President Clinton, the pope, the Salvation Army, and NATO are rumored to be on a list of 118.
List of what?
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Thursday's question (No. 190)--"Unworkable":
Speaking on Capitol Hill Thursday morning, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said, "I think some of them are not going to work, and they will cause significant problems." Referring to ... ?
"American Airlines' plan to fire its pilots and restaff using Vietnamese laborers borrowed from Nike."--John Leary
"Whoopi Goldberg's smug political jokes at the Oscars."--Daniel Radosh
"Those wacky ideas Ayn Rand put in her books."--Doug Strauss
"My kids after they graduate."--Pam Stewart (Charles Star had a similar answer.)
"Internet sites that attempt to charge subscribers $19.95 per year for wry political and cultural commentary."--Tim Carvell (similarly, Faxon Bishop and Rick Mueller)
Click for more responses.
When Greenspan speaks, everyone listens because we have money riding on his remarks. Whether through a mutual fund, mortgage, or credit card, we've each placed a bet on the economy, and it's a lot more exciting to watch the game when you have a little something on it. A few years ago, I watched an NCAA basketball playoff game at Caesar's sports book parlor in Vegas. It was the most intensely engaged audience I'd ever seen at any dramatic production. And that's the basis of my election reform plan. Forget motor-voter: People will go to the polls if you let them bet on the outcome. You can already do it legally in England and, except for royal marriages and Martin Amis book advances, their society is intact. Here's how it would work. When you vote, you get a ticket that allows you to legally bet on the election at any OTB. Try it next time in New Hampshire, and turnout will go up by at least 50 percent. I'd bet on it.
Addressing the House Banking Committee, Greenspan was referring to the current wave of mergers. While some will undoubtedly fail, he said, there will be no bailouts using public money. Asked if he was concerned about the increased concentration of economic power, Greenspan replied, "No."
Cop Shopper Extra
Valentine's Day is past, but if you still need handcuffs, evidence kits, radar guns, battering rams, and some very attractive clothing, try the catalog from Gall's Inc., "America's largest supplier to public safety professionals." I use the print version, but Gall's and parent company Aramark (a specialist in college and prison catering) are online. A few highlights:
- "Friskmaster™ Gloves. Searching for evidence can be a dangerous business. That's why Gall's is proud to introduce the ultimate armor for your hands. $36.99."--Every day is Valentine's Day when you slip on the Friskmasters.
- "Thunderwear® Holster. This unique design allows you to hide your weapon inside the front of your trousers. $42.99."--No fancy symbolism, no easy irony, no dime-store Freud, just straightforward gun underwear. Oh yes, my cynical friend, that is a pistol in my pants and I am glad to see you.
- "StabPro™ Vests. Because They Have Nothing To Lose. It can happen anywhere: in the yard, in cell extraction or transporting prisoners. Suddenly, they attack you with razor blades, shanks, picks, shivs, or sharpened rebar. They swing chair legs, pipes and mop handles. And when nothing's left, they use their fists and their feet. Because what are you going to do? Toss them in jail? $459.99 and up."--I'll never complain about those Seventeen magazine editorial meetings ever again.
- "Trico's Transport Cell. Transporting prisoners can be tough on your vehicle interior. Blood stains on the carpet and seats, torn headliners, marred door panels, not to mention broken windows all add to your frustration. $699.99."--Hey, you kids! Don't make me stop this car and come back there!
- "Straight Knife Tool. Opens key-operated filing cabinet locks and padlocks. A good basis for starting an opening kit. The Master/Presto Tool opens combination-lock briefcases in less than a minute without damaging the locks. $14.99 each."--Only slightly more expensive than a legally obtained search warrant.
- "Polycarbonate Riot Batons. This virtually indestructible baton is great for use in riot & crowd control situations and comes with a lifetime warranty. Impact strength is greater than wood or aluminum batons. Will not warp, dent, or splinter. $49.95."--It's Giuliani-tough, Giuliani-affordable.
After shopping, relax with "In the Line of Duty: true life experiences from our customers." The current issue, stapled between Pages 170 and 171, includes a story from Sgt. Paul Bugarin of the Calexico, Calif., police department, which begins: "One summer morning I was dispatched to a non-injury accident within a residential area." If you can find a better example of cop-speak, buy it.
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