Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Surf's Up

While the disputed governor's race in Washington is grabbing a few headlines, going virtually unnoticed is a Golden State bruhaha. Although already certified the winner, after all the write in ballots were counted, Mayor Dick Murphy actually lost the election--to a self-proclaimed "surfing activist."

That's right. Mayor Keanu. There's a Jimmy Buffett song lurking around in all this. If I had any musical talent whatsoever, I'd write it myself.

Seriously, the write in candidate is Donna Frye, an incumbent City Councilwoman and surf shop owner who ran a write in campaign at the last minute to protest City Hall corruption, which is a serious enough problem to merit an investigation by the U.S. Attorney in San Diego. Her intentions are good, one surmises, though your intrepid reporter wonders if Councilwoman Frye speaks of cosmic energy, negative vibes, and "totally awesome legislation that those bogus old dudes, like, totally torpedoed on me. Bummer."

Frye is a Democrat in a heavily Republican area, and has a valid legal claim to City Hall, yet the Democratic party is too busy suing for the governor's mansion in Washington and chasing rainbows in ohio to care. I could be a real jerk and ask why jesse Jackson isn't in Southern California fighting a battle he could win for once, but I won't.



Monday, December 20, 2004

Triumphant Return to Politics

Saddam has called, from his jail cell, for all Iraqis to unite and drive out the Americans. Loosely translated, this is a announcement for a reelection bid. Fortunately, this presents an opportunity to explore a question that has bugged me ever since the justification for was shifted from WMDs to humanitarian reasons: why is Saddam still in Iraq?

My lack of faith in international institutions is well known. I was one of the few members of the Regent journal of International Law to oppose the International Criminal Court. But, if the justification for was is Saddam's sponsorship of international terrorism, then Saddam ought to be tried by an intenational court.

(Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.)

There are plenty of justifications for an international trial. Saddam has waged aggressive wars against Iran and kuwait, attacked Saidi Arabia and Israel, gave aid and comfort to the families of palestinian suicide bombers, attempted to assassinate the first President Bush, used foreignors as human shields, torched oil wells and released oil into the Persian Gulf in acts of ecoterrorism....and those are just the big ones. We have barely begun to dig through the implications of the Food for Oil debacle.

Trying Saddam internationally won't let him off the hook for crimes against his own people, either. His gassing of the Kurds and slaightering of his own people are a clear, blatant violation of the criteria of war crimes established for the Nuremburg Trials. Fitting really. Although Saddam's role model in his formative political years was Joseph Stalin, the Baathist party was modeled by, and allied with, the National Socialists in the 1940's.

My one reservation? Don't give Saddam a forum like Milosevic had. Model the trial after the Rwanda Trials. Keep the UN out of this one. The UN's failure (by Kofi Annan personally, BTW) to destroy ammunition depots lead to the massacre of 800,000 men, women, and children. Nuremburg was a moment of international moral clarity against an evil regime. it's time for that again, and the entire community of nations to reaffirm it's moral compass, no matter how tragic pasts mistakes have been, and restore a moral code to how world leaders respond to those who violate proper moral stanards.

If the purpose of regime change in Iraq was to remove its rogue nation status and return it to the community of nations, then that community has a obligation to set proper standards for itself. Having the entire world reaffirm Nuremburg and condemn Saddam would go a long way to that end.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Aprentice Finale

Well, that was blatant.

Trump didn't even intimate he might pick Jen as his aprentice. While she is not a very likeable person, I did feel for her (get your minds out of the gutter) while virtuslly everyone in the Lincoln Center was pulling for Kelly, including the most successful CEOs in the country. During the final boardroom, trump urged Kelly to speak up about himself while Jen was drowning Kelly with her credentials. You could practically her the Donald saying, "Toot your own horn, Kelly. Don't make me look bad when I fire Jen."

If there were any doubts Trump wanted Kelly and had a specific job in mind for him, Kelly's choice of jobs should clear that up. Let's see-- a highrise condo in the middle of the desert or build half of lower Manhattan and a city park to boot. Gee, can I sleep on that one, Mr. Trump?

Needless to say, as long as you specifically indicated the number of bedrooms needed, Raj would do a much better job.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' Rawhide

The crack staff here at Casa de Polyphemus, which consists of a one eyed, disemboweled mysanthrope and a bipolar cat, are on top of a number of stories. Here's a quick round up:

The Scott Peterson jurors chose the death penalty. I'm impressed. I didn't think a Northern California jury had it in them to cross that line. It won't matter, though. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most liberal in the country and views the death penalty as a violation of human rights rather than the vital part of the social contract that it is. Like I have said previously, Peterson is more likely to die from beri beri than the gas chamber.

The Washington Nationals, formerly the Montreal Expos, have shut down operations indefinitely. The Expos have been doomed from the start, with poor financial backing, inept management, and zero fan interest. What better idea than to move them to another disenterested city already in the grips of the Orioles? Washington is a transient town with no set identity, or at least no positive one. Washington makes laws, hot air, and little else. Sure the Redsking are popular, but football fits right in--committee meetings interrupted by extreme violence. Baseball is a game of tradition and doesn't belong there. Let's see Buffalo, New Orleans, Charlotte, or Orlando have a shot at hosting the team.

Finally, credit where credit is due. I blast the UN whenever possible, but I cut slack whenever possible. While it does appear Kofi Annan's son has used a UN expense account once at a hotel in South Africa, normally he just used his family name in his business dealings. There isn't a soul among us who wouldn't say, "Hi, my daddy runs the UN" if we were dealing in international business. I don't think Dubya is complaining....

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Adios, Ken Jennings

I'dbe amiss if I didn't mention the Jeopardy champion finally lost after 74 straight victories and $2.5 million in winnings. I startedw atching the show while "recovering" (I use the term loosely) from diverticulitis surgery around about the time Ken started his streak. He lost last Tuesday because he did not realize H and R Block has 70,000 saeasonal employees. As he is in a new tax bracket, that is a tidbit he may need to pick up on.

Good luck, Ken. Hope the Church of Latterday Saints enjoys the quarter mil you donated them.
One Good Turn Deserves Another

Former President Bill Clinton aided a Chinesefirm in launching a newsearch engineafter the firm donated to the new Clinton Presidential Library. What an ingrate he is. The Chinese had already donatedto his 1996 reelection campaign, but that wasn't enough for him. I swaer, foreign governments just can't buy good politicians these days.