Saturday, July 29, 2006


Back when I was bartending, as is usual in the restaurant business, I would have to take some slow shifts if I wanted the good weekend nights. One of them would be monday lunch which turned out to, on somedays, be better then a Saturday night. Tips could be up there if it was a nice day out. Lots of housewives getting together to one up each other on how busy they are for 2 and a half hours. Nearly every shift one of the housewives would bring in a stroller. In house wife land, in the upscale town of Marblehead, babies are the ultimate accessory. Many waiters (I would be the only floor staff for the shift and have to cover the tables too) and waitresses cringe when a woman pushes in a stroller, much like this guy does. I don't cringe or bum out. I know what's coming next. I know my day is about to brighten. You see at some point during lunch that baby is going to be fed. Not with a bottle, with a full on breast and the formerly bored housewife turned new mommie will make sure that everyone sees how fabulous her tits have become.

I'm not some creepy leering waiter but I know a show when I see it. I never got tired of it. Call me a libertarian but I'm not offended by a womans breasts. Usually they don't need a hungry baby as an excuse for me to look. I'll look if you ask me to look. You don't even have to ask nicely. In any event, it is good for the baby and that's ultimately what's important. So I say go ahead and breast feed. Some of us aren't more uptight then a Baptist Muslum.

Friday, July 28, 2006

OK I Think I Made My Point

The picture is grim. It makes me sad. Still more grim news I just couldn't pass on.

From The Washington Post scroll down to "Your Worse Nightmare"...
I can wait you out.

I'm not buying your overpriced place on some silly discount. I'm buying at 2002 or earlier prices. If not from you, then from your bank when you foreclose. So keep dreaming about "soft landings." All the greater fools already bought ... the rest of us are those who could afford it, but weren't willing to mortgage our futures on crazy loans and overpricing.

In a bear market the last one in during the bull market is usually the one who loses everything. I'm talking about speculators here, people who bought with no regard to the risk they were taking.

I'm talking about developers who paid $300,000 for a 'teardown' and then put up the SUV of housing we all like to call McMansions. Now people are leaving the state because they can't afford $800,000 for a 4 bedroom colonial with no lot that looks nice from the street but faces 15 bay windows to the south. For those who don't know, south facing windows in New England mean high A/C bills in summer and higher oil bills in winter. Both of which are going up in price. (I see a lot of new wood piles in yards that never had them before. It's only a matter of time before the MassDEP outlaws wood fire home heating or requires smokestack scrubbers.)

A lot of this issue wouldn't be so much of a problem if cities and towns would grant permits to build apartment buildings with 3 bedroom units. I'm not usually a cheerleader for any soft-science Ivy League professor, especially an economist but a May '06 report The Economic Impact of Restricting Housing Supply
By Edward L. Glaeser, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston , Harvard University
paints a clear picture of how screwed we're going to be in the coming years.
First, limits on new construction are responsible for the declines in
Massachusetts’s population reported in the recent Census estimates.
He goes on to say what I've been saying (and without all that high falootin' ivy crawling up my walls) that despite the governments failure to properly assess it's cost of living index (it only counts rent not mortgage payments when calculating inflation those low numbers should really be 10 points higher for the last half decade) high prices in real estate will drive people and business out of the state. Since we make nothing that anyone would actually want to buy on the international market, eventually there will be no police, fire, nursing, janitors, waiters or plumbers who can afford to live here. That means eventually our affluence will catch up to us and bite us in the ass. Pricing the poor out of the housing market might have cleaned up Central Square in Cambridge for a while but eventually we will end up looking like Johnstown, PA where you can't give some of those formerly expensive houses away. It will be OK though, our sons might not be able to find a job but our daughters will find ample employment, while they're still young and pretty, at one of the many fine strip clubs on Route 22 toward Pittsburg. Or whatever we have on Route 1.

The thing is we have our own greed to blame for this. We want low taxes and limited government so we use creative methods to avoid spending. Instead of a slight raise in property taxes to fund good schools we restrict the new construction of 3 bedroom apartments. Why do we do that? A one bedroom apartent can be found for $500-700. A two bedroom apartment can be found for around $750 - 900 if you're not in metro Boston. That's a bout a $250 difference in the cost of the second bedroom. A three bedroom goes for $1500+. That's a mortgage payment on a house purchased prior to 2002 and almost twice the two bed prices. So let's build more three bedroom apartments. No can do. Families need more then an extra bedroom. Families imply 2.5 children coming into the school system at $8000 a piece but property tax returns on a three bedroom apartment are only about $3000. Towns lose money on three bedroom apartments full of happy families. Families are forced to buy a house so that the taxes (for our McMansion it's about $8000 a year) are paid while the children are toddling and the 30 year mortgage ensures the parents will continue to pay taxes for at least a decade after their kids graduate. Apartment dwellers can come into a town with a good school when the kids start kindergarden and leave immediately after graduation. So families in apartments are a parasite on the communities they live in. Naturally, the system favors locking families into houses long enough to recoup any losses on educational expenses.

What can be done? You can get a Condo approved for 3 bedrooms, condos have a higher tax rate then apartments. Should we raise taxes then? No not for all of us. Change the tax rate for apartments so that 3 bedroom apartments pay off. Stagger the tax rate so that the first two bedrooms cost a fortune and take advantage of all those transients in 2 bedroom units.

This may already happen anyway. Massachusetts is the most landlord infriendly state in the country. We hate renters with children but not nearly as much as we hate those who profit from their investment in properties that don't generate an assload of taxes. The jokes about to be on all of us.

There are 80 three bedroom condominiums going into a new subdivision near here. They wont sell. They'll end up apartments but taxed at the condo rate. It looks like more "typical American families" with 4.5 people will be able to rent instead of leave the state. And the developer forced to turn landlord will pay more in taxes for the rental property. Do you think the rents will be higher for condo apartments? You bet. It will give every other landlord in town an excuse to raise their rent. The Consumer Price Index will finally reflect high taxes and mortgages and we'll really see the inflation numbers take off.

Welcome to the party. It's about to get really fun.

Monday, July 24, 2006

That Was A Child

Sunday, July 23, 2006

When In The Course Of Human Events...

Air Marshalls are being forced to turn in reports against innocent people to meet a quota. Let me get this straight, a Federal employee must, in order to keep his job, fabricate a report naming random innocent people as possibly suspicious if there are no real threats encountered on the job. That report will then result in the very real possibility of the unknowing individual being placed on the "No Fly" list.

I'm not even going to go into how 'Brown Shirt" this kind of shit is.

Instead, I'm going to offer a solution that doesn't fuck up ordinary Americans just looking to get from one place to another. Someone in the program, high up, must know what planes the agents are flying on. They could easily plant another agent onboard to do something suspicious and see if the marshall files a report on it.

I mean Jesus Howard Christ! It's not like we don't know who the Air Marshalls on the plane are!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Dilemma

Not too long ago, or so it seems, I would have been one of those kids. The kind that sneaks out at night to go off into the woods to drink and smoke and goof off. Lately, several of the neighborhood kids, mid teens, have been walking up our cul-de-sac at all hours. They don't live on this street. They've been going into the woods accross the street, where the Coyote lives, and doing who knows what.

Today I took a walk into the path through the neighbors yard to see what was in there. They've constructed an elaborately bordered path through the woods and through the swamp to a half assed lean-to and a magnificent fire pit. They had benches and pots and pans. Someone even left several cans of Deep Woods Off, which by the time I got there was more then welcome. The site is pretty trash free, they've been burning their cans in the fire so I couldn't tell if they were beer or soda.

Knowing how hard it is for kids to get alcohol and the inverse ease at which they get pot it doesn't surprise me to think that they're doobin it up. The land belongs to a neighbor. The other day she saw them going into the woods and one of them said "Hi" politely and that his grandfather lives "over there", meaning Lisa's Grandfather, so he's her cousin Joseph.

I don't think the owners know about the elaborate opium den these kid have set up for themselves on his property. Like I said, I would have been one of those kids back in my day. I'm also related by marriage to one of them. I don't want to rat them out but sooner or later the police, who do patrol our street, will see them going into the woods. They'll wait 10 minutes for them to get comfortable and then charge in with "Command Presence". If they are into the Buddah and Hooch it will be a parole violation for Joseph, even if he's not smoking himself.

I know a few joints or beers in the summer aren't going to kill them. I think I turned out all right. I do have a nagging conscience though and it's telling me to put a stop to the bonfires before they hurt themselves. When did I become an adult?

Do I turn them in or let them have their teenaged fun?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Not Good

A chill ran down my spine when I read this. Having recently visited the spankatorium at The Brigham & Womens Hospital, that's not good news at all.

Also I believe this is what they mean by "The Law Of Unintended Consequences". Or maybe they knew all along what kind of fight they were picking. In any event, World War Three/Four just might be for real now.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

This Man Makes Ali G Look Like A Brain Surgeon

Bush issued what will probably be the only veto of his 8 years in the Whitehouse to kill one of the few bills that Americans actually wanted.

I don't want to comment on how much of a dumass he sounded like at the G8. Others have done a better job.

What I do want to say is that it isn't funny anymore. It isn't funny that America isn't just apathetic to intelligence like on "The Simpsons" but becoming downright hostile to anyone with any amount of smarts. I'm not talking about the difference between a wine tasting in Sonoma verses a Combine Tractor Demolition Derby. I'm talking about a real open defiance of rational thought. I'm talking about a hatred for those of us who are smart enough to want more than merely what's handed to us (you'll only get what I mean by this link if you're not using Windows.)

We've allowed our national scientific policy to stagnate through systemic labyrinthine regulatory impediment to basic research. A policy that is driving our most talented thinkers to other countries in order to conduct their research. I've seen unpublished results from the Parkinson's GDNF trials. It's amazing. It's too bad we can't do that kind of work here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Installment Of...

Dean Rules! Answers Letters To Dear Abby!!!

Check out the last letter from FRUSTRATED IN BERKELEY.

Dear Frustrated,

You don't tell us how old your brother is. Nor do you tell us who he is. He could be 6 and a total hippy-spawned nobody like you. Conversely, he could be in his 30's and an A&R Guy for Alternative Tenticles Records and simply doesn't think you have what it takes to make it in the biz. Trust me he's doing you a favor. I've heard your singing and it sounds to me as if Huey Lewis was being gang raped by Jello Biafra and Gracie Slick while MC Hammer tries to fix the rip down the crack of his clown pants with a Handy Stitch. Trust me that sound didn't work out for this guy*, what makes you think you can pull it off?

I mean really, let's face it. In these days of Go-Go entertainment where singers like Britney, Christina and the immensley talented virtuoso we all know as Jo-Jo signed in their teens and saw their careers peak before they could even legally buy the Crystal they were washing their "medication" down with... I'm afraid at 7 years of age, you're already too old for the meat grinder of Pop Music. It would take day's to properly record an album and promote you as the newest youngest sound. There would be no time for the label to recoup it's marketing costs before it drops you for some 6 year old with a better attitude, more telegenic face, bigger boobies and higher Q rating.

Your brother is only trying to do you a favor. Remember, the world needs telemarketers, IT help desk drones who can stick to the script and girls with big boobs who go up to lonely guys in bars with a tray of dollar shots. That's where your future lies. Give up the dream of becoming a singer now while you're young enough to bounce back from when the world eventually grinds you down.

Dean Rules!

* Just kidding, that sound did actually work out for him. I hope he has a good sense of humor and doesn't take me to court.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In Other News

While "World War III" or is it IV has unoficially started in Lebanon I thought it would be nice to take note of another bit of news that might not have been noticed.

The United States managed to send a Space Shuttle into the sky and bring it back without asploding all over Texas. Way to go. Now we're 1 for 1 since the last major space disaster at NASA.

In other news, while NASA celebrates not fucking things up, private citizen Robert Bigelow inflated the first segment of his own space station which he hopes will be the first private hotel in space. Owner of Comfort Suites, Bigelow will beat Conrad Hilton's heirs to bring Stanley Kubrick's vision to reality.

So it's the United States Government celebrating mediocrity while a man nobody has ever heard of, with the help of the Russians brings the possibility of space travel to the average man.

Monday, July 17, 2006

No Vietnamese Ever Called Me A Nigger

Mohammed Ali is thought to have said the title of this post. Unfortunately as great as this soundbite is, it was likely never said publicly, on record*. However it is possible he may have said it privately. It was well known to the Boomers at the time but forgotten to Generation X and the Echo that Cassius Clay refused millitary service. He risked his career and everything he had in order to stand up for what he believed in. He knew the difference between two men who agree to hit each other with padded mittens and going to the other side of the world to kill strangers. What Ali probably said was this:
Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.
Which he said in Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties (1999) by Mike Marqusee

In light of all the bloodshed going on in Lebanon this past weekend and all the mutual defense pacts we and other nations hold with each other, here is a link that may come in handy in the very near future.

As for me, I'm medically unfit for combat. Bad eyes, ankles and teeth. I'm severly anemic and to top it all off... the amphetamines or "go pills" they give to combat troops put me to sleep. So yeah, maybe I'm a pussy. I'd rather be home with my family then out pillaging people I know aren't doing me any harm.

* Ralph Keyes' Nice Guys Finish Seventh: False Phrases, Spurious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations

Sunday, July 16, 2006 Sucks

I absolutely know for certain that I listened to way more then just Motorhead and Bowling for Soup last week.

While I'm thinking of it. Why can't the Macintosh save a screen cap as a jpeg instead of dropping it directly in the middle of a pdf file? pdf's are for fucking text and pictures belong in a tiff or jpeg or even a god damned bitmap.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Nice to see you stopped by Friday morning too.

Hello Paul

Thanks for the visit July 14th at 10:44:56am. Thanks for stopping by.

That's a nice big monitor you've got but only 16 million colors? Can't Firefox handle more?

I know I should color up my site beyond black and yellow before I go harping on all the wasted colors in the world.

Spooky isn't it?

A Shot In The Ass

Here's a little bit of reality. Forbes Magazine calls Essex County Massachusetts the most overpriced local in the country. Maybe if we stopped burning down our 40B affordable housing it would be an easier place to live.

In other news:


I know it's been a recurring theme with me to be so down on the housing market. Homes would be a lot cheaper around here if we didn't have 30 years of Title 9 and Wetlands Reclamtion Acts giving shortsighted city councils the tools they need to keep their quaint little villages from growing to meet the demand. Try building a 3 bedroom apartment. No town in Massachusetts will grant a building permit. Two bedrooms implies one or two children, three bedrooms implies 5 children. That's roughly 40,000 dollars in education costs per year on a property that could be taxable at around $1500 a year. In the mean time the towns bend over backwards to grant tax breaks to build 2 bedroom 55+ communities. It doesn't matter that they're shortselling their grandchildrens futures. They're not expecting any return on that sort of investment. What the hell can grandchildren ever do for them?

More on this later.

OH my is this my first "to be continued" posting?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Keep Your Powder Dry

What the hell is going on? The city with the strictest gun laws in the country having the most heavily armed and quick to fire police forces (plaural) in the country is under a state of emergency because they can't control petty crime.

I never understood how a city or a state could get away with passing laws, especially gun laws, that directly conflict with the Constitution of the United States. What's to stop someone from founding and incorporating their own township and passing a law making black slavery legal?

I guess there really is nothing in the Constitution addressing "hunting" directly. To the men and women of the 18th century "hunting" would have been as natural as breathing while running or swimming if you fell out of a boat. It would never even have occured to them that there would be a time where people hunt simply for the enjoyment of the sport.

Hunters, by the way, are the group of sportsmen who would have more self education then any other group of gun owners. Forcing them to further 'training' in order to obtain a license is simply harassment and a barrier to new participants from joining the sport.

Don't forget, just because the condominium in Cambridge or Brookline doesn't have a yard or even parking doesn't mean that there aren't wild animals in the state that we may need to defend ourselves against.

Maybe we need to remind those limosine liberals behind the Crimson Curtain who only strap on their Tevas to go hiking down to Starbucks why they might need a gun someday. Perhaps a night in Orange or Stockbridge, covered in Doe Scent would clue them into the numerous creatures that consider them a tasty if not 'gamey' snack.

No Marty, I'm not talking about you. I know you don't like coffee.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Tell me this doesn't look like a bubble.

Whatever you do, do not refinance.

Original loans, considered purchase money, are non-recourse loans that limit lenders to recovering only what they can get when they sell the house. They can't go after the owner to pay any difference between the foreclosure sales price and the loan balance.

But in California, refinanced loans, second trust deeds and home equity lines of credit are generally considered recourse loans. In these cases, a lender can file suit and go after almost any of the borrower's assets once they obtain a court judgment.

I believe it's the same in Massachusetts. (Tom, care to correct me if I'm wrong?)

Even if homeowners can make their payments the increase in forclosure rates signals the alarming possibility of a cascade of declining property values such that even solvent mortgagees may find themselves with a grossly inverted equity position on their homes. The good news is that unlike the stock market there will be no margin call, the banks cannot demand a sudden payment to correct for negative equity (this doesn't take into account ARMs, those people are screwed.) The bad news is that these individuals will end up regional prisoners forced to remain in a home that they would otherwise have to pay out their own money in order to sell. The only question being how many mortgage payments will it take for them to lose the least amount of money at closing? Many will hold on not caring how much money they'll lose in their lifetime if the property is comfortable enough to call 'home'. They may even find success at renting the property out if they do find their life situation demanding a relocation.

However, there is one method* of getting out from under a bad mortgage. I expect to see more of these double fires where the insurance covers the mortgage and the homeowners can walk away with the sale of the land.

* The interesting bit from the article:
The FDNY and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office is taking that idea seriously, too: There have already been indictments for mortgage fraud involving one of the burnt buildings.

More 'second fire' links:


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hey You Kids! Get Out Of My Yard! I Know Who Your Parents Are! You Wouldn't Be Pulling This Crap If Nixon Was In The Whitehouse!

I said this in the comments over here

As Age-Related Dementia hits the Baby Boomers, you know the generation of astonishing self-centered entitlement, you can expect these kinds of encounters to increase.

"Hello, 911. I know that 'ethnic' family with 4 children are the ones stealing the clippings out of my compost pile. Why can't you just arrest them and send them back to Mexico?"

"What is wrong with you? I ordered an iced mochachino with just soy milk foam and when I got back in my car it was half full of watterey chocolate milk."

Then I see this. What jumps out at me is the line:

Most boomers don't act or look old. We're enjoying our peak earning years, so why should we get special treatment in a restaurant or a movie theater?

If I read that correctly the Boomers think their most recent boom of facelifts and liposuction entitle them to yet another bigger slice of pie. This comes at the expense of the generation behind them who aren't in their peak earning years and therefore the family trip to the movies or a fancy meal represents a significantly larger portion of their overburdened paycheck. That is a larger sacrifice of other goods and services coming into their lives for the privilege of listening to smug self-important pricks whine about their own pathetic existance.

I for one don't fucking want to hear it. And I really don't want to hear how great the 60's were anymore. I know you're all filthy liars and didn't really go to Woodstock, anyway.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Oh No. It's the Apocalypse.

"OOooooohh! I love the legitimate theater."
-- Homer Simpson

And I beheld a lamb and a demon with 7 horns and upon each horn three score crowns and for the silence of half an hour the tormented souls of the damned had to watch this shit.

The Wedding Singer is being performed on Broadway.

I can't wait for 'The Jeffersons On Ice!'

Monday, July 10, 2006

Barney's Girlfriend

For over a year now this white cat, which we simply call 'White Kitty', has been showing up around our house looking for a free handout. She used to come right in and wander around the house, sniffing around the furniture. After about an hour she'd want to be let back out where she'd go to the woods accross the street and pounce on hapless rodentia. At first we thought she was abandonned by someone living at the college (Gordon College is 100 yards up the street). She seemed to make a good living catching small creatures and pulling handouts from Lisa and I or the 86 year old lady on the corner. Then one day last fall she stopped coming around. I thought the Coyote got her. Just after the first snow she showed up rail thin and went to town on a can of tuna I put in front of her like she hadn't eaten in weeks. I let her warm up in the house but eventually she wanted out and in no uncertain terms let me know that she was an outdoor kitty.

We assumed she was a stray at that point and thought that she might have been taken in by the old lady on the corner. This spring the old lady died. We didn't see the white kitty for a while. There was an ad in the paper to adopt a white semi-feral female cat with a Wenham phone number on it. We thought she was going to another home.

In the mean time we got Barney who's not allowed outside at all. And given how sick he was when we got him and the occaisional flare ups in the last couple months we felt it was best not risk exposing him to FIPS or FeLV.

Then a couple weeks ago White Kitty came back around looking for a free meal. She sat right on the front porch meowing and waiting for attention. She didn't understand why we wouldn't let her inside but we did give her some food on the porch. Barney fell in love with her the moment he saw her through the glass storm door. She hissed at him, ate the food and ran into the woods. She's been back a couple times since then. Barney watches us feed her with a look in his eyes that I can only describe as pure desire with just a spark of tenderness. She hisses at him, eats and runs off.

Yesterday Lisa found out who owns her. It's a house up the street, on the other side of the swamps. She's not semi-feral or abandonned. She's just an attention-whore/free-meal slut. And she's breaking Barney's heart everytime she walks by.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Didn't Jesus Rise From The Dead And Escape To The South Of France Too?

Ken Lay is rapidly becomming the new "Elvis". Nobody believes he's dead and pretty soon they'll be showing grainy Super 8 films of him running through the lobby of The Four Seasons Monte Carlo like some sort of Sasquach. Even with photographic evidence no one believes he's really dead and cremation will dispose of that drunk hobo with the same dental records quite nicely.

Friday, July 07, 2006

And Backyard Swimming Pools Kill More Children Then Licensed Handguns

It turns out that "the painkiller more hospitals prescribe then any other" may cause more liver failure then any other. It's not over indulgence in spiritious beverages as previously thought.

Tylenol, Paracetamol or just plain generic acetaminophen may be accurately described as the first designer drug. A pharmacists mistake at a hospital in Germany lead to the discovery that acetanilide was a marvelous painkiller. However it proved to be toxic and so in 1893 acetaminophen was synthesized to give the same painkilling punch with less lethal side effects. Arriving prior to the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906, the drug escaped clinical testing. Tylenol does reduce the signs of fever and offers mild non-habit forming pain relief, however if it were released today it may not pass FDA approval for human consumption. If it did, it would certainly not be over the counter as is the case with other drugs where liver toxicity is a concern and constant monitoring during treatment is a must.

Even with it's potential lethality, since it doesn't get you high, I doubt the DEA will do anything to stop its production or restrict its sale. They're too busy pushing around the cold medicine industry.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bad News Isn't Always Bad News For Everyone

New Jersey did indeed shut down casino gaming in Atlantic City which not only affected the employees of the casinos but also royally fucked up the lives of folks planning their summer vacation and those poor souls in other states who provide transportation services to the #1 destination on the Jersey Shore.

The casinos are understandably pissed off. They're losing 20 million dollars a day and will not take the hit lightly. Anyone who wants to run for public office against the current incumbents will probably find a political campaign funding windfall from casino largress. It further rubs salt into the casinos wounds because the "non-essential state employees" who were ordered to stay home until the state budget is fixed are actually paid for by the casinos, not out of the state budget directly.

With all this political hooliganism going on and the appalling urban blight 3 blocks in from the casinos it's no wonder Parker Brothers wants to move Monopoly elsewhere.

However there is one bit of good news, the Indians are going to make a fortune.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cuba Libre'

I've always wanted to watch fireworks from above. Let the mere mortals sit in the park or on the beach and look up. Not for me. A few years back I finally got my chance. The 4th was a wednesday and I spent it in Tel-Aviv watching the lighted fireworks sculpture on (I think) city hall. Flying home from The Middle East the following saturday (by way of a 6 hour layover in London) we hit the eastern seaboard at about 8:30 somewhere around Northern Maine and turned down the coast. At 9pm we were over New Hampshire and Cape Ann when every town on the coast lit up. From 10,000 feet it was stunning. Every few 'inches' of coastline with blue and red and white and purple and green popping all about.

Since then, it takes a lot to get me excited for fireworks. The last couple years my favorite part of the show is when the 'smiley face' goes wrong and comes out a frown or a cyclopse. Saturn is kind of nice. We've all seen them now. Last night 'The Farms' (pronounced the Faaaahhmmms) had cubes which were notably absent from Marbleheads display.

These are not from last night. I stole the picture from somewhere else.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Here Comes The Next Boogeyman

Criminals are wearing body armor. Why would any law abiding person need a bullet proof vest? Clearly these defensive, passive articles of clothing have only one purpose. That is to protect a criminal from the police during the commission of a crime. Therefore it is an absolute must for law enforcement to restrict and even criminalize the possession of body armor. Afterall, law abiding citizens have no fear of being shot. Even if law abiding individuals are in danger the police will always be a phone call and between a 4 to 20 minute response-time away. Anyone who's ever seen 'Scarface' knows a person can survive upwards of 30 seconds of automatic weapon fire. Four minutes... I can do that standing on my head. Who needs a bullet proof vest? Certainly not this guy.

We have to outlaw body armor now or else we'll have to train our police to be better shots.

Monday, July 03, 2006

How Bad Could It Be?

The State of New Jersey has shut down its government because they couldn't agree on a budget. Now, the casinos are all shutting down because they need daily government oversight. People will be out of work and the state will lose about $2million a day in taxes.

Boo Fucking Hoo.

That's what the casinos get for even allowing themselves to be pushed around by the government in the first place. Color me a libertarian but I don't think the government has any business telling anyone what they can sell, manufacture or provide as a service if there is no direct victim. Gambling isn't a crime. It's human nature. Drinking and smoking and riding the rush are human nature. It's not immoral.

Lies to start a war is what is truly immoral. Running your business, which was perfectly legal yesterday, so that you don't have to lay off your staff today, is absolutely fucking not immoral.

Happy Fourth of July. It used to be called Independence Day.
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