Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rachel Maddow and a White-throated Sparrow


In the world of political punditry there are a few names that stand out mainly because the pundits are not necessarily intelligent but only because they are vociferous. Principal among these pundits is Rush Limbaugh, the porcine spawn of poor white trash whose idea of a good time is to fly to the Dominican Republic with a bottle of Viagra and then claim he was there just to visit the beach. By his own admission, Rush is a show person not a news person. Still more than 30 million misinformed individuals get further misinformed each day listening to this waste of oxygen.

Next comes Glenn Beck (or Beckkk) another person who has no journalistic background and no journalism ethics. Glenn Beckkk wouldn't know the truth if it bit him on the ass. There is a modicum of hope however. It seems that even the ineducable who watch Beckkk and his histrionics are getting fed up with him; he has lost 50 percent (that's half) of his viewership in recent months. There is hope for humanity after all!

And of course let us not forget Ann Coulter, a first class skag, and less than a human being who despite being a "christian" and a member of the party of family values, once advocated the killing of Supreme Court justices with whom she didn't agree. Hate is an interesting family value.

There are all these alleged pundits who scream and holler and make it sound like the world will end - and then there is a real professional. Her name is Rachel Maddow and I think the sun rises and sets on her.

Unlike the Republican pundits mentioned above, Rachel Maddow has a real background in politics that actually qualifies her to discuss politics. She was a Rhodes Scholar and received her PhD in Political Science at Oxford University in England. I don't think Rush, Beckkk, Coulter or any of those other wastes of oxygen can come close to Rachel in terms of education and preparedness for discussing the events of the day.

I first heard of Rachel in 2004 when Air America Radio first hit the airwaves. Rachel had a show from 9:00 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday that she co-hosted with hilarious political comedian Lizz Winstead (you can watch Lizz every Friday afternoon on the Ed Show on MSNBC). I remember sitting in my Fish and Wildlife Service office in suburban Washington DC listening diligently and intently to everything Rachel said. I was intimidated by her intelligence. One of the highlights of that show for me was the day I called in and got to talk with Rachel on the air! How freaking cool was that? And the Bush Administration was paying me to make the call!

Rachel got her own show on MSNBC more than a year ago and I've been a loyal but not often constant viewer of it ever since. If you ever want to get to the meat of an issue, just tune in Rachel at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time and be prepared to be educated.

Last night on her show she had a strange request. She had been walking in a forest in western Massachusetts where she heard a bird singing that she did not recognize. Using the recording option on her Blackberry she recorded the bird and then last night on her show she played the voice and asked her fans/viewers if anyone could identify the voice.

I could :)

The recording is pretty crappy, to say the least, but when you listen closely (and you're trained to know these things) it's pretty obvious that the bird is a White-throated Sparrow, one of the most beautiful singers in the northern forest in summer.

Using mnemonics someone described the voice of the bird as being "poor sam peabody, peabody, peabody." In Canada they claim that it says "Oh, Sweet, Canada, Canada, Canada." Regardless its one of the nicest voices in the north woods in summer and for me a for sure sign that you are in the boreal forest or close to it when you hear them singing in the nesting season.

Rachel put a request for help on her Facebook page this morning and I answered it. This afternoon she posted a note on her blog saying that I was the "winner" of the contest! There of course was no "prize" for winning this but if there were I think what I would have liked to win was the chance to stand on the steps of the United States Capitol with Rachel and with each of us surrounded by boxes of baseballs, we would stand together and pepper every Republican obstructionist Member of Congress (I know that is redundant) for a couple hours of fun and enjoyment some afternoon. Maybe she'll arrange that the next time I win one of her contests.

And if Rachel Maddow and her partner ever need help identifying birds by voice all she needs to do is call.

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