...busting up my brains for the words

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Walter Cronkite; the anti-Christ

When I was a young man, growing up and oftentimes watching the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, I suckered for the the big lie that Walter Cronkite was a journalist of the first degree.
"And that's the way it was".
My impressionable mind accepted this premise without question. If Walter Cronkite said "that's the way it was", then I could bet the farm on that. That's the way it was. Period.

It turns out that the Period was actually a Semicolon. "That's the way it was; if you're a biased Liberal elite."

The first inkling I ever had that Cronkite was the anti-Christ was when I learned that the Tet Offensive in VietNam, though pronounced a defeat to the U.S. military, was actually an overwhelming victory for the U.S. Military. But Cronkite was opposed to the war and he decided that he would lie to the American people for their own good. He would bank on his very considerable collateral with the trust of the American people and pronounce it to be a crushing defeat.

It worked. "And that's the way it was."

Walter Cronkite is the father of journalistic lies. He plowed the way for Dan Rather and showed MSM that the American public was gullible enough to swallow hook, line & sinker anything that came pouring from of their gilded tongues.
And now Cronkite demonstrates that, truly, Your mother sucks sox in Hell with this gigantic turd;
Karl Rove is possibly behind Osama bin Laden's recent video. This is a preposterous idea. It's loony fever-swamp conspiracy theory crap.

I never thought that Cronkite, or any newsman for that matter, could ever sink to such a low of journalistic standards. Walter Cronkite has been retired for many years. How would he, of all newsmen, know of any such connection?
He wouldn't. But he knows he's still got journalistic collateral. People still believe him. Not as many as there used to be, but too many nevertheless. What's he got to lose by making such a statement? Very little.
History will catch up to Walter Cronkite in any case, and demonstrate that he was the anti-Christ of journalism.

Dan Rather is the perfect heir to the Cronkite Kingdom of Lies. He's carried the mantle just as his forebear would have.

As Bernard Goldberg, formerly of CBS News and author of Bias has written, "When Cronkite said "and that's the way it was", you could be certain that's the way it wasn't."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

There was quite a bit of Republican creativity exhibited at the rally. We could not allow any placards to be brought in. This is one of the many wonderful, loving tributes to our great president that got left behind. Four more years! Posted by Hello

W Rally at the Target Center Minneapolis

One last rally for W here in Minnesota before Election Day. There were those who were encouraging me to skip it and work the phones instead for the 72 Hour Task Force Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort. My captains blanketed the volunteers with pleas to do just that, as our energies would be much better placed in this way rather than standing in line for an hour and then screaming and yelling for the President when he appeared before the throngs.
But I decided that since I'm working the greater part of the 72 Hour Task Force (having arranged to take personal days off work on Monday & Tuesday), I could easily afford to indulge my battery recharge at Target Center. Besides, I've got a blog to write for, for cryin' out loud. What kind of a blog would this be if I didn't cover the rally? I never would have snapped that incredible picture just below this post.
As is turns out, that blanket email to the troops and the drive to recruit volunteers for the phone banks were completely effective. Over 50,000 phone contacts were made at the banks today, despite the rally! We exceeded our goals in phonecalls for the GOTV effort.

I wish I could say that everything went smoothly for me this morning. But it did not. I attended the volunteer training session for this event last Thursday evening. There was a very nice fellow from the national level who instructed us. He told us to enter Target Center this Saturday morning through the "7th Street Skywalk". Well, there are two problems with that. Firstly, we call them Skyways...not Skywalks. But I could easily forgive that. Hey, I know what you mean. But the real problem is that there is no skyway that spans 7th Street. There are but two skyways that access the Target Center; First Avenue, North (on the South end of the building) and 2nd Avenue, North (on the North end of the building). Another volunteer explained to me that the First Avenue, North skyway is connected to a 7th Street parking ramp and this is the "skywalk" he must have meant to identify. This made sense to me, as I've seen a parking ramp on 7th Street in Block E.
We were wrong.
The fellow had meant to refer to the massive 7th Street parking ramp on 2nd Avenue, North.

So, this morning, I hopped off the #28 bus at 8th & Hennepin and entered the Block E facility, rising on the escalator and coming to the skyway that would bring me to Target Center. There was a sign that read, "Due to the President Bush rally in Target Center, this skyway will be closed until 4 p.m. today"

Well, the story gets worse, but I think I've written enough about this tedium already. After a few more hurdles, I finally found the correct entrance and was able to do my job. In the final analysis, I would advise the Republican Party; Hey. When you're organizing a rally, let the locals train the volunteers. They know the turf better.

Just before W entered, we volunteers were allowed to our seats. I got to mine just as the big media screen showed the President and the First Lady deplaning at MSP airport. The Target Center was packed. I had been led to believe there were 20,000 in attendance. But Powerline reports 23,000 and has some nifty pictures and a fine summary of the events. This is probably true, as I'd later heard that the arena was packed beyond capacity.

Some guy named Tice (they say he's some football guy) introduced the President. I was amazed. The President's entourage traveled from MSP airport to downtown in about 20 minutes. Now that is what we call Executive Power. Needless to say, no MetroTransit bus ever made that trip is such time.

The President was very fresh and on and energized. He seemed in peak form. He was articulate. He was funny. He was endearing. His speech was a Frankenstein (if you'll excuse the Halloween euphemism) of the speeches I've seen him deliver over the past several months. He did what he needed to do in this speech, which is to say, he reminded us of his commitment to defending America, reminded us of his opponent's dismal record and duplicity, reminded us of his rounded platform, striking all the buzzwords that have been incorporated into the campaign strategy. He affirmed that Election Day is just three days off and that some of the most important work remains to be done. Then he said something that brought me to my feet yelling in approval;
"We will win the 10 Electoral Votes of the State of Minnesota on Election Day."

That, folks, is what we have been all about for these many months. I and my fellow Bush volunteers have mostly believed that W will be reelected to the White House. But winning Minnesota is the prize. Minnesota is where we live. Minnesota is the turf of this grassroots campaign. We want Minnesota to be BUSH COUNTRY. When Minnesota is Bush Country, all those Kerry-Edwards signs and buttons will be reduced to mere flotsam. They won't be banners of protest or defiance. When Minnesota is Bush Country, the Kerry-Edwards bumper stickers remaining, weathered and wrinkled on chrome will be statements that proclaim; "This car is driven by a LOSER"

Damn, this is some political process we put ourselves through. I feel so proud to be an American. I just hope the next few days bear that out.

So, 23,000 people were energized outside of their skulls and then dished out onto the streets of Minneapolis. There were some pitiful Democrat demonstrations being conducted out on First Avenue, North. I could already feel the desperation in their spirits as it dawns upon them that they are about to be denied power for another four years. 23,000 vs. 50; nolo conteste.

So, after a quick early dinner at a downtown eatery, I bopped on down to the downtown phonebank. Snarfing up 3 sheets of phone numbers, I phoned approximately 120 identified Republicans leaning toward Bush-Cheney and reminded them to vote this coming Tuesday. Following the script, I reminded them of their Republican candidate for Congress and their local Minnesota Representative on the Party ticket. Everyone I called was ready and eager to vote for W and knew their polling place, or they informed me they already voted absentee.
There were, however, a few exceptions. One fellow I called sneered at me saying, "Oh, I see the fascists have got my number. We're trying to avoid World War III here!" Click.

They know they are losing this election. And they don't understand that we are already fighting World War III...a war that Kerry wants to go back to ignoring.

But we won't ignore it. We will win this election and we will carry on with the Bush Doctrine until the Middle East and Asia Minor are transformed to embrace hope in a more peaceful world. We can no longer afford to ignore tyranny abroad. That lesson was brought home to us on September 11th, 2001. This does not mean we are shielded from danger. Far from it. But we recognize that threats must be met before they fully materialize.

George W. Bush understand these threats. He, like us and unlike John Fudgin' Kerry, was changed on 9/11, and will continue to wage an offensive against our enemies so that they will not be able to strike us again with impugnity.
One last observation. W never once referred to the recent Osama bin Laden threat. This is notable. This mass murderer wishes to inject himself into the American political process, but our president will have nothing to do with that. The themes and ideas on the campaign trail are about Americans and American issues, needs and dreams. We should not allow a madman to play a part in that process. And W's campaign had no part of any such thing.
The American people know this man; George W. Bush. Fear has nothing to do with our decision to reelect him. We will reelect him because he is a strong leader in dangerous times.

As seen at the Target Center Rally in Minneapolis for W. Bush babies for Bush. I will never know the joys of indoctrinating infants for political zealotry as this antennaed infant has been. Is it accurate to say this toddler is saving the world from Islamofascism? Sure. Posted by Hello

It's alive!

Recently I was actually persuaded that Osama bin Laden was dead and had been dead since the bombing of Tora Bora along the Afghan-Pakistani border. There had been some very compelling arguments for this line of thought. One of the most compelling to me was the notion that a megalomaniac such as OBL could not possibly resist hiding from the public for so long. Surely, he would insist upon taking the international spotlight to preach his hatred if he were able.
Finally, I'm convinced he's still alive.
Details are provided in the tape that indicate recent events since Tora Bora. On the video he says;

"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands. Any state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security."

John Kerry became the Democratic candidate for president last spring.

I think President Bush is right when he responded that Americans will not be intimidated by its enemy. There is some gobblty-gook, crazy stuff in bin Laden's video. He claims that America can avoid another attack by simply withdrawing from the Arab sphere of influence. That is ridiculous. No one but a fool would ever believe that if America is cowed by this murderer today, the stakes will not be raised until it leads to our own destruction.

There is good news in learning that OBL is alive. It means that we can still either kill him or possibly capture him alive, put him on trial and hang him. Saddam Hussein will soon go on trial. That will be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to the world that America is doing good deeds in bringing justice to Islam.
Hopefully, we'll be able to repeat that action with the mass murderer Osama bin Laden. And with the multi-million dollar reward on his head for his capture, that's a real possibility.

Happy Halloween

Waking up at 1 o'clock in the morning with a touch of restlessness, checking out Instapundit is always a good thing to do while waiting for drowsiness to return. I was rewarded with this wonderful link to some Halloween hilarity.
Very scary. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

W leads in Minnesota

I just got this email message from the Minnesota Republican Party. In an earlier post, I wrote of how Bush-Cheney Republican leaders knew from their internal polling that W leads here. Now and external poll pops up corroborating that finding.

W not only leads, he's enjoying momentum. These things take on a life of their own once they gain momentum. It then become quite difficult to stop it once it's moving.

Kerry is coming back to Minnesota before the election. That because he is desperately trying to stop Minnesota from slipping away.

A new Humphrey Institute Survey, a poll that traditionally favors Democratic candidates, shows President Bush leading John Kerry in Minnesota just five days before the election. The survey of 690 likely voters gives the President a 47%-44% edge, and reaffirms Bush's solid lead on the issue of terrorism. Among independent voters, Bush leads Kerry by an astonishing 69-20 margin on the issue, and even one-quarter of Democrats acknowledge that the President is better equipped to handle terrorism. The Humphrey Institute poll also shows that John Kerry has been unable to build a significant gender gap in Minnesota, a troubling sign for any Democratic candidate.
The latest poll confirms what we've seen in every other major poll: President Bush has the clear momentum, but that voter turnout will determine the outcome of the race. It's clear that the Kerry campaign understands this as well, as both John Kerry and John Edwards are scheduled to be in Minnesota in the last 72 hours before Election Day.
Consider the implications of that. The Democrats are panicking in a state that has gone solidly Democratic for seven straight presidential elections. But as we've seen in the past, desperate Democrats take desperate actions. Expect these next five days to get ugly as the Kerry campaign and their liberal allies try everything to stop the President's momentum. The shrillness will only increase leading up to Election Day as they stop at nothing to defeat President Bush.

Feed a fever

The Elder over at Fraters Libertas is fed up with MSM lies and bias. A lot of us are. And this is no time to grow complacent. Elder calls conservatives and other folks who care about integrity to "starve the beast". By this he means we should cease our subscriptions to liberal newsprints and MSM as well as local leftist alternative rags.
I'm doing my part. I haven't subscribed to the Strib for years. I cancelled my cable television service years ago as well when I realized that they were charging me for the service AND they were forcing me to watch their idiotic commercials, all for the pleasure of being wooed by Peter Jennings and his ilk. I'd actually thought about resuming cable television service for this current election cycle we are now in. But what would be the point? No. I remain steadfast and refuse to provide sustenance to the Gorgon. Too bad one of the heads of this multi-headed hydra is FoxNews. How do we cut off MSM, yet aid FOX? We want to make sure Laurie Dhue is doing okay. Right?

Elder also recommends that we cease donating to public radio and public television. I concur. For years I've been donating an annual amount to KFAI-FM Fresh Air Radio. Not this year. Probably not next year, either. Their airwaves lubricate the MoveOn, way out in Left Field crowd. The stakes are too high to tolerate that any longer.

I agree with Elder's call to starve the beast. And I suspect that a lot of other consumers of news in this country will naturally follow suit without even making a conscious and concerted effort. When you see Sean Penn on television cavorting with America's enemies and being a royal pain in the beast behind, you don't exactly feel easy about going to see the next Sean Penn movie. I still haven't seen Mystic River for this very reason.
When Dan Rather tries to put one over on us with phony documents, you get this irritating and whiney voice in the lower brain stem that protests when his arrogant and condescending mug shows up in your livingroom. There is a natural urge to turn the dial.

In other words, the free market will carry business to those news outlets that earn our returning business. Those outlets that have squandered their precious credibility will suffer for it.

But some conscious call to action should help to assure that the Old Gray Lady should become the Old Bag Lady, sleeping on door stoops and scrounging out of street dumpsters for a meal that never came after Americans got tired of bogus stories that help the Democrats at the expense of journalistic integrity.

Starve the beast. So says the Elder.

Report shadowy behavior

We have expected dirty political tactics from the Democrats as their desperation mounts. Hinderocket of Powerline has this.
And such underhanded attempts may come as close to home as your own door or telephone or on the street in order to keep you from voting. If so, please do something about it.
Here is a message from Ken Mehlman, Bush-Cheney Campaign Manager;

I am appalled.
In Missouri, a flyer shows a photograph of a young black man under a fire hose in the 1950s. The flyer tells African-Americans this is an example of how Republicans have kept voters from the polls. In Colorado, Republican voters got calls telling them their family members in Iraq had died. The callers claimed that call would be real unless Kerry was elected.
In these final days, we can only expect more of this filth.
I urge you to turn on your answering machine. If you get a call from an unknown number, let the machine pick it up. It may be the latest campaign of smear, fear and lies from our opponents.
If you get one of these disgusting calls, or an outrageous flyer or mailing, save the message, call our hotline and let us know.
Just a few weeks ago we saw a Kerry campaign manual that told their staff to allege intimidation even if no evidence existed. Now their allies have begun an incredibly dishonest and disgusting campaign of shadowy calls and misleading flyers.
We need to know immediately if you get one of these calls. We need to know the lies, threats, and distortions those allied against us are spreading.
With very few days left, we need you to be our eyes and ears on the ground.
Call our hotline at 1-888-610-8170 if you get any suspicious messages.
Thanks for all you have done, and all you continue to do.
Sincerely,Ken Mehlman
P.S. The shadowy groups allied against us have begun a campaign of filth and lies. Turn on your answering machine. If you get a message filled with lies, call our hotline at 1-888-610-8170 and let us know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Steady as she goes

I've been talking to Bush supporters and Kerry supporters and the consensus is near unanimous. Fatigue.
Most everyone is tired of the battle and long for its end.
Most everyone, anyways. Sure, there are those who defy this tide and actually thrive upon the fight.
I heard James Lileks on Hugh Hewitt's radio program the other day. He said he plans on taking some NyQuil, all the electronic receivers turned off and will go to bed.
Meanwhile, warriors are being summoned to arm themselves and pour into the breach.

Lileks is a warrior of a unique making. His sword is his Macintosh computer. He's fighting to the bitter end in his own way.

We all are.

I was cheered today to read some perspective from Victor David Hanson;

This election marks a similar crossroads in our history. We are presented with two radically different candidates with profound disagreements about how to conduct a historic worldwide war. We should remember that all our victorious past presidents were, at the moments of their crises, deeply unpopular precisely because they chose the difficult, long-term sacrifice for victory over the expedient and convenient pleas for accommodation (if not outright capitulation). We are faced with just such an option today: a choice between a president whose call for patience and sacrifice promises victory, and a pessimist stirring the people with the assurances that we should not have fought, and now cannot win, the present war in Iraq.

It may feel as though we've never been here before, but we have.

That helps me cope. It helps me accept my countrymen who disagree with me. This disagreement has historical precedent. My fellow countrymen are not idiots. They are my fellow countrymen. They simply disagree with me in this democracy.

Steady as she goes. Remain calm. Remain focused. We all want what is best for our country.
W will win. Let us win with him graciously.
Passions will run high.
Steady as she goes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Seven days to go

Today is Tuesday and this was the last regular Tuesday of the campaign for me. It is only natural that I should compare the hubbub of the final week with my first Tuesday back in June. This blog didn't exist then. Simply said, there is no comparison. It was quiet and slow-going back then. Now HQ is all abuzz and noisy. To put it simply, the place looks like a political campaign in its final week before Election Day.
Regular readers of this blog will recall that the phone bank had been the order of the day.
Not tonight. Not exclusively, anyway. I volunteered to put together door-knocking packets. These are those handy strips of heavy, smooth cardboard literature with the big hole at the top designed for hanging onto doorknobs. They have already been specifically addressed. Those addresses are the fruits of the many weeks of phone bank work I just referred to. I was given printouts of street maps that cover adjacent neighborhoods, corresponding to the literature addresses. About 10 of us sat at table, colored hi-liters in hand, tracing out walking paths for door-knockers this weekend.
I volunteered for this job because I'm going to do some of that door-knocking this Sunday. I thought it would be a good idea to understand a thing or two about the process of a packet's assembly before I go to work on the receiving end of that task. Laboring over identifying the best route for a walker and then packaging it for the walker's ease was not facile. I'll be prepared to forgive a lack of organization when I take that job five days from now.

Working directly across from me was Doug from the Washington, D.C.
He and many other fresh faces are here in battleground Minnesota to help us win. They have been flown up by the Party, their lodging paid by the Party and they make it possible to get the 72 Hour Task Force work accomplished in its preparation.

This night at HQ was a very humbling experience, really. To see so many hard-working people, so much thoughtful organization of tasks, materials and manpower, all focused on a political campaign actually filled me with some degree of awe. Don't these people know there are television programs to watch?

I'm putting the finishing touches on my own personal 72 Hour Task Force itinerary. A few weeks ago I was naive enough to suppose that the campaign would map it for me. It doesn't work that way. I know better than anyone what I can do and what I wish to do. So I looked at the options and am now entering the schedule into my Palm Pilot. Come Saturday morning, I'll just slave myself to the dictates of my plan and follow it through Election Day. I will lean most heavily upon phone work. But I'll mix it up with other activities so as to keep myself fresh and varied. Seems reasonable to me.

One last note. I had been listening to Hugh Hewitt on my personal radio on the busride in to HQ. Hugh is very excited about the turn of events with the discredited NYTimes story of the lost munitions of al Qaqaa, the apparent coordination of that story with the Kerry campaign and the links to IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Also, Drudge reported that CBSNews had planned on reporting the now debunked story this coming Sunday, but the NYTimes scooped it. (Although "scoop" doesn't seem to be the appropriate term for a story as old as this one.)
According to Hugh, this is "huge, huge!"

In any case, my point is that despite all this flurry of news in the campaigns, there is virtually no acknowledgment of it in HQ. People have too much work to do and are too busy applying themselves to their jobs here. They know about it. But it's not a topic of conversation. They're remaining focused on what they are doing.

Update: "Hello?"
"I'd like to speak to pinkmonkeybird, please."
"This is pinkmonkeybird."
"This is Karl Rove. Hi pink. I've got your 72 Hour Task Force marching orders for ya."
"What took you so long?"
"Sorry, pink. We've been kind of tied up. Have you got a pen ready?"
"Yes Sir. Go ahead. I'm ready to take a bullet for W."
"No one's asking you to take a bullet, pink. Get a grip. This is serious business."
"Sorry, Mr. Rove."
"We're trying to reelect the President here. Now shut up and write this shit down..."

Monday, October 25, 2004

Precinct rally

We gathered this evening up in NordEast for a rally at the local level. Grassroots. Senate District 59.

K.C. Jones is from the Austin, TX region. She's been helping direct things up here in Minne-so-cold (as Hugh Hewitt likes to call it) for the past several months.
K.C. Jones is a Republican officer from down the street of Crawford, TX. Something I learned tonight was that W once shared a piece of fried chicken off her plate. Damn. That's political intimacy.
She is a passionate speaker and tonight was no exception. She spoke of the groundswell of support that has flowed for George W. Bush (her boss) here.
K.C. spoke of the impossible tasks that were asked of her. These tasks were met. She spoke of the ambition of the plan in Minnesota and of the success of its execution.
A couple of bombs were dropped.
Zell Miller will be visiting the heart of Democrat territory up north, as well as the Metro, to persuade MN Democrats that it's okay to vote for the better man when the Democratic candidate is so weak as this one is. Rudy Giuliani will be back. Veep Dick Cheney will be back (does he live here now?Has he got an apartment in Mankato?)
And the President will be coming to town again. He'll be here on Saturday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

No one in this campaign is taking anything for granted. We know and understand that we have to fight for every inch of this battle. We are mobilized to door-knock, telephone, provide rides, sign-wave, talk to our neighbors, contact our family and friends to make sure that every eligible vote for Bush-Cheney makes it to the polls and casts their vote. We will pour every bit of energy and time we have into the next week to win the State of Minnesota for W.

The opposition will be shocked. We are where we have planned on being. This campaign is in our field. The contest is positioned precisely where it had been planned to be. Now we have only to seize it. This is no time for Minnesota Nice. By that, we mean that we shall not be intimidated or yield to the wishes of others who are determined to out-campaign us. By that, we mean that we will not shy away from phoning or door-knocking out of a fear of appearing too earnest.
Of course, we'll do all this with a Minnesota Nice smile and a "You betcha!"



Blogger is still unable to restore my ability to blogroll. If you were on my blogroll before, I assure you that you would be blogrolled today if Blogger could help me do so.
I just got a message from Blogger that they are unable to provide customer service for customizing their templates.
But I just crashed my blog again last night when I merely attempted to post.

Blogger has big, big problems.

Saddam, micromanager

Here's a story from the Washington Times reporting on the tyrant's personal management of the Oil for Palaces program (as General Tommy Franks once called it) through the United Nations.
It should be remembered that before President Bush called upon the United Nations Security Council to hold Saddam Hussein accountable for his weapons violations, the world was on the brink of relaxing constraints upon Saddam and his sons.
George W. Bush recognized the danger and the threat and lead the world for regime change in Iraq.
Now Uday and Qusay are dead, Saddam is scheduled to go on trial in weeks and the people of Iraq will hold free elections this January.

That's something worth remembering as we Americans go to the polls next week.

Consensus of blogs

Remember back in early September when a special aggregate blog was created for the official blogs of the Republican National Convention?
Well, one nifty thing about that blog is that when a hot item pops up, most of the participants of that blog are singing the same song. Click on the title of this post to see what it is.
This newest assault on John Kerry will help lay him to rest and bring about that landslide victory for W I've been predicting these past several months.

John Kerry is the worst candidate for President I have ever seen in my life.

Update: At the time that I posted this story, was choc full of stories about Kerry's latest revealed lie. It would seem I am mistaken in assuming that this story had such legs that it would keep this aggregation perpetually occupied with the story, as I see that these bloggers have moved on to write of other issues already.
Is Kerry such a serial liar that even these bloggers have grown bored over it in 24 hours?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Deep Throat speaks

Doug of Bogus Gold and I quaffed a few pints with a long-time Republican Party man. Doug had the dictation device running and asked Mr GOP some very interesting questions about how this grassroots campaign in Minnesota differs from others and how it was developed.
We were fortunate to have the insights and knowledge that our Republican friend had to share. And Doug does his usual thorough reportage and examination here. It was an interesting and memorable evening.

Read the whole thing. If you don't, you'll miss golden nuggets like this;

Karl Rove looked at our results and reportedly said out loud “holy shit!” And they based their campaign’s 72 hour plan on what we came up with in Hennepin County. The 72 Hour Task Force. In fact, they didn’t even change the name we gave it.
It’s national now. It was 5th district before [referring to Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District – ed.].

While we were at the Uptown Bar, I pointed out my bartender, Jason. He and I have a friendly little wager over the outcome of Minnesota's 10 electoral votes. Either way, Jason wins. If I collect I'll surely give it right back to him. I expect I'll have a cognac and a $10 cigar to stink up the place.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Uptown showdown

Some of us gathered at Hennepin & Lake again in my own Uptown neighborhood last night.

In case you don't know, Uptown is the epicenter of Leftist protest and demonstrations in Minneapolis. When U.S. forces launch a military strike against foreign enemies, the Lefties of this town show up here en masse to block traffic and barricade the streets with flaming dumpsters.

So for us Bush-Cheney supporters to go sign-waving and chanting here is no exaggeration to say we were entering the viper's nest. When we arrived at 7 p.m. there was one lone Kerry demonstrator. We numbered seven. Things were looking pretty good. Frequently we would be encouraged by passing motorists and pedestrians.
Then some "anarchists" appeared on the scene. I'd call them colorful, except for the fact that they wore exclusively black colors. They began by calling us Nazis. Soon they were shouting at us that we had no business allowing the child daughter of one of our participants to stand with us as Bush is slaughtering babies in Iraq. Didn't we know that? In a brief, but all too long "exchange" the anarchist wanted to know why we would support Bush. After all, she was appalled that we would support this baby killer. Of course, any answer I offered to her was immeditately shouted down with her abundantly loud and shrill voice. All the while, she admonished us for blindly following a murderer.

It got worse.

A man came along who belligerently walked, barrel-chested, into the mother of that child. She retreated. I stood my ground as this bully then walked into me. He wore a leather jacket, keeping his hands in his jacket pockets the whole time. He had a foul mouth telling us we were jack-booted fascists, ironically, as he intimidated us with what may have been concealed in his jacket. Brazenly, he blew air into my friend's face as he called him a thug and a Nazi.
I told this man to move along and leave us. He finally did.

There was another incident when a man was so consumed with shouting insults at our president from his car that he lost control of his truck and lost track of the semaphore lights. He accidentally pushed his front bumper into the pedestrian walkway.

On the plus side, I recruited a couple of Republicans who I know who had just happened along during our event. They will be signing up as volunteers for the 72 Hour Task Force, so they assure me. Also, there were numerous people who were appalled at the shameful behaviors of these anarchists and Bush-haters who verbally and physically accosted us. Some of them spoke up and defended our right to free speech. Others could note the contrasts in our behaviors, with unfavorable judgment upon our attackers.

After 90 minutes of this the Kerry forces began to multiply. One woman told us that we were trespassing on their turf. They didn't like it when I told her that Uptown is Bush Country. Of course, I know it is not Bush Country. But it's a catchy phrase and it seems to demoralize them.

Oddly, I never saw a single police car or policeman this entire evening.

I still wonder what the man in the leather jacket had in his pockets that make him so bold. Nothing, I hope.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Book review

I recently finished reading Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth About the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by Lieutenant General Michael DeLong, USMC (retired).
This book was co-written by Noah Lukeman. I think it's safe to say that this book was actually written by Lukeman. A quick survey of Lukeman's other writings show that he has authored books about writing.
I bought and read this book in hopes that it would be a commanding investigation of the recent wars of liberation in Afghanistan and Iraq, carrying exclusive insights upon the latest in modern warfare. After all, DeLong was Tommy Franks' right-hand man on those battles. His resume is very impressive. The first paragraph of this book is from the initial chapter entitled, WELCOME TO CENTCOM in which he explains how he got the job of Deputy Commander of the United States Central Command;

An appointment as deputy commander of United States Central command is not something you ask for. You have to be nominated by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then approved by the secretary of defense, and then approved by the president himself. The nomination comes before the Senate, and it must formally take a vote. To get recommended in the first place, you have to be chosen out of a pool of several hundred decorated generals. It is one of the hardest spots to land in all of the armed forces.

Sounds plausible to me. And thus far, I'm really happy to be reading this book. What amazing treasures and inside tracks will be revealed herein? This man was in the middle of the action of two major wars of our modern times as responses to the most deadly attacks ever perpetrated upon U.S. soil.
DeLong explains how the globe is divided into crucial strategic chunks overseen by the United States military. And CentCom is the hotest chunk in the world today. It's known as an AOR, an Area Of Responsibility. (I remember when AOR stood for Album Oriented Rock on FM radio. But that's a different time, a different story.) CentCom's AOR comprises the span of the globe that we have suddenly become so focused on these past few years. It stretches from the Horn of Africa to the steppes of the Himalayas. That's some responsibility.
DeLong carries the eager reader forward from his promotion to Deputy Commander, through 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, the ramp-up to the liberation of Iraq and then that engagement and its aftermath.
But I am sorry to say that there really isn't very much insight provided here that was not already apparent from the daily reads of the newspaper accounts of these events. And as such, yes, this book serves as a handy recap of the military response to the most terrible attack upon American soil in its history. But I really did not learn very much here.
The book serves as an authoritive statement of the U.S. Military's position on these wars. It is recounted that there were many dangers that were feared before the invasion. Saddam was known to have used Weapons of Mass Destruction in the past. The evidence of his possession of these deadly weapons was overwhelming. Yet, the world seems to have come to a consensus that the WMD never existed. DeLong maintains that "we will eventually find Iraqi WMD. The intelligence evidence we had before the war was too overwhelming to be wrong. Iraq is a country the size of California, and not only is it easy to hide such weapons --chemical weapons can be hidden on a single truck; biological weapons can be hidden in a briefcase -- but the Iraqis were masters at hiding these weapons after more than a decade of playing shell games with UN weapons inspectors. Part of the problem is that the members of Saddam's inner circle we have captured are experts at lying - they had to be in order to survive under Saddam's reign. The people who managed to survive in his inner circle did so by either being non-threatening yes-men (and are still too terrified of Saddam to talk), or by hiding information. They know. They're just not talking.

But where's the evidence? I have often wondered if the U.S. military's spy planes and space satellites might have taken definitive pictures of suspicious shipments traveling from Iraq into Syria and Lebanon. No such hints are played in this book. I don't mind saying that I believe Saddam had WMD. After all, we know that Sarin gas was found in post-war Iraq. That is a direct violation of the UN's resolution 1441. The media glosses over this. And I am appalled that US government high officials will actually agree that "no WMD have been found in Iraq." This is false. Sarin is a WMD. WMD have been found in Iraq.
The usual assurances abound within these covers that the media has spun a dismal picture of these wars and that the realities on the ground are actually much better than they are portrayed to be. Well, yes. But I already knew that by reading the Weekly Standard and National Review and the Wall Street Journal.
And how many times must I read that Iraq is roughly the same size as the State of California? Can't we find a different gauge? Isn't there some valley on the Moon that is measured to be 450,000 square miles so we can stop equivocating Iraq with the Left Coast?

I got the distinct feeling that this book is actually Lukeman's enterprise. He perhaps realized that a buck was to be made by publishing a book with DeLong's name on it that would validate the Administration's position and praise the very worthy accomplishments of our United States military. One of the success stories recounted in this book is the innovation of joint military cooperation. This is credited to Tommy Franks. Franks knew that the new, modern military as envisioned by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld required the Navy, the Army, the Air Force and the Marines as well as the Special Ops, to cooperate with one another as one, rather than the fiercely competitive and uncooperative attitudes that pervaded those forces in the past.
There is also a recounting of the precision of new technological weapons advances. This is a key element of the success of the the liberations of Afghanistan & Iraq. But I didn't really get any key information in this book that wasn't readily available elsewhere.

My read was not a waste of time, by any means. But I did not gather enough crucial insider information from it so as to meet my expectations. After all, we are living in historic times. When I read a book by the Deputy Commander of CentCom, I expect more than the unvarnished truth. I expect the heretofore undisclosed details.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Doug over at Bogus Gold has a great idea. He wants to examine the contrasts between the GOP effort (or lack thereof) of year 2000 to today's very ambitious grassroots approach of 2004. This is an interesting idea. On a few occasions I have heard Republican leaders admit that they did not do an effective job in 2000. That's worth understanding.
Campaigns are creatures of design.
Why was 2000 designed differently than 2004? How was 2000 ineffective?
Doug will have many more key questions.

Stay tuned to Bogus Gold to find out.

I voted today

I'm going to be an election judge on November 2nd. All election judges are urged to vote absentee in order to circumvent any conflicts in their schedule that day. I voted in the warehouse district. My client was my witness. I could have simply dropped my ballot in the mail. Its postage is prepaid. But my workload was slow at the time and so I went for a nice autumn walk to City Hall.
When I got to the window at City Hall, they informed me that I am my own agent of delivery. Therefore, I was asked to sign a ledger as the agent. I could have voted at a booth. Booths are available. Maybe that would have occupied more time at City Hall. It probably would have.
In any case, I've voted. Whew! I don't have to worry any longer of my vote being lost on Election Day, as I expect I'll be rather busy on that day.
I must say that this is definitely the most informed election for which I have ever voted. Why do I say that?
The Internet.
Here is an amazing site that will take you to just about any resource you require in political choices;
It's completely non-partisan and it's difficult to go in there and ever emerge whole.
As The Who once said, "I can see for miles."
I must admit that there were a couple of offices on my ballot for which I did not know who my candidates were. But the above website helped dispel much of the mystery. Check it out if you haven't already.

"America! Fuck Yeah!"

I just saw Team America; World Police.
If you are sick and tired of Hollywood lefties like Tim Robbins, Jeanne Garafalo, Matt Damon, Helen Hunt, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, etcetera, then your day has come. (Sadly, Johnny Depp is spared.) Now you can go spend your precious entertainment dollars on a movie that stars marionettes on strings and the voices are done by the guys from South Park. In fact, the whole movie was done by the guys from South Park.
I'm not a South Park fan. At least I wasn't yesterday. I may be now, as this movie rocked the Casbah.
It would seem that the South Park guys and I have something in common. We are fans of Gerry Anderson and his SuperMarionation television shows from Britain from the 60s through the 90s. The most notable of these would have to be The Thunderbirds. (No relation to pinkmonkeybird). There is something fascinating about an entire world created in miniature with miniature people dancing about on strings, directed before a camera as high drama. It is simply outrageous.
I could go on about Gerry Anderson and his universes.
But this post is about Team America.
I'm tempted to claim that this movie is pro Bush Doctrine. But maybe it's simply pro comedy and pro success. On those scores it succeeds as the laughs are abundant. On the success score though, while I and many others are judging Team America to be a critical success, Drudge reported that some other movie was besting it at the box office. And so someone at Democratic Underground took comfort in this.

The opening scene won my heart from the get-go. Team America is in gay Paris. OBL is found on the street carrying a suitcase loaded with WMD. In the ensuing fight to get him, Team America destroys the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the city is left in ruins. After seeing New York City destroyed in other movies countless times, this movie starts off on the right foot with a bang.
Nevermind watching a puppet vomit for 3 or 4 minutes straight. That, alone, is worth the price of admission. Never mind that we get to see puppets copulating.
But what I loved about Team America were the scenes where the above mentioned Hollywood celebrities are shot, burnt, blown up, devoured by panther-kitties, splattered...oh, who's keeping track?
Besides the celebrity actors, we also get to see Hans Blix devoured by hungry sharks. That got me out of my seat, applauding wildly and hooting at the screen. It also nearly got me evicted from the theater.
I am afraid I am a mite too enthusiastic about this churlish juvenile puppet show. If you wanna see what happens to Michael Moore you have to pay. I may be giving away too many secrets of this movie and I may be playing the spoiler. When the Team America attack crafts fire out of Mount Rushmore and lunge upon the forces of evil and the theme music rises, "America! Fuck yeah!", I was all the way there.
Hugh Hewitt warns you that there is offensive language. But then, you knew that. He plugged this movie on the air (Lying to Lileks that there is a scene where Kim Jong Il smashes his Hummels, the cur) (James, we feel your pain. Is it asking too much that your friends be kind to you?).
Hugh is way too proper to recommend this bawdy movie in print.

The real election

The two major political party national conventions are over. The debates are over. Now the two horses are making the clubhouse turn and going into the final stretch. W is ahead as this FoxNews poll from yesterday shows him gaining with a 5 point lead.
It's hammer time. This is the period in which so many of those cherished undecided voters are supposedly paying attention to the issues and grappling with the weighty choice for our nation's president.

Last night I was at Bush-Cheney '04 Headquarters in St. Paul for phone bank work. The place is so very busy now. It's difficult to find an open telephone to use in the evenings. There's an optimistic buzz that pervades the rooms. Plenty of happy chatter and laughter among friends and partners. The focus of our phone work now is to recruit more volunteers for the 72 Hour Task Force. We're going to need more help to do the important work of the final three days of the election. I made a little over 50 calls this night and got one. As usual, some of the homes I called were not the least bit amenable toward helping the Republican Party. For instance, I reached one home who, when I asked if they would be supporting W in November explained, "We're Democrats." That wasn't a good enough answer for me. Isn't Zell Miller a Democrat? Isn't Randy Kelly a Democrat? Isn't former mayor Ed Koch a Democrat?
Being a Democrat is not a de facto excuse to vote for the weakest candidate for president in memory. So I brushed aside this proferred reason and repeated the question, "But can President Bush count on your support this Election Day?"
Just want to be clear. She didn't challenge my repeating the question, so I never bothered to point out that lots of Democrats will be voting for W. I think that the opposite would be quite rare.
The other day I repeated that I believe that W will win in a landslide. The FoxNews poll show momentum pointing in favor of that prediction. Yesterday Hugh Hewitt boasted on his radio program, "I told you. I told you. I told you! Bush will win big. And all you Nervous Nellies out there wringing your hands told me you were afraid for the President's chances."
The American people are too intelligent to be fooled by Kerry-Edwards and the Democratic Party's efforts to obscure their dismal records in the Senate. And Americans understand that even when W's lead widens, this is no time to grow overconfident and coast. The Democrats will try to cheat their way into the White House. President Bush and the GOP must win a mandate for action in this coming term so that the nation can move forward with decision.
Kerry-Edwards will be squashed. There will be some scattered legal contesting of the vote in those state races that are close. Ohio? Florida? Minnesota? But I think it will be clear on November 3rd that Bush is the President Elect.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Eight point lead

Drudge reports that W enjoys an 8-point lead from CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP POLL in the aftermath of the final debate. If I'm not mistaken, this poll historically trends with Democrats. So to see a widening of the gap toward Bush is great news.
This would have to be a result of W's "losing" the debates, as the alphabet networks have been reporting. Right.

I'm a loser
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

And with this poll, W appears to be pulling ahead of Kerry. I expect this trend to continue. The gap will continue to widen (barring some unforeseen blunder by the President or some such thing) and Kerry-Edwards will grow smaller and smaller in the Bush-Cheney rear view mirror. A survey of other polls and their average is here from RealClearPolitics. This is all good reason for the Democrats to go into full-fledged panic. They will have all the more reason to resort to desperation, which will throw gasoline on their own fire and multiply their problems.
How do I know that? Because it's already happening. The irresponsible remarks from this incompetent ticket regarding Mary Cheney's sexuality and Christopher Reeve's malady were examples of the panic.
We're going to win this in a landslide come Election Day.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

James Lileks: Battle lines drawn on the lawn: Yawwwn

The StarTribune required registration to visit their website. I've reprinted it here for those readers who just can't be bothered with such things.

Star Tribune
Published October 17, 2004
Every day I pass a political lawn sign so big I expect to see cars clustered around it at dusk, waiting for the movie to start. Next to it is another sign for the other team, equally large. And therein hangs a tale, you think. You imagine a couple who have a happy placid life, full of love and easy joy. Two hearts beating as one. Clove-speared veal liver for supper, dear? Whatever, my sweet. Then perhaps a dusk-time drive on our Segways along the river? I thought you'd never ask. But POLITICS are the great unspoken THING that divides them. They put up the signs on the lawn, but they never talk about them. Until Election Day, that is.
"You look nice. I always liked that scarf."
"It's red, just like the blood of the innocent victims of American aggression."
"Really, hon. I thought you'd want to choose something yellow. Yellow like the spine of effete appeasers you favor without regard to the message they send to our enemies."
"Oh, I considered a purple scarf, to foreshadow the bruise your clay-footed plutocratic chickenhawks will sport tomorrow when the returns come in, but it's at the dry cleaners. Shall we go to the polling place, where my vote will cancel yours?"
"As a gentleman, I insist you vote first. So I may cancel your ballot."
"Fascist tool."
"Gutless internationalist."
"Arsenic-loving neo-con nutjob."
"Vacillating sovereignty-ceding Francophile who -- hey, where are my keys? Did you see them? They were right here -- "
"Oh, sorry, I had to get something out of the car. Here. Ready, dear?"
"Ready. And you look hot. I love that color."
"Thanks! Nazi swine."
"Commie hag."
No one's vandalized the signs yet, perhaps because they're so large you'd run out of spray paint. Besides, what's the point? What do the idiots expect the sign owners to think?
These hooligans, objecting no doubt to my candidate's detailed stance on genetically modified beets, have removed my sign. Chastened, I shall stay home on Election Day.
Here's another sign, then. You like the size? They can see the names from space.
Me, I'm tempted to put a gigantic NIXON-LENIN '04: FOR A STRANGER AMERICA! sign on my lawn just to make people stop and wonder if they've missed something. Or maybe SLUB'GAROTH, THE UNBLINKING WORM-SHAPED ELDER GOD, FOR SCHOOL BOARD. He'd win. No one ever remembers the name of a school-board candidate, but you'd remember SLUB'GAROTH. And then you'd get a giant oozing mass of pure evil slumped in the parking lot, chomping on the bones of the rest of the council, announcing that the budget shortfalls will be solved by feeding the sixth-graders to Mo'Slroth, the Screaming Goat-Man of the Nether Realms, or by cutting back on after-school language classes.
Parents would protest - how can our kids get into Yale without knowing French? - but there's something about a pile of bones that ends the argument rather quickly.
So the signs do work. But only with your oddly-named elder gods. Otherwise, I'm unmoved.
In a few years, lawn signs will be upgraded, as new technologies get cheap. I fully expect to see lawn signs that show commercials, run little movies, give out tinny fanfares when you trip the motion detector. Stay the course! Hope is on the way! No Blood for Alderinium! (This will be a battle cry in 2845 during the bitter Off-World Wars in the Rigel System.) Political strategists will no doubt offer holographic projections of the candidates that pop up on the lawn and follow you to the property line, making a campaign pitch. The strategists will think it's a can't-miss opportunity to connect with the voter; in reality, you'll have a computer-generated presidential candidate gesturing earnestly to your back as you watch the dog make a deposit.
But it won't take long for intrepid hackers to figure out a way to screw up the machinery. Malicious code-savvy teens will drive around neighborhoods uploading new programs that make the signs display clips from "Triumph of the Will," or rewrite the holograms so the candidates are buck-stark-naked doing the Hustle while declaiming random lines from Swedish furniture catalogs.
That, however, is the future. For now, we have this brief period of political exhibitionism. I look forward to the end of the election saga, when politics will be replaced by matters of intimate importance. I don't care how my neighbor votes; that's his business, and I'm sure he has his reasons. I do care whether he shovels his walk, because I have to negotiate 10 yards of slick ice when I walk the dog. All politics is local, Tip O'Neill once said.
(Shortly before he was eaten by an Elder God.) is at© Copyright 2004 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

Template switcheroo

I hated the text font of my interim template. Did you notice how difficult it was to read? Yes? I thought so.
Swiftee asked us, "How pink is too pink?"

We know the answer to that now. Therefore, we're back to my original template style.

Meanwhile, good news from Blogger. They have enquired about my blog customization problems. Let's give Blogger some time to figure out the glitch. With a little luck and some hard work from Blogger, I may have my blogroll and customizations back this week.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Contagion of apologies

One of the best blogs in the country, Little Green Footballs, brings us this post of "self-hating moonbats" who feel they must atone for the sufferings of the Iraqi people at the hands of the U.S. military for the liberation of their land from the tyrant and his murderous sons.
Charles Johnson of LGF seems to be on a theme here, as he also has a post about Britain's apology to Germany for the bombing of Dresden during WWII.

I think the underlying lesson is that the Western world is so sensatized to suffering that we have possibly forgotten that wars against tyranny accrue costs of their own. But they are necessary costs to be paid in order to attain liberty and security from monsters.

Such campaigns of war are not to be apologized for. War is a savage endeavor. There are rules, yes. But the rules of wartime cannot inhabit the same world as the rules of peacetime. Let it be said once more; we are at war. Some of our citizenry do not understand this. Nevertheless, it is so.

Remember that John "Fudgin'" Kerry would fight a "more sensitive war" against terrorism.

Election Judge training

After our Walk I had enough time to email my pics to the intrepid Larry Colson, our Minnesota eCampaign Chairman. That, and a quick check with MetroTransit. I caught a #4 bus south to Washburn Library where I received the official two-hour training to be an Election Judge.
I signed up for this job several weeks ago at the encouragement of the campaign.
Republicans must be represented at the polls in order to ensure fairness and discourage cheating.

The class was in a super-heated basement room of the library. It was so warm in there, I began to doze off a few times. Well, I can't blame it all on the heat. The subject matter was not exactly the most enticing imaginable. The two hours were jam-packed with procedures and official policies. There was so much information of a complex nature, the bare solace of the session was a reassurance that we did not have to memorize anything. All the information is written onto fact sheets for our use now and on Election Day. Also, it was pointed out that we will be in the company of seasoned Election Judges who have been doing this work for many years. They are resources to be relied upon.
All this information and protocol prompted a question from a classmate;
"Do election judges ever make mistakes?"
"No. Our election judges are always right because they are trained so well in doing their jobs."

Regardless whether this was a sincere answer or not, a laugh was elicited. I don't think I dreamt that.
One fellow in the class pointed out that some dastardly deed doers will sneak campaign materials into the restroom of the polling place in violation of election law. For no campaign materials are allowed within 100 feet of a polling place. Our teacher thereby appointed that fellow to be the restroom police for his polling place. But only for the men's room.
I got the distinct sense that this teacher had a low tolerance for gratuitous questions that would chew up her time. Fortunately, no one asked about remedial actions to be enacted against dozing election judges. Unless I slept through that part.

All joking aside, I do take the role of Election Judge seriously. It isn't the sexiest job in town, but if it will help ensure that Republican votes are counted fairly in Hennepin County, then I'm down for it. If we remember Florida in 2000, it may matter. And it may matter a lot.

Moms for Bush in trendy Uptown. "Four more years!" Posted by Hello

"Uptown is Bush Country!" Some of these hearty activist-volunteers for W were having so much fun doing this street display, they opted to remain on the corner, coaxing the approval of passing commuters. (Is Bill's hood on fire?) Posted by Hello

Walk for the President

I hosted my own Walk for the President this morning. It was a success! Through the President's website I invited the same crowd that attended my Party for the President a couple months ago. Almost a dozen people were at my door at 10 o'clock this morning. We walked on down to Hennepin & Lake and made our presence known with our Bush-Cheney '04 signs and chants of "Uptown is Bush Country!" Some of the local residents objected to this assertion and responded with, "No, it's not" or "I think you're in the wrong neighborhood". But we were very encouraged by the many numerous approvals of horn honking, thumbs up and the ever stellar, "You rock!"
After a quick cup of hot coffee at the leftist hangout Dunn Brothers Coffee, (although this is a different location of the franchise than that previously visited Dunn Bros.) we were reinforced enough to hit the streets of Uptown and knock on doors from a select list of Republican-leaning households. We let these folks know that W hopes he will have their support this Election Day. Then we followed up with the same line of inquiry that we have been conducting over the phone of late. That is to say, we asked if they have received their request for absentee ballots, did they fill that out and return it and did they then vote absentee. If they shun the absentee ballot and insist upon voting at their local polling place we want to be sure they are registered to vote and understand how important it is to cast their vote on Election Day.
And then, of course, we need more people to do the work we are already doing, as we will need more help. We will need more volunteers for the President now and we will need more volunteers for the vaunted 72-Hour Task Force.

One fellow saw me leaving the coffee shop and struck up a conversation with me about this work in liberal Uptown. He seemed to be cheered that we would make an effort here and he encouraged me to press on, thanking me. That kind of stuff really goes a long way toward fortifying the campaign volunteer. Of course, I let him know that we need guys like him for the 72-Hour Task Force. He said he'd think about it. I am sure he will think about it. I hope he will follow up by acting upon it.
There was another household that I admired for their courage. They actually had the snot to answer their door in their bathrobes and bare feet! I appreciated the opportunity to speak with them so very much. It didn't matter to me, their appearances. That taught me a lesson. I have no reason to fear answering my door when I am unattractive and disheveled. Damn it, it's my home. I can even answer the door in my pajamas if I wish and have no call to apologize for it!
We were lucky we didn't have terrible weather. It was dry. Yes, we had blustery wind. Yes, it was quite cold (We lost a mother and her 7-year old daughter because the girl's teeth were chattering), but we accomplished our mission. Tomorrow morning I will enter our data in the campaign data base. This info will feed into the 72-Hour Task Force effort.

As I repeatedly tell people, this election will be won by whichever party does the better job of getting their people to the polls. That's what this day was all about. We're making sure they understand they must vote. It is not okay to assume that this is a trivial matter to be ignored or forgotten about.

A great day.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Final wrap on the debates

It may be recalled that I felt that W had at least not lost the first debate (the one most people agree he blew) because he'd won the substance while Kerry won on technical grounds.

Whilst commuting to work yesterday I was listening to Bill Bennett's Morning In America program on The Patriot. A telephone caller made an observation that I can't help but agree with. And it is this;
On Wednesday, President Bush won all three debates.
W has enjoyed an advantage in these debates in that he is already quite familiar to the American people. This, while Kerry had the obligation to identify himself to them, showing that he could be "presidential", that he could appear to be a "likeable man" all while he demonstrates that his ideas stack up as a credible alternative to the incumbents' policies.
W took advantage of these three opportunities by displaying dimension of character. In that first debate, as Hugh Hewitt points out, W couldn't have "lost" because it produced the "Global Test" challenge that is proving to be such a crucial blow to Kerry.

Hugh Hewitt points out;
Over at The Corner, Tim Graham suggests I am in the "Bush always wins" camp. To those who think Bush lost round one, a question: "Why are we still talking about the 'global test? Because it was a huge, breakthrough moment for Kerry?"
If a bullet wound takes two weeks to kill you, it still killed you right? I rest my case

A loser would not be capable to delivering such a blow. Kerry is still bleeding from that one.
In the second debate it was noted that W was "more animated and energized". He connected and engaged better.
All the while, W takes in on the chin that he's not a "great debater", that his language skills are not as polished as Kerry's are.
But by this third debate, it was demonstrated that W stands for Won. He did this by taking full advantage of the three occasions, putting forth elements of his personality along with his arguments for his presidency. By the third debate he admits near the end that his First Lady, Laura Bush speaks English better than he does. That admission took a lot of the bruise out of his deficiency whilst endearing him to the electorate for his attachment to this popular American woman. In that same segment he pointed out that he listens to Laura when she tells him to stop scowling and to stand up straight. In one or two little vignettes he's discounted for us the nagging little technical problems he's suffered in the debates while reinforcing his wholeness of character through his bond with the person we might call his "better half". It think it worked.

That roundness of character is starkly contrasted with Kerry's deficit. For Kerry had to admit that he had "married up" when he married Teresa. Kerry sank to new depths by dragging Vice President Cheney's daughter and her personal lifestyle into the debate for cheap political gain. "He is not a good man," was the response from Mary Cheney's mother, Lynn afterwards. Mary Cheney's choice to remain out of the limelight of the campaign should be respected.

By Wednesday's debate, W won all three debates. We choose a leader based upon his abilities, his policies and his character. While Kerry showed that he's a polished debater, he also displayed himself to the the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st Century as well as being a political opportunist and a man of base character.

The Bush Doctrine is the policy that will keep America safer. It's a doctrine that stays on the offensive against international terrorism whilst promoting freedom and liberty throughout the world.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Banner display

Last night I joined a couple of Republican activists just before sundown. They were Doug D. and Colby L.
Doug has a sign professionally made of vinyl. It reads, "Pres. Bush = Integrity". When Doug and Colby got there before me, they'd found another sign made from foam-core. It read, "America; Land of the Red, White & Black Eye". Needless to say, we tore it down and crumpled it into a ball about the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica Vols. M through O.
We met at the appointed time at a pedestrian crosswalk over 35W at 24th Street in South Minneapolis. To say that it's a high visibility spot is to make an obvious pun. That's something I just won't do. I have too much respect for my readers. But let it be known that we could see a long way and we were way up there in altitude. Six-eight wheelers and autos were honking their approval.
A few drivers gave us the finger.

Not a pretty night to be doing this sort of work. It was windy as heck. And the clouds blocked the sunlight that we would have liked to have illuminated our display.
So we had do shut down around 6:45. Doug and I went to the Hilton Hotel for the Patriot Presidential Debate Party. Colby opted to go home. He wanted to watch the debate free of distractions.

On the way over to the hotel, Doug asked me how many people did I think would show up for this thing. I thought most people would be like Colby and prefer to stay home. So I guessed about 50.

Boy, was I wrong! About 750 or more people were there.

It was loads o' fun and it was terrific to meet the other bloggers and Patriot fans as well as to drink in the debate together. I had a rollicking good time with Sqotty and Swifty. Actually, we were a bit out of control. And that's a good thing.

I'd say the most encouraging moment of the evening was when Captain Ed took the mic and proclaimed that Minnesota would go to George W. Bush come Election Day. That's what we all believe. Now we just need to hear it spoken. And then we need to see it come to pass.

I don't have time to write a full review just now. But what do I expect to come of this debate?
I think W won this round. And I expect to see his lead widen over Kerry.

W will win on Election Day in a landslide victory. It will be humiliating for the Democrats.


My post from this morning was lost when the Draft function malfunctioned.
Thanks for your patience. I'm not sure how much patience I have remaining.



Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Custos Mortum RIP

It is with regret that I must report that a fine blog out of the U.K. known as Custos Morum is no more. Its proprietor has opted to pull the plug on this fine blog. (If you want a sense of what this dead blog looks like now, turn off your monitor screen and stare at it. If you find a blog called Custos Morum, I assure you, it is a different blog than the one I write of here, which was a Blogger blog.)
The reason is that he is now "standing for elected office for the Labour Party in the UK" and has wisely realized that:
a) His time will be put to better use campaigning for office rather than blathering away in his pajamas.
2) His opponent(s) might use his bloggeral as a blunt weapon with which to club him.

It is ironic, is it not, that a democracy's civil servants must remain guarded about stating their views freely? Our public servants, our politicians, must forego some of the most basic freedoms that we common rabble take for granted. And the more famous the politician, the less freedoms. Imagine if Sir Winston Churchill were to walk down the street in Piccadilly Circus today. Why, he'd be mobbed! Not only because he's dead and dead people would be a great curiosity if they walked the streets, but because...well, he's Sir Winston Churchill.
The rest of us commoners have the freedom to just stroll along and enjoy the sights.

This post is a bit delayed. I'd meant to write of this last week, but my blog crashed. That's one problem Custos Morum will not have to grapple with any longer; a crashed blog.
We wish Custos Morum the very best in his ambitious campaign. We trust his star will shine for a bright political future.
Hail Britannia!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Swifty reminds us that it's about that time for the pinkmonkeybird babe of the week. Just because we can.  Posted by Hello

Minnesota Democrats Exposed

has the gory, sordid details on how rabid Democrats are barging into GOP offices, mangling and stealing BC signs and other ugly deeds.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

More Blogger problems

Well, the good news is that my blog is back up and I can post.

Bad news is that I am unable to publish my blogroll or put up a meter. I suppose you've noticed this template is a pinker shade now. That's because I attempted utilizing an entirely new template to see if I could get around this problem.

I couldn't.

Is anyone else using Blogger having this problem? If so, please Comment below. In the meanwhile, I'll email Blogger and notify them of the problem, as there is no such problem referred to in their Current Status pages.

The President in Chanhassen

I never imagined the day would come that I would have the opportunity to see W at a rally and would decline. But that's what I did yesterday. I was all set to attend. I even informed my captain that I'd miss out on the phone bank session because of it.
But then I got into a conversation with another volunteer. Tim is the fellow who I worked with a couple weeks ago on a Saturday planting Bush-Cheney signs in the lawns of Richfield. He replied that he was passing on the rally because he'd already seen W and wanted to help out with the phone bank, as that is a more effective use of time and energy spent toward reelecting him.
I saw that Tim was right.
After all, did we really have anything to fear that the showing at the rally would be an embarrassment? It might have turned out that way, but it wasn't. Larry Colson reports in W's blog that over 17,500 people turned out for the rally. This, despite the conflict of a Minnesota Twins baseball game being played at the same time. (I imagine there were a few folks at the rally with portable radios and tv sets on hand.)
My friend and fellow blogger, Jo has a fine post on the rally. It's all important work to be doing. If we didn't have ralliers, there would be no rally. And you can click here to see the Our House post on not just the rally, but also pics of some of the best bloggers in the Twin Cities area who attended their presidential debates blog house party.

The phone bank work continues to focus on getting our people to vote via absentee ballot. An absentee ballot cast now is a vote that cannot be lost on Election Day. We continue to recruit more volunteers in the effort, as we will certainly need them during the 72 Hour Task Force. That is the crucial plan to place our people where they need to be during the final 3 days of the campaign.

My phone work on Saturday in focused on training our volunteers on how to make the calls and then I phone those people who have indicated they are available for volunteering, and sign them up to a schedule.

Would you like to help? Click here.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Harland Williams at Knucklehead's

Do you like stand-up comedy? I do.

Good stand-up comedy is deceptively difficult to do well. The good ones make it look easy. (Kind of like blogging, in that sense.)

I don't think Harland Williams is a household name yet. But just about everyone has seen his face. "Oh! That guy!"

I first became aware of Harland Williams a few years ago. There was a late nite tv show here in the Twin Cities that was broadcast at 1 o'clock Monday morning. Who's watching tv at 1 o'clock in the morning on a Monday? Thank heaven for the VCR. I went to bed at 11 pm and my VCR recorded whatever comedy was on this show. I suppose it was called Comedy Tonight or some such thing. Most of the tapes would be from the Improv in Los Angeles.
Anyways, one Monday evening after I got home from work, I hit the Rewind function on my machine, hit Play and popped a cold one. There, was a tape of this goofy looking guy. The show was recorded in San Francisco and I couldn't make out his name. But it was one of funniest stand-up shows I have ever seen.
It becomes pretty obvious in very short time that Williams relies on improvisation quite a bit. He's interested in taking whatever hairball coughs up at the moment and flying with it. And he's quite good at this. I was amazed at how, just through the brief introductions to some of my fellow audience members, Williams was able to make all sorts of hilarious connections that made me wonder if everybody but me was on the take.

I can't go into too much detail in recounting Williams' material. After all, my mother has the URL for this blog. And it gets pretty dicey. Comedy is a delicate thing. If I rattled off a joke that I'd thought was funny right here, right now in writing, the humor might not carry over. Williams is terrific at presenting his schtick. I love his arcane, wacky, self-important presentation that is just simply a direct line to insanity.

Okay. I can sense that there are those out there who need a taste;

WILLIAMS: I love to cook I love to cook, friends. The other day I came up with a great recipe. I'd love you all to try it. It's real simple. I hope you'll try it, friends.
Go over to your local grocery store. Pick yourself up some cow tongue, some bacon and some lovely, lovely freshly cut flank steak.
It's my own recipe, friends. I call it "Lick My Greasy Ass!"

Yeah, Harland Williams has a wild sense of humor. If you're afraid of the F-word you don't wanna go there.
His presence is great, too. He has a rockabilly kinda demeanor. Just looking at Harland, you know you're in for some crazy-time. I couldn't believe my table was so close to the stage. This guy rocks.
He's got a thing for Warner Brothers Roadrunner cartoons. He warned us of the dangers of coyotes. They're wiley! You never know when they're gonna turn a giant magnet loose on ya and grab you by the nose-ring.
One of my fears going into this show was over politics. What if Harland Williams is a Lefty and he goes political against Bush? That would ruin the experience for me.
He did no such thing. Oh, sure, he'd made some jokes about The Qwadas out to get us. LOL. We all got a charge out of that. Harland Williams is sooooo ignant.

I laughed so hard I couldn't see. That's good medicine in this stressed out, polarized world. And with something like four shows all sold out at Knucklehead's, I suspect that Harland Williams is on his way toward becoming a household name.

See him if you can.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Thank you

Thank you for coming back to this blog.
Blogger notified me that my blog crashed due to a bug in their system, so we can rule out hackers.
Unfortunately I did not understand the importance of saving a backup copy of my customizations to this blog, so I will be recreating that over the coming week.
If there are other blogs that put out word that this blog was not to be toe tagged just yet, I thank you. And anyone who reads pinkmonkeybird with any regularity; Thanks a bunch.
My thanks to Jo of Jo's Attic for her very helpful suggestions, Swifty of PAIR 'O DICE for his APB, Doug of Bogus Gold, Chad the Elder for his empathy's (he felt my pain) and to Ed of MonkeyWatch who informed a concerned community of monkey observers that this blog was not dead, it only smelled funny.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Smoking gun

This story tells of uncovered memos showing that Iraq had WMD and connections to terrorist groups, including al Qaeda.
(tip o' the bird to The Corner)

UPDATE: Who knew?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

NARN at Downtown Jaguar

After getting out of The Mother of All Phone Banks for Bush-Cheney this afternoon, I had to get some cash at an ATM and buy some new AAA batteries for my personal sport radio for the ride home. Once I took care of that, I was on my way home to Uptown. Great. I tune in to am1280 The Patriot to listen to the Northern Alliance Radio Network and look forward to a good bike ride on the Cedar Lake Trail.
But by the time I got to 10th Street Mitch Berg was announcing that the show was being remote broadcast from Minneapolis Downtown Jaguar auto dealership. That was right behind me!
I'd forgotten all about this remote broadcast even though I'd known about it for weeks.
Throwing on my retro-rockets, I turned the Bat Bike around and screamed into Downtown Jaguar. NARN shows are always fun to watch "live". Radio is great. I love the images that come to mind whilst listening to a great radio broadcast. But if you don't see the NARN guys do it live at least once, well, your imagination has absolutely no bearings. Before I saw the show live, I'd always assumed the participants wore silver, matching uniforms, were waited on hand and foot by glamorous blonde servants and were suspended in bubbles of effervescent fluid, multitudes of glowing plasma screens beaming the lastest Free Republic news flashes onto a giant game-board and huge glass bowls of peanut M&Ms within perpetual reach of our beloved stars.
I was wrong. But, hey, that might just be me and my overblown imagination.
In actual fact, they are seated in their pajamas at normal, unremarkable folding chairs before normal, unremarkable folding tables. It's all very unremarkable, actually. At least, it is so in its physical composure. In its Radioland composure, the NARN is terrific stuff. Somehow they are able to pack most shows with engaging information as well as heavy doses of wild humor.
They were also giving away a two-year lease on a slightly used Jaguar automobile, but that was of no interest to me, as I have no use for cars.

I'd missed more than half of today's broadcast, but what I did catch was typically excellent NARN. For one thing, they ripped Nick Coleman a new blogosphincter. Nick Coleman is a columnist for the StarTribune; Newspaper of the Twin Cities. He'd been invited to defend his recent diatribe (registration required) against bloggers in general and the Northern Alliance in particular, but he didn't bother to answer the challenge.

That's one of the reasons I like the Northern Alliance so much. They take on MSM head on and so far they have a pretty good record of effectiveness.

Friday, October 01, 2004

America's Mayor

I attended a rally this morning featuring former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. It was held at the Minnetonka Community Arts Center. So I grabbed a #12C bus out of the Uptown Transit Center, transferring in Hopkins. I was delivered to Minnetonka in just three quarters of an hour.
I offered my services as a volunteer for the event. I've found that volunteering for these events is quite a bit more rewarding than merely attending. As a volunteer, I get a glimpse of the workings and I'm on duty to observe the goings-on. I was stationed at one of the doorways with a copy of the list of authorized attendees.
This event was different from any of the others I'd attended. Giuliani does not hold office. This was not a high security event. There were no tickets. We merely had names on printed lists. The attendees were greeted at the door, their name asked and then checked off the list.
The hall accommodates an audience of just 500 people.
Things went smoothly. There were no counter-rallies. But there was one small incident. A fellow who I would estimate to be about 60 years old walked up to the door wearing a Kerry tee-shirt, carrying a Kerry-Edwards campaign sign. My fellow worker asked for his name and established that this guy was not on the list. That wasn't good enough for this guy though, and he tried to challenge the judgment. Within a minute or two he was escorted to the door and a pair of security people kept their eye on him.
We were here to listen to Rudy Giuliani speak, not this guy's heckling.

The event itself was very brisk. Warm-up speakers included Congressmen Jim Ramstad and Mark Kennedy and Saint Paul Mayor Randy Kelly(DFL) . There was some good energy here. Minnetonka is within Congressman Jim Ramstad's jurisdiction and the locals responded very warmly toward him. Mark Kennedy has a talent for connecting to his audience. He told some stories I'd heard him tell other times at previous rallies, yet the response to him was also very strong.
But Randy Kelly was the keynote speaker and the crowd loved him. Here is a Democrat who remains with his party but has the balls to cross the line and support George W. Bush! That is one of the biggest statements a politician can make. For it it loyalty to party that is usually valued above all other traits in politics. Kelly is of interest to most of us, for most of us once called ourselves Democrats. It would have to be Democrats like Kelly, Koch and Miller who wield massive influence in an ailing Democratic Party that will seek restitution in the wake of a Kerry-Edwards defeat. For it is these men who understood, in the thick of battle, that blind loyalty to a sinking ship is nothing more than suicide.

Now Kelly introduced Rudy Giuliani to the audience. And what a warm introduction it was. We were reminded of Giuliani's singular leadership, his self-sacrifice, his inspirational presence in the aftermath of the attacks on this country on September 11th, 2001.
Predictably, Giuliani made us laugh. He shared his reaction to the debate of last night. At one point he mistakenly referred to "John Kerry's security threat to America". Correcting himself, he'd meant to speak of Saddam Hussein's security threat to America. Mr. Giuliani confessed that his mistake might have been a Freudian slip. I was too consumed with laughter to care if he'd played me or not.
Most of us understand that John Kerry is, indeed, a threat to the security of America. And that is not a laughing matter. Sometimes the most obscene notion is hilarious.
But in the most serious tones, Giuliani reminded us that George W. Bush is a great president and is a man of principled leadership. He took special care to recognize the grassroots volunteers that make the difference in this campaign. I took great heart in Rudy's assurance that "We will win the State of Minnesota and its ten electoral votes for President Bush." In a wonderfully inspired piece of wisdom, Rudy pointed out to us that the conviction of winning is the most powerful tool in achieving victory.
We jumped to our feet and cheered.
Yes. We will win Minnesota. We will continue to work hard, harder and hardest all the way to Election Day to win the presidency for W.

After the auditorium emptied out, I was approached by a reporter from Minnesota Public Radio and his tape recorder. He asked me a series of questions about the event and its effect upon us. One of the questions I recall his asking was, "Does the presence of people from areas outside of Minnesota coming to this state have any impact upon the people who live here?"
I replied, " You mean people such as Rudy Giuliani? Yes. He was introduced to us as The Mayor of America." He's one of us.

And the debate winner is...

I have no idea who "won" this debate. I believe so strongly that W is the strong leader pursuing the correct policies in the War on Terror, whilst believing that John Fudging Kerry is a disgrace to his uniform and his country. How am I supposed to have an objective opinion on this debate? For me, the expression on Ws face throughout most of Kerry's arguments said it all.
If you want lots of wordy analysis of the event you can get plenty of thoughtful opinions through the Northern Alliance of Blogs via Mitch Berg.
UPDATE: Here's a link (thanks to the Democratic National Committee) to W's expressions of disgust. The DNC thinks its frustration. I don't think they know W like I do.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

As I'd mentioned a coupla days ago, I been fienin' for a movie.
Somehow I'd managed to remain ignorant of details concerning Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I suppose the real clincher for my committing to see it was when I heard Emmet the Unblinking Eye on Hugh Hewitt's show recently. He knows a thing or two about movies. Emmet had mentioned that this movie was loaded with sly references to vintage movies.
Add to this mix the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow stars and some very interesting images had leaked their way to me through tv ads and such and then it becomes a question of how could I possibly be stopped from seeing Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow?

So I go to the Mann St. Louis Park Cinema to see this movie and I'm starting to get kind of excited to see this thing.
The very first image thrown up on the screen is of a dirigible flying in the fog over New York City. Okay. That's it, I'm hooked.
So within the earliest moments, it is understood that this movie is the answer to that classic question; Why can't they make great movies like they used to? And if we are to pinpoint what year they used to make great movies in Hollywood, that would be 1939. This was the phenomenal year in Hollywood when so many amazing and perfect movies were made. One of the most stellar movies to come out of Hollywood in that magic year was The Wizard of Oz. And there are several references to this film here. But there are gentle references to films of other years, including Lost Horizon, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still and of course the Flash Gordon serials.
One of the first elements to hit the viewer of this movie is the faux chiaroscuro lighting. I was impressed that the filmmakers had set out to make a movie that was shot and lit like the classics of German Expressionism. But I was distracted by the fact that they didn't get it exactly right. Yes, the screen is ominously dark and the eye probes the dark corners looking for secrets. But there are some shots of a 1939 Ford Standard Coup cruising down the street whereby the image was unfortunately CGI, and obviously so.
Oh sure, the film is a synthesis and should not be held to a standard of historicism. Actually, that's one of the interesting elements of this movie that makes it work so well. During the first half hour or so, I was engaged in trying to understand what timeframe I was supposed to be placed in. That dirigible is called the Hindenberg III and it's mooring at the top of the Empire State Building. Okay....time is clearly being mixed.
The gigantic invader robots have skulls etched on their breastplates. I was under the impression that they must be German Nazi weapons. But I was wrong.
When that army of robot invaders attacks I could swear I heard the theremin of The Day the Earth Stood Still. A gigantic neon sign atop a building is trucked into by the camera. Looked like a shot from Citizen Kane to me and I was surprised when the shot was not pursued by threading directly through the sign.
I don't want to spoil this movie for those readers who have not yet seen it. So I won't give away the plot except to say that it is big in scope. Save the world big. Also, in some weird way, Sir Laurence Olivier stars in it. I didn't understand that I was looking at Olivier while I was watching the film. But there he is, in the credits. This, despite the fact that Olivier passed away in 1989. A strange reference in the film makes Olivier's character, the arch villain Dr. Totenkopf, to be the Wizard of Oz, as seen in that movie as nothing more than a giant head.
Charming, like those vintage Hollywood movies, is the love story contained in the story. We know that Polly Perkins and Sky Captain love each other from the get-go when they speak one another's names in a dangerous encounter with invading robots.
Then, throughout the film, a nice level of tension and surface conflict is maintained between the two...little clues of the deeper love rewarding us to hang in there and believe they can make it.

This movie delivered the goods. I'll be ready for the next Sky Captain movie if and when that ever happens. I hope it does.
In the meanwhile, I plan on seeing this movie again sometime. Hey! It's got robots with rays shooting out of their eyes and Gwyneth Paltrow. Just try and stop me.