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Category Archives: public service announcements

If you discover this, then you haven’t up on given up on me. And since you haven’t given up on me, isn’t it about time I rewarded your faith? Unfortunately, if you don’t give a crap about basketball, you’re not about to be rewarded. But if you come back later, there may be something hopefully funny and interesting about alienation in large families.

Suckers are still picking on a four-leaf clover! I think I’ve done that EPMD reference before.

Anyway, tax season is over, meaning I can now grace you with two to three posts a week of long-winded BS. Plus, now that I finally caved in and got a smartphone with a WordPress mobile app, my constant carousing can no longer be an excuse for not posting. It will be an excuse for typos, however.

In any case, you can start keeping an eye on this site again. Sorry I’ve been delinquent. Again. But I will work to regain your half-hearted attention.

1.  An average posting rate of  four times a week.

2. Continuing to build on last year’s gym usage in my efforts to move toward looking more and more like an emaciated hipster.

3. More fiction! I like making stuff up.

4. Keep the room cleaner.

5. To have better than a fifty percent rate of asking New York sports figures to be fired. (see previous post.)

6. Get a new job. It’s tough in this economy, but so is going through the motions five times a week.

7. More original photography.

8. Keep being staggeringly awesome. (or loathsome, depending on your view of things.)

Happy New Year.

1. I need to post something of significance here

2. I may need to get serious about maybe looking for a new job, since I am actually in a small industry where there are actually  jobs.

3. Eric Mangini needs to fired, and can he take Mike “Vernon Gholston” Tannenbaum with him?

4. The Yankees need to be congratulated for their continuing bailout of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Who says the government has to do everything?

5. It needs to just warm up ever-so-slightly.

6. I need to start linking to the Rum and Popcorn 100, even though it’s not finished, mostly because I want no one to read that as well.

7. Gotta get my fingers ready for some Festivus grievance texting. Because you know who you are.

Now that I’ve found a way around my dead apartment cable, partly thanks to my dad inadvertently donating a new-ish computer to me, (guess who’s getting a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue — with Mom’s approval as long as it doesn’t activate his gout) I’m getting back into the game a little bit. This warranted a pointless redesign.

Also going to take this opportunity to let you know that, being December and all, a new 2008 edition of the Rum and Popcorn 100 will be happeneing this year. If you remember the old website, you’re excited. If you never heard of it, you are in for a treat. Unless you think it sucks, of course.

It’s been a while since I doled out a public service announcement, but on this day when Americans give thanks, I have to get a very important message off my chest. (If for nothing else, to amuse bored Canadians, people hiding from their families, and others who find their way here.)

With the leaves falling off and the holidays present, you may think that it signals the time of year where, especially if you’re single (and sometimes if you’re not), that the best way to dole out some holiday cheer is with whatever’s in your pants. No.

Look, the holidays can bring out the internal longing for human connection like no other time of year, and this is actually a very good time to get closer to people, and maybe meet someone of significance, or someone for fun. However, a bad hookup decision is still a bad hookup decision no matter what time of year it is. If it was a bad idea to bring back that ex you know is a jackass on October 7th, it’s not any more legit on November 30th. Just because it’s your last holiday season as an unmarried person, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to spread Christmas cheer, if you know what I mean, for the last time to all you can.

The overall point is that the holidays eventually end and the hard, cold reality of January will settle in. And when you’ve realized what you’ve done and you contemplate how to get out of it, it’s going to make January a series of cold, cold winter’s days, even if you live in Southern California.

So before you let that spiked egg nog make you think, “Hey, why not, who wants to spend December 13th alone?” Flash forward the clendar to the far less festive date of February March 13th, and think if a Presidents St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere would make what or who you are about to do make sense. If the answer is yes, then proceed. If the answer is no, then stop and extricate yourself from the situation. If the answer is no, and you still go through with it, you know what it makes you? A Hookup Turkey! Don’t be one, because the only people who get to feast on the carcass of a Hookup Turkey are the gossipers and friends who will be going (because they will find out, they ALWAYS find out), “What the f*** !?!?”

The more you know…

*edited with realization that Feb. 13th is the pre-Valentine’s Day Hookup Turkey post-season…

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/11/abc_kills_three.html

Dirty Sexy Daisies has been canceled by ABC. I can’t believe neither show made it. And by I can’t believe, I mean “I kind of saw it coming.” But the good news is that Billy Baldwin can go back to making movies!

It looks like the Big Three automakers are not in good position to get their hands on some of this bailout money they’ve been hoping for. Too many people have expressed skepticism about handing the auto industry a blank check to continue to function in the manner that they have operating in. Others in favor of the bailout are rightly concerned that a crucial hub of American industry could not survive the damage of simply being allowed to go bankrupt. Not to mention the economic impact on Main Street of numerous job losses.

At the same time, there are concerns about how the bailout of Wall Street is going. Are they really using that money to get the credit markets liquid again, or are they just using it to continue to subsidize the exorbitant executive compensation of the same people who screwed up, and not to mention keep afloat businesses who thought they had all the answers?

Well, I am no finance expert by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m not a lawyer either.  But there has to be a way to try and keep these vital businesses afloat with federal money (because we have no choice) while not leaving it in the hands of these same doofuses who helped get us to where we are in the first place, or turning it over to a new bunch of doofuses who learned at the knees of the old doofuses. I have to admit that I was swayed a little by the Mitt Romney op-ed today, where Romney, a Michigan native whose father was once the leader of an American auto company, made the case for bankruptcy.

But as much as I agreed with many of his points, I can’t believe that at this juncture, with the economy in such a state of crisis, that you can simply afford to sit back, let the Big Three die, and see what happens. There’s no way you really want to take that chance.

But, as previously mentioned, you don’t want to give the money to the same people who messed it up. Why should you listen to them? I’m not quite sure it’s worked with the credit markets yet. Just throwing government money at the problems can’t be enough, and can’t be effective.

Hence, my unscientific, uneducated, and unresearched idea that I hope people far more qualified than I will pick up and run with. If one of you twelve to eighteen people is educated and smart enough and actually has some power.

If you’re coming to the government for money, it’s already pretty much a sign if you’re in trouble financially, right? It’s not as if it can possibly be a point of pride to go to Capitol Hill shrugging your shoulders and saying “Look, things just got messed up, okay, plese let us have this money.” And if you’re really in dire shape, what are your options? If you don’t get this money, you’ll have to what? Declare bankruptcy?

So essentially, coming to the government for bailout money is an admission of failure and financial ruin around the corner to begin with. So, instead of the Treasury simply writing checks and going “Don’t screw this up again!”, the Treasury, Congress, the President, and our leaders should say, that you’re not going to get bailed out, but we can save you using the principles of bankruptcy.

For lack of a better word, bailruptcy! I’m not quite sure how to do it, as I admit, but there has to be a way for the government to be able to keep these companies afloat yet be able to impose the market-type corrections that a bankruptcy would bring about. A federal-government managed bankruptcy (and yes, we’d be nationalizing our industries more, but this is just where we are now) could guarantee that these vital industries get to continue. Except now there’s a new entity in charge, one that’s not just looking toward the next quarterly earnings report, with long-term goals to get these vital indstries healthy again and eventually, get the American people’s money back and get the hell out of the industry.

So instead of a bankruptcy judge per se, a person with bankruptcy-judge skills backed by the government legally starts to oversee the transformation of, let’s say ,a car company into one that can be competitive. The government backing supervision, and yes, investment assures that the company won’t be liquidated, supposedly the big fear of a corporate bankruptcy. It gets the protection from creditors while also getting the bums who ran this thing into the ground out of the way to begin with.

I think I know just enough to know that this wouldn’t involve rewriting the Constitution or anything. It would be just a matter of creating a new system to allow the Federal Government to save industries without wasting valauble resources. This could be done, right? I’m even hoping  that I can’t possibly have been the first person to come up with this idea, I’ve just been too busy to read it write more coherently and eloquently by our finer finfacial and legal minds. I know there was talk of placing conditions on the Wall Street bailout, but I’m talking about far more than that here. If the government is going to intervene in the economy because it has no choice, dipping a foot in the mess isn’t going to get it done.

Bailruptcy mitigates the dangers of a bankruptcy without the lack of institutional control that appears to be a bailout. I’d end this post by declaring bailruptcy the answer, but it came from me. After being swayed by the likes of Mitt Romney. So, I implore anyone out there with some real expertise who likes it and can make it happen, I’m leaving the ball right here, run with it.

Rays in 6. I know the Cardinals jumped up and won it in ’06, but for now I look at any National League team with a skeptic’s eye. It’s a measure of respect for the Philly bats that I’m giving them two games.

Oh, and for those who always bitch and moan that the Yankees and Red Sox get too much coverage, step up, shut your pieholes, and actually watch this World Series. I expect there should be some good games overall. (Except any one where Jamie Moyer pitches.) And if the ratings for this series are as bad as everyone fears, stop blaming Fox and ESPN* and start your blaming your friends who are too busy watching reality shows.

*This is probably the only time I’ll ever be defending Fox and ESPN, I assure you.

First, there were the Articles of Confederation, where America tried act more like a block association with an army, but that didn’t really work out. Then came the Constitution, a simple elegant document that built the framework upon which the laws of this land were established.

These laws could be as few or as many as possible. And ever since the rise of the conservative movement, there has been a grand debate on the role of government in our lives. It’s a worthy debate about what makes a nation great, and what people can expect from their government. The role of the individual versus the collective good. Incentive for the best and brightest versus safety for all our citizens regardless of their status. The wisdom of the markets versus the watchfulness of the government.

In theory.

Practically, here’s how it seems to work: America is in some sort of crisis. Nobody else can manage such problems on a grand scale so the government steps up and does the best it can. The government gets really large and bloated. Long after the problem is solved, or the crisis is averted, a scandal goes down involving corrupt government officials, and suddenly people are wondering, “What the hell do we need all this government for?” and “Who the hell is FICA?”

So the siren song of tax cuts and small government starts to sound good. Deregulation and corporate welfare begin to sound awesome. Before you know it, America is chugging along as a lean, mean, shareholder-benefiting machine. Sure, not everybody makes it, But you know what? That’s life. There are winners, and there are losers. If you don’t get it done, you’re just a loser. But you can keep believing that maybe some of the bounty of the winners will trickle down to you. And that someday, you’ll get off your ass and you’ll be a winner.

But then things aren’t so good, as you find out some of the winners didn’t get that way through hard work and innovation, but got there through the steroids of debt, unusual accounting practices, fleecing the public a little, and gaming the system. and enough of these so-called “winners” find that their shell game is getting less and less effective.

Then a crisis happens. Then, everybody is all like, “Where the hell is the government?”

I’m not a believer in big government or small government. What the nation needs to believe in is effective government up to meeting the needs of its people. And quite frankly, right now and for a while, that’s going to mean bigger government. And personally, I hope things get better to the point someday that we can start talking reasonably about reducing government again.

Practicality is a principle. Right now, it’s not practical to have a government sit on its hands and do nothing while a great nation sinks under the weight of a financial crisis, two wars, Social Security and health care problems.

Let’s not kid ourselves anyway: how small was the government, really? Isn’t what we currently have just a different kind of bloated government that actually doesn’t solve anything, but still manages to bleed money and ring up debt anyway? If we’re going to have big government, let’s accept it, deal with it, and make it work. Lets get all these rich “patriots” to pony up their fair share to keep up and fix the country that gave them the conditions to benefit financially. Drop the completely-for-show flag pins and lose the offshore assets and tax shelters as real sign of their commitment to this country. Same thing for alleged Great American companies who continue to blackmail the government wth “we’ll move to India or Ireland”.

Enough of this jabber about small government that never was, and never will be.  It’s time to talk about practical government.