We’ve Seen this Place Before

Filed under: Typecast, ephemera, politics — olivander November 3, 2010 @ 7:55 am

How Illegal Immigration Saved My Life

Filed under: Project 88, Rants, Typecast, politics — olivander August 21, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

Typewriter: Fritz, a 1903 Remington Standard No.7

#4: Rush Limbaugh on Typewriters

Filed under: Project 88, politics — olivander August 8, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

Click for more readable size.

Typewriter: Adler J5

Goin’ Old Testament

Filed under: Newsworthy, politics — olivander June 30, 2009 @ 9:26 am

South Carolina Guv Mark Sanford invoked the biblical story of David to explain why he would not resign after getting caught in an ongoing tete-a-tete with an Argentinain woman. Jon Stewart had a little something to say about that.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Mark Sanford Consults the Old Testament
Daily Show
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Political Humor Jason Jones in Iran

Deep thought…

Filed under: Musings, politics — olivander April 13, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

If Michele Bachmann were an Afghan Taliban or Iraqi cleric talking smack like this, we’d have blown up her car with a Predator drone by now.


BTW, Al Franken won. Again. (What, fourth time now?) Now look for Norm “Scorched Earth” Coleman to appeal to the State Supreme Court…then the Federal Appeals Court…then the US Supreme Court. Then look for him to slink back to Brooklyn in a few years after he tries to run for Governor and discovers that he’s completely squandered whatever support he had even within his own party. For the most part, we Minnesotans are a patient, tolerant bunch. Our idea of road rage is to pull alongside a lousy driver and shake our head in disappointment. But this whole affair has got most of us–liberal, moderate, and conservative alike–ready to run Norm out on a rail.

Ridin’ the Crazy Train

Filed under: Diversions, Newsworthy, politics — olivander April 8, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

Better-than-usual commentary from Jon Stewart on the current political santa anas. Our own state bird, Michele Bachmann, makes a cameo partway through.

Side note: to all the non-Minnesotans reading: sure, we may have inflicted upon you the crazypants likes of Michele Bachmann, Norm Coleman, Al Franken, Jesse Ventura, and Prince. Those of you not living in a state governed by an Austrian weightlifter might be tempted to view us Minnesotans as having, shall we say, questionable taste. To you I would just like to point out that we also gave you F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Garrison Keillor, the Mayo brothers, Winona Ryder, Bob Dylan, and the Coen brothers. Oh, and Kevin Sorbo. Hercules, huh? How ’bout that?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Baracknophobia – Obey
Daily Show
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Economic Crisis Political Humor

(Oh, was Winona not a good example?)

Free at last, free at last.

Filed under: politics — olivander January 20, 2009 @ 1:56 pm

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Dis ‘n’ Dat

Filed under: Errata, politics — olivander November 10, 2008 @ 3:42 pm
  • Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com has an interesting analysis of Al Franken’s odds of pulling off a win in the Minnesota senate race recount. Okay, interesting if you’re into statistical analysis. Nate’s day job is as a professional baseball statistician. He applies the same calculating principals to election outcomes, and he tends to be fairly spot-on in his projections. Nonetheless, grain of salt and all that.
  • Barack Obama meets with Prez Bush today. Geez, he isn’t even in office yet and he’s already sitting down with unpopular and aggressive world leaders without preconditions*.
  • A sign of adulthood is when you one day realize that your recycling bin is full of baby food jars instead of beer and vodka bottles.
  • I probably have better things to do (like working on my NaNoWriMo novel) than trying to track down what typeface was used to print the first edition of The Great Gatsby**–but I’m a typographical nerd that way. (I can launch a conversation with a graphics designer friend of mine with something like, “I need Dakota for PC. Do you have Fulton’s Hand?” and they will not only know exactly what I’m talking about, within five minutes they will locate it six subfolders deep in their font archives and send it as an attachment.) Does this win me a Procrastination merit badge?
  • Yesterday, I attended a friend’s community theater recreation of old radio shows. It was keen to be able to wear my 1940s short tie, fedora, and ’40s bomber jacket without getting strange looks. Now I’m buzzed to create a podcast in the style of a Golden Age radio station–yet another diversion that I don’t need to loop myself into. Besides, I do a lousy imitation of Symphony Sid.

*confession: I saw a version of that statement somewhere else. it was too good to not repeat

**Scotch Roman

Holy s**t moment

Filed under: politics — olivander November 3, 2008 @ 5:35 pm

I just had a scary revelation-type moment. And by “revelation”, I’m talking winged demons, tormented-souls-screaming-in-the-pits-of-hell biblical-style revelation. It provoked the same heart-pounding terror that I frequently feel upon bolting upright in bed out of a nightmare that ends with an aid waking Palin in the middle of the night and saying, “Madam Vice President, President McCain is dead.”

What if…

  • Obama wins Tuesday…
  • Ted Stevens manages to retain his Senate seat, only to lose his appeal and be forced to resign in shame and slink off to his modest hunting chalet insulated with bribe money in the Alaskan wilderness…
  • Sarah Palin appoints herself to fill Stevens’ vacant Senate seat.

It could happen. Here in Minnesota, after Senator Walter Mondale won the Vice Presidency, Governor Wendell Anderson resigned and appointed himself as Mondale’s successor. He took a lot of heat for it; it was political suicide, really. But since when has political suicide ever been an obstacle for The Maverick?

Gonna go donate ten bucks to Mark Begich.

Speaking of Ted “The Internet is a series of tubes” Stevens’ conviction, here’s a gem from the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call:

The juror who was dismissed from the criminal trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to attend the funeral of her father in California admitted Monday that her father had not died, and that she went to California to attend a horse race.

Appearing disheveled and confused and brandishing a thick stack of dog-eared papers, Hinnant told the judge that in the spring she had purchased tickets to the Breeders’ Cup event in Santa Anita on Oct. 24 and 25.

Hinnant then began to tell a convoluted story about criminal activity in the horse racing industry, alleging that her phone had been tapped and that someone she once worked with in the industry was involved in crime and drugs.

The judge attempted to dismiss her, but Hinnant continued to tell her tale, ultimately asking the judge, “Can I have a case of my own?”

After Hinnant left the courtroom, Sullivan told the attorneys in Stevens’ case that he had dismissed her because she was unable to continue to serve on the jury, and “what you heard today just reinforces the correctness of the court’s decision.”

Update: as it turns out, Alaska law was changed in 2004 to require a special election within 90 days in the event of a vacated seat. It’s murky on whether the Governor can appoint an interim senator until then. And now that both Stevens and his fellow Alaskan scofflaw Rep. Don Young are poised to win re-election, there could be a very interesting mess on the tundra soon. And let’s not forget that homebound governor Palin still faces a legislative ethics board.

Alaska: the new Florida!

Polly Ticks

Filed under: Typecast, politics — olivander October 27, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

I beg forgiveness for writing in rhyming couplets. I didn’t want to. Honest.

Typewriter: 1946 Smith-Corona Silent

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