Damn, that was fast We got an offer on our house today, a mere five days after the For Sale sign went up. It's in the ballpark pricewise, and the prospective buyer already has a contract on his house and wants to close on April 15, two weeks before our contingency contract expires. This is a good thing, albeit a bit head-spinning in its alacrity.

We'll be consulting with our broker tomorrow and will make our counteroffer. It would be awfully nice to put this to bed before we go on vacation later this month. Stay tuned.
The Linda Lay Award for Sycophantic Interview Least Likely to Generate Hometown Sympathy goes to Jeff Skilling for his pathetic appearance on Larry King Live.
Life is hard, but life is hardest when you're dumb And to think that the Brits call Dubya a dummy. Here's the latest wisdom from Prince Philip:

LONDON -- No one would ever accuse him of political correctness. In his long career as Queen Elizabeth II's consort, the Duke of Edinburgh has mastered the princely gaffe with ill-considered remarks about Indians, Scots, women and deaf people, among others.

The tongue that spares none struck again Friday. During a tour of Australia to mark his wife's Golden Jubilee, Prince Philip added Aborigines to his verbal hit list when he asked a tribal leader, "Do you still throw spears at each other?"

William Brim, the entrepreneur whom the prince addressed, replied politely that, no, they didn't do that anymore, and he told reporters in Queensland that he was more surprised than offended by the question.
An Austin judge has cleared the way for the 55 MPH speed limit signs to go up starting on Monday.

I had an argument wiht my friend and coworker Andrea about this on Friday. She believes the lower speed limit will help acheive the NOX reductions for which it is intended, as well as reducing auto fatalities. I'll stipulate to the safety benefits of a lower speed limit, but unless the cops are out in force writing tickets, I don't think too many people will really drive slower. The 55 MPH speed limit was routinely ignored when it was the law of the land. I see no reason why people will go along with it now that they're used to going faster.
Gary Farber makes a good point about Matthew Engler's much-derided Guardian piece about The Olive Garden, which is that Brits have a legitimate beef with the timing of our entry into WWI and WWII. Check it out.


House update Well, things are really moving along. We have a signed contingency agreement on the house we want, which means we've put up earnest money. On Wednesday we did an inspection of the new house. It's in pretty good shape, but there are some issues. The roof is 15 years old and will need repair or replacement soon. The cooktop in the kitchen doesn't have a shutoff switch. There's a support beam that needs repair. Nothing that can't be fixed, but we're likely to do some further haggling on price.

The owners of the house now live in Michigan. A former neighbor of theirs, a woman who buys fixer-uppers and renovates them for resale, is currently housesitting. She gave us a lot of practical advice about the place, which we greatly appreciated. She also told us that there hasn't been an offer on this house before ours, which makes me more confident about further price negotiations.

In the meantime, our house is now officially on the market. The For Sale sign went up on Tuesday, and the first prospective customer came by yesterday. Dealing with the dog is an issue, since Tiffany and I are both at work some 20 minutes away during the day, but our broker has a good relationship with Harry and has volunteered to swing by and take him for a walk when the house is to be shown. Harry is fully recovered from his little accident though he did have some nausea from the anesthetic.

We've had to reassure a few neighbors that we're not leaving the area. Everyone knows the house we're buying, and they've all expressed happiness for us.

Today our broker put out pull sheets for the house. He told us that the first few dozen would be taken by people in the area, but we knew that from our own experience. Looking at houses and going to open-house showings is practically a spectator sport around here. It's a bit weird looking at advertising for your own home. There's something unreal about the pictures. I can't put my finger on it.
Monica Undercover Normally, the best reason to read Ann Hodges, the Chronicle's bluenosed critic - she makes the Church Lady seem hip - is to take whatever it is she's haughtily condemning and set the VCR accordingly. However, for once I've got to agree with her. I can't think of any good reason to watch Monica in Black and White on HBO's America Undercover. It doesn't even hold ten-car-pileup fascination for me. Sorry, babe. Your fifteen minutes expired back in 1998. Go get a job and leave us nice folks alone.
Quality Entertainment Dept. Tonya Harding will take on Amy Fisher in the Fox Network's Celebrity Boxing special. to be broadcast on March 13. The undercard, as it were, will feature Danny "Partridge" Bonaduce versus Barry "Greg Brady" Williams.

What surprises me is that no one at Fox thought to pair this up with their May sweeps special Who Wants to Pose for Playboy. I mean, do these two have "double feature" written all over them or what?


O Stephanie, where art thou? I'll add my name to the growing chorus of folks who've greatly enjoyed Stephanie Dupont's extended guest-hosting of Brian Linse's blog. I haven't seen anyone else say this, so I'll say it: Brian, when you get back to LA, do whatever you can to convince Stephanie to start her own blog. I guarantee it'll get permalinked all over the place (except maybe by the Samizdata folks).

Dark clouds may be looming, however. Via the Insolvent Republic of Blogistan, we find that the Illuminated Donkey is questioning Stephanie's existence. C'mon folks - just because someone can't be tracked down via Google doesn't mean he or she is a ghost. I admit, at first I thought Brian might be pulling a joke on us, but no more. I believe in Stephanie, and so should you.

UPDATE: Kathy Kinsley has also suggested that Stephanie get her own blog when Brian returns.

UPDATE: Gary Farber and Bill Quick are also insisting Stephanie is a hoax, most likely Brian in drag. They cite Brian's friendship with Kinky Friedman and the fact that "Stephanie Dupont" is a character in some of the Kinkster's novels. Well, from one good American to another (*), I say why can't this merely be a nom du blog? If it turns out Brian has hoaxed me, I'll admit it and congratulate him. In the meantime, I say viva Stephanie.

* - See here and scroll down a bit.
Teaching intolerance There's been a fair amount of bloggage regarding this article in the WaPo about Islamic schools in America. I'm as alarmed as the next guy, but not because gasp we've suddenly discovered such things in our midst. No, my discomfort about these schools is the same as my discomfort about many religious schools. The problem I have with these schools is that they teach a distorted and frequently intolerant worldview. The fact that these specific schools are Islamic makes no real difference to me.

Here's an example from the article:

[T]hey file into their Islamic studies class, where the textbooks tell them the Day of Judgment can't come until Jesus Christ returns to Earth, breaks the cross and converts everyone to Islam, and until Muslims start attacking Jews.

It's not the particulars that bother me as much as the us-versus-them underpinnings. I still remember a tale from my Catholic school days in which a "Moslem" king threatens to kill all Christians in the kingdom. At one point, he calls his staff into the throne room and demands that all Christians step forward. Fifteen people do so. "And do you wish to remain Christians?" he demands. "Yes" they say, at which point the king orders their executions. It was presented as a story of heroic martyrdom, where the best thing we little Catholics could do was die for our faith. The rather unflattering view of "Moslems" it gave us was left unspoken, but nonetheless it was pretty clear. Admittedly, we weren't exhorted to become suicide bombers, but the bottom line message is the same: We're right and they're wrong, and you're better off dying than becoming one of them.

I guess I see a lot of religious schools as being inherently isolationist, and I believe that isolated people are more likely to be xenophobic. Of course every parent should teach their children morals and values, and every parent should want to shield their children from inappropriate aspects of our popular culture, but at what point do you cross over into demonizing values and cultures that are not your own? At what point do you become like the people of a small town who can't understand why some people don't want to be forced to pray like the rest of them do.

I don't want to make the same mistake that I'm accusing others of here and demonize all religious education. Religious education is generally a good and healthy thing, and even if I don't much care for it, it's as American as the First Amendment so I can take my dislike and stuff it. Besides, as I just pointed out in the links above, one doesn't have to go to a private school to be isolated from Others. But I will always worry about people who grow up never knowing anyone who isn't like them, for it will be easier for them to believe whatever they are told about those people.

You may be starting to suspect an ulterior motive on my part. You're right - I mean this as a defense against that bane of right-wingers known as "multiculturalism". The multi-cultis deserve a lot of the criticism they get, for their excessive relativism and their own peculiar brand of demonization, but the vision of multiculturalism is a good thing. It's a reminder that there's more than one valid viewpoint out there and that not everyone has your experiences and perspective. In short, The World Is A Big Place. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that this was what the multi-cultis originally intended to teach us.

I had the good fortune to eventually get into an excellent public intermediate school (that's "middle school" for some of you) and then into Stuyvesant High School, which was an incredible melting pot in addition to being a damn fine place to learn. Once I figured out that not everyone was Catholic - my first year in public school I gave Christmas cards to a fair number of Jewish kids because I didn't know any better - I did fine. Going to college in Texas was further exposure to different perspectives and backgrounds.

I like to think that I'm a better person for the experience. I like to think that more people could benefit from similar experiences. That, in a nutshell, is the discomfort I have with sheltering children in overly controlled environments. The particulars of the environment don't make much difference.
It's Official The Ballpark Soon To Be Formerly Known As Enron Field is now officially The Ballpark Formerly Known As Enron Field. Enron will get some money back in the bargain. As long as none of it goes to Lay, Skilling, or Fastow, I'm OK with that.

I don't particularly care if stadium's name is bought and paid for. For $100 million over 30 years, I'd have gladly called myself "Charles Kuffner, brought to you by Enron". But would it kill anyone to leave the name as "Astros Field", or deity forbid, "The Ballpark at Union Station" for this season?
Speaking of bought and paid for According to this story in the Chron, "[a] $100,000 donation from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez's bank in 2000 helped fund Republican efforts to retain control of the U.S. Senate".

You know, I'm as desperate as any Texas Democrat to get a few of our folks back into state office. I just have a hard time believing that Tony Sanchez is actually one of us. I'll still vote for him if he wins the primary - I really dislike Governor Goodhair, and I'm that big a tool - but I'm not gonna like it. I really wish Dan Morales had thrown his hat into this ring a bit earlier, instead of flirting with the Senate race. Alas.

At least Texas isn't the only state with questionable gubernatorial candidates. Read about Ginger's adventures with California's Spammin' Secretary of State, Bill Jones. Hey, all you LA Bloggers - what do you know about this guy?


Road fees Fritz Schranck has some good stuff about how we pay for roads. Check it out.
I Am Not A Crook Jeff Skilling denies all in his testimony to the Senate. What a scuzzball.

This is my favorite bit:

In Tuesday's hearing, Skilling clashed with senators over his stock sales, repeatedly blamed auditor Arthur Andersen for signing off on questionable accounting transactions, and told disbelieving lawmakers he could not recall receiving $5.6 million in bonuses from Enron.

Compare this to the redoubtable Stephanie Dupont:

Now for my one political thought that the whole world can click on. I once won $1000 in a Super Bowl pool. God bless the Cowboys! I remember that like it was yesterday. How come Jeff Skilling can't remember getting 6 million dollars?

You said it. Hell, when I was 10 I won a football helmet in a neighborhood raffle. That was over 25 years ago, and I still remember it. Skilling lies like a cheap rug.
Coming to a neighborhood near you Wendy's International has bought a 45% interest in Houston restaurant chain Cafe Express. Cafe Express is a "fast-casual" restaurant. Watch that phrase, I think you'll be hearing it again.

Cafe Express is Wendy's first investment in the fast-casual restaurant business. The term "fast-casual" refers to a growing market in the industry, combining the casual dining of a restaurant like Chili's or Friday's with the self-service, walk-up concept.

Robert Del Grande, president of Cafe Express, said he was told by Wendy's CEO Jack Schuessler that the fast-casual market is "just beginning. It's teeny now, but it's going to be huge, and he expects it to grow exponentially."

I'm actually surprised that there isn't more of this already. I don't know if Houston is a trendsetter here, but we also have Eatzi's for high-end takeout, and the Amazon Grill, a single-location competitor to Cafe Express in the "fast-casual" market. Good food, low prices, quick service - hey, Virginia Postrel, is this The Future or what?
Trying to understand Amy Last night Tiffany and I watched Judging Amy, the Amy Brennerman vehicle on CBS. T has seen a few eps, but I'd never watched it. It wasn't bad - decent writing, good cast, and Tyne Daly's a hoot - but I was scratching my head at the ending.

Amy spends the episode in a funk, partly because the guy she most recently went out with (and apparently slept with, though this wasn't clear) hadn't called for four days. She mopes and makes with the man-hating and then at the end of the episode (and two more days have passed) she gets a large bouquet of roses from this guy. Reading the card makes her very happy.

Are you kidding me? Sending flowers after being completely incommunicado for six days isn't sweet and romantic, it's manipulative. Other than being comatose, what could this guy have been doing that he couldn't pick up a phone and say "Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I had a really good time and I want to see you again"? There's a word for people who fall for this sort of thing: Sucker.

I did a lot of stupid, pathetic things when I was single, so maybe this is just too close to home for me. Still, I don't understand it. If I were Amy, I'd sure like to know what he'd been up to and why he thought this was better than just calling after a day or so.
Tribute to The Bear No, not Bryant. I'm talking about Don Haskins, the longtime coach at UTEP (formerly Texas Western), who made history by winning the 1966 NCAA men's basketball championship with an all-black starting lineup. The team they beat was Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp. Rupp was, to put it charitably, behind the times on racial matters - it would be three more years before Kentucky featured a black player.

Anyway, Jerry Izenberg wrote this nice tribute to Haskins. It's not true that UTEP has never competed for any other championships - their track and field team is a perennial power - but no matter. Go read and enjoy.


Had a minor dog emergency this afternoon while taking Harry for his afternoon walk. He usually walks on my left, and sometimes when the leash goes slack his right foreleg will step over it, making it necessary to untangle him. I must have pulled on the leash while it was like this, and somehow the clip that holds the choke chain got attached to his paw. It's the kind of clip that you push in at an angle to release, rather than the vertical kind, which meant that any attempt to remove it made it worse. I tried, but the pain made Harry resist.

I wound up having to carry him to the car (he's only 45 pounds, but it's harder than you think to carry a dog that weight, especially when he whines and writhes when he gets jostled) and off to the vet we went. They had to give him a sedative/painkiller to remove the clip. He's walking without a limp, but has been less active than usual (a hangover from the sedative) and whining more than usual. He's even refused a Milk-Bone, which is like Tom DeLay turning down soft money. He must really be out of sorts.

Poor Harry. I guess today wouldn't be a good day to trade places with him.
More woes for the 55 MPH speed limit Governor Rick "Goodhair" Perry is asking pollution officials to look for alternatives to lowering the speed limit. This just gets more and more entertaining.

One thing to keep in mind is that average speed on Houston highways during peak hours is nowhere near 55 MPH, let alone 65 or 70. Take a look at the historic freeway travel times on the Texas A&M Realtime Traffic Map of Houston and see for yourself. I know that lowering the speed limit is only part of the solution, and it's one that's easiest to implement, but let's not lose sight of where the real action is.
If you care about your kids, you'll read my blog Today while at the bank I heard a political ad on the radio which began "I want the best for my children. That's why I'm voting for..."

Is it too late to stick an amendment in the Shays-Meehan bill that makes it a capital crime to imply that a vote for the other guy makes you an unfit parent?
The Andrea Yates trial I've avoided commenting on Houston's other big story, mostly because I'm conflicted about it. What Andrea Yates did was horrible, but I don't believe that killing her is in the interests of justice.

I think we can all agree that Andrea Yates is ill. Her attorneys are going for an insanity defense, but this is a tall order. According to Texas law, you must "at the time of the conduct charged...not know that [your] conduct was wrong". However sick Yates is and was, revelations that she considered using a knife to kill her children don't make it easy to conclude that she didn't know what she was doing at the time.

I think what really bothers me about this whole thing is how polarized discussion of it has been from the beginning. Wanting to understand how this could happen and how we could prevent it from happening again does not mean wanting to absolve Andrea Yates from all blame. Questioning the appropriateness of the death penalty in this case does not mean that one wants to see Yates walk out of the courtroom with her freedom and a lifetime supply of Zoloft.

There's a difference between what Andrea Yates did and what, say, Susan Smith did, and it's not in the number of dead children. Ask yourself this question: If Yates' erratic and ultimately lethal behavior had been caused by a brain tumor, would you feel differently about her? If the answer is yes, then why is postpartum psychosis and schizophrenia not enough to mitigate your emotions?

In The New Republic, Michelle Cottle proposes sterilizing Andrea Yates as part of her sentence. This is a can of worms in a tar baby on a slippery slope, but it's hard to argue that another Yates pregnancy would be in any way a good thing. I'm having a hard time resisting the urge to say "And while you're at it, let's fix Rusty Yates, too."

Like I said, I'm conflicted. I'm sure glad I wasn't called to be on this jury, though I daresay they'd have voir-dired my butt out of there. It will be interesting to see what the jurors have to say after the trial, regardless of the verdict.


There's a cheap West University Place Police joke in there somewhere Justin Slotman says that the IRoB is still ranked for the Google searches on "Jaime Sale nude". Well, I was getting a lot of Google hits on "Elena Berezhnaya nude", but alas, I seem to have dropped out of contention.

On the other hand, I'm still getting hits on "Robert Gordon University naked", thanks to this post. It's good to know that I have such a high quality readership.
Suburban smut smackdown! Some time ago I wrote about the hapless Chief of Police in West University Place and his suspension for having surfed to smut sites on the Web. Seems the loss of pay is the least of his worries, as the West U Soccer Mom Mafia is calling for his resignation.

As Michael recently said about a New Zealand judge in the same predicament, one wonders if these suburban paragons of virtue are all huffy because the police chief was neglecting his duties (for a total of 20 minutes, as the original story makes clear), or because they think people who look at nekkid pictures are icky and should go back under whatever rock from which they first emerged. Would they still be out for his scalp if it had come to light that he had similar tastes at the video store as Clarence Thomas? How does this make him unqualified for his job? The West U Police Department doesn't even have a vice squad.

The fact that this story was reported by a society columnist should tell you all you need to know. Good luck in your next job, chief.


Satire takes another body blow Cleveland Indians pitcher John Rocker, best known for his sensitive commentary on racial and sexual relations, will portray a crazed killer in a new movie. The film, called "The Greenskeeper", is the type of film that also features a Playboy model and a radio "personality", so I don't think they'll be on any Oscar short lists. The producers are looking for a national distributor, otherwise it's straight to video.
Satellite subversion Glenn Kinen points to this excellent article in the NY Times Sunday magazine about NITV and its subversive pro-American broadcasts to Iran. I sure hope they can find a sugar daddy to help them keep up the good work.
Slobogoogling: Sonja Myers Matt Welch has been all over the Free Slobodan Milosevic petition which has been signed by over 1300 people. He suggested that bloggers start Googling these folks to see what else they've said and done.

Well, David Janes has put up a more detailed list of the signees, from which I see that a few call Houston home. I thought I'd check out a couple of my more interesting neighbors to see what history they have with Slobo.

First, there's Sonja Myers. She apparently likes writing letters to the editor. Here's one she sent to the Ottawa Sun. I'm personally fond of this quote, regarding the NATO bombing:

The jury is still out on the intent and consequences of NATO's
war and history would doubtless make the adequate judgement

Would that jury have anything to do with the OJ verdict? I'm just asking.

Here's an unpublished letter to the NY Times. Guess it wasn't fit to print.

Sonja has been an active opinion writer to the Houston Chronicle. A search of the Chron archives showed three letters in 1993 and two op-ed pieces in 1995. Most recent was a letter from December, 2000. Chron archives require registration so I can't easily link them. I'll quote from them instead.

Letter to the editor, 5/5/93:

The conflict in Bosnia is largely the result of outside interference in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia. Germany in particular greatly contributed to the present problems by encouraging Croatia and Slovenia to declare their independence and then pressuring the European Economic Community and the United States to support the move.

Those darned outside agitators. Serbia would've been such a peaceful place had it not been for them.

Letter to the editor, 8/16/93:

Taking sides in a three-way civil war is the worst thing the United States can do. Someone should tell our government that, among other things, bombing of the Bosnian Serbs will:

Not help but ruin the peace negotiations in Geneva.

Not bring peace to the region, but incite a long-term war.

Damage and close the existing humanitarian supply routes.

Bring about more killings of innocent civilians -- the Croats, the Muslims and the Serbs -- due to their close proximity to the front lines.

Cause a permanent rift between the United States, its NATO allies in Europe and the United Nations.

Upset the delicate balance in the U.S. relationship with Russia.

Here's Chuck's Sure-Fire Handy-Dandy Never-Fail Advice For Prognosticators: Always wait until after the event you're forecasting has occurred before you make pronouncements about what will happen. It's less embarrassing that way.

Letter to the editor, 12/3/93:

Thanks to [...] the media, we are led to forget the fact that the people of Serbia are innocent. Compassion for human suffering, if genuine, is not limited to any particular nation or group of people.

We should ask ourselves why is the Bosnian Muslim population more deserving of the sympathy of the world then the suffering peoples of any other nation including Georgia (in the former Soviet Union) or Serbia.

Um, maybe because they were being ethnically cleansed? Just a guess.

Sonja started writing op-ed pieces for the Chron in 1995. She wrote one on 3/16/95 which, for some odd reason, I couldn't find in the Chron's archives. There were a couple of links in the Google search that seemed to point to this article as well, but they were all dead. Coincidence? You decide.

Anyway, the first op-ed piece drew four letters in response, three of which were critical. Here's one letter in response, dated 3/21/95 by Zvonimir Milas:

In her March 16 Outlook article, "Bosnian Serbs, too, have vowed: "Never again,' " Sonja Myers attempts to justify the genocide committed by Serbs on Croats and Muslims during the last four years of Serbia's aggression on Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

She depicts Serbs as victims of Croats and Muslims during World War II. She distorts the WWII statistics, in a similar way that the former communist-dominated Yugoslavia had done for nearly 50 years to justify Serbian dominance over all other nationalities in that country.

In that war, however, there were massive exterminations of Croats and Muslims by Serbs which continued after the war ended. But in that totalitarian, communist Yugoslavia ruled by Serbs, even to mention the Serbian actions resulted in imprisonment, exile or worse.

Her next op-ed article was on 6/10/95:

Contrary to the current popular belief, there is a solution to end the civil war in Bosnia. It is the same solution that could have prevented the war. It requires applying the same moral principles and affording equal treatment to all sides, including the Serbs. A short trip to the library would reveal that the Serbs in Bosnia have a case: their legitimate rights and concerns to be heard, acknowledged and respected. This would open the way to meaningful negotiations and secure necessary Serb concessions for a long-term political settlement and peace in the Balkans. The alternatives are too awful to even contemplate.

Sometimes, as Dogbert once said, no sarcastic remark seems adequate.

Her most recent letter to the editor was on 12/5/00. I quote it in full because it's a bit bizarre:

My entire family in Belgrade demonstrated for days demanding that Slobodan Milosevic accept the results of the presidential elections and concede defeat to his opponent, Vojislav Kostunica.

The ruling party used election officials, courts and the media - all run by Milosevic's political party - to deny victory to Kostunica.

The main weapon for manipulating public opinion was to call the people of Serbia "traitors, bandits and mobsters," and swear that the "will of the people," the "fair and accurate vote recount" and the "rule of law" should prevail.

Many Serbs and those who followed news reports on the Yugoslav elections probably had a strong sense of deja vu regarding the 2000 U.S. presidential election as they watched the "ruling party" and its operatives manipulate public opinion, pressure the courts to change existing laws, harass and threaten election boards to do all they could to change the bad outcome for their Democratic candidate, Al Gore.

History has a weird sense of humor, but in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined that the actions and intentions of the power-obsessed Milosevic could have been matched up exactly to the last dirty trick by America's Democratic Party and its candidate for the presidency.

What can I say?

There were not that many results in Google for Sonja Myers. Most of them point back to the Free Slobo petition or refer to one of her published or unpublished editorials. The Houston Chronicle archives were the most useful resource.
Slobogoogling: Stan Goff Stan Goff, as nearly everything written by or about him always says, is a retired US Special Forces Master Sergeant. He's written a book called Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti. I'm not qualified to comment on this book, but surely someone else out there is. (Paging Sgt. Stryker. Please pick up the white courtesy phone.)

Stan has apparently been busy in the antiwar camp since 9/11. Here's the text of a speech he gave at a "teach-in" (oooh, coopted 1960s rhetoric!) at the University of North Carolina on 9/17/01. You can read this in HTML here. We see that whatever talent Stan may have as a military historian, he's pretty lousy as a pundit:

"Since the attacks of September 11th, we have seen the unfolding of a national ritual denunciation of this crime that is much more than an expression of outrage and sadness. A disciplined military-financial-industrial press is harmonizing us in this ritual, and the orchestra director is theBush regime. Failure to participate is being constructed as heresy.

Heresy includes:

  1. The failure to call for war or support out leaders when they call for war

  2. The denial that this can be reduced to a test between good and evil

  3. The refusal to accept official explanations

  4. The temerity to suggest that our own rulers have committed equally offensive actions

  5. And finally, that our own financial, political, military, and intelligence establishments bear a portion of the blame.

There is a new McCarthyism emerging here, and a new loyalty oath along with it."

Yeah, yeah, we know, the poor oppressed antiwar demonstrators. Been there, done that.

Next up is an article from 10/20/01, in which Stan discloses the real reason for the attacks and the US response. I'll give you a hint: it's all a Big Conspiracy! Involving oil! Which we're running out of! So we need to control the supply!

"The left, if it has the capacity to self-organize out of its oblivion, needs to understand its critical roles here. We have to play the role of credible, hard-working, and non-sectarian partners in a broader peace-movement. We have to study, synthesize, and describe our current historical conjuncture. And we have to prepare leadership for the decisive conflict that will emerge to first defeat fascism then take political power."

Too bad you didn't do any of these things. I'll give the man props for vocabulary, though - he actually used the word "klavern" to describe President Bush's senior leadership team.

Here's an interview conducted on 11/5/01 with someone named Mike McCormick. All I have to say is someone needs to explain the concept of "paragraphs" to whoever transcribed this.

Here's an excerpt from and plug for his book, Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti (ISBN: 1887128638; only two left in stock at Amazon, so hurry up and order). It's in a Marxism-Feminism list archive at csf.colorado.edu. The joke is left as an exercise for the reader.

I searched the Chron archives but found no matches for "Stan Goff", "Stanley Goff", or "Hideous Dream", so either he's not from the Bayou City or he's not a letter-writer like Sonja Myers. There were quite a few pages' worth of results in Google on Stan, but I think this gives the basic gist of who he is.