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January 30, 2005

Another circle

This week has been even less fun than a 40-car pile-up on a fog-bound divided freeway. Hacking and coughing until I feel dangerously close to passing out. Fighting for air in even the most simple tasks, such as walking from one room to the next.

So in about nine hourws from now I'll be back at the VA, getting seen by my primary care physician.

Ostensibly it'll be a trip to see about getting my own Albuterol prescription (and not mooching from my wife). But I think the way this has gone, absolutely anything is possible.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 11:51 PM

January 26, 2005

Adventures in Misery

Odd thing how we can convince ourselves, I’m past this nonsense now, I am HEALED, I say!—and of course that’s a baldfaced cantankerous lie.

She Who Must Be Obeyed was running a solid 11 on the 10-point Guilt-O-Meter, after missing two days from work. And the one thing she has going for her is how truly rare it actually is that she misses work. “I’ll go in and give it a try,” quoth Herself.

So before leaving for work, yuuuuust a quick one-block trip to a nearby food and convenience store. And that dragged on. And on. And on.

At last she got home, looking like she’d gone four out of five falls with the Debbil hisself. “That's it,” she declared. “I got halfway out of the driveway and realized I’d never make the seven-mile trip to work. You should have seen me in there, coughing like crazy—infecting anyone around me.”

Doing your share, my love, doing your share. With luck we will re-infect whoever gave this to us, just when they thought they were HEALED.

Me? I’ve been sleeping an hour at a time—90 minutes at most. I think I mentioned earlier, for all I know this is actually March 32. I’m at that point in my arrested development.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 09:34 PM

January 23, 2005


No, not the music kind. I speak of the health variety, that awful hacking cough and at least half a pail of mucous, every hour on the hour.

This started for my wife yesterday or so, and today for me. My bones ache, my hair hurts—the whole thing. I’m in misery.

Not that I was in all that good a shape anyway, after going through minor surgery on the 6th. They had to put me all the way under, and so for the next few days I was getting maybe two to four hours of sleep at a stretch—if that. For all I know, Windows XP is lying to me about the date, and this is really March 32. I believe almost anything in a weakened condition. As we know, we can all trust Microsoft, yes?

So I’ll take the high moral road here. The noble and valiant way. I’ll lay around feeling like death warmed over until this either passes through my system, or else it sends me to the emergency room for a close encounter with tubes and worse.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 10:33 PM | Comments (4)

January 22, 2005

Depression, our comrades in Washington, French surrender, and snow

The one thing that the "blue states" have in common is the high number of mental health professionals. (We always knew they needed help, yes?)

The February 2005 edition of Chicago Magazine (not yet online at www. chicagomagazine.com) offers a new insight.

The ten states (including the District of Columbia ) with the highest ratio of psychologists per 100,000 residents, were, with the exception of Colorado, all blue states which supported John Kerry (D.C, Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, in rank order from one to ten). The ten states with the lowest ratio of psychologists per 100,000 residents, all were red states supporting Bush (Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Nevada, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana). Louisiana with the lowest ratio is listed first.

(Hat tip to AlphaPatriot—and somebody put on the Patsy Cline.)


Over at Conservative Insurgent, Jack takes a hard look at the new comrade in charge of Washington State, and has some eerie similarities between Christine Gregoire and the unlamented Josef Stalin.


The French have surrendered again, E-nough reports....

IT IS official: the French are a nation of depressed pessimists, wracked with self-doubt and unable to see a positive future.

This gloomy portrait of the current state of Gallic morale - or rather the lack of it - was made public yesterday in a damning report by France’s prefects, the country’s top administrators.

"The French no longer believe in anything," the report said. "That is the reason that the situation is relatively calm, for they believe that it is not even worthwhile expressing their opinions or trying to be heard any more."

The country’s 100 prefects went on to use the words "lifelessness", "resignation", "anxiety" and "pessimism" to describe the attitudes they believe prevail in France today...

[A]nalysts point to the fact that disillusionment and apathy are so great that not even France’s formerly powerful unions were able to predict the turnout for the strike. Opinion polls show that 65 per cent of the French support the strikers, leading observers to say that the country is showing its discontent by proxy via the strikers. . .

Pierre Taribo, writing in L’Est Républicain . . . wrote: "One is forced to say that the French no longer believe in very much. Confronted with the reality of an open economy, clearly showing less and less appetite for politics, they are disillusioned and doubt everything from Chirac to the government and the Right, which is accused of every ill, to the Left, which has no projects, and the unions, whose activism no longer inspires a reflex of blind adhesion."


And finally, here's one of the really great reasons why Michiganders like myself say a foot of snow is a really good start.

Hubs and Spokes has the photo. And the cute kid.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 09:58 PM

January 20, 2005

Inauguration, jobs for Hollyweird, and Dan Rather

Today, adult leadership in America was reaffirmed by the second inauguration of George W. Bush. You'll notice in this hilarious photo who is standing where, and who is forlornly looking on.

But we're not going to see any improvement in one area. Hanoi John Kerry got his ass kicked at the polls, but the Hollyweird crowd aren't going to do the decent thing and leave America, now that he lost. They promised they would, back in 2000, but actors are all paid liars and that one they told for free.

There are even jobs waiting for them, says Canadian blogger Kevin Steel:

Harrison Ford, a former carpenter, could get work as an instructor in his old trade for Corrections Canada if he moved to Laval. According to the bio on his official site, Alec Baldwin "is a vigorous supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)." Well, here's a job for an Animal Health Technician in Winnipeg. Any number of megastars--Sue Sarandon or her husband Tim Robbins--could grab a job as a Passport Examiner in St. John's, Newfoundland. I mean, how hard can that be? You open a passport, examine it, and say "Thank you. NEXT!" $39,840--$43,132 per annum (pro-rated-- under revision). Sweet.

(Hat tip to Small Dead Animals.)

Well, what brought that on? This update on the Fox News site, talking about the surge in page hits at the Canadian immigration site, the day after the election.

Well, not every liberal left the country, though quite a few reportedly sat out the inaguration itself. Fox News says Terry McAuliffe decided to stay home and watch a movie based on the 2004 Kerry campaign. Titanic.


Speaking of sunk ships, here's a snip from Pat Buchanan, asking a very telling question about Dan Rather:

Where is the outrage of Rather, whose reputation has been ruined and career destroyed by the criminals who cooked up the fakes? Last September, Rather said that if the memos turned out to be fake, he would love to break that story. Why hasn’t he? Why hasn’t CBS turned the dogs loose on those who did this to it?

Posted by Weaselteeth at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

January 18, 2005

Molson Patriots, call girls, and more

In this from Canadian blogger Joel Fleming, a well-written look at "moral cripples" Fleming defines as "Molson Patriots" — people who define Canada as "Not America." It’s the first of three parts, and I for one salute him for writing it.

He also links to a Pakistani story of a lunatic fringe professor up there who claims the U.S. military and State Department both had advance warning about the tsunami.

Oh, yeah. Here’s another Flemingesque foray into academia I think you'll like.

Based on my own experience, people my age have no business deciding the future of this country. Obviously there's the knee-jerk socialism inculcated by public schooling, and Canadian media. It seems to be a passing attachment, however, and is often shaken by getting a job, and realizing that earning money is hard work, and is remarkably unrelated to the unquestionably sordid practice of stealing from poor people.

More pernicious, and ultimately, in my view, far more dangerous - should my generation ever locate their polling stations - is a poisonous, systemic anti-Americanism. The young people I know hate the United States, and hate Americans. Many people have seen the infamous poll released last June which indicated that 40% of Canadian teens viewed America as "evil." Many people were surprised by the results. So was I.

I thought the number was low.

(Hat tip to Bounder of Adventure.)


This story from The Guardian about the Knights Templars caught my attention. It seems the Templars have issued a demand that the Vatican apologize for prosecuting them in the 14th Century — and, evidently, the Vatican is giving serious consideration to the matter.

The Wikipedia entry on the Templars also mentions that Pope Clement V did issue a secret pardon for the Templars, which was found by a Dr. Barbara Frale in The Secret Vatican Archives. But the Wikli reference on the Chinon Parchment is just "a stub," a tantalyzing reference without further details.


BoingBong has this one about a Florida call girl ring which used an unsecured message board---and Google got all the text.

Also at BoingBong, a link to a site listing people who were fired from work for blogging...106 so far...and the companies which fired them, or those who threaten and discipline bloggers. Notably, Microsoft was #5 on that list and merely "lined out," not removed entirely. And then there's Delta, Starbucks, and Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine (who canned an office girl who was hooking on her lunch hours).

Gee. D'ya think some of the ones who got fired just might have given good cause for separation?

And one more for the road, with this link to a different sort of Asian mail-order bride site.... (Hat tip: Beautiful Atrocities.)

Posted by Weaselteeth at 10:22 PM

January 16, 2005

Ellis Island, strippers, and Eastwood

Ellis Island has finally opened the passenger lists of immigrants, Pamibe reports, giving genealogists one more major on-line data source. That's here.


Over at Yeah, Right, Whatever is a link to more asshattery out in Palo Alto, Callyfornicate, in which the principal of a middle school allowed one speaker too many to address the eighth graders on Career Day.

He's the management consultant who told them they can make up to $250,000 or more a year as a stripper or exotic dancer, depending on their bust size.

But school principal Joseph Di Salvo said Fried may not be back next year.

The principal said Fried's comments to the class came after some of them asked him to expand on why he included "exotic dancing" on his list of 140 potential careers.

Fried spent about a minute answering questions, defining strippers and exotic dancers synonymously. According to Jason Garcia, 14, he told students: "For every 2 inches up there, you should get another $50,000 on your salary."

"A couple of students egged him and he took it hook, line and sinker," said Di Salvo, who also said the students took advantage of a substitute teacher overseeing the session.

"It's totally inappropriate," Di Salvo said. "It's not OK by me. I would want my presenters to kind of understand that they are coming into a career day for eighth-graders."

That stripping advice wasn't the only thing that riled parents. Di Salvo said one mother said she was outraged when her son announced that he was forgoing college for a field he loves: fishing.

"He really focused on finding what you really love to do," said Mariah Cannon, 13.

Fried, 64, said he does not think he offended any of the students: "Eighth-grade kids are not dumb," he said. "They are pretty worldly."


Over at Debbie Schlussel is a review excoriating Clint Eastwood's new film Million Dollar Baby — and for damned good reason. Eastwood misleads viewers into thinking it's a movie about a woman boxer, and turns it into a story about legalized euthanasia.

Janitors and waitresses die every day, thinking “I never got my shot,” Frankie is told by right-hand man, former boxer Eddie (Morgan Freeman). It’s better for Maggie to die now, having made it to such a high point in her life—the Women’s Welterweight title fight—than for her to face a life of anti-climactic paralysis. Since she's only from a trailer park anyway, her life is now expendable. Sickening.

“Baby’s” version of euthanasia seems honorable and heroic—a sort of noblesse oblige for the 2000s. But imagine if the real-life euthanized, victims of the Nazis and the Netherlands, were the “Million Dollar Babies” instead of a pathetic, washed up female boxer from the trailer park.

The Nazis victims didn’t just include six million Jews. They murdered the handicapped and infirm, some as handicapped as “Baby’s” Maggie. The handicapped, a burden on society and flaw in the master race, weren’t entitled to live, the Nazis posited. That disturbing message is more palatable when the victim is “Baby’s” broken female Rocky with no future, and a likeable religious father-figure is the euthanasia-committing hero.

Then there’s today’s Netherlands. The country that values its legalized prostitutes and drugs has little value for human life. Anyone can be murdered by their doctors at the request of family members. There is no requirement the patient’s condition be terminal or the suffering be physical. Thousands of innocents are euthanized each year at the request of greedy or neglectful spouses and family. The slippery slope has begun.

Why can’t Warner Brothers—“Baby’s” distributor—say what the movie’s really about, glorifying euthanasia? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that no-one wants to go see a depressing movie with such stark politicking. Americans want to see positive movies, not be exploited. They think they’re going to see one here. But they’ve been duped.(Emphasis added = WT)

Posted by Weaselteeth at 02:39 AM

January 15, 2005

Space blobs and Demo-losers

NASA has photos and a story on three galaxies which are merging together. It's all part of the astronomy world trying to make sense of what are now called "space blobs." (Hat tip: What Kind of Sick Weirdo)

The Borowitz Report has this take on the next generation of Democratic Party losers....

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean today announced his candidacy for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, proclaiming, “It is time for the Democrats to pass the torch to a new generation of losers.”

Mr. Dean made his announcement in Burlington, Vermont to a crowd of supporters and well-wishers, many of whom were instrumental in helping him lose in 2004.

“As Democrats, we cannot afford to continue with our old ways of losing,” he said. “We must find new ways of losing.”

Promising “a fresh approach to defeat,” Mr. Dean told his audience, “In the past, we have lost by being boring and uncharismatic, but I believe we must lose by being crazy and wild-eyed.”

But just hours after his speech, Mr. Dean received a sharp rebuke from two of the Democratic Party establishment’s most prominent losers, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and former Vice President Walter Mondale.

“So, Howard says he has all kinds of new-fangled ways to lose,” said a skeptical Mr. Mondale. “What I’d like to know is, ‘where’s the beef’?”

“Say what you will about being boring and uncharismatic, but it certainly helped me lose in 1988,” Mr. Dukakis added.

Political science professor Jude Krenzel of the University of Minnesota says he is not surprised that the race for DNC chair has grown so heated: “It’s pretty much the only office that a Democrat has a shot at winning.”

(Hat tip: What Attitude Problem)

Posted by Weaselteeth at 01:21 AM

January 14, 2005

Why she went to Iraq

Written by someone on a message board, whose daughter recently returned from Iraq....

My daughter lost an eye, the hearing in her left ear and suffered some nerve damage to her left arm in a grenade attack in Bagdad.

At my gas station, a woman (obviously anti-war and liberal) that was passing through stopped for gas and started a conversation with us. She asked my daughter why she had volunteered for the Army knowing full well she would go to war and if had been worth it seeing as how she was wounded.

Jazz pointed at the woman's daughter which looked to be about 5 or 6 years old and said, "I went for her. You tell me, is she worth it?"

The woman gasped audibly, took Jazz's head in her hands and kissed her on her forehead. She walked out crying.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 10:28 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2005

Most partisan political commentators

Dean Esmay points to a supposedly nonpartisan look at who are the most partisan political commentators, on each side of the fence.

Lying in Ponds says it's Ann Coulter and Paul Krugman of the Jayson Blair Gazette, for right and left respectively.

Lying in Ponds say it found 15 positive references to Democrats among 1,058 in 2004, earning her their second consecutive title. Krugman, on the other hand,

completed another year as a New York Times columnist, making it five full years of punditry without once finding a reason to write a column consisting mostly of substantive criticsm of any Democrat on any topic or substantive praise of any Republican on any topic. Although Mr. Krugman's utterly predictable criticism of Republicans is unsurpassed, his high ranking also depends on a careful protection of Democrats. He expressed a strong preference for Howard Dean and Wesley Clark, but once John Kerry took the lead in the race for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Krugman turned on a dime and was more favorable toward Mr. Kerry than any of our 33 pundits. He has carefully avoided any mention of Democratic scandals, adding disgraced former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey to a long list of names which must not be mentioned -- Marc Rich, Al Sharpton, Robert Torricelli, etc. Back in March, I wrote a five part series exploring various aspects of Paul Krugman's amazing record of extreme partisanship.

Their full list does at least mention Maureen "The Screed" Dowd, at #13, and the Lead Editorial, William Safire, and David Brooks, all of the New York Times.

The Washington Compost gets its share of the Partisanship Index, with its Lead Editorial, Charles Krauthammer, Harold Meyerson, E.J. Dionne Jr., Richard Cohen, Michael Kinsley, George F. Will, William Raspberry, David S. Broder, Sebastian Mallaby, and Robert J. Samuelson. (In all, a much more diverse crew than the relentlessly liberal NYT.)

It's instructive about Democrats to see how they respond to perfectly reasonable remarks by a trained pychiatrist about their collective sanity. Charles Krauthammer (the shrink turned political commentator) does so, and the moonbats instantly went into full attack revenge mode. Lying in Ponds dredges it up months later, as well, obsessive in trying to overlook the truth Krauthammer told about the Dems.

Democrats feel a mixture of horror and contempt for the huddled masses -- so bovine, so benighted, so besotted with talk radio -- who made a king of an empty-headed movie star (Reagan, long before Arnold) and inexplicably want the Republicans' current nitwit leader to have a second term.

Historians will have a field day trying to fathom the depths of detestation that the Democrats are carrying into this campaign. Vanity is only part of it. What else is at play? First, and most obviously, revenge. Democrats have convinced themselves that Bush stole the last election. They cannot bear suffering not just a bad presidency but an illegitimate one.

Moreover, against all expectations, it turned out to be a consequential presidency. Bush was not the mild-mannered, Gerald Ford-like Republican he was expected to be -- transitional and minor. He turned out to be quite the revolutionary, most especially in his radical reordering of American foreign policy. A usurper is merely offensive; a consequential usurper is intolerable.

But that is still not enough to account for the level of venom today. It is not often that a losing presidential candidate (Al Gore) compares the man who defeated him to both Hitler and Stalin. It is not often that a senior party leader (Edward Kennedy) accuses a sitting president of starting a war ("cooked up in Texas") to gain political advantage for his reelection.

The loathing goes far beyond the politicians. Liberals as a body have gone quite around the twist. I count one all-star rock tour, three movies, four current theatrical productions and five bestsellers (a full one-third of the New York Times list) variously devoted to ridiculing, denigrating, attacking and devaluing this president, this presidency and all who might, God knows why, support it.

How to explain? With apologies to Dr. Freud, I propose the Pressure Cooker Theory of Hydraulic Release.

The hostility, resentment, envy and disdain, all superheated in Florida, were not permitted their natural discharge. Came Sept. 11 and a lid was forced down. How can you seek revenge for a stolen election by a nitwit usurper when all of a sudden we are at war and the people, bless them, are rallying around the flag and hailing the commander in chief? With Bush riding high in the polls, with flags flying from pickup trucks (many of the flags, according to Howard Dean, Confederate), the president was untouchable.

The Democrats fell unnaturally silent. For two long, agonizing years, they had to stifle and suppress. It was the most serious case of repression since Freud's Anna O. went limp. The forced deference nearly killed them. And then, providentially, they were saved. The clouds parted and bad news rained down like manna: WMDs, Abu Ghraib, Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, Joe Wilson and, most important, continued fighting in Iraq.

With the president stripped of his halo, his ratings went down. The spell was broken. He was finally, once again, human and vulnerable. With immense relief, the critics let loose.

The result has been volcanic. The subject of one prominent new novel is whether George W. Bush should be assassinated. This is all quite unhinged. Good God. What if Bush is reelected? If they lose to him again, Democrats will need more than just consolation. They'll need therapy.

They did need therapy. What they got instead was the political ass-kicking that the moonbat left and fellow-traveling treason artists so richly deserved.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 03:14 PM

January 10, 2005

Here's to treason

National Treasure with Nicholas Cage and Diane Kruger is part crime-caper, part Indiana Jones Meets Paul Revere, and it’s a lot of fun. This Jerry Bruckheimer action film slickly touches every chord. Treasure of the Knights Templar. Masonic plots by our Founding Fathers. Clues to unimaginable wealth and artifacts. Touches of romance, quick humor, unflagging sincerity, and fine casting.

What’s not to like about saving American treasure?

Cage was spot-on, in every single scene. A perfect mix of intelligence, sincerity, fanaticism, and courage. Jon Voight in a surprising return to real acting. Harvey Keitel as Harvey Keitel, having fun as an FBI man saying, “Somebody’s got to go to jail.”

Of course critics panned it.

Everybody having fun comparing it to The Da Vinci Code. Of that, Roger Ebert says:

This new Jerry Bruckheimer production is so similar in so many ways to the plot of the Dan Brown best seller that either (a) the filmmakers are the only citizens of the entertainment industry who have never heard of The Da Vinci Code, no, not even while countless people on the set must have been reading the book, or (b) they have ripped it off. My attorneys advise me that (a) is the prudent answer.

That I have read the book is not a cause for celebration. It is inelegant, pedestrian writing in service of a plot that sets up cliff-hangers like clockwork, resolves them with improbable escapes and leads us breathlessly to a disappointing anticlimax. I should read a potboiler like The Da Vinci Code every once in a while, just to remind myself that life is too short to read books like The Da Vinci Code.

Ebert didn't like the movie any better, but that putz has never understood real movie goers, which is why he writes down to them. Real Americans don’t mind seeing landmark monuments and stuff like that. It’s our Liberty Bell, you schmuck, let us look at it if we want to.

James Sanford at the Kalamazoo Gazette says the film isn't the North by Northwest of a new generation. It's just easy escapism. With Sean Bean as the villain, a role which he does quite well. Anyway, the film was fun, filled with action and scenery, and of course it was food for thought.

Nicholas Cage toasting champagne: "Here's to treason!" And aye, making history real to me, reminding us our Founding Fathers would have met terrible fates had they failed. Drawing and quartering. Hanging. Disembowelment. All that stuff you don't read about, from an age where evidently everybody made awesome speeches just before hanging.

“I regret that I have but one life to give for this country.”

That, friends and neighbors, is a True Patriot. Just another troublemaker that Brit troops hanged rather than deal with later. No quibbling about sentence. Just a defiant, now-historic reminder — this cause outweighs all sacrifices.

It’s nice to see folks reminded, nobody just handed this to us. The Founding Fathers and the troops suffered terribly. Some lost everything. But our nation survived, because of the one thing National Treasure pointedly overlooks.

The Declaration of Independence is our true national treasure.

We came mostly as indentured servants or other steerage, trailing the Mayflower folks who today still preen about that in their society circles. We were the laborers and farmers, the builders and inventors, the wives and daughters and sisters and mothers. We’re the real America which moved in while the self-styled gentry wasn’t looking.

Our melting pot built the nation’s churches and monuments, its homes and colleges and shops. Our children had children had children. We fought in more wars, one against ourselves. We are now incredibly more populated than our Founding Fathers could possibly have foreseen. Our clothing, language and way of life is changed, but at least we still share the American Dream.

Horatio Alger, Jr. said it best in a book title, Strive and Succeed. We come to do as well as we are able. We've been coming here for centuries now, and although the American system is not perfect, it still beats what’s way behind in second place.

The Declaration affirms our inalienable right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It did not, nor does it now, promise this pursuit would be easy. What it says is, Here we are, world. America. You are free to come here and try to succeed.

So many took up that offer. So many will in the future.

Here we are, world. America. Land of opportunity.

Our British masters hanged Patrick Henry for believing in that.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 06:54 PM | Comments (4)

January 09, 2005

Al Franken's Rumsfeld death-threat

Over at The Black Republican, Al Franken and Chris Matthews get taken down for their respective failures as human beings. It seems that Friday night on Matthews’ Hardball liberal love-fest, Franken bragged about being approached in Iraq by a serviceman who claimed he wanted to kill Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—and did nothing to report it.

Al Franken Conspirator

On tonight's broadcast of the Hardball with Chris Matthews show, Al Franken, the one-time funnyman turned anarchist, related that during a USO tour to Iraq a US serviceman confessed to him that he/she would shoot Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld if given the chance. Franken was obviously gleeful as he told this story, and never mentioned that he took any action to report the murderous intentions of the soldier. One does not need think for long to call to mind former servicemen who have gone on to murder after their military service ended; Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh, and John Allen Muhammad are examples of murderers who changed history and may have been stopped beforehand if someone had taken note of their abherent attitudes and responded seriously.

Mr. Franken, who is not a serious man, has taken this death threat lightly, (he was using it as evidence that he is better liked by some troops than is the President), and should be considered a co-conspirator in a murder plot against a sitting Secretary of Defense during a time of war until, he delivers the name of the soldier who made the threat. If it turns out the incident did not happen, and there is no soldier who made such a statement to Franken, then Franken should be prosecuted for making such a threat himself; as it would then be obvious that the invention of the fictious soldier was in fact a projection of Franken's own intent.

Either way, Franken should be in FBI custody at this very moment and he should be interogated as viciferously as is legally possible until the truth is fully known.

Additionally: It is illustrious of Chris Matthews' limited abilities as an interviewer of conscience that he did not immediatley call upon Mr. Franken to explain the actions he (Franken) took to report the conversation. Matthews, were he a serious man, would have recognized the danger in the story and would have demanded to know who made the threat, and to know that it was being properly dealt with by the authorities. However, Mr. Matthews is not a serious man, and he dropped the ball on this one. But that is nothing new for Matthews.

Nobody seriously expects that liver-lipped tub of guts Matthews to do anything even remotely close to responsible journalism, after his tangle with Michelle Malkin a while back. But the real onus does lie on Franken, and for the reasons given above. Had this been for real, who better than someone fully trained in current weaponry (and with access to the target) to even possibly carry it off?

It isn’t difficult to imagine some malcontent whose reserve unit got extended, or some bone-brain with more bile than sense, making such a threat. It ain’t John Wayne stuff here, it’s a collection of some superb human beings mixed in with people who can get just as carried away with a reputed celebrity like Franklin as they would a chance to hear Bob Barkey yell, “Come on down!”

But in point of fact, the military code does not include blowing away your Constitutionally mandated civilian leadership.

I’d dangle Franklin by his ankles out the belly of some Huey, directly over the Washington Monument, and tell him about chiseled granite suppositories until he finally decides to ’fess up what really happened here. But that’s about as likely as Chris Matthews ever asking anything serious from people with whom he is hardwired biologically to agree.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 01:30 AM | Comments (1)

January 08, 2005

Canadian Content

Leaping madly through the linkosphere brought me recently to a very interesting compendium of conservative Canadian blogs which I've chosen to add to my links list. That's Blogging Tories, and here are admittedly just a few surface skimmings from the member sites they link to....


The modern Liberal view:

"Children should have a right to be permitted to decide their own future if they are competent." "Decisions about motherhood and abortion, schooling, cosmetic surgery, treatment of venereal disease, or employment, and others where the decision or lack of one will significantly affect the child's future should not be made unilaterally by parents." - Hillary Clinton

The modern Liberal problem:

IPS police and Marion County child protection workers are investigating an incident involving two first-graders who officials said were caught trying to have sex Wednesday at an Eastside school. Source

Modern Liberalism 101 - The modern liberal devotion to sex education is an ideological commitment rather than a policy of prudence.

Dust My Broom

Mike Brock On the Attack has been nominated as the Best Conservative Blog in the 2004 Canadian Blog Awards, and here is a factoid I never would have thought possible back in the Cold War era.... To get their emergency team to the disaster scene following the tsunami, Canada had to rely on the Russians for transport. The Canadian military wasn’t up for the task.

Nothing against Mr. Brock here, but Babbling Brooks which links to here has also been nominated. Damian Brooks believes "most problems can be solved with weaponry of a high enough calibre." Damian in turn points with glee to his early recognition of Jerry Aldini being run by Matt Fenwick, who says:

Found via Instapundit before Christmas, an interesting Scientific American article entitled "Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth". After reading it, I'd say the Professor seized on one of the less compelling aspects (or rather, subcomponents) of the article - understandable given his wife's field. The piece does not dismiss out-of-hand the value of self-esteem, but it obliterates the notion that positive self-esteem is the root of all that is good.

I'm linking to it because it has the absolute greatest concluding sentence in the history of research pieces. It makes the point they want to make, and it summarizes the article to perfection:

And we have found little to indicate that indiscriminately promoting self-esteem in today's children or adults, just for being themselves, offers society any compensatory benefits beyond the seductive pleasure it brings to those engaged in the exercise.
Sounds like bloggers, eh?

And Paul Jané at All Agitprop, All the Time should have known what he was starting when he posted this one about a Bulgarian drunk who blew a 0.914 on a breathalyzer test — on his third try. Even up north, they still see the opening for a Teddy Kennedy joke....

Posted by Weaselteeth at 12:14 AM | Comments (4)

January 07, 2005

LiveJournal acquired by Six Apart?

Here is a breaking story of interest to every LiveJournal user. Om Malik on Broadband reports:

EXCLUSIVE: Folks have been predicting a big year for mergers and acquisitions in 2005, and we are starting the year with a bang. I have learnt exclusively that Six Apart, the parent company behind hosted blogging service TypePad, and Moveable Type is about to acquire Live Journal, for an undisclosed amount. The deal is a mix of stock and cash, and could be announced sometime later this month, according to those close to the two companies. If the deal goes through, then Six Apart will become one of the largest weblog companies in the world, with nearly 6.5 million users. It also gives the company a very fighting chance against Google’s Blogger and Microsoft’s MSN Spaces.

Weblogs have become quite popular in last 12 months. A recent report by the Pew Internet, nearly 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. That represents more than 8 million people. About 27% of internet users say they read blogs, a 58% jump from the 17% who told us they were blog readers in February. This means that by the end of 2004 32 million Americans were blog readers. Bacon’s Information, a media industry research group has recently started tracking blogs as a news source. Ben and Mena Trott of Six Apart, and Peter Rojas of Engadget were recently featured on the cover of Fortune magazine.

Live Journal was started by Brad Fitzpatrick back in 1999, long before Six Apart existed and blogging was all the rage. Live Journal, which is based in Portland, Oregon has 5.5 million users, though only a miniscule number are paying customers. Live Journal is very popular with teenagers and is built on an open source platform, and arguably is one of the largest open source projects on the web. Live Journal has been in talks with several other possible acquirers, though Six Apart is more of a natural fit. My sources tell me that all Live Journal employees are going to be retained.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 11:10 PM

January 06, 2005

Corporal V replies

WT NOTE: This is a lengthy excerpt from a long post at Grouchy Old Cripple. It refers to a second post on his site, and the lengthy reply by Corporal V, one of the G.O.C.'s readers. The subject was the Marine who shot the terrorist and the embedded media instantly turned it into fodder at an anti-war site. These words by Corporal V are the undiluted truth. God bless you and keep you safe, Corporal.

Check it out, Robin... you're nuts, go into combat and then give me that load of crap. Stooping down to their level? You have no idea... Give me your address and I'll send you 14 MRE's. That will be your meal for 8 days and don't give me shit about not knowing how to count, I'm well aware that's not 3 meals a day. Live with it asshole Cause that's what America's sons, my brothers, do. During those days sleep for 3 hours a day, with hardcore rock blasting from the speakers to simulate gunfire, screams of the dying, and relentless bombing. Your job for those 8 days will be going block by block, house by house, room by room, door by door to hunt down every insurgent that wants to kill an American for fame and glory. Every step you take, every door you open, every time you blink your eyes worry about an ounce of C-4 and other plastique explosives going off and killing you. Walk around in a pack of 13 and consider that every action you take decides whether they live and every action they take decides whether you live. Every thought you think decides whether you see your family hug them in tears or in tears they see you in a casket draped with the American Flag in all her pride glory. It has been said in many ways, but maybe you haven't heard a one of them... "It is better to be judged by the ignorant millions than by 12 dead friends."

For six months have your co-workers, friends and family systematically killed one by one by explosive devices, traps, and snipers. Watch your best friend get killed by an insurgent pretending to be wounded when in fact they are sitting on an IED and just have to lift their arm to trip and set off a mortar. The next day watch as your father has the same thing happen to him while you stand by his side. The next day enter the room where the wounded insurgent that was given 3 months to evacuate, sniped at you for weeks, set up traps, armed IEDs and was struck with a bullet by America's best - a United States Marine. When you enter the room and see him moving around mumbling, what are you going to think? Will you be alarmed? Will you be suspicious? Most of all, will you remember about your brothers standing next to you, or will you remember the damn camera man who might or might not have entered the room behind you?

Do this 18 hours a day, for 8 days with a cameraman - one more life you have to protect - who doesn't care to help you, he just wants to make news. Many of them aren't looking for "feel good stories at this time" as they say. Instead, they look for a way to destroy you while you protect them. There are the exceptions, but far be it for you damn liberals to let those media outlets speak out.

Do this for 18 hours a day, for 8 days while making an incredible 24,000 a year, mere pennies to the people who cry out against you for your thoughtlessness and their hardest decision in the day is what shoes to wear. Good news for you though! We only have two sets of cammies and one pair of boots. One set of cammies is in the wash while I wear the other one, so I don't have to decide. Thank goodness for that huh? I'd probably screw that up too if I had more!

Instead, you people say you support the troops while you curse us under your breath and don't lift a damn finger to try and help. I dare say 99% of the damn liberals have no idea, as millions of their patriotic neighbors do (May the Lord, whom our forefathers placed their trust in), that there are hundreds of organizations who ask for donations so they can send us simple stuff like shampoo, soap, homemade cookies. It makes me sick to my stomach, but because even liberals are Americans or are privileged enough to be in my beautiful country, I will lay my life before them any day of my life.

"Kind of joked"? Negative, that was a cocky reassurance to men whose lives were on the line. That kind of language is common in any branch of the service, but especially in one that knows they're the best!

And don't you dare let me hear you refer to our enemy as "barbaric". They are barbaric without the quotation marks. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either off their rockers or a Left-Wing Liberal.

And never, ever get sarcastic when talking about your Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy or any other part of the service that leaves everything behind to serve their country. If you have enough energy to give a sarcastic "Whoops" when talking about us, channel that energy into finding a plane ticket and moving to France or Germany and just go live with them. Don't worry, their men don't fight, so you won't have to worry about a thing.

America is the land of the free, if you enjoy the fact that we were attacked, or don't like the fact that we are helping the helpless, leave. I hear there are many more countries that would love to have another body to torture. The less warlords and dictators there are in this world, the safer everyone is. If you have already forgotten Sept 11 like many Americans have, I'll get you some tapes of it, I remember like it was this morning.

All being said and done, please don't second guess the job we are doing out here until you do it yourself. And don't claim you support the troops, because you don't. Your words have spoken volumes to the few motivators who have read them. Any action you take will be forgotten unless there is a sincere apology in front of it.

May God bless the American Patriots. Your men and women in the service love and miss you.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 09:43 PM

January 05, 2005

Turkeygate, John Conyers style

Any time you mix a longtime Michigan Demo-swindler with a nice juicy scandal, and the word “turkey” is more than just figurative, it is (as the glitterati say) to die for.

Seems that Rep. John Conyers’ Detroit office was given 60 actual turkeys, two days before Thanksgiving, to give to needy people. Now the Gleaners Community Food Bank says they haven’t gotten any paperwork back, saying where the turkeys actually went to — and a federal court worker says he was offered free turkeys from a member of Conyers’ staff.

I was actually a bit surprised that the Dems’ official house organ, the Detroit Free Press, even bothered to report this story, until I read further down where it mentions one of the two people who actually picked up those turkeys from the Gleaners.

A Conyers staff member who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal told the Free Press that Grubbs and her cousin, Conyers’ Detroit deputy chief of staff Marion Brown, along with a former Conyers aide, DeWayne Boyd, picked up the turkeys and later gave contradictory accounts of what happened to the birds.

The unnamed staff member raised concerns in a memo sent to both the FBI and House ethics committee. Conyers was the target of an informal ethics committee inquiry last year following a Free Press investigation about use of staff members during work hours for political campaigns.

Boyd, who was fired from Conyers' Detroit office in 2002, was convicted on seven counts of fraud last month in U.S. District Court in connection with a scam he ran from Conyers' office in 1999. (Emphasis added.)

Okay, so why is Conyers’ deputy chief of staff running around with convicted felon Boyd? One would think that once-burned is twice-shy, yes? How little the outside world understands the utterly corrupt nature of Michigan Democratic Party politics.

So leave it to the blog world to gobble this story right up and let it take wing even better than Arthur Carlson's Thanksgiving gift on WKRP in Cincinnati. Now there’s a blog called Turkeygate, and they've pecked around for other blogs which have swooped in on this tale, including Instapundit, Bill Quick over at The Daily Pundit, and the intrepid Hubs and Spokes, which says, “This story may turn out to be the gift that keeps on giving...”

Over at The Captain’s Quarters, this was said:

Conyers has long held himself out as a hero of the downtrodden. Now it looks like the hero has a staff of knaves. They claim to have received a list of the needy from Michigan’s Family Independence Agency, but the FIA not only never heard of the Conyers giveaway, they almost never release names to anyone.

Gleaners CFB has asked multiple times for an accounting, as has the Detroit Free Press. None has been forthcoming from John Conyers or his staff. The DFP reports that an unnamed source says the fate of the turkeys is murky even in the office and that no one really knows what happened to the food for the hungry. It appears that Conyers’ staff took the holiday meals for the most vulnerable in Detroit and used them to spread a little influence among the more powerful. It’s detestable, and if Conyers can't provide an accounting for the food -- for which his staff never reimbursed Gleaners -- the House Ethics Committee should look into it, as well as the Detroit PD.

But the best line I've seen thus far was by Daily Pundit commentor "Jake," who says:

The crazy part of this story is that Conyer's campaign chest is so massive that he will never, ever spend all of that money.

Why couldn’t he use that money to pay off his political cronies? No, he has took take food out of the mouths of the poor.

Not only did Conyer's policies create the poor — he has to give the poor the finger every Thanksgiving.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 09:05 PM

January 04, 2005

Park says patrons are wrong color

In England, Lake District National Park officials have announced plans to end free guided walks carried out by more than 100 volunteer rangers, The Daily Telegraph reports, “because they attract only ‘middle-aged, middle-class white people.’ ”

The Telegraph headline for this one reads, “Lakeland walkers ‘wrong colour’ .”

The scenic walks, which introduce thousands of tourists to the fells each year, are being scrapped as part of a three-year plan to bring more ethnic minorities, inner-city children and the disabled to the area.

Derek Tunstall, a Lake District National Park volunteer ranger: ‘We do this for the love of the fells’

The national park’s authority said it would be able to meet Government targets to attract minority groups and attract more funding.

It said it had also taken the “hard” decision to reduce significantly the services provided by the park’s 10 information centres.

Among activities facing the axe is a programme of 900 events run by 300 rangers. These include a magazine, informative talks, slide shows and children’s farm visits.

The decision has “astounded” volunteers who give up their time to carry out the walks.

They say the authority is obsessed with hitting targets and that the move smacks of political correctness.

We are, of course, astonished at how anyone might even think political correctness was behind this decision. And cor blimey, why should anyone be concerned if a bunch of unwanted white patrons get injured because the guides won’t be along to keep them from harm?

They also say that thousands of novice walkers among the 12 million tourists who visit the park every year could now be put in danger on unfamiliar terrain.

In a letter informing volunteers of the authority's decision, Paul Tiplady, national park officer, said more regional and EU funding would be attracted by refocusing on the “urban young, people from ethnic communities and disabled people”.

Mick Casey, a spokesman for the authority, said 30,000 people used the events programme and 4,500 took part in the walks each year.

“Our research shows that the majority who do the walks are white middle-class, middle-aged people.

“The Government is encouraging national parks to appeal to young people, to ethnic minorities and to people with disabilities.

“It is saying we ought to focus our activities on these kinds of groups.”

Mr Casey said the authority had no plans to replace the rangers and the events system.

Which raises the question, who will guide the handicapped visitors, to stave off any harm on unfamiliar terrain? And if this terrain is in fact so dangerous, then won’t it be terribly expensive to install handicapped-accessible means for these patrons to enjoy all park facilities — presuming any are still left after the cutbacks?

Posted by Weaselteeth at 10:57 AM

January 02, 2005

'Democratic Party: Racist Baby-killers'

Over at The Black Republican, there’s a look at the totally unsurprising racism in the Democratic Party by James Taranto, who goes after Demo-gogue Minority Leader Harry Reid for his attack on the intellect of Justice Clarence Thomas.

Taranto first hinted at, then flatly called the Senator racist, along with other segments of the Democratic establishment.

Taranto continues to promote our case on the matter, and continues to say it in ever bolder terms. After quoting Democratic operative Donna Brazile on abortion when she said, “Even I have trouble explaining to my family that we are not about killing babies,” Taranto goes on to explain how the Democrats may decide not to fight a battle to replace one anti-Roe justice with another. He ends with this:

Since it looks as though President Bush is going to get a free pass on his first Supreme Court pick, how can he make the most of the political opportunity? First, by elevating Clarence Thomas to chief justice. Thomas vexes many Democrats because they are racially prejudiced, and it’s quite possible they would not be able to resist the urge to mount a (futile) campaign against him. Then Donna Brazile can explain to her family that Democrats are about keeping black people down as well as killing babies. (my emphasis)

Of course, the fact of the matter is the abortion scourge itself has been doing both things at once all along, as we noted last year (third item).

UPDATE: I should have noted something else. Any math whiz can tell you what 90% of 13 million is. The Roe Effect is apparent no where more blatantly than within the black community. If just a fraction of the millions of black children aborted since the early 1970's had been able to vote in the 2000 or 2004 presidential races, the grotesque margins voting for Democrats surely would have tipped the balance over any (supposedly) aborted Republican votes.

One of the links above goes to the LEARN site at BlackGenocide.org, which offers this front-page comment entitled, "SAY WHAT?"

Between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 Blacks were lynched in the U.S. That number is surpassed in less than 3 days by abortion.

1,452 African-American children are killed each day by the heinous act of abortion.

3 out of 5 pregnant African-American women will abort their child.

Since 1973 there has been over 13 million Black children killed and their precious mothers victimized by the U.S. abortion industry.

In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King said, “The early church brought an end to such things as INFANTICIDE.” What would Martin Luther King say to the church today?

The Rev. Jesse Jackson once said:

“That is why the Constitution called us three-fifths human and then whites further dehumanized us by calling us ‘niggers’. It was part of the dehumanizing process. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder, they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore abortion can be justified”.

Jackson's massive flip-flop on the abortion issue is further proof that his political future is far more important to him than are his principals.

With 1/3 of all abortions performed on Black women, the abortion industry has received over 4,000,000,000 (yes, billion) dollars from the Black community.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 07:34 PM

Happy holidays, oui?

Yeah, I know. I got way behind in reading a few of the blogosphere's better offerings. Over at Hubs and Spokes, for example, there's a quote from Jonah Goldberg worth noting....

Ah, Christmastime. Joy to the world. God bless us, everyone. Through the rapturous din of carols and chimes, a stray condemnatory note can be heard, chastising the yuletide revelers for being too materialistic, too concerned with gifts that come wrapped in pretty paper and shiny bows. Who can help but sympathize with such concerns as the groaning hoards of shoppers appear like Huns outside the doors of Wal-Mart? That is why I am so grateful for a special Christmas present — holiday present if you must — for the whole world. No mere thing or shiny bauble, this present is an idea, glowing with an ecumenicism that fires the mind and illuminates the heart, uniting nearly all mankind in fellowship. What idea is that? Why, the total destruction of France, of course.

Can we find any better reason to decant a split of our favorite Michigan or California bubbly, for this wondrous, festive occasion?

Posted by Weaselteeth at 06:16 PM | Comments (2)

Concert Fiend

Every so often I mention to my mother how glad I am she introduced me to music, because I always get this blank skeptical look that instantly fades into that careful Retired Teacher Blankface gaze that says she ain’t buying a damn word I say.

The funniest part of it is, it’s 100% true. She just didn’t notice it at the time. She taught fourth and fifth grade in elementary school, mostly, and the music part (at least as far as she knew) came in from her playing piano or the organ, at various church functions.

She knew I listened to the radio a lot throughout my teens, and that I collected a few vinyl records, but what escaped her was the other part, me growing up as she played again and again her own favorites. Mantovani, Lawrence Welk, Ferrante and Teischer, and a handful of the very best Broadway cast recordings of the late 1950s through mid-1960s. Grand, funny stuff, like this or this. Soaring, timeless songs by what history still regards as the definitive performers, like this, this, or this.

Throughout it all, music from the radio. Dave Van Ronk’s nightly concerts (or so it seemed) over WBZ Boston. Motown, over CKLW, the Windsor powerhouse station heard all up and down the East Coast. Music over WJR Detroit, everything from Tennessee Ernie Ford to Johnny Horton to Patsy Cline and Bobby Darin and Old Blue Eyes himself, the Chairman of the Board.

I slid into the folk scene by way of Ian and Sylvia Tyson, then Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, and finally went straight for the main vein, brash young Bob Dylan himself, from the first album through what became about the first third of his stunning output. Over the years I bought about 300 to 400 albums (some of them as many as three times, counting CDs), and I kept listening, to what was new, what was good, and — all too late — what was live.

Silly me. I’d grown so used to albums that I just accepted the premise that the LP or CD represents the definitive version of any given song. You might have ten versions of something before you found the one you personally thought best, but at least each performer had done their very best with their version, and that (I thought!) was that.

The few live concerts I’d attended were actually disappontments, for the most part. Either I was too far from the stage, the audio was too this or too that — the list dragged on. But then after I got married to She Who Must be Obeyed, that happily changed for the better.

We started out by accepting an offhand invitation to drop in to Rusty’s Jazz Café, in Toledo. A guy I knew who was working at Port Royal Tobacconists mentioned he was “in a band” there, and we’d never been to a jazz club before, so we set aside a Sunday night and went down there.

Bam. Baseball bat across the forehead time, particularly after the Bob Rex Trio launched into my personal gold standard jazz tune, “Summertime.” Just a small grand piano, a stand-up bass, and the drums. The guy who’d invited us was Bob Rex, and he’d had various people as part of that Trio playing there for what was then going into its twentieth year.

We wound up going there nearly every week for a year, getting to know Bob, keyboardist Mark Keiswetter, and bassist Clifford Murphy (who owns his own jazz club in Toledo but on his one night off would hop across town to play at Rusty’s). I rediscovered my love for fine bass-playing, and virtuoso piano. And of course those classics, songs from America’s finest composers, all compacted into four or five terrific hours and served at a distance of six to ten feet away.

Work schedules changed and SWMBO then got Tuesday and Wednesday off for a while. We got to know other performers at Rusty’s. Guitarists. Conga players. Singers. More bassists and drummers and piano-pounders. Saxophones and flugelhorns and trombones as well. Black, white, sighted or blind, it didn’t matter — just the music. Applause during songs, saluting individual performers, or after songs, for the entire group. Getting drawn into the groove and happy to be trapped there, an emotional free-flight that invariably left us feeling high when we left, buzzed on the true American art form now loved round the world.

That led us to trying our luck with our venues, notably The Ark in Ann Arbor. Performers including Todd Snider, Jesse Cook, Saffire (The Uppity Blueswomen), John McCutcheon, and Little Feat.

But the wildest one was just this last month, after I’d more or less stopped posting at my last site but hadn’t gotten this one running yet.

Bob Rex had told me about a gig he had in Monroe (which I missed), and I wanted to make it up to him, so SWMBO and I went down to Toledo to pick up pipe tobacco for me, and perhaps find Bob, who was there.

Apologies offered, apologies accepted. And he was playing the following day at about 5 p.m., as part of a music series organized by the Monroe County Tourism Bureau, at one of the local malls. Sure, we’d be there. Hey, drive an hour to Toledo, drive an hour to Monroe, what's the difference? But then I overheard a quiet guy in his 50s who was standing in Port Royale, mentioning he was in town to perform, and I asked him who he was.

Eric Tingstad, of Tingstad and Rumbel. Exquisitely fine guitar and oboe, ocarina, and English horn duets, and a source of many great hours of listening delight throughout the mid-80s, when I was in my New Age mode. I literally dragged him over to meet my bride. Found out where he was playing — the following night, at Lourdes College in suburban Toledo. And then I knew we were in trouble, because I’d already promised Bob we’d be there in Monroe, an hour away from Toledo.

Oh, it was “doable,” as the old saying goes. Just so tight that it was nearly waterproof.

Off to Monroe, and then walk around a jammed mall in the Christmas rush, trying to find the right venue among what I suppose were several in that building. An hour of jazz, people passing by on all sides, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. By the time you have invested hours in Christmas shopping, you are going to welcome something other than just pure Christmas music. They learned that one about a third of the way into the set, launching into a latin-flavored song that drew their best applause.

Bob kinda-sorta knew we’d have to leave early, and we did, and then off down I-75 (that dreaded road I have come to hate due to trying to find Amtrak). Roaming around looking for Lourdes. Finally finding it, going in and asking if any tickets were left — and getting Row 2 in an ampitheatre about 90% filled, with only minutes to go before the show.

Finding our seats. Trying to get comfortable despite some perfume-drenched hag only two seats away, who was killing me one nostril at a time. And then the news that Eric and Nancy were actually the warm-up act for a pianist I had never heard of, David Lanz, and if we wanted to hear the rest of their set we’d have to hear him as well.

Oh well. In for a penny, in for a pound. A truly delicious set by Eric and Nancy (a true maestro in her own right with a surprisingly small and versatile series of ocarinas). What wound up being many of their best songs, off American Acoustic. (Buy this. It is splendid. And after you are addicted, buy more.)

And then David Lanz, in a neon purple tuxedo coat and Joker-baggy trousers, and an endless Yuppie stream of unfunny pseudo-sophisticate crap which utterly wrecked the effect of his Grammy-nominated (and excellent) piano performance. David, your act needs work on the patter. But everyone who buys your Romantic CD should find you were in fact well worth the money. Oh yeah — lose the coat.

All things I wanted to write about, but I wasn’t sure if I would get my archives transferred from the old site, and was reluctant to write about and then lose only a few days later. But I can tell you: two concerts in one day and in two cities is something even I am not crazy enough to try again soon.


Posted by Weaselteeth at 06:25 AM

January 01, 2005

Loitering with intent to blog

Okay, Day 1, new year, different host, and no archives from my last site (yet) to show I didn’t just walk in and set up from nothing. Ten days shy of my tenth month doing this thing, and I suppose like most bloggers I should be putting up the big act about how I really don’t have to do this, I just fell into it.

And bloggers know that’s a damn lie. It's closer to Molière's observation about prostitution: "First you do it for the love of it. Then you do it for a few friends. Finally you do it for the money."

Closer to it, but that third part needs a little work. Let’s come real closer and try, do it for any money. I suspect maybe 90% of all bloggers are very lucky to attract any advertisers, their first few months. And if you ask them, are you making enough to cover bandwidth costs, things start sounding like Friday Night Date stories in the boys’ locker room. Sex may get you read, sure, but the ad-hits pay for your hosting.

Which leads me to a story from my Arkansas friend, who assures me you will not be reading this from any public computer in the Hot Springs County Library. According to their filtration system, this is both a “hate site” and also has “adult content.” Must have been the time I had a headline which read "Kitty Porn," referring to a photographic site about cats. The hate-site thing is the one that’s got me wondering. Do they take conservatives that seriously, down in places so godawful they thought Bubba Dropdrawers was gubernatorial material? I mean, when does Jim Guy Tucker look any worse than Monica’s supper date with the bad aim? And just because I mentioned Mary Matalin ought to marry within her species, that doesn’t mean much, does it, unless you’re an inbred drooler from Ark-armpit. Hey, be proud you’re so organized that the same place you can find a date will also innoculate for heartworm.

There’s another way to look at library filtration systems, and that is they’re saving the little punks a withering smack-down for even bothering the grown-ups by wandering in, to begin with. I had a few of these dumbasses at my last hideout, and they were just too appallingly ignorant to even have real sport with. It simply wasn’t worth the effort, rewriting their posts and questioning their future departure from puberty. I’m much too adult for that. But anyway, Hot Springs, I think you’re an adult-content hate-site too, so nyaaaah. Or maybe I mistake you for that other festering swamp, where Marc Rich’s bribes money helped build Bubba’s Massage Parlor and Sex Toys Palace, infesting that whole riverbank. Better county libraries, I have no doubt: four Marvel Comics.

Back to blog-envy.

Of course there are a few bloggers making decent money from this gig. A few are highly respected, serious writers whose stuff is greatly admired and widely linked-to. And dang, if you look hard enough among that crew, you may even find a few who can actually write, not just plagiarize with panache.

22. The great thing about blogging is plagiarising is encouraged. That's why so many academics blog. The only trick is plagiarising needs to be accompanied by links back to the original...because links are the lifeblood of a blogger. So go ahead and steal.

The trouble with that one is, I was never that big on “scholarship,” where creative intellectual theft earns people doctorates or other stuff they can’t use at McDonald’s. I crawled out of the bogs of journalism, where attribution lays off the blame, diffuses the acrimony, and even shows how hard you dug for what little you actually say. This was all before the internet, and I contend that if Sherlock Holmes would’ve had a Pentium 4 and a cable hook-up, he’d rule the entire planet.

14. There are some good ways to attract attention to yourself and your blog. These can be broken down into the following: a) talk about your sexual experiences a lot. This works far better for women than men. b) have something interesting and new to say. This works far better for those that understand the basics of English grammar. c) quirky slice-of-life types who are actually quirky. This works far better for those that are interesting people in real life. d) humour sites. This works far better for those that are funny. e) niche sites. There may well be a strong readership for those interested in mountain goats. It helps if you talk about stuff you know about. f) be an iconoclast. If you are controversial you are likely to generate debate and people will come back for another look. The important thing is to be coherent and have a rational body of thought rather than a series of random pronouncements.

Wow, how true, especially #14(a). I’ve heard the same story so many times that you’d almost think she wasn’t talking about me. But being from Michigan means I’m supposed to have stories about sex in cars, or sex involving deer-hunting, sex in ice-fishing shanties, more sex in cars, and more sex involving ice-fishing (or traffic barrels). This is Michigan, not Plato's Retreat. Here we could talk about the No-Tell Motel, where anything you pick up off the sheet is gratis, just don’t forget to get yourself steam-cleaned if you want to go home to your main squeeze. (Steam-cleaning is underrated for apportionment of true pain. Massive doses of antibiotics can’t even get close.)

Controversial? Sure. I can do that. Trouble is, there are bloggers out there who do have audiences, and it ain't no fun at alllllllll dealing with the kind of trolls those sites can generate, given half a bash to send them my way. I mean, who even has met Glenn Reynolds, much less knows for a fact he blends puppies or murders hobos? And in these enlightened days, who are we to be so judgmental to even care?

For God's sake, if you're going to be envious of someone, that’s one thing. Drool and slobber and wish you had his daily number of visitors (and revenue from the advertisers). But don’t just go and hate him for being so popular. I mean, work up to it. Try a little snort or a toke before you get to the skin-popping or even the mainlining, okay? Hate him for being a lawyer. That’s something he can understand. It's like Anna Nicole Smith faking a honeymoon orgasm. It’s expected.

But I will never write about mountain goats. I’d sooner blog about other disgusting things, like liberals and other societal cancers. I’ll write about music, too. Jazz and New Age and some vintage rock, easy on the bubble-gum. But goats — no. Some of my best dates would think I was writing about them. Or Molly Ivins.

4. Prepare for the reality that the rest of the world may not share your high opinion of yourself and your site.

No problem. I had that down pat long before I ever heard of blogs. Like this one, from whence came these quotes.

Research, to be sure.

Posted by Weaselteeth at 03:38 AM | Comments (2)