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:: ScottRubush.com ::

"Contemplata aliis tradere."
:: welcome to ScottRubush.com :: bloghome | scott-at-scottrubush.com ::
Scott Rubush is a recovering journalist living in West Chester, PA. He is a native of York, PA, and grew up in Cary, NC. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scott has an extensive background in writing and politics. He is Publisher Emeritus of Carolina Review, and a former associate editor of the Los Angeles-based website FrontPageMagazine.com. He currently works as a grant-writer for an educational foundation in Wilmington, Del.
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:: Friday, November 29, 2002 ::

North Carolina, Raise Up!

Awww yeah...my Heels are back in business after dismantling Stanford tonight, 74-57.

Outlook: Shirt off, twistin' round my head like a helicopter.
:: Scott 11:40 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, November 25, 2002 ::
28-Year-Old Chosen as Boston Red Sox GM; 24-Year-Old Blogger Wants His Piece of the Action Too

The Boston Red Sox today named Theo Epstein as their General Manager.

Theo is 28.

I’m 24.

Clearly my career ambitions have been sorely misplaced. Why have I spent my whole career—two and a half long years—studying polls and reading endless newspaper articles in a misguided effort to become an evil right-wing operative, when I could have made a living poring over batting averages and ERA’s?

What’s more, I understand that my favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, at the moment is looking for a General Manager. This leaves me with only one course of action: I must bring the wayward days of my youth to an end, and announce my candidacy for the GM position at Camden Yards.

Sure, they’re getting ready to hire some schumck from the White Sox to take the job. And yes, I’d have to work with Peter Angelos, a walking incarnation of evil itself. But still…

I think I’d make a swell GM for the Orioles. If a 28-year-old can become the GM in Boston, why not a 24-year-old in Baltimore? And if I fall flat on my face, so what? How much worse can the Orioles do? They finished last season 28 games below .500, and they haven’t been competitive since 1997. It’s time for new blood, an outsider who can shake things up. It's time for someone like me to come in and help the Orioles start winning again.

So, Mr. Angelos, if you’re reading this, and if you’re ready to wheel and deal, drop me an e-mail and we’ll do lunch. In the meantime, everyone else who’s reading this should click over to the Orioles Forum and start spreading word of my candidacy. Together we can make the Orioles a team we can be proud of...

:: Scott 8:42 PM [+] ::
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Anti-Standard Univ. of California President to Retire

Score one for standards! University of California President Richard Atkinson, who spent his career watering down the entrance requirements to the University of California system (including a campaign to abolish the SAT), is resigning:

He lobbied for a number of changes to maintain diversity in admissions, including the "comprehensive review" system that looks at students' socio-economic backgrounds as well as their academic performance.

Atkinson also has steered the university through a number of crises during his tenure, including a failed hospital merger with Stanford University and some high-profile fiascos at the nuclear weapons labs UC manages for the Energy Department.[...]

In February 2001, Atkinson took on the SAT, asking faculty to look into dropping it, saying it was taking up too much of students' time and money and noted that it had been criticized as unfair to minorities.

The Associated Press reports that the UC Board of Regents "responded with a standing ovation" to news of Atkinson's resignation. I'm hoopin' and hollerin' too...
:: Scott 8:01 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, November 23, 2002 ::
Laker Watch

It's been a painful start to the Lakers' season, but help has arrived: Shaq is back. In his first game of the season, the Lakers beat the Bulls by 13. Power.

Fan status: Ecstatic. Start clearing room in the trophy case for that fourth consecutive NBA title.
:: Scott 11:57 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 ::
The Quote of the Day...

...comes from Ben Kepple:

I demand that sweater vests come back into fashion. That and pipe smoking! And honesty and fair play! That'd be nice too. Also, I demand a return to an era when everyone wore neckties, even the gas-station attendants! Then we'll really be on the Right Path to Good Living! America, this is all within our grasp. All we have to do is ask, and we shall receive it. Let the Fifties return in style!

Friends, the Restoration is at hand...

:: Scott 11:28 PM [+] ::
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One More Quiz





"We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form
of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the
prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day."
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don't
care much for other people's opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and
often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their
way, even when you have things figured out better than them.


What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson


(If, like me, you had never heard of Barth before reading this, here's a page with more info.)

:: Scott 11:11 PM [+] ::
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Carolina Slashes Nitwit Lions in Season Opener

My Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Nitwit Lions of Penn State (my mom's alma mater) last night in their season opener, 85-55. Recall that a year ago, Carolina lost its season opener to Hampton and two years ago was eliminated by the Nitwit Lions early in the NCAA Tournament. What a difference an off-season makes. Something tells me this is going to be a good year for my Boyz in Blue.

Outlook: Elevated but guarded.
:: Scott 10:38 PM [+] ::
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Defending the Values of the Union!



(Via Sasha)

*Click here for more information on how Captain Euro defends the security of Europe and upholds the values of the Union.
:: Scott 10:31 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, November 17, 2002 ::
More on Nueva York

Ben Kepple has returned to New Hampshire and posted a report on last night's events in the Big Apple. He fills in a lot of the details my wine-addled mind had forgotten. Not only that, but he forces me to amend my earlier post about all the things I discovered while wandering the lower third of Manhattan today, and to add a two more nice things about New York:

1. Caffe Taci rules. It's a friggin' opera bar! They bring people in to sing opera arias and other such stuff while you eat and drink. How cool is that? And where else in the world can you get that except New York?
2. Those bagles we had for breakfast really were that good. Yum, yum, a thousand times yum. Where else but...you guessed it...

Okay, excuse me now while I jump in the bucket and try to get cleaned up. I feel dirty for saying so many positive things about New York in such a short time...
:: Scott 11:29 PM [+] ::
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Tech Issues

Argh! My lack of tech skills has come back to haunt me. I tried some creative coding in the post below on Iraq, and, well, I ended up losing about half the post. Not only that, but I've also rendered the text un-editable. (The little "edit" link on the template editor is broken because I inserted bad HTML for another hyperlink.) If someone knows how to fix the problem in Blogger, please e-mail me. In the meantime, please pardon the mess...and enjoy the full text of the post, which follows:

Saddam to Bomb Israel if Attacked

Okay, one more item before hititng the freelance work. It's been a while since I've had my "Israel button" pushed, but this item has set me off. The Independent (UK) reports:

Tariq Aziz, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, gave his clearest warning yet yesterday that Baghdad would launch strikes against Israel if it was attacked by Britain and America.

Well, what's new, assbag? You and your buddy Saddam have been financing strikes against Israel for a long time now--through $25k payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers--and we're going to take you out to the woodshed and make you stop killing Jewish children.

The Independent, of course, makes no connection between this statement and Iraq's aide to terrorists waging war in Israel. Meanwhile, Drudge has posted it as the lead item on his site, as if this development appeared out of the blue. In fact, nothing new at all. It's just the latest reminder of why the War on Iraq and the War on Terror are one in the same--and of why Saddam must go now.


:: Scott 10:59 PM [+] ::
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Saddam to Bomb Israel if Attacked

Okay, one more item before hititng the freelance work. It's been a while since I've had my "Israel button" pushed, but this item has set me off. The Independent (UK) reports:

Tariq Aziz, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, gave his clearest warning yet yesterday that Baghdad would launch strikes against Israel if it was attacked by Britain and America.

Well, what's new, assbag? You and your buddy Saddam have been financing strikes against Israel for a long time now--by giving $25k in blood money to the families of suicide bombers--and pretty soon we're going to take you out to the woodshed and make you stop killing Jewish children.

Of course the Independent has made no mention of these payments in its article, and Drudge has posted this as the lead item on his site. They treat this like it's a huge revelation, like it's an isolated development that came out of nowhere. In fact, this is just the latest reminder of why the War on Iraq and the War on Terror are one in the same and why Saddam must go--now.
:: Scott 10:44 PM [+] ::
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Slowdown in Bloggage

Now that I've posted a couple items for you to feast on (see below), I must take a bit of a pause from blogging for a day or two. I'm past deadline on a buckraking freelance project, and, well, I have some very demanding bosses to satisfy by midweek. I may continue posting, as a means of procrastinating (or, "priming the pump" as I like to rationalize such diversions from paid writing), so stick around. But don't be surprised if you don't see me again till Wednesday or Thursday. Till then, hasta!
:: Scott 10:05 PM [+] ::
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Download of the Day

I’m slow with technology—it’s no coincidence that I live mere minutes from Pennsylvania’s Amish Country—so it took me a while to discover the wonders of online music. But discovered them I have, and I now hope to share them with you, too—both those of you who are computer literate, as well as the unconverted who still need to hear the good news of the file-sharing gospel.

Online music swapping is way too cool. A quick introduction for the uninitiated: by going to any of a number of websites and downloading a quick program (I went to WinMx.com; a more complete list is available at Download.com), you can search thousands of peoples’ computers for nearly any song in the world—then connect and copy music files from their hard drives. In turn, you agree to make the music files on your computer searchable and allow other people to connect to a specially designated file on your computer, and download the music files you may have waiting there. It’s fairly secure because people don’t have access to other areas on your hard drive, nor can they access files without certain designated file extensions (such as “.mp3”). And the payoff, of course, is that a whole world of free music becomes available to you with just a few keystrokes. With a special CD ROM drive that runs from $100 to $150 (called a “burner”), you can create your own CDs for your stereo or your car, or the gym, or wherever.

Now that technophiles and technophobes alike are all together now, I’m going start a feature called the “Download of the Day”—a recommendation of songs I’ve discovered that you might want to go check out for yourself. It won’t be a “Daily” feature, as the name would suggest, because I simply don’t come across enough good music to sustain a daily feature. But the name is alliterative, and by golly, alliteration is good. So “Download of the Day,” though inaccurate, the name nonetheless will be.

Our first “Download of the Day” is a Latin song I had heard a couple times on the radio while living out in Los Angeles. When I was driving into New York this weekend, I heard it again, and it really caught my attention for the first time. Not knowing what it was, I typed a couple words from the song into the search engine at Google.com, and it turned out to be a song called “Mi Bombon” by a 24-year-old Columbian musician named Andres Cabas. He describes his music “porno pop.” With such catchy (and alliterative!) marketing, how can you possibly resist?

“Mi Bombon” really is a cool song. Like most Latin music, it’s very percussive, with a rhythm that occasionally is complimented with a muted trumpet accompaniment. The song has an earthy sound that echoes that of other Columbian artists such as Carlos Vives or Shakira. But this is a little hipper, a little more youthful, a little more bailable. It's also great weekend driving music, and it really hit the spot on the Jersey Turnpike yesterday.

So now that you know how to get it for free, go check it out! Happy downloading!

:: Scott 10:00 PM [+] ::
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Weekend in New York

Shout-outs are in order for the lovely Sasha Castel for inviting me and former FrontPagers Ben Kepple and Richard Poe to Caffé Taci on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for a splendid evening of pasta, wine, and conversation with the NYC Bloggers! Unfortunately Mr. Poe had to spend the evening in a secure, undisclosed location (lest terrorists or assassins or some other group of mean, nasty people try to eliminate the Triumvirate of Former FrontPage Editors Now Living on the East Coast ©), but nonetheless I had a really fabulous time seeing Kepple again and meeting some people whose writing I’ve enjoyed from afar for quite some time—including the redoubtable Jane Galt, AsparaGirl, Andrew Ian Dodge (in town from London), and plenty others. Many thanks for a great time, Sasha!

Lector: Didn’t you promise Sasha at the end of the night that you would post something nice about New York when you got home?
Auctor: Uh, I don’t remember saying that.
Lector: I guess that’s not the only thing you forgot last night. You had quite a bit of Taci’s house cabernet, didn’t you?
Auctor: How do you know all this, Lector? Do you, like, stalk me or something?
Lector: I know everything, Scott.
Auctor: C’mon. Be straight with me. Did I really promise Sasha that I would say something nice about New York? Even after disparaging the city so thoroughly on the site last month?
Lector: ‘Fraid so, buddy.
Auctor: I couldn’t have. I friggin’ hate New York. It’s a loud, obnoxious, and thoroughly vile city.
Lector: You really did say it, man.
Auctor: Well, then I lied. In vino, mendacitas.
Lector: You can’t do that! You can’t lie! Not to Sasha! How ungrateful would that be—to treat such a nice hostess like that?
Auctor: Oh, alright. I’ll try to find something nice to say about New York.
Lector: There you go, that’s the spirit!
Auctor: Okay, here goes. Um…uh…let’s see…nice things to say about New York…
Lector: C’mon, you can do better than that. Try harder.
Auctor: Okay, okay….let’s see…well, um, well, New York, come to think of it…has a really neat Public Transportation System!
Lector: Oh, c’mon. That’s really weak. You didn’t have your heart in that at all.
Auctor: I know. I really didn’t.
Lector: In fact, that really seemed like an oblique way of saying that New York is a traffic nightmare whose crumbling, congested roads make those in Bangkok look nice by comparison.
Auctor: Dang it, that’s right! And if I ever find that a—hole who nearly crashed into me coming out of the Lincoln Tunnel because he didn’t check his blind spot before merging into my lane…
Lector: Scott, Scott, Scott…
Auctor: …or that other a—bag who…
Lector: So much negative energy here. Mellow out, man.
Auctor: I’m sorry. They’re just such awful drivers. And those traffic patterns! Who tries to let three lanes of traffic turn onto a single-file cross street all at the same time?*
Lector: Well, it’s over now. But you still have that promise to keep to Sasha…
Auctor: Alright, alright…here goes.

Well, I must say before I begin that for my entire life New York has represented everything I oppose in this world. Having grown up in the South and later moved to Los Angeles, New York always represented the opposite of whatever we were--down South, we were chivalrous; up North, everyone was rude and obnoxious; in LA we had the beach and the mountains and the nice weather, and in New York they had nothing but concrete and crappy weather. Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. We were the good guys, they were the bad guys (and they even had the Yankees to prove just how evil they really were).

But, since I moved back to the east coast a couple months ago, I’ve traveled to New York three times—and each time it has managed to pull me a little further into its orbit.

Today after bidding Kepple adieu (he had to leave a couple hours before me because he had a much longer trip), I decided to make the most of my time in the City by walking around and taking in a few sights. Starting from the hotel at Broadway and 54th, I walked over to Rockefeller Center (Fifth and 50th). I had never been there before, and…well, I gotta say it was pretty nice. They’ve already begun trotting out the Christmas decorations, and a stately evergreen stands tall over the Center’s ice rink. A couple weeks from now the scaffolding that now covers it will come down, and the tree will be illuminated with a thousand lights. I’m tempted to go back just to see it all lit up.

Leaving Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue, I spotted across the street the gothic spires of a massive church. The yellow and white banner of the Catholic Faith hung from the side. St. Patrick’s, I thought. I crossed over, and sure enough, it was the Cathedral. I entered near the end of morning mass, during the preparation for the Eucharist. The choir was singing the Agnus Dei as I caught my first glimpse Cathedral’s interior. It was absolutely sublime. I stood in the back with a crowd of other sightseers, awestruck as the choir continued:

…qui tollis peccata mundi/Miserere nobis…

I felt myself begin to tremble as the singing went on. I looked down and my arms and hands were completely shaking. The setting and the singing were that powerful. A few minutes the music stopped. Since I’m not Catholic and I’m not terribly familiar with the order of the mass, I was caught off guard by the spoken words that came next:

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Up to that point, I really felt like I had been standing in the presence of the Almighty. Then, I felt like He had grabbed me by the lapels and called me out: You, unworthy one, be healed. And I just lost all control of my emotions then. I covered my face with my hand and stood there for a moment or two as the congregants lined up to receive the elements of the Eucharist. Finally I looked up, then dipped my fingers in a nearby font of Holy Water, made the sign of the cross, and walked from the warmth of the building back out onto the freezing cold city streets.

Afterwards, I weaved my way aimlessly through the streets and ended up at loud and chaotic Times Square. There I picked up a subway heading downtown. For some reason I wanted to go to Chinatown before I left the City. Thinking it was near the 14th Street and 7th Avenue stop, I got off there and located it on a map. It was several dozen blocks away. Rats. But I decided to walk it anyway.

Emerging from the station, I found a part of the city that was a lot more quiet and a lot less flashy than where I had just come from. I saw a few signs in Spanish, and heard two guys speaking the lingua Espanola as they walked past me. Gritty as it was, though, it was endearing in a way. It reminded me of my old neighborhood in Los Angeles—not a ghetto, but a little rough around the edges.

After about 30 minutes of walking and a pit stop at a Starbucks for coffee, I arrived at Canal Street—Chinatown. There I found something that made me very happy: Boba. Boba, for longtime readers, needs no introduction. It’s a fruit smoothie with little balls of tapioca added. Not only does it taste awesome, but it also comes with this really cool straw that’s about half-an-inch in diameter. It’s gargantuan. A straw on steroids. Boba is really popular among Asians living in Los Angeles, and I got hooked on it while living in that city’s Koreatown. And this was my first time finding Boba on the east coast. Needless to say, I made note of the Boba shop, and went in there for my favorite flavor—mango—right after partaking of lunch at one of the gazillions of Chinese restaurants in on that block. Yum.

Afterwards, I did a little shopping (I found some potted bamboo stalks for the apartment—something I had wanted since I had seen them used as table centerpieces at the wedding I attended in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago), then I hopped on the #4 train back to midtown. I retrieved my car, and headed toward the Lincoln Tunnel. After driving 21 perilous minutes, I entered the Jersey Turnpike. Finally some open road. Leaving the City, the radio played some really great Cuban music—stuff I wish I could have identified and purchased later. I don’t know what it is about Cuban music, but the earthy sound of its percussion and rhythms make it a perfect compliment to the grit and grime of an urban setting like Nueva York. It was such a nice coda to a fantastic day...

…a fantastic day, which, I must concede, took place in a city I’ve always written off as a wretched Hell on Earth. So, if you’re still with me, Lector—

Lector: Huh? Sorry, you lost me about 500 words ago. Would that you were more economical with your prose.
Auctor: Sorry, but I just got carried away talking about my day in New York.
Lector: So you finally managed to find something nice to say after all, eh?
Auctor: Quite a few things, actually…

:: Scott 9:15 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, November 14, 2002 ::
Death for Carr Brothers

Two of the most horrible human beings on the face of the Earth were sentenced to death today in Wichta, Kan. Nay, two of the most bloodthirsty animals on the planet were handed one-way tickets to Hell. For more on Jonathan and Reginald Carr, read my FrontPage story from January 2001.
:: Scott 8:21 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 ::
Gray Davis Aide: Bill Jones Was Best GOP Candidate for Governor

File this one away under the "Scott is Always Right" folder:

It probably comes as no surprise that the architect of Gov. Gray Davis' brutal and closer-than-expected re-election campaign thinks the Republican Party nominated the wrong candidate in Bill Simon.

But it might come as a surprise who Garry South, Davis' senior political strategist, thinks the right candidate would have been.

It's not former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, regarded a year ago from the White House on down as the great moderate hope to lead a down-on-its-luck California GOP out of the wilderness.

No, it's the one who was there all along: Secretary of State Bill Jones, who finished a distant third in the race for the Republican nomination for governor in March.

"I thought Jones was clearly the best candidate," South told a 2002 election post-mortem conference at the University of Southern California yesterday. [...]

Whatever Jones' potential may have been, it went unrealized after GOP donors loyal to President Bush stiffed him over his 2000 endorsement of Bush rival John McCain.

And, for the record, here's what I said about Jones way back on February 20:

The Machiavellian in me says that Secretary of State Bill Jones, not Riordan, is the horse to back in this race. Yet the Golden State’s conservative activists have been reluctant to support him, simply because he endorsed the wrong candidate for President in 2000. I even had a Republican member of California’s State Assembly tell me recently that Jones’ endorsement of McCain was the reason he was putting his money on the ideologically-pure Bill Simon, who has all the charisma of a potted plant. If enough of these Simon voters would quit counting ideological angels on the heads of pins and support Jones, though, then we could have a really interesting primary race.

I'd gloat and say I told ya so, but, with four more years ahead of Gray Davis as governor, California's got it bad enough already...

(Via e-mail from Chris Weinkopf.)
:: Scott 5:23 PM [+] ::
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I’m Back!

Oh, Damas! Oh, Caballeros! I’m back at the computer after a long hiatus. It’s been a crazy couple weeks since I ventured out West to smuggle those Tweety Birds falsificados into the country from Tijuana—full of gun fights, car bombs, covert meetings in dingy back alleys, and other good stuff. Kinda like the movie Traffic, only more violent and more graphic. Anyhoo, I got into some trouble with the Federales and the Aduaneros, and…well, I spent the past two weeks in a dark prison cell in Teejay.

Lector: You’re lying.
Auctor: Okay, fine. I am lying. But this little fib is a lot more exciting than what I’ve really been up to—a lot of reading, working out, and some buck-raking, mixed in with a quick weekend excursion to Los Angeles for a wedding.
Lector: It’s still pretty lame story. Better you kept your hole shut, and stayed on hiatus.
Auctor: Shall I stop now? I’m busy. I gotta get to the Y and run. It’s “Tempo Run Tuesday,” after all.
Lector: Jesus, that’s what you’re up to? Lame, alliterative workout schedules? No wonder you entertain yourself with fantasies about Tijuana.
Auctor: Yes, little one, it is that bad. But then, I now live in Delaware.
Lector: Well, by all means. Suffer the bloggage to continue.
Auctor: Very well, then…

So, anyhoo, I’m back in the saddle. And I hope to develop a regular blogging rhythm again--especially after this week, when a couple projects will move off the radar and I’ll have a little more free time on my hands. So strap on your seatbelts, and get ready for the ride…

:: Scott 5:10 PM [+] ::
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