Alarming News

December 30, 2004

Which Americans would those be? (By Guest Blogger Candace)

All of this tsunami aid business takes me back to the roots of my belief about the role of government. Sometimes I want to stand up and scream that my face is not tattood with the American flag, and neither should it be. Perhaps for a Frenchman or one of the opportunists at the New York Times, the concept of “American aid” coming from Americans is unthinkable. But it isn’t from me.

Those darling editors don’t think we’re giving enough. In fact, we never do.

I wonder what would happen if you added to that $35 million the millions of dollars of aid coming from Americans themselves.

Yes, there’s always Medicins Sans Frontieres. Or its US chapter.
Or World Vision, straight from my hometown.
Or the American Red Cross (and the 80,000+ individual Americans who have contributed to it in the last several days through Amazon.com alone, a total number of donations that will soon surpass $5 million).
Or churchgoers across America donating into special offerings.
How about the American Jewish World Service?
Catholic Relief Services‘ $25 million?
US-based Mercy Corps?
Donations in the form of needed medical supplies?
Oxfam’s $5 million appeal?
Or the countless businesses that have contributed?

Project Hope. US Unicef. The Salvation Army. Bill & Melinda Gates. I could go on all day with examples. Even the Times itself had to call our money a “flood” of its own.

Unless we make it through our taxes, though, some people will insist it doesn’t count. Meanwhile, I’ll insist it does, and more so because it’s voluntary. And I encourage people to give and do whatever they can, instead of passing off the responsibility to the government, which forces you to give.

And don’t let those stingy well-paid editors whining about their government’s contribution denigrate you.

Posted by at 01:04 PM | Comments (6)

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, ha, I can’t, ha, breathe, haha. (By guest blogger Candace)

“In the same breath, Dino Rossi says a drawn-out process would hurt Washington state and then he asks for another election,” said Kirstin Brost, Democratic Party spokeswoman. “He wants to spend $4 million of taxpayer money for a new election because he doesn’t like the results.”

No, if he doesn’t like the results, he should just start “finding” new ballots! That’s the ethical way. Ask Ukraine — they had it right the first time, didn’t they?

Via SeattleTimes.com.

Posted by at 12:36 PM | Comments (9)

Even if you don’t want to play, it’s Game On! anyway (by guest blogger Peter)

And so the dance continues. The saga known as the Montreal – Puerto Rico – Washington Expos/Nationals carries on for another day. DC mayor Anthony Williams signed a bill which officially brings Major League Baseball back to our nation’s capital more than three decades after their last team skipped town (again). For reasons I won’t get into here, I was opposed to baseball’s return to DC in the first place but since it’s happening anyway, I just hope the decimated franchise gets some sense of stability as soon as possible.

Tim Marchman had a great article in Monday’s NY Sun which sums up the absurdity of the Exponals fiasco. For those of you who haven’t been following this story, the big issue which almost killed the deal was that MLB expected a new stadium to be paid for with taxpayer money while the DC city council wanted the financing to come from private sources. The city caved, but don’t think it’s just the folks in Washington who are being forced to open up their wallets. According to Marchman, it looks like federal money is getting mixed into the park as well. For shame.

Currently, the Expos Nationals are owned by the other 29 MLB owners, a sizeable group of rather successful business men and women. When they finally find a buyer for the team, the owners’ collective is expected to make a profit in excess of $200M. Consider the fact that we’re dealing with people who pay the Kris Bensons of the world $22.5M to pitch for three years, and you have a group of people who could totally build their own stadium if needed. But why make them loosen their purse strings when the IRS can mug us for the money?

Posted by Peter at 02:06 AM | Comments (4)

Some Democrats refuse to let it go.

I mean, really refuse:

About a half dozen supporters of John Kerry are holding vigil in front of his house, still hoping for a Kerry presidency.

”Who knows? Maybe we’ll overturn the election,” said Sheila Parks, a vigil organizer.

Posted by Karol at 01:54 AM | Comments (8)

How do you say “Fight the good fight” in Italian? (by guest blogger Peter)

Italy Cafe Owners Vow to Rebel Against Smoking Ban

I wish them well. Hopefully the Italians will fare better than my fellow New Yorkers who just rolled over and took it like a Frenchman when Mike Bloomberg handed down his smoking ban here. I could start my own blog just to enumerate all the reasons why I think Bloomberg’s a terrible mayor, but I’ll just bother you with one per post.

I was actually thinking about this earlier, does anyone know if any of these smoking bans have been challenged in the courts? I still don’t see the legality in outlawing a legal activity from occurring within a private establishment.

Posted by Peter at 12:09 AM | Comments (10)

December 29, 2004

Not at all useless entertainment blogging (By guest blogger Candace)

On an another important note, Sex and the City Season 6 Part 2 comes out this week.

I knew you would all want to know.

Posted by at 10:43 PM | Comments (4)

Useless celebrity blogging (By guest blogger Candace)

All this time I’ve admired Nicole Kidman, I’ve rarely seen her actually act.

I could maybe perhaps have forgiven the Chanel commercials but now that I’m finally sweeing The Stepford Wives, I’m officially a Scarlett Johansson girl. Final word.

Posted by at 08:26 PM | Comments (13)

May the useless blogging begin (By guest blogger Candace)

Following Annika’s lead. We begin with “Useless Diet Blogging”:

Best South Beach Diet dessert ever:
Almond extract + fresh mascarone cheese (also known as the world’s best sweet cheese in the whole stinking world and the only thing saving me temporarily from the inevitable no-sugar breakdown)

Yummy.

Posted by at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

Fashionably late (By Guest Blogger Candace)

How do I excuse myself for being so late to the guest-blogging party? There are excuses, you know: everybody is reading about the tsunami anyway, and really, people generally seem more interested in my wardrobe than my politics. And I care a lot less about having my style misjudged than my ideology. As a result, I get a little nervous about you guys. The Karol crowd in New York is fan-freaking-tastic. The Spot On crowd on the internet is a little bit intimidating.

But enough with excuses. I am on top of some things today, and not just how to wear a denim miniskirt in high December (though I’ll gladly answer those questions as well).

There’s my hello. Now be ready to suffer from my every thought, since my own site isn’t letting me post today.

Posted by at 07:49 PM | Comments (4)

Lawyers, start your motions (by guest blogger Dawn Summers)

Thailand delayed issuing tsuami warnings for fear it might hurt tourism business.

Posted by at 07:46 PM | Comments (2)

And let me just tell you how much better that makes me feel

Linkin Park is on the tsunami’s case.

Posted by Karol at 06:49 PM | Comments (5)

FYI

No one that I spoke to in Honduras seemed to be too concerned about the government crackdown in big cities, I was on the island Roatan, they seem much more interested in what is happening in Asia.

Posted by Karol at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

JERRY ORBACH DEAD AT 69 (by guest blogger Dawn Summers)

Rest In Peace, Lennie

My friend lived down the hall from Jerry Orbach. Whenever I visited her, I would see him in the lobby or in the elevator. Of course, I have a chronic case of star-struckness and would always look away or hide behind pillars if I saw him. One day, shortly after new year’s day in 2001, I vowed that I would say hi the next time I saw him.
Unfortunately, I vowed this out loud as my friend was locking her door and it turns out Jerry Orbach and his wife were also in the hallway opening their door when I made my out loud vow.
D’oh.
His wife very nicely told him to “say hello to the girls.” He turned toward us, smiled and they went inside.
He will be missed.

Posted by at 11:17 AM | Comments (5)

Tired

I was wondering earlier (and chastising myself for being so cynical) how long it would take before the tsunamis in Asia became a political issue for Bush. The answer is not too long. I didn’t guess that the problem would be that he hasn’t mugged for the tv enough, I thought it was going to have an environmental angle — Bush’s environmental policies cause earthquakes and tsunamis, that sort of thing.

The ’stingy’ criticsm from U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland is just icing. The US is, as if there was any doubt, giving the most money, supplies and people toward the effort in Asia. Would it be too much to ask that just this once the obnoxiously dissatisfied ‘world community’ shut up? The alternative is that other superpower, France, that is donating a whole US$135,000 (an amount that would be highly laughable if the situation wasn’t so dire) could run the show. A few kickbacks to thugs and officials, a couple of resolutions on the position of the UN on tsunamis and the relief effort can be begin in earnest six months from now.

The final idiocy in this whole sorry mess is Sri Lanka refusing an Israeli rescue team saying it ‘wants supplies’ instead. Israel is actually sending the supplies requested, being fifty million times nicer than I would be. Oh, you want supplies but not dirty Jews? Well, here’s a Russian phrase for y’all ‘harasho hatet’, ‘it’s good to want’.

Posted by Karol at 01:04 AM | Comments (23)

December 28, 2004

Bias (by guest blogger Dorian Davis)

“Ohio Recount Ends, Shows Vote Closer”

“Election officials finished the presidential recount in Ohio on Tuesday, with the final tally shaving about 300 votes off President Bush’s six-figure margin of victory in the state that gave him a second term.”

Bush margin of victory in Ohio, pre-recount: 118,775.
Bush margin of victory in Ohio, post-recount: 118,457.

Yep.

It’s a lot closer.

Posted by Dorian at 04:30 PM | Comments (18)

Proud moments in punk rock.

Green Day debate if to burn flag during a photo shoot. Decide not to because it’s illegal. Except that, of course, it’s not illegal.

Posted by Karol at 01:41 AM | Comments (11)

I’m not a fan of legislating every little problem, but….

….charging for internet by the minute should be illegal, don’t you think?

Posted by Karol at 01:35 AM | Comments (3)
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