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News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Michael Moore makes an idiot of himself

(I know, not newsworthy, but certainly blogworthy.)

In a letter filled with serious errors of understanding, Michael Moore criticizes Bill Timmins, the owner of the Aladdin casino, for daring to exert control over his own property.

My proposed response for Mr. Timmins:

"Dear Mr. Moore:

I'd address this letter 'Dear Fat Slob,' but I don't believe in ad hominem attacks, of the kind you do by attacking my intelligence in passages like 'What country do you live in? Last time I checked, Las Vegas is still in the United States.'

I am glad to hear you stick up for Ms. Ronstadt, as you are wont to do in free speech situations. I clearly remember you coming to the defense of Rush Limbaugh when he exercised his right to free speech by saying sports pundits overrated Donovan McNabb due to the color of his skin. Oh, wait, you didn't speak up then.

I would like to refresh your memory by quoting the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.' As you know I am a British citizen, you must realize that I am not a member of Congress, let alone the Congress as an entity. However, I am honored that you think I am as important as Congress. In case you need a refresher course, it is Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2 and Article 1, Section 3, Clause 3 that clarify that only US citizens can be members of Congress.

Ms. Ronstadt was hired by my hotel as an entertainer, specifically, as a singer. I agree that she is one of America's greatest singers, and that is why I hired her. We had certain expectations that she would reflect just what it is that made her one of America's greatest singers in her performance at my hotel, namely, her collection of timeless songs. In other words, we would not judge her performance to be in line with expectations if she chose to perform Serbo-Croation war chants or compositions for kazoo. Nor was she hired as a juggler, comedian, or political pundit. She was hired to entertain by singing the songs she's known for.

By choosing to interrupt her performance with political comment, Ms. Ronstadt alienated a significant number of attendees. As an employee of the Aladdin, she angered valued guests. Such poor customer service cannot be tolerated in this business, and thus I had no choice but to fire her. Would you tolerate someone insulting blacks, women, or slovenly pseudo-documentarians, even if half the crowd applauded this insult? I hold the employees of the Aladdin to high standards.

You will note, Mr. Moore, that the political commentary embedded in Ms. Ronstadt's songs did not attract the ire of the crowd. The audience came to hear songs, whether political in tone, or classic love songs like 'It's So Easy.' They reacted much as audiences would have had you broken into a soul-tinged rendition of 'Poor Poor Pitiful Me' during 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' You might have heard some political commentary in the performances of some comedians that have played here in the past. However, they were being funny, and the crowds approved because they came to laugh.

Before you express your ignorance further, I would suggest you refer to Nevada law concerning right-to-work and Ms. Ronstadt's contract, although the latter is a private matter. I would also like to highlight that casinos are private property. It is the fact that casinos are private property that allows us to ban card counters from our tables, under threat of being charged with trespassing. I very much had the right to remove her from my casino.

I appreciate your offer to screen 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' but to quote our standard rejection letter, 'your proposal does not suit our needs at this time.' If you wish to purchase a casino, then it would be your privilege to hire Ms. Ronstadt to sing, and to screen 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' In addition, the Thomas & Mack Center is just one of many performance venues available for rent in beautiful Las Vegas.

In summary, Mr. Moore, I admire that you stick up for those you care about. I am sure you have dozens of Ms. Ronstadt's recordings, and have had them for years. Ms. Ronstadt certainly can speak her mind on her own time. She simply exercised very poor judgment by doing so when she was supposed to be entertaining the wonderful guests at the Aladdin.

Respectfully,

Bill Timmins”

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