Saturday, July 31, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/31/04

“Forgiveness is not condoning the wrong.” Robert Savage’s Life’s Lessons

The Village

The Village, M. Night Shyamalan's latest release, debuted this weekend. Prior to The Village, M. Night Shyamalan wrote, directed and produced The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs. The Village is a worthy addition to that filmography. Out of those films, I would say that The Village was second only in overall quality to The Sixth Sense -- and a narrow second at that.

I cannot go into the plot too much because suspense is a key element of this film. However, I will say that the story centers around a blind character. Blindness is always an effective vehicle for suspense, and Bryce Dallas Howard gives a compelling performance in the role. William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Joaquin Phoenix are also excellent in the film, and Academy Award winner, Adrien Brody, provides a stirring portrayal of a mentally disturbed man.

Like most Shyamalan films, The Village is suspenseful without relying on gore. It portrays believable characters without including foul language, and it presents a moving love story without resorting to the cheap techinique of showing steamy sex. The plot is crisply written, intriguing and extremely creative. In summary, I think The Village is an outstanding film and well worth the price of admission.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/30/04

“We can afford to differ on the currency, the tariff, and foreign policy; but we cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure ….” Gov. Theodore Roosevelt on May 12, 1900

DNC Notes -- Day 4 -- The final day

It’s finally official. John F. Kerry has accepted the Democratic nomination to run for President of the United States. In the words of Laura Ingraham, “[A]fter waiting almost four years, [the Democrats] finally have their chance to smash the hated George W. Bush and his crowd of Bible-thumping, tee totaling, gas-guzzling, gun-shooting, warmongering rednecks.”

The final night of the convention was not at all the standard type of night for the Democratic party. Almost the entire evening was dedicated to glorifying Senator Kerry’s 4 months (that’s right, 4 months) in Vietnam. There were speeches by generals, appearances by comrades in arms and a video detailing Kerry’s exploits on a swift boat in the Mekong Delta. It was highly unusual fare for the DNC. After all, this is the party that convinced America in 1990’s that military service was meaningless when the draft-avoiding Bill Clinton defeated war heroes, George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole in consecutive elections.

Senator Kerry finally took the stage for his address around ten o’clock at night. Kerry began his acceptance speech with these words: “My name is John Kerry, and I am reporting for duty.” He then saluted. After his salute, he talked for over 45 minutes. Kerry’s choice of topics was quite interesting. Based on his choice of topics, Kerry either has the most selective memory in history or believes that the American people do.

Kerry talked about being born in the West Wing of an Army hospital in Colorado. He also talked about playing in a rock and roll band in high school but did not talk about the fact that he attended a Swiss boarding school. Kerry talked about joining the military after college, but he did not talk about protesting the war or the fact that he admitted to committing war crimes during his time of service. Perhaps most interesting was the lack of discussion of Kerry’s vast political experience. Kerry did not once mention serving as the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Gov. Michael Dukakis, and he barely referenced the fact that he has served in the United States Senate for 18 years – a credential that most candidates would proudly hail.

Before the speech, there were rumors that Kerry would finally provide some specifics about his plans for America. That did not happen. America most certainly did not learn what Kerry actually intends to do if he is elected president. Kerry made it clear that he would do everything better and smarter than George W. Bush but offered no clear alternative plans. Senator Kerry did not address the War on Terror by name, but he did assure the American people that his administration would at least respond to enemy attacks. He said, “Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response.” Although veiled, this can fairly be interpreted as a repudiation of the Bush doctrine of preemption. It is a declaration that we should expect future attacks during a Kerry presidency and that the United States will wait until those attack have come before doing anything about them.

The part of the speech that most stirred my passions came near the end. It was when Kerry invoked the great name of Ronaldus Magnus (Ronald Reagan). Kerry cited hard-core atheist Ron Jr.’s eulogy of the late President Reagan and said that like Reagan, Kerry does not “wear his faith on his sleeve.” It is certainly true that Reagan was not as outspoken in public about his Christian faith as President George W. Bush, but I would like to ask Mr. Kerry who he believes Mr. Reagan would have voted for in the upcoming election. I’ll give you a hint. It would not have been someone who believes in appeasing evil, bowing to France and the UN or murdering the unborn.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/29/04

“Sometimes a half truth is a greater lie.” Benjamin Franklin

Banshee a celebrity?

Wild Banshee was recognized this week on the streets of Roanoke. Well, actually it was a parking lot. But, I was chatting with a law school classmate of mine before the VA bar exam, and she said, "Hey, you're Wild Banshee,aren't you?" I proudly proclaimed that I was. This classmate accidentally wandered into this website after running a Google search for Washington and Lee graduation photos. Then, the classmate played an audio post from EPCOT and recognized my voice. Anyway, I thought you all might enjoy knowing that the Banshee Blog phenomenon is now spreading on its own.

DNC Notes -- Day 3

I didn't get a chance to watch any of Wednesday night's festivities at the Fleet Center. However, I did have the opportunity to listen to some of the highlights today and have read the text of some of the speeches.

With the exception of vice presidential nominee, John Edwards, Wendesday night could best be described as NCAAP night. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rep. Charlie Rangle and Rev. Al Sharpton all took to the podium. And unlike Barack Obama on Tuesday night, all three presented speeches that were either racially charged or pointedly anti-Bush or both. Sharpton's speech contained perhaps the most outrageous, race-baiting comment of the election season. Sharpton said, "I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school." I wonder if Justice Thomas would agree with that sentiment.

Sen. John Edwards gave the main address of the evening. If you missed it, just dig up a tape of any speech he gave during the primaries and you'll know what Edwards said. It was the same old two America's thing -- again, in stark contrast to the upbeat rising star, Barack Obama. My favorite part of the speech was when Edwards discussed "values" -- whatever that means. Edwards said, "Where I come from, you don't judge someone's values based on how they use that word in a political ad. You judge their values based upon what they've spent their life doing." An interesting sentiment from a man who has spent his life chasing ambulances.

One more night to go ....

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/28/04 Final day of the Virginia Bar Examination

“You’re being trained to be lawyers.  You don’t have to believe your arguments; you only have to make them credible.  You need to be able to pass the straight face test.  That’s the only test there is.”  Prof. Margaret Howard

DNC Notes -- Day 2

Tuesday night's events featured failed presidential candidates Dick Gephart and Howard Dean.  Senator Tom Daschle also spoke on Day 2 as did Ted Kennedy.  The Democrats were also quite proud of the fact that Ron Reagan, Jr. stepped to the podium to advocate stem cell research.  This really is not the coupe that it may appear to be at first glance.  Ron Jr. has never followed his father's beliefs, either political or religious.  In addition, Ron Jr. dislikes President Bush.  So, it was really no surprise that he was able to carve out some time from his busy schedule as television commentator of the Eukanuba Dog Show circuit.

In primetime, the Democrats trotted out 12 year-old Ilana Wexler.  Wexler is the founder of Kids for Kerry.  She sort of resembled Little Orphan Annie, and she played up the cutsie thing to the max.  She discussed the fact that Dick Cheney used "a very bad word" in a conversation with a Democratic senator.  She said that she would have been given a "time out" if she had used such a word and suggested that the Vice President be given a "long time out."  It was all very cute, but I don't know of any 12 year-old who still gets sent to time out.  Also, Wexler didn't mention what sort of punishment John F-ing Kerry should receive for his repeated use of the F-word in a Playboy interview.  She also didn't comment on the filthy references made by Whoopie Goldberg at a recent DNC fundraiser or the foul language that is sprinkled throughout the DNC website.  But, I digress ....

The keynote address of the evening was given by Teresa Heinz Kerry.  She spent a lot of time talking about how women have views that should be heard.  This seems like a message more suited for 1960 than 2004, especially since there are nine female Democrats currently serving in the Senate.  Then Heinz Kerry said that the Peace Corps was the best face of America to the world.  This is also a very 1960's message.  It's also a weird sentiment when there are American soldiers currently fighting for freedom.  Perhaps the weirdest aspect of the speech was that Teresa didn't say anything about John Kerry.  Overall, I think that it is fair to say that this was a slightly bizarre, very self-indulgent and fairly boring speech.

Rumor has it, this speech wasn't really broadcast on the three major neworks.  I don't know about this because I didn't stray from C-SPAN during Teresa's address.

Top Earning Movies

I figured everyone could use a little break from political posts, so here is a list of the top earning movies of all-time.  I got this list from Illingirl, and I decided to duplicate her idea of highlighting the movies that I have personally seen.

1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824
2. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665
3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
4. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) $431,065,444
5. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375
6. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003) $377,019,252
7. Passion of the Christ, The (2004) $370,025,697
8. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000
9. Shrek 2 (2004) $356,211,000
10. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) $340,478,898
11. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367
12. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196
13. Lion King, The (1994) $328,423,001
14. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) $317,557,891
15. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) $313,837,577
16. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) $310,675,583
17. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) $309,125,409
18. Independence Day (1996) $306,124,059
19. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) $305,411,224
20. Sixth Sense, The (1999) $293,501,675
21. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) $290,158,751
22. Home Alone (1990) $285,761,243
23. Matrix Reloaded, The (2003) $281,492,479
24. Shrek (2001) $267,652,016
25. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) $261,970,615
26. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) $260,031,035
27. Jaws (1975) $260,000,000
28. Monsters, Inc. (2001) $255,870,172
29. Batman (1989) $251,188,924
30. Men in Black (1997) $250,147,615
31. Toy Story 2 (1999) $245,823,397
32. Bruce Almighty (2003) $242,589,580
33. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) $242,374,454
34. Twister (1996) $241,700,000
35. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) $241,437,427
36. Ghost Busters (1984) $238,600,000
37. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) $234,760,500
38. Cast Away (2000) $233,630,478
39. Lost World: Jurassic Park, The (1997) $229,074,524
40. Signs (2002) $227,965,690
41. Rush Hour 2 (2001) $226,138,454
42. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) $219,200,000
43. Ghost (1990) $217,631,306
44. Aladdin (1992) $217,350,219
45. Saving Private Ryan (1998) $216,119,491
46. Mission: Impossible II (2000) $215,397,307
47. X2 (2003) $214,948,780
48. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) $213,079,163
49. Back to the Future (1985) $210,609,762
50. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) $205,399,422
51. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) $204,843,350
52. Exorcist, The (1973) $204,565,000
53. Mummy Returns, The (2001) $202,007,640
54. Armageddon (1998) $201,573,391
55. Gone with the Wind (1939) $198,655,278
56. Pearl Harbor (2001) $198,539,855
57. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) $197,171,806
58. Toy Story (1995) $191,800,000
59. Men in Black II (2002) $190,418,803
60. Gladiator (2000) $187,670,866
61. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) $184,925,485
62. Dances with Wolves (1990) $184,208,848
63. Batman Forever (1995) $184,031,112
64. Fugitive, The (1993) $183,875,760
65. Ocean's Eleven (2001) $183,405,771
66. What Women Want (2000) $182,805,123
67. Perfect Storm, The (2000) $182,618,434
68. Liar Liar (1997) $181,395,380
69. Grease (1978) $181,360,000
70. Jurassic Park III (2001) $181,166,115
71. Mission: Impossible (1996) $180,965,237
72. Planet of the Apes (2001) $180,011,740
73. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) $179,870,271
74. Pretty Woman (1990) $178,406,268
75. Tootsie (1982) $177,200,000
76. Top Gun (1986) $176,781,728
77. There's Something About Mary (1998) $176,483,808
78. Ice Age (2002) $176,387,405
79. Crocodile Dundee (1986) $174,635,000
80. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) $173,585,516
81. Elf (2003) $173,381,405
82. Air Force One (1997) $172,888,056
83. Rain Man (1988) $172,825,435
84. Apollo 13 (1995) $172,071,312
85. Matrix, The (1999) $171,383,253
86. Beauty and the Beast (1991) $171,301,428
87. Tarzan (1999) $171,085,177
88. Beautiful Mind, A (2001) $170,708,996
89. Chicago (2002) $170,684,505
90. Three Men and a Baby (1987) $167,780,960
91. Meet the Parents (2000) $166,225,040
92. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)$165,500,000
93. Hannibal (2001) $165,091,464
94. Catch Me If You Can (2002) $164,435,221
95. Big Daddy (1999) $163,479,795
96. Sound of Music, The (1965) $163,214,286
97. Batman Returns (1992) $162,831,698
98. Bug's Life, A (1998) $162,792,677
99. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) $161,963,000
100. Waterboy, The (1998) $161,487,252

What I've seen and not seen on this list surprised me, too.  I've seen 80 out of the 100 films, but I did not see Titanic or Gone With the Wind.  If there is one thing that can be learned from this list, it is that it is not the quality of the film that matters so much as the timing of the release.  Perhaps the clearest indication of this is that Waterboy and Big Daddy made the list while earlier and clearly superior Sandler films like Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison were MIA.  Of course, old time classics don't have any chance at a list like this unless they enjoyed modern re-releases like Snow White enjoyed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/27/04

"Strength and wisdom are not opposing values."  President Bill Clinton during Monday's DNC address.  I think that this was a well-crafted line.

Polling Problems

It has come to my attention that some blog readers are experiencing difficulties with the weekly poll.  Namely, the poll does not appear on their screen.  Is this a widespread problem?  Please leave a comment and let me know.  I will work on the problem next week.

DNC Notes -- Day 1

First of all, if you're going to watch the convention, you have to watch it on C-SPAN.  All the other channels, even the cable news channels, spend most of their airtime talking to pundits and commentators.  It's really a waste.  The real action is on C-SPAN.  That's the only place where you can see middle aged women dancing to "We Are Family" and ex-hippie men waving their arms to "Blowin' in the Wind."  It's good stuff.  Also, you have to watch C-SPAN if you want to see any speakers other than the keynote guys.  I think that it's the non-featured people that really show the most about the heart of a party.

Overall, Day 1 was not too stirring.  Jimmy Carter was very boring, as usual.  Al Gore was extremely calm, which is unusual and rather disappointing.  There was none of the Baptist preacher shouting that we've all come to know and love.  Sen. Hillary Clinton also took the stage on opening night.  Her speech was brief because her only role was to introduce President Clinton.  She wore a very fetching yellow outfit.  Perfectly suitable for a woman who is called upon to introduce her husband.  Hillary actually exceeded her designated speaking limit and discussed Kerry and Edwards and even Theresa Heinz-Kerry.  It was a spirited presentation.  Also, her skin looked really good.

Then came the star of the night, President William Jefferson Clinton.  Until last night, I never fully grasped what it was that drew people to Clinton despite his scandals.  It was pure, unadulterated charisma.  And, Clinton was extremely charismatic last night.  He did not disappoint the eager delegates.  He was extremely polished and skilled, and he effectively energized the crowd which apparently still longs to have a Clinton on the ticket.  It was easy to get caught up in the energy of this man despite the fact that most of his speech was devoid of content.  Actually, Clinton spent much of his address reminding everyone how rich he is now and how much of a tax cut he got thanks to Bush.  It was kind of weird in a way.  Overall, I would say that Clinton did exactly what he was supposed to do.  He contrasted George Bush from John Kerry and made the faithful delegates proud to be Democrats.

Are we really getting fatter?

It's pretty much accepted by most people that Americans are getting fatter and fatter each day.  Leno laughs about it almost nightly.  There are a lot of trends in America that lend credence to that assertion.  Kids are playing more video games than outdoor games.  Grown-ups are doing less manual labor.  And, even housework is less physically demanding that usual.  Meanwhile, greasy fast food is more and more readily available.  So, no one is really shocked by the assertion that Americans are getting fatter by the minute.

However, is the American condition really as bleak as all that?  Sure, Americans could stand to exercise more and eat fewer fries, but perhaps our proportions are being blown out of proportion.  Perhaps, more Americans are overweight or obese due to the way that the government now calculates these categories.

One of the leading methods for calculating your weight category is the BMI.  If your BMI is 18.5-24.9, you are considered normal in weight.  If your BMI is 25.0-29.9 then you are overweight.  If your BMI is 30.0+ then you are obese.

To test my theory, I decided to put a few world-class athletes' statistics into the BMI calculator and see how they turned out.

Kobe Bryant:  Overweight (BMI 25.4)  Guard for the LA Lakers
Yao Ming:  Overweight (BMI 26.9)  Center for the Houston Rockets
Scott Stevens:  Overweight (BMI 27.6)  Defenseman for the New Jersey Devils
Jaromir Jagr:  Overweight (BMI 28)  Right Winger for the New York Rangers
John Ruiz:  Overweight (BMI 29.0)  WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World
Roger Clemens:  Overweight (BMI 28.6)  Pitcher for the Houston Astros
Ivan Rodriguez:  Obese (BMI 32.5)  Catcher for the Detroit Tigers
Priest Holmes:  Obese (BMI 31.5)  Running Back for the Kansas City Chiefs
Ray Lewis:  Obese (BMI 32.3)  Linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens

So, if you and your friends and neighbors are all falling into the overweight or obese categories, you'll know you're in good company.  Too bad we can't all run 4.4 40's like the obese Mr. Lewis.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/26/04

“If I catch an 18 inch trout and say I caught a 20 inch trout, THAT is an exaggeration, if I say I caught a 20 inch trout and  never went fishing, that is something different!”  George Will

DNC Notes -- Pregame show

When the Banshee participated in a Mock DNC at Washington and Lee University earlier this spring, I provided detailed coverage of the events.  It only stands to reason that I would provide equal coverage to the real convention.

The convention does not actually kick off until tonight, but there have already been some noteworthy events.

Media Prep:  How did non-partisan and impartial NBC News personalities get ready for the big event?  By going to the ballpark with Democratic lawmakers, of course.  Last night, Katie Couric, Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert joined John F. Kerry, Senator Glenn and Senator Biden (I'm pretty sure it was him) in a Red Sox owner's box at Fenway Park.  Interesting but not surprising.

The Fight for Peace:  Yesterday, approximately 2,000 anti-war protesters gathered at the site of the Boston Massacre.  Reportedly, the peace protesters carried signs that showed images of grisly carnage from the war in Iraq.  The protesters eventually started marching towards the Fleet Center.  At some point, they intersected with a group of pro-lifers who were also moving towards the convention site.  The pro-lifers carried signs showing graphic images of dismembered, aborted babies.  The two groups got into a verbal dispute followed by physical violence.  No serious injuries were reported.

Al-Jezeera Hidden:  Al-Jazeera has rented a skybox in the Fleet Center to facilitate their coverage of the DNC.  Like the rest of the media-occupied skyboxes, Al-Jazeera's box had an Al-Jazeera banner hanging from the front.  However, that banner has mysteriously been removed and replaced with a Kerry banner.  "It disappeared for some reason," Hafiz al-Mirazi told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.  "Every time we ask, we get different answers."  Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Terry McAuliffe, has reportedly told all Democrats to avoid interviews with Al-Jazeera.  Al-Jazeera also has plans to cover the RNC in New York City.  No word yet on the RNC's response to their presence.


Correction:  Earlier this morning I stated that John F. Kerry is a long-time Red Sox fan.  That was an incorrect assumption on my part.  I was wrong.  Kerry apparently has no idea about the Red Sox, past or present.

Discussing his decision to make a campaign detour to Fenway Park, Kerry said, "The idea of missing a Yankees-Red Sox series right before a convention week was not acceptable, so we changed the policy."  However, a Kerry campaign staffer said that Kerry needed to be briefed on the plane in case ESPN decided to talk to Kerry during the game.  A staffer said, "He hasn't been paying attention, though he says he's a fan.  ....  But to the best of my knowledge, he's never inquired about the Sox, how they are doing, that kind of thing."

But, this isn't the first time that Kerry has shown his total Sox ingnorance despite his professed fandom.  Earlier this month, Kerry claimed that he was a big fan of "Manny Ortez."  Who?

This isn't a new trend for Kerry, either.  A few years ago, Kerry claimed, "my favorite Red Sox player of all time is The Walking Man, Eddie Yost."  One problem there, Eddie Yost never played for the Sox.

Nicely done, John.  Maybe you should let Theresa handle the baseball talk from now on.

John Kerry is a Girlie Man

John Kerry has spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks trying to portray himself to the American people as a young and virulent candidate.  From the selection of Edwards to the constant hair discussions to the apparent botox injections, the Kerry campaign is all about youth and vigor.  Well, that image took a beating during the pre-game ceremonies at Fenway Park on Sunday night.

Kerry, a lifelong Sox fan, was in Boston on Sunday for the start of the Democratic Convention and just could not resist interjecting himself into the finale of Yankees-Red Sox weekend series.  Before the game, Kerry strode out to the mound for the ceremonial first pitch.  Like most politicians, he was greeted by booing, despite the fact that Boston is his own hometown.  Then Kerry proceeded to throw a 58-foot balloon ball (It's 60 feet, 6 inches from the mound to the plate).  Actually, the throw was even shorter than that because Kerry was standing in the grass about 5 feet in front of the rubber.  In short, this was a Girlie Man throw.

You may think it's shallow that I point out this athletic failing.  But, I'm sorry.  It matters to me.  It matters that a guy who wants to represent all Americans in the world community throws like a girl.  Actually, this is worse than throwing like a girl.  Any high school softball player can make a strong 60-foot throw.  That's only the distance between bases on a softball diamond.  I've never been accused of having a strong throwing arm myself, but I can sure as heck throw a strike from second base to first.  If you want to see how a real man throws out a first pitch, track down some video of W during the 2001 World Series.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/25/04

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" Lee Iacocca


This week's race came from Loudon, New Hampshire.  This is a very flat but very fast 1 mile oval track.  NASCAR made a mid-season rules change before this week's race.  From now on, races will not end under yellow as they have so often this season.  Instead, NASCAR will end races by dropping the green flag, followed by the white flag on the next lap, followed by the checkers.  Although there were a multitude of cautions today, none of them came at the end of the race, so the new rules were not a factor.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., still recovering from burns, started the race.  This allowed Junior to collect the championship points earned by the Budweiser team on the day.  Junior then gave way to rookie Martin Truex, Jr. at the first caution.  It was all for naught, though.  The #8 Chevy finished thirty-first.  Points leader Jimmy Johnson also had a rough day and finished way back in the pack.  Jeff Gordon ran well, but it was Kurt Busch who took home the checkered flag.  That victory secured Busch's position in the top ten in the points standings.  The top positions remained unchanged.

Banshee Blog Polling

Poll results:  Last week's poll asked if readers were planning to watch any of the Democratic National Convention this week.  There was low turnout on this poll.  Perhaps that says as much about Banshee Blog reader's excitement for this convention as the results themselves do.  Two voters said they planned to watch some of the convention.  Three voters said they did not plan to watch any of the convention.  I doubt those results indicate anything about the political leanings of this blog's readers.  It's quite likely that it would be a very similar result for the Republican National Convention.  After all, nothing earth-shaking happens at these events anymore.  Limited coverage by the networks indicates that many Americans are not very interested in the upcoming convention, regardless of their political leanings.

New Poll:  Are you looking forward to the Olympics?  The 2004 Olympic games are less than a month away, but it seems like their approach has gone almost unnoticed.  When I was little, I looked forward to the Olympics as much as I looked forward to Christmas.  However, I feel like there is a little something missing as we approach this year's games.  Maybe it is just my imagination.  This will be a two week poll.

100 days to go

There are now 100 days left until November's general election.  That's over three months.  The news has already been filled with horse-race coverage of the campaigns, but there is still a long way to go.  The next big event of the campaign season will be the Democratic National Convention which kicks off tomorrow in Boston.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/24/04

“Adam probably had 1000 channels before the fall.”  Alfred Poirier

Saturday Night's Alright for Fightin'

The Yanks and the Sox were at it again this weekend.  Despite the fact that the Yanks have a huge lead in the American League East, emotions were still running high at Fenway this afternoon.

The bizarre day started when the field at Fenway was deemed unplayable due to rain by officials from both teams.  The Yankees cleaned out there dugout, changed their clothes and began boarding the busses.  Then, the Red Sox players succeeded in changing management's mind.  The Yankees were called back into the clubhouse and told to start loosening up.  The game started an hour late.

The Yanks overcame the pre-game mix-up and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third.  Then the Red Sox's Bronson Arroyo intentionally hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch.  A-Rod took exception to the plunking and started jawing with Sox catcher Jason Varitek who walked about halfway up the first base line with A-Rod.  A-Rod motioned for Varitek to put up or shut up.  Varitek chose to put up and punched A-Rod.

  (AP Photo/Barry Chin, The Boston Globe)

Then it was on.  Say what you want about baseball fights typically being sissy affairs with guys standing around like boys at an 8th grade dance, but when the Yanks and Sox throw down, they mean it.  Yankees' starter Tanyon Sturtz rushed into the brawl and dragged the Sox's Gabe Kaplar out of the scrum.

   (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Eventually, Sturtz ended up on the ground at the mercy of Kaplar, David Ortiz and Trot Nixon.  Sturtz got a gash on the left side of his face but remained in the game for the time being.  Sturtz pitched badly in the next half inning before leaving the game with a bruised pinky finger.  Varitek and Rodriguez were the only two ejections from the fight.

The rest of the game contained all manner of bizarre events including a host of errors by the Red Sox and a balk by a Yankees reliever.  There were ups and downs for both teams and a myriad of pitchers were used.  The sixth inning alone lasted over an hour.  After nearly four hours of baseball, the Sox came out on top by a score of 11-10.  It was a fitting ending, really.  A game this unpredictable deserved an unexpected finale.  An ex-Yank picked up the win for the Sox, and lights-out reliever Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera, coughed up a two run lead in the ninth.  Then the Sox celebrated like they'd just won the World Series (not that anyone who is living really knows how the Sox would celebrate a championship), but all they'd really done is claw back within 8.5 games of the Yankees in the standings.

Once again, we saw today why it is always a big-time event when these two teams take the field.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/23/04

“The best way to save face is to keep the lower part of it shut.”  Lou Holtz

PTI moment

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm a little bit too obsessed with PTI.  But, I have to share something from today's show because I know there are still a few of you out there who are not arranging your schedules around its 5:30 start time.

Today on PTI they played "Food Chain."  In that game Kornheiser and Lebatard (subbing for Wilbon) rank people in a given category.  Today's category was "King of the Little People."  In other words, they were trying to decide who was top-shelf among competitors in the minor sports.  Hot dog eating sensation and Banshee Blog favorite, Takeru Kobayashi, came up as a candidate.  Kornheiser stated that the only person to beat Kobayashi was a bear, but then Kornheiser added, "Losing to a bear is not good because, for example, Anika Sorenstam would not lose to a bear."  Wiser words were never spoken.

Thank you, Ken

Tonight was the season finale of Jeopardy.  Not surprisingly, Ken Jennings won again.  What is surprising is that Ken finally acted like a man and broke the all-time, single-day winnings record.  Prior to tonight, Ken had tied it three times by just betting some small amount in Final Jeopardy despite his enormous leads.  I was personally having a hard time dealing with Ken's tie mentality, and I was beginning to detest Ken because of his unwillingness to blow away the old record.  After all, to quote Jimmy Neutron, "What is the point of being smart if you can't be the best?"  But, kudos to Ken for betting over $23,000 in Final Jeopardy to come away with $75,000 for the night.

Ken will be returning next season as the reigning champ.  The shows will tape in August.

Technical difficulties

My apologies to Banshee Blog readers.  BlogSpot is apparently having problems today, so you may experience a messy presentation of this site.  Hopefully, the problem will clear up soon.

Excellent Movie: To End All Wars

Once in a while, there is a movie out there that is not well-positioned to be a huge box office success but is nonetheless an excellent work that is worthy of praise.  To End All Wars is one such movie.  To End All Wars is based on a true story written by one of the main characters.  It chronicles the ordeals and tortures endured by Scottish prisoners of war being held by the Japanese during World War II.  I had a vague idea what the film was about when I rented it, but I had no idea how gripping and powerful it would be.  The film is not at all preachy, but it tells the Gospel story more clearly than any film I've ever seen outside of Sunday school.  To see this story played out in the real lives of real people was absolutely stunning.  When the film ended, I was left speechless, and when I woke up the next day, it was the first thing that I thought about.

Although I highly recommend To End All Wars, I do want to add a word of warning.  This film is not exactly what you would call fun.  It is an emotionally draining experience.  In addition, there is some very brutal violence in the film.  The violence is not at all glorified, quite the opposite.  But, the images are harsh.

Viewing To End All Wars is an absolutely worthwhile use of time, and I highly recommend it.  However, it may be too much for a sensitive viewer.  To End All Wars should be available in the new releases section of your local video store.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/22/04

“The French are always reticent to listen to their friends, but they’re always eager to surrender to their enemies.”  Dennis Leary

French flex their muscles

The French recently posted the following notice on the door to their consulate in New York City:

Visas for France are not a right. Persons applying for visas are requested to show due respect for Consular personnel. Failure to do so will result in the denial of the application and denied entry into any of the EU countries.

Those are tough words from the French.  Apparently they're claiming power to deny Americans entry into their European neighbors.  Andre Sorois, a UN lawyer said that the other European nations "have probably not delegated their visa authority to the French government."  Sorois continued, "This is very rude, undiplomatic and probably illegal."  Yeah, not to mention totally unrealistic.  When have the French ever kept anyone out of their own country, let alone anyone else's?  I suppose the French are planning a defensive immigration policy for the whole of Europe that is as imaginitive and effective as the Maginot Line.

Takin' Care of Business

Yeah, the French have me really mad today.  Check out this photo.  I wish we really would change our uniforms to these.  And, while we're at it, we should add the Greek flag since they're asking our troops to come to Athens in August to take care of security for the Olympics.

(Patch says, "Doing the work of")

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/21/04

“It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.”  Baltasar Gracian

(contributed by Katy Underwood)

Glass Outhouse?

Okay, this was just so weird that I had to post it.  Apparently, Switzerland has developed glass outhouses for street corners.  Granted, these facilities have one-way glass, so no one can actually see in, but still ....  Perhaps it's just me, but I can't quite imagine wanting to watch the passers-by while I've got my pants down.  Maybe this is a dream come true for closet exhibitionists.

(Thanks to Erin Violette for contributing these photos)

"You're No Good"

I wonder if that's what the Aladdin Hotel and Casino sang to Linda Ronstadt when they showed her the door on Saturday night.  As she's been in the habit of doing, Ronstadt dedicated the song
"Desperado" to Fahrenheit 9/11 filmmaker, Michael Moore during a weekend concert at the Aladdin.  Then, quite to everyone's surprise, the audience revolted.  Ronstadt was booed off the stage.  Angry patrons stormed into the box office demanding a refund.  Concert posters were torn down and pelted with cocktails.  It was bedlam.  Reportedly, the Aladdin told Ronstadt not to bother going back to her luxury suite.  Instead, they brought her belongings downstairs and told her to hit the road.

Not surprisingly, the supposedly tolerant left was outraged by the Aladdin's actions.  But, hotel execs defended their actions, saying, "Ms Ronstadt was hired to entertain the guests of the Aladdin, not to espouse her political views. In an effort to defuse the situation, Linda Ronstadt was asked to leave the property immediately following her performance."

I say that it's about time!  Of course, entertainers are Americans who have the right to express political views.  The First Amendment guarantees that.  But, contrary to what the likes of Moore are claiming in the wake of this incident, the First Amendment does not guarantee that there will not be an economic price to pay for speaking your mind.  It's about time someone said, "You're bothering us.  You're offending us.  Listening to you is no longer fun.  So, we're not gonna pay to see you sing anymore."

If some people love her comments or don't care about them, then they should continue to spend their money to hear Linda sing.  And, if those same people are mad about the Aladdin's actions, then they should use their economic powers to keep their money out of the Aladdin's pockets.  It's that simple.  But, no one should say that those who choose to keep their money away from an individual who actively opposes all that they believe in is somehow acting a censor or stifling someone else's constitutional rights.  That simply is not so.  The First Amendment is designed to protect the free market of ideas.  This battle between fans, the Aladdin and Ronstadt is a classic example of how competition in the free market of idea ought to work (perhaps aside from the poster tearing).

As for the tolerance of Ms. Ronstadt herself, well, here's what she had to say about performing for people with opposing views, "It's a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I'd rather not know."

Yeah, Linda, that makes us even, I guess.  Hope your day isn't wrecked too much by knowing that this Christian has lined your pockets in the past.

In closing, I'd like to end with these words from a Stone Ponies (Linda's '60's band) classic:  Linda, you're no good, you're no good, you're no good.  Baby, you're no good.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/20/04 35th anniversary of the Lunar Landing

"It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."  Neil Armstrong from the moon, 35 years ago today.

The Lunar Landing and a Wonder Years moment

Today is the 35th anniversary of the lunar landing.  Like so many things in life, this event reminded me of The Wonder Years.
The Wonder Years' first season concludes with the start of the summer of 1969.  That season finale begins with Kevin finding out that his best friend will be away all summer.  Then Kevin is bewildered and tormented by Winnie Cooper's confusing behavior.  She alternates between kissing him unexpectedly in his driveway and then ignoring him that night at her family's famous annual barbecue.  Kevin's emotions come to a boiling point after Winnie announces that she and her mom are going away to Maine for the summer -- without Mr. Cooper.  Then, after 5 burgers, 3 hotdogs and one verbal outburst, Kevin finally realizes that the Coopers' marriage is falling apart in the wake of Brian Cooper's death in Vietnam.  It is really a poignant episode.
The most memorable part of the show is the final reflection from the grown-up Kevin.  As Simon and Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" plays, the narrator says, "That summer kids everywhere swam, water skiied and sailed while Winnie Cooper struggled to keep her head above water in a family torn apart by anger and grief.  I pretty much stayed close to home.  I mowed Mr. Erman's lawn.  I went fishing with my dad.  I watched a man walk on the moon.  I considered myself pretty lucky."
So, I suppose this entry is pretty irrelevant, but today's anniversary of the lunar landing just reminded me of that final line of the show.  Plus, I figured nobody minds a trip into The Wonder Years vaults.  And yes, that is a direct quote.  In preparation for this post, I tracked my copy of this episode.

Time Usage

As many of you know, this is the final week of bar exam preparations for Wild Banshee.  Nonetheless, blog content has remained steady throughout the summer.  This may lead some of you to question Wild Banshee's time mangagement choices.  But really, blogging is a strategic choice.  The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners have not tested on Smarty Jones, Tony Kornheiser or John Edwards' hair in any recent year.  I figure they're due.  If anything from VH-1 or talk radio appears on the exam, the Banshee will be all over it.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/19/04

"My thought processes begin where other human beings' apexes at."  The Big Aristotle, a.k.a. Shaquille O'Neal in an ESPN interview on July 18.

The Governator Speaks

California is in the midst of a heated budget battle.  The main combatants are the governor and Democratic members of the California Assembly.  Over the weekend, Governor Schwarzenegger spoke out about his opponents.  The governator questioned his opponents courage and called them "Girlie Men" for not coming clean with the public about how beholden they are to special interest groups.
The Democrats were outraged.  They called the remarks insensitive and homophobic.  I gotta tell you, I think this is great.  Lighten up, Dems.  First of all, calling someone a girl is a time-honored American tradition.  Who hasn't called their friend "Sally" after watching them leave a birdie putt short?  Second of all, this isn't a homophobic comment.  The phrase "Girlie Men" gained national prominence due to a Saturday Night Live skit that was actually a spoof of Schwarzenegger.
Despite the outrage coming from Democrats in the Assembly, my guess is that most Californians are not going to be upset by Schwarzenegger's comments.  After all, Schwarzenegger based his entire campaign for governor on lines from his movies.  People love this tough guy stuff.  To quote a wise man I spoke to this afternoon, "They knew he was the Terminator when they picked him up."
My only complaint with this whole episode is that Schwarzenegger didn't save this "Girlie Men" line for when he takes the stage at the GOP convention in August.

Junior escapes blaze

Despite the fact that this was a bye week for NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. barely escaped tragedy behind the wheel this Sunday.  Junior spent his off week practicing for an American Le Mans Series race at Infineon Speedway near San Francisco.  Junior was driving a Corvette and was involved in a seemingly minor crash.  But, the crash caused gasoline to pour out of his car, and the Vette burst into flames.  Junior was apparently dazed from the wreck and didn't move as flames engulfed him in the cockpit.  The images from the in-car camera were terrifying.  Finally, the emergency crew dragged Junior to safety.  Earnhardt spent Sunday night in the hospital for observations.  He was released today with only first and second degree burns on his legs and chin.  Junior will not miss this Sunday's Nextel Cup race.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/18/04

"Well, I was supposed to get a promotion, but then my boss had a heart attack and died."  As overheard in a bar in Roanoke, VA.

Reality TV's Battle Royale

On Tuesday night at 8, FOX will debut a new reality series, Trading Spouses:  Meet Your New Mommy.  This has the potential to be outrageous.  However, it might not even be the most outrageous show in that timeslot on Tuesday.  ABC will debut a show about trading faces.  Extreme Makeover, the official title of ABC's new offering, will also air on Tuesday at 8.
Unfortunately, bar exam studies may prevent me from viewing either of these fiascos (Yeah, you read that right.  Studying might actually trump TV this week).  If anyone else catches these shows, please enter your comments.

Polling failure and the next attempt

The latest addition of the Banshee poll (Which pro sport would you rather play?) was a dismal failure.  The results were ridiculously inconclusive.  No one wanted to play pro football.  One person each voted for baseball, basketball, hockey, golf and auto racing.  Three people wanted to play "other."  No one entered a comment as to what the "other" might be.  I'm just going to choose to believe that "other" isn't code for soccer.
New Poll:  Are you planning to watch any of next week's Democratic National Convention?

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/17/04

“Your ignorance cramps my conversation.”  Anthony Hope Hawkins

Good work in Iraq

We hear plenty in the news about the problems in Iraq and the resistance of insurgents.  But, it's important to put all that in perspective with some positive responses by the Iraqi people.  This statue is just one example.

This statute is currently on display outside the Iraqi palace that is now home to the 4th Infantry division. It will eventually be shipped and shown at the memorial museum in Fort Hood, Texas. This statue was made by an Iraqi artist named Kalat, who for years was forced by Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam that dotted Baghdad. This artist was so grateful that the Americans liberated his country; he melted 3 of the fallen Saddam heads and made a memorial statue dedicated to the American soldiers and their fallen comrades. Kalat has been working on this night and day for several months. To the left of the kneeling soldier is a small Iraqi girl giving the soldier comfort as he mourns the loss of his comrade in arms.
(contributed by Pauline Warrington)

Lions and Tigers and Bears, II

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little entry about a bear that was on the loose in a Virginia hospital.  This story involves an escaped Tiger in Florida.  This did make the national news, so perhaps some of you heard about this.  But, it's bizarre enough that I just had to include it here.
Steve Sipek, a B-movie actor who once played Tarzan, owns a tiger at his house in Palm Beach County, Florida.  The 600 pound tiger's name was Bobo.  Earlier this week, Bobo escaped from Sipek's house and was on the loose overnight.  Bobo was declawed, but still had tiger teeth and instincts.  Authorities tried to catch the jungle cat, but Bobo proved to be quite elusive.
Enter Linda Meredith.  Meredith lived nearby and owned a 5-month old, Yorkshire piglet.  Ms. Meredith decided that she and her porker could be of assistance to the police in their pursuit of Bobo.  Meredith put her piggy in her Cadillac and drove to the place where Bobo was cornered.  Meredith told police to hold the pig by it's hind legs or pull its ear a little in order to get the pig to squeal.  Meredith believed that this would lure Bobo the tiger out into the open.  The police were not enthused by this plan and sent Meredith on her way.
This is when things go south for everyone involved.  Meredith put the pig back in the trunk of her Caddie and headed towards home.  On her way home, however, Meredith was stopped by Animal Care and Control.  She now faces animal cruelty charges for putting the pig in the trunk on a hot day.  Meredith contends that the trunk of her car is actually air conditioned. 
"I can't believe they have the gall," Meredith told the Palm Beach Post. "I was just trying to help the tiger find his way back home. Apparently, it's not nice to be nice."  But, the real irony is that Meredith was only raising the pig till it was big enough to kill and eat.
Oh yeah, and Bobo was eventually shot to death by a policeman with an M4 rifle.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/16/04

“Appeasers believe that if you keep throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will turn vegetarian.”  Heywood Broun

French terror

(Contributed by Jerry Wetzel)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/15/04

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”  Napoleon Bonaparte
(contributed by Cyndee Hawk)

W Ketchup

As I'm sure you're all well aware, John Kerry is married to Theresa Heinz Kerry.  That's right, the Heinz.  She is the heir to the ketchup fortune.  Some people were apparently upset by the idea that the money they spend on ketchup was ending up in the hands of Democrats.
The solution:

This ketchup appears to be real.  You can buy it by following the link to this website.
(Thanks to Angie Hepler for alerting me to this site)

No Iron Mike in the Senate

Mike Ditka will not be the next senator from the state of Illinois.  Today, Iron Mike announced that he will not be the Republican candidate this November.  Ditka said that he just didn't think he had the temprament for it.  He surmised that he would end up getting in fights with the likes of Teddy Kennedy on the Senate floor.  He also said jokingly that wearing a suit every day was the final straw.  Ditka said that he is a proud Republican and staunchly conservative.  He also said that he would be happy to talk to anyone about those beliefs but that the Senate is just not for him.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/14/04

"The shortest answer is doing." Lord Herbert

Smoke and Mirrors on the Marriage Amendment

I alluded to this fact yesterday, but I want to make a stronger declaration today. The federal marriage amendment is about preserving the separation of powers in the United States. We need this amendment because we need the power on this issue to be restored to elected state legislatures. It is that simple.

However, Democrats in the Senate will most likely succeed in preventing the federal marriage amendment from coming to a vote on the merits (no need to bore you here with a discussion on the of cloture votes). Those Democrats (and some Republicans) are acting in a completely disingenuous and cowardly manner during this important discussion.

If judicially imposed gay marriage is good for America – if it is good for America to have un-elected judges re-defining marriage for all Americans – then why are Democrats so afraid of just coming to the floor of the Senate and making this declaration? Why are Democrats only talking about some supposed, rabid bigotry instead of addressing the real issue of whether the definition of marriage belongs in the hands of elected officials or with unelected judges? That allocation of power is what this amendment is about. Democrats know this, but are choosing to use emotionally charged language instead of taking a real stand.

Democrats and liberals in this country have been steadily building a strong tradition of imposing unpopular policy on the citizens of this country through the actions of unelected, unaccountable judges. I am not saying that they do not have a right to use the courts in this way. But, I am saying that Americans need to be made aware that liberals have made a conscious decision to accomplish through the courts what cannot be accomplished at the ballot box.

Democrats and liberals need to be held accountable for this choice. And that holding to account needs to start with the Democratic ticket. John Kerry and John Edwards need to take a real stand on this issue. They need to end their rhetoric about bigotry and the like. They know better. They know this is about the separation of and balance of power in government. If they believe that marriage should be defined by unelected and unaccountable judges rather than by the people via their elected representatives then that is a legitimate position to take. But they need to clearly state that position and end these word games.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/13/04

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey

Yankee Stadium vs. Fenway Park

This was almost the quote of the day today, but I decided not to pollute that daily institution with highly partisan sports commentary (political commentary is different). Still, this was too funny to ignore.

Red Sox fans turn away now.

"Yankee stadium is a shrine to winning and a shrine to baseball. Fenway Park is a psychiatrist's couch and a shrine to losing." Tony Kornheiser on PTI's "Toss up" segment.

Marriage Amendment

Tomorrow, the United States Senate will likely vote on S.J. Res 40, The Federal Marriage Amendment.

To be sure, the proposed amendment is quite controversial. In fact, not all conservatives are on the same page as to whether or not amending the United States Constitution is a correct policy decision.

I'm going to try to sum up the three most serious and legitimate schools of thought on this as best and as impartially as I can before sharing my thoughts.

School 1: Marriage is a sacred institution. For religious and other reasons, marriage has always been recognized in this country as a union between one man and one woman. Therefore, Congress should do everything possible to protect that institution, including a constitutional amendment. For the amendment.

School 2: For moral reasons, marriage should be between one man and one woman. However, this is not really a federal issue. It should be left to the states to decide how they want to define marriage. Split.

School 3: Marriage should not be restricted to one man and one woman. Homosexual relationships are just as valid as heterosexual relationships. Therefore, the federal government should not put any impediments in the way of advancing homosexual marriage. Opposed to the amendment.

My school: The definition of marriage should be left to the states. However, activist judges have used linguistic gymnastics to read a right to homosexual marriage into the federal and state constitutions. In other words, despite the fact that state legislatures have overwhelmingly refused to redifine marriage in their states so as to put homosexual unions on the same footing with heterosexual marriage, courts have stepped in to require that result in some instances.

It is for this reason that an amendment to the federal constitution is needed. States will not truly be free to make their own policies on the issue of gay marriage unless there is an amendment that precludes judges from bizarre textual distortions.

Here is the text of the proposed amendment:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

As you can see, the proposed amendment does not actually ban gay marriage. It merely states that no constitutions will be read so as to require gay marriage. State legislatures would still be perfectly free to re-write their own statutes in order to permit gay marriage.

Unfortunately, proponents of the amendment have done a poor job of framing this issue while gay rights activists have done an excellent job of portraying the amendment as a federal attempt to strip power from the states. In reality, though, gay rights activists oppose the amendment not because it actually bans gay marriage but because they know that the only way that gay marriage will gain widespread legality is if that decision remains in the hands of unaccountable judges instead of in the hands of elected officials in the individual states.

This is another example of a liberal sub-group of society trying to accomplish through the judiciary what they cannot accomplish at the ballot box. An amendment is needed on this issue so as to leave policy making in the hands of elected legislators.

Taxes and Worldviews

Illinigirl recently posted a very revealing quote on her blog (which, by the way, is well-worth reading regularly and can be accessed via a link from this site). She quoted Ben Affleck as saying, "Because of Bush's tax cuts, I saved a million and a half in taxes last year. Does anyone think that's fair?" Illinigirl then asks why Ben doesn't just donate his windfall to a worthy charity if he feels guilty about his wealth.

This quotation contrasted with Illinigirl's response demonstrates the clear difference in worldview between liberals and conservatives when it comes to taxes and social programs. Affleck and liberals like him are correct when they say that those with many blessings have a responsibility to care for those who are less fortunate. Conservatives would agree with that sentiment. However, liberals seem to think that if the government is not carrying out this responsibility then it cannot be accomplished. Liberals believe that the only way that social good can occur is if the government takes money from the wealthy and redistributes it to the poor.

Conservatives have a very different view. Conservatives believe that caring for the poor and down-trodden is an individual responsibility. They believe that if some choose to shirk that responsibility then that is between that person and that person's maker. It is not between that person and the government. Furthermore, conservatives correctly believe that if you leave more money in the hands of individuals, those individuals will have more resources at their disposal to donate to charitable causes.

I know there are cynics out there who do not believe that people will really be generous when given the opportunity, but I personally know several people who have used financial success to benefit others. I am certain that those same people would do even more for others if they did not have half of their income taken in taxes. Perhaps Affleck and others would feel less guilty about receiving a tax cut if they took a queue from the people that I know and redirected their additional dollars to feeding the homeless or caring for orphans.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/12/04

“A lot of Texans are just Mississippians that couldn’t pay their debts.” Hon. Edith Jones

The most romantic ticket ever

We've already established that the Kerry/Edwards ticket has the best hair of all-time. But, it's becoming rapidly clear that this ticket is also the most affectionate ticket in American history -- both physically and verbally.

Check out what Edwards said on 60 Minutes this week about his relationship with Edwards: "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see a couple of things. Number one, we like each other. Number two, we're having a good time on the campaign trail. Number three is that we're good for each other."

I'm sorry. I just think these guys are hilarious.

Grassroots movement for Ditka

When I first mentioned the possibility of Mike Ditka running for a US Senate seat in Illinois, I didn't think it was much more than a wild but amusing rumor. However, it appears that CoachDitka is actually giving a Senate run some serious thought. PTI was talking about this again today. So was the Illinois press. There is also a grassroots movement underway that appears to be having some success in recruiting the former Bears' coach. The movement is spearheaded by Rick Greenway who runs the website quotes Iron Mike as saying, "I'm getting excited about it. I'm just thinking about it."

Ken keeps rolling

Ken Jennings extended his Jeopardy winning streak to 29 games with yet another dominant performance tonight. Ken correctly answered all of the first 10 and 14 of the first 15 questions of the night. Ken could have easily broken the all-time single-day record for Jeopardy winnings, but he decided instead to only tie his own record (a record he shares with someone else). All through this streak, Ken has proved his versatility. Since I last checked in on this topic, Ken sucessfully answered 4 out of 5 questions in an alcoholic beverages category beverages category despite the fact that he is a Mormon living in Utah. During his streak, he has also answered a Washington and Lee University question and a Joe Paterno question.

Tomorrow, Ken has the chance to notch a 30th straight win and break the $1 million dollar winnings mark.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/11/04

"When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend ...." Anne Shirley in Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables

Programming Note

VH-1 will debut I Love the 90's on Monday night at 9 o'clock. I know that the 90's were a big decade for many Banshee Blog readers. I personally can't wait to hear Moe Rocca break down the lyrical genius of "Ice, Ice, Baby." Stop, collaborate and listen .... VH-1 will show back-to-back episodes from 9 till 11 every night this week.

Also in that general time slot is John McEnroe's new primetime talk show which debuted last Wednesday. Johnny Mac's show airs on CNBC at 10 p.m. I knew Jonny Mac's show started last week on one of the NBC family of stations, but I didn't actually get to see it last week. Like most people, I had no idea what channel CNBC was actually shown on and ended up getting bogged down in something like Baseball Tonight or Behind the Music: Guns and Roses. So, I don't have a review of Johnny Mac's show. However, I will say that the Guns and Roses episode of Behind the Music is the best one I've ever seen.


Tony Stewart won this week's race at Chicagoland Speedway, but the victory is overshadowed by controversy. Coming off a restart about halfway through the race, Stewart jumped from third to first as the green flag dropped. He drove straight through race-leader Kasey Kahne, sending the rookie hard into the wall in front of the rest of the field. The mishap ended Kahne's day and collected several other top contenders, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This is not the first time that Stewart has flagrantly wrecked Kahne this year. Kahne's crew chief, Tommy Baldwin, took a trip down to Stewart's pit to tell Stewart's team his point of view on the matter. Then a brawl broke out in the pits between the two crews. When the dust cleared, there were no serious injuries.

Jimmie Johnson finished second, and his teammate, Jeff Gordon overcame several difficulties to notch a fourth place finish. Earnhardt limped to a finish outside of the top twenty. The top six positions in the championship standings remained unchanged.

Next week there is no race. That gives NASCAR plenty of time to figure out an appropriate punishment for Tony Stewart. A fine is almost guaranteed, but fines have proven ineffective with Stewart in the past. For this reason, several people are calling for a suspension for Tony Stewart. I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of a suspension. Harsh penalties with undefined guidelines can cause serious credibility problems for NASCAR. On the other hand, fines have not been an effective behavior modification tool.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/10/04

"I love football players who don't flinch, and I love presidents who don't flinch. We live in a world that takes integrity and guts and conviction." Coach Joe Paterno on President Bush

Football and Politics

You know how I can't resist stories that combine politics and sports ....

The Paternos and Bush. Yesterday, President George W. Bush was campaigning in Pennsylvania. And, President Bush had at his side perhaps the most influential celebrity in all of the Keystone State. President Bush was introduced at a York rally by none other than the immortal Joe Paterno -- legendary head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions. Paterno referred to President Bush as "one of the greatest presidents of our time." And, Paterno ought to know since he's been around long enough to have some perspective on the issue.

(AP/George Widman) (AP/Bradley C. Bower)

You can only imagine how all this makes me feel. My love for President Bush is surpassed only by my love of Joe Pa. This is not Paterno's first experience with endorsing a Bush for President. Joe Paterno offered Pennsylvania's nomination of George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican convention.

Scott Paterno, Joe's son, also spoke at a Bush rally during the PA trip. Scott is running as a Republican for the congressional seat currently occupied by Tim Holden. All I can say about this is: Let's go State!

(Thanks to Pennsylvanian Jason Kline for the telephone tip on this).

Senator Iron Head? Republicans in Illinois were sent scrambling for a new senatorial candidate when Jack Ryan recently withdrew from the race due to the release of the salacious details of his divorce from actress Jeri Ryan. Since it's a little late in the game for a new man to enter the race, Republicans figure that they need someone with star power if they have any chance at all of winning this race. So, in the state of Illinois, if you can't have Michael Jordan who would be your next best pick? That's right, Mike Ditka. Although it is still speculation at this point, Ditka's name has surfaced as a possible candidate.

Smarty Jones gets back to work

Just when you thought that Smarty Jones was gone forever from the Banshee Blog ....

Smarty Jones got back on the track this week in preparation for his next start. Smarty's first race since his disappointing defeat in the Belmont Stakes will be at his home track at Philadelphia Park. Smarty will run in the Pennsylvania Derby on September 6.

Good luck, Smarty.

Country music is the music of America

A friend of mine recently declared for no reason at all that she hated country music (same friend who thought Something's Gotta Give was a good film). I didn't say anything at the time because I didn't have the energy for a knock-down, drag-out fight, but this really got my blood boiling. It's been boiling for about two weeks. Now it's time to express myself on this issue.

I myself have one oldies station, one mix station, two pop/rock stations and two country stations programmed on my car radio. So, it's not as if I listen exclusively to country music. I will certainly crank up the volume for Outkast or Nellie. And, Billy Joel is probably my overall favorite artist. But, I want to declare here and now that it is country music that is the music of America. It captures life as experienced by a huge number of Americans and it proclaims American values. And for this, it should be respected.

Do you identify better with drinking cheap wine out of a Dixie cup or sipping Cristal in the back of stretch Navigator? Are you more familiar with mackin' in a Manhattan night club or fixin' Sunday supper after church? There's no doubt about which life is more familiar to most people. Really, who can't bring to mind a memory of drinking Boone's Farm out of a disposible cup or eating fried chicken with your pastor in the outdoors?

Hip-hop and pop is music for adolescents and 20-somethings who are trying not to grow up. But, country music is for all generations. Sure, country singers sing about falling in love at 17 and partying too hard. But, they also sing about the births of their children and the deaths of their parents. They sing about making love to and growing old with their spouses. They sing often and without embarassment about their love of their country and the Lord. And, it's not unusual to hear the "Star Spangled Banner" played during the course of the day on a country station.

So basically, I would sum it up this way: Hip-hop and pop music are kind of like super-hero movies. They're fun and they're exciting because they let us imagine a life we'll never live. But, country music is like It's a Wonderful Life because we can laugh and cry and learn from it. It will stand the test of time.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/9/04

"They [Iraqi terrorists] don't care about the Iraqi governing council. They care about getting rid of George Bush." Dick Morris, Clinton political strategist

DMV quality health care

Today I went to the DMV for the third time in three days. All because of errors, oversights, poor cross-checks and over-all incompetence on the part of these government employees. And, a thought occurred to me.

For those of you out there who have flirted with the idea of government provided health care (and I know there are a few of you out there reading this blog), imagine this: imagine if your local emergency room was run like the DMV.

You come in, bleeding profusely from the hand. Then you're given a number and told to sit in the waiting room for an indefinite period of time. That time ends up being 61 minutes. Then, just as you're about to lose consciousness, you're wheeled into the back room and asked a few quick questions. A few hours later, you wake up from your anesthesia-induced slumber. You quickly realize that your hand is still bleeding and you have a scar on your chest. When your DMV-styled doctor sees that you're awake, he comes over and tells you that after an exploratory operation, he couldn't find a thing wrong with your heart.

"My heart!" you exclaim. "I told you my hand is cut!"

"Oh well, I'm sorry," the doctor says indifferently. "You were screaming so much when we wheeled you in that I thought you said 'heart' not 'hand.' Take a number and we'll be back with you as soon as we can."

Kerry's priorities

Here is an excerpt from John Kerry's interview on Larry King Live last night. I'm not gonna offer any commentary on this. I think it's pretty powerful when it stands alone.

KING: News of the day, Tom Ridge warned today about al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States. Didn't increase the -- you see any politics in this? What's your reaction?

KERRY: Well, I haven't been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me. I just haven't had time.

Something's Gotta Give

I don't usually post this early in the day, but I wanted to get this out as quickly as I can in case any of you are planning a trip to Blockbuster on your way home for the weekend.

Do not rent Something's Gotta Give.

Due in large part to the all-star cast, Something's Gotta Give received much acclaim when it came out earlier this year. I don't usually put a lot of stock in Hollywood buzz, but I rented this movie last night upon the recommendation of a friend who somehow convinced me that she is some sort of aficionado on good writing. What a mistake!

Something's Gotta Give is possibly the most boring movie that I have ever seen -- including Lawrence of Arabia. Here's the gist: there's an old guy playboy that is dating a 30 year-old. Then the old guy ends up stuck in a house with the 30 year-old's divorced mother. Guess what happens. That's right, the two stock characters end up in bed with each other and then in love.

Basically, Something's Gotta Give is about 554 minutes worth of predictable drama mixed with 3 or 4 minutes of Beevis and Butthead humor (huh huh, he said Viagra). In the end, I was left with an angry feeling burning in my stomach because this snorefest caused me to miss Hillary Duff on The Tonight Show (fortunately, I did take a break from the film to make sure I didn't miss Jay's second guess, Roger Clemens, or else I would probably have had to smash my DVD player in order to relieve my frustrations).

Today's rental choice: S.W.A.T. This movie is guaranteed to have enough gunshots to keep me awake, and the hip-hop dialog will be less predictable.

My Hero!

Imagine this. Across the street a man who has a criminal record has just shot his son-in-law and several women and children. He is standing in the yard with his hand in his pocket staring in your direction. It looks like he has a gun. A policeman, running away, yells, “He has a gun.”

You tell the man to pull his hand out of his pocket. He refuses. You tell him again and again to prove that he doesn’t have a weapon. Your neighbors, hiding behind their curtains, are in danger. Your wife and children are depending on you for protection.

You see movement inside his house. He is now screaming at you with his hand still in his pocket, pointing at you.

So you shoot him. The men, women and children he was holding hostage inside the house are now free from the danger he presented. Your neighbors are safer. Your family is no longer threatened.

But - soon your neighbors discover that this criminal had no gun in his pocket. They look at you accusingly, wondering how you could have acted this way. And no one thanks you. In fact, they begin to talk among themselves about how you could have acted so rashly.


This is the way I see the Iraq situation in light of the news that President Bush wasn’t given accurate intelligence before taking out the madman in the desert. I don’t care if he had WMDs in his pocket or not, I still say, “Thank you President Bush for being a man of courage and action.”

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/8/04

"We've got real plans and a better understanding, and we've got better hair." John Kerry on the Kerry/Edwards ticket.

No, this is not a repeat of yesterday's quote. This is yet another Kerry reference to Edwards' pretty hair.

Kerry and the Communists

A few days ago, I commented on the Marxist theories that Hillary Clinton espoused in a speech in San Francisco. But, she's not the only Democrat who is quoting Communists these days.

Recently, John Kerry has adopted the phrase "Let America Be America Again" as the theme of his campaign. This is a reference to the famous Langston Hughes poem of the same name. Although the phrase has a nice ring to it, Hughes is kind of a scary guy to be referencing in a Presidential campaign. Langston Hughes was an open Communist sympathizer. He frequently contributed to Commie journals. He even went so far as to sign a 1938 document supporting Stalin's purges of the Old Bolsheviks and others. This is all according to the Oxford University Press. I know it's kind of trite for a conservative like me to accuse left-wingers of holding Communist views, but Hillary and Kerry are actually citing these guys. I'm not inventing this stuff.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, "Let America Be America Again" is not a patriotic poem. In fact, it is extremely anti-American and downright depressing. I urge you to click here to read the poem that Kerry is citing as a battle cry. Since I'm a giving kind of girl, I'm gonna go ahead and attribute ignorance to John Kerry on this one. I just can't believe that even a French-lover like Kerry holds our great nation in the same low regard that Langston Hughes did.

The French Acting John Kerry

It's perfectly obvious that John Kerry is extremely French looking, but I had no idea he was this French acting.

Are these guys running for President or are they dating?

Moe Rocca

I've been told that Moe Rocca earned his fame on The Daily Show. I don't really watch that show, so I don't know for sure. But, I do know that he is on TV almost constantly on VH-1 offering hilarious commentary on I Love the 70's and I Love the 80's Strikes Back. Then on Tuesday, I saw him wearing a Nudie suit and commenting on Reba's haridos on CMT's 40 Greatest Fashion Statements of Country Music.

This got me to thinking. Does anyone in the world have a better job than Moe Rocca? I mean, if there's anything that tops getting paid to sit around and observe pop culture, it's getting paid to offer witty commentary about your observations.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/7/04

"I'm just thrilled to have a guy with hair out there on the road with me." John Kerry on adding John Edwards to the Democratic ticket

Ken the Merciless

Tonight, Ken Jennings became Jeopardy champion for the 26th straight time. Jennings is a mild mannered software engineer from Salt Lake City, Utah, but he is absolutely brutal in Jeopardy. There is no category that seems to trouble Ken even a little bit. I got into this whole thing a little late. I only joined the phenomenon after about 20 wins for Ken. But, I have yet to see an episode where anyone was within mathematical striking distance going into Final Jeopardy. It's unbelievable. I'm beginning to think that the only person that can beat Ken Jennings is Bill Murray on about day 7 of Groundhog Day. If you haven't seen this guy, tune in to Jeopardy tomorrow night.

King of the Hot Dogs: Takeru Kobayashi

In all the excitement over the Pepsi 400 and the Banshee Blog Movie Poll, I let a major newsworthy event slip by unmentioned. The story: Nathan's Famous International Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Japan's Takeru Kobayashi took home the top prize for the fourth straight year. Kobayashi broke his own world record when he consumed 53 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Yikes! That's still a far cry from the bear's achievement on Man vs. Beast I, but it's darn good work for a human being.

(AFP/Getty Images/File) (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton) (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/6/04

"The hole in the ozone layer is directly attributable to Reba McEntire's hair spray use in the mid '90's." CMT's "40 Greatest Fashion Statements of Country Music"

A Heartbeat Away

Today John Kerry chose his running mate for the November election. And the veep nominee is ... (drum roll, please) ... Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

I have a variety of thoughts on this issue, and they are not altogether connected with each other.

#1 John Kerry's choice of Edwards is perhaps the best example to date of why Kerry does not have the leadership skills necessary to be President of the United States. This selection is entirely poll-driven and demonstrates an absolute disregard for the well-being and safety of our nation. The Vice President really only has one job in our government. That job is to be ready to assume the role of Commander in Chief if something tragic were to happen to the President. It is for this reason that Kerry's choice of Edwards is absolutely reckless. Edwards, though charasmatic and good-looking, is woefully underqualified to assume the roll of President. John Edwards has really never led anything. Not even a real business. He built his wealth as a trial attorney and has served one term in the United States Senate. One term. Edwards has not been responsible for a single, major legislative effort in his six years in the Senate and chose not to run again for his seat -- largely because he was not expected to win. And now, if Democrats get their wish, Edwards will be just a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

#2 For better or for worse, this is possibly the most liberal ticket that has ever run for the top offices of our country. It's been well-documented that National Journal rated John Kerry as the most liberal senator in all the United States Senate. Sen. Edwards is #4 on that list. There is a strong argument to be made that a Hillary/Kennedy ticket would be more conservative than Kerry/Edwards. At least voters will have a clear idealogical choice this November. There is no middle of the road coming from either side.

#3 It's no secret that John Kerry's first choice for veep was Republican Senator John McCain. When that pipe dream was destroyed, Kerry then turned to the ultra-liberal John Edwards. What gives? How can anyone respect a man whose first choice for a Democratic running mate was not only a Republican but a Republican who is actively campaigning for George Bush? I guess that in John Kerry's world, if you can't have a Republican a heartbeat away from the presidency then you might as well have his polar opposite. This about-face makes it obvious that Kerry is not considering the good of the nation in his veep calculations. He is only considering a maximum boost in the polls. But, back to the fact that McCain is campaigning for Bush. I have to question the mental stability of a man who actually entertained the idea that he could convince a man who is obviously dedicated to the re-election of President Bush to join the opposing team?

Welcome home, Banshee Mobile!

After a near-death experience followed by some vandalism, the Banshee Mobile returned home from the car hospital this afternoon. Gretchen Wilson welcomed the Banshee Mobile back to the highways, followed quickly by Toby Keith at mirror rattling volume. No offense to the white Kia that served me well for the past month, but it's oh-so-good to have the black Camry parked outside the apartment. After all, black is just a way better color for the Wild Banshee.

So, at the end of this ordeal, I need to give a couple of shout-outs. First shout-out goes to State Farm Insurance, both in OH and in VA. State Farm took super good care of me the whole way through. Second shout-out goes to my peeps at Perfection Auto Body. Their work was slow and steady. But, the car looks absolutely beautiful now. Plus, they picked up my deductible on the vandalism damage without me saying a word about the incident.

Welcome home, Banshee Mobile.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Today is President George W. Bush's 58th birthday. Thank you for your service, Mr. President. And, God bless you on this special day.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/5/04

“What kind of people do they think we are? Do they not realize that we will persevere until they and the world have been taught a lesson they’ll never forget?” Winston Churchill early in WWII

New Poll: Playing Professional Sports

This week's poll seeks to find out which sport Banshee Blog readers would most like to play for a living. You can forget gender for this one. We're picking between the top leagues in each sport -- men's leagues. So ladies, go ahead and pick basketball without thinking about the low salaries of the WNBA.

And, in case you were wondering, the answer is "yes." Soccer is omitted on purpose. I don't wanna know if the readers of this blog would rather play soccer than play in the NFL.

Movie Poll

Yes, the Movie Saga poll has finally come to an end. With a late rally, the Godfather trilogy came out on top. But it was a highly divided vote. The Godfather took home 30% of the vote. Pundits attribute the late rally to Marlon Brando's recent passing. Indiana Jones finished second with 23% of the vote. Matrix, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars each got 15% of the vote. Despite nearly constant play on AMC this past week, Rocky did not receive any votes. Terminator and Back to the Future also got shut out.

Life in America is good

This weekend I went to see Spidey 2. If the fact that Americans had over $180 million dollars worth of disposable income that they were willing to spend on seeing this film over the weekend is not evidence enough of what a great country we live in, something I saw at that film provided the clincher.

I saw a man carrying a tub of hot popcorn in his right hand and a gigantic soda in his left. And, in his mouth, he carried a bag of peanut M&M's.

Yes, life is good.

Kerry supports the taking of innocent life

It's been well documented that John F. Kerry is one of the most ardent supporters of abortion on demand that the Senate has ever seen. Kerry even supports the right to the horrific and grisly partial birth abortion procedure. Yet, today, Kerry said, "I believe life does begin at conception." So, in other words, Kerry believes that abortion is the killing of a human life, but thinks that our nation ought to sanction those killings.

Could Kerry be an any less principled on this serious issue?

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/4/04 Independence Day

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impael them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

-- Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Click here to read the entire Declaration.


The start of the Pepsi 400, Daytona's July night race, was delayed more than two hours due to rain. I can't offer too much commentary on this race since I couldn't keep my eyes open much passed lap 80. I was very disappointed about that fact because the Daytona night race is one of my favorites. Fortunately, the drivers were able to stay awake and complete the entire race. Hendrick teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson finished first and second in the 400. Earnhardt, Jr. was unable to pull of the Daytona sweep, but he did manage to finish third.

The strong finishes by Johnson and Earnhardt kept them in first and second, respectively, in the championship standings. Jeff Gordon moved into third spot. Tony Stewart advanced to fourth while Matt Kenseth slipped to spots to fifth place.

Next week: Chicagoland Speedway

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Quiz Time

Who said the following: "We're gonna take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

a. Karl Marx
b. Friedrich Engels
c. Hillary Clinton

Correct answer: Hillary Clinton.

Hillary adopted and adapted Karl Marx's famous phrase ("From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs") in a speech this week to San Francisco Democrats. And the crowd cheered. Scary, huh? You have to wonder about a party that gets fired up when their leaders espouse the concepts of the Communist Manifesto.

Quote of the Day 7/3/04

"I'm not saying he's old, but he dated Mother Nature in high school." Chris Meyers

Political conventions

The Democratic National Convention begins in 23 days. Yet, according to their own website, the Dems have not figured out their speaker lineup yet. In fact, there is legitimate reason to speculate that John F. Kerry might not even make an appearance. This is due to the police strike in the host city of Boston. Kerry skipped out on the recent mayor's convention last week because he refused to cross police picket lines. To the best of my knowledge, Kerry has not solidly stated that he will cross the picket lines to accept the Democratic nomination if the strike continues. One thing you can be sure of, though, is that there will be plenty of Big Ted Kennedy when the Dems descend on his hometown of Boston.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have wasted no time in solidifying their speaker line-up. The Republican National Convention will not begin until August 30th, after the Olympics, but the RNC announced their slated speakers on Monday. The lineup includes Kerry's dream Veep Sen. McCain, the Governator Arnold Schwartzenegger, Rudy Giuliani and Democratic Sentator Zell Miller. Oh, and President Bush will definitely be there to accept the nomination. The only way that I could see this convention being any better would be if Tim McGraw, Tony Kornheiser and Smarty Jones were added to the speaker lineup.

Just for comparison's sake, here is the link to the DNC Blog. They clearly have better graphics and undoubtedly have more traffic. But, I gotta say that the content is far more entertaining here on the Banshee Blog.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Quote of the Day 7/2/04

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible." Doug Larson

More people weighing in against Moore

It's really no surprise that Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Wild Banshee and Jason Kline are documenting problems with Fahrenheit 9/11. But, it's not just the clarion voices on the right who are decrying this film anymore. The truth about this film is finally spreading to the mainstream media.

Left-wing columnist, Richard Cohen, of the Washington Post titled his July 1 column Baloney, Moore or Less. There is some pretty funny stuff in this piece. But, the long and the short of it is that Cohen thinks Moore's movie is so ridiculous that it actually hurts the great cause of removing Bush from office. Frankly, I am surprised that more Democrats, particularly John Kerry, aren't trying harder to distance themselves from the lunatic left as Cohen recommends.

Michael Isikoff of of New MSNBC also used his column space yesterday to dismantle the "factual" assertions of Moore's film.

And possibly most surprisingly of all, Bush-attacker and key "source" for the Moore film, Richard Clarke, wrote his own rebuttle.

So, after all of this, I consider the discussion as to whether Moore's film contains lies to be closed. It contains lies. It just does. You can hate Bush. You can love the film. But no educated person can seriously defend the truthfulness of Moore's assertions.