Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What's Missing? 

In an editorial on October 19th, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel suggested that the Broward County School Board had exercised poor judgment in its "quick firing" of Superintendent Frank Till:
. . . there was certainly no crisis that demanded Till's firing. The move smacked of being more political, and maybe personal, than practical. And the way it was handled was an insult to the packed board chambers, as the board members on the dais basically told everyone how they were going to vote before there was any public input.
In today's paper, the Sun-Sentinel recommends the re-election of School Board member Marty Rubinstein, but in listing the pros and cons of his tenure on the School Board, no mention is made of his vote to fire Till. That was then, this is now?

Except that also in today's Sun-Sentinel, on the first page of the Local section, is an article about Rubinstein's re-election bid (against challenger Phyllis Hope) with the headline "Till firing playing key role in race."

Seems to me to be rather pertinent issue that the Sun-Sentinel's editorial board should have addressed in its recommendation.

Monday, October 23, 2006


President Bush denies he ever advocated "staying the course" in Iraq.

I think the phrase you're trying to think of right now is "contempt for the American people."

(via Discouse.net)

A Ringing Endorsement 

Mark Lane calls the Sun-Sentinel's recommendation of Clay Shaw for Congress, Argumentum ad pork.

Back for This? 

Just returned from 10 days in Italy . . . and am greatly disappointed at the political advertisments being shown on television for both Clay Shaw and Ron Klein (Congressional Dist. 22).

So far I haven't seen one single ad that promotes the candidate running it; every one seems to be an attack ad questioning the opponent's honesty and integrity.

I didn't say I was surprised; just disappointed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What Now? 

It seems that al the right-wing blogs have received the memo from the RNC with talking points on the situation in North Korea: "It's all Clinton's fault!"

Over at Intel Dump, J. D. Henderson looks a little closer:
Mr. Clinton was able to arrive at an agreement that, despite the rhetoric by the far-right, actually worked. Those that claim North Korea breached that agreement should look again. We had obligations under that agreement too - and we did not follow through. Any deal with North Korea will result in repeated infractions, negotiations, and challenges - much like the cease-fire that has been in place for fifty years but is broken on a regular basis - it need not mean war. And Clinton's deal with the North could have continued indefinitely. Instead the Bush team was ideologically opposed to any "deal" with the North, seeing it as unacceptable appeasement. Now we face an even more dangerous world than yesterday - and it is frustrating because it was predicted, it was avoidable, it did not have to happen, and now the history books will record it as inevitable. Well, it was not, but here we are. What now?
What now?, indeed. My guess is the Bush administration will muddle along for two more years, preferring to talk and look tough at the expense of trying to solve the problem. But the solution will not be easy under any circumstance, and Henderson lays the blame for that where it belongs:
None of this was inevitable. The world is much more dangerous than six years ago - even without 9/11 and the consequences of the "war on terror." We are weaker, the Army and Marines are worn out, with weapons systems sitting idle at depots waiting for repair and understrength, untrained units desperately attempting to train in the basics before another deployment to Iraq.

The repeated, serial incompetence of the Bush administration's foreign policy, one designed strictly for domestic vote-getting and not designed to make America more secure, is coming home to roost.

Another Example of Staying the Course 

With all the problems that we have to confront, how does the Bush administration prioritize its resources?

Why, by tighting the embargo on Cuba, of course.

I hasn't worked for over 40 years, but to paraphrase Billy Crystal's Fernando,
"Dahling, it's better to look tough than to be effective."
What a bunch of losers.

Public Servants 

This article in the Sun-Sentinel about the finances of gubernatorial candidates Charlie Crist and Jim Davis makes both of them, in my mind, much more attractive.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Good Guy 

Those who knew him realized he had been in poor health for some time, but the news that Bill Keith had passed away yesterday still came as a shock.

Everybody is replaceable, but some less so than others. In the case of Bill Keith, it may take a number of individuals to "replace" him, such were his wide-ranging interests.

A trip to his Pompano Beach offices was like a visit to a museum -- it was packed with rare maps, original Florida art, antique surveying equipment and other historical objects. Many of these items had been purchased at charity auctions, almost always at a price far above market value, even when there was no one bidding against him.

He was famous for always winning charity auctions for rides on the Goodyear blimp; he never allowed anyone to outbid him. Over the years he collected dozens of ride packages, and yet he had never been up in the famous airship. He passed his winning tickets over to children's charities. (One of his employees once commented that it would have been less expensive for him to purchase the blimp outright).

As an engineer, Bill had a lot to do with the transformation of Broward County for better and for worse. But his intentions were always for the better.

We'll miss him.

UPDATE: For a considerably less charitable view of Bill Keith see The Daily Pulp.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

An Inauspicious Start 

The Sun-Sentinel op-ed pages move a little more to the right with the addition of Kingsley Guy, that paper's former editorial page editor.

In his first column (no online link found) today, what does Mr. Guy favor us with?

Iraq? No.

Mark Foley? No.

Property taxes or affordable housing? No.

The race for Florida governor? No.

Rather, Mr. Guy decided that he would write his inaugural column on . . . get ready . . . the 2000 presidential election! Actually the election and its aftermath is just a device to castigate Democrats for, among other things, opposition to Katherine Harris's bid to be the state's U.S. Senator:
Harris' involvement in the legal confrontation that finally resulted in Bush winning Florida and the presidency earned Harris the undying enmity of her opponents and secured for her a place in the Democratic Party's mythology. She's the Wicked Witch of the West Coast of Florida, whose potions, chants and spells helped unhorse the valiant Prince Al Gore, thus stealing a victory for the Republicans.
Maybe Guy has been looking at too many photos of Harris in a tight sweater, as he defends her as "the poor woman," and characterizes Democratic campaign tactics thusly: "Witch burnings still draw huge crowds, just as they did in the 16th century."

Mr. Guy also resorts to a tactic increasing popular on the right: seemingly earnest advice for their enemies:
Its time for Democrats to get over 2000. Their incessant whining doesn't win a single convert among the independent voters Democrats need to regain majority party status.
Gee, thanks Kingsley . . . that's the issue, not just whining but incessant whining.

I can hardly wait until his next column comes out in two weeks. Maybe we'll be treated to his take on other victims of the rabid Democrats: Ken Starr, Tom Delay, Spiro Agnew . . . .

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