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Dispatches from Boulder the Damned
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Friday, October 01, 2004

Kerry snowed Bush.  It wasn't close.  Bush looked like a whipped animal at the end, and he was.  

I don't understand why Kerry, confronted with his changing opinions, doesn't simply say that on the war we were all provided with information by the President's administration we were told was correct.  It turned out not to be correct, and we have the right to change our mind based on that.

In any case, man was it good to see Kerry shine a bit and remove the image that he was being carried by the hate for Bush only.  He sounded and looked pretty good last night.

And I can use the good news, because Boulder and CU aren't providing any.   Richard "The Hammer" Bynny, Chancellor of CU, has come out against any more liquor licenses in the city, saying it contributes to 'binge drinking.'  But wait!  An update......

Three.   The University of Oklahoma, shamed that Colorado is leading in any athletic category, sprung into the Big Time and provided its own young corpse from excessive drinking.

Anyway, Bynny is bogus on booze.  The issues surrounding booze ought not to be tainted by any thought or nod to legality.   The three collegiate deaths (In a month!  Pretty impressive, guys....) featured underaged kids snockered with booze illegally provided by alumni or fraternity members.  All three.  A brace of prison terms ought to shape that up, pretty quick.  But of course, college kids tend to have wealthy parents who can hire attorneys who can bleed the public sector beyond point.  And no support from alumni if they cannot get snockered at football games, and drive home and pinch the cheerleaders.   We know the drill.........

But, because Nathan Maxcey is going to trial, the Grand Jury Report cannot be made public, at least according to the judge in the matter.  Attorney General Ken Salazar objects, but on reflection it's probably the legal call.  Too bad.  Would love to be sure, though.  There are more important matters here than Maxcey's reputation (not that it's shining now....)

We need to pay prosecutors more and thin out the ranks of incompetents.  The Maryland Sniper just lost a slam dunk prosecution because there is a statute of limitations covering when charges can be brought.  And they blew it, it seems.  The defense and the police somehow 'disagree' on when the arrest was made.  How, for the love of god, is that possible?
Thursday, September 30, 2004

I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today, we'd be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home....Once we had rounded [Saddam] up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is who do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq. -- Dick Cheney, 1992 (from Garry Trudeau)
  Ah, yes, the debate's tonight.  I'm scared bonkers.  If Kerry doesn't do well, I think it's over.  I'm so annoyed.

I was heartened to find I'm not alone.  There is a group called Kerry Haters for Kerry, and that about describes me at this point.  I just hate Bush far, far more.

The Case is going to trial in May, we're to believe.  Lisa Simpson, et al, and her charge that the University of Colorado fostered a climate of misogynism to the nth degree led to her rape.  It's not the quick trial both parties say they hoped for, being eight months in the future, but it beats the 2006 court date.  Simpson's lawyers want to re-interrogate Coach Barnett, who said he'd handed in everything in the way of notes, but who later said he was keeping notes for a book about the issue.  Seems pretty clear this is in violation of his testimony, but the point was made that he was not using CU pens or paper and was done on his own time.  This is the sort of squiggly stuff that usually connotes guilt in the specifics, but the choice was a quick trial or pursuing that.  Simpson's attorneys decided to let it go.

Merck, the drug giant, has recalled an arthritis drug because, after 18 months, patients on it had clear increases in heart attacks.  This was a big deal, because it made money for them - $2 billion a year - and because it surrenders percentages in the market to bigger rival Pfizer.  It's hard not to be impressed that they would do this.

Until, upon reflection, you realize that the only reason they did it - and not just put increased warnings on the label - is because of those horrible lawyers who'd sue and win huge amounts for their, often, dead clients.  In the fifties and sixties the record is replete with questionable or outright dangerous drugs being put on the market without sufficient testing, nor honesty in labelling, nor unseemly amount of guilt in so doing.  The doctors and pharmaceutical companies behind Thalidomide and other gems never were sufficiently punished for endangering children and their mothers, for example.  They'd not done relevant investigation, and just transferred a successful drug to a new set of users.

But it does bring up questions about why drugs aren't ranked by danger.  For example, why not have an 'A' rating for drugs we have a lot of experience with (aspirin, say) and the dangers and benefits of which are known.  Then all the way down to D drugs: out of the hopper experimental and only available to those in extremis with no other choice but death.  Why not?  It removes much unnecessary culpability from the doctors, encourages research, and only nails those who aren't truthful about the risks of certain drugs to their patients, who'd have to sign off on them.  It seems like a doable and clean method that would alleviate unnecessary conflicts between doctors and lawyers.  People have to stop being patsys between professions.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I think it's unquestionable that Republicans are more likely to prevent the next attack. However, I will grant that John Kerry will improve the economy in the emergency services and body bag industry.-- Conservative columnist Ann Coulter.   There is something wrong with this woman, I agree.

Firmness in decision is often merely a form of stupidity. It indicates an inability to think the same thing out twice. Henry L. Mencken, a guy who's hard not to like these days.

In 1957, on this day, an explosion at the Chelyabinsk-40 complex, a Soviet nuclear fuel processing plant, irradiates the nearby city of Kyshtym with strontium-90, cesium-137, and plutonium in about twice the radioactivity of the Chernobyl incident.  It's never admitted, and alarms the US enough to give teeth to nuclear regulation in the civil sector.  Admiral Rickover, the head of the nuclear navy, had already established the safest regulation on the planet, which is why our submariners have normal lifespans and the Soviets....did not.  And maybe, the Russian nuclear navy isn't living long or well either.

Richard Bynny, in his State of the Campus address to faculty yesterday, managed to find time to address the alcohol death of Mr. Bailey.  In lightening response, the University proposes to delay freshman rush for one semester, in order for Freshmen to get their sealegs, so to speak, before getting their grog legs.  

It's a great plan, hampered somewhat by the fact the University has little or nothing to say what happens off campus, and it's just another cya pledge by authority to stave off parental lawsuits when their darling if drunken children are killed under the concerned eyes of fraternity brothers.  Enough cannot be condemned about this revolting hypocrisy which, actually, cannot be enforced anyway.

Tommorow is the first debate for Kerry and Bush, and if the big K doesn't make a good impression, I'm afraid it's all over.

I love this.  "We all like to talk to someone who looks good. It is the same for dogs."  This from Brazilian veterinarian Edgard Brito, on his canine Botox and plastic surgery procedures   Got it?  Plastic surgery for pets?  From Brazil, of course, the leader in this sort of thing.  And they're going nuclear as well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Managed to erase this day's blog.  Way to go.  Mumble.

Just do me a favor and look at Bardot, seventy today, in her youth.  It's what Google's for, man...




Monday, September 27, 2004


On this day, in 1996, the Taliban took Kabul, in Afghanistan, from the warlord soup that became the Northern Alliance that retook it six years later.  With, you know, some help.  Who controls it now?  We don't actually know, all attention is in Iraq where, according to Secretary of State Powell yesterday, things are getting worse.

  Things aren't altogether well in the GOP this Monday.  House thug Tom DeLay has had three of this henchmen indicted in Texas for financial misdeeds in the PACs setup to redistrict the state.  He's apoplectic and, probably, rather uneasy since the word is it will come down on him sooner than later.  Fortunately, DeLay is such a revolting person even the GOP is hard put to pony up people to defend him.  On the other hand, it was he who got Texas redistricted.  Without it, Texas becomes Democratic.

Read Molly Ivins on this.  Actually, on anything.  Something to look forward to.

Boulder continues to cut back expenses till retail and tax income get back up.  A lot seems to be riding on the 29th St. project, but I remain suspicious.  Of course, I've felt for decades that a great deal of Boulder's economy was vapor, based on laundered drug money from years past, and when culpability and interest slips past the statutes of limitations, these businesses pull up and move out.  As the boomer generation is hitting retirement, those that remain will peter out.  Even so, there's an awful lot of activity on the Mall this year that should have pushed things higher than reported.  

Suspicious. I remain suspicious.
Sunday, September 26, 2004








On this day in 1687, Venetian soldiers fighting the Turks in Athens, inadvertently or not, hit the powder magazine in the Parthenon.  The roof, walls and 16 columns are blown off.  

In 1937, Bessie Smith died from blood loss after a traffic accident.  Supposedly, she'd been denied treatment at an all white hospital, but this may not be true.  It's hard to say from the recordings how terrific Smith was, but she sure had a powerful voice.

More relevant, on this day in 1960, the first of the Nixon Kennedy debates took place, Nixon winning to the radio audience, Kennedy to the television.   It would be amusing to ask college students who won the election.

The Boulder Daily Camera finally gets around to some hard numbers about who drinks in Boulder.   They base their numbers on total population, which I'm not sure is relevant.  They say there is one liquor license for every 391 residents.  Suspicious enough.

What we need to know is how many LEGAL potential drinkers there are.  According to demographics, only 73 percent of Boulder is over 21.  Then, real life, subtract out those over 65.  This leaves 65.2% of Boulder legal and able to drink.  It also means one liquor license for every 255 potential drinkers.  It's tough to build a business on such a small base of legal potential drinkers, don't you think?  

It's revolting in its hypocrisy to feign surprise and shock that illegal drinking is the bread and buttur of the booze merchants.  

It's also strange that The Rocky Mt. News article claims only 211 licences in Boulder.  The Daily Camera article says the News claims 238.  

Two debates this week.  The foreign policy one between Kerry and Bush and the pointless one between Cheney and Edwards.  It's been pointed out that Bush has lost the battle of low expectations, since Kerry has positioned himself as less likable and more boring.  Depressing enough, it's possible it could be true.  

Regardless, if Kerry doesn't blow Bush away on this, it's all over.  The Iraq quagmire ought to be easy pickings for Kerry.  I can only hope it is.
Saturday, September 25, 2004

The CIA laid out several scenarios and said life could be lousy, life could be okay, life could be better, and they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like.-- George W. Bush, on Iraq report.







Since we're talking death by alcohol poisoning these days, at least in Colorado, let's honor one of the famous victims of this awful demise.  On this date in 1980, after spending the whole day drinking, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died having choked on his own vomit.  Always showing the way, celebrities are.

The debates start this week, and it's crunch time for Kerry.  If he makes a mediocre or worse showing, it's all over.  Absent a dirty bomb attack on Detroit or Boston or some such, the GOP is set to win.  I wouldn't have believed it six months ago.  They don't deserve it, they've lied, they've put us in debt, failed in the mission they claimed.  But Kerry's campaign is just awful.  Terrible.  I hope the debate elevates him.

 
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