Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Is Our Media Learning? Misc. Thoughts ...

The news reports are chalk full of complaints about the MTA's rate hikes and service cuts (etc.). Fair enough -- this is a big story with horrible consequences to strap hangers. But since this is such a big story, why are the media only just complaining? The MTA/NYCTC are chalk full of waste, corruption and bad management. Why isn't the media investigating this? You'd think that they would want to rush to get the "big story of MTA malfeasance" ... and yet ... what ever happened to investigative journalism? or, for that matter, journalism?

If the media don't want to be "replaced" by bloggers, perhaps they should do things that someone blogging whilst procrastinating about facing a horrendously long to-do list simply cannot do?


For all the so-called liberal media's lurve of Obama (well, compared to how they usually treat Dems, they are showing favoritism to Obama), they certainly don't treat him as well as they did Chimpy McFlightsuit. The media here in NYC have rightly been up in arms about yesterday's "photo op". Again, fair enough. But, pace the rightwing intertubes whom I imagine are pretty much claiming that the media went after Cmdr Codpiece for his stupid photo-ops whilst, I imagine the wingnuts claiming, they are treating Obama with kid-gloves on this, could you imagine the response (given, e.g. the media's response to all of Chimpy McFlightsuit's photo ops) the media would have given if Bush & CO staged this fly-over? Whatever dramatic pictures taken in the photo-op would be plastered all over the TeeVee and magazine covers to indicate how manly our Presnit is ... meanwhile the NYCers who fled would have been labeled as "effete liberals all too eager to cower before terrists".


Is our media learning? I think not ...

Friday, April 24, 2009


Dora Overload

My wife and I are now on Dora overload. So that you can feel our pain (and the pain of everyone with a daughter of a certain age), here is a guide to Dora the Explorer:

The Premise: Dora and friends have to go somewhere, whilst overcoming obstacles and learning Spanish. It scores so many good show points that you feel so guilty for hating it so much ... and yet I dare anyone over the age of 10 to watch it without wanting to pull their hair out.

The Characters:

Dora: The melon-headed Keane kids' hispanic cousin. A positive role model for young girls. So of course, they had to tart her up. The pathetic thing: it could have been worse.

Boots: Dora's best friend -- a cute monkey who wears cute fuschia boots. He also has the range of affect and personality of a Labrador Retriever.

Swiper the Fox: A kleptomanical fox who can be repelled merely by repeating (5000x), "Swiper, no Swiping". Perhaps our national security might work this way -- repeating "Al Qaeda no bombing" 5000x is probably just as effective as anything Pres. GWB ever did. I think Pres. Obama might be seeking to implement this approach in dealing with corporate malfeasance.

The Backpack: the most realistic character on Dora the Explorer -- just like a real backpack, it eats all of your stuff, says "yum, yum, delicioso" and then you can't find anything again (until your in an airport security line with your backpack and the screeners manage to find that trial size shampoo you've been looking for -- who says TSA is useless?).

The Map: what with the advent of Google Earth, GPS and all, this paper map is starting to feel like a useless old relic who doesn't have the prowess he once had. So whenever his services are needed, he makes a big deal about being "The Map" (think Shelley Levene in Glengarry Glen Ross ... which office set-up -- with the "leads" and all -- the play depicts, to me seems a stupid way of running a sales office, but from what "Timmy" has told me of his experiences in sales, I'll believe that's how things work in these environments). He always manages to lead Dora and crew through some obstacle, though. Frankly, he's so desperate that I betcha somebody (Swiper maybe) is gonna pay him off to lead Dora into a trap, from whence Dora's Mami and Papi will have to pay a lot of money to get her back (the risk being that maybe they're sending her out on these "explorations" in the first place to try and get rid of her, so they won't pay much to get her back anyway). I just don't trust that map -- as I said -- always leading Dora and crew into obstacles ... again, The Map reminds me too much of Shelley "The Machine" Levene ...

I know I don't have all the characters ... anybody else have additions to this post?

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Tax Time!

I just finished doing my taxes ... cripes, NY (state and city on top of that!) taxes are expensive! If I didn't know any better, I'd become a Republican right here and now. For the amount of money I'm paying in taxes to NY (relative to my income and compared to my NJ taxes, e.g.), how come I have to wait hours in the DMV, have a stupid parking ticket because the stupid muni-meter receipts flip over when you close your door and NYC doesn't print these in a two-sided manner, drive on roads chock full of tire/alignment destroying potholes, etc.?

As I keep saying, priority #1 for the DNC should be making Democratic areas paragons of good, efficient governance. People should be saying -- I'm gonna move to the Big Democratic City as soon as I find a job there, not I want to get out of this over-priced cess-pit of corruption and patronage where I pay too much in taxes to get bubkis in return.

Nu? The whole case of the Democratic party is that responsible government can do a boatload of good. So, when will the DNC start busting heads (and local political machines) and start making some shining cities on hills to serve as examples of how good, clean and efficient governance can make your life better rather than serving as examples of how Democrats, when they run things, resort to machine politics and end up taxing you excessively?

BTW -- the stimulus package is a perfect place to get this rolling ... with money comes strings attached. The Democrats can subtly shift money to as to reward politicians that initiate anti-machine and pro-efficiency reforms? Perhaps the way to break the machines and local clubs is to fight patronage with patronage? Obama knows what's going on, and he has shown interest in being a transformative politician -- why doesn't he fight dirty as a Chi-town politician must well know how to do and, in the end, really transform the Democratic party and hence allow for a real, solid (transcending our current socio-economic situation) Democratic majority in which people trust good governance because they see it in action (as opposed to the reverse which hurts the Dems. now).

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