Sine Qua Non Pundit
And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good -- Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ------ ------ ------ ------ E-mail: email@example.com
Friday, February 21, 2003
Damned Blogger, Or Is It Gobbler?
In the last 48 hours I developed cures for cancer and AIDS, solved the problems in the Middle East, came up with an answer for the soul/body dichotomy, resolved the subject/object paradox, and even came up with worthwhile jobs for Al Gore, Terry McAuliffe and Jimmy Carter; but BlogSpot ate my blog. And now that I'm sober I can't remember any of it. Incidentally, that's a much better excuse that not having sufficient space in the margin to write it.
Of course I'll have an opportunity to rectify the problem of sobriety tonight at the Midwest BlogBash IV at Two Nice Guys (not that there's anything wrong with that) in Kirkwood. A minor celebrity will be in attendance! Be there or be square, or come and watch me accomplish both concurrently!
DOWNDATE: We have half the bar. Would those attending rather have tables in the restaurant? Smoking? Non-smoking? Speak now or live with the consequences.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Yes, We Have No Banana Poetry
There will be no Scourge today, as even Richard Cohen cannot abide the pretentious pettiness of people whose puerile prejudices preclude them from acting in a civil, dignified manner when invited to the White House. Fortunately, Richard did not share his prize-winning ribald banana poem which he felt makes him qualified to pass judgment on the pathological poets.
I'll have you know I am a published poet. My poem was printed years ago in an obscure journal after a call went out for "Banana Poems" following a poetry reading I had attended. I produced a ribald parody of the United Fruit jingle ("I'm Chiquita Banana . . ."), which not only was published but won an award. I quit at the top of my game.
Well, that last bit's debatable, but to earn my stripes, here's my ribald banana haiku retort:
I've won no award, but I'm
Matching Dick's column
Banana y banana
Don't Mention The War
Who knows when Jacque and Dominique will decide that criticizing France makes you xenophobic?
British citizens will be extradited for what critics have called a "thought crime" under a new European arrest warrant, the Government has conceded.
Campaigners fear they could even face trial for broadcasting "xenophobic or racist" remarks - such as denying the Holocaust - on an internet chatroom in another country.
The Government has undertaken that if such "offences" take place in Britain the perpetrators would not be extradited - but it will be for the courts to decide the location of the crime.
This opens up the prospect of a judge agreeing to extradite someone whose observations, though made in Britain, were broadcast exclusively in a country where they constitute a crime.
Legislation now before Parliament will make "xenophobia and racism" one of 32 crimes for which the European arrest warrant can be issued without the existing safeguard of dual criminality. This requires that an extraditable offence must also be a crime in the UK.
Alongside the arrest warrant, EU ministers are negotiating a new directive to establish a common set of offences to criminalise xenophobia and racism.
Countries such as Germany and Austria have crimes such as denying the Holocaust which have no equivalent in Britain. Under current laws, if a British citizen committed this offence in Germany and returned to the UK, he could not be extradited.
However, this will change when the arrest warrant becomes law next year. Lord Filkin, the Home Office minister, told MPs: "If someone went to Germany and stood up in Cologne market place and shouted the odds, denying the Holocaust, and then came back [to Britain], they would be subject to extradition under the European arrest warrant."
Holocaust denial laws are in place in seven EU countries but they would be a big departure for Britain, where a risk of fomenting public disorder is needed before a thought becomes a crime.
A German historian who claimed that Auschwitz prisoners enjoyed cinemas, a swimming pool and brothels was sentenced to 10 months in jail.
Lord Filkin has insisted that no one would be extradited "in respect of conduct which has occurred here and which is legal here". But when he was asked by the European scrutiny committee of the House of Commons whether comments originating in Britain but carried abroad on television or through an internet chatroom would be extraditable, he said: "It will be for the courts to decide."
While he was adamant that a British citizen would not be extradited for a xenophobia or racism offence if part of the conduct took place in the UK, the committee asked whether this principle would be made clear in the Extradition Bill now before Parliament.
The proposed EU directive would extend the offences of racism and xenophobia to include discrimination on the grounds of religious conviction - something that was dropped by the Government more than a year ago following fierce opposition.
Britain has negotiated a deal under which the offences will only apply when they involve incitement to violence. Lord Filkin said this was in line with current UK race laws.
However, Britain has been forced to concede a review after two years at which point the directive could be extended to opinions that are simply considered offensive and not just those likely to incite violence. Agreement on the directive has been held up because some EU countries want a "low threshold for criminality on these issues".
Thank you George Mason and James Madison.
Sometime Your Plans Don't Even Last Until the First Bullet Is Fired
Well, this wasn't expected:
Iranian-backed Iraqi opposition forces have crossed into northern Iraq from Iran with the aim of securing the frontier in the event of war, according to senior Iranian officials. The forces, numbering up to 5,000 troops, with some heavy equipment, are nominally under the command of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, a prominent Iraqi Shia Muslim opposition leader who has been based in Iran since 1980 and lives in Tehran.
Who do you think is losing more sleep over this, Tommy Franks or Saddam Hussein?
This is really, really bad.
The government of Congo-Brazzaville has now confirmed that it is the deadly Ebola virus which has claimed the lives of 64 people, in the north of the country near the border with Gabon
If you aren't familiar with how incredibly scary Ebola is, read about the monkey house in the planned community I lived and worked in for 3 years.
I know many in the blogosphere have been back and forth on this and most have more or less dismissed it as a strategy, but consider this.
In the original rope-a-dope, the Rumble in the Jungle, Muhammad Ali was an 8-1 underdog to George Foreman. Muhammad came out blazing in the first round. Then he backed off and did next to nothing while George threw everything he had at Muhammad. This went on for quite a while. In fact, had Muhammad's corner not warned the referee that this was their strategy before the fight, the referee might have stopped it because Muhammad was not responding to any of the punishment he was taking. Then, when George literally had nothing left Muhammad knocked him out quickly in the eighth round.
Now, in a turnabout that is almost too perfect to be true, the players have changed sides with respect to the impending liberation of Iraq and the larger war on Islamic inspired terrorism. George (Bush) is playing the role of Muhammad, and Hussein/Chirac/Kim are playing the role of George (Foreman). Against long odds, George has continued to maneuver his opponent into a more and more difficult and vulnerable position, seemingly by being extremely belligerent at the outset and then sitting back and doing next to nothing but parrying blows. I suspect George is waiting until his enemies have next to nothing left in their arsenal to make the denouement as quick and risk-free as possible. Of course, having next to nothing left doesn't mean they have absolutely nothing left. There will always be some risk, and as in the fight between Muhammad and George, George could have still landed a lucky punch and won, but the longer the match went on, the greater the odds moved against him.
I think we are finishing the 7th round right about now.
Imagine the UN As Your Utility Company
We could all quit paying our utility bills! No, really! Nevermore would we fear receiving the dreaded last notice that service will be turned off if payment in full of all outstanding balances isn't made by the end of the week. After all, the only penalty for not paying your bill would be another last notice!
Haloscan seems to be about as useful as Jimmy Carter right now, but if you have something interesting to say drop me an e-mail (just to your left). I'll post them as I can and try to be more repsonsive than usual to e-mail until Haloscan returns.
Tragedy Has Become Farce
Bono named for Nobel Peace Prize
And if he doesn't win, then disgraced ex-Illinois Governor James Ryan has been nominated for his "brave" stand at commuting the sentences of over 150 murderers. But it gets better!
Stein Toennesson, the director of the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, said chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, will be favourites if they help avert war in Iraq. "If they succeed in getting Iraq to disarm sufficiently to prevent the United States and Britain from going to war, then they deserve it," he told Reuters.
As though it were Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei and their forceful rhetoric that are forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm.
39th President of the United States. Fool. Traitor.
FORMER US President Jimmy Carter is backing the Daily Mirror's Not in My Name campaign.
It's one thing for an addle-brained yute to side with our enemies, it's entirely another for an ex-president. I guess Ramsey Clark won't have to worry any longer about being generally considered the looniest ex-member of the US government. But shouldn't the Mirror Headline read:
EX-PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER BACKS OUR APPEASEMENT
Anybody remember Jimmy Carter's response to Iran holding 54 Americans for 444 days? Or how about his fabled Rose Garden strategy to win re-election? Can you imagine how Jimmy Carter would have reacted to 9/11 if he were President? Would we have been asked to put on another sweater because we are just going to have to learn to live without so much foreign oil?
What the hell is wrong with the Democratic Party?
The New Church
The fight with the US (and UK) on one side and the UN (and EU) on the other echoes the battles in medieval times between Rome and the princes and potentates of Europe. In medieval times, the argument was essentially over who had the final say, the head of state or the Church. This was true whether it was a matter as small as the civil authority trying a member of the clergy for a crime or as large as who should be king or queen. Now, replace Europe with, say, the G7, and Rome with Turtle Bay, i.e., the Church with the New Church (the UN, or its ideology of transnational progressivism). Are sovereign nations to yield their authority just because the New Church says so? Is the ostracism of the self-annoited arbiters of the "international community" todays version of excommunication? Is the New Church today just as subject to the foibles and human frailties that undermine its moral and "ecclesiastical" authority as was the medieval Church? Has the Pope been replaced by the permanent members of the UNSC? Does the Security Council as a whole act as the College of Cardinals?
We know what eventually happened to the power and authority of the Roman Catholic Church. As things move so much faster today, I doubt that the decline in power, prestige and moral authority of the New Church will take hundreds of years. It is interesting to speculate as to what form the Reformation will take in the New Church.
I wish I had more time to develop this thesis, but I'm off to work.
Monday, February 17, 2003
Quick, Somebody Call Amnesty International
FoxNews just reported that Saddam's Defense Minister is under house arrest. Apparently Saddam feared he was plotting a coup. Any chance the UN Inspectors will have the opportunity to interview what's left of him? Do you think France will insist that he not get the death penalty? Will Belgium threaten to try Saddam for war crimes if he doesn't give this guy a fair trial?
I almost feel sorry for the poor bastard. I do feel sorry for his family.
On Friday, we're gonna toast this young man and wish him well.
Thanks to Acidman for the heads up.
OK, I Give Up
What is Tim Blair up to?
DOWNDATE: Tim's site seems to be much better, but I swear he was bringing up the Volokh Conspiracy archives for a while. What hath Google wrought?
North Korea Is Insane
But you already knew that. Honestly, what color is the sky on Planet Kim?
A spokesman of the North's Korean people's Army said that the United States was building up reinforcements around the Korean Peninsula in preparations to attack the North, said the North's official news agency KCNA. "The situation is, therefore, getting more serious as the days go by as it is putting its plan for pre-emptive attacks on the (North) into practice with increased zeal," KCNA quoted the unidentified spokesman as saying. The spokesman said the "grave situation created by the undisguised war acts committed by the U.S. in breach of the armistice agreement compels the Korean People's Army side, its warring party, to immediately take all steps to cope with it." "If the U.S. side continues violating and misusing the armistice agreement as it pleases, there will be no need for the (North) to remain bound to the armistice agreement uncomfortably," the spokesman said.
Even with only 35,000 US troops stationed there, the North Korean Army will have a short, exciting life if they try.
Double Secret Probation Will Be Next
With apologies to Dean Wormer:
European leaders united Monday behind a strongly worded declaration affirming solidarity with the United States and warning Saddam Hussein that Iraq faces one "last chance" to disarm peacefully.
I think Iraq is down to their final three remaining "last chances" now.
Some People Just Need Killin'
Remind me to never, ever be surprised at the depths of immorality to which humanity can sink:
Two employees of a company that transports bodies for the county Coroner's Office were arrested Friday afternoon after a 4-year-old Adelanto girl's body was used for sex, authorities said.
I don't know what the potential punishment is for these monsters, but it is almost certainly going to be too lenient. And the way her parents were treated by authorities initially is the second worst nightmare parents can face, after the loss of a child.
"Bastards" seems insufficient.
Some Countries Are More European Than Others
Jacque Chirac inadvertently gives a bunch of shitty/gritty/snitty countries a taste of what they have to look forward to as part of the EU:
French President Jacques Chirac launched a withering attack Monday on eastern European nations who signed letters backing the U.S. position on Iraq, warning it could jeopardize their chances of joining the European Union. "It is not really responsible behavior," he told a news conference. "It is not well brought up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet."
No doubt M. Chirac will give them plenty of opportunities to keep quiet in the future when discussions of EU subsidies to French agriculture come up in the EU, or when allowances are made for France and Germany to break the guidelines for budget deficits established when the Euro was stood up. And that EU Defence Force? Well, let's just say that their opinions probably won't be necessary there either.
Chirac was angered when EU candidates Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joined pro-U.S. EU members such as Britain, Spain and Italy last month in a letter supporting Washington's line on Iraq against the more dovish stance of France and Germany. Paris was further upset when 10 other eastern European nations signed a similar letter a few days later.
"L'etat c'est moi," M. Chirac might have added.
"Concerning the candidate countries, honestly I felt they acted frivolously because entry into the European Union implies a minimum of understanding for the others," Chirac told reporters after an emergency EU summit on Iraq.
"And by others, I mean only France and Germany," M. Chirac could have said.
Chirac particularly warned Romania and Bulgaria, who are still negotiating to enter the bloc in 2007. "Romania and Bulgaria were particularly irresponsible to (sign the letter) when their position is really delicate," Chirac said. "If they wanted to diminish their chances of joining Europe they could not have found a better way."
Maybe we can make them a better offer before it is too late. Not just Romania and Bulgaria, but everybody except France and Germany.
It Burns Us, Make It Stop
The forces of evil are growing stronger:
John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has recorded a dance version of the late Beatle's final song, her record label says. Ono has teamed up with the Pet Shop Boys for a dance remix of her husband's song "Walking on Thin Ice".
They Say This Like It's A Bad Thing
France's ally has to watch his back:
The British Government has been accused of being involved in an alleged plot to eliminate Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.
But before you get your hopes up that there might be something to this report, it looks like it's merely a fabricated accusation as part of the show trial of Robert (kill the farmers) Mugabe's chief democratic rival, assuming that's not a non sequitur:
The Zimbabwean High Court has been told of the alleged plot during the treason trial of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
You see, Robert Mugabe isn't happy winning, or stealing elections, if you oppose him you must die:
Mr Tsvangarai and two of his collegaues could be sentenced to death if convicted.
So, tell me again why we care what France thinks of us?
Sunday, February 16, 2003
The Scourge of Richard Cohen, Vol. LXXVIII
(Ed. -- The following is a bit of mean spiritedness that will be an on-going feature of this blog. Normally the author will endeavor to be reasonably fair, but this is an exception.)
Some people would think it was pure bloody coincidence that I finished reading Christopher Hitchens’ Why Orwell Matters on the plane home Thursday, on the same day when Richard Cohen tries to take advantage of the great man’s name -- but not me. I’m certain there must be some cosmic connection between my reading about the man who believed in the importance of truth in political discourse and clear language as a partner to Truth with a capital “T” on the very same day that Richard abuses truth and Truth in his quest to, well, I’m not sure to do what exactly, but I imagine him sounding like an old 45 played at 78 rpm as he becomes increasingly more inane. Dare I say that Richard’s approach is downright …, wait for it …, Orwellian?
Richard Cohen has taken an unambiguous turn towards his worst instincts this week. Unless I’m mistaken, Richard has spend most of the last month arguing about the importance of dealing effectively with Saddam Hussein, but then twice this week he decides that the liberation of Iraq will be tainted because of who will be accomplishing it. This is just a variant on a tired theme that is usually applied to concepts expressed in words, but Richard has now extended it to actions.
I should note here that Tony Adragna noted Richard’s selective quotation and misinterpretation today of the alleged Osama address to try and make his point today. Mr. Adragna correctly points out that Osama was happy to take US help while fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and now he’s quite happy (or more properly, he would be quite happy if he weren’t pushing up the poppies right now) to accept Iraqi help to now fight the US. Mr. Cohen seems to have forgotten the old Arab adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” despite his use of it here. What do I mean? Well, Richard Cohen doesn’t like George Bush and Saddam Hussein doesn’t like George Bush, so they have a common enemy. Of course, I’m not saying that Richard Cohen supports Saddam Hussein, anymore that Richard was saying Geroge Bush was Hitler in the last coumn. If you want serious discussion of the issues, Will Vehr and Tony Adragna provide that day in and day out over at Shouting ‘Cross the Potomac. I on the other hand, provide ill-considered invective and poisoned polemics – like Richard Cohen.
More gratuitous 78 links: Unfortunately, Federalist No. 78 on the Judiciary Department by Alexander Hamilton isn’t terribly relevant to today’s discussion. But while I’m at it, STS-78 was flown on the Columbia as well. Requiescat in pacem.
I told you in the last column that Colin Powell had become a major disappointment to his “friends” on the left. Richard Cohen didn’t take long to confirm my supposition in Powellian Propaganda?
To: Colin Powell
From: Your fan, Richard Cohen
Re: Watch your words
Richard sounds like a true fan here already, doesn’t he?
Sir, I write to you after reading a transcript of your remarks to the Senate Budget Committee in which you said that Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist organization were in some sort of "partnership with Iraq." You seemed to base that on the audiotape played on al-Jazeera, the Middle Eastern television network that, like Fox News, purports to be evenhanded.
Fox News presents news from a conservative perspective, no doubt about it. For this sin, they are to be considered to be as biased as Al-Jazeera. I guess Fox News is the Taliban of the airwaves, eh Dick?
Here, sir, are your (abbreviated) exact words.
"Once again, he [bin Laden] speaks to the people of Iraq and talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq. This nexus between terrorist states that are developing weapons of mass destruction can no longer be looked away from and ignored."
Dare I say that Secretary Powell has a nuanced view of the situation?.
But, sir, bin Laden also has some harsh words on the tape for Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party regime. He calls them "infidels." He says, "The socialists [the Baath Party] and the rulers have lost their legitimacy a long time ago, and the socialists are infidels regardless of where they are, whether in Baghdad or in Aden."
See Mr. Adragna’s comments, and mine above.
It seems to me, sir, that this statement substantiates what many experts have long maintained: that bin Laden loathes the secular, hedonistic dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. That does not mean, of course, that he hates Hussein more than he hates the United States. That is not the case -- and he says so. It's just that to use this statement to establish some sort of "nexus" between bin Laden and Hussein seems to be a reach.
Or he could be lying to protect his friend and ally Saddam. What? You don’t think Osama would lie? Either way, it doesn’t matter. Islamic fundamentalist terrorism isn’t limited to Osama and his minions.
In fact, to be perfectly frank, sir, parts of your presentation to the United Nations seem, in retrospect, to have overstated the case.
That’s funny. Exactly one week before, Richard Cohen was lauding Secretary Powell’s presentation at the UN. Here’s Richard conclusion: “If anyone had any doubt, Powell proved that it has defied international law -- not to mention international norms concerning human rights -- and virtually dared the United Nations to put up or shut up. There is no other hand. There is no choice.”
The telephone intercepts and satellite photos were compelling, but the purported link -- and the word "purported" was not used -- between al Qaeda and Baghdad not only was not proved, but a gaggle of experts jumped all over it. This business of someone being somewhere (Baghdad, for instance) and then going somewhere else (rebel-held Kurdistan, for instance) is suggestive, not definitive.
One wonders how Richard Cohen would have handled circumstantial evidence of a planned atrocity on September 10, 2000.
It didn't help either that the British intelligence report you cited was mostly lifted from magazines.
But, but aren’t the media trustworthy?
Sir, you don't need any of this.
That’s how I feel.
Iraq is in violation of U.N. Resolution 1441 -- no ifs, ands or buts.
It will not account for its weapons of mass destruction -- chemical and biological for sure, maybe nuclear down the road.
It is ruled by a thug who twice invaded neighboring countries and whose human rights record is as wretched as one could be.
There is no need to gild the lily.
The case for war is a good one.
I detect a big but coming.
Sir, we must not forget Vietnam.
Sorry for the delay in the Scourge, but it took me two days to recover from this statement. Amongst the many objections that might be thrown in, this has to be the most pathetic.
We lost that conflict –
We quit. I guess you can call that a loss if you like. But as others have noted, despite all the alleged badness of what the US did, it took the occupation by the North Vietnamese communists to cause people to take their life into their hands on the open ocean on whatever craft they thought would bear them away. I blame people like Richard Cohen.
… and not just on the battlefield.
I’m sorry, name the battle we lost in Vietnam. Maybe Richard was right to be less than trusting of the media above.
The government lost the confidence of the people. It exaggerated the threat with the alarmist domino theory. It lied about what was happening in the countryside, even the proximate cause of the war -- the purported attack by North Vietnam on two U.S. warships. It secretly expanded the war -- the bombing of Cambodia, for instance. Vietnam, coupled with Watergate, betrayed the American people's trust in their government.
Yes. Many indefensible things were done by those in the government during the Vietnam war. It is strange how Richard never gets around to naming names until 1969 though. I wonder why that is?
We still live with its residue.
Amongst other residues.
Sir, in his kiss-and-not-tell book, David Frum, the former White House speechwriter, tells us about George W. Bush's insistence on honesty -- on refraining from even politically acceptable exaggeration.
I too am impressed. I daresay the President ought to act like Donald Rumsfeld in one of these press conferences.
I accept what he has to say. Yet it's apparent that when it comes to making the case for war with Iraq, both Bush and his aides have tickled the facts so that everything proves their case.
Caveats, doubts and conditional clauses have been expunged from the record.
Thank goodness we have Richard Cohen to ferret them out for us.
They have so often given themselves the benefit of every doubt that they have encouraged doubt itself.
Say, isn’t a ferret related to a weasel?
You, sir, are in a different category altogether.
Anybody else tiring of Richard’s faux civility?
The nation looks to you as the voice of reason –
Ack thppt! Not that Secretary Powell isn’t a voice of reason, but I think Richard’s editors made an editing mistake, it should have been “the Nation.” Imagine Richard’s surprise if he were to discover that most of the nation is more hawkish than Secretary Powell.
… the reluctant warrior, someone who has known war and hates it.
And the rest of us bloodthirsty bastards just love war, especially those of us who have never known it personally.
You were the naysayer in the first Bush administration about the Persian Gulf War.
The only quote I remember from Chief of Staff Powell at that time was, “We are going to cut it off, and then we are going to kill it” in reference to the Iraqi Army. That hardly sounds like a naysayer, but to the extent Chief of Staff Powell was concerned, it was because of his concern for casualties. Hence the “Powell Doctrine,” which helps to ensure that as Patton advised, we make the other poor bastard die for his country.
You thought Bill Clinton was wrong about going into Bosnia and then Kosovo.
Those would be the ones without any UN resolutions if I remember correctly. And what vital US interests were at stake then? If it was OK for the boy President, why wasn’t it OK now? Sounds to me like Secretary Powell has been remarkably consistent in his approach and beliefs through his service to three administrations.
More recently, you were the one who insisted that the United States take its case to the United Nations.
And Richard’s point is what exactly? That we shouldn’t have gone to the UN after all?
We can understand now that you are vexed -- the United Nations has let you down.
So now it’s personal, is that it? Is Dick saying that Secretary Powell has lost his ability to act professionally?
The French have been duplicitous.
Standard Operational Procedure.
Now even NATO is wobbly.
No, France is wobbly. NATO just told them to piss off.
This is not a happy time, ...
Richard's chokehold on the chicken neck of the obvious is strong.
... and I bet there's truth to the report that when told that President Bush sleeps like a baby, you said you do too -- "every two hours I wake up screaming."
I’m glad the President sleeps well. I’d rather that he gets some peace from his troubles and that he have the strength to keep fighting every day. Apparently, Richard Cohen thinks otherwise.
As for me, I sleep better knowing that you are in this administration -- making policy, I hope, and not propaganda.
Dick longs for an al-Gore administration. Certainly there would have been no propaganda coming out of it.
Addendum: Your humble Scourge has suffered a crisis of confidence with this latest rant. The excellent catch that Mr. Adragna made of Richard’s deceitfulness would never have been caught by me, primarily because I didn’t think anything that someone wants to pretend a non-dead Osama might say would be worth reading. But that could easily lead to me being considered a non-serious commentator on Mr. Cohen. Not that I am terribly serious mind you, but when confronted with what I ought to be doing to combat the rhetorical excess of Richard Cohen, it makes a poor reflection on what I actually have been doing. Now what should I do?
My success scouting out Kirkwood locations for the Midwest BlogBash IV has been about as dismal as the weather. Just about everything is shut down due to the winter storm that is passing though the area right now. But don't worry, I have a cunning plan.
Rather than leave everything up in the air, I will tentatively select Two Nice Guys (or TNG's) in Kirkwood. MBBI was held at TNG's in Webster Groves, so those that attended that event have a good idea what we are in for. I will only change this selection if absolutely necessary, but I do not expect to have to do so. I cannot reach their website right now, but their address is 10935 Manchester Road, Kirkwood, MO; and their phone number is (314) 821-1800. Naturally, they are closed because of the weather today.
I plan to be there no later than 6:30 PM. I will try and arrange a table for 15 at 7:00 PM.
Now comes the good part. Everyone needs to arrange to have another blogger somewhere call us during the MBBIV to get some fascinating tidbit of data from us and post it on their blog. I'll buy a drink for the blogger who gets the "biggest" "celebrity" blogger to participate. To make things easy for our "celebrities" we will call them to avoid them incurring any long distance charges if you have a contact number. Otherwise, give them your cell phone number or contact me and I'll give you mine on an as needed basis. I'll also have a laptop there for anyone there to add their thoughts, pictures, etc., for instantaneous, on the spot inclusion in the MBBIV semi-official report afterwards, with links and thanks to all our friends from afar who helped to make MBBIV a unique success. If someon has a wireless connection for their PC, we'll take advantage of that.
If I haven't heard from you yet, please drop me a note so that I'll have the numbers more or less correct. The weather promises to get a little warmer, so we shouldn't have to worry about any lingering nastiness from the current snow and ice by Friday. We've got people coming from Arkansas, Kentucky, and even Webster Groves for this shindig, so don't miss it!