Haven’t read ‘Washington’s Crossing,’ but he did a great job in ‘Paul Revere’s Ride’ showing how Revere truly was a hero, despite silly and spurious comparisons to William Dawes. ... Instapundit
has more on Fischer’s latest anti-debunking debunking. ...
Ah, what the heck. The subject of George and Redcoats is obviously related to muskets, which is related to news that Cape Cod writer Bernard Cornwell’s latest Sharpe book is out, ‘Sharpe’s Escape.’
Bought the book yesterday, along with last year’s ‘Sharpe’s Havoc,’
released this month in paperback. Cornwell is a writing machine. ... Might as well remention Eve LaPlante’s ‘American Jezebel,’
yet another new book of local interest.
Ah, but here’s one book
I think I’ll pass up. Love the Herald headline: ‘Welch confident about book with Suzy.’
The ‘Tribes’ of the Blogosphere and journalism:
Went to the Blogger.con
today. Fairly interesting. Guess it can be said that the blogosphere is becoming ‘mature’ when, officially, they hold navel-gazing, Harvard-based, journalistic-like seminars that make Washington Week in Review look mildly interesting. I left early, because I wasn’t feeling good. ... But there’s a clear attempt on the part of some in the blogosphere to make the blogosphere, well, the equal of the media establishment they say they hate. Why else hold it at Harvard? Why not Bunker Hill Community College? ... There also seemed to be a number of clueless journalists sniffing and huffing and dying to expound on the alleged nobleness of their profession while asserting their
establishment status. ... As I said, fairly interesting. ...
Anyway, enjoyed meeting JJDaley
and Chris Lydon
and, briefly, Jeff Jarvis
and Oliver Willis
and Dan Bricklin
. Etc. ...
Attended the ‘What is Journalism?’ seminar/conference. Very good. Largely because of Jay Rosen’s
keep-it-on-track moderating. ... Jay had a nice metaphor for the relationship between old journalism and blogging, to wit: It’s sort of like the ‘Gangs of New York,’ with each side occupying a piece of turf, each side nervously eyeing taking over the other’s turf. ... I compare it to the Redcoats (the old media) vs. the Minutemen (bloggers), with a highly organized force under attack by an unorthodox force, who wished they were more organized while the highly organized force wished it could think out of the box. ...
-- Some apparently want a blogger ‘trade association,’ as Jeff reports.
As I said, there were some Minutemen there who wished they were more organized. ... I’m with Jeff: I’m surprised.
‘Overdone and doesn't even feel real anymore’:
I’m with my Bruins friend, who lamented the other day
about how the Sox-Yanks rivalry is now ‘overdone and doesn’t feel real anymore.’ Dan ‘They are here’
Shaughnessy is obviously in his element. The NYPost
got into the act yesterday. The Herald
fired off some flak today. The NYTimes
is getting cutesy over it. I’ve had my own fun with it too. But the rivalry is becoming a commodity, similar to overhyped pop stars. ... FYI: There was a game last night. The Sox won.
‘I don't know - I can't remember’:
That’s all Tommy
and his pals
have to say as the feds close in. Hey, it worked for Billy. ... The problem is, and always has been, gerrymandering.
But we won’t see any reform. The Hack-Progressive Alliance does have a shared long-term interest: power. They’ll fight amongst themselves over minority representation, but when it comes to representation for everyone else, well, forget it.
‘It’s great to have the Montreal hate back,’ Part II:
Friends of a friend have set up a precautionary suicide watch.
-- Oh, yes. Intervention is now quite likely. From my friend:
"Sorry about the length, but I need to vent. I have only loved two teams in my life, the Red Sox and Bruins. Between the Red Sox and Bruins, the B's have caused me way more heartbreak than the Sox. You know the Sox aren't gonna win but the Bruins always killed me. You want to talk about shit luck? Do you know that Bobby Orr only played 8 seasons and would have been only 32 years old in 1980, his PRIME? Do you know how good a player Normand Leveille was? At the age of 19, he was the leading scorer on the team when he got hurt and the best body checker I've ever seen. Gord Kluzak? Cam Neely? The Bruins were up 2-1 in that series when he got hurt and the Penguins won the cup instead of us, he was 25. Joe Thornton breaks his ribbs in the second last game of the year. Come on! They are going to lose this series, Theodore won't allow another goal and I am going back into Bruins hibernation where I've been for the last 6 years. I thought it sucked not having a hockey team to root for but now I realize I'm better off."
‘That breakthrough in perception’:
Took long enough, but American automakers are starting to turn the perception corner on the quality of their cars.
Of course, they’ll probably revert to their old ways of thinking by assuming customers are stupid and then ... A Hub Blog sibling is an unlikely owner of a used Town Car. Loves it. Recently drove, myself, a rented Chevy Malibu. Loved it. ...
‘Thanks for dropping by ...,’ Part II:
Paris Hilton isn’t working. Silly me. How could I beat the sex tapes
? ... Let’s try, um, SANDRA BULLOCK review.
‘Thanks for dropping by ...’:
Boston blogger JJDaley
has become one of the world’s most popular bloggers, thanks to Uma Thurman and Beatrice Kiddo.
... How can I generate a similar ‘googlelanche’? I’ll try the old Herald favorite: PARIS HILTON. ... There. That should work.
The return of Scollay Square:
Hub Blog tried out the new Scollay Square restaurant
last night. Verdict: Quite good. Can’t believe it was once the dingy Black Goose. ... Highly recommend the seared scallops and crab risotto cake with spinach. Prices are reasonable.
‘It’s great to have the Montreal hate back’:
Hub Blog isn’t a big Bruins fans, but the Hab series
has been great. After the B’s OT win the other night, I emailed a friend, a long-suffering Bruins fan, who wrote back:
“It's great to have the Montreal hate back. It’s so much better than the New York Yankees hate, which is overdone and doesn't even feel real anymore. At least Yankee fans are our countrymen and don't boo the national anthem. What perfect villians. Yeh, I was real lathered up last night like old time, despising the Blue Blanc and Rouge who were, as always, getting the bounces and acting like cowards and then Raycroft saved us from the misery. I can't believe they won that game. The Bruins never win that game. The reason: goaltending. The Bruins finally have it. The kid is the real thing and these playoffs are his coming out party.”
‘What did we expect after Trader Danny took over?’:
While on the subject of sports: The Celts are in the playoffs. Really. Only 10 games below .500
, but what the hell. Must admit: They’re playing a tad better than I thought they would after Danny Ainge skinned and gutted the team. But I think -- repeat: think -- I see where he’s going and it’s somewhat -- repeat: somewhat -- encouraging. From Reader No. 1:
“This is NOT remotely a good Celtic team but... really, what did we expect after Trader Danny took over? It is a minor miracle that they are in the playoffs. It would be a major miracle if they repeated last year's 1st round Indiana takeout.
“Most Valuable Player
: Mark Blount. Hard to believe this was the former bad-hands fouling machine #3 center of 2 years ago. Judging by Trader Danny's tone and body language on radio and TV, he's a future Orlando Magician. Runners-up: Paul Pierce (by default), Chucky Atkins.
“Most Pleasant Surprises
: 1- TIE: Blount and Jiri Welsch. The latter could make the Antoine deal look good all by himself. He understands the game! 2- Chucky Atkins. Much more confident than expected. No coincidence that the playoff run coincided with his arrival.
: 1-The rise and fall of Vin Baker. We expected nothing after last year, were rewarded by his tremendous resurgence in the first 2 months and then... a tragedy. 2-Paul Pierce. I know he missed Antoine and he got beat up pretty good by opponents in the first half of the year... but after 6 years, he is not the kind of player who makes his teammates better. An inadvertently/unintentionally selfish player. 3-Marcus Banks. He did show signs of improvement, in spurts, throughout the year. But you expect a little more from a first rounder who spent 4 years in college.
: TIE: Walter McCarty and Brandon Hunter. ‘I Love Walter’ but he is not an NBA Power Forward. Brandon Hunter won't be either if he doesn't get the minutes.
: 1. Coach O'Brien. Over-criticized for his defensive fanaticism, under-appreciated for how quickly he created working combinations of basketball players. 2. Antoine Walker. No Danny, he wasn't a beautiful player or the most efficient use of talent, but he made things work. 3. Eric Williams.
“P.S. -- Marcus Banks
should've taken the headband off in October! Nice work from the rook. Once again, too hasty in the 'disappointment' column (or am I overreacting to one game? Check back in 7 seasons.)”
‘Ah, she doesn’t like us’: Adam Gaffin
has found someone saying negative
things about the Hub: “Boston, where I am from and where I sit today, visiting, has a reputation for being populated with raging assholes.” ... Counter comment from Sean: “By making you mad at us and our city ... we've won, we live for pessimism.” ...
'At the risk of being combative on Easter weekend ...':
Reader No. 1 writes in about the Kerry post earlier today and the Sox. Reader No. 1:
“At the risk of being combative on Easter weekend... Of course, there should be more allied military help in Iraq. (Actually, Kerry has stuck to this theme for quite a while.) But it was never going to happen.
We have yet to see a plausible alternative approach than the Bush Administration's that (a) engaged allied military and (b) resulted in Saddam's ouster. Diplomacy and flooding the zone with inspectors would get nice headlines and kind words from Europe and Mr Annan, but not results. The world has changed, and it changed longer ago than 2001.
“I know you're no American Spectator fan, but Tom Bethell still writes for them, and this short piece by George Neumayr
is a good summary of the quagmire liberals/Democrats are in trying to deal with national security:
“On to the Sox: This is a pretty tough start to a pretty long season. Has someone had words with Dan Shaughnessy
? His column today is downright reasonable and even includes a player quote (though maybe Bronson Arroyo has not been in town long enough...) Dan did raise a Curse Flag on Timlin (gotta admit, the thought has crossed my mind)... Timlin's ineffectiveness and 2 straight long marches from the bullpen probably means Theo can't trade Scott Williamson for an outfielder or 2nd baseman for a couple of weeks...”
‘Sgt. Lustig just blew that guy's head off’, Part II:
Was it really a year ago? Seems like decades ago. Anyway, the Herald’s Jules Crittenden, who sent in some of the best with-the-grunts imbed reports
from Iraqi last year, is back at WBUR's ‘Radio Diaries.’
(Scroll down toward the middle right under ‘Radio Diaries.’ Must have audio to hear it.) ...
Kerry making some sense?:
Not sure about the UN leadership component on Iraq. Not sure if Kerry will stick to this position for more than a day. But his call for more allied help
and criticism of past administration diplomacy are on the mark: “I'll tell you this, if it doesn't work, it's because this administration has gone too far down the road the other way and they have locked us into a much more complicated outcome. But it didn't have to be this way."
‘Gibson’s movie unlikely box-office hit in Arab world’:
An ‘unlikely’ hit
among Muslims in the Mideast? Please. The spread of anti-Semitism there all but guaranteed they’d lap up a not-so-subtle message within ‘The Passion.’ ...Yossi Klein Halevi, an Israeli scholar, has some very thoughtful comments on the film, especially the need to understand its contrasting appeal to both non-anti-Semitic and anti-Semitic viewers alike, and concludes: “'The Passion' is where Mel Gibson and Yasser Arafat meet, and it isn't bound by a love of Jesus.”
‘The anti-American cult provides its legions of drooling adherents ...’: A review
of Jean-Francois Revel’s book, ‘Anti-Americanism.’
The reviewer is on a roll.
‘Get Rumsfeld Out Now’:
Coincidences, coincidences. I’m currently reading Rick Atkinson’s latest book, ‘In the Company of Soldiers,’
about the 101st Airborne Division’s march into Baghdad a year ago. On pages 122-123, Atkins writes about how division commanders didn’t have a clue what to do after the war because, well, the Pentagon never really told them -- and it didn't tell them because, well, it really didn't have a plan. ... Now Armchair Gen. Savin Hill weighs in:
“General Hill's Verdict: Get Rumsfeld Out Now.
“From Day 1 of the occupation of Iraq, any student of history has viewed the goings on there with not a little dismay. Following the successful tactics of ‘Invasion Light’ to win the war, Rumsfeld believed he could then get away with ‘Occupation Light.’
“This is a total and utter failure on every level. My read is that Rumsfeld has not listened to the uncomfortable facts coming from the military commanders on the ground -- and blithely followed the ‘Occupation Light’ strategy -- right through to its current unraveling. You can't be ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ AND occupy a country with thousands of fully armed and continually resupplied insurgents. The coalition estimate of only a several thousand armed insurgents is way, way off -- we're dealing with a network far larger -- extending into Iran. I personally know US forces sent special observation units to the Iranian border six months ago. They weren't sent to count sheep. ...
“Please. From day one Rumsfeld has viewed Iraq through those special Washington-made rose-tinted glasses. They love us, they'll wave the flag. Hell, all we need to do is give them a Walmart and all will be forgiven.
“Please. Bring in the Ranger battalions, the special forces, and let em build up some very, very nasty Iraqi elite battalions. And let em loose. And no, it won't be pretty.”
‘Maybe it's my cynicism ...’:
Some encouraging news about the DNC: Local citizens are grinning and bearing it.
This is good news. ... And hotel rooms are starting to get snapped up.
This is also good news. ...
Update - 4.8.04
-- A few people wrote in objecting to the notion that it was good news people were ‘grinning and bearing’ the DNC. I meant, by saying it was good news, that people are bucking up. Like it or not, it’s now in the best interest of Boston to make the DNC work.
Choice comments from a reader: “I’m more inclined to think people are whistling past the graveyard, though. ... When politicians start telling the public to ‘take a vacation that week’, you know it's not worth it.”
also had some thoughts yesterday on the DNC.
'Preparing to hand over the reins to the Iraqis ...': Holbert’s cartoon
brutally sums up Iraq. ...
‘With what has been its worst nightmare ...’:
John Burns’ latest NYT report on Iraq is grim.
It’s Bullrun all over again! Retreat!:
The Northern fans headed south
to view the battlefield and witnessed something they didn’t expect.
Sound familiar? ... Part of Reader No. 1’s worst-case post-Opening Day scenario has come true . They’re already questioning the pitching.
See ‘It’s Not Win or Lose ...’ below.
‘Staring into a mirror and wondering how others see us ...’:
Reader JL has some thoughts on my Hub Blog DNC Media Guide 2004 project in the 'It's an opportunity to define Boston' post below. Actually, everyone should pay closer attention to the changing demographics part of Reader JL’s letter. Reader DL:
“Good posts about the Dem convention and the impact on Boston. Like your guide to help out-of-town media to overcome old cliches. 'Course the Boston media probably do need the same advice.
“Anyway, I was born in Boston but have lived elsewhere in New England for decades. This MassInc report
says I have a lot of company now. Boston is always changing. The Puritan-Yankee to Irish-Catholic change was just one of many. Those who wonder why Boston cannot be more like Manhattan seem to be getting their wish. The latest New Boston is coming to have a white population of highly-educated, highly-paid young people living in very beautiful and charming restorations, and a population of a different hue with limited education brought in from the poorer parts of the world to cook and wash and pick up the trash.
“The Boston difference, I guess, is the 'City on a hill' idea that the Puritans started. Ever since, some Bostonians, usually the chattering classes, have put forth a vision of Boston as staring into a mirror and wondering how others see us. The Democratic convention is good for a lot of folks. The poorer sorts, and those who claim to speak for them, can make a few bucks again now that the Big Dig is becoming history and they need a new gig. The chattering classes get to gaze into an even larger mirror. The losers may be the folks in the middle who work in the health and education and financial industries who are going to be highly inconvenienced by all the logistical and security impacts. But, hey, you know it is summer and the city would have been overrun by tourists anyway and all the 'City on a hill' coverage in the media will keep real estate values propped up for a longer while until they can put the kids through college, sell the house to some young couple who want to 'restore' it, and retire to NH on the proceeds.
“Is it good or bad for Kerry? Probably a wash. The bible-thumpers in Texas who think Boston is a den of iniquity will have their suspicions confirmed by the media coverage; but they were going to vote for Bush anyway. The Berkeley hippies who think that John Kerry will be a great president because he comes from such a great city (except for the weather) will have their idea of Boston as 'the Athens of America' confirmed; but they will vote for any Democrat at this point. Most people will not watch the convention or read any newspaper accounts of it and will make up their minds without any consideration of the convention's host city or what the media think of it.”
‘It's Not Win or Lose, It's Win or Else’:
Did Curt really say that? The quote appeared on the Boston Dirt Dogs. So it must be true. ... Hub Blog’s superstitious pessimism has returned. But, as I recently noted about another big Boston sporting event
, that’s good. ... Reader No. 1 writes in:
“Please win opening night!!!!! Otherwise, the Monday papers and talk shows will be dominated by these items:
“-- A lot of important pitchers (Pedro, Foulke, Timlin) had crappy spring trainings.
“-- With Nomar and Nixon hurt, Todd Walker departed, and Bill Mueller's disturbing resemblance to Joe Hardy, there's likely a lot of runs out of the lineup. Yes I'm familiar with the replacement player concept and I think Ellis Burks could help a lot, I just can't quantify ‘a lot,’ but the gut says -- 100 runs, or 4 per week.
“A return to pre-2003 form by Mark Bellhorn and Pokey Reese would help keep the wheels on the wagon. I'm glad Pokey can 'catch everything' but if defensive players were as valuable as offensive ones, Mike Hegan would be a hall of fame first baseman. Last year Pokey couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat.
“-- Theo's gotten a free ride for trading Freddy Garcia for Jeff Suppan and Scott Sauerbeck.
“-- Curt Schilling and Terry Francona talk too much.
‘It's an opportunity to define Boston ...’:
Who doesn’t want to see the DNC succeed? Who doesn’t want to show off the city? ... But one of the reasons Hub Blog and others are so dubious about the convention is the civic-booster/world-class-city types who insist it’s a make-or-break all-defining moment for the city. Chris Gabrieli
is the latest to spout this upchuck nonsense: "It's an opportunity to define Boston and reaffirm that definition of Boston to ourselves, and to the world." ... Another good reason for not wanting the DNC is that, inevitably, the self-appointed pseudo-elite NY Insecurity Crowd will come out of the woodwork and lament how we’re not like NY, blah, blah, blah. ...
Hub Blog is thinking of putting together an official ‘Hub Blog DNC Media Guide 2004,’ modeled somewhat on the sentiments expressed in a ‘New Boston’ post
yours truly tapped out in 2002, immediately after it was announced by the world-class types that they had suckered the Dems into holding their convention here. I’ve already written the intro to the media guide:
“The following is the official Hub Blog DNC Media Guide 2004 for all out-of-state journalists armed with murderous clichés about ‘Beantown’ and converging on our proud, quaint and historically dysfunctional city for the Democratic National Convention in July.
“First things first: We, the people of Boston, didn’t ask you to come here. It was the crackpot idea of our Mayor who wants to show off our ‘world-class city.’ ”
Then I’d have my own ‘feature story’ ideas like:
A.) Don’t mention ‘72 McGovern without mentioning ‘80 and ‘84 Reagan.
B.) Don’t mention John F. Kennedy without mentioning Louise Day Hicks, if making generalizations of that generation.
C.) Don’t show Sculling on the Charles photos without archive photos of backhoes digging up Whitey’s seaside handiwork in Quincy.
D.) Don’t harp (no pun intended) on the tired Brahmin/Irish nature of Boston without mentioning Menino/the Mormonator/the huge influx of Haitians and Brazilians/professionals moving in and taking over older neighborhoods, etc. Note: If you actually find a rare 'Brahmin,' definitely do a feature story. They're a nearly extinct species around here.
E.) Don’t mention the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ without interviewing old-timers (40 years and above) who NEVER heard of the curse until it become popularized in the 1990s by a certain book-peddling columnist who struck an easy story-hook/cutesy-wootsie chord that the TV people just love.
Hub Blog will accept any and all suggestions for this unique ‘Hub Blog DNC Media Guide 2004.’ All rights reserved.
‘To see our newspaper scolded for cleavage shots ...’:
Sorry for the tardy jump on the Herald/Dan Kennedy pig pile, for I was busy most of the week with my irrelevant
grunt work at the Herald. ... But in case you missed it, Dan wrote a pretty fussy and nasty story
about the Herald earlier this week. Coz
then weighed in. Tom Mashberg
, shop steward of the Herald newsroom, then weighed in (scroll down after Dan’s counter comment). ...
The shocking thing is that Dan, in one of his more lucid and calm moments, wrote last June
: “The paramount issue, of course, is that Boston is one of the few truly competitive two-daily cities in the country, and that it would be calamitous if the Herald were to go out of business.” ... Truly competitive? Calamitous? Gee. Four bad weeks and he’s writing us off? I’m not too wild
about all the recent changes. I assume many readers aren’t happy either, judging by comments like these over at Boston Common.
(‘Boston Catholic Herald’? Not bad. Give that man a Herald headline-writing job!) But to dismiss a ‘truly competitive’ paper after only a month?
Favorite Mashberg quote: “To see our newspaper scolded for cleavage shots by a weekly giveaway that profits from advertising sections devoted to the deviant sex trades?” ... Take the sex out of the Phoenix and you’d see instant financial collapse. ... Cleavage? Eeek! Cover your eyes, children! Bad Herald! Bad!
And, oh, Dan’s been good to me, too. Final words on the issue.
'Will Nomar's Injury be Sox Achilles Heel?':
'Nation Officially Nervous About Nomar, Pedro, Manny, Williamson, Foulke, Timlin, Embree, Trot, Nomar, Mueller, Bellhorn, Pokey, Kim, Etc.' ... From guess where.
It’s Alex Beam Day:
Careful pundits. Dangerous day. If you trip up, you’ll be remembered, like Alex in 2002
and again in 2003
and, well, again in posts in 2004
and beyond. ... The blog that started it all.