31 March 2006

Kidnapping; a Real Picnic

Good news in that Jill Carroll made it out alive from her detention.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - American reporter Jill Carroll was set free Thursday, nearly three months after she was kidnapped in a bloody ambush that killed her translator. She said she had been treated well. Her family thanked "the generous people around the world who worked officially or unofficially" to gain her freedom. No details were given about the circumstances surrounding her release.
Okay, Jill, glad you're back. Once you get your bearings, in a few weeks perhaps, maybe you can restate what's going on. "Treated well?" Does that include the part where your translator was shot to death in front of you? How about the times you appeared on tape pleading for your life? How about that whole held-against-your-will-by-Islamic-militants for three months thing? Not so bad?

Her captors had demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraq by Feb. 26 and said Carroll would be killed if that did not happen. The date came and went with no word about her fate. She was last seen in a videotape broadcast Feb. 9 by the private Kuwaiti television station Al-Rai.
Hey, glad the didn't beat you within inches of your life, but I don't get this softpedalling of the situation now that it's over. Carroll's a journalist. Can the mere statement of truth be so elusive?
More of the same from John Hinderocker here.

UPDATE: Jill does have a head on her shoulders; literally and figuratively.
Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views. They are not. The people who kidnapped
me and murdered Allan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Allan of his life and devastated his family. They put me, my family and my friends--and all those around the world, who have prayed so fervently for my release--through a horrific experience. I was, and remain, deeply angry with the people who did this.
I don't get why most journalists pretend to have no opinions, and think that beleif and professionalism cannot coexist. I, for one, think no less of Carroll's objectivity simply because she has opinions; like the one about her captors being savages.

Now, if she shows up all teary-eyed on Orcha, THEN I'll rip her a new one.

Rapid Fire Stuff

ITEM 1 - Borders; the cowardly bookseller:

Your company's craven policy of capitulation in the face of the mere hypothetical threat of terrorism is absolutely appalling -- a complete moral abdication that only encourages those threatening our rights and liberties.
DISCLOSURE: This has nothing to do with the fact that Mrs. Octane gets a paycheck from Barnes & Noble.

ITEM 2 - Photos like these are not going to make Mr. and Mrs. United States any more sympathetic to illegal immigrants.

And this site is put up by the proponents of this movement.

ITEM 3 - Stephen Green knows from fascists.
We've seen what American bookstores and publications and universities do when confronted with real fascists: they knuckle under. You might not be able to find those Danish cartoons anyplace respectable, but you'll sure find lots of anti-Bush stuff.

ITEM 4 - That spring in your step comes from the people you elected taking all the money out of you pocket.

Pork is criticized by taxpayer advocacy groups for precisely the reason it's beloved by politicians: handing federal dollars to politically favored recipients. Rather than an executive branch agency offering grants after an open solicitation for proposals, legislators who have wrangled appointments to the Senate and House appropriations committees are able to earmark money for their home states. It also reduces competition by favoring incumbents over challengers.

Thanks to the omnipresent Instapundit for the tips.

29 March 2006

Offered with No Reserve

"Get those school buses out of here before the next election!"
Starved for cash, the New Orleans school district is taking a long shot and hoping to sell its flooded, unsalvageable school buses on eBay. Some submerged to their roofs in the black flood waters, the yellow school buses were widely photographed in the days after Hurricane Katrina and have become an icon of the city's devastated school system.

"There's no shame in it. Not one bit," said school board president Phyllis Landrieu. "This is a new mechanism for selling things. I think it's very upbeat what we're doing."
Of couse there's no shame in the sale. That's because there's no shame of any kind in the entire state of Louisiana.

I Have a Dream . . .

. . . that one day, this nation's pants will rise up, and live out the true function of their design.

The chase ended with a crash off 35E near Maryland Ave. The driver ran from his vehicle and a St. Paul police officer caught him, with his pants down. Officers pulled up his pants before putting him in the back of the squad car.

You know, 'dumbass' knows no color.

KSTP-TV has a link to the video.

28 March 2006

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

And I mean 'hood.
I just got back from Peru. I don't have any money. You can take all my groceries though." The guy looked at me like I was speaking Quechua. The other guy still had his hands on my shoulders. The guy in front of me took my ATM card out of the wallet. "What's the number for this?" I blew air through my lips. The guy put both hands in his pockets. "Do you think I'm playing?" "No, I'm sure you're not," I told him.
Everyone sing like Fred:

I was travelling but now I'm home again,
I'm having a sandwich on Hennipen,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my mugger?

Trash Headed for Dump

Every now and then they make it stick in Minneapolis.

(Tyreese Baker) said he grabbed the money, ran out and got into the back seat of Stillday's car before Stillday drove over (Evelyn) Geng. Baker said he felt two bumps as the car sped off. "I was a little shocked and scared of what happened," he said. "If I knew that she was going to be run over, I would have given her the money back."

Wow, nice to hear Baker has a conscious. I was a afraid he might be a bad guy.

"Shut Up," She Eplained

When Molly Ivins wants your opinion, she'll give it to you:
Bloggers are not news-gatherers, but opinion-mongers. I have long argued that no one should be allowed to write opinion without spending years as a reporter.
Since I only have a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, and Molly has a Master's, maybe I should just quit the RDF now and help Molly's kind of people to get elected next time around.

Become Your Own State Department

Worldmapper - resizes countries of the world based on selectable criteria. Aside from fruit imports and fish exports, just try to find anything happeing in Canada.

Religion of Peace Update

Run, Rahman, run!

Hours earlier, hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting "Death to Christians!" marched through the northern Afghan Mazar-i-Sharif to protest the court's decision Sunday to dismiss the (Rahman) case.

"Abdul Rahman must be killed. Islam demands it," said senior Cleric Faiez Mohammed, from the nearby northern city of Kunduz. "The Christian foreigners occupying Afghanistan are attacking our religion." Several Muslim clerics have threatened to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he is freed, saying that he is clearly guilty of apostasy and deserves to die.

I just can't understand why the world isn't embracing this marvelous way of life. Hey, Mohammed, take it down a notch and call us back in about four thousand years when your religion grows up.

27 March 2006

Jetting Carbs, Lubing Chassis, Adjusting Dwell

Remember when you could actually work on your car, and how the manual told you just what to do? Get the owners manual out of your current ride and try to learn the firing order, or the compression ratio, or the vacuum specs. If you're lucky, they've included some 800 number to find a dealership. Phooey.

Jay Leno feels the same way (I didn't know he wrote) He has some cool old manuals, including one for a Honda motorcycle:
"At the rise of the hand by policeman, stop rapidly. Do not pass him by or otherwise disrespect him." It goes on to say, "When a passenger of the foot, hooves in sight, tootel the horn trumpet melodiously at first. If he still obstacles your passage, tootel him with vigor and express by word of mouth, warning, Hi! Hi!" And even more importantly, "Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.

26 March 2006

While You Were Sleeping

Or hiding, or watching CNN, or plugging you ears saying "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA" they're clubbing people in Belarus.

Freedom is for everyone, not just Bono's favorites.

Conspiricy Theory Set to Explode

Just over a week ago, Michael Zebuhr left a Minneapolis restaurant with his mother and sister. Two pieces of shit came by and demanded mom's purse. She gave it to them, just like the pacifists and apologists advise you to, and one of the pieces of shit shot Michael twice in the head anyway. He died the next day.

It's quite the story here on The Tundra; murder in a popular part of town, very cold-blooded crime, high-taxed & low-policed city, local media very reticient to provide description of suspects out of political-correctness, all the fun angles.

And then Rambix discovers this angle:

It seems that Mr. Zebuhr was a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, an organization that believes "the World Trade Center was almost certainly brought down by controlled demolitions".

S9/11T members are convinced their research proves the current administration has been dishonest about what happened in New York and Washington, D.C. These experts contend that books and articles by members and other associates have established that the World Trade Center was almost certainly brought down by controlled demolitions and that the available relevant evidence casts grave doubt on the government's official story about the attack on the Pentagon.

They believe that the government not only permitted 9/11 to occur but may even have orchestrated these events to facilitate its political agenda. S9/11T encourages its members to vigorously express their concerns on this score through lectures, conferences, symposia, articles, and books as well as other access routes that publicize their findings.

Oh, the weirdness . . .

Another Sunday . . .

. . . and another parade of the blind and screed of the dumb courtesy of the Star Tribune's letters section:
My mother came to live with me last summer. She doesn't drive (you wouldn't want her to have a driver's license). She was born at home, so getting a copy of her birth certificate would be difficult. She doesn't smoke or drink, so she doesn't need an ID for those things. My mother is 85, and quite frail; making extra trips to obtain a photo ID is onerous. Why would Minnesota want to keep her from voting? I understand that many want to prevent voter fraud. But more important is to allow those citizens with a right to vote to do so without imposing extra barriers. Taking away even one person's right to vote is too much restriction.
Making extra trips? What the hell is Thomas talking about? Is mom permanently bolted to some immovable fixture? I sure hope she never needs to cash a check, apply for government benefits, or need to be identified by someone else should she somehow become incapacitated. I just don't accept that possession of some form of identification document is such an onerous impediment to voting.

Last weekend, I watched the movie "Good Night and Good Luck," the story of Edward R. Murrow and his fight against Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his anti-Communist investigations. The similarities between McCarthy's tactics and those of our state's Republican legislators and their conservative cohorts -- public blacklisting of the "Gang of Twelve," snooping around in bushes hoping to capture photos of those attending rallies and now the hidden tape recorders -- are frightening.
That's right; anyone who assumes that when the majority leader of the Minnesota Senate speaks in public those comments become a matter of public record is clearly a McCartyite. Trampf is a serious dumbass who doesn't like his ox being gored. If this shoe were on the other party's foot, it would surely elicit bleating of the exact opposite bent.

The disrespectful, secret taping of a fellow clergy member in the New London/Spicer area is a prime example of why we need to keep church and state separate. Religion breathes hatred when politics creeps into the churches. When clergy members can't even trust each other, this country is in trouble. This is not Christian; it's political dirty work in the church. If you want to know who the undercover political spy clergy is, go to the churches in the area. It will be the minister who tells his flock whom to vote for in political elections. It's the minister who doesn't abide by the federal tax law regarding nonprofits. Oh, heck -- just tape him and turn him in to the Internal Revenue Service.
Joan, you mental twerp, Johnson is YOUR guy, HE'S the minister who's also the politician. HE'S the one who lied trying to make himself more important than he is in front of fellow clergy and all you can do is harpoon the guy who happened to take Johnson's comments so seriously they merited recording? What is a newspaper reporter was there? Would you be so incensed if a Democrat newsman exposed Johnson for the liar he is, or would you have called for the stifling of that as well?

Is it any wonder why Minnesota is on the slide when pinheads like this are portrayed daily as Mr. & Mrs. Middle America.

25 March 2006

Reds Sweep Merseyside Derby

Liverpool 3, Everton 1

Everton did not bring their best game to Anfield today, but did arrive equipped with a few pages from Bolton's trademark thugball gameplan. Everton had seven players shown yellow including Duncan Ferguson, who was back after coming off a 7 match ban.

Liverpool played with 10 men from the 18th minute after an uncharacteristc sending off of their captain Steven Gerrard. Everton went down to 10 at 78 minutes when Andy Van der Meyde was shown red, the 5th for Everton in the last 6 Merseyside Derbies.

The Reds benefited from an own goal by Phil Neville and later had a strike by Sami Hyypia erased for offsides on Peter Crouch (which was bunk as the play was not to Crouch). Luis Garcia and Harry Kewell both scored for Liverpool, with Tim Cahill adding a quality header for the Toffies from a corner set peice.

After laying down the gauntlet last week, I see Paul Mirengoff has nothing to say this morning.

So Long, Buck

Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. 1929-2006

"I'd like to be remembered as a guy that came along and did his music, did his best and showed up on time, clean and ready to do the job, wrote a few songs and had a hell of a time."

23 March 2006

Axe Grinding

Danny has a bee in his bonnet and therefore does not like the new GL:

I propose needs testing for the purchase of such a vehicle. You must have a Chris-Craft and three or more school-age children in the yard to qualify. Your vehicle must do double-duty as, um, a bookmobile.Need has very little to do with it. This segment is about want, naked and unquenchable, I-got-mine-you-get-bent appetite. It's well established that the vast majority of these vehicles never touch gravel, never carry more than a couple of people, and never tow anything heavier than the weight of their owner's childhood traumas.Most people who buy the GL won't know a Class IV hitch from a Mark 48 torpedo. And I, for one, am not going to congratulate some Bel-Air singleton for his wise vehicle purchase when it is so patently purblind and morally retrograde.
It's quite the tirade of pent-up issues for Danny. Hey, Mr. Poopy Pants, thanks for the witty prose, but don't fear; there are plenty of cheap, small and stingy cars out there already. We'll see if the Benz in a flop by its performance in the marketplace.

22 March 2006

We Are the World

You always knew the United Nations was ineffective and corrupt, Now you can add racist (or culturalist, if that's a word), too.
I would note that the Lego is the one being left out. If the goal was to attack the Danes, surely a bunch of Legos would be shunning a black puzzle piece. That would make more sense if the Legos are supposedly represenitng Danish intolerance, yes?

20 March 2006

The Lord Giveth . . .

. . . and al Jazeera taketh away.

Cindy must be hitting the craft service table on her big-time media tour, and Sheikha Sajida is loathe to look.

Minneapolis' Spiral into Hell Continues

Newly-elected city council member Ralph Remington hopes the shooting is an anomaly that won't be repeated."It will be stopped," he says. "But people should feel free to still go along with their lives, come to the area. We're gonna be on top of it. We'll make sure people are safe."

Thanks for the words of reassurance, Ralph; I already feel a lot safer. Thankfully the police department isn't releasing any description of the suspects, 'cuz, you know, we don't want any more trouble in "the community".

Let's check the scoreboard for lovely Minneapolis - revolving doors on the office of police chief and school superintendent, a Fire chief who's accused of harassing and abusing firefighters (and their spouses). Three city council members indicted and convicted in five years. Property taxes are scraping the sky.

Then there's the hard-to-find mayor who's not only too stupid to drive his own hybrid, but thinks any crime victim in the city limits had it coming because they were conducting their own lives in dangerous ways. Oh, but his socks rarely match, which makes him colorful, so I guess he gets a pass on the whole crime thing.

Minneapolis - it's going places!

UPDATE: Michael Zebuhr died this morning. Still nothing from ChuckleHead the Boy Mayor. I guess he's too busy reweaving society or some bullshit like that.

19 March 2006

Would You Buy a Newspaper from This Man?

The New York Times keeps claiming some moving-target form of superiority over blogs and new media, and then they go with this:

Almost two years later, Ali Shalal Qaissi's wounds are still raw. There is the mangled hand, an old injury that became infected by the shackles chafing his skin. There is the slight limp, made worse by days tied in uncomfortable positions. And most of all, there are the nightmares of his nearly six-month ordeal at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003 and 2004.

The story continues in lurid detail, a searing indictment of the sadistic cruelty of the American armed forces. And Qaissi is described, sympathetically, as a man on a mission: he forgives his American torturers, but wants to prevent similar "atrocities" from occurring in the future. The Times article is titled "Symbol of Abu Ghraib Seeks to Spare Others His Nightmare." It was indeed a gripping story. And, needless to say, one that suited the Times' political agenda.

Just one problem, though: it wasn't true. Qaissi is a hoax.


A front-page article last Saturday profiled Ali Shalal Qaissi, identifying him as the hooded man forced to stand on a box, attached to wires, in a photograph from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal of 2003 and 2004. He was shown holding such a photograph. As an article on Page A1 today makes clear, Mr. Qaissi was not that man.

The Times did not adequately research Mr. Qaissi's insistence that he was the man in the photograph. Mr. Qaissi's account had already been broadcast and printed by other outlets, including PBS and Vanity Fair, without challenge. Lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib vouched for him. Human rights workers seemed to support his account. The Pentagon, asked for verification, declined to confirm or deny it.

So the Times got it wrong, in part, because they didn't research their own archives to discover any back story or facts.

UPDATE: The New York Times Editorial stooges continue to not read their own paper.

17 March 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day . . .

. . . wherever ye may be

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.

Missing News Story of the Week

Investor's Business Daily:
Among the enduring myths of those who oppose the war is that Saddam, though murderous when it came to his own people, had no weapons of mass destruction and no terrorist designs outside his own country. Both claims now lie in tatters.

As we've reported several times, a number of former top military officials in Saddam's regime have come forward to admit that, yes, Saddam had WMD, hid them and shipped them out of the country so they couldn't be detected. And he had plans to make more.

Even as the media studiously avoid these new documents — just as they avoided 500 hours of Saddam's personal tapes showing his scheming on WMD — it's clear the U.S. did the right thing in invading Iraq and taking out a formative terrorist threat.

Saddam had close ties to al-Qaida. That's not just our opinion, but also that of the 9-11 Commission Report that so many in the media have selectively cited to bolster the case against the war. As Chairman Thomas Kean said the day the report was released: "There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida."
Cooper . . Cooper . . Cooper?

Question Authority

This time the authority is the Associated Press, and the misuse of their position:

The 13 Katrina contracts reviewed involve the following 12 companies: C. Henderson Consulting; Americold Logistics; Clearbrook LLC; CS&M Associates; Gulf Stream Coach Inc.; Morgan Building & Spas Inc.; Bechtel National; Fluor Enterprises Inc.; CH2M Hill Constructors Inc.; E.T.I. Inc.; Ceres Environmental Services Inc.; and Thompson Engineering Inc.

Some of the firms, including Gulf Stream Coach and Bechtel, have close ties to the Bush administration or have contributed significantly to the GOP.

Wow. Bush and his friends were at it again, I said, as many Americans probably echoed me.

Except Bush and his friends weren't at it again. Not that you'd know if you relied upon the smear job from Associated Press, as thousands of news outlets do across the country. A lie repeated often enough . . .

Read the whole thing.

15 March 2006

Josef Stalin, Call Your Office

Big Academia, where free exchange, free expression and free thought go to die.
The board of the Illini Media Company has decided to terminate you from the position of editor in chief of The Daily Illini, effective immediately.
Some background here, but not much depth; CNN ya know. It also fails to note the trend by politically-correct devout administrations to crush intellectual dissent on American college campuses. The irony here is so massive it blocks out the sun.

Surprising Link #2

Who knew I would completly agree with a Nick Coleman column?
The new owners for the Pioneer Press could be gangbusters. Or they could be press busters: Corporate pirates who come to town to plunder everything of value before setting fire to the wreck. Which it turns out to be is crucially important. And, largely, up to McClatchy, which has become temporary guardian of journalism in St. Paul, a key part of the region served by the Star Tribune.

In fine china shops, they say, "If you break it, you buy it." In the news business, reputations rest on the opposite rule: "If you buy it, you better not break it."

Surprising Link #1

Who knew there was anything to learn by reading USA Today?

Among states that voted for President Bush in 2004, the average fertility rate is more than 11% higher than the rate of states for Sen. John Kerry. It might also help to explain the popular resistance among rank-and-file Europeans to such crown jewels of secular liberalism as the European Union. It turns out that Europeans who are most likely to identify themselves as "world citizens" are also less likely to have children.

Tomorrow's children, therefore, unlike members of the postwar baby boom generation, will be for the most part descendants of a comparatively narrow and culturally conservative segment of society. To be sure, some members of the rising generation may reject their parents' values, as often happens. But when they look for fellow secularists with whom to make common cause, they will find that most of their would-be fellow travelers were quite literally never born.

What's that old saw . . . dead conservatives go to heaven, and dead liberals go to vote.

Shakin' Africa

If you're not doing anything in about 10 million years . . .
They had only just stepped out of their helicopter onto the desert plains of central Ethiopia when the ground began to shake under their feet. The pilot shouted for the scientists to get back to the helicopter. And then it happened: the Earth split open. Crevices began racing toward the researchers like a zipper opening up. After a few seconds, the ground stopped moving, and after they had recovered from their shock, Ayalew and his colleagues realized they had just witnessed history. For the first time ever, human beings were able to witness the first stages in the birth of an ocean.
So far Katie Couric, Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart have been unable to lay blame for this at the feet of George W. Bush - and they call themselves journalists . . .

14 March 2006


Not unlike an open-handed slap on sunburned skin: Edmonton 2, Minnesota 1. One is reminded of the old sports bromide; "Tthey wanted it more."

Winter Sneaks Back

Here's Monday's commute:

Not as bad as it looks. Most people stayed home, and I stayed off the highways. Minnesotans have long relinquished their claim as Champions of Driving in Hearty Conditions. I, however, commanded my sturdy vessel with a deft touch and arrived at work on time only to find, for the most part, no one else there:

Except for this goose, who had enough of that flying-in-the-blowing-snow nonsense:

Pretty, maybe, but the Canada goose is really just a flying carp.

Holding Hands, Skipping Down the Path Together

I predict that in 2 years there will be a proposal to merge Saint Paul with Minneapolis.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak have been together so much that aides are calling them Brokeback Mayors. More than once, aides have been reminded of the movie's signature line: "I wish I knew how to quit you."

Coleman calls the new duo's joint appearances the Traveling Road Show. "It seems like every day we spend six hours together," he said. "I hope you can see how happy I am that he got elected," Rybak said to Allina Hospitals & Clinics employees as he appeared with Coleman at a company antismoking forum. The two spoke about their mutual support of a statewide smoking ban, a position that highlighted the new esprit de corps.

That collaboration could make a difference in DFL politics, transportation, smoking, human rights, a baseball stadium and city building. The day after their landslide victories in November, Coleman and Rybak had lunch together at DeGidio's on West 7th Street in St. Paul, sending a message that a new era had begun. They've not stopped talking or agreeing since.
Sure it's creepy, but the worst part is that both these fools are wholly unaware of the natural and healthly civic rivalry between the two towns, and the profound differences between the two. Oh yea; domestic partner benefits for everyone!

Greyhound with Wings

Mitch Berg has height issue that don't apply to me, but his bottom line about the local bankrupt airline is the same as mine.
I'm 6'5. Middle seats at most airlines are cramped for most people; for me, they make flying a wretched misery. Northwest gives me yet another reason to teleconference or drive: If you don't want to get stuck in the middle seat on a Northwest Airlines flight, starting today you'll be able to pay an extra $15 to get a spot on the aisle. Let's see - wretched service, no pretzels, no pillows, surly strikeprone staff, and making you pay to not feel like you're in the black hole of Calcutta. Why would one take Northwest, again?
Indeed. What's next, NWA? Charging extra for on-time perfomance? Ticket surcharge to pay for more air in the tires when it's colder outside? Make an entire row share one can of Pepsi?

Sometimes I wish NWA would implode we could get some competition at the gates in MSP (85-90% controlled by NWA), but the dopes who ran this baby into the ground are walking away fat whichever way the airline goes, so it's hard to root for the demise of working folk.

Shooting So Wide of the Goal

Over at Cold Hearted Truth, they use the trivial issue of decision making at the retail level to demonstrate why the StarTribune's institution bias is so real.

Bottom Line: Last time I checked, the 'right' to use a morning after pill was no more legally relevant than the 'right' to drink beer, rent a particular movie, or buy a particular magazine. Why then is it treated as if it is more important? What makes the rights of a pharmacist any different than the rights of a convenience store owner?

Here's the link that prompted this whole thing:

Can Muslim convenience store clerks sell me coffee and doughnuts, but send me to a different store to buy beer because they morally object to drinking? Can my fundamentalist video store employee allow me to rent "Crash" and "Walk the Line" but direct me to his coworker to rent "Brokeback Mountain" because he objects to homosexuality?

To answer the hysterical Donald Livingston; yes they can.

Dude, Where's My Policy?

Mired in politics, as usual.

Yesterday, Senator Russ Feingold introduced a Senate resolution to censure President Bush for the NSA's 'illegal' international terrorist surveillance program. Bill Frist proposed to put Feingold's resolution on for an immediate vote, but the Democrats blocked a vote, preferring to let the measure draw headlines in committee for a while longer.

Those with a sense of deja vu may recall the similar episode of Congressman Jack Murtha's resolution calling for immediate termination of the Iraq mission. The Democrats hailed Murtha's courage and welcomed the headlines that followed--did you know that Murtha is an ex-Marine?--but considered it dirty pool when the Republicans actually wanted to vote on Murtha's proposal. The vote was something like 402-3, but no matter--the Democrats got anti-administration headlines, which is what they were looking for.

Feingold's absurd resolution will meet a similar fate when it is finally voted on, but by then the Democrats will have moved on to something else--something equally frivolous, in which the news media will cooperate gladly. All of which may cause some voters to wonder how serious the Democrats are about the issues that concern the American people.
Feingold wantspresidentor presidnet, and somehow has to get to the left of Hillary. This is just his latest stunt.

UPDATE: Not too many saluting Russ' flag:
The referral averted a debate and a vote that Democrats privately worried would alienate voters who could decide close elections. Throughout the day, Feingold's fellow Democrats said they understood his frustration but they held back overt support for the resolution. Several said they wanted first to see the Senate Intelligence Committee finish an investigation of the warrantless wiretapping program that Bush authorized as part of his war on terrorism.

11 March 2006

Borrowing Socialist Boilerplate

"From Each According To His Abilities,
To Each According To His Needs."

The similar take is that in Heaven, the cars are German, the food is Italian, the clothes are English and the women are French. Hell has French cars, English food, German clothes and Italian women.

Terrible Paraphrasing

Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion died today at 75. Playing for Montreal from 1950-1964 along with Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau, he helped the Candiens own the league in that era. He's often credited with inventing the slap shot.

The news of Geoffrion's death prompted Glen Sonmor to call Saturday Sports Talk this morning and tell some old time hockey stories, including a great one about when Maurice Richard began choosing the three stars of the game after he was done playing. The Rocket was quite the homer, and here's me trying to paraphrase how Sonmor recounted Richard's selection method:

"De nummer one star, tunnite, Beliveau; he get two assist, work hard in corner, good on da pass. Nummer two star, my broder Henri, got no point, but he up an down da ice, cover wing, strong on board. Nummer tree star, Gordie Howe, he don get dos four goals, we might had chance tunnite."

Rest in peace Boom Boom.

God Scores in Late Rally, Humaity Surges

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - God scored late on March 10th by ending the life of Slobodan Milosevic and making the world a better place in which to live. Although about 60 years late in this case, God's deft touch was welcomed worldwide, and his most memorable strike since catching up with Yasser Arafat in 2004.

Those who believe in freedom and justice have been backing God in this campaign, and hoping he'll return to his old form, when Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Nicolae Ceauşescu were regularly removed from Earth. God's fans are hoping he can keep on pace, as Earth is still littered by Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and Fred Phelps.

08 March 2006

You Get What You Vote For

Are Minnesotans going to buy this?
After co-host Mark Yost noted that Governor Pawlenty made a trip to work for more H-1B temporary work visas, Lourey said: “We need more high-tech worker visas, but we also need more essential employee visas. If you care about the meat packing industry, and the canning industry, and the roofing industry, we need more of those visas as well. But, we have to be careful, because if Governor Pawlenty is putting this State into a state of bigotry, those folks with the H-1B’s won’t want to come here.” Host Patrick Campion asked her point blank to defend that statement. She couldn’t do it, backsliding into “immigrants built this State” rhetoric, refusing to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. Campion then asked this: “Do you think the State of Minnesota be safer or less safe if there were no illegal immigrants in the State of Minnesota?” She said less safe if police officers had to do immigration work, because immigrants wouldn’t cooperate with police. And besides, “Illegal
immigrants don’t commit crimes.”
Here's a link to the podcast. Listen to this twerp for yourself.

Knocked Down

And maybe out. After carrying a 2-0 lead into the 3rd period, the Wild gagged it away in OT, losing 3-2 to the Kings.

Wild players offered the usual pledges to put another painful loss behind them and scavenge for points in a schedule that has dwindled to 18 games. But job security is at the forefront now. Tuesday was the last game before Thursday's trade deadline, and the loss gives general manager Doug Risebrough more political cover to jettison veterans without sacrificing a potential playoff run. "I don't think anyone is untouchable in our room," Walz said. "Doug is going to do what he has to do to make the team better."
I'm no longer hoping for a playoff run. They don't belong there this season.

07 March 2006

It Came From Japan

What have I been telling you people since I started this blog?: The trouble with all the websites that feature hot dog sculpture is that they never show you how to actually make the individual pieces.

Until now.

God love those Japanese; diagrams AND video!

Screaming Narcissism

You know, I'm Im ever charged with writing about a legend upon their passing I would hope to God I wouldn't spend the first paragraph talking about myself.
I was around in 1961 when the Twins arrived from Washington, D.C., and with the lack of progress for a new stadium, if my health holds up, I likely will be around when the team leaves.
Oh yes Sid, we have you and only you to thank for all things holy and good.

What an imbicile.

Roger Ebert Gets it Right

Please stop the weeping and wailing:

The nature of the attacks on "Crash" by the supporters of "Brokeback Mountain" seem to proceed from the other position: "Brokeback" is better not only because of its artistry but because of its subject matter, and those who disagree hate homosexuals. Its supporters could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what "Crash" had to offer.
There are plenty of people who bemoan the (mostly-imagined) condition that those who criticize the war in Iraq are somehow unpatriotic and are painted so publicly by the Bush Administration. No doubt this mindset exists in no shortage in the movie business. Wouldn't it be funny to be in the room when the Brokeback Crybabies realize they are doing exactly what they accuse the president of doing to them.

03 March 2006

That Wacky Mainstream Media

Failing to dot I's and cross T's; via the daily comic book called USA Today:
Robert Byrd, the longest-serving member of the Senate, counts only a few regrets in his 47-year career: filibustering the 1964 Civil Rights Act, voting to expand the Vietnam War and backing airline deregulation. This week he added a new one: having joined the stampede in 2001 that passed the dubiously named USA Patriot Act weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
I guess he stopped regretting his membership in the Ku Klux Klan. Hey your "Exaulted Cyclops-ness," are there any other decades of your life you can't recall? Hey, USA Today, what's the next 'minor fact' that gets broomed under the rug?

You know, if we didn't have to spend so much time at airport gates, there might not be any need for CNN. Without Avis and National, there might not be a General Motors, and without the free breakfast buffet at Comfort Inns accross Amreica, there'd be no USA Today.

(Tip to Roger Simon)

02 March 2006

Amen My Brother

In today's Minneapolis fishwrap:

I find it interesting that the Star Tribune never ceases to find ways to spend taxpayers' money. Tuesday's editorial contended that students are now forced to borrow too much to pay for their tuition. It further contended that Minnesota should adjust its state grant program (spend more tax dollars) to reduce the burden of college costs.

Few people would argue that college costs aren't skyrocketing or that a college education is increasingly important. What I found appallingly absent from the editorial was any concern over the causes of increasing tuition costs.

Where is the outrage over tuition increases that continue to gouge the students? There was no demand for an investigation similar to that of the oil industry.

Tuition increases well above inflation are not a trend but a 30-year fact -- regardless of economic trends or government funding.

Rather than asking for more tax dollars, can we try asking our colleges to be more fiscally responsible?


We need to be looking at a windfall profits tax for colleges and universities.

Still Funny, Still Alive, Still Underground

George Carlin:

Stop giving me that pop-up ad for Classmates.com. There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days - mowing my lawn.

Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.

The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge asshole.

Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."

I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

01 March 2006

My U.S. Senator

Here's a little something positively buried in the Strib:

Sen. Mark Dayton, D-MN., apologized Tuesday to Sen. John Thune and the people of South Dakota after telling Fortune magazine that Rochester's Mayo Clinic "is worth a hell of a lot more than the whole state of South Dakota."

(Thune) condemned the comments Tuesday, calling them "unconscionable, offensive and wholly unbecoming of a United States senator. Unlike Senator Dayton, we may not all be millionaires in South Dakota, but we understand the value of hard work and appreciate real-world experience," he said.

What an asshat. Dr. Frued, Senator Dayton is here to see you.

Harland & Wolff's Early Work

This is Germanic, or it was at one time. She was built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast in 1875. Yes, that Harland and Wolff. At 468 feet long and displacing just over 5,000 tons, Germaninc set a trans-Atlantic speed record in 1876 for Liverpool to New York service. The White Star line sold her to Dominion, and she was reflagged as Ottawa, then Turkish owners named her Gul-Djemal and she served the Black Sea and Mediterranean. She was partially sunk in 1928 after taking a torpedo, but patched up to again cross the Atlantic as Gulcemal. She was finally scrapped in 1950 after 76 years of service. Not bad for an old gal.

Among those who spent some time a walking her decks was Ferdinand Oberhammer, who spent a good portion of 1901 travelling from Wels, Austria to London and Liverpool to come to the United States. He arrived at Ellis Island on September 27th and made his way to St. Paul. Quite a summer for a 19 year old shoe maker. Ferdinand was my great-grandfather, the only one of the four I met. It can be hard to know much about people when you're only four, but it's fun to learn more when you can. I got most of the above information here.