Giving Capitalists a Bad Name

Special invective to James Mosby, undoubtedly what Ayn Rand would call a moocher, for this outburst reprinted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Business story entitled “Companies can call the shots on office space“:

“It’s an unfair playing field,” said James Mosby, a vice president with the commercial real estate firm Colliers Turley Martin Tucker.

“There’s a lot more office space than there are tenants … I think it will swing back in the other direction in the future,” he said. “But whether it’s 12 months or 24 months, I just can’t say.”

Undoubtedly, Mr. Mosby and his firm desperately need corporate tax incentives and other handouts to continue constructing empty office buildings and parks. Still, Mosby plays to the Post-Dispatch‘s favorite type, that of the wealthy businessman or corporateman who only thinks it’s fair if he holds the scarce resource and can demand exorbitant sums for it, preferably from the poor, widows, and orphans.

However, allow me to speak for my small cadre of small-time capitalists without offices downtown and without commission seats, luxury boxes, or connections with the ruling families of our community–and by small cadre, I mean me–when I say, “Shut up and scratch your own back for crying out loud.”

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Easy Target

I stopped reading an article entitled “Lawyers argue over $50 fee designed to replenish fund that helps poor“, before I got to the “The Internationale”. Actually, I stopped pretty much after the first couple of paragraphs:

What’s $50 to a lawyer? A nice lunch or a designer tie?

For many lawyers, $50 amounts to not even one billable hour.

But a proposal to assess members of the State Bar of Wisconsin $50 to help pay for civil legal services for the poor has led to a pretty strong debate among attorneys.

Without the $50 assessments, the foundation that helps fund legal service programs will be broke and out of business soon, said Deborah M. Smith, past president of the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation.

I didn’t make it to the part at the bottom where the socialism-loving journalist decides that she’s going to kick in any of her salary to help out. But then again, as a crusading journalist out to reallocate the funds of other people, she’s contributing enough just framing stories in a right-minded fashion.

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Goalie Is Juxtaposition In Hockey and Soccer

While I was in Milwaukee this weekend, the Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer team lost their home opener on Friday night to the Chicago Storm.

But apparently there’s more to the story. Because check out this account of the Milwaukee Admirals hockey game that took place the very same night:

Wave goaltender Brian Finley played the entire game and turned away 31 shots by the Grizzlies. Utah goaltender faced 22 shots and made 21 saves.

No wonder the Wave were challenged; their goalie was playing hockey in Utah instead of playing soccer in Milwaukee!

I caught the Admiral game in Milwaukee on Saturday night and have to say that the kid handles skates, pads, and pucks pretty well. I wonder how he does on the turf.

Do you think this would be a good cover letter to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel with my resume and a value proposition that, as a junior sports writer, at least I can tell the sports and the teams that play them apart?

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Just received this important message in my junk e-mail box:

A week ago, we sent you an email asking for help debunking anti-Bush documents. After receiving hundreds of responses, it become clear that all the documents were actually real: the Bush/Cheney DUIs, the Ken Lay letters, and even the bin Laden memo. For more information visit the documents page:
<link removed>.

We also received hundreds of emails from concerned bloggers that eloquently expressed the problems with the Bush administration. And as we traveled across America campaigning for Bush, we learned more than we wanted to know about Bush’s policies. We came to see that this administration is a catastrophe for most people.

As a result, we are abandoning our support of Bush and officially endorsing John Kerry for President. You can read more at the Yes Bush Can web site:
<link deleted>
We deeply regret our misguided support and apologize for our previous email. This will be the last email we will send directly to bloggers. If you want to join us in supporting Kerry, you can find out more here:
<link deleted>.

Thank you for your understanding,

Yes Bush Can

I’d blame it on the Democrat counterpart of Karl Rove, but unfortunately this as diabolically genius as they can do. Diabolically third grade.

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Electoral College Defended

Someone in a populous coastal state defends the electoral college:

What should an election system for choosing the president attempt to achieve? Certainly one goal is to reflect the popular will, an outcome that might (or might not, depending on how the system is structured) be achieved with a direct popular vote.

But as the founding fathers recognized, reflection of the popular will is not the only goal.

Another goal is to provide candidates with incentives to broaden their geographic and political bases and to steer toward the center rather than the extremes of the political spectrum.

This, the founders felt, would help reduce the sources of political strife and, in the extreme case, avoid civil war. They understood that passions and irrationalities can afflict mass decision-making under direct democracy.

(Link seen on Roger L. Simon.)

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Too Much Adventure

A Japanese “adventure traveller” is the latest hostage threatened with beheading in Iraq, according to this story:

Japan scrambled Wednesday to win the release a 24-year-old Japanese man taken hostage by Islamic militants in Iraq, dispatching high-level diplomats to the Middle East and launching an appeal for his freedom on Arabic television.

A man identified as Shosei Koda, an adventure traveler from the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, was shown pleading for his life in a video released to a militant Islamic Web site Tuesday and broadcast on national TV early Wednesday in Japan. Under a sign bearing the name of the radical Muslim group led by Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi, the hooded kidnappers threatened to behead Koda if Japan did not withdraw its 550 non-combat troops from Iraq within 48 hours. That demand was immediately rejected by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Unfortunately, it’s more of the same. Although this fellow’s impending beheading is barbaric and deplorable, I’d hate to think that foreign policy of any sovereign nation is beholden to the fate of people who foolishly put themselves in harm’s way for fun. I sympathize more with workers who put themselves in danger for money.

I’m saddened, too, with anyone who thinks that the foreign policy of a nation should change to spare the life of a single person. This thinking begets more kidnappings and more beheadings, but it elevates those who think it above those rabble in touch with reality; that is, those who recognize that uncivilized human nature is a dirty, base, and ultimately despicable thing in many, if not most, cases.

(Link seen on Outside the Beltway.)

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The Sound of One Hand Washing the Other

The city of St. Louis is offering tax incentives to keep a heavy-hitting, politically connected law firm downtown: City offers incentives to keep Bryan Cave downtown:

The city of St. Louis is offering one of the area’s oldest and most prestigious law firms up to $25 million in tax breaks to stay downtown.

While the city frequently uses tax incentives to lure or retain businesses, the benefits extended to Bryan Cave exceed “to a significant degree” those that have been offered to other businesses in the past, according to a confidential letter obtained by the Post-Dispatch.

The city is hoping to lure the firm into a new building. In return, the city would give partial tax abatement for up to 25 years, cut in half the taxes due on equipment such as computers and furniture and provide breaks on payroll and earnings taxes.

Additionally, the city is considering using a consultant paid for by Bryan Cave instead of city workers to do the building inspections for the new property. Such a step has never been taken before in St. Louis.

Not that I am trying to tell St. Louis how to handle its business, but perhaps downtown would have more businesses coming to it if it abated that 1% payroll tax and spent its tax revenue on infrastructure instead of sports venues.

But I work in the real world and don’t have an advanced poli-sci or urban planning degree, so what do I know?

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Impressive Passive

The St. Louis Post-Dipsatch once again deploys the passive voice creatively in a headline: Wal-Mart employee injured after man flees from store security:

Hendricks said the security officials were attempting to stop Taylor from leaving when Taylor put the car in reverse, allegedly causing injury to one of the Wal-Mart employees.

Man, what sort of style guide do they have down there on Tucker that says that injuries done in the course of a crime just happen spontaneously?

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One Issue

I am a one issue voter.

This issue.

You can believe Kerry would prove better for domestic policy, and you can almost convince me. You cannot, cannot, convince me that his foreign policy will protect America better.

That’s the most important job of the president.

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Cori Dauber: Apostate

Cori Dauber, the Ranting Professor, demonstrates apostasy:

Via Instapundit, rather than just link to the apology, I’m linking to Lileks wonderful response where, as always, you need to scroll down past the blather about his daily life — unless you care about his trip to retrieve his daughter’s Barbie — but keep reading past the Guardian’s apology because the section on Bill Maher and the Canadians is just too good to miss.

Obviously, Dauber does not embrace La Vida Lileks as she should. Why, since I have become an acolyte, I have found more meaning in my life. I clean house amid my paying home-based job during the day. I pilgrimmate to my local Target for household wares. I make snarky and sometimes clever turns of phrase on my Web site (thanks for visiting!). I seek to emulate Lileks in all aspects of my life.

Lileks’ daily Bleats serve as a guide for my day-to-day existence.

To call it blather is to undermine my very being. How dare Dauber? How dare she, indeed!

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Citywide Controversial Redevelopment

From a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch entitled “Demolition gets under way on 108-year-old building“:

Demolition of the Century Building downtown began this week, a major first step in the controversial redevelopment of the 1884 Old Post Office.

The first signs are evident. Piles of rubble lay on the sidewalk – the remains of what was a corner of the 108-year-old building.

You know, I’ve been a resident of the St. Louis area for well nigh eleven contiguous years now, and that description–rubble on the sidewalk and whatnot–sounds like how much of downtown St. Louis has looked for as long as I remember. Year after year, the same buildings with scaffolding, safety nets, or closed sidewalks to prevent the unused, crumbling buildings from killing passersby.

First signs of redevelopment? That’s a good and optimistic way of thinking about it.

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Important Take on International Finance

Bono, of the musical group U2, favors international debt forgiveness, which means he wants anyone who’s loaned money to a third world country to allow the loan recipients to not repay the money because that will let the corrupt little cesspools to grow into, well, corrupt little cesspools that can borrow money easier.

Meanwhile, on the U2 single “Vertigo”, Bono pays homage to and demonstrates his deep understanding of international finance by saying, “One, two, three, fourteen,” in Spanish.

It must just be harder to perform calculations and enumerations in other languages.

Hey, I know it’s a cheap shot, but I cannot afford an expensive one.

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Geek Out

A San Francisco magazine offers Dorkstorm: The Annihilation: The ten geekiest hobbies.

Although I score pretty highly, I cannot imagine mixing Collectible Card Games and Dungeons and Dragons in a single person, but then again I am one of the role players throwing four-sided dice in the bloody CCG vs RPG wars that used to take place at GenCon. I mean, for crying out loud, Collectible Card Games take the worst aspect of role playing games–rules lawyers magic users who thought the point of the game was their demonstration of arcane computations and recombinations of magic which invloved spending a lot of a gaming session flipping through supplemental spell books and outwitting the game master–and made that worst aspect a game into itself.

Oops. I guess that little screed probably detracted from my utter sexability more than my creepy Peace Gallery picture.

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Anti-Bush violence in Oregon:

Someone smashed the windows of the Multnomah County Republican office in Southeast Portland on Thursday, perhaps the latest sign some Oregonians have tossed out civility in their zeal to put their man in the White House.

Civility? Civility? This is a little beyond using the improper fork for one’s salad or even boorishness. This is barbarism and a descent from civilization. How large a step is it from smashing windows to physical violence or killing Republicans? Not large enough for my taste.

Fortunately, the Democrats in the area have issued strong words:

“But the fact is that the reason the Republican Party is feigning righteous indignation is because they don’t want to talk about the 30,000 jobs lost and the 180,000 Oregonians who have lost health care,” said Neel Pender, executive director of the state Democratic Party.

Because Republicans embrace vandalism and property destruction on all other occasions, Neel Pender implies as he uses the question about actual physical violence and destruction to hit upon Democrat talking points and excuses the vandalism because some people in Oregon don’t have health care.

Unbelievable. No, I take that back. All-too-believable. This is the Teamster party, and this election’s more and more seeming like a strike with the Rebublicans playing the role of the despicable, greedy management against the rough-hewn authentic proletariat who just happen to bring molotov cocktails to the picket lines.

(Link seen on Powerline.)

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Looming War over Water Rights

Canada’s starting the tough talk that will lead to war over Great Lakes water rights.

Canada’s government has a large number of unemployed National Hockey League players and larger numbers of disgruntled fans and they have obviously need a foreign military adventure to divert attention. Invasion is imminent because they’ll want to act before faced with the brutal United States spring and summer.

George W. Bush should take preemptive action now. Send the nuclear subs to Hudson Bay! Ferment the Western Provinces Alliance’s rebellion! Before it’s too late!!!1!!!

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Welcome to Our Newest Watch List Member!

The Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker, who openly pleads for someone to assassinate George W. Bush:

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod’s law dictates he’ll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr – where are you now that we need you?

Lovely. He’s inciting assassins. I’m not sure how anyone can defend this column other than his domestic partner, whom Brooker might feed with the proceeds. He’s the equivalent of a white man calling for jihad in that he wants someone else to martyr himself/herself for a greater good revealed only to him.

I am going to stop typing now, because the more I go on, the madder I get, and it’s too lovely of a Saturday for that.

(Link seen on A Small Victory.)

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Spurious Review: Natural Citrus Listerine

Ech, it’s like washing your mouth out with some cheap malternative beverage watered down by a club down on Washington that won’t let you in with tennis shoes, and my bathroom has fewer hot chicks with tattoos.

Also, it doesn’t burn as much as the regular Listerine, which leads one to wonder if it’s as effective. As with an actual dentist visit, one equates sheer pain with success.

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