Berry's World
Saturday, September 13, 2003

After all the hoopla, it seems that California's recall election stands a pretty good chance of be postponed. Take a look at the opening paragraph from Jason Hoppin's story over at

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may put off California's gubernatorial recall and seems likely to postpone two initiatives on the Oct. 7 ballot that accompany the effort to remove Gov. Gray Davis.

I'm developing a sneaky suspicion that the recall will fail in any event, but if it is postponed I tend to think that Arnold will withdraw from the race. If not, I would guess Arnold can look forward to the same kind of success Red Sonja enjoyed in 1985.

Now, other than the fact that he continually and inexplicably misspells his last name, I have nothing personal against Dave Barry. But I have to tell you; the alleged humorist is becoming a stone in my shoe. I guess I shouldn’t be mocking his skills as a humorist, considering the guy won a Pulitzer Prize, but come on. Dave Barry is to funny as Matlock was to binding, legal precedent.

So, what about Barry has my dander up? He’s on an anti-telemarketing kick, and recently penned a column inviting his readers to call a telemarketing company and give them what for. Needless to say, several people called the telemarketing company, causing quite an uproar.

Frankly, I have no complaint with Barry’s column, or his advice to call the telemarketing company. Personally, I think the “Do Not Call” list is pretty dumb. I figure that during dinner people can turn their phones off, or even dare to not answer the phone (gasp!). But, if some people can get more worked up over an unsolicited phone call trying to sell them a subscription to Guns and Ammo or Catholic Digest than the number of soldiers injured or killed in Iraq, so be it.

What bothers me about Barry’s tirade is his simplistic and shortsighted view of the people who actually work as telemarketers. Here are some facts that I’m sure Barry doesn’t much care about:

---6.5 million people work as telemarketers.
---Only 5 percent of telemarketers have college educations.
---2 million telemarketers face unemployment when the “Do Not Call” list is fully implemented.
---The ‘true’ unemployment rate is actually around 9%, despite what we are told by the administration.

Of course, to be fair, Barry does solemnly recognize the fact that some real people may lose their jobs and face hardships the likes of which Barry hasn’t seen in decades, if ever:

This group argues that, if its members are prohibited from calling people who do not want to be called, then 2 million telemarketers will lose their jobs. Of course, you could use pretty much the same reasoning to argue that laws against mugging cause unemployment among muggers. But that would be unfair. Muggers rarely intrude into your home.

Funny? Debatable. While Barry, I’m sure, found that nugget hilarious, I wonder how funny telemarketer Jennifer Smith; a 23-year-old single mother with no higher education might find it. I’m guessing she was able to withhold the gut-wrenching belly laugh that Barry was hoping for.

Now, Barry wrote this column last month and maybe he has had time to think about his silly and misguided attempt at humor. Well, no. I heard Barry interviewed on a news program this morning, and the issue of the telemarketer’s jobs came up. Dave, who apparently stops reading the paper after proofing his column, had this advice for telemarketers:

Maybe you should get a different job.

Yeah, maybe the out of work telemarketers can write a ‘once-a-week’ column for their local newspaper. I mean, they give those jobs to, well, anybody, right?

(Full Disclosure: In college, I worked as a part-time telemarketer selling subscriptions to Guns And Ammo and Catholic Digest, among other highly recommended magazines.)

Thursday, September 11, 2003

The idiot decision makers at Pepsi are giving some yahoo a chance to win a billion dollars during a 2 hour telecast on The WB Sunday night.

As a Diet Pepsi drinker, I hate this idea. I mean, when this toothless redneck from West Virginia wins the big dollars, who's gonna pay for it?

That's right, me. And the rest of the loyal Pepsi drinkers.

The opening paragraph of Greg Palast's blog entry is yet another reason I am a huge fan of his:

[Washington] The surprise resignation of the forty-third President of the United States, George W. Bush, on the second anniversary of the terrorist attack on America, was hailed by chiefs of state throughout the world. Mr. Bush announced that after, "two years of bloodshed, economic devastation, and spreading fear in America and abroad," he saw no choice but to accept that, "I have held a title which I did not win, and for which I have proven unqualified."

How can you not love that opener?

Well, now Josh Marshall over at TPM is wondering if Dean isn't playing Clark like a sousaphone, so maybe I had better not hold my breath on a Dean/Clark ticket.

Just yesterday, in the previous post actually, I was mentioning that I was torn between the idea of supporting Howard Dean or Wesley Clark for president.

Today, the Post has a story saying that Clark and Dean have met, and Dean asked Clark to join his campaign if he doesn't run.

A Dean/Clark ticket sounds good, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I have to admit that I find it hypocritical when Democrats who voted for the resolution authorizing preemptive action against Iraq complain about the war now. When you give somebody a blank check, you can't bitch about the amount they fill in.

That leaves me ready, willing, and able to vote for Dean. But, I keep thinking about Wesley Clark. I'm torn.

As you know, I don't like to brag...wait, I love to brag, anyway, I am proud to point out that my prediction of the lack of success for the motion picture Marci X was dead on the money, or lack thereof.

It looks like Marci X will be out grossed by, amazingly enough, Gigli. Ouch.

Ted Nugent is not just an idiot who doesn't know when to keep his pie-hole shut, but it turns out that he's also an idiot who doesn't know when to keep his pants shut. It turns out that Nugent fathered a child out of wedlock, and is a little on the cheap side when it comes to child support. So far on the cheap side, the mother of Nugent's child, who Nugent has yet to meet, is suing him for child support.

I guess you really can't blame Nugent. I doubt he, or anybody else, prepared for the possibility that he would live this long.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Jeopardy has changed the rule that dismissed a reigning champion after 5 consecutive wins. From this point forward, champions on Jeopardy can play until they are defeated.

Opus is back! Bloom County's profound penguin is coming back in self-titled strip by Berkeley Breathed.

There is a great tradition at Ohio State where a senior sousaphone player get's the chance to 'Dot The I' when the marching band spells out Ohio during halftime performances.

I wonder what tradition OSU has set aside for a freshman football player who costs them their first national championship since 1970?

Monday, September 08, 2003

John Walsh gained his notoriety as an advocate for victim’s rights and missing children. He has hosted “America’s Most Wanted” since its inception in 1957. Last year Walsh got his own daytime talk show entitled, creatively enough, The John Walsh Show. His first week of shows was about 9-11, ground zero, missing children, and child murders.

So, how does the crime-stopping, anti-child killing, all around concerned citizen open up the new season on The John Walsh Show?

By interviewing the family that appeared on Who Wants To Marry My Dad.

Sounds like old John cares a little bit more about being famous than actually helping people.

(As a side note for the John Walsh Show die-hards, Seven And The Sun has signed on to be the new house band, and they will be performing the new theme song. You might remember Seven And The Sun from…well, nowhere actually.)


God's speed Warren.

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