'Where are the hoop gods?':
The Celts lost a crusher
last night to Dallas. But it was a great game and I was encouraged. ...
'With tears welling up in his eyes,' Part V:
Tom Reilly simply won't
let it go
. Now he probably can't let it go: The man who acted as a 'spokesman' for the Murphy family turns out to be dot-com king Bob Davis, who organized a $10,000 fundraiser
for Reilly last June. Reilly's office won't say if Davis contacted the AG about the Murphy tragedy. ... I'm beginning to reevaluate my reevaluation of my original 'severely' hurt assessment. ... FYI: Reilly was sticking foot in mouth
over the weekend, keeping the issue alive. Why?Update
-- This just in: Reilly says he talked to Davis
about the case. This changes the dynamics of the controversy, clearly. It's no longer about 'only $300' in campaign contributions. ...
Jill Carroll, a freelance journalist for Boston's Christian Science Monitor, has been kidnapped in Iraq while on assignment. Here's the CSM
versions of the story. ... Her proud sister, Katie, had been blogging about Jill's exploits at "Lady of Arabia"
(I found a cached version). What an awful event. One can only pray she's released soon and unharmed. ...Update
-- Here's more
'I can't help hating Chris Bangle':
Self-appointed aesthetic visionary Chris Bangle and his Bauhaus-BMW modernism get the modern blogger treatment from Mickey
. If only Mickey and Tom Wolfe
had been around to counterbalance the first Bauhaus movement in the '30s. ... Rick Wagoner's non-aesthetic financial acumen gets the local blogger treatment from Carpundit
'There’s a tipping point you reach':
The owner of Centerfolds
is trying to open a megacafe in the North End 'for his children to run.' North End residents are expressing 'skepticism.'
I wonder why. ... Let's do a Google search.
'Either Indianapolis or Denver next weekend':
Hub Blog was pessimistic going into last night's Pats game. But that's good
. The Pats won
. Superstitions are important. ... The question now is: Which opponent am I more pessimstic about playing next week -- Indianapolis or Denver? Answer: Denver. But am I being overly optimistic about my pessimistic superstition? Does a tradition of humiliating Peyton Manning override a superstition? My pessimistic divining wand is failing me at this moment. ...
'With tears welling up in his eyes,' Part IV: Eileen
are letting Tom Reilly et gang have it. ... Reilly clearly deserves the lumps. But how will it play in the gubernatorial election? As noted below, I suspect a lot of voters will file the incident away in the memory banks and retrieve it for review if and when Reilly blunders again.
'Culture wars between Islam and the West':
A lot of talk these days about Europe, Islam, Western civilization and culture wars. Denmark
is now grappling with the issue. Mark Steyn
is also tackling it (via Reader BK). And so is James Lileks
. The right has been debating the issue for a while now. The left, caught in its own multiculturism web and its vain 'counter-intuitive' criticism of all things West, has been dodging it. But, as Denmark now shows, many on the left are beginning to push back at extremists who have used multiculturism to promote a most un-multicultural vision of the world. ...
I'm not a terribly big fan of Mark Steyn. But, man, is this a good zinger about an aristocratic promoter of multiculturism: "Lady Kennedy was arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable." ... FYI: By bashing 'multiculturism,' I take aim at how it's practiced, not it's theoretical ideal. The way it's practiced is to hurl extremely harsh criticism at Western civilization (i.e. the vain 'counter-intuitive' criticism that makes lefties feel like they're being 'honest') while denying that other cultures are even more oppressive and dangerous to hard-won liberties (i.e. extremist Islam). ...
'For a minute he fooled me ...':
Reader No. 1 on a strange sounding voice from a face from the past:
"Caught part of Theo's Big Show interview
driving home yesterday and was struck how differently he sounded talking about baseball - happy! Not the pleasant, if tightly wound and lawyerly guy of the press conferences and particularly, daily Red Sox radio pregame shows. For a minute he fooled me and I thought he was on announcing his return... but then I realized he was having fun because as he confirmed, 'I don't work for the club anymore.'
"Welcome JT Snow, but note the real story: Francona announces Kevin Youkilis IS going to play 1st base. Here's a 6 week lead on a great spring training story: not only with Youkilis play 1st against lefties, he will (a) play 3rd against many righties, (b) be our 2006 LEADOFF HITTER replacing Damon - please see
and note his OBPs (his Boston on-base percentage in 2005 was higher than Damon's).
"Hey, is there is a football game this weekend? No dropkicks tonight, just Vinatieri..."
A Hub Blog brother sends along the following note and a link to a site
with color photos from World War I:
"I came across these on the net and thought you might be interested in seeing them. I didn't even know they had color photography in WWI. They look like they were taken yesterday and have a much more modern feel to them."
I didn't know either. At first I suspected the photos were colorized, similar to the way B&W films can be colorized. But the French army, via the Lumière brothers
, apparently did take color photos during the war. ... P.S. -- At this site
there's some discussion about whether the photos were digitally 'colourized,' though there seems to be no doubt color photos were taken during the war. ... And here's a terrific site
on WWI photos in general. At left is a section on color photos. At bottom is a section on the 'American Expeditionary Force.' ... P.S.P.S. -- Glenn
was posting on the subject last night and has more links. (In case you're wondering, the Hub Blog family is big into WWI. Our grandfather faught in the war.)
'The outlaw sea':
A quickie Hub Blog book review gives William Langewiesche's 'The Outlaw Sea'
a solid thumbs up. The first spotlight review on Amazon is spot on with its praise and small digs. ... Langewiesche is author of 'American Ground: Unbuilding of the World Trade Center.'
... Next up: Nathaniel Philbrick's new book 'Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War.'
I got an advance copy and can't wait to read it, especially the part about King Phillip's War and especially after reading Philbrick's classic 'In the Heart of the Sea.'
Philbrick, a Nantucket resident and National Book Award winner, likes his local history and we can all be glad for it.'With tears welling up in his eyes,' Part III:
The spinning continues in the Murphy girls tragedy. Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte has "no idea"
why Tom Reilly called him, while Conte also takes swipes
at Northborough police chief Mark Leahy, whose star isn't shining as bright. ... I now agree with Reader No. 1: I'm not sure this is going to play out into a big issue. Talking to people yesterday, I sensed they understand what Reilly did was both decent and stupid. I.e. it'll be a wash and not a severe blow to Reilly -- though voters do mentally file such things away and recall them later when a politician does another stupid thing. In that sense, Reilly has been hurt.Update
-- The sad affair brings to mind a pet-peeve: 'The ongoing Prohibition.'
Society is literally forcing kids to secretly drink at modern teen speakeasies, without any adult guidance or supervision. And any parental attempt at guidance and supervision -- whether at an adults-sponsored party or at the dinner table -- is illegal. Our drinking laws are ludicrous, counterproductive and deadly.
'With tears welling up in his eyes,' Part II:
Make no mistake whatsoever: Reader No. 1 does not think Tom Reilly has been severely -- and he means, not severely -- hurt:
"I don't think Reilly's actions will make much difference in whether or not he gets elected Governor for reasons you cite in your post -- a lot of voters (not least parents) will silently agree with your point that 'Both arguments are right' and call it a wash. It is very much in line with how the majority of people (including voting parents) look at abortion. In a very difficult and life-changing situation, we're willing to live with something we don't like, an inconsistency in theory and practice that could be called hypocrisy. Nobody is perfect.
"Note: I do not think he should have stepped into this case. I suspect most voters will agree. But they will also understand and live with that imperfection.
"The polarizers in politics and the press have a vested interest in polarization and this story is no different. Reilly will or will not get elected Governor based on whether he demonstrates leadership qualities. In that regard, this event is more minus than plus, but it's just one example of his decision-making. The bigger story is how this particular incident comports with the accumulated evidence of his public career."'With tears welling up in his eyes':
Make no mistake whatsoever: Tom Reilly has been severely -- and I mean, severely -- hurt by revelations
that he intervened
in the Murphy girls case to quash a report about their drinking before their deaths. The emotions in this tragic case are -- and will be -- as raw as you'll ever see in a politicized atmosphere. The passionate office-cooler debate will fall roughly along two lines: A.) Reilly nobly acted to protect the privacy of a friend. B.) Reilly did not act in the best interests of the commonwealth as a whole. Here's the catch: Both arguments are right. Some will embrace only the first point. Some will only see the second. That split is bad enough for Reilly. But many people will absorb and synthesize both arguments. Therefore Reilly can't win. He is damaged goods. ...
... No one is looking good in this. Romney looks too eager to score political points. Worcester District Attorney John Conte looks like he abided by Reilly's wishes. Even the Murphy girls' grieving father, while understandably protective of his daughters' innocence and image, will probably come under some fire for not using the case as an opportunity to warn other parents about the danger of teen drinking and driving. ... The only person who might come out unscathed is Northborough Police Chief Mark Leahy, who had the common sense and decency to say when asked whether he was concerned that charges weren't filed: "I am not disappointed. This is my job. It's not a personal crusade." ...Update
comes down on the privacy side. It's a very valid argument. But there are equally valid points on the public-interest side. That's why Reilly can't and won't win the argument outright. It's all damage control now. ... Peter
(sub. req.): "Instead of driving her parents’ Land Rover into a utility pole at 60 mph, what if 17-year-old Shauna Murphy had veered into the path of an oncoming car?" Answer: Then the privacy issue wouldn't be an issue.
'Well, we couldn't stop them':
I thought USC would win. But I was hoping Texas would, especially after all the pre-game hype clearly favored USC. Texas won.
The USC juggernaut has been stopped. ...
'I don’t feel welcome': Rick Pitino
confesses to his failures as the Celtics' coach in an amazingly open interview. ... I now feel bad for the guy. He honestly loves Boston and feels like he can't even visit here. Read the whole thing. ...Colossal waste of resources: Adam
are doing a terrific job covering the coverage of the mine tragedy in West Virginia. I can't blame the media for running with a story when the governor of West Virginia -- who one would assume has multiple law enforcement and other state agencies reporting to him -- confirms something. ... But what amazes me is the colossal waste of resources the media expends on these types of tragic stories. There were probably scores if not hundreds of reporters down there, mostly attending the same briefings and reporting the same thing -- whether it was accurate, inaccurate or understandably inaccurate. How is the public served by such redundancy -- and ultimately redundant accuracy or inaccuracy? Didn't one reporter on site say, "No, we're not running with this"? If so, give him or her a medal.Update
-- This breaks your heart
all weigh in on the media-mine story. Joan points out the advantages of broadcast and web coverage: They can turn on a dime when mistakes are made. The newsprint side of newspapers can't. ... FYI: I tinkered with my own post a couple of times yesterday -- taking full advantage of the web's main advantage of flexibility. FYI II: I still think my point about the colossal waste of resources, though off on a tangent a bit, is somewhere at the heart of this fiasco. Whether 200 or two reporters showed up, it looks like they still would have gotten the story wrong as long as everyone was relying upon the AP. So why the coverage overkill? I know, I know. It's all about bylines. But it's still a complete waste of resources. ...
'Nothing's easy in Boston':
It seems the South End vs. Roxbury debate has been settled
-- meaning there was indeed a vast conspiracy to scare the hell out of the South End and boost newspaper sales. ... Yet, still, the debate doesn't end: 'But it's not in Roxbury. Really, it's not.' ... Adam has his Roslindale/Hyde Park boundary tales. I have my own boundary weirdness in the area north of Beacon Hill. Now we can all agree that the West End was bulldozed and eliminated by the city in the '50s to make room for the Charles River towers development, right? Well, the city is now putting up signs in baby-blue lettering saying 'Welcome to the West End' -- as you enter the North Station area. Huh? Let's get this straight: The city destroys a neighborhood and then decades later welcomes you to it -- as you enter another neighborhood. Which, BTW, is called the 'Near North' area by business boosters there. ... 'Tale of two speeches':
I was kind of scratching my head on that one too. ... The mayor didn't 'ignore' the crime issue. But he certainly didn't 'tackle' it either -- unless you consider a resumption of his anti-anti-snitchen' campaign and criticism of doom-and-gloomers to be a form of action against people who are, well, killing other people -- and they're not using T-shirts and rolled-up newsprint to kill, folks. ... Now comes Council President Michael F. Flaherty
with a more concrete proposal: Hire 350 cops. Finally. Someone saying the obvious. But isn't the police force down something like 200 over the past ten years -- and not 350? How did he arrive at 350? Even if you accept the 350 number, with the new police contract the mayor signed, can the city really afford hiring so many? Hub Blog's suggestion: Concentrate on building up the detective force (catching criminals is a form of deterrence, after all) and hire enough street and gang officers for the affected areas (preventing crimes is a form of, well, prevention). If all else fails, blame it on the South End and cede the neighborhood to Quincy. ...
or arrogant overreach? It was the former. ... Kind of funny hearing the Pats say they wanted to win. But the Kick, according to a Miami Herald columnist
, clearly showed otherwise: "It was then, as jubilant teammates swarmed Flutie, that game-long suspicions were confirmed beyond doubt: The playoff-qualified Patriots had no interest in winning this game." ... The piece is not written with bitterness -- but in admiration. ... Apparently Pats players told Miami opponents on the line of scrimmage just before the play, "Wait'll you see this!"
'Concentrated population of the destitute':
Efforts to revive -- or create -- Los Angeles' downtown
make you appreciate Boston's City Hall Plaza a little more. ... I think the historian has it right about how LA is 'uncertain as to its urbanism.' I grew to like LA after a few trips there. It's just different. But the elite there have always had a bad case of Manhattan envy while the rest of the population seems content. Sound familiar? ...'Instrument -- electric chair, for gangsters':
Wartime cabinet meeting notes
are being released in London. Churchill sounds like, well, Churchill. Gotta love him. ... His insistence that a trial for Hitler would become a 'farce' is in the process of being confirmed decades later
'Decades of looking at this disaster':
City Hall Plaza has been designated the ugliest open space
in the world. ... Don't blame Mayor Menino. He tried to change the plaza. But the feds nixed his idea. ... Strange but true: Place de la Concorde in Paris was rated right behind City Hall Plaza. I'm not sure about that one. ...
'They are fundamentally flawed': Danny
is talking change for the Celts -- again. ... We're now coming up on the 20th anniversary
of the Celts' last NBA title. ... Here's a good overview
of the Celtics. ... Why I won't rant against Danno: There are some truly promising stars on this team. Why I should rant against Danno: The Celts still suck without a burly inside game. ...
... Hint on what Celts need via a pop quiz: What is the significance of Joe Barry Carroll and Rickey Brown? (Reader No. 1 reminded me of this one a few days ago. Quiz answer here
'An original way to make money online': Unbelievable.
Good for him. ... Here's his million dollar homepage.
'This game is pretty huge':
The Bruins (14-18-6) defeated
the mighty Tampa Bay Lightning (19-17-3) and they're declaring it a 'pretty huge' victory. ... The Bruins are now in last place in the NHL's Northeast Division, the third worst team in the Eastern Conference, and the sixth worst team in the NHL. ... I can't believe I showed even the mildest interest in the Bruins last spring after the strike. ...
Meanwhile, the Celts are in all-out competition with the Bruins to gross out fans. They're also the sixth worst team in their league. They've now dropped three in a row.
... Antoine is getting booed in Miami
but shrugs it off: "I played in Boston, so I’ve seen the worst."
'Increasingly concerned that William F. Weld ...':
GOP bigwigs in NY are getting nervous about Bill Weld's 'management capabilities'
in the wake of the Decker College fiasco. ... OK, so Weld was awarded a $700,000 salary to oversee Decker, while Larry Summers is paid $563,000 to oversee Harvard. But don't critics realize managing an institution in Louisville is entirely different from managing an institution in Cambridge?
Boston police try to sell Herald newspapers!!! Part II:
Now the Globe
is partaking in the conspiracy to smear the Sound End and boost newspaper sales, along with the Herald and BPD. ... P.S. - I stand corrected. It's technically the Associated Press, via Boston.com ('your connection to the Boston Globe'), that's now partaking in the vast conspiracy. ...Update
-- Channel 4
, Channel 5
and Channel 7
are in on the conspiracy. Et tu, Salem Evening News
? ...Update II
-- The Third Decade
takes exception to the whole debate about South End vs. Roxbury and Carpundit's 1970s-like description of Roxbury. Normally, I would agree with Third Decade. But a vast conspiracy has been uncovered and ... (Via Adam
-- The Globe
now says: "The shooting scene, while geographically in Roxbury according to city maps, is in the police department district that covers the South End." ... It can't be about a simple mistake or confusion. There must be a sinister plot!
A neat look at a piece of local history: The Portsmouth Peace Treaty
that ended the Russo-Japanese War 100 years ago. ... Here's a site
dedicated to the treaty. ... One quibble: The argument that the Russo-Japanese War was a 'world war,' well, it wasn't. Many historians or pundits tend to lay claim to 'world war' status for the subjects they happen to be studying or debating. They said it about the Cold War. They're saying it now about the War on Terrorism. Etc. If there really was a 'world war' that hasn't been officially designated a 'world war,' then it's the Seven Years War (known in America as the French and Indians War). There. Settled. ...
The new King Kong -- well worth it:
Saw Peter Jackson's King Kong
yesterday. It's awesome. But the critics are right: If it had been cut down by at least a half hour, it might have rivaled the original King Kong
. ... I would have edited out some of the scenes on Skull Island. ... But, whoa, was Naomi Watts
good and hot to watch. She manages to dominate the film throughout. Really. Don't pay too much attention to all the pseudo Freudian love analysis. The relationship between Kong and Ann Darrow (Watts) is more akin to that seen in Old Yeller
. ... Both Cooper and Jackson's Kong leave the '76 Kong
in the dust. But I actually didn't mind the '76 movie. Then again I didn't mind Roger Moore as 007. ...
Boston police try to sell Herald newspapers!!!: Carpundit
rants that the Herald is trying to sell newspapers by saying a murder occurred in the South End, not Roxbury. (I know, I know: Huh?
) Anyway, it turns out Boston police also say
the murder occurred in the South End. Thus Carpundit's logic dictates that police were in cahoots to sell ... Never mind. ... Thanks to Adam
for the BPD item. The comments at Adam's site are actually pretty cool. I didn't know -- though I suppose I should have -- that the border between Roxbury and the South End is apparently defined by the old city boundaries, not Mass Ave. But if Comcast says it's Mass Ave., then, well, it's Mass Ave, damn it. So take that, you secretly colluding cops and reporters! ... And my own disclosure: I'm a reporter at the Herald.Update
-- Oh my God. Comcast could be right, based on this map
(click on the 'historic district' button). The South End does indeed extend west of Mass Ave. But not as far as Lenox Street. Could it really be the Herald and the BPD are conspiring to redraw the very boundaries of Boston in order to sell newspapers? ... Of course it can't be about a mere "mistake" or "confusion." That would be too simple an explanation. There must be a sinister plot!
'Now it is Kevin White's turn':
Actually it is Peter Lucas'
turn -- and I'm surprised he doesn't twist the knife more. Then again, he may not want to stir up too many memories of The Headline. ...
... I'm glad they're honoring Kevin White. He was a good mayor and it's always nice, in this era of bitter partisan politics, to see people genuinely respecting recent history and accomplishments. More, please. But a few things about the Kev: A.) His mayoral predecessors, Hynes and Collins, don't get enough credit in my book for the 'New Boston.' B.) The Kev really was insufferably imperial in his last years. ... By and large, I think Boston has been blessed with great mayors in the modern era -- Hynes, Collins, White, Flynn, Menino. Compare that line-up with the disasters in other Northeast cities like Detroit and Philadelphia. ...Resolved: Percolators over drip coffee makers:
Because I almost burnt my home down, I recently switched to a drip coffee maker
with an automatic two-hour heat shutoff. But I've missed my Corning Ware percolator
. This morning, I used the Corning Ware for the first time in months -- and the coffee is simply richer and stronger. I don't care what the Europhobes say. Percolators are better, even if they're a pain in the ass to monitor. (I also had to use less coffee.) ... But I've decided upon this: Drip coffee during the week, percolator on weekends and special occasions. I happen to like my home more than my coffee. ... French press, bah
. I want a full pot of coffee in the morning. Adopting the Chinese model: Andrei N. Illarionov
, a maverick Russian economic advisor who I once interviewed in Boston, is out at the Kremlin and blasting away at Putin. I think it's pretty clear now that Putin
has adopted the Chinese authoritarian model for Russia. I don't agree with it, obviously. But there's a part of me who sympathizes with Russians who are still furious
with the botched privatization there. ...
'Will those who have heard these words ...':
Looking for an appropriate but quick way to blog about Christmas before heading out of town for a few days, I decided to head over to Google News and typed in the word: Jesus. It seems we have a new one
. There's also an interesting debate among scholars over at Slate about Jesus and the Gospels.
Then I typed in: Massachusetts and Christmas. It turns out tonight is the 99th anniversary of Reginald Fessenden's historic first-ever speech broadcast
over radio, complete with Christmas music and the simple request: “Will those who have heard these words and music please write to R. A. Fessenden at Brant Rock, Massachusetts?" Read to see if anyone responded. ...
Then I typed in: Boston and Christmas. It turns out the word 'holiday' is derived from the old English 'holy day.'
So take that Jerry Falwell and secular humanists! But did he have to bring up Boston's banning of Christmas in the 1600s? We'll never live down the Puritans. ...
Enjoy the reads. They're all pretty good. Hub Blog's humble gifts to the local blogosphere. ... BTW: I've purchased the perfect gifts for my seven-year-old godson (here
) and my thirteen-year-old goddaughter (here
-- in gift certificate form). My long-standing reign as the Most Popular Uncle in the History of the Whole Wide World shall go unchallenged again this year! ...
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah to everyone!
'The Sox are trying to do ...':
Reader No. 1 isn't giving up:
"Please don't mistake this for complacencys: Damon flipped to our archrival is a significant short-term setback, which Baseball Prospectus
estimates is worth an 8 game swing. The team must act as Mike Silverman points out in his great wrapup today.
"But the real issues, as with Pedro last winter, are the long-term ones which Gordon Edes hints at in his column today
. The Sox are trying to do one of the hardest things in business: win today AND win tomorrow. Dan Duquette came here with a track record of farm system success to win tomorrow, and he never really recovered from winning the AL East in 1995 (hello and goodbye, Jose Canseco, Kevin Mitchell, Dante Bichette...). Just something to keep in mind as we live through RedSox365..."Hub Blog's response
-- I'll keep it in mind. I hope I'm wrong about the team being in chaos. But when they screw up so many personnel moves (Theo being the most glaring; Damon less so), you have to wonder if there's a method to the madness or just madness. Plugging leaks is not a plan.
... This is a management fault that I've only recently begun to appreciate in watching the Sox: They signal their intentions too early and too often. Maybe that's a function of A.) Being in Boston and feeling compelled to feed the media/fan beast or B.) They love the limelight and think they're PR-savvy enough to handle the beast or C.) They're not good at poker or D.) a combination of the three. But you can literally see patterns of thoughts and actions developing when it comes to their personnel moves. Charlie Weis covers his mouth with a laminated sheet when calling plays. Maybe Sox management ought to try a variation of the same during the off-season. ...Update
-- From Reader No. 1: "RE: the signalling of intentions, this is mainly a Lucchino phenomenon and probably a combination of (A) and (B). I don't think (C) is really the case because the team wasn't going to pay Damon what the Yankees wound up doing - the method won't allow it."
'What’s the plan here, anyway?' Part IV:
Re the Sox' latest megapress-conference extravaganza (this time post-Johnny Damon): I know Reader No. 1 may still disagree
, but I think it's time to dust off Tony's not-so-old column, i.e. 'C-H-A-O-S.'
... I have mixed emotions about Damon's departure. But I'm taking rather non-mixed delight in seeing Sox management trying to explain this one away.'He could be here next year,' Part II:
Reader No. 1 on Johnny's departure:
"1. It's clearly a loss
"2. As to how the fandom responds, I can report the 8-year fan in our household's initial comments: 'The Yankees will fall apart in 2008 beause the players are old and they will be broke.' The 'Nation' will survive, notwithstanding the new round of agenda mongering evident from this morning's Big Show debates between Johnson and Buckley and the inevitable Shaughnessy column
, with the dual-GMs and now ownership the main punching bags.
"3. As written at least twice previously, those who want to understand how the Red Sox today make decisions, Theo or no Theo, should read and re-read this excellent 2004 article
from Baseline magazine. In the current context, pay particular attention to the section on player valuation and the A-Rod trade. As the excellent Baseball Prospectus
made clear in analysis of the 2005 free agent market, the problem with signing Damon is paying top dollar for his next 4 years of production.
"Of course, we still need a center fielder and leadoff man! Red Sox 7x24, 365. I suspect ownership finds the hysterical reactions a price worth paying for all the attention."'Thanks to Judge Jones ...': John
deconstructs the evolution of the anti-evolution Discovery Institute's creationist theory as constructed around Intelligent Design. Translation: He likes Judge Jones' decision. A lot.
'He could be here next year':
Some might be surprised by Johnny Damon's defection
to the Yanks. But readers of Hub Blog learned last July
of New York's covetous desires. ... Larry
seems stunned by the move. Tick tock. Larry was personally in charge of the negotiations. Tick tock. Owners are 'disappointed' again. Tick Tock. ...
'A difference between honest critics,' Part II: Scot
on the president's speech: "What we've seen is a change in tone but not in tactics." ... Maybe I got spun. But I liked the speech. A change in tone is not insignificant. The administration has always struck me as too pumped up and full of itself -- and from such attitudes flow decisions. The 'mistakes,' as the president has described them, are quite real and numerous. The Economist
describes them in far more vivid language ('brutal blunders'). But they're learning and it's leading to real changes -- at least on the battlefield.'Rare pack of city coyotes':
Notice how the wildlife expert downplays the latest coyote pooch attack
, emphasizing how coyotes usually only eat "insects, berries and small creatures such as mice and rats, and that a small dog running at night could look like 'moving prey.'" ... They call 'moving prey' cats and dogs in the suburbs. ... And these are the types of people reintroducing wolves into northern New England. ...
'A difference between honest critics':
I didn't see the president's speech last night. But I've read enough excerpts and news accounts (here
) to come to a tentative conclusion that this was one heck of a speech. His final lines -- quoting from Longfellow's
poem Christmas Bells
-- was a very nice touch and should provide a new surge in interest for the poet ... This is another key line that people should remember: “There is a difference between honest critics who say what they think is wrong and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.” ... Those positioning themselves as always being right should pay a little more attention to the entire sentence -- as well as the president's repeated references to despair and mistakes and hopes and successes. For Iraq, since the occupation, has had all of this. The war has not been a textbook 'we were right/they were wrong' situation.
FYI: Here are the last two verses of Longfellow's poem (the first is the one the NYT somewhat snidely references to and the final is what the president cited):
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
'The explosion in loan applications':
This is a big story
. ... Not for a second do I believe Bill Weld knowingly approved of any wrongdoing at the now defunct Decker College. But the college was a virtual student-loan factory with a financial conveyor belt stretching right to Washington from Louisville. I have a feeling Weld's candidacy for governor of New York has all but ended as of today. ... Spare me the argument that this proves the pitfalls of for-profit education. Student-loans have become big business for non-profit institutions as well. The real problem here is that murky area where the private sector meets the public sector. Sort of like Medicaid, road construction, Pentagon contracts, etc.Update
- The Hub Blog mind flashes to images of late-night TV infomerical star Matthew Lesko
. ... One thing is clear: Bill Weld is no Michael Bloomberg when it comes to building and running a successful business
'I saw no more doughnuts':
Ah, the dreaded 'no more doughnuts'
signal from an ex-lawmaker who might be upset about someone not 'hiring friends and relatives.'
... They're just allegations
of nepotism and patronage. In Massachusetts. ... I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what possibly could have prompted an emergency Sunday morning state board meeting to discuss firing someone. And my mind keeps drifting back to those allegations.
'This time, the large Sunni turnout':
The best news about the Iraq elections: The Sunni voted.
They might have just proved they're not the Palestinians of Iraq, i.e. always managing to find a way to make life more difficult for themselves. ... Some interesting lines in John Burns' excellent report. The first from a tribal sheik on democracy: "Saddam was a thief, but now we'll have 275 thieves." Do you think there's a remote chance he once visited Massachusetts? ... Another involving a Sunni interviewed by Burns: "'Let's have stability, and then the Americans can go home,' said Mr. Sattar, the store owner. Told that this sounded similar to President Bush's formula for a troop withdrawal, he replied: 'Then Bush has said it correctly.'" ...
Of course, discussion of a complicated issue like pulling out of Iraq wouldn't be right without Mickey
reducing it down to the bare essentials: "The important thing now, I think, is to be of two minds: Punish Bush for his miscalculations in one part of our minds, but not let that desire for accountability -- i.e., the palpable urge to see him humiliated among Democrats and even some anti-war Republican Scowcroftians -- prevent us (by prompting a premature troop withdrawal) from making the democracy vs. blowback calculus work as favorably as possible."
'It's going to be a dogfight,' Part II:
Reader No. 1 weighs in on Mitt's decision and Healey's opportunity:
"1. Tis true, Healey could be more deft on the hot-button issues such as higher ed for immigrants. But (a) she wades into these issues, (b) she was more logical than Reilly in the debate on this issue and (c) a lot of voters agree with her
"2. I'm sure there will be some power struggling, there always is, but Mitt's hands-off style (and travel schedule) should be a good complement for Healey's ambition.
"3. I'm not so sure Romney knocking Massachusetts on the campaign trail will create problems for Healey, other than with those aforementioned people who aren't going to vote her anyways. He probably won't gear up for that until after the 2006 Mass election. Besides, most of us who live and work here know this is a crazy state.
"4. Did anyone else flash on the Heinz-Kerrys when the Sunday Globe reported on the 5 homes owned by the Healeys
?"'Must-have' world-class city checklist:
Add ice rinks
to the checklist of things cities must have to be cool. ... Thank God Boston already has one. But I'm sure someone will demand more, arguing we won't be a world-class city without them. ...
'It’s going to be a dogfight':
First prediction in wake of Mitt's official annoucement
that he's not running for re-election: Healey vs. Reilly. OK, not so daring, considering there are only four tentative candidates
in the race, two of them loose-cannon long shots. So let's get to the big one -- the general November election: Healey. Hey, might as well be bold. But roughly the same dominating dynamic will hold true in 2006 as it did in 2002: Are Independent voters willing to hand over complete control of the state to the Progressive-Hack Alliance? ... Healey
is indeed in a difficult spot. She can't get into fights with Mitt over some sort of ludicrous power-sharing structure (really just a spotlight-sharing structure). It will reflect poorly on Republicans and hurt both Mitt and Healey. She also has to overcome, as did Weld and Mitt, the image of being an aloof rich person. Her 'private schools' crack on the higher-ed issue for immigrants sounded as aloof as can be. Not good. Then again, she's shown she can play hardball. Her knocking Charlie Baker out of the GOP mix was impressive. And, of course, she's got to play the Progressive-Hack Alliance card. Heavy. Hard. Not too much in the early stages. Just all guns around Labor Day. ...
Reilly's problem is, well, the Progressive-Hack Alliance. The Dem.-controlled Legislature served notice a few weeks ago that they'll go kicking and screaming before giving up any tax revenue, even when they know a tax is patently unfair, such as the retroactive capital gains tax they only grudgingly reversed. The Progressive-Hack Alliance is very much alive. Shannon couldn't disassociate herself from it. Reilly must. Or he's not going to win. The last four gubernatorial elections prove this -- as much as members of the Progressive-Hack Alliance want to deny it. Reilly's big plus: He's more credible than Shannon or Scott or Silber. ...
A few other observations: Man, I wish Bill Galvin was running. It would have been fun. ... Weld accomplished a lot. Cellucci accomplished little. Mitt fell somewhere in between. ... Jane doesn't rank. ... Three Mass. Dems ran for president -- Duke, Tsongas and Hamlet -- and all three went down. The CW is that Mitt will too. But you have to start wondering when CW makes a too-early broad assertion. This much is clear: Mass. pols cleary think they're presidential material.
The rest of the nation obviously doesn't think so. ...
Finally: When was the last time you read editorials in the three main papers with the same political view? The Herald:
"Memo to Mitt: Don’t let the screen door hit you in the backside."The Globe
: "By thumbing his nose at Massachusetts after less than three-quarters of one term as its chief executive, Mitt Romney, yesterday surrendered his clout and squandered his legitimacy. If, as it appears, his heart and mind are no longer in Massachusetts, he should resign."The Phoenix
: "After just two unremarkable years in the corner office, Romney is restless and bored, turning his attention increasingly to the 2008 presidential campaign. He ought to resign."
FYI: The Phoenix was ahead of the curve on this one. Its editorial was written in March. Thanks to a reader for the head's up on the editorials. ... FYI II: Personally, I like the fact Mitt's sticking it out. I'm tired of GOP govs bolting before serving the time they were elected to serve. But if Mitt bad mouths Massachusetts one more time during the presidential campaign, Healey's going to have big problems.
'Curious, I walked over and looked': Carpundit
has a great post on a rude car tower, the strict definition of profanity and a cop who's caught in between. Agree with all four of Carpundit's lessons learned. ... I haven't had as much luck with traffic cops. They're usually of the car-tower variety in terms of politeness. This one at least sounded diplomatic. ...
Think your job is bad?:
Cheer up. It could be worse
'St. Frosty, the patron saint of lifesize illuminated plastic choirboys':
Fun photos and a funny caption
- More Christmas cheer: I was at TD Banknorth Garden last nite and noticed Mannheim Steamroller
is playing there this Saturday
. ... As for the Bruins game: 'Wasted away again.'
'Language of the left-wing thought police':
that the extreme right and left are merely mirror images of each other battling within their owned warped universe. ... Foretold in Season 3, Episode 15
: 'Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.'
'What's the plan here, anyway?' Part III:
Reader No. 1 thinks Tony (and, by extension, yours truly) should calm down while he also detects an 'odd near-echo' from You Know Who:
"Tony Massarotti is a good baseball writer - and he scored the Theo debacle earlier and better than anyone else. But he is a worrywart. He worried about Nomar and the Nomar trade - it was a 'gamble'
and it worked. Now he worries that the Red Sox appear 'indecisive'. Hmm...
" - Collecting a new #2 starter, cutting losses on an underperforming shortstop (and collecting a super prospect in return!), and moving quickly on a new second baseman sounds pretty decisive to me. True, we don't have Johnny Damon in the fold and the Manny soap opera goes on, but there are always decisions to be made. Would we be better off throwing $100 million at BJ Ryan and AJ Burnette?
" - Putting together the team of diverse executives who have executed these moves, instead of pulling the panic move of hiring someone's retread GM from the scrap heap, isn't indecisive at all. There's no evidence so far that it hurts the team's ability to make and work deals.
"Tony got the first 3 letters of the word right, except the right word is C-H-A-N-G-E, we've never seen anything like it here before, it's exciting to watch - and it isn't working badly.
" PS - Did anyone else notice the odd near-echo appearing in Shaughnessy yesterday
with a passage from his famous 'dirty laundry'
"December 10th: 'Now it appears that the return of Theo is again a possibility and it's creating a combustible situation at the top....One thing we know is that Henry has the final say on this one and it would be a mistake for Lucchino to draw a line in the sand over Theo Epstein.'
"October 30th: 'It would be a mistake for Epstein to think he can separate Lucchino from John Henry. Henry is a quiet man, but he is not a dolt. He believes in and trusts Lucchino. He admires his young GM, but it would be a mistake for Epstein to force Henry to choose.' "Update
- 12.12.05 -- John Henry
: "People currently speculating about a reduced role for Larry Lucchino don’t know what they are talking about."
'Flattering or unflattering': Christopher Hitchens
pens an ode to the perhaps soon-to-be-extinct ink-stained wretches of the world and their past roles in literature:
"I do not think that there will again be a major novel, flattering or unflattering, in which a reporter is the protagonist. Or if there is, he or she will be a blogger or some other species of cyber-artist, working from home and conjuring the big story from the vastness of electronic space."
For my money, the most hilareous novel about journalism is 'Dwarf Rapes Nun; Flees in UFO.'
The novel's uncanny, if only because it's about a Statehouse reporter toiling for a medium-size paper in a sleepy Midwest capital in the 1980s and, as it was, I was a Statehouse reporter toiling for a medium-size paper in a sleepy Midwest capital in the 1980s when I first read it -- and I thought for sure the author must have been slyly chronicling the antics of my life and profession. ... Hitchens' article via AS
.'What’s the plan here, anyway?' Part II:
Theo might be back. Now Roger might be back
. Hey, why not Dan Duquette and make it a forgive-and-forget reunion? ... One big hug!
on the Sox management these days: 'C-H-A-O-S.''A muzzleloader attack':
More evidence road rage
is causing us to revert to our primitive ways. Next up: sword duels in the breakdown lane. ... A muzzleloading rifle? Good God. ...
'The new machismo': Joan
underestimates the flow of valid ideas in the current debate over Iraq. But I do think she's right about an element of emotional 'machismo' at play in the administration's actions, as Seymour Hersh made clear in 'Chain of Command'
and as Peggy Noonan has written
. ... Of course a variation of GOP 'machismo' posturing is Dems repeated attempts to portray opponents as somehow being immoral etc. Dems use their own rhetorical weapons and labels. ... Here's why I'm not as upset with President Bush as I used to be: He's finally admitted mistakes
. I have this sense -- and I could be wrong -- that he realizes he wasn't always best served by surrounding himself with people who always behaved and thought, well, like himself. ...Update
- 12.12.05 - Hmmm. Time
magazine on Bush: "He's listening a little more because he's looking for something new. He's looking for ideas. He wants to hear what people are saying, because something might strike him as worth following up on." ... Via AS
- Notice how Norman Podhoretz
puts quote marks around 'mistakes' and draws historical comparisons to the Revolution and World War II. ... He missed a big war in between. How about the 'mistakes' of McClellan and how a little wartime 'criticism' can actually do some good by getting the right people fired and the right policies implemented?