Monday, September 27, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/27/04

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

William David Wetzel (1930-2004)

For seventy-four years, William David Wetzel lived in Locustdale, Pennsylvania. On September 27, 2004 he was called home to heaven to be with his Savior. The son of John and Dorothy Wetzel, Bill was born on June 16, 1930. In 1948, Bill "Lefty" Wetzel graduated from Conyngham Township High School where he lettered multiple times in soccer, basketball and baseball. Upon graduation, Bill joined the United States Navy. After his discharge, he returned home to the Dale to marry the love of his life, Mamie Evans. For the next fifty-three years, the pair were inseparable, serving as a shining example of what married love can be. Together they raised three children. Bill spent most of his working life at Wetzel's Service Station in Locustdale. He was a lifelong, active member of Zion's Reformed United Church of Christ. Whether working or playing, William Wetzel always had a song in his heart and a smile on his lips.

Bill is survived by his wife Mamie, his sons, Lee and Jerry, and his daughter Lisa Dinger. He is also survived by five grandchildren Tom Wetzel, Rebecca Wetzel, Katy (Wetzel) Underwood, Dana (Dinger) Rice, Samantha Dinger and countless friends.

[Funeral info omitted]

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/26/04

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison

Banshee Polling

Poll Results: Banshee Blog readers were recently asked which of the leading issues of this year's presidential campaign matter most to them. Banshee readers overwhelmingly declared that national security was most important. 70% of the poll voters chose national security. 10% chose Social Security. Healthcare didn't receive a single vote. 20% of the poll voters chose "other." No social issues were included in this poll, so I can only speculate that something like abortion or homosexual marriage inspired the "other" votes.

New Poll: Wild Banshee already voiced her thoughts on the importance of presidential debates. Although I still wish there was going to be some sort of athletic competition, I do intend to watch all three debates between the two candidates. This week, Banshee Blog asks: How many of the presidential debates do you plan to watch?


This week was the second week in the 10-race Chase for the Championship. This second installment was run at the Monster Mile in Dover, DE. Ryan Newman, one of the ten drivers still eligible to win the championship, absolutely dominated this race. Newman led over 300 of the 400 laps on his way to victory lane. Unfortunately for Newman, many other top-ten drivers also had strong performances. As a result, Newman only moved up one place in the standings from 9th to 8th. Jeff Gordon finished in 3rd on Sunday, and that was good enough to propel him into 1st place in the championship race. Kurt Busch is only one point behind Gordon in the overall standings thanks to his 5th place finish. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was tie for the championship lead coming into the day, but he dropped to 3rd despite the fact that he had a solid 9th place finish on Sunday.

Next week, the Chase for the Championship will roll through Talledega, Alabama. This will be the only true super-speedway race in the 10-race Chase.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/25/04

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts." Abraham Lincoln


Last week, the two candidates finally reached an agreement on the debate schedule for this campaign season.

The schedule is as follows:

Sept. 30 -- University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
Oct. 8 -- Washington University (St. Louis, MO)
Oct. 13 -- Arizona State (Tempe, AZ)

I think debates are overrated. If the public wants to know where the candidates stand on the issues, they can find that out by reading campaign materials on the Internet. I have a unique proposal.

Sept. 30: Go ahead and hold a standard debate at the University of Miami. It's okay to have the candidates answer some live questions in front of a live audience.

Oct. 8: Hold a decathalon at the Horseshoe in Columbus, OH. The winner of the decathalon at the Olympics is usually declared the world's greatest athlete. This event combines running, throwing, jumping. The whole works. This event would test the candidates' strategy, endurance and determination.

Oct. 15: Put the candidates in an octagon ring at the MGM Grand and let them go at it under the rules of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. After all, if you're not tough enough to put the beat-down on your middle aged opponent then you're not tough enough to win a showdown with the terrorists.

American Dreams returns

Just reminder to everyone that NBC's American Dreams returns for its third season tomorrow night. I have written about this show on this blog in the past. The subject matters of the show have gotten a little more mature than when I wrote that linked post back in January. However, I still think that American Dreams is well worth watching.

The season premier will air on NBC at 8 p.m. on Sunday night.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/24/04

"The best armor is to keep out of range." Italian proverb

Stacie J. gets the axe

On this week's edition of The Apprentice, Stacie J. finally got the axe. The task for the week was to create a new flavor of toothpaste for Proctor and Gamble and then hold some sort of event to promote the new flavor. Proctor and Gamble actually liked what the ladies did more than what the men did, but the ladies went 10% over budget. Therefore, P&G declared the men the winners for the second week in a row. Then the ladies began their finger pointing and bickering. Stacie J. had absolutely nothing to do with the project going over budget, however, one of the girls questioned Stacie J.'s sanity in the final board room. The Donald was caught completely off guard by this and was deeply concerned. In order to get to the bottom of things, Trump called all the ladies back into the board room to discuss the bizarre incident that involved Stacie J. in week one. Although there were clearly others deserving of the blame for the Week 3 failure, the Donald just could not take the risk of having a crazy person running one of his companies, so he fired Stacie J. I think Trump made an excellent call on this one.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/23/04

"I knew how this would be settled in the animal world, but this is girl world. In girl world, all the fighting has to be sneaky." From the movie Mean Girls.

Singing Starfighter

A musical version of The Last Starfighter will make its off-Broadway debut on October 15. The new musical is based on the 1984 movie of the same title. The production notes sum up the plot as follows:
In a small town nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1983, Alex Rogan is
about to discover the adventure of a lifetime. An 18-year-old with an uncertain
future, Alex becomes the master of a video game only to discover that Centauri,
a huckster trying to save his vulnerable galaxy and make a little money in the
process, put it on Earth as a testing ground. Centauri offers Alex membership in
an elite cadre of space pilots charged with protecting the universe. Alex must
find a way to reach his potential, while a great danger looms out in space,
waiting for him.

I'm curious to know how musical numbers will be worked into this story, but I'm all for a musical based on a movie about a video game.

Virgnian politics

Ever wonder why the Banshee loves southwest Virginia so much? The Congressional race for the 9th District of Virginia pretty much sums it up. Kevin Triplett is running as a Republican against the incumbent, Rick Boucher. Kevin Triplett's newest TV commercial leads off with a mention of coal miners and continues on to discuss Triplett's success in spreading the popularity of NASCAR. Too bad Triplett's not running in my district. If you wanna know more about Mr. Triplett's campaign, check out

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/22/04 First day of fall

“You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees.” Kaiser Wilhelm to his troops in August of 1914

Should have taken the Peace Train

Perhaps Cat Stevens should have stayed on the Peace Train and off of international flights. Back in 1977, the one time folk singer became a Muslim and changed his name to Yusef Islam. Islam first made political waves as a Muslim for failing to oppose the Ayotollah's call for the death of Salman Rushdie back in the 1980's. Now, apparently, Islam's name appears on a U.S. anti-terrorist watch list. Yesterday, Islam was on a plane bound for our nation's capital. But, he did not make it there. Instead, his flight was diverted to Bangor, Maine. Islam was then deported on the next flight back to his native England. Yeah, Yusef, it's a Wild World.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/21/04

"Waiting to talk is not the same thing as listening." Shannon Hadeed

No post today

No blogging today. I will be attending a Citizens Police Academy event this evening and will not be home in time to blog.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/20/04

"I feel like hell." Dan Rather on Monday to WCBS reporter Marcia Kramer

More Memogate

Today, CBS finally admitted some error in the memo scandal that has engulfed the once respected news organization. CBS News is no longer standing by the authenticity of the documents that supposedly condemned President Bush's National Guard record. Dan Rather and CBS are still not ready to admit that the documents are forgeries, but they are now saying that they cannot authenticate the documents and should not have reported them. CBS News President Andrew Heyward said, "Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report." Dan Rather also apologized for the story.

But, don't expect Memogate to end just yet. CBS orignally claimed that the memos originated from an unimpeachable source. CBS now admits that the source of the documents was actually a known Democratic operative by the name of Bill Burkett. There are also rumors that members of the Kerry campaign may have been instrumental in getting the documents into the hands of Dan Rather.

Of course, the documents are not worthless merely because an active Democrat unearthed them and gave them to a network. However, if CBS was running anything resembling a serious newsroom, documents coming from a source like this would have been vetted to the highest degree. Instead, CBS didn't even do the research that amateur analysts were able to do within a few hours of the original 60 Minutes broadcast.

So, am I saying that CBS intentionally reported on forged documents? No, I am not saying that. However, I do believe that Dan Rather's undeniable preference for John Kerry tainted his judgment. I suspect that Rather was predisposed to believe the documents and therefore slipped up in his background checks. And for this, he deserves to pay a steep price.

Football fashion

Football formal wear. Over the past couple of years, there has been a disturbing trend towards football teams wearing monochromatic dark uniforms. In other words, dark pants and dark jerseys. Since the very beginning, I have been strongly opposed to this football fashion statement. The Dolphins and the Broncos were the most horriffic offenders of this last year.

But, there is an exception to every rule. Last night, the Bengals wore all black. I guess it was the football equivalent of formal wear. I gotta say it was a good look. The pretty unis helped the Bengals eek out an ugly win in Miami.

Old school is new again. All around the NFL, there is a return to black shoes. I'm a big fan of this. Supposedly, black shoes make you look slower. In college, this does seem to be the case. Almost no SEC team wears black shoes while most of the Big Ten wears black. But, the Atlanta Falcons wear black shoes, and Mike Vick certainly hasn't looked slow at all in the first two weeks. Of course, he probably wouldn't even look slow with cinder blocks for shoes.

The Eagles and the Colts have also gone to a bit of a throwback look. The shoes are really the only alteration for the Eagles. They're now wearing black, too. The Colts took things a bit farther. They not only donned the black shoes, but they stripped the paint off their facemasks. I think it's a good look for them.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/19/04

"If a guy takes off his wristwatch before he fights, he means business." Al McGuire

Rumble in the Bronx

This weekend, the Red Sox and Yankees renewed their legendary rivalry. At one point this summer, the Yankees had built up a 10.5 game lead in the AL East. Since then, the Red Sox have gone on a run for the ages. The Sox had clawed back within 3.5 games. This weekend they had a chance to draw nearly even with the Yanks thanks to a three game set in the Bronx.

Optimism was high in Red Sox nation. And, it got even higher after the Sox battled back against the Yankees' dominant closer, Mariano Rivera, to steal the first game away from the Yankees in the ninth inning on Friday night. Some even began to talk about the Yankee mystique being a thing of the past. But, as Friday night turned to Saturday morning, the world righted itself. On Saturday afternoon, the Yanks pounded the Sox by a score 14-4. Then came Sunday's rubber match. The Sox were sending their ace, Pedro Martinez, to the mound to face the injury plagued Mike Mussina. But, it was Mussina who pitched a masterpiece, allowing only 1 run in 7 innings. Pedro could not make it out of the 6th inning before giving up 8 runs. The final score was 11-1 in favor of the Yankees.

The Yankees lead in the division is now a substantial 4.5 games with only 13 games left to play. The Red Sox do get three more chances at the Yankees in Fenway Park before the year ends. But, Sox fans and Yankee haters need to be reminded of one of life's undeniable truths: The Red Sox do not sweep the Yankees in September to steal a pennant.

Most likely, these two teams will not play another meaningful game against each other until the ALCS in October.


The 10-race Chase for the Championship kicked off this week in Loudon, New Hampshire. This was a 300 lap race on a one-mile oval. Kurt Busch won the New Hampshire race earlier in the year and dominated the race again today. This performance allowed Busch to move up five places in the standings and into a tie at the top of the leaderboard. The other man in the top spot is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Junior finished third on Sunday. Jeff Gordon is now in third place in the standings and only nine points out of the lead. Aside from Busch, Tony Stewart was the other big mover of the day. The only difference was that Stewart was moving backwards. Stewart got caught up in someone else's wreck and dropped all the way from fourth in the standings to eighth.

Next week the Chase for the Championship moves to the Monster Mile in Dover, Deleware.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/18/04

"We are Penn State!"

Country Music Without Prejudice

Big and Rich, country music's newest superstars, describe their brand of music as "country music without prejudice." I recently purchased their debut album, Horse of Different Color, and I would have to agree with that description. This album is totally unique. One part BNL. One part Simon and Garfunkel. Two parts Bob Wills. And just a pinch of Nelly. Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but it is outstanding.

Big Kenny and John Rich have been writing songs together for years. They also helped with a few of the songs on Gretchen Wilson's new smash album. Horse of a Different Color is their first project as a duo, and they wrote all 13 tracks on this cd. Big and Rich immediately made a splash on the country scene with their hit single, "Save a Horse." Soon the album reached platinum status. I suppose that most people bought the record because of this single. I actually bought the cd because I saw them live last week when they opened for Tim McGraw on the "Out Loud" tour and thought they were just tremendous. Although I can't absolutely vouch for the morality of all of the content, the lyrics are interesting and highly entertaining. The harmony is also unusual and interesting.

Big and Rich provide a clip to almost every track at the Amazon site that I linked above. If you have any kind of decent speakers on your computer, take a listen.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/17/04

"I know that I didn't type them." Marian Carr Knox, an 86 year-old, former Texas Air National Guard secretary on the CBS memos.

You're Fired!

It was Bradford who heard those words on the second installment of The Apprentice. Bradford made an early exit from the show despite the fact that the Donald had granted him immunity in the first week of the show.

In week 2, the task was to create a flavor of ice cream and then sell that flavor on the streets of NYC. The men created donut flavored ice cream that contained actual pieces of donuts. The men then decided to sell their ice cream in Times Square. The men believed that they were at a disadvantage in street marketing because they did not have the sex appeal that the women have. However, the men came up with a brilliant scheme. They decided to donate a portion of their proceeds to lukemia research.

Meanwhile, the women created a red velvet flavor but had no idea how to market their treat. They thought they had hit a gold mine when they discovered the fact that the men were heading to Times Square. They decided to move right next-door. Then the wheels came off for the women. First, an aggressive hot dog vendor chased the ladies from their chosen corner. Then team leader Ivana lost track of the location of her carts and didn't know where one of them was for nearly three hours. And, Stacie J. continued to be a lunatic. The men's excellence and the ladies ridiculousness combined to propel the men to a decisive victory.

Then came the board room. This is where things started to get weird. It seemed clear that either Ivana or Stacie J. was gonna get the boot. But then Bradford spoke up inexplicably and declared that he would stand on his record and forego his immunity. So, Ivana took Stacie J., Jenn C. and Bradford with her into the final board room. Ivana apparently believed that Jenn and Bradford would both condemn Stacie J. and convince the Donald to kick off Stacie J. and not Ivana. But, the Donald was having none of it. Trump seemed to think that the impetuous decision to forego immunity was not the kind of intelligent decisionmaking that he needs from his top assistants. Therefore, he fired Bradford.

I think think this was the second straight poor decision by the Donald. I admired Bradford's guts. Furthermore, he was the best member of Apex for the second week in a row, so he should not have had to rely on immunity to survive this second task. In contrast, Ivana was a horrendous leader that will never actually be the Apprentice. I don't have anything good to say about Jenn C. although she didn't do anything particularly bad this week. And, Stacie J. is just a lunatic.

Memogate Keeps Rolling

Last week, CBS produced what they claimed were newly discovered documents from Col. Killian's personal files. These documents criticize President Bush's National Guard service during Vietnam. CBS aired these documents on 60 Minutes II. It was only a matter of hours before bloggers and typographical experts demonstrated that these documents were newly created forgeries. This left many people asking whether Dan Rather purposely put forth these forgeries in an attempt to damage the President. Even those who assumed it was a good faith mistake on Rather's part were left wondering how such an error could go undiscovered by the powerful CBS news apparatus when it was so easily uncovered by amateur Internet writers.

This week, CBS News used 60 Minutes II to go even further into what has been termed Memogate. However, Dan Rather did not take the opportunity to retract his previous story or admit any errors. Rather also did not reveal the source which supplied CBS with the forgeries. Instead, Rather dragged out an 80 year-old woman whom he claimed was Col. Killian's secretary at the time the memos were supposedly written. This elderly woman, who would be better characterized as a member of the typing pool than as any sort of personal confidant of the Colonel, admitted that these particular documents are probably not authentic. But, she added, there probably were documents similar to this. She also added that some of the other guard members "snickered" at our future president.

And with that, Dan Rather and CBS decided to stand behind their story.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/16/04

"Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity." Nick Diamos

Rivalry for the Ages

I know that it's football season, and I know that means that it will be hard for any sports fan to turn away from the gridiron. However, there will be a battle in the Bronx this weekend that will be well worth watching. Over the last two months, the Boston Red Sox have clawed their way back within 4 games of the New York Yankees. There are now only 18 games remaining in the 162 game season. The Red Sox control their own destiny. They get to play the hated Yankees six times in the next ten days. It all begins this weekend.

Christians and Voting

These thoughts were sent to Wild Banshee by Tina Russell-Wood.

Tina heard a commentator on the radio speaking about the importance of Christians and voting. The man said that he has heard a lot of Christians saying that they don't vote because they feel like they are merely choosing the lesser of two evils. The man's response to those who have tried to use this line with him is that one of the responsibilities of being a Christian is to try to combat evil in this world and reduce the amount of evil found here. So by choosing the lesser of two evils reduces the amount of evil. Therefore, is a Christian's responsibility to vote.

I found this to be an interesting train of thought. But, I'm gonna go on the record as saying that I do not think that we have merely a choice between two evils this November. I firmly believe that George W. Bush is a force for good in this world.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/15/04

"Our envy of others devours us most of all." Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Man on Fire

Last night I watched Man on Fire starring Denzel Washington. This film would perhaps be more aptly named Man Unhinged. This movie is extremely violent. Denzel plays a Marine that is hired to protect a little girl in Mexico City. When bad things happen to that little girl, Denzel launches a brutal assault on the perpetrators.

At one point, Christopher Walken's character says, "Creasy's [Denzel] art is death, and he's about to paint his masterpiece." And, Denzel would not disagree. At one point, an old man tells Denzel that the Bible says to forgive. Denzel declares, "Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting." I love lines like that.

Don't get me wrong, Denzel does not play the same type of anti-hero that he plays in Training Day. His character in this movie is truly a good guy. But, his methods are truly brutal and maybe more intense than many viewers would anticipate.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/14/04

"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." Margaret Thatcher

Jeopardy Juggernaut

Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy Juggernaut, is continuing on his dominant roll. Jeopardy took a brief break over the summer but got back to airing new shows on Labor Day. And Ken continued his winning ways. After tonight's match, Mr. Jennings has notched 45 consecutive victories and has taken home nearly $1.5 million.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/13/04

"Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Russian Tennis and the War on Terror

The U.S. Open tennis tournament takes place in New York City each September. This year, the women's final took place on September 11. It was two Russian women who stepped onto the Flushing Meadows court this Saturday. Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Elena Dementieva in straight sets. But the significance of the date was not lost on either of the young competitors. Nineteen year-old Kuznetsova dedicated her win to the victims of September 11 and the victims of the horrific school attacks that took place in her home country on September 1 of this year. But, it was the twenty-two year-old Dementieva who gave the most stirring remarks. Just moments after losing the most important match of her life, this young Russian not only mentioned the victims of worldwide terror but also urged the United States to hold steady in this great struggle. I commend both of these ladies for their poise and grace in both victory and defeat on this difficult date.

Kerry in Command

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/12/04

"I like. I love it. I want some more of it."

From the song, "I like it, I love it" sung by Tim McGraw.

This applies well to my thoughts on the first weekend of the NFL football season and my thoughts on last night's Tim McGraw concert.

W and the Guard or Bloggers v. 60 Minutes

An angry commenter on this site recently demanded that the press pay more attention to questions about President Bush's service in the National Guard. 60 Minutes II answered this request. On September 8, the CBS program revealed new, damning documents that supposedly came from the private files of the deceased Col. Killian. Dan Rather and the boys could hardly contain their excitement.

And then the blogosphere erupted. Thanks in large part to nerdy bloggers around the country, there is now mounting evidence that these documents are forgeries. That's right -- forgeries. Here's the basic gist. The documents that condemned Bush were supposedly written in the 1970's. They were supposedly typed on a typewriter. After all, there was no such thing as a PC or a word processor at that time. However, those who are more technically savvy than I have discovered that these documents were likely created on Microsoft Word -- a program that did not exist even at the time of Col. Killian's death in 1984.

There is an excellent article about this at Tech Central Station. The article is entitled "Bloggers v. 60 Minutes." I urge you all to read this article. It includes excerpts from Hugh Hewitt's blog, so it is well worth the quick read. I would have summarized this article, but I wouldn't do justice to the technical aspects.

The article ends by musing, "How could a rabble of bloggers, in one day, provide hard core proof of forgery when major news organizations took those documents at face value? Most fundamental of all, why did the New York Times, the Boston Globe and CBS allow themselves to be used for such a transparent attempt to slander President Bush? Out in the blogosphere there are a swarm of people rooting for the answers."

Banshee Polling

Polling results: Yeah, the best pet poll stayed on the blog for far longer than it should have. Banshee voters declared that dogs truly are man's best friend. 57% of voters chose dogs. 35% chose kitties. 7% chose other.

New Poll: We're going back to the political sphere for the new poll. As the season changes from summer to fall, it's time for the presidential candidates to narrow their focus. So, the question for Banshee readers is: What issue matters more to you this November?


Last night's Chevy Rock 'n Roll 400 from Richmond was the final race of the NASCAR "regular season." It was action packed, short track racing under the lights. And, it contained extra drama this year as drivers scrambled to make it into the top ten in the standings.

No one scrambled better than Jeremy Mayfield on Saturday night. Mayfield won the race and vaulted 5 positions in the standings. This moved him from 14th to 9th, so Mayfield's dream of a championship will continue. Kasey Kahne's quest for the cup will not continue, thanks in large part to a nudge in the bumper from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Kahne wrecked and dropped out of the top ten in the standings. Junior finished second. Jeff Gordon, Mike Bliss and Mark Martin rounded out the top five in the race.

Chase for the Championship. Although everyone will continue to race for money and pride, only the top ten drivers will be able to continue in their quest for the championship. In addition, they have all been bunched together in terms of points spread. Here are the standings as the Chase for the Championship moves to New England next week:

1. Jeff Gordon
2. Jimmie Johnson -5
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -10
4. Tony Stewart -15
5. Matt Kenseth -20
6. Elliott Sadler -25
7. Kurt Busch -30
8. Mark Martin -35
9. Jeremy Mayfield -40
10. Ryan Newman -45

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/11/04

"Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day?" Alan Jackson from the song, "Where were you?"

Find your Republican soulmate

I knew online dating services were big, but I didn't realize how big. posted an article this weekend about a growing fad - political matchmaking. Since the BansheeBlog base is increasing, I assume there may be other right-minded singles who may also be intrigued by this idea. At, users can search for a match based on the typical criteria - age, gender, location, smoking/drinking habits, etc., but can rest assured that all matches will all come from a fairly large database of conservatives. (When I visited the site, there were "85 convservaties online now, and 726 had joined today.") There are actually other right-leaning dating services, but I like this one because the base is broader. (It allows inclusion of libertarians and "traditionalists" as well as Republicans, while others do not.) Whether or not you approve of or utilize internet matchmaking services, this one certainly deserves to be commended for its ingenuity.

September 11

Today is the third anniversary of the vicious attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

While it is appropriate that our country has resumed it's normal way of life, it is important that we take a moment to remember the evil that descended on our nation that day. It is also important to spend a moment in prayer to thank our Heavenly Father that a man of God has occupied the White House during this momentous time in our nation's history.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/10/01

"The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity." President Richard Nixon

Contributed by Katy Underwood.

You're fired!

The Apprentice returned to NBC last night. The night started with 18 eager applicants and ended with the Donald's declaration, "You're fired!"

Like last year, the group was originally divided into a men's team and a women's team. Unlike last year, the competition began by sending one man to the women's team and one woman to the men's team. The switched person had to be the team leader for the first task. A tough position, no doubt. Pamela, a nine-foot tall blonde, volunteered to take over the men. Bradford volunteered to switch to the ladies' team. The ladies named themselves Apex. The men chose Mosaic. The Donald was not impressed with that name for the men's team.

Task one sent the teams to Mattel where they were required to design a new toy. After the teams designed their toy, Mattel created a prototype overnight. Then the toy was tested by a focus group of nine year-old boys. Apex, the women's team, won with their RC car/boat/tank. Bradford, the leader of the women, was granted immunity from firing next week.

In the meantime, Amazon Pamela took Mosaic to the Board Room. In the end, it was Rob who heard the cursed, "You're fired!" Rob was chosen because he was not assertive enough during the design process. If I was the Donald, I would have fired Pamela. She is too abrasive and will never become the Apprentice. Rob, on the other hand, had a chance to come around as the competition progressed.

On a side note, the women were not as trashy as they were at the start of last year's competition. But, the casting directors of the Apprentice seem to have a fondness for crazy black women. Last year it was Omorrosa. This year it is Stacy J. that needs to watch out for the boys in the white coats.

The first episode will be rebroadcast on Saturday night.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/9/04

"How ever you were pretending to entertain yourself this summer, you can stop. The NFL is back." SportsCenter anchor on 9/9/04

Most wonderful time of the year

Fall is a wonderful time of year. I love September and October because they mark the overlap of the end of baseball and the beginning of football. You just can't beat that. College football got underway in earnest last weekend, and the NFL debuts tonight with a rematch of the AFC championship game.

It wasn't long ago that many in the sports world thought that the NBA was the best managed and marketed professional sports league in the country. But now, the NFL is clearly king. Heck, preseason football trumped most of the Olympics on SportsCenter. I don't have a undying love for any particular NFL team, however, I had goosebumps on my arms during my morning commute just thinking about the start of the season.

I know that baseball has been known as "America's Pastime" for nearly a century. But, I would submit that football is truly America's game. Thank goodness it's finally back in season.

Video Game Revolution

Last night, PBS aired a show called "Video Game Revolution." The program tracked the history of video games and their impact on our society. The show covered everything from pure arcade games to combat games to "god games" such as Sim City and Civilization. This program captivated me. It was not until this afternoon that I realized why I was so intrigued by this documentary. It was because this show was, in a way, a partial history of my life.

Like many of the readers of this blog, I have lived my entire life in the video game era. Some of my earliest memories are of my father holding me up in front of the Pac-Man and Centipede machines in the arcade at the mall. My family spent a lot of time together playing text-based adventures on the Commodore 64. Then came the Mario Brothers. Then Sonic the Hedgehog. Link has been a lifelong friend of mine. And, of course, a myriad of sports games have come and gone from my possession.

I realize that some people do not understand the allure of video games. But this program did a good job explaining why some games mean so much to some people. As this show explained, these games are in many ways like a novel. Granted, they are not the caliber of Dickens or Hugo, but they tell a story, nonetheless. But unlike a novel, the game player can actually interact with this story and influence its outcome. Certainly some people play video games in a mindless fashion. But not everyone does. For many people, video games stimulate the mind and spark the imagination.

I am not suggesting that video games should replace such things as church or friendship, but they do have a valid place in our society and are in some cases worthy of our praise.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/08/04

"Be honorable yourself if you wish to associate with honorable people." Welsh proverb

The Apprentice Returns

NBC will launch season 2 of the Apprentice tomorrow night. The season premiere will air Thursday night, September 9, at 8:30 pm. It will be a 90 minute episode culminating with a Board Room firing.

The first season of the Apprentice was a cultural phenomenon that endeared the hard-nosed Donald Trump to middle America and caused a nation to squirm at the mere mention of the name Omorossa.

Last spring, Banshee Blog actively tracked the progress of the Apprentice. I am eagerly awaiting the second season and the introduction of the 18 new candidates. This year promises to be even better than the first because several Fortune 500 companies have agreed to participate in the weekly tasks.

The Cue Ball and the Forehead

Following the Republican convention, John Kerry found himself trailing by double digits in several polls. This led to some shake-up in the Kerry camp. But, political junkies will find the new faces to be quite familiar. James Carville and Paul Begala have been added to team Kerry.

That's right, the Cue Ball and the Forehead. In case you were wondering, these guys have not been asked to give up their day jobs at CNN. CNN will still retain these men as political commentators.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/7/04

"I keep my good health by having a very bad temper, kept under good control." President Theodore Roosevelt

George W or Will Farrell?

Last night, I saw a clip on MSNBC of the 1980 Republican convention. After Reagan's acceptance speech, George Bush brought his son, George W., onto the stage to meet Mr. Reagan. I honestly had to do a double take. George W. looked exactly like Will Farrell does in Anchorman. I'll tell you, this election season is just not going to be the same without Farrell's impersonations on SNL.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/6/04

"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Mark Twain

Banshee will return

Wild Banshee will return to daily posting in the near future. I'm in the midst of a vacation of sorts right now.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/5/04

“Silence is one of the hardest things to refute.” Josh Billings


This week's NASCAR race took place at an unusual time of the day. The Pop Secret 500 began shortly after 7 pm EST. However, this race took place in California, so it was not a true night race. This time of day actually proved to be a bit of a problem as drivers battled with racing directly into the setting sun. When it was all over, Elliot Saddler was the winner. This win pretty much solidified Saddler's place in the Chase for the Championship. Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin all made substantial moves in the standings. These three drivers now hold the eighth through tenth positions in the standings. Jimmy Johnson reclaimed the top spot in the standings by passing his teammate Jeff Gordon. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remained in third position despite getting tangled up in a mishap.

Next week is the final week of the "regular season." Only the top ten drivers in the standings after next week's Richmond night race will be able to continue their pursuit of the championship.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/4/04

"We are Penn State!"

Kerry Goes Back to Nam

Just moments after President Bush wrapped up his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, John Kerry held a midnight rally in Ohio. During his rally, Kerry brought up the topic of Vietnam. Namely, who served and how. I think this is perfectly fair game. But, John Kerry cannot have it both ways. If military service is an issue, then it's a whole issue. Kerry cannot continually contrast his Vietnam era activity to the activity of his opponents without opening himself up to discussion of his own service record. Honestly, I think that Kerry is hurting himself with this Vietnam wordplay. On top of that, I don't think that it will play well for Kerry to paint all who served in the National Guard or took a college differment during Vietnam as draft dodgers or traitors.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/3/04

"Some people say I have a swagger, but in Texas we just call that walking." President George W. Bush

RNC: Day 4

The Republican convention culminated last night with President George W. Bush's acceptance speech. As expected, Bush will run again as the Republican nominee for President.

Bush's speech got off to sort of a slow start. Much of the beginning played like a State of the Union address. It was filled with domestic policy topics. There weren't any specific proposals, but Bush did mention the importance of protecting the unborn. Then the speech turned to September 11 and the War on Terror. It was then that President Bush began to shine. The most touching part of the speech was when Bush talked about meeting the families of those who have given the last full measure for their coutnry. Bush teared up when he recalled how many times a widow or a mother who had just received a flag from her loved one's coffin told him that they were praying for him.

One thing was clear during the President's speech: This is not your father's George Bush. Unlike Bush 41, George W. loves the the campaign. He has a fire in his eyes when he talks about John Kerry and remaining race.

How do we define conservative values?

At the close of the RNC last evening President Bush challenged John Kerry’s assertion that Kerry had “conservative values.” Why Kerry would want to be associated with “conservative values” is an interesting question in itself. But a more important question to consider is how are “conservative values” actually different from other values.

A very easy and common mistake for some to make is to equate conservative values with Christian values. That is a dangerous mixture of Luther’s “two kingdoms.” While there may be many similarities between the two types of values Christians can rightly disagree on many issues such as fiscal policy or the healthcare system. And fiscally conservative politicians can have very unchristian views on abortion and marriage.

When forming an opinion on any issue, a true conservative is different from a liberal in one primary area. Conservatives are “intergenerational.” Conservatives always consider what previous generations have done and what will be best for future generations. It's that simple. Conservatives have simply never been a part of the “Me” generation.

Very few people are able to keep a truly generational perspective on all issues but when we do we will rightly be able to defend our position as a “conservative value.”

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/2/04

"Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier." Senator Zell Miller, D-GA

RNC: Day 3

On Day 3 of the RNC, the delegates officially made George W. Bush the Republican nominee for President. Dick Cheney was also officially made the candidate for Vice President. Dick Cheney was in Madison Square on Day 3 and gave his acceptance speech as the final speech of the night. It was a very stateman-like speech, delivered in the Vice President's standard, ultra-calm manner.

A funny moment came during Lynne Cheney's introduction of her husband. Mrs. Cheney said that one of their young grandchildren recently asked the Vice President if he knew anyone famous.

The most memorable speech thus far in the convention came from Zell Miller, a Democratic senator from Georgia. Miller's speech was a fiery tongue lashing to his own party -- a party which he perceives as having deserted him and others like him. Miller said, "Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander in Chief."

Senator Miller, a retired Marine, reminded the audience and the nation of the importance of the American soldier. Miller declared:

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the
press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of
speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom
to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the
flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom
to abuse and burn that flag. No one should dare to even think about being
the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart
that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.

Miller also spoke about President Bush's toughness. He said:
No matter what spider hole they may hide in or what rock they crawl under,
George Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a
better grip. .... He is not a slick talker but he is a straight
shooter and, where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words. I have
knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home, a God-fearing man
with a good heart and a spine of tempered steel.

Miller went on to express his admiration and support for George W. Bush. He said:
I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together.
I admire this man. I am moved by the respect he shows the first lady, his
unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is
unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America. I can
identify with someone who has lived that line in "Amazing Grace," "Was blind,
but now I see," and I like the fact that he's the same man on Saturday night
that he is on Sunday morning.

Senator Miller concluded his speech by saying:
In this hour of danger our President has had the courage to stand up. And
this Democrat is proud to stand up with him. Thank you. God Bless
this great country and God Bless George W. Bush.

These excerpts are by no means the only highlights from Senator Miller's speech. Click here to read the entire transcript. It is not too long, and it is extremely entertaining.

Miller vs. Matthews

The fireworks from Senator Zell Miller did not end when he stepped down from the stage. Just moments after his speech, Miller agreed to be interviewed live my MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Right from the start, it was a contentious interview. (Click here to read the entire transcript. Scroll down about a quarter of the way down the page to find where the Miller interview begins.)

After only a handful of questions, the following exchange occurred:

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you, when Democrats come out, as they often do, liberal Democrats, and attack conservatives, and say they want to starve little kids, they want to get rid of education, they want to kill the old people...

MILLER: I am not saying that. Wait a minute.

MATTHEWS: That kind of rhetoric is not educational, is it?

MILLER: Wait a minute. Now, this is your program. And I am a guest on your program.

MATTHEWS: Yes, sir.

MILLER: And so I want to try to be as nice as I possibly can to you. I wish I was over there, where I could get a little closer up into your face.

MILLER: But I don‘t have to stand here and listen to that kind of stuff. I didn‘t say anything about not feeding poor kids. What are you doing?

Then came this exchange:

MATTHEWS: OK. Do you believe now—do you believe, Senator, truthfully, that John Kerry wants to defend the country with spitballs? Do you believe that?

MILLER: That was a metaphor, wasn‘t it? Do you know what a metaphor is?

Soon after that, Matthews expressed offense at the fact that Miller pointed out that soldiers and not reporters are responsible for the freedom of the press. There were a few barbs exchanged over that topic. Then came the most spirited barrage from both parties. It went as follows:

MILLER: If you‘re going to ask a question...

MATTHEWS: Well, it‘s a tough question. It takes a few words.

MILLER: Get out of my face. If you are going to ask me a question, step back and let me answer.


MATTHEWS: Senator, please.

MILLER: You know, I wish we ... I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel. Now, that would be pretty good. Don‘t ask me—don‘t pull that ....


MATTHEWS: Can you can come over? I need you, Senator. Please come over.

MILLER: Wait a minute. Don‘t pull that kind of stuff on me, like you did that young lady when you had her there, browbeating her to death. I am not her. I am not her.


MATTHEWS: Let me tell you, she was suggesting that John Kerry purposely shot himself to win a medal. And I was trying to correct the record.

MILLER: You get in my face, I am going to get back in your face.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Quote of the Day 9/1/04

"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. .... You cannot build up the poor by destroying the rich." Lt. Gov. Michael Steele of MD

RNC Day 2

Laura Bush had the featured speaking spot on the second night of the convention. As always, she handled herself with elegance and class. And unlike her counterpart, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Mrs. Bush used her entire speech to talk about her husband. Laura Bush was actually introduced by the President who appeared live via sattelite. It was inspiring to see the first couple's genuine love and admiration for each other. It's also refreshing to see her love for her in-laws, George H.W. and Barbara. Barbara Bush was actually holding a hand-painted poster-board that read, "I 'heart' Laura."

But, the star of the night was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Governator was hilarious and inspiring. He spent a great deal of time talking about his time growing up under Communist rule and how he chose to be a Republican because the GOP did not stand for socialist economic policies. My favorite part of the speech was when the Governator said, "To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: 'Don't be economic girlie men!'"

Arnold Quotes

I didn't want to clog up my recap of RNC Day 2, but I did want to share a few more Arnold quotes. It was just chock-full of soundbite material. Here are my favorites:

"This is like winning an Oscar … as if I’d know."

"I was in a movie called True Lies. That’s what they should have called the Democratic Convention."

"There are those who say that freedom is nothing but a dream. They are right. It’s the American Dream."

Banshee takes some abuse

Check out this comment that was left in the wee hours of Tuesday night under my "The Swift Boat Debate Matters" post from August 29.

Gary writes:
1) How about asking the (w) or the (cheney) about the efforts they pursued
to *avoid* going to Vietnam?

2) Referring to yourself in the third person by way of the "anonymous
online personality" is trite, by the way.

3) If you're going to politically opine on your blog, maybe reconsider
publishing the VMA and NASCAR posts so people don't think you're a

Yeah, I know, I'm a ****. Always have been. Hit me back (email and website
at your disposal) with a valid argument, 'kay?

Good thing Gary visited when he did. If he thinks NASCAR and the VMAs are for dullards, I wonder what he would have thought of my Man vs. Beast or hot dog eating contest posts.

Dachsunds for Bush

The human delegates at the Republican Convention are not the only ones getting fired up for the President's re-election campaign. My dear friend Darla Beagle is also getting into the political swing of things.

This is a shot of Darla out on the campaign trail along with Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (pictured to Darla's right).