The Heart Of West Virginia
Posted on 08.31.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:58 pm

Earlier this week, West Virginia State Police Cpl. Marshall Lee Bailey was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop along the interstate. Another officer, Trooper Eric Michael Workman, was shot and is on life support. (Update: Workman died today after being taken off life support.)

The outpouring of compassion for state police since then has been remarkable. Almost immediately on Facebook, my West Virginia friends posted status updates about the shooting. Some asked people to pray for the dead and wounded, even the suspect who shot the two state policemen, a sheriff’s deputy and a truck driver who had arrived to tow the suspect’s victim. (The shooter, Luke Baber, was killed on scene.) Several shared this request:

RE-POST: If you have a U.S. flag, post it today in memory of the WV state troopers who were killed in the line of duty and in honor of all our police/fire/EMTs who put their lives on the line for us every day.

People in the state did not restrict their concern to heartfelt but easy Facebook comments, though. They took action offline as well. The generous gestures have included deliveries of Wendy’s sandwiches to the scene of the shooting, more deliveries of food trays and pizza to state police headquarters the day after the shooting, an impromptu donations for the families of the officers, and frequent phone calls from people asking how they can help.

“The generosity and the kindness we’ve been shown is just amazing,” said Sgt. Michael Baylous, the state police spokesman.

The response is typical for West Virginians, and it isn’t limited to public officials. My state family bestowed similar kindness on journalists in 2010 when they come to cover a coal-mining tragedy. “These people are extraordinary,” one journalist wrote of his experience.

Filed under: Media and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Weather and West Virginia
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What Kind Of Killer Name Is Hunter?!
Posted on 08.28.12 by Danny Glover @ 9:10 pm

The insanity of political correctness knows no bounds. That’s the only possible explanation for this story about a 3-year-old deaf boy named Hunter and his school’s reaction to that name:

Hunter Spanjer, who is deaf, signs his name by crossing his forefinger and index finger and moving his hand up and down. To his family, friends and those who know the Signing Exact English language that the Grand Island, Neb., boy uses, that gesture uniquely means “Hunter Spanjer.”

But to Hunter’s school district, it might mean something else. The district claims that it violates a rule that forbids anything in the school that looks like a weapon

Seriously? Some people are so afraid of guns that an innocent toddler can’t even sign his own name for fear of offending the fragile sensibilities of people who claim to be adults? As a Facebook friend of mine noted when sharing the story: “This is so idiotic.”

I know firsthand that this kind of irrational thinking exists because back in 2008, I tried to organize a paintball battle called “Beltway PaintBlog” that would have pitted bloggers across the political spectrum against each other. I saw it as a creative and (mostly) harmless way for everyone to let the bygones of a nasty campaign be bygones.

Bloggers on the right thought it was a great idea, but I couldn’t find any takers on the left or even in the purple range. My favorite response came from a New York-based professor who said he wouldn’t think of participating in such an event because he doesn’t advocate gun play, even the “simulated” kind.

At least that professor lived and worked in New York and spent his days surrounded by like-minded liberals who have a knee-jerk reaction to guns. What amazes me most about the Hunter Spanjer story is that his school is in Grand Island, Neb., the heart of flyover country. Can’t we at least restrict the craziness to the bi-coastal elites in big cities?

Filed under: Education and Government and News & Politics and People and Video
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No Venue Is Taboo From Cussing
Posted on 08.27.12 by Danny Glover @ 8:19 pm

Once upon a time, the family newspaper and its local broadcast equivalents cared enough about wholesome conversation to filter the profanities lest they offend the sensibilities of their readers, listeners or viewers. Either news executives don’t care anymore or their audiences have no sensibilities, or both, because the cussing is everywhere in journalism.

The latest evidence: The a-word is all over NPR. It has appeared in NPR coverage 22 times in the past year, most often when sources say it on air.

Worse, when a publication has a fit of common sense by not assaulting readers with vulgar, suggestive language, it faces ridicule for being puritanical. That’s what happened to the Los Angeles Times and other publications that showed discretion in not publicizing the name of a certain Russian punk band that has been in the news recently.

The shaming worked. Within days, the name of said punk band was being repeated in headline after headline of the Times.

Filed under: Culture and Education and Media and News & Politics and People and Religion
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Little Baby’s: Ice Cream For Psychos
Posted on 08.27.12 by Danny Glover @ 8:19 am

Does this make you want to eat Little Baby’s Ice Cream?

I didn’t think so. But it did make more than 2 million people want to watch the ad on YouTube. The ad clearly accomplished the goal of introducing more people to the Little Baby’s brand — enough of them that President Obama’s campaign paid to build a preview of its “Blatant” ad into the video pre-roll, which is what played when I just watched the Little Baby’s ad.

But few consumers are likely to rush out and buy ice cream pitched as the key to “glistening skin” and “clean and clear pores.” Just the thought of eating Little Baby’s now makes my stomach turn. All I see are scary eyes and hairy cream.

Filed under: Advertising and Business and Food and Just For Laughs and Video
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Redneck Jewelry
Posted on 08.26.12 by Danny Glover @ 11:12 pm

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, either inadvertently or perhaps intentionally, became the pitch woman for a line of redneck jewelry last week. After an appearance on Fox News where she wore a necklace made of a .50-caliber toothpick holder, her fans asked what it was and where she got it. The answer: the Etsy store of a Pennsylvania craftsman whose nephew is a Marine.

Malkin posted a link to the store on her Facebook page, so I decided to visit. Every redneck should click there as well to see the abundance of creative products. My favorites are the .50-caliber toothpick holder, redneck sippy cup and antler candle holder.

I could have done without the Wolf Pack necklace advertised on a hairy chest. That’s not the best way to market a product.

Filed under: Advertising and Business and Hunting & Guns and People
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The Politics Of Skinny-Dipping
Posted on 08.21.12 by Danny Glover @ 2:59 pm

This is the week that America learned politicians like to swim naked. But if they read their history books, they might be more shocked than they were to hear that one congressman went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee while on a junket to Israel.

Politico broke the news of an FBI probe into that August 2011 excursion, which reportedly included some heavy drinking and an impromptu swimming session by 30 House lawmakers. One of those House members, Republican Kevin Yoder of Kansas, admitted that he “followed some members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit.”

Yoder apparently feared that his impulsive behavior may hurt him politically, so he apologized. But why? He wasn’t the first American politician to swim naked — and most of the ones who blazed that trail of public nudity were far more famous, including four presidents:

The Atlantic mentioned three of them after Politico published its story:

When President John Quincy Adams lived in the White House, between 1825 and 1829, the erstwhile diplomat and U.S. Senator frequently went skinny-dipping in the Potomac River, causing no fuss. President Teddy Roosevelt, an avid outdoorsman, swam naked in the Potomac too. Billy Graham was one of many to go skinny-dipping with President Lyndon Johnson in the White House pool.

The Daily Beast also noted that John F. Kennedy also liked to skinny dip with two women, neither of which was his wife. And when the Senate was a men’s club, one of the few women in the chamber forced the men in the gym to start wearing clothes when they swam so she could be in the room with them.

My favorite story about skinny-dipping pols involved John Quincy Adams and the enterprising female journalist who took advantage of his bad habit to land a historical interview:

President Adams regularly swam nude in the Potomac River. Anne Royall, the first American professional journalist, knew of Adams’ 5 a.m. swims. After being refused interviews with the president time after time, she went to the river, gathered his clothes and sat on them until she had her interview. Before this, no female had interviewed a president.

Yoder should be thankful that some enterprising blogger with a video camera didn’t do the same thing to him at the Sea of Galilee!

Filed under: Culture and History and News & Politics and People and Rednecks
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The Hunter Becomes The Hunted
Posted on 08.18.12 by Danny Glover @ 1:52 pm

A Facebook friend just stumbled across this knickknack in a country store. It’s every wild animal’s fantasy.

Filed under: Culture and Friends and Hunting & Guns and Just For Laughs and Rednecks and Wildlife
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Mark Zuckerberg: $10 Billion Man
Posted on 08.18.12 by Danny Glover @ 1:26 am

When I first saw the Mark Zuckerberg “Wealth-o-Meter” in The Wall Street Journal, I briefly felt sorry for him. He has lost nearly $10 billion in paper wealth over a matter of weeks since Facebook started selling its stock to the public.

But then I remembered that the Facebook founder and CEO is still worth about $10 BILLION!!! That’s plenty of money for plenty of people over plenty of lifetimes. Even if Facebook stock continues to dive, Zuckerberg wouldn’t have to work another day in his life if he chose to sell it all.

Filed under: Business and News & Politics and People and Social Media
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Take A Stand For Lemonade Liberty
Posted on 08.17.12 by Danny Glover @ 11:09 am

Once upon a time in America, the government largely stayed out of people’s business unless they asked for help or were up to no good. Those days are over. Today’s politicians and bureaucrats — especially bureaucrats — are a bunch of nib-noses and proud of it.

The latest proof: Lemonade Freedom Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow. In a country that embraces liberty and personal responsibility, why do we need a special day to defend the rights of budding young entrepreneurs everywhere to sell sweet drinks? Because nanny-staters across the country are denying them that right.

The insanity hit close to home for our family last week when the Republican presidential ticket came to our neighborhood. With Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan scheduled to speak just two blocks from our house in Virginia, we expected a steady flow of foot traffic on our street and encouraged our three children (ages 7, 10 and 12) to sell drinks and snacks from our front lawn.

I work in marketing, so I couldn’t resist the urge to add the creative touch to our product names. We called our lemonade “Romney-ade,” and we sold “Sweet LiberTea,” a nod to the tea partiers in town. The menu also included West Virginia’s unofficial state snack with a partisan spin — “GOPepperoni Rolls.” And for the journalists in the neighborhood who might want to maintain the appearance of objectivity in refreshment choices, we offered “Nonpartisan Bottled Water” and “Capital Cookies,” which were just Costco cookies marked up to make a profit.

The recent nationwide controversy over lemonade stands did make us wonder whether our attempt to teach our children how to run a business and serve customers with a smile might rile the local regulators. But we live in a Republican city that is friendly to the free market and we put the stand on our own property, so we figured it was legit.

Just to be safe, we also told the councilman who owns a business three buildings down from our house. He didn’t register any objections. We decided to take a chance.

Filed under: Business and Culture and Family and Food and Government and News & Politics and People and West Virginia
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An Open Invitation To Mitt Romney
Posted on 08.07.12 by Danny Glover @ 5:35 pm

You know what I think would be a great idea? Mitt Romney granting an interview to “The Enlightened Redneck.” Gov. Romney will be two blocks from our house Saturday afternoon, and he needs the enlightened redneck vote. What better way to get it than to visit the home of The Other Danny Glover?

If anyone on the Romney campaign team is reading this blog post, please know that it is a legitimate invitation. I have two decades of experience as a journalist covering politics and policy and thus am qualified to interview a presidential candidate. See my credentials on LinkedIn. I also know many conservative bloggers and tweeters who would appreciate that you granted an interview to one of their own.

The interview doesn’t have to be all meat and potatoes. I’d certainly ask you some substantive questions. The journalist in me wouldn’t have it any other way. But this is a lighthearted blog, and I love dessert, too. After your rally down the road, swing by our house for a chat. It will be fun for me and a potentially great PR opportunity for you.

Email me at or tweet @Danny_Glover, and let’s make it happen.

Filed under: Blogging and Media and News & Politics and People and Rednecks
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