Sound Bite Musings

Lots of a bits and pieces to comment on of late, and I’m just catching up with it all.  No great in depth analyses here, just comments…

 Even the NY Daily News is coming down on Eliot Spitzer and “Troopergate.”  One editorial referred to the Governor as “Eliot Mess” a few days ago.  That’s pretty bad for a Democratic leader in NY when the Daily News turns against you.  This whole drama just keeps expanding, and getting worse for the Governor.  Now it seems that the NY Inspector General, who supposedly investigated this whole affair, stopped doing so due to a “conflict of interest.”  The conflict in question is that the IG reports to the Governor’s chief of staff, who was implicated in the scandal.  The funny thing here is that the IG is charged with doing exactly what she failed to do, investigate abuses of governmental power and corruption.  So, instead of using the supoena powers of the office, she just signed off on AG Cuomo’s report.  Now, it comes out that she may have interfered with the AG’s investigation by encouraging people not to cooperate with his office.  Then there are the growing feud between Spitzer and Shelly Silver, which began with the replacing of Alan Hevesi as comptroller.  The people of NY got exactly what they deserve for electing this school yard bully to be Governor.  Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him.

RyanAir, the discount Irish airline has created a but of a kerfuffle with its latest ad campaign.  To help promote the airline’s discount fares, and new expanded service to Belfast, they put out a new ad campaign: “RyanAir fares are so low, even the British Army flew home.”  Now I found this to be rather humorous, albeit from this side of the pond.  Almost needless to say, some members of the DUP, mainly Jeffrey Donaldson, are taking great umbrage at this.  He (and others) find it insulting and demeaning.  Now, I will venture that he has a point, but Donaldson and his ilk are blowing this way out of proportion.  Like many hard line politicians around the globe, Donaldson needs to get a sense of humor, and look at things like this in the proper light.  But then again, dinosaurs do tend to take a while for messages to reach the brain.

More sensationalism from Iraq through “legitimate media outlets.”  The Scott Thomas Beauchamp thing is just plain disgusting.  And why can’t the New Republic just own to being had?  Or is it that message trumps fact?  Has the twenty four hour news cycle, and the decline of print media driven us to accept any and all rumor and innuendo as fact?  What ever happened to integrity and honesty?

“It’s all a question of bridges.” -Gen. Browning 1944 prior to Market-Garden

The Minnesota bridge collapse was tragedy.  It’s not the first such in the US, and in all probability will not be the last.  Those of us in NY, and are old enough, can recall the Schoharie bridge collapse on the Thruway.  More recently the 787 fly-over partial collapse in Albany earlier this year, or the I-88 wash out.  Were all these preventable?  Yes, but there is no “good solution” to the problem of our aging bridges.  It’s about more than just spending the money to repair/replace these structures and roadways.  Certainly the cash needed to do so is a major factor, we’re talking trillions of dollars nation wide, many in impoverished communities, but it’s not the only factor.  Think about it for a second.  What sort of impact would there be if say, the George Washington Bridge in NYC was closed down to repair/replace it?  Or the Lincoln Tunnel?  What about the Golden Gate Bridge in SF?  Think not just about the traffic congestion that would arise (which would be horrific in NYC), but think about all the additional costs involved, from time to gas/diesel, to increased stress on these alternate routes.  Now, this doesn’t mean do nothing, but it means that major projects on key points will require extensive planning before hand so as to minimize any adverse impact on the economy, as well as to alleviate the increased traffic issues.

For all you “Global Warming” nuts out there, get over it.  Climate change has been going on on the planet since it first formed.  Millions of species have come and gone, all long before man ever crawled out of the ocean.  Greenland was once tropical rain forest, maybe the planet wants it to be so again.  What the nutters shouting the end of the world want to do is play God.  They want to arrest the planet as it is, no more evolution, no more natural selection.  I’d love to be around when the climate changes inspite of everything they do.  Besides, this is just the “hot” cycle.  In another ten to fifteen years it will be back in the “cold” cycle, and people will be screaming that we’re heading for another ice age again.  This runs in fifty years cycles (just check back through the papers), alternating between “global cooling” and “global warming.”  I’m not even going to go into the bad data and modeling issues.

Phil Rizzuto passed away recently.  Now I’m going to tick off a lot of Yankee fans by stating unequivably that Rizzuto doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame as a player.  I have no objection to his being in the broadcaster wing, as his tenure as the Yankee broadcaster was in general excellent (we’ll ignore those last few years).  But as a player, he just doesn’t stack up.  He wasn’t a wiz defensively, nor did his offense really amount to much.  His post season numbers and such don’t generate much enthusiasm for his HOF qualifications either.  The only reason he’s in is that so many others on those Yankee teams are in.  I mean, Rizzuto is in, but Blyleven, Rice, Dale Murphy, Graig Nettles, and Steve Garvey are not. 

It looks like what’s old is new again in world politics.  Third world dictators and strongmen, once thought to be a dying species, are back with thunderous rantings.  The doyen of this crowd is now Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.  Once a promising bright spot in Southern Africa, he has now reverted to type, and will crush his own nation thorugh his arrogance and stupidity.  Comparison’s to Idiot Amin may soon become all too real.  Then there’s Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  Now he’s seeking “unlimited terms” as President.  Not content with attempting to silence the opposition, and bring all media outlets under government control, “nationalize” industries (replacing competent corrupt officials with inept corrupt officials), and criminalize anyone or anything opposed to him, he now wants to stay in power for life effectively.  Hey Patrick Kennedy, I thought you said this guy was pro-democracy?

I’m sure there’s something of earth shattering importance that I’ve neglected to comment on.  If I ever remember what they are, I’ll be sure to try and remember to comment on them…

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