‘People are wacky about their pets’: This proves it.
‘For hard-core Che Guevara enthusiasts’:
They know a good vacation spot
when they see it, but they still don’t get history. ... Hmmmm. How about a Generalleutnant Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche und Comminetz
tour across Poland, France, the Balkans and Russia -- and back? Hey, I mean, a serious appreciation of the consequences of one’s ideology doesn’t seem to matter. ... Christopher Hitchens
, by coincidence, reviews a book on Hippies. Hitchens: ‘The marketing of the 60's has come to necessitate the blending of quite discrepant images: the dogs of Selma and the bearded Puritans of the Cuban revolution, along with the moon-faced narcissists and dropouts of Haight-Ashbury and the groupie-draped avatars of rock.’
‘Sox head backwards’:
Disagree a bit with Tony
on whether the Sox are going backwards. They are. But what did we expect? Look at the ‘Free Agent Watch’
(scroll down) and think how this team could have been devastated. One more pitcher. And sign Veritek. If the Sox do that, Theo will be a miracle worker. ... FYI: Clements
is not that pitcher.
‘Schilling, Schilling, Schilling!’:
I’ve defended Pedro against hysteria. But when hysteria reaches high art of mischief and humor, you gotta laugh and say, ‘Bravo!’ ... Comparing Pedro to Jan Brady.
Here kitty, kitty, kitty: ‘Mountain lions move east.’
... Great White shark terrorizes the Cape. Coyotes in the Arnold Arboretum. Imagine the Herald if mountain lions actually showed their blood-thirsty fangs in Massachusetts. ... Black bears just don’t cut it. Too cuddly. Now grizzly bears are a different matter. ... If there’s a tabloid god, he’s leaving a trail of steak tips right to Wellesley.
Oh those clever WWII comparisons:
Remember the oh-so-clever mocking comparisons of post-combat Iraq to post-war Germany, complete with reference to the Saturday Evening Post? They were so funny. Except no Nazi resistance ended up taking over entire German cities, killing more than a thousand American GIs, murdering even more civilians. Not so cleverly insightful in retrospect. ... Now they’re up to the same tired tricks of comparing news coverage
of Iraq today to how the Battle of the Bulge might have been covered
60 years ago. ... Well, at least they’re finally acknowledging there’s a ‘war’ with real ‘battles.’ ...
One pitcher away:
Still support the Sox management, but it's still painful to see Pedro in New York
and in another uniform. ... One pitcher away. That's all we need to break even on this year's free-agent market that so many people rightly dreaded a year ago and even during the happy days immediately following the Championship. Wells is merely a filler for Lowe. The Pedro gap must now be filled. Theo has done well so far in a difficult situation -- and it's far from over. ... Edgar. What can ya say? ... Jayson's signing becomes more important. ...
- 12.17.04 -- Randy Johnson in a Yanks uniform
is also painful, but expected. ... You know who
thinks Pedro is hanging himself with his own words. Here's another lots-of-quotes piece
that alleges the same thing. But I just see the same old Pedro. The same guy who we've known the past seven years and during a championship season. I'll take those years and the trophy over anything Pedro might now say or do at Shea. ... In retrospect I wish the Sox had concentrated a bit more on Pavano, who arguably slipped to the Yanks while the Sox made one last glide across the dance floor with Pedro. ...But we might not have gotten Edgar. And so ... One more pitcher. Two if Curt is really ailing. ...
‘Strange but true: Massachusetts’: George Will
blows into town to blow a kiss at Mitt, suggesting he might need experience in D.C. before running for president. But Mitt says no, no, no.
... Did Ronnie or Bill or George W have D.C. experience prior to running? John Kerry did. ...
FYI: Will’s column is nothing but a source-building resume recital filled with flowery words. But such things are important to Mitt, thus explaining his healthcare bill.
‘Isn't it great to have the New York Times flailing ...’:
Reader No. 1 noticed the same thing as moi: the NYT dumping on everything Red Sox. There’s this column
and this column
and, a day after Edgar is snapped up, this item.
It’s as if they don’t quite understand what’s going on up here, a new paradigm that doesn’t fit into the old paradigm. ... Reader No.: “Isn't it great to have the New York Times flailing about the Red Sox and loyalty?” ... Almost as sweet as seeing George reacting to Theo.
Come out, come out, whereever you are:
Know this is old, but the brave Bill Kristol
is blasting Rummy. After the election. Of course. So it’s safe, worker bees, to start criticizing the obvious. ... But the real story is this: many in the Pentagon already know about the Iraq blunders and, to their great credit, are intellectually exploring the future. David Ignatius
takes note. The Pentagon is also working hard behind the scenes to assess what militarily happened and what can be done in the future (see ‘Going for the brains,’
parts I and II).
‘Friends, he made up his mind a long time ago’:
OK, OK. Uncle. I give up. Reader No. 1 and Andre chime in on Pedro and note it wasn’t just the ownership who let Pedro drift into Hub history.
Reader No. 1:
“Friends, he made up his mind a long time ago on his intentions - please check out that valedictory post-game 3 Press Conference farewell.
“And so did the Red Sox; Gammons
has the numbers in the middle of his fine (ever so slightly bitter) recap.
“And speaking of those numbers... the most important (and unnoticed) article about the Red Sox was published this year in the Ziff-Davis publication 'Baseline'
and tells A LOT about how the team evaluates and selects talent. A very few simple rules about judging value are supported by a lot of very complicated number crunching. Even if you read Moneyball, etc, you'll learn a lot from this article.
Also, so long Orlando Cabrera. He gave us 3 wonderful months. But Edgar Renteria is better.
Now... who will be first with a Hanley Ramirez for AJ Burnett rumor?
“We all know that the Sox had mixed feelings about Pedro, and we all know why, but obviously they made a serious effort to sign him -- within limits. He wasn't handled like Lowe and Cabrera, or like Clemens and Vaughn in the previous administration. If the Mets hadn't flipped out at the end, they would have kept him. I do think their concerns about his health kept them from locking him up last winter, as they certainly should have done had he been healthy. There isn't much ‘testing the waters’ outside (oddly) Minnesota -- once the auction begins, the high bidder wins (or
in this case ‘wins’).”
'Awful Plastic Surgery': Yes, there's a site.
... Sharon Stone
better not appear on it. ... Thanks to Armchair Gen. Savin Hill, proving once again his importance to the war on terrorism, for the tip.
Update - 12.16.04
-- Couple people emailed to say the Awful Plastic Surgery site is tres, tres old. ... Sorry. Thought I was being cutting-edge hip. I hadn't seen it.
But I did connect it to Sharon. So that makes the post retro hip.
Mitt’s version of No Child Left Behind?: Mitt
seems desperate to have his healthcare plan passed. All the more reason to look upon it with deep suspicion. ...
‘He is gone, and that is unfortunate, but ...’:
Before the emotional Pedro bashing gets out of hand, read Tony Massarotti’s
thoughtful remembrance and analysis. Pedro gave us seven great years and helped the Sox win the first World Series in 86 years. Truly memorable times. ... Now to some gut-instinct analysis of my own: The Sox simply didn’t want to sign him. Not for four years, certainly. Three years, more a PR move. Two years, well OK. I’m with the Sox on this one. You have to bite the bullet and move on. Inevitable comparisons are being made to Roger Clemens. But the better comparison is to Nomar. A popular but injured player in his last contract year is strung out so as to make it look like ownership did everything in its reasonable power to keep him but ... I was angered by the Nomar trade at the time. Now I -- and millions others -- see its proven wisdom. Thanks for the memories and good luck, Pedro. ...
... Another good Pedro story is by ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
... A truly awful article is by the NYT’s Murray Chass
, who starts out mentioning Harry Frazee (get it?) and how Harry ‘befouled’ the Sox (horror!) but then notes it’s an ‘old and no longer relevant story’(huh?). And he brings up A-Rod.
'He's definitely in this region': Osama
is still in the region of Afghanistan? Getting approval from crazy clerics to nuke U.S. cities? At least we have Saddam. ... Remember all the macho talk on the far right about Osama being dead? They just knewwwwwww he was dead. Well, surprise, surprise. He pops up before the election. His whereabouts are roughly known. They have been for a while ...
-- Thanks, Pakistan.
‘WEEI news reader Pete Sheppard chokes on his cannoli’:
Theo is on the march (here
) and once again the Sox dominate the sports news. Edgar Renteria? ... Is it my imagination or does Theo feign interest in certain players, driving up the price and then walking away? ... Weekends like this were made for the Dirt Dogs.
... Now who do the Pats play today?
-- Charlie Weis
is headed to Norte Dame. Big, big move for Charlie. Equally big for the Pats. They didn't play all that well the season he had his tummy problems. Now this. Happy for the guy. But ...
‘The Passive Gopher Defense System’:
Reacting to an article by yours truly on Raytheon’s new microwave Active Denial System
heat beam, Armchair Gen. Savin Hill sends along classified information on Raytheon’s next secret weapon.
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill, showing why he’s a general, adds the following:
“The Passive Gopher Defense System (PGDS) is world-famous. It is the only weapons system that is both NLTH (non-lethal to humans), but is remarkably effective as a KOGD system (kills other gophers dead). The PGDS answers the question: How are we defending American gophers from terrorism? Especially the very real threat of GDT (gopher-delivered terrorism). Properly armed, American gophers now provide a new first line of defense against GDTs and similar rodent-delivered threats.”
Now explain to me where the ‘competition’ is:
Catching up a bit after a hectic week, I was struck by this article
a few days ago about the BRA launching a design competition for new Greenway buildings. One important rule for this alleged exercise in creativity: Do as the BRA dictates. ... Sure sounds like the self-appointed elite architects are still employing the same condescending lines about ‘red brick’ and the old-vs.-new, blah, blah, blah. They already have an idea what they want. So why the "competition"? They stipulate what designs should and shouldn't look like, right down to the "transparent exteriors, multiple entrances, and the use of shiny, modern materials." In other words, they're going for glass and steel buildings. ... Where do bureaucrats get off hijacking the design process like this? Why do I have a horrible feeling we’re about to get the type of modern, shiny up-scale banality you see at suburban office parks?
... Ooooooo. Shiny new steel trestles covered in glass at multiple entrances. As if we’ve never seen that before. ...
Charlie Baker?: Charlie Baker?
... Sometimes a safe, smooth, establishment type has his name rise to the surface, before he’s pulled down to the gutter and mugged by others scrambling to the top. Then the campaign really begins. ... Disagree a bit with Joan about whether the gov race is shaping up to be ho-hum. I think it’s headed in a fine direction, i.e. nasty, negative primary infighting with first-class nincompoop potential. ... Please, Michael, run. Pleasssse.
‘This affects the security of our fragile suburbs’:
This is a French politician talking about Muslim-dominated towns
in France, as if they’re tense colonial outposts with DMZs. ... The French have one hell of a problem on their hands.
Should have taken the $60 million, Nomar:
And still catching up after a busy week, I’m sure glad the Sox offer of four years at $60 million wasn’t snapped up by Nomar, now that the market shows he’s only worth one year at $8 million
, with incentives that could drive it up to $11 million. Let me see: four times 8 equals 32 -- or four times 11 equals 44 and ... Enough savings either way to sign: David Wells!
-- Wells' signing is not exactly a classic Moneyball move. Somewhat surprised. But it does show they're going for another World Series with the current approximate core. ... I'm not so sure about this move.
Hollywood Boulevard and Times Square:
I’ll believe the Theater District has truly rebounded if and when Shear Madness
finally departs. Nunsense. ... But I still like the idea of a Hub walk of fame.
What killed the ‘human drama of athletic competition’?:
Reader No. 1 writes in about Andre’s email below (‘A real and permanent shift in the Boston sports scene’) and answers my question about what happened to Wide World of Sports. First, the WWS explanation:
“What killed ‘the human drama of athletic competition’? The answer's not so hard and you already know it: ‘57 Channels and Nothing On.’ Bruce Springsteen as usual got it half-right. Actually, I have about 257 channels on my DirecTV and cable systems and there is plenty on, much of it sports:
“I have ESPN and ESPN2... and now, ESPN HD!
“I have ESPN Classic (love those 30 year-old ‘NFL Game of the Week’ programs with the great theme music DA-DA-DA-DADADA and the 20 year old Celtic-Laker playoff games) ...
“I have about 20 Fox Sports Net Channels (some of which are NOT playing ‘The Best Damn Sports Show...’)
“I have Fox Sports World and can watch Manchester United Football!
“I can watch pro basketball on the NBA Channel... for a few dollars more, I can watch every out of town NBA game.
“I now have the NFL Channel! And I LOVE the NFL Sunday Ticket!
“I have SPEED VISION! Lots of car races. I feel like a Red Stater.
“During the Olympics, I had those on about 5 different NBC-owned cable channels...”
Now for Andre’s ‘ thought provoking’ points:
“1. I agree that the baseline attendance numbers have increased on at least 3 of 4 pro sports here over the last 20 years (Bruins excepted, which has more to do with how Jacobs has run the team for steady profit, not for championships). The key factor is surely the increase in corporate ticket sales (not just boxes).
“2. That still doesn't mean the Bird years weren't a Boston basketball aberration. (I hate double negatives!)
“3. The ESPN-driven explosion of televised sports as mass entertainment industry, and general fragmentation of common public interest, is surely a factor in the region not getting behind a single amateur team or event. But is it really true that there is less interest in amateur sports lately? How about all the High School Super Bowl coverage last week and at least two local TV channels? (And it's been like that for years.) My local leafy community has 3 to 5 soccer games going on simultaneously at the same field complex on every fall and spring Saturday morning. I think a more likely explanation is that as the Boston area has become increasingly suburbanized since the 1960s, and the range of sports in which kids participate has grown (soccer obvious, but also tennis and golf), the high level of interest in high school sports is diffused over a broader region of physical and mental geography. ...”
That’s 3 cents. But the points are well taken.
Going for the brain, Part II:
Outstanding article in this morning's WSJ
on the lessons the military is learning in Iraq (sub. req.). ... Get a print copy if need be. It's worth it. Page 1. ... Bottom line: Killing the brain doesn't always work. But the story, though it hints at one point that Pentagon brass are reassessing 'light' warfare, makes clear a variation of light warfare and smarter occupations are needed. ...
Personal moralism vs. social moralism:
Ding, ding, ding! Fascinating article in CSM
about how some mainline Protestant churches -- i.e. liberal -- are starting to reemphasize personal morality instead of just societal morality. ... In post-election analysis, some Dem leaders, including Hillary Clinton, urged Dems to start taking religion more seriously as huge motivating factors for voters. But the suggested approaches sounded politically contrived and tired: more emphasis on ‘poverty’ and ‘inequality,’ etc. In other words, socialism. But it’s that very lack of ‘personal moralism’ that has turned off so many people, leading to falling attendance at mainline churches from rural Maine to urban Manhattan. Maybe that’s changing. Connecting the personal to social is the essence of religion -- or so I was taught, as a Doughnut Catholic. ... Typical Hub Blog family conversation on Sundays when I was young:
Hub Blog Dad: Get ready for church.
Hub Blog: I’m not going!
Hub Blog Dad: No doughnuts for you then.
Hub Blog: Oh, OK!
Going for the brain:
Someone asked me why I wasn’t posting on Iraq. Guess the answer is: Not so sure how it’s going -- and I’m waiting for the January elections like everyone else. But if you want to read a great story that I think encapsulates both the frustrations and hopes, then read this John Burns article
about how the Marines are targeting very specific clans and henchmen. ... Not to harp on John Boyd again, but one of the aims of new war doctrines is to kill the brain of an enemy. The Marines are trying to do it. That’s the hopeful sign. The frustrating sign is how war planners didn’t have a clue until recently the complexity of Iraqi society and where the brain(s) might be located. ... And, oh, it’s not just about foreign terrorists sneaking into Iraq. They’re there. But the insurgency is much deeper and more complex. ...
.... Somewhat along the same lines: Armchair Gen. Savin Hill, who was recently demoted to Armchair Corporal Savin Hill, told me the other day about how the South African mercenary group, Executive Outcome
(scroll down), employed the same approximte strategy in Africa and Bosnia, before it was disbanded.
Apparently there was some TV documentary on the group recently. ... FYI: Armchair Gen. Savin Hill was given back his rank after he bought me drinks the other day.
‘A real and permanent shift in the Boston sports scene’:
Responding to the Celt posts below (‘The ‘70s-themed party’), Andre writes in to say the Bird-era spike in attendance may not have been an aberration for the Celts -- or other area pro teams:
“It seems to me that there was a real and permanent shift in the Boston sports scene in the course of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The base level of attendance for the pro teams went way up, provided they maintained some level of competitive credibility. An indicator for me was that as a non-season-ticket-holder, I couldn’t get seats for the ‘86 World Series, after having no trouble in ‘67 and ‘75. But the larger truth, I think, is that attendance went up for run-of-the-mill games. The Sox, Bruins, and Celts all did better than ever before, and so did the Pats, even when their larger stadium wasn’t full.
“At the same time, amateur spectator sports tanked. Despite enormous participation, and the investments of (especially) BC, broad interest in high school and college events, as compared to the pros, faded. Only the Beanpot survives among local college rivalries. The Marathon peaked during that period, and remains important, but the BAA and K of C track meets are gone. ... A recent symbolic event is the closing of the Manning Bowl -- we used to have 20,000-seat high school stadiums!
“I suspect that television is the cause. It’s the same story as what happened to minor league baseball in the ‘50s and ‘60s -- in this case, the pros were on TV all the time, and just blew everything else away. I believe that there was a point in the ‘70s when channels 2, 27, 38, and 56 were among the top five or six in the country in locally produced sports programming.
“As for what actually went wrong with the Celts, I put it down largely to a single ghastly mistake: hiring a college guy as GM. College coaches can make the transition to the pros (unless their college success was based entirely on recruiting), but the personnel function is entirely different.”
Hub Blog’s response
-- Excellent points about the deemphasis on local college and high school sports. Did professionalism and commercialism also kill Wide World of Sports on ABC?
‘The ‘70s-themed party,’ Part II:
Reader No. 1 on the Celts:
“On the Celtics, I recall even smaller crowds at the Garden during those mostly good times in the 1970s than we see at the Fleet today -- even adjusting for no-shows (which visual inspection suggests are a high percentage at most Celt home games). It didn't become impossible to get a Celts home ticket until after the first Larry Bird championship season -- I remember getting first balcony day-of tickets twice during Bird's rookie year, and one against Dr. J and the 76ers! ... Given Boston's basketball attendance history, an alternative view is (a) the Bird years were the aberration -- Boston really ISN'T a hooptown, (b) the new ticket policy might actually be a case of 'back to the future.'”
Hub Blog’s response
- Think it’s more a case of ‘back to the future.’ Tempted to say the Bird years were an aberration, but fans really did stick it out for a long, long time after he left, in hopes of a turnaround. The attendance is still not at the ‘70s level. But it’s headed in that direction.
‘Want to talk real power?’ Part II:
Reader No. 1 on lefty academia:
“Weak. Ellen Goodman's column addressing the obvious bias of academia. I was disappointed also in your dismissal of the academic bias dispute by pointing at the Conservative Worker Bee network as opposed to dealing with the issue. The excellent, conservative, and not doctinaire, American Enterprise surfaced some rather good research on this political issue over two years. At the risk of echoing Karl Zinsmeister, I think one will find more political diversity in the boardrooms than the faculty lounges. High-paying senior executives, particularly in financial
services and technology, are perhaps the one demographic in which Democrats have made inroads over the past decade. The answer should be obvious: classical liberalism is economic AND personal, but we've been calling it 'Libertarianism' for nearly half a century as the Democrats became addicted to watered-down socialism in the 20th century. Classical liberalism, unleashed by the 60s kids (personal behaviors) and the deregulators of the late 70s and 1980s, has made a big comeback. (One big thing Clinton got right.) The highest paid executives and entrepreneurs of today are the primary exemplars of Classical Liberalism, which is why they voted for Clinton, and Gore, and many for Kerry..."
Hub Blog’s response
-- Sorry to disappoint on the academic bias issue. It is an old, old issue. Maybe I’ll engage in the 10,997,367,340th conservative mantra argument about the academic left -- something I happen to agree exists but a subject I don’t knee-jerk launch into whenever the beehive pulsates -- if and when people like Reader No. 1 and Jeff Jacoby really surprise me by tackling something not handed down to them, like, oh, a detailed criticism of the management of the Iraq war.
‘The ‘70s-themed party’ - minus Hank Finkel:
Never thought I’d say this: I miss the 1970s. Why? Today’s Celts have reached the pits. Giving away thousands of tickets.
.... Not that it’s a bad business idea per se. Exposes the team to new fans who couldn’t afford tickets, puts people into the center to buy $5.50 hot dogs, makes televised games less embarrassing by showing full seats rather than empty seats etc. etc. ... But it’s still a sad reflection on how low the franchise has fallen. ...
All of which prompted me to look back at the last alleged horrid period in Celtics history: the 1970s.
Specifically, the early ‘70s Hank Finkel era, after Bill Russell left and before Dave Cowens arrived, and the late ‘70s post-Hondo and pre-Bird years. Wretched times. Seemed like they’d never end. But here’s the amazing thing: The Celts went only five years after Russell retired before Jo Jo, the Dons, Hondo, Cowens, and, yes, Hank, won a championship in ‘74.
The team was actually a decent playoff contender within three years of Russell’s departure. ... The Celts went through another bad spell in the late ‘70s. Again it seemed like a long ordeal. But it was only two years. Everyone knew Bird was on the way. ... Now? Eighteen years since the last championship? How many coaches? How many bad trades and draft picks? Where’s the hope? They’re playing somewhat well in recent games. But this franchise has been so mismanaged over nearly two decades now. I’m surprised fans have hung on this long. ... So, yes, I miss the 1970s.
-- Hub Blog is about to throw you into a fit of uncontrollable envy, for Hank Finkel once visited MY HOUSE, along with Satch Sanders, Steve ‘Worsky’ Kuberski and Rex Morgan. A Hub Blog uncle arranged for them to come to our post-season CYO basketball pizza party in the early 1970s -- held at MY HOUSE. All us kids got autographs and photos. The players got all the pizza and beer they could down. That’s how the NBA worked back then. Unthinkable today. ... Good to see Hank is fondly remembered, albeit as a '70s-themed party’
cult figure, for he at least played a role in rebuilding a franchise and winning a championship.
‘Stay, Pedro, and don’t Yank our chain’:
Gotta love a headline that gets to the point fast. Howard Manly
puts in bluntly (reg. req.).
‘Want to talk real power?’:
Not to pick on Jeff Jacoby
, but, really, talk about providing evidence of Hub Blog’s theory on the existence of a conservative beehive and its busy worker bees. Quoting from the Wall Street Journal, William Safire, the National Review, Jeff then
launches into an argument that, as he clearly just showed, is nothing more than regurgitated received ideological wisdom already defined and expressed by those he cited. ... Bzzzzzzzz. Sting away worker bees! ...
Not to overlook the left’s own beehive and worker-bee activity. Ellen Goodman
, now a Queen Bee not to be confused with a mere worker bee, wades into last week’s ideological cause du jour, lefty academia, another subject dutifully buzzed by Jeff
because, well, it was the ideological cause du jour. But guess what? Ellen throws it right back at conservatives: “Want to talk real power? If the faculty clubs are blue, corporate management offices are red. In the name of diversity, let's trade some
liberal sociologists for conservative oil executives.” ... She does have a point. Hopefully none of the lefty worker bees are reading. They might launch a campaign to put Howard Zinn on Raytheon’s board of directors. ...
'Exactly the sort of practical but progressive Democrat':
The 2006 gubernatorial race is off and running with Tom Reilly's signing up
of two heavyweight fund-raisers. ... Now the hard part for Reilly: appealing to Independents while appeasing Hack-Progressives. So the early odds are still 2-1 in Mitt's favor, though Mitt seems to be doing everything in his shallow power to make it more difficult for himself. ... The odds increase to 4-1 if Dems nominate Michael E. Capuano, who nevertheless shouldn't be underestimated. Capuano has that inexplicable Will to Power gene that overcomes so many faults, sort of like John Kerry.
... Michael Capuano: The Ed King of 2006? The campaign motto: We want our
state government back!! ... Bill Galvin slipping in between Reilly and Capuano? ... Oh, it's sooooo good to have a fine election shaping up this early.
I’ve learned one thing from the Broadcast Brad saga: con men are almost by definition psychopaths -- or anti-social people who fundamentally don’t care about the pain inflicted on others because they have no truly grounded sense of right and wrong. So ‘psychopath’ seems to me an entirely apt description of the ‘Yes Men’ activists
-- described as ‘anti-corporate activist-pranksters’ -- who duped the BBC into publishing a bogus story about a $12 billion settlement of the tragic Bhopal disaster, a bogus report that raised the hopes of untold thousands in India, a bogus report that probably has ruined the careers of journalists ‘covering’ the story, a bogus report that could have severely harmed a company and its shareholders, etc. etc. They’ve made a cute career out of similar cons. They enjoy the cons. They film their cons. They are con men. They are psychopaths at heart, rationalizing their kicks in self-righteous ideology. ...
‘That haven of superficial, pretentious, pseudo-aristocratic vanity’:
Someone has way too much time on his or her hands.
But it’s all for the public good: Exposing the intellectual nerve center of the Wedding Bride Industrial Complex. (Hint: It’s not Martha Stewart.) … Via Universal Hub.
'We apologize for our mistakes’:
Must have been truly painful for Bechtel’s John MacDonald
to come all the way to Boston to testify before a lowly bunch of state legislators.
I mean, how dare they! Do they know who they’re dealing with? … But obviously, and thankfully, and finally, Johnny and the Bechtel boys are feeling the heat. … Matt Amorello. What can you say? If he’s sweating before a hearing of Statehouse pals, wait till he ventures outside 128 for committee hearings in DC. Smelling salts and Depends are recommended, Matt.
‘In Boston, where gangs are far less entrenched ...’:
Interesting story on Dorchester’s own non-Charlestown ‘code of silence.’
... If they’re less entrenched here and still kill 60 people, I don’t want to even think of the carnage in LA or Chicago. ...
‘The goal is all about excelling’: Joan Vennochi
, like any sane person, just shakes her head at ever-intense parents living vicariously through their children. ... Pierced ears at two? It’s sick. A Hub Blog sibling became very unpopular with his six-year-old when he recently refused to allow her to get her ears pierced -- just like all her friends. ... Hub Blog is working on a theory, requiring deep thinking, about the growing competitiveness of parents. It’s just not the kids. It’s everything. The huge cars. The huge homes. The huge kitchens. The huge ambitions for their children. Are they afraid they won’t best their parents? Are they embarrassed about being associated with the middle class? Suppose David Brooks has already tackled the issue in 'Bobos in Paradise.'
But it still baffles me what many modern parents are putting their kids -- and themselves -- through. They seem so miserable.
‘We seem to be misunderstood’:
Nearly a month after the election, and still there’s debate over the Christian vote. Here’s a good guide for liberals
and a thoughtful piece by David Brooks on the Christian right.
... True-blue Blue Staters -- not to be confused with the purple people among us -- are not going to get anywhere if they think heaping contempt on fellow Americans is a winning formula.
Everything but The Doors:
Disappointed that John F. Burns
brings up the Vietnam comparison, then drops it. The otherwise good story is really about the frustrations of sweeps and working with Iraqi troops, not whether one area of riverbank Iraq and one transport weapon resemble ‘Nam. ... What next? Use of helicopters evoking shades of Vietnam? ... Burns is
picking up pessimistic chatter among both U.S. and Iraqi troops. Now that’s Vietnamish, if it’s true, deepens and spreads. ... Just get to the election.
‘Who detest the NBA game today’: Peter May
makes the connection between the Pistons-Pacers fiasco and the state of the game itself. Must read if you still care about basketball. ... Doc Rivers
is doing his best to instill fundamentals with the Celts. ... More on Delonte West.
What the heck. More on Doc too.
The guy’s got his hands full. Hope his optimism holds.
‘Stone finally seems to be saying’:
Oliver Stone’s ‘Alexander’ may not pass artistic muster, but J.D. Connor
is determined to pump as much overwrought intellectual relevance into it as possible. ... You see, it’s about ‘empire’ and ... You get the picture. ... What is J.D. going to say when the next big wave of Hollywood movies reverts to, oh, pirates, dinosaurs and other cool childhood fantasy stuff that audiences never seem to get enough of? ...
Actually, J.D.’s account of the movie sounds like Stone faithfully followed Valerio Massimo Manfredi’s classic trilogy
of Alexander. But don’t mention Manfredi’s work started before 9/11 and before George W’s imperial adventure. Might disrupt some academic deconstruction theories....
By pure coincidence, George Will
writes about a subject that seems to explain why and what J.D. seems to be saying. ...
Rhode Island: Our prospering colony to the south: The Hub tide is lifting Little Rhody boats.
... Aren’t we benevolent colonizers? We’ve given RI the PawSox, the little Bruins, a piece of the Pats and, now, jobs and new housing. ... Thank goodness Buddy stood up to Connecticut
a few years back. Colonies like Connecticut simply can’t colonize another colony. It defies natural order and disrupts the delicate regional balance of power. New York, needless to say, was probably behind the Connecticut gambit. ...
‘I miss the Garden’:
Talk of reviving the Boston Garden name
is obviously nothing more than a tweak-the-nose ploy by Bank of America in ongoing talks with Fleet Center owner Delaware North. But it’s nonetheless a very brilliant tweak-the-nose ploy. ... Delaware has been sticking it to BofA on the naming-rights issue. So BofA just struck back. The last thing Delaware wants is any talk about reviving the Boston Garden name. Behold Larry Moulter’s reaction. ... The episode would seem to indicate BofA is willing to walk from negotiations. Hey, why not poison the well if a possible competitor is going to take over the well? It's worth repeating: brilliant.
‘They think it will scare soccer moms’: Next up
: Shoulder pads? ... Didn’t know soccer has as many concussions as football. Maybe it all points to a retro-trend back to Pop Warner. Let’s hope. The future of American virility may be at stake.
The Old Boy Network Strikes Back, Part II: Tom Keane
ponders the (almost) mystifying reaction
of Tom Reilly to the Big Dig fiasco. ... Never mind Michael Capuano. His reaction was (almost) refreshingly predictable for a Grand Pooh-Bah Hack.
‘Hub slobs warned’: Amen.
Boston streets are looking filthy these days. ... Two somewhat lame arguments are raised against landowners taking responsibility for gully cleaning: A.) It’s the job of city street sweepers to clean curbs B.) The elderly and disabled won’t be able to do it. But here are the counter arguments: A.) Streets sweepers aren’t nearly effective as they should be because residents don’t move their damn cars and B.) The same logic would dictate that we exempt elderly and disabled landowners from clearing sidewalks of garbage and snow. ... The ultimate Uber Counter Argument: Things usually don’t get done until average people take responsibility. So pass the ordinance. ...
One other suggestion: More garbage cans on sidewalks. ... Has anyone been to Charles River Circle lately? The amount of trash on streets is astounding. Granted, there’s a lot of T and Cambridge Street construction going on. But there isn’t a single garbage can on the CVS side of the Circle. It was a problem long before construction. ...
‘Should be ashamed’: Harvard University
, proud sponsor of a drunk-fest that sent 25 students to the hospital via ambulances, says the Herald ‘should be ashamed’ for calling students ‘hooligans.’ ... OK, how about dumb-as-rock legacies who couldn’t get into Harvard, BC or BU if grades and SAT scores actually counted? ‘Preventing conflicts with turkeys’:
Not Harvard students. The real McCoy: wild turkeys in Massachusetts.
... Happy Thanksgiving to all. Remember Harvard legacy students: Cranberry sauce, not jello shots, on turkey. ... Bourbon pecan pie is also eaten from a plate, not a luge.
Those damn Harvard hooligans: Twenty-five students
were hospitalized? Thirty were treated at first-aid stations? Double the number of incidents from two years ago? ... These kids not only fail to appreciate la joie de tabloid
, they’re wimps. ...
Love the references about the need for further study, putting things in context, etc. Perhaps a joint student and faculty committee to analyze whether sending 25 kids to a hospital is a good or bad thing? ... The ball's still in your court, Harvard.
‘We don't think it would be appropriate’:
It was appropriate to hold a fundraiser hosted by a Big Dig contractor until a reporter started snooping around.
Then it was inappropriate. ...Where’s that anti-Quinn bill?
- Bottom line: Bechtel is no longer cool as a cumcumber.
They’re rattled -- and should be.
‘See if you can predict’:
Don’t know where JJ
got this link
. But if you grin from the outset, you know what's about to happen ...
-- The link seems to be gone. Too bad. It was funny.
‘Turning out to be a lot harder than anyone expected’:
on the talk within hawk and neoconservative circles about the need to pull out of Iraq soon. The latest twisted-into-knots rationale: The U.S. presence is actually fueling the insurgency. Not to be confused with last year’s rationale: Let ‘em come to Iraq; better to fight ‘em all in one place. ... Remember that beaut? ... What they can’t bring themselves to admit is that they’re actually rationalizing an “exit strategy.” Can’t use those words. But that’s what they’re rationalizing. ... Andrew Sullivan
is having a field day with Billy Kristol. ...
The time for ‘more troops’ was indeed in the spring of 2003 and perhaps right through the first election. Most everyone has known that after the January elections, it would be time to start scaling back, pronto. So the latest hawk/neoconservative view is not all that original. It’s just that they
have finally arrived at the conclusion. ... My favorite quote from my favorite neocon, Max Boot: "This is turning out to be a lot harder than anyone expected -- and harder than it needed to be.” ... Put a more honest way: It’s turned out to be a lot harder than Max expected -- and harder for reasons Max has yet to explain.
Those 'disgraceful' Detroit fans?: Good for the NBA.
They're handing out tough penalties for the big fight. ... I watched the end of the Pistons game live, by pure chance, and couldn't quite believe my eyes. I thought both the players and fans were obnoxious. The TV announcers were absurdly partisan toward the players. ... If any fan gets jail time, the same should apply to the players, if the video tapes show it. ... Hate to admit it confession: I was struck with the amazing accuracy of the popcorn and beer throws. The heaved chair was a little too much. ...
The original Red Auerbach autobiography (strangely, I can't find it on Amazon) gives very funny/jaw dropping accounts of similar rough encounters at either Syracuse or St. Louis in the '50s and/or early '60s. Forget which town. They used to play on those old elevated courts with, literally, net cages encasing the court. Great stuff. So, please, no high-brow lectures about the downfall of fan behaviour, though a good argument could be/has been made about the downfall of the game. ... Hate to admit it confession II: God damn, I loved watching the brawl. ...