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Bird-Dogging the Apocalypse
September 2, 2003 6:22 PM   Subscribe

Bird-Dogging involves showing up at a presentation or speech by a public figure and asking well-informed, pointed questions. Now Bird-Doggers are getting organized. Live near New Hampshire? The American Friends Service Committee has a handy set of tips and a schedule of appearances by the Democratic contenders. What questions would you ask?
posted by alms (24 comments total)

 
Do you look studly while driving an Abrams M1 Tank?
posted by machaus at 6:52 PM on September 2, 2003


What's wrong with being sexy?
posted by sharksandwich at 6:53 PM on September 2, 2003


Bird-Dogging involves showing up at a presentation or speech by a public figure and asking well-informed, pointed questions.

Interesting how the exercise of one of the fundamental duties of being a citizen of a democratic state has become rare enough that it requires a special, clever name.

[/grump]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:02 PM on September 2, 2003


I must say that bird-dogging only works as a negative, to deride the dogged individual. At the Howard Dean rally in Portland, there some pro-Kucinich bird-doggers, who only served to make the Kucinich campaign look wackier.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:10 PM on September 2, 2003


i wish some the people paid to do this for a living (journalists) actually did it...it's a good idea as long as it actually works in getting candidates and incumbents to deviate from their scripts
posted by amberglow at 7:29 PM on September 2, 2003


Are you implying, Ignatius, that the Kucinich campaign already looks wacky?
posted by eatitlive at 7:43 PM on September 2, 2003


This looks great. Best news I've read all day. :) Go for it!
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:44 PM on September 2, 2003


Senator, in your opinion, who put the sham in the shama-lama-ding-dong?

Oh really? Interesting. Now how about you getting in the White House and not being an asshat like a certain incumbent who shall remain nameless.
posted by m@ at 8:16 PM on September 2, 2003


Ya know, the more I see Quakers in action...the more I like them.
posted by dejah420 at 8:19 PM on September 2, 2003


What stavros said. Very sad that well-informed, active citizens are so rare that they merit being named after a particular breed of canine.

This effort seems very small-scale and just slightly pathetic. Not that the general public is much less apathetic here, but at least in the UK we have a weekly prime minister's Question Time, TV and radio program(me)s of the same name in which anyone can ask questions, and a public service broadcaster that people actually watch, listen to, and read*.

*At least, until the Tories gain power and pull the plug on BBCi, that is.

n.b. I was trying to get 'pathetic' and 'apathetic' into the same sentence just for effect (funny how the two words have such different meanings) but somehow I just couldn't manage it at 4:30am.
posted by cbrody at 8:31 PM on September 2, 2003


The question that I would really (honestly) like to see all the candidates asked in public is, "how much does a gallon of milk cost?"

Any candidate (including the incumbent) who can't answer this question immediately gets disqualified and isn't allowed to be president.

Quick way to winnow the field.
posted by alms at 8:36 PM on September 2, 2003


I can tell you how much 64 oz. of OJ costs. Or a carton of soy milk. But milk? Nope.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:46 PM on September 2, 2003


aren't prices for milk vastly different all over the country, like for cigarettes? I pay between 99 cents and 1.25 for a quart here, depending on where i go.

I think the candidates are wise to the milk question though...
posted by amberglow at 9:03 PM on September 2, 2003


I always wondered who bought milk by the quart. Why do you buy so little milk at one time, amberglow?
posted by trharlan at 9:38 PM on September 2, 2003


it's just for me, usually : >
posted by amberglow at 9:42 PM on September 2, 2003


I can't even remember the last time I bought or drank milk, and I'd never buy a whole gallon. What kind of a weird question is that? Maybe I'm just too un-American to be President I guess, setting aside the fact that something as silly as where I was born disqualifies me from becoming President.
posted by gyc at 10:34 PM on September 2, 2003


that's just the official barrier gyc...you can't be jewish, or muslim, or hindu or an atheist, or a woman, or black, or gay, or..... at least so far
posted by amberglow at 10:40 PM on September 2, 2003


Alms has a point, though. Bread, milk, eggs...knowing the approximate price for such things shows some non-richopoly tendencies in candidates. So maybe milk isn't the perfect product to ask, in case a person is lactose -intolerant, or one of those goddamned whole foods kooks (note: self-deprecating humor--probably failed-- there). I really can't trust someone of either party that knows today's Dow Jones closing, but hasn't bought their own groceries in fifteen years.
posted by notsnot at 11:18 PM on September 2, 2003


I always wondered who bought milk by the quart. Why do you buy so little milk at one time

This is a bit of a derail, but watching US TV shows I've often wondered about the volumes of milk US consumers buy. In the UK milk is typically sold in 1, 2 and 4 pint containers, occasionally 6 or 8 but this is rare. I can see why gallons might be of use to big families but to individual consumers how do you possibly get through them before the go off? Do you buy them expecting to throw some away?
posted by biffa at 2:46 AM on September 3, 2003


I"m certainly not rich, I buy probably 4-5 gallons of milk per week, and I don't know what it costs. It's a commodity -- I have to buy it, so why bother with the price? Grab it and go. In fact, this holds true for almost everything I buy that costs less than about $40.

And speaking of pathetic, the one birddog report I read on the site (the most recent, for a Kerry event) ended with a plaintive observation:

*please note* Kerry did not take any questions from the floor. Is this a new policy for the candidates ?


Sad, sad
posted by luser at 3:36 AM on September 3, 2003


Oh, and biffa: family of 5, but I probably drink 2-2.5 gal of it
posted by luser at 3:38 AM on September 3, 2003


Why are there no questions addressed to Duhbya on the bird dog list?

Oh, that's right! He doesn't allow citizens that are not pre-selected near him and then only if they don't ask questions! Thank goodness the Dem candidates are open to the press and the public!

Questions to Dean:

Do you think Ralph Nader is a nut?
Should Duhbya and Cheney be in jail?
posted by nofundy at 5:18 AM on September 3, 2003


Interesting how the exercise of one of the fundamental duties of being a citizen of a democratic state has become rare enough that it requires a special, clever name.

Metafilter participation is one of the fundamental duties of being a citizen of a democratic state?
posted by BirdD0g at 5:55 AM on September 3, 2003


Strange, I thought birddogging was having hard nipples.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:54 AM on September 3, 2003


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