...busting up my brains for the words

Friday, April 29, 2005

More on the press conference

Chad the Elder over at Fraters Libertas was sickened by the msm 'tude during the Q & A.

I know that in the minds of these reporters, they're asking probing questions to try to help inform the public. But in my opinion, about 80% of the questions directed toward the President tonight were nothing more than not-so-subtle snarky shots, motivated by hostility towards his policies, and designed to catch the President in a "gotcha moment."

Any objective observer would have to agree. "Probing questions?" perhaps. But one can almost see a picture in David Gregory's mind as he frames his question. It's a picture of the heroic David Gregory standing up to the president who "lied and people died". It's a picture of a brave David Gregory asking tough questions that blow away the facade obscuring the truth. It's a heroic David Gregory that exposes the Bush Administration's using religion to divide the nation and power grab the Judiciary with the lever of the Religious Right.
Gregory had framed his question so carefully, he was worried W might not address every facet of it and so he dogged him with "Sorry, I asked you what you think of the ways faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society."

W had to assure Gregory that he knew what he asked him.

No, I know you asked me that. Well, I can only speak to myself, and I am mindful that people in political office should not say to somebody, you're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion. As I said, I think faith is a personal issue, and I get great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.
The great thing about America, David, is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want, and if you choose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim. That's the wonderful thing about our country, and that's the way it should be.

Bottom line is, this is the way it works. The ambitious reporter asks provocative "gotcha" questions. Then the president uses the opportunity to present his view.

There was another network news weasel named Terry. I've seen him before on television. Once he was called on for his question he did his best Peter Jennings impression. It was ridiculous. He used all the dramatic pauses and hushed intones of seriousness that he had evidently practiced in front of his mirror at home for many many hours

Mr. President, your State Department has reported that terrorist attacks around the world are at an all-time high. If we're winning the war on terrorism, as you say, how do you explain that more people are dying in terrorist attacks on your watch than ever before?

W handled his question great, too.

I can honestly say, for myself I am sooooooo happy that the days of msm's dominance are over. These people with their microphones and their cameras and their hair are just so much bafoonery now that alternative means of information delivery have been created.

W's address to nation

I was finishing my workout at the gym last night just before 7 p.m., when the president was about to address the nation on television, followed by a question & answer period. If I went straight home, I'd only be able to hear the address on radio. So I hopped onto a treadmill with my nose about four feet from a ceiling mounted television screen, tuned to CNN.
I think W did well. He was very congenial in his manner. I couldn't help but think, the whole while, how odd it is that I have so much respect for this courageous and energetic man, while others despise him and hate him so much they just see red whenever his image or voice are in the room. The best explanation for both reactions is that this is because he is successful.

Two primary messages came from the address. The president spoke first and foremost about energy. This was not a casual selection. The high price of gas is the leading cause of W's decline in the polls. Human nature says that if the price of gas is too high, we've got to blame somebody and the president is the obvious target.
Seeing as how I was on the treadmill for an additional hour, surrounded by other people who were running, lifting weights and climbing virtual stairways on machines, I realized I was surrounded by the transfer of energy that is just evaporating into thin air. Why not hook these machines up to a gigantic battery that would store all that energy? These machines could be adapted so as to run entirely on human sweat, storing the excess energy that is created when another floor is mounted or another mile run or another 50 pounds lifted and then set down.
This innovation would accomplish two things. It would allow the nation to become more energy independent and it would encourage Americans to get more exercise.

When I got off that treadmill at the conclusion of the hour-long event, I was tired and happy the last question had been taken. Who knows how many hours of wattage I might have generated if my workout had been saved?

Maybe long enough to power my television for the Democratic Party response to the president's address.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

MOB stands for Mothers Opposed To Bush?

Hot on the heels of Jonah Goldberg's appearance at the U of M the other day as a guest speaker for CFACT, here is Mr. Goldberg's latest article from NRO. It's entitled, You're A Mean One, Mr. Bolton.

This paragraph mentions another MOB besides the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers;

Bolton's other accusers aren't as colorful, but they are usually just as partisan. The founder of the Dallas chapter of MOB — Mothers Opposing Bush — claims that 11 years ago Bolton threw a file at her in a Russian hotel lobby, or something like that. And this week she wrote a letter to the lefty-Democratic blog/bulletin board Daily Kos to rally the troops in her favor in anticipation of revelations she was a plagiarist a long time ago.

Can't the Minnesota MOB prove that we had the name first? If so, maybe we can coax the other MOB to change their acronym to MFOB. Seems appropriate to me.

I've said this before, the political center-right seems to have a much greater abundance of creativity and humor than the left these days. And there are a few good chuckles in this piece as well. Coming from Goldberg, that's no surprise.
Although, I will allow that it's probably not very funny if you're a Democrat.

Update; I see I've committed a slight slip of the tongue. My title calls them Mothers Opposed To Bush. It should more precisely be Mothers Opposing Bush, as Goldberg says. I see that my friend Doug of Bogus Gold has linked to my post and he's not very happy about this other MOB. I can well imagine that soon both MOBs will be taking to the streets with rakes, shovels and burning torches; blood hounds baying at the full moon in a terrible clash at night......
No, nevermind. That was just an image James Lileks planted in my brains some months ago.

Where are the wmd?

I am not one of those who believes that international intelligence was so bad, we got the story wrong on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell's report before the UN displayed a massive case for the tyrant's having these weapons and for having the capability for production if allowed to produce.
They will eventually be found.

There is not much reason to believe al Qaeda doesn't already have some of these deadly weapons. Now they simply lack the means of delivering them upon their targets.....hopefully.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Jonah Goldberg at CFACT

Catching a little heads up in Power Line this morning, I learned that Jonah Goldberg, editor of National Review magazine would be speaking on the University of Minnesota campus this evening regarding oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He was speaking as guest to CFACT, a University chapter of conservative environmentalists.

I hadn't planned anything but a routine workout at the gym. Why not exercise my brain instead and learn a few things about the conservative view of environmentalism?
A few other bloggers had the same idea. Martin Andrade, Swan blog and James Lileks were there, as were some recognizable College Republicans. Surprisingly, the room was quite intimate and turned out to be perfectly suited for this occasion, attracting something like 80 people.
Banterings live-blogged the discussion.

Ecology and the Natural Environment have long been thought to be firmly in the hands of the Democrat Party and the left. Hugh Hewitt, in his book
If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat writes;

...there is one indisputable fact about the environment; as a political issue, it works for the Democrats. Because Democrats have been rather shameless in their exploitation of the fears of the average modern American, the Democratic Party has successfully painted the GOP as anti-environment.

Mr. Goldberg began by explaining that he's often introduced as a humorist and hinted that he may not be all that comfortable with that characterization, as he's not all that funny. But he clearly had this little crowd enthralled with his whacky sense of humor. We were treated to a good hearty chuck of interesting ideas as well as plenty of laughs. And I think Jonah had a good time, too.

Goldberg is of the opinion that when Frydrich Nietche proclaimed that "God is dead", he didn't kill Man's need for religion. God was replaced as a religion by various deities. To many people, Nature has replaced God and environmental activism has become a religion. I know a lot of people who attend that church. I think everybody knows at least a few who do.

These folks have an image of ANWR being a modern "Shangri-La". The notion of drilling for oil in this mythical land of "pristine beauty" is as banal as the idea of strip-mining the Garden of Eden for taconite. It's just not allowed on the table for these tree-huggers. What Goldberg advocates is that we "make arguments" with these enviro-religious nuts. That conservatives require encouragement to argue is an interesting notion, if you think about it. Charles Krauthammer never had to implore conservatives to argue the case with liberals as to why Iraq needed to be disarmed. Conservatives are wimps when it comes to the environment because they just don't get a fire in their belly over the issue and they've perhaps been somewhat intimidated by the opposition.

Goldberg pointed out that the area in ANWR that is proposed for oil drilling is a relatively small area compared to the region and it is also not quite so beautiful. And the way to think about our society's energy needs is through a "cost/benefit analysis". That is to say, analyze the cost of impacting a small region such as the coastal oil reserves, calculate how much oil would be recovered and how this boon would alleviate the U.S.'s dependence upon foreign sources.
Jonah points out that conservatives must confront environmental radicals with "inconvenient facts" in much the same way the left has used such facts in attacking fundamental Creationists.

Of course, Goldberg has his detractors.

One particularly funny exchange during the Question & Answer period occurred when a woman asked, "What do you say if they just don't care about money or the facts because they are so set on saving Nature?"

"Ridicule them. Mock them," shot back Jonah, "Such arguments actually do have an effect."

Finally, Goldberg described some extremists who, when asked what is the ideal state of the earth, stated that such a perfect world would be without any people. People are seen as the problem. Get rid of all the people and the Blue Marble will be an ideal and beautiful place.
He closed brilliantly by pointing out that, "I'm a believer in people. I like the human race."

That's an excellent point. The conservative point of view concerning the environment remembers that humanity is good and is worth saving. That is not always so with the hard left environmentalists.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Here's some very interesting stuff about Lebanon that I didn't know. It comes to us via the Spirit Of America blog.

Beirut may not be the only place in the world where you can find a church and a mosque right next to each other. But it's certainly a more common sight here than anywhere else. No other country has so Christians and Muslims living in the same place that you'll regularly hear both Christian church bells and the muezzin's call to Muslim prayer downtown at the same time.

And there are some very good pics there as well. Check it out.

Guilty, as charged.

Here's a report about those Islamic radicals that were training for Holy Jihad by playing paint ball.

Prosecutors said the defendant — a native U.S. citizen who has an international following in some Muslim circles — wielded enormous influence among a group of young Muslim men in northern Virginia who played paintball games in 2000 and 2001 as a means of training for holy war around the globe.

Now their war will consist of converting fellow inmates.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fire in the hole

I go way back as friends and even as a co-worker with the good people at The Attic blog. But we disagree over the MN smoking ban kerfuffle. If you want to see our arguments you can find them here.
Conservative Republicans are among my favorite people since 9/11/01. They understand that we are at war, not just figuratively but literally. We don't always agree on all the issues. I don't mind disagreements so long as they are sincere. But it really knocks ashes into my beer glass when I hear conservative Republicans claim that second-hand tobacco smoke poses no measurable threat to health. That flies in the face of piles of pages of documentation coming from modern medical science, and I find the argument entirely disingenuous. Disingenuous arguments are what we have come to expect from barking moonbat liberals, not conservative Republicans. I've noticed that when I cite the facts about connections between exposure to tobacco and health risks, these conservative Republicans will then shift their arguments to individual rights and small government advocacy. That's where the debate belongs in the first place.
But the fact that they first attempt to get around the health issues illustrates to me that they know their arguments to be disingenuous in the first place. This begs the question; why? I wonder if they aren't simply stubbornly resentful that the MN State Democrats who pushed this ban through were able to exercise their power. I wonder if it all comes down to an ideological vanity on the part of these conservative Republicans.
I hope I'm wrong about that. And I would advise my conservative Republican friends to better choose their battles. Let this one go. Spend your energies on pressing conservative Republican causes such as reforming Social Security, lobbying your Congresspeople to allow an up or down vote on judicial nominees, lobbying your Congresspeople to accept John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

I think we will all welcome a breath of fresh air on those issues.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

NARN bumper music

Welcome, BowieNet and Shot In The Dark readers!!!

I don't pretend to know how bumper music gets chosen on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. But I think I'm pretty close to accurate when I assume that the lovely and talented Mitch Berg is about as close to being dictator over this realm as Benito Mussolini was the dictator over Italy in 1937.
Now, don't get me wrong. Sometimes dictatorships are good things. Look at Pope Benedict XVI. He doesn't have to confer with the people in ruling Roman Catholicism. He just dictates and it is done. Pure efficiency. Don't think for a minute I am comparing the pope to Mussolini. No, I wouldn't do that. It is important to remember that I am comparing Mitch Berg to Mussolini.

We all know that Scott "The Big Trunk" Johnson is a music fan. He's sung praises (figuratively speaking) to the likes of Willie Nelson, Bobby Short, Lowell Fulson, Aretha Franklin and others in the Power Line blog. I could be wrong, but I don't recall hearing any of those fine musicians as bumper on the NARN show. Instead, we get a steady fascist diet of Prince, Skynyrd, Public Enemy, Jefferson Airplane and other "kitschy" AOR selections.
Now, don't get me wrong (please forgive me for using that tired expression like a broken record), I'm not saying that Mitch's music taste sucks. At least, not all the time. I am saying that it sucks sometimes. And I'm not even saying that "sucks" is a pejorative value. I love sucky music. But just not all the time. Sometimes ya gotta throw in some cornball sucky music to level the playing field. And this is pretty much what Mitch "Il Duce" Berg does on the show. So I have no problem with him. The reason we listen to NARN is for the talk, not the bumpers.

Once in awhile Mitch tosses me a bone. Today he played Queen's Under Pressure which was co-written by David Bowie. I'm not a Queen fan and I don't have much of a high regard for that song. Although when I hear it I generally don't run out of the room squawking like a pinkmonkeybird, as I have on occasion when Bohemian Rhapsody is aired. What makes me so haughty as to believe the Mitch gives pinkmonkeybird the least thought when he plays China Girl or Changes or Under Pressure, you ask? Because he said so, that's how.

If I were asked to choose David Bowie bumper music for the NARN (besides the above fine selections) I would choose the following;

Candidate (choose your political race), Station To Station (Europe), Always Crashing In The Same Car (taxes), Suffragette City (civil rights), Fame (Hollywood elites), The Man Who Sold The World (Kofi Annan), Moonage Daydream (pinkmonkeybird), Starman (UFOs), It's No Game (Teddy Kennedy), Up The Hill Backwards (the Democrat Party), Let's Dance (the smoking ban), Running Gun Blues (legalized carry laws), Hang Onto Yourself (the Senate), Scary Monsters (al Qaeda), Loving the Alien (Border control), I'm Afraid of Americans (anti-Americanism), "Heroes" (Berlin), Quicksand (Nazi baiting), All Saints (the pope), Battle For Britain (Tony Blair's re-election), Big Brother (moveon), Blackout (energy management), The Laughing Gnome (Nihilst In Golf Pants), Warzawa (British bloggers), Sunday (9/11/01), Cracked Actor (Tim Robbins), Dead Man Walking (Sean Penn), Aladdin Sane (Red Lake shootings), Space Oddity (NASA), Oh You Pretty Things (Abortion rights), The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell (gentrification), Amsterdam (Amsterdam), The Secret Life Of Arabia (Wahibism), Thursday's Child (Keegan's trivia), Seven (barking moonbat lefties), Young Americans (K-12 education), Sound + Vision (movies), Tonight (Saturday evening events), V-2 Schneider (missile defense system), Outside (crime), Silly Boy Blue (John Kerry), Queen Bitch (Hillary), Something In The Air (the blogosphere).........

Maybe I'd better stop there. But there are lots more.
Hail Mitch "Il Duce" Berg.

Tom Friedman deconstruction

Power Line has this brilliant brick by brick teardown of Thomas Friedman's writing style.

It's not any one thing in particular that makes him insufferable, but rather a combination of flaws -- vacuity, lack of insight, and a chump's will to be duped.

Listing and numbering the ways that Friedman operates one of those included is this;

4. Use the next few paragraphs to further define the contradiction stated above, peppered with little questions making it look like you're having a conversation with the reader. Feel free to use the first person:

a. "My first thought was to ask: Why no collect calls from Bethlehem? It's easy to call collect from Bosnia, Kosovo, even Uzbekistan. Am I sure? Of course I'm sure. I was in each of those places just a few weeks ago, making collect calls all over the world. No problem. So why can't Arafat call collect from Bethlehem?"

So typical of Friedman's style. Friedman is just as pompous on television. Sometimes he's a guest on the Jim Lehrer News Hour and he speaks to the issues as though he's explaining to a child.

This analysis by the Power Line boys is right on the money. I hope they never take aim at pinkmonkeybird...hehe...fat chance.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Heavy traffic

A couple of things.
I noticed the chrysanthemum I have hanging above my computer station looked a little dry and was need of a drink of water. So I booted up my HP, fetched my water can and watered the plant. By the time I got back to my station, the bootup was announcing over the speakers but the monitor picture was all psychedelic. The screen was turning vivid reds and greens. Before too long I remembered the water. Checking the top of my monitor for moisture, yes indeed, water had dripped from the plant into its works.
I said a quick prayer to the computing gods. After some fearful and bizarre imagery previously known only to Dennis Hopper, my monitor seems to be stabilizing now. Whew! I hope it's going to be okay. I'll never do that again. I've already moved the plant elsewhere.

The other thing, checking my blog meter today, I see my traffic has tripled. And I have no idea why. Technorati is only telling me of the live blogosphere up to the 16th of April. The sources on my meter do not tell me of any common cause.

If anyone knows why my traffic has spiked please leave me a comment
Maybe watering your computer helps attract surfers?

Update: Here is the chart showing my Friday spike in traffic. I can see no cogent reason for it. I think it just happened due to the alignment of Mars and Jupiter.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Games played lightly

The body of Congress that's been referred to lately as the "cooling saucer", the U.S. Senate, has been playing silly games while very serious business is in need be being attended. I'm speaking of the vote on John Bolton's nomination as embassador to the United Nations.
The UN, as has been reported for at least the past year, is suffering under the impediments of poor leadership and corruption. It's the subject of investigations over the Oil-For-Food program. The U.S. needs a tough critic of the UN like John Bolton and it should expect such an exceptionally qualified person such as Bolton to be approved by this chamber which has a Republican majority.
While the Senate dithers, the Independent Inquiry Committee has lost two members due to their resignations because these two members no longer have confidence in this committee.

I'll be very interested in learning what really motivated Senator Voinovich (OH-R) to pass on endorsing Bolton yesterday.

Update; Instapundit has a link to Roger L. Simon's continuing coverage of the situation.

Says Glenn;

Press coverage of UNScam, and particularly of the serious problems within the Volcker Committee, has been disappointing. I guess only amateur bloggers have the time, discipline, and resources to fully address this story.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Dan Cohen tells all

I've been active in local politics since I realized that it was imperative that George W. Bush be reelected as our president. And let me tell you, I've been getting an education. As the saying goes, the more I learn, the more I discover how little I know.
In my BPOU (Basic Political Operating Unit) I became aware of a very headstrong man who is about ten years my senior who is very opinionated and commands the floor when he wants to command the floor. I didn't know him from Adam and I eventually discovered his name is Dan Cohen.
On the day of my BPOU convention Dan gave me a copy of his new book. He told me it would be published soon. If all is going according to schedule that day is tomorrow, April 20th. The book is called Anonymous Source; At War Against the Media, A true story and it's available online here.

This book was, as I say, an education for me. I quickly learned that Dan is practically a household name around these parts. Just about everyone who has dipped their fingers into the local political stew knows his story and his case. This book quickly got me up to speed.
In a nutshell, it goes like this; Dan was working for a local Republican gubernatorial candidate when it came to be known to the campaign leadership that the Democratic opposition candidate had a black spot on her record that was unknown. Dan took that information to the local newspapers with the info on condition of anonymity. The papers accepted the terms and then proceeded to break their promise. Dan's name was publicized and he was lambasted as a "dirty trickster". Dan sued the papers and won. Then the papers appealed and chopped down Dan's winnings.

I don't know much, if anything, about lawyers or court proceedings. This book dispels a lot of the myths and reports courtroom procedures and tactics that were very new to me. Once I got into this book, I got curious about what kind of profile the Cohen vs. Cowles case has nationwide. So I Googled it. The array of links tells me that this case had some very real weight in the subject of media ethics.

I am not giving anything away when I report here that Dan's final paragraph in his book reads thus;
"Let me close by apologizing to Marlene Johnson. Providing that stale, trivial record to the press was stupid and mean-spirited. I regret what I did."

It takes a big man to admit he was wrong. I give him a heck of a lot of credit for writing those words. But so far as I am aware, the local newspapers have not taken anything close to the same step. The Star Tribune has never admitted they were wrong to violate their promise to Dan Cohen, despite their losing in court over this case.

Dan has paid his dues. He's collected his small award in the legal case, but he's paid a higher price personally and professionally for its consequences.

The StarTribune, in their arrogance, is only just now beginning to see the light of day in a new era. They don't own this town anymore. And their deceits and distortions have consequences upon their influence and circulation.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The nuclear option

The NARN is discussing the "Nuclear Option" (coined by Trent Lott).

It should be noted that the Republican Party should not be eager to use this so-called option, though it appears to be very necessary.The Dems find themselves in a win-win situation, ironically without power.

Win; If the GOP doesn't find the nerve to use this option, they get to continue to block the president's nominees.

Win: If the GOP uses the nuclear option, they get to scream bloody murder about ruthless Republican abuses of power, charges stroked by the MSM.

Of course, that latter scenario contains the, for them, painful component of seeing Republican appointed judges gaining the bench. For the GOP the options are also mixed. If they do not use the option, they will see their rightful exercise of power thwarted by a minority and they will undoubtedly suffer strains internally for the high profile loss of will to flex its muscle. If they use the nuclear option, the bench will see the additon of Republican appointments, but there is a downside. The heat will be on as the Left will charge abuse of power.
That charge will be examined in detail for many weeks in the aftermath and I think the fire will be put out over time.

One of Geo. W. Bush's goals is to find a way around bitter partisanship in Washington. The use of the nuclear option will inflame that malady. This may go some way toward explaining why Republican leadership is hesitant to drop this bomb.
Nevertheless, as the Japanese asked for and deserved Fat Man in 1945, the Democrats are asking for and deserve the nuclear option in 2005.

Let's drop the big one now.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

You don't want a pet monkey

MonkeyWatch has the scoop on all things monkey. Here's a bit of particularly wise advice in case you were thinking that a monkey might make a good house pet.

So you're a total misanthrope, no friends, no plans to have kids? Believe me, you still don't want a monkey. Primates live a long time - depending on species, you could be talking 20 to 40 years - and need a lot of interactive engagement. Think about it. How old are you? Thirty? Ready to care for that monkey day in, day out until you're seventy? Remember, she's not going to grow up and go to college, or get her own apartment. It will be like having a very demanding small child, completely dependent on you, for many years. Primates are active, intelligent, and curious and they can destroy your house. Leaving them constantly in a cage is inhumane, but left loose, they will destroy household goods, remove their diapers, masturbate in front of company, urinate and defecate in the house, and throw food. Larger monkeys can open refrigerators and cabinets, unlock doors, and basically create havoc. Did I already say that it's like living with a two-year-old? A very strong two-year-old who smells bad?

Okay. I'm talked out of it already.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

April is poetry month

Listening to the Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, Hugh had Tarzana Joe on the program as he does every friday. Joe pointed out this April is National Poetry Month and that this year extra attention will be given to the poetry of our military personnel.

This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode called The Fatiques in which Elaine promotes Eddy Sherman at Jay Peterman clothing.

Eddy is a veteran and he's written this piece for the catalog;

Eddie (reading): It's a hot night. The mind races. You think about your knife; the only friend who hasn't betrayed you, the only friend who won't be dead by sun up. Sleep tight, mates, in your quilted Chambray nightshirts.

Sounds pretty poetic to me, even though it doesn't rhyme.

Medved Patriot Forum review

As I'd posted Thursday, I attended the am1280 Patriot Forum with Michael Medved. I don't usually go to these events as I don't see much value in them. After all, don't we get enough of these personalities in our heads when we can listen to them preach to us three hours per day, five days per week with repeats on the weekends?
The reason this one was different is that everyone who attended automatically received a free copy of Mr. Medved's new book, Right Turns: Unconventional Lessons from a Controversial Life. Anyone who wanted to wait in line could get Mr. Medved's autograph on the book copy. That's a pretty good value, I think. When you combine that with the fact that Michael Medved is a very engaging speaker with an intelligence that is insightful and unique, this event becomes all the more attractive. Specifically, I wanted to hear what he had to say about his formerly being a liberal and switching over to "the Dark Side of the Force." Since I am on this journey myself, I wanted to learn how Medved had been converted.
He touched on a few reasons. One of the most compelling is something I can say I have noticed for myself. Generally speaking, conservatives are nicer people than liberals are. He'd recounted his personal experience of working for Bella Abzug in New York City. She was very mean to her staff and had trouble keeping staff because of her cruelties. On the other hand, Medved has spoken to many staff members for the Bush White House and found that "you couldn't hope to work for a nicer family than the Bush family. They are courteous. They look you in the eye. They are respectful of your feelings. "
The caution that Michael Medved points out is that there is a great danger when a political figure thinks they have such high vaunted ideals for humanity that it does not matter how they treat the real and little people all around them. Josef Stalin was one of the most evil murderers in human history. Yet the Left continued to forgive and overlook his evil deeds because they felt he had such high ideals for the good of Man.

Of course, these forums do not function within a vacuum. They are attended by people with a conservative philosophy, many of whom I have come to meet and know over the course of my activism in the George W. Bush campaign for his reelection last November. And that's actually one of the biggest values of attending. It was a good time seeing friendly faces and saying hello, catching up on news and getting to know them better. There were a few surprises this time as I discovered that the blogger known as IndyJonz of The Attic is an old former co-worker of mine! Who'd a thunk? We had a very interesting conversation. Also, it was good to see the blogger known as Marcus Aurelius from that same blog, as we have been arguing over the new smoking ban. It's important for conservatives to remember they are friends and have mutual personal respect when they disagree on policy. Meeting Marcus helped the both of us remember that, I am sure.
I also met an old friend, Lori and her rock'n'roll companion. I have known Lori for many years out of the Minneapolis alternative rock scene. It's often a surprise to discover that an old friend from the leftie crowd is, like me, among the true rebels. Lori and her friend are cool enough to rebel against the established mindset of the rock ethos and hold conservative values in the face of expectations otherwise. I hear this all the time from my David Bowie friends, "How can you be a Bowie fan and support Bush? Don't you understand he's the enemy?"
Once again, that's a topic Medved touched upon. The true rebels on our college campuses are the conservatives. What a strange world we live in.

After a long wait, I was among the very last to get my book autographed. Mister Medved signed it, "For Scott--Continued good luck with pinkmonkeybird-Michael Medved". Unfortunately, he was very tired after what must have been a very long day and he barely looked me in the eye, dismissing me in a truncated manner so he could autograph the next book and get out of there. I had asked him, while he scribbled away in my book, "Michael, do you think Hollywood might make a movie like Legal Eagles about the bloggers?" In case you have forgotten or didn't know, Michael Medved, besides being a political conservative spokesman, is also a very knowledgeable film critic. In fact, that's how I first heard of him years ago when he was co-host in a Siskel and Ebert style television show.
"Yes, it seems like a very good idea as the blogs have come in a big way recently." Next.

Michael Medved is a very nice guy and is a very courteous gentleman. Hey, if he can appear less than generous with others as he did with me, that only goes to show that despite the fact that we may try the best we can to be so, sometimes we cannot. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who I have truncated in my day to day encounters. God is within you and I respect you as a human being. For instance, Sandy of the M.A.W.B Squad. I couldn't remember her name, though I knew who she was. It was nice to see her there.

I didn't think Medved had enough to say about my movie question. So I emailed Roger L. Simon to ask his opinion. He's a screenwriter. Roger got back to me and said, "Why not? But as with all movies, you need a good story."

With both of these gentlemen, my question was actually fishing for a deeper answer. They are both connected in the industry. I was looking for some shred of comment that they might know of such a script that is already being passed around in Hollywood or the independent film circuits. It seems inevitable to me.

Come to think of it, John "Rocketman" Hinderacker bears a slight resemblance to Robert Redford. Although Redford is a bit too old to play him. Sorry Robert.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Michael Medved @ the St. Paul Hotel

I've got my ticket and will be joining my friends for this Patriot Forum event.

I'm looking forward to it because Mr. Medved will be discussing his turn from liberalism to conservatism. That's an interesting subject as I find myself going down that same road.

(The subject title has the link and will fall out of date soon.)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

First Avenue Bowie Tribute

I'm reprinting my review of last night's show from the BowieNet Message Board.

Last night was the Rebel, Rebel Rock for Pussy Bowie Tribute at Minneapolis' First Avenue nightclub!

Very much like last year's initial Bowie tribute and benefit for the St. Paul cat shelter, this was a rollicking good time. The benefit assembled some of the local scene's best rock players to form a house band tentatively called Kitty Stardust. Heh heh. Before the music started the house projected plenty of Bowie videos up on the screens. Unfortunately, the dj working the booth last night was not so hip as last year's, as he played a bunch of non-Bowie stuff over the house speakers whilst the videos played silently. That was unfortunate. I remember last year, the dj got things started on the right foot by spinning all sorts of Bowie-scene numbers such as Iggy, T-Rex, the VUs, et al.
If I remember accurately, the first number the band played was Suffragette City. Local Twin Cities stalwart frontman Curtis A was on the mic for the kick off numbers. The band lost no time moving on to Rebel, Rebel. The modus operandi was simple. The microphone was traded off to a wide range of local singers, male and female. Throughout the evening we would be treated to Ziggy Stardust, Sorrow, Fame, All The Young Dudes, Wild Is The Wind, Diamond Dogs, Modern Love, Let's Dance, Under Pressure, Space Oddity, Hold On To Yourself, Sound And Vision, TVC15, The Jean Genie, Ashes To Ashes, Fashion and others.
I would say that Little Wonder was the most challanging number to recreate for the obvious programming requirements. They pulled it off. Like last year's show, the band took liberties in putting up a lead female vocalist to sing David's songs. This is an interesting strength as you can well imagine when a woman sings Queen Bitch with quite a bit or confidence and irony. Nicely done. "Oh God, I could do better than that! You betcha." The instruments on stage were plenty. One baritone sax player and at least three backing vocalists, sometimes more. The guitarists had their chops down, obviously having studied Ronno's and Carlos's styles and techniques. Some numbers were uncannily perfect. Theophania and I marveled at how we'd thought we could hear Mr. Bowie's voice at times. The grande finale was fittingly done with just about everyone from the evening's offerings up there belting out Young Americans.

Despite the thread in Meetups only Theophania, Shrinkrapp and I made it down there from BNet. When the band was playing Sorrow, Shrinkrapp asked me if I could remember who'd penned it. I did my research when I got home. It was originally recorded by The Mercys, as credited by David on the Pinups album. The song was written by Bob Feldman/Jerry Goldstein/Richard Gottehrer.
Through the course of the evening as one great song after another is performed, it dawns on the listener that this David Bowie chap is quite a talented songwriter. It was fun to join up with some of my fellow BowieNet Community members and exchange stories and opinions and maybe a wee bit of gossip. For instance, I noted that over on Teenage Wildlife website there is a rumor posted that David and Carlos have been seen in the studio recently.

Really? I hope it's true. They'll prolly come up with some super stuff.

I was surprised to learn that smoking was banned in the big room at First Avenue. I had thought that because this room took the overwhelming portion of its business from alcohol and not food, smoking would be allowed. Not so in Minneapolis, my friends explained. Saint Paul, yes.
That fact would go a long way toward explaining why the room was noticibly thinner than last year's event. While it was great for me to be free of nasty and harmful second hand smoke, it's unfortunate that the business was hurt. We can all be glad, however, that everyone in the room was protected from unwanted risks to lung cancer to say nothing of dry cleaning costs.
My friend Theophania disagrees however. She's a smoker and was upset that she was denied her freedoms to inject harmful carcinogens into her body and those around her.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Lileks' Diner

It's getting late and I really should be shuffling off to my bed. But it's past midnight and I remember that Lileks has promised to post his Diner "radio" show on The Bleat site. Guess I'm not going to bed just yet, as the file is clocked out at 38 minutes runtime.
Very nice show. I am a sucker for this show because it's about 1970s science fiction music. I'm a fan.

After some introductory ramblings apparently designed to lull the listener into a relaxed state of mind to accept the show, he treats us to a new wave tune I used to bop to in my punk rock days; "Ça Plane Pour Moi", by Plastic Bertrand.

Fortunately Lileks does not give me cause to commit suicide out of despair for his perfectly nailing this theme. In other words, I disagree with James on occasion. I can only shake my head in pity as James castigates terrific Gerry Anderson shows like Thunderbirds and Supercar. James has apparently never even seen an episode of Supercar. Coincidentally, I watched an episode just this morning called Amazonian Adventure. I am revisiting Supercar because I used to watch it as a young boy in my pajamas. Now I watch it as a middle-aged man in my pajamas. Back in the 1960s when I loved this show as broadcast on Axel's Treehouse Show, or some other such children's program. Could have been Captain Kangaroo, for all I remember. Readers of pinkmonkeybird may recall that I am especially a fan of Captain Scarlet. My pc is wired to play the Mysteron's threat everytime I reboot. I am in agreement with James regarding Space; 1999. This was perhaps the only "live action" show Anderson ever did and I never cared for it. While James does not approve of all of the music created, by Barry Gray, for Anderson's shows, he at least appreciates some of it. Thank Heaven for that, as Barry Gray was exceptional.

I'm listening now as Leonard Nimoy rendition of desiderata is playing. Nice. I've got some of Nimoy's Golden Throats stuff, but not this. Complete with James shooting a .38 slug thru Nimoy's skull near the end.

Ha ha.

I don't suppose I should say too much more about this file. You should listen to it yourself if you haven't already done so. Very entertaining. The idea is nostalgia and nostalgia is what it delivers....unless you're 20 years old, in which case it may seem like nothing more than a meaningless pile of drivel.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

MN smoking ban

I just now got back from the Uptown Bar. It's my first visit there since the smoking ban was instituted three days ago.
"So how's the ban going?" I asked Bob the bartender.
"Great. I love it," he said.

And he was right.

For once there wasn't a foul weed's smoke drifting into my eyes, seeping into my clothes, clogging my lungs.

I find the debate over this ban to be very humorous. The Republican-Conservatives maintain that the government has no right to legislate any such ban. The establishments should be free to do as they please and the clientele should be free to go where they want.
Good point. Let's allow public spitting to return to our bars. If you like spit, you can go to a spit bar. If you don't like spit, you can go to a fascist bar that prohibits spitting.
Spitting is our God-given right. If God had not wanted us to spit He would have not imbued us with saliva.

The facts are out on tobacco. Second hand smoke is harmful to your health, to say nothing of the first hand.

I used to smoke. There was a long gray area in my time when I didn't bother to buy smokes. But when I was at a bar and the stuff was in the air, I felt a need to burn one of my own. So I'd offer to buy a coffin nail for a quarter from some hapless patron. They'd usually insist that I was good for it and could have one. Or two.
Then, next morning I'd wonder why I did that. Cigarette hangovers are worse than the alcohol kind. They hurt. Anyways, I got past all that. I haven't smoked for a good 3-4 years now.

If I understand the ban adequately, it is quite inconsistent. Some municipalities allow smoking. Some bars are allowing smoking if their business is not to some degree food related. That's all fine. No reason to be absolute about it. Let the smokers have someplace to blow their brains out and develop a nice case of malignant cancer. Thank Heaven I don't have to be there when they do it.

I applaud the smoking ban. The Conservative-Republicans can suck my Old Gold.

But I make this pledge to you, dear pinkmonkeybird reader: I pledge to thoroughly investigate this bar smoking ban issue. I pledge to you with all my heart and soul that I will continue to pound the pavements of Minneapolis, stopping in at jook joints and haberdasheries for a nitecap or two to learn of the impact that this smoking ban is having upon our fair city.

It's the least I can do for you.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Respectful goodbye to Pope John Paul II

I did not adequately recognize the contributions of this man during his lifetime of achievements.

God Bless him. He profoundly changed the world for the better. So, for me there is an ironic sadness to his passing.

The world prays for him.

Pinkmonkeybird on NARN

Today on the Northern Alliance Radio Network a Minnesota Twins baseball fanblogger guested during the irreverent and often frivolous third hour of programming.

I'm a baseball fan. But I'm not a fan of Major League Baseball. I explained why in an email to NARN during the show. I neglected to save a copy of my message, but it was succinct. This devotion of an hour to sports is a waste of time when it replaces important discussion of the political issues of the day, i.e., Sandy Berger's crimes, Kofi Annan's crimes and Tom DeLay's trying times.
Major League pro players are on steroids, the Twins play indoors, the organization management regularly tries to blackmail the state of Minnesota into buying them a new stadium, the players go on strike when they don't like their contract, they're overpaid and they have little respect for the fans when their greedy demands are not met.

I further pointed out that I am a Saint Paul Saints fan because they have a beautiful outdoor stadium with real grass and the players of that league are paid the appropriate compensation for playing a little boys' game.

Naturally, the NARN boys made the obvious arguments on air;

  • Sports are important. They bring a cathartic release to the populace.
  • The St. Paul Saints, though beloved, play an inferior game.
  • The big money in the game brings the best competitors before the public.

These are good points. But at what cost?

Essentially, these arguments allow the Minnesota Twins organization to blackmail the state into buying their much needed new stadium with a retractable roof for them. This, so that the people of the region may be privileged to enjoy the cathartic release of quality major league baseball, despite the fact that it is sullied with steroid enhancement drugs that mar the history of the game. This, while offering no assurance that the game will not be cancelled if their greedy demands for more money are not satisfied to the degree that their insatiable appetites demand.

Major League Baseball is sick.

It's long past time to pull the tube.

David Bowie Tribute

Here's some advance news about a special David Bowie tribute show here in my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Naturally, yours truly will be there in the audience, enjoying the songs and partaking in a few adult beverages. In case you don't know, Bowie is a very influential artist in rock music today. Many new bands and musicians have discovered his considerable discography as well as the other musicians throughout his lifetime that are in Bowie's orbit. Some of these would be Iggy Pop, The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Mott The Hoople, Brian Eno, Moby, Kraftwerk, T-Rex, Roxy Music, Trent Reznor, Blur, Placebo, Boy George and Lulu.
The local Minneapolis/St. Paul rock scene is no exception. Many new bands cite Bowie and his guitar player from the 1970s, Mick Ronson, as huge influences in their style and tastes. Obviously, the listed artists on this roster are among the best of those.

Some local friends from BowieNet will be meeting up with me, hopefully. And if readers of this blog wanna come down and join in the fun that would be a welcomed happening. But it's important to remember that all discussion of politics will be left outside the doors of First Avenue nightclub.

As Bowie sez, "Love on ya!"

Rebel, Rebel. Rock for Pussy Part II

A Musical Tribute to David Bowie. Monday April 4, 2005
8PM 21+
First Avenue Main Room
$6 Advance $8 Door
Proceeds will benefit area no kill cat shelters.

Groovy House band Kitty Stardust, featuring John Eller, John Munson, Randy Casey, Tommy Alsides, Noah Levy, George Mckelvey, Steve Price, Janie Winterbauer, Michelle Langner, Leslie Ball. Featuring guest vocalists. Laurie Lindeen,(Zuzu's Petals) Ryan Seitz, (Divorcee) Chuck Miller (Ten Ton Bridge) Jeaneen Gauthier (Jan) Dan Israel, Matty Schindler,(Faux Jean) Curtis A, Chris Perricelli (Little Man) Erik Appelwick (vicious, vicious) Chris Koza (The Channels) Mark Miller (Dallas Orbiter) and many more surprise guests!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Criminal intent

Powerline's Rocketman has this fascinating and harrowing post regarding Sandy Berger's criminal destroying of national record.

If this is not the high watermark of the Democrat Party's disembarkation from the best interests of the nation, then I don't know what is. This is surely cause for alarm among Americans. Sandy Berger is, or at least was, a high profile personality in American governmental power. He was speculated to become John Kerry's secretary of State, had Kerry won the presidential election of last November.
Now, here he is committing wanton crime in order to save the legacy of the Clinton administration and Democrats at large. This is truly scary stuff. One wonders what is more important to the Dems, power or the betterment of the world and the United States of America.

We have not heard the last of this incident. It's going to get uglier with more warts to view. And rightfully so. This is an abomination.