Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/31/04

"We cannot make our work on the battlefield harder so that our diplomacy is easier." Sen. John McCain

RNC Day 1

The Convention kicked off with the Republicans adopting their party platform. Despite the fact that a parade of psuedo-Democrats will be strolling to the podium during the convention, the GOP adopted a very conservative platform. I have not found a good online text of the platform (after limited searching). However, I understand that it includes a strong pro-life plank as well as a plank in support of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

The theme for Day1 was "The Courage of a Nation." The focus of this night was the War on Terror. Senator John McCain gave a very strong speech in support of President Bush. McCain did an excellent job explaining the necessity of the invasion of Iraq and lauded George W. Bush for having the courage to wage this war aggressively. The final speaker of the night was Rudy Giuliani.

I must confess that I dozed off and missed that last 20 minutes of the former mayor's address. It ran far over time. Still, I will not allow sleep to win out on Day 2. My old friend Diet Pepsi and I will make sure that I am wide awake when the Governator and the First Lady speak on Day 2.

Banshee Newsletter

Banshee Blog readership is reaching an all-time high. It is no longer restricted to my close friends and family. Periodically, I send out a newsletter. This newsletter basically just reminds interested people that the Banshee Blog is still going strong and draws readers attention to some of the more interesting posts that they might have missed.

If you would like to receive periodic Banshee Blog updates, please leave your email address in a comment or sign the guestbook on the right side of the screen. For those of you who are currently on the mailing list, keep a watch out in your inbox for something in the next few days.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/30/04

“A liberal is a person who sees a 14 year-old girl performing live sex acts on stage and wonders if she’s being paid the minimum wage.” Irving Kristol

RNC begins

Monday night is the start of the Republican National Convention. The convention is being held in Manhattan at the world's most famous sports arena, Madison Square Garden. I plan to do a daily recap of this convention as I did with the Democratic Convention in July. So, starting Tuesday night, you will be able to find a recap of the events of the preceeding evening. Also, starting tomorrow, the quote of the day will be coming from convention speakers. At least, that is the plan. Today's quote of the day did not come from any convention speaker, but I thought that it set the tone nicely.

VMA Review

Last night, MTV broadcast their annual Video Music Awards from Miami, FL. One of the best parts of the evening was the red-carpet pre-show. Since the awards were held close to the water, the entertainers were able to enter the red carpet both from limos and from boats.

My favorite part of the night was P-Diddy's arrival. Sean "P-Diddy" Colmes' imposing, white yacht sped into the dock, creating a huge wake in the water. P-Diddy was standing with his arms outstretched at the bow of the boat, dressed completely in white. But, Colmes was not alone on the yacht. Joining P-Diddy's usual posse were Naomi Cambell and Bruce Willis. It was a cool arrival.

Overall, the awards themselves were pretty tame this year. No one climbed the sets. No one writhed around on the ground in a wedding gown. No one rapped insults about entertainers who were standing a mere two feet away. Perhaps the most surprising moment of the night came during Usher's acceptance speech for Best Male Video. Usher won this award for the song "Yeah." Usher said, "I wanna thank my Lord and Savior for giving me the rhythm and these feet to dance." Why was this surprising? Just not the kind of acceptance speech that you'd expect for a song which contains these lyrics:

These women al on the prowl, if you hold the head steady I'm a milk the cow.

Forget about the game I'm a spit the truth, I won't stop till I get em in they birthday suits.

So gimmie the rhythm and it'll be off with they clothes, then bend over to the front and touch your toes.

Granted, these words are actually rapped by Ludicrous on the winning track, but still ....

Usher wasn't the only artist to explicitly mention his Christian faith. Upon taking home the top honor of the night, Video the of Year, one of the members of OutKast (not Andre 3000 -- the other main guy) declared, "I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Then the artist continued to be explicit in another way in the performance which flowed directly out of his acceptance speech. He needed to be bleeped out 3 times in the song that followed.

All in all, it was an interesting night, as always, at the VMAs.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/29/04

"It is a sobering thought that each of us gives his hearers and readers a chance to look into the inner working of his mind when he speaks or writes." J.M. Barker

Fall Fashion Review

As any regular reader of this blog is probably already aware, Wild Banshee is a huge football fan. And I would consider myself a fairly knowledgeable one at that. But, I am still a girl, so fashion still matters to me. Throughout the course of the fall, I will definitely be offering commentary on out of the ordinary football uniforms. Last year, there was a rash of monochromatic, dark uniforms (Broncos, Bengals, etc.). Not good. There was also a rash of hunting orange (Dolphins, Fighting Illini). Definitely the most hideous uniforms of the year were the monochromatic yellows worn by the Oregon Ducks. Those games were a horror show.

Last night the Virginia Tech Hokies started off the 2004 season in garrish fashion. It's hard to look good when your school colors are purple and orange, but this is just hideous.

Those orange socks are a nightmare. And, it was like 85 degrees out for that game. There was no reason to be wearing any high socks at all. The only thing that makes those socks worse is that orange triangle thing on the bottom of the pants that runs into the socks. The Hokies lost last night, so hopefully those uniforms will not be making another appearance. The nation's retinas will thank them.

The Swift Boat Debate Matters

I'm not going to go into the details of this whole debate here in this post. I will sum it up quickly. John Kerry used almost his entire convention in Boston to talk about his time in Vietnam. Soon after the close of the convention, some other veterans of the swift boats in Vietnam spoke out in criticism of Kerry's service. They formed a group known as Swift Vets for Truth. They've run a series of television ads that question the veracity of Kerry's version of what happened in several episodes during the war. They also raise questions about whether or not Kerry was actually deserving of at least one of his purple hearts. These same topics are also addressed in John O'Neil's book, Unfit for Command.

Kerry's campaign has chosen not to respond to the facts and acusations made by the Swift Vets. Instead, they have attempted to paint the Swift Vets as partisan political operators (as if that alone makes the accusations false). They have also called repeatedly on President Bush to ask that the ads be pulled from the air. Perhaps the most outrageous move of all has been the Kerry campaign's attempt to use lawsuits to take these ads off the air.

Many in the Kerry camp and many casual political observers have come out to question why any of this should even matter. They ask, "Why should we care what happened 30 years ago? We have modern problems to discuss."

Here is why it matters: John Kerry chose to make his four months in Vietnam the center piece of his campaign. The clear message from the Boston convention was that John Kerry's Vietnam service is his primary qualification for being Commander in Chief. Before and after the campaign, Kerry was running commercials that featured the images of fellow vets who oppose his candidacy despite their protestations. In addition, Kerry and Edwards have both said that if anyone questions Kerry's character then they should ask those who served with him in Vietnam. In short, Kerry has been running on the backs of the swift boat vets from Vietnam.

That being the case, how Kerry served while he was in Vietnam is a legitimate and important topic of discussion. If Kerry truly did serve honorably then he should welcome this discussion and refute the facts of the accusations. However, if Kerry did indeed lie to get medals in Vietnam then this speaks volumes about his character. If he is willing to lie about something like that, then what won't he lie about.

I certainly don't know what happened in Vietnam. But, I believe that the Swift Vets have a right to speak out about this topic. This debate is on a topic of Kerry's choosing. He should welcome the opportunity to discuss his service further.


This weekend the boys of NASCAR strapped themselves in for the Sharpie 500 from Thunder Valley. That's right, the Bristol night race. This is one of the hottest tickets in all of NASCAR. And I particularly enjoyed it this year because my boy Dale, Jr. pulled off the weekend sweep. He won the Busch race on Friday night and followed it up with a victory in Saturday night's Cup race. The top nine drivers in the points race all remained in their same positions. However, there was one big mover on the night. Ryan Newman's second place finish on Saturday night allowed Newman to move up three spots and into tenth place.

Perhaps this would be a good time for me to speak a moment about the chase for the championship. This year, NASCAR has a new format for crowning its champ. They're moving towards more of a playoff format. Only the drivers in the top ten (or within 400 points of the leader) after the September 11 race at Richmond will be eligible to win the championship. In addition, those who are eligible will be bunched all together in the standings. Only five points will separate each driver from the driver behind them. So, there is still an advantage to being in first at the cut-off date, but the tenth place guy will only be 50 points (approximately 10 finishing positions in a given race) out of the top slot.

There are only two races remaining till the chase for the championship begins. Next Sunday there will be an evening race from the California Motor Speedway. Then on the night September 11, the final "regular season" race will take place at the Richmond International Speedway.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/28/04 First night of college football

"Football -- the ballet of champions." Daniel Rah

Finally Time

That thumping you hear is my heart pounding in anticipation. The college football season kicks off in an hour. The NFL has been teasing us for weeks with preseason games. Tonight we can finally watch a football game that matters. The season kicks off with top-ranked USC playing Virginia Tech in the BCA Classic in Landover, MD.

"BCA" stands for Black Coaches Association. Interestingly enough, neither USC nor Va Tech is coached by an African-American. But, that doesn't really matter. What matters is that there will be football tonight.

Thank you, ladies

This morning the United States' women's basketball team made our country proud and took home the gold medal. They defeated Australia by a score of 74-63.

(AP) (Getty)

(Check out these Aussie uniforms. Are they using the same tailors as their swim team?)

It was a strong showing overall for the American women in team sports. The women's basketball team joined the women's soccer team and the softball team as gold medalists. As usual, our men did not medal in soccer, and our baseball team did not even qualify for the Olympic tournament. In other news, our men's basketball team did rally to win the bronze medal, avoiding the dubious distinction of becoming the only American team to fail to win any medal.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/27/04

"Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." Vince Lombardi

Dark Day

Today is a dark day for our nation. The United States men's basketball team was defeated this afternoon by Argentina in the semifinals of the Olympic games. For only the third time in history, the United States will not win the gold medal in men's basketball.

There is one silver lining, though. The last time that the United States failed to win the gold medal in basketball, the American people rallied around the flag and elected a man named George Bush to the Presidency.


Yesterday I mentioned that a co-worker of mine claimed that the United States was not really the deciding factor in World War 2. She claimed that the tide of the war had already turned against the Germans by 1941 (and I did use the date). Since I am always committed to communicating the truth, I brought up the issue again today. She told me that she probably had World War 2 confused with World War 1. My initial discussion with this co-worker was far too lengthy and contained for too many details to make this confusion understandable. However, I am relieved to know that my co-worker had not actually been taught such a ridiculous lie as I originally thought.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/26/04

“The will to win is not so important as the will to prepare to win.” Bobby Knight

Liberation of Paris

Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the allied liberation of Paris from the occupation of the Nazis. I actually learned on CNN that General Eisenhower allowed a French tank unit led by De Gaul to be the first troops to enter the city. This was a magnanamus gesture by the man who masterminded the liberation of the entire continent of Europe. Yet, this gesture allowed many to forget who is really responsible for driving the Nazis out of Paris.

At yesterday's anniversary celebration, French President Jacques Chirac engaged in a bit of revisionist history and declared, "Liberation was finally a victory for the French army." I'd like to point out to Mr. Chirac that if weren't for the United States he would have had to make yesterday's declaration in German.


In other news, a co-worker of mine declared yesterday that the tide of World War 2 had already turned towards the allies by the time we were drawn into the war in 1941. Of course, she "learned" this from some elitist professor in Los Angeles. You can all rest assured that I did not allow this assertion to go unchallenged.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/25/04

"The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish." Robert Jackson

Some Olympic Thoughts

In the interest of full disclosure, let me begin by saying that I have never been a fan of men's gymnastics. I've almost considered it a point of pride that Americans do not have a rich tradition in this so-called sport. I just can't get over the idea of subjective scoring in sports. As if the world really needed further proof, the fiasco on the men's high bar this week (not to be confused with the fiasco at the men's all-around last week) demonstrated what a total joke gymnastics judging really is.

The veteran Russian was clearly the crowd favorite in the high bar, and he did a fantastic routine. The commentators were raving. And then the scores came out. The Canadian judge and the Maylaysian judge scored the Russian particularly low. The crowd went berzerk. They booed and booed (as much as a gymnastics crowd really can). American Paul Hamm was supposed to go next, but for some reason he was unable to start his routine with all the raucus going on (I won't even comment on the wimp factor in that). After about a ten minute delay, the boss judge came down from his perch and confronted the Canadian and the Maylaysian. Then they all went back to their seats, and the Russian's score was increased.

So, let me sum up. The judges made a subjective call that was unpopular with the fans. The fans booed their lungs out. And then the judges bowed to the wishes of the angry fans and changed their subjective call.

Can you even imagine if the NFL adopted that kind of spineless officiating? After a key, incomplete pass, the referee clicks on his mike and says, "Due to the fan's overwhelming disaproval, we officials have decided to throw a flag for interference on the preceeding play. The ball will be spotted on the 35. First down."

Hooked on Phonics

Yesterday I posted what I thought was a neat little mind trick. The post is entitled "Mind Games," and it basically consists of jumbled up words that readers can pretty easily breeze right through. It has come to my attention that this post may have sent out a mixed message to the world (or at least to my 25 readers a day).

I do not support sight reading for young children. The phoenetic method is the only way to teach children to read.

I was personally the victim of so-called educators who adopted the sight-reading method of teaching children to read. It's true that grown-ups don't sound out every letter. Adults do read words in their entirety (as demonstrated by "Mind Games"). However, the idea that children should start out with this method is ludicrous. The beauty of the Arabic alphabet and the English language is that there is a system to it. Complex words are made manageable because they can be sounded out. Sure, there are instances where pure phonics doesn't work out perfectly (ch, th, etc.), but these are the exception and not the rule.

If phonics is disregarded, written English becomes just as difficult and confusing as Egyption heiroglyphics and Chinese characters. Depriving a young child of phonics is the equivalent of setting you or I loose in the Valley of the Kings without the Rosetta Stone.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/24/04

"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." Hubert H. Humphrey

Live Like You Were Dying

Today was the release of Tim McGraw's new cd, Live Like You Were Dying. I am disappointed to say that I cannot really give this album a rave review. Perhaps I was expecting too much. I was hoping for a return to the greatness of Set This Circus Down, but there was no such return. Buyers do get their money's worth, though. There are 16 tracks on the cd. The title track is clearly the best song on the album, and it is worthy of its six week run atop the country charts. There are two or three others that are pretty catchy, but overall, it's a fairly blah album.

Of course, I am still waiting with baited breath for Tim's Roanoke show on September 11. No album could put a damper on my excitement for that concert.

Mind Games

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

(Courtesy of Denise Humble a.k.a. "the only d")

Monday, August 23, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/23/04

“Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.” Victor Hugo

RNC entertainment

Country radio has been buzzing around Roanoke, VA that Sara Evans will be performing at next week's Republican National Convention in New York City. This despite the fact that Sara is about 8 months pregnant. Evans joins a slew of country singers who will be entertaining at the RNC, including Brooks and Dunn, Lee Ann Womack and Darryl Worley. This can all be confirmed at the RNC website.

The radio rumor also says that Trick Pony may be making an appearance at the personal request of the President. Trick Pony? Come on, George, I'm disappointed. That girl's been rode hard and put away wet, and the guys are just weird. If I were President, I would beg and plead for Toby Keith to sing "The Angry American" and "The Taliban Song" at Madison Square Garden. And, I'd like to see the Blue Band make an appearance.

No Guardian

Summer vacation is starting to wrap up, so that means that it's about time for the television networks to start getting their new fall lineups in order. Missing this year from the CBS lineup is The Guadian. The Guardian was a legal drama set in Pittsburgh, PA, so it was near and dear to my heart. It ran three season on Tuesday nights, immediately preceeding Judging Amy. The first season was clearly the best, and things did seem to be wrapping up at the close of last season. I suppose that CBS needed to cancel the unique series in order to make room for three CSI programs a week.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/22/04

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill


It was another caution-ridden day for the boys of NASCAR. In the end, it was Greg Biffle who rode to victory lane at the Michigan International Speedway. When he crossed the finish line, Biffle was more than 8 seconds ahead of Mark Martin. It was fitting that Biffle had a dominating day today since his Ford Taurus was bearing a paint scheme in honor of The Flash. Mark Martin's car was also bore alternate colors. Martin traded in the Viagra for a Batman paint scheme. But, the utility belt proved no match for the powers of The Flash. It was also a big day for the rookie Kasey Kahne. Despite an early spin, Kahne finished in fifth place. This vaulted him into the all-important top ten in the points chase. Jimmy Johnson was the points leader going into today's race, but he finished in the garage for the third straight week. This allowed Jeff Gordon to take over the points lead. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remains in third place. Tony Steward and Matt Kenseth remained in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Banshee Polling

Poll Results: Banshee readers are pretty well evenly divided as to which type of natural disaster they would least like to face. Earthquake and tornado tied for the lead and hurricane was one vote behind. Other also received one vote (comments indicated that vote went for a Democrat in the White House).

New Poll: Banshee Blog will return to an age-old debate. Which animal makes the best pet?

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/21/04

“Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.” Theodore Roosevelt

Well, that and football ....

Polling reminder

This week's poll is very tight as of Saturday night. Don't forget to log your vote for most terrifying natural disaster.

New Kid on the Block

This past week, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA opened its brand new law school. This is the Commonwealth's eighth (count 'em 8th) law school. The dean of the new school is Bruce W. Green who previously worked for the Alliance Defense Fund before a bizarre parting of way a few years ago. Green maintains a blog at the Liberty University website. A daily blog from a law school could be entertaining, but I found Mr. Green's blog to be excruciatingly boring. It is very philosophical. Some of you may find this stimulating reading -- particularly if you are a Christian lawyer. But, as you can probably tell from the style of this blog, that philosophical stuff really ain't my cup of tea. Hopefully Mr. Green will stumble upon this site at some point. Then he will realize how important it is to throw in a post about some weird animal sport every week or so.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/20/04

“The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them unsafe.” Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and former mayor of Philadelphia

Stripped Down Olympics

The Olympic motto is "Faster, higher, stronger," but perhaps a more appropriate motto for the 2004 games would be "Shorter, tighter, smaller." Greek athletes in the ancient Olympic games competed in the nude. In 2004, the games have returned to Athens, and there seems to be a trend towards returning to the ancient uniforms. This is particularly true of American female athletes.

The sexy nature of this year's primetime broadcasts was first came to my attention while I was listening to the morning DJ on the local top 40's station lament the fact that the broadcasts were not particularly family friendly. Then I started noticing this for myself.

Perhaps the worst offenders are the American beach volleyball duo of Misty May and Kerri Walsh.

(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Now, I understand that if we have to have beach volleyball as an Olympic sport, then the players might as well wear bathing suits. But, this does not mean that you need to wear the smallest, tightest bathing suit possible. The men wear shorts and tank tops -- not Speedos. I think the women should do likewise. But the skimping down doesn't end there. The USA women's gynmastics was certainly doing its part as well.

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Again, I realize that leotards are the traditional garb for this event, but this does not require a French cut leg. I actually had to sort through a few pictures of gold medalist Carly Patterson because several of them were just a little too revealing for comfort. I'm just glad that the American women's basketball team still wears a traditional basketball uniform and has not yet adopted some sort of Cat Woman body suit.

Talk like a pirate day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is traditionally held on September 19. Since that day falls on a Sunday (a non work day for most people) in 2004, Talk Like a Pirate Day will actually be Talk Like a Pirate Weekend this year. It will begin on September 17 and extend through the 19th.

What am I talking about? Well, it's simply a day where people all over the world choose to talk like a pirate.

I first heard about this day when I checked out the home page of someone who left a comment on this site (www.allkindsoftime.blogspot.com). The idea was born when two guys started talking silly while playing raquetball. Then they decided they needed a whole day of that silly talk. A couple years later, syndicated columnist, Dave Berry, heard about the day and spread the word. Now it is something of an international phenomenon. You can read all about it at the Talk Like a Pirate Day website.

So avast, me mateys, and prepare to participate in the day, or I'll be introducin' ya to the tip o' me sword!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/19/04

"One hour's sleep before midnight is worth three afterwards." Unknown (but I can attest to that).

Website Warning

At different times during NBC's Olympic coverage, they will advertise that people should go to www.nbcolympics.com to check out the coverage schedule. Do not go to this site if you are actually intending to watch the coverage later.

Today, I logged on to the site. There is indeed a link to see the primetime coverage schedule, but right next to that link is a colorful and changing display that announces the results of events that have already occurred but will only be shown later that night. I accidentally learned the results of the women's all-around gymnastics three hours before NBC's coverage began. I realize that these things will leak out from time to time when the host country is 8 hours ahead of eastern standard time. However, I would not have thought that NBC's own coverage website would be one of those places where the cat gets let out of the bag.

Greatest Video Game Ever?

Since there are many different genres of video games and many different platforms, it is difficult to determine which is the greatest game of all time. However, I want to place EA Sports' NCAA Football 2005 into nomination for the greatest sports game of all time.

These are screen shots from the game. Notice and marvel at the details here. The different helmet styles (all of which can be altered for each player). The uniform details right down to the brand name. The exact stadium designs. And the realistic body positions of the players. It's astounding.

And the game play is equally detailed and realistic. Recievers look back at the quaterbacks and slow down at the appropriate part of their route. Running backs struggle to hear audibles in loud stadiums and sometimes run the wrong play as a result. Punishing hits by safeties will gradually give opposing recievers alligator arms as they reach for future passes. It's unbelievable.

I could go into more detail, but I won't bore you all with that here. But, if anyone would like further discussion, do not hesitate to email or comment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/18/04

"Conceal a flaw and the world will imagine the worst." Martial

Kengor on Hannity and Colmes

Banshee Blog has alread spilled a lot of cyber ink on Dr. Paul Kengor and his book, God and Ronald Reagan. But Kengor is back in the limelight again with the release of his latest book, God and George W. Bush.

On Tuesday night, Dr. Kengor appeared in studio on FNC's Hannity and Colmes to discuss the new book. For those of you who are not familiar with the format of the program Sean Hannity is the conservative and Alan Colmes is the liberal. Both have the opportunity to question the guests. Hannity asked Dr. Kengor some fairly generic questions about the book and about Bush in general.

The show really got interesting when Colmes started to ask questions. Colmes did not really ask about the book. Rather, he zeroed in on the idea that a belief that God ordains what will happen and who will lead nations translates into an arrogance in Christians and in Bush in particular. Dr. Kengor then did a masterful job at clearly explaining how the opposite is actually true and that a belief in God's sovereignty really translates mostly into a calmness in a Christian's approach to life. It was a difficult question, and Dr. Kengor expertly represented the Christian viewpoint on the topic.

It is truly an honor to know Dr. Kengor and to have had the opportunity to learn from him in college. I encourage you all to purchase both the Reagan book and the Kengor's new book on George W. Bush.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/17/04

"No man ever became wicked all at once." Latin proverb

Fighting Terrorism at your Desk

Want to do your part in the war on terror? Follow this link to help stomp out Al Queda.

(Thanks to Erin Violette for notifying the Banshee about this site)

Weird events in Oregon

Ferret Olympics. While the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece have been getting most of the national sports coverage, Springfield, Oregon, was hosting an Olympics of their own. This past weekend, a Eugene area animal shelter hosted the 2004 Ferret Olympics. The main event consisted of a timed run through an 18-foot dryer hose. Boots took home the gold with a time of 6 seconds. That was half as fast as the silver medalist, Sparky, who took 12 seconds to run the course. Other events included a paper bag escape, a cup tip and a digging contest. No word on the winner of those events.

Due to the similar body types, I suggest that someone should arrange a televised match race between Boots and the eventual winner of the National Dachsund Races which will take place at the end of September. My money would be on the Doxie in either the open air or the dryer hose.

Phone book ripping. The Ferret Olympics weren't the only weird event that ocurred in Oregon recently. There was phone book ripping as well. Sixty-nine year-old Ed Charon reclaimed his title as phone book ripping champion by tearing through 39 Portland white pages directories in 3 minutes. Each book contains 1,004 pages. "Of all the phone books I've torn, I've found that the Portland ones tear better," Charon said. What kind of man spends his life perfecting phone book ripping? A retired pastor of Umpqua Trinity Fellowship. That's who.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/16/04

"Don't swap horses when you're crossing a stream." Abraham Lincoln

PGA Championship

PGA Recap

When Sunday started, Vijay Singh had the lead with Justin Leonard in second place. Almost all of the leaders played plus par golf and moved back towards the field. Singh himself was +4 in the final 18 holes and did not have a single birdie in the round. Meanwhile, Chris DiMarco made a valiant charge. He shot one under par for the afternoon. DiMarco even had a putt on the 18th green that would have given him the championship outright, but he left it short. Justin Leonard had the lead on the final hole, but he hit his ball into a hideous bunker and made a bogey. That left Singh with a birdie putt that would have given him the championship. But, Singh also left his birdie putt short. I guess Singh and DiMarco don't know about my family motto, "Never leave a birdie putt short" or have never had the benefit of hearing their uncle yell, "What's the matter, Sally? Putter get caught in your skirt?"

At any rate, DiMarco, Leonard and Singh were all tied at -8 at the end of 72 holes, so the three men moved to a 3 hole playoff. Singh logged his first birdie of the day on the first playoff hole. Singh was then able to hold off the other two men in the remaining holes to win the final major of the year.

World Rankings

Since Ernie Els did not finish in second place on Sunday (he finished fourth), Tiger Woods held on to the #1 ranking in the world. Woods has now held the top spot for 332 consecutive weeks. That breaks Greg Norman's record.

Vijay Singh moved ahead of Els and will overtake Woods this week at the WGC NEC Invitational in Akron, OH if he finishes ahead of Woods or tied with him in any position outside of the top 10. This will add a little extra drama to the weekend at the Firestone Country Club.

Interpretive Dance Bluegrass Style

This weekend, the Natural Foods Co-op in Roanoke, VA hosted a small festival to celebrate the wonders of their healthy foods. Part of the festival included a live bluegrass band. This melding of natural foods and bluegrass created an interesting mix of people in the audience. However, there was no one more interesting than the Dancing Girl.

She was probably in her mid-thirties. Her long, dirty-blonde hair was pulled plainly into a low ponytail. She was dressed all in black, causing the pale skin of her legs to stand out starkly where they protruded from her capris. This woman was clearly not hung up on appearances or decorum. Although she was not part of the band that was performing, Dancing Girl stepped boldly into an open grass area and began to dance. But this was no ordinary dancing. This was some sort of spaced out combo of tai chi and clogging, complete with hand motions that demonstrated some of the lyrics to the traditional bluegrass songs.

However, you cannot possibly grasp the whole image here without knowing two more details. First of all, the Dancing Girl performed her entire act with a lit cigarette alternating between her hands and her mouth. Second, she was doing all of this in a downpour.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/15/04

"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is." C.S. Lewis

Banshee Polling

Poll Results: This week's poll asked Banshee readers which Olympic event they were most anticipating. 60% of respondents said they were looking forward to gymnastics. The remaining 40% of voters said they were anticipating basketball.

New Poll: Much to The Weather Channel's delight, hurricane season is now upon us. So this prompts the Banshee to wonder what type of natural menace Banshee Blog readers find the most fearsome. We have seen the destruction of hurricane Charley in Florida this past weekend, but there are certainly other types of natural forces that can pack a powerful punch. Go ahead and log your vote for the most fearsome natural phenomenon.


This week, the boys of NASCAR's top circuit invaded Watkins Glen, New York, in order to tackle the road course. Qualifying for the race was washed out by rain, so the starting positions were determined by the championship standings coming into the race. This was good news for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who typically struggles with road course qualifying.

Tony Stewart overcame illness and cramping to win the race. Stewart remained in 4th place in the chase for the championship. Points leader Jimmy Johnson had an early exit again this week. His engine troubles left him with a 40th place finish. This did not knock him out of the top spot, however. Johnson's teammate, Jeff Gordon, also struggled on this day. Gordon finished in 21st, but this was good enough to keep him in second place in the standings. Dale, Jr. mustered a 5th place finish to remain in 3rd in the overall points race.

Next up: GFS Marketplace 400 from Michigan International Speedway.

The Agony of Defeat

The United States made its 2004 Olympic debut in men's basketball this afternoon. The United States chose to wear red uniforms for this game rather than their usual blue. This was the first time that our men have worn red in Olympic play since 1972 in Munich, Germany. 1972 was the first year that the United States did not take home the Olympic gold medal (although they did win the medal, it was awarded wrongfully to the Soviet Union. We never claimed our silver medals, and they remain in a Swiss vault to this day). Perhaps the re-appearance of these red uniforms was an omen.

The United States' first opponent was Puerto Rico -- a team that the US had recently routed in pre-Olympic play. Although the gap between the United States and the rest of the international basketball world has clearly been narrowing over the years, no one thought that Puerto Rico would pose a serious challenge to the Americans. But, the American super-stars looked indecisive and tentative as they fell way behind in the first half. They played far better in the second half but eventually lost by an embarrassing score of 92-73.

(ESPN.com photo)

The Americans struggled with their outside shooting for the entire game and inexplicably never employed a full-court pressure defense against their athletically inferior foe. Nonetheless, the Puerto Ricans should be given full credit for their accomplishment. They played hard, and they played well, and they won.

I personally felt a mixture of sadness and anger as I watched Puerto Rican point guard Carlos Arroyo (of the NBA's Utah Jazz) taunt our boys on his way off the floor. Although this performance was a national embarassment, it will realistically have little to do with the United States' actual chances at the gold medal. The US only needs to finish in fourth or better in their six team pool in order to advance to the single-elimination medal round. Nonetheless, this was an inexcuseable loss that had better not be repeated.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/14/04

“More people commit suicide with a knife, fork, and spoon than with any other weapon.” From Robert Savage’s Life’s Lessons

PGA Championship Update

After 54 holes, Vijay Singh is alone atop the leaderboard at -12. American Justin Leonard will join Singh in the final pairing on Sunday as he is alone in second place with -11. Five players are knotted at -8, including Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson. Although he is tie with many others, Mickelson will be teeing off in the next-to-last pairing of the day. Els will be two groups behind Mickelson's group.

At the start of this tournament, I highlighted the fact that there could be a new #1 in the world golf rankings when they come out on Monday morning. These rankings are done via a mathematical formula that is much more similar in concept to the world tennis rankings than that ridiculous mess that is used in college football. Vijay Singh originally had a shot at taking over the #1 slot, but that is no longer the case. Since Tiger Woods made the cut, Singh cannot move into the top spot. Els, on the other hand still has a good chance. Even if Els finishes in second, he can become the world's #1 player if Tiger Woods finishes in 16th or worse. Woods is currently in 25th place.

Opening Ceremonies for the games of the 28th Olympiad

Last night was the opening ceremonies for the games of the 28th Olympiad. This year's games are being held in Athens, Greece. Of course, Greece is the original home of the ancient Olympic games. Athens was also the home of the first Olympic games of the modern era in 1896. The stadium that was primarily used for the games in 1896 will once again be used for these games. That site will host some of the archery competitions, and it will also be the finish line for the marathons.

Like the 2000 games from Sydney, Australia, these games will be somewhat difficult to follow. Due to the extreme time difference, most of the events that will be aired on NBC's primetime schedule, including last night's opening ceremonies, are actually on tape delay. As a result, avid sports fans are likely to accidentally learn the results of events they are planning to watch during the nighttime coverage by tuning into ESPN or cruising through cbs.sportsline.com sometime during the day.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/13/04 Opening Ceremonies for the Games of the 28th Olympiad

"Swifter, Higher, Stronger." Olympic motto


I must admit that the Friday entries are post-dated. For the first time in blog history, posting completely slipped my mind. Why? Well, the simple fact is that EA Sports NCAA Football 2005 for PS2 has taken over almost all of my waking thoughts. More on that to come later.

PGA Update

After Day 2 of the PGA Championship, Vijay Singh is tied for the lead with Justin Leonard at -9. Ernie Els is one shot off the pace in 2nd place. Tiger Woods nearly missed the cut, but he finished strong on Friday afternoon to get into a tie for 44th at even par.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/12/04

"Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat." H.E. Fosdick.

Changing of the Guard?

There is a very real possibility that come Monday we could have a new king of the golfing world. The final major of the year, the PGA Championship, got under way this morning. With a strong finish, Ernie Els of South Africa could wrest the top spot away from the formerly dominant Tiger Woods. Fiji's Vijay Singh also has a legitmate chance to own the top spot on Monday morning (explanation of the scenarios).

There was a time when some contemplated whether Tiger's skills would make PGA golf courses obsolete. That time has passed, however. Tiger hasn't been a factor on the final day of a major for quite some time. Meanwhile, Els and Singh and America's darling, Phil Mickelson, have stolen the golf spotling.

At the close of business on Day 1 of the PGA Championship, Darren Clarke had the lead at -7 (complete leaderboard). Els is just one stroke back, in second place. Singh is in third place with a -5. Phil Mickelson is four strokes off the pace in 7th place. And, Tiger ... well, Tiger is tied for 112th at +3.

Banshee and the World Mag Blog

Wild Banshee reached out once again to World Magazine Blog readers. Banshee expressed her comments on a Christian movement to counter "MTV's Rock the Vote." Banshee also expressed her thoughts on McCain-Feingold. Follow the links to read the posts by World Mag writers and Banshee's comments that follow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/11/04

“There is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that it has not at some time been said by some philosopher.” Oliver Goldsmith

A Time For Manhood

Duncan Maxwell Anderson's column in today's New York Post is fabulous. It's called "A Time for Manhood." In the column, Anderson asserts that all the discussion of national security and Kerry's war record are really a veiled discussion of manhood. According to Anderson, manhood is what this election is really about. Here's a brief excerpt:
Why does manhood matter? Because we're at war. What kind of leader do you want when armed lunatics are trying to kill you and your family? Do you need a master of nuance or a leader of men? Do you want Alan Alda or Braveheart? .... To state the crushingly obvious, war is a male thing. Even when directed by the occasional Maggie Thatcher or Joan of Arc, war is fought by men's rules, by men.

I say, it's about time someone came out and said this. Wild Banshee, for one, has not been shy about calling out John Kerry on his manhood. I know, I know, John Kerry served 4 months in Vietnam while George Bush was stateside in the National Guard. But I say that a real man would not have to parade his "band of brothers" around like some show-and-tell prop and would not have to bring up his bronze star in every other sentence. A real man would have the courage to stand up and directly refute those who are now challenging his military record and his honor rather than send out a team of lawyers behind the scenes to intimidate his fellow vets into silence. A real man would not look to the perpetually surrenduring French for guidance in how to conduct military affairs. And, a real man would have reached home plate from the Fenway Park mound -- as President George Bush did in Yankee Stadium in 2001.

Maybe I'm getting a bit carried away here, but I do urge you all to read Mr. Anderson's column.

Have they no shame?

If there was ever any doubt that Planned Parenthood's real agenda is not just to protect the right to abortion on demand but to promote and spread this evil, their newest product makes it crystal clear. Now available at the PP online store, tee shirts proudly proclaiming, "I had an abortion."

The shirts cannot actually be obtained through PP's website at the moment because they are sold out. However, PP gives instructions as to how to obtain the shirts directly from the manufacturer. Planned Parenthood has clearly turned its eye away from merely protecting the legal status of abortion and is now focused on normalization and social approval of abortion as a completely legitimate lifestyle choice. Planned Parenthood itself says as much when they, on the opening page of their website, quote the New York Times lamenting, "Abortion is legal — it's just not supposed to be mentioned or acknowledged as an acceptable option."

Perhaps these shirts are the final sign that there is no such thing as shame left in our culture. I wonder what other shirts we might see coming down the pike. "I plagiarize" shirts? "I cheat on my taxes" shirts? "I'm an adulterer" shirts? Why not?

A Cuddle Craze?

For those of you who feel like you are shriveling up from a lack of human contact in this harsh, work-a-day world, Reid Mihalko has a suggestion for you: A Cuddle Party. The idea sprang out of Mihalko's friendship with several messieurs. As it turns out, professional messieurs have a difficult time getting massages, so his group of friends decided to have parties to message each other. Mihalko, who is not a massage therapist, decided that a similar concept could be adapted for his wider circle of friends. But, instead of exchanging messages, they just cuddled and talked.

Now, Mr. Mihalko has developed his cuddling into a booming business in New York City. If you visit his website, you can arrange to be part of a cuddle party. For $30 you can cuddle with friends and strangers alike. But fear not, there are strict rules. Pajamas must remain on the body and no sexual contact of any kind will be permitted.

I gotta be honest, the whole thing sounds pretty weird to me. But, the concept is obviously striking a chord with some people. Mihalko has been making appearances in the mainstream press to discuss the benefits of his Cuddle Parties. As a die-hard capitalist, I say, "Good for you, Pal. Cuddle your way to the bank."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/10/04

"If you suffer some horrible embarrassment which you may laugh about later ... go ahead and laugh about it now. For truly, he who can laugh at himself will never cease to be amused." From Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping.

Alan Keyes for Senate

The GOP finally has a candidate for the Illinois senate race. Alan Keyes announced on Sunday that he will accept the Republican nomination to run for the United States Senate.

Earlier this summer, Jack Ryan was forced out of the Senate race by a scandal surrounding his divorce from actress Jeri Ryan. Since that time, the GOP has been scrambling to find a replacement worthy of challenging the up and coming Democratic star Barack Obama. The GOP flirted with legendary Bears' coach Mike Ditka before he ultimately refused the nomination. Enter Alan Keyes.

Ambassador Keyes is eminently qualified for the seat (full bio) and is an an experienced campaigner. Keyes has twice run for the US Senate in Maryland and has twice made a run at the Presidency. Keyes has already struck an aggressive tone in this campaign, challenging the young Obama to honor his original offer to debate the Republican nominee 6 times before November 2.

Keyes is certainly at a disadvantage due to his late entry in the race (his website is not even finished as of Tuesday night) and trailing badly in terms of fundraising. Still, the race should be intriguing since Keyes offers a truly conservative alternative to the formidible Obama and clearly means business.

NFL Preseason: A love, hate relationship

Last night was the start of the 2004 NFL preseason. Every year this brings joy to my heart. It sounds like football. It looks like football. And, for about a quarter and half it's even played like football. The best part is that the start of the preseason means that real NFL football is only a few short weeks away.

But then I remember what an insanely stupid idea preseason football really is. College and high school kids don't need fake games to warm up. Why should the pros? Each year some team loses an important player to injury in these meaningless games. Last year it was the Falcons' superstar Mike Vick. Last night it was a far less famous but still very important player. Early in last night's exhibition game, the Redskins lost star right tackle Jon Janssen for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon.

Still, NFL teams seem to make money on these practice games, so I'm sure they will continue. In the meantime, fans will just have to hold their breath as they wait to see which player will be next to fall in a meaningless game.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/9/04 The start of the NFL pre-season

"Are you ready for some football?" From the Monday Night Football theme song.

Worked to Death?

A payroll business on my street just brought a new prop onto their property to try to gin up business. PAYCHECK$ Plus has a black hearse parked on their lawn with a sign reading, "Buried by paperwork?" placed in the window.

(not the actual hearse)

Quite the advertising method. Hearses may not have much to do with the outsourcing of payroll, but the hearse in the yard certainly caught my attention. I made sure to drive back by the hearse later on to figure out what was going on there. Then I went home and looked up the business on the Internet. Prior to the hearse on the lawn, I had no idea that there even was a PAYCHECK$ Plus on my street.

In America

I first heard about the film In America when the 2004 Academy Award nominations came out. It was nominated for three awards, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay. I finally had the opportunity to view this film this weekend.

In America is a story about an Irish family of four who comes to New York City and starts a new life in Hell's Kitchen. They battle with poverty, a change in cultures and the still fresh wounds of the recent loss of their son. The film is basically a one man project. Jim Sheridan directed the film and co-produced it. Sheridan also co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay along with his two daughters.

As expected, the acting was outstanding in this film. Samantha Morton of Minority Report fame received the Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of the wife. Djimon Hounsou received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his portrayal of the mysterious downstairs neighbor. Hounsou was excellent in this film just as he was in Amistad and Gladiator. However, I believe that the most compelling acting in this film came from real life sisters, Sarah and Emma Bolger. These young girls alone make the film worth watching.

In America provides a gritty portrayal of a struggling Irish family in one of America's toughest neighborhoods without resorting to gratuitous language and violence and the sexuality is contained within the marital context. Although I probably will not watch this movie again any time in the near future, I would say that it was a worthwhile use of an hour and forty minutes.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/8/04

"True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things our of each day as it goes by." E.S. Bouton

Banshee Polling

Poll Results: Last week's poll (actually, it was a two week poll) tracked the interest in the upcoming Olympic games from Athens. Although I believe that Banshee Blog readers are, for the most part, fairly avid sports fans there was little excitement expressed for the upcoming games. 87% of the voters said that they were not particularly anticipating the 2004 games. Only 12% responded that they were excited about this year's Olympics.

New Poll: What Olympic event are you most excited about for the 2004 games? All right, I know that we already decided as a group that we're not dying in anticipation for the start of the Olympic games, but that does not mean that most of us will not end up watching many of the events. I know that I certainly will. So, log your vote for which event you are most excited about. As always, comments are appreciated.


The Brickyard 400 is in the books, and Jeff Gordon is the winner of the 2004 edition. This is the 4th time that Gordon took his Dupont Chevrolet to victory lane at Indy, and this was Gordon's circuit leading 5th win of the season.

This was an action-packed race that featured a race record 12 cautions and the first use of the new green-white-checkered rule. The final caution came out with five laps to go when Brian Vickers got tangled up with Ryan Newman. In the past, the race would probably have finished under caution since it would take more that five laps to clean up the mess from a wreck like this one. But, under the new rules, the race is extended as long as necessary to get a green flag finish. Once the track was safe for racing, NASCAR dropped the green flag. The white flag came out on the next lap, followed by the checkers.

Jeff Gordon led the field when the final green flag was dropped and had no trouble holding off Jarrett and Saddler in the two-lap shootout. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was in 6th place at the final restart, but he cut down a tire in the overtime session and limped across the line for a 27th place finish. That finish keeps Junior in third place in the overall standings. Points leader, Jimmy Johnson also had a bad day, but he held on to the top spot in the standings despite his 36th place finish.

The Bourne Supremacy

The Bourne Supremacy is now showing in theaters. Actually, it has been showing now for two weeks. The Bourne Supremacy stars Matt Damon as title character Jason Bourne. It is the second in the Bourne series which is based on novels by Robert Ludlum, and it brings back all of the actors from The Bourne Identity, including Julia Stiles and Brian Cox. Like its predecessor, The Bourne Supremacy is action-packed and exciting. Perhaps the most striking aspect of this film is the cinematography. The fight sequences and the car chases are filmed in an extremely up-close manner. Sometimes it is hard to tell exactly what is going on. The viewer experiences a mixture of anxiety and confusion. It almost gives the viewer an idea what it might be like to actually participate in a deadly hand-to-hand struggle or a high speed chase through urban traffic. The film also has a very cool techno-Euro soundtrack.

Like The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy is only loosely based on the plotline of the novel for which it is named. However, I believe that this is a good thing. The Bourne movies remain extremely true to the tone and feel of Ludlum's excellent novels, but they still contain new and innovative plots that will keep even the most loyal Ludlum readers guessing.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/7/04

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

I know that this was already the quote of the day once, but I felt the urge to revive this one because of a confrontation I was indirectly involved in at the Roanoke Civic Center. It's been my experience that a bureaucrat's willingness to think for himself is inversely proportional to the actual importance of that individual.

NASCAR Preview

Today was qualifying day for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Casey Mears' #41 Dodge took the poll. Ward Burton will start his NetZero Chevrolet on the outside of Row 1. Elliot Saddler had the highest qualifying Ford in third position. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. qualified 5th and will reportedly not require a substitute driver during this week's race. Points leader, Jimmy Johnson qualified his Lowe's Chevrolet in 8th place. Second place Jeff Gordon will start just outside the top ten in 11th position.

Despite its limited history, the Brickyard 400 is one of NASCAR's most prestigious races and has one of the richest purses on the circuit. Race coverage will begin on NBC at 2:30 pm.

The Many Sides of the Banshee

Before 9 o'clock this morning, I was sitting on a sidewalk outside the Civic Center in Roanoke, Virginia, breathing in second-hand smoke. I was waiting for Tim McGraw tickets to go on sale. I think that I was the only person in that line who was reading a Jane Austen novel.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/6/04

"Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others." Taken from Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping.

VA Technology Corridor

Today I was driving through the wilderness outside of Iron Gate, VA when I saw a sign that read, "Virginia's Technology Corridor." Then I looked back to the pavement and saw that I was driving on a road that only had one single and wobbly yellow line down the middle.

Polling Solutions

There has been some recent discussion about polling problems on this blog. Apparently, on some readers' PCs, the poll was too wide. This resulted in the poll and all links being pushed all the way to the bottom of the site. No wonder there was low voter turnout. In order to remedy this problem, I returned the poll to its original dimensions of 180 pixels. Hopefully, this will solve the problem. Unfortunately, since I never had a problem to begin with, I cannot tell on my machine if the problem is fixed. Comments would be appreciated.

Also, please take a moment to vote in the current poll about Olympic anticipation.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/5/04

“I want to see you shoot the way you shout.” Theodore Roosevelt

Stickin' to the plan

I'm a big believer in following through on plans, but the Chicago White Sox are taking this concept to a whole new level. Just before the trading deadline on Saturday, the White Sox traded pitcher Esteban Loaiza to the New York Yankees. Never the less, the White Sox plan to go ahead with Esteban Loaiza bobble head day on August 21.

The Swift Boat Debate

A new political ad criticizing John Kerry's military service debuted today. The ad features men who claim that they served under John Kerry in his swift boat unit. The veterans assert that John Kerry lied about his first Purple Heart and that he lied about the events surrounding his Bronze Star. The ad minces no words. Click here to read the text of the ad. The ad is put together by a group of Vietnam veterans who call themselves Swift Boat Vets for Truth.

Republican Senator John McCain, a Vietnam vet who spent several years as a POW, immediately condemned the ad. McCain called the ad "dishonest" and "dishonorable." Although McCain did not point out any factual errors in the ad, he called on President Bush's campaign to condemn the ad as well. The Vets for Truth responded to McCain by asking that McCain respect their right to express their opinions. The Vets for Truth pointed out that McCain did not serve with Kerry as they did and that he does not know what really happened on the swift boat missions.

However, much to many of the President's supporters' consternation, the Bush campaign did condemn the ad. White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said, "We have been very clear in stating that ... we have not and we will not question Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam."

The debate surrounding Kerry's service in Vietnam will not be fading quickly, however. One of the Vets for Truth has recently penned a book entitled Unfit for Command : Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. The book is set for release later this month, but it has already reached #1 on the Amazon best-seller list.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/4/04

“Yeah, what paper you write for, Ernie?” Yogi Berra upon meeting Earnest Hemmingway

Run, Doggies, Run!

Banshee Blog prides itself on keeping its audience abreast of slightly bizarre and humorous sporting events. So, I am proudly spreading the word about the National Dachshund Races which will be run at Doxie Downs in Janera, OH on September 26, 2004.

The 2004 races will feature a variety of events including a senior’s race for dogs over 10, a puppy race and an obedience/obstacle race. There will also be awards for non-race events in such categories as “best dressed female” and “best nose.”

But, the National Dachshund Races aren’t just about competition. Since the event will take place on a Sunday, there will also be a religious component to the day’s festivities. The Methodist church in Janera, OH will provide a “special sermon for people and all animals that have ears.”

This should be an outstanding spectacle.

Vatican on the Playing Field

Pope John Paul II recently announced that the Vatican will be taking a more active role in the world of sports. The Vatican will be setting up a new sports department. Despite the fact that the Vatican is sort of an independent country, this does not mean that the Vatican will now be sending a team to Athens for the Olympics or participating in the next Euro Cup. Rather, the Vatican hopes to participate more actively in the world’s sports discussions as a means of spreading Christian values. The Vatican hopes to promote the “testimony of Christian life” from the sporting world.

A Vatican spokesman said, “The church, which has always shown particular attention to various and important sectors of human coexistence, is called upon without doubt to pay attention to sports, which certainly can be considered one of the nerve centers of contemporary culture and one of the frontiers for new evangelization.” The spokesman continued, “Tendencies that have distanced more and more the practice of various disciplines from the original ideals of sports pose with urgency the need to appeal to fundamental values in this field.”

No word yet if one of the chief goals of the Vatican’s new sports department will be to restore a winning tradition to the University of Notre Dame football team. But, if I were on the Pope’s committee, I would put this to the top of the agenda. Seriously though, I think the establishment of a Vatican sports department is an interesting and worthwhile endeavor. I wholeheartedly agree that positive influences from the world of sports can be a great force for good in many cultures.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/3/04

“I don’t hold jail against you, but I hate a liar.” Will Anderson (John Wayne) in The Cowboys

Smarty Jones retires

You can only imagine the weeping that occurred in the Banshee household when this announcement came out on Monday afternoon. Smarty overcame a nearly fatal accident a year ago to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Along the way, he galloped into the hearts of Americans. But, in the end, all that galloping took its toll. Smarty is being forced into retirement by bruising in all four hoofs. Trainer John Servis had planned a fall racing season for Smarty and was greatly disappointed at the abrupt ending. Servis said, "It hurts me. He could do things so effortlessly. .... He was an exceptional individual. It hurts, but you have to move on."


I, for one, would like to thank Smarty Jones for a fun summer of racing, and I look forward to seeing his babies in the Derby in a few years.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/2/04

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

(contributed by Katy Underwood)

The danger of John F. Kerry

For about 3 ½ seconds, I liked John Kerry. It was an MTV special, and he was fielding various questions from college kids. Everyone had his own request: “What about health care?” “How can you help with my college loans?” “I’m gay; what rights do I have?” And each question followed with a sincere, personal promise. It started to feel like Santa Kerry could work some Christmas magic on anyone’s wish list, and I actually found myself thinking, “What would I ask him for, if I had a slot? What could the President do for me?” That’s when the realization hit me. This is not my birthday; it’s an election. Somehow we seem to have drifted from the ideal of the other J.F.K., who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” This year’s election, more than ever, has the possibility of utilizing the ever-enticing appeal to personal rights, needs, wants. Two things bother me in light of this. The first is the rather obvious fact that a politician, or a country, that promises everything to everybody will miserably and dangerously fail. People-pleasing may work in high school, but it’s no way to run a country. But I think what troubles me most about this tactic is that it just might work. Values, unlike birthday presents, are sometimes difficult, often annoying, and not always appealing. Values - true, specific stances on actual issues - don’t always sell. I know I was lucky enough to snap back into reality while listening to Kerry. My fear is that America may not.

Back in the Loop

The bar exam has ended. I was able to keep the blog pretty well updated in the days leading up to the exam, but, as you may have noticed, I let a few days go by without posting in the wake of the exam. I apologize for that. I especially apologize to those of you who were relying on this blog to keep you updated as to the events at the Democratic National Convention and to those who were expecting immediate commentary on the Nomar trade.

But, fear not. I will be gradually catching up with this blog. I will be back-dating the posts so that they will appear in the sequence in which they should appear. So, take a little scroll back and see what I may have posted from July 28th forward. This back-dating is not for the purpose of deceiving readers into believing that I have never let a day go by without a post. Rather, it is to keep the posts appropriately archived so that they will be easier to access in the future.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Quote of the Day 8/1/04

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Gary Player


This a brief update.

Jimmy Johnson continued his dominant season and took home the victory at the Pennsylvania 500 from Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, PA. Obviously, this finish kept Johnson in first place in the championship standings. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was forced to leave the race early again this week. John Andretti replaced Junior. The Budweiser team finished in 25th. This caused Dale Jr. to slip to third place in the standings. Jeff Gordon finshed 5th in the race and moved up to second in the points race.

Next week: The Brickyard 400 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.