29 December 2005

Watch Any TV in June?

Stats from BeAWitness.org. Click on the video if you've got the bandwidth, then thumb your nose at Tee Vee news.

The Biz of Show Biz

You know, if they could just do something about the parking, the prices, the food, the sticky floors, the filthy bathrooms, the loathsome public masses, the crappy customer service and the teenage management, I'd probably see more movies in theaters. That being said, I have recently been out amongst the unwashed to see Good Night, and Good Luck, Walk the Line and Munich. I liked all three, but I'm a pretty easy sell when it comes to filmed entertainment. I generally think Hollywood is pretty diseased, but I'll throw it some dollars here and there.

Meanwhile, in other movie biz news, Mickey Kaus may be on to something (or not):

BoxOfficeMojo has no figures for how Brokeback Mountain did Tuesday, 12/27. According to the B.O.M. site, this means the movie's "studio is no longer tracking it on a daily basis." If this universal love story is capturing the hearts of mainstream America as Frank Rich said it would, Focus Features should want to tell us! (Do they actually not know the results? Or are they just clamming up?)

All I know is that if they're herding sheep, they ain't cowboys. Call it a gay shepherd movie. 'Cowboy' is a term describing what you do, not the hat you wear.

Drop the Mouse; Fly the Plane

Jeremy Hermanns was on Alaska Airlines #536 yesterday when it suffered a hernia of the fuselage, lost cabin pressure, an made a hurry-up landing in Seatlle; all puppies and kittens survived.

He shot a couple of photos with his huge, silly phone, and wrote about the oredeal on his blog. He was looking closely at the comments made by readers, and noticed something funny:
Like I said–these just originated from an IP address registered to them according to my Wordpress comment logs; I don’t know if they’re from actual Alaska employees, or maybe just hackers using Alaska’s IP address. But according to my server logs and a simple WHOIS lookup, they all came from an IP address registered to Alaska Airline, Inc.
Stop surfing blogs and get back to the ticket counter.

Garage Full of Ultimate

Hers:

and His:

In a perfect world (where I am in charge) these flakes would have their BMWs siezed, spend a day in the stocks, and each be issued a fully-emasculated Dodge Stratus with crappy aftermarket rims.

You are what you drive, but only to certain point. At some point you have to return to the machine its dignity.

27 December 2005

Holiday Over; Resume Hatred

Two foul resons I'm no Republican; Don Young and Ted Stevens.
Ted Stevens didn’t resign from Congress. Why not? Because it was all a show, just smoke and mirrors. Congress removed the requirement that Alaska use the money for the bridges to nowhere. But the state still got the money – a $454 million blank check. And sure enough, Gov. Frank Murkowski has included money for both bridges in his new state budget. Murkowski, who used to be a senator himself, works closely with the state’s congressional delegation. Indeed, when he was elected governor, he searched the length and breadth of the great state of Alaska to find a qualified replacement and eventually found her across the breakfast table – his daughter, Lisa, who now works hand in hand with Stevens and Young to keep the funding pipeline flowing.
Sell Alaska back to Russia.

25 December 2005

Warm Greetings and a Happy Holiday

That title salutation stolen verbatim from Leigh Kammon, a man to admire. I think that might be the recap of Christmas 2005 for me; what can a modern guy really look up to these days?

After we dropping off the family matriarch following Christmas on White Bear Lake, Mrs. Octane and I watched Donovan's Reef, which is a pretty good Christmas movie overall. Sure, it's wall-to-wall Polynesian stereotypes and woman-handling swagger from The Duke, but it's also one where the guy gets the girl, and everything works out in the end. Take that, Frank Capra.

It's been unseasonably warm on The Tundra this week of Festuvis, which made River Falls a bit less magical Christmas Eve, but I was able to usher out 12/25 out of doors accompanied by a fine Flor-Fina 858 and a double bird. I suppose Christmas was for me a bit of what everyone gets; some warmth, some relaxation, a chance to play Chinese Checkers with a 7-year old, and letting yourself get harpooned by those destined to betray your trust. It's a chance to see your NHL team put the hurt to a fancier outfit, and a chance to tie on the fish with friends; you know, all the traditional stuff.

I also was able to demonstrate I wasn't crazy to my domestic associate. In the bathroom this afternoon, I heard Christmas music, and asked aloud where it came from. Mrs. Octane suggested I might have a head full of bad wiring as the bathroom radio wasn't on, the bedroom clock radio wasn't on, the PC was off, the hi-fi in the living room was off, and nothing in the basement shop was fired up either. Look, I don't have 20/20 hearing, but I know I heard Christmas music. I was starting to think that the cast radiators and iron plumbing at Chateau Octane were pulling an orthodonture/receiver trick on me. Thankfully, I was redeemed later when we went outside, and she conceded that there was literally Christmas music in the air in our neighborhood. We never found the source, but that doesn't matter, as I was no longer on my way to the rubber room.

So I got some Nat King Cole, some Russel Stover, and a reprieves from both the polar ice cap and Nurse Ratched. I got a chat with my Canadian/Austrian grandma, got hugs from other people's kids, and got crapped upon right out in the open. Here's to a better 2006 for all of us.

22 December 2005

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka

Part 1
Three people were stabbed early Wednesday at a Manhattan club that was hosting a record release party for a new collection of duets featuring slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. Authorities could not confirm reports that the party was attended by Sean "Diddy" Combs and Notorious B.I.G.'s mother, Voletta Wallace. The two co-produced the new "Duets" record, which pairs the rapper's vocals with Eminen, Jay-Z and other artists. Police said that at 3:10 a.m., patrol officers heard gunfire at a parking garage near the club. Inside, they found three men with gunshot wounds; all were taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Part 2
Approximately 2,000 people packed a church in South Los Angeles to pay tribute to Stanley Tookie Williams, who was executed by the state of California last week. Williams founded the gang the Crips and was executed for murdering four people in 1979. The gathering featured celebrities, civil rights leaders and gang members. Among those speaking at the service were the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. As the funeral ended, 100 doves were released out of the church. There were some brief scuffles between rival gang members after the service and three shots were heard outside the church, causing some to duck for cover.
Part 3
Three men who clubbed a man to death in the back of an ambulance during a clash between rival gangs have been convicted of murder. Zak Mayanja, 18, Narcis Danila, 22, and Christian Sakyi, 18, were in a mob of up to 20 who beat up Eugen Breahna in Bounds Green, north London, in January. Mr Breahna ran into the ambulance attending another incident thinking he would be safe, (b)ut the mob, armed with iron bars, followed him in and killed him.

Winter Does Not Stop the Working Man.

Both worthy material for Christmas Cards:

Ignorance in Numbers

Back in early 2004, bus drivers for the MCTO, the regional transit system in greater St. Paul/ Minneapolis, went on strike. There were plenty of predictable examples of media-generated weeping over the who was hit hardest by the lack of buses, blah, blah, blah, but after about two weeks or so, and the only lessons learned were that street crime and shoplifting were down, automobile traffic levels were flat, and that this city is nowhere near dependent on public transit. Not anything like real cities.

What I took away from it was anger in seeing a single labor(?) union allowed to idle the billions of dollars of publicly-owned transportation infrastructure; they were not the union's buses to idle, they belong to all of us.

Like the MCTO strike, the New York City transit strike is run by the same union thugs, but New York City is clearly a place that needs busses, subways, ferrys, tunnels, hovercraft and particle-based transport.

From the desk of Jane Galt:
The people being hurt by the strike, unfortunately, are mostly people who make less than the transit workers do. Small businesses are being gutted by this; the last few days before Christmas is the busiest time of the year for most retail establishments, and their customers can't get to them. One of the news shows had small businessmen complaining that this was going to bankrupt them, and I've no doubt that it's true for at least some of New York's retail stores, which often operate on a shoestring. Meanwhile, poor workers, who tend to work hourly, are losing salary that they can ill-afford.
The TWU in New York is so blinded by hubris they cannot see that they are angering and alienating people across the spectrum; the Wall Street trader, the parents of pre-schoolers, the service employees, the immigrant looking for jobs, etc. The only good that comes of this whole affair is that taxpayers are reminded of the economic fantasy-land into which the public union employees are deposited.

Craig posted this on WCBS-TV's website:

Their greed and total lack of caring for tens of thousands of merchants and millions of riders and tourists daily on a holiday week is inexcusable. How dare they cause this kind of loss and inconvenience to so many for their "bad treatment" by the city. They are public employees. They work for us. They are not entitled to balk at what we, the people, are willing to pay for the services they render. It is supply and demand. It is capitalism. The alternative is communism. Imagine if Starbucks employees walked out on the job because they couldn't get $60,000 a year, retire with pension at 52, and couldn't get fired for bad job performance, etc. but to pay for these things, a cup of coffee would need to cost $8. That is insane.

If there is a surplus, why not roll back the prices of commutation? Why give ANY more to these unskilled thugs who think menial laborers (many of which have no higher education or skills) are entitled to more rights, benefits than the rest of us. I, nor any of my friends or acquaintances have not had a raise in years. We get no insurance or retirement benefits. Why would a guy who is basically a glorified taxi driver or cashier have these excess benefits when the rest of the non-communist world does not????

There should be salary caps for government jobs. If you don't like the caps, then find a job that does pay more. In this world where skilled labor jobs are being farmed out to India, Pakistan and various other Third world countries, that earn less than $50 a year for highly skilled IT jobs, how dare these unskilled laborers have such outrageous demands. They will bankrupt the country, and they don't care. As long as they retire at 52 and the Mafia (read as TWU) gets their taste, they could care less that their actions contribute to the demise of our society.

Where's Reagan when you need him?

Screaming To The Top of Amazon

Whenever I'm at a cocktail party, and am asked how I got through the door, I sneer "I know the author."

Zimmerman's New Rules

I love a proper race car exhaust note. I love a big plate of ribs. I also love forceful writing by people wo do not couch what they have to say.

Below are some highlights from the Restaurant Confidential column by Andrew Zimmerman from the December 2005 issue of Mpls/St. Paul Magazine. Mpls/St.Paul is the kind of magazine that's made for the lobby of a dentist's office, which is where I read it yesterday. I'm not much of a fine diner, but I can identify with most of it, and I really like the place from which it comes (sorry, no real link):

New Rules for 2006

Inane server-speak must stop, right now. Nothing annoys me more-or sounds more amatuerish-than a server who won't stop talking. I do not need to know your name or be told that you are going to be "taking care" of me. Please do not sit down at an empty seat at my table or kneel next to me to make me feel more comfy in our new found relationship. If recounting special offerings not listed on the menu, it is never okay to begin your sentence with "Tonight we are doing a . . ." -unless, of course, you are also doing the cooking.

Language and grammer abuses will no longer be tolerated. "Today's soup du jour" or "with an au jus sauce" is just the tip of the iceberg. When you mix two languages, it just gets worse. But perhaps more depressing is the verbiage. In responce to this crisis, some restaurants have takent to paring the menu to a pretnetious few words, usually nouns. It infuriates me when I see a listing such as "Sea Bass, Pousse Pieds, Curry-Carrot Emulsion," which means I need a five-minute conversation with my server, who doesn't know what it tastes like because he doesn't like fish. Let's make it simple: Tell me what's on the plate, how it's cooked, and use conjnctions. They work.

Consider wine service as important as any aspect of the dining experience. When a server is taking a drink order before dinner, it is not appropriate to try to sell a bottle of wine. Wine is not properly a cocktai, despite how it's treated by the chardonnay-cabernet crowd. Those who really appreciate wine don't know what wine they want until they know what they will be eating. Servers also need to know the wine list cold and pronounce the names properly. But wine-critic talk is taking it too far. Don't tell me the red has a "chocolate nose with a tobacco finish" when all I really want to know whether it works with my lanmb shank. And if you take the order, the wine better be in stock.

Do not remove my plate when I have the last bit of food in my mouth-in fact, do not remove it until all dineres at the table are finished. And don't ask, "Still workin' on that?" to gauge wheter I've finished.

21 December 2005

Germany Punts, Lebanon Returns Kick for Touchdown

Yesterday:

BERLIN - The German government disclosed Tuesday that it recently freed a Hezbollah member who had been convicted of hijacking a TWA airliner in 1985 and murdering a U.S. sailor, a move that allowed him to return to his native Lebanon despite long-standing requests from the United States to hand him over for trial.

Mohammed Ali Hammadi, 41, walked out of a German prison Thursday after a parole board concluded that he was eligible for early release, German officials said. Hammadi served nearly 19 years of a life sentence for air piracy, possession of explosives and the murder of Robert Dean Stethem, a U.S. sailor from Waldorf, Md. Stethem, a passenger on board TWA flight 847 from Athens to Rome, was singled out for brutal treatment by the hijackers because of his military status.

Today:

In a move proving that the new government of Lebanon has more sense and more courage than Berlin, the terrorist that tortured and killed an American Navy diver in 1985 got arrested almost immediately on his arrival. Acting in concert with US intelligence, Lebanese officials detained Mohammed Ali Hamadi and will hold him while they consider a request for his extradition to the US.

20 December 2005

Lebanon Won't Die

"I carry the pen that has been damaged, not broken. Lebanon won't die. Freedom won't die."

That's from Nayla Tueni, daughter of Gerban Tueni, who vows to keep her father's voice alive. Gerban was a Lebanese journalist who wrote critically of the way Syria stomps on Lebanon on a daily basis. Gerban was assasinated by a car bomb last week. Imagine that.

A nice piece about Gerban Tueni in Time Magazine:
Tueni's eyes momentarily froze at the suggestion that his dogged pursuit was putting him at even greater risk. "That's what journalists have to do, get out the truth, isn't it?" he asked. He was trying to convince himself that the assassins wouldn't come looking for him in the end. He explained that the Syrians knew that he had been honest and consistent in his criticism, that he was no political opportunist. "Even among people in that regime, there is some kind of honor," he reassured me. That was Tueni's optimism for you.
I'm not holding by breath for the UN to either complete the paperwork to investigate Syrain assainations in Lebanon, or to actually do anything about it. God knows I'd like to have more faith in the UN, but they have never been more impotent.

Tip to Eugene Volokh

Why Can't We Be More Like Europe?

Because, as a nation, we'd like to still be solvent and open for business on 50 years, that's why:

Norwegian companies will from next year be obliged to contribute to the pensions of all employees after the country's parliament on Tuesday passed a bill on mandatory payments to the king for signing.

Norway is one of Europe's wealthiest countries, but the ageing of its population will put pressure on its relatively generous state pension system in the future, a prospect the centre-left government is trying to pre-empt.

Public sector workers and about half the employees of private businesses are already covered by voluntary schemes provided by their employers. But 500,000-600,000 employees, or about 25 per cent of the Norwegian workforce, have until now relied on the state pension.
Ooops; no matter how big government gets, it cannot carry the water it promised to. Meanwhile, across the Gulf of Bothnia:

Finland's parliament yesterday approved the abolition of the country's levy on wealth. One hundred and thirty four lawmakers voted for the reform and 45 opposed it. The wealth tax will be abandoned in 2006. Currently, assets such as properties and securities worth over €185,000 ($220,500) are taxes at 0.9 per cent a year. Cash in bank accounts is exempt.

What Am I Missing Here?

Elton John gets a . . . bachelor party . . ?
Shirtless waiters wearing black ties and riding boots served guests flutes of champagne. The nightclub, once a strip club known as Raymond's Revue Bar, reatures an auditorium with red leather and banquette seating, a bar decorated with Swarovski crystals, chairs dipped in rubber and sculptured glass walls.
To quote Dr. Evil: "Riiiiiiiiiiiight . . ."

18 December 2005

Not Currently Playing on Your Radio

No Numbers by The Howling Hex
Que Ondo Guera by The Mae Shi
The Hours by Gene Serene & John Downfall
Click by Simian Mobile Disco
Valse D'Ameile by Badi Assad
Galaxies by Laura Veirs
Bambi by Gus Gus (which is not a dirt bike manufacturer)
Song for Sunshine by Belle & Sebastian
Ungawa by Chow Nasty
The Message of Old by Ken Booth & Joe Higgs
Sherburne by The Alabama Sacred Heart Singers
and for the holidays, Christmas on Riverside Drive by August Darnell

But don't ask why you can't hear this stuff. Hell, you may not even like any of it, music being so subjective, but don't worry about ever having to decide for yourself. Terrestrial radio will save you from new music by feeding you the same, predictable, computer-generated, pre-chewed, pharmacy soundtrack to which you've become accustomed.

What it Looks Like . . .

. . . this afternoon on the edge of The Tundra:

Some see a winter wonderland, others will see an old, poorly insulated south-facing roof. Some will be astonished by the spectacle of 3 degrees Fahrenheit, and others will wince at the chill and the 4:20 PM sunset. I post the picture because perhaps you, like me, want to know what it looks like in other places. Simple as that; what's it look like in _______?

For the visually curious, here's a cool site; a picture database sorted by geography. Zoom in on the map to get more specific locations.

15 December 2005

Listen to Dean Wormer

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Erik at Almost on the Range starts out with a harpoon for his pathetic mayor, and winds up fisking the Duluth newspaper.

Amazingly, the Strib story is full of grief for one of its DFL own.

"Mr. Bergson was not at all cooperative," said Washburn County (Wis.) District Attorney J. Michael Bitney of the single-vehicle accident that led to Bergson's arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. "He was trying to get the hell out of Dodge."

(Bergson) e-mailed that, "I hit a patch of ice." Wisconsin state trooper Anthony DeStefano's report said, "The road conditions were good. The roadway was relatively dry." "I received lacerations to the head and face," Bergson e-mailed. "I have sore arms, shoulders and neck. My seat belt probably kept me in the car, but the airbag did not work." Trooper DeStefano wrote that "It looked like the driver was not wearing his seat belt, and the driver's head hit the steering column and windshield."

Mos Eisley in the Lower 48

Doug Williams makes note of the latest economic boom for New Mexico, which will likely include speeders, droids and rough-and-tumble public houses.
LONDON - Virgin Galactic, the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement Tuesday for the state to build a $225 million spaceport.

Naturally, the story made me think of this t-shirt.

13 December 2005

Hocus Pocus

It’s a superconductor [a material which has no electric resistance (at a certain temperature)]. Notice that liquid nitrogen is poured into the reservoir. When certain metals and ceramics are cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero (-459 F or -273 C), they have no electrical resistance allowing electrons to flow through them freely - that’s what’s necessary to cause the levitation. The floating effect results from the other object being a regular strength magnet and at room temperature. The superconductor is nonmagnetic when the nitrogen is added, the meissner effect occurs and the superconductor is now perfectly magnetic. The smaller, regular magnet now floats as if it was suspended over a large regular magnet (like an electromagnet).

12 December 2005

A Day at the Breaking Yard

Like the title of the post says, "Where Cathedrals Go to Die." Not exactly Duluth Shipping News content, but not far off.

Coupla Days Late Here

Happy 85th + 6 days to to David Warren Brubeck, a veteran of Patton's Third Army, a stand-up guy (just ask Eugene Wright), and an absolute musical genius.

Introducing Cory Maye

You may want to meet Cory Maye now, because you may not get a change to later. Unlike that asshat murdering punk Li'l Tookie, Maye's death sentence seems very ripe for more and wider review, if not outright overturning. Radley Balko has done all the heavy lifting here:

Let's summarize: Cops mistakenly break down the door of a sleeping man, late at night, as part of drug raid. Turns out, the man wasn't named in the warrant, and wasn't a suspect (and the police were in the wrong residence! -OctaneBoy). The man, frightened for himself and his 18-month old daughter, fires at an intruder who jumps into his bedroom after the door's been kicked in. Turns out that the man, who is black, has killed the white son of the town's police chief. He's later convicted and sentenced to death by a white jury. The man has no criminal record, and police rather tellingly changed their story about drugs (rather, traces of drugs) in his possession at the time of the raid.

The story gets more bizarre from there.

Death row clemency has everything to do with the circumstances of the original crimes, not what the convicted uses to pass the time in the jug. All the fabulous people who are feeding at the Big Media Teat that is the Stanley Williams case should all be grossly ashamed of themselves for taking an ignorant pass on Cory Maye. When you have read the above series of events, consider Mississippi's capital murder law:

The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be capital murder in the following cases: (a) Murder which is perpetrated by killing a peace officer or fireman while such officer or fireman is acting in his official capacity or by reason of an act performed in his official capacity, and with knowledge that the victim was a peace officer or fireman . . .

Here's more from Radley Balko on this, which fleshes this case out further, and, no, you are not too busy to read it all.

UPDATE: A unexpected bolt from Syl Jones' blue:

It is fashionable to decry the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment, as barbaric and even medieval. This is part of modern society's unfortunate propensity to delay or completely obliterate the laws of natural consequences. Endless pleadings -- sickness, extenuating circumstances, born under a bad sign and the devil made me do it -- benefit lawyers and civil libertarians in search of new causes. It makes suckers of the rest of us. Where is Ramsey Clark when you really need him? In Iraq defending another "innocent" named Saddam Hussein, or surely he'd be in Sacramento pleading for Tookie.

Those who claim to be interested in justice and mercy while doing all they can to glorify people like Williams need to understand what this man represents: He is still a certified street hero to many young people in California because he demanded "respect" by killing others. His celebrity status will skyrocket if his sentence is commuted, and the young people who look up to him now will be forever bragging about how he successfully gamed the system.

The impulse to show mercy in response to true repentance can be a healing agent. But misguided compassion creates moral confusion that might make some of us feel better while ultimately lowering the community standard for acceptable behavior. Sometimes bad people do good things, too. But good works done by evil people always reek of self-interest and cynicism.

Phooey, I Say

Another loss in for the Wild last night in a way that's getting wretchedly familiar:

Dec 11 vs Buffalo, tied 2-2 after leading 2-1, give up game-winner with 3:32 to play, lose.

Dec 10 at Philadelphia, tied 2-2 after coming back from 2-0, give up game-winner with :53 to play, lose.

Nov 23 vs Edmonton, tied 3-3, give up game-winner with :50 to play, lose.

Nov 14 at Calgary, tied 2-2, give up game-winner with 1:07 to play, lose.

Oct 28 at Columbus, tied 1-1, give up game-tieing goal with :42 to play, lose in shootout.

Image: "Charcoal Agony" by Tyler McPherson

09 December 2005

Swept Under an Increasingly Lumpy Rug

More lawlessness in Minneapolis; what a shocker. Chad has the line I wish I wrote:
Now playing at Block E, the "entertainment" district in downtown Minneapolis, "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight." There was a shootout at the Block E underground parking garage, involving five suspects, two cars, and up to ten shots fired. Oh yeah, some crack was reportedly found in one of the cars too. Fortunately, the shooters weren't crack marksmen and no one was hurt.
Try searching the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website for this story. Just try to find it. Rambix, naturally, is all over it, with a video link.

This morning on a talk radio station the loud host brought up this story, along with another one about the increase in burglary and robbery in spendy, trendy Linden Hills. Some nitwit named Nancy called from Minneapolis to say perhaps the stupidest thing I've ever heard: She informed the loud host (who is a city-dweller, and adamantly prefers city life) that if he didn't like these events, he should move out of the city. What the hell? Stick your head in the sand and embrace and accept the current state of crime? Then she went further to say that there wouldn't be so much crime if "people didn't have so much money." There you have it; the voting public in the lefty-progressive theme park called Minneapolis.

While your looking for the mere existence of coverage of either of these stories in the Minneapolis paper, see if you can find any trace of MayorBoy.

Do As I Say, Not As I Said

John Kerry was against a cut-and-run Iraq strategy before he was for it.
I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy. Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election.

I have called for the administration to transfer sovereignty, and they must transfer it to the Iraqi people as quickly as circumstances permit. But it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops. That could risk the hijacking of Iraq by terrorist groups and former Ba'athists. Security and political stability cannot be divorced. Security must come first . . .

Tip to the Powerline guys.

08 December 2005

Objectivity is the First Casualty of the Information War

Federal government runs the media; everyone involved news dissemination is slanted to the government's side . . . sound an insidious Karl Rove plot? Actually it's already going on. Today. In Canada:
I'm looking for someone who was going to vote Conservative in the last election but changed their minds along the way because they were scared, freaked out or worried about the Conservatives, the Conservative agenda or its leader. So, instead, they voted Liberal. Now you're facing the same dilemma this time. If this describes you AND you are willing to travel for a couple of days next month AND you are willing to appear on television then please get in touch immediately.
Imagine there's no one checking the power of establishment government. It's easy if you try.

06 December 2005

Update on Octaneboy.

I am busy at work, pushing both NTSC and PAL rocks uphill. The Wild aren't lookin' too good right now, but my fantasy team is in first place. Liverpool are properly near the top of the EPL table, and have won their Champions League Group by drawing with Chelsea. Winter has arrived with arid cruelty on The Tundra, and I, late to the party as usual, have a new addiction.

By the way, with regards to the abject failure to bring down the Zip Feed Mill via explosives, that was not my fault. I was nowhere near Sioux Falls.

Anyway, consider yourself caught up.

Going on Record

Heat up the chair, California ; it's Tookie Time. Thankfully, we're in the last week of having to share Earth with this maggot, but it's big, big news in the Apologist/Moonbat crowd.

I just went through a 56 picture slideshow on Yahoo news. 56 photos of weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth by all the Hollywood phonies, Black Panther retreads, professionally compassionate, and usual guilt-addled suspects, and not a single photo or mention of the people who've had their lives destroyed by this trash.

Stanley Williams was convicted for murders of 4 people in 1979. Their names were Albert Owens, Yen-Yi Yang, Tsai-Shai Yang, and Ye-Chen Lin. You won't find their names anywhere in all this disgusting adulation for the Took-man. It's easy to forget reality when you're riding the horse of celebrity.

Williams executed Albert Owens with two close-range shotgun blasts while robbing a 7-11 on Whittier Boulevard in Pico Rivera. He got $120.00 out of that. About two weeks later, he killed three members of a family with shotgun blasts while robbing their motel on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. That got him about $100.00 more.

The celebrity worship/Big News/cool kids syndicate wants the governor to stay the execution. These empty vessels and "progressive" freaks love to play the race and class cards in calling for clemency for Williams, which only makes their words all the more ironic, that is, if they'd take time out of their busy public appearance schedules to consider the race and class of the victims who were blown to shreds 26 years ago.

In addition to his thorough resume of direct homocides, Williams also established the Crips street gang on the west side of Los Angeles. Take all the time you want, but there is no way to calculate all the death, tragedy, and mayhem created by this gangland scum and all the gangland scum that followed him.

I don't care if he's found Jesus. I don't care if he writes books for children. I don't care if he's repentant, and I certainly don't care if someone who played Williams in a movie thinks his muse should live on for consultation on a possible sequel. Those things do not bring back the murdered, nor do they erase or forgive the barbaric and racist actions of debris like Li'l Tookie.

Fry Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Fry him now.

01 December 2005

Ms. Pelosi Channels Mr. Heinz

What's SanFranNan saying here? "I was for the immediate withdrawal of troops after I voted against it." Or is it "I voted against the immediate withdrawal of troops after I was for it." You decide:

WASHINGTON - House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday embraced a call by a prominent member of her rank-and-file to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq two weeks after she declined to endorse it.

Two weeks ago, (Rep. John) Murtha called for U.S. troops to begin returning home and said a complete pullout could be achieved in six months. At the time, Pelosi emphasized that Murtha spoke only for himself, and not for her or the Democratic caucus.

A day after Murtha's Nov. 17 announcement, Republicans sought to put the House on record rejecting immediate withdrawal and forced a vote just before adjourning for Thanksgiving break. Most in the minority party, including Pelosi and Murtha, voted against immediate withdrawal in what they said was a protest, making the tally 403-3 against it.
I sure hope the editors of the Congressional Record have spare backspace keys. Who can keep track of these notates, and who keeps voting for them?

Goodnight Truth, Goodnight Honesty

The Background:
"Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke-free. In a newly revised edition of the book, which has lulled children to sleep for nearly 60 years, the publisher, HarperCollins, has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator, to remove a cigarette from his hand. "It is potentially a harmful message to very young kids," (Kate) Jackson (editor in chief of HarperCollins Children's Books) said, "and it doesn't need to be there."
The Inevitable Result:
In the great green room there was ... A cordless telephone. And a red balloon, non-helium and securely tethered out of toddler reach. And a picture of the cow jumping over the moon, with a warning label never to try this with cattle or indeed any animals without parental supervision. And there were three little bears, roaming freely in their native habitat, secure in their endangered-species status. And two little neutered kittens. And a pair of mittens, purchased from a Cambodian collective.
Read the whole thing.

30 November 2005

Into What Sort of World Were You Born?

A story to which I'm becoming too familiar: The Wild dig a first-period hole that they failed to work their way out of, but that's not the story.

The opponent tonight was (were?) the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have Sergei Federov on their roster. Federov was +2 with an assist tonight in his 1,000th NHL game, but that's not exactly the story, either.

The real story is that this was the 1,000th game by someone who had to escape the prison-state that was his native country in order to pursue happiness. In 1990, while playing for CSKA Moscow in the Goodwill Games, Federov sneaked out of his Seattle hotel room and onto an airplane bound for Detroit. He had to defect to play in the NHL.

It's easy to get down when you look all over this world, but it wasn't that long ago it was a whole lot worse than it is now for a whole lot of people on this planet.

Freedom for everyone. No exceptions.

Deny Your Heart, for Whoopi Knows What's Correct

Doug over at Bogus Gold has some good commentary and a link to Mark Steyn's observation of the sterilization of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection.
I don't know what bothers me more. The notion of the Orwellian thought police attempting to police our laughter, or the notion that Whoopi Goldberg has moral standing to lecture others on the topic. Or maybe instead it's the idea that Warner Brothers thought this was a "must have" on this release.

29 November 2005

Your Source for Hydrocracker News

A few days ago, I mentioned that there was a record set for single-load tonnage at the port of Duluth, since you gotta make note of such events from time to time, and because I love those big ships that ply the Great Lakes.

Well, silly me, I linked to a newspaper story that had no photos. If I had my wits about me, I'd have linked to The Source for Twin Ports information, the Duluth Shipping News, where you know you'll get lots of photos.

Suffice it to say you too will be an oil sands expert after you get through all their materail.

Get Your Share of $3.7 Million!

All you have to do is head for downtown Minneapolis, and become a public nuisance. It's easy, really, all you have to do is hustle pedestrains for money, keep yourself drunk, and pee wherever you want. Throw in some drugs and robbery, and you're in!
(C)ity and county officials have concluded that a relatively small number of chronic, low-level offenders were responsible for a sizable chunk of crime in downtown Minneapolis . . . Dubbed the "Downtown 33," the group of offenders was the focus of 20 percent of all police stops from mid-April to mid-June in the city's newly created "safe zone" that surrounds the downtown business district.
"Safe Zone,"; pretty funny. What kind of passive-aggressive chumps are running that city? "Hey, Leon, you want to go rob some folks?" "No way, didn't you see the 'Safe Zone' signs?"

One member of the Downtown 33 was stopped by police 29 times in that same time period this summer. Of the 752 citations issued by police to the Downtown 33 during that time period, 22 percent were for consuming alcohol in public . . . forty-eight citations were issued for public urination. One individual was apprehended for showering naked in a public fountain. But officials are concerned because they are trying to spit-shine the image of downtown Minneapolis.
Don't worry, Minneapolis, your image is already in the shitter. But who are we to judge, these poor folks just need help, and getting hassled downtown is just part of embracing the diversity of all mankind.

Most (of the Downtown 33) have gotten help from social-services agencies over time. When their costs for revolving in and out of Hennepin County's courts and jails are added in, the study concluded, the Downtown 33 have cost taxpayers an estimated $3.7 million in criminal-justice, social-service and medical care costs.
I am such a chump for paying for my own place to sleep, my own 'fridge full of food, and my own health care costs.

Since 1985, the Downtown 33 have been the subject of 1,342 criminal cases in the county. Since 1994, they have spent 5,068 days in jail. All but three have been admitted to a detoxification facility or been authorized for chemical dependency treatment at one point. Because almost all of the Downtown 33 have received government social services, county officials said that by law they were prohibited from releasing their names.
But they are not prohibited from taking, by law, $3.7 million of tax money from all of us to pay for it all. Nice work, Hennipen County; keep it all hidden from the citizenry, that's the way you deal with these kinds of things.

The Downtown 33 aren't just a Minneapolis problem. Since 1989, according to the study, members of the Downtown 33 were booked 106 times in Ramsey and Anoka County. Seven of the 33 were booked a total of 13 times in Brooklyn Park.
More data from the study: Of the Downtown 33, 30 have been in Hennipen County detox. 28 have been in Hennipen County shelters, and 27 have been on Hennipen County assistance programs. Oh yea, 2 of the 33 are are from Minnesota.

It's an old saw, but Minnesota for decades has been an oasis of welfare and social programs for folks who are getting less and less fiscal symapthy in Milwaukee, Chicago, Gary, Detroit, etc. Minneapolis has been an especially bright shining light of compassion in terms of enabling this preposterous cycle to repeat and grow exponentially.

Nowhere in the story is there anything from any Minneapolis official who has any ideas or plans to prevent the city from becoming the next Detroit; least of all, the newly-reelected Mayor Smiley Chucklehead.

28 November 2005

Seventeen Months

In a 171 to 133 vote, the House passed a historic no-confidence motion exactly one year and five months after Canadian voters elected the Liberals.

So why does this idiot look like he just won the pole at Circuit Mont-Tremblant? Paul Martin and his gang don't make it a year and a half. It's going to be interesting to see how (or if) this story plays out in the American Big Media; I mean, Nick and Jessica are splitsville, so how are we supposed to follow such silly foreign minutiae?

"This is not just the end of a tired, directionless, scandal-plagued government," (Stephen) Harper said after Monday's vote. "It's the start of a bright new future for this country." The opposition is banking on the public's disgust with a corruption scandal involving the misuse of funds targeted for a national unity program in Quebec. An initial investigation absolved Martin of wrongdoing, but accused senior Liberal members of taking kickbacks and misspending tens of millions of dollars in public funds.

I both adore and am freaked out by Canada. I mock them and pray for them. As a nation, they'd be a great metaphorical sandbox playmate if they'd only come equipped with big-sandbox toys.

There's going to be lots more to read and write about with this one, as elections aren't until mid-January. That'll give Ottawa lots of time to shower the non-Ontario provinces with big handouts/payoffs/whatever they call it up there.

Captain Ed is, of course, all over it already.

The CBC doesn't offer a lot more about the vote, but they do have Paul Martin calling the Tories "Neo-Conservatives". What does that mean -- that Stephen Harper wants to invade Iraq to establish seeds of democracy in the Middle East? Or perhaps Martin thinks it just sounds scary. If that's an example of how Martin will campaign over the next six to eight weeks, the Liberals may want to rethink the leadership while they still have a chance.

You Never Know How Long You Have

Not many in North America will notice, but Richard Burns died Friday. He made his living driving cars very fast and predominantly sideways. He did a good job of it, too; World Champion in 2001. He beat the cliffs in Corsica, the dust in Australia, the ice in Sweden and the river crossings in Argentina, but the damned cancer beat him at 34.

Burns didn't cure sick kids, or mediate peace, or configure voice-over-internet protocol, but I sure got a kick out of is craft, and he seemed like a decent enough chap. I sure hope he's found himself where there are muddy roads, a comfy seat, and a quality set of stage notes.

26 November 2005

Where Freedom Lives

God knows this country is full of people with whacko ideas. Heck, there is even whacko-ism in other countries. If you choose to be a whacko, though, make sure you know all about the oppressiveness of the government in power before you begin your whacko rant:

A judge on Friday denied a request for bail by David Irving, the British historian accused of violating Austria's laws against denying the Holocaust, who pleaded in court to be set free and allowed to return to his home in England. The ruling means that Irving, whose highly eccentric and widely rejected views of Nazi history have gained him notoriety, will remain in prison while Austrian prosecutors prepare an indictment against him.

Irving was arrested on Nov. 11, while on a trip to speak to a far-right student group. But the charges against him date to 1989, when the prosecutors charge he delivered two lectures in Austria in which he contended that the Nazi gas chambers never existed.

Austria, which was annexed by Germany before World War II and was a part of the Third Reich until the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, is one of a handful of countries - others include Germany, France, Belgium and Poland - that have laws forbidding the expression of the opinion that the Holocaust did not take place.

Christian Fleck, an Austrian sociologist, published a long article in the daily Der Standard on Wednesday arguing that Irving had committed "an opinion offense against which it is not appropriate to evoke the danger of the resurrection of the NSDAP." The initials stand for the National Socialist German Workers Party, the full name of the Nazi Party.

Wow, I'd say Austria has some indentity issues.

I know, I know, we're all living under the Bush/Rove/Cheney Regieme, and the Patriot Act is one big Gestapo tactic being flung upon us, wonk, wonk, wonk . . . HOWEVER . . . on this blog, or on the radio, or in the newspaper, or on a sign in my yard, I can claim George Bush is the best president ever, and that the Gophers will play in the next Rose Bowl, and that the moon landing was staged by Hollywood, but I will not be jailed for such silliness.

This is not Austria. This is the United States of America.

Livin' on Tundra Time

Here's the view out the windshield on the way to Mrs. Octane's bank on Friday. You'll notice we don't live in Corpus Christi.

Wednesday night we had out hearts ripped out by the Oil. Thursay we ate food with family, and prepared food for strangers. Friday, the Wild got back on track, and then went out to the western edge of the metropolis to visit friends, eat, drink, and be merry, etc. Today, much slower.

Sure, lots of stuff we got going on around here, but it's not really heavy lifting. Here's some heavy lifting from the Twin Ports:
Before you complain about the weight of that turkey you're hefting into the oven today, consider the lifting that's been going on at Clure Marine Terminal this week. On Wednesday morning, the crew at Lake Superior Warehousing Co. gingerly unloaded the heaviest single piece of equipment the Port of Duluth has ever received: a 1.5 million pound "hydro cracker."

It arrived to Duluth aboard the Stellaprima, a Dutch-flagged heavy-lift vessel that sailed the world to gather specially manufactured equipment that separates oil from sand. It will be used in Opti Canada's oil sands project in Long Lake, Alberta.

The massive steel reactor, which has 4-inch-thick walls, was lowered onto a tension skid custom built by BendTec Inc. of Duluth. Together, the skids, loading bars and reactor weigh 805 tons. They will be carried northwest by the largest railroad car in the world: the 36-axle Schnabel car.

The reactor and tension skid will be lifted and suspended in the beak-like jaws of the $3.5 million Schnabel car. The Schnabel car allows the equipment to navigate some tricky spots. Its sophisticated hydraulics allow cargo to be raised and lowered up to 3 feet and shifted from side to side by as much as 2 feet. Good thing. At an underpass near Crookston, Minn., Clarke has encountered clearances of as little as 3/4 of an inch . . .

23 November 2005

Water Wet, Dirt Dirty, Ice Cold

And cities are lighted at night, which obviously comes as a surprise to Heather Cole:
Cole can see at least four signs from her living room, including the 72-foot-long Bremer bank sign with its 14-foot tall letters.
There's an element of chicken and egg here, not unlike when people move near existing airports, shooting clubs or racetracks.

(City Councilman Dave) Thune and others say the illumination problem has worsened in recent years as people are living closer to the signs. Residential buildings are getting taller and more older buildings are being converted for use as lofts and condominiums.

"I don't think it has been an issue in the past," said Wendy Lane, manager of the St. Paul zoning department, which is charged with monitoring signs. Lane said the Bremer sign meets all city regulations for size and brightness. Also, the city measured the luminosity of the sign in August and found it well below the legal limit.

If only Cole had known that her bazillion-dollar downtown pad was going to have such debilitating windows and such, uh, oppressive views of the city. Of course, now that she's there, the rest of the world has to conform to her whims.
(Thune will) introduce legislation in coming weeks to force businesses to turn off building signs or at least dim them. Lane warns, though, that even if the changes are passed, the problem won't disappear. "The zoning ordinance does not apply retroactively," she said recently. "So if there was a measure passed by the council it would not apply to the Bremer bank sign."
I used the term "whim" intentionally. Cole herself likes the tallest neon sign in the city, and says that's part of the reason she moved downtown:
"I love the views," she said. "In fact, I bought my place in part because I could see the [blinking red neon] First Bank sign. It's kind of historic."
So the 3-story neon '1' on the top of the First National Bank Building is charming, but there are other building toppers she doesn't like? There is no way to satisfy someone so wishy-washy. How do you write an ordinance for people who are ultimately unable to deal with the decisions they've made? For that matter, how would you like to wait on Cole's table; "Yea, I know I ordered the fish blackened, but this is so . . . black."

One more thing: In case you were wondering whose side the StarTribune is on here, take a good look at their accompanying photo above. If you can get past Cole's scowl, you'll see a tell-tale shadow along her right side. The photographer used a relatively long shutter to overexpose the skyline and make it appear brighter than it ever would to the human eye. Remember how Time Magazine got slaughtered for darkening OJ Simpson's otherwise unremarkable mug shot on their cover . . .

22 November 2005

A Roundhouse Kick of Chuck Norris Information

a.k.a. "Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Watching Walker, Texas Ranger." (From a viral e-mail; so no link)

1. If you ask Chuck Norris what time it is, he always says, "Two seconds till." After you ask, Two seconds to what?" he roundhouse kicks you in the face.

2. Macgyver can build an airplane out of gum and paper clips, but Chuck Norris can kill him and take it.

3. Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked someone so hard that his foot broke the speed of light, went back in time, and killed Amelia Earhart while she was flying over the Pacific Ocean.

4. Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

5. Filming on location for Walker: Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris brought a stillborn baby lamb back to life by giving it a prolonged beard rub. Shortly after the farm animal sprang back to life and a crowd had gathered, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked the animal, breaking its neck, to remind the crew once more that the good Chuck giveth, and the good Chuck taketh away.

6. Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.

7. Since 1940, the year Chuck Norris was born, roundhouse kick related deaths have increased 13,000 percent.

8. When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.

9. There are two kinds of people in this world: People who suck, and Chuck Norris.

10. There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.

11. When Chuck Norris goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a hand gun and a bucket.

12. Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.

13. It takes Chuck Norris 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes.

14. Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

15. When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.

19 November 2005

Writing is Craft

So this past week I saw "Good Night and Good Luck" with some coworkers. Without giving anything away, or pushing some overly-erudite review on you, suffice it to say I liked it a lot. I like the direction, especially the tight proximity, and the writing was very sharp and authentic.

That's the thing I like about writing; the chance to paint a picture for someone. As I write this, Fox Soccer Channel is showing me Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha Berlin; so I have to get my EPL updates from the BBC's website. It's not video, but the capsulizations of the goals are little gems of wording:
GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Portsmouth Bolo Zenden puts Liverpool ahead in remarkable circumstances. The Dutch winger wins a soft penalty after going down easily in the box and who steps up to take it, to gasps from the Kop, but Peter Crouch. The goalless striker sees his tame effort saved by Jamie Ashdown, only for Zenden to head in the rebound, off ex-Reds defender Gregory Vignal.

GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Portsmouth Djibril Cisse doubles the lead at Anfield with another fortuitous goal for the hosts - this time the French hitman's cross from the right drifts over Jamie Ashdown and into the top corner of the net.

GOAL Liverpool 3-0 Portsmouth Fernando Morientes gets a deserved third goal for the dominant Reds with an easy finish from six yards after Peter Crouch had made a nuisance of himself in the area.

By the way, nice to see some goals by those Reds.

18 November 2005

Antother Good One Moves On

"Clancy the Cop" died the other day.

Actually John Gallos died, he was the guy who played Clancy on TV, and by that I mean local TV. There was a time in this land where just about every local TV market had a "Clancy the Cop." Not unlike Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rogers, Clancy's afternoon show was meant for kids, and along with his pal, the sleuth Willie Ketchem, and Carmen the nurse, the bits and sketches were part entertainment, and part civics/manners for the under-12 crowd. The show ran on the CBS station here on the egde of The Tundra from 1961 until 1977, when, partially thanks to Peggy Charren, it was tossed for that Phil Donohue idiot.

He did a little bit of everything in the business, which contrasts with today's TV dolts who are barely capable of doing one thing. Here's just a few of the hats he wore:
Gallos worked for WCCO-TV for nearly 50 years, and filled almost every role at the station. He worked as a news, weather and sports announcer, in addition to hosting the musical quiz show "Play or Pay". He also spent 20 years hosting children's shows, in addition to hosting the "John Gallos Comedy Hour". The last program he hosted was "Sunday Morning with John Gallos", which was the nation's longest running local religious talk show. He was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2002.
Isn't it amazing that whether it's Jimmy Sterwart, or James Doohan, or Charles Durning (who isn't even dead yet) you never knew that these guys slogged it out in WWII until you read their obituary?

(Gallos) earn(ed) a combat infantry badge for his service with the Army's 66th Black Panther Division in World War II and working for the Armed Forces Radio Network in Europe.
In the summer of 1992 I began an internship at that same CBS station. I was a bit unsure at first, not really familiar with the structure or my responsibilities. In the very first week, I happened to reach for a door handle, only to have that door opened for me by John Gallos, who said something along the lines of "After you, my good man . . ." in a gracious and accommodating manner. Here's the industry veteran, already being shown the road by the industry he helped craft, going out of his way to be kind to the latest intern. What in impression.

Gallos was 82, and had been married 54 years, so he had a good run, as we like to call it here are the Dog Farm.

Scream News Versus Actual News

All over the land, the dinosaur media screams it: "Former warhawk congressman and Viet Nam vet calls for immediate withdrawl from Iraq." Murtha smart, Bush dumb, Sunni quagmire, wonk, wonk, wonk.

My whole spin on this guy is that he loves his job more than his integrity, and will say anything to suck up to his newly redistricted reality; anyhting to avoid a primary challence, eh, Mutha?

But my spin is not complete, and Larry Kudlow has more on Representative John Murtha:
Murtha has been holding the white surrender flag in his hand for quite some time. The fact that the flag is now hoisted high above his head is not news. Not by a long shot.
The story isn't really Murtha. The story is either how big media is either so editorially lazy, or so easliy duped, or so willing to play along with Howard Dean.

Or both.

Daily Hypocrisy

As religious fascists continue to kill Muslims in Iraq and terrorize Muslims elsewhere, Cold Hearted Truth nails it on the phony domestic outrage over alleged Quran abuse.

As the men dug, 12-year-old Sarkhel Akram collected copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, then she kissed them and put them away.

So is it wrong for Americans to drop the Koran by mistake, but OK for terrorists to blow one up? WHERE is the outrage???

Why They Hate Us (UK Version)

See, that's the problem with the ol' Queen: She's just not Muslim enough.
A leading member of a controversial new Islamic group has branded the Queen "an enemy of Islam". . . Simon Sulayman Keeler, a convert to Islam, was speaking at the launch of Ahl ul-Sunnah Wa al-Jamma, the new vehicle for the former leadership of the Al-Muhajiroun group.

"The Queen was mentioned by al-Qa'eda. The reality speaks for itself. She was mentioned because she is attacking the Muslims." Mr Choudary said the purpose of the new organisation was the peaceful propagation of Islam, which would include attending university fairs. In the past, Al-Muhajiroun praised the September 11 hijackers as the "magnificent 19".

15 November 2005

Homer Simpson; US Senator

I can't recall the exact plot, but I recall an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer had some newfound job or responsibility, and in his zeal to show how important he was, blabbed about all sorts of confidential information to anyone within earshot. Now, take that big mouth and faulty brainpan, and elect him US Senator from West Virginia:

(CHRIS) WALLACE: Now, the President never said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. As you saw, you did say that. If anyone hyped the intelligence, isn't it Jay Rockefeller?

SEN. (JAY) ROCKEFELLER: No. The - I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq - that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.

We can have our umpteenth investigation into what the White House knew and when it knew it about Iraqi weapons - we will find the same answer: It knew what President Clinton, Sandy Berger, Madeline Albright, and William Cohen knew when they made speeches about the dangers of Iraq in the late 1990s and when President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act.

How about an investigation, now, into what exactly Senator Jay Rockefeller told Syria and just what Syria might have done with the information made available to them presumably before it was made available to the U.N., the Senate, or the American people.

This isn't just Sean Penn showing up in some Middle-East market and bleating out some speculation to Al Jazeera. This is the Vice-Chair of the Senatette Intelligence Committee tipping (whether accurately or inaccurately) the US hand two 3 Arab governments; 2 of which act daily with malice to the West.

Just a little something to keep in mind for the (only)"Bush Lied, People Died" gang.

It's Not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Once again, the Northern Hemisphere is slowly tilting away from the sun. It's time for us Tundra dwellers to make preperations for the inevitable sesonal shift, which, among other things, means putting winter rubber on the daily driver. Bye bye, Michelins, see ya in April. Hello, Blizzaks; I promise to go easy on you on those tight exit ramps.

We've had a wimpy November so far, so it's really only about four and a half more months of concrete overcast, filthy cars, and no motorcycles. Ya know, without the NHL and my Sorels, life here could get pretty bleak.

Talking Heads in Amman

Once in a Lifetime indeed. More evidence of who should 'man' the clicker via Gerard Van Den Leun.
"My husband detonated (his bomb) and I tried to explode my belt but it wouldn't," she said. "People fled running and I left running with them."

14 November 2005

Did You Make the List?

We must be getting to the end of the year as lists are appearing. Over New York Post way, John Leo lists the top victims of 2005.
Children of witches are victimized by Halloween.

British Muslims are victimized by Piglet and piggy banks.

Students are victimized by the disappearance of low weekend prices in bars.

Fired CBS employee is victimized by Viacom, CBS, vicious bloggers and the panel that investigated her, including a "McCarthyite" who asked if she is a liberal.

Atheists are victimized by religious people.

New Orleans school-bus failure was Bush's fault.
Read the whole thing, then sneer.

Backward Twice does not Equal Forward

Reporters without any insight of their own kept prying Mayor Randy Kelly for reasons he lost to the Other Guy. They specifically asked Kelly about being abandoned at the voting booth by his own people; blue-collar, moderate Democrats on St. Paul's east side. Kelly said what very few dare say, especially in lilly-white, guilt-ridden, pure-of-thought Minnesota, that his travels to Asia, and his embracing of Hmong immigration is not popular on St. Paul's east side, where many of the immigrants settle. Quite literally, and quite embarrassingly, the East Side has had enough of the influx. Of course, no one will say such things in polite company, even thought the poll results scream it, and, amazingly, Randy Kelly is punished further for telling the truth. Get a load of this (shockingly) from the StarTribune:

Randy Kelly has attributed his loss, in part, to his position on immigration and his support of the Hmong community. He said, "There is no question that being supportive of the immigrants was not popular, particularly on the East Side and Rice Street areas." Kelly should not blame the election results on the Hmong community; he lost this race all by himself. As a resident of the East Side, I welcome anyone to St. Paul who is hard-working and wants to contribute to the growth of this great city, no matter if you were born in Nicaragua or in Norway.

PAKOU HANG, ST. PAUL

I'm not sure I've ever seen anything so utterly backward.

Either you are stupid, Pakou, or the DFL Mystery Machine has gotten to you. Kelly is not blaming Hmong community for his defeat. He's blaming the lack of support of the Hmong community among non-Hmong voters, who happened to be Kelly's core prior to this election. As mayor, Randy Kelly welcomed hard working folk who want to strengthen their community, just like you, Hang.

Here's where your logic left you: Part of a strong community is political participation and good voter turnout. If the Hmong had supported Kelly at the polls the way Kelly supported Hmong immigrants as mayor, he'd still be in office today.

When Your Only Product is Hype . . .

. . . you will do anything to maintain the fa├žade.

What will become of the ABC News motto, “More Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source”? Because that carefully worded bit of corporate braggadocio relies on the fact that, when you combine the audience for ABC News’ television news, online news and radio news (there are 2,500 ABC Radio Affiliates), then you’ve got your audience supremacy.

In the event of a deal, Disney likely would structure it so that the company would end up owning half of the acquiring company and would keep running ABC News, which the radio division actually “buys” through a contract with the news division.

Hey, Mickey Mouse, besides you, who cares?

Just Asking

I know that with the deployment of the Amber Alert System, I'm supposed to drop everyting and begin combing the area for every missing kid, but does that rule still apply when the missing kid is on the lamb for having the parents whacked?
The girl's 13-year-old sister, Katelyn Borden, told investigators her father and mother were shot after they argued with Ludwig for about an hour in their home near Lititz on Sunday morning. "As they got near the front door, Katelyn Borden saw David Ludwig with a handgun pointed toward her father and Katelyn saw David Ludwig pull the trigger, heard a gunshot, and then she ran into the bathroom," according to a police affidavit.

Lust du Jour

I love my daily driver, but this'd also be a very, very satisfying ride.

Weathervanes have 360 Degrees of Travel

Why do I immerse myself in news and current events? Because, borrowing from the scary movie title, something unexpected eventually this way comes. For instance, I'm amused when former president and submarine captain James Earl Carter, elder statesman and go-to guy for the DNC, turns on the Howard Dean Lemmings for vilifying and alienating people of faith.

It's pretty amusing to watch Big News with it's myopic agendas try to hang the Amman bombings of crazy W's war on Iraqi women and children, only to discover, from the horses mouth, that the attacks came from Jordan's too cozy relationship with Israel. Remember Hans, the very sophisticated terrorist from the movie Die Hard? He turned out to be just a thief. Remember Al-Queda being this incredible network of freedom fighters? They're just anti-Semites. Once again, people are killed because they're not Islamic enough.

Yesterday, John McCain was on Face the Nation. Normally, he's booked on the Sundays shows expected to be Big Media's darling and hack the Bush administration's every act, all whilst sporting the (R) after his name. Well, yesterday it was different:

But I want to say I think it's a lie to say that the president lied to the American people. I sat on the Robb-Silverman Commission. I saw many, many analysts that came before that committee. I asked every one of them--I said, `Did--were you ever pressured politically or any other way to change your analysis of the situation as you saw?' Every one of them said no. Now was there a colossal intelligence failure? Of course, there was. Is there still a lot of things that need to be done to improve that? Are we winning the war on terror? I think it depends on your parameters. But to assert that the president intentionally lied to the American people is just wrong.

And could I finally say, every intelligence agency in the world, including the Russian, including the French, including the Israeli, all had--reached the same conclusion, and that was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. So I think open, honest disagreement, more discussion, more debate, the more facts that come out, the better off we are, but I would not accept the premise the president lied.
Tip to Ed Morrissey

12 November 2005

More About Me Revealed

I can't tell you how many requests I get to reveal more about myself in this forum. Okay, here's pretty good insight about what I do for a living.

Yes, there's audio.

10 November 2005

Let's Hear it for #8

Cam Neely has made it to the Hall.
Drafted ninth overall in 1983, Neely played 726 regular-season games in a 13-year career with Vancouver and Boston. During that time, the gritty right-winger recorded 395 goals and 299 assists for 694 points. He scored 50 goals three times, most notably in the 1993-94 season when he reached the mark in 44 games. Only Wayne Gretzky reached 50 goals in a season quicker (39).

The five-time NHL all-star was also recognized for his more intangible qualities. In 1994, he captured the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry called him "the greatest power forward of all time …There's lots of guys that score 50 goals that didn't hit, fight, block shots, but he did it all."

Not Much of a Reception

Especially when the bride's and groom's fathers are both murdered at the wedding.

"This is a horrible crime. The world has to know this has nothing to do with
Islam."

I understand his sentiment, but the fact is that this mass murder, like all the others committed by al Qaeda and like-minded groups, has everything to do with Islam. It is up to sane Muslims everywhere to reclaim their religion from the sadists and fanatics.

When Fraud, Hype & Ego Collide

I smell fear . . .
It was physically painful, but I watched Mary Mapes on Larry King's show last night. Mapes, of Failed Journalism fame, has a 'the world is wrong and I am right' book out there, screeching, of course that she is right and the whole world is wrong. Mapes may be as full of herself as anyone I've seen, and that includes Terrell Owens and Al Franken. Here's some highlights:

KING: But there's nothing about the story you would change? In other words, even though they've said the documents were forged and... MAPES: But no one has been able to prove they were forged.

You have it exactly backwards, sweetheart. It's not up to the viewer to disprove a reporters story. It's up to the reporter to get it right.

KING: Do you believe right this moment they were not false? MAPES: I believe no one has proved to me that they were false after more than a year. KING: So you believe they were true? MAPES: I believe -- I know. It's an odd situation. I'm perfectly willing to believe they're false if somebody will just prove it. KING: No one has proven it to you?MAPES: No, they have not. Their criticisms last year really didn't reach the bar of proof at all.

Uh huh. See above, Mary.

KING: "CBS News gave us this statement today."Mary Mapes' actions damaged CBS News as an organizational and brought pain to many colleagues with whom she worked. Her disregard for journalistic standards -- and for her colleagues -- comes through loud and clear in her interviews and in the book that attempts to rewrite the history of this complex and sad affair. As always, revisionist history must be tested against the facts. Not only are those facts contained in the extensive media coverage that took place at the time, but also in the 200-plus-page report of the independent panel which investigated the matter for more than three months.We believe those facts speak for themselves. The idea that a news organization would not need to authenticate such important source material is only one of the troubling and erroneous statement in her account."MAPES: Well, I know they've been working on that for weeks . . .

Odd for CNN, especially after they give 20 minutes of free publicity for some hack's crummy book, they found some folks with a different outlook:

KING All right, Lou (Boccardi), what do you make of what Mary had to say, that you can't disprove this? BOCCARDI: Well, I'm not sure that it's our job to disprove it. It's a curious kind of journalism that say if you say something, you're not responsible for proving it. Other people are responsible for disproving it . . . She disdains in the book my 44 years as a journalist. She's venomously attacks Dick's integrity and I'm not going to go down those roads. But just on the points she made, she talked about the examiners, the experts. She said I had four and then there were two -- well, two of the four jumped off. One of them told her not to go ahead. If you do this, the morning after you do it every document examiner in America is going to be after you. So, two jumped off. And none of the four said that they could authenticate the documents because of the difficult nature of authentication.

KING: David (Gergen), if you were in the position Mary Mapes was, wouldn't you be angry and wouldn't you strike back if you totally believe the story you ran? She still believes it. GERGEN: Well, I would hope I'd produce a better case than she has produced. I have to say this, Larry, just for starters. Mary Mapes is a journalist who has had broken big stories, especially the Abu Ghraib, for which she deserves a lot of credit. Dan Rather, of course, has had a long and distinguished career in journalism. But on this particular case, Mary Mapes is coming on the air and telling you, Larry, everybody else is wrong except me. Les Moonves, the head of ACBS is wrong, Ed Haywards is wrong, Dan Rather who went on the air to apologize about this as a bad story, he must be wrong by implication, all the other people in, CBS the outside investigatory team that Lou headed so ably, "Washington Post" which looked at this carefully, outside experts to CBS who tried to stop this story it was published, or at
least slow it down. She's saying all of them are wrong, I'm the one who's right. But she doesn't have any facts. It's very hard to take that story on face value.

(Micheal) MEDVED: Larry, the one question I have is, I was on talk radio the day after (the 60 Minutes broadcast) and there were people calling my show with these complaints about the kind of typing and the kind of anachronistic typewriter and typeface that was being used. Why didn't they have people like that who could have raised those questions on the broadcast. If those questions could be raised the day after on a talk radio show why not put them on the broadcast and at least introduce that element of doubt?

Tough Night in the Capitol City

A double blow Tuesday:

Dwayne Roloson and the Wild defense let Wayne Gretzky's Coyotes put up 3 in the first period. It was a hole too deep, and despite owning Phoenix in the 3rd period, the Wild fell short.

Also Tuesday, the voters of St. Paul turned away from my guy, Randy Kelly, and put the Other Guy in the mayor's office. It wasn't even close. As I posted here earlier, the whole thing swung on Kelly's endorsement of George Bush for reelection last time around. Kelly, a lifetime Democrat, used his mind (rather than marching orders from the part) in aking his decision, and for that reason alone, St. Paul tossed out someone who was doing a very good job on the job.

Basically everything any normal people want and expect from a mayor and the city was there. I say 'normal,' because there are always the crowds for whom there is never enough of whatever their world hinges upon.

Right out of the gate, during his victory speech, the Other Guy told 2 lies, and managed to contradict himself with them. He first said the election was not about Bush, but about the city of St. Paul. Preposterous. Other Guy never ran on anything. For months and montsh, all he ever said was that he was not Kelly, he didn't like Governor Pawlenty, and he hated that bad, bad Bush. After that, it was all lefty boilerplate, happy talk, and never a hint of how to pay for the promised New Upotia. The second fib, and the completion of the circle of fraud, was in his then immediate flaming of the supposed failed Bush policies that are punishing our cities. Yea, like what? Like all the federal money that props up transit? Like all the Homeland Security money that pours from that humongus federal spigot? All of a sudden it IS all about Bush. That's because there's nothing to criticize the sitting mayor for.

There's the ultimate punchline. Kelly's endorsement of Bush didn't mean anything. John Kerry carried the whole thing, and the city is healthy in spite of the outcome of the 2004 presidential election. Without that albatross/endorsement dangling around Kelly's neck, as Speed Gibson points out, a ham sandwitch could have been elected. If Other Guy dares use the word 'mandate' so long as he is mayor, I buy full page ads reminding him and the city that only 27% of eligible voters showed up.

Anyway, I'm still scratching my head over the whole thing. Here's some Soucheray for closure:

If Kelly hadn't endorsed Bush there would be a real race. In fact, this has been so easy for Coleman I wonder how many people are now wishing they had run for mayor. Which begs an interesting question. If Kelly is such a shrewd, bullying, tough-minded, get-his-own-way kind of mayor — these things are said about him all the time — then why did he make such a fateful error when it came to endorsing a presidential candidate? These guys take meetings to select the right socks and this guy completely misreads the democratic intensity of his own city?

These other things that are said, the bullying, the insistence that it is his way or the highway, could not possibly be known by the public . . . (a)nd yet his social skills are freely discussed as though he acts this way with the public. I haven't seen it. The people he deals with most closely insist that they do see it and thus their clamor for change and Coleman's landslide popularity in the polls, to the point where Coleman hasn't really had to say very much at all, much less how he intends to pay for his various promises.

If the city is functioning smoothly — it is — and Kelly's alleged bullying style is not generally seen by the public — it isn't — that leaves the endorsement of George W. Bush as the reason Kelly is going down in flames.