Monday, April 30, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Red State Foolishness
If there is one politician who I truly hate, it is the Republican Senator from Minnesota Norm Coleman (former democratic mayor of
Yet there is another midwestern “Son of Norm Coleman” who has been running around as of late – whose level of slime almost rivals that of his evil father - and that is Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. Recently, it was revealed that Jon is thinking about running against Chuck Hagel in 2008, to coast on hardcore right-wing consternation with Hagel’s continuing criticism of the Bush “policy” in
Getting rid of Hagel – probably the best foreign policy thinker in the senate now – would be a huge mistake for the republican party in my opinion. And it won’t happen. My prediction is that Jon will get some support from the hardcore nuts out there, but will basically get eaten alive after Hagel gets together with his Berkshire-Hathaway Omaha country club buddies and develop a campaign that will castrate that punk and leave him for dead in a ditch along I-80. I can’t say I will be sad to see that.
Graphic above from Paging Power.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Upon arrival in
Museums and More.
Then there was the usual mall tour. I took a friend of mine to DC from
I’d have to say that the highlight of the day was the Museum of the American Indian, which I had never been to before. I was really impressed with how closely the Smithsonian worked with tribal historians and curators to create the displays there. You had your “traditional” museum presentations with various artifacts on display behind glass.
However, I preferred viewing the multitude of colorful, multimedia educational presentations. There was a wealth of interesting information about native livelihoods in the displays, both historical and current. I would highly recommend spending at least a day there.
Then it was on to the Historic Triangle of Jamestown/Williamsburg/Yorktown. I drove in really late and had a horrible time finding my hotel in colonial
The way back home was when things started falling apart.
We missed the flight back due to bad weather, and ended up staying in a hotel in
We sat on the plane for over 40 or so minutes. I literally fell asleep, woke up thinking I was back home, and then learned that in fact we had not even taken off. It turned out that the security officials at
So after sitting in the plane on the runway, they ordered us to take our bags, get off the plane, and go back to the waiting gate. After a few minutes of milling around at the gate, about 15 or so TSA agents and police appeared at the gate and forced us into a “security corral” in the corner (above). Because we were “contaminated” we were not allowed to leave the area and had to be re-screened.
Reactions were mixed. Some people thought it was funny. Others were pissed and began arguing with airport officials. I was exhausted, and frustrated, since I had been trying to get home for 24 hours. One older woman – who only spoke Vietnamese – had no idea what was going on and became anxious. Fortunately, some other passengers called up a Vietnamese interpreter on a cell phone for her. TSA didn’t have any foreign language interpreters on hand. Another older woman wasn’t even a passenger on the original flight, but got caught into the “security corral” because she just happened to be standing in the gate area. TSA later let her go after learning she wasn't an original passenger, but by then she had missed her own flight. Nice job guys.
So we stood around for an hour or so in the corner of the airport surrounded by TSA officials, unable to leave the “security corral.” Then they decided to move us back through the boarding tunnel outside to the runway area and into a bus. The place was surrounded by TSA agents and those ubiquitous SUVs that “the feds” always drive in the movies. A moment after taking this photo, one of them started screaming at me to stop taking pictures and get on the bus.
One of the many pissed-off passengers who had been arguing with an airport official was removed from the bus by the agents for “being unruly.” It was bullshit.
Then they drove us to another area of the airport, escorted by more of those security SUVs. We were led off the bus, where we were surrounded by more cops, and then re-screened and searched. I had stopped taking photos at that point.
We were eventually allowed to go back to our original gate, and then re-board the plane after it had been screened. Everyone got a $50 voucher handed to us on the way in, and numerous scripted “we apologize for the delay” lines. One guy gave me his business card and asked me to email him my photos so he could complain.
I finally made it back home that evening. I called up the airline to complain. They told me they would send me another $50 voucher.
Monday, April 23, 2007
This Subject Line Is Not Big Enough To Contain All the Cursewords I Need To Describe Newt Gingrich
See, there's this thing called "The Market", something Newt is very fond of. The way "The Market" works is that some people try to sell products that "the masses" will buy. This is because when "the masses" buy the products, the people trying to sell them make lots of money. When it comes to things like entertainment, the people doing the selling pretty much have to figure out exactly what "the masses" want and give it to them. If there were a market for games that simulated sitting at home, reading the bible, and fulminating against imaginary people, trust me, it'd already be out there. We have the technology. What we don't have is anyone willing to pay money for it.
I'm sure Newt's aware of this, but he always pretends it has nothing to do with the content of our culture when in fact - especially since Newt and his followers went out of their way to gut funding for public broadcasting and the NEA - the entertainment market is, in large part, what determines the content of our culture. Newt, I'm sure, knows this but it's the one thing he can't admit, at least in public. If he even allowed any discussion of how market forces influence our culture, and whether or not this is a good thing, he wouldn't be able to invoke The Protocols Of The Elders Of Boston every time he was asked his opinion on something. This would not get him invited on TV nor would it help him revive his political career.
If Gingrich had any conviction at all, he'd demonstrate some good ol' Fashion American Go Gettin', find someone with seed money and start a company making video games that simulated sitting at home, reading the bible and fulminating against imaginary people. The thing might sell a million copies and marketing departments throughout the video game industry might end up being proved wrong (another development I'd welcome). And Newt could say he finally did something useful.
Labels: Newt Gingrich