Friday, August 30, 2002

Will this asshole just go away?
MICHAEL A. NEWDOW, a lawyer and emergency room doctor, this week filed suit in federal district court in Washington contending that it is unconstitutional for taxpayer-funded chaplains to pray in Congress and minister to lawmakers. He wants the court to prohibit the House and Senate from employing spiritual chaplains, who are paid by Congress to lead prayers, counsel members and perform other religious tasks. Chaplains make as much as $147,000 per year.

“If congressmen want to go to church, [then] walk down the block like other Americans do and go to church,” Newdow said in an interview yesterday. “Don’t get my government engaged in it. There are some people who don’t love God Almighty. That’s why we have an Establishment Clause,” the constitutional ban on government establishment of an official religion .
As a long time Deadhead, I really wanted to rip into this Slate piece:
A Long, Staid Trip
How Deadheads ruined the Grateful Dead

Sadly, it's pretty accurate.
With nothing to strive for and no musical goals to attain, the band lapsed into a creative torpor for the last 15 or so years of its career, even resurrecting itself this summer for another go-round without Garcia. If McNally's book teaches us anything, it's that, for a band with a prodigious drug and alcohol habit, the Deadheads' unquestioning faith was perhaps its most dangerous narcotic.

While I disagree that the last 15 years were spent in creative torpor - they were still making great music in the late 80's/early 90's - they were quickly going downhill, and a legion of obsessive fans, unwilling to be critical or demanding helped push them down that slope. And while there were those of us who did criticize bad performances, our voices were shouted down by the people who thought Jerry tuning his guitar was magical.

But hey, I still love the Dead, and the 50 or so shows I saw were some of the best times I ever had.
And just like that, there will be NO STRIKE!
Thank you, guys. Play ball.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Some good news? ESPN's Jayson Stark thinks a strike is close to being averted.
Come on. Did anybody think this World Series of Labor wasn't going to go the full seven games?

So that's where we are now. It's one more day of the old luxury-tax tug o'war.

But these two sides are so close now and there is so much optimism out there, it would be a shock at this point if they don't avert a strike. And after all that's gone down on this front over the last three decades, it's hard to believe we even wrote that last sentence.

Essentially, though, this fracas is almost over. They're now only about $8 million apart on a luxury-tax threshold. And does anybody really believe that's worth shutting down the sport for?

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

I somehow got the Nigerian e-mail scam in my comments section. Although it was from Sierra Leone this time.
Once again in here in California we debate the BIG ISSUES.
Senior citizens of San Francisco would like to remind lawmakers and office-holders that there's a reason it's called a sidewalk. Wheels and pedestrians, they say, don't mix.

The sidewalk's for walkin'. Not that fancy walkin'.
To that end, a group from the Senior Action Network -- representing 30,000 senior citizens -- began a campaign to fight a proposed state law that could allow the newfangled two-wheeled Segway scooters to hum along city sidewalks.

"They're just too dangerous to share the sidewalk, the street or even a bike path," said Bill Price, president of the Senior Action Network.

Have you seen these things? They go 12 miles/hour.
San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly introduced a resolution Monday that would put the board on record opposing the bill.

"Sidewalks are no place for these Segway vehicles," Daly said. "Seniors, children and folks with disabilities would be especially endangered."

This is the guy who had to be convinced by the rest of the Board that public defecation was unacceptable in SF.
Horace Hinshaw, spokesman for the Postal Service in San Francisco, said there have been no problems with the Segways being tested in the city. The only reported accident nationally appears to have been in Atlanta -- where an employee of one of the several agencies there that use the scooters fell off.

That didn't stop the San Francisco protesters from carrying signs saying: "Stop the Segway slaughter," and "Segway: Zero Emissions, Senior Killer."

I think there's a joke about global warming and prescription drug benefits in here somewhere, but...

Donahue's ratings are the lowest. Not the just the lowest among his competition, but actually the lowest possible Nielsen rating - 0.1. (from Drudge)

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Here we go again. (via Instapundit)
Israeli hopes to keep a low profile at the UN World Summit for Sustainable Development were already dashed on the first day of the conference Monday, when Palestinians accused Israel of torturing children, stealing land, and poisoning Palestinian water.

The Jewish National Fund, the only Israeli non-governmental organization exhibiting at the conference, has been under consistent attack by Palestinian demonstrators and Muslim local radio on political grounds.

The PA has its own booth some 15 meters from the exhibition void of any environmental information, adorned with a banner reading "Viva Intifada." At the booth Palestinians are handing out anti-Israel newspapers and keffiyehs with a map of Israel on the back that says "Palestine."

After the Barghouti event, a group of Palestinian students came to the JNF platform and accused the JNF of stealing Palestinian land in 1948. An Israeli peace activist came and supported the Palestinian students, who called on delegates to the conference to protest during the JNF's workshop on deforestation tomorrow.

Thank you President Bush, for staying home.
UPDATE: TechCentralStation has continuing summit coverage here.