...busting up my brains for the words

Monday, January 31, 2005

Chambers hotel Minneapolis

For years at the corner of 9th & Hennepin Ave., S. the old Fairmont Hotel has sat like a squat, blackened barge moored to the curb. For many years it had been a cheap flop house. On occasion, one's eye could not help but wander up its dingy walls. Windows looking out over Hennepin or 9th Street would reveal a tattered shade or a worn out piece of furniture, sometimes a lonely man smoking a cigarette.
On street level, most recently there was a smoking paraphernalia shop called Suns. But that closed out a few years ago and the building has stood empty all these many months. This was the sort of run down urban blight that inspired Tom Waits to write a song called, fittingly enough, 9th & Hennepin.

But now there's a big orange banner hanging on the wall and evident reconstruction is underway for the new Chambers Hotel to be opening in 2006. I'm glad to see that this old, lost building has been saved in order to serve a useful purpose one day. Far too many pieces of Minneapolis' historical legacy have gone the way of the wrecking ball. And this time, two vintage buildings will be saved for one project. The building that housed Pro Color will be utilized. Pro Color will be moving to Glenwood Avenue in North Minneapolis as it has been incorporated by Albinson's Reprographics.

I'm sure I'll never have occasion to stay a night at the Chambers Hotel. But there will be a restaurant on street level that might call me in on some special occasion. You never know.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

First rumblings of change in North Korea

Something odd is happening in North Korea and Kim Jong Il's regime. By this account, it's crumbling. I found this part of the report to be fascinating;

Bush’s re-election dealt a blow to Kim, 62, who had gambled on a win by John Kerry, the Democratic candidate. Kim used a strategy of divide and delay to drag out nuclear talks with the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea through 2004.
Kim lost his bet and now faces four more years of Bush, who says that he “loathes” the North Korean leader and has vowed to strip him of atomic weapons.

If this is accurate, it would seem that the regime was waiting to see if the American people would elect John Kerry which would be seen as a victory for the Axis of Evil nation and its rogue leader. George W. Bush's reelection was the death knell because it spelled four more years of tough dealings with Washington instead of Champaign with Maddy Albright.

This analysis reminds me immediately of the Momar Ghadafi turnabout in Libya. If this is indeed what is happening, it would appear that this time the Domino Theory that was feared by America regarding International Communism in the 1960s is playing nicely on the other foot; the foot of Democracy.

Democracy on the march was evident in Iraq today. Does this story spell democracy for North Korea too? It's far too early to say. But the downfall of a madman like Kim Jong Il might mean his being replaced with something safer for the region and the world. Let's hope so.

(tip o' the bird to the Instapundit)

Glass half empty or glass half full?

King Banian over at Saint Cloud State University Scholars has this economic comparison prompted by two sources; CNN television and Fox News television.

Yet another indicator that the liberals and the Democrats who oppose Republican leadership are all too willing to hold a position of pessimism so long as they remain out of power in America.

Gloom and doom; the Democratic ideal.

Also, I'd like to express my appreciation to King and the Fraters boys for blogrolling pinkmonkeybird recently. I'm a proud MOB (Minnesota Organization of Blogs) member.

Kerry continues flip-flops

On NBC's Meet The Press today John "flip-flop" Kerry continued his personal legacy, demonstrating to Americans why we are extraordinarily fortunate that he has not been elected Commander-In-Chief and president of the United States of America. He audaciously continues to vacillate his stand.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that Iraq is less a terrorist threat to the United States now than it was two years ago?
SEN. KERRY: No, it's more. And, in fact, I believe the world is less safe today than it was two and a half years ago...

Incredibly (for most other people, anyways, but not so incredibly for a flip flopper of his magnitude) Kerry's waffling occurred in the space of two minutes as he then answered this question immediately after his long-winded answer;

MR. RUSSERT: Is the United States safer with the newly elected Iraqi government than we would have been with Saddam Hussein?
SEN. KERRY: Sure. And I'm glad Saddam Hussein is gone, and I've said that a hundred times. But we've missed opportunity after opportunity along the way, Tim, to really make America safe and to bring the world to the cause...

So which is it, Mr. Kerry? More safe? Or less safe? More a threat? Or less of the threat?
As usual John Kerry wants to have it both ways.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

SD59 "After the Holidays" party

My previous post mentions this party. But I'd like to say a few words more about the event. It was a good time and I appreciated being invited to it. There were many old faces from the campaign trail that were good to catch up on news with. There were also some faces that I'd barely only glimpsed in those glory days that somehow seem from the long ago past even though it was really just a few month gone. We had an opportunity to clink glasses and have some chat.

But we also had a chance to talk of politics and the coming contests and challenges of the next election cycle. This meeting was a convincing forum for me that I should try and devote the subject material of this blog to these local politics.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not gonna stop writing about MSM bias or the GWOT or George W. Bush or a lot of other acronyms of national profile. But if I'm going to be involved in the coming campaigns in Minnesota's 2006 election, I've got to engage the local issues. I'm going to attempt to grapple with my interpretation of these issues, hopefully learning a thing or two along the way.

Iraqi election skinny

I attended a GOP party in Senate District 59 tonight up in NordEast Minneapolis. Mitch Berg of Shot In The Dark was the honorary speaker and I had a chance to chew the fat with him. Mitch is an energetic and informative speaker, as everyone who's heard the NARN show can hear with their own ears.
I asked Mitch where he plans to turn to in the blogosphere to get the inside poop on the elections in Iraq. He told me Spirit Of America, among a few others. I'm glad Mitch reminded me of Spirit Of America as I'd received an email from them and this link to Friends Of Democracy for the lowdown on what's going on. This morning I was in the middle of creating a post with this link when my computer crashed and I got distracted. I am a proud contributor to Spirit Of America through the Northern Alliance of Blogs.

Besides doing good work in Iraq and Afghanistan, Friends Of Democracy is a valuable portal to learn the balanced story of what is going on in Iraq today and the days following the elections taking place there even now as I write these words.

As the email I received from SoA states;

The information is not "candy coated" - it simply does more than emphasize terrorism and violence. It provides good news and bad. Please link to the site and check it for news. It will be especially good on election day. We'll have reports and photos coming in from all corners of Iraq.

Thanks to Mitch for reminding me of this site. And thanks to Spirit of America and Fiends of Democracy for bringing the truth to Americans.

What happened?

What happened to Powerline? I like to start my day (at least, my weekend days) by reading the latest posts from the Northern Alliance of Blogs. When I clicked on Powerline in my Favorites folder I get this odd index sheet. The URL is correct. But the blog is nowhere.

Oddly, when I came to post about the problem here on my own blog and opened Powerline, the problem is resolved.

I tell ya, sometimes technology can make a man doubt his own sanity. A quick survey of other blogs have no mention of this problem.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Real Clear Politics

Real Clear Politics has an excellent post on the failure of the old media. There's something wrong with the permanent link to the post. But it you click on the title of this post and then locate the post at or near the top entitled OLD MEDIA FAILING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BADLY from February 27th, you can read it.

T. Bevan cites several newspapers and their failure to cover the good news coming out of Iraq in balance with the horrific violence they prefer to play up.

As T. Bevan quotes Thomas Sowell of The Baltimore Sun
This kind of journalism can turn victory into defeat. Kept up long enough, it can even end up with real defeat, when support for the war collapses at home and abroad.

Bevan goes on to point out that alternative media are providing the much needed outlet for that balance. That's why I think this link is important to share with more readers.
Please read the whole thing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Light posting

I wish I could bring my daily posting back up to previous levels. And I apologize for those times readers of this blog check in only to find that I haven't posted recently.
Like R-Five over at Speed Gibson, I am dieting. My diet is going very well. I've lost nearly ten pounds. But I'm in that phase of the diet that spells "crisis" to my body. (Ask Nancy Pelosi what a crisis is. She'll tell you.) I'm exhausted. I often have trouble concentrating, especially in the evenings when I used to post most often. Writing this post itself is a struggle. My brain is behaving like Homer Simpson's. Nothing in there but the repeated word, "donut".

I am confident that my energy will return once my body has been flogged mercilessly by the severe ravages of starvation. It's being taught that it is no longer permitted to draw energy from a bloated belly that is constantly being refilled. It is being instructed that in order to operate, it must draw off stored energy supplies from fat globules nestled around layers just beneath the epidermis.

There now. That felt better. I hope you will continue to check in on this blog. When my energy returns, my posting frequency will increase. I'm banking on it.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blogger's Bash III

Upon returning home from the 3rd Blogger's Bash for the MOB, hosted by the Northern Alliance, I turned on Saturday Night Live. Imagine my astonishment when I found myself witnessing a skit on Barbara Boxer and her recent grilling of Condi Rice for her Senate review as the new Secretary of State. SNL depicted Boxer as the moonbat that most of the bloggers at the bash would see her to be. I'd like to describe the skit, but I would not be able to do it justice. Suffice it to say that SNL depicted Boxer to be a loony wacko. Suffice it to say that SNL depicted Boxer to be on a par with a street-bound schizophrenic who had recently been bitten by a rabid bat.
Of course, I should not be misunderstood. I am not saying that SNL has a right wing conservative agenda. SNL is very fair and balanced in the dissemination of their humor. They always take care to slam the Right just as hard as they slam the Left.

The Bash was great fun. All the usual suspects were there as well as some new faces. I enjoyed meeting the people that animate the blogosphere on the local level. The atmosphere at these bashes is remarkably upbeat. That's because we know enough of one another's personalities to feel comfortable. This is the formula that should promulgate every party.
I'll give you an example. Barry of SD59 mentioned to me that he is also a fan of Ed Wood. He'd read my post praising Plan 9 From Outer Space. Bingo! We had something in common and had some chat over this subject, progressing on to the next logical subject.
A blogger's bash is filled with such moments. In other words, blogger's bashes make great parties because we are acquainted with one another well enough to pick up on these tangents of shared experience and create new moments of good fun.

I enjoyed meeting every single person I encountered at this bash. I encourage readers to Comment in pinkmonkeybird.

It's a party, man. Don't stop the fun.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

National Treasure

I just saw the movie National Treasure this evening. It had been awhile since I'd been to the cinema and I've been down in the dumps for the past coupla days, so a movie was the perfect remedy. Let me just say that for me, it was a toss-up as to whether I should see I*Heart* Huckabees or National Treasure. I'm not the least bit sorry for my selection. I'd heard that this movie is entertaining and I'd agree that on that score, it delivers the goods.
The movie is an example of good storytelling. There's nothing arty about it. It simply delivers a good story, competently told with enough twists and clever ploys to keep one engaged in the story. A good test for me is if I feel the urge to go to the restroom, but I opt to stay put for fear that I'll lose the thread of the story when I return to my seat. A little applied muscle control on my bladder, and I was just fine. I'm glad I hung in there.
This movie moves at a clip. The pacing is just right. A tempo is established and this successfully creates an anticipation in the audience; What is going to happen next?
I hope I don't have to explain to you that Nick Cage is one of our very best screen actors. He's very good here. And the supporting cast is well chosen. This is a smart movie. Cage's character has brains and his love interest, played by the lovely Diane Kruger, projects a keen intelligence necessary to fit as his partner.
Harvey Keitel plays a smart investigator in a role that reminded me of "The Wolf" from Pulp Fiction. He's a guy who gets the job done.
The only segment that bored me was where you'd expect I'd get bored. Where else? A chase scene. Chase scenes can't much be improved upon enough to make them interesting. Some bad guys are chasing after the good guys. The good guys are running away from the bad guys. Either the good guys will get caught or they will get away. If they get caught they will eventually get away again. I suppose I could have gone to the restroom here, but I didn't know how long it would last. A chase scene that lasts two minutes is a long chase scene because if feels like ten.
I suppose the Steve McQueen chase scene in The Great Escape was one of the best chase scenes in the history of cinema. That movie is the exception to the rule. Chase scenes bore me.

Another nice touch in this movie is the bad guys. They're all Europeans. There's a nice dimension created in the situation, as the good guys are Americans who want to get the treasure while retaining respect for the Declaration of Independence. The bad guys are Euro-thugs who have no regard for the founding document and only wish to gain the treasure.

But then, that's the sort of subtext you'd expect from a movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

There. I've reviewed this movie without giving away a single spoiler. And if you have to go to the restroom, do so during the chase scene on foot. But do so within two minutes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Laughable defeat of CBS News

CBS News has hinted that it may roll over and die in public in the wake of its embarrassing diminution at the hands of the blogosphere over the MemoGate scandal. It was reported today that;
[CBS chief Leslie] Moonves wouldn't rule out a role on the evening news for Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, whose "The Daily Show" skewers politicians and the news media each night. Moonves is co-chief executive of Viacom, which owns both CBS and Comedy Central.

At least Moonves is considering going transparent in his "news" broadcasts over the fact that CBS may not have a stomach any longer for pretending that their reports are serious or the be taken seriously. Such a move would tip their hat that CBS sees "news" reporting as a form of entertainment.

I applaud this option. After all, there is no money to be made at CBS for news reporting. Their market share has been slicing ever thinner for years now. They should go for laughs and the largest audience they can attract with a funnyman like Stewart.

Once in awhile, they could invite Dan Rather back onto the show to reread his MemoGate story and continue to insist they are accurate.

That would be so funny.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Understanding World War IV

Norman Podhoretz is one of the key founding members of the NeoCon club.
Some months ago, Mr. Podhoretz published a lengthy piece describing the world at war today. He suggested that we are witnessing World War IV, as the Cold War is better thought of as World War III. I wish I could link that piece but it's only available in its archived form for subscribed members. It's entitled How To Win World War IV.

Now Mr. Podhoretz has published a new thesis called The War Against World War IV. Unless you want to subscribe to Commentary magazine (evidently not a bad idea, by the way), I suggest you print a hardcopy now before it's archived.

These two pieces are invaluable reads in understanding what is going on in our war-torn world. The hard leftists would scarcely agree with much of it. And I doubt the Islamists would agree with much of it either. But the NeoCons and the White House most surely see eye-to-eye with both of these treatises.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Myths & Facts of blogs

IMAO (I think that is an acronym for In My Arrogant Opinion) has the low-down on all this blog stuff.

(tip o' the bird to Instapundit)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Those phantom WMD

Tonight while I was on the treadmill I caught a bit of Secretary of State Colin Powell being interviewed by Jim Lehrer on PBS's News Hour. Naturally, Lehrer got around to asking Mr. Powell;

Yesterday, the White House officially confirmed that the two-year hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is now over. Do you now regret your own role in making the case for war based on the weapons of mass destruction argument?

I'm not going to bore you, as I was bored, by Mr. Powell's answer. We've all heard it before. He dryly explained that he regrets that the world intelligence community got it wrong and blah, blah, blah. If my account seems inadequate to you, then by all means read the word for word transcript in the above link.

Can somebody please explain to me why a dignitary like Colin Powell and every other official lamely apologize for the lack of stockpiles of WMD in Iraq? I was paying attention to the events that led up to the liberation of Iraq just as much as these people and I clearly recall that the world gave Saddam Hussein at least three months to hide his weapons in the ground or to spirit them across borders to Syria and Lebanon. The evidence of Saddam's weaponry was overwhelming and we know he had them in the past because he used them on the Kurds.
Furthermore, Saddam was clearly in violation of the UN's resolution 1441, as sarin and mustard gases were found in Iraq after the liberation.

The assertion that there were no WMD found in Iraq is inaccurate. The dismissal of the notion that these deadly weapons were hidden or dispersed elsewhere is unreasonable.

If you see your dad buy a girly magazine at the corner store and then later you can't find it hidden in his sox drawer, does it mean that he never bought the 'zine?

Of course not.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

"I must, but I cannot"

Little Green Footballs returned yesterday after being hacked for nearly a week. We missed LGF while it was away.
Creative posts like this one are just one of many reasons we're glad it's back.

This would be a perfect post for me to put up a pic from the movie Robot Monster. Unfortunately, I can't do that, as my ftp program is still malfunctioning. I'm still looking into finding a new blog tool host.

Monday, January 10, 2005


If a tree falls in the liberal leftist media and biased executives are fired and asked to retire, does it make a sound?

You bet it does. CBS News has made some noise in response to MemoGate. But naturally, CBS News doesn't go far enough. They claim that the problem came about over zeal to gain a scoop story. The truth is that liberal bias is so rampant and the department was so keen on felling George W. Bush from reelection.

A further truth is probably that this phony story was also planned to coordinate with the Democratic National Committee in a new effort to destroy Bush's chances.

CBS News' bias and unreliability are systemic. I see no reason to trust their news reportage or the reportage of their many local media affiliates.

Nevertheless, today is a great day for the blogosphere and a terrible day of reckoning for Mapes and many, many more trees in the forest.

UPDATE: Listening to The Hugh Hewitt Show tonight, it was obvious that the CBS and MemoGate would be the huge story. And rightfully so. Hugh is just on fire tonight in calling for the blogosphere to press relentlessly for the whole truth on CBS's bias and investigations into collusion with the Democratic National Committee.
Hugh is right, of course. And as one of the leading cheerleaders of the blogosphere, Hugh is quite likely to effectively lead toward that end.
Even if no smoking gun is revealed, the chatter in the blogosphere over the report that came out today over the evasions that CBS News has attempted today, will cut deeply into CBS News' image.
Jeff Jarvis was on the HH Show. He voiced confidence in the power of the marketplace to punish CBS News for bias. I think he may be right. As word spreads over at the water coolers on the nation, CBS News will continue to lose market share because they betrayed the trust of their viewers

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sean Penn free

Statements from the actor Sean Penn like this one are the reason I don't feel comfortable seeing movies with him in the cast. If I were to enrich Mr. Penn by seeing one of his films, he might very well use that capital to do my country even more harm than he already has.
So, while I've shoved my opinion up my ass, my wallet, which is attached to my ass is nowhere close to the box office where Sean Penn movies show.

In the meanwhile, the next movie made by those South Park guys will definitely be seen by me. And I'll have a large popcorn with butter and a Cherry Coke, please.

(tip o' the bird to DrudgeReport)

Kerry-Edwards detritus

Many weeks ago I'd written a post about the Kerry-Edwards lawnsigns I can still see propped up in my neighborhood yards. You never got a chance to read it because it was wiped when Blogger crashed on me as soon as I clicked on the "Publish Post" button. But my thoughts on the matter were still banging around in my cranium.
In the middle of this week the subject was revived for me when I ran across this letter from a reader in the Strib newspaper;

Still fighting

During Christmas Eve dinner a relative commented on those who still display Kerry-Edwards bumper stickers, saying, "Why can't they just get over it and move on?"

Being one of those people, I reject the idea that by displaying my sticker I'm in continued mourning over the results of the election. Instead, it's a sign to everyone that I will not be held responsible for the colossal domestic and international messes we'll be left with four years from now, when President Bush leaves office.

It's a sign of solidarity with those who believe that wars of choice are immoral, that the only way to support the troops is to oppose the dishonest policies that have put them in harm's way unnecessarily.

It's a sign that I support the broad application and protection of civil rights and civil liberties, to include all men and all women. It's a sign that I support the preservation of the environment, our fundamental common interest. It's a sign of hope that one day soon we'll have a leader of whom we can be proud.

And above all, it's a sign that I love my country.

Thank you to everyone who proudly and defiantly displays a Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker along with me.

Carl Sherman, Maple Grove.

This sort of letter in my hometown newspaper is helpful in understanding these losers. (For, after all, that is literally what they are. Their choice for executive office of the land lost decisively in the Electoral College and the popular vote.) A letter like this is helpful because without it we can only speculate what the message is. Before November 2nd, it was quite clear what it meant. But the display of these signs after the election has been the subject of much speculation. Now Mr. Sherman of Maple Grove clarifies, leaving no doubt, at least for his own part.

Being one of those people, I reject the idea that by displaying my sticker I'm in continued mourning over the results of the election. Instead, it's a sign to everyone that I will not be held responsible for the colossal domestic and international messes we'll be left with four years from now, when President Bush leaves office.

Mr. Sherman has enough backbone to reject "mourning" the loss. Instead, he points out that it means he "will not be held responsible" for what he is certain will be a terrible mess or messes resulting directly from this electoral decision.

Does Mr. Sherman refuse to hold President Bush responsible for the "terrible mess" of zero terrorist attack perpetrated upon his country since 9/11/01? Does Mr. Sherman refuse to hold President Bush responsible for a functioning democracy in Afghanistan?

These are terrible messes, are they not? Mr. Sherman displays his Kerry-Edwards signs to protest these messes.

It's a sign of solidarity with those who believe that wars of choice are immoral, that the only way to support the troops is to oppose the dishonest policies that have put them in harm's way unnecessarily.

If Mr. Sherman speaks of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as "wars of choice", he should remember that John Kerry and John Edwards chose to initiate those wars. We live in a democracy. Kerry and Edwards both voted to invade. I would posit that a war of choice is not immoral, while a war of indecision is. For indecision is the pathway that Kerry & Edwards mapped for us in the long campaign for American voters' support. Kerry voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it.

Mr. Sherman doesn't bother to speak to Saddam Hussein's dishonesty. He does not bother to explain how he thinks the current administration held dishonest policies or put American troops in harm's way unnecessarily. We can only assume he is so uninformed of the facts that he took Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, to be an accurate assessment of truth.

Mr. Sherman goes on to claim that his signs stand for "civil rights" and protection of "the environment". Once again, these are blanket charges made by the hard left and have no substance.

It's a sign of hope that one day soon we'll have a leader of whom we can be proud.
And above all, it's a sign that I love my country.

Mr. Sherman doesn't seem to understand how American democracy operates. See, Mr. Sherman, what happens is that we put these issues and these men who propose these policies up for election. The citizens vote and the person with the most votes in the Electoral College wins the office.

There is a long-standing tradition in a healthy democracy that this process should be respected as to how we proceed with important national options. Our nation and it's democratic system of government are based on the principles of free elections. This principle of democratic process is greater than any candidate. If Mr. Sherman truly loves his country he should take down his signs of the past election and respect our duly elected president and vice-president; George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

But at least Mr. Sherman's letter allows us to understand how such losers think and why these idiotic signs are still polluting the landscape.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hewitt's new book

I've posted Comments around the local MOB blogs that voiced a skepticism about reading Hugh Hewitt's new book, Blog. No one has lambasted my bad behavior yet. That's probably because I haven't done anything wrong. Are we not men? Are we not free to have independent minds and choose to read that which we find interesting and informative? Are we expected to rush off like robots to the bookstore simply because the great Hugh Hewitt has written a new book?

Of course not.

So, what's my problem? I don't have a problem. I listen to The Hugh Hewitt Show every week, practically. On that show, Hugh talks about blogs. He has prominent bloggers as guests on his program. They discuss blogging and how the blogosphere is revolutionizing journalism and politics. In my spare time I visit the blogosphere myself at home. I have this very blog you are reading which I write. I learn quite a bit about blogs from first hand experience. Why do I need to buy a book by the great Hugh Hewitt? Would I learn anything?

According to Power Line, yes.

According to Bogus Gold, yes.

In fact, the whole blogosphere seems to be going bonkers over this book as they trip over each other to promote it as much as all the other blogs listed in their blogrolls.

Hugh is much admired and respected by many, myself included. There is something for all of us to gain when the world reads Hugh's book. That's because the power of the blogosphere is participation. The more folks involved in the blogosphere, the more power instilled in it (as evidenced by the felling of Dan Rather and his phony documents through the minions of Power Line and Little Green Footballs).

I work with a fellow who's interested in politics to some degree. I asked him if he reads the blogs.

"What's a blog, anyway?", he asked.

That guy needs to read Hewitt's book. Not necessarily me. Should I buy it for him? Maybe I should take Hugh's advice and buy two to give to twice as many friends and acquaintances.

I'm still not completely convinced I need to read this book. But I'll promise to remain open minded about it. Maybe I'll buy it on impulse some day when I'm bored. If and when I read it, I'll have something new to say in my own blog; pinkmonkeybird. Maybe I'll write a book about my experience reading it.

One last thought. My blog is not the most successful of blogs in the sphere. I can't claim to be such a know-it-all about blogs while this is the case. Otherwise, I'd have to be enjoying gazillions of hits per day. Maybe my blog would benefit from reading Blog.

Food for thought.


The battle between Nick Coleman and the Northern Alliance of blogs continues. Yesterday Big Trunk of Power Line issued demands for retractions of false allegations and misinformation coming from Coleman. One of the things Coleman recently charged is, as BT explains;

1. Coleman repeatedly implies that we have discussed his financial status on our site. "I keep wishing the Ivy League boys had told me I was rich before I took my first job cleaning bathrooms..." and "If I had the money they think I do, I'd put it all in [the bank that is my employer]. Then I'd pull it out."
Fact: We have NEVER referred to Coleman's financial status in any manner. Period. His imputation to us of interest in his finances is false and defamatory. I want it retracted.

Doesn't the Trunk know that Saint Paul over at Fraters Libertas has his fingerprints on this one? So I was sure SP would address this soon, and he has.

But that leaves an impression that can't be missed. Is this another incident of sloppiness on the part of columnist Nick Coleman? Doesn't he understand that Fraters Libertas and Power Line are two separate blogs? Or is it just more convenient for him to spray the area (or lob hand-grenades, whichever battlefield metaphor you prefer), hoping that Northern Alliance bloggersblood will be drawn?

Ahhh.....I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Minnesota between the cracks

I've lived in Minnesota nearly all of my 51 years. It's rare that we go beyond New Year's Day with so little snow as we have presently. The odds would dictate that by now the weatherman would be forecasting a doozy headed our way. But he's not.
He's forecasting storms headed just about everywhere else.

If this continues much longer I'm going to wonder if it's possible to get through an entire Minnesota winter without major snow accumulation.
If I were a betting man, I wouldn't place any hope in that.

Down the street from my home, a water main burst on Christmas Day. I conjecture it is because the lack of a snow blanket exposed the mains to freezing. Also, lack of snow cover is extremely harmful to lawn grass roots when sub-zero temperature penetrate the surface.

I hate to inform my readers of this, but we actually want snow. And quick.

NARN Holidays

I found this post in my Drafts folder. It's a few days old, but I've added the thoughts I was driving toward and I'm publishing it a little late.
I've been too tired to post in the evening recently. Posting during the day has been restricted. So maybe posting first thing in the morning is the solution for me.

I had a berry bloggy holiday weekend
Starting off on New Year's Eve's Almanac television broadcast over TPN.

Big Trunk and Rocketman were comfortably seated with a pair of New Patriot bloggers. Eric Escola seemed to be genuinely naive of the new medium. For instance, when told Power Line's URL , Escola asked if that is now the name. Rocketman explained the difference to Escola.

Now it's Saturday January 1st, 2005 and I'm listening to the NARN on The Patriot radio station.

Hmmmmm. Patriots and New Patriots. The blogger over at New Patriot seemed to be quite proud of his post, he explained, that "debunked" the Swift Boat Vets for Truth and their claims against John Kerry. Rocketman and Big Trunk didn't seem to have a need to argue with him on the air and steal the limelite from him.
An observation; The Power Line blog has a record of making a real difference in the world. They helped to bring down Dan Rather and CBS News over the bogus documents. Power Line may have helped get George W. Bush reelected.
If New Patriot blog was chattering up a storm over the Swift Boat Vets for Truth and their "lies", there doesn't seem to be very much real-world fruit for the Left to enjoy, as their guy lost anyway.
You talk a game, New Patriots, but you're outgunned by Power Line and the Northern Alliance of Blogs.

With a title like New Patriot, this blog appears to be a reaction to conservative blogs. It might be a response to predominant conservative opinion on the blogosphere and talk radio. Ya think? In any case, I have saved this leftie blog to my favorites folder and will check in on them once in awhile.

On 1280am The Patriot radio, on the other hand, the Power Line fellows and their NARN comrades talked up their usual good show on this first broadcast of the new year. One of the ideas that struck home to me was their assertion that the Left seems to think that talking, pronouncements and summit meets are of primary importance, while action in the world is shunned. I believe it was Chad the Elder (aka Peeps if you sucker for wild right wing blatherings of a certain shock jock out of California) who'd put forth this idea in relation to the rhubarb regarding W's "stinginess" and "failure" to come forward out of Crawford quick enough to tell the world that America cares about the tsunami victims on the Indian Ocean rim.

Chad's mention of this reminded me of a first hand encounter I'd had last summer in Canada. I was at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Sort of a personal joke on my part, I wore an old tee shirt I've had in my drawer for several years that has emblazoned across it front, "FREE TIBET". He knew I was an American. I got to talking with a Canadian and I'd slyly mentioned that the next cause we should embrace might be to invade and liberate Tibet from Communist China.
The Canadian was shocked. "Are you joking?!!!", he implored.

I matter-of-factly told him with a stoney face, "Yes". He suddenly realized I was putting him on over his sensitivities.

It's too bad I was putting him on. In a more just world Tibet would be free. America & Britain and the Coalition had their hands full just trying to liberate Iraq despite the protestations of liberals like my Canadian friend.
The left loves to show their compassion and righteousness by displaying bumper stickers and tees that say Free Tibet. But as soon as someone suggests actually doing something about freeing Tibet, they get their panties all in a bind.

And, in stark contrast to right wing positions, they are almost completely humorless.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Individual responsibility: the GOP way

Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters is initiating a challenge to give your entire take home pay that you earn on this coming January 12th, to the tsunami victims in SE Asia and Somalia. It's a worthy cause.
Ed's got a great heart. He feels a genuine need to help those who are in need of help. But he also qualifies his challenge;

...many people question the ability of capitalist-based economies to show any generosity. Americans, and other Western people, have been judged by the amount of government assistance provided. We've been called "stingy". It's up to us to show that when people control their own resources, we can put it to the best use through our own decisions -- and in fact, we can put it to better, more direct, and more effective use.

The Captain's right.

But the audacity of Jan Egeland of the United Nations, in his assertion that the United States is "stingy" seems to be at least a small part of the fuel in this drive. The Captain is right because it is deeds that will dispel these groundless accusations coming from Egeland.

I watched Fox News Sunday this morning. On that program, Chris Wallace asked Egeland if he can understand why the U.S. might be less than receptive to hearing the United Nations lecture us about competence and generosity, in the wake of the Oil For Food scandal. Of course, Mr. Egeland took the opportunity to deny that he is lecturing and to deny that he was speaking of the United States.

But I've read accounts that report the contrary.

This kind of display is absurd on its face. The UN should pay attention to its job and stop trying to blame the Bush administration for acts of God. A lot of the dust over this "controversy" has settled, and most of the pundits agree that blaming the US for stinginess is inappropriate. The tsunami is not about the US or the Bush administration. It is about a disaster of cosmic proportions that should be met with human compassion. Egeland and the UN are wrong.

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How a tsunami is born

For many people, while we'd heard of tsunamis before, we really didn't understand what they were. I found this nifty animation that demonstrates how they work.
I'd been a bit in the dark as to exactly what geographical areas have been affected by this deadly tsunami and why Sri Lanka seems to be taking so much of the brunt of it. Tonight's Dateline NBC niftily answered this for me with an animated map . I can't find that animation, but here's a map of the stricken area. A map like this goes a long way toward explaining why the areas reported as being hit were involved while others were spared.
I just found the animation, or one very much like the one I saw on Dateline. Here it is. Click the button that says, "Course of the tsunami".

It's just astounding to me that a wave, no matter how great, should be capable of originating at the tip of Sumatra, travel west through the Maldives Islands across the Indian Ocean, all the way to Somalia where over 142 people were killed by these waves originating over 3,000 miles away!

This is a truly terrible disaster for humanity. I encourage everyone to choose an organization through which you can donate with your credit card, no matter how small. A human wave of sympathy will help to relieve the devastation of this underwater earthquake and the water wave that grew out of it.