Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What's in a bandolier?

Bullets, of course. Lots and lots of bullets.

  • Sports Illustrated named ol' number 4 as its 2007 Sportsman of the Year. SI is funny about the people it picks and the reasons; sometimes they reward people for performance, other times for good intentions. Back in 1987, they named a bunch of non-entities (including the immortal Rory Sparrow) under the rubric of "Athletes Who Care." The problem for SI was that the readership didn't care. Favre is a good pick because he is having a fine, record-breaking season. Beyond that, he is personally popular (especially among the jock-sniffers on ESPN) and you can bet that SI could sell upwards of a million copies in Wisconsin alone. And, this Packer fan thinks he's actually deserving.
  • Politics keep creeping in; the Iowa caucuses are now set for January 3, with the New Hampshire Primary soon thereafter. Many of the other states are jockeying for position to have a say in who gets the nomination. I don't have any idea who is going to be the GOP standard-bearer and at this point I'm not overly concerned about it. Based on the roster of worthies on the port side of the ledger, the GOP could nominate just about any party regular who can fog a mirror and that individual would be preferable. Except maybe Larry Craig.
  • Like a lot of people my age, I was politically liberal for a time in my youth. When I was in my 20s I read The New Republic regularly. In those days TNR was a lively, center-left publication that was truly a big tent. They had conservatives like Fred Barnes, libertarians like Charles Paul Freund and idiosyncratic liberals like Mickey Kaus on their masthead. It was a fun, quarrelsome operation even under the aegis of the annoying Michael Kinsley. Things have changed. The current majordomo is a young guy named Franklin Foer and Mr. Foer is in a lot of trouble. You've likely read plenty about the case of the "Baghdad Diarist," a Kurt Vonnegut wannabe named Scott Thomas Beauchamp, who sent in some dubious dispatches detailing a number of grotesqueries supposedly committed by U.S. soldiers. The stories, it turns out, were just that. After nearly five months of stonewalling, Foer and his buddies at TNR now are backing away from what they published, although it took Foer a few thousand words to fess up. It's sad because we need responsible voices on the Left. Increasingly I doubt that there are any.
  • I've been remiss in mentioning it, but there is an excellent new group blog that began operations back in September, named True North (http://www.looktruenorth.com/). A goodly number of the best local bloggers post regularly there. While I always recommend that the best place to read local bloggers is at their respective blogs, you can get a good flavor of what's out there by checking out True North. If you are at all concerned about what's happening in Minnesota, True North should be a regular read.
  • A quick update on the health of the blogger - I was in for some more blood work and an MRI last week. The early news is encouraging; my endocrine levels continue to be where they are supposed to be. I'll continue to keep you posted and will be updating the Caringbridge site once I have the MRI results. I appreciate your continued support and most of all, your prayers. They have made a huge difference!


Anonymous said...

Once a liberal, always a liberal. I think I heard the following from your dad Ed: "A liberal at 20, soft in the heart. A liberal at 40, soft in the head."

Didn't you often wear a red vest in the late '70's in support of Lee Dreyfoos, one-time governor of Wisconsin? I bet you voted for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket in 1984, especially at that liberal college you attended.

Mark said...

Never once wore a red vest in honor of the esteemed Lee Sherman Dreyfus (a/k/a Governor LSD), who was a moderate Republican. I worked on Tony Earl's 1982 campaign and was even invited to the inaugural; thank goodness the invite came to my campus address.

But I was already rethinking it by '84, so I didn't vote for Mondale. But I didn't vote for Reagan, either. Fortunately, he didn't need my help.

Beloit was and is a very liberal place. But some of us have outgrown that. And at least when I went there, the professors were pretty fair about presenting things without too much liberal bias. Don't know if that's true any more.