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So, you say there's not a left wing bias in the media?

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Saturday, July 20, 2002
NYT gets scooped

A week ago Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. reported in
NYT the surprising connection and open-ended contract that the Halliburton Company has with the Pentagon. Now, a lot of people are going to say that there's a liberal-to-left bias at the Times. Maybe that's why they want to report this kind of item. OK, I'll believe that. Maybe they're making a mountain out of a mole hill. I don't think so, but opinions may differ.

But who would have believed this story if they had read it in some avowedly far left paper like, say, Mother Jones?

Nobody, right? Well, in fact, the story broke there first. On May 23, Kathleen Hennessey got the scoop.

Now do you believe it less? Or do you have a little more faith in Mother Jones, after all?
posted at 9:02 PM
Our fair city

The recent
discovery of irregularities in collecting signatures for the reelection campaign of Washington, DC's, mayor Anthony Williams has the whole town in an uproar. Our last mayor was a convicted felon, but he knew how to do politics. This guy is an accomplished accountant, but he knows nothing about politics. Quite a contrast.

The latest embarrassment is that Williams wants to challenge the law rather than take the consequences of breaking it.

Colbert King has a feel for the reaction of most people. We're all glad the city is not going broke, but we don't like arrogant stupidity.

My friend Phil Carney has a few words to say about it. Phil was in on the ground floor of the 'draft Williams' movement to replace our former mayor. But he's as disillusioned as everyone else.

Blow Guns

Mayor and police are also baffled by our town's latest weirdness. Here's Phil's reaction to the mess:

As if we don’t have enough to worry about… In the past few nights, someone from an unidentified auto has been shooting a blowgun with 4-inch needle sharp darts. The darts are estimated to travel at a speed of 200 MPH. Nineteen people have been hit. Fortunately there have been no serious injuries—yet. Some of the victims were hit in our neighborhood with all the shootings taking place in the evening. First it’s Christian Ayatollah Ashcroft plus sober and pure as the driven snow baby Bush, then it’s terrorists, and now it’s blowgun darts. It’s dangerous in this town.

Children are going hungry, the library system is cutting back hours, summer school was sharply cut back—but the city has money to contribute 5 million dollars to a privately operated for profit in town professional road race. If Ventura is retiring in Minnesota, any chance he might like to move to DC and run for Mayor?

posted at 9:01 AM
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Do Pilots Need Guns?

I love my job. I get to work with some of the finest most literate minds of the day. When we take on an issue like
guns for pilots, we go to the highest authorities in the field, like Jackie DeShannon and Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

posted at 3:52 PM
Wednesday, July 17, 2002
AC Update — Synchronicity

My AC chose today to stop working. The maintenance people were here. They need a part and will be back tomorrow. They left a pair of fans to cool the place.
posted at 9:46 PM
Happy Birthday, Lea

Of course, today is also the 14th Birthday of the most important woman in my life: my daughter Lea.

posted at 8:41 PM
Air Conditioning

Dane Carlson's Weblog led me to the 100th anniversary of AC.
It's today.
posted at 7:44 PM
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Race & Wealth in the United States

Andrew Sullivan wonders whether we need to know more about the contrast in the WP report on friendly race relations in the military and the NYT story of privilege and privacy among rich black racists.

Yes, indeed. There are at least two more stories to tell.

We need to know why the military families in the Post article can't find the same kind of mutual acceptance off base. Several people interviewed for the article mentioned how difficult it is to find diversity in the general community. The article quotes authorities on the military who show that the enforcement of equal opportunity has increased social equality, even while some racist attitudes still exist.

We also need to know why it's surprising that a wealthy group has found a way to insulate itself from difficulties its members would rather not face. Isn't that what wealthy people do? Isn't that why people want to be wealthy? One personal development/sales training guru says the chief benefit of being rich is that you no longer have to deal with people you don't like. You just pay someone else to deal with them for you.

You and I will probably always have to deal with difficult people and people of different races and nationalities. It's the world we live in. If you'd rather live in a small Eskimo village and only deal with one kind of person, it can probably be arranged. If you'd rather live at Martha's Vineyard and deal with only one kind of person, it may be a little more difficult to accomplish. But this is not our fate.

A possible third story is the personal tale of our own reactions to these news items. Are we glad that some people have found equality and friendship? Or are we threatened in some way by it? Do we scan our acquaintances and do a quick count of the colors? How do we measure up? "The trouble with white liberals is they don't have any black friends," said a friend of mine. Too true.

Are we gladdened in some way that the Times has discovered an enclave of snobs that don't fit the profile? Does it justify our hatred of blacks to see that they hate whites? Oh, that'll bring about world peace!
posted at 5:05 PM
Monday, July 15, 2002
Women's Issues

Is health a women's issue? Maybe just women's health. Maybe not.

Anne M. Dranginis points out how one woman made a difference in health for millions . . . of women.

As head of the National Institutes of Health, Bernadine Healy insisted on the recent study that proved hormone replacement therapy does more harm than good. Those who resisted her thought she was just plugging for a special interest. Like "special rights" for gays. Or like "affirmative action" for descendants of slaves. Or like "politically correct" deferral to insulted, abused, and otherwise neglected minorities of every type.

I can remember when a doctor I knew thought that AIDS was a hoax. "Nobody you know has it," he said. That was 1981. Now everybody used to know someone who once had it.

Why do we resist new information? Why do we refuse to accept that we're not doing all we can?

I don't know. Perhaps some people start with the assumption that they are basically good people who are doing everything they ought to do. I start with a more conscience-stricken point of view, probably induced by whatever religion was pounded into my poor innocent head as a child. There's a lot of pain in the world. If someone's crying, it may be from that.
posted at 4:31 PM

Counting to 10.

posted at 1:28 PM
Sunday, July 14, 2002
Still mad

I'm still mad at . Just today, they let me publish what I wrote on Friday. I'm not sure whether this will get online today or not. I'm testing new services. When I've found a more reliable new one, I'll try to post the new URL for Tleeves here.


I just tried to post this at 7:43 p.m. EDT. Nope. Let's hope I've found a new site by the time you see this.

OK, I get it. You have to post everything twice. What bull shit!

posted at 7:45 PM


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Tom Gallagher is
the web editor at He has been Webweaver for Bet Mishpachah Synagogue and headed web related operations at ELS Language Centers in Washington, DC.