Thursday, April 19, 2007

Don Imus

Don Imus committed the greatest sin any humorist can commit: it wasn't funny. On the other hand, comedienne Sarah Silverberg got away with the following joke on the Conan O'brien show:

"I got jury duty … and I didn't want to go, so my friend said, "You should write something really really racist on the form when you return it. Like, you should put 'I hate chinks'." And I said, "I'm not going to put that on there just to get out of jury duty. I don't want people to think that about me." So instead I wrote, "I love chinks." And who doesn't?"

She still has her show.

Virginia Tech Tragedy

I refer to this as a tragedy because I was finding the references to massacre by the media to sound canned, almost as though it were a show. "NBC will be right back to Massacre at Virginia Tech." It made it sound like a bad made-for television movie.

In terms of the horror of it, there is not too much to say. It was pretty much every parent's nightmare and was the type of daily occurrence that takes place in much of the world that we are so fortunate not to experience very often in North America and Europe.

I am distressed that the assignation of blame is already beginning before parents and friends have even had a chance to say good-bye and I am afraid that much of the discussion will not be fair to the Virginia Tech administration.

I lived in Virginia for ten years before moving north partially due to its right-wing political climate. If the so-called Commonwealth wants to start examining things, it might start with its own system of law and justice, before trying to throw blame on the administration of Virginia Tech.

Part of the problem here is that the shooter had the good sense to kill himself. Unfortunately, the "Commonwealth" now will be unable to do one of the show murder trials that it is so good at and now has to find some other place to foist blame. Hmm, the guns appear to be sold legally and we can't admit that the "Commonwealth's" permissive gun laws might have had something to do with this tragedy, so why don't we blame it on Virginia Tech.

Murders happen all over the country and blocks of cities are seldom shut down in the interim unless the accused is directly cornered. The President of George Washington made this point today, saying that GW occupies 25 city blocks. Virginia Tech is a large sprawling campus. As sad and tragic as this is, Virginia Tech made the best choice they could given the information that they had. Obviously in retrospect they would have acted differently, although it is not entirely clear whether that would have changed the outcome or not.

Let's not let the politicians' desire to shift blame, shift our focus from remembering the entire Virginia Tech community and communities and states around the South and the country, including North Carolina, Georgia, New York and others, who have lost sons and daughters.

I have at times written on a site called DaveSez which has a focus on the ACC and Virginia Tech is one of the newer members of this conference, but I think that we can all agree with what he posted on his site this week--this week, we are all Hokies in spirt.

Bill Maher and Vinyl

Bill Maher got himself into some hot water with audio enthusiasts on his show last week by poking fun at their love of vinyl LP's. I actually thought that his bit was hilarious. It started with him saying, "stop telling me vinyl sounds warmer," and ended with him admitting that many of his records ended up being scratched by errant tosses of water pipes.

Nevertheless, vinyl LP's in good condition with a decent player, do sound at least as good as CD's, although they may be more trouble to care for. You do get the amazing album art, which was something that the Beatles especially were known for. I have ended up buying the Beatles about 3 times over, on record, then cassettes and then on CD, (so take that RIAA) but all things being equal, you really want their music on vinyl for the great album covers.

Here is my definitive top ten list of Beatles Studio Albums:

1. Rubber Soul
2. Sgt. Pepper's
3. Abbey Road
4. The White Album
5. Revolver
6. Help
7. A Hard Day's Night
8. With the Beatles
9. Let it Be
10. Beatles for Sale
11. Please Please Me

Top Five List of Solo Beatles' Albums :

1. All Things Must Pass--George Harrison
2. John Lennon--Plastic Ono Band
3. Band on the Run--Paul McCartney and Wings
4. Imagine--John Lennon
5. Venus and Mars--Paul McCartney and Wings

Alberto Gonzales

I find this Alberto Gonzales imbroglio amusing in that Gonzales seems to be sort of a Dan Quayle version of an attorney general.

I mean, how can you be the head of DOJ and not know anything that is going on in your department on such key questions as the replacement of United States Attorneys? At one point during today's hearings he made an all time classic Washington statement, saying at one point: "I now understand there was a conversation with myself and the president."

Obviously, he must have only been a figurehead or none of this makes sense. You get the feeling when these decisions were being made that if Gonzales leaned into the room, the other operatives would say, "Alberto, we're really kind of busy right now." And yet, he keeps protesting that "[a]t the end of the day I know I did not do anything improper."

And no, you probably didn't, because you probably had nothing to do with the decision at all.

Here is what I propose:

This guy Gonzales, since he thinks he is running the Justice Department, if you put a Burger King crown on his head would just as likely think that he was the King of England. Let George Bush take Alberto! out for a kid's meal at BK and lets promote Alberto up and get him as far away as from our nation's Department of Justice as possible.

Quaker Fox

The term "Quaker" refers to a member of the Religious
Society of Friends, which is the proper name of this sect.
There are two reputed origins of the term, the first
refers to people "quaking" or trembling when feeling
moved by the Holy Spirit to speak in Meetings for
Worship. The other according to Elfrida Vipont Brown, is:

George Fox was arrested in Derby in October 1650 and
charged with blasphemy. The magistrates who tried him
were Gervase Bennett and Colonel Nathaniel Barton.
George Fox was questioned intermittently over an eight
hour period, during which at one point George Fox told
the magistrates "Tremble at the word of the Lord". It
was Justice Bennett who coined the name "Quakers" for
the followers of George Fox.

Given that judges today in the United States seem to be, if anything, worse than those that George Fox had to deal with, quakerfox seemed like a decent address for insights of a lawyer dealing with criminal justice and liberty.