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December 2006

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Where's the Archive?

This Month:

1 Lemonade
4 Dear Leader by Kim Jong Il
6 Retail Strategy
11 Holiday blues
12 Zooming over their heads
13 The head is flat
21 Pass/Fail
22 Bituminous holiday goodness
24 Christmas kitty
27 Wordsmith
28 Same old tricks
29 Bush denies US bogged down in policy review

As Seen On:

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People's Waterfront Coalition

December 29-31, 2006
Bush denies U.S. bogged down in policy review

White House won't call Iraq review a quagmire

President Bush said Thursday his national security team is making progress in devising a new Iraq strategy. He denied accusations from Democratic leaders that the policy review effort is mismanaged and bogged down in a quagmire. In fact, he said, he was adapting the process to achieve success.

"We're making good progress," Bush said outside an office building near his Texas ranch where he was in talks with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Bush put the blame squarely on the media. "The press is only reporting the negative news coming out of the planning meetings," said Bush. "There are a lot of encouraging signs, many success stories, but they're not making it into the liberal media," he added.

Cheney agreed, noting the frequency of successful meetings they have held. "We've seen the deployment of lots of resources, many urns of coffee, hors d'oeuvre platters and box lunches. It would be a shame for all that catering to have been sacrificed in vain," Cheney said.

Cheney had no comment on a new Pentagon audit that backed critics' charges of mismanagement. The audit found the catering is over budget, office supply funds are unaccounted for, and that the actual policy meetings are completing very few agenda items.

Rice said she was optimistic because there were so many good ideas to sort through. "There are really too many ideas, but I welcome them," Rice said, adding that the Iraq Study Group report had stimulated an unexpected number of suggestions from citizens, foreign policy experts and political leaders. "No one could have imagined that the Iraq Study Group's report would be such a huge bestseller," said Rice.

Gates announced that one option under consideration was to increase, or "surge," the number of legal-sized yellow note pads, three ring binders and Sharpies used in the effort. "By surging our supplies, we hope to finalize at least three or four Iraq options for the President to consider," Gates said.

He said the goal is to turn over the policy revision effort to the Iraq government as soon as possible. "But we're not going to set any artificial deadlines," said Gates. "When the Iraqis' expert review panels stand up, our expert review panels will stand down."

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Posted December 28, 2006
Same Old Tricks

White House denies reprisals against Ford

The body of Gerald R. Ford has been placed on the federal no-fly list, and Bush Administration officials are denying it is a reprisal over remarks the late President made to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post in a July 2004 interview that has now been made public.

Charges of reprisals came from Ford's staff, after Ford's casket was denied a place on a flight from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, where Tuesday services are planned at the US Capitol Rotunda and the National Cathedral. TSA officials in Los Angeles confirmed Ford's name appeared on the no-fly list, but refused to give a reason or how long ago Ford was placed on the list, citing national security.

White House Press Secretary Tony Slow categorically denied any reprisal. "President Ford was aware of how important the world see that we are strongly behind our leader and his policies on Iraq," said Slow. "Mr. Ford and his family knew the consequences of dissent."

Speaking to Woodward over a year after the start of the Iraq invasion, Ford was very negative toward Bush's policy, saying, "I don't think I would have gone to war, at least not during the Bay Hill Invitational." The PGA golf event was held March 17-23, 2003 at the Doral country club, and was won by Tiger Woods.

Ford was also critical of Vice President Cheney and then-Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld--who both served in the Ford Administration. "Both of them cheated at golf," said Ford. "Many times they would hit into trees, then take out another ball and pretend to find it near the green," he said. "They thought I didn't see them, but I did. So it doesn't surprise me they misled on weapons of mass destruction."

New bombshell by Novak

In a copyrighted published article this morning, syndicated columnist Robert Novak writes that former First Lady Betty Ford is an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency. Sources close to Mrs. Ford declined comment.

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Posted December 27, 2006

Eloquent Biden has totally original advice for White House

The incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has challenged the Bush Administration to take action in creating additional strategic options to end the Iraq war.

Calling the option to "surge" the number of US troops in Iraq foolhardy, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) reminded the President that the initiative for making such policy remains with the Executive Branch.
"Whatchew talkin' 'bout Mr. Drummond?"

Recounting a Dec. 6 meeting in which Bush invited congressional leaders to the White House, Biden said he told the President, "This is your war... there is nothing the United States Congress can do by a piece of legislation to alter the conduct of a war the President decides to pursue," Biden said he told Bush. Biden's remarks come as the Administration continues to publicly say it wants to hear all opinions.

Biden also said "if he had asked me back in 2003, I would have told the President to beware foreign entanglements. Instead, he cried havoc and let loose the dogs of war."

"It's too late for the president to pretend we're winning, and claim I came, I saw, I conquered," said Biden. "Our troops deserve better," he continued, "Never before have so many owed so much to so few."

"Ask not what your country can do for you," urged Biden, "but what you can do for your country." He said charity and personal sacrifice are called for, saying "I hope Americans will be touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Biden said the White House must not be afraid to consider all possible options regarding Iraq, even those it might consider to be too radical a departure from current policy. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," Biden said.

Blarchive: Fool Me Once (6/20/2005)

Gerald R. Ford: 1913-2006. Whip Inflation Now. Things are more like they are now than they have ever been. Judg-e-ment. Nuc-u-lar. I would hope that understanding and reconciliation are not limited to the 19th hole alone. There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. [On his attempt to impeach Justice William O. Douglas for being too liberal:] An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at any given moment of history. Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, president of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon..."

I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here. Overheard at the Guild 45th Theater ("For Your Consideration"):

Uptight Seattlite-type: "Do you think his caricatures are a little too caricatured?"

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Posted December 24, 2006
Christmas Kitty
New female jaguar
Seattle's newest citizen, all the way from Akron. (Thanks to Lorna at the Zoo)

Mr_Blog's Left Turn staff and contributors (Tim Snide, Kim Jong-Il, William "Henny" Penney, Smooth Antoine Robidoux, the Flag of the USA, and your's truly) wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Quality Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, North Korea Constitution Day, and a Happy New Year!

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Posted December 22, 2006
Bituminous holiday goodness

Stumped on what to get the naughty people on your Christmas list? Well why not try the timeless symbol of disapproval, updated for the age of the iPod: Coal gift cards.

That's right: Coal. Gift cards.

When you give a Coal gift card, you're giving history. First mined by dwarves in fairy tales, Coal was suggested as a negative reward for disobedient children in the Elf Council manifesto of the 4th century AD.

Coal's usefulness dates back over 4000 years as a fuel to heat our homes and huts, dry our crops, smelt metals such as bronze, and light the holy fires in pre-Christian temples.

Where would the Inquisition, oppressive dictatorships and cowboys have been without their hot irons? How did they heat those irons? Coal!

Today Coal is the largest single source of fuel for the generation of electricity worldwide. It can be liquefied as a substitute for petroleum. Its byproduct coke fires iron foundries. Other Coal-derived products you might recognize are ammonia, Coal tar shampoo and federal energy policy.

Be they a thief, liar, adulterer or lobbyist, a person who receives a Coal gift card this holiday season will know that you cared enough to send them a message about their behavior. And what better way than Coal, a commodity whose presence spans millennia, gently chiding the naughty to reflect upon the insignificance of their brief sojourn on Earth.

Coal gift cards are available in $15, $25, $50 and $100 amounts. Available at K-Mart, 7-11, Walgreen, and Kohl's, and online at givecoal.com.

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Posted December 21, 2006

"We're not winning, we're not losing." In other words, we're not excelling--but we're not failing either. Which is appropriate coming from the C-Student-In-Chief.

Alert O'Reilly! Seattle public schools are closed in observance of the season, but St. John School in Greenwood has been open this week! Why does the Catholic church hate Christmas???

Today: Orcas 1, BIAW 0.

Last week: Turn left at SeaTac.

How did I find Sacrebleumento? Pretty much as I always find the capital of California--like Lynnwood, only flatter.

In fact, the thing I always find immediately remarkable--and sometimes even alarming--is the absence of major geographic wayfinders. How do they find their way around without a snow-capped volcano to orient them?

The other thing is that you can walk into a supermarket any day of the week and buy hard liquor.

In a recent article the AP listed some of the Sunday alcohol laws from around the land: Georgia, Connecticut and Indiana ban sales of alcohol to take home. Minnesota, Oklahoma and Utah permit the sale of only low-alcohol beer. A number of states allow local jurisdictions to create their own Sunday laws.

Blue laws date to colonial times and supposedly got their name from the blue paper they were printed on. Since then, many states have scaled back or eliminated the laws. But Washington continues its state monopoly, and banned Sunday sales from early statehood until recently. And even today you're required to find one of the twenty open-Sunday state stores for your Sunday vodka needs--and it has to be between noon and 5.

Twenty stores in the whole state! While in California you can walk into any Raley's any day of the week and buy a bottle of Cuervo, and the world does not end.

I've always thought Sunday liquor laws were stupid in this day and age. And the state's reasoning is too precious--if the state stores are good for state revenues, then opening on Sundays would mean more revenue, right? So why the hell not?!

The Sunday ban is a failure even as a blue law, because it only stops purchases, not consumption.

I can only think of one reason for continuing restrictions on Sunday liquor sales, but it may be a deciding one. California doesn't have Sunday restrictions, and they just reëlected Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It's a correlation, and I feel good about it. We were probably only a few dozen homemade martinis away from Governor Dino Rossi.

So keep Sunday liquor sales limited. Although we should probably ban liquor sales on election days instead.

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Posted December 13, 2006
The head is flat

A couple weekends ago I happened to catch the egregious Thomas Friedman interviewed on Michael Feldman's non-egregious Whad'ya Know program. At one point the following exchange occurred on the subject of China:

Friedman: Actually they've been very slow to become innovators. There has yet to be a major global product I can think of coming out of China so far, and there's a reason for that... You listen to some of these Asian countries, they say "now we're going to become innovative like America." Yeah, "we're going to have one hour of innovation class; OK--everybody innovate!" That's not quite how it happens. If you don't have people with rings in their noses and ponytails, you're going to have a hard time being a creative nation.

Feldman: Yeah. But they got that now in China, don't they? Hong Kong? They got innovative people, don't they?

Friedman: Yeah, so far we haven't seen anything on a grand scale.

Gee, a country of 1.3 billion people, and there's no significant innovation going on? And isn't it good to know the ultraconformist Yellow Horde stereotype of the Chinese is alive and well! The only thing in Friedman's description at variance from the prevailing view of 30 years ago was that he didn't evoke buck teeth, bowl haircuts, Mao jackets and Little Red Book-waving.

I would have been willing to excuse the generalization as a joke, given the interview setting on a humor show--if only Friedman had then gone on to make a serious point about the Chinese and innovation

But no. He treats a nation that holds a huge chunk of our debt in a smug, cavalier way. Not so smart for a supposed trendspotter.

Listen to WYK, 12/2/06 - hour 1 (.ram)

It's a blustery winter day out there, here to bring us up to speed on conditions is Mr_Blog's Meteorologist, the actual Flag of these United States of Amer-

Hey Seattle, you hear that flapping sound? No, it's not the enormous folds of skin on image-obsessed ounce-shavers leaving your local liposuction clinic. It's the sound of Me flying in our region's winter storms!

Listen you freakin' fair weather patriots, and listen good: it's December. What happens in the Northwest around December? No, not Macy's bra-fitting sale--although I would appreciate your support.

No. In December we have high winds. In fact, today the winds are from the south at 40-50 miles an hour. We'll have a high of 48°, low of 41°.

True, it'll be partly cloudy with showers and occasional sunbreaks--but don't let that fool you! It's the wind that's important, and what those winds mean is that you take Me down, fold Me and put Me away already!

Jeezus H. Steinberg Jr., do you people think I like flying in a freakin' storm until I'm ripped to shreds?

What is it, do you think it looks heroic? Do you think it's ultrapatriotic? I'll tell you what it is: unless there's freakin' rockets' red glare in the immediate vicinity I want to be taken down when the winds are higher than 25mph, thank you so very very freakin' much. And that's mph, not kilometers, because this is freakin' America.

You know what really pisses Me off? You make Me fly in all weather, but you take down Christmas trees at the airport. Plastic trees. Plastic trees that are in-freaking-side where there's HVAC.

So you know what? You want to fly Me in all weather? Fine! I'll stay out there, and you can put the freakin' Christmas trees next to Me! Icon solidarity, baby!!!

And while you're at it, I'll take the menorahs too. Because at least I can light the menorahs, and Me and the trees can stay warm!

Ever notice you can burn a menorah, but the right wing wackos have a hissy fit if someone lights a match near Me? Anyway, that's the weather. Back to you.

Thank you, Mr. Flag.

Who you callin' 'old' Glory? (6/27)

Finally today, I'll be taking a short trip, so there will likely be no posting here until late next week. Mr_Blog... Good day?

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Posted December 12, 2006
Zooming over their heads

The nominal issue of "SeaTac Airport Christmas trees: Yes or No" obscures a deeper question-- why is the operator of an international airport, a place that serves people of all races, nations and cultures, so cluelessly inept at the display of cultural symbols?

Why am I horrified that the Port's only motivations behind taking down the trees in the first place was their (now apparently unwarranted) fear of legal action by Rabbi Bogomilsky, and fear of additional requests to display other holiday symbols.

The rabbi now says there was never a lawsuit, so the Port Commission pulled that out of its own neuroses. As for having to respond to requests for symbols of other cultures, what would be wrong with that???
I made it out of clay

To restate the point: SeaTac is an international airport, a gateway to the world. Did you know that today is Independence Day in both Russia and Kenya? Or that today is the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico and El Salvador? Did you know last Sunday was International Human Rights Day, or that December 23 is the queen's birthday in Sweden and the Emperor's birthday in Japan? Observing the holidays of other countries and cultures is appropriate and educational, as well as just plain hospitable.

Mr_Blog is going to California later this week. When I walk through SeaTac, there better be a big inflatable dreidel on display.

Earth Calendar

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Posted December 11, 2006
Holiday blues

News Roundup

GOP no longer demoralized. Noticing that "demoralized" and "democratic" both start with "demo," the Republican National Committee first moved to modify their use of "demoralized" last week, then expunged it from the right-wing lexicon. This paralleled the party's practice of referring to the Democratic Party as "the Democrat Party." First, RNC chair Ken Mehlman directed that party members, still recovering the electoral drubbing of the November midterm election, were to refer to themselves as "demoraled."
      Later in the week, however, the release of the Ethics Committee report on the Mark Foley scandal caused Mehlman's office to issue a further directive: Republicans were not "demoraled," but to instead say they were "feelin' blue." By late Friday this had been replaced with "looking forward to spending time with family and our own children."

Dog tired. The White House was quick to deny reports of President Bush's displeasure over this year's official Capitol Christmas tree, which came from Olympic National Forest in the state of Washington. A spokesman in the press office denied that the President had bounded up Pennsylvania Avenue in a blue suit and red Santa Claus tie, his face shining with the eagerness with which he looked forward to viewing the 65 foot-tall Pacific silver fir, and throwing the switch that would turn on the 10,000 lights of color.
      The spokesman said that the President did not stop in his tracks and gape at the tree, which had arrived pre-decorated with 3,000 festive ornaments bearing messages such as "Cantwell U.S. Senate," "McDermott for Congress," "Bush On Mars 2004," "Don't blame me, I voted for Gore," and "Happy Holidays From the People of the State of Washington." The spokesman added that Bush did not turn, walk slowly back to the White House, change back into his pajamas and bathrobe, and spend the rest of the day moping and watching TV with Tony Blair. Nor did Barney the Bush family dog urinate on the tree, the spokesman said.

International Incident. The White House on Friday charged Iran has stolen Barbara Bush's secret recipe for Chestnut Yule Stuffing. The dish has been a traditional accompaniment for roast beef at the Bush and Pierce family Christmas dinners for over four generations.
      Over the weekend FBI agents seeking to recover the recipe raided 27 Persian restaurants and over 250 falafel carts in the northeastern U.S. Early Saturday, Ahmed Chalabi's personal chef arrived from Baghdad to coordinate the recovery effort.
      "Not since the list of the Colonel's eleven herbs and spices was given to the Soviet Union by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg has there been a loss of U.S. cultural secrets of this magnitude," noted Food Network political commentator Tony Blankley.

Holy Mary. Republican strategists have devised talking points about the Mary Cheney pregnancy, distributed in a memo to fundamentalist religious leaders. Fundamentalist Christians are being told that because Ms. Cheney is an unmarried Republican, the pregnancy obviously must have resulted from immaculate conception. The memo notes that such an occurrence is appropriate given the current season, and that liberals who disagree should be criticized for "attacking Christmas."
Bush Library visitor center will feature urine reflecting pools

Top shelf. Planning for President Bush's presidential library has selected an architectural theme and initial design. "The chosen theme will be a showcasing of the Bush presidency's accomplishments in Iraq," said Lenore W. Frandle, head of the library's design selection committee. "It is our intention that all the buildings on the library campus will be recreations of buildings erected by American contractors as part of Iraqi reconstruction," Frandle said.
      The committee's first selection is a design for the library's visitor orientation center, which will be a replica of Parsons Corporation's Iraq Police Academy, complete with innovative "open design" plumbing, fecal fountains and urine reflecting pools.
      Ms. Frandle denied that the George W. Bush Presidential Library would only have electricity for two hours a day.

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Posted December 6, 2006
Retail Strategy

Insurgency Falls as Fresh US Forces Sweep Across Iraq

The findings of the Iraq Survey Group have resulted in an amazing turnaround in the fight against the years-long insurgency that has dogged US-led coalition forces.

The disclosure by ISG co-chairmen Lee Hamilton and James Baker of the existence of large quantities of Tickle Me Elmos and Playstation 3s in caches all across Iraq set off an exodus during this morning's commute.

FAA and NORAD reported sudden formations of ragtag squadrons of medium and large charter aircraft, all carrying American shoppers, leaving US airspace and converging on Iraq. Airborne shoppers joined long lines of other Americans, who had camped out all night in Kuwait, Syria and the autonomous Kurdish region, waiting for Iraq to open.

An estimated 425,000 Americans are said to be participating in the first wave.

A video posted on YouTube shortly after 1 p.m. EST showed Americans disembarking from aircraft in Baghdad, Basra, Fallujah and Tikrit, and fanning out in search & buy missions through the cities and suburbs.

The Associated Press said insurgents withdrew from major markets and bazaars following brief hand to hand combat over prime parking spaces.

Bloomberg News reported numerous 10 Items or Less checkpoints had been set up at strategic intersections in Fallujah, and that insurgent forces were hopelessly bogged down by constant demands for shelf restocking, price checks and courtesy clerking.

CNN is now reporting that Sadr City has fallen. Paris Hilton, supreme commander of US shopping forces, has declared a 24 hour clearance sale and urged Iraqis to stay in their homes. "Shop online," she advised.

At the White House, President Bush had praise for the success of Operation Enduring Consumption.

"Our brave shoppers have not forgotten the lessons of September the 11th," said Bush, "and they know that September 11, 2001 will always stand as a reminder of reasons to go shopping, whether on September the 11th, 2001, on any September 11 in the years to come, or any day other than September the 11th, for our children and our children's children."

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Posted December 4, 2006
Dear Leader
by Kim Jong Il

Dear Leader,
       What do you want for Christmas?
Signed, Mr. C., International Waters, Arctic Ocean

Dear Mr. C.:
       Christmas may not be coming to the PRK this year. First, I never got my new Costco card. We thought maybe it was just lost in the US Mail, but then it turns out my old friend George W. Bush had it intercepted. Something about cutting off my access to high technology consumer goods. Give me a break; I don't have a problem with shopping, I'm well within my budget. And even if I did have a problem, since when is it OK to do an intervention in public? That kind of recklessness will just scare people who are compulsive overspenders, and discourage them from getting the help they need.
       Second, it's not like I'm buying all this stuff for myself. No! There are many North Korean orphans who deserve to have their holidays brightened. Yes, we have many orphans here, and, contrary to malicious counterrevolutionary rumors, not all of them are 18-25 year old Western females who disappeared from their hostessing jobs in Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul.
       Third, if I can't shop it's going to be bad for the economy, especially the big U.S. companies like Apple, See's Candies, Hickory Farms, and Amazon.com. Oh, and Ann Taylor; the orphans like the silk scarves. What, is my money not good enough for George W? I'm spending good old-fashioned American dollars, you know. And just between us, not all of those dollars are counterfeit; and those that are phony are really, really good ones.

       There is a bright spot. Retro is hot in Pyongyang this year, so I'll be getting a lot of Microsoft Zunes as stocking stuffers. The hard working peasants are going wild for Zune's mid-Soviet era look.
       To sum up-- Materialism is a crime, but shopping is not. George Bush: hates orphans and American business, doesn't care about compulsive overspenders.
       Next time you and Mrs. C. are in town, stop by the palace and we can squirt a few MP3s with the orphans.

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Posted December 1, 2006

Viaduct! On the one hand we have the irresistable force of thirty legislators, and on the other the immovable object known as Mayor Greg Nickels. The former say a waterfront tunnel is something we can't afford; the latter says only a tunnel will do.

Though a surface street solution is preferable, what if, politically, we have to settle for a rebuild? Call me crazy, but when I look way, way, way far off on the horizon I think I see-- it could be-- yes! It's a rebuilt Alaskan Way Viaduct. But soft--I also see a compromise.

I've always thought the waterfront's problem is less of the Viaduct being a barrier, but more a lack of variety in (and room for) waterfront attractions.

My thinking is, Who says Viaduct v.2 has to look exactly the same as v.1? There's really no reason it has to--I think both design and engineering techniques have improved in the past five decades, give or take.

The challenge then is to make the Viaduct aesthetically less of an Incredible Bulk, while increasing the amount of people-oriented space on the surface.

Step 1: Lower the Viaduct. Make the lower deck high enough above ground to allow a semi truck to pass under, and that's all. Really tall vehicles/cargo don't need to go underneath, the waterfront would still be accessible from Elliott Avenue and Alaskan Way South. Follow the same headroom guideline with the upper deck, make it slightly narrower and align it with the west edge of the lower deck. This opens up the sky more if you're on the surface to the east. And for god sake, make it look slender and less blocky.

Step 2: We need more area west of the Viaduct for pedestrians, as well as fun things for them to see and do. So, we move the surface Alaskan Way east, put half the lanes under the viaduct. Two lanes each way, with turnout bays for parking. The result is a wider swath for walkers next to the water. Generous use of Westlake-style pavers, mixed with soft-surface landscaping. Vary v.2's architectural details at street level to help break up the appearance of mass--smooth here, textured there, archways underneath.

Step 3: The current waterfront streetcar alignment is dangerous; it goes too fast, and the semi-grade separation creates a false perception of safety. It also blasts its horn at pedestrian crossings as if to say I stop for no one. The answer is to run it down the middle of the pedestrian area. Embed the rails in the pavement, tracing lazy curves. Reduce the streetcar's speed to 12mph, and give pedestrians the right of way at all times.

It doesn't have to be ugly.

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There are 8 comments
December 25, 2006 - 06:45
Subject: Christmas kitty

"Quality Kwanzaa," nice! Just wanted to drop in and wish you, your family (and your staff?) a very merry Christmas/Holiday/Solstice (little late)/Kwanzaa and New Year!

Reply to Kvatch
December 25, 2006 - 08:36
Subject: Re: Christmas kitty

Thanks Kvatch, all the best to you in the new year as well.

I love this time of year, if only because from here on out the days start getting longer.

December 18, 2006 - 15:45
Subject: The head is flat

The point is that Friedman misinterprets (willfully or naively) "flatness"--it is not equality in competition between countries. What is flat are the divisions in production chains. Friedman doesn't see it is unnecessary for China to innovate at the rate the US did during its period of rapid industrialization. Because today US-based multinationals can simply take the innovations created in the US and send them overseas to be mass produced.

Reply to Mr_Blog
December 15, 2006 - 06:11
Subject: Re: The head is flat

Watch the 13-minute overview (below).
Just off press ...
The World is Flat"
"Globalization is Threatening to Hollow Out America's Middle Class," Assert Business Analysts

Thomas Friedman's recent New York Times bestseller, The World is Flat, asserts that the international economic playing field is now more level than it has ever been. As popular as it may be, some reviewers assert that by what it leaves out, Friedman's book is dangerous.

"The world isn't flat as a result of globalization," say Ronald Aronica and Mtetwa Ramdoo, business analysts and authors of a critical analysis of Friedman's book. "It's tilted in favor of unfettered global corporations that exploit cheap labor in China, Indian and beyond. Today's global corporations go to the ends of the earth to employ factory workers for 20 cents an hour and PhDs in science and technology for $20,000 a year," add Aronica and Ramdoo. In short, "Globalization is the greatest reorganization of the world since the Industrial Revolution," says Aronica.

This epic change has shaken up the way the world does business, and Americans are reluctantly facing a shift of wealth and power to the East. Across the country, a growing number of Americans fear that they could be replaced by someone from a developing country. Recent polls indicate that millions of Americans are preoccupied with the outsourcing of American jobs and the threat of global economic competition. From boardrooms to classrooms to kitchen tables and water coolers, globalization has become a hot topic of discussion and debate everywhere. But by what Friedman's book ignores or glosses over, it misinforms the American people and policy makers.

Aronica and Ramdoo's concise monograph, The World is Flat": A Critical Analysis of Thomas L. Friedman's New York Times Bestseller, brings clarity to many of Friedman's stories and explores nine key issues Friedman largely disregards or treats too lightly, including the hollowing out of America's debt-ridden middle class. To create a fair and balanced exploration of globalization, the authors cite the work of experts that Friedman fails to incorporate, including Nobel laureate and former Chief Economist at the World Bank, Dr. Joseph Stiglitz.

Refreshingly, readers can now gain new insights into globalization without weeding through Friedman's almost 600 pages of grandiloquent prose and bafflegab. "It's of utmost urgency that we all learn about and prepare for total global competition. If you read Friedman's book, and were awed, you really should read more rigorous treatments of this vital subject. Globalization affects all our lives and will be of even greater significance to our children and grandchildren," says Ramdoo.

Aronica and Ramdoo conclude by listing over twenty action items that point the way forward for America and other developed countries. They provide a comprehensive, yet concise, framework for understanding the critical issues of globalization. They paint a clear and s

December 13, 2006 - 13:34
Subject: Zooming over their heads

...so cluelessly inept at the display of cultural symbols?

Yeah! I mean they declared a 'War on Christmas' and then promptly surrendered. What gives.

But about your trip. If you're coming to Sodom by the Sea, I'll make sure that SFO has the dreidel out for you.

Reply to Kvatch
December 13, 2006 - 13:54
Subject: Re: Zooming over their heads

I wish we were going to Baghdad by the Bay! Maybe next time, I have family there. No, we get to go to Sacrebleumento, because that's where Ms_Blog's mom lives.

At least it's December. Last time it was July and 102 degrees in the shade.

December 06, 2006 - 08:43
Subject: Dear Leader

I have it on good authority that the Dear Leader consulted on the Zune's design.

Reply to Kvatch
December 06, 2006 - 09:12
Subject: Re: Dear Leader

I knew it! Plus, "squirting" is so Engrish.

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