Friday, December 31, 2004

The Bar Has Been Lowered

I've met the Minnesota contingent of PowerLine a couple of times. I have found them to be decent folks, not the sort who go looking for an in-the-mud grudge match with anyone. They generally stand by there convictions, but are not out to destroy the reputation of those who disagree with them. I sense that they are uncomfortable with the highly personal turn of events between themselves and Nick Coleman.

That must be the reason for this post, which credits Coleman for his column today. The Warrior Monk, another thoughtful conservative, also weighs in, crediting Coleman for producing a column that isn't a partisan hit piece.

I feel like I am missing something here. Coleman produces a single column that they don't find objectionable and they go out of their way to sing his praises? Perhaps they feel guilty for the fact that the entire blogosphere has been mocking Coleman all week. Nevertheless, I am shocked that they are tossing boquets this soon. For Pete's sake, Ruben Rosario produces a hundred columns a year of equal quality and no one singles him out for praise. C'mon guys, it's not like you have to roll your R's online.

Editor's note: It appears the Warrior Monk may have reconsidered his position.

Predictions for 2005

Minnesota Sports
The Vikings will lose their first playoff game.

The Twins will finish third in the AL Central.

The Timberwolves will go back to losing in the first round of the playoffs.

At least one of Latrell Sprewell’s children will be hospitalized for malnutrition. A contrite Glen Taylor will grant Spre his raise.

The NHL strike will not be settled.

The good news: The Gopher Hockey team will win their third National Championship in four years.

George W. Bush will be accused of being a tool of Halliburton.

Howard Dean will be named DNC Chairman. Karl Rove will officially have no comment, but will privately let out a Howard Dean yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaagggghhhh.

Nick Coleman’s brother Chris will defeat Randy Kelly in the St. Paul mayoral election. Nick Coleman and Laura Billings resign their columns to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest and join the blogosphere.

There will be a major scandal in a Minnesota Soil and Water Conservation District.

Nihilist in Golf Pants will become the most read blog in America’s prisons.

John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson will take over William Safire’s New York Times column; Nick Coleman’s suicide attempt will be unsuccessful.

The new Nick Coleman/Laura Billings blog will take off like a shot and be named Time magazine’s blog of the year for 2005.

The entire Fraters Libertas crew will go on the wagon. Keegan’s will be forced to layoff two bartenders.

Craig Westover will receive a lucrative endorsement deal from a major hat manufacturer.

Mitch Berg will have a successful date.

Whiskey will post an item at Captain’s Quarters.

Wonkette will make a joke referencing sodomy.

King Banaian of SCSU Scholars will expose an incident of political correctness run amok at Saint Cloud State University.

Margaret of Our House will plant one or more tulips.

Sisyphus from Nihilist in Golf Pants will make a killing in the stock market.

Pop Culture
Michael Jackson will be convicted, no one will riot.

An all new Paris Hilton sex video will surface on the internet.

A new reality series on Fox will be criticized for being crass and vulgar.

Michelle Pfeiffer will continue to age gracefully.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Limits of Pest Control

One of the biggest misconceptions the general public harbors about the mega-rich is that we can use our vast wealth to crush just about anyone like a bug. Sometimes even the rich themselves are surprised to find just how much money it takes to rid themselves of unwanted pests.

Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman has apparently made just such a discovery, and I sympathize. Nick writes in his column about the blog Power Line: “[TCF National Bank Senior Vice President Scott] Johnson recently had time at his bank job to post a despicable item sliming Sen. Mark Dayton. If I had the money they think I do, I'd put it all in TCF. Then I'd pull it out.”

Yes Nick, it’s a cruel lesson that we all must learn sooner or later: It takes serious money to get a bank Vice President fired. I’ve been there, oh have I been there. It can be downright embarrassing to deposit say ten million into the bank where your annoying neighbor is a Senior VP and demand that he be fired, only to be laughed out of the place. Through hard experience I’ve come up with the following rough guidelines on the amount of money it takes to get a bank employee fired. (Note: this is just a rough guideline actual amounts vary considerably from bank to bank and employee to employee.)

Bank Teller: $1,000,000
Supervisor: $1,500,000
Corporate Support Personnel: $2,500,000
Branch Manager: $5,000,000
Corporate Middle Manager: $7,500,000
Junior Vice President: $25,000,000
Senior Vice President: $50,000,000
Chief Operating Officer: $75,000,000
Chief Executive Officer: $250,000,000

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Kudos to Saint Paul

Saint Paul at Fraters is among the best writers on the web. He came up with this hilarious post explaining that NORAD's web site that tracks Santa's journey has a section with celebrity comments. However the celebrities they used are incredibly unfamous. An excerpt:

Click on over and receive the finest of half-hearted, slightly confused greetings from the likes of Jose Canseco, Eric Roberts, Warren Moon, and Erik Estrada. (I knew it was difficult to find pro-US military celebrities in Hollywood, but this is ridiculous). And don't forget George Stroumboulopoulos. No, not George Stephanopoulos. This is George Stroumboulopoulos. An entirely different hairy celebrity Greek. Next check out the best wishes from Brett Butt, Hayden Panettiere, Brie Larson, and Diamond Dave Somervile. Then, of course, hit Goolge, to find out exactly who Brett Butt, Hayden Panettiere, Brie Larson, and Diamond Dave Somervile are.

Your humble correspondent did a little research on this subject. My guess is that 15 year-old girls Hayden Panettiere and Brie Larson would be well known to pre-teen viewers of Disney or other kid based movies. Therefore it makes sense to include them.

What doesn't immediately make sense is the inclusion of Jose Canseco, Eric Roberts, Warren Moon, Eric Estrada George S, Brett Butt and Diamond Dave Somervile. Pre-teens would have no clue who they are and it is doubtful that their parents would be impressed.

Of course this is NORAD we're dealing with and it is possible they are all on the list to re-populate the world after the nuclear holocaust. I shudder to think that the entirety of humanity could be reduced to the offspring of Diamond Dave Somervile and Brie Larson.

To Our Readers

Just about every blog that I know eventually posts about how wonderful their readers are. They are the smartest, the most loyal, the most insightful, blah blah blah. Well, now it's my turn.

Today I'd like to feature one of our readers who recently came to my attention from our comment section. He is a fellow blogger who calls himself M, and his blog is called Substratum. I was intrigued by his bio:

I'm an alcoholic with an abusive personality. I'm currently facing three different criminal assault charges in two different cities. All of the charges are a result of abusing women, or specifically young women.

His work includes tales of sexual depravity, drug abuse, hatred of self and others. While depressing, the author is clearly a skilled writer, though a clearly disturbed and possibly damned soul. I wonder who he is and why he's reading our blog.

Hmm, Mitch Berg is off in a different city right now, and his name starts with M. Mitch, is that you?

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

It's a busy Christmas Day. The entire family is here, so I won't spend much time blogging. However, over the next week I will try to take up Sysiphus' challenge to get some more quality posts up. Thanks to all who made this a most joyous year. And thanks to the soldiers overseas, doing the work of the Lord and the good old USA! Merry Christmas and keep the faith.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Light Blogging

I will not be blogging much over the next few days as I will be on my Tahitian Island; I haven't installed broadband there yet (and I hate dial-up). Perhaps the Nihilist in Golf Pants will grace us with one of his bi-weekly posts (don’t expect to see anything from Chad or Fuzzy Nietzsche). Merry Christmas one and all!

Blogosphere Disappoints

For the last couple of years I’ve been hearing nothing but how great the blogoshphere is, and how quickly it recognizes brilliance. So after dipping my toe into the comments section of this blog, I finally jump in. Two superb posts later: nothing. No Instapundit link, no link from Blog of the Year Power Line, no mention by Captain Ed, Shot in the Dark, Fraters Libertas, Roger L. Simon, SCSU Scholars, Tim Blair, Hugh Hewitt, or for God’s sake not even Spitbull. Where is our Wizbang award?

I can understand why Power Line might be a little apprehensive – our advocacy for the rich does infringe a bit on their turf, but where are the others? Our traffic is virtually nil. Hello? Hello?

Top 11* Things Nick Coleman Knows

*One better than a Top 10 list

I’m much more sympathetic towards Nick Coleman than most right-wing hatchet bloggers. After all, Nick and I have quite a bit in common – both of us are wealthy, come from politically powerful families, and prefer women who are much younger than ourselves.

Many bloggers gave Nick a lot of static for this quote: “I have been a reporter longer than most bloggers have been alive, which makes me, at 54, ready for the ash heap. But here's what really makes bloggers mad: I know stuff.” (September 29 column)

I went back through my Nick Coleman archive and found that Nick does indeed know stuff. These are just the top eleven:

11. Nick knows where to find homeless interview subjects. (demonstrated in his March 5, October 13, November 3 and November 25 columns)

10. Nick knows the inner thoughts of deceased Republican Governors. (They don’t care much for the current Republican Governor) (November 17)

9. Nick knows where to find the most politically astute barbers. (July 18, September 24, and October 29)

8. Nick knows how to coin clever “Nick”-names:
“Captain Fishsticks” for Craig Westover (December 19)
“Big Tim Indian Fighter” for Tim Pawlenty (October 31)
“Tax Evaders League” for the Tax Payers League of Minnesota (October 31 and December 5)
“right-wing hatchet bloggers” for conservative bloggers (October 24)
“New York Multimillionaires” for the New York Yankees (October 10)
“Captain Weird Beard” for former Governor Jesse Ventura (August 29)
“Minneapolis Bod Squad” for the Minneapolis Police (August 25)
“Sin City” for Minneapolis (May 20)
“House of Prayer” for the MN State Capitol (May 16)
“Cannonball” and “Loose Cannon” for MN State Rep. Marty Seifert (April 9)
“wide-eyed lefse eaters” for Minnesotans in New Orleans (April 5)
“One-Minute Wilkin” for MN State Rep. Tim Wilkin (March 28)
“Pawlenticus” for Tim Pawlenty (March 21)

7. Nick knows where to skinny-dip in Minneapolis (Hidden Beach on Cedar Lake) (August 25)

6. Nick knows New Orleans (“New Orleans is a city where people wake up without their wallets and without being able to remember what they did last night”, “…through the swaying crowds outside the fleshpots, strip clubs, gin joints and other temptations”, “In New Orleans, everyone bends the rules.”) (March 5)

5. And St. Louis (“fashion capital”, “where bales of muskrat pelts still sit on the docks”) (June 11)

4. Nick even knows the difference between Minneapolis and St. Paul. (“I am one of the few people around who can correctly explain the difference between the two cities: Minneapolis is where you go to have fun. St. Paul is where you go when you're worn out and need to lie down.”) (May 23)

3. Nick knows how Donald Rumsfeld could be tortured. (“We will strip off your clothes, put you in a pile of naked prisoners, molest your genitals and have pictures of happy Muslim women holding you on a leash be printed around the world.”) (May 12)

2. Nick knows local adult entertainment establishments (May 23 and December 03)

1. And, of course, Nick knows the difference between text books and reading books. (December 19)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Rich Man's Burden

I would like to thank the Nihilist in Golf Pants for inviting me to join his blog (I don’t remember the Augusta demand, but hey, why not). My primary motivation for joining the blogoshpere is to help focus attention on the plight of the mega-rich in our society. It seems that we rich are fair game for attack from all quarters. Need to raise taxes? I know! Let’s soak the rich! Filthy criminals like Robin Hood are raised to legendary status because they stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Try it the other way around and you become a pariah.

My posts will defend the wealthy without regard to race, creed, or ethnicity. I think it was Dr. Martin Luther King who said (I paraphrase from memory) “I have a dream that one day we will judge men not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their wallets.” Truly a beautiful sentiment.

Update: Apparently the actual Dr. Martin Luther King quote is: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Also a beautiful sentiment.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I Hate to Sound Insensitive

St. Paul at Fraters has done a good job chronicling the discussion argument between Craig Westover, Nick Coleman and Zelma Wiley over whether there is a crisis at Maxfield Elementary School. If there is truly a shortage of reading materials for the kids to take home, may I offer a suggestion. Arrange a field trip to the local public library, sign the kids up for library cards and voila, problem solved.

A Little Blue Blood

America loves rich snobby guys, who look down there nose at the common man as if he should be tending their garden. Just look at the warm reception given to the campaign of John Kerry. In that spirit, I have invited one of the most elitist bloggers ever to join Nihilist in Golf Pants. He had two conditions for joining me in my quest to become the best blog in America that posts no more than once a week:
  • I had to correct the spelling of Nihilist in the masthead
  • I simply must join him for a round at Augusta National this May

As you can see, I have met the first condition. I assure you I have cleared a weekend in my schedule to meet the second. Therefore, I am pleased to introduce a man so rich he makes Thurston Howell III look like Gilligan. Welcome to the newest member of the Nihilist team, Sisyphus!