Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Most Vicious Form of Monopoly

Case One
Imagine in your mind’s eye a firm that continuously pumps out ever improving products and or services. Imagine further that this firm is able systematically to improve its product line with differentiation (adding new features or services to current products making them even more attractive to consumers). Even more stunning, through efficiency, hard work, and sheer brilliance, this firm continuously provides its products and services at ever-lower prices to its consumers. Imagine also that no government agency is forcing anyone to purchase this product, and no license or special grant of privilege has been imposed by the government rendering consumers with no other economic options. Rather, the superiority of the products this firm creates is so widely recognized that almost every industry uses them – to the exclusion of virtually all other would-be competitors. Suppose lastly, that the use of the products produced by this firm has markedly and measurably raised living standards, improved productivity and created wealth beyond imagination all around the world – in short, the existence of this firm and the products it has produced has resulted in a net increase in wealth and standard of living.Read more »

Cold Feet

So the missing Georgia bride-to-be had cold feet. I'm happy for her family that she is home, and I thought this guy's sentiment was nice:

"Sure, we were all disappointed, maybe a little embarrassed, but you know what, if you remember all the interviews yesterday we were praying, 'At this point let her be a runaway bride,'" said the Rev. Alan Jones, who was to perform the wedding. "So God was faithful. Jennifer's alive and we're all thankful for that."

Too bad she didn't suck it up, consume vast amounts of alcohol, and say "I do" like the rest of us. Though I suppose if I had mailed out 600 invitations and had 14 bridesmaids, I'd head for New Mexico, too. Well, maybe not New Mexico, but somewhere else.

RE: Why on Friday Night?

Well, the obvious has been stated already (media blackout), but look at it this way: The story that opened up this debate broke on a Saturday morning edition of the Journal Sentinel.

The "obvious thinking" really worked in Doyle's advantage that time didn't it.

He's toast, even my father (who's not political) found the story - buried in the back pages of today's Sheboygan Press.

Lazy Saturday mornings make for great time to read the entire newspaper.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Re: why on Friday night?

Yup. But...the Legislature will try to override. You can bet they won't wait until a Friday afternoon to do it.

Hello, Tuesday.

On the wrong side of an 80% issue, trying to hide that he's on the wrong side of an 80% issue, and doing a really bad job of hiding that he's on the wrong side of an 80% issue.

Maybe you don't have to be that smart to get through law school after all.

Re: Question, and Thoughts on the BBA

Lance - I try to post things here that are related more closely to Wisconsin politics or at least Wisconsin life in general. And of course, I did have my own little sports post of sorts here. (By the way, Patrick, ha-ha re: your comment about the Chicago Bears!) On my own blog, I have a wider range of topics ... though in all honesty I've been too busy for much blogging anywhere.

Re: Why on Friday night?

Absolutely, Patrick, as you said: because you can try to bury bad news on a Friday night. Classic move. But really bad move for Doyle, because we're not going to let anybody forget about this.

Photo ID bill & School Voucher bill vetoed...Why on Friday night?

Question: When do you release something that reflects badly on you; a time when it will make the least impact in the news media?

Answer: Friday, late afternoon or early evening hours are best.

The reason they release things that reflect in a negative light on Friday night is because it is too late for the main news cycle on Friday and the news casts and papers are viewed less on the weekend. Also, by the time people start to take notice on Monday, the response is "that's old news".

Why do I bring this up tonight?

I bring this up now because tonight, Friday night at about 5 p.m. Governor Jim Doyle vetoed the hugely popular Photo ID requirement for voting bill again. The bill passed 21-12 in the Senate and 64-33 in the Assembly, one vote short of a potential veto over ride.

Recent polls show that Wisconsin citizens support this bill in the 80% to 90% range, but Doyle seems to know he can't win without a little vote fraud. Even a little fraud may not be enough to save Doyle's job, Scott Walker has a poll that shows Doyle's job approval rating is 41% and only 35% of voters think that Jim Doyle deserves to be re-elected.

Please don't overlook this!

The photo ID bill is getting the publicity, but Doyle also vetoed a bill to expand a state program that pays for poor Milwaukee students to attend private schools. The bill would have allowed 1,500 more students in Milwaukee to enroll in the school voucher program, another program hugely popular, especially in the inner-city of Milwaukee. It is the Democrats and their owners in WEAC that are preventing poor, primarily black inner-city children from attending schools that their parents believe will better teach their kids and give them the same chances that the rich Liberals give their own kids. Again, Doyle vetoed this on a Friday night, so no one will notice...

Breaking news on voter I.D.

Governor Doyle will "act on" AB 63, the voter I.D. bill, sometime today. Legislative offices got that notification via email a little before 4 o'clock this afternoon.

UPDATE - Now he's expected to file the veto sometime after 5 pm today.

Your thoughts on the Badger Blog Alliance

For now, I'm going to refrain from adding my two cents to Lance's question. Instead, reader's and participants alike, please use the comments as an 'open thread' for discussion on the Badger Blog Alliance. Right now, there is no real guidelines for posters. Instead, it is a very free flowing forum. The previous format, where we only discussed state current events in a formal manner, worked well at times, not well during others. I have no way of knowing which people enjoy more, though, except through the traffic stats. So please use the comments to sound off on what you like and dislike about the Badger Blog Alliance.

RE: Question

To be honest with you Lance, that's a question for all of us to answer. My thinking was that when I suggested to Jib we adopt a "Corner" format was that it be more debate. So anything is fair game.

Unless Jib wants to ban all Star Trek, Star Wars, and geek-related talk. He'll have to get back to us on that.

I hope that the new BBA is more of a giant forum for us. We can maintain our own individual blogs, but debate can be saved for here.

Also, I don't know if anyone else gets this email from the RNC or not. It's called 'Blog Food,' its part of their eCampaign outreach program and gives source material for up and coming conservative bloggers.

But on Tuesday we, the Badger Blog Alliance, were its featured blog. Thought everyone would like to know that.

William Henderson appreciation dinner

As a society, we pay a lot of attention to the professional athletes who misbehave, and we tend to overlook the ones who are nice, well spoken people who actually are positive influences on both their team and their community. That's why I'm glad to see that a William Henderson Appreciation/Roast is being held in Green Bay tonight. Henderson seems to be one of those people we overlook. Proceeds will benefit Henderson's charity My Brother's Keeper.


How do the rest of you decide what to post here on BBA, and what to post on your own sites? I find I'm frequently torn between putting something up on Grandpa John's and putting it here.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel being sued

This is going to end up being big guys, it's time to get on top of this, the paper will have their spin, so it is up the the Alternative Media to shine the light of truth on this.

The Journal Sentinel is being sued for inflating its circulation numbers to it's advertisers and attempting to cover it up. This may be the first of many papers to be burned by advertisers for millions! the MJS has already fired three executives and I'll bet they are scurrying around like rats on a sinking ship. Time to sell the Journal Communications stock.

Fantastic Letter to the Editor

Regarding tuition increases at the most bloated public university system in the nation:


Explore alternatives to increasing taxes

The letter by Michael Hawes really incensed me ("More tuition increases are not acceptable," April 22). I worked three jobs to put myself through school and was just happy to have the opportunity to be in school.

Maybe one alternative to raising my taxes so he can have a lower tuition would be to close one of the University of Wisconsin campuses and consolidate students and instructors. That would certainly help keep tuition low and foster competition among the students for those coveted few positions on campuses. If tuition goes up and Hawes really wants to continue his education, he'll find a way.

Bill Hadley

The letter got me thinking, just how absurd is the situation, so I went and found a map:

No, that isn't a joke, and no I didn't add UW-Marathon County or UW-Barron County, and I didn't even make up UW-Marshfield/Wood County. Can you honestly look at this map and tell me there is nowhere to make cuts? Is it too much to ask for the people at Waukesha to go to Milwaukee of Whitewater (20-40 minute drive) or the people attending Richland to make it to one of the THREE surrounding schools? Can Fox Valley and Fond du Lac not be absorbed into Oshkosh? I get Superior, I get River Falls, but STOUT? A four year school, nestled neatly between two other four year schools. Waste in the UW system? If you want to talk serious spending cuts, lets get rid of Parkside, Platteville, and Stout for starters. Next, absorb some of the seemingly hundreds of two year schools into four years and combine those close, like Sheboygan and Washington County.

If we tackle this problem we are talking serious, dramatic cuts in expenses to the UW system and in turn a possible cut in tuition expenses (or plasma TV's for every dorm room) . It boggles my mind why this is never looked at as a serious alternative to raising tuition/taxes.

EDIT: Sorry, forgot to include the letter itself, boy is my face red. At least it only took me three hours or so to realize it...

Capital for a Day.

Apparently Governor Doyle and his minions (sans Peg Lautenschlagger what a surprise that is!) are up here in the Fox Valley today. Winnebago and Outagamie Counties are serving as Wisconsin's Capital for the day! Too bad he couldn't have brought State Street with!

This move comes under Post Crescent criticism They are not happy the Governor comes up hear, claims "Capital for a day" and then insulates himself from Joe Sixpack. The PC labels it as a campaign stop.

The whole idea is silly. It appears they even have macro speeches and probably have a whole pile of macro documents. Just tell the system where the "capital for the day" is going to be and a whole lot of documents and speeches come out substituting with "Winnebago and Outagamie Counties".

The PC wants this event to be more like one of Russ Feingold's listening stops, but I am sure the Governor doesn't want that. Even Democrats hold their nose when talking about Governor Doyle. He would be in for it, especially up here!

State Convention Update

1 Day and 1 Week to the Grand Gathering of GOPers in Sheboygan.

Still trying to get a bead on who's going to be there (Owen, Lord Ben, myself) and who's not (Sean, Jib).

Please email me at

Also, can anyone find a CD or mp3 of a rhino call that could be passed on to me? I need to be prepared for when Dale Schultz hits the statge.

[EVIL!!! ;-)]

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I Hear He Can Play Basketball Too

Former Marquette basketball star Dwayne Wade is on People's list of Most Beautiful People.

I will be firing my publicist. People didn't even bother to talk to me again this year.

A Resolutely Suppresed Blog.

Is still suppressed!

I have been avoiding "this blog" at Blogger Beer and I will certainly not directly blog on it here. Instead I &blog! Sorry, computer programmer nerdy reference (I just made a pun!).

This topic is one that has a fairly high profile in the news, but it turns my stomach and I want to see much less of it, but at times I find myself on the verge of breaking my moratorium, if only to engage in some cheap namecalling. There is only one word that comes to mind on this topic it comes loud and clear, screamingly obvious, without a doubt and so on. I will not refer to that word, as it would make things too clear.

Hmmmm, poetic inspiration?

Every Great School Deserves to Stay Open

Rose Fernandez is President of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families - the group trying to protect their charter school, WIVA, from a WEAC lawsuit. I wrote about it a couple of times before, as did Owen.

She's got a column on WisOpinion today. An excerpt:

I am confused. Superintendent Burmaster is supposed to be the advocate for public education in this state. WIVA is a successful, cost-effective, public school. She should be defending the school, its students, its teachers and its families. Instead she is sitting idly by while the state teachers union threatens the rights of every parent in Wisconsin. She should be advocating for educational excellence, not the teachers union.

No offense to Ms. Fernandez, but if that's what she thinks, she is confused.

Now that the DPI Superintendent race is over, this issue isn't getting the same publicity it was, but these parents are keeping up the fight. I'll be pulling (and blogging) for them.

RIP Duane Gay

WISN's Duane Gay died yesterday. I didn't know him from his time at WISN in Milwaukee. I remember him from his years at WLUK in Green Bay. He was the anchor in the years when I first started watching the news in the mid- to late-eighties when I was 10-14 years old. He often had dinner with us. Rather, we watched him during dinner. Then, like most Green Bay news people, he moved on.

I didn't hear of him again until we moved back to Wisconsin and I saw one of his stories about his battle with cancer. I was touched by how willing he was to share his personal struggles with the disease and by his candor.

Duane Gay touched a lot of lives. He will be missed.

Giving Up the Tickets

I just heard on WISN radio that Sharon Rosenthal chose giving up her Packers tickets instead of jail. Wise choice.

Re: Voter ID

I attended the public hearing on Voter ID, and I can tell you that the usual suspects were there, all whining and crying about the horrors of actually asking people for ID before voting. There were lawyers representing all sorts of minority groups, saying things like "We can't have anything like a poll tax" (but this wouldn't cost individual voters anything out of pocket!) and "even a dollar would be too much for some members of our community" (really? even those with cell phones and cable TV?)

They presented not one shred of evidence that this would disenfranchise anyone.

One lawyer for the Latino community -- not even from Wisconsin, as far as I could gather -- flat-out threatened to sue the state if the Voter ID bill gets passed. Another claimed to have some sort of incriminating testimony against one of the panel members, a state senator, who looked quite amused and not the least worried. (So they'll stoop to threats and implied blackmail? Oh yes.) The League of Women Voters made the highly unoriginal claim that this was a "rush to judgment" and "ill-founded".

Kevin's right. Doyle isn't going to go against his base, not only WEAC and the Democrats but all the minorities so over-represented by lawyers who love to sue.

Greater Wisconsin Committee: Radio, telephone campaign

Greater Wisconsin Committee: Radio, telephone campaign

A campaign to raise the state's minimum wage, using radio commercials and telephone calls in key areas of the state, was launched this week by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, an issue advocacy group.

The commercials and calls urge citizens to contact their State Senators and ask them "to do what's fair and raise the mimimum wage."

The idea of "a fair day's wages for a fair day's work is a basic American principle," the commercials say. "But fairness has gone out the window in the legislature."

During the seven years the minimum wage has been frozen at $5.15 an hour, legislators have gotten seven raises, the ads say. Legislators get a tax-free $88 a day expense allowance every day they are in Madison, while a minimum wage worker earns $41.20 before taxes for an 8-hour day.

"State Senate Republicans are acting against the public interest and against the wishes of their own constituents," Greater Wisconsin Executive Director Michelle McGrorty said. "Statewide polls show strong support for the raise among Republicans, and Republican-leaning groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce also support it."

"There is no logical explanation for every Republican in the State Senate voting against this raise," McGrorty said. "It is beginning to look like plain meanness. This is an issue that should not even require a grassroots lobbying campaign, but it clearly does, so we have decided to take the lead."

The commercials began running on Monday on stations in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Eau Claire.

Greater Wisconsin also is phoning citizens and asking them to call their State Senators to urge them to vote for the raise.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee does not appear to have their own website, but if you want to know a little more about them, click here and scroll down a little.

RE: Voter ID

Marcus - The problem is that this is a misnomer of an issue to DPW and crew. They know the sweet deal they are getting from the current system and know any change will slam shut the voter mills that run every two years in Milwaukee and the college towns.

Hence the willing defiance by Doyle and others.

As our friends Bill Christofferson and and Folkbum keep telling us, the government must listen to the 'will of the people.' Be it minimum wage or quoting a push poll on judges.

Well, we have now at least two polls showing over 80% of Wisconsinites want the photo ID requirement to simply make sure their votes count. And what do we get: crickets, stonewalling, and lamer arguments.

Yet, this open slam down on public opinion is scoffed at by these two as "Republican crackdown on Democratic-leaning voters" is sheer hypocrisy. It's not backed by logical arguments (like many have for being against the minimum wage), it's purely emotionally and politically fed.

It's who has the advantage and maintaining that advantage as long as they can. So of course, Doyle will veto this common sense bill backed by 80%+ of the state's population.

Because one thing has become very clear in the 2+ years of the term of Governor Jim Doyle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WEAC, it is the most politically-driven and poll-driven governorships this state has ever seen. And since Doyle's more politician than principled man, he's doing what only any politician in his dirt-level approval ratings would do: Do what he can to stay in the job he's currently in.

The next step for RPWs and backers of this bill is to keep the issue alive. Make Doyle sweat as the poll numbers, fraud accounts, and other things grow. Maybe then his opposition will change.

That's the only way - other than voting this fraud out of office in November 2006.

Minneapolis may require photo ID-for pan handlers

Minneapolis is looking at licensing pan handlers and requiring that they wear a photo ID. Just a real quick question here-if these pan handlers in Minnesota can get a photo ID in order to beg for money, why is it Governor Doyle here in Wisconsin wants us to believe that the our poorest would be incapable of getting a photo ID in order to vote?

Voter ID.

When assessing my political opponents I work hard to exorcise cynicism from my thought process.

My cycnicism is (I want to summon imagery from The Exorcist but will refrain) is not going away regarding voter id. What is so awful about asking for an ID when it comes to voting? Who is it going to disfranchise? Governor Doyle most likely will refer to his dear sweet mother. What, she doesn't have a photo-ID? She can not get one? Come on Governor Doyle, you can not spare a little bit of time to help her get a photo-id? I am sure both parties would help voters obtain such ID.

The left often times talks about how sancrosanct our right to vote is. Why then do they refuse to protect that holy of holies against fraud? If voting is so important why then must we expect the voter to come to the polls completely unprepared? Isn't the voter supposed to be educated about the issues, why then do we assume they can not provide voter id?

Even if you do not buy the reports of voter fraud in Wisconsin, at best this is a hole in the roof. You know the old joke. A wife tells the husband to repair the hole in the roof. He says since it is not raining there is no problem, so why bother. The rain comes, the couple starts to get soaked and the wife asks the husband to fix the roof and refuses because it is raining outside.

At best we have sunshine and a hole in the roof, and the Democrats refuse to fix the hole in the roof. The reports though say it is raining. I say the Democrats need to suck it up, get wet, and fix the hole in the roof.

Governor Doyle, sign voter id into law!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Paper Prints Copied Letter

The La Crosse Tribune got duped big time. This last Sunday they printed a letter to the editor that was practically lifted word for word from the talking points of If I did what this letter to the editor did for a school paper, I would rightly be charged with plagerism. To top it all off, the talking points spelled Janice Rogers Brown's name wrong (Janice Rodgers Brown).

You take a look. I've placed the letter and the talking points side by side below. The words in bold are from the website here. Letter linkhere.

In the next 10 days the Republicans will try to use the "nuclear option" to seize absolute power to appoint judges who will roll back decades of progress in protecting worker rights, the environment, and privacy.

In the next week, the Republican Party will try to use the "nuclear option" to seize absolute power to appoint judges who will negate decades of progress in protecting workers rights, the environment and privacy.

The "nuclear option" is a parliamentary trick to eliminate the filibuster - the right to extend debate on controversial judicial nominations.

This parliamentary trick is intended to eliminate the filibuster, which is the right to extend debate on controversial judicial nominations.

One of the first judges the "nuclear option" would force through is Janice Rodgers Brown of California, who is nominated for the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, a common stepping stone to the Supreme Court

One of the first judicial nominees that could be forced though is Janice Rodgers Brown of California, who is nominated for the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, a known stepping stone to the Supreme Court.

Judge Brown follows an extremist judicial philosophy that calls for the courts to block Congress from guaranteeing such things as the 40 hour work week, the minimum wage, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Judge Brown's judicial philosophy is extreme in that it calls for the courts to block Congress from guaranteeing such things as the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage and the Clean Air Act.

If you google it you find out that other papers fell for it too.

State 29 blogger is finding all of the Iowa papers that fall for the trap.

Is there any La Crosse area reader out there who can write a letter to the editor and copy job? If you do, please email me and let me know.

Crossposted at: Wild Wisconsin

Ahman Green arrested

His second domestic abuse. Dan Needles just reported in on Homer's show, I can't find a link. I guess he was arrested last night. Maybe JJ Arrington would have been a solid second rounder??

Voter ID Bill to Doyle

DayWatch is reporting that he's got it now.

My guess is that the press release that will follow is taking up most of the time on this decision he 'vowed' to do. The Governor is also out of the office today - traveling in Western Wisconsin, expect it tomorrow.

Shall we place bets on how deep into the prose he invokes his dear old mother? I'll go with second sentence of the second paragraph.

Robson Deception

Judy Robson in her article on stem cell research today says that the only fate of frozen embryos is destruction. She is wrong. An adoption agency called Snowflakes has developed an adoption program for these frozen embryos. I have written to Sen. Robson and expect a correction.

What she said:
Some people oppose this medical research because they don’t believe stem cells from human embryos should be used to learn how diseases develop. It is important to note that in Wisconsin, no embryos are created for the purpose of stem cell research. The frozen embryos already exit. They were created for in vitro fertilization, and the donors no longer need them. If they were not donated for medical research, they would be discarded anyway.

The truth:
In 1997, Nightlight began the Snowflakes Frozen Embryo Adoption Program, which is helping some of the more than 400,000 frozen embryos realize their ultimate purpose – life – while sharing the hope of a child with an infertile couple.

CapTimes brings it with another doozy

Editorial: Walker vs. caregivers

I especially like the first paragraph, in which the extreme left editors call Walker "the state's most ambitious career politician." I'm just curious, but what do they consider Russ Feingold? Isn't Feingold a career politician, and isn't he running, for all intents and purposes for President of the United States? That seems a tad more ambitious than Governor of Wisconsin. He is still a state politician, Feingold is supposed to be working for the people of Wisconsin and promoting our interest in Washington correct? I know that he hasn't done a damn thing for this state, but does that mean the leftists have given up even considering him a Wisconsin Senator?

The first paragraph continues like a Russ Feingold bio:

...trying everything he can think of to get out of his current job and into
the governor's mansion [oval office]. If there's a gimmick that will
allow the state to avoid dealing with real issues such as education, health care
or job creation, Walker is for it - no matter how useless or outlandish the

Outlandish and useless ventures for us Wisconsonites like going to Alabama to mend fences with those he offended, or creating ridiculous campaign finance "reforms" that hinder free speech and caused the creation of the obnoxious 527's. Yes, those were definitely worthwhile efforts by Mr. Feingold.

The rest of the editorial reads exactly how you would expect it to read, quoting world renowned publications like the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram to prove it's point that HSA accounts are "bad."

Very insightful.

The Teacher Industrial Complex & Today's Post Crescent.

At times I have referred to the likes of WEAC not as WEAC but instead as the Teacher Industrial Complex (TIC). Lately the TIC has been spending dollars on radio advertising in support of (as Kevin says) their "wholly owned subsidiary's" (aka Governor Jim Doyle) budget.

The adverts are what one would expect from the TIC. They have a child (or an actor aiming to sound like a school aged tot) reading copy promising doom and gloom if the Governor's budget is not passed.

Well, today's Appleton Post Crescent contains many letters and calls the TIC I am sure, is not glad to see! The letters point out what is patently obvious except TIC members (to be fair, who among us thinks we are paid enough?).

The letters section contains two letters that point out the premium benefits teachers get. The "It's Your Call" section contains quite a few calls that also disagree with the TIC's claim that teacher's compensation packages are poor.

Too bad Gregg Underheim did not win his election. We need someone who is not afraid of innovation . If the likes of the TIC were in charge of renovating our transportation system back in the early 1900s, we would have a very low household to blacksmith ratio.


  • 3:27 pm 4/26/2005
  • Changed "...TIC that teacher's compensation packages are poor." to "...TIC's claim that teacher's compensation packages are poor.".

Monday, April 25, 2005

Cover Bands & Cover Blogs.

When I was in college I roomed at times with guys who wanted to be the next Metallica. They wanted it so bad Metallica was about the only music they played. That will do fine for a small band in a small college town and not much more than that, I could tell they were not real serious about a career in music.

I have noticed the same thing with my blogging. For quite some time I would hit up the big-fish blogs usually Michelle Malkin's blog for material. I would provide a quick regurgitation of the story, a quick take, and sometimes I could come up with a cute line. I was after one thing and that was trackbacks. I find as a rule a trackback ping on Michelle's site usually yields at least one trackback ping to Blogger Beer. I have been picked up by some medium fish blogs (The Jawa Report being probably the largest) and one small fish blog has pinged two separate Blogger Beer blogs. Some fairly quick and easy promotion. On blogs without trackback I would leave a comment that usually ended with "see Blogger Beer for more on this."

The problem with this is it makes a blog a cover blog. Fine as it is, but probably never going to break out beyond the slithering reptile stage. I am working to break out of cover blogging. I find a good book to be helpful in providing inspiration for writing and my current read is helping me to spark multi-blog discussions on a very important current topic.

I am not going to entirely give up cover-blogging as it can be enjoyable and sometimes a story needs to get out!

Only in Wisconsin

I cannot think of another place in this country where, when you get yourself into some trouble for stealing money, the judge gives you the option of jail time or donating your football tickets to charity.

I see Patrick found this story, too. He'd do the time.


The Voter ID Bill will be given to Governor Jim Doyle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WEAC, after a 10:30 a.m. press conference in the Senate Parlor.

Madison- Senator Joe Leibham and Representative Jeff Stone will deliver the Photo ID Bill AB-63 to the Governor on Tuesday. The Bill will be delivered to the Governor’s office after a brief press conference to be held in the Senate Parlor. The Press conference will begin at 10:30 AM.

PHOTO ID Press Conference
Tuesday April 26, 2005
10:30AM Senate Parlor
Senator Joe Leibham
Representative Jeff Stone
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Neil Kedzie
Assembly Speaker John Gard
Hopefully, our State Capitol Correspondent can give us the 411 on how it goes. No doubt Doyle's 'vowed' veto will come out shortly after that.

Sports blogging

Alright, gentlemen, we've had a whole lot of Packers' posts lately. Now, I'm not opposed to that at all, even though my husband is from Chicago which makes all of us -- brace yourselves -- Chicago Bears fans.

Assuming that doesn't disqualify me from posting on the BBA, I'm going to do a little sports blogging myself.

Today's topic: Kids' park and rec league baseball.

There's something almost sacred about little kids playing baseball in the summertime. Larry Miller wrote a beautiful essay about it once -- funny, moving, heartfelt, almost poetic -- and I just spent 15 minutes searching the Weekly Standard for it and couldn't find it, so never mind. But trust me, he said everything I would like to be able to say, only better.

My 6-year old daughter joined her first baseball team this year, and had her very first practice last week.

Turns out the coach is one of New Berlin's (many) former mayors.

Now, isn't that just so perfectly small-town, so very American, so Norman Rockwellish? He wasn't necessarily an awesome mayor, in my opinion (sure hope he doesn't read the BBA), but husband said he was a pretty decent coach, judging from the first practice.

He emphasized two things: Not getting hit in the head with the bat, and learning the other little kids' names.

That's about all you need at the kindergarten level.

And that's it for my first sports-blogging post.

(Please, no complaints that this doesn't count for sports blogging. It's the best I can do on that topic. Besides, you really don't want me posting about the Bears or White Sox, do you?!?)

Kennedy Likely MN Sen. Candidate

From the ultimate blog authority on the subject Kennedy v.The Machine:
Grams addressed the 8th Congressional District delegates very briefly in a speech that lasted five minutes. His comments were very vague, focusing on what a good U.S. Senator should be. Our eyewitness didn’t overhear any departing sour grapes vis-à-vis Gram’s ”king-maker” comments earlier in the race, but who knows what others may read into his remarks. Grams did not endorse Kennedy, only saying he would be 100% behind the eventual endorsed Republican

Citing the potential for a divisive campaign ahead, conservative former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams said Sunday he is ending his bid to return to the Senate in 2006.

Grams told The Associated Press that while he believed he could still win the Republican nomination for the seat he lost to Democratic Sen. Mark Dayton in 2000, he knew it would be a tough battle within the party. Dayton already has said he will not seek re-election.

"I felt this was the time we should be united," Grams said.

Grams said he'll support the party's nominee, likely U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, who announced earlier this month that he had raised $550,000 over a six-week period.

As we peak across the boarder we wish our neighbors the best in acquiring someone who will stand up and represent them. They deserve better then Dayton.

Crossposted: Wild Wisconsin

Re: Welcome Marcus

Welcome Blogger Beer.

Buffet table's in the back. Hope you don't mind the spray cheese (we're on a budget). But at least we know that the beer in the cooler is Leinie's.

Speaking of which (reaches for a bottle - finds the cooler empty)...hey, who didn't refill the cooler after they took the last one?

Guys. Not Cool.

Thank You!

This goes out to Jib, and to all other BBA members!

Thanks for the invitation to blog here and thanks to all for reading my flagship blog Blogger Beer!

I intend to blog mostly items from the Fox Valley region of our Badger State, Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Little Chute, etc from here, but will blog on other items of statewide concern as well!

Thanks Again!

Welcome Marcus

The Fox Valley has been woefully under represented here at the Badger Blog Alliance, so I am pleased to welcome Fox Valley blogger Marcus Aurelius to the BBA. Check out Marcus's site Blogger Beer, and welcome him to the BBA.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Patrick's status

If Jib can do it, so can I...

After my blog being down all Saturday due to technical problems on my server end, I planned to blog up a storm today. I did get in a few posts, but I decided to see what the new Word Press 1.5 was all about, so I upgraded and spent the day playing with all the themes and other goodies. Anyone running Word Press will enjoy the added features, including decent spam protection. You can find the details on the 1.5 at

I have been switching between themes, but the one I really like looks awesome on Firefox, but stinks on IE, and since most of the internet still uses that gawd-awful Microsoft product, I will need time to make serious modifications if I am going to use it in the future.

I have done a bit of modification on the theme I am using now, if anyone wants to comment on the new look and functions, I'm open to suggestions.

Jib status

After Monday, I will be disconnected from the virtual world for close to the rest of the week. If you have any requests or technical issues from Tuesday through Friday, please email me at ojibway7rj-at-gmail-dot-com, and I will address it as I have time to do so. Otherwise, enjoy the wonderful voices here at the Badger Blog Alliance this week. Thanks.

Draft Day

So, the Packers pass on Anttaj Hawthorne, who was expected to go in the third-ish round but was still available for Green Bay to take with their late 5th-round pick.

I know, he tested positive for marijuana. So did Warren Sapp, if you'll recall.

Five picks after Oakland takes Hawthorne in the 6th round, the Packers take Mike Montgomery, a DT from Texas A&M, the second Aggie to get drafted by the Packers in this draft.

My question is: how the hell did Owen get into Green Bay's draft day war room?

Here's the list of the Packers' picks.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Oops, My Bad

It's Rodgers, not Rogers.

Common mistake.

With the 24th Pick of the 2005 NFL Draft...

The Green Bay Packers take Aaron Rogers, quarterback, University of California.

Oh, well. Maybe I'll be wrong, and Favre will only play another year or two. Maybe it will be like having Steve Young sitting behind Joe Montana.

But I still think it was a wasted pick.

Re: Packers Pick

Packers on the board now.

If Favre retires after this year, okay, take the QB, but I don't think he will. I think he's sticking around a couple more after this. We're going to use a first round pick on a benchwarmer?

There's still one top-line d-lineman on the board. If he's not worth it, then I say trade down rather than take the QB.

Re: Packers Pick

Can we let the chips fall where they may on this one? At 24, you aren't left with much in terms of 1st Rd talent.

If it's Rogers so be it. All the DEs and OTs are being snapped up left and right. It's "Best Player Available" time guys (and girls.)

Re: Draft Day

No No No! No quarterbacks!

People, people, people. We've already GOT the quarterback. We have to put the other pieces in place now. Favre's not going to last forever - if we don't get to the Superbowl in the next couple years it might be another thirty years!

I know you think you're being smart, planning for the future, but this isn't like a retirement account. Think instant gratification, here.

Defense. I repeat, Defense. Unless we can take a QB and trade him immediately to some sucker for, oh, I don't know, Ray Lewis.

There's a lot of defensive players going, but only one lineman so far. That's good news.

Go put on your Milwaukee Wave t-shirt, Kevin. And while you're at it, you can dust off that petition to switch to the metric system, too.

UPDATE - Crap on Crackers. I may have spoken too soon. Three d-linemen in a row, and Erasmus James to the Vikings! Tragedy untold.


Jib has a post on his site linking to this: a readability test for web pages. Just scroll down a little to where you can type in your address. It only took a second.

My site got an 8.32 on the "Gunning Fog" index (Reader's Digest level); a 72.17 on the Flesch Reading Ease (scale is 1 to 100, higher means easier); and a 5.19 on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade, which means you can read my blog with less than a 6th grade education.


It also says I used 127 words with 4 or more syllables. Didn't know there were that many. Must've overutilized a few.

BBA got 8.17, 73,80, and 5.08, respectively.

I believe this program is only measuring what's on the main page - not the archives.

Anyway, thought it was cool enough to share.

RE: Draft Day

But Lance, some of us enjoy wasting our weekend in front of the TV.

Plus, it's really starting to look that Aaron Rogers might fall all the way down to 24 for the Packers to grab.

My View has no vision

My View of the World is down, some sort of MySQL error that I can't track down, I have my server maintenance crew working on it now. Something weird must be going on with their database server because the RSS feed for my main message board died Thursday night as well... Grrrrrrr, this is NOT the way to be in a happy weekend mood :(

Sorry BBA, I'm commandeering this post for my own selfish reasons :-)

I am redirecting the My View of the World readers to this post to keep them up to speed on what is going on.

I think I figured out what the problem may be, my server just upgraded to the newest version of php, version 4.3.10 and my not have upgraded their Zend Optimizer. It seems that the older Zend doesn't play well with php 4.3.10

Now I just have to get my 24/7 tech support to get their tail in gear and FIX IT!

----Another Update----

I finally have tech support working on the problem, hopefully it will be back up soon.

I'm back in business! Got the MySQL back on line and will be posting up a storm tomorrow

Friday, April 22, 2005

Draft Day

The NFL Draft: a two-day oasis in the lifeless desert otherwise known as the off-season.

I won't be able to plant (get it? Plant? Because you find plants in an oasis. I crack myself up) myself in front of the TV for the whole thing tomorrow, but hopefully I'll at least be inside for the first round.

I've got three words for the Packers' front office: defense, defense, and defense.

Those of you (and you know who you are) who think the Packers should draft Favre's eventual replacement are so completely wrong, you should just consign yourselves to watching soccer for the rest of your lives.

They Can't Be Serious

Irony thy name is PBS.

On a day of a long expose in the Washington Post that the CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) wails and mashes its teeth that a Republican Administration would dare to put Republicans on its board (Perish the thought); no one at CPB mentions that they're giving the Cookie Monster on Sesame Street a PC-neutering.

CPB is crying wolf. I mean, the bad PR in the 90s scuttled the idea of making PBS a private entity. What are they complaining about?

re: Email the Pope

The Pope? You shoot too low, Lance! Email God direct!

(Disclaimor: I and the BBA do not endorse the above link and are not responsible if you choose to actually send that email.)

Re: Journal editorial

Even given the decision to spend the money, rather than giving it back, aren't school districts constantly telling us that revenue caps are making things worse and worse for them? Sure, maybe things are all right now, but budgets can only get so tight, and then you start cutting bone?

Isn't that what they're telling us in Racine (my original home town)?

Keeping the money, and saving it for something more basic down the road - textbooks, for example - would have been much smarter. Not as good PR wise as giving it back, but far smarter than buying plasma TVs.

Anybody Wanna Email the Pope?

A decent Journal editorial...shocking

JS Online: Editorial: Needs vs. Extravagance

The Journal makes a few good points in today's editorial on the TV flap in Muskego. I think the most astonishing thing I have heard through all of this is that the taxpayers would have gotten so little back, individually, that it didn't seem worth it. I can't imagine that thinking. If they would have given something back, I can't even fathom the shock and gratitude of the taxpayers. While the amount may have been small, the public relation and good will gains would have been enormous.

The first mistake in the Muskego flap was made by the School Board last fall when it decided on a 4-2 vote not to return to taxpayers $430,000 left over from a $36.6 million renovation and expansion project voters approved in a 2001 referendum. Sending the money back would have sent with it a clear message that board members are serious about fiscal responsibility and saving taxpayers money.

Set aside the TV's (I can't fathom the thinking behind EIGHT plasma TV's) which will be of little use to students (educational programming is educational programming) the school board blew a great opportunity for future gains. They could have pointed to this refund and said "see, we ARE being fiscally responsible, we aren't wasting money" and turned that into fantastic financial returns down the road.

As is often the case with fools, shortsightedness and greed did them in.

Advertising for breasts

It isn't what you think. The William F. Eisner Museum of Advertising & Design in Milwaukee is holding a fund raiser on Thursday, April 28th, for breast cancer. Their slogan for this event is "After All Breasts Have Done for Advertising, It's Time Advertising did Something Good for Breasts." First, it's a very worthy cause, so check out the details here. Second, with a slogan that snappy, it deserves more of the free publicity I'm tossing its way here.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Privatize This!

AFSCME, the state employee union, had their rally day at the Capitol today. Very very loud.

Of interest: they're handing out buttons adorned with Governor Doyle's picture and the words "Privatize This in 2006!"


Well, wish me luck crew. I'd trying out at 1:30 p.m. today. I'll give an after action report later on.


UPDATE: I placed the update of what happened on my blog. Sorry for those that thought I was going to happen here at the BBA.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Admin update

I am currently way behind on some technical things with the site and also with a couple of requests. I'll spare everyone my excuses and just say that I'll get to them bit by bit over the next few days. Apologies all around.

Whatever happend to AB 816?

Information from the Heritage Institute:

In 1999, the Illinois state House and Senate approved the Educational Expenses Tax Credit plan (Senate Bill 1075). Signed into law on June 3, 1999, this law provides an annual tax credit of up to 25 percent of education-related expenses (including tuition, book fees, and lab fees) that exceed $250, up to a maximum of $500 per family.
In July 1999, the local chapter of the American Federation of Teachers filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Franklin County, alleging that the tax credit law violated the state prohibition against the establishment of religion. On December 7, 1999, Judge Loren P. Lewis dismissed the suit. Opponents of choice appealed the decision to the Appellate Court of the Fifth Judicial District, which upheld the Circuit Court's decision. On April 4, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois for the Fifth Judicial District unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the Illinois educational expenses tax credit law.
A second lawsuit was filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court by a coalition of groups led by the Illinois Education Association, also challenging the program on state constitutional grounds. In April 2000, the circuit court judge dismissed the suit, emphasizing that the tax credit allows Illinois parents to keep more of their own money to spend on their children's education and does not involve the expenditure of public money. Opponents appealed this decision to the Appellate Court of the Fourth Judicial District.

On April 21, 2001, the Appellate Court for the Fourth Judicial District also unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the state's 1999 tax credit law. "By creating the credit," Justice Rita Garman wrote for the three-judge panel, "the legislature has recognized that parents who send their children to private schools often do so at considerable expense to themselves and that they provide a benefit to the State treasury by relieving the State and local taxpayers of the expense of educating their children." In two separate decisions in June 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to reconsider the two district appeals court rulings. Since the plaintiffs did not raise First Amendment claims in either case, no appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was possible.
In 2004 Assembly Bill 816 was prepared in committee down in Madison - for some unknown reason it never saw the light of day.. Inquiring minds would like to know more about this one. Why did it not make it out of committee? Where do Kitty Rhoades and Sheila Harsdorf stand on this sort of step in the direction of fiscal sanity???

bildanielson @ On the Borderline

Re: Building hospitals in Waukesha

Mark Belling has done a fair bit on this issue and just today he seems to have gotten into a scrape with the Waukesha Freeman Milwaukee Post, they oppose the new hospital, and it seems that they may be trying to spike Belling's column in support of the hospital. Belling is having none of this!

More info at My View of the World

UPDATE: Correction

I made a mistake, it was the Milwaukee Post that refused to run the column, both the Post and Freeman are owned by the same company, but the Freeman has said it WILL run the column.

ACLU sues for domestic partner bennies


ACLU: Seeks Health Insurance and Family Leave for Lesbian and Gay Wisconsin State Employees

MADISON, WI - The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today against the state of Wisconsin on behalf of six lesbian employees and their partners seeking domestic partner health insurance and family leave protections.

Gold Star License Plates

Speaker John Gard wants to create a new license plate [.pdf] for "Gold Star" families. As you know, many families who have a family member serving during wartime display a blue star banner in their homes. Families who have lost a family member display gold star banners.

Gard said [.pdf] he would offer both an amendment to the state budge and separate legislation to create a Gold Star plate. The state normally requires a $15 fee for specialized plates. Gard said his amendment would waive the fee and make the plates available to military families at no additional cost to their regular license fee for a non-personalized plate.

I support the military. When a member of the military dies, I feel bad for their families. I really do. It makes me grateful for their sacrifice for my freedom and all that stuff. Seriously.

However, Republicans have been talking about tax freezes and TABOR and deficits and spending (well, less about spending than the other things). Is this really a message we want to be sending right now? Because if you're adding an expense to the budget (new license plates), and you aren't making the recipients of the expense pay for it, aren't you adding more spending to the budget? I know it's hard for you legislators to understand that, but that's called math.

Speaker Gard's heart is in the right place. I know that if I were in a position of power to make a Gold Star family's life easier or to honor a fallen service member, boy, I would jump all over it. But this is a superficial expense that we just can't afford right now. These are the tough choices we need our legislators to make.

State GOP Convention

This Friday marks two weeks to the day of the start of the 2005 State Republican Convention to be held at the beautiful new Blue Harbor Resort and Convention Center.

The Convention runs from May 6-7, its
keynote speaker will be former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. The theme is praising the grass roots for the successes of the 2004 campaign.

I never got a clear contention on who was going or not to it. I have been given press credentials for the event as a blogger.

Could I get a clear count on this? Lord Ben (who has since re-left his blog) and I still plan on holding the brat fry (since been moved to Lord Ben's) and we need numbers.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments or emailing me at

Jeffords Jumping Again

NRO's Beltway Buzz is floating the rumor that Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) is going to announce his retirement from the Senate at 12 PM CDT today.

Apparently when the GOP reclaimed the majority he screwed them out of, things got a little bad for Mr. Jeffords.

Looks like a 'real' Democrat will easily take that seat. It's Vermont, a state with a freakin' Socialist as its lone Congressman, for Pete's sake.

UPDATE: Confirmed from AP.

Leftists Know What's Best...Again

I am constantly astounded by the audacity of liberals (American liberals in this case). It is always dangerous to think you know best for everyone and it seems this is the line leftists cross at every turn. Based on the past few months they obviously feel they have the right to pick not only the President's cabinet, but every judicial appointment as well...and even his ambassadors. They have taken the advise and consent roll to mean obstruction and bottleneck. In a country with a Republican House, Senate and Presidency, why in the world do the leftists feel they have so much power?

Well, interestingly their condescension goes far deeper than just American politics. Indeed, these diluted souls (as represented by Mr. Carlson above) feel they have the right to tell a worldwide religious organization who should lead them. Why do American liberals think they have the right to decide who becomes the head of a worldwide mostly conservative (in values and in many political views) organization?

Despite my being a Catholic and a conservative, with eight years of Jesuit education, I still don't feel I have the slightest clue as to who would lead the Church in this incredibly tumultuous time, but Mr. Carlson and countless leftists feel again that they know what is best.

They want a worldwide ban on smoking, cholesterol, guns, soda, and religion...because after all they know best. I am curious as to who he would like to see head the Catholic Church, would an atheist be "progressive" enough for these people? Maybe a lesbian?

I don't presume to want a white guy heading the NAACP, why would these people think a leftist could run the Catholic Church?

Re: Go Your Separate Ways

Sean, good question. Here are some of the reasons, in my opinion:

  • It would be like a divorce. And it would be just as painful. Families and friends would be split.

  • Culture and rituals (a.k.a. "smells and bells"). Catholicism is a very beautiful and moving religion - when not watered down beyond all recognition. Some may have an emotional or just aesthetic attachment to Roman Catholicism that supercedes their leftist aversion to the doctrine.

  • Stubborness and pride. As noted in the comments on your original post, many would like to see the Church bend to their will rather than the other way 'round.

  • Americanism, for lack of a better term. Since we know that democracy is good for America, some figure it ought to be good for the Church. If there's no absolute truth (a given for many Americans, Catholic or otherwise), then just vote for the morality du jour. They keep trying to convince the Church of that, and since they've had some success in this country with liberal priests and bishops, they've got their sights set on Rome.

  • Lack of a leader. There already are small break-away "American Catholic Churches" (just google it to see), but who would lead a major break-away Church? Without that national figure, I just don't see it happening.

  • I'm a practicing, "orthodox" Catholic, so I'm very happy with our new Pope. However, I also know that it doesn't matter which man is selected; Church doctrine on faith and morals will never change. That's the part the liberals don't get. Yet.

    Kinghts Templar, the Church, and oppostition to Benedict XVI

    Heh. I love historical references to the Knights Templar. Sean, that post automatically gets an 'A+' in my book, just for the reference.

    I've mentioned this at Jiblog, but as a Lutheran, I don't really understand everything going on in the Catholic Church right now, either. But then again, I suspect there are Catholics that don't understand Lutheranism much either. I think Daniel Chapman in your comments makes an excellent point, though. There is more influence working within the Church than from without, which is why we are innundated right now by unhinged whiners like Sullivan.

    I think there is another angle to this, though, and that is the elevation of the self. Most people who are pushing for the liberalization of the Catholic Church right now are pushing for it out of personal interest. They truly believe in the doctrines of the Catholic Church, but at the same time, the lives they live contradict some of those doctrines. Those individuals have elevated their regard for themselves to that of their God. Because of that, when aspects of their lives run contradictory to the word of God, it has to be the Church's fault. It can't be their's, and it can't be God's, so that leaves the Church as the entity for them to blame, or perhaps to scapegoat.

    But I am just a (very) amateur theologian, so take this as you may.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Go Your Separate Ways

    We know Andrew Sullivan is upset with Pope Benedict. He's already slandering by dubbing him the "Grand Inquisitor." (Guess the Crusades will be starting up again. How about we re-start the Knights Templar?) Many American Catholics will just continue to ignore the church's teachings on abortion, contraception, human sexuality, etc. Why don't these people accept they will never get along with Rome and break off to form an American Catholic Church? Being a Lutheran I don't have any grasp as to why Catholics continue to belong to a church whose teaching they no longer profess. Just like the Catholic Church survived when the Greek Orthodox split off and when the Reformation tore apart Europe, a schism wouldn't seal Rome's doom.

    Quote of the Week

    "How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking… The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves – thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4, 14). Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching', looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today's standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires." Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, performing a Mass to celebrate the conclave which elected him Pope.

    I added the emphasis to my favorite part.

    Wisconsin Death Bill

    Risser is doing it again. Just about every session Sen. Risser introduces a bill that destroys the value of life by allowing people to assist others committ suicide. Why would we ever want to suggest to a person that they don't deserve to live? Every life, even your own life, is valuable. And as we saw in Terri's case, once we accept that you can take your own life, it is a small step until others are taking your life for you.

    Think of all the work that the law enforcement does to keep criminals from committing suicide: no sharp objects in the jail cells, etc, etc. These are criminals that we are trying (and rightly so) to keep from taking their lives. Why should we suggest to the most vulnerable, the disabled, the sick that their life is not worth living?
    Lawmakers in the Wisconsin state legislature plan to introduce a measure that would legalize assisted suicide. However, the legislation won't go far as the head of a committee that would hold hearings says she won't bring it up for consideration.
    Good. You can thank Senator Carol Roessler for that.

    Cross posted Wild Wisconsin

    My Favorite MSM Benedict Talking Point

    Not sure if this is being talked about (I'm listening to the Brewers lose in extra innings - Stupid Phelps.) in hourly broadcasts, but according to the Kos-heads: Benedict's a Nazi.

    Actually, the Wall Street Journal explains this part of his past quite well.
    Traunstein was also where Cardinal Ratzinger went through the harrowing years of Nazi rule and World War II. In his memoirs, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that he was enrolled in the Nazi youth movement against his will when he was 14 in 1941, when membership was compulsory. He said he was soon let out because of his studies for the priesthood.

    Two years later he was drafted into a Nazi antiaircraft unit as a helper, a common task for teenage boys too young to be soldiers. A year later he was released, only to be sent to the Austrian-Hungarian border to construct tank barriers.

    He deserted the Germany army in May 1945 and returned to Traunstein -- a risky move, since deserters were shot on the spot if caught, or publicly hanged as examples to others. When he arrived home, U.S. soldiers took him prisoner and held him in a prisoner-of-war camp for several weeks. Upon his release, he re-entered the seminary.
    So he's Captain von Trapp. Leave him alone moonbats.

    UPDATE: Speak of the Devil. From Yahoo News.

    I feel like Rip Van Winkle

    I step away from the blog-thing for a little while... well, OK, a long while... and I come back to find that people are planning a party, starting a Corner, making this into a sports blog (sort of, for a few days there), and today it seems to be a Pope-blog!

    Wow. I hardly recognize this place! That's what I get for not paying attention.

    But I like all the changes here, and I'm happy to say I'm back to blog another day (though I'm sure a lot of you never noticed I was missing).

    I'll be writing about the gubernatorial campaign (probably because I just like to say "gubernatorial"), the new Pope (the wailing and gnashing of teeth you hear is from the liberal wing of the Church, which just cannot believe we have another so-called conservative Pope), and more.

    And hey, Jib, thanks for letting me keep my posting privileges in spite of my extended hiatus!

    More Election Bungling

    MADISON - Lots of people forget about their local elections. Rarer are the town officials who do.

    The state Elections Board is looking into the Town of Monticello's failure to print up ballots for its five local offices on the spring ballot earlier this month. All five were unopposed in their bids for re-election, and Town Clerk Walter Weber said officials just forgot to print up ballots.

    "We screwed up," Weber said.

    And we thought Lisa Artison was incompetent.

    Benedict Media Coverage

    Am I the only one here that seems to think that the MSM wants a Protestant running the Catholic Church?

    Pope Benedict XVI

    German Cardinal Ratzinger Elected Pope - Cardinal - Yahoo! News

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has been elected Pope.

    Habemus Papam

    We Have A Pope

    An exciting time for Catholics

    Pope Benedict XVI

    Here's the story, seems like some confusion

    New Pope

    White smoke and bells...

    Divide and conquer

    It looks like that will be the strategy for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) opponents. In fact, the Journal Sentinel's editorial board is already starting the foot work. It is up to state Republicans to hammer out an agreement on this issue or they could be vanquished by this strategy. It is also important that these legislators hear a ground swell of Taxpayer Bill of Rights support from all of us out here-and yes, that means from Badger Blog Alliance readers as well as bloggers.

    Re: Get together...

    I am going to have to apologize for my lack of response to the Great BBA Get Together, but being a young professional (and I use that term in the loosest possible sense) I cannot commit myself to anything for the coming weekend, must less two months from today. I would love to say I will be there, since I have missed only one home game this year (in addition to attending the last week of Spring Training) but sadly I am unable to give a firm yes or no.

    Count me as a tentative maybe.

    As a side note, the past few weeks have been super busy with tax season (everyone trying to move their max into IRA's before yesterday) but blogging will increase, here as well as my page, steadily as this week passes and resume the pace it was in the past.

    Re: First Post

    I think we should have a minimum-dawn rule when it comes to first posts. We can't all stay up until the wee hours blogging, you know.

    RE: Preachy

    Wow. I get to do the whacking?

    I'm honored. ;-)

    Mike the headless chicken?

    Umm, yeah, I really need to find a way to record Sykes during the day. Mike the Headless Chicken? What in McNuggets' name?

    Where's the party?

    I thought it was here, but everyone seems to be out.

    By the way, first post.

    And where are we at with that get together? I don't think we have enough people to qualify as a group yet.

    I hate being preachy. Kevin, you have sole permission to whack me upside the head when I get too preachy.

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    Limited or No Connectivity

    Got this warning on the L3 yesterday. Can someone here in our little conclave help me out?

    All my investigation leads to either a patch I downloaded from Microsoft (yes - stupid idea), my wireless card is fried (unlikely), or XP has taken a dive and I need to reinstall.

    Please help.

    Sunday, April 17, 2005

    Wisconsin blogosphere get together

    For details, to commit, or to ask questions, go here. This post will stay at the top all weekend. New posts are found below.

    Dane County DA falsifying evidence?

    This could be huge in Wisconsin. It was reported on Belling & Company by Mark Belling. I find nothing in the papers yet, but will post details as they come available.

    Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard has been accused in a law suit filed by a prominent criminal defense attorney and former State School Superintendent John Benson, of falsifying evidence against 17 year old involved in a fatal traffic accident, they claim that he (Blanchard) illegally withheld evidence that would have cleared the teenager.


    Saturday, April 16, 2005

    A Little History

    Found this History of the U.S. Tax System the other day while I was doing a little research. Since yesterday was tax day, and tomorrow's the national Tax Freedom Day, and Tuesday is Wisconsin's Tax Freedom Day, I thought this an apropos time to post it.

    Ward Churchill

    Those that were involved with the Ward Churchill fiasco at UW Whitewater may be interested in the actual cost of the event.

    More interested should be the people that will be hosting Churchill in the future, this will give them a feel for the actual cost of having this bigot visit your school.

    RE: Sheets

    Sheets pitched fairly well last night, I was sitting right behind home plate and he had his stuff, just a little off in the control area. Where he killed himself was his fielding, which led to two runs. However, the Crew should be able to put up a better fight off freakin Supan, that's what irked me. Also, since Moeller is going to be Sheets' catcher, they can't leave JJ Hardy in that lineup. They have got to play Hall at third so we have some production from the bottom of the order, Moeller is an automatic out and Hardy isn't swinging the bad much better.

    As for the signing, not to be a wet blanket but I think it has mixed meaning. It is great that they signed him and got it out of the way, but it also clears a hurdle if they wanted to move him at the break (something I don't think they'll do, but I'm just saying...). With a contract he is that much more appealing to other ball clubs.

    Sorry for the whole devil's advocate thing...Go Crew!!

    (By the way, I'll be down the third base line this afternoon trying to get Pujols to pull a Sheffield).


    That was a moment that shook Brewers fans to the core. I was a teenager when that happened.

    Still haven't forgiven Sal Bando for that. And I never will. It also showed to Brewer fans at the time that Bud Selig was more willing to let that louse of a human being than himself decide the way to run his team.

    With the extension for Sheets, despite his rough outing last night, it shows the new ownership is committing to putting a winning ball club on the field.

    We have a legitimate No.1 club ace for the next four years - many teams in baseball can't say that.

    Re: Sheets

    Is anybody else here old enough to remember when Robin Yount signed a free agent contract? It was 1989, I think. We were all so worried that he would go to another team, then he signed, I think, a 3-year deal for $3 million. At the time, it was enormous.

    And there was much rejoicing. And my brother and his roommates doused me with dishwater for not calling to tell them right away when I found out.

    This was pre-Internet, of course.

    I also remember when Paul Molitor signed with the Bluejays. I was driving along a California highway at about 11 at night and the only radio station I could get was a dinky sports show. I had to pull over to the side of the road for a few minutes after I heard.

    Sheets Signed

    All right! There's hope in Mudville/Brew City. The mighty Sheets has been signed.

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    Because 42" is just enough for any HS

    Charlie Sykes has posted a link to the Muskego/Norway School District minutes on his blog. Even gives kudos to the Lovely Wendy on her post below.

    Here's the section from the minutes:

    Resolution 04/10/18 - 12-B - High School Project Close-Out
    It was noted that this item was brought forward from the October 4, 2004 School Board meeting for action this evening. Discussion took place prior to a motion. There was discussion about the administration's suggested list of items to be completed with funds still available. In particular, there was considerable discussion pro and con about replacing 97 interior doors in the original building area at a cost of $121,250. Also discussed with varying opinions was replacement of exterior stone on the old library with brick that matches the new construction.

    Additionally, there was discussion as to whether or not the mobile computer lab proposal should be funded out of referendum monies. It was noted that all funds from the project must be used toward the high school project. There was a suggestion that unspent monies be applied against the tax levy.

    Also speaking to the issue was the following citizen:

    Paul Oman S63 W16495 College Avenue Muskego, WI
    Suggested giving discretion to the principal as to how the funds should be utilized. Mr. Oman suggested that applying funds to the tax levy would not result in a significant amount of savings per individual taxpayer.

    Motion - Daniel Kinnick moved, Mark Waltz seconded to approve the administration's recommendation of proposed projects to be completed with the close-out funds available.

    Voting Aye: Ray Schrank, Jim Schaefer, Daniel Kinnick, and Mark Waltz. Voting Nay: Rick Petfalski and Lisa Voisin.

    Poor Paul Oman. You were foolish enough to trust your local educrat.

    Google finds that he was a candidate for the school board in April 2005. He was elected in with 31% of the vote. One of the ayes (Jim Schaefer) was re-elected.

    UPDATE: In the story in today's JS, the board member interviewed is Rick Petfalski, one of the nays.

    Note: Not trying to paint anyone (Oman or Schaefer) the villain here. From the minutes it seems all blame goes to the Principal of the High School. The resolution gave him full discretion on how the monies were spent.

    Muskego TVs

    Everyone and his brother this morning is talking about the ridiculous spending spree in Muskego. If the board members of every other school district in the state were on their toes, they would publicly disapprove of this decision by the Muskego school board and high school principal. It’s because of idiot decisions like this that their own referendums are declined.

    The next time a school district brings up a referendum--even if that school board has shown they are good stewards of their taxpayers’ money, even if they have cut out the fat and made good decisions--someone will always mention this outrageous spending in Muskego. Always.

    If no one in education speaks up and condemns this action, it will be a loooooooooooooooong time before ANY referendum passes in ANY Wisconsin school district. Congratulations, Muskego/Norway school district, you single-handedly showed us why to vote NO on every school spending referendum.

    RE: Death Tax

    Chris, all indications are that it will die (excuse the pun) in the Senate. There's enough Senators to maintain a filibuster on it. The Death Tax will likely rise again from the grave. Plan your deaths for 2010 everyone.

    One expects McCain and Hagel, Lords of the RINO media whores, will be lining up in opposition.

    What strikes me as truly hilarious is that Democrats resorted to using Paris Hilton as the poster child for not repealing the Death Tax.

    Yes, that really works. Curse that trollop and her billions she's likely to throw away on parties, drugs, clothes, and small Mexican dogs.

    Then again, as InstaPundit puts it, using her as your example works a lot better than having "F*** You Average Guy Running the Family Business" as the slogan.

    Socialism, Progressives, Inheritance Tax, and War

    Yesterday the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to repeal the inheritance tax (aka the death tax) permanently. If the Senate doesn't also vote to repeal it, this socialistic tax will spring back to full, virulent life in 2011.

    What do all the items in the title have to do with each other? It was these 4 elements that created the death tax. You see socialism has actually been infecting the United States for over 100 years. The story points out how all the items are tied together. Its from the site "The View from 1776". The article is from a story called "Socialism and the Inheritance Tax".

    On The BorderLine

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    Quiet night

    Wow. Quiet night after a busy morning. What, is everyone peeved about my intolerance for Badger Blog Alliance nudity?

    (I can only imagine the searches that will be coming here after all of this nudity and naked talk)

    Your tax dollars at work

    The Muskego high school remodeling came in under budget, so instead of refunding the money to the taxpayers, they spent over $20,000 for 8, 42 inch plasma screen tv's for the student lunch room so they can play the daily school announcements.

    More details at MVotW.

    New Milwaukee Population Numbers

    I'm working on a small analysis of these numbers on my blog, but this isn't good news folks.

    On a more prevalent matter: Anyone know Captain Ed's email? He now needs to re-run his numbers in 'The Silence of the Cheese.'

    One can only guess that these numbers push the City of Milwaukee's turnout over 70%.

    Firefox PSA

    About a week ago we were discussing the Firefox connection and had a few posts about the fantastic browser. While I can't figure out how to get it to work at work, I do use it exclusively at home. Anyway, Lifehacker linked to a really great article in Linux Journal about tweaking and using about:config to make Firefox as amazing as possible.

    Basically a must read if you're a Firefox user.

    RE: Minimum Wage

    I think minimum wage needs to be analyzed in terms of economics. Three components of economics consist of production, consumption, and exchange. Wages fall into the exchange. The essence of exchange is the transfer of title. When you go to the store and purchase a product, you are transferring title of a monetary bill for that of a product. Who wins in this exchange? Both. If there were an imbalance in the perception of the price or product, the exchange would not happen. Both parties voluntarily entered into the transaction. The same can be said of wages. If an employer were to offer $5.00 an hour for some labor, it is up to the individual seeking employment to do one of two things, either accept the wage or say no, and look elsewhere. If they accept the job, you can conclude that this individual is better off than their next best alternative. If another employer offered only 4.00, the individual is free to choose that job. So how can it be considered exploitive if an employer offers an individual their best price?

    While people might characterize $4 or 5$ an hour as exploitation, they wouldn’t say the same about $50 an hour. Therefore, for the most part, when people use the term exploitation in reference to voluntary exchange, they simply disagree with the price. If we equate price disagreement with exploitation, then exploitation is everywhere. For example, I not only disagree with my salary, I think I’m worth 6 figures, I also disagree with the price of a new Cadillac.

    If an employer is forced to raise wages, they will do at a minimum 1 thing or all 3, raise prices, hire less people, or both.

    re: Local minimum wage laws

    All I am saying is that I will be cheering with you if Madison's foolishness leads to minimum wage intelligence at the state level, however I will never condone government control of prices, including the cost of labor.

    Side to your side: I kind of thought that this type of discussion was the whole idea, sorry if I'm out of bounds.

    The minimum wage

    I'm half expecting someone to whack me upside the head with a rhetorical 2x4 here. I'm clearly not towing the party line on this one, and my proposal is not without risk...

    re: Local minimum wage laws

    E.S.K., your argument is strong if you can get the state and the feds to agree to never tinker with the minimum wage again. I don't think either will ever give up that power. Minimum wages are too easy to pass off on the public as "good law," so there will not be the popular outcry against them necessary to get states and feds to scrap or at least ignore the minimum wage. So, in my opinion, by letting local municipalities set their own minimum wages, the negative affects of minimum wages will be much more visible because of the ability to compare neighboring cities, therefore discouraging politicians at the state level from grabbing at easy political capital by raising them themselves statewide, where the negative impact is less observable because all municipalities experience the same things. Allowing localities to govern their own wage rates is not necessarily condoning wage controls :-). This actually an issue where I think good can come from bad. If the state blocks local municipalities from doing this, we're stuck with the bad because it is more difficult to shine the light on the negative aspects of minimum wage increases.

    I'm also skeptical about the idea of a non-uniform state minimum wage hurting business & capital recruitment to the state. Minimum wages affect those two items a lot less than things like tax rates do. Where we would see an affect is in small businesses, unfortunately. But here's the catch. If much of this is done on the local level, small businesses are going to be much more capable of blocking it than if it were done solely on the state level.

    Side note unrelated to the topic of this post:
    I encourage this type of debate here, everyone. And thank goodness we are finally off the topics of ferel cats and nudity at the BBA.

    re: Local minimum wage laws

    I never really thought you were in favor of wage floors, but condoning them on any level is a dangerous decision. Say for instance that there are no adverse effects from raising the minimum wage in Madison. (I don't see possible positive effects, only a lack of negative ones).

    If there is nothing to say it harmed the economy, there is less/nothing to stop the legislature from implementing a statewide increase, which would have a much more profound effect on our economy. Moving a factory from Glendale to Milwaukee might not have gigantic effects or ripples throughout the state, but attracting large firms to relocate to Wisconsin from a neighboring state or attracting foreign direct investment will be that much more difficult.

    While I understand we do not live in a perfect world, that does not mean we should support economic tampering at any level.

    re: Local minimum wage laws

    In a perfect world, I don't disagree with you. This isn't a perfect world, unfortunately. We have minimum wage laws, and they aren't going away. I would rather watch, say, the city of Madison experiment by raising their city minimum wage than watch that experimentation occur on the state level. Three reasons for this. First, if there are disastrous effects, they are isolated in that local community that chose to raise its minimum wage. That city can then act much more quickly to alleviate the ill affects, and it has much less impact on the state economy. If it turns out that it was a good decision (and I doubt raising minimum wages is a good decision right now), then the state can look at whether it is a good decision for the state. Second, if I am personally opposed to raising the minimum wage, I can be much more affective organizing an effort against it if it is proposed by a city government than the state government. In other words, my voice is louder with my city government than it is with the state. Third, a minimum wage of $X may be easily absorbed in a city with a strong economy like Madison, but disastrous in another city in the state, say, Ashland. I'd rather have the city of Madison tinkering with its own fate than going to the state government and lobbying the state to tinker with all of our fates.

    Don't get confused and think that I support raising the minimum wage. I don't. I think circumventing cities from making their own mistakes means that we'll be making those mistakes on the state level instead, and it'll be more costly.

    RE: WI blogosphere get together

    Who has given up on the Crew? First place baby, first place!!

    EDIT: It might be wise for you naysayers to check out the latest Power Rankings over at ESPN. The best part of this early first two weeks is the quality starting pitching.

    RE: Local Minimum Wage Laws

    Uh oh, I am going to have to disagree with a post...

    While local minimum wage laws will not harm large retailers, like say Wal-Mart who can pack up and move if their margins get too slim without so much as a second thought, the people who will be hurt are the small business owners, especially small retailers who are already trying to compete with larger chains. These small shops cannot compete with Wal Mart's economies of scale and incredible efficiencies without this hinderance, imagine how quickly they will fail when extra burdens are added. The larger the operation, the easier it will be for that firm to absorb the increase in costs. So a lane or two is closed at Kohl's, bit deal. But when you only haver a staff of say five, and are forced to cut one or two, that effect is felt throughout the operation.

    If local municipalities want to push businesses out into neighboring
    communities by passing stricter minimum wage laws than the state mandates, I
    say hooray for them. Let 'em learn the hard way or prove to the rest of us
    their way is better-all on the local level.

    I couldn't disagree with this statement more. It is not the place of government to dictate where and how business should operate (fine, zoning and what not, but it should be minimal). Aside from ensuring some modicum of safety (which could arguably be done as well through the market...I'm not gonna shop somewhere after I slice my foot on glass...) the government should allow the market and Smith's "invisible hand" to dictate where and for how much businesses are operated.

    Allowing markets to operate with minimal intrusion in conservative economics, not meddling for the sake of experimentation.