...busting up my brains for the words

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Power line humor too deep to fathom

Taking my daily dose of Power line, I read this post from Rocketman this morning, though it was posted late yesterday morning.
At the conclusion of the post, which tells of a terrorist cell in France, is this sentence:

Early reports indicate that the bombers were motivated by France's support for the U.S. war effort in Iraq.

Hmmmm. A moment's thought over this might call to mind that there was no support for
the U.S. war effort in Iraq. Well then, why in the world would Rocketman write such a thing???

Oh wait. There's an update;

UPDATE: Sadly, I'm afraid it's necessary to add the last sentence IS A JOKE!!!! Remember how, when the London bombers struck, media outlets and politicians were quick to conclude that the attack resulted from England's support of the Iraq war? Unfortunately, quite a few of our readers didn't get what I thought was a pretty clear parody.

What? Humor? In Power line? Well, that's a new angle. I thought Power line was one of those "hard-core, politically angry, hyperconservative sites loaded with vitriol".

So who are these "quite a few" readers that Rocketman is sad to necessarily explain a parody to? Might they not be humorless leftie trolls, flocking to Power line at their mention by Mary Mapes in another unrelated story? Might they not be clueless Time magazine readers who were pointed there by that dinosaur's awarding of Blog Of The Year?

It's been pointed out many times by others as well as myself that in today's political landscape, the angry left is far out-gunned by the right on scores for sheer creativity and humor. That's what anger does. It shuts down your equilibrium, robs you of your objectivity and makes you blind to humor. So blind, you become unaware that you are the biggest joke in the room.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Slept all day

The meds I'm on make me groggy and sleepy. And they seem to rob me of my appetite. But I think I am coming to terms with my injury. Life deals you some bum hands sometimes and you've just got to make the best of it.
Sleeping is a wonderful escape from depression and debilitation. It's also a natural defense against shock and despair. When rested, we can find hope.
I don't mean to depict myself as worthy of anyone's sympathy or pity. But I imagine that
I will gradually sleep less as I recover and return to normality.

I can do many things. Now, my task is to want do more.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Broken elbow

I just got out of the hospital a couple of hours ago. On Friday evening I was riding my cross bike on the Stone Arch Bridge, heading for dinner at an Asian restaurant and then The Seven samurai at the Oak Street Cinema. I was zipping along. My bike gained a bit of speed as a slight decline approaches the pathway. The bridge was a little crowded with other bicyclists and with joggers.
I know now that I should have braked my speed down. But I did not. It's somewhat exhilarating to fly across that bridge, so I peddled.
Suddenly, just as I was about to pass a woman jogger who did not know I was behind her, she zigged right in front of me. I think she was trying to avoid another bike to her right.
I braked and I swerved to her left to avoid crashing into her. But it was too late. I glanced off her and crashed down hard onto my left elbow on the hard asphalt. I didn't know how badly I was hurt, but I was in pain. A helpful young man with a hint of a Norwegian accent was there to help. The young woman apologized for zigging in front of me. I apologized for going too fast. When I asked her how she was, she said she was okay. And indeed she must have been okay, as I believe she continued her afternoon jog.
The friendly Norwegian asked if he could do anything for me. (There was something familiar about him. I'm not sure how, but I think I knew him from somewhere. I wish now that I would have asked him if that were possible). I tend to be ignorant of injuries. I could have my eyeballs ripped out, hanging out of their sockets, and I would say something dense like, "Oh no. No big deal. I'll just pop my peepers back where they belong and be on my merry way. Thanks."
I was still wanting to continue with my life as normal. I wanted to have dinner and see the movie. So I put an ice-pack on it, big deal. I told the friendly Norwegian I would be okay. I was going to just walk it off. Thankyou very much.
But reality sunk in fairly quickly once I was alone with my thoughts. I started walking my bike, holding one handlebar with my good right hand. I was headed for the Hennepin County Medical Center, which I knew to by quite close, actually. On my way to the hospital, there happened to be a city fire station. Two firemen were barbecuing their dinner in the driveway. I stopped to get directions to the Emergency Room.
"How ya doin'?", the fireman asked. I told him of my accident and he offered to call me an ambulance. That seemed excessive to me. After all, I've got two good legs and I think it actually helps me to get my head straight to walk it off.

I can only type with one hand, so I think I'll wind this post up. Long story short, they kept me overnight. They performed surgery yesterday, and they released me today.

If you'd been wondering why I wasn't updating my blog, I was in the hospital

Monday, September 19, 2005

Way ahead of schedule

Here it is, 1:13 am and I've already read The Bleat for Monday.

And I managed to paint the garage trim this weekend.

I'm secure in my accomplishments.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Blogroll expansion

To most woman living in the exerbs, the above title would be a description of why they went on the popcorn diet.
This is not the case.
I'm finally getting around to adding those blogs to my blogroll who I met at the recent MOB blogoliscious Blogger's Bash.
Of course, the obligatory spike in my meter traffic will no doubt follow.

Welcome to the pinkest blog in the MOB. And shamelessly so.

No new taxes

Is it just me, or are all conservatives in love with George W. Bush for pronouncing the other day that there should be no tax hike on account of the Hurricane Katrina disaster?

What stellar, singleminded vision this is, on the part of this president!

We taxpayers know that there is no limit to the amount of taxation that the government will seek. And W's statement, coupled with his recognition that other fat programs can be cut, is right there in line with conservative principles.

I hope that the Congress will heed this great president's call. Isn't that what the blogosphere is all about? Let your Congressperson know the president is right.

The smoking ban

This is my second attempt to post on this subject. Yesterday my Mac wiped my post and then I had to move on with my day.
On Saturday NARN had a broadcast covering the Hennepin and Ramsey County smoking bans. A good portion of the conservative MOB is opposed to the ban on principle. Chad the Elder is perhaps the most outspoken proponent.
I'd like to respond to a point or two.
Firstly, I am very pleased to note that the anti-ban people have very much abandoned the absurd line of argument they'd previously attempted in which they go after established medical findings of the very harmful effects of nicotine and second hand smoke.
There is a great body of evidence that there are links between tobacco and lung disease and the anti-ban folk seem to have accepted that, by and large. They now move to a more credible field of debate over free market issues and property rights issues, which is where the debate belongs.

This heartens me to no end, as I have always felt that it is the Conservative Republicans should be counted on for reasonable discourse. Barking moonbat liberals are noted for their flights of fancy and ignorance of facts. I am happy to see that the anti-ban Conservative Republicans have regained their composure with medical fact.
They've conceded, by and large, the harsh truths of tobacco's harmfulness, and now discuss free markets and property rights. Bravo!

Chad the Elder of Fraters Libertas brings forth the most salient argument against the ban. I don't have a written transcript, for as of yet there is no NARN Radioblogger to provide this service. But to rephrase Chad's argument from memory, he maintains that the ban makes little sense because there is no reason that bar-goers cannot simply choose to go to those bars they want to go to. If private bar owners and operators were given their rightful freedoms to decide if they wanted their bar to be a smoking establishment or a non-smoking establishment, the consumer would have their freedom of choice.

Sorry, Chad. Though I respect your argument, it's not that simple. Smoking in bars has been a carte blanche privilege since time-immemorial. If you're a non-smoker and you're lucky, an establishment might have a non-smoking section for you. But more or less, if you're a non-smoker in a bar, "Sorry bub, you've gotta put up with the second-hand smoke if you like this place and wanna be here. Otherwise, get the heck out."
But what if the bar is a special place that you like because it offers live music you can't find anywhere else? "Sorry, bub. If you don't like it, don't come here no more."

I have first-hand experience with such places. The first place I would cite would be First Avenue niteclub. I cannot count all the shows I've seen at First Ave. But by far and away, most of them were so saturated with second-hand smoke, the haze in the air was part of the decor. Although I don't go to First Ave much anymore (for reasons completely unrelated to second-hand smoke), I was amazed at how much more pleasurable it was in a smoke-free environment. To be sure, I will go to First Ave again. And I am much more happy about the fact that it is smoke-free.
There is one reason and one reason only that I go to First Ave; to see the specific band(s) they have on their stage that evening. If I want to see Iggy Pop play live, I am beholden to the environment of the room. And if second-hand smoke is an obligatory element of that environment, my freedoms have been hijacked by smokers.
And that is my primary reason for supporting the smoking ban. For years, since far before I was born into this town, the smokers have held free reign to hijack the public spaces and bars and taverns and restaurants with their deadly carcinogen poisons because we simply didn't know any better.
It was actually thought that smoking protected your health. How ironic is that?

If I want to go to a bar and drink harmful alcoholic beverages and leave by any other means than an automobile, that is my business. The government has no say in that.
But why should I have to put up with deadly fumes when I want to enjoy a good time at a live concert show or at a favored bar or tavern, just because a decades-old anachronism like smoking hijacks our society?

I am all for freedom of choice. I would be in favor of some licenses being issued to several exclusive smoking bars...somewhat in the spirit of a cigar and cognac joint. Hey smokers, knock yourselves out. I won't be there with you.
But this smoking ban is very much deserved and very much needed in order to free our city of the scourge of carte blanch second hand poisonous air in virtually every corner of the town.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Gwyneth Paltrow stabs me in my heart

I saw it coming, but that didn't shield me from painful news that Gwyneth Paltrow is not proud to be an American.

' 'I don't want to live [in America]. Bush's anti-environment, pro-war policies are a dis. . . ." Well, you can guess the rest.

I can't even blame the lead singer of Coldplay for polluting Gwyneth's mind and heart. This is the real Gwyneth. This is terrible. Today's Hollywood is in dire need of true stars, true acting talents with class. And Gwyneth Paltrow is the real deal. I place her in league with Audrey Hepburn. A true star.

So this is quite a dilemma for me. Do I slap down hard-earned American bucks to see this talented beauty in her next film? Or do I give her the Matt Damon treatment? (Also known as the Sean Penn treatment).
Once I know that a movie star is spouting off of their politics, I find it difficult to suspend reality and accept their character.

I think Ms. Paltrow has made it much, much easier for me to stay away.

Had things on my mind

I had some things on my mind that I'd wanted to post about this morning, but they got away from. Maybe I decided that I really didn't have anything original to say, I am not sure just now.
Atomizer of Fraters Libertas & I had a brief conversation at the State Fair about daily posting. Atomizer sometimes goes for a couple of weeks without posting, but he's got Chad the Elder and Brian Ward to pick up his slack. And we agreed that the reason we don't post daily or post four times per day as is the proscribed rate of successful blogging, is that we do not see the need to write when we have little to add to the discussion.
There isn't a dag blamed writer in the world who I can read daily. My life and thoughts are not so amazing or fascinating as to merit writing every day. But when the muse calls me, I have confidence that my words must be uttered. This is in stark contrast to a writer who I admire enough to read often. That would be James Lileks. Lileks recently wrote about how he couldn't think of anything to write that day.
Now, granted, no one is holding a gun to my or anybody's head to read Lileks every day. And that's one reason I don't read him every day. If you put a Glock to my cranium every morning at 5 a.m., you can bet I will change that. I just don't believe that anyone has that fascinating of a life that I must read them daily.
I get into anxious moods sometimes. Often, I feel I don't have time to read anybody thoroughly. I skim a lot of blogs. When I notice that Lileks is listing off his columns he needs to write this week and listing the minutiae of his daily routines, I skim.
Other favorite political and cultural writers of mine are Mark Steyn, John Hinderaker, John Podhoretz, William Kristol, Michelle Malkin. There may be others...oh, yes, Jonah Goldberg.

Who reads Instapundit for the writing? No one. We read Instapundit for the links and "the flow". We read LGF for the attitude and the harsh facts. The Corner is a sort of a special clubhouse in the Instapundit vein.

I read Hugh Hewitt in what amounts to be a very, very powerful combination educator. I've found that if I read Hewitt during the hours before his radio broadcast, when the show occurs I am primed. The information that opens up in this combination resembles a college classroom in its intensity.

But I sense that many of you are beginning to skim this post as you see that it's gaining inches. So I'd better sew things up here. In closing, I must say that this post has allowed me to express some ideas I'd not found a forum for in my usual posts. Perhaps this is a good argument for writing daily.

It brings out notions that might otherwise be lost.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Election judging

Yesterday I served all day as an election judge in my local precinct. This was my second experience in this job, the first being last November's national general election. There was practically no comparison between the two. There were about 260 voters who'd cast ballots in my polling place yesterday, compared to about 2,000 last November. Last November it was a challenge to accommodate all the voters, while yesterday I had time to read a few chapters of Brave New World.

We judges are advised to not discuss politics with one another. I choose to follow that advice because I'm the only Republican conservative judge in my polling place. For example, a very nice lady who I was working with at the Demonstration Judge table began speaking freely of politics with me. She is of the firm opinion that the presidential election was stolen by Bush in 2000. She also believes that "someone" in our federal government knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance but kept quiet about it in order to allow those attacks to happen. I keep a zipper on my politics because I'd really much rather share the love with my fellow election judges than get into a scream match with them.

And we have a nice time. I enjoyed it. All day long people thank me for helping the democratic process and they smile at me and I feel very much appreciated. That's gold. The bluebirds were singing and the flowers were laughing and the green in the trees were a greener green than I remember seeing on most other days. Since I do this work in my own precinct, I get to say hello to many of my neighbors when they pop in to vote. And that's very nice, too.

There were a few people who wanted to vote that I was unable to allow to do so. They were not registered and failed to present adequate proof of their residency in the precinct. As I mentioned to my Election Judge Chair, I suppose we wouldn't be doing our jobs properly if we didn't encounter a few such cases. For instance, there was a young woman who'd trucked all the way home to get some utility bills to present with her expired photo identification. But upon examining the bills, they were dated as 6 months old! All I can do is sincerely express my regret that I cannot give her a ballot.
Then there as the fellow who was not in the voting roster, had no appropriate i.d., but had a story. He said that he'd registered in August on the National Night Out and should be in our books. But he wasn't. We expressed our regret that he could not be given a ballot and he understood that that's just the way it is. There have to be some rules, right? Otherwise a number of people would get the idea they could vote several times if they wanted to.

Being a Republican and seeing as how there were no Republicans running for mayor of my city, I had only one choice in my own ballot selection. Anybody but R.T.
I don't write about local issues as much as I could, but Minneapolis is experiencing a rising crime rate. I hold the mayor responsible for that and so I would prefer that R.T. be replaced with anyone else who says he or she can fix that. So I voted for a guy I never heard of before who was identified as the No Stadium Tax candidate.
Would my guy be a better mayor than R.T? I don't know. But bouncing R.T. out would speak loud and clearly that the voters are unhappy with rising crime rates. No matter. Rybek was handily reelected in yesterday's primary and will face Peter McLaughlin.
I'll still the the opportunity to vote for Anyone but R.T. this coming November.

As I said earlier, I don't write as much about local politics as I could. I think that may be because it's hard to find candidates locally who are not of the DFL socialist mold. I support Governor Tim Pawlenty and Senator Norm Coleman and candidate Mark Kennedy, who is running for U.S. Senator in next year's election. But the Democrats have firm control of the office of Mayor of Minneapolis. I live in what is essentially as one party town. And that's one of the reasons I work as an election judge. Opposition party judges are necessary in the polling place to ensure that the ruling party bosses are not winning these elections through fraud.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Running from the facts

The shameful msm is once again running from the facts. Power Line and Captain's Quarters have their number.

This morning, I watched in amusement as Lousiana senator Landrieu refused to acknowledge the failings of the local government in addressing the Katrina disaster. (I cannot find a transcript of that me, it was appalling. This woman's days as a representative of the people of any constituency are numbered. She is a disaster unto herself.)

These people are undoubtedly in league with one another. The Democrats are counting on the New York Times and the msm to cast the net they need to keep blaming the Fed....


Update: Upon further investigation, I find that Power Line has the interview with Landrieu. You have to read this to believe it. She is way beyond the deep end.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Marcus aurelius launches new blog

My friend Marcus Aurelius generously provides a link to pinkmonkeybird in his new blog, Clearing The Air.

Top 11 reasons local personalities support the smoking ban....

11) There is so much more room on the floor when I do the YMCA dance at First Av -pinkmonkeybird.

Hey, Marcus....Nihilist In Golfpants made me #1. And you give me #11? That makes you 10 points off. If you're going to follow the Nihilist In Golfpants and KAR template with your Top Eleven Reasons list, you need to move pinkmonkeybird upwards. Seek David Letterman's advice on this matter. He'll vouch for me.

Of further import, the YMCA dance was not invented by David Bowie. My blog is called pinkmonkeybird, not GayConstructionWorkerBlog. As usual, your facts are out of sync.

Good luck with your new blog, Marcus. I'm glad to see you don't give up so easily after having been booted out by The Attic boys.

9/11 fourth anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the day America realized it was at war, under attack from a foreign enemy. Here is my account of that day and what it meant to me.
I worked then, as I do now, downtown Minneapolis, though at a different address than I do now. When I walked into my workplace just a few minutes after 8 a.m., my co-workers told me about two jets having just crashed into the World Trade Center towers. I was stunned that such a thing could happen. I used to live for a brief time in Hoboken, New Jersey, directly across the Hudson River from the WTC, in 1984. The radio was on in my workplace and we listened to the account. It was thought that this must be some kind of attack.
I recall one of my co-workers passing the news to me that it was thought that the Sears Tower in Chicago was also attacked by a dive-bombing jet. Soon jets had crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and an open field in Pennsylvania. We had the radio on, tuned to reports of what was happening and speculations as to what it all meant. Our online computers were useless, they were so slow.
The workplace was virtually paralyzed, our ears were glued to the radio reports. I remember the radio station had opened it's broadcast to the telephone lines as people called in to tell what their thoughts were about war. I'll never forget one woman who'd called in tearfully pleading that we should not go to war over this. War is not the answer. We should open our hearts with compassion and listen to what these people who did this wanted, she said, so we can for once stop the bloodshed before it balloons out of control.

I remember the over-riding question of the day was, Why do they hate us? And a very strange and fuzzy spot was exposed in my mind. I realized that this question would be asked again and again. I knew that there would be different answers to the question. And I knew that some people would never be satisfied with the answer or the inevitable response that would arise from these vicious attacks. It was my feeling the tearful woman on the radio was wrong, that she was naive. I felt in my gut that if we followed her advice it would mean our doom. But I also felt a need to expose that fuzzy spot to an intense and harsh light. We must know why they hate us and we must know why we reject that hatred.

I still believe that Americans had one of two responses to the attacks. They were:

1) Oh My God, There are people who want to kill us and we must defend ourselves. 2) Oh My God, The terrible things my country has been doing to the world have finally come back to destroy us for what we've done.

Sadly, I do not see that we've adequately exposed the fuzzy spot to answer its questions. There are too many Americans who believe that America is wrong, is greedy, is deserving of the attacks of 9/11 and more, if any, to come. I've argued with those people and there is no persuading them. I've come to learn that you either get the gut feeling that America is good and is worth defending or you don't. The brain seems to have very little to do with changing hearts.

On 9/10/01 I had very little interest in politics. I didn't care who was president. I didn't care who our Congresspeople were. Politicians were petty and incompetents who were only interested in their own selfish ends and their distorted partisanship. But I was beginning to change my mind about President George W. Bush. I hadn't voted for him. I had no reason to like him.
I'll never forget my amazement when I heard him on the radio shortly after we knew we were under attack by al Qaeda. He made a call for America's response and he named it a "Crusade"! That word rang like a very, very loud and harsh bell in my brain. Crusade? Is that what this will be?

I hadn't made any negative judgments of W's use of that word. But I noted that he never used it again. And I've come to admire this president's leadership. As I say, I hadn't been interested much in politics. So I hadn't really been able to appreciate how the country became unified in the aftermath of 9/11. It merely seemed natural to me.
But I now knew that America was indeed at war. And I knew that it was a very strange war. It was a war that many people refused to recognize. One could not openly speak of this war in the workplace for fear of offending someone who thought it was really George W. Bush's war and not America's war at all. One never knew if the person in the workplace was #1 or #2 in my above identification of responses.

But this seems wrong to me. I don't think I should be intimidated by what others may be offended by. I have a right to be proud of my country and to make my stand with this president and my country's answer of war. So I proudly display an 8 x 10" glossy picture of W at my desk. I get different responses from co-workers. I don't see that it's my place to go picking for a fight with co-workers over our president and this war in Iraq and the Global War on Terror. But I have a right to quietly make my allegiances known on my desk.

And I've come to believe that in light of the shameful leftist bias in the msm, my ability to express my ideas and feelings in this blog are really, in a small way, my way of fighting the war against those who would destroy America. This blog is a tool for me to learn all the better what I believe and also to disseminate information through the blogosphere that the msm would quash or ignore.

War is a purifier. It pushes the boundaries of what were to new positions. This is much more than a war of bullets and bombs and jumbo jets. It is a war of ideas.

You'll find mine right here at pinkmonkeybird.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

More drunken raving from l.f.

Last week, several bloggers noted that Learned Foot of Kool Aid Report was tanked to the gills, offending others and dropping cigar ash on them. He did not offend me. I was happy that at least one blogger had imbibed enough booze to reduce his mental abilities down to my level.

But I can't get out of my thoughts one peculiar thing Learned Foot had said.
He claimed that no blogger should take himself seriously. He didn't get much of a reaction from anybody. He put the question directly to Nihilist("I read you guys before Powerline...Hell, I don't even read Powerline anymore!")."Is there any blog or blogger that should take himself or itself seriously?" I noticed that Nihilist registered some hesitation to answer quickly and I don't remember that he ever did answer.

I may not be quoting Learned Foot precisely. But the point he seemed to be making is that no blog or blogger should believe that he or it are so dignified as watchdogs of the national health as the msm sees itself.

Now, LF's charge is a bit peculiar to me in light of another conversation I'd had with him as he swayed in the night air. I had made some comment to him about the nature of Kool Aid Report's comedic personality as opposed to the "serious blogs". To this, LF had a quick and ready answer. He claimed that KAR is always making serious points.

Is this not evidence of schitzophrenia in Learned Foot? Which foot is the learned one? Sometimes the right, sometimes the left? If so, which is the serious foot and which is the funny foot? I am sure that any casual reader of KAR understands what they do. They fill a useful niche in the local blogosphere with irreverence and brash humor whilst holding an undertow of firmly held center-right conservative political position. The bloggers at KAR know that there are plenty of blogs that maintain a serious agenda in the raging political battles of our day. KAR makes its points with satire and ridicule for their adversaries. They also have no hesitation in postings of the most puerile and juvenile topics. Kudos to KAR. We love them for it.

But Learned Foot, I don't have any problem answering your question. The answer is Yes, some blogs have earned the right to take themselves quite seriously. I don't have to name them for you. One of the most prominent is known by just about everyone after Time magazine named it Blog of the Year; Power Line. Now, we all know that Power Line is not humorless. Far from it, they make me laugh many times with their ready ironic points of political import. A glance at my political blogs in my blogroll will list many of the blogs that have earned the right to take themselves seriously. If it weren't for those essential blogs, Dan Rather would have gotten away with his ruse over President Bush's National Guard service. And if Rather had successfully sold that falsehood, it's possible that John F. Kerry would be president of the United States today. The serious blogs also functioned very well to preserve credibility for the Swift Boat Vets for Truth.

Learned Foot is quick to point out that he was inspired to start a blog when he saw how the msm was treating the SBVFT.

But the shoe is on the other foot. Bush was reelected. We'll probably never know if the blogs made the true difference. Radio had a valuable role to play as well. But the serious blogs and the humorous blogs all had a hand or a foot in that process.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Dateline nbc

...with Stone Phillips, is on my television set. No surprise to me to see that this show directs its finger most pointedly at the Fed for the failures of Hurricane Katrina. The story I echoed the other day regarding the State level of Homeland Security being denied access to aid the people in the Superdome, is conspicuously absent from NBCs report. I should add here that it has since come to light that the State of Louisiana also denied access to the Salvation Army into the Superdome.
Mayor Nagin is given a complete pass by Phillips when he claims that he did everything he could. Why doesn't Stone Phillips wipe that concerned look off his rigid face and ask Nagin why he did not follow the city's emergency procedure?

Where do these "journalists" get the cajones to misreport these facts and spin the story their preferred way? Where do they get the cajones?

There has to be blowback as these facts come to light. But Rocketman has this sobering information.

President Bush's approval rating is down into Gingrichian territory at 39%, with "strong disapproval" at 40%.

Following up with this piece of advice;

[W]hatever you think of the mechanics of a particular poll, the direction of President Bush's poll numbers is clear. And it seems clear that Hurricane Katrina, and the outrageous attacks that the Democrats have pursued over the past week, have dealt him, and the Republican Party, another blow. I see no evidence that the Democrats are paying a price for their dishonorable tactics. And they won't pay a price, unless the Republicans start defending themselves and attacking the Democrats the way they deserve to be attacked. The "turn the other cheek" approach that the administration has followed for years--don't respond to attacks, no matter how unfair, just try to ride out the news cycle and move on--has resulted in one needless wound after another, and cumulatively they have now damaged President Bush's standing with the public, likely beyond repair.

I have to agree with Rocketman. Defense should be calm and measured, underlining the Constitutional powers of the City and State levels. Attacks should be carefully framed so as not to appear cheap or callous toward the victims. If this is done, I am in the same camp as Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn, who agree that over good time the truth will be known to the American people that the local levels of government (the First Responders) set the tone for this disaster, and msm will be further discredited. Granted, Hewitt and Steyn were specifically discussing media, while Rocketman is addressing the Democratic Party.

Is there a difference?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Slow modem

As noted yesterday, my Internet speed is abysmal. On reflection, it seems possible that my modem may have been slightly damaged in the fierce electrical storms we witnessed this mid-week. Oddly, I was watching "The Bride Of Frankenstein" on video at the time.

Because of the debilitatingly slow load time of my browser, blogging will be very sparse until the problem is resolved. Time Warner is sending their best man out to Zazudu mansion this sunday.

My apologies.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mounting evidence

As I posted yesterday, information over Katrina's aftermath is slow in coming. But it's trickling through.
On Hugh Hewitt's show this evening, Fox News Channel's Major Garrett came forth with this mind-blowing info that the Red Cross was denied access to the Superdome by the State of Louisiana. They did not want to attract evacuees to the Superdome. They wanted to encourage them to leave the city.

And ABC News is also dripping the lede that the local authorities hampered the recovery.

There's no question the federal government plays a major role in disaster relief. But federal officials say in order to get involved, they must first be asked to do so by state officials.

As one FEMA official told ABC News, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco failed to submit a request for help in a timely manner.

Shortly before Katrina hit, she sent President Bush a request asking for shelter and provisions, but didn't specifically ask for help with evacuations. One aide to the governor told ABC News today Blanco thought city officials were taking care of the evacuation.

If stories like this continue to splash across the Internet and the other news outlets, Senators Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman are bound to be sorely disappointed. (I'd like to provide links to those stories, but my connection is pathetically slow again tonight. What in the world is going on? Is America under cyber attack?)

Learned Foot's bender

Apparently, Learned Foot's liquor binge is still raging on, as evidenced by his post at Kool Aid Report. As will be remembered, Learned Foot had no idea how these weird pics managed to get inside his digital camera. Naturally, he had to speculate as to their meanings:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! (sorry, that startled me)

Sorry, LF. Maybe this will scare you straight.
I was going to advise you that Rove was never at the Town Hall Brewery. But you've got the photographic evidence that he indeed was. So who am I to judge?

The truth is out there.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Information age delayed

I have cable Internet access via Time Warner. I like it most of the time. Fast. But that's not the story right now. If my connectivity were this slow most of the time I would give up the Internet and go back to reading newspapers and tv news. Thankfully, my radio works fine tonight. Listening to Hugh Hewitt.
Because my connection speed is so bad right now, I won't be able to make some of the hyperlinks in this post I'd like to.
I just want to make a note that in this so-called Age of Information, it is interesting how much confusion and conflict there is. For instance, there's the story about the gunman in New Orleans who took potshots at a helicopter that was trying to bring relief. I heard that story a few times over the past few days. I couldn't understand why anyone would do such a thing. If you're in a sewer and you need fresh water and food, why would you fire upon the helpers? It seemed suspicious to me. Then I heard from some media source that it was an "urban myth" and was not true.
Well, now I see this through DrudgeReport.

I heard and read in the media that several New Orleans policemen had quit the force in disgust and frustration. A co-worker told me he'd leaned that was a false report (although some had committed suicide in despair).

And all the while, there are those who argue the blame for this disaster lies with the local authorities, and there are others who argue the blame lies with the federal level and the president.

I trust the true facts will come to light eventually. But as of today the accurate information is delayed.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Pets r us

The Corner blog has this somewhat interesting bit of information about New Orleans residents who did not want to vacate their homes because it would mean abandoning their housepets.

The Washington Post wrote about this today:
A potential problem for authorities is people refusing to leave. Some residents say they want to protect their homes. Others fear the hassles of evacuation, particularly if they have pets, which are not allowed on the evacuation buses...
This strikes a chord with me. Pinkmonkeybird readers will know that I am very close to my pet cat Zazu. I am mindful that she is very old and is experiencing kidney failure. If I were ordered to evacuate and leave Zazu behind, I suppose I would do so, as she is 19 years old and doesn't have many days remaining in any case. But what of suffering? Could I leave my home and leave Zazu to meet some horrible end. These are terrible questions and I do not want to ponder them.
But just yesterday on Fox News Sunday, I watched a video clip of a city authority figure shouting at a New Orleans family that they should leave their home as the water was poisoned and it would take many weeks to pump the water away. He was furious that these people would not listen to him and evacuate.

The family pet dog kept barking all through the clip.

Ship of fools

Sean Penn fans and others have taken note of the activist-actor's attempt to be a hero in water-ravaged New Orleans.

Movie star and political activist Penn, 45, was in the collapsing city to aid stranded victims of flooding sparked by Hurricane Katrina, but the small boat he was piloting sprang a leak.

The outspoken actor had planned to rescue children waylaid by the deadly waters, but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel, which began taking water within seconds of its launch.

When the boat's motor failed to start, those aboard were forced to paddle themselves down the flooded New Orleans street.

Asked what he had hoped to achieve in the waterlogged city, the actor replied: "Whatever I can do to help."

But with the boat loaded with members of the Oscar-winner's entourage, including his personal photographer, one bystander taunted: "How are you going to get any people in that thing?"

Maybe Penn thought his little vessel would remain afloat through pure acting talent. After all, how could it sink if Penn acted his way to dryness?
I think a full-scale investigation should be discover why Penn had not plugged the hole. Maybe he'd meant to cram his Oscar into the breech but was afraid it might rust. I hope Penn's idea was not to drown in the sunken boat, adding to more blame put upon George W. Bush for not having a better plan to prevent ill-prepared fools from engaging in idiotic rescue missions.

There are other fools who are passengers on this sinking ship;

Dion also slammed authorities for arresting looters in the city that became a hellish haven of crime and violence after the storm laid waste to its infrastructure and services, saying rescue should be the only priority.

"How come it's so easy to send planes in another country to kill everyone in a second, to destroy lives?" Dion said in an angry reference to the US-led war in Iraq.

We applaud Celine Dion for donating $1M for relief efforts. That's outstanding. But her question is sadly typical of the air-headed Hollywood and entertainment industry fools. Um, Miss wasn't easy to liberate Iraq. We had to fight for it for months with the United Nations and the Oil For Food collaborators. And then once the liberation was launched, many good American soldiers gave their lives in this "easy" thing. Fear not, Celine. The tyrant goes on trial next month. I'm speaking of Saddam, dear. Not W.

Crooner and actor Harry Connick Junior, who hails from New Orleans and visited the stricken city last week, said he was horrified by the sight of the scores of bodies at the city's convention centre.

Connick criticized the fact that troops and the aid columns only made it into the city on Friday, four days after the storm, saying his friend, singer Charmaine Neville, had commandeered an abandoned city bus to help evacuate refugees, he told King.

"And I'm thinking, if Charmaine Neville can get on a bus and drive a bus out with sick people, you know, well, we can't get a barge to park back up on the Mississippi behind the convention centre and get these people out?"

I'm very glad to learn that Charmaine Neville is driving that bus, not to mention that she is in good health. She sang Happy Birthday to me at Snug's Harbor last November 29th and I've been worried about her since hearing that she'd gone missing last week. What a gal she is! And she plays a hellova a cowbell. Yes, I think the entire relief effort should be turned over to the Neville family. They are a national treasure. But we really would like to see a more positive attitude coming from Harry Connick, Jr.

Married to the mob

Last night I attended the MN Organization of Blogger's bash on Seven Corners in Minneapolis. It was hosted by the Northern Alliance of Blogs. These events are always fun and last night was no exception, except that it was exceptionally fun. It seemed like it was going to be a dud for the first hour or so. But then a bunch of drunks showed up and the gathering kicked into a shameful high gear.

Gigglepundit has a good list of who was there. So does Martin Andrade. Also, Tom Swift of Pair o' Dice made an appearance with his Mrs., but they had to leave early for some kind of slapdown at a biker bar. Don't ever change, Swiftee.

I had some very satisfying conversations with a number of bloggers. Chad the Elder and Larry C. and I discussed the public education system. I met a blogger I'd never heard of before named Andy Keith of CenterFeud. He and DrJonz and IndiJonz of The Attic had our own table and we discussed so many different subjects in politics that I don't remember them all. Andy is an interesting blogger, as he's a self-described liberal, but he's pro-war on Iraq and admires many things about President George W. Bush. Curious about where he differs from conservatives, I charged that he sounded like a right-winger. Andy pointed out that he would probably disagree with right-wingers on the subject of gay marriage rights. That's interesting to me, as I only recently changed my opinion on that subject and am now opposed to same sex marriage. That's right. I was in favor, but now I'm against.
My policy on the pinkmonkeybird MOB blogroll is to add blogs to it only as I either meet them in person, have an exchange with them online, or become a reader of the blog in question. Consequentially, I will be adding CenterFeud as well as a number of other blogs to my blogroll today or very soon.

I also had a long overdue and pleasant chat with Doug of Bogus Gold. When I asked him about what new ideas are churning about in our local blogosphere scene, he told me there is talk of the usefulness for creation of a local blog in the RealClearPolitics vein. It would collect daily all the pertinent and noteworthy editorial pieces in our local msm as well as alternative media. This seems like a very good idea.

I didn't realize until just now how long this post will ultimately be if I recount every good or interesting conversation I had last night at the bash. So I'll have to wind things up.
Some of the most fun conversation I had was with Learned Foot of Kool-Aid Report and Paul and Sisyphus of Nihilist In Golf Pants. I managed to apparently offend Learned Foot in the course of our conversation as he discovered that I don't much read his blog. I admire it, but I am not a regular reader. I didn't even know that V-toed Bill is pronounced "Vetoed Bill" until LF informed me. I had always thought the V was a Roman Numeral and hence, I pronounced it "Five-toed Bill". This makes perfect sense to me, as most feet I know of, learned or otherwise, possess 5 toes. It's hard to argue with that logic, though LF was still appalled. I could tell by his sneer.
LF was highly critical of my SWAG cap with my URL printed on its crown. He is of the opinion that I should create a logo for pinkmonkeybird or merely print just "pinkmonkeybird" on the crown, rather than the entire URL. I countered that the mere logo or mere name would not be recognizable to most people and thus would not educate. LF maintained that this is a false assumption, as people would then be prompted to ask me what pinkmonkeybird is. But I countered that my SWAG must be effective, as here we were, ernestly discussing my blog and my cap. And besides, wouldn't people be just as likely to ask me that question with the full URL on display? LF lamented that he wished he had the last 10 minutes of his life back. But the damage had been done. My SWAG had poisoned his brain and there was no recovering from that. And the damage was done to my brain, as well. For I imagine I will be a more frequent reader of Kool-Aid Report and of Nihilist In Golf Pants from this point forward. I think we bonded, unsavory a prospect as that may be for poor, poor Sisyphus.

Except LF was very intoxicated and prolly has no memory of the exchange whatsoever.

And that's fine. I drank a lot of beer last night, too. It was a blast of a good time.

God Bless you all, MOBsters and NABsters and readers.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dennis hopper; republican

Here's some eyebrow-raising news. Dennis Hopper....yes, the Dennis Hopper, the a self-proclaimed Republican.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer; (registration required)

Inquirer Columnist

LOS ANGELES - Dennis Hopper is a Republican.

"People would be surprised to know that," says Hopper, maverick star and director of the '69 hippie-stoners-on-bikes classic, Easy Rider, in a recent interview.

"I've been a Republican since Reagan. I voted for Bush and his father. I don't tell a lot of people, because I live in a city where somebody who voted for Bush is really an outcast."

One of Hollywood's legendary enfants terribles, Hopper, 69, is so straight now it's almost scary.

This is further evidence that the true rebels are W fans and are Republicans. If you want to be status quo, be accepted by your "friends" for being'd say you are discusted by the Republicans and by W.

I have been a Dennis Hopper fan for many years. Naturally, I just assumed he was a leftie, but hey...that goes with the turf. Now I admire him even more because he not only has the guts to think for himself, but he is not afraid to tell his pony-tailed friends where he stands.

I'll be tuning in to his new television show, E-Ring, on NBC.

(tip o' the bird to RealClearPolitics)

Constant thunder

What in the world is going on here? I was caught by this storm at the State Fair yesterday. Rain, lightning and thunder. And it's not quitting. Every second or two there is another flash in the sky, another roll of thunder.
Katrina has been downgraded to a "Tropical depression" over the region of Tennessee. I wonder if this weather we're experiencing in Minnesota now is some sort of peripheral activity related to that.

It's not severe weather, so far as I can see from my home in Uptown Minneapolis. There's no wind to speak of. Just a continuous rolling of thunder and lightning and gentle rain.

Adding to the atmosphere, I just discovered on DrudgeReport that Chief Justice Renquist has passed away. The rolling thunder seems somewhat Shakespearian as I read the story of the coming battle this country will engage in over the Supreme Court.

These are amazing times of change we are experiencing as a nation. The fourth anniversary of September 11, 2001 is approaching. I must say, in the aftermath of the London bombings, I think al Qaeda is very keen on hitting America again on that day.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

State fair

I went to the State Fair today. Primarily, I went to see the NARN broadcast live from the Patriot booth. But I also wanted to meet up with any other bloggers who had the same idea and I wanted to sample some food and see the sights.
I did all the above, but I also got soaked. It rained repeatedly.

I hope to go back tomorrow when the weather is forecast to be nicer and warmer and NARN is promising to devote some airtime to bloggers like me.

The only other blogger I met up with today was my friend Todd of Kowabunga. We had a chance to discuss Star Trek and I took the opportunity of sharing with Todd my idea for a new retro-Star Trek show. He thought it was sound. I am sure that there are few others in the blogosphere who are so well qualified as Todd to judge the soundness of a new Star Trek program. So I am vilified.

I managed to sample a scotch egg. Yum. It was good. I seasoned mine with horseradish and honeymustard, as was recommended by NARN. But you know what? It was also cumbersome. The first bite or two from a stick are fine. But as you progress toward devouring the whole thing, it falls off the stick and it's really quite the mess. I imagine that eating a scotch egg would be quite a bit more elegant and pleasurable if it were served in an alabaster dish with knife and fork. A maidservant attendant to my chin dribble would be handy, too.
Do they serve scotch eggs at the Renaissance Festival? If so, maybe they've addressed these concerns. I don't know. And I doubt I'll ever know, as I refuse to go to that least not without wearing a Star Trek uniform. If I have to be in that festival, I want to be playing the part of a red shirt.
Beam me down, Scotty.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mercy corp for hurricane victims

I am impressed with Mercy Corp in their high efficiency effectiveness for aid.

Be sure to designate your gift to Hurricane Katrina Relief. It's really going to be private sector donations that will turn disaster into relief. I hope you will give today.

Welcome Nihilist readers. Do you know where your children are?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Weary of tragedy

I haven't posted for a while here since Katrina made landfall and wreaked her devastation upon the people and places of the Gulf region and the South.
I'm stunned.
Only now am I coming around to realizing that I can help make a difference by making a donation to help my American brothers and sisters in the ravaged area. My thoughts and prayers go out to the fine folks who live in the affected areas. Please know that the rest of the country will respond and come to your aid, as you would come to ours if need be.

There are many wonderful bloggers who are doing a great job in covering the story and helping the need.

I thank those bloggers for that. And it's important to stay focused and positive upon the need for what must be done.

This disaster is bad. But it's not so bad we can't approach it and work together to make things better.