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Berry's World
Saturday, September 20, 2003
 
THIS IS BEYOND BELIEF

If the stories out of Iraq are true, U.S. soldiers held a late-night party at the Baghdad Zoo, when one soldier who had 'drunk a lot' decided to feed a Bengal tiger. When the tiger bit the soldiers arm, other soldiers shot and killed the rare and valuable tiger.

If this is true, and I've just read the early reports, then I can't even put into words how ridiculously stupid an incident this is.

Eventually we are going to run out of feet, and then where will we shoot ourselves?
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DEATH AT DODGER STADIUM UPDATE

KABC is reporting that three people have been arrested in the death of Mark Antenorcruz, who was shot at Dodger Stadium following last night game between the Dodgers and Giants. A family member told a passing driver that a fleeing white SUV carried the shooter, and the passing driver followed the SUV until they got the shooter's license plate.

Futher, police are backing away from the theory that this was an altercation between Dodgers fans and Giants fans, and are unclear as the motive of the shooting. Antenorcruz was apparently a Giants fan, refuting the headline at MSNBC claiming Dodgers fan killed by Giants fan.

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ALMA MATER UPDATE

My beloved Golden Flashes held an early 10-0 lead over Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions, but couldn't hang on, eventually losing a tough road game 32-10.
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WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ELVIS?

We all saw what happened to the Dixie Chicks when member Natalie Maines said "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

I thought it was disgusting to see the way they were treated for what is basically a pretty trivial statement. But in the back of my head, I've often wondered, if the situation was different, what would happen to Elvis Costello had he released his album Spike amid that kind of repressive atmosphere.

Spike contains my favorite Elvis Costello song, Tramp The Dirt Down, which is a stinging rebuke of Margaret Thatcher. I'll include the full lyrics below, but what response would Costello had gotten if he had written this about President Bush:

Well I hope I don't die too soon
I pray the lord my soul to save
Oh I'll be a good boy, I'm trying so hard to behave
Because there's one thing I know, I'd like to live
Long enough to savour
That's when they finally put you in the ground
I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down


We know the FBI shows up at high schools to question teenagers without their parents knowledge or consent. We know that local cops will PRETEND to be FBI agents whilst questioning high school students who have done nothing more that quote bad movies ('Ha, ha, somebody hacked the Gibson.') on their website. We know that the FBI will question folks for reading "Weapons of Mass Stupidity", an article in an independant newspaper.

So, read the lyrics if you aren't familiar with them, and ask yourself, where would Elvis Costello be today if he released a song like this about President Bush?

I'm guessing Guantanamo Bay.


Tramp The Dirt Down

I saw a newspaper picture from the political campaign
A woman was kissing a child, who was obviously in pain
She spills with compassion, as that young child's
Face in her hands she grips
Can you imagine all that greed and avarice
Coming down on that child's lips

Well I hope I don't die too soon
I pray the lord my soul to save
Oh I'll be a good boy, I'm trying so hard to behave
Because there's one thing I know, I'd like to live
Long enough to savour
That's when they finally put you in the ground
I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down

When england was the whore of the world
Margeret was her madam
And the future looked as bright and as clear as
The black tarmacadam
Well I hope that she sleeps well at night, isn't
Haunted by every tiny detail
'Cos when she held that lovely face in her hands
All she thought of was betrayal

And now the cynical ones say that it all ends the same in the long run
Try telling that to the desperate father who just squeezed the life from his only son
And how it's only voices in your head and dreams you never dreamt
Try telling him the subtle difference between justice and contempt
Try telling me she isn't angry with this pitiful discontent
When they flaunt it in your face as you line up for punishment
And then expect you to say "thank you" straighten up, look proud and pleased
Because you've only got the symptoms, you haven't got the whole disease
Just like a schoolboy, whose head's like a tin-can
Filled up with dreams then poured down the drain
Try telling that to the boys on both sides, being blown to bits or beaten and maimed
Who takes all the glory and none of the shame

Well I hope you live long now, I pray the lord your soul to keep
I think I'll be going before we fold our arms and start to weep
I never thought for a moment that human life could be so cheap
'Cos when they finally put you in the ground
They'll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down

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DODGER STADIUM UPDATE

Over at Priorities and Frivolities, Robert Garcia Tagorda disagrees, slightly, with me over the conditions at Dodger Stadium. Tagorda feels that, overall, Dodger Stadium is a good place to enjoy a game, although he does think it is advisable to avoid the pavilion (cheap) seats.

I agree wholeheartedly that sitting in the pavilion at Dodger Stadium is akin to walking through Central Park at 3AM carrying a large amount of cash. You are really taking your chances.

My disdain of Dodger Stadium is based purely on my own, personal anecdotal evidence. For example, two years ago, my dad and I were sitting on the lower level just past the Dodger 's duggout on the 3rd base side. The Angels jumped out to an early lead and weren't really threatened on their way to a win. However, an Angels fan sitting about 10 rows in front of us couldn't say the same thing, as he was boo'd, harassed, and threatened every time he cheered for the Angels and waved his Angels hat. Sadly, in the 8th inning, a young, clearly bombed Dodgers fan decided he's had enough and proceeded to go down to the Angels fan, take his hat and throw it up into the crowd and punch the hatless Angels fan in the face. Madness reigned until security could break things up a couple minutes later.

And that's not the worst.

3 or 4 years ago, my ex-girlfriend and I were down the leftfield line in the late innings of a close Dodgers-Angels game when we noticed a young boy climbing all over the seats about 20 feet to our left. The kid was about to fall flat on his face when an elderly man grabbed him, saving the lad possible facial reconstruction surgery. The man set the kid back down next to his mother, who inexplicably appeared not to see what happened. The man mentioned to the boys mother that the boy nearly hurt himself and she might want to keep a closer eye him. The mother exploded. "Fuck you, motherfucker! Who the fuck are you to tell me how to raise my kids?" she screamed at the startled man. The man who was with the mother then started screaming at the man, then his friends joined in, and I truly feared for the old man's life. Happily, an usher was walking by, and stepped in the middle of things, and escorted the old man and his wife out, as they decided to leave. My ex-girlfriend and I decided to change seats and moved a couple of sections closer to homeplate to watch the end of the game.

As I said, it's purely anecdotal evidence, but I would rather drive the extra hour or so to Anaheim to watch the Angels play.

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TROUBLE AT CHAVEZ RAVINE

Being a fan of the defending World Champion Anaheim Angels (I don't have much time to say that), I have been to Dodger Stadium numerous times to see Angel/Dodger games. Frankly, the last few times I've been there, I have not enjoyed the atmosphere. There is a contingent of Dodger fans, primarily young, that go to the games only to get drunk and cause trouble. Fistfights are the rule and certainly not the exception. I decided a while back that I would avoid Dodger Stadium as it's just not a fun place to be anymore.

So, with this experience in my head, I was really not surprised to read that an altercation broke out after last nights Dodgers/Giants game, and one fan shot and killed another fan.
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Friday, September 19, 2003
 
SCOOBIE DAVIS STARTS DOWN A SLIPPERY SLOPE

Scoobie Davis is funny guy who has managed to position himself as a stone in the shoe of certain Republican pundits such as Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge, and Bill O'Reilly. Further, Scoobie has a somewhat bizarre history of crashing parties, including the 2002 Oscar Awards, where, if you believe the unsubstantiated gossip, he insulted Best Supporting Actor nominee Ben Kingsley by calling him Captain Picard, puked on Joan Rivers' shoes, and was caught backstage making out with a barely dressed Drew Barrymore.

Basically, Scoobie is a kook. But he's our kook, and his blog is usually hilarious.

However, Scoobie has started what could be a dangerous tack this week in his defense of General Wesley Clark from attacks by Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh has already started throwing all sorts of scurrilous charges at Clark, presumably to set the table for the 2004 campaign should Clark be the Democratic nominee. Scoobie, naturally, took umbridge at this, and decided to compare and contrast the records of Limbaugh and Clark.

While it's funny, it sets a dangerous precedent.

According to Scoobie's thinking, political pundits wouldn't be able to criticize candidates unless they themselves had a better record than the candidate. I have no military experience, so I wouldn't be able to criticize President Bush on the war, because the president spent at least some time in the Air National Guard. I couldn't knock President Bush on education as his degree from Yale more than likely trumps my degree from a state college.

Now, I don't know Scoobie's record, but I'm certain he would follow the same rules he applies to Limbaugh.

Right?

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YET ANOTHER REASON I'M NOT A PARENT

Here in Los Angeles there is a commercial for an outfit called Check 'N Go getting major air-play that stuns and shocks me every time I see it.

The ad opens with a woman bemoaning that payday wasn't until next week, but she needed cash now because her 4 or 5 year old son had stuffed up the toilet, and then tried to fix it with a hammer and a screwdriver. During the lad's attempt to fix the toilet, he apparently destroyed it beyond repair.

The next shot in the commercial is of the boy holding the very hammer and screwdriver that he used to despoil the toilet.

And he's smiling!

OK, let's leave aside the fact that he's NOT bleeding, has no cast on, and doesn't appear to have any visible wounds on his body. It seems to me that if my child destroyed a toilet with a hammer and screwdriver, after I got done with him he would rather have his arms amputated before he would consider the idea of picking up his tools of destruction again.

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MORAL CERTAINTY

Jonah Goldberg wrote a column last week that had a very interesting quote from Anthony Lewis. Here's the passage:

Asked if he'd drawn any "big conclusion" over his career, Lewis responded that "certainty is the enemy of decency and humanity in people who are sure they are right, like Osama bin Laden and John Ashcroft."

Naturally, Goldberg missed the point and goes on to lament that certainty was in short supply in Washington. To prove his point, he quotes Dick Gephardt saying virtually everything the president has done since 9-11 has been a "miserable failure." (That seemed pretty 'certain' to me.)

The point is that 'certainty' is a problem when it is taken to extremes. The 9-11 attackers were 'certain' that America is evil and their God would lavish them with virgins when their martyred souls arrived in heaven. As those guys were aiming the planes into the twin towers, they KNEW they were right.

But, there are Americans today acting with the same kind of certainty. On the right and the left, some are so certain that their beliefs are so unquestionably correct that they have practically been kissed by God, and anybody who even considers the possibility that they might be misguided is a treasonous coward, and should be handled with extreme prejudice.

No matter what country you are from, that is a dangerous frame of mind.

Years ago I was reading about Colin Powell, and came across his Rules To Live By. The one that sticks with me to this day, and EVERYBODY on both sides would do well to keep in mind, is this:

3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

So, to get the ball rolling, allow me to publicly admit to the world:

---I don't know everything.
---I am often wrong.
---Sometimes it's hard, but I try to consider the other guys point of view.

Of course, there are some out there that absolutely know that I'm flat out nuts and should be dealt with harshly.

I'm certain of it.
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AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Atrios posted concerning the situation in Detroit where AG John Ashcroft has been accused of violating a federal judges gag order, and then lamenting the idea of actually having to show up in Detroit to answer the judges questions.

It's a good story, and has wide-ranging ramifications. Of course, throwing all modesty out the window, I'm pleased to point out that loyal Berry's World readers (both of you) got this story 5 days ago.
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Thursday, September 18, 2003
 
I FAILED

Today my fellow blogger Howard Owens has a very simple test to see if you are a reasonable person. He asks you read this column by James Lileks, and after which, if you are still opposed to the war in Iraq, then you have failed. You are not a reasonable person.

Wow, thought I, that must be some column. Sadly, I was completely under whelmed. Needless to say, according to the ‘Owens Test’, I am most certainly not a reasonable person. (Full disclosure: Howard had already helpfully pointed out that I wasn’t a reasonable person in the comments to this post.)

So, what does Lileks say that should convince the unlearned masses that they were wrong and the pro-war types were right about the war? Well, he liberally quotes this article from The Weekly Standard by Stephen F. Hayes that claims the evidence linking Iraq to al Qaeda is vast, and quite compelling.

For example: al Qaeda’s number 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, met with Iraqi intelligence officials twice. This is quite important to Hayes, although I certainly gave it less weight when I read that the meetings took place in 1992 and 1998.

Hayes is also aghast about the ‘fact’ that Iraq gave Ayman al-Zawahiri $300,000 in 1998. In fact, there is ‘irrefutable evidence’ (is that like "bulletproof evidence”?) of the payment, and ‘It’s a lock’. Who says? Well, an unnamed source. You alert readers are probably wondering why Howard Owens is putting so much faith in a ‘reasonable test’ that relies, at least second-hand, on claims made by unnamed sources. Didn’t Howard pen this immortal sentence: As any intelligent reader knows, news reports based on anonymous sources are about as credible as Pinokio (sic).

Yes, he did.

Hayes’ lengthy story goes on, mainly claiming that prior to the war the Bush administration actually underplayed their case in linking Iraq to al Qaeda.

Lileks finishes his column by plainly making the case that the war, and removing Saddam Hussein from power was the absolute, no-brainer, right thing to do. And he proves his point by examining what those pin-headed, elitist, editorial writers wrote concerning…wait for it…Operation “Desert Fox”.

Seriously.

Now, it’s clear that I, somehow, was able to resist the well thought out thesis by Mr. Lileks. But, don’t take my word for it. Take the test and read it for yourself. Are you a reasonable person?

Finally, I really must wonder why Howard Owens, who appears to be a well-informed citizen, would want to throw his entire war justification argument behind James Lileks. This passage from Lileks himself would tell me to take his column with at least a grain of salt:

I work in journalism, but I'm not a journalist - that title is best reserved for people who do the hard work of calling up sources, checking leads, and other forms of diligent labor. I make things up, really. Or, if I do a feature story, I just show up somewhere and describe an event.

Of course, what do I know? I’m not a reasonable person.

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YOU JUST CAN'T STOP TECHNOLOGY

A computor geek I am not, so you can imagine my surprise to learn that Kevin Drum at Cal Pundit can post to his blog WHILE DRIVING!

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WHERE'S CASEY STENGEL WHEN YOU NEED HIM?

Filled with frustration, Casey Stengel once asked the immortal question "Can't anyone around here play this game?"

Today, I feel like asking "Can't anyone around here read?"

Yesterday, I pointed out that several (usually) outstanding bloggers were posting a letter from President Bush to congress and either hinting, or outright claiming that the letter showed that the president lied whilst taking us into the war.

As I, and many others, pointed out, the letter shows no such thing. End of story, right?

Wrong.

Today Cursor is linking to the worst offender, The Daily Kos (who wrote: Hence Bush's language in the certification letter to Congress is a blatant L-I-E. ), with this teaser:

President Bush's "no evidence" statement raises questions about the Congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq.

Sadly, in the post Cursor links to, Kos has already updated that the letter is not evidence of deceit.

Maybe, just like the original letter from President Bush, Cursor didn't read Kos' post either.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2003
 
THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST

60 Minutes 2 had a touching, moving, frightening story tonight about Chief Warrant Officers David Williams and Ronald Young Jr. who were shot down in a firefight in Iraq and held as POW's for 22 days.

If you didn't see it, well, there is no way I could summarize what sort of hell these men went through, but trust me when I tell you it wasn't three weeks at Club Med.

Would David Williams and Ronald Young Jr. say they were heroes, to be held up as examples of the type of people we all strive to be? Probably not. But I will. These guys showed courage, strength, bravery, tenacity, valor and damn near every other adjective I can come up with.

Basically, they were American soldiers.
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DID TOM, ATRIOS, OR KOS EVEN READ THE LETTER?

Tom Tomorrow, Atrios, and The Daily Kos are all breathlessly posting a letter from President Bush to Congress that shows the President was dishonest in getting us into the war. Kos says: Hence Bush's language in the certification letter to Congress is a blatant L-I-E.

I have to ask, did anybody read the letter?

Here's the text:

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH


Now, it really shouldn't take an english major to see that in paragraph 2, The President refers to all terrorists, and the phrase 'including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.' would be a subset of all terrorists.

Come on now folks, next time let's count to ten before we start impeachment proceedings against The President.

UPDATE: Kos has been alerted to the error, and instead of retracting his statement, he BLAMES the White House for being able to say something that sounds like something else. I fear Kos may have gone over the edge.

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A BIZARRE COINCIDENCE

Yesterday, I was talking to my dad on the phone and I explained to him my take on what Vice President Cheney said on Sunday's Meet The Press. I told my dad that it sure seemed like the VEEP was playing fast and loose with the truth. My dad asked what Russert said to that, and I said that Russert just accepted it and moved on. My dad laughed and said "Don't you think Russert wishes he'd followed up on that?"

You can imagine my surprise when I read this sentence over at Talking Points Memo:

(At this point, Tim, don't you wish you'd followed up?)

You don't think Josh Marshall is using some part of the Patriot Act to listen on my calls, do you?
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GOOSE, GANDER, AND ALL THAT

When I make a prediction that somehow turns out to be correct, I don't like to toot my own horn. I LOVE to toot my own horn.

However, there are occasions when my predictions don't turn out to be as correct as I would like. For example, on August 19th I said that I surmised Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.) would resign from the House of Representatives within 2 weeks.

Well, considering that Rep. Janklow showed up for work yesterday, it looks like I was (gasp) wrong.

In my defense, I didn't know that Rep. Janklow was like Jason Voorhees from the Friday The 13th movies. I mean, there's no getting rid of the guy. He speeds through a stop sign, kills a man, and is facing manslaughter charges and he doesn't have the decency to resign? I didn't see that coming.
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YOU DON'T MESS WITH A MAN'S TOFEE NUT LATTE

Voters in Seattle have overwhelmingly rejected a 10 cent tax on espresso drinks that would have raised millions of dollars for the city's preschool and day-care programs. Not being a coffee drinker, I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I was amused when 34-year-old tech support worker Rob Marker said of his iced vanilla mocha: This is not a luxury.

Then, apparently, Marker felt he really didn't sound stupid enough so he decided to keep talking:

Here I am, forced to pay more for my basic necessity to fund irresponsibility. I believe people have kids without considering it. I take issue with the greater issue of public funding for child care. Yes, it's needed, but it also feeds irresponsibility.

Leaving aside the discussion of whether partially funding preschool and day-care programs is good for the city, I do hope that some helpful Seattle resident shows Mr. Marker a dictionary, and then beats him about the face and neck with it.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003
 
YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE TIMING

Nine days ago blogger Howard Owens took offense to a Washington Post story that intimated that the 69% of Americans who believe Iraq was involved in the 9-11 attack have been misinformed.

7 in 10 Americans are stupid, WaPO reports, was the headline Owens penned.

In his post Owens, among other things, blames Post writers Milbank and Deane of 'sneering elitism', lists a series of links that, he claims, is more than enough evidence to 'sustain a belief' that Iraq was linked to 9-11, and then complains that all of the stories claiming there was no link always refer to unnamed sources.

The money quote:

Depending on how you asked the question, if you polled me, I would say there is a link between Saddam's Iraq and 9/11, and I'm as informed on the issue as any leftist you care to name.

Well, now we have a source with a name, although he's not a 'leftist ', who sees no link between Iraq and 9-11.

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld pretty much took a baseball bat to Owens' house of cards, and that got me to wondering. What will all of the pro-war types do, after months of lecturing the treasonous anti-war folk about how Iraq was involved in the horrific attack, now that one of their own has said that they are wrong?

I'm guessing they will beat Rumsfeld like a baby seal.

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THE MENTAL IMAGE OF GEORGE W. BUSH

I don't think I'm telling secrets out of school when I say that every White House has their spin machines running 24 hours a day in an attempt to create the most positive image of their president in the minds of the American voters.

After a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion that the mental image of President Bush that Rove, Hughes, et al are trying to create is General Wesley Clark.

I'm thrilled that he's in, yet I'm still torn between General Clark and Dr. Dean.
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WELL, WE SAW THAT COMING, DIDN'T WE?

Last week, CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour told Tina Brown on CNBC that CNN was muzzled in it's war coverage by the White House and it's competitive position with Fox News. Today we learn that CNN news honcho Jim Walton called Amanpour in for a private pow-wow.

Walton says he respects Amanpour and did not reprimand her.

But what is more troubling is the black and white, us against them mentality that is become more prevalent since President Bush's lack of nuance became policy when he said “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

Sadly, Amanpour had to explain this to Brown when the former Talk Magazine Editor asked exactly what stories CNN spiked during the war.

"It's not a question of couldn't do it, it's a question of tone. It's a question of being rigorous. It's really a question of really asking the questions. All of the entire body politic in my view, whether it's the administration, the intelligence, the journalists, whoever, did not ask enough questions, for instance, about weapons of mass destruction. I mean, it looks like this was disinformation at the highest levels."

Fox takes the us or them idea to staggering heights as evidenced by their reacton to this story. Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti said of Amanpour's comments: "Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."

It shouldn't have to be one extreme or another. Given a choice, I would rather hear objective reporting.

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Monday, September 15, 2003
 
THINGS JUST DON'T ADD UP

I'm not sure how big a story it is elsewhere, but the murder of Yetunde Price, sister of the tennis playing Williams sisters, is getting huge play on local news in Los Angeles. Police arrested 24-year-old Aaron Michael Hammer, who's criminal history is is both lengthy and violent, but are still searching for 4 other possible suspects.

We learned a little more about the tragedy, yet the new information raises more questions than it answers. Price was in an SUV in a rather seedy area of Compton (as opposed to the lovely, high-rent areas of Compton that yuppies are dying to move into), in front of a house that also has a criminal history.

Here's how homicide detective Daniel Rosenberg describes the house in question:

"I can tell you there are certain indications to suggest this location has involved either gangs or drugs. The house was troublesome to both the residents in the community and the deputies in Compton station."

After more than 20 shots were fired, at least one hitting Price in the chest, the unharmed driver, Rolland Wormley, then drove Price to a relatives house in Long Beach, 20 minutes away. Upon arrival in Long Beach, Wormley called 911.

Being in the area was a violation of Wormley's parole, and he was arrested for investigation of parole violation and assault with a deadly weapon using a firearm. Presumably, Wormley was concerned about this, and that's why he drove Price to Long Beach before alerting authorities. He will be arraigned tomorrow (Tuesday).

Now I realize this is a terrible situation, and my heart goes out to Miss Price's family, but this question simply must be asked:

What was a single mother of 3 doing in a car with a known criminal outside a house known as a gang hangout and a place where drugs could be purchased after midnight?

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SATIRE GOES BOTH WAYS

Atrios posts under the headline "IF I WERE A LAWYER":

I'd consider rounding up a bunch of MEChA members and filing a nice big lawsuit.

And they pull Boondocks for being 'controversial...'


The link is to a Mallard Fillmore comic that takes a swipe at California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante's membership in MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan).

I have no earthly idea why Atrios wants to sue, and I'm completely clueless why MEChA is involved. The comic doesn't mention MEChA, and clearly MEChA ha suffered no damages, and most importantly:

IT'S COMIC STRIP!!

I'm guessing that if Atrios were actually a lawyer, he'd be very, very poor.

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MOST LIKELY TO LIVE IN A DOUBLE-WIDE TRAILER

Like you, I’m sure; I have been both appalled yet fascinated by the strange and pathetic case of Adrienne Samen. Mrs. Samen, who has been dubbed the ‘Out of Control Bride’ or ‘Bridezilla’, was arrested due to her unseemly behavior during her wedding reception in Connecticut last month.

Video released by police shows the unblushing bride yelling, swearing, and even throwing her wedding ring across the police booking office. The police report, posted at TheSmokingGun.com, of course, reports that the demure Adrienne called a fellow inmate a ‘nigger’, and called the arresting officers various assorted vulgarities including 'cocksucker' and 'fucking asshole'.

Now, considering that alcohol was involved, and in Mrs. Samen's case I’m guessing a whole bunch of alcohol was involved, you could probably chalk this up to a young girl getting bombed out of her gourd and flipping out. That idea gained more merit when Adrienne went to court and was very humble and contrite:

"My behavior was very disgraceful," she said. "I am sorry for my family, my friends and the people at the Mill on the River."

OK, fair enough. Young woman makes a mistake, realizes it, and attempts to make amends. Forgive and forget, I always say. End of story, right?

Wrong.

Today Samen appeared on the TV program Inside Edition and wasn’t quite as apologetic as once thought (don’t worry if you missed it, as Adrienne and her husband have taped an appearance for the new Sharon Osborne Show that will air Wednesday):

"The police shouldn't have arrested me. I didn't do anything wrong," Samen told America’s longest running nationally syndicated newsmagazine show.

Could it be that Samen lied to the court when she apologized for her ‘disgraceful behavior’? Golly, that would mean that Adrienne Samen was dishonest. Would anything in her past indicate a predilection for deceiving people?

Sadly, yes.

Turns out that Adrienne has had previous brushes with the law. She’s currently facing charges of third degree larceny and third degree forgery in Connecticut. It seems, according to police affidavits, that last year Adrienne was engaged to and living with Michael Schlereth. When Mr. Schlereth, now known as the luckiest man on the planet, broke off the relationship and moved out, he made the mistake of accidentally leaving behind a book of checks. Apparently Adrienne mistook this accident as an invitation to forge Mr. Schlereth's signature on the checks, deposit them into newly opened accounts, and withdraw the money days later.

The charges, which were in two different jurisdictions, have been consolidated and continued until September 25th.

Usually, somebody in a similar situation as Samen would quietly go on about their business and not tell others how to live their lives. Of course, Adrienne has proved to be anything but usual. Adrienne finished up her interview with Inside Edition offering viewers this pearl of wisdom:

I find it absolutely amusing that people have nothing better to do than read about somebody that gets arrested on their wedding day. Why don't they go pick up a book and read something that's actually helpful.

Well, it goes both ways. Maybe Adrienne could read some books that will be helpful to her. Like, perhaps:

Down Home Trailer Park Cookbook by Ruby Ann Boxcar and Drew Balzak

Dr. Verne's Northern White Trash Etiquette by Verne Edstrom

White Trash Cooking by Ernest Matthew Mickler

The Book of White Trash by Laraine Shape, Cliff Carle, and Kristy Zgoda

The Spam Cookbook : Recipes from Main Street by Linda Eggers

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POP QUIZ TIME

With the 9th Circuit delaying California's recall election (as was sort of predicted here less than 43 hours ago), who is the most happy with the decision?

1) Gray Davis, as any delay in the recall stunts momentum and increases the chances Davis doesn't join the ranks of the myriad unemployed people in the country.
2) Tom McClintock, as he was never really aiming for the recall election, but has actually been setting up his run in the next general election for California's Governorship.
3) William Rehnquist, as he will once again get to insert himself into state politics to help the Republican party.

Tough call, but give me a sawbuck on #3.

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Sunday, September 14, 2003
 
CAL PUNDIT DROPS THE BALL

Hey, when it comes to bloggers, most of them are just like me. Somebody with a keyboard, an opinion, and access to the net. But others, like Josh Marshall, seem very intelligent, well informed, and able to objectively analyze certain situations.

I would certainly put Kevin Drum, aka the Cal Pundit, amongst the latter.

That's why I was actually shocked this morning when Drum utterly and completely let an easy ground ball go through his legs.

Drum posts that the non-religious types, of which both he and I are card carrying members, actually make things worse by standing up to the religious types and fighting for what we believe. Drum surmises that things like the 10 Commandments rock in Alabama, and the 'under God' in the pledge imbroglio are actually small potatoes and shouldn't be bothered with lest we raise the ire of the religious folk.

Drum even goes on to wonder if there had been no problem with the original 10 commandments sculpture in Judge Roy Moore's courtroom, then maybe he is never elected Alabama's Supreme Court justice, and maybe there would have been no brouhaha over the big 10 commandments stone, and maybe the Alabama voters might have voted for the tax increase that was recently defeated.

Sadly, and almost inexplicably, Drum misses the big picture. If nothing was said about the original 10 Commandments sculpture, Drum thinks the issue dies and we never hear of it again. How misguided. Had nothing been said about the original sculpture, Moore would have taken the silence as encouragement to go further. I don't know what he would have done (forced religious training in addition to prison sentences?) but he would have continued to act in a manner that forces his religious beliefs on others. And that is unacceptable.

Here's how I decide what is important. When I hear about a situation, I try to come up with the exact opposite situation and figure out what the other side would think. Instead of Judge Moore putting the 10 Commandments in the courthouse, what if a judge installed a big statue listing The three categories of Tawheed?

The religious right would have burnt the building to the ground inside a week.

Now, I realize that playing 'what if' is fun, but it shouldn't be played in a vacuum. We must keep in mind that it is human nature to find boundaries. If we take a step with impunity, then the next step seems a lot easier. I think that instead of being afraid of alienating religious voters, we should concentrate more on convincing them that we're right.

What Kevin seems to miss is that you can't win a fight if you don't show up.
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WHO'S THE BIGGEST OFFENDER?

When it comes to flat out waste, who do you think is the worst offender of all time?

1) Western civilization when it comes to the amount of food wasted.
2) The Pentagon when it comes to their somewhat obscene spending habits.
3) St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz when it comes to his infuriating waste of time outs early in the 1st or 3rd quarters.

As any Rams fan will tell you, the correct answer is #3

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LET ME TRANSLATE THAT FOR YOU

Here's a story about our beloved Attorney General John Ashcroft being accused of violating a U.S. District judge's gag order, and his feeling that if he were to compelled to testify under the same judge's order, it would be an 'extrordinary step" and therefore he should not have to waste his time with such silliness.

You can read the whole story, or, you can allow me to give you the Ashcroft-english translation:

Basically, Ashcroft is telling the United States of America to fuck off.
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BERRY'S WORLD GOES BILINGUAL!!

Hey, just because I don't speak Spanish, that doesn't mean that my loyal and faithful readers can't enjoy the beautiful eccentricities of the romance language. To prove my point, I offer up the evidence that a reader using the Yahoo Brazil-busca search engine found their way to Berry's World looking for something called:

fotos de sexo grupal

Well, I'm not sure what that means, but welcome to my fellow 'fotos de sexo grupal'-buff!

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THE HORROR RETURNS

I don't know how you handled it, but personally, after about two weeks of coverage of the 9-11 tragedy, I had to make a point to stop watching. It was just too painful for me to watch day after day.

Well, tonight my local PBS station (KCET) aired 9-11: A Tale Of Two Towers, and followed it up with a three hour episode of American Experience called "The Center Of The World" which focused on the conception, construction, and destruction of the WTC.

These documentaries brought back that ugly, sick feeling that I carried around after the attack. I had tried to put out of my mind the scene of body after body falling from the higher reaches of the towers just prior to their collapse, but seeing it tonight returned the tears and anguish that we all shared.

I'm guessing that, like you, I'll carry those images to the grave, and that's just plain sad. Nobody should have to carry a memory like that.
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DOESN'T IT SUCK WHEN YOUR OWN WORDS COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU?

Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 1977 autobiography, according to the Mercury News:

``I worked out an agreement with Joe Weider to spend one year in America,'' Schwarzenegger wrote in his 1977 autobiography. ``My part of the agreement was to make available to Weider information about how I trained. He agreed to provide an apartment, a car and to pay me a weekly salary in exchange for my information and being able to use photographs of me in his magazine.''

Later in the story:

Hiltachk (Schwarzenegger 's attorney) said that, despite what Schwarzenegger wrote in his autobiography, the actor does not think he was paid in exchange for work while he had a B-1 visa. ``His recollection was foggy, but he said he didn't believe he received a salary or was working for Joe,'' he said.

OK, first he couldn't remember the Oui interview. Then, he claims that he lied his way through the interview. Now he lied his way through his own autobiography. A more cynical soul might sense a pattern developing.

By the way, why is the salary a big deal? Well, if Arnold did earn a salary then he violated the terms of his visa, which would certainly make this statement a lot less true:

``People like myself waited for 15 years after I came to this country -- legally -- to get citizenship,'' Schwarzenegger said last week on talk radio. ``So I find it unfair to push the whole thing of undocumented immigrants and to say, well, you know they should just get their citizenship because they're coming in.''

It's a good thing I'm not cynical.
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HEY YOU! THAT'S RIGHT, YOU!

Have you read Passenger Pachyderms today? I'm telling you, Nichole is the David Lynch of bloggers. With quirky, campy little tales, Passenger Pachyderms reminds you that sometimes it's not the arrival at your destination, but the journey that is far more enjoyable.
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IT WAS FUNNY, FOR A VERY SHORT WHILE

I love Mad TV. Mainly because I think it is a lot funnier than Saturday Night Live, and also because I have a major crush on Mo Collins. What I do not find funny at all is Bobby Lee.

Bobby Lee, apparently, has had a lengthy comedy career (if you can call opening for Pauly Shore part of a career) but damn near every time he gets a line on Mad TV, he's playing an asian character. Lee is asian, by the way.

I had hoped that maybe the Asian deal was due to Lee being new to the cast, but on tonights season opener, Lee hauled out his tired impression of Connie Chung. Frankly, it's a pathetic impression, and the only reason it gets laughs (from the studio audience and certainly not me) is because Lee is Asian and, I guess if you were completely bombed, might pass for Chung. I guarantee you, if he didn't say he was Connie Chung at the opening of the sketch, nobody would have any idea who he was trying to play.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT (AND SHAME ON YOU IF YOU DID)...

The Kent State Golden Flashes (yes, that is worst team nickname in all of college athletics, you wanna make something of it?) beat the Youngstown State Penguins 16-13 when Travis Mayle kicked a 33-yard field goal with 13 seconds to go.

If you were a Kent State alum, you would think this was big news too, as my beloved Golden Flashes are usually hard pressed to win 2 games a year. The only thing that keeps us KSU grads going is that the college basketball season starts in a couple of months, and the Flashes are planning on repeating their trip to the 'Elite Eight' of two years ago.
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