Who ate all the pies?


Last September we the American taxpayers started to pick up the tab for AIG's sponsorhsip of Manchester United. At the time, this led to all manner of jokes about Manchester United playing Newcastle United, whose shirt sponsor was Northern Rock, the UK bank nationalized by the UK government: the Depa… Read full post »

JANUARY 20, 2009 4:43PM

A good time to buy a car

Not that I'm suggesting that conspicuous consumption is a patriotic duty, but if you're one of the people who still has a few extra dollars or access to credit, now might be the time to take one last crack at burning oil with abandon in a shiny new car - because… Read full post »

JANUARY 19, 2009 6:11PM

The Speed of Learning

Loth as I am to contribute to the notion that it's informative or even desirable to take one's cues in life from children - lest one become convinced of the dietary value of cocoa puffs, for instance -  it's become clear in the last 24 hours or so that it might… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 18, 2008 6:07PM

Only one casualty in this class, and limited time left

I work for the federal division of a more-or-less megacorp. The company has been re-structuring for several years, so layoffs are not atypical - but now that the plummeting stock market has resulted in our stock being a penny stock, the layoffs have increased dramatically.

This week I'm in a… Read full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2008 2:14AM

Watching someone else sweat

I've been sad to see the stories of being laid off that have been stacking up on Open Salon. So far, I think I'm okay: second year of a five year government contract (for an HR system, which is unlikely to be cut), the clients seem to like me, my management… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2008 1:31AM


Per request and general trend:



It's very near to being an exact likeness. Truly. Read full post »

NOVEMBER 5, 2008 2:19AM

that just happened...

...and I can't quite believe it.

I'm not looking for miracles though. Four years of triage would do, if push comes to shove.   Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 19, 2008 4:50PM

Congratulations! You're sponsoring a soccer team!

I wrote previously about how increased oil prices meant that you (and I) made it possible for the royal family of Abu Dhabi to purchase Manchester City soccer club.

Thanks to the recent nationalization of AIG, for the nominal risk exposure of $85 million billion, we (well, American taxpayers) are now… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 4:11PM

Informal Open Call: Best Concert You Ever Saw

Over at Liz's blog, there's been much talk about favorite songs and playlists, that started to veer into talk about favorite concerts - so I'm volunteering to host an informal open call: what was the best concert you ever attended?

I'm not as bad as the characters in Nick Horby's High… Read full post »

For some years, I've been in the habit of making small monthly donations to hopeless causes - the ACLU, Union of Concerned Scientists, the DNC - but rarely have I made any direct campaign contributions. I'm pretty sure the last one was to the late Senator Wellstone.

Rather like most people… Read full post »

General David Petraeus gave an interview to the BBC today in which the tone was less than triumphalist:

"This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade," he said. "It's not war with a simple slogan."

General Petraeus… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 11, 2008 2:52AM

More smoke at a riot

I was working near L'Enfant Plaza in DC on September 11, 2001. Like everyone else with a television, we watched the Twin Towers fall. While most of the government clients left when given the opportunity, we mostly hung around to see if the rush would die down. I had driven into… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 10, 2008 2:14PM

$4.03 a gallon also gets you a soccer team

In the midst of all the campaign rhetoric about how American consumption of oil from the Middle East is funding terror networks who strike against America and American interests, it's worth highlighting a purchase that shows that all these petro-dollars aren't all going towards sharia and Semtex.

Th… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 8, 2008 3:42PM

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the costs of laissez-faire

The Federal government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Sunday, with the goal of preventing both entities from failing and taking the US and world economies with them. While Paul Krugman is right to describe this as a "de-privatization" rather than "nationalization," the effective difference i… Read full post »

I am confident that I am not the only person whose irony meter has been pegged to the needle over the sight of various Repulicans and "analysts" complaining about the sexist treatment of Sarah Palin and the irrelevance of comments about her experience. 

Which is why I think it's well… Read full post »

Liz Emrich wrote about her pleasure in decent kid music that adults can actually listen to, and while I am plainly more of a grumpus than her about adult playdates, I'm right there in trying to avoid more crap tunes for small people. I was briefly thwarted by my wife, who… Read full post »

The dust was starting to settle from the crowd leaving Invesco Stadium when it's been raised again by the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. Already in the press and in the leafy groves of Open Salon, there has been discussion of the likely merits of this… Read full post »

One of the things that I'm struck by in discussions about what do about schools is how often suggestions sound, whether by accident or design, like saying "if only the poor could be more like the middle class." In conversations between Stellaa and Neilpaul, it's taken the form of a vigorous… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 25, 2008 1:28AM

No substitute for a double decker Transformer bus

The most disappointing thing about the opening ceremonies for the Olympics - aside from Sarah Brightman with no warning whatsoever - was how professional it all was - focused, well rehearsed, clear symbolism, almost flawless technology. This was not the chaotic, unclear set of imagery collisions that… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 23, 2008 3:48AM

Great Moments in Olympic Coverage - the Decathlon

You'd think I would know better. NBC promised something to do with Bryan Clay being about to win the decathlon, with teaser shots of his efforts in various events. I have a residual affection for the decathlon, (despite?) having watched Daley Thompson ad nauseam on the BBC during the 1984 Olympics.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 21, 2008 4:23PM

The real Olympic porn

Notwithstanding LT Bohica's tireless efforts to demonstrate the double standard in Olympic uniforms, the real Olympic porn isn't found in the wedgies of beach volleyball players or the women divers. The truly pornographic work is the emotional porn - the use of stories and images to elicit that voyeu… Read full post »

You might not be aware of this, but there's a parallel event to the Olympics, in the area of international irony. After getting an early start in the competition with a resounding thud in the Men's American-style trash talking category, the French faced strong competition from the realm of American p… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 12, 2008 2:25PM

Every swimmer's dream: Rowdy Gaines says you can't win

The wife and I have been suffering through the primetime coverage of the Olympics on NBC because we're not willing to stretch to actually reading the day's broadcast schedule and setting the dvr. Accordingly, we've been listening to various broadcasters repeat themselves on a five minute cycle while… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 11, 2008 6:00PM

I went to the Olympics & all I got was a lousy new cold war

It must be trying to be George Bush sometimes - you go to the Olympics for a break from two wars and people being rude about your low popularity ratings, and to get a socially sanctioned excuse to watch Misty May pop, lock, and drop it, and instead you're going back… Read full post »

AUGUST 9, 2008 12:03PM

A true Olympic Amateur - Calgary 1988

Presumably any musings on the Olympics should be focused on the summer games, but it would be remiss of me, when we've been asked to focus on Olympic moments and perhaps especially the true amateurs, to fail to mention Michael "Eddie the Eagle" Edwards, an English plasterer who decided to become… Read full post »