Giving Thanks
By Dan | November 25, 2008 - 6:21 pm - Posted in Personals

It occurred to me last night that, for the first time in my life, I am grateful for a politician being as full of manure as Barack Obama apparently is.  He campaigned on “Hope” and “Change”, constantly decrying Washington insiders and lobbyists as evilmongers.  Now, we come to find out that all of his appointees are either Clinton administration leftovers, supporters of the Iraq war or, in the case of the Secretary of Defense, currently running it.  So far, there is not a single person who has not had prior work experience in Washington.  I don’t think that this line up is a great brain trust, but it’s a lot more palatable than the parade of horribles Obama might have selected.

With that in mind, and the knowledge that the universe works in strange ways, I thought this might be an opportunity to give thanks for other things, small and large:

  • I am thankful for the Marines, and, to paraphrase George Orwell, for all the rough men and women who stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
  • I am thankful for my loving wife, who inspires me, makes me laugh and always challenges my thinking.
  • I am thankful for and my mother, my brother, my grandmother, my aunts, uncles and all my cousins, who each, in their own way, help to keep me sane and grounded, even in the absence of my late father.
  • I am thankful for Sedona, every unquestioning wag of her tail, and the curious tilt of her ears.  Dogs fill a hole in our hearts, dug by the strain of living in a human world.  With Sedona, my cup runneth over.
  • I am thankful for my friends, their support, their understanding and their company.
  • I am thankful for my job.  I often complain about it, but I am very often amazed at my career path, which is never so planned as much as serendipitous.  I work for a strong company in the midst of a weak economy.  In the past, I’ve made more money, but never had this much time to spend as I please.

I hope you have time, this year especially, to give thanks for the things you have.  Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Sedona’s Lament
By Dan | July 21, 2008 - 10:31 am - Posted in Art & Music, Personals

My wife and I adopted a puppy a few months ago.  As my wife works from home, she has been doing most of the training and she’s done a fantastic job.  Our dog, Sedona, at five months knows how to sit, lay down, fetch, give, bring and drop.  She never begs for food…well. That’s where I come in.  She never begged for food until last Friday.

We were having Chinese takeout Friday night and Sedona was peacefully sitting in her bed across the room. After we had eaten, the wife asked me to give her a biscuit. Thinking she meant the fried lo mein noodles, I grabbed one and handed it to the dog. Several “what did you just do”’s later and ever since, we realized that Sedona seemed to be silently singing her new lament:

Some–times, I get fed at the ta-ble.
Not ev’ry time, but it happened one night.
I’ll wait here, as long as I’m a-ble.
And when they feed me, I’ll know I was riiight.

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Stop and smell the Roses
By Dan | May 5, 2008 - 12:26 pm - Posted in Best Of, Op Ed, Personals

Spring is a beautiful time of year. The birds return, the trees bloom and you remember why it is you kept going through the depressing winter months. You suddenly remember the smell of fresh cut grass and the wonderful magic that takes you back to the first time you played baseball or rode a bike. The ice cream truck’s melody draws you back to summers spent with friends, trying to cobble together enough quarters for a chocolate with sprinkles. You remember when family barbecues were about swimming and playing baseball, not politics, or work.

I have to confess, I never used to notice spring. I missed–ignored, really–the cherry blossoms and the magnolia trees. I was always so busy. In high school it was football, or chess club or mathletes (don’t laugh, I have the medals to prove it). In college, well, you never notice anything in college, I’ve come to understand that to be the point. Graduate school and law school held their own distractions. When I finally joined the working world, 80 hour work weeks at a law firm and constant pressure to bill my time blended days, weeks, months and seasons into a continual blur of mahogany and beige.

Last year, though, I noticed. This year I realized how ridiculous it was that I hadn’t before. A year ago Friday, in the midst of my personal and professional distractions: searching for a new job, reviewing proxy statements, layering more gold on more golden parachutes; my father taught me his last lesson. His sudden death came as a stark and painful reminder of how fleeting life is. In death, he made clear the point he had tried to make with me for half of his life: our time here is short, make the most out of it.

I had called the night before, accidentally interrupting dinner. The quick call, with my brother, reminded me that Dad was driving him to the airport in the morning. I could hear my father joking in the background, as he always did. The next morning, my father, my best man, was gone. It was a random Wednesday in May. There was no warning, there was no time to say goodbye. His heart, the greatest and most admired part of him, had given out.

In the weeks and months since, I have tried to make sense of the senseless. Is there a plan for each of us laid out by a higher power? Are we wandering aimlessly, the victims and benefactors of cosmic chance? Or are we all just meat-powered machines that come and go like insects? I cannot pretend to answer any of these questions, but my father’s passing has reminded me that ancient wisdom is wisdom for a reason. There is a simple elegance in why tradition and values maintain, when fads come and go. We may not always understand it, and as thinking people, we are bound to question it. Although it may be a platitude or cliché, there is a reason that people still remind those they love to stop and smell the roses. Even if it’s on a random Wednesday in May.

Mrs. Danet
By Dan | April 9, 2008 - 9:55 am - Posted in Personals

My wife, who was born and raised outside the U.S., and I were talking about the Democratic primary. Although she doesn’t have much experience with U.S. politics, she is very bright and picks things up very quickly. I was explaining that, if Hillary does not drop out before the convention in August, it would be “brokered.”

I explained that a brokered convention would benefit Clinton, as she is a better horsetrader than Obama. “Plus,” I said, “the Clintons have been here before and were not shy about giving away Air Force One rides and Lincoln bedroom visits.”

She added, “Yes, and what can Obama offer? Hope or change. ‘Here’s two fives for a ten!’”

Like I said, she’s a quick learner. Now I have to teach her that, to Democrats, it’s “two fives for a twenty” if you’re a taxpayer and “two twenties for a five” if you’re union.

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Government to Ensure You Take My Money: Unrelated to Election Year
By Dan | February 28, 2008 - 2:21 pm - Posted in Adoptions, Edukashun, Government, Op Ed, Personals, Taxes

The IRS announced today that it would send letters to 130 million U.S. tax (presumably) payers to make sure these people take advantage of its free money giveaway. At a cost of now $.42 each, that’s almost $55,000,000 in additional government waste to encourage people who are too stupid or out of touch to file for a rebate. That is, of course, in addition to the $55 million it will spend to send the checks totalling $168 billion to those, confessedly, idiotic taxpayers.

Is it just me, or is there something terribly wrong here? I, of course, am too wealthy to qualify for these rebates. As one of those “fat cats who don’t pay taxes,” last year I paid over $90,000 in taxes last year (not including sales taxes, telecommunications excise, you-don’t-pay-enough-so-we’ll-charge-you-more taxes (state and federal) and countless indirect taxes on luxury items, like milk and gasoline). In fact, I’m so wealthy that they made a special “alternative” tax just for me.

All of this wealth, and yet my wife and I have one car, can’t afford to buy a house and still have over $100,000 in consumer and student loan debt. It’s great to be wealthy, I just wish it didn’t cost so much.

Of course, there are people who are less fortunate. People like George and Martha Doughn-Reade, who make less income than me, yet still decided to take out an interest only adjustable rate mortage to buy a house they couldn’t possibly afford. It doesn’t take a high-priced Manhattan lawyer to tell you that your payments after the interest-only period will nearly double, or worse.

Now that they’re in trouble, the government also wants me to step in and bail them out. So I’m paying for some schmuck to live in a house that I can’t even afford. To make things worse, the fact that this guy won’t be forced to sell his house means the inflated housing market will stay inflated that much longer. And to top it all off, even the government doesn’t think Mr. and Mrs. Doughn-Reade are smart enough to know there’s a rebate waiting for them. Must be an election year.

Now, the purpose of these rebates is to stimulate the economy. How, exactly, is someone who doesn’t know that an interest-only ARM is a bad idea, going to stimulate the economy with $600 in their pocket? Not to mention that this is a person who, according to the IRS, still doesn’t know that he or she qualifies for that rebate?

If you really want to stimulate the economy, (1) stop robbing people who are making a good living and (2) take your $168 billion and give it to small businesses, who are the heart and soul of the American economy. Of course, what do I know? I’m just one of the “top ten percent” who don’t pay any real taxes.

New Designs at the Newsstand
By Dan | November 6, 2007 - 8:16 am - Posted in Government, Miscellaneous, Personals, Politics & Policy, Stars & Stripes, Taxes, Weather

I am, improbably, on jury duty for the next few weeks, so the posts will be even fewer and further between.

I have had some time to update the Newsstand, however:

Didn’t Ask, Wasn’t Told
If it can work for the military, it can work for you!  This one is for the guy or girl that loves living in the dark:

To Serve Man Barbeque Apron
Made for the consummate Twighlight Zone Fan, this lovely barbeque apron is from our Kanamits collection.


Plant Food
The first in a long line of “Screw Al Gore” fashion statements.  This lovely faux-environmental design lets people know what Carbon Dioxide really is.

Caution: Government Incompetence At Work
Is your neighborhood or town filled with incomplete projects or tax-payer funded eyesores?  Do you ever wonder why, if polls are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., government offices that are open from 9 to 4:10 are closed on election day?  Let them know how you feel with this lawn sign (also available in magnets and t-shirts for the more subtle protestor).

New Daily Danet Store! - UPDATE
By Dan | October 22, 2007 - 12:19 pm - Posted in Business Section, Op Ed, Personals


Daily Danet has teamed up with Café Press to bring you (drum roll, please)….MERCHANDISING!

Please stop by the store at it’s new address:  Take a look around, buy some early holiday presents, and piss off those liberal neighbors.  Let me know if there are any posts you’d like to see made into a t-shirt, mug, small child, flamethrower, etc.

This post won’t stay at the top of the blog for ever.  Fear not, the link to the store will always be at the top of the left column.  And I’ll be sure to let you know when more items are added to the store.  (I get suchadeal on advertising!)

 We hope you’ll look to us for all your Opinionated Clothing!™

Happy shopping!

Liberal Assumptions
By Dan | August 27, 2007 - 10:42 am - Posted in Liberals, Op Ed, Personals, Politics & Policy

Ordinarily, I don’t bother responding to comments.  This isn’t a bulletin board and I have a lot more control over what gets posted, so it’s not fair to engage in a back and forth.  (I also do not moderate posts unless they are spam, which is handled automatically).  But Ira Leinmann’s post is a wonderful opportunity to expose just how pathetically ignorant, prejudiced and hypocritical many liberals are.

I won’t bother to reply to his rant about how important liberals have been to society.  The blog speaks for itself on that point.  But the really interesting thing about Mr. Leinmann’s post are the pandering assumptions he makes about me.  Because of my job and the fact I’m surrounded by liberals who, like Mr. Leinmann, would not tolerate my ideology if they knew of it, I have taken steps to make this blog anonymous.  (Indeed, they would not even sit at a table with me, if they knew my ideology–would you mr. Leinmann?)  There is nothing on Daily Danet that reveals where I was born, how wealthy I grew up or am now, whether I am White, Black, Hispanic, or Jewish.  Whether I am old or young.  In essence, I am a perfect Rorschach test for the poor liberals who stumble upon the site.   All he knows about me are my political beliefs.

So let’s peer into poor Mr. Leinmann’s subconscious and see what he really thinks about people who disagree with him.  To Mr. Leinmann, because I’m Republican/Conservative/Libertarian (for the record, I’m closest to a Lockean Conservative), I must therefore be:

  • Anti-[S]emitic (notice how I capitalize the S);
  • I am “in a career where I make money off the backs of the working class”;
  • I am a member of the “old boy network”;
  • I was born with “a silver spoon in my white male mouth” (that one says it all, doesn’t it?); and
  • I am unable to “sit at a table with those I so abhor.”

Mr. Leinmann would have a heart attack if he new I were a Black woman who grew up in the (thanks to a century of Democrats) segregated community of Titusville Alabama, or was it South Carolina?  Fortunately for Mr. Leinmann’s cardiac condition, I am not Condi Rice or La Shawn Barber (or millions of others) who rose in society despite his pandering bigotry of low expectations.

As for the anti-Semitism, I could be Jewish.  Benjamin Disraeli is one of my heroes and-though you wouldn’t have known it from this site before-I did grow up on Long Island and I am a lawyer in Manhattan.  But no, despite overwhelming odds, I am not Jewish either.  As to the reflexive charge of anti-Semitism, anecdotal evidence can’t disprove such a slanderous charge, so please make it again, in public so I can sue you for libel and prove it in court. 

As it happens, I am Catholic, and belong to the left-over race of “white.”  Unfortunately for Mr. Leinmann’s psyche, however, I am not a part of the Good ‘Ol Boy network.  I am the third generation of my mother’s family to live in America.  My maternal grandmother was born in Italy and my grandfather was Welsh (hardly accepted as the ruling class anywhere in the world).  My father’s family has been here since the potato famine-the Highlands one in the 1860’s.  (Had we fought in the Civil War, we undoubtedly would have been on the side of the North, having just arrived at Ellis like every other second class citizen).

Of course, to say that I’m merely Italian, Welsh and Scottish would be incorrect.  There’s Irish in there, as well as German and Swiss.  If I have children, they will also be part Indian as my father-in-law was born in Bangalor, India.

As for the silver-spoon-I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, but I will do everything in my power to make sure my children are.  My brother and I were the first of our line to ever go to college.  My late father was a truckdriver for 40 years and my mother is still a secretary. 

When I was a boy I learned the value of hard work and pride from my father.  He was laid off from his job and took up roofing.  After spending all day fixing roofs in the hot sun or the freezing cold, he would come home, and while the rest of us slept, he would strip engines for my grandfather’s scrap yard.  Even that was not enough feed two growing boys, so we had to apply for food stamps.

I remember when my father finally got a new job.  Reagan was in office and things had begun to turn around.  I went with my mother to the welfare office (we couldn’t afford baby sitters and I was about 7).  My mom wanted to return the unused food stamps.  We had enough money (barely) to support ourselves and we didn’t want a hand out.  That is when my hatred for big government programs began.  They told us we were crazy-it was free money and we should keep them.  “Forget your pride-it’s free!  It’s not like anyone has to pay for this tax-payer supported program.”  I think my mom gave them away to someone who actually needed them.

Fortunately, my father’s job was steady and when my brother and I were old enough, Mom went back to work, too.  They saved money where they could and my brother and I were able to take out loans to go to college.  I overdid it a bit and wound up getting 3 degrees: a B.S. in Physics from SUNY Stony Brook; an M.S. in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Arizona and a J.D. from St. John’s University (the first private school I ever attended).  I worked hard for academic merit scholarships and paid every penny of tuition and room and board myself.  I have over $130,000 in student loans to prove it.

As for making a living off the backs of the “working class,” well you can’t even imagine how wrong you are.  I don’t work for the government, so I don’t take anything from the working class.  To the contrary, I pay over $40,000 in federal taxes every year-hopefully minimizing the crushing tax burden of those who haven’t worked their way up from food stamps to six figures.  (And, by the way, “working class” is an insult.  I think you mean “middle class,” unless, of course you intend (as you may very well) to say that lawyers and doctors and teachers and architects don’t “work.”)

So, Mr. Leinmann I would expect an apology, but far beit for a liberal to admit their prejudice or bigotry.  I know you don’t have the mental faculties to understand how someone could grow up “working class” and still be a Republican.  I know that it’s a fundamental belief in your ideology that by destroying a man’s pride and giving him what he can work for himself, you’re helping them and not crippling them.  I know your party counts on it.  It’s called class warfare and you’ve given us a beautiful example, you hateful little man.

When Not to Hyphenate Your Name
By Dan | August 1, 2007 - 5:06 pm - Posted in Adoptions, Personals

As faithful readers will know, I love to use fake names in the blog.  Sadly, these are real people.

Rumors of My Demise Greatly Exaggerated
By Dan | July 25, 2007 - 8:24 am - Posted in Personals

I apologize for not having posted in a while.  First, there hasn’t been anything terribly funny to say for a while (and, in terms of newsworthiness and general importance to the human race, I put Paris Motel6 and Lindsay Lopants in the same category as “brand of dental floss.”).  Second, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has consumed my waking hours not wasted working for the slagheap I call the firm.

I’m afraid posts will be sporadic for a while.  The summer is usually dull newswise and I don’t want to waste your time with halfhearted attempts to make dogfighting, floods or fires funny.  I encourage you to use the RSS feed tools to the right if you would like updates when there are new posts.