Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Turning the Irony to the Wool Setting

Congratulations once again to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In today's print edition, the story entitled Hosts of sports-talk shows should follow a few basics contains rule number one for radio sports talk show hosts:
    Be as informed as your listeners: Hosts should know at least as much about current events as those who are on the other end of the radio. And it doesn't take that much work.
Accompanying this piece is a photo of Tony Twist, who has recently been ousted from a hosting position on one of the radio stations discussed in the article. The caption for the photo?
    Former Blues defenseman Tony Twist was a casualty of changes at radio station KSLG.
Here on the Internet, we have a saying: Double-check your spelling when you criticize someone's grammar.

Note to the unhockey-savvy, including the sports photo caption writers for the Post-Dispatch:Tony Twist was a winger, a forward, not a defenseman.

IT Words to Power

Over at Q and O, Dale Franks responds to a Java supremicist who calls Microsoft technologies the dark side and all klunky, user-unfriendly-but-geek-titilating technologies "goodness and light".

What Dale said.

Sending a Message

This story in the Denver Post sends an interesting message to citizens following DOJ instructions to BOLO for terrorist suspects:
    2 suspected al-Qaeda agents dropped in for meal, says Denny's manager in Avon

    The FBI office in Denver has received "numerous" calls about the seven people believed to be associated with al-Qaeda pictured Wednesday in newspapers.

    Monique Kelso, spokeswoman for the Denver office, wouldn't characterize the calls as "sightings," but at least one was reported as such.

    Samuel Mac, manager of the Denny's in Avon, isn't happy with the response he got from the FBI when he reported that two of them ate at his restaurant Wednesday.
That's the set-up. Here's the punchline:
    But she [Monique Kelso, spokeswoman for the Denver FBI field office] said the FBI has no reason to believe any of the seven are in Colorado or traveling through.
Got that? If you think you see any of the suspects, call the authorities, who won't find your information believable.


Thursday, May 27, 2004
Hockey Has Made Me Multi-Cultural

Dudes, I don't know how to explain it. I pronounce Martin marTAN, and when I see a name like Branko Radivojevic in print, I know how it's pronounced (which might differ from how it's pronounced on the radio, werd).

Of course, I'll cross the final Radivobicon into worldly when I can spell Radivojevic from hearing it pronounced. But that will be a couple years.

Perhaps One Should Learn Slang Before Hiring the Band

More kudos to the fools who took a perfectly good Masonicesque Veiled Prophet celebration (seriously) and made it into a family-friendly (called sometimes "public-avoided") event. The people who bring to you Fair St. Louis, which is an apt description of the city and metropolitan area itself, have rescinded their booking of main attraction Smash Mouth:
    Smash Mouth, the pop act that was supposed to deliver a hipper, younger crowd to Fair St. Louis, has been booted from the July 4 lineup. Fair officials dropped the act after lead singer Steve Harwell offended employees of Enterprise Rent-a-Car at a corporate party in Orlando this month. Witnesses said Harwell called audience members obscene names.

    Fair St. Louis executive director Rich Meyers said that he received a call from Pete Wyatt, a former entertainment chairman for the fair and an employee of Enterprise, who said that "the performance was the most vile, profane thing he had ever seen." Meyers said, "We can't take that sort of risk that there will be that sort of behavior in front of families, especially on the evening of the Fourth."
I suspect that the target of the profanity, St. Louis Illuminati-level string-pulling Enterprise Rent-A-Car, has as much to do with the abrupt change of plans as the obscenity or profanity itself. But jeez, you happening old dudes, let's just count up the clues that might have indicated the mindset and style of the group, shall we?
  • It's named Smash Mouth, which describes a style of speaking that's sort of, um, colorful.

  • Its first hit album was entitled Fush Yu Mang, alternately entitled on as Fush Yu Mang [EXPLICIT LYRICS]. Fush yu mang is a slurred pronunciation of a Nuyorican spoken unwritten mandate, if you get my drift. If you don't, you should read this blog more frequently.

  • The first line of their first hit ("Walkin' on the Sun") is It ain't no joke I'd like to buy the world a toke. You know, a marijuana cigaret.
Family-friendly? Geez, man, this is rock and roll. Smash Mouth will only be family friendly in thirty years, when the inured children of this generation curse the next-generation corruptive musicians who have scientific methods of actually altering brain waves through sound to cause orgasm or uncontrolled sobbing, or both when Chris Carrabba, Jr., sings.

Looks like the public/private partnership titans in charge of Fair St. Louis hired the wrong six-figure consultants to tell them what's cool.

So-Called Watch

In an otherwise good, Spoons-approved column for the Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman identifies the slippery slope that gun banners are encouraging with the Assault Weapons Ban. Unfortunately, he deploys a stink bomb of clich (pronounced, yes, clitch):
    The guns used by the Red Army and assorted guerrillas around the world are indeed automatic weapons, firing up to 100 rounds a minute with a single squeeze of the trigger. But the so-called AK-47s allowed before the ban were semiautomatics, which fire only once each time the trigger is pulled. They are to authentic military weapons what a beer-league softball player is to Barry Bonds.
Yick. Poor form, Peter.

Second Opinion

You all know what I had to say about Robert B. Parker's Bad Business. Well, some of you do, anyway. I like to think someone reads the book reviews I post.

Those of you who do can now read what Professor Bainbridge thought of the book.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Back to the Future

So I read in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Marquette University might return to the Warriors as its mascot:
    A $2 million gift isn't tempting enough to get Marquette University to change its nickname back to Warriors, but the fact that an important alumnus asked for the change during a public event is forcing the university to think about it.

    Wayne Sanders, the vice chairman of the university's Board of Trustees, said at the end of the commencement address to Marquette graduates Sunday that he and another, unnamed trustee each would give $1 million to Marquette for the switch from Golden Eagles to Warriors.

    School officials declined the money Monday, but they said that in coming weeks, the board will consider formally revisiting the decade-long debate.
Jeez, I feel old. A decade-long debate. Here's what I wrote in the Marquette Tribune in 1993(?) in my column "Through These Eyes":
    Through These Eyes #6: The Great Mascot Controversy

    In the interest of saving the university some money, I would like to make my contribution to the "Name the Mascot" competition. There's no need for them to go throwing away money to a private consultant, even though I realize they just stuck us for ten percent more for just such academic emergencies. Let that much-needed cash go to making some dean's office more competitively decorated like that of other schools.

    Okay, the Native Americans got a little bent out of shape that the university used an image of a Native American for a while there. I know what great strain and emotional upset some of them must have gone through attending basketball games and seeing the mascot, even if it was a descendent of the original Native Americans. This great debate is not limited strictly to the campus. All over the country, groups of Native American are protesting the use of their heritage on athletic teams. I mean, I can understand. I abhor the New York Yankees. How dare they? So now the university needs a new, non-offensive mascot. Something that can be identified with the Warrior. I humbly submit the following.

    How about a white man dressed in skins carrying a club? Think about it, a nice barbarian figure for our sporting events. No, wait. That might be deemed too something-ist for our school if we featured a White European Male mascot like that. Besides, it is not a sort of figure easily identifiable with a Warrior. We'd hate to be mistaken for the Marquette Neanderthals.

    Okay, idea two. A nice knight figure. In armor. A chivalrous warrior. No, wait. That's still a European figure. Besides, some Arabic or Islamic groups might get angry because every few years a bunch of these guys would get together and try to take over the Middle East, or select parts thereof.

    Okay, check this out. An African tribesman. With a spear and paint. No, can't do that. The African Americans would have the same objections as the Native Americans.

    Well, how about a samurai in his battle robe and armor, helmet adorned with ox horns, quiver, gold-studded sword, his ancestral crest, the whole bit? Maybe a neat little pseudo-seppuku when the sports team is down? Oh, there's that blasted heritage argument again.

    How about that lone American warrior, the cowboy? Why not, Rick Fields classifies that historical figure as a warrior in his book The Code of the Warrior. Since I'm running low on ideas, why not? A six-gun and ten gallon hat, idealizing the American spirit of independence and swift justice. Uh-oh, wait a minute. Cowboys tended to shoot Native Americans, didn't they? Maybe this version of our mascot wouldn't placate them so well....

    I have to admit, I'm getting a little frustrated here. When I think of a Warrior from history, I tend to think in terms of different heritages like that, and that's already proven to be taboo. Either the Warrior was the member of a distinct ethnic group that can and will be offended, and/or they killed people of an offendable group.

    I mean, that's the way I see it. Of course, that is ignoring the common denominator among all Warriors, which is some sort of hardiness and bravery, a willingness to risk their very lives in pursuit of what they thought was right, the skills of life and death intertwined into a person who would kill or die for honor and justice. The Native American Warrior did this. Maybe having a brave as our mascot is not so much a way of spitting on a race of man and saying "Nyah nyah, you injun," as it is a way of showing respect for a gallant breed of our species and the finest their culture produced.

    Or, I guess we could have Patty Smythe mousse up her hair and paint her face up and start singing, "Shooting out the walls of heartache, bang-bang..." But that might get a bit expensive.
(Pssst. Want a bit of irony? The Marquette Tribune had four rotating columnist of varying political viewpoints--Right, Right to Center, Center to Left, and Left. I was Center to Left--less a tribute to the "right wing" nature of the Marquette campus (as a Jesuit university) and more to the preconceived notion of what long hair meant. A mullet. You got something to say about it?)

The Wheels of Justice Crush at Ex's Direction

Check this out, gentlemen:
    A man has been charged with child abuse for not applying enough sunblock to his 12-year-old son before a day at the beach.

    The boy was severely burned as a result, authorities said.

    Walter McKelvie Jr., 43, of Vineland, was indicted Tuesday and charged with one count of child abuse and neglect in the July 20 incident, in which he took his mentally disabled son to the beach in Wildwood.
A sunburn as child neglect. Great. Were this the case, my father would have been up every time he toook us swimming at his new wife's parents' pool. Sunblock? In the 1980s? Are you kidding me? Wear a t-shirt while swimming? Naaah! We were young and we could take it.

Granted, this child is "mentally disabled". but its meaning is not clarified in the article and can be nebulous to say the least. Dyslexic? Incapable of speech? "Mentally disabled" is all we have, so I will assume the worst for the father, which is "not very."

    The son, identified only as R.M., suffered large, bleeding blisters on his back and face. Authorities were alerted by the boy's mother, who has custody of him but was not with him at the beach, according to Assistant Cape May County Prosecutor Meghan Hoerner.
Hell hath no fury. And back off, you hosers, I'm the product of a broken home, so I will tell you so.

Perspective: Maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps the old man was flirting with the beach bunnies, impervious to their disinterest to the mid-life-crisised, pierced, and balding man with the child with Down's syndrome and said child boiled during this several hour beerspan. But the article doesn't give me that. I reserve the right to judge this a case of ex-wife seeks revenge through the criminal courts.

(Link seen on Drudge.)

Add It Up

I ask you, is it coincidence that the movie The Tomorrow after Day or something tells about the impudent meddling of man awakens Godzilla and he fights El Niño is opening, Al Gore is ranting about, well, whatever the voices tell him to, and here in St. Louis we had hail the size of small frogs yesterday, power outages, and tornado warnings tonight?

You know it as well as I do.

Democrats are playing politics with the weather reports.

It has nothing to do with Doppler radar chatter, the information gathered and projected by trained professionals, and the world conditions as they exist--it's all about unseating George W. Bush in the presidential election!

I Need a Shower. A Hot Shower, With Lots of Soap

You gentle readers who do not pay much attention to the chatterings of the blogosphere or the might have missed the story of Wankette and Wankienne, two taste-challenged, promiscuious women based in Washington, D.C. One posts semi-obscene, semi-profane gossip nuggets and the other has sex with married men for money and then talks about it. The whole thing turns my stomach, so I've tried not to think of it.

So for the uninitiated, read what Michelle Malkin has to say about it to get an inkling of how much the Washington Post and those coastal connected types laud the duo, and keep in mind that when one of these coastal-take-all-comers types claims that people from the middle of the country are overrepresented in the government, whether through Senate representation or the Electoral College system, these women are among those who are purportedly underrepresented.

(Link seen on Nealz Nuze.)

His Picture Is in the Thesaurus for Class (Antonym of)

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Man Who Would Have Been President (If Only He Had Won):
    George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation in the eyes of the world.

    He promised to "restore honor and integrity to the White House." Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon.
This from a man who served in an administration that solicited campaign funds from Chinese nationals and whose president was impeached for lying under oath and later lost his law license for perjury. Visit the whole remarks at Move On, an organization founded to help America move on from the scandal wherein the former Senator from Tennessee's former boss was investigated for shady land deals and later for having adulterous sex in the White House.

Jeez, Gore, you don't hear statesmen talking that way. Did you hear George H.W. Bush or Dan Quayle barking like that after Clinton? Can you imagine George W. Bush, former governor of Texas and presidential candidate, laying into a Gore presidency like that? No?

And I bet you don't even understand why not. Timidity? Fear of your righteousness?

Just face it, you're losing that type of class warfare.

(Link seen on Drudge.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
But He's Not A Scientist

Mike Nichols of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel provides a little perspective on the cataclysmically-worsening climate:
    In Elm Grove and Brookfield, so much rain fell in an eight-hour period in 1997 that it was labeled a "300-year-storm" - just about the worst thing to happen, we were led to believe, since the invention of the loincloth.

    That's definitely bad - though not nearly as bad as the "500-year storm" that reportedly hit the exact same area the very next year.

    Not nearly as cursed, either, as what transpired in the late-1990s in New Berlin.

    Here's a real paragraph from a story about New Berlin that ran in this paper three years ago:

    "Storm water management efforts were under way in New Berlin long before 100-year storms hit the city in 1997, 1998 and 2000..."

    That's right. The only year between 1996 and 2001 that there was not a so-called 100-year storm in New Berlin was 1999.
But take his perspective with a grain of salt. He's just a newspaper columnist, not a scientist seeking funding for his particular project or trying to better the lives of lesser men through dictating policy in his field of expertise, damn its impact on everything else. That is, Nichols has an agenda of some sort.

Monday, May 24, 2004
Spell-Checked By Yahoo!

Thanks, I needed that.

Got Nothin

I got nothing today. Go see what's new at Pop-Up Mocker, now endorsed by the Marshall (Minnesota) Adult Education program, sorta.

Sunday, May 23, 2004
Book Review: The Little Book of Stupid Questions by David Borgenicht

Whenever Heather and I travel, I like to pick up one of these silly little quiz books to help us pass the time. I picked up the Barnes and Noble edition of this book, for a number of dollars no less, because I knew we would be on the road this year. Unfortunately, although this book bills itself as a way to "Get your friends to reveal their inner selves with The Little Book of Stupid Questions". Unfortunately, the book serves more to let you get to know David Borgenicht as much as to get to know each other.

Face it, quiz books of this sort should proffer brain teasers to elicit chuckles, amusing stories, or wry revelations on the part of those answering the question. Unfortunately, Borgenicht cannot help intruding with follow-up questions that presume the question will be answered a certain way, such as
    If, by some quirk of fate, you run into your favorite celebrity/supermodel fantasy object, and, by some other quirk of fate, they [sic] come onto you, what would you do? What if you were in a committed relationship? Do you ask for an autograph afterwards?
    When you're in the shower and you see a little hair on the tile wall, do you fill your hands with water and try to splash it off, or [sic] try to pluck it off with your fingers? Why are we so predictable?
Some of the questions are seemingly rhetorical, as though Borgenicht couldn't wait for Amateur Night at the comedy club.
    If you ate your own foot, would you lose weight?
    Do you think that the first time corn ever popped [sic] it scared the hell out of the Indians?
and furthermore
    Why do people who use "correct grammar" sound like such dorks?
Even when he's not cracking wise or writing with a smirk, he's repeating himself. What would your name be as a rock singer/super hero/exotic dancer? Who would you least like to be haunted by/stuck in an elevator with/spend an eternity in hell with? I started skipping the similar questions, the rhetorical questions, and the repeated questions. Ultimately, it left about a third of the book qualified to do what it advertises.

However, Borgenicht does lead to hours of amusing speculation with this question:
    If they can make a "black box" that is so indestructible that it survives a plane crash, why don't they just make the airplane out of the same material?
Wow. Is Borgenicht plagiarizing from George Carlin's Brain Droppings, or is he plagiarizing from Mike Barnicle's column in the Boston Globe which itself plagiarized from Brain Droppings and led to Barnicle's dismissal?

Wondering about that answer could eat up some drive time in the middle of Illinois, werd.

Steve Chapman, Visiting Professor to the Noggle School of Economics

In his column in last Thursday's Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman explains High gas prices are no cause for panic.

    Back in the 1970s, younger Americans might be surprised to learn, government bureaucrats controlled all prices in the economy. I'm not talking about the economy of the Soviet Union or Cuba--I'm talking about the economy of the United States. If a company wanted to raise its prices, it had to ask for permission from a federal agency, which didn't always agree.

    The experiment was a disaster, and it cured most politicians of the urge to meddle in such matters. They learned they weren't qualified to decide the correct price of any commodity. Except one: gasoline.
Libertarians, for their foreign policy shortcomings, understand laissez-faire.

They Must Have Just Gotten Back from Massachusetts

Misplaced modifier of the week, from John Kass's column in last Thursday's Chicago Tribune:
    "I saw no weapons being used," wrote Harrison, the wife of a retired cop whose husband was in the hospital, leaving her alone that night when it happened.
Or maybe it's one of those open marriages.

Go read the column. It's about how a single man, who confronts a suspicious character, is being persecuted by the authorities who know that prosecution and trial are but one "tool" in their toolbox to breaking someone.

We Had To Break the Constitution in Order to Fix It

The Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004, wherein our intrepid Congressmen decide that the balance of powers is outdated:
    A BILL

    To allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


      This Act may be cited as the `Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004'.


      The Congress may, if two thirds of each House agree, reverse a judgment of the United States Supreme Court--

        (1) if that judgment is handed down after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

        (2) to the extent that judgment concerns the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.


      The procedure for reversing a judgment under section 2 shall be, as near as may be and consistent with the authority of each House of Congress to adopt its own rules of proceeding, the same as that used for considering whether or not to override a veto of legislation by the President.


      This Act is enacted pursuant to the power of Congress under article III, section 2, of the Constitution of the United States.
(Link seen on Fark.)

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."