My Incredible Life: Chapter 1,124 - Correspondence

From a newish friend and somewhat out of context. But, context - while being everything - isn't everything:

Kissing a banana slug... not enough dope in the world to get me to do that.

King Kauffman.... small effin' world!! Do you know him? He was in my circle of friends in SF... back then he was Gary Kauffman. We never really clicked...were more on a friend-of-friends level... but he did adopt my potent Christmas Swedish liqueur recipe...as a crazy friend of ours said at a party through a 1000-watt grin, "It's like mescaline!" I hear Gary... or King... still makes it every year.

I mentioned St Louis because I thought of Gary and his wife Jane moving there. Gary never wanted to leave SF but Jane was from the Midwest. I hear they bought a nice house and Gary likes it there. There is a deeper sense of tradition in the East and Midwest compared to California... you tend to live out the Norman Rockwell paintings. I just went apple and pumpkin picking (and cider doughnut scarfing) with my 3-year old niece; classic New England. A friend of mine who grew up in LA thinks those photos are all staged in a back lot somewhere.

Yes, there are pockets of hipness and thought everywhere, I guess. Just not in Kansas. That's Jesus's land.

So much to ponder and consider. So much...


You Tell Me This Story 3

Yep. That's the good senator George Allen in the middle and the gooderer president George W. on the right. On the left is some important Iraqi dude (Prime Minister or something).

I don't know who that is in the foreground. The good senator's world wide web site didn't identify him. But, with all that's happening in poor George's world (Allen not poorerer W.), I thought I'd refrain from the derogatory. I'll let you do it.

You tell me the story.

GA: So, you think that macacca over there (pointing to the guy in the foreground) can help us with the war on terror or, at least, get some more oil out of Iraq?

GWB: Ah George, that’s General Thomas, our commanding officer in Baghdad.

Iraqi PM (in broken English): I very much like this country.

GA: Oh, what about this sand macacca right here (pointing to Prime Minister)?



Part of the Act

Beautyberry (sync)

Shana Tova

Senator George Allen

Dear Senator Allen,

Shana Tova!

Believe me, I know the feeling. Weird, huh? Jewish law is Jewish law, my brother. Welcome to the tribe (and I don't mean the Cleveland Indians). Whew!

Take your time. Search your soul and figure out your place (our place) in the world.

You might feel a whole lot better if you gave Macaca a quick ring and ask for a little forgiveness. One core value of Judaism revolves around how we say and what we say (you know, "Welcome to America").

And don't worry about being president, my brother, because that just ain't gonna happen. You're not just any old asshole anymore, you're a Jewish, surfer, cowboy, wannabe redneck asshole.

Your tribe-mate,



Jack of All Trades


I get it now. Add 'duh' to that whole "I get it" shit.

Here's the story. The girl kind of liked the Raconteurs single, "Steady As She Goes." Sure, it's a poppy, radio-friendly pop song. Good enough. But, I recently got into The White Stripes. And, not for Meg. Hottie cannot play the drums for shit. But, she sure looks pretty. Great part of the act. But, when I first heard "Steady As She Goes" I was like, whatever, he's giving up White Stripes legend for that shit. Jack White is the White Stripes. So, his side project was going to be good or crap. I had already written it off based on the single (the single wasn't for me). Thanks Bren. I owe you again.

I know, I know. The single was the cha-chingy hook. Get the college girls singing the chorus and you're all good from there. Not for me. I know.

So, the girl had me listening to "Steady As She Goes" over and over while playing with Legos (singing the chorus all the time and such) and I decided to let the album keep playing (since I happened to own it via the Doylestown connection). I am a forty year-old retard! The girl is the real winner (and she listened to and critiqued the entire album).

The album is "Broken Boy Soldiers." And, this is some real good shit. I actually felt bad about discounting my boy Jack White. I was all dissin' him in my mind for putting out sorry shit. I should have realized that "Steady As She Goes" was the lead track. The actual album was afterwards. The trick, of course, it to start the album on track two. Duh.

So Raconteurs. The beauty of the Stripes was the sparsness. Guitar & Drums. Albums featuring clever overdubs. It all made sense. But, shit, Raconteurs gots the whole faux supergroup thing going: guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass (oh, bass!), and some great motherfucking drums. Sorry, Meg. Jack needed some drumming to get him off. And whoever this drummer is, he's intentionally showing his weiner on this record to provide a robust contrast to the sparseness of Meg. The drums really hold this record together.

So, kiddies, add another point to the "Ty/Retard" category which far outscores the "Ty/Genius" total.

Suburban Dad - NIMBY Dad

This is Ray Tony. He's my new neighbor (note address change date below). Thanks to the Internets and my other neighbors I now know a whole bunch about him. It's funny though, I never really thought of myself as one of those NIMBY-type guys, but it's not like I moved here to live among halfway houses, crack dens, or public housing. There's a reason I chose where to live. I kind of like the serenity, relative safety, and creature comforts of high-end suburaban living. So fucking sue me.

But, as they say, you can't control the weather. And you cannot control who moves into your neighborhood (you can't even keep the blacks and the Jews out anymore (see, I can say that because well, I'm Filipino)). It's funny, you think of the stuff that matters to you as you age. You think of the things that change within yourself. You never really think that, sure, I'd kick the ass of an 80 year-old dude. 80 year-old dudes generally get a pass; they fall off the radar. Kicking their asses is like running over a squirril in a 4x4. Too easy, too pathetic. But, sure, why not? He reaches toward the kid and *Blammo!* ass kicked. Funny, huh? There's a reason child sex offenders are pummeled in the prison system. That shit's just wrong. You pick on the helpless, you pay the price. Paradoxically, 80 year-old dudes are rather helpless, but they get jiggy with kids and their ass kicked passes are instantly revoked.

I'm sure the other more uptight neighbors will eventually drum him out of the 'hood, so I'll just keep my knuckles cracked and ready to throw.

So Tony Ray, as Di Nero told Stiller in Meet the Parents, "I'm watching you."


Address Change Date:


Child Sexual Offenders

Information Contact:

Date of Birth:

Current Registration Date:




Today Is One Of Those Days

OK. There is a bi-annual moment where autumn and spring are indisinguishable. Days that are virtually identical. The smells, the temperature, the song birds passing through - coming or going. These moments always catch me by surprise.

You cannot say this about winter and summer. Autumn and spring are similar; summer and winter opposites. A figure eight or the infinity sign as graphic representation.

Today is one of those days in eastern Massachusetts. Hopefully, I'll get another one in Maryland.

Of course, the trees are all wrong. When I'm searching inside and outside of my body, wandering in seasonal confusion (making summer plans in September or preparing for snow in April), I look to the trees - or - I listen for the trees. Drying, falling leaves versus the quiet dance of the new buds.

Breezy sounds give it all away.


Theory Game

Game Theory - First Listen

Wow. No. Holy shit! I really didn’t know what to expect. It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve listened to Phrenology, which to my ears, certainly had some very high highs. But, that record also had quite a few moments not to my particular taste. Nothing bad or weak, just not my style. No biggie.

More recently I’ve been listening to older jazz-flavored, soul-infused Roots. Context.

So when Game Theory came out (or, “dropped”) I was in no hurry to listen. But, I happened across a couple of reviews and a HARP magazine interview. Enough to intrigue.

Before I went to bed last night, I downloaded Game. Up at the crack of dawn for a flight this morning, I almost forgot about it. On the way to the airport I launched the record. From the jump – that’s cool lingo there – Game is… as Ray, no Beef would say, “Game is much dangerous.” Rampaging. Tight. Hard. And, direct. I actually, as some point, said aloud to myself, “God damn!”

Now, I cannot tell you much more than that upon one tired, first listen. But, Game Theory has easily set the stage for potential greatness. Whether it becomes a personal coolassic remains to be seen, but yeah, I believe it’s solid. Or, “the shit” as the kids say.


You Tell Me This Story 3

"Take your fucking candy asshole. Oh yeah, before I forget, don’t make fun of the size of my ass when you haven’t seen your dick for at least 5 years." -M.R.



Clinton Es Mi Hombre

On Democratic losses in 2000 and 2004:

"I'm sick of Karl Rove's bullshit."

- Bill Clinton


The body knows. Apparently, according to the senses, today is the first real day of autumn. I can smell it. I can hear it. The sun is in the right position too. The air is cool and crisp. The wind blows on my skin and the hairs on my arms tingle.

There is a certain darkness today although it is sunny. I can feel the autumn. Sound is sharp. Contrast is high.

Autumn is nostalgic. I suppose we’re readying for the slide – the long, steady slide into the darkness. A high productivity time is autumn.

Ten days to field mowing day.

Wide Awake Friends



"Thank god for chromosomal malformations."

- Ty Hardaway, September 19, 2006


You Tell Me This Story 2

You Tell Me This Story 1

Oops, Our Bad – A Story

Says here in the New York Times that, “Canadian Police Errors Led to Man's Torture, Inquiry Finds.” That is, a mistake in Canada – a software engineer was “wrongly identified” as an “Islamic extremist” – caused Maher Arar (the engineer), who happens to hold Syrian nationality and Canadian nationality, was arrested by USA in New York in 2002, accused of being a member of the old al-Qaedas and sent to Damascus prisons where he was “repeatedly tortured” for a year. Good work. God’s work.

Oops, our bad, little fella! But, the Canadians messed up. Not the USA. Never the USA. We do Good Work. We do God’s work.

Arar's World Wide Web Internets site here

The good news for Canada is that no evidence was found that the Canadian government had played any direct role in the U.S. decision to deport Arar to Syria. They just fucked up. The U.S.A. all on our own decided to steal and torture the guy.

The public security minister in Canada (Stockwell Day) offered, “What happened to Mr. Arar is very regrettable. We hope ... never to see this happen again…'' U.S. agencies declined to be questioned by O'Connor as to why they had deported Arar. Because questioning the U.S.A. on these matters are akin to joining up with the old al-Qaeda team. How dare you question the U.S.A?

And, this from the SF Chronicle from a couple of years back:

“He asked for a lawyer and was told he could not have one. He asked to call his family, but phone calls were not permitted. Instead, he was clapped into shackles and, for several days, made to "disappear." His family was frantic.

Finally, he was allowed to make a call. His government expected that Arar's right of safe passage under its passport would be respected. But it wasn't. Arar denied any connection to terrorists. He was not accused of any crimes, but U.S. agents wanted him questioned further by someone whose methods might be more persuasive than theirs.

So, they put Arar on a private plane and flew him to Washington, D.C. There, a new team, presumably from the CIA, took over and delivered him, by way of Jordan, to Syrian interrogators. This covert operation was legal, our Justice Department later claimed, because Arar is also a citizen of Syria by birth. The fact that he was a Canadian traveling on a Canadian passport, with a wife, two children and job in Canada, and had not lived in Syria for 16 years, was ignored. The Justice Department wanted him to be questioned by Syrian military intelligence, whose interrogation methods our government has repeatedly condemned.”

Doh! But, wait, there’s more:

“The Syrians locked Arar in an underground cell the size of a grave: 3 feet wide, 6 feet long, 7 feet high. Then they questioned him, under torture, repeatedly, for 10 months. Finally, when it was obvious that their prisoner had no terrorist ties, they let him go, 40 pounds lighter, with a pronounced limp and chronic nightmares.

Our intelligence agencies have a name for this torture-by-proxy. They call it "extraordinary rendition." As one intelligence official explained: "We don't kick the s --- out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the s --- out of them.”

Ouch! They wrote, “shit.”

On February 16, 2006, Brooklyn District Court Judge David Trager dismissed Arar's lawsuit against members of the George W. Bush administration. Although Trager discounted legal arguments by the defendants, he based his decision on national security grounds, not legal reasons. Oh well.

Well. It’s a darn good thing that our president wants to keep this shit up. And to Mr. Arar…dude, you got dissed. But, hey, we're doing Good work. God's work.

U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A.


At some point in the past I referenced starting pre-production on a new album. Humph! So where does said record stand? It doesn’t. Yet. The ideas are still floating around my brain. So many ideas, so many concepts, so many goals, so many sources of pleasure to conquer.

So little time.

I think of this yet again while listening to the recently (US) release of TV on the Radio’s “Return to Cookie Mountain” track, “Dirtywhirl [in part]:”

dirty little whirl wind
commander, controller
I've found you
dirty little whirl wind
I am pinned by the heat of your swirl
dirty little whirl wind
decender, destroyer, i've found you
you dirty little whirl wind
tangled up in the flesh of a girl

all I ever wanted to be was destroyed at sea
the hurricane rescued me
savage calamity

The unisions, the rhythmic lyrics, the sleigh bells (I’ve always been a sucker for the sleigh bells in pop songs). That insane voice and the even more kooky mixing. And, what, I’m going to make a new album?

Jay-Z’s releasing an album called “Kingdom Come” in October. And, what, I’m going to make a new album?

Matthew Friedlander has released 5 records in the past three years. And, what, I’m going to make a new album?

Everyone from The Roots to Bob Dylan is making records. And, what I’m going to make a new album?

The Bren’s jammin’ to “Free Ride,” “Free Radicals,” and “Twin Cinema.” And, what, I’m going to make a new album?

And that one song from the Yeah-Yeah-Yeahs with the drums and the guitars and shit. And, what I'm going to make a new album?

Well, yeah. Hell yeah I’m going to make a new record. What did you think?

I’m just not there yet. Jesus! Be patient.



I love that the former planet, Pluto, has been downgraded to designation #134340 -- minor planet status. Nothing personal against Pluto, bro. Just makes me feel alive and historic and shit. Yeah, I was alive when Eris was discovered, named, renamed and stepped up to substitute for Pluto. Xena was a weak name anyhow. Too current, to dumb.

Eris (or discord/strife) has power.

It's like if a rat knocked on your front door and said, "Yo, I'm the new man of the house. You are now a rat. Quit buggin' and get the fuck out." Then the rat, opens your fridge, cracks a cold one, and puts his little black feet on your ottoman and farts while clickin' the remote looking for 'the game.' You then scurry out from the light of the front porch and eat garbage. You resent the other rats. They mock you.

Alive, I tell ya'!

On My Mind

So much on my mind today. But, too little time to post.

Here are some topics:
  • DSG Rules!
  • Carl, the Emphysema Guy - Ashen
  • A Good Hat for A Great Day - Wideawake
  • Silverman v. Leggett
  • Maryland Election
  • Board of Director Membership
  • The Adventures of the Kid
  • Football Rant
And, so many things other that I am neglecting to remember right now. Jesus, how many things can one have on one's mind at the same time? Seven? Maybe nine.

I'll get to it soon, peeps.



I'm so fierce

I can kill with my brain


In Loving Memory

Memorial Service


In memory of…

Celebrating the life of…

Honoring the life of…



As I was sitting there at this weekend’s memorial, I tried to remember the last one I attended. Memorial services are always emotionally messy and physically draining. An odd mix of strangers with only sadness in common and distant friends who have not talked in years. Not a great time to catch up. And, where weddings are historically ripe for random liaisons, funerals are generally a much too cold shower.

After initially thinking my last service was my grandmother’s I was soberly reminded that it was Frank’s. Ahh, yes. “Frank Reed sir.” That was a quality dude. Ethics, morals, values, love, funny as hell, stubborn. So tragically sudden. A great life cut short. Grandkids that he never met. Information he never got to impart. And the circumstances of his death result in more anger than sadness. Anyway…

As shocking as Frank died, he lived a fairly long life and both kids were adults, Laura’s sudden death leaves behind a five year-old and a seven year-old – both girls. No pun intended, but that kills. And, Laura absolutely lived for those girls, you can just tell. How can you even project forward for them? I can’t.

I guess the appropriate thing to say and feel is “I guess you begin to think about how you live your own life”. Too many people took that comment to mean that one should think about how you live your life (‘cuz that’s what I said and all), as if you’re doing things wrong or against your core values. Naw. I’m pretty happy with how I live my life most days. I meant, one should think about what kind of photographs you leave. What kind of places you traveled to (for said photographs). What kind of adventures lead to what kind of stories told (and who tells them). I meant what sort of instructions you leave about how to conduct your funeral/memorial service. You know, the important stuff.

People leave pretty detailed instructions about how to divvy up your stash and in some cases what to do with the remains, but it’s never too early to think about the production. The show, yo! This is perhaps the once in a lifetime opportunity to really get things your way. And, since you won’t be there, there are no consequences. No apologies. No embarrassment. You can go out with a bang. Bagpipers playing Parliament (think, “Give Up The Funk” on bagpipes, it’s really funny) and strippers (fully clothed yet intellectually nekkit)!

I’m sure if I thought it out and applied myself, I could create a multi-million dollar business, something like “Last Wishes, LLC.” Not only do we choreograph your farewell, but we can also arrange for you to pre-fund it and get it all legally binding and stuff.

Music? None of that sappy, sad music for my eternal rest. Play me something that’ll get the joint hoppin’. A life in music would include, a little Led Zeppelin, some Fiery Furnaces, and some NWA. What’s wrong with NWA at a funeral? I’m sure it wouldn’t be a first. Play “Fuck tha Police” at my funeral! That would rock! Play it loud!

OR, even better, pre-record a messages. Me: “Ooooooh, it’s me. Spooky, huh? Uh, I guess if you’re listening to this, I’m all dead and stuff. Ha-ha! I’m sure I owe someone a few bucks or haven’t resolved some situation with others. Ha! I don’t care now! Suckers. I’m dead, beeyoches!” This can be one last opportunity to really crack wise.

And doctor a bunch of photos beforehand. Fix hair, edit jerks, and crop, crop, corp.

The possibilities are pretty vast. I’m excited to have my memorial held in a burrito restaurant. Oh, don’t close the place either; let ‘em run their business. Funeral nite at the Burrito Shak!

Still funny, “Tear the roof off the sucka” on bagpipes.

We Will Never Forget (tm) - a vote or a dollar

And you know why "we will never forget (tm)" because they aren't going to ever let us forget. As long as there is a vote or a dollar to be made on this sorry ass blemish on world history, it'll be forced down our collective throats.

Sure, there are victims and heroes and the like to honor and remember, as well as the whole "where were you when you heard" angle, but it's become spectacle. Seriously.

Sure, there is the whole "not forgetting the mistakes of the past" stuff too. But, part of healing is moving on. Decay. Getting back to normal. It just seems too many entities were waiting for the "anniversary" to get in their two cents. I suppose the same can be said of me.

Oh well.


I Got Fired Because Of My Blog

"I am the Unemployed Blogger. I lost my job because my previous employers did not care for my blog. Apparently not everyone likes to shop, drink and make out as much as I do. Remember kids, don't blog on the company dime. If you would like to employ me, or perhaps send me possible jobs, or even donate money to my POR Fund (Pay October's Rent) than you can email me here: unemployedblogger@gmail.com"

Hi, I Am A Coward

So, I’m coming out of the subway with the girl this morning. The plan was to take the train, drop her off at school, and go to work. Typical. It’s a bright, mild, slightly autumnal day; beautiful and crisp for now. Refreshing after a stifling August.

As we reached the top of the stairs and walked in the sunlight, I noticed that there were two police officers. Two Montgomery County police officers, but not in the daily khakis, but in black. Ah yes, the black. That means, the semi-automatic rifle (this is my first time ever typing the word "rifle," by the way) the patch badge, the shades, wires into ears, and equipment on belts and harnesses. I don’t know if they were members of the SWAT team or some post-Worldwide War On Terror special enforcement team (SET). But, does it really matter? They are the military, not your Franklin Mint, Norman Rockwell special edition collector’s plate police. Basically, soldiers.

I guess the heavies were out in some sort of “show of force.” Maybe they were there to keep the local politicians in line with all their stickers and brochures and handshaking. After all, there is a primary next Tuesday.

It wasn’t as if there was a particular “threat”
announced (I had to backspace and add the quotation marks to threat, FYI) nor did they appear to be very busy other than talking, laughing, and looking so 21st century “all-American.” They were basically posing. A bicycle officer rolled up to chat (laugh, pose alongside our “heroes”) and there they were.

My instinct, of course, was to snap a photograph, because that’s what I do. But, as I began to reach for my bag, my better sense (my Spidey sense) asked me, “How fucking stupid are you today?”

Welcome to 2006 where reaching into a bag while exiting mass transportation - especially while appearing to be "of color" - in the presence of American paramilitary could get you noticed at best or fucking shot if the stars are so aligned. I had just seen an ad this morning for the Cato Institute’s new publication and lecture, “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America.” Here’s the executive summary:

Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.

This paper presents a history and overview of the issue of paramilitary drug raids, provides an extensive catalogue of abuses and mistaken raids, and offers recommendations for reform.

I didn’t get my camera out. I didn’t pursue the photograph. I chickened out. I felt like I've become a huge coward. It took me a good half-hour to reduce my dissonance. “Better judgment.” “Safe choice.” “Smart.” These are some of the words and phrases I’ve devised to feel less chickenshit in during the Bush years.

Then I realized: Golly, This is the New America.



Crabby Life Saver

Scene: At office, working, Thursday. 10:24 a.m.

Telephone: Brrrrring!

Ty: (annoyed and confused at the telephone for even ringing*) Hello?

ARC: (overly familiar) Hi, uh, can I speak to Ty?

Ty: (suspicious) Who is this?

ARC: (overly eager) Is this Ty?

Ty: (doubly suspicious) Who is this?

ARC: Uh, hi, I’m Mike form the American Red Cr…

Ty: (interrupting) You know, Mike, this calling me at work for my blood has to stop. I’m happy to donate, and feel it’s my duty of sorts but I want to do it on my own guilt-induced schedule. But these calls, I mean, sheesh?

ARC: We just want to alert you to coming blood drives.

Ty: Yeah, I know, but I have a business to run here. You are getting as bad as the telephone solicitors that used to bug the crap out of me at my home during dinner. I don’t really like dinner calls and I really don’t like calls at work that have nothing to do with work or, you know, just fun times. Did I check a box telling you guys to call me every three hours?

ARC: I’m really sorry….

Ty: (continuing) In fact, every time you call, I want to hold on to my blood a little bit more; to horde it all up. Maybe sell it to other organizations or just let it run freely into the streets. Or eat Mad Cow burgers or get tattoos or take heroin or something.

ARC: Thank you for your time, sir.

Telephone: Click.

*Usually it’s just fine for the telephone to ring, but the telephone system at work has been broken for about two months – at least my phone. If I don’t answer the phone by one-half ring, it transfers to voicemail. It just, on its own as far as I know, made this change itself. The kicker is, no one can seem to fix it. So, now when the telephone rings, I have to use my magic secret ninja powers to lunge at the receiver to answer. Problem is, I miss many more calls than I can catch (maybe catching every 1 in 4 now). So, when it’s not even a fun call, well, it’s just wasted time.


"Coolassic" (kul-ASS-ick)

Something or someone that is not only great within a given context ("cool"), but also timeless ("classic").

Coined first by Dr. Mark Reed circa 2000, now spreading via the World Wide Internets across the planet and beyond.


Dude, that photo of the interracial couple with the chimps? That shit is coolassic!

[gary winogard photo, fyi]



...sex/girls type stuff.

Television - the dumb leading the idiotic.

They were all tripped up.

Pol Rants

Political Rant #1:

Steve Silverman
, a two-term County Council member is running for Montgomery County Executive. On the surface his campaign is based on two things: First, his campaign encourages us, “Let’s build the Purple Line!” That is, build a MetroRail (light rail/subway) between the Shady Grove station (the end of the Red Line western Montgomery County) and the College Park station (end of the Green Line in Prince Georges County). He’s going to fix the traffic. Great because I certainly hate the traffic.

Second, Silverman’s other campaign pillar is, “Say “No” to Ike’s Gas Tax!” That is, Ike Leggett, the other major Democratic candidate, is on the record as saying that he’d raise the gas tax 10-15 cents per gallon. So, Silverman wants to save me money too. Great because I don't want to spend money.

Here’s my problem. Silverman’s first pillar is a classic and complete phantom. An empty promise that elicits excitement but no thinking person can believe is a real or viable issue. When it doesn’t work or magically come true he blames it on “them” – the bureaucrats that have tied his hands
(think Virginia repeal of the “car tax” - didn't then Gov. George "Macaca" Allen phamtom that one?). He’s not going to fix the traffic, and he’s not going to find the multi-billions of dollars to finance the Purple Line construction? Where’s the funding going to come from? Not a gas tax, that’s for sure (which would be a logical place to get traffic reduction funding from, wouldn’t it?).

Besides, I have experienced the Silverman magic up close. It is my opinion (based solely on my personal beliefs and experience) that he is a disingenuous, opportunistic, typical politician. And by “typical” I mean every negative stereotype of the word “politician” one could dredge out of a focus group.

Here’s what Silverman says about traffic:

“We must act locally. While major congestion relief must come from State and federally funded projects like the ICC and the Inner Purple Line, we must also build local roads, put more buses on the road, expand transit incentives, and build sidewalks and hiker-biker paths so more commuters will get out of their cars. There are also a host of bread and butter projects that we can do in the here and now to relieve traffic congestion. A whopping 25% of congestion is due to crashes and disabled vehicles. That's why we put a traffic SWAT team on our roads to get the breakdowns off the road and onto the shoulders so the rest of the traffic can move.”

Where’s the plan? Where’s the money? You know what else causes traffic based on my experience? When the State Troopers pull someone over for carpool violations on I-270, the pretty flashing lights slow the traffic down. It’s normal; everyone slows to take a look at the situation then, once past, it’s clear and open roads. Oh, a lot of traffic builds up in bad weather. SWAT teams? What are we in third grade? Maybe we can put a SWAT team on the weather too or abolish the highway patrol. Oh, and the County is growing very fast. Maybe we can put SWAT on growth too. And, I like the folksy “bread and butter” reference.

I don’t know Ike Leggett, but I’d vote for him and happily pay my gas tax (there's a "transit incentive"). Real traffic solutions will only come about when the price of gas is a much bigger issue than the traffic. Besides, that tax can fund something useful like hiker-biker paths so I can hike to work with my kid. It’s only 18 miles.

Who are you trying to fool?

It’s a sad day in competitive politics when Silverman’s “attack” ad against Ike Leggett goes something like this, “Ike Leggett. Good Guy. Bad Ideas.” As I see it, you can teach a good guy some really good ideas, but you can’t teach a bad guy shit. This is what Tom Scharpling would say, “Good guys win – bad guys die.” Steve Silverman? No thanks.

Political Rant #2:

How dare you Michael Steele. How dog damn dare you. Shame!

Michael Steele
is running for Maryland Senate. Michael is currently the loose-lipped, fumbling Lt. Governor. He’s a Republican. A black Republican.

Good web site, well run campaign. Great TeeVee ad. The weakest aspect of his campaign, by the way, is the candidate. Lots of blue on his website. You know, blue. Blue state blue. Go to his site and try to find the word “republican.” I’ll wait…. Oh, you can’t? Try the “About Michael Steele” page. I’ll wait again…. Oh, you can’t? That’s because he’s either ashamed that he’s a republican or he’s deliberately hiding the fact that he’s a republican. Oh, he’s a republican! Oh! And, that carries no agenda, perspective, or baggage. None whatsoever.

People notice. Today’s Post, for example:

The absence of Ehrlich and Steele illuminates a balancing act the two men face: the need to appeal to their Republican base as they also try to win office in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 and where 60 to 70 percent of voters do not approve of Bush's performance.

When Steele, in anonymous remarks traced to him last month, was asked whether he wanted the president campaigning for him, he responded, "To be honest . . . probably not."

Zach P. Messitte, a historian of Maryland politics and director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary's College of Maryland, said he found it puzzling that Ehrlich and Steele would not want to appear with Bush in St. Mary's, a reliably red county in a blue state. Indeed, Rove pointed out to the White House press corps that the county was "one of the most rapidly growing Republican counties in Maryland."

Who are you trying to fool? Who are you trying to insult? I'm on to you guys.


Talkin' 'bout God

Overheard this morning:

"A" is recently four years-old
"S" is nearing four

A: It's raining!

S: From the sky?

A: No, god makes rain.

S: No, god makes babies born.

A: God makes it rain from up there [pointing skyward]!

S: I was in my mommy's tummy, then I went to heaven.

Teacher: Hey guys, different people believe and like different things. Like if I said I liked chocolate the best, you might say you like lollypops best.

[thoughtful pause]

S: I like lollypops best.

The end