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9.18.2003

This, my friends, is funny. Never been a Tennessee fan but after this I might have to start.
Fan mail:

Checked out your web cite[sic], very good. Add a little T & A...better.

I'm humbled.
This might be great technical design, but frankly, the little non-scrolling Yankee doll angers me. Why? Baseball sucks! Plus, it's Un-American not to hate the Yankees . . . and it's okay to, even if you're not from Boston!
Very interesting article on black voters and their political sensibilities by one Earl Ofari Hutchinson. Money quote:

The failure to press Davis, Bustamante, McClintock and Schwarzenegger to make political concessions to blacks as the price for their vote is the single biggest reason why black voters in California (and increasingly nationally) have been shoved to the netherworld of state and national politics. It will stay that way, or get worse, until they present Republicans and Democrats with a bill for their political services and then collect on it.

I've thought for a long time that part of the failure of black political leadership is just this. Like being Irish meant for so long that one was Catholic, just so being black meant at one time that one voted Democrat. Apparently this is changing. Link via Brothers Judd.

9.17.2003

Richard Grasso has resigned as the NYSE chariman. I am not familiar enough with the facts of the case to entertain a conclusion as to how well he performed his job, but part of me wonders if pressure wasn't brought on him to resign due in part to the sheer scale of his pay package.

9.16.2003

Listening to Glucklich 4. Thanks for the recommendation Ludo!
In honor of the Greek-related content below, here's a recipe for tzaziki, the classic Greek dip/sauce:

Ingredients:
1 cucumber
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups plain yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon dill

Directions:

Peel the cucumber and remove each end, as that part of the cuke tends to be bitter. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and de-seed with a spoon. Throw the seeds away. Using a grater, shred the cucumber halves. Drain the shredded cuke-bits using a cheesecloth and a bowl. Cucumber is mostly water and you don't want it all in the dip. This is the most time consuming part of the process so it pays to do it in advance of the rest of the work.

Once the cuke-bits are drained, toss them into a bowl. Add to them the remaining ingredients: the minced garlic, the yogurt, the lemon juice, the dill, and around 1 tablespoon of olive oil (maybe a little more), mix well and presto! you've got tzaziki. Easy, huh? Delicious and low-fat. Of course low- or non-fat yogurt can be used.

Tzaziki is a dish which improves with age. You'll get a more balanced flavor if you make it and leave the ingredients to meld overnight. Even if you don't let it sit, though, it's still an excellent dip with bread or crackers. Tzaziki can also be used as a relish on sandwiches. I also love to use it liberally on felafel or as a marinade, usually for chicken.
On reading the History News Network's history of the California recall provision, I *knew* that it reminded me of something from ancient Greek history, and I was right. I finally had a bit of time to research it, and sure enough:

A more firmly attested and even more striking instance of Pericles' inveterate and unscrupulous political activity against his lifeling adversary occurred in 450 B.C. while Kimon was still alive. It will be recalled that in the spring of that year Kimon was in command of the Athenian allied forces in an expedition against the island of Cyprus. During his absence from his native land of Attica Pericles introduced into the popular assembly, and succeeded in getting ratified, a decree to the effect that only those whose father and mother were both native-born Athenians could continue to be enrolled as citizens. Whatever its ostensible purpose, its immediate intent would have been to divest Kimon of Athenian citizenship and therewith of his military commandand political power, inasmuch as his mother Hegesipyle was a Thracian princess and not herself a citizen of Athens.

The sudden death of Kimon in Cyprus, before the provisions of the new law could be exercised against him, presumably explains why this law was not enforced in Athens at the time of its passage, but remained in abeyance until, several years later, a new element of popular self-interest was introduced by the arrival of a munificient gift of a shipment of grain from Egypt to be distributed among all Athenian citizens. The failure to implement the law at the time it was originally decreed shows that it was little else than an underhanded political move by Pericles against his illustrious political opponent.


Excerpt from The Architects Of the Parthenon by Rhys Carpenter.

Using unenforced- or rarely-enforced laws against one's opponents appears to be, literally, one of the oldest tricks in the book. Were I political consultant, I suppose I'd have a working knowledge of what these laws might be . . . if not, I'd be doing research into which ones I might be able to use!

I am also almost sure that this not the only example of the use of such laws in classical Athenian political history. I seem to recall that the use of ostracism fell into and out of use over the course of the fifth century in a somewhat similar way to how the recall tool has been used in California since its passage.
Ouch. A damning indictment of what "reporters" did for access in Saddam Hussein's Iraq by a NY Times reporter. What imbeciles. UPDATE: "Imbeciles" isn't strong anough a word! How much play will this get in mainstream media? Prediction: None!

A history of the California recall provision's adoption at the History News Network. Link via Cali Insider.

9.15.2003

The Ninth Circuit of Appeals has delayed the California recall election. Prediction: that decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and overturned almost immediately. Why? Partly because the factual circumstances are different then Florida in 2000, partly because of a desire not to interfere with a clearly publically-mandated recall effort. It seems to me that Bush v. Gore is quite distinguishable from the current set of facts and that the S.C. will find it less tolerable to interfere in an recall election under these facts than a presidential election under the facts of Bush v. Gore. Plus, whose side is the ACLU on anyway?

UPDATE: They're going to have an en banc hearing to reconsider.

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