[star]The American Mind[star]

June 30, 2004

Nice, Very Nice

Cam Edwards wants webloggers for a weekly segment of his talk show. If anyone wants to put in a good word for me, I'd be greatful. And don't forget to toot your own horn.

"Calling All Bloggers Pt. 2"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

What an Odd Name

The TaxGnome. Is it related to Travelocity's Roaming Gnome?

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 11:39 PM | Comments (1)

Democrat at GOP Convention

I can understand Oliver irritation. Sen. Zell Miller speaking at the GOP convention would be like Sen. John McCain speaking at the Dems' bash. Do Democrats use the lable DINO (Democrat In Name Only, analogous to RINO)? If not they should because Miller fits it perfectly. Miller isn't running for re-election anyway, so going all the way and becoming a full-fledged Republican shouldn't be any trouble.

"Zell, Go Away"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

Crummy Software

For being one of the rising stars in the home sales industry The Pampered Chef has some very lame software for their salesmen consultants. My sister wants to use the software on my Windows XP machine. She has her own user account, but it seems the PC software will only work on an administrators account. That kind of defeats the purpose of having individual accounts now doesn't it?

If you have any ideas I'd appreciate it. Not even Google has helped me.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 10:29 PM | Comments (2)

June 29, 2004

When Stealing Isn't Stealing

I was going to excoriate Bill Hobbs for advocating blatant theft by paying to see another movie while sneaking into Fahrenheit 9/11, but Michael Moore doesn't care. But don't bother going to the theater when you can download it and watch it at home (with plenty of strong spirits close at hand).

If Moore really wanted everyone to see his movie why doesn't he offer free showings? If that's too much how about giving the film to theaters for free hoping they would show it at a reduced cost. (Competition between theaters would force down ticket prices.) Such thought is a little too sophisticated for someone like Moore.

"Pirating Moore"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)

The Court on COPA

The Supreme Court case dealing with sexually explicit content on the Internet feels right to me. The Child Online Protection Act was too broad and was self-defeating since online porn peddlers could just move their material to an offshore server. Even with the many flaws filtering software possess, the technological option seems to be the more effective means for parents to protect their children. All families are different. Some children mature faster than others, and parents have different ways of teaching sexual morality to their children. We live in a highly sexualized--too often of a coarse, ugly variety. Parents need tools not overly-restrictive laws.

A much more complicated question is whether government-funded libraries can be required to have filtering software installed on Net-connected computers. There's a question of adults' access to material not appropriate to children, but there's also the concern that libraries would become sources of hard-core, gross, disgusting sexual depravity. Most libraries don't carry Playboy (which is tame), but without filters it would, in essence, carry far more explicit material.

Then there's the question of whether it's the federal government's business how a local library should operate. We have the First Amendment brushing up against community standards and federalism.

The best decision would be for the court to junk the law on Ninth or Tenth Amendment grounds. (I leave the gory details to the law professors.) But that only tosses the decision of whether to have filters or not down another governmental level. Instead of the federal court deciding, the state supreme courts would rule. In this case, a reasonable solution would be to let individual libraries decide to have the filters. While Net access isn't ubiquitous its reach grows with each passing day. The First Amendment and free speech is more about being free to produce content not necessarily having free access to anything in any place at any time. It's not a perfect solution, but we don't live in a perfect world.

"High Court Upholds Block of Web Porn Law"

"High Court Ruling Boosts Internet Filters"

"Victory for Free Speech"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 10:39 PM | Comments (1)

Good Taste on a Bad Product

Laurence hates C2. I only needed a sip to discover this product is worthless. C2's slogan should be, "C2: 1/2 the carbs, 1/2 the flavor, 1/2 the metal-eating power."

And isn't C2 something that's just 1/2 the strength of C4? We better not let the Islamists find out. They'll take advantage of the all the huge discounts you know stores will do to get rid of all that stuff.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 09:19 PM | Comments (1)

Just Can't Do It

I can't promote a National Kissing Day for the U.S. It would only irritate/depress me like Valentine's Day does.

"Countdown to International Kissing Day" [via Instapundit]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 08:42 PM | Comments (2)

Bonfire Anniversary

One year of the Bonfire of the Vanities. Fortunately for me, TAM has no entries for you to vote as the worst...at least not yet.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 07:08 PM | Comments (2)

June 28, 2004

The End of an Era

Here's one last "I'm on vacation link" :-(. Godfather of the modern conservative movement, William F. Buckley has moved his ownership of National Review to a trustee board. Hopefully, for America, the board guides NR to at least another 50 years of intellectual service.

"National Review Founder Says It's Time to Leave Stage"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Quick Notes

  1. Steven Taylor is helping with a book drive to fill Baghdad University's library.

  2. For insight into today's Supreme Court rulings there's no better place to start than The Volokh Conspiracy. Especially note Eugene's scary hypothetical.

  3. Thanks to Mitch Berg for adding TAM to his blogroll. I think Shawn had something to do with it.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

Still on Vacation

Like me, Pierre Bernard has too much time on his hands. Therefore he watches too much Robotech. I'm right in the middle of watching the Macross Saga that came in the mail while I was away.

"Open Letter to Late Night with Conan O'Brien"



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 08:52 PM | Comments (1)

Door To Door

A door knocking lefty stopped by James Lileks's pad to ask him to vote for her candidate. James gave her a little economics lesson which she didn't like.

Scroll down towards the bottom to pick up the story.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Politics at 05:26 PM | Comments (1)

Hmmmmmm

Sean returns home from a Secret, Undisclosed Location earlier than planned or announced.

Iraqi sovereignty is turned over earlier than planned or announced.

Coincidence?

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Weblogging at 05:09 PM | Comments (2)

Hola!

small_fish.jpg
The post below means I've returned from the Undisclosed Location (wouldn't that be a cool name for a bar?) and returned to civilization and the blogosphere. Shawn and Steve have been doing a fine job in my stead. Since I forgot I buffered my travel time with another day of vacation before going back to the bookstore to endure Bill Clinton book sales I'll let TAM's dynamic duo continue while I reacclimate.

[The picture above proves I'm neither Babe Winkleman nor U2's Bono. You may begin cracking jokes now.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 03:18 AM | Comments (2)

And Now the Hard Work Really Begins

Iraq's sovereignty was returned to Iraqis two days early to preempt possible anti-government attacks.

"U.S. Transfers Sovereignty to Iraqi Govt."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 03:07 AM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2004

The #1 Movie at the Box Office

From it's creator April 14th, 2004:

The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush? You closed down a friggin' weekly newspaper, you great giver of freedom and democracy! Then all hell broke loose. The paper only had 10,000 readers! Why are you smirking?

Next time someone mentions how great of patriot Michael Moore is, remind them of this. He wants us to LOSE.

Posted by in Miscellaneous at 08:19 PM | Comments (3)

Swing Low

Well, I am back, and have a swingset for my daughter.

We got the swingset for free. My wife is a member of an emailing list created by FreeCycle. You sign up for a freecycle list for your area and people post things they want or need to get rid of, that others may be able to use. Emails are sent to everyone in the group, and you can pick and choose what you want; or, email out what you are looking to get rid of.

The guy I got the swingset from built it from a kit several years ago. It's not one of the new fancy "play systems." It has a simple wooden ladder, a little "fort" area with sliding pole, a couple of swing areas. Perfect for what we need. It was nestled inside, and anchored to a sandbox built of 2x8's. So, we (my pal Wayne and the donor and I) had to unbolt everything, then pry it apart as everything was nailed in place before the actual bolting took place. We left the fort "as is", it lay on it's side pretty well in the trailer, but everything else came apart. One 2x6 board and a 4x4 post need to be replaced, but everything else is pretty much in shape.

Here at home, we have to clear a spot for it and level that area out, as where we will erect it is somewhat sloped. I basically just have to rebolt everything together, but I do have to build the right sized box around it, etc.

Now, it's time for the blues... Wife and I are heading to Floyd's Bar in lovely Victoria, Minnesota. Sunday nights Floyd's hosts a blues jam, a great chance to hear some cool music for relatively cheap (hey, no cover!). And the Bloody Mary's are amazing (though they could be a bit spicier!). If you're in Minnesota, you should definately check it out -- especially if you are a musician. Bring your axe and jump on in!


Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Miscellaneous at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

Sunday

I'll be back in a while. I have to go get a swingset for my daughter.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Miscellaneous at 10:31 AM | Comments (1)

June 26, 2004

Bureaucracy

An Army Reserve Captain from Minnesota, currently stationed in Afghanistan, is understandably a little upset.

Eric Ekstrom's wife Olena gave birth to a baby last July. Olena is Ukranian, and her mother still lives in The Ukraine. With her husband gone, Olena could use a little extra help around the house, and they have been trying to get a U.S. Visa so that her mother could visit.

Olena Ekstrom's mother, Lidiya Bukhtoyarova, came from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, to visit just before the birth. The family had planned for Bukhtoyarova to stay with her pregnant daughter while he served two weeks of Army training.

She obtained a six-month visa but expected to stay a much shorter period. When Ekstrom was called up for two additional weeks of training, Bukhtoyarova decided to stay longer, flying home two days before her visa expired.

Since early this year, shortly after Ekstrom received a warning that he was due to be deployed for a year, he and Olena Ekstrom, 27, have desperately been trying to obtain another visa for Bukhtoyarova.

<...>

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Kiev would not comment on Bukhtoyarova's case, citing a government policy that prohibits discussion of individual visa cases. However, the most common reason for rejecting visas occurs when applicants can't definitively prove they intend to return home. About 60 percent of the 35,000 Ukrainians who apply for visas annually receive them, the spokeswoman said.

In the same newspaper today (The Star Tribune of Minneapolis) there is The Tale of The Open Door for a suspected terrorist.

PowerLine condenses and points out how The Revolving Door spun for this guy.

As abbreviated as it is, this account raises some obvious questions. The Strib reports that "The U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained [Elzahabi] and began deportation proceedings," apparently in 1988. Elzahabi then left the country, engaged in various terrorist activities for seven years, and "returned to the United States for medical care" after getting shot in 1995, apparently without anyone noticing that he was supposed to have been deported. He then left the country again, and "reentered the United States in mid-August 2001" after participating in terrorist activities in Lebanon and Chechnya, again, apparently, without encountering any immigration problems.

Great border control.

This is a sad tale. Certainly Olena Eckstrom could use the help. Not to mention, these people are following the rules and laws that are in place to bring her mother, Bukhtoyarova, here. How many illegal aliens are here today, who overstayed their visas or crossed over illegally? Yet, in an instance where people are following the rules, they are punished (i.e., prevented from coming here), but the damn terrorists are welcomed in.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in War at 03:58 PM | Comments (1)

Summerfest

This weekend marks the start of Summerfest, Milwaukee's annual Summer Get Together. Yet, our benefactor is in An Undisclosed Location.

Today's lineup features Kenny Chesney (with Uncle Kracker), Live, Tantric, O.A.R, and Sister Hazel.

If I had to pick a night to go, it would be Wednesday, June 30. Nickelback with 3 Doors Down, Styx (Domo Arigato!), The Fixx, Tesla and Loverboy.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in MusicSummerfest at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

Who Said It?

Steve From Norway cites some examples of Algore's extreme rhetoric.

Another classic example is the: "Who Said It? Algore or The Unabomber?" quiz.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Politics at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

Clean Comedy

A good friend is a big-time comedian. Seriously, that's what he does. On the road working clubs and colleges and National Pastors Conventions making people laugh.

Daren Streblow is his name, and tonight (actually, most of this past week) he is appearing at the Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis. There are worse things to do with your time and money.

What sets Daren apart from other comedians is that his comedy is clean; no sexual innuendo, no swearing. You could bring your kids. And, it's still funny stuff! Daren, by chance or luck or some other twist of fate is also from Cloquet, Minnesota and so I more than others may understand his humor.

Daren's comedy is clean because he is a Christian. There is Christian comedy; a small niche but one that probably doesn't pay enough to put food on the table. Read his 'Why I Do Clean Comedy;" it's insightful and maybe a little eye opening about our own lives.

I won't be at the show tonight; I'm watching my daughter and her two best friends so my wife and her friend can attend the show. They really deserve it.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Miscellaneous at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

A Tip of The Cap

Jay Reding points out that Michelle at asmallvictory points out that Home Depot is donating $1M USD in goods to the United States Military.

Retailer Home Depot Inc. is donating $1 million in tools and materials to support the U.S. military in Iraq.

The company said it is sending nine truck trailers to the military, filled with 100,000 tools and materials, including shovels, table saws, concrete mixers, safety scaffolding, power generators, light bulbs and jackhammers. The donated goods left San Diego on Thursday.

In a world where there are plenty of choices to make regarding where to shop for home remodeling goods, one could, and possibly should, choose to support a company that is doing something like this. I'm not going to go to Home Depot and spend a couple hundred dollars today, but I'll consider shopping there the next time I need some lumber, or a table saw or a gallon of paint. This isn't to say that your neighborhood hardware store or lumber yard isn't helping out in the war effort in some way. It is saying Home Depot has a PR firm and enough capital and goods to make a large impact.

In mentioning Minnesota blogs earlier, I failed to mention the fine Jay Reding. Another daily stop in my tour of the blogosphere. And, I've been reading asmallvictory for quite a while, before it was fashionable to do so. This is one site I found by visiting The American Mind. So, a tip of the cap all around: To Home Depot, to Jay Reding, to Michelle, and finally to Sean.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Economics at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)

Parade Wrecker

John Kerry is coming to Minnesota on the 4th of July weekend. To Cloquet, Minnesota of all places. Cloquet has one of the greatest 4th of July parades around (the others being Delano, Minnesota and Brainerd, Minnesota). It is also Cloquet's Centennial Celebration this year.

I was born in Cloquet, and love the town, even though it is a DFL (in Minnesota, you're not a Democrat, you're a DFL'er, DFL = Democrat-Farmer-Labor; or, maybe it stands for something else...) union stronghold. You can get one of the greatest hamburgers you have ever had at Gordy's Hi-Hat, but only in the summer.

Back to Kerry: Carlton County, of which Cloquet is located in, lost three Marines in the span of a week earlier this year. So that is touted as one reason that he is coming North.

Quote of the article:

"The keys to this election are going to be reaching out to swing voters and motivating the base," said Duluth City Councilor Donny Ness, a Democrat.

Wow, Donny. That's real insightful. Quite a bold statement.

Carving out time in Kerry's schedule for a stop in rural Minnesota over the Fourth of July weekend shows how serious Democrats are about trying to carry the state, considered one of several Midwestern battlegrounds, Ness said. Kerry will also make appearances in Wisconsin and Iowa over the weekend.
(Bold emphasis mine)

The DFL never had to "try to carry the state;" it was theirs for the taking. In Reagan's 1984 landside, Minnesota was the lone state going for Mondale. But in recent years, Minnesota has been slowly moving towards, at least, the center. Four of Eight Congressional Seats are Republican, and of the Four that are DFL, one is a "Blue Dog Democrat" and another has a pro-gun, pro-life Democrat.

Minnesota is led by a Republican Governor and Minnesota's Statehouse is overwhelmingly Republican. The State Senate is still controlled by DFL'ers but that could hopefully change, especially in light of their obstructionist tactics in the last session. The Senate is not up for re-election until next year, however. 1/2 of the Minnesota Senate should be up for election every other year; perhaps that can come up in legislation next year.

Minnesota is a battleground, and could go for George W. Bush in the upcoming election.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Politics at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

Saturday's In Minnesota

Saturday in The Twin Cities area used to mean yard work and parades in the summer, shoveling snow and stacking wood for the fire the other 11 months of the year.

Now, we can pass the time doing our chores listening to The Northern Alliance Radio Network. As mentioned previously, The Northern Alliance is a moniker created by radio DJ Hugh Hewitt for the best bloggers Minnesota has to offer. These include: Captain Ed Morrisey at Captain's Quarters, John "The Rocket Man" Hinderaker and Scott "The Big Trunk" Johnson of PowerLine, James Lileks, The Warrior Monk and Eloise at Spitbull, King Banian of SCSU Scholars (that is Saint Cloud State University), Mitch Berg of A Shot In The Dark, and, finally, the boys (Atomizer, JB Doubtless, The Elder and Saint Paul) at Fraters Libertas.

These were a bunch of bloggers (well, not Lileks, he's a journalist columnist) who were first grouped together by Hewitt on his radio show, then themselves got a Saturday radio show. (Note to Fraters: You got a radio show because you were blogging, you didn't start blogging because you had a radio show. Hint, hint.) It's not bad. To wit; they have even filled in for Hewitt on his syndicated, daily show during one of his frequent absences. The few of us who listen can be found sitting in our cars at places like the Har Mar Mall listening on our car radios, since am1280 The Patriot doesn't have quite the strongest signal on the dial. Word has it that soon they will be streaming audio over the Internet, and then all will be well.

Those in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin should check out NARN broadcast. Those of you who aren't should read the aforementioned sites; I have them bookmarked and read them daily.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Weblogging at 07:21 AM | Comments (0)

Captain's Caption Contest

If it's Friday, that means it's time for Captain Ed's Caption Contest.

Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters runs a caption contest every week, Friday through Tuesday. I hope some of you are a bit more creative than me.

Captain's Quarters is one of my daily reads, and not only because it's a Minnesota-based blog. The Captain has some great insights and opinions on the matters surrounding the news of the day. I encourage you to check it out.

UPDATE: The Caption contest only goes until Sunday evening.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Weblogging at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

Not my way

I don't feel the need to play nice with the Left, especially when one of their heroes comes out and spews some more nonsense and basically calls us Brownshirts.

I don't quite understand why it's okay for some like Al Gore to get away with such a loaded statement. Is Brownshirts a congenial term now? "Hey, look at those brownshirts!"

But I'm not suprised at Al Gore, he's had a history of over-the-top rhetoric... less we forget his right-wing extra chromosome quote.

Sorry, buck up lefties. If you guys can dish it out, you ought to be able to handle it when you're called on it.

Posted by in Miscellaneous at 10:42 AM | Comments (3)

I'm sure PeTA won't like it

Curious, if it were a Democrat in California would the headline include the word killed?

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to repeal a state law that requires animal shelters to hold stray dogs and cats for up to six days before killing them.

Instead, there would be a three-day requirement for strays. Other animals, including birds, hamsters, potbellied pigs, rabbits, snakes and turtles, could be killed immediately

Are there a lot of potbellied pigs running around loose in California?

Governator to put down strays faster.

Posted by in Miscellaneous at 10:05 AM | Comments (2)

Scary Stuff

Yesterday's space walk by the astronaut and cosmonaut on the International Space Station came to a quick halt yesterday. In fact, most of their official time out of the space station was spent in the airlock.

This was a tenuous walk to begin with, as both of the astronauts were out of the ISS. They were also untethered, and would likely be out of touch with each other and Houston. Two of three American spacesuits are malfunctioning, and now it appears the Russian ones aren't working so well either.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Tech at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

Not From Me

Oliver comments on Steve from Norway's post: "Yeah, Sean's definetly out of town because this blog had actual analysis instead of name calling at one point."

Well, it won't be from me. We'll have to leave that to Steve.

I've got a degree in Teaching High School Mathematics from the University of Minnesota Duluth, which also gives me a degree in Mathematics. When I was at UMD I took Micro Economics; didn't do that well. I tried a couple of Political Science classes; those went even worse. So, you won't ever hear me or read me talking about Keynesian Economic Policy or negative liberty or anything like that. I just have a sense of right and wrong, good and bad, etc.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Weblogging at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

Don't Tug On Superman's Cape

Most criminals really aren't that bright...

A woman with a history of fraud got the bank account number of Houston's chief prosecutor, and is now accused of writing hot checks.
Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Miscellaneous at 09:17 AM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2004

For Oliver

I think this poll is an amalgamation of confusion, demagoguery and skillful nuance. I think it should make the usual suspects happy for a little while.

Souring attitudes toward the war could present challenges to President Bush, who plans to keep thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq even after the handover of power. While he has linked the war to the fight against terror, 55% of those polled now say that the war has increased U.S. vulnerability to terrorism.

Sounds like the same gobbledygook coming out of Terry McAuliffe's mouth...

"The American people are losing confidence" in the war, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in a conference call arranged by the Kerry campaign. She said Bush has a "credibility issue" over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction or ties between the Sept. 11 attackers and Saddam Hussein.

I find it convenient that this withered hag ignores her former boss and his veep were on the WMD bandwagon when they were in power...now, it's a failure. And I'd like to see some proof George Bush linked 9/11 with Hussein.

Posted by in Politics at 07:36 PM | Comments (2)

What Are We?

For as long as I have been reading TAM, I have been reading John Hawkins's "Right Wing News".

Today, John tells his readers which blogs he visted yesterday. No TAM?? No TAM.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Weblogging at 07:06 PM | Comments (1)

Working! (For a Couple Days, At Least)

So, a light posting day so far. Sean asked me to fill in so it wouldn't be dead then it gets dead. Well, here's why.

Since April 26, this Shawn has been unemployed. Probably one reason Sean asked me to fill in; I've had nothing better to do!

I've been actively looking for employment, and have two places that need my services, but have hiring freezes until August 1. So, in the meantime, I found a few opportunities for short-term (2-3 days each) temp work unpacking PC's and testing them and installing them in local offices. And, I was supposed to go tomorrow to work, but the placement guy called this morning at 7:45 needing me to be over an hour away in less than an hour. And, so, in the name of the almighty dollar ($15/hr, actually), I got the hell out of here.

Now, for what I will earn for today's and tomorrow's work, I will get a smaller unemployment check. Not the full check to which I am "entitled" to ($478 a week), but they will still cut me a check to make up the difference from what I earned.

No less than four people asked me today why I would go through the trouble of (showering) driving an hour, working six hours (plus tomorrow's nine hours) and then coming back home, to earn the same amount of money that I would "earn" by just sitting at home.

The answer is simple: because I could go out and create some wealth. I could be a productive member of society for six hours today. I felt a little self-worth. I didn't have to watch another "Care Bear" movie with my daughter. (I love watching movies with my daughter, but these "Care Bear" movies I think were cowritten by Satan.)

So, a little light blogging today. And, a little light tomorrow. But hey, I'm doing something!

It also means I missed "Jeopardy!" today and tomorrow... I need Ken Jennings Updates!

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Weblogging at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

Liberal Media, Part II

Yesterday, I talked about three different papers reporting on one story, the tragic story of a young man shooting his father to death.

I still find it interesting that only one report, of print and broadcast media accounts indicate that the three men who captured the young suspect reported that they were armed. That account, in the Star Tribune, seemed to me to be worded in such a way as to almost be sinister. That people would actually have guns and use them as a means of self-defense.

What the article did fail to indicate was whether these three men hold concealed weapon carry permits in Minnesota. Now, that information is not public information. I can't go to the Pine County Sheriff's Office or the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or Department of Public Safety and ask if these guys are permit holders.

One of the gentlemen's has a brother in law who called into a local talk-radio show, Garage Logic, hosted on am1500 KSTP, and said that his BIL is indeed a permit holder.

The Star Tribune, as I mentioned, is no friend of the gun or the gun owner. They were quite opposed to the reform of Minnesota's Concealed Carry Law, which occured last year, and opined this year for it's repeal.

In this instance, where the law seems to have worked perfectly, will they indicate so in their paper? And, still, why did The Duluth News Tribune and Saint Paul's Pioneer Press not mention that these guys detained the young lad with guns? They made it sound like they went up to the boy casually and just had a conversation. Was their use of guns so vile to them that they refused to print it?

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Culture at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2004

Look in the Mirror

For those who don't wish to acknowledge it, we are at war. And not just since Sept. 12th, 2001, but for at least 30+ years. From Walter E. Williams:

At the 1972 Olympic games in Munich several athletes were massacred. In 1979, the U.S. embassy was taken over and 52 hostages held for more than a year. In 1983, U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut were blown up killing 241 U.S. soldiers. In 1988, Pan Am flight 103 was bombed killing 270 people. In 1993, there was the first bombing of the World Trade Center and in 2001 it was reduced to rubble killing more than 3,000 Americans. In 1988, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed resulting in the deaths of 220 people and 4,000 injured. Who are the people responsible for these and other wanton murders of innocents including the recent barbaric beheading of two innocent men? They were all Muslims.

These weren't happy go-lucky people who just felt like popping off people for the fun of it, it's people who wish to end our way of life. They don't care if you hate George W. Bush. They don't care if you want to get our troops out of Iraq. They want us ALL dead.

My colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell observes, "Those in the Islamic world have for centuries been taught to regard themselves as far superior to the "infidels" of the West, while everything they see with their own eyes now tells them otherwise." He adds, "Nowhere have whole peoples seen their situation reversed more visibly or more painfully than the peoples of the Islamic world." Sowell adds that few people, once at the top of civilization, accept their reversals of fortune gracefully. Moreover, they don't blame themselves for their plight. For the Muslim world, it's the West who's to blame.

For people who have had a few thousand-year head start on us, it's hard for me to work up sympathy for them. Killing and beheading people is not the way to go. So, if taking down Saddam and basically starting over with Iraq causes a chain-reaction in the Middle East, then so be it.

Will the West survive?

Posted by in Miscellaneous at 06:49 PM | Comments (1)

Running Scared

I don't doubt the veracity of the story, but I think it shows that Al Qaeda linked (and based in Iraq) terrorist (note: not MILITANT) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is in the last stages of some sort of breakdown before the handover on June 30th.

"As for you, Allawi -- sorry, the democratically elected prime minister -- we have found for you a useful poison and a sure sword," said a taped voice, purported to be Zarqawi's own.

It just shows what the enemies of civilization really care about. Obviously, a free Iraq and hopefully (eventually) a free Middle East is NOT in their best interest.

Militants Terrorists Threaten Iraq PM

Posted by in Terrorism at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

The Greatest Military in History

Or to quote Victor Davis Hanson: The United States military is the most formidable force in the history of civilization.

Remember Michael Moore's heroic Al Sadr militiamen and how he proclaimed they would win? Aww, too bad, eh Flint Fattie? Looks like we've dusted the floor with Al Sadr's army.

The Army's powerful 1st Armored Division is proclaiming victory over Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr's marauding militia that just a month ago seemed on the verge of conquering southern Iraq.

I think what's more remarkable is the speed at which we adapt to changing environments and enemies. Especially in the Middle East.

Soldiers, tanks and helicopters at a port in Kuwait reversed course, rushing back inside Iraq to battle the Shi'ite cleric's 10,000-strong army. Within days, a four-tank squadron was rumbling toward the eastern city of Kut. And within hours of arriving, Lt. Col. Mark Calvert and his squadron had cleared the town's government buildings of the sheik's so-called Mahdi's Army.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, 1st Armored commander, huddled with Gen. Hertling and other senior aides to map an overall war strategy. The division would shift from urban combat in Baghdad's streets to precision strikes amid shrines of great religious significance.

The strike into Kut was followed by an incursion into Diwaniyah. Then an 18-tank battalion entered Karbala, a holy city where precision operations were needed to spare religious shrines.

I suspect a lot of people don't wish to acknowledge the part of sparing religious shrines.

Army Claims Victory.

Original link found via Instapundit.

Posted by in Miscellaneous at 11:45 AM | Comments (1)

Oh, THAT Liberal Media

There's a sad story today here in Minnesota. A young man has killed his father. After a search of several hours, the boy was found walking along a rural road, and was not initially apprehended by police, but rather by a few guys working in an auto-body shop who saw him walking along the road. Having listened to a police scanner during the day, they knew a search was on, and after seeing the boy and asking who he was and if he had a gun, they detained him and called the sheriff's department.

I'm a guy who likes to know what is going on around the state, so each morning I read a few different newspaper sites: The Duluth News Tribune, The Saint Cloud Times, The Star Tribune, and The St. Paul Pioneer Press, just to name a few.

Each paper (except the St. Cloud Times which doesn't have a story on it) reports it a little differently, and there was one notable difference this morning.

From the AP at the Duluth News Tribune:

Deputies from three counties, joined by agents from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and state troopers, began searching for the teen, but a collision repair shop owner and his friends were credited with catching him about 1 p.m.

The shop's owner, Matt Gebhart, had heard news reports about the search.

"We just saw him coming up the dirt road, and we asked him where he was going. ... He looked suspicious. Asked him if he had a gun -- he said, 'yeah,' and we told him to throw it down and that we were calling the police," Gebhart said.

The youth put the gun down and followed their instructions to lie down, Gebhart said. They watched him until officers arrived about three minutes later.

Mara Gottfried's report at The Pioneer Press:

The owner of an auto body shop near Askov, Minn., had heard on the police scanner that the Pine County sheriff's office was looking for a 15-year-old boy suspected of killing his father early Tuesday, so when he saw a young man walk by a few hours later, he went outside to talk to him.

"We had no idea what he was doing, but you could see his shoes and pant legs were wet and it looked like he had been going through the woods," said Matt Gebhart, who owns Gebhart Collision Center with his wife, Sandy.

The teen's hands were in his pockets, and Gebhart asked him whether he had a gun. The boy pulled one out. Gebhart told the teen to drop the gun and lie on the ground.

The teenager complied. Gebhart called 911, and sheriff's deputies arrived within three minutes.

Finally, Tracy Swartz and Richard Meryhew at the Star Tribune:

For more than four hours Tuesday, authorities searched this small town and the surrounding woods and prairie of Pine County looking for a boy who allegedly shot and killed his father earlier in the morning.

For more than four hours, the word was out that a 15-year-old boy was on the run.

So when the teenager appeared, armed with a gun, near Hwy. 23 just south of town early Tuesday afternoon, the three men working at a nearby auto shop -- Matt Gebhart, Scott Jorgensen and Brian Volk -- knew what to do.

They got their guns.

Minutes later, they surrounded the boy and talked him into dropping the gun.

<...>

As authorities searched the town and surrounding area, Gebhart and his coworkers were busy at his auto body shop about a mile south of Askov. Although they'd heard about the hunt on the police scanner, they weren't looking for the boy.

But when a neighbor called to say that a boy matching Dallas' description was walking on the road near the shop, about 6 miles south of the Wright home, Volk ducked into the woods to get a better look.

Gebhart and Jorgensen got their guns.

As Dallas drew near, Volk asked the boy where he was going. Dallas replied that he was going to the store.

Gebhart and Jorgensen, both armed, confronted the boy and asked him if he had a gun.

Dallas said, "Yeah," Volk said.

Gebhart then told the boy to drop his pistol. Volk told him to lie on the ground.

The teenager obeyed and stayed face down in the grass for a few minutes until authorities arrived to make the arrest.

What bothers me is knowing that The Star Tribune is no friend of guns or gun owners. Did their reporters just do a better job of asking questions than the other two stories? Or is there an agenda at work here?

Granted, believing that a kid who may have just committed patricide is coming down the road and may be armed, I would likely arm myself too.

But the wording of the Star Tribune account, and then mentioning in the story at least three times where two other noted papers didn't mention the fact that the body shop guys were armed at all causes me to wonder. Even a television account of the story, which I watched last night, gave no indication of the body shop workers having guns themselves.

"So when the teenager appeared, armed with a gun, near Hwy. 23 just south of town early Tuesday afternoon, the three men working at a nearby auto shop -- Matt Gebhart, Scott Jorgensen and Brian Volk -- knew what to do.

They got their guns.

How did they know he was armed? According to all three stories, they didn't know until they asked him.

As Dallas drew near, Volk asked the boy where he was going. Dallas replied that he was going to the store.

Gebhart and Jorgensen, both armed, confronted the boy and asked him if he had a gun.

Dallas said, "Yeah," Volk said.

The language here, "both armed," and "confronted" is so drastically different from the other stories, that I can't help but wonder what might be at play here in the Star Tribune newsroom.

Note: By no means am I faulting Mr. Gebhart or Mr. Jorgensen; they absolutely did the right thing.

Of course, to the daily readers of the Star Tribune, it's really no surprise that the story was written this way.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Culture at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

Who would've thunk it

Hold onto your hats, but Mary-Kate Olsen is anorexic. Yes, I know, the skeletal one has an eating disorder...surely this must be some sort of joke.

Wonder what was the giveaway? Maybe weighing 70 pounds perhaps?

Olsen Twin has eating disorder.

Posted by in Miscellaneous at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

Super Contestant

Is anyone else raptly watching Jeopardy! everyday?

This Ken Jennings is something else. Today was his 15th day of winning. (That site might be a day behind or so.) A software engineer from Utah, he consistently is winning around $30,000 a day, and is quickly approaching $500,000 in total winnings.

It used to be you went 5 days and that was it; they gave you a check and the keys to a new car, and an invitation to the annual Tournament of Champions. Now, they took away the cars, but you can keep winning until you lose. And Ken shows no signs of losing.

It's interesting to watch... and a bit disheartening. I've wanted to be on Jeopardy! for years, but watching Ken I'm just blown away and afraid that if I did end up on the show, I'd be fodder like the rest of these folks who are taking him on each day.

I just was perusing the Jeopardy! site; they are doing, or have done, contestant searches in Minneapolis. Do I dare try? Are the Keegan's Irish Pub trivia geniuses at Fraters Libertas going to try out?

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Sports at 07:56 PM | Comments (4)

Like flies on stink

The Left is infatuated with polls...from justifying their lives to telling them whether their candidates are popular or not. They can't seem to live without some pollster telling them what's up and what's down.

ABC News Told ME So!

Posted by in Politics at 03:21 PM | Comments (2)

The Dream Team

Nader/Camejo 2004...it just rolls of the tongue.

East Bay businessman, Green Party stalwart could give independent a boost

Either this headline was written by someone who is optimistic about this dynamic duo or it was tongue in cheek. How exactly does one socialist give another socialist a boost?

Posted by in Politics at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

Contracts

I don't know how rampant a problem this is across America, but it has been a problem here in Minnesota.

The Minneapolis School Board has chosen its candidate for the next Superintendent of Schools, Thandiwe Peebles. Now the school board is in the process of negotiating her contract, which will likely pay her over $160,000 a year.

Minneapolis attorney Marshall H. Tanick has a piece in today's Star Tribune about the contract and what the school board should do to strengthen the contract.

Tanick is upset, rightfully, that contracts are not written to require an iota of loyalty on the part of the superintendant, but do require the school board to be loyal by providing payment, a car, a vacation policy, etc.

Previous superintendents in Minneapolis have left town before the end of their contract term, often with healthy package of unused vacation and sick time, and a pension. Then a new candidate search is started. And Minneapolis only looks for national candidates it seems. Nobody local is good enough.

Taxpayers in Minneapolis -- heck, all of Minnesota -- are left to pay for all this. The school board needs to remove the revolving door from the Superintendent's office, and get someone here who truly has a vision, a long term vision, for these schools instead of a candidate who views Minneapolis as a stop on the road to someplace bigger.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Economics at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

Turtles -- Help Them Out

Here in the Upper Midwest, it's time for the female turtles to dig a nest and bury her eggs. Often times, she'll make a trek across a road to do so.

If it's possible, and a safe opportunity, pull your car over and help her out. Just pick her up and move her to the shoulder that she is heading towards.

Last Friday, we discovered a painted turtle just covering a hole in our yard, where she had deposited her eggs. I did dig a bit to make sure she had done the deed, then we marked the spot with a stick so that in late August we can start checking to see if the hatchlings make it and make their move to the pond.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Miscellaneous at 06:33 AM | Comments (2)

NBA: Crime and No Punishment

As the Kobe Bryant case moves closer to the start of a trial, author Jeff Benedict is promoting his latest book: Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA's Culture of Rape, Violence, and Crime.

Based on a first-of-its-kind investigation into the criminal histories of 177 NBA players from the 2001–2002 season, Out of Bounds shows that an alarming four out of every ten NBA players have a police record involving a serious crime.

This is 2x the rate of crime involving NFL players. Minnesota's Vikings seem to have a running problem, with recent accusations of drunken driving, fighting, and rape/sexual assault. Benedict also has written a book on crimes in the NFL: "Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play In The NFL."

Sports leagues, from the commissioners offices to the teams themselves, must stop looking away from the crimes that their players are (alleged to be) committing and take a strong stand against lawlessness. I suppose one could argue that they need to stand back and allow the law process to occur, and take any disciplinary action only after the court has found the perp to be guilty, in order to protect themselves from lawsuit. But in a private league, there need not be any due process or wait for the court to make a judgment. Contracts should be written with clauses that allow a team and the league to immediately release a player and distance themselves from the sort of behavior that is rampant today.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Sports at 06:27 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

Not So Final A Frontier There, Jim

Someday my -- Daughter? Granddaughter? More likely the latter -- will tell me how her science class went into orbit to see what zero gravity was like. And I'll be able to tell her about the day it first happened; when a guy just made a casual jaunt to space for a little bit.

Pilot Mike Melvill, Funder Paul Allen, and Designer Burt Rutan rightly deserve their place in history for achieving this milestone, and possibly opening the door for regular Joe's to travel above the clouds.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Tech at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

Good Bye and Have Fun

I leave TAM in the capable hands of Shawn and Steve. You two, I expect to see a few Instalanches in my stat numbers by the time I come back. Also, bonus points for (gentling) annoying Oliver Willis.

Kerry's House of Ketchup will not come out this week. I know you're sad, but that just means there will be a super-sized one next week.

Wish me luck catching the big one and see you all next Tuesday.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

Attacking Kakutami

I knew Media Matters was created to analyze right-wing media, however, I didn't think they'd become knee-jerk Bill Clinton defenders. The media watch dog has gone after Michiko Kakutami's review of My Life doing a side-by-side comparison of that review with the one she did of Sen. Hillary Clinton's Living History. The conclusion: Kakutami has a paticular style of writing that employs similar words a phrasing. Only MM proclaims she "recycled" the review. I wouldn't blame her if she did recycle it. I can't imagine anyone making it through all 950+ pages even if they were paid to do it. Can you say, "stretch?"

"Kakutani Struck Again: She Recycled Anti-Clinton Review"

"Liberal Website Discredits Clinton Book Reviewer"



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

Kerry's Problem

I'm sure people have seen some of John Kerry's commercials where he tries to paint himself as an optimist against a patriotic backdrop. Problem is, he's not really an optimist. He's more of a flip-flopping fussbudget.

The Kerry campaign, for its part, wants to emphasize that their candidate not only shares the same concerns as average American, but is also able to identify with them. That's why Kerry is talking about his childhood, trying to show he wasn't born a tall, occasionally aloof senator.

I think your problem is right in front of you Senator. I don't really care about your childhood or that you look like Lurch, more often than not, you talk the optimism game, but in your speeches, you do whatever it takes to take down Bush....and America in the process. We are certainly are a nation of optimists, I just don't think you are one of them.

Kerry's deficit problem.

Posted by in John Kerry at 01:08 PM | Comments (1)

Father's Day Wishes

First, a belated "Happy Father's Day" to the fathers out there. I had plenty to do on my day, including spend some time at my mom's with my stepdad, a wonderful guy, and my brothers and their families. My dad lives eight hours away, so he got a phone call and our best wishes.

Freaky event of the day: It was 7:00AM, just hopping in my car to head to Men's Bible Study before church. The song playing at that given time was Harry Chapin belting out Cat's In The Cradle.

Mitch Berg's Shot In The Dark is a great blog (Sean didn't stipulate that we couldn't use the word "blog" this week), one that I read daily. Mitch also is one of the hosts of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, a weekly radio show on am1280, The Patriot here in Minnesota. The Northern Alliance is a confederation of Minnesota's brightest and best bloggers, as determined by the brightest and best talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Yesterday, Mitch opined on whiny feminist Father's Day greetings. We can't just let Dad's have a great day, eh?

The Star Tribune (registration required) also got into the game. The Strib can't let a day go by without some sort of guilt trip laid on us who abide by the law, create wealth, go to church, love our spouse of the opposite sex, etc. Yesterday's guilt trip was aimed as us fathers, specifically those of us not in jail yesterday.

There's a calendar taped on the gray wall in Cell 310 at the Hennepin County workhouse. Benjamin Waldron has blotted out 10 of the 12 months he's serving for assaulting his girlfriend during a drunken rage last August.

Waldron keeps photographs of his 2-year-old son tucked under his bed -- out of sight. Isaac is among 2 percent of the nation's children who will mark this Father's Day with a parent behind bars.

The story goes on to describe a men's group which meets behind the bars in which some dad's can learn about anger management, patience, or tolerance.

I believe that there are a lot of dads behind bars where the guy was likely more a sperm donor than a parent or father. Parenting, or being a father, implies nurturing, not laying down the smack on your girlfriend.

I'm sincerely glad these guys are trying to help themselves, so that this sort of thing doesn't get repeated later, by themselves, or even worse, start a vicious cycle with their offspring. That whole "Cat's In The Cradle" thing.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Culture at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

Twins Win!

Sean is a nice guy, and didn't give me a lot of junk for my Twins losing twice in last weekend's three-game series. We did get a victory yesterday.

For Twins fans, Twins Geek is the premiere fan-based site. He really goes off into some statistical analyses sometimes that can make your head spin, but it's cool. Check it out.

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Sports at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

Local Deaths

Pleasant Prairie might be the last place you would figure to hear about a murder, but something seems to be up:

Kevin Amde, 45, and his two sons, Tesla Amde, 3, and Davinci Amde, 6, all of Chicago, were discovered on Carol Beach in Pleasant Prairie. All three were found tethered together by a nylon rope, with knots tied in the front of their body.

But police revealed Sunday that two nylon book bags were tied to the bodies. Inside the bags were school books and two sealed plastic bags full of sand that weighed about 48 pounds. The added weight from the sand would make it difficult for anyone to stay afloat in deep water, authorities said.

This is a little odd to say the least, Pleasant Prairie is more of an outlet mall junction on the way to Illinois and it's not exactly a criminal hotbed.

Posted by in Wisconsin at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

Gorillas Gone Wild

I didn't know that the gorilla video store had a dimly lit "back room" for adult gorillas.

Gorilla sex video therapy

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Miscellaneous at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)

Chill, Bill

Rumor has it former President of the United States Bill Clinton has a book coming out this week.

As part of his promotional tour, he is doing interviews. In one with the BBC, the former President gets a little angry.

The former American president, famed for his amiable disposition, becomes visibly angry and rattled, particularly when Dimbleby asks him whether his publicly declared contrition over the affair is genuine.

I think it's a legitimate question for the former president. People here do want to know. He didn't always come across as forthright about so many other things ("the meaning of the word 'is'," for example).

Bill Clinton Rages

Posted by Shawn Sarazin in Books at 07:17 AM | Comments (0)

Greens to Invade Milwaukee

Here's another reason I'm glad to be on vacation this week: I'll avoid the Green Party convention in Milwaukee.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 12:50 AM | Comments (0)

Good Idea

If Dick Cheney were to drop out of the VP race, Hindrocket's suggestion of Sen. Joe Lieberman as his replacement would be smart and ground-shaking.

Too bad it wouldn't happen. Remember how Lieberman changed from the moderate Democratic Senator to the solid liberal running mate to AlGore in 2000?

"Not All Democrats Have Gone Crazy"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 12:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2004

Stupid Fan

At Saturday night's Twins-Brewers game a fan slid down an escalator only to hit a program cart and the concrete. The cut on the man's head was termed "self-inflicted." The question that isn't answered is if the dork is a Twins or Brewers fan. Inquiring minds want to know.

"Fan Falls off Escalator"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

Book Reviewer's "Real" Life

Rarely do I find McSweeney's funny. Here's one big exception.

"I am Michiko Kakutani" [via Michelle Malkin]



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

Iraq and Terrorism

In 1990, Saddam threatened terrorism upon the U.S.

If you use pressure, we will deploy pressure and force. We know that you can harm us although we do not threaten you. But we too can harm you. Everyone can cause harm according to their ability and their size. We cannot come all the way to you in the United States, but individual Arabs may reach you.

Even if Saddam's Iraq didn't have anything to do with the Sep. 11 attacks, when you take this statement and combine it with the terrorists that found safe haven in Iraq it's safe to say Saddam had terrorist connections and was, indeed, a terrorist state.

This brief analysis won't stop the Bush-bashers from continuing to declare the Iraq War as a diversion in the larger Islamist War. Which brings up this odd explanation of the "real" reason Bush liberated Iraq:

But for the vast majority of us, attacking Iraq was a weak response to the difficulty of destroying Bin Laden and his network.

Willis thinks it was easier to invade Iraq than give bin Laden the final deathblow--he may be dead anyway for all we know. Building a coalition, going to the U.N., and moving thousands of troops and materials to the Middle East was easier than traipsing around the mountains along the boarder of Pakistan and Afghanistan? I'm sure if you asked people running this war which would have had less difficulties: invading or not invading. The easier action would have been to let the U.N. drag its feet giving countries like France the impression it could hem in American "hyperpower."

"Why Would Saddam Want to Use Terrorists and What New Evidence do We Wave about those Threats?"

"Winning?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

NYT Pans My Life

Michiko Kakutani notices what many of us Clinton-basher knew for years. That he's a narcissist constantly needing to be the center of attention. In her review of My Life she writes:

The book, which weighs in at more than 950 pages, is sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull — the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history.

She doesn't rip on Dan Rather who's praised the book. (Could it have anything to do with generating interest in tonight's 60 Minutes interview or that Simon & Schuster, Clinton's publisher is a sister company to CBS underneath the Viacom umbrella?)

Kakutani goes on to write,

In fact, "My Life" reads like a messy pastiche of everything that Mr. Clinton ever remembered and wanted to set down in print; he even describes the time he got up at 4 a.m. to watch the inaugural ceremonies for Nigeria's new president on TV. There are endless litanies of meals eaten, speeches delivered, voters greeted and turkeys pardoned. There are some fascinating sections about Mr. Clinton's efforts to negotiate a Middle East peace agreement (at one point, he suggests that Yasir Arafat seemed confused, not fully in command of the facts and possibly no longer at the top of his game), but there are also tedious descriptions of long-ago political debates in Arkansas over utility regulation and car license fees . There are some revealing complaints about missteps at the FBI under Louis Freeh's watch , but there are also dozens of pointless digressions about matters like zombies in Haiti and ruins in Pompeii.

It sounds like My Life is like those long series of stories newspapers put out. The goal is to win a Pulitzer, but few end up reading every word because of the content's inanity.

"The Pastiche of a Presidency, Imitating a Life, in 957 Pages"



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 02:55 AM | Comments (0)

Fill Ins

Soon this humble (yeah right!) weblogger will be at an undisclosed location somewhere near Dick Cheney engaging in the fisherman's endless quest to experience something that can be turned into a fishing tale that can be believed.

But don't worry. TAM won't go dormant. I have two capable people Filling in while I'm gone this week.

The first victim/sacrificial lamb guest commenter is Steve of Norway. Steve is a regular TAM poster and also posts at Drumwaster's Rants. He found a way to fit some posting into his busy schedule. For that I'm grateful.

The second sucker guest is Shawn Sarazin. I've known Shawn for close to ten years. We met when I finally got around to joining the UMD College Republicans. 1994--my shaggy, human hairball days (thankfully, no pics on the Net)--was a really, really good year for Republicans, and I was happy to work with Shawn and his wife Michelle in doing our small part in getting Rod Grams elected to the Senate. I've been friends with them ever since. Shawn's probably more conservative than me and is active in his Lutheran church--a good Missouri Synod Lutheran church to be exact. (No, I'm not trying to start a good/bad Lutheran flame fest...yet. Sometime I will have to tell you my one and only experience sitting through an ELCA service. To give you a taste, Greenpeace would have love it.) Even though he's from Minnesota and a Vikings fan I am letting him run around the old TAM spread.

I'm giving these guys an early start just in case I need to iron out any tech wrinkles. Whether they take advantage of it is up to them.

Steve and Shawn, I'm expecting you two to play nice, write some good stuff, and rip the heck out of each other's sports teams.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 02:33 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004

Best Magazines

The Chicago Tribune has published their second-annual Best Magazines list. With so many magazines (17,500 by the newspaper's count) that cover a rainbow of topics it must be hard to compare if one apple is better than another orange.

Wired is at the top of the list for this year with it's great reporting and outstanding graphics. I'll occasionally page through an issue, but I haven't really like the mag since 1998. They do consistently have some of the best covers in all of magazinedom.

Last year's #1 mag, Cook's Illustrated falls to #4. Oddly, the biggest complaint about it is they don't publish a gardening version.

A magazine that should make the list next year is Cargo, a men's shopping publication. It's full of product reviews and fashion tips that help men try to be hip.

"50 Best Magazines" [via Political Wire]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 02:28 PM | Comments (1)

Kevin is Old

Wish him a happy birthday.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 01:49 AM | Comments (1)

JetBlue in Milwaukee?

JetBlue might come to Milwaukee. I try to be loyal to Midwest Airlines. Whenever I look to buy airline tickets I hope Midwest has the best price. I'm even willing to pay a little more for the two-across leather seats. However, I'm curious about JetBlue's planes and more competition will be better prices.

"JetBlue has Milwaukee on its Radar Screen"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 01:15 AM | Comments (0)

Blow by Blow

Matthew Yglesias has a love of strange nostalgia.

"Old School"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

Review of Thunderbird

Gareth Russell reviews the latest version of Mozilla's beta e-mail client. It sounds good, especially the junk e-mail filters. However, Gareth is a Linux geek so I don't know if the same praises can be made for the WinXP version.

"Mozilla - Back to Basics: Part 2 Thunderbird (0.7)"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 12:15 AM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2004

Tracking the Planes

The Sep. 11 Commission isn't a complete waste despite the partisan circuses some of their public hearings turned out to be. Here's what we've learned about the U.S. air defense on that fateful day:


  • The country isn't blanketed with radar coverage.
    Shortly after 9:00 a.m., Indianapolis Center started notifying other agencies that American 77 was missing and had possibly crashed. At 9:08 a.m., Indianapolis Center contacted Air Force Search and Rescue at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, and told them to look out for a downed aircraft. Indianapolis Center never saw Flight 77 turn around. By the time it reappeared in primary radar coverage, controllers had either stopped looking for the aircraft because they thought it had crashed or were looking toward the west. … American 77 traveled undetected for 36 minutes on a course heading due east for Washington, D.C.

  • Air traffic controllers and the military never expected a situation where more than one airplane was hijacked simultaneously. The Air Force planned to defend against fighters and bombers attacking from outside the U.S. not passenger planes attacking from within. While controllers were trying to find American 11, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center, United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to his the WTC, switched its transponder code twice without notice. The same controller that was suppose to watch United 175 was also to watch American 11.

    Furthermore, with such a novel attack, the FAA was didn't even ask for military help about United 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. Twelve minutes after the Pentagon was hit and over one hour since American 11 hit the WTC the Command Center finally "suggested that someone at headquarters should decide whether to request military assistance" about United 93. Thirteen minutes earlier, Cleveland Center which was watching United 93 offered to call a local military base. Fortunately, heroes on that flight forced the plane to crash in a field instead of Washington, D.C.

  • The FAA didn't have anyone watching the news. At 8:46 a.m. American 11 hit the WTC. At 9:03 a.m. United 175 then slammed into the WTC. At 9:08 a.m., over twenty minutes after the first crash, " Indianapolis Center contacted Air Force Search and Rescue at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, and told them to look out for a downed aircraft." Either no one knew there was at least one incident in New York City, or no one put two and two together. By 9:42 a.m. the FAA's Command Center "learned from television news reports that a plane had struck the Pentagon."

  • There was no communication between regional FAA centers. All information went to the Command Center in Virginia. Think of a spoke and wheel. It appears Indianapolis Center didn't know American 11 was missing or hijacked. There was no central flight data repository where Boston Center could let all other centers know there was a problem with one of their planes. It then didn't pique controllers' suspicion when American 77, the plane that hit the Pentagon, changed its flight plan and disappeared from radar. It took over a half hour for the FAA to gather and think about the two crashed planes and the one missing one. The agency ordered a "nationwide ground stop." American hit the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., twelve minutes after the stop order.

"Tracking the Flights Hijacked on 9/11" [via Hit & Run]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

Clinton's Biggest Mistake

Bill Clinton is trying to suck me in. I can feel it. He wants me to fly off the handle and turn into a snarling Clinton-hater as ugly as any Bush-basher. It's not going to work even if he tells some whoppers in My Life:

Clinton said his biggest presidential mistake was the 1994 decision that would ultimately lead to his impeachment — asking then-Attorney General Janet Reno to name a prosecutor to look into his Whitewater land dealings.

He said he was not worried about the prosecutor, because he had nothing to hide. Clinton said he may have been so worn out and upset by the death of his mother that he didn't make what he now sees what would have been the wiser choice — release the necessary papers, give Democrats a thorough briefing and seek their support.


Notice having an affair with an intern young enough to be his daughter wasn't his biggest mistake. Nor was lying to a grand jury and the public. Also notice he has no regrets about the technology transfers to China that helped improve the Communists nation's nuclear capabilities and made the U.S. less secure. Last but not least, notice there's no regret about millions of illegal foreign contributions to his campaign.

Then there's this:

Writing about his 1998 impeachment, Clinton said Republican leaders were not punishing him for dishonesty or immoral conduct in having an affair with Lewinsky and lying about it under oath. He said he believed the reason was power, and because his political goals were different from theirs.

To Clinton, the impeachment was a cynical power play. Since he doesn't think he did anything wrong (other than getting caught) it's logical to come to that conclusion. It shows this man thought his political opponents were a politically calculating as him. For Clinton, there's no possible way Republicans were really bothered by how he thought he was above the law.

Well, Bill Clinton almost got me to wail and claim his administration was the death knell of the republic. Being the uber-saleman and narcissist that he is he got me to talk about his book. For him, mission accomplished.

"Book: Clinton Recalls Sleeping on Couch"

UPDATE: Deacon at Power Line calls Clinton's Jesus Christ pose "grandiose self-pity."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:42 PM | Comments (1)

June 17, 2004

What If?

Here's some alternate history. I'll bet a dozen Krispy Kremes this never happens.

"Clinton Suspends Book Tour, Keeps Spotlight on Kerry"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 11:51 PM | Comments (1)

Good News

Dave Winer and others have put together a plan to get the Weblogs.com weblogs back up.


Rogers will offer a 90-day free evaluation period. Assuming we complete this transition by Monday, your site will be hosted, at no charge, through September 18. That gives us all a lot of breathing room.

In the interim, you will be able to download your site, easily, and you will encouraged to do so. It's important to back up your work against a data failure. And you always should have a copy of your data, no matter how much you trust the host of your site. This is how you sleep well at night knowing that you have a copy of your site.

We expect to have the new service open for you to use by Monday; we may have it ready as soon as Friday (tomorrow).


No apology from Winer, but you can't have everything in life. It looks like this event has been put to rest. Good job, Dave.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

Screw Iraq

If Jacques Chirac is so pig-headed that he can't see there's a new Iraq then the country should just announce they will no longer acknowledge the debt to France.

"Chirac Unwilling to Forgive More Than 50 Percent of Iraq's Debt" [via Clay Whittaker]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

Avoiding Plain Speaking

The euphemisms abortion defenders use for the brutal procedure reek of Orwell. Rich Lowry writes:

Actually, you might get sick if abortionists don't use euphemisms. According to Coffin, a doctor in one of the trials described crushing an infant's skull as "reduc[ing]" the "fetal calvarium" to facilitate "completion of delivery." The completed delivery, of course, of an infant with a crushed skull. Another doctor said he "separated" the "fetal calvarium" from the infant's body. Yes, and Abu Zarqawi separated Nick Berg's calvarium from his body too.

Yet another abortionist described what he does as seeking to "safely and efficiently empty the uterine cavity, rendering the woman unpregnant." For the layman, the state of "unpregnant" is what you achieve when you kill your baby. Sorry. Did I say "kill"? I meant "vacuum the uterus," or "disarticulate the fetus."


There's something intrinsicaly wrong about abortion for its most stout defenders to not call a spade a spade.

"The Right that Dare not Speak its Name"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture of Death at 09:57 PM | Comments (2)

Browser Question

Mozilla 1.7 can now be downloaded. Since Microsoft has said in the future there won't have a stand alone web browser, I'm hunting for useable alternatives that fit in to how I use the Web. How is this release connected to FireFox and Thunderbird besides the latter two being separate programs? Is FF and T-Bird tech in the new Mozilla browser? More importantly for me, how well does Mozilla work with Movable Type? I won't use FF because some MT style buttons don't appear.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

Arrogant Jerk

The quotes trickling out from the upcoming Bill Clinton interview on 60 Minutes make me so glad I'll be away from news watching while on vacation next week. I won't have to read about inane Clinton crude like this:

When the Berlin wall fell, the perpetual right in America, which always needs an enemy, didn't have an enemy any more, so I had to serve as the next best thing.

My Life will be satisfying the voyeurs and Clinton faithful while I'll be on a lake going after the big one.

I leave it to The Llama Butchers to rant for me.

"Clinton Says He Never Considered Quitting"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 08:35 PM | Comments (2)

Cynical Ploy

Arnold Kling has a great essay on the Left's political tactics, Corruption and Compassion. I want to look at the Corruption tactic more closely. On it, Kling writes:

In each case, the Left can genuinely point to something wrong: corporate executives ripping off shareholders and others; cancer and obesity; inability to find weapons stockpiles; mistreatment of prisoners. They then proceed to personalize the issue, blaming President George Bush for the Enron scandal (since it involved Texas and oil), blaming Big Tobacco and Big Food, and blaming "the neocons" for the intelligence failures and prisoner abuses.

The Left goes on to use the Corruption weapon to delegitimize the target. They use the issue to justify heavy regulation, confiscation of assets by governments and lawyers in the case of the tobacco industry, and calls for resignations of those trying to lead the war in Iraq.

Faced with the Corruption charge, the Right faces a dilemma. Nobody wants to defend mistakes or adverse results. However, if the Right caves in to every demand, then the corporate profits that do not disappear under a mountain of regulation will be extracted via shakedowns (called "settlements"). If business and war had to be conducted perfectly to be conducted at all, then we would have not have any private enterprise in our economy and we would not have won a single war in our history.

One approach for the Right is to engage in tit for tat. That is, we could try to make a mountain out of very molehill of misbehavior by an individual or institution on the Left. There are many instances of this, from Joseph McCarthy to the Clinton impeachment. However, I think that for our side to engage in this sort of over-reaching attack is unwise, because it gives legitimacy to something that the Left does more ruthlessly and effectively. We would be better off in an environment in which neither side abused the Corruption weapon, and instead political criticism were constructive. Regardless of which side does it, I believe that gravitating toward "gotcha" politics signifies the lack of a credible positive vision for the country.

Instead of adopting the Corruption weapon and thereby reinforcing it, I believe that we should try to place limits on its use. In my experience in the corporate world, there were always employees who went too far in criticizing management. Criticism has value when it is constructive and conducted in the spirit of a loyal employee seeking to improve processes. However, when it is clear that the employee's sole goal is to bring down management and undermine the company, you need to fire the employee.

What value is there in claiming President Bush lied about WMD in Iraq? Critics have ignored the important difference between lying and being wrong. If the President lied about Iraq's WMD then Bill Clinton, AlGore, and the U.N. lied too. They use this tactic to instill fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the President. It's a classic smear job.

What value is there in linking Bush/Cheney to Haliburton unless there some real proof bribery is taking place? All that does is breed public cynicism and distrust toward all public officials (they can't all be bad). Again, another smear job.

What value was there for Eliot Spitzer to go after Strong Capital Management, and force it to settle for a huge fine? The end result was the sale of the company and the loss of hundreds of Wisconsin jobs. Spitzer gets the good press for his run for higher office, but a community far way from New York's Attorney General pays the price. Plus, investors become more skeptical about mutual fund companies even though few can explain how Richard Strong's trades harmed any of his investors.

We have an example of substance-free smearing today. John Kerry said the Sep. 11 commission report of no collaboration between al Qaeda and Iraq "proves" Bush "rushed to war." By liberating Iraq, Kerry said the administration let Afghanistan and al Qaeda go by the wayside. But here's the most important part of the story in relation to the Left's Corruption tactic:

Asked what Bush's true motivation was for attacking Saddam's government, Kerry said that is a question for the administration.

"It is clear that the president owes the American people a fundamental explanation about why he rushed to war for a purpose that it now turns out is not supported by the facts," Kerry said. "And that is the finding of this commission."

Kerry's tactic is two-fold: 1.) He's trying to make the Bush campaign play defense; 2.) He's perpetuating the meme that Bush went to war for nefarious reasons. It's destructive cynicism to gain political advantage. It doesn't move any debate forward. Kerry doesn't promote himself, he just tears his opponent down.

Cynicism is an ugly feeling. Looking through such glasses makes the world look bleak and hopeless. Everyone must have their own hidden agendas. Trust no one. That wasn't the spirit of Ronald Reagan. He had a way of always looking toward the shining city on a hill. He found a way to successfully (but not perfectly) balance idealism with hard ball politics. While the bipartisanship of the 1980s is a myth, we need to reject ugly, sardonic politics.

"The Left's Tactical Weapons"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004

Kerry's House of Ketchup #15

kerry-ketchup.jpg
Kerry speaks.

Your favorite good-natured condiment-fest took a hiatus last week due to Ronald Reagan's death. If Bush and Kerry could lay off the political hammering, I could too. The House is now back to satisfy your lycopene cravings.

The "restless and relentless" Democratic campaigner, "a weird mix of both the very refined taste of elite schools and all that but also eating Hostess cupcakes and watching dumb comedies on TV" is back on the stump. Something seems wrong with a campaign where the candidate still has to tell voters why he's running for President this long into the process. Maybe part of it is because we will all soon be trapped in All Bill All the Time as Bill Clinton hawks his book. Thankfully, Bill will toss in an occasional plug for Kerry while he sucks the media energy out of campaign coverage.

It's still too early to care about polls--even the extremely flawed LA Times one. Instead, by taking a peek at the Iowa Electronic Markets we see the GOP leading the Democrats in the Winner Takes All Market and President Bush still leading Sen. Kerry one-on-one.

Now, onto the links...

  • Kerry's most important decision right now is who will be his running mate. He ensconced himself in some private meetings with congressional possibilities "only steps away." A few weeks ago, a rumor had it the list was down to three with Iowa's governor Tom Vilsack and Sen. John Edwards in the running. Too bad for those who like their politics a tad weird Sen. John McCain will NOT be Kerry's running mate.

  • Maybe Ralph Nader can run with Kerry. Then they can be "Glum and Glummer."

  • The Comedian doesn't want the job either.

  • Kerry tried some optimistic rhetoric, but Mickey Kaus found it wanting (scroll down to 06.08). [Can the man please use permalinks?] [via Betsy's Page]

  • Bill Hobbs noticed that the Kerry weblog found a way to fit both Ronald Reagan and Ray Charles into a post. As Bill put it, "weird."

  • Somone help Steven Taylor make sense of the source of Kerry's "decisions in public life."

  • Steven earns himself a second link by being amazed at how Kerry can stretch a dollar or a tax hike on the rich.

  • Massachusetts Republicans want Kerry to step down from his Senate seat. He's not doing much to represent the people that elected him. For example, he missed a vote on an anti-bioterrorism bill while campaigning on that very issue.

  • What would a President Kerry foreign policy look like? Deacon of Power Line wonders.

  • Kerry as Carter II? That gives me the willies.

  • Zombyboy doesn't fret a whole lot about a Kerry administration.

  • But Tim Cavanaugh is sure that won't happen. "Bush is going to kick his [Kerry's] ass all over the United States."

  • Massachusetts' junior Senator is ignoring economic reality for political benefit such as this good news.

  • Oh when will Democrats be for Kerry instead of just against Bush? I'm blaming this on the Deaniacs.

  • Kerry sees more U.N. action and international involvement as the solution to Iraq's problems. The U.N. is on board, but NATO is balking courtesy of Jacques Chirac.

  • Kerry has a problem with abortion. It's both political and moral.

  • Who knew John Kerry and George Lucas were so close? [via VodkaPundit]

  • Last but not least, ScrappleFace reports that Kerry wants to use a Democratic time-honored approach to increase the middle class.

Join in the fun by linking to the House of Ketchup. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.

[Thanks go to the John F. Kerry Media Relations Center for the Sen. Zoop's "voice." Cheap gimmick not endorsed by Glenn Reynolds.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in John Kerry at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

Put Him on the $20

Until shown otherwise Reagan should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 instead of Hamilton on the $10. I know my early 19th Century American history is really rusty, but other than killing the national bank, telling John Calhoun to stick it, and winning the Battle of New Orleans after the War of 1812 was in essence over what make him deserve the currency honor more than Reagan? If Reaganiks (and term I've just coined) think this through they should be able to get support to ax Jackson from all the descendents of the Indian tribes Old Hickory had relocated.

"Biographers Come To Hamilton's Defense"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 09:22 PM | Comments (2)

On the Reagan Ad

As I expected, Oliver Willis rips the Right on the Reagan ad.

In his first post, Oliver doesn't see the parallel between the Cold War and the Islamist War. To put it simply, they're both about direct threats to the U.S. The ad argues that since Sen. Kerry wasn't right about fighting communism why should we trust him fighting Islamists? It's a question Kerry will probably not answer nor see the need to answer. Oliver then blames Reagan for creating the embryo that would become al Qaeda. This is his version of blowback, a thin attempt at blaming the victims for Sep. 11.

In his second post, Oliver points out that the Club for Growth will postpone airing the Reagan ad for a week. He then can't help himself and rants that "Voters reject naked extremist right-wing ideology!" with regards to the Specter-Toomey race. The Club for Growth is so "extreme" as to follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. Their advocacy of limited government and lower taxes is the same message The Gipper used to win two elections. Either large majorities of Americans have "extremist right-wing ideology" or Oliver let his knee-jerk anti-conservatism clouds his judgement.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 08:45 PM | Comments (3)

Winer Speaks Again

Here's what ticks me off about Dave Winer's weblogs.com shutdown: He refuses to admit he made a mistake. He thinks that putting a notice of a future shutdown on his weblog wouldn't have been effective. Maybe, maybe not. He does write one of the most linked ones in the blogosphere. He could have at least tried it. Not all would have been notified, but at least he's have a legitimate excuse.

I can empathize with all the stress Winer is under. I don't blame him for shutting down his generous, free service. I blame him for treating many webloggers with such little respect. We're all suppose to stand by and nod our heads in agreement as Winer writes about all his problems. What about some empathy for those webloggers who poured so much into their weblogs only to seem them ubruptly vanish?

Then Winer gets all sanctimonious. He writes,

One of these days in this weblog world kindness may be part of how we deal with each other.

Oh please. How about this? One of these days in this weblog world a weblog hoster will make a serious effort to notify the community he helped build that it was disappearing.

From my brief encounters with Winer I've learned he's one of the most thin-skinned and stubborn webloggers around. Everyone else can be wrong, but not him. He can be quite controlling at meetings especially when things aren't going as smoothly as he'd like. But even with these personality quirks he's done so much to grow the weblogging community through evangelism and his work on RSS and other tools. His successful efforts to grow this new means of expression should help him see why many are upset with him. His shutdown of Weblogs.com was a betrayal to his users and to the blogosphere as a whole. Sadly, Winer doesn't even realize he's done anything wrong.

He once told me that he'd be satisfied if through his technology work two people--just two--could find a way to truly communicate with each other. If that happened he'd consider his efforts a success. Through all Winer's hard work he got many, many more to touch one another through word, picture, and sound. Suddenly snipping those strings of communication is another reason so many are upset. Maybe Winer didn't think people were "truly communicating" yet. If so, no one but him knows that that term means.

It's interesting that man who writes that he's spent so much time on the "connection between the First Amendment and technology" then goes on to blast non-Weblogs.com webloggers for sticking their noses where they don't belong. It's people like me who are "behaving badly are people on the sidelines" (I thought the whole blogosphere was a community. His two BloggerCons certainly weren't limited to Manila and Radio users.) and are "hogging the microphone right now" (How, since the beauty of a weblog is giving anyone a soapbox?). (He probably doesn't think this remix is very funny. I think it's hilarious.)

I wish Winer only the best. I hope his health problems are relieved. I hope his burdens are lessened. And I hope he's learned good citizenship means living by the rules you aspire other to abide by.

For more reading there's James Grimmelmann's post. What he makes you realize is with this fiasco Winer has hurt his work on RSS. If Winer wants to continue the good progress he's made he's going to have to own up to his mistakes. His credibility is at stake. Dori Smith notes that Winer's old company UserLand should bear some of the blame. Point taken.

"Morning Coffee Notes"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 07:47 PM | Comments (1)

Carnival Goodies

Jessica's Well hosts this week's Carnival of the Vanities.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

Britney Drops Summerfest

With her knee injury Britney Spears cancelled her 07.01 show along with the rest of her "Onyx Hotel" summer tour. Summerfest bookers are scrambling to find a replacement. I'd say if all else failed and they couldn't even get the BoDeans to play they could have one of the headliners on the other stages play in the Marcus Amphitheater. Unfortunately, looking at that day's lineup I don't see anyone who would have enough strength to fill the place.

"Spears Cancels Summerfest Date"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Summerfest at 12:37 AM | Comments (2)

More Free Trade Progress

More good news (except if your the LJ) on the free trade front. A deal has been made with Morocco and one with Bahrain is on its way. If this keeps up I'd hope President Bush were always running for re-election.

"U.S. Signs Free Trade Deal With Morocco"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 12:07 AM | Comments (0)

Training Camp for Protesters

To add to my NYC protest post, here's a story on summer classes for protesters. Here are some of the activities planned to exercise their free speech rights:

Organizers won't publicly disclose their plans for civil disobedience. But activists describe sit-ins and blockades at delegate hotels, pie-throwing at high-level officials, and street theater outside Broadway shows attended by convention-goers. A man who calls himself Jonny America plans to mimic Paul Revere's ride along Lexington Avenue, shouting "the Republicans are coming, the Republicans are coming!"

"Classes Train GOP Convention Protesters"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 12:01 AM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2004

Which Is It?

Are we doomed by floods or desertification? Note in both cases the U.N. is the source.

"Flood Toll Could Climb to 2bn"

"U.N. Says Globe Drying Up at Fast Pace"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

Who Cares?

The Pistons take the NBA championship with their 3-1 series victory over the Lakers. Since I can't stand watching Larry Brown's style of NBA basketball (strangely, I like it in the college game) this championship doesn't improve the NBA's standing in my eyes. I didn't care about the Lakers either so I pretty much ignored the finals.

"Pistons Send Lakers Packing, Win Third NBA Title"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

War Economy

I don't know what Oliver's been reading, but I haven't seen the claim that the war is boosting the economy. If this nonsense is out there I want to know about it so it can be slapped down properly.

War doesn't directly help the economy because goods and services are destroyed not created. It's like the nostrum that World War II pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Not so. Instead, it was a better-managed money supply and the pent up demand of a post-war population who weren't burdened by war-time rationing.

But in a way, war is sometimes necessary for an economy. Anarcho-capitalist and hardcore libertarian readers will balk that government can do anything beneficial, but war and police powers are needed to protect economic and political rights. World War II is an example. A Europe controlled by Nazi Germany wouldn't have been good in the long-term interests of the U.S. That continent suffering under the National Socialists' facist central planning wouldn't have been able to buy or produce as much as a free Europe could. Also, who's to say Hitler would have stopped by conquering Britain? If the U.S. never got involved in WWII the tyrant could have assumed the U.S. was weak and made preparations for the invasion of North America.

"An Economic Question"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Economics at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

Potty Break

I'm not in favor of a law mandating them, but any building, especially stadiums and theaters, should have more women's bathrooms than men's.

"Women Battle for Equal Rights in Loo Queue"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 10:39 PM | Comments (2)

Reagan Starring in Ad

Club for Growth made an anti-Kerry ad using the late Ronald Reagan speaking at the Berlin Wall. Joanne Drake, spokeman for the Reagan family, said, "No one has requested the permission to use his image in an ad, nor would we feel it appropriate to give such permission at this juncture." I don't know what the law says about this, but something doesn't seem right. Reagan was a public figure, and his Berlin Wall speech was a public event. Reagan wanted the world to hear his request to Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!" But in the same ad Club for Growth uses footage from John Kerry testifying before the Senate soon after he returned from Vietnam and President Bush's powerful words at Ground Zero. It's okay to use these clips, but not Reagans? Why? Other then Reagan being dead is the difference?

Then there's this ridiculous paragraph from the AP story:

The Reagan family's spokeswoman said Tuesday that permission is needed for anyone to use Reagan's likeness in an ad because doing so implies that he endorsed one candidate over another.

I won't go off on Ms. Drake because I don't know what she told the reporter, but what intellectually honest person would think Reagan would back Kerry if he were alive and was of sound mind?

I now await Oliver Willis to rip the Club for Growth and conservatives in general for "exploiting" the image of a dead man.

"Conservative Campaign Ad Features Reagan"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 09:14 PM | Comments (1)

Protesters Protesting Already

We're two months away from the GOP convention and the anti-Bush/anti-America protesters are already crying foul. Up to the convention we'll hear them complaining about how their rights are being squashed because they won't be able to protest in whatever way they want to. Then during the convention they'll complain about the evil police stifling their speech--Mike Bloomberg, NYC's GOP mayor will be the key to this part of the conspiracy. After the convention they'll use all the "abuse" they endured to persuade people not to vote for Bush.

"NY Convention Protesters Say Rights Threatened"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

Ragging on Winer

Elisabeth Riba has the best line on the Weblogs.com blackout I've read so far:

I never knew that much about Dave Winer before I met him at Bloggercon. I wasn't terribly impressed by what I saw and heard from him while there, and everything I've heard since has confirmed that opinion of him as an egomanaical blowhard with his head in the clouds. So much for his vision of blogtopia. Maybe now bloggers can focus on real issues instead of his utopian fantasylands?

The lesson to be learned is to move to a weblog setup as much under your own control as possible. If you're on BlogSpot or TypePad, think about buying some server space. With webloggers [and here] offering the service you should expect good service and a sympatheic hand if needed.

"Death of the Gatekeeper"

UPDATE: I was waiting for Kevin to toss in his two cents. He hasn't let me down.

For more reading pleasure there's this comparison between SixApart and Mr. Winer.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

Thinking Small

Other than the Calatrava-designed train station no substantial artistic statement is in the works for Ground Zero. So I'm not surprised The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. thought small when picking artistic groups to locate on the "sacred ground."

"Culture by Committee"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

Denying Reality

Dr. Howard Dean claims his Iowa scream "never happened," at least not how cable news made it appear. Sure, there was plenty of noise from his cult followers supporters but one has to be a little off his rocker to produce a comedic moment like this.

"Howard Dean: Scream 'Never Happened'"

[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Howard the Duck at 06:39 PM | Comments (1)

Weblogs.com R.I.P.

This is pure inside baseball. Nevertheless, it is interesting. Dave Winer weblogging pioneer shut down all the free weblogs at weblogs.com. Go there and you get this page with a link to an audio post explaning why he did what he did.

Since it is Winer's server he can pretty much do anything he wants with it. If he wants to host weblogs, build tech communities, or run a gazillion porn sites, fine. He's paying the bills therefore he makes the rules. My problem is with the inconsideration he gave to weblogs.com users he calls "pioneers." He gave them little if any warning about the impending doom of their weblogs. As a commenter at Halley's Comment wrote:

No problem with weblogs.com going away, but no explanation was given until those of us started posting about it. Not even on scripting.com. And then to pull the plug without warning? And then people can't access their old material?

Sorry, but that's something Winer himself would react to harshly if it had happened to him.

To keep some perspective Doc Searls notes [via Netcraft]:

Thousands of us got a free ride from Dave, and Userland, over the past five years. What we got was far more than we didn't pay for. For many of us (certainly for me), the benefits have been incalculable.

Let's keep that in mind as those of us involved try to make this transition over the next few weeks.

At a minimum, Winer should be accused of poor planning. Moving entire websites to a new host is a risky task. He could have warm users that what he was doing could jeopardize their weblogs.

Then there's the note about cost. Dave wrote that he "can't afford to host these sites." But he had the money to traipse around Europe recently, and he could afford to be a Harvard fellow. Fine, he can do what he wants, but somehow he could afford server time to give his users a little time to back up their weblogs? That's not putting the user first, something he harps on other tech-types to do.

I now understand why people have so much trouble working with Dave when it comes to technology. I have a feeling the creation of Atom technology for syndication was partially a reaction to Dave's personal stake in RSS.

If there is another BloggerCon I hope Winer doesn't run it, and that whoever does organize it take advantage of Bill Hobbs' idea. First, it would be closer to me. Second, I'd love to visit Nashville. Third, it would move the conference away from the East Coast and it's liberal media-industrial complex and let more webloggers in Red America participate.

"Dave Winer is Still a Dick"

UPDATE: Wired News is covering this story. Most noticable is the fear by some that if they say anything disparaging about Winer he will "forget" to provide weblog entries.

"Thousands of Blogs Fall Silent" [via Bill Hobbs]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 05:05 PM | Comments (2)

Just Did It in Milwaukee

Last month Nike came to Milwaukee to shoot a new commercial. I don't know if anyone will get some of the joke:

Milwaukee invented an arcade dance game, but "a foreigner" mastered it and became the reigning world champion. Naturally, the man cast in the "foreigner" role is from Illinois.

But the Milwaukeeans wanted to prove that they were the best in the world. And the ad's hero, a local runner who is - Surprise! - wearing Nike Shox running shoes, out-duels the foreign champion at the dancing game.


Unless Nike plans on only showing the commerical in the Midwest few will understand the Wisconsin-Illinois rivalry. We call them "flatlanders" and "F.I.B.s" while they call us "cheeseheads." Unfortunately many Wisconsinites--especially Packers fans--have have claimed the derisive term as a badge of honor.

But wait, there's more. The "star" of the commercial, Brian Kuhaupt of Slinger (just down the road from me), was paid $500/day and will get royalties for his appearance. As the Journal Sentinel puts it, the money "will be a huge jump from the $8.65 max he's paid hourly at the Carlisle Tire & Wheel factory in Slinger." Expect much of that money to fuel the local bar economy.

"Nike Ad-Makers Find Sleek Dancing in Unstylish Setting"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

Have an Extinguisher Handy

Spot On hosts this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

Funny Ha Ha or Funny Strange?

This actually is funny in a very geeky sort of way. But then again I think The Sopranos (the greatest black comedy in television history) is funnier than both Shrek movies put together.

"Scientists Take The Fun Out Of Funny"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 02:26 AM | Comments (0)

Favre's New Back-up

The Packers have agreed on a one-year deatl with ex-Browns QB Tim Couch.

"QB Cushion: Couch, Packers Reach Deal"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 02:21 AM | Comments (2)

June 14, 2004

The Future is Asynchronous

TiVo, the best tech gizmo in recent memory, wants to plug into the Internet and let subscribers download music, photos, movies, and more. While this seems like a logical extension of their "watch-it-when-you-want-to" philosophy their DVR created, it may prevent the company from surviving.

The day will soon come where television, movie, and music consuming will be completely disconnected from any set schedule. We will watch the latest episode of the The Sopranos not when HBO decides, but when David Case gets it finished. Networks will change from content providers to content bankrollers, or they may just fade into media history. Other than sports and breaking news events, shared watching experiences will be replaced with highly customizable schedules.

TiVo may end up being one of those tech pioneers who may not profit from their creation.

"For TiVo, a Channel of One's Own?"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Tech at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

Attacking Ohio

I'd like to say "I told you so" about al-Qaeda attacking a shopping mall, but this is one of those instances where something I've thought about often doesn't make it onto this weblog.

You can think I'm making this up. Oh well. Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks I wondered what al-Qaeda would do next. Since passengers counterattacked the hijackers on United Flight 93, and passengers rose up to stop Richard Reid, the "Shoe bomber" turning a passenger plane into a cruise missile is off the idea board. To really instill fear in the population anyone, not just those in cities like New York and Washington, D.C., would have to think they could be a potential target. An attack in America's heartland would truly terrorize the public, and what better place for a bombing than a shopping mall? It's where millions of people daily congregate to shop, eat, and be entertained. An attack there would implant one heck of a cocoon effect pushing the economy into deep recession (although online retailers would make a killing).

Now, we have word that a Somali terrorist was, in fact, plotting to bomb a mall in Ohio.

"Man Charged in Ohio Mall Blast Plot"

UPDATE: Here's reaction from Captain Ed.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 01:01 PM | Comments (1)

Better Off Dead

Thanks to Joni I give you this odd court ruling dealing with human life. A woman will be allowed to sue her doctor for mental anguish for botching a chemical abortion. In other words, Karen Sheppard will be able to sue her doctor for not killing her child. As an added bonus, Sheppard can sue for malpractice on behalf of her child. Can the child sue her mother for wanting her dead?

I know this case is more complicated than how I stated it. However, it is in keeping with my claim that legalized abortion has greatly diminshed the value of human life. In Sheppard's case some would take the survivial of the child from both chemical abortion and birth--where doctors said she wouldn't be able to carry the child to term--as a miracle. By suing Sheppard makes it known that she would rather have her child dead than alive.

"Mother May Claim Emotional Damages for Harm at Birth"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture of Death at 12:30 PM | Comments (2)

June 13, 2004

Weirdness in Miller Park

In the Houston-Milwaukee game the Brewers' Ben Sheets threw only nine pitches in one inning and struck out the side. He became only the 37th pitcher in major league history to do that. Later on, the Astros' Brad Lidge struck out four in an inning to stop a potential Brewers rally.

[Cross-posted to SportsBlog]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 03:41 PM | Comments (1)

Stuck on Internet Time

With President Reagan's burial yesterday and President Bush's radio address dedicated to the great man I would think it would be time to move on. But if people abide by the flag code (sec. 7) flags will remain at half-mast for three more weeks. Did that happen with Nixon? I don't seem to recall, but then he was a fallen man and not the beloved man that Reagan was/is.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 12:09 AM | Comments (1)

June 12, 2004

Legal Claim Before Life

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck again when it comes to strange rulings. This is the same court that ruled the Declaration of Independence unconstitutional because of the phrase "under God." The court has now ruled twins can receive Social Security death benefits even though they weren't even conceived until years after their father's death. This is interesting since the law of the land allows the unborn to be killed in the womb at the descression of the mother. Yet somehow children are entitled to survivor benefits even though they didn't even exist when the death occured.

If this case doesn't reach the Supreme Court it makes for a further burdening of the S.S. fund. I'm sure there are many more cases of dead people's sperm and eggs sitting in freezers where they could be thawed, implanted, then born. And how would this case be applied to a scenerio where a child was conceived with a parent's DNA instead of sex cell? Would a legal entitlement also apply beyond Social Security? Could these twins lay claim to their father's property?

"Appeals Court Rules Benefits OK for Twins"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Culture of Death at 11:23 PM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2004

Ronald in D.C. One Last Time

I watched much of the procession of Reagan's body from the White House to Capitol Hill. There was a golden hue in the air probably from the heat and humidity. It made Washington, D.C. appear to be the City on a Hill the President mentioned often. Nancy Reagan combined grief, dignity, and sharing into one graceful package. She never connected more with the American public than she did yesterday. Everyone knew she was sad her husband was now dead, but you also could feel the relief from having been relieved of the burden of watching Reagan wither from his disease. She's now free and is willing to share her Ronny one last time with a country that adores him.

Mike was there and has this report.

"Procession"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 12:21 AM | Comments (1)

June 09, 2004

Meet the Lazy Bum

That was me yesterday. Monday night, I saw Rush on their 30th anniversary tour. I got home late, then slept way too long yesterday since I had a day off. With Reagan's death filling up just about all the news time I wasn't inspired. Add to that yesterday's weather (warm and humid), and I shifted into lazy bum mode. To top it off, I watched the entire Brewers-Angels game that went to 17 innings. I should be in bed, but I didn't want any of you to think I vanished off the face of the earth. Expect a (probably short) Kerry's House of Ketchup this evening.

"Rush Delivers Fine-Tuned Show of the Classics"

"U.N. Endorses Transfer of Iraq Sovereignty"

"A Long Night's Journey . . ."

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 02:49 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2004

Quack!

Here's a post about ducks, and it has nothing to do with Howard Dean.

"Caution -- Duck-Blogging Ahead!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Howard the Duck at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

Kerry on Reagan

Sen. John Kerry has suspended campaigning for a week because of Ronald Reagan's death. He also had some wonderful things to say about the 40th President:

Free men and women everywhere will forever remember and honor President Reagan's role in ending the Cold War. He really did believe that communism could be ended in his lifetime, and he helped to make it happen.

and
Perhaps President Reagan's greatest monument isn't any building or any structure that bears his name, but the absence of the Berlin Wall.

and
Because of the way he led, he taught us that there was a difference between strong beliefs and bitter partisanship. in the face of new challenges, President Reagan's example reminds us that we must move forward with optimism and resolve.

There is also this statement from yesterday:

Ronald Reagan's love of country was infectious. Even when he was breaking Democrats hearts, he did so with a smile and in the spirit of honest and open debate. Despite the disagreements, he lived by that noble ideal that at 5pm we weren't Democrats or Republicans, we were Americans and friends. President Reagan and Tip O'Neill fought hard and honorably on many issues, and sat down together to happily swap jokes and the stories of their lives. The differences were real, but because of the way President Reagan led, he taught us that there is a big difference between strong beliefs and bitter partisanship.

He was the voice of America in good times and in grief. When we lost the brave astronauts in the Challenger tragedy, he reminded us that, ‘Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.’

Now, his own journey has ended-a long and storied trip that spanned most of the American century-and shaped one of the greatest victories of freedom. Today in the face of new challenges, his example reminds us that we must move forward with optimism and resolve. He was our oldest president, but he made America young again.

Our prayers are with his family, and the wife he loved in a way all the world could see. And to the end, she loved him with courage and complete devotion. She helped all of us better understand the cruel disease that took him away before it took his life, and what we must do to prevent and cure it.

Teresa and I and our family extend our deepest sympathies to Nancy Reagan and the Reagan family. Today, from California to Maine - ‘from sea to shining sea’ - Americans will bow their heads in prayer and gratitude that President Reagan left such an indelible stamp on the nation he loved.

Very classy.

"Kerry Suspends Campaign Events in Honor of Reagan"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in John Kerry at 11:20 PM | Comments (3)

Missed Opportunity

To remember Ronald Reagan, his death, and what he did for his country, I planned on getting a copy of today's NY Times assuming its front page would be full of stories about his death, his accomplishments, and his place in history. For some reason, the paper had nothing about Reagan's death on the front page. Instead, coverage is in Monday's paper. It was late afternoon Saturday that he passed away, but the Times couldn't find a way to get that huge story in for the Grey Lady's midwest readers by Sunday morning?

To the Times' credit its obituary of Reagan is the longest one I can recall.

"Ronald Reagan Dies at 93; Fostered Cold-War Might and Curbs on Government"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

Ronald Reagan, R.I.P.

Here's one way to remember Ronald Reagan:


reagan-denim.jpg

And here's another:

reagan-wiggled.jpg

The first picture is Reagan as the embodiment of America. He's weathered, a man who's been working on his land. He looks like he's had his share of a good day's work. The denim jacket is like what you'd see anybody in the West wearing. The grin on his face is that of the optimist. He's a man who looks at the bright side of events and people. Reagan lifted America's spirits when it needed it the most.

The second picture shows Reagan's playful side. He never took himself too seriously. The times he made a self-deprecating remark are legion.

Like all people, Ronald Reagan was more complicated than these two pictures suggest. But they are iconic of Reagan as ordinary American and jovial soul.

Today is the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. To honor Reagan and the men who risked their lives to save civilization read Reagan's speeches he gave at the 40th anniversary.

"Remarks at a Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day (Pointe De Hoc)"

"Remarks at a United States-France Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2004

TAM in NYC?

It's quite possible since the GOP is doing the smart thing and letting webloggers witness first-hand the political circus that is their political convention. They'll be protesters outside and bored media types inside. Webloggers will be there for a unique take on it all. It will be more than covering the convention. It will be covering the coverage. It will be umpteen (who knows how many credentials they'll give webloggers?) independent observers noting items that strike their interest. Heck, imagine an edition of Kerry's House of Ketchup live from Madison Square Garden? Ooo! I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

"Bloggers Count!"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 12:51 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2004

Just Following the Rules

I'm sure the Bojangles resturant has a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy.

"Police Look for Naked Drive-Through Patron"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Debt Easing from Down Under

All of Iraq's lenders should realize that letting Saddam's debt hand over the country's head will only stifle the economy and prevent a free Iraq from taking root. Because of that, I appauld the Australian government for declaring that it will be "writing off the vast majority of Iraq’s debt."

I'll celebrate with an upcoming purchase of a nice Australian wine.

"Australia Writes Off Iraqi Debt"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in War at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

Must Mend Fences

I'm not sure what President Bush can do to regain the trust of limited government conservative and libertarian voters. I'm supporting the President because I think he'll do a better job in fighting the war, and I strongly support his tax policies. I've cringed every time he's signed a spending bill that expands the government, but if Kerry were in office taxes would be higher, he wouldn't be as tough in fighting the war, and government would be expanding.

In politics, the perfect is the enemy of the good. On the domestic side, other than taxes, Bush hasn't even been that good. However, he's better than the alternative. It's not a ringing endorsement, but it's enough to get to work really hard for Bush's reelection.

"Some Big Conservative Donors, Unhappy With Bush, Say They Won't Back His Campaign"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

1000 Pages!

That's the length of President Bill Clinton's memoir My Life. I guess since Random House paid him at least $10 million they couldn't find any more money in the budget for an editor. This may resemble his State of the Union speeches where he just went on and on and on. Other than a Clinton devotee who's going to sit down and read every single page? You just know many will get their book and jump right to all the Ken Starr/Monica Lewinski stuff.

One other thing, who launches a book tour before the book is even out? I can understand going on television a day or two before the books released, but over two weeks?

The big book I'll be digging into later this summer is Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. He stopped by my store a few weeks ago, and he was kind, generous, and excited about his subject as well as the attention the store's staff was lavishing him with.

"Bill Clinton Launches Book Tour for My Life"

UPDATE: Now, I know why Clinton is hawking the book so far in advance. He was speaking at BookExpo in Chicago. That the book industry's big trade show.

UPDATE II: In the NY Times' story it reports that there actually was an editor on the project. One thing Robert Gottlieb stopped Clinton from doing is writing an extended section on the President's love of the movie High Noon. As to the length of the book, Clinton himself thinks of it as two books.



Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 12:37 AM | Comments (2)

What a Party

Add the tooth fairy to the Libertarian Party Hall of Shame. Just don't forget founding members Blue Skin Man and Ferret Dude.

[via PrestoPundit]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2004

In Manchester's Footsteps

William Manchester died this week. Along with writing biographies of JFK, he was known for writing a popular multi-volume bio of William Churchill, The Last Lion. Two volumes were finished, and Manchester had started the third one before strokes prevented further progress. The question for Manchester's fans is "Who will finish the project?" Steven Zeitchik has the answer.

"An Unfinished Life"


Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Books at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

Kerry's House of Ketchup #14

kerry-ketchup.jpg
Kerry speaks.

Welcome to the latest edition of Kerry's House of Ketchup mildly admonished by Glenn Reynolds.

Memorial Day is the unoffical start of summer. The weather gets warmer, school's out, and outdoor activities and vacations are scheduled. Conventional wisdom says people will turn off from watching the election battle. That's only partially true. When you're at the beach working on your tan, wizzing through Disney World with your kids, or contemplating the proper tactic in landing a lunker walleye the last thing you'll want to think about is what Sen. John Kerry or President George W. Bush thinks about the Patriot Act. However, I don't think that many people have been turned onto the election even before the summer started. The President's poll numbers have been sinking due to events in Iraq. Kerry hasn't taken advantage of those faltering numbers. He has a lead in most polls and a bigger lead in the more important electoral vote count. It is interesting to note traders in the Iowa Electronic Markets aren't sold on Kerry yet.

More importantly, Kerry is having trouble with important parts of his base. Some anti-warriors haven't committed to him. Instead, they're with Ralph Nader. There is tension with minority groups because Kerry's staff isn't diverse enough. With the election close, energizing one's core supporters will be the key to victory.

Ex-editor of the NY Times Howell Raines comes to rescue with an op-ed that denigrates all who have voted for President Bush. They're "greedy" and "deluded." Raines' advice is to get a message even if it's "disinformation" then "say it over and over again."

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson went for the ketchup humor (that Glenn Reynolds is tired of) with this from last week's Wisconsin GOP convention:

"I know one thing about this man -- he knows who he is," Thompson said of Bush. "He is one tough dude." Bush's vision "stands in stark contrast to the 57 varieties of John Kerry."

Finally, a publisher's note. During the week of 06.20, I will be on vacation in an undisclosed location far away from Dick Cheney. No Net access means I won't be able to publish a KHoK. If some intrepid weblogger wants to fill in for me, I'd really appreciate it. Just leave a comment or send off an e-mail.

Now, onto the posts.

  • On the above mentioned Raines piece Captain Ed lets loose.

  • By giving Kerry some advice on gun control, Matthew Yglesias ends up insulting rural pro-gun types.

  • Joanne Jacobs finds Kerry may be giving in to teachers union pressure on pay-for-performance.

  • Democrat Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley wasn't pleased with Kerry's "training wheels" remark.

  • Steve Verdon isn't impressed with Kerry's energy plan.

  • Kerry doesn't see the spread of democracy (I'd call it regimes of liberty) as an American priority. James Joyner notes that Bush isn't shoving freer governments down the throats of Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. The California Yankee rebuts Kerry's view.

  • Daniel Drezner points out that to help Kerry flesh out his foreign policy bigger is better.

  • Hindrocket at Power Line looks at Kerry's possible move to Bush's right on the Islamist War.

  • For the wonks among us here's a post on a Kerry health insurance idea.

  • Kerry's says, "We rushed off to war." LisaS replies, "A rush to war he says. How many times did they try to enforce resolutions on Saddam's Iraq and for how many years? Here's a hint: You [need] more than two hands to count them."

  • "Let America Be America Again" is the Kerry campaign's slogan. It's from a Langston Hughes poem. The line looks mildly bland out of context, but the poem as a whole is quite an angry, depressing read.

  • Ryan Lizza of The New Republic points out that a "senior Kerry advisor" hasn't been paying attention to what the candidate has been saying.

  • Kerry's calling in the Democrats' big gun, Bill Clinton. [via Viking Pundit]

  • This past weekend, Rolling Thunder, Harley-riding Vietnam vets roared into Washington, D.C. and endorsed President Bush.

  • Ralph Nader is pulling more voters from Kerry than Bush. Who, other than Nader, thought otherwise?

  • Note the source, but Kerry flipped off a jackass Vietnam vet.

  • Kerry appears to have the strip club vote.

  • Gather the family and play a wholesome game of Kerryopoly. [via Betsy's Page]

Join in the fun by linking to the House of Ketchup. If you have an MT-powered weblog, just trackback to this post, and it will appear below. If your weblog software is incapable of trackbacks use Kevin's Trackback Form.

[Thanks go to the John F. Kerry Media Relations Center for the Sen. Zoop's "voice."]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in John Kerry at 12:30 AM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2004

Hot Stuff

PoliBlog is hosting this week's Bonfire of the Vanities.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Weblogging at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

Life is Good

Big Head Todd and the Monsters will be in Milwaukee 08.01.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Music at 07:43 PM | Comments (1)

Red Alert

Because of high milk prices Steve Silver calls for the invasion of Wisconsin. All able bodied men grab your guns and appropriate headgear. After the initial strike, expect an incursion from the west. Those Minnesotans are jealous that the Pack leads the Vikings in Lombardi Trophies 3-1 3-0 [Vikings fans can never say I was never nice to them--Ed.] Also, prepare for guerilla operations by FIB strike teams. They're everywhere since those flatlanders use our fine state as their summer backyard. If we get overrun, fall back to Green Bay where we'll make our last stand in Lambeau Field. In the words of Vince Lombardi, "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing."

"It’s All OMEC’s Fault"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 06:55 PM | Comments (3)

What at Collection

The jazz collection of the late Milwaukee jazz DJ, Ron Cuzner has been given to the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. The collection of 10,000 CDs and 100 books gives the conservatory one of the best jazz archives in the nation.

"Cuzner Legacy Lives on in CDs"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Get Someone on This

Oliver Willis has a great idea: a politics channel. It'd be C-SPAN without the boring stuff. Imagine color commentary to the debates in the British House of Commons? But if it happened my TiVo might burn out from all the use.

"The Politics Network"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

Really Confused

According to an e-mail I got from Krispy Kreme, 06.04 is supposedly National Doughnut Day. But Track-A-Day has it for 06.22, the Salvation Army in Southern California is teaming up with local Krispy Kremes to celebrate it on 06.02, and MyDailyPlan-It.com has it today, 06.01. And let's not mix up National Doughnut Day with National Cream-filled Doughnut Day.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 02:36 PM | Comments (1)

Eugene Kane Update

Ever since Charlie Sykes published Eugene Kane's racist e-mail exchange, the columnist has been silent. There hasn't been a column from him in almost a week. Coincidence?

The man Kane corresponded with, one Karl Kudor, may be the same man as the subject of this Journal Sentinel article from January.

"A Warm Response for Cold Calls"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

Smoking Memo?

Time has found an e-mail that links Vice President Cheney's office to a Halliburton contract. The Pentagon says the coordination with Cheney's office was to give them a "heads-up" on possible controversy. Sounds reasonable? Expect Bush bashers put the most cynical spin on it as possible. A more reasonable mind would wait for more information.

"The Paper Trail" [via Political Wire]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Politics at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

Ketchup Review

Well, what do we have here? Not only does TAM get an Instalanche and a mild rebuking ("I'm tired of the ketchup stuff."), but Glenn Reynolds also gives us a ketchup review. Not quite on par with Professor Bainbridge's wine reviews (maybe not always, but this one is good), but it is only a condiment.

Now, to defend Kerry's House of Ketchup. Other than my periodic linkfest, I rarely link John Kerry to Heinz Co. or ketchup. That's because Kerry's wife nor any member of the Heinz family work for the company. Teresa Heinz Kerry has Heinz stock. That's it. I've noted in the past that Bush supporters should lay off the company because it has nothing to do with Kerry and actually backs Bush. I'm not as harsh on Kerry as I was on Howard Dean who I endlessly call "Howard the Duck" and published the periodic Duck Hunt.

Kerry's House of Ketchup should be taken as a bit of levity. The links to other blogosphere posts are chosen for substance over bombast. I could fill KHoK with nothing but anti-Kerry screeds. I don't because reading all those would bore me, and I don't think it adds any value for my readers. Does that mean I link to something unserious or whimsical that shouldn't be classified as serious? Yup! Because politics should not be all seriousness all the time.

The name will not change. Sorry, Glen, but since I'll never be as cleaver with the humor as ScrappleFace, I'm going to run with what I've got for as long as I can (Hopefully, until the day after Election Day).

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in John Kerry at 01:21 PM | Comments (6)