Friday, August 31, 2007

Christian Conservative Scientist Reaches Conclusion Regarding Amphibians, Deafness, and Logic

A scientist at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University has reached a remarkable conclusion in his study of logic and behavior.

Hailed by the White House and neo-conservatives from Hillary Clinton to Mitt Romney as one of America's brightest stars in the field of American thinking, the scientist has released his findings that prove that American Conservative thinking is an exact science and that conclusions reached by the Bush Administration and conservative think-tanks are irrefutable.

Using frogs in a study funded by the federal government, it has now been proven that the simplest conclusion is often the correct conclusion.

The scientist placed a frog on the ground and told it to jump. It jumped four feet. The scientist concludes, "Frog with four feet, jumps four feet."

The scientist cut off one of one of the frogs legs. After the wound healed and the frog was deemed to be healthy, he placed it on the floor and told it to jump, The frog jumped three feet. The scientist concluded, "Frog with three feet, jumps three feet."

Another of the frog's legs was surgically removed, and when the frog healed, it was placed on the ground where it was told to jump, so it jumped two feet. "Frog with two feet, jumps two feet," was noted.

One of the frog's remaining two legs was amputated. Recovery was delayed by infection, but it eventually rebounded. The frog was placed on the ground and had to be coaxed a bit, but when it finally made a leap, it jumped just about thirteen inches. The scientist dutifully noted, "Frog with one foot, jumps one foot."

The frog's last leg was removed and it recovered remarkably quickly from the surgery. When it was placed on the ground, it did not move. The scientist yelled: "Frog jump. Frog jump. FROG JUMP!"

When the animal did not move, the scientist concluded, "Frog with no feet, goes deaf."

Perfect logic used to reach a perfect conclusion! Welcome to the world of neo-conservative thinking!

Dick Mac Recommends:

America Alone
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nixon Peabody's A Winner, Baby!

File this under "What Could Have Gone Wrong?"!

When law firms screw-up it seems to be screwier than when any other organization screws up. Whether it's a failed merger, disgruntled associate, discrimination suit, or a case of braggadocio, lawyers always look worse than anyone else in the spotlight.

Now comes Nixon Peabody, a somewhat reputable firm out of Rochester, New York, with offices all around the world.

Nixon Peabody is alleged to be a nice place to work, and was named to Fortune Magazine's 2007 Top Places To Work. So, a creative, witty partner at the firm thought it would be a good idea to commission a song to celebrate the firm's place in the market.

The song, as you might imagine, hit the Internet.

Ridicule ensued.

Nixon Peabody sued to have the song removed from The song was removed.

Nixon Peabody has not yet gotten over the humiliation of it, nor has the Internet forgotten.

ChurchHatesTucker has posted a memorial video at I post it here for your enjoyment:

Nixon Peabody's idiocy was even covered in the New York Times Business section:

Unauthorized Enjoyment of Song Irks Law Firm
It sounds like the setup for a joke: a law firm picks a fight with a legal blogger over the leak of an internal song celebrating — well, itself.

First, the song: after the law firm Nixon Peabody was named to Fortune magazine’s 2007 list of the best companies to work for, the firm, which has 700 lawyers, commissioned a celebratory anthem with an infectious 1980s-style beat and a sing-along chorus, "Everyone’s a Winner at Nixon Peabody."

The lyrics, sung in a kind of Earth, Wind & Fire style, include: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s all about the team, it’s all about respect, it all revolves around integrity."

But what began as an innocent instance of corporate self-congratulation has turned into a minor Internet sensation and earned the firm a bit of a black eye, with bloggers poking fun at the song and criticizing Nixon Peabody’s response to its leak.

The tune first appeared last Thursday on Above the Law, a legal gossip blog run by a former federal prosecutor, David Lat. He said that he first received the song on Wednesday evening from several sources.

"The first time I listened to it, I thought it was hilarious and bizarre," Mr. Lat said in an interview. After converting the file into a video, Mr. Lat posted the song on YouTube on Thursday morning — under the heading "Someone Deserves to Be Shot Over This" — and e-mailed Nixon Peabody for comment.

Initially, he received a statement from the firm saying that the song had been created as a response to the firm’s being ranked 47th on Fortune’s list and was meant for internal use only.

"Fun is not prohibited here," the statement concluded.

But shortly afterward, Mr. Lat said, he received a phone call from Allison McClain, a firm spokeswoman, and John R. Gerhard, the firm’s managing director. Mr. Gerhard said that the song had been leaked by a person who was in a fight with the firm, though he did not explain further. Mr. Gerhard asked for Mr. Lat’s sources and asserted that posting the song had been a violation of the firm’s copyright. . . . (more)

Now, when you are looking to hire a lawyer, or work at a law firm, please consider Nixon Peabody. They're not just like everyone else. They have a song.

You just can't make up this stuff!

Thanks to the Best Week Ever Blog and all the friends who sent this along!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Questions and Answers

Most questions have many answers. Some questions are more difficult to answer than others. Some answers are easier to understand than others.

How would you answer the following question:
Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?

I might discuss the failure of our education system, the prevalence of television in the lives of children, the lack of funding for geography, American hegemony and nationalism making people uninterested in the world, or myriad other explanations for this poll's results.

I would be incorrect, of course, because Miss South Carolina explains it most succinctly:

See it at

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Dante Alighieri

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another Conservative Slinking Around In The Toilets

Sen. Larry Craig, Republican of Idaho, is a conservative, votes against gay marriage, opposes protecting gay and lesbian crime victims, and likes to have sex with men in restrooms.

Craig has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of lewd conduct in a men's room. A plea like this often means you were caught having sex in a men's room but agree to plead guilty to the lesser charge.

According to the AP story linked below:
According to the prosecutor's complaint, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, airport police Sgt. Dave Karsniam, who was investigating allegations of sexual conduct in airport restrooms, went into a stall shortly after noon on June 11 and closed the door.

Minutes later, the officer saw Craig gazing into his stall through the crack between the stall door and the frame, fidgeted with his fingers and returned to gazing through the stall for about another two minutes.

After a man in the adjacent stall flushed the toilet and left, Craig entered it and put his roller bag against the front of the stall door, "which Sgt. Karsnia's experience has indicated is used to attempt to conceal sexual conduct by blocking the view from the front of the stall," said the complaint, which was dated June 25.

The complaint said Craig then tapped his right foot several times and moved it closer to Karsnia's stall and then moved it into the area of the officer's stall to where it touched Karsnia's foot. Karsnia recognized that "as a signal often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct," the complaint said.

Craig then passed his left hand under the stall divider into Karsnia's stall with his palms up and guided it along the divider toward the front of the stall three times, the complaint said.

I hope that the hard work of gay liberation is helping to create a generation of American men, conservative and liberal alike, who do not have to slink around in toilets to get sex; that men who are homosexual or bisexual can feel free to find the partners they want without having to hate themselves and others, who don't have to be anti-gay to hide their own feelings and desires, who don't have to promote bigotry to hide their own shame. I hope that the next generation of American men can turn away from the horrible ideals of so-called conservatism that requires them to hate people just because they love differently.

But, I still ask have to ask: Are there any male conservatives who don't have sex with men?
Arrest clouds Idaho senator's future

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Commemorative Bumper Stickers

As we move closer to the current American president's last year in office, I found this list of bumper stickers to be a reminder of how bad things are, and what a mess the GOP has made of our once-great nation.































Dick Mac Recommends:

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Howard Zinn

Friday, August 24, 2007

Women Dig Guys With Bulldog Faces

According to a study that examined male facial structures and patterns throughout evolution has conculded that women are attracted to men with relatively short upper faces.

My question is: What the hell is an upper-face and who the hell possesses a short one?

What intrigues me most about the proposition that women find masculine, bulldog-like men more attractive than other men is the trend over the past couple decades for male sex symbols to be more feminized.

David Beckham, one of the most well-known and well-photographed sex-symbols of this century is known as a metrosexual, which implies a certain softness and sensitivity, that I would think (in a very parochial way) would preclude him from being found attractive using this scenario.

According to an article at,
Men with "mini mugs" might have been most attractive to the opposite sex and thus most likely to attract mates for reproduction, passing along the striking features to the next generation and so forth, said lead study author Eleanor Weston, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London.

"The evolution of facial appearance is central to understanding what makes men and women attractive to each other," Weston said. "We have found the distance between the lip and brow was probably immensely important to what made us attractive in the past, as it does now."

Whereas past studies have suggested facial symmetry and facial masculinity play roles in this game of desire, none have provided evidence of an evolutionary shaping of male and female faces.

How do I know if I have a mini-mug or a bulldog face?

If David Beckham isn't considered attractive, then who is? What ape-like superstars do women find attractive?

Well, in an article on Yahoo!, LiveScience Staff Writer, Jeanna Bryner, writes
Among the men who fit the bill . . . from most to least masculine according to facial dimensions: Will Smith, Peter Andre, Justin Timberlake, Thierry Henry, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Johnny Depp and Kanye West.

Will Smith most masculine? That's a list of pretty attractive men. I would have to include Johnny Depp, Thierry Henry and Brad Pitt on my list. And David Beckham is certainly very sexy in a mass-media sort of way. But, Bulldog Faces? Apelike?

Here are some pictures of guys with short upper-faces (pictures used without permission):

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt

I wouldn't mind looking like a caveman!

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Thierry Henry
Oliver Derbyshire

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How To Start Each Day With A Positive Outlook

1. Create a new folder on your computer.

2. Name it "George W Bush"

3. Send it to the trash.

4. Empty the trash.

5. Your PC will ask you, "Are You Sure You Want To Delete George W Bush?"

6. Firmly Click "Yes."

7. Smile

8. Feel better.

9. Get on with your day.

Delete George W Bush

Dick Mac Recommends:

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Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

To The Dogs

To Michael Vick, from my friend Shadow:
Click to enlargeReprinted without permission

Have a nice day, Mr. Vick.

Dick Mac Recommends:

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David Bowie

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Roy Pearson Files Appeal In Pants Suit

But was he wearing a pants suit at the time?

Remember the pants suit for ladies in the 1970s? It was just a femmed-up polyester suit in pink or a pastel color, usually with bell-bottom (or flared) slacks. The women's equivalent of the leisure suit.

Well, this article isn't about that kind of pants suit.

This is another article about Roy Pearson, who at the time of this writing still collects a sex-figure salary from the District of Columbia for his judgment skills.

Roy Pearson Appeals Custom Cleaners Decision
No End In Sight For the $54 Million Pants Suit?

(AP) The latest in the saga of Pearson v. Chung brings to mind that famous line from "Cool Hand Luke": "Some men you just can't reach."

Despite being offered an opportunity to stop the insanity, and save not just a modicum of dignity but perhaps his job, Roy Pearson has decided to continue with his claim, already once denied, for $54 million for a pair of pants. Pearson, an administrative law judge (at least for now) in D.C., filed an appeal yesterday of Judge Judith Bartnoff's decision in the infamous pants lawsuit.

The appeals process will move forward over the next three to four months. There is a chance the D.C. Court of Appeals will affirm the existing ruling, but if not, it will be another 12 to 18 months before this case is decided.

Jin and Soo Chung, owners of Custom Cleaners, "continue to be baffled by Mr. Pearson's actions," says their lawyer, Christopher C.S. Manning. They had dropped their motion to recover legal fees as an "olive branch" in the hopes of ending what they have called "a nightmare." Manning says they are very "disheartened" by the process and are even considering closing their business "just to be rid of the memory of this case." Manning said that with his appeal, Pearson has chosen "desperate irrationality over common sense."

Manning is not alone in his assessment. Pearson says he is fighting for all consumers, but few people I know see him as a defender of their rights.

Moreover, the commission that oversees administrative law judges in D.C. has sent Pearson a letter expressing doubts about reappointment. His original two-year term expired in April, and this letter is considered the first step toward stripping him of his judgeship. Had he accepted the Chung's offer, he may have won himself some sympathy on the panel, which meets next month. With his continued pursuit of his claim, however, he continues to bring public ridicule on the bench.

Has the line between persistence and insanity ever been so well defined? Not only has Pearson lost his pants and this lawsuit, but he may soon lose his judicial robe. And if the Chungs file to recoup their appellate legal costs, which Manning says is possible, Pearson could lose the shirt off his back -- all because of his belief that a "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign entitles him to whatever he wants.

Some men, as they say, you just can't reach -- "which is the way he wants it.... Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men."

Above quoted article by Emil Fisher found in the Offbeat section at and reprinted without permission. Excellent piece Mr. Steiner.

When will Pearson cease and desist? This is now beyond absurd.

If he writes a book about it will you purchase the book? I won't. I won't even borrow it from the library. If this guy has a message more sophisticated than: "Roy Pearson is a jerk," then let him publish it as an op-ed piece or a letter to the editor! I certainly hope that nobody ever pays real money to read his crap!

I can't believe this continues!

Here is Mark Fisher's post about the appeal.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Thank Goodness He Has Left Town

The last two weeks leading up to Saturday's soccer match between Red Bull New York (RBNY) and the Los Angeles Galaxy had been stressful.

There was quite a bit of talk around the RBNY fan base about the increase in ticket price for this match. Ticket prices were doubled on average from $20-$30 to $50 and $60 per seat. Many, including me, were dismayed by this ploy and I feared that the whole thing could backfire on my team. The reason for the increase in ticket prices was the new addition to the Galaxy squad.

David Beckham is now playing soccer for a team in Major League Soccer, and his arrival has caused quite a stir.

The hope of Beckham's arrival is that he will add consumer legitimacy to the league. That RBNY will now draw more than fifteen thousand spectators to their home matches.

RBNY has a solid fan base, a good supporters club in the Empire Supporters Club (ESC), and is situated in a lucrative market (metropolitan New York). But fifteen thousand attendees do not make the team financially viable or impressive in the media.

When teams like the New Jersey Devils and New Jersey Nets (both of whom have played in the same Meadowlands Sports Complex as RBNY) draw only fifteen thousand on average, they can survive because they play in established leagues (the NHL and NBA, respectively). So, the success of other teams in their leagues and their lucrative television contracts make those less successful franchises more viable.

MLS is still a fledgling league in its 12th year of existence. The owners and the league, all billionaires extrodinaires must subsidize growth of the league; but that will come to a halt some day. The league must start to stand on its own two feet (and checkbook).

Beckham's arrival, along with the arrival of other foreign players, is hoped to be the next big step in solidifying the league's standing in the US market. Beckham's arrival in Los Angeles a few weeks ago was marred by an ankle injury he picked-up as a member of Real Madrid at the end of the season in Spain. He played twelve minutes in his new team's exhibition against Chelsea, then sat on the bench for league matches against D.C., New England, and Toronto, before making a strong and successful appearance in a non-league match against D.C. United in the International SuperLiga semi-final.

On Saturday morning, I drove my family to visit some friends in Northern New Jersey. One of those friends was joining me for the big match. We had a couple conversations about how much time we should leave for the drive to the stadium and it was a more complicated discussion than any other time we attended a match together.


Over 66,000 tickets had been sold for the match, the stadium holds 79,000, and some of the parking lots were shut-down to accommodate construction, all of which generated helpful publications for the RBNY front-office offering guidance about how much time you should allow and where you would be allowed to park.

We left two hours before kick-off, weaved our way through the maze of security, construction and tail-gaters to find a rather excellent spot closer to the entrances and exits than we had hoped.

There was almost a full-hour before lick-off when we were safely ensconced in our seats, our excellent seats in Section 137, near the corner flag.

The stadium filled with nubile young women in Beckham shirts, and the phenomenon I don't quite yet understand: teenage boys in Beckham shirts swooning over the superstar. Are these boys excited about his excellent play or his excellent physique? They seem to know very little about soccer in general, the league specifically, and are ignorant about the details of Beckham's career that soccer fans can generally spout off with ease.

We had four of these lithe young men seated in front of us and they went wild when Beckham made his appearance for warm-ups, then when the team arrived for kick-off, each time time their studly hero touched the ball, and ultimately when he removed his shirt at the end of the match.

A phenomenon I like, but do not understand.

The match?

Spectacular. Within nine minutes the score was NY 1- 2 LA, which goals were scored in quick succession:

Juan Pablo Angel, the RBNY international superstar, All-Star MVP, league MVP candidate, RBNY leading scorer, Colombian international beauty, and New York team savior, netted a free-kick by shooting under the Galaxy wall.

Two beautifully crossed shots bent into the box by Beckham led to two goals by Carlos Pavon, putting LA into the lead.

The match settled down a bit, but play remained strong. When Beckham fell victim to hard but legal tackle, he leaped to his feet enraged that the tackle took him off his feet. It was a text-book tackle that any player would make and Beckham's reaction was completely out of proportion to the situation. If he thinks his arrival as the most famous player in MLS means he is exempt from defensive plays, he is grossly mistaken. He lashed-out at the defender and players had to be restrained to prevent fisticuffs.

Beckham's frustration showed again when in a defensive move he stepped on the foot of a NY midfielder and aggravated his tender ankle. The crowd roared its approval, and it took a few minutes before he could walk properly again.

The score remained the same until the closing moments of the first half when Dane Richards came down the field on the left side (he usually plays on the right), and when attempting to deliver a cross into the box saw the ball slam squarely into the face of David Beckham. The force of the blow was obvious ten rows up and Beckham was dazed as the play continued around him. The ball returned from Beckham's face to Richards' foot and he delivered it into the mouth of the goal, it deflected out to the foot of Clint Mathis who hammered home a shot that no goal keeper, including the excellent LA goal keeper Joe Cannon, could hope to stop. Score at the half: NY 2-2 LA.

The stands were electric. Section 101, home of ESC, was rocking and rolling the entire half and right through half-time.

The second-half started as hard and fast as the first half, and Jozy Altidore, the 17-year-old phenom for RBNY scored in the 49th and 70th minutes to the great delight of the home crowd (and silently passive consternation of the Beckham fans who wouldn't know a set-shot from a red card).

Beckham is known for his delivery, not his goal scoring. As the first two LA goals showed, Beckham can place the ball squarely on any spot in front of the goal, at will. he is the international king of the set-piece, whether from the field of play or delivering in from a corner.

Corner shots are a staple of soccer. If the defense sends the ball out-of-bound behind the goal line, the offensive squad places the ball in the corner of the field and delivers an unimpeded shot into play. Nobody does this better than Beckham. He can score a goal from this position, but more often than not, as was the case with Carlos Pavon in the first half, he can place it right on the head or foot of a teammate standing all alone in front of the goal. It's almost like a magic trick. It's an amazing feat.

My fear about the sixty-six thousand fans attending this match is that they would be rooting fro LA, just because Beckham was here.

A wonderful surprise was awaiting me when Beckham took his first corner, but it was even more impressive when he took his second. As he approached the corner, a cacophony of boos greeted him. I had never heard such a roar of derision at a Red Bulls match. Of course, the boos have little, if any, impact on a professional athlete; but they sure warm the cockles of the heart of an aging soccer fan who suffers a near-empty stadium week after week.

I am a David Beckham fan. I love reading about him and watching him play. But when his club (L.A. Galaxy) plays my club, my admiration goes on hold and I cheer against him as I would any opposing player. And if ever his national team (England) should play my national team (USA), I will boo him again. My admiration of him is not blind. I want my team to win, and I will like him again right afterwards.

The 4-2 score stayed the same for less than a minute, when Landon Donovan (a/k/a Landycakes or Landon Divanon) delivered a goal for the visitors. NY 4-3 LA.

Seven goals had been scored. SEVEN!

Ten minutes later, Edson Buddle (formerly of my NY team), evened the score with an unassisted beauty; and with less than ten minutes remaining it seemed the match would end in a draw. Not the best result, but certainly better than losing at home to the likes of David Spice and Landycakes.

In the 88th minute, Juan Pablo Angel, delivered a very hard shot on goal that ricocheted from the arms of the goal keeper into the goal to change the score in our favor: NY 5-4 LA!

As time ticked away the last two minutes and four minutes of added time, RBNY became a defensive machine, burning precious seconds off the clock as the LA squad seemed to fall into depressed resignation.

A glorious finish!

We jumped for joy in the stands, the Beckham supporters slunk away to derisive calls from home-town supporters, my voice began cracking, and the teams shook hands and the media swarmed into place for the after-match interviews and pictures.

Beckham made his way to the Galaxy bench where he removed his shirt and a Beatlemania-like squeal rose from the stands. I once attended a Frankie Goes To Hollywood show filled with thirteen year old girls screaming in the same manner. I never thought I'd hear it at a sporting event.

Juan Pablo Angel, as talented and handsome as Beckham, was declared Man of the Match, and he was being interviewed for television and was followed on-screen by Beckham who was gracious, friendly, enthusiastic and proud of the match.

This was a success.

The Beckham machine had rolled through New York, as ominous as a Hillary Clinton campaign stop but far more entertaining, and we had survived the hype and come out on top.

Beckham is a star non-pareil. There is no athlete like him. No baseball player, basketball thug, hockey player, or NFL gentle giant who commands the adoration of so many men, women, boys and girls. Nobody sells more shirts (not even the Rolling Stones), and no star is as gracious and humble off the field.

The fear about ticket prices had been that thousands would buy over-priced tickets and Beckham would not play, and infuriating tens of thousands of potential new soccer fans. Not only did Beckham play for the entire match, it was one of the best matches any of us had ever seen played in the United States.

Red Bull New York delivered! Everyone was satisfied.

Beckham delivered. MLS is lucky to have him.

And thank goodness he has left town!

Dick Mac Recommends:

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Friday, August 17, 2007


There are famous photographers and good photographers. Not all the famous photographers are good photographers, and not all the good photographers are famous.

One of my favorite photographers is Myriam Santos-Kayda.

Santos-Kayda is a good photographer!

See her work at her website.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Atta Boy, Beckham!

Last night, David Beckham started his first match for his new team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, of Major League Soccer (MLS). He had appeared previously, but because of a nagging ankle injury picked-up in Madrid earlier in the year, he had yet to start a match.

I am a fan of David Beckham, Becks, David Spice, Spice Boy, whatever you want to call him. He is a real star. He is good at what he does, he makes himself available to his fans, he's enthusiastic about his craft, and he's on top of his game from every angle. He's sort of the David Bowie of sports. Always on.

Beckham endeared himself to me even more deeply in the eighteenth minute of last night's match when he committed a hard foul against DC United's Jaime Moreno, the polar opposite of Beckham, a loathsome, self-serving athlete who deserves (and generally gets) no accolades. Atta boy, Beckham! Keep after that pile of shit and take him out at every opportunity!

Vitoria Beckham (née Adams), also known professionally as Posh Spice, was present, of course. She is the perfect star's wife: famous herself, very stylish, funny, accessible to the media, and just aloof enough to keep us guessing. Hardly the Iman of sports, but entertaining and appropriate nonetheless. (Is Iman technically Iman Bowie? I think not. But she is another perfect superstar-wife.)

The L.A. Galaxy have been plagued by injuries this season and the team is filled with athletes too awful to watch on a regular basis, including (but not limited to) Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones. I find each of those men so dislike-able that it is difficult to watch the team play. But, watch them I must because they play my team, Red Bull New York, at least twice a year.

And I am such a soccer slut that I watch at least two other MLS matches on television each week in which my team is not participating. And since ESPN is so heavily involved in the Beckham Comes To America fleece-job, er promotion, the Galaxy seem to be featured in the game of the week every week now.

So, I see more of Landycakes and Cobi than I care to admit.

Beckham also scored his first goal as a member of the Galaxy last night, a perfect 26-yard free kick to put the Galaxy up 1-0. There was not as much pandemonium from the 17,223 spectators as I expected.

The Galaxy went on to beat the DC Scum, 2-0. Thank you, LA.

Beckham's return to play means quite a bit to me, because the Galaxy visit New York this weekend, well, technically they visit New Jersey to play my team. Over fifty-five thousand tickets have been sold. At inflated prices (double). His first start for the Galaxy is a good indication that Beckham will play against the Red Bulls.

The inflated ticket-prices have been a source of discussion in the media, because Beckham's failure to appear in previous matches has left a bad taste in the mouths of many consumers who bought expensive tickets to watch the Galaxy in other cities, only to have Beckham sit on the bench. Because I am a Red Bulls season-ticket holder, I did not have to pay extra for my seats. Whew! My seats aren't worth $60.00 apiece, anyhow, and that is what the front office charged for seats in my section for this match.

I have seen Beckham play once before, on the England national team, and I am excited about the prospect of seeing him play again. He is a joy to watch. And this time, I get an added bonus: I get to boo him!

That's right! David Beckham plays for LA, a team I hate almost as much as I hate DC and New England. LA has to lose this match. I am a New York supporter, and I will boo all the Galaxy players, no matter how famous or pretty.

The supporters club at the stadium creates chants for everyone to sing during the match. My favorite one for this Saturday will be used if Beckham sits on the bench. It is sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques":

David Beckham, David Beckham.
Can you play? Can you play?
What a shame you're sitting
You might as well be knitting!
That a girl! That a girl!

That chant has everything sports needs: derision of the opposing player and/or team and slightly misogynist overtones deriding the sex and/or sexual orientation of the opponent. Nothing terribly offensive, just a bit of a laugh!

I will applaud for him when he arrives on the field, and I will applaud for all the players when the match is completed. But every time that Galaxy wanker touches the ball, I will boo. I do not wish him any ill, I just hope he fails to score and I hope his team loses.

Is that wishing him ill? Maybe it is.

I will be nice to his wife though! I wouldn't boo her!

Congratulations Becks on your first start and your first goal! Here's to many more of both!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Market Will Police Itself -- To Be Competetive

At least one U.S. child has died and 19 others have needed surgery since 2003 after swallowing magnets used in toys, the government said. Several injuries had been reported in an earlier Polly Pocket recall last November.

The mission of America's Republican Party is to completely decimate government so they are left to do whatever they want. The plan includes provisions for leaving a police force in place to enforce racist, punitive drug laws and a stilted court system to impose savage banking regulations and prevent bankruptcy protection for those who need it most. The plan was attempted under the Nixon administration when government privatization first began, but the Republicans of that era were such buffoons, so lacking in media savvy, that the plan never got off the ground. They did open China to profiteering, but not much else.

Nixon wasn't much of a poster boy.

Ronald Reagan was a perfect spokesman for avarice, and he played his part well. As an actor, he should have won an Oscar for his performance as President of the United States. He spread more lies and half-truths than any president before him, and he won the hearts and minds of the people he was screwing over: people who work for a living, those now called the 'working poor' (that is, the majority of Americans).

The premise of Reaganomics is that regulation of industry is bad, that all regulation is bad, that market forces police themselves, that supply and demand take care of all the ills facing society.

We were promised higher-quality products from more-profitable corporations employing more highly-paid Americans producing lower-cost items for now-wealthier citizens.

Anyone who has been awake for even a moment in the last twenty-five years has probably noticed that salaries have not kept-up with the cost of living, that quality has plummeted, well-paying jobs are scarcer, and the gap between rich and poor is greater than it has been since the abolition of slavery.

Next came the neo-conservative notion of free-trade agreements.

Somehow, otherwise smart, thinking Americans believed that sending our manufacturing jobs to developing nations would create more, and better jobs for Americans, and would keep brown-skinned foreigners on the other side of our borders.

In case you haven't noticed, the jobs that have moved out of the country have been replaced with lower-paying jobs and the influx of illegal aliens is at an all-time high.

Back to China.

Since the early 1970s, more and more American products are 'Made in China.' There are stories, allegedly unsubstantiated because they were reported by left-wing journalists not the Bancroft or Murdoch families, that entire farming communities in central China were flooded by the military so that crops were wiped-out. Then factories were built and the hungry farmers were then invited to accept slave-wages to provide the labor necessary to run the factories. Those who refused were generally imprisoned for sedition, or killed, and any attempt to return the agriculture was met with the full force of the Chinese military.

That's a pretty simple way to staff a factory.

What are these factories making? Nothing that anyone in China can afford.

They are making plastic this and thats, toys and umbrellas, and car parts and polo shirts. Toothpaste and anti-freeze, which now seem to be the same product in China. They make our junk. Our crap. Our throw-away stuff that costs a buck. Stuff that would cost three dollars if it was made int he USA.

How do they remain so profitable? Who knows. I don't pretend to know, but they must cut corners somewhere besides just labor. I mean, if you can make a fortune cutting corners on labor costs you can make two fortunes by also cutting corners on, say, paint.

So they cut corners on paint.

They buy paint that has large amounts of lead in it. Paint that is illegal in the United States.

That paint is delivered to the factory and the factory begins producing brightly-colored, I don't know, Barbie Dolls, let's say, or toy cars or action figures. Then that now-more-profitable stuff is shipped to your local toy store for kids to play with.

Some of it is shabbily made. Some of the pieces fall off. Like magnets. Or the paint chips off, just a little, and is ingested by a toddler. Just a little, though. And profits soar.

Then the companies, like Mattel, feign shock. They are appalled that their innocent looking doll could harm anyone. Meanwhile profits soar, Americans are without jobs and health-care, and the executives are living on paychecks three-hundred times that of their staff.

The Associated Press actually printed this paragraph:
Tuesday's recall was the latest blow to the toy industry, which has had a string of recalled products from China. With about 80 percent of toys sold worldwide made in China, toy sellers are worried shoppers will shy away from their products.

This implies that the media thinks American consumers are capable of making a decision to boycott (shhhhhh! not that word) a manufacturer, like Mattel, whose business practices are so reprehensible that no American can look to acknowledge how bad they are.

Can Americans stop buying Barbie dolls? I don't think so.

Even if they are poisoned, I don't think Americans are capable of refusing to buy something.

And our government certainly isn't going to put an end to any of this.

What are we to do?

Mattel recalling more Chinese-made toys

By NATASHA METZLER, Associated Press Writer
Tue Aug 14, 12:59 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Toy-making giant Mattel Inc. issued recalls Tuesday for about 9 million Chinese-made toys that contain magnets children can swallow or which could have lead paint.

The recall includes 7.3 million play sets, including Polly Pocket dolls and Batman action figures, and 253,000 die cast cars that contain lead paint.

Nancy A. Nord, acting Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman, told a news conference no injuries had been reported with any of the products involved in the new recall.

"The scope of these recalls is intentionally large to prevent any injuries from occurring," she told the news conference. Read more . . .

We have been promised by conservatives and neo-conservatives that market forces provide sufficient policing of industry. They continue to gut our government agencies and pass laws that allow greater corporate freedom, and things keep getting worse.

Mattel has proven it is unable to, or refuses to police itself.

Who will police them.

Nobody, I'm afraid.

Dick Mac Recommends:

A People's History of the United States
Howard Zinn

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"How many dead Americans is Saddam worth?"

In 1994, Dick Cheney knew that invading Iraq was a bad idea. Everything he predicted in 1994 came true when he attacked Iraq in 2003.

What a horrible man.

How many dead Americans is Saddam worth?

Impeachment is too good for him!

Dick Mac Recommends:

America Alone
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke

Monday, August 13, 2007

What Is Your Position On Gay Marriage?

Six of the Democratic candidates for president discussed issues of importance to homosexual Americans and their answers were rather predictable. The stand-out, as always, is Dennis Kucinich, the Democrat who unequivocally supports the rights of homosexuals to marry.

One panelist asked Kucinich how he could possible have become so evolved while a member of Congress.
To me, who cares? It really doesn't matter. Every one of us taking a stand has the potential to help any one of us evolve. That’s the gift we give to each other.

I do know that I have ever before heard a politician speak so eloquently!

When Kucinich was mayor of Cleveland, he was attacked for hiring a police chief who was sympathetic to gay rights.

The others, especially the front-runners, all had completely unacceptable responses.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson:
I’m not a scientist. I don’t see this as an issue of science or definition. I see gays and lesbians as people. I don’t like to answer definitions like that that are grounded in science or something else that I don’t understand.

The Governor doesn't understand things that are grounded in science, or other messy complicated arenas that require him to think.

Clinton described her opposition as "a personal position," adding that marriage laws should be determined by state legislatures.

I hope all my gay and lesbian friends are paying attention. Personally, Sen. Clinton is opposed to gay marriage. It's not a political issue for her. Deep inside, she is personally opposed to gay people marrying! I think Hillary Clinton might actually be the most homophobic of all the candidates; yet, she enjoys unparallelled support from the gay and lesbian community.

Clinton, Edwards and Obama all have the same position: they are opposed to gay marriage. They have some pretty language about civil unions, but they think gay people are not equal to straight people when it comes to legalizing relationships. They think gay people in a relationship are not as important as straight people in a relationship. They oppose gay marriage.

Repeat after me: Clinton, Edwards and Obama oppose gay marriage.

Say it again.

Now say it aloud.

So, if you are gay and you plan to vote for one of these three, then you are voting against yourself. You are voting for a homophobe who has no interest in protecting your constitutional rights as a free, tax-paying Americans.

On the other hand, Dennis Kucinich offers unwavering support for gay marriage.

Repeat after me: Dennis Kucinich supports gay marriage.

Repeat it again.

Now say it aloud.

Very good.

Maybe now you understand that Hillary is against gay marriage.

Read about it further:

Six Democrats at Candidate Forum Wear Shades of Gray on Gay Marriage

Visible Vote 08

Dick Mac Recommends:

A People's History of the United States
Howard Zinn

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tornado Hits Brooklyn

It touched down in Bay Ridge then bounced through Sunset Park and then Kensington, taking out trees on street after street as it made its way to die in Flatbush (where the Dodgers once played and many tornadoes seem to have died).

It seemed like the storm's path drew a line between me and Manhattan and I did not cross that line. It seemed like nobody within two miles of either side of the line was able to do much of anything.

We had been awoken by the sounds of the storm, and the sounds were magnificent, but I had misjudged its fury and wrath. I decided to go to work, because there seemed no reason to do otherwise. It was a Wednesday and I go to work on Wednesdays.

The air was particularly heavy with humidity, but the cloud cover seemed to make a bit of a breeze and the temperature wasn't too oppressive.

I greeted about the same number of neighbors that I greet each day on my walk, and the same amount of trash seemed to litter the street. The rain had stopped about an hour earlier and all the streets had drained. I did not know that a couple of blocks away there was havoc where trees had been uprooted, lawn furniture sent flying, and cars dented by swooshing debris. I didn't know that a few hours earlier, people had been wading through waist-deep water, escaping the MTA buses that had been stalled in the middle of their routes. I had no idea that the sounds that awoke us weren't just a thunderstorm.

I climbed the stairs to the platform and took my usual spot. There were a lot of people on the platform, indicating that a train hadn't arrived in quite some time. I waited. The others waited. More people arrived. It got more crowded.

A Fourth Avenue train, which does not run on this track, arrived on the opposite platform, making its way to South Brooklyn. This was not a good sign, and I assumed the Fourth Avenue subway had been flooded or lost signals or the such.

More people arrived. There had to be a thousand people on the platform with me.

I sent messages to work and home via blackberry, and I waited. My boss wrote back that she was walking the forty blocks from her home to the office. In a suit.

The sun came out and it was hot. I though about my boss walking down Third Avenue in a suit.

People on cell phones were sounding more frantic and angry. One woman nearby was talking in a worried and pleading tone to someone at her office. "But there are no trains coming," I heard her say. I wondered if she would lose her job because of this delay. She looked as though she could ill-afford to lose her job.

I answered all my emails. My wife wrote that the news was reporting major delays, and that she could not even get onto the MTA website. She wrote that there may have been a tornado. I thought that was a bit extreme. I wrote back that trains were traveling empty along the express track (which is inaccessible at my stop).

More people arrived on the platform.

Eventually a train arrived and opened its doors. I was right in front of the door when it opened. It was packed with people and it would be a real chore to get on. I let the panicky woman get on, then a man with a full beard and long hair dressed in a heavy black topcoat and a too-tight fedora, shoved his way towards the door. He grunted and whined as he pushed through the doors. He looked panicky and he helped make my decision to avoid this potential disaster. First, I did not want to be shoved in like a sardine, and second, he smelled and I did not want to be pushed against him. Another man in the same costume, looking mentally challenged and frightened began to push through the doors, too. There was simply no room for him. He parked himself right in front of me as he surrendered to the notion that he would not get on the train. He smelled, too.

The sun got hotter and the air got thicker.

People began to back-up away from the train doors and eventually they closed.

More people arrived.

Another empty train travelled along the express track.

I was on the platform for an hour and a half, before it became clear (as the sun got hotter) that insufficient subway cars would be available to transport the thousand people at my station to their destinations North of here.

A different man with a full beard, heavy black topcoat and fedora was yelling a anybody who would listen. Nobody paid him any mind. I thought, "the guys in these costumes must be really warm."

I read an email from the office explaining that at least three co-workers traveling from other boroughs were also unable to make any progress.

I wrote back that I would go home and call from there.

I was completely soaked in sweat. My clothes were wet.

I went home and watched the story unfold. No real answers were coming. Except that there were no subways.

I worked from home.

I am a fan of weather. I prefer it elsewhere.

Storm wallops NYC, crippling transit system

Brooklyn becomes Tornado Alley!

Tornado Hits Brooklyn; Subway Back in Service

Dick Mac Recommends:

America Alone
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is Every Republican A Closet Homosexual?

Week after week another Republican conservative is discovered to be a closeted homosexual.

Yesterday, I received two links in the mail: one about yet another Republican, this one from Florida, soliciting sex in a men's room, and the other an Indiana Republican who likes to diddle and rape young men while they sleep.

I have no problem with men soliciting sex from other men in a men's room. The solicited man can either accept or refuse, and everyone can just move on with their lives. I really don't see the harm. If men want to chat each other up in the toilet and go have sex together, good luck to them! Police shouldn't be there trying to intercept them and place them under arrest.

Given all that, if you choose to find sex with men that way, why would you spend time during your day job helping to pass laws that criminalize and harass other homosexuals? I don't get it. Either you like to have sex with guys or you don't. It's not really a big deal.

It is a big deal, though, if you are a man who likes to have sex with men and then you spend time condemning men who like to have sex with men. It makes no sense!

I think the Republican Party should just come out. It's OK. Nobody's feelings about Republicans is going to change because they are all closeted homosexuals. The same number of people will love them and hate them as they do now.

Until that time, though, I hope America can begin to see Republicans as the boring hypocrites they really are.

Fla. State Representative Accused Of Soliciting Sex In Men's Room

Murphy resigns political posts; cooperating with police in apparent criminal investigation

Glenn Murphy Jr., in case you haven't yet realized it, men who have sex with other men are called homosexuals. You are a homosexual. It's OK. We all still hate you for your conservative views.

Rep. Bob Allen, in case you haven't yet realized it, men who have sex with other men are called homosexuals. You are a homosexual. It's OK. We all still hate you for your conservative views.

Come on guys! Out of the closets and into the streets. Celebrate life. Enjoy yourselves. And stop voting to marginalize other homosexuals.


Dick Mac Recommends:

America Alone
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


It was 11:52 P.M. when I turned to Channel 35, ESPN2, last night. I had just finished watching a World Series of Poker show that I had DVR'd the night before and decided to record the next installment.

Barry Bonds was at bat versus the Washington Nationals, and I assumed it was a highlight show, but it wasn't. It was live.

First pitch, home run! Number 756. I had just seen Barry Bonds break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. I still assumed it was a highlight show, but it wasn't. It was live. I had just seen Bonds become the Home Run King.

The cameras followed the arc of the ball into the right field seats, then followed him around the bases, then showed his family in the stands, then showed a tape of the fans scrambling to get their hands on the most valuable ball in baseball, then Bonds was waving to the crowd as his teammates surrounded him, then his family made their way to the field, then a gang of policemen were seen escorting the ball owner out of the stands in a manner resembling a major arrest of an evil mass murderer, then Willie Mays (Bonds' godfather) was on the field with a microphone, then the public address announcer introduced a videotape of Hank Aaron sending his congratulatory best wishes. This wasn't a highlights show, I had stumbled on the real thing. Live.

Bonds took the microphone from Mays and thanked all the right people. The crowd cheered, the home run was shown over and over again.

The game was delayed about ten minutes.

And that was that.

Baseball has crowned a new home run king.

Now maybe they can really get serious about cleaning-up their sport and ridding it of steroids, chemically constructed physical freaks, and cheats.

Bartender? Asterisks all around!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Jose Canseco

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Can Roy Pearson, Jr., Really Lose His Job? I Hope So!

Remember Roy Pearson, Jr.?

Brendan Smith, at Legal Times, with help from intern Jared Culver, has published a wonderful follow-up story that is totally worth the read.

It seems Pearson could actually be out out of a job this week. His hearing for reappointment as an Administrative Law Judge was scheduled for yesterday, 06 AUG 07. I can find no results of that hearing at this time.

But, over at Legal Times, Smith has done some old-fashioned reporting and gotten some great quotes from those intimately involved in the process.

One gem in the article is:

"Pearson’s demeanor, analysis and the quality of his written decisions demonstrate that he lacks the necessary skills for this position," stated the Dec. 5 letter from Christine Davis, the department’s general counsel. One public works inspector described Pearson as "condescending and unwilling to listen to litigants," while another inspector said Pearson was "often argumentative and hostile," according to the letter.

and it goes on!

In an interview last week with Legal Times, [Chief Administrative Law Judge Tyrone] Butler said that Pearson "is an annoyance like a mosquito bite."

"The pants lawsuit was actually not unexpected, knowing the personality. Up to that time, I was still pretty sure he was not going to make a good judge," Butler says. "That’s almost like another straw added to the others."

If this is how his boss is talking about him in the media, I can't imagine he will keep his job!

This might be a reason to celebrate! Our country might actually still have some chance of surviving. Butler has changed his position on Pearson three times, but that means there is hope! Maybe the Bushies and Reaganites didn't fill all the positions in America with idiots! Perhaps Tyrone Butler is an old-fashioned American who believes in the success of our nation and will actually take a position that will be good for the people instead of just thinking about himself.

I said maybe! I don't get my hopes too high.

But, if you read the article by following the link below (free registration required), I think you will be amused.

News Watch
Poster-Boy Judge Could Be Out a Pair of Pants and His Job Soon

New York Lawyer
August 6, 2007

By Brendan Smith
Legal Times

Roy Pearson Jr. became the poster boy for frivolous lawsuits with his unsuccessful $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner over a lost pair of pants. But questions about his temperament and demeanor as an administrative law judge had surfaced long before a media firestorm engulfed him this year.

Since his initial two-year term expired in May, Pearson has been sidelined from the bench and is still earning his $100,512 salary working as an attorney adviser at the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. A commission that reappoints administrative law judges at the OAH is expected to vote on Aug. 6 on the first step toward denying his appointment to a full 10-year term. . . . Read more . . .

Also see,

Also see other articles I have written about Pearson:

Jerk Lawyer Abuses Citizens

Roy Pearson Administrative Jerk Update

Roy Pearson Affiliations

Dick Mac Recommends:

America Alone
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hizzoner, The Carbon Emissions Champion

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is a good mayor. Much better than Giuliani was and better than most cities could even hope to have.

Bloomberg wants NYC to cut its carbon footprint and is encouraging New Yorkers to use public transportation, and he brags about how he takes the subway to work himself.

I want Bloomberg to succeed. I want New York City to be a world-class city with a world-class transit system used by as many people every day for as many hours as they want to get around town.

I am confused about the mayor's commitment to the subways. He tells people to use the subway, but the subway keeps getting worse and worse.

He says he uses the subway, and he thinks it works, so he clearly doesn't use the same subway I use.

I do not believe the Mayor has ever ridden the F line (a/k/a the Sixth Avenue Local), because he would be appalled and disgusted by the schedule (or lack thereof), the filthy subway cars and stations (filth that is often covered with artificial strawberry room deodorizer), the surly transit workers (actually, they do a damn good job given the conditions), and general condition of subway platforms. To put it bluntly, the F line stinks! It takes me seventy-five minutes to commute from Brooklyn to my job in Midtown Manhattan. I live ten miles from my office. Seventy-five minuets is a bit long.

There is a rumor that the F line will have an Express train soon, which might cut fifteen minutes off my commute. This is a good idea. The Brooklyn end of the line makes it impossible to be considered for daily errands or casual commuting.

The G train (a/k/a the Crosstown Local) that connects with the F train in Brooklyn is actually terminated right after downtown Brooklyn, instead of continuing along the express track all the way to Coney Island. If people could commute from Eastern Brooklyn to Southern Brooklyn you could probably cut back on some car usage. Especially if you ran the subway cars every five minutes all day.

And don't even get me started about the people who have to commute from Bay Ridge. They only get the Fourth Avenue Local, which might be underground, but is slower than the Sixth Avenue Local ever dreamed of being.

If you live outside Midtown Manhattan and want to use the subway, you are really at the mercy of incompetence and a Republican desire to fail.

The mayor is often photographed on the subway, on his way to work. This is impressive. What the caption under the pictures fails to tell us is that the mayor is driven, by two huge SUVs, from his front door to an Express Train twenty-two blocks away! How's that for an individual person's carbon footprint? TWO SUVs for twnty-two blocks! That's a lot of twos!

If I could have a luxury car drive me from my front door to an express stop twenty-two blocks from my home, then I would think the subway was hunky-dory! I would get a seat and travel to work more quickly. But I don't have that luxury. Neither does anyone else, really. Like a regular New Yorker, I walk from my home to the closest subway and suffer quietly. This mayor does not have any idea what it is like to ride the subway. He knows what it is like to create a publicity stunt that makes it look like he knows about the subway.

This guy is losing more credibility by the day.

It's not even as though I want a mayor who rides the subway. I am not looking for this billionaire to prove that he's just a regular New Yorker. He isn't. He's a billionaire and he's the mayor and good for him!

What I want is for Bloomberg to shut-up about traffic problems and subways until he is planning to actually do something about it besides charge working stiffs more money to simply live like Americans by driving their cars. Charging people an extra tariff to drive in Manhattan will not reduce carbon emissions. It will inconvenience your constituency, but it will really make no change. And somthing has got to change!

Get up to Albany and tell them that something's gotta give. More money has to be invested if we are going to make this public transit thing work. We have to stop privatizing subway services, because it is a failure. We have to add more service to existing lines. We have to add more lines (like a subway along Second Avenue for the East Side). We have to run trains the full-length of their track. Stopping the V in the Lower East Side and the Q at Carnegie Hall is stupid! The people who thought-up those plans should be fired, if they still work for us. The subway has to be redesigned as a four-borough transit system, not a convenience for those in Manhattan.

I believe that Bloomberg wants the subway to work; but, instead of publicity stunts, he has to make things happen.

Let's start with caring for the subway we have today. Force the private contractors raking in the millions for cleaning the cars and platforms to actually clean the cars and platforms. Every day. All day. So that the cars and platforms are actually clean. Imagine?!?!?!?

If we can get the existing subway clean, we can move towards scheduling trains to actually serve New Yorkers. After that, who knows? Maybe some improvements!

Until we can care for what we have, making it more effective is just a pipe dream.

NY's "subway" mayor is chauffeured to train station
Wed Aug 1, 11:36 AM ET

New York's billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, boasts that he rides the subway "almost every day" but a quarter of his commute is spent in a chauffeured SUV, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The Times monitored the mayor's routine for five weeks and discovered that instead of walking to a local train near his house, Bloomberg is driven to a swifter express train 22 blocks away. . . . Continue . . .

Maybe you could call the Mayor and tell him what you think.

Dick Mac Recommends:

America Alone
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke