...busting up my brains for the words

Monday, February 27, 2006


My apologies for the lightness of blogging lately. I am installing Mac Tiger and reconfiguring just about everything on my computer.
I haven't abandoned this blog. It only looks that way lately. I'll be back before long.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

MN is insta-linked

The Instapundit blog has these stories on Minnesota this morning.

Monday, February 20, 2006

One-alarm chili

Wintertime is great for making chili. Maybe it's just because it's wintertime or maybe I got a taste in my mouth at the SD63 Chili Dinner that I just couldn't quit. But I made a big batch of vegetarian black bean chili for my daily lunch pail just yesterday. At work today, I was comparing lunches with my customers, asking what they had in their bag (tuna sand) and then telling of my vegetarian black bean chili I made.

"How many alarms?," David asked.

That question stopped me in my tracks.

"One. One alarm, " I reported honestly.
"Then it doesn't count," David intoned.

My God, he's right. One-alarm chili isn't chili. It's just stewed black beans. But I followed the recipe. It called for 4 cloves of garlic, 2 minced jalapeno peppers and a slew of other spices tossed in. I don't remember the last time I used this recipe. I was being cautious and followed the details to the letter. I think this chili could easily have room for 5 minced jalapenos and perhaps another 3 tablespoons of chili powder. It's weak.

Only one thing to do. Tomorrow I'll stop at the convenience store (conveniently located right in the building) and buy a bottle of Tabasco Sauce. Just a couple squirts of that will bring the alarms up from one to oh....I don't know. Three alarms oughta do it

Getting home from the gym this evening I found a notice rubberbanded to my front door. The CARAG Chilly Chili Fest is this Sunday. I think I'll go.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Shame on the dfl

The DFL Party website has this news release;

DFL CHAIR CALLS FOR MISLEADING AD TO BE TAKEN OFF THE AIR ST. PAUL (2/16/06) Today, DFL Chair Brian Melendez called on all Minnesota TV stations to follow the lead of KSTP TV and pull the "Midwest Heroes" ad off the air. He was joined at a press conference at the State Capitol by Congressional candidate and veteran Tim Walz.

The ad states that the media only reports negative stories, a comment that is patently untrue. As reported on WCCO's "Reality Check", 4 out of 10 news stories are positive and the majority of Sunday political news show commentators are conservative.

The ad then states that the enemy in Iraq are the same terrorists responsible for 9/11, and images of Saddam Hussein are shown along with the Twin Towers. This tactic is misleading at best, as the 9/11 Commission Report states that there is no connection between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorist attack.

"Minnesota has the chance to take a stand against this kind of misleading propaganda," said DFL Chair Brian Melendez. "Right now, our state is a testing ground for this particular ad, and we can be sure that many more will follow this election season. Minnesota TV stations should pull this ad and send the message that we will not tolerate this kind of swiftboating anymore."

"WCCO has called this ad "misleading" and only "partly true," said Chair Melendez. "Well, partly false advertising insults Minnesotans intelligence. We won't stand for propaganda that can't be backed up with fact."

This is a shameful position for the DFL to hold. This ad is not misleading. Al Qaeda is not only in Iraq fighting against our brave men & women in uniform, the organization that is our enemy is actually named "Al Qaeda In Iraq". The ad does not say that Saddam and Saddam's Iraq were responsible for the 9/11 attacks on America. It only states that we face the same enemy today in Iraq that attacked us.

If I'm not mistaken, the quotes of Melendez calling the soldiers of "Midwest Heroes" as "un-American" has been removed from the DFL website. I believe the quote had previously been located in the above DFL news release. If the DFL and Melendez want to retract their previous characterization of the "Midwest Heroes" as un-American, that's great. But they don't seem to address the issue. Rather, they merely wipe it off and pretend such words were never uttered. I think that's cowardly and disingenuous.

Shame on KSTP-TV for pulling the "Midwest Heroes" ad. It is the height of arrogance for KSTP to squelch this terrific ad. The bias of the msm is the reason blogs and right-wing radio are doing so well in this current climate of msm spin and insulation from balanced reporting.

Once again, Power Line has more.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Going local

As I mentioned recently, I'm rethinking the emphasis of this blog and attempting to focus essentially on local politics, leaving the national and international stuff to the big boys. That's not exactly easy for me. It was the war in Iraq and an embattled President Bush that got me interested in politics again in the first place. It was W's reelection bid that got me motivated to begin writing a blog at all. It was Hugh Hewitt's national radio show that stoked my fire. I subscribed to The Weekly Standard to get my hard facts and deeper understanding. While the Northern Alliance Radio Network addresses local issues at times, it was the national and international scenes that grabbed me.
Quite honestly, I don't know very much about local politics. Often, when I see a story on local issues, I'll skip it or just skim the first few paragraphs and then move on unless something in there grabs me. It scarcely does.
I have sometimes wondered why this is. At one of my local BPOU picnics I was having a conversation with Ezra Ebner about this and I speculated that maybe at least part of the reason is because Minneapolis is too often monochromatic. For example, the Republicans did not even offer a candidate for the recent election for the office of mayor of the city. Every time a story came out on the mayoral race in the Minneapolis StarTribune, I was offered a perspective on two socialist-progressive candidates written by a socialist-progressive newspaper. Naturally, knowing little of the local issues, there was little or no spark in there to gain insight on how things might be otherwise. And if voters can't wonder how things might be otherwise, a bland diet of gruel is all that is tasted.
I've often heard local conservatives grumble that all too often our local Republican candidates and officers don't know how to behave and perform like Republicans. They want too much to be "liked" by the Democrats, so they act like Democrats. Minneapolis is essentially a one-party town and that party is the DFL.

Well, I believe that can and should change. When a single political party dominates a sphere there is little or no choice. Vitality diminishes and complacency sets in. Good governance suffers in the absence of good challenges.

So, I will be mixing up my personal intake of media exposure. This morning in just a few minutes I'll be listening to The Patriot Insider on radio. I'll be paying more frequent visits to Kennedy vs The Machine blog, Residual Forces blog, The First Ring blog, MN Democrats Exposed blog, local DFL online forums. There are many other excellent local blogs within the Minnesota Organization of Blogs, such as Rambix and the Red Star. Bogus Gold blog is one of the most crucial of the local blogs. There are too many good blogs for me to mention here, so I'll undoubtedly neglect to list them all. SD63 blog is an excellent blog and might be considered a sister blog if Jerry doesn't mind being a sister to somebody named pinkmonkeybird. (Oh my God, what have I done? ) I'll try to pay more attention to local stories in the Strib and I expect I'll attempt to gain an insight toward the way they view the issues and how they report on other words I'll be looking for accuracy and bias. I'm already a fairly regular viewer of At Issue with Tom Hauser on KSTP television. I'll continue to watch that program.

The State of Minnesota is blessed to have the Northern Alliance of Blogs located right here and writing about both national and local issues. I'll continue to use all of them, but I'll have to wean myself off of lingering on Power Line and Hugh Hewitt so much with their incisive national and international opinion and reportage and try to make more time for the many local stories that will be most assuredly written of the local.

I'll be gaining an education and using this blog to discover what I've learned. Writing serves that purpose for me. It's not just a way of letting others know what I know. It's a way for me to discover what I think.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why "pinkmonkeybird"?

If you've been reading this blog this past week, you know that I'm changing the emphasis of this blog to a local focus. I also thought about ditching this blog in order to be rid of a name that sounds like a leftie-liberal blog, and then creating a new blog with a more "Republican" name. I never quite got far enough in that process to conjure up possible names. But could anything be more fun than naming your band or naming your blog? At one time I thought the ultimate name for a blog might be Blog Zeppelin. I'd be surprised if someone in the world has not already taken that one. Well then, color me surprised. I'll never forget the look on his face when I confided with Ed Morrissey of my Blog Zeppelin idea. It didn't do anything for him. He yawned, I think.
Let's see...what might be some good names for a Republican blog? Just shooting from the hip here....City On A Hill....Rail Splitter...whatever.
Groucho once asked, "Why a duck?" And now I have to ask, "Why pinkmonkeybird?" It began as my user name in BowieNet. I got it from Bowie's song, Moonage Daydream. But it's got that pink -femme sound to it and I think it understandably confuses people. But I've decided to keep it as a subversive name.

Here's the angle; I made the mistake of believing that America could "afford" liberalism as a guiding philosophy. After all, we won WWII. We won the Cold War. The United States became the world's sole superpower. If we can't afford liberal policies now, then when? We had no enemies. Why should we need a strong military?
I should also point out that I didn't think about politics very much at all. I was more concerned with cultural activities...movies, music, women, baseball and so on. Well, all that changed on 9/11/01. That's when I realized that everything's seeming peacefulness was really just an illusion. I was very impressed, though I did not vote for him, with George W. Bush's leadership as president. And then when W proposed "regime change" in Iraq, I knew he was right. The Democrats initially supported W's action on Iraq, but as we all know now, that didn't last long. And that's when something stirred within me that caused a whole new reevaluation of my perspective of my country and the world and my place in it.

Flash back to my high school years; I was chapter leader of Young Americans for Freedom. That was 1972. Back in those days, I thought it was important to stand firm against International Communism. I was proud to be an American and thought that despite her faults, America was the best country on earth. I subscribed to National Review magazine. I even saw William F. Buckley speak at a sponsored event. Oddly, while Governor Ronald Reagan was on YAF's National Advisory Board, I'll never forget noting that my State Chairman and other MN YAF officers thought Reagan was too far-right and gave the organization a bad name. I have no doubt that those officers quickly changed their minds when Reagan became president.

So, in my early youth, I had the seeds of patriotism within me. But years of college and rock bands and film crews and Minnesota lifestyle gradually turned me into somewhat of a Democrat/Independent liberal. Nixon's fall from grace and his resignation helped convince me that I wanted little to do with the GOP. I never did see Reagan's greatness until very recently this past year when the state funeral prompted me to revisit his accomplishments. I'm not proud to say that I voted for the wrong man many times. I voted for Carter, Clinton, Mondale, Jackson. In 2000 I voted for Nader/LaDuke as what I thought of as a "protest vote". I didn't like Bush or Gore, so I voted Green Party knowing full well that they would never win.

And that brings me up to our current times. My youthful patriotism was reawakened in 2001. As I became acquainted with the Republican platform and philosophy and began to realize that deep down, I hold those same ideals. These are ideals of individualism and opportunity. I just had to blow the dust away that had settled on my inner beliefs in order to recognize they were still there.

So, yes, pinkmonkeybird is a leftie-liberal sounding name for a blog. But the reader has to dig a little deeper to see that the name is reference to a formerly lost pathway. I'm a former Democrat-Independent living in Uptown Minneapolis. Like Reagan, I changed my party. I think there may be other former liberals living next door as my neighbors. If I changed from pink to red (Republican), so can my neighbors. I want to use this blog to try and help bring the Republican message to Uptown.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hinderaker on nick coleman

In keeping with my newfound mission of redefining this blog to local issues, I'm linking to John Hinderaker's post on Nick Coleman, columnist for the Minneapolis StarTribune, today.

I have seen the Progress For America ad on television. But I wasn't aware of Coleman's opinion piece until I read this scathing fisk mounted by Rocketman.

Coleman concludes with a venom that surpasses even that which came before:

Be warned: Despite the patriotic music, the flags and the burning Twin Towers, these ads aimed at Minnesota's heartstrings are not about supporting the troops. They are just a desperate attempt to salvage support for an unpopular president's reckless war.

Well, that's what the Left thinks, all right. But why is Coleman so exercised at the fact that three servicemen, who together have served for years in Iraq and observed conditions there with their own eyes, want to express a contrary view? What is so threatening about the idea that "American troops are making real progress"? And why do liberals find it necessary to smear servicemen who offer a message of hope and optimism?

My own guess is that liberals aren't afraid that the Midwest Heroes are wrong. They're afraid they're right.

Read the whole thing.

24th annual battle of the jugs

I try to make it to this event every year. And I'm heading out the door now so I won't miss the opening band. Yes, it starts at noon. If you have some whacked out idea that you shouldn't go to a bar to drink alcohol and watch live music until 9 or 10 pm, then you'll miss everything.
I'll be taking my "I Support President Bush and the Troops" button off my coat lapel before I go, as the place is crawling with old hippies and radical lefties who think W is a war criminal and the troops are baby killers. I'm going to this event to have fun, not argue politics.

UPDATE: Here's a website created especially for the event.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Final words on chili dinner and beyond

Triple A has a rather in depth reflection on the SD63 Chili Dinner. (Be sure to open Rob's link to photos of the event. If you look closely, you'll spot yours truly dressed in fashionable plaid and a shiny head. Last picture, bottom right.) Apparently he took notes, as he remembered a lot more than I did about Congressman Kennedy's speech. I should also point out an observation of Mr. Kennedy I heard tonight from my own BPOU meeting; He's charismatic and projects a sense of accessibility to people.
I think this is true. I've noticed that Mark Kennedy is a respectful listener.

So, reinforcing my post from yesterday, I think Mark Kennedy will be our next Minnesota US Senator. But it won't happen unless activists are willing to work for his campaign. I signed up tonight, as one of his managers attended our meeting in SD60 this evening. I've also accepted the job of SD60 volunteer coordinator. This is a natural position for me, as I got my feet wet as a GOP volunteer in '04 working to reelect the president. So I know what the job entails and I'm really excited about the challenge of turning out Republican votes in the Uptown neighborhood. And believe you, me....that is a challenge.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Chili dinner part 2

There were a few other things I wanted to say about last night's Chili Dinner for SD63. Congressman Mark Kennedy is running for US Senate. He knew this event would have some heft and he'd made an impromptu appearance along with his lovely wife, Debbie Kennedy. I may have tunnel vision, but from where I sit, it appears Kennedy will be our next United States Senator. And if I'm right, that's great news because we need to replace the dim bulb who occupies that seat today with a certifiable conservative hawkish Republican of Kennedy's caliber. The math is not difficult to do. A more conservative Senate will translate into a more assured opportunity to appoint a more constitutionally conservative Supreme Court Justice, should yet another seat vacate in the next three years.
Debbie Kennedy made the rounds last night and spent a few minutes at my table just saying hi and politely asking about our blogs. And at the podium, Mark Kennedy made the affirmative statements we've come to expect he'll make. No stirring up the pot is necessary. He merely did what is required and let us know that he supports the president's stand on Iraq and the GWOT. If we wanted spice, there were a few chili pots that provided that.

I also met a friendly woman with a familiar face. I said hello and struggled to remember how I knew her. Her name is Donna, and she reminded me that she's served as a poling place election judge with me in my precinct on a few occasions. Ha! And to think, I'd always thought I was the only Republican serving there since I began serving as a judge in November of 2004.

Colonel Joe Repya was there, too... back temporarily from Iraq. He gave a stirring speech of how the war in Mesopotamia is going like nothing we may be reading in the msm. Of course, we bloggers and blog readers already suspect that's true. But there is quite a bit to be said for a man like Col. Repya telling us it's so in a church basement. Mr. Repya's account of the war was the perfect compliment to the speeches that the three bloggers delivered.

An inspiring evening. I enjoyed the local political candidates from SD63, as well. But I lost my ride home and had to cut out to catch my bus before they were finished.

More here in the coming week on my background and my thoughts of blogging pinkmonkeybird style.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

SD63 chili dinner

As promised, I attended this fund raising event for Senate District 63 in South Minneapolis. If you're reading this you probably already know that it's theme was Blogs: The New Media. It was a fun and interesting evening. I sampled two kinds of pretty decent enough chili. I had some good conversation with a young man who is signing up into the Army. I had a chance to exchange some positive thoughts with Jerry of SD63 blog. And I heard some darned good speeches from some very good bloggers about blogging and such.

As noted earlier, I haven't been updating this blog much lately. There's a reason. Besides my excuse that I'm busy with personal matters, I've been rethinking the reason for my blog. When I began this blog in July of 2004, President George W. Bush was facing a reelection campaign that would translate into either a ratification of the war in Iraq or a rejection of that war. It was important for me to invest my time and money into the campaign as a volunteer. To reinforce my volunteerism, I blogged about my experiences. While I have no regrets about my participation, it turned out that my writings about telephone canvassing and sign waving rallies really amounted to nothing. My readership has never really exceeded 50 hits a day. That's pretty pathetic. To be honest, this blog has really never been anything much more than an echo chamber. Once I realized that, it has become somewhat humiliating to sit down and write. It turns out that feeling good about expressing myself just isn't enough anymore.

So I'm rethinking pinkmonkeybird.

I have more to say on this subject by my fingers are getting tired and it's past my bedtime and the echoing sounds are giving me a headache.

More tomorrow.

Busy lately

I'm sorry I haven't been updating this blog for the past two weeks. I've been busy with a personal project.
Tonight I'll be attending SD63s Chili Dinner.

See you there.