Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/31/04

"When arguing with a stupid person, make sure he isn’t doing the same thing." Unknown.

Assassination Day Sale?

I saw this on Leno on Monday night during his "Headlines" segment. Unfortunately, it's encoded in such a way that I can't just paste it into this post. Follow this link.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/30/04

"If there isn’t anything worth dying for then there really isn’t anything worth living for either.” Becky Lee

Monday, March 29, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/29/04

"The fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives is: Conservatives believe man was created in God’s image; liberals believe they are God." Ann Coulter

Scripture as a political weapon

On Sunday, in a speech to a mostly black, Baptist congregation in St. Louis, Democrat John Kerry incorporated Scripture into his latest criticism of President Bush. Referencing James 2:14, Kerry said, "The Scriptures say, 'What does it profit, my brother, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?' .... When we look at what is happening in America today, were are the works of compassion?"

After the speech, Kerry made it very clear that he did not mention President Bush by name in his speech and explained that he was merely referring to the current national leadership. What? Does Kerry think that anyone attending that speech was unsure of who Kerry was targeting with that comment?

Regardless, I fail to see what difference a specific mention makes. Either the statement was worth making or it was not.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/28/04

"War is the only game in which it doesn’t pay to have the home court advantage." Dick Motta

Final Four is set

After one dominating performance by the UConn Huskies and three of the finest college baketball games you'd ever hope to see, all four tickets to the Final Four are punched. On Saturday night, UConn advanced easily past Alabama. Then Oklahoma State eeked out a dramatic victory over the feel-good story St. Joe's. On Sunday, Georgia Tech relied on fabulous point guard play from sophomore Jarrett Jack to defeat the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime. The Duke Blue Devils rounded out the Final Four with a hard-fought victory over the Xavier Musketeers. It was a great weekend of basketball. I'll be more than satisfied if next weekend's championship turns out to be half as good as these four games.

Check out this week's poll to cast your vote for who will cut down the nets in San Antonio.

NASCAR Results from Thunder Valley

Thanks to a tire problem with about 50 miles to go in the race, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. only managed an 11th place finish this week at Bristol. That finish dropped Junior to third in the championship standings. Rookie sensation, Kasey Kahne also had a frustrating day at Bristol. Kahne's day was ruined by an incident that took place only 57 laps into the race. The wreck put Kahne's #9 Dodge in the garage for the rest of the afternoon. Kahne's 40th place finish dropped him six places in the championship standing to 11th position.

Kurt Busch took home the checkered flag and jumped into second place in the standings. Points leader, Matt Kenseth finished 5th and maintained his spot atop the championship standings. But, the strong finish was not without incident for Kenseth. Kenseth grabbed 5th place thanks to the old Bristol Bump 'n Run technique. Kenseth shoved Jamie McMurray out of the his way on the final lap. The push dropped McMurray to an 8th place finish. McMurray (possibly the best-looking driver on the circuit) took out his frustrations by spinning Matt Kenseth after the race had ended.

All in all, it was a typical day in Thunder Valley.

Bristol Weekend off to a Wild Start

The NACSAR Busch series' Sharpie's Professional 250 got the weekend in Bristol off to a wild start. A series of late-lap incidents led to the usual Thunder Valley temper flare-ups. But not everyone was mad at day's end. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. notched his first win as a team owner. Junior's Taco Bell Chevrolet, driven by Martin Truex, Jr., took home the checkers on Saturday afternoon. Hopefully Junior will find similar success behind the wheel on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/27/04

This quotation is chosen in honor of Daddy's birthday.

"Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned." Milton Friedman

Democrats of the world, unite! And cite Scripture?

Leading Democrats, including former Presidents Carter and Clinton, gathered on Thursday evening to raise money for Senator John Kerry and to unite the party behind him. As part of his comments on Thursday, President Clinton said, "Our party has a new leader. .... I ask you to say to him what he has said to us his entire adult life: Send me."

Does it make anyone else's skin crawl to hear a Scripture reference used in this context? No matter how much a person might support Kerry's position on taxes or the war in Iraq, it strikes me as disrespectful to equate campaigning for any man to the Great Commission to spread the Gospel. A good Southern Baptist like Bill Clinton ought to know that.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/26/04

"Men are not only bad from good motives, but also often good from bad motives." G.K. Chesterton

Random Post

The subject of this post is Archbishop Don "The Magic" Juan. I don't have anything particularly insightful to say about him, but I thought that more people should know about his existence.

I first learned about Don "The Magic" Juan while watching Jay Leno. Jay's guest was my boy, Owen Wilson. Owen was talking about the filming of his new movie Starsky and Hutch. Snoop Dogg plays Huggie Bear in the new film, and most of Leno's interview was spent talking to Wilson about Snoop's spiritual advisor, Archbishop Don "The Magic" Juan. You gotta follow this link to get a look at this guy. Owen Wilson says that this is the way Bishop Don dressed every day. If you think he looks like a pimp ... well, he is. Or at least was. Before becoming Snoop's spiritual advisor, Bishop Don was a Chicago street hustler.

At any rate, Bishop Don took a liking to Wilson during the recent filming and gave him a lifetime membership card (membership to what, I'm not sure). In addition, Archbishop Don "The Magic" Juan also gave Wilson some sage spritual advice. Chief among this advice: "No playa hatin'." Also, "Don't be fakin' moves."

I gotta get me an advisor like that, yo!

Then I saw them play ... now I'm a believer.

If there's one thing Wild Banshee prides herself on it is being able to admit when she is wrong. And, boy have I had a lot of opportunities to do that lately. My latest admission: St. Joseph's basketball team is good. Very, very good.

A week ago, Wild Banshee went on record predicting that St. Joe's would be the first #1 seed to drop out of the tournament. Instead, they advanced to the Elite Eight with a win over ACC power, Wake Forest. St. Joe's senior point guard and Naismith award winner, Jameer Nelson, absolutely dominated Wake Forest's freshman sensation, Chris Paul. Nelson truly looked like a man among boys. I would say that this once again proves the adage, "Age and treachery overcomes youth and skill," except that Nelson has plenty of skills to go along with his experience.

So, the boys from Philly will play the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday for a trip to the Final Four. If I were forced to bet the house on this game, I would probably have to go with the Cowboys. But, this time around I'll be pulling for the Hawks.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/25/04

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

Dick Clarke: American Grandstander

Richard Clarke (not to be confused with American Bandstand's Dick Clark) recently released a book entitled "Against All Enemies." Richard Clark is a recently departed member of both the Bush and Clinton White Houses, and his book is critical of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror. Honestly, I am not particularly familiar with the details of Mr. Clark's allegations. However, I am accutely aware of the existence of the book due to CBS's constant mention of the book during March Madness last weekend.

CBS aired it's venerable news magazine, 60 Minutes, almost immediately following the basketball games on Sunday night. That night's episode featured Mr. Clarke discussing his book and the errors that he believed President Bush made. Commercials for this episode ran constantly during the basketball games. CBS portrayed Clarke's allegations as a serious and breaking news story. However, there is a little more than meets the eye (no pun on CBS intended) here.

Clarke's book largely gained attention due to the 60 Minutes episode. Clarke's book is published by Free Press, a subsidiary of Simon and Schuster. Simon and Schuster is owned by Viacom. Viacom also owns ... surprise, surprise ... CBS. So basically, you have one Viacom company creating buzz in the guise of news for a product being sold by another Viacom company.

I am a great champion of capitalism. I do not fault Viacom for using all of its tools to make money. But let's just be aware that 60 Minutes may have had a conflict of interests here when it weighed the newsworthiness of Clarke's largely unsubstantiated claims about the Bush administration.

The Madness Resumes

It seems like it's been a long time since Sunday afternoon, but March Madness finally resumes tonight. Over the next two days, the NCAA field will be trimmed from 16 down to 8. By Sunday night, the Final Four will be set.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/24/04

"A little fear is a fine motivator. Just don’t let it turn into panic." Rush Limbaugh

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Another quiz ... The Classic Movie Test

Yes, Wild Banshee always keeps you guessing. Just when you think this blog is getting dragged into the serious morose of Consitutional amendments and the redefinition of marriage, along comes another post about online quizzing. There are several versions of this quiz. I took the full 45 question version (still only a miniscule time commitment). This quiz is well worth the time. Here is my result:

Quote of the Day 3/23/04

"Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty." John Finley

Post Opposing a Marriage Amendment

Tonight I ran across a well thought out and articulate post in opposition to a marriage amendment. The post comes from a contributor to the Federalist Society's Blog at Washington and Lee Law School. I am not sure who the author of this post is, but the post was made under the screen name "Lefty." Of course, "lefty" must be read in the context of the Federalist Society. Follow this link to read the post before reading my response below.

My response to Lefty: Lefty's argument goes to policy and ignores the central, constitutional issue. As it stands now, rogue federal judges are free to declare that state laws restricting marriage to one man and one woman are unconstitutional. In other words, those judges can declare that the traditional view of marriage actually violates the Consitution. At this point, it seems that a constitutional amendment is the only way to assure that states would be able to maintain marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. A marriage amendment to the constitution would not prohibit any state from implementing the property and child custody policies that Lefty advocates. States are free to pass such laws now and would continue to have that freedom regardless of an addition of a marriage definition to the Constitution.

The logical end to redefining marriage ....

I found a fabulous spoof on what can happen when the redefinition of marriage is taken to its logical conclusion. This post was at the blog belonging to the Federalist Society chapter at Washington and Lee Law School. I was afraid that some people might think that I actually came up with this myself if I just pasted it onto this blog, so I have provided the link instead. It is definitely worth reading. It's amusing, and it's not too long. Click here to read it.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/22/04

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest." Alexander Dumas

Congressional Override of the Supreme Court

It has been well-established in our legal system that the Supreme Court has the power to interpret the meaning of the Constitution and to declare void any law passed by Congress that the Supreme Court justices deem to violate the Constitution. This Supreme Court power does not come from a specific clause in the Constitution itself. Rather, it comes from Supreme Court case law which has the same binding effect as the text of the Constitution itself. This doctrine of judicial review was born in 1803 in the famous case of Marbury v. Madison.

However, some lawmakers are hoping to limit the power of the high court. Representative Ron Lewis of Kentucky recently introduced a bill that would allow Congress to override Supreme Court rulings that declare acts of Congress unconstitutional. The override would require a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. This is indeed an interesting concept.

The Constitution itself creates the three distinct branches of government. In addition, it sets up some checks and balances. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution describes how laws are to be made. In this section, veto power is given to the executive branch. This section also gives the legislative branch the power to override this veto by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress. The federal judiciary is created in Article 3 of the Constitution. Article 3 describes the jurisdiction of federal courts but is silent as to the Supreme Court's power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.

We teach students in civics classes that our government is made up of three distinct and equal branches of government that all have checks and balances on each other. In reality, however, there is no check on the power of the unelected Supreme Court. The only limit on the Supreme Court's power is the practical fact that the justices do not have an army or a police force to implement their rulings. Beyond this fact, the legislative and executive branches, both of which answer to the voters, have no recourse if the Supreme Court strikes down a law that they enacted. In some ways, this is likely what the Founding Fathers intended when they created an independent judiciary. They most likely wanted a stabalizing force to balance out the political passion of the popularly elected branches. For this reason, a bill like the one introduced by Rep. Lewis seems like a dangerous shift in power. However, an examination of the text of the Constitution reveals that the Founders chose to stop short of explicitly giving the power to strike down laws to the Supreme Court.

I am intrigued by the concept of this bill. It has some gut-level appeal since it would put a check on a seemingly all-powerful and unelected branch of government. However, I am quite cautious about the idea of changing the power structure of our government. The existing structure has served us well for over 200 hundred years. From a practical standpoint, I believe that the Supreme Court would strike down a law like Rep. Lewis' as an unconstitutional violation of Marbury v. Madison. A constitutional amendment would probably be required to implement a Congressional override of the Supreme Court.

Promotion Winner

The highly anticipated Banshee Blog promotion came to an end on March 18th. Ms. Bridget Blinn of Lexington, VA was the historic 1,000th hit. As promised, Ms. Blinn will be receiving a copy of The Embarassed Believer by Hugh Hewitt. I hope that Ms. Blinn finds the book as stimulating and encouraging as I did. I would encourage all of you to purchase your own copies of this book.

Once again, congratulations to Ms. Blinn, and thank you to all who visited the Banshee Blog during the promotion.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/21/04

"Leisure is the mother of philosophy." Thomas Hobbes

NASCAR Update (aka the Junior watch)

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had a quiet day at Darlington, but it was good enough for a tenth place finish. In contrast, the Lady in Black took a bite out of points-leader Matt Kenseth. Kenseth was still running when the checkered flag dropped, but a minor accident led to a thirty-first place finish for the DeWalt Ford team. Despite the poor finish, Kenseth held on to first place in the Cup standings. Dale Junior moved ahead of Tony Stewart and into second place. Next up: the Bristol day race.

Not the Seer of Seers

Well, Wild Banshee has proved once again that she is not the seer of seers or the prognosticator of prognosticators. At the close of Saturday, Banshee's bold March Madness predictions were in ruins.

#1 Kentucky will not be the winner of the St. Louis region. In fact, Kentucky didn't even make it out of Columbus.

#2 UNC will not be the lowest seed that advances the farthest. Nevada, a ten seed, advanced farther than the sixth seeded Tarheels. In addition, Vanderbilt (also a #6), Xavier (a #7), Alabama (a #8) and UAB (a #9) also all advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Meanwhile, the Tarheels will be watching the rest of the tourney from their dorm rooms in Chapel Hill.

#3 St. Joseph's will not be the first #1 seed to fall. Stanford and Kentucky tied for that dubious distinction. Stanford got knocked out on Saturday by Alabama. Kentucky got taken down by UAB on Sunday afternoon.

In light of these predictions, Wild Banshee has reconsidered her career plan to move to Vegas and become a full-time bookmaker. Instead, she will continue to concentrate on her legal career.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/20/04

"In great affairs men show themselves as they wish to be seen, in small things they show themselves as they are." S. Chamfort

Apology ... again

Once again, I'm going to have to apologize for light weekend blogging. March Madness and a visit to my sister's house have cut down on Saturday posts.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/19/04

"To be prepared for war is the most effectual means to promote peace. All of the great masterful races have been fighting races. No nation can hold its place in the world or do any work really worth doing unless it stands ready to guard it’s right with an armed hand." Teddy Roosevelt

One Year Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. President Bush commemorated the day with a speech at Fort Campbell. Afterwards, he visited with some of the families from Fort Campbell who forever lost their loved ones in the desert. I am thankful that our nation has a commander-in-chief who seems to relate so well to those who serve our country and to their families.

It is important that we reverantly remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. However, it is important not to dwell on the death. Those who died, died for a purpose. I believe that more honor is given to their memories when we think on the freedom that the Iraqi people now enjoy than when we concentrate solely on the deaths that occured.

So, let us take this day to give thanks for those, living and dead, who fought in Iraq so that the Iraqi people may have the opportunity to experience the freedom that we often take for granted.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/18/04

"Once you start keeping score, winning’s the bottom line. It’s the American concept. If not, it’s like playing your grandmother, end even then you try to win – unless she has a lot of money and you want to get some of it." Al McGuire, former basketball coach at Marquette

Wild Banshee's Tourney Picks

March Madness is officially underway. That means that it is now safe for me to post my Final Four predictions for all to see.

St. Louis region: Kentucky
East Rutherford region: Pitt
Atlanta region: Duke
Phoenix region: UConn

Champion: The University of Pittsburgh. Let's go Panthers!

Other predictions: St. Joe's will be the first #1 seed to get kicked out of the dance. Texas Tech will end St. Joe's season on Saturday. North Carolina will be the lowest seed that advances the farthest. UNC is a #6 seed and will advance to the Elite Eight before Duke knocks them out in a game for the ages.

What's next for Gibson?

Apparently, Mel Gibson is slated to do a fourth Mad Max movie. However, there are rumors that Gibson may choose to do another epic from the Biblical era. Gibson may be considering doing the story of the Jewish Maccabean revolt against an Islamic ruler. This revolt took place 200 years before the birth of Christ and is the source of the the Jewish holiday of Hanakkah.

Yossi Katz, and Iraeli-born educator, has apparently suggested that Gibson make a movie about the Bar Kochba Revolt of A.D. 132-135. This was a Jewish revolt against the Romans. This rebellion ended in tragedy for the Jews, but this story seems like a good fit for Gibson since it would easily translate into three bloody hours of drama.

I personally would like to see either of these movies, but Abraham Foxman, executive director of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League is not so optimistic. "He'll write his own history," Foxman says. "I would prefer to leave the fate of Jewish history and Hollywood to Steven Spielberg. The Maccabees and Bar Kochba are our sacred history."

If you want to read more about this, check out the article in the Orlando Sentinel.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/17/04

"Don't be afraid to make a mistake. Your readers might like it." William Randolph Hearst

Century City

Yesterday was the premier of CBS's new show, Century City. The show has an interesting premise. It is a legal drama that takes place in the year 2030. The premise caught my attention because I will be in the prime of my legal career in another 26 years. The first episode centered around smuggling a cloned embryo into the United States. The purpose of the clone at issue was to create a liver that could be transplanted into a 7 year-old boy. According to the show, cloning for any purpose is still illegal in the United States in the year 2030. The most interesting part of the show was when the defendant made his empassioned plea from the stand. The defendant pointed out that abortion is legal in our country. We allow women to kill a fully developed and viable fetus just for their own convenience. Why shouldn't we allow the defendant to end the viability of this embryo for the purpose of saving his son's life?

I thought the defendant made an excellent point. The legalization of abortion has devalued human life in our country to such an extent that there really is no logical point at which we should prevent the killing of a human that cannot speak for itself. However, this logic leads me to the conclusion that our country should end legalized abortion and not to the conclusion that our country should legalize cloning for the purpose of harvesting organs.

As far as the show itself goes ... I don't highly recommend it. It's okay, but I am not going to put the Wild Banshee stamp of approval on this one.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/16/04

"No answer is also an answer." Danish proverb

Brown -- the new Bronx Bomber?

Warning: This is a pro-Yankees post. I understand that probably 80% of you are not Yankee fans. In fact, probably 50% of you are outright Yankee haters. So, turn away now if you don't want to see positive Yankees coverage.

Over the course of the off season, the New York Yankees may have assembled the greatest batting lineup of all time. But in yesterday's spring training game, Yankee fans got a special surprise. Since the Yankees were playing against the Phillies, pitchers were batting. Newly acquired pitcher Kevin Brown went 2-2, including a homerun off of Billy Wagner.

Follow up for fairness' sake

This morning, Fox News Channel interviewed the man who asked Kerry about which foreign leaders were pulling for Kerry to beat Bush in November. FNC repeatedly referred to the man as a "heckler." I still have not seen a television clip that shows more than just the direct exchange between Kerry and the questioner. Perhaps, the man really was heckling Senator Kerry and not just asking a pointed question in an orderly manner. That would certainly make Kerry's heated response more understandable.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/15/04

"Just as yellow gold is tested in the fire, so is friendship to be tested by adversity." Ovid

Oh, that loveable Kerry

Kerry item #1: In a closed-door meeting in Florida, John Kerry claimed that foreign leaders were hoping for him to win because they disliked Bush. Shortly thereafter, Kerry's claims leaked out into the press. At a recent townhall meeting, one audience member wanted to hear more specifics from Kerry about his foreign admirers. The questioner asked Kerry who exactly it was that told Kerry they wanted him to win. That seemed like a fair question topic to me. If it was Tony Blair, that would mean something totally different than if it was Kim Jung Il. However, Kerry did not think it was a fair question. Instead of answering the inquiry, Kerry responded by sharply asking, "Are you a Republican? .... Are you a registered Republican? .... Did you vote for President Bush?" When the man answered in the affirmative, the crowd booed, and Kerry walked away with a triumphant smirk. Apparently, Kerry believes that anyone who voted for President Bush in the past or who is a registered Republican is disqualified from making legitimate inquiries.

But, here's my question: Why was Kerry so dead set against just answering the man? After all, a few days before Kerry seemed quite proud of the fact that foreigners were rooting for him. So, have no foreign leaders actually expressed a preference for Kerry? Or are the leaders Kerry talked to of the unsavory type? Or was Kerry merely trying to protect a trusted confidence of some mainstream leader that he really did talk to? My guess is that we'll never know.

Kerry item #2: Kerry is calling for President Bush to agree to one debate a month from now until the November election. This is an interesting request since it was not too long ago that Kerry rejected a similar proposal from Senator Edwards. So far, I have not heard Bush's response. My guess is that this puts Bush in a tough position. He either has to reject the debates and appear to be dodging robust discussion or he needs to take time away from either his demanding job as President or his re-election campaign appearances. It seems to me that Kerry comes out with an advantage no matter which of these sacrifices Bush chooses to make.

Banshee Blog Polling

Banshee Blog readers preferred fall over the other seasons. Fall received 44% of the votes. Summer came in second with 33%, and "I like them all" got 22% of the vote.

This week's poll question: Are you an IM user?

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/14/04

"Habit causes love." Latin proverb

The Promotion is Still On ... For Now

There are less than 50 hits to go to the all-important 1,000th hit.

Just to remind everyone, if you are the 1,000th hit, Wild Banshee will send you a copy of The Embarrassed Believer by Hugh Hewitt. This is an excellent book, and I am very excited that I will soon have the opportunity to give a copy to a Banshee reader. So, keep your eye on the counter. It's located on the right hand side of the screen. If the counter reads 1,000 when you log onto the site, contact Wild Banshee.

Junior has a big day in Atlanta

After a miserable showing in Las Vegas, Dale Junior rebounded this week in Atlanta. The Budweiser team spent most of the day lingering just out of the top ten before sprinting to the front and taking home the checkered flag. The victory boosted Dale four spots in the championship standings to third place. Rookie Kasey Kahne and his #9 Dodge team also made a strong move in the standings. Kahne followed up two consecutive second-place finishes with a third place finish this week. Kahne is now in fourth place in the standings. Defending champion Matt Kenseth maintained his hold on the top spot, and Tony Stewart remained in second place.

The Dance Card is Full

After a solid week of speculation and anticipation, the NCAA finally has a full dance card. Tonight the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Selection Committee announced it's 65 team field for the NCAA Tournament (aka The Big Dance). Kentucky, Duke, Stanford and St. Joe's got the coveted #1 seeds. Out of the 65 slots, 31 are automatic bids that go to the winners of the different conferences. Some of those automatic bids go to conferences that contain only small-time programs like Lehigh and Alabama State. After the automatic bids, there are only 34 at-large bids for the selection committee to hand out. Rumor has it that UTEP got the last at-large bid. If you want a better look at the whole field, CBS Sportsline has excellent, printable brackets.

I can barely resist commenting on the seedings, but at this time it is better for me to hold my tongue. After all, I have to compete against many of Banshee Blog's readers in various NCAA tournament pools. Lest anyone think that I am a coward, however, I will be sure to make my predictions public once my competitors have made their predictions official.

The tournament starts on Thursday afternoon at 12 pm EST. Only 85.5 more hours to go.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/13/04

"You can't help someone climb a hill without getting a little closer to the top yourself." Kyle Petty (provided by Lee Wetzel)

Praising the Good

Wednesday's quote of the day was, "Find the good, and praise it." I don't believe this has to be limited to the important things in life like political speeches or works of art. This week, I found something good at the Clinique counter, and I am going to praise it.

I have been a fan and consumer of Clinique mascara for quite some time. Just recently, Clinique introduced a companion product, Lash Building Primer. This is a fabulous product. It noticeably lenghtens and thickens lashes. In addition, it prevents the mascara from smearing and flaking throughout the day. I highly recommend this product.

False Alarm

On Friday night in Indianapolis, Rodney Dangerfield would have been literally correct when he quipped, "I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out."

As it turns out, Tanya Harding did not play hockey on Friday night for the Indianapolis Ice. Instead, Ms. Harding put on boxing gloves during one of the intermissions and boxed against a man. I don't know if the match was a setup or not, but Harding appeared to knock the guy out with a killer right hand.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/12/04

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another’s." Jean Paul Richter

Scandal at the Crufts Dog Show

This week, Senators dragged officials from professional athletic leagues to Capitol Hill for questioning on the use of performance enhancing drugs in their sport. Most notable among these officials was Donald Fehr, head of the Major League Baseball Players' Association. But the use of performance altering drugs may not be limited to Major League Baseball. This week, there were accusations that drug scandal has spread to the world of competitive show dogs, as well.

Officials at the Crufts Dog Show, England's largest dog show, are investigating allegations that one of the entrants was drugged with a sedative. Clive and Nancy Evans claim that their Doberman, Kerri, was given a piece of contaminated meat prior to competition. They claim that the meat contained a sedative that caused their pooch to perform poorly in competition. Kerri was the favorite to win her group, but the Evans withdrew her from competition out of fear that she would collapse. "She was just not herself," Clive Evans said. "She was uncoordinated, listless and lethargic."

After her premature departure, Crufts' veteranarian, Trevor Turner, examined Kerri. Turner found symptoms that could be consistent with sedative doping, but could not draw any conclusions without a sample of blood and stomach contents. "She was quiet, subdued and a little bit wobbly on her back legs," Turner said. "She showed signs of sedation, but there is no evidence of this."

This is obviously a serious matter. The integrity of competitive dog shows will forever be called into question if scandles such as this are not cleaned up. So, why weren't blood samples taken by Turner? Do blood samples violate a collective bargaining agreement entered into by the Crufts' Players Association? I smell Donald Fehr's involvement in all of this.

Banshee Bloggers Speaking Out

Banshee Blog contributors recently got into the comment debate that followed Marvin Olasky's post of Dr. Kengor's latest article on Reagan. Mimi was able to restrict her comments to the actual chain of discussion. Wild Banshee, on the other hand, may have lost her temper with a consistent World Mag Blog commenter. One Rob Perry managed to criticize Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan all in one day of World Mag postings. It was more than the Banshee could bear. Click here to view Kengor's article and the comment debate that ensued.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Dr. Kengor on the World Mag Blog

Today, Marvin Olasky posted an as of yet unpublished article by Dr. Paul Kengor. In keeping with the content of Kengor's new book, the article relates a few anecdotes about President Ronald Reagan's personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the criticism which the President received for expressing that faith. Click here to read the article.

Quote of the Day 3/11/04

"... for a living dog is better than a dead lion." Ecclesiastes 9:4. (supplied by Darla Beagle)

R ratings for smoking?

That's the policy that Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, would like to see the MPAA adopt. Glantz thinks that smoking should be treated like like profanity and that it should cause some movies to earn an R rating. Glantz is the co-author of a recent study on smoking in the movies. According to the study, smoking appears in 50% of all G and PG rated movies and in 80% of all PG-13 rated movies. Glantz believes that much of this smoking is totally unnecessary and is designed to glamorize smoking in the eyes of youths who are permitted to see such movies without adult supervision.

I see Glantz's point, but if Glantz is successful in getting smoking equated with profanity for MPAA purposes, the ratings system will become even more meaningless. It will no longer by any kind of a content guide for discerning viewers. Such classics as Casablanca and It's a Wonderful Life would likely earn an R rating while movies that glamorize promiscuity and contain the f-word or brief nudity could continue to remain PG-13. If this becomes the standard, you might as well not rate anything at all.

But, I do have to put in one good word for Mr. Glantz. While I disagree with the need to change movie ratings based on smoking, I am glad that Glantz is appealing to the MPAA and not seeking government intervention.

Is Wild Banshee spam?

I have a request. Please add Wild Banshee to your email address book. The address is: I know this might take a few minutes, but the effort will be worthwhile because it will prevent messages from Wild Banshee from being banished into your spam folder. Of course, if you want to prevent Wild Banshee from interrupting your day then, by all means, leave the settings as they are. But, Wild Banshee is not too proud to beg.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/10/04

"Find the good and praise it." Personal motto of Alex Haley

Making It Official

Yesterday, President George W. Bush officially garnered enough delegates to clinch the the Republican nomination for president. Senator Kerry is still a few delegates shy of officially claiming the Democratic nomination, but four more primary victories last night took him four steps closer. It's really only a formality for Kerry now that all viable challengers have dropped out of the race.

Correction: Maybe Money Can Buy Health

In a post entitled "Sports Shorts," Banshee Blog reported that the New York Yankees' new right fielder, Gary Sheffield, was going to miss half of the upcoming season. But, as Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend." ESPN is now reporting that Sheffield will not need surgery. That means Sheff will be returning to spring training shortly.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Life is Good

Despite the fact that John Edwards spent the last few months trying to convince his fellow citizens that there are two Americas -- one for the haves and one for the have-nots -- a recent Fox News poll shows that most Americans think that life here in America is pretty darn good (or as John Kerry would put it, pretty f---ing good). According to the poll, 75% of Americans rate the quality of life in America as "good" or "excellent." I would wholeheartedly agree.

Quote of the Day 3/9/04

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." James F. Clarke

Sports Shorts

Money can't buy everything. Specifically, money cannot buy health. When the New York Yankees set an all-time record this off-season for payroll, many fans and writers (particularly those in the Boston area) were screaming about excesses and inequities in Major League Baseball. But now it turns out that one of the Yankees' newly acquired and highly expensive stars may miss up to half of the season. Gary Sheffield, slated to play right field for the Bronx Bombers, jammed his thumb and may miss 2 to 3 months.

That's why they play the games. Historically, women's college basketball has not been noted for it's parity. Two perennial juggernauts are the University of Tennessee and the University of Connecticut. These teams are both having outstanding seasons again this year. However, both teams were upset in the semi-finals of their conference tournaments. This is a good reminder that games are not won on paper.

Tonya Harding back on the ice. In fact, Harding will not only be back on the ice, she'll be with the Ice. The AP is reporting that Indianapolis Ice of the Central Hockey League have signed the former figure skater turned boxer to play in their game against Colorado Eagles on Friday night. This isn't the first time that the Ice have gone the freak show route in order to sell tickets. In 2002, the Ice signed the 7-foot-7 Manute Bol to a one game contract. Bol never did make it to the ice because his custom-made skates caused his feet to swell. I guess we'll have to wait and see if Harding actually makes an appearance. At least we can assume that she really does have skates that fit her.

Civic minded sacker. Michael Strahan, defensive end for the New York Giants and holder of the NFL's single-season sack record, is reportedly seeking a seat on the Montclair Township Council. Strahan is a home owner in this New Jersey township. His platform will focus on preserving historic structures, improving recreation areas and controlling development. The election will take place on May 11.

Money Can't Buy Class

Theresa Heinz-Kerry, heir to the immense Heinz family fortune and wife of Senator Kerry demonstrated that money might be able to buy you influence, but it cannot buy you class. At a house party thrown in support of the Democratic nominee, Ms. Heinz-Kerry was handing out buttons describing Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft as the "Asses of Evil." Don't believe me? This info comes straight from the blog on John Kerry's official website.

But, that's not the only low-brow content on Kerry's website. Try searching for the words f**k or s**t. Warning: if you follow the links, you will find obscenities. Keep in mind, none of the nine results are blog postings or comments by outsiders. This is all official content that is supplied by the Kerry campaign.

To be fair, I searched the official George W. Bush re-election website, including the blog, for those same choice words. Surprise, surprise -- the searches yielded zero results.

So, what was that about the "Republican attack machine" again? (See Quote of the Day from 3/3/04). I guess obscenity-laden, ad hominem attacks are Mr. Kerry's idea of high-minded, issue-oriented debate.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/8/04

"I have no political ambitions for me or my children." Joseph P. Kennedy

Banshee Blog Promotion

As I write this post, the counter at Banshee Blog is at 864. Hit number 1,000 will be an important benchmark for this blog. Therefore, a promotional is in order.

If you are the 1,000th hit, Wild Banshee will send you a copy of The Embarrassed Believer by Hugh Hewitt.

I chose The Embarrassed Believer because I am currently reading this book and because I think that it will be of interest and of use to many of this blog's readers. Also, I thought it was appropriate for Banshee Blog to purchase a Hugh Hewitt book for the promotional give away. As I mentioned in my innaugural post, Hugh Hewitt's book, In, But Not Of inspired the birth of Banshee Blog. Therefore, I think it's appropriate that Mr. Hewitt should make some money (however miniscule his cut from a single book sale may be) from Banshee Blog.

What do you have to do? Keep your eye on the counter. It's located on the right hand side of the screen. If the counter reads 1,000, contact Wild Banshee.

So, keep coming back. Keep checking the counter. And spread the word about Banshee Blog to your friends.

Guestbook Reminder

Banshee Blog is still new and is still in its developmental phase. Therefore, I'm still trying to get a handle on who actually reads this blog. This information will be helpful to me as I continue to improve this blog. So, if you have a moment and you haven't signed yet, please sign the guestbook.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/7/04

"Just like a Texan – when you need him he’s dead." John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit

NASCAR Gets Back on Track

After taking a week off, NASCAR drivers were back in action at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, Dale Jr. might as well have still been on vacation. Junior finished in 35th place. That disappointing showing dropped Dale to 7th in the championship standings. Meanwhile, defending champion, Matt Kenseth, won the race and moved into first in the championship standings. But it was possibly the rookie Kasey Kahne who had the biggest week of all. The 23 year-old drove his Dodge to a second place finish. That allowed him to move up 13 places in the standings to 8th place.


Okay, the Howard Stern poll was not popular with Banshee Blog readers, so the results aren't really indicative of anything. However, it is worth noting that the generally conservative readership of this blog unanimously declared that the FCC should not ban Howard Stern from the air.

This week's topic should generate more voting since pretty much everyone should have an opinion on this one. This week's question: What's your favorite season?

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/6/04

"Remember that in giving any reason at all for refusing, you lay some foundation for a future request." Arthur Helps

The Passion of the Christ

I finally saw the movie The Passion of the Christ on Friday night. I cannot say that it was a fun experience, but I am glad that I saw the movie. Good Friday services are not fun, but they still serve an important purpose for many Christians. Many enriching experiences in life are not particularly fun, and yet they are still worthwhile.

I think that enough time has been spent debating whether or not this film will stir up anti-semetic sentiments or whether or not it will bring new believers into the church. I do not have much to add to that debate. So, I will dedicate this posting to discussing the artistic merits of this film despite the fact that I do not claim to be an expert.

The cinematography in The Passion was breathtaking. And the portrayal of Satan was creative and powerful. But, in my opinion, it was the acting that truly set this movie apart. Francesco De Vito played a compelling Peter. Hristo Shopov gave a fascinating portrayal of Pontius Pilate. And, Jim Caviezel's portrayal of Jesus Christ was absolutely stunning -- perhaps the most stunning performance I have ever seen. Caviezel's facial expressions, both when Christ was in pain and when he was he in the earlier parts of His ministry, were absolutely unforgettable.

In conclusion, like most of Mel Gibson's recent projects, The Passion of the Christ is gripping and compelling and brutally violent. But, I have yet to meet a person who regrets having seen this film. I cannot say that I experienced any kind of a life-changing refocus of my faith, but I will say that after seeing the visuals in this film, I will never read through the passion story quite the same way again. I commend Mel Gibson for making a film that both theologically and artistically serious.

Conservative Cloumnists

For those of you who don't have time (or the patience) to comb through the editorial pages of newspapers each day but who still wish to be informed on occassion by well-written and insightful conservative commentary, here is a site that you may find helpful. There you will find the latest columns, as well as archives, from such notable conservatives as David Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg and the always entertaining Ann Coulter. For you convenience, I will be adding this link to the permanent list of links on the right-hand side of the screen.

Friday, March 05, 2004

A Big Fat F!

Now children have a new reason to dread their report cards. They used to only have to worry about that "C" in math or the "Unsatisfactory" in follows directions. But now the public schools have found a new way to worry children - the BMI! That's right, the BMI! All children in Arkansas are currently being weighed on shiny new silver government scales. Their Body Mass Index is then calculated and sent home to their parents. My heart goes out to all those children dreading another reminder that they are fat! Let's just hope that "ugly" reports aren't coming next.

Quote of the Day 3/5/04

"Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites." Edmund Burke

Tweaking the Blog

In a constant pursuit of perfection, I recently tinkered with Banshee Blog's font size. I think it is slightly larger. Hopefully, this will reduce the risk of eye strain for loyal Banshee readers.

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Billboard magazine has reported that the song that was #1 on the Billboard charts on the day a person turned 18 can tell a lot about that person. I learned this from the morning DJs on my local top 40's station. I have not read the actual Billboard article. But, apparently the article offers little explanation as to exactly what the #1 single can tell a person. I suppose it's up to each individual to find their own meaning.

The #1 single on the day that I turned 18 ... "MMM Bop" by Hanson. Not good news. There's not a lot of depth here. In fact, there aren't a lot actual English words in this song. Maybe I need to look a little deeper and examine the group to find the significant meaning. Maybe this song indicates that I can look downright pretty when I let my hair grow out.

Click here to find out what was #1 on the day you turned 18. Then come back and post a comment to tell us what deep meaning you've found.

And the Oscar goes to ...

Okay, this is pretty old news by now. But for those of you who may have missed it, the Academy followed Banshee Blog's lead and awarded the Oscar for best picture to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. In fact, LOR swept all eleven categories for which it was nominated. The eleven awards tied Titanic and Ben Hur for most Oscars won by one movie.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/4/04

"Life is my university, and I hope to graduate from it with some distinction." Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

If you post it, they will come ... revisited

Wild Banshee has posted another quiz at Quizilla. The title: Is Your Crush Datable? This quiz was actually written by Banshee's good friend Erin Violette. To the best of my knowledge, only three individuals were given the link to this quiz. But less than 36 hours later, 164 people had taken this quiz. Unbelievable. This is yet another testament to the power of the Internet ... and to Ms. Violette's quiz-making genius.

Fame on the Net

Eblogger, the engine behind Banshee Blog, has a post on the log-in site claiming that blogs can be an avenue to getting a book deal. The example that they use is Wil Wheaton who recently signed a three book deal. For those of you Trekies out there, yes, this is the Wil Wheaton. The actor who played Ensign Wesley Crusher on The Next Generation. Now, I've made no secret about the fact that I hope to ride Banshee Blog all the way to national fame. But, I'm not sure it's realistic for Eblogger to suggest that any mere mortal can have the same success that Wes Crusher has had. After all, the man became a diety who surpassed even Q in terms of intergallactic power. I apologize for the extreme nerdiness of this post, but I'm sure some of you out there were wondering what Wes Crusher was up to these days.

Quote of the Day 3/3/04

"I have no illusions about the Republican attack machine." Senator Kerry in his Super Tuesday victory speech

Let's get it on!

Now that Edwards is out of the race, we have 277 days for mono a mono campaigning between Senator Kerry and President Bush. Sometime yesterday evening, President Bush called Senator Kerry. Bush told Kerry that he is looking forward to a "spirited campaign." Bush was also quoted as saying, "I'm thinking about you." I'm not sure what the intent or the tone of this conversation was, but I believe that this phone conversation occurred prior to Kerry's slightly vitriolic victory speech on Tuesday night.

Kerry has had one of the most successful two-month periods that any politician could hope for. He has escaped from the primary season with barely scratch inflicted by his fellow Democrats. In addition, Kerry has been able to build substantial leads over Bush in several polls. But before anyone gets too carried away here, let's keep two things in mind. First, Kerry has spent the last two months campaigning against Bush, but Bush has not yet begun his own campaign. Secondly, a surge for the out-of-power candidate is not uncommon at this stage in the game. In 1984, Walter Mondale saw similar leads in the polls at this time of year. Reagan went on to win 49 out of 50 states in the general election.

God and Ronald Reagan by Paul Kengor

Over the weekend, I was at a book signing for Dr. Paul Kengor's new book, God and Ronald Reagan. I admit that I have not read the book yet, but I still do not hesitate to recommend it. Click here to read a review of Dr. Kengor's book. The book examines Reagan's Christian faith and how it impacted his life and policies. This is a highly under discussed element of Reagan's life despite the fact that it had such importance to Reagan. I am glad that Dr. Kengor is bringing this story to the public.

A Super Tuesday for Kerry

(This post should be read with the opening base line of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" playing in the background.)

John Kerry won 9 out of 10 primary races on Super Tuesday. Howard Dean won his home state of Vermont. John Edwards didn't win anything. And when the dust began to settle on Tuesday night, all major news outlets were reporting that John Edwards would make an announcement on Wednesday that he was dropping out of the race. And with that, the Democratic drama (such that it was) comes to an end. Senator John Kerry will be the Democratic nominee.

Back in the swing of things

My weekend roadtrip cut down on my blogging even more than I thought. Then the trip forced me to do some catch-up in my non-blog life once I got back. Hence, the shortage of postings over the last few days. I know that many of you were in tears when there was no recap of the Oscars waiting for you on Monday morning. For that, I apologize.

I vow to get fully back in the swing of things -- starting today. So please, don't cut down on your visits to this blog because you think I've gotten bored with it and will be generally posting less often. I'll never get to be an Internet celebrity if a rumor like that takes hold.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/2/04

"A valuable measure of success or failure is whether the tough problem you are facing is the same problem you had a year ago." From Robert Savage’s Life’s Lessons

Super Tuesday

Today is Super Tuesday, otherwise known as Edwards' last stand. Today, voters will head to the polls in 10 states. Three of the biggest prizes today are California, New York and Ohio. As of daybreak, the polls showed that Senator Kerry had a lead in every single state. But, they are going to count the votes, so we will have to wait until tonight to see how things shake out. If the polls hold true and Kerry wins all 10 states, Edwards needs to be close in all the states. This would allow Edwards to still collect a significant number of delegates. However, some pundits say that if Edwards fails to get an outright victory in a single state then the North Carolina senator should start thinking seriously about getting out of the race.

On a side note, comeback victories are more difficult in Democratic primaries than in Republican primaries. This is because Democratic primaries typically give out delegates according to vote totals while the Republican primaries usually are winner-take-all contests. Even if Edwards manages victories in New York and California, those victories will probably be by small margins. Therefore, Edwards will make only a minimal gain in the all-important delegate race. In the Republican primaries, slight victories in these two states would result in a huge swing in the delegate total.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Quote of the Day 3/1/04

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.