...busting up my brains for the words

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Is this our future?

Belmont Club has this absolutely harrowing glimpse of the machinations of al Qaeda and its utilization of gangs and crime organizations.

The relationship of Islamic terrorism to criminal activity goes beyond Iraq and the Palestinian areas. Recently the Washington Times featured a story entitled Al Qaeda seeks ties to local gangs which described its efforts to team up with Central American people-smuggling syndicates. No form of illegal activity, however heinous is haram to those with a mission. Take drugs. The Front Page Magazine alleges that Al Qaeda principally funded its terrorist activity from the Afghan opium trade, something which its fraternal groups in Europe have emulated with great success.

Wretchard liberally supports this post with many links throughout. Reading the whole thing provides a grisly picture of an al Qaeda that seems more like a network of cockroach nests than of people, so far as their ability to survive and operate throughout the world would seem.

We've only begun to battle this evil.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Justice in Yemen

According to the Washington Post today;
A court in Yemen sentenced two men to death and four others to prison terms today for their roles in the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000, an attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors and injured 40 more.

These hate-filled men are receiving a very different end than they might have expected when they'd joined up with al-Qaeda. After all, Osama bin Laden had been bragging that America was nothing more than a paper tiger.

ABC News: Describe the situation when your men took down the American forces in Somalia.

OBL: After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. ... As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled, and America had to stop all its bragging and all that noise it was making in the press after the Gulf War in which it destroyed the infrastructure and the milk and dairy industry that was vital for the infants and the children and the civilians and blew up dams which were necessary for the crops people grew to feed their families. Proud of this destruction, America assumed the titles of world leader and master of the new world order. After a few blows, it forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. America stopped calling itself world leader and master of the new world order, and its politicians realized that those titles were too big for them and that they were unworthy of them. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered, so was every Muslim. ...

Presumably Osama bin Laden is today either dead or is wounded and slithering from one cave to another somewhere in the wilderness of the Pakistani-Afghan border. We might ponder if he ever wonders how America found its spine.

The same might be pondered of these terrorists in Yemen facing a death sentence and prison time. While their friends on the outside of the prison walls see the sentences meted out, they have to deal with the fact that the U.S.S. Cole continues to sail and serve the United States Navy.

"The Cole subsequently underwent repairs costing $250 million and returned to service."

Meanwhile, due to an America stirred to an aggressive response to it and a world following this newfound leadership, al Qaeda has not been able to launch another attack upon the American homeland. It is these sorts of trends effected over time; the weeks, months, years, that will lend great pressure upon Islamic radicalism to lay down their arms and seek peaceful lives after the example of a successful and sovereign and newly free Iraq.

Cheating in Minnesota

Jay Reding has this post on various investigations of Democratic election fraud. Particularly in my own Midwest. This is something I find to be very disturbing, to say the least.
I was raised to believe that honesty is the best policy. How could people who are citizens of this country come to believe that bringing about their preferred electoral results through cheating is an acceptable means? In my book, cheating is just un-American. If I had any clue that a Republican were cheating I would most certainly stop him.
My home state of Minnesota is one of a handful of crucial battleground states that will decide the election. And the polls show it to be statistically tied.
That means that Minnesota is a prime candidate for Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party cheating. If anyone has any local information on suspicions of voter fraud or registration fraud in my home State, please email me immediately so that I may act upon it.

The coming debate

I've read a number of opinion pieces regarding the coming televised debate between John Flipper Kerry and George W. Bush tomorrow evening and they are loaded with disparate expectations. Some think the debate will have little or no effect on the opinion polls or the coming election. Others think that it will be enormously important in shaping the final weeks of the campaigns.
Most seem to think that, barring some sort of unexpected and obvious blunder, the horse race will begin to tighten up once more. Others see little other outcome but a widening of W's lead, culminating in a landslide victory for W with an undeniable mandate for his second term of office.

But most of them seem to agree on one fundamental in particular. This is that in order to succeed, Kerry must decisively "win" the debate, while W has the luxury of needing merely not to "lose".

Certainly Kerry has the media on his side. This will go a long way toward helping push Kerry into that necessary Win column.

Nevermind that Kerry is a loser.

My own hope is that this debate might go some way toward actually helping to mend the rift between everyday Americans regarding the issue of Iraq. I think there are thousands of Americans who haven't really come to grips with thinking about what their country ought to do about the threats of radical Islam and rogue states that might help them harm us. These people are disturbed that we are at war and they may be fuzzy about why we had to bring regime change in Iraq.
I think there may be a lot of fence-sitters tuning in. And when they hear the arguments framed in stark contrast side by side, it will go a long way toward mending that rift.

The bottom line is that W will remind us that we are at war and have inherited all the challenges that war will throw at a nation.
Kerry will try to convince us that we are primarily involved in a struggle against criminal actions and that W's "so-called war" is actually making things worse.

No matter how you slice it, in my book that will be good television. Kerry and W are not the sole participants of this debate. It is an entire nation that debates.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Mother of all phone banks

As you can see by the little campaign calendar below my blogroll, there are only 35 days or less remaining until Election Day. Lock and load.

I wanted to go the HQ tonight and recruit more volunteers for our upcoming Mother Of All Phone Banks drive. But I came down ill tonight with a touch. So I'll try and make up for my absence at the phone with this post.

We need an army of people to man the phones every Saturday in October beginning this Saturday, October 2nd. The phone bank is in downtown Minneapolis. Shifts are 10 am - 1 pm and 1pm - 4 pm.

To get involved and make a difference go to and click on Volunteer.


Yesterday, Her Majesty Queen Teresa was in the Twin Cities campaigning for her husband, John Flipper Kerry.
At a youth farm she advised that the adults, "Vote often and vote well."

Erm....she realizes there is a law against voting twice, right?


the Five Man Electrical Band, Spitbull carries this nice post with accompanying pics in regard to the battle of the political lawn signs in Minneapolis.

That reminds me of a joke;

I'm not very good at understanding politics and the issues. I never know who to vote for.
So I came up with a system for myself on how to vote for president. I figure, Hey, I 'll just count up all the lawn signs on my block and whoever has the most I'll vote for him.

Didn't work out too good. I ended up voting for ReMax.

Inspiration and strength

I had just had a conversation with a fellow employee in which he'd cited Colin Powell's statement from yesterday, trumpeted in the press;
Secretary of State Colin Powell sees the situation in Iraq "getting worse" as planned elections approach, and the top U.S. military commander for Iraq says he expects more violence ahead.

And so the violence is getting worse. The major news networks choose to broadcast that and downplay what the stakes are and what progress is and has been made in Iraq.

We must look at Iraq with clear eyes and see that yes, the job is difficult and ugly. But that's what the bad guys are hoping will break our will. Mudville Gazette sees the eyes of the undefeated.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Unvarnished truth

The Command Post has this interview with Gen. Michael DeLong regarding his new book, Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth About the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, co-written by Noah Lukeman and Tony Zinni.

Of special interest is this discussion of the mysteriously vanished Weapons of Mass Destruction that the world has all too readily concluded were mere ghosts and never existed, despite mountains of evidence they most surely did.

TCP: The Iraq Survey Group is expected to file a comprehensive report soon on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Reports indicate that it will conclude Saddam had no WMD. But you disagree with that belief. Why do you disagree and is it more likely WMD are still inside Iraq, or have they been moved?
DeLong: I think what the report will say is, just like everybody else has said, there is no proof there was WMD. There will be no definitive statement in this report. I can state, unequivocally, there was WMD in Iraq before and during the war. You have multiple-source intelligence. Also, from other Arab leaders, as Tommy Franks says in his book, King Abdullah said Saddam has WMD. President Mubarek of Egypt said you have to be very careful going in, because Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. Other leaders who have chosen not to be named said the same thing. We had technical intelligence that saw the same thing.
Two days before March 19, 2003, we saw quite a number of vehicles going into Syria. We could not go after them because we said we'd give Saddam 48 hours. A lot of (Iraqi) leaders went into Syria, and a lot of WMD went into Syria. We've gotten indications some went into Lebanon, and probably some went into Iran.
The size of Iraq is roughly, in square miles, the same size as California. Seven-eighths of the country is arid desert land. We've done calculations that you could probably bury 16 Eiffel Towers or Empire State Buildings and never find them in the desert. Just four months ago, they were digging for something out in the middle of the desert and they hit something. It was a MIG-25 Foxbat that the Iraqis buried in the sand. We never would have found this thing.Biological Weapons, you could put almost your whole program in a suitcase. You could probably put your whole chemical weapons industry inside a van. Yes, they did have it and right today they can't find it. The people we've captured, like Dr. Germ and Chemical Ali, the murderer of the Kurds, aren't talking.

The General has many other interesting things to say in this interview. By all means, RTWT. I suspect this book will be a must read for any student of modern warfare, including Rummy's pared down troop strategies.

A final note from me here regarding the information contained in this book. I think it is quite likely that President Bush will handily dispose of John Kerry in this Thursday's debate. After all, the President has access to and understands these facts, whilst Kerry has been jabbering gobbltie gook from tin-foil hat land these past many months.

Gitmo is safe haven

A former Taliban commander, having been captured and imprisoned at Guantanimo Prison and then released, has been killed at his old post. I wonder what the message of this man's fate is for his comrades in arms. Do they think highly of his fortitude, having rejoined the fight for "Islam"? Or do they ponder the relative safety Gitmo offered?

In any event, he won't be fighting to repress women, enslave his brothers in theocratic tyranny or threatening his neighbors any longer. Repeat often and accelerate, please.

The usual suspects

Last week I read this piece by John "Rocketman" Hinderaker in Powerline.

I'm pretty sure the host, Gloria Borger, didn't like me much. (My favorite part of the transcript is her "How can you say that? How can you say that?")

I was not at all sure I knew who Gloria Borger was. I don't have cable television. But I do catch a few minutes of cable tv news while I'm at the gym. For some reason, I wondered if Gloria Borger might be the same newswoman I'd watched briefly during the Republican National Convention. The woman I remembered had been interviewing Bush's campaign strategist, Matthew Dowd of what the President needed to do to conduct a successful speech and she asked Dowd;
"So, is President Bush going to present a laundry list of things he claims to have accomplished over his term?"

I'd thought that calling the President's accomplishments "a laundry list" was a strange way to characterize the important policies of our day in this country. And so too did Dowd. He coolly responded by beginning,
"Well, the President doesn't do laundry lists but...", and then he went on to answer her question after he'd done his best to shuck off such a trivialization of the President's record.

So I wondered if Gloria Borger might have been the same "impartial and unbiased newswoman" that the Rocketman had encountered and I Googled her image.

Bingo! That's her. That's the same truth-bender I remembered.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

"Let his death be a particularly slow and painful one."

That's a line that Ernst Blofeld delivered in regard to James Bond in one of the franchise films. Sorry, I can't remember which one. I think it may have been You Only Live Twice.
But I would like to apply that line to Dan Rather's "journalism" career.

The beauty of this situation is that Dan undid himself with his own actions and arrogance.

James Whale's Frankenstein

I subscribe to NetFlix because I'm a film buff and I am not very happy with cable television. (What? They want us to pay a subscription fee AND watch commercials? Somebody's getting screwed.) I'm sure a lot of other subscribers to NetFlix do not watch a lot of movies over the summer. The nice weather and my involvement in the presidential campaign have caused me to neglect movies for the season to an alarming degree.
I almost don't know who I am anymore.
But lately I have become aware that I miss watching a great movie and that I would probably survive if I weren't surfing the Blogosphere or posting in my own blog for a mere 90 minutes of my life.
I placed James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) in the servo, leaned back with a bottle of Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon and savored.
What a great movie this is. I must have seen it perhaps 20 to 30 times over the years. That would have to be a majority of times on broadcast television. But I think I've seen it on the big screen at least once and on VHS at least once. Would you believe I've caught new things I'd never noticed before? That would have to be thanks to the Commentary track by one Rudy Behlmer. Mr. Behlmer packs the Commentary track chock full of information and detail that is stunning in it wealth. For instance, he points out in a very early scene that Dr. Frankenstein literally throws dirt into the face of death. I'd never appreciated that. There is a statue of the Grim Reaper at the graveyard and Frankenstein tosses a shovel full of earth over his shoulder in that direction into its face. Nice touch.
Behlmer also has many interesting production notes and details of censorship over the years, including the infamous drowning scene in which the Monster tosses a little peasant girl into the lake when he runs out of flower blossoms in his game with her. There had been a re-release of Frankenstein back in the 1980s when this footage was restored. Yours truly was there to see it at his local cinema house, of course.

So why have I seen this movie so many times? Why have so many people been enthralled with this film?
It's a great story about a man's obsession in imitating the defining act of God. This imitation goes afoul and the creation brings death, terror and disaster upon himself, his loved ones and the being he'd created.
Boris Karloff evokes this being without saying a word. We are enormously sympathetic to him and we recognize ourselves.

"It's alive, it's alive....oh in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!" - Henry Frankenstein

Saturday, September 25, 2004

I see that Elizabeth Hurley has vanished off my current blog page. That means it's time to post Leatitia Casta. Got a problem with that? Posted by Hello

Lawn signs part deux

What a drop-dead gorgeous day this morning and afternoon was!
I hopped the #4 bus this early morning to a south Minneapolis address where we gathered, as we did two weeks ago, to collect Bush-Cheney signs and head out to install them in front lawns.

I was teamed with a terrific fellow named Tim. He's got about 15 years on me and a Saturn. We loaded up enough signs to hit 57 addresses plus a few extras. One of the organizers was kind enough to consolidate our list so that we could logistically work Richfield with efficiency. And the differences were starkly measurable. We did as many addresses as last time and shaved two hours off our invested time. I pitched in $5 for gas money as contrasted to $10 last time.
Thanks, Terri!

There was a beautiful moment we experienced in the early afternoon. As we approached an address on our list, there was a woman walking across the street to the same address. The occupant of this address was coincidentally out on her stoop watering her flowers. The visiting woman was already speaking to this occupant as my partner and I parked our car at the curb. These two women were discussing something, but I had no idea of what. I jumped out and planted a Bush-Cheney sign in the lawn and waved to the occupant, "Got your Bush-Cheney sign for ya!"
She brightened up and waved back with a big, hearty "Thank you, I appreciate it!"
By now the visitor was departing and I got my first close look at her. She was a Kerry-Edwards canvasser! She had a Kerry-Edwards tee-shirt on and carried a clipboard.
She had a look at me and I noted her presence. I have no interest in being confrontational. But it was a great moment. That had to be a pretty demoralizing moment for her, I should imagine.
But it couldn't have been a mortal blow. Minnesota is strong DFL territory. There were scores of Kerry-Edwards signs along our route.
My pilot and I had a good chuckle over this close encounter of the Democrat kind.

It goes without saying that come 12 o'clock Noon, we tuned in to am 1280 The Patriot and listened to the Northern Alliance Radio Network. They always put on a great and informative program.

A great day.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Or I'll eat my words

There's a little snack shop just down the hall from my workplace. And an odd package on the shelf caught my eye. It's a little red tub called Pringles Prints. So, being the impulsive consumer I am, I bought one and saved it for my lunch to accompany my vegetarian soup. (No, not alphabet soup.)
There are potato chips in here and they have words printed on them. Hmmmm. Interactive food. Little trivia questions with answers so easy a six-year old would get them all correct. The linked website allows you, the consumer, to submit your own suggestions for printed Pringles. One day, you could have the honor of eating your own words, (dare I say it?), literally.
The site warns us of the coming of Pringles Trivial Pursuit Junior. Can we stand the suspense?
A host of bad puns and regrettable jokes come to my mind. But I'll let you post them for me in my Comments. Be my guest.

The terrorist formerly known as Cat Stevens

Earlier this week, Drudge reported that Yusuf Islam had been denied entry to the United States.

More widely known as Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam bailed out of the entertainment industry in the late 1970s when he was confronted by Islamists.
Allmusic has this summary of his conversion;
On December 23, 1977, Stevens formally became a Muslim and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. Notwithstanding this change, there was an eleventh and final Cat Stevens album, Back to Earth, released in December 1978; it sold modestly. With that, Yusuf Islam retired from the pop music business. He entered into an arranged marriage that eventually produced five children, auctioned off his possessions, and founded a Muslim school near London. He was not widely heard from for another ten years, until he shocked admirers at the end of the '80s by supporting the death sentence ordered by the Ayatollah Khomeini against novelist Salman Rushdie for writing the book The Satanic Verses. Some "classic rock" radio stations discontinued playing him as a result, and 10,000 Maniacs, who had covered "Peace Train" on their In My Tribe album in 1987, had it removed from the record. He later claimed that he had been manipulated by the media, who were looking for a statement from a prominent British Muslim, but he did not disavow his statement. Nevertheless, his music remained popular. In 1990, for example, the compilation album The Very Best of Cat Stevens reached the U.K. Top Five. A different album with the same title charted in the U.S. in the spring of 2000 as Yusuf Islam undertook a promotional tour in connection with the reissues of remastered versions of his Cat Stevens albums.

But there's more.

This story goes to the heart of the problem of the War On Terrorism. Too many Muslims are living a lie. They, like Yusuf Islam, claim they are "spreading peace". But in their eyes, spreading peace means supporting intolerant acts such as a fatwa on Salmon Rushdie and providing funding to Hamas.
According to Christopher Taylor in my link above, Islam said of Israel;
"The Jews seem neither to respect God nor his creation. Their own holy books contain the curse of God brought upon them by their prophets on account of their disobedience to Him and mischief in the earth. We have seen the disrespect for religion displayed by those who consider themselves to be 'God's chosen people.'"
"There will be no justice until all the land is given back to its rightful owners..."
"Only Islam can bring peace back to the Holy Land..."

If these charges are true then Islam is rightfully barred from entry to the United States. And I suspect they are true. I very much doubt that US Customs and Border Protection officers would deny entry to a high profile personality such as Cat Stevens on frivolous suspicions. He is a well known personality and any undue treatment of him would be bad publicity for those officers and their departments.

To quote the President; "Stand with the civilized world, or stand with the terrorists."

Yusuf Islam wants to stand with the terrorists. And therefore he should not be allowed into the United States.
UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Yusuf Islam was confused with another suspected terrorist named Youssouf Islam.
The terrorist formerly known as Cat Stevens is looking into suing the offending airline or the Department of Homeland Security or whomever his consultants deem suitworthy.
But there are corroborations of Islam's
checkered past insofar as Islamic radicalism is concerned.
Perhaps it was a mistake to divert Islam's plane and deny a smooth flight into the United States. Officials allowed Yusuf Islam onto the flight but discovered a Youssouf Islam there, deciding to act upon it.
That's good, in my opinion. I'm glad to see that Homeland Security is operating to protect the homeland. Better a mistake be made to inconvenience one Yusuf over the error of mistaking him for Youssouf than suffer another piece of deadly terrorism of the likes of Mahmoud Mahmoud Atta, I mean
Mohammed Atta.
As the BBC story corroborates, Yusuf Islam had lent support for the fatwa against Rushdie. That's extreme. And Mr. Rushdie's murder at the hands of Islamic killers would have been quite a bit more inconvenient to him than the mistaken diversion of a plane flight.
It has been pointed out to me that the terrorist formerly known as Cat Stevens is a man of peace and has issued statements condemning the recent terrorist bombings in Russia and the 9/11 attacks against America. But our officials who are seeking to keep our country safe cannot rely on a few such statements that might be made only to deflect suspicion of terrorist sympathies.
I'm not seeing any refutations of Islam's support for the fatwa nor his reported contributions to Hamas. The terrorist formerly known as Cat Stevens has claimed, as I quoted above, that, "Only Islam can bring peace back to the Holy Land." Does he mean to say that only the destruction of Israel will bring peace to that place? He has a checkered record. The world is at war. If the officials made a mistake and erred on the side of safety then I applaud them for that error.
Mr. Islam is alive and well and breaths. Thankfully, so too does Salmon Rushdie, despite Mr. Islam's endorsement of violence.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Heading on down to Keegan's

An excuse to drink some ales and play silly trivia.
Keegan's is loud and abrasive on Trivia night. It's almost impossible to hear what anybody is saying, yet everyone expects you to. The questions are blatantly skewed with an Irish bias, favoring the guy wearing pointy green shoes, a little green cap with a 4-leaf clover in its band and holding a pipe. But I can't think of any German or Swedish pubs that host parties for bloggers.
But I doubt that any other pub could have a more gracious and kind owner as Terry.

What the hell. See ya there, I hope.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Stolen signs and HQ dressing

First of all, I should mention that I had a dental appointment this morning. I had a filling that came loose and it had to be removed, cleaned and refilled.

Yesterday was Tuesday and I worked the phones at BC HQ. As soon as I walked in the door I was shocked. Where was I? The place was made over. And the chairs were packed with volunteers. I like what they did with simple office panels. New rooms were temporarily created.
There is an entire back room area that was largely unused back last summer, but now was teeming with bodies. The loading dock was fully operational. Piles of discarded empty boxes were stacked and Bush-Cheney signs were aligned and being loaded onto trucks and cars coming and going. I especially admired the gigantic 3'x5' Bush-Cheney signs. Wouldn't it be great to hide my house behind a giant, gleaming sheet of billboard proclaiming Bush-Cheney '04? How does a Leftie steal that?

Two of my little BC signs have been stolen. I just learned last night that I should be reporting these thefts to my local police department. I didn't know that. I had assumed that a missing Bush-Cheney sign in liberal Uptown would be regarded as much a crime as the sun rising in the east.
"Officer, I want to report a giant ball of burning fire rising over the rooftops in my neighborhood."
"Yeah. That's the sun. Happens every day. Anything else?"
"Oh yes. My Bush-Cheney sign was stolen again."
"What's the serial number on that sign, Sir?"
"Serial number? I don't have a serial number."
"Sorry. No serial number, we can't help you. It's too common a crime to track unless we have a sign serial number. What were you thinking, Bub? You actually thought your Bush-Cheney sign would be in your yard just because you believe your property is sacrosanct?
"Who is this?"
"Police. Get a giant 3'x5' sign. They have trouble hiding those."

So I hit the phones. I was now familiar with the new procedure. It's a refreshing change, actually. It's a much more personal approach. Now it is much more important to note the name of the person I am calling, as the inquiry is about the mailed absentee ballot request that was mailed to them, specifically. I don't want to waste time talking to someone other than the individual to whom the application was mailed. So, it is a bit more of a rarity that I may hit my target.
That meant that the work was a bit more arduous. Most of the calls were to answering machines. Some of my connected calls were to outright Bush-rejecters. The bright spot of my evening was reaching a family who wanted to vote for Bush but had recently moved and did not realize they needed to re-register. I got their information. They will receive a registration form. After they fill it out, sign it and mail it in they will be registered and they will receive a postcard from the Secretary of State informing them of the particulars of their polling place.
This is why Bush will win the Minnesota general election. The polls show that Minnesota is a tie between Bush & Kerry. So it therefore boils down to a question of who will get their people to the polls. I think that will most certainly be Bush-Cheney. The organization is top notch. We're pegging our people and providing them with the information they need in order to cast their vote.
Meanwhile the Kerry campaign is having trouble understanding who their man is. What does he believe in?

There was a festive atmosphere at HQ last night. Filmmakers were there. As I worked the phones, cameras were rolling on other folks. If I make it into the movie, I am just a vol. I'm part of the background. I'm a little piece of the atmosphere in the shots. Maybe. I'm prolly not in it at all.

Mirror, Mirror

Looking into her own mirror, the StarTribune admires herself and reflects on what she sees.
Strib: Magic mirror on the wall
Who is the fairest of them all?
Mirror: Liberalism is thy beauty, Majesty.
But hold, I lovely truth I see.
Polls cannot hide a gentle grace,
Alas, she is
more fair than thee.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

More protest coverage of the Star & Sickle

Minnesota Democrats Exposed has a pic of us on the pavement and other exposures.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The marbled walls of the Star Tribune; Newspaper of the Twin Cities, quake as our echos resound this day.
Posted by Hello

WCCO fawning

I received an email from WCCO that was a robotic response obviously handed down from on high. This was in response to a letter of complaint I'd sent to the manager of WCCO-TV which I had been prompted to through Chad "The Elder" of Fraters Libertas. They sent me a pathetic explanation of CBS's position. But it didn't hold water.
The bottom line is that Rather and CBS thought they could get away with lying to the American public and they seek to escape responsibility for these lies by blaming Burkett.
Wrong. Rather bears responsibility along with CBS News.

I advised 'CCO that I will not be tuning into their frequencies until they correct the situation and I asked that they notify me when they have corrected so that I may return in good conscience.

House of cards

Dan Rather is going down.
And one of the biggest reasons Rather is going down is because there are thousands of CBS affiliates around the country who have invested in the CBS brand name and now want out. In my locality of the Twin Cities, that would be WCCO-tv and radio. Rather's undoing is happening as all those affilitates cringe at the idea of being tied to a network that presents lies as journalism.
Chad the Elder over at Fraters Libertas has the pertinent email addresses and phone numbers. Check it out and respond. I have. It's fun to lend one's hand in toppling a fecal giant of distortion.
Be part of the hogpile.
(Sorry about these objectionable verbal images. Nobody said politics was pretty.)

I'm a bit beside myself just now as the Internet is all a twitter over newly revealed connections between the Kerry campaign and the CBS scandal. Is this the death knell of the Kerry-Edwards campaign?

If you don't know what I'm talking about there is this from Drudge.
And this from Hugh Hewitt.
And this from Charles Johnson.

Can you say "firestorm"?

I wonder how thick the smoke will be tomorrow.

Harsh lesson

I learned a harsh lesson this evening in my rush to get home to see the 6 o'clock news. I stopped off at my usual place for groceries. That would be Lunds Foods in Uptown. I wanted some chicken thighs and some chips for dinner. But I had to be quick or I'd miss the tv news.
I made quick work of grabbing my items. Then it was off to the checkout line. For some reason the Rush line was closed. That's the one that has a rule that no more than 10 items be checked. All the registers were full, but not overly so.
Then I got an idea.
At least a few times in my life I have been in such a line with a full cart of items. I've been approached by polite requests from shoppers who'd only had one or two items, asking if they could go before me. I said yes.
So I thought the favor would surely be returned. After all, we live in a civil society. Right?
Wrong. The guy I asked looked at me as though I was asking for fifty cents. With a big, toothy grin he told me I should ask the young lady behind him if it was okay that I go ahead.
I'd assumed she was with him. Okay, my mistake. So I asked her if it was okay with her that I go ahead.
She said, "Everybody waits."
And Mr. Toothy said, "So, I'm going to hafta say 'No.'"
"Sorry," I replied. "I just thought it would be okay to ask."
I was wrong.

There are few crimes in America more egregious than thinking that our time is more important than the time of others.

When I got home and checked out the news coverage. I immediately took a shower to wash off the stench of my arrogant self.

Blood and smoke

...were not evident at the rally just now at Star Tribune offices on 4th Street & Portland Avenue.
There were about 30 - 40 people there waving their hand-made placards. Mine reads, "STRIB POLLS ARE FIBS". And there were many other creative signs in evidence. We were led in chants such as, "One, Two, Three, Four, Rob Daves has got to go!"
The media was there. I saw at least one tv camera, maybe two. And there were some photographers snapping pics.
So, indeed, it was an orderly and peaceful demonstration. At one point, two young women entered the glass doorway of the building in order to seek a meeting with Rob Daves, the newspaper's director of polling. They were rejected because they did not have an appointment.
Isn't there as song called something like, "I Fell In Love At The Demonstration"?
I Googled it and came up empty. If you don't know what Googling is well, you need to get on board with the 21st Century.

Anyways, I didn't fall in love there. But we made our statement. I'll watch the 6 o'clock news to see if they covered the event honestly. I'm sure Dan Rather is getting right on it. I did see the demonstration organizer, Chris Tiedeman there and he was being interviewed. I think it was channel 5 News. I'll put up an update once I verify that. He was nice enough to thank me for publicizing the even on this blog.
And I should have a pic by tomorrow. Darn it, I forgot to bring my camera with me, but another protester I knew there said he'd email it to me. If you don't know what email is.....sorry, you're hopeless.
"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
UPDATE: I just got confirmation that Channel 4 WCCO-tv was there with their camera. Mom, set the VCR.
AND A FURTHER UPDATE: I watched the coverage on Channel 4. Amelia Santaniello did the honors reading the story. She blew it. I couldn't understand what she was saying.

"This evening Republicans are lashing out at the StarTribune."

That's a lie. It wasn't this afternoon, as Santaniello claims. It was from 12 o'clock Noon till approximately 12:35. That's not evening. It's early afternoon. Santaniello distorted the news to make it look as though the story was happening later in the day. This is a tactic taken directly out of the Dan Rather playbook.

"These protesters say that the paper's polls favor Democrats. Oswega StarTribono-Tribune election poll showed John Kerry leading President Bush 50% to 41 in Minnesota. The paper's editors say that poll is among the most accurate in the country."

I played this tape dozens of times. I think Santaniello was trying to report that "A statewide StarTribune election poll showed John Kerry leading..."
It doesn't much matter that Santaniello tripped over her words, as the poll is a lie anyways. WCCO-TV, to their credit, reported real news (a protest against media bias) even though it was sloppily presented. Hey, that's better than Dan Rather.
And then, there is this.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Protest the Strib

The Star Tribune; Newspaper of the Twin Cities, has printed a story reporting on a demonstration against the Star Tribune that is, at the time of this writing, nothing more than an announcement.
This demonstration would take place this coming Monday September 20th from noon until 1 o'clock, according to Minnesota Democrats Exposed blog.

These events are interesting because the face-off is cast as a contest between the Minnesota GOP and the polling practices of the Strib. But the demonstration hasn't even happened yet. Minnesota GOP State Chair, Ronald Eibensteiner, has published a letter of grievance over the Strib's polling practices to Nancy Belden, President of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Tom W. Smith, Chair, Standards Committee, American Association for Public Opinion Research, and Michael P. Flanagan, Executive Coordinator American Association for Public Opinion Research.
I'd like to provide a link to that letter, but it seems MNGOP's website has been down since yesterday afternoon. The letter cites a lack of cooperation from the StarTribune in disclosing its polling practices and procedures.
UPDATE: The link is here. Note that you can also open a pdf file of Eibensteiner's letter by clicking on "Home" and then the link at the base of the story.

While the GOP and Mr. Eibensteiner have good reason to make complaint of the StarTribune's skewed polls and their refusals to comply with standards of disclosure of how those polls are created, it should be made clear that the demonstration is not organized by the Minnesota Republican Party. According to the Strib, "Republican officials alerted the newspaper to the planned demonstration by "concerned citizens" at noon Monday but said they are not involved in it."
It should also be made clear that the coming demo ought to take issue with more than a protest singularly against the paper's polls. The polls of the StarTribune are not an isolated offense to good news reporting in Minnesota. Blatant bias of a Leftist slant favoring the DFL has long been noticed among the readership of the state as well as the nation. Recently Powerline has devoted some attention to the editorial offices of the Strib. But Powerline has a long string of cited offenses against this agenda-driven rag.

The StarTribune, as noted, has printed a story calling attention to this pending demonstration saying, "We will not be taking direction from any political party on polling or news judgment." Really? Not even from the DFL? Since when? It sure doesn't look that way to some folks around here. That's why this coming demonstration has to be bigger than a protest along party lines. We deserve a newspaper that reports the fact impartially.
Falling on a business day, downtown over lunch hour, I don't see this demonstration attracting many people beyond downtown workers. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe folks will be bussing all the way in to the demo from far-flung Fridley, filled with angst and fits of frenzy against the Strib. I hope so.
My fellow blogger, Minnesota Democrats Exposer agrees with me that word of this demonstration should be spread far and wide. That is one reason I am hereby posting about it. Having said that, my investigation of this protest shows me that a lot of people are ignorant of it. I'm mystified as to why the Star Tribune should fan the flames of a demonstration against themselves. It's almost as though they are saying, "Bring it on!"

Let's clue the Star Tribune in to our discontent.

UPDATE: I hope you plan on attending this demonstration. It is apparently very much a do-it-yourself outing. Spend an hour or so today in creating your very own protest placard. Haul it downtown with you to the demonstration or to work in your morning commute. Bring your digital camera.

If you've been stewing in your own juices for years over the agenda-driven reportage of the Strib, Monday will be your day to vent.

Good times

Life is sweet.
So much of the news regarding the Kerry-Edwards meltdown, the current polls, the DanRon very reassuring.
There are those who report that the Kerry campaign is in panic. Republican Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd asserts that Kerry must defy history in order to win the race for the presidency at this point. There are those who think Rather must resign within two months and there are those who think that the entire CBS News brand name is facing irreparable damage.
Human nature tends to drag folks toward relaxation when the task at hand seems to be all but complete. We mustn't allow that.
We must continue to press. I urge you to volunteer for Bush-Cheney '04 if you have not signed up yet. I urge you to recruit more volunteers for Bush-Cheney '04. I urge you to attend the demonstration at 4th & Portland Avenue tomorrow. I urge you to notify your local CBS affiliate and register your displeasure with Dan Rather's product.

Let's squeeze the life out of this weasel until it is cold.

Nader's feelers

I was disturbed by a phone call today. When I picked up the receiver I heard the voice of a recording.
I am assuming it was presidential hopeful Ralph Nader because all the questions pertained to my reception of a Nader candidacy. I heard no identifier as to who was gathering this information.
There were three questions, as I recall;
  1. Am I planning on voting in the coming General Election? #1) Yes #2) No
  2. If Nader is on the ballot, would I vote for; #1) Bush #2) Kerry #3) Nader?
  3. Could I possibly be persuaded to change my vote for Ralph Nader? #1) Yes #2) No

My selections were, in order; #1, #1 and #2

Sometimes its gratifying to get a political phone call at home. I immediately reflected that if it were the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign calling, the call most certainly would have been placed by a real volunteer person. But since the Nader campaign has a very real shortage of supporters, they have to use automatons.

Some of my Republican constituents might be displeased with me that I indicated responses that would dissuade a Nader campaign from coming to Minnesota. For, a Nader campaign in Minnesota would probably aid Bush. I don't mind being honest. In fact, I prefer it.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Heartless fiends

The heartless fiends who support John "Fudgin" Kerry have really done it now. I'm pig-biting mad at these monsters who made a little girl cry. They tore up her Bush-Cheney '04 sign. Free Republic has the picture and the story and the Comments from decent folks who care.
UPDATE: I was rather surprised to see that at least a few major blogs I respect for accuracy and balance actually pounced upon this story as a serious issue. I won't name those blogs, but scrounging around in my blogroll will reveal a few. Now the story has been debunked as hyperbole. The local Union even apologized on behalf of the offending sign-rippers. So it seems that quite a few besides just a few bloggers were tricked. To the credit of the blogosphere, when blogs learn they have overstepped their bounds, they issue corrections.
I hope it has been evident from the tone of my post on these "Heartless fiends" that my intention was humor. This election race has reached a fever pitch of emotionalism. Humor is in good order. Going into attack mode over a little crying girl is inappropriate in this case.

"I'm mad as hell...

and I'm not going to take it anymore."...was the cry everyone was yelling out their windows in the movie Network. And this might be an appropriate chant to yell next week at the offices of the StarTribune; Newspaper of the Twin Cities. Minnesota Democrats Exposed reports that there will be a demonstration at the Strib offices this coming Monday.
The Strib has got to be getting a little nervous these days with our own Powerline blog breathing down their pink necks. For it was only as recently as just before and during the MN State Fair, that Powerline destroyed the Strib's editorial staff.
There was the incident when the Associate Press lied about boos that never happened at a Bush speech. It turned out it was actually just a couple of confused guys yelling, "Lou". The rest of the rally was cheering.
And now, of course, the whole country knows about Powerline's central role in debunking Dan Rather's lies over the National Guard forgeries.

If enough sunlight is brought to the StarTribune, will they be forced to adhere to more professional standards of journalism? Will they be run out of business by the bloggers and the talk radio and a public that grows wise to their deceits?

I guess that depends on how mad we get.

Don't read this

I'm warning your right now not to read this piece by Ann Coulter. When the Democrats and/or the Leftist biased media pull dirty punches against truth and honesty, Ann Coulter is my rabid, foaming killer bitch from hell.
When things are calm and things seem rather orderly, she spends her time filing her fangs and claws into razor-sharp shredding machines. Then, when elitist snobs like CBS and Kitty Kelley try and play their dirty games and hoodwink the American people, the Gatekeeper opens the gates and Ann Coulter come bounding out going straight for the jugular.

I'm warning you. Don't read this piece. Hide the children. Exposure to the carnage will certainly give you nightmares for many weeks to come.

You've been warned.

CBS's gambit

There's been a lot of stalling at CBS for the past couple of days over the issue of the veracity National Guard documents. A statement was expected at noon EDT then 5 EDT. The best that came forward was a statement that CBS would redouble its efforts to address the veracity of these documents.
What did come?
Well, at 7 pm CDT Dan Rather appeared on 60 Minutes II with a report that attempted to maintain that the "assertions" of the documents are true...never mind their fraudulence.
But it seems clear to me that this show is what CBS was stalling for.
According to CBS News,
CBS on Wednesday flew Killian's former secretary, Marian Carr Knox, 86, from Texas to New York for an interview. In the interview, Knox said she believed the documents were fake but their content accurately reflected Killian's opinions. "I know that I didn't type them," she said. "However, the information in those is correct."
Dan Rather doesn't trouble himself to address reports that Mrs. Knox is a Democrat.

So it would appear that CBS News is trying to switch the discussion from authenticity of the documents to their accuracy. And they used 60 Minutes Two as a drone to see if they could fly that tack. Rather challenged the President to "Answer the questions".
After all, the nation witnessed another media outlet that doesn't let the veracity of evidence stand in the way of its claims against President Bush; filmmaker Michael Moore. It is not unfair to say that the Democrat Party has been arrested by Michael Moore and his style of "journalism". If Moore can do it, why not that other arm of the Democrat Party known as CBS?

It seems that Michael Moore was right when he said, "We live in fictitious times."

Powerline asserts credit

The local heroes at Powerline have been in the news and have become a huge force lately through the CBS forged documents story. And they don't want anybody to get the wrong idea that they did it themselves. So they are asserting credit to their smart, activated readers with a "Thank you".

Gotta love this brave new world.

Johnny Ramone, RIP

Johnny Ramone died in his sleep yesterday afternoon. This news laid to rest the conflicting reports I'd heard that he was suffering from prostate cancer. There had been reports some months ago that Johnny was dying, but those reports had been denied by his wife.
Fifty-five years old, I think most people would agree, is a pretty young age to be cashing in one's chips. I'm stunned. The Ramones were one of the great bands. They were my Beatles. They changed my life. I bought a black leather motorcycle jacket because of the Ramones and I started my own band because of the Ramones.

I am sad that Johnny has passed. How can it be that this band I've seen so many times live and whose records I've played countless times is almost completely deceased? The only survivors are the several drummers they had over the years (unless you count C.J. Ramone...I don't.).

These were human beings and I don't trivialize their lives. But the music of the Ramones was fast and furious. If dying at the early stages of 50 years is young, then fast and furious was the way they lived their lives, too.

One last reflection. This is an election year. Johnny Ramone was a Republican.
This one's for you, Johnny.

Gabba gabba we accept you
We accept you
One of us
Gabba gabba we accept you
We accept you
One of us

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Absentee ballot applications

Last night was a busy night at Bush-Cheney '04 Headquarters.

I had a synchronistic experience on the way over aboard the #3 bus. The bus was crowded. I took one of the few available seats next to a woman with a box of files on her lap and her face buried into a book. A sly sideways glance revealed to me (I always try to see what fellow passengers are reading) that she was reading Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country? Interestingly enough, my carry-on book was Michael Moore Is A Big, Fat, Stupid White Man. I pulled it out and innocently read as we rode on. If she noticed my book, she didn't let on. But it was a nice moment. She eventually debussed.
It's unfortunate that the American people are reduced to wasting our time at all on a lying distorter of facts such as Michael Moore. But I am reading it because the Democratic Party is held hostage by this fool and I want to be clear on the lies his minions put forth.

As I'd mentioned last week, the WROCKS phase is ended. We are now working from a data base of names of individuals who we believe have a need to vote in absentium. We phone them, ask if they have received the application in the mail and ask if they have filled it out and mailed it. There is some statistical evidence showing that people who apply for an absentee ballot are much more likely to cast their vote. So our office is trying to get as many people to do so as we can, as those are votes we want counted for W.

On the phone, my work this night was rather unusual in the strange encounters I'd had with people. There was a fellow who'd claimed he was definitely voting for Bush, but his wallet was for the Democrats. I asked him what he meant by that and he went on in a rather hyper-caffeinated style about how Bush has destroyed our economy, he's lost a lot of income, his fellow employees are laid off, he is two weeks behind in the rent....but we've got to vote for Bush because he's going to keep us free! I kept waiting for this fellow to tip his hand to me that he was a smart-guy Democrat playing me for a fool. But he kept insisting that he was voting for Bush. Why should I argue with that? I politely told him that from where I sit I don't see the economy going belly up (in fact, it is doing quite well), but I wasn't about to take issue with him so long as he was voting for Bush. And I agree with him in principle that Bush is the only candidate who will prosecute an effective war on the terrorists. After failing to get this revved up guy signed on board as a volunteer for W, I begged goodnight as I had several more calls to make. Whew!
At another place on my list, I accidentally phoned a woman a second time after having left a voice mail about the absentee ballot application. This time she picked up and, aggressive as a rottweiler, insisted on knowing why I was calling her back.
"Oh sorry, ma'am. Yes, you're right. My mistake. I apologize. Goodnight."
Sheese! There is nothing more annoying than a persistent Republican invading the sanctity of one's home.

I learned something else this night. I'd mentioned to staff that I had also received an application for an absentee ballot in my home mailbox and that I'd promptly thrown it in the trash. It seems that was a mistake on my part. It turns out that one significant group of citizens who never bother to vote is.....volunteers. When Election Day arrives, I may very well be so busy in distant parts of town that I will not have time to go to the polls, myself. It is important that I cast an absentee ballot so that I do not have to interrupt my work on election day and run to my neighborhood polling place.
I argued with staff that, look, I'm going to be sleeping in my own bed on Election Day Eve. My polling place is but four blocks from that bed. Surely, I can rise, brush my teeth, get dressed and go vote first thing in the morning.
Not necessarily, staff corrected me. I may well be across town doing work in preparation before the polls open. I should vote before Election Day with an absentee ballot. Typically, every election, scores of volunteers never cast their vote for their candidate of choice.

Wouldn't that be a pisser? Okay. I'm reapplying for another application. I'm glad I learned this now before it's too late.

The source

Where did the bogus National Guard documents come from? Dan Rather won't say. He's "protecting his sources".
Hugh Hewitt is calling for a federal investigation.
PittsburghLive reports that they have passed through Democratic Party hands. This would support Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson's (of Powerline) contention that he first noticed that the National Guard docs seemed to fit almost too perfectly with the latest Kerry campaign offensive against W, as I heard him explain on FOXNews with Brit Hume.

We deserve to know.

To paraphrase Sen. Ted Kennedy's hyperbole over W and the war in Iraq,

Did the Democrats make this thing up in Massachusetts, announce it in September to CBS that the documents were authentic and that this was going to be good politically?

This whole thing was a fraud.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Nothing like Elizabeth Hurley to chase away the blues. Also, nothing like Elizabeth Hurley to provide a little rise in meter counts. Thanks for visiting.
(tip o' the bird to Austin Powers)Posted by Hello


I am down today.

Not that visiting the dentist's office isn't a good reason for cheer. Yes, that's where I went immediately after voting in the Primary Election. I won't bore you with the details, but I had the good fortune to require a follow-up visit next week. Getting older is so much fun.
Then when I reported for work my supervisor explained to me that they have to retract my personal day off work this coming Thursday. President Bush is coming to Blaine, Minnesota for a Town Hall style rally. I've got a ticket and now I can't go. I won't bore you with the details but it doesn't sit entirely right with me and I am disappointed. This would most certainly be the best rally ever in my experience.

And now it has begun to rain. Looks like I'll be taking the bus to Bush-Cheney Headquarters today.

Election Day Arrives

Yeah, yeah, yeah....I know you're growing weary of my ruse post headlines. Today wasn't the General Election Day we are all awaiting. It was just a measly, bland and unsexy Primary.

How pedestrian!

I'm wearing my Nerd Alert "I voted" red sticker. Noticed that no one else I've encountered has one. I was at the polls this morning at 7:45 am or so. Not another soul in there but election judges. Do election judges have souls? If so, prove it.
They were so happy to see me they almost struck up the band and began a dance with yours truly.

One funny thing that happened in there;
An old and very nice woman at the folding table asked for my name and address. She found me in her ledger. Then she gave me a little piece of paper with some info printed on it and her scrawl.
"Please give this to the voting official sitting next down from me," she instructed.
So I took the little piece of paper from her hand and promptly handed it to the nice, older lady sitting at her elbow.

Wasn't there a scene like that in Brazil? No? Well there should have been.

I scooted into the voter's booth and completed the ballot inside of 2 minutes. In a flash I was off to the final leg of the ordeal we call voting, which is my right, my privilege and my duty. That would be the big, square machine that has a slot in it and collects the completed ballots. I'm sure there is a proper and official name for it, but I would know that name.

It failed. Just jammed right there in its throat. Not to worry, a nice, young man backed it out and reset a dial and "mmmmmmmm" it got sucked in. The nice young man thanked me for casting my votes and politely asked if I would be back on November 2nd.

Oh yes. I'll be here.

I wouldn't want to miss that. I expect there will be a line.

Monday, September 13, 2004

This diagram came to me via Blogs for Bush. Click on that link if you want to download your own pdf file.
Gee...If this web gets any bigger, we're gonna have to put John Kerry in the Spiderman III movie. Posted by Hello

Oak Street Cinema

I've added another link to my Culture blogroll. That would be the Oak Street Cinema in Stadium Village on the University of Minnesota campus. There was a time in the not too distant past when I was going to movies here up to three evenings per week. That's because I love old movie houses, I love old movies and the Oak Street Cinema fulfills both of these loves. The Oak Street calendar is always interesting. I've caught up with most of my Film Noir gaps at this venue. In case you've forgotten in this age of NetFlix, cheap dvd retailer and TiVo, seeing a movie in a theater WITH OTHER PEOPLE is the way these films were meant to be seen. Also, seeing these movies on a LARGE PROJECTION SCREEN emanating from A MOVIE PROJECTOR is also the way these movies were meant to be seen.
Yes, we all get lazy. Yes, we all grow weary of whisperers and cell phones at movie houses.
But it is my humble opinion that seeing films in movie theaters is a more rewarding experience than a 54" liquid whatchamacallit in your home entertainment room.
Sadly, I don't go to the Oak Street Cinema as much as I used to. That's because I had to pare that pleasure away to make room for political campaigning and the gym and, well, other stuff. Besides, I'd say that going to the movies three times per week is excessive. What the heck was wrong with me? Don't answer that. It is really, really keeno, though, to saturate your corneas with one of the Oak Street Cinema's mini-festivals. I have fond memories of seeing Antonioni's Zabriskie Point here. I will almost always prefer to make time from my usual goings-on if I can catch a John Cassavettes film at the Oak Street. This is where I first saw the Coen Brothers' Miller's Crossing. I'd passed on seeing it in its first run because, thanks to Marty Scorcese, I had been burnt out on violent gangster films and just had no stomach for watching guys getting whacked. By the time Miller's Crossing had made its way to the Oak Street, I said "oh what the heck, why not?" And I was glad I did....Great movie.

Live-blogging NARN

I've never had the pleasure of live-blogging before as I now am while this special edition of NARN is enjoying a guest-spot on The Dennis Prager Show. I've never live-blogged because I don't own a laptop. But this time the event I am blogging about is brought to the room of my desktop. NARN is being aired on The Patriot at 12 o'clock noon. I live-blog the first hour. Our host is Mitch Berg of Shot In The Dark. Guests in the studio are Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson of Powerline, James Lileks of The Bleat, the StarTribune; Newspaper of the Twin Cities and Newhouse News Service and King Baneon of SCSU Scholars.
I won't bother to link all these blogs in the body of this post, as you can find them all in my blogroll. I should update SCSU Scholars here, as they now have a brand-new address.
In my first fumbling attempt to tune the show in, I accidentally found am 1500 KSTP. Wouldn't you know it?, this talk radio station was discussing the same topic our NARN hosts were discussing; the veracity or fraudulence of the National Guard documents as presented by Dan Rather and CBS News. Seeing as how The Patriot broadcast had a key player such as Big Trunk and a newspaperman such as Lileks, am1280 has the better show. This is a story about New Media bringing truth to bear upon Old Media and the NARN bloggers have the inside scoop.
James Lileks begins the commentary by divulging that they are all in the studio clad in their pajamas. Big Trunk has the flashiest pair. Hmmmmm, and please remind me why we prefer radio over television? Why are we forced to imagine these pajamas when the technology exists to show them to us? This is an outrage!
Mitch Berg comments that they almost have "too much show" for today's allotted time. So they waste not a moment and bring Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs on the telephone. Johnson succinctly summarizes the evidences he has presented on his excellent blog.
It wasn't very long before an irate listener came to the show over the phones with some very unfortunate anti-Semitic attacks against Prager. Once again, the Bush-haters trip themselves up over the inner rage they feel because they are frustrated that external real events don't shore up with their imaginings.
And what is that external event?
One can almost hear the great timbers of CBS News creaking and snapping as the big tree begins to fall. At least a few guests on the show are opining that Dan Rather's days are numbered and that CBS News is squandering its precious credibility in highly competitive times for news reportage. CBS News is deemed to be in panic as they scramble in their offices to try and figure out what they are going to do.
The last guest over the phones for this hour is John Fund of the Wall Street Journal. He is authoring a book on voter fraud. Mr. Fund predicts several Democratic Party lawsuit challenges across the country in the wake of an election with slender results in a Bush victory.

There is an opinion put forth that the felling of this tree may well bring ramifications to the coming election. When voters see that Rather and CBS are discredited in their rush to dig up dirt on W and this dirt is blatantly fraudulent, they will find it much easier to dismiss the wide array of charges that are brought against this president. As someone on the show puts it, "Oh yeah, the media is so biased against Bush they are now inventing things to throw at him."

I think this may be correct. Bush-Cheney enjoys a nice, handy sliver of lead in the polls. It's been suggested that as Election Day draws nearer, that lead will squeeze down to the previous situation of virtual tie. If the liberal biased media is discredited further in the eyes of the electorate, maybe W will enjoy some sticking power in this lead.

UPDATE: I have learned that John Fund's book, Stealing Elections, is published. The above bio on Fund says he is working on it. In discussing the book on air yesterday I hadn't picked up that fact.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Our Republican coffee party was a big success. About a dozen of us showed up with our wallets and our W stuff to meet and talk and develop a huge coffee jag. We chatted and proudly showed off our Republican colors. At one point, volunteer Ted was ordering coffee at the service counter and the employee asked, "There are a lot of you guys here today. Why is that?" Ted cooly replied, "Well that's because there are a lot of us." Coffee counter guy seemed to accept this as a fact. At one point another customer asked me where I'd gotten my W tee-shirt. "Do you like it?", I asked. He said yes. So I told him he could get his at We made our point. I wish to thank everyone who came to this coffee break. Especially Nora J. of the TARS (TeenAged Repubicans). For it was she and her suggestion that the TARS would be willing and able to help in the cause that prompted the idea of this coffee party. This pic shows the TARS and Joey, our volunteer chief at the foreground table. Through the activism of these people, we demonstrated the terrible lesson that doing business with Republicans is enormously profitable and that booing us out of establishments only causes us to come back in even greater numbers to spend our cash and make you rue the day that you ever refused a dime from us. Posted by Hello

Suicide journalism

Powerline is on an incredible run. And John "Hindrocket" Hinderocker goes the extra mile to lay out the sober assessment.
"The fact that CBS was willing to barter away what remained of its reputation in exchange for an opportunity to help the John Kerry campaign requires us to re-examine our assumptions about the mainstream media, just as the emergence of the suicide bomber required us to re-examine certain assumptions about security. We never thought that a vast, powerful broadcast network would destroy its own reputation for political gain. Now we know that it can happen."
War is the great purifier. One after another, The BBC, The New York Times, and now CBS, liberal biased media are paying high prices for taking liberties with public trust.

Call it a silver lining on storm clouds if you like.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering and acting

Coincidentally, the third anniversary of September 11, 2001 fell on a Saturday. That's the day of the week that happens to best schedule for volunteers to install lawn signs across town for Bush-Cheney '04.
We met at a private home in South Minneapolis, about two dozen of us. We assembled a couple thousand signs in an hour or so. I couldn't help but think how much more work and how much less efficiency was entailed in assembling lawn signs as recently as the 1960s. A hollow sheet of plastic is sheathed over a U-shaped metal wire, and bingo, you've got a lawn sign.
We paired up in teams and set out with print-outs of addresses. My assignment with my intrepid pilot, Joe, was my old boyhood stomping-ground of Richfield. Ha. So putting up signs today was a revisitation of my past. The Little League ballpark where I played baseball, my elementary, junior and high schools (unfortunately our list did not take us to my boyhood home)(although Pilot Joe pointed out several homes where he had once lived in days gone by), there were many spots I vividly recall from the 1970s that are changed. We delivered a sign to a mail shop I'd worked at in the late 80s. While I was dropping the sign off, a Bush-hater commented that she would like to spray paint it over. Whatever. Why do the Bush Haters always speak of depriving Bush supporters of their right to express that support? Just yesterday another Bush Hater told me I was brave to wear a "W" sticker on my bicycle fender because someone might want to run me off the road. I reminded him that I am not afraid because we have laws. How inconvenient.

I remember 9/11. Mostly I remember the shock. I remember the sadness as the second tower came down in an orderly procession that reminded me of dominos marching across a board. I remember my co-workers and their concern and indignation when an official had suggested over the radio that this country may have to initiate a compulsory Civil Patrol upon its citizens in order to effect a homeland security. Was that really so much to ask of a citizen?, I wondered.
I write about volunteerism for the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign because I think there may be a lot of people who don't know what it entails. Fear of the unknown. America has thousands of brave young men and women who are serving valiantly in our military. I am too old to do that, but I consider myself to be part of another army. The Bush Army on the home front. I am no hero. But I am happy there is something I can do to help defend my country. I didn't know what I would be getting into when I clicked on "Be a volunteer" in some months back. But I knew that it was important to me to assure that this great president be reelected and knew I was not willing to assume that it would happen automatically. So I write of my experiences to share some of my insights of this work and the rewards of this work, in hopes that others who may have been timid might want to take part and join up.
It's been an activity where I have been able to express my feelings about the War On Terrorism and the threat to freedom. I became aware that we might lose the freedoms and privileges that I had come to take for granted. But I have learned so much from my fellow countrymen when I hear their stories and their ideas. I value that because we don't always agree on the issues and we can discuss these problems and come to know what we more accurately believe.

We listened to the Northern Alliance Radio Network (my favorite show, as anyone who reads this blog knows) in the car as we covered the City of Richfield with Bush-Cheney '04 signs. At times we had occasion to meet another sign installer from another campaign of a local office, or a home owner who had stories to tell. Hey! If this ain't grassroots campaign work, then what the heck is?
This is real, dirt-under-your-fingernails grassroots campaign work. Meeting the neighbors, talking about the issues face to face, and shoving a two-pronged, wire and plastic sign into the ground through....erm, the roots of the grass in lawns.
"Thank You", the nice lady on Dupont Avenue, South called to us as we drove off. A friendly wave.

I took pleasure in seeing all the Stars & Stripes flying this day. I took satisfaction in finding an avenue of action to express how best to combat the evil enemy that is International Terrorism;
By reelecting George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to another four years in the White House.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Volunteering to get the volunteers

When a local Republican Party Chairperson asked me if I could help him recruit volunteers I readily agreed. He needed help and I've got time. So what's the problem? There is no problem.
I quickly realized that I'd rather do this work at the phone banks of HQ than at home, though all the calls were local. In fact, that's prolly why my friend, the Chair, thought of me. It's my neighborhood. These numbers were a stone's throw from my house.
I went through a period of faith. I had been told these numbers were Republicans. So then how do you explain this response?:
"Kill Bush and Cheney for me. Kill them both. They deserve to die."

When I'd suggested this would not be appropriate, she ranted on and on that Bush hates children and he wants to kill the children. I put on my best air-traffic controller face and informed her that she did not have the facts, she is wrong, and I have more phone calls to make and must say goodnight.
So I must say it was a most interesting evening. I met and recruited many true believers and spoke with some respectful Kerry supporters, as well.

I had initially hoped that I would be able to attend Keegan's Irish Pub in time for their trivia game. But I actually had something like 5 numbers remaining on my sheet by quitting time. Still a good opportunity to bicycle to Keegan's for a beer or two and some humorous chat with the Fraters Libertas boys. When I got there, I found Chad (the Elder), Brian "St. Paul" Ward, The Man from Silver Mountain (Paul), Mike Nelson and a guy named Jim who won trivial pursuit that evening, having earned 16 out of 25 correct answers.
The best way to break the ice at a party of folks you don't know all that well is to insult them. So, when Paul offered his personal relation that he often did not "get" MST3K all so often as he might have liked, I offered my opinion that he should have been smoking dope heavily. Then all jokes become funny.
Ooops! How awkward of me to make Mike Nelson and his show the butt of my own ridicule upon first meeting. Nelson is a good guy though, as he didn't seem to mind. He just had Brian "Saint Paul" Ward standing there telling Nelson that he ought to be offended.
I'll never work in this town again!

Hey, at least I didn't say Mike Nelson should be killed!

We are at war

Well, some of us are. The rest of us are watching television shows and decorating our homes with Ikea furniture.

Obviously, all of us have lives to lead; some more than others. Allow me to explain.
At my workplace sometimes my duties can get rather slow, leaving large chunks of time to me to do with as I choose, so long as my responsibilities are met. And I take those responsibilities seriously.
When I have spare time I will browse the World Wide Web for news in politics and the war on terror and other topics. It would be difficult for others in my workplace not to notice my portraits of the President and the Vice President on my desk. Many of them know that I attend Republican rallies when notable figures come to Minnesota.

A number of these fellow workers are hard-core Democrats who are very much in favor of electing anyone but Bush. I get the feeling that some of them are amused that I have this special interest in politics and yet, though I devote much time to this interest, I am so profoundly wrong as to support the modern incarnation of Adolph Hitler.
One of these people (he constantly refers to VP Cheney as Darth Vader) has a friendly wager with me over the outcome of the presidential election. The loser buys lunch. I asked him if he wants to make it "more interesting".
"How so?", he asked.
"How about dinner and a movie, and then afterwards over at my place?", I leered.
"I don't think we have to make it that interesting", he responded.

I was only joking, of course.

One of the ladies for Kerry upstairs passed by my desk. "How's the world holding up, Scott?"
"Fine," I said. "I think we're in fairly good shape."

I find that exchange interesting. I believe we are at war. I believe the security of the nation and the well-being of the world hinge upon George W. Bush's reelection. I am absorbed by this belief. I devote my after-work-hours to volunteering toward this end.
The lady upstairs and several others think that John F. Kerry would handle the law-enforcement problem that Europe has grown accustomed to just fine.
She also may feel that a 3-piece sectional would work best in her living-room.

John Kerry's dream team

Last week when Bush-Cheney enjoyed a significant bump in the polls coming out of the Republican National Convention, the Kerry-Edwards campaign went reeling into a panic trying to stop the hemorrhaging. One of the things they did was change their campaign leadership. They hired James Carville and Paul Begala.
James Carville is in top form today with this story of his accusation that the Republicans probably drugged Zell Miller;
"They probably shot him up with something, you know. He just likes screaming at people."

And Begala? He seems to have no shortfall of ridiculous things to say on a daily basis. But here's one of his more notable comments from 2003;

"Everybody who supports Bush kind of knows in their bones that he is kind of our Kim Jong-il,"

With a couple of geniuses like this working for them , I'd say that Kerry-Edwards can look forward to a further plummeting of their standing in the polls.

In Minnesota it's a tie

I meant to post this link the other day but got side-tracked.
Minnesota Democrats Exposed nicely carries the story that the Bush-Cheney ticket has caught up with Kerry-Edwards here in the great state of Minnesota. It's a tie. That's news. Minnesota has almost always been securely in the pocket of the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party (the DFL).
Local DFL Party officials have got to be sweating bullets over this.

This is where all the difference will be realized by who gets their people to the polling places on Election Day. And with an uninspiring ticket like Kerry-Edwards, many of the Democrat ranks may be disheartened and just stay home that evening.

Jo of Jo's Attic has a superb digicamera. I thank her for this stunningly crisp image of a member of Lederhosen For Bush and his new beer stein at the Beer Garden of International Bazaar of the MN State Fair. Posted by Hello

WROCKS concludes

This past Tuesday was for me, as usual, a day of working a volunteer work shift on the phone bank at Bush-Cheney Headquarters in St. Paul. When I arrived I was informed that WROCKS is concluding. WROCKS is the strategy to identify voters in Minnesota through the telephone.
The campaign will now shift its emphasis to motivate identified voters to fulfill their civic duty and vote. We do this by making absentee ballots available to those citizens who will not be home in their registered precincts and by registering those who have not thus far done so.
In other words, its show time. We're working to get our people to the polling place.

And I must say I am happy to see WROCKS come to a close. I've been making these phone calls for WROCKS for about three months now. Last Tuesday was a tough monkey. It seemed that there was more resistance to my calls than I recall ever before. I had a lot of defiant parties tell me that they would most definitely not be supporting this president. And, as usual, the lion's share of my calls were to idiotic answering machines or voice mailboxes.

Tonight I will be working from my own personally assigned list of phone numbers to get previously identified Bush volunteers signed up for the 72 Hour Task Force. This force will be the massive teams of volunteers who will activate in the final three days of the campaign leading up through Election Day. Minnesota will never have seen the likes of this blitz. It will be the death knell of the DFL Party.

Democratic operative

Powerline not only has sharp teeth, they are also tenacious. I don't envy anyone who's got Powerline clamping their jaws down on their jugular, because they don't let go until they're satisfied that it's appropriate to let go.
And this strident watchdog of the media in still ripping into Associated Press reporter, Tom Hays. Hays is a reporter for Associated Press who wrote a false account of a crowd at a rally for President Bush booing. Says Powerline;
"We told Mr. Hays that if his report was anything other than a naked attempt to help the John Kerry campaign by lying, we'd be happy to print his defense. Apparently, he has no defense. We can only conclude that Mr. Hays is a Democratic operative, working underground as an AP reporter, who deliberately lied in hopes of damaging President Bush."

While the liberal biased media spin stories that are distortions of the truth and outright fabrications, blogs like Powerline are dramatically bringing these media to accountability.
Go get 'em, Fido.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Pinkmonkeybird on Hewitt

My tentacles continue to envelop the world tonight as I was a call-in listener to the Hugh Hewitt Show. This was the very first time I've called in to Hugh's program. I had to wait almost a full hour to speak. I'm a regular listener and a big fan, so I understand how important it is to talk efficiently and concisely.
For some reason no one else had put forth my rather easy observation;
"About a month ago John Kerry told us that his administration would wage a more sensitive War On Terror. Many wondered what that meant. Now we have a pretty good idea with John Edwards' response. It would mean tears, due either to charges of incompetence or to a high pollen count. "

This gave Hugh an opportunity to replay the tape of Senator Lightweight's emotional quaver.

Hugh is an intense personality. He is usually a step ahead of anything said to him, his listening skills are so sharp.

Koffee Klatch

Let's have coffee.
This Sunday, September 12th at 1 o'clock in the afternoon would be a nice time to share a hot fresh cuppa coffee with one another. Don't you think so?
Let's meet at Dunn Brothers Coffee at the corner of 6th Avenue & University Avenue, SE just west of Dinkytown. It's a beautiful coffeeshop, just up the bank from the Stone Arch Bridge.
Be sure to bring your friends and be sure to wear your W stuff. Tee-shirts, caps, buttons, stickers. Have lots of Bush-Cheney '04 stuff on your person.

In recent weeks some Republicans have been having some problems getting coffee at this popular coffeeshop. One couple, wearing their W caps and tees, were refused service. Another fellow, a Young Republican, was booed by the patrons and the employees for his YR t-shirt. I'm certain that there is a misunderstanding. After all, I went to this very same coffeeshop tonight wearing my BC '04 cap and my Norm Coleman button, and I was greeted with nothing but smiles and great service. I had a small decaf while I surfed the Internet on their free Internet access pc.

So far, there is a lot of interest in this klatch. The folks who I've mentioned above want to be there this Sunday. The TeenAge Republicans will be there. Some College Republicans will be there.
Let's wear our W stuff and have coffee (or juice or spring water, if you prefer) with a smile and a story. I'll bring my pinkmonkeybirdcam.
Hey, we've been working hard for W....we deserve a coffeebreak. Doncha think?

It should be fun. Make a Comment below to express an interest in joining us, won't you?

Update: I've received some clarification on the above related incidents. The gentleman who I'd cited as having been refused service along with his wife because they were wearing W stuff was a misunderstanding on my part. He's explained to me that he was relating the incident of the lone YR who had been booed. So if I may correct the record, there is but one known incident of discrimination against Bush supporters at this Dunn Brothers Coffeeshop. So, my sloppy listening skills inadvertently doubled the reports of perfidy at Dunn Brothers. A classic example of how rumor magnifies.
In any event, that does not change the fact that the incident happened to the lone Young Republican. In fact, he's expressed a keen interest in being there this Sunday. So I will have the opportunity of getting the straight dope from him. It also does not alter the fact that we deserve a coffee break and should meet at Dunn Brothers as planned. Hope to see you there.
I also want to further clarify that our coffee break will be friendly. This is not an occasion of protest or confrontation. There will be no placards or chanting or obstruction tolerated among our group of friendly visitors at Dunn Brothers Coffee. We just want to wear our W stuff and meet for a coffee break.
(tip o' the bird to Rob Hewitt)