Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Finally, Some Answers

Some of you have wondered why I call people stupid. Some of you wonder why people around the world hate us so much. Some of you may also wonder one of the chief reasons why I decided to become a teacher.

This video is your answer.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Origin of The Species

The other night I closed my eyes and started to think about all of the challenges we face as a nation. The turmoil in the Middle East, changing climate, and health care. Education. Poverty. Inequality. Abortion. All of these things floated through my mind as I was heading off to dreamland. With the exception of the Middle East, very simple solutions entered my mind and I began to wonder why they can't be implemented. It's a simple question with simple answer.


That's right, folks. This may come as a shock to you that I would feel this way but conservatives are the major road block to most of the solutions to the problems our country faces. In fact, in some cases they are the cause of the problem. How is this possible? Liberals stand up to make a difference on these issues and conservatives, much a like a jealous younger sibling, rip them down -creating a cynicism about a particular issue where there should be none. Conservatives do a good job of creating conflict when there should be consensus.

Let's take a look at abortion and gay marriage; the two center pieces of the conservative agenda. Abortion is a problem in this country. I think we can all agree that it would be great if there were none. Conservatives would be ecstatic if there were no more abortions. So would liberals as it would take away a very large bit of ammo that conservatives have against the left. Let's end abortions now!

Oh, but wait. Can't do it. Because conservatives want people to abstain from sex. Liberals want people to be educated about sex and use birth control. Of these two choices, which do you think has the greater likelihood of succeeding? Conservatives will not give an inch on this issue and the base of their party is living in a fantasy land that refuses to provide simple education to people to prevent this horrible thing from happening. I have talked about this before but it needs repeating. It is a simple fact that if more people used birth control, there would be less abortions.

Liberals would like GLBTs (Gay Lesbian Bi-Sexual Trans genders) to have the same rights that everyone has. They would also like non-whites and women to be treated better. Conservatives absolutely do not want GLBTs having the same rights as the rest of the population and, in some cases, would like to see gay people locked up or shot. Conservatives are also under the horribly mistaken impression that racism and sexism are all but vanquished in this country and, oddly, take credit for it.

So, here again, we see liberals trying to solve what is very obviously a problem and conservatives blocking that solution and, in the case of GLBTs, fomenting hate. The same paradigm applies to the rest of the issues mentioned above.

Environment: Conservatives in this country, for the most part, think that global warming is a fantasy. They think, and this just makes me want to hit my head against a brick wall, that liberals created global warming to make money. The lap dogs of right wing radio spew lies so vile about this that it is hard for me to fathom the unreality that is unspooled. Ultra conservative industry leaders will never give an inch on the horror that they are creating and the people they have bought off (the Michele Bachmanns of the world) brainwash us into believing that global warming is a myth and everything will work out just fine.

Health Care: Conservatives health care plan is....don't get sick. Oh, and keep your paws off of my money.

Education: The conservative plan for education is: Let's create an army of robots who take tests well but don't actually learn anything. Oh, and let's ignore the fact that people of other races/nationalities learn differently than white people because who cares about them anyway?

Poverty: Conservative plan to attack poverty: poor people are lazy and should work harder. They shouldn't even be making the 5 dollars an hour that I am paying them. 7 dollars an hour? Are kidding me?

So, now who is open minded again and how is intolerant? Why should I accept them for who they are when they are part of the continuance of the problem? And, finally, look at all of the issues listed above and the atypical conservative response: doesn't it all revolve around money and keeping people stupid?

As if all of this stuff wasn't enough to get you in a mouth watering rage, conservatives then have the audacity to accuse liberals of being the cause of and/or hindrance to all of these problems. They shift the blame to liberals accusing them of being irresponsible or too idealistic and, oddly, don't even claim 50 percent of the responsibility themselves.

Make no mistake about it. Most of these problems have simple solutions and if it were left up to liberals, most of them would be either by solved or on a path to solution. For the last seven years, we have left things up to conservatives and, in all of these areas, have moved backwards. Look at these issues and decide for yourself, logically, which side thinks more about people and which side thinks more about money?

The greatest lie that I have ever heard in this country is that liberals are destroying everything. You hear that mantra constantly on the radio, the TV, the blogsphere, and among the people in your life. It is the ultimate re-direction because if you sit back and truly look at the issues, the real culprit is revealed.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

OhmyGodIcan'tbelieve it

Did you hear? Oh my God, this is so awesome. I just heard this from Sierra after 3rd period gym and it is soooo totally cool.

Michelle got to kiss the president. And hug him and touch him for like....30 WHOLE SECONDS!!!

Check it out this cool video...

She is such a little hottie...gawd, I wish I were her. My daddy says she is the best. She does all the right things like when those in our capital and stuff....those bad guys that now run things....when they tried to take my daddy's money away and give it to the spics and niggers, she voted against it. I don't see why they can't buy what they need for the 5 dollars an hour daddy pays them. Besides, how am I going to get my Mercedes for graduation and stuff?

Plus, daddy says that my home girl is going to make sure that all those people that shake around like a spaz and stuff just die off. How could anyone want to kill those cutie wutie babies so some retard can be normal. As if they would be normal anyway..

I still can't...y'know....believe it. She is so lucky...look at her...she is totally macking his shit and I don't get to...ah well, maybe someday....a girl can dream, right?

I gotta go...otherwise I'm gonna be late for Ms. Stuple's social studies class. Daddys says that her class em--emhance---em-somethings....I don't know but she loves terrorists and stuff.

Gotta go!


Monday, January 22, 2007

A REAL Note From The Front

Last week, a regular reader of Notes From The Front emailed me the following:

Mark, I am always amazed at your very intelligent and worldly interpretations of the events and opinions. It is a great pleasure to find SO Much clear thinking in you and that you are brave enough to express it so freely.

Thank you,


Al-ilahat is from Iran and has been living here in Minnesota for the last 40 years or so. She travels back and forth to the Middle East quite frequently and, in the last three years, has been talking to "the person on the street" in various countries in the Middle East quite a bit lately. I consider her to have much more knowledge of the area then I do so I have decided to make her the first official correspondent for Notes From The Front and have given her the opportunity, this week, to post as a guest writer.

So, without further adieu, here is a true Note From the Front.

The Language of the Conversation Iraq

The language of the conversation about Iraq needs to change not the course. George Bush has wanted the people of the United States to believe that there is a danger to the United States and that Iraq represents every bit of danger that we face in the world. This is the lie and the total false cover for his personal need to remove Saddam from the picture. Saddam was the Bush family henchman just like Noriega and the Shah of Iran and perhaps even Musharraf if he is not careful. These people were recruited, trained and did all the dirty deeds in the name of “protecting our national interest”. It was a good cover for our arms sales, controlling OPEC, and eavesdropping on the good old Soviet Union.

If Saddam Hussein had been interrogated any more he would have had to admit to the fact that he waged War with Iran war on behalf the Bush family. We have all seen the pictures (left) of Rumsfeld visiting him in Iraq to provide him all the arms, aerial reconnaissance and tactics for that 9 year war. They bombed the oil fields in Southern Iran to retaliate for the Shah for wanting to raise oil prices and getting OPEC unified around him.

The language needs to change because the Muslim fanatics are angry with the United States for violating their sacred homeland with our troops. We betrayed them in Afghanistan when they fought the war on our behalf to remove the Soviets and clear the way for more oil pipelines in the region. The language has to change because the Bush family brought on the Islamic power in that region by supporting the Ayatollah Khomeini in to power to topple the Shah. We had seen this type of activity before in Central and South America. Islamicising really back fired and they are stuck. The anger we face from that region is not about jealousy for the "freedom" of the United States. It is about the US imposing what they perceive as being a inherently corrupt system on to them.

The people of the Middle East are hardworking and proud of their heritage and history. They have always lived with their rules and religious order. They are God fearing and mean it. The United States destroyed that social and moral web and abandoned them. Our modern methods were imposed on them without reason and without basis. The natural evolution of social and political self discovery has been disrupted by our greed and want of control. Much of this has been done in the hands of one Bush or the other. The arrogance and disdain for the humanity of that region had brought on all this hatred. Let’s change the language and call it what it is.

I want to end the killing of the people first, Americans, Iraqis, Iranians and others. Any course is better than this.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Welcome To The Shitsack

WCCO has a semi regular piece they run called Reality Check. They look at a story, dissect the spin, and then tell you what the facts actually are. In concert with that idea, I am going to start a new feature at Notes From The Front. We are going to have a fairly regular themed column which I lovingly call....The Shitsack.

While the Grab Bag is more about the variety of things that either irritate me or excite me, the Shitsack will focus exclusively on conservative language, dissect what they are saying and then explain very directly why they are completely full of shit. From time to time, I may also call it The Complete Sack of Shit which, of course, conveys a similar meaning.

To illustrate how each Shitsack will work, I thought it would be fun to talk about the word "liberal." The word liberal, as defined by conservatives, is:

1. Weak, whiny, narrow minded, criminal, thief of my precious money, traitor, scumbag and/or rapist of children.

The actual definition of liberal, according to Webster's dictionary is:

1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

2. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.

3.favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.

4. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.

5. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.

6. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.

7. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.

8. .given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.

So, clearly we can see that conservatives have taken their large, grabastic paws and dug deeply into the Shitsack. I think we can all agree that, based on the actual definition of the word liberal, this is something to which we should all aspire. Interestingly, the word conservative, according to Webster's, is defined as:

1. resistant to change

2. cautiously moderate or purposefully low

3. unimaginatively conventional

Whee-hoo...sign me up for that!!!

Anyway, now that we have gotten the basic rules for the Shitsack out of the way, let's all put on our rubber glovies and look no further to our very own Notes From The Front for this week's Complete Sack of Shit from conservatives. In a recent post in comments, a conservative told the story of a report on ABC by John Stossel who made the claim that people of faith or conservatives give more to the poor than non religious or liberal people. This story was mentioned to me at the gym by several conservative friends of mine and I noticed articles about it popping up in the papers.

I knew at the time that the Shitsack had been dug into very deeply but I really didn't have all the facts to back up my responses. Now I do.

To begin with, if you are going in actual dollar amounts, atheists win hands down and people of faith don't have a fucking prayer:) Why? Because the biggest donors to charity in our country are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who have donated billions of dollars to charity. Both of them are self-proclaimed atheists. Buffet even donated 90 percent of his fortune to Bill Gates's foundation. But, y'know, let's be fair to religious people because they can't really be expected to keep up with the likes of Buffet and Gates....monetarily speaking.
So, what are some other reasons this claim belongs in the Shitsack?

Michelle Bachmann, left, our esteemed congresswoman from the Sixth District here in Minnesota, voted against increasing the minimum wage. Huh? She is very religious person who espouses hard work to get ahead. So the people who are working hardest in this country should make less money? According to her, the minimum wage hike will hurt businesses....well, maybe the conservative ones that give all their money to charity as opposed to the liberal ones that pay more to their employees and thus have none left over for charity, right?

Bachmann's "generosity" is typical of conservatives who seem to give all the breaks to rich corporations and yet none to social programs. Claiming that this money will trickle down to employees, conservatives consistently cut taxes for the rich. The fact is that in 1985 CEO's compensation was, on average, 20 times that of one of it's workers. In 2005, CEO's make 400 times as much as their average worker.

Wow. That's a heckuva trickle. Must be that new "non wet" water....y'know the kind that is invisible.

In addition, Blue states give more to the federal government in states give less. Yet, most of the this money goes to the red states. For example, between 1991 and 2001 California paid $253.5 billion in federal taxes over the amount it received from the federal government. These subsidies went to red states like Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, who received $100.1 billion, $86.93 billion and $84.3 billion, respectively, above what they paid to the federal government. So, liberals in California are funding conservatives in the South now? Hey, waitaminute....suddenly I have decided that I want to be a conservative!!! No more taxes!!!

Now, I consider myself to be a person of faith so I am not ripping Christians here....just the ridiculous claim that people of faith and/or conservatives "give more" to the poor. It is flat out wrong. It's another example of conservatives trying to spin a great lie into a truth. When you hear comments like this from conservatives, just pull out the Shitsack.
And throw it at them.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

God Help Us All....

Before we get to the insanity that was the president's address to the nation last night, I want to respond to those conservatives, who I know read this blog but don't post, who have harangued me for "hating" Bush and stopping at nothing to destroy him. I do not hate President Bush... personally. Chances are, he and I, both sharing a love for the St Louis Cardinals, would get along famously at a ball game. It's not him personally that I detest. I loathe his actions.

When he starts to behave in a thoughtful, intelligent manner befitting the leader of the free world, then yes....I will have some kind things to say about him. This ridiculous idea that all liberals are "out to get Bush" is a not-so-clever ploy to re-direct us from the utter incompetence with which our country is being run. When I hear people tell me, well you just "hate Bush" so of course you aren't going to support him my response is...


It's his actions. And if you can't see that what he is doing is horribly wrong, then how can I help you? Because you see, dear readers, that we have gone far past the point of "opinions" and we are now into fact. Or reality.

More and more I am beginning to believe that at least 20 percent of this country have completely lost their minds. I spend a fair amount of time to try to understand their mindset but the things that come out of the was displayed on a recent broadcast of the Rush Limbaugh show.....are just plain wrong. "We have to give President Bush a chance," they say or "People are just out to destroy him." Give him a chance? What the fuck have the last four years been about?

Other comments heard were "We are fighting for our freedom" or "The terrorist want us to leave." I just...I am at a loss as to what to say anymore if people think this is true...I have gone from anger and frustration to a profound sense of sadness at what little thought these people have put into something so vital.

Clearly, there was no thought in President Bush's speech last night. More or less, it was the same rhetoric with little movement in his position. His military commanders on the ground, most of Congress, and at least 80 percent of the American Public are against adding additional troops. Both the incoming and outgoing generals in charge of the operation say it's a bad idea.

Would someone please explain to me his thought process? I admit to being a dick a lot of the time on this blog but I really want to try to understand how a troop increase benefits us? More importantly, the supposed "mainstream" which neocons tout as being in touch with are overwhelmingly against this action. Many Republicans have said that all troop increase will do is offer more targets to the insurgency.

The only explanation that I can come up with is that President Bush and the people who are supporting him in this can't admit when they are wrong. George Bush was the wet dream of conservatives who were so angered by eight years of Bill Clinton that they didn't even bother to look into the man's history of failure. When George Bush failed in the oil business, people lost money. When he failed as the owner of baseball team, people lost money. When he failed as Governor of Texas, people in that state lost their standard of living.

His failures as president have cost people their lives. I believe that his past failures are what are driving him now. He will not back down. He will not admit he was wrong. He will keep going to try prove to all of us that he is "better than his daddy" (who oddly was not all that "good.") More people are going to die as a result of his wholly inappropriate hubris. He needs to stop what he is doing and I don't know if we can stop him.

It's that same hubris with the conservatives that are still in support of this president. They will never admit they are wrong and it will always be the fault of the liberals. Having only the conviction of your own vanity is how these people roll and, make no mistake about it, it is their myopic hatred of "liberals" like Bill Clinton and others that have put us into this position.

So, neocons, the next time you open your mouth to spout off about liberal hate and other overly simplistic delusions, why don't you take a look in the fucking mirror? And while you are it, maybe you can show President Bush the way to the rest room as well.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Fond Farwell

Before we get to my picks, let's break out the hankerchiefs and bid a hearfelt farewell to those that we lost in 2006

Saturday, January 06, 2007



BEST OF 2006

2006 was a wondrous year for music, television and film. Some really cool stuff came out this year and, in thinking about my annual tradition, it was hard for me to pick my favorites. So many artists and filmmakers stand out as doing exceptionally interesting work in 2006.

I have to say that it (finally!) feels like we are on our way out of the somewhat recent trend of boring music, dull television, and the same old movies. Thank God!

Now onto the picks...


I think this is the first year that the Best CD of the year came out two weeks after the year started. I have talked about it all year and even got to see them play live in Chicago right after my birthday. There has not been a CD that came out since January 16th that has equalled Arctic Monkey's Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not. In fact, the only release that come close is Leave Before The Lights Come On.......the latest single by Arctic Monkeys which does not appear on the CD.

What a delight this music is for fans who like everything from The Beatles to Oasis and in between. It's just a great collection of tunes for anyone, really, but the songs really tell the story of what it is like to be young, in love, and hitting the pubs and clubs. Arctic Monkeys tore through 2006 like the Pistols did in 1976 and I am anxiously awaiting their follow up album due sometime in late 2007 or early 2008.

The other impressive thing about this band is they did it all without any major label support and buzz created from My Space. Hey, all you major label A and R dorks who work for the man...your days are's a whole new world out there!!


This one was tough. Battlestar Galactica got better, 24 got way better, The Sopranos returned after a long hiatus with some great shows, and Lost is just plain insane right now. So, needless to say, the choice was tough.

But a little show came along that made me excited about Monday nights again. I used to love to watch football on Mondays but have become very bored with the NFL of late. The parity in the league makes for some very dull games. In addition, I have also yearned for genre or sci fi fantasy TV to dominate the airwaves again. NBC has delivered in spades.

Heroes is the Best Show on TV. Saving the cheerleader and saving the world only scratched the surface of this incredibly exciting, multi layered character driven story. There are mysteries just like the ones on Lost but there are more answers. And people talk more like ordinary people talk. It drives me nuts on Lost because people don't spend their entire days talking in riddle language.

That does not happen on Heroes. It's all about action, mystery, intrigue, and yes, Super Heroes!! Yeah, that's right...I am letting my inner geek gush out all over the place. Heroes also has what is probably the most interesting character to come to TV in the last 20 years...coincidentally named Hiro! The Japanese Actor Masi Oka is a marvel to watch and deserves many kudos.

Combined with the undeniably fun Dr. Who and Life On Mars from the BBC, here's hope that the realm of the mysterious continues for a long time.


Another tough one because there were so many good films. The U.S. vs. John Lennon was noteworthy not only because it had my favorite subject :) but because of its insight into our current administration's lust to gain access to every aspect of our lives. In fact, this film had the cinematic line of the year which was uttered by Gore Vidal:

"Mr Lennon represented life and Mr. Nixon and Mr. Bush represent death."

Of course, there were the fun movies as well. James Bond returned (as he always does) with Casino Royale. It was the best Bond entry since The Living Daylights and Daniel Craig kicked serious ass as the new Bond. Jet Li's Fearless was a veritable ton of chop sockey fun. Kevin Smith's Clerks II was so funny that I needed to stop by the Hennepin County Medical Center for oxygen.

But the best film of the year was not a comedy or an action movie. Nor was it a chick flick or a "gee, I have never gotten over being 15 years old" stupid ass horror film. The best film of the year was a poignant reminder of what we have lost.

Emilio Estevez's Bobby is the best film of 2006 because it shows us the last time we had a leader (or almost had a leader) that wanted to change things for the better. The central message of the film is that Bobby Kennedy was the "last one" in a serious of extraordinary men (JFK, Dr. King) who would've made our country better. They were all killed by men who were seriously threatened by these plans to achieve parity in our country and this film shows us, through the eyes of fictional characters, how RFK represented that final, last hope.

The film's closing sequence, using audio from actual interviews with Bobby Kennedy, is gut wrenching and I found myself weeping at what we, as a nation, lost that day. It was particularly awful considering where we are today and I found myself wondering what Mr. Kennedy would think of our country's current state and direction. If any of you know anything about Robert Kennedy, then you already know what the answer would be.
So, those are my picks for 2006. What are yours? Leave Comments below....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Definition of a Winner

Alright, so I know that I said I was going to post my Best of 2006 this week. I's just going to be a bit later in the week. I know you are all waiting with bated breath to see what my picks are for the Best CD, Best TV Show and Best Film of 2006 but you are just going to have to wait.

Because last night I witnessed the greatest football game I have ever seen.

Before we take a look at the clip highlighting why the game was the greatest, I would like all of the fucking losers here in Minnesota (Gopher hockey excluded of course) who think they can run a sports program to take note of Chris Peterson. Yes, that's right Major Childress and Idiot Maturi...Chris Peterson, first year head coach of the Boise State Broncos knows how to win.

Y'see folks, I am real sick and tired of the likes of Brad Childress, head coach of the Minnesota Vikings , and the dumbest fucking athletic director in the NCAA, Joe Maturi of the U of M with their "let's play not to lose" conservative bullshit. More than anything, I would like 5 minutes with each of them. There is no doubt in my mind that I could turn the Minnesota Vikings, Gopher Football, and Gopher Basketball progams into WINNING endeavors.

My 5 minutes with the little Major would go something like this. I would explain to him that, sitting in my chair at home or at the Spring Street Bar, where I watch Vikings games, I can tell which of the six offensive plays, from his grand playbook, he is going to run. If I can tell what he is going to do, then imagine what someone who watches sixty hours of film a week can see. I bet Bill Bellichik wrapped his film day after about one hour of viewing. In addition, having a tough run defense is great. Giving up an eight yard passing cushion over the middle of the field on every single play is not great.

I may not even need 5 minutes with dumbfuck. I would simply say to him that a B- average is not failing and if he wants to recruit decent athletes to come to the U, he should hold them to a standard of...say a 70 percent or better which I think is fair. But I don't think the man can tell where he is half of the time so it might be pointless. He certainly doesn't have any clue how to win.

What would be pointful (if there is such a word) is for the little Major, asshead, and the rest of us here in Minnesota pining for a real winner to watch this clip and see what having some fucking sack can bring you. Someone on YouTube put together a great highlight reel of the end of last night's Fiesta Bowl between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Boise State Broncos.

For some reason, I can't import YouTube today, so follow this link....and enjoy....I anxiously await your comments as I have several!!!