Archive | October, 2005

Sandwiches

29 Oct

DiBella’s does hot subs now. Not grilled like Quizno’s. Hot like cheesesteak, etc. I had a hot turkey sandwich today that was just amazing. It made the cheese melt, but the rest of the sandwich was still cool. Kind of like a McDLT. Only not.

Anyway, Wegman’s Sub Shoppe? Your move.

Perfect

29 Oct

After reading that wikipedia entry on totalitarianism, (which threw my mind back to PoliSci classes from 17 years ago), I think I’ll start referring to the entrenched political folks as the nomenklatura. I just love that word.

Hypocrite

29 Oct

To accuse any contemporary American liberal or Democratic politician of “totalitarianism” belies a real fundamental ignorance when it comes to what totalitarianism is. Indeed, you can probably learn more about it from Wikipedia than from any brain fart of Jonah Goldberg’s.

Here’s the cover of Jonah Goldberg’s new book:

The title is: “Liberal Fascism : The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton

I wonder how that jibes with this:

September 4, 2003, 9:45 a.m.
“Bush=Hitler”
The politics of dangerous stupidity.

Nazis murdered millions of unarmed people. They put them in ovens. They made soap out of them. They carted off children in boxcars to die and used some of the kids for medical experiments, including injecting dyes into their eyes to see if they could improve their looks. Lower on the list of charges, the Nazis enslaved millions and launched wars for territorial and egotistical gain (and sent many of the conquered populations to death camps as well). Lower still, they banned books and burned them too. They expropriated homes and businesses, banned religions, etc.

An intelligent person wouldn’t normally assume these are the sorts of facts people forget. It’s not quite the same thing as saying that the Mork and Mindy was a spin-off from Happy Days, is it?

I could, of course, get more graphic about what the Nazis did, but I don’t much like writing about the Holocaust. It’s not merely a depressing subject, its enormity is so depressing, so compacted down with evil and barbarity and cruelty that it folds in upon itself like a black hole. The gravitational pull of its tragedy has permanently bent the trajectory of mankind. Suffice it to say that the Nazis weren’t simply generically bad, they were uniquely and monumentally evil, not just in their hearts but also in literally billions of intentional, well-planned, and bureaucratized decisions they made every day.

And yet, in polite and supposedly sophisticated circles in America today it is acceptable to say George Bush is akin to a Nazi and that America is becoming Nazi-like. Indeed, in certain corners of the globe to disagree with this assertion is the more outlandish position than to agree with it.

In the September 1, 2003, issue of National Review, Byron York chronicles (read the piece here) some of the Bushphobia. He writes,

A staple of Bush-hating is the portrayal of the president as a Nazi. That has, of course, been a prominent part of other attacks against other presidents, but today it seems to be deployed with particular aggressiveness against Bush. There are thousands of references, across the vastness of the Internet, linking Bush to Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Do you want to buy a T-shirt with a swastika replacing the “s” in Bush? No problem. Do you want to collect images of Bush in a German army uniform, with a Hitler mustache Photoshopped onto his face? That’s easy. Do you want to find pictures of Dick Cheney and Tom Ridge and Ari Fleischer dressed as Bush’s Nazi henchmen? That’s easy, too.

As York observes, It’s not just the intellectual poltroons of the Internet who feign bravery by loudly saying what is patently stupid so that people a fraction dumber than them might mistake it for boldness and conviction. It’s not just the masses of undifferentiated cattle who sport their Hitlerfied George Bush T-shirts and who chant slogans with a verve more truly reminiscent of Nuremberg than anything ever uttered by George Bush.

HT Atrios.

Knew, or should have known

29 Oct

Lawyers like to use that phrase. It incorporates the likelihood that someone who should know of something, but claims not to know – may just be lying. Page 5 of the Scooterdictment reads:

On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson’s wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Divison. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.

Via Kos and Josh Marshall, the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division falls under the CIA’s “Directorate of Operations“, which is where spies come from. Not the Intelligence Division, where mere “analysts” come from.

So, it was Cheney who first let the information go. The indictment also evidences collaboration (collusion?) between Libby & “Official A”; Karl Rove. And the only reason this information came out, you’ll remember, is that Joe Wilson had the audacity to rebut Bush’s allegations about Niger plutonium in his SOTU.

It was payback. Bush is Tony Soprano without the smarts. Rove is Silvio. Cheney is Junior. Any votes for this administration’s Paulie Walnuts? Chris Moltasanti?

I guess that makes Libby Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri.

If it’s Sunday, it’s Hardline with Kevin Hardwick

29 Oct

Sunday at 11am on WBEN 930-AM the Perfesser (who is decidedly not the “Jeff Gannon” of Buffalo), will host Sheriff Candidates Tim Howard and Charlie Fieramusca.

I might call in (803-0930) and ask Mr. Howard about his staff intimidating local news stations – under color of law – to influence their reporting, and punish their employees.

I’m just saying.

Gusto at the Gallery

29 Oct

We checked out the Albright-Knox’s Gusto at the Gallery event last night. There were lots of families there making Halloween masks, checking out the artwork, watching a few performances, seeing pumpkins carved by local artists, etc. And it was all free.

Quality of Life: 1
Naysayers: 0

Criminalization

29 Oct

Just so you know, the conservative talking point du jour is that the Fitzgerald investigation / indictment, paired with the prosecution of Tom Delay for violations of Texas state campaign finance and disclosure law is the “criminalization of conservatism.”

Nice try.

Because every time you use “criminal” and “conservative” in the same sentence, you lose.

Public Sector Unions

29 Oct

Unions in general are a good thing, because they help workers negotiate compensation packages and work rules that they otherwise would never see when up against powerful management. Especially given the early history of capitalism, it was certainly important that workers be protected from various forms of bad and cruel treatment at the hands of the owners.

But I’m wondering today why, exactly, we need public sector unions at all?

Since the public sector employees’ managers are elected and appointed political officials; and since everyone’s salaries are paid for by taxpayers; and since ultimately the selection of public sector employees is dependent on those political officials, whose selection (and election) is ultimately dependent on us, the people – does it make a tremendous amount of sense to give union protection from ourselves?

Most of the cost-cutting needed for balancing the Erie County budget (apart from paying PFM’s bill), comes from union concession after union concession. A government in crisis that doesn’t have the flexibility needed to weasel its way out of that crisis is going to stay in crisis. The only choices at this point are to inflict pain on every taxpayer in Erie County versus inflicting pain on the limited number of people who work for the county or benefit from its largesse in some way.

So at the risk of sounding like Grover Norquist’s twin brother, can someone explain to me the fundamental fairness and need for unions to represent government employees? Is the risk that working conditions in the Rath Building or ECMC will revert to that of a sweatshop? How likely is that? If you’re a white-collar worker, especially – I just don’t see the point at all. Not in the public sector.

Buffalo’s Past and Future

28 Oct

David has some pictures of gorgeous, but very, very decrepit, old theaters on the East Side. Then click the link to Google maps and see just how barren the surrounding areas are.

Imagine the possibilities.

Watchdog

28 Oct

One way to run for County Comptroller…

…is to show ’em how it’s done.

“I am calling on the Erie County Executive and his budget director to immediately release to the Erie County Legislature the monthly budget monitoring report for September 2005, as well as all recent past due reports,” said Poloncarz. “Without accurate and timely budgetary data, the Legislature cannot make fully-informed decisions concerning Erie County’s finances, especially during their hearings on the County Executive’s budget proposal for 2006.”

Poloncarz noted that since December 2002, the County Executive had only sent 11 monthly BMRs to the Legislature when he should have sent 33. The last monthly report was provided on June 24, 2005.

“It is bad enough that County Executive Giambra continues to violate budget resolutions requiring the release of BMRs to the Legislature. However, it is unconscionable that the County Executive is also violating a local law adopted in June 2005 – a local law he signed into law – requiring him to release monthly BMRs,” stated Poloncarz.