Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is it a Civil War?

Ever since the war in Iraq started 3 years ago, the media has been trumpeting the idea of the Sunnis and Shiites breaking into civil war. Now that the sides are fighting, the media is acting like they knew this was gonna happen all along.

Just don't tell the media what they're doing. Don't hold them accountable for glorifying a position that makes the US bad. Oh no, these are "objective" journalists just reporting what they see. It's just a coincidence that mainstream news always denounces the US.

Monday, February 27, 2006

a fine idea

I don't know who would ever recommend this, but it's a great idea. I don't want to disenfranchise people, but the great majority would simply choose to do it. Perhaps give people a grace period to get back on their feet before it happens. And before anybody accuses me of racism, I'd like to remind you that there are more white people on welfare than black people.

bummed out

On a personal note, I'm pretty sad right now. I coach a high school rugby team and one of our players, really one of our leaders hurt himself at the game yesterday and will be out for six weeks. He's a great kid, one of the best, most coachable and likable kids I've ever seen. Hopefully, he'll be back by the end of the season. The guy we have replacing him is very good as well and will do a great job. It's just always hard to lose a player.

it's a start

Color me slightly happy, but kind of unimpressed. Seeing as how the French can get hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in the streets when the federal government tries to take away dental services for their pets, one would hope they could get more people marching after the brutal, torture murder of an innocent man all because he was Jewish. Like I said, it's a start, but they have a long way to go. The march means nothing if something positive, at least a dialogue, does not come out of this situation.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

velvet prophet

Maybe the funniest thing (OK, maybe the only funny thing) to come out of the Muhammad cartoon controversy.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

With apologies to Max Sendek...

let the wild rumpus begin. Actually, I'm winding down after the wild rumpus. Another perfect Mardi Gras in St. Louis. If you want a wild, fun Mardi Gras without a chance of being mugged, molested, urinated upon, shoved six blocks from where you wanna go or ripped off, come to St. Louis to enjoy the festivities. We are Catholic as hell and enjoy drinking as much as anybody out there. OK, gotta go back to a party. My friends are calling me lame.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I may have discovered the secrets to SEO or "search engine optimization." It's the way people get citiznes from millions of miles away to few their site. It involves some simple keywords in your web coding.

I don't know if I have this figured out yet but I'll be finding out soon, I'll let you know.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

must read

Never thought I'd see this: Alan Dershowitz and Bill Bennett in the same sentence, much less writing the same article. Fantastic article. The MSM is filled with noodle-spined wimps. The real men are the journalists in Denmark and Islamic countries who have been jailed. Oh, and the blogosphere is much, much more manly than the MSM. Sissies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

what is it about government...

that makes people so crazy? It's a tough question. I wanted to ruminate upon some philosophical points rather than the madness of the world. Cartoon riots, sectarian violence in Iraq, UAE taking over some ports, or not, Hillary being dissed by the gays; it's all very disturbing. But, I've been thinking about the government and why it makes people so nuts.
The founding fathers, particularly Madison, were absolute geniuses that realized that government is best when it is constrained and utilized only in a manner that is appropriate. Why is that? Why do govt. handouts in the form of welfare checks or pork projects so thoroughly corrupt the soul and destroy the independence of people? Why will people do anything, lie, cheat steal, sleep with Bill Clinton, to obtain power? It stems from the very nature of govt., one that the founding fathers understand all too well.
We have a bi-polar opinion of our govt. First, we believe it is our servant, the executor of our wills. Secondly, we believe that is our protector, the manner by which we deal with injustice. The first concerns power, the second concerns rights. We cede some of our authority over to the govt. so that it can provide for the common benefit of society, and that is where the two opinions mesh. When we mix up the two is where we go astray. I'll write more, but I am dead tired and my prose is not as elegant or persuasive as it should be. I'll finish this thread tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

male and female

Interesting post about the breakdown, or rather destruction of the traditional male/female divide and its political ramifications. It wouldn't be such a horrible thing, if it didn't go against our very nature in many ways. I'm not saying that women should be stuck in the kitchen or that men should apply the rule of thumb, but that there are feminine traits and masculine traits and we need to relearn, as a society, how to channel these, not try to convert them into a hybrid which has neither of the strengths and all the weaknesses of the two

Monday, February 20, 2006

I can't spell

I was looking at one of my previous posts and I realized that I made numerous spelling mistakes. I also inserted words in improper places, so please comment if you see me making these 3rd grade errors. I tend to write on a whim and hit publish quickly. Then when I look back at my posting, I notice all the spelling errors and have to edit half the things I wrote.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ike Reilly, he rocked

Last night I went to Blueberry Hill to see a Chicago band called Ike Reilly. I'd only heard a handful of songs and was really trusting my friend Seans opinion. After telling me that Ike was the third coming of Christ (Jesus was #1, followed closely by Jack Bauer), I first heard him about 5 months ago. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. I thought it sounded like a toned down version of Limp Buscuit, not my cup of gin. Sorry, I'd rather be listening to the Replacements or an old REM album. Heck, lately I've been hit with the Ricky Nelson bug, albeit 50 years too late.

Then a funny thing happened. A bunch of friends were in town for Thanksgiving and Sean had a get together before all of us caused mayhem on the St Louis nightlife. Sean had music playing in the background at his apartment, turning out tunes that I had never heard. When I asked Sean who he was playing, he bluntly stated "Ike Reilly."

So maybe Ike and I just got off to a bad start. I didn't hear much about them for the next few months, then I noticed they were playing at the Wayout Club on a Wednesday night, perhaps in January. Why I didn't go, I don't know, maybe I had to work. But Sean, along with what he claims were 4 other St Louis residents, witnessed Ike live. Sean spoke with Ike, apologized for the small showing and proceeded to consume whiskey, gin, Busch beer (just to name a few) with Ike. How he got home, he'd have to think about that one.

So I hopped on the Blueberry Hill site last week and noticed Ike was coming back, he'd be playing in the BH basement, which is a venue called the Duck Room. I touched base with Sean and told em about the upcoming show. He said "we're there, you wont be disappointed."

They came last night. Did they conquer? Not exactly, I think Joe Edwards still owns the bar. But one note into their set, I knew I'd be witnessing something special, they'd be blowing things up. No, not like the Who, the lead guitarist wouldn't be losing his hearing, but they were amazing. Ike is really talented, going from guitar to harmonica to straight up lead singer. Some songs were very poppy, some were sentimental, some songs rocked the I-beams of the Duck Room. They kept things uptempo, made fun of a drunk in the crowd and all around, I couldn't have asked for more. They put maximum effort into every song, and at one point, they deployed the triple guitar attack (Joe thought of that, credit must be given). The third guitarist even had the lightning bolt guitar (send me a message if you'e unfamiliar with that).

The most vivd moment for me occurred when I was heading to the bar for a drink. Ike started saying "the next song is by Shane Macgowan and the Pogues." As my eyes grew large and I ran back to the floor, the band played a lightning fast cover of If I Should Fall From Grace With God. My throat is still sore from my screaming.

So after Ike went off stage, the lights went up, I told Sean "you were right, they rock." But Ike wasn't done. He came out, talked with a few fans, then with acoustic guitar in hand, he motioned for a bunch of people to come back stage. Ike, with the help of his drunken bandmates, put on an all acoustic show for another half hour. It was funny, loose, a moment that just happens, you couldn't have planned it. About 20 people crammed into a tiny room, listening to a great songwriter showcase his talents. It was truly amazing.

Then Sean and I started walking to our car. Nope, the night wasn't over. Ike and friends told us to get in their bus, they was partying to be had. So we hoped on. Talked with him and his band for about a half hour, had a great time. Thankfully, the bus wasn't moving or we might have been in trouble.

Ike Reilly is an amazing musician. He should be coming back to St Louis. His show a month ago had maybe 5 people, but last night had closer to 50 fans, so his fan base is growing in Mound City. I hope he makes it back here soon, spare the $10 to check him out. A highly unknown rock star, I hope Ike is able to draw more fans and keep performing for years to come.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Used to kind of like him

I'm sick of Clinton. First he apologizes for the Crusades (where is the apology from Islam for taking over 1/2 of Christendom, including it's birthplace) and almost states that we deserved it for practicing slavery (because Muslims would never do that. Oh wait, Muhammad had multiple slaves and Anglo-Saxons adopted the practice from the Muslims on the Western coast of Africa and the Horn of Africa). Now he says on foreign soil that the publishers of the dread cartoons of blasphemy should be tried for their crimes. I think we should amend the constitution to say that no Democrat Ex-President or Ex-VP should be allowed to speak outside of the USA. From Al Gore's comments in Jeddah, to Jimmy Carter being himself to this. I hope the GOP has these recorded and played over the national air-waves when Hillary runs in 08. I want a sane Democratic party for whom I can consider voting, but, as it stands, the Republicans are all I have. It sucks and it has to change.

Thanks Gateway pundit for the articlet. You are one of the kings of the blogosphere.

Mike sucks

Apparently, he's too busy to post anything.

brilliant post of true multi-culturalism

Excellent post about how capitalism shapes new Americans more than anything.
There are lessons to be gleamed from the 19th and early 20th cent. immigration experience. My own caveat to the piece is that back in the day, the host country, America, was much more confident of it's own value and insistent on it's one culture. Today, we have lost part of that, although not as badly as other Western countries. As Mark Steyn has said "you can't assimilate with a nullity." The blame for this falls squarely on the spindly shoulders of Leftist academia which has claimed since the 60's that the US is a unique place of manevolence, inequity, racism, violence and hatred. Most immigrants ignore this in the face of the evidence all about them, but the present culture, sadly starts to believe it. I want the US to be as vibrant and accomidating as it was for my ancestors in the 19th and 20th century. I also want the US to keep demanding that one becomes an American like it did when my German and Czech ancestors got off the boat. It was for the betterment of the country, the immigrants and, most importantly, the offspring of the immigrants.

the opposite of Denmark's moderate Muslims

Sigh. These people need jobs, or lives, or to get drunk, or to get laid, or a x-box.

Bravo Denmark's Moderate Muslims

It's amazing what happens when you stand up to the violent and Islamicist members of Islam. What happens is moderate Muslims, who being cowed because of fear and isolation, will stand up and assert themselves. Denmark is showing there can be dialogue with Muslims, moderate Muslims, we just need the fortitude to stand up for them. My beef is not with Muslims, but with those who glorify the violent, expanionist element with Islam.

Eric VIckers

Always thought he was scum, but I thought he was just oppurtunistic, race-baiting scum. Apparently, he's also jihadi-loving scum as well. Sickening.

RIP Frederick's Music Lounge

I have not wanted to believe it's true, but Fred's place is dead. Don't know why it died, but it was the best music place in town. This is a major blow to our music scene and I hope somebody steps up to fill the void. That place was pure gold. Alas.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

is it me....

or do you think that all of the Hollywood and media types complaining about living under the censoring and oppressive Bush regime have a case of oppression envy? In other words, are they inventing a horrible, oppressive, soul crushing entity that is red-state America and it's task-master, Bush, in order to prop up their fragile sense of self. After all, if one opposes a sheep, one doesn't feel that brave or moral. However, if one is facing the very paradigm of cruelty and depravity, then one's opposition makes them all the praise-worthy. Just a thought.


Check out this link. The Iraqis aren't thrilled to have us, even if they are happy we came and don't quite want us to leave just yet. That's about all the assessment one can gleam from polls, which I personally think are as useful as a near-sighted seeing eye dog.

blogging's been light

Not much to say recently. Plus, blogger.com was acting goofy last night. Somebody call me when anything exciting is happening in the world. Cheney getting shot is more about the press than about the incident. One report says Iraq is getting better, another worse. Iran is going ape-shit crazy. George Clooney is as self-important and vapid as they come. I have a hard time sympathizing with a guy who claims that he is being treated like a traitor and then provides propoganda for the enemy. Hollywood lives in a funny little bubble. Used to like Billy Zane because of "Twin Peaks" now I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cheney's got a gun

This whole media swarm about Cheney shooting his hunting buddy illustrates really only two things A) The Bush public relations team is utterly incompetent and B) the media will stop at nothing to pin anything negative on the Bushies. This is THE biggest non-scandal in the sordid history of yellow-journalism. Should he have reported it earlier? Who knows. It probably wasn't their first concern to check in with the media. Probably the first concern was the man who was shot. I don't know.
I spoke with my father who has hunted birds his entire life (I've done a little bit, not much) and he said that this happens more often than people would ever imagine. He chided both Cheney and the target for failing to abide by hunting safety protocol, but said that all it takes is a minor lapse in judgement for this to happen. Quite frankly, if this had been a freak chainsaw accident, it would never have made the news. Guns are sexy and so it's a controversy. Final conclusion: Yawn, try again, media.

Monday, February 13, 2006

the Olympics

I haven't been able to care much about the Olympics. I'm sorry, I simply haven't been able to muster up the enthusiasm. However, from what I've seen, I just want to say thank God that we have the women on our squad because our men stink.

No need for it

Ann Coulter's "rag-head" comments are really quite tasteless and stupid. I'm not a fan of fire-bombers of either political persuasion, and whatever laughs she seems to provoke really pale in comparison to the enmity she provokes. There is a a certain amount of value in being disliked by the right people, but being in that position doesn't always guarantee that one is correct. One can still be disliked by the right people and still deserve the scorn. She has overstayed her welcome and it's time to put her out to pasture. With the way she has cavalierly thrown around racial epithets, she could become a professor for Harvard or Columbia.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bush Team PR Nightmare

Tell you what, out of the criticisms I have of the Bush team, the main one is that their PR skills are terrible. I've favored many things done by the Bush admin but at times, they are oblivious to their image. To a large extent, I'm fine with that, you shouldn't dictate your actions by what what you perceive as others opinions. But the public really doesn't need to know about Cheneys hunting expeditions. Now they will, considering he accidentally shot a friend.
I am in favor of hunters and I love hearing that a guy like Cheney partakes in the activity. But with this story, it just gives Bush critics more fodder, makes them say "why was he hunting, he should have been working." And a story like this will make the critics say "they is just indicative of the Bush administration."
Cheney has all the right in the world to actually have leisure time but once again, the Bush team gives their enemies reason to criticize them. And the way the media likes to blow things out of proportion, this incident will likely lead to criticism of the war, tax cuts, Hurricane Katrina, Halliburton, you name it. This may have been a tragic accident but it makes Cheney look foolish and opens a Pandoras Box for the left.

the art world stinks

Wittiest take-down of the whole rotten artistic world. Today's artistic/intellectual world is out of ideas and without shame, inelligence or erudition.

comfort and principles

I was thinking after watching this video of Glenn Reynolds talking about the MSM moratorium on the dread cartoons of blasphemy and it struck me that the Left has become the position of comfort. Principles no longer matter. What does matter is comfort and getting along (even with those who have no desire to get along with us) and essentially freedom from responsibility. Those who will do anything for comfort ultimately stand for nothing. Appeasement is a form of comfort because one sacrifices their priniciples to avoid conflict. And as the greatest man of the 20th century, Winston Churchill said "appeasement is feeding the crocidile your friends in the hopes it will eat you last." He also said that "you were given the choice of war or dishonor. You have chosen dishonor and you will have war anyway." We live in a dangerous world and we would be well-heeded to listen to his words. Sometimes I feel we are slipping closer and closer to awful times of war and strife because we refuse to live up to our principles and make comfort a principle instead.

read it, damn it!

If you are not reading Mark Steyn, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Islam's God and the Judeo-Christian God

Islamic apologists often claim that their God is the same as Judaism and Christianity and that the latter two have simply gotten it wrong. By doing so, Islam places itself within the Abrahamic tradition and fancies itself as the last true revelation because the other two screwed it up. However, the God of the Islamic faith has a vastly different relationship with his subjects that the J-C traditions. This essay succinctly and poignantly explains the difference.
The difference is that Islam considers Man as near slaves to God's will, where J-C considers humans to be God's children (I know the Old Testement God is pretty darn harsh at times, but it is harsh as a father, not a Simon Lecree). A faith with such a low opinion of mankind's position in creation will struggle with the concept of the inherent worth and beauty of each human being. Where Western civilization values individuals, Islam values a society that falls in line with the teachings of Muhammad. In essence, their is very little difference between the difference between Classical Liberalism vs. Marxism. One stresses the individual, the other the creation of a society where the individual is grist for the mill. If Islam is to reform, it must come to recognize the beauty and worth of every individual upon this Earth. I still have faith that it will, but sometimes it seems Islamic world is walking upon the edge of a knife and one slip will lead it to the abyss. I pray it won't.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

the prophet Muhammad and the BBC

Well, the Beeb has deemed it fit to start referring to the founder of Muhammad as "the Prophet" (with capital letters, mind you) and to use the Muslim incantation afterwards "Peace be upon him" or "pbuh" in their coverage. I would like, nay demand, for them to start also using AMDG ("anno majorum dei gloriam" trans. "to the greater glory of God") that I used to have to write at the top of all my papers when I attented a Jesuit high school. I'm sure there is also some Buddhist phrase or some Jewish phrase that we can attach as well. Why not? Let's be respectful here. If not, I'll burn down my neighbor's dog-house, or bird-feeder, or at least throw a rock at his cat.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

top ten

Top ten rock songs of all time. My list

10) Great White Buffalo - Ted Nugent
-obnoxious and rockin' like man was not meant to rock.
9) Teen Age Riot - Sonic Youth
-cool beyond belief
8) Sandusky - Uncle Tupelo
-greatest driving song of all time. Instrumental
7) The Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
-everything he did was awesome; this is just the best. The song evokes so many feelings that only music can do.
6) Loving Cup - The Stones
-too bad they won't just go away now
5) Gut Feeling/Slap your mommy - Devo
-weird, weird group. Gotta like a group that has a whole developed ethos.
4) Achilles Last Stand - Led Zeppelin
-best drumming, EVER
3) Faraway You/Pointe Breeze - Marah
-True, it's two songs, but they go together like peanut butter and bananas (or jelly)
2) Don't Fear the Reaper - BOC
-Yeah, it's kind of cheesy and overplayed, but creepy, atmospheric and beautiful as well. Is there a song ever made that is more fitting for horror movies?
1) Drown - Smashing Pumpkins
-forget the feedback at the end. This song is pure beauty, angst and bliss.

truly tasteless

I used to be a Democrat. Heck, I used to be mildly socialist. Now, I've come to consider myself a Classical liberal with a libertarian bent (not the crypto-anarchist type). I don't consider myself a knee-jerk Republican. In fact, I'm more inclined to cross party lines than any Democrat I know who would rather gouge out their own eyes with a rabid badger than vote for the elephant. However, I simply cannot vote for this party. Please, stop the politics at a person's funeral. Today's Democrats have the taste of a rice cake, the class of a pig-calling contest and the decorum of a fraternity trip to a strip club. I'm no fan of Republicans, but I just cannot pull the lever for a party which seeks to politicize EVERYTHING. Honor the person and say what you want afterwards. Don't use the platform to score a few cheap political shots. Bush (as did Clinton by reminding people why they were there) showed so much more class than Lowery or the biggest disgrace in national history, President Carter. Carter is an excuse for a man with a twisted, meglomaniacal soul.
Please, Democratic party, dump these 60's wastoids and become a serious party again. Stop acting as though sticking it to the man is anything more than an adolescent fantasy. Please, act like adults. Thank you.

Gambling in the NHL

Wow, just when you thought the NHL had made a serious comeback, we're hearing about a huge gambling conspiracy involving Wayne Gretzky's wife.
And Rick Tocchet, one of the toughest men to play the game, is the godfather of this giant gambling ring. Personally, I'm not too shocked. Tons of people out there have gambling porblems. Just cause you're rich doesn't mean you can't have an addiction (you may become more addicted). Having connections to the mob, that's pretty scary. This is an interesting story being downplayed because the NHL doesn't draw much attention outside of hockey circles. I'm amazed how law enforcement officials are able to discover such plots, stay tuned to story as it unfolds.

The Left continues to look foolish

Leave it up the left to politicize the funeral of a wonderful woman, Coretta Scott King. After the Wellstone memorial a few years back, I've realized the left is capable is politicizing anything. Here they were, gathered to honor a remarkable woman. And leave it up to Jimmy Carter and others to not honor this woman but to bash our president to his face.
You could have had a 12 hour service that discussed nothing but the courage of this woman. Nope, the left has to talk about weapons of mass destruction and Hurricane Katrina. Their irrational attempts to discredit the current administration to get back in power is repugnant.
Jimmy Carter has been a disgrace for years and he keeps reaffirming why America ran him out of office. And Bill Clinton has become a complete Western apologist. It truly is sad to watch and it reaffirms the notion that liberals shouldn't be in power.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I've found my wife

ahhh, a beautiful woman with guts, brains and hates Communist Cuba.

Mardi Gras is coming!!!

And we've got Mini-Kiss coming! Can life be any better? Actually, there are a ton of local blues bands (well and other styles too) that play during Mardi Gras, so I don't really need to see midget re-enactors of the worst band of all time (Styx is in the running for the title). Let's just hope the weather acts reasonable like last year. It's going to be huge and I might be forced to enjoy a tasty libation or two.
The cool thing about Mardi Gras is that it started as a small little one-house party and then spread to a block and then a district and now the whole city (including the suburbs) gets into it. The city tries to screw it up every year, but it's gotten too big for even the all-knowing, all-caring and all-powerful big-wigs in city hall to take down. Remember, any time a person tries to do something in the city and an Alderman or woman can't take credit for it, they will take them down. Mardi Gras has survived and thrived. So, if you want to celebrate our French heritage (which has gone away for the most part) or our Catholic heritage (which is still alive and well, controversy and all) and you don't want to get shot, come to St. Louis.
I want to start a movement to rename the downtown streets after their original French names, btw. Having our streets named after Philadelphia's is so lame. I don't know what in world they would be, but let's try something a bit different for once.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Go Steelers

I'll be watching Super Bowl XL and at this point, I'm picking the Steelers by 10. Their defense, led by Troy Polamalu, is plain nasty, I love their rough and tumble style. Jerome Bettis deserves a ring, he's a bonafide Hall of Famer and truly a great man, always doing charity work and making a difference in people's lives. It's a shame he was tossed out of St Louis after one year, we missed out on a Hall of Famer (though we later got Marshall Faulk, who wasn't too shabby). I must say, I have to eat my own words; Ben Rothlisberger is the real deal. I thought he was a fluke last year, especially after his abysmal performance against New England in the AFC championship, but he is an absolute winner.
I've never been to Pittsburgh but it sounds like a neat city. And from what I hear, people in the City of Steel (which no longer manufacturers steel) live and die football. It's no wonder the Penguins and Pirates can't draw any fans. True, they're lousy teams, but Pittsburgh only has a heart big enough for the Steel Curtain.
They have stood by their team for many years and though long suffering they may be, they're never harsh. They're not wreckless like Eagles fans, annoying as Chiefs fans or fair-weathered like Rams fan. The Steelers haven't won since four months before my birth (I'm almost 26), so I'd love to see Rothlisberger, Bettis and company hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Plus, Seattle is a division foe that beat the Rams twice this year, how could I possibly root for them?

I've said it before

...and I'll say it again, Jeff Goldstein is utterly brilliant. He speaks in an erudite, concise manner with which academics used to speak. His take down of modern identity politics in the wake of the cartoon imbroglio should be savored and then repeated for generations hence. His language is intellectual to the core, without being lost in the miasma of his own ontological brilliance. Keep it up, Jeff, and I'll keep wishing I wrote it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

the sport of kings

Take this, Cedar Rapids! We've got the ibhf (international bubble hockey federation) championships. Who says we are small time? (actually, I'm kidding, we are a pretty big city with small town aspirations)

I just signed my death warrant

Sorry, only two of these seem mildly provocative (I didn't say wholly inaccurate). I did this not to provoke anybody, but to stand with the blogosphere which has shown more guts about it than the MSM. See my previous posts to understand my whole thoughts on the matter. I'm not a huge fan of the cartoons, but defend the right of people to publish them.

St. Louis et alles

If one wants to get the inside scoop on the weird side of St. Louis (and it is weird, very, very weird), check out this website:
It's owned by my friend, Steve Smith, who is the biggest hustler(in a good way) in the city. He and I are often on opposing sides of many issues, but he's a capitalist at heart and so we always find more to agree upon than not. Plus, he got me into boxing.
Steve is one of the epi-centers of the burgeoning young/hip (24-35) crowd in St.Louis and just one hell of a human being. The discussions on his blog are always respectful and good spirited. Mike will opine there from time to time. It is funny to see these many of these young, progressive hipsters talking about city issues and wishing that the disease of their whiteness (I'm not kidding, they often apologize for being white and moving into minority neighborhoods) will not kill the city. They often fail to realize that we need all kinds of people and having purely white, black, brown, whatever neighborhoods does nobody any good and doesn't help the city. Their hearts are in the right place, but have been trained to see themselves as the enemy and, therefore, feel the need to offer mea culpas for their presence. The best discussion was whether anarchist graffiti is good for the neighborhood or not. Never bothered to ask the property owners if they felt that way. Never bothered to ask if the majority of people want to live in an area where graffiti is tolerated. It's OK to be a tad judgemental sometimes.
Sorry, went off on one of my tangents. Trust me, if you have any interest in St. Louis, especially the city (and you should) then check it out.

Danish embassy in Damascus

Please don't let anybody ever make the argument that those protesting over abortion (not those scum that bomb the clinics, they deserve to be prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws) are just as bad as Islamic fundamentalists.

PS Sorry about all the posts about the Middle East. It's just a pretty scary situation right now with Hamas winning an election and Iran ready to go apocalyptic on the world.

those damn cartoons

This is so sad, but so predictable. The cartoons were indeed intended to cause controversy, but did the so called "Arab street" need to take the bait so cartoonishly vociferously? I've stated it before, but Islam is the most chauvanistic (not just male chauvanistic) religion in the world. These hard-liners chanting in the street want us to cowtow to their religious practices whilst spitting upon our flag, the symbol of our beliefs, calling us the great Satan and declaring days of rage. The fact that this controversy has been actually ginned up by the three extra cartoons which some Danish iman had drawn up and which are pretty offensive and not the first twelve shows the irrationality of these people. The world's greatest lampoonist could not have invisioned a more delicious irony of people violently protesting their image as being violent.
All that being said, I don't like mocking other's people religion. I don't think there should EVER, EVER be a law against blasphemy or hate speech or mocking a group or religion (or really any sort of blocking of ideas, no matter how repugnant), but that doesn't mean that it is a proper thing to do. The cartoons were meant to illustrate the intolerant aspect of Islam towards freedom of expression, and, well, could they have been any more spot on? I support the thought, but feel they could have found another avenue. They went straight to the nerve center, so they win points for gumption, not for subtlety. I fully support the Danes in their principled stand, I just feel it was a tad impolite. However, ours was a society built upon the notion of having to deal with man's unceasing loutishness (see George Galloway, Cindy Sheehan, etc.) in a civilized manner. Those burning flags aren't civilized and being polite to them really isn't warranted.
One final note, I should have invested in flag manufactorers a few years back. Is there any better way to make a profit than to make your customer willfully burn your product? Just like cigarettes and, apparently, more addictive. I guess the Europeans aren't getting that warm, smug feeling they enjoy so well when it isn't the stars and stripes or the star of David being burned.

what happened to the NAACP?

Julian Bond is simply begging for somebody to pay attention to him. It's sad to watch such a formerly august and noble organization devolve into a narrow, partisan and, quite frankly, delusional one. Bond should be sacked immediately if the organization ever wants any sort of mainstream credibility. It's turning into the African-American daily Kos and we all know where that goes. (hint: it's not to an elected office)

Kudos to Europe

Wow, talk about a clash of cultures. I thought that it was the wicked US of A that the Muslims hated. Nope, it turns out that they hate anyone that doesn't agree with them. Or for that matter, anyone that is willing to do a caricature of Islam.
It's good to see that European nations actually have hinted at understanding how subverted Muslims have become. Maybe GW wasn't so stupid after all.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Problem with Bono

Bono is at it again, trying to tell the US government to give more aid to poor nations. This man really gets a lot of attention when he speaks, and to a large extent, I don't mind hearing it. I think Bono is a sincere, non-partisan individual who is truly on a mission to help the poor of the world. He's been at this for many years and taken a lot of heat for his actions, even from his own bandmates. And if you've seen him befriending the ultra right wing Jesse Helms, you know the man isn't a typical celebrity hack.
The real issue I have with Bono is in the way he wants to bring about change. He tells the US, England and other "wealthy" nations to give to starving African countries and to eliminate their debt. He was an ardent supporter of Dubya's $15 billion initiative to fight AIDS in Africa. He always seems to think the solution to fighting the African AIDS epidemic is through more Western money, more relief to those poor nations.
I never hear Bono talking about reform in the African systems. Bono was one of the key performers at Live Aid in the 80s and the 20 year reunion last year. What I hear coming out of his mouth is a lot of grandiose statements but a failure to understand the corruption of African dictatorships.
The words I'd like to hear the man preach are "spread democracy in Africa." I've never heard that coming from Bono's mouth, he simply wants to pour money into the problem, rather than preaching total reform. Sounds strangely reminiscent of the public school epidemic in the US.
Having said that, I truly like Bono. Whereas many celebrities would blame Africas AIDS crisis (and it is a crisis) on the US, Bono is very kind in his words about Americans. He knows how wonderful we are and it's reassuing to hear a man of such high status not bash our country. And I find him to be fearless and sincere in his mission. He is a man of privilege and he's using his status to bring about change. I think it's a moral obligation for more fortunate people to help those that are less fortunate (without being forced by the government) and I feel Bono is doing this admirably. But I wish Bono would realize that the problems in Africa are far greater than just a shortage of money. I don't think his mission is complete futility but if he would preach democracy, I think he could bring about serious change.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


what's wrong with the term "American?" That's the name I prefer for everybody.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I didn't watch it last night. I never do. Those speeches bore me to death. I don't watch the conventions either. I prefer speeches when they are followed by actions of some sort. The SOTU just doesn't do it for me.
I'll admit, I read the transcript and I liked the part about Iran. We need to work with the dissident, democracy groups over there. A military solution is less desirable than their own people taking to the streets and demanding a change. I know many Iranians (they actually always preferred to be called Persians, the ones I met, that is) and they wanted nothing to do with their leader and his ilk. Let's hope the US keeps up the pressure and puts our money where our mouth is.

protesting the police

Ahh, here we go again. The police chase down a criminal in a high speed pursuit chase, the suspect resists arrest and the police give him a thumping. Time for everybody to come out of the woodwork and claim that all criminals need a beating or that the police should have asked pretty please next time because to do otherwise would be akin to the trans-Atlantic passage. Can we all please calm down. A few seconds of a video tape means nothing. Let the justice system work. That's all I can ask. Don't ask for a special, political prosecution because, otherwise, that is a direct violation of the 14th Amendment and the equal protection clause and, being the descendent of a civil war vet for the Union, I take that idea a bit seriously.
Personally, I think anybody that runs from the cops is a stinking idiot and I have very little personal sympathy for the person, especially in a high speed chase where they put other people's lives in danger, including the police. However, just because I have a personal distaste for people who do that, does not mean I excuse the police for what happened. They should use the necessary force to bring down the perp (and sometimes force is necessary), but should refrain from vendetta-like actions. I know, easier said than done, but that's what we expect when we place that authority in their hands. However, the proper venue for determining whether the force was indeed warranted is a court of law or a police tribunal. Somebody seeing ten seconds of a video hasn't a clue what was appropriate and what wasn't. I don't know, so I'm remaining agnostic. Please, St. Louis, let's not make this a race war which we (and, heck the country) love to seem to do.
Finally, is there any stupider order in the entire world than the no-chase rule? If I were of the criminal bent (which I'm not, and don't even try to act as though I'm inciting anything) and I were in a no-chase district, I would never, ever slow down for a cop if I thought they couldn't ID me. Those laws just encourage people to try and get away, which causes more pain and misery in the long run. Let policemen do their job while still expecting the highest standards of conduct from them.

RIP: Coretta Scott King

I just want to express my sympathy and esteem for Coretta Scott King, who passed away a few days ago. Yours truly is an appointment in heaven with your loving and saintly husband.