Monday, February 28, 2005


Malefactor, n.: The chief factor in the progress of the human race

Somewhat short shrift today, as it's going to be a short week for me. There'll be some downtime on the blog from Wednesday probably until Saturday as I'm having a minor medical procedure done and I'll probably be feeling mighty low for a couple of days. Nothing spectacular, they're using a local.

Big non-work task today is researching Bluetooth compatibility and hubs as my current headset and mouse cords are too short and getting in the way here on the High Altar. The big concern is obviously for Skype, but since I also have dictation software on this box (not that I use it that often, I find it much easier to type in a stream of consciousness manner, as this blog so well illustrates, then edit myself down. If I really used it for a deliverable, I'm sure the captured text would come out reading like an unfunny Jonathan Winters routine)

I realized that I left off Nokie Edwards from my list of favorite guitarists yesterday. Herewith rectified. There's a PAL DVD out there of Nokie playing with his own band (not with the Ventures) that I might pick up and convert over to NTSC. The Ventures also have a show on DVD with Nokie (the other two DVDs are with Gerry McGee) which I will get around to picking up one of these days.

Several months back I happened to comment on Stanley Steingut, late Speaker of the NY State Assembly and all-around political hack, and to my delight there was an article in this AM's Sulzberger entity (albeit focused on the issue of capital punishment in NY) which gives an interesting synopsis of Steingut's downfall, to wit -

Other issues also helped to cost Mr. Steingut his seat, particularly the view among many voters that he had lost touch with his district. But rising violent crime, a number of sensational murders and Gov. Hugh L. Carey's veto of legislation that spring to restore capital punishment all resonated loudly in the primary and general election campaigns for state offices that year. Mr. Steingut allowed the death penalty bill to get to the floor of the Assembly, but voted against it.

Mr. Steingut, who was first elected to the Assembly in 1952, the year Ms. Weinstein was born, was singled out on two levels in 1978. Theodore Silverman, a local city councilman, wanted his wife to be Mr. Steingut's co-district leader but was rebuffed and vowed revenge. Andrew Stein, then the Manhattan borough president, was dismayed that Mr. Steingut had not been legally implicated by his association with figures in a nursing home scandal, so, he explained at the time, "subjectively and politically I made up my mind to destroy him."

Ms. Weinstein was the chosen vehicle to defeat the speaker, but her residency was challenged, a maneuver that inadvertently heightened resentment against Mr. Steingut, who, with his father, had represented the district for more than a half century. She was forced off the ballot, and her father, Murray, a 50-year-old lawyer, replaced her. Less than two weeks later, he upset Mr. Steingut in the Democratic primary. Mr. Weinstein reluctantly relinquished the seat to his daughter two years later.

"She was entitled to it," he recalled. "She really ran for it."


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