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October  12

Watch the Series with Yogi

BaseballbatAlright, alright, so our (okay, for some of us) beloved Yankees won't be in the World Series this year, but that doesn't mean the hardcore baseball fan isn't going to watch the series at all, right? We've just found out that the fine folks over at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center are offering what is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk baseball and watch the game with of the all-time greats, Yogi Berra.

Limited seats are available to watch Game 3 of the World Series at the Museum's theater for $250, and more information is available by calling 973.655.2378.

October 12, 2005 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (6)

daily dish

October   8

First, rain, now, no Yankees!

YankeesMan - as if the movie theaters weren't going to do big business this afternoon *before*, but now, it turns out that this afternoon's Yankees - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, West Coast, United States, Northern Hemisphere, Earth game has been postponed. Those of us looking to get our baseball on will have to wait until 7:30pm on Sunday night - this, of course, leads to a most likely disastrous travel schedule should the Yankees be victorious on Sunday.

October 8, 2005 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (4)

daily dish

March   2

Go Montclair!

Montclair High School goes up against Brick High School, in a state playoff game, tonight, 7 pm, at Clary Anderson Arena, 41 Chestnut St. Admission is $3.

March 2, 2005 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (2)

daily dish

January  12

Bluer Than Thou

When Richard R. Szathmary, a man of decidedly conservative views, volunteered to cover last night's Bluewave NJ meeting for Baristanet, we had a feeling it was like sending a fox to cover the henhouse. But we weren't prepared for his main complaint: that liberals -- oops, we mean progressives -- are about as exciting as tofutti.

Give them some credit. On a truly blecchh kind of evening, one when probably even the most fanatical of Islamist and IRA terrorists alike would have known better and stayed home, well over one hundred disgruntled souls turned out for the first public meeting of "BluewaveNJ," an organization that even in its nascency aims, as one speaker put it, "to become to the Democratic party what the Christian Coalition is to the Republican party."

But also note this, that preaching to the choir is a very, very limited form of expression. A hymnal with but one hymn, so to speak. Or a Book of Common Prayer edited down to the God-free precepts of Unitarianism. Unlike really good hellfire and brimstone preaching, last night's sermon sounded like Henry James read aloud. Boring, in other words.

No matter that the BluewaveNJ's roots seem to be in the Howard Dean campaign, its organizers couldn't, unlike their titular inspiration, summon up even one good "Aaarrrgghhhh."

One organizer at the meeting, Richie Chevat (not to be confused with fellow organizer Cary Chevat), did speak of "the feeling that the Republicans and the right wing have to be stopped." (In fact, he said this twice.) He also threw out such dismaying terms as "Greed...hypocrisy...torture...bigotry...fear...These are the values that the Republican party represents." But he said it all in a very mild fashion. Never did appear during the two-hour meeting that the room might spontaneously burst into a chorus of "The Internationale." I'm not even sure the audience would have known the words, anyway. It was that kind of night.

Such sentiments as Chevat expressed are of course easy enough to utter in Montclair, which, as the vice-chair of the Democrats in Montclair reminded the audience, gave 80 percent of its vote to Kerry in November.

BluewaveNJ aims to be an activist group whose objectives, according to its literature, "might include defeating legislation or a proposed candidate, endorsing and campaigning for a politician, working to enact legislation (either in NJ or nationally,) or formulating a clear and concise message about an issue and joining a campaign to educate the public about it." Clear and concise message? They might start with their mission statement.

Someone in the audience said (to more approving nods) that "Democracy has been taken away from us and we have to get it back." But he said it in such a wispy, half-hearted voice, it didn't sound as if "we" even deserve it in the first doggone place. Someone from Glen Ridge added, moments later, "We won the election." Meaning of course that the Republicans stole it. This occasioned more nodding.

But no screaming! No threats! No imprecations! It was definitely a "born to be mild" kind of crowd tonight. In James T. Farrell's and John Dos Passos's novels from the 30's, people walk out of political rallies ready to break laws and kneecaps with equal conviction. In Alan Sillitoe's leftist novels about Nottingham in the 50's and early 60's, they head down to the local pub and down pint after pint while weaving dreamlike conspiracies. Even in John O'Hara's novels, the coal miners and farmers of "Gibbsville" grouse together by secretive candlelight and vow political vengeance upon the ruling classes.

But in Baristaville, the progressives go next-door to Starbucks for takeout lattes and then call it a night at around 9pm.

-- Richard R Szathmary

January 12, 2005 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (18)

daily dish

December   3

Our Favorite Wag

New Jersey's other coffee-themed weblog, Coffeegrounds, has a very clever and incisive analysis of Jon Corzine's decision to throw his hat into the governor race.

It includes this gem of a paragraph:

My prediction is that the only candidate who could make a fight of it is Brett Schundler, who is as conservative as conservative can be -- at least for anyone this side of the fever swamps of the flyover. Mr. Schundler could and should ride the pony of property taxes and school costs until it drops dead beneath him and then continue to pull that wagon by hand. If there is any issue which will unite the suburbanites who are willing to vote Republican, that's the one, because right now, two-thirds of a home owner's taxes are going to pay for janitor's vacation time in the Newark Public School System and gold-plated bathroom fixtures in the Camden Mayor's office.

Read it here.

December 3, 2004 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (5)

daily dish

September   1

Yankees Lose 22-0, Restore Jackals' Dignity

We thought it was pretty bad when the Jersey Jackals lost 22-2 on Sunday. But the Yankees made them look like pikers.


September 1, 2004 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (2)

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August  23

'Our Guys' Lose Appeal

The AP reports tonight that a federal appeals court in Philadelphia has affirmed the convictions of three Glen Ridge athletes involved in sexually assaulting a mentally-handicapped neighbor with a baseball bat in 1989.

Christopher Archer and twin brothers Kevin and Kyle Scherzer, convicted in 1993, have already served their sentences, but appealed their convictions to try to clear their names and stay off New Jersey's sexual offender registry.

The decision to uphold the conviction was made by a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Whether the case will be appealed further has not been decided.

The Glen Ridge rape case was the subject of a 1997 book by Bernard Lefkowitz, "Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb," which became a made-for-tv movie.

August 23, 2004 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (18)

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August   5

Big Victory for Montclair Lawyer

Montclair lawyer Neil Mullin won a big settlement last week when Schering Plough agreed to pay three whistle blowers $31.7 million after they outed the NJ-based pharmaceutical company for overcharging Medicaid for the allergy drug Claritin.

The whistle blowers initially approached Mullin six years ago on a sexual-harrassment issue. After probing them, Mullin discovered the pricing scandal. The $31.7 is part of $345.5 million Schering paid to settle the case with the government. More on the story here.

August 5, 2004 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (0)

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June  12

If You Ever Want to Feel Like a Douche-Bag

KursonHow mean can Montclair liberals be? Well, if you want to know, tune into 93.9 FM Sunday at 6 pm and listen to Ken Kurson's segment on "This American Life," the radio-verite show hosted by Ira Glass.

Kurson, who ran an unsuccessful campaign last fall for state assembly, says you get no respect in this town if you're a Republican. In an occasionally self-deprecating radio essay, Kurson lambasts so-called liberals for not being tolerant ... of conservatives. Although he didn't expect to win, "What I hadn't realized was how darn uncivil my town could get." He talks about people who yelled at him and accused him of being evil, people who called his home and yelled at his wife and someone who came up to him at the Bluestone Cafe and sputtered, "I can't believe there are Republicans in my town."

Moreover, he says, he didn't get this kind of treatment in Clifton or East Orange. Only in Montclair.

But the best line was:

If you ever want to feel like a douche-bag, I recommend concluding eight years of anonymously riding the train by suddenly interrupting your neighbors to talk New Jersey politics.

Well, Ken, we don't really want to feel like a douche-bag, but thanks for sharing.

Kurson, a long-time wordmeister for Rudy Giuliani, was so fed up by his experience in local politics that he actually moved from Montclair to Cedar Grove after the election. Take that, you liberal scumbags!

June 12, 2004 in Hardball | Permalink | Comments (0)

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