Monday, May 31, 2004

Don't Take Drive'n for Granted

Hi All!

It has been a long 10 days since my disastrous contact with the criminal justice system.

I hated being in jail. I'm over it and don't much care if they send me back.

I was beside myself having lost the new collector car. I've almost forgotten about it as it rots away in the impound lot awaiting an avaricious broker who will screw some poor kid who likes the look but has no idea what a mechanical monster he is buying.

My expensive lawyer is getting my arraignment put off so I can attend the All Ford Nationals in Carlisle with my kid next weekend.

Life is bearable.

Except I can't drive. I am driven of course....Driven ape shit.

Since I earned my DL with a '72 Bug, which I still own but can't drive, I have been an automaniac. Have owned over 60 cars. Attended countless shows. Done autocross.

I hate the system, I hate my life.

When this ordeal is over, not that it ever really be over, I am gonna start a non-profit called FMADD, as in "Fight'n MADD"

Was I an irresponsible jerk? Yes. Do I deserve prison and $25K + financial punishment, not to mention the hidden costs of not being mobile?

Call it denial. I just wish I had picked a lesser crime, like manslaughter.


Saturday, May 29, 2004


Hi All!

It's an odd time in my life. The car of my dreams is rotting away in a Maintenance Dept. lot waiting to be looted and sold off.

I lawyered up to contest my somewhat deserved, mostly unfair 2nd Degree DWI (yeah, still in denial I guess) but mommy is paying for the best for her 48-year-old miscreant.

What the Legislature is learning, is that if you don't make any news other than opening mourning dove season or limiting where ATVs can go, dusty old stories will be dredged up.

Anyone, staff, electeds, lobbiests, janitors knows that there is plenty of booze available in the State Office Building (affectionately known as the SOB) where the Whole House and the GOP Senate works, and the Capitol primo DFL Senate offices.

Big fucking deal.

The egomanics who "serve" feel very sorry for themselves to have to pull long hours for a couple of weeks each year. There is also a tradition, not unique to MN by any means, of all sorts of "releases" from the pressures of subjugating the masses of asses with all manner of legal mumbo jumbo.

St. John of Marty is the most reviled politician among the insiders. His commandments have forced a cultural change that has led to much worse partisanship than what used to exist when players from all ilk could conviviate at lavish buffet and booze gatherings, getting to know each other and find common ground.

Now the seediest remnants ot the old system have been forced underground. And it is party specific. Seldom does a DFLer tip glasses with a GOPer or vice versa.

I worked for a short while as a human phone answering machine in a prominent corner of the SOB.

Everyone knew where the booze was, but staff was strictly prohibited from raiding the stashes.

We peons DID have a secret society that met after hours in a hearing room. It was a very formal Friday evening meeting with a convener, sarge at arms, initiation ceremonies and 48 non-union brews available to the 30-odd club members. Coors was the only domestic allowed. Most libation was imported. We had very prominent guests. To me it seemed an innocent and team-building social gathering.

Well the Senate DFL has put an end to THAT decades old tradition.

As to media coverage, I can't say we ever had a working reporter join us, save for the many who have found that a government spokesperson job pays more with better bennies and muchly less work -- there're scores of them slinking around.

What I mean to say, is that this BIG story is an old story, and I guess the DFL Senate deserves blame for getting it out due to their "We're drawing the line" philosophy.

I could go on, but best to keep these short.

One last thought. The DFL is much more mean and anal than than the GOP. That is an objective observation. If you had a chance to shmooze with Matt Entenza or Steve Sviggum, who would you prefer? Carol Molnau or Jane Ranum? Shall I continue? OK I won't but I could.

BTW, I am still clueless as to how to invite you to reply, so here is my email:


Friday, May 28, 2004

Notes From Ramsey County's Spanking New Gulag

Hi All!

I just spent two hours writing a magnum opus on my initial exposure to "Da System."

One of my caveats was that I would leave alot of typos in because my left hand is all mangled up having encountered one of thre prison's comfy concrete chairs.

That same maimed hand must have hiit a nasty key, 'cos 1000 sage words disapeared and no undo function could find them again.

They were pretty good words too, YAYYYY! (veiled KQ ref)

Now I am gonna take a long walk with my fake dogs and will try to reconstruct my post just as the surgeon has tryed to reconstruct my hand.


PS. Seems my high-buck solicitor is the Treasurer for Jim "the bar is open" Metzen. God I'm screwed.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Problems With New GL CD

Hi All!

My extreme exposure to our fine legal system is much on my mind.

Still, had a nice few rounds of Trivia with that Shot in the Dark guy, Mitch, who pulled out victories on the 15th question 5 out of 6 rounds.

Anaway, I am lazy today, so will recycle a an email to Soucheray which he read, mostly, on air today. Just to prove I still have a bit of an imp in me!


Dutifully went to Keys and got a couple of them new CDs. Like the artwork, but
when I shoved one into my player I got these flashing error codes and now I
can't get the damned thing out. I'm sure I'm not the only one this has happened
to, as I got similar results with the other one in my other car.

Please start a recall immediately or Hubbard will have to pay to fix a shitload
of CD players.

Helpfully Yours,

The Legislative Mole, who could have broke the alcohol story a few years ago but
it was kind of an open secret that all the press people were in on.


Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Disaster Strikes The Wog

Hi All!

For 15-odd years I have been a Merkur fanactic. They were German Fords imported and sold thru LM dealerships. The awsome BMW-eating XR4ti was sold '85-'89. The Mercedes-equivalent Scorpio was sold in '88-'89.

Very good cars, very rare, and very cheap when you can find them. Since '90 I have owned 46 Scorpios and 13 XR4ti. But I never had one in "car show" condition until I found a ricer-killer race-prepped beauty of an XR that I practically stole from the financially strapped seller.

Lowered, racing tires and chrome rims, intercooled turbo with adjustable boost, custom interior and on and on. Faster than Linda Berglin rushing to the cops to turn in a phosphorous fertilzer abuser.

Arrest me red is the color of the super expensive custom paint job.

Three days and 9 miles driven, DWI with vehicle forfeiture and jail time with more to come.

Moral, don't drink and drive, especially with an arrest me red barely street legal racer.

Saddest part of all is that my 16-year-old and I had plane tix and hotel for the All Ford Nationals on June 4 at Carlisle, which falls on my first court date. Plane fare non-refundable of course, but by the time the MADD Mothers/Matt Entena laws are done with me, I will have gone to jail, then to ankle bracelet, and over $20,000 in expenses I can't afford, and I lose my dream car.

My lawyer said I'd have been better of plowing into a carload of kids, as long as I was sober.

When I regain my composure I will have tales to tell anout our fine new Ramsey County Adult Detention Center, which makes that Iraqi place seem like paradise.



Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Unfounded Rumor - Where's there's Smoke.....

Hi All!

It is way premature and only a bar talk rumor, but I want to put this into print in case I am killed and it were ever to develop into a real story.

It will embarrass me if it is a total fabrication, but the source is pretty good.

This is gonna sound like an urban legend, but here goes:

Dave Thune's smoking ban initiative was well-plotted out in advance, as was the prompt movement in Mpls and Bloomington to take it up as well, because the major cities have to
do this as a bloc, so as not to send bar patrons to neighboring suburbs. No word from Roseville, but I will check on that myself.

Here's the implausible, plausible part. Thune and others have been promised consultancies for the US Dept of Health and Human Services at nearly treble their current salaries without the need to workvery hard and/or run for office again.

I am not a black helicopter guy, and treat this as total B as in B, S as in S....



Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Letter to the Editor, Part One

Hi All!

I had my first letter published in the Pioneer Press when I was in second grade. Over the years, I have been an infrequent, but successful contributor.

During the last few years, I have seen my hit ratio go down, even to the point that I have got published in the Strib!

My much redacted and expurgated version of the latest Cheri Yecke post failed to make either rag.

I am muchly pissed off -- never happened before.

So I gave the PP another shot, but since they probably won't run it, you can enjoy it yourselves as loyal readers of this fine blog:

Dear Sirs:

As the dust settles after what traditionally was a dull off-year legislative bonding session, the media are decrying the lack of accomplishments that were acheived by this august body of elected worthies.

I beg to differ.

We Minnesotans have been granted an open hunting season on mourning doves and Education Commissioner Cheri Yecke, who was bagged on Sunday, so I guess it's time to look for some doves.

Falcon Heights


Truly Scary Synchronicity

Hi All!

This is scary.

As I was tooling around in my mid-life-cure of a race car, the song "Slow Ride" started playing in my head, 'cos I was driving it like an old lady and just enjoying the scenery.

The radio was not on.

When I arrived home, went downstairs to check email, I switched on the bathroom radio which is on KQ during my morning, um, routine and then switches to 1280 until noon and then to 1500 for Rush et al, until the next morning, KQ, and repeat the routine.

So I turn on the radio, set to KQ, and the disk jerk is announcing, "That was a great tune by Foghat."

Scary stuff.

I don't know whether to venture outside or go hide under the bed.


Sunday, May 16, 2004

What Browser d'ya Use?

Hi All!

I made my living for many years as a "Computer Consultant" which I still call myself if anybody asks. But unless the computer is a WANG, I am quite clueless. So as you might expect, I attempted to re-invent myself as a politician. Logical, right?

More than you might think. See, when Wang faded out, I decided that rather than learn new operating systems and such, that I would try to do what I thought I was born for.

It didn't work out.

In any case, In my screwing around with Windows, I have always been a beta-man, what we used to call a "bleeding edger."

I have mellowed to the point that I stick with what works until it don't and then I find something better.

Examples abound, but here is something that has really opened my eyes.

A few months ago I went to and downloaded their browser. When Explorer hangs, I just open a Mozilla window and it usually works if not the same, then better.

For dealing with Blogspot, I now use Mozilla exclusively. It is faster and smarter than Explorer and gives one the smugness of pretending to not be beholden to mighty Microsoft.

Now if I can just learn how to post pictures and links and lists of other blogs, just like the other guys and gals...why, that would be, as Bill Gates would say, "Cool!"


Minnesota Weather Hysteria

Hi All!

During a Simpsons' break on the Number Nine, weatherbabe Janie warned us thus:

"The skies are getting dark and rainy. Find out what we are in for at 9."

Omigod, it's gonna RAIN!!!!! Head for cover!!!!! Keep your eye on that doppler!!!

When I was young, WCCO radio's Ray Christensen would warn us that a cloud was spotted over Nebraska, and for goodness sakes get grandma into the SE corner of the basement!

Not to make light of what can and does happen, weatherwise, you're taking a much bigger chance of bodily harm by driving around your block. Especially when there's rain.



Forget Iraq. Fuel Prices Could Sink Bush

Hi All!

With all the attention focused on the Middle East, the festering "fuel crisis" is a potential silver bullet for the Dems this fall.

The average Joe simplistically responds to immediate stimulus, in this case, The Pocketbook. The dynamics of oil pricing be damned. Just get the price down.

You hear over and over, "Big Oil is in cahoots" "Gas stations are in cahoots." "Bush is in cahoots with Big Oil"

The stuff defeat is made of come November.

Irony is that even though an incumbent can be assured that the economy can be tweaked enough to look good in an election year (Save Carter, look at the history) Oil prices are a bit farther beyond control.

I still think the peak will come and go before November and that Bush will take the credit whether due or not.

Sure wish we had gotten the jump on pumping the Alaskan reserves. Gonna take years to get that sucker on line. Oh, but I guess we'll all be running hydrogen cells by then. Yah, shurr!



DFL Terrorists Off Yecke

Hi All!

Well, they did it. In the dark of night, the DFL Senators voted as a bloc to remove Governor Pawlenty's fine appointment of Cheri Yecke as Commissioner of Education.

Up to 3:40AM, The Governor's office was confident it had the votes to confirm.

The outrageous sneak attack that occurred will have deep ramifications in the futher polarization of the 2 Parties in Minnesota, to the great detriment of Minnesotans.

Till the end, the traitor Dean Johnson and his band of thugs held Yecke hostage to try to force their will on the budget and bonding issues. Compromise after compromise was offered by the GOP, but for Johnson, it was his way or the highway.

When it became clear that the GOP would budge no further to save the important bills, Johnson ordered the virtual ritual beheading.

Knowing Pawlenty, I assume he will seek payback, probably in the guise of a long special session in the middle of summer vacation.

He will also seek a new commish that will make Yecke look like a pussycat. Or so I fervently hope.



PS. My spellcheck came up with "Devil" and "Defile" as replacements for DFL :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

More Euro Perspective

Hi All!

I am cut and pasting the response from George, and have added my response. Lazy writing, I guess, but meaningful words, I hope:

Hi Paul,

You have written very interesting comments. I will try to address each individually.

I'm glad SOMEONE reads my blog -- just started it. Is meant to be kinda local
and provocative. I appreciate that world opinion is against us, but it bothers
me that we put on our hair shirts at the slightest sign of guilt. War is hell,
and what happened to the detainees is atrocious, but what the hell did Saddam do
to HIS prisoners?

I am sure that Saddam was inhuman to his prisoners, much worse than the allies. It is known that he used nerve gas against people. But that, in my opinion, is not relevant in this context. The United States cannot allow itself to be anywhere near as bad as Saddam for the following reasons:
The United States stands for human rights and liberty and justice for all.
Saddam could afford to be bad to his people as he had his thugs to protect him from them. And he had no intention of quitting. The United States and allies need to establish good relations with the population of Iraq to safeguard their interests in the long run. Otherwise it will be difficult to find collaborators within Iraq who have a chance to last long and enjoy the consent of the people. And if democracy is introduced then there is a risk that anti-western leaders will be elected if the west becomes unpopular in Iraq. Of course the west could try to establish a new dictatorship. but there is a risk that a dictator will turn against the west, especially if it is unpopular among the people. (However, the Soviet Union finally succeeded in installing an unpopular dictator, Dr. Najibullah, who outlasted the ones who promoted him.)
In other words, the United States cannot allow itself to be so bad because that would be both against its principles and against its long term interests.

From what I experienced I was one of the few Europeans who wanted to get rid of Saddam. That I had wanted for the better part of two decades. In fact, the situation with the UN and Iraq reminded me of that with the League of Nations and Italy in 1936. Resolutions demanded that Italy, under Benito Mussolini, cease hostilities against Abyssinia. These were backed by sanctions. (Which is why Switzerland has for so many years been reluctant to join the UN.) But no military action was taken against Italy by the international community. I was afraid that history would repeat itself. To my relief some countries decided this time around that the situation warranted action.

Why would Presidents Chirac and Putin and Chancellor Schröder oppose moves to unseat Saddam? Chirac enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Saddam. It was when he was prime minister that France sold weapons and a nuclear reactor to Iraq. Following the bombing of the latter by Israel France helped Iraq replace it. And as there were sanctions on Iraq, which would continue if Saddam remained, I have the feeling that France and Germany had made big profits by breaking the sanctions. As for Putin, he must have figured out that the sanctions prevented a lot of Iraqi oil from reaching the market. This shortfall must have kept the price of oil higher than otherwise, which benefited Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters (I believe second only to Saudi Arabia).

I've always been uncomfortable with the feeling that the US needs to be the
policeman of the world, but the bastards struck us first and we are trying like
hell to establish a sane and democratic regime in the Middle East.

However, we must keep in mind that Iraq never attacked the United States directly.

There is the feeling that we bailed out Europe from WW1 and WW2 and that Europe
is letting us down in our time of need.

The above seems to have faded from the memory of Europeans. And those who remember often say that the United States saved Europe only to pursue its own self interests. (Have you ever heard of a country which acts without taking its interests into consideration?)


Here is my reply:

Your points are well-taken. I'm sorry that I didn't ask your permission to
quote you on my blog, but I am a newby at this game.

I've always felt that it is the measure of one's life to leave the world a bit
better place than when one arrived. I have always followed that principle, but
sometimes people get impatient and that's when bad things start to happen. It
devastates me that a dozen or so bad apples out of a 200,000 contingent have
fucked everything up so badly.

I cry for the family of the guy who got beheaded today. I'd rather be nakedly
humiliated and live.



Monday, May 10, 2004

Feedback from Abroad

Hi All!

Haven't had a lot of hits, but a guy in the Netherlands wrote me thus:

I have read with interest your Weblog. I was bewildered at your concern that Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld may be forced to resign. I believe that his resignation would improve the image of the United States. He would have been a worthy author of the book How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People. I think that President Bush should have reminded him that he was Secretary of Defence, not Secretary of State.

As for the shocking revelations on the prisons in Iraq, as far as I can see the only way to repair this situation is to carry out a full investigation, and to dismiss those who were responsible. Just finding a few reservists and privates and using them as Praegelknaben would not work, as they were there on the behalf of the army and must have been supervised by superiors. And Rumsfeld is, after all, responsible for the armed forces. He should have made sure that everything was OK. That is the job of a CEO. And if things do not go well the CEO is
subject to being being replaced.

I am getting increasingly worried with the developments in Iraq. The good thing about the United States is that this country won the Iraq War for us all. The bad thing about the United States is that this country is losing our war. And if this war is lost I dare not think of the consequences.

I hope that I have not loaded you with too many worries on the occasion of your birthday. On this day try to forget about all problems and enjoy it.



I shall publish my reply to George later, but I thought I'd throw this out as a typical European perspective.



Friday, May 07, 2004

Gimme a Buck

Hi All!

Hung out at the Ol' Mex tonight and had mixed success at Trivia, 'cos the conversation was so rich.

The guy next to me can't drive due to too many DWI, so I offerred him a "buck" in lieu of his usual cab ride.

He looked incredulously at me and was lost for words for a moment. "You want me to pay you a buck?"

Mygod I'm old. In the day, a "buck" was a sharing a bike ride with a friend sitting on the handlebar. Y'know, a "lift", a "ride".

My good friend Bill lost a few fingers when being bucked when the bike stopped for a car and he flew off the handlebars and stuck his hand in the spokes. 6th Grade, St Marks.

The guy to the right of me was three point five sheets to the wind when he left to drive home his new "hog".

Will see how many fingers he has left tomorrow. I personally wouldn't have let him buck me, not tonight.

Terbacky note: Saw many a pack sold over the bar counter, inhaled volumes of second hand smog, need to air out my clothes, but can't do it on the deck 'cos Ray Christensen has spotted an ominous cloud over South Dakota, moving this way.



Tip of the Iceberg

Hi All!

Just read the Taguba report on Smoking Gun.

Pretty sobering stuff. If there is video and pictures of the new revelations, we may well be sunk.

Wonder why there isn't more conjecture about who took the video and how did it get out?

Sad day. I think we are gonna lose Rumsfeld.


Self Flagellation

Hi All!

Just turned on the TV and all the channels are running the hearing on the "egregious" actions of a dozen or so lose-outs out of 200K troops deployed in the Middle East.

This whole thing is just so sad. The media jackals are in full howl. Traitors.



Thursday, May 06, 2004

Who is General Odom

Hi All!

Just caught a truncated Nightline - Not sure why the news ran long.

This overeducated Carterite should be dragged out and .... and... spanked. What a downer!

I'm sure his appearance will be dissected in detail elsewhere, but to me his pessimism was downright pessimistic.



Can I Plagiarize Myself?

Hi All!

It's not a hard trick, for as limited my computer skills seem to be, I can copy and paste with the best of 'em -- even without a mouse! CRTL+C, CTRL+V

As a nascent blogger who is late to the party, I am still not weaned from political listservs. Mitch Berg seems to have been cured. I always admired his posts to MN-Politics and the St Paul forum. He wrote/writes logically, devastatingly and sometimes verbosely.

To bring my vast national audience up to speed, an egomanical overstuffed St. Paul councilperson has introduced a bar/restaurant smoking ban, as has been popular in other cities lately.

I wrote a curt missive to the St. Paul list and drew fire from a famous local gadfly named Andy Driscoll.

It wasn't the overall personal attack on my position, but he touched a nerve.

If interested, read on, as I quote myself on my own blog!

"Hi All!

It's always fun to get Driscoll's goat to the point that he makes, um, personal
"responses" on-list:

I'm a big boy (too big for my health, I'm afraid -- second-hand smoke is the
least of MY worries) and I respectfully accept Andy's arguments.

But this shot really smoked me, to whit::

"Back to Kuettel's post (he lives elsewhere anyway)"


What are your St Paul Props, Andy? I was born at Miller, baptized at St Lukes,
confessed, communicanted and was confirmed at St. Mark's, married Laura and
baptized my three kids at St. Agnes, to which we still belong. Oh and there was
Cretin and St. Thomas. I even had the Last Rites at St Joe's but I pulled
through just to be a burr under your saddle. When the burr is removed, it will
be planted at Calvary.

And I've got two sons at Cretin and a Derham Dollie on the way in a couple of

When I moved to far distant Falcon Heights, all of 4 blocks north of Como Park,
my heart stayed behind. Which is why I participate in this forum.

When St Paul sneezes, Falcon Heights catches pneumonia.

Say and think of me what you will, I am and always will be a St Paul Boy.

Back to Driscoll's post (he lives on Crocus Hill) I dare say my neighborhood is
more like an "average" neighborhood than the tony bluff from which Andy looks
down on our sordid world.

All posted in fun, really!

I like all of my St Paul List Friends, although Thune has changed now that he's
got the reins back on some power.

To clarify my position, I wouldn't mind at all if St Paul banned smoking in bars
and restaurants. But unless surrounding communities go along, it is bound to
have a serious impact...maybe short-term, but just long enough to put some good
folks out of business.

If Thune is buying, I would be happy to share an adult beverage with him at
Mancini's on the day the ban goes into effect (which is never, if I were to
predict) Of course, Hell COULD freeze over eventually, and likely will. But
not soon.


Grand/Chatsworth (WAY B4 it was trendy)
Highland Park
Merriam Park
Far Distant Falcon Heights"

Not MY Friends

Hi All!

Call me a square, but I consider myself a fairly good judge of "humour"

"Friends" never interested me in the slightest, but just for fun I watched a rerun the other day.

What a pile of sex-drenched crap.

Won't be missed in THIS household.



Can quote Simpsons line by verse, have seen Holy Grail at least 100 times and still laugh out loud. Now THAT's for humor!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Dave Thune's Camel Nose

Hi All!

The proposed ordinance to ban smoking in bars and restaurants in St Paul is a lead baloon....for now. What's gonna happen, I predict, is that after sober consideration and much scolding and pontificatiing about the evils of terbacky and them what smokes it, the City Council will reluctantly table the matter and order a "study."

And the camel will have got his nose under the tent.



Non-smoker who gladly trades second-hand stink for good company.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Wax Bush

Hi All!

Methinks that rather clever!

As further proof that I don't know how to publish links, you are challenged to cut and paste it into your own browser and check it out.

Has links to lots of J F Kerry-friendly sites as well!



Back In The Saddle, I Think

Hi All!

I've been sick as a pup for a few days, and am just now getting back up and about. Have a chronic condition that knocks me for a loop from time to time.

Reallly haven't even felt up to reading or listening to anything but I don't seem to have missed too much, judging by my catch-up reading today.

Soucheray has a good piece about the obstructionist DFL Senate, including some nice turns of phrase such as:

"These characters seemed to have arrived at the Capitol this winter with little or no intention of accomplishing anything except putting their feet up on the desk and sailing love notes to each other on the wings of paper airplanes."

Will someday learn how to put links in here, but if you don't take the paper, it's in