Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Strib Editorial: Market vs. Environment

The Star Tribune's Sunday editorial entitled "Market Forces Alone Don't Aid Environment" might as well have been called "Government Should Force to Aid Environment".

I'll grant the author credit for being brief. However, the piece was so brief that we skeptics come up with plenty of questions... chief among them, "What makes you think we market folks don't want to aid the environment?"

The green weenies (not necessarily the author) often portray anyone to the right of the chick who lived in the tree for more than a year as the scourge of Mother Earth (who would hurt their own mother!) as well as down right mean.

Many of us hunt, fish, keep a garden, raise crops, or have relatives that do. At least half of my family covers that ground. (Unfortunately, it seems like a few of the others are Earth muffins, if you know what I mean.) My late grandfather took care of a state park. I mow my lawn and buy my wife flowers.

In any case, the editorial mentions that the US ranks low in terms of clean air, clean water, greenhouse gas emitions, forestry, etc. Just out of curiosity, who ranks above us and why? Who ranks below us and why?
  • Are per capita figures worked into these ratings?
  • What is the general political wind in these countries?
  • What kind of presence do organizations like Greenpeace have in those countries?
  • What kind of eco-terrorism is commited against those countires?
  • What kind of eco-terrorists come from those countires, if any?
  • What do those countires produce?
  • Are their economies growing, sustaining, or shrinking?
Just curious.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Government Couldn't Cut Fat...

...with a steak knife. Trumpeting my own horn again. (I just had to write about it at Badda-Blog.)

Anyone see Soucheray's column from this weekend?

Let me make this short. (I hear a collective sigh of relief.) How much healthier do you expect the government will help us get with smoking policies, tax payer money to help diminish smoking, legislation to curtail it, and benefits to organizations who toe the line? What are the unintended consequences?

Now, how much healthier do you expect the government will help us get with obesity policies, tax payer money to help diminish certain foods, legislation to curtail them, and benefits to organizaions who toe the line? Any unintended consequences?

Helmets, child seats for cars, and seat belts?

Once again, what's next... and where do we draw the line at surrendering our own responsibility?


Fat and Government: Waddling Together

Joe Soucheray addressed the ominous health threat that obesity in his Sunday column. Actually, that's not true. He addressed the ominous threat the state poses in the quest for uber-health and a risk-free life. Read Get a Clue: Get Oustide, For Free in the Pioneer Press.

He recalls the recent letter to the Strib editor (she also talked with him on his Garage Logic radio show). (See commentary by Shark Bait at Anti-Strib for this subject.) Souch also mentions activists in Boston who want to shield kids from television commercials that might (God forbid) target them with ads for cereal and candy.

Apparently, St. Paul had a day-long summit called Step Up Health... part of an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association. For what?

They were learning how to make parks and recreation more inclusive, affordable and accessible in order to "tackle the growing problem of obesity." That's the way it is always referred to, a problem that needs to be tackled. It conjures up a big fat offensive lineman or a tackling dummy.

Needless to say the Souch doesn't believe the solution to more and more waddlers should come from our respected and efficient federal, state, and local govorning machine... which, let's face it, couldn't cut fat with a steak knife.

Obesity is not the result of a shortsighted government or an inattentive parks and rec board. The government has nothing to do with it. Obesity is the result of eating too much of the wrong thing, which we all do. If a mother wants the state to assume the responsibility of her child's body weight, then there is probably no responsibility that the mom would not surrender.

It stands to reason that if you want the state, or law firms, to regulate your child's diet, even if it means telling television networks and cereal manufacturers what commercials they can show or what their packaging must look like, then it is only a matter of time before the state would regulate the content of the television shows or cereal boxes themselves. Great. That's China, where the government regulates the information you want to find through Google.

We know Left and Right leaners who need to lose a few pounds... and many of them are not looking to the government for a solution. Minneapolis blogger Smithers has his weight chart on his blog and he's encouraging other folks to join him and keep each other on track. I can't imagine, though he leans Left, that he'd actually place trust in Minnesota's Senator Dayton or any Democrat or liberal politician to come up with policies, legislation, or funding to help him.

Then why in the flamming hootie-hoo do we have this nonsense?

I'll tell you right now, the amount of resistance within the government from folks who are conservative or Republican will be in direct proportion to those who actually try to make government smaller.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sen. Kerry: Onionesque

National Review's Corner points out a little something from James Taranto (Best of the Web at Opinion Journal)... he uses current news to show how John Kerry is trying to out-do The Onion.
"Kerry Makes Whistle-Stop Tour From Deck of Yacht"--headline, The Onion, Feb. 18, 2004

"Kerry was in Davos, Switzerland, attending the World Economic Forum when he called for the filibuster. Democratic sources tell CNN that Kerry called fellow Democratic senators Thursday to rally support."--CNN, Jan. 27, 2006

Hey, while I'm at it here's more from The Onion.
Friday, January 27, 2006

West Wing Canceled
NBC canceled its critically acclaimed show The West Wing after seven seasons. What do you think?

Janelle Peterson,
Social Worker
"The Democrats are even out of fake power?"

Love the Onion. (I'm still fond of the story about the deadlock in the National Funk Congress.)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Mobilize the Troops

Get out your contrarian hat, check your bank account for donation money, and prepare your political form letters.

Or not.

The anti-Alito crowd is in a dither... so much so that failed presidential candidate (and the elitist defeatist) Senator Kerry hopes you sign his petition.

How do I know? One of my wife's friends informed me:
I've been quiet for a while BUT....
...the time has come to rally together, for a reason...and one that we will all have to live with A LOT longer than just a four (or eight) year term if this nomination goes through.

Pleas consider signing the petition for a filibuster against Alito's nomination:

Thank you.

With peace and love,
The Champion (name changed to protect the arrogant)
I was moved at her sense of civic duty and patriotism... so moved that I hope to mobilize troops in the opposite direction.

Which is odd, because I suspect that those here at Anti-Strib will do just about nothing to counter the anti-Alito crowd. One, because the Alito supporters don't need to do much; two, because Alito supporters figure he's getting in regardless; three, because Alito supporters have other places to use our time and money; and four, the uber-anti-Alito crowd here are already doing something.

Why post this?

Somewhere out there The Champion knows I'm mocking her... and her aura has darkened. She might even have a reflexive frown from my post. She's probably praying to the Goddess right now.


Rally, Protest, Petition

Anyone have friends, relatives, co-workers, or other folks e-mail various news and information regarding urgent news. It isn't an issue of politics or philosophy... certain folks just do it regardless of their viewpoint. They are the champions of the cause... sometimes self oppointed.

(All this is rich coming from a guy with a blog, huh.)

Typically, you get an idea of who's on your team and who isn't. If you're observant (or in some cases, not annoying) you strike those folks off your vast list of e-mail addresses.

I'm sure many recipients, even the true believers, just ignore the news or information. Most of us have too much to do to gather outside the grocery store to hold signs promoting Peace (as opposed to the much more useful Liberty) or to go to a fundraiser for folks who belong to a group supported by George Soros.

That's fine. I like to ask questions, speak my mind, challenge unsupported claims, find out more. You know... talk to folks. This isn't always welcome from the folks who e-mail me with an invitation to support causes that run opposite of my causes. This is what happened with a friend of the Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger... we'll call her The Champion.

I'll collect a few e-mails... you'll see, although I'm sure this will be all to familiar. (I'm sure I'll have to edit down to the highlights... this stuff runs long.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Zero Tolerance

The word from my sister today: My nephew (Little A, although he's not so little anymore) might get suspended from school.

I only know what my sister told me. She only knows what Little A tells her and what the folks from the school told her (and what The Jackass, my former brother-in-law, tells her). Obviously, some of this might be misinterpreted, confused, distorted, or a lie.

That said, here are the basics as I know them:
Little A is in one of the school bathrooms. He turns to leave and bumps into another kid. The Other Kid pushes Little A. From the sound of it neither kid was hurt. Little A's friend sees what happens and leaves to get a hall monitor. The hall monitor gets the initial story and sends them both to someone's office. The school has a zero tolerance policy for violence and aggressive behavior. The Jackass ex-B-I-L was called in. When asked what to do if you get pushed the Other Kid said (words to the effect of), "Stand up for yourself and push back," while Little A says, "Walk away".

The principal will make a decision tomorrow I guess... but if there's a zero tolerance policy then they both get punished.

Now, technically my nephew is correct... at least that should be what you want to do. However, some circumstances call for different responses... like the response the Other Kid stated.

I bet this thing stems from assumptions by both kids. Fine. I'm not really that bent out of shape over both kids getting punished... but if they get suspended I'm going to flip. Make 'em clean a bathroom, pick up garbage out in the yard, run laps, anything sensible... just not suspension.

Even if my nephew turns out to be the good kid and the Other Kid is a rotten little jackass I don't see how the Other Kid could be suspended. They are not even in the double-digit age bracket for eff's sake!

The Kicker:
My sister defends the zero tolerance policy. Quickly, I began to explain how wrong-headed such policies are. I even stated that they increase the incidents of trouble, punish some kids for doing the right thing, and encourage kids to become cowards. She didn't want to hear that.

  • Increasing Incidents of Violence: Let's say the zero tolerance policy does not serve as a deterrent. (The types of folks who seem to support such policies say similar things about gun ownership and the death penalty... let's run with that assumption.) Now you've turned pushing matches, scenes where kids wave clenched fists in the air, and little kids scuffling on the ground into the same category as beating a kid up, kids ganging up on one little guy, kicking a kid in the face, etc. “Violence is violence.” If you don't measure a little shoving between kids who like Pokemon cards differently than a kid who goes after someone with a baseball bat you are not only nuts you are blowing the shoving out of proportion.
  • Punish the Good Kids: Some fighting in school is good. "How's that?" I hear you (and my sister) ask. One of the sevies (as they were called when I was in seventh grade) is cornered by a group of ninth grade kids. Maybe they don't plan on hurting the kid really bad, but they definitely want to scare him, shake him up, and get a couple of shots in on him. Another kid sees this and stands up to these bullies... maybe he's another sevy, maybe he's in ninth grade, maybe he's a high school kid walking through the neighborhood. This little hero pulls one of the bullies back and tells them all to knock it off. Maybe the little hero even gets in a punch to show he's serious. (Perhaps he's actually bluffing, but that's not the point.) Zero tolerance policies would give our Little Hero a punishment... although he stopped or even prevented trouble.
  • Encourage Cowardice: Let's roll with the example I just used with our Little Hero and say he got suspended from school for at least one day. He's got a friend who walks through the same school grounds or goes to the same school as The Sevy. He spots the bullies pulling the same stunt on a different kid... but our Little Hero's friend decides he's not willing to risk getting suspended. This Different Kid gets intimidated and possibly ruffed up... thanks to the zero tolerance policy intimidating the friend of our Little Hero.

Look, I'm willing to teach my nephew and (when the time comes) my son that sometimes you ought to take the punishment if you know what you're doing is right. That's a double dose of responsibility. Sometimes you've got to step up to a bully... maybe for your own self respect, maybe to help another person, maybe both. If the circumstances are dire that's worth getting suspended for (not to mention a couple of shots in the chops).

To be a geek I'll use a Spider-Man reference. Spider-Man constantly gets grief from having a secret life as a super hero and it often brings plenty of trouble in his life as Peter Parker... that doesn't stop him from helping the good folks of New York City. He'd rather take a beating or miss a chemistry test or even disappoint Mary Jane (hubba-hubba) than fail to do the right thing.

In the meanwhile, can't the schools stop worrying about whether they'll get sued and 1) bring back some basic discipline, 2) let kids handle some of their own matters, and 3) don't severely punish a kid for (rightly or wrongly) pushing back at another kid.

All Violence is Bad

We've heard such comments from a variety of folks, often peaceniks and weenies. Maybe they even say the same about aggressive behavior.

What do you think? What about war? ("Everybody love war" says Jackie Chan, but he's talking about the song.) The Guardian Angels? Shooting at intruders in your home? We can come up with scores of cases where violence is justified and even welcome. It is easy if you're sensible.

Look at my post on Zero Tolerance over at my little neck of the woods... but feel free to post comments here. (It might be a bad idea for me to yo-yo this topic back and forth between to blogs, but if it is I'll learn the hard way.)

This came up from a little family matter that got me thinking... my sister she said she supported the idea of a zero tolerance policy for violence at her son's school while I said they basically are nonsense. These are the reasons:
  • Increasing Incidents of Violence: Let's say the zero tolerance policy does not serve as a deterrent. (The types of folks who seem to support such policies say similar things about gun ownership and the death penalty... let's run with that assumption.) Now you've turned pushing matches, scenes where kids wave clenched fists in the air, and little kids scuffling on the ground into the same category as beating a kid up, kids ganging up on one little guy, kicking a kid in the face, etc. “Violence is violence.” If you don't measure a little shoving between kids who like Pokemon cards differently than a kid who goes after someone with a baseball bat you are not only nuts you are blowing the shoving out of proportion.
  • Punish the Good Kids: Some fighting in school is good. "How's that?" I hear you (and my sister) ask. One of the sevies (as they were called when I was in seventh grade) is cornered by a group of ninth grade kids. Maybe they don't plan on hurting the kid really bad, but they definitely want to scare him, shake him up, and get a couple of shots in on him. Another kid sees this and stands up to these bullies... maybe he's another sevy, maybe he's in ninth grade, maybe he's a high school kid walking through the neighborhood. This little hero pulls one of the bullies back and tells them all to knock it off. Maybe the little hero even gets in a punch to show he's serious. (Perhaps he's actually bluffing, but that's not the point.) Zero tolerance policies would give our Little Hero a punishment... although he stopped or even prevented trouble.
  • Encourage Cowardice: Let's roll with the example I just used with our Little Hero and say he got suspended from school for at least one day. He's got a friend who walks through the same school grounds or goes to the same school as The Sevy. He spots the bullies pulling the same stunt on a different kid... but our Little Hero's friend decides he's not willing to risk getting suspended. This Different Kid gets intimidated and possibly ruffed up... thanks to the zero tolerance policy intimidating the friend of our Little Hero.
I realize I've climbed way out on a mega-limb with such outrageous statements (wink-wink)... I'm just wondering if I need to add anything, adjust some of my thoughts, or throw the whole idea in the garbage.


Trouble on the First Day

Hope it wasn't something I said. ;)

Should be fine... I bet it's another weird moment with Blogger.


Looks like the template got screwed up at Anti-Strib. The gang has a fix in the works as well as a message to the Blogger folks to see if they can help us.

Pity, because there are a couple of neat subjects on the slate.

Be Yourself Online!

Lileks' new column at Newhouse has fun with the topic of online jackassary.
-- Make Up Funny Names. If a right-wing figure's name starts with K, like Kate, by all means call her KKKate. Everyone on the right probably shares the values of the Klan, anyway. Especially if they're against affirmative action and don't believe in judging people on the color of their skin. (This goes for the other side, too: Hillary Clinton is so much funnier as "Hitlery." Wanting single-payer health insurance, wishing to enslave Europe under Aryan yoke -- what's the diff?) Remember: Boil down the object of your hate to a single phrase that betrays your incomprehension of the fundamental issues, but lets others know where you stand right away.

-- Swear angrily. Not just the classics, but the ones relating to excretion and genitalia. Nothing shows you're a serious thinker like a torrent of obscenities. It's the reason Courtney Love is invited to speak to the U.N. so often. Added bonus: Lots of cursing means no one will suspect you're a Christian. If you are a Christian, you'll be one of the cool ones who listens to Howard Stern spank lesbian midget strippers. Which automatically means you're pro-choice, so whatever with the God thing.

-- Hyperbolize everything. Granted, everyone punches a little too hard sometimes; everyone throws too deep. Feisty debate is energizing. Nothing is more boring than the torpid droning you get in the Senate, where solons are duty-bound to call each other "my good friend" even if they were stabbing each other with Bic pens in the cloakroom five minutes before. But the pestilential keyboard pounders had best realize they're just screaming to the choir. Persuading the middle means acknowledging that the opposition is not composed of subhuman Moorlocks who hope global warming drowns coastal-dwelling gay stem-cell researchers. People on the right may be wrong, but it's quite possible they don't actually want a fascistic corporate state where the elite tour the country in giant hovercraft, vaporizing Wal-Mart labor organizers with microwave rays. You could treat them like fellow human beings. But where's the fun in that?
That's the upside to not getting much in the way of traffic... I don't have this problem.

Now, James also has a new Screed... and it's somewhat related. At least in terms of folks saying wacky things... but these folks do it for a living.
Oi gevalt!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Looking Odd

Something's funky with Maybe you've noticed. Perhaps only I can see the weird stuff. (In fact, the Baddablog layout is damn ugly right now!)

I suspect the tech gang are working on something and that's caused a slight change in the display.

In the meanwhile, I have it on fairly good authority that an interesting piece will get posted on Anti-Strib sometime soon. Surely, those guys post very regularly... but apparently I'm going to have to watch out for it.

We'll see.

UPDATE: 12:45 PM, Thursday January 26th, 2005

The post is up, and it's nice... a nice new addition to the Anti-Strib, if I do say so myself.
Thanks again to Tracy for the offer.

The BaddaBlog won't go anywhere, I'm going to keep her running... I might, when ambitious try to post complimentary topics. I don't want to just post subjects here at BaddaBlog and then post a link at Anti-Strib, but obviously I don't want to neglect my little home.

What's more, while playing with the template I discovered the area to post links... so I can be much more polite to the blogs and bloggers who linked to me.

Sooner or later this place will look like a real blog. ;)

She's Not Serious... She's a Feminist (part 2)

My recent post on feminism mentioned a few key reasons why columnist Mike S. Adams doesn't take feminists seriously. (The Anti-Strib gang also took notice of his column, namely point number three... of course, a frequent visiting loony derailed the topic.) He's continued the subject and added additional reasons.
I've encountered point number five several times, most recently at a bar with some friends' friends.

Anyone seen an angrier, more bitter, joyless bunch of folks than the folks you tend to find in a Womyn's Studies course, a group of NOW supporters (or NAG, as Rush describes them), or celebrity spokeswomyn for womyn's organizations?

I've met plenty of women who consider themselves feminists but hate the image that these harridans have crafted for them since the 70s. Let's face it. As Adams mentioned in point one previously, most of the issue for women have all been dealt with. Hey, Sweetheart... you can vote already!

Folks like Cameron Diaz either have their heads so firmly planet up their individual (and collective) asses that they wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and licked them or they are scaremongering. (Anyone remember the comment she made on Oprah's voting party show? "
If you think rape should be legal then don't vote!")

I'm sure she thinks she's funny because the Farrelly brothers gave her some good lines and good gags in "There's Something About Mary" and because she was a good sport with the so-called hair gel in the movie... but she's got no sense of humor. What is she? You know what a woman uses as an insult when she hates another woman? THAT'S what she is. I'd love to use the word... and I have on numerous occasions, but I'll keep it off the blog right now.

Adams hints that another installment of this subject might see the light of day.

Whoo-hoo! That sounds vagirific!

Coleman: Truth in Advertising

A Strib columnist using the phrase "Truth in Advertising" must surely be brave.

Recently, Nick Coleman uses those words to throw stones at the Minneapolis public school board. Read his column (if you wish) to see what I mean.

In any case, he's declaring the whole affair a soap opera and calling for swift action... whatever that will be. Of course, he doesn't point out the charges that Superintendant Thandiwe Peebles used
district workers and resources for personal business. Instead, he tells the happy story of how Peebles helped improve some troubled schools.

Look, I'm glad that's the case... but if in fact if she used employees and resources the way she did and her name was Smith, or if she supported Governor Pawlenty, or if she was a man, or if blah-blah you can be sure some of these supporters (chief among them Mr. Coleman) would want that Superintendant Someone dismissed, fired, or pursauded to resign.

See what else the Strib has to report on the matter:
For the record, based on what little I know about the case I'd be willing to let any superintendant stay on with a warning for misuse of department staff and stuff... as Nick suggests, she's helped schools improve. Peebles apparently has a unpleasant management style as well. (Not sure that's really grounds for firing either... if we gave the dish to anyone who was unpleasant the Left-Leaners wouldn't have any columnists, pundits, protestors, or Kanye West.)

It's just the double-standard we have for diversity that makes me grumble.

Kanye: Fish in a Barrel

What in the flamming hootie-hoo?!?!?! I thought we'd seen all the shameless publicity whoring from this shmuck.

Monday, January 23, 2006

She's Not Serious... She's a Feminist

I've always enjoyed sarcasm. It got me in more trouble as a kid... and still does as a husband and uncle. (As a father, I'm sure I'll see more trouble down the road.) Maybe it comes from watching so many John Cleese or Rowan Atkinson sketches, listening to George Carlin, reading P.J. O'Rourke, and tuning into The Mischke Broadcast.

Perhaps that's why I also enjoy columns from Ann Coulter... and Mike S. Adams.

Don't get fooled by his head shot on his bio page... it makes him look positively boyish. He isn't. As evidenced in his recent column regarding modern feminism. It comes in the form of a response to a piece of hate-mail Adams received.
In your opening paragraph, you asked me, a) whether my wife hates me as much as every other woman in America hates me, b) whether I am against women voting, c) whether I am against women holding elective office, d) whether I think rape should be legalized, e) whether I think women should be banned from the workplace, f) whether I think all women should be barefoot and pregnant, and, finally, g) whether I support female genital mutilation.
Sounds similar to the pavement pundits from Acorn, Greenpeace, the DNC, and any other young (read foolish) true-believer. (Once summer lunchtime Mitchell from Hadleyblog and I were once approaced by a couple of youths asking, "Do you have a moment for the environment?"... Mitchell's response, "We're for it.")

After he dismisses the rediculous questions Adams continues... he details answers to the only sensible question in the woman's e-mail, "Why don't you take feminists seriously?" You should read the whole column, but I'll at least post his four main points.
1. I do not consider 21st century feminism to be a political ideology or philosophy.

2. Generally speaking, feminists get together with other feminists because it is less expensive than seeing a therapist.

3. Most feminists don’t really want equality.

4. The feminist love of postmodernism has resulted in widespread academic and personal dishonesty.
(If we're lucky, the writer will send Adams a reply.)

Now, when you read his column you'll find that while he sarcastically addresses the letter writer (Daisy, ain't that sweet), but details his reasons later on in the piece. I especially like his anecdotes.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Strib Editorial: Lacking in Evidence

One of today's editorials in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (one of the worst rags ever to come down the MSM pike) asserts that, "women make significant strides in world leaders" and that, "'Women hold up half the sky.' Something approaching that percentage should also be reflected in global leadership."

Okay. Why? For what purpose should we have women make up around 50 percent of the global leaders? To make women feel better? To better represent women?

Also, the fact that the editorial writer never mentions one of the greatest female leaders of our time, Prime Minister Thatcher of Great Britian, suggests a lack of willingness to provide a certain kind of support to the editorial.

What? Conservative women? You might very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment.

What If: No Iraq War?

In his recent Newhouse column, James Lileks asks what folks would say if we never invaded Iraq... and what would Saddam do in reaction to Iran's nuclear program? Probably one of these two:
"You guys go ahead, I'll stick with Russian artillery pieces. Besides, those things are more trouble than they're worth! The testing, the maintenance, the hiding -- it's like having six wives! No thanks. I'll sit here in my palace and smoke my cigar and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism, thank you."

Or: Colorful Tikrit-specific profanity, hurled ashtrays, and a crash program that launders oil-for-food kickbacks into a secret weapons program facilitated by Libyan and North Korean assistance with information from the A.Q. Khan network, conducted under the indifferent eye of a world tired of pretending it cares about Iraq.
He has some fun wondering what to do now considering some folks don't like what we did in Iraq, but they seem committed to trying to find somekind of approach to Iran.
So what now? The Iranian situation has eerie overtones of the Iraq debate -- the gathering threat, the nuclear ambitions, the frowny faces of U.N. diplomats preparing the 13th Strongly Worded Document, complete with threatened revocation of parking garage privileges. But things are different now.

The American left believed in Iraq's WMDs and terrorist links in the '90s because that gave them much-needed hawk cred; it was Viagra for their dovish side. But they've spent the last two electoral cycles preaching defeat, insisting that when the Bush administration says something's a threat, it's a lie, a diversion tactic, an election ploy, a floorwax AND a dessert topping.
(That SNL bit was 30 years old on January 10th, by the way... still makes me laugh.)

Look, I'm not sure anyone (terrorists included) will take us seriously if we don't start making the same noises and going through (most of) the same motions we did at the end of '02 and beginning of '03. If we get shy now, surely the terrorist will become emboldened. (A stright line if I've ever seen one.)

Of course, some say we're spread a bit thin in terms of military resources and personel. Do we necessarily need to be ready to jump right now? No. We can start stepping up recruitment efforts even more. Maybe some more of our guys can come out of Iraq.

But wait, what if we do take troops out of Iraq... won't that embolden terrorists in and around Iraq? Hell yeah... I'd put a little money down on that. It probably wouldn't bring everything crumbling down, but it would be enough that the media would go nuts declaring Iraq a double-plus-quagmire.

You know, now would be a great time for:
1) The UN to actually step up to the plate and do something,
2) Individual countries (who claim to be our allies) to offer some serious help,
3) Our own political left (obviously not the strange folks on the fringe) to actually get behind this problem and start pushing forward.

I know... I have a Hell of a lot of praying to do.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

News From Chocolate City

THIS is the Chocolate City I'm talkin' 'bout... and THIS!

Anti-Strib just reminded me of those two classics while reading a post about Mayor C. Ray Nagin and his nonsense. (A moonbat is in the comment section either defending Nagin or wagging his finger at Shark Bait.)

See also the Political Teen for video of Nagin's rediculous rationalization.
NAGIN: Do you know anything chocolate? How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That’s the chocolate I’m talking about.
I thought he smirked while he said it. Wouldn't surprise me if he did.

(The moonbat in Anti-Strib's comment section absolutely believes Chocolate Nagin's apology and sees no evidence of a smirk what-so-ever... and considering the source I want to wait for someone with actual judgement to weigh in on the potential smirk.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Whoa, Text!!!

Nothing for a couple of days then BOOM! All at once a big-ass post.

Same problem jumped up and bit me while I was at Anti-Strib commenting on the Golden Globes and Hollywood. Maybe I'll post something here... if I do I'll try to make it flow a little better.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Home Visit: The Sierra Club

Two young kids from the Sierra Club visited me and my family tonight. I often enjoy a good discussion with folks who oppose my view point. My attitude never strays from friendly but engaging... challenging, never hostile.

The long and the short of their visit amounted to cruising for cash. Not much of a surprise.

The two included a guy (who later revealed to be 22 years old) and a mostly silent girl (who later revealed herself to be 26 years old) with a hoop in her pierced nose. They were concerned (as they all are) about the environment, specifically Alaska (oil versus pristine wildlife).

The conversation quickly turned slanted (go figure) with statement that strongly suggested that the Bush administration didn't want SUVs and certain cars to get better gas mileage. "Really?" I said. He assured me that the Bush administration could put a stop to subsidies for SUVs and certain vehicles or eliminate a loophole involving ethanol. I have never heard of subsidies specifically for SUVs or any loopholes with ethanol... but that's not the point. He's probably fairly honest regarding both issues. However, that's a far cry from saying the president (let alone any politician) doesn't want better gas mileage in cars or that he's trying to prevent efforts to get better gas mileage. He laughed that off... and changed the subject.

He forged into the claim that the amount of oil we could get in ANWR is hardly worth pursuing. "What else would we do with it, though?" I asked. His response suggested that we not use it and that trying to get it would spoil the land. His specific words made it sound like there are those who wish to get the oil and those who think the land is beautiful. Those two are not mutually exclusive ideas, and I told him so. I also added that his suggestion really paints a very misleading picture of his opposition. Again, he laughed it off... and changed the subject. Actually, that isn't true... he and the girl backed away. First he said something to the effect of, "It looks like you've got a little reading to do, but have a good night."

Whoa, son! You and Miss Three-Nostrils sound a little condescending. I told them so. You can't just go up to folks and say, "You don't agree with us... we were going to ask for money, but we'll come back when you've done your homework and you think properly." That's when I asked their ages. The guy said this is a job and he's been studying all Summer for this. (Wow! All three months... well no wonder why you know so much!) They dodged my question of how much money they make... under orders of the Sierra Club.

He acknowledged that the Sierra Club writes things for them to say, and they are not designed to engage the public in conversation... they are designed to motivate the likeminded folk into donating money. (He didn't say if it was a memorized script, guidelines with key phrases, or what have you.) He claimed that he wouldn't phrase things in such polarizing statements if he were writing. (At that point I said, "I bet it didn't take more than three months for you to learn that.") They even claimed that they weren't supposed to engage in conversation with anyone. I bet this is also a tactic to back out safely with the Not-We... to save time and to play nice-nice with the opposition.

We shot back a couple more questions... it was all with smiling faces. The girl pointed out (somewhat defensively, but not hastily) that she really believes in this (oh, I believe you do, Sweetheart) and that she's studied five years. Where, though? They wouldn't reveal where they were from or where they were going to school, but assured me they were from the Twin Cities. They offered a handout with Sierra Club information and websites... I declined stating, "Oh, I have plenty of books and websites bookmarked on my computer."

At least they were nice... of course, they would get trouble if they engaged the Not-We and they certainly don't want that reputation. Especially, when some of their foot soldiers do such a bad job in public representing their ideas and members. Like a woman I met last year.

Let me set this up. A couple of friends of mine, Hip J. and The Doll, live out of state. They used to live here, but have since taken the trail to greener pastures. They are dear friends of mine, especially Hip J. The Doll has been around for maybe five years, and (as my nickname for her states) she is in fact a doll. Sweet as can be. You can't help but smile when she's around. Hip J. is similar in the fact that when I play poker with him he can clean my clock (and I do make it easy for him at times) but you enjoy the cleaning. Great folks.

While visiting last Spring (I think it was last Spring) they wanted to see folks. Hip J. told a few folks (friends of mine, too) and The Doll told a few friends of hers. I think she had six or more friends come and go. Some of them were a little shy around Hip J.'s friends. Perhaps shy isn't really the right word... especially when we talk a lot, we talk fast, and we were a couple of cocktails down the line. We also nipped off to the outside for a few cigarettes. That probably curtails enough conversation. I talked with some of the gals, though. The Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger was out sick, so I had that story to bring up each time someone new came in. I mentioned Badda-Toddler to the point that they noted how struck I was with my son. They were all very nice.

...all but one, Miss Dowdy. She is a positive bitch. I mean that in a very serious way. She chatted very nicely and pleasantly and was even the most engaging of The Doll's friends... until she found out that I differ with her on private property rights and the environment. I, apparently, am one of the Not-We.

Miss Dowdy already looked a little older. Either that, or she's spent far too much time out in the sun (and I mean that in terms of physical appearance as well as mental prowess). When she really got warmed up her face constantly scolded me. She "couldn't believe" that someone with a child could care so little for the planet and my child's future. You know the type.

Since I was in public at the behest of two dear friends I merely chatted and held up my beliefs. I remained pleasant... even smiling through the whole affair. I stood up for myself and stated that I have an interest in the world, current events, local affairs, the future, and (of course) my son. She's never met "someone like me". She just had to straighten me out... and because she couldn't she became very frustrated. I looked over and saw The Doll had a slightly embarrassed look on her face. I'll tell you one thing... it wasn't because of me. The way Miss Dowdy chastised me for being such a Neanderthal while also being a father included some sob story that she's not married and doesn't have children. Most of those folks don't have children, ever notice that? (Probably no coincidence.)

These folks like to do the world a service and expect that folks like me should sit there and take it, or that we'll pop our tops and become belligerent. At one point she looked over at one of Hip J.'s friends (The Sweetheart, a woman) as if to bring her into the attack on me... to help me see the light and be a better father to my son. The Sweetheart immediately gave a look to me as if to say, "Please don't let her bring me into this." At another point I said, "Why do you have to act like this? We were all having a great time before you learn where I stand on private property rights and the environment, but because I come from a different angle you become unpleasant, difficult, and rude." She said something about "people like you" needing exposure to "people like her". I could have gone in a direction that involved the statement, "if I wanted exposure to assholes I'd go back to high school"... but I merely pointed out that Hip J., The Doll, and our friends at the table all pretty much disagree with me on most social and political issues, but every time we get together we enjoy the whole evening regardless of whether we talk religion, politics, or nonsense.

Once she was completely unstoppable regarding the world going to Hell because of my careless and ignorant beliefs I told her, "Don't worry... my generation will save your generation." I don't think she got it. It's just as well.

Since then neither Hip J. or The Doll has mentioned it. I suspect they either don't know what to say, they don't want to take sides, or it wasn't that big of a deal. (It might involve more than one of those possibilities, or something else entirely.) Some of Hip J.'s other friends (who are good friends of mine, too) eventually asked, "What was that?" I explained that it came out of no where, but that I wasn't going to just sit there and get scolded... and that I was never mean. They wondered if I was keeping my cool while manipulating her attitude. (This surprised me quite a lot.) I pointed out that Miss Dowdy didn't need any help.

Last month Hip J. and The Doll married. We had a great time. At one point Hip J. came over to whisper (with a smile and a cocktail), "Don't be mean to Miss Dowdy." We laughed and while looking straight at the harridan I said, "I'm not the one you need to worry about."

She lived up to her name. She scolded me a couple of times during the ceremony. That's fine... I was dressed to the nines in a new tuxedo (new to me at least) with my wife in a lovely new dress. A few folks commented to the Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger that Miss Dowdy looked like a train wreck out of the 80s. Now we like the 80s, but she wore leggings or pants or stockings made of some strange shiny pink material, some God awful top with a jacket (I think), and a hair style that would make an eagle homesick.

In any case, that's enough. Stick to your guns... be pleasant if you can help it. If you can't, be pleasant as long as you can stand it then hold out longer and kill 'em with kindness.

Whatever you do, just hold your ground. Don't quote nonsense... admit when you don't have the facts or when you're going on anecdotal evidence... and let them be the bad guy. Most of them (I suspect) won't, which is great news.

That's more folks to go out and have a few cocktails with.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Radio Habits

I'm still at a bit of a loss for mornings on the radio. A new job starts sometime next week and I doubt I'll be able to listen much... although some of what I'm doing may occasion involve some lame filing and phone calls so I might just bring in my little stereo and headphones.

The best stuff seems to include:
  • Laura Ingraham on AM1280, from 8:00 to 11:00 am
  • Bob Davis on AM1500, starting at 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Rush Limbaugh on 100.3 FM, starting at 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Dennis Prager on AM1280, also starting at 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (the perfect tonic for folks who don't like Rush)
  • Joe Soucheray on AM1500, starting at 2:00 to 5:30 pm
I just can't listen to Medved (AM1280, also starting at 2:00 pm) for too long. Don't get me wrong, he's quite good with callers. His topic range from typical conservative fare to fairly interesting unique material... but not as unique as Prager.

He's clearly not a radio guy... or if he is, he's running every cliched stunt and delivery he can think of. He delivers his opening statement, and many other comments, as if he running through it... there's no normal, natural delivery. Soucheray does this much better. Hell, everybody does this better. Maybe even Krok. It sounds forced and artificial.

His produced segment "Eye on Entertainment" sticks out like a sore thumb, as does most of his bumper music. The music should compliment the host's personality to some degree, the style of the show to another degree. Again Soucheray manages to make some music work... the kind of stuff you'd never associate with him. Maybe it's the degree to which he goes out. Medved occasionally uses some techno-like stuff that sounds great... doesn't match him AT ALL. Sounds like he's trying to catch an audience that wouldn't listen in the first place.

He also is too cute with the music and certain phrases. For example, if he's talking about false accusations about a public figure you can be he or his producer will use (or at least considered) "Little Lies" by Fleetwood Mac... and THEN he'd come out of the break saying something like, "No, you can't disguise your little lies, Mr. In Studio Guest." He'll quote directly from the music he uses, from the sound byte he's using, or from the movie he's referencing. It's strictly amaturish and lame. He's really much better than that... go read some of his columns, he can come up with better comments and introductions than what he's getting by with now.

AM 1500 KSTP: The More Things Change

...the more they stay the same.

My wife called me last night while driving home and asked, "Is Chris Krok leaving KSTP?"

She explained that he played Sinatra's "My Way" (pretentious) and said he loved the Twin Cities. My best guess was that he got an offer elsewhere. I suspect he was looking since I've heard enough folks say they dislike his show and (anecdotally) ratings seem low. (I have always said he needlessly repeats exact words, phrases, and sentances and doesn't often discuss topics in a conversational way... quite suitable for college radio.)

Fraters Libertas notes similar wonderings.

Who knows what KSTP will do for 7:30 to 10:00 pm... but it will probably be better. (Get Dave Thomas to sub for a while... he's quite good.)

Twice during Mischke's first week of the year (now at 5:30 to 7:30 pm) he mentioned former KSTP heavyweight talker Jason Lewis. I might be making too much out of it, but I'd expect that management would keep Mischke from mentioning Minnesota's Mr. Right during his old time slot... especially during a time of time changes and talent adjustment. Not to mention that it was only two years and a few months since Lewis left... and a few recent rumors suggest he was (or is) coming back to our market.

But what if his name was intentionally mentioned? Like I said, I'm probably making too much out of it... wishful thinking on my part.

In any case, Krok's gone. (He spoiled a Mark Knopfler song from last year, so I spurned him... well, that and his show was often uninspiring and his delivery was amature.)

So that's one down with two to go. (Hopefully, KSTP will get rid of Ron and Mark.)


Hey, what do you know... according to an update I received from KSTP, Steve Konrad thinks like I do:
In case you missed his announcement Wednesday night, Chris Krok has decided to leave AM1500. He has accepted an as-yet disclosed position elsewhere. We thank him for his hard work and lively contributions to AM1500 the last two years. We look forward to saying, "We knew him when..." as he continues to excel.

Assuming the 7:30pm-10pm weeknight slot will be "The Dave Thompson Show" hosted by an as-yet disclosed AM1500 weekend/fill-in talent. It will be a hard-working, intelligent, articulate attorney with a likeable style and infectious passion for the day's events and maybe even an intermittent sports discussion on Vikings, Twins, new stadiums, and such. Congratulate Dave when you see him.

This well bring a couple new voices to our weekend schedule. Perhaps they will develop into the next big weekend/fill-in personalities...

Good luck, Chris!

Steve Konrad
Not a bad move, Mr. Konrad.

All you need now is Minnesota's Mr. Right between Soucheray and Dave Thompson and you're home free.

UPDATE: 8:30 am, Friday January 13th, 2005

Mitch at Shot in the Dark posts some useful backstory to Krok's departure.
In the winter of '04-'05, after Krok got into a controversial on-air argument with the relatives of someone who'd died in a car crash which aroused (sources say) the ire of station owner Giny Morris, the rumors were that Krok was on short time.
That past by me, but mostly because I never listened regularly.


Admin Worm tells an interesting story about Krok's show. He also includes his internship journal... which looks like it will expand.


Wow, when that thing swells up you really notice it! When I open my mouth and exhale it lands on my tongue like collapes on my bed when I'm exhausted.

I sure as Hell hope it's not toncilitis.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Blois and His Underwhelming Monochromatic Lawsuit

Kennedy vs. The Machine made an interesting point in a post this week regarding anonymous bloggers in the world of politics. He originally brought the point up to local one of the co-publishers of Politics In Minnesota Sarah Janacek in an e-mail. (Janacek made mention of the PiM policy to use online sources if they are named.)
What happened to the rich tradition of “Publius” and the pamphleteers of old? Your policy would prohibit publication of the Federalist Papers today.
Janacek acknowledged the great point and even referenced the point in the PiM newsletter adding, "touché".

The struggle goes on regarding the lawsuit from PiM and recently named blogger at Minnesota Democrats Exposed (who shall go unnamed here).

Mitch at Shot in the Dark posted about it this morning in a topic labeled: It's About Speech. (One of the usual suspects insists on taking himself entirely too seriously... enough to derail the train.)

I can't really add much. This subject will hardly cause me any trouble one way or the other... I'm doing a new blog, I'm quite green, I'm not always political, I'm not often original, and I can't see my blog or myself making any victories against the Citizens For Canonizing Wellstone! crowd (although I'll gladly make a donation to a cause who will make victories against those loonies).

Even so, I don't want our government (let alone anyone else's government, or the UN... madonn'!) getting their fingers into the internet pie. I don't want to reveal my name... anonymity for folks publishing political speech continues the great tradition of Publius. (Again, I'm hardly a political writer, but you never know what may happen.)

In any case, right now I have very close friends, family members, and professional contacts that have no idea that I am doing this. Some do... but the vast majority does not. It gives me a certain freedom to mention topics and people without revealing them, not to mention private thoughts of any kind.

I might decide to comment on a certain person I worked for couldn't find her ass (or the department's) with both hands and a road map (and she constantly dressed unprofessionally)... small, momentary gripes with a friend that, if mentioned, might cause more trouble than they are worth... or subjects that are looked down upon in public circles.

Back to Blois and His Underwhelming Monochromatic Lawsuit... even if the case doesn't affect me either way it might affect the next Publius whether he lives in Minnesota, California, or (God help him) the District of Columbia.

We can and must win. I've seen support for MDE on both sides of the political fence. I'm sure enough of us consider it worth dropping a few hard earned dollars into the defense fund. (If necessary, I'll continue to put off buying Star Wars Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith... it's mediocre anyway. Stupid Lucas!)

Some Revenge is Justice

Prager mentions revenge and the new Spielberg film "Munich" today. He takes Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner to task for their moral equivelence stance in the movie.
That's why the movie is a paean to "stop the cycle of violence." Its leftist writers and well-intentioned but naive director reduce wars against perpetrators of evil to "seeking revenge" or becoming "no better than their enemies," and other cliches that literally demoralize wars fought by good societies. The same arguments are given by the same people against executing murderers: "When we kill murderers, we are no better than them." As if killing Timothy McVeigh was morally equivalent to his murder of innocents in Oklahoma City.

Of course, none of this means that all revenge is moral. When revenge is unjust -- if, for example, the Israelis had murdered a group of Palestinian athletes -- it is immoral.

One could say the same about the peace activists and pasificsts who chide us for going after terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

Speaking of the film, Mona Charen at National Review looked at the film last week. She gives away the ending... which shocked me. Not that she'd mention how the movie ends, but how Kushner and Spielberg did it.
The movie closes with [the protagonist] Avner in the foreground and the towers of the World Trade Center rising behind him. The unsubtle message: We have brought the violence of September 11 upon ourselves. How? By fighting back. One of the team members, the bomb maker, pleads with Avner to abort his mission, crying “Jews are supposed to be righteous.” This is the liberal view that we see adumbrated daily about America’s war on terror. To be righteous is to be passive and weak. To be righteous is, to use Spielberg’s words “to talk until we’re blue in the gills.” Robert Frost understood this mindset perfectly. He said “A liberal is man too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel.” We know what happens to Jews who don’t fight or can’t fight back. (Spielberg made another movie about that.) Now he argues that self-defense is a moral taint. He is confused. It is just a shame that he inflicts his moral confusion on the rest of us.
(Emphasis mine.)

Mr. Spielberg, your time is up... thanks for the memories. Please retire now.

Monday, January 09, 2006

DVD Reflection: 101 Dalmations (1961)

I started this post after midnight, congested from a cold that won't let go, and dried out from the sinus medicine that I took to breathe properly. Worst of both worlds: cotton mouth and stuffed up. Apparently, it wasn't the drowsy medication either because I didn't get to bed until after 2:00 AM.

My plan was to write while waiting some kind of fatigue... and what started as a look at Disney's 1961 classic "101 Dalmations" (recently viewed by Badda-Toddler and me) became a brief look at the various decades of Disney animation (not including the mostly excellent Pixar films).

First I'll mention what my son refers to as "Dogs" and "Pongo" (smart little shit... he's good at remembering names).

I don't believe I actually saw the film as a kid, or ever before. I remember watching the version with Glenn Close from ten years ago... urgh, what a disappointment! Fairly well cast, although I would have actually used Hugh Laurie as Roger instead of Jeff Daniels. That said, I left thinking it was a cheap modern Disney version of the animated classic.

My estimation of the modern version just went up slightly. Not much, but the animated version doesn't have much in it either. In fact the animation has more in common with their simple-style films than any of their great classics (like Sleeping Beauty or Bambi). You might think of it more as a cartoon... whatever that actually means.

The voice work was good, though. I seemed to recognize some of the voices, but didn't see much on the five or six names I checked through IMDb.

Surprisingly, Cruella DeVil doesn't appear on screen as much as I would have expected for a Disney villain... especially one as well remembered and promoted as her.

Perhaps this was the beginning of a new era for Disney. Films before 101 Dalmatians include:
Essentially a decade of classics. (The last two films were released with a wide-screen image... and both very entertaining.)

The following decade doesn't look as impressive:
One could argue that Mary Poppins is much more a film musical that uses some animation (to very good effect) and might not fit well with the regular Disney animation films. I include it mostly because it is hard to avoid having a good time watching Mary Poppins. My favorite of the 60s must be The Jungle Book, and I expect I am not alone. Even so, the animation of these films isn't exactly as good as Sleeping Beauty or possibly even Lady and the Tramp.

While I haven't seen much of The Sword in the Stone in many years, the impression it left wasn't overwhelming. Maybe I'm wrong, but which film do you expect Disney to release as a two-disk special edition: The Sword in the Stone or The Jungle Book?.

Looking ahead to the 70s and 80s we see more films that are fun and nice to watch with your young relatives, but few that really ought to be seen.
I suspect most filmgoers will say that the best thing that came out of Disney's list of animated films from the 60s, 70s, and 80s was The Little Mermaid. (I actually might agree.) Most of the films from that time lack the staying power of Mermaid and Jungle Book. Robin Hood is fine and Black Cauldron delivers an unexpected story and style (plus the wonderful voices of John Hurt and Nigel Hawthorne), but if I wasn't collecting these for my nephew and son (before they were born) I would have saved my money on two-thirds of those titles. Only a few register on my nostalgia meter. The music in Fox and the Hound is distinctly average (or worse) which is a shame considering Pearl Bailey sings most of the songs. (Disney owed it to her to deliver something, anything better than what made it to the film's soundtrack.)

Wandered a bit there.

Dare I say it... that 101 Dalmatians is the first in a long line of films more fondly remembered than they are worth? As cute as it is the film simply cannot rank with Snow White, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin (one of my favorites)... even a film I call overrated, The Lion King (with it's average music and a lagging middle section). Hercules (well cast and quite stylized) and Mulan (with a very impressive animation sequence) are much more entertaining, and they came from a time when grumbling audiences claimed Disney wasn't making 'em good any more.

I'm going to have to watch the films from a given decade and compare them.

Obviously, I'm showing another guilty pleasure... I'm a sucker for some children's movies.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Straight Style

While posting comments over at Anti-Strib on one of the Hot Chick Friday topics I mentioned that Angie Everhart wore a fairly nice dress with a fairly rediculous spider web pattern. The guys took the opportunity to razz me for paying too much attention to her dress and less to the fact that she is 9.0 Magnitude Hottie... and opportunity I pretty much laid out with a welcome mat.

Add to that, I mentioned that Anne Hathaway was funny in Disney's The Princess Diaries.

Beyond that I placed a Kick Me sign on my own back by saying I helped my wife pick out our drapes and run for our living room, glasses for our bar, outfits and dresses for my wife, my tuxedo and bow tie, my hair junk, my regular massages, pedicures, and manicures... and I didn't even get to the towels, bedding, and pillows I picked out a few years ago. (I did mention I've got my eye on additional barware and more bedding.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the friendly jibes... these guys are lots of fun and they mean no harm. This is hardly a topic of serious conversation over there. It just gave me pause for thought... who established the idea that men (specifically straight men) must have bad taste in their own wardrobe, worse taste in picking out clothes for their women, no idea in terms of decorating their house, and no interest in their own physical appearance?

Actually, the idea came up as I was listening to the radio and a guy said something about how Hollywood goes out of its way to reinforce the idea that straight men have no taste and only homosexual men understand style.

I'm not bent out of shape regarding stereotypes whether its an image of a straight man or a gay man... let's face it, we know enough guys who either don't know or don't care about their appearance to the extent that they look like they've gone out of their way to look like shit. We also know folks who look like more than a million bucks, be they homosexual or (that trendy concept from a couple years back) metrosexual. (That term seems so forced... and I don't say that because folks have saddled me with it.)

All I want to say is that there seems to have been a time when men knew at least a little about looking good when going out in public. Fashion wasn't everything, but folks took pride in their appearance. They knew what looked good. Their wives might have helped out a little, but that had a tux for formal occasions, a nice suit for most other occasions, they didn't look like slobs on an airplane or in a sports arena, they didn't look like they just got out of bed when they went shopping or out to the movies, etc.

On New Year's Eve I had the pleasure and honor of taking part in a good friend's wedding as one of the groom's men. I bought my tux (my second) for the occasion. (I'll be damned if I'll rent another tuxedo or uncomfortable shoes ever again.) After the reception a couple of us gathered for late night cocktails (after a series of evening cocktails) and we talked about keeping up our appearances and how much of a kick it is to go out formal every now and again.

Eventually the conversation moved toward the purpose for a man to wear a tuxedo. I believe men wear tuxedos not to make themselves look better (even though they do make us look great), but to make our ladies look twice as good as they already do. That is the purpose of the man... just as a very well dressed woman is to compliment her man (although the former is more important).

We love our women. When they want to go out and look beautiful they either pick out their favorite ensemble or buy a new one... the least that we can do is dress up so we don't make the public think she's got crap taste in men. We clean up to honor our ladies... and they appreciate it.

I also like to take an interest in making sure the house looks good. If she's interested in a couple of sets of bedding I'm going to put my eye to work and rule out anything that looks wrong. I may not be able to pick out the perfect set, but I can at least say what I like and don't like. I surprised myself (and the Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger) when I exercised my opinion on place settings for the table, curtains, rugs, pillows, couches, pyjamas, dressy outfits, cocktail dresses, jewelry. Turns out, I gave her some very good ideas... some of which she never thought she could pull off. Now, she runs ideas by me.

Forget Queer Eye... I can get by with simple common sense, thanks.

Hell, if she's going to make me spend all that time with her shopping I'm damn well going to have some say.

Friday, January 06, 2006

More Galactica Tonight


Really some of the best sci-fi television in a long time. I've enjoyed the show much more than the recent offering from George Lucas... but that doesn't say much.

Battlestar Galactica tonight.
Doctor Who probably in March. (The DVDs for last season come out February 14th.)
Rescue Me sometime this Spring.

I'm excited for them all... each show really has something strong and entertaining.

I thought new episodes for The Sopranos would be out this March, too... but the news on HBO's site is a little vague. Eight bonus episodes have been commissioned for 2007, but it doesn't specifically say whether those extra eight will get shown with season six or if they will be a short season seven. An old news item from May of last year states that season six will air sometime in March or April. I'm hopeful.

I still have to go back and watch early episodes from this season of House.

UPDATE: 10:04 PM
Just so you know, tonight's episode of Battlestar Galactica was the total effing shit! As in previous episodes, spoilers do not ruin anything for this series. It's totally sexy.

UPDATE: 8:45 PM, Saturday January 7th, 2005
A fairly reliable rumor tells me that Doctor Who may not begin the new season until sometime in April. Well at least BSG will take me into March... and the possibility exists that Rescue Me may start then. House ought to be in running new episodes, too. Damn, I'm impaitent!

Blogger Coming Out: M.D.E.

MDE from Minnesota Democrats Exposed now has a name... he revealed his identity Wednesday since he was served with legal papers.

I'll continue to call him MDE. I'll also be dropping some money into the legal defense fund. I hope you do to. MDE tried to maintain his blog without revealing his identity. Considering some of the hate e-mail he receives I understand why. Now some Minnesota DFLers are hoping to weaken his position... and if they succeed, who knows where they will strike next.

(I certainly doubt any of them would come to me, but that's not the point. These folks don't want blogs to diminish the power of the MSM... so lets stick it to them.)

By the way... Blois?!?!?! What kind of name is Blois? Swedish? French? If you say it fast enough it sounds like you're sneezing. Probably a perfectly fine name... if you are the type of person who cooks up a silly lawsuit.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Predictions For 2006

James Lileks' Screedblog lists some of his predictions for 2006... sort of. ;) As he puts it, "Tomorrow's news, today!"

One of my favorites:
Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death for crimes against humanity. While awaiting execution he published several children’s books – including “Goodnight Moon and Your Entire Accursed Family as Well” – and this resulted in a Nobel Peace Prize nomination and the solemn, creased-brow support of several Hollywood celebrities. George Clooney announced he would appear in a Saddam biopic.

I can just imagine the illustrations.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Letterman: Punting For the Left

David Letterman talked with guest Bill O'Reilly last night. Apparently, some of the usual suspects declared this a debate and that Letterman kicked O'Reilly's ass.

Debate? Letterman is (and always has been) an utter smartass on television. That was his charm when I was a high school kid. (I have long since become a fan of Conan O'Brien.) However, when you snark without actually having much to say you better make sure your snark is razor sharp.

Letterman merely snarks... and from what I remember, this wasn't even gold standard Letterman snarking. A few bloggers remarked that he didn't even have any facts nor reasonable comments... mere jackassary. (Links below.) Dave actually said, "I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point," and "I have a feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap." That last line is pure Dave-snark, but anyone who has ever seen Letterman's shows knows he's also giving his opinion.

Not only that, but Paul and the band played "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who to bring O'Reilly out... great song, but d'ya think they did that for any reason?
(Badda-Blogger correction: Upon viewing it again, the song is clearly "Baba O'Reilly"... so that's a double-dumbass on me.)

O'Reilly isn't really my guy. I read one of his books some years back and got the distinct impression that this guy was fairly middle of the road on more than a couple of subjects. The way some folks talk these days I would have thought he'd be much more of a Right-Leaner. Since that time I've seen The Factor maybe a half dozen times. He's okay on television but just not something I'm going to watch with any regularity.

O'Reilly came off fairly well... unless you watched with Lefty-lenses. Even so, Dave just wanted to act like a dick and change the subject when he couldn't respond.

Watch the video excerpt at Political Teen. (It runs about six minutes... but the full clip runs more than eleven minutes.) Read the transcript at Iowa Voice. Both have several links to other folks jawing about the segment. (I hesitate to call it an interview.)

Johnny Carson would never conduct his show in such a way. In fact, I suspect that the old David Letterman (on NBC) would never have conducted his show that way either.

Potential Update Later Tonight:
The Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger has never watched much of Letterman or O'Reilly and she mad a few comments to me after viewing the segment. Either she will scrawl them down and I'll copy them here or we'll have them in the comments section... or there's the ever-present possibility that we'll just blow it off.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Here we are... 2006. Last year seemed to rush on by. The Spring seemed to pass quickly, then the rest of the year jumped into high gear.

My favorite parts include the walking and talking of Badda-Toddler, my friend's wedding, a warm and fond farewell from co-workers, a nice trip out of state, "Batman Returns", and a rather pleasant evening with the Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger.

For the new year I hope Badda-Toddler proves statistics wrong and doesn't become a whiny little tantrum machine. (I'll continue to do my part, of course regardless of his mood and behavior.) I also hope for an end to contract assignments... at least in such a way that a I find a regular gig. With a little luck additional voice-over gigs might come my way, too. I want to see a few of my good friends more... in particular one who is getting on in years and seems to keep to himself a bit more than he used to. I wish to read more... fiction and non-fiction. (Maybe of the books sitting on my shelves I haven't yet dug into.) I hope the new Superman film triumphs.

I also hope to find the perfect anniversary presents for my wife. Most every year I try to go way over the top with a traditional form of anniversary gift. Couples traditionally celebrate the first anniversary with paper gifts... so I made the Dutiful and Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger laugh with bulk purchases of paper napkins, tissue, paper towels, and toilet paper. When the wood anniversary came I bought clothes pins, rat traps, matches, pencils, hickory for the grill, firewood for the fireplace, cooking spoons, a model plane, bambo skewers, cedar hangers, cedar blocks, and a lighter. Last year I had to work with candy and iron... so plenty of jelly beans and chocolates as well as some iron candle holders, an iron picture frame, and a nice new iron (and a steamer). She's always loved the thought, effort, and silliness.

This year I'm looking at wool and copper. Obviously, I'll need to consider my options. I may stray into more practical items again... like the year I just bought her nice casual shoes for our leather anniversary or the comfy sweatsuit for our cotton anniversary. Damn... I want to get her something silly. (Duracel, the copper top batteries, must be included but I'm going to need more.)

In any case, we've enjoyed a fairly benign start... let's just hope it doesn't fly by so quickly.