Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This looks like a job for...

Mardi Gras kicked off real spicy-like, with a well-known creature of the night making a rare sunlight appearance.

Whoa, deja vu... this is just like Lindsay Lohan's 18th birthday party.
Rumor has it that he wasn’t their first choice.

NO!  You're supposed to throw BEADS!
In the end, the pro-DC crowd won out. But knowing the Bat's famous intolerance for corruption and crime, I doubt that Mayor Ovaltine is resting easy right now.

This one's for the good citizens of the Big Easy. Laissez les bon temps roulez, mes amis! You deserve it.

(My thanks to Toonapalooza for the pic, and especially to the artist.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

The ride of Paul Revere

Sheila's post required - nay, demanded - a soundtrack.

Powered by Castpost

Let freedom ring!

They say that it goes in threes

McCloud has joined his fellow deputy in the Precinct House in the Sky.

And for those of us in the sci-fi consumption market, sad news from outer space, via Sluggo: Andreas Katsulas has passed. Out there he was G'Kar or Tomalak, depending on your favorite flavor of space opera; on Earth he played the one-armed man vs. Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones in the Fugitive.

That other thing with Scott Bakula? It never happened.

**Full Circle Dept: the Star Trek website also notes the passing of Paul Carr, who played the short-lived Lt. Kelso on the original Star Trek. Like Katsulas, he died of lung cancer. And his long list of TV credits includes acting in Gunsmoke, opposite Dennis Weaver.

****Holy (gun) Smokes Dept: Carr's last credit. The good ones keep on working, don't they?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's getting misty in the Hive

Again, it is demonstrated that I have great readers and commenters, whom I am pleased to consider friends. It's not just approaching 6,000 visits since August '05. It's not even the gracious replies to my soul-searching posts. In fact, I almost feel like I should apologize for their increasing occurence, except that it would undercut the point, which is simple: I'm posting them. I wouldn't do it in a professional context. But I do it here precisely because I feel that I am among friends, even in a public forum. The danger is a string of ungracious email and commenting in reply from strangers, which I am willing to risk because of the kindness shown by all of you.

Could be that I have the answer I was looking for a few spots down. Blogging is very like a conversation at a bar or at a large party. People jump from group to group freely. Sometimes they don't like what they've heard and they barge in and make themselves a nuisance; sometimes they try the whole lampshade dancing routine and get themselves tossed out. There are diversions, tangents, jokes, and non-sequitors. In short, the conversation moves forward.

The best thing is that station, class, creed, and whatnot aren't restrictive. You and I are each free as the sunlight on the water. Bring your perspective, your humor, your huddled pensives yearning to think free - banter, badger, quip, and parry; raise questions, raise Cain, raise a glass and make a toast.

\~~~/ .. May the roof above never fall in
.\_/. .. And the friends below never fall out


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Emily was right...

I am such a fascist. Either that, or someone at IP address has quite the sense of humor. It doesn't matter, since said individual is banned. He pasted the Hive with a gargantuan comment about an hour ago, with the salutation: "Jesus Christ is a false god. At best all Christians can hope for is partial credit."

Hooray! Fun With Idiots!

"14 species of large animals capable of domesitcation in the history of mankind. 13 from Europe, Asia and northern Africa. None from the sub-Saharan African continent.

Favor. And disfavor. They point out Africans’ failed attempts to domesticate the elephant and zebra, the latter being an animal they illustrate that had utmost importance for it's applicability in transformation from a hunting/gathering to agrarian-based civilization. The roots of racism are not of this earth."

Oh, the eloquence. Oh, the logic.

"Organizational Heirarchy/Levels of positioning:

1. MUCK - perhaps have experienced multiple universal contractions (have seen multiple big bangs), creator of the artificial intelligence humans ignorantly refer to as 'god'
2. Perhaps some mid-level alien management
3. Evil/disfavored aliens - runs day-to-day operations here and perhaps elsewhere."

So many questions for our troll... how did you get lucky enough to blow the lid off the whole "AI Lord" business? How are you getting away with posting all of this behind the backs of evil aliens when it took me five minutes to look you up? (Maybe I'm one of them! You may be next!)

"Movies foreshadowing catastrophy"

Was there a movie about a really bad speller that I missed? (Must be direct-to-video.)

"1985 James Bond View to a Kill 1989 San Francisco Loma Prieta earthquake."

That's the ENTIRE LIST. And it's really such a stretch to boldly predict that San Francisco will suffer earthquakes. This guy must be some sort of L-Ron level genius.

Oh, and it goes on, paragraph after dreary paragraph. He even threatens to make sense talking about Wal-Mart and cheap overseas labor, but never quite gets there. And then he decides to revisit the prophetic teachings of the Great Glowing Box in the Den:

"Simpson's foreshadowing::
Helloween IV special, Flanders is Satan. "It's always the one you least suspect."
"You'll see lots of nuns where you're going:::hell." St. Wigham, Helloween VI:::missionary work, destroying cultures.
Over and over, the Simpsons was a source of education and enlightenment, a target of ridicule by the system which wishes to conceal its secrets."

All that systemic ridicule... It's a pity that the Simpsons were limited to a paltry 16-year run. Think of the secrets that died aborning!

"The similarity between the names "Santa" and "Satan" is no coincidence."

Well, then the Islanders are well and truly screwed. He even looks sinister.

As for "santa," I thought it meant saint in Italian. In fact, my father's grandmother was named Santa (and his grandfather was named Santo). But you know those Italians... "Amercia is a country of castoffs, rejects. Italy sent its criminals, malcontents. ... Mafia - the real-world 20th century interface that constantly turns over generationally so as to reinforce the widely-held notion of mortality."

We all know that mortality is for chumps and thetans. If you were truly enlightened you'd be as free as the air between this guy's ears. But you're stuck down here on Planet Earth with the rest of us, and it doesn't get any better, no matter who you are:

"Jews maim the body formed in the image of 'god', and inflicted circumcision upon all other white people."

If it's a false god, who cares what happened to the body? But no, keep going...

"I think about how Jews were used to create homosexuality among Slavics, supposedly retribution for the Holocaust."

I don't recall hearing this in Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song. Would have brought the house down.

"For their suffering the Jew leaders were granted the right to prey on the up-and-coming Europeans to try to fix their problems with the ruling elite by imposing a false god upon white people, a recurring aspect of the elite's methodology."

Granted by whom? The evil aliens? The corporations? Hold on, let me scroll up a bit, I think he actually covered this...

"7. Jews, corporation, women, politician - Evidence exisits to suggest mafia management over all these groups."

Bingo! Damned Dago Nation!

"1. Labor unrest caused the world at war.
2. Black militancy ignited the crack epidemic and gang-related deaths.
3. Women's rights/sexual freedom produced Roe v Wade and women's exclusion from contention for Planet Immortality."

You know, I went to a Planet Immortality last time I was in Manhattan - good food, a bit pricey, and too loud to have a real conversation.

"But on the bright side peasants don't go. Money is one way of indicating favor, and if you're not wealthy you don't have favor, so don't sweat it::you weren't going anyways."

You mean, we have to stay away from you for all eternity? Say it ain't so!

"An evil republican will come forth to wreck havock upon the disfavored. The hunting incident was designed to ruin one possible candidate among his contingency, but others wait in the wings."

At least he's topical, right? Up-to-date nuts are the best kind. Any current event or social development plugs seamlessly into their Rube Goldberg worldview.

"All the groups mentioned throughout are necessary to justify the will of the managing species. They conceive a strategy, devise a plan yet need a way to implement it, and without these groups the managing species would be exposed in the course of execution. So, based upon their rank they are assigned goals to accomplish and are rewarded with favor..."

And at this point - after three full pages of single-spaced, 9-point type - our intrepid whistle blower cuts off. Out of space.


Friends, watch your backs. Even reading this could put you at risk from Xenu's Traveling Bilgewater Killers. Just 'cause they're intensely stupid doesn't mean they have bad aim.

UPDATE - 2:00 pm - Bingley to the rescue! After failing here, Big Bad Xenu Daddy shot a copy over to the Coalition - with bonus material!

"I question if we would experience global warming if they didn't terraform with an ultimate goal of destroying disfavored human life on planet earth::::they terraform the weather as they did in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina (and lots of other examples) and justify it with behavior like instructing their petroleum friends to repress alternative technologies and encourage waste."

I was waiting for Chimpy W. McHitlerburton to make his entrance on the stage. They saved him for the finale, sort of like the Level Boss in a video game.

"This is all happening shortly after the Exodus of 2000 (clues::Hong Kong, Panama Canal) for a reason::: they are INFLICTING it upon us, they are hastening closure. Everybody they care about has come up, replaced by clones, and they want to proceed in haste."

Clones. Our friend forgot to add Episode II to the list of cinematic prohpecies. Well, I'll cut him slack if you do. After all, if caring is the measuring stick, this fellow is definitely NOT a clone.

"Armeggedon isn’t about the end of the world. Armeggedon is about the death of the disfavored left behind. And they weren’t lying::this time it is going to happen with fire. But it's not going to happen because of global warming."

WHAT?!?!? Make up what little mind you have!

"To silence the inevitable internal conflict it's going to happen in the blink of an eye:::::As Edgar Cayce prophicised Earth's axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction."

Edgar Blargin' Cayce? I waded through all of that plus a sequel for EDGAR CAYCE? Bastard. Mr. B, go ahead and delete with extreme prejudice.

Bill Simmons' next column

I mean, not to step on his toes or anything, but "Knicks near deal for Steve Francis" kind of jumps out at you.

Isiah Thomas just may be the worst GM I've ever seen, in any sport - and I watched Don Maloney trade Pierre Turgeon for Kirk Muller, followed by nine years of Mike Milbury. Considering his health problems, Larry Brown is lucky that this season hasn't killed him yet.

Putting Francis on the same court as Stephon Marbury is sort of like tasting some Chinese food, saying, "Wow, that's salty," and then adding soy sauce and MSG. Why not bring in Jason Williams and play them all at once - I mean, if one shoot-first point guard is so good that you want two, then three must be fantastic, right? They'll have to treat the court like a prison yard and check people for shivs before letting them play.

It has the makings of the best fight at Madison Square Garden since Ali-Frazier I - unless Brown decks Isiah first.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I hope that this goes somewhere

Hi folks. Thanks for bearing with the silence. I've been doing a lot of full-tilt mulling, of a sort that doesn't easily translate into text, so this may be a little fitful.

The talk-folk at NJ 101.5 FM decided, in so many words, to auction off their 7-11 pm show, American Idol-style. Call in, do a little spiel, get narrowed down to 16. Then you do an hour in the booth with the regular hosts and get cut down to eight; then another hour, another cut. The final four get one full 7-11 show to themselves, and after two more rounds of that, the last host talking is the new permanent addition to the talk-radio firmament.

I'd considered doing this. It's not that I don't love my job, because I do. I've been there longer than five years now. I have a pension and everything. Truth be told, I didn't think I had more than a remote chance of actually landing the gig - but - and this is where the logic falters - I wanted to try. I mean, "Nightfly" was chosen in homage to the Donald Fagen song of the same name, about... a late-night radio host. I looked into college radio while I was there, and community radio after that, and hemmed and hawed and generally spazzed about the idea. It's a lot of work - for every hour at the board, a host spends two in prep, recording promos and bumps, researching topics...

At this point in my life, maybe I was just tired of saying to myself, "Binkley, you bored, miserable yuppie, you never went for the gusto." I'm not a "jump off the horse for the brass ring" personality - I'm almost anally competitive, but not really a risk-taker. ("I'll have the plain vanilla ice cream, please - but it's got to be the BEST DAMN CONE EVER.") But I wanted to be sure; I talked it over with my friends, my girlfriend, my boss... The heavy favorite in these conversations was, "Go for it." (Or as one of my friends said, "Promise them listeners - if you get it I'll actually tune in.")

On the appointed day, I called, got to the screener, got on hold. The rest is non-history. I hung up before I hit the air. Life goes on without me.

That's what's left me short of thoughts to share these past few days. It wasn't lack of topics. I have about five or six posts on the burner that will be popping up in the evenings these next few days. I've just been sidetracked. I go back and forth about it, between "prudent choice" and "buck-BRAWWWWK." I like to think I'd have done well - but did I bail in order not to disturb that little notion? Sometimes I have trouble with four topics a week to blog; this gig would require four a day, four times a week, every week from now until closing time. Could I dodge the dreaded dead air? Would I have any creative freedom (to do stuff like this)?

So there it is. Thank you, loyal listeners, for sharing this episode of Nightfly's Midlife Crisis.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

You're the best....around!

Mr. Snitch's labor of love is completed! Behold...


They are many, varied, and will give you hours of enjoyment. Some are from friends you'll see in my Pantheon to the right, though I don't think any of my own posts are there. I didn't submit anything of my own, to be honest; going through my 250 (at the time) was a challenge I had no leisure for. That Mr. Snitch did it for a heaping hunk of the Wild Wild Web* is astonishing, and deserves king-sized kudos.

Lacking those, I've decided to contribute by sponsoring an ongoing effort to keep 2006's best posts...


This new button will sit with the 2005 button at the top of the table. If you see something worth remembering, click it through to the man, won't you? And consider buying the book! (It goes well with milk and cookies, apparently...)

*credit (as far as I know) goes to Sheila for this phrase. If there are earlier cites please let me know!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Evening update

This sort of thing is hard on the little guys, though:

Fur coat or not, this has GOT to be uncomfortable.
Well, OK, I'm not Good King Wenceslas or anything, but I feel a little better. Not everyone trusts me, though.

That crap could be Alpo!  I'm not eating it off the ground, either!
And really, would you trust some loud, barging critter sixteen times your size if he popped out of an enormous door and dropped twelve pounds of M&M's on the ground? And then snapped your picture?

Sunday in the snow with George

The view around the neighborhood was quite lovely once the snow stopped... Until you had to actually dig out.

He beamed it where?  Mr. Scott!The Discount Chariot is under there somewhere. I figured that I'd start the excavations early and be ready for tomorrow morning's commute.

The rubber bristles make all the difference! That's the business end of the sweeper, to give you an idea of how deep a drift we're talking about. The snow was about 16 inches thick in this part of New Jersey.

This spot was parked in about ten minutes after I got out.
At last! Success! I learned from last year's big snowfall, when I parked on the other side of the street and got plowed in halfway through my shoveling. Again, a little shot with a common household item for perspective:

The symbol of cheap hand labor! By the way, I'm sorry about these annoying white borders. I am still figuring out the cropping and resizing business.

Can you spot the diety in this picture? I took a walk after and checked out some of the rest of the neighborhood, and found this at the local chapel. Somebody's peeping out from under all of that tree and snow.

Some mulled cider would be so SWEET right about now. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake...

I wish I'd had more time. Once you don't actually have to do anything or go anywhere, this is actually a lot of fun - walking around, no place to be, snapping some pics, enjoying the general peace and quiet, and saying hello to fellow shovelers.

Not everyone digs this sort of thing, of course. [Digs. Heheheheh.] Mr. B, if I could have, I would have sent this guy over.

Snowblowers are for pansiesI've had it to here with the shovels, thankyouverymuch.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Hope you're home reading this

...it's dangerous outside. Just got back home about a half hour ago and it is treacherous driving up and down the Jersey Shore. It does, however, make for some pretty scenery:

It might as well be this cold for a reason.
Enjoy it with some hot cocoa and a loved one to hug. Bonus points for fireplaces and pets sleeping nearby!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Of course, it's late in the game to talk about the game, or the commercials, but was this a crummy Super Bowl or what? There were maybe five great plays total, and mostly lousy commercials. I got sick of that ESPN Mobile thing right quick. Monster's "Working with jackasses" was funny. "Magic Fridge" was cool, but it came so soon. Budweiser then pulled a Roethlisburger and tossed a huge INT with the "Grizzly Beer" ad, such a tasteless riff on Grizzly Man that I left the room.

The MI:3 ad was also funny, but unintentionally so, and in a way I didn't immediately notice. At first all I noticed was not one but two Tom Cruise Running Scenes (he's kicking this one up a notch!). And of course, there's Philip Seymour Hoffman absolutely blasting him off the screen in six seconds - the very beginning, where Tom is making the I'm So Intense It's Scary Face, Philip actually is intense. The contrast is so amazing that I laughed on the spot, without asking an important question - if this clip makes the headliner look bad, why is it the trailer they premiered on Super Bowl Sunday in front of 100 million people?

Then I saw it again last night and it hit me - I listened to Philip's little spiel to Cruise: "I'll find your wife, and I'm going to hurt her...and then I'm going to kill you in front of her."

Now, movies are in production for a long time before they hit the screen, so the plot is one thing, but the trailer? Dollars to donuts that Tom's feeling a mite spooked by all the negative attention bearing down on his crummy little cult and especially his kidnapping and brainwashing of Katie Holmes. That trailer is his answer - "They're after me and Katie! How dare they!" I half-expect Ethan Hunt to tell Hoffman not to be glib.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bad news on the doorstep

Suzette's sweet dog is in a bad way. I love dogs (and corgis are nifty examples of the genre) and this makes me sad.

Corgi, Welsh Pembrook - very smart, good at herding, cute as the dickens
Radical Edward's right-hand-pooch, known to debug the computer in his spare time

The dog above is named Juno, and she works as a therapy dog in New York City. The dog to the right is named Ein, and he is the pet of the bounty hunters of Cowboy Bebop. They are here to show corgi solidarity with Bob in his illness.

Good luck!


Stand! In the end, you'll still be you
One that's done all the things you've set out to do
Stand! There's a cross for you to bear
Things to go through if you're going anywhere

Stand! For the things you know are right
It's the truth that the truth makes them so uptight
Stand! All the things you want are real
You have you to complete and there is no deal...

-- Sly and the Family Stone

This goes quite well with the tin of butter cookies. You can get this and similar banners here from the Dissident Frogman.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Oh, grow up already

Mike Holmgren - your Seattle Seahawks lost the Super Bowl! You're not going to Disney World! What are you going to do? Blame the refs!

"We knew it was going to be tough going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers," Holmgren said. "I didn't know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts as well."

Bad form, Mike. For fun, let's go over the calls -

1st quarter - offensive interference in end zone. Touchy. Let's give you the seven instead of the three you settled for.

2nd quarter - touchdown, Pittsburgh. The ball barely barely crossed the line. To Seattle, this must have seemed a replay of the infamous "touchdown" by Vinnie Testaverde that helped keep the Seahawks out of the 1998 playoffs.* But this was much closer, and given the evidence, the ref could not overturn the call. (My first impression at full-speed was that he didn't get in, which left the ball a midget's whisker from the touchdown. But it's a matter of a centimeter. You need to let this go.)

4th quarter - holding erases a first down at the 1-yard line. It wasn't as bad as the 3rd-quarter hold that similarly erased a big play, but it was definitely a hold. The guy was parallel to the ground and couldn't fall because the lineman had him tied up. That's not blocking.

4th quarter - the low block on the INT return - that was a bad call. Hasselbeck took down the ballcarrier legally. But that's still Pittsburgh's ball, right? And on the option pass from Randle El to Ward, nobody was near catching him. All that means is that Ward has to run an extra fifteen yards before scoring.

All that still leaves the Seahawks short at the end. But, no, it was the refs, right, Mike?

Apparently, a ref kidnapped Jerramy Stevens and wore his uniform, dropping all of those passes. Officials subbed for both your kickers, missing two field goal tries and punting into the end zone four times. A ref butchered the clock at the end of each half, costing your team 14 possible points. Somehow they commandeered your headset and called 55 pass plays, not including plays erased by penalty. (Hasselbeck scrambled three times and was sacked three others.) A ref limited the league's leading rusher and MVP to 20 carries behind your dominant offensive line. Then with 6:30 left in the game, trailing by two scores, a ref ordered you to punt from near midfield instead of trying for first down. (One of those other refs promptly knocked it into the end zone and gave Pittsburgh the ball at the 20.)

Complaining afterwards isn't a better plan that the one you had during the game. But maybe you agree with fans at the rally:

Teenagers Malissa Dunn, Nickey Horgan and Gena Copley took a parents-sanctioned day off from school to paint their faces blue and green and score front-row seats. "We won in our hearts," said Horgan, 15. "We're still No. 1." [emphasis mine]

Are you sure? The scoreboard kinda says something different. "We won in our hearts." That and 3 bucks gets you a decaf latte.

*Wow, '98? That seemed more recent. I remember it mostly because the "tackle" was made by Rutgers alum Jay Bellamy, who is still in the league.

Someone got the memo

update - 8 Feb, 2006, 7:30 pm - you know, the more I think about it, the more I read it, and the more I read it, the more tasteless the intro sounds. It wasn't what I meant at all, so I've changed it to reflect what I do, in fact, mean. Sorry.

It turns out that somebody's lurking in the Hive, but not necessarily the best sort of company. Remember Friday's suggestion that one ought to match cartoons with cartoons? Well, lookie here:
Iran's largest selling newspaper announced today it was holding a contest on cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publishing in European papers of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. "It will be an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust," said Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for Hamshahri newspaper - which is published by Teheran's conservative municipality.

One needs to pass the time before nuking Israel, anyway. But, alas, there's always a problem.
Iran's fiercely anti-Israeli regime is supportive of so-called Holocaust revisionist historians, who maintain the systematic slaughter by the Nazis of mainland Europe's Jews as well as other groups during World War II has been either invented or exaggerated.
Um, Farid? How am I supposed to make fun of something that didn't happen?

Use your imagination, Ali.

Imagination?!? BLASPHEMER!

And wouldn't that be some lead? "Teheran (AP) - The offices of the newspaper Hamshahri were firebombed yesterday in response to calls from its graphics editor to make graven images of the hated Jews."

Well, OK, two problems - "so-called Holocaust revisionist historians." Let's see, they dispute the Holocaust and seek to rewrite the historical record. What else would you so call that, besides revisionist - at least, what else would you call it that I can repeat in public?
Mr Blair also said Mr Ahmadinejad "should come and see the evidence of the Holocaust himself in the countries of Europe", to which Iran responded by saying it was willing to send a team of "independent investigators".
"Independent investigators." OK, you got me, that's another term. However, it's not the most accurate term, considering that the Mr. Ahmadinejad's definition of 'independent' is 'please me or I shoot you and your family.'

Come to think of it, that makes three problems. Iran's reading my blog? Hell damn crap.

Friday, February 03, 2006

We're all Danish now

And in that spirit, I feel like I ought to do my part:

Mohammed isn't in this one - he's behind the camera taking the shot
(picture ©2001 Mike Overbeck. Visit him!)

I tip my wings to the Coalition of the Swilling (happy first blogiversary!) for the post and this BBC article that got the ball rolling.

PS - THIS is how you protest, kids. Any fool can blow stuff up, but can you turn the tables?

It's the name of the Danish paper that started it all...

My actual entry to the contest is somewhat different. In the meantime, I observe that we only lop off arms artistically - others do it for real. (Be sure to pause your mouse over the pics, as always.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It's all about the Hamiltons

20 GOTO 10

This is very Jerseyan. The Senate would like electronics manufacturers to recycle more - not a bad thing, and many already do this. Dell offers to take your old system away for free when you get a new one, and, according to the article, "Heather Bowman, who heads the internal recycling division at Hewlett Packard, said her company has long maintained buildings in California and Tennessee dedicated to reclaiming discarded electronics." But the state wants to add more: a ten dollar surcharge, to be passed on to the consumer, when purchasing the electronics. It would cover microwaves, TVs, computers, and cell phones, to name a few.

The headline of the article, "State studies $10 recycling surcharge," is a little misleading. The bill (S-557) has already been drafted and has escaped committee. This sounds like it's already been studied and found credible, and thus has been forwarded to the whole Senate for a vote.
"Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance, R-Hunterdon/Warren, questioned the fairness of the measure. He said the bill is the latest in a number of fees and nuisance taxes New Jersey residents are facing. Lance said he hopes it is not indicative of a coming trend to "nickel and dime" citizens."

Not that Mr. Lance is the taxpayers' knight in shining armor. " 'If there is a need for a recycling charge it should occur at the time of the recycling,' Lance said." Gee, thanks. It almost sounds like someone in the state Senate took a dare from a colleague -

Hey, Len, I bet you I can pass a surcharge on recycling TVs, and also pass a law requiring people to recycle them!

No way, Bob. People would notice.

Not only can I do it - I bet you double that I can put both provisions in the SAME BILL.

[laughing] You're crazy, man. Right out there. I love it.

The article doesn't tell you the man who took the dare, but I looked it up: S-557 is sponsored by Robert G. Smith, D-Middlesex. The article raises the possibility, perhaps overlooked by Mr. Smith, that businesses will move to neighboring states to dodge the surcharge. One possibility not mentioned is that, given the extra $10, people may put off new purchases of these items, leading to the state coming out behind - losing more in sales taxes not collected than they gain with the surcharge. Another expense is a provision to "give manufacturers 12 months from the effective date to curb the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and other toxics in favor of less-harmful alternatives."

Again, not a terrible idea, though businesses will naturally pass along some of the R&D costs of these alternatives. I just wish that the state would consider its citizens a little more - if the products themselves are already going to be more expensive, then the tax bite on them ought to be enough of a boost to the general treasury. Why a surcharge as well?