Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Lies of Michael Moore

Well S, we finally have a chance to talk. I certainly appreciate the opportunity you have given me to answer your charge that there are NO lies in Michael Moore's "masterpiece" Fahrenheit 9/11. I saw the film on opening night because, as the saying goes, "keep your enemies closer."

Now, I will preface by citing some influences and sources I have checked out myself:

Chris Hitchens, Slate, great article:

A good fact check:

Ok, onto SOME of the lies...
1) The film's major theme is that Bush is an illegitimate president. He supports this claim with the statement that Bush lost every recount done since the election and only won because the Supreme Court stopped the recounts. As I watched my mouth dropped open...huh? Because, as I recalled, all of the media and state recounts done AFTER Bush became president showed that indeed HE had won. So, I decided I would make sure I was right. And it took me approximately 2 minutes to find out I was:

Oh, and by the way, Fox News had nothing to do with Bush being declared the winner in Florida at 2:00 AM the night of the election: the Voter News Service projected him the winner. The other networks followed suit because they ALL used VNS. Fox was the first to declare (I am certain Banshee remembers that happening!) but the film fails to mention the fact that Florida was declared "too close to call" from around 11 pm on...

2) Moore claims that Osama bin Laden still has connections to his family and thus Bush and the bin Ladens are profiting from Osama's work, possibly purposely...

In 1994 the House of Saud officially kicked Osama out of their country. Originally, they wanted to keep it quiet, knowing that it would discredit his family if they were to make it public. However, by 1994, his family decided it was not in their best interest to be associated with him and so they made concerted efforts to detach themselves from him. So then the Saudi government was able, with American pressure, to remove Osama's citizenship and freeze whatever assets they could.
If a bin Laden did visit Osama months before 9/11, it really means nothing. As reported continuously, the bin Laden family is huge, consisting of hundreds of members. Those that were in the US, however, have no loyalty to Osama. They represent the main core of the bin Laden family. But if you know anything about Islam or about Arabia, the rules about family are very complicated. Its a big deal to cut off a family fact it is illegal to deny a family member his rightful inheritance. But they have done just that (or tried).

3) Moore says that the flights being authorized showed how connected Bush is to the Saudis and the bin Ladens.

Ah ah ah...guess who happened to authorize the flights of the Saudis? None other than Moore super-hero Richard Clarke. And he says, without equivocation, that it was his call to send them out. And why? Because he knew they were not a risk to the nation. Instead, they were at risk being here because of potential backlash against Muslims, Arabs, and specifically bin Laden's family that many suspected would occur. And the people sent out were checked out by the FBI. And, interestingly, Moore's "investigation" never yielded any information that would support the idea that these people had ANY tie to Osama.

4) Moore says tobacco companies pressured Bush (who is their puppet?) to allow lighters on planes so they could make money off of smokers who light up as soon as they get off flights.

What? Ok, I have no idea where this could be researched, but the claim is made with NO evidence to back it up. So I urge you, Mr. or Ms. S to prove it to me. Otherwise, I count it as lie.

5) My final lie will be Moore's claim that Iraq and the Iraqi government never hurt, killed, murdered, threatened, or whatever an American...

Double HUH? Ok
Threatened: Tried to kill GHW Bush in 1994. Shot at our planes everyday from the beginning of the No-Fly Zones to the end.

Murdered: Missing Americans in Iraq from the first Gulf War are reportedly still imprisoned there, but most likely were killed by the Iraqi government while in captivity. Supported terrorists Abu Nidal and PAID terrorists to kill people (including Americans) in Israel. Not to mention that Iraqi foriegn representatives had meetings with Al Qaeda.

Harmed: Originally compiled and used weapons of mass destruction. Developed weapons with range to hit US bases in Saudi Arabia. Launched missiles into Israel during Gulf War that hurt/killed civilians.

Now, the fact is, yes, Mr. Hussein did not directly threaten the US in 2002. But, he had in 1991 via his potential accumulation of both Kuwait and, had the US not intervened, eventually Saudi Arabia. Now, what do these three countries have? Ah yes, 50% of the world's oil. Had Mr. Hussein acquired such power, he would have most definitely been able to harm the US. And it would be naive for us to think that he didn't intend for this to happen again in the future. In fact, had the world continued to turn a blind eye to him, it would have only been a matter of time before it would have happened.

Now, one of the best things about F9/11 is Mr. Moore's insistence on taking all sorts of stands on issues. For example, he says it is illegitimate for us to attack Iraq because they didn't hurt us, but he claims we should have DONE MORE to overthrow the Taliban. The Taliban did nothing to harm us (by his definition) except harbor terrorists and try to spread its radical message to others. So why should we have sent MORE troops to Afghanistan? I won't even begin to ask why NOW Mr. Moore wanted us to send MORE troops to Afghanistan when in 2002 he publicly decried sending ANY troops!

His premise is also that Mr. Bush is a fool. Totally incompetent. Borderline mentally disabled. But then portrays him as an absolutely diabolical madman whose genius in the 1970s and 80s was so keen that he set this whole thing up back then. Oh and then we are supposed to hate him because he is rich. And connected. And supported by a lot of people who know people. Very dissimilar to Michael Moore himself (or anyone else in politics today)...I think not.

I think Hitchens puts it best when he says that Moore's argument should be with the SYSTEM, not with Bush.

If ANYONE wants, debate me on the issues. Pick something out of the film and challenge me on it. I think this film was DANGEROUS because it was untruthful. It was very similar to propaganda used in authoritarian regimes around the world. In fact, Saddam himself had a movie made about his heroics in the overthrow of the Iraqi government in the early 1970s. Of course, that film was chock full of lies (it fails to mention, for example, that Saddam was shot in the leg by one of his accomplices in a failed coup), but it served Saddam's purpose. In the same sense, this film fails to mention that the Patriot Act had bipartisan support and has not yet caused any significant rights violations to this day (or, I should say, really fails to establish that it has by virtue that its two examples of supposed problems had nothing to do with the Patriot Act).

So, I ask you, S, does this satisfy you?

Quote of the Day 6/30/04

"I'm not the same person I was when I bit that guy's ear off." Mike Tyson in comments about his recent financial hardships.

Thoughts from the road

Let me start off by apologizing for the extra blog-free delay. I'm sure that many of you logged on last night in great anticipation of my return. I am truly sorry for the obvious disappointment you undoubtedly felt.

Pedal to the metal: Any of you who have driven on I-81 for more than about 90 miles surely know that a stand-still in traffic should always be an expected part of the journey. My trip began with just such a delay. Traffic was stopped for 25 minutes as a result of an accident. Now, as it turned out, there weren't actually any wrecked cars blocking the roadway. However, there was plenty of good stuff to look at. There were about three minor accidents that apparently occurred as a result of the main incident. The serious part of the accident consisted of a Bronco that apparently rolled more than once.

This accident and the passing drivers' responses to the wreck revealed something sort of bizarre about the psyche of the American motorist. After coming to a complete stop to take a good, hard look at a Bronco resting on its roof on the median, everyone in line pushed the accelerator through the floorboards to get back up to 75 mph as quickly as possible.

Cops on foot: I don't really have any commentary on this, but I wanted to share this observation. Just after the Bay Bridge on Rt. 50 East in Maryland, I saw a policeman on foot in the median pointing his radar gun into traffic. This isn't the first time that I've seen this on Rt. 50, either. The policeman was leaning against the patrol car, and the trunk of the car was open. I couldn't see if there was a second policeman at the wheel of the car, but this whole thing seemed sort of bizarre to me. Seems hard to picture actually getting nabbed by a policeman on foot. However, traffic did slow down appreciably in the area around this dismounted trooper. Perhaps that was the real goal.

AM in DC: I learned today that AM radio in the greater DC area is hosted almost entirely by non-English speakers. I've lived in DC on two separate occassions, but I never knew that before.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/25/04

“It is only when men forget to fight for right that they fail.” Richard Lllewellyn, How Green Was My Valley

Banshee vacation

Rush Limbaugh took this week off. Sean Hannity is taking next week off. So, I figured it would be okay if Wild Banshee took a vacation this weekend. I will be taking my substitute car on a road trip (yeah, the Banshee Mobile is still in the shop -- three weeks and counting) through PA, MD, WV and of couse, VA. I will return to blogging on Tuesday.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/24/04

"Don’t ever take down a fence until you know the reason why it was put up." G.K. Chesterton

50 Hottest Bachelors

Yesterday's content was kind of heavy, so I decided that it was time to lighten things up a bit. So, here we go.

People Magazine recently unveiled their "50 Hottest Bachelors" list. Orlando Bloom came in at #1. Certainly a good selection. But my favorite pick was the 24 year-old NASCAR rookie, Kasey Kahne.

Kahne drives the #9 Dodge for Evernham racing and is having a strong season on the track. Kahne is certainly a good looking guy, but he would not have been my pick from amongst the NASCAR ranks. And, no, I would not pick Dale, Jr. either. As I've stated before on this blog, my pick for hottest driver in Nextel Cup racing is Jamie McMurray.

McMurray is 28 years old and was the 2003 rookie of the year.

New Face of the NBA

Larry Bird caused some controversy this month when he suggested that the NBA needed more white stars. I disagreed with that comment. I thought that the NBA just needed more appealing stars. A little less, hip-hop. A little less street thug. A little bit less tattooed. It didn't have to do with race so much as with image.

Well, the NBA took a good step in the right direction tonight at their annual draft. The first two selections in the draft are not just talented players, but they're the kind of guys that dads would want their daughters to date.

The Orlando Magic used the first pick in the draft to select 18 year-old Dwight Howard. Howard is coming straight out of Southwest Atlanta Christian High School. He's a clean-cut, good looking kid. His dad is a state trooper and has arranged for Dwight's uncle to travel with the young man as he learns the ropes of life in the NBA. In an interview immediately following his #1 selection, Dwight told Stewart Scott, "I'm just gonna be working hard and keeping God first, and everything will fall in line."

The expansion, Charlotte Bobcats drafted second and selected UConn's Emeka Okafor. Okafor has stunning good looks and always appeared in a shirt and tie when injuries kept him out of several games this season. Okafor's family came from war-torn Nigeria. Okafor's dad set a good example for Emeka when it came to education, and Emeka did not disappoint. Emeka left UConn while he still had another year of basketball eligibility remaining but not before he had earned his degree in finance in just three years with a 3.8 GPA.

Good luck to both.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/23/04

"The thought of President Kerry makes me more sick than a cicada sandwich." Laura Ingraham

Fahrenheit 9/11 (or Who Would Terrorists Vote For?)

Okay, up until now, I haven't said much about Fahrenheit 9/11. That's partly because I don't believe in criticizing a movie you haven't seen. It's also because Michael Moore has the right to say anything he wants to say, and if people want to pay money to see the movie, then so be it. But, today, I just can't hold my tongue any longer.

Front Row Distributors, the distributors of Fahrenheit 9/11, are accepting the help of Hezbollah in marketing the film in the United Arab Emirates. Wow! This goes way beyond just opposing the sitting President. The is getting right in bed with the evil-doers -- the kind of people who cut the heads off Christians and Americans.

Concerning the decision, Front Row Managing Director Gianluca Chacra said, "We can't go against these organizations as they could strongly boycott the film in Lebanon and Syria." What? Goodness knows that you wouldn't want to risk losing a dime in terrorist-harboring nations.

This quote prompted Melanie Morgan, Vice Chair of Move America Forward, to respond, "Michael Moore dismisses Americans who are upset with his film and the impact it has in undermining support for the war against terrorism. At the same time, his distribution companies are concerned about offending the sensibilities of terrorists. That certainly gives rise to asking the question: Whose side are you on?"

Um, Melanie, I think that question has been answered. Fortunately for Moore and Front Row, we still live in a free society where you can publish lies about the government and make a profit from them. My guess is that the same right doesn't exist in an extremist Muslim dictatorship.

And one other thing .... Fahrenheit 9/11 television ads are still running with the claim, "This film is not yet rated." It opens nationwide in two days. It has been rated. The rating is "R." I suppose Front Row just didn't have the cash to replace the ads once the rating came out. Maybe they ought to give their pals in Hezbollah a call.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Today Sean Hannity invited seventeen prospective Barnard College students into his studio during his live radio program. Barnard College is an elite, all-women's school in New York City. Not surprisingly, all seventeen students were self-declared liberals and Democrats. In an attempt to "Hannitize" them, Sean put them through a series of logic exercises on matters of public policy. Not surprisingly, the professional broadcaster was able to confuse and dismantle the simplistic arguments of these children. Not really an impressive accomplishment.

However, the part of the discussion on the topic of abortion was very enlightening.

One self-assured seventeen year-old girl stepped to the mike and staunchly declared herself "pro choice." Sean asked her if a mother should be able to end her pregnancy after nine months. The girl replied that a mother should not be able to do this because that would be killing another life. The girl stated that it is for this reason that it is illegal for a mother to end her pregnancy any time after three months. Sean then asked her if it's okay to end a pregnancy after just 90 days. The girl replied that it would be okay to do that because it would not be a separate life at that point. The girl further answered that it would illegal to end a pregnancy at 91 days because "something changes" in that 24-hour period to make the fetus its own living thing. Then came the real kicker. Sean asked what's the big deal about that one day. The girl replied by asking her own question: Why not just allow mothers to kill babies after they are born then?

You know, I couldn't have said it better myself. If we're gonna allow mothers to kill viable lives then why limit that right to the unborn? Answer: No logical reason. None.

But back to this poor, misguided seventeen year-old. If this girl is going to Barnard, she obviously has some intelligence. Yet, she is incredibly ignorant in her strong pro-abortion stance. She would no doubt have a visceral reaction to a politician who tried to "limit a woman's right to choose," but she had no idea what that "right" currently includes. This poor child actually believed that it was illegal to kill a baby after 90 days of pregnancy.

This got me thinking: How many Americans are out there who say they support a woman's right to choose and are naively under the same misapprehension that viable babies have the right to live? Based on this interview, I would guess quite a few.

This is the reason that photographs of mangled babies in trash cans are a perfectly legitimate and important part of the public discussion on this topic. Americans must not be allowed to forget exactly what "a woman's right to choose" actually means.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Other movie suggestions

Upon further consideration, Wild Banshee is ready to admit that the movie poll woefully excluded some very important contenders. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is just one glaring example of a fine film saga that was left off the list. Some others include The Terminator trilogy and the Back to the Future trilogy.

That error has been remedied.

Please feel free to vote again if you'd rather vote for some other movie than the one you originally voted for when the list was embarassingly incomplete. I think Banshee herself will take advantage of this second vote opportunity. And, as always, feel free to enter a write-in candidate if I'm still missing a worthy film saga.

Quote of the Day 6/22/04

"You know exactly what she's going to do, but there isn't a thing you can do about it." Arthur Ashe on Martina Navratilova.

Old Gray Lady wins at Wimbledon

No, this is not an entry about the NY Times. The old lady I'm referencing is Martina Navratilova. Following up her appearance at the French Open, the 47 year-old Navratilova accepted a wild card invitation to play at Wimbledon. But, unlike at the French Open, Navratilova won -- and in convincing fashion. She defeated 24 year-old Catalina Castano by a score of 6-0, 6-1.

Now, I took some ribbing for referring to the 45 year-old Ricky Rudd as "aging," but Navratilova's performance at Wimbledon is truly a remarkable achievement for a woman of her age. Just consider this: Navratilova turned pro four years before her opponent was even born, and Navratilova hit #1 in the world a year before Castano's birth. Even more proof: A past world #1 who was named after Navratilova, Martina Hingis, is now retired from professional tennis.

Martina Navratilova will take on 19 year-old Gisela Dulko in her next match on Wednesday.

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Old Gray Lady slams Clinton's book

This is truly a news flash. The book review section of Monday's New York Times gave an absolutely stinging review of President Clinton's new autobiography, My Life. Here is just an excerpt from Michiko Kakutani's review:

Unfortunately for the reader, Mr. Clinton's much awaited new autobiography "My Life" more closely resembles the Atlanta speech, which was so long-winded and tedious that the crowd cheered when he finally reached the words "In closing . . ."

The book, which weighs in at more than 950 pages, is sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull — the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history.

In many ways, the book is a mirror of Mr. Clinton's presidency: lack of discipline leading to squandered opportunities; high expectations, undermined by self-indulgence and scattered concentration. This memoir underscores many strengths of Mr. Clinton's eight years in the White House and his understanding that he was governing during a transitional and highly polarized period. But the very lack of focus and order that mars these pages also prevented him from summoning his energies in a sustained manner to bring his insights about the growing terror threat and an Israeli-Palestinian settlement to fruition.

Kakutani continues:

But while Dan Rather, who interviewed Mr. Clinton for "60 Minutes," has already compared the book to the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, arguably the most richly satisfying autobiography by an American president, "My Life" has little of that classic's unsparing candor or historical perspective. Instead, it devolves into a hodgepodge of jottings: part policy primer, part 12-step confessional, part stump speech and part presidential archive, all, it seems, hurriedly written and even more hurriedly edited.


Quote of the Day 6/21/04 First Day of Summer

"It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do." Walter Winchell.

A Message from the Baptists

The Baptist church down the street from my apartment chose to put the following message on one side of the board outside of the church: We are Baptists who support public schools.

What's that all about? Does this have something to do with the recent Southern Baptist Convention? If anybody can shed some light on the motive behind this church's sign, please do share.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/20/04 Father's Day

"It was Dad – the Maginot line of family resistance." Narrator in The Wonder Years.


The boys of NASCAR were in Michigan for the DHL 400. And, for the third straight week, they finished under caution. This time, an accident occurred on the final lap as Kasey Kahne was making a dramatic charge towards Ryan Newman to challenge for the lead. Due to the new rules this year, the cars were not permitted to race back to take the checkered flag. Instead, the field was frozen at the moment the yellow dropped, and Kahne and Newman coasted to the finish line. It was a disappointing ending, to say the least. The win moved Newman into ninth place in the standings, giving him a little breathing room between himself and that all-important tenth position. Jimmy Johnson had a strong car again this week. His fourth place finish moved him into first place in the championship standings. Dale, Jr. finished in twenty-first and now trails Johnson by seven points.

Next week: The road course at Sonoma, CA.

Movie Poll Continues

There was a low turnout for the movie poll on the blog this week. As a result, I will hold it over for another two weeks. That is not because I think this poll is necessarily worthy of a three week stint. Rather, I may not have access to my polling technology next Sunday night.

So, please vote sometime this week. And, as always, don't hesitate to make a write-in.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Random Stuff

Redneck Woman: Gretchen Wilson absolutely rocked last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I'm not sure that you'd exactly call what she was wearing a shirt. It was more like a large hanky tied on the front of the body. Nonetheless, her perfomance was fantastic. She performed the title song of her debut cd, "I'm Here for the Party."

President of Beers: Has this turned out to be the worst advertising campaign of all time? In case you all have something better to do with your lives than watch 22 hours of sports-related TV programming each day, let me fill you in. This spring, Miller launched an ad campaign where some dorky rep from their company is running against the Budweiser Clydesdale for President of Beers. Now, the first problem with this ad campaign is that the whole thing is based on the fact that everyone already knows that Budweiser is the King of Beers. A bizarre tactic for Miller to follow, if you ask me. But, it gets worse from there. Miller ends up getting disqualified from this fictitious campaign. As it turns out, Miller was recently purchased by a foreign brewer. Budweiser jumped on this opportunity and launched their own ad campaign of at least three commercials where they discuss Miller's disqualification from the race due to the fact that they are not American. Ouch! The Bud lizards make an appearance in these ads, and Budweiser also introduced a new character, the Budweiser Donkey. I think there is one word that best sums up Miller's campaign: treveshamockery.

CMT following the right lead: CMT has apparently been taking some pointers from VH-1 and focused their attention on countdowns. This is totally appropriate for CMT. After all, CMT is supposed to be America's music, and there is nothing more American than reducing artistic expression to a ranked list and crowning a champion. CMT has ranked a whole variety of things. In case you were wondering, "Hurt" by Johnny Cash was ranked the greatest country video of all time. "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton was ranked as the best country love song of all time. And, "Friends in Low Places" was crowned the greatest drinking song of all time.

Mixing Sports and Country Music: Ford has a fabulous new television commercial. The spot features 2004 Masters champ, Phil Mickelson singing "Who's Your Caddy?" to Toby Keith. How great is that? Still, Phil better not quit his day job -- which really isn't a job anyway. And Toby, well, I think his job is just being Toby.

Quote of the Day 6/19/04

"For liberals, history began this morning." Ann Coulter

Esther, the Material Girl

Recently, Banshee Blog reported that Madonna instituted a swearing jar on her tour bus. But, the changes don't end there. On Thursday, the Material Girl told ABC news that she now wishes to be known as "Esther." The name change is just one part of her recent exploration into the "religion" of Kabalah (I say "religion" because, as far as I can tell, Kabalah doesn't actually require a belief in anything except belief itself). The name change isn't the only part of the interview that demonstrated Madonna's total lack of connection with reality. Madonna also declared in her fake, British accent that George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein were really a lot alike. Come on, Esther. My advice to Esther: if you wanna save any credibility at all, you should heed the title of Laura Ingraham's latest book and Shut Up and Sing.

Lakers coming unraveled

It looks like Tueday night in Detroit will mark the end of an era in Los Angeles. Just three days after the Lakers' Game 5 loss, head coach Phil Jackson reached an agreement with the Lakers to terminate his contract. That started the dominos in motion. Upon hearing the news, Shaquille O'Neil requested a trade out of LA. Kobe Bryant may also be leaving. He is exercising his right to become an unrestricted free agent. The departure of Jackson and possibly Shaq would increase the chances of the Lakers resigning Kobe. However, Kobe's ultimate future in the NBA will be determined later this summer by an Eagle County, CO, jury.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/18/04

"They have no shame. No shred of decency or mercy even for the innocent. .... America will hunt down these killers, find them one by one and destroy them." Vice President Cheney in response to Al Qaeda's murder of Paul Johnson.

Have you forgotten?

When Darryl Worley's single "Have You Forgotten?" hit number one last year, many people criticized it as being inflammatory and simplistic. But some things are simple. There is evil in the world. And that evil seeks to kill Christians, Jews and Americans worldwide. The barbaric butchery of Paul Johnson by Al Qaeda operatives today served as a stark reminder of that fact. Let us never forget who we are fighting here. Let us never forget that if Al Qaeda had its way, they would saw off the head of every American man, woman and child.

Clear choice this November

I know that I'm primarily preaching to the choir here, but I just want to send out a reminder to everyone that our nation's future may literally hang in the balance this November.

This became even more clear to me today when I heard a sound bite of John Kerry acting as if there was some mysterious motive for our nation going to war in Iraq -- a war for which he voted. John Kerry has no clear vision for our nation's role in the world or the course we should take in the fight against those who work for our destruction. Instead, his entire foreign policy repertoire is built around unfounded innuendo and insinuation.

So, as you head to the polls this November, as yourselves if Al Qaeda and the like would hate the United States less if we elect John Kerry. The answer is clearly "no." Then ask yourself who you would rather have at the helm as America fights those who murder us. If you'd feel safer being led by the pacifist, Kerry-Chirac Alliance then, by all means, vote for the Massachusetts senator. If you believe that we should stay the course and have the courage to fight evil in our time, then George Bush is the clear choice.

Clinton equates himself to the Berlin Wall

While promoting the upcoming release of his book, My Life, Bill Clinton compared himself to the Berlin Wall. Clinton said:

Mr. Starr and his operation, Mr. Ewing, they were not just independent renegades. They were the instruments of a grand design. When the Berlin Wall fell, the perpetual right in America, which always needs an enemy, didn't have an enemy anymore. So I had to serve as the next best thing.

What is he talking about? Is he saying that Republicans should not have attacked the Berlin Wall or is he saying that he is somehow the moral equivalent of the Communist Bloc? And where do the interns fit into this analogy? I suppose they would be the equivalent of the captive East Berliners -- there for their master's pleasure.

I didn't come up with this analogy, friends. These are Clinton's own words.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/17/04

"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Similarities between the Banshee and Laura Ingraham

Some of you may be familiar with Laura Ingraham from TV or radio. Some of you may actually even know her. I personally have been a fan of Ms. Ingraham since I first saw her on TV in the fall of 1998. That following spring, I even adjusted my morning routine so as to watch her show before class instead of Sports Center. Now I'm back in the fortunate life circumstance to be able to listen to her talk radio show from 9 till 10 in the morning on 960 AM.

After thinking about it for a little while, I realized that there are several similarities between myself and Laura. Sure, she is more famous and influential than I am at the moment, but we do have some things in common. We're both conservative women. We both attended law school in the state of Virginia. We both love Ronaldus Magnus and W. We both advertise for Dr. Paul Kengor's book, God and Ronald Reagan, on our websites. But the similarities don't end there.

This is the photo that leads off Laura's gallery at her website:

Here is the photo that is on my Friendster profile:

Hopefully, the similarities will continue into the future and I will have the opportunity to clerk for Justice Thomas at the Supreme Court and host my own radio show.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Life in the ER is always hectic, but Tuesday night was especially exciting at Carillion Franklin Memorial Hospital in Rocky Mount, VA. A male black bear wandered through the automatic doors and right into the emergency room. The bear didn't even appear to be seeking treatment since he wandered down the hall and into an empty room. Once he was in the empty room someone got the door closed behind the bear, trapping him inside. A local game warden happened to be at the hospital when the bear paid his visit, but it was Rocky Mount police officers who eventually took care of the situation by killing the unwelcome guest.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/16/04

"It ain’t bragging if you can back it up." Bill "Lefty" Wetzel

In honor of PopPop's 74th birthday.

Congratulations, Detroit Pistons!

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Last night, the Detroit Pistons finished off the Los Angeles Lakers in convincing style. Despite the fact that the media was ready to crown the Lakers champions after they captured the West, the fiesty Pistons only needed five games to claim the title for themselves. Like the cities that they come from, there is no denying that the Lakers had more flash than the Pistons. But over the course of the Finals, the Pistons proved that they had far more substance than their opponent from the left coast. While the Lakers were a collection of stars, the Pistons turned out to be the consumate team -- made in the image of their highly respected coach, Larry Brown.

This was one of the most satisfying NBA Finals that I have ever watched. Not only did I grow to admire the Pistons, but I also got to see the team that I hate most in all of professional sports take an embarassing beating. I don't think that I am the only one who feels this way. Steve Wilstein of the AP says that if there was ever a team who deserved this, it was the Lakers.

But, as we proceed into the basketball offseason, I do have a few words of consolation for Lakers' guard, Kobe Bryant: Don't worry, Kobe. You'll win a championship next year. I'm sure there isn't anyone like Teyshaun Prince to guard you in the Eagle County Prison League. Plus, you won't have that pesky Shaq asking to touch the ball.

Once again, congrats to the Detroit Pistons and their head coach, Larry Brown.

Time for blogging?

In recent weeks, I have heard several loyal readers of this blog make comments such as, "Wow, you must have a lot of time on your hands," or "It must be nice to have that much free time." I want to take a moment today to correct that misconception. Although I do enjoy posting to the blog, the volume of posts has nothing to do with my free time. For the most part, I make a point to post something everyday and don't allow myself go to bed until I do. Why? Partly because I believe in discipline. Partly because I know that my loyal readers cry rivers of tears if there is a post-free day. But mostly because I believe in the concept of blogging. For a refresher on my thoughts on all of thsi, please refer to one of the early posts on Banshee Blog. Here is an excerpt from that post:

I just finished reading In, But Not Of by Hugh Hewitt. The subtitle to this book is "A Guide to Christian Ambition." The basic gist of the book is that it is important for Christians to seek positions of influence in America. Mr. Hewitt says that one of the first steps to being a person of influence is participating in the public discourse. Thanks to the Internet, the Market Place of Ideas is not such a gated community as it once was. Mr. Hewitt recommends blogging as a great way to start sharing ideas with the public. He believes that if you write something interesting, people will find it. So, that's why Banshee Blog was born.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/15/04

"If the NBA was on channel 5 and a bunch of frogs making love was on channel 4, I'd watch the frogs, even if they were coming in fuzzy." Bobby Knight

Overall, I would tend to agree, but tonight I would tend to disagree.

Time to start watching

Back in April I mocked the NBA playoffs, scoffing at the idea of anyone watching the early rounds. But, during the last four three games Finals, I have actually been rearranging my schedule in order to make sure that I can be in front of my television. Why? Partly because I despise the Lakers, but mostly because the Pistons have turned out to be the epitome of what a team is supposed to be -- in stark contrast to their opponent. As Doc Rivers put it on PTI tonight, "It's two stars versus a team, and so far, the team is winning."

Before the start of the series, experts were saying that the Lakers would win in a cake-walk. But, the experts weren't playing in the finals, and four games later, the Pistons find themselves on the brink of a championship with a 3-1 series lead. History is against the Lakers. No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the finals. However, as Kobe Bryant pointed out last night, history isn't entirely on the Pistons' side, either. No team has ever won all three consecutive home games in the NBA finals, either. The Pistons will need to do just that in order to avoid returning to LA in pursuit of their title. If the Pistons do indeed win tonight, Larry Brown will become the first coach to win both an NCAA title and an NBA title.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/14/04

"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor." Teddy Roosevelt

Bansheemobile Update II (or ... when it rains it pours)

The Bansheemobile suffered another injury over the weekend. Someone smashed the passenger side window while the car was parked in the lot at Perfection Auto Body. In case you may have forgotten, my car is at Perfection Auto Body because I was the victim of a reckless driver on June 1. Nothing was stolen out of my car because I had already taken everything valuable, including the face to my stereo, out of the car before allowing some stranger to tow it away on the night of the accident. The would-be thief could have avoided damaging my car if he would have just shined a light inside to see that the stereo could not be stolen. Of course, the would-be thief could also have avoided damaging my car by just pulling on the door handle. For whatever reason, the auto body shop had left my car unlocked on their lot.

I personally suffered some minor cuts while investigating the condition of the interior of my car. Like a child, I assumed that I could kneel on a seat that was covered in glass without sustaining any injuries just because the glass didn't cut my hands when I picked up a sample.

Bush's Birthday Bash

George Bush, Sr. proved that you don't have to be young to have a wild birthday bash. Bush celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday by skydiving. Fox News anchor, Brit Hume, also participated in the jump. After the afternoon festivities ended, the party moved to Minute Maid Park in Houston. Thousands were in attendance, inlcuding Rush Limbaugh and Mikhail Gorbechev.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/13/04

"What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself." Abraham Lincoln

Banshee Blog readers choose Lincoln

In one of the most popular polls in Banshee Blog history, readers chose Abraham Lincoln as America's greatest President. The Great Emancipator took 52% of the vote. Ronald Reagan finished a distant second with 20% of the vote. FDR, who was tied for the lead for a good part of the week, finished in third with 16% of the vote. The Father of Our Country only garnered two votes. Teddy Roosevelt got one vote. Harry Truman got shut out, and there were no write-ins.

This week's poll: Which continuing movie saga is the best? As always, feel free to enter a write-in vote.


As expected, this week's race from Pocono was far from riveting. As usual, this race had more to do with engine mishaps and pit strategy than fender to fender racing. Then it ended under yellow -- which is never good. Jimmy Johnson continued his strong season and finished in first place. This allowed him to inch closer to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the championship standings. Junior's sixth place finish allowed him to hold onto the top spot in the standings. Matt Kenseth held onto third spot in the standings despite being involved in the incident that brought out the race's final caution. Jeff Gordon jumped past Tony Stewart and took over fourth place.

Next week: Michigan -- a race usually determined by fuel mileage.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/12/04

"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes." Mark Twain

Redneck Woman

Back in May, Gretchen Wilson scored a country music trifecta when her debut album, single and video all reached #1 on the Bilboard charts. Wilson wrote the single, "Redneck Woman," and it was an instant hit. It reached #1 faster than any other song in history. And who could be surprised with lyrics such as: "You might look down on me, but I don't give a rip. I'd rather stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip."

The rest of the album, which is titled I'm Here for the Party, lives up to the single. Wilson sings about challenging someone to a fight and drinking Jack on the rocks. And like any good country girl, Wilson also sings about her salvation. She sings that she hopes her chariot to heaven is a Trans Am. And not just any Trans Am -- a Trans Am with an 8 painted on the door (unfortunately, the 8 is not in honor of Jr. but in honor of the age she was baptized).

I did get one big surprise when I listened to the album. I found out that the Redneck Woman is not from the South. No. She is from Pocohontas, Illinois. Guess that proves that Yankee girls know how to have fun, too.

Sigh of relief

Liberals, cynics and intellectual elitists with disdain for unabashed patriotism can all breath a sigh of relief. The national week of mourning for Ronald Reagan is ended. They will no longer be plagued by statements containing absolute truths and historical fact as a nation remembers what Ronald Reagan stood for and accomplished. Now the media can finally get back to covering what is really important in our nation: the Scott Peterson trial and the upcoming release of Bill Clinton's memiors.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/11/04

"In his last years, he saw through a glass darkly. Now he sees his Savior face to face. .... God Bless Ronald Reagan and this nation that he loved." President Bush in his eulogy to President Reagan.

Eulogies for Reagan

President Bush has declared this day to be a national day of mourning. But it is also a day to celebrate a great American life. Both mourning and celebration occured today at the Washington National Cathedral during the national funeral for the 40th President of the United States.

Margaret Thatcher delivered the first eulogy. Due to health problems, doctors advised the Iron Lady eighteen months ago to refrain from any more public appearances. But before withdrawing from the public eye, Lady Thatcher insisted on recording a eulogy to be read at Ronald Reagan's funeral. The eulogy, accompanied by video tape, was a fitting tribute to Reagan. Lady Thatcher reminded the world that Ronald Reagan had the courage to stand firmly against communism even when many in inteligensia believed that the Soviet Union could not be defeated. It was important to Thatcher that the historical record of that time be preserved, lest anyone think that it was common knowledge that victory could indeed be achieved over the Evil Empire. In closing, Lady Thatcher said, "The world mourns the passing of the Great Liberator and repeats his prayer. God bless America."

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney gave a stirring eulogy as well. President George H.W. Bush gave perhaps the most personal and emotional eulogy of the service, at one point pausing to choke back tears. The elder Bush also moved the mourners to laughter in recalling some of Reagan's stories.

Then the current President Bush concluded the eulogies. Like many this week, Bush's eulogy extolled Reagan's virtues of courage and optimism. But unlike most others, Bush concluded his eulogy by asking from where President Reagan drew those qualities. The answer: his Christian faith. Bush also said that Reagan "believed that America was not just a place in the world but a hope to the world." Speaking on Reagan's courageous stand against the Evil Empire, Bush said, "There were no doubters among those who swung hammers at that hated wall that the first and hardest blow had been struck by Ronald Reagan." Bush wrapped up his eulogy by reminding a mourning nation that President Reagan is now in the presence of his Savior.

Following Bush's moving remarks, the choir broke into a stirring rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." It was one of the most majestic events that I have ever seen. I thank Ronald Reagan for being the man worthy of the words spoken about him today, and I thank Nancy Reagan for allowing the nation to have a funeral such as this.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/10/04

"I don't know all the national anthems of the world, but I do know this. The only anthem of those I do know that ends with a question is ours, and may it ever be thus. Does that banner still wave 'o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?' Yes it does, and we're going to see that it continues to wave over that kind of a country." Ronald Reagan, May 4, 1982.

Applauding a funeral

Yesterday I watched the funeral procession of Ronald Reagan as it made it's way to the capital. The television anchors remained quiet, allowing the viewers to hear the sounds of the massive crowds. As I listened, I was struck by periodic outbursts of applause. Now, I'm not sure if the applause was in responce to Nancy Reagan as she waved from the limousine or for the military bands or for the casket itself. At first, any sort of applause seemed weird to me. But, the more I think about it, the more appropriate applause seems. Ronald Reagan lived a long and full live. A life that should be celebrated. Although we are sad at his passing, it is entirely appropriate to applaud the accomplishments of this great man. He restored honor to the Presidency while the office was still haunted by the Nixon years. He lifted the American economy out of the malaise of the 1970's. He returned strength and confidence to the military following impotence of the Iran hostage situation. And, he sent an evil empire to the dustbin of history. These are truly great accomplishments.

Though my eyes well up with tears when I think that he is no longer living with us, I, too, will rise in applause for Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Ronald Reagan - Truth Teller

I wasn't sure just what I wanted to say about a man I admired so much. Would I write about his diplomacy, his economics, or his patriotism?

As I thought about these things I came again and again to the fact that in every situation Reagan didn't come up with brillaint new theories or revisions of history - he simply spoke the truth. Communism was evil. People spend their money better than the government does. Abortion is the taking of a life. America is a great country with great people.

When Reagan spoke the truth people responded. His ideas resonated with so many people because they confirmed what the average American already knew in their heart.

What I want to do to honor Ronald Reagan is to be brave enough to tell the truth, to stand up and speak the truth even when intellectuals scoff, to speak the truth with kindness even though it may make some people feel uncomfortable, and to have confidence that the truth will stand the test of time.

Thank you Ronald Reagan.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/9/04

"There is no question that I am an idealist. In other words, I am an American." President Ronald Reagan, quoted tonight's eulogy by Vice President Cheney

The Sweet Cuddly Genocide

So a friend told me that according to Human Rights Watch (and her, apparently), the genocide in Iraq is far greater now than when Saddam Hussein was in power. This came as a shock to me because I knew that the definition of marriage was under attack, but not "genocide" too. Genocide now is apparently the killing of anyone for any reason, regardless of the context or causes of their death. This would bring the liberation of Europe and Asia into levels of genocide that far exceed any other travesty this world has ever seen. Oddly, I didn't hear about Human Rights Watch condemning the D-Day Celebrations. This all got me thinking.

Liberalism's classic style of fighting is this: they oppose conservatives by accusing conservatives of being that which conservatives oppose. Reagan's opposition of communism and his subsequent building of arms wasn't a move for peace, but towards mutually assured destruction. Saddam invaded Kuwait for oil and a sea port, so when the US first opposed Saddam, it was us who were hungry for oil. When conservatives oppose abortion to give the unborn freedom's breath, conservatives are accused of being anti-choice. When GW goes into Iraq to stabilize the region, hold secure possible weapons of destruction, and to destroy rape rooms, it turns out that GW is the genocidist. Liberals call us racists, yet oppose wars to free Kurds and Afghani Muslims and still find time to call Condi Rice and Gen. Powell "Uncle Toms." It is an attitude of destruction, of tearing down.

Human Rights Watch and others like them look at Iraq and see that innocents are dying. This rightfully should break our hearts. Yet, liberals don't see as clearly that terrorists are dying in Iraq, too. Iraq is not NY or Oklahoma or Indiana or Virginia. America's finest are also dying in Iraq. Men and women who have left children in the States to fulfill their duties, men and women who are making friends of Iraqis daily, men who sacrifice salaries of millions to embrace freedom's call, are dying in Iraq. Yet, it is us who are the genocidists.

I'm writing this as a way of venting my frustration. Negative Liberalism has lived for too long. It always tells us that America's best days are behind us, and that our presence, or in some sense, our very existence, should be condemned. It wasn't too long ago that America's second revolution, our Civil War, redefined who we were as a people. Father Lincoln brought us to a new era and pushed us towards a future where we would wrestle with the meaning of true liberty. Our grandfathers became the greatest generation by fighting to free Europe and Asia. Our parents lived under the cloud of Cold War and found, under Linclon's heir, new victory. President Reagan challenged us to be a nation of light, a shining city on a hill, and to see beyond the limits of our own abilities. As his world dimmed into mental darkness, he told us that our best days were ahead.

See, America hasn't just survived its challenges. It has dominated them. My children will live in a better, safer world, not because the world has made itself so, but because we have made the world so. Despite the haggling of negative liberals, we know what Truth is. We know that rape rooms are inherently evil, and that war is a means, not an end. We know that freedom has a high cost, not only to to he who is liberated, but to the liberator as well. Yet Freedom calls us like an insatiable muse, and Heaven sees the struggles of its creations.

Today, we stand at a crossroads. This November's election will define the direction of our struggle. It may be the turning point in defining our role as freedom's sentry. When our children's children read about our generation, let it be with tearful pride, that despite the critics and naysayers, we drew our swords and stood our ground. We met destiny on the battlefield of our choosing and won.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Greatest Presidents Poll

I thought of two names that were omitted from the list of choices in the greatest Presidents poll. Thomas Jefferson and JFK.

Also, if you would like to lobby on behalf of your choice for best President and would like to influence others in their vote, the tagboard (right-hand side of the screen) would be an excellent forum for that.

In all honesty, I have not decided yet who I will vote for.

Bansheemobile Update

My car is still in intensive care, but it is on the road to recovery. Parts are on their way to Roanoke, VA. I should be back in the Camry in about two weeks. Please don't send any get well cards. The Camry has requested that if you want to show your support, you should just mail a $5 check to George W. Bush's campaign.

Quote of the Day 6/8/04

"If CBS had a live broadcast of the second coming of Christ, and Dan Rather was narrating, I'd look for a hockey game." Neal Bortz, radio talk show host.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Dr. Kengor on the passing of President Reagan

I've mentioned Dr. Paul Kengor many times on this blog. Dr. Kengor is the author of God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life. Click here to read Dr. Kengor's commentary on Reagan's death. This piece was published at National Review Online.

New Poll

Banshee Blog wants to know who you all consider the greatest President of the United States. I did my best to come up with a fair list, but please don't hesitate to enter a write-in vote.

Quote of the Day 6/7/04

"He embodied everything that was American." Sean Hannity on President Ronald Reagan.


I missed the race again this weekend, but by all accounts, the MBNA 400 from Dover was one of the wildest races in recent memory. By the time the race ended, nearly all of the 40+ cars that started the race had some sort of damage. Tony Stewart appeared to have the car to beat early on in the race, but it was Mark Martin who took home the checkered flag. The victory ended a two year winless streak for Martin. (I didn't see any post-race coverage, so I'm not sure if Martin pulled himself out of his car and said, "I have to thank Viagra for today's victory.") Tony Stewart finished second. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished in third place, and Jeff Burton was the final car on the lead lap in fourth place.

Earnhardt's strong finish coupled with troubles for Jimmy Johnson allowed Junior to stretch his lead over Johnson to 98 points in the championship standings. Matt Kenseth remains in third.

Next week: Pocono 500 from Long Pond, PA.

Second Place for Smarty Jones

As most of you know by now, Smarty Jones was defeated on Saturday in his bid for the Triple Crown. Smarty's loss came less than two hours after I heard of President Reagan's death, so it was a tough couple of hours for Wild Banshee. But, as Tennyson wrote "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

I still love Smarty Jones and look forward to tracking the remainder of his career. Smarty Jones will probably take a month off to rest. Trainer John Servis says that Smarty will probably run in the Breeder's Cup in Texas and may run in the Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Labor Day as a thank you to his fans. The Chapmans, Smarty's owners, plan to continue to run Smarty Jones as a four year-old.

Good luck to you, Smarty, and thank you for 5 weeks of fun.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/6/04 D-Day

"When the invasion was finally over and the guns were silent, this coast, we are told, was lined for miles with the belongings of the thousands who fell. There were life belts and canteens and socks and K-rations and helmets and diaries and snapshots. And there were Bibles, many Bibles, mixed with the wreckage of war. Our boys had carried in their pockets the book that brought into the world this message: Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. America honors all the liberators who fought here in the noblest of causes, and America would do it again for our friends. May God bless you."

From President Bush's remarks on the 60th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy.

Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004

Yesterday, June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan loosed the surly bonds of this world to touch the face of God. It always sad to lose a man of this magnitude. Yet, as the President reminded us, we can be confident that Ronald Reagan is now in the shining city and free from the tortures of Alzheimer's.

Thank you, Mr. Reagan.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/5/04

"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." Damon Runyon.

We all know who the Smart money is on today! Let's go Smarty Jones!

Reagan's Health Deteriorating

Word is that President Reagan's health took a sharp turn for the worst in the last few days. A close friend of the family told the press that the end is nearing for America's 40th President. President Reagan is 93 years old and has been suffering from Alzheimer's for several years.

Today is the Day

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

Today is finally the day that Smarty Jones has the opportunity to capture the Triple Crown. A win at the Belmont Stakes would make Smarty Jones the first Triple Crown winner in my lifetime. If Smarty wins, he would become perhaps the most unlikely Triple Crown winner ever. Smarty comes from mediocre bloodlines and was born at a Pennsylvania farm. He is owned by a retired used car salesman from Philly and is based out of Philadelphia Park in Bensalom, PA. Smarty has overcome the murder of his orginial trainer and a near fatal accident in the starting gates before his first start as a two year-old. Smarty is now trained by a man who grew up on the back stretch at Charleston Downs in Charleston, WV. Despite Smarty's successes, team Smarty has stuck with journeyman jockey Stewart Elliot, the leading jock at Philly Park who has overcome alcoholism and a criminal record.

Today will be another tough test for Smarty. The Belmont is the longest of the three Triple Crown races, and the forecast is calling for rain. This could help Smarty's main challenger, Rock Hard Ten, because Rock Hard Ten is far larger than the slight Smarty Jones.

Even if you've never watched a horse race before, the Belmont Stakes will be well-worth watching. Post time for the Belmont Stakes is scheduled for 6:38 pm. Coverage begins on NBC at 5:30.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/4/04

"I'm here as the Prime Minister of a country which is a loyal and faithful ally of the United States of America. The United States is a country to which my people bears a deep gratitude because it owes to the generosity of this great democracy its freedom and its prosperity. We'll never forget the fact that about a half a century ago, through the sacrifice of so many young Americans, Italy and Europe were saved from totalitarianism. I would like to add one more thing. I consider the flag of the United States is not only a flag of a country, but is a universal message of freedom and democracy." Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi during a visit to Washington, DC in 2002.

I wanted to post this as the quote of the day as we enter the weekend when the free men of the world began their liberation of Europe. It is important to be reminded that not all Europeans have forgotten the sacrifices made by Americans on their continent.

Silvio Berlusconi said something even more forceful than this today in response to his own citizens staging anti-Bush protests in Rome. Berlusconi urged his people to visit a nearby cemetery where 8,000 Americans are buried before they march through the streets of Rome. Unfortunately, I was unable to find Berlusconi's exact words on the Net. Surprise, surprise that the Premier's comments on the Italian protests never made it into the myriad press reports on the protests in Rome.

Fantastic article from Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan is always perceptive and articulate. However, I think her column from yesterday was particularly excellent.

Here is an excerpt from her column where she discusses the shift in values in American culture:

I want to make sure I understand. If you smoke a cigarette on a beach in modern America you are harming the innocent. If you have a baby scraped from your womb, you are protecting your freedom. If you sell a pack of cigarettes to a 12-year-old boy you can be jailed, fined and sent to Guantanamo Bay with the other killers. If you sell a pack of contraceptives to a 12 year old boy in modern America you are socially responsible citizen.

Click here to read the rest of her column. It will be well worth your time.

Tiananmen Square

"To stand in Tiananmen Square is to stand in the heart of China." These words are spoken proudly in China's film at EPCOT's World Showcase. I think it is appropriate to repeat these words today because June 4 marks the 15th anniversary of the Communist massacre of hundreds of student protesters in Tiananmen Square.

Throughout the spring of 1989, students had been conducting peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations at the Chinese landmark. Fearing that it could join the Soviet Union in the dustbin of history, the Chinese military took extreme actions to put down the student rallies. The massacre began on the night of June 3 and carried through June 4. By the time it was all done, the Chinese military had murdered hundreds, possibly thousands, of its own citizens. The actual numbers are unknown due to the governmental control over news reporting.

There has been no great idealogical shift in China since the time of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The AP has reported the following:

In advance of the anniversary, Chinese authorities detained activists and relatives of people killed in 1989 or ordered them out of Beijing. On Friday, broadcasts of CNN to hotels and apartment compounds for foreigners in the Chinese capital were blacked out repeatedly when the network showed reports on the crackdown.

As many people around the world praise China for its recent economic developments, let us not forget the evil that the People's Republic of China is willing to perpetrate on its own people.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/3/04

"The terrorists that attacked on Sept 11 were not protesting our policies. They were protesting our existence." President Bush in his commencement address at the Air Force Academy on June 2, 2004.

My virgin ears ... Ooooh!

Apparently, Madonna has decided that ears are just too tender to tolerate swearing in her presence. Reportedly, Madonna has started a version of the swearing jar on her tour. Anyone who uses bad language has to put $5 in the jar. This came as a surprise to me because, if I remember correctly, it was Madonna who caused great controversy when she dropped the F-bomb on David Letterman's show a few years back. So, I guess it's okay to bring a copy of Sex, Madonna's pornographic coffee table book, onto the tour bus but it is not okay to say one of George Carlin's seven dirty words.

Everyone Loves Smarty

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

It is not only Banshee Blog that is completely infatuated with Smarty Jones. Last night, Smarty Jones was featured on A&E's Biography. At only 3 years of age, Smarty is fairly young for Biography, but the spunky, Pennsylvania colt has lived a full life. Last year, the nation was captivated by as Funnycide tried for the Triple Crown, but that was nothing compared to the love for Smarty. During the NHL playoffs, one Philly radio station conducted a poll of its listeners, asking them which parade they would rather see on Broad Street: a Triple Crown parade for Smarty Jones or a Stanley Cup parade for the Flyers. The listeners chose Smarty by a 2 to 1 margin. And, who could blame them. Smarty is just so darn cute.

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Smarty has not only drawn comparisons to racing greats like Secretariat and Seabiscuit, but Smarty has even drawn comparisons to Muhammad Ali. Like Ali, Smarty will be the greatest if he completes the Triple Crown on Saturday. The $1 million dollar purse for the Belmont Stakes and the $5 million bonus for the Triple Crown would push Smarty past Cigar as the richest horse of all time. Even if Smarty falls short on Saturday, his place as the most photogenic horse of all time is probably already secure.

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Let's go Smarty!

Joe Gibbs Racing honors D-Day anniversary

Sunday will be the 60th anniversary of D-Day. In honor of the Allied invasion at Normandy in 1944, Bobby Labonte's #18 Chevrolet will sport a commemorative D-Day paint job for this Sunday's MBNA 400. Bobby Labonte's team is a part of Joe Gibbs Racing. Earlier this year, at the Daytona 500, Labonte's car featured The Passion of the Christ.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/2/04

"I walk slowly, but I never walk backwards." Abraham Lincoln

And it's Smarty on the outside ...

Smarty Jones will be starting all the way on the outside this Saturday as he tries to complete the elusive Triple Crown. Despite starting in the ninth post position, Smarty Jones still opened as a 2-5 favorite for the Belmont Stakes. I'm not going to put the jynx on Smarty by making any bold predictions, but I don't think it's any secret who Wild Banshee will be cheering for when the gates fly open at Belmont Park.

Give the people what they want

In response to a request posted on the tagboard, a new link has been added to the Banshee Blog. The link is for a blog called How Appealing. This blog is maintained by an appellate attorney named Howard Bashman. How Appealing is dedicated entirely to tracking the action in United States Courts of Appeal. One of the most outstanding features of How Appealing is the sheer volume of posts that Mr. Bashman is able to put on his site each day. So, if you've got a free moment, check out How Appealing.

Happy Unbirthday!

In all the excitement of yesterday's car accident, I forgot to mention that June 1 was Banshee Blog's 6-month blogiversary. I hearty thanks goes out to all readers and supporters.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Quote of the Day 6/1/04

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[1] who[2] have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28.

A fitting reminder in light of the inconveniences of tonight's car accident.

Wild night for the Banshee

Wild Banshee and Mimi were in a car accident tonight. Neither of us were hurt, so there should not be an interruption in blogging. In fact, there may be more time for blogging since I will be without wheels for the time being. Black Beauty was not as fortunate as Mimi and I. She sustained some serious damage. In case any of you were wondering, Wild Banshee was completely without fault in this incident. I got broadsided while at a complete stop at a stop sign. As frustrating as the whole thing was, it may have worked out for the best. Black Beauty may have prevented the death of several pedestrians that were in the direct path of the lunatic that never touched her brakes. This fact was not lost on the pedestrians. Well, enough about my day ....


After a week off for the all star race, the boys of NASCAR were once again competing for Nextel Cup points in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The 600-mile race is the longest race of the year. It starts in the day and ends in the night. Because it ends under the lights, the 600 is usually one of my favorite races of the year. However, this year's running was tremendously boring. Jimmy Johnson started on the pole and absolutely dominated the race. No one really challenged. Johnson's victory moved him within 5 points of Nextel Cup leader, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Matt Kenseth's third place finish moved him into third in the championship standings, vaulting him past Jeff Gordon. Tony Stewart remained in fifth place.