The Revolution is Not a Dinner Party

It's Just Lunch....or IS IT??

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Only RARELY am I actually impressed by other people's blog posts....

...but this one is just fucking great. I wish I could write as well.

Dan Marino to buy Penguins?

Dan is on board for one of the Penguin's bids. If (as all rummors suggest) Mark Cuban plans to one day buy the Pirates, then Pittsburgh will have pretty bitchin group of owners for its sports franchises.

Friday, June 23, 2006

epic wikipedia post

sometimes I stumble on a wikipedia article that has either (1) more information about an obscure topic than could reasonably be expected or (2) a really well written summary of a hard to peg down pop culture idea or term. This article falls into category (2).

Go Sweden!

Lots of fun legal news today...

1) I'm sure these guys in Florida were real assholes...but something about this case ("no money, no independent means, but they had the desire to blow up buildings") seems a tad dubious. The whole thing makes me wonder whether Alan Ginsberg could, these days, be prosecuted for his attempt to levitate the Pentagon via meditation during the 1969 March on Washington.

For one thing, the indictment is strange. Count 1 is alleges a violation of 18 USC 2339B...Count 2 alleges a violation of 18 USC 2339A. I don't have the time or the desire to look in to this more, but what the hell is the difference between these two least as to this particular case? 2339B is about aid to specifically designated foreign terrorist groups. 2339A is about aid to "terrorists" more generally. In classic poor draftsmanship (maybe because the ole Patriot Act was "written" and passed in 2 weeks), 2339A (terrorists generally) has a specific definition of "material aid" including "personnel," which seems to be the legal theory in this case- by pledging support to al al queda, the Miami group offered themselves as personnel as material aid. 2339B (designated foreign terrorists), has no such definition. What I'm trying to figure out is if the Feds are going to try to charge both violations and get 15 year sentences under both...this seems fishy to say the least since the two statutes appear to have been written to address separate situations. I understand that the "personnel as aid" theory is stronger under 2339A, but the scenario here (Al Queda) seems a better fit with 2339B. Wouldn't the more proper route be to just charge under 2339B and at trial argue that the definition of aid in 2339A should be incorporated as a matter of statutory interpretation into 2339B. The two statutes were written at the same time, written together, and designed to capture the same sort of activity.

Look, I don't have a problem with actively seeking out aid FROM Al Queda or supposed Al Queda being criminal behavior. But, its just odd that that this activity is being charged under statutes designed to prohibit aid TO terrorists.

Also, if this seeking help of Al Queda versus helping Al Queda distinction has legal significance (again I don't think it should, it just seems like it does by the way these statutes are drafted), then the entirety of the conversations between the FBI undercover agent and the group are going to be poured over at trial...who suggested the Sears Tower? who suggested the FBI Building? who suggested the loyalty oath? If the defense can make it seem that the group was "tricked" then they could lose the case. Which, again, I don't think they should. My only point is that we really should have a law against seeking the help of Al Queda if we think that should be a crime.

2) here's an article about some super-shady dealings between the SEC, a major hedge fund, and a vigilant SEC attorney.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another mini-scandal for this blog

Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (an almost-insolvent, right-wing Pittsburgh paper) ran a story about the negative attention and harassment that has been focused on the woman who's car Roethlisberger collided into last week. Obviously, such idiots give Steelers fans a bad name.

Folks on steelcityinsider picked up the story and started looking for blood (its currently a two page string of 1 here, page 2 here). By 3:30 in the afternoon someone had, they claimed, emailed the Tribune Review for the source blogs, and was told this blog (and, probably, this post) is the bad guy. I just posted a response there you can check out. Since almost no one came to this blog on the day of Roethlisberger's accident, I can be pretty sure that I didn't start the harassment. But, still, I feel bad because that was never my intent. As regular readers know I almost never post anything non-ironic or non-satirical on this blog. This gets me in to trouble when people read posts out of context.

Just to clarify, the point of the post was to show how irresponsible the PGH media was for listing Fleishman's name and city neighborhood so early in the story's development. She was being tagged in every article in the local news media well before any other real detail of the accident was known (also well before the extent of Ben's injuries were known...which makes it doubly irresponsible). I put a link to google to show just how much info is easily available online once someone's name gets out in the "real" media. I know it can be read otherwise, as a wink or a nod to people to actually call up the poor lady, but that really wasn't the point. I also accused the Patriots of arranging the whole thing, but I wasn't serious about that either.

Now, to the tirade....the poster on steelcityinsider appears to be posting info from a Michael Hasch at the Tribune Review saying my blog was one of the sources for the story (Hasch is not the attributed author to the original article). The story says:

"One blogger, who posted Fleishman's home address and telephone number, was typical of the merciless Internet attackers. "She had Maine license plates. ... freaking New England fan ... I don't think she will be getting the key to the city any time soon.""

I can see how my post was close to the above paragraph. But, if this blog really is the source than the above is an out-and-out misrepresentation of what I said....pure FICTION if you will. Also, for the record, I use the word "fucking" instead of "freaking" on this space. I have no doubt that the Trib had enough integrity to actually find one of the many posts that displays actual anger against the woman and to quote it accurately. I'm sure many people picked up on the connection between the Maine license plates and the New England Patriots.

The real question is why would this guy at the Trib, after the fact, claim that my post was the source for the story? Furthermore, why haven't the Pittsburgh news outlets that are actually responsible for all this negative attention actually looked into how and why the info was released so early. Where did her name come from? The police didn't release it...

I do feel bad to have been involved, even slightly, in the bad judgment of a few rotten apples. But, I really think the true story here is how the Pittsburgh news outlets found the woman's name and why they chose to release it the way they did.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

As the premier "Is Ben Roethlisberger Jewish?" blog...

...I was negligent in not pointing out the religious tensions underlying The "Accident." Here's a good blog post that hits the major points.

A comment rightly points out: "I don't want your loyal readers thinking I am some paranoid nut. I mean when they say "Martha Fleishman, 62, of Squirrel Hill" you know that the rest of the burgh is reading it as "Jew Lady from Jew Hill."

So true.

A recent comment on this blog (scroll to the bottom) shows a little bit of the pogrom potential underlying this whole incident. Maybe it isn't so paranoid to be worried about Cossacks sweeping into Squirrel Hill.'s a very entertaining article in the Post Gazette outing some of the gleeful reactions to Ben's misfortune. The entertaining part comes from a clinical psychologist trying to explain why people might revel in the Steelers woes:


Friday said the human brain does not fully develop until 25 years of age, which, he said, might explain why Roethlisberger, who is 24, decided to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. Friday said the posters are either too young to know better or are people whose brains never completely wired, which can happen due to a number of circumstances, including class and culture.

"The people who are blogging in Cincinnati, they're the ones whose brains never fully develop," Friday said. "They don't perspectivize human tragedy. They don't learn to think effectively. These people are not normal. We're talking about a fringe element. We're dealing with the screaming people who are venting. These are elements that are not representative of their communities. They are representatives of their own minds."
Friday said posters on Internet message boards hide behind their keyboards and write things they would never have the courage to say aloud in public. He said posters who write tasteless messages use football and the rivalries between teams as a way of getting out their aggression in a non-violent manner. It's not necessarily a new phenomenon, just one that is more evident because of the instant communication that is available via the Internet.

"We have a degree of transference on sports figures," Friday said. "It's a way of vicariously going to battle. People can blog and send thoughts, and feel a self-induced empowerment."
The Steelers' success also is part of the equation, he said. If the Steelers had not won the Super Bowl in February, people would not post such vitriolic messages. The Steelers are kings of the mountain, and their players are being transformed from humans into symbols, waiting to be knocked from their high perch.


I had an eye opening experience wearing my Roethlisberger jersey around NYC this week. People at Bar Bri laughed at me. Most dudes on the street (Jet's fans no doubt) laughed in my face. A couple people asked me if I heard what happened, which I found funny. All in all, there was a lot more hostility than sympathy.

Obiviously Roethlisberger's absurd decision to ride around Pittsburgh w/o a helmet reflects more his stupid-hick-from-Ohio side than his jesus-incarnate-champion-for-the-ages side, but it is weird to laugh at someone while he's still in surgery.

Personally, I have to think that the vast majority of the anger stems not from undeveloped brains or transference but rather the simple fact that the STEELERS ARE THE MOTHER FUCKING WORLD CHAMPIONS AND ALL YOU HATERS ARE JUST JEALOUS AS SHIT. SUCK IT. That which does not kill you....

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not that I encourage harassing phone calls...

...BUT, if you want to make a friendly call to the car owner who Ben Roethlisberger cashed may be able to do so here. Stupid Mainers...this stinks of New England Patriot shananigans.

P.S. Post Gazette article irresponsibly outing the car owner's name can be found here.

The above photo, taken by Steve Mellon, of Post-Gazette photos...shows the scene of Ben Roethlisberger's accident.

Dear Ben Roethlisberger....get better soon!

This story makes me very sad (the Pittsburgh paper,, seems to be crashed at the moment by people looking for more news. UPDATE: post gazette story is here, with more details including a pool of blood and pictures of the crash site). What's worse is I found out about it as the Czechs went up 2-0 against the USA. For the record, I am rooting for a Germany-France final...which will essentially be a referendum on the future of the EU. In the alternate, my team preferences are 1) USA 2) The Netherlands 3) ING-GA-LAND.

OK, this is the end. The broadcasting package that ESPN/ABC put together for the World Cup is just atrocious. If anyone in the rest of the world had any idea what these clowns were saying, they would be rolling on the floor laughing. The first day was dominated by bad analogies to mainstream US sports. Today, one of the announcers just said, as the audience watches Jan Koller (Czech striker) writhe in pain as he is carted off the pitch after what appears to be a horrific hamstring injury, "well, too bad for him but this has to be good news for the US side." Completely tasteless.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Possible alien abduction?

read it here.

Good lord, this has to be one of the most tragic news stories of the year

In case you were wondering how one family could bury what they thought was their daughter while another family sits vigil by a comatose woman they thought was was their own...only to find out months later that the identities were reversed, you can read about it here. Just don't even attempt to think about how mangled these poor people had to have been. Wear your seatbelts kids.