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.

08 November 2005

I'll Moider Ya! Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk.

Man's love (and women's confusion) for the Three Stooges explained:

"It doesn't take a lot of analytical machinery to think someone getting poked in the eye is funny," he commented when asked about humor like the Three Stooges. While there is a lot of overlap between how men and women process humor, the differences can help account for the fact that men gravitate more to one-liners and slapstick while women tend to use humor more in narrative form and stories, Reiss said.
Tip to Eugene Volokh

Can You Smell What Chirac is Cookin?

New from the Parisian kitchens, a recipe for Franco Hell. Take one part uncontrolled immigration, add the West's most anemic and permissive posture on assimilation, simmer over flat-line economic growth for 20 years, and viola!

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline watches a former Clinton flunkie wade through these modern times and posits this conclusion:

In a certain kind of liberal universe, French Muslim rioters are victims who want nothing more than to enjoy the bourgeoise pleasures of secular France.

Iraqi Muslims, by contrast, have little yearning for freedom, self-government, and prosperity, preferring civil war, a Saddam-style strong man, and/or a theocracy. They are victims of U.S. aggression, which denies them these things, at least temporarily.

Self-Importance & the Dewey Decimal System

Today is election day on the edge of The Tundra, which means we plebes get the distinct honor and high privileged of choosing from all sorts of identical Democrats all pretending they have anything in their lives besides party allegiance.

Here's a sample of folk seeking city employment on the Minneapolis Library Board. Check out the happy-talk essays from this gang, and make note of how many list all their Holy Left endorsements. They want to be on the library board SO BAD, their teeth ache:
Alan Hooker - DFL Party; AFSCME; AFL-CIO; Teamsters DRIVE; DFL Feminist Caucus; Stonewall DFL. - I seek election to . . . convey the importance of adequate library funding and explore alternative revenue sources; partner with citizens, business and community leaders to improve the marketing of libraries; ensure pro-active planning of operational budgets; support transparency in government by cablecasting/webcasting meetings and holding at least 20 percent of board meetings at community libraries.

Julie Iverson - Not seeking endorsements - Early on, about 10 (yes, really!), I began imagining running for office . . . I entered this race because of commitment to service, to building and sustaining strong resources for Minneapolis. I have a lot to learn. I also have commitment, creativity and chutzpah . . .

Laurie Savran - DFL Party; DFL Feminist Caucus; Stonewall DFL; Teamsters DRIVE; Building and Construction Trades Council; Minnesota Women's Political Caucus; Minnesota NOW PAC. - I love the Minneapolis Public Library; where community and neighborhoods vary, and patrons can call or e-mail with a query. Where children are valued as precious rubies; and the staff is respected and love their duties, and the library buildings are sustainable beauties. I still feel that books and collection are king, but technology and computers are now the thing, expanding the joy of lifelong learning. We lost State Aid and our budget is low; I will work hard to get the money to flow. Laurie loves libraries, and I want them to grow.

Eric Hinsdale - Not seeking endorsements - I so firmly believe in the importance of libraries that I have made a career working in them, doing everything from ironing labels onto books to managing computer systems. This experience has given me a perspective on libraries that no other candidate possesses . . . I am the one candidate who can fill this role.

Samantha George Smart - Minnesota Women's Political Caucus; Minnesota NOW; Union of Radical Writers and Workers - I am running . . . to open our libraries up seven days a week, with excellent access . . . dynamic and creative . . . increase literacy . . . rich and diverse . . . fully engaged . . . healthy and respected . . . social institution . . . evolving consciousness . . . human condition . . . free access . . . brilliant spectrum . . . transform injustice.

Gary Thaden - DFL Party; AFL-CIO; AFSCME; Building and Construction Trades Council; Teamsters DRIVE; Stonewall DFL; DFL Feminist Caucus. - I am committed to books and libraries, I have experience with city government and service on boards of directors . . . achieve more state funding, stronger and more active Friends groups, sale of library-related materials at library gift shops and better relations with the Minneapolis City Council and mayor.

Laura Waterman Wittstock - DFL Party; AFL-CIO; AFSCME; Stonewall DFL; Building and Construction Trades Council; Mayor R.T. Rybak; Eighth Ward Council Member Robert Lilligren; Ninth Ward Council Member Gary Schiff; Fourth Ward Council Member Barbara Johnson; Minnesota Women's Political Caucus. - I am an American Indian who has led nonprofits for 35 years, and I will bring dedicated leadership and experience to the Minneapolis Library Board . . . American Indian, African, African-American, Asian, Latino and all families invest social capital in education . . . The future of our city begins at the open doorway of our libraries.
I didn't know you sought endorsements when you wanted to head up the Librarian-Industrial Complex for Big Government. Makes me wonder what my municipal dog catcher's position is on NAFTA.

06 November 2005

Scooter Libby, Zamboni Driver

I'm sure I've mentioned here my love/hate relationship with Garrison Keillor. Sometimes his brilliance takes my breath away, and sometimes his pettiness makes me want to puke. Today, for the most part, Clever triumphs over Screeching.
One Sunday morning, the Junior Cougars are trailing the Marmots 4-1 in the third
period, and one of the harpies asks why you don't keep your best line on the ice longer, and you reach around to admonish her and accidentally punch her in the left breast, and she files sexual assault charges, and you're called up before the grand jury and -- who knows why -- you tell them you were at home watching Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" and the D.A., an intense guy named Gerald Fitzpatrick, nails you for lying, and you lose your job.
Not bad, but don't forget, Gary, you are not the world's first hockey parent.

01 November 2005

Wipe Slate Clean; Start Over

Tim Chapman over at Town Hall offers a glimpse of the Senator behind the curtain.

Today, Capitol Report has obtained an internal Senate email that highlights the mentality that makes pork-barrel spending so hard to combat. The email copied below is from a Senate Appropriations Committee staffer to other Senate staff:

Well… Here we are. The end is drawing near, and since it’s been so long, I wanted to check in with you all and confirm your priority lists. Please send me an updated list of priorities. Remember, we will start at the beginning of your list and fund down until we run out of money. So if you spend big…you’ll likely only get one or two projects. Please respond to this e-mail even if your list has not changed, so that I can be sure that your Senator’s needs are being addressed. Hope all is well. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail or call.

Why They Hate Us (the latest in an unending series)

They hate us because we are just not Muslim enough. Try to read between the lines of the BBC's editorial sanitation of the situation:
Three girls have been beheaded and another badly injured as they walked to a Christian school in Indonesia. They were walking through a cocoa plantation near the city of Poso in central Sulawesi province when they were attacked. This is an area that has a long history of religious violence between Muslims and Christians.

Police say the heads were found some distance from the bodies. It is unclear what was behind the attack, but the girls attended a private Christian school and one of the heads was left outside a church leading to speculation that it might have had a religious motive.
Jeez, ya think?
More than 1,000 people were killed before a government-brokered truce. Although the violence has been subdued, it has never gone away completely. A bomb in May in the nearby town of Tentena, which is predominantly Christian, killed 22 people and injured over 30. The fighting four years ago drew Islamic militants from all over Indonesia and many have never gone home. Analysts say the militants have targeted central Sulawesi and believe that it could be turned into the foundation stone of an Islamic state.

History Always Trumps the Future

Mark Steyn has some thoughts on that 800-lb. Chinese gorilla across the room.
Since China introduced its “one child” policy in 1978, the imbalance between the sexes has increased to the point where there are 119 boys for every 100 girls. The pioneer generation of that 20% male surplus is reaching manhood now. Unless China’s planning on becoming the first gay superpower since Sparta, what’s going to happen to those young men? As a general rule, large numbers of excitable lads who can’t get any action are useful for manning the nuttier outposts of the jihad but not for much else.
I also love that he reminds us of Paul Martin's geography gaffe:
Hey, how about that Bush? He’s so dumb he can’t even find on a map the 21st-century behemoth destined to consign him and the other Texas morons to the trash-can of history! In fact, it was the Prime Minister of Canada who last year stood up in public and declared that China was the most important nation in the southern hemisphere. If Dubya had said that, that guy who does those lame paperback collections of “Bushisms” could have retired to the Bahamas.