31 January 2007

Holidays in Hell

Stop yer bitching; this is for Hussein:
The 6-year-old boy screamed and shook his head to avoid the razor blade. But his father held him firmly as Hajj Khodor parted the boy's black hair and sliced his forehead three times with the blade. Ali Madani's cries became more violent as blood gushed from the wound, covering his small, terrified face. His father and a few other men, waving daggers, broke into a religious chant . . . (a)sked if it was difficult for him to hurt the children, he said: "The child doesn't understand what's going on. The parents are faithful and believe by doing this, their children will be protected and will enjoy a long life."

Hind Abinabi, a 52-year-old Shiite woman and mother of four, said to maim children was not only cruel, but also against the religion. "When the rest of the world is going to the moon, look where these people are - still drawing blood from their heads," she said.
Every month, National Geographic Magazine comes to my house chronicles how Americans are destroying life on Earth.

30 January 2007

Ryan Miller's a Pretty Good Goalie

Today's Republished Spam

Time for some unpolished prose:

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter-gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter. The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement. Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girliemen.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, hugging, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided. Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it
wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, airline pilots, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Every now and then, some things need to be said.

More Feathers for Kofi's Hat

Wow, I didn't even know the United Nations was in the weather business, but typical of the UN, if they're into it, it'll be corrupt.
The report, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, reveals that the investigation centered around suspicious payments made by an ex-staffer at the World Meteorological Organization — and concludes that the 2003 election for secretary-general was manipulated.

Details about the corruption allegations come at a sensitive time for the United Nations. Earlier this month, new U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to root out the mismanagement and corruption that dogged predecessor Kofi Annan during his time as U.N. chief.

In a 65-page summary of her findings, auditor Maria Veiga concluded that former WMO staffer Muhammad Hassan of Sudan skimmed up to US$3 million (€2.35 million) from the agency's coffers while working in its training department.
Don't worry, be happy.

28 January 2007

Things You Can Do in Los Angeles

Yea, it's worth watching the whole thing.

26 January 2007

The Children We're Raising

Before last Christmas, I was sitting on a bench at a mall. Across from me, on another bench, a kid, maybe 6, was playing some variety of hand-held video game. I was impressed by the quality of the sound and asked the kid what game he was playing. He looked up at me with a look on his face like I was a grizzly bear with a meat cleaver. He was crying as ran away, presumably to some unseen parent.

Sheesh, what kind of bedtime stories are mom and dad(?) telling this kid to have him freak out so completely over one person out of 10,000 at this mall making verbal contact. Yea, it's a big scary world, but I think we are really beating the fear into the next generation. To wit:

So much for God and country, at least during some in-flight showings of the Oscar-nominated movie "The Queen." All mentions of God were bleeped out of a version distributed to Delta and some other airlines.

Airline passengers watching the movie hear "[Bleep] bless you, ma'am," as one character speaks to the queen. In all, the word "God" is bleeped seven times.

A spokesman for Miramax, which produced the movie, had no comment on the episode. The editor responsible for the mistake is still working in the Jaguar editing lab, he said.

Notice the headline referred to the editor as 'vigilant.' That's too charitable. I think 'terrified,' 'confused,' 'stupid' or 'shell-shocked' would be more appropriate.

25 January 2007

Nobody Did It Better

Looking For a Democrat in '08

Regularly, it wouldn't be considering which Democrat to vote for in 2008, but Jay makes a compelling point:
“The Democrats have to win in 2008 — I mean, the whole enchilada: House, Senate, and presidency.” You ought to know that my friend is a staunch conservative Republican. “Why?” I said. “Why do they have to win?” He answered, “Because that’s the only way they will be fully onboard the War on Terror. They won’t fully support it otherwise, because they will always be trying to trip up the Republicans. If you want the Democrats onboard the War on Terror, they have to be in charge. Period.”A dark, dark proclamation (but) I am not entirely convinced of its wrongness, however.

What Good Can Come From a Politburo?

Welcome to China, where the government will soon have the unwashed marching to the official party line:

Chinese Communist Party chief Hu Jintao has vowed to "purify" the Internet, state media reported on Wednesday, describing a top-level meeting that discussed ways to master the country's sprawling, unruly online population.

Hu made the comments as the ruling party's Politburo -- its 24-member leading council -- was studying China's Internet, which claimed 137 million registered users at the end of 2006. Hu, a straitlaced communist with little sympathy for cultural
relaxation, did not directly mention censorship.

But he made it clear that the Communist Party was looking to ensure it keeps control of China's Internet users, often more interested in salacious pictures, bloodthirsty games and political scandal than Marxist lessons. In 2006, China's Internet users grew by 26 million, or 23.4 percent, year on year, to reach 10.5 percent of the total population, the China Internet Network Information Center said on Tuesday. The vast majority of those users have no access to overseas Chinese Web sites offering uncensored opinion and news critical of the ruling party.

China - modern someday. But not today.

I Will Not Sit and Count Raindrops

I don't fly a lot; maybe twice a year, and I've been fortunate enough to never have been terribly inconvenienced by the very diseased airline industry. I do have severe phobia about being stuck in a plane on the ground. I do not accept that because of weather, mechanical trouble or drunk crew, I must be confined to seat 10C for 10 hours.
Passengers on an American Airlines flight that was stuck on the tarmac in Austin for nearly 10 hours last month are pushing for a national Passengers Bill of Rights to protect traveling consumers. The proposal would require airlines to return passengers to terminal gates after three hours on the tarmac. It would also impose penalties on airlines for losing baggage and bumping passengers, and create a consumer committee to review and investigate complaints. The measure doesn't yet have a backer in Congress.
Where are ya, Nancy?
"Enough is enough," said Kate Hanni, a Napa, Calif., resident who was stuck with her husband on American Flight 1348 in Austin for nearly 10 hours Dec. 29 during a trip from San Francisco to Mobile, Ala. Her flight was supposed to land at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for a connection, but heavy thunderstorms diverted the plane to Austin. "Never again should anyone be left in a plane without information, without food, with toxic air, overflowing toilets, no remuneration and no explanation," she said.

"The thunderstorm event of Dec. 29, 2006, that spread almost the entire length of Texas was one of the most unusual weather circumstances we've seen in 20 years," said Tim Wagner, a spokesman. More than 80 flights were diverted from DFW that day.
What bullshit. No one is begging to be flown from Austin to DFW in a thunderstorm. They are begging for the plane to be driven 500 feet to let people out of that foul fuselage.

Stories of the long delays have been featured in national news media, including The Wall Street Journal and NBC Nightly News, in recent weeks. Passengers say they ran out of food, toilets overflowed and some lacked access to medication while stranded on the tarmac. "I was fighting off a panic attack the entire time," said Mark Vail of Madera, Calif. "I was counting raindrops in the window, doing anything to try to distract myself."
I don't know what the penalty is for walking past the flight attendant, blowing the door and sliding down the chute to freedom, but I'll gladly stand before a jury of my peers and take my medicine rather than sit a prisoner of a service that I've paid for.

Free Passes Harder to Come By

As someone who swings toward the conservative side for the most part, I sometimes get sucked into the paranoia that conventional media is harder on the right than the left. It's not news that nealy all of professional media and journalism is loaded with lefties, but I don't accept that the resultant product always leans that way. It's not so much a left or rigth spin that corrodes the nation, it's a working/lazy balance that does the most harm.

So while this is not good news, at least it shows that some reporters are still on the job even with more and more of 'their people' in power.
While setting MILCON agendas for many years, (Sen. Dianne) Feinstein, 73, supervised her own staff of military construction experts as they carefully examined the details of each proposal. She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were or subsequently became URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such MILCON projects.

In her annual Public Financial Disclosure Reports, Feinstein records a sizeable family income from large investments in Perini, which is based in Framingham, Mass., and in URS, headquartered in San Francisco. But she has not publicly acknowledged the conflict of interest between her job as a congressional appropriator and her husband's longtime control of Perini and URS—and that omission has called her ethical standards into question, say the experts.

24 January 2007

Big Oil Rides Again

It's not bad enough that Big Oil forces every American by law to drive supercharged Hummers (no hybrids or otherwise efficient cars available anywhere in the US, right?) and singlehandedly killed the electric car, which not only would have reduced our dependence on foreign oil, but cured cancer and eliminated static cling (hey - Alexandra Paul said so, so it's true).

But now Big Oil has bought and paid for a courtroom verdict (in TEXAS) against BioPerformance, that God-sent outfit that made the 'miracle mileage' pill. That's right, Big Oil rides again!Surely you remember that smelly but 100% effective pill you dropped in your gas tank that gave you significantly higher fuel mileage? Well now, we won't be able to buy them anymore, because Big Oil doesn't want us to be free of their economic deathgrip. Why, this is just like that 200 MPG carburetor that Big Oil snatched off the market in the 70's (and had its inventor KILLED!)

Oh sure, there were engineers (paid for by Big Oil!) that said that this miracle pill didn't really do anything, but to hell with the chemistry and physics and facts and stuff we don't understand, we KNOW that the pill worked. It gave us hope and since emotions always trump reason, we demand that the fraud verdict be overturned by Howard Dean and we won't rest until Bush is impeached for this and Big Oil is locked up!

23 January 2007

Death to Cancer

Go get 'em:
Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks.

“The results are intriguing because they point to a critical role that mitochondria play: they impart a unique trait to cancer cells that can be exploited for cancer therapy,” says Dario Altieri, director of the University of Massachusetts Cancer Center in Worcester.

The pay-off is that if DCA does work, it will be easy to manufacture and dirt cheap.

19 January 2007

Enter As a Child

Leave as Super Fly.

Hey, maybe he studied fashion merchandising while he was in the joint:
Yesterday, Nathaniel Abraham was a convicted murderer. Today he greets the morning a free man celebrating his 21st birthday -- with a furnished Bay City apartment paid for by Michigan taxpayers. Abraham, who was 11 when he shot and killed 18-year-old Ronnie Greene in Pontiac, plans to re-enroll in classes at Delta College, where the state also will foot the tuition bill for the next four years.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Deborah Carley said the state Department of Human Services ordered Abraham be given a spot in the state-funded pilot program that normally would go to a teen who has been neglected, abused or abandoned by his or her parents, despite the fact that Abraham is no longer a ward of the state and not eligible for such services.

Following the Money Across the Troposphere

It's always the one who sticks his head above the crowd who becomes the easiest target for rock throwers:
Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story. Even the lady at “The Weather Channel” probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change. No man-made global warming, no show, and no salary. Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab.

I have nothing against “The Weather Channel”, but they have crossed the line into a political and cultural region where I simply won’t go.
Welfare, NASA, educational-industrial complex, global warming - it should not be surprising to anyone that industry will spring where ever government dump trucks leave the cash.

17 January 2007

There Isn't a Font Big Enough

For the last sentence of this story:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Officials say they will investigate whether animal cruelty took place when a man shot a cow that had been stuck in a ditch for several days. Vanessa Martin, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Department of Animal Care and Regulation, said the probe could take a few weeks. If officers determine that owner Jim Bennefield violated regulations, the department will recommend the case to the District Attorney's Office, she said. Bennefield shot the cow several times in the head with a .22-caliber rifle, with officers recording the event.

Veterinarians said a downed cow remaining in a fixed position for a period of time could suffer nerve and tissue damage. Veterinarians treating Bennefield's cow said they could not comment on its condition specifically, citing confidentiality of medical records.
Cow. It's a cow. A cow.

What the hell's this world coming to?

16 January 2007

Brushing Up on New Language

Try dropping one in conversation daily:
BLAMESTORMING - Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

SITCOM - Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay homewith the kids or start a "home business."

SINBAD - Single income, no boyfriend and desperate.

GOING FOR A McSHIT - Entering a fast food restaurant with no intention of buying food, you're just going to the bog. If challenged by a pimply staff member, your declaration to them that you'll buy their food afterwards is known as a McShit with Lies.

JOHNNY-NO-STARS - A young man of substandard intelligence, the typical adolescent whoworks in a burger restaurant. The 'no-stars' comes from the badges displaying stars that staff at fast-food restaurants often wear to showtheir level of training.

TART FUEL - Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women.

Detroit Cabbie Makes Good

Benny Parsosns, 1941-2007

From Yahoo:

Parsons won 21 races, including the 1975 Daytona 500, and 20 poles. He was the first Cup competitor to qualify for a race faster than 200 mph, going 200.176 mph at the 1982 Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

Parsons made 526 starts from 1964 until his 1988 retirement. He ended his career with 283 top-10 finishes, led at least one lap in 192 races and finished no lower than fifth in the points from 1972 to 1980 while earning more than $4 million.

His 1973 championship season was built on endurance and consistency: He won only one of the 28 races that season while second-place finisher Cale Yarborough won four times and David Pearson won 11. But Parsons finished the most miles that year to claim the crown.

15 January 2007

Honorary Plumber Status for Sandy Berger

Ron Cass knows the difference between a "third-rate burglary" and first-class larceny, document destruction and other disbarable crimes. Next time you hear Big Media breathlessly beat Jack Abramoff further into the ground (along with a certain lethargic political party) be honest, and ask them where are their questions for Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton.
The Clintons, however, take the game of deny-deceive-and-distract to a new level. Their relentless personal attacks on Ken Starr were designed to undermine the credibility of information about Bill Clinton's perjury, to deflect attention from his own failings. Clinton's excessive reaction - complete with hyperbole, finger-wagging, and scolding - to a simple question from Fox News' Chris Wallace about his response to al-Qaeda is in the same vein. Something here touches a nerve.

That nerve is exposed in the Sandy Berger saga. This story at bottom is about the security of our nation, about what was - or was not - done to protect us from the most shocking and deadly attack on American citizens by foreign agents in our nation's history. This story is critical not only to understanding our past but also to securing our future. It can help us understand what it is reasonable to expect can be done to keep us and our loved ones safe from harm. It is, in short, as important a story as there is.

It is a story the news media should be desperate to explore, not desperate to avoid.
Read it all.

13 January 2007

Later That Day

Hey, human; keep the corn comin.'
Picture stolen from Worth1000.com

Corn; it's What's For Lunch

Noon, St. Paul, 4 degrees Fahrenheit


History Detective

I love finding little bits of junk that remind you of what you were doing at a specific moment in the past.

Mohammed Ali is Missing

I'm guessing January Medley has information. If we could only find Howitzer Explosionguy . . .

12 January 2007

The Drum Beat is Not One-Way

One day/week/month/year/decade does not climate change make. Sorry Al; hate to destory everything you're living for, but it's true.


So how come when it was 70 in New York City last week it was global warming, and today in California, the opposite is not true?
The National Weather Service issued a Freeze Warning, effective from 1 a.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday, for the Santa Monica Recreational Area and the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys -- areas where a "hard freeze" was expected. A Freeze Warning is issued when temperatures are expected to dip to 28 degrees or lower for a period of two hours or more.

NWS forecasters said near-record low temperatures are possible Friday and Saturday night in downtown Los Angeles and other metropolitan and coastal areas of the city, and record lows are possible in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The forecast for the Antelope Valley was for record or near- record lows.
Help us Obi Al aGori; you're our only hope

The Silence of the Communities

Since you don't have any children, why do think you have any credibility?
Rice appeared before the Senate in defense of President Bush's tactical change in Iraq, and quickly encountered Boxer. "Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price," Boxer said. "My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young."

Then, to Rice: "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family."

The junior senator from California apparently believes that an accomplished, seasoned diplomat, a renowned scholar and an adviser to two presidents like Condoleezza Rice is not fully qualified to make policy at the highest levels of the American government because she is a single, childless woman.

The vapidity - the sheer mindlessness - of Sen. Boxer's assertion makes it clear that the next two years are going to be a time of bitterness and rancor, marked by pettiness of spirit and political self-indulgence of a sort not seen in America for a very long time.

It would take a truly hard heart not to be touched, deeply, by the sacrifices made by the young men and women now wearing their country's uniform. And one can only imagine the pain felt by the families of those killed and cruelly wounded in service to America. Just as it was hard to imagine the agony of the loved ones left behind on 9/11. But even to suggest that Condoleezza Rice is not fit to serve her country because she is childless is beyond bizarre.

It is perverse.
A woman's place is in the home, Barbara? Get out of here, Ms. Rice; go make babies? Where are the feminists? Where is the equality gang that would be all over a white male asking the exact same thing?

Pelosi Showg Her Hand

Not only does the "culture of corruption" tag Pelosi and Reid hung on the Republicans have no merit, now the Democrats show that they play the same games. On top of that, they demonstrate a failure to understand economics at a very basic level.
One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island’s work force. StarKist’s parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi. The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.

75% of the workforce! A clear example of a situation where making the workers better off would take money away from a company and divert it into the local economy. A clear example of a situation where it is very likely that wages are lower than a free market would dictate! A clear example of where a congress critter of the liberal persuasion should be diligently protecting workers and not handing unfair competitive advantages to particular corporations!

So what did we do when we passed this bill which has effects mostly ranging from pointless to damaging? We exempted American Samoa!
Oh, I'm sure Big Tuna had no pull with the new Speaker of the House, no pull whatsoever . . .

10 January 2007

Divided We Fall

Your tax money at work.
Imagine sending your kids off to school, but when they get to the bus they are told they can't get on because they speak English.

Rachel Armstrong sent her kids to pick up the bus as usual Monday, but after the driver let the kids on, he told them he would not pick them up again. He even said he wouldn't take them home that afternoon. They were told by the bus driver the route is for non-English speaking students only.

"It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of these kids and we made a mistake. The kids should have gotten home that day," Dayna Kennedy, a public relations representative said.
The school district has a public relations representative. Boy am I glad to be paying for two seperate tax levies on top of my regular assessment for St. Paul Government Schools.

Oooo, Ahhhh, Lookie, Lookie

Ah yes, Apple - always the darling of the Consumer Electronics Show
"Until now, people had no way to listen to music, check their e-mail or take photographs," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the unveiling ceremony. "I mean, can you imagine what it would be like to speak to family members over long-distance? Or capture images from life? Trust me, this has never been done before."

The iPhone does everything Apple's $299 iPod and Cingular's $169 Razr phone does, but its $499 price tag makes idiots $499 poorer. Since Jobs returned to Apple in the late 90s, the company has transformed from a computer manufacturer to a creator of expensive gewgaws marketed for the affluent, the stupid, and the affluent stupid.

Alice Morgan, a professor of economics at The University of Chicago, said Apple has smartly exploited a growth market. "The wealthy have more disposable income than ever, and their children want everything," Morgan said. "Apple could market a jug of Jobs' urine as iPiss and become the darling of spoiled teenagers throughout the world."
Holding true to Apple's proprietary software gameplan, I'll bet the phone unusable unless you're calling another Apple-branded phone.

Dit Dot Dash

How I found this requires lenthy backstory. Suffice it to say that this is a gem of observation about the modern digital world in which we play.

Here's my thoughts about the "middle". Like the survey, if 20 questions are used to define right vs left, right agree on most of the 20 and left agree on most of the twenty. Folks in the middle could theoretically *disagree* on all twenty and still be in the middle.

So in a digital world (1 or 0, black or white, postitive or negative, etc), simple minded people are confounded by complexity and unwilling to invest any effort. The reaction to not being provided with a simple way to evaluate someone, is hostile.


09 January 2007

Great Moments in Socialized Medicine

Is everyone holding hands? Good, repeat after me - "Progressive culture. World commuinty. Free healthcare. Social justice. Utopian city/states. Dead people."
An investigation is under way after paramedic crews could not attend to a man who suffered a fatal heart attack because they were on "rest breaks".
"Stop with you cardiac arrest; I'm having my lunch."
(T)he 73-year-old collapsed at the Edmonton Green shopping centre in north London. But London Ambulance Service (LAS) confirmed the crews were on a break, under EU rules, when the call was made. An ambulance arrived 20 minutes later but the man died shortly afterwards.
Under the regulations of the Most Glorious People's Socialist Workplace Guidelines, all workers are given ample periods of downtime, rest and self-affirmation, no matter what the unwashed masses require in terms of services.
A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "Having looked at the availability of ambulances in the area during this period, we can confirm that two crews were on a rest break at Edmonton Ambulance Service at the time of the 999 call."
It's really up to the plebes in the the Most Glorious People's Republic of the EU to schedule their sever health problems aaround the working rules dictated by pencil puchers in Brussels.
New arrangements giving ambulance staff a formal rest break during their shift came into effect in December last year, under the European Working Time Directive (You are saluting, aren't you?) Anyone working a shift between six and 10 hours long is allocated a rest break of 30 minutes.
Ah, Europe; they're always so far ahead of the United States when it comes to conforming to Orwellian bliss.

08 January 2007

Who IS Behind the Door?

Just like every other sports arena in North America, the game-night staff at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul plays bumper music during breaks in the action of NHL games. Not on the same plane as the selections played at GM Place in Vancouver or Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the selections in St. Paul sadly mirror the geriatric hits repeated ad infinitum on dinosaur rock stations. They sneak in some more modern stuff here and there, but the mullet anthems really dominate the selections.

I'm especially sensitive to this, as the dinosaur rock station in my ADI is really unchanged since my high school days over 20 years ago. I mean you could listen for 3 hours and not know if it's 2007 or 1983. Let's face it, KQ; we've all heard it all before.

Anyway, this past Saturday night the Wild hosted the Avalanche, and the although the music didn't really evade the rut of 1980's AC/DC, Aerosmith and Tom Petty, the man on the decks did find some different tunes that put me back in that era, rather than just remind me of it:

"Heat of the Moment" - Asia
"Take it on the Run" - REO Speedwagon
"Who's Behind the Door" - Zebra

Maybe you don't draw a distinction between the above tracks and the rest of the genre that I'm otherwise demonizing and loathing, but I draw a distinction, and that's what makes the subjectivity of music so wonderful.

Not to be discounted is the fact that, back in the day, my pal Mike pushed all three of these songs in front of me with enthusiasm. So, in a dorky, sentimental way, when I heard these tunes booming across the arena, it was like being in 10th grade again, passing the headphones back and forth.

06 January 2007

View from the #2 Seat

When everyone's waching, you want to get it right.

05 January 2007

"No Sense Steering Now!"

That was the reaction of the McKenzie Brothers upon discovering the van they were driving down a steep hill had no brakes. Translation: What's the point of trying to help the situation when a positive outcome is so unlikely.

They're off to a flying start in Washington, now that the self-proclaimed most powerful woman in America seems to be in charge. George Will looks at her agenda and is not impressed:

(M)ost of the 0.6 percent (479,000 in 2005) of America's wage workers earning the minimum wage are not poor. Only one in five workers earning the federal minimum live in families with household earnings below the poverty line. Sixty percent work part-time and their average household income is well over $40,000. (The average and median household incomes are $63,344 and $46,326, respectively.)

Of the 75.6 million paid by the hour, 1.9 million earn the federal minimum or less, and of these, more than half are under 25 and more than a quarter are between 16 and 19. Many are students or other part-time workers. Sixty percent of those earning the federal minimum or less work in restaurants and bars and are earning tips -- often untaxed, perhaps -- in addition to their wages. Two-thirds of those earning the federal minimum today will, a year from now, have been promoted and be earning 10 percent more.

Raising the minimum wage predictably makes work more attractive relative to school for some teenagers, and raises the dropout rate. Two scholars report that in states that allow persons to leave school before 18, a 10 percent increase in the state minimum wage caused teenage school enrollment to drop 2 percent.

Democrats promoting dropping out of school? 'Course not, but that's what Lou Dobbs and Keith Olberman would tell you if this crap came from Republicans.
Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities' prices. Washington, which has its hands full delivering the mail and defending the shores, should let the market do well what Washington does poorly. But that is a good idea whose time will never come again.
It'll never come, because you cannot demagogue nothing.

Meanwhile in St. Paul, the new legislative session is only 3 days old and already 20 bills have been spun up by the Democrats; 18 of which raise taxes. Nice. They're still playing the "local government aid cuts" card; a myth which has long been since dispelled:
"We will continue to push for a cap on property taxes," Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said. "Many local units of government blamed their increases on LGA cuts, when their actual tax increases were far higher than the reductions."

02 January 2007

Passing on in 2006

Wilson Pickett, Gerald Ford, James Brown, Peter Brock, Steve Irwin, Paul Dana, Buck Owens, Scott Crossfield, Freddie Fender, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Desmond Dekker, John Kenneth Galbraith, Kirby Pucket, Gene Pitney, Lillian Long and the amazing Ford GT.

Mas Fiesta!

To all you NCAA clowns who assembled all the Bowl Championship Series jive - I give you the undefeated Boise State Broncos:
The Broncos led 28-10. Trailed 35-28 with 16 seconds left. Trailed 42-35 in overtime. The Broncos tied the game 35-35 on a 50-yard hook-and-lateral with 7 seconds left to force overtime. They fell behind 42-35 on the first play of overtime — a 25-yard touchdown run by Oklahoma's superstar tailback Adrian Peterson — then won it with a touchdown pass by Perretta and a 2-point conversion by tailback Ian Johnson on the Statue of Liberty play.

"This is what we practice every week, and never get a chance to do," offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. "And now we're doing it, and I'm thinking, ‘Oh crap, here we go. This is for real.' " And so are the Broncos.
Find the video. It was quite the football game.

Culture of Corruption Update

John Conyers: You can smell him from here.
First, releasing its report late on Friday before the New Year’s holiday weekend made it clear that the House “Ethics” Committee intended to minimize public understanding of the Conyers scandal. This is classic Washington Establishment manipulation of the news cycle to insulate itself against public accountability.

Second, Conyers responded to the “Ethics” committee by “accepting responsibility” for a “lack of clarity” in asking aides to work on his re-election campaign while on the official payroll instead of going on a campaign staff, as the law requires, and to do personal chores for him. The allegations came from senior staff members, including a former chief of staff, not interns or other short-term aides who might have questionable motives.

Third, the “Ethics” committee report also concerned a second investigation of Conyers from 2003 on allegations that his aides also worked on the Carol Mosely-Braun presidential campaign and JoAnn Watson’s Detroit City Council race. Would Conyers have applied the same slipshod legal standards to his Bush impeachment effort?

Fourth, the Conyers scandal shows it’s still business as usual for the “Ethics” committee. Pelosi should demand that Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., the committee leaders who signed off on the Conyers report, be removed permanently from the panel and barred from leadership of other House panels.

01 January 2007

How to Run a Squeaky-Clean Majority

One way to avoid the appearance of corruption is to make sure it's buried. Nancy Pelosi misses nothing with this move, and is clearly a student of the silent trees falling in the woods.
Federal law makes it a crime for a Member of Congress to use official staff members to perform campaign or personal duties. Many official staff members participate in their bosses' re-election campaigns every two years but they go off the official staff payroll when doing so.

So, isn't it convenient that the House ethics panel made (Rep. John) Conyers, D-MI, oddly phrased confession public on the Friday afternoon before the New Years weekend?
It's not that big of a deal that Conyers is dirty; I mean, he's only the incoming Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

The Herd of Independent Minds

How many ways can Big Media say "grim milestone?" One; it seeems.