Scrapple

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Scraps from a bunch of columns that never made it into the newspaper.

Item: Mayoral hopeful Sam Katz poses next to a large pothole and rips the Street administration for not being prepared for the aftereffects of snow. Katz would have used the long-range forecast in the Farmers Almanac and budgeted for the brutal winter. Either that or he’s real tight with Hurricane Schwartz …

Item: The National Park Service is upset that the mayor reopened the Independence Hall area to automobiles. The Feds claim traffic will endanger Independence Hall and tourists visiting the Liberty Bell. Of course if they really wanted to make the area safe, they could just ship the Liberty Bell to Montana …

Item: Those left-wing Hollywood peace activists such as Susan Sarandon, Mike Farrell, Martin Sheen and Janeane Garofalo have shown off their ignorance on news interview shows protesting war in Iraq. Conservatives argue that Hollywood stars should stick to making films, unless they can win elections like Ronald Reagan and Fred Thompson …

Item: Reality sets in as the new stadiums go up in the shadow of the Vet. The middle-class taxpayer subsidizes building the new sports palaces, then watches the corporate types grab the best seats at inflated prices that he can’t afford, a portion of which they write off their taxes. If the regular guy can afford a seat in the upper stands, he is told to pay all the money up front and forget about paying with a credit card unless he has a good excuse. Gee, I love professional sports. (Don’t forget: If you don’t support the team, your loyalty will be questioned.)

Item: Guns and butter d�j� vu. Remember when Lyndon Johnson thought we could have guns and butter and tried to hide the costs of the Vietnam War? Flash forward to George W. Bush, as we enter this Iraqi thing without budgeting for it. With Bush, it’s guns and butter and tax cuts, too. Incidentally, when the government was running that surplus (remember those good ol’ days?), Bush said his tax cut was just giving you back your money. Now that we’re running those huge deficits, whose money is he giving back? …

Item: NASA releases e-mails that show lower-echelon personnel worried openly about disaster striking the left wing of the Columbia. Why doesn’t the president promote those people and fire top management, which had its head up its you-know-where? Not one person has lost a job over the tragedy …

Item: If those peace marchers think the use of American power is the real evil in the world today, don’t you think they ought to at least check with the people of Kosovo? It was Clinton, Hollywood’s favorite president, who sent in the bombers and stopped the genocide, and he did it without the support of the United Nations. I don’t remember anybody marching against American power then. Did I miss something? …

Item: The person who tells me they like snow gets rapped in the teeth. You like snow, go live in Buffalo …

Item: We invented VCRs, the Internet, camcorders, high-definition TV, and what is the single most prevalent thing for which they are used? Pornography. Are we a great race or what?

You think when Marconi invented the telegraph, the first thing he did was type out a dirty joke in Morse code? …

Item: My Uncle Nunzi watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding and thought the Greek father was the only normal one in the show …

Item: Just when I get a gift certificate to Le Bec Fin, it suddenly becomes unpatriotic to eat French food. How about I give up the escargot in butter sauce? …

Item: I want to hear all those fans of capital punishment explain why it is that with each passing day, we find more and more convictions on death row overturned. If you have ever served on a jury, think a minute — would you want those folks determining matters of life and death?