Sunday, August 31, 2003

September, do you know where your quagmire is - - Charges of my Laziness this weekend are grossly exaggerated. Evidence, my new Enter Stage Right piece. The last week has been full of experts and opinion makers yapping about Iraq being quicksand, or a quagmire. Or is it even more like flypaper? Read on.

Another trip with The Years - - On Friday night I had dinner with friends (Dan, Joanna, Craig, and Katie) then checked out Chris’s band once again. Dan cooked up a pretty mean selection of grilled sausages, and I can’t believe I am telling you this, but Craig makes the best bean salad in the world. Are you getting old when bean salad both impresses you and makes you happy?

The Years were playing at The Royal which I had never been to before. Right on Granville and I never even heard of it before. It was a better venue that the Roxy of a few weeks back, surprisingly much better sound, but it was a fairly creepy place caught between half club and half pub. Apparently this was one of the final live shows at the place, as they replace live music with some sort of hobo DJ.

Word is that The Years will be playing a larger gig at Richards on Richards later in September (the 30th I think). So check it out. We have been promised that there may be a rock n’ roll leg kick at the next gig. The Years must have been encouraged by watching the band that followed them-replete with leather pants, hair farming, and high rock n’ roll kicking.

One last note: Ever been at a club and discussed the genius of Leo Strauss, Paul Wolfowitz, and George W. Bush? Well it happened on Friday. It don’t get any better than that.

Not so Labor Day weekend - - Sorry about the lite blogging, it’s just been one of those weekends. But I did just finish watching “Three Days of the Condor”. What a great little movie. What is remarkable about watching an older film like this (1975) is how well it holds up.

You’d think that watching a world with out cell phones, high powered laptop computers, and other conveniences of today would make the film, or any film, look dated. And don’t get me wrong the old cars, rotary phones, and the general sort of feel of the era do look awfully timewarpish, but the transformation of 1975 to 2003 hasn’t completely ruined the enjoyment of watching the near past.

The story is heavily influenced by the era too. You can almost feel the big brother government and conspiracy theories brought on by the Watergate/Vietnam era distrust of government. But the movie is enjoyable. One last thing. Movies like this don’t have any modern special effects, but they do an admirable job of building suspense, action, and drama-Something that many of today’s movies forget about when they can CGI whatever they need to tell the story.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Call the UN! Call the Human Rights groups! - - New French reality show has nice French family boarded up with….a French politician. Oh, the humanity. I wonder who will get paired up with the Health Minister?

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Colby Cosh Says Oui - - Well almost. Colby Cosh has a great review of Arnold Schwazenegger’s 1977 interview with Oui Magazine and finds himself still more up in the air of the Arnie in 2003.

Lively Debate: Great taste or less filling - - Steve Martinovich and Orrin Judd over which is better: football or baseball. Can you compare the two? Probably not. Part of my new job requires plenty of reading up and watching football, but have I gone to the dark side? Hardly.

Name Calling and Know Nothings - - I know I should go there, but even after Warren Kinsella sent me nasty and childish emails I still frequent is obnoxious site. Here is his latest rant:

“Okay, as an act of political defiance (or so I told my spouse, who looked at me - again - like I was crazy), I bought Al Franken's new book, 'Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them' right here in the epicentre of Team Bush, Kennebunkport. I expected to get pilloried when I asked for it at K'Port's best bookstore, since the Bush family compound is just up the street. But everyone in earshot immediately wanted a copy, too. Interesting.

I, like Franken and other lefty libs, loathe and despise the likes of Ann Coulter (who Franken correctly calls "a nutcase" in a chapter title), Bill O'Reilly, Paul Wolfowitz and any other moron lionized by the morons at the National Post editorial board. So buy this book. When I finish my copy, I plan to fling it over the fortified wall at Bush's Walker Point, in the hope that someone inside reads it (if they can read, naturally) and starts telling the truth. For once.”

Forget for a few moments that Mr. Kinsella is shilling for Al Franken now. And forget that he hits about that tireless line about how dumb the Bush Family is. And look closer. Now here is my problem with this guy. Disagree with someone like Paul Wolfowitz. Go nuts decrying every single word he has ever said. But I think it really stinks when all he offers is that Dr. Wolfowitz is just another moron lionized by the morons at the National Post. Nice argument against one of the smartest people on the planet. You don’t have to like what they say Warren. But the guy could talk circles around you with a twelve pack of beer and 40 of scotch in his system. But forget about that.

Hey that’s why I keep coming to Warren’s site. I know he basically wipes the Prime Ministers ‘prime ministerly’ undercarriage for a living but I don’t ever dare call the guy a moron. Clearly he is smart as a tack, as evidenced by his role in helping to pull the wool over the eyes of millions of Canadians into voting for this regime. So props I guess.

Update: Psst...Warren...read this. Sheep or wolf you be the judge...

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Here’s you must read article today - - Blogging will be light for the next 24 hours. Until then read the only article you’ll need for that time:
Austin Bay’s latest.

”The Snow Walker” - - I would be remiss, as a good friend already pointed out this week, if I didn’t post anything on the upcoming feature film “The Snow Walker” (I played a small part in the very large machine when I had the great opportunity to work on the film last year.) which is set to take the Canadian Festival Circuit by storm this fall. It will be the closing gala film at Vancouver’s Film Festival and will also hit Toronto’s Film Festival where it will be having its world premiere.

Congrats to all the hardworking crew of the film! We’ll keep you updated on this as developments happen. But make sure you get your tickets if you are in the Vancouver or Toronto areas.

Four - - The New York Yankees are now only up on the Red Sox by 4 games.

Sleepless Dean - - More 2004 campaign commentary with my ongoing ’04 Journal. Bringing an update on what’s new with the new frontrunner. I got some email on this one and Howard Dean is a very popular search over at American Daily which also ran the story. I’m still not convinced that he is up to the challenge, but many think otherwise.

We’ll keep following it until the end as my campaign commentary now branded “’04 Journal” is being picked up by American Daily, Mens News Daily, and The Reality Check. And hopefully more sites to come.

Walking Rey Sanchez - - I must send out the big thanks to T.C. who is an engineer on going down and seeing games in Seattle-the guy has the drive and routine down to a fine art. It was a great night for baseball, with a great crowd.

But the fun ended when Lou Pinella intentionally walked Rey Sanchez. Lou? It was absolutely crazy. You just don’t intentionally walk someone like that, I don’t care how hot he is. Take the damned chance.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Seattle Blogging - - Stopped by an internet cafe for cup of joe before game time. Mariners-Devil Rays tonight. Will the M's stop their August skids? We'll find out tonight. Can they really lose another? Meanwhile the gang from Beantown will try to inch ahead also. Oakland and Seattle and Boston are tied for the wildcard as Oak/Sea are tied in the AL West. Beer and Hotdogs are next.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Bill Maher….Go away - - The smuggest, unfunny, commentator in the world, Bill Maher, is on CNN’s Reliable Sources going on, and on and on, about Arianna Huffington. (Insert your own headline for someone like Maher being a guest on “Reliable” Sources.) We'll get some quotes up from the transcript when it gets up on CNN’s website.

Update: Here is the money part of the transcript:

MAHER: [Arianna] is the most serious candidate.

KURTZ: The most serious.

MAHER: I get very irritated when I hear the press even ask that question. I mean, you can dislike her, or you can not agree with her, but I don't know what about this woman is not serious. I brought this up when she was on the show Friday. I was very -- I was furious when I read in "The New York Times" that they said that she straddles the line between a real candidate and a crackpot. I don't know why she's a crackpot. I know why I'm a crackpot to a lot of the media, because I never got married. So, you know in America that means you're weird...

KURTZ: Really?

MAHER: ... crazy and you can't be taken seriously. But this is a woman who went to Cambridge, got her master's in economics, has written 11 books, has written for the last eight years a very, very smart political column twice a week. This is not the kind of stuff that a crackpot does.

KURTZ: But don't you have to run something before you run the state of California? I mean, there are a lot of good columnists out there?

MAHER: What has Arnold Schwarzenegger ever run?

KURTZ: Well, that's the question. He's run a big business. Arnold, Inc., real estate mogul.

MAHER: Oh, please! You're kidding, right?

KURTZ: So, you see a distinction between the fact that the press seems to take the Terminator as a bona fide candidate for governor, but kind of dismisses Arianna Huffington?

MAHER: Right, they're as shallow as anybody else. They mistake his high recognizability with actual political credibility. I've been saying -- I brought it up with Jesse Ventura last week -- that really the relevant comparison with Arnold is Gary Coleman. I don't mean that as a joke. I just mean that as, hey, here are two guys who are very famous. We all know the names: Gary Coleman, Arnold Schwarzenegger. They're both in show business. That's how they got their success, and that's why they're able to run for governor.

But I don't see how Gary Coleman has any less experience or any less acumen than Arnold Schwarzenegger, and if he was four or five feet taller, he would be right in the running.

…and Tigers oh my - - Brock Stephenson is blogging about the 2003 Detroit Tigers, a new magazine, and the national premier of “Six Feet Under” in Canada. Cutting edge stuff in Canada my friends-so far behind we think we are first. Note for Brock: in June the CCTA applied to the Canadian TV Gods to bring HBO, ESPN, and Fox News Channel to the people in the great white north. This probably means we will get Bill Maher’s show too-a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

The Walrus Magazine promises to be Canada’s New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly. But with Lewis Lapham as a friend to the magazine won’t it be more like a Canadian Harper’s? Oh yeah, we need that. Time will tell. Oh wait, read this part of the site: detailing the ties of Walrus to Harpers.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Oh the humanity…Steyn on France - - Mark Steyn’s new piece on the estimated 10,000 who have died during France’s heat wave this summer. “Iraq may be on the edge but France has hit rock bottom abyss” is today’s must read. Here’s the hook:

“France isn't on the edge, it's in the abyss. When I motored round Iraq a couple of months ago, the hospital wards were well below capacity. Yet in France the entire health system – or that percentage of it not spending August at the beach – is stretched beyond its limits (35 hours a week, 44 weeks a year). Why aren't Médecins Sans Frontières demanding to be allowed in to take over?

There's an old, cynical formula for the weight accorded different disasters on American TV news. It runs something like: one dead American = 10 dead Israelis = 100 dead Russians = 1,000 dead Bangladeshis. But 10,000 French can die, and even the French don't seem to care – or not too much, and not with any great urgency.”

And then Steyn really gets cooking:

“In Paris this spring, a government official explained to me how Europeans had created a more civilised society than America - socialised healthcare, shorter work weeks, more holidays. We've just seen where that leads: gran'ma turned away from the hospital to die in an airless apartment because junior's sur la plage. M Chirac's somewhat tetchy suggestion that his people should rethink their attitude to the elderly was well taken. But Big Government inevitably diminishes its citizens' capacity to take responsibility, to the point where even your dead mum is just one more inconvenience the state should do something about.”
Simply must be read, today.

Simon Says, get out - - CNN reports that Bill Simon is getting out of the race. This will really begin to clear the way for Arnie’s campaign.

Bobby Bonds 1946-2003 - - Barry Bond’s dad, Bobby Bonds passed away this morning. He was a three time All Star and Gold Glove winner.

Baseball Roundup - -

Will the Real Jeff Suppan please stand up? Jeff Suppan finds his groove in Boston pitching a strong game, and the Red Sox took another one from the Mariners last night.

What, no walk off home run tonight? The Giants beat upstart Florida with no late inning heroics from Barry Bonds.

Brian Kingman is changing his tune about how cool the 20-loss business is. Jeremy Bonderman (6-17) and Mike Maroth (6-18) are closing in Kingman’s record as last pitcher to lose 20 in a season.

California Recall Roundup - - Another week down. Six more to go before Election Day. And roll:

Arianna Huffington (…in blog form): Arianna’s Campaign Journal Arianna in 24-7 mode….be afraid.

SacBee Blog: California Insider has a good thought on an LA Times piece that suggests turnout will make or break this campaign: “The problem the pollsters are having is that their methods screen for likely voters in part by looking at past voting behavior. But if a ton of people who haven't voted in 10 years come streaming out to the polls, their presence in the electorate will throw everything off. Damn them!

This is a good thing. Add it to the increased citizen activism, increased media coverage, and increased attention voters are paying to the race as spin-off benefits from the recall movement. The fact that the polls cannot accurately assess the race or predict its outcome is a wonderful development. It draws as closer to the day when we can pretty much ignore the polls and follow a campaign for its own sake and not based on who we think is winning or losing.”

Mickey Kaus: wants to know where all that delicious and smutty Arnold dirt went? Where’s the dirt?

Gossip Buffets: The New York Post’s Page Six reports that contrary to what has been reported Tom Hanks is not against, nor for, The Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign. That hasn’t stopped countless other ‘stars’ (and we use that term loosely) from speaking their minds.

Colby Cosh denies singularly jumping the shark moment of Cybil Sheppard who proclaimed an Arnold victory, “the worst tragedy in the history of California.” Cosh notes that the 1906 earthquake might be upset. NRO’s Andrew Stuttaford agrees.

The Last Word: William F. Buckley weighs in: “So what does Arnold have to offer to California conservatives?

He has primarily to offer his clean notoriety. He is the man who made it as an immigrant, radiates a pumped-iron health, made his urbane way into the Kennedy clan without taking vows of eternal servility, made and enhanced a considerable fortune by exploiting his physique and investing prudently--and he nicely accommodates the fantasy that to survive the greyness of California life, you need a touch of Cinderella. The awful conundrums of California economics and political demography welcome a Hollywood ending. But to get that, you need to come up through the ranks of the initiated. If you hope for theatrical recovery, you can't achieve it by voting for Bustamante.”

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Best Poll Ever: Taco Polling, the wave of the future - - Taco Bell is offering their services in the CA Gov's race. Eat Crunchy Beef Tacos - And you'll be voting for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Buy a chicken soft taco - Davis is your man. Grilled Stuffed Burrito? One of the other 134! Viva la Taco Bella!

New CA Poll - - Arnie's back! The new poll has Arnie at 23% and Cruz B. at 18%. And I would love to see the next one after today's coming out party for Candidate Arnold.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Absolutely Mammoth Post on Old Ball Players - - Great, info-packed, post by Aaron Gleeman of “Aaron’s Baseball Blog” on the older gentleman of baseball.

Plenty of Fun with Dean - - Photoshopedfun with a recent Howard Dean rally. Especially hilarious picture with the real Dean…Martin…ring-a-ding-ding!

One Man Arianna Watch - - Matt Welch is operating a great service during the CA campaign’s early days, exposing the utter crackpottery of Arianna Hufington. Read his latest bit of timely research.

Love the Jets? - - Blogging is kicking into the main stream day-by-day. NJ.com is hiring a blogger to cover the NY Jets. Pay is meager, 50$/month, but you’d be pretty cool, even if you don’t think the Jets are cool…

Bush Hating Update - - Mickey Kaus is on fire today in his Slate.com blog. Not only does he do some nice Arnie stuff, but he also comes to the defense of National Review Editor Rich Lowry.

Lowry and ABC News’s “The Note” are having a wack-a-thon over whether or not those lefties who hate Bush as much as the righties hated Clinton.

Mr. Lowry’s claim: “There is a vocal Bush-hating chorus on the left that resents his narrow victory in Florida, that will never forgive him for invading Iraq and that can't stand his cowboy mannerisms. It spreads anti-Bush poison far and wide -- but don't hold your breath for the Time story about ‘Bushophobia!’”

Byron York, also of National Review adds his two pence.

Kaus: “I've hung out with Bush-haters, and I've hung out with Clinton-haters, and I would side with Lowry in the uncalibrated, rough-equivalence camp. Maybe marginally fewer Bush-haters accuse Bush personally of ordering Mafia-style murders--but the night is young. And they would put nothing past the man and his family…”

It should be noted that I also threw a few punches at this topic last week in Enter Stage Right: “As evidence of this hatred, recently a loose coalition of labor, women's, and environmental groups led by super-rich George Soros have formed a new group to spend up to $75 million to help defeat Bush in the 2004 election.
No one in the President's camp has yet suggested, as Hillary Clinton did, that there is a vast ‘left' wing conspiracy. At any rate, this rabid Bush hating must simply be music to Karl Rove's ears as Democrats look increasingly consumed with hatred of Bush rather than expressing any new ideas.”

TNS: Terminator News Service - - Here’s a round up of some California Governor’s Race News – all about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s day in the news.

Fox News: “Schwarzenegger Presents Vision for California” Arnold convenes a real life press conference. Money Quote: “Like I told Warren, if he mentions Prop 13 one more time, he has to do 500 sit-ups.”

CNN: ”Stern books Schwarzenegger.”

Slate.com: ”Reagan 2.0” By Mickey Kaus. Money Quote: “At least one pundit is saying that this is a match between a Clinton surrogate (Davis) and a Reagan imitator (Schwarzenegger). But Davis is an inferior Clinton while Schwarzenegger may actually be a superior Reagan. ....”

NRO: ”In Arnold’s Ear By Victor A. Canto. “Arnold Schwarzenegger, a poster child for the American dream, may very well be the next governor of California — a state which is crying out for some economic leadership. Yet not much is known about Schwarzenegger's economic views. So far, some conservatives are encouraged by the fact that he is Austrian. The implicit assumption many people are making is that he is a Friedmanite devotee and a follower of Austrian economic thought.

My answer to that is that while I am from San Pedro de Macoris, I can’t play shortstop nor hit a 90 mile-per-hour fastball.”

Sac Bee: “Move over…I’ll Drive” By Daniel Weintraub. Money Quote I: “The candidate was in command, well prepared, at times serious and funny, and he sketched out a substantive vision for how he would approach the job of governor. He declared that he would not raise taxes (except perhaps after a natural disaster), that he would focus on workers compensation, reducing regulation, and fixing the state’s faltering unemployment insurance fund. He proposed a new constitutional spending limit.”

Money Quote II: “In the end, it was clear to me that Californians, if they want Arnold to be their governor, are going to have to take a leap of faith, to buy into his leadership abilities, his charisma, his communication skills, all of which are considerable, and accept his vision that the budget can be balanced without new taxes or cuts in education even as he repeals the recent increase in the car tax. That’s not a reasonable proposition. But given the rest of his package, it might not matter.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Ball Players For Governor? - - sadly no, but this MLB.com article chooses some who may just fit in the wacky ield of 135. Read on Jose Canseco is one of the five candidates naturally.

Maroth for 18 - - Tiger pitcher Mike Maroth lost his 18th game tonight. Already there are some who think he should step aside this season for some fresh meat. David Pinto suggests just that. But c’mon the kids gone this far, and why should Brian Kingman be the last player with 20 losses forever? Maroth losses 18th, and he is just bad, he loses 20 or more and he will be remembered for some time. Let the kid pitch.

Negative: Gray Davis Gut Buster of the day - - Gray Davis’ first big post-recall announcement speech: “This recall is bigger than California. What's happening here is part of an ongoing national effort by Republicans to steal elections they cannot win.”

Now tell me, is Clinton writing this stuff? If it is going to come down to the calls of a vast right wing conspiracy, versus Arnold, Davis is going to lose this.

Positive: Arnie’s first ad - - Here’s the text of the first ad. It’s good. It’s positive, and clear. Send in Rove and get these other Republican’s out of the race please. I wanna see Arnie-Davis.

Update: Ben Stein isn’t for Arnie. Why: Pro-Life/Taxes.

Iraq - - Was watching Hardball tonight. NBC correspondent and terrorism expert Steve Emerson was on and he likened the situation in Iraq to Afghanistan in the 1980’s where all the Islamic die hards came into that country to expel the communists.

He is suggesting that this is happening now. So is this fly paper that is sucking the terrorists into Iraq? I think so. The difference isn’t in them, it is in us. We will defeat them on this battlefield as long as our leaders keep up the good work.

Looks like our friends the Saudi’s, according to this article, are on the way. This is doubly good-they are leaving Saudi Arabia and coming to fight the troops in Iraq. Are they putting all they’re eggs in one basket? ESR editor Steve Martinovich adds, “Frankly I don't believe Saudis are involved. They are America's allies in the war against terrorism, aren't they? Well, if they really want to die for their god, let's give them that chance.”

The Whereabouts of Patrick Ruffini - - Was wondering what in the hell happened to one of the smartest bloggers out there. Patrick Ruffini who brought us his Rants, is the Webmaster to George W. Bush’s fancy new website. (No wonder there is Bush News feeds set up for bloggers to use).

One of my new favorite bloggers, the amusing and grumpy, Acidman at Gut Rumbles predicts a blog from Bush that doesn’t, well he’ll tell you the rest…He’s worth the trip too!

Timothy Noah over at Slate.com gives the site the once over. No mention of George's blog friendly site. Ruffini clearly put the Web into W's site.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

The Fun of Just Watching - - My new Enter Stage Right column is up and it is chalk full of August-y fun and goodness. The Fun of just watching is for the double-fun jumbo two-week end of summer issue. Blackouts, California, 2004 politics, Al Franken, why Everybody doesn’t really love Raymond, Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, Gene Hackman, Mark Cuban and more. Yummy!

Plus, there’s some strange doings going on in Alberta and fittingly my Bureaucrash column has some details. . ”The Stupidity of Government” chronicles a very sad tale of bureaucratic excess. You’ll also get a sweet bonus of “This is Spinal Tap” quotes in this one. Enjoy.

Leave it to Layne - - Here is the punch line “Come on, say it with me ... Damned French wizards!” from Ken Layne. Go see his site, and enjoy.

Blackout supply kits - - Always good to do a little follow up on what was useful during a crisis. Amy Langfield who was in New York has some ideas. Most of them are pretty sensible, but one doesn’t translate to Canada so well. Dollar Bills? Hardy har-har! What are we supposed to stock pile loonies and toonies up here in Canada? Coins, they’re the wave of the future…but simply not practical to lug around in a crisis.

Sunday Baseball Notes - - Another great day of baseball, so let’s just take a look at some interesting facts and figures.

*Jeremy Bonderman lost again today (6-16). But if you look at his stats closely he isn’t so bad. It’s not like he gets rocked every game and sent to the showers, just that the Tigers are bad (31-92).

*Todd Zeile was released by the Yankees today. His numbers aren’t that bad…the Mariners might think about picking him up. He plays third.

*Speaking of the Yanks. Tough being Boston who lost 2 of 3 this weekend while the Yankees completed a 4 game sweep of Baltimore. It will get tougher for the Yanks as the get their hands on the surprise Royals starting tomorrow.

*Arms. Looked like a solid pitching duel today with Greg Maddux and Curt Schilling on the mound. Schilling came out ahead but what a great day of pitching. And Gary Sheffield extended his hitting streak to 21 games. Can Albert Pujols extend his (30) tonight? (Update: Pujols is out with the flu tonight, so his streak will have to wait)

A little Years Update - - Friends Dan and Joanna, who would now like me to refer to them as ‘JoDanna’, add their two-bits on The Years concert from earlier in the week. Clearly they are caught up in some curious Ben Affleck and J-Lo fantasy. Dan adds, regarding the years, “I would have to say that I would definitely consider being a 'the Years' groupie, especially if they start wearing girl's jeans.” Fascinating.

Open Range - Mini Review - - Happened to catch the new Kevin Costner film, “Open Range” this weekend. Say what you want about Mr. Costner, but he’s managed to bury, for me, any memory of “The Postman” with this film.

Open Range was great. It is a traditional western, and has the feel of a film of the past. Everybody has been writing about Costner’s reverence for past westerns and you can see it in almost every scene-huge, beautifully shot scenes, that recall some of the better westerns of the past, some even have whispered John Ford in the same breath.

It also has this foreboding, an almost dreading momentum throughout the films first half. You’re constantly waiting for something terrible to happen and I don’t think I am giving away anything by saying the concluding gun fight near the end is a pretty good resolution of that.

Robert Duvall was excellent, and even Costner is quite able. But together they are excellent and after seeing so many big budget Hollywood action films this summer it is pretty cool to see real live complete scenes. There aren’t the frantic cuts of today, but long pauses (and not in a Shatner way-that’s two Shatner references in one weekend a new record). Costner even does away with many unnecessary close ups letting you see the whole scene completely from afar.

If there is a downfall it is that you never doubt that Costner and Duvall’s free grazing cattlemen will rid a small town of some evildoers. Bonus points for the detail of where all the townspeople go during a big gunfight, and what happens after a fight. Plus one of the final performances of Michael Jeter a great character actor.


Saturday, August 16, 2003

What up? - - Best segment on Craig Kilborn? Gotta be…the absolute wackiness of ‘What up?’ Tonight Craig, Goldy, and Gibby threw it at cigar smoking William Shatner on the computer worm, turtlenecks, dramatic pauses, and the best movie of the summer-which Shatner insisted was Star Trek V. Shatner was on fire.

A banner year for dictators and their families to check out? - - No last stand shootout like Saddam’s psycho sons, but Idi Amin finally checks out of this world. This report gives him credit for the deaths of 300,000 when he was dictator of Uganda during his reign in the 1970’s. Good riddance.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Seatlle Mariners, Red Sox Friday Night Baseball Notes - - Let me just say that I was enjoying this game until Ichiro hit his second grand Slam of the season in the bottom of the 6th inning making the game 8-4. Was it “Mojo Baby?” Who knows, but there have been some excellent things about the game so far.

*In the first couple of innings on the Fox Sports coverage Red Sox great Bobby Doerr did some guest broadcasting. What a treat that was. He talked about fishing-something the 85-year old still loves. He talked about old teammates and current players and seems to follow the Mariners more than the Sox-mostly because he lives south of Seattle in Oregon. He also talked about Ted Williams and the tragedy that has become his not-so-restful afterlife. But he sure sounded like a nice man with a great memory of dates, stats, and stories.

*One last note on Doerr. The Sox last one the World Series the year he was born in 1918. Then they traded Babe Ruth away. Whoops.

*Does anybody remember the 1997 Mariners trade that brought them the reliever Heathcliff Slocumb? Neither did we, until we were reminded that the Mariners sent Catcher Jason Varitek and Pitcher Derek Lowe the other way. WOW.

*Next Sunday at Safeco Field from 9:00AM to 3:00PM you can get tickets to toss the ball around on the field with your family or friends. Very cool.

*Ah, Armando Benetiz. Is there anything sweeter than watching him walk home a run? He pitched one solid inning, then in the next loaded the bases up, then walked a run in (He actually walked 3, My Bad. ). We await what Mariner fans simply refer to as the “Shiggy.” His ERA is sick. It is 0.65 right now. And I think he is working on a 25 or 26 inning shutout period…That’s one Strike out…Strike out two…Boston strands three.

*Bottom of Eight. Mariners have loaded the bases again. Edgar Martinez is up. Now the Red Sox turn. Todd Jones walks in a run. (9-5 and only 1-out.) Sacrifice fly 10-5 Mariners.

*Last chance for the Sox in the top of nine. Very cool, the roof is closing as the inning goes on. What must Bobby Doerr think of something like that?

*10-5 final. Mariners win.

Boston 5 8 1
Seattle 10 13 0

Best Ebay Item this Baseball Season - - A disgruntled Yankee fan has offered up Pitcher Jeff Weaver for sale on Ebay.

A frustrated New York Yankees fan has taken his displeasure of pitcher Jeff Weaver to the Internet. The fan is trying to use eBay to auction off the struggling right-hander, who's 6-and-9 with a hefty 5.78 ERA this year.

The fan -- known as "free range veal" on eBay, describes Weaver as a pitcher "in fair-to-good condition, hardly used and showing minor wear." He notes that he'll only sell Weaver to Boston, the Yankees' chief rival in the American League East.

The auction ad was placed hours after Weaver allowed nine runs and 13 hits in an 11-to-0 loss at Kansas City. Bidding began at one cent, but the high bid after 13 hours had climbed to more than 300 thousand dollars.

The fan says he'll also accept a white turtle neck and a bag of batting practice balls in lieu of payment for Weaver.

The first, last, and only word on the Blackout '03 - - James Lileks is making some great sense this morning after the debacle that was the 'blackout.' Was it a lightening strike, was it one too many air conditioners, or was it simply one guitar amp going to 11? Hard to say, but the story became pretty tiresome after a few hours.

"I almost wondered if the reporters wanted this to be 9/11 lite, all the mass inconvenience with only half the panic. As far as I can tell, the big story was the outage, but the other story was "so, they dealt with it." You can't wonder if a TV producer was looking at the feeds, seeing the people just walkling along, the cars waiting thier turns, and the producer's thinking: God help me for this, but would someone please throw a brick? We're dyin' here. "

Worse...what about the robots?

"Imagine all those screens popping on, hard drives spinning up, printers whirring to life. The modern office, full of wide-awake machines with no masters. To me there’s something unnerving about the patience of machinery." Yes. Very creepy indeed...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The Years - - Light posting tonight friends. Met up with my friends Dan and Joanna (oh and Rob T who apparently has been listening to way too much Michael Moore propaganda. Rob I thought you were a ruthless capitalist pig…what happened) and checked out my old friend Chris Kinnon’s new band, “The Years” tonight. While there were clearly not enough high kicks, (Chris claims it was because of his rock n’ roll tight pants…I don’t buy that one-after all this was the guy who got me on to CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ and PJ O’Rourke about 15 years ago…good times…but I don’t remember any tight pants), anyway, let’s just say they rocked the house at The Roxy tonight.

What is cool about this band (and you can check out three tracks on their website) is that it is as if they are playing in the past, present, and future all at the same time. New rock music drenched in the past, played in the present but timeless too. They even have the Sixties groove photos to prove all of this! Everything old is new again, and still damned cool.

It’s just good, hard, loud, rock n’ roll music. Here’s the dish from Die Popstar. So check it out.

Awesome - - Any picture like this one that gives the perspective of the pyramids from inside a Pizza Hut is amazing. Radley Balko says it gives him the "warm and fuzzies." I just smile and think of the Emperor's music from Star Wars and know all is right with the world. Pizza and pyramids...Awesome!

Don't make checks your body can't cash - - I have a real hard time believing that Aaron Boone is getting ready to "catch fire." It seems Boone has noticed that moving to the A.L. involved some new pitchers that he quite obviously can't hit. He is batting .136 and hasn't homered and hasn't walked either. Robin Ventura isn't doing much better in L.A. but at least he's getting on base (.333) and hitting the odd homer.

100 Days of Progress - - Steve Martinovich has a great and postitive piece in The American Spectator Online on developments in Iraq. A must read today.

New Piece! New Publication! Same great taste! - - I’ve just gotten word that a new site, Mens News Daily (“Conservative News with Sex Appeal”) is going to run a weekly column from yours truly. It is going to be more sports and pop-culture oriented, but you know me, politics can’t be far behind.

My first article is up on the site now! “A civil war in baseball” slings some dirt at those old school baseball and sports lovers who haven’t caught the Jamesian express yet.

“Like Star Wars there is a war raging in baseball. On one side are the Jamesians. They are young, strong-with-the-force-rebels, who resemble more computer geeks and fresh out of college kids than baseball executives. Along with Beane who is the elder statesman of this movement there is the 29 year old General Manager of the Red Sox, Theo Epstein, who must be the movement’s dashing young Luke Skywalker. Both are making fans believers in a new way of looking at baseball which emphasizes common sense statistics like getting on base, and throwing out traditional favorite plays and superstitions all while not breaking the bank.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Meanwhile in other political news… - - John Kerry has this years “how does a Supermarket scanner work” moment while trying to eat a Philly Cheese steak like the haughty Frenchman he is.

So the Oracle of Omaha is working for the Terminator - - This will make the Republicans go a little nuts once again. He’s a Democrat, a filthy rich one, but a Democrat nevertheless and he has so much money he is increasingly tepid about tax cuts.

But when the budget is that bad, bringing in Warren Buffet ain’t a bad call. Who else will Arnie get on his team…

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Michael Barone - - Talks about Arnie, California, America, and the GOP. While his candidacy may reshape the CA Republican Party, Barone is weary that it will not turn into something equally big for America.

Fox News vs Al Franken - - Pile on. Glenn Reynolds has mucho-mucho links about this. The consensus is bearish on Fox because it makes them look mean silly and heavy handed. But the other consensus thankfully is of greater importance. The bearishness of Al Franken’s comedy.

Regardless this whole debacle is, fine I’ll say it, the “Gigli” of lawsuits. Lame, both sides are bad, but you can’t help watch the train wreck…

Best Chinese Food Hunt ever - - Great story by Darren Rovell of ESPN.com about a journeyman pitcher who ended up getting in on the ground floor of baseball card company Upper Deck. He’s still playing and enjoying the game. What a story.

“A fortuitous search for Chinese food led him to a card shop down the street from Anaheim Stadium. And soon, the man whose first contract was worth $500, with the pen he used to sign it as a bonus, became a founding partner with a baseball card company that would make him millions.

When [DeWayne] Buice walked into The Upper Deck in search of finding Asian fare on a November night in 1987, he was noticed by the store owner Bill Hemrick, who told Buice where he could satisfy his craving for Chinese. The two struck up a friendship that led to Buice having an autograph signing at the store, and within weeks, Buice had become one of Hemrick's business partners.”

Worms are for dirt - - Had a brief problem with that nasty worm going around the net yesterday and today, but managed to pull a Hugh Jackman in Swordfish and fix it real good. Now blogging can continue.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

It’s getting Better all the time - - Here’s a great little letter from a soldier in Southern Iraq, giving more perspective on what is really happening there than about 10 newspapers. Read it all but here are some highlights from Senior Chief Art Messer - 22 Naval Construction Regiment (Forward) Task Force Charlie - U. S. Navy Seabees:

As usual the news media has blown some things way out of proportion. The countryside is getting more safe by the day despite all the attacks you are hearing about. Imagine every shooting incident or robbery committed in LA or Portland being blown way out of proportion.

This is a country where most of the Saddam Hussein thugs are being chased around like scared rabbits by Coalition forces. It is literally open season on them! We hunt them down like animals.


There are also thugs from other countries running around, like Iran and Syria. Well, the Iraqis hate these thugs as much as we do. So the Iraqi people are hunting them down too! I can honestly say 98% of the population of Iraq love us and they do not want us to leave...ever! They say as long as we are here they feel safe.


The railroad is running again! The railroad has not run since 1991.In the city of Hillah, the power stays on 24 hours a day and it has more power than prior to the war. Some Iraqis are worried about getting too much food from the coalition because they don't have enough room in their homes to store it.


Sounds pretty promising to me but I am concerned about this, “The favorite drink is Pepsi, followed by Coke. They want us to bring them any and everything American. Any item made in America or that is from America is worth money over here.”

But its sounds like freedom of choice, so hard to argue against Pepsi there. When the first McDonald’s or Pizza Hut opens in Baghdad, I’ll know for sure that we are in the clear, and by the sounds of it, it could be sooner rather than later.

WOW - - Just saw Rafael Furcal get an unassisted triple play. Awesome. That doesn’t happen very often. Thank you Sunday Night Baseball!

UPDATE: That was the first one in Braves History.

More: rare indeed. This would make 12 times in history.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

The Art of Baseball in China - - Interesting article in today’s Globe and Mail (via: Clutch Hits) about Baseball in China. While some of the article sounds mysteriously like the failure of Canada’s own CBL this year:

“Yet baseball remains an esoteric sideline in China's sports industry. While a European soccer club can attract a crowd of 50,000 at a Beijing stadium with tickets priced at $20 to $80 each, the baseball league is struggling to attract a few hundred fans with free tickets. At a regular-season game in Beijing last month, fewer than 100 fans showed up in a 3,500-seat stadium.”

Interesting nuances of baseball in China-Early morning games and very little power:
“Only four cities — Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou — are represented in the baseball league, although organizers hope to expand to eight cities by 2008. Most stadiums are substandard, without any lights for night games. Most games are played in the early morning to avoid the midday heat. Average player salaries are only about $500 to $1,000 a month.

On the field, the quality of play is improving, but Mr. McCarthy admits it is usually no better than Double-A level in the North American minor leagues. Chinese baseball players are speedy and disciplined, but they lack power and pitching velocity. Last year, during an abbreviated monthlong season, the home-run king of Chinese baseball had hit the ball out of the park once.”

And the secret weapon, the bunt. I think we need to send them some Bill James translated books, soon.

“To capitalize on their speed, Chinese players have a secret weapon: the bunt. When their national team challenged a U.S. junior college all-star team last year, they stunned the Americans with five perfectly placed bunts in the first two innings and romped to a 7-3 victory. The U.S. coach said he had never seen anything like it before.

As a result, Chinese players have become overreliant on bunting and base-stealing. Even their cleanup hitters, the strongest in the lineup, end up bunting or pretending to bunt. "I have no earthly idea why they do that," said Ned Darley, a 32-year-old American pitcher who plays for the Tianjin Lions under a rule allowing up to three foreign players on a team. ‘They square up to bunt with nobody on base, and then they swing away.’”

Morning Mariner’s Rant - - M’s are facing the Yankees again this morning. Just wondering what in the blue hell is Rey Sanchez doing batting anywhere but 9th? He is in the number 2 spot. Career OBP for the 35 year-old shortstop? A staggering .309 (the .426 in his 26 AB’s with the M’s is not any reason to move him from the nine hole.)

Friday, August 08, 2003

Friday Night Baseball Blogging - - Before I head out for the evening and catch a film, let’s talk some baseball shall we.

1. Absolutely no good can come from Boston dropping a double header today. Did I mention it was to Baltimore? Game 2 was at least close, but this is not the type of thing you want in August-now they are 4-back, again.

2. So with Boston losing two, the Yankees, led by Nick Johnson decide to have some fun with the increasingly lame Seattle Mariners. Who the hell is Nick Johnson? Well he went 4-5, drove in 5 (with a grand slam), and is batting .299 (why didn’t the M’s get him?)

Sure was nice to M’s outcast Jeff Nelson pitch a rock solid 8th inning (just like old times) while newly acquired Armando Benitez pitched the 8th too-but he gave up two hits and a run. Thanks Pat.

3. The Oakland A’s let one slip away against the White Sox. But great pitching by both Mulder and Buehrle were on display with both going the distance. Here’s a quick question: what happened to Eric Byrnes? This was the guy who people were comparing to Will Clark and he had claimed to have watched every one of his at-bats. He was batting in the 9 spot tonight. No Will Clark.

4. The Atlanta Braves just keep rolling along. 4 More Home Runs for the league lead as a team with 174. They are 25-8 since July 1.

5. Oops he did again. Detroit Tigers’ Mike Maroth losses magical #16 ! But the guy is solid: 8 Innings, 7 Hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. Four more to break the record! Pitching this well, the guy deserves to lose 20, get his name in the record books, then move on to some team where he has something we like to call run support.

Wild & Crazy Guy - - Steve Martin, who is back on top following his turn in “Bringing Down the House” (Which clearly should have been Hizz’ouse, but I digress), has an oped in the New York Times today.

Motorist Hijinks Abound - - Funny account of some bad driving, speeding crazies. Here’s the punch line:

Police thought they had seen everything until yesterday when a Chevrolet Cavalier with expired plates was pulled over for speeding.

"When the 32-year-old Barrie man stopped and rolled down his window, the officer said the inside smelled like a dumpster," Woolley said. "There was food wrapping and garbage everywhere and the driver was also cooking his lunch in a crock pot and tossing a salad.

"Unfortunately, the driver also didn't have any insurance so he continued his culinary expertise on the back of a tow truck."

Do you get the sense - - that for Democrats and those hyper-lefty buddies that Bush is the equivalent of how the right felt about Bill Clinton? Everyday I see and read about people mad as hell about Bush, predicting his failure in 2004. It reminds me of the same way many people I know felt in say 1996, or 1998.

“Don’t you see?” They would exclaim. “Why can’t everyone see what wrong with this guy they ask? You know, every time I see someone talk about Al Gore’s great speech and how he should be President today or a Democratic Candidate attacking Bush for wrecking the economy and running up the debt. Just a thought.
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Thursday, August 07, 2003

Call 911, My Province is on fire - - New Column by me over at Bureaucrash.ca on the fires raging in this province and why it's good for wine, and its not the time to start blaming global warming.

I'm dedicating it to Peter Jaworski who is the driving force behind Bureaucrash Canada and damned fine libertarian. Tommorow he is hosting the Liberty Seminar to discuss the great ideas of liberty and freedom. I wish I was there to hang with him!

Let me get this straight… - - Someone like NBC’s Today Show host Katie Couric is going to say this: “Let me ask you about his, his baggage, if you will. He's admitted smoking marijuana, using steroids during his body-building career. He's the son of a Nazi Party member. He said he was prejudiced before overcoming those feelings by working with the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles and the Dean of the Center said an investigation of Schwarzenegger's late father, conducted at the actor's request, found no evidence of war crimes. Through his publicist he's denied allegations published in Premiere magazine in March 2001, that he sexually harassed women and committed infidelity. All those things, are they gonna be front and center, Darry, if you, do you think in this campaign?”

Yet unseating the dictator of today, Saddam Hussien, was wrong? I don’t know if Couric was for or against the war-I can guess, but why bother. I am sure this line of questioning is the jumping off point for lefties who don’t like the idea of Arnie as the Governor. But that his Dad was a Nazi Party member? Isn’t that a little much from the crowd who didn’t want to unseat today’s homicidal dictator? I think we call this a double standard.

Red Sox Win, again! - - Can Bill James influence on the Boston Red Sox beat the retched curse? Hard to say but they are starting to make a believer out of me. A huge 6th inning propelled the Sox past Anaheim for the series sweep over last years World Series Champs. Great nights for Bill Mueller (3-5), Jason Varitek (3-4 with a HR), Garciaparra (3-4 with his 21st HR) and David Ortiz who jacked 2.

The Sox remain 2 ½ behind the Yanks, but they kept pace. I would say that the reason the Yanks dumped Benitez yesterday is that the pressure is on them to win it, more than it is on Boston.

My Good Pal Warren Kinsella - - decides to move on from yours truly and pick on a grumpy old man. Is he the smuggest Liberal lickspittle ever? You be the judge. I liked him better when he was just talking about The White Stripes.

Sure, his target today isn’t exactly a prize himself, but before he drifts off into complete crack-pottery and name calling, he nails two points. He correctly points out that the Supreme Court has taken the place of any real legislation making in this country and he also places the blame for that “travesty” on the Prime Minister’s Office. Is he wrong? Um, I think not. It’s too bad that he brings his debate down to Kinsella’s level.

But what I like best about Warren is how he dodges the meat of any question, eating only the fat, and spitting it right back at anyone who fails to see the light of the grand Liberal Party of Canada’s grand strategy.

Please note that Kinsella also prayed to god that Al Gore would return to the ring of politics. Sound political judgement always on display over in “Warren’s World.” Come on, Gore? I laugh in your general direction. In case you want to see Gore’s speech from today debunked, go here.

A novel concept - - Gwynne Dyer isn’t someone I would usually turn to break down an issue. But he is fairly clear headed, and his documentaries are always interesting. His latest article makes several good points:

“The crisis in Africa is real, but its major cause is truly awful governments. Even more than the AIDS epidemic, it is corruption and war that have driven Africa to the bottom of every index of human development during the past 40 years. (Nobody except Africans remembers it now, but in 1960 most African countries had higher incomes and better public services than most Asian countries.) And even the AIDS plague is far less devastating in countries like Uganda that have moderately competent governments.

The extreme rhetoric about collapsing living standards and growing gaps between rich and poor is meant to galvanize people in the richer countries into action, and maybe it is needed in order to persuade them to do painful but necessary things like opening their markets to agricultural exports from Africa, but it is also deeply misleading. About one-fifth of the world is rich, and another fifth is desperately poor and getting poorer, but the middle three-fifths is actually making solid progress — not because of foreign aid or some special political or economic formula, but because it only takes security, sensible government and time for people anywhere to climb the ladder.”

This is the kind of sound logic that the left needs to get their heads around. Not telling outrageous lies about the ills of capitalism or globalization.

Better get a bigger boat - - The democrats have long been using the prospect of economic failure as one of their two “get Bush” strategies. The problem? That damned economy just isn’t cooperating. Jobless claims are dropping, and productivity is on the rise. And we still have a year-plus for more good news. The democrats better get a bigger boat…

Totally unhelpful - - News that Federal MP responsible for the farce that was “SARS-Stock,” Dennis Mills, wants to lure the United Nations away from New York and into Toronto. Earth to crackpot…Earth to crackpot. We don’t want the UN. And more importantly we don’t want it in Toronto.

More: Damian Penny breaks it down this way: “You'd be amazed how many people in this country (and in the United States, for that matter) actually believe the UN is some kind of benevolent humanitarian organization which should control the world, instead of a corrupt pulpit for dictators and Jew-baiters to lecture the Western world about how evil we are.”

Condie Watch - - New oped from the National Security Advisor. Go Condie!

A Modest Proposal - - Steve Martinovich rightly demands a moratorium on movies where children and adults switch bodies. I agree, no good can come from this.

More Arnie First thoughts - - Plenty of people are writing about Arnie, and this will continue. Let’s start with Matt Welch who is on the scene in California.

Matt Welch: “Dude, this is so damned fun. We were feeling slightly down about everyone dumping on us & all, and about that budget thingie, but when Arnold pulled the fakeroo on the teevee show, then let loose a grin while saying "the great state of California" (just like Jeff Solomon did when marrying off our pal Coulter the other day), and we began to digest the prospects of an Arnold-Arianna-Larry Flynt-Gary Coleman race, I mean, people were jabbering excitedly on the streets about this stuff. Or at least I was, walking to Acapulco to watch the Spanish-language karaoke. At any rate, this is going to be nothing but fun for the next two months, and though I've always loathed Austrians on principle, Arnold today made me like him for the first time since True Lies. What did the war hawks used to say whenever Bush would refuse to rule out using nukes? It's useful to have you think that we're really that crazy. Same goes for California. We're plum loco out here … and you're jealous. Admit it.”

And next Mr. Colby Cosh. Not exactly writing from inside the state, but he’s got it too. Cosh’s take: “This kind of candidate--a born National Greatness Conservative who can talk up a Kennedy line on domestic policy--seems suited to the California scene in a multi-sided fight amongst pygmies. Starting today, you are going to see a lot of commentators race towards contrarian territory: Arnie Can't Win. But be careful not to underestimate him. He has, without question, spent the last two weeks taking a crash course on California's problems, and particularly the budget crisis. Arnold has an M.B.A., so the concepts should be well within his grasp. And even if you suspect, as I do, that M.B.A. degrees are mostly content-free, the man's still a self-educator par excellence. Hardboiled journos will approach Arnold, to begin with, as giggly fans: when he demonstrates a modestly competent command of the relevant rhetoric, as I expect he will, they're going to physically melt.”

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Drink it up buddies - - Oliver Willis has the Democratic Shot Glass for easing the pain of the Bush years. Good for him, but drink up pal, you’re gonna get a few more years of pain to ease soon enough. Thankfully Mr. Willis is warming up to the Arnie years. I wish all Democrats were like Willis. I don't always agree with the dude, but he looks like he knows how to have a good time.

More on Arnie’s Run - - Here is James Lileks’ take: “In any case, it’ll change a few minds about the possibilities of politics. All their life they saw politicians as nothing more than nerdy bloodless grinbots, and now here’s this guy: a giant with a gap-tooth smile smoking a Montecristo the size of Gray Davis’ shinbone. Heck yeah!

Only in America. And I say that as a good thing. Which reminds me: like all typical examples of American craziness, this will just horrify the Europeans.”

Cigars, horrifying Europeans, “nerdy bloodless grinbots”…awesome…

Could it get any worse in Europe - - It is worse than a Nelly song over in Europe (Sorry about that reference). Craig Kilborn offers this tonight: “It is getting so hot in Europe they are seeing Gigli just to get some air conditioning.” Yes.

The Perfect Storm - - The NY Yankees lost tonight. Boston wins on Pedro’s 10 hit complete game gem. The Yanks trade Armando Benitez to Seattle to get back Jeff Nelson who was around for the great run by the yanks from 1996-2000.

And don’t get me started on this trade from the Mariner’s perspective. What a joke. My friend Lance suggested I check out the domain patgillicksucks.com so I could properly vent my anger. They deserved to lose tonight for this fiasco.

In tonight’s Yankee loss Mariano Rivera blew another save opp tonight. In August so far? Rivera is 0-2, 1 Save, and three blown. His ERA has climbed from 1.43 to 1.75 (your right…it still is good, but what a terrible start to month), and hey, it is August 6th. Are they sure they wanted to get rid of Armando?

Meanwhile Oakland takes one from Detroit. Okay, that isn’t fair, it is Detroit! But they should enjoy it since after this series they play: 3 versus the White Sox in Chicago, 4 against my Bill James Boston Red Sox, then 3 against the Blue Jays. Oh and then another three against Boston, and another 3 against Toronto before they see the Devil Rays and Orioles at the end of August. (Whoever wins those 7 games between Boston and Oakland will surely advance their cause-a real Jamesian standoff)

Pennant fever is here! In case you can’t tell…I am cheering for the Red Sox and Athletics.

He’s in - - Arnold Schwarzenegger shocks everyone and throws his hat into the California Governor’s race. This will be the above the fold story from now until the recall vote in October.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Letters with Warren - - Let me share with you some of the great fun of maintaining a website. Last week I posted something about Warren Kinsella:

Liberal Hack/hatchet man Warren Money - - I am nicknaming Warren Kinsella, a political hack if ever there was one, Warren Money. Why? Because after reading his blog for about three minutes, I realized that he thinks he is hip and cool especially mentioning The White Stripes. Laughable. Whatever buddy. Nothing was more wonderful than watching him get beat like a drum the one time he ran for office by a complete rank amatuer with a beard no better than Keanu Reeves.

Mr. Kinsella then sent me, little old me, an email stressing my bio from my time at OpinioNet.com:

“Hey, Jackson, we at www.warrenkinsella.com are curious - what's the big deal about someone mentioning the White Stripes? Shouldn't someone who brags about writing for the "Capilano Courier" be preoccupied with other things, like getting a life? Just wondering, Jacko.”

Notice the third person style denoting Mr. Kinsella’s self-importance. He is belittling my stint writing for my college newspaper listed in a bio of mine a number of years ago.

But you know me…I just couldn’t let Mr. Kinsella’s questions go unanswered. So I dropped my new buddy an email:

Welcome to the Blogosphere Mr. Kinsella!

Things move pretty quickly around here, so watch out. BTW, I love the fact that you refer to yourself in the third person that is so Bob Dole cool, really. Nothing wrong with mentioning the White Stripes, just literally thought it was so damned funny that you did. As for my time during College being the only conservative on a lefty rag? I am proud of that! That is where I discovered that hey, I like to write. But I guess that doesn’t compare to all those publications you’ve worked for.

The answer to your question is this: If you post something on your site, people may have something to say about it, it is just that simple. I still read your site, White Stripes or not, so not sure what the problem is with writing about it. You have a “blog” but somehow don’t understand the point of “blogging”. I may not write for every major newspaper in this country, and yes, I did write for a college paper, but that doesn’t preclude me from writing, posting, or talking about Warren Kinsella’s posts about the White Stripes. That’s the whole point.

Besides what’s wrong with Capilano College?-you wanted to be an MP around these parts at one point didn’t you? Nice attitude! Glad I didn’t mention in my outdated bio for a publication I haven’t written for in about a year all the other things I have done in my life like running a business, or anything like that. But I would hardly call this “bragging” and as for getting life? Shouldn’t someone who brags about being the “special assistant to the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien” be preoccupied with things other than the White Stripes? One good turn deserves another buddy.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to ask me that great question and hope my short explanation of blogging helps. And after giving you a real cool nick name, “Warren Money” the best you can come up with for me is “Jacko” how disappointing.

Best Regards,

Jackson Murphy

I was being as diplomatic as I could. But imagine my surprise when Mr. Kinsella sent me yet another email and thankfully he still writes in the third person (that is super cool). Here it is:

“We at www.warrenkinsella.com hope you can get out and meet a girl, Jacko. Or get a hobby. You write badly (very badly), and your approach to rational thought needs an overhaul.”

I will take his comments on my writing and my rational thought as good things coming from the guy who has been hanging around the Liberal Party of Canada for all these years. I need to get a life, or a girl, my writing sucks, and so does my approach to rational thought. Most excellent. Thanks Warren!







Sunday, August 03, 2003

The Weekly ESR Column - - This week for Enter Stage Right my latest piece ”At Casino America: The House Must Win” there is a bunch of stuff on the scraped futures market for terror, war, and all the other bad stuff. Las Vegas, John Poindexter, and Barbara Boxer are all making cameos in this week’s piece.

Check out that and plenty of other great stuff this week at ESR…

Speaking of Movies - - I did manage to spend my money this past Friday on seeing the latest American Pie Movie, American Wedding. And you know what, it wasn’t that bad. It is an utterly tasteless comedy at times, but in that sugary sweet way. Thankfully they cut out most of the dead weight cast, like that drunk Tara Reid and the ‘where-are-they-now’ Mena Suvari. Oh and that clown Chris Klein.

Instead they focus on much more Eugene Levy, thank god. Is he not a comedic treasure or what? And Sean William Scott’s manic performance as Stifler is nothing short of brilliant. No wonder he is the one person out of these movies to actually work all the time. How they made 3 successful films out of this franchise is anybody’s guess, but this trilogy ends pretty well. But don’t be surprised if this film does $75 million or more at the box office that Jason Biggs and buddies will be back someday when their careers fall on the hard times they most certainly will. Oh and January Jones…is, er, delightful too.

Box Office Poison - - It amuses me to know end that the very first on-screen coupling of the J-Lo & Ben-A empire is an absolute box office stinker. What’s funny is that while they have given birth to this century’s Ishtar, they will emerge completely unharmed. In fact it still is the movie on everyone’s mind and mark my words it will no doubt slip into cult territory inspiring drinking games and hilarity for years to come. Look out Mariah Carey.

Sure it cost $54 million to make, and another $20 million to market, and it only brought in an estimated $3.8 million this week, and will be gone from theatres before you can say American Idol’s Movie.

Friday, August 01, 2003

VDH on the Quagmire - - Victor Davis Hanson uses a little Civil War History to explain the situation in Iraq.

“Poor Abraham Lincoln, during the late spring and early summer of 1864! There was talk then of an endless quagmire, of a Copperhead presidency under McClellan with the specter of a brokered armistice. Grant was bogged down in a slugfest in northern Virginia; Sherman's long supply lines were being shredded by Nathan Bedford Forrest and his own sort of Fedayeen.

Given the media gloom-and-doom from the Virginia battlefields, few dispirited northerners realized that summer that, in reality, things had already changed radically. After the earlier victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, followed by Grant's meat-grinder, the south had been drawn and quartered and its reserves of manpower shredded — as Grant and Sherman were on the eve of a new strategy that would simply reinvent what the nation had known as war.

Suddenly Sherman took Atlanta, and then took off through Georgia and the Carolinas. In consequence, Lincoln was reelected — and never looked back. The façade of southern resistance cracked, exposing the impotency of the plantation class, and the war was over in under six months. That one-trick pony, George McClellan (the Howard Dean of his age), who neighed and stomped in June, by December was out to pasture.”

There’s Buried Weapons Down Here Ma - - Weapons searchers in Iraq may not have yet found the weapons of mass destruction but they have found Saddam’s Air Force buried in the sand. 30 brand new jet warplanes, buried in the sand. Apparently Saddam was so crazy he’d rather bury his Air Force than be able to use it. The same might be true for the weapons.

Yankees Scared - - Lots of people are asking themselves why the Yankees picked up Aaron Boone. Sure they dealt Robin Ventura to make room, but a third baseman? On the one hand it would seem a preemptive strike on Boston to prevent them from acquiring Boone and flipping him to Seattle for Freddy Garcia. (It turns out the Sox got their starter from the Pirates). This probably cements the idea that the Yankees really are scared. Be afraid, Yankee buddies, Be very afraid.