Paul From Minneapolis

Monday, October 31, 2005

Al Gore Strikes Again

Actually it's part of the same speech I mentioned here; a really long, borderline Amish-style sermon he donated to something called the "We Media Conference," in early October.

Drink in some pure spring-fed Gore:

"The present executive branch has made it a practice to try and control and intimidate news organizations: from PBS to CBS to Newsweek. They placed a former male escort in the White House press pool to pose as a reporter -- and then called upon him to give the president a hand at crucial moments. They paid actors to make make phony video press releases and paid cash to some reporters who were willing to take it in return for positive stories. And every day they unleash squadrons of digital brownshirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President." (My emphasis; as far as I know Al's volume stays pretty constant.)

If there were such a thing as an intellectual integrity grand jury, this paragraph would be clearly indictable. Not that I’m suggesting that sort of mechanism.

I could deal with more of it, but that last sentence: how does that feel, as one of Al's targets in my own little way? Like this: it tells me I’m Al’s nigger and Jew. You can hate me and sneer at me as much as you want, Al says, because that’s all I deserve. I’m a brownshirt, I’m an orc. Sixty years ago our species' haters targeted Jews; now - if I'm to give Al the courtesy of taking his words seriously - they’ve turned another direction and discovered a new target for their need to blame: the Right, and their muscleboys like me. So Al is free, free as the wind, proud possessor of moral license to indulge in one of the most dehumanizing, dismissive terms available to the PC left. And he’s talking about me! I'm a brainless toady brownshirt! Sir, is it too late? Can I make you my president?

Al has used the term before; this isn't a one-off. He likes it! It's so clever. And oh, you should see the worshipping comments after the transcript!

Here's my comment: Go to hell, Al.

Update: I did a little stylistic editing since yesterday. (I reserve that right.) And I want to reassure my familars: my description of how Al's words make me react? That's how they make me react. So please: don't invalidate my feelings, man.

Update 2: I consider the political blog world to be a wonderful development in political discourse; one of the very main reasons is because it has allowed the communication of the conservative take on things (and debate about it) to reach a wider realm than the mainstream print press has typically allowed. Al's recommendation: ignore it, flee it, mock it, kill it if possible. There couldn't be a more concise example of what I find both laughable and creepy about the left's too-common attitude about their opponents.

Friday, October 28, 2005


...for an upcoming brief observation about Al Gore. Later this same day. Stay tuned.*

*"Tuned" used to be one of thousands of folk synonyms for "high on pot." Is it still?

Update, Sunday: Wait for it.... wait for it...

Monday, October 24, 2005


Here, I won’t even say anything:

Question of values?

Once again a conservative beats around the bush of a question posed by his own words (like Donald Rumsfeld's Q & A routine).

John Tierney proposes in his own article that a possible reason conservatives are not commonly in academia is because conservatives "do not care about the social good."

Yet in the article he does nothing to disprove the idea. He simply rambles on about a few experiences he has had and how the concept of having few conservatives on a college campus is bad for the discussion of ideas.

Surely this is true, but am I wrong in thinking that conservatives' (if not at least Republicans') core value is to suppress the common for the gain and sustainability of the elite? It's a philosophy that goes against the very grain of what a public learning institution is all about.

On that note I think it would be rather difficult for a professor to try to get a job when his personal philosophy allows him to only work for elite private colleges.

Maybe that is the reason for the 7-to-1 ratio he mentions.


Oh, okay, I’ll give you a hint. Start with the words, “but am I wrong in thinking that…”

Jeez, this guy’s walking around with a “kick me” sign. Dork-o-rama, man.

Update: Corrected the letters in the headline initials. Reflected on the effictiveness of me stating someone else is a dork.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Too Am Not Thrilled With The Hip-Hop NBA

Or whatever you might label the prevailing attire and attitude the (tall) kids are sporting nowadays.

But is mandated “business casual” really the best solution? First and most obviously, I resist the assumption that if you don’t like hip-hop, you automatically love business casual. As if I see guys dressed in business casual and my first response is to start figuring out ways to give them money so they can insure me or audit me or give me ISO 9001 Certification. (Actually I do but that’s just me.)

Will this be taken as one more example of the White Man crushing the soul and identity of the Black Man (yes); and is it that? Will this then result in a perverse and subversive form of business casual taking over the streets of our inner cities: has David Stern ushered in a full-blown return to the zoot suit era?

Maybe that wouldn’t be bad, but I can’t believe it’s what he intends.

(Note: new better zoot suit link available now at same low price.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Today's Stupid Liberal Letter in the Star-Tribune

The latest in a series I seem to have introduced with this post and then continued here, a letter published today:

Teen's right to choose

The parents of a 17-year-old are suing Planned Parenthood for performing an abortion on her without informing them, and a judge has found that the organization violated Minnesota's parental notification law (Oct. 13).

If a girl is old enough to become pregnant, then she is old enough to make up her own mind. The Legislature should be ashamed for passing such a cruel law, which puts such a heavy burden on a young person who is already in a desperate situation.


Okay, it’s a defensible proposition, that a girl old enough to be pregnant is old enough to make up her own mind on an abortion. Where the letter becomes stupid is in the writer’s evident eagerness to believe that her perception is completely, 100% obvious – that even a 13-year-old girl, say, should always be left to her own devices on this decision, if she herself deems it necessary, since she is old enough to become pregnant – and "obvious" allows a writer (some writers) to indulge in language like “ashamed” and “cruel.”

It’s a pattern in left thinking you see over and: arrive at a defensible position, transform it (shazam!) into the only acceptable moral position, and begin to perceive those who disagree as beneath any possible conception of morality and therefore a reasonable, moral person must not only disagree but refuse to entertain such digusting arguments anymore.

Still I wonder: does Shirley Ann Hall even agree, really, with her own thesis? Maybe I'll call her and find out. Heck, she's old enough to write a letter; she's obviously old enough to handle the consequences of such a decision.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Al Gore Blows It

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to wander back to the left, to see if I can fit inside their worldview again, and accept their passions as the proper passions.

I’ve said it before: a guy like me, I would love to be over there. It’s so comfortable and even fun railing about the fascism here at home, knowing that the genocidal hatred we face is ultimately our own fault, and that if we (specifically, our domestic political opponents) acted more nobly, radical Islamic rage would fade away.

It's maybe not 100% without merit, this worldview.

Then I stumble across this. It's Al Gore, ramping up a quite long speech about the insufficiently rebellious state of our corporate-controlled, reactionary media:

“As recently stated by Dan Rather -- who was, of course, forced out of his anchor job after angering the White House -- television news has been "dumbed down and tarted up." (my emphasis)

How can I ally with a man who lies like that, in that bolded phrase?

A man who pretends a major chunk of the population that includes me doesn’t exist? Or doesn’t matter, somehow, our opinions don’t count, since (I guess) we are just led around the nose by the fascists running the country?

Who manages snidely to disappear those of us - 53% of the population, at a rough minimum - angered that CBS aired a report shortly before an election based on an obviously forged document, as Al in his heart knows it was?

And without whose anger any Presidential anger would have been, for Dan, just another easy-won badge of honor bestowed by the millions of his fellow courageous few who dare to criticize - gasp - their own society?

I just feel so denigrated! Discounted! Margnalized! Can't Al feel the hurt he causes me?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Okay, Here's Why I Hate Fox

Because of that computer-generated "billboard" they keep in place behind every goddamn shot of home plate during the play-offs and World Series, every single pitch, except on replays and close-ups of the batter: when the fuzzy, wiggling, garish reminder of Sprint or Dell or CostCo disappears, verification as if any were needed that it's not really there!

It's annoying. It's distracting. I really, really don't like it.

It's like the concept of "class" has been formally abandoned.

A year or two ago, especially, when they pasted the word "Viagra™" onto the screen for a couple innings. I mean come on, Fox. "Daddy, what's Viagra™?" "Well, sugar pie, men really like to have sex, no matter how they old they get, but after a while men can't even sustain an erection anymore but they still want to have sex! So as a society we've devoted billions to researching and solving this dilemma, and Viagra™" is the proud result. Fox is just making sure we never forget that fact. No harm, really."

But it's the thing itself that bugs me. And what really bugs me truth be told, is I can't quite figure out why.

And Thank You Roger L. Simon

"Can you imagine Spike Lee in a race blind society? He wouldn't have a thing to do."

You can can make a real strong case that Spike Lee and the rest of the systemic criticizers have to watch out for getting in the way of racial progress. That is if they're serious people they have to watch out for it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thank You Baseball

For this, from Darrin Erstad of the Angels:

"People, when they say they've seen it all, they haven't seen it all."

Monday, October 10, 2005

How Strange

I wanted to add a little sentence to my "profile" page for the first time, and then that sentence appeared up top, as you see. (Note: that's gone now; see below.) That seems dumb. And now even when I edit the profile to get rid of it, it's still there. Hm. I'm going to bed.

Oh wait. The sentence is gone, but the blaring ABOUT ME is still there.

Good night.

UPDATE: I changed my template, and the blaring "about me" is gone. But the links are over on the left, instead of the right, negating my efforts from long ago when I ventured into the "templates" chaos and managed to switch them. I guess it's okay for now. (Note: also different now; see below.)

Maybe I'm missing something - it happens - but it does seem to me Blogger could make it easier to make basic switches like that, and adding links and new sidebars and all. I'm easily panicked when it comes to fooling around with computer language.

UPDATE 2: Hey, another new template and an entirely new look! I kind of like this. Unfortunately, my blog has become entirely about my difficulty blogging. Is that a viable business?

UPDATE 3: My old template didn't have a built-in "links" feature. My attempts to add it, following Blogger's instructions, failed. (Think of Carter's hostage rescue mission in the desert outside Tehran. Or John Kruk bailing pitifully against Randy Johnson at the All-Star game that one year. I failed to that degree.) However, I think once you have a links feature, like my new template does, it's pretty easy to add new ones. We'll see.

UPDATE 4: It was 1993, Kruk's famous flailing All-Star at-bat. (Disturbing bit of news from that Wikipedia entry: you can get testicular cancer from a blow to the groin? Man. "Things That Can Kill You," #232.)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Especially for People From Minneapolis

The White Sox, of Chicago, are currently play the Red Sox, of Boston, in a divisional play-off series. I was heard to remark to my lovely wife this evening, "Hey, you could call it the R.T. Rybak series!" She agreed, it was a heck of a swell line.

(R.T. Rybak is mayor of Minneapolis. His trademark is that he wears, see, socks of different colors. Although I couldn't find any photos of the reality.

(I understand that if you're not from around here, this may be slightly less delightful a gag, and now it's burdened by the weight of wearisome explanation. But for anyone from Minneapolis, I guarantee they're chortling and hooting and wiping their brows still. "The R.T. Rybak series! That's hilarious!" Were I at an open stage - and everyone was drunk and in a good mood already - I'd be serenaded by whistles and cheers and claps on the back as I made my back to my scotch on the rocks back at the bar.

(I think. The part of that fantasy that would definitely occur is the part about the scotch on the rocks.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Good Example...

...of what I was referring to two posts down, that phenomenon of left-leaning letter-writers to the Strib who would benefit from glancing over at reality before exposing their sarcastic outrage all over the public square:

The Bush sense of humor

How delightfully creative is our President Bush!
First he fills the top emergency management job with someone with absolutely no emergency experience.
Then he nominates to the Supreme Court a person who has absolutely no experience as a judge.
Gotta love old George -- what a wild and wacky guy!

Geoff Brown, Deephaven.

From the same paper, the same day:

Not a judge? Not a rarity for the court
Eric Black, Star Tribune
October 4, 2005

If confirmed, Harriet Miers will be the only member of the current Supreme Court without previous experience as a judge.
But she will hardly be the first.
The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist was nominated in 1971 without judicial experience. Since then, nine justices have been confirmed. All were appeals court judges when they were appointed.
But if you jump to the decades before Rehnquist, the non-judge Supreme Court nominee was common. Of the 12 justices immediately preceding Rehnquist, five -- Justices Lewis Powell, Abe Fortas, Arthur Goldberg, Byron White and Chief Justice Earl Warren -- had never been judges.

So the "she hasn't been a judge" outrage, taken by itself, which I would submit is more than fair as it is the only Miers-related point in Mr. Brown's very confident letter, is - well - not an issue. In fact given the last two names on that list, one could make a case that failure to be a judge might be a characteristic liberals would yearn for, as emblematic of past glories.

In short: Geoff Brown of Deephaven, an orgasmically wealthy Lake Minnetonka enclave of inherited wealth, food company executives and corporate lawyers in possession of far too many 12-year-old sons on Jet-skis, yet for some reason I see a lot of these letters from out in that general area, perhaps "inherited wealth" is a factor, has written himself a damn stupid letter. And gotten it published! Congratulations, sir. Now go clean up after yourself.

Monday, October 03, 2005

CNN Headline of the Day

Man - speaking truth to power is a nice gig!

Peter Jennings leaves $50 million estate

I refer of course to Dan Rather's recent tear-stained
formulation of journalism's Mission. See also here for a nice analysis of the phrase, which shares credit and royalty checks with "Question Authority" in helping the left define and limit its mission. (That's what leads to absurd bumper stickers like this one.)

It's also a good opportunity once again to direct attention to this
essay, a doorway to another universe, where ideas about power, who has it and its oppressive uses, are all twirly-birly. A tidbit:

...some of our most prestigious correspondents have occasionally remarked that the only favoritism they harbor is toward the weak or toward the victims in any crisis. That may do in church, but it does not necessarily lead to trustworthy analysis.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Letter I Won't Send the Strib

Why? Because there is no way that letters editor Tim O'Brien (an amazing guy) would let it through unscathed. Call me paranoid, but I am convinced he'd edit it to make me look moon-batty.


I have a very serious request for 97% of the left-leaning letter-writers to the Star-Tribune. Before you write again, take a week off and investigate - with some openness - a remarkable phenomenon known as "the other side."

There are a great many magazines and on-line journals available. You could start, say, with the on-line version of National Review, where you'll find serious people thinking (if you can believe it) in a completely different way than you do. It's amazing!
You may scoff, and say you'll only disagree, but the thing is you will also stumble on points and perspectives that you have never, ever considered. Doesn't that sound intellectual and searching, like you all definitely, absolutely no doubt, are?

There's only one rule: you have to give it a chance. You can't only go looking for the first sliver of hole in an argument that frees you to go galloping off shouting, "Fascists!"

Why do this? Actually I have selfish reasons. Mainly, it would be so great if you would start writing letters that would not cause me to press both fists against my temples and clench my teeth and thump my head repeatedly on the breakfast table, startling the cat. Call it a little dream I have.

Paul S.