Norquist Bows Out of Milwaukee

He might have been a Democrat. He worked a little too closely with a female member of his staff. But Mayor John Norquist did wonders for the city of Milwaukee, singlehandedly revitalizing the downtown with his New Urbanist zeal. His time in office is ending.

I remember Milwaukee being pretty dead downtown when I started college in 1990, about two years into his first term as mayor. Now, when I go back, people live downtown, and not just the homeless. The city’s nightlife has spread southward from the East Side so that nightclubs are open in the heart of downtown. Condos are going up by the lake. Apartment complexes have sprouted on Wisconsin Avenue. And there are people.

Kind of a shame that St. Louis, a city whose metropolitan area boasts a larger population than Milwaukee, continues its corrupt morass and stunted revitalization efforts. If Norquist wanted to come down and run for mayor of St. Louis, I’d vote for him.

What, you say, but Brian J., you live in Casinoport. How can you vote for the mayor of St. Louis?

Well, being a living, breathing resident of St. Louis is not exactly required to vote in St. Louis.

Kaplan Weighs In With His Aeronautics Experience

Fred Kaplan, of Slate, elucidates on the MDA’s recent missile test. He says it’s laughable that the interceptor could have missed and the test succeeded. His ignorance shows, but professional writers, and by professional writers I mean “all other professional writers except me,” don’t have to know much about the real world to pund.

I’ve gone on about this missile test before, and I am too bored to go over it again. I’ll let John J. Miller handle Kaplan.

Florida Law Enforcement Officials Punish Preventive Detention

Less than a week after a Florida boy is killed by an alligator, a Florida man is fined for possession of an alligator because he lassoed it and detained it as it approached a woman and two small children.

The guy, who was driving, stopped and lassoed the reptile as it approached the potential victims. He then dragged it away from the wimmen and chillen and waited for the authorities to show up. When they did, they promptly wrote him a citation, made him cut the rope, and then called a trapper to come catch the animal.

Jeb, what is going on in your state?

Kaplan Weighs In With His Aeronautics Experience

Fred Kaplan, of Slate, elucidates on the MDA’s recent missile test. He says it’s laughable that the interceptor could have missed and the test succeeded. His ignorance shows, but professional writers, and by professional writers I mean “all other professional writers except me,” don’t have to know much about the real world to pund.

I’ve gone on about this missile test before, and I am too bored to go over it again. I’ll let John J. Miller handle Kaplan.

Jewel 0304: The Review

As some of you might know, I purchased the new album from Jewel Kilcher, 0304, when it came out three weeks ago. A member of my adoring public (which means if it ain’t you, it’s the other one) asked for a full review of it since I, after listening to it once or twice, gushed enough to convince him to buy it. He hasn’t spoken to me since. Let this be my apology.

Jewel’s got a new sound, as you have read elsewhere. Her other albums have been folksy, with her voice and subtle acoustic guitar giving her a subtle, breathy sexiness in her love songs (think “Morning Song”). When I first heard 0304, with its dance beats and a more confident sexuality in songs like “Leave the Light On”, “Sweet Temptation”, or “2 Become 1”, I thought, wow! It was something akin to seeing the little sister of your bestest buddy blossom from a cute kid into a woman.

Unfortunately, after a couple more listens, the song “Yes You Can” sticks in my head. The song’s a celebration of dance club/rave culture casual sex. Suddenly, it’s akin to seeing the little sister of your bestest buddy blossom from a cute kid into a woman who happens to be a prostitute. Ick.

Maybe prostitution’s a good analogy. After all, she’s changed her music and her image to target a demographic instead of trying to please her core audience with some expansion (Dr. Thomas to emergency, please; Dr. Thomas to emergency).

She’s sacrificed some of her other, more thoughtful songs about things aside from chasing members of the opposite sex. No “Hands”, no “Down So Long”, no “Who Will Save Your Soul” (her best song, period). The album changes pace (allowing listeners to recuperate for a minute and slam some ginseng and saw palmetto) with “America”, but I saw the same Songwrite-By-Numbers kit in K-Mart.

So I’m disappointed with the album, but it’s not all bad. Jewel can carry a playful dance number when she uses her manic voice. You know the one I am talking about. The less breathy (although still breathy), with clear, aggressive notes (“Who Will Save Your Soul” and “Hands”). When she tries to mesh her plaintive voice (“Adrian”) into the bubbles of notes and backbeat, it fails. Fortunately, she stays away from the bleats. After all, the albums all about coming together for a night, not breaking up badly.

I give it a two of four whatevers, and I am disappointed because I expect a little more from Jewel. I listened to Pieces of You over and over again, for crying out loud. I hope it’s only a departure, as do many of the reviewers on Amazon. I guess it will depend upon whether her new audience is bigger than her old audience.

UPDATE:


Items mentioned in this review

On Second Thought, Nat….

Maybe it’s not a good gamble to demand renegotiation on your recording contract, threaten to return to Australian serials, and hold your breath for more money since you’re a big star based on your 1998 album Left of the Middle and your two hits, “Torn” and “Wishing I Was There.”

It might be more of a bluff than you think, and if they call you on it, your career might be in real trouble.

High School PoilitiAngst

Brian’s plog–paper log, aka “journal” (because boys don’t keep diaries)–entry for January 5, 1989:

I just heard on the radio that it’s two weeks until Reagan leaves office. I have been an admirer of his and true to Dean (Theologian’s) [a BBS friend, you damn Internet era whippersnappers] prediction, I have a Reagan-[George H.W.] Bush picture over my mirror. I sincerely hope Bush can handle the country, especially with the new Libyan pressures–the two jets downed yesterday and all [story].

I wrote my secret pal yesterday & she ought to get it today. That’s only my third for the year. The Honor Society Hit Squad oughta get me.

Up to 50 degrees today! Gawd! It’s only January! We need some snow for snowdays.

Th-th-th-th-that’s all, folks!

Yessir, I am easily influenced by what I read, and the Henry Reed series of books (read much earlier than my junior year in high school, thank you very much–as I recall, my tastes around then were fairly heavy into mystery, as my essay “Meeting Robert B. Parker” attests). I started journaling several times in high school, and this particular stretch (my junior year) captures some political thoughts. The remainder is daily life in high school.

Which is why I appreciated my visit to Jared Myers’ PolitiBlog. It’s got a conservative political bent, but exposed in the life of a high school student. It’s the journal entries I would write today, were I short of a score of years.

Oh, yeah, and Wednesday is Hot Conservative Chick Day.

Except he’s forgotten the hot Libertarian-esque babes Heather, Rachel Lucas, and Virginia Postrel. Or maybe he just hasn’t gotten to them yet.

(Link seen on InstaPundit.)

Kerry’s Boolean Criteria for a Fillibuster?

Oh, and check out the Boolean construction in his criteria for a fillibuster. It’s not really clear. He’ll fillibuster a candidate who

((would turn back the clock on a woman’s right to choose OR would turn back the clock the constitutional right to privacy OR (would turn back the clock on civil rights AND individual liberties)) AND would turn back the clock on the laws protecting workers) AND would turn back the clock on the environment

That’s a pretty convoluted criteria, and a pretty tough one to meet. I reckon no candidate would, which means Kerry’s algorithmic condition will never be met. No fillibuster(String supremeCourtNominee) method call at all!

Senator Kerry Threatens to Deploy Evil Kerrybot

Drudge has pointed to a story in which Senator John Kerry, in which the Vietnam veteran claims:

“I am prepared to filibuster, if necessary, any Supreme Court nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman’s right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties and on the laws protecting workers and the environment,” Kerry said in remarks via satellite at a meeting of Democratic party officials in St. Paul, Minn.

As you know, Senator Kerry’s full-time job these days is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. This requires nationwide, or at lease extra-DC, schmoozing, gladhanding, speechifying, and fundraising–all things you cannot do while not yielding the Senate floor.

Hence, I can only infer that he is planning to unleash an android replica of himself to do one or the other since he cannot be in all those places at the same time.

I just threw in the evil part because it makes the copy snappier. We all know Senator Kerry is not truly evil, just misguided.

Schoolchildren Learn About Suburban Pettiness

Another suburb of Milwaukee is suffering from a shortage of Paxil. Residents in Cerdarburg have created a petition complaining that the colors of playground equipment are too colorful.

If it’s not the color of a duck blind, suburban Milwaukee communities don’t want it. Heaven forbid their property values not rise as quickly as the next drab suburb over.

Kerry’s Boolean Criteria for a Fillibuster?

Oh, and check out the Boolean construction in his criteria for a fillibuster. It’s not really clear. He’ll fillibuster a candidate who

    ((would turn back the clock on a woman’s right to choose OR would turn back the clock the constitutional right to privacy OR (would turn back the clock on civil rights AND individual liberties)) AND would turn back the clock on the laws protecting workers) AND would turn back the clock on the environment

That’s a pretty convoluted criteria, and a pretty tough one to meet. I reckon no candidate would, which means Kerry’s algorithmic condition will never be met. No fillibuster(String supremeCourtNominee) method call at all!

Senator Kerry Threatens to Deploy Evil Kerrybot

Drudge has pointed to a story in which Senator John Kerry, in which the Vietnam veteran claims:

    “I am prepared to filibuster, if necessary, any Supreme Court nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman’s right to choose or the constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties and on the laws protecting workers and the environment,” Kerry said in remarks via satellite at a meeting of Democratic party officials in St. Paul, Minn.

As you know, Senator Kerry’s full-time job these days is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. This requires nationwide, or at lease extra-DC, schmoozing, gladhanding, speechifying, and fundraising–all things you cannot do while not yielding the Senate floor.

Hence, I can only infer that he is planning to unleash an android replica of himself to do one or the other since he cannot be in all those places at the same time.

I just threw in the evil part because it makes the copy snappier. We all know Senator Kerry is not truly evil, just misguided.

Schoolchildren Learn About Suburban Pettiness

Another suburb of Milwaukee is suffering from a shortage of Paxil. Residents in Cerdarburg have created a petition complaining that the colors of playground equipment are too colorful.

If it’s not the color of a duck blind, suburban Milwaukee communities don’t want it. Heaven forbid their property values not rise as quickly as the next drab suburb over.

Future Brave Man Washes Out of Training

In Florida, a group of kids were swimming in a river even though they could see alligators nearby all day. Of course, when they saw the alligators, they got out of the water. Except for the toughest of the bunch, who might have been trying to prove his bravery. It didn’t work out for him.

Do you think we’ll get a summer of Alligator Attack! hype from this?

Future Brave Man Washes Out of Training

In Florida, a group of kids were swimming in a river even though they could see alligators nearby all day. Of course, when they saw the alligators, they got out of the water. Except for the toughest of the bunch, who might have been trying to prove his bravery. It didn’t work out for him.

Do you think we’ll get a summer of Alligator Attack! hype from this?